Tilbury Talks To… Kerry Ann Parsons

Today, Tilbury Talks To… Kerry Ann Parsons. Firstly, thank you for agreeing to take part today Kerry. Would you let everyone know a little about yourself?

Hi Mark and thanks for having me.
I’m 40 years old. I’ve been married to Steve for 16 years, together for 19! We had our babies first and have a son who recently turned 18 and a 16 year old daughter. I also have a step-son who is 22. I have been a full-time Mum and housewife since 2000, but also our church treasurer since July 2014. I have been job hunting for a little while, now the children are less dependent on me. Needless to say my favourite hobby is reading but I also love spending quality time with family and friends, walking, cooking/baking, TV, cinema, theatre and eating out. I blog at chataboutbooks.wordpress.com

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
What on earth am I thinking….. Who is going to want to read my ramblings….. We’ll see how it goes, what’s the worst that can happen!?

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Apart from all of the wonderful books I might never have come across otherwise, the best thing for me about being a book blogger is all of the awesome people I have been lucky enough to meet, both online and in person.
The worst thing is not having the time to read all of the books all of the time. Continue reading

The Key to Death’s Door Blog Tour Thanks!

Last week The Key to Death’s Door was published and a 6 day blog tour took place. I want to say a BIG thank you to all the fantastic bloggers who gave their time to write and share reviews about the book. Also, thanks go to everyone else who helped spread the word about the tour across social media. It was much appreciated.

Below is a list of the bloggers who took part in the tour with links to their reviews. Please take some time to have a look around their great blogs. Their reviews may lead you to discovering new books and authors.

Amy Sullivan @ Novel Gossip.
Read Amy’s review here. And you can read Amy’s Saturday Shoutout interview with me here too.

Eva Merckx @ Novel Deelights.
Find Eva’s review here.

Sean Talbot @ Sean’s Book Reviews.
Read Sean’s review here.

Gemma Myers @ Between the Pages Book Club.
Find Gemma’s review here.

Sarah Hardy @ By the Letter Book Reviews.
Read Sarah’s review here.

Sassy Brit @ Alternative Reads
Find Sassy’s review here.

Karen Cole @ Hair Past a Freckle
Read Karen’s review here.

Lorna (LJ) @ On the Shelf Reviews
Find Lorna’s review here.

Simon Leonard @ Black Books
Read Simon’s review here.

Sharon Bairden @ Chapter in my Life
Find Sharon’s review here.

Caroline Vincent @ Bits about Books
Read Caroline’s review here.

Jessica Bronder @ JBronder Book Reviews
Find Jessica’s review here.

Diane Hogg @ Sweet Little Book Blog
Read Diane’s review here.

Steve Robb @ Bookie Wookie
Find Steve’s review here.

Jill Burkinshaw @ Books ‘n’ All
Read Jill’s review here.

Mark Wilson @ Mark Wilson Books
Find Mark’s review here.

Bev Eaves @ Reading for Pleasure
Read the first chapter of The Key to Death’s Door here.

Philomena Callen @ Cheekypea Reads
Find Philomena’s review here.

Abby Slater-Fairbrother @ Anne Bonny Book Reviews
Read Abby’s review here.

Chelle Baker @ Chelle’s Book Reviews
Find Chelle’s review here.

Heather Anne Osborne @ Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Read Heather’s review here.

Neats Wilson @ The Haphazardous Hippo
Find Neat’s review here.

Donna Maguire @ Donna’s Book Blog
Read Donna’s review here.

Kerry Ann Parsons @ Chat About Books
Find Kerry’s review here.

 

If any of the above reviews have made you think you’d like to read The Key to Death’s Door, you can find the book here on Amazon.

As always, thank you for you continued support.

Best wishes.

Mark.

 

 

Book Review. The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by Anne R. Allen

Having been a fan of Anne R. Allen’s blog for some time now, I was very pleased to discover she’d complied a book to assist all author bloggers. I’ll start off by saying that it’s a must read which I highly recommend. But, before my review, here’s some information about it:

Book Description:

An easy-does-it guide to simple, low-tech blogging for authors who want to build a platform, but not let it take over their lives.

An author blog doesn’t have to follow the rules that monetized business blogs do. This book teaches the secrets that made Anne R. Allen a multi-award-winning blogger and one of the top author-bloggers in the industry.

And you’ll learn why having a successful author blog is easier than you think.

Here are some things you’ll learn in this book:

•How an author blog is different—and easier to maintain—than a business blog
•What authors should blog about at different stages of their careers
•Choosing the right blog topics for your genre and audience
•How one type of blogpost can build your platform quickly
•Basic SEO tips that don’t make your eyes glaze over with tech jargon
•How to write headers that will grab the attention of Web surfers
•How to keep your audience by learning the tricks of content writing
•Essential blog and social media etiquette rules
•What happens to your blog when you die?

“Anne writes the essential blog for today’s writers.” Mystery author Carmen Amato.

“I love following the blog of Anne R. Allen…for up-to-date tips and helpful articles for writers on what’s current in the publishing world.” Author D. G. Kaye.

“BRILLIANT! One of the Top 10 Resources for Self-Publishing Authors.” author Mark Tilbury.

“Anne is one of the most successful author-bloggers out there.” Reedsy

“One of the Top 15 Blogs for Indie Authors to Follow…I adore Anne’s blog. Aside from being one smart lady, her mix of sass and education is priceless.” Social media strategist and manager Frances Caballo

“You know what a huge fan I am of Anne R. Allen’s blog…absolutely marvelous.” Romance author Collette Cameron

“I recommend following the publishing blogs of both Jane Friedman and Anne R. Allen…I’ve implemented many of their tips, which have helped boost my SEO.” New York Times bestseller Eileen Goudge in Publisher’s Weekly

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by Anne R. Allen on UK Amazon

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by Anne R. Allen on US Amazon

 

My Review:

This book is a must-read for all authors who blog. Any author who is trying to balance their blogging with their WIP (work in progress) needs to read Anne’s advice within these pages. How author blogs are different to business blogs and why slow-blogging is actually the best kind for authors, are just a couple of the many topics covered.

I’m already a massive fan of Anne’s blog, and this book is written in the same humourous, yet highly informative style as her blog posts. Sharing her own blogging successes and mistakes, she explains how and why things need to be done in certain ways.  Anne makes the whole blogging process seem accessible to everyone, no matter what you’re working on or your level of technical expertise.

I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now, and there are certainly things I need to improve on, but with the help of this book it seems so much more do-able.

If you’re a fellow author with a blog, then I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of this book, and see where your blog can take you.

 

About Anne:

Anne R. Allen is the author of the Camilla Randall mysteries, three stand-alone comedies, and two nonfiction guides for writers: “HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE” co-authored with Amazon #1 bestselling author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and THE AUTHOR BLOG: EASY BLOGGING FOR BUSY AUTHORS.

The Camilla Randall mysteries include THE BEST REVENGE, GHOSTWRITERS IN THE SKY, SHERWOOD, LTD. NO PLACE LIKE HOME, SO MUCH FOR BUCKINGHAM, and THE QUEEN OF STAVES. The first three are available as a boxed set. The stand-alones are THE GATSBY GAME, THE LADY OF THE LAKEWOOD DINER, and FOOD OF LOVE.

The three stand-alones are available in one boxed set: BOOMER WOMEN: THREE COMEDIES ABOUT A GENERATION THAT CHANGED THE WORLD. Anne also has a collection of poetry and short fiction titled WHY GRANDMA BOUGHT THAT CAR.

All of her books are currently published by Kotu Beach Press.

Anne’s blog, which she shares with New York Times bestseller Ruth Harris, was named one of the Best 101 Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest.

Anne is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and spent twenty-five years in the theater–acting and directing–before taking up fiction writing. She is the former artistic director of the Patio Playhouse in Escondido, CA and now lives on the Central Coast of California.

 

Anne on social media:

Blog: https://annerallen.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerallen1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annerallen

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AnneRAllen

 

I hope you find both Anne’s blog and book as useful as I have.

As always, thank you for your support.

All the best,

Mark.

 

Book Review of Castles in the Air by Alison Ripley Cubitt and Molly Ripley

CITAAn eight-year-old child witnesses her mother’s secret, and knows that from that moment life will never be the same.

After Molly, her mother, dies. Alison uses her legacy to make a film about Molly’s relationship with a man she had known since she was a teenager. What hold did this man have over her mother? And what other secrets was her mother hiding?

Castles in the Air follows the life of Molly Ripley through the eyes of her daughter Alison. From Molly’s childhood in colonial Hong Kong and Malaya; wartime adventures as a rookie office girl in the far east outpost of Bletchley Park then as a young nurse in the city; tangled romance and marriage… to her challenging middle-age when demons from the past seem set to overwhelm her.

 

Extract:

One reason Don and Cissy had been against sending Molly to school so far away was that they spent their working lives listening to and intercepting messages sent by the Japanese naval fleet. Privy to this classfied information, they were convinced that a war with Japan was inevitable. In December 1941, just as Molly was sitting her School Certificate, the school girls heard some ominous news on the radio:
We were all greatly encouraged when we heard of the arrival of the mighty battleship, Prince of Wales and cruiser Repulse and all thought they would soon ‘sort out’ the Japanese. Then we heard on the news that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbour on December 2nd 1941, thus drawing the Americans into the conflict – to be followed by air raids on Singapore. Most of the children not taking School Certificate had been sent back to their homes.
December 2nd was, in fact, the date that Prince of Wales and Repulse arrived at the Singapore Naval Base with great fanfare. The attack on Pearl Harbour took place 7th December, 8th December in Malaya, at the same time as the first Japanese bombing raid on Singapore. It was 4am in Singapore when Don and Ciss were woken by the air raid sirens. Their worst fears had come to pass. Their darling Molly was hundreds of miles away. All they could do was pray she would get home safely, but as a former Royal Marine, Don would have known only too well what perfect cover a remote jungle region could provide for an advancing Japanese land invasion.

Continue reading