Book Lovers Day!

It’s Book Lovers Day today – and no better time to spread the book love! I have some review copies of my novel, LADY BETH to give to readers / reviewers / bookbloggers in return for an honest review.

If you are interested you can contact me via this blog, on TWITTER, on FACEBOOK or by emailing me at Farrell (dot) caroline (at) gmail (dot) com.

You can read some of the reviews I have been receiving on the book on GOODREADS HERE.

Happy Reading to all my fellow Book Lovers!!

The Librarian’s Cellar: The Night of the Hunter by David Grubb

Although the film adaptation has long been one of my all time favourites, to my shame, I had never read this classic book until it was recently recommended to me. And wow. I think I likened the experience of reading it to being cosseted in a dimly lit parlour full of old friends, curled up in front of an open fire, shins burning yet unable to move. The plight of young John Harper, an innocent child shadowed by sinister evil while trying to protect his little sister, Pearl – and to protect the legacy of his late father’s twisted last wish – had me riveted all the way to the final denouement. First published in 1953, and inspired by a real serial killer, the character of The Hunter, fake preacher, Harry Powell, is the creepiest depiction of relentless evil I think I have ever read. You won’t forget the preacher Powell. He will crawl right in there, under your skin as author, David Grubb’s gothic prose assaults your senses.

 

Caroline Farrell is the author of the novel, LADY BETH, and is screenwriter of the short films, ADAM and IN RIBBONS.

On Writing: Some thoughts on Reviews

I wouldn’t class myself as a regular book reviewer, though I often post recommendations for books that I have enjoyed on my Blog and Facebook Page The Librarian’s Cellar. I like to keep these personal recommendations separate from any reviews I may receive on my own book, Lady Beth, though occasionally there may be an overlap – a mutual appreciation of written work. Nothing wrong with that. Good books need to be shared!

For any author, book reviews are not only the greatest compliment that a reader can offer, they really do help to terms of visibility for a novel, which otherwise, can get lost in a very crowded book market. Honest reviews are also so helpful to other readers in discovering books and making informed choices when spending hard-earned money in an environment so inundated with material. As I seek reviews for my own novel, I’ve been doing a bit of research, looking at the many ways authors look for reviews:

  • ARCs: Advanced Reader Copies: Sent out to a mailing list of readers for review before the book is published. This helps to get reviews up early in the week of publication.
  • Media Submissions: Sending the book to newspapers, magazines and radio. A hard slog which requires a lot of research and correspondence, but gold when a book is featured.
  • Author Endorsements: Not always resulting in a written review, but generally a quote on the book that can be used for marketing purposes. For an author, particularly a newbie, these endorsements are gold. (I treasure mine!)
  • Giveaways: Competitions for free downloads of ebooks or the chance to receive a paperback version. Can be successful when used as a marketing tool, but there is no guarantee that everyone who receives a copy will review, or even read the book. Also, postage costs can be expensive if sending paperbacks out.
  • Book Bloggers: Book lovers who read and review books. These are wonderful people with a genuine love for reading and an interest in sharing good work, and it is an honour for an author to have a book featured. However, they can often be inundated with material and may not get to read and review everything they receive.
  • Virtual Book Tours: A pre-arranged virtual tour where book bloggers and authors feature book reviews/interviews with authors. Hard work, but a lot of fun, and a great way to connect with readers and to highlight books and authors.
  • Author review groups:
  • (a) Where authors swap reviews (I would not recommend this option!)
  • (b) Where an author chooses a book to review in the hope that another member of the same group will choose theirs, either through a verified purchase or as a free download. There are some very ethical groups who engage in this process, but I’m not sure – some authors complain that while they have read and reviewed several books, their own books have not been reviewed – in other words, people want their own books reviewed, but aren’t willing to become reviewers.
  • Purchased Reviews: Websites that authors can submit books for review for a fee (a definite no-no as far as I am concerned!)
  • Honest Reviews from Readers: Reaching out to readers to seek honest reviews in the good old-fashioned way.

If you have any proven tips or are aware of any other methods for seeking reviews, please share! In the meantime, I have some review copies of Lady Beth to send out, so if you, or someone you know, is interested in writing an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads or any good book review site, please do get in touch and I will send you a free copy. You can contact me HERE, or via FACEBOOK or TWITTER

Thanks for Reading!

The Librarian’s Cellar: I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

Ruth Fitzmaurice is a seriously good writer. I did not put this book down, not once, until I had finished it. It is an honest, beautifully expressed account of her experience raising five children and sharing her life with her beloved husband, filmmaker, Simon Fitzmaurice, the director of IFTA-nominated My Name is Emily, and shorts The Sound of People, Tilly and the Teeth and Full Circle.

Focusing on the effects of Simon’s Motor Neuron Disease and on the impact of it on their lives, I Found My Tribe is breathtaking in its honesty as Ruth shares her joys, her sorrows, her despair and her very human reactions to the adversities that have invaded the lives of not just herself, but of her family and friends also. The book is written from a deeply loving place, and in such accomplished prose, and is ultimately uplifting as Ruth determines the importance of love, friendship and the joy that she has found in her community. Her tribe. The book has a cinematic feel to it, so no surprise also that it has been optioned by Element Pictures. Publishing details for I FOUND MY TRIBE HERE

 

Caroline E Farrell is the writer and producer of films, In Ribbons and Adam, and is the author of the novel, LADY BETH.

The Librarian’s Cellar: ROOM LITTLE DARKER by June Caldwell

Much praise has already been heaped upon this collection of short stories, and rightly so. Caldwell’s writing exposes a brutally truthful voice, and perhaps, is responding to the fundamental underbelly of human nature – the murky and the painful – stuff that readers can relate to, however uncomfortably the narratives punch out from the pages. You may laugh, gasp, cringe or cry, each story with the capacity to leave you a little battered and breathless, but that won’t stop you turning the pages for the next assault on your senses!

ROOM LITTLE DARKER is published by New Island

 

Caroline E Farrell is the writer and producer of films, In Ribbons and Adam, and is the author of the novel, LADY BETH.

The Librarian’s Cellar: One We Sang Like Other Men by John MacKenna

This collection of short stories is a slow burner, in the best sense of the phrase. Each of the 13 stories stand alone, glimpses of other lives on journeys through very human themes – family, love, grief and death. Collectively, there is mystery, and tension, that connects these contemporary narratives with something that just might be other-worldly, each fractured character allied historically through their pasts. Lamenting the loss of  the man who once united them, The Captain – chieftain, messiah – leader of the pack. Now dead. Murdered. His loss is palpable as his disciples struggle in the void of the aftermath, a sense of trauma weaving through each story.

Published by New Island, more information on Once We Sang Like Other Men HERE

 

Caroline E Farrell is the writer and producer of films, In Ribbons and Adam, and is the author of the novel, LADY BETH.

LADY BETH, The Novel: Reviews and Stockists

Putting your writing out in the world is a risk. The risk of being criticised. Of being rubbish. Of being ignored. Sometimes though, the risk pays off and I am so grateful for the praise and encouragement I have received so far for LADY BETH and am delighted to share the good word and positive vibes here!

 

BOOKS IRELAND Review

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Cornflakegirlsmusings Interview and Review HERE

 

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From Liz Nugent. Author of Unravelling Oliver and Lying in Wait.

Sat down to read the first 30 pages of Lady Beth this afternoon and just kept turning the pages until I’d finished! Compelling grit-lit.

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From Martin Malone. Author of Black Rose Days, Deadly Confederacies and Other Stories, US, Valley of the Peacock Angel, The Silence of the Glasshouse, After Kafra, The Lebanon Diaries.

Given the author’s previous works, a vampire tale, I was a little concerned that the title of Caroline Farrell’s latest novel, Lady Beth, might have been of the same genre, ensuring that I would not have consumed a word beyond its blurb. I’ve had enough of those bloodsuckers. Described as an urban thriller Lady Beth is stylishly written and has Gothic influences in its telling, which lend a splendid and chilling atmosphere to the story.

Set in the seedy world of drugs, the reader is presented with characters that are, too sadly, only too believable. The book steams ahead at a cracking pace, but not so quickly that we lose sight of what’s at stake, and who and what has been lost. The novel deals with loss, some serious secrets and the dark side of human nature, but there are redeeming traits in several of the characters, especially Frankie, who epitomises what it is to be a product of his environment.

Beth escaped a harrowing sub-existence to begin a new life for herself and her baby Jesse, who as a teenager is full of angst and rebellion; he travels the same route as his mother had done years before, to his detriment. When things in her life fully unravel, Beth sets out for revenge against the source of her ills; a confrontation with a brutal and controlling man known as The Poet…one wrong move from her, one hollow sentence, one false expression and she will not live to repeat another.

Lady Beth is a hugely entertaining read with well-crafted characters, and a strong plot-line. There are no vampires, but in hindsight, there actually are, but they’re defanged…which, by the way, makes some of the characters in Lady Beth no less menacing and no less dangerous. Really, a very worthy read.

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From Niamh Boyce. Author of The Herbalist.

This book is a real gritty urban thriller, it has a gothic feel too, with sensuous language, and a fascinating and complex lead character. Farrell is a wonderful storyteller, she ramps up the tension scene by scene to really satisfying ending.

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From June Considine (Laura Elliot) Author of Guilty, Sleep Sister and The Betrayal.

Reading the information details on the author, I wasn’t surprised to discover that Caroline E. Farrell is a screen writer as well as a novelist. Her style of writing is sparse and compelling, no wasted words, no overworked scenes, no slackening of an electrifying tension that vibrates throughout the narrative. Beth, her main character, comes across as a quiet, unassuming single mother. Someone who hides in shadows rather than the glare of normality. She has created a life style which she believes will keep her son, Jesse, safe from the grim, underbelly world she once knew. In doing so, she alienates Jesse, who has matured into a rebellious teenager, demanding space to be himself, and also to know the identity of his father. As Beth struggles to rein him in, and stop him following the dangerous path she once walked, she is swept unawares into an overwhelming tragedy. With nothing to lose, she can go in only one direction. Revenge. Lady Beth is a thriller that moves seamlessly between characters, allowing us to glimpse their complex personalities, but it is Beth, who emerges from the shadows to exact vengeance on the man who shattered her world. A thriller with style and punch, Lady Beth is guaranteed to hold your attention until the last, gritty page.

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From Lissa Oliver. Author of Sainte Bastien, Chantilly Downs, Gala Day and Nero.

Gritty warts-and-all crime thriller, a real page-turner. Plenty of twists and an array of well-drawn characters you care about, propelling you forward to the end.The heroine is a fiercely protective single mother who loses her son to drug addiction and can either cave in completely or seek revenge. Past demons add to her torment. You feel her pain as she hovers on the brink of that agonising choice, the interesting cast of characters around her ready to help in whatever direction she takes. A departure from the usual books I read and well worth it, the author has used an interesting and unusual narrative technique that really adds to the suspense and mystery.

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From Fiona Ashe. Filmmaker and Editor of 31 Years of Hell! 1914-1945

I was captivated first by the eye-catching cover of the book ‘Lady Beth’. As a huge fan of Noir, the imagery immediately drew me into that style. The story lived up to expectations. It’s a thrilling journey into a dangerous world. The story is fuelled by tension and high stakes. I became immersed in the desperate lives of fascinating characters who are all plagued by inner traumas. The book delivers multiple hard-hitting surprises, resulting in a powerful ending. A truly compelling read!

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From Lindsay J Sedgwick. Author of Dad’s Red Dress. Screenwriter of Punky, Wulfie and Barzakh. Playwright of Fried Eggs and All Thumbs.

I devoured it! The story was riveting and not at all what I expected – gritty and dark and very human and sad and a real roller-coaster of a ride! On every page, there were surprises. There’s a rawness to the writing and an energy and the characters are so complex. The choices they make are logical to them but not predictable ever.

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From Bob Gillen. Author of Understanding digital Storytelling, Filmmaking Basics: how to find your creative voice, Apart, The Man at the Door.

Don’t miss this one. A truly dark story, rising up out of the deeps of urban Dublin. A woman lifts herself up from a sordid, soulless past to build a normal life in the light of day. But darkness follows her, waiting for its moment. A death forces her to face her dark realities again, to confront the pain she masked for years. Is redemption possible? The author does an excellent job creating a tight story. Lots of twists and reveals. Strong characters. An exciting read. Caroline Farrell is not afraid to reach down into the dark to pull it back up into the light.

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LADY BETH is available from the following outlets:

KENNY’S BOOKSHOP, GALWAY. With FREE Postage and Packing worldwide: HERE

ALAN HANNA’S BOOKSHOP, DUBLIN: HERE

O’MAHONY’S BOOKS, Limerick, Ennis and Tralee: HERE

LADY BETH is also available from AMAZON Stores Worldwide.

Signed copies are also available from this website HERE