The Librarian’s Cellar: This Cruel Station by Martin Malone

An illuminating exploration of contemporary Irish society. These stories feature a cast of eclectic and compelling characters, snapshots of different lives, the collection also includes a novella, Isaiah’s Reach. Inspired by Malone’s observations while working with recently arrived refugees from Syria and Iraq, these narratives offer a glimpse into the worlds of the new Irish, carrying with them indigenous cultures, history and often times, great pain, and all explore the common and the uncommon through authentic voices.

This Cruel Station is published by DOIRE PRESS

 

 

Caroline E Farrell is the author of LADY BETH, and writer of the short films IN RIBBONS and ADAM

 

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.