Friday, May 27, 2016

Margaret Egrot and her wonderful new YA story, Girl Friends

Good morning everybody!  I'm very excited to have Margaret Egrot on Penny's Tales.  Let's find out a little bit about this talented author and her new book!

What is the title of your latest book? What is it about?
GIRL FRIENDS is a YA novel. The protagonist is fifteen year old Courtney who looking for love and good marks in school. Home life is tough, but at least she has her best friend Grace. Grace however has other fish to fry, mostly in the form of a new, older, boyfriend who promises to get her the right contacts to fulfill her ambition to be a model. Is Courtney right to be worried about what Grace is getting herself into? Or is she just jealous?

What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?
I find sticking with my intended plot outline quite a challenge – the characters often decide to do something completely different. Usually, unless it would mean completely re-writing the book (and that has happened!) I go with the flow and tweak the plot outline accordingly.

My most rewarding experience was when my son read the first draft of my first YA book, And Alex Still has Acne – and said it was quite good! Praise indeed from him; he wouldn’t have hesitated to tell his mother she was writing rubbish if that was what he thought. He did make a few useful suggestions as well, after all he had been a teenager a lot more recently than I had.

What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?
Read plenty of novels, especially from the genre you want to write in. Read for pleasure, but then think about what worked / didn’t work for you in that particular book before you move onto the next one.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a series of short stories, based around some of Shakespeare’s female characters. What they were up to when we don’t see them on stage. Some have already been published. Chains of Magic, about Desdemona and Othello was in the Food of Love anthology, published by Solstice. Another one, based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will be in their 2016 summer anthology). I hope to have enough stories completed over the next few months to be published as a collection which I have provisionally titled Cast Off.  It would be great if I could get it all together as my contribution to the events marking this year’s 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

What do you like to read?
I will read almost anything from cereal packets to dictionaries rather than sit and not read. I like the classics (Jane Austen, George Eliot) but will also read new novels (Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread). I like non-fiction too and have not long read two books by Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything and Mother Tongue. I love the way he conveys so much information in such an engaging way. I have nearly finished Helen Macdonald’s, H is for Hawk, which is about her coming to terms with grief for the death of her father through training a hawk.

Where can readers find you?
Nearly all my published work is available from Amazon:              


Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's a COVER REVEAL!!!! All Of Me by Jonali Karmakar

*** Cover Reveal ***

Title: All of Me
Author: Jonali Karmakar
Length: 69 pages
Publication Date: May 29, 2016

Book Blurb:
All of Me is a collection of thirteen little stories that have been gleaned from real life as well as imagination. Exploring a range of genres, these throb with everything primal to human nature: fear, angst, joy, love, and longing. Some stories are designed to elicit smiles, chuckles, and maybe even a belly laugh or two whereas some are meant as a reality check. Universal in nature, each story provides a glimpse of what women empowerment or a lack thereof can mean in a person’s life.
From a small hamlet in India to the roads of Australia; from a mother’s betrayal to a daughter’s confession; from an extra marital affair to a same sex relationship learn for yourself the what, how and whys.

Originally written for anthologies and ezines, these stories have been revisited and updated for this new collection.  

About the Author:
Jonali Karmakar is a fiction writer with a Masters in English. Writing is not just her passion but her way of dealing with life. She loves being able to escape into the worlds she creates. Everything that she writes becomes a part of her and she wants her readers to know the woman behind those words. In addition to being an educator, she works as a content editor for a local news portal. She has been providing editing, proofreading and translation services for the past few years.

Jonali’s work has been published in several journals, anthologies and poetry collections both national and international. An avid reader, she loves flipping pages of anything and everything on the table and reviewing the same on her blog Eclectic Moods. She feels that reading and writing are the flip sides of the same coin. Writing is her way of communicating with the world. When she’s not writing or teaching she loves to experiment with her paintings.

She has quite a few accolades to her name.

Contact the Author:
This Feature is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Everybody Reads YA Sunday - Bumped Back In Time

Sammy Brown, winner of the first junior sailing regatta for kids, ages twelve  to fourteen, is walking on air Tuesday, after being absent the previous day, due to the race. Miss Wickware, her history teacher, asks Sammy to stay after class because she needs to draw a subject out of a box and give an oral report on the drawn subject.

“UHG” History and Sammy are not friends, but her good mood won’t be dampened until a fall and a bump on the head sends her back to 1814. It’s her expertise in sailing that allows Francis Scott Key to rescue an imprisoned friend from a British ship that leads to a historic battle and a famous poem!

A full moon lit up the bedroom.  Sammy lay on the feather mattress in the dark, staring at the ceiling.  The window was wide open, a breeze stirring the curtains, though it did nothing to take away the mugginess of the night air.  The nightgown Sarah had given Sammy was drenched with sweat and it stuck to her like a second skin.
She got up and walked to the balcony.  Dr. Beanes had been right about his wife.  Sarah had sat Sammy down and got her a bowl of left over wild turkey and boiled sweet potatoes, which she inhaled.
The older woman tisked her tongue and her head shook in sympathy, distressed at the poor girl’s story.  “Your mother must be worried beyond belief,” Sarah said.
“Oh, I’m sure she’s freaking out all over the place,” Sammy snorted.  “And like she’ll ever buy this story!”
“I don’t understand.  You write stories to sell to your freakish mother?”
Sammy had to chuckle at that one. “No.  She’s just going to kill me.”
Outraged, the woman came to her feet.  “She will do no such thing.  William will make sure that you are safe!”
Staring into the night, Sammy smiled at the memory.  She had assured Sarah it was only a saying, but the woman did not seem convinced.
The sound of horses, riding up to the Beanes’ home, brought Sammy out of her reverie.  At least ten men, all in red coats, jumped off their horses and headed toward the house.                                     
A serving girl tapped on Sammy’s door before opening it.  “Please ma’am, Mistress Beanes would like you to come to her room, quickly.”  She turned to lead the way without waiting for a reply, Sammy, hurrying to catch up.
The scene that greeted Sammy when the bedroom opened had the hairs on the back of her neck, not only standing straight out at attention, but screaming “run…hide…wake up!”  Goose bumps broke out on her sweaty body.
Dr. Beanes was sitting on a chair putting on his shoes while Sarah was wringing her hands and pale as the snow-white nightgown she was wearing.
Before Sammy could utter a word a BANG BANG BANG came from the door downstairs and that’s when all hell broke loose!

Bumped Back In Time is Book Four of the Wickware Sagas.  There are four more stories of students in Miss Wickware’s history class that find themselves transported back in time to meet the object of their school reports.

Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare
Ride of a Lifetime
Flash to the Past
From Riches to Rags
Check them all out at…
The Wickware Sagas also comes in a printed version with all five stories!