Tag Archives for " ebook deal "

Amanda Cadabra Book 6 paperback and Book2 on ereader leaning on Cornish rock. Text Your now on Amazon. Sticker on Book 2: Free to download from Amazon 20 and 21 Feb

New Cozy Paperback Launch and Free Book Day

Dear Readers,

How We’re Celebrating?

The next stage of the launch of Amanda Cadabra and The Strange Case of Lucy Penlowr has arrived. To celebrate this joyful event of the paperback release, we are having a free book day.

This time new readers can join the series with Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets, free to download from Amazon. Or, if you downloaded Book 1 in the free deal weekend a couple weeks ago, this is an opportunity to continue the Amanda Cadabra journey with Book 2 at zero cost. This offer is just for today and tomorrow, 20th and 21st February, so please do get it while it’s hot.

Here, for your entertainment, is a 15-second video to give the new book a send-off.

Red firework. Text: Celebrating. This is the link image to Youtube launch vido for paperback release of Amanda Cadabra and The Strange Case of Lucy Penlow with free day for Book 2 in the series

Next stage?

Surely this is the final stage in the new sequel release? I hear you ask. Well, actually, there’s more. I’ll come back to that in the next letter. 

Meanwhile, this is for all you fellow paperback readers. I hope you enjoy the new sequel. If you’d like to let me know how you get on with it, I would love to hear from you. Always.

Happy reading,

Holly


PS If you want to start the series now:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available on Amazon
Paperback and Kindle

Pile of Amanda Cadabra paperback 1-5 with Book 6 leaning against it. Amanda Cadabra 6. Partly transparent. :text Now in the conjuring. It top left a golden disk with text: Book 1 Kindle Deal $1.49

New Sequel News, and Kindle Deal for Book 1

Dear Readers

Double Extra

Hoping you are all well and happy, I am here to deliver two items of big news to you.

First of all, I was bobbing with excitement when I received an email from Amazon congratulating me. For what? They had selected Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, Book 1 of the series, for a Kindle Deal!

This means it is made available to readers for a special price. For how long? A whole month? And not just anyCelebration, silhouette of people dancing against sunset/sunrise old month: the Christmas month! And where? Although they have yet to see the light about extending this globally, they have chosen Canada and the USA. How much? I admit the image above may have given this away: $1.49

Why was a I Snoopy-dancing that this point? Because this is a huge vote of confidence from Amazon in both the first book and the series. They clearly believe that there is a much wider audience out there who would love to join the party, and Amazon are doing their best to reach them. We can, therefore, look forward to more visitors to the world of Amanda Cadabra and our beloved village of Sunken Madley.

Book 6 – New Sequel

Steam train with AMANDA 6 on the frontHowever, I also have something for those of you already on the trail. I am now 40,000 words into the first draft of Amanda Cadabra Book 6. I have begun the first editing pass. This is the one that fills out the book to about double the number of words. The working title has changed a little from the one readers may have spotted at the end of Book 5. More of that to come.

January 2021

At present, the working, possibly ambitious, plan is to get to it to you, all bright and shiny, during the first or second month of 2021. We’ll see. My dear editor Kim has pencilled me in for the beginning of January. Daniel, our esteemed illustrator, will have paintbrush poised, ready to go, in a couple of weeks. So it’s fingers a-blur here to get it to you on schedule.

Meanwhile, if you know of anyone who might like the first book, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, either at the deal price (in North America) or as a paperback Christmas present for themselves or a giftee, please spread the word. The more, the merrier.

Back soon with more news on the new sequel.

Happy reading,

Holly


PS If you want to start the series:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available on Amazon
Paperback and Kindle

 

 

 

 

Amanda Cadabra Book 1 in ereader on table with greenery in the backgroun. Text: Free on Amazon 24, 25th August. Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth by Holly Bell

Free First Book in Cozy Mystery Series

Dear Readers,

Free

Today is the first of the two free days for Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, Book 1 in the British humorous cozy paranormal mystery series. I know that for some of you I’m preaching to the choir! However, you may have fellow literary enthusiasts who would love to start a new series, and Sunken Madley may be their next imaginary home.

Here is a video you might like to send to them that says it all in 21 seconds.

 

Bird in blue sky with text in white: Free. Link image to video for free days for Amanda Cadabra Book 1

Why?

‘What is the reason for this party favour?’ you may ask if you’re new the series. Exactly that. It’s in celebration of the launch at the weekend of Book 5, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidden Depths.

Is you would like a taster of the new book, you can read the opening chapter in International Review of Books special edition within the International Dublin Writers Festival magazine to be published online this week.

How?

If you’re curious about what makes a British cozy paranormal mystery writer tick, then you can gain some insight soon. Book blogger and paranormal author Denise Fleischer is kindly interviewing me on 1st September on Gotta Write Network.

Next stop: the trailer for Book 5 and the paperback.

Wishing you a happy week with many unexpected delights,

Holly


PS If you want to start the series:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available on Amazon
Paperback and Kindle

Text: You are a natural storyteller, Scheherade on couch leaning on tasselled cushion

You Are A Natural Storyteller – How?

Dear Readers,

Born To Be A Storyteller

‘I could never do what you do!’ Have you ever said that? It’s often what readers say, and each time I think: ‘But you are a natural narrator. All humans are. It is what, among other things, we are born to be.’

First of all, it’s true; you probably couldn’t replicate what I do in the way that I do it. No two writers follow precisely the same process. But then, I don’t think you’d want to. However, read on and see how yes, you could, you can, you do, produce, create, non-fiction and fiction. You’re good at it because you’ve been engaged with this since you were tiny.

The Dog Ate My Homework

At some point in your earliest years, you will have spilt your milk, knocked over the biscuit tin reaching for anCute dog looking up with sad eyes unauthorised cookie, got mud on your best shoes. And the question came: What did you do that for? They were asking you for … your story. Now, your reply might have been factual:’ I didn’t see the cup,’ or fiction: ‘You said I could have one.’ The point is that you produced a narrative. And in explanations and apologies, you have been doing it ever since. And you’re good at it. Needs must. We’ve all been in the situation of ‘you’d better come up with something and you’d better make it good’. The legendary Scheherazade knew that only a rivetting tale with a cliffhanger ending could make her homicidal royal husband stay the executioner’s hand for the night while she came up with the sequel!

This Is How We Do It

We are natural teachers: as parents, siblings, friends, tutors, co-workers, instructors, bosses, neighbours, petIllustration of cat teaching maths to two other cats using a blackboard owners, or just simply fellow humans. We all at some time, need, want to know how to do something. Even unwittingly, we convey how-to’s to other people. Maybe today someone watched you buy a ticket at the train station, use the coffee machine, make a sandwich. You went through a sequence of procedures that told the story of how you do that thing. Has anyone ever said to you, ‘You’re a really good teacher.’ Don’t we love to be told that?

‘But that’s factual, that’s just non-fiction,’ you say. Making up a brand new story about new people and places and creating a plot just out of your head? I couldn’t do that!’ I used to say exactly the same thing. And I was wrong.

It’s Going To Be All Right

Your best friend’s relationship is over; your sister has broken her arm. At the moment of crisis, they can only see and feel the intensity of distress, but you can see the wood for the trees. You say:

‘It’s going to be okay. You’ll get over this in time, and it will be just a memory. You’ll probably even laugh about it. When you feel like it, we’ll dress up, and we’ll go out to your favourite restaurant. We’ll order the best wine on the menu, and I’ll ask them for a special cake with a candle so you can make a wish.’

You paint them a picture of a happier time. You’ve done that. The events you describe haven’t happened yet. At the time you say all of that … it’s fiction.

Yes, But …

‘Saying it is one thing’, you protest, ‘writing it down is another.’ Well, here’s the news: you don’t have to. Agathasmiling woman with headphones recording into laptop Christie to some extent and especially Barbara Cartland, romance author of some 700 novels dictated their books! You have a recording app on your phone or tablet or computer? You can record your narrative. You can type it up yourself, ask a friend, or pay $5 to someone on fiverr.com to do it for you. There are kind beta-readers and professional editors who can take care of the next step for you. The fact is that you will l have created a tale, a make-believe story. It can be firmly rooted in a real place and characters you know. It can be a few words long. Don’t believe me? Check The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories

So …

It turns out that you can do what I do: create stories. You have narratives that someone out there wants to hear, read, know. So whether it’s one-to-one, into your phone, scribbled on the back of an envelope or typed out, keep telling your stories.

Why We Respect You

As authors, we have great respect for you, our readers, precisely because you are storytellers too. It is like we arerespect - hands clapping hands dancing for an audience of dancers, singing for an auditorium of singers. So when you tell us that you enjoyed our performance, our tale, it is our hearts that sing. So do, if you can, tell a writer of a book, or an article, a tweet, a post, a comment, that you liked what they wrote, if it made you laugh, or feel better or see things in a new way. Please, tell us. It means the world to us.

The Latest

And now … the new Amanda Cadabra novel is now almost 15,000 words in. January will have one final book offer. Book 1 of the British humorous cozy mystery series, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth has a 25% price drop to just until the end of the month. Back soon with more musings and news.

Happy storytelling,

Holly


PS If you want to start the series:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

 

Sign up to keep in touch: https://amandacadabra.com/come-on-in/

The words New Year's Resultions in gold on cream paper on natural fibre surface with pen next to it and coffee in top left hand corner

New Year’s Resolutions – January Offer

Dear Readers,

Thank you to everyone who took advantage, or shared the news, of the free kindle download offer of Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan, in the 72 hours up to Christmas Day. I hope this seasonal tale from the British humorous cozy paranormal mysteries helped with last-minute presents and rewards to you who worked hard to make it a joyful time for friends and family. And now, for coming week, the next month, the new year ….

Resolutions?

book on breakfast tray on bed with toast and tea - for new year resolutionsWhether you are in still in the midst of festivities, or in recovery, it’s hard to miss that 2019 is making its grand finale. So, what of the emerging decade, the twenty-twenties, just days away now? How about new year’s resolutions? Is one of them to read more? If you’re a workaholic, is it to take a little more time out for yourself? Be more positive? More optimistic?

One thing most people agree on is that the winter holiday season can be expensive. To make it easier to begin a new cozy mystery reading project, here is a special discount. Starting the Amanda Cadabra series with Book 1, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, will have a price drop to $1.99 for the first two weeks of January 2020 on Amazon Kindlebooks. This is an unprecedented offer. Hopefully, will help with any or all of your best intentions for the coming year: reading, Snow drop with text: Price droprelaxing and enjoying an inspiring trip. Where? Into a murder mystery world where, with a little magic and the courage of both the ordinary and extraordinary, good always triumphs. If you enjoy it then there are three more books in the series. So far!

(For a taster, you can watch the book trailer here or read or listen to the opening chapter here).

Plans

By the time I write to you again, it will be 2020, and I hope to have news of progress on Book 5. The plan is to get it into your hands by March at the latest. Also, I will tell you my new year resolutions that are intended to enhance your enjoyment of the cozy mystery experience. 

All in due course. See you in 2020.

Wishing you a happy finale to the twenty-teens,

Holly


PS If you want to start the series:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

free cozy mystery cat reaching for bauble

Free Kindle Cozy Mystery & The Lure of Christmas Crime

Dear Readers,

With the countdown to 25th December in just hours now, here’s a little help free cozy mystery for 72 hours Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan on ereader cozy red blanket 22- 24th Dec 2019 with eleventh-hour preparations:

From Sunday until Christmas Eve, the Christmas cozy paranormal mystery, Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan is free on Amazon Kindle. For 72 hours, this is for you to download, send as a last-minute gift, stocking filler or reward to yourself. After all, you deserve a treat, especially now.

Here’s a little video you might like to send to someone who needs to beat the clock. Or they may be a fellow fan who loves a humorous British whodunnit with a wandful of magic and a hint of romance sprinkled on the top.

free silhouette of woman in front of sunrise seascape with Youtube play button - link to video

This is the last special offer of the year. Still, I will have news of one for January 2020, especially for anyone who would like to start on the Amanda Cadabra series. More of that next time.

Meanwhile, here is my latest article for the Books Go Social Magazine – Holiday Reads. If you’d like inspiration for seasonal literary indulgences, follow the link where you can read or download the magazine and enjoy a wealth of recommendations and ideas.

And so to conclude, may I wish you the very best of the holidays, love, friendship, sumptuous food, beautiful settings, merriment and all that is fine and light and of good cheer.

Back next week,

Holly Bell


PS If you want to start the series:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

The Lure of Christmas Crime Christmas PuddingThe Lure of Christmas Crime

The poisoned sherry, the gunshot from the snow-covered terrace, the knife beneath the festive tree, the blackmail note inside the gift-wrap. How can we resist?

With mystery, thrillers and crime topping the Kindle charts only just behind romance, what is the appeal of the genre at this time of year?

Unique

People gather who customarily avoid one another like the plague, but under familial pressure, a sense of duty, or fear of isolation, duly attend the party. Let us set aside the convivial ideal gathering, and inspect instead the potential for delightfully deadly conflict.

Hosts prepare exceptional food, guests dress up and bring presents: all potential pawns in the battle for status, approval and a place in the family head’s will! The cooking of an ambitious feast causes tension in the kitchen. Old feuds are rekindled. Light the blue touch paper … and stand back.

Contrast

The writer will set us up with apparent comfort and joy. The fairy lights, candles, tinsel and baubles on the tree, sparking wrapping and satin ribbon adorn the setting. Cards are exchanged, full of sentiment, heartfelt or spurious. Seasonal music fills the air, carols in the village church, singers with lanterns outside the door, old favourites around the piano and on the radio. The banquet is rolled out, to oohs and ahhhs as the turkey or goose in all its golden splendour is borne from the kitchen. The pops of the crackers sound, the laughter at the awful jokes, paper crowns. perched comically. The tastes of the savoury and sweet are relished. A feast for the senses. Smiling faces, goodwill … and then ….

The sudden, shocking interruption. The dive into a world of plots, suspicion, passion and dark deeds until the awful truth is revealed. Contrast follows again with the happy ending, the victim given justice, and the innocent exonerated. The lights come back on, the toast is drunk, and the Christmas spirit is all the greater for the drama that has unfolded.

Christie Christmas

For an example, I reach for a Christmas crime by the godmother of the cozy mystery: Dame Agatha Christie.Photograph of Agatha Christie 1925 cozy mystery

Interestingly her prime cozy sleuth Miss Marple is unavailable for the winter celebration. However, her Belgian private detective, Hercule Poirot, comes to our rescue in a short story. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding is the one Christie that could only have unfolded during that time of year.

Poirot rejects the whole idea of the traditional rural English Christmas. The countryside signifies the damp and chill of old stone mansions, and, he declares, the occasion is, in his native land, reserved for children. However, the plight of a hapless prince and royal scandal are in the balance. The young man has been robbed of a priceless family heirloom: a suitably red ruby.

The trail leads to Kings Lacey. With the promise of efficient central heating and hot water, our beloved Belgian agrees to join a family party there. Dinner brings a dazzling surprise with an unexpected object in the plum pudding. How did it get there? Soon there is a more pressing question as the red and white of yuletide turns to blood on the snow. Who is responsible for the footprints leading out to the body lying in the garden?

Christie throws in twists and turns to bring the path to a satisfactory conclusion. Not the best written, but it is her most Christmassy and tosses us from interest, to anticipation, to engagement, to shock, to resolution and back to seasonal joy.

Deeper

However, I would suggest that our attachment to Christmas crime goes back far earlier than Christie. At the dawn ofberries and flame our human consciousness, the first mystery surely would have been why nature died, the days darkened, the air chilled. And then, a further curiosity, why the earth revived, lightened and warmed.

It is innate in us all to seek cause and effect. Could it be that at this time of year we have some genetic, tribal memory linking us to that first puzzle? Our forebears attempted to explain it, with what we still do: telling stories. An example is the tale of the battles at the solstices between Oak, king of summer and Holly, lord of winter.

Isn’t that what a mystery is? Not cause and effect, but effect first: a dead body. Who or what caused it? Whodunnit.

So as the death of nature resolves into the beginning of the lengthening of days, what better genre to celebrate with than a mystery? In harmony with the seasonal spirit, what better than a cozy mystery?

As a global event, the solstice is celebrated or has a history of celebration in some form or another across the world. Whether with tinsel and glitter, candles and bonfires, smiles and laughter, add a mystery, and let there be light.

Happy holidays,

Holly Bell

 

A Cozy Mystery Christmas Present - book wrapped in brown paper and red string next to fir branches and an orange

My Cozy Mystery Christmas Present to You

Dear Readers,

Sharing with you

A smile, a greeting, good wishes, cards or gifts, this, especially, is the time of year for sharing. You may not know this, but writers who sell their books on Amazon make very little on paperbacks (we have to pay the printing costs out of our percentage of the royalties). But, what I have I’m sharing with you. To make your giving a little easier, you can get a ten per cent discount during a short window.

When?Special cozy mystery paperback discount dates

For just 72 hours from Monday to Wednesday 10 – 12th December here’s help with your Christmas shopping. If you order now, you can be sure of getting that cozy fan present in time for the big day.

On what?

Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan. The story takes place over Christmas, and if you’re new to the book or the series, expect action, magic, laughter, surprises and bookish delight. (For those of you familiar with it, yes, it does have a brand new cover!)

Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan by Holly Bell paperback under Christmas tree next to wrapped presents 10 percent discountAlthough this is the third novel in the British humorous cozy paranormal mystery series, each adventure is self-contained, with its own puzzle and er … body! It’s a by-the-fire (or in the hammock, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) read for the winter before, during or after Yule.

Who for?

Do you know someone who’d love an asthmatic, furniture-restoring young witch tackling a body wrapped in an enigma, with a dash of danger, topped off with a happy ending? Maybe a future fan of the genre? The most important thing is that you sign it to them with love.

And here is a little video about it  to watch or send:

Cozy Christmas Present video link image - Christmas tree in dark bay window, decoration alight in magical swirls at the top fo the tree

Free

For a stocking filler, either for you or someone you to want to treat, the kindle version will have its own couple of free days just before Christmas Day. (Dates to be announced soon!) Sometimes you need that last-minute present or a little luxury to reward yourself what you may have put into making the occasion special.

Amanda Cadabra Book 5: 1000 words

On the writing front, I have news for you. Last night, I wrote the first 1000 words of Book 5. How did it happen? How does it feel? That is a story for another post.

Meanwhile, happy sparkles in the dark days.

Holly


PS If you want to start the series:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

Book 4 paperback top right and Book 2 bottom left with text: Free book 29 - 31 Oct

Double Cover Reveal and Free Book Days

Dear Readers,

Just one more day. The excitement mounts! Tomorrow, paperback fans, you will, literally, be able to get your hands on the real-deal, hard copy of new new British, humorous cozy paranormal mystery sequel, Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley

Book 2, Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets will be free to download from Amazon from tomorrow for three days (29 – 31 October). Here’s a video to Blog image link cover for AC2 free days for AC4 ppb launchentertain you and that you might like to share, if you have friends who enjoy cozies.

Meanwhile, here is the new paperback cover of Book 4, Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley, beautifully illustrated by our new talented artist, Daniel Becerril Ureña. In addition, he has given Book 2, Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets, a makeover, and here it is ahead of tomorrow’s first free day. Daniel has led a fascinating life to date traveling the world, enhancing his skills. An interview with him is coming up here presently. There will also be an interview with professional beta-reader Flora Gatehouse. If you’ve every wondered how to turn your hobby into something more, see how Flora made her journey.

Cover reveal of Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley, Book 4 in the cozy paranormal mystery series On orange lit stage Book 4 paperback cover , young witch in cream coat and black hat holding wand in left hand and holding on to hat with right. Strong wind blowing, cat at her side, village in the background, stormy sky. Back of cover, storm and lightning at the top.

Cover reveal Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets book 2 in the cozy paranormal mystery series: witch with wand and grey cat in dim cellar. She looks up through a hole at planes flying over and her torch points at a trunk on the floor. The cover is on a stage with fireworks. Audience in the foreground

If you’re new to the Amanda Cadabra cozy paranormal mystery series, you might like to watch the trailer for Book 1, to get a taste of it. The Inspiration’ page will tell you about the real Sunken Madley, the village where Amanda lives and most of the action takes place. If there is anything you would like to ask me, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you.

Looking forward to being back with a launch report for you, and news of the next highlight.

Happy reading,

Holly

Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

 

Link to video of Book 2 Chapter 1: old village church surrounded by trees. Text: Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets by Holly Bell

New Video – and Free Chapter

Dear Readers,

The moment has come. With Tuesday’s release of the paperback of Amanda Cadabra and the Rise of Sunken Madley, Book 4 in the series and the free days for Book 2 almost upon us, here is a new video made for you in the past few days.

The new video is just out. It is a reading of the first chapter of Book 2, Amanda Cadabra and the Cellar of Secrets by me with some clips and images to entertain you while you listen. If you prefer to read along or just read, the text of the chapter is below.

Link to video of cozy mystery Book 2 Chapter 1, from Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets: old village church surrounded by trees. Text: Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets by Holly Bell

 

In case, you’re wondering …

What goes into making a reading video like this?

It takes days. First, you need a good quality microphone, and I use the Rode NT, which I can plug into my computer. Some people have more sophisticated setups, but this does the job. Next, you need headphones so you can hear yourself read and also pick up on any interference or background noise that you don’t want. Next, I make sure I have ‘the script’: sometimes a printout, sometimes an ebook version. It helps to sit comfortably and to position yourself the optimum distance from the mic, which is about 6 inches. I use a floor stand for this.

What about background noise?

Without studio conditions, sound echoes off any hard surface: walls, furniture, doors, technology. So I use a foam filter, the shape of half a large tube that sits behind the mic. Next, I plug in the mic and make sure that the program I use and the computer recognise that that is how the sound is going to come in. Also, I set the recording to playback  vintage gramophone playing vinyl recordthrough the laptop or desktop speakers, depending on which I’m using.

If the ‘one, two, three, four, testing, Mary had a little lamb’, and the silence in between is ‘clean’ and clear then, there is a followup step: turn off all appliances that create background noise. That’s the tech set up.

So I can just go ahead and read and record now, right? Not quite. The enemy of voiceovers is mouth clicks. Those are extra noises your tongue makes releasing contact with it’s surrounding walls, floor and roof, so to speak. You want just the right amount of moisture around. How do you achieve this? The night before I make sure I have plenty of water to drink and the next morning too. I have tea or water handy and take sips every few sentences.

What if any get through regardless? Most can be edited out, but it’s time-consuming. I usually make two or three recordings of the whole chapter so that I can cut and paste from whichever one is the ‘cleanest’.

How long does each chapter take to record?

On average, 15 minutes to read. It can take longer. If you stumble over words, misread the script, hear your mouth clicking away, or neighbour slams a door, a car revs outside, a plane makes a low flyover, a helicopter passes … you get the idea. Then you have to stop, wait if necessary and re-read the sentence or phrase.

That’s just the recording. Next comes the editing. It’s a long and painstaking process to get the very best version possible. Additionally, it might sound too nasal or tinny, and that is adjusted using the graphic equaliser that comes with the program I use. I listen through both headphones and the computer speakers to check the quality.

Now the recording of the chapter is settled. What next? I add the introductory music that plays at the end too. This time, in a first-ever, I added some sound effects to signify the scene changes.

While you listen?

Vintage camera and filmAll done now? Not yet. I think it enhances your, the reader’s, experience if you have some visuals. This means gathering stills and clips. The still photographs need to be edited so that they are video screen shape. As all of the Amanda Cadabra books involve a trip to the past, one or two may need to be turned into a black and white or sepia version. As they are prepared the video is assembled, the audio track is added, and the stills and clips are synchronised with the text. Credits are added at the end.

Now it’s ready. Time to prepare this letter to you and announce its release. Just click on the screen above to be transported to Sunken Madley, Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets. You’ll have 72 hours to download the book, free from Amazon from Tuesday to Thursday, 29th to 31st October. Both Book 2 and Book 4 will unite in a doubt cover reveal before then right here. Yes, Book 2 is getting a makeover!

Happy reading and listening,

Holly


PS If you want to start the series:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

 

Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets

 

Chapter 1

Why Amanda Found the Body

Call a doctor or search for clues? Amanda Cadabra took the few vital seconds to make the decision.

But then, she had never been impulsive.

*****

‘Mrs Cadabra, with the best will in the world from you and your husband, your granddaughter could not have had a normal childhood.’

In response, the lady seated with regal posture on the chintz sofa, inhaled, and raised an eyebrow, rendering her larger violet eye even more magnified than usual. Her piercing glare demanded an explanation. Detective Sergeant Thomas Trelawney of the Devon and Cornwall Police was not easily intimidated, as Vic ‘The Headbanger’ Hardy could have told anyone brave enough to have asked him.

However, on this, his first visit, to 26 Orchard Row, Sunken Madley, Trelawney needed to make some kind of connection with Senara, Perran, and their beloved granddaughter and adoptee Amanda. These three were, after all, the only witnesses to the day of the incident, 28 years ago, that he was here to continue investigating.

‘Here’ was a village that had grown up out of the rural landscape over a period of 800 years. It lay 13 miles to the north of the Houses of Parliament, and three miles south of the border of Hertfordshire. Herts, as the abbreviation is styled, was home to Jane Austen’s Emma and the seat of the burgeoning aircraft industry in the last century. Since those days, the county boundaries had been moved so that Sunken Madley was now, technically, on the outskirts of Greater London.

Nevertheless, Sunken Madley still was, in spirit, a country village, off the beaten track, hidden by the encircling trees. It was distinguished only by its orchard of Hormead Pearmain apples, and fine stained-glass windows, adorning the medieval church of St Ursula-without-Barnet. Of particular interest to students of the art, was the composition of the saint and the little bear with the bag of apples.

A gust of wind cast a pink handful of cherry blossom against the living room window as Trelawney’s hazel eyes returned Mrs Cadabra’s gaze politely but unwaveringly. He said mildly, ‘In other words, Amanda wouldn’t always have been able to play in the fields, run up and down the garden, maybe eat anything she wanted, like the other children here could.’

‘One couldn’t expect you to know this, Sergeant, not having any of your own,’ Mrs Cadabra pronounced with sympathetic condescension, ‘but,’ and she took a loose hairpin from her white victory roll, ‘children … adapt.’ She speared the accessory back into her coiffure to signal that the subject was closed.

Trelawney hadn’t finished. He thrived on puzzles, bringing order to chaos, and justice to the wronged. However, above these assets, his soon-to-be-retired boss, Chief Inspector Hogarth, trusted his seasoned judgment, especially of when to operate with a light touch.

He swivelled his tall, slim, grey-suited form towards Perran, who smiled kindly and said, with his gentle Cornish-flavoured voice, ‘I know what you mean, Sergeant. But Amanda was always a very special little one. Since she was a bian, a baby, she spent her fair share of nights in the local hospital when we didn’t know if she’d pull through. We did our best to help her, but in the end, she learned the hard way that her choices had consequences.’

‘Did that make Amanda fearful? Wary?’

‘Oh no, Sergeant, just careful, wise even, beyond her years. Though in others she’s young for her age. But, as Senara said, she got used to things, like carrying her inhaler, avoiding certain food, watching the pollen count. Amanda always says, ‘It isn’t terminal, after all, it’s just asthma.’

*****

It was asthma that had brought Amanda Cadabra to this moment, this room … this body.

She felt for a pulse.

*****

It had all happened a great deal sooner than anyone in the village could have expected. Even Dr Sharma, who was in the know, when she told Amanda about the new allergy clinic, had said that it was months away.

Amanda had dropped in, to collect a repeat prescription for her asthma inhaler, on her way to see about a furniture restoration job. An eager trainee from infancy, Amanda had taken over her grandfather’s business.

Asthma and furniture restoration were unlikely bedfellows, with the toxic chemicals, dust, and hard physical labour. This had niggled Trelawney from the first time he had read the case file three years ago.

Amanda’s secret levitation skills enabled her to cope covertly but ably. Trelawney, however, was a long way from even contemplating this possibility. And even if he had been able to, it would have been only with extreme scepticism and inexplicable discomfort.

Still, Amanda took sensible precautions and always had her inhaler handy. Dr Sharma was a respected and gifted physician, and between her own magic and the general practitioner’s medicine, the asthma was under reasonable control.

However, there was no denying that Amanda’s chest momentarily tightened when Neeta Sharma had told her where they were going to build an allergy research centre.

White lily on mid blue background with text: This is to say 'Thank you' to... link to video

Launch Site Report and Thanks

Dear Readers,

Last weekend was a roaring success. Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley, Book 4 in the British humorous cozy mystery series, is now available. At the same time, Book1, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth had 1000 downloads!

Here’s a little video to extend my thanks to everyone who supported that weekend in one way or another, even just by visiting this site:

White lily on mid blue background with text: This is to say 'Thank you' to... link to video

Here is the very first review. Click on the image to read it:

elf in woodland text: Flora's Musings. Book Publication Day. Link to review of Amanda Cadabra Book 4

What’s next? The release of the paperback of Book 4 is expected this month, together with a special Hallowe’en offer on Book 2, Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets. This is especially for readers of Book 1 who would like to carry on with the series, and anyone looking for a Hallowe’en gift. More news of that to follow.pastels in foreground and artists hand in the background

Book 2 will have a new cover by our resident illustrator Daniel Becerril Ureña. I hope to bring you a special interview with him soon. Daniel has travelled the world to study and find inspiration for his remarkable art. I think any aspiring artist, art-lover or studier of book covers will find his experiences and observations as fascinating as I did.

Looking forward to being back with more news for you.

Happy October,

Holly

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