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Crowd in silhouette, fireworks against purple lighting. Text: Launch Day! New Cozy Sequel

Launch Day for Amanda Cadabra Book VI!

Dear Readers,

Here we are at last! Amanda Cadabra and The Strange Case of Lucy Penlowr is now live. Here for your entertainment is the launch video:

 

Big fireworks against night sky and text: Launch Day is here! Link to video for launch of Amanda Cadabra and The Strange Case of Lucy Penlowr by Holly Bell

 

This is just a brief note, but I can share with you that one my dearest beta readers has just submitted the very first review of the book to Amazon. Also, I heard from our illustrator, Daniel, that he is working on the cover image for the paperback version of the book. As soon as possible, I will get that out for those who, like me, prefer the touchy-feely experience.

Book 1, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth is free from today until Monday. Something else to celebrate!

Back soon with the launch report, thanks to all of those who made this possible, and what next …

Happy viewing,

Holly


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

Available on Amazon
Paperback and Kindle

Amanda Cadabra Book 5 on e reader on wooden table next to edge of cup and saucer

Now Launched – Amanda Cadabra Book 5, & Free Days

Dear Readers,

Blast Off!

Amanda Cadabra and The Hidden Depths is now launched, live and available for download from Amazon Kindle. Below is a 15-second video for your entertainment.

 

Link image to video: Red apple on dark background with text in white: It's ripe - launch video for Amanda Cadabra and the Hidden Depths

Free Days

Tebook in ereader Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, leaning on a picnic basket with wild flowers on the lefto celebrate the launch, there will now be at least 2 free days for Book 1, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth. So if you’re thinking of joining the Sunken Madley ride, you can do so without outlaying a single coin on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th August. If you know of a fellow reader who’d enjoy mystery, magic and suspense in an English village, please do pass on the good news.

Calm Waters

With each book, I get better with controlling the launch. Launches seem to have a mind of their own and are all too ready to grab the momentum and run wild with it. This time, it was all going according to plan, with no pressure. And then … an opportunity presented itself that was too good to miss.

girl smiling in kayak on white waterWild Ride

Books Go Social, who handles most of the marketing for the Amanda Cadabra books, invited me to submit an excerpt from Book 5 in a special magazine. This is no other than the International Review of Books special edition within the International Dublin Writers Festival magazine. This is scheduled for publication at the end of this month, (free to read online or download) now only days away.

The starting pistol had been fired and the fun began in earnest. Book 5 would have to launch at least a few days before the magazine comes out. I was still putting in the amendments in from my last readthrough, but now it was pedal to the metal. The team valiantly came on board, scheduling editing and cover illustration. At the same time, star beta readers kindly agreed to read the manuscript and get back with comments quickly.

Paperback

The Kindle version is now live, a little earlier than planned, thanks to this happy circumstance and everyone who pitched in. Next it’s time to get on with formatting for the paperback, while our cover artist Daniel conjures the back cover and spine for the book jacket.

(The launch process for the next book will be calm and composed. That’s the plan.)

Back soon with more news, possibly an additional free day for Book 1, and more juicy goodness.

Happy reading,

Holly


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

Available on Amazon
Paperback and Kindle

AC5 title reveal blog post featured image

Title Reveal of New Cozy Mystery – Amanda Cadabra 5

Dear Readers,

Amanda Cadabra Returns

After a long and winding road this year, I was reunited with my first love and what readers want most from me: writing books. Hence the recent dearth of blogging, tweeting and Facebooking. With everything else on the back burner, Amanda Cadabra Book 5 burst into life and is almost ready to emerge into the light of day. Beginning with — drum roll, please — the title:

And it is …

Amanda Cadabra and The Hidden Depths - in black text on dark teal satin ribbon

 

What if you’re new to the series?

Amanda Cadabra Book 5 at the meeting of two rainbowsThis is the fifth in the British humorous cozy paranormal mystery series. Do you need to have read the first four books? No. It has its very own murder mystery, as does each of the novels. However, you’ll enjoy the story even more if you’ve read the preceding volumes. Why? Because there is an overarching story arc that comes to its conclusion in Amanda Cadabra and The Hidden Depths. However, the new tale is also the jumping-off point for a new thread that will flow through books to come, so it’s also an excellent place to join the joy-ride.

There are a couple of spoilers in order to do a catch-up for new readers, and as a reminder. That’s just in case it’s been a while since you read book 4, Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley. By the way, in case you’re thinking of diving into the series, all of the books, 1- 4 are available in paperback as well as on Kindle.

What’s the series about?

Amanda Cadabra is an asthmatic furniture restorer and covert witch from the age of six. Her abode is the quaint English village of Sunken Madley, full of endearing eccentrics. Brought up by her loving magical grandparents, Amanda knows she must keep her unusual gifts a secret. Among them is a strange connection with her familiar, the irascible feline, Tempest. The other, ghastly members of her family met their end at the bottom of a Cornish cliff after a van accident. Or did they? The how and why are the cold case investigated by the personable but intractable Detective Inspector Trelawney throughout the series to date.

Free

ebook in ereader Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, leaning on a picnic basket with wild flowers on the leftBook 1, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, will be free to download from Amazon for a couple of days after Book 5 launches. So you or your friends can try it on for size, and see if Amanda and Sunken Madley draw you in.

Book Launch Line-up

What then can you expect in terms of the book arriving on your screen or doormat? There will shortly be a cover reveal (our illustrator Daniel has been busily conjuring it), a trailer video and, at the end of the month, the first chapter will be free for you to read in a special edition of the International Dublin Writers Festival magazine. This coming weekend look out for the launch of Kindle version of Amanda Cadabra and The Hidden Depths. The paperback will follow as soon as my fingers can format it.

Where we’re at

Right now, the manuscript has come back from our star of an editor, Flora, and most of the sensational beta readers of the VIP Readers Group. The feedback so far has been everything any author could wish for.

Back soon with more news and hopefully, the unveiling of the new cover.

Happy reading,

Holly


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

Available on Amazon
Paperback and Kindle

Text free short story, Tempest's first day and photo of half the face of grey cat

New Short Story, and Saturday Night Special

Dear Readers,

This weekend I have for you a new free short story, never before published, only available here. After all, I finished itcozy book and hot drink only a week ago! For those of you who have read the first book in the British humorous cosy paranormal mystery Amanda Cadabra series, this will fill an enigmatic gap.

For brand new readers it introduces the quaint English village of Sunken Madley, asthmatic furniture restorer and covert witch, Amanda, her right-hand cat Tempest, Granny, Grandpa and some notable residents, including Tempest’s Achilles heel, the alluring Natasha.

We first hear of Tempest, the ever-grumpy feline familiar-to-be, at dead of night, on the Cadabra’s workshop bench. Witches Senara and Perran, alias Granny and Grandpa, have just reincarnated the storm cloud of greys with the glaring citrine gaze. He disappears for several hours before returning to meet their 15-year old granddaughter Amanda. But during that missing time, where was he? What was he doing? All is revealed in:

Tempest’s First Day

Cat close up and cover of free cozy paranormal mystery story Tempest's First Day

Subscribers and VIP Readers have been sent their copy. To download the story as either a PDF or a Word doc (just drop me a line for any other format) click on the link below. I do hope that you delight in this cat’s tale. Please let me know what you thought of it. It would be a great pleasure to hear from you.

Meanwhile, here is a Saturday night special of three recommendations for the perfect cosy combo.

Nicole Pyles, blogger, poet, short-story writer and video-creator kindly allowed me to guest post for her here:

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/2019/11/3-suggestions-holly-bell.html

The World of My Imagination header white on blue

At Nicole’s online home, you will find the trio of tips to make your weekend evening. Again, I’d love to hear what you think of them. In The World of My Imagination blog, you will also discover more Saturday Night inspiration, and recommendations of more cosy mysteries. floral painted typewriterIn particular, however, as book lovers, do check out Nicole’s video channel. Here’s a taster of a unique (in my experience so far) art form combining, poetry, visuals and music in Nicole’s moving and breathtakingly beautiful Ode to Books. Turn the sound up. You’ll be happy that you did.

Next weekend I hope to be back with news of the ‘Christmas Book’, a new cover reveal and a special offer for a last-minute seasonal present for you to keep orChristmas gif wrapped in red sparkly paper gift.

Only a month to go before the winter solstice, and the days beginning to lengthen. This celebration, in all its forms, of the return and triumph of light, is what links us together across the globe. Wishing you every happiness in your preparations for your special day.

Holly


PS If you want to start the series:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth. First in a new cozy paranormal mystery series

Available

on

Amazon

Village church and trees, text: Chapter 1, Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley by Holly Bell, read by Holly Bell:with youtube play button

Chapter 1 Video – Amanda Cadabra Book 4

Dear Readers,

As promised to you, here is the video with visuals as well as my reading of Chapter 1 of the new Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley. I hope that you enjoy it. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on it. The next is below if you’d like to read it as well.

Village church and trees, text: Chapter 1, Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley by Holly Bell, read by Holly Bell:

Chapter 1

Into the Globe

‘It will all be over very quickly. One way or another,’ said Aunt Amelia. She stared intently into the glass sphere on the round, lace-covered table.

‘Very quickly?’ asked Amanda Cadabra, pushing back her mouse-brown hair and glancing up from following the goldfish. Unlike her aunt, it was pretty much all the ball ever showed her.

‘An hour only, perhaps.’

‘And the villagers? Everyone will see it. If the magical world is supposed to be so secret and the entire Flamgoyne witch-clan descends upon Sunken Madley with fire, brimstone and hurricane, that is going to raise more than a few eyebrows on a whole lot of Normals, assuming that any survive.’

Amelia frowned into the globe ‘The village will empty.’

Amanda looked at her in wonderment. ‘How come?’

Her aunt shook her head, ‘That is not shown to me …. The glass is clouding … I’m sorry, Ammy, that’s all.’

‘I’ll have an hour to somehow repel them — without striking a single blow — but the village will empty?’

‘Yes.’

‘And I will have to defend it alone? — But no, you said I’d have help.’

‘That’s what it showed.’

‘So just me and my … helpers … whoever they will be.’ Amanda pondered, doubtfully.

‘Rrrrrr,’ interjected Tempest, in a marked manner.

‘Principal among whom will be Tempest, of course, ‘she added for the benefit of the thick, grey ball of grumpy cat, curled up in the most comfortable chair in the room.

Amanda’s familiar preened himself.

Not that I’m getting involved, he thought. This is a test for my human. But I’ll lend a paw if absolutely necessary. Dear me. The very idea is exhausting. How tiring this species is.

He shut his eyes and went to sleep.

 

***

 

Amanda Cadabra stared at the sky. The thunderous swirl of cloud was racing towards her village of Sunken Madley. She stood at its heart, before the green, opposite The Sinner’s Rue, on the old crossroads. She stood, feet planted apart, wand pointing at the ground, ready. Tempest sat by her side.

‘How?’ she wondered. ‘I’m just a furniture restorer. I have asthma and an annoying cat. I should be in my workshop, polishing Mrs Kemp’s aunt’s commode. How in the world did I come to this …?’

 

***

 

It was a recurring dream, but the situation was imminent, and the question was both real and pressing. The answer might have been said, and was by Granny, to be that Amanda had brought it on herself.

‘If only,’ Senara Cadabra had lamented, ‘you had not cast that spell. The very one your Aunt Amelia warned you not to perform, if you didn’t want to bring the Flamgoynes down upon the village.’

On the other hand, Grandpa, in his light Cornish accent, said that she had had no option.

‘When the crunch came, it was a choice between saving herself and the inspector, or sending up a beacon that Sunken Madley was the epicentre of powerful magical activity.’

Former Chief Inspector Hogarth of the Devon and Cornwall police saw it another way: an opportunity to solve a cold case that was over 30 years old.

Aunt Amelia, Amanda’s confidante and would-be divination tutor since she was nine years old, not only refrained from repeating I-told-you-so but was both sympathetic and constructive.

It was January, one of their regular Tuesday dinners together. Leaving the tea brewing in the kitchen, Amelia Reading, in deep red velvet splendour, sailed into her sitting room, her long dress wafting behind her, and seated herself.

‘Let’s see if the crystal will tell us more about the help that will come to you.’ Amanda, sitting opposite, could only see, reflected in the glass surface, Amelia’s bright brown eyes in a face framed by a chestnut bob. Apart from that, all she ever got was goldfish or a plastic Paris in a snowstorm. This had been the case for more than 20 years. Until now.

Suddenly, Amanda was electrified. ‘Wait!’ she cried excitedly.

‘What?’

‘Aunt Amelia. I see something!’

‘What, Ammy? What do you see?’

‘It’s … a big … banjo? …. No! Cello. It’s a big cello … it’s getting smaller … a violin? No. Oh.’ Her enthusiasm deadened. Amanda looked at Amelia questioningly. ‘A viola?’

Her aunt chuckled. ‘Ah, well that does happen in divination if you ask the same question twice or more. You get a joke or gibberish. At least this wasn’t the latter.’

‘The message is the same as the one I got from our conversation about having help to defend the village: find Viola. Except it’s not vee-oh- la, it’s Vie-oh-la.’

‘It shows you’re on the right track, and what a break-through for your divination, sweetie!’

Amanda was cheered.

‘You’re right, Aunt, on both counts. OK. So, what do we know about Viola? She was a friend of Granny’s. They met during the war. She was living here back then and told Granny, or “Juliet”, as you called her in your story, that she and Grandpa, “Romeo”, could have a peaceful life here. Yes? There wasn’t any more than that, was there?’

‘I’m afraid not.’

‘So, at least, the crystal ball confirms that this Viola is still alive. Unless … she’s not a ghost, is she?’

‘Was the cello — viola — clear or transparent?’

‘Perfectly clear,’ answered Amanda.

‘Alive then, I’d say.’

‘She must be old then …. I’ve thought of three people that she could be — Ah, the tea must be brewed by now. Shall I go and get it?’

‘Oh, use magic to bring it in. It’s perfectly all right here,’ Amelia assured her. ‘I’ve got this place as psychically secure as Fort Knox.’

Amanda pulled a certain Ikea pencil out of her orange woollen jacket pocket, flipped up the end and extracted a tiny slim wooden shaft topped with a citrine. She leaned across so that she could see into the kitchen, pointed the wand and said,

Aereval.’ The tea tray, bearing its load of Devon rose-patterned Wedgwood pot, cups, and bowls containing milk and sugar, two silver spoons and a plate of gingernut biscuits, rose from the worktop beside the kettle.

Cumdez,’ instructed Amanda. It glided through the air, along the passage to the sitting room and hovered.

Sedaasig.’ The tray lowered itself gently onto the table beside them. Amanda would not usually have bothered with a wand, but there was hot liquid involved, so extra control was needed. Hopeless though she was at divination, this was her special, and exceedingly rare, magical talent: a Cadabra family trait inherited from her grandfather. It enabled her, in spite of asthma that was all too easily agitated by physical exertion, to carry on the family business of furniture restoration, with all of its strenuous activity. Of course, any spell-working had to be conducted out of sight of Normals.

‘You were saying, dear,’ Amelia reminded her, adding sugar lumps to the teacups. ‘Three possibles.’

‘Yes,’ replied Amanda. ‘Mecsge,’ she added. The spoons began stirring. ‘There’s Mrs Uberhausfest, who distinctly told me that she and Granny had been friends for over 50 years — and you know how fond Granny is of her, invoking her whenever she talks of how, “we both did our bit in the War”.’ And with her line of work, if anyone could organise a Home Guard, she could!’

‘And the other two?’ enquired Amelia.

Sessiblin,’ said Amanda. The spoons stopped stirring. ‘The ladies who live at The Grange. Miss Armstrong-Witworth — the one who worked as a field agent for the government many years ago, I told you? But I gather she always operated alone, so not an organiser, I’d say — well, she and Granny never seemed very close at all, so, out of the two of them, I’d plump for Miss de Havillande. Both she and Granny are strong-minded, outspoken, definitely organisers, and with Views on every subject. In fact, I’d often thought they could have been two peas in a pod!’

Amelia laughed. ‘I know what you mean.’

‘Although,’ remarked Amanda suddenly, then stopped to think.

‘Yes?’ encouraged her aunt.

‘Well, what if … Viola isn’t a woman, at all?’

‘I think I see where you’re going with this, but carry on.’

‘Well. Viola isn’t from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is she? She’s from Twelfth Night. She’s the sister, cast up on an enemy shore, who, believing her brother to be drowned, takes on the disguise of man and gets a job working for the local count. So what if Viola is a sort of code name, but for a man?’

‘Or a woman pretending to be a man?’ Amelia hazarded.

‘Possibly, but I don’t think you could live in Sunken Madley and carry off a disguise like that for the better part of a century.’

‘True. What men would be eligible for the role of Viola, then?’

‘Well … old Mr Jackson, but he retired to Eastbourne to live with his son, so I don’t think it can be him.’

‘Someone at Pipkin Acres Residential Home?’ suggested Amelia.

‘Possibly …. But … well … what about Moffat?’

‘The Grange ladies’ butler?’

‘He’s far more than the butler,’ Amanda pointed out. ‘He’s pretty much run the house and estate for them all these years, and no one knows how old he is.’

‘That gives you four candidates then: Mrs Uberhausfest, Cynthia de Havillande, Gwendolen Armstrong-Witworth and, er — does anyone know his first name? — Moffat.’

‘Yes. And, I gather, Viola will be the means of assembling the rest of the people who will help on the day that the Flamgoynes attack.’

‘What’s your next move then, Ammy?’

‘Well … what I need is a reason to visit Irma Uberhausfest. And soon.’

Fortunately, thanks to stilettos, a spanner and a piano, one was in the making.

 

I hope that you enjoyed Chapter 1.

Looking forward to bringing you news of the paperback launch, and a suggestion for Hallowe’en.

Happy reading,

Holly

Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

Title Reveal of Amanda Cadabra Book 4

Dear Readers,

With just over two weeks before the launch of Book 4, (and at least one free Kindlebook day of Book 1) to go, we begin the revelations. Between now and then, will be a partial cover reveal by our new illustrator, Daniel. Next, a full cover reveal. And of course, the trailer video. I have begun work on that. However, today here is the title of the new book.

Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley
The manuscript has been completed and is now with my superb editor, Flora Gatehouse. The VIP advance readers have already begun sending in their feedback, and those notes are being added in. This is all part of the polishing process, to make the finished product as perfect as possible for you.

blue prints iwth yellow pencil with red rubber top and rulerThe new book will have a floor plan of one of the notable establishments of the so very English Sunken Madley. There is also a small improvement to the map of the village, with a better version of that particular house. See if you can spot it. As always, there is a British English – American English Glossary at the back of the book for any terms that may be unfamiliar.

Here is a taste of the story coming your way in Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley:

The Corner Shop is abuzz with news. There are no fewer than three new people in the village, and two of them may be Significant. This is the last thing on Amanda’s mind, though. The frightfully unpleasant witch-clan, the Flamgoynes — who may or may not have been responsible for the despatch of Granny’s equally odious family over a cliff in Cornwall — are coming. Thanks to some unavoidable spell-casting my the village’s beloved asthmatic furniture restorer and covert witch, Amanda Cadabra, Sunken Madley has flagged up a rival centre of maVillage of Sunken Madley, medieval English village church surrounded by treesgical power. Now she must find some means of defending it. So far, alone. Apart from her grumpy cat, Tempest, that is.

However, another body with a new pressing puzzle is about to add to Amanda’s problems. The presentable but dogged Inspector Trelawney may be on hand. But that won’t change the lack of an alibi.
The date for the Flamgoyne’s attack becomes set. The clock is ticking. Will this be the end of the village? Or will we see … The Rise of Sunken Madley?

More news to appear here, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, (or keep in touch with email updates) so please feel free to follow me on any of those. It would be a pleasure to have you along on the Amanda Cadabra ride.

Soon, dear readers … soon.

 

Holly

Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

Cover of AC3 Book in front of red curtains

Full Cover Reveal of Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan

Dear Readers,

This is the moment: the full cover reveal of Amanda Cadabra and the Flawless Plan, Book 3 in the Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries series. The Kindle version is now about to become available for pre-order at the special pre-order price of $2.99 until Sunday 19th May when it will be released at full price.

 

Gull flying out of sunrise. Text Now available for order at pre-order price as a thank you

On Thursday, you will be able to read the first chapter of the new book here. This is to give you a taste of the action, intrigue and puzzles to come the way of Amanda Cadabra and her grumpy feline familiar, Tempest (a great favourite of many readers!)

Some of you have kindly said how much you are looking forward to returning to the English village of Sunken Madley. Especially for those of you who feel a special attachment to the place, and by extension to the real Sunken Madley, there is an extra treat in store. More about that later.

On Friday, look out for the book trailer here and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Please do let me know what you think of it. Your feedback is highly valued.

Calendar blocks showing 19 MayIf you’re new to the series, Book 1, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth will be free on Sunday, the same as Book 3 launch day. If you know of someone who would delight in the mysteries and eccentricities of Amanda’s world, please do let them know so they can take advantage of the free download on that day. I would love as many people as possible to have the chance to try our dear Sunken Madley on for size and see how it fits them.

Thanks go out for the cover art of Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan to creative Erik Patricio Lúa, who is now working on the back cover of the paperback version of the book. News of that to follow!

Finally, thank you to everyone reading this for sharing the excitement of this week with me.

Best wishes,

 

Holly

Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available

on

Amazon

Link image to YouTube launch video with fireworks

Launch Day for Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets

Dear Readers,

Just a quick post to celebrate Launch Day of Amanda Cadabra and the Cellar of Secrets with you. Thank you for all of you who pre-ordered, purchased, spread the word and gave support and encouragement even in spirit. Remember that Book 1 is free to download from Amazon on Tuesday, 16th December, so if you want to either catch-up or stock up on your holiday reading, now is your chance.

The proof of the paperback should be arriving on my doorstep on Friday, so as soon as I’ve checked it and made any corrections so that it’s the best that it can be for you, I will click the ‘Publish’ button, and it will be available for you to buy. I will put it on ‘Matchbooks’ so if you buy the paperback then Kindle version will be only $0.99 so there’s a gift for someone and a treat for you in there.

Meanwhile, I am preparing some new Christmas inspiration for Sunken Madley church for you. Looking forward to sharing those with you and news of the paperback.

Happy reading.

Best wishes,

Holly

 

 

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