11 November, 2022.

Dear Readers,

It is time to revive the tradition of first-chapter readings with that of Amanda Cadabra and The Nightstairs. The last one was way back in the autumn of good ol’ 2019 for Book 4, Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley. (If you need the transcript, please see below the video once you’ve clicked on the image below to get to it.) And here it is …

Click on image to play Chapter 1 of Amanda Cadabra and The Nightstairs by Holly Bell

Why’s That?

And thus you rightly enquire. Well, it’s partly been due to technical issues, and I like to produce the very best sound quality I can for you. However, I found a compromise this time which I hope you will find satisfactory. The second reason is to do with time and energy Vintage grammaphone player. Need on vinylresources at this stage of the launch process. Producing 10 minutes of narrative with visuals takes about 12 hours. What?

How Come?

I doubt that the most seasoned voice actor could read aloud for 10 minutes without needing retakes, and that is a status to which I am yet an aspirant with the rest of the journey still to make. Then there are the sound tests. When the script has been read (by me), next comes the editing, cutting, splicing, and even re-recording. The words fixed, then the music fore and aft needs to be blended in.


So much for the soundtrack. Now we come to the visuals. Images need to be sourced and edited. Next, they need to be lined up and matched with the words of the chapter. Finally, the credits have to be added.

Now, in many cases, the images will be in the public domain, which means they do not require attribution. In other words, I don’t have to credit them at all. However, I know from personal experience how much expense, time and effort goes into producing a beautiful image. These photographers generously share the fruits of their efforts and artistic skill. I feel the least I can do is say thank you. It feels good to say thank you, doesn’t it?

Treat for Launch Day: 99c or 85p or …?

To celebrate the launch, the previous sequel, Amanda Cadabra and The Hanging Tree will be priced at just 99c (85p or 1.32 CAD or 1.50 AUD and so on) for the weekend. So that is my little gift to you. And if you know anyone who’d like a taste of the series for a modest outlay please do pass on the news.


So this is the last stop before Launch Day, on Sunday 13th November, that grand station where the train is festooned with autumn flowers and the necessary vegetables. (With ideas for the next book already in the pipeline, it is but a temporary halt.) Time to prepare the video and a pretty Facebook post about the 99 offer  for the Day. Back soon …

Happy Pumpkin (or Pineapple) Time,



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

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

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About the Author

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Cat adorer and chocolate lover. Holly Bell's life changed in a day. A best-selling author friend telephoned and convinced her, that after years of penning non-fiction, she could write cozy paranormal mysteries. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Holly lives in the UK and is a photographer and video maker when not writing. Her favourite cat is called Bobby. He is black. Like her favourite hat. Purely coincidental.