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New Giveaway, and Audiobook Reaches The Final Hurdle

Dear Readers,

First, a special thank you video to all the readers who have followed me on Bookbub, celebrating a landmark event in the Amanda Cadabra kingdom.

New Giveaway

Yes, next, news of a new cozy mystery Giveaway! This has now opened and is ready for you to enter. The aim of this one is to gather more Holly Bell Facebook followers into our fold. The more, the merrier. So you can kill two birds with one stone: enter the Giveaway with just an email address and tick a box to follow the authors (including me) who are contributing to the prize.

In case you missed out on the last one or were not one of the lucky winners, here is another entirely free spin of the wheel.



Audiobook 1 Approaches the Finishing Tape

The final listen-through of the audiobook of the first in the series, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, has been completed. Beta-listener-in-chief Ann has also finished her last (of many, more than mine) check. Mike, The Sound Engineer in far-flung USA, has worked his magic. The audiobook is in the process of being loaded onto ACX for quality before it becomes available on Amazon. So we are merely weeks, possibly even days, away from the launch.

The Hurdles

What were the most challenging things about editing the audiobook? The Swedish accent, whose journey I have charted for you and one little four-letter word. No, not a curse, but the name of a company. How should it be pronounced?

Which company? If I said the word ‘Billy’, would it by any chance conjure up a vision of a bookcase? If so, then you’ve got it: none other than that Temple to Home Furnishing. Ikea.

The Big Question

And there’s the dilemma right there. How did you pronounce ‘Ikea’ in your mind? Was it with an ‘I’ as in ‘picnic’ or an ‘I’ as in ‘eye’?

Now, because I have Danish friends who know about Swedish things and because the adverts for it here in the UK pronounce it with an ‘I’ as in ‘picnic’, that is how I’d said it, in every instance, on the recording.

Why Is It In The Books Anyway?

If you have yet to enter the World of Amanda Cadabra, you may, and rightly, I might add, be wondering why the aforementioned company is included in a cozy mystery. The answer is because Amanda’s most powerful magical asset (apart from Tempest, her feline familiar, of course) is her patent pocket-wand, a slim rod sheathed in an ordinary-looking … Ikea pencil.

Who Won?

 When I was checking the recording for the first time, it occurred to me that not all listeners would be familiar with my pronunciation. I consulted with my dear friends on the North American continent. How would most people there know Ikea? The answer was, by the pronunciation I hadn’t used: ‘Eye-key-ah’. So it was off to re-record.

Well, on the last listen-through, I heard one stray example in the last 30 minutes, and so in a mercifully quiet interval, the phrase was retaken.

There: drama from the recording studio!

On The Horizon

 Now, you may have read the books and don’t listen to audio, so why is this landmark of interest? Because the launch of the audiobook will herald Something Else. Something that has been five years in coming. At this stage, that is all I can say. If you are a subscriber, there will be a hint or two coming your way in the next newsletter.

Meanwhile, bits and bobs of book 9, the new sequel, have been wending their way into my imagination and onto paper.

But now, off to prepare for the launch of the first-ever audiobook in the Amanda Cadabra series history, and make it a day to remember. Back soon with more news.

Happy May,



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

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

About the Author Holly Bell

Cat adorer and chocolate lover, Holly Bell is a photographer and video maker when not writing. Holly lives in the UK and is a mixture of English, Scottish, Cornish and Welsh, among other ingredients. ​Her favourite cat is called Bobby. He is black. Like the hat in her cupboard. Purely coincidental.

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