Tag Archives for " ebook deal "

Book covered by gold cloth and question mark on photo of white birds is blue sky above green fields. Text: 4 Free Book sDays, Cover Reveal and Quizzes

Free Book Days, Quizzes and A Cover Reveal

Dear Readers,

4 Free Book Days

Starting this very day, until Wednesday, 15th DecemberAmanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth is free to download from Amazon. Even as we speak, an email is going out from Bookbub to 2,800,000 cozy mystery subscribers and, of course, to our own subscribers to broadcast these glad tidings. Here is a little 30-second video for your entertainment with (a shortened version of) some brand new winter-themed music from the overwhelmingly talented, videographer’s angel, Australian composer Aaron Kenny:

 

A flock of white birds against a blue sky with green fields below. Text: Free 4. Link image to video about 4 free days 12 - 15 Dec 2021 for Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

 

Where’s the Smoke?

Yes, I did say I’d report from the thick of the historical battlefield, and I shall, next week, but I just have so much to tell you that it needs to keep for another seven days. You see, in preparation for today’s huge event, for which I have been hoping and planning for three years, I have prepared some new goodies. In case you aren’t yet in the know, what is this Bookbub of which I speak?

The Big Deal

In their own words, ‘BookBub is a free service that helps you discover books you’ll love through unbeatable deals, handpicked recommendations, and updates from your favorite authors.’ They have a subscription list of millions. It can take, yes, years for your book to be accepted to be included in one email on one day. They take only 10-15% of submissions (which come from both independent authors and traditional publishers), and the standards, to put it mildly, are high. And, as I say, after three years of attempts, one midnight, I saw the acceptance email and was stunned with joy.

Thank you

I would like to pay tribute, at this point, to all of the readers who posted a review of Amanda Cadabra and the Hidey-Hole Truth, helping it to achieve the milestone of 100 Amazon reviews. I have no doubt that this was a significant factor that prompted Bookbub’s decision to accept it for a highly-prized Bookbub Featured Deal. 

Thanks to Daniel Becerril Ureña for his professional and creative cover, to Kim, our editor, Daria Lacy for her flawless formatting and to Laurence o’Bryan and Tanja Slijepčević  of Books Go Social whose advice, experience and services have helped guide my marketing journey . I would also like to express sincere appreciation again to Kim, to best-selling author and friend Tim Brown, to Paula, Katherine, David, Katherine (yes, I’m lucky enough to know two fine ladies by that name) and all of the dear friends and readers who have always expressed such encouraging and heart-warming faith in me, the books and the prospect of increasing success.

So, the good news arrived. But that was only last month. Not much time to prepare. However ….

Cover Reveal

In honour of this auspicious occasion, our skilled, deft and inspired illustrator Daniel, whom I cannot thank sufficiently, has pulled out all the stops, crammed this extra project into his already busy schedule and, for Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets, produced this thrilling cover. Feedback so far has been: ‘I love it!’ ‘Makes you want to read the story’, and ‘fab’. I hope that you like it too.

Quizzes

To provide more fun for you and the new visitors arriving from today, I have added a new feature to the website. So far, each quiz is just ten multiple-choice questions-long. They have been tested by David, a friend and particularly kind beta reader whose fascinating correspondence never fails to give me a lift. Here are the first three, in case you’d like to have a play now. If you want to re-do any of the quizzes, just refresh your page, and you’ll get back to the start. Any feedback would be greatly welcomed: ‘too easy,’ ‘too hard’, or ‘Goldilocks level’.

Link image to three quizzez

And There’s More …

Yes, if you check the Inspiration section, you’ll find more photographs garnered from my field trips in search of the cozy village. Additional ones are coming soon. And finally, at the time of writing this to you, I have taken advantage of a new feature on Amazon that allows me to tell you more about the series. It’s called A+ Content, and mine now includes a pretty chart about the main characters with customised avatars for each one by graphic artist Soodabeh Damavandi, plus a seasonal and historical background to each of the books. Do have a look, and again, it would be wonderful to hear what you think about it.

It has been a pleasure to share my good news with you. If you would like to be a part of the celebration, please consider sharing the video above or this letter to readers with even just one friend. Thank you.

Next Time

Absolutely. Battle, smoke, books past and future. The works. Also, a report on the next four days. Until then,

Wishing you a happy winter week,

Holly


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

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

Amanda Cadabra Book 2 free on Thursday 11th November and Amanda Cadabra Book 3 free to download on Sunday 14th November

Update: 2 Free Books for Remembrance/Veterans Day Weekend!

Dear Readers,

Two Free Books

Free: Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of SecretsThe planets are aligned; it is decreed. Yes, this Thursday,  11th November Remembrance Day, celebrated as Veterans Day in the United States, will still see the offer of  Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets, free to download from Amazon for just one day.

However, on Remembrance Sunday, 14th November, it is Book 3, Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan, that will be available for free download from Amazon. Just that book and just for the day.

Why?

Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan on tablet on Edwardian background of photos and the word 'Free'It is in book 3 that Sunken Madley actually celebrates Remembrance Day. There is the moving role-call of those who lost their lives in the First World War, showing how it touched every family in the village.

Not only that, but Amanda and Detective Inspector Trelawney must travel back in time to 1918 and the night of a storm that shook Sunken Madley. Only there can they discover the truth of the murder in the present day.

With Book 2 centring on events in 1940 and Book 3 on 1918 following Armistice Day, this is the perfect weekend for new readers to join the series at zero cost.

This is a First

Yes, for the first time, both books will be made available for free download over the same long weekend, to add them to your cozy collection. If you’ve already read them and you know of existing or potential cozy fans among your friends, please do pass on the good news.

So, here are the new official dates: Thursday 11th November for Book 2,  Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets, and Sunday 14th November for Amanda Cadabra and The Flawless Plan. I do hope that this slight reshuffle is to everyone’s taste and that you enjoy these two books.

Back soon with news of progress on the trail of village inspiration and The Magic Fruit.

Happy Mid-November reading,

Holly


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

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

Thursday 11th and Suday 14th November free days for Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets by Holly Bell

Free Book for Remembrance Day & 100 Reviews

Dear Readers,

Free Book Day

First, then, the best news! This week, on Thursday, is Remembrance Day, celebrFree: Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secretsated as Veterans Day in the United States. In honour of the occasion,  Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets, free to download from Amazon. For the second book in the series, events that took place during WWII are central, with spies, bombs, and the crucial Canadian connection. It also features a modern-day German hero and his crew, who become especially beloved by the villagers of Sunken Madley.

This offer is just for Thursday 11th November and Remembrance Sunday, 14th November. If you’ve read and enjoyed it, please do share the news with any of your friends who you think may have fun joining the series.

Over To You for the 100

Now the spotlight moves over to you with a special thank you for new a landmark in the series. I am delighted to announce that Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth has now achieved 100 reviews on Amazon.com. This is entirely due to you who so generously took the time to write and post your thoughts. However, this is by extension thanks to all of you who have posted or spoken a review anywhere at all, for sharing the pleasure that any of the books have given you, for being Amanda’s ambassadors, for spreading the cozy joy.

Link to thank you video to readers who have posted a review

 

Amanda Cadabra Book 7

Manuscript for AC7 the next sequel - next stage in the writing process‘So, where is the next book?‘ I hear you ask. Last time I showed you the magic circle, in which I had printed out of all the higgeldy-piggeldy first draft and arranged in a pleasingly artistic arc on the carpet. Here is a photo of the next stage completed. During the journey from the floor, all sorts of rearranging, adding and excluding has taken place. (I fully admit to having added the tea cup stain. I just didn’t feel I’d be giving you your money’s worth without it.)

All of this now had to be ordered in Word, and countless changes have occurred during that process, with the bulk of the writing added, bringing the total word count up to around 82,000. More news on the next (now completed) stage to follow.

To further encourage the writing process, I have with immense pleasure and relief, handed over the advertising on Amazon and Facebook to my wonderful promoters Books Go Social. This means I’ll have more time to actually create the books.

Time to be Transparent

One thing my field trips this year have shown: I need proper business cards. So together with the immensely patient and skilled designers at Plasma Design and my talented illustrator, Daniel Becerril Ureña, this is the result: in gold and black ink on a transparent background.

When I opened the parcel, I didn’t know what it was. The cards had arrived 2 weeks earlier than I expected. ‘Thrilled’ does not begin to cover it! The version on the left is a graphics file, and the one one on the right is a photograph of the same card showing the glint of gold. I’ve had rave reviews so far. I’d love to know what you think too, so please drop me a line or find me on Facebook or Twitter.

Coming Soon …

Next time I’ll be telling you about another research trip for the series and …  for the next two books.

Happy November reading,

Holly


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

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

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

>