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ereader on left with Book 7 with gold sticker: Free 27, 28th March. Book 7 in ereader and paperback on the right. Champagne glass behind. Text: Amanda Cadabra and The Hanging Tree Today! From Amazon

Launch Day! Amanda Cadabra and The Hanging Tree

Dear Reader,

It’s Here!

You can find the new sequel in the Amanda Cadabra cozy mystery series on Amazon from today. Yes, it’s a sequel (Book 7) but it’s also a standalone, so you can jump in with  Amanda Cadabra and The Hanging Tree. The Kindle edition is at a 20% discount today.

A Double Launch

If you prefer your books touchy feely, as I do, for the first time (drumroll …) simultaneously with the ebook, the paperback edition is launching too today! You can find it here:

Viewbook.at/AC7-paperback

Free

Plus, free today and tomorrow from Amazon, you can download the previous volume, Amanda Cadabra and The Strange Case of Lucy Penlowr. This story is set in Cornwall and is also a standalone.

It would be superb if you could also spread the word and share the coziness.

Movie Time

Now here is the launch video, for your entertainment.

 

Back next time with news of how it went today and a little thank you present for all your support.

Happy 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

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

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

An Author's Real-life Mystery - the inside of the Monken Hadley church lit with red light and smoke effect with the image of Captain Tempest-Hicks in the top right hand corner

A Real-Life Mystery for A Cozy Author

Dear Readers,

The Mystery

Light streams up through the darkness of the ancient church colouring the stained glass windows. I didn’t see it. IReal-life Mystery - red light coming through church windows heard it. And I was sure I must have been mistaken.

Moments later, there it is was on the screen. I exchanged wide-eyed glances with my friend sitting on the same pew. Yes, she had heard it too: the name.

Son et Lumière

The fictional village of Sunken Madley, in which all of the Amanda Cadabra British humorous cozy paranormal mysteries are set, is based on a real place. Its name: Monken Hadley, a small community with a thousand-year-old history just north of London. This year they are celebrating 525 years since the rebuilding of the medieval church, most likely damaged in the Battle of Barnet. Every quarter of a century, this restoration is marked with a special event. Only a few days ago, in 2019, it was a retelling the story of the church and village in a spectacular Son et Lumière, sound and light.

son et lumiere in old churchThe Story

The event started at 3.30pm, but by the time the startling revelation occurred, it was already night outside. The monks of the old priory, the opposing sides of the famous battle, the gentry and the philanthropists of long ago had passed and sounded before our eyes and ears. The tale had reached the period of the first world war. The narrator spoke of a memorial stone on the walls of the building where we sat, dedicated to one … and that was when my ears pricked up…

How It All Began

In the winter of 2018, my author pal TJ Brown convinced me that I could pen a cozy paranormal mystery. I had beenTempest Amanda Cadabra grey cat with yellow eyes adamant for years that I was strictly a non-fiction writer and fantasy was way beyond my ken. But Tim knew better. He encourage me to go off to research the genre, and presently we sat down together to begin the process of creation. First, we needed a name for the heroine. I knew it had to be something to do with magic. With a thesaurus list before us, we tried out different forenames and surnames, googled possible variations to see if they’d been used. The clock ticked away. We began growing tired and then … playing around with Abracadabra .. Tim came out with it: Amanda Cadabra! I repeated it in my head. Yes. We’d found her.

Suddenly, I heard the name, the name of her cat, I knew he was a collection of greys, he had livid yellow eyes and was permanently grumpy. It was the first name and the first thing that came to me. I had never seen it as a person’s name before, I knew it only as a weather system and the title of a Shakespeare play.

Finding Home

In the days that followed as I began to get a sense of Amanda and her familiar. I knew I had to find the right location for them. It had to be a village, and as I’d never lived in Sunken Madley - Monken Hadley church against blue sky, trees on left, yellow flowers in the foregroundone, it had to be on the outskirts of a big city. I pulled up Google maps and began the search.

I’d have said that I knew the area pretty well, but I had no recollection of having seen the name of this particular village. Soon I was in the car and heading along the A1000, itself with a long history. Off the beaten track I went, by a pond, between trees and around the bend.

Behold. I knew: I had found my village, the village of Monken Hadley. Of course, I couldn’t call it that, so what about transposing the first letters … Hunken Madley? No … not quite right … another word ending in ‘unken’ … sunken … and it was born: Sunken Madley.

I tell you all of this, so you will understand why what I heard in the dim echoes of the church on that dark afternoon was so startling. I had no prior knowledge or use of that word as a pronoun or of that village.

How?

Captain Tempest-Hicks Monken HadleySo we’re in the dark of the church, sitting in a pew near the back looking up at the big screen, with the rest of the audience. We are hearing the saga of Monken Hadley and the officer whose efforts were instrumental in the achievement of the peace of 1918. Sadly he died just weeks before the end of the World War 1. His name? Charles Tempest-Hicks. The name of Amanda’s magical cat? Tempest.

Shivers ran down my spine, chills of excitement. Was the brave captain my muse? Had he been a cat lover? Was I being inspired? What would you say is the answer to the real-life mystery? Do share your thoughts with me.

Thanks

Regardless, I am overjoyed that Tim motivated me to begin my cozy mystery journey, that he thought of Amanda Cadabra, that Tempest came to me. It is a source of continuing delight that Monken Hadley somehow drew me, that I have met so many kind people there, and that I travel back in time whenever I visit, Through writing this series, I have connected with all the dear readers who help and support and encourage me. I am thrilled to be on the journey of a lifetime, and that you join me in it. Thank you.

What it was all for

This year the sound and light show raised money for the restoration of a precious listed building, the 400-year-old church house, so that it can serve the community as was intended. And believe me, the entire community, from young to old all participated in creating the 525 experience. Seeing them waving happily at us in the closing credits brought a lump to my throat. Proceeds from tickets and donations also went to  to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.

If you’re ever passing, do pop into the church of St Mary the Virgin, Monken Hadley. You can be assured a warm welcome and a moving and enchanting experience. It delighted at least one of our American cousins so much that it became the model for a church built in Chappacua, USA.

Next week: an offer and something new for December to help with your Christmas shopping. Want to get to know Tempest? Download your free short story here: Tempest’s First Day. Back soon!

Best wishes,

Holly


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

Available

on

Amazon

Audience, stage with cover of Amanda Cadbar and The Rise of Sunken Madley. Amanda with wand in hand, pointing at the ground, stands with her cat beside her in a ring of salt. It is a stormy afternoon, she holds her witch's hat with her left hand. The village is in the background and at either side

Full Cover Reveal – And Goodies Coming Up

Dear Readers,

Hot off the virtual press in its final incarnation comes the full cover of Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley, fourth in the British cosy paranormal mystery series.

It’s all thanks to our new illustrator Daniel Becerril Ureña who has been labouring tirelessly to get it to you today. Feedback so far has been 100 per cent positive. The cover is as the book will appear on Amazon shortly.

Graphic with film reelSo what’s next? Tomorrow sees the release of the trailer! Where can you see it? Here, on YouTube (on my new channel), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, if all goes according to plan. Please let me know what you think of it so that I can build them better and better for your future viewing pleasure. 

sparkles rising form open book on green background with text: Releasing 29th September & Free Book 1 WeekendMeanwhile, the manuscript for Amanda Cadabra and The Rise of Sunken Madley is now complete, bright and shiny, thanks to the endeavours of my superb editor, Flora Gatehouse, and the valuable contributions and suggestions offered by the VIP advance readers. There are still spaces remaining in this limited numbers group if you’d like to join for Book 5. Alternatively, you can simply keep up to date by adding yourself on the keep-in-touch page.

At the end of the week, there will be the release of the audio-video of Chapter 1 of the new book. The text will be on here so you can read, or read along, but the feedback on the visuals that go with the reading has been enthusiastic so far!

Until tomorrow …

Oll an gwella, (Cornish for ‘all the best’. Yes, still learning, by candlelight late at night.)

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

 

 

Free on Amazon Kindle Tomorrow, 28th October

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow, Sunday, 28th October 2018, is the big Halloween offer day. Amanda Cadabra and the Hidey-Hole Truth will be available to download on Amazon Kindle free for 24 hours. Have you been waiting for this moment to read it before the sequel comes out?  Do you know someone who would enjoy an entertaining new cozy paranormal mystery for Halloween or for some curl-up-on-the-sofa time? Then please do take this opportunity, and also share the love. Just click the link below for your country’s Amazon to go straight to the page.

This is the third of the limited KDP free promotion days. This time Books Go Social, Fussy Librarian and Awesomegang will be spreading the word, covering thousands of their subscribers of eager cozy mystery readers so tomorrow will be an exciting day. As before, I am looking forward to sharing the results with you.

To any authors out there, I would highly recommend Books Go Social to you, not just for their book promotional services centred on Twitter but for their highly valuable tailor-made advice, second to none that I have so far come across offering this service.

For example, thanks to Books Go Social I have realised that although there are various email services for you to sign up to for your areas of particular interest: Sunken Madley Inspiration, Tempest, VIP Readers Group, there wasn’t one for those of you who would just like to keep in touch and get general news. So here it now is, in all its glory. Do come on in and join us.

Remember, Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth is also available in paperback if you’re looking for a last minute spooky Halloween present, complete with the mysteries of wtiches, ghosts, a body and secret tunnels.

In the next post, I expect to have some tantalising news about the sequel!

Meanwhile, I wish you a happy weekend.

Back to Book 2 …!

Holly x

 

 

 

 

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