Friday, 18 May 2012

Book Crossing

Yesterday I was talking books with a colleague at work and she mentioned something called book crossing. After she explained what it was, I was amazed, as a book lover, that I had never heard of it. I was also surprised, that when I tweeted the question, had anyone heard of book crossing, there was a deadly silence. 

So armed with a little knowledge, I looked up Bookcrossing and I am in LOVE with it!

Here are some of the things they say about it on their website, which explains what bookcrossing is and how it works. 

"Step 1. Label
Register your book and get a unique BookCrossing ID.

This BCID allows you to follow your specific book wherever it goes. Think of it as a passport enabling your book to travel the world without getting lost!"

"Step 2. Share
Now it’s time to pass it on!

Release it into the wild. Referred to as the "wild release" (and loved by so many BookCrossers), this type of sharing is a bit like nudging a baby bird out of the nest or sending your kid off to college. Your book doesn’t want to spend its life on your shelf gathering dust; it wants to get out there and touch lives! So leave your labeled book on a park bench on a summer day, in a train station, on the table in your favorite coffee shop -- anywhere it’s likely to be caught by another delighted reader. Then come back and read about your book’s new adventures!"

"Step 3. Follow
See where in the world your book goes, and who reads it!

Once you’ve labeled and shared it, follow your book’s adventures.

When another reader finds your book, they can enter the BCID on and report that it’s been caught. Journal entries about your book allow you to see where your book is, who's reading it now, and follow where it goes next. Some books tend to stay in one region while others really move! Your book may touch the life of a reader you never would've met, or it may just circulate among your friends.
At the time of this writing, over 850,000 active BookCrossers have collectively registered almost seven million books which are traveling around 130 countries! Imagine the world of opportunities for your book once you've labeled and shared it."

This sounds absolutely wonderful and I for one will be signing up. Imagine going on holiday and leaving a book behind, then seeing where it goes off to next. What an absolutely wonderful idea. Not only sharing books, but seeing them travel. Who else likes the look of this?!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Recently Read - The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher by Ryan David Jahn. 

The Blurb - 

The phone rings. It's your daughter. She's been dead for four months.

So begins East Texas police dispatcher Ian Hunt's fight to get his daughter back. The call is cut off by the man who snatched her from her bedroom seven years ago, and a basic description of the kidnapper is all Ian has to go on. What follows is a bullet-strewn cross-country chase from Texas to California along Interstate 10- a wild ride in a 1965 Mustang that passes through the outlaw territory of No Country for Old Men and is shot through with moments of macabre violence that call to mind the novels of Thomas Harris.

What I Thought - 

I loved this book! It has the feel of a spit on your boots, down and dirty, old American era. A feel I didn't really think I would be able to get in to, but one I found it impossible not to get dragged right down into the grit of.

With The Dispatcher you're taken on a journey with Ian Hunt, a man who pushes himself to the limit to find his little girl. A child he never truly believed was lost to him. Throughout, he never gives up hope and Hunt goes to extremes he never would have considered if his little girl hadn't have been at risk. I found myself questioning how far would I actually go to find my own child should she be in such a position. Jahn plays it so well, that you can't help but be dragged along with what is happening. If you want to really feel a story while you read, I would heartily suggest this book.

David Ryan Jahn will be at Theakstons Crime Writing Festival this year and I can't wait to pick up another of his books and get it signed. I will now be purchasing everything he releases. I'm a new and massive fan. This book is great buy and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The 2012 A to Z Challenge Reflections Post

This week is the time when all A to Z blogging participants get to reflect on how they thought their challenge month went. 

 For anyone still unsure on what this challenge was, it was a challenge, set by Lee at Tossing It Out, where we post every day but on a Sunday during the month of April, and the posts have to be topic related alphabetical. A great challenge to meet new bloggers as this particular challenge had well over 1,000 participants. 

The key to what this involves is in the word - challenge. And for me this year, it was just that. I managed only 15 posts. I'm not sure whether that entitles me to reflect or not. I had some health issues halfway through and had to take care of myself and stop. I wasn't happy about it as I really quite enjoy the experience of meeting new bloggers and finding new and interesting blogs to follow. 

 One thing I did take out of the experience is that I need to start planning for this well in advance. The main idea is to visit new blogs and boost fellow bloggers followers numbers. If you're busy writing posts during the month, then you lose the interaction time. I would fully suggest if you intend to take part next year, that you write all 26 posts before the month starts. I know that sounds like a feat in itself, but I think it would be well worth it. You would/I will, get more out of the month. 

 The other thing I would say on the challenge, is in relation to a comment I read on Laura Marcella's blog, Wavy Lines, about having categories in the list of participants. I think this is a great idea. I want to connect with fellow writers, readers and generally chatty people. I'd be less interested in a knitting blog, car blog or snake blog for instance and with this challenge, you get many and all joining as it's such a great thing to engage in. Having categories would make it easier to get through, comment and follow more blogs. You can also check out new area's of blogs if you want to. 

 All in all I do love the month of April and the A to Z and I hope I haven't broken any rules by reflecting on only half a month!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Launch - Ripper, My Love

Today, a blogger friend, writer/poet, Glynis Smy adds author/novelist to her name. Her debut novel; Ripper, My Love, is launched in ebook format and paperback. The genre for this love story falls into the one of Historical Romance Suspense.

Growing up in late nineteenth century East London, Kitty Harper’s life is filled with danger and death – from her mother, her beloved neighbour and the working women of the streets.

With her ever-watchful father and living surrogate family though, Kitty feels protected from harm. In fact, she feels so safe that while Whitechapel cowers under the cloud of a fearsome murderer, she strikes out on her own, moving into new premises to accommodate her sewing business.

But danger is closer than she thinks. In truth, it has burrowed itself right into her heart in the form of a handsome yet troubled bachelor, threatening everything she holds dear. Will Kitty fall prey to lust – and death – herself, or can she find the strength inside to fight for her business, sanity and her future? And who is the man terrifying the streets of East London?

Who is Glynis Smy?

Glynis was born and raised in England, in the coastal town of Dovercourt, near the port of Harwich (where the captain of the Mayflower lived). After qualifying as a nurse, she married her school friend, and they produced three children. During her rare quiet moments, she wrote poetry and articles for magazines. In 2005 she and her husband emigrated to Cyprus for a new life in the sun. It was here that Glynis lay down her cross stitch and started making writing friends on the Internet. With their support and encouragement she shared her poetry, and was successful in a few contests. She shared a short story with a friend, who wrote back telling her it was worthy of becoming a novel, and not to waste the premise upon a brief plot. The story is the one being launched today. Glynis found her love of writing 19th Century, historical romances and her second novel, Maggie's Child, will be published at the end of 2012.

Aside from writing and Cross stitch, Glynis enjoys creating greetings cards, and sells them to raise funds for a small hospice in Cyprus. One of her pleasures is to sit on the back porch with a glass of wine, and reflect upon her good life. She can often be heard chatting to new characters urging her forward.

Her desire to pay back those who had supported her is realised in a blog designed specifically to promote the books of others: New Book Blogger You can find her personal writing blog at Glynis finds the community spirit of writers on Facebook a valuable one.

Want to purchase a copy?  Launch day price for the Kindle is 99c/77p!