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Book Lovers Info, Interviews, Writers & Authors Advice

Interview: Tracy Fenton – The Founder of the Largest Secret Book Club on Facebook

I am honoured to be chatting to the amazing Tracy Fenton, who started a secret book club on Facebook some years ago, which now is the biggest thing to hit social media!

Who knew a secret could become the most popular phenomenon in the world of authors and readers alike?

Thank you so much Tracy for being my guest and for sharing with us your journey in creating THE Book Club. It’s an absolute treat to have you as my guest today!

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You currently manage and own the largest Secret Book Club on Facebook. How did the journey begin to start THE Book Club – TBC?

I was a very active member of several online book clubs and was always recommending books and compiling lists and getting busy, but some of the larger groups weren’t being monitored enough and therefore lots of spammers and trolls were posting and causing lots of unpleasantness.  In October 2014 I decided that I should set up a small secret group of 20-40 avid readers, word spread overnight and 20 became 450 and now we have 8400 members.  Not the best kept secret now!

 

What has been your most memorable moment to date, in running TBC?

So many to mention, the charity book auctions I run – raising £11k for Cancer Research in 2015, raised £12k for The National Autistic Society and £2,500 for Secondary First Cancer last year.  Being mentioned in the acknowledgements of over 50 books and having my name as a cameo character in several books too.  Helping authors get publishing deals, getting authors to #1 in the Amazon charts, encouraging people to read out of their comfort zone, seeing online friendships develop into real-life friendships, getting private messages from the members telling me that TBC is their life-line – the list goes on.

 

You have established TBC as an amazing brand that is recognisable anywhere. What do you think sets TBC Apart from all other groups on Facebook?

The members!  They all have the best sense of humour, unbelievable compassion and the biggest hearts when it comes to supporting other members, readers and authors.  TBC has become like an international family and the members feel involved and included and more importantly nobody is judged or made to feel unimportant.  TBC is a positive group and we really won’t allow any nastiness or bullying.

 

You have an amazing blog of your own where you review books. Tell us more about your blog, and give us details of where to find it.

Compulsive Readers was created because I decided to take a month off from THE Book Club in December 2016.  THE Book Club on Facebook is an incredible group but being a group it’s fast moving and easy to miss posts and recommendations and also I was getting a little bit bored of constantly recommending the same books so I decided to set up a blog that only features my favourite 4 or 5 star books and put them into categories that were easy to find – so if you wanted to see what my favourite Crime books or Books in a Series or Historical Fiction books were it’s easy to navigate around.  Also, I have a special feature where I interview some brilliant authors including Peter James, Chris Carter, Cath Staincliffe and over 100 other authors.  There’s the Mean Reviews section where several authors read out their worst 1 star book review to camera, my Top Ten’s including my favourite psychological thrillers, the best books of the year and even the 10 fictional characters I would like to slap really hard with a brick!  There’s loads going on every day from my reviews to competitions.  Check it out on www.compulsivereaders.com

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You are known for your passion and commitment to supporting Authors and have even managed to rid Amazon of Author imposters who were trying to deceive readers into thinking they are well known Authors. What makes you so passionate about supporting both Indie and Traditionally Published Authors?

I just love books and sharing my recommendations.  The feeling when you read a book that turns your world upside down or makes you cry or gasp out loud and then recommending it to someone and they feel the same is magical.

 

Is there a chance you will write your own book anytime soon?

Nope, never.

 

What are your Top 5 Books and Authors of all time?

As my Top 5 books are different to my Top 5 Authors I am going to cheat and give you 10:

 Top 5 books – Into The Darkest Corner – Elizabeth Haynes, The Lost Wife –   Alyson Richman, Perfect People – Peter James, Shtum – Jem Lester and The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Top 5 authors – John Marrs, Tammy Cohen, Craig Lancaster, Chris Whitaker and Chris Carter.

 

What’s next for you and TBC?

For TBC I’ve chosen this year’s official charity to sponsor The National Literacy Trust and therefore I will be busy co-ordinating the month-long auction in May and hopefully raising lots of money.  I don’t have any plans for me except to keep reading and recommending and encouraging more people to read books.

 

If you could choose any location in the world to sit and read and chat books, where would that be?

Anywhere hot with a beach and cocktails.

 

About Tracy Fenton

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Tracy is a self confessed bookaholic with over 450 books on her kindle and over 200 books on her bookshelf. She is also the founder of an international book club – THE Book Club (TBC) and she has one of the coolest book blogs around, called Compulsive Readers. She has been instrumental in assisting many Authors establish their careers, and she has connected many reading fans with their favourite Authors.

If you would like to connect with Tracy on Social media, you can:

Find her on Twitter here

Connect on Instagram here

Read her blog here

How to join THE Book Club (TBC)

If you want to join the group you need to send Charlie Fenton a friend request – and he’ll sort out the rest. He is the only person who can let you in!

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Charlie Fenton – CEO of TBC

 

or find their facebook page and send them a message.

14247631_10205237105247494_1817814012_oTBC THE Book Club Facebook Page

 

 

Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

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Connect with me on my Website www.tarynleighauthor.com

Love,

Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

Book Lovers Info

There is a BookClub SPA Getaway! …. It’s AMAZING!

Did you know there is a Spa Getaway that caters for bookclubs?

Well if you didnt, I’m here to tell you all about this AMAZING place.

Its called Indigo Fields, in the Balgowan Valley in South Africa. Here they offer the most luxurious 5 Star Spa and accomodation retreat. One of their amazing offers is a Spa Getaway for BookClubs!

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For those of you who have read my book Perfect Imperfections , you will recall I mention Indigo Fields in my book. Its where Sarah goes with Katy to relax.

Well we can also go there not just to relax in one of their Deluxe Suites shown below, but we can also stay there with our local bookclub to read, relax, be pampered, and talk books.

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If you go with your local Bookclub, this is what you will get:

  • 2 spa treatment sessions of 90 mins
    1. Head and Shoulder Massage & Facial AND
    2. A Full Body Massage
  • Lunch, Dinner and a Country Breakfast on the morning of departure.
  • Overnight accommodation.
    • Twickle Cottage accommodates a minimum of six and up to eight guests.
    • Little Pink Cottage: Four guests.
    • Up to 12 guests can be accommodated in the Luxury Farmhouse Suites.

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The food on its own is an experience, that you will talk about for years. And the Rosemary and Olive bread is something that still makes my mouth water to this day!

The guests have even mentioned it in the Indigo Fields guest books that are in the rooms! Its that good!

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So what are you waiting for? Go and book your Bookclub Spa Getaway TODAY. You can check our the prices here.

It’s something you will never forget. I know Sarah loved it in Perfect Imperfections, and you will too.

Here are the Boma’s I speak of the in book…

It really is an unforgettable place.

 

Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

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Connect with me on my Website www.tarynleighauthor.com

Love,

Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

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Book Lovers Info

Isolation Junction is now FREE on Kindle … Here is the reason why…

Domestic Abuse is a topic we should all take seriously. One that has impacted people we know on some level or another. It is not only limited to Woman, stats show that Men also fall victim to domest abuse in large numbers.

Over Christmas, incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police rise. Assault and domestic murders increase 25% during the festive period with a third of them been on Christmas Day itself. Bombarded with images of the perfect nuclear family gathered around the gold baubles of a Christmas tree, it can be easy to forget that Christmas is a time of coercion, punishment and violence for many women* and men.

Jennifer Gilmour, who is the Author of two books, that spotlight Domestic Abuse, is giving away her Novel, Isolation Junction, FREE on Kindle for 5 days.

What if I dont have a Kindle?

Remember that you can download the Kindle App on your smartphone and read it on your phone if you dont have a Kindle. So please don’t let ‘not having a Kindle’ stop you from reading this amazing book.

 

We had the opportunity to interview Jennifer on this gernerous offer, and this is what she has to say.

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Why are you willing to give your book away for free for 5 days?

Over Christmas, incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police rise…

Now I know it isn’t Christmas anymore but January can be just as bad because all those credit card bills come in alongside your usual direct debits. There is even a day in January called Blue Monday and this year it’s on the 15th. The date is generally reported as falling on the third Monday in January, but also on the second or fourth Monday, or the Monday of the last full week of January.

The formula uses many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

Can you imagine this formula and applying it to an abusive relationship?

For 5 days my debut novel Isolation Junction is going to be FREE on Amazon Kindle, this is the first time ever to happen. It’s the week before Blue Monday, I wonder if those reading will be inspired to take action?

I ask you all to share the link and break the silence surrounding domestic abuse.

UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LX4HLT0

US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX4HLT0

 

What was your original inspiration to start to write?

 I was on an awareness course about Domestic Abuse. Alongside me were about 8 other women who had been in abusive relationships. As the day progressed, I found that I simply couldn’t believe that some of what the other women were saying was exactly what I had gone through but just in a different format. Domestic Abuse tends to go in a cycle (see photo below) and whichever way it begins, the behaviour spirals again and again. At first it could be months between incidents but for me, as time went on there were many instances within one day. It is quite normal to try to prevent the cycle from starting again by changing your behaviour as much as possible. By the end of the course I had come to understand that we were all subjected to the same behaviour and that no one knew before that this could even happen to someone i.e. that a relationship can be so unhealthy and soul destroying. I realised that others simply needed to know more about this unacceptable behaviour; they needed to see the warning signs before the relationship goes further or the behaviour gets even more serious.  On the other hand I needed others to see the behaviour for what it is. If people are in a relationship and the behaviour within it is not acceptable and is not their fault, it can’t simply be changed by changing yourself.

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I knew I had a story to tell and with my previous unfinished written work I realised my first novel had to be more than a book but a message – a way for others to be able to pass a book on to help victims and to get the penny to drop and bring about realisation of what is happening sooner. This means that when the relationship ends victims and survivors realise they are not the only ones out there and its ok to talk about the abuse.

 

How do you focus and not let your work with domestic abuse affect you emotionally?

 Originally I didn’t look after myself and worked on Isolation Junction, blog posts and research even if I wasn’t in a good place. I couldn’t switch off to what I felt needed to be exposed and couldn’t understand why something so common was hidden so well. It did take its toll on me and I am happy to admit and address this. The solution was simple and that was to train myself to channel my thoughts and focus on my current happenings and not letting my mind wander. It can be still a challenge but I feel like I manage myself better and take a healthier approach.

 

How do you direct people who may need support after reading your books?

 At the end of my books there is a message from me which include the UK 24-hour free-phone National Domestic Violence helpline, which is 0808 2000 247. There is also a support page on my website; http://jennifergilmour.com/support/

I do receive a lot of messages and I have personally referred to local centres, once I directed someone in Africa to her local support service. I have been a listening ear to many as well, the first step is telling someone about whats happened to you and so I urge anyone to speak to a ‘safe’ person or service. ‘safe’ meaning someone who isn’t involved with the perpetrator or who you most certainly can be trusted and will help you.

 

What do you do aside from writing?

 I am a mum of three which keeps me pretty busy when I am not writing; I have a 5, 7 and almost 2 year old. As a family we enjoy the hobby Geocaching which gets us out and about, learning about the local area as well as having some fun. It can get rather competitive, if you haven’t heard of it Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

I am also a Jamberry Nail Wraps Consultant which brings in most of my income to support my work in the domestic abuse sector including my writing. You can find out more about that on my other website: https://jennifergilmour.jamberry.com/uk/en/

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Here is more about Isolation Junction

Synopsis:

 Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

 

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. Through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

 

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

 

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?

 

Will Tim help her? Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

 

About the author:

 Born in the north-east, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

 

From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write her first novel Isolation Junction. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.

 

Since the publication of her debut novel, Jennifer has continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through her blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed. Jennifer also gained a qualification in facilitating a recover programme for those who have been in abusive relationships.

 

Jennifer continues to publicly support those who are isolated and struggle to have a voice. Jennifer hopes that Clipped Wings give’s a voice to survivor’s experiences and raise’s awareness further of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse.

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So go on and get your copy TODAY of Isolation Junction.

I would also encourage you to convince a friend, who you might know or suspect, to be in an abusive relationship, to get one too.

We need to all stand together and be a voice against Domestic Violence, and help those around us to be set free from the chains of these relationships.

Also if you struggle to understand why someone would stay in an abusive relationship, then I encourage you to read Jennifers’ books, and do research, so that you can be the person who can help them find the strength to leave.

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Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

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Love,

Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

Author Recipes

Recipes from The Cocktail Bar 

Thank you SO much, Taryn for inviting me onto your lovely blog again!

One of the most fascinating aspects of creating a novel about a very different kind of cocktail bar was the research that went into it. River Jackson, the protagonist of the story, was hell-bent on offering up the exotic and the unconventional; to be portrayed as anything but the stereotypical bar on the high street churning out Sex on The Beach and Mojitos.

Tasty as both are…

Today I am going to share with you three recipes (they are short and super quick to make!) for some of the more unusual cocktails which appear in the book:

The Frisky Bison

7 mint leaves
2 shots of Vodka
1 shot of apple schnapps
1 shot of fresh apple juice
½ shot freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ shot sugar syrup


Gently muddle the mint in the base of your shaker, add the rest of the ingredients and shake with ice then strain the contents into a chilled glass – ideally a Martini glass.


The following two recipes were contributions from competition winners for the online party event for my debut novel.  I think you’ll agree, both of these very Somerset creations sound delicious!

Tor In The Mist (created by Vanessa Couchman)

Somerset Apple Brandy
Somerset Apple Juice
Mint sprigs arranged to look like trees
1 pellet of dry ice (frozen CO2) to make it fog


One of the most dazzling creations in River Jackson’s bar, no visit to Glastonbury is complete until you have sampled a Tor in the Mist. This liquid sensation is guaranteed to take Instagram, and the Glastonbury Festival foodie stands by storm, in the year that is 2018.


*Dry ice should never be handled directly, but picked up with tongs!*
The pellet drops to the bottom of the glass and dissolves before the drinker can get to it (unless they are a very fast drinker…).

Avalon Amber (created by Ailsa Abraham)

Somerset Apple Juice
Gingerbread Spice Cordial


This non-alcoholic cocktail (the only tee-total brew to be found in The Cocktail Bar), is a simple yet complex concoction comprising of locally grown Somerset apples, with a tot of gingerbread spice cordial for that wickedly subtle hint of spells!

It tastes sublime and is best supped on a cold winter’s afternoon in front of a roaring log fire, preferably accompanied by a book about ley lines or crystals or shamanism.


Thanks so much to Isabella May for these amazing recipes from her latest book The Cocktail Bar. 

Please do share with us when you try these out, and see below for more information on The Cocktail Bar 

Blurb for The Cocktail Bar:

Rock star, River Jackson, is back in his hometown of Glastonbury to open a cocktail bar… and the locals aren’t impressed.

Seductive Georgina is proving too hot to handle; band mate, Angelic Alice, is messing with his heart and his head; his mum is a hippie-dippy liability; his school friends have resorted to violence – oh, and his band manager, Lennie, AND the media are on his trail.

But River is armed with a magical Mexican elixir which will change the lives of the Three Chosen Ones. Once the Mexican wave of joy takes a hold of the town, he’s glad he didn’t lose his proverbial bottle.

Pity he hasn’t taken better care of the real one…

https://t.co/1YJKDT8quf – Universal Amazon link to buy The Cocktail Bar

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Author Bio:

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.

As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).

She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!

The Cocktail Bar is her second novel, following on from the hit sensation, Oh! What a Pavlova, published in 2017. Her third novel is currently being polished up and involves copious amounts of churros con chocolate: watch this space…


Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with me on my Website www.tarynleighauthor.com

Love,

Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

Writers & Authors Advice

The different types of Editing

It’s a common misconception that all Editing is the same. It actually isn’t and therefore when looking for an Editor,  for your work,  it’s important to choose the right person for what you need.

Also I’ve seen many fellow Authors complain about the Editing in their own books, even when published through traditional publishers. 

I’ve found that not all publishing houses actually have all four types of editors. Some of them just have Copy Editors and proofreaders and the best Authors will tell you that the most work comes from their Developmental and Substantive Editing stages. 

Here are the FOUR types of Book Editing



1. COPY or LINE Editing

This type of editing is mainly for correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, Word usage. They check for imposing and consistent style and format. They also note permissions needed to publish copyright material. They essentially prepare the manuscript for the next phase of the publishing process. 

2. DEVELOPMENTAL Editing

This type of editing works more closely with the author of a book to develop a manuscript from initial concept, outline, or draft through any number of subsequent drafts. The scrutinise the content and make suggestions regarding it. They also make suggestions on organization, and presentation, based on an analysis of competing works. 

They work with the Author on rewriting and researching and sometimes suggest topics to Authors to include in their work or provide additional information to make the book more appealing. 

3. SUBSTANTIVE Editing

They work to improve the book by identifying and solving problems of overall clarity or accuracy They will reorganise paragraphs, sections, or chapters to improve the order in which the text is presented. They will rewrite segments of text to improve readability and flow of information. They consult with others about issues of concern and they respond to any queries. 

4. PROOFREADING 

They primarily compare the text with the last stage. Marking any discrepancies in text and checking for for problems in page make-up, layout, colour or type. 

They also query or correct errors or inconsistencies that may have escaped an editor or writer. They read for typographical errors. 

Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

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Connect with me on my Website www.tarynleighauthor.com

Love,

Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.