Monday, August 29, 2011

Do you like it hot?

Recently I received a review for No Wings Attached, in which the reviewer pointed out the following:  
"There were moments where I thought Deleuze was going to show off some passionate scenes between the two but it ended up being that Celia would leave or she would just fall asleep or Tom would just peck her on the cheek and say goodnight."
I don't know for sure, but I guess she meant some steamy sex scenes, which I admittedly not have in the whole book, nor will there be one in book two. In my opinion, such scenes have no place in a romantic comedy and I'm also not a huge fan of them - for several reasons:
1. They are incredibly difficult to write.
2. They usually are so cringe worthy, it's beyond belief.
3. I want to be able to be in the character's head, meaning, I love feeling the emotions when she feels excited, sad, happy, lost, etc., but sex is something private and everyone likes to do it differently and as soon as I enter the bedroom (or place of happening) with a couple, I'm thrown into the position of the observer, instead of being in the MC's head. I personally find that unpleasant.
4. To me, a good romance lives without the erotica, I'd rather be left with my own imagination when he leads her into the bedroom (or wherever).

By all means, I'm not criticising the reviewer, she didn't like the book as much as others. I failed to fulfil her expectations; it just got me thinking what readers really want from a romantic comedy, though the stress in my book is on romance. I've read and watched a lot of romantic comedies and never found steamy sex in it and I wouldn't like it, I must say. I also have to confess, that I will pass on any book that has a couple in a certain posture on the cover. I find those covers cheesy and horrible. Might work for the genre erotica, but not for romance or romantic comedy. But there seem to be buyers, sex sells and there are plenty of publishers who use them.

It's not that I'm against erotica, though I don't read it, I have read a few books where the sex scenes were well done, and I'm going to write a book which will be littered with sex scenes as it's a big part of the character, but it's neither erotica, nor romance, it's contemporary fiction.

How is your take on sex scenes? Do you expect them in romantic comedy or romance or do you dislike them?

Here's the opening sex scene of the book I've referred to above:

The moonlight stroked the two bodies with its soft light. Their tight embrace made it difficult to tell them apart. Her fingers were tangled in his ash-blonde hair, legs around his waist.
'I want you.' Her breath came ragged. He grabbed her firmly at her hips and pulled them against him. 'More,' she groaned, leaning back.

Her body in his hands, he gazed at her face. Eyes closed, she licked her parted lips. It made him even harder. Another thrust and she moaned. He caressed her well-formed back, letting his hand wander up to her elegant neck, grabbed her long wavy hair, pulling her towards him. 'You're perfect,' he said, his voice staccato.
She opened her eyes, they were full of fire. 'Fuck me, babe,' she whispered demanding.

He didn't need to be asked twice. She was the one in bed that answered all his prayers. No fear, no taboos and a passion that every man could wish for. God, how he loved this woman. Her hot body pressed to his, he closed his eyes, feeling her moves. They kissed and became one, getting into a conjoined rhythm, faster and faster. He held back until he felt it she was ready, then she moaned once more. When she lost herself she couldn't keep her voice down. Every emotion audible. That's what made her special to him. With a sigh she let her head drop onto his shoulder, relaxing. He breathed heavily. 'I love you, Rachel.'

She didn't answer. When her breathing had slowed down, she lifted her head, kissed him gently, then got up and disappeared into the bathroom.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm a gardener now, me.

Since a couple of weeks I've been busy doing some gardening. Where? On a roof top about ten minutes away from where I live. It's a roof garden with grass, a white fence, wonky tables and chairs and even a bar. My personal oasis where I can flee to when need a break from my intense relationship with my laptop.
We are about a dozen of volunteers who grow all sorts of things, from green beans, courgettes, broccoli, chard, rhubarb, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, broad beans, peas, grapes, all different varieties of lettuce - from green to red, herbs, kohlrabi, strawberries, gooseberries and red and black currants, radish, leeks, you name it. And some flowers, too.

I've taken over the herb section with sage, mint, coriander, thyme, rosmary, basil, loveage, camomile and parsley. I will plant some oregano, I decided and we have some red basil somewhere in the garden, too.
Usually we meet up on Thursdays for a garden session with the gardener who would give advice on what to plant where and what needs to be done. Some of us are advanced and some are beginners. Every now and then, we will get together on Sundays, do some work first, then heat the barbeque and eat until nobody can move anymore. Of course we'll have some of our lettuce.
A greek-style salad I had yesterday, with lettuce from the garden, plus olives, tomatoes, cucumber, flat parsley, dressed with walnut oil and sherry vinegar.

The company who owns the place runs events in the summer, if it rains, there's an inflatable roof which makes it rather cosy. I've been to an event (band and movie) last Thursday and it was rather nice.

This is how the bar-area looks like, don't ask me why that pole is there, it wasn't there today. It's lit by coloured lights - even if it's not really coming across in this picture.
(Click on pictures to enlarge.)

The inflatable roof, a band playing.

It's a good alternative to the crowded pubs, in the 'fresh' air of London, high enough to see Canaray Warf and the Gherkin or even Center Point and it's a special place to me.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

From Facebook to London

Yesterday I ranted about obnoxious behaviour on social media sites, today, I'd like to take a positive view on them. Thanks to the Internet, I've made friends all over the world, I'm invited to Australia, America and Japan as well as up and down UK. Well, my Swedish friend asked me to come, too, but I know her from London, so that doesn't count. Since I've started writing and with it began to frequent fora and social networking sites, I've been nothing but grateful for all the connections I've made. It's wonderful to chat with a person, knowing he or she is on the other end of the world.
One person I've met on Facebook is Vivienne. We literally stumbled over each other on a thread a mutual friend started, we began chatting and since she comes to London quite often, we decided to meet up. I'd say we had quite a good time. Often, when you get to know people online and then meet them in person, you find that your expectations aren't met. The picture of the persona you deal with via text only isn't the same. Sometimes, you can be utterly disappointed, but I actually met a lot of wonderful people. Now Vivienne and I are both authors and therefore have a lot in common, but she's also super lovely and we spoke about a lot of different things. Needless to mention I wasn't disappointed, I love easy-going people. We had lunch and there never was an awkward silence. Thank you, Facebook, for making that possible.

Okay, now something to laugh about: we met at Covent Garden.
Yes, and where's the fun in it? you might probably think. Well, I'll tell you. The tube station has either a lift or stairs -- 193 steps. I didn't really know how many, or better, I had forgotten about it and since I wasn't patient enough to wait for the lift, which would be crammed with people, I went for the stairs and almost passed out half-way up. People, if you're not fit, don't attempt to take them. I was as red in my face as the background of this blog and I also puffed like and old engine.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How to annoy your friends and followers

I've got to admit I might be a bit touchy when it comes to the topic, but those who know me, know I tell it like it is. No holding back and I'm rather sure there are many more people out there, who either suffer in silence or just click some buttons to get rid of the problem.

I'm talking about tagging, posting links, messages, over-promoting.

On Twitter:
1. There are people who only follow in hope you'll follow back. As soon as you do that, you'll receive a message telling you to check out their site, blog, book, link, picture, take your pick. It annoys me a great deal. I will take a look at your site when you say something I find interesting, no need to pester me.
2. Then you have those who post promotional links as if there is no tomorrow, no personal conversation, only link after link, clogging up my feed. I will press unfollow very soon.
3. I will not follow someone who collects followers and never tweets. What's the point? If they never tweet, they will most likely never really succeed in whatever they're doing. Or they're just collecting 50k followers to then bombard their poor and unexpecting following with their links.
4. There was a guy who followed me, when I followed back, he really had the nerve to ask me to RT his tweet. I was new and I did it, asked him to RT something in return. I will not do that again. The next person who asked had me press unfollow. 

On Facebook:
1. I've ranted about tagging in my status today. Since a few days there's this joke making its round, where you have to tag the first ten people on your friends-list and they all do silly things according to this joke. Great, I had a giggle the first time, then had  my mouth twitch the second time, but when I got tagged a couple of times more, I almost lost it. Why? Because it's not only the tagging, it's also the notification you get every time someone responds on this thread. I don't get this tagging business anyway. It might be wonderful for some teens who proudly share their drunken pictures, but I'm using facebook professionally as an author. I once had a guy tagging me in all his pictures and I couldn't even remove the tag. I had to unfriend him in the end in order to avoid it happening again.
Though I'm certainly one up for a laugh, I don't get why people feel the need to tag me in their writing. If you want me to look at your writing, ask me, being tagged feels like throwing your notes in front of me, saying: go, read it! I had one guy who tagged me almost on a daily basis, but I'm not interested in his writing. Such behavior is obnoxious. I've tagged a handful of people once, maybe twice, but I'd rather just post the note and ask for comments. Works fine without forcing others.
2  Sending a friend-request and as soon as I accept I get an invitation to look at a page or just to 'like' the page, usually a book. Sorry, dear, but I don't know you or your book yet, why would I like it? I've stopped responding to all requests. It shows up on my page and I decide what I like and what not. Or those who ask to share their link: I share what I feel 'worth it', not because you ask me to, maybe I need to know you and your writing first? In the end I'm an author who has a reputation, what if you wrote the worst book on earth and I share it? Sharing is recommending and I won't do that without knowing you or your book.

Google +
Since recently, I'm getting e-mails from friends who are new to google +. I'm so happy for them, but I'm really not happy to receive several e-mails per day telling me what they found out. If I want to know, I can google it myself and take a look. I've not asked to be in the mailing list and I will immediately unsubscribe. Luckily, only two have done it to me so far. I will forgive them, but imagine you have hundreds of friends and they all add your address and click the 'send-button' a few times per day, you'll certainly be not impressed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely for supporting each other, helping to get noticed, etc. but some people really take it to the limits. You will always find me retweeting links to blogs or books from friends and tweeps; I've had a lot of support and of course I'll give back -- with pleasure -- but I decide myself who and what, not because I get it dictated.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What is 'conflict' in a novel?

I need to get something off my chest here. Since I'm a published author I sent my books out to reviewers. Either to pure readers or to sites that specialise in reviews. Though I'm very lucky, certainly super relieved and proud to have received excellent reviews for both of my books, one thing left me puzzled a few times: a few reviewers of No Wings Attached mentioned that the conflict could have come earlier, one would have to read very far to get to it. With all due respect; I hasten to disagree.
The conflict is that Tom, being a non-human wish-consultant, is not allowed to fall in love with his very human client Celia. He constantly walks a thin line and she's got no clue. The ramifications for him developing emotions are unknown. I think that's a pretty huge conflict, one might beg to differ, but that's the whole concept of the book and I'm really confused how people cannot see it.

After a bit of thinking I came to the conclusion that people just misunderstand the concept of 'conflict'. It's said you have to have one in your book; many readers/writers/reviewers seem to think it means to have a big argument/fight between characters. That's certainly a form, but not what I refer to.

Here are a few examples of conflict:
  • Married women falls in love with another guy

  • Married husband develops a crush on another man, finds out he's gay.

  • Prison psychologist falls for inmate

  • Teacher falls for pupil

  • Boss falls for employee

  • Raped woman falls pregnant and wants to keep the child, others disagree

  • Very religious person falls in love with an atheist

Now the not so easy to see conflicts:
  • Woman has trust issues after abusive past

  • Boy starts to go off the rails after parents die in accident

  • Girl loses her sight and has to learn to adapt

  • Man finds out the wife is cheating he has troubles to come to terms with it

  • Main character learns about terminal illness

  • Loner meets someone and struggles with his being withdrawn, trying to break free

Fight scenes and arguments are not the conflicts any editor refers to, they are merely the results of the actual conflicts.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm not an iguana whisperer

Why? Because he won't listen. Since about end of May this year he became very aggressive again, to the point that I couldn't walk past his vivarium without him going ballistic. By that I mean he would run to the other side of the vivarium in order to attack me. He got extremely territorial and watched my every move. Iguanas in mating season aren't relaxed, they are constantly on alert, even when they doze. At least mine is. He will lay still for a little while, but as soon as I move, he'll jump up, trying to get me.

He's developed a beautiful orange mixed with turquoise (the picture doesn't do him justice), unfortuately, though, I can't get a good shot of him, since he won't sit still.
In addition to being rather aggressive, he only eats very little, would even deny his favourite food. He lost quite a bit of weight, but there's not much I can do apart from offering , he'll take a nibble or two, then rejects it. I first thought pain might be the reason since his nose and snout are rather battered, the result of constant jumping against the glass. But even with painkillers, he's not eating. I've tried to cover the glass with bubble wrap, with cardboard or newspapers, but he has ripped everything down. Now I've covered it with an old sheet. Because I was worried about his snout injury, I've been to the vet twice, had to give him painkillers orally, and antibiotics as injections as well as tablets. Funny enough that he acts 'all right' at the vet, exploring the new surrounding, but craned his neck when they examined him, then head-bobbed at me, who stood in the back. Cheeky bugger!

Snout injuries are rather difficult to treat, especially in mating season, since there's no chance of calming him down. Depending on what I'm wearing, I can sort of go near him, he will still try to bite me, but at least I can grab him; or when I wear a towel wrapped aound my head. (Very weird animal.). I try to wipe his lower jaw with saline (sea salt 1:1 water), this should help to desinfect and dry out the wound. Best way of doing it is when he sleeps. First off, because he's lying still all night and second, they are rather deep sleepers. He'll half-wake, head bob at me, but falls asleep immediately when I'm done.

I quickly managed to take those pictures when I opened the vivarium a bit and he tried to escape. The scales have come off, it bled when he bumped his nose repeatedly and the scab came off the next time. Looks like it's healing now, but it will take a lot of time. As you can see his nose is badly swollen, also because of the bumping into the glass (even with the covers). Mating season is a very difficult time and the farther up north you are from their country of origin, the longer it lasts. Remember, my big boy started end of May, it's almost end of August and I guess it will last another month. I've discussed options with the vet for next year, which means, he'll get an implant, which should avoid him going into mating season, since he's not bumping his nose and is a bit friendlier in general, though he's never tame and I always have to be on guard around him, at least he doesn't hurt himself.

If it works, I'll probably consider neutering since breeding is not an option as long as there are so many adult iguanas in rescue centers, abandoned because they grew or became difficult like my big boy. Many people who don't know anything about iguanas suggested to get him a female. First off, I wouldn't have the space for more iguanas, plus, an alpha male like him would probably mate one female until she dies of exhaustion. Many owners have to separate their iguanas during mating season for that very reason. I would need at least two or three females for him. Getting a female just for the purpose of mating like you do with horses would be rather dangerous, he would most probably just bite or even kill her. The stress for a female in mating season is rather high, even when they are used to each other, Iguanas a brutal, they rape their females.

To the right you see a picture of my arm shortly after I handled him. It's not only the claws, but also his skin. It's basically tiny scales and if you stroke them in the wrong direction, you can get really bad abrasions. I always look like a failed suicide, but nothing Bepanthen wouldn't be able to fix. Better than the bites that brought me to A&E. I've also lost count on how many times I've pricked myself on his spikes on his tail, they are sharp as needles. I could use gloves, but that's not recommened if you don't have a tame animal since you can't grab them properly. I've tried, but the risk of him turning around quickly, getting out of my grasp and launch at me was a bit too high, so I'd rather put up with the scratches.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to only point out the negatives here, but six months of heavy difficulties is something you have to consider when thinking about getting an iguana and it doesn't matter if you get a baby iguana or not. My big boy was tame until he got to that age. He changed from one day to another.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Am I famous now?

Probably not, but I've had
visitors on this very blog. They came from all over the world, many leave wonderful comments, start discussions, give feedback or just say hello. It's rather wonderful and I'm chuffed. I started the blog as a platform for my writing, but it has become so much more. It's about my experience as a writer and editor, as a keeper of one feisty iguana, a resource for quick, easy and delicious recipes as well as my take on life in general.

Many people find me through search engines, seeking advice on iguanas, a lot seem to like Spaghetti Bolognese and I've also quite a few visitors searching for tips on writing.

I will continue to post regularly and that with gusto.

Thank you, everyone, who has visited, contributed, recommended and come back.

I love you dearly.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another 5-star review for No Wings Attached

Since I don't know if I'm allowed to copy and paste it, here's the link to the site that reviewed the book:

If you are a book reviewer and would like to review one of my books, or do an interview with me, please get in touch. You will find my e-mail address to the right under 'About me'.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Are your scenes believable?

For most of us who write fiction it's plain fun; you can create a world, a story, characters and scenes, anything you would like to do or anyone you would like to be or meet. It's fantastic, isn't it?

So far, so good. But since we're not writing from memory, meaning something that happened to us, we rely on imagination. A lot. Especially in genres like Fantasy or Science Fiction we have to make sure that it's believable, realistic and logical. In a world that doesn't exist, the reader wants to be convinced that everything that's happening could be reality. Let's take my novel No Wings Attached as an example. My character Celia hears a voice, she turns around and looks at different people, anyone could have said something, as it always happens in public places, either in the supermarket, in the park or in the pub. If she would have been at home and hear voices, it would take the suspense away, make it unrealistic. Well, maybe not entirely, but then she'd be a case for the straight jacket.

Recently, I edited a friend's manuscript; he had a character in need to get out of a dangerous situation and the possibility to do so via a device, but my friend let his character hesitate for ten seconds, which would have been enough to be killed, so I recommended him to let him hesitate for only two seconds, which would be enough to shout a command and escape. Try counting slowly till ten, it's a long time.
Little things like that let readers stumble.

If you have a character that can jump (beam) from place to place and it's not wise to let him or her appear in a public place and walk around as if nothing happened. I bet you would be rather surprised, if not shocked if someone appears out of thin air in front of you. So check on how you would react and transfer it into your scene. Screaming, kids pointing at the person, fainting, running away in panic, people taking pictures, etc.
Think Superman, who always appears in an empty street. 

Same goes for books like romance or crime, thriller.
In case you  have a murder, what would happen in reality? How would the procedure be?
When an airplane drops out of the sky after one engine exploded and it's torn into half, what would the scenario be like? Would the air-hostess really make an announcement that they're about to die and everyone needs to remain calm? Try to imagine how naked  panic creeps up the passengers and crew, try to hear them screaming, crying, reaching for their safety kits.

The husband has a stroke in the shower, the wife comes in and finds him on the floor bleeding heavily because he's hit his head hard. Instead of calling an ambulance, she's trying to wake him up, cries and strokes his face.
Would you behave like that? Of course not, you would do it the other way round: first call the ambulance, then attend to the person.

If you try to feel and think like your character, then you should be able to make your scenes real, meaning fiction turns into reality for the reader, and that's what he or she asks for.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Breathe life into your characters and make them 3-dimensional

We often have difficulties to connect with a character; we can't put our fingers on it, but something is missing. In many cases it's the description or interaction with others. Real people have many sides to them, they are happy, they are sad, they are grumpy or even angry at times. Think about your friends; they have traits we love and traits you probably could do without, but all together, they make them complete - real.
Like the Rubik Cube to the left, we see them from different angles. The goal is to get them walking and talking like in a movie. Describing scenes is important, but so are our characters.

Looks are only one thing and I've already explained how to do it best here. But this is only one dimension. What about their behaviour? Is your MC a calm person, polite, reserved, moody, loud, withdrawn, laughs a lot, cries easily? You get the picture. It's important and very handy to have a good think about how your character should be and stay, if possible. Consistency is key, unless they go off the rails and begin to change.
The reason being is that especially in writing, you need the reader to sympathise with your character - good or bad - so every move is understandable and acceptable. The second your reader thinks: why would s/he do that? That's absolutely stupid! you've dragged your reader out of the story and most likely lost him or her.

I use my character's thoughts to get across their reasons for doing things, or I let them mutter, I let them call their friends and either rant or seek advice. I let them meet and judge each other.

For example. Celia is a very good friend to Emily, Tom witnesses it and really appreciates the trait of hers.

It's also good let them have a habit, like blowing a lock out of the face, biting fingernails, running fingers through the hair, rocking back and forth, wrinkling the forehead a specific way, make funny noises when nervous or excited. Those are all things that are noticed by others and makes the character more alive.
Let them interact differently with your other characters. You won't be the same with your boss as you would be with your best mate. Let them have a particular phrase they use and let others react to it.
Has the person a pet? A love for being colour co-ordinated, is the person a neat-freak or messy, there's so much to play around with. Just look at your friends and see how different they are, that's a great way to start with building real characteres that grab your hand and tow you with them through the book.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Musings of a Londoner about the recent riots

I love London, loved it the very first time I was here 1996 and I feel a strong connection to my new home since I move here almost five years ago. It's vibrant, it's exciting, it has lots to offer and it's a beautiful city with great architechture. I've felt safe at any given time, by day and night. Even when I was on a bus after work, in the middle of the night, witnissing a robbery. The gang of kids have stopped the bus, opened the back doors, grabbed a person's bag and ran off. It all happened within seconds and left me speechless. I wonder if their parents knew what their 12-year-old kids are doing at 4am in the streets of London. I also wonder why they didn't do anything about it if they knew. I see all sorts of things that bother me; the youths doesn't know what respect is - not all of them, of course. Recently, a young young held the door open for me, I was so perplexed I had to say how much I appreciate this polite behaviour, because you don't get this often.

Londoners are shaken by the riots, the other day I was on the market in a nearby affected area and people who don't know each other part with the words, "Stay safe, luv." One can cut the tension with a knife, shop-owners are in front of their properties to react quickly, people seem to be look around much more. London's relaxed atmosphere has changed for the time being, at least in those areas. I personally have difficulties to sleep since I live above a shop and you never know when and where it could kick off again. Now I'm not usually an easy unsettled person, but I had a bag with my passport, memory sticks, bank card and a bag for the iguana at the ready. My heart rate goes up every time when black heavy armed police vans race past my house and I worry about those who are hit this time. It's not only the shop owners with often their live's work at stake, it's also the families who live in that area, who have to evacuate their homes, not knowing if they will return to an intact flat or if it's going to burn down.
The picutes and videos of the riots shocked me, how can a person stoop so low to steal from a heavy bleeding boy who's very obviously scared to death when they approach him? And this guy walks off as if he's just won a match with a heavy weight, I don't think there's any chance to get this guy back on track. He's a lost cause.

I'm also fed up with excuses like: these kids are poor and don't have anything. Well, they have a roof over their head, they have something to eat, to wear and hot and cold water coming from a tap. I would suggest they'd go and pay the really poor countries a visit where people starve on a daily basis, where people lack the basics and don't have a chance of an education. I blame bad parenting and nothing else. Those kids don't have respect for others or even for themselves. 
Last week, I had a conversation with a very young plumber, he might be nineteen and he told me he's left his parents' house at age thirteen and lived in social homes ever since, he said he's not into drugs or alcohol and he loves his job. He's a real gem and the proof that a bad background doesn't mean you need to go off the rails. It might be an explanation, but not an excuse and I hear it far too often.
Good education begins in your own home, kids need love and bounderies, blaming the system for their behaviour, I find, is not quite right. What I blame the system for is that those kids get away with anything they're doing, the ramifikations should be worse, plus I think those who have been charged should clean up their mess instead of the volunteers who do it for them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Third donation for Japan made

Hello, lovely readers

I've now made the third donation. A total of �150 to make a round sum. It was equally divided between the British Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders as gift aid.

Here's the e-mail I've received from BRC:

Dear Stella Deleuze
Thank you for your donation to the British Red Cross - Japan Tsunami Appeal. Japanese Red Cross workers are treating the injured, providing psychological support and distributing relief items in the aftermath of a massive earthquake which hit Japan on 11 March.

Your donations make a real difference.

Thank you.
Your donation amount is: �75
Your reference number is: INC01355030

And Doctors Without Borders:

Dear Stella
Thank you for your donation of �75.00 to M�decins Sans Fronti�res UK.
The reference for this donation is W0008675

Your gift is of huge value both to our field teams and our patients. Donations such as yours make our work possible as they allow us to remain independent from political, religious and economic interests, thereby ensuring our freedom to provide medical assistance whenever and wherever it is needed.
Your support enables us to negotiate armed checkpoints and borders, to reach those most forgotten and at risk. It also means we can offer treatment for infectious diseases, to people who struggle to get even the most basic medical care, due to conflict, exclusion, or poverty.
If you have any questions about your donation or the work that it is helping to fund, please feel free to get in touch on 020 7404 6600 or email

Again, huge thank you to each and everyone who bought the book, recommended it, commented on it and helped to spread the word. I wouldn't have been able to donate over �200 for Japan and I'm really really glad I could.

Friday, August 5, 2011

No Wings Attached e-book give away!

Yes, you read right, if you have been eyeing with my romantic comedy with a twist, you now have the chance to get your greedy little fingers on a copy of the e-book. I'm totally chuffed and honoured to be a guest blogger on 
Chick Lit Central, who run the contest.

How it works?
It's really easy, just leave a comment with your e-mail address on their site, share the contest on twitter or facebook or follow their site and let them know. So many options.
Of course you can always send me some Chardonnay and chocolate, that will not get you an advantage, but make me immensely happy. :-)

Here's the blurb to see what you can expect from this novel:
What if you find out that the man you love has got secrets and you are not who you think you are?
Life couldn't get any worse for 32-year-old Celia: single again and working in two jobs she hates; the last thing she needs is falling for gorgeous, out-of-her-league, arrogant Tom.
Being a wish-consultant, Tom has to make up for a failed case and is sent to make her wishes come true without his usual skills. Not easy when she's reluctant to talk to him. In order to help her become happy, he needs to win her trust and unexpectedly develops feelings he shouldn't have. When finally everything seems to fall into place for Celia, she receives a phone call that turns her world upside down once again.

This is a light-hearted romantic comedy a la Bridget Jones meets Charmed; no vampires, no werewolves, only the odd human with some supernatural powers. Suitable for readers who usually don't like paranormal.
And the latest review from a UK reader:

Couldn't put the book down. I started this book and honestly couldn't stop. I loved the plot, fell in love with the characters and can't wait for the next one. This is going in my favourites folder so I can read over and over again. If you want a book that catches you right from start to finish - this is the book for you. 

Is your interest piqued? Then hop over to Chick Lit Central and enter the contest. It's free and their site has always something interesting to read, too.

Good luck, everyone.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dear Royal Mail...

... was it really necessary that I had to receive an e-mail from one very lovely reader, who, after patiently waiting for Lulu to deliver one little book to me, so that I could sign it and send it to her, has now been waiting for three weeks for said little book, which I have sent on the 15th of July at 14.46 from my local post office after paying for recorded delivery; so lovingly and securely wrapped, after I signed my name and wrote a personal note, with a --  special for those occasions -- received as present, fountain pen, telling me that the item still hasn't arrive yet?
The book I'm talking about is the paperback version of my short stories, the one with the iguana in a sock on the cover, the one that got excellent reviews, which prompted the previously mentioned wonderful reader to write me an e-mail to ask if there would be a possibility to order the physical version, so that she could enjoy it on the couch, maybe smile about the signature and personal note first, before leafing through the pages in anticipation of an amusing evening.
Now, Royal Mail, I would like to know why you would want to deny the lady that very event, who, after having had such a bad experience, would probably, due to the trouble getting her hands on a copy, which she certainly less expected than the item itself, have difficulties to be excited should it eventually arrive.

Why, Royal Mail, do you have to lose this one letter I post in a year, forcing me to give up very precious time to fill in a complaint form that would make any other person with little time more than nervous, to claim back the money I've spent, not only one book, but also on postage, which, quite frankly, I find outrageous, wondering why the recorded delivery delivers a recording that doesn't deliver.

I, dear, Royal Mail, am not amused.

If you ever find that lost letter, you know where to send it to.

Yours (un)faithfully,

Stella Deleuze