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Category Archives: ebooks

Latest News… Morgen signs with Bombshell Books!

Yes! I’m beyond excited… my women’s fiction novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List has been picked up by Bombshell Books, an imprint of Bloodhound Books! It’ll be published on Thursday 12th July 2018, available online and from all good bookshops (so do support your local bookshop and ask for your copy). 🙂

– Tagline: 31 men in 31 days what could possibly go wrong?

– Short blurb: Given the challenge of dating 31 men in 31 days by boss William, technology journalist Isobel soon realises that her list of ‘wants’ and the reality of the men she meets are eons apart. Will she meet the man of her dreams or does the mix of the weird and wonderful instil in her that she’s destined to be single?

– Long blurb: Isobel MacFarlane is a recently-turned-40 journalist who usually writes a technology column for a newspaper based in Northampton, England, but her somewhat-intimidating boss, William, has set her the task of meeting 31 men, via a local internet dating site, all within a month. Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend and ‘Health & Beauty’ colleague Donna, she knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts, and starts ticking them off as she meets Mr Could Be Right Except For, Mr Not Bad, Mr Oh My Goodness and Mr Oh So Very Wrong. Follow the ups (there are a few) and downs (there are many) of the dating process and intertwined with her experiences, get to know her colleague and family, including her niece Lola who, apart from being an amazing storyteller, can eat ambidextrously whilst wearing a Princess glove puppet on her right hand, and Baby, William’s non-too-healthy African Grey parrot.

And you can watch John Scotcher read the first chapter… click the ‘play’ icon in the screen below…

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Posted by on March 31, 2018 in ebooks, novels, writing

 

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My ‘5pm Fictions Collection’ (250 stories) is free today… for the last time!

This is the full collection of five volumes (250 stories) written one a day, and is free today, Saturday 31st March.

The stories in these collections vary in length, point of view (first, second and third) and genre.

Volume 1: Here there are family heirlooms, thefts, murders, kidnapping, Chelsea buns, and alien hums. We meet mothers, strange little girls, characters looking to improve themselves, and several cold feet.

Volume 2: There are criminals, victims, revenge, men in uniform, luck and misfortune, sharp edges, sticky red hands, no faded circle of skin. We meet a generous aunt, a fan of Hawaiian shirts, a modern-day Cleopatra, and a young girl with wings.

Volume 3: Here we have neighbourhood watch, chalk and fromage, a picture on a mantelpiece, , a whooshing sound. We meet a daddy’s girl, a cry baby, Dad’s Army, a borrowed dog, an African grey parrot, amateur actors, and others who don’t listen, are doing their best, feel stupid, or should have knocked.

Volume 4: Here we have young and old love, spirited and strained relationships, local and exotic locations, and those who love or loathe shopping, circuses and those who think their life is a circus. We meet a disillusioned artist, an eight-foot tall blue alien, untidy teenagers, a fortune teller, and several dogs and dead (human) bodies.

Volume 5: Here we have a passion wagon, a full moon, police escorts, tugged hearts and curved smiles. We meet a variety of dogs (including borrowed and best in show), a ghost from a half-empty bed, an American werewolf in London, a contented tree, and spouses with revenge on their mind.

Download this for free today from http://mybook.to/5pmFictionCollection (this link leads to the Amazon store in your country) and you can see the writing prompts that inspired these collections at can see the writing prompts that inspired this collection at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/my-writing/short-stories/5pm-fiction.

Below is one of the stories from this collection (my favourite):

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Posted by on March 31, 2018 in ebooks, ideas, short stories, writing

 

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Book review – for readers and writers – no.173: Morgen Bailey reviews Holmes: The Darlington Substitution by Melvyn Small

Today’s book review of a novella is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. I no longer take requests for reviews but you’re welcome to send me your book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

Being a writer and editor, I read and review books with both hats. If you’re a writer reading this review and found it useful, do let me know.

Holmes: The Darlington Substitution by Melvyn Small

Synopsis: With Watson’s literary career going from strength to strength, he secures a slot on local radio to publicise his new book.  Uncertain as how to well it went, he is still a little surprised when the recording isn’t broadcast. Although disappointed, he disregards this snub to his confidence as a peculiar but unimportant bend in the path of his literary career.

Sherlock Holmes is not so dismissive. He seizes upon the event, certain that there is more to this rebuff than meets the eye. He grills Watson to the content of his interview, convinced a key fact will reveal all. There is nothing. Watson is sure off that. An investigation ensues that takes Holmes to the end of the known world, a place just near Thirsk.

The Darlington Substitution is a retrospective account, occurring during the same time as the adventures chronicled in Holmes Volume 2. It sees Holmes at the height of his wisecracking, foulmouthed, law disregarding deductive brilliance.

This novella is available in chapter segments via https://www.indipenned.com/index.php?p1=short-stories with more information at http://www.melsmall.com/fiction/darlington-substitution.

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Melvyn Small is an author and the founder of Indipenned, a website that champions the work of independent literature. Thus far he has written two books, Holmes Volume 1 and the imaginatively titled follow up Holmes Volume 2 (Subsequently republished by Fahrenheit Press as the Victor Locke Chronicles).

Mel’s perhaps unique spin on Sherlock Holmes, which places the character in a different time, location and section of society, has found fans around the world and is fast becoming a cult classic.  His writing style is pacey and littered with gin-dry humour. It has been described as “hilarious, clever and hugely enjoyable.”  The Darlington Substitution novella is his longest story so far and perhaps his best work to date.

Review

As a crime fan, I love a murder mystery. Although my preference is for contemporary – not a fan of anything before the 1980s (I’m a late sixties baby) – I know the Holmes and Watson stories well enough, albeit from the television more than the written word. As an editor, I’m a tough crowd but was soon won over. During Watson’s first encounter (other than with Holmes), he’s invited to download another author’s book so I knew I was in even more familiar territory.

The swearing near the start might put off the more sensitive of readers but it’s far from indicative of the story or quality of the writing. You don’t have to be a Holmes efficienado but I smiled as there were familiar names (the Twisted Lip pub to name one).

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Posted by on March 8, 2018 in critique, ebooks, novels, review, writing

 

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Coming tomorrow…

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2018 in critique, ebooks, events, novels, review, writing

 

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Morgen’s March’s free 100-word competition is now open!

*** PLEASE check your word count (100 words exactly – no more, no less – EXcluding title) and do submit more than one story to give yourself a better chance of being placed. ***

Hello everyone. Yes, February’s competition is closed, with the results due to be announced on (or before) Friday 9th March. The theme for March is ‘superstitious’ which you can now submit and any time during until Saturday 31st March (midnight UK time).

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Seeking marketing guru / writer

Hello everyone. I’m looking for someone who has a proven successful track record in marketing, ideally books. Other than touting my eBooks on their free days, I do no marketing and I’d like that to change… or rather not me doing the marketing but someone who is an expert in that field.

Being self-employed however, I have very limited funds. I’m therefore looking to swap skills, i.e. they are also a writer so I do their ediitng (see Editing and Critique for my testimonials) while they do my marketing.

Could this be you? If so, please email me at morgen@morgenbailey.com with details of your services.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2018 in critique, ebooks

 

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Book review – for readers and writers – no.173: Morgen reviews Rocco and the Nightingale by Adrian Magson

Today’s book review, is brought to you by Adrian Magson who gave us ‘A Change of Setting’ yesterday and previously talked about planning.

I no longer take review requests but you can read the ones done to-date on book-reviews. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. So, on to today’s book…

Rocco and the Nightingale

Synopsis: When a minor Paris criminal is found stabbed in the neck on a country lane in Picardie it looks like another case for Inspector Lucas Rocco. But instead he is called off to watch over a Gabonese government minister, hiding out in France following a coup.

Meanwhile, Rocco discovers that there is a contract on his head taken out by an Algerian gang leader with a personal grudge against him.

The novel is available from https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rocco-Nightingale-Inspector-Lucas/dp/0995751013 (change the .co.uk to your country).

Author biography: Adrian is a freelance writer and reviewer, the author of twenty-two crime and spy thrillers, a writer’s help book (at the back of which I get a credit!), a young adult ghost novel and two collections of short fiction.

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Review

As many crime novels do, the story alternates between the criminals and police, and poor Rocco has the added complication of babysitting a reluctant African dignitary – accompanied by his bodyguard – with scant support from Rocco’s superiors. Over the course of the novel, we meet a variety of Rocco’s colleagues and a fine array of the underworld’s finest.

As a former dog owner, I liked the comparison between one of the victims and a sheepdog “that didn’t understand what he’s supposed to do. Good at running but crap at following the whistle.” Funny.

Humour is often evident in crime novels, and it’s well known that the police (in real life) make jokes to keep themselves, and their colleagues, sane. Another particularly amusing line was (and I assure you that it doesn’t refer to a child but a man from the Interior Ministry): ‘Rocco wondered if drop-kicking the little tyke down the stairs could be done without losing his job, and decided not. Maybe he could put sugar in his petrol tank… or something stronger.’ (Don’t try that at home!)

There was plenty of conflict – good vs. evil as well as antagonising characters – and well paced.

This is the fifth novel in the Rocco series. I’ve not yet read the previous stories so came to this one as a standalone reader and didn’t feel that I had (a) missed vital information that had already been covered in the previous novels that we should have had here; nor (b) information where it feels it’s been over-explained.

Rocco himself is highly professional and dedicated, wanting to solve the cases he’s involved in (and one’s he’s relieved of). He’s wily, and cleverly outplays a younger colleague without her knowing to suit his end without the reader losing any respect for him because we know it’s in the best interest of the case.

And now for writers…

  • The best piece of writing advice is to ‘show’ not ‘tell’. An example in this novel is ‘The old man looked shocked’ which is fine but it’s always best to have the character doing or saying something, e.g. ‘The old man’s mouth dropped open, his eyes wide’… or something better! 🙂
  • Exposition is a lesser-known term. It’s where two characters are talking about a topic they both are familiar with and know a piece of information but one has forgotten it and asks the other to remind them. It is a technique some authors use to provide information for the reader’s benefit. This may not have been Adrian’s intention but it’s a useful occurrence as I get to tell you about it. So, in this case we have…
    Character 1: ‘Maybe the information was rubbish.’
    Character 2: ‘What was it again?’
  • There were few clichés, which are fine in dialogue (up to a point – one character only) but less so in narration and an example is ‘nip it in the bud’.
  • At times, the story strayed into present tense, e.g. now, here, this, today etc. When writing in past tense, the narration should stay in past tense so the equivalents would be: then (although most ‘now’s can actually be removed), that, the previous day / a day earlier / the day before etc. Dialogue will be present tense regardless.
  • There were also points where it wasn’t clear who the he / she / him / her was where there were two characters of the same gender in the same scene or conversation. An example would be: ‘Rocco wasn’t so sure. It was the end of a long road, and time would tell if the charges stuck and Farek went down. He had no illusions about what a clever lawyer could do…’. The ‘He’ means Rocco but the last male name mentioned was Farek so the reader could think it was Farek who had no illusions.

Conclusion

It was an intricate plot, cleverly weaved, but I didn’t feel lost or confused, the expertise of the author of so many (twenty-two) novels. It was interesting to see how the threads would converge at the end.

Although crime is my favourite genre, I’m not normally a reader of historical fiction. With the occasional reference, e.g. telex rather than fax or email, and characters being threatened with the guillotine, it felt like a contemporary story and for me, an enjoyable read.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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If you would like to send me a book review, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in critique, ebooks, novels, short stories, writing

 

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