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FREEBIE ALERT! My new quirky mystery novella After Jessica is FREE today 27 Nov!

after-jessica-cover-front-smallHello everyone. I’m delighted that my new quirky crime mystery novella After Jessica is FREE today, 27 Nov via http://mybook.to/AfterJessica.

Jessica is an ordinary girl who comes across extraordinary circumstances and pays for them with her life. As well as identifying her body, her brother Simon then has to wind up her affairs but gets more than he bargains for. Who is Alexis, and why are Veronica and Daniel searching for her? Why is there a roll of cash in Jessica’s house, and what’s the connection between Simon’s sister and Alexis?

***

Extract: 

He slammed both hands on the emergency brake and the train jolted, slowing nowhere near as quickly as he was pleading it to. He could hear shouting from the carriage behind him, but was too busy concentrating on what, or who, was in front of him to pay any attention. His first thought was another clueless animal, but as he got nearer, he realised it was a car and something inside it was moving.

As the two machines grew nearer, he could smell burning rubber and saw the smoke as the car’s tyres made contact with the edges of the track. As he stared at the inevitable, he knew nothing he or the car driver did would be enough to avoid the impact.

He stared at the driver facing him. He could see her hands gripping the steering wheel. She’d screwed her eyes shut, seemingly knowing her fate, but he guessed by her right shoulder dancing forwards and backwards that she was still trying the pedals.

Then to his surprise, she stilled and opened her eyes, staring straight at him. When they were just a few feet apart, she mouthed something which looked like “sorry” but he couldn’t be sure.

As metal hit metal, it was the highest pitch noise he had ever heard. Expecting the inevitable grinding sound, he remembered afterwards being shocked that it sounded like a beautiful violin. Of course, there was nothing beautiful about what had happened but instead of being afraid, he was calm. As calm as the woman he’d been face to face with; the woman with green eyes.

He wasn’t sure why he’d smiled and she’d done the same, just before mouthing that one final word.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2016 in ebooks, novels, writing

 

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Guest post: Putting Words In Their Mouths – How I Write Dialogue by Kristen Bailey

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of dialogue, is brought to you by novelist and short story author Kristen Bailey.

Putting Words In Their Mouths – How I Write Dialogue

kristenWhen I was little, I was always slightly in awe of the cinema. I was a child of the eighties, when films were always a big event and I spent many hours with my sister and brother watching films over and over again until the video tapes sometimes snapped. It didn’t stop there, we would re-enact them, and commit a vast repertoire of classic lines to memory. I would like to say I’ve matured a lot since then, but still now Sunday lunch will be spent with the three of us quoting entire scenes from films that no-one else has seen, to the despair of my parents who wonder where they went wrong raising us…

It’s why I often think I’m obsessed with dialogue when I write. It’s the part of writing I actually love the most as it gives my characters life and purpose. By rights, this means I should probably be a screenwriter but instead I write contemporary women’s fiction where dialogue always features heavily and which often has to have an acerbic comedy edge to it. Does this mean my work is brimming with one-liners and jokes? Not really, and especially when it comes to dialogue. Few people speak like stand-up comedians and I know immediately if I’ve forced a joke in my dialogue as it will feel unnatural on reading it aloud. A lot of comedy is actually in the delivery and the situation, but it’s also not always explicit. It can be observational or paired with the reaction of someone’s inner thoughts. An editor once gave me the good advice to limit the amount of swearing I used in dialogue too. Saying ‘f***’ a lot can be amusing but can be jarring to read in print. It’s far funnier to be inventive instead: consider the usual ‘f****** hell!’ and how a replacement like ‘mother of arsebiscuits!’ is more memorable yet equally as impactful.

In both my novels, Souper Mum and Second Helpings, I also gave myself the challenge of tackling a variety of dialects; Tommy McCoy is a Mockney TV chef, Jools’ husband, Matt is Scottish, his mother Italian, Cam is American and Remy, Luella’s husband is French. Why not just ensure all my characters are from South London? Well, where would be the fun in that! I think it’s a tribute to my background and line of work. I’ve always loved, listening to the way that people talk; the intonation, the rhythm, the dialect that sets any one speaker apart from another. I trained and worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language so have always been fine tuned into listening to people’s accents but it’s also something I grew up with having a Singaporean mother and Guyanese father. Of course, authenticity is key here, so when writing dialogue in dialect I always read it aloud. My husband knows this better than most as he often wanders into a darkened room confused as to why I’m doing bad impressions of Shrek…

Inspiration to write dialogue can come from different sources too. I am admittedly a bit nosy and a great eavesdropper, nothing gives me greater joy than being sat on a crowded train and being inspired by two drunk people having a conversation about nothing. Because sometimes conversations have no purpose, their credibility is in their normality. In Second Helpings especially, there are scenes between Matt and Jools littered with incomplete sentences and a conversational ‘shorthand’ that is often evident between couples who have lived with each other for so long that they implicitly know what the other is talking about. In these scenes, economy is key: the prose takes over but I annotate the action with periods of comfortable silence too.

However, I’m still a TV/film addict too. I believe some of the best writing today is on television, and hearing dialogue being read out, as it should, can give you such great clues into how people really speak. Orange is The New Black has some of the best one-liners I’ve ever heard, the dialogue is not only slick but the comedy comes with how quick they spew out those lines, one on top of the other. For comedy inspiration, I always go back to shows like New Girl, Sex and the City, Modern Family and anything by Graham Linehan.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2016 in articles, ebooks, novels, short stories, tips, writing

 

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My new Northamptonshire crime novella eBook ‘Hitman Sam’ is free today!

hitman-sam-cover-front-smallHello everyone. I’m delighted that my crime lad lit novella Hitman Sam – about a trainee hitman – is FREE today Wednesday 23 Nov via http://mybook.to/HitmanSam (this links to your Amazon shop)

Blurb: Newly-redundant software designer Sam Simpson is looking for a new adventure – a cryptic advert in his local paper gives him that, and more. With two women vying for his affection, going behind their backs isn’t the smartest things he’s ever done.

See https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/novels/hitman-sam for more details.

If you’ve missed this offer, then it’s only 99c / 99p to download anyway.🙂

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in ebooks, novels, short stories, writing

 

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Four of my 50-story collection eBooks are free today / this week!

Covers montage - 5pms 1-5

Hello everyone. I’m delighted that four of my 50-story 5pm Fictions ebooks are free today / this week.

1. My Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 2 is free today, Monday 21st November 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. http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol2

You can see the writing prompts that inspired these collections at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/my-writing/short-stories/5pm-fiction.

2. My Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 3 (50 shorts) will be free tomorrow Tuesday 22nd November. 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. http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol3

3. My Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 4 (50 shorts) will be free on Thursday 24th November. 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. http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol4

4. My Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 5 (50 shorts) is free Friday 25th November. 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. http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol5

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in ebooks, ideas, short stories, writing

 

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Chick lit dating novel FREE on Amazon today, Sunday 20 Nov

tsdsl-cover-nov-2016-blogHello everyone. I’m delighted that my Northampton-based chick-lit novel eBook ‘The Serial Dater’s Shopping List’ is FREE today. I hope you enjoy and if you do (or don’t and can say why) please do leave a review. It means SO much to us authors. Thank you.

***

31 dates in 31 days – what could possibly go wrong? 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.

***

Download for free from http://mybook.to/SerialDater (this link goes to Amazon in your country)

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in ebooks, novels, writing

 

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All five of my 50-story collection eBooks are free today / this week!

Hello everyone. I’m delighted that all five of my 50-story 5pm Fictions ebooks are free today / this week.

Covers montage - 5pms 1-51. My Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 1 (50 shorts and flash fictions) is FREE today, Saturday 19 Nov!

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.

This book is available via http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol1

You can see the writing prompts that inspired these collections at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/my-writing/short-stories/5pm-fiction.

2. Then tomorrow, my Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 2 will be free on Monday 21st November 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. http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol2

3. My Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 3 (50 shorts) will be free on Tuesday 22nd November. 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. http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol3

4. My Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 4 (50 shorts) will be free on Thursday 24th November. 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. http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol4

5. My Fifty 5pm Fictions eBook Vol 5 (50 shorts) is FREE Friday 25th November.

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. http://mybook.to/FiftyFictionsVol5

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2016 in ebooks, ideas, short stories, writing

 

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FREEBIE ALERT! My new quirky mystery novella After Jessica is FREE today 13 Nov!

after-jessica-cover-front-smallHello everyone. I’m delighted that my new quirky crime mystery novella After Jessica is FREE today, 13 Nov via http://mybook.to/AfterJessica.

Jessica is an ordinary girl who comes across extraordinary circumstances and pays for them with her life. As well as identifying her body, her brother Simon then has to wind up her affairs but gets more than he bargains for. Who is Alexis, and why are Veronica and Daniel searching for her? Why is there a roll of cash in Jessica’s house, and what’s the connection between Simon’s sister and Alexis?

***

Extract:

He slammed both hands on the emergency brake and the train jolted, slowing nowhere near as quickly as he was pleading it to. He could hear shouting from the carriage behind him, but was too busy concentrating on what, or who, was in front of him to pay any attention. His first thought was another clueless animal, but as he got nearer, he realised it was a car and something inside it was moving.

As the two machines grew nearer, he could smell burning rubber and saw the smoke as the car’s tyres made contact with the edges of the track. As he stared at the inevitable, he knew nothing he or the car driver did would be enough to avoid the impact.

He stared at the driver facing him. He could see her hands gripping the steering wheel. She’d screwed her eyes shut, seemingly knowing her fate, but he guessed by her right shoulder dancing forwards and backwards that she was still trying the pedals.

Then to his surprise, she stilled and opened her eyes, staring straight at him. When they were just a few feet apart, she mouthed something which looked like “sorry” but he couldn’t be sure.

As metal hit metal, it was the highest pitch noise he had ever heard. Expecting the inevitable grinding sound, he remembered afterwards being shocked that it sounded like a beautiful violin. Of course, there was nothing beautiful about what had happened but instead of being afraid, he was calm. As calm as the woman he’d been face to face with; the woman with green eyes.

He wasn’t sure why he’d smiled and she’d done the same, just before mouthing that one final word.

 
 

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