Final day of Oh, Henry’s debut tour – more lovely reviews

The fifth and final day of the debut tour for my dog detective novel, has received three more kind reviews (click their names to read the full review):

Oh, Henry is an absolute treasure of a tale, or should that be tail? Being a huge dog lover, I’m a sucker for a shaggy dog story and this one was pure brilliance. Henry was everything I imagined a talking dog would be and more!” Neats @lilac_hippo

“Morgen Bailey is one of my favourite authors… her writer’s voice is so quirky… never loses that magic touch… this charming and witty novel… appeals on so many levels… a must for lovers of quirky cosy mysteries… I loved it!” Kerry @cats_herding

“love the premise… the author is so strong in her writing and can write so many different styles of books that you find something you love.” Sean @seantalbot1977

What a fabulous way to end an amazing week. 🙂

My thanks as always to Sarah of Book on the Bright Side for arranging. And to Caroline Vincent for arranging the givaway… do take part… there are fourteen prizes up for grabs (details below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the giveaway (which finishes midnight Friday / Saturday, has the following prizes:

And all you have to do is:

  • Follow me on Twitter (worth two entries)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (worth two entries)
  • Visit my page on Facebook (worth one entry)
  • Leave a blog post comment (worth three entries).

Click on the picture above or here to find out more.

Day four of Oh, Henry’s debut tour – two more lovely reviews

The fourth day of the debut tour for my dog detective novel, has received two more kind reviews (click their names to read the full review):

“…a very clever dog… creates some funny situations… love to meet Henry in his first of hopefully a lot of adventures” Els @BookreviewB

“any age will enjoy it… really loved the way Morgen made Henry more human like… if you love dogs you will love this book” Simon @SimonJLeonard

How very kind and generous. 🙂

My thanks as always to Sarah of Book on the Bright Side for arranging. And to Caroline Vincent for arranging the givaway… do take part… there are fourteen prizes up for grabs (details below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the giveaway (which finishes midnight Friday / Saturday, has the following prizes:

And all you have to do is:

  • Follow me on Twitter (worth two entries)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (worth two entries)
  • Visit my page on Facebook (worth one entry)
  • Leave a blog post comment (worth three entries).

Click on the picture above or here to find out more.

Day three of Oh, Henry’s debut tour – more lovely reviews

The third day of the debut tour for my dog detective novel, has received two more kind reviews (click their name to read the full review):

“This is an excellent book that will appeal to all age ranges.  A talking dog story may be thought of as a child’s book, but this book works well on all levels.”  Caroline @thedivinewrite1

“a good read… a brilliant idea… a fun read… I can’t wait to read the sequel… I enjoyed the characters and plot” Sarah @sbroadhurst

How very kind and generous. 🙂

My thanks as always to Sarah of Book on the Bright Side for arranging. And to Caroline Vincent for arranging the givaway… do take part… there are fourteen prizes up for grabs (details below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the giveaway (which finishes midnight Friday / Saturday, has the following prizes:

And all you have to do is:

  • Follow me on Twitter (worth two entries)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (worth two entries)
  • Visit my page on Facebook (worth one entry)
  • Leave a blog post comment (worth three entries).

Click on the picture above or here to find out more.

Day two of Oh, Henry’s debut tour garners two fabulous reviews

The second day of the debut tour for my dog detective novel, has received two more amazing reviews (click their names to read the full reviews):

“I knew this was the book for me… I was chuckling away… an adorable read… this delightful book… addictive and charming… enjoying the author’s writing style… will appeal to everybody… I just didn’t want the book to end… a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.” Amanda @Ginger_bookgeek on Twitter

“Absolutely charming… a clever mystery all make for an entertaining and enjoyable read… it’s a book that can be enjoyed by many as it’s just a lovely creation… a clear promise of more adventures to come… I’ll definitely be looking forward to joining Henry on those.” Alex @red_bristol

How lovely, kind and generous. 🙂

My thanks as always to Sarah of Book on the Bright Side for arranging. And to Caroline Vincent for arranging the givaway… do take part… there are fourteen prizes up for grabs (details below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the giveaway (which finishes midnight Friday / Saturday, has the following prizes:

And all you have to do is:

  • Follow me on Twitter (worth two entries)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (worth two entries)
  • Visit my page on Facebook (worth one entry)
  • Leave a blog post comment (worth three entries).

Click on the picture above or here to find out more.

A wonderful first day of Oh, Henry’s debut tour

It’s come around so quickly… The first day of the debut tour for my dog detective novel, has received some lovely reviews (click their names for the full reviews):

“This was one heck of an adventure. Henry was simply the cutest. I loved the way the author had characterized him, giving him intelligence and mannerisms of a human. His life away from the facility was filled with its own highs and lows.” courtesy of Shalini (@Shalini_G26 on Twitter)

“It certainly made me smile… the perfect read for grandparents… a larger than life character (think Scooby Do)… an enjoyable read.” Nicki (@nickijmurphy1 on Twitter)

“A really fun book!.. the author has nailed it perfectly and Henry was fab… ace!… really looking forward to the next book.” Donna (@dmmaguire391 on Twitter)

My thanks as always to Sarah of Book on the Bright Side for arranging. And to Caroline Vincent for arranging the givaway… do take part… there are fourteen prizes up for grabs (details below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the giveaway (which finishes midnight Friday / Saturday, has the following prizes:

And all you have to do is:

  • Follow me on Twitter (worth two entries)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (worth two entries)
  • Visit my page on Facebook (worth one entry)
  • Leave a blog post comment (worth three entries).

Click on the picture above or here to find out more.

Stage 32’s Screenwriting Contest Deadline Approaches

I’ve received the following email…
We’re proud of this fact:  8 of our past finalists have been signed, placed on writing staffs, optioned, or put into development! Do you have a stellar feature script? Maybe now it’s your turn!
FINAL DEADLINE IN LESS THAN 2 WEEKS!
ENDS September 20 –  enter your script now!

Use code MCKEE2017 to get $10 OFF your entry fee

Our winner this year will meet with a  Dream Team of executive mentors who can help you on your path with everything you need from script notes to development to production including:

  • Literary Manager (Spencer Robinson) – Art/Work Entertainment, clients writing credits include:  Arrival, Lights Out, Arrow, Eastbound and Down, The Mick, Will & Grace and more.
  • Development Executive (Rachel Crouch) – Cold Iron Pictures, credits include:  Swiss Army Man, Diary of a Teenage Girl.
  • Producer (David Harris) – credits include:  Security (Antonio Banderas, Ben Kingsley, Gabriella Wright),  Desolation (David Moscow)
  • Screenwriter (David Paterson) – Lionsgate’s  The Great Gilly Hopkins (Octavia Spencer, Glenn Close, Kathy Bates), Disney’s  Bridge to Terabithia (Josh Hutcherson, Zooey Deschanel, Bailee Madison)
  • Director (Tyler Gillet) – credits include: FOX’s  Devil’s DueV/H/S (Sundance)
  • Entertainment Attorney (Jordan Barel) – worked for AMC and New Line Cinema

This is a one-of-a-kind prize that can help you forge great relationships and change your career. You’ll meet face-to-face with your dream team and get started on the road to professional writing!

You have until  Wednesday Sept. 20 at midnight to enter for the final deadline. Our judges are looking forward to reading your work!

Use code MCKEE2017 to get $10 OFF your entry fee: https://www.stage32.com/happy-writers/contests/3rd-Annual-Feature-Screenplay-Contest

Wednesday’s Child placed second in the annual NWG members comp

A ‘Woo hoo!’… my story below has been placed second in the Northampton Writers Group annual short story competition. I originally wrote it (almost a year ago) as the first-placed story in my now defunct 500-word competition (where you provided the prompts and I wrote the stories – as close to 500 words as I could get – from my favourite prompts). If you go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/626510 you can read the runner-up, ‘Number 18’, as well as see what else I have on offer. So, here is the story with the prompts, supplied by Jane Dutton, below it.

Wednesday’s child

Peering over his John Lennon glasses, Byron Salisbury, of Salisbury, Peech and Talbot, studied the legal documents adorning his leather-topped mahogany desk, then re-read the birth certificate given to him by the young man sitting opposite. “Oh.”

George Foxbury edged forward on the Chesterfield visitors chair. “Oh, Mr Salisbury?”

“There is…” Salisbury scratched his right cheek. “There is a… er, bit of a hitch.”

“Hitch?”

“Just a small… very small…” Salisbury pinched together his right thumb and first finger then peeled them apart, leaving a miniscule gap. “Nothing that cannot be worked out, I am sure, Mr Foxbury. George.”

“Let me guess…” George sighed. “Grand pa pa Henry’s left all his money to a cat’s home?”

Salisbury shook his head.

“Most?”

Salisbury shook his head again.

“No, a dog’s home. It was Grand ma ma who loved cats.”

Salisbury coughed as he rubbed his hands.

George Foxbury looked from the solicitor, out through the window to the trees thrashing around thanks to Storm Katie, then back at the solicitor via the bland magnolia walls. “I don’t mind how much money he’s left to… whichever… but I’d really like the house.”

Salisbury frowned, pushing his glasses further down his nose. “I’m afraid it says here you inherit all his wealth–”

“Yes!” George clapped his hands and leapt up, grabbing Salisbury’s right hand, shaking it vigorously.

Salisbury cleared his throat then watched George sit as the words “I’m afraid” sank in.

“Afraid of what?” the younger man asked.

“As his… legally proven next of kin, you are to inherit the estate of Henry Foxbury III, late of Foxbury Hall, Bumbington, Oxfordshire.”

“Yes, yes,” George chivvied.

“Yes indeed. You are to inherit the said estate on your eighteenth birthday.”

“Right. The year after next.”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Why?”

“Because legally you are…”

George leaned further forward. “I am…”

“2000… 2016…”

“Sixteen, yes. I’ll be eighteen in two years.”

“No.”

“What do you mean ‘no’?”

“You were born at the end of February.”

“Yes.”

“The very end.”

“Yes.”

“The very very end.”

“Yes. So?”

“Have you ever looked at your birth certificate?”

“Not really. Grand ma ma kept it with all the other official paperwork after my parents died… with Grand pa pa Henry’s driving licence, shotgun licences, other guff, you know. She kept them all together, our three, in an envelope marked ‘Birth Certificates’. I just pulled out mine. Checked my name.”

“And you know what year it is this year?”

“Of course. 2016. What’s that go to do with–?”

“A leap year, George. What day do you think you were born on?”

“I’m not sure. I think Grand ma ma said it was a Wednesday. Far to go.”

“Wednesday is full of woe. Let me just check…”

George pursed his lips as the solicitor looked up something on his computer.

“It was a Tuesday, George. Full of grace, and I hope you will be as I explain how this is going to go.”

*

  • Character name/s: George Foxbury, Henry Foxbury, Mr Salisbury
  • Location: Solicitor’s office
  • Object: Henry’s will
  • Dilemma: George is expecting to inherit on the 18th anniversary of his birth. He was born on February 29th.
  • Character trait / emotion / quirk: Henry is dead. Mr Salisbury rubs his hands frequently and pronounces his words carefully.
  • Colour / shade of colour: Magnolia
  • Other comments: George is sole beneficiary.

Results of Morgen’s (free) 100-word competition: November 2015

Hello everyone. There were twenty-two entries this month, two of which were disqualified: one entrant had submitted for the October theme of ‘unlucky Halloween’ rather than ‘fireworks’ and I had to disqualify another story for being the wrong word count (102). It’s because there were two sets of ellipses (…) then the next word without a space in between. Put the space in between and it creates two words instead of one, i.e. “I’m not sure that… oh, OK.” is six words rather than five. ‘that…oh’ is not one word. Don’t rely on Word’s (or whichever software programme you use) word count. It’s only 100 words. Double-check yourself. It’s good practice. Oh, and remember that – as listed in the rules – a hyphenated word (e.g. well-known) counts as one, not two, and bullet points don’t count as words.

I know judges say this but it was a tough choice this month… quite a few authors narrowly missed out on being Highly Commended and some had only submitted one story. You can send up to three per month so it’s worth doing so. If you don’t succeed – or even if you do – you still have the piece to send elsewhere.

So without further ado… drum roll please… here are the results…

Winner: Alyson Faye with ‘A Guy for the Children’

a. bonfire 175864Fear coats me, like a second skin. ‘Remember remember the 5th November….’ The kids shriek the old rhyme while they leg it round the playground, chucking old cans and used condoms at me. Huddled, shivering, inside my tatty raincoat, I rock myself for comfort. ‘Go away,’ I whisper. It’s dark. Late. I wish I had somewhere else to be. Their shadows flit in and out of the swings and climbing frame, looping, swirling. Their hands ablaze with sparklers, which they thrust at me. ‘Run!’ one shouts. ‘Jump!’ screams another. The newspapers around me burst into flame. I will be headlines.

(Alyson wins three of my six Creative writing courses)

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Second placed: Eleanor Wrightson with ‘Our Guilty Embers’

b. tag 934233There he was. The man who charred my soul. He was beside the river, a cigarette plucked between his teeth. The burning tobacco sparked reminders of my bubbling flesh. It scolded my senses. His lulling grin ebbing as the firework bolted through my chest. Now he’s calm, rooting in the algae, puffing away the sadness that I created. His stuttering body is trapped by an ankle tag, a crude reminder of the life we lost. He spits fire, “It’s all your fault”. This time, it’s my guilt that forms the flame, that shoots our firework to light up the night.

(Eleanor wins two of my six Creative writing courses)

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Third placed: Aileen with ‘Things Better Left Unseen’

c. fireworks 979183The darkness smothered her. Fireworks, Irina sighed happily, were best enjoyed alone — but as pinpricks of light danced above, Irina’s solitude was rudely interrupted by a drunkard clutching a bottle and picnic rug. She frowned, but resignedly ignored him. Rat-tat-tat. The clearing lit up, the man’s face awash in red, before going dark. Too red, Irina realized with sudden clarity. Rat-tat-tat. Irina squinted before plunging back into blindness — Rat-tat-tat. — at the wild splotches of crimson, the bottle that was actually — Rat-tat-tat. — a severed hand, the rug that was a human body. Rat-tat-tat. His head swiveled around. The darkness smothered her.

(Aileen wins one of my six Creative writing courses)

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Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

  • Julia Thorley with Kamuro
  • Nick Robley with ‘The Firework Ghost’ and ‘Explosions’
  • Obinna Omotayoith ‘Firework’
  • Paul Isaac with ‘Into Orbit’ and ‘End of the World’
  • Rohini with ‘Adamantine Anger’ and ‘Dinnertime’
  • Wendy Steele with ‘Bonfire Night’

All the Highly Commended win my Entering Writing Competitions course (which if they have won previously can be given to a writing friend). Well done, everyone. I have already received entries for this month’s theme which is Christmas so regardless of whether you’ve entered before, do have a go. You could win one or more of my courses for free! 🙂

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Results of Morgen’s 100-word competition – October 2015

competition 612589For the October competition, we had eighteen entries. You can send up to three stories per author per month and I will pick my favourite of the three for consideration. Details of this competition, the current theme (fireworks), and how to enter can be found here.

Last month, two stories were disqualified for being too short. This month one was for only being 81 words. Last month, another two submissions had nothing to do with the theme (which was ‘white’) and this month one was because it was themed on ‘white’ rather than ‘unlucky Halloween’. As mentioned above, the theme for November is fireworks.

The prizes for October (and ongoing) are:

  • First prize: winning three of his / her choice of my six online creative writing courses
  • Second prize: winning two courses of his / her choice
  • Third prize: winning one course of his / her choice
  • Up to five Highly Commended: winning my Entering Writing Competitions course (which if they have won previously can be given to a writing friend).

The first, second and third prized being published on this blog and the highly commended being listed by just author and title. So without further ado, here are the results of the October 2015 competition…

1st place: Miranda Westbrook with ‘A Trick Treat’

Halloween sweets 52121It lay there innocent, nestled among the other shiny foils of the candy bowl. It promised sweet sensation, excited giggles and energetic happiness, but that promise would be an empty one.

The painted faces stared up into the age-ravaged eyes.

“Trick or treat.”

Smooth, silk-skein fingers clamoured into the bowl, hastened treasure into their pillowcases and were gone.

The door swung close with a click. Staring into the bowl, the faintest smile erupted on his lips. It was gone, on its way to stoke disappointment. Oh, yes. One child was going to be having a very unlucky Halloween this year.

*

2nd place: Paul Isaac with ‘Brave’

police tape 924966I slipped away from the others under cover of the storm, running a finger along the police tape that lined the path to the door.

‘I’ve come for my sister.’

I pulled back my green hood and buffeted him over the threshold. He tried to distract me with poisonous edibles, but I pushed deeper into his lair.

Then I saw her, everywhere, she lined the walls.

I screamed my fury, but it was only one more cry against the chorus of this unhallowed night. My one chance cruelly reversed.

I spied an empty place on the mantelpiece, undoubtedly my own.

*

3rd place: Tobenamed with ‘Not for burning’

Cool Red Barn 987721The straw-strewn barn held the glowing pumpkins and a novel opportunity. Rumour was that our celebrity was hungry for fresh meat. I nudged away skeletons, witches and goblins, and kicked the door shut.

She swivelled to face me, frowning. I strode forward to offer my autumn fruit, a taster for the main act.

I sensed her interest rise. She took four incisive bites then her eyes travelled down towards my masterpiece.

I held it out proudly to her and pleaded,  ‘Jay Darkling, literary agent, please read it now.’

‘Ah,’ she breathed, ‘hop onto the scaffold. We have our guy.’

***

There were no Highly Commended this month.

Congratulations to the three placed winners, especially to Paul who was Highly Commended last month. I shall be in touch with details of your prizes.

For anyone who didn’t enter (or did), November’s competition is already open with the theme of ‘fireworks’. Details here and the results will be announced on this blog on Monday 11th December. You can enter as many competitions as you like but a maximum of three stories per month, and the first version of a story will be accepted so if you spot a mistake after pressing ‘send’ you don’t need to send a revised version because it won’t be read.

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Results of Morgen’s first 100-word competition – September 2015

competitions 677265For the September competition, we had eighteen entrants with twenty-four different 100-word stories… twenty-four ‘drabble’s. You can send up to three stories each per month so a potential there for fifty-four stories! Details of next month’s here.

Two stories were disqualified for being too short – 92 and 93 words (as per the rules, hyphenated words count as one, and another story seemed to stop too early) – and another two submissions had nothing to do with that month’s theme, which was ‘white’.

A couple had glaring errors – incorrect words, e.g. ‘in’ instead of ‘is’ – so weren’t disqualified but lost points. Mistakes happen but they should only happen in 10,000-worders or perhaps 1,000-word stories, not 100-word stories.

If you’re going to enter a competition – not just my one – read your story aloud… then get someone else (or your computer) to read your story, again ideally aloud. Once you’re both happy it’s perfect, only then click ‘submit’. It’s a shame because they weren’t half bad.

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Because September was the first month I’d run this competition, the prizes were:

  • First prize: winning all six of my online creative writing courses
  • Second prize: winning three courses of his / her choice
  • Third prize: winning two courses of his / her choice
  • Up to five Highly Commended: winning my Entering Writing Competitions course.

With the first, second and third prized being published on this blog and the highly commended being listed by just author and title.

Hereafter the prizes will be: three courses, two courses, one course, then the EWC course respectively.

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I know every judge says this but it was a tough choice (some tougher than others) to whittle it down to the top three (as you will see, it’s actually a top four!) and then only have five highly commended (another two fought valiantly to be on that list).

So without further ado, the winners are…. <opens gold envelope>

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