Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Adventures of Katie Button Playlist

Every life needs a soundtrack. Here are the songs I think match the story of The Adventures of Katie Button and would work perfectly as a movie soundtrack. It's a bit of a mixed bag from the 60's to now and everything in-between. All songs link back to YouTube.

  1. Stand and Deliver   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Adam and the Ants
  2. Daydream Believer  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . The Monkees
  3. Now We Are Free .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Theme from Gladiator
  4. Shake It Off  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   Taylor Swift
  5. My Heart Will Go On .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . Celine Dion
  6. Angels  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Robbie Williams
  7. With Or Without You  .  .  .  . .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  U2
  8. Steal My Girl  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  One Direction
  9. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)  .  .  .  .  .  Eurythmics
  10. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ .  .  .  .  . Nancy Sinatra
  11. (Oh) Pretty Woman  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . Roy Orbison
  12. Let Me Entertain You  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . Robbie Williams
  13. Purple Rain .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Prince
  14. Can’t Get you Out of My head  .   .   .   .   .   .Kylie Minogue
  15. She’s the One  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .Robbie Williams
  16. Perfect Day  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .Lou Reed
  17. The MasterPlan .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Oasis
  18. True Colours .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .Cyndi Lauper
  19. I Knew I loved You  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . Savage Garden
  20. Prince Charming  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   Adam and the Ants
  21. It's Alright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . East 17

I hope you enjoyed listening to the soundtrack. Hope it's inspired you to read the book if you haven't done so already. Some of the songs are my favourites. With Or Without You is one of my absolute favourite songs. So pleased it fits in. 

Available at Amazon UK

Available at Amazon US

Crooked Cat Publishing

FlashMobWrites #18 Unfortunately

Another night. Another prison door slammed shut in Jude’s face. He clenched the bars, taking in the long, dimly lit passage lined with cells as the snapping of footsteps echoed in the distance. He chuckled to himself before laying on the thin, stained mattress; at least he had one this time. Getting himself comfy, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. He liked this; alone, peaceful with time to think. He loved the irony that his cell and incarceration (however temporary) facilitated his hunger, his passion, his drive. A drive he couldn’t ignore.

There she was.


Trembling, like a baby deer.

Her pale blue eyes widened as his hand found her throat, pressing his thumb down hard. Shock etched her face as she realised her fate. With the instinct to survive, she fought, pushing at him, flailing her arms, her hands, trying to claw his face, trying to remember all the self defence training.   That only heightened his pleasure as her final breath rasped in her throat . . .  

“Hey, just so you know,” he shouted, “I’m having the time of my life here. These iron bars can’t hold my soul. And very soon they won’t be holding me either. I have the best lawyer.” Footsteps marched towards him and the jangling of keys made Jude grin as he pulled himself up. “Told you I have the best lawyer.”

“Your lawyer doesn’t know you’re here.No one knows you’re here, I’m afraid. This is a place you can’t get to  . . . or get out of,” said the calm, cold voice of the guard. He was tall, extremely thin, almost skeletal. With sunken eyes, he stared at Jude, his thin lips almost a smile.

“I know my rights. I get a phone call and I get to meet my lawyer and I get fed. I’m starving!”

“Yes . . . in a normal prison. But, unfortunately for you, this is not one of those. Sentence has been passed. Your fate is sealed.” As he spoke he stepped closer to Jude.

“You can’t touch me!” Jude mustered.

“Unfortunately for you, yes I can. Your fate cannot be changed. You were right on one count though, these bars can’t hold your soul. But I can.” He reached out his long, bony arm, pressing his hand against Jude’s chest. “We can’t let your soul remain any longer. Unfortunately for you that means ripping out your heart.”

His fingers with long, sharp nails dug beyond the fabric, into the skin, deeper and deeper. “You see, it’s all very well preventing you from repeating your evil, but we can’t stop you thinking about it. And that just urges you on.”  Despite the screams, the guard’s voice remained calm as his hand twisted, buried up to his wrist. With a sudden jerk, his hand was free, clasping the still beating organ in his blood soaked hand.


Written for FlashMobWrites

Thursday, 25 June 2015

This is a Requirement #ThursThreads

A live in job, use of cars and two days off a week. Just at the right time for Amber who, after a breakup, had spent the past three weeks on her friend’s sofa. With a decent wage, Amber would be back on her feet in no time.

Those thoughts ran through her head as she waited for a car to meet her, encased in darkness, vulnerability creeping through her.

A long, black car pulled up and a door swung open, revealing little light.

Ignoring the voices in her head, Amber climbed in. Sinking into a plush red seat opposite her host, she stared into pale, curious coloured eyes beneath unruly dark strands, as his full lips curled slightly. He held out what looked like a silk black handkerchief between long, slim fingers.  

“This is a requirement,” he said in a velvet voice, leaning forward. “My home is my sanctuary. I’m a very private person.” Delicately, his hands wound round her head,  fingers entwined in her hair as he tightened the eye mask.

Tingles of anticipation ran through her. She inhaled his masculine scent. Her heart beat faster as his hand straightened the mask, lingering a moment too long, then grazing her cheek before settling back in his seat. Her remaining senses were now heightened; she could feel the heat emanate from him, sensing his eyes caressing every inch of her.

“You don’t need to worry, Amber. By the time our journey has finished, you’ll know everything about me.”


Amazon UK Amazon US

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Horror Bites #19

I have neglected my flash fiction recently, so it has felt rather good dipping a toe back into the water and writing for #HorrorBites. This week isn't gruesome. Just a bit dark and strange.

I stood in front of the old water tower. My first day out of prison and I came here. It looked like a family home, obviously oblivious to what happened fifteen years ago . . .

Bunking off school seemed a good idea. Daring each other to go into the condemned water tower was not. We larked about, prodded a few dead pigeons before venturing up the stone stairs, passing a tattered prom dress. Nancy wore one just like it, before she went missing. I shivered. We reached the attic.

Crouching in the far corner was Billy. We all thought he’d left town months ago but it appeared he was living in the tower. His feral stare chilled my bones. Dried blood caked his pale face. A flesh stripped bone fell from his grasp.

He hissed, crouching on all fours. His leap towards us was a surprise. I fell down, my hands pushing him away. He snarled, his spit mixed with blood showering my face. I shouted for help, unable to hold him back.With a sickening thud and a crack, Joe swiped Billy with a plank. Sounding like a wounded animal, Billy yelped as he rolled across the floor.

I took the split plank, ready for Billy. He pounced again and I thrust the pointed end into his gut. He fell, writhing and gurgling. I watched until the blood stopped oozing from his gaping wound, as he lay motionless. I didn’t know what I killed that day. But I served my time and now I stood at the water tower.

The door opened and I watched a young family walk out. The dad locked the door and turned. Billy? It couldn’t be. I killed him, watched him bleed out. He stared back then smiled. He hadn’t aged at all.
What was he?


Written for Horror Bites #19, hosted by Laura Jamez over at Office Mango

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Where Inspiration Can Lead

Last week, saw the release of my debut novel, The Adventures of Katie Button. It has been a busy week some of which included interviews. And one question kept cropping up; what was my inspiration for the novel? It all started with a piece of flash fiction about a highwayman which I wrote for Five Sentence Fiction. It was my very first short story and I had no idea how important those five sentence would be back then in March 2012. The prompt was ‘wicked’. And it turned out by the comments my piece received, a highwayman is the ultimate in wicked, with a mischievous glint in his eye. I really wanted to expand on that idea which I finally did in my modern day chick-lit (If you want to find out how the highwayman fits in, well you know what to do). :-)

But where did the inspiration come from to write the five sentences in the first place? It came from the narrative poem, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. I absolutely love this poem. Ghostly description takes the reader on a dark, spine tingling journey, where not a word is wasted as it chillingly teases you to the very end . . . which is what also makes a good flash fiction piece work.

I’m lucky enough to be working with this poem at the moment as it is one of the narrative poems studied in Year5. And it’s that time of year where we are immersing ourselves into The Highwayman as another generation are introduced to his tale. The enthusiasm in which they discuss, act out and predict is tangible and I can't wait to read their own narrative poems. Maybe The Highwayman will be a form of inspiration to a budding writer in the near future like it was with me.

Now, I have my own novel out, which seems to be doing well on Amazon and it’s all thanks to Alfred Noyes and The Highwayman. The Poetry Foundation to read The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

Lillie Mcferrin's Five Sentence Fiction

My Highwayman five sentence fiction from the prompt 'Wicked'. 

The Amazon UK link to my novel, The Adventures of Katie Button

A few of the quotes people are saying about Katie Button

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Week #1 on Being a Published Author

Follow that bus! Via Photofunia app

 A week ago yesterday, my debut novel was released by my publisher, Crooked Cat (I still squeal inside saying that). Since then, the week has been A-ma- zing as Craig Revel Horwood would say. And I think Katie Button is becoming a success and here's why . . .

Blink and you'll miss it. #90 ranking
The Adventures of Katie Button is holding its own in the Amazon Kindle charts and as a romance/chick-lit it’s she’s in a tough but very popular category which makes its her progress even more amazing. At one point, a very small point, a blink and you’ll miss it point, Katie Button made #90 in the top 100 in the Literary humour category. (Yes, I did capture that moment!)

Viv and Ralf of Gogglebox fame
I am still, after a week, totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of praise, comments and shares Katie Button has received. I’ve even had a celebrity tweet one of my tweets! Well, if you’re British and watch Gogglebox then you may be familiar with Viv and Ralf who share the sofa with their daughter Eve and Silent Jay (who sadly, doesn’t take part anymore- did he really take part if he was silent?). I digress. They tweeted my tweet!! That was just too exciting! I think they love Adam Ant. But if it works . . .

The reviews are trickling in and they’re worth the wait. There’s even a review on Amazon US where the lovely person reviewing hasn’t even finished the book yet but felt it deserved an immediate review; a fantastic review at that.

A few of the quotes from reviews on Amazon UK

Notting Hill ad via Photofunia
I’ve been lucky enough to feature on blogs in the run up and during this first manic week. I love talking about Katie Button and the inspiration for her. It’s also meant a fair bit of shares to various social media links. I seem to be spending a fair bit of time finding new ways to get Katie Button out there. My favourite at the moment is a photo app called Photofunia where you can upload your photo to some fun backgrounds. I love the London ones which is the setting for Katie Button. They seem to generate a bit of interest. And because of this, I post more. Sometimes, it feels like I’m spamming. Where is the line between spamming and posting about your work? I can’t help it. I think I’m addicted to those Amazon rankings! Which is awful because it changes so quickly; dropping like a stone one minute then rising like a phoenix the next. But in posting so much, I have met new people, and my social media is growing, and people are reading Katie Button! People are choosing to spend their pennies reading a book I wrote. I'm blown away by this and actually can't quite believe it.

Oh, and there's a real Katie Button out there! A friend stumbled across her on Instagram. She's a chef in America. Which is rather spooky seeing as Masterchef gets a mention in my novel . . .

People who are finishing the book are now asking for more. I know how they feel. When I finished writing it, I knew I wasn’t finished with the characters. There’s still more of their story to come. But right now, I’m just enjoying sharing their story, making the most of my novel being out there. It was my dream to be published and for people to enjoy Katie Button, and I want to relish every second, spamming or not. :-) xxx

Purple sweets along with gifts for launch and prize notebooks

 These lovely people have hosted me and the gorgeous, if slightly ditzy Katie Button. Visit their blogs to find out more as they're all extremely talented writers:
You'll find dragons, flowers and hot chocolate over on this blog and of course a few words with me.

My first visit to this blog where you'll find short stories and interviews on the chaise longue.

My first interview and there was plenty of cake and flying carpets!

This lovely lady hosted a give away to five lucky readers.

I made K R Smith's book of the month! Thank you! K R Smith is a fab writer that makes you think and scares the pants off you! x

And of course my gorgeous publisher who took a chance on me and Katie Button.

Here are all the important links to my novel, The Adventures of Katie Button

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Photofunia with my favourite pic; The Adventures of Katie Button

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Morning After the Night Before . . .

And breathe . . .
Yesterday, I had the most amazing experience as my debut novel, The Adventures of Katie Button, was released to the world ( or at least felt like it). My publishers, Crooked Cat, organised an online launch party, I organised a real party, I baked a cake and even had a short piece in the local newspaper. I appeared on a friend’s blog, another friend offered free copies, and of course there were the shares, the comments and cake. Plenty of cake. Funny how most of it appeared to be chocolate. And of course, lets not forget the boots; purple and glorious!

As successful and fun as the launch party sounds; and it really was amazing, there’s a few things I would do differently.
  • Holding my own real party on the same night as my virtual party seemed a good idea. You only have one debut launch day after all. And this should be celebrated to the fullest! But my attention was split. I wanted to interact and join in the fun with my virtual launch as there were many people who made the effort to come, post and comment. I loved their enthusiasm. I loved their wit. I loved that everyone entered into the spirit of the event and got Katie Button. My interaction, into the evening was sporadic because I was interacting with real people at my party. They too got Katie Button. We had purple cocktails,
    Katie Button cakes and they kept asking me to do a reading! I ignored that one. I think I struck a balance between the two but I think it may have been even better if the events were on different nights so I could devote my all to each one. Which brings me on to . . .

  • I should have been far more organised. In fact, I should be more organised in every aspect of my life. But that’s just me, living in the moment, day to day. Hardly plan ahead or think carefully about said plans (see #1). For example: I left it late to order my notebooks for launch.
    A little piece of me died as I pressed ‘confirm order’ when the P&P was more than the actual books! I hardly ever pay p&p. Hubby has Amazon Prime and if shopping anywhere else, I usually spend the required amount to get free p&p. And everytime I check my bank balance, I see that transaction, reminding me of the waste, the disorganisation. Grrrrr. Another example was the lack of thought for baking. I made a cake for work and wanted one for my party. Did I make two at the same time? Nope. I stupidly thought I’d have time on the actual day of the launch. Of course I didn’t. When I got home, I was responding to all the wonderful comments on my launch page. That took some time. And before I knew it, people were arriving. Which brings me to  . . .

  • The next time I have a book release, I will try and fit it in during half term so I am not working. As much as I enjoyed sharing my news with my colleagues and the kids, I was missing out on all the fun of the launch. I felt I needed to be there, be part of my own party. interacting with the people who were making an effort. I saw all the  notifications building up onto my phone but was unable to do much about it until I had snatched moments called a break (which isn’t really a break when you’re preparing for the next lesson and marking). Work was brilliant! It kept my nerves at bay ( I lost it a few times, letting out the odd squeal of excitement) and loved the kids telling me their mum’s had already ordered it or were going to. But I was late to my own party (online). How much of a diva am I to be late to my own party!

Gee, this showbiz life style is catching already! Lot’s of love and thank you everyone for making my mixed up, busy, zanny awesome day so wonderful!! xxx


The Last Krystallos, Lisa Shambrook  has an interview with me. She's a fantastic writer and dear friend. Visit her site for a read and to see her books and flash fiction. My wonderful publisher where you'll find fantastic authors.

Amazon UK  for my novel, The Adventures of Katie Button

Facebook my author page is growing. Why not be a part of it. :-)

Amazon UK