Monday, 14 November 2011

And the winners are...

The Kindle comp winner is....

Catherine Miller

The runner up is....

MamaJ Hearts

The Swarovski crystal necklace winner is...

@MakeShiftMummy

The runner up is..

@Nathalie_Green

Congratulations to you all!

Could you please email me your postal addresses & I will arrange for your prizes to be sent to you (if you would like the dedication in your copy of Home For Christmas to be dedicated to someone other than yourself do let me know).

Thanks to everyone who entered.

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Second novel syndrome and sensible shoes...

Want to find out more? Check out my interview with Mel over on High Heels and Book Deals...

http://highheelsandbookdeals.blogspot.com/2011/11/chat-with-cally-taylor.html


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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Is bringing out a book like bringing up baby?

People often refer to their novels as their 'babies' and compare writing a book with pregnancy and publication day with giving birth. Having done both recently I thought I'd write a post for Strictly Writing, comparing the two...

http://strictlywriting.blogspot.com/2011/11/birthing-book-guest-post-by-cally.html


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Friday, 11 November 2011

The transition from short stories to novels...

Featured on the fabulous womagwriter's blog today - an updated version of an article Helen M Hunt wrote for Writers Forum when 'Heaven Can Wait' came out. It's about my experience of writing short stories then turning my hand to novels, and what I learned.

http://womagwriter.blogspot.com/2011/11/guest-post-by-cally-taylor.html


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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Win a Kindle for Christmas! (or a Swarovski necklace!)


To celebrate the launch of 'Home for Christmas' I am giving away not one but two fab prizes - a Kindle and a Swarovski star necklace!

Competition 1 - Kindle competition

PRIZE: A 3G Kindle, an ebook version of 'Home for Christmas', a signed paperback of 'Home for Christmas' and a limited edition tote bag of the Duke of York cinema (by Brighton designer Nat Gowing). The runner up will receive a signed paperback of 'Home for Christmas' and a tote bag,

This is a competition for people who are fans of my official Facebook page. All you have to do is change your profile picture to the 'Home for Christmas' book cover & then write 'Pick me!' under the wall posting that links to this blog entry (it'll say 'Win a Kindle for Christmas...'). Anyone whose profile pic still shows the book cover at midnight on Sunday 13th November will be entered into the prize draw.

The earlier you write 'pick me' with the Home for Christmas cover as your profile pic the more entries you get into the draw i.e....

Enter today (Thursday 10th November) you get 4 entries into the draw
Enter on Friday 11th - 3 entries into the draw
Enter on Saturday 12th - 2 entries into the draw
Enter on Sunday 13th November - 1 entry into the draw

NB:Your profile pic must remain as the Home for Christmas book cover for each day for you to qualify for multiple entries

Competition 2 - Swarovski star necklace


PRIZE: A Swarovski star necklace, a signed paperback of 'Home for Christmas' and a limited edition tote bag of the Duke of York cinema (by Brighton designer Nat Gowing). The runner up will receive a signed paperback of 'Home for Christmas' and a tote bag.

To win this gorgeous Swarovski star necklace (RRP £50) all you need to do is tweet about competition 1! You can word your tweet as you like but you must link to this page & you must use the hash tags #homeforchristmas and #callytaylor in your tweet. The more tweets you send out the more entries you get into the draw to win the necklace. Only tweets sent after this blog post has been published and before 23.59 on Sunday 13th November are eligible for entry.

More (boring) Rules!

1. The competitions are open to UK residents only (sorry)
2. The competitions are not open to members of my family, employees of Orion publishers or members of their families
3. In order to ensure a fair draw each entry will be given a number. The total number of entries will be fed into an online random number generator and the number generated will be matched against the entry and judged the winner. This process will be carried out twice - one for the Kindle competition and once for the Swarovski necklace competition.
4. Failure to correctly follow the rules of the competition will result in disqualification and the competition organiser's verdict is final.
5. The competition organiser is Cally Taylor, in conjunction with Orion publishers.
6. The winners names will be posted on this blog on Monday 14th November 2011

Good luck!

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3 fab publication day posts...

Because I'm so badly organised at the moment (let's blame it on sleep deprivation!) I've accidentally scheduled THREE guest blog posts/interviews to appear today, publication day for 'Home for Christmas'. Doh!

Huge thanks to Caroline, the Romantic Novelists Association and Kelly for allowing me on their blogs. I'd love it if you paid them a visit too - oooh, and you've got two chances to win a signed copy!

An Interview with Caroline Smailes (author of 'Black Boxes', 'In Search of Adam' and 'Like Bees to Honey')

An Interview with Kelly
(A Place of my Own), mum and craftswoman extraordinaire

My top 15 writing tips over on the RNA blog (I originally wrote this for Woman's Own when 'Heaven Can Wait' was published but the feature was bumped in favour of an X Factor story!)

All I want for Christmas...

...is to decorate the tree and see the Spudling's face when we turn on the lights for the first time!

On the left is my Christmas tree from last year. Wow. Last year I was part of a couple and now I have a family. It really does blow my mind the more I think about it.

One of the things Mr Metal and I talked a lot about when I was pregnant was how Christmas takes on new meaning when you have a child because you get to experience the magic all over again, through their eyes. The Spudling will only be 3 months old this Christmas and will spend most of his time just looking I imagine but, by next year, we'll probably have to keep an eye out to stop him toddling up to the tree and pulling it down!

I popped into House of Fraser in Bristol a couple of weeks ago and couldn't resist a new tree decoration in the shape of a teddy bear. I nearly bought a whole basketful of new decorations but decided, instead, to buy a new decoration each year to signify another Christmas spent with the Spudling. To say I'm hugely excited about Christmas this year would be an understatement.

So...here we are - launch day of my second novel 'Home for Christmas'. Welcome to my online party! I obviously can't sign any books but if you fancy a free signed bookplate to stick in your book just drop me a line at calistrowriter@googlemail.com with your name (I'll dedicate it to you and/or a relative/friend) and address and I'll stick one (or more) in the post in time for Christmas!

A great big lovely box of books arrived the other day. I was super excited to receive them but the baby was asleep in my arms so I had to satisfy myself with staring at the box until the Spudling roused himself and I could pop him in the pram long enough to rip open the box. And ooooh pretty, pretty books - they really are much lovelier and sparklier than they look in the photo.

I also took the chance to flick through the copies of RED and GLAMOUR magazine I'd bought the day before (will I ever have the time to read a magazine from cover to cover again?!) and check out their mentions of Home for Christmas. RED called it a 'Cinderella tale' and GLAMOUR called it a 'sparkling story' - how lovely.

I heard the other day that ASDA will be stocking the book for the next two weeks, then Sainsbury will have it for two weeks and finally WHSmith Travel will stock it from 24th November until the end(ish) of December. Apparently Waitrose are going to stock it too but I'm not sure when. If you spot it anywhere please do let me know. When 'Heaven Can Wait' came out lots of people took photos of the book in various shops and I loved seeing them. I know I'll be stalking the local supermarkets for the next couple of months...

The online reviews are starting to roll in now and I can't begin to express how nervewracking it is, waiting for them to be posted. When 'Heaven Can Wait' came out two years ago the first review I read online absolutely slated the book. I promptly burst into tears because I thought it meant everyone was going to hate my book (thankfully that wasn't the case!). These days I've got a much thicker skin and as long as most of the people who buy 'Home for Christmas' enjoy it then I've done my job. If you read it and want to give me some feedback I'd really appreciate a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

What else?

I'm going to be running what I think is a very exciting competition to celebrate the launch of 'Home for Christmas'. I'll post the details in another blog post later today.

Soooo....now you know what I want for Christmas what about everyone else who's so kindly turned up to help me celebrate? Do check out their blog posts - they're all lovely! (NB: Some might not be posted until later in the day)

Tom Conoboy
Jen
Mama J
B
Karen
Liz Fenwick
Flatbag
Beth Kemp
Womag Writer
Shaz
Dizzy C
Ananda (Books to Remember)
Rea Book Review
Amanda (One More Page)
Sarah Broadhurst Reviews
Jenny (tea stains)
Shaz's book boudoir
Little Me's Pint Sized Rants
Ellen Brickley's Pink Tea and Paper
The Writing Pad
Captain Black
Suzy Doodling
Suz Korb
Sarah G

Thank you all for taking part, I really appreciate it!

Right, on with my day - which will mostly involve changing nappies, walking round cemetries and playing 'shake the rattle from left to right'! It may be publication day but I'm still a mum! :)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Where do I write my novels?

Hint - it's not a glamorous location!

I love Novelicious's 'My Writing Room' feature and I'm chuffed that they wanted to know about mine.

http://www.novelicious.com/2011/11/my-writing-room-cally-taylor.html


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Thursday, 3 November 2011

The 'All I Want for Christmas' blog launch of 'Home for Christmas'

Back in this post I mentioned that I'm not having a launch party for my second novel because of the small squally person that appeared in my life 4 weeks and 5 days ago and I barely have time to get dressed these days never mind pull off a swanky do! Instead I've asked if bloggers would like to join me in posting an 'All I want for Christmas' blog post on publication day (10th November). So far the following very lovely people have said they'll join in:

Tom Conoboy
Jen
Mama J
B
Karen
Liz Fenwick
Flatbag
Beth Kemp
Womag Writer

And, with massive thanks to Shaz (Shazjera) who featured me on the 'Secret Squirrel' feature on her blog the following have said they'll join in too:

Dizzy C
Ananda (Books to Remember)
Rea Book Review
Amanda (One More Page)
Sarah Broadhurst Reviews

Update (5th November). The following lovely people have offered to join in too. Thank you all!

Jenny (tea stains)
Shaz's book boudoir
Little Me's Pint Sized Rants
Ellen Brickley's Pink Tea and Paper
The Writing Pad
Captain Black
Suzy Doodling
Suz Korb
Sarah G

If you'd like to get involved just leave me a comment here or an email and, on 10th November, I'll link to all the blogs involved. To join in just blog on 10th November with the title 'All I want for Christmas' and blog about what you want this year or you could blog about the best (or worst!) present you've ever received or any other Christmas tale you want to share. I can't wait to read them all! If you could insert the cover, blurb and Amazon link for 'Home for Christmas' at the end that would be wonderful.

Here's the blurb, cover etc:



Beth Prince has always loved fairytales and now, aged twenty-four, she feels like she's finally on the verge of her own happily ever after. She lives by the seaside, works in the Picturebox - a charming but rundown independent cinema - and has a boyfriend who's so debonair and charming she can't believe her luck! There's just one problem - none of her boyfriends have ever told her they love her and it doesn't look like Aiden's going to say it any time soon. Desperate to hear 'I love you' for the first time Beth takes matters into her own hands - and instantly wishes she hadn't. Just when it seems like her luck can't get any worse, bad news arrives in the devilishly handsome shape of Matt Jones. Matt is the regional director of a multiplex cinema and he's determined to get his hands on the Picturebox by Christmas. Can Beth keep her job, her man and her home or is her romantic-comedy life about to turn into a disaster movie?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Home-Christmas-Cally-Taylor/dp/1409121585/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320347388&sr=1-1

In other news, @Keris and @HelenRedders told me on Twitter that 'Home for Christmas' is featured in RED magazine's pick of festive reads. They call it a 'Cinderella tale' which I love!

Here's the scan Helen took:

Http://yfrog.com/o0mrgvzj


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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sleep is for the weak*...

Not long now until 'Home for Christmas' is published (10th November) and I'm counting the days - partly because I'm excited (of course) and partly because I'd really like to have a go at the whole 'sleep when the baby sleeps' thing. Instead I'm going for the 'answer interviews, arrange online promotion and send out review copies while the baby sleeps' alternative which is a damned sight more exhausting (god I'm tired!). If I can cross one thing off my 'to do' list each day I see it as a real accomplishment and if I manage two I'm over the moon!

I'm particularly pleased with myself today as I got all Mel's questions answered (for an interview that'll appear on the High Heels and Book Deals blog later this month) AND I confirmed the details of a competition being run in collaboration with the Duke of Yorks cinema in Brighton (the inspiration behind the 'PictureBox' cinema in 'Home for Christmas'). Oh, and I made dinner too! ;)

Thank you to everyone who's stuck their hand in the air & said they'll blog 'All I want for Christmas' (see one of my previous posts) on 10th November to help promote HfC - I really appreciate it!

Now excuse me while I pass out (baby allowing...)

* I am weak, I admit it! I miss sleep...

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