Odd Spirits by S.T. Gibson – review

A modern story about feelings and relationships intertwined with spiritual magic…

odd spirits

S.T. Gibson has delivered an original tale that gradually unfolds around a married couple who experience a kind of spiritual disturbance in their house.

Although there are elements of several genres blended together in this book such as romance, paranormal and spiritual they are all combined in a light way that makes for some great and very addictive reading which would suit all readers.

The two main characters ‘Rhys’ and ‘Moira’ are a believable and very real feeling couple who have to look within to resolve their issues. One of the best things about this book is the characterization and the way this couple interacts with each other. This story is about them after all and their resolve fitted perfectly to the rest of the book as well as the whole concept of novellas.

Good novella’s don’t get enough credit and this one in particular is a gripping and enjoyable read.

5 Stars 

Free Facebook Book Giveaway and New Book News!!!

This post is old. I’m impressed that you found it….

Both Darke Blood and Open Evening  were available for free but they are still competitively priced, maybe check them out…

This special  promotion was for the 400 like milestone on my facebook page.

That page and the many loyal likers over the years have been there for me through everything! Thank you to everyone for the support, this has been a wonderful journey with all of those who have joined me since 2012. Old and new, you all rock!

And so as I cruise hopefully soon towards the big Four hundred I have set out to pay that loyalty back.

The details… This Giveaway is closed as of the 12th of July 2017…

The other huge news is….

c house

Yes If you follow me on instagram and of course Facebook you will know that yesterday I crossed another enduring milestone. My next book is officially drafted! Right now all I will say is that yes it is the sequel to Open Evening and it is called CEMETERY HOUSE

Those who have read Open Evening all the way through will know a little something about where the story will go next. This time around instead of introducing a universe I have taken that ball and gone all out into a sprint with it! Hopefully after some extensive work before even taking it to a professional edit, we will have an awesome sequel which carries on the story.

And yes this book is also linked to Darke Blood and will follow into the Darke Blood sequel which is available now and called Darke Awakening! 

That wraps up this weeks news and now I need to lie down. Peace out, don’t text and drive and thank you new/old followers/likers/readers/fans/cats….

What’s next for Lee Hall…

I agree the title of this month’s final blog entry is a little self centered but you have to be that in order to write a blog. It’s all about the me apparently and so my second book release has been and gone, sales are still trickling in bringing it to around 20 units sold so far.

My conclusion right now is yes Darke Blood has been a success for an independent author like me but right now I have done all I can to market the book. Much like Open Evening or any book; real success takes investment of time and along the way I have learned a hell of a lot. And now I even have a back catalogue, groovy right?

So what is next for me? Well as an independent author I mostly have control over what I plan to release and what I want to work on next. The turn around time from finishing a draft to publication is around a year or maybe less depending on the quality of the story and availability of editor/publisher/cover artists.

 “Good ol’ ‘CH'”

Yes for those who are aware of the ending of my first book Open Evening (I wont spoil it, that much), it ended with a nod towards where the story was going to go next. The word Cemetery House in all it’s damning glory was mentioned in the final pages and yes that is what I am currently drafting at the moment! I guess that’s an exclusive scoop, of course I will announce that officially when I am ready. But let’s just say I am around 30,000 words in.

Darke Blood 2?

All I can say is read the first one, then we’ll talk about a sequel! Review it and let people know about it. And yes Darke Blood and Open Evening are connected in a way or two.

A super hero comedy book!

Back in 2015 when I decided to drop the series of books about robots in the future I came to a proverbial fork in the road, I was either going to write Open Evening or try having a go at a comic book style hero story. At the time I had more story to go on with Open Evening and so I wrote it, over the last few years I have gathered some ideas of how to make this potential super hero book work, so watch this space.

Acting? No I was just asleep..

pan

I have been taking a break as of lately in terms of all things stage, and by that I mean all things Iver Heath Drama Club. My efforts were needed towards Darke Blood and IHDC’s current production nodded heavily towards giving their youthful demographic a chance with some big roles for their up and coming show Peter Pan! So naturally I thought it was appropriate to step back for a while and maybe recharge a little.

Right now I have every intention to return to the stage for auditions in the late summer for the next IHDC pantomine show; I hope I still have something relevant to offer in my forever hopefulness of getting a larger role this year, we shall see.

Iver Heath Drama Club presents Peter Pan tickets available now online! Support local live entertainment! 

 

And remember every writer needs reviews for their work, if you have read either of my books, be cool and leave a review!

And here are a few highlights of social media from the week… Click on them and they take you places!

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Publication Day! Darke Blood out now!

The day is finally here! My second book Darke Blood is officially out now! The selfies already started earlier this week after I kicked off proceedings on Instagram where I can happily say we have already broke records with the amount of likes it recieved.

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That many likes for something without a cat, food or cleavage…

And that is all I want out of this book, growth and evolution. A few more sales and few more likes than last time will make me a happy independently published author.   Above all more reviews on Amazon and hopefully Goodreads will grant this project a success, so please if you read my work leave a review!

I must take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support towards Darke Blood, this was indeed the hardest story I have ever struggled to tell and seeing the whole thing come together with your support has been fantastic. Being a two time author makes this all seem like I am more than just a lucky one off guy who published one book, plus it gives readers a back catalogue to delve into if they like my work.

If you like Darke Blood and survive the ride,  the twists and the turns then I guarantee you will be a reader of my stuff for years to come. This one really tests the boundaries for the reader as well as tell an atmospheric psychological story of redemption and identity. And yeah there are vampires, witches and some connections to Open Evening!

This hasn’t been a sole effort and I must thank my editor and publisher Nicky from Satin Publishing for helping me so much develop this story into what was an initial draft all the way to polished published book. Darke Blood went through many minor and major changes throughout the drafting and editing process. My next thank you goes to Design for Writers , they simply gave this book an identity by creating a fantastic looking cover. I was really stumped as to what I wanted this one to look like so Design for Writers saved me in that sense and the outcome is a world class looking cover.

All there is left for to say is thank you everyone, I have achieved my dream once again and now it’s over to you to help me find some success with it. Let’s start a new selfie movement with Darke Blood and remember your shares, likes and comments are what generates buzz about this, and will ultimately decide its success!

Happy publication Day!

And heres the direct link to the book…

Next Book Release Date Confirmed…

Yes you read the title of this post correctly! I officially have a release date for my next book Darke Blood.

Things are getting pretty busy around stately Hall manor right about now and most of my efforts are now pointing towards the official release date of Darke Blood which is….

Thursday May 25th

Of course this hasn’t been a journey of solitude and again I have a wonderful book team; both Nicky Fitzmaurice of Satin Publishing and Design For Writers will be reprising their roles in helping me bring an awesome book to you.

Another huge member of my book team is you, my valued reader whom I do this for. Open Evening was a huge learning curve and somewhat a success, none of what I have achieved in writing would be possible without my readers. Thank you all for the support, likes and follows. Together we are a successful unit of independent publishing.

There were many times throughout the drafting of Darke Blood where I thought it wouldn’t make it as a book. Truth is this one was hard, really really hard. But I got through, mainly due to the support of my wonderful readers and people of Facebook and twitter. So here I stand just under a month away from another book release.

I have just put together a short trailer for the book which can be seen via my Facebook page, something which I didn’t do last year, even though I probably should of. My marketing strategy for this one will indeed be more detailed with giveaways planned and of course another book selling selfie movement which I will be forever thankful for.

So what’s Darke Blood about you ask? And is it a sequel to Open Evening?

My short answer to the sequel question is no, sort of. This is a standalone story set in the same universe as Open Evening. If you read either when they are both available you will see they are linked with the view of an eventual crossover of stories. Darke Blood explores the occult and witchcraft along with one of my all time favorite things, Vampires, which seem to never go out of fashion. This is my own take on the above and is a little different.

So what’s it about, well here’s the blurb….

‘There are more than shadows lurking in the darkness of those trees.’

Blake Malone is in search of a new start, he arrives in the remote forest town of Darke Heath. The memory of his past oddly becomes a blur as he discovers this place isn’t what it seems.

Malone shares a romantic encounter with someone who reveals herself to be a ‘creature of the night’ and he learns of her story which intertwines with the history of the ‘Heath’. Together they must face the evil forces of vampirism and witchcraft that lay in the Darke forest.

But just who is Blake Malone? That’s something even he must fight to discover. Because ‘you’ve never known true darkness…’

 

Darke Blood arrives on the 25th of May in both paperback and e-book formats!!!

 

2017 #writing #revolution

Who would have thought putting black ink on the underside of your forearm would leave such a bad rash after?

revolution

Either way the photo looks kind of cool and I’m willing to live with the redness for a while, plus it also displays my prime directive for 2017!

Revolution! Not viva la France or anything politically crazy like that but something I have envisioned for my little patch amongst the world of the internet and book writing. In order for me to have any type of success and to sell books I must revolutionise the way I do things here. After all this is a journey to publication and that is an experience that doesn’t finish after I reach print, especially for the first time.

2017 will see my second publication come to life and its coming sooner than you think! An announcement is imminent but until then you will have to put up with me telling you about my next novel DARKE BLOOD and the range of other exciting projects I have lined up for this year. So here’s the plan….

THE NEXT BOOK!

I set out just over a year ago to try and repeat the model I used when drafting Open Evening; that was to write a stand alone story in order to build up a profile as an author and try and make it a little bit good. After much frustration and hard work throughout the beginning of 2016, I clutched the few straws of ideas I had and made them into a wonderful little book I am ever so proud to bring to world.

DARKE BLOOD is a story of one person’s journey to find out who they really are and along the way meets some ‘people of the night’ types and some ‘spell casting’ types. Everything culminates in what I can best describe as a shutter island meets a gender swapped Twilight, sounds interesting right, cool.

 

MY NEXT PLAY!

This month, yes this month I will be making a moderate return to the stage for Iver Heath Drama Club’s annual pantomime show Jack and the Beanstalk! For those within the area of Iver heath and surrounding I must urge you come on down to watch a wonderful show put on by great performers who do so much for the community and guarantee a night of entertainment, plus you get to see me in a totally non writing capacity. Tickets can be found here which are very competitively priced, and I must stress there aren’t that many left, we have even sold out our Friday night show!

MY NEXT PLAY (that I am writing)

You may or may not know but I also write plays. 2016 saw the debut of my stage work with Hotel Doom and was a wonderful success. Well I’ve only gone and done it again, well kind of. Over the summer I envisioned myself writing a pantomime based of the story of Beauty and the Beast. I currently have ACT 1 of a script drafted which I fully intend to complete after presenting to my drama club peers. Then my full vision would be to direct it, exciting long term plans are the best plans. I say that because there’s nothing more satisfying than having a plan and then having someone ask you about it and you tell them until they get bored. Seriously having a plan is where success grows from!

OTHER STUFF INCLUDING TOP SECRET REBOOT OF OLD PROJECT THAT IS MY DESTINY TO WRITE

Right now after a nice few weeks away from editing I am drafting some new material. This stuff is very much connected to why I set out to be a writer. There will be robots, enough said. Right now I will call this Project X43.

JOIN MY MAILING LIST!

I have said before and will say it again, I have an abundance of free material I want to give out but I need you to sign up via email to this website. Trust me good stuff will only be sent your way, sign up today!

 

And so my 2017 is fully planned, I even have a list on my wall. Let the revolution of writing begin!!!!

 

 

 

My Big Book Giveaway Competition

The world is just days away from the official launch of my first book OPEN EVENING! 

copy-of-cover

It’s time you embraced the unexpected and joined me on this incredible journey to publication in just under a weeks time!

So in my attempts to get as many eyes on the product as possible I am running a book give away competition.

I, Lee Hall have two freshly printed paperback copies to give away. They will be signed and addressed to the two lucky winners who will be notified on the 28th of September 2016 (the day before the book is officially released).

How to enter

All you have to do is the following….

  1. Like my Facebook page
  2. Click attending on my official ‘Open Evening launch event’ on Facebook 
  3. Share the Open Evening launch event

Optionally and I will take this into account, you could even use the hashtag #openevening whilst sharing the event. Also feel free to share the event on other social media sites. The more you do the more chance I will choose you (don’t work too hard though)!

Good luck and I very much look forward to signing the books!

Design For Writers Review: Judging a book by its cover

No matter who you are, the first thing you do when judging something is by looking at the appearance. Now I’m not saying we are all judgmental like its a bad thing, this is just a fact.

When the wheels were put in motion for the publication of my first book OPEN EVENING, which arrives on the 29th of this month (or if you are reading this after, where have you been? Either way thanks for reading so you can stay), I set out to find the best possible way in which to display my book.

Many of my publishing inspirations have come from a particular author and blogger known as Catherine Ryan Howard. Her website is a very valuable resource for anyone looking to self-publish or even get published. Her book titled Self Printed is a fantastic guide to publishing. Even if you are curious about the process this lady knows it all so check it out. Saying that her recommendations pointed me towards Design for Writers.

design-for-writersJust their Facebook page alone will show you their wonderful capabilities and so I made contact. At this moment in time I wasn’t particularly sure what I wanted my cover to represent, in all the time of me having this story the tag line would always be ‘Embrace the unexpected’ so how do you depict that in the form of a cover?

Well design for writers have a wonderful way of gathering information about the book (they need to in order to create). Upon initiation of the project; I was invited to an online collaborative base camp. My objectives were clearly laid out along with the various stages of the whole development all the way to final proofs.

When taking on a project like this it is imperative to know the ins and outs of the book. After all the writer is the creator but without everyone else they are just idle words.

The objectives I needed to divulge information with included who I thought the target market would be, reader emotion when reading the book, tone, cultural references, particular poster scenes, perspective, themes, protagonists, synopsis, key words, blurb, genre, setting, point of view, ideas towards a cover, similar books, good design types and even bad.

So you probably get the idea that it takes a hell of a lot of detail to make a decent cover!

Saying that my experience from beginning to end was entirely pleasant and the people I dealt with were always helpful, contactable and professional. There is plenty of stuff I don’t know as a first time author so their patience and understanding was very much appreciated.

Working in the base camp allowed me to see the emergence of not one or two versions of a cover but three! All of them awesome in their own right but after much deliberation not only from me but close friends I came to the choice. Then came the blurb and finally the whole thing pulled together. The gradual piece together process gave the real essence of work in progress which resulted in a fantastic final product.

The cover of a book, especially in this age of ‘I want entertainment now!’ is a synonymous part to the success of it. In my case  its mysterious but also somewhat suggestive towards what the story is about. The colour scheme is eye catching but not too bright and overall it does the one job its supposed to, act as a great eye catching cover. You could sum it up to say the cover of my book OPEN EVENING is simple but very effective! 

Design for writers were wonderful to work with and well worth the investment of money which will only help towards the eventual goal of my stuff being read.The total price I paid was £249.00. which is way worth it for the cover I have.

Things are rolling towards publication day and if you want to be a part of it then join me at my online book launch event via Facebook!  My #YearOfWriting continues….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Book Cover….Revealed!!!

It’s time to embrace the unexpected because the moment is finally here. After a year of hard work not only from me but some other wonderful people I can show you the visual representation of what my dream looks like!

Ladies and Gentlemen introducing the cover of my first book Open Evening!

copy-of-cover

This is actually happening!

At the end of this month I shall ask you all to join me on my journey of publication as the destination is finally reached.

Open Evening hits the amazon shelves via satin publishing in the form of an e-book, but do not despair those who love the smell of real pages. The print version will follow soon so why not see if you like it by checking out the online version! #Hardselling

Save the date of the 29th and let’s help a new author make their mark in the literary world!

So what did the process of making the cover entail? Well it all started when I discovered design for writer’s work and checked them out on the Facebook. After agreeing a quotation, the project was initiated at the beginning of August and I was invited to an online project base camp. An online tool to collect as much information as possible about Open Evening and what I want it to represent as a cover. After some back and forth questions on both sides the cover is finally here and its awesome!

Originally there were three versions of a cover that I was given a choice from. To begin with a very hard decision, but after some consultation with my cover artist and some close friends the above product was chosen and how great does it look.

I don’t expect huge sales within the first few weeks or months of publication but this sort of thing takes time and people, decent people who like decent story telling like you! So come the 29th it will be time for you to survive Open Evening!

2016 is my #YearOfWriting and its happening now!!

 

(Cover design by designforwriters.com)(Open Evening copyright by Lee Hall 2016 Published by Satin Publishing 2016)

 

Book Update

Blog number 80!

My debut novel Open Evening is under two months away from publication. Things are beginning to move in my #YearOfWriting and they are moving towards this project being finalized. And so loyal follower or new reader I thought I would grace you with my presence by informing you of the news.

Here are the facts: On September the 29th this year, Open Evening will be available as an e-book via amazon.

Sometime later in the month of October (in time for Halloween ooooh) the paperback version will be available for you to buy via a print on demand service. I would recommend you buy this if you really like the e-book version as it will probably be pricey (close friends and family, if you think you qualify will get one as a gift from me).

Open Evening is completely new stand-alone young adult horror story. It is not about robots in the future which my previous unpublished works were (they will come later).

It will be brought to you by the wonderful services of satin publishing, an e-pub house who have successfully published many books previously. Nicky Fitzmaurice of satin will be editing my manuscript and providing the publishing services.

Design for writers will be producing the cover (which I am already very very excited about). They have produced some excellent work which you can see on their FB page. I am currently putting together every ounce of information they need to give me the best possible eye catching cover.

Very soon there will be an official cover reveal, then things will get really really exciting.

I’m currently very busy editing the book myslef at the moment so if you see me in person your very lucky, oh and I am going to be 27 this week so buy me card in the form of a beverage.

This is all well and good but what is Open Evening about? I shall present you with some quotations from the narrative.

“Sometimes you don’t get to choose where you are placed in the collective ecosystem of a high school. Survival for me has always been objective number one.” 

“Just remember what you expect and what actually happens are two separate things.”

“The unexpected is a wonderful thing; anything can come from such a place including the horrors of mystery surrounding it. Sometimes it isn’t what is there but what could be there.”

“If I can see you, they can see you.”

Who are they you ask? Well they may or may not be human (but they are not robots). You shall have to find out. I hope I have given you enough to at least wet your appetite for what’s to come.

To be published is a dream come true for me and I very much want this to be a success. I can only do that with your help!

editing begins