Tag Archives: e-books

The Sphinx Project – Review

6 Mar

Today I want to share with you The Sphinx Project a new title that has just been released by self published author Katherine Hawkings.

Lets start with the blurb:

Not many people can say their entire existence has been one big lab experiment: poked and prodded by scientists, genetically modified to be the best and endure the worst, subjected to daily tests and trials that would kill a normal human. All Michaela wants is her own life, to be able to go to school, flirt with boys, maybe eat ice cream now and then. So when the chance to escape finally comes, Michaela and her sister grab it, taking their friends with them.
But they weren’t the only ones to find their way out of those labs. Following close behind are another breed of creature, one that doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, who exist only to feed their own hunger. The appearance of a strange boy who seems too much like them to be a coincidence makes things even more confusing. But as the world begins to literally fall apart around them, Michaela must accept his help, especially when she could lose the very thing she holds dearest: her sister.

Sounds good. Believe me, it does not disappoint. Fast paced, action packed, compelling storyline..even the slightest hint of romance is included in this genreless book.(Maybe I have made that word up – lets run with it!) And it is genreless, its crossover is what holds its appeal, a bit of everything for everyone and it certainly seems effortless, and there is not one point that I scrunched my face feeling that it didn’t work.

Sure, it may predominantly fit YA but i think to pigeon-hole it would detract from its quality.

I just have two negative points to raise. During the first half of the book a couple of times I felt the information was repeated. Just the odd line, but I noticed it, so I have to mention it. The other one is the fact that this book is part of a series, and I need the rest of that series NOW. Seriously, I feel like my iPad has been stolen midway through a book.

My recommendation is that everyone should read this book. Even if it isn’t your usual cup of tea, the drama and action is too much to ignore, you will be at the end before you even know you have started. If, like me, you are impatient, I recommend you follow Katherine Hawkings to keep up to date with new releases so you can get the full series in one hit as soon as it is available.

You can pick up your copy here.


Have you self -published?

10 Dec

Hi all,

So this evening I have searched the ibookstore for my self published friends and have started building a little collection of works – this is my reading until Christmas when I can collect my next batch of books from my Mum. (You know the story right?)

Drop your name in the comment if you have self published and want me to download a copy – or if you wish to recommend a work.

Why? Well, obviously I need something to read, but, I feel a little guilty. So many of you have released works but I have been too ‘busy’ to jump on to downloading straight away – lame I know! I am ready now, so ‘it is time’.

By the way, I am not after freebies, just suggestions!

I look forward to seeing my new reading list.

A Cuppa Book Launch is happening now!

8 Dec

The book launch is on now http://www.facebook.com/ACuppaandAnArmchair/posts/207771662637092#!/events/256764657711969/

Come and show your support – tell us what biscuits you like to dunk in your cuppa!

The book launch!

5 Dec

It is almost time for me to hang up my…my what? I am not sure, but it is nearing the end of my journey with A Cuppa and An Armchair.

I shall compress the files, tidy the emails, sort the blog and close the computer. We are done.

Yeah right!

Thursday is the official book launch day, yay! Please do pop on by www.facebook.com/acuppaandanarmchair and get involved with the book launch. Invite your friends, chat to authors, learn more about the ‘behind the scenes’ events.

When you are on the page, you will see a schedule emerging, as each author/artist lets us know when they will be online. I am quite excited by this event. It marks an end to a really involved project that i have enjoyed tremendously.

If nothing else, pop by the page to join in the cheer that this side of things is finally done – time to move on. Guessing you are all getting pretty sick of this project now.

Ha ha, it’s not over though is it? Of course not. You all know about the children’s books that are released at Easter, so I won’t rehash the information. It will definitely though have another name, under the umbrella of a cuppa. Actually, I don’t know. I feel pretty brain-dead at the mo…definitely need a rest.


So without further ado, we hope you come and visit our event on Thursday evening. See you there!

Time for my CUPPA!

27 Nov

A cup of tea and a slice of chocolate cake is waiting for me. You cannot begin to imagine how long I have dreamt about sitting down to enjoy such simplicity without the computer switched on, or nagging thoughts running around my mind.

Today is a special day, no, today is an amazing day. Finally, I can put my feet up and say, I have earned this!

What am I talking about? Well A Cuppa and an Armchair of course. It has totally consumed me over the last couple of months. I have literally put the kids to bed and started working every evening, switching the computer off as I get nudged and told it is time for bed.

My lunch breaks have been taken up by meetings or responding to emails, research and more. The most hilarious moment for me was when in a moment of panic I decided it was time to refer to the how to guides…it wasn’t long before A Simple Guide became a much needed reference. (Shameless plug but honestly, it was a permanent fixture on my iPad)

As with all projects, I had two little voices, the one that said give up, you never agreed to this much work, and the other one that said, you have told the world what you are doing, why you are doing it, and those that have chosen to be part of this trust you. They believe in you.

That is an almighty burden that I never envisaged. I never contemplated letting other people down at the beginning. When this started, it was about a charity called Equipe and raising money. Today, and I reached this conclusion sometime back, I can say this book is not about Equipe, it is about the writers and artists and everyone in between who got involved and took this opportunity and really made it something special. Equipe getting the money for each sale is just an added bonus now. (Don’t hate me for that but really, there is no book without such wonderful people).

So does this mean we have a release date? Ha ha ha. No. Lol! I should receive the proof on Wednesday and as soon as that is in my hands and I have checked it we will get a date that it will be available for sale. I can’t say it will be before Christmas, I have bene told we may mange it still, but lets just keep our fingers crossed. By the way, the proof I am referring to is the paperback without images. The paperback with images may be a few days later as I am waiting on an email.

(What? Two books? Urgh, long story but basically with images has ended up relatively expensive so we opted for two books to give customer choice – ebook is with images!)

Where will you be able to buy it – pretty much everywhere online, in bookstores you will need to preorder!!

The ebook is now on its way to the various distributors but is available on smashwords today. (I know, I know we should wait for an official release but I am kinda excited here!!!) The ebook is selling for $2.99. It will be available on Amazon in this format, but I have handed over the last bit of ‘faff’ to my husband – seriously my eyes will just give up and maintain a continued blurriness for the rest of forever and beyond is I sit there trying to understand all that not so difficult techniques they mumble on about…..sorry I am just not very good at tech!

I am not so stupid that I expect everything to run smoothly from here. I know that there will be glitches in the text that will need sorting – if there wasnt I would be very suspicious. I know I still have a heap load of PR that I need to get through, but you know what, we are almost there and at times I didn’t think we would reach this stage so big round of applause to all involved.

Now I know I have previously given thanks to various people, but time to do it again, in full.

Andrew Blair    

Mike Norbury

Cora Beth Carter

Gavin Hayes

Rachel Stevenson

Charlotte E. English

Gethin Morgan

Michelle Payne

Alicia Cunningham

Alan Lloyd

Chelsea Sutherland

Danielle Shipley  

Melanie Kerr

J.S. Wilsoncroft     

Daniel Challinor

Skyler Luttrell

Nick Deglar

Lawrence Chadwick -Smith

Danielle Zwissler

Carol Hoare

Jack Kempster

Darryl Robertson

Brian Burke

Cara Branigan

Leigh Gembus

A massive thank you also to all that have shown support and follow us on Facebook – you guys are amazing!

A Cuppa – We Are Well On Our Way

4 Nov

We finally reached the date of announcements, well that should be we finally reached announcements, but we are there. Authors have been notified, information sought, and now we are in the process of contacting the proofreader, illustrators and sorting out all the other odds and sods.

Oh who am I kidding? Now the hard work begins.

Lets just go back a bit, before we talk plans. We at Cuppa HQ were simply overwhelmed by the response we received for this project. The stories came in faster than expected, and as many of you know, due to demand, we even had to extend the submission date. Some may say we were mad, but really, this is, without sounding cheesy, your project, so you should be given every opportunity to be involved.

One thing we have lacked on though is children’s stories. A notoriously difficult genre to write for, we didn’t even reach enough submissions to complete the full book as we had wanted. However, every submission received was of outstanding quality. We are still finalising the details about what we will do, but it is certain the children’s stories will be released during 2012, possibly around Easter, but a promo code will be given to everyone that purchases the ‘grown ups’ book during December to receive a free copy/discount.

The book to be released in December will contain 22 short stories. As I am still waiting for confirmation emails,, I am holding off the announcement for whose work is included and the titles. I was tempted to announce them as I had the thumbs up from the author but felt this was not the best idea. I learnt early on that it is best wait a few days, than to jump ahead. Removing impulse removes the fun somewhat but hey ho, I have a responsibility now to make sure this is right.

The selection of stories was a very hard process that I hadn’t foreseen. I imagined the panel selecting the same stories – not at all. There was one that I absolutely decided could not be included, and it stuck with me, it was the only one I wanted to discuss. However, this same story was an absolute must of another panel member. Strange inst it? Especially seen as we were trying to mark not just as a good read, but quality of writing also. just goes to show, what is one mans art is another mans rubbish.

Oh, side note here, I secretly submitted one of my stories…it was REJECTED!!!

Overall, the difficulties for the panel with such diverse choices I feel shows the quality of the work. Inevitably, provided with enough choice, you will sway towards your preference of genre, and I do believe it has resulted in a wide-ranging choice of stories for the reader.

Our next steps to take is making everything shiny. clean up the grammar, add some finishing touches, and then my favourite headache, formatting. I am already dreading this stage, I am just not very technically minded. I promised myself i was going to have the time to sit down and follow the step by step instructions, and do it myself. I know once I have mastered it, I will be fine. However, seen as in the last two weeks I have scarcely had chance to deal with my work, as well as reading my favourite blogs, I am unsure that I will have this opportunity, so what to do?

I guess another plea. If you have completed formatting for ebooks, would you like to attempt this for us? I know I know, why would you want to, but I guess for some people it is enjoyable…another mans art and all that.

Short explanation: as this is a charity book we have applied for funding. However, the process has taken longer than anticipated and we are now working on a full zero funding budget.

Which is an absolute kicker. One of our authors works for Waterstones. It has been requested that his own store stock the book, and they would be willing to talk with the buying department – the aim being to stock it nationally (this is how I interpreted it). Erm, sure yes. let’s do this properly. lets not pass up this potential opportunity. Erm, oh, no funding to print off stock. (ENTER EXPLICIT HERE).

Initially we had thought we could work around this problem if it arose, now Cuppa HQ are running around like crazy to make sure this problem is overcome.

Definitely keeping fingers crossed.

One other thing is we have decided we would like to include illustrations and photos within the centre of the book. Ideally they should be related to the idea of the project, be thought-provoking, or be related to one of the stories. I shall be writing a list of story related themes for you to work to if you would like to be involved in this.

As always, if anyone has any questions, please email me at ellieransley@gmail.com

A Cuppa And An Armchair - Available December 2011

A Cuppa and an Armchair

18 Sep

Welcome to my new project, A Cuppa and an Armchair. This is in association with Ceri Pritchett, and the charity Equipe.

This is the official blurb;

A Cuppa and an armchair is a collaborative venture joining writers and the charity, Equipe, in a bid to raise much-needed funds.

Our aim is to create several books, with one aimed solely at children. Each book shall be available to buy worldwide, as both a paperback and an e-book.

To achieve this, we are asking all writers to come forward and submit their short stories. Should we accept your submission, you will not be paid for your work, however, credit will be given to you within the book, as well as within the book listings on sites such as Amazon.

But it is not just stories we need. We will need assistance with illustrations, cover designs, proof reading, the list goes on. If you would like to help in this project, please contact us via the inbox.

*Equipe is an international charity working into East Africa, India, Papua New Guinea and The Philippines. Its mission is to enable and empower local people to break the cycle of poverty through education, sustainable infrastructure and business.

**At this time we are considering short stories of any genre. Each story cannot be any longer than 2,000 words, and must be free of any offensive language or adult graphic scenes. Please contact us via the inbox.

This project is still very much in its early days, but we are hoping to be published by Christmas. Are we mad? Probably.

So friends, would you like to be involved? I know most writers have short stories tucked away that they are proud of but don’t know what to do with them. Or perhaps you have an idea that you just havent had chance to put down yet. Maybe now is the time.

I shall be posting information about the charity, but in the meantime, if you would like to know more, you can visit their webpage;


or facebook


You can also show your support for the project by following this link, to the official A Cuppa and An Armchair page.