Mad About You by Sinead Moriarty: mishmash novel with some sparky sections

The plot involving the mad nanny really needs to be put to sleep now, on a permanent basis – it’s very 1980s and very dull. And actually, I have no idea why it appears as such a main item in this book as it doesn’t need it – I had the feeling that Moriarty was trying too hard to jazz the chick lit genre up a little, but adding a (boring) thriller element to it just isn’t the answer.

It was also strange that all the characters are dull, flat and whine a lot up until p242 (in my paperback copy) when something exciting and funny happens, hurrah! The scene here with new friend Poppy telling the gals how honest she’s been with her new man is hysterical and very satisfying indeed – why can’t Poppy be the main character? That would be a wonderful read for sure!

Anyway, after the marvellous page 242, it was as if the author suddenly woke up and starting giving us a decent story – well apart from the crazed nanny thing (yawn) and our super-shallow irritating heroine. More than that, the minor characters start to feel real for the first time and I even began to fall in love with the ‘in your face’ sister Babs, from a position of absolutely hating her at the beginning! Now, give me a novel with Poppy and Babs in and I’m definitely buying it …

So, something of a mishmash but with some good characters in secondary roles, once the author got round to writing them.

5 out of 10.

Anne Brooke Books


Blog 17: More rejection gloom interspersed with a dash of comic romance

Sigh. Another rejection for crime novella, The Gangster’s Wife, today, groan. Always so disheartening, but at least the buggers weren’t smug, which is quite a novelty in today’s publishing world, I have to say. Just a simple no with no frills attached, which is the best that can be expected, hey ho.

So only another 4 rejections to go and then it’s Self-Publishing City once more for me. Oh well.

Still, at least the free downloads of The Prayer Seeker at Amazon are still going strong, so free books whenever and wherever possible is obviously the way forward for the Vanishing Writer. It’s now been downloaded 511 times in August, hurrah! – I was hoping to get over 500 downloads before the end of the month, so it really feels good to have made that milestone.

Plus there’s a lovely 5-star review from the very kind Vicki Tyley (a cracking author, don’t you know …) at Amazon for comic romance Rosie by Name – thank you, Vicki.

Writerly confidence rating: 2

Blog 8: Today’s rejection and the patronising publisher

Hey ho, the second rejection for quirky crime novella, The Gangster’s Wife, is now in my inbox. So only 4 more refusals to go before I self-publish the pesky beast and it disappears without trace in the vast Kindleverse. Sigh. Such is the sad and mainly unread life of the vanishing writer. Still, at least this rejection is less smug than most I receive so kudos to the small press publisher for that. However, it lost a huge number of points for including the teeth-grittingly cliched and standardised paragraph saying that of course they would be happy to consider other work I might wish to send them in the usual way.

Waste of Time Alert! Publishers: please for heaven’s sake don’t patronise writers and include a standard paragraph saying such nonsense. We are perfectly well able to understand that if one work is rejected, we can quite easily send another at a later date. Um we do have brains and working email systems, you know. Now, if there’s a genuine non-standardised paragraph saying something along the lines of liking the writing style/plot/colour of font, then that’s vaguely acceptable (as we are actually able to work out if our style/plot/colour of font suits you on our own initiative, don’t you know …) but it’s still a nuisance, and I personally discount such irritants. So, publishers: if you’re going to reject, just ruddy well reject. Don’t simper. All you need say is: no thanks, not for us. Anything beyond that is patronising smugness and we don’t warm to it.

On a more positive note, I now have the first round of edits back from another publisher for children’s novel, The Origami Nun, so will be working on that next. It’s supposed to be out sometime in September, but it’s a mystery as to exactly when and I’ve given up worrying about it. One assumes that’s September this year, but it’s hard to say, as my contacts there are a tad communication-lite. We’ll see, eh.

In the meantime, there’s another 5-star review for Christian novella, The Prayer Seeker, on Amazon (hurrah!), and it’s now been downloaded 257 times in August, so that’s 23 copies today. Gosh.

Writerly confidence rating: oh, about 4, I suppose.

Blog 6: a good review


Ah, the crazy rollercoaster ride of the writing life. After the disappointment of this morning’s rejection (see Blog 5) comes the joy of a 5-star Amazon review for gay thriller Maloney’s Law, an extract of which is below:

“This is a powerful, propulsive thriller that grabs you, on page one, and never lets you go. It’s so well-written, the characters, the action, the settings, the emotions, that I was mesmerized by the sheer talent and skill of Ms. Brooke. It is such a pleasure to read gay-themed literature that’s professionally edited, written as well as any best-seller, and deals with the gay issues as a sort of sidebar – it’s not the plot, it’s just what is. I shall read as much of Ms. Brooke’s writing as I can get my hands on. I strongly recommend that you do the same.”

Gosh, that’s put a smile on my Old Hag face.

Writerly Confidence Rating: 10+ (hey, it won’t last so don’t panic …)