Welcome message

Welcome, friends old and new, to my blog. This is the place where I can share my scribblings and thoughts on loving life. I hope you enjoy them, make suggestions and come back to read more.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review: Strange Worlds - Surreal Stories and Tainted Tales

Strange Worlds - Surreal Stories and Tainted Tales
Strange Worlds - Surreal Stories and Tainted Tales by Victoria Pearson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another stonker from Victoria Pearson! Having read, and loved, Strange Love: Short Stories and Twisted Tales, I had no hesitation buying this, her next collection of short stories (and poems too- which was a refreshing surprise!). I found the range of ideas as diverse and pleasing as in her last book and many of the stories (Chasing Rainbows and After the End, in particular) prompted an immediate reread. Highly recommended if you like your fiction short, thought-provoking and beautifully written.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Web store is open!

I've been receiving requests from readers who live too far away to have their book signed for a way to purchase a signed copy directly from me. So, with much chewing of fingernails at the tech-geekery knowledge that is required, I have set up a web store on the Strange Ideas website. Use the link to go straight there if you'd like to buy one. And thank you x

Any questions or problems, email me at louisewestwriter@gmail.com

Also, if you're inclined, you can recommend me for the Guardian series on indie authors by clicking here and filling in the short, simple form.

Monday, 24 June 2013

My School Report 2013

With it being that time of year, my thoughts are consumed with writing reports, so naturally I came up with this...


End of Year Report for: Louise West

Louise has had an eventful and successful year, though she really should try to concentrate on the task in hand and not procrastinate or flit off to the next shiny thing. Her behaviour is good, if not always predictable, and she should aim to behave herself when in public.

Literacy: Louise spends far too much time reading, and should really pull her head out of trashy horror novels and join in with the world a bit more. Her writing shows promise, and evidence of a warped imagination, but she should aim to make her handwriting legible to others, rather than the indecipherable scrawl of incorrectly-formed letters she demonstrates at the moment.

Sunday, 23 June 2013


We all love a freebie, don't we?

I hate Mondays, so I thought I'd try to do something to make them a little better. Sooooo (drumroll) Late: a ghostly tale will be free to download every Monday for the next five weeks!

If you've already read it and enjoyed it, then please share this news with your friends and invite them to jump into my ghostly tale. Hopefully, they'll love it too.

Also, if you're inclined, you can recommend me for the Guardian series on indie authors by clicking here and filling in the short, simple form.

Enjoy your Sunday and pop back tomorrow to read my school report...

Friday, 21 June 2013

A Friend in Need's a Friend Indeed...

...as the wise Brian Molko once sang. If you don't know who he is, Google him. He's pretty.

This self-publishing lark is great fun, apart from the toe-curling cringiness of having to be very un-British and push myself forward a bit. I'm finding that part quite hard. That's why today's post is a bit difficult for me because I need to ask a favour. I'll have to build up to it bit first- work up my nerve...

I made a great start promoting my book online (where I didn't have to actually look anyone in the eye) and have given out contact cards to everyone who has shown the slightest interest. I even managed to blush and stammer my way into Bookmark, Spalding, where a few copies of Strange Ideas now share shelf space with more established and bankable books. My press release is written and, after a few deep breaths, will be sent off soon. So, hard but doable (even if I did have a teeny-weeny hyperventilation episode).

The favour I need, dear friends and lovers of cake and Strange Ideas, is an easy one. The Guardian are running a series where they feature self-published authors, and are looking for readers to recommend self-published authors whose work they've enjoyed (starting to blush at the thought of what's coming next).

What I'm asking- well, hoping- is that you might like to... you know... maybe suggest me? (palms start to sweat) If you don't mind.

Simply go to their website and recommend me on the short form at the bottom of the page (eeeeek- awkward). All that is required is for you to enter my name, my book and a few words on why you think I'm great (I'm actually cringing right now- I'm so not good at this). That's it. Two minutes of your time to make me happier than cake does.

I'd be eternally grateful and would add you to my Cake List. If neither of those is an incentive, how about hugs? I'm good at hugs x

Review: Blog of the Dead- Sophie

Blog of the Dead- Sophie
Blog of the Dead- Sophie by Lisa Richardson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I've only just got my breath back! Superb page-turner that kept me up late and had me planning my own zombie-apocalypse plan. The blog idea was a novel twist on a diary format and the first-person perspective and no-nonsense description (no time for ruminating on the beauty of the Autumn leaves turning when you're out-running zombies) kept me right in the thick of the action. Will definitely reread- once I've built up my nerve...

View all my reviews

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Friday, 14 June 2013

Friday Five: Five phrases you might see on your child's report- and what they REALLY mean

Summer term. The home stretch. All the tests have been completed, all the paperwork has been filed, and teachers everywhere are relaxing just a little and opting to play rounders in the sunshine with their class instead of teaching them history.

I expect we all have happy memories of summer terms from our own childhood, when it felt like we never did any proper work, and there is a definite sigh of relief when the summer holidays are in sight.

But for teachers, arguably, the hardest task is still to be tackled. The End of Year Report. That little thorn on an otherwise beautiful rose of a term. While children are enjoying weekends free of homework, teachers are shackled to laptops and desperately trying to be constructive and creative in their descriptions of their little darlings. As a writer, school reports are the most challenging test of my craft- finding that delicate balance between honesty and tact, fact and fiction of the white-lie variety.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who writes in code. It's simply not done to be too truthful and blunt; in fact, being British and terrified of offending in even the most basic of situations, euphemisms are a blessing when writing reports. Here are some of the secret codes you might find in your child's report, and what they really mean.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Strange Questions- and even Stranger Answers!

I've been interviewed by the lovely Drew Avera about my Strange Ideas, amongst other things...


Pop over to his blog to find out my favourite Ninja turtle, how I was ripped off in Bali (and why I didn't mind) and who would play Jimmy in a film.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Teaser Tuesday: LilyElement Book Reviews

I'm a little bit chuffed today, as Strange Ideas: Death, Destiny and Decisions has been chosen as this week's "Teaser Tuesday". It is a rather interesting extract... 

Pop over to www.lilyelement.blogspot.co.uk to check it out.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Review: Two Penny Blue

Two Penny Blue
Two Penny Blue by L.K. Jay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A gorgeous little gem!

Well-written and well-paced, tight and sound. I got into this really quickly and, although I suspected how the situation would be resolved, I didn't get it exactly right- which was actually a pleasant surprise! The characters are fleshed out nicely with enough detail to make them believable without an "info-dump" to bog the story down. I was aware, as I was reading, that I was emotionally invested in Penny and Florence's happy ending, and whizzed through the ending chapters to make sure they got there safely. 'Phew!'

A lovely quick read (I finished in a couple of hours) to enjoy and be engrossed in while your cup of tea goes cold.

View all my reviews

Review: Spooked

Spooked by Tracy Sharp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I downloaded this on a whim, as the idea seemed interesting, and I'm glad I did as I enjoyed reading the story.

The opening was intriguing and had me asking lots of questions, most of which were resolved by the end of the book. I wonder if my questions about her parents, for example, will be answered in future books? The characters were developed well enough for me to be able to imagine them and Lorelei's gift is original- this is not a Twilight copy-cat. Although she is bewildered, Lorelei is not the kind of girl who lets people fight over her (although she does accept help). I'm interested in what happens next and how she develops her gift- like some other reviewers, I felt that some assumptions were made and some loose ends left, but this may be deliberate.

An enjoyable read that I whipped through quite happily.

View all my reviews