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Books On The Hill – Part Three

By now you will hopefully have seen my previous posts about the Books On The Hill Open Dyslexia Kickstarter campaign, so you will already know a lot about this project. Today, I would like to introduce you to the authors who are involved with this wonderful scheme, and review another of the books.

WHO ARE WE WORKING WITH

BOTH logo 7 shop coloursWe have been so fortunate that many great authors have agreed to contribute to this project. All are brilliant authors and are names I am sure you will recognise.

Stan Nicholls, who has been a great support to me particularly with my PhD. He is the author of many novels and short stories but is best known for the internationally acclaimed Orcs: First Blood series.

Steven Savile, the fantasy, horror and thriller writer, now lives in Stockholm whose father is a customer of our bookshop.

The horror duo that is Thana Niveau and John Llewellyn Probert, both well established and engaging authors and also residents of Clevedon.

Adrian Tchaikovsky is an Arthur Clark Award winner and best known for his series Shadows of the Apt, and for his novel Children of Time.

Steven Poore is the highly acclaimed fantasy writer who I first met on my first fantasy convention in Scarborough.

We finish the Magnificent Seven with Joel Cornah, who also has dyslexia, and with whom I participated in a podcast on dyslexia for the Clevedon Literature 2020 ‘Festival in the Clouds’.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

We are launching a Kickstarter beginning in April 2nd 2021 for 30 days, with the focus on paying for the printing of our books and giving us starting capital to continue to print more titles.

There will be many ways you can be involved in this. You can contribute on the Kickstarter website itself. There will be a number of different options of donating money, in which you will receive rewards, such as ebooks of a title or a paperback of one or more of the titles to be published. In addition a unique reward from authors who are contributing to the project.

You can still contribute outside the Kickstarter. We are happy to receive your help in the shop, where we will have a donation box available.

Now, time for my final review of the campaign, for The House on The Old Cliff, by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

BLURB:

A collection of desperate investigators are unleashed on a mysterious disappearance, by a lawyer working for clients who care little about the quarry’s fate and more for their own interests.

THOTOC_cover A_FRONT

REVIEW:

I think of the three books I have reviewed as part of this campaign, this one has to be my favourite. The whole concept of a group of people, virtual strangers, heading off to a remote house to investigate a disappearance gave me chills from the very start.  These people were polar opposites of each other, and you can just feel that their relationships are going to be strained, to say the least. Add to that a creepy, deserted house located on mist shrouded cliffs in Scotland and you have a very creepy tale on your hands.

The outcome to the mystery is incredibly imaginative, and I found the whole thing absolutely fascinating. I would love to see this story expanded, and feel that it would make for a very dramatic screen adaptation.

IMPORTANT LINKS:

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Books On The Hill – Part Two

Hopefully you will have seen my post earlier this month about the Books on the Hill Kickstarter (if you missed it you can read it HERE). I am back today to tell you all about the team behind the campaign, and share my review of another of the books.

THE TEAM

Books on the Hill is Alistair Sims. He is the manager and commander-in-chief of the bookshop (though his partner, Chloe and his mother, Joanne, who set up the bookshop with him, may disagree with this description ). Alistair is dyslexic and has a PhD in history and archaeology. Alistair could not read until he was 13 and is passionate about helping anyone who has difficulty reading. He is the driving force behind BOTH Press and has been involved in every step in this project, from finding award winning authors to contribute, the cover design, and the road to publication, including setting up for distribution.

Books on the Hill are collaborating with Chrissey Harrison, who is also an local author and member of North Bristol Writers Group. Chressey and Alistair have designed the book-covers together, with Chrissey creating the finished product we now look on at awe with. Nearly all the design work has been done by Chrissey, and she is also in charge of the printing process, typesetting. We are so proud and appreciative to be working with her.

Special mention must go to Harrison Gates, who runs Nine Worthy, and who has dedicated his time and expertise to produce our print catalogue for us free of cost.

Joanne Hall is an author, editor and formerly the Chair of BristolCon, Bristol’s premier (and only) science fiction and fantasy convention. We must give a huge thank you to Jo for proof reading the stories free of cost.

Vicky Brewster has edited all the new stories by the authors. She specialises in editing and beta reading long-form fiction. Vicky is a great professional editor.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

We are launching a Kickstarter beginning in April 2nd 2021 for 30 days, with the focus on paying for the printing of our books and giving us starting capital to continue to print more titles.

There will be many ways you can be involved in this. You can contribute on the Kickstarter website itself. There will be a number of different options of donating money, in which you will receive rewards, such as ebooks of a title or a paperback of one or more of the titles to be published. In addition a unique reward from authors who are contributing to the project.

You can still contribute outside the Kickstarter. We are happy to receive your help in the shop, where we will have a donation box available.

For my second review of the books involved in this campaign, I will be looking at Sherlock Holmes and the Four Kings of Sweden by Steven Savile.

BLURB:

Summoned by the Swedish royalty, the Great Detective must solve a seemingly unsolvable riddle – how can the King be in three places at once? What devilry is it that has thousands of eye witnesses placing the monarch at cities a thousand miles apart? Witchcraft? Sorcery? Why? And how does this tie in to a string of crimes that seem to hound the King’s footsteps?

REVIEW:

I must confess, I have never read a single Sherlock Holmes story, although they are on my TBR pile and I have recently downloaded the audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry which I am very much looking forward to listening too. That said, I am a fan of a couple of the screen incarnations of the famous detective, and so I was keen to read this book.

I am pleased to report that my first experience of reading a Sherlock Holmes story did not disappoint. In fact, I absolutely loved it! It was fast-paced and twisty, and put me very much in mind of the Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law pairing. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to unravel the mystery as I read, but as always I remained totally bewildered until Holmes and his superior intellect revealed the truth in a suitably dramatic fashion.

This was a great fun read, and I heartily recommend it.

IMPORTANT LINKS:

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Books On The Hill – Part One

I have the honour today of sharing with you details of a fantastic Kickstarter project that is all about producing great fiction for people with dyslexia. This is the first of a series of posts that I will be sharing across April to tell you all about the project and the people involved, and reviewing some of the books.

THE PROJECT

BOTH logo 7 shop coloursBooks on the Hill is passionate about helping people who have dyslexia, or have any difficulty with reading, to access the joy of good fiction. There are great books out now for children with dyslexia, with specialist publishers like Barrington Stokes and mainstream publishers such as Bloomsbury doing their part. However, there are sadly very few books for adults with Dyslexia in traditional mass market publishing.

Dyslexia is a learning difference that primarily affects reading and writing skills. The NHS estimates that up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK have some form of dyslexia, while other dyslexic organisations believe 1 in 5 and more than 2 million people in the UK are severely affected.

Dyslexia does not stop someone from achieving. There are many individuals who are successful and are dyslexic. Famous actors, such as Orlando Bloom; Entrepreneurs like Theo Paphitis, and many, many more, including myself. All of who believe dyslexia has helped them to be where they are now. Dyslexia, though, as I can attest to, does not go away. You don’t grow out of it, and so we are acknowledging that and trying to without being patronising, create a selection of books that will be friendly to people who deal with dyslexia every day.

Since we started the project in 2019, Books on the Hill have had many adults customers with dyslexia come in shop the asking for something accessible to read. For example, one customer asked if we stocked well known novels in a dyslexic friendly format. Unfortunately we had to say no, as they just don’t exist. We explained what we are trying to achieve by printing our own and she replied:

“I have been reading [children dyslexic] books but they are a bit childish so am really happy I have found your company!! Thanks so much again and thank you for making such a helpful and inclusive brand – it means a lot. “

This response is not isolated. We have had many adults come in to the shop with dyslexia, who do not read or struggle to read and they they believe dyslexic friendly books would have real impact on their reading for pleasure.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

We are launching a Kickstarter beginning in April 2nd 2021 for 30 days, with the focus on paying for the printing of our books and giving us starting capital to continue to print more titles.

There will be many ways you can be involved in this. You can contribute on the Kickstarter website itself. There will be a number of different options of donating money, in which you will receive rewards, such as ebooks of a title or a paperback of one or more of the titles to be published. In addition a unique reward from authors who are contributing to the project.

You can still contribute outside the Kickstarter. We are happy to receive your help in the shop, where we will have a donation box available.

The first of three books that I will be reviewing from the campaign is Anchor Point by Stan Nicholls.

BLURB:

Kye Beven is lacking confidence, and is ruthlessly bullied. Everyone except Dyan Varike, the best archer in the band, believes he is not good enough for the community’s defence. When Kye’s village is menaced by a despotic sorcerer, he reaches for his bow and steps up to the mark and saves his home.

AnchorPoint_Cover G_B-Format_FRONT-2

REVIEW:

I feel I should kick this off by saying that I do not have dyslexia, and have always been an avid reader. For me, reading is one of the great joys in life, and when I heard about this campaign to help bring this joy to people who might have previously been excluded, I knew I wanted to help spread the word. I must also confess that when I sat down to read the first of the books I had selected to review, I did have some concerns that I would find the story and its language overly simple, and difficult to review as I drew comparisons to the epic fantasy novels I love so much. For that pre-judgement I can offer the sincerest of apologies to Stan Nicholls and Books on the Hill because I was very much mistaken.

Whilst Anchor Point proved only to be a half hour read for me, Williams has created a cast of characters I was deeply invested in and a wonderful underdog hero in Kye to root for. The language is complex and the story is rich with detail and emotion. I am always so impressed by authors who can achieve this in a relatively small number of words, as this is something I really struggle with (in case you couldn’t tell that already from reading my reviews!).

Anchor Point is an absolute treat for fantasy lovers, and I am very much looking forward to reading more by Stan Williams, and discovering what the other authors involved with Books on the Hill have created for this campaign.

IMPORTANT LINKS:

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