Would you like Belfast Girls in your stocking this Christmas?

Award-winning Irish author, Gerry McCullough, releases her debut novel, 'Belfast Girls', on Amazon.com

The new full-length debut novel, Belfast Girls - from Ireland’s award-winning author, Gerry McCullough - has just been released on Amazon by new UK publisher, Night Publishing. This story of three girls growing up in contemporary Belfast captures the high life - and lowlife - of these post-conflict times, including drugs, high fashion, addiction and crime.

Gerry has been a successful short story writer for many years - with stories, poems and articles published regularly in magazines and anthologies in Ireland, UK and USA, and broadcast on BBC Radio. In 2005 she won the Cuírt International Literary Award in Galway, Ireland, for her short story, Primroses, and has been shortlisted/commended for other awards since then.

Says Gerry of Belfast Girls, “I’m bouncing off the walls! It’s something I’ve lived for and worked for my whole life, so I couldn’t tell you how happy I am. I’m hoping for a lot of support from the people of Ireland and beyond and I think the book is something everyone will enjoy.”

Her first novel follows the lives and loves of three girls from different religious backgrounds. In a city where such differences often separate, the girls manage to remain firm friends into adulthood. Their love lives are much more complicated, though. Sheila, the ‘ugly duckling turned beautiful swan’, becomes a successful super-model - dubbed the ‘ice maiden’ - but hides her unhappiness and dissatisfaction beneath the ice cool exterior.

Phil sets her heart on Davy, but he gets more and more entangled in the local crime scene, eventually dragging her down with him. Mary is wild and uncontrolled - until she almost overdoes it - then manages to re-build her life on a more solid foundation. John is all that Davy is not - solid, ambitious, serious, but also self-righteous, angry and conflicted. Drawn to one another, yet somehow repelled, John and Sheila’s love affair is more off than on. Where will it end?

Belfast Girls managed to make it to the top of the HarperCollinsAuthonomy.com site last April, earning Gerry a review from this major publisher. But it was Night Publishing, a smaller UK company, which actually offered to publish her first novel - without forcing it into any particular ‘genre’ pigeon-hole. The result is a novel which has plenty for everyone - action, emotion, gunmen, kidnapping, glamour and despair.

This novel is a thriller, romance, comedy and drama, rolled into one - as Gerry says, “Like most people’s lives!” So, why not put Belfast Girls into your stocking this season?

Belfast Girls paperback/Kindle editions available on Amazon.com, Kindleedition also on Amazon.co.uk

The River and Other Stories by Seán Mackel

launch debut novel

The River and Other Stories
Seán Mackel
Clarendon Bar Lounge, Strand Road, Derry
Thursday 25 November at 7:30pm
Guildhall Press is pleased to announce the launch of The River and Other Stories, a collection of short stories from local author Seán Mackel. This absorbing debut publication explores the intricacy of narratives between people and place, across time and territory. In the title story, an ageing house painter discovers the river to be the only true bridge. Elsewhere, a young couple reconciles the past through music, a dusty professor finds release working with a Czech puppeteer, and a surprise awaits the 1948 Tillies Shirt Factory Queen. The reader embarks on an intriguing journey beginning in 1920’s Donegal through Derry during WWII, from Australia to Poland and back again to a contemporary city on the cusp of cultural celebration.
Seán explains: “The thirteen short stories are thematically linked by a river, in this case the Foyle. In exploring these narratives, I was influenced by one translation of An Feabhal as ‘estuary of the lip’. And it was this link between life and language, which intrigued me. So the first story in my collection acknowledges the Irish language as the roots of our imagination. The collection then flows forward from the 1920s, through the forties, and addressing the Troubles, it continues up to the present day featuring characters from Australia , the Czech Republic , Germany , France and Poland . Given our recent history in the North, the title story, The River, explores the idea of truth. It is placed at the physical centre of the book. Like the River Foyle itself it has the capacity to divide and, more importantly, to unite.”
Seán added: “I’d like to give special thanks to Marilyn McLaughlin who was instrumental in the editing process of this collection and to Guildhall Press and the Arts Council for giving me the opportunity to have my work published. I hope everyone will enjoy my stories as much as I have enjoyed writing them.”
Included are stories previously short-listed for the Brian Moore Short Story Award 2003/04, Raymond Carver Short Story Contest 2004 and the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award 2008. In his foreword to The River and Other Stories, Derry-born author Sean O’Reilly writes:
‘These stories display a scrupulous sympathy for the characters and the small rewards they find in their attempts to keep on going. The writing is simple and honest and touched with wonder ... With great delicacy, these stories ask the question: What saves us all from drowning in the past?’
Seán Mackel was born in Belfast in 1957. He now lives in the North West of Ireland. His poetry has appeared in Cuirt Journal, Cyphers, HU, Poetry Ireland , Waterford Review and Four W, Australia . A chapbook collection of his poetry, Strangled Laughter, was published in 1998.

The River and Other Stories by Seán Mackel is published by Guildhall Press and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-906271-33-6. £7.95. Available from all good bookshops and www.ghpress.com

'left of soul'- poems by Colin Dardis

'left of soul' is the new collection of poems from Colin Dardis.

Originally from Omagh, Country Tyrone, Colin now resides in Belfast, where he currently edits the poetry e-zine 'Speech Therapy'. Previously, Colin has been a co-ordinator of Make Yourself Heard, a monthly performance poetry night in Belfast, and has worked as a Poet In Motion for the New Belfast Community Arts Initiative. He has also performed with the Belfast Poets. Notable readings include the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Between The Lines and the Castlereagh Verbal Arts Festival.

Colin is a poet who displays hunger for understanding of himself and the world around him. His poetry display an ever present sense of hope through times of love, sadness, death and joy, while sprakling with humour, honesty, modesty, and a touch of the absurd.

'left of soul'- available to buy now and preview via Lulu.com

Your chance to meet the Godfather of Punk.

I'd the privilege this week of meeting and having a few drinks with a Northern Irish legend, the legend that is Mr Terri Hooley. What was planned as just a meeting for my wife to get his book 'Hooleygan' signed took a wee bit longer than I'd expected.She was also fortunate to have the book signed by both Terri and Richard Sullivan, Richard  I believe put a lot of hard work into both persuading Terri to have the book written and writing the book.I reckon this book will be the Northern Irish bestseller this Christmas.

If you want to get a copy of the book signed both Terri Hooley and Richard Sullivan they will be signing copies in Waterstone's Fountain Street, Belfast tomorrow, Saturday 13 November, from 2.00pm.

If you haven't bought the book yet, buy it now! Did I mention it's called Hooleygan.

When Bedlam won't be.

I shouldn't really tell you about this as I might miss all the bargains.Last year I was at something similar run by Jenni and it was impressive and I left needing to purchase another bookcase...


WHAT ? - For two days only, in the front foyer of the Old Library in Great James Street, local online Bookshop, LITTLE ACORNS BOOKSTORE will have a stall at Derry's innovative and most exciting indoor weekend market – BEDLAM MARKET.

With an overall stock of 7,000 books, stock has been specifically chosen for sale over the two-day period in keeping with the nature of the market and other stalls: vintage, retro, antiques, arts and crafts.

There will also be books on film, television, music (biographies, history, pictorial etc), literature (drama, poetry, study guides etc), fashion, arts, crafts, Irish/Ireland-related plus mixed fiction, alongside selected children's titles.

New and used books will all be discounted, many of which will be cheaper to buy than online and in the high street.

To compliment the books, a small selection of used and new CDs and cassettes – jazz, blues, film soundtracks, swing etc – will be on sale.

Other stock available:

As-good-as-new magazines on books, publishing, writing (Books Ireland, the Bookseller, Publishing News, the New Yorker, Writers' News etc). Plus arty postcards and second-hand film star prints/postcards (Marilyn Monroe, James Dean etc).

Local, hand-made, specially created gift cards and other small crafts from Marilyn McLaughlin.

And possibly a few other unique surprises – perfect for stocking fillers or Christmas gifts!

Please feel free to suggest or ask after any specific books/subjects in advance that can then be made available (if in stock) on the day.

This is a one-off Book Stall, so please do come along and feel free to spread the word!

Email: wonderfulworldofworders@yahoo.co.uk

Web: http://www.amazon.co.uk/shops/littleacornsbookstore

WHERE ? -  Bedlam Weekend Market (Basement of Old Library)35 Great James Street, Derry, N Ireland

WHEN ? - Starts @ 10am this Saturday and finishes sometime on Sunday.

Promoting books, authors and publishers from and in Northern Ireland.

I mentioned on YeWhat.Biz  that I was feeling slightly guilty about this blog gathering dust over the last few months. It still has visitors even though the last blog post was in June. I've decided I'd like to open it up to authors, poets & publishers from and in Northern Ireland who want to use it to promote their books, book signings, appearances etc. Also if you've read a book about Northern Ireland or written by a Northern Irish author and you want to review it on here it's open for you to blog about that.It can be used to reblog blog posts or articles that have been written for other sites that can be reposted  on BooksNI

I'm going to be sending out invites by email to people inviting them to start blogging here @ BooksNI.  If you are one of these people please feel free to blog about, as it says on the tagline of the site, books written by authors from and in Northern Ireland. Sadly the blog/website can only have up to 100 authors, so if your reading this and want to post on this site email me soon so I can add you as an author.I'm afraid there is no payment for writing/blogging on this site, it's just another avenue for people to find out about your latest book.