Monday, 28 May 2012

LET'S CELEBRATE! - with author Miriam Halahmy and a 2 book giveaway!


Blog Celebrations - Week 2

 2 books to giveaway!

Hidden & Illegal 
by Miriam Halahmy

'There's so much hidden in this little hut,and whatever I've dived into here is only going to get more complicated.'

Alix is just an ordinary fourteen year old, living at the bottom of quiet Hayling Island.But one cold, misty Saturday on the beach she and her friend Samir suddenly find themselves saving a drowning immigrant.
Faced with the most difficult decision of their lives, what should Alix and Samir do?


When fourteen year old Lindy is offered a job by her cousin Colin she's been thrown a lifeline, an escape from her desperate family life.
But Colin's a drug dealer and Lindy soon realizes she's out of her depth. Terrified she'll go to prison, and seeing no way out, she becomes locked in a downward spiral.

But then help comes from a surprising ally in fellow misfit, Karl. With the help of her jailbird brother, Lindy and Karl embark upon a desperate plan to ensure her freedom.


‘Like reading a story about your own life.’

This was the comment from a 10 year old boy after reading Illegal. He loved it so much he then went out and bought Hidden and enjoyed it just as much. But writers actually only do 50% of the work. Books don’t really come to life until readers read them and of course then they need to enjoy them enough to read right through to the end.

Feedback from our readers is the very stuff of life for writers. Yes, of course its gives us a bit of an ego-boost. But it also affirms that we have brought our plot and characters alive enough to turn on the narrative engine and take our readers on the journey with us.

“I very much enjoyed Hidden and it made me think about asylum seekers and refugees. Alix and Samir inspired me very much!”

Hidden addresses one of the most current debates in the UK today - immigration and asylum seekers. Miriam addresses this with flare and to top it all its based on our home town - Hayling Island. Miriam Halahmy is truly a magnificent author. She makes you think and think.”

"Illegal was absolutely amazing, and I really did love it. You wrote it so well, and I couldn't put it down! I read it all in a day - I can honestly say it is one of my favourite books - and being a total bookworm I've read millions!!"

Now that I have two books out, these comments affirm that I have captured an audience because they are coming back for more and are waiting impatiently for the final book in the cycle, Stuffed, March 2013. Each of these three books are a stand- alone novel but a minor character in the previous book becomes the major character in the next. Readers usually like to predict who will be the next main character and on the whole they guess correctly! (Yes, it’s Jess in Stuffed.)

I might not actually be writing about your life when I write my books, but I do hope that my readers feel so involved with my characters that they find themselves closely identifying with their stories and wondering how they might manage to cope with similar situations.

"Alix is a marvellous heroine - an apparently ordinary girl who turns out to have enormous reserves of courage and strength. A novel which will stretch the minds of readers of any age."

My characters grow out of my experiences which might be your experiences, or those of someone you know, or even experiences you have always wondered about. They might also introduce a brand new idea to you.

Life/ experience/ fiction – the interface where the writer begins and the reader continues.

Happy Reading!



It's easy to enter!
Here's what to do!

  • Leave a comment on the blog, say hi and give me your name. If you want to leave your email address that's great, if not, I'll be announcing the winner after midday on the 12th June, UK time. So make sure to check in here and on twitter.

  • Retweet the competition details on twitter.
          You'll find me at @TABwrite
          and Karen @KLLaing

  • All entries go into a hat and ONE winner will be chosen at random.  The winner will receive a copy of Hidden and Illegal.
  • Sorry, but this competition is UK only.

Competition Deadline
Midnight, 11th June 2012, UK time.

HIDDEN ~ a tall tales & short stories review

Perhaps one of the most striking things about Miriam Halahmy's book, Hidden, is the brave choice of subject matter. Issues of immigration and asylum seekers are never far from the sensationalist tabloid headlines but what's often easy to forget or overlook is that behind these headlines are real people, adults and children; living, breathing, human beings who have their own unique stories of struggle and pain. Stories that many of the book's readers may not even be aware of until they turn the pages of Hidden. But the tone of the book never falls into preachy lecturing or a forced info-dump of facts, it's a thought-provoking book that informs while delivering a great story.

I think setting it on Hayling Island is inspired as it seems to serve as a microcosm of a country's prejudices and tolerances but it also gives it a sense of claustrophobia - this is a place where everyone knows everyone else. But, as Alix discovers, we may not always know people as well as we think and we can all be guilty of making judgements and jumping to conclusions about others. This is a story of struggle and of hope, of prejudice and of tolerance,and of understanding that working out what's right or wrong isn't always black and white.

To quote Hidden's main character, Alix, “You should never judge someone until you get to know them. Everyone deserves a chance.”


Miriam talks about Hidden here and you can read more about Illegal here

Miriam featured as a guest blogger on tall tales & short stories in 2009 with her
Writing Advice posts:

Why should you join a critique group?

Creative Writing Workshops.

Miriam's Website



Julie Day said...

I know Miriam and how hard she worked on these books. They really sound interested to read.

Janet Foxley said...

I thoroughly enjoyed Hidden on my Kindle, and am waiting impatiently for the SCBWI conference so I can get a signed copy of Illegal. But if one were to be pulled out of the hat before then, that would be great.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you for a fantastic book giveaway that looks increadible, and something that i would love to have the oportunity of reading. I found it most insightful and i intend to find out more about the author. Thank you so much, and i am following via GFC :lfountain1 x
Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
From: miss. Lucinda Fountain

Linda said...

Young readers love, above all, characters they can identify with. It doesn't matter if that character has superpowers or is an alien, lives in the future or the distant past, all that matters is that moment of connection. And from what I hear, these two books have that excellent quality in spades!

Linda Lawlor

Ruth Griffiths said...

I'd love to grab a copy of these two books - they sound really interesting and would love to read them to my Year 6 class.

Love your blog by the a complete fan.

Paula Harrison said...

This is very tempting giveaway! I have my fingers firmly crossed...

M said...

I love the extract from Hidden, and Miriam is so passionate about the important subject matter she writes about. I'm so disappointed and surprised that copies of these books aren't in our local libraries!!!

Miriam Halahmy said...

Circulation is the biggest problem for new authors. Why not ask them to get them in and maybe they will spread around your borough.

Kazzy said...

Hi! My name is Kathryn Stallwood - kazzy gabranth(at)hotmail(dot)co (dot)uk!

This is really strange - my 15 year old cousin was talking about Hidden to me yesterday, at my Grandad's funeral, and she said that I should definitely read it because she loved them!

I read the exerpt and I can see why she loved it so much - it looks really good! :)

Miriam Halahmy said...

Hi Kazzy. First of all so sorry to hear that you have lost your Grandad. And then uplifting to hear that your cousin enjoyed Hidden. All the best.

starryabigail said...

Wonderful giveaway-thanks!!!

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