Tuesday, 3 July 2012

LET'S CELEBRATE! - with author Melinda Szymanik and 2 very different books to giveaway!

 

Blog Celebrations - Week 6


A two-tone celebration 
with 2 very different books
by Melinda Szymanik 
to giveaway!




THE HALF LIFE OF RYAN DAVIS

‘Hitchcock with hormones’ - a contemporary psychological mystery/thriller for young teens

Playing second fiddle to a 'missing, presumed dead' sister is soul-sucking for fifteen year old Ryan. As he tries to move on with his life he begins to appreciate just how difficult growing up can be. And now there's a stranger watching him.
Will his family ever be whole again? Or did Mallory light the fuse that will blow it apart forever...

You can read a tall tales & short stories review of The Half Life of Ryan Davis here






 MADE WITH LOVE

A charming bittersweet tale of how a mother's love creates a little magic bringing a gingerbread woman and snowman to life.








  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Melinda Szymanik talks about her two latest titles
and why she just can’t turn a good story away

At a recent event where I was speaking I was introduced as a diverse writer. A writer for children, I’ve had novels for older children and teens published, but also short stories and picture books aimed at a variety of ages. Recently a writer friend said of my two latest titles - “I'm quite amazed that you can write two books as different as 'Made with Love' and 'The Half Life of Ryan Davis'.”
They are different. Made with Love is a picture book with mother love at its centre. The Half Life of Ryan Davis is a psychological thriller for teens – Hitchcock with hormones.

When I talk about Made with Love I like to talk about the cakes I make. When my children were younger (the youngest now being fourteen) I made decorated cakes for special events like birthdays and Christmas. I made a doghouse with Gromit sitting inside it for my eldest’s 7th. I made a cake that looked like the sorting hat for my other daughters 10th. I made cakes with penguins basking by the pool in an ice floe, and Santa in swimming trunks on a lilo at the beach.

Several people suggested I go into the cake making business, selling my cakes and I always said ‘No’. I always make these cakes for love. I only make them for people and events I really care about. And in Made with Love the story begins with the mother making gingerbread for her two children Penny and Sam. She always adds her special ingredient, love. And when the children eat the gingerbread and run outside to play in the snow, the snowman they make also bears the mark of this love. And at midnight when the gingerbread woman springs to life and sees the snowman outside she cannot help but be drawn to him…

Family dynamics and the ties that bind are at the centre of many of my stories. They are the bone I like to chew on when I am writing. I grew up in a very happy family environment, but I know I am lucky in this respect. Many families aren’t so loving, happy or supportive.

I once watched an episode of the American reality programme Extreme Home Makeovers where the oldest daughter of the featured family had gone missing several years earlier. Now the solo mother raised her remaining two children in terrible circumstances. Her house was remade for the benefit of all of them but I could not help noticing that the mother focused more on the missing child and less on the two children still with her. Even though she was no longer there the oldest daughter cast a long and dark shadow over all their lives. And so I wrote The Half Life of Ryan Davis, where Ryan’s older sister Mallory has been missing for three years, but still manages to make his life a misery. How can Ryan escape from Mallory’s shadow, or is it something much worse that he should be worried about?

I’ve worried at times that my diversity might have a negative impact on my writing career, dividing my audience, but I just do the best I can with the story ideas that come to me. I just can’t turn a good story away and I always aim to make them in to compelling books that will challenge readers and make them think. And while I write for children of all ages, there is a common thread of family running through many of my stories. So maybe that’s not so diverse after all.



INTERNATIONAL BOOK & EBOOK GIVEAWAY!


2 copies of The Half Life of Ryan Davis to giveaway!
We have one print copy and one ebook version to giveaway.


1 print copy of Made With Love to giveaway!


It's easy to enter!

Here's what to do!

  • If you would like to enter the draw for The Half Life of Ryan Davis, leave a comment saying that you'd like to win The Half Life of Ryan Davis.  Leave your name and tell me if you'd like the print or ebook version.  If you want to leave your email address that's great, if not, the winners will be announced after midday on the 17th July, 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
    • TWO winners will be randomly chosen and will each receive a copy of The Half Life of Ryan Davis.

    • If you would like to enter the draw for Made With Love, leave a comment saying that's you'd like to win Made With Love and your name. If you want to leave your email address that's great, if not, the winners will be announced after midday on the 17th July, 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
      • ONE winner will be randomly chosen and will receive a copy of Made With Love.
      •  BOTH competitions are international.

        Competition Deadline
        Midnight, 16th July 2012, UK time.





        15 comments:

        jay.uppal said...

        I'd like to win The Half Life of Ryan Davis.
        Thanks
        jay(and I'd like the print copy)
        jay.uppal@gmail.com

        marybelle said...

        I'd love to win MADE WITH LOVE thank you.

        marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

        Anonymous said...

        I would like to win The Half Life of Ryan Davis. I would like the print edition. julierupert@gmail.com
        Thanks

        AmandaSue said...

        I'd love a chance to win Made with Love! Thanks!

        AmandaSue
        unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail (dot) com

        Enna P. said...

        Thanks for the giveaway!!! I would love to win The Half Life of Ryan Davis!!!

        ennapenglin@sbcglobal.net

        Books Ahoy said...

        Awesome giveaway! I would love to win The Half Life of Ryan Davis! I love thrillers!!

        booksahoy15@gmail.com

        Books Ahoy said...

        I would love the print version! :)

        nickandkatherine said...

        I'd like to win 'Made with Love' please.
        nickandkatherine(at)talktalk(dot)net

        nickandkatherine said...

        I'd like to win a print copy of:
        The Half Life of Ryan Davis
        nickandkatherine(at)talktalk(dot)net

        Sandra said...

        Thanks for the giveaway!
        I would LOVE to win "Made With Love".

        Sandra said...

        Tweet-tweet! https://twitter.com/sandrachirps/status/222427899742003200

        Anonymous said...

        I would love the opportunity to win the book The Half Life of Ryan Davis in the print version,please!

        geetanjali2u@rediffmail.com

        Ann Wright said...

        Thanks for an interesting blog. I'd love to be put in for the giveaway for "Made with Love".
        Thank you!

        Sandra said...

        We got our book "Made With Love" yesterday! It is a sweet read and my daughter enjoyed it. Thank you once again!

        Tracy said...

        Hi Sandra
        Thanks for dropping by and letting us know that your daughter enjoyed the book. Always lovely to hear. :)

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