Join The Reading Party with @PartyReading

Many of you know that I am involved with my local literary festival and we are in the middle of trying to plan what might (or might not!) take place in 2021. Until then, with lockdown back and the nights turning dark and cold, there doesn’t seem to be much opportunity to have a winter party.

Until now! Either in person or online, author William Shaw will be part of the Deepings Literary Festival in 2021 and he has created a brand new concept in online events. Add in Deepings Literary Festival patron Elly Griffiths, one of my favourite writers, C.L Taylor, Will Dean whose new book I will be helping to launch as part of its blog tour in January, and new to me authors Bella Ellis and Simon Kernick, and I was so excited I simply had to tell you all about it!

Here are the details:

A new kind of online book event

In 2020 writers, bookshops and libraries saw their book events disappear. It became clear that while Facebook Live and Zoom were great tools, they were no substitute for face-to-face book events at bookshops, libraries and festivals. Plus online events don’t produce much in the way of books sales. What is needed is a different kind of event.

Reading Party is a new way for readers to encounter books online

Reading Party creates unique online meetings between readers and writers. Writers and guests read aloud – together. In the company of the author, participants will collectively read a short extract from a new book, giving them a privileged insight into the writer’s work. Working with Bert’s Books, Reading Party is a way of bringing new titles to new readers.

Reading Party was thought up by author William Shaw who says, ‘Writers were all devastated when live events came to an abrupt halt. What was missing from online meetings was that sense of intimacy you get when you’re in front of readers. I wanted to find something that could create a genuine exchange between readers and writers. Reading out loud in front of others might be a bit scary at first, but it’s a lot of fun, too – and once you’ve done it, I think you can feel a much stronger connection to the book.’

William’s latest book is Grave’s End:

Grave’s End

A BIZARRE DISCOVERY

An unidentified corpse is found in a freezer in the garage of an unoccupied house. DS Alexandra Cupidi is handed a case that is made even colder by no-one seeming to know or care whose body it is.

A HISTORIC CRIME

It becomes clear there is a connection between the crime and a skeleton uncovered underneath a housing development of Trevor Grey, a boy who went missing twenty five years earlier.

A BURIED LIFE

Digging deep into secrets that have long been concealed brings Cupidi to face a deadly conspiracy to hide these crimes. Her investigation is complicated by a secret liaison, a political cover-up and the underground life of Trevor Grey’s only friend.

Online sales and signings

Reading Party is partnered with the innovative online bookseller Bert’s Books. Books are sold alongside tickets. At events authors will sign and dedicate bookplates which will be included in Bert’s Books mail-outs. In coming weeks we will be launching a programme of events focused around launch dates for new titles. Sales are limited to 20 people per event ensuring readers know that they are taking part in something very special.

Several events are already confirmed:

The Diabolical Bones

It’s Christmas 1845 and Haworth is in the grip of a freezing winter.

Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë are rather losing interest in detecting until they hear of a shocking discovery: the bones of a child have been found interred within the walls of a local house, Top Withens Hall, home to the scandalous and brutish Bradshaw family.

When the sisters set off to find out more, they are confronted with an increasingly complex and sinister case, which leads them into the dark world of orphanages, and onto the trail of other lost, and likely murdered children. After another local boy goes missing, Charlotte, Emily and Anne vow to find him before it’s too late.

But in order to do so, they must face their most despicable and wicked adversary yet – one that would not hesitate to cause them the gravest of harm. . .

Bella Ellis, The Diabolical Bones, Nov 12 7.00pm

Bella says, ‘I’m so pleased to be part of William Shaw’s reading party, it’s a concept that can really recreate the intimacy and uniqueness of an in person book event, and unite readers from all over the globe at the same time.’

The Postscript Murders

PS: thanks for the murders.

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.

But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…

And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…

And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…

Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

From the sleepy seaside town of Shoreham to the granite streets of Aberdeen, The Postscript Murders is a literary mystery for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Agatha Christie and anyone who’s ever wondered just how authors think up such realistic crimes…

PS: Trust no one.

Elly Griffiths, The Postscript Murders, Nov 19 7.00pm

Elly comments, ‘The Reading Party is the only party in my diary at the moment! It’s great – especially at the moment – to be able to get together to read and enjoy books and forget the rest of the world. Can’t wait for my event.’

Kill A Stranger

They took your fiancée.
They framed you for murder.

You’re given one chance to save her. To clear your name.
You must kill someone for them.

They give you the time and place.
The weapon. The target.

You have less than 24 hours.
You only know that no-one can be trusted…and nothing is what it seems.

Simon Kernick, Kill A Stranger, Nov 23 7.00pm

Strangers

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

C.L. Taylor, Strangers, Nov 26 7.00pm

He is her husband. She is his captive.

Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.

She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.

Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished.

For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting . . .

Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.

She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.

Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished.

For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting . . .

Will Dean, The Last Thing To Burn, Jan 6 7.00pm

Now, don’t those sound brilliant books to discuss? For more information, visit the Reading Party website, find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @PartyReading.

There will be lots more to come!

3 thoughts on “Join The Reading Party with @PartyReading

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