How you can get involved in the Romance Festival

If you are a fan of romance novels, be sure to check out Romance Festival. I participated in last year’s events and it was really fun to chat with authors & fellow bloggers.

Starts: 7th February 2015 at 2 pm GMT
Ends: 8th February 2015 at 8 pm GMT

Sign up for the free event here

For more details, read this reblogged post!

romance festival

We are very excited to announce our next virtual festival and we’d love you to be involved. For those who took part last time, you will know that we have a program of events on Twitter, Facebook and a few Google Hangouts.

Again we plan for the Saturday to be a professional development day for authors (last time we had Script Doctor sessions with editors, Goodreads, tips on getting reviews and much more.)

On the Sunday, we will focus the programme for romance fans which last time included author interviews, romance in YA, discussion around romantic places, steampunk, the men of romance etc.

This event is open and inclusive; everyone is welcome.

If you are an aspiring or established author and you’d like to get involved in a live event, then do let us know. Or if you aren’t around that weekend, we also have a Q&A you can complete…

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@Penguinusa Twitter Book Club: Chat with Anaïs Bordier & Samantha Futerman

Penguin USA Twitter Book Club has chosen an interesting book for this month’s discussion: ‘Separated @ Birth: The Story of Identical Twin Sisters Who Grew Up an Ocean Apart Until Social Media Connected Them’ by Anaïs Bordier & Samantha Futerman. Here is a glimpse of the story:

It all began when design student Anaïs Bordier viewed a YouTube video and saw her own face staring back. After some research, Anaïs found that the Los Angeles actress Samantha Futerman was born in a South Korean port city called Busan on November 19, 1987—the exact same location and day that Anaïs was born. This propelled her to make contact—via Facebook. One message later, both girls wondered: Could they be twins?

Thus begins their remarkable journey to build a relationship as sisters, continents apart. Over Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, they learned that they shared much more than a strikingly similar appearance. Eventually, they traveled to Korea together to discover more about the land of their separation. Separated @ Birth is a story that spans the world and peels back some of the complex and emotional layers of foreign adoption.

‘Separated @ Birth: The Story of Identical Twin Sisters Who Grew Up an Ocean Apart Until Social Media Connected Them’

Want to chat with Anaïs Bordier & Samantha Futerman? @penguinUSA has organised 2 Twitter chat sessions with @samfuterman and @AnaisFBordier on these dates:

  • Tuesday, 4th of November
    3 – 4 PM USA Eastern Standard Time (4 am to 5 am Wednesday for those in Malaysia)
  • Tuesday, 18th of November
    3 – 4 PM USA Eastern Standard Time (4 am to 5 am Wednesday for those in Malaysia)

Make sure to include hashtag #readpenguin in your tweet(s) to @penguinUSA.

For more details on the book club, please visit this page and/or Twitter.

Welcome to hashtag #bookadayuk, Headline Publishing Group

Hashtag #bookadayuk is a digital campaign to get Twitter users to talk about books. Everyday there is a different topic to be discussed and each month the hashtag is hosted by a different book organisation.

Books are My Bag‘ was the host last month. They followed the format used by its predecessor, ‘We Love This Book‘ by compiling the tweets using Storify. Every single contribution to #bookadayuk were featured in their Storify, which delighted us. Furthermore, we were extremely happy when our tweets were retweeted and favourited by the host and authors! For example, this ‘book with beautiful spine’ contribution was retweeted by Darren Shan.

On 1st of November 2014, the hosting baton is passed onto Headline Publishing Group. The topics for the month of November are featured in the image below. To tweet your book suggestions, don’t forget to include hashtag #bookadayuk and @headlinepg.

Hashtag #bookadayuk: November topics

1st: Movember begins. Your favourite hairy hero

2nd: A book you can’t wait to read this winter

3rd: Your favourite fictional family

4th: A brilliant epic read (we mean at least 600 pages)

5th: Guy Fawkes night – pick a character you love to hate!

6th: A book that reminds you of your school days

7th: The book you wish you owned as a first edition

8th: Doctor Who ends tonight – best book featuring time travel

9th: A book you have to read twice to fully appreciate

10th: Happy birthday Neil Gaiman! Favourite fantasy novel

11th: Remembrance Day – your favourite WWI novel

12th: A book on your shelf you haven’t got round to reading yet

13th: A book you’d love to see on the big screen

14th: A book you loved but wouldn’t want your mum to read

15th: A book that made you hungry

16th: The best debut you’ve read this year

17th: Your favourite mystery novel

18th: It’s Scotland v England! Tell us your favourite sport book

19th: A brilliant book with eye-catching red cover

20th: Your favourite fictional pet

21st: A book you’ve read that you wished had a sequel

22nd: Your favourite book about a journey

23rd: An awesome autobiography by one of your heroes

24th: A series you’d happily read all over again

25th: One month to go! A book you want for Christmas

26th: Tasty! Your favourite cookery or baking book

27th: Thanksgiving in the US – your favourite US classic

28th: A book with beautiful title typography

29th: Happy birthday C.S. Lewis! Favourite fictional world

30th: Your favourite book featuring a wedding

Today’s topic is favourite fictional family. Our pick is the Travis family by Lisa Kleypas because our customers love reading Ms Kleypas’s well-written romance novels. Each Travis sibling has its own book: Gage (‘Sugar Daddy’ published in 2007), Haven (‘Blue-Eyed Devil’ published in 2008) and Jack (‘Smooth Talking Stranger’ published in 2009). Our customers cannot wait for Joe Travis’s story ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’, which is expected to be published in 2015.

What is your favourite fictional family? Let us know in the comment box below.

British Council presents ‘Dylan Thomas Centenary Celebration’ today

As next week marks the hundredth anniversary of Dylan Thomas’ birth, British Council Wales’ Starless and Bible Black project and the British Council Seminar Series are proud to bring a free seminar to be held in London and streamed live online TODAY.

Date: Thursday 23rd of October 2014
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm UK time (1:00 am – 3:30 am Malaysia time)
Venue: The RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2N 6EZ, London

The special guest speaker for this event is Hannah Ellis, granddaughter of Dylan Thomas. She will give an exclusive talk about her grandfather’s life journey. Together with accomplished actor Guy Masterson, they will explore Dylan Thomas’s letters, prose, poetry, plays and use of language. In addition, British Council will launch their Dylan Thomas teaching materials for the English language classroom.

You could attend IN PERSON or LIVE ONLINE. To get a spot at this event, visit this link.

Get your Dylan Thomas education pack by clicking here.

‘Dylan Thomas Theatre’ by Reena Mahtani / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Join #simonteenchat with Ellen Hopkins & Stephen Chbosky on 15th October

Are you a fan of these bestselling Young Adult fiction authors, Ellen Hopkins and Stephen Chbosky? Join them in a Twitter chat organised by Simon & Schuster teen books:

'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky; 'Rumble' by Ellen Hopkins

‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky; ‘Rumble’ by Ellen Hopkins

Date: 15th of October 2014
Time: 5:30 pm USA Eastern Time
What’s in store? Writing, reading & all things on YA literature

To join the chat, follow @simonteen and send your tweet(s) using the hashtag #simonteenchat.

If you don’t have Twitter, you could still submit your question. Complete this form here and come back during the chat to see if your question gets answered!

Bigger than words: A live telecast with singer Usher

Scholastic is collaborating with a global superstar Usher in a campaign to promote reading habit in children. There will be a live performance and special programme that will teach students ways to take informed action, become reading advocates, and help make a difference in their schools, communities, and the world.

Here are details of the programme:

Date: 6th of November 2014 (Thursday)
Time: 1:00 p.m. USA Eastern Time/10:00 a.m. USA Pacific Time

Sign up for the webcast here.

View the promotional video, tweet and banner below.

Little, Brown and Company creates Twitter buzz with #BookBrunch

I was searching for stories to blog when I stumbled upon hashtag #BookBrunch. My Twitter feed is full with food-inspired tweets.

Screenshot of the results for #BookBrunch

Screenshot of the results for #BookBrunch

The trend started with this tweet by Little, Brown and Company.

I see that contributors are creative with their tweets. I bet majority of them are hungry by now. I know I am!

Here is a collection of tweets that stir my appetite the most:

  • ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ by William Shakespeare

  • ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens

Last but not least, my contribution to the topic:

What would be your #BookBrunch? Share your tweet with us in the comment box below.

Penguin USA Twitter Book Club: Chat with Elizabeth Little

Did you know that Penguin USA has a Twitter Book Club? Like any other book club, there is a book assigned for discussion every month.

‘Dear Daughter’ by Elizabeth Little is the chosen book for the month of October. Here is a glimpse of the story:

Former “It Girl” Janie Jenkins is sly, stunning, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a high-society beauty known for her good works and rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie makes herself over and goes undercover, determined to chase down the one lead she has on her mother’s killer. The only problem? Janie doesn’t know if she’s the killer she’s looking for.

Janie makes her way to an isolated South Dakota town whose mysteries rival her own. Enlisting the help of some new friends (and the town’s wary police chief), Janie follows a series of clues—an old photograph, an abandoned house, a forgotten diary—and begins to piece together her mother’s seemingly improbable connection to the town. When new evidence from Janie’s own past surfaces, she’s forced to consider the possibility that she and her mother were more alike than either of them would ever have imagined.

As she digs tantalizingly deeper, and as suspicious locals begin to see through her increasingly fragile facade, Janie discovers that even the sleepiest towns hide sinister secrets—and will stop at nothing to guard them. On the run from the press, the police, and maybe even a murderer, Janie must choose between the anonymity she craves and the truth she so desperately needs.

A gripping, electrifying debut novel with an ingenious and like-it-or-not sexy protagonist, Dear Daughter follows every twist and turn as Janie unravels the mystery of what happened the night her mother died—whatever the cost.

‘Dear Daughter’ by Elizabeth Little

If you have read/are reading the book, why don’t you participate in “mini book club meetings”? @penguinUSA has organised 2 Twitter chat sessions with @elizabethlittle on these dates:

  • Tuesday, 7th of October
    2 – 3 PM USA Eastern Standard Time (2 am to 3 am Wednesday for those in Malaysia)
  • Tuesday, 21st of October
    2 – 3 PM USA Eastern Standard Time (2 am to 3 am Wednesday for those in Malaysia)

Join the chat and tweet your question(s) to the author! Make sure to include hashtag #readpenguin in your tweet(s).

For more details on the book club, please visit this page and/or Twitter.

‘Books Are My Bag’ hosts hashtag #bookadayuk in October

Dear book lovers,

If you have a Twitter account, you should search for #bookadayuk. The hashtag is basically a UK-originated digital campaign to get people talking about books. There is a topic of discussion everyday and the hashtag is hosted by different book organisation every month.

We Love This Book‘ arranged the topics for the month of September. I was impressed by their out-of-the-box method to present tweets from contributors. Instead of clicking on ‘Retweet’ or ‘Favourite’ button, ‘We Love This Book’ compiled and displayed their favourite book suggestions via Storify. I was elated when my suggestions for Favourite Literary FriendshipFavourite Seafaring Novel and Literary Crushes were featured there.

On the 1st of October, ‘Books Are My Bag‘ will take over the hosting duty. Check out the image below for a list of topics. If you would like to contribute ideas, don’t forget to include hashtag #bookadayuk when you tweet to @booksaremybag.

#bookadayuk topics for the month of October

#bookadayuk topics for the month of October

1st: Book to curl in front of the fire with2nd: Happy birthday Snoopy! Favourite fictional dog

3rd: A book I love from one of the Cheltenham Literature Festival authors

4th: One with a beautiful spine

5th: Happy birthday Louis Lumière! Favourite cinema/film reference in literature

6th: First book I bought in a bookshop

7th: Last book I bought in a bookshop

8th: Best bookshop find

9th: Favourite book about a bookshop

10th: One with an orange cover

11th: Bought at a BAMB Bookshop Party

12th: Favourite Bookseller recommendation

13th: Nostalgic reads! Changed meaning when I re-read it later in life

14th: I adore the title of this novel

15th: Best home in literature

16th: Most memorable adventure/journey in literature

17th: The nearest book to you right now

18th: Make me laugh in public

19th: Make me cry in public

20th: Favourite bookworm in literature

21st: One where I fell in love with the narrator

22nd: Makes me want to travel

23rd: Best book on diversity

24th: A hidden gem

25th: Mmmm! Most memorable food/drink moment in literature

26th: Clocks go back! Best book on time-travel

27th: Favourite epigraph

28th: Has the best advice

29th: Most memorable fashion moment

30th: Favourite experimental book

31st: Spookiest read

Today’s topic is ‘Book to curl up in front of a fire with’. We don’t have winter in Malaysia but my favourite memory of winter is seeing snow in the backyard of my UK home (I studied there for a year). I read ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Brontë that winter. I was motivated to read the novel after watching the film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. 🙂

What about you? What book do you choose when you want to curl up in front of a fire?

Follow LitChat moderated chat with Barry Lancet

Litchat organises live Twitter conversations with authors every Wednesday. The one-hour session starts at 4 pm USA Eastern Time (4 am Thursday for those in Malaysia).

The guest author for the slot on 1st of October 2014 is Barry Lancet. He will talk about his newest novel ‘Tokyo Kill’. Here is a synopsis of the book:

When an elderly World War Two veteran shows up unannounced at Brodie Security begging for protection, the staff thinks he’s just a paranoid old man. He offers up a story connected to World War II and to Chinese Triads operating in present-day Tokyo, insisting that he and his few surviving army buddies are in danger.

Out of respect for the old soldier, Brodie agrees to provide a security detail, thinking it’ll be an easy job and end when the man comes to his senses. Instead, an unexpected, brutal murder rocks Brodie and his crew, sending them deep into the realm of the Triads, Chinese spies, Japanese kendo warriors, and an elusive group of killers whose treachery spans centuries—and who will stop at nothing to complete their mission.

‘Tokyo Kill’ by Barry Lancet

There are two ways to follow the conversation:

  1. Type #litchat at Twitter search box
  2. Visit Litchat dedicated channel at for those who prefer to read tweets in order)

To those who participate in the moderated Twitter chat, have a great time.

For latest news on LitChat, check out their official website or Twitter.