Did you miss the online launch party yesterday to celebrate the release of Ellen? You did! OH!!! Not to worry – here’s what you missed. 🙂
15:30 Hi, I’m Rocky, After Life’s manager. Glad you could join us. Go and grab a drink from the bar then pull up a chair. The band are nearly all here. I’ll let them introduce themselves in a minute.
15:32 Hi folks, I’m Taylor. Nice to see so many familiar faces here to help launch Coral’s book, Ellen. Have you bought your copy yet? No? Oh, you’re missing out on a great read! Ok, so maybe I’m biased as it’s the band’s story but you can use the links below to grab a copy today
15:35 Hi. I’m Ellen. Glad you made it along today. If time allows, we’ll play a few songs later on tonight. We’ll see how the day goes. True to form, Luke’s running late. While we’re waiting, here’s a little extract from the book about when Taylor and I first bumped into each other.
Three hours later, as Ellen was trying to pull her large suitcase through a crowded station, her mother’s words echoed in her head. Trying to thread her way through the throngs of commuters was a nightmare. Silently, she cursed her own limitations. For the first time she regretted being so stubborn about being able to cope with travelling into the city by rail on her own.
“Get a grip, Ellen,” she muttered to herself.
She paused to check the signage to determine where she was to exit the unfamiliar station. The next moment, she was knocked off balance by a tall, dark haired guy carrying two guitars and a huge backpack. With a squeal, she felt herself start to fall then felt an arm grab her to stop her. She could feel his strong hand on her upper arm, feel the pressure of his fingers burn into her tender skin.
“Sorry,” he apologized hurriedly. “I was too busy looking for the exit. I never saw you stop.”
“No harm done,” replied Ellen shyly.
His hand was still on her arm and part of her was desperate for him to remove it.
“You sure you’re ok?” he checked.
Adjusting her tinted glasses, Ellen forced a smile. “I’m fine. Thank you.”
“Well, sorry again,” he mumbled. “My mum always did say I should watch where I was going. Guess that’s another thing she was right about.”
“Mums are like that,” she agreed.
“Sorry again,” he apologised. “See you around.”
Without a backwards glance, he disappeared into the crowd. Spotting the sign, she had been searching for, Ellen set off again, heading for the exit.
15:40 Hi. I’m Luke, Luke Court. Apologies for being late. Ellen’s asked me to share my guilty pleasure song with you. Think she’s punishing me for being late. Ok, so my secret guilty pleasure song is Your Song by Elton John.
For a chance to win an e-book copy of Ellen, tell me yours. The winner will be picked at the end of the event.
(credits to the owner via You Tube)
15:45 Hi. I’m Cal, guitarist and sometime Cookie Monster with After Life. Ellen is the fourth book Coral has written. Have you checked out her other books? The Silver Lake series? No? You should take a look. They’re FREE to download for today only. We put in an appearance in book two and again in book three. Oh, and there’s some guy called Jake Power in them that Ellen finds hot!
Ellen: “CAL!” (blushes scarlet)
15:50 Hi. Coral here. Thanks for coming along today to help launch my new book baby, Ellen. Does anyone have any questions for me about the book, the Silver Lake books or anything in general? #AskMeAnything
15:55 Ellen: Choosing a song to sing for my first After Life rehearsal was a challenge. You only get one chance to make a first impression and I wanted to get off on the right foot with these guys. I chose this one.
For another chance to win an e-book copy of Ellen, what would you have chosen? The winner will be picked at the end of the event.
(credits to the owner via You Tube)
16:00 Rocky: I’ve been working hard to get these kids on a stage near you. All publicity is good publicity. Did you know that a few months back Taylor and Luke were interviewed for Coral’s blog? No? Check out what they had to say.
16:05 Coral: As you’ve just read, sometimes as a writer you struggle to connect with your characters or to control them. They have a tendency to misbehave.
Luke: “Do not!”
Coral: Oh, you do! On occasion, the story can go off at a tangent. This happened with Taylor…
Luke: “Told you I behaved!”
Coral: Luke, stop interrupting! LOL. And we both know you have your moments in this book! Anyway, here’s a little excerpt of where Taylor wandered off on me.
Voices from further up the beach disturbed their peace and quiet and Taylor turned to see where they were coming from. It was two young teenage boys and they were dragging the surfboard out from the cave.
“Wait here,” instructed Taylor bluntly. “I don’t like the look of this.”
Barefoot, he sprinted up the beach towards the two boys, noting with concern how ineptly they were handling the board.
“Hey, guys, where you going with that?” he asked, his tone firm but non-threatening.
“Taking it out to catch a few waves,” replied one, his tone a bit too cocky for Taylor’s liking.
Glancing back at the calm water, Taylor took a deep breath then said, “Put it back. There’s no waves out there.”
“Told you,” muttered the other boy sourly.
“But there’s breakers further out!”
“Put it back,” repeated Taylor. “You’re not strong enough to handle that board so far out. Fact!”
“I suppose you’re an expert,” spat the boy bitterly.
“Not an expert but I’ve surfed these waters for a long time. Today’s not a good day to head out from here. Wind’s all wrong. Tide’s wrong. Now, put that board back!”
The boy dropped it in the sand at his feet, “How are we ever meant to learn?”
“If you are stopping us going out when its calm, how are we meant to learn to surf?”
The hint of exasperation in his voice tugged at Taylor’s conscience.
“How much time have you spent trying?”
“Can you stand up on the board?”
“No,” muttered the boy, staring down at his suntanned bare feet.
“What about you?” quizzed Taylor, turning his attention to the other boy.
“A bit. My brother showed me some stuff but he’s gone back to the army. Won’t be back for six months.”
“Tell you what. I’ll teach you both how to balance on the board. How to stand up. That’s a lesson best learned on a calm day,” offered Taylor generously.
Taylor nodded, “Now, bring the board down to the water’s edge.”
He ran back down the beach to where he’d left Ellen waiting. Hurriedly, he explained what was going on and admitted that “surf school” was in session for the next couple of hours.
16:10 Jack: (pulling up a chair at the table) Sorry, was just sorting out my drum kit. Split a drum head while I was warming up earlier.
Rocky: Another one!
Jack: Sorry, boss. What have I missed?
Cal: Buying your round!
Jack: In a minute. Did I miss the big book reveal? I did! Damn. Let’s take another look at the cover anyway. Love that cover shot!
16:15 Jen: Hi. I’m Taylor’s sister. Isn’t this amazing? Much as I love to see After Life on stage, I have to confess that my favourite musical moments are when Tailz plays at home for us. I love it too when the band are all here and we have a late-night beach barbeque……. Oh, happy memories.
16:20 Nana: At my age I can’t be doing with these Kindle things. Give me a real book. I like pages to turn. These kids laugh at me. They roll their eyes when I’m offering up my words of wisdom. Well, we’ll see who’s right in the end….
For a chance to win a paperback version of Ellen, tell me, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve had from your elders? I’ll pick a winner at the end of the event.
16:25 Taylor: Love that old girl. Don’t know where I would be without her. She plays a mean honky tonk piano. Loves her Scott Joplin. You should hear her play this one.
(credits to the owner via You Tube)
16:30 Ellen: Before I slip off to warm up, I want to introduce you to someone. Meet my dad, Tim Lloyd. He’s the one who encouraged me to keep going after what happened. He’s the one that brought me my lyrics journal and has bought me several since. I couldn’t have made it this far without him.
16:35 Tim Lloyd (blushing): I am so proud of her. So proud that Coral chose to feature Ellen and the boys in her new book. Have you bought your copy yet? Here’s the links in case you missed them earlier.
16:40 Rocky: I’ll let you in on a little history lesson before we hear the band play. When I was looking for inspiration for Ellen’s stage costume, I dropped into the British Museum to see if I could get any ideas. Well, I was wandering through the Ancient Egyptian section when I spotted exactly what I was looking for. The Eye of Horus. I’ll let you read up about it yourself (see the link) but the Eye of Horus represents sacrifice, healing, restoration and protection. Seemed like a good omen for our little songbird.
Coral liked the idea too and used the symbol as her chapter headings.
16:45 Taylor: Hope you’ve enjoyed our chat. Before we go, I’ve one last little extract to share from the book. This was the first time Ellen heard me sing.
As Jen and Nana sat down at the table, Jen passed them both a drink.
“You need to earn those,” she teased.
“Just a few songs, Jen,” stated Taylor firmly. “We’re both off duty.”
“You’re never off duty,” retorted his twin. “You have music in your veins instead of blood!”
“Son,” interrupted Nana calmly. “Play me that song your mother loved so much.”
With a nod, Taylor turned to Ellen, “Do you know Everybody’s Talkin’?”
“Sorry. I don’t believe I do,” she confessed, feeling her cheeks flush with embarrassment.
“No worries. It’s an old song.”
Smiling over at his grandmother, Taylor began to play the classic song from Midnight Cowboy, a film that had been one of his mother’s favourites.
“Everybody’s talking at me. I don’t hear a word they’re saying.”
It was the first time that Ellen had heard her band mate sing. The warmth and emotion in his voice tore at her heart as she saw how hard it was for him to sing his mum’s favourite song. One half of her wished she knew the song so she could help him out; the other half of her was captivated by his raw heartfelt performance.
As the song ended, Ellen saw that his eyes were filled with unshed tears.
“Beautiful, son,” complimented Nana proudly. “Now, missy, what are you going to sing for this old woman?”
16:50 Coral: Thanks for helping to launch book baby 4 and welcome it into the world. Really appreciate all the love and support. If you want to keep up to date with what is happening in my creative world, the progress on Book Baby 5 (Yes, Jake and Lori will be back late next year – I hope!) or my weekly musings then please check out my blog. Here’s the link
16:55 Luke: One last reminder of the links you need to buy your copy of Ellen
16:58 Rocky: Thank you to all of you for coming along. Time’s caught up with us. The band need to go and get ready to play. Feel free to stay and have another drink or even better, hop onto Amazon and download Coral’s book. Till next time.
(credits to the owners of the images used – sourced from Google)