The Orenda Books 5 Book Mega launch.

Did you know that there are many, many things that can be launched?

Take rockets, for example:

rocket launch
Astronaut 1: Dammit, I knew I should’ve had a wee before I got in. That G-force has taken its toll. Astronaut 2: Houston, we have a problem…


Or missiles:

missile launch
Pilot: Ok, this is a new plane, so, umm, which button do I press to speak to base? Let’s try….this one…..ah, shit!


You can launch bottles:

Bottle: Hahaha, so long suckers! No one is gonna recycle me into a packet of condoms!


Even invertebrates can be launched:

slug launch
HQ: Snail 1, we’ve had reports of a new cabbage patch in Sector 2. Please investigate and report on status of slug pellets and hedgehogs! Snail 1: I’m on my way….


BUT, did you know, did you know, that books could be launched too? No, I bet, like me, that you didn’t. So when I heard of the Orenda Books Mega Launch being held in London, I got very excited indeed.

Of course, being the busy blogger that I am, I had no time to go along, but I knew someone who would be free to go in my place.

Someone I could trust to report back on the night’s shenanigans.

Someone I could trust to take lots of photos of the insane bookish talent that would be there.

Someone I could trust who could fully do the night justice and be relied upon to capture all the juicy details and bookish facts that were bound to abound within.

Sadly, it turned out that that person wasn’t free after all. So, with a heavy sense of dread and a quick bribe with a packet of chocolate Hobnobs, and after exhausting all of my other contacts, I approached Plan Z…b:

That’s right, once again I sent along myself, The Beardy Book Blogger, to investigate, ingratiate, and generally annoy, the wonderful people of Orenda Books.


TBBB: First of all, may I thank myself for stepping in at the last moment (and I do mean last), and attending this launch event. 

TBBB: Oh, you are most welcome, most welcome indeed. I was honoured to receive the call and to fill your mighty shoes.

TBBB: Thank you. My shoes are indeed mighty…. 

TBBB: Yeah, mighty smelly.

TBBB: …and I wish to…hoy! You know that that is an inherited medical condition and I have specially scented prescription talcum powder to help with our condition.

TBBB: You are correct and I apologise.

TBBB: Thank me. Now, if you could get on with the job at hand here.

TBBB: Why certainly. What do you want to know?

TBBB: I don’t want to know anything for we were there, but I want you to let the Beardy Blog viewers know what went down. 

TBBB: Ooh, like we did before at the other Orenda Book thingy we went to?

TBBB: Exactly like that. In fact, let us refresh the viewers minds to that historic occasion with a handy link to that very post……LINK.

TBBB: Nice one. That was a fun evening, wasn’t it?

TBBB: I don’t know, I wasn’t there, you were. So, tell me, how was the lovely, lovely Steph Broadribb, author of the excellent Lori Anderson series, this time around?

TBBB: I haven’t the foggiest my old sprout, she wasn’t there.


TBBB: No, this was a strictly Steph-free event.

TBBB: Steph-less? As in no Steph? 

TBBB: Nope…

TBBB: I’m sorry, I don’t understand. So, there was no Steph? At all?

TBBB: Not a Stephish sausage, old fruit. Utterly Steph-less. I mean, there may have been other Stephs there, but they weren’t of the Broadribb variety.

TBBB: Well, I am aghast. Bereft, even. Truly. So, what was the point of even going then? 

TBBB: Well, hang on there my Beardy friend, for there were other authors there.

TBBB: Did they look like Steph?

TBBB: Umm…

TBBB: Let me remind you what she looks like…


Steph and I 2
The perma-scared-but-hides-it-well-ish, Stephanie Broadribb.


TBBB: I know what she looks like.

TBBB/TBBB: Sigh…. 😍

TBBB: Anyway, *cough* that doesn’t change the fact that she wasn’t there. You see, it wasn’t a launch for her book.

TBBB: *grumble* wouldn’t have bothered…*grumble*… if known… *grumble*… not there… *pout*…

TBBB: But, despair not my bearded buffoon of a friend, there were other authors there of an equally Stephish nature and standing.

TBBB: *sulking* maybe…

TBBB: Oh come on grumpy chops, you will  be pleased when I tell you who they are.

TBBB: Come on then, get it over with…

TBBB: A bit rude, but ok. So, I present to you a college…

TBBB: A what?

TBBB: A college. Of photos.

TBBB: It’s Collage, not college…

TBBB: Yeah, yeah, you say collage, I say college… *sings* 🎶let’s call the whole thing off.🎶

TBBB: Stop that! But it is ‘collage’. It’s French.

TBBB: What? For college?

TBBB: No, for… for… *googles*… it means “to glue”. 

TBBB: But I’m not using glue, silly. This is the electronic age. No one uses glue anymore, pfft.

TBBB: Well… well… well… ah ha, what about if you need to mend your shoes? How do you stick the sole back on without glue then, huh, mister digital? 

TBBB: Well, I would… we could… it will… shut up!

TBBB: *smug face* Anyway, you were saying?

TBBB: Ok, I present to you in a collage *cough*college*cough*, the books what did launch…


A true orgy of Orenda Book mega talent right there. It was very difficult to contain my trousers when I walked into the bar, but I managed it…just.


TBBB: Wowsers McTrousers, that is a truly magnificent line up of books. BUT WAIT!!!!!!! 

TBBB: What, who, where, huh….?

TBBB: You never told us that… LOUISE BEECH WAS THERE!!!!!!!! 

TBBB: Well you haven’t given me a bloody chance yet, going on about colleges and glue and shoes and Steph…

TBBB: Who?

TBBB: Now, now…

TBBB: Sorry. Sorry Steph. I’m just so excited that we finally met Louise Beech… *gibber… pant… gibber* *pees slightly*

TBBB: Ewww, I am not cleaning that up.

TBBB: Sorry, I’ll get that later… BUT… nnnngggggggnnnggggnnng… Loueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese Beeeeeeeeeeeeech! *faints*

TBBB: I do apologise viewers. One moment….

TBBB: Wha… where… um… sorry… I think I got a bit over excited there.

TBBB: You don’t tell me. Are you feeling better now?

TBBB: Yes, but my cheek stings a little.

TBBB: Sorry, I had to slap you there to wake me up. Needed to be done.

TBBB: Thank me. I’m a tad prone to that sort of thing. Have we ever told you about our love for Louise?

TBBB: Why I believe we did. Have a gander of a post wot we wrote here……… HERE

TBBB: *huff huff huff huff*

TBBB: Steady… steadyyyy!

TBBB: I’m ok. So, back to the night. Tell me all!

TBBB: Ah, it was a totally totes amaze beans night. I met so many of my bookish heroes and fellow Twitter peeps it was a bookish smorgasbord of awesomeness. I mean, before I even got through through the door I met Anne Cater.

TBBB: Ooh, the Anne Cater? The Anne Cater of Random Things Through My Letterbox and Orenda Blog Tour (amongst other publishers) organiser extraordinaire? That Anne Cater?

TBBB: That’s the one. I actually went up to her and asked if she was indeed she.

TBBB: And she didn’t scream and cry out for the police?

TBBB: No, she didn’t. I was fully prepared to run away as usual, but she actually recognised me and gave me a lovely hug.

TBBB: Blimey! Are you sure she wasn’t just holding on to you until the police arrived?

TBBB: No, no, it was an actual hug. She was lovely. Sadly, I didn’t get to speak to her again, but it was great to finally meet her after many tweets and blog tours.

TBBB:  Nice one. So, then what happened?

TBBB: Well, I entered the venue and it was RAMMED! Like, totally packed out. At first my glasses steamed up and I couldn’t see anything, but then I noticed all of the authors stood in a corner under a large TV.


The Orenda Ensemble (L to R): West Camel (Attend); Michael J Malone (After He Died); Karen Sullivan (Queen Bee); LOUISE BEECH (The Lion Tamer Who Lost); Susi Holliday (The Lingering); Will Carver (Good Samaritans).


TBBB: Woah! That is a really sexy line up, right there. Oh my days *fans self*. Did you go over and say “hi”?

TBBB: Well, I was about to, but I’m glad that I couldn’t get through the throng because the event hadn’t really started at that point and it was about to kick off.

TBBB: So you very nearly gatecrashed the actual presentation part of the event?

TBBB: Very nearly. That would’ve been totes awkward.

TBBB: Phew, that saved us some embarrassment. 

TBBB: Yup.

TBBB: So, what was going on?

TBBB: After a quick welcome and speech, the authors were introduced one by one by Karen Sullivan, Queen Bee of Orenda Books, followed by a little trailer for each book.

TBBB: Ooh we LOVE Karen. This trailer thing sounds interesting. Were they any good?

TBBB: Oh maaaaan, they were terrific. Each film was made by Karen’s son Cole, and were about 40 seconds long, or thereabouts, I wasn’t counting. Each one really captured the feel of each book. They really were very, very good indeed.

TBBB: Do you have any video to show us?

TBBB: Well, as you know, being on the free WordPress thingy we can’t post video, but I do have a link to the trailer for The Lingering by Susi JI Holliday. Click on this and you’ll get an idea of how great they are: THE LINGERING PROMO.

TBBB: corrrrr, that’s proper good that, innit? Just like her book, in fact. 

TBBB: I know right? In fact, here’s a blurry photo of the two of us…


What’s happened to my legs in this photo? I look like a hairy potato stuck onto two sticks.


TBBB: Hang on, hang on, hold the blog…. what’s that t-shirt all about? “I’m Embossed”, does it say? And is that a picture of Louise’s book, The Lion Tamer Who Lost adorning your belly?

TBBB: Oh yes, there’s a story behind that.

TBBB: Go on…

TBBB: What?

TBBB: *sigh* the story. Tell us the story behind the shirt. 

TBBB: Oh, right. Yes, well, you see, when Louise’s book, The Lion Tamer Who Lost, was published in proper paperback…

TBBB: Proper?

TBBB: Yes, as opposed to the proof or eBook editions… hold on, before we go any further , behold, my review below! Click on the picture thingy:


Lion Tamer book Review


TBBB: Oh, I see. Continue…

TBBB: Cheers. As I was saying, when the PB came out the cover was embossed. The tin you see there in the above image stood out slightly from the cover. This made Louise very excited indeed as she had never been embossed before, so she had this tee shirt made up and sploshed it all over her social medias and stuff.

TBBB: So how did you get hold of it then? Should I be worried about stories of you travelling up to Hull and stealing it from her washing line? I wouldn’t put it past me to do that!

TBBB: Haha, oh, you are funny… no, of course I didn’t *tears up and burns train ticket*, ha ha, no, no she sent it to me in the post.

TBBB: hmmmm…

TBBB: Let me explain: Louise messaged me via the Twitters to say she had had a wizard idea. How about, for some jolly japery, she sends me her t-shirt and I wear it to the event and surprise everyone there with it. I thought that a most excellent wheeze, so I said yes and there we have it!

TBBB: Ah, I see. So what was the reaction to that then? Did it go down like a cold sick sandwich?

TBBB: Ewww, no it did not. There was much laughter and merriment. See, photographic proof of said merriment…


This, my Beardy Blog Fans, is my chuffed face 😍


… and a lot of confused faces from those who had no idea what the hell was going on. It was great fun. And, AND, get this, Louise let me keep the shirt!

TBBB: Seriously?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

TBBB: Yup! She was supposed to sign it, but we forgot about that bit as it was all very busy. But I have a little bit of Beech here with me for always *drools*

TBBB: Hmm, that’s worrying. Wipe that off right now! Moving swiftly on…

TBBB: Er, sorry about that. But it was a lovely thing to do.

TBBB: Yes, you’re right, it was. So, what else happened and who else did you meet?

TBBB: Well, obviously Louise.

TBBB: Well, duh, you do have her t-shirt on.

TBBB: *whispers* her boobs have been in that t-shirt.

TBBB: Stop it!!!!!

TBBB: Sorry.

TBBB: It’s always about the boobs with you. Boobs this, boobs that. You’re a boob!

TBBB: That’s not very nice.

TBBB: Just get on with the report, beardy boob head!

TBBB: Well, not for you, but for the viewers I shall…

TBBB: Good.

TBBB: Fine.

TBBB: Ok then.

TBBB: I will then.


TBBB: Alright, alright, keep your beard on! Sheesh. So, of course Karen Sullivan was there.




TBBB: Now that’s a lovely photo. And you’re both very co-ordinated in your red there. Very Christmassy, too. 

TBBB: Oh, the Chapel Bar in King’s Cross, which is where the event took place, forgot to mention that bit, was all extremely Christmassy indeed. It was a fantastic venue. But anyway, back to Karen. She really is the loveliest person. Warm and genuine and SO enthusiastic about her authors and their books. And look what she gave me…


I may, just may, have moistened myself in this photo.


TBBB: Wait! Is that…. it can’t be… is it… no… it’s never… *hyperventilates*

TBBB: Yup! I’ll put you out of our misery – It’s a advance proof of Louise’s next book… Call Me Star Girl.


TBBB: Oh my gibbering gracious aunt. This is the single most greatest thing to ever to have happened to us.

TBBB: Well…

TBBB: This even beats having our children.

TBBB: Steady on…

TBBB: This even beats the first time we ever had se…

TBBB: Ok, ok, I think they get the idea. Yes, it was a very, very exciting thing, I admit. I may have let out a little wee.

TBBB: You do that a lot it seems?

TBBB: Only under the most exciting of circumstances, yes.

TBBB: And if you cough.

TBBB: Well, I’m not getting any youn…

TBBB: And sneeze…

TBBB: … ger. As I say…

TBBB: And laugh…

TBBB: It’s a cond…

TBBB: And look up…

TBBB: … ok, you can stop that now. The viewers don’t want to read about our weak bladder issues… moving on… again!

TBBB: Yes, ok then, back to the books. So, did she sign this one?

TBBB: Cast your eyes southwards because… Ta… DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!




TBBB: Awesome!! Hang on, is that a… penis up top there?

TBBB: Erm, why yes, yes I believe that it is.

TBBB: and are those… boobs on the left?

TBBB: You see boobs, where others may see, um, may see, er, may see…. dammit, yes, they’re tits.

TBBB: Jeez, she’s as obsessed as you are.

TBBB: Haha, well, that’s possibly why we got on so well. And she really was a whirling dervish of excitement and enthusiasm throughout the whole night. A cracking lass, and no mistake.

TBBB: What’s the Mr Gravy thing all about?

TBBB: That’s our Twitter name, innit. Well, Laughing Gravy is, it’s a Laurel and Hardy thing, for those wot don’t know, but Louise has always called me Mr Gravy. She has even mentioned me in the acknowledgements for Lion Tamer and Call Me Star Girl as such.

TBBB: That’ll never fail to get our tingle glands a-tingling, and we love it. 

TBBB: We do. And we love her. It was like we have always known each other. Hey, guess who else I met?

TBBB: Ooh, was it Steph? Was Steph really there and you’re just trying to keep her all to yourself?

TBBB: What? No, stop with the Steph stuff. Read your lips: Steph. Wasn’t. There!

TBBB: *grumble*

TBBB: No, try again!

TBBB: Was… it… Stephanie Marland, author of My Little Eye? Was it? Was it?

TBBB: No, it wasn… Hang on!  That is Steph. That’s her non-Orenda psued… psoodo… sodomic… sudocreme… pseudoodoo…

TBBB: Are you trying to say ‘pseudonym’, by any chance? 

TBBB: Honestly, I don’t know, but that sounds about right. It’s that thing where they use a different name. Either way, they are one and the same person, so you can’t fool me that way. HA! I see through your Stephish ruse, Beardy Bonce. FACE!

TBBB: Well, you can’t blame a beard for trying. So, who did you meet then?

TBBB: Well, I only went and met the actual Esther from The Lion Tamer Who Lost.

TBBB: *double takes* Whaaaaa….? As in the actual actual Esther. The one who falls in love with Ben, Esther?

TBBB: That’s the one.

TBBB: So, what happened? Was she still (spoiler redacted) from the end of Lion Tamer?

TBBB: Eh? No, no, she wasn’t the actual character from the book, you arse. This is the Esther who inspired the character in the book. I didn’t get the full skivvy, but she was quite the loveliest person and she kept my proof safe whilst I popped to the bog.

TBBB: So eloquently put. How did she keep it safe then?

TBBB: She, um, she, er, she…

TBBB: Sat on it? Put it in the safe? Had it guarded by Mastiffs? What?

TBBB: She, er, put it down her top.


TBBB: As in her next to her boob.

TBBB: Yes, I know where her top would be and what it might contain. I do have a degree in Zoology. Well, I can’t imagine anywhere safer than that

TBBB: Quite. Plus it was all nice and warm when she gave…

TBBB: Good grief, spare us the details! SO, who else did you accost? 

TBBB: Brace yourself, for the lovely, lovely, wonderful, fantastic Johanna Gustawsson, author of the outstanding Block 46 and Keeper, was there *glitter gun and raucous applause effect*

TBBB: *gasps* No. Way?

TBBB: Totes way. Look, down there, there’s a photo to prove it and everything…


I’m a thorn between three roses: (L-R) Johana Gustawsson, Michael J Malone, some bearded impostor, and West Camel.


TBBB: But she didn’t even have a book to launch. Shouldn’t she be shackled to her writing desk slaving away on Roy and Castells 3? I hope you told her as much? Did Karen see her?

TBBB: She is currently writing the aforementioned book. I asked her how it was coming along and she has a deadline looming. She actually disappeared later in the evening, I noticed. I think Karen had the Orenda Heavies come along and smuggle her into a black van back to her writing cave. I believe that she has her meals delivered three times a day and water is fed through a small tube pushed under the door.

TBBB: That’s not true.

TBBB: No, of course it isn’t. The tube comes in through the window, far more hygienic.

TBBB: No, I meant the whole thing isn’t true. She left of her own volition. I know because we were there. 

TBBB: Yes, ok, I admit I made that up. Here is a lovely photo of an unshackled Johana with Louise:


Guest appearance by Louise’s Lion Pen.


TBBB: Awww, aren’t they both gawwwwg? 

TBBB: They totes are. Johanna is the sweetest person. It’s always a pleasure to speak to her. Have a shufty at our reviews for her books: Block 46 and Keeper.

TBBB: So, anyone else? I take it it wasn’t just a Louise and Johanna love fest?

TBBB: Now, that sounds…

TBBB: Don’t! Just, don’t! I’m sorry I said that. You know what I meant. 

TBBB: Bah, yeah, I know. I met the magnificent and utterly lovely West Camel.

TBBB: What, West Camel the author of the sublime Attend, West Camel? That West Camel?

TBBB: Do you know of any other West Camels?

TBBB: Erm, no, no I don’t believe that I do.

TBBB: Exactly. Yes, the West Camel. Orenda books editor supreme and now Orenda author supreme. Interesting fact: He originally submitted his book to Karen under a psudo… sudo… sokuku… superman…. phyc… plump…. a false name.

TBBB: Urgh, we’ve already been through this: It’s pseudonym, you haddock.

TBBB: That’s easy for you to say *pouts* What ever he calls himself he got away with it and look, he’s a fully fledged and bona fide author now.

TBBB: Give me stren…..So what was he like then?

TBBB: Tall.

TBBB: Pardon?

TBBB: He is tall. Very, very tall. I got quite the sore neck from looking up at him.

TBBB: But aside from being tall (or rather it is you that is very short)?

TBBB: Sorry? What was that about being very short? How rude.

TBBB: Never mind. Was he a pleasant person?

TBBB: Oh yes, a very pleasant person indeed. And guess what?

TBBB: What?

TBBB: What?


TBBB: What what?

TBBB: Seriously? It’s like talking to myself sometimes.

TBBB: You are talking to yourself.

TBBB: Yes, but I meant it like, oh sod what I meant, get on with it! What am I guessing about West?

TBBB: Oh, yes, well, he revealed, in a conversation with Louise, himself and myself, that he is actually older than we am!

TBBB: Seriously? Like, as in age older?

TBBB: Exactly as in age older. In fact, out of the three of us I was the youngest, even though I looked the oldest.

TBBB: Crikey. He doesn’t look older than us. Did you grill him on his beauty regime? Is he some kind of immortal, forever destined to remain youthful looking and full of vim?

TBBB: Vim? Er, no, it didn’t cross my mind to ask all that. I did let out a rather high pitched “really?” when he revealed his age, to which he was quite chuffed and much laughter ensued.

TBBB: Well, so what else did you discuss?

TBBB: We chatted about his book, Attend, and the fact that he actually lived in the house in Deptford that features in the book.

TBBB: No. Way? What, the house on the Creek?

TBBB: Ha, no, that’s what I said. He gave me a withering look as of to say, no stupid, slapped me hard around the face and then made me stand in the corner for 10 minutes as punishment.

TBBB: He did not! Don’t fib!

TBBB: Ok, no he didn’t do any of that. He’s far too nice. No, he lived in the house that has the tunnel running underneath it. He revealed that there are several tunnels beneath Deptford, believed to have been used to transport goods from ship to shore when Deptford was a bustling port back in the day. They were later used by smugglers, too.

TBBB: Ooh, interesting. See, that’s one of the wonderful things about Attend, that attention to detail and the very real presence of history throughout the book. Didn’t you review this wonderful book recently?

TBBB: Why yes, yes you did. Behold, you can read that very review by clicking on that picture below:




TBBB: Ok, so you’ve talked about Louise and West, who else did we meet on this night of nights?

TBBB: We also met Michael J Malone, author of such magnificent books as A Suitable Lie, House Of Spines and After He Died, which was one of the launch books that night. Here we are together…


This picture looks a little like Michael is working me from behind (no! Not like that, filth! As in a ventriloquist’s dummy, dummy): “Gonjour everygody. I’m the Geardy Gook Glogger.” Actually, we could do a variety double act: Mickey Malone and Mart. Could work if the writing ever dries up. 😂


TBBB: That’s a great photo. You two could almost be mistaken for brothers – Brothers in Beard 😂

TBBB: Ha, someone actually said that very same thing.

TBBB: I know, we stole it from them. 

TBBB: Ah, we did. But it is true.

TBBB: It actually is. 

TBBB: Here’s another…


A bevvy of bespectacled bearded brothers.


TBBB: Hold on, who is that other handsome bastard on the right there? He looks familiar.

TBBB: Ooh ooh, that is Sir Thomas of Enger, author of the remarkable Henning Juul series.

TBBB: Dayum, that’s right. Crikey and much crumblage, you really were hobnobbing it with the stars that night, wasn’t I?

TBBB: Yup, you certainly were. Both Michael and Thomas were…

TBBB: Lovely?

TBBB: No! I wasn’t going to say that this time. I was going to say, er, um, that they were, um…

TBBB: *taps foot waiting*

TBBB: That they were really lovely? Like, proper nice and all.

TBBB: You really need to up your vocabulary. *rolls eyes emoji*

TBBB: But they were! Michael actually came up to me and said hi. He even bought me a drink. We had a good old chat about his next book…

TBBB: Ooooh, do tell!

TBBB: Well, he didn’t tell me a lot as it’s still a work in progress, but the title had the word ‘miracle’ or ‘miracles’ in it, and it’s about a long lost brother and the shit that goes down with that discovery.

TBBB: Wow, you really get all the scoops, don’t you?

TBBB: Was that sarcastic?

TBBB: Noooooo! 

TBBB: Erm, ok. Anyway, we also talked about the wonderful job that Orenda does with book covers.

TBBB: Oh yes, they really do. All the work of one Mark Swan, aka Kid Ethic. Was he there, too?

TBBB: To be honest I have no idea. But I pointed out, pointlessly of course as they are his books so he already knew this, how I loved the fact that each of the three books mentioned above have a similar theme without being the same; they all feature a circular, or semi-circular, motif – ASL has the wedding band; HoS has the lift/elevator indicator; and AHD has the circular wreath.  Clever that.

TBBB: I agree. So many books tend to look the same now – there are a lot that feature a man or woman with their backs to us staring out into some scene or other – and they are becoming quite uninspired. Orenda may theme their books by author – such as Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu series for example, but they most certainly are not boring or uninspired. 

TBBB: Nope. Then we just chewed the fat and talked generally about stuff and things. He really was extremely relaxing to be around and a pleasure to talk to.

TBBB: We should link to the review, shouldn’t we? Yes we should, so, click away on the picture below. But don’t forget to come back now!


After He Died banner


TBBB: So what about Sir Thomas?

TBBB: Once again he was just so friendly and approachable. He was very complimentary about our blog; I got that from all of the authors, tbh. I really felt that they do actually read and enjoy our prattlings. I felt a nice flush of pride surge through me.

TBBB: You didn’t wet yourself again, did you?

TBBB: No I didn’t, cheeky sod. The only gushing I did was to gush about Henning Juul and how much I miss his adventures.

TBBB: Yes, that really was a superior series of books. Did you ask if it was really over? Did he hint at Henning’s return at all?

TBBB: I did ask. He didn’t reply in a overly positive way, but in a ‘never say never’ kind of way. That door is most definitely open.

TBBB: Woooo hooooooo! Hey, that was an actual scoop there, Beardy! Well done. *high five*

TBBB: *high five* Wow, I guess it was. I also asked him whether or not the first 3 books in the series (Burned, Pierced and Scarred), originally published by Faber & Faber, would be coming to Orenda to complete the set ending with Cursed and Killed.

TBBB: Annnnnd…..

TBBB: They’re working on it.

TBBB: Oooooh, how exciting. 

TBBB: Innit? I would love, as would he, to see them all under the one publishing roof and collected together, especially with those sexy Mark Swan covers. Thomas said that the first three under Faber really didn’t sell well outside of Norway. I don’t know about you, but I find this is wholly unacceptable!

TBBB: Totes unacceptable. It is such a strongly written, compelling and wonderful series and it deserves far more recognition than it has obviously gotten. We have reviews of Cursed and Killed somewhere from the very early days of our blog… hold on… ah HA:


Click me.


Click my face!


TBBB: Agreed. We also had a chat about translations, as obviously, what with Thomas being Norwegian and all, he doesn’t write his books in English. He was having a spot of trouble with his latest book in this regard (Scoop: it’s called ‘Inborn‘ and will be out next year), but in general the books come across as the author intended.

TBBB: This is something that we’ve often wondered about before. I see a more full and dedicated blog post on this subject in our future, don’t I?

TBBB: I think that that is a great idea. But shush, don’t say any more in case some other blogger nicks the idea.

TBBB: *zipping mouth* Your mouth is sealed. Did you get to speak to Will Carver, author of the fantastically filthy and brilliant Good Samaritans? 

TBBB: Before I get to that, click on the review below:




TBBB: So, now, Will was the one who, mostly, got away. *sad face*

TBBB: Oh, why was that? And why mostly?

TBBB: He was just so busy chatting to other people, as was I. He was up the other end of the bar most of the night. I did get to sneak in a brief hello and he was very complimentary about the blog and my review of his book. But then we got interrupted and I never got to speak to him again.

TBBB: Gah, that’s a real shame. So you didn’t get to ask him about the unedited version of Good Samaritans and how much *whispers* sex was excised from it by the Red Pen of Karen Sullivan?

TBBB: Ach, no, sadly I did not. I’m sure there’ll be another time. It is my mission to get my hands on that manuscript… for purely literary and blogging reasons of course. But… BUT… he did smack me on the arse! Don’t tell Karen!

TBBB: *spits out water* He did what now????

TBBB: I know right! I still haven’t washed that cheek.

TBBB: Ummm…

TBBB: Anyway, what it was was, I was talking to Susi Holliday about The Lingering and her mum’s experiences as a psychiatric nurse…

TBBB: Which is something you both share an experience in, right?

TBBB: Exactly. In fact, Beardy Fact Fans, you can read all about that in my review below…


the lingering


TBBB: … when I feel a smack on my actual bum, and I see a cheeky Will Carver wink at me and say “that one’s for you!” and bugger off.

TBBB: Wowwwwwww. Is that the first time you’ve been touched up by an author?

TBBB: It is, and hopefully it won’t be the last. Not even Louise squeezed my bum, and she was the one person who I thought might have! I have to say, I was quite honoured.

TBBB: Haha, I know right? So who else did you get to meet?

TBBB: I met the bundle of hyperactivity and pink haired awesomeness that is Angela Clarke.

TBBB: Now, not to be rude, but I don’t think we really know her work, do I?

TBBB: No, you didn’t, but she gave me a sampler of her upcoming book, ‘On My Life‘, and she was full of enthusiasm and quite, quite…

TBBB: Lovely?

TBBB: Nooooo… cheek.

TBBB: Sorry, just messing. Gorgeous?

TBBB: Well, I was going to say brilliant, but yeah, she is gorgeous too *blushes*.

TBBB: Leaving that aside, did you read the sampler?


TBBB: Hello?

TBBB: Er, sorry, I was a bit distracted there… yes, yes I did and it was fantastic stuff. We instantly pre-ordered the full book, which is out in March 2019.

TBBB: MARCH?!?!?!? That’s years away. 

TBBB: I know, it’s an actual agonising wait. It’ll be worth it though as the premise – a prison drama about a woman framed for murdering her step daughter and possibly her fiance, oh and she’s pregnant to boot – is one of those you just know will have you screaming at the page at the injustice of it all.

TBBB: Unless she actually did it of course? You haven’t read the whole thing yet. 

TBBB: Well, yes, but all the same, these kinds of books can be very frustrating to read. In a good way.

TBBB: Is Angela published by Orenda too?

TBBB: No, Hodder.

TBBB: What? How did she even get through the door then?

TBBB: Ah, I have a theory on that. Maybe she rubbed herself in the scent of Orenda books before she arrived and snuck past the sniffer dogs on the door? Or she had a few books secreted about her person to fool them?

TBBB: That’s plausible.

TBBB: I thought so.

TBBB: Did you meet any other bloggers there?

TBBB: Ooh yes. There was the aforementioned Anne Cater, whom I have already mentioned afore; Joy Kluver – aka ‘Cookie Lady’ as I blurted out when she introduced herself, but she was sans cookies this time; Vicky Goldman from Off The Shelf Books

TBBB: Oooh, did she bring the toffee vodka again?

TBBB: Sadly not, but she is far sweeter than any vodka…

TBBB: You old tart you.

TBBB: I know 😉 Then there was Jen Lucas of Jen Med’s Book Reviews – and her sister Mandie. Both of whom were once again wonderful people and great to talk to. Here’s a stolen photo of them both with Johana Gustawsson 😍

Mandie, Jen and Johana. 🙂


TBBB: Isn’t great to finally be able to put faces to the many people with whom we speak to on social media?

TBBB: It really is. I missed out on one or two I would have loved to have met, namely Jacob Collins of Hooked From Page One and Laura of Bucks Books and Beyond.

TBBB: Oh, that’s a real pity. How come we missed them? Were they avoiding you?

TBBB: *sighs* no! I didn’t know that Jacob was there, to be honest. He saw me, but didn’t want to say hi as I was busy having my photo taken with the Lovely Louise and stuff. I told him after that he should’ve kicked them out and had a chat.

TBBB: Aw, bless him. If it had been us then we would’ve done the same thing though. 

TBBB: Yeah, we would’ve.

TBBB: So how did Laura slip through your beardy clutches? Was she all greased up and armed with a taser?

TBBB: ‘greased up’? What is your mind doing now?

TBBB: So she could slip out of your beardy clutches, obvs. Oh, I see… no… no you filthy animal!

TBBB: Me filthy? I’m not the one thinking about greased up ladies…. unless they’re Steph, of course.

TBBB: HA! See! You’re as bad as we am. No, I was trying to be funn… oh get on with it!

TBBB: Yes, well, no she didn’t have to take any evasive actions as I had no idea what she looks like. Annoyingly, she’s one of those people who have a non-face profile photo.

TBBB: Oh, that’s unhelpful.

TBBB: Innit?

TBBB: Yessit. So, you missed her then?

TBBB: Yes. She only has her knee and one hand showing in her photo, and I wasn’t going to go around the whole bar asking to look at people’s hands and knees comparing them to her profile picture now, was I?

TBBB: I dunno, could’ve been fun. Like a blogging Prince Charming looking for his Cinderella. 

TBBB: Looking for his Orendarella. Hahaha.

TBBB: Good one.

TBBB: Thank you, a rare compliment there.

TBBB: Don’t get used to it.

TBBB: I won’t. Anyway, it was busy in there, so we just never crossed paths. I’m sure we’ll catch up at another shindig in the future.

TBBB: The future? What, like, 2190 or something? How are you going to make that happen?

TBBB: No, not the future future, numbskull; the future future.

TBBB: Oh, the future! Why didn’t you say so. Be more clear in the future!

TBBB: I shall try, if only for your tiny brain to understand.

TBBB: Thank yo… hoy! 

TBBB: Anyway, that just about wraps up the evening really. After that I chewed the fat a bit more with Michael, Karen, West, Louise and Sir Thomas, had a couple more glasses of wine, spoke to Mr. Susi Holliday (though I didn’t realise that at the time… oopsie), hung about a bit more and then realised how late it was and scarpered to catch our train.

TBBB: It sounded like a truly excellent night was had by all; even by those who actually met you *snigger*

TBBB: Yeah, yeah, laugh it up fuzz-face. They met you too, don’t forget! But yes it was a brilliant evening all round. All bias aside, the Orenda authors, and Karen herself, are genuinely wonderful, friendly, honest and bloody great people. It was a true pleasure to be in their company and I really hope we get to meet again in the future… the near future, before you start!

TBBB: Oh shush, I know that… now. Right, are you off now then? Don’t you have a bus to catch? A train to rush off to? A taxi to hail? A horse to tame and ride off on?

TBBB: No, no I’m in no hurry. Why?

TBBB: Er, well, I figured that if you’ve finished your account of the launch you might like to, I mean you may want to, um, I thought you might want to… leave?

TBBB: No, I’m good thanks. What’s for tea? I fancy Chinese. Do you fancy Chinese? Let’s get Chinese!

TBBB: Urgh, look, can’t you jus… um, now we mention it I do fancy a Chinese. Ok, you order and I’ll wrap things up here. So, Beardy Blo…

TBBB: What do you want?

TBBB: …g fans… what?

TBBB: Chinese-wise, what do you want?

TBBB: Oh, um, Kung Po Chicken please. Egg fried rice. 

TBBB: Got it. Sorry, carry on…

TBBB: Thank you. So, as I was saying Beardy Blog Fans, that wraps up this EPIC account of the most awesome, most MEGA of book launches. I hope you enjoyed reading all about it and please check out all of the books featured and then go back and check out all of their other books and feel the Orenda Love. I’ll leave you with a couple more photos of the evening. Ooh, on that note, HUGE squishy thanks to the wonderful Timea Cassera (@TCassera) for letting me raid, and use, her many photos of the night. Most of those I have used were taken by her and without them this would’ve been a very bare post indeed. 

Until next time,

Peace and Book Love, TBBB. XXX



The magnificent Orenda sales team: Karen’s son Marcus (on left) and wee Tristan (Liz Barnsley’s, of Liz Loves Books, son). Together this formidable team of two sold over 100 books on the night. They were all kinds of awesome. Bravo lads.


If I sucked my tummy in any further here I would turn inside out! Doing my best Superman stance.


Louise with her very own cup cake.


Speaking of which: The famous Orenda bookcakes. Baked by Karen’s own fair hand. They taste as good as they look. 👌



Michael has had enough and is outta there!


My face tells you all you need to know about where Sir Tomas’s hands are*!         *may not be true.


8 thoughts on “The Orenda Books 5 Book Mega launch.

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