Two Blackbird authors, Diana Morgan-Hill and Jacqui Lofthouse, have been longlisted for the 2017 People's Book Prize. If their books, Diana's Love & Justice in non-fiction, and Jacqui's The Modigliani Girl in fiction, get enough votes from the public they'll be joining Valentina author S. E. Lynes at the glamorous black tie awards ceremony in May.
We had 3 authors in the finals last year - Susie Kelly, Tanya Bullock and Diane Chandler. Diane went on to win the main prize of the evening with her debut novel The Road To Donetsk. Can we do it again?
Click the images for extracts and details on how to vote.
In 2015 Paul Draycott was seriously injured in a road traffic accident. He was airlifted to Walsgrave hospital with multiple fractures and internal injuries. Whilst in hospital he read Susie Kelly's Best Foot Forward: A 500-Mile Walk Across Hidden France.
"Susie is probably the best writer of travel books around today."
Susie's inspirational journey stayed with him and he is now planning to cycle Susie's route this summer, along with his wife, Diana Kirkup, to raise funds for Leicestershire & Warwickshire air ambulance division. Susie has been helping them plan their route.
Best Foot Forward: A 500-Mile Journey Through Hidden France is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback, and can be ordered from all good bookshops. The audiobook, narrated by the wonderful Anne Day-Jones, is on Audible.
"A book to inspire." Good Housekeeping Magazine
"A tale that takes in 500 miles of rural France and includes, in equal measure, laugh-out-loud tales of personal discomfort, disarmingly frank descriptions of the authors self doubt as to her sanity at taking on such a challenge, and absolutely oodles of insightful descriptions of the places she passes through, together with just the right amount of historical perspective."
"The humour constantly tickles you, and often makes you burst our laughing. This book is a tonic, an escape from materialism, a sojourn into territory, physical and abstract, where most of us, alas, have never ventured. I loved every bit of it, & I'll be reading ALL of Susie Kelly's books!"
"She is an inspiration with all her wonderful adventures and has a wonderful insight into the history of France, and her characterisation of people and events are funny, educational and very entertaining."
"The writer is not a wee timorous lassie; she is a lady with tenacity, courage and oh such a wonderful sense of humour! I find walking the dogs tiring enough but to walk from La Rochelle to Geneva beggars belief!"
Susie Kelly blogs about her life in rural France at No Damn Blog. Her new book, about her recent return to the African settings of her hit memoir I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry will be published this year.