Author Jane Wenham-Jones’s top picks

Jane Wenham-Jones is an author and freelance journalist who has been widely published in women’s magazines and the national press. She has published three novels and two non-fiction books – Wannabe a Writer? – a humorous look at how to get published and Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of? - a guide to hitting the publicity trail. She has also contributed to several anthologies. She writes regular columns for the Isle of Thanet Gazette,Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special and Booktime and is the “agony aunt” for Writing Magazine.

165: First chapter critique plus a signed copy of Girl on the Run by JANE COSTELLO

A signed copy AND a critique – what more do you want? Getting your work looked at by a successful, published author is always a fantastic opportunity. A Sunday Times Bestselling one has got to be worth an extra-large bid

149: Exclusive short story by MIRANDA DICKINSON starring the winning bidder + signed books + brownies!

Your chance to perfect and immortalise yourself in fiction. You can tell Miranda you’re younger, slimmer and richer with a string of exotic lovers and a much smaller Writers’ Bottom. (If you’re very sensibly not a writer – you have been warned!) Unique offering from a great author.

47: One hour of Scrappy Phone Coaching with Kimberly Wiefling

An hour of phone coaching is always tempting. May well bid myself. Can Kimberly make me more organised, rich and successful and get me churning out a string of best-selling books instead of spending my days eating chocolate and posting on twitter? Worth a few quid to find out…

32: Design, Build and Launch of a Book/Writing Themed Blog or Website by Brendan Gannon

Hey this has got to be good. A whole new website – and someone else to do it for you! You can lose your entire life trying to do this sort of thing yourself – not to mention spend a fortune. Hurrah for Brendan!

30: Sex scene critique + signed copy of THE 52 SEDUCTIONS by Betty Herbert + Betty & Herbert mugs

This could be invaluable. I can’t be the only one who finds it difficult to write the squelchy bits without feeling sill (why I generally get their kit half-off then cut hastily to the post-coital sandwich). An amazing chance to get the once-over for your leg-over and a couple of mugs to boot. What with a signed copy of The 52 Seductions that’s the whole of the next year sorted. Terrific! :-)

Singer Tracey Thorn’s top picks

Tracey Thorn – lead singer of Everything But The Girl for eighteen years. Now solo recording artist, mother of three, gardener, and Twitter time-waster. My top auction picks are :

174: Character name in NAOMI ALDERMAN’S new novel DOCTOR WHO: BORROWED TIME

It’s hard to imagine anyone who WOULDN’T want to be a character in a Doctor Who story. Especially when you find out that your character will be someone who has done a *very unwise deal* with some aliens…

45: Box of teen fiction worth £200 from HACHETTE CHILDREN’S BOOKS

This is an amazing offer, featuring books that I can guarantee will be a hit with teens, as I have two of them myself (teens, I mean) and they have read actual books included in this amazing giveaway.

149: Exclusive short story by MIRANDA DICKINSON starring the winning bidder + signed books + brownies!

This is a fairly blatant attempt to win bids by offering CAKE as well as literature, but I fail to see what’s wrong with that. You get to star in a story, you get books to read, and you get brownies to eat while you read them. Win/win.

133: Signed copy of RUNNING by Rachel Newcombe (1 of 2) (2 of 2)

I have chosen this because I am in awe of anyone who can run. And anyone who can run at the same time as writing a book about how to run, deserves at the very least, a bid, if not a medal.

42: Chapter critique + character name + signed proof of LIA’S GUIDE TO WINNING THE LOTTERY by Keren David

I was at school with Keren, so obviously I am totally biased, but putting all this aside I can honestly say she is a brilliant writer, and having your name in something she has written would be an honour indeed.

Have you seen…

… these brilliant lots that you may have missed?

Signed copy of THE LONG WEEKEND by Savita Kalhan

This thriller sounds like a brilliant read, short-listed for the Fabulous Book Award 2010 it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Lifetime membership of Diving Deeper writing group.

Sandra Jensen has been running this online writers’ workshop/support group for nearly four years and she’s offering a lifetime membership. It sounds like a great deal whether you’re a budding writer or a more experienced writer who fancies a fresh approach.

Signed hardback first edition of THE TWILIGHT TIME by Karen Campbell.

This is another book I really like the sound of, a crime novel set in the seedy underworld of Glasgow.

Signed copies of THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR by Ann Werner + THE VIRGIN DIARIES by Ann Werner and Kimberley A. Johnson

I think this is a really interesting lot. Ann Werner’s novel The People Next Door sounds wonderfully creepy, the kind of book that would leave you wondering as you tried to get sleep. The Virgin Diaries, co written with her daughter sounds like an intriguing project, collecting together the experiences of 72 men and women.

Copy of SCRAPPY GENERAL MANAGEMENT by Michael Horton and Kimberly Wiefling.

For anyone moving into a managing role or considering starting their own business this sounds like a great no nonsense title.

Blogger Anne-Marie Taylor’s top picks

Anne-Marie blogs at Lovely, TV Canary and The Me-est Me (and can’t quite believe that in less than 2 years she’s managed to get three blogs, especially considering the amount of time she spends on Twitter). Here are her top picks:

108: Copy of STARTING OVER, ONE CAKE AT A TIME by Gesine Bullock Prado

“Chock-full of eccentric characters, beautifully detailed descriptions of her baking process, ceaselessly funny renditions of Hollywood nonsense, and recipes” YES PLEASE.

146: Signed proof of SAM BAKER’S new novel + character name

Sam is the editor of Red magazine, which I love love love with a passion, and I’ve got her first novel The Stepmothers Support Group on my to-be-read pile.

30: Sex scene critique + signed copy of THE 52 SEDUCTIONS by Betty Herbert + Betty & Herbert mugs

What a great offer – if I were about to write a sex scene I imagine I’d find it a tad….blush-inducing, so to have feedback from Betty (whose blog I’ve loved following) would be invaluable. Plus, cool mugs!

151: Signed copy of RUNNING by Rachel Newcombe

I’ve just started running myself so this sounds like the perfect book for a beginner like me.

167: Signed/personally dedicated copy of THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER by JoJo Moyes

I really enjoyed Night Music, and The Ship of Brides is one of my favourite books of the last five years so I can’t wait to read this.

So there you are. Can I just say it was really really hard choosing? There’s so much great stuff here!

Author Harriet Evans’s top picks

Harriet Evans, a former publishing executive in the U.K., is the author of four novels. She lives in London where she is writing her next novel.

163: Signed US edition of I Heart New York by LINDSEY KELK

I love seeing different treatments of the same book, and I love Lindsey Kelk, she is so funny. I would definitely go for this gorgeous US cover which could be a Little Slice of the Big Apple (do you see what I did there?) on your bookshelf. Amaze.
55: Character name in Sarra Manning’s new adult book
I am a massive fan of Sarra Manning. She gives women’s fiction a good name. Love her books so much, adult and YA, this would really be something special I recks. Also: they’d be extremely stylish as a character, she knows clothes, that woman, she knows clothes (try saying THAT when you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine).
23: Dedication in the front of JILL MANSELL’S next book
I can’t believe this one, it’s amazing. JILL MANSELL. WOULD DEDICATE HER BOOK TO YOU. That’s JILL MANSELL. Not only is this worth a LOT, but you’d be famous, millions of people read Jill’s books. Your name preserved at the front of her book for posterity!! It’s like writing a book without any of the actual hassle! Also: it’d be a great book, you know it. Woo hoo.

Journalist Kelly Rose Bradford’s top picks

Kelly Rose Bradford is a writer and journalist penning self indulgent, first person pieces for the national press and parenting news and features for AOL’s Parentdish. She is also prone to talking rubbish on the radio, embarrassing her eight-year-old son, and drinking too much cheap wine. And she may have ONCE mentioned she has a puppy…

12: Telephone coaching session with Coaching Writers

Eve Menezes Cunningham is one of the most inspiring and genuine coaches out there – her compassion, kindness and dedication shine through in everything that she does, and her people skills and ability to get the best from people are second to none – this is an amazing lot for one lucky bidder!

18: Copy of DIAMONDS AND PEARLS short story anthology

I am very proud to be a contributor to this book, which was put together by my friend and colleague Elaine Everest to raise funds for a breast cancer charity. Elaine is a breast cancer survivor of thirty years standing, and this collection of stories from some of the biggest names in magazine fiction is a truly sparkling smörgåsbord of short tales.


Diversifying is the key for a successful journalistic career in the current economic climate, and who better to show you how to do it than Linda Jones? She’s been there, done everything and got several hundred t-shirts. Whoever wins this workshop place will be learning from a total pro.

30: Sex scene critique + signed copy of THE 52 SEDUCTIONS by Betty Herbert + Betty & Herbert mugs

I know nothing of this book, and frankly, the sex scenes that my depraved mind drums up are, for now, staying between me and my laptop, BUT LOOK AT THOSE MUGS! Surely EVERYONE will be bidding hundreds and hundreds of pounds just to get their mitts on those beauties?

146: Signed proof of SAM BAKER’s new novel + character name

Some people name stars after their loved ones or get awful pastel blankets embroidered with their kids’ names. Or WORST OF ALL, have the names of people they love tattooed up their forearms. Please do none of those things. Instead, bid on this listing and have your significant other, offspring, dog, secret crush, sworn enemy, milkman or pet stick insect immortalized in print. My ego is SO badgering me to flash some cash…

Items you may have missed…

Five really interesting-sounding books you might want to check out.

61: Signed copies of THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR by Ann Werner + THE VIRGIN DIARIES by Ann Werner and Kimberley A. Johnson (1 of 2)

76: Signed copies of MISHAPS and DANGEROUSLY PLACED by Nansi Kunze

94: Signed copy of THE CHANGE AGENT – HOW TO CREATE A WONDERFUL WORLD by Andrew Crofts

98: Signed copy of ILLUMINATING TORCHWOOD featuring Carrie Dunn

135: Signed copy of HOW TO MEET A GUY AT THE SUPERMARKET by Jessica L. Degarmo

YA author Keren David’s top picks

Keren David started out in journalism as a teenage messenger girl, and after a career in national newspapers, turned to writing books for teens. Her first book When I Was Joe was published last year and won the North East Teen Book Award.

145. Your Pet in Ruth Saberton’s next novel

Just reading the bids in so far testifies to the great love pet-owners have for their animal friends, and the daft names they give them. I am calculating how much I’d pay to immortalise our beloved guinea pigs.

55. Character name in Sarra Manning’s next adult novel

Anyone who’s read Sarra Manning’s adult novels knows there’s a great chance here for your character to have fabulously interesting sex and a satisfyingly damaged past.  Irresistable.

38: Signed copy of TAKING FLIGHT by Sheena Wilkinson (1 of 5) (2 of 5) (3 of 5) (4 of 5) (5 of 5)

Not many writers could splice urban grit with a pony book and get away with it, but Sheena Wilkinson’s YA debut is a triumph. Five copies on offer here, perfect for a reading group or gifts for favourite nieces.

153: Signed original drawing of Tobias from CITY OF THIEVES by Ellen Renner

Love Ellen’s books, and Tobias is my favourite character. He’s brave, resourceful and straight-talking –  and Ellen gives him lots of troubles to test him. I’d love to see what he looks like.

161: Manuscript/submission package critique + mentoring by YA author KERIS STAINTON + signed books

She’d tell it as it is, but she’d do it in a really nice way.

Some more items you might have missed

Fancy immersing yourself in a historical adventure? Take a look at these great lots:

Signed copy of UNDER SIEGE by Edward Marston

Signed copy of CONQUEST by Jack Ludlow

Looking to develop your business? Business leadership consultant Kimberly Wiefling is offering one hour of phone coaching, and you can also bid on the following titles from her Scrappy About series:

SCRAPPY WOMEN IN BUSINESS edited by Kimberly Wiefling

SCRAPPY INFORMATION SECURITY by Michael Seese and Kimberly Wiefling

SCRAPPY GENERAL MANAGEMENT by Michael Horton and Kimberly Wiefling

SCRAPPY BUSINESS CONTINGENCY PLANNING by Michael Seese and Kimberly Wiefling


Brilliant young blogger Louise Jones’s top picks

Budding journalist and author Louise Jones, 17, is the writer of award winning blog Teen: Dreaming She’s was Channel 4 News’s Young Blogger of the Year 2010 and has spent time working for Heat magazine and various journalists, and will be working with HarperCollins in May.

106: Character name in SARRA MANNING’s next YA book + signed book of your choice

This is easily my best pick. Sarra’s my favourite author, with Nobody’s Girl being my favourite book EVER. Imagine having a character named after you?! Yes please!

160: So you want to write a book? – Coffee and cake in Soho, London with literary agent turned successful author ALISON BOND

A literary agent AND author is perfect if you want to write a book. You’ll get to know a more about getting published as well as writing itself… and you get cake.

UPDATED 149: Exclusive short story by MIRANDA DICKINSON starring the winning bidder + signed books + brownies!

Um, okay, so how about having a story written ALL ABOUT YOU by a best selling author? Immortalised forever with signed books on the side. Pretty amazing.

167: Signed/personally dedicated copy of THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER by Jojo Moyes

As well as one of the loveliest people on twitter, Jojo is an amazing award winning author – most recently picking up Romantic Novel of the Year. I love the cover. Prettiful.

161: Manuscript/submission package critique + mentoring by YA author KERIS STAINTON + signed books

Getting critiqued and mentored by a brilliant author is such an amazing opportunity, and even better that it’s all for charity! Not that I’m biased because it’s Young Adult or anything…


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