Clare Havens

'The streets were dark with something more than night…' Raymond Chandler

Date archives November 2011


Great response to Goodreads giveaway!

Wow! The response to the Bella Street Mystery giveaway on Goodreads was FANTASTIC!! Thank you to the thousand or so people who requested a copy!

Someone contacted me last week and told me the best story! This person bought their nephews each a copy of ‘A Bella Street Mystery: The Secret Formula’ and told them they had to write a book report on it – the reward? An XBox game!! Hopefully, the boys will enjoy the book too! That’s one way to get kids reading!

It’s wild and windy weather here in Sydney – perfect weather to start the final edits on my new book – ‘A Bella Street Mystery: Doc Gutson’s Revenge’! Stay tuned!


Two wonderful things!

First of all, the paperback edition of ‘The Bella Street Mysteries: The Secret Formula’ is now available on Amazon! Yay! Thanks for all the support and sales! It has been amazing! The ebook is also available on Amazon and as an iBook. The website is under construction but will soon be up and running with podcasts and sneak peeks at the sequel to ‘The Secret Formula’!

Second of all, and completely unrelated, is that last week while walking Cadbury the chocolate lab, I spotted a whale breaching! It was completely awesome – and over in a flash! The whale was much larger than I imagined and incredibly noisy! Cadbury didn’t seem as impressed as I was!


Thinking outside the book, other good news and the BEST REVIEW EVER!

Joe Konrath (epublishing guru, check out his blog here) wrote a piece recently which I think is groundbreaking (not surprising from Mr Konrath) where he talks about how ebooks could possibly develop into ‘Active ebooks’, becoming social networking sites for fans among other things. Read this article and see if it doesn’t change the way you think about books! Very exciting!

Also, it seems ebook sales continue to rocket, according to Publishers’ Weekly, with sales up 160% for the quarter. Publishers’ Weekly also report that sales of kindle ebooks on Amazon now outnumber sales of paperback plus hardcover COMBINED! And that doesn’t include free ebooks!

The paperback of ‘A Bella Street Mystery: The Secret Formula’ is coming out very soon – watch this space! The incredibly talented Linh Luu is the book designer and I am so lucky to have her!

Finally, been meaning to shout out to my number one fan Jolie Wilson! I have never met Jolie, who I think is 12, but she posted the BEST review anyone could ever ask for on Amazon! What a star! Thank you Jolie, so much!
Over and out!


Wonderful Times!

Three HUGE things to blog about!

1) ‘A Bella Street Mystery: The Secret Formula‘ is now available on Amazon as a kindle book!! Check it out here! It is also available at here! A paperback will soon be available at Amazon so watch this space!

2) The amazing Anna Branford, author of the wonderful Violet Mackerel books, has written a lovely review …
‘Bella Street and the Secret Formula’ … was such a fun read … The pace is wonderfully fast and the writing so energetic … a very enjoyable story!

3) The incomparable author Bella Street (yes! The author Bella Street as opposed to my Bella) has sent me so much encouragement and advice! She and her daughter have been amazingly supportive! Check out Bella’s wonderful books here!

How lucky I am to have received so much kindness from Anna and Bella! While I am thanking wonderful ladies, I should also mention the fabulous Stephanie King at Usborne Publishing in London – Stephanie gave me the push I needed to take my Bella in a whole new direction! For which I will be eternally grateful! (I love Usborne books! They have a very distinctive style.)


4) Yes, I know I said I had 3 great things to blog about but I really can’t sign off without mentioning this interesting piece of news from Publishers Weekly:

‘The percentage of book buyers who reported downloading an e-book rose from 5% in October 2010 to 13% in January, according to the latest installment of Book Industry Study Group’s “Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading” survey.’

See the rest of the article here. Good news!
Happy Mother’s Day!


It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

Really excited that ‘Bella Street and the Secret Formula‘ is coming out as an ebook VERY soon! Talked over cover design with the book designer today and the manuscript is with the editor! Finally…everything is falling into place!

In ‘Other News’, I also really enjoyed reading what Amanda Hocking had to say about why she has accepted a publishing contract with a ‘legacy publisher’ in addition to her intention to keep self publishing. Jake Konrath had some more words of wisdom on the financials of self publishing vs traditional publishing too. Can’t wait to hear more from the conference in Bologna – especially about digital publishing! The way of the future!


I have just come across…

..a very interesting-looking and incredibly illustrated book called ‘WILDWOOD’ by Colin Meloy and illustrated by Carson Ellis. Of course, I had to buy it and can’t wait to read it! Carson Ellis is my favorite illustrator — I bought ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ by Trenton Lee Stewart, also illustrated by Carson Ellis, purely because of the cover (great story too!). Her work reminds me a little of another favorite illustrator of mine, Edward Gorey (check out his covers of the incomparable Joan Aikin’s ‘Wolves of Willoughby Chase’ series. P.S. ‘Blackhearts in Battersea’ is one of my top three books and also one which I bought based on cover alone!) All in all, quite exciting! Talking of covers, can’t wait to be able to reveal the cover for ‘Doc Gutson’s Revenge’! Watch this space!


Goodreads Giveaway!

There are 25 copies of ‘A Bella Street Mystery: The Secret Formula’ to be given away between now and November 25 over at the wonderful Goodreads site! Demand for the first giveaway was very high so I have increased the number of books this time! Good luck!


bacon and eggs media announces…

My little Indie publisher, Bacon and Eggs Media, is giving away 10 copies of ‘Maybe because’ by Aimee Garcia-Tice, illustrated by Serena Geddes to celebrate National Adoption Awareness Week in November. This is a really charming book (and has been awarded Recommended Read status by the National Adoption Awareness Week Board) about why all kids are special, not just those who are adopted. Pop on over to to enter to win! Hurry! Competition ends on November 30 2011! The book is also available from The Book Depository and Amazon. It is a great gift for anyone with children aged 2-8!