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Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

If you’re a fan of the crime genre, whether you enjoy reading the books or aspire to be an author, then Belfast’s debut crime festival is a must attendance.

Noireland (great name by the way) will be running from 27-29th October and taking place in the Europa Hotel.

Organised by the people behind the amazing bookshop ‘No Alibis’ which is situated in Botanic in Belfast, this festival celebrates the island’s love of crime fiction.

The 3-day event will be showcasing the amazing talent emerging from Ireland currently as well as some of the popular authors from all over the world, such as Sophie Hannah, Arne Dahl and Benjamin Black, to name just a few.

Noireland International Crime was organised to provide a platform for the wealth of crime writing talent emerging from Ireland, showcasing it alongside some of the biggest international names in crime and thriller writing.

With a jam-packed programme of great authors plus a selection of entertaining events, this debut festival is an exciting introduction to Northern Ireland’s love of all things crime and suspense.

As a very new and independent organisation they rely on partnerships, sponsors, donations, ticket sales and volunteers to support their work.

If you are interested in partnering with Noireland or sponsoring them you can contact them at

For more information and updates about the events plus tickets, go to

Christmas At Lilac Cottage By Holly Martin

Christmas At Lilac Cottage‘Christmas At Lilac Cottage’ is the latest book by Holly Martin.

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen. When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded. As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore. While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?

‘Christmas At Lilac Cottage’ is the first book that I’ve read by Holly Martin, even though she has been writing for a while and quite a strong presence on social media and I have to say that I genuinely enjoyed this Christmas tale.

The story is seen from the perspective of ice carver Penny and handsome newcomer Henry, when Penny rents out her cottage to Henry and his daughter Daisy. The story then follows the two people as they embark on an tentative friendship bordering on love, Penny has been hurt in the past and fears getting her fingers burnt, even though she would love more than anything to settle down and have a family of her own. Meanwhile Henry has had his fair share of relationship disasters and is wary of starting something new as his main concern is Daisy’s welfare. But much to Henry’s delight, Daisy has also started a new relationship with Penny and loves nothing more than hanging out her new friend and helping her with her ice carvings.

The story flows at a lovely, warm and gentle pace that makes for heartwarming reading. Both Penny and Henry are wonderful characters, Penny with her huge kind heart, she immediately takes Daisy under her wing and treats her as the daughter she always wished for, offering her boy advice and listening to her problems. Henry is a handsome and charismatic man, he’s gentle and fun with his daughter. His new found relationship with Penny is fast paced and sexy as the pair of them get to know each other.

Packed with humour, love and full of Christmas cheer, ‘Cottage At Lilac Cottage’ is a deliciously tender and festive story, that made for magical reading.

You can buy Christmas At Lilac Cottage from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Aspects Festival, Bangor 18-25th September 2016

Sinead MoriartyFor all you budding writers out there in Northern Ireland, set your GPS for Bangor as the Aspects Irish Literature festival is launching with a packed programme filled with some of the province’s finest authors and performers.

Now in its 25th year, the festival is opening its doors from 18 − 25th September and it’s packed with events for book lovers, aspiring writers and musical treats with performances from Duke Special and Van Morrision

There’s plenty of workshops and events taking place that will help every fledging author, with advice on writing crime from Brian McGilloway and Steve Cavanagh, a workshop on how to write humour, and even advice on getting published.

For fans of female fiction, check out Saturday’s morning event on 24th September when Penguin Ireland author, Sinead Moriarty will be talking about her own writing journey as well as her most recent book, ‘The Way We Were’.

For more information on the festival check out the website Aspects Festival and follow on Twitter at Aspects Festival