Highlighting the best independent publications in fiction and non-fiction. Your new favorite author is right here.

Lorraine Pestell

lorraine-pestellLorraine Pestell is a British & Australian author writing a seven-part serial dealing with celebrity, tragedy and most of all love. Having been fascinated by celebrity since a young child who loved to listen, watch and make music, she began writing a love story with a showbiz theme. Some unknown inspiration caused her to set her story in Melbourne, Australia, despite growing up in a north-western suburb of London!

Lorraine’s life took some unexpected and unfortunate turns during her twenties (and continues to do so), leaving her suffering from severe depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies. Many years later she would be diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

The fascination with Australia continued, while Lorraine’s IT career took her to European capitals, the US for a couple of years and then to Singapore. She eventually moved to Melbourne in 1999, to satisfy her curiosity about this obsession with the city with a most definite European culture. As expected, she felt immediately at home, as if she had lived there in a former life. Experiences gained while living and working all over the world are now vital fodder for her writing, and her protagonist and his family take readers to many different places during the seven-part serial.

Lorraine hesitates to state that her illness has defined her life. While probably an exaggeration, it’s not actually that far off. Despite her best endeavours, these demons are here to stay, and she has taken various significant steps to learn how to accommodate these unwanted “friends” in her everyday life. Principally, in addition to volunteering and her gorgeous dog, she accomplishes this goal through writing. And her original, somewhat cute love story has morphed into a lengthy serial which tells of battles and triumph over mental illness.

It is Lorraine’s ambition for her books to serve two main purposes: first, to inspire fellow sufferers to rise above their symptoms; and second, to help non-sufferers to understand that we are not that weird really. Through tolerance, love and support, we can all co-exist and even thrive in this world where it’s estimated that there are 350 million of us with a mental illness at any one time.

A novel in seven parts, serialised as e-books and paperbacks, “A Life Singular” tells the story of a successful celebrity writing his autobiography. In essence a love story, “A Life Singular” is about triumph over mental illness, the choices we make between right and wrong and how one affects the other.

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A Life Singular: A Life Singular, Book 1 (Contemporary Fiction/Romance)

a-life-singularWhat do you do when you lose the one who gave your life meaning? You write about it. You tell the world how amazing it is to love and be loved by someone so special, what love helps you achieve and how it makes you stronger.

Jeff Diamond had built a life of influence, adulation and wealth by making the right choices for the right reasons. He lived by the law of reciprocity, a lesson learned on the streets as a teenager with nothing but an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Plagued by the scars of a violent childhood, he created his vision and fought for it. And once he no longer needed to fight for himself, he fought for others.

Yet when Jeff’s dream girl was taken from him and their children by the ignorant act of a jealous misfit from his own home town, the millionnaire realised just how far he had come. Why had he succeeded when so many like him fail? It wasn’t complicated. The secret lay in the endless pursuit of love and wisdom; life’s two magic ingredients. Now Lynn was gone, he resolved to use his remaining days to account for their life in a way that would inspire young people to make his type of choice rather than García’s.

Then after their story was written, he would be free to go after her, to begin the whole incredible journey over again. Everyone has a life singular. One. Unique. Extraordinary.

Sales proceeds via ALifeSingular.net go to the School Volunteer Program (http://www.svp.org.au) and The Smith Family (http://www.thesmithfamily.com.au).

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A Life Found: A Life Singular, Book 2 (Contemporary Fiction/Romance)

a-life-foundWriting an autobiography on behalf of someone else presented Jeff with an interesting dilemma. Did he make assumptions about what Lynn would have included, or should he restrict her contribution to direct quotes from her letters and diaries? He had their kids to protect, and her parents…

As he worked through the huge amount of material available in the press about their life as it had taken shape, interlacing it with highly personal stories, the widower crafted chapter after chapter of memories, both happy and heartbreaking. If this was to be a true account of their partnership, he owed it to the memory of his beautiful best friend to cover so much more than what was already on public record.

When it came to adding his own reminiscences of those early months, about meeting someone he already knew intimately, Jeff had no difficulty in recalling every single, vivid moment. Entire conversations came back to him, sometimes word for word, rushing through his fingers and into the computer.

Photographs prompted him too, as did the treasured possessions that surrounded him, like the old leather jacket he had received on his twentieth birthday. Lynn had left him shortly after that, just like she had left him now. The pull of being together again was unrelenting, but Jeff hung on to the dream that their life singular would one day resume. Once their story had been told.

Sales proceeds via ALifeSingular.net go to the School Volunteer Program (http://www.svp.org.au) and The Smith Family (http://www.thesmithfamily.com.au).

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A Life Entwined: A Life Singular, Book 3 (Contemporary Fiction/Romance)

a-life-entwinedFame and fortune beckoned. Jeff Diamond was a success, whatever that meant… Fans followed him everywhere, reporters and photographers hid around every corner and journalists recorded his many indiscretions. A whole different world to the downtrodden streets of Sydney’s south-west, where vices were satisfied by using people to one’s best advantage.

The star had more money than he could spend, his opinion suddenly counted, and the opportunities to feed his ever-hungry mind were plentiful. Yet the demons continued to torment him, no longer protected by the guardian angel who had been spirited away as soon as her family found out who Jeff Diamond was and where he had come from.

Suddenly the ambitious businessman and philanthropist found himself in the fight of his life. He would win Lynn’s heart by showing her father he was worthy, and by convincing his dream girl that they had something worth fighting for. Would she risk throwing her privileged lifestyle away for a man whose public persona depended on alcohol, drugs and a string of pretty girls?

Jeff had nothing to lose. The trappings of his new life held little significance until the soul-mates were reunited. This was where their life singular really began. Up until this point, there had only been playtime. Now they must step up and take responsibility. It was up to them.

Sales proceeds go to The Smith Family and the School Volunteer Program.

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A Life Lived: A Life Singular, Book 4 (Contemporary Fiction/Romance)

a-life-livedSo this was it… Lynn and Jeff, two celebrities driven to change the world together, had grasped their life singular with both hands and were not about to let go. They had the Midas touch, gifted through the virtues of reciprocity and a deepening understanding of right versus wrong.

The prospect of turning two into four, mirroring the black jetstone ring that lived on the handsome man’s right hand, filled the couple with excitement. Never in his wildest dreams had the no-good street kid imagined himself as a father. His own had given him nothing. So much less than nothing, in fact.

Should Jeff settle that score? Was it worth disturbing the paradise they had planned, where their well-established careers showed no sign of slowing down and their hard work yielded so much for so many? Surfacing past wrongs and holding people to account for setting them right were part and parcel of letting go, his dream girl had insisted. And who was he to argue? She had been right all along.

As the book’s extraordinary chapters continued to document the achievements of their life singular, the solitary author cried and smiled in equal measure through the arrival of a small boy with blond, curly hair and the sultry gipsy girl who could see inside his soul from the moment she was born. Lynn had given him two new friends who must now be steered through their young lives, learning their own lessons about the endless pursuit of love and wisdom.

Sales proceeds go to The Smith Family and the School Volunteer Program.

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A Life Tested: A Life Singular, Book 5 (Contemporary Fiction/Romance)

a-life-testedThe world was an enormous place; full of good and evil, beauty and ugliness, wonder and despair. Sometimes all seemed lost, returning from the latest round of negotiations and attempting to balance the surreal career of a chart-topping musician with the demands of an advocate for those discarded by mainstream society. With every problem the Diamonds worked to solve, a new one would be right around the corner.

All was not lost, however. Unity and liberty, the twin spirits living in two perfect beings waiting for him at home, were all Jeff needed to spur him on. They would one day inherit the world which he and his beautiful best friend were intent on changing for the better, along with the millions of others who wrote to the couple every day, seeking ever more of their energy, time and money.

The tired author kept reverting to the theme of reciprocity. We should never take more than we give. If only they could convince enough people of their byword… It was right that the struggle should never end. What would he do if it did? There was no room for self-satisfied fat cats in their life singular. What sort of example might that set for those who must follow?

Lynn had departed, the children were growing stronger now, and the widower heard the clock ticking night after night after night. Still with so many amazing experiences to recount, the lost boy knew his dream girl couldn’t wait forever. He was grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight, but gratitude could only take him so far.

Sales proceeds go to EdConnect Australia and The Smith Family.

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