Feature: Listen to Love by Val Portelli #newrelease #shortstories #guestpost #ValentinesDay

By | February 11, 2020

What a lovely surprise to find that Val Portelli had a new short story collection out for Valentine’s day – published on 4th February, Listen to Love is now available for kindle via Amazon in the UK and US (also available via Kindle Unlimited), with a paperback version to follow before too long.

I’m such a fan of Val’s short stories. You might remember my review of Weird and Peculiar Things, the wonderful collection she put together with Paula Harmon: and I often enjoy catching up with her latest stories on her Voinks Author/Writer Facebook page. Here’s Val to tell us more…

It seemed a good idea at the time.


Sometime before Christmas I was looking at my various WIPs and deciding which of several books should be next in line.


Should I concentrate on the long neglected, but longest to date 100,000-word Murder/Mystery, A Murder of Changes which had been languishing on my laptop while I built up the energy to tackle the serious editing involved?


Perhaps it would be better to tackle the follow ups to my two proposed series; either literary fiction Story of a Country Boy, or romance Summer Changes, Winter Tears.


Like buses which always turn up in threes, one of my short stories was accepted for the Charity anthology When Stars Will Shine, which was released in December. As all royalties were being donated to the very worthy cause of Help for Heroes, that took priority, and ignoring my own recent release I concentrated my efforts on spreading the word for this excellent book.


As soon as I returned to the original idea of ‘What Next?’ the gremlins struck with a vengeance. First a long-winded health saga involving literally days spent on the phone trying to get through to the GP surgery, merely to book an appointment. If I ever wrote that story it would make War and Peace look like flash fiction.


Then my internet service provider supplied a ‘new and improved’ router. Had I ever had a problem with the old one? No. Did the new one have hissy fits at least once an hour? Yes!


What to do amidst all this frustration? Why, put together a new book in time for Valentine’s day, of course! Over time I’d written a series of short stories, often inspired by song titles, so it shouldn’t be difficult. Still on the TBD list was to get to grips with Photoshop for book cover design. I knew what I wanted, but although I was comfortable with other programmes, this one defeated me. My usual ‘port of call’ was having a major family emergency with her mother being rushed into intensive care, but somehow Listen to Love came to fruition in record time, and I pressed the ‘Go’ button, waiting for the Amazon gremlins to do their worst.


Either they were engaged elsewhere, or they thought I had been teased enough as FOUR HOURS later, Listen to Love was live.


Here’s the blurb:


If Music be the food of Love, Read on.


A collection of short stories with Love as their theme, but be prepared for some surprises.


Dementia, ghosts, murder, jealousy, second chances and even inanimate objects all find their place.


Before each story is a brief introduction, giving the background and inspiration.


Many were inspired by song titles, but the stories are as varied as Love itself.


I must admit to needing the tissues handy when I was revising some of them, but I hope others will make you smile, cheer when the characters overcome adversity, or even think ‘I didn’t expect that.’


I’d love to know which was your favourite and why.


I can’t even begin to express my thanks to Anne, who despite her own personal circumstances, offered me a guest post to make up for me doing everything backwards. This is it! Thank you so much for reading, and a Happy Valentine’s day to you all. x

Thank you Val, always a pleasure to welcome you to Being Anne! As Val took me a little by surprise with this one (hey, it was a surprise to her too!), I just couldn’t manage to fit in a review – but I’m really looking forward to catching up with it as soon as I possibly can.

And while we’re talking about “catching up”, how about we take a closer look at her latest romance too? As I seem to need six months’ notice these days, it’s another I couldn’t fit into my reading list (sorry, Val!) – but everything about it makes me feel it’d be one I’d really enjoy…

Summer Changes, Winter Tears


Available for kindle (also KU) and paperback via Amazon in the UK and US


Escape to the sun and find the perfect man. What’s not to love?


A series of unexpected events encourage Zoe to adopt a new persona and leave dull and rainy London for an extended holiday in the sun. Life on the Mediterranean island of Malta is idyllic, especially when Reno appears on the scene, and she determines to settle there permanently. A family emergency has her rushing back to her childhood home, and having to decide where her heart truly lies.

About the author

The author’s occasional pen name Voinks began many years ago. It started as a joke when a friend bought a holiday home abroad, then gradually spread through the family, so it was an obvious choice when her first book was published.

Despite receiving her first rejection letter aged nine from some lovely people at a well-known Women’s magazine, she continued writing intermittently until a freak accident left her housebound and going stir crazy.

To save her sanity she completed and had published her first full length novel. This was followed by a second traditionally published book before deciding self-publishing was the way to go. 

She writes in various genres, although her short stories normally include her trademark twist of ‘quirky.’ From having too many hours in the day, she is now actively seeking out a planet with forty-eight-hour days, to have time to fit in all the stories waiting to be told.

She is always delighted to receive reviews, as they help pay for food for the Unicorns she breeds in her spare time.

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