Archives

Here you will find past guest blogs and previous spooky blogs. Scroll down to find the author you’re searching for and perhaps you’ll also find one you hadn’t considered!

1 – Laurence O’Bryan  2 – Tina Brown  3 – Katie McKnight  4 – Lyrical Muse Anthology  5 – Jane Risdon, 6-Fiona Knowles-Holland, 7-Joyce Lavene, #8 Stacey Marcus 9# David K Bryant, #10 Emily-Jane Hills Orford, #11 Ottilie Weber, #12 Don Ford, #13 Elsa Winckler, #14 Mercedes Fox, #15 Lori Shandle-Fox, #16 Mary Morgan, #17 Lynne North, #18 Cynthia MacGregor, #19Jane Finch, #20, Assaph Mehr, #21 Naseha Sameen, #22 Bonita Poole, #23 Jude Lennon, #24 Marie Anne Cope, #25 Joanne, book blogger, #26 Remy Dean, #27 Rosita Bird (Autism article and interview) #28 Jennifer Gilmour, #29 Phil Burrows, #30 Tony Riches, #31 Anna Belfrage

Spooky blog Archives – Ghosts in Films – How Television ghost hunts portray ghosts – Orbs – Poltergeists – Ghostly Animals – Haunted Homes – Ghostly Ladies who float about a bit! – Harry Price – Ghosthunter or Fraud – UFO’s – Faeries – Tinkerbell or not? – Slips in Time – Attention Authors in Wales – IAWN

 Anna Belfrage

Book Title: Under the Approaching Dark

Genre: Historical Fiction

Short Bio:
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time-slip series The Graham Saga, winner of multiple awards, including the HNS Indie Award 2015. Her ongoing series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, is set in the 1320s and features Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures during Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. For more information about Anna, visit her website or her blog. Or follow her on twitter or FB!

Short synopsis of book:
Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness.  But the turmoil is far from over.

England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster.

When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.

Under the Approaching Dark is the third in Anna Belfrage’s series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.

Universal Buy Link

 

What inspired you to set a series in this turbulent time in England’s history? The short answer is the enigmatic Roger Mortimer, at times painted as a villain, at others as a misunderstood hero. The somewhat longer answer is the enthusiasm of my 6th grade history teacher, who left me with a permanent fascination for the three Edwards—and in particular the events that led to Edward II’s deposition.


Who is your favourite character and why?

Well, I have a major soft spot for Roger Mortimer, but my favourite character is my fictional Adam de Guirande, an honourable man torn asunder by his love for Mortimer (who saved a very young Adam’s life) and his protective feelings for the very young Edward III who resents being used as his mother’s (and Mortimer’s) puppet.

I am also fascinated by Roger. Visit Nottingham Castle – he has a strong energy there.

 

Who is your least favourite and why?

Ah. Well, I do enjoy creating nasty people, and this book has two: Adam de Guirande’s sister-in-law Alicia is as dislikeable as they come, and then there’s Godfrey, a man with his very own axe to grind—preferably against Adam’s skull.

Oh yes, I love a good villain. I think I prefer writing about them than the good guys!

What made you choose that genre?

No choice. I’ve been a history addict since I started reading on my own. I even planned my honeymoon around relevant must-see ruins in Britain

Absolutely understand this!

What is next for you?

Well, I have one more book in this series to publish, and then I’m working on a ninth book in my 17th century time-slip series, The Graham Saga. Plus I have a completed trilogy set in the here and now about a man who has lived through life after life looking for his long lost love. And there’s a new medieval story building in my head, featuring a very young bride, her husband and his mistress. Not a happy combo.

LINKS (In case they fall off…)

WEBSITE: http://www.annabelfrage.com

BLOG: https://annabelfrage.wordpress.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/annabelfrageauthor

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/abelfrageauthor

Link The Graham Saga: http://myBook.to/TGS

Link The King’s Greatest Enemy: http://myBook.to/TKGE

Link Under the Approaching Dark: http://myBook.to/UTADpo

Anna, I love your book covers and will look for you on Goodreads to add a book to my never ending list of books I want to read. Sound right up my street. Thank you for being my guest. 🙂

 

 Tony Riches,

author of HENRY – Book Three of The Tudor Trilogy

 

Henry Book Three of The Tudor Trilogy

New on Amazon UK  Amazon US and Amazon AU

My guest today is Tudor specialist Tony Riches, author of the best-selling Tudor Trilogy.

 

Where did the idea for writing the Tudor trilogy come from?

I began looking into the life of Owen Tudor, the Welsh servant who married a queen, and was surprised to discover his amazing story.  As my research progressed I began to collect fascinating details of the lives of Owen’s sons, Edmund and Jasper. I realised that if I planned it as a trilogy, Henry Tudor would be born in the first book, come of age in the second and become King of England in the final book.

Why do you think this is the first full-length novel about Henry Tudor?

Everyone from Shakespeare to Alison Weir has written about Henry, but this trilogy is the first time his full story has been told through historical fiction. Even at the Bosworth re-enactment you would hardly believe Henry was victorious, as ‘Ricardians’ outnumber Tudor supporters by more than ten to one. Schools and TV historians can’t wait to get on to Henry VIII and his six wives, and Henry has too often been dismissed as the ‘miserly’ king. The truth is, as so often the case, far more complex and his story deserves to be told.

I agree. Henry Tudor fascinated me and the battle of Bosworth where he was outnumbered.

 

What surprised you about the ‘real’ Henry Tudor?

Far from being ‘miserly’ I found Henry loved gambling with cards and dice and lost huge sums more often than he won. He also kept detailed records of who he’d played against (which included his wife, Elizabeth of York) and how much he’d lost. As well as lions and other dangerous animals, which he kept at the Tower of London, he kept a pet monkey, thought to be a marmoset, in his private chambers. (One day he discovered it had torn up his detailed diary, so there is a gap in his meticulous records.) I’m certain he loved Elizabeth of York but when the pretender Perkin Warbeck was finally captured, Henry was so enamoured of Warbeck’s wife, Lady Katheryn Gordon, he kept them both in his household – but wouldn’t let them sleep together. He also bought Lady Katheryn expensive dresses and she became a close companion and confidante, even after Henry had her husband executed!

I am intrigued by his marriage and am watching ‘The White Princess’ to see how far they stray from the truths!

What did you find most difficult about the research for this book?

Henry escaped to exile in Brittany at the age of fourteen and remained there until he sailed to take the throne with his invasion fleet at the age of twenty-eight. I struggled to understand how he spent those formative years (often described as ‘uneventful’) so decided to follow in his footsteps, all the way from Pembroke Castle to the remote Forteresse de Largoët, deep in the forest outside the town of Elven in Brittany.

The Forteresse de Largoët

Amazingly, I was able to climb the Dungeon Tower through a dark high stairway lit only by small window openings. Henry Tudor’s rooms were full of cobwebs and signs in French warned of a danger of falling masonry, but this first hand research really helped me understand what Henry’s life there might have been like. Although it was called the ‘dungeon tower’, in subsequent research I discovered intriguing details at the National Library of Wales which suggest Henry Tudor enjoyed more freedom at this time than is generally imagined. The papers claim that, ‘by a Breton lady’, Henry Tudor fathered a son, Roland Velville, whom he knighted after coming to the throne.

Absolutely wonderful! Now that is perfect research! I love this part of writing as much as the actual writing itself! 

What will you write next, now you’ve completed the Tudor trilogy?

I’ve moved on one generation of Tudors for each of the past three years, so thought it would be interesting to write about the life of Henry’s daughter Mary Tudor. Reputed to be a great beauty, Mary was only eighteen when she became Queen of France, married off by her brother Henry VIII to the fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII. I’m also looking forward to writing about her womanising second husband, one of the last true Tudor knights and Henry VIII’s lifelong friend, Charles Brandon. The Tudor trilogy may be completed – but the story of the Tudors continues!

 

 

About the Author

Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, with his wife and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.

Thank you Tony for being my guest. I share your passion with regards to this era. personally, I don’t think King Richard III got a fair hearing with regards to the deaths of the two princes – Tudor propaganda! I bet we could sit for hours talking about these people. Perhaps one day we shall.

Paula x

Today I have something slightly different. Today I am helping to promote a new venture that is here to help authors in Wales, my homeland.

Attention Authors in Wales

IAWN: the Independent Authors of Wales Network offer help, support and exciting writerly opportunities. It is early days right now, but IAWN are looking for writers in Wales to help build the network and to support each other in a dynamic interactive community.

IAWN will provide the expected on-line and social media boost for its members, but perhaps more useful in the long-run will be its annual Festivals, Competitions and a member review scheme.

Writers are so often told that the reviews sell the books on amazon, that the quotes from reviews on a cover attract the bookshop browsers or hook potential readers to your website, but getting those reviews is not always so simple. IAWN will enable its members to get their books honestly reviewed in the member review scheme.

The IAWN Legendary Lit Comp, its inaugural writing competition, has already been outlined: Responding to Welsh Year of Legends 2017, authors are asked to write a short story in response to the theme of ‘Legend’. It is hoped that there will be enough submissions of sufficient merit to produce a volume of 12 short stories – one for each month of the year – to be published in 2018… You will find more information about this competition at the IAWN blog: https://iawndiolch.blogspot.co.uk/

The core of IAWN will be the Database and each member listed will also be given a dedicated webpage. There are criteria for full Membership, though there are also Associate Memberships available for creative writing students, journalists, young and new writers, etc.

If you are an author, story-teller, poet, blogger… a writer of any kind, based mainly in Wales (or with cultural connections with Wales) you may want to find out more by viewing the IAWN Kickstarter Project, which has just gone live and is currently the only way to join in:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/817632753/iawn-independent-authors-of-wales-network

Please help to spread the word!

IAWN diolch!

#29

P. N Burrows

Book Title: Mineran Influence

Genre: Science Fiction

Born in England and raised in Wales, I started my working life on a farm in the glorious rural Welsh countryside.  I retrained to become an IT Consultant and having spent thousands on Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco qualifications; I also obtained a contract to run and teach at a Cisco Academy in England.  After this, I became a small business IT Advisor for WCBC and the Welsh Government.  As this funding dried up, I retrained as a Business Advisor and have since helped thousands of people start up their own businesses.

In my leisure time, I work my way through a comprehensive bucket list with my Fiancée, Cath. This has caused us great delight as we have attended various courses and fun days out, such as beekeeping, pottery making, stained glass making, painting course, cooking courses, hawk walks, animal experiences, quad biking, gorge walking and much more.  Our favourite one is learning to dance.  This activity has remained with us and will hopefully do so for the rest of our lives.  We can do a reasonable Waltz, collapse in laughter trying the Viennese Waltz, but it is the 1920’s Lindy Hop that we have fallen in love with.  After three years of dancing, we still attend regular dance classes and events.

Strangely, for an ex-geek, my favourite gadget is my Italian Marcato pasta machine.  I love real, unprocessed food and my freshly made pasta with a home cooked sauce is amazing.

I have always enjoyed reading, and in my early teenage years, I read authors ranging from Harry Harrison to HG Wells.  Later in life, I turned to thriller writers such as the 3 C’s; Clancy, Cussler and Child.  Also, I will always have a Pratchett book on my phone for light reading.  His imagination was and always will be, inspiring.  I have wanted to write the Mineran Series for several years prior to actually starting and with the encouragement from Cath, who has suffered my many varied, imaginative pranks over the years, I have begun.

Short synopsis of book:

Sam, an ex-soldier who is trying to rediscover himself after twenty years of service, unwittingly stumbles upon a mysterious alien presence in rural Wales. He is drawn into a tangled web of intrigue, pitting him against forces bent on destruction and putting his life in peril. Feeling mentally eroded by his time in the army and having worked hard to overcome this, he is thrust upon an alien journey that will change his life and beliefs in a profound way.

Claims of benevolence are only the beginning of the mysteries he’ll have to unravel as doubt and mistrust haunt him. He will have to form unlikely alliances in order to fathom the mysteries at the secret Mineran enclave, where intrigue, deception and imminent danger reside.

His journey for answers will introduce him to pernicious enemies with hidden agendas, as a heinous plot to kill him unravels. Can he defeat his personal demons to secure justice and discover the truth of who or what is behind the nefarious machinations and why?

Why do you write?

I love to read, in many genres, but I have to confess that since I have been writing my science fiction series that I have not read that genre since. For me writing is allowing my imagination to run wild, I enjoy the research that I have to do and the things that I learn. Each book has truthful snippets of information about the diversity of life on our planet that have intrigued me and will make you wonder.

I find writing exhilarating, often compulsive and sometimes the ideas flow faster than I can accurately type. I have had several parking tickets as I eagerly typed away on my iPad, sipping strong black coffee in some cafe. My major problem with writing is finding the time and the correct mindset. As a website designer for book authors and a business advisor, I find that if I use the logical part of my brain to create that I can not write that day or the next.

What was the incentive to start writing:

I had tried to write the first book on a couple of occasions over the years, the rough drafts still linger on my old computer somewhere. Last year the urge to write became stronger and once I was at 30,000 words I became confident enough to confess my deeds to my fiancee cath. With her encouragement, I continued.

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing?

Cath, my fiancee has been instrumental in the continuation of my work, her belief in my ability to write, gave me the courage to continue. She is brutally honest and supplies constructive comments, but on the whole, she loves the story line and the characters. She does joke that she now sleeps with one eye open, because of the scary stuff in my head.

What made you choose that genre?

I grew up reading Sci-Fi, as a child one of the first books I bought myself was a H G Wells omnibus. Space is the last frontier for humans to explore (well, except the deepest part of the oceans, underground and the deepest recesses of a woman’s handbag) and it allows the author to develop new concepts, species and worlds. The trick is to do this while keeping it within the bounds of today’s expectations; it has to be believable. The challenge is formidable and enticing at the same time, if I can come away from a writing session thinking ‘How the heck did did I think that up?’ I know it’s been a good Day.

What advice would you give other authors?

I started my book in isolation and used a big name self-publishing company to produce it in ebook. The fact that I was not part of a writing community meant I believed everything the self-publishing company told me; this journey cost much in time, effort and money. Finding a local writing group and speaking to other authors, writers, poets and artists, either published or un-published, was a revelation. I have since pulled my book from them and self-published via Createspace with the aid of TeamAuthorUk.co.uk

So my advice would be to find a group or two and become an active member, your local library will have the contact details.

Book 1: Mineran Influence

Book 2: Mineran Conflict (Due out in Feb)

Book 3: Mineran Assault (Due late 2017)

Website: http://pnburrows.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PNBurrows/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PNBurrows

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/pnburrows/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fNdMa8

Fantastic, thank you Phil for being my guest. I have never attempted a Sci-fi book having never really enjoyed Star Wars or Star Trek in my youth. I will have to expand my mind one day!

Slips in Time

SAM_2399

I have always been fascinated by these phenomena, ever since I first read of two incidents in the 19th century, as a child. Firstly, a man named James Worson of Warwickshire, England, was challenged by his friends to run a 40 mile marathon in the dead of night. So, on September 3rd 1873, he set off with his friends following behind. The first few miles went well, but suddenly, James seemed to pitch forward, as though he’d stumbled. He gave a blood-curdling scream and disappeared before his body touched the ground.

His friends were stunned and searched the area, but no trace of James could be found. They quickly reported his disappearance to the authorities and searched the scene with police and scouts for many hours. The body of James was never found.

This story first appeared in the book, Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories, written by Bierce.

clock-1702512__180

My second story is centred on a farmer, named David Lang, who in September 1880, disappeared in front of his wife, his two children and two visitors that happened to be driving up the driveway in their horse and buggy, a lawyer and his brother-in-law.

David Lang was standing in the middle of his field. His wife could see him from the porch and his children were playing nearby. As David turned to greet his guests, he disappeared in mid-step, right in front of them. His wife’s screams filled the air and the two men searched the area immediately. A strange burnt circle was found on the ground where he disappeared and it was said that nothing would grow within some distance of the area. No animals would go near it and supposedly, one of his children wandered into the circle and could hear her father’s cries for help, until they eventually faded away.

No body was ever found and Mrs Lang never recovered from the experience. The field was never used again, until after her death.

Both of these stories have never been validated, in fact, no David Lang or his family have ever been found to own that particular farm – but hey, a damn fine story nonetheless!

As a child, these two stories fired my imagination. Could there really be time slips and parallel universes?

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I believe that I have experienced something similar.

Many years ago, I had a beloved dog, Barnaby, a black and white Labrador cross. We went everywhere together and walked daily. One day, I took a friend to one of my favourite places in Wales, Pityll Rhaedre – the tallest waterfall in Wales. It can be found at the end of a long, single lane track, surrounded by hills and woods and moors. Trails in all directions lead you out on the moor or through the woods. My friend was busy with her photography, so I decided to stroll awhile alone. I felt at ease here, in nature, always had. And was aware of eyes upon me and knew the place to be sacred with various energies, some good, and some bad.

As I walked, Barnaby ran ahead as usual. The day was blue skies, sunny, with a slight October chill. As I rounded a track, I could see Barnaby standing, looking at me. He was perhaps fifteen feet away, but something about him made me stop. He was perfectly still, as though frozen and his eyes were different, not the brown, loving eyes I knew, but something dark and threatening. He was no longer black and white, but all black and bigger, more like a Rottweiler, a big one.

I stepped slowly closer and became aware of a sudden stillness. Nothing moved. No leaves, no branch, no birds, nothing. The area I knew so well seemed odd, different, but the same. It’s hard to describe, but I knew I had stepped into another space, dimension, call it what you will, but that was not my dog watching me and I was no longer in present day Wales.

The moment lasted a minute, perhaps less, then as if a switch had been flicked, Barnaby seemed to shiver, shook himself and came bounding over to me whining. My legs gave way and together we huddled into each other for a few minutes as I fought for breath and my body to stop shaking.

I walked back towards the waterfall, the cafe and people and sighed with relief when I saw I was still in my own time. My friend still clicking away as she had been when I left half an hour before, though she did say I hadn’t been gone long. I asked her how long I’d been gone – she said no more than five possibly ten minutes – but I knew I’d been gone at least half an hour. Was this perceived time? Had my friend merely lost half an hour in her joy of photography, or had I really only been gone for five minutes – in her time? We may never know, but I do know for sure, I had stepped into something else. A faerie realm? A space between times? I don’t know.

Time slips happen frequently and in the most unlikely of places. A well documented one that happens to people is in Liverpool city of all places, in Bond Street. People have claimed to step backwards to the 1950’s or 60’s and one lady experienced even later, the 19th century. All for just a few brief seconds, but enough to cause confusion at what they are actually seeing. (I used this within Between Worlds, along with the two 19th century stories.)

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During my research I found many interesting experiences by various people of all walks of life and have concluded that there is more to our universe than man can ever allow himself to understand or believe. Energy is everything. Energy has a way of finding a way through and if someone is present during this breakthrough, then they may experience something wonderfully scary.

#28

 Jennifer Gilmour

Book Title: Isolation Junction

Genre: Fiction

Short Bio: Born in the North East, I am a young, married mum with three children.  I am an entrepreneur, running a family business from my home-base and I have a large readership of other young mums in business for my blog posts.

From an early age I have had a passion for writing and have been gathering ideas and plot lines from my teenage years.  A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, I have amalgamated and fictionalised other survivors experiences alongside my own to write my first novel detailing the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.  I hope that in reading my book, I will raise awareness of this often hidden and unseen behaviour and empower women in abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and find the confidence to change their lives.

Short synopsis of book: Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. But through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t will she be able to do it?

Will Tim help her?

And will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves?

Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Based on true events.

What was the incentive to start writing:

My incentive to start writing was very personal and it came at a time in my life when I was fighting a battle I had no energy for. It came when I realised the topic needed a huge awareness that wasn’t there. I knew I had to open eyes of other victims, survivors and the unknown. In this moment I felt alone with hardly any help available from national services, I did have family but understanding me and what I was going through was another thing.

It flourished when I was on an awareness course for other women who had been through domestic abuse and I realised I wasn’t alone. In the same moment it came to light that this wasn’t spoken about much, I assume that might be because even after surviving abuse as a victim you’re still scared and petrified of the abuser coming to hurt you even more. I knew I had to take a stand and it wasn’t going to be an easy one.

Has writing changed you?

Yes it most certainly has. I actually used writing to channel my feelings, emotions and to work out what was going on with me whilst I was being abused. I guess you could call this a diary. It felt good to get it all out because speaking to someone just wasn’t possible.

When I started to write a fictional novel I often referred back to this diary and other scraps of paper I had written on, it wasn’t nice to look back and read what I went through but I found writing the book therapeutic. Instead of carrying around bitterness and hatred I could channel it a different way and I knew that the end result could help others and even save lives.

I am so happy I decided to take on this route because I feel more confident about speaking about this issue personally, others have confided in me when they haven’t had anyone to talk to and people feel they understand what I have been through. I feel like the years I was abused were not a waste which particularly irritated me at the time.

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing?

I get mixed emotions, some think its fantastic I have written Isolation Junction and others feel worried for me and I understand that completely. I am thankful to have a very supporting husband and mother in law who have been nothing but a rock in my life; in the good and bad times of writing and even now but the journey isn’t over yet.

If you could go back in time to when you first began writing, what advise would you give yourself?

Write a little every day even if it is just a sentence or a few words. Stick to your goals that you set even if its difficult, its worth it in the end. Do chapter by chapter and a very detailed map.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour

Website: www.jennifergilmour.com

Amazon Author Profile:

Kindle (£4.99): http://tinyurl.com/jo8rtpn

Paperback (£8.99): http://tinyurl.com/honkrok

Thank you Jennifer for being a strong and courageous woman and being an inspiration to all domestic abuse survivors. As a survivor of abuse myself, I am well aware of the feeling of isolation and the joy when you realise you are not alone. Many blessings to you Jennifer. xx

#27

Now for something very different, and very close to my heart – Autism. My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD at an early age, then a year later, Asperger’s Syndrome, along with some learning difficulties. She is now eighteen, considering her options for college and has never stopped her desire to work in the drama business, either up front on stage, before a camera, or backstage. (Yes, that is Megan and I as the heading picture!)

Autism, once known as ‘naughty child syndrome’ as the most likely scenario was a young disruptive child in school, I refused to consider my daughter had autism when diagnosed as she didn’t ‘fit’ this scene – but in subtle ways, she did. As do I and my husband, but as children, autism was never heard, just shy or withdrawn or restless, bad kids.

The following article is by a fellow author of Crimson Cloak Publishing – 

Rosita Bird.

me

 Autism today

My name is Rosita Bird and I am a children’s author with Cloak Publishing, having used my experience, particularly my own childhood experience, to write on topics such as healthy eating, mental health, autism and other safeguarding issues. As a mother and more recently a grandmother, as well as being a childminder for 15 years, plus also working  in a nursery school for 5 years.  I have come across children with Aspergers syndrome during my time working with children.  I decided to read as much on this subject as I could, which led me to realize that I too was on this spectrum and it answered a lot of questions about myself, my father and my son.

Autism and Aspergers are still topics not fully understood because there are so many variations to this condition. There is a wide umbrella under which many people sit, from those just on the spectrum to those with severe autism and needing full time care.  The perceived view is that autism means learning difficulties, and odd behaviour traits, which is true in some cases as portrayed in the film, ‘The Rain Man.’  Unfortunately,  this is only one example of autism and there are just so many.  Many with Aspergers can be intelligent and high functioning individuals. Many much older people today are still classed as eccentric or odd. Thankfully, we live in more enlightened times as people are a little more aware.

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Here is a list of famous people who are considered to have Autism/Aspergers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/12/autism-celebrities-aspergers_n_4427196.html

Both Autism and Aspergers are not classed as a mental health condition although they can have depression as part of their condition, also self harming can be a factor in some cases. Sometime, communication is difficult and inappropriate and this can lead to frustration and anger.

It is very difficult for other children to understand the behaviour of a child with this condition and I have had to explain to other children in my care, why a child was behaving inappropriately. I have recently written ‘Jake is Different. – A Friendly Guide to Autism.’  It is about Jake starting school and fitting in. It is important that children are aware that other children may not be like them and make allowances and in this way help to combat any bullying. At the back of the book there are signs and symptoms and also a guide of signs for parents/guardians/teachers to look out for.

images

Here are some websites for more information.

http://www.autismsymptoms.com

http://www.autismsymptomsl.com

http://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/understanding-autism

http://www.autism.org.uk/myworld

http://autismspectrumcenter.org (International Links)

There has been much talk and accusations that pharmaceutical companies and the MMR vaccination are in some way responsible for autism. This has not been proven, and as new scientific evidence has shown familial links, this would indicate that a genetic link is more likely to be responsible for autism. There are now also scans to show differences in the brain. These scans have identified subtle differences between regions involved in language and facial recognition. There is continued research into this condition. Sadly, there are still people who deny it exists and believe bad parenting is responsible. In some cases there can be very similar traits in behaviour as to when a child has not been subject to discipline. This is where it starts to become complicated and if scans become more precise, identification hopefully will answer the question.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20161031/Research-shows-genetic-link-between-mitochondrial-DNA-and-autism.aspx

My Links :-

https://www.facebook.com/Rositaschildrensbooks?ref=hl

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=170884839&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

http://main.crimsoncloakpublishing.com/rosita-bird_1.htm

https://sites.google.com/site/rositabirdbooks/home

Thank you so much Rosita for this article, I hope it helps awareness and opens people’s eyes to this condition. Parents MUST learn to teach their children to accept difference and help to include ALL children, not just the ‘normal’ kids. Growing up is hard enough without being bullied and excluded by other children – it creates loneliness and depression. xx

And now for some more information on this caring, talented author.

jake-front-cover

Author Name:  Rosita Bird

Book Title: Jake is Different, My Great Grandad was a Soldier, Vegetables Count, Fruits Count, Mummy Still Loves Me, The Rabbit Who Wore Glasses,  Emma Tate series, Elves of Tralado Series, Bobby’s Magic Wheels, plus many more to come.

elfs-secret-cover-2

witch-coverGenre: Children’s Fiction

Short Bio:

I am married, a mother and grandmother. Having worked with children for many years I decided to write for them. My experience and knowledge of children has proved very valuable.

Short synopsis of book:  All my books are educational, tackling topics such as healthy eating, mental health, autism and other safeguarding topics.

What was the incentive to start writing:

I had mental health issues in 2004 and joined a writing group as part of my recovery. I realised I enjoyed it and could use this skill to help children in promoting healthy eating. Vegetables Count was my first book. This is a diverse, healthy eating maths books for young children.  I attribute a lot of my health problems to food. Early years are so important in promoting a healthy future.

Who influences you and why?

I love Eric Carle and Roger Hargreaves. I like the simple way they educate in a gentle way and creative way.

What challenges have you faced and overcome?

I have taught myself many aspects of the computer and I am still learning. In this line of work you need to be able to use a computer for many aspects of being an author. I have done a couple of talks but this is quite a challenge for me as I am quite shy in a crowd.

If you could go back in time to when you first began writing, what advice would you give yourself?

  Never use a vanity publisher. Sadly, many frustrated with rejections find this route. It is expensive and it is possible to end up with a poor quality book that is too overpriced.  I made this mistake and lost quite a lot of money.

What advice would you give other authors?

Do plenty of research before writing, check out similar books and see if there is a market for your books. Also try and find a traditional publisher, this may only be possible through a literary agent, if you cannot find one, then self publish through create space or a printing company. Never use vanity publishing companies.

#26

 Remy Dean

 This

Genre: Fantasy

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Tell us about yourself and what you do?

I was born in 1965 and live in Snowdonia with my wife, daughter and dog where we walk through its magical mountain woodlands almost every day. I have had lots of different jobs over the years, but currently I am an author and artist, also a story-teller, a lecturer on art and folklore, and I host creative workshops.

Your latest book is a bit of a departure from what you have written before, what can you tell us about it?

My previous works of fiction are definitely for grown-ups only, but THIS is an epic fantasy inspired by local folklore and Welsh fairy-tales. My daughter, Zel, was creative consultant, she is eleven now and is my resident expert of all things fairy- and dragon-related.

THIS is the first book I have written for children and young adults and is packed with plenty of magic and adventure, it is the first book of a trilogy: THIS, THAT, and THE OTHER… So with Zel’s invaluable help, and by channelling the veteran child within myself, I have written an epic yarn that winds its way between the world of the ‘Fair Ones’ and the world where we dwell… It would fall loosely into the ‘Portal Fantasy’ genre, which I suppose all traditional fairy-tales do, to some extent.

We follow the story of two special friends who realise that there are other realms and that, in ancient times, these realms were intentionally separated for a good reason. In THIS, actions carried out with the best intentions can result in bad outcomes, and what appears to be evil can cause outcomes that are good. It is a modern fable responding to the current multi-cultural climate, exploring aspects of gaining maturity through finding your own set of values, being brave enough to question and change those values, and building an awareness that others will have different beliefs and motivations. There are fairies and elves, dragons and unicorns! Some of it you may find funny, other parts might give you a bit of a fright. It is a fairly scary fairy story!

What was the incentive to start writing?

I have been writing since before I was a teenager. I think I just had stories in my head and needed to capture them and make them real in some way. I also loved reading books and, just like a lot of teenagers want to emulate their favourite pop stars – singing in front of the mirror with a hair-brush – I wanted to write WATERSHIP DOWN or RINGWORLD.

I started writing ‘seriously’ when I was at college studying film-making. I realised that the creative seeds for films were in the writing. The story was the purely creative part and by the time it became a film it had been mediated by so many other people and processes. I started thinking of writing as a direct method of film-making. With good writing, the words disappear and the reader sees, even feels, the action.

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing?

Very supportive. My daughter is helping me to write THIS THAT AND THE OTHER, and my wife also contributes ideas and is my first reader. Both incredibly creative original thinkers! So their reactions have been positive to the material and most accommodating to my methods. They are very patient with me!

 

What made you choose that genre?

I am not the first to say it, but fantasy is not just escapism, it is a way of looking at the real world from a different perspective. It deals with very real issues.

I think imagination is what makes us human. Albert Einstein famously said, “Imagination is more important that knowledge,” and William Blake also said, “What is now real, was once only imagined.”

If you could go back in time to when you first began writing, what advice would you give yourself?

Do it more. Don’t be distracted. Get your priorities right from the start. Stop working towards the goals of others who do not even care who you are. Figure out your own values and put your energies into progressing yourself and those dear to you. Do not let a job get in the way of your work. Perhaps it’s a mid-life crisis, but I feel that I am desperately catching up on a lot of missed opportunities. It is amazing how much the world throws at us in order to keep us from knowing who we are and finding our true potential.

Self-published or Traditional – which do you prefer?

Having been down both roads I find both have their pros and cons. Self-publishing gives the artist total creative control over all aspects of the process from start to finish. The only down-side is then it remains up to you to do all the promotion and selling, which is a different talent-set. Writers would prefer to move on to the next book, stay at home and do their work.

Traditional publishing does all the promotion part for you, but then it usually involves invasive control over content. I found myself in an enviable position for any professional writer, where publishers were coming to me with commissions. I kept say “Yes,” until I found that I was being asked to write about subjects that were getting further and further away from my interests. I did not want writing to become another job.

Traditional and Self-Publishing are not mutually exclusive, you can do both. It seems that the Self-Publishing route has become an arena for bigger publishers to cherry-pick books that are already proving themselves in the market – almost a way of circumventing the slush pile. Why have your manuscript sitting on the desks of a succession of agents and publishers when it can be out there and accessible? Andy Weir originally published THE MARTIAN on his blog, where you could read it for free, and eventually self-published it on amazon kindle at 99 cents. Then it was picked up by an agent who sold it to a major publisher. It became a New York Times best-seller and then the award-winning movie. That all happened in a five-year timespan.

What advice would you give other authors?

Write. Write well. Keep on writing. Write better.

Write what you know to be cool and others on the same wavelength will seek you out. If you write something that thousands of people think is ‘OK’, is that any better than writing something that deeply affects a handful of people who really love it? Above all, find joy in the act of writing and write stuff that you would love to read… and read books you would like to have written.

Never expect perfection, but know that when you finish a piece of writing, you are a better writer than when you started it.

this_remy_dean_cariad_smaller

How can people find you and interact?

I am on twitter @DeanAuthor

Or you can find out what I am up to and contact me at my weblog:

http://remydean.blogspot.co.uk/

I am available for workshops, residencies, readings, story-telling, talks and lecture presentations.

Thanks Remy for being my guest during this Autumn time of spookiness and fireworks. Having read a short extract of the book, I am intrigued by the story – and love the title! What a wonderful idea. Wishing you joy with all that you do.

Paula

#25

Now for someone slightly different – A Blogger!

A very nice blogger of books, Joanne

Me Reading

Like the glass of wine there Joanne!

I’m  Joanne and I just love reading! I enjoy a wide variety of books but would say my favourite genres are contemporary fiction or thrillers and I also enjoy a good love story. I love hearing about what others are reading and look forward to sharing what I am reading. I am a member of two book groups plus THE Book Club and Book Connectors on Facebook so have plenty people offering inspiration about what new books to read. And plenty people to share details of what I’ve been reading. I review for Lovereading, New Books magazine and Netgalley, as well as sharing my reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook.

Please see my review policy page for details of what I like to read and how to contact me.

Tell us what your blog is about

My blog is mostly book reviews although I do also have author guest posts or Q&As, a blogger spotlight feature and occasional cover reveals or giveaways. The past week I have been posting reports about events I’ve been to at The Edinburgh Book Festival

How did it begin? 

I have always read a lot and like to chat about books. Starting the blog was a way of connecting with other avid readers and sharing what I’ve enjoyed about a book.

What’s your favourite thing about blogging and why?

The blogging community is just brilliant, so supportive. It’s always lovely to hear that someone has enjoyed your review and ordered a book on the strength of it.

What’s your least favourite thing and why?

It can be a bit dis-spiriting when I write a review of a book I’ve loved and for some reason it’s one that not many people read. I know it’s not about numbers, but I want to share the love! 

It seems you enjoy a book or two – what’s been your favourite this year and why?

What – only one?? I am going to cheat and choose three and even that is hard. I’ll pick Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave, The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan and Another Love by Amanda Prowse – but there are so many more 5* reads I could have chosen. 

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Who has been your most enjoyable/memorable author to interview and why? 

Oh that’s a hard question! I think I might say Sharon Maas was one of my favourite interviews as she’s had such a fascinating life.

Tell us a little about yourself besides blogger. 

Well I’m married with two teenage daughters (how did that happen??). I live by the sea. I love to cook and bake as well as read. I have recently been learning to play the flute.

 

How can people find you and interact? 

My blog is portobellobookblog.com

I’m on Twitter @portybelle

And have a blog facebook page https://www.facebook.com/portobellobookblog/

Thank you so much for coming on my website and sharing a little insight into the life of a book blogger. I know it can be difficult to think of just one book that catches the imagination and wish I had time to read a novel as much as I’d like as Barbara Erskine has a new one out and I’m chomping at the bit to get it!!

I also appreciate that you’ll be having me as a guest September 30th and are happy to shout out about my novella Diary of Margery Blake out now and the launch of it on the 17th.

Faeries – Tinkerbell or not?

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(I actually have this picture on my bedroom wall – I did the jigsaw – love it!)

Now, we’ve all heard of little Tinkerbell in Peter Pan and she’s small and dainty and glows, but is this the real way that faeries are? I grew up with the magical, colourful pictures and poetry of Cicely Mary Barker whose The complete book of Flower Faeries inspired me to write my own stories when my daughter was small. Adventures of Faerie folk is now available in the world of Amazon.

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By Alan Jones

However, there was another book titled Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee that portrayed faeries in quite another way. These faeries were almost always naked and the various types of supernatural beings were on occasion frightening and menacing. They created a whole different attitude towards the faerie realm and where one MUST be careful at all times.

Faeries within the world of Cicely are fairly typical. They each have their own flower, nut or berry to protect and they live within nature. Whether they interact with humans is never certain, but there’s a nice, twee feel to each faerie, that they care for life and have important jobs to do within this world.

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Faeries can also be portrayed as nasty little creatures, who happily carry off babies, leaving behind their own child in its place, a changeling. This creature is sick and hideous according to stories, and many hundreds of years ago when changelings were believed to exist without any doubts, parents would be convinced that their child was a changeling if it was born a sickly child and they would leave it out in the woods, hoping the faeries would take it back and return their healthy babe. Of course, the child died from exposure, but the parents believed their child to be living a life in the faerie realm instead.

faerie 1

Along with faeries there are pixies, goblins, trolls, dwarfs, elf, (though this was considered the old word for faerie) I suppose even ‘Hobbits’ are now considered a type of supernatural being?!

Nobody really knows how faeries came into being. There are many version of how they came into our belief system. Some believe they came from Eve, others they came from the corpse of the giant Ymir, others that they are fallen angels. Wherever they came from, they have been in existence as long as man has walked the earth.

I believe they are light beings, energy from Mother nature who help and guide us if we ask. I believe that I was honoured to see an elemental in one of my healing classes. A very bright ball of light, zipped around one lady in the group, before vanishing. I feel blessed to have witnessed that, whatever it was.

So, where can you find faeries? Faerie rings are dangerous places to be near at dawn and dusk, apparently. Do not step within the circle or you could be whisked off to the realm of the faeries. What may seem like only minutes to you, can in fact be many years of our time. Faerie land can be within a hill, within a wood, ancient circles, earthworks, forts and barrows are all considered places where a faerie realm may dwell.

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So, if you are ever invited by a strange being to visit a faerie hill, do not do so lightly. Never eat or drink anything offered, and do not accept a kiss, as all of these things can prevent you from returning to your own world.

So, if you do believe in faeries, you can create an alter for them, using anything from nature, include tea lights, feathers, flowers, a figure of a faerie. Never ever have anything with lead in it. You can have the alter inside or out, and remember to put out cake, honey and milk on occasions if asking for their healing.

Happy blessings to you faeries.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adventures-Faerie-folk-One-1/dp/1535017724/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468168276&sr=1-1&keywords=adventures+of+faerie+folk

My next lovely guest is

#24

 Marie Anne Cope

Book Title: Bonds

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Marie Anne Cope Author

Short Bio:

Marie Anne Cope is the author of Bonds, Broken Bonds and Tales From A Scarygirl and Creator of the blog Scary Ramblings

I’ve lived in North Wales for the past decade, having moved from the city with my job, and I have fallen completely in love with it. The scenery, the places and the people have been a soothing balm to my hectic city life.

Writing is who I am and I am often asked where I get my ideas from. Whilst I have a vast stock of stories hidden in the deep dark recesses of my mind, I always advise budding writers to keep their eyes open and pay attention. After all, the inspiration for Bonds came from something cold and dark lurking at the back of a country church!

Bonds is the first of four novels, centred on the unusual relationship between Becca Martin and Antony Cardover. I continue the gripping story in Broken Bonds and the third instalment – Bonds: Re-Bound – is being created by the voices in my head.

My current project is something a little bit different, although still supernatural. With The Misfits, I am changing genres to that of children as I introduce four friends – Achoo, Mina, Boo and Zoe – who are finding it difficult to live up to what is expected of them as, respectively, a werewolf, a vampire, a ghost and a zombie.

Bonds reached the quarter-final of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012.

In October 2013, Tales From a Scarygirl, a collection my short horror stories, hit the shelves and included the individually published Three Silver Bullets and Sheer Hell. 

Becca & Antony at Plas Power Wrexham 280416 

Short synopsis of book:

Set in both the 17th century and the modern day, Bonds is a dark fantasy novel which tells the story of Becca Martin’s struggle to accept her birthright as a witch and Antony Cardover’s battle to break his vampire curse. The two are linked together by Isabella Cardover, Antony’s adulterous wife and Becca’s ancestor. To break his curse, Antony must destroy Becca. To save herself, Becca must use her gift of the Craft. Only one of them can survive…

Towards the end of the 17th century, Antony Cardover has slaughtered most of the village of Breccan, seeking vengeance for his wife Isabella’s betrayal. Anna Martindale, Isabella’s mother and a practising witch, is the only one who can stop him. Antony can only be stopped by breaking the curse, but the curse can only be broken by Antony destroying Isabella and all her descendants. In an attempt to break the curse, Antony realises the truth too late, just as Anna’s spells condemn him to a stone sarcophagus buried in consecrated ground for eternity.

In the present, Becca Martin starts her first day at the new Ramply Homes site of St Martin’s Church, in the grounds of which Antony resides. Soon Becca is haunted by visions and nightmares that leave her wounded and afraid. The desecration of the church has weakened the spells and people start to die as Antony breaks free.

To find answers, Becca visits her estranged mother, where she discovers the truth about her ancestry and is forced to face up to whom and what she is. Only a small wooden box and her gift of the Craft hold the key to her survival.

Tales at Plas Power Wrexham 280416

Why do you write?

I often get asked this and it puzzles me as, for me, it should be ‘why wouldn’t I write?’ I write because I have a burning desire to tell my tales, to share with the world the stories that my mind creates. To be lost in my fantasy world is the place I most enjoy being and a place I want to share with others. It’s as simple as that.

I understand that Marie. Imagination is a wonderful gift we as writers can access every day!

What made you choose that genre?

I’m not sure which came first – my dark imagination or my introduction to horror movies at an early age. I used to love watching Dr Phibes and Hammer Horror with my dad and fell in love with vampires when I watched Frank Langella play Dracula. I find the supernatural intriguing, romantic, mysterious and deadly, and this leads the voices in my head to weave wonderful tales designed to send shivers down the spine of my readers. I love to hear that my stories have created fear, but more importantly, like the girl in the horror movie who always walks into a dark basement, I love to hear that, despite this fear, they continue on their journey.

Girl power! We feel the fear and do it anyway – not always for he best!!

If you could be anything else – what would you be?

That’s easy. I would build up my business as a yoga teacher and teach full time. People are always amazed when they meet me, and learn I also teach yoga, that I write horror and dark fantasy. Apparently, I don’t look the ‘type’. I like that. I also don’t believe there is a ‘type’.

Not sure what ‘type’ I fit into? I used to do morris dancing with big sticks and blackened face with bells all over me! People couldn’t believe I had the discipline to write every day!!

If you could go back in time to when you first began writing, what advice would you give yourself?

I would tell myself to believe in myself and not allow others to make me believe I shouldn’t be writing the sort of things I like to write.

Only once did I choose to write down a story, as a child. It was the tale of a severed arm being found washed up on the shore. It was dramatised by graphic drawings and heavily influenced by a certain movie I wasn’t supposed to have watched.

I was rapped on the knuckles and told never to write anything like that again. I never did. Not a word. Not for over fifteen years.

Why did I start again? Which of the voices in my head can claim credit for restoring my storytelling? I cannot say, for fear the others may fall silent. Suffice it to say the stories came thick and fast, once the dam had burst.

By the way, the teacher who told me never to write ‘such horrid things again’ is now one of my biggest fans!

There will always be people who put you down, people who’ve been there and done that, people who can do it better than you. Or, so they say.

It’s human nature (for most of us) to believe the criticism, to believe we’re not good enough or not talented enough. As Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman ‘the bad stuff is easier to believe.’

But, there are more people who believe in you and these are the voices to let in. More importantly, listen to your inner voice, your inner strength – your gut. It will tell you whether you have what it takes.

Always remember, it’s not how many times you fall that matters, but how many times you pick yourself up and try again. This is the key to success.

Love this – agree completely – though it is hard sometimes to keep believing 

What advice would you give other authors?

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t/shouldn’t do something. If you have a dream, follow it. For me, if you don’t have a dream or a goal in life, you have nothing.

Dreams have brought so much change, so much difference to the world we live in and many of them we now take for granted. Innovation always starts with that nugget of a dream. The telephone was once a dream of Alexander Graham Bell and nowadays we would be lost without it!

If it’s your dream, if it’s what you’re good at, if it’s what you love, if it’s where your heart lies – go for it! Never look back and say ‘what if’. Always look back and say ‘I gave it my best shot’.

Don’t allow others to put/drag you down. They are only projecting their own failings and broken dreams onto you. Become resilient, become thick skinned. Cry on the inside if you need to, but the face you present to the world always smiles. There will be those who criticize, but don’t let this derail you. Focus on the positives and on the voices that sing your praises. Most of all, as I said earlier, believe in yourself.

Absolutely.

Author Marie Anne Cope

Author Marie Anne Cope

Author and Creator of Scarygirl

Web: www.marieannecope.co.uk

E Mail: marie@scarygirl.co.uk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/MarieAnneCope

Blog: http://scaryramblings.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Anne-Cope-Author

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnneCopeAuthor/

You can also access my blog, facebook page and twitter via my websitewww.marieannecope.co.uk

My next guest author is a lovely lady I had the pleasure of meeting. A fantastic storyteller.

#23

  Jude Lennon

Book Title:  Astronaut Lamby

Genre: Children’s picture book

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Short Bio: Jude Lennon is a former Early Years teacher who now works as a Storyteller under the name Little Lamb Tales. She tells stories at Primary schools, community events, festivals and libraries. Jude is also a children’s writer and is the current Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate for the North West.

Jude has published three children’s books The Dragon of Allerton Oak, The Toffee Lady (a special commission for Everton Football Club) and Astronaut Lamby, the first in a series of books about Lamby.

Jude is currently working with the family of Bobby Colleran (Slow Down for Bobby) on a book that promotes road safety for children across Liverpool. She is also releasing Glad To Be Dan a book about mindfulness for children with Jo Howarth from the Happiness Club and a bi-lingual book which explores the Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico with Kelly Thornhill from Latin Adventures.

She is also part of the Team Author UK team which helps independent writers with all aspects of self-publishing.

Lamby reads his book

Short synopsis of book:

“Astronaut Lamby is ready to go,

He’s in his rocket, the engine’s aglow…”

Join Lamby as he whizzes through the stars, lands on the moon and meets a rock which is not as it seems.

Why do you write? For me, writing is as essential as breathing. I love to read, I love listening to and telling stories and I love to write. The three things are linked and are so much a part of who I am that I can’t imagine getting through a day without doing all of them at some point.

I absolutely understand this Jude. To stop writing is like asking me not to breathe

What was the incentive to start writing: As long as I can remember I have written! And then throughout my teaching career in Early Years I was constantly writing stories and poems for the children. I would write the Christmas plays, class assemblies, make up jingles for tidy up time and special occasions. I decided to start ‘writing for real’ when a former colleague Gerard Durcan suggested I try to get some of my work published. I haven’t looked back…

Fantastic! I began writing stories as a young girl for children. Mine centered around a magical zoo – maybe one day I’ll re-do them? Children soak up a good story don’t they?

Who is your favourite character and why? Sticking with children’s books, I love Meg from the Meg and Mog books. She’s such a disastrous witch but there is something lovely about her. She never gives up. I can relate to her bad spell disasters as they are reminiscent of my attempts with the cooking pot…

I LOVED Mog!! Called one of my faeries Meggie Mog in honour of my daughter and Mog the cat!! Same wonderful generation it seems!

Grown up books- I have a real soft spot for the Scarlett O’Hara. She know what she wants, she’s determined, feisty and stubborn. This is a book I can return to again and again.

Never read the book, but loved the film!

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing? They are all very proud of me and encourage me with all my creative pursuits. Although it was a shock to my close family when I left education, I don’t think they were very surprised that my new career should have storytelling and writing at the heart of it. My partner Dom is very supportive and as he is Musician he understands the creative process. I think it’s really helpful to be surrounded by people who understand.

Wonderful. Makes life so much easier doesn’t it. x

 

What advice would you give other authors? Read, read, read! Write something every day. Keep a notebook by your bed. Go on writing courses and join writing groups. Enter competitions. Enjoy it! If you and your partner are both creative DO NOT have your launch dates within a month of each other – it’s exhausting!

LOL!! I agree with the reading and writing – if you love it – do it!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Astronaut-Lamby-Miss-Jude-Lennon/dp/1532954182/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466021949&sr=1-1&keywords=astronaut+lamby

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Thank you so much Jude for being my guest. It’s wonderful to know other authors and to meet you, even briefly, gave me focus to keep going. Enjoy the adventure xx 🙂

UFO’s – Unidentified Flying Objects – Apparently?

 ufo2

Now, for me, that title is wrong. Things we have been seeing in the skies over many decades are identified, they are not unknown, but okay, they are flying – or are they hovering? Am I being pedantic?! There are some great and visually interesting video’s out there on youtube of hovering crafts that disappear in a flash of light – intriguing indeed. I am one of millions who is convinced that they have seen, something, be it a hovering craft, a silent Frisbee looking thing or a black triangular mass that is able to go at such speeds it defies the mind. OR are they merely incredible cloud formations and our minds do the rest? Is it Mother Nature’s biggest joke?

ufo1

My experience, was many years ago in the hills of Wales, my country. I had walked up a hill, very late at night, to sit among a stone circle and mediate with Mother Nature. I was not alone. We had been there perhaps fifteen minutes or so when we looked up into the clear black sky to marvel at the array of stars when we noticed three pinpricks of light moving within those stars, but lower. We watched as they came nearer, until they were almost hovering above us but too high to reach up and touch – I know, I tried. By this time they were in a triangular formation and glowed bright white of about tennis ball size. Abruptly, they moved, actually, they zoomed off and up, moving so fast, we couldn’t keep up with them, then we’d see them further in the sky, then they’d move left, right, zipping around the night sky, always in a triangular shape, but it is impossible for me to tell you how big as it changed and it was too far away.

This dance lasted about ten minutes or so, before they shot into the stars and disappeared from our sight.

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We sat for a very long time hoping they would return – they did not. We eventually stood, a little shaken and made our way back to the car a mile away. My legs shook from adrenalin and the knowledge that I had witnessed something in the sky that was beautiful and I had had the privilege to see it. In this case, I cannot tell you what they were, merely balls of energy that worked together, for whatever purpose – in this, it is unidentified. Or where they part of something larger? Coming to feel the energy of the stone circle perhaps? Some believe that the circles are maps for beings who can see them from the sky – remember the great drawings on the earth – the Nazca lines of Peru – they can be seen from the surrounding hills, but also the sky – who reads them?

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I do believe that the governments around the world are not so vague; they know exactly what these flying objects are and have done for some time. I do believe aliens walk among us and have been observing our destruction of Mother Earth. They do not come from ‘outer space’, but ‘inner space’. Dimensions within, that we have no understanding of, and yet, spiritually, we touch it every day – perhaps?

I do not believe in monsters, except those human beings who bring destruction on others. I do not believe in reptiles taking the skin of those in power and walking among us to eventually destroy the world – human beings are doing a pretty good job of that on their own.

I would love to hear your experiences and your opinions of aliens and UFO. Add a comment or contact me via contact page.

Take care of yourselves and each other, for are we not all unique and capable of such beautiful actions. P.J

My next valued guest author is:

#22

Bonita Poole

Bonita Poole Author Profile
Book Title: Write Bites Book 1 | Characterization
Genre: Education & Reference/Writing Skills

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Short Bio:

Bonita Poole (1987) was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, and currently resides in Kidderminster in Worcestershire. She holds an English Literature & Language Degree BA (honours) and runs her own online gift store called Nabu Online. It celebrates the art of storytelling through handmade gifts and retro merchandise, covering literature, TV, comic book and film. Bonita also promotes and advertises author’s books and services across her site, and this is her first book in the Write Bites mini-series. She has a particular soft spot for fantasy books of the magic variety.

Short synopsis of book:

Ever had an idea for a book, but have gotten stuck with even knowing where to start with building characters? Do you constantly forget what your character looked like when you haven’t even reached the half way point yet? Or what their personality is like? Maybe that quirky character feature you created has changed from a prominent brow to a hooked nose without you realising? If this sounds like you, then come on over and take a read! This mini book isn’t called ‘Write Bites’ just for fun. It is exactly that- a bite of information, targeted on a specific area you may be struggling with in your fiction writing.

Number 1 In Ref & Education

Sounds fascinating Bonita – a good idea and well done on being #1 🙂

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing? They aren’t particularly interested. They support it, but they don’t really know what to say.

It can be difficult for those who aren’t ‘writers’ to understand our passion. Glad they support you x

If you could go back in time to when you first began writing, what advise would you give yourself? Plan! And write things down! Because you WILL FORGET IT! The amount of times I started writing then had to re-read through everything I had written because I forgot who was where, and dressed in what when I first started out over ten years ago.

I understand this and still make mistakes!! Recently had to try to remember a character’s full name – not written down anywhere, so had to spend time trying to find her scene!! – Annoying!

Why do you write? It focuses my mind from a tangle of confusing ideas and concentrate onto one thing

Agreed. Writing does help focus

What was the incentive to start writing? I was forever grounded as a child haha! I had a little bookcase I had asked for Christmas and it was filled with Roald Dahls books. I love how he made the magical world seem possible, so as a big reader I naturally tried my hand at writing in my teens. When I write fiction I write fantasy. There’s something freeing about creating worlds and realms beyond our own.

Love it! I was also grounded a lot and I didn’t mind as it meant my imagination could go wild! Never did tell my mother though!

Who influences you and why? Surprisingly Stephen King. Not only because he writes brilliant stories, but because of the way he writes. He’s very descriptive and excellent at building suspense.

Stephen King is fantastic. Salem’s Lot is still the creepiest book I ever read

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Characterization-character-worksheet-Write-Bites-ebook/dp/B01G4EQ0E0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465549802&sr=8-1&keywords=characterization

My book isn’t a story so felt like I couldn’t really answer the questions, but a reference guide. It is the 1st of a series of books to help writers develop aspects of their novels. The first book in the Write Bites series is called Characterization, and helps to develop your character from protagonist to secondary characters, including how to find inspiration and develop conflict. It got to the number 1 free book in the bestsellers category in education and reference, and number 2 free book in the writing skills category. I run my own online gift store that sells story based products from literature, TV, film and comic book. I have filled out 5 questions and sent it to you on the contact form. If you need anything else, let me know. www.nabuonline.co.uk FB:https://www.facebook.com/NabuOnlineStore/ TWITTER:https://twitter.com/Nabu_Online IG: https://www.instagram.com/nabu_online/ PINTEREST: https://uk.pinterest.com/nabuonline/LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bonita-poole-9a6161113?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Thank you Bonita for being my guest, it’s an honour to know you. Keep writing, and enjoy life 🙂

#21

 Naseha Sameen

Book Title: Rubaisha

Genre: Fantasy

 

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Short Bio:  

Naseha was born in a town encapsulated by two rivers, inhabited by people who celebrate on the face of natural calamities. It is a one-millennium old city, Cuttack which breathes of tales if only one can listen. Silent starry nights, noisy cracking dawn, lazy afternoon loaded with champak odor, giggling evening and early retreat of the day, all planted seeds of stories in her.

After Master’s Degree, she moved to the hustling metropolis of Gurgaon where she crunched numbers and provides realistic strategies to corporates for a living.

Once out of office, she quickly became the dreamer that she is and starts writing while watching the foggy, slumber like morning of the metropolis that she fell in love the moment she stepped in Gurgaon.

After 14 years, life gave her an opportunity to move to a new city. She parted with Gurgaon as friend and has moved to the city of Pearls, Hyderabad to make the city her own and her, a part of the city.

 

 

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Short synopsis of book:

Rubaisha – A Story of Unrealized Love.

It is the first of The Time Trilogy.  The story revolves around love and desire, but, it is not a love story. It is a story of passion, ambition and survival.
The story unfolds in two-time period. A story is based on present time and the other is based on ancient Egypt.

 The story begins with two friends, Angela and Andrew planning to go on vacation to Egypt. Angela’s father is a historian who wanted to discover the historic remains of Queen Rubaisha who was ever present in folklores, but not a shred of historic proof was found. Rubaisha seemed to be erased deliberately from history. When Angela and Andrew reached Egypt, they find him murdered.

Available in both paperback and e-book format:

  • Get it from Amazon – hyperurl.co/0j4ble
  • Indian Readers special link with free delivery – hyperurl.co/px1zq7 from Flipkart
  • Paperback US link – hyperurl.co/h8xobt

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Watch trailer:

Why do you write?  

As a child I was too introvert and was not permitted to have friends (sounds strange, but I grew up in a weird family. Let us keep this story aside for some other day or perhaps night around bonfire!) A girl needs friends, so I got a whole lot of imaginary friends (being alone in the house has it’s perks) and like Alice, I created my world. Then I realized, I may forget it one day as I grow up. I was not ready to miss my friends so I started writing.

I understand imaginary friends – I created so many, preferring their world, instead of the outside one, full of bullying and competition

What was the incentive to start writing:  

I seriously don’t remember. As far as I look back, I think I was writing. I recently found a class note book of mine (class 1), I found that I was trying to write a story with whatever words I had learnt and lines resembling hilly terrain.

Writing is in us from an early age – it’s just when it is ready to pop it’s head out I think!

Has writing changed you? 

Yes, it has been my escape, my heaven, my therapy and my true friend. It has helped me to evolve, and understand my life in a better way

I understand this. Writing is therapy, allowing us to emerse into another world where sometimes we can help ourselves by working through problems using our characters.

Who influences you and why? 

I would say what influences me … it is nature with all her mysteries. Her mood swings, her shy smile and furious anger. She is dangerous and fatally beautiful at the same time. She nurtures and kills with equal ease. She inspires and influences my imaginary friends and characters.

Agreed – Mother nature is all things

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing? 

Once they can digest the fact that this invisible girl who seldom speaks actually writes, they find balance of complex character’s and twisting timelines in a simple story telling approach refreshing, easy to follow, entertaining and engaging.

Wonderful to hear you have support

If you could be anything else – what would you be? 

Executive producer and Concept creator of series like Supernatural or Star Gate or Marvel Cinematic Universe

Fabulous – sounds interesting

If you could go back in time to when you first began writing, what advise would you give yourself?

Dear Naseha,

I know you want to believe and you will do so, if I know you. Don’t wait to finish your college and take the subjects you were not interested in. Take up, English, Anthropology, Sociology and select a college in North India if not in any other country and keep writing. That is your calling. Believe me, nothing else will fill that hole in your heart.

Love,

Me.

PS: Yes, you went to show your first story to your uncle and cousins, they laughed at you, said you were not good and you believed them and hid all your writings for next 25 years. You used to tell everybody you were lagging behind in homework which you had to do when actually you were writing. I want you to remember that you were seven and they above twenty-five. The comparison was unfair and you have it in you. Just don’t hide in shadows any more.

 Agreed – love this letter to self – very profound and heart-felt

Connect with me

My books are a part of my soul.  Let us keep in touch. Here are my social media coordinates:

My Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKY7c7wJtGu-_h4A-tiryQg

Friend me on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/StoriesbyNaseha/

Follow me on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/nasehasameen

Get Introduced on Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/106188356792186743701/106188356792186743701

Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/naseha

Share with Slideshare: https://www.slideshare.net/nasehasameen

Pinups: https://in.pinterest.com/storiesbynaseha/

Visit my website:  http://naseha.world
Would love to hear from you, email me: N@Naseha.World or naseha@live.in

Other Title

Ruby Drops – Reflections of a Rainbow on Ripples.

An anthology of Poems. They are cries of soul and happiness that dropped from eyes as tears. They are witness to flight of freedom and testimony of shackles. Life is but a rainbow, made of smile and tears, so is the Ruby Drops. Poems are my raw unedited emotions. Ruby Drops is also a story of struggle against depression in form of poems. It helped me to heal. It is a part of my soul and soul is not for sale. So all profit from Ruby Drops is pledged to charity to help prevent Depression.

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Thank you so much for being a guest – your book sounds interesting and will add it to my ever-growing pile of ‘must-reads’! I love Egypt and as a child I was fascinated with the culture and religions. I wish you joy in all that you do.

Blessings Paula xx 🙂

My next fabulous guest author is:

#20 Assaph Mehr

Waking Writer

Assaph Mehr

When and why did you begin writing?

I started to write only recently. I had my nose in a book since I was a child, and whilst seeing my name in print was on my bucket-list, I never thought to actually go and do something about it.

I had the idea for a fantasy detective story and for the particular twist ending for a while. Then one hot night in January 2015 my wife complained that she had nothing good left to read, so I just sat down and started writing. And I didn’t stop until I finished the novel.

That’s a fantastic incentive to write a book! My husband gives me great idea’s and plots, but I’ll get to them when I’ve run out of my own idea’s! I tell him to write his own.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably by the time I finished the first draft. By then it was obvious that I’m fully committed to it. It actually didn’t take me long to finish the first draft. I started out with the idea of the novel, the basic premise of the mystery (and the all-important twist at the end), and set myself a goal to write every day. Most days I met and exceeded my target word count, so I was done in about four months.

After that came the lengthy editing process of course. To counter it, I started a few short stories as I was working on the novel. They are all based on the same character and world, just smaller mysteries.

And the best feeling ever, when it all finally sunk in, was when I finally got a paperback copy. Seeing my name in print has been a life-long dream, so it was quite a sense of achievement and pride.

I know what you mean Assaph, it really is quite a feeling of achievement isn’t it 🙂

Is it true that your Protagonist, Felix, is named after your cat?

Yes, it’s true. ‘Felix’ in Latin means lucky, and it fits both my cat and my protagonist. Besides, it was past midnight and I needed to come up with a Roman name for my character. My cat was already there, helping me write, so he got first honours:

His sister, Tiger-lily, was more involved in the editing process, as an over-the-shoulder tough critic:

Murder In Absentia Felix Quote

My cats curl up on my lap or insist on getting in the way sometimes as loving them is much more important than my writing – apparently!!

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

My “genre” is the Historically-themed Urban High-Fantasy Hoard-boiled Detective (with a splash of Horror). I write in this, simply because that’s what I enjoy reading. I grew up on sci-fi and fantasy as well as classic detectives. I’ve always been partial to historical fiction, particularly that set in ancient Rome.

When it came time to write, I wrote what felt the most natural way to tell the story. This happened to be a story of a private detective solving a murder case, and set in a fantasy world inspired by ancient Rome. I worried less about the box it would fit in, and more about the integrity of the story and the world.

Gosh – that’s quite a mouthful of genre! I like it!

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre that isn’t so?

I’d say that the over-arching genre category for my novels is historical fantasy. It is a blend of well research historical period and fantastical elements. However this goes on to almost all fantasy, as many fantasy works are based on historical periods (particularly Western Medieval).

I see a tendency to perceive the daily lives of people through the popular depictions in movies and other media, which is largely based on 19th century Romanticism. This view has been rejected by historians as biased and largely inaccurate, but it is still very prevalent in the popular consciousness. It always saddens me to see “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Gibbon as a good source material.

It goes from aspects of daily life to overall historical processes.

Nobody since ancient Greek times thought the Earth was flat. The Catholic Church was not against new knowledge. People drank clean water and understood basic hygiene. Warriors in armour could still run and jump. Armies fought in formation not like a herd of berserkers. Rome didn’t “fall”. There are now simple and neat explanations to complex historical situations.

Murder In Absentia Historical Fantasy Authors

Love the ‘Roman era’. If I can ignore what they did to my Celtic people – of course!

What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre that they need to know?

Exactly how much research it takes to write good historical fantasy. You have (almost) all the research requirements of historical fiction, and top of that you still have to do all the fantasy world building.

The results, when done properly, can be very gratifying though. Truth, as the saying goes, is stranger than fiction. The richness of the real world can lend an incredible depth to a fantasy world.

I understand that. Research properly and the story almost writes itself as history is full of its own adventures.

Murder In Absentia Cover

Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how does that affect your writing?

Part time. I write mostly late at night, after everyone is asleep and the house is quiet. I seem to be doing my best writing past midnight.

I do have this three-step plan to make writing a full time job:

  1. Publish book
  2. Get movie deal
  3. Buy small island

So far the plan is ticking along beautifully J

I understand the first two – but an island? A well stocked and easily accessable one …?!

What have you written so far?

Murder In Absentia is my first full-length novel. After publishing it, and whilst working on the second Felix mystery, I publish short stories on my blog here: http://egretia.com/short-stoires.

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They are just smaller cases, which Felix gets to investigate and resolve quickly. They make for a great introduction into the historical fantasy world of Egretia, and to Felix’s unique style.

Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?

Somewhere in between. I have the all-important plot concept and twist ready when I start. I usually have a rough idea of what needs to happen along the way, at least at a high level. But a lot of the magic happens when I actually come to write a scene or a chapter.

It is almost like having a conversation with my protagonist. I present him with a problem, he tells me what he’d like to do to investigate it, and we take it on from there. I have my evil plans for his future, and he’s doing his damned best to get the job done.

What are some ways in which you promote your work? 

As a first time indie author, my primary focus is on reviews. These form the basis of everything else, from Amazon and Goodreads recommendations, to selection into premium programs.

To get the initial reviews was a very personal and intensive process. Reaching out and connecting with potential readers, handing out review copies and following up. My book’s Amazon reviews and ranking are doing really well, so I am starting to ease up on this and hand it over to the more automated processes like BookBub. This in turn frees me to have more time to write the next novel – and having further novels is a key to long term success.

That said, I am always up for more reviews J If anyone is interested, they can reach out to me through Twitter and Facebook.

Reviews can be hard to come by from good, honest readers. I think it is one of the most frustrating of writing books – when you know people have said they loved it to your face and promise to review – but never do – heart-wrenching moments 🙁

How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I love the feel of paperback but they cannot compete with the ease of e-readers. Being able to carry my library in my pocket, having it completely backed up, having the dictionary literally at my fingertips as I read. For me it makes reading a lot easier.

As for conventional vs alternative publishing, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of that. Traditional publishers will have to drastically rethink the way that they provide services, in ways similar to what the rest of the media industry is undergoing (music, movies etc). They are the last bastion of old style media, and their hold on reality and the market is fading.

Now I’m the other way – hate e-readers – I have a book on my husbands, but hate reading it – no feel to it! but love the feel and smell of a book – even better if it’s a great read!

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Perseverance.

It just takes a lot of perseverance to finish the first draft. And then to edit it. And then edit again. And then publish. And then market. Just stick to it, do a little bit every day, and eventually good things happen.

I’ve also written an article for Lifehacker with some other tips, about how to write, edit, publish and market books (when going through the self-publishing route). You can find it here: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2015/12/the-complete-guide-to-writing-your-first-novel/

But to provide the key takeaway for each main stage:

  • Writing: Just do it. A little bit, but every day. Keep at it, until you finish that draft.
  • Publishing: Never skimp on a good editor and a professional cover art. The difference they make is huge.
  • Marketing: Start with reviews, build up to automated processes as you grow. It’s a job for the long haul, not overnight fame.

Agreed – never give up if it is truly what brings you joy x

Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?

Quite simply, Murder In Absentia is the story I always wanted to read. I loved historical fiction about ancient Rome since the first time I read Asterix. I’ve read a lot of classic sci-fi and fantasy in my youth, as well as classic detectives. Lately I’ve read a lot Roman detective mysteries, like those of Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis. So when it came time to write, I knew exactly what I wanted.

The story itself is a classic noir detective. A young man dies, his powerful family wants to know why. Felix goes after the people responsible, and gets drawn into a little circle of nasty people. What makes this story unique – besides the very surprising plot twists – is the setting. The melding of Ancient Roman culture (I’ve done hours and hours of research into every aspect) together with the high-fantasy magical world.

I’ve subtitled the novel as a “Story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic” as it draws on all three elements equally.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Finding the time! Inspiration is easy, it’s the 99% perspiration that’s taking its toll. I have far too many ideas (I keep a notebook full of them). It’s finding the time in a busy schedule to sit down and get some words out on paper. Well, on screen, but that’s the same problem.

My day is hectic (what with four kids, the youngest only six months old, a day job, two cats…) So whenever I can – particularly in summer when the nights are hot – I sit down after everyone else is asleep and do my writing when it’s all quiet. I do my best writing after midnight, especially when accompanied by a glass of good scotch.

I write mostly in the mornings after a long walk with Sid, my dog. I can barely think by the end of the day – isn’t it wonderful how each person works?

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The research into ancient Roman culture was a lot of fun. Rome was always a favourite period for me, so taking the time to delve into everything from ancient gods and political systems to laundry and cuisine was very satisfying.

In term of the actual plot, and without giving too many spoilers, there is a scene right after the gladiatorial games where a provincial governor is hosting a feast. My protagonist somehow got involved with the cooking of it, and the particular culinary shenanigans that went on had my cackling with evil glee.

What is your next project?

I am now writing the second full-length Felix mystery, In Numina. In it, Felix is hired to resolve a problem for one of the city’s rich landlords. No one would lease his apartments, because his buildings are reputedly haunted!

I have currently ideas for further two or three Felix novels. After that, I’ll probably tackle another time period. I’m thinking of a retelling of the Crimean War from the Russian side – but with steampunk elements thrown in. Who wouldn’t enjoy a young and dashing Count Tolstoy with a mechanical arm?

Murder In Absentia Heart Promo

What role does research play in your writing?

Interesting question for a fantasy novel J

Actually, my novel is based on ancient Rome and I have done a lot of research into it, particularly the everyday culture. While I have put a spin on some things – for example, I have chosen the very early Roman mythology, before the Greek influences – most are still reasonably accurate.

It starts with everyday life. The garum (fish sauce) that Felix likes so much was a Roman condiment. When he has to go to a factory and describes the (rather revolting) way of making it, it’s accurate. The festivals mentioned have all been held in Rome. The curse-words in particular were fun to research. My novel is very classy – all the cursing is in Latin…

Then there are the gods. What we know as Jupiter was called Iuppiter in Latin. However what is less known is that this is a transformation of a much older name – Iovis Pater, or Father Jove. He is the sky-god father figure that is common across many Indo-European cultures.

When Felix has an adventure in the sewers and sacrifices in thanks to Cloacina, that refers to a real goddess. Her temple was located next to the forum in Rome, and besides being the patron goddess of the sewers (cloaca), she was also the patron goddess of marital relations. I could not make this stuff up!

I put in a glossary and notes at the end of the book, as it makes subsequent readings that much more enjoyable.

What do you like to read in your free time?

“Free time”? What’s that?…

Seriously though, between my wife, four kids, two cats and a day job, my reading time is limited – and usually competes for the same time slots as writing. I read only when I can’t write, which is limited to the bus ride to work, or lunch time at the office.

When I’m not reading historical research about ancient Rome, I enjoy the same genres I write in – fantasy, mystery, historical fiction.

I hear that Assaph!! What is ‘free time’? Pub time for me!!

Who or what inspires your writing?

As I mentioned before, inspiration is easy. Ideas come at all times of day, from anything I see, or hear, or imagine, around me. It doesn’t take much for the spark of creativity to start up.

It’s what comes after that counts. The perspiration that is required to sit down and transform that sudden inspiration into a story, a novel. In the sense of what inspires me to work daily, to continue till I’m done, I have to credit my wife and her strong belief in me as an author.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?

So many! On the Roman historical fiction side, probably Colleen McCullough, Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis stand out. The last two also cover historical mystery novels, and I will only add the amazing Boris Akunin.

On the fantasy side too many to mention, from classics like JRR Tolkein and Fritz Leiber, to modern authors like Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett.

Tell us something unique about you.

I’ve studied martial arts for about 30 years. Covered various styles, from ultra-violent Krav Maga to a very internal branch of Wing Chun. I also watch a lot of videos about HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) for research. This comes into play when I write fight scenes – they are not the Movie type acrobatics, but are all very realistic.

I will never ever argue with you!!

What does the Latin phrase you sign your books with mean?

I sign the paperback copies with Videas Lumen, which translates to “may you see the light”. It’s a mystery after all.

How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

By a convoluted and completely unexpected route. I never make 5-year plans any more – I never seem to be able to predict the future.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

The combination of genres and the attention to detail. This is primarily a mystery story, a whodunit. A lot of care has been put in for foreshadowing while still keeping the readers guessing through all the twists till the surprising resolution.

A similar level of attention to detail have been given to the world. The rich tapestry of ancient Roman daily life, woven into a high-fantasy setting for very memorable world. My readers say that the city of Egretia is almost a character in itself.

All in all, the reviews I have received on Amazon and Goodreads have been overwhelmingly positive. I am both honoured and humbled by the novel’s reception.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

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Website (including free short stories!): http://egretia.com

Blog: http://egretia.com/news

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AssaphMehrAuthor

Twitter: @assaphmehr

Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/+AssaphMehr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14422472.Assaph_Mehr

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/assaphmehr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/assaph/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Assaph-Mehr/e/B015U1F3NC

Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/1XbfKN1

Thank you so much Assaph for being my guest, it has been an honour to meet you and find out a little about your work. I used to have a part-time job and hated being away from my writing, so was happy when it finished (strange I know!) – I’d really struggle in a full-time job and write at night – fair play to you for persevering and keep going 🙂

#19 Jane Finch

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  I had my first book published in 1998. This was a children’s novel about squirrels and it was accepted by a traditional publisher and published in paperback. That was incredibly exciting – to be able to hold my book in my hand.  After that I caught the bug for writing more, and now have six children’s books published.

A busy lady indeed. I know what you mean about catching the bug – there is something so wonderful about holding your creation in your hands – i cried when I help my first book! Who illustrates your children’s books?

After a while I thought I would try my hand at adult fiction.  My first adult book was The Black Widows, and this was accepted by an American publisher, together with my next, Curse of the Dogwood.  I then thought about writing a crime thriller as I had spent many years working in English Law, sitting in courtrooms listening to horrific stories or domestic abuse. Due Process was my next book, followed by Sins of the Father. Both loosely based on experiences during my law career.

This sounds fascinating and frightening. It must have been hard to hear some of those stories in court. As a counsellor I can empathise with many people, but i think I would find it difficult to be neutral in a court if it was domestic abuse – or abuse of any kind for that matter 🙁

I branched out occasionally and researched and wrote an historic novel on a local priory, and even wrote a book of poems about chickens.

Chickens???? That must take skill

Last year I managed to fulfil one of my dreams of writing a Christmas story. Twelve Days To Save Christmas was accepted by Crimson Cloak Publishing and was published just before Christmas 2015. The book received a glowing review and five star award from Readers Favorite.

Wonderful

When I write I have always just sat down at my computer and let the story evolve. However, recently I was listening to Jeffrey Deaver on the radio and he was explaining how he spends eight months planning a book and two to three days writing it.  I am really keen to try that idea out.

Days? I take weeks researching, then months writing – but maybe he has the time and no children??

My personal favourite is The Black Widows, a book about women who seek their fortunes by disposing of unwanted husbands – but all is not as it seems.  My husband’s favourite, however, is Due Process, which he maintains is fast-paced and exciting.

It’s lovely when our husbands read our work – they don’t feel left out when ‘we have to write’!!

adult books

Children's books

Links:

Website:  www.finchlark.webs.com

Adult Books:

The Black Widows:  www.blackwidowsbook.webs.com

https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackWidowsNovel/

Book trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgPktXRJYRE&feature=youtu.be

Sins of the Father:  https://www.facebook.com/SinsoftheFatherbook/

Due Process:  https://www.facebook.com/Due-Process-1532675670369849/

Twelve Days To Save Christmas:  https://www.facebook.com/AChristmasBook/

Children’s Books:

Crazy Zoo: www.crazyzoostories.weebly.com

https://www.facebook.com/crazyzoostories/

https://www.facebook.com/childrensactivitybook/

Harry the Hip Hop Hippo:  https://www.facebook.com/Harry-the-Hip-Hop-Hippo-1565401477015448/

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List of Books:

The Black Widows

Curse of the Dogwood

Due Process

Sins of the Father

Bromholme – A Place of Miracles and Murder

Chicken Poems

Twelve Days to Save Christmas

Squirrel Wars

Crazy Zoo

Crooked Rooks

Crazy Animal Colouring Book

The Lonely Frog

Harry the Hip Hop Hippo

Lucky 13 – selection of short stories

E-books:

After Batavia

Rat Race: So You Think You Want To Leave?

Jane, I am in awe of your many talents and the amount of books and genre’s you delve into. You make me want to type faster!! Thank you for being my guest and good luck with all that you do 🙂

 

#18 Cynthia MacGregor

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Book Title: Which book? LOL! I’ve had over 100 of ‘em published—not counting ghostwriting work I’ve done for clients

Goodness – you are a busy lady!

Genre: I write for both adults and kids, both fiction and nonfiction. My output for adults is mostly nonfiction, although I do have a few published novels to my name, and my output for kids is mostly fiction, although I do write some nonfiction for kids, too. I also have some eight or so cookbooks.

Short Bio: Prolific author Cynthia MacGregor has had over 100 books published. You can learn more about them on the Books page of her website, www.cynthiamacgregor.com.

In addition to writing books, Cynthia does other kinds of writing, including website copy, ads, and more. She also edits.

She has written over a dozen one-act plays, some for adults and some for kids, all but one of which have been produced. One of her plays for kids, KING THEO, was produced in New York. The other plays’ performances were all in her home state of Florida.

She has also written song lyrics, primarily for songs for kids.

Cynthia has produced and hosted two TV shows, Solo Parenting and Younger Every Day, both of which aired on WHDT in the South Florida viewing area.

Her hobbies include cooking, reading, and writing just for fun. She enjoys wordplay, especially puns, and travels to Austin, Texas most years to participate in the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships, a wordplay competition. For her first few years participating in the Pun-Off she was a contestant (and once won the second place prize), but more recently, at the invitation of the producers, she has been one of the judges of the competition.

          Cynthia absolutely loves her work and can’t wait to bound out of bed in the mornings and get started. She thinks she might be the happiest person in the world and says, “There’s no one in the world I’d want to trade lives with.”

I agree Cynthia – who would exchange our lives? The happiest person is the one doing what makes their heart sing, and sounds like you are doing just that 🙂

Short synopsis of book: Again, WHICH book? LOL.

CCP poster smaller

Perhaps your latest would have been nice, but never mind, we’ll continue with the interview! You certainly have a few to choose from!

Why do you write? I HAVE to write, like I have to eat and I have to sleep. Some days, for example when I’m in the middle of editing a book for a client, I’m not working on a book or other writing project, but at least there is my daily Facebook essay. That’s writing, and if I don’t write anything else that day, writing my FB essay satisfies to some extent my need to write.

FB essay? Sounds interesting …

What was the incentive to start writing: Dunno. I’ve been writing since I was six and learned to spell. When I was nine I wrote a play, which was put on at camp that summer. I’ve just ALWAYS written, but I can’t think back to when I was six to figure out what made me start. I guess it was just something inside me.

I understand that Cynthia – I think it’s in our blood and cannot be ignored

Has writing changed you? I don’t think so.

Who influences you and why? Nobody.

Who is your favourite character and why? I don’t have one.

Who is your least favourite and why? I don’t have one.

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing? My Significant Other is pretty blasé about my writing. If I tell him a publisher has just accepted another book, or some other good news that’s writing-related, he’s happy for me, of course, but he’s not the kind of person to get all enthused about anything, and he almost never asks questions about my work.

What challenges have you faced and overcome? Tourette Syndrome and severe agoraphobia/panic attacks. Also cancer.

The onset of the Tourette’s was at age 14, although I was misdiagnosed until I was in my early 30s. It was pretty awful. I was the freak of my high school, twitching and making noises in my throat that I couldn’t control. Some of the other kids made fun of me, and some of the teachers weren’t too kind either. Fortunately Tourette’s often self-alleviates when the patient reaches middle age, and between that and meds I now have only the tiniest vestiges of it. People don’t know that I have or had Tourette’s unless I tell them. It’s not evident.

The agoraphobia and panic attacks are pretty much a thing of the past too. I was all but housebound for many years, totally freaked when I did have to go out. I’m OK now. Meds got me over it, but I don’t need to take them anymore.

          I also had a bout with cancer back in the mid-‘70s, but that, too, is behind me, although the radiation therapy left me with some unpleasant side effects…which I won’t go into here.

You’ve certainly been through the wars Cynthia and have come out the other side – a strong woman indeed

What made you choose that genre? I don’t stick to any one genre.

If you could be anything else – what would you be? There is no one in the world I’d want to trade lives with. That said, however, if hypothetically I COULDN’T be a writer/editor and HAD to choose another occupation, I think perhaps either a video editor or an audio (music) editor.

If you could go back in time to when you first began writing, what advice would you give yourself? To have more faith in myself and also to try book-writing sooner—for a VERY long time I wrote only short-form stuff.

Self-published or Traditional – which do you prefer? I’m not self-published so I can’t answer that objectively. My books are all published traditionally.

What advice would you give other authors? Don’t just write books unless you have a “dayjob,” an inheritance, or a spouse who makes enough to support you. Branch out and write for money—webcopy, ad copy, ghostwriting…anything where clients hire you to write for them and pay you upfront for your services. It will still satisfy your need to create and will also put money in your pocket and food on the table. It may not be as satisfying to the ego as a book with your byline, but the writing process will still satisfy your soul.

I like the idea of this, but whenever I consider it, I cannot find the time or my mind goes blank!!

Thank you so much for being a guest Cynthia. We’re both with Crimson Cloak publishing and it was nice to get to know a fellow author with such a lovely publishing house. Enjoy your day 🙂

Harry Price -Ghost hunter or Fraud?

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Now, okay, I know I said I would write about ‘ghostly objects’ next, but having just watched ‘Harry Price, Ghost hunter’ over Christmas, it reminded me just how much this man fascinated me as a small child. As I was very aware of the ghostly realm at such an early age, reading about this man who found ways to capture evidence was astounding and I read up on him.

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Born 1881 and died 1948, Harry became one of the must go to people whenever there was anything supernatural going on. He was a writer, journalist, engineer and conjurer among other things and he investigated countless mediums, paranormal ‘hauntings’ and psychic phenomena. He wrote many best-selling books and articles on the subject and was praised by many but considered a fraud by others. It is through one of his most controversial investigations that I became aware of him – The Borley Rectory haunting.

This apparent supernatural hot spot intrigued me from such an early age, I think I learned to read English whilst reading the book that is now so worn and old (Nearly forty years!). Borley Rectory found in Sussex was considered one if not the most haunted house in England at the time and rests in the village of Borley. Built in 1862 to house the rector of the village it was damaged by a fire in 1939 and sadly demolished a few years later.

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There were reports of it being haunted almost from day one of it being built. Bangs and noises heard throughout the house and the ghostly nun that apparently walked its gardens before disappearing if anyone got close. The victim of a forbidden love affair with a monk who had been bricked up alive in the convent walls for her crime of passion. The monastery and/or convent were supposed to be within the grounds of the rectory. In 1938 it was finally confirmed that there was no historic basis for this sad tale. The Daily Mail published an account of Harry Price’s investigation into the paranormal goings on in 1929. Harry wrote two books on his findings.

There were many disagreements surrounding his findings and many claimed he had falsified evidence and sightings of the spirit nun were rejected by the Society of Psychical Research which didn’t help Harry Price’s reputation. This did not however quell the public’s interest in this haunting and books and television programmes sprouted from the interest. In September 1956 a programme by the BBC about the alleged manifestations was cancelled due to concerns of legal action by Marianne Foyster, who was the widow of the last rector to live in the house and who had been a possible victim of the haunting, if the stories are to be believed.

Paranormal events include:

  • Unexplained footsteps heard not long after the home was built in 1863.
  • 1900, four daughters of the rector, Henry Dawson Ellis Bull, saw what looked like a nun walking near the house. This apparition was seen most frequently.
  • A ghostly coach and horses driven by headless coachmen has been seen by villagers for many years.
  • The skull of a young woman was found in a brown paper bag apparently and soon after the family reported a variety of incidents including the sounds of servant bells ringing despite their being disconnected, lights appearing in windows and unexplained footsteps.
  • Throwing of stones, a vase and other objects.
  • Spirit messages were tapped out from the frame of a mirror. As soon as Harry Price left, these ceased. Mrs Smith later said that she suspected Price.
  • Bell-ringing, windows shattering, throwing of stones and bottles, wall-writing, and the locking of their daughter in a room with no key.
  • Marianne Foyster reported to her husband a whole range of poltergeist activity that included her being thrown from her bed. Adelaide was attacked by “something horrible”
  • Foyster tried twice to conduct an exorcism, but he failed. During the first attempt he was struck in the shoulder by a fist-size stone. Because of the publicity in the Daily Mirror, these incidents attracted the attention of several psychic researchers, who believed they were being caused by Marianne, consciously or unconsciously.
  • Marianne later admitted that she was having an affair with the lodger and had faked some phenomena to hide her activities.

Following the Foyster’s departure, Price took over the house in 1937 and recruited people to come and gain evidence of the haunting. A Helen Glanville stated that she’d made contact with a nun through the use of a planchette séance. The nun named Marie had been murdered and buried. Wall writings appeared, one said ‘Marianne, help me get out’.

Another spirit contacted during this time named itself as Sunex Amures and claimed that he would set fire to the rectory at nine o’clock on 27th March 1938. It didn’t happen!

On 27 February 1939 the new owner of the rectory, Captain W. H. Gregson, accidentally knocked over an oil lamp in the hallway. The fire spread quickly through the house.  After investigating the cause of the blaze the insurance company concluded that the fire had been started deliberately.

Miss Williams from nearby Borley Lodge said she saw the figure of the ghostly nun in the upstairs window. In August 1943 Harry Price conducted a brief dig in the cellars of the ruined house and discovered two bones thought to be of a young woman. The bones were given a Christian burial in Liston churchyard, after the parish of Borley refused to allow the ceremony to take place on account of the local opinion that the bones found were those of a pig.

So for me whatever this man had been in life, he had caused intrigue, fascination, chatter and excitement. For me he was a man I wish I’d known. Whether a fraud or an honest man who really did exist in a paranormal world but where people found it just too weird and frightening to contemplate, is one for you to decide. For me, Harry Price will always be a man I wish I’d had a conversation over a pint or two.

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Next month – something weird!

My next guest  – #17

Lynne North

Lynne promo CCP

Author Name:            Lynne North

Book Title:     Be Careful What You Wish For

Genre:            Children’s humorous Fantasy

Short Bio: I live in a countryside area in the North West of England. I have a lifetime love of books, and always longed to have one published. My wish was fulfilled when I was published by YouWriteOn, a site run by the British Arts Council. I continued to strive for a good publisher and became part of Ghostly Publishing in 2013. In 2015 I was lucky enough to join Crimson Cloak Publishing. Several books are set for release during 2016! ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ was the first, released on St Patrick’s Day. I divide my time between a full time job as a data analyst and writing fantasy novels. Somewhere in between I find time to eat and sleep.

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Short synopsis of book:

 Finn is a bored young leprechaun who lives a quiet life with his family and friends in the sleepy village of Duntappin. He wants something exciting to happen, but never having been blessed by the Good Luck Fairy he soon gets far more than he bargained for.  When he least expects his adventure to begin, Finn finds himself a long way from home in dire circumstances. Home begins to seem very appealing all of a sudden. Has he any hope of getting back? This is no fairy tale …

This funny and fast moving story filled by weird and wonderful characters will turn all your expectations on their head, but that’s a good thing, because it makes them all the more amusing.

Why do you write?

I write because it is something that I not only love to do, but need to do. Something in me screams out to be a writer, and my happiest moment would be if I could give up work to become a full time author. I genuinely believe that becoming an author was the way my life was always meant to progress, and from my first published book there has been no way I would ever go back to life without a book on the go  !

I can relate to this train of thinking Lynne! It’s a lovely feeling knowing you are doing what you’re meant to do and feeling happiness. 🙂

Who influences you and why?

I love to read fantasy, and humorous fantasy. My main influence in this genre has always been Terry Pratchett, and like so many other people I was mortified by his loss. Terry will always remain the writer who most influences my work, even though he is no longer able to bring out his wonderful books.

What challenges have you faced and overcome?

I think the biggest challenge and obstacle all rolled into one for any author is to be published. This can take many years, and in my case it did! The internet brings so many opportunities now for writers to get their work out there, and this is wonderful. It is even easy to self publish, but there is something very special about being taken on by a good publisher like Crimson Cloak Publishing, and to have your work praised and considered good enough to publish. For as long as CCP like what I write, I consider my obstacles are over.

I agree Lynne, being published can be heartbreaking and frustrating, but when it happens, to be accepted by someone because your work is good enough and enjoyed, is a feeling like no other. Crimson Cloak Publishing are wonderful people 🙂

What made you choose that genre?

Fantasy chose me. It never felt like I had to choose. I have always loved to read fantasy, and in particular the humorous variety. It just seemed a natural progression that this would be what I wanted to write. I also write a more ‘serious’ type of fantasy, but some humour even creeps into that. I don’t find it easy to keep it under control …

What advice would you give other authors?

Never give up. You will be rejected, depressed, and feel that you will never make it. Believe me, if you are determined enough to polish your work until it shines, and keep at it through all the hard work it will inevitably entail, you will get there. If your book means enough to you, then it will mean enough to a potential publisher in time. The problem might be just how much time, but your book is worth the wait, isn’t it?

Lovely Lynne, wise words indeed.

Website   http://www.lynnenorth.co.uk/

Blog   http://www.lynnenorth.co.uk/blog/

Facebook page         http://www.facebook.com/#!/Lynne.North.Author

Twitter         https://twitter.com/@Lynne_North

Pinterest      http://pinterest.com/lynnenorth/

Google+      https://plus.google.com/u/0/115224406091227697723/posts

Goodreads   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3235883.Lynne_North

Author page on CCP  http://www.crimsoncloakpublishing.com/lynne-north.html

YouTube    https://youtu.be/OZSkYGOm_Kc

Amazon UK  http://tinyurl.com/hukne5x

Amazon USA http://tinyurl.com/z7v4xrm

Amazon Kindle UK: http://tinyurl.com/gqn3pfy

Amazon Kindle USA: http://tinyurl.com/gsz4254

Smashwords Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/hfda3xj

Createspace:    http://tinyurl.com/j43qucf

Nook   http://tinyurl.com/jq45qys

Barnes & Noble Book   http://preview.tinyurl.com/zwdl4wl

Goodness Lynne – you are everywhere – good for you. Thank you for being my guest this Easter, it was a pleasure hearing about you. 🙂

My next wonderful guest is #16

Mary Morgan


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Author Name: Mary Morgan

Book Title: Dragon Knight’s Shield

Genre: Scottish Paranormal Romance

Short Bio:

Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. 

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

Visit Mary’s website at http://www.marymorganauthor.com where you’ll find links to all of her books, blog, and pictures of her travels. 

Short synopsis of book:

Angus MacKay, leader of the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as mightily as his warriors, and he takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day, the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for him. 

Famed mystery writer, Deirdre Flanagan, is unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander. However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight.

Will their love be powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes?

 Why do you write?

I’ve always loved writing. I started at a young age—poems and plays. I was a constant daydreamer and created all these mystical worlds.

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing?

My husband is my knight—my strength and rock. He truly listens and has always been my biggest supporter. He’s the one that once told me to “shut out the world” and just write. Focus on the positive and not the negative.  

What made you choose that genre?

I’ve always had a fascination with mythology, especially Irish and Scottish. In addition, my love for a good fairytale. Growing up with an overactive imagination, I would constantly weave my own stories within my mind. Therefore, it made sense that I would be drawn to write what I truly love.

If you could be anything else – what would you be?

A historian or an archaeologist.

What advice would you give other authors?

If you have a dream of becoming an author, follow it with all of your heart. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

MEDIA KIT: Dragon Knight’s Shield by Mary Morgan (Release date: 01.08.16)

Order of the Dragon Knights, Book 4 

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Excerpt:

His look was predatory, lustful, inviting, and she took a step backward. Words failed her as she took another step back.

He arched a brow and his smile became seductive. “Do I frighten ye?”

“No!” she lied. Like hell you do! You’re as gorgeous as sin standing there, and I want to rip your clothes from your body.

Pushing off from the wall, he stepped into the room and silently closed the door behind him, his eyes never leaving hers. His hair hung in soft waves past his shoulders, and her fingers itched to twine within them. Her body ached in places so deep—longing for even the slightest touch.

“Are ye unwell, my lady?”

The burr of his voice so low—so sexy, she could only stare at him until his words resonated in her mind. “No,” she replied softly, feeling the flames of desire heat not only her face, but also her entire body.

This time when he took another step closer, Deirdre didn’t back away. Now he stood so close she could feel the warmth of his breath across her face—a mix of wine and pure male.

She watched mesmerized as he reached for a lock of her hair, twining it around his finger. “So verra soft.”

Deirdre couldn’t breathe, as he let the curl unravel and cupped her face in his hands. “Ye confuse me. Ye torment me in my dreams,” he whispered against her cheek, sending a wave of pleasure down her spine.

Without thought, she groaned and leaned into him—his beard grazing her cheek. She no longer battled her mind for the man. “Kiss me, Angus.”

This time he groaned, capturing her mouth with savage intensity and drawing the breath from her lungs. His tongue plundered deep, and Deirdre opened fully the fiery possession.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Knights-Shield-Order-Book-ebook/dp/B018MESJ12/

Barnes&Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-knights-shield-mary-morgan/1123094798?ean=2940157846695

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/dragon-knight-s-shield

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6584

 

You can find more information about Mary Morgan here:

WEBSITE  http://www.marymorganauthor.com

BLOG  http://www.marymorganromancewriter.com

Twitter http://twitter.com/m_morganauthor

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/mary.morgan.564

Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8271002.Mary_Morgan

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Thank you and enjoy the journey xx

Wow Mary! I’ve got just a tad over excited merely reading that short exert! I’ve never read romances, but having had a couple of authors who work within that genre I may well plunge in (Sorry!!) and have a peek at the saucy goings on! Thank you for being my guest. Spread the word, all welcome. xx Being a Celt at heart, living in Wales, I understand your love of our country. The Highlands speak loudly to me having been a true Highlander in a past life. I yearn to return whenever I can. 🙂

My next lovely guest author is #15

Lori Shandle-Fox

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Hey, thanks for stopping by.

I’m Lori Shandle-Fox. Nice to meet you. Come on in. P.J. has been gracious enough to invite me into her cyber-home.  (For her sake, I hope she’s hidden her family’s cyber- silverware.) I’m a bit different from P.J. and her usual guests. I don’t write brilliant fiction. I don’t write  fiction, period. I write a humor blog and book series called: Laughing IS Conceivable. You see, my background is stand-up comedy. I wrote and performed my own material for years in New York City and all around the east coast of the United States, had a few one-woman shows etc etc whatever whatever.  At 39, I was a single, carefree woman, roaming around the Big City telling jokes. At 42, I was a married woman with triplets living in the suburbs of North Carolina. At which time, I looked around and asked myself the only sensible question:

“What the hell just happened?”     

And that’s what my book series is all about: To use laughter and all my years as a comedian (not to mention all those years before and since as a smart-ass) to de-stress people going through all of those “What the hell just happened?” moments in their lives. Big and small… whether it’s relocating or parents dying or dieting… Every single experience, I believe, comes to us with humor built-in— designed to help pull us through. All of the books will be about things that I have personally gone through… And so have you or someone you know.  (The book I’m working on now is: Laughing IS Conceivable: Even When You’re at a Dead-End Job.  Am I mistaken or did you just flinch?) The first book (currently in eBook form) Is about that little bit I left out up there between husband and triplets: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility.

It’s fast, fun reading and, sure, it’s meant for anyone going through infertility and anyone who is a fertility professional and the families and friends of patients, but truthfully (and I’m not just saying this because I’d really be psyched if you bought the damn thing… which I would be) the books I write are for everybody. Yeah this one’s about infertility.  But it’s really about how all of us humans deal with stuff. So maybe you’ve never gone to a fertility specialist, but you’ve probably been in a bunch of doctors’ waiting rooms over the course of your life, or dealt with unhelpful receptionists, or answering services, or been through something so overwhelming that you were sure you were losing your mind. That common human thread that sews all of us into one humongous fabric is what fascinates me. I truly believe that if we can all relate to it together, we can all laugh at it together.

The Sound You Hear is me Tooting my Own Horn

My eBook has been rated 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.com and been named the number one bestseller in its category. There are dozens of reviews on Amazon.com, and more on the “Look Inside” pages and on my book site, from people I’m neither related to nor have paid off. Okay… Enough of that.

Please come visit me at my weekly humor blog where I write on whatever topic has flown into my mind and irked it just a little. Here is all my info. I’d love to hear from you. I’m also throwing in the book links in case you’d like to read some chapter previews (or get a free sample chapter), see reviews of my eBook… or you know… buy the damn thing.

Thanks for chatting with me. I really enjoyed it. It was a lot like talking with my husband.

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Laughing IS Conceivable

My Humor eBook site: http://licthebook.com

My Humor Blog: http://laughingisconceivable.com

Amazon.com: http://amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007G9X19A

The eBook in Spanish: La Risa ES Concebible

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018Y136Y8

Amazon UK:   http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018Y136Y8

it’s just finding the humour can be difficult in some cases. Laughing is like a hug on the inside, it’s great for helping us feel better and if the man you’re with has no sense of humour – ditch very quickly! Sexiest thing a man can do is make us laugh – among other things obviously!!

My next guest is #14 Mercedes Fox

Author Name:  Mercedes Fox

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Book Title: Vengeance of the Werewolf, Life After: Werewolf Domination, Poaching the Immortal: Vengeance of the Werewolf book 2

 

Genre: horror – thriller – shock horror – splatterpunk

 

Short Bio: I’m married for 22 years and the proud mamma to three dogs. I’ve published three books. I love werewolves so my books revolove around them. I write horror/thriller/splatterpunk; my books are explicit in everything from sex to killing. I write what I like to read. I enjoy reading, movies, shopping with my mother and benchrest shooting.

Short synopsis of book:  Welcome to Wolfcreek. Werewolves are both neighbors and law enforcement. Ted could use a vacation. Life’s been rough since the horrific events in Vengeance of the Werewolf. He loves hunting. A trip to Alaska on a full guided hunt guarantees Ted will feel human again. Otherwise who knows what could happen if he can’t keep his wolf in check. Extreme violence and gore

 

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Why do you write? Because I’ve always wanted to do. When my husband started his business and he was making more than my salary and his original salary together, I left my job of 16years and followed my dream. My mother is a voracious reader and growing up I watched her read and read. I fell in love with bookstores and to me there was no greater honor than seeing your book on a bookstore shelf; waiting for readers to come and love it.

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing? My husband supports me 100%. He doesn’t read my books but he listens when I need to talk something out. My writing spot is on the sofa, so I don’t suffer the loneliness other authors have said writing causes. He takes up his chair and our three dogs cuddle around me. My mother supports me because she’s my Mom and loves books. My father supports me, sort of. He likes to brag about me and I know he’s proud. But he doesn’t believe my writing is anything more than a hobby or phase. My bestfriend (I consider her my sister) she’s behind 100% and she reads my books and provides commentary. She doesn’t hold back either she’s honest. And that kind of critique is find, I don’t get hurt feelers, its being not taken seriously and some of the comments that come with that which hurts and hurts bad.

What made you choose that genre? I write what I like to read. I enjoy horror novels, I love werewolves and I like to read explicit matieral.

If you could be anything else – what would you be? I was once. My full time job of the past I was a Systems Coordinator. I built programs and managed several PCs running payment posting software.

Self-published or Traditional – which do you prefer? I prefer Self-Published. I don’t do rejection or being told what to do. So traditional publishing is what held me back from pursuing writing sooner.

What advice would you give other authors? Write what you want and what you enjoy. Don’t let ANYBODY tell you it’s a waste of time. It’s not.

Fantastic! Thank you Mercedes, really appreciate you answering the questions honestly. Totally agree with the book shop – seeing my books on a shelf is fabulous! I feel so humble when people buy my books, bet you feel the same x

My lucky number #13 guest is Elsa Winckler.

A lovely lady living over in South Africa

Touched to the depths

Elsa Winckler

Elsa-1-5

Author bio:

I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

 The short exerts below made me want to read more! Romance novels are not usually my thing, but these snippets intrigued me.

Blurb:

He was the photographer, she the model and on a sunny beach on Mahé, she stole his heart. But Darryn isn’t ready for the powerful feelings Hannah elicits, so when another photographer implies he’s also slept with Hannah, Darryn uses it as the perfect excuse to walk away.

But when they meet again, he can’t ignore his instincts—Hannah is in danger. Lies and threats make targets of them both, and faced with a situation of pure terror, Darryn is forced to realize he’ll do anything to protect her. And to keep her with him, always…

Short excerpt 1:

She couldn’t help it, she had to do it. The photographer was late, she had her makeup on, her hair was ready, so she could indulge before she had to work.

Lifting her face up to the sun, drinking in the fragrance that was the Seychelles, Hannah lifted the layers of pink tulle of the skirt she was wearing and twirled. The make-up artist and the hair stylist laughed.

“I was wondering when you’d do that,” Sandy, the make-up artist said.

Looking over her shoulder, Sandy grinned. “Looks like our photographer caught you in the act.”

Hannah looked up into a pair of dark brown eyes that were watching her over the lens of a camera. This had to be Darryn Cavallo. The rumors were true—he was drop-dead gorgeous. Tall, muscled, with tousled, ink-black hair. Wow.

She didn’t wait to be introduced to him, didn’t wait to listen to his instructions. With her eyes locked on him, she slid into a pose. He stared at her for another minute before he lifted the camera.

And then her body started moving to a beat only audible to her and the photographer. Without any conscious thought, she posed and turned, instinctively knowing exactly what he wanted her to do.

The air around her stopped moving, breathing became difficult, any minute now she was going to go up in flames. Every cell in her body was reacting to him. 

Short excerpt 2:

“Well, damn it, Hannah is incapable of two-timing anyone. She doesn’t have a devious bone in her body! And you should know that!” Caitlin scolded. “She will kill me if I tell you this, but she funds a charity for war orphans! That’s the kind of person she is!”

Stunned, Darryn stared at her. He hadn’t known that about Hannah. Come to think of it, he didn’t know anything about her life apart from the fact she was a model.

Caitlin stood up as well, glaring at him. She wiped her wet cheeks, her eyes shooting darts in his direction. “You could easily have found out anything about Hannah’s life—every detail is on the Internet. But you jumped to conclusions and probably never even bothered to ask her side of the story.”

“He knew about her tattoo!” Darryn shouted.

Caitlin eyes became slits. It was obvious she knew what he was talking about. “And of course the only way he could know about it was if he saw it?” she said, not even trying to hide the sarcasm in her voice.

“Well, yes! I thought…what we had was special. Damn it, I fell for her. Big time!”

Don snickered. “I knew it!” he said slapping his knee.

Caitlin stared at Darryn for long minutes, and then the ghost of a smile lifted the corners of her mouth. “So that’s what happened. Typical. You freaked out. When you realized how you felt about her, you freaked out and jumped at the chance to believe the drivel this Stephen told you. That way you didn’t have to deal with your feelings; you could just walk away feeling all righteous and indignant—typical Cavallo move by the way. Am I right?” she asked crossing her arms.

“Hey—I saw the light eventually,” Don complained with a smile. “And so did David and Dale. It’s just this poor sod here who doesn’t know what hit him.”

Darryn started pacing. “But the tattoo—” he began again.

Caitlin grabbed his arm, bringing him to a standstill “I don’t know how he knew about it, but I can assure you, he didn’t see it.” She dropped her hand and faced Don again. “I don’t have time to try to convince your brother of something he should have known to be untrue, I have to get to Hannah. I should have listened to my gut a long time ago. And what it’s been telling me is that something is very, very wrong.”

“I’ll go,” Darryn said. “I can go immediately, whatever I need to do I can do from anywhere. You are a family—it’s going to take time to get everyone ready, but I can leave right now. Come when you’re ready. I have a Euro visa, and I can pack quickly.”

“She doesn’t want to see you,” Caitlin said.

“Well, that’s too damn bad, because I’m going to see her. I want to know…I need to know she’s safe,” he ended fiercely.

Caitlin walked up to him, one finger in the air. “If you do or say anything to upset her, I’ll put both our mothers onto you,” she threatened.

“I can’t promise you I won’t upset her,” he said. “But I can promise you I’ll do my best to get to the bottom of this.” 

Short Excerpt 3:

So where are all the Cavallos now?” His laugh was high, near hysterical. Stephen yanked her against his body with his one arm. “You’re all alone. Not even Darryn Cavallo is in sight!”

The guy probably hadn’t had a shower in days, and he also had too much to drink; the stench wafting from him, was overwhelming. She swallowed against the nausea that rose in her throat, but she kept still.

“No, it’s only you and me, Stephen. Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted?” she said sweetly.

His arm stilled around her body. “That’s right,” he said. “You and me, I like the sound of that.” And again his high-pitched laughter followed.

They reached the car. She would have one chance. That was it.

Stephen’s one arm dropped from her body as he fiddled in his pocket, probably looking for his car keys.

“I—”

“Stand still!” he ordered, yanking her back again. He unlocked the passenger door of the car.

“I only want to take my shoes off, they’re hurting me. Surely you won’t mind that?” Hannah asked meekly and moved so she leaned against the car.

Stephen came closer, still wielding the gun.

She bent forward and took off one shoe. “Put away the gun. I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere,” she said, not looking at him.

Slowly, she bent down to take off the other shoe while looking at Stephen from the corner of her eye. He played with the gun for a few seconds, but then put it in his pocket.

“Just don’t try anything,” he said and turned slightly to scan the area.

This would be her only chance. Hannah grabbed her shoe and clutched it tightly in both her hands. Stephen moved his feet so his back was turned in her direction. This was it. With all the built-up anger inside of her, she brought down the sharp heel, aiming it straight at the back of his head.

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Buy links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Touched-Depths-Elsa-Winckler-ebook/dp/B018WRITHI/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1449202677&sr=8-10&keywords=elsa+winckler

Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Touched-Depths-Elsa-Winckler-ebook/dp/B018WRITHI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449202765&sr=1-1&keywords=elsa+winckler

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/touched-to-the-depths

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/touched-to-the-depths-elsa-winckler/1123091337?ean=2940157817787

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-touchedtothedepths-1939988-149.html

Etopia Press: http://www.etopiapress.com/touched-to-the-depths/

Social Media links:

Webpage: www.elsawinckler.com

Personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/elsa.winckler

Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ElsaWincklerRomanceAuthor?ref_type=bookmark

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elsawinckler @elsawinckler

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6557709.Elsa_Winckler

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/elsawinckler/

Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/elsaw1

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111046023755042052612/posts

 Thank you so much for visiting me Elsa, this was an eye opening experience for me having never read romance. I may dip my toe in the near future. If you’d like an honest swop review  then let me know. 🙂

#12

May I introduce my next author guest – Don Ford. It’s a pleasure having you here Don.

This Author interview presents Mr. Many Moons Himself 

Don GREYWOLF Ford

Manlius, N.Y

U.S

Interview images

     In a generalized way Don, tell us a little about yourself. Where you grew up, siblings, family life, education, and how you got to where you are now.

How I got here is still a mystery, plus I’m the only child in our family that can raise a tan.  (Must be the Native American blood on my mother’s side. :-}

I grew up in the country, but soon had to adjust to city life. Yuck! 

I’m the 2nd to the oldest of four brothers and three sisters.  If for any reason my oldest brother cannot assume his duties as top dog, it all falls to me.  

I graduated from Paul Smith’s College, the College of the Adirondacks in New York.  I left the school with a degree in Forestry and Surveying many moons ago.

      How long have you been writing for?

That’s the curious thing:  the first thing I reached for was not my pacifier, but my mom’s fountain pen, many moons ago also. 

Today I’m over the hill.  I know this to be true since I can tell you what’s on the other side.  At fifteen, I began writing Poetry, lots of it.

     Why do you write?

I have lots to say, much to share, and being retired I have loads of time on my hands.  The truth is, I’m in the business of encouraging and entertaining readers. 

     What is your genre?

Everything but Erotica.  Romance works for me, though.

     Who would you say are your favourite/most influential authors and why?

E.B. White tops my chart. “The best writing is rewriting.” I share this thought every chance I get.

     What is your latest (published) book called and what is it about?

“Think Poetry” is my newest published work.  These poems deal with ‘situation ethics’ that have occurred throughout my life. 

[ https://www.createspace.com/5673709 ]

     Who or what influenced you to write it?

Poetry was my first writing attraction, and will always overshadow my short stories.  Much of my poetry is storytelling, just the same.

     What challenges did you face while writing the story?

I first had to conquer the computer.  That contraption sat in a corner of the living room.  My wife, daughter, and son were proficient at it.  I stayed clear of this mysterious thing. 

I finally pounded out my first story on an electric typewriter (Go ahead and say it, “What is that?”) 

When the magazine Editor called to say she wanted my story in Word.  I thought she was saying “Word Up”,  but no, it was a program on the computer called Word.

I went to the library and they baby sat me, and diapered me, until I could run this machine.  I sent my story out and my first story was sold and published.

     Did you do any specialized research for your story?

Regarding my most recent Story Book,  “Nightfall Horror Anthology”,  it required little or no research, since most of the tales were homespun from my imagination, that keeps me up late , when most creatures of the night are active.  https://www.createspace.com/4305679  

     Is your book part of a series?

Yes, it is!  The second one I have started on, but I’m not letting any cats , bats, spiders, or other nocturnal beasts out the bag.

     Which of your works do you like best (feel most proud of) and why?

I have to plead the fifth.  Most of my books are story compilations. The stories are like my children.  I could never favour one over the other!

     Is there anything you would like to say to your readers at this point?

I believe a have something in all my books that will speak to someone.  All are reader-friendly and many have been written over the last decade or two.

     What are you working on now, Don?

 

I just finished helping a gal in Virginia go from E-book to hand-held copy.  I enhanced the writing somewhat with suggestions and added color to the book throughout.  See Flying High Tales – A Kite Named Jack https://www.createspace.com/4802392

     What new challenges are you facing?

I just finished designing a business card for another writer, and she put me on to another gentleman who needs cover art for some projects he’s doing.  I love taking on new challenges.

     Could you give us a little spoiler?

In “Nightfall Horror Anthology” you will find a story called the Last Vampire.  I think you will like the ending or NOT! LOL

     Do you have any advice for other writers?

Two things to remember:

  1   Send out to prospective editors your very best work.

  2   Go over your work several times, until it’s squeaky-clean. Then send it.

  3   Sorry, almost forgot – Never give up on your work, and learn all you can from others in the same business.

     Err… (counts on fingers, twice, looking puzzled.) Three things to remember is even better!!!  Is there a question I haven’t asked that you would like me to ask?

What are some places you’ve been published?

Lutheran Digest, Adirondack Life Magazine, Creature Features out of Cyprus, Floyd the Dog Book Club, Guidepost Magazine, Green Prints Magazine and more.

 Don Icon

Don Greywolf Ford, Everyone!

Don’s Blog: 

 Where Eagles Fly, http://www.awritercomestocall.webs.com

 

DON’S Book Links: 

Nightfall Horror Anthology https://www.createspace.com/4305679

A Nature Walk https://www.createspace.com/4838245

Mirrored Self https://www.createspace.com/4285349

Guess Who’s Hiding at the Alphabet Zoo https://www.createspace.com/4307772

The Great Migration https://www.createspace.com/4229297

ALL OF THE REST are here >>.      l4al233

My email follows and I invite inquiries.

drewsdad13104@yahoo.com

My books are available to purchase directly from me, or if you have PayPal or you can easily join PayPal. 

Discounts apply!!!

http://www.paypal.me/DonGFord

Don's Book-2

Ghostly Ladies who float about a bit!

 

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So, what is the job of a woman in any supernatural setting? To scare or to tease? Or perhaps do nothing but to simply float about a bit? Let’s look at what we have to work with:

A lady of sorts, usually in a long flowing dress of variable colours to which many have spun some lovelorn tale to make the dress her wedding gown. Sightings over many years have her wearing grey, white, green, brown or blue, even pink on occasion if she’s feeling girly. She tends to merely float about a bit, moaning for some lost, forgotten love who either died tragically or spurned her for another foolish lady. She can usually be found in a castle setting or the site of her rejection where she took her own life out of despair. Of course, there is always the ‘lady in black’ who does more than moan, she stares really, really hard and kills off children and the main character!

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Perhaps the elderly nanny type is more to your taste. A kindly, gentle soul who is usually caught loitering around children’s bedrooms to either tuck them in or sing them an old lullaby. If they are unlucky, she might even tickle their toes and hover horizontally over their beds. After a few visits and a brief description from the unaffected child in question who are finally taken seriously by their exhausted parents, the spectral granny is usually found to be some long lost relative of the family or a woman of the nursing variety who once lived in the house.

Now, the banshee is nothing gentle or quiet, but is considered an omen and wails enough to make some kind of a point. It seems she only likes the families of any Celtic origin and hangs around said families for generations, making sure each child reaching a certain age is told of said family hag. She appears or is heard whenever some tragedy is on its way, yet not enough time for the family to thwart said tragedy of course!

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The seductive spectre who likes nothing more than to ‘touch up’ any men within her space is a quiet temptress, so far as no wailing or screeching involved, (so far as I know anyway?). Sometimes being so bold as to slide in between the sheets and caress said man with her cold hands, perhaps steal a kiss or two before she is stopped in her ghostly attempts when the man either tires of freezing hands on his skin or his other half puts a stop to the proceedings with either a shriek or a slap or running out of the room, pulling the reluctant spouse behind her!

Faeries walk, or if tales are to be believed, fly around stories, stealing children and replacing them with changelings and seducing men in the hope that they can entice them into the faerie realm. There are so many variations of faerie, dark or light beings, big, ugly creatures or tiny beings with gossamer wings whose only job is to care for the world we live in and take away teeth, replacing it with cash.

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Now witches, if fables are to be believed are warty, hairy, green skinned old hags with pointy hats and pointy chins who eat up children after enticing them with sweets and biscuits and flying around on broomsticks hastily followed by flying monkeys. They mean only harm to us and will endeavour to do so unless a good faerie or witch can be found. Oh, and apparently they cackle…

 

 

The brown lady otherwise known as ‘Lady Dorothy Townshend of Raynham hall in Norfolk’. Taken by two ‘Country Life’ photographers in 1936.

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Let us not forget the ‘famous ladies’ who’s nightly exercises have been attributed to a well known woman who lived in the house, castle or cafe and so it must be her or why else would she come back? Some have recognised her face from a portrait hanging in some gallery, yet we are more than aware that painters of old sneakily used any old face to use as a template? They may be old Queens, princesses, Duchesses who have either been beheaded and feel a bit miffed at having their lives cut short on a man’s whimsical decisions or they have apparently loved the place so much, they refuse to leave it to the next generation and basically say, ‘if you want the house, you get me for free’!

Whatever the role of women is in a supernatural setting, be she good, bad, or ugly, she certainly makes her presence known and leaves you in no doubt that you have witnessed the love, passion or heartbreak of woman.

 

P.J Roscoe – Author of Award-winning novel ‘Echoes’ a supernatural/historical fiction with my own version of ghostly ladies x

http://www.pjroscoe.co.uk

Next month – ghostly objects

Haunted Homes

Our perception of a ‘haunted home’ is along the lines of an old, gothic mansion found squatting at the end of a long, narrow driveway that has become so overgrown by nature it has been forgotten by the populace. Perhaps an iron gate hangs precariously off its hinges and creaks loudly as the visitor forces their way inside the grounds. Grotesque statues stare blindly down on the cowering guest as yes, you guessed it, a flash of lightening lightens up the dark, brooding sky as night swiftly falls, entombing the idiot who decided to check it out at such an ungodly hour in the first place!

Hammer House films used this picture regularly as it had the desired effect; it un-nerved the viewer, getting their heart rates up, ready for what was about to pounce onto the screen.

halloween-haunted-house[1]

Hmmm, possibly too cliché for me?

I have yet to come across any such house. Most haunted homes look like yours and mine, a three bedroom semi with a nice family, perhaps a dog and a yard to play in. Yet this is so hard to perceive by the younger generation who regularly slaughter zombies and fellow humans left right and centre on their tiny screens?

Consider if you will, ‘The Shining’ by Stephen King. Fear oozed from me as I watched it, but this was no gothic mansion or tumbled down Victorian house, this was a huge, fairly modern hotel. The sheer expanse of it was what, for me, made this more terrifying than a gothic, claustrophobic house could ever be. The long, open corridors, the grand dance hall, the very reception hall was open, leaving you in no doubt, there wasn’t anything hiding behind a door or chair, yet you knew they were NOT alone, you just couldn’t see it all the time. The echo of the tennis ball bouncing off the wall, only enhanced the fact of complete isolation and space – spooky!

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So consider the ‘ordinary’ house yet inside manifestations of all kinds are going on, such as a poltergeist having a full on temper tantrum and making mincemeat of your furniture. A ghostly apparition that glides down the average stairs and stands over the quivering occupants, perhaps pointing in that obvious fashion they like to do? Even more terrifying would be the disembodied voice that yells at the owners to ‘GET OUT!’ but of course, they can’t, they have nowhere else to go. For many, this is more disturbing than the original concept of the haunted house. Your everyday Joe who cannot just pack up and move, they’ve put their heart, soul and last bit of cash into the building. There is nothing sinister about their surroundings except for their extra guests.

Looking further into that notion – how spooky is a ‘bungalow’ or a modern high rise flat? Perhaps a caravan is rocking all by itself or a picturesque cottage sitting silently in a beautiful, colourful garden is the host of some malevolent force? Why isn’t a ghost haunting a tent or yurt? If the theory is to be believed that ghosts aren’t ‘haunting’ the home so much as the area the home is now located and its just bad luck, then why not a tipi, a dog’s kennel or a shed?

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Having spoken with a variety of spirit, the majority are ‘stuck’ within that boundary area and sadly if your home falls into the category, tough. Yet it’s also about the home, loving or bad memories keep a spirit locked within its walls. What is clear is that spirit can move, go anywhere if necessary, ghosts cannot as they are mere energy formed on that area, a replay, residual energy that a cleansing may help evaporate. A spirit has consciousness and therefore, if you annoy him or her, or get their attention, regardless of what you live in, be prepared to either move, or work with them to remove the obstacle that will allow them to leave and be at peace. After all, isn’t that what we all want?

P.J Roscoe – Author of ‘Echoes’ winner of the e-book category in the Paris book festival, awarded Honourable mentions in the London and New England book fairs

Adobe Photoshop PDF

 Next Month – Ghostly ladies

#11

Ottilie Weber

author picture

Author bio:

Ottilie Weber grew up in Wall, New Jersey, not far from the beach. She always has a book in her hands or nearby, despite her dyslexia. She graduated from The College of New Jersey, earning a degree in History Secondary Education then earned her special education certificate. She now has left New Jersey and teaches in Virginia. Ottilie has a passion for writing, where she is always ready to take on the next project. Her family and close friends are there to help her take on the bumps or potholes in the road.

Ottilie

Author of:

End of the Line, Family Ties, and Beneath the Scars

http://ottilieweber.blogspot.com

What was the incentive to start writing:

In general with writing, I write because I enjoy it. I remember having an imagination when I was little, and when I got older writing helped me work out the dreams or emotions out. Project US is one of the stories that is based off a dream that I had. The dream was based off actual people I went to high school with. While I wrote it, I did it by chapter and had my friends read it for feedback. It was something that I got to work on my grammar, imagination, and something fun.

What challenges have you faced and overcome?

I am dyslexic and in first grade I couldn’t really read which is when they noticed there was a problem. Over the years I worked on my reading and writing. Now my struggle is finding time during the school year when I’m teaching.

What made you choose that genre?

I wrote Project US when I was a freshman in high school, and I picked this genre because that was the age I was. I could relate and understand that age group. When I wrote Beneath the Scars I learned about the genre Romantic Suspense.

Self-published or Traditional – which do you prefer?

I would not mind Traditional when it came to marketing, but I enjoy my own pace for writing.

What advice would you give other authors?

Trust your instinct, and follow your dreams. Also do lot of research on what publisher, editors, beta readers, and networking. I talk to a lot of different writers, and I am always learning new tips or advice.

Project US

project us cover

It was a school trip, what could go wrong? Rachel was dreading the project that was attached to the trip. Her gut told her something was wrong. When she is paired up with Nick March she wasn’t prepared for a marriage assignment. Yet, when the school reveals that the marriages are more than just a project, the world seems to have stopped for four hundred sophomores. When Nick and Rachel are torn from their families they learn that they need to lean on each other if they hope to change things.

Scene:1

Rachel

His fingers grazed hers bringing her attention back up to those brown eyes that had become so familiar to her. The air seemed to be stuck in her throat as she was trying to find the words to say to him. This was the guy that she was finding herself to be in love with. She was still in disbelief that this was actually happening to her. Butterflies seemed to flutter every time he even glanced in her direction. His mere touch seemed to turn her body aflame leaving her skin to tingle in the aftermath of his fingers. These feelings inside of her were new, almost making her nervous yet, happy.

“Look,” he paused; locking eyes with her and his eyes were tensed seeming to be filled with such emotions. “I have never felt this way about a girl, and to be honest I didn’t want to ever feel this way about anyone.”

She felt his fingers interlacing with her as he took a step closer bringing the two to a point where they were almost touching.

“But, I love you,” he whispered as his other hand brushed some of her dark hair out of her face, such a small gesture made her wonder if her heart would leap out of her chest.

Little by little, he slowly drew close to her face. Her eyes drifted close as she could feel his lips about to grace hers for the very first time stealing her breath away. Her heart started to speed up as his lips started to timidly

The bus hit a bump causing my book to jump out of my hands and my friend Bridget next to me jolt back awake. Glaring I bent over to pick up my book from the floor. I didn’t grow up with long road trips and this one with school to Virginia was seriously killing me. Reading in a car gave me a headache, but I was so beyond bored I decided to risk it. My inner mind was as jittery as the characters from being stuck on this bus for so long.

“I swear bus drivers purposely choose to drive over the big bumps and pot holes at obnoxious speeds to be annoying,” Bridget mumbled shifting in her seat in an attempt to fall back to sleep.

“I know the feeling,” I answered not really paying attention to what my friend for years was saying.

Narrowing my eyes, I scanned the pages striving to find where I was in the book as I flipped through the pages.

I really needed to figure out where I left off! Just because it was unrealistic moment in the paperback didn’t mean I shouldn’t enjoy a book. It wasn’t the author’s fault that the guys in my grade sucked.

“Oh God, I know that scowl,” Bridget spoke in an even tone as I started tossing through again looking for key words. “Romantic scene?”

“Yup,” I replied keeping my voice short, making the ‘p’ pop.

“You really don’t have to be so cynical about love,” Bridget said and I raised an eyebrow at my friend.

Bridget was wearing a floor length, peasant style, black skirt. In addition to wearing one of her corsets, a white one with black lace designs on the front with cap short sleeves. Bridget had brown ringlets. Her hair had a little volume not that I could relate with my hair that had a slight wave to it, but mine was thin. Bridget was wearing her spider choker and matching dangling earrings. She had thick black eyeliner on almost in Egyptian style.

“But, but it’s so much fun picking on the lovey dovey airheads in books,” I faked a whine, batting my eyelashes at my friend.

“I really can’t wait until you fall in love and I can poke you for all the details all the while laughing at you because I was right,” Bridget verbally jabbed before starting to repeatedly diving her finger in and out of my shoulder.

“When that day happens, I’ll allow you to drop a piano on my head,” I muttered.

I started to finger-stab her back, giving up a second on searching for where I was in my book to get her back. We were fifteen years old in our sophomore year of high school, but we still had our childish moments. She and I still meander into the Disney store despite the stares that we might receive. We met in sixth grade, but really bonded in eighth grade homeroom when we became closer each day over the dumbest things.

“A piano would kill you, when would I be able to gloat with you dead?” she laughed.

I smiled rolling my eyes.

“Love you too.”

Bridget just grinned.

We were getting a little edgy, the class trip started very early in the morning before the sun had even started to peek into the sky and we were still not done driving from central New Jersey to Virginia. Morning wasn’t any of our friends apparently…

“Man, why couldn’t you and I be sharing a room?” I questioned, feeling my shoulders slump.

“I know, I really wonder who we’re rooming with.”

Leave it to school to turn a fun trip, a few days from classes into a project. The project was vague, ‘something to teach us about working together so we can further understand the responsibility of adulthood’. Their words, not mine, my wording would be ‘waste of time along with frustration of working with someone you wouldn’t normally deal with’. I guess that actually could be the same wording for high school, no wonder they didn’t use it. It was part of some new curriculum that the state wanted to test out on my grade. I really feel like my grade really gets all the new tests, new scheduling, added a section to the state test, and now this! We were just now taking our eighth grade trip because, the school delayed it for two years just for this project. Would two projects really be so bad?

We weren’t really told much about the project just that it’ll start during the trip, we will have to work closely with our partner, and that it’ll last the whole school year. I really don’t know what jerk thought that up, but they really should be taken out back to suffer. Possibly being tied to one of the uncomfortable desk chairs, with a broken loud speaker stuck on, and to just top it off a just for show air conditioner in August of New Jersey would be a good enough punishment for this person. Leave it to Adams High to do a project all year. I always had such bad luck with group work, they really were hell on earth.

“Think positively, maybe you’ll get someone you really don’t know.”

I raised my eyebrow again.

“That won’t take much, our grade is what, four hundred people?” I inquired thinking I really didn’t care to know most of them.

Bridget shrugged, “Sounds about right.”

“Aren’t you worried about who you’re working with?” I asked, trying to figure out if she was only as calm as she was because she was still waking up.

“Not everyone is as crazy curious as you are,” she continued rubbing her eyes a little. “Did I mess up the eyes?”

I shook my head.

“I can’t help it, I don’t want to screw up a grade and that is a long time to work with someone.”

“True, I’ll worry about it when we cross that road.”

I fused my eyebrows and my green eyes met her dark brown ones.

“Why can’t you and I ever be calm at the same time?”

She smirked. “We balance each other out what can I say love.”

I gave a light laugh. “Isn’t that the truth.”

An hour later our bus finally pulled up behind the other buses from our school at our hotel. The girls and boys were separated on the buses, which wasn’t a detail that was presented onto us until people started to tell what their bus numbers were. Nick March, he and I have had classes together since kindergarten were talking about our bus numbers when the whole homeroom noticed the segregation of the sexes.

Nick March and I have an odd relationship and always have for as long as I can remember. We were school friends, talked when we had classes together, might say “Hi” in the halls, but never tried to hangout with each other outside of school. We were not on that level. Nick and I talk about whatever, school, movies, and random jokes or comments during class when we are near each other. This was a guy who saved me a swing once in kindergarten the day we met. He hung out with a slightly different crowd when we got to high school.

I’ve heard him in homeroom talking about the parties he’s gone to, and having to sneak back into his house at God forsaken hours. That would never happen to me in my wildest dreams. I never really saw that side of him and I was more than okay with that. However I was pretty sure he wanted to wring my neck for trying to figure out what the project was. He was trying to push away the thought of doing more homework I knew it. We’ve worked enough together in class for me to know when he was trying to avoid school work.

Our two chaperons on our bus, Miss Barnes and Ms. Dixon finally seemed to remember the purpose to this trip as their discussion stopped. Miss Barnes was my English teacher who still had a very sweet childish face even though she was probably in her thirties. She had dark red hair that curled at her shoulders and freckles across her nose. She was fishing in her purse for something as Ms. Dixon my math teacher had her everlastingly formed glower on her face, a raised dark eyebrow towards Miss Barnes. Ms. Dixon had dark curly hair in a low pony tale that she wore every single day. Ms. Dixon unlike Miss Barnes did not have an endless supply of patience.

“Tell me you did not lose the room keys,” Ms. Dixon spoke, her words direct, and sharp.

“I did not misplace the keys Ally. I just have a lot of stuff in my bag,” Miss Barnes giggled. “Companies make bags so big these days. It’s hard not to put a whole lot of stuff in them!”

Ms. Dixon didn’t even crack a smile as Miss Barnes head bobbed left to right, probably humming to herself as she searched for the keys; she did that in class…

“Aha!” She wore a grand grin on her face as she held up the bundle of keys, Ms. Dixon stone face lacked the enthusiasm that Miss Barnes’ had.

“Lovely, you can do your job.” Ms. Dixon remarked.

Miss Barnes rolled her eyes, she did work with high school students after all. Understanding sarcasm was teaching 101. Comments never seemed to penetrate her optimism. “Was your sense of humor accidentally tossed out of the bus window? Live a little!” Miss Barnes stood up in the middle of the aisle. “Ladies! I’m about to pass out your keys so we can get the ball rolling. Make sure you listen to the directions very carefully and answer the room phones because you guys were not allowed to bring any electronics on the trip. Now, Laurie Doyle where are you?”

I turned my head taking a deep breath before letting it go slowly, in an attempt to calm my nerves from popping around like popcorn kernels in a microwave. I watched as the boys walked, jumped, and ran off their buses into the chaotic mess that was the mob of boys trying to get a hold of their belongings under the buses. I was truly not looking forward to pushing through people to grab my duffle bag. The crowd of males slowly dwindled as they were herded into the building.

Release date: August 7, 2015

Goodreads

Smashwords

Ghostly Animals

dog

If we can conceive that we have souls and can return in that state as ghosts then surely it is also conceivable that animals of all types can also return as are we not also animal? Having lost many precious cats and my darling dog I feel them around me and on numerous occasions have been convinced that I have seen them. Orbs are seen around my three surviving cats and sometimes they appear to be interacting with these energies – are they the spirits of my cats and dog?

So what is the most popular ghostly animal that is seen? Having researched a little, it would seem dogs and horses are close, but usually the horse has a ghostly rider so does this count?! Cats are also frequent, even rabbits. Tigers are another that is seen.

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So why do our loyal friends come back? Even before death our dogs can be so loyal they refuse to leave us even when we die as in the case of ‘Bobby’ the famous skye terrier dog from Scotland who would sit on his master’s grave for fourteen years until his own demise and the dog was buried in Greyfriers graveyard with his owner. People claim to still see the dog in the graveyard.

Over the years many reports of phantom dogs have been recorded. All over the world black and white dogs are witnessed, some have red eyes and are warnings of impending death. ‘The Black Shuck’ roams the East Anglia coast of England, along with ‘Striker’ and ‘Pad foot’ among many. It seems every county of England has a ghostly dog. Black dogs have been associated with guardians of the underworld such as Cwn Annwn or the Wild Hunt. Most belong to the devil and will rip your soul from your body and carry you to hell … apparently!

Now ghostly cats appear to be much gentler in their haunting. Most people feel a cat brush past their leg only to find nothing there or something will move, like a ball of string as if something is playing with it. After my three cats died, pens would roll for no reason or I’d find pens I’d left on the windowsill on the floor. After speaking with a lady who communicated with animals, she informed me the pens were them. I had told her nothing about the pens incidents so it blew my mind!

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I know, they look soooo cute!

Bigger cats though can still cause a lot of problems, even death. One of my favourite stories growing up was of the white tiger. An English couple had moved to India in the late 1800’s as the husband was a high ranking soldier. Soon after moving, the wife became pregnant after years of trying and had a boy. When the boy was about ten, his father had got into hunting game and had ‘accidentally’ killed an elder of a local village whilst hunting and killing a tiger. It turned out that this elder had suffered with leprosy and in a panic the husband had shot him thinking the man was going to touch him because he was trying to stop him killing the sacred tiger.

Nothing was ever done and the husband got away with murder. The family cursed him and his family but he didn’t believe in that nonsense. Soon after, reports of a ghostly white tiger reached him and although he considered it ridiculous, he was ordered to go and search for this tiger which would make a fine trophy. He decided to take his ten year old son with him and make him a man, ignoring his wife’s pleas not to.

After some time the tiger was spotted. It turned and faced the husband and ran at full pelt towards him. In the last second, it veered to the right and the father pushed his son behind him, but the tiger leapt towards the boy. In that instant, it disappeared. Later, they noticed a small scratch on the boy’s neck but thought nothing of it until he began to show signs of illness. He died soon after of leprosy. The wife never recovered from her grief and died of a broken heart. The husband lost everything, his honour, his home, his position along with his family; he put a gun to his mouth and pulled the trigger. It is said the white tiger is still seen, along with the ghost of the husband.

Isn’t that a great story!! I love it! True? No idea, but it was one of the first ghost stories I ever read so I hope it is.

Now horses, many of them have been seen on battlegrounds like Gettysburg in America and in England hundreds were seen as they re-lived the battle of Edge hill. Lonely riders have been reported for years in every country. In Avebury, England, a rider was witnessed as he rode his horse across the plains at full pelt. Some believe he is a messenger still trying to get his message to someone, Roman judging from his dress. Riders from Viking, Pict, and Celt have all been seen also, along with cowboys and Native Americans fighting for their land, all on phantom horses. I have not yet come across a story with a horse alone.

Neither have I found stories on mice, bugs, spiders, snakes or the majority of animals but I’m sure if I digged deep enough I’d love to find a ghostly story of ‘Skippy the kangaroo’ or a phantom chinchilla! Let me know of any.

‘Man is the only species that someday realizes that he or she will terminate and leave this world. All other species simply exist from day to day and die without being able to communicate to us that possibility that they in fact are dying’

I came across the above statement during my research and cried out in frustration. This just isn’t true. What about the bull who cried when he was about to be butchered? It broke the hearts of those willing to kill animals and they banded together to pay for his life. What about the calves and cows that bellow and cry in fear knowing death is coming. They understand and feel the horror of separation. Dogs and cats frequently display body language that proves that they know what death is and grieve. I myself watched my own cat ‘Horus’ grieve for his siblings and mother who tragically died on the road. His whole demeanour changed and he became a different cat, refusing to go near a road again.

Every animal feels and if we took the time to watch and understand, we’d see that they communicate their fears to us and then perhaps we wouldn’t act in such a superior manner and butcher them if we knew they had souls too.

Enjoy your day and remember, say hello to the dead, nobody likes to be forgotten

xx

#10

Author Name: Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Book Title: To Be a Duke

Genre: Young Adult

Short Bio:

Emily-Jane Hills Orford author photo

 

Emily-Jane loves writing about extra-ordinary people (and special dogs). She writes about real people and real events. Emily-Jane’s stories have appeared in History Magazine, Canadian Stories Magazine, The Curious Tourist Guide, and Western People. She has written several fiction and non-fiction books: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Ukulele Yukon, Letters From Inside, The Creative Spirit, It Happened in Canada (Books 1, 2, and 3), Personal Notes, The Whistling Bishop, Songs of the Voyageurs, F-Stop: A Life in Pictures, Still Delicious, Amazingly Extra-Ordinary Women and To Be a Duke.  An award-winning author, she was named a Finalist for the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards with her book, The Whistling Bishop, Finalist and Silver Medallist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards with her book, F-Stop: A Life in Pictures, and again Finalist and Silver Medallist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards with her book, To Be a Duke.

Short synopsis of book:

After experiencing an unhappy first year of his life, Duke believes that he has found his forever home. To Be a Duke is Duke’s story of adjusting to life in a new home and a family that he quickly grows to love. Life is good, especially when he learns how to be a Duke.

There are other books on the market about dogs, about a dog’s life, about a dog’s relationship with humans. There are even books written in first person (or first dog?), talking from the dog’s point of view. These are similar concepts to my book, To Be a Duke. What differs is the message. To Be a Duke encourages excellence and positive attitudes; it presents life as one to be lived with great dignity and great joy; it teaches us as humans to be as good as our dog(s), to be kind, caring and loving to all of the living creatures around us.

To Be a Duke is ageless in its appeal. It is a true story, which makes it even more appealing. Duke was adopted from a local dog rescue group. Duke’s story awakens our compassion for ‘man’s best friend’ and bears witness to the tragedy that often befalls these beloved pets. As reviewer Faridah Nassozi wrote for Readers’ Favorite, To Be a Duke “is no ordinary puppy story. It is a really emotional narration that will make you think twice about your actions towards dogs, and all animals in general. You do not know the inner workings of the mind of a puppy until you have read To Be a Duke.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000044_00021]

Then choose five to answer from the following.

Why do you write?

I write because I feel driven to write. Writing is my passion. Growing up in a large family of avid storytellers (and being the youngest in the family), I always found it difficult to be heard, so instead of aurally telling my stories, I wrote them down. As soon as I could write, I was writing stories. I also write because I believe strongly in what I write about. There are so many stories to be told, family stories, real people stories. These stories will be lost in the next generation or two if someone doesn’t take the initiative to write them down.

Who has inspired you and why?

There are a lot of people who have inspired and influenced me and they continue to do so even though some of them are no longer around in the physical sense. My parents and my grandmother, of course, inspired, influenced and encouraged me. Sadly, they passed away years ago, but their stories carry on in my writing.

My sister continues to be a great inspiration. She’s a concert violinist with boundless energy and enthusiasm for her music. I’ve had a lot of teachers and friends who have also influenced me. Perhaps there is one person in particular who I would like to single out to answer this question.

I had a special mentor when I was studying at the University of Western Ontario. Brenda MacEachern was the Curator of the Visual Resources Library (formerly known as the Slide Library) for the Visual Arts Department. She took over the position in the early 1970s and created a world-class visual arts viewing library, one that is used even today as a model for visual resource libraries. I say that she was my mentor; well, she was actually my boss because I worked in the slide library during my undergraduate years. However, she not only took me under her wing, she also became a good friend. She was always full of enthusiasm and bubbling with ideas. She would often greet me in the morning with the question, which was more of a challenge than a question: “Do you know what you should do?” The question would be accompanied by an irresistible sparkle in the eye, an enthusiastic smile and sometimes a slight giggle. She would sometimes follow up with a suggestion: “You should write about….” After I graduated, I frequently returned for a visit and Brenda would always greet me with that challenge, “Do you know what you should do?” I think it is a challenge we should all address. Those words have certainly sparked my creative juices and, even though, sadly, Brenda passed away a few years ago, I will continue to hear her infectious voice challenging me with: “Do you know what you should do?” It is a voice and a challenge that continues to make me think beyond the parameters, to look outside of the box, to revel in a new idea and find a new way of approaching things. It is a simple question, when you think about it, but it is also a question that requests consideration without making any specific demands.

“Do you know what you should do?”

I firmly believe that in reaching out to help someone else, we are helping ourselves; by promoting someone else and their work, we are promoting ourselves. Brenda reached out to me. She inspired me and she promoted me. It is mentors like Brenda that help us mold our own unique character. It is also mentors like Brenda that show us how, by reaching out to someone else, we are also helping ourselves.

As such, I have become a writer who believes in encouraging, nurturing and promoting other writers, not just for my benefit or for theirs, but for the overall power of comradeship, companionship, and the almighty written word.

So I ask you, “Do you know what you should do?”

 

Who is your favourite character and why?

I’d have to say that Duke is my favourite character. Why? Not just because he’s my family pet, my companion and my muse, but because he is so full of life and joy and he never tires of having fun and being the source of another interesting/funny story. I had so much fun writing, To Be a Duke. I chose to write it in first person; I wanted the story to be Duke’s voice. In the process, I felt like I was really getting inside his head and what I learned was absolutely amazing. Our ‘best friends’ really can teach us so much.

What made you choose that genre?

My preference is Creative Nonfiction, although I do write some fiction. I love telling a story about a real person’s life and, growing up in a family of wonderful storytellers, I wanted to create an aura of this storytelling format. We are all stories just waiting to be told. And, if our stories aren’t written down, they will be lost forever because, sadly, the era of sitting around the family dinner table sharing stories in long gone.

What advice would you give other authors?

Never give up. Even when the rejection letters keep pouring in. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone is going to tell their story in a different way. Just because one publisher/editor doesn’t like the story, doesn’t mean it’s no good. It just means that you haven’t found the right publisher/editor. Keep writing. Everyone’s written story is just as good as another’s. Don’t sit around and wait for the BIG publishing contract.

Take some writing courses and/or participate in writing groups, seminars, workshops. I run classes, seminars and workshops in my hometown for writers of all ages. I also teach online through the Creative Writing Institute: http://cwinst.com/ I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.

#9

David K Bryant

Author Name: David K. Bryant

 david k bryant_pe

Book Title: “Tread Carefully on the Sea” (published) and “The Dust of Cannae” (being published in summer 2015).

 

Genre: Adventure/historical fiction

 

Short Bio: I started writing fiction after retiring from journalism and public relations. I suppose the books waited their turn during all the years I wrote articles, features, speeches and promotional material for other people. My career included running a district office for a daily newspaper, helping to introduce professional PR into the British police service and promoting a major parliamentary Bill for Margaret Thatcher’s government.

I live in Somerset, one of the nicest counties in England, and am blessed with a wonderful family. My wife Stephanie and I have been married for forty years. We are proud of our two children Matthew and Melanie, grandsons Henry and Toby, son-in-law Jamie and daughter-in-law Fleur.

Synopsis of “Tread Carefully on the Sea”

The Governor of Jamaica organised a splendid 21st birthday party for his adopted daughter, Jessica. However, the best surprise for her came the following day when her admirer, Captain Michael Townsend of the Royal Navy, asked her to marry him.

Meanwhile, Captain Flint, one of the most successful buccaneers of the colonial era, decided to take the fortune he had made from twenty years of piracy and retire to a secret place where he would be out of the reach of justice.

That’s what should have happened.

But Flint was persuaded to raise yet more money through one last crime; a crime more daring and dangerous than any he had previously committed. His men would kidnap Jessica and add her ransom to their pensions.

The kidnap leads to a desperate chase across the Caribbean and all the horrors of 18th Century life at sea for Jessica and those who try to help her, while Captain Flint himself must face the threat of both the hangman and those within his own crew who plot against him.

Synopsis of “The Dust of Cannae”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00063]
Ancient Rome, synonymous with power and domination, was the world’s first superpower.
Yet the rise to supremacy was not smooth. There were many Pearl Harbors and Dunkirks along the road.
Before its reach extended beyond Italy, Rome could easily have been stopped in its tracks and the whole of history would have taken a different turn.
The biggest empire at that time was run by Carthage, a city on the North African coast. Its army was led by Hannibal, a general whose brilliant tactics are still studied by army commanders.
In the words of a leading character in “The Dust of Cannae”, Hannibal “marched an army over the Alps when everyone said it couldn’t be done. Then basically he set Italy ablaze. The Romans went to stop him and were flung back – time and again.”
Hannibal’s greatest triumph was the Battle of Cannae. Up to fifty thousand Romans were slaughtered.
“The Dust of Cannae” tells how the battle affects the lives of seven people. They are all uprooted from what is familiar to them; forced to look inward at themselves and discover new strengths and weaknesses. They meet each other and influence each other’s destinies. They experience shocks and dangers, misery and joy.

Why do you write? 

You know how that first book enthralls you? I don’t mean the picture books for toddlers or the nursery rhymes. I mean that first REAL book that’s full of action, danger, fights and sinister characters. Well, for me at the age of about seven, it was “Treasure Island” – X marked the spot, treachery, mutiny, musket and cutlass battles and so on.

Yet Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic was incomplete. It kept referring to Captain Flint, by then dead but the man who had buried the Treasure on the Island. He deserved his own story, I thought, and I resolved to write it.

I did so – sixty years later, when I’d retired and the demands of breadwinner were lifted from my shoulders. It became “Tread Carefully on the Sea”, my first published book. Having achieved that, I just had to go on. Now my second book, a Roman drama entitled “The Dust of Cannae is nearing publication through Christine F. Anderson.

 

Has writing changed you? 

I don’t think so. I’ve always been cantankerous. But I value that characteristic now in the heady world of book publishing. You need Superman’s nerves to go through the process of finding a publisher, tidying up the book, learning how to market it and waiting for those sales.

Who influences you and why? 

I think there’s a creative cell in the family blood. My father produced some beautiful pictures, my mother wrote poems and her life story, and my dear brother Ray was an author. He produced a magnificent epic based on the Bayeux Tapestry called “Warriors of the Dragon Gold”.

Who is your favourite character and why? 

When I wrote my Roman story, “The Dust of Cannae” (to be published in summer 2015), I had this nagging feeling that there was something missing. Then I realized that it was not something, but somebody. This woman, Constantia, came into my head and told me she should be in the narrative. So I obliged. She then told me by telepathy what her role would be and she just kept on driving the story. I don’t think I have a psychic receptor but it really was like someone else had taken control to the extent of becoming a co-author. Maybe she was real and had waited more than two thousand years for her story to be told (?). If so, I’m pleased to have obliged you, Constantia.

What reactions do you get from your nearest and dearest regarding your writing? 

Stephanie, my wife of forty years, is my greatest supporter. She sits patiently listening while I read my books out loud and comes up with constructive suggestions. She’s done some of the research for me and helped enormously with detail, particularly when it comes to the woman’s point of view.

What made you choose that genre? 

My genre (so far) is historical fiction. That seemed to happen by osmosis. I was fascinated by the pirates of the Caribbean before I’d ever heard of Johnny Depp. The Roman era is another of my interests and that led to “The Dust of Cannae”. For my third and fourth books, set in the 1960s and 1970s, I’m drawing mainly on my experiences of working with the police and government.

If you could be anything else – what would you be? 

A musician – but I missed the “perfect pitch” queue when I was preparing for this life. I used to play the guitar and did a few public gigs but it never got serious.

If you could go back in time to when you first began writing, what advise would you give yourself? 

Don’t ever give up. But this is an important question. The trail for new authors is so tricky, I’ve set up an advice line on my website = www.davidkbryant.com

Self-published or Traditional – which do you prefer?

Traditional. Some self-published works are excellent, but most suffer from the author’s lack of professional help.

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Poltergeists

(or a very noisy, annoying energy caused by a teenager having a tantrum?!)

220px-Poltergeist-Therese_Selles

So, what the hell is a poltergeist? I have heard many different versions of the same story, it is energy caused by someone – usually a hormonal teenager and this energy manifests itself as a destructive force – usually – or is it? Can we really blame this on hormones?

We only hear of the destructive side of poltergeists, or what is perceived as one. It seems to me, if a living human cannot see said spirit, then it is put down to a poltergeist as the only explanation. I have a big problem with this, in that, most human beings cannot see a ghost or spirit as they choose not to, but every paranormal event that is classed as poltergeist is surely not always the case? What if some pissed off spirit is just annoyed at you? You see the object being thrown, but not the thrower??

As with these television programmes, they have the lights off like idiots, so of course they won’t see a stone being thrown, or a vase moving, or drum, in fact anything really, but I’ve already had my rant about this stupid thinking!! However I have witnessed ‘poltergeist’ activity in daylight – because ghosts/spirit don’t care what time it is … no, won’t go back there either!!

As a young child, I ‘played’ with a poltergeist or spirit. I cannot recall ever seeing him, and why I have always referred to it as ‘him’ I can’t say, but he was named ‘George’ and although he did a few scary things, it didn’t really frighten us, it was normal to us as children. Doors would open and shut by themselves and door handles would go up and down. We’d put an object down and ask ‘George’ to hide it, sure enough, he would and we’d go and find the wooden spoon, or my brother’s truck.  The bed shook on occasion (this was so much fun, it was like a rodeo!) We would find our toys moved and on one occasion I found my books piled up in the corner of my bedroom like a tower.

Now, on reflection, our lives at that time were not easy in the seventies with our father away a lot working and my mother bringing up three adopted children while miscarrying her own. If this is energy created by its surroundings, I would concur that there was a lot of energy going on in that house, both good and bad. However, no teenagers, no hormones, but lots of stress and tension.

My next contact with this type of ‘haunting’ was near Bury, England. I worked in a kennels and cattery and the house and lands were very old. I became aware almost immediately of a young girl who watched me working most days and of a groom who would stand at an upstairs window waiting for someone. After a few weeks of being there I began to notice objects would move within seconds of being put down. Then it progressed to larger objects being moved to further locations that were impossible as they would have had to pass by someone, but nobody ever saw the objects move they would just appear elsewhere. My name was called often, bangs were heard, doors opened, but was this the girl, the groom or energy of another kind? Again, there was a lot going on for me and other employees and there were teenage girls, but things happened even when they were not there, so was it me who created this energy? Or someone/something else?

Is it a poltergeist if it isn’t destructive because it is moving objects around? Living in Hoylake on the Wirral we had a spirit of a young man who had a thing for underwear – bra’s to be more precise!  I would come across underwear that wasn’t mine for large breasted ladies and on occasion my ironing would be taken to my bed when left downstairs in a pile. He wasn’t scary, just something that hung around for a while until he found his peace. So though I never ‘saw’ him, I knew when he was around as my things would be moved – so under what heading is this?

I find that I cannot come to a satisfactory conclusion with ‘poltergeists’. I understand why they were given the name ‘noisy spirit’ but whether it is an energy being created or it is someone who has moved into spirit who is annoyed or merely trying to get attention, we may never know.

Next month ghostly animals

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#8

Stacey Marcus

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Bio: I’m 52 and still I find myself walking out of a long, dark tunnel and into the light. I thought I’d be out by now! Nope, still walking. Yet, it’s as though my right leg is stretching out of the tunnel and my left leg is begging to follow. I can feel the rays of the sun on my hair. This thing, called “My Life,” has been an insane, treacherous, and often disturbing, voyage. And yet, I am still here. Proof that anything is possible with a little help from my friends.

I am a mom, a wife and a survivor of practically every abuse imaginable. I’ve even rebounded from the throes of addiction. I am someone with a story to tell. I am a humanitarian, a champion for women, children, elders and animals. I believe in a higher power and find solace in its presence. On these pages, I will share my innermost thoughts … things I find to be incredibly bizarre, thought provoking, amusing or whimsical and sometimes serious. I will speak right from my heart, from years of experience and it is my hope that you take away with you some inspiration and perhaps, with luck, some peace of mind. Consider me a friend and please join me for an exhilarating ride!

Excerpt:

AFRAID TO LOSE HIM

Tomorrow’s love is such a funny thing.

My thoughts calm in his melody.

To dream of him in yesterday’s reach

it feels as though I have embraced him

Could it be he did see me?

Afraid to lose him, before I touch him

now I found him, I dare to keep him.

Time will tell what my love does mean

It may just be a dead end dream.

His body’s close, yet his mind seems far

My soul has embraced him

he’s scorched me with love’s scar.

Afraid to lose him, before I hold him

now I found him, how can I keep him?

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Website Address: www.staceyinsideout.com

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#7

Joyce Lavene

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Dead Girl Blues

Bio:

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, best-selling mystery fiction and urban fantasy as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Penguin, Amazon, and Simon and Schuster along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at www.joyceandjimlavene.com.

A Taxi for the Dead Novel

By Joyce and Jim Lavene

National Bestselling Authors of Broken Hearted Ghoul and Dae’s Christmas Past

When Nashville cop Skye Mertz and her husband, Jacob, are killed in a wreck, Skye is given the opportunity to come back for twenty years to raise her five-year-old daughter, Kate. With her ghostly mother-in-law’s help, Skye hopes to be there until Kate is old enough to take care of herself.

But three years into her twenty-year service to Abraham Lincoln Jones, the man who gave her the extra time, Skye is beginning to think life might have been easier before she died.

Abe asks her to investigate the murder of his sorcerer, Harold the Great, a man who was a victim of too many snakes. And the Life Extended People ( LEPs – a nice term for zombies) who work for Abe have begun turning into ghosts and disappearing. Only Lucas, the possibly evil, amnesiac sorcerer who lives with Skye and her family, can save her from being the next victim of the deadly curse.

To make matters more complicated, Skye has found a lead in solving the riddle of her husband’s death. She has never believed Jacob died as a result of the crash, but hasn’t been able to prove it. Many other people have lost their lives in the same lonely stretch of highway that he did three years before. Skye goes against Abe’s express wishes to discover the truth with a crazy man bent on vengeance.

Life was simpler when she could just take out a gun and shoot someone.

Praise for the fantasy mysteries of Joyce and Jim Lavene:

Missing Pieces Mysteries:

“Paranormal amateur sleuth fans will enjoy observing Dae use cognitive and ESP mental processes to uncover a murderer…Readers will enjoy.” ~ Midwest Book Review

Renaissance Faire Mysteries

“Murderous Matrimony is the first book Ren Faire Mysteries that I have read. It is not only a cozy mystery, but full of surprises. It is charming, silly, fantasy, history, romantic, haunted and crazy. You are not sure what to believe is real, and what parts are not.  The characters are a variety of fun and crazy people. They have wizards, a fortune teller, and more fun characters waiting for you in every chapter.” ~ R. Laney

Retired Witches Mysteries:

“A delightful premise, a couple of enchanting protagonists, and cats as essential familiars . . . It is a promising series for urban fantasy and paranormal mystery readers.”—Library Journal

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Dead Girl Excerpt

“Harold the Great is dead?” I was surprised to hear it, even though I’d seen Abe’s last magic user killed right in my own backyard. I’d thought Jasper’s death was a fluke and that magic users were tougher than that.

Abe’s threatening posture relaxed. “That’s right. I was about to explain the situation to you when Debbie reminded me of her other obligations besides the one she owes me.”

All eyes turned to Debbie whose face had gone white. “That’s okay. I can do whatever you need me to. Terry is home with the kids.”

I thought Abe might spout some rhetoric about how Terry wouldn’t be home with the kids at all if it wasn’t for his intervention, but he only grunted and moved to the door.

It may not sound like Abe was romantically interested in Debbie, but she’d snubbed him last year, and his new scheme to win her seemed to be ignoring and badgering her. Not much of a plan. But since she had nowhere to go, it could still work. Abe was a powerful figure who held her life and death in his huge hands. That could get to her eventually.

Debbie and I followed him and his heavily tattooed assistant, Morris, out of the office. Morris was a tough-guy wannabe who didn’t quite measure up. He was kind of small and thin with a crippled leg, but he had awesome tattoos across every spare scrap of his skin.

“I didn’t mean to get him all riled up,” Debbie whispered to me. “You never know with him. I don’t know how you can joke with him, Skye.”

“What’s the worst he can do? I’m already dead.” I shrugged and put my hands in my pockets.

“Yeah. I guess.” She bit her lip and was silent as we walked back through the tattoo shop.

The crowd there parted for Abe like he was Moses. Eyes turned away. No one spoke. Even if you didn’t know the true purpose of the shop and Abe’s power, he was a figure to reckon with. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to take him on. Surely if someone had murdered Harold, that person had no idea who the magician actually worked for.

Or he was crazy.

We went into the dark alley together. Someone had put up a few lines of limp crime scene tape that fluttered in the breeze. I could see from the lights on the buildings beside us that the Harold’s body had been covered with a blue tarp. There was no sign that the police had been called—they would certainly not have left the body behind for Abe to show us.

“I want to know who murdered Harold.”

“Have you called the police?” I was still a little raw, even after almost three years, about him not wanting me to take back my old job when he resurrected me. I suppose I was holding a grudge. I had loved being a cop, and I’d been good at it.

Abe’s large head swiveled in my direction as his assistant turned on a spotlight that illuminated the area in the alley. “I don’t want the police involved. This was not a normal murder. There was magic, dark magic, responsible for Harold’s death.”

Knowing that Harold was really Harold the Great, a stage magician that I’d once hired for my daughter’s birthday party, I was less inclined to agree about the magic part. I’d been surprised when he’d gone to work for Abe and wondered how long he could pretend to be a powerful magic user.

“What makes you think there was magic involved?” I asked in a snarky tone. “I’ve seen a lot of murders that seemed to have no rational explanation, but good police investigation always found the truth.”

“Skye—” Debbie whispered as she clutched my arm.

“You want to see the truth?” Abe grinned. “Morris—lift the tarp.”

Morris grinned too. That made me more certain that I should have kept my mouth closed.

The blue tarp was flipped over, and the strong light played on the victim. Harold was dressed in ordinary street clothes, not his performance robe with stars on it and a pointy hat. Otherwise there was nothing ordinary about his death.

Snakes were crawling over him—a few had lodged themselves in his mouth and throat, clogging his nostrils, and coming out of his eyes and ears. They hissed at us but didn’t move away from Harold’s body. Dozens of them were twined around his legs and arms. One seemed to be in a death embrace around his chest, probably crushing his ribs.

“Oh my God!” Debbie’s hands became talons on my arm. “Oh my God—who could do such a thing?”

 

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#6

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This months guest is a little different, in that, yes, she is an author working on her first novel and has written short stories. One of which won a writing competition held at Gladstone library in 2014.

However today I welcome Fiona Knowles-Holland who is sharing something else with us here – her writing retreat shepherds hut.

www.rhyddfarm.co.uk

Situated in North Wales, set among the quiet perfection of nature sits a small and cosy hut, perfect for finding inspiration for your next novel, your book of poems or even a limerick! The farm is small with ducks, occasional lambs, horses, pigs and a couple of dogs to help make your stay with Fiona a friendly and warm welcome.

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Now, I have stayed in the hut with my husband and it was blissful with the top half of the stable door open to look out on the stars whilst snuggled in the big double bed. I would recommend it for a night if needing to get away and unwind or even use it as a weekend retreat to pen those words that are niggling at your brain.

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I will also add at this point that Fiona is a fantastic baker who will have you salivating for more of her cakes!! So don’t go with an idea of dieting! A writer needs sustenance and here you’ll get whatever you need.

Enjoy x

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As promised, though a little late (My apologies!)

ORBS

Orbs! Okay, so what are they? Dust particles? Moths, flies or other flying bugs caught in the reflection of the flash from the camera? Raindrops?  Smudges on the lens? Moisture? Smoke? Sunlight or moonlight reflections? (Okay, gone into twilight world then!)

All of these things are viable in any one circumstance. For example, taking pictures near a waterfall could explain why orbs are caught on camera. An old house smothered in dust from years of lack of use, might explain the multitude of orbs seen on both camera and photographs. How about orbs that seems to be on every photograph taken of a particular person, regardless of where they are?

I cannot and will not attempt to argue about other people’s experiences, as I was not there and have no knowledge of their circumstances or experiences. What I can write about are my own experiences with orbs.

Even before digital, orbs have been seen in the majority of photographs taken of myself. Once we became the digital age, it is evident in all photographs of both me and my family. On numerous ghost vigils I have captured so many orbs on film moving across walls, through me and my colleagues and moving in ways that are not expected from any flying bugs – although I concur, not being a bug, I cannot say for absolute certainty how a bug might fly!

Last Christmas as always we take photographs to help our memories later in life and sure enough, orbs galore! My husband being a sceptic, asked where I instinctively knew our dead son was standing – I told him, he took a photograph and there is an orb. So I asked Jac, our son who passed eighteen years ago, if he’d mind moving by my violin case for Dad to prove it was him. Sure enough my husband took another photograph and there is an orb directly on my violin case. My husband zoomed right in and gasped, because there right in the centre of the orb, is a smiling face.

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So I ask myself, how is it that ghosts and spirits can manifest as full apparitions? Is the orb just easier, less energy? Is this easier to travel or is the orb their energy centre? Why are some different colours? Many I see are blue and white, but I have also captured red and green and orbs of all sizes. So are the smaller ones children? I don’t think so, but I have no real idea.

There are many sites on the internet that having read through most of them tells me the same thing, those who believe in the paranormal see orbs of energy, and those who don’t prefer to believe they are dust particles. I agree with one site, that nobody should just jump to the conclusion that an orb is a spirit, but do a few base line tests of the area first and check out the level of dust etc. If they are spirit energy, then please remember to be respectful and ask if they mind having their photograph taken.  Some will, some won’t, but isn’t it nicer to be asked…?SAM_1754

This was taken in a hotel in Beddgelert. I was aware of energy and asked if they’d mind a photograph by the window!

These were taken in quick succession and I was aware that quite a number of people had arrived to join in our energy. We were holding a drum camp and had raised a lot of positive energy with drumming and chanting.drum camp 12 027

drum camp 12 025drum camp 12 024So, whatever you might think about orbs, I doubt that we will ever find a decent answer as non-believers will always find any answer that works for them and believers will continue believing.  My mind remains open.

Blessings x

Next Month Poltergeists x

 

 

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Welcome to my second spooky but (I hope) interesting blog. The previous blogs you can find in Archives.

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So as promised, lets look at Television programmes dedicated to ghostly goings on. There are so many now it would be a very long list indeed and frankly there are a multitude of other blogs and websites that list these programmes in various orders depending on what point they are attempting to make!

As readers of my blog will know, I am merely rambling on, throwing in my tuppence worth on a subject I know a lot about. Perhaps for my own benefit for a future book?? Who knows, but here it is.

Television programmes on the subject of ghosts have come a long long way since the subject was first broadcast. Arthur C Clark was my first glimpse into the subject on T.V and it opened my eyes that firstly, I wasn’t the only one experiencing strange phenomena and secondly I realised just how interesting the subject was.

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I’d known of my own interest obviously and had read a fair amount of books by then, but to have it shown to me on the T.V was validation that it was a huge subject and one that wasn’t going to be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer!

As my life progressed I became more and more aware of how ghosts were indeed a fascination to people. Especially when my first ghost group were interviewed on television regarding our evidence at ‘Wycollar Hall’, Lancashire. Since then ghosts seem to have invaded our screens bringing out the ‘investigators’ of all types – be they sceptics, mediums, your every day Joe, it seems everybody is having a go at hunting ghosts.

We have programmes such as:

Ghost Adventures, Most Haunted, Paranormal Witness, My Ghost Story, A Haunting, Ghost Hunters, Haunted Collector, Living with the Dead and these are just ones that I have seen – the list goes on.

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of course we also have the fictional section that includes, Ghost Whisperer, Supernatural, Rentaghost (am old childhood favourite!!) but for now I am concentrating my attention on the ‘factual’ programmes.

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So, having watched some of these factual ghost hunting episodes for both interest and research I have concluded a few things.

Firstly – THE most important fact – ghosts DO NOT CARE whether it is day or night. You DO NOT have to film your ghost hunt in the damn dark. Here’s why – YOU CANNOT SEE ANYTHING!!!!

How many times have I screamed at the television – “Put the damn light on!” Oh, you hear a noise?? But don’t know where it is coming from?? I wonder why? It’s because you are standing in the pitch black! Doesn’t take a genius. Idiot!

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Most Haunted where the worst for this as they seemed to be under the impression that all we wanted to see was their faces on screen as they stare into the DARK and then scream every few seconds like a big girl because THEY CAN’Y SEE WHAT IT IS!!!! “I saw something move over in the corner …” Did you? Did you? Are you sure? ‘Cause IT IS DARK! And the camera is conveniently on your night vision illuminated face!

Same for all of these programmes, but at least ‘Ghost Adventures’ doesn’t have a bunch of cameramen/women following them around and out of them all it seems fairly natural. Some of the others are so scripted as they attempt to make themselves sound ‘awesome’ and ‘so cool’ it is terribly fake. Honestly, the ghosts don’t care about your acting skills. Ghosts don’t even know you’re there. Spirit on the other hand – do.

I like to think the spirits are laughing their socks off as they watch some of these jokers entertain such absurd idea’s. One of my favourites which had me clutching my sides was following a group of young people in their quest to find evidence of famous ghosts- sadly, it was so mind blowingly terrible I have wiped the title from my brain! (IF YOU KNOW IT, PLEASE TELL ME SO I CAN AVOID IT !) Their idea for contacting ‘Jack the Ripper’ – dress the girl up as a whore!!!! I would have loved to have been in the room when the lads thought that one up!

“Yeah, let’s get her dressed like a prostitute and have her lying down …” I’m surprised they didn’t ask her to perform as well just to set the so called ‘scene’ better!

I mean, really? Do people forget respect just because someone has died? Did these amateurs truly think acting in such a way would be acceptable?

So let’s move onto the lack of respect I see on these programmes. ‘Most Haunted’ were the worst by far. Asking for prove, then if banging or footsteps were heard – they screamed and acted like idiots. Then there were the nasty remarks, the insults, to provoke the spirits to do something – so lets look at that.

Would you like me to poke you with a stick? Insult your name? Shout at you? Demand you do tricks for my own entertainment? Disrespect you for no other reason than I seem to be under some impression I am better than you because you’ve died? NO? And yet it seems for entertainment the world thinks it is okay to do this to others.

I stopped going to haunted locations and helping spirit because suddenly people saw a profit in their situation and began charging for people to have a thrill. Gangs of people who merely want a scare, usually having just come from the pub are herded into these buildings expecting the ghosts to perform for them.

I find it sickening. Celebrities join in and together they scream and insult these poor souls and for what? Thrills. So I ask you, would you want a bunch of strangers searching for your beloved Nan or parent or sibling? Would you allow a group of alcohol fueled thrill seekers to take pictures in the hope of catching a glimpse of your lost husband? Wife? Child?

I’m presuming the answer is no? Then why do it to others just because they’ve been lost for hundreds of years instead of a few?

To those who help the spirits with all love and sincerity I say bless you. To those seeking thrills for their own gratification I say, put the bloody light on and if they scare you shitless – you deserve it.

Good night x

Next month – Orbs galore! What are they and why do I get them all the time?

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Spooky blogs – January 2015

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Well here it is, my first spooky but interesting blog. I’ll explain how this came about. I have always been interested in ghosts – I think I have every ghost book available that doesn’t replicate information. I have never been frightened, only fascinated as aged five or so I used to play with a poltergeist! We named him (it) George and we’d laugh as the beds rattled – I thought it was like being on a rodeo horse! We’d clap when the doors banged shut and play hide and seek with the objects that went missing. “George has hidden them again – lets go and look etc”

I ‘knew’ when ghosts were around and I was always sensitive to places and people and as i grew older I’d be asked to visit places to try and talk to the spirits and find out what the problem was. If there was one, I’d help them find a solution that helped them move on. If they were happy to stay, I didn’t interfere, I respected them and they appreciated that.

I met some odd characters along the way and many with a sad story to tell, but some made me laugh. I’m smiling as I write this as a young man called ‘Derek’ springs to mind. He stole some oranges and ended up in a prison which he found hilarious! Not the prison bit, but being caught and tried for stealing fruit! He would laugh and say he should have lived in my time as he’d be a lot luckier.

I met many angry souls who remained negative as they had in life. Murderers and rapists and child killers. Most had no intention of moving on usually through fear of what lay ahead, but also from anger and hatred at the world. I helped some once they saw that I refused to judge them. As I explained to them – “You are judging yourself enough, it is not my place to do that.” Although it was very difficult sometimes, especially as their actions towards me and my group could be very nasty, I did manage to reach some men who’d committed terrible crimes and help them forgive themselves and move on with the help of their guides.

And so, as you can see in this very brief outline of my life, ghosts and spirits have played a major role in my life and continue to do so.

I want to look at various supernatural phenomena. I know there are countless articles and websites and blogs committed to this, however I thought I’d put my own two penny worth in and see where it leads. So come with me on my journey and I hope you find something that will interest you, make you think, spark up a discussion or just make you smile ♥

P.J Roscoe

 

The first thing I am going to look at is ‘films’ and how they perceive ghosts/spirits. Of course the very first one that springs to mind is of course – GHOST

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Who did not cry buckets when Sam finally finds peace – I still watch it on occasion and still the tears fall! And why not, I am human and it is so close to how it can be for spirit. Loved ones stick around for one reason or another, not to scare you, but because they are worried, angry, frustrated, or just plain stubborn. Remember who you are in life is who you are in spirit – so grumpy old uncle will remain grumpy old uncle until he finds his path again.

So what do we think of how ghosts are portrayed in films? Obviously the festive holidays have passed us, but my favourite is ‘The Christmas Carol’, though I also enjoy the more modern version of ‘Scrooged‘ with Bill Murray – always makes me smile. Here the ghosts are portrayed as helpers to guide Scrooge back into being a nicer person – or else! In ‘Beetlejuice‘ we have ghosts who are stuck in their home and watch horrified as strangers move in and ruin their abode and we have a nasty villain who uses his death as a means to harm and terrify the living. I loved the portrayal of the after life!

Of course we have the ‘Ghostbusters‘ who make out that all ghosts are nothing but a nuisance and should be contained while in ‘Field of Dreams‘ (another favourite) ghosts are encouraged to come and play and do what they love by the kindness of a living man.

We have ghosts of the dead who come back for revenge and justice in ‘Gothika’ and ‘Lady in White‘ and in some cases ghosts are offered to the public as fearsome devils who maim and kill the living in films like ‘The Nightmare on Elm street’ and ‘The Ring‘. The film ‘Poltergeist’ scared us all to death but proved that a parents love is stronger than anything else while ‘Paranormal Activity‘ had us hiding behind our cushions and jumping at every noise and proving nothing could stop the dead.

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There are so many films to choose from it would be too long a blog to list them all, but perhaps you could tell me your own personal favourites – top three ghost films.

Mine would be. Woman in Black (original and new version) The Sixth Sense and The Gift

Happy watching

P.J Roscoe Author of award-winning novel ‘Echoes’ and ‘Freya’s Child’.

Next week the Television programmes dedicated to ghosts

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 Guest blogs

My second February guest is Jane Risdon, wonderful to have you here telling us a little about yourself. It is a wonderful connection after having you as an FB friend for so long! never having met, yet two creative souls. I know that I am not bored senseless by what you have created, so please, you sound like you’ve had a roller-coaster of a life. On this site, all authors are welcome at any stage of their writing and any stage of their self esteem! I know that I struggle, but perhaps together, we will support each other in all our steps towards creating our masterpieces??!

I for one am fascinated by all that you have achieved, you have given me the fire to keep going regardless of all the obstacles in my way. So a great big welcome to you Jane and I look forward to knowing more about you.

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Thank you Paula for inviting me to your blog.  It’s lovely to be here and I hope that you and your readers are not bored senseless for the next few minutes.  I thought I’d better tell you something about myself for those unfamiliar with me and my work.

Most of my adult life has been spent in the International Music Industry, initially as the wife of a musician and then, when he retired, we worked together managing Recording artists, Song-writers and Record producers around the world.  We also ran a Music Publishing and Production Company as well as placing music on Movie and TV soundtracks.  At one point we managed some actors too.

As you can imagine life was hectic; twenty-four seven and holidays were what other people had. Granted we toured the world and met some amazing people and had the wildest experiences, some of which I’ve written about on my Author Blog http://wp.me/2dg55 and in some short stories and flash fiction/pod-casts – links can be found on the blog.

We’ve experienced Race Riots, wild-fires, floods, mud-slides and earthquakes in Los Angeles and tornadoes in the mid-west of the USA when we’ve been recording albums and on tour.  We’ve even been involved in a drive-by shooting (gang-related) and a hostage situation at a Record Company – again in Los Angeles (where else!)  We even ran into some ‘family’ whilst working in music – but that’s another story; fans of The Godfather will know what I mean.

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I’ve always wanted to write but never found the time apart from the odd Music article, or the biographies and press releases for our artists; there was always too much to do for them and no time for me.  A few years ago an old friend of ours – she was my husband’s fan-club secretary and a Rock/Pop Journalist too – suggested I get on with it and kindly read some of my offerings.  She was so encouraging and supportive that when I found that I had time to myself I decided to get on with it.

Since then I have written lots of Short stories and pieces of Flash fiction as well as Novels.  My main genre is Crime/Mystery but I also write in other genres. I’ve been fortunate to have had three anthologies published which contain some of my stories, the most recent is in paperback and on Kindle now.

In A Word: Murder is a Crime Anthology with stories by award winning authors around the world in aid of The Princess Alice Hospice in memory of Crime Writer, Editor and Blogger, Maxine Clarke.

My short stories are

Hollywood Cover Up – A young English woman works for the Hollywood elite and soon falls foul of her employer and her life is in peril – not just from him, but soon the Secret Service are interested in her and the book she has written about her experiences.

Dreamer – A young English rock band are about to make it big in 1989.  They have a Record and Publishing deal on the table and a successful American manager wants to sign them; nothing will stand in their way, or will it?

I write from experiences we have had during our long career in music but not exclusively.

In A Word: Murder came out in paperback on 14th February 2014.  I do hope you will take a peep.

 

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The USA Paperback version is available via

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1495931684/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_vx6.sb15V2W6V7KJ

The USA Kindle version is available via

 http://www.amazon.com/In-Word-Murder-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00GFXNZYE/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1383674275&sr=8-8&keywords=in+a+word%3A+murder

 The UK Paperback version is available via

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1495931684/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_FC6.sb0RABYAV

The UK Kindle is available via

http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Word-Murder-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00GFXNZYE/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1383674321&sr=8-12&keywords=In+word+Murder

My story,  The Look, is included in the anthology, ‘I am Woman,’ volume one, in aid of Breakthrough, Women for Women and Women’s Aid charities. 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Woman-Anthology-Anthologies-ebook/dp/B00817P8DI

The Look is about a couple meeting on a Social Networking site and the murder which ensues.  It is not what you think.  I often have a twist in my tales.

 

I Am Woman Vol 1

The very first anthology I contributed towards was Telling Tales in aid of The Norfolk Hospice and I had two stories in this which came out in Hardback, Paperback and Kindle via www.lulu.com:

 

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The Debt CollectorSet in the 1980’s London Rock scene it features a Rock band, their manager and a hit-man and is based on our experiences working at the most famous nightclub in the world at that time.

The Ghost in the Privy – is one of the character-based observational humour stories I am writing a series about, and is based on lots of conversations at bus-stops with elderly people in a village.  The series is called God’s Waiting Room.

For the last few years I have been working on a couple of novels.

Ms Birdsong Investigates is going to be a series about a 40 something ex-MI5 officer who is voluntarily ‘retired’ following a failed mission and finds herself investigating two sudden murders in the village of Ampney Parva, in The Vale of The White Horse, where she is hiding from her past and from her enemies. 

Lavinia Birdsong could be called The Miss Marple of the 21st Century; she is modern, sophisticated and with her skills of surveillance and interrogation, nothing escapes her keen eye and sharp mind.

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I hope this will be published this year.

My other novels are all in various states of completion at the moment but Ms B. is my priority.

I have also been fortunate enough to be co-writing a novel with the person I mentioned kick-started me writing; she is also an award-winning author of about 30 books (traditionally published) and we have been working on a change of genre for us both, which we hope will be published later this year.  My parts are completed, hers are still being written.

I write a blog http://wp.me/2dg55 and have an author’s page on Facebook www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 and I have my own amazon author’s page too.

I love reading, writing, photography, history and archaeology, science and astronomy, and anything which really makes me think.  Oh, and I loved music and especially music I have helped create.

Thanks.

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#4

I welcome here a group of fabulous people who have collaborated to create something beautiful. Thank you all for being my guests x

LYRICAL MUSE ANTHOLOGY

Lyrical Muse

Contributors

Ronda L. Caudill, Ph.D.

Jamie White

C.P. Bialois

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan

‘Music Heals the Spirit as the Words Give Life.’

3CM MEDIA

Fort Worth, Texas

 

Lyrical-Muse 6

Lyrical Muse is a collection of stories that reflects life’s rhythms through everyday people. Each story is an example of the best and the worst of the Human soul. Every life lived has its own melody, and within these pages, the reader is taken on a journey to the blackest depths of a daughter’s murderous soul to the prickly minefield of a jealous woman’s heart and so much more.

So enter of your own free will and allow our whimsical Muse to lead you on an odyssey which just might help redefine your own reality.

Lyrical Muse

Contributors

ronda caudill bio pic

Ronda L. Caudill, Ph.D.

I was born and raised in Virginia. Writing has always been a passion of mine.  I earned Ph.D. in Education from Capella University. The two writers who inspired me the most are Edgar Allan Poe and H.P.  Lovecraft. My discovery of Mr. Poe when I was eleven years old opened up an entirely new world to me. It is a world that I have shared with my daughters. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters who both inspire me and support me. I am thankful to them for their love, encouragement, and support (and many new ideas). http://www.rondacaudillbooks.com/

 

 

AUTHOR PIC JAIME

Jamie White

Jamie White is a music addict, book lover, pet servant & NaNoWriMo survivor. When she’s not busy writing posts for CultureShock, she’s taking pictures for her photo blog and spending time with her husband and pets. She released Stains on the Soul and Clutter via Pagan Writers Press in 2013. http://jamielwhite.com

CP Bialois

C.P. Bialois

CP Bialois completed his first full-length novel, Call of Poseidon, in 2007. Armed with a finished product, Bialois began working on another book, The Sword and the Flame: The Forging, unsure of what he would ultimately be doing with either. As with many others in the later part of the first decade of the 2000s, he found himself out of work and looking into new options. Over the next two years, he would spend most days at the library, completing an additional half-dozen works.

With five books currently out, Bialois is planning for the release of many more and enjoying the feedback he receives. The up-and-coming author takes inspiration from favorites such as Steven King, Tom Clancy and Sue Grafton. His love of history, fantasy, and old monster movies has also served as a muse. http://cpbialois.webs.com/

 

 

L.T. Mays is a songwriter and poet that reside in the Southeast, United States.

 

 

M-Jordan-headshot2-300x257 ME

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan is a New Adult/Young Adult-Paranormal Author. Her titles include a YA Novella series Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy and upcoming novel, Chrysalis.  She is also the producer of the online radio segment IndieReview Behind The Scenes, where she and her co-host Jamie B Musings interview Indie Authors and Musicians. Michelle has been married for 18 years and has a 15-year-old daughter. A book lover, her favorite genre has always been paranormal adventures. Another love is writing. Michelle has been writing about as long as she has been a bibliophile! Losing herself in a fantasy world that she is creating on paper is how she loves spending her spare time. Oh, and one final secret about Michelle is that she believes that she also has a secret power, but if she told, she would have to zap ya! http://michellecjordan.wix.com/author#!

 

Lyrical Muse Playlist

Just A Few Music Artists that inspired our Muse…

“Life Won’t Wait”-Ozzy Osbourne.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAh_SCjCh8A

Carrie Underwood-Two Black Cadillacs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVEBZLrjpw4

Jimi Hendrix- Voodoo Child

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR-a5YNxHoA

Gone With The Sin by HIM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ifwf8RrU-94

 

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#3

My third guest author Katie McKnight

Ten Facts about the Novel Secrets Revealed

 

1.       This is a Christmas story filled with suspense

2.       The characters suffer the same family drama we all encounter during the holidays

3.       The story includes blackmail, kidnapping and murder

4.       The story spans from the streets of Long Island through the excitement of New York City and the warmth of the Poconos

5.         Katie McKnight is the author

6.       The POV alternates between the two protagonists (similar to The Help and The Time Traveler’s Wife)

7.       It received 20 reviews on Amazon, four on Goodreads and one more on I-books

8.       Secrets Revealed is available in e-book and paperback

9.       You can purchase it through www.eternalpress.biz and www.amazon.com (search title/author name)

10.   In between football games, PTA, work and play time with my sons, I wrote Secrets Revealed…for five years.  I hope you enjoy it.  Happy Holidays! 

 Katie

 

 

Thanks for being my guest in this cold December month, always a pleasure meeting other authors Katie and as we know, getting the pictures on has indeed been a long haul, but aren’t all things hard going worthwhile in the end?

Secret’s Revealed sounds like a lovely story and I shall be adding it to my to-read pile which I have to say, is filling up. x P.J

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#2

Interview With Author Tina Brown

1. What type of books do you write? My first book was non-fiction. A memoir. The one I’m currently writing is fiction.

 

2. What is your newest book about? It is a story of the struggles of one young black woman born and raised in Southern Virginia

 

3. What inspired you to write it? I’ve always been able to create stories. only recently did I attempt to publish.

 

4. What is the writing process like for you? I just write. I sit in front of my laptop and just write.

 

5. What did you do before you became an author? I still have a day job. I’m a Human Factor Engineer.

 

6. How does it feel to be a published author? It’s absolutely awesome. I never knew others would be interesting in reading my thoughts.

 

7. Any advice for struggling writers? Write from the heart. Write about what you know. Don’t give up.

 

8. Where do you see book publishing heading? Today’s technology enables almost anyone to assume the title of author. Publishing is a hugely competitive business. Perseverance is a must if an author hopes to “make it” in this venue.

Taken from http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/diversify-your-pr-approach.html

Tina

Author of “Struggles of the Women Folk” https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/361857

Co-Author of “Just Between Us” https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/360700

Author of “A Life Not My Own” http://author-tmbrown-com.webs.com/about-us

 

An absolute delight to have you here as my second guest Tina. If you have a photograph of yourself, we’d love to see it.

I agree that technology has opened our world, sometimes I wonder if it’s too much? The simple pleasures of saving to buy a paperback book, reading it and losing oneself in the story seems to have gone. Now, you can pick up an e-book for less than a decent chocolate bar!! Glass of wine!! Oh you know what I want now…!?

Anyway, great to have you x

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#1

The Themes of The Manhattan Puzzle

By Laurence O’Bryan

 

What has been hidden in Manhattan by the most powerful people on earth?

What would you do to a Manhattan banker who treated ordinary people like slaves?

What magic is buried under Manhattan that allows it to rise again from anything the world throws at it?

BXH Bank building, Manhattan, vehicle entrance visible under the arch.

Image © LP O’Bryan

 

These are the themes of The Manhattan Puzzle. The story sees Sean and Isabel (my characters from The Istanbul Puzzle and The Jerusalem Puzzle) reunited in Manhattan at the headquarters of one of the world’s largest banks, BXH. There’s been some grisly murders, and now the plot takes a new twist. The contents of the book they found in Istanbul are revealed.

My personal journey with this story grew out of my disgust at the financial crisis that has brought many so low. I am interested in the myths and the beliefs of those who value money above everything.

But The Manhattan Puzzle is about other things too. For instance, what would you do if your partner didn’t come home one night? And what would you think if the police turned up at your door the next day looking for him?

Relationships are under stress everywhere, because of the demands placed on us by our jobs, but few of us will face what Isabel has to face when Sean goes missing.

There is violence from the start in The Manhattan Puzzle too, but the opening has a woman inflicting it on a man. I am tired of reading about men inflicting sexual violence on women. I think it’s time for the handcuffs to swop wrists. And they certainly do in The Manhattan Puzzle. You can download the first chapter here as a pdf.

But don’t get me wrong. I love Manhattan. It’s a city in a snow globe of dollar bills. So look in your bookstore and on your E-readers and order it too, if you want.

To order The Manhattan Puzzle click here.

Or to visit my website click here.

And thanks for reading this and for buying The Manhattan Puzzle, if you do. I hope you find it entertaining and the themes interesting.

 

Thanks Laurence, it’s a privilege to have you on my website and to be the first. As always, your books look really exciting and I’ll be putting one on my to-read list on Goodreads.

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