Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: John Howell

Circumstances of Childhood.

By John W. Howell

Click for Amazon Kindle

It is my great pleasure to welcome John Howell to my blog. John’s book Circumstances of Childhood is available to purchase today, October 1st which happens to be my brother’s birthday! So, with that in mind I decided to post this today.

Shipping on October 1st. Priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

Here is the blurb:

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Here is an excerpt.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

Author Bio.

John's Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

My Girl front His Revenge Our Justice

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 

Advertisements

Author Spotlights – Inspiration S C Skillman – Mystical Circles

Author Spotlights-

Today, I am delighted to welcome S C Skillman to my blog with her blog tour post and discussion about inspiration.

GUEST POST
By SC Skillman
For Marjorie Mallon
Inspiration, Motivation, and Keeping to the Path

Being an author in today’s world is a much tougher journey than one might ever believe, when one first conceives the desire to write stories.

I was inspired at the age of seven by the adventure stories of Enid Blyton and wanted to write exciting stories like hers. Essentially my desire was to write about girls my own age doing thrilling and dangerous and intrepid things quite out of my own daily experience. I created two girls called Marilyn and Sylvia and wrote many stories about them. They were good, brave, beautiful, clever and talented, everything I wanted to be. In other words, the desire was for transformation.

And this is why I believe we read fiction. Our longing is to be transported from out of our own lives, our own minds, into the mind and heart of someone else, to enter into a different world, to be inside someone else’s skin, to share his or her joys and sorrow and hopes and dreams.

Listening to conversations and observing people and the interaction of their personalities has long fascinated me and is a large part of my desire to write. I wrote a detailed daily journal throughout my teens and twenties, which ran to many volumes, and in it I would often record conversations I had been a part of or had overheard, and observations about people I knew, including family relationships.

The changes in the publishing scene over the past couple of decades have held out a seductive allure to independent authors, offering power and autonomy. Yet the snares along the path are even greater. We have all these opportunities, but also there are many people pursuing the same dream, and recording their success and offering their advice on social media. This can prove overwhelming for sensitive, introverted creative people – which is the case with many writers.
So it can prove a lifeline when we find inspiring quotes to strengthen and uplift us. Here’s one, from St Paul: “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize.” And he also encouraged his readers with these words: “Only let us live up to all we have attained.”

Knowing that others have struggled for years and eventually, with persistence, won through, is a very helpful reminder for us when we start to doubt the value of our past achievements and allow it to weaken our faith in what we are capable of achieving in the future. My non-fiction book Perilous Path, an inspirational writers guide, contains several chapters which help authors to overcome obstacles in their path and how to use art and music as therapy as well as a source of fresh inspiration.

So, finally, what makes us carry on? We need to draw the water of inspiration and motivation from a reliable well. I found one particular saying of Sir Winston Churchill very powerful. When invited to speak to an audience of school pupils, who were all waiting to hear wise words from the great man, he said, “I only have five words to give you. Never, never, never give up.”

(more…)

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS: INSPIRATION – Trent P. McDonald

 

Author Spotlights-

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Trent to my blog.

Here’s Trent’s take on inspiration. It’s fascinating …. I’m a dreamer too – I expect a lot of writers are – enjoy!

OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a dreamer.  Not just any old dreamer, but a daydreamer.  More than that, a daydreamer with an insatiable appetite to learn all there is to know about the world around me.

Typically, when we think of a daydream, we imagine someone dreaming about what they’d do if they won the Lotto, or found the perfect person as a mate, or made a great scientific discovery, or got a huge promotion, or… you get the point: people think of daydreams as improbable fantasies about the dreamer’s future.

Not me.  (At least not always )

What if this legend is actually true, or if there is a basis in fact for that myth?  What if, just beyond that latest scientific discovery that was recently announced, there is a deeper, more disturbing truth?  What if I could see what you are thinking?

What if magic is real?

I am constantly on the move.  I don’t have a Fitbit because I’m not concerned about the number of steps I do.  Walking with people who do 10,000 a day, I know I do far more, at least if I include running.

There is something about walking that makes the creative juices flow.  When I was in school and hit an impossible problem, I would just go take a walk and my subconscious would answer it.  When I’ve researched some new discovery, or some ancient one that I recently decided to study, a walk makes me think about the topic.  Thinking, of course, as I said above, leads to daydreaming.

And I’m a dreamer.  A daydreamer.

Do all of my ideas for stories come this way, from a long walk?  Of course not.  I really enjoy prompts and typically write two flash fiction pieces a week.  I think of doing the prompts as exercising my story writing muscles.  Beyond the prompts, sometimes a complete storyline just appears in my head out of nowhere.  And once I even had the idea for a book from a (real, night) dream (The Halley Branch, which will be the next book I publish).  But typically, a longer, more involved work will be written in a series of walks.

A good example of that would be my book The Fireborn.  It was born by just the type of daydreaming on a walk described above.  I was thinking of history and myth and suddenly something gelled.  I had a perfect storyline.  As these ideas grew deeper and deeper, I realized I had a book on my hands, not just a short story.  Over the next month, before I wrote a single word on “paper” (or electrons), I wrote the entire book in my head.  Every time I’d leave the house, I’d pick up on The Fireborn just where I left off.  Sure, I changed quite a bit once I started actually dictating it to myself and writing it out, but all of the main ideas were there.

In my opinion, anything and everything can be the source of inspiration for a daydreamer.  There is nothing too large or too small.  A word, a phrase, a photo or a drawing can often bring out an idea.  Sometimes it’s a song, or even just a sound.  

I started this blog almost four years ago mostly as a place to promote The Fireborn (I know, it took long enough for me to break down and publish it).  Since then I have posted almost 500 works of fiction, from 100-word micro-stories to 8,000-word short stories.  I have put up three serialized novels and am working on a fourth.  They were all written because I am a dreamer.  A daydreamer.

You can catch some of these dreams in my book of short stories Seasons of Imagination.  And, of course, there is the longer daydream that I recently put out, The Fireborn.

I hope you enjoy my little daydreams!

(more…)

Author Spotlights: Inspiration – Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Author Spotlights-

Today, it is my pleasure to welcome Robbie and Michael Cheadle to my blog.

This is a rare treat, a sugary inspiration. Enjoy!

About Robbie and Michael Cheadle

x-A76Ix9

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, will be available in early July 2017.

(more…)

#MondayBlogs: Author Spotlights: Inspiration to write

 

Author Spotlights-

Today, I’d like to share with you a new idea I’ve had regarding Author/Blogger/Writer Spotlights. I’ve decided to blast this out on a Monday using the hashtag #MondayBlogs Bad RedHead Media – Monday Blogs – Why You Should Be Participating– I hope this is okay Rachel, @BadRedheadMedia (I’m not promoting my own book!)

I shall be offering the opportunity to guest post on M J Mallon – Kyrosmagica blog with a special theme that means so much to me –  Inspiration.

I just love this quote by Audrey Hepburn:

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!

Authors will be encouraged to write a short post considering these prompts.

  1. What inspires you to write? This should be personal to you, but might include suggestions such as:  a walk in nature, overheard conversations, a new job, a travelling adventure, a trip abroad, meeting a new friend, or an old flame, art, music, books you’ve read…..  The list is inexhaustible! A strange inexplicable desire to write. Witnessing an altercation or an event, etc, etc….. I’d love to hear your experiences!
  2. Inspiration to keep trying and improving even when the writing journey gets tough.
  3. How to overcome writer’s block by focusing on refreshing new inspirational ideas.
  4. Favourite inspirational quotes that you refer to and sites such as Brainy Quote that you find inspiring.
  5. Authors and blogging friends that have your back and encourage you to keep on writing. They can be inspiring to.
  6. Overcoming obstacles through writing and creativity – photography, art, and music as therapy.

The piece should be in the region of 500 – 1,250 words and can include any or all of the above prompt ideas.  I shall need accompanying promotional materials – author bio and cover reveals,  a short summary of your book/s, excerpts, links to your blog and book.

The lovely Heena Rathore will be joining in soon. She will be doing an author spotlight, on the theme inspiration with details of her Psychological Thriller Deceived, so keep a look out for that.

Alternatively, if you’d like to follow the traditional format of interview questions, or a simpler author spotlight/cover reveal I’m happy to do that to. I’m an easy going kind of gal! Do get in touch if you’re interested.

Would you like to guest post? Leave a comment below, or email me for more details: marjma2014@gmail.com

Bye for now,

bitmoji1361832851

85978B3EEB2A2F45468E6707CEAFE70D

My social media hang outs:

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Fellow Administrators of The Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club: myself,

Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies

Twitter: @marjorie_mallon and @curseof_time

Goodreads

Instagram

Facebook

Tumblr

SCBWI: Lunchtime Social Self Publishing with Debra Edwards and Camilla Chester

unnamed (1)

On Saturday 11th March, I attended my first SCBWI event: The Lunchtime Social – Self-Publishing Discussion with Debra Edwards and Camilla Chester, held in Cambridge at De Luca Italian restaurant. Author Helen Moss coordinated the event.

First to arrive, Alex Mellanby, author of The Tregarthur Series, followed by Peter Hayward, writer of educational stories: Learn with Alex and Anna, Jamie Stevenson, picture book illustrator, Caroline Laidlaw, educational materials author, and two new members Dan Greaves, and Tanya Farrugia, illustrators and picture book enthusiasts.

Norfolk children’s fiction and YA author, Debra J Edwards began the discussion by regaling us about her inspiring journey to writing. She left school at the age of fifteen and returned to University, graduated and became a primary school teacher. In 2003 she made a resolution – to write a novel. Not only did she accomplish this, but she has now written four: a trilogy about tooth fairies, Aggie Lichen: Pilp Collector, Aggie Lichen, Pilp Collector: Hero Required, Arty’s Revenge, and Marvin’s Curse her first YA novel.

Initially, Debra’s route into publishing was plagued by rejections which she kept and placed in a folder. Undeterred, she secured an agent but lost her. She is now a proud member of Golden Egg, an initiative overseen by Imogen Cooper, previously Head of Fiction for Chicken House Publishing.

‘Golden Egg provides talks, workshops, and one2one editorial support.’ Golden Egg Academy.

Debra admitted that she chose the self-publishing route because she is a ‘control freak.’ She did just about everything she could herself, apart from employing a book cover illustrator. She set up her own publishing company: Purple Ray Publishing, organised a business account, ordered ISBN’s, bought barcodes, (simple mistakes can happen so authors make sure you put the correct bar code on the right book!) She opened an account with Waterstones, as well as Gardners Wholesalers – and negotiated a wonderful deal, 35% rather than the industry standard of 55 %.) The only relinquishment of control came in the form of her first book cover. She had intended a fairy image on the front cover of Aggie Lichen, but soon realised that this wouldn’t be cool for young boys so instead she decided upon a star! Now that Debra is an established author, she has reverted to her initial idea of fairies. Debra comes with a plethora of promotional material to hand out at schools: bookmarks, postcards, business cards, and ‘a don’t forget to review note,’ etc. She has discovered that E-books haven’t been very lucrative, and neither have bookshops, as they normally take a cut of 50%. Instead, she has made most of her profit from attending schools, doing talks, and workshops. This involves a lot of time, and personal engagement with schools – she’s a busy lady emailing up to three hundred schools a week.

Next up to join the illuminating discussion, author, dog walker, Camilla Chester whose debut novel Jarred Dreams is suitable for ages 9 and above. Her second book, EATS ‘is a culinary adventure tale, full of twists and turns that will have the kids on the edge of their seat.’ Camilla followed in Debra’s footsteps but took a slightly different route. Camilla was shortlisted in the 2015 New Author Prize with the National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury. Initially, she also secured an agent but found that this didn’t magically produce a publishing contract. So, she joined SCBWI and met Debra. Thereafter, she accepted an invitation to her daughter’s school to talk about writing. This positive experience acted as a catalyst; Camilla found that the children were so encouraging about her book. So with this positive reaction from her intended audience, she made the decision to self-publish with the support of Matador Self Publishing. Matador expects their clients’ work to reach a certain level of quality and in return for a fee they simplify the process for their clients. If your work is accepted Matador quotes a price based on word count. In Camilla’s case the cost to get her book produced was £700. This is the set-up fee; it doesn’t include structural editing or a proofread. Nevertheless, Camilla decided this suited her style of authorship. She stressed that Matador doesn’t free you from promotional requirements. There is still considerable marketing to do, and you must believe in yourself, and ultimately believe that you are a children’s author. The downside to self-publishing is cost; you have to pay for it all. The book cover to Jarred Dreams cost Camilla £500, and she purchased 1000 copies, at a cost of £1,610 (to break even and recoup her outlay she would have to sell 603 books,), as well as this Camilla spent £280 on promotional material. To counterbalance these costs Camilla set about recouping some of her expenditure by charging for talks.

Camilla closed the discussion by sharing her thoughts on the pros and cons. Self-publishing enables you to produce books more quickly – there are no soul destroying rejections or disappointing agents but it is expensive and there is no guarantee that you will get your money back. Don’t expect to sell your much-loved books to lifelong family friends! Camilla found this out the hard way. It tends to be difficult to sell to a wider market, international sales are notoriously hard to achieve, so like Debra, Camilla has benefited by targeting schools, bookshops, and her local community.

Author Links:
http://www.camillachester.com/
www.purpleraypublishing.co.uk

unnamed (3)

Camilla writes for 8-12s. She has always written but after moving to Hertfordshire with her family in 2010 she enrolled onto an OU Creative Writing Course (receiving a distinction), joined several writing groups and then discovered the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) before publishing her debut, Jarred Dreams in 2016. Camilla’s second book EATS is out at the end of April 2017 and her third, Thirteenth Wish is due to be published in April 2018. In addition to being a Children’s Author Camilla runs a small dog walking business.

unnamed

Debra J Edwards is a children’s/young adult writer living in Norfolk. She is a long time SCBWI member and part of the Golden Egg Academy. Her first writing outing produced an MG fantasy series, Aggie Lichen. The books tell the story of a gang of feisty tooth fairies trying to save their world. They are both funny and ridiculous. I mean, teenage tooth fairies indeed. Debra has also published her first young adult novel, Marvin’s Curse, as an ebook. She worked secretly under cover as a ghost whisperer in order to bring something extra to her central character. Debra is currently at dragon slayer bootcamp perfecting her new YA novel, The Iron City.

Marjorie Mallon
Blog: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com
Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
My New Author Support Club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Fellow administrators of the Rainbow Support Club: Authors Colleen Chesebro, and Debby Gies: D. G. Kaye Writer.

This report is featured in the SCBWI – Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators online magazine – Words and Pictures.

Author Spotlight: Lizzie Chantree

 Author Spotlight (2)
A warm welcome to Lizzie Chantree, it is such a pleasure to invite you on my blog today.
Lizzie is a new friend who I discovered recently, and a member of my: Author/Blogger Rainbow Support Club. Her author biography below will totally inspire and enthral you with the multitude of her wonderful and diverse talents.  This lady writes, invents, produces cards, and puzzle books is a businesswoman and artist, has two children, a hubby, and an unusual sounding dog. Wow, when does Lizzie ever get time to sleep?
Oh, and by the way, she has invented a ladder stop… what might that be? No, it’s not something DIY based, no rigid device to secure ladders to climb up and fix loose masonry.
It’s the other kind of ladder, the invention to stop those pesky ladders that we always get in our tights. I like that, a word with two meanings…. Being a writer, I can see the humour in that. That sounds beyond useful, how come I never heard of an inventor like that? My youngest daughter is always getting ladders in her tights!

 

Author Bio:
 

Lizzie is an enthusiastic inventor, businesswoman and artist. She founded her first company at the age of 17 and has been creating products and driving her family mad ever since.

Lizzie appeared on Sky News, ITV Lunchtime News, This Morning, The Big Breakfast, BBC’s Worldwide Radio Service, amongst others for becoming one of Fair Play London’s Female Innovators for her invention, Runaway Spray. Runaway Spray is a ‘ladder’ stop spray for stockings and tights, which has been on sale for over fifteen years. She has also developed a range of greetings cards and puzzle books for children with phonics and short stories inside to encourage independent writing skills in children.

Lizzie lives in Essex, with her gorgeous husband, two bouncy children and a very unusual dog. In between the school run and baking cakes (or burning them!), she sits in her rooftop studio daydreaming about gaps in the market and how she can fill them. Babe Driven is her first novel and she has written two other novels, Love’s Child and Finding Gina. Lizzie is currently writing her forth novel.

 
 
untitled
untitled
  unnamed (2)
 
Finding Gina book synopsis:

A contemporary romance read with a magical twist! By Lizzie Chantree.

Can a sprinkling of stardust overcome a past full of demons?

Gina had traversed the breadth of the country in her little campervan to try and find everyone on her grandmother’s list, before her father drunk himself into an early grave. She leant down and pulled the battered and worn journal from her bag and opened it to the latest page. The neatly written names were etched onto her heart and she was determined to visit every single one and compensate them in some way. Her family’s debt had to be repaid.

Lewis read another provincial story about a ‘guardian angel’ who had been helping families across the country and his reporters nose began to itch. He was sure that if he could track down the girl they were talking about, he would unearth an even bigger story. He just had to work out how to locate her and then find out what it was that she was running from!

Reviews for Finding Gina:
Reader review: 
This is the third book I have read by Lizzie Chantree and again I was very pleasantly surprised with the quality and depth of her writing..
I love a good edgy romantic ‘Chick lit’ Novel and this very much reached my expectations..
The characters are portrayed in such a way that you can really envisage how they look and the environments they live in; to the point that I’d love to stay with Gina in her VW van – v envious.
The story had remained with me; which isn’t always the case with Novels of this genre.
Really worth a read – Lizzie Chantree can really compete with her contemparies (I’m a long devotee to Lisa Jewell and Freya North). I look forward to her next offering.
Reader review: 
 
A really great romance read. This book has humour and romance and kept me guessing the whole way through. Lizzie Chantree is fast becoming my new favourite author!
The main character Gina is running from her past, but discovers her future along the way. The other characters are just as interesting and I especially loved reading about Tom, the gorgeous baker who works at the tearoom and Lewis the intrepid reporter. The tearoom’s owner, Rachel is quite mean, but even she grew on me as the story progressed. She is quite a character! This would make a great holiday read and once I picked it up, I couldn’t put the book down until I had read the last page.
 
Contact info:
 
Book links: 
 

 
Well that was lovely wasn’t it? I do love having guests on Kyrosmagica. They add a certain magical sparkle to my day.

Don’t forget to let me know if you would like to feature on my next Author/Blogger Spotlight. Or perhaps you might like to join my Author/Blogger Rainbow Support Club? Don’t be shy do get in touch by leaving a comment below, or emailing me: marjma2014@gmail.com.

Bye for now,

unnamed-1

http___signatures-mylivesignature-com_54494_373_07053e7d9657cc81851243011100e58f

Blogger/Author Spotlight: Sue Vincent and Stuart France

 

blogger%2fauthor-2

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to not one but two guests!

A hearty welcome to Sue Vincent and Stuart France. I originally contacted Sue regarding a Spotlight on my blog, a while ago.  She pondered a while, as I would in her place – this lady writes haikus, has guest author spots on her wonderfully entertaining blog, and has not one, not two, but several novels under her belt. Which of these novels to focus on? Sue elected for Lands of Exile – But ‘N Ben which she’d co-written with Stuart France.  In her words Lands of Exile – But ‘N Ben is: ‘the first in the Lands of Exile series that combines the tales of ‘our’ travels through the ancient landscape as ‘Don and Wen’ with a rather odd police chase. And a fair bit of humour.’

Sounds promising – I love humour, have a brother called Donald, and an aunt Wendy, (God Bless Her Soul,) perhaps this is meant to be? I do believe in fate…

How to reflect the general quirkiness of this novel? A dog came to mind as Sue is a dog lover, and perhaps Stuart is too? Too obvious. Next, I considered a country scene and ended up seeing green and red in everything, blending beautifully with Sue’s red hair. Then, I came across the above photo of six birds. Bingo! This was the perfect social media banner! Quirky but simple, and astonishingly the divergent bird and his less adventurous feathered friends are free, gratis thanks to Terri: Second Wind Leisure – Free Photos For Your Blog! who I featured recently:  Author/Blogger Spotlight Terri Webster Schrand

Success, it’s always nice to shout out about freebies!

Right, I better get to it, enough of this waffle or my chosen birds might fall off their perch, or fly away.

So… chirp, chirp… It’s time to find out more about my guests Stuart France and Sue Vincent. 

Bios

The writing partnership of France and Vincent has a peculiar alchemy of humour, scholarship and vision that has given birth to several books, including the six volumes of The Triad of Albion and the Doomsday series.

stupic11

 Stuart France – writer and mystic; author of ‘The Living One’ and ‘Crucible of the Sun’. Stuart has a deep and practical knowledge of the Western Mystery Tradition, having followed a Path that has taken him hopping through the branches of the Trees of Knowledge and Delight. His astonishing work with symbolism and the interpretation of myth comes from a profound understanding and love of life and humanity. After gaining his BA in Philosophy and Literature, and his MA in Writing, this Child of Light studied with OBOD, AMORC, and the Servants of the Light and is a Director of The Silent Eye School of Consciousness. He declines all responsibility for this introduction. “I blame Wen…..”

prof-pic

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer and Director of The Silent Eye. She has been immersed in the Mysteries all her life. Sue maintains a popular blog and is co-author of ‘The Mystical Hexagram’ with Dr G. Michael Vasey and a number of other books. Sue lives in Buckinghamshire, having been stranded there some years ago due to an accident with a blindfold, a pin and a map. She has a lasting love-affair with the landscape of Albion, the hidden country of the heart. She is currently owned by a small dog who also blogs.

 

but-n-ben-1

But ‘n’ Ben

The first volume in the Lands of Exile series

For once, Don was right… it was all Wen’s fault. If only Ben had not insisted in going back for the gun… Don and Wen should hand themselves in and share the fate of their co-conspirator. It would be the noble thing to do.

Does this course of action appeal to our errant duo? Not on your Nelly!

As Ben languishes in the dank cells of Bakewell Gaol, Don and Wen hit the road. Their headlong dash for freedom takes them north, where they are beset by a host of ‘Orphan Stones’ clamouring to be led back home. But they are not alone… and the sinister Black Shade is not the only thing dogging their heels as they blaze their customary trail through the signs, seals and sacred sites of old Albion.

The unofficial re-siting of an ancient stone is viewed in a rather negative manner by the authorities. Ben has been arrested and the other two birds have flown. Heading north, Don and Wen follow the whisperings of ancient stones carved with enigmatic symbols, unaware that they are being followed. Their journey takes them through Cumbria and into Scotland, visiting ancient and historical sites, whilst piecing together fragments of the secret and magical history of Albion. Illustrated in colour.

clipping-1

Extract from Lands of Exile: But ‘n’ Ben

Stuart France and Sue Vincent

 

Gauche…

Gangly…

Currently scrofulous…

Bark Jaw-Dark contemplated the pork pie he had recently fished from the depths of the jacket pocket of his un-pressed suit and placed it whole in his mouth.

“Hey, Jordache!”

“Jaw-Dark,” spluttered Bark through the pork and pastry.

“Is this a joke?” snarled Bark’s mentor, Tom Patrick, picking up the newly positioned desk tag and scrutinising it distastefully.

Bark swallowed and gulped, “Real name’s Mark… first day at school… had a cold… never been able to shake it.”

“The cold or the name?” smiled Patrick, briefly impressed with his own wit, and then continued more seriously, “You don’t get these unless you’re important… and you’re not.”

The desk tag flew through the air and plummeted into the depths of the tall blue recycling bin with a dull thud.

“No sir!”

“And you can drop the sir. It’s Tom. In this day and age we treat you like shit but informally. It’s called progress…Got it?”

“Yes…Tom.”

“Good lad,” growled Patrick turning to leave.

“Did you want me?”

“Ah yes…” said Patrick turning back, “the stone hugger!”

…Bark looked blank.

“Wealthy business man… moved a stone… went back for the gun… mad as a frog…”

“…In a box full of other frogs?”

“…In the clink.”

“I’d gathered that, but what about him…?”

“He wasn’t alone. Prime suspects… fellow directors of his school of conscience, or some such, have disappeared. Supposed to be on holiday but no one’s sure quite where. They’ve done a runner if you ask me. That’s where you come in.”

“Ah!” said Bark Jaw-Dark rising to his feet and pulling down his suit. “They are wanted in order to help the police in their enquiries.”

“Attaboy,” said Patrick. “You’ve got the weekend.”

A business card landed on Bark’s desk bearing the Egyptian Eye of Horus and a moniker, ‘The Silent Eye, a school of consciousness.’

“I don’t work week…” But Patrick had gone.

Bark Jaw-Dark fished his name tag out of the recycle bin and placed it back on his desk. He pulled down his suit again, sat down, picked up the business card and turned on his computer…

 

*

 

She is looking at me, the stranger child.

Watching…

Eyes green as summer…

 

She looks at me as if she knows me.

Better than I know myself.

They say the Old Ones have green eyes.

She watches as I haul in the fish trap…

Watching…

 

 

Buy Links

Amazon UK     Amazon.com

BlogsStuart France   Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo    The Silent Eye

Website: France and Vincent

Twitter@SCVincent

Facebook

LinkedIn

Google+

Goodreads

 

Have you read Lands of Exile – But ‘N Ben? If you have please do comment below.

Until the next time, keep smiling.

 

bitmoji1361832851

 

http___signatures-mylivesignature-com_54494_373_07053e7d9657cc81851243011100e58f

Author/Blogger Spotlight: Second Wind Leisure – Terri Webster Schrandt

author_blogger-spotlight

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Terri Webster Schrandt, author, blogger, leisure expert. This lady knows all there is to know about spending our precious leisure time wisely, and to add to her accomplishments she has recently released an e-book entitled – Better Blogging With Photography.

Being a huge fan of photography I couldn’t agree more, there’s nothing quite like an appealing photograph to catch the readers eye. Without it a blog post can be easily overlooked.

Why oh why didn’t I think of writing a book on this subject? Ah, I really need to get a grip….Terri you stole this possibility from my grasp, how could you? LOL !!! It must be all that time you spend pursuing a diverse range of leisure activities – ‘windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), camping, reading, writing, teaching, walking the dogs, traveling,’ that’s quite a list Terri. Means you must be super fit, and mentally agile. Perhaps  I need to take up a few more exercise/sporting activities other than just tai chi….

Never mind, I must focus, or I’ll get distracted. Marje aka Kyrosmagica does tend to get a bit flighty at times….

So, who is our blogging friend Terri?

tws_815

Terri’s Bio, Author Central

amazon.com/author/terriwebsterschrandt  

Terri is a non-fiction writer and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. As a university lecturer teaching leisure education in the recreation and parks major, Terri takes leisure very seriously because it involves one-third of our lives…really!

Obtaining a Master’s Degree at age 50, Terri wrote her thesis on the Four Generations in the Workplace, sparking her love of writing at midlife. In addition to writing and blogging, she offers consultation services and conducts and presents workshops for a variety of organizations.

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is her blog about living a leisure lifestyle.

Her active lifestyle involves windsurfing, stand-up paddling, camping, reading, writing, walking the dogs, traveling, and…

bbwppurple-jpgbubbles

 

Short Book description:

Better Blogging with Photography: Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images

 

There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts?

 

Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts.

 

This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.

 

While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post. After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!

Amazon Buying Link – Better Blogging With Photography

Terri Webster Schrandt – Goodreads

 

 

Her early years…

 

I’m told that at age 4, I began reading. Somewhere there is an old, grainy polaroid of me laying on the floor holding an oversized book upside down in my two-year old hands. Books meant something to me even then. 

In my 50s, I found my second act, which consists of living my life around leisure, instead of the other way around. At age 49 I discovered the new love of my life who introduced me to windsurfing and stand-up paddling. At age 50 I obtained my master’s degree. At age 51, I became an adjunct university lecturer. At age 55, I retired from 30+ years as a recreation and leisure practitioner. At age 56 I self-published my first eBook.
As a leisure educator, I blog about my experiences. It is my passion to educate people about leisure… one blog at a time. I love photography and recently bought a “real” camera. Beautiful images are worth a thousand words, or maybe no words at all if the image is powerful enough.

Terri just posted a wonderful article about the hazards of uploading photos that might appear to be free but aren’t. With this in mind she is offering free images to her followers.

Do follow this link to find out more:

https://secondwindleisure.com/2017/02/02/how-to-get-hundreds-of-free-photos-for-your-blog


 

Blogger Spotlight – Author Janice Wald

Today I’d like to introduce you to Janice Wald.

unnamed

A blogger who likes to:
Skyrocket your Blog Traffic! Hence, the Canva Social Media layout I’ve chosen. Let’s take that colourful air balloon to the blogging stars with our expert Janice…. believe me the fire in her belly will get us there.

Who is Janice Wald? In order to find the answer to that mysterious question what better place to investigate than Janice’s About Me Page…..

Janice’s impressive biography:

I’m Janice Wald, the author of AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG, available on Amazon.com. I can also be found on Goodreads.

I write about blogging in order to help bloggers by giving step-by-step directions for content creation.

By following the advice in these posts, you will be able to increase your content’s visibility.  Let me help you increase your traffic as I have done for so many others.

For example, my posts How to Make 1,406 People Look At Your Site in 1 Day and How to Quickly Get 3,000 New Blog Followers are typical posts you will find on my blog.

My blog is included in

Whether you are a business blogger, a lifestyle blogger, a parent blogger, or a reader looking for advice, there are tips that will help you at this site.

At Mostly Blogging I use my skills as a teacher to help you succeed.

I do a great deal of reading about blogging, and I take blogging classes.  Additionally, I attend webinars and conferences.   I will pass on the advice that I learn to my readers.

By following my blog, you will save time as well as receive information since I will pass on the knowledge I acquire to you.  These tips are proven by research and easy-to-implement.

Exciting news –  Janice has just released An Insiders Guide To Building A Successful Blog.

unnamed-1

Here’s the link to Janice’s ebook on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4QOD41
The link to her blog’s landing page:
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/enjoy-my-guest-post-heres-what-to-do-next/
Plus a link to Janice’s About page:
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/about/

As well as this there’s much to discover about her journey to becoming an ebook author:
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/ebook/
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/successful-authors/
And lots and lots of blogging Tips:
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/blogging-tips/

Janice can be found in a heck load of social media hang outs:

Blog URL: http://mostlyblogging.com/

Also she can be found on: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16067827.Janice_Wald

I will be interviewing Janice soon about her recently released book An Insiders Guide To Building A Successful Blog, so do keep a look out for that.

Bye for now,

img_0565

http___signatures-mylivesignature-com_54494_373_07053e7d9657cc81851243011100e58f

The Artful Author

-musings of a wild book dragon-

Read, Sav, Read.

| B.A. in English. | Writer. | Lover of books. | 2017 Book Count: 61. | Currently Reading: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. |

MONSTER IN THE NEXT ROOM

Cartoons, sketches, operas(OK only one opera)rants and ruminations on everything from depression & hearing impairment to lemsip, dead animals, bee sperm and making racquets.

Fiction Favorites

with John W. Howell

Book Reviews to Ponder

Thoughts about books I've read of late...

The life of a dreamer.

"She believed she could, so she did." 🌙

Reader Views Archives

Book Reviews Archives from Reader Views

Tony Marturano

Official Website

tashainkorealand

the chronicles of a first time traveller

Pain Pals

My family & friends living with me.....and chronic illness

The Youthful Traveller

Young, Independent and ready to collect moments

Write-Escape

Reviews & More

The Müscleheaded Blog

"Nothing Exceeds Like Superfluous Jejunity "

venitism

Venitism is a free-content business blog. Basil Venitis,venitis@gmail.com

Story Empire

Exploring the World of Fiction

Ra Winter Writer

Native American Romance Writer

fancypaper

little things that make you happy

Touch My Spine Book Reviews

~Down to earth and honest book reviews and ramblings from a free-spirited and custom Bilbliophile~

Very Sherry Terry

Romance Author. Editor. Book Reviewer. Story Builder.

The Book Publicist

Book Publicist Scott Lorenz offers Authors Book Marketing Tips and Techniques on his Blog "The Book Publicist"

AwesomeBooksToday

Read Awesomeness! Become an Awesomeness!

SouL SpeakS

He started Writing, The paper started speaking...

Marina Kanavaki

Art Towards a Happy Day

that little voice

fun, interesting and provocative musings by a 70+ youngster

Readilearn

Early childhood teaching resources

Welcome to Avalon

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Juliet Greenwood

Fading Victorian mansions full of mystery, forgotten gardens with a story to tell. Published by Honno Press