Friday, November 16, 2012

About Author Glynis Smy


About  Author Glynis Smy:

In 2005 I emigrated to Southern Cyprus. At 48 years old I no longer worked long nursing shifts. Out came my pen and my poetry pad. A few short stories later a friend persuaded me to turn one into a novel. I laughed, she insisted. I wrote it, but sadly she died the day I wrote, The End. Determined to not waste the faith she had in me, I published Ripper, My Love. It has received wonderful reviews, and I am so pleased I found the courage to continue my writing path.

Ripper, My Love came to me while I was drinking coffee at a friend’s cafĂ©. I asked for a napkin and pen. I wanted to create a Victorian romance but wanted to add a mystery or suspenseful twist. Apparently I achieved both. Kitty is a vulnerable young woman with a hint of spirit, and courage. During the time period she wanted to leave home, it was dangerous times. You see, she lived in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper. I didn’t want to go down the route of writing about him/her, so chose to write more about the people who might have been in his life. I am overwhelmed with the way the book has been received. One of the reviews on Amazon.com is taken from a debate article my novel triggered, and totally amazed me that my work could stimulate such a discussion.

What Author Glynis Smy is working on: 

Maggie’s Child, my second novel, is due out in December. The novel is based in a rural village in Suffolk, UK.
This is another storyline based around a strong female character; Maggie Sawbury. Her life is hard, and her choices even harder. Again, this is not just pure romance, although it is not a suspense like my debut.

Ripped Genes and The Man in Room Eighteen are my current Wip’s, and will be out in 2013.

Ripped Genes is a story that has developed from Ripper, My Love. I had not intended a sequel, but have been told by several readers they would love to read something created from the ending of the book. So I took up the challenge.

Someone once asked me had I noticed a set pattern of anything within my books. At the time I could not pinpoint any one thing. Now, I can see that I am not very pleasant to my main characters, my ladies have a hard life. Oh, and there is always a dog written into the plot.


About Ripper, My Love 

Book blurb: Ripper, My Love
Growing up in late nineteenth century East London, Kitty Harper’s life is filled with danger and death – from her mother, her beloved neighbour and the working women of the streets.
With her ever-watchful father and living surrogate family though, Kitty feels protected from harm. In fact, she feels so safe that while Whitechapel cowers under the cloud of a fearsome murderer, she strikes out on her own, moving into new premises to accommodate her sewing business.
But danger is closer than she thinks. In truth, it has burrowed itself right into her heart in the form of a handsome yet troubled bachelor, threatening everything she holds dear. Will Kitty fall prey to lust – and death – herself, or can she find the strength inside to fight for her business, sanity and her future? And who is the man terrifying the streets of East London?

What readers say about Ripper, My Love:
15 five star reviews; 8 four star reviews
 5 Star Review
Ahh to fall in love with a story - this is exactly what happened as I met Kitty, Sarah, Arthur, James and Patrick. Kitty is the woman you just love to love and Sarah is too! I even fell in love with Sally...and then heartbroken at her situation. Arthur, James and Patrick are all vying for the affections of Kitty leading to a story that grabs your attention, holds it and delivers the warm fuzzy feeling as you read the last words....Now, I can't say too much more because then I would ruin it but I do have to say this: It is a wonderful story written by a talented writer - Good Job Glynis Smy on your debut novel! And I am looking forward to reading "Maggie's Child" later this year after it is released!
5 star Review
If you've ever thought historical novels are a little bit boring, you really must give this a go -- it's anything but dull! Combining fiction with reality, Smy creates a story with plenty of twists and turns, along with characters you can't help but love or hate in equal measures. I enjoyed the strong, independent heroine who refuses to bow to convention and even sets up her own successful business. Using colourful language, the world of East London comes to life, and you can almost taste the fear and unease that wraps itself around this novel.A wonderful debut, and I can't wait to read more from this author.


About the Woman behind the Author:

Glynis Smy (nee Honeycombe), was born and raised in the coastal town of Dovercourt near Harwich, in the county of Essex, England.

She married her school sweetheart, Peter, in 1979 and they produced three amazing children, Darren, Nicola, and Emma. The long hours of a nursing career and running two pharmacies ended in 2005, when she and her husband moved from the UK to live on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Now Glynis spends her time writing historical novels, poetry and various other projects. When she is not tapping at the keyboard she makes greeting cards to sell for charity, or enjoys a spot of cross-stitch on the back porch. Failing that, she and friends sit chewing the fat over a glass of village wine.

Her poetry has been published in various places, including the on-line, Vine Leaves Literary Journal. http://www.vineleavesliteraryjournal.com/

Visit her blog. A place she likes to keep a record of her writing activities: www.glynissmy.com

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review Their Journey Begins by K Meador

5.0 out of 5 stars

A glimpse at their previous lives 

November 15, 2012

By CherylCCR "Illustrator, Bobby's Dove" (Texas)

This review is from: Their Journey Begins

This is a quick read that prologues the lives of the Journey to Freedom characters. If you've finished JtF (or even if you haven't read it yet), Journey Begins lets you see what happened in their lives before and leading up to their eventful journey. You'll be just as involved in the events of their lives, sometimes heart-wrenching and sometimes uplifting, as you were in JtF.

Book Review Journey to Freedom by K Meador

5.0 out of 5 stars

Hard to put down, November 15, 2012

By CherylCCR "Illustrator, Bobby's Dove" (Texas) -

This review is from: Journey to Freedom (Perfect Paperback)

I bought Journey to Freedom at a coffee shop book signing and am pleased to have my copy autographed by K. Meador. Each character in the book was interesting and well thought out. Each of their stories hooked me in and made me care about their lives. When Marissa and Greggory crossed paths I found myself wanting to tell her how to behave so she wouldn't betray Greggory's whereabouts.

Marissa, Greggory, and the other characters come together and their lives begin to intertwine in interesting ways.

Amazon Link




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Review of NorthWest by J.H. Glaze


Book Review of NorthWest by J.H. Glaze

4 out of 5 stars

Action packed, Attention grabber

NorthWest is indeed a book that will hold you attention. The descriptiveness is very well done, and the point of view shifts are well defined. The action keeps moving at a steady pace and covers a broad range from gang members to aliens. This story held my attention all the way through it. The writing is very good; the reader does not have to struggle with envisioning the action taking place. The main characters are well developed and the sub characters were developed enough to add enough spice and energy to the story.

There are two reasons why I rated a 4 star and not 5. The first being that every aircraft has an ELT - emergency locator transmitter. At the time of the crash the ELT would have been activated immediately sending the location of the aircraft out to an emergency frequency monitored by the FAA. The author discusses about error in flight plan which is conceivable and uses that error as to why it is difficult to get a rescue team in; however, there was nothing mentioned about the ELT. The second reason I rated the story a 4 and not 5 is the story was left open with regards to Emily's situation before she left on the trip. I would have liked to see instead of the book ending where it did, maybe a concluding chapter or epilogue to bring a closure to the other event.

Author JH Glaze....well done.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Wizard's Cauldron: An Interview with S.K Whiteside

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Book Review: Their Journey Begins by K Meador

5.0 out of 5 stars 

Lovely read for the whole family, November 13, 2012
By Paulette Mahurin

Their Journey Begins is a beginning, and an end, an interconnecting of lives interrupted, ripped away, by a society of oppression, a dark period in American history, when slaves were considered possessions. The writing is tender, nostalgic, for the reader understands the background upon which these times weighed on the characters. This is the prequel to Meador's Journey to Freedom, the glimpse into lives, destined to interweave in love, suppression, tragedy, and abiding friendship.

It is written tightly and with heart, and holds the reader throughout, but it needs to be read in conjunction with its sequel for a fuller view to be grasped and understood, although without it, it still stands alone as a lovely read that I recommend for the whole family.

Review for: Their Journey Begins by author K Meador

5 star review - Their Journey Begins

So this is how they started ... November 13, 2012

I had the privilege of reading Journey to Freedom before the anthology. I am so glad that K Meador went the extra mile with this and told us a little more. I was curious, more than any other character, about Daniel. She definitely had me hooked on his journey and cannot wait to see what happens with the "continues" book.

Although you "know" the people had a hard life back then, it doesn't come more real until you get people you care about stuck in a situation. Yes, K Meador has a way for these people to tug at your heart, get you fired up, cheering for their escape, and crying for their losses.

I can't wait for more from K Meador.

You can buy and read this book and know where they came from before heading to Journey to Freedom or you can do what I did and read Journey to Freedom and get absorbed in the characters that you want to know more and go to the anthology. Either way, you will not be disappointed.

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

Book Review The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

5 stars

When I first saw the title, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, I immediately thought that this book would be a court drama – even given the fact that this book is set in 1895. - but I was wrong.

This book is written by a talented author who defines relationships, and persecution based on those relationships which also involve the small mindedness of persons in the world – in the big picture and the small.

The story flowed very well, point of view shifts were clearly defined and the events of this book are completely conceivable.

I found it interesting that the beginning and the ending of this book started out with news’ post of a man in England and that news crossed the ocean to America’s soil. It goes to show how words are very powerful and actions based on words, whether truth or lies, can be deadly.

This tale goes into the presence of bullying due to a person’s looks or their ability to stand apart from the popular crowd. When actions are shown to be generous, the persecution continues because she chooses to stand true to who she is.

Along the way, though, she finds friends where she did not think she had any; support when most needed and a heart full of love that finds strength to keep giving through the afflictions thrusts upon her.

This is a tale of strength, courage, valor, generosity and discovery. It is a tale completely worth reading!

amazon link

My Next Big Thing: Giveaway!

Ngaire Elder, author of The Adventures of Cecilia Spark Series of children’s books for 5-9 year olds, has invited me to take part in a blog-event entitled The Next Big Thing. She is hosting a fabulous giveaway over the next few weeks so be sure to visit her page and enter!

Adventures of Cecilia Spark





Giveaways...




So here it is, a guide to what’s happening now in my world of writing.

What is the working title of your book?

Journey to Freedom

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The American Civil War is one of the most interesting time 

period in American History for me. I wanted to transfer what

real life was back then compared to today's life.  
I wanted a book where individuals were focused on 

individuals rather than the big picture. The book starts off 

with two characters but quickly builds as more characters

interact.

What genre does your book fall under?

Journey to Freedom is a Christian Historical Novel. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Almost a year.

What other books would you compare your story to?

Although there are many books in this era, it is hard to 

compare this one too as it contains many different elements 

in the story line.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The inspiration to write led me to think about what kind of

book I would like to write and this is what my imagination 

plus research came up with Journey to Freedom

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

In Journey to Freedom, you will find many issues addressed:

racism, discrimination, violence, love, sacrifice, the 

underground railroad, war, health, death and prisons are a

few. In addition, some of my characters wrestle with God - 

who is He? why He allows certain events to occur? 


You can find out more about me at these pages:

And now to pass the baton on……………
Cheryl Ramirez – www.mamasgotachainsaw.com

Mary-Nancy Smith - www.mary-nancyeagleeyeediting.com


Paula Martin - http://paulamartinpotpourri.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Article - The Briton and The Dane: Legacy by Mary Ann Bernal

About the Briton and The Dane: Legacy
Third book in Trilogy

About The Briton and The Dane: Legacy

It was a time before England's Golden Age; before Chaucer's poetic tales; before the revered Lionheart took the Crusader Cross; before the legend of Robin Hood. It was after the invading Germanic tribes settled the land and petty chieftains vied for supreme sovereignty that a great King sought to unify the British nation. Travel back in time to Dark Age Britannia and the turbulent reign of Alfred the Great who successfully prevented the Great Heathen Army from conquering his beloved Kingdom of Wessex. Journey throughout a war-ravaged country where Lord Richard and his offspring swear allegiance to a visionary King; where a cultural renaissance not seen since the rule of Charlemagne defies the savagery of barbarian raids; where a decisive sea battle establishes naval supremacy.

What readers are saying:

5 Star Review:
After reading this third book of the Briton and Dane series, I started rereading the first and second book. I did that in order to review all the action and the many characters that make up this informative history of the reign of Alfred the Great. Author Mary Ann Bernal brings out so much of the times and characters of the times it bears a second reading. Of the three books I liked this one best. (But of course by the time I got to this book I knew most of the characters well.) Good Read.

Another 5 Star Review:
I could not wait for this book to come out. The character flow is fantastic and the writing allows you to place yourself in their shoes asking what would I do. Again, a book that made it difficult to put down. Even if you are not into history the story line captures you and puts you there. Fantastic

About the author Mary Ann Bernal:

I fell in love with medieval England after I read Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. Then came the great Hollywood epics such as Knights of the Round Table, Prince Valiant, The Black Shield of Falworth and The Vikings, to name but a few. Add to the mix Camelot and an incurable romantic Anglophile was born!

The Briton and the Dane novels are set in Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain when the formidable Vikings terrorized the civilized world. The epic adventure runs the gamut of deception, treachery, intrigue, and complicated relationships during a time of war and conquest. Resource material such as book club discussion items, glossary of terms, period maps and character lists are available for download at http://www.maryannbernal.com.

US Link:

UK Link:

Article The Briton & The Dane - Birthright by Mary Ann Bernal

About The Briton & The Dane - Birthright
Second Book in Trilogy

It was a time before chivalry, before knighthood, before the birth of the great Bard. It was long after the legions of glorious Rome left Britannia to the Barbarian hordes and Hadrian’s Wall no longer divided the island that a great King sought to unite the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of England.

Travel back in time to Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain and the reign of Alfred the Great who successfully repelled the Viking threat and drove the formidable Danish King Guthrum out of his Kingdom of Wessex.

Journey throughout Britannia where Lord Richard and his children risk their lives in the service of their King; where treachery and treason threaten the uneasy peace; where the outcome of one battle determines the course of history.

What readers are saying: 

5 Star Review
Written by an author with a great love and understanding of the period she writes about. The characters are well drawn and the plot unfolds very well and holds the interest throughout. If you love historic novels you will enjoy this very much.


Another 5 Star Review
I thought this book was very good indeed. Many different characters to get to know.

I was particularly impressed with the way the chariot races were explained, and felt as though I was actually there at times.

I look forward very much to the next book when the story continues.

About the author Mary Ann Bernal:

I fell in love with medieval England after I read Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. Then came the great Hollywood epics such as Knights of the Round Table, Prince Valiant, The Black Shield of Falworth and The Vikings, to name but a few. Add to the mix Camelot and an incurable romantic Anglophile was born!

The Briton and the Dane novels are set in Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain when the formidable Vikings terrorized the civilized world. The epic adventure runs the gamut of deception, treachery, intrigue, and complicated relationships during a time of war and conquest. Resource material such as book club discussion items, glossary of terms, period maps and character lists are available for download at http://www.maryannbernal.com.

US Link:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Briton-Dane

UK Link:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Briton-Dane-Birthright

Article - The Briton & The Dane by Mary Ann Bernal

About The Briton and The Dane by Mary Ann Bernal
The First Book in the Trilogy!

After the last of Rome's legions left Britannia to the mercy of the invading barbarian hordes and before the age of chivalry, when knighthood was in flower and troubadours sang of courtly love, there lived a King whose love for his people and the land left a legacy coveted by his descendants who sought to wear his crown. Travel back in time to the late Ninth Century, to the tumultuous days in the reign of Alfred the Great who successfully defeated the Danish Viking King Guthrum and kept his precious Wessex free from Viking rule. Journey to the Burh of Wareham where Lord Richard oversees the training of Alfred's army; where his children, Stephen, David and Gwyneth, swear fealty to their King and support Alfred's vision to build a nation to rival the glory that once was Rome in a land ravaged by war and conquest.


What readers are saying:

5 Star Review

The Briton and The Dane is the first book in a trilogy set in the ninth century. From the very first page this book caught and held the reader's attention taking them from the modern twentieth century back in time of warriors, kings, queens, princes and princesses, as well as, evil doers.

With the authors insight and historical knowledge, the reader is able to visualize the fortress, the ship and the warriors who dwelled within and without, and is entangled into the religious decisions and deception of that time. This reader is particularly fond of Erik and the internal battle he faces as he is forced to accept a religion not of his own beliefs. It will be interesting to see how the next two books handle this discord. The language the author uses also depicts the time period well and reminded the reader of the famous movies made for that era. It was lovely to read that dialogue!

The author intertwines many characters within this plot and provides both a map and a character list to help with any confusion. Personally, this reader did not refer to the map or list the author provided but it is available if needed.
The plot contains twists that will leave the reader wondering what is coming next. The plot moves along at a nice pace and brings you into the character's lives, thoughts and emotions. Treachery is amongst the kingdom as the plot builds, pitting family relations against each other.

In that age, it can only be assumed, that women have little role or say about their future; however, the author depicts great love and respect by the King in this story to allow his daughter to assume some decision in the role her future would take. For the reader, you will either like this or not, depending on your viewpoint of the story. Personally this reader enjoyed that aspect of the story!

It is with great delight that this reader is moving on to the second book in the trilogy and will therefore bid you farewell until the reader finishes the next one in line!

Another 5 Star Review:

The Briton and the Dane is a novel that takes readers back to the time of King Alfred the Great. It is a time of rivalry between the Christian King of Wessex and the pagan Viking, King Guthrum. As the story begins, Gwyneth, daughter of Lord Richard (Buhr of Wareham under King Alfred's rule), meets and cares for a wounded Danish prince, Erik. The two fall in love. Things get a little complicated when Gwyneth realizes she loves the enemy. It gets even more complicated when Erik's past is revealed. As the cast of characters grows, readers are drawn into a world of violence, deceit, and seduction.

The book is well written. The dialog between the characters is told using the vernacular of the period. This may take some getting used to, as it is more formal than our modern day English. Throughout each chapter, the scenes jump around to show what is happening in each of the character's lives. Initially, readers may find it challenging to keep all the characters straight and remember all of the relationships. By the middle of the book, things should be clear.

Readers should know that as the story closes, there are still unresolved issues - unfinished love stories, ongoing battles, and an important character who after being wounded, suffers from amnesia. (Does it sound like a soap opera?) Readers will have to buy Ms. Bernal's sequel, The Briton and the Dane Birthright, to see how everything resolves.

The Briton and the Dane is a book that would appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially fiction set in the Nineth Century Britannia.

About the author Mary Ann Bernal:
I fell in love with medieval England after I read Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. Then came the great Hollywood epics such as Knights of the Round Table, Prince Valiant, The Black Shield of Falworth and The Vikings, to name but a few. Add to the mix Camelot and an incurable romantic Anglophile was born!

The Briton and the Dane novels are set in Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain when the formidable Vikings terrorized the civilized world. The epic adventure runs the gamut of deception, treachery, intrigue, and complicated relationships during a time of war and conquest. Resource material such as book club discussion items, glossary of terms, period maps and character lists are available for download at http://www.maryannbernal.com.

US Link:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Briton-Dane-Special-Edition/dp/0983346917/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352690320&sr=8-2&keywords=the+briton+and+dane+by+mary+ann+bernal


UK Link: 

The Illustrated Woman by Mark Barry

About The Illustrated Woman
(18 + ONLY)

Emily, a brilliant cello prodigy, enjoys the perfect suburban childhood and is destined for big things. Attractive, polite, friendly, multi-talented and intelligent, with devoted parents, Emily’s life is a picture postcard sent back from a chaotic and disintegrating social world.

Then, at 15, at the whim of her worldly NBFF, she agrees to a tattoo. A simple rose on an emerald green stem. Simultaneously her first step toward identity...and a first tentative step into the abyss.

Three years later, Emily is a teenage single parent, disowned by her father and living on benefits in an inner city flat. Her life a pallid tapestry of helpless maternity, fake rum, smuggled fags, crime, Pound Goblins, Topshops, hip-hop, cold precincts, greasy spoons, prescription pills, bad food and a bewildering turnover of boyfriends. Heartbroken by yet another, and in fatalistic mood, she decides to chronicle her fall from grace by covering herself in an elaborate web of tattoos.

Enter Alan.

An awkward looking, depressed, but sincere older man who is happy to take on her daughter. He’s a saviour, a way back to her past and she’s tempted, but entwined in her life is Tyrone, a feckless, alluring, charismatic young rapper: Someone she can’t quite get out of her head.
As her bodywork reaches a conclusion, with one story left to emblazon, Emily is forced to choose: Alan? Or Tyrone?

Who will be symbolised by the very last tattoo?

TIW is a love story and a wry satire of modern life. The vivid and frequent sexual descriptions mean that this book is suitable for adults only.

What readers are saying:

5 Star Review:
The Illustrated Woman has a unique plot that will capture your attention, hold it, make you angry, make you cry, make you desperate and it will make you fall in love. It will remove you from your present world and transport you into the life of a single mother who turned her back on the world her parents desired her to have and created her own.

This book is not for the shy or timid. It is graphic and realistic. It is emotionally open and evasive. It is good and evil. It is stimulating and abusive. It is life and broken dreams. It is enthralling and deceiving. It is truth and lies. It is honor and immoral. It is beauty and ignorance. It is love and selfishness. It is desire and hatred. It is commitment and it is fear. It is enlightenment and it is disillusionments. It is about second or even third chances and it is unforgivable. It is choices and it is consequences. It is maturity at its worst and it is immaturity at its best. It is a book that will make you think...about circumstances, choices and consequences.

Emily learns early on that choices are her choices to make, not her mom and nor her dad's, thus leading her astray from the life her parents were molding her into. Acceptance...of who she is, what she wanted, who she wanted was denied creating a void in her that was filled with pain due to the rejection of a stoutly proud man...her father.

Tyrone: Attractive. Lazy. User. Her obsession. Her destruction. Her love. Her destruction. Her everything. Her on again, off again.

Penny: Obedient. Cooperative. Happy. Her life. Her daughter. Her one constant.

The Clients: Pornographic. Solicitation. Lust. Her way of paying for her Illustration.

Enter Alan: Quiet. Shy. Reserved. Suffering. Attentive. Listener. Consistent. Eager. Accepting. In love with Emily. Her, not quite sure what.

The Illustration: Her future. Her history. Her dreams. Her failures. Her life in ink. One half, pure; One half, not so much.
The Choice: Tyrone, Alan. Alan, Tyrone. Her choice. Their choice.

The Illustrated Woman is to be read as entertainment only and should only be read by adults of maturity. The Illustrated Woman has extensive usage of curse words, references to drug usage, explicit sexual relations incorporating power exchange, sexually abusive scenes, BDSM references and intense anger scenes.

And...I could not put this book down

US Link
http://www.amazon.com/The-Illustrated-Woman

UK Link
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Illustrated-Woman

Hollywood Shakedown by Mark Barry

About Hollywood Shakedown:

Buddy Chinn, the son of a lauded beat poet from the seventies, is happy to follow the dishonorable family tradition of booze, bets, books and broads.

Then, at Hollywood Park one winter Saturday afternoon, two tough guys persuade him to join them on a trip to Damascus, a sprawling mansion off Mulholland Drive, a palace surrounded by a forest of imported trees and lush vegetation.

There, he meets Mortimer Saxon, a, reclusive obsessive manuscript collector with an edge.

A sharp suited zealot searching for Buddy's dad's fabled Lost Manuscript; a one off, a unique piece worth thousands and thousands of dollars, an American literary icon similar in cult magnitude to Hunter S Thompson's "Call to the Post."

He asks Buddy whether he can help. Buddy hasn't a clue. Not a scooby.

Trouble is, Mortimer doesn't believe him.

Over the finest steak dinner Buddy has ever eaten, the collector makes him a proposition.

Find the manuscript and make one hundred thousand dollars.

Fail to find the manuscript and lose body parts on instruments restored from Inquisition times.

Worse, he's given two weeks and no choice.

Along with a British comic dealer friend, the two men go on a quest for the manuscript which takes them to the biggest library in the world in Venice Beach, a riotous chess tournament in Chicago, a pulsating FA Cup match in London and back again to the City of Angels.

All the time he's worried about his independent minded squeeze Monique, who, like a very independent minded cat, only ever comes home when she wants feeding.

Hoping against hope that the manuscript exists. Avoiding snipers, hitmen, hooligans, the attentions of strange seventies goons and an alluring, hyper-sexy bad girl with a fetishistic interest in low-life big guy writers.

Developing respect and admiration in an age of endangered male friendships, the odd couple face a race against time to find the manuscript, a contest which leads to a pulse pounding climax, one in which Buddy has to face his deepest, darkest fears.

Hollywood Shakedown is an offbeat thriller and quest novel, written in a Transatlantic beat style. The narrative transpires mostly in dialogue as a homage to the seventies greats. It contains one of the hottest women you'll ever witness without a camera and three of the nastiest villains you'll see outside state prison.

Hollywood Shakedown is one of the sleepers of the year.

Fans of beat poet Charles Bukowski (who makes a ghostly appearance), hipster Elmore Leonard and arch-ironist Martin Amis; cult directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie and seventies TV shows such as "The Persuaders" and "Randall and Hopkirk" will get the drift.

What readers are saying:

5 Star Review:
A fast paced novel that takes you into the very heart of human nature in regards to greed, laziness and love. What would you do when your life is on the line and you only have two weeks to produce results or die? What would you do if the one whom you love is in danger? What would you do if you were a person that most would consider a bum and a failure?

Meet Buddy and experience a two week rollercoaster trip into the madhouse and stress as he searches for the unknown manuscript....a script that will determine if he lives or dies.

The characters in this book are outstanding! The individuals involved here have personalities that are well defined and keeps you turning page after page. Not once was there a "slow" or "boring" spot.

Definitely a must read!

Another 5 Star Review:
The author has expertly woven a tale of greed and lust into a compelling story of a ruthless man's quest to obtain a missing manuscript. The wealthy Mortimer Saxon coerces Buddy Chinn to do his bidding, tempting the alcoholic writer with money, but threatening his life and the life of his woman, Monique, should he fail. We are introduced to many worlds in this thriller, from racetracks and bars to chess tournaments and British football. Mr. Barry immerses the reader quickly into the intrigue, an enjoyable page turner that is difficult to put down. I look forward to reading more of this author's work.

US Link:


UK Link

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review Their Journey Begins by K Meador

5 out of 5 stars

We have all heard stories of slaves and Indians during or before the Civil War era but have you ever read something that makes you feel like you are right there with the characters?

Have you ever read a story that keeps you looking over your shoulder because you are afraid that someone might find out you are sneaking around?

Have you ever experienced the emotions of someone on the run whether from their past, someone evil, or just trying to make a better life for themselves?

If you haven't and you would like to experience it for yourself then this is the anthology for you.

These short stories allow you a glimpse into the lives of five very different people that are all struggling to make it.

They are sad, scary, heartwarming, uplifting, and thought provoking all rolled into one.

K. Meador is an awesome author that takes you to the heart of the story and lets you see and live her characters through their eyes.

I totally recommend this book. I know you will not be disappointed!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Releasing December 1 2012: Wendy Woo's Year - A Pocketful of Smiles - 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you





Wendy Woo's Year - A Pocketful of Smiles - 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you
by Wendy Woo Books

Wendy Woo is 'me' as my friends and family know me. Wendy Steele is 'me' too, with my author hat on but as I'm sharing my year with you, I've written this little book as Wendy Woo.

Wendy Woo loved her dad. He was the most important man in her life, always. His cuddles were the warmest, his lap the safest and his love for me, the greatest. Dad loved life, all 93 years of it and he never failed to notice and appreciate the wonders of nature. He was kind, generous and happy and I hope I'm like him.

This book was inspired by my dad and for the love he felt for all the world and the people, plants and animals that live upon it and share it.

Wendy Woo lives with her partner, grown up children and four cats in Essex, England but hopes to live on a Welsh mountain one day.

Once upon a time, two eleven year old girls made a pact of friendship. One left school at sixteen while the other stayed on to study. The friendship remained. One went abroad while the other stayed at home. Years passed, marriage and children followed and the friendship continued to flourish via letters and video messages.

After twenty nine years the girls were reunited and the friendship sparked with renewed love and affection. Three months later, one friend was diagnosed with cancer. Nine months later, she died.

I was the girl who lived and I made a promise to live my life for two and make sure that every day included a smile in memory of my beautiful friend.

It isn't easy and I don't claim to hold the key to a life of everlasting happiness but the ideas in 'A Pocketful of Smiles' are used or have been used by me and have brought smiles and happiness to my life.

'A Pocketful of Smiles' is about being happy, irrespective of the challenges life brings.

We can all recall odd days, maybe even weeks where we felt happy but each single day is a precious gift so why not be happy every day?

Before I knew what karma was, I'd been brought up with the adage 'do as you would be done by' so thinking of others plays a role in this book.

It's the little things in life that make it special so this is a book of little things.

'A Pocketful of Smiles' is set out month by month, following the seasons but feel free to dip in and out as you wish.

Many of the ideas take just ten minutes so by allocating a tiny amount of time, you can carry a smile with you throughout the day.

January
1 Stroke a cat

No, I mean really stroke a cat. (I'm sure this will apply to dogs too but forgive me, I have no frame of reference!)

A tickle under the chin as you're passing, a snuggle on your lap while you're working (as you can see, mine love to help when I'm writing!) or a quick stroke or going over with a brush when the cat hair begins to drift down the hall like tumble weed, but we rarely give our whole selves to the experience.

My cats spend more time indoors in the winter so are more receptive to human induced cuddle sessions. Outside, the wind may be howling, the rain beating down but you are warm and snug with your favorite pet on your lap.

Allocate 10 minutes every day to sit and stroke a pet. Watch how they react. Notice a lost whisker or a new white hair. Listen to the purr. Allow yourself to relax into the bliss of being a relaxed and happy cat.

2 Memory of a moment from last year

It's cold today, and it was yesterday and the day before. The days are short and the dark nights long and your body yearns for warm sunshine on your skin. This is a good time to resurrect a moment from last summer or whenever you remember a happy sunny day.

Did you have a weekend break without the children? Did you have a holiday away with friends or family? A day out at the beach? A summer barbecue or just a leisurely day in the garden, pottering?

Allocate 10 minutes to take yourself back and surround yourself with the sensual pleasures of that time. Feel the sunshine through the sun shade, your toes wriggling in the sand or chill sea water lapping at your ankles. Hear the seagulls circling over the bay or the birds twittering in the trees. Smell the sea air or wafts of sugary heaven from the fresh doughnut stall. Remember the laughter and the smiles.

3 Birthday list for the year

I try to be organised but I'm sure, like me, there are times when you are juggling so many balls in the air, you're bound to drop one....and forget, or leave to the last minute, a birthday gift for someone you love.
There are books and calendars to help organize events (probably apps and all sorts) but last year, I tried a different, simple approach to the birthdays in my year. For me, there is no better feeling than choosing a gift that the receiver loves.

Allocate 10 minutes to writing a list of the people you love whose birthdays are important to you. Next to each person, think about the kind of gift they might like. You'll find that when you have a good idea for one person, a similar gift will suit another. As your list grows also try to think about where you could purchase this gift. I like to make gifts. However, I'm often scuppered by lack of time and talent so, I like to support 'crafty' people who are adept in their field. (bigger piece on this in December)

You may have gaps on your list, people who are tricky to buy for so, I carry a piece of card (often a recycled Christmas card) with names of people I have yet to think of gifts for then, if I'm at a book fair, festival or different town with different shops, I read through the names so they are with me as I wander and often I find the ideal gift.

By looking to the year ahead in this way, the promise of warm weather and fun 'get togethers' with the people we care about, are brought into our day.

4 Your photo year

It's so simple to take a photograph now. When I was little, we often waited half a year for Mum to finish the film in her old box brownie so we could see the pictures. Even the camera my brother and I bought Mum and Dad for their silver wedding took a film that needed to be processed and that was a luxury so, picture snapping was kept to a minimum.

Now, almost every mobile phone has a camera and we can instantly see the results. Wonderful!

Make a promise to yourself to take at least one photo each month that captures how you felt at that moment. Buy a small photo album (the charity shops often have them) and begin your year in photos.

Photos in phones and pcs are great but they are difficult to share. Yes, we can 'post' them and mail them to friends but creating an album is a lasting memento for you, your children and grandchildren. (There are clever ways to do this online, I saw an advert)

However you want to make one, create your year for you to look at next January and remember.

5 Start a dance class
The benefits of dancing are enormous and joining a dance class brings even more to the happiness equation. I came to dance classes later in life....maybe that's why I promote them for everyone now.

As a child, I was labelled 'fairy elephant'. I wasn't fat, just chubby but when the option came for me to begin a hobby, ballet was ruled out in favour of piano lessons. I learnt to read music at the age of four when I learned to read words and by the time I was 16, I enjoyed a passion for Beethoven piano music but the 'she's too fat to dance' label stuck.

A great number of years later, my best friend from school was dying from cancer. I knew there was a bellydance class at the end of my road and my perception of life had been changed by the ravages of Sally's illness so, I said to my daughter, aged 9, 'Shall we give the class a go? What's the worst that can happen? They might say we can't join!'. We joined that night and I haven't stopped dancing since. I lost Sally 3 weeks later, and my new 'family' helped to support me. I was living with an unsocial, painful, debilitating though not life threatening illness myself and discovered that, if I wanted to dance, I needed to eat well and look after myself. My whole life changed because of dance.

I went on to found my own dance company and taught Egyptian bellydance for five years but, during that time, I gave myself permission to dance any style I liked! I've tried salsa, burlesque, can can, street, rock and roll, jive, Bollywood, Indonesian temple....the list goes on but I discovered ATS® Bellydance and found myself.

Egyptian bellydance gave me a good grounding, good posture and balance but ATS® Bellydance is my passion. I train and perform with Tribal Unity, my second family, who accept me and love me for who I am. My fitness has improved, my muscle tone is more defined, my toes and feet are stronger but best of all, my confidence and self belief has soared.

Bellydance may not be for everyone but I advocate it as a natural way for the body to dance. There are dance classes everywhere, following on from the success of 'Strictly' and most give a first session free so you can go along and try it out. For me, the music was a huge draw so, if Latino tunes are your style then maybe look for dances that use that music or rock and roll if you're an Elvis fan or maybe try something completely different like Bangra and discover a whole new world of music, dance and culture.
When I was little, I could waltz, fox trot and quick step....by standing on my Dad's feet. He was a wonderful dancer, smooth and natural and he often used to sing as we danced.

Find and commit to a dance class in your area today.

6 Sow seeds for the Spring

These are metaphorical seeds, the ones you may have been germinating from last year. (seeOctober)

If you haven't started to plant your ideas and goals seeds yet, you can start now, no problem.

We all have wants, desires and ideas in our heads; 'I'd love to visit Egypt/South America/Snowdonia', 'I wish I could play the piano/guitar/French horn' or 'I'd love to be able to wear shorts in the summer' but, unless these ideas are committed too, that's how they remain, just ideas and wishes.

To turn our wants and desires into attainable goals, we need a plan. I'm not keen on the word 'goals'. It worries me that if you spend too much time reaching for other things, you forget to live in the now. However, I have attached a 'Wendywooism' to this process which helps me get over the goal thing: 'If you don't have a plan, you can't change it.' For me that means, I can make a yearly plan, or a monthly or weekly or even daily one but as long as I have one, I always have the opportunity to change it. For example, my plan was to carry straight on and write the sequel to 'Destiny of Angels' as soon as it was available to download. For the following month, I planned out how to 'create' three full writing days in my week to write 'Wrath of Angels'. However, an e book won't sell itself and I decided to write 'A pocketful of smiles' before the second novel so, though my time has been spent on writing, it wasn't on the book I had planned but because I had made the original plan and allocated my time, it gave me the opportunity to use that time writing a different book and promoting the first. Without the original plan, I would be panicking about not having time to do everything.

I found two books useful when attempting to find time in my life to achieve more balance. The first was a tiny book from the library on allocating time and the second is Peter Jones' book ' How to do everything and be happy.' www.howtodoeverythingandbehappy.com

You can follow and copy all of Peter's ideas or just dip in and try the ones that seem appropriate to you and your life. It's easy to read and makes good practical sense.

Once you know what you hope to achieve this year, this is a good time for research. If you would like to visit Egypt, check out the cost of flights, decide if you want a hotel based holiday or a trip down the Nile, bellydance lessons or an all inclusive package. If costs look steep, you could start a savings account and plan to go the following year. If you want to play the guitar, do you have one? If you do, check out local teachers, groups and evening classes. If you don't, start researching possible second hand ones from local music shops or online.

This is the time to start sowing seeds for the spring and the year ahead.

Follow Wendy on Facebook as the release to her new book is almost here! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review of The Mystical Mountains of Terra by Ngaire Elder

5 Stars!

Indeed! What is minimorphosis?

Time was lost as the characters in this book quickly consumed my whole attention. Being from Texas, Ractus quickly became one of my favorite characters closely followed by the charming and enigmatic Turan whose actions had me smiling in no time. From the mountains to the swamps, wizards and minimorphosises, gems and flying rafts, the flow and energy of this story is humorous, consistent and charming.

The Mystical Mountains of Terra is the second book in The Adventures of Cecilia Spark and is a highly developed, and easy to read story that captures and holds your attention. All the young at heart who comes across this talented author will enjoy reading these stories over and over to the children who crosses their paths.

Indeed this is one reader who is eagerly anticipating the third book!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wingfeather Books Writing Competition Benefiting Red Cross, Cash Prizes


Writing Competition Benefiting Red Cross, Cash Prizes


Wingfeather Books officially launches today and we're kicking it off with a writing competition! Proceeds, after contest expenses, will benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Cash prizes will be awarded along with publication and author promotion.

Our goal is 300 entries so that we can make a substantial donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Please help spread the word.


Paranormal Romance - Short Story Competition - 4,000 words or less


What on Earth is paranormal romance? We'll take a paragraph from Wikipedia to best express it:
"Paranormal romance blends the real with the fantastic. The fantastic elements may be woven into an alternate version of our own world in an urban fantasy involving vampires, demons, and/or werewolves, time-travel, or they may be more "normal" manifestations of the paranormal—humans with psychic abilities, witches, ghosts, or angels."
Deadline - December 31, 2012 or 500 entries - whichever occurs first*

One First Place Winner will receive:
  • $100 in cash
  • Publication in the contest anthology (print and ebook)
  • A print edition of the book
  • Promotion on the website, in the print book, and in the ebook

One Second Place Winner will receive:
  • $75 in cash
  • Publication in the contest anthology (print and ebook)
  • A print edition of the book
  • Promotion on the website, in the print book, and in the ebook

One Third Place Winner will receive:
  • $50 in cash
  • Publication in the contest anthology (print and ebook)
  • A print edition of the book
  • Promotion on the website, in the print book, and in the ebook

15 Honorable Mention Winners will receive:
  • $10 in cash ($25 in cash if we meet our goal of 300 entries)
  • Publication in the contest anthology (print and ebook)
  • An ebook edition of the book
  • Promotion on the website, in the print book, and in the ebook

Official Rules, click here.

How to Enter:
Email entry form click here
Regular mail entry form click here
Entry fees are $10 per manuscript
Important Dates

November 6 - Contest opens
December 31 - Submission deadline, or 500 entries, whichever occurs first
January 25 - Judges finalize decisions
January 31 - Winners notified and payments go out
February 14 - Contest Anthology publication goes live, print and ebook

Print copies of the anthology will be mailed to the first-prize, second-prize, and third-prize winners once the books are received from the print company.

*Why the 500-entry cut-off?

We have 5 judges who will be working hard to meet the January 25 decision deadline. Stopping the entries at 500 will help us stay on track with our judging, prize payment, and publication dates.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Review of The Briton and the Dane by Mary Ann Bernal

5 out of 5 stars

The Briton and The Dane is the first book in a trilogy set in the ninth century. From the very first page this book caught and held the reader’s attention taking them from the modern twentieth century back in time of warriors, kings, queens, princes and princesses, as well as, evil doers.

With the authors insight and historical knowledge, the reader is able to visualize the fortress, the ship and the warriors who dwelled within and without, and is entangled into the religious decisions and deception of that time. This reader is particularly fond of Erik and the internal battle he faces as he is forced to accept a religion not of his own beliefs. It will be interesting to see how the next two books handle this discord. The language the author uses also depicts the time period well and reminded the reader of the famous movies made for that era. It was lovely to read that dialogue!

The author intertwines many characters within this plot and provides both a map and a character list to help with any confusion. Personally, this reader did not refer to the map or list the author provided but it is available if needed.

The plot contains twists that will leave the reader wondering what is coming next. The plot moves along at a nice pace and brings you into the character’s lives, thoughts and emotions. Treachery is amongst the kingdom as the plot builds, pitting family relations against each other.

In that age, it can only be assumed, that women have little role or say about their future; however, the author depicts great love and respect by the King in this story to allow his daughter to assume some decision in the role her future would take. For the reader, you will either like this or not, depending on your viewpoint of the story. Personally this reader enjoyed that aspect of the story!

It is with great delight that this reader is moving on to the second book in the trilogy and will therefore bid you farewell until the reader finishes the next one in line!

http://www.amazon.com/Briton-Dane-Special-Edition-ebook/dp/B005C5T96Y/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top


Book Review of The Nations by Ken Farmer and Buck Stienke

4 of 5 stars

The Nations is a western which takes the reader back in time after the civil war is over and yet brutality still rages. If you enjoy westerns, this book is sure to hold your attention as you cross the lands and journey through the plight of US Marshals chasing after cold blooded killers, horse thieves and stagecoach robbers.

With no discrimination bearing, the US Marshals go after men of all color: white, black and Indian and bring them before the well-known and feared judge, nicknamed ‘The Hanging Judge.’ However, their plight is not limited to men as a warrant is issued for a well-known female horse thief.

In an unusual display for that time period, a black man is accepted as a US Marshall who is able to produce the men and women whose warrants are issued. A man of courage and valor, this Marshall, when notified of a warrant for his own son, has to choose between his son’s actions and upholding the law.

In an action packed sequence of events, The Nations will lead you back in time and produce shivers down your back for the victims associated in this story and will lead you to cheer on the Marshalls as the shootouts bring you to one final showdown where all their lives plus some innocents are at risk.

The plot is engaging with its humor and moves at a good pace. There are several characters to keep up with but as the story develops the same characters are reintroduced over and over so they become known well to the reader. A few times the point of view shifts was clouded but overall this book is a good read.

Book Review of Her Only Option by Paula Martin

5 out of 5 stars

Her Only Option takes you upon a cruise ship and onto Egyptian lands where archaeologist Ross McAllister and cruise ship host Neve Dalton explore more than historical finds.

Neve has a long term boyfriend who is expecting her yes from his marriage proposal any day and Ross has just endured the disillusionment of a relationship he thought was solid. Neither expected the sparks that flew between them.

When jealousy, control tactics and vindictiveness invade, Neve and Ross have to decide just how far they are willing to go for their new found love.

And when old flames, with their own agenda in mind, reenter Neve and Ross's lives....how far can trust be stretched?

With mystery and intrigue interwoven with blackmail and secrecy, life took on a whole new dimension for Neve and Ross; one that almost led them down the wrong aisle.

Author Paula Martin has done intensive research into the Egyptian history, art and archaeological matters that brings this book to life with its details, complexity and humor. Once again, she has penned a wonderful tale incorporating a unique story line, romance and just the right amount of conflict for her characters. This is definitely a must read by the brilliant author Paula Martin.

http://www.amazon.com/Her-Only-Option-ebook/dp/B00A00CAE4/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top