“What If?” by Jeffrey M. Daniels

 

BookOne_Front_highRes“What If?” by Jeffrey M. Daniels is a beautiful and charming book with an excellent main character. Jeremy Shuttle is clever and quick witted but that isn’t always enough to escape bullies and other problems.
He is a likeable character and his main talent is drawing. One day he receives a notebook which has the power to bring anything he draws to life. This discovery brings a lot of fun and adventure with it, but also some deeper and thoughtful notes.
I found the book hugely enjoyable. All characters are drawn very well and don’t resort to black and white stereotypes and predictability. I would certainly love for my nieces to read this young adult fantasy book and chose Jeremy as role model over any other books in the genre.
The first in the series, the book leaves a few questions open and scope for great things to come.
Very recommendable. JMDphoto

Here is my interview with Jeffrey:

How did you come to writing?

I’ve been writing since I was old enough to read. I used to make my own comic books (drawing and filling in the word balloons).  After that, it was all downhill…er…uphill?  Eh, this wordsmithing is tough.

How did you come up with your stories?

Usually, my story ideas come up somewhere in the bathroom (if it makes it less queasy for you, think showering or shaving).  The outline and story arc for Jeremy Shuttle Adventures came to me during the last few mindless years in Corporate America.

You have created great characters. Which one is your favourite?

People closest to me think Jeremy is modelled after me, but it’s really Mitch the Ant, the pipsqueak, wisecracking, know-it-all who I like the best (and just might really be me).  I’m also proud of Natalie, the smart, sensible girl who keeps saving Jeremy’s bacon.

Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?

The characters pretty much took control of the writing from me early on; I was only there for the typing and buying toner for the printer.  A number of plot points pivoted during the writing, including the shopkeeper and the nature of the “other” behind Jeremy’s travails.

What is your main reason for writing?

Enjoyment.  Doubly so, when others share the feeling.

I‘ve only read one of the books so far. What is the idea behind your series?

It’s a little about growing up and a little about the freedom of dreams and the danger if they actually come true.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

Writing is art with words. When the words blend and mix perfectly, it is breath-taking to behold.  When the words clash or run…well, I don’t have enough hair left on my head to pull, anymore.

What do you do when you don’t write? GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Play tennis, read, draw, spend time with family, cook.

Tell us one odd thing about you and one really mundane thing.

This will capture both:  I won’t wear any new clothes before washing them.  This includes socks.

What else would you like us to know about yourself and your books?

I love words.  Writing is one expression of my love.  My books are written to be enjoyed, young and old.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

I am at war with my appreciation and frustration with self-publishing.  It allows me the freedom to release my books to a wider audience without delay but forces a huge burden of skills onto me that are not within my competency (marketing, for one). 

What is your advice to new writers?

Write.  Read.  Write.  Don’t fall in love with any words or ideas but don’t move on before you’re sure you’ve explored your story fully.

Who are your favourite authors?

I’ll only list one, since there are many, but Jack Vance is my favorite all-time.  His word craft, in dialog and description, is gorgeous.

What makes you laugh?

This will confuse you:  everything.  My Dad wishes I laughed less.  What a weird concept (especially since he’s the one who gave my sense of humor its start).

How do you handle criticism of your work?

I curl into a ball and sob. Four seconds later, I move on.

 

Links:

Website:  www.jeffreymdaniels.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004TTVX5O

Booklocker:  http://booklocker.com/books/5092.html

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/JeffreyMDaniels

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeremy-Shuttle-Adventures/115123485211434

“Stranger at Sunset” by Eden Baylee

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“Stranger at Sunset” by Eden Baylee is a fantastic read. So much, that I read it twice. I first noticed Eden through her blog and didn’t realise for too long what a gifted writer she is. Her thriller is amazing (my review is below) and her adult fiction has literary quality. Today I am proudly presenting you with an interview with Eden.

Hi Eden, I must say, your bio is very impressive. Tell us about your transition from banking to writing?

Thanks so much for inviting me on your terrific blog, Christoph. It’s so cozy here. eden

The transition took twenty years and hasn’t been easy, but it’s been tremendously rewarding. I actually left my job after ten years to pursue a writing career the first time. I moved to NYC and immersed myself in the writing scene there. Unfortunately, not long after, I was diagnosed with cancer—bad timing! It forced me to move back to Canada for treatment. The process of getting my health back took about two years, and by then I was not financially sound.

I had to return to work and thought I’d only stay for a year or two before leaving again. Who knew it would take another ten years before I got up the nerve to do it?

All I can say is I was in a much better position to leave the second time. I would encourage writers to keep their day jobs unless they are able amass enough savings to last at least 3-5 years. I was never able to work a full-time job and write, so I had to make a choice.

What made you decide to be a writer? Have you always written?

Before I was ever a writer, I was and still am an avid reader.  Reading and writing have been passions of mine from when I was young, though I can’t say I ever thought I would become a writer professionally. I just never considered it a financially viable profession for me when I was in my twenties. At the time, I was concerned with material things.

That changed over the years of course. Life is not just about money and things. It’s about what makes me happy, and the combination of a life-threatening illness and not being happy in my job made me rethink my priorities.

Writing may not be bringing me riches monetarily (not yet anyway), but I’m much happier with where I am in life right now.

You started off with Erotica but even there you’ve written quite deep characters. I was surprised to find you turn to crime fiction instead of a literary theme. Tell us about the transition. Cover_small

I read my first book of erotic fiction when I was eleven, and it definitely affected my psyche. The novella was Story of O by Pauline Réage. I started with erotica because I enjoy reading well-written stories about love, romance, and sex as relevant to the story. The genre, however, works best as short novels, approximately 25K – 35K words. I’d written eight of them and compiled them into two anthologies. (Fall into Winter and Spring into Summer). After that, it was time to move on.

I’ve been a reader of many genres, and mystery/suspense novels have always interested me. I also needed a challenge. Writing Stranger at Sunset was challenging because it forced me to plot. There are intricate threads in my book that will be carried over to the next two books since it’s the first of a trilogy. With short stories, I rarely had to plot.

The transition to writing a full-length novel really tested me. It made me feel much more confident about my writing, more so than for the fact that I changed genres.

Who are your favourite crime authors?

I love the classical writers and I’ve read some excellent indie writers too. A short list of authors I enjoy are: Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler,  Elmore Leonard,  James Ellroy, Dennis Lehane, Patricia Highsmith.

For good indie mystery/thriller/crime writers, there are too many to mention, but you can find many of them interviewed on my blog. I tend to support the writers I enjoy reading as I want to see them succeed and continue to write.

I love your blog posts, especially the music ones. Tell my readers about them and about your connection to music. 

Thank you for your compliment, Christoph! I’m a fan of 60s and 70s rock, blues, and jazz, so music is something I enjoy very much. I also play harmonica and guitar, though neither proficiently.

As a child, I grew up with music based on the taste of older influencers. Cousins, aunts and uncles shared their record collections with me, and that’s the music that touches me the most, even today.

There is so much ‘bad’ music out there, so in blogging about what I enjoy, I am also re-discovering music I haven’t listened to in some time. Perhaps in the process, I’m sharing what I like with a new generation.

Music, as a universal language, unites people. By blogging about it, it’s another way for me to connect to others.

You’ve written great characters. Would you say you’re like any of them? Or, how do you create your characters?  Did you have any actors or people in mind when writing your characters?

In formulating a story, my main focus is on characterization. I believe that a story exists because the characters make it happen. Even though my book, Stranger at Sunset is a mystery/thriller and considered genre fiction, it doesn’t imply you can have a great plot at the expense of great characters. 

I enjoyed Dr. Kate Hampton, the protagonist of the book. I relate to her, which in itself is a little scary. Some readers have said she is not likeable. Others think she is terrific. It’s a strangely dichotomous reaction, but I can understand why. For me, she represents two sides of one person – the one you show to the world and the one you keep hidden.

I would say many of us keep parts of ourselves hidden, even to the people closest to us. That’s why I think her story is interesting, and why she will have two more books written about her.

As much as I love film, I don’t write a book with specific actors in mind. It’s less important for me who plays the characters. I prefer to think of film directors and how they would convey the overall plot. To that end, I love the filmmaking styles of David Fincher, the Coen Brothers, and Alfred Hitchcock.

What is your writing environment like?

Sitting for long periods of time to write is not a good idea, so I stand at my kitchen counter. Sometimes, I have ankle weights and exercise at the same time. When standing becomes tiring, I stop for a while and take a walk or do yoga or meditate. I like writing by natural light, so that dictates where I write most days.

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it? Tell us about the artist.

Yes, I use award-winning designer, JB Graphics from Toronto. (http://www.john-beadle.com/). He designs my covers, website, and any other artwork I need. I am involved in most aspects of the design, mainly because visual art interests me.

I also know the message I want to convey, and how a cover can set a mood for a book since it’s the first thing a potential buyer sees.

My requirements for a cover are that it should look professional across all platforms, with a unique design and the right proportion of image and fonts. 

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

As you know, Christoph, being a self-published author is never just about the writing. When we go this route, we expect to do it all, and if we can’t, then we hire professionals to help us.

Given that, each day is somewhat of a juggle to write, read, and promote.

There are many things that need to be done to spread the word of a book before and after it’s written. Selling books is a huge part of being a full-time writer. It’s what pays the bills and allows me to keep writing.

The highs come when I realize I’m living the life I want to live, moment by moment. It’s all about the writing.

The lows come on days when I don’t know if I’m coming or going, when I haven’t slept enough, and I’m “chasing” a story that’s just not happening. Doubt about my abilities as a writer creeps in. I’m not one to wallow, but at one or two in the morning, the mind can play tricks on my self-confidence.

As writing for me can be all-encompassing, I have to force myself to walk away from my laptop and decompress. It’s difficult but it’s necessary.

What is your advice to new writers? 

My main tip is to keep writing. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned by writing continuously. The fact that I cringe a little when reading some of my earlier works is a good thing. It means I’ve moved on from there. I feel the mark of any writer should be to improve with each book they write.

I’d also advise to hit a word count or daily goal you set for yourself. As a writer of fiction, I’m fully aware that my imagination is a function of my brain; the brain is a muscle. And like any muscle, it needs exercise daily or it will atrophy.

What makes you laugh?

Many things and sometimes everything! I love dry, witty English humour, but I also like silly slap-stick. I don’t need anything highbrow, as anything that hints at farting usually makes me giggle.

There’s nothing like having a great belly laugh, the type that doubles you over with tears streaming down your face because you just can’t stop. This usually only happens with a few close friends. I’m convinced they’ve discovered the way to kill me is by making me laugh until I can’t breathe!

What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?  

Haha! I suppose if I took someone it would no longer be lonely. I’ve answered this question before and my top 3 things are always the same: 

  1. Solar-powered laptop with an unlimited iTunes account and WiFi. This satisfies my need to read, write, and listen to music.
  2. Power tools to build a proper shelter.
  3. Lip balm because I loathe chapped lips.

Who would you like to invite for dinner? download

You, Christoph, of course! I think you would be an amazing dinner guest – fun, intelligent, and we can even speak in my poor German if you like! I make a wonderful schnitzel, just so you know.

Perfect. It’s a date…
What song would you pick to go with your book?

Actually, Stranger at Sunset has a soundtrack for sale on iTunes. Because of my love for music, I inserted songs into the storytelling, so I have a playlist of approximately thirteen songs that go with the book.

In one of my erotic novellas, “Seduced by the Blues,” the male lead is a blues guitarist, and there are numerous references to music in that book, including one of my all time favourite musicians, Van Morrison.

How do you handle criticism of your work?

I hire a hitman … just kidding. (hehe)

I take criticism of my work as a valuable lesson to improve my writing. If someone reads my work and takes the time to write a review, or to tell me what they thought, then they are doing something very few do. They are making a concerted effort to express their opinions for why they liked or did not like a book.

As an author, you need to have a thick skin, and if you don’t, grow one fast. Our writing will not appeal to everyone. That is just not possible.

If you think the criticism is valid, then learn from it and move on.

If you think the criticism is bullshit, do the same.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, not just professional critics/reviewers. The worst thing is to let negativity paralyze you … so don’t allow this to happen. 

Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.

Hmm… what an interesting question. Toronto, Canada is not known for ‘weird,’ but right now I will say the weather is weird. It’s snowing in mid November. I hate the cold, so I’m not looking forward to this winter. This weird pattern is probably the case for the weather worldwide.

Nice: All the festivals and events we have, along with numerous restaurants. There is never a shortage of things to do and places to eat.

Fact: Toronto is the center of Canada for business, art, and … condominiums. A friend who is a realtor said we have the most condos of any city in all of North America. She must be right because our skyline is littered with cranes and tall buildings. 

What are you working on now?

I’m writing my next novel called, A Fragile Truce, which is the book that follows Stranger at Sunset. I’m excited to see where the main character, Dr. Kate Hampton goes next. I hope my readers will be as well.

Thanks so much Christoph for the opportunity to share with your readers. You are an amazing advocate for indie writers, and I’m so happy we are connected.

Big hugs, eden  eden

Stranger at Sunset by Eden Baylee

Author Bio

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to become a full-time writer. She incorporates many of her favorite things into her writing such as: travel; humor; music; poetry; art; and much more.

Stranger at Sunset is her first mystery novel, on the heels of several books of erotic anthologies and short stories. She writes in multiple genres.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often!

To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

Author Links

Website | Blog | Amazon Author page US | Amazon Author page UK

Twitter @edenbaylee | Facebook | Goodreads | Youtube | Pinterest | Linkedin

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My review of the book: Cover_small
A group of strangers and acquaintances spend a week together in a holiday resort in Jamaica after a tropical storm has recently devastated parts of it. One of those guests has given the resort a terrible write up in a travel magazine, another is an egotistic self-declared ‘alpha’ male, there are a few couples and house staff and then there is our heroine psychologist Kate.

The atmosphere is loaded with tension between the owner and the reviewer as well as between some of guests, there is plenty of sexual chemistry and the air is also full of secrets, plans and deceits. The focus of the narrative shifts to let us into the minds and thoughts of the well-chosen and perfectly fleshed out characters. They are all multi-dimensional and I ended up feeling for even the less likable ones because of the insights into their pasts or backgrounds. Kate as the trained psychologist is a great character who, with a razor sharp ability to dissect and analyse them, brings further dimensions to our perception and understanding of the cast.
The writing establishes and carries forward an excellent sense of expectation from page one, where a brief and ominous episode with binoculars already whets our curiosity. Atmospheric, stylish and confident Baylee feeds us the story day by day until some big events do take place. I do not wish to spoil the experience by hinting at what is going to happen, only that I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was genuinely surprised by the way everything developed.
I read some of Baylee’s erotic writing which has much more depth than the genre normally calls for and “Stranger at Sunset” is no exception. A psychological thriller of literary quality.

Stranger at Sunset (Book summary)

Vacation can be a killer.

Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot, Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Included in the mix are friends of the owners, a businessman with dubious credentials, and a couple who won the trip from a TV game show.

It is January 2013, following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The luxury resort is struggling, not from the storm, but due to a scathing review from caustic travel writer, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation.

Even though she is haunted by her own demons, Kate feels compelled to help. She sets out to discover the motivation behind Kane’s vitriol. Used to getting what he wants, has the reviewer met his match in Kate? Or has she met hers?

Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/thriller as seen through the eyes of different narrators, each with their own murky sense of justice. As Kate’s own psychological past begins to unravel, a mysterious stranger at Sunset may be the only one who can save her.

Available in e-book and print

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon worldwide http://authl.it/B00L7BVDFM

Apple | B&N | Smashwords | Kobo

Also available in Print | iTunes Soundtrack

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How to help Indie Authors – A Primer

Originally posted on P.C. Zick:

Help an IndieHow to help Indie Authors – A Primer for family, friends, fans, and other Indie Writers

It’s not easy taking the route of Indie Author or any route as an author. The field is crowded, and it’s hard for readers to sift through it all. So in addition to writing, most of us Indies spend a great deal of time promoting our work. Most of us try not to annoy our friends and family, but it’s inevitable that many of them will see our promotional stuff. So as we move into the holiday season, I’d like to give some advice to anyone associated with an author. Also, there’s a little bit of advice for other authors as well. I wish you peace and relaxation during the coming season. Take the time to read a book, maybe even from an Indie Author in your life.

Besides buying the books of your…

View original 586 more words

My novel “Time To Let Go” has 200 reviews

  I’time-to-let-go-cover-large(r)m delighted to have woken up to a big milestone in my writing path: Time To Let Go, my fourth book, has reached 200 reviews, and that in only six months since it was published. download (1)

Here is the glorious 200th review. Thanks Joss Landry for reading and reviewing. I’m so glad you liked the book. 

I FELL IN LOVE WITH HANNA!  

Hanna is the embodiment of what a daughter should be. She handles a sad case like her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease with strength and in a positive manner that impressed me. Not once did she step out of character. Not faced with the hardships of her career, not when she needed to keep secrets from Walter, and not even when she stood up to Henrik and his commercially viable decisions. Christoph Fischer did a wonderful job portraying her on all levels. To me, she was the real heroine of this story. And it was a pleasure following her from start to finish.

I have always found Alzheimer to be the worst scenario that can happen to anyone. Unlike other ailment, it spares your body but grabs your mind. Without our minds, what are we? Memories are the only ties we have to ground us and keep us moving forward. So, this poignant story remained pleasant for me, most important, as Biddy and Hanna teamed up to give us so many wonderful memories. Walter was also very moving and he too found ways to remain true to himself while showing he could still adapt to his changing surroundings, his meeting and conversation with Karim, very touching.

What was bitter sweet for me, as much as Biddy not remembering her children, was the relationship between Patrick and Walter. Was I hoping for a miracle there! This touched me personally.

All in all, a great read and at the end, I felt the story’s title was telling me: Time to Let Go. Only truth was the story would not let go of me!

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Time To Let Go:

Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.
The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/BtKtQ

On Goodreads:  http://ow.ly/BtKs7

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TTLG

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.
The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.
Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.
Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX Book_marketing2-lrg

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

Short Biography: Christoph Fischer

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. In May 2014 he published his first contemporary novel “Time To Let Go” in May. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

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

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

Book Blast: “Cursed Bloods” by Shannon McRoberts

Word Art made from REAL words found in my book!

Blurb:

Nikeda did not die. In fact, her cursed bloods flourish in Zarra’s realm. To further complicate matters, Miranda has fallen in love with Nikeda’s son, Drake.
With the truth out, Zarra must choose between killing her friends or accepting Miranda as the prized lover of a powerful enemy.
In the meantime, Athine has discovered another threat to the N’Loron called the Malatista. The birth of this prophesied child may mean the very end of the N’Loron and her reign.
Take what you know about mythology and throw it out the window…

cursed bloods ebook cover

It’s finally here! 11/15/14 is the date to pick up your copy of Cursed Bloods in both print and e-book! I, along with many of my blogger friends, are sharing this post to get the word out about Cursed Bloods! Will this be the end of Athine’s adventures? You will have to read the book to find out of our favorite heroine makes it out of Atlantis alive!

Excerpt:

Asryni dream

Asryni

Harmonia entered the Kisaka grotto as she had a thousand times before. She began to meditate and was promptly freed from her flesh. The spirit of Harmonia entered the waters of the Kisaka in search of Asryni. Her sprit swirled around and around until she pinpointed the final resting place of the dragon queen. She pushed forward, through the blackness and found Asryni sitting under a decaying tree outside the entrance to the Elmonon. It appeared that she was barred from entering the sacred grotto of the dragon kin. She sat with her head lowered. Her red hair spilled over her horns as giant wings jutted out of her back. She looked like she was forever stuck between her humanoid form and her battle dragon form. As Harmonia approached, she lifted her head. Hollow black eyes met the spirit eyes of Harmonia.
She breathed in a large breath. “Your blood is tainted with that of the line of the immortal born. You will never gain entrance into the Elmonon. Even I am unable to enter and I am their queen.”
“Asryni, I am not here to enter the Elmonon. I am here to bring you back to the land of the living.”
Asryni looked at her with those wild, hollow eyes. Her beauty marred by eternal unrest and damnation. She laughed. “You are a very funny spirit. Although, I do sense that you have Shutharja blood in you, I doubt you have enough magic in your state to bring me back. Cronus himself damned me here when he killed me with dishonor.”
“You need not worry about my magic. I am a powerful Und-vor. Ythofra herself has requested I come here and bring you back.”
“Why doesn’t she come for me herself then?”
“She has no rule here in Nenithus, but I and my sister do.”
The creature laughed again. “A pair of women have rule over Nenithus? I doubt Cronus would allow that. Go away little spirit. I am tired and would like to rest.”
Harmonia began to speak in an inaudible chant. She held out a small container as she circled around Asryni. She could stay there and argue for a century and Asryni would not believe that she could bring her back. Instead, she performed the ritual and pulled the essence of Asryni into her magic container. The consent of the spirit Asryni was not needed for she was an Und-vor. When she was done, she began her long travel through the spirit realms with her cargo.

What Readers Are Saying (Good Reads):

“Cursed Bloods (Book 5) by Shannon McRoberts not only continues seamlessly where Athine Series finished off but cleverly combines this latest addition with her Genetic Corp X characters. This epic fantasy series is so awesome I had difficulty putting the book down. The fantastic characters, all so vividly described, jump from every page and involve the reader right off the bat. Even the bad guys are fun.”
“In Shannon McRoberts, Cursed Bloods, The Daughter of Ares Chronicles, she has successfully tied together the characters from the Athine series and Genetic Corp X. We find out the cursed bloods aren’t as bad as we thought…once enemies become allies and lovers. I really enjoyed this story and the characters were written with different personalities and you could distinguish who was who.”

Book Trailer

Buy Links:

Amazon

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Trade Paper Back

More people behind my books

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1538883_10152169929789903_1791016517_nI must once again mention my amazing cover designer Daz Smith (link to an interview with him) who effortlessly put together covers that have been complimented on from day one.

http://www.nethed.com/book-covers/

Contact details:
email: darryl@nethed.com
website: www.nethed.com
phone: 07766655631
twitter: @remoteviewed
facebook: www.facebook.com/eightmartinis Flikr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dazsmithpics/ Book Marketing2time-to-let-go-cover-large(r) Luck of the Wassersteins518b+tsOd9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_
Last but not least I must mention Alice Trego, who helped me with my newest bookalice-d-trego “In Search of a Revolution” as beta reader and who made some excellent suggestions for the book and my writing. She also offers editing services and can be contacted via email
alicetrego@me.com
Her website alicetregoedits.com is still undergoing construction work but I can thoroughly recommend her services. 

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Here are all contact details again for the team behind Conditions“.

Wanda profile pic

Wanda Hartzenberg 

Feel free to contact her on  email: wandahart@vodamail.co.za
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/WandaPanda
her website http://authorsallies.com/
or via twitter, her username is WandPand 

David Lawlor
link to an interview with him about The Golden Grave
blog historywithatwist.wordpress.com . 

378344b681016d439abdb1cc95ee7c03editing (see http://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/editorial-services/

Find him on his blog http://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/ and more spceifically about his editing services: http://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/editorial-services/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.lawlor.9404 Twitter: @LawlorDavid Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7059828.David_Lawlor Blog: historywithatwist.wordpress.com Link to my review of his latest novel, A Time of Traitors

and my previous feature on David 

 And my travelling but eventually returning editor Deborah Wall Picture of me 12

My editors: Post 2: David Lawlor

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Today I continue with the story of the editing journey for “Conditions” (after my previous editor Deborah Wall decided to travel the world.)

Armed with Wanda Hartzenberg’s annotations and corrections I went to David Lawlor, an Associate Editor of The Herald newspaper in Ireland. David has written three historical fiction novels: “Tan”, “The Golden Grave” and “A Time of Traitors” set in the 1910s and 1920s during WW1 and the Irish War of Independence and following the character Liam Mannion.
He is a talented author – I know him originally from reading his historical novels – here is a link to an interview with him about The Golden Grave.
He is also an active blogger historywithatwist.wordpress.com and has become a good online friend of many other writers. 378344b681016d439abdb1cc95ee7c03

He ‘s recently taken up editing (see http://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/editorial-services/).
He sample edited three chapters for me  – fast and with impressive results – before presenting me with a reasonable quote. I’ve been shopping around on the Internet long enough to know how much editing can cost, just on a grammar and punctuation level.
(Obviously thanks to Wanda‘s help the novel was in a reasinable good shape
.)
David worked fast and made excellent suggestions (I didn’t take all of them, so don’t blame him or Wanda if there’s something you didn’t like in “Conditions” ). This is the reference I wrote for him:

I knew David’s high standard of writing from reading and reviewing his novels and took him up on the offer to sample edit the beginning of my new book. I was very impressed with his engagement with the story and the characters and with the quality of his suggestions, just on the comparatively little that he had read of the story.
His subsequent edit was thoughtful and incredibly helpful and highlighted some minor and some larger areas that needed improvement. Reading his detailed suggestions and opinion of the novel motivated me highly to go back and make changes, adding scenes and dropping what wasn’t needed.  It’s been a very stimulating and productive experience and process. David has a great way with words and knows how to deliver a very honest critique and keep your enthusiasm at the same time.
His services were competitively priced and his turn around was fast and efficient.
I learned a lot from the experience and can only recommend him.

But don’t just take my word for it, here is a link to what P.C. Zick has to say about his editing and writing http://pczick.com/2014/11/12/author-wednesday-david-lawlor-2/


Find him on his blog
http://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/
and more spceifically about his editing services: http://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/editorial-services/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.lawlor.9404
Twitter: @LawlorDavid
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7059828.David_Lawlor Blog: historywithatwist.wordpress.com
Link to my review of his latest novel, A Time of Traitors

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It’s 1921, and Liam Mannion is embroiled in the murky world of informers and spies; the IRA has announced a truce, and the British and Irish leaderships are taking their first tentative steps toward signing a treaty.

Liam and his fiancee, Kate, are tasked with finding republican rotten apples, some of whom are intent on foiling the fledgling peace talks. For Kate, the Brigade Intelligence Officer, that means asking awkward questions of trusted allies – questions that reveal a traitor. For Liam, it means travelling to London and collaborating with the British police to find a killer.

As the search unfolds, a devastating revelation from Liam’s past will make the hunt more personal–and deadly–than even he could imagine.

Here is my review:

“A Time of Traitors” by David Lawlor is another gripping book in his Liam Mannion series, an IRA fighter in the 1920ies who used to work for the British.
The story begins with an assassination and continues with the liberation of an IRA fighter from prison. Lawlor wastes no time to throw us into the deep end of the fighting and as the action unfolds we get to grasp the dangers and the difficulties to trust anyone.378344b681016d439abdb1cc95ee7c03
As the title promises, this is a tale of betrayal and distrust, for example when our fighters walk into an ambush or when they take on Albie, a young man they liberate from said prison, a decision they have not much time to loose over. Albie is a fascinating character with a great background story.
Lawlor writes his characters and scenes with much flair and colour, the characters and settings are vividly drawn and take you right into the feeling of those volatile times.

The book has an authentic feel and is a great continuation of the series and its story. This is a wonderful story of heroes and cowards, of honour and bravery, injustice and revenge. Full of suspense and some heart-breaking moments this is a historical thriller not to be missed.

The book on Amazon US and UK 

and my previous feature on David 

My editors: Post 1 Wanda Hartzenberg

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I feel it’s time to put the spotlight on a few people that are helping me behind the scenes. Today I’m introducing Wanda Hartzenberg, editor, reader and dear friend.

Since my usual editor, Deborah Wall began travelling the world and teaching English to people with even greater need of her talent than me, I had to find someone to replace her before I was able to publish “Conditions“.

Wanda profile pic

Wanda Hartzenberg is an avid reader,
( On Goodreads she is currently listed as:
#18 top reader
#1 top reviewer
#12 best reviewer)

she is head of several review groups (Wanda’s Amazing Amazon Reviewers on Facebook for example https://www.facebook.com/groups/328607697211329/
and WaAr Reviewer Reward Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1395755427335631/ ).
And she runs her own blog: http://tattlet.blogspot.co.uk/


She has also co-written The Struggle of Me and released her short story Suicide Song.

Wanda has years of experience under her belt and was one of the first and most important people I’ve met online who helped me getting my books out there, two yeras ago. She advised me on my writing style, found some plot holes and pointed out missing details, found flaws with characters and specific scenes and gave me some very good suggestions as how to resolve some of the issues that needed attention.
Years of her own writing and reading experience paid off and I can only describe our exchange as incredibly fruitful and inspiring for me.

She can be contacted on 
email: wandahart@vodamail.co.za
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/WandaPanda
her website http://authorsallies.com/
or via twitter, her username is WandPand

“Suicide Song (Songs)” by Wand Hartzenberg is a most beautiful and thoughtful short story about a young man’s last moments on earth. The author zooms in from afar with mesmerizing 21512487observations about the night sky and a dark memory before homing in on that moment, throughout using great metaphores and scene setting. The writing is atmospheric and bittersweet while the setting is described in excellent detail. It is the perfect close up of the surrounding of th emoment to come. The scene was so captivating I felt as if it were me in that room. The afterword is almost as important and breath taking as the story itself when the author explains about her connection to the man. This truly touched me deeply.

 

“Suicide Song” on your Amazon page: http://bookShow.me/B00J35IBFY

website
twitter username
About this author
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I was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa in 1973. I wrote my first story at the age of 4 and since managed to obtain a BA degree in Communication. I always tend to see the world at a slightly skew angle. As such, I want to share my view with you. I hope you like it. As a matter of fact, I hope you love it.

I love animals, furry puppies that grow to be 18 years and older especially, I have four that share my love, life and bed with me. I also have a turtle, but he is not allowed to sleep with us.

I love cooking, trying out new recipes etc and thus love to entertain. It seems, whether I am at writing or cooking or simply living life – I aim to entertain.

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“The Struggle of Me” was written by several authors under the Umbrella “Write to Read Project” and it is hard to believe that the segments of the story should have been written by several different authors – so skilled is the editing that it reads just like one story by one author.
17 year old Derrick and his 15 year old sister Arriane come from a dysfunctional family, the details of which we find out more about in the course of the story. Told from changing perspectives we get insight into the thoughts of several characters and we witness how the sibling’s recent move to live with their older brother Lucas alters their life. Derrick struggles to settle in the new school, while it seems that Arriane is happier here, that is until a nasty incident with her addicted brother Lucas.
As to be expected from this premise there is a fair share of teenage angst in this book and despair. One of the achievements is the heartfelt and slightly sad portrayal of the kids’ desire for home and belonging
But, there is also a love interest for Derrick and unexpected support to make this an inspirational and lovely read with a beautiful message of hope that leaves you feel positive and feeling good.
Through the tool of changing narratives and perspectives we can witness different perceptions of the same situation, adding more insight and making this a rewarding reading experience, the sort of book every child from a difficult family background should have read and re-read to not feel alone and hopeless in their situation.
In my eyes this is a great achievement and I hope that many young adults will find access to this story to aid their personal development and healing.
Highly recommended.

Interview with Fiona Quinn and John Dolan about “Chaos is Come Again”

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Today I have something a little different for you. I’m interviewing two authors – John Dolan and Fiona Quinn – who have just published a suspense novel, ‘Chaos Is Come Again’. Now you might well ask, “What’s so different about that? People co-author novels all the time.” True, but John and Fiona have never met. Now THAT is different.

CF: Welcome, John and Fiona. So how did you two get to know each other? 141022 10632716_285420251659964_4594236147606256880_n

JD: We first encountered each other on Twitter. Back in April 2013, I was working in Dubai, and happened to go online when Fiona was talking to someone else about reading my first novel, ‘Everyone Burns’. It all started there.

FQ: Yes, it was a completely chance encounter. I live in Virginia, and the odds of our tripping over each other must have been very small indeed. But it happened.

CF: Do your spouses know?

JD: Know what? About the cyber sex, you mean?

FQ: Shut up!

CF: About the book.

FQ: God, no. They think we’ve been doing online creative writing courses.

JD: Yup. We keep them in the dark. That’s why we only do interviews on blogs like yours, Christophe, that nobody reads.

CF: Thanks for that morale-booster, John. So how did the idea of you two writing come together?

FQ: That was John’s idea. He is entirely to blame. 141022 1554370_10202560417883748_1215837740_n

JD: I was sure it was Fiona’s idea, but she showed me a copy of the Twitter conversation where the subject first came up. She’s pretty anally-retentive about keeping stuff like that, so there’s no arguing with her. Although in my own defence, you can’t tell from a printout whether I was joking or not.

FQ: We had been playing ‘Twitter Chess’, a game we made up. The idea of the game is that between us we make up a story 140 characters at a time. We wondered whether it would be possible to write a full-length novel that way.

CF: ‘Twitter Chess’ shows up in the book too, if I remember correctly?

FQ: It does, yes.

CF: But you didn’t write a whole novel that way, surely?

JD: No. We started Skyping and throwing around ideas. We set up a document on the Cloud to keep notes, which we could both update during the Skype calls or separately offline. We agreed a colour-coding system. It was all terribly obsessive, now I think about it.

FQ: Our notes were very detailed: characters, plot, jokes. By the time we were done, the document was over 25,000 words. That’s almost a third of a novel in its own right. ???????????????

JD: We then had a hiatus. I was writing the third novel in my “Time, Blood and Karma” series, and Fiona had lots of stuff on her plate too. So we didn’t actually start writing the manuscript of “Chaos” until after “A Poison Tree” was published in May of this year.

CF: How did the writing work? Did you write separate pieces or correct each other’s writing?

FQ: John introduced me to the delights of spreadsheets. We planned out each chapter in detail, then chopped up the work 50/50 and got started…

JD: The actual writing was surprisingly easy. We’d already spent so much time jointly developing characters and storylines that we both knew what needed to be done. The first draft was completed in three months. We both had a go at editing, and we also used an independent editor. So anything that’s wrong is her fault.

FQ: Or yours.

JD: Or mine.

CF: Do you still speak to each other or have you come to hate each other?

FQ: No, the whole project has been a very happy experience. I think it’s a book that neither of us could have written on our own. And of course we still speak to each other.

JD: When we have to.

FQ: When we have to.

JD: But only when we have to.

FQ: Right. 141106 Chaos-3D-Book (1)

CF: Besides the humour in “Chaos”, I also really enjoyed the character development. Is that part of a deliberate message within the book, to show where you think characters should end up? 

JD: The book is character-driven, so unless there is character development there is no plot.

FQ: We didn’t set out to have a ‘deliberate message’ as such. As to whether the characters get what they deserve, well, that’s up to the reader to decide.

CF: Parts of the story are quite “out there”. Now I know you as tolerant and kind people – but are you worried you will be misunderstood?

JD: You’re talking about all the non-PC humour and the blasphemous bits, right?

CF: Right.

FQ: We’ve tried to put out a “health warning” in all the book blurb and publicity. This is a book for broad-minded people who like their jokes to be dark and their characters to be shades of grey, rather than black and white.

JD: But not Fifty Shades of Grey.

CF: On a scale from one to ten, how “blasphemous” would you pitch the book?

FQ: Ten.

JD: Eight.

FQ: Nine?

JD: Eight and a half?

(Pause)

JD & FQ: Eight and a half.

CF: You two sound like a married couple sometimes. Are you SURE you haven’t met?

JD & FQ: We’re sure. Even though we sometimes say exactly the same thing at the same time.

CF: Haha. There is something so relieving about a joke that isn’t politically correct. Do you find/ think that your readers get the difference between humour and ‘attack’?

JD: We don’t care as long as they buy the book.

FQ: We think our readers will be sophisticated enough to distinguish satire from criticism of religious beliefs.

JD: Yeah. What she said.

CF: Will there be a sequel?

FQ: It’s too early to say. But we certainly would welcome the opportunity to work together again.

JD: Yeah. What she said. Just so long as we don’t have to meet each other. Don’t you think the divorce rate would plummet if husbands and wives never had to talk?

CF: You guys are crazy.

JD & FQ: Yes. We get that a lot.

John Dolan

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

Website http://johndaviddolan.wix.com/johndolanauthor

Fiona Quinn

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

Website http://www.fionaquinnbooks.com/

Buy Links on Amazon

USA 

UK 

My opinion on the book:

The book was one of the most enjoyable reading experiences for me this year. Full of great humour it throws us readers into the world of publishing where Avery gets landed with the ‘client from hell’ , Travis, a difficult and also blasphemous author whom she is supposed to woo.

Her home life is nothing short of chaotic, too, with an increasingly demented mother to look after and other family commitments that take their toll. On twitter she connects with Sean, unhappy with his kinky and fame hungry girlfriend. And the Angel serial murderer is on the loose. Written with a great blend of understated humour and great storylines the book was impossible to put down for me. I loved the way each character was portrayed with empathy and depth while providing light-hearted and un-pc jokes. I enjoyed the twitter conversations between Avery and Sean in particular, but the interactions and dialogues between all the ‘players’ in this book were incredibly well done. The writing was at times off the wall like a Tom Sharpe novel, at others more thoughtful and primarily character driven. The murder plot seemed almost secondary, even though the suspense provided yet another excellent interest and source of power to push the events along. I already was a fan of John Dolan for his amazing “Time, Blood and Karma Series” and he has proven with this masterpiece that he is not a one-trick-pony, but has a lot more up his sleeve. An enthusiastic 5 stars.

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John Dolan

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

Website http://johndaviddolan.wix.com/johndolanauthor

Fiona Quinn

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

Website http://www.fionaquinnbooks.com/

Buy Links on Amazon

USA http://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Come-Again-John-Dolan-ebook/dp/B00OSP0AGW/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415588084&sr=8-1&keywords=chaos+is+come+again

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chaos-Come-Again-John-Dolan-ebook/dp/B00OSP0AGW/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415588208&sr=1-1&keywords=chaos+is+come+again

 

A thought on Mental Health: Send a text!

mental-health-13594173A few weeks ago the Uk held an awareness week for mental health. I was on the road and so sadly, I missed a lot of the programmes and activities that went with it. Me and my partner were mostly driving through British countryside but we were listening to the radio, and all stations had the same little adverts playing. 

Their message was refreshingly simple: Send a text!

I couldn’t agreee more. It’s that simple.

I’ve always felt inadequately equipped to ‘handle’ or ‘deal with’ friends with depression or other clinical conditions. I’m no expert, psychologist or nurse to feel like an ‘authority’ on the issue. For the same reason I was reluctant to release a book about the issue. Who was I to talk about it?

The thing is: I, you or anyone else, we don’t have to be an expert. All you need to do is something simple, like to send a text to show someone that you care. It may be all they need, to know that someone is thinking about them, that someone likes them and that someone cares. If you can be a closer friend, even better. Don’t think you have to be any different with mentally ill people, or ‘study’ to know the perfect way to handle every situation. I’m not saying that information can’t be advantageous, I’m saying that it isn’t as important as being nice, understanding and yourself – like I hope you are with the rest of us.

Who hasn’t felt down once in a while and then got a funny message from a friend or acquaintance that dragged them out of their misery, from their low and made them smile? It doesn’t have to be much more, yet it can make a massive difference. 

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If you read my book “Conditions” and expect the perfect solution how to deal with mental health, what you’ll find is very much the same. All of the characters in the book who are friends with my character Charles (who suffers from a mental disorder) have different approaches to him – some of which are better than others. But they are all friends in the best way that they can, and Charles appreciates that, and overlooks some of their character traits that aren’t the most likeable in turn. 

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Find the book FunPhotoBox1142911044zyytrv

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

 

 

Connect with Christoph

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/ _DSF0534

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

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