Sebastian Review: “I quickly identified with the fragile Sebastian. His fear and suspicion of doctors resonated deeply”

5.0 out of 5 starsGreat! Splitting of Europe told in the personal, March 4, 2015
This review is from: Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy) (Paperback)
I was a sickly child and I could have lost my leg through gangrene, aged 10-11, so I quickly identified with the fragile Sebastian. His fear and suspicion of doctors resonated deeply, as did his love of books and his self-imposed reclusiveness. Full marks to the author for penning such an engaging character but he doesn’t stop there.The cast is big and the story sweeping. It reminds me of War and Peace and many other 70s serials like The Sullivans and The Pallisers for its subtle thread, twisting back and forth, up and down, though the disparate lives that are thrust together by poverty, hardship and war.
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If you want a really engaging picture of Europe breaking apart at the turn of the Century, you could read a dry history book but you could read Christopher Fischer’s lovely tale, which is just shy of an epic. If you love people, I would recommend the latter choice because Fischer understands the subtle tapestry of family relationships like few other writers.I wondered how the story of the hapless Margit would end and was delighted by the weird conclusion, which oh-so-subtly mirrors the loose-end aspects of war.I haven’t read the first book in this series but I didn’t need to; this book is very complete in itself. I have lent it to others, who were itching to have a go.
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I thoroughly recommend this book, whether you are interested in the demise of the Habsburgs or just want a darned good yarn about people.

5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece!, February 4, 2015
This review is from: Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I cannot believe it, but this book was better than the first. What an amazing story…. with amazing characters, even if they are frustrating at times. This book was an absolute joy to read, and if I had the time, I never would have put it down. I am actually sad that I am done with it now. images (9)
4.0 out of 5 stars … second book in the Three Nations Trilogy was much better than the first, April 4, 2015
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This review is from: Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This second book in the Three Nations Trilogy was much better than the first, however, it still steered toward never ending. Sometimes I felt, as in the first book in the series, it could have ended much sooner, or moved a bit more quickly. Some of the not so exciting twists and turns could have been honed down much better. The characters in this second book were much more likeable and credible than in the first. The good part of these books is what it shows the reader about the culture, lifestyles, and concerns of people during this era. To say they suffered hardship and came through in good shape is an understatement. The fortitude of the characters I think is probably very realistic to the era and the place. images (9)

 

 

 

Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.

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

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/528300
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ

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

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/95jvSpHf5a/

B&N http://ow.ly/Btvbw


“Gripping Personal Breakdown”: Reviews for mental health drama “Conditions”

Showing 1-10 of 87 reviews : 4.3 average star rating 1
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping personal breakdown, March 22, 2015
This review is from: Conditions (Kindle Edition)

Conditions is a very classy piece of work. A funeral brings together warring factions of a family and gradually reveals the soft underbelly of their seemingly privileged lives.Charles is a talented gardener; openly gay but with some kind of mental condition, which obscures his intentions and clouds the complex relationships which swirl around him. When his mother dies, his hetero brother and his wife close in for the kill on the vulnerable man but get more than they bargained for.Conditions examines people’s lives in minutiae and delicately lifts away the layers, beneath which we conceal our true natures. Christopher is the master of this revealing process and proved it with the broad sweep of Sebastian, but here it is much more personal and intimate. FunPhotoBox1142911044zyytrv

If you love stories about people rather less than places, ideas and things, then this is for you. I loved it and the twist only added to the joy of reading it! Highly Recommended!

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Christoph Fischer book that I enjoyed., April 1, 2015
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This review is from: Conditions (Kindle Edition)
Another Christoph Fischer book that I enjoyed. From the beginning it was easy to find myself immersed in these seemingly mundane lives. I learned how to correctly breathe when walking for exercise. I had thought walking and breathing were second nature to me. Apparently not. And I felt as if I already knew some of the characters in the story, especially Charles and his mother, Rose.
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I also relate to the bad relationship between the various family members. Relationships are so complex, and wrought with ‘conditions’, and the author has blended them so easily. The story unfolds steadily and I appreciated how it panned out for those characters involved, nicely tying up all the ends. It’s written devoid of bad language and erotica, and that makes for a refreshing change when purchasing a book to read these days. So if it’s high adventure or titillation you are seeking, this book is not for you. I give it 5 stars!

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 ot her 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, images (1)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

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

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

 

CHRISTOPH FISCHER

Short Biography:922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o

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. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

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

Blog: https://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

Author Profile Lesley Hayes and her novel “Round Robin”

24619818Today I am going to introduce a very talented writer with a large body of work and a wide range of genres: Welcome Lesley Hayes. I sent Lesley a set of questions and below you can find what she wrote in response to them.

Here is the blurb and my review of Round Robin, my favourite of her books – but then, I have not read all of them, yet. On a deceptively peaceful morning in rural Oxfordshire a bolt from the blue splinters the surface of Robin’s familiar world and pitches him into uncertainty. By the end of the summer holidays he will be eleven, and until now has been looking forward to starting secondary school in September. But a much greater change than he could have imagined is on the horizon. It isn’t just Robin’s world that undergoes a radical transformation. No one in this novel remains untouched by the turbulent events that take place during the following six weeks. Love is questioned, lost and rediscovered as the characters find their way towards the novel’s ultimate denouement. Patrick, the surly bully of a headmaster, and Iris, his long-suffering wife, both face unforeseen life-altering challenges. Maddy and David are forced to review their relationship with one another and, more importantly, with themselves. Laura’s steadfast heart stands to be broken all over again. And Robin is the fulcrum around which each of them constellates. In one way or another he affects everyone. His own future hangs in the balance, and is largely dependent on other people’s choices on his behalf. Wise, poignant, thought-provoking and at times even mordantly funny, ‘Round Robin’ will move you and stay with you long after the final chapters have been read.

“Round Robin” by Lesley Hayes is a wonderful read about a ten year old boy, somewhat anxious and fearful when we meet him first and a boy whom you can’t help feel for from page one. Secrets are revealed, truths need to be confronted, changes are being made and values are being challenged. It’s a tough world sometimes but not everything that changes needs to be bad. Skilfully plotted and written with great literary quality this is an amazing story that grabs you from the beginning. The characters and their stories stayed with me for a long time and I found a lot of fantastic quotes at the end of the book that I want to remember. A thoughtful and entertaining read with some beautiful messages and values and such great feel to it – even when the going gets tough. Excellent.

Lesley Hayes Lesley-Author

I began writing almost as soon as I could talk. When I was 13 I submitted one of my many short stories to a National Newspaper competition and won it. At 14 I wrote my first novel, which was damned with faint praise by my English teacher who said it was good, but not quite as good as Elizabeth Bowen’s ‘Death of the Heart’. At 17 I abandoned a trajectory that would have taken me to Oxford, and left my Girls’ Public Day School with my headmistress’s words ringing in my ears: “I wonder what will become of you, Lesley?” I’ve never gone back to tell her. I got a job on Honey Magazine, where my first short story was published. I was head-hunted by an agent at Laurence Pollinger who remained with me for the next very successful twenty years. Typical of my Gemini personality, one career wasn’t enough (I’d had two children by then on the same basis) and I decided to train as a psychotherapist.

Well, that was the start, I often think, of my ‘real’ life, the life that took me deeper than I would have believed possible. It was a career that fitted me like a glove and brought out the best in me. There is nothing like sitting in a room for many hours a day with other people’s suffering to humble the heart. My youthful arrogance and my pretensions to being anything other than an authentic, empathic human being dwindled away, an unnecessary disguise I was happy to shed. Another twenty years passed, and I emerged a wiser person into a new dawn and a decision to reinvent myself as a writer. One identity can sit as comfortably as any other when identity is not so important any more. I don’t like labels and avoided using them as far as possible in my work as a therapist. Lesley Hayes

I have resisted labelling myself, therefore. As a writer, I don’t fit into any genre any more than I can be categorized as a person. That’s been true of my personal life. I think my somewhat unconventional life (in conventional terms) has informed the depth and breadth of my writing. I was fascinated by human psychology, long before it occurred to me to train as a psychotherapist. I am always studying people’s behaviour, their interactions with one another, the incredibly powerful dynamics that guide us, and the emotional and energetic undercurrents that flow between us. I suppose it’s there that I’ve found the inspiration for all my books. 22852531

In my short stories I’ve often picked up the nuances and shone a light on them, sometimes humorously, sometimes depicting the darkness beneath. In my novels I can be lighthearted in the style in which I write – as in ‘The Drowned Phoenician Sailor’ – or more serious, as I have been in ‘A Field Beyond Time’ and ‘Round Robin’. Serious, but never ‘heavy’, as I believe we can put even painful truths across in a way that falls on the heart and mind gently, even profoundly, without shouting at the reader. At the moment I’m working on a book called ‘Dangerous People’, which again is written with a lighter touch and tone, although there is darkness tiptoeing between the pages. As in life, there is no avoiding it. Our shadow falls behind and before us, whether we acknowledge it or not. 22852513

My earliest writing influences were T.S Eliot, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, C.S. Lewis, Arthur C. Clarke… They all set the bar high for me when it came to my own writing. I think I have a poet’s eye for the lyrical cadences of language. Whether I’m writing or reading, it’s the beauty of the language that influences whether I feel really satisfied. I also have the DNA of ancient Celtic blood whispering in my veins, which demands the telling of a darn good story. Without drawing on both our old and present day myths, where would we be as writers?

You asked me about my experience of self-publishing. I wrote a blog about this last year called ‘The Conundrum of invisibility’.

http://blog.lesleyhayes.co.uk/blog/2014/06/05/511/

I leapt over the fence into kindle publishing in January 2014 and landed full of optimism, discovering it was a whole new ball-game beyond all ball-games I might have imagined. I floundered through the twittersphere and groped my way towards facebook, miraculously finding some like-minded souls (and excellent indie authors) along the sometimes tortuous path. I spent a couple of months desperately trying to find new and interesting ways of promoting my books, whilst also writing. I almost crashed and burned in the process.

And then I had one of those flashes of insight that reminded me I was primarily a writer and that was the joy… that was my bliss (as Joseph Campbell once put it) I needed to follow. Since then I’ve been happily engaged with reading and reviewing other authors as well as continuing to write. If people buy my books, that’s wonderful. It’s the icing on the cake. But I’m not going to put too much energy into making it happen. I trust in the interesting process of osmosis that means sooner or later readers will find my books, and my task is to keep writing them.

My advice to new writers is simple. Write. Develop a daily mindfulness practice of writing. It can be a kind of meditation. Keep a journal. Write about your feelings, not simply events. Whatever you write, polish it till it shines. Don’t be satisfied with your first draft. Be pragmatic about destroying it if necessary. Think of it as a sculpture that has its own intrinsic form that you are simply facilitating coming into being. Don’t even consider publishing it until you have honed it to perfection. You’ll know when that is. Five or six drafts will usually do it, but if it needs more, or if you suddenly realise it needs radical restructuring, then so be it. Pay attention to grammar, syntax and spelling. If you are no expert at these then learn – find a teacher if necessary. And every bit as important – read. Read well-written books by good authors. Join or create a book group where you can learn among other readers to understand just what makes a book better than simply a ‘good read’.

My favourite authors these days are various. I’ve always been a voracious reader. But there are some whose books I will buy even without reading the synopsis: Sarah Waters; Jeanette Winterson; Sebastian Faulkes; Lionel Shriver; Patrick Gale; Haruki Murakami; Alice Hoffman… these are the ones who immediately spring to mind. Since I became a convert to reading on kindle, I’ve become rather an evangelist. It’s like carrying a library around in your pocket. I love it. I’d hate to see the end of hardbacks and paperbacks, though. There is a whole tactile experience to be had when reading one, with which e-books can’t compete. On the other hand, they’re a lot less wieldy for propping up while you’re eating, or for shoving in your hand luggage on a long journey, when you might want at least a couple of books to keep you going. At the moment I’m working my way through a long list of indie authors whose books I’m reviewing. It’s a joy to review a book that really makes my heart sing, and I’ve found a number which have done that.

Situational humour is what makes me laugh most, and I suppose that comes across in my writing. I enjoy wit and wordplay, and anything that pricks the bubble of pomposity. The best jokes are often the ones we tell at our own expense, and I love watching and listening to comedians and writers who excel at that. Woody Allen is a good example. Mike Leigh is another. I can watch their films over and again and always find something new in them. When I’m not writing or reading, watching films is one of the things I enjoy most. They have to be intelligent, subtly clever and have some fundamental meaning or message, even if they’re comedies, in order to hold my interest. The same is true of the books I read.

One of my most enjoyable pastimes is simply hanging out with friends. I just love the ebb and flow of conversation and the warmth of companionship. I have some amazing friends who are like the sisters and brothers I never had. As an only child I was often lonely, and so as I grow older I more and more appreciate what friendships provide in the way of family. I value the honest and invariably meaningful connection I have with friends. I have had a number of relationships in my life, some of them deeper and lengthier than others. All of them have been learning grounds, and with a couple of exceptions, I haven’t regretted them. Even with the exceptions there were things not to regret – mainly my two amazing children, who are now adults with partners and children of their own. They also are family, of a different order from my friendships. Loving and being loved in our close knit circle is of primary importance to me.

I don’t write romances, but I do write about love. I know that this is the driving force behind the universe, and there are many faces of love and many lessons we learn in life about it. At every stage of our development there are new aspects of love to discover. And its opposite – fear – is the other driving force that motivates, rejects and often paralyses us as human beings. You will find in all my novels an exploration of these themes. Which is why, when you asked what song would go with my books, the one that came to mind is the Cranberries track ‘No need to argue’ – it’s so beautifully sung, and the lyrics somehow for me sum up the feelings of loss, regret, pain and redemption… “You’ll always be special to me…” Sooner or later in life we all carry those emotions in our heart.

https://youtu.be/MEaxoSMUgXI

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

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lesley-Hayes/e/B00HR65DES

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/157854.Lesley_Hayes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hayes_lesley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lesley.hayes.author

Interview with Boyko Ovcharov, author of “Wandering Feelings”

20407756Today I am pleased to introduce “Wandering Feelings” by Boyko Ovcharov. I met Boyko online via an author support group. I was swept away when I checked ouy his book. It is written in the most beautiful, lyrical and entrancing style. Carefully chosen words take you deep into the two characters and their love story between Sofia and London.
The book raises many relevant questions about true love and the perfect connection but also makes you think about the meaning of every day life. The book has a poetic and sensual feel to it that makes it stand out from more factual and purely prosaic story telling. Much is hinted at and could be missed by just falling into the flow of words.
In that sense this can be as demanding a read as it is captivating and rewarding.
A wonderful break from the bold and mundane and a very talented writer.

Interview with Boyko 6885811

Tell us a little about your writing history:

I have always dreamed about writing, even at a very early stage. However, I got round to writing my first book in my mid thirties, as by that time I had gained some life experience and perhaps a bit of wisdom which I could share with my potential readers, especially in English. Before writing my first book, no one had ever told me before I could become a writer. Nevertheless, after publishing a couple of books at Amazon/Createspace, I received several good reviews – something that was both encouraging and motivating.

Tell us about your writing:

I usually love the ‘inter-disciplinary’ approach – probably due to my scientific/academic background. Nevertheless, I always try to narrow my writing approach down to a few specific genres, where I might discover my strength as an Indie author.

Overall, my writing style is a bit philosophical, and yet down-to-earth; emotional to some extent, and at the same time focusing on reason (thought-provoking) ‘behind the scenes’ without imposing any unnecessary guidance.

I definitely allow my characters’ thoughts and actions to speak for themselves. Some of my readers even told me they could easily find themselves within the plot, identify themselves with some of the characters’ features, so to speak – that is one thing I may be proud of.

Tell us about your life outside of writing:

I am a lecturer in business and English outside my writing, which helps me a lot by discussing my work with my students. Everyday, I like having a good laugh with my students and colleagues, without crossing the fine line of mutual respect/tolerance, of course.

Who would you like to invite for dinner:

I would like to invite all my close fellow writers around the world who have been so supportive and helpful all the way.

Could you chose a song to go with your book?

Actually, I quote a song in my second book (Wandering Feelings), which is a folk song from the Balkans telling a dramatic story about love/romance. I also refer the readers to some love songs with a deep meaning, e.g. by Coldplay, some classical compositions etc.

Who are your favourite writers?

I could quote a few of them, for example: Dickens, Cronin, Shakespeare, Ben Johnson (the playwright), Moliere, Bergerac, Fitzgerald, John Grisham, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle etc.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I am working on an adventure, somewhat sci-fi, even dystopian novel, which I am planning to publish by the end of this year, as I am still at the beginning of it, although I have got a relatively clear picture of the plot, characters and the whole story.
Something that is worth noting down regarding my 2nd book is that although it is within the genres of literature and fiction, it is based on a true story about human desire for freedom.
The book reads as a good travel story with a sense of culture and a pinch of subtle humor amidst drama as well. I suppose it touches on some innermost feelings of the human soul, both within the specific setting of Europe (West-East) and beyond, i.e. past and present.
As for filming it and making it into a play or script, several hundred readers have already expressed their approval of that. I guess, as a movie, it would definitely appeal to people who have a free spirit, open-mindedness, and above all, are true humans. It might make a deep, psychological and dramatic romantic/love story, which involves some social, cultural and historic aspects.
Boyko Georgiev Ovcharov is an MBA graduate of the University of Buckingham, the United Kingdom (2002). In 2003 he also completed his scientific (MPhil) research work in the field of ICT in view of societal and economic change at the same academic institution. Besides, he holds a Master’s degree in International Economic Relations from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria (1999). Regarding his professional experience, Mr. Ovcharov has been working for more than 10 years now, including managerial posts within the Business Development Departments at some international ICT companies in Bulgaria. At present, he is a full-time lecturer in management and marketing, business and general English for students and professionals, involving preparatory courses for exams and certificates, such as: SAT, TOEFL, GMAT, FCE, CAE, CPE etc. Life after Life has been Boyko’s first/debut book, whereas Wandering Feelings is his second one, a heartfelt novel. Yet, in the near future he envisages publishing some more and bigger titles due to the fairly good reception so far. Acknowledgements to all people who have encouraged this author!
http://www.amazon.com/Boyko-Ovcharov/…
https://www.facebook.com/boykoovcharo…

“Eleven Miles” by Lance Greenfield

18691883“Eleven Miles” by Lance Greenfield is an engaging and often powerful story whose strength lies in the simplicity of the story telling. Boi, a young girl from Botswana overcomes obstacles in her way and grows as she tried to achieve her dreams of academic and sporting excellence.
It is a great reminder of the many things we take for granted: public transport, money for transport and education, available food and resources etc etc.
Inspiring and eye opening this is a true gem.

How far would you have walked to gain your high school education?

From an early age, the greatest passion in Boitumelo Tumelo’s life is learning. Boi, as she is known to her friends and family, just loves going to school. Her primary school is in the local village, but when she graduates to secondary school, two obstacles stand in the path to her further education. Firstly, there are fees to be paid. Secondly, it is eleven miles to the nearest secondary school. She would have to get up very early, and walk that long distance to school every day, and walk home after school. There are many potential dangers along the remote African track between her village and her school.

This is the inspiring story of how Boi overcomes the obstacles and dangers to gain the education that she so desires. Not only does she achieve her ambitions, but she manages to make life better for the children of her village who wish to follow in her footsteps.

Eleven Miles is a fictional story based upon a true life situation in Botswana. Until the target of Princess Boikanyo’s School Bus Project is achieved, 50% of all profits from the sales of this book will go into the project funds. In the meantime, please feel free to make additional contributions to this worthy cause by clicking on the project link.

The book on Amazon US and Amazon UK

6903110

About this author 


My main interests are Reading, writing, field hockey, trad jazz, classical music, travel, languages, people, statistics, technology.

Some of my favourite books include Skallagrigg, The Island, The Return, Birdsong, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, Eagle of the Ninth, We Won a War, In Quest of the Unicorn Bird, The Shadow of the Wind.

I’ve played (field) hockey since I was seven years old. I now play veterans hockey for Andover Diamonds. It is a lot of fun and very sociable.

I have always been a prolific reader and my favourite genre has to be historical fiction. I just feel that it brings history to life, and I am not too bothered about the historical accuracy as long as it has at least SOME basis in fact. Who is to say that the dryly recorded history that we learn in school is the truth, anyway? Most of it is only recorded by the journalists of the time, so draw your own conclusions.

My favourite films are Jungle Book, Brassed Off and The Fastest Indian. I should add Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, because I was in it! Well read my writings for an explanation.

My biggest passion is the way that people treat people. Witnessing either cruelty or extreme kindness can make me cry equal buckets of tears. I can’t stand prejudice. Read my motto at the bottom of my home page

Lance Greenfield  https://www.goodreads.com/LanceGreenfieldMitchell

website http://lancegreenfield.wordpress.com

twitter username lancegmitchell

 

New Release / Review: “Dreamscape: Saving Alex” by Kirstin Pulioff

22819674“Dreamscape: Saving Alex” by Kirstin Pulioff is based on a great premise: A character stuck in a video game. Our heroine is now challenged to adventures within the game and needs to find her inner strength.
In the outside world she is challenged, too, since her parents move away and she will be forced to start anew. There is a great scene with Alex’s best friend who gives her friend a good pep talk: Natalie is very sweet, positive and encouraging and sets the tone from ‘poor me’ to upbeat, funny and lively. This has great writing and good messages, such as : “When we’re afraid, those are moments we need to press forward even more.”
Once in the game we’re into a blend of fantasy adventure and science fiction. Alex meets Arrow and there is some sweet and clean romance that has believable chemistry, balances the boy/girl archetypes well and makes for some good role models. Each of them is strong enough on their own and realistically so.
You’ll love the descriptions of the game, its settings, the dialogue and the adventures. The plot flows along smoothly with enough suspense and action to keep the interest and leave space for the characters. A great idea and a wonderful read for young adults and young at hearts.
I was given an ARC of the book by the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

 

Find the Book on Amazon US and UK

 

Princess Madeline and the Dragon on Amazon

6558842

Biography
Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids, church and the family business.

I love to hear from my readers and fans. Please connect with me on my other sites:
Webpage: http://www.kirstinpulioff.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kirstinpulioffauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KirstinPulioff
Goodreads:www.goodreads.com/author/show/6558842.Kirstin_Pulioff

Review: “The Lei Crime Series: A Snake in Paradise” by Eden Baylee

25314013“The Lei Crime Series: A Snake in Paradise (Kindle Worlds Novella)” by Eden Baylee is a very impressive crime novella set in Hawaii. It starts with a powerful prologue which features a woman waking up tied up. It leaves the reader with a lot of questions and curiosity for the chapters to come.
Then the actual story begins. Recently divorced Lainey Lee arrives in Hawaii, with a pinch of bitterness and reflection and an appetite to enjoy herself.
She has a snake tattoo that was given to her by her best friend in a symbolic gesture of redefining herself and finding herself.
I’ve read about the book on the author’s blog before its released and have speculated about the title of a ‘snake in paradise’ for some time. There were also music lyrics mentioned in her blog post that befit the theme of dealing with a snake. And a snake will be found indeed. 

As single woman Lainey soon gets attention from men on the island, some unwanted and some wanted, which kicks of the mystery and suspense part of the story.
Written with great sensitivity the characters are excellently drawn, the dialogues are sharp and poignant and the plot is well thought out.
An engaging, entertaining and stimulating read. Very enjoyable.

The Book on Amazon (sadly only available in the US store)

Link to my previous interview with Eden 

Blurb: 4563150

Lainey Lee has always dreamed of going to Hawaii. It should have been her honeymoon trip, only it never happened. Now, in a poetic twist of fate, she is making the journey twenty-seven years later—following a messy divorce.

Once on the Big Island, Lainey discovers paradise, but white sand beaches and blue skies are not all Hawaii has to offer. She soon meets Julian, a mysterious stranger ten years her junior. They share an instant connection.

Lainey is eager to shed the fears that trapped her in a loveless marriage, but is Julian a tempting distraction, a new beginning, or a snake in paradise?

Q & A with Eden Baylee

Q: Tell us how your story is connected to Toby Neal’s Lei Crime novels.

EB: A Snake in Paradise happens concurrently with Toby Neal’s first book, Blood Orchids. I have created my own characters, but they co-exist with Toby’s and also take place on the Big Island of Hawaii.

My novella is a mystery and suspense story with a strong female protagonist named Lainey Lee. She is a newly divorced mother of three at a pivotal point in her life. Lainey is someone readers will relate to because she changes and grows throughout the story.

Q: The Lei Crime novels are police procedural mysteries with a twist of romance. What genres do you explore in your story?

EB: The genres I write are erotic romance, suspense, and crime. In A Snake in Paradise, I stay true to my strengths, so all these elements exist in my story. The crimes involved are murder and theft.

Q: What inspired A Snake in Paradise?

EB: A chance encounter inspired the story. I am a firm believer in serendipity and pay attention to odd connections that most people might not think twice about.

A particular gentleman inspired the character of Julian with his playful nature and his love for words. Because the story involves theft, you can even infer he stole something from me. Thankfully for him, it’s not something that will get him arrested.

 

Eden Baylee

born in Montreal, Canada
website
twitter username

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write. Incorporating some of her favorite things such as travel, culture, and a deep curiosity for what turns people on, her brand of writing is sensual and literary.
She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.
On June 30, 2014, she released her first novel–a psychological mystery/thriller set in Jamaica called STRANGER AT SUNSET.
Eden loves hearing from readers, so connect to her via her website at www.edenbayleebooks.com and all her social networks.

 

APRIL IS NATIONAL PREVENT CHILD ABUSE MONTH

download

APRIL IS NATIONAL PREVENT CHILD ABUSE MONTH

“EVERY UNWANTED TOUCH IS LIKE A BRAND, AN OPEN WOUND, A SCAR ON MY SOUL THAT NEVER HEALS…”

BE A VOICE FOR ALL ‪#‎CHILDREN‬ PLEASE SHARE and help raise awareness. 

Here is some information that I picked up  from a Colorado news station

In 2013, there were 679,000 victims of child abuse and neglect throughout the United States; more than 10,000 were child victims from Colorado, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families. In 2014, the Kempe Children’s Center at Children’s Hospital treated 1,306 children for abuse, served 641 parents and caregivers and trained 9,605 child welfare professionals.

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The Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse started as a Virginia grandmother’s tribute to her grandson who died as a result of abuse. She tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember him and alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse.

Blue ribbons will be worn by people throughout the state and displayed on buildings to bring awareness to the public health crisis of child abuse and neglect. Blue and silver pinwheels will also be planted. A giant blue ribbon will be hung at 9NEWS’ studio throughout the month to show our commitment to caring about children. The public is asked to wear blue on Tuesdays throughout the month of April. More child abuse information, including ways to prevent abuse, is available at www.kempe.org/childabusefacts.

Here are some important links: International Child Helpline…

http://www.chiworld.org/

https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/

A powerful book on the subject – be warned it is explicit (but very important) download (7)

“Tales To Count On” by S.R. Mallery

25100045“Tales To Count On” by S.R. Mallery is a fantastic selection of short stories. Some with the word ‘count’ of Flash Fiction, a genre I just recently discovered and learned to appreciate. Short insights into characters, families, situations, minds, hearts and even history. Mallery has a soft and gentle way with words that is engaging and masterful. Well written with amazing skill of characterisation and scene settings within the lowest word counts, this is nothing short of impressive. So many stories with such different characters, yet all manage to captivate. Great surprises and turns make many stories unforgettable. I’ve read Mallery’s other work, which I can also highly recommend. This might be my favourite, though. Just excellent. Find the book on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK    Link to an interview with S.R. Malllery  My previous feature in the author 7067421

Interview with writer/ poet William O’Brien and his “Peter: The World” series

11131790_855398377854569_532459211_nToday I’m making an excursion into almost unchartered territory on this blog: Poetry, blended with fantasy and fairytales. Let me introduce William O’Brien and his “Peter: The World” Series. Here is my introduction to his latest opus, followed by an interview with the author:

“Peter: The World – Short Poems and Tiny Thoughts” is a collection of 26 poems based upon the surreal, magical story Peter: A Darkened Fairytale.

Inside these pages, you will find whimsical poems of ‘The Light’ and forewarning of ‘The Dark’. The tale of Peter has inspired several books of which Peter: The World is the third publication and there are many more adventures soon to be released.

So, take a walk with wizards, dream of stars, drink blood with vampires and never ever listen to demons. If you look closely, you may even see sweet fairies hiding in your garden – tucked behind violet flowers. But, do be careful, they just may be vampire fairies.

Interview with William

Tell us a little about yourself as writer, poet and as person.

Hi Christoph –  Thank you for inviting me to your blog.11106490_855398581187882_1399144104_n

I find most things interesting – I like to explore many facets of life. I guess, I stumbled on writing by chance – it wasn’t anything that I considered throughout school or college years. Writing seemed to stem from interests – then, I wanted to write. I feel comfortable writing fiction and non-fiction in most areas/genres. I have a varied background in the arts and sciences, although my education is mainly in science disciplines, I love the arts. Poetry happened purely by accident, I felt it and it seemed to flow.

Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?

Over 20 years ago, I used to write health & fitness articles and had over 20 published. I took a long break from writing and I started jotting notes down again. I always wanted to write a book and almost 4 years ago I published my first book ‘Peter’. Since then, I have published nine books and have more ideas in line for future projects.

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?

No – not that I can consciously remember.

Tell us about your poems and your creative process.

I run with words as they feel, as they come to me. The logical thought is applied later, much later, when things are more fully developed.

What are you working on now? 

The next Peter story and a dark poetry book based on the other Peter volumes. Also, several other books – a thriller/sci-fi, historical fiction and another couple that are still in the organic process.

What is your main reason for writing?

I just feel like it is something I have to do.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

(i)  It is nice to know I have created something myself.

(ii) The endless hours of thinking.

How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?

It is difficult – I work in a crazy mesh of confusion but it seems to work for me.

How do you handle criticism of your work?

I believe if you don’t get some critisism, you must be keeping everyone happy – if everyone is happy, you have not created anything beyond average and accepted.

What do you do when you don’t write?

D.I.Y. I live in an old house – there is always something to fix.

What makes you laugh?

Monte Python

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

Hannibal Lecter

What is your advice to new writers?

Write, write, write and keep writing. Listen to the opinion of others but don’t let them steer your ship.

Who are your favourite authors?

Lewis Carroll and Oscar Wilde

What is your favourite book?

Alice in Wonderland

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Half Bad by Sally Green (paperback) witten with an interesting perspective and highly descriptive.

Thank you for having me over.

Permafree book (Peter: The World)  myBook.to/Peter_World 

All Amazon books:  Author.to/WilliamOBrien_amz …

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorwilliamobrien?pnref=lhc

“Peter, A Darkened Fairytale” by William O’Brien is a wonderful and magical story.
Unsuspecting young Peter finds himself in a world of elfs, dragons and all kinds of fantasy creatures. One quest leads to the next and before you know it Peter and us readers have covered a world full of known and unknown creatures.
The author has done an amazing job making us witness the world from a young boys perspective. This is a fantasy adventure nothing short of the wonders of Narnia or Alice.
On a deeper level the book seems to be about finding your inner talents, your strengths and your faith in yourself. I loved the way Peter takes on the tasks ahead, learns and grows up during his journey.
The tone is often quirky and not at all as dark as I had come to expect. Although there are evil or slightly scary characters in the story, it remains a fun read that should please young and young at heart. If I had children I would read them this story. Peter is a remarkable and lovely character.
O’Brien is a creative and talented story teller who should do very well with this and his next stories. Very enjoyable.

A children’s novel- PETER: A Darkened Fairytale
Rough age range 11-13, fun for adults too!

In a quiet sleepy place nestle a few tiny houses, a bridge, and a handful of shops. Unknown to Peter, on one particular morning – the morning of his tenth birthday -will reveal more than just the usual collection of presents. Stumbling into a secret place, he travels through many hidden worlds and embarks upon a fantastic journey. Hally the lifelongian, Arnica the maiden, Wind Sail the white witch and a beautiful elf called Slip will all guide him on his quest.

Searching through the Purple Forest, Peter makes haste to rescue a friend, which proves more difficult than Peter could ever imagine. The gentle tale soon finds its way into some very dark places as the evil Cirinian and her followers try to thwart Peter’s progress. Guards, ghosts, spirits and vampirism add to the unknown dimensions that Peter encounters.

A creation of surreal places and characters, Peter: A Darkened Fairytale is an exciting and imaginative fantasy trip from beginning to end.

A drawer is a drawer, and a door is a door, one way in and one way out. What… not sure? A time in space has now arrived for some readers passing by and travelling through in a blip of time, goes so quick, like this rhyme. The thoughts one thinks may not be real and sometimes they will make you squeal. Biting, scratching, tastes hang true, inside this story you’ll meet things new. Must be careful, for if you fall those evildoers will seize all. Taking bodies and minds of prey, trapped, entombed as darkness flays. If by chance you are done, chase the light chosen one. Staring from those eyes so bright, view things given with new sight. For all that see, avoid the dark, a new path is shown near the park. A secret there for all that be, if you’re brave enough, open me!

For all those imaginative souls A fascinating tale takes the reader on a true flight of fantasy into amazing far-off lands, dramatically expanding the imagination and touching the heart. An exploration of the senses is tantalised through the many unusual characters, while exploring alternate realities. A placid opening of the mystical realms should not be underestimated as they soon lead off and reach into some of the darkest corners of the mind. A gentle fairytale twists along its path into an unusual and disturbed adventure

GR:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4619644.William_O_Brien

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