Welsh Wednesdays: More confirmed names for the Llandeilo Lit Fest April 2018

SAVE THE DATE – CADWCH Y DYDDIAD
It’s still early days but here are some more names confirmed for our event 27 – 29th April 2018:
Myfanwy Alexander, Mererid Hopwood
Aneirin Karadog, Gwion Hallam, Judith Barrow
Helen Lewis and Sara Gethin
Jon Gower, Nicholas McGaughey
Tim Hartley and Alun Wyn Bevan
Nathen Amin and Mari Griffith
Simon Brookes and Adam Price
Ifor ap Glyn, The Rock Hoppers
Spoken Word from Llanelli
Fflur Dafydd and Sion Tomos Owen
JK Samuels, Nina Vangerow
Luke Waterstone and Jean Gill,
Gary Raymond, Jeff Towns, Eddie Butler, Peter Lord
Terry Breverton, Colin R. Parssons, John Nichols, John Thompson, Barbara Scott, Cheryl Reese-Price, Gail Williams, Nigel Williams,

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Mystery Mondays Review: “The Girl Behind The Veil (The Invisible Veil Series Book 1)” by Jalpa Williby

“The girl behind the veil” is an excellent romantic suspense thriller that touches on serious issues.Girl Behind The Veil (The Invisible Veil Series Book 1) by [Williby, Jalpa]
The first part is pure tense thriller when our hero is sent in to free a rich man’s daughter from human traffickers in Pakistan. The chemistry between them starts to spread into the action part of the novel and now the socio-cultural differences between the two become more central to the plot.
Williby has created two great characters, each of whom narrate their side of the story, allowing us deeper insights into their thoughts and feelings.
Written with a gripping pace this also delivers two fleshed out characters whose chemistry is believable and whose issues we are allowed to understand deeper.

Biography

Never the one to back away from a challenge, Jalpa Williby pushed herself to excel. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois, Williby went on to earn Masters in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University. Her passion for helping her patients led her to a specialty in neuroscience, focusing on children and adults with neurological impairments.
Jalpa WillibyThroughout her life, Williby’s love for books has never faded. She creates an unforgettable world with unique characters in her stories. Williby uses her writing to not only provide an “escape” for her readers, but hopefully, inspire them as well. Soon after publishing her first set of books, she has quickly become a bestselling and multi-award winning author with two gold medals and one bronze medal from Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. Her more recent book, My Perfect Imperfections, has received rave reviews, including from Kirkus Reviews. Williby can be found either writing, reading, enjoying nature, or simply being silly with her family.

Historical Saturday: A post from the archives about “The Luck of the Weissensteiners”

This is a post from this blog from April 2013 about the warm reception my first novel received

https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/acclaim-for-the-luck-of-the-weissensteiners/fullbook3

The Luck of the Weissensteiners

A historical novel and a tale of human survival in a dark chapter of European History: 27 ratings on Goodreads, 22 x 5 stars and 4.63 on average and in the Top 3 in several Listopia charts

Review excerpts:

The tale is set in 1930’s Europe, and shows us the lives, loves, fear, passions, and prejudices that effected and informed the lives of peoples who were impacted so greatly by Nazi Germany. Jew and Catholic alike, even Lutheran, no one was immune to the social implications of policies gaining traction at that time.
The themes the author chose to addressed, from classism and anti-Semitism to religious bias, mental illness, and sexual orientation, were all well presented in plot, and nothing felt forced or even slightly out of place. I was, and still am amazed at the quality of craftsmanship shown in the storytelling.
I expected a work of fiction. This was a work of art. This was not reading a book. This was experiencing literature… It makes excellent and proper use of language… sit back and let the story educate and enlighten your mind as well as entertain…as it were a classic work, only discovered and released in the modern age.
Dennis Sharpe rated it 5 of 5 stars
*****
…Ethnic disrespect, hate, and violence have gone on for centuries in central and eastern Europe. Until reading this book, though, I did not understand how finely differentiated these forces were. Indirectly, the book also helped me to better understand how the dark side of nationality has wiped out countless human beings during various periods ….
The author depicts how nearly impossible it is for the characters of this saga to avoid the propaganda machines around them, the pressures to conform, often in a chameleon fashion due to sudden changes in governance, and most unfortunately, the programming in ethnic bias from the time they were children.
Despite the serious subjects, there is much warmth in this story. Some of the characters do find ways to stay true to the best in their natures or even redeem themselves, just as real individuals did then, and have always done on the plains of human existence.
… well drawn characters … diversity of personalities and the theme of journeys. From ethnic origin to talents and occupations, physical descriptions to sexual preferences, and economic status to political leanings, we see a cross section of humanity…we can appreciate the full range of real outcomes and experiences, happy to sad or shocking, that occurred to real individuals during this era. By the way, the title of the book was an outstanding choice.
… Christoph Fischer deftly weaves his tapestry of history and fiction, with a grace … For me, the author’s choice of narrative style brought economy to the complex story being told, as well as a kind of mesmerizing rhythm.
Bernice Rocque’s review Mar 01, 13
*****
M.C.V. Egan rated it 5 of 5 stars
This is a story where the reader gets to know the characters and walk with them through the horrors of WWII. … balanced in showing that everyone suffered in a war, that in some cases it brought out the best and the worst in humanity. So it does not limit the story to The Holocaust, but rather brilliantly paints a picture of many aspects and in particular Czechoslovakia.
With brilliant stolen moments of joy and human kindness, agonizing moments of human suffering and enough survivors to insure that the tale felt very plausible and believable.
Mr. Fischer entertains and informs in a manner that makes the past painful and easy to remember. I recommend this as a historically accurate, emotionally poignant a moving MOST worthwhile read.
*****
Christoph Fischer is already blossoming into a great writer in this stunning novel about the Holocaust. Complex, multi-layered and painstakingly researched, The Luck of the Weissensteiners promises to be a trilogy on a grand scale. And this is no ordinary Holocaust tragedy: it is a much more subtle and far-ranging canvas than that. For Fischer is not dealing with the obvious victims of those troubled times, rather with families and individuals who were more on the periphery and therefore affected in unforeseeable ways. He makes the characters and the frightening and bewildering situations they face come vividly alive. You will find it hard to put down as you follow your favourite characters through one testing situation after another. I thoroughly recommend you read it.
By Constant Reader –
*****
Prepare yourself to embark on a journey filled with love, hope, hate, betrayal, intolerance, survival and abuse. Raw reality, an inside of how life was in WW2.
Like it always is in real life there is death, sorrow and loss so keep your tissues close. This is a true work of art, and I cannot congratulate Mr. Fischer more on creating this amazing work. Really looking forward on reading the rest of the series.
Jan 16, 2013Maja Majdak rated it 5 of 5 stars

Best sales figure: 2nd in Jewish Literature on Amzon.co.uk

Amazon UK review page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B00AFQC4QC/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

currently 19 reviews
15 x 5 stars
4 x 4 stars

****

Goodreads review page

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16177343-the-luck-of-the-weissensteiners

currently 27 ratings, 22 x 5 stars, 4.63 average

****
Amazon.com (US)

http://www.amazon.com/Weissensteiners-Three-Nations-Trilogy-ebook/product-reviews/B00AFQC4QC/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

currently 16 reviews:
14 x 5 stars,
2 x 4 stars

Website:
http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/
http://www.facebook.com/TheLuckOfTheWeissensteiners?ref=hl

****

Listopia Listings:

3rd in Jews in Literature (316 books, 128 voters)
2nd in Best Holocaust Literature (23 books, 41 voters)
1st in History through Novels: 1900s/2000s Eastern Europe (45 books, 36 voters)
1st in Fiction based on the Author’s Ancestors (46 books — 48 voters)

Wow, this book comes with serious credentials. It’s just shrieking out to be bought and read and it’s a privilege to feature it as a Gust Blog on our pages.

Literary fiction is in crisis. A new chapter of funding authors must begin…

A fascinating and scary article for writers and readers alike:
Literary fiction in crisis as sales drop dramatically, Arts Council England reports
New figures show that fewer UK writers earn enough to live on, as ACE blames falling sales of literary fiction on the recession and the rise of smartphones
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/dec/15/literary-fiction-in-crisis-as-sale-drop-dramatically-arts-council-england-reports?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=256642&subid=23786111&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Claire Armitstead  on The Guardian

Finally it’s official: literary fiction is in crisis, and writers across the land are burning the midnight oil in their garrets, teaching or slogging away in unrelated jobs to keep the fire ablaze in the grate. This Dickensian picture was revealed by Arts Council England today in a report that suggests it may have to shift its funding priorities in order to save a population whose economic and cultural solvency has been chipped away over the years.

So why has it come to this, and how much does it really matter? The first thing to be clear about is that people are not necessarily reading less – print sales of books across fiction, nonfiction and children’s titles rose almost 9% in the UK last year, while on Tuesday market analysts Nielsen BookScan will reveal that sales over the all-important Christmas period have risen 20%…

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BREATH by Victoria Dougherty

Today I’m sharing a post about my close friend and talented writer Victoria Dougherty’s Kickstarter campaign: BREATH by Victoria Dougherty

Are you looking for a story that’ll make you feel the lush beauty and thrill of true love, while taking you on a pulse-pounding journey through history?

BREATH is what you’ve been waiting to read. And to experience. Because you can be a part of bringing this story into existence.

Imagine if you’d been there when Suzanne Collins was writing The Hunger Games or Stephanie Meyer was writing Twilight. When George RR Martin was penning Game of Thrones. You might have lived the story through advance copies and maybe a conversation or two. When you join me on BREATH, you can receive advance copies, artwork, photographs, and short, BREATH-inspired love stories that only a handful of readers will ever lay eyes on. You will receive regular updates from me about how BREATH is coming to life.

Nif and Sherin are Ninti. They share a deep and powerful devotion that puts them both in mortal danger, while propelling them towards an extraordinary fate that ensures they will live infinite human lives…and suffer an equal number of deaths. Together they must solve a mystery that spans the ages, or risk losing one another forever.

BREATH is a story of lovers, killers, curses and destinies. It’s about the people who lived history, but it’s also a tale of those who unearthed history in order to preserve and understand its legacy.

You get to travel with Nif and Sherin during their adventures, but you’ll also be present alongside the past and future archeologists who are driven to solve the puzzle of their existence.

To make BREATH an amazing, immersive, world-building experience, the novel will need original art work, award-winning editorial direction and design, plus vintage photography from some of the greatest archeological expeditions the world has ever known.

And you can help make that happen, and get some fantastic rewards, too. Not only swag like printed copies of the book before it’s available to the general public, but BREATH posters, a limited edition book of BREATH artwork and photography, and even personal story consulting worth hundreds of dollars.

Just click on the link to my Kickstarter campaign, watch a video or two, and read about the incredible potential to make BREATH unlike any other epic historical romance you’ve ever read or even imagined.

If BREATH moves you, contribute to my campaign.

Readers want and deserve a story experience that is as visually stunning as it is soul-stirring. A poetry of words and pictures that doesn’t merely introduce them to a story, but draws them into a whole world of passion, adventure and intrigue with characters who come to feel like family.

With your support, BREATH will become a story you can’t do without. One of the three things you’ll grab and save if you ever have to run out of your burning house in nothing but your underwear.

Victoria Dougherty bio:

Victoria Dougherty is the author of THE BONE CHURCH, THE HUNGARIAN, WELCOME TO THE HOTEL YALTA and COLD.

A writer and consultant with Dougherty Dialectic since 2001, she has ghost-written articles, speeches and testimony for Fortune 500 executives, and taught multiple seminars on writing. Her journalism and essays have been published in the Chicago Tribune, the Prague Post, and the Sunday edition of the New York Times. Victoria has also written, translated, and produced television news segments and video scripts.

Earlier in her career, while living in Prague, she co-founded Black Box Theater, translating, producing, and acting in to sold-out audiences in several Czech plays – from Vaclav Havel’s “Protest” to the unintentionally hilarious communist propaganda play “Karhan’s Men.” Black Box Theater was profiled in feature articles in USA Today and numerous European publications.

 

Her blog – COLD* (www.victoriadougherty.wordpress.com) – features her short essays on faith, family, love, and writing. WordPress, the blogging platform that hosts over 70 million blogs worldwide, has singled out COLD as one of their top Recommended Blogs by writers or about writing.

Welsh Wednesdays: News on the Second Llandeilo Lit Fest April 27 – 29th 2018

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Well, for a start we’ll actually kick off on the Thursday (details to be announced).

We’ll hold many sessions in Welsh – some of them with simultaneous translation facilities for non-Welsh speakers or learners.
We’ll have writing -, illustrations – and poetry workshops, a huge poetry afternoon, sessions for children of all ages, guided walks through Llandeilo, a book fair and a book hunt.

Confirmed sessions include:

  • Poet Laureat: Ifor ap Glyn 
  • Peter Lord talks about “The Tradition – A New History of the Welsh Art 1400 – 1990” 
    Winner of Wales Book of the Year Creative Non-Fiction category –Literature Wales

 

  • Fflur Dafydd and Sion Tomos Owen on scriptwriting and writers working for TV
  • Gary Raymond will launch his latest book with Parthian, a thriller set in Cyprus, and and talk about the novelists who inspired it – Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, Raymond Chandler and others 
  • Wales as location in Fiction: with local authors Cheryl Reese-Price, Nigel Williams and Colin R Parsons 

 

  • Pembrokeshire author Judith Barrow talks about Suffragettes in her new and critically acclaimed novel “A Thousand Tiny Threads” 

 

  • Simon Brooks and Adam Price discussing:
    “Why Wales Never Was”
  • Tim Hartley on “Kicking off in North Korea”
    This is a book for anyone who has an interest not just in football and travel, but in people. In it we find contemporary history and reportage. Football fans will recognise the wider context of the beautiful game and seasoned travellers will smirk as they recognise themselves in awkward, alien situations.

  • Terry Breverton with a session on Welsh Pirates and Privateers:

    After writing no less than eight books upon pirates, Breverton has returned to the subject with three new books devoted to the Welsh. Black Bart Roberts from Pembrokeshire was by far the most successful pirate in the Caribbean and Atlantic waters, and Admiral Henry Morgan was the greatest privateer of all time, leading six successful expeditions against the most powerful country in the world.
    He also launches: The Journal of Llewelyn Penrose. In 1770 Williams wrote the first American novel and taught Benjamin West, later President of the Royal Academy, to paint
    and CONFESSIONS OF THE SMUGGLER WILLIAM OWEN

  • Jon Gower will be talking about his latest book about artist Jon Selway
    A former BBC Wales’ Arts and Media correspondent, Jon has been making documentary programmes for television and radio for over 30 years. He has several books to his name, in both Welsh and English.

  • Luke Waterson and Jean Gill on Welsh and French medieval musicians and troubadours in their historical fiction

  • Nicholas McGaughey: “The Boy From Elsewhere” an afternoon of poetry and reminiscence by Nicholas McGaughey. 

    In the reading Nicholas will read his poetry about his life growing up in Cwm-rhyd-ceirw, Swansea and living in the Valleys and some of the extraordinary people that he knows there. There are also tales to be told about his life on the road as an actor with the RSC and The Royal National Theatre, where he played 1st Voice in an all singing,all flying production of Under Milk Wood…where he fell down a trap door mid performance..Then hear about “Gladiator” and how he killed Ollie Reed…..Who was already dead…..” His ten years as a soap star playing the dim but likeable Brandon Monk in Pobol y Cwm….

    Most of Nick’s poems are little stories that he has picked up along the way, little bits of jfluff that he weaves into a slightly holey pullover…always humorous…not always intentionally so.

    Nick’s poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies including Poetry Salzburg Review/Popshot Magazine/A New Ulster/Envoi/Poetry News/Dream Catcher/“Dusk” Anthology/The Welsh Poetry Competition Anthology and The Poetry Shed.

Interview with author Billy O’Callaghan

The praise for this author from this very reputable source compells me to check out his work and pass on the recommendation / interview.

Writing Notes

When one writer encounters another that blindsides them with staggering awe, the inclination is to rush out and spread the joy with those who love the written word. I feel this way about Billy O’Callaghan. I’ve been an avid fan of his work since discovering him last year, and recently had the pleasure of interviewing him for the online Irish community, The Wild Geese.Irish.  It is my great joy to share the interview here.

First, a little background on Billy O’Callaghan:

Billy O’Callaghan was born in Cork in 1974, and is the author of three short story collections: In Exile, In Too Deep, and The Things We Loose, The Things we Leave Behind, which was honored with a Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Award. Almost a hundred of his stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines around the world, including Absinthe, The Kenyon Review, and the Los Angeles Review…

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Mystery Mondays: Review for “The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac: Key to the truth”

I’m delighted to share the latest and absolutely fantastic review for my #mystery #thriller “The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac”. Thanks so much DG Kaye for this.

5.0 out of 5 stars  A Great Whodunit

on January 5, 2018

This is the third book in the Fraud or Miracle trilogy, and I enjoyed this one just as much as Book 1 and 2. In this book, we are taken to Cayman Brac where Arpan has moved his new retreat – a spiritual healing training center where his new peaceful hideaway becomes the center for chaos, deceit and a thrilling ride of who is authentic and what are the character’s motives for showing up to the retreat in this mystical thriller. Greed is the motive for all these characters wanting to destroy Arpan and steal his business.

Erica returns to find out from Arpan if he is truly a healer or merely a con man pretending to heal her of a disease she’s not sure she really had. While taking part in the classes, she spends secret time investigating the truth behind Arpan and his dealings with the two mysterious women Julia from the pharmaceutical company who forbid Arpan to practice healing after her company bought the rights for the so called ‘elexir’ which Arpan had given up and Hilda, Erica’s ex assistant who was part of the scheme with Julia to make Erica believe she had terminal cancer but was miraculously healed. We also find Ben the accountant from the Gamblers, who shows up wanting to put his spiritual side to good use by joining the retreat, but are his intentions honest or is he part of the deceitful clan who power this story?

Fischer has a great talent for keeping his readers hooked til the very end of his books. His characters are memorable and well fleshed out. This book will keep you wondering all the way who is good and who is evil. A superb ending I never anticipated. A great whodunit for mystery lovers.

You can get the book at Amazon http://amzn.to/2yIb8Zf

Review: “The Girl he left behind” by Lesley Hayes

The Girl He Left Behind by [Hayes, Lesley]I’ve been a fan of Lesley’s writing for some time and gave her an award for outstanding Literary Fiction in 2015 

I was not prepared for this story. What started out as a complicated family situation between former lovers where children and new partners come into play turned into something much more profound. Alex used to go out with Kat, Alex’s daughter Petra being a link after the relationship ended. While issues such as co-dependency and healthy attachment to others play definitely key roles, it is identity in its many forms that dominate the subject of this book.
I stopped reading after a while to check out the author’s biography and was not surprised to find a background in psychology. The character analysis, the insight into their thought processes and actions, the complexity of situations and of that what we are aware and unaware of – it all makes for some incredibly rewarding reading.
The topical and character based writing is literary fiction at its best: thought-provoking and deep but also with a lot of tension and suspense, some surprises and a keen thirst in the reader to find out how all of this will find its denouement. Really brilliant.

Blurb: Charismatic and deeply troubled Alex experiences a mid-life metamorphosis with a shattering shrapnel effect. Kat’s world was changed forever by their first meeting, and twenty years later she is still making sense of the changes their relationship has brought about. What lies at the core of Alex, the person she remains attached to despite everything?
Today our self-concept has become paramount. But to what extent do we control the events that shape us, and is transformation always what we imagine? Can any of us say with certainty that we understand the person we love, or ourselves?
An exploration of the consequences of choice, the challenges and shifting face of love, and the quest to inhabit a fluid yet credible identity, The Girl He Left Behind poses important questions for our times.

About the Author

Lesley Hayes lives in the university city of Oxford, UK, where she derives much of the inspiration for her books. As well as writing fiction she has practiced for over 20 years as an integrative psychotherapist, and the complex contradictions of our humanity is a prevailing theme in her books. ‘The Girl He Left Behind’ is her sixth novel to be published on Amazon. She has written another five: ‘The Drowned Phoenician Sailor’, ‘A Field Beyond Time’, ‘Round Robin’, ‘Dangerous People’, and ‘The Other Twin’. These are all available on Amazon, published on kindle and in paperback, along with collections of her short stories, many of which were previously broadcast on BBC Radio Oxford: ‘Oxford Marmalade’, ‘The Oscar Dossier’, ‘Without a Safety Net’, ‘Not Like Other People’, and ‘Through a Glass Darkly.’ You can discover more about her and her life, and the muse that drives her writing by visiting her website: http://www.leseyhayes.co.uk and reading her blog: http://www.blog.lesleyhayes.co.uk

Historical Saturday Review: “Trouble in Glamour Town” by SR Mallery

Trouble In Glamour Town by [Mallery, S. R.]I’ve been following SR Mallery’s writing from the start and am a big fan. Here is the blurb for her latest master piece, followed by my review. Enjoy!

Hollywood, 1926. Where actors’ and actresses’ dreams can come true. But do they? While silent screen movie stars reign supreme, a film producer is gunned down in cold blood. Enter Rosie, a pretty bit-player, Eddie, her current beau, and Beatrice, her bitter stage-mother. As real celebrities of the time, such as Clara Bow, Lon Chaney, Gloria Swanson, and Rudolph Valentino float in and out, a chase to find the killer exposes the true underbelly of Los Angeles––with all its corruption.

I’ve been saving this book for the festive season as I knew I would enjoy this murder mystery set in prohibition Hollywood. An aspiring actress is at the centre of a murder investigation: her ex-boyfriend is murdered on a film set and her new boyfriend is the main suspect.
Fast paced, original, inspired and filled with cameos by actual Hollywood stars, corruption and one good cop (who’s quite a character) amongst the many bad guys – this has every ingredient for a wildly entertaining read.
Told in beautiful prose with skilled and detailed scene setting and with apt historical background details this should please mystery readers as well as fans of the era. A well accomplished novel.

Biography

S. R. Mallery

S.R. Mallery, Gold Medalist winner of the 2016 READER’S FAVORITE Book Awards for Anthologies, has been labeled nothing short of ‘eclectic’. She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher. As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day, or listen to music, Sarah’s imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.

What readers are saying about S. R. Mallery’s books:

“A master storyteller has been at work, and this marvelous piece of writing is the result.” ~ Thomas Baker Thomas on Unexpected Gifts.

“Honestly, I haven’t read a book this unique in quite some time.” ~ John H. Byk on Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads

“Mallery is an extremely talented writer. Her style lures the reader; you actually become a part of her tapestry of expression.” ~ Melinda Hines on Tales to Count On.

The Dolan Girls “was so enjoyable. At times rollicking, at times poignant, but always authentic, well researched and a beautifully told story. Highest recommendation. Five stars.” – B. Nelson

Sarah loves to hear from fans and readers.
Find Sarah on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1abYVyP
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahMallery1
Visit her on http://srmallery.wordpress.com/home/
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