Category Archives: Children’s Stories

Introducing Jenzy Montague and learn about her children’s books.

Interview With An Author – Jenzy Montague


Jennifer Noahs Book


Tell us about where are you from?

Everywhere, LOL I was born in Missouri. I call Colorado my spiritual home. I loved it there and would move back in an instant. I’ve lived in California, Montclair, New Jersey, and now Virginia. I love mountains and college towns. Virginia gives me both. Even though I live an hour from Charlottesville, Virginia, I consider that home too. I’m a history nut so much history to glean from this area!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Tag team with my daughter and hubby in homeschooling my three precious grandbabies! If not a nose in a textbook, I’m sewing and working with my crafts. I love to get outside and dig in the soil with my gardening. My youngest grandchild loves mother earthing with me.

When did you start writing stories?

I wrote stories when I was a child. I got serious as an adult but put it on hold so I could enjoy my biggest achievement, mothering my daughter. I would always jot down notes about stories that were in my head for years. I was a single mom. I had to be the breadwinner. I worked in a corporate world until I met my hubby.

Since the pandemic, I found myself having time to re-visit my thoughts of getting serious in my writing. It was my daughter Nikki that kept me on track making it happen.

It also was the pandemic that made me realize I needed to write a children’s story about Covid-19 from a child’s point of view. Watching the concerned looks on my grandbabies’ faces, I just had to do something. Noah just popped in my head. Even his name conveys our surviving the pandemic. It is the new norm. Perhaps even a new beginning. With all the stories that were already in my head, it took a pandemic to shake me loose.

What or who inspired you to write stories?

Children. Even when I was one myself, I was compassionate about little people’s feelings, their thought patterns. I wanted to be heard and it would come out on paper.

What is your favourite genre to write and why?

Children’s literature at present. However, I have some notes that I plan to dabble in someday.

What is your favourite genre to read?

If I do not have my nose in a children’s book reading to my littles, I am reading the school curriculum for lesson planning. However, during my downtime, I love historical, paranormal, and fantasy stories.

Who is your favorite Author and why?

Nicole Strycharz. She is a multi-genre writer and I just get lost in her books!

There are other amazing authors I love too. There is Daisy St. James and Lisa K Miller. They both write paranormal romance. Reading these talented women’s works is like a vacation away from the real world for me!

What was the first story you ever wrote?

LOL As a child there was Humpless, the Humpless Camel. I dare say I was very little. In reality, it was Cynthia’s Thankful Halloween.

What happened to it? Did you save it or trash it, and why?

My amazing illustrator, Mara Reitsma, has joined forces with me to publish Cynthia’s Thankful Halloween. Mara turns my world of characters into the exact picture I have in my head. It is like we are of one mind.

My little character Cynthia has been a part of me for years. All I did was tell Mara, and she got me. Then there is you, Claire. You have the talent to frame it to perfection. I am happy to say Cynthia will be a reality hopefully in time for 2021 Halloween. As for Humpless, well, he is still in the file. LOL.

Are there any sub-genres that you would consider pairing together?

Not sure just yet. Possibilities way back in my mind at this time.

Do you have more fun writing the scenes, or creating the characters?

Creating the characters because for me they create the scenes.

You’re an Indie Author, so tell us, why go Indie? Why choose to self publish?

Why not? There is a world of amazingly talented authors out there but cannot reach the goal or luxury of being published. Hats off to the authors who have been traditionally published. After all, they are and have been our inspiration. I choose to support my pen and paper with the Indie world because the drive is for our work to get out there and be read. Without both traditional published and self-published, we would not have such a world of choices to choose from. Makes the reading world so rich!

Tell us how you work. From pen and paper, to your fingers dancing across the keys, do you find yourself cozy and warm with a cup of tea and a blazing fire? Or do you hide in your dungeon, slaving away on your latest masterpiece; the words of wisdom flowing from your fingers as the story is born? Tell us how you write?

LOL, I am usually working side by side with my daughter, Nicole. Our desks are next to each other, with a bookshelf in the middle. Both computers are ticking away with yes, a cup of tea or, most likely, coffee in the early morning. If it is further on in the day, most likely there are children running back and forth screaming at each other or calling Mom, Grandma…Not sure to this day how we do it, but we do. Chaos keeps you on your toes or, for us, our minds working our fingers on the keyboard.

Social Media Links

Noah’s Book Link:


FB Page:



Author Bio 

Jenzy, a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, has lived in many parts of the United States throughout her life but settled in Virginia with her family.

She homeschooled her daughter and aided many moms with their journey in homeschooling. She assisted with and tutored children of special needs in phonics, reading, and math.

Now, grandma to three precocious grandbabies. She joins her daughter in homeschooling them.

Jenzy’s been telling stories from childhood to grandmotherhood.

She prefers being in a cubby with pen and paper, capturing the thoughts of children. She shares that hearth of imagination with her daughter, who is also a writer. The only other place to be, she says, is enjoying her brood of three in their little classroom where she teaches!


I Am a Superhero A Kid’s Thoughts on Covid-19:
Available Now

Now, Mommy is my schoolteacher and school is at home. We have to stay home ‘cause there’s a sickness that hurts people. I keep forgetting the name of the sickness, so Mommy has to remind me it’s called Covid-19. I don’t like that name, so I just forget it! We have so many rules now.

We have to social distance from people. We have to stay six feet apart. That’s like as long as my dad lying down on the floor. The sickness can jump that far! Everyone wears masks. I don’t like not seeing faces, only eyes. Are they smiling or are they sad? I sing happy birthday every time I wash my hands, and it takes forever!


Cynthia’s Thankful Halloween:
Releasing Soon

A windy start for October, just perfect for Halloween, thought Cynthia. She was the new member of the haunted house on the hill, at the edge of town. Even in the ghost world, a little ghost needs a family, and this house came with one. It wasn’t easy being a ten-year-old little ghost who just moved in and getting a new family too.

Just a few weeks ‘till Halloween. She must practice being scary. The moon would be full this year on Halloween, and her name meant moon. She had to be the best fright ever!

KDP Hardbacks – Easy or Difficult?

After hearing that KDP had Hardbacks in BETA, I thought I’d take a look at the setup and see how things worked, what was different. 

The first page where you type in your information is the same as for the ebook and paperback, so if you’ve already done them, then page one will automatically be filled in for you. Still, it is best to check for errors or changes you may need. Save as a draft and go to page two. This is where the changes start.

You will need to have a different ISBN number for your hardback book. You can either use the KDP Free ISBN, which can only be used on Amazon, or you can buy your own. Next, you scroll down, picking your book size, page colour, ink colour etc until you get to where you upload your interior. Is it the same as for paperback?


Though the pages are exactly the same sizes, the margins on the most popular size (6 x 9 or 15.24 x 22.86) are bigger, probably due to the extra width needed in the spine for a hardback. You will also need a manuscript of 75 pages or more to make a HARDBACK BOOK, which, of course, doesn’t bode well for young children’s picture books. 

Once you’ve uploaded the correct manuscript, you get to do your HARDBACK COVER and yes, this is different. Unless you know the ins and outs of hardback books, you will need the TEMPLATE or you can use the KDP COVER CREATOR. Personally, we will use the templates until we’ve learnt how to size the covers correctly. Like many of those who may read this, we are learning to.

Click on the DOWNLOAD A TEMPLATE link just above the box where you upload the cover and it will open this page shown below.

In the Image it asks you for your book details. For those who are sight impaired or blind, the list consists of:-
BINDING, INTERIOR TYPE, PAPER TYPE, PAGE-TURN DIRECTION, MEASUREMENT UNITS, INTERIOR TRIM SIZE and PAGE COUNT. Once this is filled in, as shown below, you can Calculate Dimensions. 

This opens a new page! As shown below. 

This image gives you all the information you need and what everything means. Don’t worry about what this image shows too much because now that the dimensions have been calculated, you can DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE to your computer and open the ZIP file. Inside, you will find three files. A PDF and PNG version of the TEMPLATE with instructions on what is what in the image. The THIRD file shows you HOW TO USE YOUR TEMPLATE. The instructions are shown below.


1. Open the PDF or PNG file for the Paperback Book Cover Template in your image editing software.
2. Create a new layer in your image editing software. This layer will serve as the design layer.
3. Design your cover in the design layer, using the template PDF or PNG file as the guide layer. The artwork should extend to the outside edge of the template’s pink zone to ensure a white border will not exist within the printed work. Do not move the guide layer, as it is properly aligned for our printing specifications.
4. Ensure text and/or images that are intended to be read do not appear in the pink zones of the template.
5. The barcode area is indicated in yellow on the template. Do not place important images or text intended to be read in the barcode location. We suggest filling in this area with your background color or design. KDP will automatically generate a barcode representing your title’s ISBN when printing copies of your book.
6. Once your design is complete, you will need to turn off the guide layer so that it is not printed on your final product or rejected during the review process. If you are unable to turn off the guide layer, then you will need to format the artwork so that it completely covers the guide layer.
7. Flatten all layers, save the file as a press quality PDF with CMYK color profile, and upload the file via KDP.

Message from my Illustrator

My advice is that when you are creating ANY image for any template, always use the template as a guide, I will make an image for you to use, that includes your cover, and the faded template. You need to keep everything inside the red walls 🙂 and remember to set your DPI @ 300+ when working with printed covers as opposed to digital (e-book) covers. The below image shows you the cover and template and how everything sits.

On the last page for KDP the pricing is done the same way as will paperbacks and ebooks. Choose a price and approve to publish. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to buy some Author Copies to check over. Sadly, with living in New Zealand during Covid, it isn’t possible for me to do so.



Open for Submissions – Ghostly Youth Anthology

Plaisted Publishing House has opened its doors for our first Anthology of the year.  Ghostly Youth is for anyone who writes ghost stories for ages 10 and up. Any genre suitable for children is acceptable as long as the story has a ghostly element.

Calling all Ghostly Rites Authors!

Submissions for Ghostly Youth—Vol 1 open 1st March 2020.

This is a new publication aimed for the young, and young at heart, aged from 10 to adult.  Please remember your submission may be rejected if your content is not suitable (PG-13 as a guide).

Submissions close for editing: 1st May 2020,   Publication: June 2020

Submission Requirements—Please Note:

¨ Submissions will be a non-refundable USD $10 up to 8,000 words.  Please reserve your space in this Anthology by sending via PayPal Friends & Family to with the reference “Ghostly Youth—*Author Name*”.  Please note editing on your manuscript will not start until payment is received. You may submit multiple manuscripts, at USD $10 each.

¨ Please send your manuscript to  Your document must include a cover page containing only the Title and your Author name for admin purposes.

¨ Documents should be set in Times New Roman at 14pt Black.  Please ensure your document does not contain any TAB or SPACEBAR indents.  If you are not sure what this means, please let Claire know and she will make a post about it and can send you a template guide to help you.

¨ After submission, your manuscript will be proof-read for content, grammar, spelling and general suitability.  Should a rewrite or changes be required, you will be advised prior to a final proof being sent to you. Once you have signed off on the final proof, no further changes can be made.

¨ All purchases of anthologies will be at authors cost, and links will be published once they are uploaded and ready.  We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!

Calling all Beta-Readers, Proof-Readers & Graphic Designers!
If you can volunteer to be a test-reader, proof-reader or a designer of teasers for our trailers, please contact Claire Plaisted at to offer your services.

Ghostly Rites – Submission Schedule

Ghostly Rites Anthology Schedule.

We are calling for submissions from writers worldwide.  This year we are producing three Anthologies.

Ghostly Romance, Ghostly Rites and one for children aged 10 to adult Ghostly Rites Youth.  The Children’s story must be scary but not over the top…Every child loves Goosebump Stories so let’s see what you all have to share.

These Anthologies are for Marketing you and your fellow authors. The eBooks will be FREE and the Paperbacks close to cost, depending on the distribution site.

Calling All Ghostly Rites Authors

Here is your schedule of submissions for 2020. Details of how to submit coming soon.

Each submission will cost USD $10 per 7,000 words.
Your manuscript MUST contain your author name and story title on the first page.

Ghostly Youth – Volume 1
This is a new publication aimed for the young and young at heart, aged from 1 to adult.
Please remember content must be suitable for children
Submissions due: 1st May 2020     Publication: Mid-June 2020

Ghostly Romance – Volume 2
Following on for our august 2019 edition, Ghostly Romance Anthology containing ghostly tales that will tug on the heartstrings and make you check under the bed…
Submissions due: 1st July 2020     Publication: Mid-August 2020

Ghostly Rites 2020
Our flagship publication, to make the hair on your neck stand on end and make your skin crawl.
The scarier the better!
Submissions due: 1st September 2020     Publication: October 31 2020

More to come very soon

Franky the Finicky Flamingo

Franky the Finicky Flamingo is the first full colour children’s book  which was published with the assistance of Plaisted Publishing House. Wanda Luthman – the Author has been amazing to work with and we all appreciate her support.

If you have children – especially those who are picky eaters then you MUST get this book and meet Franky the Finicky Flamingo.

Frank is an adorable flamingo who seems to have lost his way with food, becoming fussy about what he eats.  He goes on a journey to find out what he is missing.

Award Winning Author, Wanda Luthman wrote this short story, while Mara Reitsma produced the illustrations. They have both done a fantastic job of this story book with great words and vivid colours. You can get your copy HERE

Below are some of the amazing reviews the book has received since it was published.

Jean Martin

December 4, 2017

Oh, this is beyond cute!! I love the amazing illustrations.!! What a treat this will be to read to children or grandchildren. The wording is in rhyme which is very rhythmic. This is what kids need to begin to read. It’s not so much about the words, (although those are important too!!), but more about the rhythm incorporated into the book. Kids learn easier if a simple rhyme is read rather than just words and “Franky The Finicky Flamingo” has just the right style and rhythm of wording.
That, and the beautiful, bright and simple illustrations make this a children’s book that little ones will want to have read to them over and over, ‘til they too can “read” it for themselves.
Ms. Luthman has shown an outstanding understanding of what makes young children tick. I believe this has all the makings of a classic children’s book on a par with “The Pokey Little Puppy.”
I highly recommend this book to anyone with little ones!!!
Angela Hayes

December 3, 2017

Franky the Finicky Flamingo is a charming illustrated children’s story. I got this book to read to my Grandson, as he really loves Storytime. He was really drawn to the colourful, attention grabbing illustrations that accompany this fabulous story. We were both entertained by the cute, clever, and somewhat educational story. We have read it about a dozen times now, and he insists we read it every time he comes to visit. I will definitely be purchasing more of Ms. Luthman’s books for our Storytime.

Thank you, Ms. Luthman!

Bobbi Jo Wagner

December 5, 2017

Franky The Finicky Flamingo by Wanda Luthman is a fun, colorful children’s story. This is a story about a flamingo who is learning what he can eat and not eat. What happens when his color begins to fade? Will he learn to eat the right food for him? This book has such colorful pictures that it made the children want to turn the page. They laughed and felt bad for the flamingo when he got hungry and his color was fading. The story was easy to follow for them and it has become one of their favorites to read everyday. I highly recommend reading this book to your children, I know they will enjoy it as much as ours did.
Heather Bass
December 7, 2017
This book is a charming children’s story. My son and I read it together and he absolutely loved it. He was laughing at some of the pages. My son’s favorite part about this book was the pictures. He said they looked like paintings. I love the colors of the pictures. The colors are very vibrant and they draw you in the story. This book was very cute, clever, and it also has some education thrown into it as well. My son is a picky eater and he was like wow he tried other things maybe I can too. He now wants to read this story again tomorrow. My son and I will be reading more books from this talented author.


Indie Publishing News Issue 20 Jan 2018

This LINK shows all Previous Magazines.  Most PDF’s are on the Newsletter Page –

There are no Images in this… If you wish to see book covers etc please click on the link above and read your relevant magazine


From the Editors Desk

Flash Fiction – Undercover by Jane Risdon

Flash Fiction – The Letter by Jane Risdon

Spotlight Graphic Designer Claudia Plaisted Indie Author Reviews

Flash Fiction – The Basement by Lily Luchesi

Colour me IN by Mara Reitsma

Research can be FUN by Jane Risdon

Spotlight Testimonials for Ceejay Designs

Indie Author Interview – R M Gautier

DRAGGY by Kyrena Lynch

Poem by C A Keith

Enchantments Teaser

Free and 99c Books

Information about Ads Txt from Paul White

Flash Fiction – Home Fires by Grace Au

A Poem

Indie Author Interview – Aliya DalRae

Poetry Book

Book Trailer and Audio Books

Indie Author – Patricia M Osborne

Colour me IN by Mara Reitsma

Will ‘O’ Wisp – Chapter Twelve  by Bekka Abbott

Createspace & KDP by Claire Plaisted

Recently Released Books

Poetry Page

Top Tips for Blogging from Patty Fletcher

Sponsored Advertisements

Claire Plaisted and Plaisted Publishing House and all their contractors would like to wish you all a



From the Editor’s Desk






    Plaisted Publishing House Ltd

The Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales Anthology will be available in eBook format as of the 16th December.

The paperback will be available from

LULU at a cost of $5.01

Helping Indie Authors get their books published professionally


Undercover by Jane Risdon

For the last three years she had lived another life, had buried her real self, taking on the mantle of a hardened Madam, a trafficker of girls, the worst kind of criminal and, for the umpteenth time, she had fought nausea as she negotiated with the Eastern European.

Her control back at the command centre had shown concern the last time they’d met. He could see the physical and mental toll this assignment was having on her, but they were committed now; there was no going back. The team had spent too long infiltrating the organisation and she was their only hope. During the time she had been under cover she had alerted them to more shipmentsof girls than he cared to recall, and the risk had grown with her every betrayal. She knew it was only a matter of time before they rumbled her and her life wouldn’t be worth a fig if the team were unable to protect her and extradite her at exactly the right moment. The latest shipment had arrived at Heathrow only hours before and were already on their way to a secret location in London where there would be an auction of the girls, some as young as eight, and where the special unit of police would be waiting to raid them. Her message had been received and the team was ready for any troublewhich might ensue.

Marko eyed her from the bed as she gathered her clothes and prepared to shower and dress. He didn’t trust her any more, she seemed nervous and remote these days and his gut didn’t feel right; she didn’t feel right. For a long time he’d had suspicions, she seemed to be softening towards the girls under her control and he was debating whether to remove her from her role as Madam of the main whore house which she’d run so successfully. Too many things had been going wrong lately. Too many shipments had been discovered and although he had managed to remain more or less anonymous and untouchable, he knew his luck would run out unless he acted soon. Was it her? He hoped it wasn’t but he would soon know; the trap was set. If the latest consignmentof girls was discovered, and raided, he would know.

She lingered in the bathroom, fully dressed, senses heightened. Marko had been a bit distant and had appeared suspicious of her movements all week. He seemed to make a point of repeating the instructions for the latest intake of girls – where they would be, even giving her more detail than usual about on-line bidders. Something wasn’t right. She needed to contactcontrol. Marko’s kiss goodbye seemed final somehow.

As she pulled to door gently towards her, the phone rang. She hesitated, listening to the conversation, her ear against the door; terror gripped her as she heard his words. As she turned a strong pair of arms grabbed her, and she screamed.

© 2014 Jane Risdon

The Letter by (c) Jane Risdon 2013

Haunted by the neat sloping writing on the blue Basildon Bond paper which lay accusingly on her writing desk, the old woman sat locked inside her thoughts. She couldn’t bear to pick the letter up to read it again, but there was no need really. The contents were not unexpected after-all. She’d been waiting nearly forty years for something like this to happen. And now it had.

Every knock at the door, every strange hand’s address on an envelope had filled her with such fear the like of which she could never share. She had never told. The only reason she had an answering machine on her phone was so that she could screen her calls. Just in case. Now, there on the desk along with all her bills and other correspondence, the letter laid, the words terrorising her silently across the darkening room.

She didn’t ask herself how or why. She knew the answers and had known this moment would come eventually, either in the form of a visit, a phone call or a letter. Forty birthdays had come and gone and with each passing one she had agitated in case this time it would be the one; the day when she would have to face her past.

Long ago she had put away the photo, the little sepia image now faded with age and fingering. There was nothing she could have done even if she had wanted to, and she wasn’t even sure any longer if she had ever wanted to do anything. At first it was not a matter of choice but necessity, but there had come a time, many years later when she supposed she could have, possibly should have, tried.

Soon it would be over. Of course she could ignore the letter but that might force a visit, in person, without warning. She could pretend it had never arrived and feign ignorance if anyone queried its receipt. Her stricken mind tried to battle with her emotions. Part of her neededthis to happen, craved it and dreaded it, fought against it and longed for it.

Her tired faded eyes moved across the room to stare at the blue ghost beckoning her. A date and a time had been suggested and if she didn’t respond the writer would understand, after all it must be an awful shock after so many years, but hoped that she would consentto a meeting,withoutstrings of course.

Without strings, the old woman mused. There were always strings, and there would always be strings. She sighed heavily, tears brimming as she stood and made her way over to the letter. She picked it up, reached for the telephoneand dialled.

Spotlight Graphic Artist – Claudia Plaisted



Tell us a bit about yourself:

Well, I suppose I should start with the basics. I’m Claudia, born in New Zealand and currently living in the UK. I turn 24 this March and am a Hufflepuff to the core; I love Harry Potter…the fandom is a big part of my life. So far, I’ve spent half my life growing up in a big city in the southern end of the North Island before we moved to the Bay of Plenty in the middle of the North Island shortly after my youngest sister passed away. I’m the eldest of four, now three, siblings with a youngersister and brother.

In 2012 I cared for my terminally ill grandmother until her death which was very hard on me emotionally as I had little positive support from my relatives and the rest of my family was still in the Bay of Plenty while I was with my gran in our old hometown.

Shortly after that, the stress caught up with me and I became ill; dehydrated, depressed, anxious, and not eating well. It took a long time to recover and even now I still have bouts of depression and anxiety though with my stubbornness and desire to not let the mental illnesses control my life, along with the help of Bach’s Rescue Remedy, I’ve managed to gain more control and stability in my life. Last year in April, I graduated from my local college with a diploma in beauty therapy level 5 and am very proud of myself; currentlyI am job huntingand settling into life in the UK.

How did you get into graphic design?

I’ve never really been much of an artist but have always been rather clever with computers. Graphic design was something I’d been interested in since high school and I used to turn photos into cartoons using Microsoft Paint. It just kind of developed from there.

When did you start?

Officially, I started in 2014 with a paper in graphic design at my local college during the second semester to test whether I was going to be okay in large social situations and crowds after my tentative recovery from the death of my gran and the ensuingillness. Unofficially, when I was in high school, if not youngerbut I don’t really remember.

What inspires you?

Almost anything and everything inspires me, really. I could be out and about shopping or something and suddenly get hit with inspiration. I tend to keep a notebook or some paper or something to write my ideas down and if I don’t have anything,I type it into the Notes App on my phone.Same goes if I have writing ideas.

Did you have any formal training?

Not completely; I only did a paper in graphic design at my local college in 2014, semester 2. I did do a little bit of stuff in high school but the graphic design course there was more focused on architecture than what I was actuallyinterested in.

What’syour favourite part of design?

Hmm…that’d have to be being able to get creative. I can come up with some of the most ridiculous things and I’ll either be really pleased with it or hate it…it’s kind of hit and miss.

What’syour least favouritepart of design?

Picky clients; they make me really frustrated and I hate being frustrated. Frustration usually gives way to being irritated at being frustrated which in turn leads to anger and a headache. I end up having to let off steam somehow; usually by reading or taking a walk or something.I usuallycan’t do much whenI’m in that sort of state of mind.It sucks.

What’s your favourite tool; paintbrush, stylus, pencil, marker?

Hmm, that’s a hard choice. I use Photoshop Elements 8 and haven’t upgraded since; it makes it harder to use the more recent versions but I’m quite happy with what I’ve got. As to the tools on Photoshop; I can’t say I have a favourite but if I had to pick, it’d be either the Smart Brush Tool or the Cookie Cutter Tool…with the former, I can change the filter effects on whatever I’m designing, sometimes it’s cool and other times not so much; with the latter, I can cut out all sorts of shapes to layer onto other things or give the edges of images different effects, it’s pretty cool. If you were referring to the various items I can use to design with that doesn’t include what I mentioned above, then it’d have to be a stylus; they’re so much better thana mousefor on-screen precision work.

Do you prefer black and white Grayscale or colour-bomb?

I have no idea what that actually means but if you meant do I prefer to work with grayscale or colour then I’d have to say colour; if you get the co-ordination and the palette just right thencolours look absolutelyamazing.

I always feel a sense of great satisfaction when I create something truly unique and it actually looks nice; creative people are often theirharshest critics but that’s not overly surprising.

Do you stay with one canvas or have you tried others? For example, some use paper to paint and draw. Some use cloth and paint fabric and others prefer digital.

Personally, I prefer digital but I do use paper and paint when I want to get messy, though usually I leave the whole painting and drawing on paper thing to my brother…he’sthe artist in the family.

I have to admit, I’ve always wanted to try making my own t-shirts with unique designs on them using fabric paint because it looks like a lot of fun; I did do tie-dye once as a kid and rather enjoyed that…I think we also did papermarbling, that was fun too…though it was such a long time ago that I barely remember.

Please provide links and a couple of sample of your work:

My designs (only book covers at this point) can be foundon

I also do other random designs when the mood hits me and upload themonto

  1. Book Cover: Enchantmentsby Claire Plaisted
  2. RedbubbleDesign: Proud; a design that’s personal but also done for the LGBTQ+ community.

Indie Author Reviews

Retirement is Fun: When on door closes another opens.

By Brenda Mohammed

Enlightening,educational,aspirational and charming.

Enlightening and inspiring, author Brenda Mohammed takes us through a bird’s eye view turned fly on the wall look at her life. Banking? Insurance? Exotic holidays? For some of us, such a life is beyond our reach. For those of us to strive just be a little bit better at what we do, each and every day, we are the kind of reader suited to this book.

Anyone can read it, but you will be pleasantly surprised just how the author takes on new challenges with gusto. True, she has a large family and strong network of friends egging her on, but this is clearly her own tale, and how retirementis anythingbut a door closing.

It is a new opening, a new chapter, and it is fun to read as well as have some very poignant moments in it. A great companion to her other memoirs, but stands well on its own. Far from being something to fear, the author teaches the reader to really go for it in life. The authorwas probably an alpha female before the phrase was even coined.

Nicely done.

Reviewed by Marmalizer

The Pharaoh’s Destiny by Markie Madden

The life of a great Pharaoh

The author does a superb job of using historically known facts and weaving a story of the life of Hatshepsut, the female Egyptian Pharaoh in 1477 BCE. A time when children barely out of the nursery were expected to take on adult rolls and married early in life. Hatshepsut was not quite 20 when she became the Pharaoh due to the death of her half-brother husband. The love she discovers could last an eternity.

The author provides a map at the beginning of the book of the Egyptian land she ruled along the Nile and a glossary of terms at the end of the book.

A very powerful image of a female ruler exhibiting both strength and caring for her family and the people of her land.

The book is filled with the customs and the religious rituals of the time blended into the story.

The author does a really nice job balancing descriptions, actions, and emotions.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it if you enjoy historical romance novels.

Reviewed by Deanna K Bate

Voices in  Crystal by Mary R Woldering

Intelligent and Vivid

Wow, this was really a very deep and rich read. I thoroughly enjoyed the blending of religion, history, and fiction. I’m a huge fan of ancient alien intervention stories, so I was predisposed to fall in love with the premise. The attention to detail is phenomenal, making the setting and characters come to life in vivid detail. That the characters were flawed and grew along with the tale added to the realism and enjoyment.

The pace was deliberate as it will be with the first part in a series, especially with such an epic type of adventure/journey. The way it unfolds, revealing more layers as you go had me riveted.

The end left me with enough questions that I will certainly be reading more, and look forward to picking up the adventurewhere it left off.

Reviewed by Drayvenn

An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco

Artistry through Words

Most writers put words together in an attempt to create an understandable story. Few writers are considered artists who bombard the pages with vivid colors of vocabulary. Eva Pasco is an artist. Her book, “An Enlightening Quiche,” is a gallery in a novel. The author emptied the dictionary with the words magically falling into a rich, intricate, perfect prose. The reader must stay sharp to catch all the metaphors and watch the turn of a phrase at the turn of every page. The abundanceof pop cultureand classical references could make Lorelei Gilmore’s head spin.

It is a rare talent to turn an interesting region of the country into one of the main characters. The regional character in “Quiche” is upstate Rhode Island. Did you know Rhode Island was large enough to have an “upstate?” The story is a window into the country’s industrial revolution and industrial decline along the Blackstone River through the lives of immigrants, townsfolk, and millworkers. The spirit of the people was still strong in spite of the inevitable demise of their largest employer.

At the beginning of the industrial age, farmers from Quebec looked for a better life in the mills than the rough terrain of Canadian agriculture. The French-Canadian culture lived on through the centuries and spiced the narrative with customs, phases, and cuisine- you can almost taste the poutine.

There is illumination from baked goods, old brick walls, and weed-riddled parking lots. This paints a background for the intrigue in a small town with lust, betrayal, adultery, broken friendships, tragedy, and redemption – your typical neighborhood. Intertwined in the history and culture is the heart of the novel – the explosive tales of secrets, regrets, and conflict. The book follows Lindsay and Augusta who come from different backgrounds. Each are involved and become witnesses to a turbulent time in the town. Augusta’s life is connected to the mill as well as the mysteries of earlier days that bring into question her linage. Lindsay’s story is the search for the story of the town, studying and relating the history that will eventuallymake her a participant rather than a mere observer.

Ms. Pasco brings clarity to the lives of the characters through emotional complexity to keep the reader engaged and connected. The townsfolk are struggling to cope with an uncertain future. The high expectations from a glorious past creates the turmoil of dealing with current reality. A tragic jolt change perspectives, allowing them to appreciate the treasures so close. Self-awareness, forgiveness, and the release of sorrows brings happiness through resiliency and enduringfriendships. Lessons to be learned; a recipe for life.

Reviewed by Alan Vandervoort

The Titans of Ardana by J S Finkel

Captivating SciFi Adventure!

Science-Fiction from a writer who really understands how to get the most from his work. Captivating, fascinatingand absolutelyworth getting for yourKindle—you won’t regret it!

You must ask yourself a few questions when you buy a book. Just a couple. The first is—have you read anythingelse by this author? The second is—do you think this book is worth reading?

I have a couple of problems. I hadn’t read anything by J.S. Frankel before. That made me uneasy. I also didn’t know what to expect from the book. That made me wonder. That’s also my problem because ‘The Titans of Adana’ is an excellent book-and the author should be better known.WHY? Well…imaginethat show you enjoy watching.The lead star? You find or

her, quite interesting. You’d love to meet them. You make the effort and you discover that they are nothing at all like the people they represent. Imagine your surprise, horror, and shock. That’s this book. Surprise, horror and shock. The blurb on Amazon gives nothing away, and I wondered why before I read the book. Now I understand why. But I’m not going to tell you. Martin Calder, a fan, is obsessed with a show called “The Meta’s.” He heads out to get an autograph from the star of the show—Dana. But when he discovers… something…. Well… you’ll have to read it. I don’t like to give away spoilers in my reviews. However, I’ll say this, the story of Martin and Dana is one that absolutely kept me entertained. I don’t often find myself so drawn into a book that time passes without my knowledge. This is a wonderful story. It made me very thankfulthat I decided to read it.

The author, J.S. Frankel did an excellent job weaving his tale. The description and story are both enthralling. The ending was wonderful. Miracles do happen every day—and sometimes they come in book form. I’m going to recommend this to anyonewho needs a reminderabout good books being out there for everyonewho wants them.

I’m not going to say a lot more about this book other than read it for yourself. You won’t have any regrets. I promise. If you do—I’ll eat my hat. Reviewed by M L Newman

The Basement by Lily Luchesi

When I was a kid, I hated my house’s basement. I always said it would take a life or death situation to get me to go down there of my own accord.

Well, my parents passed. I guess that was life or death enough, huh? I had to clear the house to sell it, and that included the basement.

Despite the fear in my gut, I figured the Hell with it and threw open the doors, smelling the wet, moldy stench all places like that have after being closed up for years. And there was somethingelse, somethingcinnamony.

I began my descent, cell phone before me to cast some kind of light into the inky darkness that seemed to be seeping into my bones just like the cold rain was. The stench got worse, a thick wet smell that made me want to gag.

As I went further down, the doors slammed shut behind me and I jumped. Damn wind. Now it was not only pitch dark except for a foot of smartphonelight, it was silent like the grave and I shivered.

Take a look around and get the Hell out, I thought as I finished my descent, breathing through my mouth. I fumbled my cell, trying to get the light to stay steady in my trembling hand. Shouldn’tI at least be able to hear the storm?


The silence and darkness combined was too much. I just wanted out. Finally I got my hand to steady and waved my phone from side to side to get a panorama. What I saw made me collapse on the steps behind me.

Corpses. At least a dozen. Men, women, and children, all in various stages of decay, many so old they were mummified, creating that cinnamon stench. Gaping, rotted mouths seemed to smile at me, and empty, rotted eye sockets stared at me, the intruder in the domain of the dead. Flesh was sloughing off the bones of the most recent ones, and I saw a family of maggots in one man’s eyehole.

I wondered how they all got here, many of them were so old they had to have died in the twenties at least. Fear holding me prisoner, I finally had the sense to turn around and scramble up the steps, only to slip on the rainwater.

I felt backwards and barely felt my leg break. Too much adrenaline in my veins. Grabbing my phone, I checked for a signal to dial 911. Nothing. The storm had hit the cell towers.

I tried calling 911 twenty minutes ago, and I’ve been writing this ever since in my Notes app. I’m never getting out of here, but maybe one day they’ll find my body with the others. Why do I say I’m never getting out? Because the heavy silence was broken by one thing just now: the subtle, papery sound of a body shifting.

Colouring IN from Mara Reitsma

Research can be FUN – Jane Risdon Dec 2017

As authors we often have to undertake research. Depending upon our genre this can involve a large amount of ferreting around in various libraries, Googling, consulting Wikipedia and similar on-line resources, reading vast amounts of material by ‘experts’ and, in my case, taking some university courses on-line in Forensic Science and Criminal Justice to ensure I write the best most authentic and accurate crime stories I can. It can be great fun but if the clock is ticking and a deadline looming, it can be a bit of a pain to be honest. Luckily I have lots of notes and video tutorials to fall back on when writing about the identification of a skeleton found in a shallow grave without any form of identification or possessions with it for example, or how an interview with a witness to a crime is conducted, so for me research isn’t that bad and I do have a coupleof really lovely former Police detectiveswhose brains I can pick if really necessary.

Writing Only One Woman with Christina Jones was quite a challenge, for starters it isn’t a crime story – my comfort zone – so for me it was an epic undertaking. The story of Renza and Stella is set in the late 1960s and you know what they say; ‘if you can remember the 60’s you weren’t there…!’ Well, admittedly my memory is good and I was there and I recall loads of facts and events, but coming to write about those times in great detail has been a challenge for me – Christina I am sure will most likely agree although she is a romance writer, so she had the heads-up on me genre-wise.

Telling the story of a young girl – my character was Renza aged 16 – at the beginning of her life journey and getting inside her teen head during those amazing times was quite a feat. Trying to recall how I felt back then, what the fashions and music were like and which world events were shaping teenage lives meant a great deal of research, and because Christina was writing the character of Stella, we had to compare notes to check facts, dates, and events so we didn’t contradict each other. It could have been a headachefor me but it was actuallyfun. It was rather sad at times too.

I decided to write Renza’s parts in diary format because I came across lots of old diaries during unpacking – having just moved house – and reading them it occurred to me that it would be easier for Christina and I to each take a date per chapter when writing our character’s parts. I found lots of information in diaries. They were records of our lives – my husband and mine – which I’d kept going right back to the time I met him and all through his band years and beyond, right up to recent times when we were managing bands. They were great for giving me names of venues on ‘the circuit,’ dates of record releases, movies being shown, the clothes we were all wearing, the presenters on ‘Top of the Pops’ and ‘Ready Steady Go!’ and what they wore, as well as reminding me about world events: moon landings, assassinations, marriages and deaths of importantand popular people…it was all there.

In the letters fans sent my husband, sometimes with little stories of how and where the fan had met and seen him and his band, I found a mine of valuable information. How the girls wrote and spoke and what was important to them. Tour posters and schedules reminded me of which bands were touring and with whom and the costs of entry to various venues. It was amazing. A time capsule of our lives. It was fascinating and time-consuming because I kept forgetting I was doing research and not taking a trip down ‘memory lane’ for my own reading enjoyment – there was plenty to laugh about and more than a few tears to shed.

The whole experience transported me right back to those fabulous times when music was everywhere, group vans with lipsticked messages written on their sides went up and down the road to venues large and small. A time when you could see a chart band for next to nothing in a local village hall – where Stella first met Scott from Narnia’s Children in Only One Woman, on her last night on earth – and I am sure Christina found the same when writing Stella. It was possible to close my eyes and actually taste the era, smell the air and feel the electric vibe which seemed to be all around us. For a short time I was there, I was a teenager and what I was reading became reality as I recalled events, people, and places and how I felt whilst recording little facts and events just as they happened.A blast from the past. Research.

Little things which I found amazing back then and which today we take for granted, such as a girl going in to a public house on her own – frowned upon and not ‘done,’ for example, made me laugh out loud – we were so ‘innocent.’ A girl going inside one on her own was thought of as ‘cheap,’ and if anyone told you they’d be into a pub without a male to accompany them, we’d all nearly faint with shock. Boys being a bit ‘forward,’ was something you kept to yourself in fear of being thought of as being ‘easy,’ and not putting up the right defences. Right out of Victorian England when I think of it now. It may well have been the Swinging Sixties for some sophisticated folk but for most of us we dare not swing for fear of our parent’s finding out and although there was The Pill, most of us who were unmarried were not eligible to receive it on prescription.

Writing about a teenage girl falling in love with a rock musician and how they conducted themselves was quite a trip down memory lane really. Upon reflection it was all so ‘proper.’ My research reminded me of just how unworldly we were. Even Stella was fearful of what her parents and community would think of her as contemplated going to ‘live in sin,’ with Scott. Going back through those diaries and pieces of memorabiliabrought it all back in a huge wave of emotion for me.

Mostly it was fun and funny looking back, but some of the research made me feel really sad. Sad for lost youth I suppose, and for the lives we led back when. It made me realise that we are all walking histories too and researching your own history is quite an undertakingand not for the faint hearted.

Only One Woman (AccentPress) Christina Jonesand Jane Risdon:

Testimonials – Ceejay Designs


8 May 2015: “I recently used Ceejay Designs for my book cover. The finished product blew me away. I couldn’t have asked for a better cover. If you need a cover made, don’t go anywhere else, but to Ceejay Designs.”


“Ceejay Designs was a complete pleasure to work with! She came up with the design entirely on her own, and patiently dealt with me for edits on the back matter, as well as certain elements I wanted specifically on the cover. She also worked with me through several things CreateSpace didn’t like (the outer “edge” of the cover being one of them, but in just a few moments she had the problem fixed!). She always answered any correspondence quickly and was always professional. She did such a good job that I’m now asking her to try and fix the cover of one of my already published books! I highly recommend Ceejay Designs and I will continue to recommend them to anyone needing well-designed book covers (or anything,for that matter!).”


“Writers work hand in hand with those whose gift is to create the beautiful images which envelope our words. Such is the case with Claudia Plaisted and her company Ceejay Designs. She took the pictures I had in my head and brought them to life on the cover of my first book “Reaching for the Light: An Incest Survivor’s Story” The result is stunning and beautiful. Thank you, Claudia,for your incredibletalent.”


This young lady is wonderful to work with. Creating excellent book covers for her clients using her imagination to bring out the best in your story. Excellent to work with and I look forward to working with her again in the future. Thank you



R M Gautier – Indie Author

Tell us about yourself.

I live in Ontario, Canada and have recentlyachieveda diploma in Film & TV Production.

I began my writing career late in life, and have been quoted saying, “better late than never.” I run six Facebook groups and help run a group called The Indie Writers’ Cooperative, which provides plenty of joy helping otherauthors anyway I can.

What bought you to the world of writing?

I think I always had the bug to write, but when I was younger, I was horrible at spelling and grammar, so bad that when I took English in University the TA of my class told me I should take English as a second language. LOL. Now, with technology, it is becoming easier to improve writing skills and I have more confidenceputtingwork out into the world.

What is your first book and what do you think of it now?

I love my first book it was such a learning curve for me and opened a completely new world to me, one I would not change for anything. I have changed the cover since its release and improved the editing immensely, but I still love the story and think the entire series is worth telling.

What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’sneeds?

I have two series, The Mystery of Landon Miller series, which are psychological thrillers and The Christmas Miracle series, which are contemporaryholiday romances.

Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?

In December, I released a collection of Fairy Tales co-written with five other very talented authors, Eva Pasco, Aliya DalRae, JB Richards, Lyra Shanti and Joanne Van Leerdam. We have put together a unique novel where one story intertwines with nine other shorts all re-imagined or original fairy tales. It was an awesome experience and there is such talent involved that the final product is spectacular, somethingI am very proud of and stand behindone hundredpercent.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?

That all depends on the size of the book and how well the information flows in me. For my Christmas series they are all shorts with 10000 words, so they take a couple of days to write, but my novels I guess and say three weeks, if I sit down and just write. That is not always possible becauselife gets in the way.

Do you plot or not, if so why?

I only plot in my head for a while before writing. If I were to write down an outline, I know that once I start writing it will all be different, so there is no point.

Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you do both?

I have done both, but prefer 1st person. I like to get into the mind of my characters and I only like to see things from their point of view. I am definitely a mystery writer because I like to keep my audience guessing, on the edge of their seats to figure out what is going on. I am not a writer who likes to lay everything out in front of the audience. I want them to wonderthrough the story, what is going on?

How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?

I write a draft all the way through first and try not to go back until the last word is down. Then, I will go back and start adding the magic to it. Then,it goes to at least two editors I have been luckyenough to have on all of my projects so far.

What type of people/readers do you market your books to?

My Christmas series would appeal to anyone who enjoys a great story. They are quick fun reads where my main character is a snarky, cynic who is not a fan of Christmas, so there is quite a bit of humor involved. My psychological thriller series will appeal to readers who love a great mystery. The first novel leaves readers on a huge cliff-hanger and the second doesn’t clear up the mystery. The third novel will bring closure to the entire series. I know this not for everyone, but that is the way the story played itself out and I am okay with that. The final instalment is coming soon.

Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Published?

I am happily self-published.

How do you promote your writing?

I alternate promotions, but on a daily basis I used Amazon ads, Bookbubads and some Facebookads primarily.

Where can we buy your books?

All of my books are Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited. They can be found here:

Who are your favourite authors?

I love a lot of authors, my three favorite this year have been Jex Lane, Zoe Perdita, Adrienne Wilder. They’ve put out some tremendouswork this year.


Amazon Page:

Facebook Page:



Do you have any more informationyou’d like to share with us?

This year I am moving into new territory and have a Superhero series coming soon. I love this story and can’t wait to share it with my readers.


While wheelchair bound this man may be,

Delighted laughter he inspires in many

Lonely soul, complex façade; never will

You see the pain he hides inside,

Fluffy bunny, roaring dragon hides inside

His enormous cavern; keeping treasures

Secreted away, never to see the light of day,

Crystals around and jokes aplenty

Giving love to many hearts; advice from

Wise young man, protective of the friends

He has while sharing exciting tidbits,

Favoured fandoms, favoured series

Full of magic, wonder and magical creatures

Sharing laughter with fellow badgers, but

Now lost to Heaven’s open arms.                                                                                    

Copyright Kyrena Lynch 2017

InstaFreebie, Bookfunnel, Free & 99c eBooks

Ice Breakers by Brenda Mohammed

Excerpts form Brenda’s Memoirs


Keeping a Backyard Horse by Markie Madden– Audio

Hay is for horses! Everyone knows that, but do you know how much hay they need? Or how much water? Did you know your horse can talk to you with his ears? Or that he can sleep standing up?

Follow along with Athena the horse as she explains the basics of keeping a horse in your backyard. She’ll teach you the basic necessities of caring for your equine friend, from what kind of fencing you can use, to tips and tricks for keeping water thawed in winter weather, and even fun stuff you can do with your horse. Keeping a backyard horse can be fairly simple, and even if you have a tight budget,it can be done!


Versisus Verses – LOVE by Anita Kovacevic

This is the second volume in my poetry collection. It deals with various shades of love – loving your family, friends, work, others, even yourself, perhaps the most difficult task of all. The moods range from tender and funny, to angry and sad. It might just strike a cord – you never know.


Fang and Claw by Markie Madden – Audio

Lieutenant Lacey Anderson of the Dallas Police Department heads up a elite new squad dedicated to solving crimes involving Immortals like herself. Lacey, a Vampire left for dead when her family was slaughtered by Werewolves, still has nightmaresabout the attack.

Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s coven. She’s unaware of this, but she doesn’t trust him from the start. When the fragile beginning of the team is threatened by the truth, can they learn to trust one anotheras partners must,or will the Undead Unit be doomed to failure?

A mysterious suspect and strange physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades,  and leaves Lacey with no other choicebut to rely on her enemywhenher very life is at stake!  FREE LINK


Unlike many/most of my Ramblings I regard this post as something of extream importance, a possible game-changing innovation,one which has wide implicationsbut also one which will be of particular interset for indie authors

As part of a broader effort to eliminate the ability to prointerest counterfeit inventory in the open digital advertising ecosystem,Ads.txt provides a mechanismto enable contentowners to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory.

The mission of the ads.txt project is simple: Increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. Ads.txt stands for Authorized Digital Sellers and is a simple, flexible and secure method that publishers and distributors can use to publiclydeclare the companiesthey authorize to sell their digital inventory.

By creating a public record of Authorized Digital Sellers, ads.txt will create greater transparency in the inventory supply chain, and give publishers control over their inventory in the market, making it harder for bad actors to profit from selling counterfeit inventory across the ecosystem. As publishers adopt ads.txt, buyers will be able to more easily identify the Authorized Digital Sellers for a participating publisher, allowing brands to have confidence they are buying authenticpublisherinventory.


Counterfeit inventory comes in many forms, but it typically results in real media spend not reaching legitimate and deserving publishers. Ads.txt helps publishers reclaim control of their media, brand, and rate card. This means more of an advertisers spend can get to the domain owner through their approved sales channels, and not be wasted on counterfeitinventory.

Check out the PDF

Also read:

HomeFires by Grace Au

There’s a chill in the air and the heat from the fireplace feels wonderful…especially after spending most of the day outside doing chores.

I don’t mind milking the cows or tendingthe chickens. After all, it is food for the table.

I think it’s going to be another harsh winter. We lost several head of cattle last year because of the frigid temperatures. There’s only so much coal you can burn and someone needs to be awake twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to assure the barn doesn’t catch on fire. We only have ourselves, and of course, my brother Billy. It’s a challenge to take turns staying up all night.

Lance is doing the best he can, I know that. Poor man, he works from the dark of morning to the dusk at night. When he’s not outside tending to the animals or making repairs, he’s inside working on the financial aspect of keeping this place going. Me, well, I keep the home fires burning. I make sure his clothes are clean and there is hot food on the table. I take care of the dog and cats and try to get a bit of sewing done so I can take it into town.

Jenny and Mick run the general store. Jenny’s said that my dresses are some of the finest she’s seen and she goes on lots of buying trips for fancy fabric. She says if she could take them into the city, they’d bring top dollar. I don’t know about that. It would be nice, though, to have some extra money. I just like to sew. She wants me to use some of that fancy lace fabric for somethingshe calls overlays. She’s willing to take me with her the next time she goes into St. Louis.

Lance and I have been married for ten years now. Seems like yesterday when my Daddy and Momma walked me down the aisle. It was a lovely early spring day, and we had the wedding outside at my Grandmother’s house in her fabulous garden. The trellis of roses smelled divine as we stood underit reciting our vows.

We’d thought by now we’d have several children running around. That’s not the case. Doc says I can’t have kids, something about my female parts not being developed properly. Lance says it’s alright. So long as we have each other, that’s all that matters. I still wish I could have a baby or two to cuddle.

Lance and I usually sit in the rockers in front of the fireplace after the dishes from dinner are washed and put away. He plays his guitar and sings such wonderful songs to me. Sometimes he just plays music. When he does that, I read or work on my ever-growing stack of mending.Can someonetell me how there can be so manyholes in a pair of socks?

The fire is dying slowly, the sign another day is ending. I’m sure we’ll awaken to a new foot of snow. But that is tomorrow and tomorrow has its own adventures. Right now, it’s time for Lance and me to head to bed and snuggle down under the heavy wool quilt. We’ll hold each other until we fall into a restful sleep and Lance will once again be up before the sun to care for our land and provide for our needs. I sure do love that man.

Aliya DalRae – Indie Author

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Aliya DalRae and I am the author of the Jessica Sweet Trilogy and the brand new Fallen Cross Pack Series. I was born and raised in Southwest Ohio, where I have lived most of my life, aside from a short three-year stint living in the UK. In 1992 I met my immortal beloved, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. When not weaving romantic tales, you can find me working side by side with my husband in our furniture restoration business, where I weave caned chairs instead.

What bought you to the world of writing?

In 2008 my husband and I lost our only baby late in the pregnancy. As a form of therapy, I began writing, creating a make-believe world for our little girl who would never have a life of her own.

It took seven years from the completion of the first draft of Sweet Vengeance until I actually published, but then things sort of spiralled. Before I knew it, I had a novel, then two, and now the third is on the horizon, along with two live short stories, anothertwo in an anthology, and three more waiting in the wings.

What is your first book and what do you think of it now?

My first book is called “Sweet Vengeance,” and was published in February 2016. I haven’t really looked at it since it was published, as I’m afraid if I do I will tear it to pieces. I know I have grown as an author in the past couple of years, and I’m sure that I would find so many things about it that I would change. But if I did that, it wouldn’t be the tribute to our Jessica that it was meant to be, and that my readers have been enjoying for the past two years. If someone points out typos to me, I eagerly correct them, but I would rather leave the heart of the book as is. It means so much to me, and even though it won’t be the best book I’ve ever written, it will always be the most important one, and will hold a special place in my heart.

What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’sneeds?

I write paranormal romance – heavy on the paranormal. The Jessica Sweet novels are a bit on the dark side, as they were born from a dark place in my soul, but they have a lot of heart with characters that readers either absolutely love, or absolutely hate. Either way, they make my readers feel something, and that’s a good thing, right? From the feedback I’ve received, I do believemy readers are satisfied with the stories I have told. At least they keep coming back for more.

Would you like to featurea book, if so which one? Tell us about it?

That would be great! I’d like to feature “Bitter Beginnings,” the first short story in a four-part series based on the life of Patrick Dane. Patrick is the Alpha of the Fallen Cross Werewolf Pack that we meet in “Sweet Vengeance.” In “Bitter Beginnings,” we discover how Patrick was turned into a Werewolf, and the subsequent chapters in the series will follow him and his wife Maggie as they deal with the changes that have beenforced upon them.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?

The short stories I can write in about a week or two. The novels usually take a couple of months of dedicated writing, which is hard to come by whenworking two other jobs.

Do you plot or not, if so why?

My first two novels I did absolutely no plotting whatsoever. However, when I wrote “Bittersweet,” the first of my short stories, I wrote an outline for the first time. I can’t say that I followed it religiously, but it did give me something to fall back on when the story started to go astray. Now, I guess I write down ideas, but nothing is set in stone. Once the words start flowing there is no telling where they might end up.

Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you done both?

The Jessica Sweet Trilogy is actually told in first and third person. Jessica’s scenes are all told in first person, the other characters are in third. It’s unconventional, and not to everyone’s taste, but I have managed to win over some of the most stubborn readers. My shorts are told mostly in third person, though “Sweet Distraction,” one of the stories I contributed to the anthology, “Once Upon a Fabulous Time,” is told in first from the POV of a cat Shifter named Kythryn.

How do you edit your work?

Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write? I do edit while I write as much as I can, but then I’ll put it away for a bit before doing several read-throughs to tighten it up.

What type of people/readers do you market your books to? Anyone who loves paranormal romance typically enjoys to the stories I write, so generally it would be women aged 17-70. However, I have been surprised to hear that there are a lot of men out there who have read my books and thoroughly enjoyed them. To be honest, they were as surprised as I was.

Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Published?

I am self-published.

How do you promote your writing?

Right now, I am promoting mostly on Facebook and Twitter, in reader and author groups, and through author takeovers. I also have a newsletter that I send out monthly and participate in newsletter swaps as often as I can. This year I hope to break into AMS ads and see if I can’t find that magic formula that will get my books in front of the readers most likely to enjoy them.

Where can we buy your books?

All of my books are available on Amazon, and Free to read on Kindle Unlimited, and can be found here:

Who are your favourite authors?

For Trad authors, I love JR Ward, Kim Harrison, Brandon Sanderson, Janet Evanovich, JK Rowling, James Patterson, JD Robb, and of course, Tolkien. My favorite indies are RM Gauthier, JB Richards, Eva Pasco, Joanne Van Leerdam, Lyra Shanti,Susan Wee and Jex Lane.







Book Bub:


Release the Energy Withinby La Shawna

All of us have energy inside of us; some of us (like me) refer to that energy as the grace and love of Jesus Christ that is shining out of us. Inside of us we have the ability to harness that energy with our creative talents and use it to inspire, minister and motivate others to do the same.

This book is a reflection of me taking you on a journey as I find my energy and release it to inspire and promote change.God’s love is every lasting and his grace is so wonderful.


And now we welcome the new year

Full of things that have never been

Rainer Maria Rilke

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours,

And let every new year find you a better man

Benjamin Franklin


Book Trailer Links

Raging Death

The rain poured causing a flood of mud

Slipping down into a world of love killing off the dove

A path of brown death gradually reaches out stealing our hope

Tearing apart any ray of light that grows from a soul

Closing roads that lead to worlds of passion

Now only time can clear away our dreaded fear

However, rust-colored terror dries upon the eyes of our dead

Carrying their vision of light into a realm of terror

Moments sunk deep inside the core of the earth

Melting away whatever life lived within their hearts

A thick essence of the dark reddish evil covers the mind

Losing the memory and the shelter of our spirit 

Forcing it down into a mound of clay

Never for us to behold the light of day

Thunderbolts speak of rain which drains into the valleys

Leaving nothing to follow for lightning makes them hollow

Also, the power of will crushed beneath its grave of mud

Watching it slide across a field of enchantment

Burying whatever life its green grass bloomed

Now holding tight for the wind blew in like a mighty gale

Causing us to sink into its ocean of dirt

Carrying away the salt that held our bodies high

Listen well for it speaks of death for living, not for the dying

Their fate now sealed with a kiss grants pain more time

So rain pouring out its wet lust upon a world of peace Catches the tears that help to fuel its wrath


Patricia M Osborne – Indie Author

Tell us about yourself

I’m married, a mum and grandmother. I live in West Sussex. Apart from novel writing I am a poet and like to write short stories. My hobbies are playing the piano, walking, art, photography and nature. I am presently studying for an MA in Creative Writing with University of Brighton. House of Grace, A Family Saga is my debut novel. I have various short stories and poems publishedin magazines, anthologies and on-line.

What brought you to the world of writing?

I’ve loved writing since I was a small child. However, I only started to write seriously after studying creative writing courses for my BA degree and later the MA.

What is your first book and what do you think of it now?

My first book is House of Grace, A Family Saga which is presently my only novel published. However, I loved my characters so much that I didn’t want to part with them, so I am in the process of writing Book 2 in the series, The Coal Miner’s Son. The plan is to completea trilogy.

What type of books do you write, and do they fulfil your reader’sneeds?

I write family sagas, historically set in 1950’s or 60’s. My readers like them and are asking for more. In the future I’d like to write a fantasy novel.

Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it? House of Grace, A Family Saga.

House of Grace opens in 1950 with Grace, a sixteen-year-old, who dreams of being a successful fashion designer but her father, Lord Grantham, has other ideas. The reader travels through two decades with Grace as she struggles with family conflict,poverty and tragedy.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?

It took me a year to write the first draft but then it sat around for another year while I was working on MA assignments. I had already begunbook two before going back to Houseof Grace and giving it a final edit before publication.

Do you plot or not, if so why?

I do plot as I need the structureof knowing where I’m going. However, quite often the middle is subjectto change.

Do you write in 1st or 3rd person?

I write in first person. I’ve tried writing in third person but feel too detachedfrom my characters.

How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?

I tend to edit as I write but then I will leave the draft alone for a while before going back to it for anotheredit.

What type of people/readers do you market your books to?

Women, Young Adult upwards. The youngsters because it introduces them to the era and the older ladies can reminisce. Some men have read it and enjoyedit, but I consider it more Women’s Fiction.

Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Published?

I self-published House of Grace but I may well seek an agent for future books. I’m not sure yet. Certainly, I aim to look into traditional publishingfor my poetry collections.

How do you promote your writing?

I promote on Twitter and Facebook, once the next book is out I shall consider Amazon Ads. I shall be selling and signing copies of House of Grace, A Family Saga at the UK Book Show, Worthing Pavilion on 4th March 2018, a free event for readers.

Where can we buy your books?

House of Grace, A Family Saga is on Amazon (UK) and (Com) and is available in paperback as well as kindle version.

Who are your favourite authors?

Bernard Cornwell, Stephanie Meyer and Kazuo Ishiguro to name a few, but belonging to a reading group, I read a wide range of novels from different genres and authors.


Do you have any more information you’d like to share with us?

In 2017, I was privileged to be Poet in Residence at my local Victorian park. This formed part of my Communities module for the MA where I provided beginner poetry workshops for the local community. My poems, showing the timeline of the park, were displayed on park benches throughout the summer.

In November 2017, I won first prize in Brighton and Hove Arts Festival Poetry Competition (Student Category). My cheque was presented to me by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. One to tick off the bucket list.
I have a regular poetry slot on Oapschat, a forum for over 55’s to help prevent loneliness, where readers can find one of my poems published weekly on Sundays.

This year I aim to publish at least two poetry collections.

By June 2018 I plan to release The Coal Miner’s Son, Book two in the House of Grace Series. The Coal Miner’s Son reads as a standalone or follow-on from House of Grace. It runs alongside rather than a sequel. Book three will complete the trilogy and will be a sequel to both House of Grace and The Coal Miner’s Son.

Will ‘O’ Witch by Bekka Abbott


Will led the young woman behind the counter and into their main work space. He reached to one of the top cupboards and got out a wooden tray of special dried teas in jars, puttingit onto the bench.

Dana followed him inside at a little distance, but she’d obviously already been behind the counter before, because she made a bee-line for the nearest chair around their table.

“OK, Dana,” he said, as he reached to turn the jug on to boil. “My name is Wilhelm, or just Will. I take it Mina didn’t tell you about me?”

She shook her head. “She only said she had a mate called Will, and there was a crystal that belonged to him.”

“Did she ask you to come around this eveningfor a chat?”

“Yes, she said she’d answer all my questions because there wasn’t time to sort everythingwhile we were fighting off the leech spirit.”

He laughedand looked at her over his shoulder. “A leech spirit?”

Her eyes widened.“Yes, a really big one, with teeth and everything.She dispelled it.” “OK. I’ll give you the cliff notes of what she didn’t tell you, but I need you to stay calm and understand that you’re safe here. That curse was directed at you, so leaving could be dangerous. You’re not out of the woods yet.”


“Yes, that’s what Dragon protected you from.” He grabbed the tea ball and unlocked it, gently putting measured scoops of dried tea into the ball to make a specialised concoction as he spoke. “Now, do you know about what trauma can do to a person? Childhood trauma specifically?”

“I know it’s bad and it often never goes away. I had a friend in school who was abused as a kid, and she spent years in therapy. She never got free of it, in fact I went to her funeral last year. It was so tragic.”

“I’m sorry for the loss of your friend.” He sighed. “When someone experiences continued trauma in their early childhood, especially sexual trauma, they tend to develop a lot of problems and usually have a bad prognosis for recovery. But many of those kids also develop a condition called Dissociative IdentityDisorder.”

He looked at her to see if she understood what he was talking about. The frown on her face told him she wasn’t familiar with the term.

“Thirty years ago, DID was knownas MultiplePersonality Disorder.”

He continued to watch her responses. Her eyes widened but she didn’t move to run or show any other sign of distress, so he continued.

“Mina and I share the same body because we have DID. Earlier today, something happened that made Mina go to sleep and woke me up, I wasn’t supposed to be awake until tomorrow. So, I’m not an invader who has stolen Mina’s body, this is just as much my body as it is hers.”

“So… you’re a different person, but you live in the same body with Mina?”

He smiled as gently as he could. “Yes, that’s essentially it. And unfortunately, unless we’re both awake, neither of us can remember what the other does or says. So I’m sorry that you arrived and I didn’t know you.” He stepped closer to her and offered her a hand to shake. “Hello, Dana, my name is Wilhelm,but do call me Will.”

She stared at his hand for a breath and then lifted her own to shake. “Hello, Will. I’m really confused, but you feel safe just like Mina did. So, can you tell me who that man in the otherroom is, and what happenedoutside?”

He grinned at her and pulled open the cupboard at knee height to reveal Dragon’s little son. “This is Cain, and his daddy has a dragon soul.” Will knelt down to get level with the boy. “Cain, I have marshmallows,would you like some?” The kid nodded but didn’t speak.

Will stood up, reaching to the sweeties shelf and grabbed the bag of marshmallows. He popped open the packet and lowered it to the boy, who grabbed it and pulled the cupboard door closed again.

“Someone sent a curse towards you, and it looked very strong. Dragon must have sensed it and he revealed his true self in order to protect you from it. Now, Dana, would you like a hot drink? We have many sorts of tea, coffee and hot chocolate.”

She shook her head. “I’m fine, thank you. I had a hot chocolateearlier.”

“Alright.” He turned, locking the tea ball and putting it in Dragon’s special coffee mug. The jug had boiled and cooled sufficiently so as to not burn the herbs. He poured the hot water over the tea ball. The heat triggered a scent explosion of vanilla and sweet herbs, with a flicker of spice and citrus. He grinned at Dana. “That should do the trick!”

“So,” Dana bit her bottom lip. “Curses… what does it mean…?”

Will watched the fear shimmer through her energy. He grabbed a few plates and cutlery from the shelf. “Dana, it looks like you were targeted specifically. Having one thrown at you means that someone wishes you harm. But we’ll figure it out, I promise. The wards around this shop are very strong, so you should be safe here. Now, could you hold these and I’ll bring

Dragon’s tea to him. Perhaps we three can nutout what’s happening,and find a solutionover dinner?”

She took the plates and cutlery from him without any argument. After all that initial resistance, her compliance surprised him.

“How long have you been a witch, Dana?”

She grinned at him, revealing a spark of mischief. “About six hours.”

He smiled at that mischief.“You’re doing very well for being so new to the spirit world.”

Createspace & KDP – Do they really want Indie Authors?

More than likely they do want Indie Authors, after all they do make money out of our paperbacks and they make more than they should…Wellif you’re good at Marketing they will, the same as Traditional Publishers do.

Needless to say I am wondering if Createspace really want Indie Authors! WHY, you may ask. Well first it depends on how often you publish,if you use themas a distributer, do you use a pen nameor are you part of an Anthology!

About mid year of 2017 I started to have issues with Createspace along with KDP…both who are part of Amazon. The first thing I noticed was their strong Customer Service was…to put it bluntly…no longer strong. It was like they had a whole new team who didn’t know what they were doing including knowing their own policies and rules. Their emails became generic and unhelpful. They didn’t listen or should that be they didn’t’ hear you or your complaints. They also started to make you jumpthrough more hoops than needed.

The most annoying thing to start with was the way they gave you a number to use for each (what I thought) new contact. This was mainly with KDP. They send you their generic email stating they’ll get back to you within twenty-four hours, which is the good part…well until you read their email and sigh loudly. Ok sometimes the first reply is all right, by the second you know they are not reading what you wrote and by the third of fourth time it seems you get a new contact number because whether you like it or not they have closed the case or given it to a new customer service rep who doesn’t read back or see the emails and the issue starts all over again.

In August 2017 I ordered some of my children’s paperbacks for a book signing. I ordered them early and had them posted at the second rate they quote to make sure they arrived on time. They should have arrived a week before the book signing. THEY DIDN’T. In fact they never arrived even though I had an email saying they had been sent. MAKES ME WONDER WHO STOLE THEM! After several emails and apologies they sent me a new set which of course arrived a week after the book signing. Not a good experience at all.

Weeks later I get an email from a client (I run Plaisted Publishing House) who also hadn’t gotten her books for a book signing in Australia. She had an email from Createspace stating they had tried to deliver the books, nobody was home so they sent them back to be destroyed. WHAT!! This can’t be right. Anyway, my client called all the postal delivery services in the area and probably New Zealand (Small country not many people so this is possible) and not only had none of them had any parcel to begin with, they all stated that they keep trying to deliver for a few days and then keep the parcel in their distribution centre for two weeks prior to sending them back to SENDER aka CREATESPACE. What does this mean? Obviously Createspace got it wrong or lied. BUT WHY. My client emailed them again, they refunded the money and sent a new lot with a tracking number. OK NOW WE KNOW SOMEONE ISN’T LISTENING OR DOING THEIR JOB. Createspace doesn’t TRACK Parcels to New Zealand. They never have. Anyway my client checks the tracking number to find out the books were sent to an address in CANADA! Which isn’t even in the South Pacific. Not only were they sent there, they were signed for and picked up. Neither of us have any idea if this TRACKING Number actually belonged the client’s books or not. Once more emails were exchanged and I became involve telling the customer service rep that they don’t TRACK to New Zealand. By this stage my client was really upset especially when they sent yet anotherparcel and said it would arrive the day they were leaving for Australia. More panic…

Then it was my turn again. Many of you may know I have two groups to pull together Anthologies for Indie Authors as marketing books to help get their names out there. Each October there is the one for Halloween and generally publishedon 31st October each year. Onlythis time…we have copyright permission issues.

Let me explain that by October 2017 I have already published six Anthologies with out any issues from Createspace. In their policies it states that you must own the copyright or have copyright permission prior to uploading books to their site. Fair enough…afterall nobody wants to be sued for stealing. That who participated gave permission.

Suddenly…even though KDP had published the ebook…Createspace decided they wanted proof of copyright permission. They had never asked before. They don’t have a tick box like other distributers. Apparently I now had to send them signed permission from each author. First of all this would breach privacy of my clients and their contracts with my business. Secondly…it wasn’t in their policies. Yes I do understand there is a lot of stolen books and they are trying to protect themselves, however they are attacking the wrong people…as per usual. In fact I have a feeling they are asking for proof from those with pen names as well, though I am still looking into this one. Anyway with this email I stated I ran two facebook groups which had permission to use manuscripts emailed to me by participants to use their work. THERE IS NO PROFIT MADE IN THESE ANTHOLOGIES!! Createspace backed down and published the book. This took a week and a lot of emails. It also angered my clientsand participates in the Anthology groups.

Then we come to the Children’s Anthology. THIS BOOK IS STILL SUPRESSED BY CREATESPACE THEY WILL NOT PUBLISH IT AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL. Two weeks, plenty of emails and one phone call and I gave up fighting with them. I WILL NO LONG PUBLISH PAPERBACKS VIA CREATESPACE. I went to LULU instead even though they can’t guarantee Createspace will take the book from them and asked me to make sure I have permission to publish…whichof course I do. I WILL NOT RECOMMEND CREATESPACETO ANYONE ELSE AGAIN!!

Each Anthology Group now has a PINNED post asking for Copyright Permission. If theywish to participate they agree!

Recently Released Books

The Long Lost Future by Ian Cattell

Randall didn’t know he had a destiny until it interrupted his lunch one day; and it was bigger than he could possibly have imagined (his destiny, not his lunch).

That’s when he met the mysterious Marcus Han – brainier than a clumsy butcher’s floor, and secretly the richest man in the world, he would be Randall’s companion and mentor through the challenges they must face in their struggle to stop the entire Galaxy from vanishing.

With a supporting cast of talking trees, mutant psychics, bungling cops, extremely refined resistance operatives, military trained birds, enlightened mushrooms, hallucinating AI units, cutlery collecting crabs, and his definitely EX-girlfriend to help him, he must travel back in time to the twenty-first centuryand begin again in a new,less tyrannical,timeline.


If his departed dad, the World Police, the Planimals, or the ancient aliens don’t stop him first that is…

Abigail by K Meador

Abigail meets an unlikelyfriend on a day whennothing seems to be going right.

Ages 4 – 8


Afflicted by A Masio & Zizi Cole

Hunter, Prince of Baskaria, always knew that one day he would marry and ascend the throne. He thought that woman would be Emmaline, a lady of his court and his mistress of several years. That is until one day, he meets the beautiful and innocent Briella, a common girl raised by her father in the nearby village.

Lady Emmaline, jealous of the girl that has stolen not only her love’s heart, but her chance at the throne, has devised a plan. Using her mother’s book, she casts a spell on all those who stand in her way. If she can’t have Hunter,thenno one can.

Briella, smart and kind, is caught in the middle of a love affair. Unbeknownst to her, they’ve been here before. Loving a prince, isn’t easy- especially one like Hunter.


Can love truly exist between a beauty and a beast? One can only hope that they won’t always be:


Loving Marie by L A Remenicky

What happenswhen you fall in love with a girl who is off limits?

James Marsden had his life planned: get a job as an Indianapolis cop, work his way up to detective, and then find a nice girl and start a family. His first day as a rookie cop he walked into a diner and saw her, blowing his timelineto smithereens.

Marie Griffen just wanted to live her life without her older brother watching over her. When Steve introduced her to his new trainee she was drawn to his shy demeanor and his blushingface but her brotherwanted her to be with someonewho had a normal job.

Can theyget past the idea she’s off-limits and find their forever together?


Fixture & Fittings by Julie Blake

Book two in the fabulousBlackwood Clan saga, Fixtures & Fittings is Marcus’s story

Rich, handsome, sophisticated, Marcus Blackwood has it all. Then tragedy turns his perfect life upside down, leaving him sole guardian of his young niece. Traumatised into selective muteness, Megan needs more than Marcus believes he can give her, but, what she needs most of all, is a home.

Searching for the perfect house, instead Marcus finds Grace Lovejoy, an eccentrically hippy, single parent. Grace and her children are being forced to sell their beloved home. Using the connection between Megan and the Lovejoys, Marcus struggles to bring his little niece back from a very dark place.

And then there’s Grace … the complete antithesis to everything he’s ever looked for in a woman. There’s also a connection, a bond between them, that Marcus can’t explain and is not even sure he wants. And all the time, the deadly consequences of trying to break through Megan’s muteness creep ever closer… Sometimes, you have to choose, what to keep and what to leave behind…

A heart-warming, romantic read, interspersed with real edge-of-the-seat action, Fixtures & Fittings is one book you’ll want to keep forever


Just Another Quiet Little State by J S Frankel

Teenager Gabe Common and his girlfriend, Millie Themmes, have moved back to Chumsville, the place where the magic that changed them started. Although they attempt to move on with their lives, some forces in the world will not let them.

For one, the ambient magic still exists, and this time it has spread across the state of South Dakota. In fear, the president authorizes the military to contain the Changed, those transformed into somethingother thanhuman.

Additionally, civilian militias are out to kill the Changed. Once again, Gabe has to lead the residents of Chumsville and fight the intolerance around them, even at the cost of his life. It comes down to not only a battle for acceptance, but also one of survival. The only question is whetherGabe and his friends can survive the upcomingconflict.


Once Upon a Fabulous Time

Dreams really do come true…

Millie Monroe has one bright spot in her life: her job at the library. When a wealthy investor comes to town, she is overjoyed by what his presencecould mean for the library…and for her.

Early one afternoon, while working alone, Millie encounters a magical book that insists on being read. Similar books continue to appear, transporting her to strange realms, from the Fabulous to the bizarre, where adventure and romance rule the day. From Wizards to Werewolves, Dragons to Santa Claus, this parade of enchanting creatures opens her eyes to the events taking place aroundher.

She also discovers that when dealing with creatures of the magical variety, even in fairy tales life isn’t always sunshine and Unicorns. Perhaps whenlooking for her heart’s desire, she shouldlook no furtherthan her own little corner of the world.

If you believe…


I never really make solid resolutions. I think if there’s something one

Needs to change with oneself, it doesn’t have to happen in the New Year

Brittany Murphy

Underwood Unearthed by Colin Griffiths

The sleepy village of Underwood ambled along with their mundane, day to day activity. Not a soul knowing of a village, mirroring their own existed in some supernatural world. That village too just sauntering along, but in a more terrifying manner than anyone could imagine. They had not had a new resident for two years, and the meagre supplies were dwindling by the day. The new sheriff ruled with a fist of iron as he tried to gain respect from the beast in the woods.

Lily Ford had escaped with her family from the supernatural village when she was just fourteen. Today was her sixteenth birthday, her coming of age. It was a day she had been dreading as she recalled the different connotations her sixteenth birthday would mean in the hidden village. There she would be taken and forced to have baby after baby until she was broken. As the newspaper headlines reported the missing Tina Budgen from the

Newport area, Lily received an unexpected birthday wish on social media. This meeting


sets off a series of events that will change both Underwood’s…….Forever.

Only One Woman by Christina Jones & Jane Risdon

Two women,one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summertogetherthey are torn apart whenRenza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?


The (UN)Known by Ravi Ranjan

As Myra, an eighteen year old girl, walks the deserted street on the way back to her mansion, she feels a dark whirlwind under the magnanimous creepy fig tree, watching her. When she discusses this horrid experience with her mother, her mother feels that she is making stories because of her resistance to this new place. Though Myra often questions her ability to distinguish between reality and her dreams, the whirlwind feels real, especially after her friend Tracy confesses that she has seen the whirlwind too, and that she calls it ‘the unknown’. The mansion where Myra lives is infamous as ‘Vortex House’ for somebody had disappeared there. Amidst her confusion and incessant fear, a stranger named Albert crosses ways with her. While his claims that he has been waiting for her forever, sounds funny to her, she cannot resist his charm. Though he talks in riddles, she feels she has always knownhim.

As she gets to know him more, she feels that he is the man of her dreams, and she has all the reasons, for he knows everything about her and more often than not, she knows what is brewing in his head. It’s stinking perfect for her; the place she has always wanted to get away from, doesn’t bite her anymore- the fear of the whirlwind becomes history- the worries of her recurring dream, where she sees herself sinking into abysmal darkness, withers.

But what feels like a perfect end turns out to be the beginning of a life that she had never imagined. All the fears of her life come back to her, hard and strong. What felt like dream, transitions into a life wherein she feels she has been reliving the same moments over and over again, and all her dreams turn into nightmare. She reaches a juncture where the only person that can help her is herself. Will she find a way out?Will she discover the unknown?

A riveting tale of mystery, love and seduction, this thriller would stay with you even after you have finished the read. Are you ready for the ride yet?


Jody’sTail by Markie Madden

The life of a dog isn’t always a fairy “tail”. Join Jody, an aging Golden Retriever, as she tells the world about the tragedy that suddenly struck her idyllic life.

Rejoice and mourn with her as she celebrates the friends she found,and lost, along the way.


Jigsaw and the Fan by Stewart Bint

How much troublecan one disgruntledghost really make?

Albert Carter has died, and finds himself in the spirit world to get sorted out at St. Christopher’s gates. Having been a successful shop steward picketing the management of Jebson’s Glue Factory on behalf of his colleagues, he feels confident his final destination is Heaven,with the rest of the decent,honest working class.

However, upon his arrival to St. Christopher’s Doomsday Ministry, an inspectors’ strike causes all spirits in transit to be temporarily relegated to Earth as ghosts until negotiations can be met.

Albert’s ghostly assignment is his worst nightmare: a wealthy lord’s manor which operates on the hard-earned wages of his own class.

Immediately upon arrival he decides to ruin the capitalist family and begins his unlawful haunting as the Ghost of Marlston Manor. Watching him from the heavens is a host of guardian angels, elders, overlords, and scribes—all scrambling to undo the havoc that Albert is blunderinglycreating in his short stint as a ghost.

The final straw comes as Albert riles up a “fright” of ghosts to collude and protest their sentences on Earth—and Albert finally faces St. Christopher.


North to Maynard by Paul White

North to Maynard is a tale of an urban spirit, a ghost in the machine story for these modern ‘tech’ times.

It exposes something which could happen to any one of us, at any time…. even during a road trip, whenyou are travelling North to Maynard.


The Rascal Rodents In ‘Oh Mummy! By T E Hodden

Naughty rats, Ben and Jerry, and hamster Felix, are on their way to the Museum of Nature, for a day out. Unfortunately adventure has a way of finding our three friends. A stolen spell-book, and a mysterious Mummy,means there will be a lot of surprises waiting for them!


A Lullaby

May the angels like butterflies land gently on your eyelids.

May they turn your worried grins into the innocent smiles of kids.

May their rhythmic flutter lull you deeply into sleep, and that feeling of paradise may you always keep.

May the mermaids in the sea of dreams sing you just the sweetest song, and the soft waves of dream’s caress make right from every wrong.

May unicorns go galloping  through the meadows of dreamland, and heel your every worry, turn each foe into a friend.

May the sweet smell of flowers fill your every pore, sleep and dream till the dawn, and then just a bit more…

Anita Kovacevic


Take A Day At A Time.

Take a day at a time,

Don’t try a tall mountain to climb.

Take time to reflect

Don’t too much expect;


When the rivers run deep

And the road seems too steep,

Carry away a thought for the day

Of the wind in the trees and the birds on the wing;


If the day dawns cheerful

Leave the thoughts that are fearful

See creation around us and wonder at this;

The seasons come, the seasons go;

the waves gently rock us, to and fro;


See the sun as it rises and climbs up on high,

The clouds as they float across the azure sky;

How do you cope when life passes you by?

When you can’t find joy, as hard as you try?


When you rise in the morning

As the new day is dawning

And feel so alone and dismayed;

Try not to despair and don’t be afraid;


As the days go by it’s alright to cry

To laugh in between and occasionally sigh;

To think of the good times and bad times you shared

You feel anger, resentment and sadness; who cared?


One day you’ll look up, your heart full of cheer,

The laughter of others you will gladly bear.

Your day has come, the mourning is over,

The light’s at the end; moreover;


© Shizara

Blogging for Authors: Ten Tips for a Successful Author Blog

Sent in from Patty Fletcher

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors is here! by Anne R. Allen

I’ve made some spectacular blunders in my blogging career. But since we learn from our mistakes, I’ve got a boatload of informationnow. As Ruth and I say: “We made the mistakes so you don’t have to.”

The worst decision I made was trying to turn this blog into a monetized business blog. That lasted about six months— until my doctor said I was going to have to choose between blogging and living to see my next birthday. This is the second anniversary of the beginning of that failed experiment, and I’ve been thinking over what I’ve learned. My biggest mistake was that I didn’t see that an author blog has a different purpose and goal from a business blog. Author blogs aren’t about making money directly with ads or sales. Instead, they provide a platform for your writing and a way to communicate with readers and fellow writers. An excellent one. In fact, a blog is still the best platform-building tool for authors, according to agent Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, (Laurie will be visiting us in January.) The money comes later when we sell our books. The mechanics of those sales are best left to retailers like Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, etc. unless you have a huge franchise with twenty or more titles to sell, as well as mugs, t-shirts, etc. Does that mean we’re giving away our work for free whenwe write for a non-monetizedblog? Yes. But.

When you think about how much work it takes to make the money to pay for the publicity, marketing and advertising required to make a book visible in today’s marketplace, an author blog—even if it doesn’t have any ads or affiliates—looks like a pretty good deal. A blog is the fastest way to get the attention of Google. Plus blogposts can be tweaked and recycled for guest posts and other promotions. And an author blog doesn’t have to take much time. Because it doesn’t have to follow monetized-blog rules.

But don’t some authors monetize their blogs AND sell books? Yes. But many of those authors started early in the blogging era so they built a big audience before there was a lot of competition. Others have a whole lot more energy and stamina than the average author. And maybe a large staff of servants.

I’m not telling you it’s impossible to monetize an author blog and still find time to actually be an author, but I’m telling you that for me personally, it didn’t work. Here are some otherlessons I learned from my big blogging mistake:

  • Don’t Define Success with Numbers

What defines success for a business blog is irrelevant to an author. Checking your stats or Alexa rating is fun for monitoring your progress, but those numbers mean very little for an author blog. Superstar author Catherine Ryan Hyde sells tens of thousands of books a week, but her blog has a mediocre Alexa rating of 7 million. This blog has an excellent Alexa rating that hovers just under300 thousand.(It’s like golf: the lower the number,the better.)

Do I sell tens of thousands of books a week? Um…not this week, anyway. Stats and Alexa ratings are important to advertisers, but you’re not advertising anything but yourself, so it’s all good. A small group of engaged readers can be much better for sales than a whole bunch of drive-bys. I recently visited a fellow author whose blog doesn’t even rate an Alexa rank. But she gave me a rave review and I sold nearly 40 books withinhours.

  • Be True to Your Brand.

Ruth and I have spent years on our blog building a reputation for being friendly, savvy, and straightforward. We alert authors about scams and expensive mistakes they can avoid. We also both write upmarket fiction about classy women. That’s our brand. The “blogging rules” for business blogs and online marketing often tell you to act sleazy and bully people with popups, clickbait,bribes, and otherways of “tricking” the reader.

Serious disconnect there. No amount of SEO will make up for alienatingyour core readership.

  • Be Generous with Content.

Owners of monetized and business blogs are often worried other bloggers will steal their content. But we authors want you to “steal” quotes from our blog and spread them all over the Web. (Just link back to the blog* and spell our names right.) However, when I told the expensive web host I wanted protection from hackers, they put some awful thing on the blog that made it impossible to copy the content and post it to other blogs. I got called on the carpet for this by some of the biggest names in the industry and I had no idea it had happened or how to stop it. (I finally did get word to the right people and that “protection” went away.)But I ended up looking like a paranoid doofus.

*Note: If a strange blogger asks permission to link to your blog, be wary. All bloggers want “backlinks” because links boost SEO, so asking permission is overkill. These people generally want to open up a dialogue with you to perpetratea scam.

  • Use Networking, not Gimmicks, to Build Traffic.

Learning how to manipulate Google (otherwise known as “SEO”) will help you get a higher ranking in search engines. But when you’re starting out, your traffic is more likely to come from networking and social media. A new blog will get most of its traffic from posts and shares on social media or other blogs, not Google searches. People will come back if you are engaging and fun. It’s much more important to be friendly and have something interesting to offer than it is to have the right keywords, post frequency, or word count. Networking with other bloggers is probably the number one source of traffic for a new blog That meansmaking friends, not tricking people.

  • Content Really is King.

Some techies may have to game the system to get readers, but that’s because they don’t have the writer’s skill set. For a writer, good writing is more important than SEO. A friend once told me about an impressive guy who was going to dominate the book world because he was a major expert in SEO and had bought up a whole lot of book related domain names.So I went to Impressive Guy’s website,which had the great domain nameof books dot com or somethinglike that. There was nothing on the site but about 300 clunky, repetitive words about how to choose a good book. It boiled down to: read the New York Times Book Review. In other words, the site was worthless. Nobody was going to visit it twice. Manipulating the algorithms may get short-term results, but it’s not helpful in the long run. Good writers don’t need gimmicks. We only need to entertain and inform: content really is king. Be accessible and be yourself. Nothing else matters. (Well, correct spelling and grammar help too. )

  • Keep Control of Your Blog.

Simple, low-tech blogging is better than fancy tech-heavy stuff you can’t do yourself. Your blog is the face you show to the world. You’ll be held responsible for whatever happens there. I should have taken at least three months to learn to use WordPress dot org before we moved from Blogger, but I let fear and tech experts talk me out of my comfort zone. My expert help almost immediately became unavailable due to a family tragedy. And I almost ended up as a tragedy myself. None of that would have happenedif I’d insisted on keeping more control.

  • Never Sacrifice Your WIP for Your Blog.

I listened to business blog gurus who called me a slacker because I couldn’t spend eighteen hours a day blogging. Novels meant nothing to them. Publishers’ deadlines meant nothing to them. Nothing mattered but blog stats and subscriber numbers. When it was finally over, I realized all the advice I was getting was irrelevant to my needs and just plain wrong for an author. An author doesn’t have to post more than once a week. (Some bloggers call this “slow blogging.”) You can post less when you’re on a tear with your WIP.

  • Use Your Author Blog to Make Friends, Not Sales.

The sales will come. The more friends you have, the more sales in the long run. But treating a friend as nothing but a sales target is always going to backfire.

  • When You Need Help, Ask for It.

A number of readers offered to help me early on during the disastrous monetizing experiment, but I was afraid to admit defeat. Our blog only exists because of the wonderful people who stepped up and made the offer again. We are now at a different self-hosted WordPress dot org site, with a simpler template, and we are not monetized.

Our generous host is Bakerview Consulting. I will forever be grateful to tech-wizard Barb Drozdowich, the owner of Bakerview. Barb believes authors shouldn’t monetize, and now I realize she’s right. Do check out her books on blogging and social media. I also need to give a shout-out to the knights in shining armor at TechSurgeons, who came through with an emergency rescue in my hour of need.

10) The Most Important Marketing Rule is the Golden One.

A whole lot of contemporary Internet marketing is based on a false premise: the idea that a marketer’s job is to bully and trick customers into giving up their privacy and personal information so they can browbeat them into buying. (Some of my most relentless email spammers now have my Facebook address and DM theirspam to me on Facebook,too. Grrrr.)

I don’t know if they sell more vitamins or underwear that way, but it sure doesn’t work for books. A book is a world. It’s something you’re going to spend time with. If the author makes a reader feel bullied or stalked, they won’t want to go there. A reader needs to be enticed,not pushed.

You’ll have a much more successful blog—and writing career—if you put the customer first and ignore all the other “rules” of marketing.


I know blogging isn’t for everybody. But it can be a fantastic marketing tool and it’s the best way to get Google’s attention. So ignore most of what you’ve read about blogging and consider starting an easy, friendly, low-stress author blog. My book The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors will tell you exactly how to do that. In the long run, a relaxed author blog will sell your books better than all the aggressive, money-making blogging tactics in the world. Plus it cuts way down on your advertising expenses. An author blog will give you a secure place to interact with your fans and draw new readers. And for a lot of us, it’s just plain fun.

by Anne R. Allen (@annerallen) December 3, 2017

I found this post at:

Write On with Tom Fallwell will premiere on April 15th, and a new episode will be released each Saturday after. There will be book reviews, readings, author & character interviews, new release news, and much, much more. There are also advertising spots available in eachepisode for ridiculouslylow cost.

Find out more on my Write On with Tom Fallwell page on Facebook.

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LULU and our First Children’s Anthology

As many of you know…if you have read the last few blog posts, I have given up on Createspace for Anthologies…in fact for all my books. I will no longer promote them as the business to go to.

I went to LULU who have been brilliant so far.  They pay you via paypal, you can choose your own revenue, make hard back books, ebooks and they give you a store front as well.  I suppose this is like author central in a way, however i find it much better since you can choose your spotlight author heading and we all know marketing sells when it is done correctly. 

Lulu also have an online message system. I love it, especially during my learning time on how to use their site and upload a book. And upload a book I did. 

Our Children’s Anthology ‘A Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories’ is now available. It is proofed and costs $5.01. There is no revenue from this book due to no charity chosen. The ebook is also FREE worldwide through all ereaders (I uploaded this book on Draft to Digital)  The book has been printed on cream paper in Comic Sans font which is the closest to how children learn to write that I have found so far.

Now I have to work out the distribution…Fingers crossed.

KDP & Permafree

When you wish to have an ebook FREE forever on Amazon you have to ask and show proof that your ebook is already FREE with other distributers.  Well if you are publishing through KDP then use the APPLE links (worldwide) when you contact them.  Of course they will never guarentee they will make it FREE…after all they love to rock the boat and make your life as difficult as possible.

Now what happens if you wish to have Permafree but you publish with another distributer?  Good question and one they keep changing their minds on.  As you may have noticed in the past Pronoun used to distribute to Amazon and you could have the book up for FREE from the word go.  Bloody brilliant…except Pronoun have closed down.  Just when you thought it was all over Draft to Digital started to distribute to Amazon…Sadly it was for miminum price.  Their deal for some reason won’t do FREE like they did with Pronoun.  As yet I have no idea why.

Now in October Plaisted Publishing House released it’s sevenths Anthology called Ghostly Writes Anthology 2017.  WE distributed via Draft to Digital, thinking it would be easy to sort out.  It took several emails to get them to do Permafree.  YAY I thought…until we released our next Anthology ‘A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales.’

Nope they won’t make it free because they are not the publisher even though they did the Ghostly Writes one.  I protested and they won’t budge coz we used Draft to Digital. Even when I told them about the deal they made with Draft to Digital won’t let ebooks be free from the word go…still sorry no go. They told me to ask Draft to Digital to contact Amazon to ask for Perma FREE.  Fine more hoops to jump through now I wonder if D2D will assist. 

I have emailed Draft to Digital and hope they can help.  I just wish KDP would simplify things for themselves and their clients.  They have certainly put me off publishing via them. Meanwhile, a book which should be free…isn’t..well only if you buy off Amazon.  All the other distributers including Apple where you can download all our Anthologies for FREE.

Indie Publishing New – July 2017

Please find attached Three Files. PDF, PPS & Flip file link for the current Indie Publishing News.

Indie Publishing News Issue 14 July 2017 PDF

Indie Publishing News Issue 14 July 2017 PPS


Spotlight Author this month is former paratrooper Mark McQuillen, who now writes fantasy fiction.  There are also educational information about Book Launches, Comic Cons and how to use them to your advantage.  Enjoy