Tag Archives: new releases

Indie Publishing News – March 2018

This is a copy of last months Magazine for those who wish to read through without images or links.  It does keep you up to date and I encourage everyone to join in with this promotional tool which is FREE if you sign up to receive and share the magazine across your social medai groups and email groups.  This is how we extend our reach to help each other.  Thanks

From the Editor’s Desk

Rather late this month due to not having enough links, interviews and flash fiction. Please get your items in to me by 10th of each month

In this issue you will find information on all sorts of things, including the second part of how to use amazon to get your books noticed. We also have our second graphic artist/book cover designer in the spotlight. I do hope you like the magazine cover she designed.

Take Care of Each Other. Love, Live and Help where you can.

The more we work together the  better Our final product will be!

Plaisted Publishing

House Ltd

Helping Indie Authors get their books published professionally

Now we have celebrated two years. I have opened this magazine to Indie Music in hopes you will watch and listen to something different. Next month we will have a music interview with thanks to Tory Gates.

Look out for the educational and informational articles you’ll find spread through out this magazine. Don’t forget to join in the fun and send in articles for everyone to enjoy or learn from. The more we share, the better the team work, the better we become as writers.

Together Each Achieves More

Orbits Through Time by C A Keith

Krystal looked around at her surroundings. She had a funny feeling like she’d been there before. Déjà vu. It was niggling her and she didn’t like the eerie gut feeling like she’d been there before. It was late and she felt like she just woke up from a long nap unsure of how she got where she was. Krystal’s cotton summer sleeveless dress clung to her. Even at eleven at night, it was still humid. She looked younger than her age of 25. Her hair hung limply against her forehead. She blew air out of her mouth to blow a strand of hair from her eyes. It blew up and stuck to her damp forehead.

A tall man in a smart shirt and trousers swiftly approached her. He moved closer. Suspiciously, he looked from atop his dark glasses. His head darted as he looked around him.
“What are you doing out this time of night? You should not be seen. Run quickly before they spot you. They will pick you up. What are you doing here?” He whispered softly.
Krystal dropped her head. “I’m not sure really. I was sitting on that park bench just after my dinner and the next thing you know it is pitch dark. I looked at my phone and saw that it was 11:11pm,” she explained. She showed him her brand new blingy iPhone 10 that she recently purchased. Smiling, she pulled at a few stray strands of hair and tucked them behind her ear.
“Why do you have that old thing? My name is Kevin. Never mind. Come with me. You can stay with my wife until morning. You won’t be spotted easily at rush hour in the morning. My wife has a code reader that will scramble your code. It’s dark. But where is your bar code?” He lifted her arm turning it around. He grabbed her gently by the elbow and directed her to the next small road. I’m Krystal. I don’t know what is going on here. I don’t live far from here I think.
She got worried when he tugged at her arm. She didn’t know him and was somewhat concerned about where he was taking her. She noticed the signs indicated she was on the corner of Trillium and Maple Street. They were heading west on Maple. She lived on Maple, number 11. She squinted at the numbers. There was something off. Her eyes strained to look at the house number, 30. She wondered why the Miller’s cut down their huge oak tree. It was beautiful. It was there yesterday. The houses looked odd as if seeing them for the first time. The continued walking briskly and furtively.
The man kept a watchful eye around him with every step. “Well, here we are. My place. I will introduce you to my wife. She can take you home in the morning safely. You should know better than to come out at this time,” he said firmly. “Ok. What’s going on here? Who are you really? This is my house. I live at 11 Maple Street,” Krystal said suspiciously. She pulled out her driver’s licence and handed it to Kevin.
Kevin looked at the plastic card and laughed. “Where did you get this card? They stopping making cards a hundred years ago,” he laughed.
“You’re lying! Why are you saying these things?” She ran to the door and yelled, “Mom, Dad let me in!” knocking loud enough for porch lights to turn on.
“Keep it down! You don’t want to alert the Shroff’s.” He turned his head quickly and shielded her body with his large coat.
“Shroff’s?” She wrinkled her nose as he stood largely in front of her using his trench coat as a cover.
The door made a series of buzz and clicks as latches opened the door. His wife, named Sandy, stood half asleep beside the door in her cotton pajamas.
“Kev, what’s going on?” she wearily asked. He grabbed Krystal by the hand and pulled her in swiftly. The door slammed shut with repeated buzzes and clicks to lock it securely.
Krystal looked around with disbelief. Everything looked odd. The living room set that her parents recently bought were not there. Everything looked more modern. A television screen covered most of the wall. “Is this a hidden prank show? This is 11 Maple Street in Westnoor, Virginia Beach. Right?” She furrowed her brow and looked inward as if to answer her own question.
Krystal had never been so confused before. She sat down on the sofa. She pushed back to lift the legs but a motor switched on and adjusted the seat to an automatic perfect setting. The chair elevated her legs and the head rest inched forward so her head rested comfortably. Upon her rested state, the television lit and words came on the screen. “Would you like a drink?” It said. In her head she wished she could have a stiff rye on ice. Before she had the chance to reply the TV blinked, “Your request was received, rye on ice coming up.” The TV screen said aloud.
“Wait! Wha- What?” She blinked and felt woozy.
“Anti-sickness medication and sleeping pill coming up,” The television posted.
She looked over at Kev, then his wife, then back to the television. Buzzing sounds came from the kitchen then a whirring neared her. She saw what looked like a robotic stool with a tray on top. It stopped near Krystal with her requested drink and a side dish of biscuits and pills. She looked, mouth ajar. Her hand slowly brought her jaw back into place.
“Will you pinch me please?” She demanded. She scratched herself with her nail to leave a red welt. Her nail was sharp enough to draw blood. “Wake up, wake up!” She told herself. Krystal felt like she was in a dream.
“Ok! Let’s go through this again. Where did you get that old plastic card? It’s weird that it has your picture on it. Did someone make that for you?” Kevin asked her.
“No. It’s my card. I got my picture taken a couple of years ago. What is happening? Where are my parents? Is this some weird undercover thing?” She said angrily. Her teeth bit down hard against each other. The grating sounds startled her. She reached in her mouth and fingered the sharp edge of the tooth that she chipped from biting down aggressively. “I woke up this morning and went to get coffee like usual. The next thing I know I was sitting on that bench at the park where you saw me. I can’t remember what I did today. I’ve drawn a blank. I come to my home and you can’t tell me where my parents are and you’ve moved stuff in my house. You’re freaking me out with the TV thing. Is this a practical joke show?” she said, eyebrows furrowed and glaring at the strangers in her home. “What year do you think this is?” He glared, awaiting an answer.
“Of course, it’s 11th November 2020. Here just a minute. In my purse I got my work pay stub. My name and address is on the stub?” She rifled through her purse that was slung over her opposite shoulder across her body underneath her coat. She didn’t like having her purse obvious to others. Nor did she like carrying a person either.
“Stub?” He furrowed his brow.
Krystal handed him her pay stub that showed her name, address, and where she worked, Flannigan’s Textiles.
Kevin and Sandy squinted their eyes, puzzled by the paper. They turned it back and forth several times trying to make sense of the paper. They looked at some of her other ID that she handed them, credit cards, debit cards, health card. Everything had her name on it, some with expiry dates within the next five years. No one had paper identification anymore. Everyone had chips. No one could make mistakes or fool the government. They knew almost everything, at any time you left the house.
He flashed his arm in front of the screen. “Orbit, What is today’s date?” “Today’s date is 11th November 2120.” The TV screen responded.
“Why are you saying those things? Stop freaking me out. Really, where are my parents and who are you?” Krystal was edgy. Tears welled in her eyes until they gushed when she blinked. She thought she was dreaming until she saw the dried blood that dried and clotted on her skin. She rubbed her head with her fingertips, in search for a bump. Perhaps she fell and she was dreaming, the only possible cause to this madness.
She squeezed her soggy eyelids tight. She held them closed for 30 seconds, reopened them, and nothing had changed. “Seriously now, where the heck are my parents?”
“Orbit, show me events of 2025,” Kevin directed to the TV. “Do you really want to know?” He looked over at Krystal with compassion.
She nodded and waited to hear.
The TV thought for a moment. “Here are some top events of the year 2025?”
Krystal watched wide-eyed as events unfolded in front of her eyes, “President assassinated, Bomb dropped in several states, leaving hundreds of thousands dead. States nearby each bombs affected with burns, severe injuries. Those in safe zones survived, many didn’t. Top bands include,…” He paused the TV.
“Before that occurred, there were warnings. Not many listened or even believed the warnings. From what I remember reading about in history, there were underground bunkers. How you got here, I don’t know. I’ve heard about time travel. But I wonder where you were at the time? I wonder how or why you got sent here?”
Krystal wept. All she wanted was to find her parents. She wondered how she got there. Maybe if she slept, she’d wake up, and it would all be one crazy dream. “Who were these strangers? How could she save her family from a devastation so grand? Who would believe her anyway?
Kevin showed her to her room, which was their guest bedroom. He handed her a tee-shirt to sleep in. In the morning, they would all have to think of a plan, either to send her back to the right time, or figure out, how to avoid getting caught, and sent to prison. Those that got sent to Santa Clara Island, never came back. Those that questioned the government, would never return. No one knew what happened. He worked for a secret organization. There were many levels of the government. Even he didn’t understand the tiered system. Those that questioned, took a seemingly long vacation, and never came back. “Keep your head to the ground, don’t ask questions, don’t fight back, listen, do as your told, go where you’re told, say what they tell you to say, and life will be tolerable.”
“Orbit, turn on the night light.” The light flickered off and a dimmer light shone through the room.
Krystal shuddered and tucked the warm blankets up to her chin. The bed was plush and comfy. She had so many questions, so little answers. How would she find her way back home? Was she really was stuck in the future? She recalled giggling with her friends when they broached the topic of time travel. Not ever did she believe in time travel.
“Why me? Why am I here? I never would have chosen to really come here. How will I get back home? Who will believe me when I tell them?”
She sobbed quietly into her pillow. For now, she needed to sleep. Her head hurt. Tomorrow, she would figure out if she was really dreaming. If this was her new reality, how would she get back to life as she knew it. Krystal was about to realize she was in the biggest fight if her life. Her life would forever remain in orbit 11:11, if she couldn’t find the portal in time. Her time was counting down.

Spotlight Graphic Artist – Sharon Lipman

Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a cover designer and paranormal romance author, originally from west London, but I now live in southern Spain. I concentrate on covers for paranormal romance, urban fantasy and dystopian stories, but I have clients who write in a wide range of genres. I specialise in photomanipulation, not illustration, and all my covers include at least two different images – though it is usually a lot more – to  create a new and unique image.

How did you get into graphic design?                                                          .
I am also an author and I started seriously looking at cover creation when I was about half-way through writing my first novel. I’ve always been creative, and have enjoyed painting, textile work and crochet for many many years. I’d never dabbled in digital art before, but I had a vision of what I wanted for my own book cover and decided to investigate whether I could do it myself.

When did you start?
About 6 years ago. I started creating mood boards and looking at what the market expected from paranormal romance covers – the genre I write in.

What inspires you?
A lot of things. Sometimes it’s a title, or a genre. Sometimes I find a great model in a fantastic pose and think to myself, wouldn’t it be great if she was a witch/angel/sword fighter? I make quite a few premade covers so I keep an eye out for great covers in my favourite genres – paranormal romance, urban fantasy and dystopian – but sometimes I like to create covers that are outside of my normal go-to genres. I have horror, thriller, sci-fi and post-apocalyptic covers in my portfolio too. I was recently asked to redo a cozy mystery series, something I have not done before, but I love expanding my horizons and creating beautiful, eye-catching covers for my clients.

Did you have any formal training?
No. I took art when I was at school, and have always had an inner need to create stuff – whether that’s great looking book covers, a new watercolour, crocheting a piece of clothing, or trying a new recipe in the kitchen. I spent a lot of time looking at online tutorials and practicing new techniques. It’s not something I learnt overnight or knew immediately how to do, and I’m still learning. There are always new techniques to learn, or new plugins and digital brushes to try, and I enjoy putting new elements into my work.

Your favourite part of design
I love it when a plan comes together! I have some wonderful clients and I love providing them with something better than they were expecting. I also love finding new ways to create – as I said, I’m always learning.

Least favourite part of design
From a practical point of view, cutting out body parts is time consuming and sometimes difficult and boring. It’s worth it in the end, but unfortunately there’s no magic button for removing backgrounds from images. It takes time and attention to detail.

From a design point of view, some authors want all seventeen characters and three different worlds on their covers. I’m an author too, so I know what it feels like to want to show the world everything on your book cover, but honestly, it’s not going to work. There is limited space on a book cover and it’s much better to give readers something eye-catching and indicative of the story and genre than it is to try and recreate the whole story in one image.

What’s your favourite tool? Paintbrush stylus pencil marker?
I’m probably in the minority here, but I usually use my mouse! I know a lot of fellow designers use a graphic design pen, and I do have one, but I only use it for certain aspects of my designs. Sometimes I don’t use it at all. I suppose it’s what I’m used to. I use my graphic pen and pad if I need to digitally paint something, but for a lot of my work I’m manipulating images, and I find my mouse much easier to use.

Do you prefer black and white Grayslake or colourbomb
Given the genres I usually work in, colourbomb is usually the way to go – though there is beauty in greyscale, if it fits the story and genre.

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
I paint on paper and canvas for pleasure, but not for my cover design. All of my covers are created digitally using photomanipulation techniques and combining several images to create something new.

Book Reviews

Bat Shit Crazy Review Requests by Gisela Hausmann

You know those people who are able to tell a great joke, keeping on a terribly serious face expression, so that, as you scramble back to normalcy from laughter, you suddenly calm down and start wondering if, perhaps, they may have been serious and actually meant it seriously? Well, I think Ms Hausmann is one of them. You may laugh at some of the cited email review requests, but some will have you thinking and rethinking quite seriously your own email writing. With a giggle or two, but still – you will think on it.

Having read several non-fiction, no-fluff books by Gisela Hausmann, marketing expert, I was looking forward to reading this one, which takes on a different route, a slightly comical one, yet still very instructive.

This is an interesting and quite helpful approach to work emails, not just for review purposes, and I would definitely recommend it to people who need practical advice, but don’t want to read a dry, fact-filled instruction book. In simple layers of text, email quote
followed by a line or two in comment by the author, the book reminded me of a witty, yet tough teacher commenting on the students’ essays. Being respectful of teacherly advice, I am already rethinking my emails.

PS: the presidential campaign emails are extra added value.

Reviewed by Anita Kovacevic

Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

The Great literary fiction, part one. ((How highly can I praise this book without looking like a sycophant? And, why are we having to wait for the next part of the story???))

Elegant literary fiction which is also literate, modern, gripping, and extraordinarily entertaining, to label the subject matter a ‘love triangle’ would be like daubing the Taj Mahal with graffiti.

Alicia Ehrhardt takes the reader into the persons of Kary, Andrew and Bianca by turns, and uses this approach with consummate skill to construct characters whom one comes to know, ((dare I say this?)) rather better than one knows one’s spouse, or significant other. She does this better than any other author I have yet read. The plot is more than character-driven; there is a sense in which the plot is the characters.

The pace is unhurried, almost meditative at times. By contrast, the tension is considerable, and the reader is kept in suspense all the way to the disappointing end. I have to call it disappointing because Ms. Ehrhardt has clearly planned the whole story across a trilogy, and this is therefore only the first part. Disappointing, because by the time one reaches the end of this first book, one is aching for resolution. ((Well, I was, at least.))

The writing itself is beautiful, witty, and considered. I felt at times that every word had been weighed. Ms. Ehrhardt has created characters of rare power and beauty, whose natures result in relationships of living, breathing complexity. Beside the central three, other characters look quite flat – and yet, they are as developed as most good authors’ central protagonists. The settings and situations are fully realised, being founded upon either the author’s own experience or diligent, exhaustive research. ((I can’t tell which. Ha!))

I cannot recommend this book, this trilogy, highly enough – but not to everyone. This is a book for readers who appreciate literary fiction and a very deeply developed romance with a thoughtful debate on ethics. I believe the pace and the delayed gratification will frustrate many modern romance readers who look for fast-burning romance, titillation, and simple love stories. However, if you are a reader who will appreciate a modern ‘Jane Eyre’, this trilogy is for you.

Reviewed by D B Rose

Nightmares Rising By Mirren Hogan & Erin Yoshikawa

I received a PDF of this novel from the authors in exchange for an unbiased review. Neither author threatened me, bribed me, or promised chocolate.


What they did promise was a good story, and Nightmares Rise delivers. The characters are engaging, the action pretty solid, the dialogue was also solid and the locale plus the creeps added up to a fine read. Now, I did have one little quibble, and that was the sex…it was a little continuous for me. I’m no prude, and, granted, the main characters make for an attractive couple, but at times the novel verged into AV territory…almost, but not quite.

What Ms. Hogan and Ms. Yoshikawa are adept at doing is transitioning quite well from a steamy romp into creepy or sudden danger. Not many authors can do that, but they pulled it off nicely.

Overall, a good start to a trilogy. Recommended.

Reviewed by J S Frankel

Tainted Waters By Lucretia Stanhope

This is a fantastic read that keeps the reader wondering and guessing from start to finish. It is often said that light drives out darkness and that loves drives away fear. Such proverbs may be mostly true most of the time, but not without exception.

‘Tainted Waters’ is a book full of such exceptions. It is a story of shadows and illusions, doubts and deceptions, and of clouded thoughts and emotions. In her youth, Alice desires security, truth and a sense of belonging, but enjoys none of these. Trusting nobody and belonging nowhere, her world is one where, time and time again, she has to choose the least terrible option and learn to make the best of it.

Stanhope has woven a tale in which conflict, distrust and obscured truths come into sharp contrast as the powers of light and darkness battle with one another for supremacy.

As Alice discovers who and what she is, and how to make use of the resources available to her, the reader sees those same contrasts in her character: naïveté and inherited knowledge, vulnerability and power, weakness and strength.

This is a fantastic read that keeps the reader wondering and guessing from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found it hard to put down. Acorn Award I Golden

‘Tainted Waters’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence in storytelling.

Reviewed by Book Squirrel

Outcasts By J S Frankel

I must applaud the author for coming up with the character that is Callie. She transforms between being a male and a female, and her struggles resemble that of a transgender person perfectly. When Mitch falls in love with Callie, he also has to deal with his confused feelings. Everybody calls him gay, and he has to overcome his homophobia before he could really be with her. This is very thought-provoking stuff, especially when she talks about the difficulties of not knowing which bathroom to use.

When you are a teenager, change can be hard. But for these four teenagers, change came with impossible challenges. bookerina.com book review Outcasts by J.S. Frankel


Heck yes, I would. It is one of those books that you struggle to put down. There are still some unanswered questions, so I am looking forward to the rest of the series coming out.

Reviewed by Bookerina

One Snowy Night – Short Romance Anthology

An entertaining book of short stories that certainly warmed the heart.

Unforeseen Circumstances –

Though the premise of this story sounded like a bad soap opera, a woman suffering from amnesia falls back in love with her ex, it was done in a way that made it endearing. The characters were relatable and the story sweet.

All the Things I Should Have Told You –

My second favorite story in this collection. A heart wrenching story about unrequited love and how true love means sacrifice and undying loyalty. My favorite bit was these lines at the beginning: “Hell is not full of screams or wails. It is full of rhythmic, mechanical breaths and the beep of machines. It smells of disinfectant, and the cruelest trick it plays is letting you know that everybody is doing everything they can, but it might all flitter away in a moment.”

One Snowy Day –

This was my least favorite story. The story is sweet and certainly tugs at the heartstrings, but there is far more dialogue than narrative. The characters have too many info dump conversations and opportunities to really get to know the characters on a more personal level are glossed over.

Again, the story itself is not bad, but it could have been presented better.

Somewhere Between Falling –

My favorite story of the bunch. Told from the two main character’s point of views, we meet two people who have had their lives turned upside down and their hearts broken. Meeting again has old sparks flying and they begin to wonder if their past disastrous relationships were as deep as they had originally thought. Lovable characters and an intriguing plot made this one hard to put down.

All in all, a nice collection for a cold winter day.

Reviewed by Marie’s Review

Justice for the Lemon Trees By Jessica Lucci

“Justice for the Lemon Trees” is Author Jessica Lucci’s personal memoir of “tragic child abuse, brash bullying, and calamitous schooling”. Plagued by domestic violence, and an unfair social services system that would rather imprison women than provide the mental healthcare they need and deserve, Lucci rises up time and again through despair, loss, and tragedy to become an effective advocate for others walking the most difficult paths of life, leading them from helpless victim to proud survivor.

For once, I’m not going to expand on the author’s writing style—which, by the way, conveys the reallife, nitty-gritty life she has endured. I am only going to say that, for anyone who has experienced childhood sexual-abuse, bullying, domestic trauma, and the misfortune of being completely misunderstood and discounted, meet your kindred soul-survivor.

I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand how a person who is broken down time and time again still has the courage and fortitude to rise up and become a beacon to others.

To Author Lucci—for all the life lessons you had to learn the hardest way possible, for all the bright spots you sparked in a sea of misery, for all the work you do to help those survivors of abuse and trauma today—I’ll just say a simple, “Thank you for being who you are today.”

Reviewed by J B Richards

Take Care of Each Other

Stop the Bullying

Help and Stand with

Indie Authors

Fixture & Fittings by Julia Blake

Having read the first book, I was really interested to see what this was going to be like. I knew I would enjoy it as I liked the author’s writing style and story telling.

I wasn’t disappointed. Julia Blake wove a wonderful tale of a house and its occupants. Suddenly the book’s cover and title fell into place. It had everything I loved in a story; intrigue, romance, drama and great characters. There was even a little joke running throughout regarding the twins. I’ll let you discover that.

It was interesting to see how the people from the first book made an appearance as minor characters. At this point, I must say, you don’t have to read the first book first, as this is a completely separate story.

Because I read so many books, I appreciate it when they are shorter ones. My Kindle told me this was just under 4 hours of reading time.

However, now and again you read a something and realise its coming to an end, and you’re not done with it the characters yet. For me, it was over too soon. I wanted more of the romance between Marcus and Grace; more of their discovery of each other. I’d also liked to have been involved in the ‘doing up’ of the house. I’d already wondered whether they would have to move out first and how they would feel about the changes. They were some great descriptions of how run down it had become and how loved it was. As a reader I’d bought into this house and would have liked to have seen its rebirth.

As some point it was said that Grace was hiding under her appearance. Marcus, too, said it took time to see the real Grace who was buried under her quirkiness. I would have like to have seen her emerge as a duckling to a swan.

Grace’s daughter, Zoey was an interesting character. She sensed things. She knew when she awoke one morning that the day was going to end badly. She also sensed her bees wouldn’t hurt her, and it made me wonder if there as a little paranormal there and what kind of a story that would make.

The author is writing more books about different members of the Blackwood family, and I believe she can write a book in a fortnight. So the upside is we don’t have to wait too long for them.

If a book leaves you wanting more, then its done its job. This one certainly did that.

Reviewed by Karen’s Book Buzz

The Maori Detective by D A Crossman

Great debut NZ crime novel

This was a great read. An interesting start; from the Prologue – different characters located in Sydney, Wellington, Cairo, Christchurch; the job offer from a Mr Prince to protagonist Carlos Wallace (ex-cop, suffering, part-Maori), and an unexpected inheritance of a house, all seemingly disconnected but the fun is seeing how they all inter-relate and send Carlos on very merry (and some not so) chases.

The main setting of Christchurch, post earthquake is almost a character in its own right and Carlos, newly returned to NZ takes up the PI job offer from the absent Mr Prince (but, conveniently, he supplies them with premises and funds to operate).

His side-kick, Ginny Andrews is a feisty, capable woman (thank goodness). The relative who left him the house asks only that Carlos looks after his wh?nau and in particular, his cousin, Miriama.

The story moves at a fast pace and maybe, once or twice, things are glossed over a tad too quickly, but they don’t detract from the whole.

Characters are strong – I liked Uncle Tau, local cop about to retire, who reminds Carlos of the family background and supposed curse and the pressure on Carlos to sort out the family problems. Soon the PI jobs of looking for lost dogs and unfaithful wives leads go on the back burner (to surface later) as Carlos investigates a missing person case that leads to international complications.

All things are connected, the story is layered, the links to Maori culture strong. Recommended.

Reviewed by Amazon Customer

Dragon’s Quest – a working draft novel

by Claire Plaisted

Jagan swooped down lower, twisting and turning, laughing when he felt Zoe cling tighter to his back as they zoomed through the night sky.
“Behave Jagan,” she screamed, wind whistling past her ears, her long hair braid smacking her back.
“It’s fun,” he huffed out a flash of fire, nearly singing his nostrils when the wind blew it back into his face making him yelp. “Serves your right.” She leant over his neck looking at the city below with a frown. “Jagan, how come this place looks untouched?”
“How would I know, ask your mother.”
“Thought you knew everything.”
“Well I’m finding a place to land on the outskirts, we can rest for the night and then you can go find out what’s going on in the morning.”
“Yes boss,” she smacked his scales as he landed gently in a fallow field.
Zoe chanted and soon Jagan was asleep in her pocket.
“Mother, why did you send me here?”
“They need guidance, my daughter,” whispered Gaia. “They need to believe again.” “Believe?”
“Their new King is leading them astray, away from the truth with his lies and deceit.”
“Who is the new King?”
“Lord Rumpleton. Take great care. He is powerful and dangerous with many minions supporting his rule. “What do you wish me to do?”
“You will know when the time is right.”
“Goodnight mother.”
Zoe curled up on the ground, making a fire orb to keep her body warm with a mist over her so nobody would find her. It was always best to be careful in a new place.

Garaith peered out of the dirty window wondering what type of bird has just flown past. It was huge, bigger than even an eagle and a strange colour. Frowning, he put his eye back to the window again, and other than a quick flicker of light there was nothing. The night was too dark and it had begun to rain.
“Get to bed before dad catches you Garaith,” whispered his twin sister—Ceraith.
“I’m sure I saw something,” he muttered back to her, scrambling off the window ledge as loud steps pounded up the stairs. He dived under the bedclothes, covering his head as their door slammed open. A huge dark figure of a man stood in the doorway glaring before stomping out and closing the door with a loud click. “Damn that was close,” Ceraith mumbled.
“You get caught and we both get punished.” Her skinny young body trembled, her big cyan eyes spilling tears. “I wish mum were still here. I can’t understand what happened.”
“Tis weird.”
“Sleep now. We’ve work in the morn’n.” “Wish we could go back t’ school.”

Down stairs the twins father sat by the roaring fire smoking his pipe, his feet on the hearth. He was waiting for a message, wishing they’d hurry up so he could get some sleep. He hated waiting for people. Lifting his foot, he kicked one of the wolves, it growled snapping at his foot, its fangs digging into Valten’s leather boot making him laugh.
“You’re like a kitty cat with a bite like that, you daft mutt.”
A soft knock on his front door had him jump out of his chair ambling over to yank it open. “What?”
“Message for ya.”
“How the heck do I know.”
The had handed over a leather pouch tied with a piece of string and hurried away.
Slamming his door, he sank back into his chair, shoving the wolf out of his way to chuck another log on the fire. Unwrapping the leather pouch, he took out the cream paper reading the contents with a scowl.
“Damn the man,” he muttered, screwing up the paper, tossing in on the fire watching the yellow and red flames lick around the edges as it burst into flames.
“It’s started,” whispered Gaia
“Mother,” muttered Zoe, turning in her sleep, dreams turning to nightmares. “No mother, please. They can’t,” she stretched out her arms, fear filling her.

Zoe woke with a burst of energy, sitting up she looked around her frowning. Listening, she heard the whispers on the wind. Small animals were running away from the town, birds flocked together flying north away from the city. A horse in a nearby field lifted its head, listened for a moment. Neighing he jumped over the hedgerows following the birds to the north.
Getting to her feet, Zoe held out her hands, opening her mind to Gaia to find her mother agitated, wringing her hands, pacing outside her cottage. “What is happening, mother mine?”
“Evil is growing in the city.”

Testimonials for Fantasia

“Fantasia Covers is magical to work with. She offers gorgeous premades, but can also create stunning custom covers with little direction. I always enjoy working with her and highly recommend her services to all of my friends.”
Catherine Banks, USA Today Bestselling Author

” I have worked with Sharon Lipman of Fantasia Covers for 2 book covers and the accompanying promotional materials. She is an amazing artist and extremely professional to work with. In particular the cover of my last book, The Woman at the Well never fails to elicit a “gasp! Who did that cover?” from people who are seeing the gorgeous art for the first time! It always gives me great pleasure to recommend Sharon and Fantasia Covers! She is exceptional!
Alana Haase, Author

“Mrs. Lipman was wonderful to work with. Not only is she easily approachable, but she worked well with our ideas to incorporate it into a beautiful and original book cover. While our book is not fantasy driven, her work with Fantasia Covers can fit any genre and be just as eye-catching. We greatly recommend her.”
Jessica, Mackenzie, Meredith, and Stephanie Jackson, Authors

“Sharon took an idea I had and brought it to fruition with a creative flair that managed to catch the eye of the post-apoc community, bringing them running and nearly tearing down the doors to get in…”
L.L. Akers, Author

The Auditions by Jane Risdon 2018

Her head thumped and it was a toss-up between a glass of red and a handful of Aspirin.
‘Dear God, the things I do for charity,’ she mumbled. The last of the ‘performer’s had left and she leaned back in her leather chair closing her eyes. Her engineer took another drag on his splif and blew smoke circles in the air. ‘What the hell!’ He shook his head, putting his feet up on the desk.
‘My thoughts exactly,’ she said wearily.

Two days of auditioning hopefuls for a charity record and video had been sheer torture.
‘The bloke who barked and meowed; bloody hell!’ The engineer took a swig of his cold tea. His head throbbed too. ‘Got any
‘Was thinking more along the lines of wine, but yeah, in my coat pocket. Bring some for me.’ She pointed to the coat rack by the studio door. ‘Arsenic might be better come to think of it.’
‘Who the hell writes a song for ‘Spit the Dog’, whatever that is?’ She rubbed her aching eyes.
‘Here,’ her engineer shook two pills on to his producer’s hand. ‘Just don’t go there.’
She gulped her own cold tea and shuddered. ‘Can’t remember the last time I had a half decent hot drink.’
‘Oh well, it’s over now and we can put it all behind us, and move on to the next job. Let them worry about the rubbish, we did our job. I can’t believe they’ll make a record with any of them.’
‘Just don’t want any credits on anything for that lot, do you?’ The producer stood up and rubbed her aching back. ‘Freebie it may have been, but they’ve been having a laugh. Sending such dire crap and expecting us to pick some talent from that lot. Talent! Glad I don’t have to polish it.’
‘Hell no!’ The engineer began to wind leads and put them on the hooks in the cubby hole next to the desk. ‘Good luck to ‘em I say. Gonna need it.’
‘Remember that bloke on the first day?’ She asked, staring into the live room. ‘I’m getting flash backs.’
The engineer roared with laughter. ‘Bloody hell, that was out there or what!’
‘No-one would believe us,’ she laughed too. ‘I mean, your face when he came in, I couldn’t look at you.’
‘Don’t know where they find ‘em; I mean leopard skin tights which hid nothing, full make-up and the pouting lips – no-one told him the eighties is over.’ The engineer chuckled recalling the Steve Tyler look-alike who’d pranced into the studio and caressed the mic stand suggestively, as he flicked his long curls, thrusting his groin in the direction of the control room, and blowing kisses at the producer. ‘He was so full of it.’
‘The funniest was when he started singing and thrusting himself all over the studio, I thought I’d burst a gasket and I daren’t look at you, I mean, when his ‘appendage’ began to slip down his leg.’ The producer began to laugh, holding her stomach.
‘Yeah, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Every time he moved, ‘it’ moved a little further down his leg, flipping hell – that was hysterical.’
‘He couldn’t sing to save his life but I give it to him, he had balls.’ And they both laughed their heads off at the memory. ‘Well, he did and he didn’t.’ The producer cackled as she recalled the spectacle auditioning in front of them. ‘I nearly passed out when ‘it’ managed to find its way down to his ankle boot. I’ve seen some sights in my life, but never a courgette used like that before. I mean, who did he think it was going to impress?’ She grabbed her seat to steady herself as laughter rocked her body. ‘Especially when you looked at where it had come from, talk about disappointment!’
‘He obviously wanted to impress you. I didn’t fancy him at all. I nearly choked as he contorted himself trying to stop it slipping from where he’d put it, I mean your eyes were out on stalks. Never seen anything so funny, and as he hit the high note in ‘Red Corvette,’ it stopped just by his ankle.’ The engineer and producer rocked, gasping for breath.
‘Steve Tyler eat your heart out.’ The engineer wiped his eyes, ‘and he casually removed it still singing, not a blink of his eye, nothing.’
‘You can never say I’m swayed by bribery and suggestion,’ the producer managed to say.
‘Nothing impresses you, not even a guy with a large courgette!’


skin like the richest,
dark chocolate smooth and silky, tightly coiled curls
the colour of the void;
skin like the richest, creamy coffee warm and soft,
loose curls cascading down
the colour of warmest earth;
skin like the richest olive groveshimmering and smooth,
wavy locks billowing in ocean breeze

he colour of chestnuts;
skin like the palest milk,
rich and fresh dotted with freckles
strands of straightened hair the colour of warmed straw;
all are enticing and beautiful hidden strengths within
like steel buried in deepest earth; blessings given
to menkind by the universe only to be shamed for their Uniqueness

KyrenaLynch 2018

So You Wrote A Book! Now What? By Patty L Fletcher

Well, before you get into it let me just ask you a few questions.

  • Are you willing to push yourself past limits that make you feel pain?
  • Are you willing to go the extra mile?
  • Are you willing to get over the idiot voices in your head that tell you that your work sucks, put your heart somewhere on a shelf, develop a thick skin bust your ass and work harder than you have ever worked in your life?
  • Are you willing to, when you hire someone to market you, to pay attention to every detail as if it were the very breath you need to stay alive, and to give the work you spent hours and hours slaving over the attention it deserves?

Because if you are not, I just want to know how you expect anyone to want to buy your work, and read it?

Ladies and gents if you do not believe in your work enough to sweat with everything you have inside you and give it everything you have, and stop making piddling excuses not one other person is going to look at your work more than to say, “Well, hell, if the author doesn’t believe in it why the hell should I?”

You say you don’t know what to tell people about your work, when your marketer asks you how you want to promote yourself.

First you do not tell them. You show them.

  • You show them by the content writing you put out after the book is published.
  • You show them by getting into the grit and grime of dog eat dog competition entering contest after contest, entering your writings in magazine submissions, and papering your walls with rejection slips.
  • If you do not submit people cannot accept.
  • If you do not get yourself back up off the floor after every knock down no one is going to do more than take the toe of their shoe and scoot you out of the way.

So, if you really want to be a bestselling author, you’re going to have to work, work, work, and did I mention work? Because there are one-million and more out there just like you.

  • You want to be a Bestselling author?
  • You want your writing to pay the bills rather than the jobs you are doing?

Then roll your sleeves up and get ready to work.

My old supervisor had a saying, and it is true.

“The one you are helping needs to be willing to work harder than you are to make it happen.”

That means when someone hires me to do a job they’re going to bust their asses as hard as will I. From now on if people want me to work for them they are going to work with me. That is that. No excuses no exceptions. If I mess up I expect them to call me on it. I won’t ask anything of others I don’t ask of myself every day.

When I wrote my first book, I was working 80 hours per week at a regular job.

I got up at 3 in the morning did without sleep, never went anywhere, never had a life, to get my book published, and the current of the self-publishing world drags me under every-day and I get the hell up dry myself off and do it again. I’ll keep doing it and I’ll keep doing it. I have done it. I went out and even though my first book was not doing so great, I wrote another, and I’m now working on my third.


Because I want it. I want it more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life and I’m going to have it.

I ask again.

So, you wrote a book. Now what?

Now, if you are ready to roll your sleeves up and work harder than you ever worked in your life making your passion a success, then I can help you with marketing. You can contact me at patty,volunteer1@gmail.com

The secret of getting ahead, is getting started

Mark Twain


Children’s Book Reviews

The Top Secret Cheese by Mr Wolf

A cute story! The evil couple were perfectly horrible villains who eventually get what they deserve. The heroes were likable, though Red Head was weird and amusing in his own way. I enjoyed the illustrations scattered throughout. They really gave the story some character.

Overall, fun read!
Reviewed by Ashley Uzzell

Unicorns Are Real and other cool poems by Sarah Northwood

What an enchanting illustrated book of poems. The illustrations throughout this book are phenomenal which adds to the poetry being written.

If there was one thing I would point out and it’s small is that some of the poems are difficult to read given their background. Other than that this book is really well done
Reviewed R M Gauthier

The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin by M E Hembroff

There was a small hint of mystery in this story, but there should’ve been a bit more suspense or building up. However, with that all said, I enjoyed the story of Bess, and how she is very curious and likes solving mysteries and learning things.

Bess is a great character, and has something unique and quirky about here. I like her friendship with Megan, and how they connect to each other.

I’ve read other books by Hembroff and enjoyed each one.
Reviewed by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

Candy Cow and the Caterpillar by Maureen Larter

Candy Cow learns about ‘Camooooflage’

Candy Cow and the Caterpillar is a children’s picture book from the Alphabet Animals of Australia series by Maureen Larter, with illustrations by Patsy Seager.

The story chronicles how Candy the Cow learns a valuable lesson about the art of camouflage or in her case, ‘camooooflage’ – from a very small, unexpected source. At the end of the book, the author provides some ‘projects for schools’ to consider.
Reviewed by Sharon L Norris

Maureen Larter – Author

Tell us about yourself:-
Hi – My name is Maureen Larter and I write children’s picture and chapter books. I also have garden guides, and, under the name Marguerite Wellbourne, I write adult novels. I do this to keep my brain challenged as well as a hobby. One day I hope to make some money from it!! I am now retired, having been a secondary school English and music teacher during my career. I have many interests and have been to China and Cambodia teaching English since my retirement.

What brought you to the world of writing? :-
I have always been a reader from my youth. In fact, in Primary school I wrote my first book. Since retiring, a friend gave me some Australian Tarot cards – picked out ten and told me to write a story on each. That was 14 years ago, and I haven’t stopped since.

What is your first book and what do you think of it now? :-
My first books were a series of garden guides which I researched and compiled. I am very happy with them. My first picture book was ‘Angus Ant and the Acrobats’ and I’m still proud of my accomplishment.

What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your readers needs? :-
See above – children’s picture and chapter books, garden guides, self-help books and adult drama novels. So far I have had a very good positive response.

Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it.
The book I would like to feature is ‘Broken Wing’ which is the first in a series of books about ‘The Fairies of Aurora Village’. ( the second book is called ‘Spiders, Lizards and Flies’ and the third is ‘Cave of the Golden Bowerbird’.) This is a story about a young fairy who has an accident, and then three mischievous elves go on a journey to find the special thread to repair her wing. Along the way there are many adventures, and another elf arrives to try to sabotage their success.

How long does it take you to write your first draft? :-
When I get an idea and run with it, my first draft is written very quickly. The children’s picture books are short and only take me a couple of hours. The chapter books, probably a week. The adult novels took me longer – about a month.

Do you plot or not, if so why? :-
I don’t really plot. I have the idea in my head and then the story writes itself. The only book I have ever ‘plotted’ was my adult novel – I wrote a paragraph for each chapter, to see where the story would go, then I started to write. Often, the characters will take me in different directions, but the main idea will stay the same. It is a joy to write – never a chore!

Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you done both? :As I have written many books, I have used both techniques.

How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone or edit as you write? :-
Editing is a fourfold process. I edit as I go for obvious mistakes – typos and spelling etc. I then leave the manuscript for a while – sometime three or more months. Then I re-read and fix any grammar or sense problems. After that, I have three friends who read the work and make suggestions. Finally, I go through and take all the suggestions into account and rewrite sections if necessary. I often then ask one of my friends to re-read.

What type of people/readers do you market your books to? :-
This is difficult for me. Children’s picture book are aimed at the children, but marketed to adults – parents, grandparents, aunties etc – everyone has young children somewhere in their sphere of existence. The adult books are aimed usually at women. The self-help/gardening books are hard to market as it is difficult to find the people who would be interested in those things. I try to market just to the general public – surely one of my books will be of interest?? LOL.

Do you self-publish or have you worked with an agent/published? :-
I am my own publisher. I do all the designing and formatting. I also publish other people’s books.

How do you promote your books? :-
I use facebook – I have three pages – a personal and two business. I also have a blog ( readeatdream.net ), and I will be emailing a newsletter as from next month. In my local area, I do personal signings and appearances as ‘Fairy Wrinkle’ for the children’s fantasy books. I hope to add talks in schools this year.

Where can we buy your books? :-
I have an Amazon page for my ebooks, although I am not happy with the format for my picture books. Otherwise, hard copies can be bought directly from me – just email me at maureenlarter@gmail.com if you would like me to send you any of the books, or if you require any more information.


www.facebook.com/eBooksByMaureenLarter www.facebook.com/AlphabetanimalsofAustralia

I have an author page on Amazon under Maureen Larter, as well as Marguerite Wellbourne.



The Lost By Rose D Gordon

All books are available from Createspace as well as Amazon and from me. A couple of the books are available through Smashwords as well.

Once there was a little girl who could see things other people couldn’t. She was a special girl. She grew up like most girls with a loving family and older siblings. The difference between Hana and her older siblings was her love of the forest where she would wander most days due to the forest been behind her home.

One day everything started to get bad in her house. Her parents stared to fight over everything so Hana would spend more time in the forest. During her walks Hana found a meadow with lots of different bright flowers in it and a crystal-clear pond. She loved this beautiful place and called it the Crystal Garden and spent most of her time there with the spirts who looked after this secret place. Hana loved smelling the flowers and understanding all of nature and the spirits.

A few weeks later Hana heard her parents fighting she heard them say her name and what they were going to do with her. You see they had found her in the forest when she was a baby. When Hana heard this, she ran out of the house to her crystal garden knowing no one would find her. Hana hadn’t been found she’d been stolen from the spirits which is why she could see and hear them. Hana was a nature spirit. She had waist long royal purple hair, gray eyes and pail soft skin Hana was five-foot one inch.

After Hana ran away, her parents pretended to look for their daughter however, because the crystal garden was hidden by the spirts so they couldn’t find her no matter where they looked. The spirits wouldn’t allow one of their own to be taken again by those nasty humans. Her fake parents looked for her for four years but gave up once they knew they’d never find her no matter how hard they looked.

Hana, on the other hand grew up into the kind and caring girl she was always meant to be. The spirts taught her everything she needed to know about how to talk to the nature and how to read the terrain of the mountains. As the seasons changed they moved to different places never staying in the same place. They loved to see the different homes of the animals living in the forest.

Hana would rarely go into the towns because she didn’t like the humans, they were too noisy. She preferred the calming of the forest. Hana would sometimes watch them from the edges of the trees to see what they were up to and what had changed since she’d lived in the human world.

Kelly Smith Reviews

Only Time Will Tell by T L Travis

Frequent visitors to my blog are probably familiar with the name TL Travis, since I read everything she writes. Having been a reader since the first Sebastian Chronicles book, I’ve delighted in seeing her talent stretch and grow with each piece she puts out.

OTWT is a quick read, featuring two lovable characters, a vivid supporting cast, and a unique plot that keeps moving. There are no frills here, just sex, romance, and just enough drama to keep it interesting. Angst is largely absent from the narrative between the characters. Rather, the main conflict revolves around a mysterious pocket watch and a trip back in time that separates the two men and must make one fall in love with the other during a time when same-sex marriage resulted in imprisonment.

Alex and Charlie are great characters. As a reader, you just want to wrap them in blankets and hug them. Their romance is natural, and doesn’t seem overly sexualized, despite the many sex scenes in the book. Additionally, the sex doesn’t take away from the story whatsoever. It feels just as natural as everything else and is hot, hot, hot!

Fans of LGBT+ romance, sci-fi or contemporary, will fall in love with this book and be begging for more.

Rainne’s Reviews

The 12 Terrors of Christmas by Claudette Melanson

A wonderfully creepy take on Santa… and Christmas.

I enjoyed these 12 dark and disturbing stories that explore a less than jolly side of the holiday season.

The short stories include zombie elves, were-deer and vampires to name but a few, and many of the tales were interlinked which added to the interest.

This is a well-written and descriptive anthology, and an entertaining read.

Killer of the Mind By Valerie Albemarle

In ‘Killer of a Mind’, Albermarle immerses the reader in the sights and sensations of various towns along the east coast of America before dunking them in the waters of the Mayan Riviera on the shores of Mexico, where the contrasts and conflicts of this story are heightened by those characteristic of Tulum, the Mexican town in which Ryan finds himself. Noise and quiet reflection, richness and poverty, sunshine and shade all reflect Ryan’s own mental and emotional condition.

Unlike Ryan, the reader understands that there is always more than one side to a story. Albermarle has woven the threads of this story together with craftsmanship and finesse, leaving nothing to either predictability or fate. The reader is not allowed to become complacent – as Ryan discovers, there is always a new challenge, a surprise or a revelation as a corner is turned or a hill is crested that shows the light shining on things differently with a change of perspective.

Albermarle’s writing is rich and vivid, developing magnificent scenery full of colour and sound, and complex characters that seem to have more shade than light to them..
Book Squirrel Reviews

Secret Method To Choosing Amazon Book
Categories In KDP By Dave Chesson


There are three steps to finding out how to choose a good kindle category or Amazon book category. For this, I will be using an example. In this example, I will be trying to find a good category for a language book:Sadly, Amazon doesn’t just list every category they have somewhere – if they did, I’d be a super happy camper.Instead, we need to ‘find’ pertinent but niche categories.

To start this, we’ll begin by typing into the Amazon search box any words to describe our book. Our goal is to get a list of books that are similar to our book.I will then systematically go through each book and check their category string links like below:

Doing the above, I checked out other books and found the following categories:

  • Language Experience Approach
  • Education Reference
  • Language Instruction – Miscellaneous
  • Foreign Language Study & Reference
  • Linguistics
  • Test Preparation
  • Pedagogy (I actually had to look up what this word meant…haha)
  • Study & Teaching
  • Words, Language & Grammar
  • Memory Improvement


Niching down — okay, niche can’t be a verb but humor me — can be a really good thing for your potential rankings. The more niche you get in a category, the lower the ABSR will be in order to be a #1 bestseller

The more niche you get in a category, the lower the ABSR will be in order to be a #1 bestseller CLICK TO TWEET

Your competitor might have stopped at a very broad category, but by looking for further book categories, you can niche down your selection and thus, have less competition. After clicking on a category, look to the left side and see if you can click down any further.

In the example above, I checked out “Words, Language & Grammar,” and sure enough, there are some niche categories to choose from.

Hmmm….out    of  these,  I can select “Linguistics,  Study & Teaching,” and potentially “Vocabulary.” Again, we are just checking our list for more potential places to select.

So Steps 1 and 2 help you build your list of potential Amazon book categories. Now we are going to work on selecting the right one!



To Late – Prequel to Pride’s Children by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

St. Paddy’s Day. Grafton Street, Dublin.

I made sure I bumped into her St. Paddy’s Day. In the harsh broad daylight, middle of Grafton Street with the Dublin shoppers and tourists out in full force.
She shimmered, rosy-cheeked, kissed me softly on the cheek. “Hello, Andy.” She’s the only one, other than the lads and me ma, I ever let call me ‘Andy.’ None of the other girls. But I was so sure she was the one. I’d met her our first film acting together, and grabbed her up. Even ma, back on the farm I couldn’t wait to leave, liked her. “Don’t let this one go,” ma said. But I was bloody stupid.
“Something’s different,” I said. Her copper hair was cropped short, modern, pixyish. It glinted, reflected the sun crooked. Ten long years with me it’d been breast-length, silky. My fingers ached at the memory.
“Right ye are.” Her smile was ever the best part of her, a smile ye could get lost in and not come out for days. Toward the acrimonious end of us I had seen little enough of it.
“I heard ye’d hooked up again.” I shot the words deliberately, telling her it was too soon, much too soon. The shaft found its mark, and right there in the middle of the bricked-over street, her aura seemed to dim. A successful solicitor in the city, for chrissake. “Didn’t make it a month, did ye?” “It was over long before I walked out on ye.”
“Could ‘a fooled me.” And kicked myself. I could never keep me mouth shut. Then I made it worse. “Bloody short skirt.” “Like it?” She twirled, her ivory sweater-coat held billowing-wide like a spinnaker, forced her confidence back.
“I bet everyone on the street, everyone in the whole of Dublin city likes it.” Except me. Except me.
“Aye, there’s the rub.” She sighed, re-wrapped and belted against the chill. She knew I’d never liked sharing her.
She fixed that deep honey-colored gaze on my face, checking round my eyes. Pinned like a dart on the board. I never did hide anything from her. “Ye’re looking terrible anxious, Andy.”
“It’s a big gig, this film.” I was buried in process: pages of dialogue, a character to be. Scoping out the other actors filling the holes round me in the script, making ’em react the way I wanted… She could ‘a waited, run lines with me, had faith. “It’ll make or break me.”
Her laugh kicked me in the stomach. “That’s what ye always say, no small roles. I’m happy for ye, Andy. I hope it’s the big one.”

O’Connell St., Dublin. Late summer.

Five months later filming was over, and I came back to spend a day with the folks on the farm, see the old Dublin gang. Ye can never tell with films ’til the editing’s over, and the music added, and the critics fed, but I had a deep solid feeling about this one. The character fit like electric blue spandex. We’d had a good bit of fun together, he and I.
If I was right–and I knew I was–life would change. I’d been disappointed before, too many times. Good work lost on a cutter’s floor, script seen for what it was–a mishmash of cut-and-paste–when time came to put the bits together. But this one…
For this short while, only I knew this strange power, the rightness of it. When the movie premiered, everyone would know.
I had to tell her. I stalked our old haunts, pacing O’Connell Street from square to bridge, at closing time. I almost missed her. She came out of Clery’s department store, headed away from me. I’d know that walk anywhere, but something was odd. I sprinted to catch her, tapped her shoulder.
I should ‘a known, I should ‘a known.
The middle of her was a rounded mound. From the back I’d noticed looseness where she usually pulled her shirts tight, proud of her taut little body. She’d invariably dressed smart, but she’d added expensive. She laughed at my reaction. “Surprised? Ye knew bloody well I always wanted me own.”
“Is… Is it mine?” I asked, with the standard stunned gape of the male of the human species. Christ Almighty, the complications…
She flushed. “Get over yerself, Andy. Don’t ye think I would have told ye, ye bleedin’ eejit?”
“Are ye sure?” She’d wanted babies. Hell, I’d wanted babies–and now I could feed ’em. It’d be awkward, but I could manage, we’d manage…
“Christ, Andy. A woman knows.” A dark shadow flitted over her face, was gone in the soft afternoon. “Be happy for me, Andy.” She squinted at her cell phone’s misted screen for the time. “Have to go. Be well.” Why’d none of the lads said a word?
She didn’t even hear me stutter I was happy for her.

McDuff’s Pub, Dublin. December.

Too late. It was the big one, sudden fame, everyone wanting a bloody piece of me. Me? I wanted more than anything in the world to share it with her.
She knew where to find me. She came to our old pub, McDuff’s, one night in early December. Crisp, cold out; warm, thick in. Her hair gleamed dully, reflecting the dim lights.
The lads shielding me from the new vampires vanished, leaving a sudden hole round me at the scarred oak bar. She took a barstool just like old times. “Thought I’d find ye here, Andy. I knew ye had it in ye.” And her face was full of joy. For me? “Heard ye had the baby.” She hadn’t changed her perfume. My perfume. The gold sheath she wore, with an open gold leather coat, backdropped her coloring. Damn if she hadn’t shrunk quick back to size. “Where’d ye leave him?”
“A pub’s no place for a baby, Andy. He’s with me ma.”
“Not with…” I could’na speak the supplanter’s name. I could’na ask her about him. The thought of his touch on her perfect skin…
“Sure a mott has to get out once in a while, right?” She glanced over her shoulder, and there he stood, dark, soft, impeccable, holding a Guinness for her. She took the pint from him. “Thanks, Finn.” She looked at me. “It’s good for the nursing.”
He slid the coat off her shoulders, possessive. He put out the other meaty paw. “Congratulations, fella.” I would ‘a been a boor in front of all me new fans had I not shaken it.
Ritual completed, the room’s air suddenly relaxed. Best man wins.
But I hadn’t. I had what I’d thought I wanted most: me face on billboards, a contract for another film with numbers me folks had never seen, talk of golden statuettes.
Even in that ratty pub, girls of all hair colors waited impatiently for the ceremony to end.
He held her gaze. “Don’t keep us waiting, luv.” He kissed her crown to mark his territory, jerked his head toward a table in the far corner where some other young couple stared our way, nodded to me.
She watched him go, turned back to me. “Would ye like to see a picture, Andy?” She didn’t wait, pulled out the zippered wallet I well remembered, showed me a snap of a fat copper-fuzzed baby, coaxed into grinning as he drooled.
“He’s a beauty.” What else could I say? I’d checked: under Irish law, and her a married woman, in spite of it being a new Millennium, I couldn’t even ask if he was mine. For the life of me, I could’na put out me hand to touch the plastic sleeve… but I stared long enough to make her twitch.
“Think we’ll keep him.” She closed the wallet, tucked it away. Her eyes were somber, but only for a moment. Then she twinkled as of before, when I’d bring unexpected Chinese in printed cartons to our tiny two-room flat for supper and we’d toss lines back and forth and talk ’til dawn. “I really am happy for ye, Andy. It’s what ye always wanted.” She left me there, joined her friends. And him.
The pack descended on me, loud and needy and obsequious, and the next time I turned round her table was empty.
And I can’t get it out of me head, this image of a growing lad, copper-topped and cradled in her lap, but looking a little like me? Too much like me?

Copyright Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2009
Used by permission

Deb Hockenberry – Author

Tell us about yourself.
I have always wanted to write for children since she was a child. Back then, I loved making up stories for my five brothers and sisters along with the neighborhood kids.

I’ve taken a course at the CBI Clubhouse http://www.cbiclubhouse and multiple courses from The Institute for Children’s Literature http://www.instituteforwriters.com to keep up with the ever-changing children’s market.

I’m a regular contributor to her church newsletter, send out announcements and reminders on MailChimp, and keeping the church website updated. In my spare time, I enjoy knitting, crocheting, music, movies, reading, and of course going to parties.

What brought you to the world of writing?
I was bitten by the writing bug when I was in elementary school. In the summers, my mother would let myself and my siblings go to our local library. I think I read every book in the children’s section, but something was missing. I love parties and I love books with talking animals in them. I wanted to read a book with both in the book, but I don’t remember reading one. Needless to say, I was very disappointed! That led me to a decision.

The next time we were at the library and my siblings were engrossed in the books they picked out in the children’s section, I went to the librarian’s desk. I was so nervous! I told her that I wanted to learn the write way to write stories. I thought she was going to laugh, but she was delighted!

The librarian took me into the adult section. In those days kids were never allowed there, but there I was. Nine-yearsold and taken in there by the librarian! She sat me down at a table by myself and proceeded to pull books off the shelves for me. They were The Writer’s Market, The Writer’s Handbook, along with many other books about writing. That librarian had a big hand in getting me started in writing.

What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ is my first book has morphed so many times through the years. The very first version was a more violent cops and robbers/mystery type of talking animal story. Of course, it had my party in it, too. Needless to say, I’ve re-written it several times over the years until both me and the story were happy.

What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
I write mainly children’s picture books for kids ages three to eight. I am working on a few other books write now plus another picture book. I have one for middle grade, young adult, and adult in the works now just to get out of my comfort zone. I always seem to gravitate back to picture books.

I think they fulfil a reader’s needs. This is what I aim for. I want to keep the story light, entertaining, without hitting the child in the face with a lesson. I feel there’s so much room, especially in today’s society, for entertainment. I do have a subtle lesson in the story, but try to keep it in the background so the child doesn’t even notice it.

Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
I only have one book out. It’s called, “Where Can We Have The Party?” It’s a very simple concept:

Giraffe wants to have a party for his friend, Chimpanzee. There’s one problem, though. Where can he have the party? He asks his other friends for ideas. They have great ideas, but for one reason or another the ideas won’t work. Where can they have the party and what kind of party will it be?

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
This varies from book to book. For ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ it took quite a while. First, I did write it out without outlining as a pantser would do and then I outlined. Then the story decided to change yet again and making me start over again.

Do you plot or not, if so why?
I suppose you mean outlining here. I always start out being a pantser. Then I’ll take a good look at the manuscript and write a formal outline so there aren’t any holes in the plot.

Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you done both?
I’ve tried both. I always start out in third person. If that doesn’t feel right, I’ll try first and compare the two to see which is better.

How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
I do let my story rest for a while before I pick it up to see where there are problems. I also read it into a tape-recorder. It really helps to hear your story as well as to see it with fresh eyes. Then, I edit and proofread.

Even though I do that, I always send it out to an editor. That way you get an honest, objective viewpoint plus constructive criticism to help improve your writing.

What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
My picture books are aimed at ages three to eight-years-old. The others are for middle grade, young adult, and adult.

Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Published?
I self-published ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ through CreateSpace. I want to both self-publish and traditional publish. I’ve never gone through an agent.

How do you promote your writing?
I promote over the internet and book signings and book readings. The book signings/book readings are always fun!

Where can we buy your books?
You can currently buy my books online. I haven’t gotten ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ into brick and mortar stores, yet.

Here are the buy-links

Who are your favourite authors?
My favorite authors are varied. Of course, J.K. Rowling. Who doesn’t like the Harry Potter series? More authors are Allyn M. Stotz, Mary Jo Nickum, Madeline D’Engle, Dr. Seuss, and so many more.


https://www.facebook.com/WhereCanWeHaveTheParty https://plus.google.com/u/0/108456474548771191270
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16597765.Deb_Hockenberry http://www.twitter.com/debhockenberry

Do you have any more information you’d like to share with us?
Thanks so much for interviewing me! I hope all of your readers will enjoy ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’!


Perfect Break by Anais Chartschenko

When everything falls Apart, people are just Pieces of who they should Be After best friends Claire and Madison are separated for the summer, they promise to tell each other everything. But when one of the girls starts keeping dangerous secrets, can their friendship survive? A novel told in verse


Netgalley or Not by K S Marsden

Hello lovely readers. I recently experimented with listing my book on Netgalley, and I have decided to share the results.

If you haven’t heard of Netgalley it’s the biggest website for connecting reviewers with free books in exchange for a review. Seriously, it is the daddy of reviewer websites. It is the go-to company for all the big publishers, to get the most influential reviewers to talk about their books. It regularly hosts best-sellers, and you can’t open Amazon or Goodreads pages without reading “I received a free copy from Netgalley” in countless reviews.


As a reviewer, I have been a member of Netgalley for a few years, and I’ve done about 40 reviews for them. I would highly recommend signing up, if you are interested in reviewing books. It’s free for us, and if you are approved by the author/publisher, you get an ecopy to download. Your copy is technically a loan, and the file magically expires after about 60 days, so make sure you don’t sign up for more books than you can handle at one time.

OK, onto the author-side of the business.


Netgalley have kindly allowed Indie and small-pub authors to join their ranks. Which is great, because it’s shocking that some companies still refuse to do business with this fast-growing industry. The slight sarcasm is because… well, you’ll see.

Netgalley introduced the option of listing a single title, which is great for Indie authors, who don’t have enough titles to make the most of a publisher’s account. All of this for the tidy sum of $450 for a six-month listing. Or $699 if you want to include Netgalley marketing. Yeah, I’m not completely in love with the idea of paying £325 to give my book away for free, even if it is the hub of the most influential reviewers.

But, fear not, Netgalley offer a further deal – you can list your title on their website, at a discounted price if you are a member of IBPA. They only charge $399 for a six-month stint, and also offer a 3-month option of $199. So, that’s starting to get a bit more reasonable for the average Indie author.

Oh, small print – IBPA membership is $99 – $629 a year, depending on whether you’re unpublished, indie, small pub, or regular publisher. Starting to look less of a good option. (I know, there are other pros and cons to IBPA membership beyond getting a Netgalley deal, but this post is focusing on Netgalley).

Cost-Conscious Authors

So there are other options available, if you look for them. There’s a very popular route of joining a Netgalley Co-op. These are set up by someone who buys a publisher’s account on Netgalley, and then “rent out” the listings. Some of these Co-ops are permanent fixtures, where you are allocated a listing for the entire period; and some are more flexible contracts, where you can list your book for a month or two, with no further commitments. At this time, they cost about $40-60 for a month. Much more affordable.

You didn’t expect me to pay Netgalley’s extortionate prices, did you?

My Experiment

I’m going to make the assumption that I am an average Indie author. I have a few books, have a few sales, and about break-even over the year. I’ve got a decent amount of reviews, but always looking for more.

When my newest book “James: Witch-Hunter” was published, I decided to try Netgalley, to see if it could help boost my books to the next level. “James” seemed like the perfect candidate. I felt it was one of my strongest books, and it is a stand-alone, connected to my most popular series. With any luck, I’d get some new fans for the Witch-Hunter trilogy, too! So, I signed up to Pikko’s House Netgalley Co-op (note: Pikko’s House will cease running Co-op’s in April, as they are struggling to get as many author’s sign-up as they used to), and my book was listed for the month of December 2017.

~James’ page~

And the excitement began!

I made sure to advertise the fact that people could pick it up on Netgalley, using Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and my newsletter. James and his Netgalley link were always visible (although I never did a hard sell, I can’t do hard sell). I felt like I’d worked my socks off, and I waited for the feedback to roll in. …(On a side-note, this isn’t my first time using Netgalley. I signed The Lost Soul up for a Co-op, back in 2016, and I got 2 reviews. To be fair, I didn’t push the fact it was featured on Netgalley, I assumed that, because it was signed up to this shinydaddy-of-review-wrangling, I’d inevitably get reviews.)

Back to James.

Every copy that reviewers have downloaded has expired, as it’s beyond the 60 days of the last download date, so I am assuming that the majority, if not all of the reviews are in.


Crystal at Pikko’s House very kindly sent me an excel file with a list of all the reviewers that applied for a copy of James. Whether they were accepted or rejected (reviewers that downloaded too many books but failed to deliver reviews, or were on Pikko’s blacklist were automatically rejected); and whether they left a review.

Right, onto numbers, what you guys really want.

29 reviewers requested my book; 21 of which were approved; 6 reviews were posted on Netgalley; All 6 also left reviews on Goodreads. 1 on Amazon UK; 3 on Amazon US.

I am very grateful for each and every reviewer that took the time to leave a review. There will naturally be authors that do better, some that do worse. I can’t account for how well other genres might perform, as all my books are Fantasy. This time, I can say that the reviews cost me $9.17 each. Which is not extortionate, but not as effective as I was hoping.

I think at the end of the day, Netgalley still has it’s place. It is still a powerhouse, but perhaps needs more input than a mediocre writer like myself can provide, to really get the most out of it. I can feel proud that my book is still listed on Netgalley, alongside the bestsellers, it’s quite the buzz. I may promote James, or one of my other books on Netgalley again. Perhaps later in my career it will be a more useful tool.

Alternatives Goodreads

Free to join.

Goodreads is the most popular website for book reviews, and your book should be listed with them, if you have any sense. This isn’t a straight-forward machine that will find reviewers for you, so it is a little more laborious, having to find groups and communities that accept review requests. But, you can find groups that focus on your genre, so you’re more likely to get positive reviews.


I listed James with Shut Up & Read’s Read It & Reap program (very popular, booked ahead for the next year). 5 people requested a copy, with 4 of them leaving full reviews, and 1 leaving a rating.


Free to join (does have paid options, too). Booksprout is a mix between Goodreads and Netgalley. It is focused on getting reviews, but it has other functions, too. There are “Pro Author” and “Bestseller” options at $10 and $20 a month respectively, but I found the free option met all of my current needs.


At the end of January, I listed James as available for review, requesting that reviews be completed by 9th March. 8 out of a possible 20 people downloaded a copy (you can have a max of 20 reviewers per ARC on the free account option); of these, 2 people left reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and 1 left a review solely on Booksprout. I imagine there may be another one or two to come in over this month. (Edit 13/03/18: already received 6 out of 8 potential reviews)

Introducing Rhonda & Chris Johnson

What bought you to the world of writing?
Whether you write books, poetry or music, writing is a way to connect to the world in a very dynamic way. Peoples ideas, views, values and diverse cultures are always on the move, changing, growing and developing for the next generation.

Writing music is a way of conveying all the above within a symphony of sound. There is something within music that will touch the hearts of everyone, no good movie would be a good movie without the symphony of sound being placed behind the characters and storyboard.

Moofish music is a collective of personal and observational changes, witnessed within ourselves and the world around us. If we allow life to flow through us instead of at us, we are able to experience so much more, it allows us to see things we would other wise not be aware of, perhaps that is centred within our music.

The Genre of music that Chris and I produce is diverse, shifting and being moulded by the experience of the world around us, so putting our music into one Genre is very difficult, as it is a collective of many things.

Moofish routinely flout convention by introducing truly mind-bending Alt techniques on guitar, utilising multiple capos, bows, loop stations, pedals and more (often simultaneously) in an effort to distinguish themselves in a truly creative way. The foundation for all this experimenting is set with some truly beautiful songs combined with gripping, powerful vocals and melodies.

Chris and I never stop to intentionally write a song, rather let the process take charge and go with the flow, whether that be lyrically or musically. A song will come together very quickly this way. Unlike writing a book, the first draft is usually the keeper, and it’s not often anything will be rewritten or reconfigured.

Music is very personal so writing in the 1st person is common for me as the lyricist, though in saying that the experience may not always be mine. Writing the plot or narrative of the song does not come into play until first the music is heard, usually or more often it will take place as the music is being composed by Chris.

Having being together writing, recording and performing for many years, 30 years in fact, the music has enabled us to blend our styles to create something quite unique, to have a sound that is quite different from others.

The feature right now is a song recorded and released on the 2 march 2018, called ‘Change Is Here’. A video and sound track has been released world wide, it can be found on all music sites like Itunes, spotify, Amazon, video released via Vevo and Youtube.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/fx2opH4JPbo

We have our own website www.moofish.co.nz where you will find a historical overview of our music and the website will keep people up to date on what’s going on. We also have a Facebook page moofish which is updated regularly.

https://www.facebook.com/Moofish737584946261946/ https://www.numberonemusic.com/moofish

The story line or plot would have to account for a personal view of the world in which we live. The many changers taking place right now in front of us, and the idea of where we will be heading.

Life today is bringing forth many new challenges and depending of course on how humanity tackles the challenges will depend on the outcome.

Chris and I have released an album and various mini releases since 1999, self titled and self published but this time we have opted to go with a publisher Songbroker New Zealand. We will indeed push to promote our music ourselves online in the hope to reach as many people as possible. A particular focus on our fans registered with our mailing list we have collected over the years.

We have finished recording 21 songs in the past year and will release a number of singles before we release ALT_MUSE Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 of the complete collection. It’s very exciting as Chris and I have accomplished what we set out to do in a very short time.

Focusing now on Video making for the second single release, we are finding ideas and hope to be starting that video creation very soon. Chris has a natural talent working with video and photo footage and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

Making the video is certainly more proactive than the creative song writing as locations, people and settings have to be thought through thoroughly.

As far as any influence to our music, I have to say we are very influenced by what’s going on around us, with out any genre being more listened to than the other. We enjoy creativity full stop. Some have said the latest songs sound influenced by Karen Elson.

A blog review of the single ‘Change is Here’ “What an off-kilter combustion that is at its base a soulful performance but then there is the background aggravation which threatens that purest of talents. It is breakout different, jazzy and soulful but destined to grip those closer to pop’s mainstream. Edgy stuff” mp3hugger.

We receive feedback feed back from fans all around the world, from different age groups and different cultures, it appeals to people for different reasons as music is a personal experience. I dearly hope that listeners will continue to find something soulful within our music, and enjoy the creations as much as we have enjoyed the experience of making them.

Introducing Sam Prigmore


My name is Sam Prigmore and the pathfinder ethos is Mind, Body, Spirit, Soul. I have an unshakeable belief that if we spend our days doing our very best to build our Mind, Body, Spirit and Soul we simple become the best we can possibly be.

Once you see a negative in a positive light it can only be beneficial to welcome negative moments because you know ultimately them can build you into the best possible you”

So, a little bit about me, I am an eclectic soul you can find me in the mosh pit on Friday night and then on Saturday I could be watching a musical stage show and loving both the same. I love films and music and I honestly whole heartedly believe life can be its own therapy. I believe this because I am not special from any other person on this planet, I have learnt from my lows and loved every second of my highs. I started my coaching journey from a very young age thanks to my dad as he got me teaching swimming and that progressed into being a further education teacher in my 20’s. This also covered being a martial arts instructor and for a brief time I helped run a martial arts school. Throughout my coaching and teaching career I always came across people who told me things a little bit out of my realm to help apart from give stories from my own experiences. That is when I decided to start doing my studies into using all these negatives that exist in life and start learning how to help people through them or over them. So, that is a little bit about me folks. Just remember when you feel like you have hit rock bottom you have pick yourself up before, so it is always possible to do it again.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/samprigmore0448a5154/ https://www.instagram.com/samprigmore/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQaj72UUpTr0_T6EhgfMJ6A pathfindersp13@gmail.com

Will ‘O’ Witch by Becka Abbott


Dana sat in the square area near the door. It had been good that she bought too much food for dinner, because when they divvied it all up between the three adults and the little kid who wouldn’t leave the cupboard, there was just enough for everyone to be full. She lifted her plate to her mouth and scooped the last of her rice and sauce.

The one with a dragon soul had a very kind face. He was oddly tall and lanky but also graceful. There was something about him that she liked, it was the same feeling as making a blanket fort in front of a fire while it’s snowing outside. A child-like part of her just wanted to curl up in his lap and sit in that warm, flickering energy.

Her eyes glanced back to “Will” and she took in the details of him. His physical face was the same as Mina’s, quite androgynous with a square jaw, tanned skin, with an oddly shifting tone of brown in his eyes. But his spiritual face was entirely different. Mina had bright green spiritual eyes, but his were steel blue, almost gray. And the energy coming off him was very much like the crystal from before, endlessly calm. She wondered if he was a monk or something.

She’d never really come across the idea of multiple people in one body. Her mind resisted her attempts to wrap around it, but, with her new sight she couldn’t really argue because he was right in front of her.

She frowned and took a deep breath. This had been a totally insane day, but oddly, she felt as if she belonged. And it was the first time she’d ever felt that. She’d lived her life trying to be like everyone else, hoping that being as normal as humanly possible that she’d stop feeling like some sort of changeling living in the world.

She snorted at her own thoughts. Perhaps being a witch meant she was some sort of changeling. Maybe this was why she didn’t fit in.
“How are you going, Dana?” Steel gray eyes sparkled at her.
She swallowed. “Big day. I told Mina that I keep expecting to just go bibldy but I don’t. It’s all so weird.”
Will’s smile was broad but gentle. “You’re doing well.”
Dragon grunted. “I never had that awakening, I don’t envy you one bit.”
Her eyes widened. “You’ve always known about this stuff?”
“Yeah.” He nodded. “Even as a small person I knew that I saw more of the world than the rest of my family. And it’s hard not to notice when you feel wings and claws that aren’t physically there.”
Behind her, she heard little footsteps approach. A small person crawled up her leg onto her lap, and young Cain curled in close to her. She instinctively put her arms around his little shoulders.
“Hello, Cain,” she said gently.
Dragon snorted. “Wow, I’ve never seen him warm up to anyone so quickly.”
“I have a lot of little cousins,” she smirked. “They all say I have a snuggly lap.”
Smiling, Will got to his feet and started collecting plates. “He’s a good kid, aren’t you, Cain?”
The little one opened an eye and nodded at them. Her instincts flared up at her, suggesting that the kid had a difficult past, and needed as much affection and kindness as possible. Her arms tightened around him for a moment and she gave him a hug.
“Of course you’re a good kid!” she said. “Who could possibly think otherwise!”
Dragon approached them and crouched down to get level with his son. “Cain,” he put a long-fingered hand on the boy’s hair. “Me and Will have to go out for a little while, would you be OK staying here with Dana where it’s safe?” The little one grunted, not unlike his dad, and nodded.
A pair of coal-brown eyes lifted to look at Dana, and for a moment there was no human face at all. She could see a black dragon with a long snout, and two sets of curling horns sitting on the top and side of his head. She blinked and the physical world reasserted itself as the more solid reality.
He smiled. “Dana, do you mind staying here with Cain?”
She shook her head. “Not at all!”
“I just need to get some stuff from our old place.” He leant in close and kissed Cain’s hair. “We won’t be long.”
The little one unfolded his body, reaching his arms up towards his dad and Dana saw a flicker of energy linking his arms with his body, like bat wings. Dragon lifted Cain off her lap and hugged his son tight.
Again, she sensed that there was more underlying pain, this time in both father and son. She looked sideways, trying to give them a little privacy, and saw Will coming back towards them from the kitchen.
He seemed to sense her discomfort. “Dana, let me show you our apartment out the back. I’m sure you and Cain can find a movie or something to watch while we’re out.” She smiled and stood up.

Finding your PATH – Identifying Your Hurdles
By Sam Prigmore

Who is affected.

Hello everyone and welcome to the second instalment of the 5-step communication wheel.

The second step is to consider all the people that can be affected by your communication. This spreads out further to the people directly involved and could very easily impact the people in the other areas of your life.

Now this seems like an obvious thing, but it really isn’t. A lot of people think communication as a one way or a two-way process only having the individual or one other person involved. For argument sake let us call these people the primary participants. The primary participants think of their actions as like throwing a stone at a wall (a static motion that has a target). But there are always others who get hurt or are affected in a good or bad way thanks to your situation. Let’s call these the secondary affected participants.

The reason why these exist is because of the nature of your actions. Any communication is not like throwing a stone at a static wall, it is like throwing a pebble into a pond. You create ripples and these ripples have their own effect on the surrounding people.

Let us explore this a bit further.

We have all heard of the saying “just let it go” but that is hard. Any situation we are in it leaves a mark, a positive memory leaves a positive mark a negative one does the opposite. The saying let things go is focused at this emotional mark. The first step in understanding the people who are affected that are not directly involved is to understand how the situations are affecting us. If we are in a stressful situation that gives birth to our anger, we need to find a positive outlet for this. By that I mean being able to release this that causes no harm to ourselves or others.

If we do not release this anger this will leave a mark that can spread uncontrollably to those in every area of our life.

Example; a person who has situations at work that gives birth to this anger. This person will natural go home and as their emotions are already strained it will not take much for the person to snap at their family.

Being aware of who can be affected by the situations you deal with can keep you focused in this stage of the communication wheel. You will learn to focus your energy into the solution so people who don’t have to be affected are not. It will also aid you in finding ways on how to positively release your emotions, so no harm is caused. This is the outcome of knowing who is affected that way your plans going forward with your communication becomes stronger in the journey to find the solution. So, for this section you must see all who can be affected and choose not only your battles but your battle ground, so you limit the people involved. Most communication that needs such planning it is not down to a peaceful situation.

Although the same five steps can be used for peaceful communication. To get the strength you need to do this stage, it is a clever idea to be empowered with yourself. A good practice to do is the self-appreciation list. This will remind you of who you are at your core, so you can have stronger eyes on the people who are involved.

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Readers who enjoy women’s fiction full of emotion will love Love’s Endurance.


Master Fantastic by J S Frankel

High school student Paul Coleman’s life is an ordinary one. His existence takes a turn for the extraordinary when he and his best friend, Rory, are attacked by a winged demon one day. The demon, which calls itself Hekla, possesses the power of sound, and kills Rory with its scream. Paul survives, but the force from the blast has left him mainly deaf.

A year later, Paul is out of school, working part-time, and is fearful of going deaf forever. Although he has learned sign language well, he wonders where his life will go.

All that changes when Montague (Monty) Trillian, also known as Master Fantastic, enters his life and requests his services as a sign language teacher for his daughter, Myrna.

Paul accepts, and soon finds out that Trillian is not just any magician, but an Elementalist, one capable of wielding the four elements of Earth with ease. He can also open portals to other worlds, and often does so, visiting those of earth, water, and fire.

Many adventures follow, and Paul and Myrna grow close, but Hekla returns and demands Myrna be given to her. It seems that Myrna is the product of a union between Monty and Hekla, and like all mothers, she desires to protect her own.

Now, Paul must do everything he can to save Myrna from being used for a fate far worse than death, and only the abilities of Master Fantastic can save them all—or can they?


Strings by Rebekah Jonesy & Jin Okubo

Robert wanted for nothing. His job gave him wealth, esteem and satisfaction. His family gave him all the love and security that he thought he needed. Jenny fell into his world. Like dominoes falling, she knocked over all his defenses and excuses.

Robert wanted to write her off, to ignore her, to deny her. She offered him salvation, subjugation, and with those a feeling of acceptance that could only come from seeing her marks on his body.

She broke him before she even touched him. Then she started to tie him back together again.

This book is not intended for children.


Reading Is Power by Tania Giguere

Bring your child’s world to life through reading. Reading is power and books bring the world to your children. Teaching new words and helping to build bright minds that carry them into becoming smart adults. This book shows the kids just how much fun reading can be and how valuable it is to share books with each other. Start your children on the road to reading with this wonderfully illustrated story of friends and how they share their stories with one another.


Ruhannas Flight and other stories by Jeanette O’Hagan

Tales of wonder, romance, adventure – dip into the world of Nardva with this collection of stories.

Ruhanna’s Flight – Ruhanna’s father is coming for a rare visit from the capital. When everything goes terribly wrong, she discovers a mysterious gift that could save her — if it doesn’t kill her first.

Heart of the Mountain – When shapeshifter Zadeki slams into the mountain side, he finds himself trapped in a strange underground realm. Can he escape or is he there for another reason?

The Herbalist’s Daughter – Anna has her heart set on an burly guard at the palace, but the antics of the young Prince could jeopardise both of their futures.

Rendezvous at Alexgaia — In her last mission, Space operative Dana secured the Infinity Cube at the cost her partner’s life or at least his humanity. Will Neon’s sacrifice be for nothing or will Dana be able to retrieve the key to the mysterious cube’s use?

Also Anna’s Dilemma, Lakwi’s Lament, Moonflame, Withered Seeds, Space Junk, Rookie Mistake, Inferno and other stories. A delightful introduction to Jeanette O’Hagan’s fantasy world of engaging characters and stirring adventures.


The Fabulous Life of Minnie the Sassy Chick by Cindy L Shirley

Minnie the Sassy Chick celebrates her birthday with Carly and Riley. This hilarious sequel finds the girls planning a fun filled fashion show for Miss Minnie’s birthday.

The girls are rocking out and being sassier than ever!


Tales of Mentara by Ashley Uzzell

Five children find themselves stuck in a beautiful jungle on a strange planet. But all is not as peaceful as it first appears…

Twelve-year-old Charlotte has been different all her life. It isn’t just that her father left when she was a child, or her mother ignores her. What really makes her an outsider is the fact that she has strange abilities that she can’t explain and struggles to control. Everything changes in the summer of 1993 when she feels drawn to a certain spot outside of town. Unfortunately, she isn’t alone when things go sideways.

When the children realize they are definitely not on Earth anymore, they have to learn not only how to fend for themselves, but how to get along. The problem is, even Charlotte has no idea how to get off the alien planet. And, perhaps, she doesn’t want to.

It doesn’t take long for the five to realize they aren’t alone in this strange land and that life here is              BUY LINK more dangerous than they could have imagined.

The Shadow Rises by K S Marsden

Witches are real, and to be blunt, they’re all black-hearted, and evil. These are not wiccans; witches are a different breed that use magic with devastating effect.

Charged with stopping the witches, taking whatever measures necessary, there are witchhunters, all reporting to the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC). For hundreds of years witches have been persecuted and when the powerful Shadow Witch rises again, they have their opportunity for revenge.

The best the MMC has to offer, the talented seventh-generation witch-hunting Hunter Astley has his own part to play. In his own way.

Only Time Will Tell by T L Travis

Two men, one watch…

When Alex and Charlie met, they instantly clicked. Throughout the years, their bond grew from friends, to lovers. But when Charlie’s father passes away something inside him changes. Alex feared their relationship was over and knew his heart would never survive.

Things spiral out of control as Charlie’s erratic behavior leads Alex to think the worst. During an intense argument, they’re transported back in time. When Charlie comes to, Alex isn’t by his side. Frantically, he searches for him. But when he finds him, he’s surprised Alex doesn’t remember who he is.

Charlie must make Alex fall in love with him again. But what happens if he doesn’t? Will this be the end of their relationship, or will it be game over for them both?

Only Time Will Tell is an Erotic, M/M, Time Travel/Sci-Fi 56,000-word stand-alone Romance for those over 18.

Bad Choices Make Good Stories by Oliver Markus Malloy

The strange but true story of a writer who meets his wife on Goodreads


The Sleeping Serpent by Luna Saint Claire & Virginia Bowen

Whether by free will or fate, Luna’s encounter with Nico provokes a storm that shatters her perceptions of identity, duty, morality, and self-worth. The storm didn’t blow in from the outside. She was the storm. Its turbulence within her, forcing her to confront the darkness, uncovers her secrets and her pain.

Luna Saint Claire has a loving husband and an enviable career as a Hollywood costume designer. Still, something is gnawing at her. Bored with her conventional and circumscribed existence, she feels herself becoming invisible. When she meets Nico Romero, a charismatic yoga guru, his attentions awaken her passions and desires. Dangerous, but not in a way that scares her, he makes her feel as if anything is possible. Infatuated, she becomes entangled in Nico’s life as he uses his mesmerizing sexuality to manipulate everyone around him in his pursuit of women, wealth, and celebrity.

Immensely erotic and psychologically captivating, The Sleeping Serpent is the compelling story of a woman’s obsession with a spellbinding guru and the struggle to reclaim her life. At its heart, it is a painfully beautiful exposition of unconditional love that makes us question what we truly want.

“She realized in an instant that being around him awakened her, stirring the sediment that had long ago settled at the bottom of her well. He made her feel a part of him–of something larger, and somehow more alive.“


Indie Authors Supporting Charities

All proceeds from this book are being donated to the Global Scoliosis Foundation.

What happens when you let eleven authors twist classic fairy tales? MAGIC!

Weave your way through imagination as Fate takes an interesting turn in your favorite childhood stories. From The Frog Prince to The Six Swans, see what happens when fairy tales are … twisted.

A king struggles to find someone who can love him despite his flaws. A musician works to reverse his curse. A queen wants to keep her crown. The singing bard plans an escape, and Red might have bitten off more than she can chew. These stories and more await you.

Let the magic of these tales sweep you away with mischief, mayhem, and a good dose of snark. Open the door to A Twist of Fate.

In a Word: MURDER – An Anthology

It’s a simple book, article, review or blog post. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, as this international collection of short crime stories shows. Each story takes a slightly different look at the world of words, but each one shows how dangerous writing can be.

So come along. Enter the world of writing, publishing, reviewing, editing and blogging, where crime can find its way in anywhere.

In aid of The Princess Alice Hospice in memory of editor, blogger and crime writer Maxine Clarke.













Indie Publishing News Feb 2018

Please note this is last months magazine. Your next FREE Marketing Magazine will be out soon.  Thank you for the support. Please SHARE


Poem by Audrina Lane, From the Editors Desk, Flash Fiction – Seriously 21st Century by Jane Risdon, Spotlight Graphic Designer – Melissa Ringuette – Monark Designs, Indie Author Reviews, Flash Fiction – Secret by Ashy Uzzell, Poetry Book, Challenges for the Blind Reader, Blogger & Writer by Patty L Fletcher, Y A Book Reviews, Author Interview – Paora Panadelo, Kelly Smith Reviews, Rainne’s Reviews, Choosing Amazon Book Categories – Part One by Dave Chesson, Flash Fiction – Darling Layla by Lily Luchesi, Indie Author Interview – Anita Kovacevic, Book Trailer and Audio Books, Stronger Than You Think – A Poem by Kyrena Lynch, Traditional Vs Self Publishing by Scott Semegran, Poetry Book, Events, Author Interviews – Ed Ireland, Will ‘O’ Wisp – Chapter Twelve by Bekka Abbott, Finding Your Path – Part One – Identifying your Hurdles by Sam Prigmore, Promote for FREE with Kaye Bewley, Recently Released Books, Poetry Page, Author Interview – Aaron Henley, Authors Supporting Charities, Teasers, HELP – Request from a Blogger Sponsored Advertisements

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

From the Editor’s Desk

In this issue you will find information which reflects how the group is used…We also have our second graphic artist/book cover designer in the spotlight. I do hope you like the magazine cover she designed.
Plaisted Publishing
House Ltd
Helping Indie Authors get their books published professionally Celebrating Two Years of the Indie Publishing News which just keeps on growing. We now have over 500 members to the group with 360 + signed up for the magazine. Let’s keep this movement going strong.
Look out for the educational and informational articles you’ll find spread through out this magazine. Don’t forget to join in the fun and send in articles for everyone to enjoy or learn from. The more we share, the better the team work, the better we become as writers.

Together Each Achieves More

Seriously 21st Century by Jane Risdon

Way back in the early 1970’s my husband and I took part in an aptitude test for computers, just for fun. Of course computers were basic then and some even filled whole warehouse sized spaces, even though they had the operating systems of a Casio calculator, but it seemed a good idea to find out if we would be up to using them, if ever we needed to. We both came out with 100% – we had just the right whatever it was (forgotten what) to work with them. Deep joy. Then we forgot all about computers.
The next time I was involved with computers was when I worked for a Government department – in personnel (HR) and every Monday part of my (and a colleague’s) considerable work in personnel included the tedious task of writing out instructions, alterations and updates for the personal records of the staff – who was leaving, joining, having leave, dying, marrying, gaining new scientific qualifications etc., and we’d put it into code (speak) and send it to the computer building – yes, building – a massive one, where one computer filled the whole space. It would take a week for the information to be programmed into the computer and for the print outs – yard and yards of it – to be sent back to us to action and update manual records. What a carry-on.
In the very early 1990’s adverts in Los Angeles – on TV and everywhere, as I recall – told us to prepare for the Super Information Highway: the Internet. Wow! We were impressed but thought nothing of it, being so involved with music, touring, and recording, it was something everyone else was interested in. And yet, it wasn’t long before we were using Mac Computers in the studio to actually record on to instead of reel to reel tape, which had to be cut and spliced when editing. It was easy to cut and loop using the Cu Base and Pro Tools systems. We – in the business – were even able to send music across the world via the internet and, as you’ve no doubt heard, to enable one musician to record and perform with another one in a studio half-way across the world simultaneously without ever being in the same place at the same time. I guess today we take it all for granted. But think on what a revolution it was for us in the recording industry alone!
While the idea of remote recording has been around for decades, it was traditionally done over dedicated ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network – lines, with tracks being recorded individually and built up layer by layer. This was expensive and therefore restricted to professional audio recording studios.
And for many years musicians emailed each other – sometimes very large – music files recorded using digital audio workstation (DAW) software, such as Apple’s Logic Pro, Steinberg’s Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, or Image-Line FL Studio. But faster broadband internet and mobile network speeds, plus improved audio compression codecs, have made online collaborations faster, easier and cheaper, and brought professional-quality remote recording facilities within reach of small businesses and “prosumers“.
However, I’d started working with computers long before all this. I had a Toshiba laptop in the late 1980’s – it wasn’t connected to the internet but I used it like a PC in many ways. So I knew my way around them. Fast forward to email, and then Facebook and so forth and I’ve messed around with them for a long time, groping my way through it all, without instructions and totally unwilling to read the manuals – anyone recall how thick those manuals were? But I got to grips with the basics and today I spend most of my time using a computer.
When I first indulged my yearnings to be a writer – let’s not go that far back here – I used to write my stories in longhand, then I progressed to an old Olivetti typewriter and yes, eventually a computer. I wrote for myself, in isolation, too terrified to show anyone my work; all my efforts were stored away on floppy disks.
We all know how fast and far technology has taken us since 1990 – the mind boggles. In the recording studio we moved from tape to digital audio tape (DAT) and everything was recorded for CD, vinyl having – until recently – sunk without much trace. Now everything is out there in cyber-space and is downloaded and uploaded via the internet and often a physical copy of a recording does not exist.
Writing has gone the same way for many. We write on a computer, we are edited by our publishers via computer and eventually a book may well be published for Kindle and e-readers only, never being actually printed in to a physical book. How things have changed from those days when we wrote in long-hand or banged away at a manual, then electric typewriter, making mistakes and keeping Tippex in business (owned by the mother of Pete Tork of the Monkees, by the way).
Christina Jones and I decided to write Only One Woman a long time ago and due to being on different continents most of that time, it wasn’t going to happen unless one of us moved near the other. But as time passed and the internet became more accessible, we managed it. It took some years to organise, but we finally (sort of) got together to write Only One Woman, and when we were both in the same country. Yet, we were never in the same county, town or room. Like those early days when we would record and send the music down the fibre optics to another studio in another country, Christina and I used modern technology. How cool are we! We wrote together on the internet, via email, text and Facebook messages – very 21st Century. We did not even have to chat on the phone.
Never in my wildest dreams, in the 1970’s, taking the computer aptitude test with my husband, for a laugh, did I ever imagine I’d make records using computers and I never, ever, thought that when I’d come to write ‘for real,’ I’d use the computer so much and would write with authors I’ve never met in so many other countries, and that these books would be published and purchased all on-line.
Christina and I could never have imagined, way back in the 1960’s, when we first thought about writing together, that we would eventually write a novel together without even being in the same room or county to do it. How seriously cool is that! How seriously 21st century are we!

Spotlight Graphic Artist – Melissa Ringuette

Tell us a bit about yourself:
I never know where to start with these kinds of things, so here goes… I was born and raised in a tiny town, in a small province in Canada. Though I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do at the time, I went to college to study Interior Design. I hated it. I wanted to be an architect or someone who simply draws the house plans, not someone who picks out drapes and wall colours. After a few years of working in that field, I was lucky enough to fall into graphic design, and years later, here we are. I have always had a passion for drawing. I loved technical work and am now able to combine my love of drawing and design as well as the technical aspects printing requires. So, all in all, everything happens for a reason. I’m now 40, a married mom to 3 kids aged 8, 10 and 17, and 9 fur babies. Monark Design Services was born out of necessity, but I now look at it as my job, my passion, and my hobby. I don’t update my social stuff as often as I should, but I’m working on it.
How did you get into graphic design?
I’ve always had a love for art in general and with my education, I got a job drawing technical drawing for an international signage manufacturer. With them, I took some classes, learned some things, and eventually moved to the graphics department. I moved on to many different areas of the graphic world after that. It’s been 16 years and I haven’t regretted it.
When did you start?
I started working with sign manufacturers, then moved on to printing. I have done signage, pamphlets, brochures, business cards, logos, book covers, magazine layouts, newspaper layouts, book formatting, and other things I’ve probably forgotten. I love starting a project and seeing it through from start to finish.
What inspires you?
Sometimes an image combined with what the client has told me will get me going, while other times, I get inspired by googling different things that have to do with the project. I always put a lot of emphasis in continuity and letting the client guide me so that they get exactly what they want within the realm of it being plausible, of course. When I do things for myself, like paint furniture, or making cute wood signs, I get inspired by what I see around me or Pinterest. Inspiration comes from everywhere, you just need to know how to lay it out to make it work. Or at least that’s been my theory.
Did you have any formal training?
Yes and no…Yes in the sense that I’ve taken courses and went to design school, but no in the sense that I never actually received a diploma in Graphic Design. I call myself a Graphic Artist as that describes what I do best.
Your favourite part of design?
I love starting new projects and seeing where they take me.
Least favourite part of design?
Billing. Taking money for my art has always been a challenge. I am a horrible business woman, though I am slowly trying to find my worth.
What’s your favourite tool?
I love drawing by hand, but haven’t done it in a while. Life takes up a lot of time away from activities that I love. Photoshop and anything computer related comes in a close second as I find that making things digitally and being able to manipulate them is pretty amazing.
Do you prefer working in black and white or colour?
I like both. I think they have their places depending on what sort of end product you’re looking for.
Do you stay with one canvas or have you tried others?
I’ve drawn, painted with oil, acrylic, and watercolours, stitched, cross-stitched, made vinyl cut outs and decals, scrapbooked, dabbled in woodworking…my canvasses are all over the place! I am a Jack of all trades, but master of none.
Please provide links and a couple of sample of your work:

Book Reviews

Shiva XIV By Lyra Shanti
Messiahs, warriors, scoundrels, vixens, royalty, mentors, and oracles light up the pages of Shiva XIV – Book One. Author, Lyra Shanti, brings all the colorful characters and wonders of new worlds to life in a brilliantly crafted opening to introduce an unknown planetary system in this classic sci-fi/fantasy series. The reader is led by the hand through a labyrinth of imagination – never feeling lost in understanding – but experiencing the pleasure of being lost in wonder.
The young man, Ayn, is a reluctant savior for a society run by priests obsessed by ancient traditions and questionable mythology. His sheltered upbringing creates difficult situations in dealing with a world outside the temple. There are factions determined to derail his rise to power.
A dramatic change in location and situation turns the narrative from a peaceful, spiritual celebration to survival on the brink of war. It leads to inter-planetary intrigue with page-turning maneuvers, betrayals, and daring escapes. Ayn’s scholarly priest as mentor is replaced with a free-spirit prince turned musician. His perspective of the universe and his own destiny takes a wild ride as the adventure evolves.
Understanding another universe brings insights into our own world. Our struggles are illuminated by the story of conflicts involving spiritual life, biological diversity, political power, reliance on science, and uncompromising cultures in Shiva XIV. Ms. Shanti dares to explore areas of controversy such as gender identity, complex sexuality, military aggression, and religious zealots. Lurking behind the story is the universal question – can the beauty of spiritual life exist without the brutality of physical power to protect it? The ability to relate these concepts to the reader comes from a deep understanding of world religions and spiritual matters.
After completing the reading of Shiva XIV, there will be an overwhelming desire for more – such as Book Two, Three, and Four. A sufficient cliff-hanger entices us to continue getting lost in the saga.
Reviewed by Alan Vandervoot

Father Winter – A Yule Story by Eric Tanafon
Fantastic – in both senses of the word!
In ‘Father Winter’, Eric Tanafon takes the reader on a magical journey to the Great White North in which ancient mysteries and secrets of life are revealed.
I chose this book because I enjoyed Tanafon’s ‘Robin Hood: Wolf’s Head’ so much. I was delighted to discover another gem that I could treasure. Once again, I found the author’s writing is so expressive and evocative that the story played like a film in my mind as I was reading, especially the northern night scenes.
The characters are beautifully crafted and seem to spring to life off the page. Connor is a troubled teen and Holly his younger sister who just wants Connor to be on Father Winter’s “good” list. Through their respective journeys, they encounter a variety of people and creatures who help them to discover and achieve what they need to, each in their own different way.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough for any day of the year, but especially for December reading.

Reviewed by Maple Leaf Aussie

The Chinese culture belongs not only to the Chinese but also to the whole world
Jinatu Hu

Pretty Guilty By K L Cottrell
A perfectly beautiful story.
K.L. Cottrell has such an amazing way with words. Her characters instantly jump off the page and the story immediately draws you in. She makes it so easy to fall in love with her characters, to feel their joy and sadness as your own. This story is laden with life lessons and really tugs at the heartstring
Reviewed by Ashley Uzzell

How to Write for Success by Brenda Mohammed
Author Brenda Mohammed gives the reader valuable nuggets of truth to use within their own writing career in How To Write For Success. There is a brief introduction listing the various books the author has written and her ability to encompass different types of literature. The purpose of this book is to show readers that the author has a passion to help other readers fulfill their lifelong dream of writing their own book. I really appreciated the personal stories on how the author writes her own material and how important research is, even before one begins to write. She also lists several Facebook groups she has joined to help promote both her material and herself as an author.
One of the best statements I appreciated within this book is: “A book description is your sales pages. It will sell your book. Make sure it is engaging and can turn a browse into a buy.” This is great and valuable information for a writer to understand. There is also listed the importance of copyrighting the material, getting an ISBN number, etc. Whoever gets the ISBN number is considered the publisher. The author has the choice of getting their own or letting the publisher get it for them. Pre-orders are very important to an author.
Creating excitement before the book is even printed is huge. There are also many listed things that one can do following publication. Branding yourself is also very important. People must know about you and your material, how to find it and consider reading it. I really enjoyed all the links provided in the e-book, allowing the reader to go to various publishers, writing aids, Facebook groups, etc. This is an asset to any writer at any level, given the detailed information, but for the beginner it is a must-have!
Reviewed by Darin Godby

The Titans of Ardana by J S Frankel
The Undernet’ brings new definition to the age-old contest between good and evil.
‘The Undernet’ brings new definition to the age-old contest between good and evil, and between truth and deceit as a young man seeks answers that seem determined to remain hidden.
Frankel has crafted realistic, likeable and engaging central characters in Milt and his girlfriend, Robbie. They’re not perfect, and their mistakes have consequences, which makes them easier to empathise with and understand. Insights into Milt’s thoughts and gut reactions, and his feelings about Robbie, draw the reader into the often very confronting story of his quest for justice and truth. Part of Frankel’s genius in casting this story is designing characters who live and work in the shadows, so that the reader has to keep questioning whether they are the good guys or the bad guys.
There are so many layers of intrigue and concealment in this story that the reader is kept curious and wanting to know, much like Milt throughout this story, seeing the truth despite layers of concealment and misinformation. In this sense, the Undernet and the Dark Net take on the roles of additional impersonal characters that deliberately obscure reality in this story, just as they seem to in actual fact.
Some parts of The Undernet are definitely uncomfortable to read. In graphic contrast to the sincere and honest friendship Milt has with Robbie and with his best friend, Simon, Frankel gives his readers a solidly-written exposè of the dark side of human nature as one is likely to find it on the dark side of the internet – or anywhere. This is delivered with confronting realism and honesty. Through all of this, It was the strong identification I felt with Milt’s “ordinary person” response to the ugly side of life that enabled me to keep reading and hoping for him to find the resolution he was so desperate to find
Reviewed by Maple Leaf Aussie

The Rabbi’s Gift by Chuck Gould
Headstrong and independent, Mary is of age to marry, but rejects all suitors even as her father frets more and more over her future. She has yet to realize the deep feelings already stirring in her heart for Yusuf—a lowly craftsman conscripted to construct a mosaic centerpiece for a new addition to her wealthy father’s estate in this striking retelling of the Nativity story.
Stunningly beautiful in its telling, “The Rabbi’s Gift” is an alternative biblical tale about Jesus’ parents explained not form a religious view, but based on historical record, Jewish mysticism, and Babylonian astrology. Highly compelling and intriguing, “The Rabbi’s Gift” ultimately reveals the destinies of those surrounding the birth of Christ in a way that peaks one’s curiosity while stimulating the imagination. Well researched and brilliantly detailed, Gould’s novel provides a glimpse into life at the turn of the millennia—during the period immediately preceding the 1stcentury CE—when Judea and Galilee were both under Roman occupation and Herod the Great ruled the region as their installed puppet-king.
Rich in detail and lavish in its descriptions, “The Rabbi’s Gift” grabs the reader’s interest with characters that make one feel as though they are alive and present and scenery that often makes one gawk in awe.
Gould brings to life the familiar venue in which this storyline takes place in such a way as to ease the reader into reconsidering the biblically recorded events leading up to the Nativity. His retelling is strikingly honest and realistic as he points to the many historical events and records serving to bolster his tale while staying true to the basic themes associated with the gospel accounts. In both Miriam (Mary) and Yusuf (Joseph) readers will find that the foundations of Jesus’ education are clear. Miriam and Yusuf not only demonstrate the privileges of the rich but detail the daily struggles of everyday people in their time. In Miriam, we see a great yearning for freedom, understanding, and education, while Yusuf exudes a calm sense of practicality, perseverance, and determination. Both reach for their goals no matter what obstacles get in their way. These are the qualities plant the seeds for Jesus’ rebellious political and religious views and form the very foundations of his future mission.
I thoroughly enjoyed this inspired read and I highly recommend it to anyone searching for an understanding of how life was in the time of Jesus as well as how the foundations of his ministry may have been formed. It is a charming telling of two people who overcame all the odds to find love and happiness in a world dependent on strict social standards and traditions. In the end, this novel proves that love does conquer all.
Reviewed by J B Richards

The First Christmas by J B Richards
An Illuminating Story!
JB Richards’ short in the genre of historical fiction, “The First Christmas,” shines brightly. Like the Star of Bethlehem, the author’s storytelling prowess relates the most plausible story with regard to the birth of Yeshua, the Christ child destined to become “King of Kings”. Told in firstperson narrative by James bar Joseph, Yeshua’s eldest brother by six years at the time of the Messiah’s birth, the lad dispels the stuff on which myths and legends are construed:
“What if I told you that the traditional Christmas, as you now call it, didn’t at all happen the way you believe it did?”
This standalone also serves as a bridge to the first novel in the Yeshua and Miri series, ‘Miriamne the Magdala’. I, for one, was happy to encounter once more, Dod Micah Abram—the Commander—a no-nonsense, take-charge kind of guy who just happens to be Miri’s dad.
I highly recommend this illuminating and plausible story infused with realism and steeped in the history of the times, yet very easy to digest by those of us looking for an engaging story with meaningful impact long after the last page has been turned.
When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters.

One represents danger and the other represents opportunity
J F Kennedy

Destiny Revealed by Cris Pasqueralle
Great book, welcome to an amazing fantasy thriller
Great read that adults, young adults and children will love. Jack and Maddie are twins and upon the thirteenth birthday they are given an amazing present, they find put that they are not who they thought they were. The twins, their parents and a few relations are all part of a wizard group.
On the day the twins learn the secret they learn another about evil wizards when Tardon, the leader of bad wizards takes off with the twins parents and the adventure begins. great story with an amazing writing style that makes the reading fun and compelling.
Their is plenty of mystery, action and supernatural to satisfy readers of all ages.
Reviewed by P S Winn

Who Put Her In by Jane Jago
A gripping thriller.
‘Who Put Her In?’ is a gripping mystery/thriller that is very hard to put down. Set in an old English pub, populated by relatable and engaging characters, this is a book that draws the reader in and has them stay right to the end.
The story revolves around Joss and Ben, who take on running a pub for two weeks while the owners take a vacation, and find themselves confronting the various problems that have been haunting the establishment for some time.
Jane Jago delivers the story from the matter-of-fact, no nonsense perspective of Joss, whose personality makes it possible for the reader to take in the depths of depravity and the shocks of the story without personally taking them on board.
One does not get far into the story before feeling as though they know Joss and Ben quite well, and the story unfolds quite seamlessly around the reader who is included as an observer.
I enjoyed this book so much that I was happy to forgive the occasional typographical error as I was reading. In fact, I felt a little sad to be leaving the Fair Maid and Falcon at the end of it all.
Reviewed by Maple Leaf Aussie

Dreamland by Julie E Clements
I love fairytales… really, really great fairytales. They take you to magical faraway places where you can be anyone, or anything, you want to be and do anything you want to do. Dreams, like fairytales, are much the same, and so is the basis for Julia E. Clements’ fantastic child adventure, “Dreamland”.
10-Year-old Daniel Green travels to Dreamland each night in his sleep, courtesy of a Silver Ticket, where he creates an amazing adventure using only his imagination. But an evil follows him and joins forces with Stregona, a powerful witch who reigns over the Dark Forest. Stregona and her minions are out to destroy Dreamland and Danny must stop them.
What a fantastic tale this is. Her journey into the psyche of Danny is not the only thing that glued me to this story. The characters populating Dreamland are so real, you feel as though you could share a cotton candy with them, and her original and unique plot line—one I have not seen in any other fairytale—is a heavenly mix of whimsy, solemnity, and determination as Danny struggles to keep things together and discover the source of his strength.
“Dreamland” is rife with delightful magical creatures and unforgettable characters who guide the reader through an imaginative adventure they won’t soon forget. I highly recommend this absorbing read for anyone lucky enough to be gifted a Silver Ticket.
Reviewed by J B Richards

Secret by Ashley Uzzell

Between the bookshelf and the mattress of the bed. That’s where she hid it. Her secret. The one thing in this house of constant noise and madness that was hers and hers alone. She was extra careful when she retrieved it and even more so when she returned it to its hiding place. No one must know. No one must see.
Barbara was sure that her brothers would waste it. They would squander the gift their late mother had given her. And Mother hadn’t given it to them anyway. It was hers. All hers.
They hadn’t tended to mother when she was dying. They hadn’t bathed her or changed her bedsheets. They hadn’t helped her to the bathroom or made her meals. Her brothers were too busy with their own lives. Mother hadn’t minded, somehow.
“Let them play, Barbara. You should be out enjoying yourself, too.”
“But I want to help you, Mother!”
Mother patted Barbara’s head and lay back on her pillow. “You need to let me go.”
But she couldn’t. Mother was everything to Barbara. The only one in this house who understood her. The only one who didn’t mock her for being a little strange, a little different than the other girls her age.
“Why can’t you just wear a dress and braid your hair like a normal girl?” Grandma always asked.
But Barbara wasn’t normal. And that was okay with Mother. Mother didn’t care. Mother understood.
A few days before her mother died, she handed Barbara the envelope, the scent of vanilla wafting from her hands even now, at the end. “Inside is something special just for you. You keep it and take it out and hold it close when you feel lonely. Just remember, that I will be right there with you.”
Barbara immediately hid it away. It was her secret. Something from Mother, just for her. After the funeral, when Grandma moved in, things changed. Barbara now had to wear dresses and braids. She had to play with other little girls. She wasn’t allowed to stay inside and read books all evening. She had to be normal now.
But when she was alone, she snuck the envelope from that space between the mattress and bookshelf and held it over her heart. Mother was still there. Mother still loved her. Mother knew she was special.
Things grew harder for her. Fitting in was difficult when she just wasn’t like the others. Every night now, she pulled the envelope out and pressed it to her chest. It was getting worn around the edges so she had to be careful. She would cry silently until she felt a warmth in her body. Mother was in the room with her.
Soon, Barbara was pulling the envelope out two and three times a day. She needed Mother more than ever now. She was being bullied in school and her brothers wouldn’t stick up for her. Grandma was popping her hand when she wasn’t acting lady-like. She needed Mother. She needed her special secret.
Then, the day came when her eldest brother found her with the envelope. She hurriedly tried to hide it away again but he snatched it from her and ran through the house with it. “Grandma! Barbara has something from Mother that she’s hiding!” She ran out to find Grandma holding the envelope, her face angry. “What are you hiding? What did she give you?” “No! It’s mine! Mother gave it to me!” Barbara tried to take it back but her grandmother brushed her aside. She ripped the envelope open and Barbara shrieked. Huge tears ran in valleys down the girl’s face as she watched in horror.
“No! You can’t!”
But it was too late. Grandma pulled a piece of paper from the envelope, glanced at it for a moment, and shook her gray head at the sobbing girl. “Foolish child!” She dropped the paper and envelope to the floor and stomped out of the room. Before her brothers could get it, Barbara grabbed the paper and opened it up. It said but one word.
She pressed the paper to her heart, her sobs louder now. She thought of her mother but she didn’t feel that special warmth she usually did. Mother didn’t come. Mother wasn’t here anymore.

Dark Words by Paul White

Dark Tales, Darker Poetry Dark days come to us all at some time in our lives. Heartbreak, grief, fear, loss, pain and anxiety collide and conspire, individually and collectively to bring us down. We feel the battles rage within ourselves; they fight and scream in a tortured anguish of emotional turmoil. Solace is often found alone, in dimly lit rooms, with mellow songs playing over and again.
Reading Dark words, sharing the pain within these tales, help us dry our own tears, to drive away the clouds of uncertainty and crush the demons which haunt our souls. To accept and acknowledge the blackest days of our lives often reveals the pathway from the shadow maze of obscure reflection, into the sunlight of possible future. Dark days come to us all, at some time in our lives. They are not the place for us to dwell for too long. They are not our home.

Challenges for the Blind Reader, Blogger & Writer – Patty L Fletcher

I’d like to talk to you about challenges I run into on a regular basis as someone who is a blind Reader, Author, and Blogger. Each day as I make my way through things like social media, email, and reading blogs, the most frequent problem I have is things not being visible to my screen reader, or Apple Voice Over.
Some of the hardest things I deal with are…
• Photos with “No available text”
• Not being able to read memes
• Not being able to read screenshots
• Info Graphics
• And one of my latest annoyances, promotional videos with no audio or available text to let me know what the video is about.
I do not feel that people are doing these things on purpose. I simply believe that if a person is not directly affected by an issue, they give it no thought. How many of you, who are sighted thought about adding descriptions to your book cover photos etc. before you started reading me? If I had to guess, not many.
As a person who spends most of her time on some kind of social media platform I find great joy when I can read a post no matter if it is on a blog, Facebook wall, or in an email.
I love it when I can download an E-Book, and my Kindle App reads it because the author took the time to make certain that the Text to Speech (TTS) was enabled, and I hop up and down with joy, when someone remembers to write a brief description of a photo they just shared. Now, let me just say, I have no idea how to tell if there is, “All Available Text” with a photo that you might wish to share. I can only tell you what types of photos that my screen reader software reads. So far it appears, (Sorry couldn’t help it) that snapshots taken with a camera most times will read. For example, one time someone took a picture of their little boy sitting with Campbell in his dog bed, and when they texted me the picture the Apple Voice Over said, “Photo may contain child dog, and indoor.” I thought that was pretty cool.
At Christmas this year, when people took photos of their Christmas Trees it actually said, “Photo may contain Christmas
Tree with packages.” That, is way far out! It also Appears, (Whoops did it again)? That more and more ads are including
“All Available text”
Screenshots do not read at all, and photos such as what come in “Gifts” on messenger, don’t do a thing for me. All I get is a notification that says, “Photo may contain text” (Boring) Again, this is not anyone’s fault. It hasn’t been that long ago since I could not read emoticons, or stickers, and when I finally became able to do so for a while I became addicted to them. In fact, I wish my computer had buttons on it that would allow me to do them because I cannot ever remember all the keystrokes for emoticons, and I love them. ?
There are a lot of challenges for those who are sight impaired, and while we have come a far long way, there is still a huge way to go. ?
I deal with lots of other challenges as well. Not long ago I got a message from someone telling me that something I posted was off center. I was glad they told me because had they not done so I’d have not known it. I try to make sure things I post are visually appealing, but sometimes it simply escapes what my screen reader technology will do, and even though I am careful about checking margins and the like, sometimes, especially when copying and pasting, things just do not go where I want them.
I also have issue with spelling words that sound the same but have different spellings. While spell-check has come a long way toward remedying that troublesome issue, it too is lacking. If someone can suggest a program that might catch more of those I’ll dance at your wedding if you’d tell me about it. Of course, said program is going to have to work with my screen reader, so it is going to be trial and error
Sometimes when I am writing I forget about paragraph structure, and then there are times when a post would do so much better grabbing people’s attention if only it had a photo with it but because so many of the images on the sites where we get images from do not read, I’ve no way to know what I might be posting.
So, how to over-come all these challenges? By raise awareness!
I’m not complaining, nor am I whining. I am just trying to let people know where I am at in the scheme of things. I see a lot of blind persons chatting about this in blindness related groups etc. but I do not see enough conversations happening in the mainstream society, and so I have determined that this year I am going to try and bring us all together a bit more.
I’d also like to add, that totally blind, or visually impaired persons are not the only disabled writers who face challenges, and I’d love to hear from some of you who have other disabilities as to what your challenges are!

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
Mark Twain

YA Book Reviews

With magic, action, discovering new worlds and tons of adventure, this is an exciting tale which promises to become the first step in a great series.
Maggie is dead. Or so she thinks. Killed in battle, she’s not surprised to find herself in the world of the dead, but she quickly learns she hasn’t landed in the Underworld at all. Rather, she’s been yanked away into the mythical Siren’s realm. Magic is the currency, and Maggie is smart enough to want to hold onto hers. Hiding it, she works to survive like a non-magic person, using her hands and strength to trade for needed goods. Except one person seems to have caught on to her secret. Little does she realize that this man is about to open up more adventure to her than she ever dreamed possible.
In some ways, this reminded me of Doctor Who, except from the stand point of the Doctor’s assistant. Maggie’s unexpectedly pulled into a world, where an unseen, very powerful Siren dictates existence. The reader discovers the rules of this world along with Maggie, a place where a mere wish becomes reality, a paradise for most. But Maggie is a practical person, who knows not to trust anyone or anything at face value. She has a big heart, and a very good moral compass. Her determination and down-toearth decisions make her a heroine to cheer for the whole way through.
The Doctor (in my comparison) is a strong magic wielder who has been in the Siren’s realm for quite awhile, Bertrand. He’s a mysterious man, older (so no romantic interests per say), holds a polite air, and comes across as wise…but maybe not always as right as he appears to be. The relationship between Maggie and him isn’t simple, but he’s the one who opens up the wonders of traveling between worlds and is her ‘guide’. His aloft attitude and constant words of wisdom add a wonderful contrast to Maggie’s character to form a duo worth a series.
The plot itself is refreshing and full of surprises. The author takes time for Maggie to find her place in the Siren’s realm, letting this complex world develop fully before taking Maggie onto the main adventure. Maggie’s character is fully unfolded, letting the reader get to know her well while keeping a high level of mystery, adventure and tension. Then, the next world takes hold and the next adventure kicks in, which offers another developed world, more interesting characters, and, for Maggie, even a possible, romantic relationship.
It’s refreshing to enter a series, where there isn’t one main plot line, but rather changing ones as Maggie encounters new adventures. The characters change as well, but that doesn’t mean that they come across shallow. Rather, they gained their own depth and uniqueness. Each one has their own relationship with Maggie and leaves an impact on her (and the reader). It’s constant development with the promise of much more to come. And all of this is wrapped up with constant discovery, tense moments of action, unexpected surprises, and constant high-stakes with life on the line. I can’t wait to see where Maggie and Bertrand go next.
Reviewed by T. Drecker

Franky the Finicky Flamingo
What a lovely children’s book, fun for kids and helpful to parents whose children are fussy about food.
In a very gentle way, through rhyme and colourful illustrations, without laying blame or preaching, the author guides us, along with Franky, to the realization why food is important (I love the metaphor about the colour fading, which is also why the illustrations are rich in colour elsewhere). Furthermore, the children are shown that not all kinds of food are good for everyone, and the goal is to find what is healthy for your particular body and lifestyle.
Eating suitable and healthy food lets you live an active, fun-filled life, and share your adventures with your friends and family. And keep your ‘colours’:). I can see this book used by parents, teachers, even nutritionists, especially in kindergartens. Another good one, Ms Luthman!
Reviewed by Anita Kovacevic

Paora Panadelo – Author

I’m a retired journalist/sub editor/columnist turned author who after enjoying lazing about for a few years decided to ‘put pen to paper’ and write a yarn embracing the early decades of my life. Consequently about eighteen months ago ‘enthusiastically’ encouraged by my wife Alison I undertook the venture. Once started I found it flowed and eight months later I took a professional editor on board to help prepare the book for print.
The driving force in my endeavours was to produce a book to entertain the reader and to this end the critique would suggest this has been achieved. The book ( 50,000 words, 212 pages) is called ‘Caught Up In Time’ written under my pen name Paora Panadelo ( my Maori/ Spanish heritage) and as I have indicated is set in the decades from the 1940s to the 1970s.
While a work of fiction, the characters were developed from the personalities of real people and their real life experiences. Life in these years had a profound effect on those living through these times and finding an identity in a world still shellshocked with the residue of global conflict and the enormity of the after-effects of the war was a daunting challenge. Although the effects filtered through all sectors of the community, often with negative repercussions, it became an accepted way of life. The damage these times had on the lives of baby boomers, and the trials and tribulations that touched innocent victims, can never be under-estimated, and like all times of conflict it exposes the folly of war. The most rewarding experience in undertaking this book was bringing back to life the rich personalities of some of the characters I knew and loved through these post-war years.
I have attempted to bring some understanding of these turbulent years of childhood and youth while growing up in a world not experienced by today’s generation, and perhaps now a distant memory of some who lived in it. The book was written in the third person and I placed myself in one of the characters. As you may gather, as far as editing is concerned my work skills as a sub-editor were an enormous help and only hiring an editor for the ‘finesse’ was required. As indicated this was my first book although I was published a number of times for short stories in a national weekly magazine in the early 1990s and wrote regular columns in the newspaper I was employed in for twenty odd years 1990 -2010.
Although in my 70s this endeavour has resurrected my enthusiasm to write and led me to commence working on a new book which ‘The good Lord willing’ I hope to complete in about six months time. This is also a work of fiction based on real characters and I’m finding it both intriguing and rewarding. My books are obviously targeted at a mature audience, however they will be enlightening to a younger audience looking beyond the ‘fast expendable’ world of today.
I self-published ‘Caught Up In Time’ and did most of my own marketing selling privately and through bookshops which can be hard work. I promote the book through my blog www.paorapanadelo.wordpress.com or my facebook site- author paora panadelo. The book can be purchased direct from me by sending address details to paul-baker@xtra.co.nz and depositing NZ$19.90 in my bank account details of which I will give to prospective buyers via email.
Copies can also be purchased through McLeods bookshop, Rotorua and Atlantis bookshop, Rotorua and Hedleys bookshop, Masterton. I am currently looking for other avenues of sale such as Amazon.
My favourite writers include Oscar Wilde, George Orwell and J.C.Krishnamurti.
Personally I was born in Lower Hutt on the 1st January 1940, the first of the fifth generation born in New Zealand after my ancestor George Baker arrived from England on the ‘Lady Nugent’ in 1840. All five generations were still living at the time of my arrival. On my mother’s side I trace back directly to the Te Atiawa paramount chief Te Whiti O’Rongamai and have a whakapapa that extends back eleven generations.
I worked at many varied occupations as a youngster learning about life and people. Later I got ‘hooked’ and settled down as a welfare officer for the old Post Office for twenty years where I cared for the interests of over 500 staff members, When I took voluntary redundancy after the P.O. corporised I began writing short stories that led me to be initially employed at the Wairarapa Times Age newspaper as a feature writer before moving into editorial as a sub editor and columnist where I remained for twenty years until I retired. I was married for 42 years before my first wife Annabelle an exotic and characteristic woman passed away and have been to married to Alison a giving and caring woman for nine years.
I never had children of my own ( except a DNA test pending :-)) but inherited five children from Alison and too many mokos and grand mokos to count! – my contribution to the whanau was my cat Cheeky
I have had extensive world travel and Alison and myself have a love for Cruise ships and to this end we have been on eight cruises from around the Pacific to around the Mediterranean.

Kelly Smith Reviews

That News Guy by Jenn Nixon
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw that Nixon was writing contemporary romance, after reading Tiva Boon and the first MIND book. Plus, contemporary hetero romance is usually not my thing, but I gave it a shot and was so glad that I did!
The story centers around Trapper, a news reporter with a jaded past who needs to get in shape to travel to a war zone for a journalism project, and Jessica, a thick
(she’s not fat, she’s thick) woman who works at the Smoothie Bar in the gym Trapper attends.
The story starts with their meet-cute, where Jessica is so starstruck she’s nearly speechless. Right off the bat I liked her. She’s intelligent, witty, and extremely realistic. She doesn’t let her weight bring her down, either. Despite heading into her forties, she’s portrayed as a sexy, vivacious, spunky female lead. As someone who is of a similar body type, I loved seeing a woman like her as a sexy heroine and think that other authors should follow suit.
Without giving too much away, think of this book as a Hallmark movie with sex. There’s instant attraction (but NOT insta-love, thankfully), cute banter, first dates, and extremely emotional blow-ups. At one point, I had tears in my eyes and was worried for one character’s survival rate.
The secondary characters are also something to talk about. Trapper’s so-called “friend” needed a good beating, but his other friend who owns a restaurant was really likable. Rava, a trainer and friend of Jessica’s, was by far my favorite character. I really, really want a spin-off with her!
All in all, this was a great book with hot sex, deep emotions, great characters, and tackles body-image issues in a profound, very realistic way. Jenn Nixon has a real winner here, and one of the best romances I’ve read in a while.

Rainne’s Reviews

Treaters by CJ Rutherford
A fantastic read that kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s an amazing mix of horror, fantasy and romance, with plenty of action. It grabs you on page one and doesn’t let go until you reach the end…And what an ending – I didn’t see that coming.
The treaters are out to destroy all humankind and something else is destroying all life on earth.
After the death of his friends, Jaz is left to survive the end of the world on his own, until he meets Jennifer. They may be the only two people left on earth after the treater’s invasion.
Thanks to CJ Rutherford’s descriptive writing, I joined Jaz and Jennifer (and Tray, the dog) as they ran, hid, survived attacks and fell in love.
This is an awesome book and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.
**I first came across CJ Rutherford’s Treaters when it was a short story in The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron: A Halloween Anthology which I read and reviewed in October, 2015.
Since then CJ Rutherford has taken that short story and turned it into this terrific novel.

Secret Method To Choosing Amazon Book Categories In KDP By Dave Chesson

The Amazon book categories you choose will have a direct effect on whether or not you become an Amazon Best Seller. Choose the wrong one, and no matter how many books you sell, you won’t become an Amazon bestseller.
In truth, there is a lot more to choosing Amazon book categories in KDP, like secret kindle categories that Amazon doesn’t tell you about when publishing, and the simple fact that you can actually be listed for 7 extra categories legitimately.
That’s right, not just two or three categories like 99% of authors think. And in this article, I will show you all of that, plus more.
In this article, over the next few magazine you will learn:
Exactly what categories can do for your book
How to find the best categories to make you a bestseller
Secret Kindle Categories and how to get them
How to show up in 7 categories, not just 3
There’s also a tool that will do all of this for you as well, but I’ll show you the free way of doing it first.
Being a number #1 bestseller on Amazon isn’t just about the cool points, it also helps you sell more books as well. However, how does an author not only make sure they make that rank, but keep it too? Well, let’s dive into how Amazon chooses which book is the #1 bestseller of a category.
It all starts with your book’s Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR).
Shows you where to find the Amazon Best Seller Rank number
Amazon assigns the ABSR of a book based on how many sales or downloads it has had over a certain period of time as compared to all other books on the Amazon market. A lower number means that the book is selling better than others, and a higher number means it isn’t.
So, how does this help us with Amazon Book Categories?
If your book has the LOWEST ABSR of all books in a category, then you are the #1 best seller in that category. It is that simple. So, choosing your kindle categories or book categories will have a direct effect on whether or not you become a bestseller.
Here’s An Example:
If you choose a category where the #1 book in that category has an ABSR of 2,000, then you’d need to have an ABSR or 1,999 or less in order to be the new #1. Using my kindle calculator, you’d find out that you’d need to sell over 90 books per day to reach that.
However, if you choose a category where the #1 book has an ABSR of 70,000, then all you need is an ABSR of 69,999 or less.
Again, using my calculator, that’s only 3 books a day.
Big difference, right? 90 books vs 3 books?
So, the category you choose has a DIRECT effect on whether you’ll become an Amazon Best Seller and get that attractive bestseller tag.
I’m now an Amazon bestseller. So, I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.
So, with that, let’s look at how you can find legitimate Amazon Book Categories for both Kindle and Book, and start making more sales because of it.
There are three steps to finding out how to choose a good kindle category or Amazon book category.

Darling Layla by Lily Luchesi

“Rock-a-bye-baby … in the treetop…”
Layla paused, unsure of how the song ended. It had never been sung to her as a baby. She gently brushed the doll’s pretty blonde hair back and smiled at it. At the age of sixteen she’d never had a doll before. Never been allowed toys at all. Mummy thought toys were vain things given to naughty children by sinning parents. So Mummy never got her a doll, a teddy bear, anything. The cuddliest thing Layla had ever had was a pillow, and even those had been fairly rocklike.
Threadbare dresses and sensible shoes had been all she knew. She never had friends, only Mummy and the old lady who would babysit sometimes. The same lady who had given her the doll tonight. She was nicer than Mummy…
“The doll needs care, Layla,” Marie said. “She’s made of porcelain, and it was all your mother would permit me to give to you for your birthday. You mustn’t drop her. She’ll break.”
Now she sat alone in her barren room, cradling the doll which was the brightest, prettiest thing that had ever entered their little shack of a house.
The front door slammed, and that meant Mummy was home and Marie was gone.
“Layla?” Mummy called. Then she hiccuped. She’d had the Bad Stuff while she was out. Mummy was always telling her how the things that came in glass bottles with an amber hue contained the Bad Stuff, yet she always drank it. It didn’t make any sense.
“Yes, Mummy?”
“It’s bedtime. You had better be ready.”
“Okay, Mummy. Marie made sure I was.”
Her mother came to the open bedroom door, listing to the side.
“What is that?” she asked, her voice deadly and low. It never failed to send a shiver down Layla’s spine.
“The doll Marie gave me. The one made of … glass. Because I always wanted a doll.” Layla, having never been to a proper school, couldn’t recall the word “porcelain”.
Mummy just sniffed, her upper lip pulled up in a sneer and her blue eyes bloodshot. “Get to bed. Now.”
Layla nodded and quickly leapt under the covers, leaving her new doll next to her on the pillow, not too close to the edge, just like Marie had said.
Mummy brought her a glass of warm milk, her steps unsteady. She spilled a little on Layla’s thin blanket. “Thank you, Mummy.”
“Drink it all.”
She did, tasting bittersweet honey in the cup. It was unusual of Mummy to be so nice. The last time she had was when Layla had taken in a stray kitten from the backyard. She’d given it to Layla at bedtime, and when Layla had woken in the morning, the kitten was never seen again.
Poor kitty, she thought as her limbs began to feel heavy and her thought process became sluggish. I wonder whatever happened to her?
It must have been late at night when she woke, her head heavy. There were voices yelling. “What do you want? It’s three in the morning and you’re drunk as a skunk.” That was Marie.
“I told you she’s not allowed to have dolls! Vicious little tokens of vanity! How dare you disobey me?” Mummy screamed.
“When you weren’t drunk you said it was fine if I gave her one, as long as it wasn’t soft, whatever the reason for that! Abigail, I love that little girl but you’ve abused her far too much!” Marie said. “You need serious help.” “Fuck you, you old bitch,” Mummy hissed.
Layla had never heard those words before and gasped. She knew they were bad by the way Mummy had said them.
“I should take this hammer to you instead of this!” There was a loud shattering sound, like glass breaking. Layla looked next to her and saw her doll was gone. She knew Mummy was destroying her doll.
Maybe it was the drug in her system that Mummy put in the milk, maybe it was all the years of being whipped and locked in this vile house, but something in Layla snapped at that moment she heard her beloved doll being destroyed. She got out of bed and yelled for Mummy.
In the kitchen-slash-living room, Mummy was holding a hammer over the doll, its pretty face smashed to pieces.
“No! My dolly!” Layla cried, tears springing to her eyes. “Why do you do this to me, Mummy? Why can’t I have a doll to play?” “Go to sleep, Layla,” Mummy said.
“You drank the bad stuff. Just like when my kitten disappeared,” Layla said.
“Flea-ridden monster. It scratched my face even as I drowned it,” Mummy said with a sneer. “You’re an evil little girl and you don’t need these things to bring vanity and joy!”
“I’m not evil!” Layla cried. Something inside the girl, who was sixteen but had the mind of a five-year-old, broke open and she ran, screaming at Mummy.
Marie cried out, perhaps to stop. Layla wasn’t sure. She ran into Mummy, but Mummy was bigger and knocked her back into the table. Marie screamed something again, and Mummy turned and hit her over the head with her hammer. She fell to the ground with a thump, blood soaking her wispy white hair.
Layla scrambled to stand, knowing that Mummy would hit her next. She grabbed a piece of her doll’s broken face and lunged forward, embedding the sharp porcelain into Mummy’s throat.
Mummy gagged and gasped, blood coming at her lips and at the wound. She, too, fell to the ground, her jugular pierced by the doll she had just shattered.
Both women were still, and Layla stood in place, marvelling at the sense of quiet that came over the house.
Her doll’s face was broken, but its body was intact. She picked it up and rocked it, soothing it as a good mother would soothe a baby. Now it was quiet. No one was drinking the Bad Stuff, and Layla could play as much as she wanted.
That was where the police found her the next morning, after Marie had been reported missing, surrounded by two dead women, rocking her doll as blood soaked her knees.

Anita Kovacevic – Author

Tell us about yourself.
This is the one I should not start with the pronoun ‘I’, right;)? Business etiquette and all that. Well… no-can-do. My name is Anita Kova?evi? (due various font issues, I use my surname without the full symbols) and I live, work and write in Croatia, and am Croatian. My stories have been around for quite some time now, as I have often used my children’s stories in the storytelling parts of my English lessons, but I have only gotten into the self-publishing world since 2014. I write various genres, and I have so far been honoured with invitations to several published anthologies, both for children and adults. The latest of my participations in a children’s anthology is The Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories by Plaisted Publishing House.
On a personal note, it is my firm belief that kindness changes the world and that reading inspires empathy and kindness. Plus, something that is highly underestimated – having fun is just as important as being serious.
What bought you to the world of writing?
Now that I think back, I have always loved stories – telling them, reading them, writing them. Even as a primary school kid I used to write poetry, plays and stories. During my entire education and professional life, storytelling, reading and writing have always been an integral part of my way of living. My husband and I used to tell our son bedtime stories, not just read them but invent them on the spot. Our son would pick up two toys, usually dinosaurs, and say: “OK, tell me a story about these guys.” Now that he’s a teenager, our daughter has taken on a similar role. She has just inspired me to write a new children’s story. Again. A good friend of mine once said something that has kept me afloat in this chaotic bliss of publishing; she said I should never give up writing and publishing because it is an extraordinary gift I am leaving behind for my children. Without me being aware of it, teaching has taught me how to pull children into stories, and training teachers has helped me pull adult readers into the story. Everybody and everything has a story, and stories reveal so much more about ourselves than we are aware. Not that my stories are all autobiographical – they simply show how I feel the world and what matters to me, whether it’s because I love it or it torments me.
My initial attempts at getting published happened during my first blogging sessions on my old blog (Average woman… or maybe not), where I got great comments on my work, and when I participated in the Inner Giant charity anti-bullying project, many of my friends encouraged me to self-publish. So I tried, and here I am – 3 years later, 15 titles on my Amazon author’s page, plus Teaching Children from the Heart and Inner Giant (charity books I participated in, not visible on my author’s page). The writers’ community has also been far more supporting than I could have anticipated. In fact, I had no idea there was such a huge writers’ community out there. Once you publish and get honest and kind feedback on your writing from professionals, it has to add wind beneath your wings. So thank you to all writers and readers!
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first book was my children’s book Winky’s Colours. It’s a chapter book about a little penguin who leaves his home to find colours. I have to say it will always be special for me, because it started as a story for my little learners of English and developed through live storytelling sessions, so I know how much impact it has on children. Even my colleagues often tell it to children and the response is wonderful. Naturally, now that I’ve learned more about formatting, design and marketing, I know what I would improve and where I would invest in professional help. But the story itself would not change and I am extremely proud of that. The most important thing about any book is the story. No spectacular cover or miraculous marketing tricks can help if your story is void of content, purpose or character.
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
The children’s books I write have become sort of a brand because I write them from my experience as a teacher and a mother, but also as a teacher trainer who works a lot with other teachers and parents. I know how much it matters to involve the children while reading, and this is something a lot of the parents (and teachers) out there would love to try but simply don’t know how to start. Therefore each of my children’s books contains simple follow-up questions after each chapter. They do not test comprehension or vocabulary retention, but get the children to think about a given issue in a creative and pro-active way, to assess problems critically and think about solutions. Mind you, you can always skip the questions if you wish; there are only about 4-5 every time, and they don’t influence story comprehension or change the flow. I also add riddles, wordplay, rhymes or colouring pages. My illustrations are simple. Much as I love beautifully illustrated children’s books, I have found that children are fine with having just the basic images if the story pulls them in – they can and do invent everything else. Imagination is a beautiful flower and needs to be nurtured into growth.
As for my poetry and adult books, they have somehow developed their own publishing pace with children’s books – they respect each other and each take their turn. Somehow it seems I publish a kidlit, then adult, then short stories or poetry, and then the cycle is repeated. I don’t write with a marketing agenda. I write that story which wakes me up at night and doesn’t let me sleep till it’s out on paper. To be honest, I always have several works in progress in my notebooks and computer, which I find frustrating (manuscript hoarder might be the diagnosis), but the story which has the strongest hold on my mind gets to be the one which is finished, edited and fine tuned into an ebook or paperbook. The first one was The Threshold, my semi-horror novella about vanity and its cost. It was so well received that I was surprised and stories just kept flowing after that. Interestingly enough, although my latest novel The Forest of Trees took 7 years to come to life, its first version was finished way before I wrote and published my light romantic comedy Average Daydreamer. The thing is that The Forest of Trees took such a toll on my mind that Priscilla, the main character from Average Daydreamer, came to me as that cheerful, somewhat annoying friend, who whispers into your ear to get up and shake off the blues until you give in and obey it, so I wrote her story abnormally fast and she went through several edits, but saw the light of day within a year. I will always be grateful to her for picking me up with her playful tone and giving me the strength to grab The Forest and publish it. As for poetry, I’ve been writing it for years and I guess time has come to collect, dust off and organise it. So far, two collections are out there, with my fantasy poetry still waiting final edits. Short stories are a particular challenge to write, so I am currently putting together two collections, a light and dark side of me, so to say. But it all takes a lot of time and dedication, so we’ll see what comes to life first.
As for my readers’ needs and whether my stories fulfill them… Ha-ha, funny story is… I work with children a lot, and kids have an uncompromising way of teaching you that being a control freak is ridiculous, so I never presume I know what my readers need or who my readers are. I cannot really influence that. There is a story out there for everyone, but not all stories suit everyone’s tastes. There are lots of trees in the forest, and no two are alike. What I hope is that my stories manage to reach those who they are meant to reach. All I can do is keep looking and keep writing down what I hear.
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
It completely depends on the story, but also the time of the year. My inspiration and spring work really well together, whereas my full-time job as teacher of English only allows me time to revise and edit during August when I am on holiday. So how on Earth did I get 15 books out there? Yes, you guessed it – insomnia. Well, my children have trained me well not to sleep too long, as I am sure most parents out there will completely understand.
Do you plot or not, if so why? Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you done both?
There is never a plan at first – only a whisper. Literally, a character tells me a scene, a line or a dream, and keeps repeating it till I write it down. From then on, the story just grows. I cannot say I can be credited much for deciding what happens in a particular story – I am only the scribe in a way, like a witness to events. I believe that if I listen to them carefully, I will write well. I have so far written both in 1st and 3rd person, but again – it is never up to me. Not that I haven’t tried changing some things, but it always seems totally fake to try to steer away from the whisper. And if it seems fake to me, I leave it.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
My latest novel is The Forest of Trees, sort of a contemporary adult fantasy about a life changing event. Or is it? It is a story about The Stones, a city family of four, who face unemployment and abuse in the city, and at the very point when they get stuck in despair, the mother gets offered a job in a small town, so they all move, hopeful and with nothing to lose. Their new home is a cottage near the infamous Forest, which itself is not what an ordinary forest might appear to be at first. No, not everything is blissful in their new home, school or workplaces, and yet, they will find magic in unexpected places, if you believe in such things;). In my mind, it is a story about balancing our demons and angels, the good and bad within, around and beyond, which is a matter of acceptance and choice, not luck. There is an array of all generations of characters, some of which have made me cry happy tears, some made me feel sick to my stomach, but that’s like life, right? There are wonderful children and the desperate ones, wise adults and those who take the easier route of malice. All of their destinies are intertwined as The Stones battle adversity and make new friends, some human, some not, discovering their own weaknesses and strengths. And as the title so obviously says, trees play an important part in the entire plot. Because of the nature of the story (pun intended), and it spanning across several generations, some parts of the story may even sound like a children’s story, whereas others are painful accounts of the horror of evil that lies in some people. The ending does bring balance, but I am not sure if I’d call it a happy ending. Hopeful, maybe. Life is a constant process.
My links:
Lulu Author Spotlight http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Anita_K
Universal Book Link http://Author.to/AnitaKovacevicAmazon
Barnes & Noble/Nook https://tinyurl.com/ybfpg9gb

Kobo/Rakuten https://tinyurl.com/ycxuds4g

iTunes/Apple https://tinyurl.com/ydfyn8hq

Amazon Author page http://tinyurl.com/lswqjzf
BookGorilla http://tinyurl.com/le5h4x2
Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/jwovbbv
Find me on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest… either by name or Anita’s Haven


https://mobile.audible.com/…/The-Zebra…/B076C1CVNS The Zebra Affaire by Mark Fine https://itunes.apple.com/…/dolls-house…/id1183996176 Dolls House by Colin Griffiths https://itunes.apple.com/…/rhymes-and…/id1314491785 Rhymes and Writings by Colin Griffiths

https://itunes.apple.com/…/never-say…/id1326267573 Never Say Goodbye, by Colin Griffiths

https://itunes.apple.com/…/a-life-for-a…/id1200887895 A Life for a Life by Colin Griffiths

https://itunes.apple.com/…/mother-unabridged/id1282121508 Mother by Colin Griffiths https://www.amazon.com/Pharaohs-Destiny…/dp/B077TGCBX2/ The Pharaoh’s Destiny by Markie Madden

Book Trailer Links

https://youtu.be/UT9PtoQECDM Curious Things by Joanne Van Leerdam https://youtu.be/GaXNNw5eR7E The Silver Feather by Joanne Van Leerdam https://youtu.be/bWlnj6D0llU The Passing of the Night by Joanne Van Leerdam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJj7r-2SMjg How to Write for Success by Brenda Mohammed https://youtu.be/CS9pJKcSJeQ Ghostly Writes Anthology 2017
https://youtu.be/5k7HUOtZppM A Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories Anthology https://youtu.be/7aPqLaWAPiM Franky the Finicky Pink Flamingo by Wand Luthman https://youtu.be/JPZ6g6kUHrk Distorted Pasts by Mara Reitsma & Mark McQuillen https://youtu.be/W_sjSOBN9OE The Triplets Curse: Hope’s Story
https://www.facebook.com/RenzandStella/videos/161469227793241/ Only One Woman by Christina Jones & Jane Risdon

https://youtu.be/nco317cUm0s  Shiva XIV Series by Lyra Shanti
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDBwbdbU2y0 Never Again by Lily Luchesi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqytffGHc2Q&t=28s The Adventures of Cali the Cat by Miss Mar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5hWkpUG2H8  The Coven Princess by Lily Luchesi

Stronger Than You Think
By Kyrena Lynch

Recommended Music Accompaniment:
Beauty of Grace by Thad Fiscella

You sit down and wonder why,
This situation always makes you cry
How awful you feel, how let down you are

But you stand tall and strong,
Dry your tears and hold your ground,
You’re stronger now than yesterday
There’s nothing that can tear you away
From the place you stand
Life is never grand, the way you think
It might be when looking up from down
Below, in childhood; they make it look
So glamourous, but really,

What is it that you wait for?
Stand tall, stay strong and dry those tears
For though you’re more broken than
Previous years, you’re somehow better
Than before, where time ticks away
You age another day, the earth turns
And seasons change but just remember;
You have to dry your tears and hold your ground

Because you’re stronger now than yesterday.


Traditional Vs Self-Publishing by Scott Semegran

This past year while promoting my latest two books, Boys and Sammie & Budgie, I was asked quite a lot during interviews, “Would I go with a traditional publisher for my next book?” Having taken the indie route and selfpublished some of my fiction work, I initially thought this question to be intriguing. Could I relinquish all the control I have as a self-publisher and opt for a traditional publisher to take control of my new book’s life? My initial response was, “Sure! Why not?” Then on further reflection, my thought was, “Well, I don’t know.” What a conundrum!
I decided to research this issue and I found that there were drastically different opinions on this: traditional publishing versus self-publishing. Many authors still tout the traditional publishing model as the best way to go, particularly if you want to be taken “seriously” as a writer. One author, Ros Barber, declared that she’d rather starve as a traditionally published author than risk appearing amateurish as a self-published author. Another author, Hugh Howey, favored self-publishing because he spent less time jumping through the hoops of the traditional system and instead published straight to the “real” gatekeepers: the readers. Both writers have a point. Ultimately, aren’t they both trying to accomplish the same thing? They both have the desire to be published writers. Arguing about the method of publishing is like arguing about the best way to get from Texas to California: budget airplane ticket or expensive automobile. Would you rather fly cheaply or drive an expensive car? Who cares! I just want to get to California. Most writers just want to publish their work for the world to rea.
I think the better approach to this dilemma is to figure out other factors that influence the writer in you. Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Or do you like to focus only on writing? Does marketing your books sound appealing to you or does it make your brain hurt? Does graphic design and typesetting sound fun or does it turn you off? How involved do you want to be with the life of your book? Do you want to give it to a publisher then walk away, trusting that they have editors and graphic designers and marketers? Or do you want to follow it down the long tail of its distribution, getting involved with the book cover design as well as marketing and promotion? Like discovering your love language for a successful romantic relationship, figuring out some of these personality traits in your writer-self will be important in deciding the publishing route you should pursue.
For me personally, I had another career that grew in tandem with my writing career: webmaster. In all the years of designing websites, I acquired many different skills and a lot of computer application expertise. Graphic design? Yes, I have extensive experience with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Typesetting and fonts? Yes, I have experience with Adobe Acrobat Professional. HTML? Well, of course, I’m a webmaster! Did you know that the ePub format of eBooks uses HTML and CSS as formatting? I discovered this while learning how to create eBooks. I also discovered that many of the skills and tools I learned as a webmaster translated to creating eBooks and formatting paperbacks. Create styles for formatting the HTML in an ePub? Turns out I knew how to do that. Embedding fonts in a PDF for on-demand printing? Turns out I knew how to do that, too. Self-publishing was a path I could nimbly pursue, using the skills I developed as a webmaster as the skills I needed to publish books, whether as eBooks or in print. What if you do not have these skills and are reluctant to acquire these skills BUT you still have that entrepreneurial spirit? Then delegate these things to skilled contractors. Although self-publishing sounds complicated, there is a wealth of information on the internet to help you as well as professionals–graphic designers, editors, proofreaders, and promoters–willing to perform some of the publishing tasks at very reasonable rates. Does this sound daunting to you and you just want to write? Then maybe traditional publishing is the way to go for you. Time to start writing those query letters!
Or, you may turn out to be a hybrid author, one who pursues traditional publishing as well as self-publishing. I fit more into this category as I have had work published in literary journals as well as major-city newspapers and alternative weeklies. I had a literary agent pursue a deal with a non-fiction humor book. I’ve written hundreds of query letters. I’ve received paychecks from publishing companies. And, I’ve published books through my own imprint: Mutt Press. I know everything about the publishing process from writing to editing to proofing to typesetting to book cover design to print layouts to eBook coding to book distribution to marketing and promotion and… WHEW! Would I accept a traditional publishing deal now? Sure! I have a lot to offer a traditional publisher and would make a great partner. Would not getting a traditional publishing deal keep me from publishing books in the future? No, I’ve successfully done it on my own.
Look, I understand that most of the articles you’ll read on the internet about traditional publishing versus selfpublishing are, at their core, about monetizing your books. People really are curious about writing books as a career. And why not? Sounds like a fun career. Scott Semegran, bestselling author. Has a nice ring to it, right? But let me tell you, if what you want is to make money, then a writing career is not really the best choice. I mean, there are thousands of easier ways to make money than writing books. And even traditionally published author Ros Barber decries her financially depressing writing career while peering at the self-publishers of the world with her jaundiced world-view. Even so, she wants to write, as a lot of us do. We, at our core, are creative creatures. Creating art, writing books, playing music–these pursuits are what make us human. And to debate about the best way to make money while creating art is like putting the horse in front of the cart, or debating about the best mode of transportation when arriving at your destination is really the point. Business-class airline? Or a convertible with a manual transmission? Who cares… the goal is CALIFORNIA!
The world needs more writers, whether it’s in fiction or non-fiction or journalism or bloggers or whatever. And, right now, there has never been a better time to be a writer because the paths to publishing have never been greater–EVER!
The world needs more writers, whether it’s in fiction or non-fiction or journalism or bloggers or whatever. And, right now, there has never been a better time to be a writer because the paths to publishing have never been greater–EVER! If you have a love for writing and you have a dedication to the craft of writing, then I am certain that sometime in your future, a financial incentive may present itself. And most successful writers will tell you this: love writing first. There’s nothing more important that I could impart to you than that. But just as important, there are multiple ways to accomplish becoming a writer. Going to graduate school at an elite university will not magically turn you into Michael Chabon. Inversely, simply uploading a manuscript to Amazon KDP for the world to read will not transform you into Amanda Hocking. You have to put in the work to develop your mastery of writing, however you decide to accomplish that.
So, what publishing path are you going to pursue: traditional publishing or self-publishing? Whether you decide to write query letters to literary agents or create a Lulu account and upload your manuscript, just get to it. What are you waiting for? Fulfill your dream. Be a writer. I look forward to seeing you on a bestseller list someday.
Originally posted on Lulu.com 02/05/2018 http://www.lulu.com/blog/2018/02/05/traditional-publishing-vs-self-publishing/#sthash.VQ6ToS4V.dpbs


Perfect Break by Anais Chartschenko
When everything falls Apart, people are just Pieces of who they should Be After best friends Claire and Madison are separated for the summer, they promise to tell each other everything. But when one of the girls starts keeping dangerous secrets, can their friendship survive? A novel told in verse

Ed Ireland – Author

What bought you to the world of writing?
I wish I could say I was born into it and writing novels with the letters in my first cereal, but it just isn’t so. What happened was, about 30 years ago I saw a picture. A simple picture of a tiger holding a bow, hunting. The next thing I know, is this elaborate story begins to form and gets caught in my brain. I mean it was like so alien planted a seed and BOOM!, I’m growing a baby in my head. The worst part is, I’m not a writer but it’s screaming to be written and then let loose.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first book is entitled Fire At Dawn and as I pointed out, I was no writer so it was understandably horrible. I must have rewritten that book a dozen times before I was
satisfied with it. Part of the problem was the story started growing. It soon took three books to get it all out
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
My preferred genre is fantasy, the high, epic kind. Big long-winded stories that make for thick books. Lots of people say “Your books are too long. People want quick, short stories to read.” Yeah, I’m not buying it. All I need to do is look at a certain author who wrote a tale about a student in a magical academy. Her books are so thick, they can be used as stepstools. I also dip into other genres, such as crime, historical fiction and if I ever get it done, a cookbook.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
Well yes I would. I have recently finished another, and hopefully last edit on my Trials of the Clans Trilogy. Fire At Dawn is the first book, followed by The Stormrider and A New Dawn. It’s been rereleased in eBook, print and in Audiobook formats and I’m starting the show with the first book now. I’m currently writing another chapter to the story of the Clans so I’m preceding that release with a rolling out of the old stories.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
I’ve tried to plot, I really have. Somewhere around chapter five or six, the characters begin to plot when I’m not there. By chapter eight, they’ve become quite unruly and by chapter ten I’ve lost full control and end up chasing them to get their story. I think that by letting the characters tell the story, it keeps me surprised and this translates to the reader. I basically throw a beginning out and work very hard at giving the characters a life. By then I know what the end should be and I let the children bring me to it in their own way.
And how does this work for you?
For the most part, it works. There are times when even I am taken by surprise. When I was finishing the trilogy, my family and I were in the middle of a move from NY to Miami. This was a case of every single thing going wrong that ended with us being stranded in NC for eight months. My temperament there went from bad to worse and it began creeping into my characters. By the end of the book, it was miles away from the ending I envisioned. I almost scrapped it, but a little voice said to leave it and add to it. Turned out to be the right choice according to the wonderful readers that told me about it.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
I try to market for people who like to read. That’s not sarcasm, that’s actual. Remember I said that people criticize books that are “too long”? Nothing against those folks, but none of my books are meant for speed-readers. I put a great deal of myself into my characters and I want the reader to have ample opportunity to get to know them as I do. I feel that without character development, then why would anyone care what happened to them? I want readers who enjoy reading a passage and allowing a moment for the imagination to soar. I want them to see my world and feel what my characters are feeling.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Published?
I have another fantasy series that I had high hopes for called the Chronicles of the Huntress. I submitted the first book, The Last Ranger of Sarn to a new publishing company that I won’t name. They worked with me with the editing portion, providing editors. Problem was, they only did the first 8 chapters and then told me to do the rest. OK, no problem, writers should know how to edit and I will admit they taught me a lot. Then time came for the cover and I wasn’t really impressed with anything so I did my own cover.
Then came time for the pre-release and we had all these plans…that never happened. I was doing all the marketing and they would occasionally retweet one of my ads. They never sent the book to anyone for reviews and in fact didn’t seem to understand that reviews are the life-blood of writers. Instead of opening to a great sales time and lots of words written about the book, it kind of snuck onto the market. They were charging $35.00 for the hardcover of a book that had three reviews.
Within a month, they were taking in all these other small publishers and pretty much abandoning the writers.
Now, I’ve created my own publishing brand, Savage World Publishing, and my books fall under it. If I have to do all the work, then I might as well make all the profit. As for The Last Ranger of Sarn, I’ve got her back from them and I’ll be releasing her stories myself too.
How do you promote your writing?
I’ll generally hit the usual spots on social media. I like to have business cards made with the book cover and info on it and I’ll spread them around to people I see reading out in public. Another thing I like to do is create these little “ads” that feature a short bit of a chapter, maybe 2-5 lines along with a picture that fits it and throw them all over social media too.
They seem to work and I’ve gotten some great feedback on them.
Where can we buy your books?
Amazon. That’s it, one place. All of them are available in eBook, most in paperback and I’m getting them done in Audiobook too. So far only two are available in that format, but we’re getting there.
Who are your favourite authors?
The father of epic fantasy, J.R.R.Tolkien is my inspiration. His was the first fantasy book I ever read and have re-read several times. He made you feel as if Hobbits actually did exist, along with dragons, shape-shifters and elves. The Hobbit was light and whimsical. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was much heavier and dark. It took hold of you by the throat and forced you to keep reading.
In the modern literary world, the author that impresses me the most is Gregory Maguire. He takes a well-known story, one that people know intimately, and shows it to you from the other side of the coin. He took L.Frank Baum’s masterpiece The Wizard of Oz and told us the story from the Wicked Witch’s point of view. That turned Oz from this magical fairy world into this dark, politically corrupt world that made you wonder, was the Witch of the West truly wicked, or was she misunderstood. When I write now, I try to reference the two opposing points of view if I can. I always helps if you can look at the hero and villain as champions of their own causes in their own way. Unless of course, if the villain is a scurrilous scoundrel with no redeeming qualities at all.
My Amazon link: http://bit.ly/4Fantasy
My Author Site link: http://bit.ly/EdIrelandAuthor
My Publishing Site link: http://bit.ly/SavageWorlds
My Facebook Page: http://bit.ly/popularsocialsite
My Twitter: http://bit.ly/writerbird
My Cover Design Site: http://bit.ly/StoryTellerDesigns
Do you have any more information you’d like to share with us?
I’m currently working on a slew of projects. As I mentioned, I’m doing another piece for the Trials of the Clans. It will be a pre-quell of sorts to be followed by a few short stories. I’m also preparing the Chronicles of the Huntress for release under the Savage Worlds banner. There’s also a cookbook in the works and I’m feeling the itch to spread into another genre…maybe comedy.

Will ‘O’ Witch by Bekka Abbott

The muscles in Dragon’s back twitched with micro spasms. It felt like he’d been in a fire but it was as if he was burnt from the inside. He knew he’d be alright. There’d been enough time to put up walls so the energy of the curse didn’t penetrate into his essence. It was the one advantage of magic being made of energy, with the right expertise you can redirect almost anything.
He sat on the three legged stool, watching Will and Dana spreading the take-out across four plates. Will took two plates and headed towards him. At the counter, Dana grabbed one of the remaining portions. “I’ll see if Cain wants to eat something other than marshmallows.”
Dragon smiled, and looked sideways as Will handed him a plate.
Will sat down next to him. “How are you feeling now, Dragon?”
He rumbled in his throat. “I’m alright.”
“That was pretty brave of you, taking that blast, it looked strong.”
Dragon shrugged. “I have a lot to make amends for. Besides, I could take it, I don’t think Dana could have.”
Will’s smile was gentle. “Not yet, at least.”
He shoved a fork-full of noodles into his mouth. The food was hot and full of flavour. Dragon’s tummy informed him with a grouchy rumble that he hadn’t eaten all day. He sighed, and what a day it had been.
Dana was chuckling as she came back into the store front. The joy flickered in her dark eyes, lighting up a chocolate brown.
She looked directly at him. “Your son is lovely.”
Dragon’s chin lifted slightly and smiled. “He really is. Best thing to happen in my entire life.”
She grabbed her plate from the counter and, pulling the chair from behind it, she moved towards he and Will.
She sighed as she sat down. “So, what does all this mean? I feel so overwhelmed. Why would anyone want to send a leech spirit at me, let alone curse me? I don’t think I’ve got any enemies.”
Dragon dropped his eyes to his meal and shoved in more food to give him time to figure out what to say. He wasn’t sure if she’d understand if he explained what happened, besides, as terrible as it was, he needed to get his son away and safe before he thought about anything else, and they might not help if he told them what happened. Next to him, Will shrugged, answering her question. “It could be anything, it could be about mistaken identity or something to do with your family, or it could be a powerful but disturbed witch who’s interpreted something you’ve said or done as an insult or threat. People can do a lot for very odd reasons. Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out.”
“Am I safe at work?” she asked. “Are my workmates safe?” Remembering the spy Magus had at the Real Estate, Dragon swallowed his food. “It’s probably sensible to call in sick for a while, until it’s sorted.”
“So,” said Will, looking sideways at him. “Was this a friendly visit or–”
“We’re in trouble.” The words burst out of Dragon. “Someone’s after us, so we need a good glamour spell.”
Will nodded. “Of course, anything to help you two.”
“I also need to go back to my place tonight and grab a few things, if you wouldn’t mind coming with me?”
Will nodded.
Dana’s eyes widened. “What’s happening? Why are you in trouble?”
She seemed so very concerned for them and Dragon felt a stab of guilt. Without Will and Mina, this lovely woman would be hurting because of him. He swallowed that feeling down again and shook his head. “It’s a very long story, I just need to get Cain safe before I sit down and tell it.”

Finding your PATH – Identifying Your Hurdles
By Sam Prigmore

Sam Prigmore from Pathfinder is a Developmental Coach. We got together with the idea of help Authors think about their needs and how to go about getting them. As you can see from the image on the right there will be five articles which we both hope can assist you in life and as an author.
The first article is Identifying your Hurdles…
What is your problem.
First thing to ask yourself in the situation is a basic one “what exactly are my hurdles?”. People try and deal with their situations and get nowhere because they are caught up with their emotion of the situation. Being stuck in the emotion of the situation keeps your eyes closed to your hurdles and that makes near impossible to see a solution. It only takes a few minutes to stop yourself from being emotionally stuck.
Example; someone at work rejects your work and gives you a little bit of feedback in a none constructive way. This could make you feel upset and angry. At this point stop and ask yourself “what has caused this anger and how can this be resolved?”. You will now start to think of the feedback and then possibly look at ways to get more feedback or even go to other colleagues and get the advice you need. So, by doing this you have cut the emotion and identified the hurdles that being in this situation the feedback.
How many do you have.
If we take the scenario from above, we established that from the offset it was the feedback that was the hurdle but as we all know where there is one hurdle there are probably more. When you delve into the first hurdle you might find the other person has a personal issue with you or the software you used was incorrect. You have just established you have three hurdles. This is not a bad thing, it just gives you a full picture and once you know all your hurdles you can now map out how you are going to overcome them.
Who are they with.
In life these days you cannot have a hurdle that doesn’t involve a person. This isn’t always true but in 90% of cases it is. It is very easy if you stay stuck in the emotions of the situation to have these launch out onto other areas and people in your life. If one of the hurdles was with a person and the situation gave you the emotion of anger if you didn’t keep focused to the actual hurdle and person then the anger could be unwillingly thrown out to other people as well, like friends and family. So, keep focused on the hurdle and the people involved and lock it into that situation. Visualise all the other areas of your life as the emotional escape from these hurdles and not the release. This will give you more energy to deal with the people that are your hurdles in the correct way.
Are they rational.
Before anything else can be done ask yourself another question “are these hurdles rational or am in just over reacting?”. We all have the right to over react and it is natural. Some people though can allow their emotions to run away with them, this is very easy if you are creative because you will find it easy to build a story up that isn’t happening. With any hurdle always look at them in a few ways, first from your own point of view and then second from an outsider’s point of view. The outsider can always keep the bigger picture in mind and if it is a little blip on the radar of the bigger picture then why jump it when you need your energy to overcome the big hurdles that ultimately shape your reality. Example; take the situation from the top, if the hurdle was your colleague didn’t like you and the feedback was having little digs at you, but the management liked your work then what is the point of trying to overcome someone else’s petty jealousy. It simple isn’t worth your time or focus.
Are they actual problems you have with your external or are they with yourself.
Your hurdles could all be a self-conflict and has nothing to do with your outside environment. If they are hurdles you only have with yourself like your behaviour, then now is the time to start addressing them. Life and other people are going to give you all the hurdles you can ever want, you don’t want to be adding to them. But, knowing these personal hurdles and learning ways to deal with them will lead to personal development and ultimately a stronger you. Sometimes being the best possible you can be the best possible solution. Plus, if your able to look within side yourself and find floors and implement development you will have much better control over your emotions and the situations within your environment.
So, at the end of the day finding out what your hurdles are first can help you stay focused, less energetically drained and stop any negative situation from leaking into any other area of your life.
There are hundreds of daily techniques you can implement to help you physically deal with these kinds of emotions even if the hurdle is yourself.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sam-prigmore-0448a5154/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQaj72UUpTr0_T6EhgfMJ6A 


Promote your work – for free! With Kaye Bewley

You’ve finished your work and now you need people to know about it. Therefore, I offer you the platform I’ve created – for free!
If you’ve already published your book, finished your manuscript, screen/stageplay, never turn down a promotional opportunity – however small it may appear to be. I’m offering you one here.
I’ll promote the YouTube video link of your work on the following platforms:
· FaceBook BewleyBooks page
· LinkedIn
· Twitter
· Google+
· Pinterest
· YouTube
We are followed by BODIES not BOTS and interact regularly with the people who share and like our posts. We are a small platform, but growing. With a reach of over 6,000 followers on LinkedIn (professional group of authors, film makers, producers and directors) and have almost 2,000 followers on Twitter. These are our most prominent platforms and we’re working hard on building on the others.
All we need from you is the YOUTUBE VIDEO LINK to your book – preferably one with you holding your book and showing it off. We’ll assess whether it’s suitable for our platform and give you the nod if it is.
In return
We don’t charge for this work, but we do ask in return is that you ‘LIKE’, ‘SHARE’ or ‘FOLLOW’ our social media pages (whichever you are happiest using).
Already, several authors have taken up the offer and are reaping the benefits of our activity on their behalf.
How to book…
Visit this link and follow the instructions:

Recently Released Books

Shelley by K Meador
An ordinary day on the beach turns into an adventure when Stacey encounters Shelley, a surfing, flying sloth.
For ages 4 -8

The Titans of Ardana 3 by J S Frankel
Martin Calder and his girlfriend Dana—no last name given—are back. Their powers are now known to the general public, and their wish is to help out those who need it.
However, those in the law enforcement world aren’t so accepting. Reduced to starring in their own reality show—and messing it up—other, more urgent matters take precedence. The weather has changed, and the sun has started to turn blue. Although it’s a physical impossibility, it has happened. The Earth will freeze in a matter of weeks if nothing is done, and only Martin and Dana can help.
Their journey takes them back to Ardana, Dana’s home world, in search for answers, and subsequent searches send them on a quest across the galaxy where they meet vampires, energy-sapping rays, cat-mole people, and a boy-not-a-boy who may be the answer to everyone’s prayers.
Sometimes, giving everything isn’t enough. Sometimes, you have to give more than that even your life.

I Am Lucifer by J J Liniger
Why did God create an adversary? Lucifer starts his journey praising God and marvels as He creates every living thing in and above the Earth. Until Satan learns he could do something God could not. What could an all-powerful God not do? When Lucifer left heaven, one-third of the angels joined him. How did he persuade those who have been in the presence of God to leave? Find out what Satan said to convince these heavenly creatures he had a better plan. Follow Lucifer on a journey from light to darkness and watch as it appears God’s plan unravels as evil seeks to triumph over good. “Readers are advised to remember; the devil is a liar.” — C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters Discussion Guide Included.

Mechanical Mike by Paul White
I had much so much fun in creating this story it has encouraged me to venture into writing more tales in the realms of science fiction.
Mechanical Mike is a fun tale, a modern pulp fictional story of Metal Robotics, Nazioccupied France and Love.

The Mortician by A L Mengel
Do You Want To Live Forever? Ever since Jacob Benjamin touched his dead Grandmother’s cheek while she lay in her coffin, he has had a fascination with death. The mystery of the grave and what lies beyond it became a lifetime quest for the young man. His Master’s Degree thesis project explores the decades abandoned Waxley Mortuary, sitting in ruins. His research partners join him on a journey through life and legacy – but Jacob discovers there is still activity inside the dilapidated walls of Waxley. From the appearance of an old photo the story begins; and as the mirror of one’s life reveals actions and regrets, Jacob realizes that there is one figure standing between him and his legacy, salvation, and redemption: The Mortician. A.L. Mengel goes back to his storytelling roots with a novel about the pursuit of legacy amidst the solitude of darkness. Can one shed their transgressions to accept their shortcomings?

Secrets in Oak Creek by B K Stubblefield
When Emily returns to Oak Creek, Kentucky, to attend her aunt’s funeral, her life suddenly takes an unexpected turn. When her vehicle is sideswiped, and she loses control, witnesses report this as an assault, not an accident. But why?
Oak Creek, a picturesque little Southern town, is a welcoming place. Folks are friendly around here, neighbors helping neighbors, strangers becoming friends quickly. Emily learns this when she has no choice but to trust the care of her aunt’s dog, Bentley, and the good Samaritans after the car crash.
Small town living is nearly perfect for Emily. The only downside? There are no secrets that can be kept for long. Or are there?

Battered & Bruised but NOT Broken by T L Travis & Piper Kay
Battered & bruised, but not broken is an erotic, male/male, gay romance novel. It’s the culmination of two lost souls finding what they didn’t know they were looking for.
Hunter is an ex-con, always in the wrong place at the worst times which is how he landed in prison. He’s looking to start anew when in walks Elliott.
Timid and sheltered Elliott has his life in order. Or so he thinks, that is until Hunter introduces him to a whole new world.
Both are battling past demons, but what happens when their worlds collide?

Fangs of Vengeance by Aaron Henley
A young werewolf’s life was going great. He had a good job and a gorgeous woman he was about to marry. Then, a night of tragedy changed everything. An enemy out of legend and myth resurfaces and takes everything he loves. Vowing revenge, Steve Harper won’t rest until the person responsible pays. Along the way, he’ll meet a group that will change his life forever as he finds out the world is much larger than he thinks and that some fairy tales are true.
If the idea of fantasy creatures riding motorcycles, more movie and TV references than should be allowed without involving copyright lawyers, a quirky sense of humor, and a split personality that is reminiscent of classic 80s buddy cop movies, then this may just be the right book for you.
Due to adult themes involving a rape victim overcoming her abuse, language, and sexual situations, this book is not intended for children.

Dreamtime Dragons by Authors of Dreamtime Tale Fantasy
Stories, drabbles and sample chapters; the Dreamtime dragon authors are a collective of storytellers brought together by their love of Fantasy in all it’s guises.
Travel the Wyrde Wood with a giant wyrm or defend a pod of humpback whales with a dragon, explore the deepest goblin caverns, search for a dragon egg in the midst of a Viking raid or in a post-apocalyptic city where five gold coins is the price for the prize you seek!
Explore imaginary worlds with creatures of Fantasy and dragons… lots of dragons! Noble dragons, funny dragons, cloud dragons, spirit dragons and even a revenge dragon!
Humour, drama, mythology and more await in 12 stories and drabbles, plus 8 novel excerpts that will lead you to your next great Fantasy read! Find the Dreamtime Dragon authors on Facebook in the group, Dreamtime Tale Fantasy! ALL proceeds have been pledged to the Abington Ferret Refuge in Northamptonshire.

Franky The Finicky Flamingo by Wanda Luthman
Award-winning children’s author presents a fun rhyming beautifully illustrated picture book that your child will enjoy!
Franky is a beautifully colored pink flamingo but, he doesn’t know the right food to eat. He tries food that other birds like but he doesn’t enjoy any of them. Then, the unthinkable happens. His adored pink color begins to fade. What will Franky do now? Find out in
Franky, The Finicky Flamingo.

Teddy Bear Revolution – Season Two by T E Hodden
The bears are back!
Alex and his bears are still in Eternity, and still defending the innocent from horrors and monsters. When an old enemy, a one time Fascist dictator, summons Alex and the bears to prison, they learn a threat from the bear’s past, a nemesis of Teddy and the gang, is back in town. Soon Alex is knee deep in alien monsters, otherworldly demons, and… the deep secrets of the President of the USA.
So much for his hope of a quiet night or a normal date.. 

Jon Archer – A Comedy by J B Taylor
Jon Archer wants to get home to his comfortable bed. He’s on his way to it in fact when he suddenly and inexplicably finds himself standing in the middle of a desert. Life deals him three more strange hands in the form of a talking goat, a British-speaking spider, and when he thought things couldn’t get weirder, a space man.
Life can be a bizarre ride sometimes, proof is in these three life forms wanting, desiring to get to their own home.

Haunted By Her Past by Kim Cox
Abused and scared, Jena runs away. Her abuser hunts her down, but he’s killed. Now he’s haunting her, continuing his cruelty.
Demi elicits Lana’s help of helping a domestic abuse victim escape the ghost of her dead exboyfriend. Because of Lana’s difficult pregnancy, Tony demands she rest. Doctor’s orders.
Knowing Tony will worry if she tries to help in her condition, she tries to assist from afar. She soon discovers it’s vital for her to be on the scene—stuck in the middle of an impossible situation.
How can Lana convince a man who was abusive in life to move on? Will she be able to help Jena find the peace of mind she deserves?

The Watcher by Jennifer Thompson
Being a teenager is hard enough, but being a witch, makes it even harder. Cole find he keeps bumping into a new girl. What he doesn’t know, is how much she will change his life forever.
Experience the world of The Vilincia Coven, and set out to make your own fate.

North to Maynard by Paul White
Peter Gord is a simple man with simple tastes. He loves cooking and baking, window shopping for bakeware and kitchen appliances and checking out the latest cookbooks. Unemployed Peter enjoys these things in between doing the housework. And Peter’s greatest pleasure is fantasizing about murdering his wife Delores.
Brash, overbearing Delores, takes every opportunity to belittle Peter.
In his mind, Peter gets his revenge by slashing her throat or baking ground glass into her cookies.
When Peter finally gets a job with a local charity helping the poor and homeless, his fantasies become darker and more brutal. Of course he wouldn’t really act on them…Would he?

Sigils & Spells – Limited Edition
A dangerously beautiful vision of unique worlds that’s sure to leave its mark.
Cross through the looking glass into Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian realms where you’ll meet valiant heroes, kick-ass heroines, and dangerous creatures waiting to unveil the hidden corners of the universe.
SIGILS & SPELLS includes more than twenty exclusive novels that roam the sands of Egypt, slip into the shadows of 1940s Los Angeles, voyage to the mystical land of Mabi, and dare to traverse the stars.
From the deserts of Africa to the streets of San Antonio, mythological adventurers strike out to discover brand new worlds and unravel the mysteries of Earth in a limited edition boxed set offering the diversity and originality you haven’t been able to find before now.
Dare to enter forbidden realms of unexpected beauty and peril?

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

It is neither wealth nor splendour; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness Thomas Jefferson


Aaron Henley – Author

Tell us about yourself.
Well, I’m not too good at self-promotion but here goes my best shot! I’m an early 30’s heterosexual male with comic ink for blood and a brain full of Star Wars trivia. Anyone still reading after that last statement? Yes? Okay. Buckle up.
What bought you to the world of writing?
I really started writing my freshman year in high school. I tooled around with multiple versions of the same story but never did anything with it. I eventually walked away from writing altogether and figured that’d I’d get back to it one day. Well fast forward about a decade and a half and I did. I started writing out scripts and jokes for my podcast, Tangents Abound, and that helped a little.
What really got me into writing professionally may sound a bit odd. I had woken up from a dream involving werewolves fighting dragons (Thank you Nyquil for that by the way) and I grabbed the nearest piece of paper and started writing it down. Things…well…escalated a bit from there.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first and (to date) only book is entitled Fangs of Vengeance and can be found in ebook format on Amazon and I’m currently developing a paperback version as well. This was just a lot of fun. I took a modern fantasy approach involving all sorts of fantasy creatures, races, added my trademark quirky sense of humor, more tv and movie references than should be allowed without having copyright lawyers involved, and wanted to tell a story of true love. But I needed a hook. So I thought: What would sound cool in the modern world? I wanted a group of 21st century knights but couldn’t figure out what they would ride. Then it hit me: Motorcycles. So my story is about a werewolf on a revenge quest, meets up with a biker gang of fantasy creatures, and things go crazier from there. So my hook is: Werewolves riding motorcycles. Interested yet?
I am incredibly proud of the feedback I’ve been getting from friends and reviews. My expectations were maybe 10 people would check it out and maybe give me a 3-star review as I figured that sounded fair. Let’s just say things have gone even better than that!
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
I think I started writing around the start of December 2017 and I finished by New Year’s 2018. I don’t think the second book will be as fast as it’s sketched out to be more character focused and plot-heavy. To use a comparison: Fangs is Star Wars – It set up a simple plot, showed the good guys and bad guys, and the good guys won. Book 2 will be the Empire Strikes Back – Darker, more personal, expand on pre-existing characters, and yet still have a good time.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
I don’t really plot more than I have scenes in my head and I sketch out how to get to those scenes. I write in my notebook a general outline and start typing. More than once, I have had scenes completely change, characters evolve, and things improve during the writing. Every time I would stop typing, re-read what I wrote and go: “Huh. That’s a lot better! Where did that come from?”
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
I do my best to catch spelling mistakes and grammar errors but I know I miss more than I’d like. The comma is my archnemesis. I have some friends help me when they have the time but, right now, it’s mainly just me.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
Well, with the themes involved and my characters having active sexual relationships, it’s definitely for the older crowd. In Book 1, all the steamy stuff is off-screen until a certain point. Now that point has been reached, Book 2 will have a lot more on-screen romance. I want people to have a great time and not just flip through to “the good stuff” so I work by this motto: If I’m not happy reading what I’m writing, stop and start over from when you last had fun. That’s what writing to me is: fun.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Published?
Currently self-published and if it wasn’t for the help of Mark McQuillen, Mara Reitsma, and Julie Nichols (who provided the amazing cover for the book!), I’d be simply lost.
How do you promote your writing?
I post on Facebook, I’m working on creating a fan page for it there as well called (Fang & Flame), I use word of mouth, if someone asks about it and I think they’re cool or it’s for a good cause I just give it away. I’m not in this for money, I’m just in it for the good time and hope others have as much fun reading it as I did writing it!

Indie Authors Supporting Charities

All proceeds from this book are being donated to the Global Scoliosis Foundation.
What happens when you let eleven authors twist classic fairy tales? MAGIC!
Weave your way through imagination as Fate takes an interesting turn in your favorite childhood stories. From The Frog Prince to The Six Swans, see what happens when fairy tales are … twisted.
A king struggles to find someone who can love him despite his flaws. A musician works to reverse his curse. A queen wants to keep her crown. The singing bard plans an escape, and Red might have bitten off more than she can chew. These stories and more await you. Let the magic of these tales sweep you away with mischief, mayhem, and a good dose of snark.

Open the door to A Twist of Fate.
In a Word: MURDER – An Anthology
It’s a simple book, article, review or blog post. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, as this international collection of short crime stories shows. Each story takes a slightly different look at the world of words, but each one shows how dangerous writing can be.
So come along. Enter the world of writing, publishing, reviewing, editing and blogging, where crime can find its way in anywhere.
In aid of The Princess Alice Hospice in memory of editor, blogger and crime writer Maxine Clarke.





Indie Publishing News Issue 12 May 2017 PDF – for those who can’t or don’t want to read online this is a downloadable version.


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Journal of Sins and Secrets

Do you enjoy reading Erotic Stories?  All heat levels! M/M, LBGTQ+ F/F BDSM and more.  Then this could be the magazine for you as an Author or Reader.

We’d love to spread the word about our new magazine. Issue One is OUT on 21st May 2017.  Please support the headtalker and sign up for the magazine…I’m sure it is something you will enjoy.  Interviews, Reviews, Short stories and much more.

Journal of Sins and Secrets

Magazine Sign Up

New Releases from Plaisted Publishing House

The best news out is when we release new books to the public.  We enjoy showing you works by our authors. They are truly amazing people.

Our latest books out since December last year:

In a time when the countries of the world are being united and the first One World President is due to be elected, two children on opposite sides of the planet are brought together. But who are these children. Where did they come from and what is the mystery that surrounds them, especially the little girl?

They, and the families who take them into their hearts, are drawn into a governmental conspiracy and hunted by a cult intent on gaining power in the new world order.

It appears their survival and the survival of this new world order are inexplicably linked and they must discover how and why before it is too late.

The Unexpected One by Joanne Ruth

For a brief while she had believed they were safe but now, Tamsin has to face once again the sinister cult leader who wants her and Thomas back in his power – and this time she has to win for good.

The power of the High Priest of another world flows through her as she faces the challenges that come thick and fast and along with those fierce physical battles also comes a growing self-awareness, and a rapidly changing family dynamic. At a stage in life when most teenagers are enjoying their time before maturity tempers their youthful passions, Tamsin faces her greatest battles yet, both inside herself and against her enemy. Can she cope with the forces that rage inside her as she fights for her life and the future of those she has come to love?

Waking Fire by Joanne Ruth

After defying the war lord in control of his home planet Veladon, Eckta is sentenced to an eternity of suffering. When his pod crash lands in the Daedalus Crater of Earth’s moon he expects he will remain there forever. Little does he know his pod is emitting a pulse and below him, on Earth, someone is listening.

From her station at the SETI Institute, Abigail Murray is about to hear something that will change her world forever. Alien life exists. But after discovering Eckta’s amazing abilities will Earth permit this stranger a peaceful life, or will their greed and ambition get the better of them?

Eckta will bring humanity new possibilities, new hope, but his people are not to be reckoned with and they are coming. Will Earth be ready?

Discovery by J B Taylor – Our Sponsorship Winner for 2016

1975 and young talented New Zealand fashion designer, Anna Hunnicut meets Senior army officer Paul Andres and after a brief courtship, marry. When he is posted as Defence Attaché to Jakarta, she accompanies him and soon becomes embroiled in the intrigues and glamour of the Diplomatic Corps there. However, both of the Andrews are unprepared for the shocking consequences of Paul’s actions on an earlier posting 20 years previously which will change their lives forever.

Anna must seek the help of the dangerously attractive and enigmatic Dutch mercenary, Jan Van Hendryks, to save both her and Paul’s lives from the machinations of the vengeful wife of the President.

The Night of the Moonflower by Poppy Mann

Girlie is far from finished with her adventures. In fact she has only just begun. Now that the hive is saved and being sorted. Girlie decides it is time to find out what happened to Pedi’s Family. Where were they? How could she find them? Along with Sammie Kitten, she sets out into the darkest corner of the garden in search of centipede families and helps various other insects along the way. Will she or won’t she find them…Only time will tell.

Girlie and the Quest for Pedi’s Family by Claire Plaisted

Petra Truss is the dark horse of the family. During her last assignment her parents are killed and she has to disappear to save the lives of her brothers. Her partner betrays her and it looks like her world is about to fall apart. Then she dreams of home and is enticed by legends she doesn’t believe in. Bryn Mawr is calling her home.

Petra meets Huw, they can’t seem to keep away from each other. What is their destiny? Will true love find her? What are the other family ties at Bryn Mawr?

Love at Valentines by Beth Bayley

From the minds of writers from around the globe, Plaisted Publishing presents a collection of ghost stories that will chill you, haunt your heart, and steal your soul from eternal devotion to undying love. International authors include: C.A. Keith, Audrina Lane, Karen J. Mossman, Adele Marie Park, Jane Risdon, Jennifer Deese, Lynn Mullican, and a poem from Kyrena Lynch

This eBook will be FREE Worldwide.

The Ghostly Writes Valentines Anthology 2017 by Various Authors

Will true love save the day?

Fiona Gough is controlled by her father for her own good. He is demanding and overly protective. Fiona needs to be flawless in every way imaginable.

Two men enter her life. One works for her father as Head of Accounting, the other is just starting a career as an Architect. Which one will win the day? Who does she truly love?

There is darkness on the horizon and only Fiona can work her way through these days to find life as it should be.

Breaking Free by Claire Plaisted

Indie Publishing News

Indie Publishing News Magazine Issue 8 OUT NOW

This months Magazine had Tory Gates as our Featured Author. A Man of many talents.  We also have antoher five interviews from Indie Authors around the world who you need to know about.  New Releases, Poetry, a short story…. and much more.

Indie Publishing News. Issue 8 PDF


Submissions for our Magazine

Hello and welcome.  As you may have noticed we have a magazine called Indie Publishing News.  This is a FREE Magazine for Indie Authors and small businesses who support them – Cover Designers, Editors etc.

It has been decided to open up this popular magzine to various submissions.  At this time you can submit an article for:

Short Stories – 500 words only

Blogs with interesting articles or advice for Authors.

We are open to ideas, to make this magazine the best it can be. You can contact us at plaistedpublishinghouse@gmail.com

Submission Criteria:

You need to join the Indie Publishing News Group on Facebook and Sign up for the magazine if you are an Author or Small Business. To get approved you need to sign up HERE 

You are asked to share the magazine on social media and in emails. This is to grow everyones fan base.  If you have readers interested we have a sign up for them HERE

We are also offering businesses several Advertising spaces which will be either by-monthly or monthly.  Costings will be advised for those interested.

Indie Publishing New Magazine – Issue 7

Welcome to the Christmas Edition of your Indie Publishing News Magazine – Issue 7.  Please read, share and enjoy.  Merry Christmas

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