Books, cats and fine wine are the best things in life.

Facebook

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Soul of the World (Legends of Amun Ra #2) by Joshua Silverman @jg_silverman #Fantasy


Kem dives to the ground in desperation, covering his head and neck from the rocks raining down. I didn’t see that coming. I thought I was quiet, he thinks.

The announcement of Cadmus’ elimination booms over the intercom. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about a vengeful brother.

The dust and debris settle from the crumbled wall. Find Kesi. Kem trots towards the end of the path. Before he gets there, he sees a shadow along the wall.

Dio turns the corner and spots him. She’s already throwing blue spheres before he knows what happened.

Kem hits the floor hard, dodging the first two. Dio hurls more at him.

His heart beats like a jackhammer in his chest. He is covered in dirt and sand. Kem swerves left, then right, ducking from a shot aimed at his head. He looks back at Dio, who walks with determination, shooting at him. Will she not let up a little? Got to slow her down.

1175648_514024498686135_1699853908_n

Buy Here
Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG-13+
More details about the author and the book
Connect with Joshua Silverman on Facebook & Twitter

How the English Establishment Framed Stephen Ward by @StephenWardBook #Politics #Espionage

FBI director, J.Edgar Hoover, was convinced that British society was riddled with whores, pimps, sex maniacs and Soviet agents. His conviction was given a boost on Sunday, 16th June, when an article by British solicitor, Michael Eddowes, appeared in the Journal-American. In it Eddowes told of his meeting with Yevgeny Ivanov during the Cuban missile crisis. Eddowes described Ivanov as highly aggressive and full of blustering threats to wipe out England and to drop an atomic bomb in the sea 60 miles off New York. According to Eddowes, Hoover immediately ‘instructed’ him to make further enquiries into the security aspects and report back to him.

Washington was now buzzing with as many rumours as had swept London during the height of the scandal, so what happened next was not entirely a surprise. The White House became involved. The most likely explanation for President Kennedy’s sudden interest in the affair is that his brother, Attorney-General Robert Kennedy, told him of the long report from Hoover.

There were then both political and personal reasons for the President’s interest. One was that the scandal could provide Kennedy’s opponents in Congress with ammunition to attack his plans for a multi-nation NATO nuclear force. If Britain was so leaky, why should the US share it’s defence secrets? Another was a call in the Washington News for Kennedy to cancel his scheduled visit to London because it would provide moral support for the foundering Government of Harold Macmillan. ‘We can think of no better time for an American President to stay as far as possible away from England.’

And a third reason, a personal one, was that given Hoover’s animosity for the Kennedy family, the President became concerned that Hoover would somehow use the scandal against him….The only feasible reason for this widespread fascination is that all these people feared that the President of the United States was about to be dragged into the scandal, not on a political level, but on a sexual one…..The reason was that Robert Kennedy was worried that Christine or Mandy, or even both girls, might have slept with the President during their recent visit to the United States and he needed to know for certain so that he could protect the President from the scandal that would follow if the girls blabbed. It would have been simpler for Robert Kennedy to ask his brother if he had slept with either of the girls. But, as we now know, John F. Kennedy’s sexual appetite was so prodigious and so indiscriminate that he would not have been able to remember.

How The English Establishment Framed
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Politics, Espionage, Scandal
Rating – PG-16
More details about the author
Connect with Caroline Kennedy on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Carin Kilby Clark Says Book Covers Help Readers Make an Informed Decision #WriteTip #Parenting

12:00 PM Posted by Mickalia Peck , , No comments
We’ve all heard the quote, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But the reality is, just about every book is judged by its cover. And how could it not be – it’s the first thing you see and it’s what peaks your interest to look at additional details and determine if you want to buy or read the book.
Many times, the cover alone is what prompts a reader to purchase the book. No matter how you look at it, book covers matter. There’s tons of research to support buyers’ decisions to purchase a book based solely on the cover. There’s also a link between the cover, and the expectations readers form based on  the cover image(s).
Your cover sets the stage for what the reader can expect and is a major part of the book buying decision. It’s something that you absolutely must put effort into to make sure it’s an accurate and attractive representation of your writing.
Here are three reasons why book covers are so important:
1) Book covers help readers make an informed decision. If your book cover is truly representative of the contents of your writing, then the book cover can be beneficial in helping the reader decide if the book will be worthwhile. Making sure your cover is related to the story, and is attractive to potential buyers, who are interested in that genre, is key.
2) Book covers are part of the readers’ overall impression of the book. You could write the most outstanding book ever, but if it’s cover is subpar, the book won’t be remembered for its stellar content. Instead, readers will recall the lackluster cover instead of your brilliant writing. Do your research and find out what readers are interested in, and design the most appealing cover you can dream up.
3) Book covers are your book’s first impression. We all know how important first impressions are. The book cover is your book’s first impression. You need to make sure that positive impact is made right up front. If your book cover does its job, you will certainly sell more books; and you’ll have many happy readers promoting your book through word-of-mouth.
Carin Kilby Clark is the author of the ebook, Time Management Made Easy for Busy Moms: 5 Simple Tips on How to Control Your Time and Get Things Done (April 2014, Clue Consulting, LLC). If you want to learn how to finally put time on your side, then this book has the goods that you need – and for less than the cost of a cup of coffee. Buy your copy today!

Do any of these excuses sound familiar?

I’m just too busy
I have too much on my plate
There’s never enough time
I have to do it all
I don’t know how to manage it all

If you answered yes, then prepare to put an end to the overwhelm once and for all. In Time Management Made Easy for Busy Moms, Carin Kilby Clark shares five simple tips that moms can implement right away to improve how they control their time and get things done.

Time Management Made Easy for Busy Moms offers insight into the one major block that prevents us from maximizing our time, gives readers practical information that is easily applied to everyday life, and helps you along the path to your “aha” moments about how and why you’ve been ineffective in managing your time; and how to to finally put time in its rightful place {on your side, of course!}.

As the mother of three very active children who also works full-time, runs a business in her “spare” time, publishes a lifestyle & parenting site, manages a growing motherhood community, and regularly contributes parenting advice to many popular sites in the parenting/family life niche, Carin’s advice is solid; based on methods that she has successfully implemented in controlling her time and getting things done.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Parenting, Relationships
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Carin Kilby Clark on Facebook & Twitter

Troy McCombs Shares His Thoughts on #Horror Movies, Monsters & Tulpas @sonne3 #AmReading

7:30 AM Posted by Mickalia Peck , , No comments
Horror movies are a favorite of mine. Monsters are a love of mine. Some monsters move slow; they stumble and fall as they try to attack their victims. Some are fast and clever. Others are strong and vicious, bludgeoning their prey to death and spilling blood all across the movie camera lens or the written page. Sure, I like ghosts and aliens and zombies and all those other ones, but monsters have a special place in my heart. I grew up watching Rawhead Rex, Jacob’s Ladder, Friday the 13 and Nightmare on Elm Street. I’ve read almost all of HP Lovecraft’s stories, and the monsters he creates are my favorite. I like his lack of description because it makes the cosmic creatures that much more horrifying, which I think is why his stories don’t usually translate well to cinema.
My novel, Imaginary Friend, is about an abused, victimized boy who creates Max, an extraterrestrial creature, to keep him company during the nights his father yells at him and during the days in school when the bullies pick on him. Max becomes the only friend he has. Unbeknownst to everyone—even Nathan—the creature of his creation comes to life one night while his father’s abusing him. Max defends the boy by ripping his enemies to pieces before devouring their “wicked” hearts in order to obtain strength and growth. As he grows, however, he becomes so powerful, he develops a mind of his own, and may not need Nathan anymore.
I do mention the idea of Tulpa creation in this story. A Tulpa is a real being first created by the act of imagination alone. You can Google it, I’m not making it up. There’s not a wealth of info on the subject, not that I could find, but it’s supposedly a real thing a few people have done in the past. It also has a likeness, in my opinion, to what Jesus said about the “mustard seed.” If we could just “believe” enough, we could do some amazing and even frightening things. That’s what the character in my story does. I’m sure we’d all love to move mountains by thought alone, but we’d have to beware the consequences. Suppose we harnessed this ability and had a dream of a volcanic eruption? Then we’d be very sorry.
I hope you’ll check out my book! I enjoyed writing it. I even learned things about myself and the world around me by writing it. Thank you for your time. And be careful what you wish for! It may just become real!

The apostles said to Jesus, “Make our faith greater.” Jesus answered, “If you had faith as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Pull yourself up by the roots and plant yourself in the sea!’ and it would obey you.”
Tulpa: a materialized thought that has taken physical form.
Eight-year-old Nathan Stevenson is beat by his father, teased by his peers, and has zero friends—except Max, his imaginary friend. Max is a heroic creature he created years ago when the physical abuse became too much to bear. Strangely, every time Nathan imagines him, he becomes more lifelike, more substantial… but nobody could guess what soon happens when Nathan refuses to be a victim anymore.
The barriers of reality break down, and Max becomes real. Only Nathan can see him, but anyone can feel his violent wrath. The monster slays anyone who gets in his creator’s path, and eats the hearts of his casualties in order to obtain strength. There’s only one question: can Nathan learn to control his Tulpa? Or will it break free from his mental restraints to do whatever it desires? Either way, there will be a lot of dead bodies to clean up!
Author’s Note:
This paranormal/splatterpunk horror novel, Imaginary Friend, has been updated with a new cover and has been reedited for a more soothing read. It also contains elements of science fiction and fantasy, but the information about “Tulpas” are based on fact. For adults only!
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Horror
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Troy McCombs on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, May 22, 2014

@KentBurden Sheds Some Light on Flexibility vs. Movement #AmWriting #NonFiction #TBR

11:30 AM Posted by Mickalia Peck , , No comments
The following is a sample of the movements in Is Your Chair Killing You?

In the next section of this book you will find descriptions and photos of movements I have created that can be done at home, in your office, cubicle or at your desk. You won’t need any special equipment or clothing (although some of the movements may be challenging in tight skirts, and if you wear high heels I suggest you remove them before doing the movements. That goes for you guys, too). These movements were created to be office-friendly, so you won’t have to get down on the floor to perform these movements, and you shouldn’t get too many stares from your co-workers or be dripping with sweat when you’re done.

The movements were designed not only to help you get your body up and moving but also to improve flexibility, balance and strength, and energize your body and mind. Try not to worry that you’re taking time away from your assignments; these short movement breaks have been proven to make you more alert and productive over the course of your day, so you’ll actually make more progress and be more effective when you get back to it. To make this as user-friendly as possible, I have listed the movements individually under categories of benefits, such as strength or balance, kind of like the √† la carte menu at your favorite bistro. So if you want, you can chose the individual movements that meet your needs at any given time and put them together as you see fit.

Flexibility Movements

http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/2.jpghttp://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/1.jpg 

Chair-Supported Downward Facing Dog
Rise from your seated position and walk behind your chair. Secure the chair so that it will not move or roll away. Facing the back of the chair, grab the top of the chair back and then take a step or two backwards away from the chair until your arms are fully extended. Hinge at the hips and lean forward, bringing the torso parallel to the floor beneath you. You should feel a gentle stretch in the low back and hamstring muscles. Hold for 30 seconds.

 http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/3.jpg   http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/4.jpg


Modified Hanging Pose
Begin in a standing position with feet hip distance apart. Bend both knees slightly, then lean forward and slowly lower your head as you begin to reach down toward your mid-thighs or knees depending on what feels comfortable for you. Support the upper body with your hands, and allow the spine to lengthen toward the floor as much as feels comfortable. Hold this pose for 5 long, slow, deep breaths.

http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/5.jpg    http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/6.jpg

Turning the Head
Begin in a standing position with arms hanging at your sides and the palms of your hands facing your body. Very slowly turn your head to the right and look over your right shoulder as you rotate the palms of your hands out so that they point out and away from your body. Very slowly turn your head back so that you are looking forward again as you rotate your palms back so that they face your body again. Very slowly turn your head to the left and look over your left shoulder as you rotate your palms out so that they point out and away from your body. Very slowly turn your head back so that you are looking forward again as you rotate your palms back so that they face your body again.

http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/7.jpg   http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/8.jpg

Baby Camel Prays to the Gods
From a standing position place your hands on the front of your thighs for support, then lean forward as you roll your shoulders inward and round the back, dropping your chin down to your chest creating a humped back. Pause for a moment, and then one vertebra at a time bring yourself back up to your standing position bringing your arms down to your sides. Slowly roll your shoulders back, lift the chest and look to the sky.

http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/9.jpg   http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/10.jpg

Hip Swivels
Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Place your hands on your hips and slowly start to roll your hips in a circle. With each swivel of your hips make the circles a little bigger. After 10 seconds, switch directions.

http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Chair.jpg 

Sitting for extended periods of time is as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes. And exercising for 30-60 minutes a day isn’t enough to undo the damage from extended periods of sitting. Is Your Chair Killing You reveals shocking new research showing that sitting for long periods greatly increases your risk of developing obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Our bodies were designed to move constantly over the course of the day, but most of us sit for hours a day at work and at home! 

Fitness and wellness expert and award-winning author Kent Burden has created brief, simple movements you can incorporate into your daily life to combat the damaging effects of sitting. These simple movements, done standing for 1-5 minutes each hour will burn calories, energize and refresh you, and you won’t even break a sweat; you’ll even improve your back pain. This book is a how-to for weight loss and disease prevention. Read this book–you’ll be healthier in as little as 8 minutes a day.
Nominated for the Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards and won honorable mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Non-Fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Kent Burden on Facebook & Twitter

A Day in the Life of the Mega Talented @RJ_Blain #Paranormal #Fantasy #BYNR

9:00 AM Posted by Mickalia Peck , , , No comments
It’s 8:30, and the phone rings. It’s reminiscent of one of those old-fashioned tellies most people only see in museums nowadays. If I wasn’t already at least a little awake, the sound would’ve had me sitting up groping around to answer the phone, only to realize it’s my alarm. What can I say? I have to trick myself into waking up in the mornings.
Usually, though, I beat the alarm up by five or ten minutes, sleepily checking my email for any new stuff from my editing clients. I have roughly an hour to wake up, and I tend to spend most of it addressing little things I can do on my phone while half asleep.
By 9:30, I’m mostly conscious, and have sent my husband off to work. Then, and only then, can my real work begin.
Cue chaos.
First up, I have client work to address. This means I’m reading through manuscripts trying to find ways an author can improve their novels on a structural level. Some days, this involves picking at writing on a sentence level, making recommendations on style improvements, tension and pacing improvements, and even general improvement of English-language skills. On other days, I’m picking apart character arcs, plot arcs, and the general tone of a novel.
Once I reach my benchmarks for the day, I’m drafting or editing my own novels. This can be rewriting scenes I think need a lot of improvement, tweaking sentences, or addressing problems my editor(s) have pointed out.
During this, I’m dealing with household emergencies, bills, making sure my four cats don’t try to eat me, you know, the usual. Sometimes, I flake out and do things other than what I’m supposed to be doing. One of my favorite flaking-out activities is drawing maps of my world. I used to sketch them on my computer, but now I do them on imitation parchment paper and scan them into the computer. Sometimes I sketch things like dragons. Other times, I’ll crochet something (badly) or try to knit.
Mostly, though, I work and try to pretend that I’m not falling behind on the house chores again. One of these days I will get a maid. Of course, one of these days will probably never come, but a girl can dream, right?
At night is when things get really weird. On the surface, I look like this responsible and serious editor-writer person. Then, my husband comes home. If I owned the proper attire or felt comfortable in that sort of thing, I’d probably get into a catgirl suit, find some daggers, and try to play my computer game character. My fellow gamers just call me StabbyStabby. I play a rogue, and I’m prone to saying StabbyStabby before it’s time to kill something in the game.
I guess all work and no play for a few years made me a kind of crazy person. I raid in Everquest with my husband a few days a week, which gives us time to spend together doing something we both enjoy. Rogues are great therapy characters. If I have a bad day at work, it’s no problem. I can take it all out on some unsuspecting monsters in Everquest. Stabbystabbystabby…
Whenever I find time, I settle down and read books. I usually try to review the books I read, because I enjoy the process of explaining what I liked and didn’t like about a story. I also find it useful for readers who are potentially buying a story.
To sum it up…
A day in the life of RJ Blain: Busy but rewarding.
Here’s to tomorrow.

When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fiance√© at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder on the same night. She has to find the killer or she’ll be put to death for the crimes she didn’t commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves. 

On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses. 

There’s only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison’s desire for self-preservation may transform into a quest for vengeance…
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Urban, Paranormal Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with RJ Blain through Facebook & Twitter

@LMSteel1 on Computers, Wireless and Procrastination Demons #AmWriting #WriteTip #Thriller

8:00 AM Posted by Mickalia Peck , , No comments
My computer connects to the internet and there is a world of wonder at my finger tips! This is not good!
I actually started writing once upon a set of wheels in 2001 and I didn’t have a pc that connected to the internet, I had a word processor. I then had a pc but it was second hand and I lived in a flat share. My flat mates had a laptop and they had internet which they paid for and my parents had internet which I could go and use from time to time to do research.
After this I lived in my first house and I didn’t have internet. All I had on my lovely little second hand PC, where the monitor took up more space on the desk than anything else, was Solitaire, FreeCell, Hearts and minesweeper. I didn’t really even have music on it, I had my little CD player in the corner that I played music on.
When I came to the computer I would play Solitaire or minesweeper for between five and twenty minutes while I arranged all the raging thoughts I had had all day about the next progression of the story. Then it was just me and the page in front of me (and Guns n Roses greatest hits!) and I could work.

Now, there’s a whole universe in my computer and it’s not good for my wondering mind! There are too many distractions! Even when you fight them, they are there, tickling the back of your mind, reminding you of random things like: Oh I meant to order those photo’s, I’ll just go on line now! Or I wanted that book on marketing, I’ll just go on Amazon!

If you’re self publishing, then comes the balance. ‘While I’m at the computer I’ll just do a tweet for the book, I’ll just go on Facebook for the next blog, I’ll just check Google plus, I’ll just go on Good reads. I’ll just read that blog, I’ll just.. I’ll just…. I’ll just…’ then 3 hours have passed and you’ve written ‘Chapter 4’ and the rest of the page is staring at you blankly. Now you have to cook dinner, take the dog for a walk, sort out the clothes washing etc etc etc.

I’ll be honest my biggest distraction isn’t just the internet, it’s the TV, which before the internet was at my finger tips was actually ok, especially before digital recording, because you had set times to sit and watch your favourite programmes and then you had the rest of the day. Now you can record all those programmes while you spend all day on the internet ‘marketing and researching’ (spending time on Facebook and twitter and funny cat videos on Youtube!) then you go back and you have five hours of programmes to catch up on so you can free up memory on the box.

Your brain is a weird and marvellous thing, because while you’re doing all that, you are making up the story and developing it in your head and you think, ‘yeah I have a story’ but it’s only in your head because you spent so long on the bloody internet!
You need to write it down, and that is hard, because there’s so much going on.

Turn off the wireless!
Seriously, I know it doesn’t fix it because to be fair you can just switch it back on. But it’s a start.
I work best under pressure, whether it’s my writing or work. I wrote most of my dissertation in the last three weeks, because the pressure suddenly hit me and I had to get it done! NaNoWriMo is great if you can convince yourself it’s a real serious deadline: you have to write those 50’000 words!
Give yourself deadlines if no-one else does. Almost bully yourself into the focus. You have to get it done or it’ll fail.

Use that wonderful box that records all your favourite programmes as a reward. I will finish this and when I do I can sit down for a whole and just let my brain numb at the soaps.

Delete the candy crush app. I know you can just download it again, but you know what, you have to start from level one again! How devastating!

Time is important. Yes you have to market your book, and yes you have to write for your blog and yes you have to do research. However it’s amazing how unimportant what everyone else on Facebook is doing when you have a deadline. We’re social creatures, we need to talk and be involved with each other which is why all these networks are so popular, but you’re a writer, like a lighthouse keeper; you only socialise with others when the job is done!

Easier said than done? Oh hell yeah! We’re not marines or SAS, we’re not athletes with that incredible self discipline. We’re writers, we write about human interaction more than anything else so we feel that desire to indulge in it. Discipline really is what it’s about though, it has to come from you, you have to push yourself and be strict.

On May 17th 1982, an infant girl is found in a stolen car abandoned on a bridge. The police call her ‘Lotus’ after the car she is discovered in, and ‘Ogden’ – the name of the dam over which the car rested. Abandoned for no one; for no one came to claim her as their child, no one came to say that they were responsible for this babe, no one came to love her. This was how it was to be; always. 

Following abuse at the hands of her adoptive father, foster families and others, Lotus finds unlikely allies in car thieves and drug dealers, but her life of crime extends so much further than any of them appreciate. So very young, she takes her first life and realises how easy it is, and how no one would ever suspect the poor, timid, shy little girl who nobody calls their own. “Villain? Anti-Hero? Whatever she is, Lotus Ogden is like a perfect storm of rage and pain, but she’s also disturbingly human.” “Feed the dogs and take the phone off the hook. Once you get into this book you’re not going to want to put it down.” “A fast read, a great story, full of twists and turns.”
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Crime, Thriller
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with L. M. Steel on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Digging: Lifting the Memorable from Within the Unthinkable by Susan M. Rostan #NonFiction #TBR


Have you ever really thought about your ancestors beyond their names and dates of events in their lives? The stories of how they lived their lives can be a source of strength as well as inspiration in your own life.
In this new work of narrative nonfiction, Susan M. Rostan invites us to experience her journey as she seeks to uncover the story of her husband s family, including two courageous but silent survivors of WWII s Warsaw Ghetto: her mother-in-law Elzbieta and Elzbieta s brother, Marian Rosenbloom.
With the passing of Elzbieta, an aging Uncle Marian is the only surviving link to his family s history — the stories of tragic loss and heroic survival — that he and his sister had refused to share with anyone throughout their life. Encouraged by the author and driven by an emerging sense of responsibility to his sister s namesake and future generations, Marian begins a difficult journey into the memories of his childhood in the Warsaw Ghetto and subsequent survival.
As his experiences unfold, he haltingly recalls how he managed to escape the Ghetto and survive, thanks to his courageous rescuers. Out of his remembrances, the author nurtures not only the story of her husband s family history, but finds herself immersed in an insistent desire to honor Marian s rescuers. Through her poignant and compelling narrative, she revives Elzbieta s legacy of hope, caring, and laughter for all of us to share.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Creative Nonfiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Susan M. Rostan through Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ted Tayler Takes a Walk Down Memory Lane @ted_tayler #AmWriting #AmReading #Thriller

7:00 AM Posted by Mickalia Peck , , No comments
  1. I joined the choir in my local church when I was eight years old. I left to sing a different type of music when I was eighteen. When my treble voice was in its prime I sang with the choir at evensong in Salisbury Cathedral.
  2. In the mid 60s I worked for the Kray family. This could send a shiver down the spine of a lot of people who either experienced the family first hand or have read about their ‘reign of terror’ in London at that time. Charles Kray, who was related to the infamous brothers, was a director of an entertainment agency who booked us to play at pubs and clubs across London. His name appeared at the head of every contract we received; one of his ‘boys’ arrived at the majority of venues to pay us the contracted amount or to tell us it was ‘cheque to the agent’ tonight; we never argued. We worked for the agency for eighteen months and had no trouble whatsoever; it was probably the best agency we ever worked for!
  3. In the early 70s I appeared on several editions of a sports quiz programme on the radio. British readers of a certain age will remember the celebrity team captains, Brian Johnston and Ted Moult. The quizmaster was Peter Jones, a broadcasting legend. It was an unbelievable experience.
  4. I started playing snooker when I was sixteen years old. The local League provided me with many happy years of competition and after 25 years of playing I decided to give something back. In 1991 I became League Secretary and I plan to pass the reins over to someone else in 2015. I’ve operated a ‘benevolent dictatorship’ and it has seemed to work without too many problems! I plan on playing after my long term of office is over!
  5. We played at The Granary Club in Bristol supporting Genesis on February 22nd 1971. It was a regular venue for us and we had backed several big names there. The gig was voted the best night in the history of the Club (1969 -1988). Happy days! The full story is in my first book.
  6. Lynne and I ran a quiz night at a local social club for almost twelve years. I hosted over five hundred quizzes, all of which I prepared myself. Lynne was my glamorous assistant. The last quiz we ran was on 21st December 2012; seven days after I started to write ‘The Final Straw’ my first novel.
  7. I was made redundant in March 2000 after thirty four years with a tyre company. I took the money and ran! When I had joined them in the mid 60s it was a friendly, sociable working environment that made it a pleasure to go to work. By the time I left it had become a soulless money making machine and I haven’t given the place a second thought since I walked through the gates for the final time.
  8. It’s not very rock ‘n’ roll but the summer after I finished work I started playing bowls. The vast majority of my colleagues were twenty years older than me at least, yet the next eight summers were the happiest sporting times of my life. I was Club Captain in 2008 and maybe I’ll find time to take it up again when I get older!
  9. I have been an Exam Invigilator at our local school since 2002. I look after children sitting various stages of their examination life from eleven to eighteen years of age. We have a team of twenty or so invigilators and I’m possibly the longest serving member now. It’s rewarding work and I keep an eye out for how the ‘superstars’ develop as they leave us and go on to university and beyond.
  10. In November 2012 I was joined by two of the original members of my last group for a reunion gig. It was to mark the 65thbirthday of one our road managers. Almost 40 years after our last gig together we played some of our favourite songs; it was the first time my children and a lot of my friends had heard me sing! We had a great night, but it was probably just a ‘one-off’. My friends asked me whether I missed how it felt to be on stage singing to an audience that enjoyed what they heard. I replied ‘Only every day!’



The sequel to the award winning ‘The Final Straw’ sees Colin Bailey return to the UK after almost a decade abroad. With a new name and a new face he still has scores to settle. His meticulous planning takes him ingeniously across Scotland and the North of England ticking names off his list with the police completely baffled. 

DCI Phil Hounsell pitted his wits against Colin before and so he is sent to Durham where he teams up with super intelligent young DS Zara Wheeler; together they track their man to Manchester and then eventually south to Bath. 

The final scenes take place on the streets of the Roman city; Phil Hounsell’s family is threatened and in a dramatic conclusion reminiscent of Holmes and Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, the two men struggle above the foaming waters of the historic Pulteney weir. 
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with Ted Tayler on Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Getting to Know E. Stoops #AmWriting #HistFic #GoodReads

8:00 AM Posted by Mickalia Peck , , No comments

Are there any books you really don’t enjoy?
Well, any book that is badly written is really not going to be enjoyable. Mary Sues, inconsistent world details,  bad dialogue, all of that makes for an awful book. But there are some genres that other people really like that I can’t stand such as very technical, very dry science fiction. Science is cool – it boggles the mind that they manage to make it so boring. But other people eat that up like it’s candy and I just can’t. I generally don’t like memoirs either. And anything that is really a romance or erotica that gets billed as sci-fi or fantasy bugs me. I always feel bilked when that happens.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in Idaho. Blink and you’ll miss it, but the closest thing to my hometown is mentioned in “Corner of a Round Planet.” I’ve unfortunately been forcibly moved to California. This is, I hope, a temporary departure from the Northwest.
How did you develop your writing?
I wrote copiously as a teenager, threw away most of it and then decided to write a piece of throwaway fiction for my friends as a joke. While I was attending MisCon in 2010 an ex-submariner told me to publish it.. I told him to go to college. I published the book, he’s at college. Everybody wins, right?
What marketing works for you?
I’m working on that. It used to be that Amazon’s marketing tools were very effective, but not so in the last little while. I’ve tried online advertising of the CPM variety, but so far I’ve gotten very poor returns on my investment. I think the real problem is one of scale – I’m just not able to afford (time wise or monetarily) the kind of CPM ad campaign that gains it’s own momentum. But I’m in the process of changing that.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Nope. I think you haven’t got it made until someone absolutely, without doubt loathes your work and potentially also hates you for good measure. So the sooner I share it, the sooner I am to get it into the hands of that necessary person.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes. A couple more by me and then I’d really like to edge over to editing more often for Small Tomatoes Press.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I work in software as a QA specialist.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Tough choice. I was originally going to get my Masters in Teaching, but funny thing, the economy took a dive and certain persons were not rolling in dough. Since then, I’ve seriously considered getting a masters in Theology or going back to school for a technical degree related to my hobby. If it was all-expenses paid, dog-comes-with, I think I’d have to go with theology though – then I wouldn’t have to justify the expense to myself later.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Montana. The sky really is huge there. And people use pickup trucks properly.

In an alternate universe where the twentieth century gave rise to individuals with psychic talents, the Great War ended far differently, and the flow of history led the United States into a losing war with China by the middle of the twenty-first century. The combined submarine navies of Britain, Russia, France, Canada and the United States are holding back an ever more hostile enemy that is intent on winning a war of attrition. A desperate Navy presses antiquated boats into service to supply the main fleet and mans them with the leavings of the Navy’s worst sailors. For Chief Petty Officer Lucius Tagget and his best friend Aaron Fredrickson, it’s their ticket out of naval prison and a chance to clear their names.

What should be an uneventful assignment behind the front lines turns into a nightmare when Aaron is killed in an accident that claims the lives of all the men on his submarine. Terrified of condemning another boat and crew to eternal patrol, the Navy assigns the CPNS Puget Sound a talented seer in hopes of preventing another accident. Instead, that decision changes the entire crew, and ultimately, the entire war.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Alternative History
Rating - PG-15
More details about the author

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Anytime" Detox & Why You Should Do It by Lisa Consiglio Ryan @LisaConsiglioR #Wellness #Diet


Oh, glorious spring! Time to wake up and move!

Spring means rebirth, renew…starting over.  Many actually start their “new year” in the spring. You have more energy, a spark, to carry your health goals through all the way into next fall. 

Now, I’m talking about popping a bunch of pills or mixing up powders for a detox. I believe a simple whole foods based cleanse is perfect.  Detox doesn’t have to mean deprivation, starvation, and torture.   It’s not a diet, a quick fix…just a simple clean living plan you can incorporate in life.
Detox signifies glow, vibrancy, sexiness if done safely.  Eating lots of veggies (especially spring ones like peas and asparagus), dark greens (kale, spinach, watercress), fruits, grains, beans and legumes is the ticket. You know, all that good wholesome stuff.

You are probably wondering then WHY you should detox.

Here are 3 reasons why you should detox:

1.  Over the past 60 years or so, we have seen a tremendous increase in the use of chemicals in all types of industry, including factory farming.  This has brought with it a bunch of toxins.  Pesticides and herbicides were virtually unknown 70 years ago are now widely used on our crops.  Despite the fact that most of us are fastidious about cleaning our homes, cars, clothes and so on, few of us pay attention to cleaning ourselves-on the inside, that is.  Over the years, the debris of everyday toxins accumulates in your blood, liver, lungs, gut, and in fact in your body’s cells.  We become acidic, imbalanced within our blood. This leads to inflammation, and therefore, chronic disease.  It is so important to cleanse, at least seasonally to help your body get back to a balance and stay healthy to ward off any illness.

(Okay, enough with the science lesson! But I had to give you the low-down on the basics)

2.  When body is overloaded with toxins, much of your energy is spent on trying to eliminate the toxins rather than on enabling you to live life to the fullest. Additional pressures like stress, insomnia, and emotional issues can aggravate the symptoms of toxic overload.  You know how you tend to break out more when you are stressed? Just the body’s way of eliminating toxins and letting you know to either slow down or pump some healthy foods into your system.

3.  When you detox, especially during spring, you are more apt to keep up with your goals. This is the perfect time of year to devise a health plan and stick to it.  How do you want to feel?  What do you want to change?  Let those goals blossom.  During springtime you have the opportunity to look at old patterns in your life with new awareness and detox can help you obtain some long-term habits that you can keep up with for your life.

Are you ready to get your detox on this spring?

renewal

Lose weight, energize, and glow with over 50 recipes and complete 10 day detox plan. This whole foods cleanse includes detailed menu plan, shopping list, and bonus recipes to make after your cleanse. Renewal "Anytime" also includes pre-detox plan, daily instructions, FAQ's, and post-detox next steps.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Wellness
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Lisa Consiglio Ryan on Facebook & Twitter

GIVEAWAY
Win a FREE Renewal 10 Day Detox coaching package!

Here’s what the winner will receive:
    • Recorded Kick-Off call to get you prepared for your detox adventure. I go over Spring Renewal detox details so you can get started right away.
    • Daily email check-ins and unlimited daily support. I will send you an email each day with a video. These daily videos will keep you motivated and inspired during the detox plus if you have a private question, you can email me anytime during the cleanse. You have my full coaching for 10 whole days, 24/7!
    • Detox community support group.  You'll have access to our exclusive private  Face Book group which is on-going so you can start anytime and receive the support you need from a loving community.
    • A complete 30 page Detox Manual. This manual is downloaded to your computer. Manual includes your step-by-step menu plan (daily breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner spelled out for you), ALL-NEW spring recipes, pull-out shopping list, daily instructions, and FAQ's. Printer-friendly pdf!
    • Daily Detox Journal so you can jot down your experiences during the cleanse. This journal pdf can be downloaded to your computer.
    • Private Membership Area to grab important links to blog posts, videos, materials, and bonuses. All you need is one spot so no wasting time searching for emails, posts, and links.

You also get these amazing BONUSES:

    • Detox Prep Guide. As soon as you sign up, you will receive a packet explaining how to prepare for your detox. Pre-cleansing instructions and daily detox practices are included.  You'll also receive delicious pre-detox recipes so you can get a jump-start on your cleanse.  That way on Day 1, you will be familiar with how things work and ready to rock Spring Renewal.
    • Return to Life Instruction Packet. So what do you do after Day 10? This step by step system will help you slowly introduce eliminated foods like caffeine, sugar, etc… back into the diet without shocking your body. The personal post-detox worksheet is also included. This checklist will help you organize foods and practices that you will keep in your diet and life.
    • Spring Recipe Cookbook with 25 smoothie, soup, and salad recipes for you to make after detox. These recipes are clean so you can ease back into "real life" allowing you to feel light and maintain your glow. You will receive this bonus on Day 10.
    • EXTRA Menu Supplement Handbook. Receive 10 extra detox recipes added to the menu plan for Spring  Renewal. You can use these during the cleanse OR for your "return to life after detox."
    • Recipe Cards to use in the kitchen while you whip up your detox meals. Perfect for your recipe box!

WHAT DO YOU GET WITH YOUR DETOX KIT?

  • Recorded Kick-Off call to get you prepared for your detox adventure. I go over Spring Renewal detox details so you can get started right away.
  • Daily email check-ins and unlimited daily support. I will send you an email each day with a video. These daily videos will keep you motivated and inspired during the detox plus if you have a private question, you can email me anytime during the cleanse. You have my full coaching for 10 whole days, 24/7!
  • Detox community support group.  You’ll have access to our exclusive private  Face Book group which is on-going so you can start anytime and receive the support you need from a loving community.
  • A complete 30 page Detox Manual. This manual is downloaded to your computer. Manual includes your step-by-step menu plan (daily breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner spelled out for you), ALL-NEW spring recipes, pull-out shopping list, daily instructions, and FAQ’s. Printer-friendly pdf!
  • Daily Detox Journal so you can jot down your experiences during the cleanse. This journal pdf can be downloaded to your computer.
  • Private Membership Area to grab important links to blog posts, videos, materials, and bonuses. All you need is one spot so no wasting time searching for emails, posts, and links.

You also get these amazing BONUSES:

  • Detox Prep Guide. As soon as you sign up, you will receive a packet explaining how to prepare for your detox. Pre-cleansing instructions and daily detox practices are included.  You’ll also receive delicious pre-detox recipes so you can get a jump-start on your cleanse.  That way on Day 1, you will be familiar with how things work and ready to rock Spring Renewal.
  • Return to Life Instruction Packet. So what do you do after Day 10? This step by step system will help you slowly introduce eliminated foods like caffeine, sugar, etc… back into the diet without shocking your body. The personal post-detox worksheet is also included. This checklist will help you organize foods and practices that you will keep in your diet and life.
  • Spring Recipe Cookbook with 25 smoothie, soup, and salad recipes for you to make after detox. These recipes are clean so you can ease back into “real life” allowing you to feel light and maintain your glow. You will receive this bonus on Day 10.
  • EXTRA Menu Supplement Handbook. Receive 10 extra detox recipes added to the menu plan for Spring  Renewal. You can use these during the cleanse OR for your “return to life after detox.”
  • Recipe Cards to use in the kitchen while you whip up your detox meals. Perfect for your recipe box!

WHAT DO YOU GET WITH YOUR DETOX KIT?

  • Recorded Kick-Off call to get you prepared for your detox adventure. I go over Spring Renewal detox details so you can get started right away.
  • Daily email check-ins and unlimited daily support. I will send you an email each day with a video. These daily videos will keep you motivated and inspired during the detox plus if you have a private question, you can email me anytime during the cleanse. You have my full coaching for 10 whole days, 24/7!
  • Detox community support group.  You’ll have access to our exclusive private  Face Book group which is on-going so you can start anytime and receive the support you need from a loving community.
  • A complete 30 page Detox Manual. This manual is downloaded to your computer. Manual includes your step-by-step menu plan (daily breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner spelled out for you), ALL-NEW spring recipes, pull-out shopping list, daily instructions, and FAQ’s. Printer-friendly pdf!
  • Daily Detox Journal so you can jot down your experiences during the cleanse. This journal pdf can be downloaded to your computer.
  • Private Membership Area to grab important links to blog posts, videos, materials, and bonuses. All you need is one spot so no wasting time searching for emails, posts, and links.

You also get these amazing BONUSES:

  • Detox Prep Guide. As soon as you sign up, you will receive a packet explaining how to prepare for your detox. Pre-cleansing instructions and daily detox practices are included.  You’ll also receive delicious pre-detox recipes so you can get a jump-start on your cleanse.  That way on Day 1, you will be familiar with how things work and ready to rock Spring Renewal.
  • Return to Life Instruction Packet. So what do you do after Day 10? This step by step system will help you slowly introduce eliminated foods like caffeine, sugar, etc… back into the diet without shocking your body. The personal post-detox worksheet is also included. This checklist will help you organize foods and practices that you will keep in your diet and life.
  • Spring Recipe Cookbook with 25 smoothie, soup, and salad recipes for you to make after detox. These recipes are clean so you can ease back into “real life” allowing you to feel light and maintain your glow. You will receive this bonus on Day 10.
  • EXTRA Menu Supplement Handbook. Receive 10 extra detox recipes added to the menu plan for Spring  Renewal. You can use these during the cleanse OR for your “return to life after detox.”
  • Recipe Cards to use in the kitchen while you whip up your detox meals. Perfect for your recipe box!


Google+

Followers

Blog Archive