Thursday, 29 December 2011

Well, it has certainly been an exciting day. Most of it, since early this morning spent preparing the files and cover for 'A Rat and a Ransom,' ready to go for publishing. The publisher says all is well but advises a proof copy. So that has been ordered. I find it so exciting when a book is close to going out into the big wide world, so to speak.
I can only hope and pray that the proof copy doesn't show up a lot of mistakes, at least nothing that's not easily fixable. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled and can't wait to see the finished book.
I find the whole process of writing the books and publishing so enjoyable and exciting.

The icing on the cake was getting our new car. Well not new exactly, but new to us. It's yellow not a colour I would normally consider, but I like it and I'm just thrilled and relieved to have some wheels again. I'm still a little nervous after the accident, but no doubt my confidence will return the more I get behind the wheel.
Getting the car was miraculous, so thank you God! :)

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Forward for my New Book. Out Soon

I am thrilled with this Forward for my soon to be published book 'A Rat and a Ransom.'

I had been eagerly awaiting the latest book by Yvonne I. Lee. The title alone meant I was keen to read ‘A Rat and a Ransom’ and I was not disappointed.

Whether read by those age 8 to young teens, or older readers, attracted, like myself, by the title, it is indeed a story which will strike a chord with a majority of readers.

There is tension from the start and we immediately sympathise and identify with Tom regardless of his privileged life.

Tom’s desire to have a pet to call his own consumes him. How he eventually has one is an ingenious plot twist.

Yvonne specialises in subtle allegory and as in her other books, the story is multi-dimensional, with an air of mystery combined with tense and sinister undertones.

The narrative draws the reader in so they become totally immersed in Tom’s situation. There are heart-stopping moments of danger and suspense and the unexpected ending stirs emotions.

It is a joy to read a book where rats receive such positive publicity and Yvonne’s descriptions of the rat in her book are true to life, with the real understanding which comes from experience, knowledge and accurate observation.

Whilst the book isn’t all about rats, it may help fancy rats to be accepted as the clean, intelligent and loyal pets that they are.

A rat and a ransom? – Worth every penny!

Lesley Mackness is a former publicity officer for the Midlands Rat Club. She is a regular contributor and book reviewer for the magazines of the National Fancy Rat Society and the Midlands Rat Club.

Having first kept fancy rats as a teenager, Lesley returned to rat-keeping when she had children of her own with whom to share the joys of rats.

Living in Shropshire with her husband Robin and a mischief of fancy rats and mice, she has had a life-long love of wildlife and writes a monthly wildlife piece for her village magazine.

'Deep in the Valley' by Tommie Lyn

A Review of Tommie Lyn's Book 'Deep in the Valley.'

Friday, 25 November 2011

Jack Shepherd’s life in Australia is good. However, the arrival of a letter from England threatens to blow his comfortable life apart.
The only way he can unearth the truth, is to fly to London as soon as possible.

 Young Celia huddles in the back of a taxi, with no recollection as to how she got there. On arrival at Greyache House, her sense of fear and despair increases dramatically. Shrouded in perpetual fog, the menacing property is occupied by strange and unpleasant characters. Not least the evil cat, Crudus.
The only person, who shows her any kindness, is the housekeeper, Mary.
 While taking a walk, Celia finds an old shed hidden in the woods surrounding Greyache House. Finding the shed is the catalyst, propelling Celia on a terrifying journey through the land of Dauthus, in search of the narrow path. The path that will lead her to The Shadowed Valley, beyond which is the mighty gate and safety.

 Along the way she meets John, a young man also lost and searching for the mighty gate. However, he has chosen the wrong path and is heading into grave danger. Celia persuades him to join her. As they journey together, they encounter many terrifying foes, and Celia is forced to wrestle with a tragedy that strikes deeply at her heart.
Will they survive, find the gate and regain their lives and their memories?

 Jack arrives at Heathrow airport and is met by Ted, the friend who sent the disturbing letter.
What did Ted say in the letter that triggered Jack’s urgent flight to London? What could be the link between Jack and Celia, and can Ted convince him that he is Celia’s only hope?

A Review of Bethany Jeans Book

Beautiful little book.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Review 'Pieces of Light' by Julie Cave 
I really enjoyed ‘Pieces of Light.’ Sadly it seems the final book in the Dinah Harris mystery series.

As usual the author Julie Cave takes us on an exciting journey, filled with twists and suspense.
Throughout the book the gospel is sensitively woven into the story.
I love the way the book ends!

If someone enjoys a gritty thriller, without the graphic violence and overt sex, then this is the book.

I highly recommend it. Once I started I couldn’t put it down.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Shadowed Valley

Who was the hostile woman sitting opposite celia in the taxi?
What was Greyache House? And why was she being forced to go there?
Why did she have no memory of her past?
And why was the old shed hidden in the grounds of Greyache House so important? What was in it that would effect Celia's life? Plunging her into an adventure filled with darkness and dispair. If she could just reach the light, all her questions would be answered

Published at Last

It's taken quite some and I've had to have a fair bit of help, but at last my book is published and available in print and in Kindle form. In many ways it has been a rather stressful experience, but now it's done and I can relax, apart from the promotion side of things, which I actually enjoy, especially book readings and signings.
After all the hard work, I can only pray it does well. I guess it's a case of watch this space. :)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A Charming Story

This is a delightful story. I have never been to Africa but this piqued my interest. This is not the sort of book I would normally read, but the author Sylvia Stewart, held me from the first page to the last. I felt close to young Kondi as the story progressed and found myself concerned for her safety when horrid uncle Kakama came on the scene.
I found the glossary on the back page very helpful as well. I would certainly recommend this book as a Christmas present for any young person. What I also liked was the fact that the gospel is shared, but very sensitively.
Kondi's Quest

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Review of "nor iron bars a cage" by Caprice Hokstad

I've just finished reading a great book. This is the second of a trilogy. I get so involved, I hate it when I finish the book. The author writes so well that for a while I'm spoiled as far as settling down to read some one else's work. I wondered if I would feel the same when I finished this one. I did! I'm really looking forward to book three.
Having put a review on Amazon I decided to include it here as well. So, if you like a great fantasy, then this it it.

What sort of book draws you to keep reading? With characters that feel real and get inside your head. And when the book is finished you are left wanting more. It’s the book I’ve just finished.

“nor iron bars a cage” by Caprice Hokstad.

This is not your average airy fairy fantasy. In places it’s gritty and full of shocks and surprises. It’s a story of slavery, prejudice, servitude and love.

I couldn’t wait to get this, the second book in the trilogy and to meet up again with the gorgeous Duke Vahn and his beloved slave Kee. Both characters take the reader on traumatic journeys.

Kee bravely puts her life in her hands as a runaway slave and journeys to the lawless land of Ganluc, hoping to find Duke Vahn’s young son Dauntere. The child was stolen away by Vahn’s heartless ex-wife princess Saerula.

Kee is accompanied on her dangerous mission by Duke Vahn’s Captain of the castle guard, Najost Shil and his chief healer Lord Pharn Patkus. Their quest to find Dauntere leads them into great danger and suffering. It’s fortunate for both Kee and Captain Shil that the healer Lord Patkus is with them.

While they are away Duke Vahn has his own problems. His cousin the evil countess Delorae persistently pursues him. She hopes to take the place of Vahn’s departed wife Saerula.The Duke refuses her advances. Outraged the conniving Countess demands satisfaction for her so called tainted honour.

Duke Vahn supposing a duel with swords happily enquires who her champion will be. He is shocked when she insists her honour can only be satisfied by a game of Nobles and Nomads and she will play the game against him, herself.

Her confidence concerns the Duke, as unlike sword play, he is not particularly proficient at the game. And added to his misgivings, are her terms should he lose. They prove to be extremely disturbing.

“nor iron bars a cage” is a roller coaster ride, full of action, romance and some pretty deep issues. The story is compelling and beautifully written.

Most definitely a must for all lovers of fantasy.

Monday, 29 August 2011

A New Book Cover

I'm so glad I've chosen to self-publish. I wasn't sure at first, but having worked with Create Space, I now know I've made the right decision.
The new cover for the 'Shadowed Valley' is great I'm thrilled with it. I'm particularly pleased to have been able to use one of my paintings. It's so expressive of the book.
Now I wait patiently for my proof copy, and once it's all checked through it will be all systems go. I confess, I'm excited.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Valley of Shadows questionare

'Valley of Shadows' survey

Some of my writing friends have put together a survey of their latest book. I thought, "what a brilliant idea." So decided to have a go. They chose to leave out certain questions, I may well do the same, but anyway here goes.

Valley of Shadows

1] What's your word count? 70,645

2] How long until you finish? How long is a piece of string. Seriously though, I am finished, bar the editing process.

3] If finished, how long did it take you? I guess in all, around three years.

4] Do you have an outline? Not as such. I generally have a good idea of the story, where it's going, and how it will end. I do make a list of characters with their with their distinguishing features. Mind you, that often changes as the stories progresses. But on the whole, I like to write like a mad thing, and follow my imagination.

6] How many words do you write a day? I suppose, a thousand, maybe more.

7] What was your greatest word count for one day? About 5,000.

9] What inspired you to write? You will think this strange, and it's certainly sad. But it was the death of my sister.

10] Does your novel have a theme song? Not really, but if it did, it would be 'The Lord's my Shepherd.'

12] Which character is most like you? I guess there is some of me in Cyella.

13] Which character would you most likely be friends with? That would have to be Mary.

15] Who is your favourite character? Sunrise.

16] Have your characters done something completely unexpected? Not really, everything they experience is unexpected.

17] Have you based any of your novel on personal experience? My whole novel was born out of the tragic death of my younger sister.

18] What is the best line? The wide path panders to mankind's incessant desire to reach their destination as quickly as possible. no matter the consequences.

28] Summarize your novel in under fifteen words. What Cyella faced in the valley, messed with her mind.

29] Do you love all your characters? Goodness, no! some of them are awful.

32] Describe your main character in three words. Plucky, Strong Willed, Sensitive.

35] How many romantic relationships take place in your novel? Two.

36] Are there any explosions? No

45] Who has pets in the novel, and what are they? The Mistress, and Remstiss the Necromancer both have black cats.

46] Are there Angels, demons, or any religious references? No Angel, but yes, to the other two.

51] Is there humour? A little, yes.

52] Is there tragedy? Yes, I'm afraid so.

57] Has your novel provided insight about your life? In some ways I guess it has. Probably because I buried my grief over the death of my sister within its pages.

59] Has your novel inspired anyone? From what I have heard, yes.

68] How would you react if your novel was erased entirely? You don't want to know, and nor do I! But, such an horrendous idea is not likely, as it is backed up all over the place.

71] What advice would you give a fellow writer? Stay committed. Make it as good as is humanly possible. And don't allow rejections to put you off. Stay confident, and keep believing in yourself.

72] Describe the ending in three words. Romantic, Positive, Victorious.

75] Was it worth it? You bet it was!!

A Positive Accident.

It was strange, the other day I was busy editing and accidentally deleted a few words, but it was enough to throw me.
So I fetched the original copy of the book, [which incidentally had been published,] and went to the same place and found the section I needed. After replacing it, I read a little from the old book and found myself thinking, actually you are that bad. Okay maybe not as professional as I hope the new edited version will be. Nevertheless, there was a naive honesty which I found appealing and details that I have since decided to incorporate into the new version.
Thorough editing as I have since learned is paramount, if a book is to be of a professional quality. However, it is also important not to lose ones voice. To hold onto the sincere honesty found in the books pages. To keep alive the essence that made the book important to the author in the first place. The reason the book was written and what the author was trying to say, can be lost in the editing process if one is not careful.
 I am so glad I deleted that small section, and realized that the first book was in all honesty not that bad. Now I can take what is good from the one and combine it in the new and God willing end up with a well written quality product I can be proud of. A book that will be read and enjoyed for years to come.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


I am feeling a little confused to say the least! Hope it's right this time.