New Releases

A Couple of Questions and Cover Reveal

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After a couple of very ‘educational” years, and a whole lot of stress every time I happened to think about my unfinished work, and also my as yet unpublished books lying around gathering dust, I’ve come out the other side quite happy that I did not in fact publish them when I wanted to. It would not have been fun, and publishing a book should always be fun. After a couple of health scares to the point where I assumed that I was on the verge of departing this mortal coil, and stressing over every little thing, I finally realized that not only have I no intention of expiring any time soon, living in fear of the future, the present, or the past, is absolutely useless to anyone. So I decided that as far as my health was concerned, I was going to go herbal, and as far as anything scary was concerned, I was going to go eyeball to eyeball with whatever came up and see who caved first. So far I feel great health-wise with the herbals, and my inner critic and her cohort, the craven one, have gone into hiding. Which is why I am particularly happy that I never got around to publishing my non-fiction book, The Secret Life of People, because I had yet to figure out the final chapter by living it. Now it is almost ready to make its debut and I am more excited about it than anything else I’ve ever written. There are a couple of things I’d like to get a few people’s beliefs on, so I’d be grateful for any answers to the questions below. If you don’t want to put your opinions in the comments I would really appreciate an email via the contact me button above.

Other news is that Cynthia Reyes and her daughter Lauren’s Myrtle the Purple Turtle has already begun her third adventure, and it is, of course, just as fabulous as that little turtle’s adventures always are. I’m getting caught up quicker than I thought possible and very happy that my online friends are still going strong, and also still talking to me after my long absence. Here goes with the questions.

1. Do you believe that you are living a fulfilled life?
2. Do you think that people have a purpose, and if so, do you know what yours is?
3. Are you satisfied with the way the world and your country is governed?
4. Do you think that civilised societies today are on the right track?
5. If you work, are you happy with your job?
6. If money was no object, what would you do with your days?
7. Do you believe in life after death or reincarnation?
8. Do you believe that there will be consequences for good or evil acts?
9. Do you or someone that you know have problems with anxiety or depression?

Thank you!

 

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Book Launch – Tales from the Garden by Sally Cronin

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Here is the wonderful Sally Cronin with the launch of her new book of wonderful stories for everyone from age five to ninety five. All links to find it here, and if you have not already met her, do zoom over and do so.  Take it away Sally!

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I am delighted to announce that my latest book Tales from the Garden is now available in Ebook versions with the print copies available shortly.
We will be leaving our house and garden at some point in the future and when we put the house on the market, I realised that it was not only the sunshine that I would miss. I already had many photographs taken over the last sixteen years and I decided to capture as many aspects of the garden as I could to take with us digitally at least.
As I photographed the statues, most far too heavy to take with us, it came to me that some of them had been here at least for 60 years and had seen many changes over that time. Also there was the mystery surrounding the missing dwarves? Just exactly where did they disappear to some nights; when the garden seems to be alive with excitement and you can hear the fluttering of many wings in the air?
I wrote the stories weekly on the blog but was so delighted by the response from those who read them, that this became my surprise book of the year. Those that were planned will be released in the New Year.
The Ebook is available now, and the print version will be available in the next week. Both are discounted on my publisher’s website, as there are no additional charges as on other online bookstores.

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About the book.
Fairy Stories for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five, that will change the way you look at your garden, forever….
With over 80 photos/illustrations, “Tales from the Garden” by Sally Cronin, reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees.
You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.
The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.
Meet Queen Filigree of the Kingdom of Magia, The Last Emperor and The Lost Boy who live in the sanctuary on the Spanish mountain. Ten stories of adventure, magic and love.
Book Trailer.

Find out more about Tales from the Garden and buy the Ebook in Mobi for Kindle Format and Epub at a special 50% discount via the website – £2.48. Print copies are discounted by 23% at £8.42. The photographs in the print copy are in black and white and will be available in the next week to ten days.
Secure payment through the Moyhill Publisher site: http://moyhill.com/tales
Or through Amazon at the recommended retail prices.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0180Q6CKM
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0180Q6CKM
About Sally Cronin

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Sally Cronin spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Radio & Television; and has taken a great deal of inspiration from each.
She has written short stories and poetry since a very young age and contributed to media in the UK and Spain. In 1996 Sally began studying nutrition to inspire her to lose 150 lbs and her first book, Size Matters published in 2001, told the story of that journey back to health. This was followed by another seven books across a number of genres including health, humour and romance. These include Just Food For Health, Size Matters, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, Flights of Fancy anthology, Turning Back the Clock and Media Training.
For the last two years Smorgasbord Invitation has offered a legitimate excuse to write daily, meet amazing people from around the world and provide a platform to assist any artist, musician or writer to showcase their work.
Connect to Sally on social media.
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
https://twitter.com/sgc58
https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin
https://www.facebook.com/sallygeorginacronin
https://plus.google.com/+SallyCronin/about
I would be very grateful if you could reblog and share this on social media and of course would love to have your feedback.
Book launch
Any help that you can provide in promoting the book would be most welcome and you can contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com – I am doing a series of guest posts on various aspects of the book. Behind the scene stories of the statues, parts of the garden etc. I will of course share any posts on your blog across by social media.
Thanks for being part of the writing and publishing of Tales from the Garden.
Sally.

New Release! The Merchant of Nevra Coil

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Cover art by Jason Pedersen
Cover art by Jason Pedersen
When the mischievous and random Goddess of Chaos gets angry, all of Windemere becomes her plaything.
It all starts with a collection of toys that have taken the populace by storm. People of all races flood the marketplaces to gather figurines of the champions whose adventures are starting to spread across the land. Stemming from the flying city of Nevra Coil, these toys bring with them a terrible curse: Fame. Every town becomes a mob of fans that hound their new idols and the delay is bringing the world closer to the hands of Baron Kernaghan. Perhaps worst of all, the creator of these toys forgot to include a certain exiled deity who is now out to earn herself a figurine.
Who would have thought a bunch of toys could cause so much trouble and lead to the breaking of a champion’s confidence?

Sound exciting?
CLICK HERE TO GRAB IT ON AMAZON FOR $2.99!
ALSO ON GOODREADS!
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There’s more!
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Welcome to Nevra Coil Excerpt
A screeching alarm goes off inside the vessel, signaling for everyone to pay attention to the pilot. Jo flicks a few switches above her head, amplifying her voice so everyone can clearly hear her. “We’re coming to Nevra Coil. Get ready for docking at Inspiration Tower instead of one of the Ring Houses. If you want to see the city then come to the front, but you better not complain while I’m giving the tour. I’ll be going too fast to repeat myself. We’re starting with the bottom, so don’t be scared. There hasn’t been a crash in a month. Two months since a fatality.”
The champions gather around Jo’s chair and watch as the clouds part to reveal the underside of the flying city. The steel gray earth has several narrow tubes of yellow crystal spread along its gleaming surface, the enchanted objects creating a spiral that leads to a red, metal rod. An occasional spark falls from the central pole and dissipates into the clouds, giving the illusion of lightning. Jo has the vessel steadily rise to give everyone a clear view and she taps her ear to silently get her passengers to listen. Beneath the sounds of the ship’s rotors, the champions hear a dull hum whenever they pass close to a crystal. Those with keen eyes can see a sapphire orb that flickers like a flame inside the yellow tube’s core, but the strange object is definitely solid like a rock.
“The flight crystals are designed to push off and ride the waves of the ocean. The outer tube is the reflector and the ice gem is the controller,” Jo explains as they flip around the far side of Nevra Coil. She scowls at the whimpering gypsy and begrudgingly slows the vessel down. “The central rod is what keeps us in a small area as we spin like a very slow top. Without that, we’d be floating all over Windemere’s oceans. You’ll feel the rotation at first, but the awkwardness will pass within a few hours. Before you ask, the system does nothing to the ocean below. We keep ourselves at a great height to prevent that and we turn off the crystals if we have to drop. That’s only in case of severe damage, so they would probably be malfunctioning in such an event anyway. Our backup system is a small army of pedaling stone golems that we activate in the core of Nevra Coil. Let’s get to the real event. Hey! Watch where you’re going, you son of an oil slick!”
The vessel swerves out of the way of a small, windowless craft that is powered by a pedaling gnome. Once their heads stop spinning, the champions get their first look at the city of Nevra Coil. Glistening towers are everywhere with a vast collection of flying devices and beasts moving among them. Several structures are missing pieces, revealing metal beams and hardworking gnomes who are trying to finish the construction. The city is a beautiful creation of metal, stone, and glass with nothing on the earthy ground besides several colonies of orange slimes. The burbling creatures feast on the garbage that falls out of hatches, which are built into the lower floors of every tower. Compared to the enormous buildings, Jo’s vessel feels like a rowboat as it weaves among the chaos. Several times they come close to hitting another ship, their skilled pilot meeting each encounter with a slew of insults and curses. They hover when a claxon goes off and the circular tower ahead opens one of its floors to reveal another ring-shaped ship.
“This is where we would normally dock, but you’re wanted on the one-hundred and eighty-sixth and a half floor of Inspiration Tower,” Jo says while waving to the other ship. She waits for them to leave before rising to the higher sky lanes where there is more space. “If you look to the right, you’ll see the Lizard. It’s used by those of us who don’t have a flying device due to no interest, accidents, revoked license, or whatever else can go wrong. I’ll swing by to give you a better look, but don’t stare directly into the golem’s eye. You never know if it’s going to be friendly or . . . churlish.”
Dipping toward a metallic rail, the ship comes alongside a green-scaled reptile with seats grown into its wide back. A throbbing bubble covers the sitting area, the oily membrane protecting riders from the elements until the transport comes to a stop. Gnomes are comfortably sitting in the chairs, most of them reading notes or sleeping. The creature’s tail is merged with the track to prevent it from falling off while it pulls itself along using powerful front legs. A driver on its head opens a hatch in the top of its long nose to drop in a shovelful of screeching beetles. The Lizard slows down while everyone hears the insects getting crunched in the construct’s mouth. When the strange transport hisses at the ship, Jo pulls away and heads for where a trio of metallic birds are sitting on a windowless tower.

AND DON’T FORGET!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Click here for the $4.99 Bundle to start your journey into Windemere!

Charles E YallowitzAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

One More Little Freebie

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I got me eleven hundred two hundred and ninety eight email notifications on this here thang. No jokes.  Update – I originally mistakenly said eleven thousand, which I dearly hope to never get because it would probably explode my computer, so if that’s what it says in your email alert, it’s a darned lie.   I think that’s a new record for me anyway though, and I’m wading in as fast as I can, so please be patient a bit longer with me while I catch up with you all properly. It’s been raining here for a couple of days, and the sun’s just trying to peep through now. We had zero winter rain this year, which is apparently very abnormal, so seeing the first spring rains arrive is lovely, apart from the fact that it really messes with the internet which has been mainly off, and makes the dogs look like four legged chocolate truffles.
As far as my special How To Do a Magnificently Inept and PFFFFT Book Launch is concerned, African Me & Satellite TV, Echoes of Narcissus, and Shadow People are now all priced at 99 cents for the countdown deal which ends on the eleventh. If you want to have a squiz just click on their covers in the sidebar and it will take you to their pages on Amazon. Fly Birdie is still free, so if you want that one also click on the sidebar cover to head to Amazon. It’s not doing too badly considering that it’s only had three tweets from me, and is #2 and #2 and #5 in three bestseller categories and eight hundred and odd in the main lists with three more days to go.
The Visitation has just gone free too, so if you fancy a short and twisted read, click on the image below.

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The drier it gets the better my internet, and with no more rain forecast for the rest of the week I should be able to catch up with everyone properly again and get back to normal happy blogging.

Food in Fiction with Charles Yallowitz

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It’s a big pleasure to have the author of the wonderful Legends of Windemere series, Charles Yallowitz, here with me today to talk about one of my favourite pastimes – munchies. I love his dry wit, and the fact that he is always so down to earth and friendly with everyone, no matter how busy his life must be. Thanks for joining me Charles.

Thank you to Jo for offering to host a promo/guest blog. Now to get the introduction and promo stuff out of the way. My name is Charles E. Yallowitz and I’m the author behind the Legends of Windemere epic fantasy series where the latest one is Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue. I also just released a 27-page short story for 99 cents called Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts, so you can get a quick, cheap taste of me . . . whatever. Let’s move on to the fun!

The Avengers post-credits scene
The Avengers post-credits scene

I think many authors overlook the versatile uses that food can have in a story. It doesn’t have to be the central focus like in the manga ‘Toriko’ where the entire story revolves around discovering new foods and recipes. (Great series by the way.) Now that series is an extreme use that doesn’t have to be added to every story. Like in the above scene that occurred after the credits of ‘The Avengers’, you can make a food scene mild and simple. Though, I have yet to figure out what shawarma is or even try it. Staying on topic, here are a few non-central uses for food in fiction:

  1. Cultural Depth– Every region and culture has its own culinary identity. Think of any group and you’ll probably touch on an associated food within the first minute or two. I just thought of Jews and Matzoh Ball soup and Russians and vodka. Yes, these tend to be stereotypical in our world, but it makes the point. In a fictional world, you can create local cuisine that is unique and strange. This can relate to the type of land that the culture comes from too. For example, in Allure of the Gypsies you learn that Luke Callindor’s hometown is a big supplier of honey-based products because it is in an area that is perfect for raising bees. Bor’daruk has a lot of flat breads and giant scorpion meat is a local delicacy. So think of implementing a food scene when characters reach a new location.
  2. Dialogues– This is one of my big uses for eating scenes. Characters need to talk about events and they commonly do so over either a meal or drinks. This allows me to have them do something while talking. Otherwise, it’s a back and forth chat where you get an image of the characters standing like mannequins. Also, I’ve found that how people eat tells a little about their personalities and you can see it when compared to each other. For example, in my series Timoran Wrath eats piles of food and takes his time. Sari snatches food off people’s plates. Delvin is rather simple and casual. Fizzle sits in the apple basket. All of this in one scene paints a bigger picture.
  3. Conflict– Nothing to declare war on, but characters can fight over food in some situations. This can bring in some amusement and development. Yes, I know this sounds odd. Just imagine your heroes ordering a pizza or anything where you can pick toppings. You can go the simple routes with everyone getting their own pie, they decide to order a plain pizza, or have a group of people unrealistically agree on toppings. That last one is severe fiction. Now you can also take a little time to have them argue over what to get. Again, this can demonstrate personalities and roles within the group. It can even lead to some pent up aggression coming to the surface. Maybe that warrior is still angry about his favorite sword being lost by the caster’s clumsiness. Well, they fight over the dipping sauces for the chicken and the rage bubbles into a real problem. Sounds strange, but this happens in real life.
  4. Threats and Villainy– Ever see a movie or read a book where the villain is eating something strange? Maybe all their threats involve eating organs. This relates to one of my favorite parts of a Spider-Man story is in a novel called ‘The Venom Factor’. I don’t remember it exactly and the book is buried in my library, but the gist is Venom threatened to eat Spidey’s spleen. After years of being threatened with brain eating, Spider-Man says he doubts Venom even knows where the spleen is. The villain’s retort, “We can find out. It might be fun.” This may be a minor use of food and a stretch of the topic, but you can also have villains physically eating disgusting things. Vampires are a good one where they’re draining a person while talking.

Trolley Armageddon and Free Short Stories

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I’m in the middle of my launch tour for Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight, and absolutely loving it! Party time! It’s fantastic connecting with new readers and friends on all the blogs, and also hearing from people who have suffered the same as Donna has. I’ll introduce you to all my very kind hosts when the tour wraps up on the 31st.

I’m very late logging on today because I had to go to town, and having committed the unforgivable sin of forgetting to buy ice cream in the first place, there would have been no peace otherwise. Then I spotted a thing – and then another thing – you know how it goes.

When I headed out the door I was accosted by a guy in a store uniform who very firmly insisted that he’d be pushing my trolley to the car. I said no and tried to hang on to it because I have my usual lovely old guy, who always hangs around the parking lot trying to earn a couple of bucks helping people wheel and pack their groceries, and he tells the best kind of stories. He was stronger than I though, and wrestled my trolley away, with me, and very soon my usual trolley guy too, in hot pursuit. Finally at the car a war had begun with a fairly loud argument, choice swearwords and the shaking of fists. I thought I’d just get a pic of the warriors for my blog – as you do – but the minute I aimed my phone at them, the trolley fell over – pushing me into reverse. Fortunately I’d already opened the back hatch so my bum hit nice soft car carpet instead of tarmac, but I didn’t get my fight scene shot at all.

Checkers

Totally ruined my photo opportunity, and I wasn’t inclined to take another, so all I got was that pole with some weird objects flying through the air – I think one’s a bird but the other behind the pole isn’t – I cropped it and it just looks like a creepy thing. Poor trolley guys were mortified though, and I mortified them further laughing my head off while they scrambled around making sure that nothing had tumbled out of the trolley. I really love my beautiful, funny Africa. Then I had to go back in because I’d forgotten the ice-cream again, so I took this lovely pic of a trolley for you instead.

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For those of you who fancy a short read and haven’t already got these, my two Fly Birdie and The Visitation are free from now until the 30th December.

Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight is LIVE

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Donna thought there was something wrong with her. That she was suffering from a mental illness that has caused her husband to despise her, distance himself from her, and cheat on her. She blames herself for the desolate, miserable thing that is her marriage and her life. Then she comes across a book that will change everything for her, and reading it, she discovers that there’s nothing wrong with her mind at all, but that there is something very wrong with her husband instead. Marco, she realises, is a malignant narcissist. A text book case. He has a real and documented mental disorder, and that he’s been controlling, manipulating, and abusing her for decades. The sudden full knowledge of all that he’s purposely done to her enrages her. Not sure how to leave after thirty years of what she finally knows has been intentional mental and emotional abuse from him, and believing that she has nowhere to turn, being so physically isolated, she bides her time.

Then she meets and befriends a group of unusual people who share her passion for gardening, and so begins her journey to escape. She joins her new friends in their project to assist elderly people in old age homes care for their small gardens, as well as secretly supplying those suffering from painful and terminal illnesses with medicinal herb and plant remedies, including illegal plants such as cannabis. As weeks go by, she delves into her memories, relearns what it is to be respected, liked, and loved again, and slowly she formulates a plan to safely leave her dangerous husband. But unbeknownst to Donna, Marco is in serious trouble, and has desperate plans of his own, and absolutely no regard for her safety.

** This is a work of fiction, but malignant narcissists really do exist, and it is a recognised mental illness. Unfortunately, many people never realise that they are involved with a narcissist, because their actions are so demonically bad as to be unimaginable and unbelievable, and so they spend their lives in misery, depression, fear, and isolation. If only by the accidental reading of a fictional story, I hope that this book will help even one person, unknowingly suffering narcissistic abuse, to realise that they don’t have to, and that it’s never too late to start over, be happy, be fulfilled, to love and care for yourself, and be truly loved and respected by others.

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Available now from AMAZON