The Mighty Jungle

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The closer the publication date for African Me & Satellite TV comes, the more nervous I’m getting. The unusual thing about the editing of this particular book is probably that it’s not typos that worry me as much as getting arrested, stalked and pelted with eggs, or generally attracting the interest of secret agencies around and about.

One of the lightest things about it has been my argument with Princess. Intrepid cook, vocal contributor of gems of knowledge on any subject at all, and loud detractor of any sort of animal abuse. My argument really is her obsession with Gordon Ramsay. I’m fond of watching cooking programmes myself, but my tastes run more to Rick Stein, Guy Fieri, Jamie Oliver, and of course Nigella, mainly for her good taste in footwear. I do admit to enjoying watching Gordon abuse restaurateurs and hotel owners – but that’s only because absolute rudeness and terminally foul language make me giggle. I don’t like his endorsement of certain foods obtained in ways that are unbelievably inhumane – inhuman really. But that’s not what my point is today. Princess refuses to give in and let me change her crush to a less controversial chef. So I suppose I have to accept that we can like people in general without agreeing with all of their beliefs. Simple. Gordon stays.

Not so simple are the rest of the people in this story. Their strong views from all angles on racism from both sides of the fence, and the graphic descriptions of actual and possible events will most certainly draw some flack I’m thinking. I just hope that any powers that be who may perchance lay their hands on a copy will read it right through before hoiking out the handcuffs and heading forth into the African wilds to have a little chat with me about – things. That’s the problem with this proofing. When I say that this story wrote itself, I really mean it, and no matter how hard I try to tweak things in it – only looking out for my innocent hide – it just won’t be tweaked. So. I’ll concentrate on the grammar. And of course the poems. These are not going so well I’m afraid to say. Amazon will be pleased at all my “How To Write Poetry” purchases though. These books haven’t helped at all. Once again these things are writing themselves, and they’re more ode-ish than anything else.

On the subject of Amazon. It has a lot of critics. Writers complain of the percentage of their royalties that big A takes, the removal of reviews and tag buttons, and all sorts of other real or perceived affronts. I still say that the opportunity to instantly publish a book, for all the world to read, is something worth paying for. If agents were lining up at your door, waving fat advance cheques and booking you a slot on Oprah, you probably wouldn’t be using Amazon as your first choice to publish I’m thinking. Having said that, pretty much all of the great and famous writers have their books there now. So you’re in pretty good company. Yes, it requires quite a lot of hard work to even get your book to the notice of readers of the millions of books available out there. But that’s a choice you make. You don’t have to. You could try the traditional route, get discovered, and knock J K Rowling right off her perch. Unlikely for all though.

Imagine for a minute that all the self-publishing houses were to disappear. There would be a lot of dusty manuscripts in bottom drawers, never to be read by a soul. So I bravely say – I really do love Amazon. I don’t mind their cut of my royalties. I don’t mind doing the work. And I love the people who have bought and read my writing. You may not be millions, and I may not be rich and famous, but that’s never been what my trip has been about anyway. If one person reads and enjoys any book I write, then I say my job is done. That’s probably the reason for my blog obsession. I love reading blogs, and probably spend far too many hours of my days doing just that. Without expectation of financial gain bloggers, to me, are classic authors. They write to share what they’re passionate about. They don’t care about “show don’t tell” or “dialogue, dialogue, dialogue!!” So – stop whinging author guys, and appreciate the fact that you have the best job in the world, and the opportunity to share your work with a large chunk of the occupants of that world. Do the work, and with a bit of luck, you will reap the rewards.

Gratitude to Amazon for being my publisher, and kudos also for publishing all the old classics, and leaving them permanently free. It’s nice to know that those stories will never be lost. I love the fact that when I’m just a memory, my books will be there in their virtual home, and my worlds will be visited, and my people heard, long after I’ve laid claim to my personal cloud and harp. I do wonder sometimes about those lonely writers who’ve published books, and then depart this mortal coil unnoticed and un-mourned – it does happen I’m afraid to say. Do their books lurk in Amazon’s maze forever? And who gets their royalties?

AM Cover V1 - Copy (2) Smashwords

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My lovely visit with the amazing Lucy Pireel.

All That's Written ...

Yay! Today I have my dear friend and talented author Jo Robinson as featured author to talk about her books and whatever more she wishes to disclose.

Hi Jo! Nice to have you pop over to answer some questions I have for you. So let’s not waste anymore time, which is precious as it is with all the promotional things we need to do to get our work under the eyes of the general public.

First some questions to get in the mood though and then we’ll move on to the serious stuff. Okay?

Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?

Whoop dee doooo!!!  Or in as my UK friends would say, Jolly Dee!

Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner…

View original post 1,223 more words

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Book Description

A hidden room. A prophesy about to be fulfilled. On Lapillus, the demonic Nefandus torture and kill to satiate their foul hunger. A small number of the dragon-like Voxavi remain in limbo, and their Lord is trapped in a wall of diamond. Natalie, Gabe, and Brian are propelled into this gem encrusted world, only to find that the fate of the universe rests on their shoulders.

Book Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 291 KB
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BCL91EC

Author Bio

I live in the wilds of Zimbabwe with my husband Angus, a dog with an odd sense of humour, four birds, and some chickens. One of the birds spends most of her time on my head, weaving my hair into dreadlocks that have to be cut out, so every day’s a bad hair day…

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Out Of The Shadows – A Bit

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I can’t say that January 2013 has been my favourite month.  In general, it’s been just a little rough.  I had expected to leisurely edit and perfect my sci-fi/fantasy novel, Shadow People.  Instead it was a month of serious illness and other unexpected evils.  On the plus side though, I’ve made the most amazing new friends, and learned that most people in the world are most cool indeed.  I’ve found that friends of old are more than rocks.  I send much love to you guys.  I lost my beloved turkeys in a devastating way, and have only lately been able to look my three little survivor chickens in the eye.  But all in all, I think I’ll be just fine.


Shadow People will be live on Amazon for your reading pleasure from around six in the morning, Zimbabwe time – that’s the only time I know really.  It was published while the mystical words, “Dear God, please don’t let there be any typos.” were recited most enthusiastically.  I really hope you like it.  I will say that there is no doubt in my mind that Shadow People will carry on.  Natalie has much to do yet, and the universe really needs a lot more work.  I find myself unwilling to leave the beautiful Lapillus and her inhabitants, so book two is already semi-formed.


In this celebratory state of mind, I would like to give my friends my other two short tales on Amazon.  They will both be free on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February.  Not necessarily science-fiction/fantasy like Shadow People, but I hope you will enjoy them anyway.  I apologise for my two day absence friends, and thank you for letting me back in.


Join our fantastic community on Google+




Free for you on Saturday and Sunday are:






And if you’d like to read Shadow People…..


Till next time friends.  xxx


Where Aliens Fear To Tread

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It’s finally happened. I asked my computer a question it couldn’t answer. Rather, I googled a question that answered most unsatisfactorily. What I want to know is, what would actually happen if an alien-ish spacecraft landed on the Whitehouse lawn? I promise that I haven’t been relieved of my very last marble. It’s just that I’m writing a scene where that happens. I was about to Google and ask about the whole security setup there, as you do, then it occurred to me that that might upset people. To be honest, knowing the sorts of things us scribblers get up to, more than likely the Chief of Security for Alien Spaceships Landing in the Rosebushes would just say, “Aaah. Another one of those weird writer people again.” And ignore me completely. But on the off-chance that they might think I was trying to figure out a way to come for tea and crumpets with the big guy, I changed the wording. I’m thinking I should just make something up in this instance. Considering some of the aliens in my worlds, it’s probably better that I don’t give them the lay of the land. You never know who eyeballs your blog posts these days. I saw the video of that snake-eyed television presenter. I’ve probably said too much already. Anyway.

Apart from slowly catching up in general with various projects, I’m working harder than I knew I could getting Shadow People ready for its zero birthday on the 8th February. January was pretty much a write-off as far as work was concerned, so I’m pleased with myself right now. I’m actually really enjoying reading it as I check for typos, and thinking that one or two other people might too. Getting ignored for a few weeks seems to have made it easier to edit. When I read that Stephen King writes a story all the way through, and then puts it aside for seven months before editing and publishing, it didn’t really make sense to me. Surely it’s better to edit when the story is fresh in your mind? Looks like our Steve is right again. Right now though, I’d better get back to figuring out whether to wait politely for the aliens to exit their ship, or blast the little buggers for squishing the hydrangeas.

Till next time friends. xxx

I’ll Do It Tomorrow

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Whoever said that procrastination was the mother of invention was talking rubbish. I’ve never invented anything while I was procrastinating. Although I could have the saying wrong. I do that sort of thing. I think that procrastination really is not doing something that you don’t want to do. You might not know that you don’t want to do it though. You might just be more comfortable thinking that something else is stopping you from doing it.

When it comes to doing something that you love to do – in my case this would be writing stories – why on earth would you not want to? Finding my own motives for not doing something I should be doing has always been hard. Then it occurred to me that the word “should” has a lot to do with it. I do a lot of things that I feel I should. Things that I don’t particularly want to do. Washing dishes being right up there in the I don’t want to top five. I do them anyway. So why then, when I should be doing something for myself, don’t I?

If any of my friends thought that I actually have the answer to that, I apologise. I really haven’t got a clue. Maybe we feel that we owe it to people that care for us to be successful at what we do. Could be it’s the possibility of failure that changes it from want to, to should. It often seems to me that our own psyche’s nobble us worse than any external source could. I am pleased to say though, that I really want to get back to my edit, so this rambling post will be mercifully short. Once again, having internet woes, I have a catch up to do. People must wonder on social networks who this strange dragon person is, that pops up every now and then, zooms around frantically, then disappears for days on end. I guess it’s another of those quantum things.

I know you’ll want to join us on our fantastic, buzzing Google+ group. There are lots of lovely authors, bloggers, poets, and readers in the room. I hope to see you there!

We also have a brand new Anthology Group, both on Google+ and Facebook. You still have time to submit a story for the first book. Voting begins on the 14th February. Please do join us – all are welcome.

Till next time friends. xxx


Writing Hero – George Geisinger

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My Writing Hero for the month of January is author George Geisinger.  I first met George when I happened across one of his short stories and read it.  It was so beautiful that I commented, and we have been chatting ever since.  I found his writing intriguing, and decided to make him one of my heroes before reading his book.  I’m really glad I did.  I’ve read and reviewed on Amazon, Memoirs Of A Flower Child.  This book had me smiling and crying.  It got me right in the gut, and I read it straight through.  I’ve never read anything like this.  I totally suggest that you buy this book, and read it right away.  It will change your perspective on everything.



 Here’s my Amazon review.

A Triumph!, January 31, 2013


Jo Robinson

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Memoirs of a Flower Child (Kindle Edition)

This book should be required reading for everyone on the planet. Especially those among us who think we can be parents. I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything that moved me more, or twanged at my heartstrings quite so much. George Geisinger has written a totally frank and honest account of his life. He’s gone about it with an honesty and bravery that most of us can only aspire to. The difference with this memoir and others that I’ve read is the skill of the writer. At no point do you want to skip a part.

This is the story of a child so badly abused, that he begun to smoke cigarettes and run away from home at the age of five. The damage inflicted on this intelligent, sensitive soul by an unbalanced and vicious father was not repairable by such a small child, nor the young man he became. Spiralling down into chronic schizophrenia brought on by acute toxic psychosis, this man has endured an existence of fear and solitude through no fault of his own. There are too many beautiful words in this book for me to write down here to give you examples of all that touched me, and all I can say is, that if you read only one book this year, make it this one. You will see life from a whole new perspective.

The beauty of his writing transcends this story, and answers his own question, wondering why God has brought him through everything, and alive today. The answer in my mind would be that this story has to be shared with all, so that they can see the road he walked, and pray never to have that happen to any child again. George says so much that makes life clearer to me. “I never learned how to take care of myself as people learn growing up.” The simple truth for all abused, neglected children. On his suicide attempts, he says, “…Hurting myself, expecting someone else to feel the pain.” There can be no better explanation for those desperate cries for help. This man’s wit, talent, and humour shine throughout.

He loved and lost everything. From sweet Peaches, to his beloved Yamaha guitar, until one day God found him in a Gazebo, and showed him the way on. People have tried to use him and hurt him, but I do believe he will be fine. I hope you find the love to ease your loneliness gentle man, and I thank you for making me see my life from a new angle of gratitude. This is a success story like no other I’ve seen. The dozens of books on this author’s list of published works attests to that. If I could give this story ten stars, I would, and whenever I think that my life is tough, I’ll open George Geisinger’s book. It’s a triumph.

“I ran into the woods, got all cut up on the Jagger bushes, made all the dogs bark, walked on water. Busy day.”



I asked George a little about himself.  Enjoy his answers with me.


  1. What do you like to do when you’re not writing.


I do ordinary things mostly; surf Facebook and the web in general, and I like to crochet, mainly to make winter gear.  That’s right, I’m a man who crochets.  I also read when I’m not writing.



  1. Who are your favorite authors?


I like Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, and Theodore Dreiser, to name a few.  I enjoy recent classical authors, especially, and there happen to be several more on the list, but I figure these classicists are representative of what I like to read.  I’d rather not read any more F Scott Fitzgerald, because I don’t want to cry with him any longer, about the fact that he has lost his money.



  1. When did you begin to write?


I can remember writing a diary at age thirteen.  I don’t recall writing earlier than that.  I’m in my sixties, so trying to remember such things is a challenge for me.  Such memories seem silly to me, like some of the things I used to sing, when I was younger and still able to carry a tune.



  1. What do you love to eat and drink?


Before I got my dentures, I used to like to eat red meat.  However, since I’m wearing dentures now, I prefer to eat things like chicken and sea food.



  1. What don’t you like?


I don’t like to eat vegetables, because some of my best friends are vegetables.



  1. Tell us a little about your next book.


I write exclusively short stories.  I have an octogenarian friend where I live, who reads everything I write.  I don’t have any specific plans for another series of short stories, nor do I have a book project in the works at the moment.  If my reader here where I live tells me I’ve written a book, she’ll give me the name of the book, and designate which short stories are part of the book.  This was the way I came up with Memoirs of a Flower Child, and Damn Yankee.  What I’m hoping to do is write for more than one blog per day, for quite some time to come, so I get more readers for my work.



  1. I see from your memoir that you have had more than your share of burdens. What would you say was the single most important event that shaped the man you are today?


I experienced an epiphany in the summer of 1983, when God finally prevailed upon my altered state of mind, in order for me to stop taking mind-altering substances to establish a lasting sobriety.  I have not had any alcohol or any other mind-altering chemical since that time.  I had a rebellious childhood, where I was a chronic runaway, by the time I was five years old, do to my father’s violence around the house.  The fact that I refused to submit myself to being parented as a child was the basis for why my life has had so many burdens.  It is my faith which has turned the tide in my life.



  1. Number eight is not a question, but anything you’d like to share here.


I’m writing exclusively blog posts at the moment, with no plans to write any stories for sale in the near future.


My personal blog is  Other blogs where some of my work is published are, where I no longer contribute, and, which is Don Martin’s blog, where I continue to contribute frequently at the moment. My personal blog has an extensive archives, of more than a 100 entries of approximately 30K per entry, like I do for my own blog.


My Amazon author’s page is  I have approximately 87 titles for sale for digital download to Kindle, which I have written, in addition to more than 100 blog entries, for a grand total of more than 300 documents I’ve created in my documents folder, since March of 2011.

I have re-sorted to writing blog posts exclusively, because my most major goal as a writer is to have readers of my work, not to make money with my work.  Having Don Martin’s blog to contribute to, in addition to having my own, keeps me on my toes.



Review – The Treasures of Suleiman by Kevin Ashman

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This is a book that I have been eagerly anticipating.  After reading and loving The Dead Virgins, the first book of the India Summers murder mystery series, I opened the pages of the Treasures of Suleiman with relish, and was not disappointed.  Once again Kevin Ashman had me neglecting work and family because I could not stop reading.

India and Brandon reunite to solve the murder of an old acquaintance.  So begins their quest to find the Piris Reis map, which should lead them to a treasure like no other, and they are off on a journey of danger and intrigue, from the palace of Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent to exotic Istanbul and over the Caribbean to an island filled with danger from the earth, as well as danger from a man that wants them dead, and an ending that had me wanting to find this place and hunt for the treasure myself.

An absolute triumph of a story as far as I am concerned.  It all came alive for me, as did the first story in the series.  Kevin Ashman combines history, mystery, and a fantastic modern tale that makes you believe that it all happened, and has you gripping the sides of your kindle when the action starts.

I recommend it as highly as I can.  It stands alone, but having read book one I can’t wait to see what happens in the third.



Review – The Dead Virgins by Kevin Ashman

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From the first pages of The Dead Virgins, I felt the warm fuzzy glow of a new friendship.  Much as I did when I read my first Jean M Aueul, or Wilbur Smith, I knew that I had found an author whose new releases I would always eagerly anticipate.

Kevin Ashman’s masterful interweaving of historical fact and exciting fiction, as well as his brilliant descriptive ability, had me hooked until the very end, already clamouring for more.

The story moves between the ancient and modern worlds of Italy, Greece, and England.  A gruesome murder in the London Underground is somehow connected to Nero’s Rome, and a beautiful priestess.  Kevin Ashman effortlessly takes you back through the mists of time, into the mystical world of the Vestal Virgins, the treasures of their Goddess, secrets lost in legend, and then brings you rushing back to the present, with intrigue, humour, some seriously exciting action, and characters so likeable, that you know you have to meet India and Brandon again.

This is what a book is supposed to do, take you into the story, and The Dead Virgins does exactly that, in high definition, and with surround sound.  Of course I recommend it.  Bring on the next India Summers adventure.