#TuesdayBookBlog Lazy Days by Anita & Jaye Dawes #familydrama @jaydawes2

 

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Today, we have done something else for the very first time!

Our latest WIP, Lazy Days, is on pre release on Amazon Kindle. Not exactly sure how this works, but D E Haggerty encouraged us to do it. No book link yet, but  http://amazon.com/author/anitadawes  will get you to the right place. I hope!

The publication date is January 8th, to coincide with the start of our blog tour .

As you can see, there are a few empty places available, so if you would like to be a part of the fun and games in the New Year, let us know?

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We also want to thank everyone who took part in our Kindle giveaway for Let it Go last week. 57 copies were snapped up, and we hope you all enjoy reading it.

We would very much love to hear what you thought!

Too Many Irons…

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Have you ever had the feeling that you have bitten off more than you can chew?

Well, right now I seem to have a mouthful!

I have just finished re-editing my first book, Nine Lives. This was after making the mistake of actually opening the book and reading a few pages. After I got over the shock of seeing how bad it was, I realised it needs either a major new edit or bin it. That wasn’t really an option, so I spent a couple of weeks going over it with a fine-toothed comb.

It now has a brand new cover and is republished on Amazon.

I have to finish the formatting for the paperback version, then I will have restored the status quo for this book at least. I will be repeating this process for my other two books, for they might need an overhaul too!

At the same time, I have been busy editing our holiday memoir, Lazy Days, getting it ready for publication. We wanted to enter it with Kindlescout but they don’t accept novellas.

If you remember, we entered in 2015 with Let it Go….. and I thought it did well. It didn’t win, but I enjoyed the exciting process!

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Now, what else have we been doing?

Oh yes, we have announced a book tour for Lazy Days in January 2018. The 8th to the 12th, if anyone wants to take part!

We will be taking part in Lizzie Chantree’s book tour in January for Ninja School Mum, and I am reviewing Sacha Black’s book Keepers for Rosie Ambers review team.

Seriously thinking of making some new book trailers too and I have been trying to make sense of my writing/ blogging bible. Over the years, so much information has been added, changed or deleted; it’s a bit of a mess. So I bought myself a new book to transcribe all the valuable stuff into. This undertaking might be the straw that breaks this camel’s back as I can’t make sense of my scribble. Why on earth did I let get it into such a mess in the first place?

What else?

Oh yes, we are planning a massive promotion for Anita’s book, Let it Go, starting with a Kindle promo next week. For some reason, we have neglected this book and this won’t do at all. So you have been warned!

 

Although we are very busy at the moment, I haven’t been able to do much work on PayBack, my new WIP, and not happy about that at all. But I am discovering that there is only so much you can get an ageing brain to cope with, unfortunately.

It occurs to me that doing one thing at a time sounds like a better idea, but how can you, when there is so much you want to do?

Announcing the Blog Tour for Lazy Days #blogtour #truestory @jaydawes2

 

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Lazy Days, the 40 year old story of one of the best holidays we ever had, took a long time to get right. Our memories of that time were a little rusty, to say the least, and sometimes we remembered things completely differently!

After such a difficult (and often hilarious ) undertaking, we both agreed that it deserves special treatment, not just an upload to Amazon on the 7th of January.

We were hoping to run the book tour in 2017, but the time has flown by and Christmas is almost upon us, so we have chosen the 8th to 12th January 2018…

We were two women, four kids and two small dogs afloat on the Norfolk Broads in a rented boat. The holiday of a lifetime, something we would remember for a long time, but it was also a recipe for disaster, being so far out of our comfort zone.

Would it be the stuff that dreams are made of, or were we putting all our eggs in one basket?

 

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Excerpt

We had waited a long time for this day to arrive, and now the time had arrived, we could have flown to the Norfolk Broads powered by our excitement. The tension coming from all of us made the air crackle with electricity as we prepared to leave. Going anywhere with the kids is never easy, but we had planned this holiday with far more skill than our usual days out, and researched everything of interest and planned our route to ensure plenty of happy days. For the first time in our lives, we would be miles from home on a boat for two weeks. There would be six of us on this holiday, two women, four kids and two small dogs. There was the possibility of enough trouble there to last us a lifetime!

I wasn’t expecting much trouble from the teenage girls, Anita Jr and Heidi; but the two younger boys, Stephen, ten and Darren, eight would be a challenge, for they have the knack of finding trouble anywhere.  Added to the mix were our two small dogs.  Lady, a cross between a Pekinese and a Yorkie, blessed with sharp teeth and a ferocious dislike of strangers, and Katy, an adorable chocolate coloured toy poodle pup.

Getting them all in our car proved a bit tricky. A big Ford Granada, normally a comfortable fit for all of us, but this time we had Heidi, our younger step-sister to fit in too. She had been staying with us while her mother was in the hospital.

I sensed an air of resentment as the kids tried hard to fit themselves into the back seat. Various elbows were used to show disapproval, prompting a chorus of complaints. For a moment, it looked as if we wouldn’t be going anywhere. The situation looked hopeless. Anita finished packing our luggage into the boot of the car and appeared at my side.

‘Is there a problem here? Do we want to go on this holiday or not?’

No one spoke, but as I watched, a subtle relaxing of tightly packed bodies occurred as they all thought about it. They knew their mother well. She would cancel everything if they didn’t accept their fate and settle down, and if the holiday was cancelled because of them, they would never hear the end of it…

~~~~~~

This is where I get down on my knees (I can just about get there) and ask for volunteers to take part in the blog tour for Lazy Days. It’s a true story, a novella, based forty years ago when we and the world were a hell of a lot younger.

We will supply #free books, promotional material and posters, and our eternal devotion to anyone who has some free time in January.

Please leave your details in the comments, or on the contact form.

 

Our Review of The Box Under The Bed by Dan Alatorre @savvystories #Horror

 

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Come along for a chilling ride on a ghost ship, experience eerie daydreams and psychotic killers, explore haunted houses, and send the deceased to their final destination.
And that’s just a quarter of the thrills.
Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of scary tales brings together the minds and pens of twenty authors, including bestseller Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant), bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett), Lucy Brazier (PorterGirl), J. A. Allen, Juliet Nubel, T.A. Henry, Ann Marie Andrus, Heather Hackett, Barbara Anne Helberg, Scott Skipper, Joanne R. Larner, Christine Valentor, Adele Marie Park, Curtis Bausse, Annette Robinson, Frank Parker, Eric Daniel Clarke, and Maribel C. Pagan.

Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before walking alone on the beach at night, reading a diary, or innocently watching a train from your car.
Consider yourselves warned.

https://amazon.com/Box-Under-Bed-anthology-stories-ebook/dp/B075C9D7L1/

Our Review

We really loved reading this anthology. Each story is original and well written with a unique quality of its own.

From the bonus story, The Water Castle by Dan Alatorre, to The Blind Tattoist  by Allison Maruska , there is something here for everyone.

It would be hard to pick a favourite, for we loved them all. Some were scary, some mysterious, but every single one was a darn good read.

Not exactly bed time reading, unless you want to have nightmares!

 

Author Bio

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International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages.

From Romance in Poggibonsi, to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators. To comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heart-warming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series.  His knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world.
And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time.

“That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”

Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe.

His unique writing style can make you chuckle or shed tears—sometimes on the same page (or steam up the room if it’s one of his romances). Regardless of genre, his novels always contain unexpected twists and turns, and his endearing nonfiction stories will stay in your heart forever.

25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew, co-authored by Dan, has been a valuable tool for upcoming writers (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping new authors is evident in his wildly popular blog “Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR.”

Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. You can find him blogging away almost every day on http://www.DanAlatorre.com or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week, Writers Off Task With Friends.

Dan resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and daughter.

The Monster of Bell-Wether Gardens and other Stories by Jim Webster #short stories

Today, we are joined by Tallis Steelyard, otherwise known as Jim Webster, on day two of his book tour for his lovely book of short stories. Just the ticket for those odd moments when you simply have to read something interesting!

Take it away, Jim…

 

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steelyard-Monster-Bell-Wether-Gardens-stories-ebook/dp/B075DG5JJ6

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A seaside sojourn

A poet can be susceptible to many influences. Yes the beauty of the rustic vista has stirred my soul and provoked me to verse. Similarly I have been inspired by the Beauty sitting opposite me at a table in a busy coffee shop. But all things considered, it is the sea in all its majesty which really stirs me. I feel the waters of the estuary sweep past me every night as I sleep in the barge. The water caresses the timbers of our bedroom and the scents of salt and weed and who knows what hang around us. Even deep in the city of Port Naain one can at times catch the taste of salt on your lips and hear the cry of the seabirds wheeling overhead.

My travels brought me at last to the coast. Where the mountains meet the sea you find Sweethaven. Apparently it was named because here there was both a stream of good water and a steeply shelving beach so that boats could come in to take advantage of it.
Now it’s a thriving fishing village which must have three or four hundred inhabitants. They live in sturdy stone-built houses with slate roofs and live by fishing and farming. Sweethaven even has a sea wall that stretches out like a protecting arm to give shelter to the harbour from the worst of the storms.

I arrived one evening and found my way to the only inn, the Fish Salter’s Arms. I slid a few coins across the table and purchased a glass of reasonable ale and a bowl of fish stew and a couple of rounds of bread. In casual conversation with men standing at the bar they asked my trade.

“I’m a poet.”

This was greeted with silence, then one of them said, in what I felt was a speculative tone, “So you’ll be able to read and write then?”

Now I realise there are oral poets who work entirely from memory but they are not a common phenomena in civilised parts, so I answered, “Certainly.”

“So you can do it quite well then?”

Here I felt that confidence was called for, “Absolutely.”

“It’s just our school mistress is ill and we could do with somebody to cover for her for a few weeks.”

Now I’m not a pedagogue. But I was a long way from home, could do with a few regular meals and a snug bed and was willing to be flexible.

“Well I’m available, but I’d like to know the terms and conditions first.”

Eventually we agreed that I would have my meals in the Fish Salter’s Arms, a bed would be made up for me in the small stockroom next to the school room, and, after much haggling, they’d pay me a vintenar a day. This latter was a pittance but they made a strong case by pointing out they were already paying for one school teacher who was lying sick in bed and couldn’t really afford to pay for two.

I agreed to the terms, the assembled company clustered round to shake my hand and several glasses of beer appeared on the bar for me. Then the assembled company disappeared to their own homes to tell their harassed wives that they’d got a new teacher.

Next morning, early, I dropped in to see the school teacher, one Dame Esbeth. She sat next to her fire, wrapped in blankets, coughing and shivering. Still she gave me a rough idea of how her charges were getting on. With that I left her and plunged into the fray.

I was lucky, it was a fine day. This meant that the older class were far too busy to attend school. They were either out on the boats or collecting salt for salting the day’s catch. This meant I had chance to get to know the younger class, a score of children aged between six and perhaps twelve. Firstly I heard everybody read. That gave me a baseline. I then decided to see how many could write. Chalk screeched on slate as they all laboriously copied what I’d written on the board. This done I could see that Dame Esbeth had mastered the basics with them and I decided to just keep them practicing.

There were problems. One was that they keep referring to me as Dame Steelyard. The idea that a male could become a teacher was so beyond their comprehension that they instinctively fell back on the comforting assumption that I was actually a lady.

The other was parental attitude. One mother, a cobbler, sent her daughter in with a last and some leather to work. The girl was supposed to do this whilst doing whatever else school involved. I gathered the other children round and let her show them what she was doing. As a group we explored the whole subject and some of them also had a try. I’m not entirely sure what the girl told her mother when she got home, but mother never tried that trick again. I think she was a little fearful that she’d end up with a village full of people perfectly capable of doing their own cobbling.

It was one wet evening as I sat over my meal in the Fish Salter’s Arms that somebody came in and said that the harbour light had gone out. Various worthies were summoned, the main bar acting as a village meeting house, and it was discovered that Old Joaggy, who had one leg and a liking for strong drink, had forgotten to fill the oil reservoir. The problem was that night was falling, the weather was rough, and all of the village boats, containing virtually all the men and quite a few of the women, were out at sea. They would doubtless be heading home as we spoke. Without the light to guide them, they could be in trouble.

Now because of my time in Port Naain, and working with Shore-combers and suchlike, I was used to harbour-side lights. I mentioned that I didn’t mind going out along the wall to fill it up and get it relighted.

I was given a heavy seaman’s woollen pullover. It comes down to your knees, is belted at the waist, and has so much lanolin left in the wool that it’s virtually waterproof. I was then given a small firepot which I hugged close to my chest. I was informed that there was oil in a barrel near the light. I left the bar and walked straight into the teeth of what I would have regarded as a gale; the waves were breaking over the harbour wall.

I made my way to the shoreward end of the harbour wall and looked along it. There was no rail, the top was absolutely flat and level. Apparently they had not bothered trying to fix a railing because any rail would just be torn off in the next storm. So I asked them to tie a rope around my waist with the other end held by my accomplices, half a dozen sturdy ladies.

So equipped I set off across the harbour wall. As I walked I tried to get a feel for the rhythm of the waves breaking across it. I stepped forward more quickly to try and avoid being struck, but the top was smooth and slimy, so I fell flat on my back and the wave rolled me off the wall and into the harbour. My stalwart band pulled me out. I collected another firepot and had a second go. This time I decided I’d mastered it. I waited until a wave had broken, and then started running. Because I was keeping a steady pace and watching where I put my feet I didn’t slip, but the next wave still caught me in the middle of the wall and pushed me off into the harbour again.

For my third attempt I decide that I would try another approach. I got them to put the third firepot inside a barrel. This I tied to me, and on hands and knees I scurried along the harbour wall. When a wave hit I lay flat and let the water just wash over me. I got across but barely. Twice I hung on to the top by jamming my fingers and toes into the gaps between the stones.

When I reached the end I stood up in the lee of the low tower. I opened the door and tied the rope to the handle. Then I surveyed the inside of the tower. It’s perhaps four times the height of a man with a spiral stair running up the middle. At the bottom was a barrel of oil and a jug. I filled the jug and carried it up to the lantern that was set just below the roof. I poured my oil into the reservoir and then set too to trim the wicks and get everything ready. As oil soaked up the wick I made several more journeys with the jug. How one legged Old Joaggy managed this I don’t know. No wonder he had a liking for strong drink.

Finally the reservoir full, I lit the wicks from the firepot. I carefully adjusted them, made sure the mirrors were aligned to collect the light and reflect it out of the window. By this time I had warmed up a little, and had even started to dry out. I spent a further half hour just warming myself and making sure everything was going well. Then with the casual insouciance of the hero, I left the tower closing the door behind me. I started to swagger my way along the harbour wall, when a wave hit me and washed me clean off the wall into the harbour. Without the rope I had to swim for the shore unassisted but made it.
To be fair the good folk of Sweethaven were most generous. Dame Esbeth had made a good recovery and was perfectly capable of taking her place once more in the classroom. I took her place by the fire, wrapped in blankets, coughing and shivering.

 

At this point it seems pertinent to mention that the story of Tallis’s escapades continues on other blogs. They will be reblogged in what may one day be accepted by biographers as the chronologically correct order on his own blog. Thus and so you can easily follow his gripping adventures.

Also, as an aside, the reason for this whole performance, (aside for being ‘Art’ with a capital ‘A’) is that another volume of his anecdotes has been published. Containing some work that has never appeared on the blog, this is ;

Tallis Steelyard. The Monster of Bell-Wether Gardens and other stories.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steelyard-Monster-Bell-Wether-Gardens-stories-ebook/dp/B075DG5JJ6/

 

https://www.amazon.com/Steelyard-Monster-Bell-Wether-Gardens-stories-ebook/dp/B075DG5JJ6/

 

 

 

The Lost Sentinel Blog Tour: Dark & Thrilling #Fantasy Novel #Book Review @rogersonsm

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Silent Sea Chronicles   The Lost Sentinel – Book 1

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel. With the Kalayan people turning their back on magic, can Tei help the exiles find their new Sentinel before it’s too late?

Kalaya is controlled by the Assembly – set up to govern but now under the control of Rathnor, who is intent on persecuting those who have magic, many of whom have taken refuge in the Turrak Mountains.

Tei has been raised to hide her magic, until her father, Migil, is visited by an old friend who warns them that they must seek refuge in the mountains.

On the journey, an enemy attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He sees her into the care of two exiles, Rike and Garrick, and makes a shocking confession that changes Tei’s life.

Tei must put her trust in these strangers, especially when mysterious Masked Riders seem determined to stop her reaching Turrak.

Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles in their search for their lost Sentinel. But the Masked Riders want the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Can Tei help the exiles save the island magic and reunite the Kalayan people before their ignorance destroys them all?

Available at Amazon The Lost Sentinel

Our Review

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its guardian, the Sentinel. This is caused by the ruling Assembly with their determination to rid Kalaya of magic and the people who practice it, thereby giving them total control of the island and its inhabitants. The people go along with this, for they are starving and believe that magic is the cause.

As the people turn their backs on magic and the people who use it, Tia is forced to flee to the Turrak mountains with her father to join the other exiled inhabitants.  Shades of Game of Thrones here, as the leaders of Kalaya battle to be victorious against the Exiles.

I began to despair of Tia’s future, convinced that she was the lost sentinel. This was enforced by the conversations she has with the dying sentinel. But when the dying Sentinel declares Tia as the ‘confidante’ to the next Sentinel, I hoped he was wrong.

I knew this book to be the first in a series but was unprepared for such a cliff-hanger at the end. The people of Kalaya had a new sentinel, but it wasn’t Tei after all. Their new world was a mess with more disasters looming.

There are several villains in this story, and I was hard pushed to say who was the worst. I have the feeling it will turn out to be Rathnor, as his motives are the strongest.

Although I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a little more magic in this story, it was a frustrating and exciting beginning to what promises to be an extraordinary series.

Spoiler Alert about Tei…  but I have a feeling about her!

 

new blog tour schedule

Suzanne Rogerson  Author Profile

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Social Media links

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