The best-laid plans and all that, always seem to backfire when it’s me who makes them.
Doesn’t matter what it is, something will always get in the way. My best days are those when I don’t plan anything, almost as though I must keep it a secret from myself.
I have lost track of how many good writing days just happened.
This works for everything. If I plan to cut the grass, the heavens will open, and it will rain all day. Some of my unplanned days turn out to be amazing, far beyond my expectations.
As you can imagine, this state of affairs plays havoc with my progress, something I have trouble accepting. I mean, who is in charge around here?
I love it when it happens with writing. I can be in the middle of the daily chores, and emails when I get this overwhelming desire to pick up a pen and write something that has popped into my head.
I welcome these moments, even when they happen first thing in the morning when I only have one eye open. I suppose this could be what happens to rebels when they get old, if it is, it’s the only part of growing old I approve of!
I often wonder if I need more discipline, although saying the word puts my teeth on edge.
It would increase my book production though…
Another reminder of Bookfunnel’s latest promotion!
It’s official, I hate computers. The laptop is one of those touch screen ones, and apparently, I have the wrong kind of finger. And it’s not just the one, I have tried them all. The slightest touch has things flying about all over the place, and then there are those times when I can stab at the screen like a maniac and absolutely nothing happens.
The demon that inhabited the main computer that has now gone to the PC heaven in the sky seems to have moved into the laptop, doing all kinds of things that are out of my control. If anything finally kills my dream of being reasonably successful, it will be a computer. My ageing brain seems no longer capable of the kind of mindless patience (or insane tolerance) that is needed to use them.
I am convinced they are here to drive us all insane, starting with me. And as for using it in the garden, which was the plan, no such luck!
I thought this would be such a brilliant idea, combining two of the things I love most in this world, writing, and gardening, but when I tried, the screen faded so badly, I couldn’t see a thing!
Just when I thought life couldn’t get any worse…
It has occurred to me that it is quite possible, or more than probable, that the weird things my PC has been doing of late, might mean something is dying inside that metal box. And if I am right, this could mean it will give up the ghost when most inconvenient. With this thought firmly lodged in my (by now worrying itself into a coma) brain, I toddled off to Amazon to see how much a replacement would cost. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I can get a refurbished laptop for literally peanuts.
Panic over, I could handle it, whenever ‘it’ decided to reveal itself.
Now if I could just get my head around all these new improvements that are taking place at the sites I use, there might be a danger of progress being made around here…
Once more with feeling…
For some reason, the muse has wandered off again. I haven’t added to the word count on WIP or written anything new for a while. I get these blank moments that I’m trying not to equate to old age. It crossed my mind that whatever is wrong with the PC might just be contagious, as I also get periods of quiet in my head, a bit like being becalmed at sea in a boat.
Not that I mind any of this weirdness, as it sure makes a change from depression…
We are happy to announce our participation in Load Your Kindle for May! a brand new Book Funnel promotion for the month of May.
Loads of FREE books in General Fiction, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy, including my own mystery thriller, CrossFire…
Every decision has consequences, and logic gets you every time.
France Leighton is studying Egyptology at Miskatonic University, hoping to return to Egypt via a field school offered by that institution. But France has a talent for rash decisions, and things are complicated by the arrival of her twin half-brothers from England. Edward and Peter are contrasts—one a rational scientist, the other a dabbler in the occult—but they are equally capable of persuading France to help them with dubious schemes.
France does return to Egypt, if not quite the way she intended. She encounters old friends and new enemies, and challenges rooted in her previous adventures and her family’s complicated history. Accusations of antiquities theft drive France and her companions into hiding in the Theban Hills west of Luxor. An attack from the unknown turns an adventure into a desperate predicament. On the brink of yet another failure, France must make hard choices that may demand the ultimate sacrifice.
I loved the Egyptian theme of this book, interesting right from the first sentence, the perfect sequel to She Who Comes Forth. Despite being slightly longer than I am used to, I enjoyed the story very much. This story was perfectly plotted, with no plot holes or thin parts, believable, and with a strong cinematic quality.
France Leighton makes an impressive leading lady, considering the unusual life she leads. Obsessed with Egypt and its mysteries but without the necessary knowledge, France manages to find work at an archaeological dig site, sorting stones. A menial job, but she loves every minute.
She Who Returns is an easy read yet complicated tale, full of mysterious goings-on and delightful magical touches. Once I figured out exactly what shabtis were, I thought this element was one of the best parts of this story. Intrigue made real and plausible.
I found the ending a little sad, but I have the feeling there might be more in the pipeline, as I would love to read more about France and her Egyptian forays.
Audrey Driscoll grew up reading books and became interested in making stories. As a child, she made her friends act out little dramas based on Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, her favourite at the time.
After establishing a career as a librarian – first at the University of Saskatchewan and then at the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia – a meaningful encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s character Herbert West turned Audrey into a writer.
The result was The Friendship of Mortals and three more novels, which became the Herbert West Series. Two other novels followed, as well as a collection of short stories.
When she isn’t juggling words, Audrey Driscoll negotiates with plants in her garden, which is located in Victoria, British Columbia.
I loved reading Audrey Driscoll’s She Who Returns! I have always been fascinated by all things Egyptian, and thoroughly enjoyed following France Leighton as she explored that fabulous country.
Turned out to be one of the best and most interesting history lessons!
“Journey 13, The Harbor” is the penultimate installment of the epic fantasy series “Dead of Winter.” Action abounds as many threads are drawn together. Arawn has amassed overwhelming legions of the dead. Another unexpected but powerful foe comes into the battle. All of Emlyn’s companions and friends are in grave danger as they face insurmountable odds. Two goddesses could even the odds, but gods and goddesses are known to be unreliable. Will they help? . Meanwhile the goal of the Society of Deae Matres is to re-create the Binding to again trap Arawn and any other nightwalkers in the Realm of the Dead. Yet, what about Boabhan and Lucetius? Boabhan is at least half nightwalker. Lucetius, her son, was conceived when Arawn violated her while attempting to turn her. Will they be trapped in a new Binding along with their worst enemy? This is revealed in Journey 13.
The penultimate instalment… the story of the Dead of Winter is nearly complete!
This is where the threads of this story get rather complicated and intense…
So many elements are gathering for the final showdown
The odds seem uneven, what with Arawn drawing the Legions of the Dead to his bidding. Surely, he must win with such an army at his disposal?
Away from the battle, Emlyn seems safe. But as she is an integral part of winning or losing, maybe she isn’t safe at all.
I worry that the Goddess Deae Matres will prove unreliable.
Is the Goddess trying to steal power from Emlyn and Lucetius for her own purpose? Emlyn seems worried too and that cannot be a good sign, although I do trust her to see the truth.
The new face in this journey is the small but mighty Goddess Coventina. She has arrived to exact revenge on Arawn but her alliance is not clear.
Could she do more harm than good?
An enchanting, yet frustrating episode, despite the upcoming battle.
Will they be able to make The Binding hold this time, and keep Arawn and the Nightwalkers in the Realm of the Dead?
Such a cliff-hanger at the end of this chapter, priming us for the final episode?
Number One New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her nineteenth riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and the reason the dead man had her phone number.
It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her. An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions. To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue. With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth. But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes …
Temperance Brennan is back, but not in the pink if you know what I mean.
In this story, she has all kinds of problems, most she doesn’t have a dog’s chance of overcoming.
But you just know she will find the way.
This is the first story by Kathy Reichs I have read, but I have long been a fan of the popular tv series based on these books. It has been a real eye-opener to meet the real character.
She may not be the person I thought I knew, but she is someone I recognise. The same attention to detail and overwhelming need to know the truth.
It took me a while to accustom myself to this totally different Bones compared to the one I have been watching for years, but my first impression was favourable. The Bones in this book is a sensible, technically minded, deep thinking woman, one with a shocking sense of humour and the ability to swear like a trooper. Definitely, my kind of role model!
In A Conspiracy of Bones, Temperance is exhausted and confused, trying to come to terms with losing her job and her recent life-threatening brain trauma. She becomes involved in a nasty and mysterious crime through anonymous images and messages sent to her phone.
Written in the first person, I could feel the alienation with her circumstances, and be inside her head to know how her brain works. Frustrated with being incapacitated and unemployed, she desperately wants to discredit the one person who conspired to steal her job. Trying to solve a case long-distance tries her weakened capabilities to their limit, but fascinating to watch.
I loved the scene where she finally managed to fall asleep while looking at a tiny statue of Ganesh. I wondered if she was praying for him to solve some of her problems…
Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan novels include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection. In addition, Kathy co-authors the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, Exposure, and Terminal along with two Virals e-novellas, Shift and Swipe. These books follow the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan. Dr. Reichs is also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.
From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.
I was born in England on a crisp autumn eve in 1958, emigrated to Australia at the tender age of two, and moved to Canada in 2004 where I married the love of my life. I left school when I was fourteen, and thereafter continued my education via libraries, books, and whatever Life decided to throw my way.
I was born in England, grew up in Australia, moved to Canada in 2004 and married the love of my life the same year. I’m a lesbian, a writer of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Fiction.
I’ve tried many things in my time on this little planet we call Earth, and I’m sure that before I leave this mortal coil I shall joust with many others.
I’ve ridden a bicycle down a hill so steep all I could do was hold on and scream with sheer exhilaration. (and terror) I’ve sweated under a burning sun to plant seedlings in dusty fields. I have a long-standing relationship with sewing machines, starting with an old Singer treadle machine when I was barely tall enough to reach the pedal. Once upon a time I went to university and studied Architecture … it didn’t take. I had a dream of athletic superstardom, but a motorcycle accident stopped that rather abruptly.
Above all, writing is my passion and my profession, novels specifically, short stories occasionally, and always with lesbian characters.
I adopted ‘Widdershins’ as a pseudonym in the early days of the interwebz, and it stuck … because I am, if nothing else, contrariwise.
The minute I started reading The Last Dragon and realised I was travelling on a train with someone called Mildred Norman, or Mildy as she preferred to be called, I felt at home. I love trains almost as much as I love dragons, so had the feeling I was in good company.
For several precious hours, the world outside my door went away and for the first time in a very long time, I remembered dragons again. All in the company of some lovely and very real people.
This story gives a totally new and interesting way of thinking about dragons, but personally, I have always believed they exist, somehow, somewhere.
Romantic, exciting, magical and intriguing, this story will delight you, as you suspend any doubts you may have had about magic and dragons.
Meet a new character in this Journey of Dead of Winter. She is a Deae Matres whose encounter with Gethin Gwilym has an unexpected result. Next in Pergesca, we get better acquainted with a noblewoman or “HaDritak,” who is an old friend of Zasha. She has a few tricks up her sleeves. . Emlyn sees and experiences places, customs, and foods that are foreign to her. One of her gifts is growing. . As the conclusion of Emlyn’s “Journeys” draws near, we see that our heroes are underdogs. They are out-manned, “out-spirited,” and under-powered — physically, magically, and politically. With no other recourse, they make use of deception and manipulation. Although, how can that possibly be enough?
You tend to forget that Emlyn is so young and that this complicated and confusing journey must have terrified her at times.
So far, she has managed to face every crisis head-on, calmly, with a wisdom far beyond her years. Secret inner knowledge has guided her every step of the way.
A knowledge that I sincerely hope will stay with her until the end of the story, as I have a feeling it will become far more powerful as it draws to a close.
Powerful in ways only Emlyn will be able to control, and I hope she finds peace and happiness when the dust finally settles…
Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.
Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.
The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.
Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.
It was the title of this book that attracted me, mainly because when it comes to luck, it always seems to run out when it gets to be my turn! I am ever searching for a HEA, so I thought it would make a change to read about someone else’s misadventures and I am really glad I did!
No Such Luck is the first of the new Keystone Couples Series, beautifully written and totally romantic and if all the stories that follow are like this one, they should do very well!
This extraordinary story is my book of choice this week. (and I’m loving every minute!)
Norman Wicks is 57, overweight, and has diabetes. He is sick of his life. He has never left home, had a girlfriend, or held down any kind of job. The only friends he has are online, as he prefers to stay in the comfort zone of his bedroom. His devoted 92 year old mother Agnes waits on him hand and foot.
Norman has a secret he has kept hidden from the world for the majority of his life, but now he is desperate to bring it out into the open. He is terrified of how his family will react. However, for his own happiness and peace of mind, Norman must find a way to tell his mother and siblings exactly what they do not want to hear.
HIS LADYSHIP reached the finals and the Longlist of the 2021 Page Turner Awards.
Stevie Turner is a British author of romantic suspense, humour, paranormal stories, and women’s fiction family dramas. She is a cancer survivor, and still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. Those two boys have now grown, and she and Sam have 5 lovely grandchildren.
One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from De Coder Media, an independent film production company based in New York. ‘Finding David’ reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition. https://writers.coverfly.com/profile/writer-d3b3affc7-6104#accolades
To quote reader Roberta Baden-Powell, ‘I’m looking forward to reading your new book, and find your books the best so far. The style you write in has given me a new perspective and a renewed inspiration in reading once again.’
Stevie can be contacted at the following email address: email@example.com
Review to follow…
Worry is a terrible thing, it steals the quality of life from right under your nose, reducing your world into a place of doom and gloom. We have been sitting on a massive worry these past six months and have refused to start the new year until we had good news.
I have desperately tried to keep everything normal, finish my WIP and keep the website going, but have to admit it was a poor imitation of the real thing, and I apologise for that.
I have not been sharing much of this with our friends and followers and this may seem strange after all your incredible support when Anita had that massive heart attack in 2020. Your love and good wishes pulled us through that terrible time, but when disaster struck again last year, it seemed far more serious, and we really felt that talking about it might make it worse.
Anita’s heart is still severely damaged, and despite having two stents and a pacemaker fitted, it only barely functions. When a series of lumps started to appear around her neck last year, the alarm bells started ringing again.
Because of the raging virus and all the hospital delays, it took months to have the lumps investigated. The consultant mentioned cancer and after deliberation, they finally decided to remove part of her thyroid. Surgery was a problem as they didn’t think her heart was strong enough, but they said that delaying it was not an option.
A nightmare time for all the family, especially Anita for she can’t abide hospitals at the best of times. My sister has never been ill and to be struck down by two life threatening illnesses almost at the same time seems very unfair. She made it through the surgery without incident, but we had to wait two agonising weeks to get the results of the tests.
By this time, we were all terrified and sick with worry, dreading the news.
The day of the appointment, I felt sick to my stomach but somehow kept a smile on my face. I think I held my breath when she was called into the consultants office, but five minutes later the door opened and she rushed out of the room, a massive smile on her face. We watched in amazement as she ran out of the ENT department to a standing ovation from the nurses.
By this time, we knew the news must be good, but I wanted to know how good. Just before we all reached the lifts, I caught her arm and made her stop walking. ‘Well,’, I said and waited.
She stood there and laughed at me, and I didn’t think she was going to say anything.
‘THERE IS NO CANCER,’ she shouted.
All the way home in the car, she kept saying those words, and her relief was wonderful to see. Despite the odds, her poor old ticker had survived the surgery and she was cancer free.
But four days later, we had to rush back to the hospital, as Anita was having trouble breathing. She is now back home, but it seems that worrying isn’t going anywhere after all.
She is looking better, although still very weak and breathless much of the time. The list of her medications grows ever longer, but … and you may have noticed this, none of what happened has stopped her writing her poetry.
Now all I have to do, is get my own head back together!
Young Annie’s life was perfect until she uncovers a nasty family secret, something her parents have been doing for years.
Now she knows about it, she cannot continue to live like this, but her protests fall on deaf ears.
How can she hope to change what has become a way of life for her family?
Her struggle to change everything only makes her life so much worse, forcing her to try to escape, but how far must she run to escape the truth?
Can Annie make a new life for herself, or will they hunt her down and bring her back?
Bad Moon is narrated in the first person by Annie, a young girl who lives happily with her family: mother (Ruby), father (Jed), and older brother (Nathan). She adores her father, although her mother’s behaviour is far from exemplary (she regularly invites other men to her home and that results in incidents with her husband, who takes it out on the men and seem remarkably tolerant of his wife’s behaviour). At first, Annie is worried that she might end up becoming a woman like her mother when she grows up and thinks it is all due to her mother’s family (her father says that her mother was born under a ‘bad moon’ and she comes from ‘the Hills’ where people seem to have their own morality and rules of behaviour). The inhabitants of the Hills seem to be a directly related to those of The Hills Have Eyes or the banjo players in Deliverance. What Annie doesn’t know is that things are worse than she ever could imagine. She has lived all her life in a world of lies and secrets. She is convinced she must learn the truth to avoid history repeating itself and is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve that. The costs are high indeed.
Annie does not have much formal schooling (she decides to leave school when she realises things aren’t as they should) but she is extremely articulate, and some of the descriptions of the landscape surrounding her home, of her experiences and dreams, her mystical feelings on visiting the caves previously inhabited by a Native-American tribe, and her reflections are beautiful and lyrical. We might disagree with some of her decisions but it is difficult not to admire her determination. She never tries to be liked or makes excuses for her own behaviour (she might blame others at times, but despite not being a believer or having much in the way of role models, she does question her actions and tries to make things better), and she is neither all good nor all bad. It’s a testimony to the skill of the author that although Annie’s head is not a pleasant place to be in, we can’t help but wish she’ll succeed and live to see another day.
I couldn’t worry about Ma now and we sat quiet for a while, watching the birds settle for the night. The sun going down laid a blanket of red across the field, like the blood of generations being pulled back from the earth. As if they were trying to remind us they were still there and trying to tell us something. As the sun continued its journey down for the night, the blood colour shrank across the field, as if it were trying to catch up with the setting sun before the moon could touch it with its silvery fingers.
I’d walked across the field many times when it was bathed in that red glow and the feeling of belonging was stronger then, but to what? I still couldn’t figure it out as the feeling didn’t last long enough. I’d talked to Ma about it and all she said was, ‘Some folks never find the place they belong, but you keep looking, Annie, for you just might.’ She said it in a way that made me feel it was real important to keep looking.
I got to thinking that no one really knows what they’re talking about for they never finish what they’re saying. About halfway through they go all dreamy looking like they’re remembering something, but they don’t know what it is anymore.
A soft wind came up, carrying a chill around its outsides, the way it does when the middle’s still warm. Nathan put his shirt on, saying he was going for a walk. That was something he’d taken to doing more and more often and I knew he wanted to be by himself. I still had the candy bar in my hand, and I put it in my pocket before going inside. Not that I thought Ma would take it, I just didn’t want her to know that Nathan had given it to me. Should she ask, I could lie but Ma had a way of knowing a lie when she heard it.
I wasn’t sure why I didn’t want her to know, maybe it was because she was acting funny and like Nathan said, there aint no telling what she’s gonna do next. But maybe it was something to do with Nathan; he had given me something more than just a candy bar. I got the feeling we could be close again, but he didn’t want Ma to know about it.
Ma didn’t put meat out for supper, just bread rolls and cheese and the pickle that Ma made herself. I didn’t feel much like eating, but breakfast could be a long time coming if you got real hungry. I sat at the table, picking at it until Ma said food weren’t for playing with. I heard what she said, but my mind was on the caves and the way Nathan spoke about them. I couldn’t wait for sunup…
If I have timed this right, Bad Moon should be available for just 99p!