She Who Returns ~ Audrey Driscoll ~ #Travel Adventure Fiction ~ #Sequel ~#Review

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.

Our Review

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

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!

Jaye Marie

The Pompey Bookshop… #shortstory #Fiction

The Pompey Bookshop   

“I love the smell of this old place, don’t you, Fred?”

“Yer, it smells of death, all that paper and the old trees whispering. You found anything good to read yet?”

“Not so far. Quiet, here comes one now. I wonder what she’s looking for. Watch out, she’s coming your way, to the esoteric stuff. She’s looking for a little magic…”

“Let’s give her some then, drop a book on her.”

“I can’t do that, Fred. It might hurt her, besides, she’s troubled. Can’t you see the sadness in her eyes? Can’t you feel it?”

“Yer, yer. I thought we could have a bit of fun for a change.”

“Trouble with you Fred, you are a good ghost. You don’t hear too much about good spooks these days. Maybe we can help her out. One of these old trees might be of use. This one for instance, How to Find your Own Bliss.”

“Go ahead then Jim. Poke it out, your best at that, but don’t be too heavy-handed. Don’t want it dropping on her head, remember?”

Jim did his best and the book moved slowly, sticking out about two inches, but the woman didn’t notice it had moved.

“Damn…” Jim said.

“Now what?”

“If I push any harder, it’s going to fall…”

“Let me help, I’ll play with her hair to make her look up. You push.”

Alice touched the top of her head. Must be her nerves, she thought, it felt like fingers playing with her hair.

Jim pushed, and the book fell at her feet. Picking it up, Alice read the blurb on the back and decided to take it. She continued her search, her fingers brushing against the spines, the pages inside rippling at her touch.

“You can stop playing with her hair now, Fred. You’re messing with the pages. They’re getting all excited, thinking they might be read. They don’t know how lucky they are. Luck, maybe that’s what she needs. After all, that’s what this Bookshop is all about, helping people find what they need.”

“Good idea. No pushing this time. Look, she’s still stroking the spines. She’s coming up to the one with the green spine, that one will make her hand tingle…”

“Which one are you on about, Fred?”

“That one, Luck Made Easy. It’s a big book, so will need both of us.”

“Ready? Now…”

 Alice snatched her hand away from the book, her hand stinging.

“Now see what you’ve done. You’ve come on too strong…”

 “She might not be brave enough to touch it again. She must believe in stuff like this, or she wouldn’t be here. Make it glow, Fred!”

“It’s almost closing time; Mr Pompey will be looking to see if the shop’s empty before lights out.”

The book had moved out of line just a bit and was glowing. Alice found some courage and pulled it out. She almost ran to the till.

“You’re our last customer of the day, Miss. Have a good evening.”

Alice’s thank you was barely a whisper as she made her way to the door.

“Good job done there, Fred…”

“Let’s hope so, Jim. I reckon she‘ll find just what she needs between them old leaves. “

 “Night, Fred…”

“See you come morning. Jim.”

The Bookshop didn’t sleep. The leaves between all the book covers were too busy whispering their stories to each other all night…

©AnitaDawes2018

Jaye’s Week…

This year, we are determined to put our writing house in order and try to do something new and vastly different.

Advertise!

We haven’t done this before, mainly because we couldn’t afford to, plus the not so small matter of not understanding the best way to do it.

But I have been reading up on the various ways of advertising, beginning with Amazon. Along the way, we have discovered so many things that should be in place before we even think of advertising!

  • Book covers must be brilliant and look professional.
  • Blurbs must be brilliant too, carefully worded to grab potential readers attention.
  • Content must be edited to within an inch of its life, and you need more than a working knowledge of keywords.
  • All books must be thoroughly and expertly edited!

I checked all our covers last week, and at least two need an upgrade. Bet you can guess which ones!

If you can’t afford to have your covers made by an expert, it can be challenging to come up with a keeper, but I am determined to try.

Blurbs have always been anathema for me, I try my best but cannot come up with anything I am happy with. At this rate, we will never get around to advertising!

I am determined to re-edit all our books and have enlisted the paid version of Grammarly for the job. Worth every penny, by the way, it finds all the errors in an efficient and friendly manner. I am always shocked to discover just how many!

All of this means I am neglecting the current WIP, but determination is calling the shots, and Anita is stepping up with posts of her own. Follow up posts will be posted on our progress and as many of the delights of advertising/marketing that I manage to discover!

Of course, we welcome any helpful comments on this subject…

Found these gorgeous flowers tucked away in a corner of our jungle!

#MLMM Wordle #229 #Poetry

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

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!

Books take us on strange journeys
One minute, a sunny teenager
Next, we flee danger, seek shelter
Get a grip, turn the page
Dress for the next chapter
Round each new corner, surprises wait
Demons, ghosts, colour blinding moments
Wild animal chasing, you have become the hunted
Breach the empty space in front of you
Enter the new stellar universe
Stas so many you cannot count
Do you stay among the stars, or find your way home
Will you wake with the open book on your lap?
Did you read your journey, or dream it?

© Anita Dawes 2021

#Tuesday Book Blog: Networking for Writers by @Lizzie_Chantree

Networking for writers: A fun way to sell more books.

Networking for writers: A fun way to sell more books. Kindle Edition

Are you swamped with book marketing and looking for a way to find new sales? Learn simple and effective networking techniques, to grow your readership and connect with other authors and book lovers, today!

Whether you are a new or an experienced writer, self-published or traditionally published, this book will show you how to grow your readership and author network, through some of the most powerful of all marketing tools – word of mouth and recommendation.  

This book will show you:

How networking can help you sell more books.
Why author branding is important.
How networking hours work.
Specific Facebook groups for writers
How to utilise social media to grow your readership.
How not to waste valuable writing time.
How to make our marketing more effective.

Throughout Networking for Writers, we will explore running or attending book signings, hosting seminars, finding a writing buddy or mentor, author networking groups, social media planning and so much more. 

Our Review

I have been an admirer of Lizzie Chantree for some time now, always impressed by her books and online personality.

An excellent writer (I have read several of her books) Networking for Writers shows how brilliantly she manages everything else.

Writers all over the world need to read how Lizzie achieves so much, seemingly without much effort, and manages to stay sane!

I thought I had learned a lot in my eight years of writing/blogging, but after reading this professionally written book there is so much I hadn’t thought of before and implementing them all has to make me a better and hopefully, successful writer.

I found many helpful tips in most of the chapters, but chapter 13 – Marketing made Simple – will be the most important one for me. I found so many things that I have ignored in the past, thinking them unimportant and quite a few I never heard of before.

Life is a balancing act, making sure we simplify our marketing plan to ensure we make time for writing and marketing!

Lizzie Chantree
Lizzie Chantree

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a trending networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree
https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.

New Release! Networking for Writers by @Lizzie_Chantree

Today we welcome Lizzie Chantree as she releases Networking for Writers, a book all about a fun way to sell more books. Something I definitely need to know more about!

Over to you, Lizzie…

Are you swamped with book marketing and looking for a way to find new sales? Learn simple and effective networking techniques, to grow your readership and connect with other authors and book lovers, today!

Whether you are a new or an experienced writer, self-published or traditionally published, this book will show you how to grow your readership and author network, through some of the most powerful of all marketing tools – word of mouth and recommendation.  

This book will show you:

How networking can help you sell more books.
Why author branding is important.
How networking hours work.
Specific Facebook groups for writers
How to utilise social media to grow your readership.
How not to waste valuable writing time.
How to make our marketing more effective.

Throughout Networking for Writers, we will explore running or attending book signings, hosting seminars, finding a writing buddy or mentor, author networking groups, social media planning and so much more. 

Book links: Lizzie Chantree.

Universal book buy link: Networking for writers: viewbook.at/NetworkingForWriters

Biography

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a trending networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree
https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.

Social media links:

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizzie-chantree-03006425/

Review to follow shortly!

#Throwback Thursday ~ As it Was in the Beginning…

Although I used to dream about writing when I was younger, life came along and made sure I forgot to remember this, always finding new ways to keep my mind from straying.

Even when my sister, Anita started to write and needed help with transcribing and editing her own stories, my own dreams stayed dormant, while life continued to throw some major curve balls.

I learned to love working on Anita’s stories, mainly to keep from drowning under such a lot of misery and frustration. Her characters and stories somehow gave me hope that everything would one day be better.

I needed a lot of patience at that time, and editing is an exceptionally good way of teaching this!

I’m not sure where the first idea came from, but I began to think about writing a story about a woman called Kate Devereau. Someone remarkably like me, as it happens.

I refused to admit it would be a memoir or in any way autobiographical. She just happened to have similar life experiences, that’s all.

After all, they do tell us to write what we know, and I knew Kate very well.

Looking back, I think Nine Lives had to be written so I could move on to a better life. One with more hope in it than I ever thought possible.

Although I have moved on since then, Kate has followed me and has remained a haunting heroine in my first three detective stories, Nine Lives, Out of Time, and CrossFire. My favourite detective, DI David Snow fell in love with her and she haunts him too.

But will Kate Devereau and David Snow ever have a happy ending?

Book Description

Death has been stalking Kate all her life, convincing her that she has nine lives, like a cat.
With nothing to live for, no family to speak of, just a brother she hates, she waits for death to take her away when her lives run out.
People around her are dying at the hands of a serial killer, so has Kate run out of lives?
Will she find a reason to live before it is too late?

“If you like the thriller genre that keeps up the momentum then Nine Lives would be a good read for you. The pace never falters, building up the plot and characters with timely intervention. The author cleverly keeps the story centred around the main character, with the other players coming into the story and yet there are no plot holes or false timings.” Amazon Reviewer

“The story is very mysterious and suspenseful, and I was left wondering if Kate would escape the murderer. The mysterious voice plays a big part in the story and the ending does a wonderful job of explaining the voice and it’s purpose in Kate’s life.” Amazon Reviewer

Better Late than Never!

All the indications are pointing towards a much better week for all of us, a little more freedom in the world and less problems for us to deal with, so feeling extremely optimistic.

Last week I really found myself rolling with the punches so often I lost track of everything. The truckload of family troubles had gathered momentum and what with worrying about Anita’s health, a large part of me wanted to just crawl into a dark cupboard and stay there.

The weekend was a game changer for most of our troubles. Fate obviously decided to play fair for once and with a bit of wangling, most of the bigger problems have faded away like a bad smell.

No news from the hospital yet about the MRI, but Anita seems to get a little stronger each day. She is really fed up with all the restrictions (and me being on her case!) I must be really careful not to overdo the nagging as she is a bit like a dodgy stick of dynamite! I mean, how do you stop someone worrying, when they were obviously born to worry?

The book tour for Anita’s new book, Annie’s Song began on Saturday. We will be posting all the websites involved every day to allow people to comment. This is the first time we have enlisted the help of Silver Dagger Tours, which has turned out to be more than lucky, for one way or another we didn’t get to do much promoting of Annie’s Song.

Best laid plans, eh?

With the dust barely settling, my mind is already wondering what to do next. I had some serious thoughts about the current WIP and might shelve it to make way for something different. Maybe something that has nothing to do with detectives?

We have been a bit lax with the newsletters this year, so must do better there too…

And finally, has anyone anything to say about STORY ORIGIN?

Sounds a bit like Book Funnel, but is it something we should be looking at?

Hoping this is a much better week for all our readers too!

Not With a Bang, but a Whimper… #MysteryFiction

Today is the day we chose to launch Annie’s Song, Anita’s latest powerfully moving story of Annie Steele and her family . It is now available on Amazon but somehow the launch just didn’t happen!

When we decided to do this, the virus was only a rumour, we were both well and confident about so many things.

How things can change in just a few months…

So, if you hear a mangled squeak in the blogosphere today, I’m afraid this is the long-awaited birth process of Annie’s Song.

We did, however, arrange a book tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours, which kicks off on 4th July, so we haven’t completely thrown the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. We will be linking with Silver Dagger during the tour and would really appreciate it if our readers could join in?

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/annies-song-tour-sign-ups

Book Description

Family or Freedom, which would you choose?

Life in the backwoods of Virginia at the turn of the century was perfect, until Annie discovers a nasty family secret.
Something her family have been doing for years.
She knows she cannot live like this but her protests fall on deaf ears.
Her struggle to change everything only makes her life so much worse. forcing her to try and escape…

Annie’s song echoes through the mountains,
her sorrow falls with every drop of rain.
Pieces of her heart lie scattered throughout the forest.

Will her footsteps lead her to the freedom she seeks?

We would really be grateful for any help…

Our Review for Wild Horses on the Salt by Anne Montgomery #Women’s Action & Adventure Fiction @amontgomery8

A woman flees an abusive husband and finds hope in the wilds of the Arizona desert.

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress but is enthralled by the splendour and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.
Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?


Our Review

This isn’t the first book by Anne Montgomery I have been lucky enough to read, so I already knew I would enjoy Wild Horses on the Salt.

The Scent of Rain on Amazon about a young girl’s life in a fundamentalist community literally had me gripped by the throat, so I was expecting a gentler read this time!

Brilliant opening chapter, full of questions that I had to know the answers to…
Becca has run away from a horrible situation, turning to a family friend in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. She was safe, but not happy. She didn’t belong there, had nothing to do and no plans for her future, if that was even possible.
The author’s brilliant world building soon had me relaxing and enjoying the desert, the wilderness with so many horses. This was the kind of story I knew I wouldn’t want to end.
I loved the delightful chapters voiced by the horses, and although I was enjoying this beautifully written story, I knew trouble was brewing, simply biding its time. When it finally arrived, I wondered if Becca would manage to find a way to be free, once and for all…

I recommend Wild Horses on the Salt to readers of great fiction!

You can find more information about
Anne Montgomery and her novels at the following sites:

https://www.facebook.com/anne.montgomery.359

annemontgomeryauthor (@amontgomery8) | Twitter

https://amazon.com/author/annebutlermontgomery

https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-montgomery-1b995b23/

www.goodreads.com/author/show/14081564.Anne_Montgomery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Montgomery

annemontgomeryauthor@gmail.com


Excerpt from Wild Horses on the Salt…

Becca curled into a ball beneath the soft cotton sheets and the horse-adorned bedspread. She didn’t want to move, but then her stomach growled. How long had it been since she’d eaten?
She stretched, and her assorted injuries made her wince. She crawled from beneath the bedding, holding her side, surprised to see that she had fallen asleep in her clothes. Becca eyed the small garment bag that rested unopened on a chair in the corner. She needed to brush her teeth. She eased herself slowly off the bed. The bruises on her hip and shoulder were still fresh and achy. Becca didn’t glance in the mirror as she crossed the room. She’d had a black eye before. Understood the rainbow transformation that would render the area purple, green, then a sickly yellow-brown before the wound would finally disappear from her skin, but not from her soul.
Becca ran her fingers through her hair, then opened the door.

“Hello, Becca.” Gabriella Strand was tall with streaks of gray in her dark hair that was cut short and looped behind her ears. She wore teardrop-shaped turquoise earrings set in silver, a black sweatshirt that boasted a herd of galloping horses, black jeans, and a pair of worn black cowboy boots.
If the woman standing before her was surprised by her appearance, she didn’t show it. Becca turned her bruised eye away. “Ms. Strand.”
Gabriella laughed. “Oh, honey, no one has called me Ms. Strand in a very long time. It’s Gaby. Didn’t your aunt tell you?”

“Yes. I’m sorry. She did…Gaby.”

“No need to be sorry. Now, let’s get you something to eat.”

Later, Becca stared at the empty plate before her. She’d devoured the ham, egg, and cheese scramble, four pieces of thick smoked bacon, a stack of fluffy pancakes smothered in real maple syrup, and a large pot of hot black tea.
Gaby sat and wrapped her large hands around a mug of strong coffee. The older woman gazed at Becca with dark eyes, her face etched with fine lines that indicated a lifetime spent outdoors in the Arizona sun.
Becca didn’t know what to say to this woman who she knew only through stories told by her Aunt Ruthie. The two women had been college roommates, both history majors at Northern Arizona University. After graduation, a continent had come between them, with Ruthie moving back to New Jersey and Gaby remaining in her home state. But the two women never lost contact, had often visited over the years. When it became clear that Becca needed to leave, her aunt had insisted she would be safe with Gaby.

“You don’t have to say anything.” Gaby smiled. “I left some towels in your room. You can shower or take a bath, if you’d like. Then, rest. We’ll talk later.”
All Becca could do was nod.