My thanks to author Sloane Taylor for having me on her blog this week.
When it comes to seeing in the new year and summing up the old one, I’m lagging behind the rest of my author pals. I had to work at one of my day jobs over the festive period and have been battling a virus for ten days so my heart hasn’t been in it.
I’m feeling brighter today and, while I always wish I’d done more with each year that passes, if I am honest 2018 did see a certain level of achievement that should spur me on to greater things in 2019.
In my capacity as The Wordsmith I gained some interesting new clients and proofread and edited diverse pieces of text, among them a dissertation on ICU patient care for a nurse and a horror story for a budding author. I did a number of CVs and covering letters and was also asked to write two poems to help in the marketing of a kitchen appliance!
While the business of keeping a roof over my head took up most of my time and energy, I still had some small success as a published author. My non-fiction novella Being Krystyna-A Story of Survival in WWII received many superb reviews on Amazon and was also featured in a talk given at the Houses of Parliament by a professor of human migration.
In November, Gateway to Elvendom, book two of my fantasy trilogy The Elwardain Chronicles, was published by Burning Willow Press and in December their charity anthology Crossroads in the Dark IV featured my short story Ghosts in the Machine.
On a personal level, I joined the Labour Party and committed myself to the socialist cause and to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, who I hope will be the next UK Prime Minister.
One of the best things I did in 2018 was to join the writing community on Twitter. It’s not just an opportunity to gain more followers but to engage with like-minded people and to share tips and information that will benefit all of us involved in the writing and publishing industry.
I finally got myself a smartphone in 2018 so I have a camera at long last, and I made my first video which was shown at a book launch party on Facebook.
While I’m sure I must have done more than all that in 2018—it seemed more like a century than a year while I was going through it—I hope I can be much more productive in 2019. I do have another book coming out; book three of my trilogy, which is entitled Wyrd’s End. I’ll be working with my editor on that sometime soon. I’ve been working on both a prequel and book four but I don’t expect either to see the light of day this year! I have another short story in the Burning Willow Press charity anthology which will be out in December. And there are a couple of books already written I need to find homes for.
Plans for 2019 so far include a local book signing in January and attendance at the Deepings Literary Festival in April. I think it’s time I joined Instagram too. Oldies like me have to take their time with new technology but we get there in the end.
I never make new year resolutions as a rule but having interacted with so many writers recently and realised what a self-doubting, introverted, self-deprecating bunch we are, I think it’s time to stop with the self-criticism and fear of rejection and start appreciating and valuing myself and my abilities. I don’t have to be perfect. It’s okay to ask daft questions and make mistakes. My opinion is as good as anyone else’s. And so is my writing!
Happy 2019, everyone!
Amazon author page US: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0034P87QC
Amazon author page UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0034P87QC
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolBrowne
from J.F. Posthumus just in time for the necromance lover on your Holiday list!
What would you do if you had the power to destroy the world…
In her younger years, Catherine Woulfe was known as the Lady of Death…but those days are long past. Now, at over 300 years old, she is older, wiser…and painfully dull. Instead of using her necromancy skills for things like killing people and taking over governments, she now works as a private investigator, helping people find their lost treasures.
But when a charismatic stranger walks through her door, searching for one of the most powerful artifacts ever created, she is drawn into a case where she must use all of her old powers—including several forbidden ones—if she is to find the missing amulet. When the last person to see the amulet goes missing, she realizes it’s time for the Lady of Death to summon her minions and go on the warpath.
Angels and demons are searching for the amulet, as is a mysterious dark elf about whom little is known. Everyone is stalking her, waiting for her to find it so they can grab it for their own; meanwhile, her client has awoken feelings long suppressed, which is proving to be…distracting. Can Catherine find the trail of the thief and recover the amulet before the thief uses it to summon a deity that will destroy the Earth? More importantly, if she gets it, will she give it back?
A knock on the door pulled my attention away from the emails I was sorting through for the day. I lifted my brows in surprise at the visitor standing in my doorway. Dark eyes met mine, and it took every bit of willpower to keep from admiring the way his designer clothing fit his body. He wore the perfectly tailored three-piece suit with the same ease most wore jeans and a t-shirt. His face was elegant and had aristocratic features, which fit his six-foot-three-inch frame perfectly.
Thankfully, unlike most people, I wasn’t intimidated by his height, stature, or handsomeness. Or his reputation.
“The Consigliere,” I said. “To what do I owe this dubious pleasure?”
“Dubious?” The Consigliere’s honey smooth baritone carried across the room. “You wound me, Lady Catherine. I am here on good business.”
“That’s Miss Woulfe to you. Good for whom?” I said through gritted teeth I hoped looked like a smile.
“For all parties concerned, naturally.”
I drew in a breath and let it out slowly as he entered my office, allowing the door to shut with a soft whisper behind him.
The man was handsome and immaculate from his brown hair to his loafered feet.
He could have been a model for Men’s Fitness or a Chippendale’s dancer. There was sensuality in his movements, and he exuded confidence. We moved in similar circles, and his reputation preceded him wherever he went. While I was spoken about in cautious whispers, he was spoken about in awe, if not longing.
And the bleeding sod refused to take his twinkling brown eyes off me.
His gaze made me want to check my snug, professional-looking chignon to make sure no stray, black strands were flying loose. At least I didn’t have to worry about my long-lasting lipstick.
I paused a moment and glanced away as though I were pondering his unspoken request. When I met his eyes again, I replied in a flat, cold tone, “No. Whatever it is you’re trying to sell, you can take elsewhere. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
“You don’t know what my business is; nor do you know who besides you could benefit…yet you dismiss it.” He was still looking at me, smiling, while his words poured from between his yummy lips. “Is my reputation that sullied in the circles in which you walk that you won’t even listen, or is there another reason for your behavior?”
I snorted. “Not hardly, and you know it. There are few reasons you, of all people, would desire my services, and it isn’t for the appraisal of any occult item.”
“Are you as wrong in your appraisals as you are in your presumptions?” Fergus Sterling taunted before continuing, “Your reputation must have been paid for.”
He held out a photograph.
My impulse was to cursorily glance at the picture, but my eyes locked on it once I saw the item captured on the paper. Ancient workmanship surrounded a jeweled eye of blue. The amulet was legend, myth, and history.
“Ilygad Amon,” I said, realizing a moment later I had said the words under my breath instead of speaking properly.
Sterling’s voice was smug. “So, you do know some of what is reputed.”
Ignoring his attempt to rile me, I took the picture and looked closer at it.
“The captured eye of the Christian demon, Amon,” I explained, “transmogrified into a jewel by ancient fae Magick—some claim by traveling gypsy witches, others give credit to followers of Anubis—and locked into a box made of equal parts gold and lead. It’s ancient and used only in the darkest Magick.”
“Would you be willing to help track down this piece, verify its authenticity, and turn it over to parties who wish it to remain unused or, at least, contained from further use?” Sterling asked. I could hear the smile in his voice as he waited to see how I would react.
“How do you know I won’t try to keep it for myself? I am, after all, a practitioner of the Dark Arts, or to be more precise, a necromancer of considerable talents.” I offered him a placating smile. “Or is that why you came to me? You could easily authenticate this piece, unless my parents were incorrect when they said you’ve been alive since the middle ages.”
“How sweet of them to make me younger than I am,” he replied jovially. “I could do the job, but my age and reputation are considered disadvantages to the interested parties. They want someone who has less experience with such powerful objects.”
“Then they obviously aren’t aware of half the items I possess,” I replied. “Who are the ‘interested parties?’ I don’t go into anything blind.”
“You know my reputation, so you know I don’t give out my clients’ identities.” Sterling countered. “They were referred to me by Zeus and Merlyn.”
I wasn’t going to touch that one with a fifty-foot pole. Instead, I rolled my eyes and leaned back in my chair.
“Have a seat, and let us discuss fees.”
Once Sterling was seated in the plush, antique chair opposite my oak desk, I nodded. The Eye of Amon was an artifact I’d only heard about growing up. Finding it and verifying that it was more than myth would certainly add to my resume. The job would have to take precedence over any opinion I had of the arrogant, but delectable, male in my office. “My standard fee for such a task is $250,000, plus expenses.”
“A quarter million?” he retorted. “That’s all?”
It really annoyed me that I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or incredulous.
“You have a problem with my fee?” My voice was sharp, like a whip’s crack.
“Had I known you charged bargain prices, I would have sought you out sooner, for other clients.” He smiled cattily. “Of course, I’d only do so if you deliver what’s being asked for.”
I knew I was leaning toward him, narrowing my eyes and smiling tightly. I didn’t care, though. “Of course. And, of course, you won’t have a problem signing a contract. Correct?”
Turning slightly, I opened the drawer to my left and removed one of the contracts I kept there for such occasions. I had two types of contracts: one for mundane, normal people and another for anyone of a Magickal, supernatural, or preternatural persuasion. The latter contract was binding in multiple ways.
It took less than five minutes for me to fill it out, then I slid the papers across the desk to Sterling.
“You know how this works: read, sign, and date. No blood is required for this particular contract.”
Wife and a mother of five, J.F. Posthumus is an IT Tech with over a decade of experience. When she isn’t arguing with computers and their inherent gremlins, or being mom to the four younger monsters (the eldest has flown the nest and is doing quite well on his own), she’s crafting, writing, or doing some other sort of art. An avid gamer, she loves playing Dungeons & Dragons, and a variety of other board games with her family and friends. J.F. is also a hopeless romantic, thanks to all the fairy tales she cut her eyeteeth on. They were what she learned to read before discovering the Boxcar Children Mysteries. From there, J.F. Posthumus fell into the rabbit hole that’s reading, where she discovered a love for mysteries, fantasy, and the occasional romance. Since writing was her favorite subject, J.F. naturally incorporated her love of murder, mysteries, and fantasy into her works.
When J.F. came up with the idea of a body being found at a local building, it was only natural to create a necromancer for the job. From there, Catherine’s story unfolded, complete with monsters, magic, and a little bit of romance…
BOOK EXCERPT – “The Exile of Elindel” (Book 1 of the trilogy “The Elwardain Chronicles”) by Carol Browne
My thanks go to Fantasy Souls for sharing an excerpt of my book The Exile of Elindel on this amazing blog …
Elgiva, a young elf banished from Elvendom, must seek shelter among the Saxons as her only hope of surviving the coming winter.
Godwin, a Briton enslaved by the Saxons, is a man ignorant of his own inheritance and the secret of power he possesses.
A mysterious enemy, who will stop at nothing to wield absolute power over Elvendom, is about to make his move.
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Tina Ruiz has outdone herself with her heartwarming children’s holiday story Blitzen Learns How to Fly. The characters are believable. The pictures are bright and cheery, and the story will hold a child’s attention from the first page to the last. The lesson on bullying and confidence building is evident, and the rest of the tale is simply charming. This is the perfect gift for every young person.
Blitzen was born at the North Pole, but he is unable to fly. Because of that, he is taunted and called names by the other reindeers. Rudy saw what was happening, and he decided to teach Blitzen how to gain some confidence. And with a little magic powder from Santa, Blitzen is not only able to fly, but he becomes part of Santa’s famous team.
Tina Ruiz was born in Germany, but her family moved to Canada when she was in grammar school. She began writing children’s stories when her own were little. Through the years Ruiz wrote twenty-seven books. Most of those stories went into readers for the Canada Board of Education. Two did not. Mayor Shadoe Markley is a story about a ten-year-old girl who becomes Mayor for a Day through a contest at school.
Little did Ruiz know that story would “change the world.” The book came out at early January 1988. By the end of that same month, everyone was calling the mayor’s office at City Hall, trying to get the forms to fill out so their children could participate in the contest. Thirty years later that same contest is still runs at full speed. And not only in Calgary, but all across Canada. The Mayor’s Youth Council is now in charge of the celebrated contest and invites Ruiz to attend and meet the lucky winner. It’s usually followed by a hand-written thank you card from the mayor himself. Recently Ruiz was invited to be part of the Grand Opening of Calgary’s New Library where the mayor shook her hand and introduced her to the attendees.
Tina has worked in television and radio as well as being a professional clown at the Children’s Hospital. She lives in Calgary with her husband who encourages her to write her passion be it high-quality children’s books or intriguing romance.
Stay connected with Tina Ruiz on her Facebook group Tina Speaks Out.
My thanks go to author Sloane Taylor for hosting my new release on her blog …
by Dianna Gunn
Few things are as universally human as our fascination with our own deaths. Stories about the dead, and what happens to them when they leave this realm, have permeated every human culture. And although they haven’t always been called necromancers, there have always been tales of people who could communicate with the souls of the deceased. Many cultures even have festivals to celebrate the dead, like the Day of the Dead or early Halloween celebrations.
In the many of the most well-known tales, these necromancers are cruel, evil people who abuse the souls of the dead. People who raise undead armies or use secrets they learn from the dead to blackmail the living.
Surely communicating with the dead is not inherently evil? These powers could be used to provide families with closure when a loved one dies suddenly, or if resurrection is possible to grant a second life to one dead too soon.
As someone who lost my father to cancer at the tender age of twelve, I have obvious reasons to be drawn to this idea. I can’t begin to explain what it would mean to me to actually communicate with my dad, to show him the books I’ve finally put into the world and see his big smile, to hear him tell me how proud he is of me.
So in Moonshadow’s Guardian, necromancy is a complex thing. It has potential to be evil, and indeed the greatest evil known to this kingdom is a necromantic curse. But necromancy also has the power to be used for good. Necromancy allows people to enjoy second chances at life, to communicate with their loved ones, and to gain closure. In some instances, it’s even used as part of murder investigations.
There may be no clear answers on the ethics of necromancy in Moonshadow, but one thing is for certain: they have the same fascination with death known throughout human cultures right here on Earth.
All Riana has ever wanted is freedom. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing her kind cannot have.
Bound by the curse in her demonic blood for millennia, Riana has tried several times to bend the rules and live out her life in the mortal realm. Now her consistent rule breaking has drawn the attention of Loki, God of Mischief, the main tormentor of Riana’s kind. But instead of punishing her, he offers her the escape she has always desired. All she has to do to is save the kingdom of Moonshadow from a mysterious magical plague.
Armed only with the inherent power of her own blood and Loki’s pet dragon, Riana is determined to fight for the right to create her own destiny.
However, when her mission forces her to destroy the last remnants of an ancient culture, Riana must ask – what is freedom really worth?
Moonshadow’s Guardian is a tale about the meaning of belonging, and the struggle to create a future not defined by your past.
Dianna L. Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. She knew she wanted to be a writer since she was eight years old. Dianna wrote her first novel for Nanowrimo at eleven years old. As an adult,Dianna quickly discovered writing books is not an easy way to make a living. So she decided to broaden her horizons, seeking another career that still allowed her to work with words.
Her freelance writing career started when she became a marketing intern at Musa Publishing in September 2011 and quickly became a staff writer in charge of multiple imprint blogs. Since then she has worked with a variety of small businesses and non-profits to improve their online brands and create long term marketing strategies. Some of her most notable work has been for the tech education non-profit STEAMLabs and natural dog care company ProPooch. She is dedicated to helping her clients build successful brands and making their dreams come true.
Need help creating awesome content for your business? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining what your needs are, and she will help you.
When she isn’t helping her clients bring their dreams to life, Dianna can be found working on her own dream of being a successful fantasy author.
Dianna blogs about writing, creativity, and books at The Dabbler.
Ready to ignite that old flame? Or spark a new one? Take your partner by the hand and turn on your stove. A true romantic, award-winning author Sloane Taylor brings her creativity to the kitchen with easy-to-make meals sure to spark the intimacy and quality time you want with your special someone. Cooking together is only the start of the fun!
Create 45 complete dinners for two and flavor your evenings with a new dish. These 80 recipes use everyday foods already on most kitchen shelves. The recipes are easily increased for those fun times friends or family join your table.
Date Night Dinners, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening, is an ideal hostess and holiday gift, or for anyone who wants to spice things up.
Here’s my 5* review:
I bought a couple of copies of this cookbook for my friends, thinking they would make lovely Christmas gifts. I’m not a foodie myself but when I saw how beautifully presented the book is, I had to write a review. It’s packed with a great variety of dishes and the author guides you through their preparation and serving with humour and warmth. If you’re not confident about cooking main meals, this is the book for you–the tips and suggestions are so helpful. This user-friendly cookbook is refreshingly different from many others I’ve seen. (I noticed that some of the recipes can be veganised as well so I might try a few!). An absolute gem and great value for money.
Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.
Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Date Night Dinners, her Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, is Taylor’s first solo venture into non-fiction.
Something wicked this way comes… in this bewitching boxed set collection of over twenty PARANORMAL ROMANCE and URBAN FANTASY stories, each brimming with royal magic.
Anyone pre-ordering will receive 15 FREE EBOOKS** and an **EXCLUSIVE SPELLBOOK** by the authors.
Get your freebies here after pre-ordering the book: https://www.subscribepage.com/RitetoReignGift
Featuring INCANTATION, a brand-new novel by Mirren Hogan and Stephanie Barr.
“I have just what you need.” She ran to a large trunk in the back and began rummaging through it throwing this and that out over her shoulder. Some of the items were recognizable but plenty were a mystery. “This!” She trotted back, a carved crystal bottle between her withered hands.
“What is it?”
“Elixir of regeneration. One sip, and your magic will replenish. But only take one. If you take a second one in less than a month, you’ll likely explode with the power.”
David reached for it. “That will be twenty-five gold. Elixir doesn’t come cheap you know.”
David scrounged in his pocket and had to fish a few extra pieces from his other pocket. She handed him the bottle with a flourish, then turned her beady little eyes on Henry. “Now, for you.”
Want to read on? One-click to secure your limited edition today.