Category Archives: Blog Tour

New Release of War of Nytefall: Ravenous by Charles Yallowitz

It’s with great pleasure I welcome Charles Yallowitz to my blog today to celebrate his new release of War of Nytefall: Ravenous.

I’ll let Charles tell you all about Volume 5 of the War of Nytefall series, and more.

The world of the Dawn Fangs is about to explode into chaos thanks to Desirae Duvall.

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Blurb:

In the shadows of Windemere, fangs are sprouting from the least likely of maws.

News is spreading that wild beasts with vampiric natures have been attacking mortals and carrying off random victims.  With the Dawn Fangs still a secret from mortal society, Clyde fears that these strange creatures will reveal his peoples’ existence before they are ready.  Old enemies and trusted friends begin to disappear as the investigation goes deeper into a business that has been lurking in the shadows of Windemere for decades.  Those who return are beholden to a new master whose cunning is matched only by her primal desires.  As his allies disappear, Clyde is left with the one he trusts the most in all of the world to help him solve this mystery.  Too bad Mab has her own secret that can cause more damage to Nytefall than any vampiric beast.

Is this how the Dawn Fangs will be revealed to Windemere?

Still need more to wet your appetite? Then enjoy this excerpt:

Titus shrugs the girl off his shoulders and grips his blades, but refuses to draw them to avoid causing a scene. The warriors around him are on edge from overhearing Lost’s words and seeing his reaction, but they follow his example and keep their weapons sheathed. The Vengeance Hounds know that it is only a matter of time before the mortals with weaker wills lose control and drive the others into panic. They can hear the rumors of a deadly beast stalking the hunting party ripple through the crowd, each telling more gruesome and bone-chilling than the previous version. Several warriors ignore the warnings of their companions and draw their weapons, but keep them out of sight. Two of the casters begin to chant, which is revealed by the sparkle of magic on their lips. One by one, the lines of warriors stop walking and assume various defensive formations. Frustrated by the collapse of her army, the priestess turns around and tries to assure everyone that they are safe. Standing in the middle of the blossoming chaos, the Vengeance Hounds can only watch as the woman loses her temper and shouts at the archers who were supposed to maintain control.

The warriors go silent when a booming roar erupts from above and a large shadow passes over the area. With a gurgling scream, the priestess collapses in a heap and stares unblinking at the sky. The archers move away from the drooling woman, whose breathing has stopped as if she has been instantly turned off. Landing in front of the hunting party, a crimson-scaled Verenstone Dragon unfurls its muscular tails with one to each side and the other arching over its reptilian head. The thick ridge of black hair going down its back rustles and shivers in the breeze, which heats up as the monster bellows once more. Curled against its side are wings composed entirely of blue flame that licks at the trampled grass, but they are not hot enough to ignite the emerald blades. Leaning forward, the terrifying predator sniffs at the braindead priestess and chuckles before swallowing the body whole. In the brief moment that its mouth is open wide, the Vengeance Hounds notice that two of its teeth are changing as if they are stretching out of the gums. The plaque-covered ivory is curved in a way that makes it clear that they are fangs and the beast is in desperate need of a fresh meal. Its eyes scan the mortals and stop on the three Dawn Fangs for a moment, but it is enough to tell them that the cunning creature recognizes their true nature.

“A vampiric dragon,” Titus mutters under his breath.

Get War of Nytefall: Ravenous on Amazon for $2.99!
Add it to your Goodreads To-Read Lists!

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Need to catch up? Then, check out Volumes 1-4 of War of Nytefall!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Interested in more Windemere?  Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Enjoy the adventure by clicking here!

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Book Launch for Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach

It’s party time. I’m so thrilled to have my friend Diana Wallace Peach on my blog to celebrate her exciting moment.

Please join me for the party, fetch a drink, and grab some hors d’oeuvres.

Birthday decorations clipart » Clipart Station
Book Launch Party for Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach
Alcoholic Cocktail Row On Wood Backgroundks, Colorful Party Drinks ...

CHEF Q: 4 Types of Hors d'oeuvres You Should Know

She has written a new series–Unraveling the Veil. I love all the book covers. Aren’t they classy?

Unraveling the Veil Series

Today, we launch Book One, Liars and Thieves.

Book One: Liars and Thieves

In this book, we’ll encounter the changelings. These changelings shift their shapes when they move about. Out of my curiosity, I asked Diana a question and was pleased to learn something magical.

Please give a round of applause to Diana.

Hi, Diana, how do changelings shift into animal shapes?

Biokinesis. I like magic that sounds scientific. Almost all the magic in the book is a version of kinesis, which is defined as motion/movement. Kinesis, believe it or not, is related to cellular biology and zoology (the mobility of skull bones).

Changelings manipulate their forms on a cellular level, which enables them to switch from one species to another. Like all species, their physical appearance is patterned in their genetic code. The ability to alter their appearance requires assuming a new cellular pattern.

Crystals facilitate an easier, less painful shift. Imagine going from a human skeleton to a dog skeleton without them!

Thank you, Diana. Now let me present the book information.

Blurb:

Behind the Veil, the hordes gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—

When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—

Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.

A halfbreed goblin with deadly secrets—

Naj’ar is a loner with a talent he doesn’t understand and cannot control, one that threatens all he holds dear.

When the spark of Chaos ignites, miners go missing. But they won’t be the last to vanish. As the cycles of blame whirl through the Borderland, old animosities flare, accusations break bonds, and war looms.

Three outcasts, thrust into an alliance by fate, by oaths, and the churning gears of calamity, must learn the truth. For they hold the future of their world in their hands.

Here is a marvelous trailer she created. Please sit back and relax and enjoy her creation.

Please click the link below for purchasing Liars and Thieves:

Liars and Thieves Global Purchase Linkhttp://a-fwd.com/asin=B08FGQ2W3Q

Now, please allow me to formally introduce you to Diana.

Author Bio:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Author Links:

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

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Book Launch: Against All Odds by Jacqui Murray

My dear friends, please help me welcome Jacqui Murray, a prehistoric fiction author, to my blog.

Jacqui and I haven’t officially met but we may run into each other on the same beach when the pandemic is over. It is my pleasure to host the book launch party for Jacqui’s new release of Against All Odds, Book 3 in the Crossroad trilogy.

 

1.Against All Odds

I’m glad you all are here for the party. Help yourself with some drinks and dessert!!

                             A surprise book launch party • A Subtle Revelry    Summer cocktails: 10 party drinks for a crowd | Food | The Guardian

Glorious Layered Desserts Book Launch Party - Glorious Treats

I invited Jacqui to share with me about the prehistoric people.

How do you know Xhosa’s People are as smart as they seem in this book?                 

A study published in the journal Nature Human Behavior places the appearance of human-like ways of thinking with the emergence of Homo erectus. The complex thought required to create their stone tools (called Acheulean) and their functional variety (which includes cutters, choppers, handaxes, cleavers, flakes, and scrapers) have long inspired many paleoanthropologists to believe Homo erectus was smart. A 2017 study that mapped student brains while they recreated these tools revealed that this work required the ability to “hold in mind” information—much as you and I do to plan complete complex tasks. “The fact that these more advanced forms of cognition were required to create Acheulean hand axes … means the date for this more humanlike type of cognition can be pushed back to at least 1.8 million years ago …” [Indiana University. “‘Humanlike’ ways of thinking evolved 1.8 million years ago.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2017]                   

Not definitive but interesting!                                                                                                           

Convince me they communicate effectively with gestures, body movements, and facial expressions.                        

I get this a lot. Let me give you two examples. First, have you ever been around someone who doesn’t speak your language and still, the two of you communicate? It’s probably via hand gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. Much can be said without voices.

Second, think of sign language. Sophisticated ideas are communicated with hands and facial expressions around the world daily. That’s how Xhosa and her kind did it.

I’m surprised by the sophistication and cleverness of some of their actions. Would you tell me more?             

Homo erectus could pass as a modern man dressed properly and if the viewer carried no precognitions about what he expected. But he lacked many of the social constructs we take for granted. Because these traits don’t fossilize, we extrapolate what life was like from artifacts like their sophisticated tools.                                                                   

A recent study out of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (in the Levant) provides evidence that in that part of Eurasia, Homo erectus lived in a camp—called a homebase—with divided work areas for toolmaking and consumption located near a hearth. These are traits associated with our modern lifestyle and now are found over half a million years ago.

Thank you, Jacqui!

I’ve read your interesting post about writing, Jacqui. Thank you for sending it to me to post it here.

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Writing Quirks That Suck the Energy Out of Your Writing By Jacqui Murray

Writing

An efriend writer originally published this as a guest post on their blog to help me launch Against All Odds August 2020. In case you missed it there, here are my anecdotal thoughts on how to add drama to your story:

Keeping your fiction active and engaging is as much about how you tell the story as it is about plot and setting. You must write sentences that pull readers in, keep them engaged while you maintain a reasonable pace and are clear enough that the reader doesn’t find himself/herself re-reading or trying to figure out what you’re saying.

When my novel bogs down, here are five constructs that are often the culprit. I keep each discussion short. If you would like to dig deeper, there are many great writing websites and books that make that possible:

Passive voice

According to Grammarly:

“Passive voice is when the noun being acted upon is made the subject of the sentence.”

Passive voice moves readers out of the action and puts them in a safe place to the side of the action. They become unaffected by the action and the plot, more of an observer. That’s deadly for a story. We want readers sitting in the middle of events, worried everything will blow up around them. Plus, passive voice often weakens the clarity of what’s being written.

Solution: Rephrase the sentence so that the action noun becomes part of the subject. For example:

Wrong: The grass has been scorched by the wild fire.

Right: The wild fire scorched the grass.

Too many prepositional phrases

Prepositional phrases add interesting information to the story but must be managed. If you have too many in a sentence, 1) the reader loses track of what you’re trying to say, or 2) the sentence becomes unnecessarily convoluted.

Look at these examples from the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Writing Center:

Unnecessary phrase: The opinion of the manager
Correction: The manager’s opinion

Unnecessary phrase: The obvious effect of such a range of reference is to assure the audience of the author’s range of learning and intellect.
Correction: The wide-ranging references in this talk assure the audience that the author is intelligent and well-read.

Do you notice how the prepositional phrases make the text wordy and choppy? It’s worth noting that the Chicago Manual of Style recommends the use of only one preposition per ten-fifteen words.

Solution: 1) Delete the prepositional phrase. Does the story lose anything? 2) Break the sentence into multiple sentences. 3) Use active voice instead of passive. 

Qualifying words

According to The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill:

“Qualifiers… are words or phrases that are added to another word to modify its meaning (He was somewhat busy; the dog was sort of cute). Qualifiers give … clues about how confident you feel about the information you’re presenting. …excessive use of qualifiers can make you sound unsure of your facts….”

Qualifying words include a bit, little, fairly, highly, kind of, mostly, rather, really, slightly, sort of, appeared to, and seemed to. They don’t draw a line that when crossed, creates drama. They equivocate which weakens your story and your message.

Solution: Replace these words with decisive ones. Take a stand.

Had

The past perfect tense is a menace to the creation of drama in your writing. It can be spotted, most of the time, by looking for the word had:

“She had been frightened and then had run away.”

We find out that she once was frightened but now she isn’t. It removes the stress of whatever frightened her because we know she’s safe. But as writers, we want readers to wonder if she’s going to fall off that cliff. ‘Had’ just sucked all that drama from the story.

Solution: Let readers feel the drama and then the solution. 

Participles and Gerunds

According to Purdue’s Online Writing Lab, “a gerund is a verb that ends with -ing (such as dancing, flying, etc.) and functions as a noun.” … A participle also ends in -ing but forms the progressive tense of a verb. When you have too many of either in one sentence, readers lose track of the action and the meaning.  As a writer, I know they sap the energy from my writing but I couldn’t find a grammar rule to explain why. Susan B. Weiner did offer this:

“Shorter sentences are easier for readers to absorb.”

That’s part of it. Gerunds also make sentences less direct so harder to comprehend. Geist explains:

“They will not take you to the simplest, strongest, most beautiful prose. …[They] make the sentence less direct and harder to comprehend than it can be…”

Solution: Figure out what you’re trying to say and then say it directly.

Long sentences

I had a colleague in my critique group tell me not unkindly that she had become used to my long sentences.  What she could have added but didn’t was that at times, they made it difficult to remember how the action started. Here’s an example:

Writing 1

The many independent clauses makes it easy for readers to get lost and miss what is being said.

Solution: Break the sentence into manageable pieces that stand on their own.

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You gave so many important tips in a short post. This is very helpful to many writers.

Now Let me share the information about your new release.

 

Against All Odds (Book 3 of the Crossroads Trilogy) by [Jacqui Murray]

Against All Odds

Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.

Summary

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Book information:

Title and author: Against All Odds by Jacqui Murray

Series: Book 3 in the Crossroads series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Available digitally (print soon) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Okay, I don’t want to forget to introduce you properly… Here’s Jacqui: 

 

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page:       https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                       https://worddreams.wordpress.com

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

LinkedIn:                              http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                              http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                 http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                https://jacquimurray.net

 

Now please enjoy this fabulous trailer and the excerpt.

 

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

The foothills of the Pyrenees

They came out of the mountains, hair frozen in sparkling strands, hands and feet wrapped in shredded pelts, ribs etched against their skin under ragged hides white with snow, faces haggard with fatigue. Blood crusted scrapes and gashes, many recent, others almost healed, reminders of the violent struggles endured on their journey.

Though their steps flagged, not one of these upright creatures exhibited a hint of defeat. All males and a few females carried at least one spear, some two, many with warclubs strapped to their backs. Despite the anxiety and fear of entering this foreign land, hope energized them today, that their migration might be at an end.

All of them—Xhosa and her tribe, Pan-do and his, Wind, Zvi, and Seeker—had been chased from their homes by enemies. In their flight, they found each other. It took time to work through their differences but now they traveled side by side, respected ideas not theirs, and called themselves the People.

Their charismatic Leaders—Xhosa, Wind, and Pan-do—were known as reliable friends to those who earned their trust and dangerous enemies to those who opposed them. Two wolves—Spirit and Black Wolf—journeyed with them. Though the People lacked the animals’ sharp claws, dense fur, and piercing teeth, each considered the other “pack” and would defend them to death.

The exhausted group straggled down the gently sloping flank, feet shuffling carefully over the slippery scree. The ground changed from talus to stunted tufts of grass, sparse and brown which made walking easier. Optimism shone from their faces even as their tired eyes flicked side to side in search of unexpected movement, ears strained for out-of-place noises, and noses sniffed.

Rather than continue across the meadow, Xhosa led the People into the shade of the edging forest.

“Do you smell it, Wind?” Anticipation filled her gestures.

She and Wind, pairmates as well as Co-Leaders, stood quietly, absorbing their surroundings. Light filtered lazily through the canopy, the shadowed ground dappled with patches of warmth. She sniffed in the essence of wet earth and rotting leaves, the mustiness of moss, and something else much more enticing.

“It’s there.” She pointed and strode forward, lengthening her stride.

An icy gust whipped down the hillside through the shadows and raised bumps on her arms but she ignored it. The forest gave way to open sky and searing heat. It was too hot for her thin pelt but she didn’t stop to remove it. Green stalks swayed as far as she could see, edged on one side by more mountains and the other by some sort of leaves and branches. Sunlight glinted off the rippled surface of a distant river as it curled over the terrain.

“Dung!” The scent overpowered every other odor.

Wind huffed to her side. “It’s been a long time since we smelled dung that wasn’t frozen.”

“We did it, Wind.” Her eyes glistened with relief.

For most of a Moon, dread gnawed at her courage and left her wondering if following the guidance of Seeker—a boy barely a man—was a mistake. But Seeker assured her in his ebullient way that once out of the hills, their new homebase would welcome them. Xhosa wanted to believe him because she wasn’t sure what else to do. Nor did she know what to do if it didn’t work.

Wind motioned, arms inclusive, “It’s beautiful, Xhosa.”

Siri, Pan-do, Ngili, the wolves Spirit and Black Wolf, and the rest of the People gathered around Xhosa and Wind, eyes locked on what lay in front of them.

Pan-do whispered, “We made it.” His eyes were moist, mouth open.

Ngili, the People’s Lead Hunter, motioned, hands close to his body. “With all this grass, Gazelle or Mammoth must be nearby.”

Dust, the Lead Scout, trotted up, coming from a tall cliff far ahead on their forward path. “I think there are caves there.”

The People hadn’t slept in a cave since leaving Viper and the Mountain Dwellers. It would be a treat if true.

Xhosa looked behind. Shadows already stretched as far from the bottom of the rocky slopes as sunlight to the top. Daylight would soon end.

“We don’t have much time. Let’s rest and then see if those are caves.”

Ngili, the People’s Lead Hunter, motioned, fingers spaced out, palms up, “I’ll go with Dust to check.” He added a swift spread-fingered swipe with first one hand and then the other, followed by a quick bob of his head and a puff.

Xhosa brushed both hands down her sides. Go.

The People spoke with a complex combination of hand motions, facial expressions, body movements, and sounds augmented with chirrups, snaps, hisses, and whistles. By the time Ngili finished talking, Xhosa knew how many would join him, where they would go, and how long they’d be away. The People’s communication was sophisticated but quiet, a precaution especially in unfamiliar areas. Unusual sounds—voices, for example—stood out. All animals made noises but few as varied as the People’s. Why alert Others who lived here to their presence? Xhosa would do that in her own time, in her own way.

Dust, Ngili, and two scouts soon receded into the landscape, the only evidence of their passage a slight disturbance in the slender waving stalks. Despite the dung scents, the abundant plant food, and the glisten of a faraway river, Xhosa crossed her arms over her chest and paced.

Something is wrong.

She searched the forests and the rippling field that had swallowed up Dust and Ngili . Xhosa possessed the ability to see great distances in sufficient detail to find trails, footprints, movement, or the glitter of sun off eyes.

She saw none of those and that made her more uncomfortable.

With this wealth of food and water, Others should be here.

Wind motioned, palms flattened against his chest, “The mountains we crossed touched Sun. They’re cold and barren. Few can do what we did to get here, Xhosa. We are safe.”

Xhosa could hear in his voice, see in his gestures, that despite his bravado, Wind too felt uneasy about what they didn’t see and hear.

But she grinned. “I don’t know how I survived without someone being able to read my thoughts.”

She trotted over to a stream that fed into the river she had noticed. She stretched out on her belly, flat on the soft grass at the water’s edge, and took a long, satisfying drink of the sweet liquid. Thirst quenched, she collected handfuls of the tender shoots of new plants growing along the shore, ate what she wanted and tossed the rest into a communal food pile that would be shared with all the People. It was already filling up with fat fish speared from the slow-moving pools beside the river, tasty reeds and cattails, and even a handful of eggs plucked from nests not hidden well enough along the shore and in the roots of trees. The wolves snapped birds from the air and swallowed them almost whole, coughing up feathers.

Xhosa leaned back on her hands, sniffing the unique fragrance of each groupmember. Zvi was sweaty from wrestling with Spirit. Siri smelled sourly of hunger but she wouldn’t eat until Honey’s bleeding foot was wrapped in mulch and leaves. The females with new babies exuded the pleasant aroma of milk. Some scents jumbled together making them impossible to identify. When Xhosa became Leader of the People, before it merged with Pan-do’s and Hawk’s, the People had been small enough that she could recognize everyone by their odor. Now, she kept track of her tribe while Pan-do did the same with his. Wind helped everyone.

Done eating, the People sprawled on the warm ground, soaking up Sun’s remaining rays, chatting contentedly with gestures and the occasional sigh. Water dripped from their thawing bodies, soaking into the thirsty ground, as the remaining ice and snow on their pelts and in their hair melted away.

Xhosa and Wind sat apart from the others, on a log long ago softened by rot. She uprooted handfuls of grass and wiped the sweat from Wind’s body, as he did hers. The soft scratch felt good and the earthy fragrance reminded her of times long gone. When he finished, she harvested chunks of green moss from the log’s decaying bark and stuffed them into her neck sack. All the People wore one of these around their necks. Even the wolves did when they were migrating.

Finished, she leaned against Wind and closed her eyes. In a group of Others, her pairmate stood out. A Big Head, the People’s traditional enemy, the ones who drove Xhosa and her tribe from their long-established home, Wind had earned Xhosa’s trust by saving her life more than once and then, as a member of her People, sharing Big Head spear tricks and warrior skills with her Leads. Before long, each of them individually told her that thanks to Wind they could now defeat an attack which they couldn’t have done in the past. Whatever distrust her People harbored toward him faded away.

“Xhosa!” Dust panted up to her. “I found a cave. And we found trace of a herd. Ngili is tracking it.”

By the time Sun settled into its night nest, the People were ensconced in the cave Dust found. They had to squeeze together to fit but all were thrilled to sleep without waking to frozen toes and numb fingers. Stone and Zvi—the burliest of the People—lugged rocks in and Siri built a fire that quickly warmed the interior. The subadults gathered kindling to feed it and arranged who would be responsible throughout the night for keeping it lit.

Usually, the wolves slept scattered among the People but with Black Wolf close to delivering her pups, she dug out an opening in the back and claimed it as her den. Then she settled to her belly, one leg forward, the other bent back, eyebrows twitching.

Xhosa strode toward the nest she would share with Wind but stopped at the sight of Seeker, weight on his bottom, legs crossed in front of his body in the uncomfortable position he preferred. His pairmate Lyta curled next to him with their best friend, Zvi.

Xhosa approached Seeker. “You are not outside.”

Every night as long as Xhosa could remember, the enigmatic male lay on his back, gaze fixed steadily on the star-dotted sky, spouting what to Xhosa sounded like gibberish to whoever listened. Intermittently, he leapt to his feet and spun dizzying circles or bounced from one foot to the other, huffing and chirping. Lyta and Zvi would either join him or watch. He once explained to Xhosa that this was how he studied the changes in the night sky—the appearance and disappearance of particular stars or their movement in relation to each other—so he could guide the People accurately. This nightly process was how they had moved from the distant start of Endless Pond to this cave where Endless Pond seemed to end.

He didn’t respond to her statement, didn’t even acknowledge her. That worried Xhosa. She hadn’t been able to shake the feeling that danger lurked around them, somewhere. Seeker’s anxious look didn’t help.

She squatted at his side and added a question to her declaration. “The stars aren’t talking to you?”

To the side, Lyta wriggled, not comfortable in the seated position Seeker preferred but determined to try because Seeker liked it so much. Zvi crouched on the balls of her feet, the more traditional pose. She’d tried to sit on her bottom, legs crossed in front, but kept falling backward. Besides, it took her too long to rise from that position which meant if Lyta needed help, she couldn’t respond quickly. Squatting, for her, made more sense. Seeker didn’t care. He expected all to do what worked for them. Both his best friend and his future pairmate were long accustomed to his eccentricities.

Finally, Seeker offered Xhosa only a confused frown.

That’s not a “Yes they are,” and that raised the hair on her neck. Before she could ask more, Ngili scrambled through the thistle barrier the youngsters had placed around the cave’s mouth to prevent the entrance of intruders and hurried toward Xhosa.

He motioned, “I lost the herd’s trace in the dark. I’ll try again tomorrow,” and then raced toward where the hunters had gathered. They were all tired. Some would mate before sleeping but not Ngili. He hadn’t given up hope that his pairmate, Hecate, would come back.

After a final glance at Seeker, Xhosa joined Wind in their nest. She squatted behind him and teased the dirt and debris from his long head hair, occasionally focusing on a difficult tangle until her fingers could move easily through his hair. When she finished, he did the same for her.

As he groomed, he said, “I’ll join Ngili tomorrow. If there are herds, we will find them.”

“Pan-do and I will continue with the People.”

They said nothing more, both enjoying the calming feel of nails scratching on their skin and the intimacy of someone they trusted implicitly. Done, both fell asleep.

The first rays of daylight filtered into the cave. Black Wolf was already outside, padding back and forth restlessly, huffing uncomfortably. Wind left with Ngili and a handful of scouts, knowing Xhosa would leave a trail to wherever they settled when Sun’s light ran out. Though Spirit usually went with the hunters, today he stayed with Black Wolf.

Xhosa and Pan-do led. Dust copied their pace and direction but a distance away. With Ngili and Wind searching for meat, Xhosa focused on finding a cave large enough for the People. They strode onward, gaze sweeping the landscape, everyone grazing on berries, roots, and worms as they walked. Sporadically, Xhosa heard a faraway squawk or glimpsed a covey of birds as they exploded into flight, fleeing an unknown threat. It was the direction Ngili and Wind had gone, and told her how far they’d gotten.

The People rested by a waterhole. They searched its shoreline for prints but found none. Wherever the herds lived, they didn’t drink here so the People moved on, through copses of young saplings and around a bed of haphazardly-strewn boulders. The air tasted of flowers, warm earth, and the mild tang of salt, but the dung they found was hard and old.

Xhosa touched Pan-do’s hand and both stopped, eyes forward. “Do you smell that? It reminds me of Endless Pond.”

He pointed to his strong side and the direction they were walking. “From there and there. How can it be on two sides?”

Xhosa tingled. One of her People—Rainbow—had abandoned them long ago, taking many males and females with him. Others she and her People ran into while migrating here told her Rainbow traveled the same route she did but along the opposite shore of Endless Pond. For him, as for her, this was as far as he could go without folding back on himself.

If they got this far. If any survived.

She pushed aside those thoughts. Before searching for whatever remnants remained of Rainbow’s group, the People must find a homebase. All they suffered to get here—the interminable walking, the loss of Hawk, the death of groupmembers, Nightshade’s treachery—was for naught if they didn’t establish a home.

Spirit bumped her leg. Black Wolf panted at her mate’s side, her belly almost touching the ground.

Xhosa motioned, “Your mate’s pups won’t wait much longer. We will find a den for her.”

Spirit took off, his movements graceful and fluid with Black Wolf lumbering after him.

Not much later, Pan-do squinted ahead. “I think Spirit found a cave.”

Xhosa leaned forward, narrowing her gaze, and finally saw where Spirit stopped. He sat on his haunches at the base of a cliff, facing her, nose twitching, tail swishing the dirt behind him.

It took the rest of the day to cross over the craggy scrubland, up and down the deep ravines, and around the occasional spot of slippery ice. The cave proved too small for the People but not for Black Wolf’s needs. With much scuffling and panting, she created a nest for her pups and disappeared into the cool dark hole. The People settled outside, under an overhang that would protect them from rain and predators, and far enough away to not bother the new mother. As soon as Ngili and Wind arrived, shaking their heads that they hadn’t found a herd, they left again to search for signs of a trail left by former inhabitants of this cave.

Xhosa’s chest squeezed and her stomach knotted. Spirit padded up to her side, hackles puffed, nostrils flaring. He agreed. Something about this area made her tingle but for now, until Black Wolf finished, they must stay.

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Thank you so much for coming to the party. I love to hear how much you’ve enjoyed Jacqui’s post and her new release.

 

 

 

Welcome to Day 1 of the “SIR CHOCOLATE AND THE ICE CREAM RAINBOW FAIRIES” Blog Tour! @bakeandwrite @4WillsPub #RRBC.

Hi, my dear friends and visitors, I’m excited today to have Robbie Cheadle visiting my blog. Please help me give a warm welcome to Robbie and Michael for their cook, Sir Chocolate and the Ice cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook.”

This is Day 1 of the “SIR CHOCOLATE AND THE ICE CREAM RAINBOW FAIRIES” Blog Tour!

GIVEAWAY:  (7 winners) Each will win a copy of her Sir Chocolate Story and Cookbooks. For your chance to win, please leave a comment below!

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Welcome to part 1 of the fondant cat parade

The fondant cat parade tells the story in limericks of Dinah the Kitten, daughter of Daddy Grey and Mommy Cat, who likes to sleep and escape to Wonderland in her dreams. While in Wonderland, Dinah meets a variety of brightly colored and fun fantasy kittens. The fondant cat parade illustrates some of the wonderful fondant art that appears in all the Sir Chocolate books.

Today, you will meet Daddy Grey.

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Look out for part II of the fondant cat parade tomorrow when you will learn about the Fondant family dynamics. You can download the full illustrative PDF of the fondant cat parade here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/dinah-in-wonderland-fondant-cat-parade/.

How to make Chelsea buns

Ingredients – dough

500 grams white cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

7 grams fast-action dried yeast

300 ml milk

40 grams softened butter

1 beaten egg

Ingredients – filling

25 grams melted salted butter

75 grams brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon mixed spice

150 grams dried mixed fruit

Ingredients – icing

150 ml water

150 ml icing sugar

Method

Melt the milk and butter in a saucepan, set aside to cool down to lukewarm. Sift together the salt and the cake flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast. Pour the milk mixture and the beaten egg into the flour mixture and mix until they come together into a soft dough. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least five minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky.

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Rub the bowl with a little vegetable oil and place the dough in the bowl. Turn it until it is completely covered with oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for one hour until the dough has doubled in size.

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Spray your baking tins with non-stick spray or grease with hard margarine. Melt the butter and mix the brown sugar and the spice in a small bowl.

Knock back the risen dough to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle of 50 mm thickness. Brush the rectangle with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar mix and then the dried fruit.

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Roll the rectangle up into a long cylinder and cut into slices of about 5 cm thick. Place the slices on the baking tray, leaving a space between them. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for a further 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius or 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

Sieve the icing sugar and mix with the water until it forms a thick paste. Drop a spoonful of the icing onto the cool buns and spread with a butter-knife.

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BOOK BLURB:

Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on a fun adventure to discover why the milkshake rain is pale and white.

Contains five recipes that children can make under adult supervision

2a.Robbie

AUTHOR BIO:

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with seven published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalized biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

  • Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
  • Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Robbie Cheadle

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19631306.Roberta_Eaton_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites/?modal=admin_todo_tour

AMAZON OR OTHER PURCHASE LINKS:

TSL Publications:

https://tslbooks.uk/product/sir-chocolate-and-the-ice-cream-rainbow-fairies/

Lulu.com:

https://www.lulu.com/shop/robbie-cheadle-and-michael-cheadle/sir-chocolate-and-the-ice-cream-rainbow-fairies-story-and-cookbook/ebook/product-24468045.html

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Cream-Rainbow-Fairies-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B086DYYNFQ

 

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE. Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

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Welcome to Day 1 of “THE LOST AND FOUND BILLY BATTLES” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 1 of “THE LOST AND FOUND BILLY BATTLES” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA.

My dear friends and visitors, please join me to welcome Ron Yates to my blog. This is the first day of his blog tour. I invite you to click the link at the end of this post to follow the rest of his tour. I’m excited to announce the following giveaway.

GIVEAWAY:  (2) Complete sets of the Billy Battles trilogy.  For your chance to win, please leave a comment below!

blog tous schedule

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Hi Ron,

Thank you for visiting my blog and spend time to tell us about you as a writer, the inspiration behind your books, and the tips and advice for newer writers/authors.

 

Q & A with Ron Yates (Part 1)

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Probably when I was in the sixth grade. I loved writing stories, and I had a teacher (Mrs. Gooch) who encouraged me. My mother also bought me books and took me often to the library–a place that I found magical and magnetic. She often read to me, and I could “see” the story unfolding before me. When I could read myself, I began to devour everything I could get my hands on. Reading took me places I could not, as a young boy, otherwise go. As I used to tell my journalism students at the University of Illinois if you want to write well, read well.

What was your inspiration to write the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy?

I grew up in Kansas, and I was always fascinated by what life was like there in the 19th Century when the state was still relatively wild. At the same time, I spent a lot of time in the Far East as a foreign correspondent, and I was equally intrigued by what life must have been like in the 19th Century colonial period in places like French Indochina, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Then one day, I got the idea to blend the two using a character from 19th Century Kansas who goes to the Far East and other places in search of himself. During that search, he finds himself immersed in more peril and adventure than he bargained for.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

Try to write as much as you can from your own experiences. They are real and uncontrived, and if you incorporate those experiences in your fiction, your work will have a truthful ring to it. Beyond that, KEEP AT IT! Don’t let anybody (editors, agents, etc.) discourage you. At the same time, be willing to accept constructive criticism from those who have experience as authors, editors, agents, etc. Notice I said CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Some people criticize just to be criticizing–or to be malicious. You must believe in yourself, your work, your vision, and your story. If you don’t, who will?

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story needs a strong plot and even stronger characters. Otherwise, it falls flat. The writer needs to be above all, a good storyteller. If you build a good story, THEY WILL COME, to paraphrase “Field of Dreams.” Make readers care about your protagonist. Make readers empathize, cry, and laugh with them. At the same time, keep them off balance. Don’t be predictable, and don’t be afraid to do terrible things to your favorite characters. Have you ever known anybody who has sailed through life without some turmoil, some pain, some suffering? I haven’t.

If your trilogy became a movie or a Netflix mini-series, who would be your first choice to play the lead roles?

Clint Eastwood as the elderly Billy Battles; Clive Owen as the middle-aged Billy Battles and Ashton Kutcher as the young Billy Battles. I would pick Saffron Burrows for Billy’s first love, Mallie McNab and Famke Janssen, for the widow Katharina Schreiber who Billy meets on the boat to the Far East. (Why these choices? These folks are all tall, like me. Billy is 6’3″ and Mallie is about 5’10,” as is the statuesque widow Schreiber).

Do any of your characters have qualities/characteristics that are similar to yourself?

I think Billy Battles and I are a lot alike. I mean, aren’t most novels a bit autobiographical? He is a restless sort. He enjoys traveling, going to new places, and experiencing new things. Like Billy, I couldn’t wait to get away from Kansas (though I love the place dearly). And, like Billy, I am a happy wanderer. How else could I have survived and thrived as a foreign correspondent for 25 years? We are both journalists. At the same time, he is a dependable guy who is loyal to his friends and to those he chooses to keep close to him. Above all, Billy respects two traits in people: Honesty and Kindness. We are alike in that way.

Tell us about your next release.

I am finishing my next book, which is a novel about foreign correspondents in Asia. It’s working title is Asia Hands: A Tale of Foreign Correspondents & Other Miscreants in the Orient. Here is a blurb about it:

A mysterious object of unknown origin hidden in the heart of an impenetrable S.E. Asian jungle. A covert alliance of dangerous people determined to keep it concealed. Treacherous secret agents. Betrayal. Assassination. Murder.                                        

It’s one hell of a story, and two foreign correspondents—one recently retired and the other approaching burn out—are on the scent.

Meet Cooper McGrath and Clayton Brandt.

They have just stumbled onto the biggest story of their lives—one that could have staggering ramifications for the planet and its people.

Now all they have to do is live long enough to tell it.

Will they meet their deadlines, or will they meet their deaths?

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I don’t outline my books, and I don’t write down plot scenarios. I just start writing and see where the story and my characters lead me. It’s a lot like life itself. We may have a goal in mind, but the route to it is often strewn with obstacles, surprises, and sometimes tragedy. I usually write 3,000 or 4,000 words a day, and I edit as I go. In other words, I may write a few paragraphs and then rewrite them within a few minutes of creating them. I don’t write what I would call a “First Draft.” When I finish writing a book, it is finished. I may go back and make a few tweaks with the plot here and there, or alter a little dialogue or some action by a character, but there is no second or third draft.

I know some authors who will write a first draft and put it away for weeks or months and then go back and look at it with fresh eyes. Alternatively, they may send it out to professional “beta readers” or “critiquers.” I do use beta readers, but I don’t put my writing away for weeks or months. Those strategies may work for some people. They don’t work for me. I guess it’s my journalistic training: see it, report it, organize it, write it and then move on to the next story.

If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to research an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

To Papua New Guinea. That is where a significant portion of my next book takes place–or should I say in the dense jungles of that still mostly unexplored country. There, in the forbidding and uncharted Foja Mountains, lurks an ancient mystery that two foreign correspondents are attempting to uncover.

(TOMORROW: Part 2)

BOOK BLURB:

The Finding Billy Battles trilogy tells the story of a remarkable man who is born in 1860 and who dies in 1960. For decades Billy lives an improbable and staggering life of adventure, peril, transgression and redemption. Then Billy mysteriously disappears. For several decades his family has no idea where he is or what he is doing.

Finally, with his life coming to an end, Billy resurfaces in an old soldiers’ home in Leavenworth, Kansas. It is there, when he is 98 that he meets his 12-year-old great-grandson and bequeaths his journals and his other property to him — though he is not to receive them until he is much older.

Years later, the great-grandson finally reads the journals and fashions a three volume trilogy that tells of his great-grandfather’s audacious life in the old west, as well as his journeys to the Far East of the 1890s—including French Indochina and The Philippines—and finally, in the early 20th century, to Europe and Latin America where his adventures and predicaments continue. One thing readers can be sure of, wherever Billy Battles goes trouble is not far behind.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Ronald E. Yates is a multi-award winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media.

The Lost Years of Billy Battles is the final book in the trilogy and recently won the Independent Press Award’s 2020 Distinguished Favorites Award. In 2019 it won Best Overall Book of the Year and the Grand Prize in the Goethe Historical Fiction Category from Chanticleer International Book Awards as well as a Book Excellence Award and a New Apple Award. The second book in the trilogy, The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles, was published in June 2016. It won the 2017 KCT International Literary Award and the New Apple Award in the Action/Adventure category. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014 and won a Book Excellence Award and Laramie Award from Chanticleer International Book Awards.

As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places. His work as a foreign correspondent earned him several awards including three Pulitzer Prize nominations.

Ron is a frequent speaker about the media, international affairs, and writing. He is a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Army Security Agency and lives just north of San Diego in Southern California’s wine country.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

-Twitter   https://twitter.com/jhawker69

-Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ronaldyatesbooks/

-Website   https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/

AMAZON OR OTHER PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHDVZI/-/e/B00KQAYMA8/

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/finding%20billy%20battles/_/N-8q8

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

 

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Welcome to Day 5 of the “WHISPERS OF THE PAST” Blog Tour! @RobertaEaton17 @ @4WillsPub

Welcome to Day 5 of the “WHISPERS OF THE PAST” Blog Tour! @RobertaEaton17 @ @4WillsPub

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GIVEAWAY: (5) eBook copies of WHISPERS OF THE PAST. For c chance to win, simply leave a comment on the  authors’ tour page as well as any other tour stop.

Authors

 

It is my pleasure to welcome a group of talented authors who have collaborated in the publication of the paranormal anthology. Today’s post is by Jeff Bowles.

Please help me welcome Jeff. Jeff, the floor is yours!

 

The Dream You Can’t Wake Up From: Writing A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known by Jeff Bowles

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I was having waking dreams around the time I wrote A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known. I was also knee deep in a revived appreciation for the music of the Doors, but that’s kind of a secondary factor. In the dreams, I could be and do whatever I wanted. I could fly, own a sports car, win the lottery.

Most tellingly of all, I could be a rock star, which is something I’d craved since I was ten years old. Before I considered myself a writer, I was a singer-songwriter and a performer. I never actually got anywhere with it, but music has always been a part of my story. I’ve got an aptitude for it, you see. It just comes naturally, and it always has.

When I had the idea to write A Peaceful Life, I knew I could inject my horror story with a sense of reality. I knew intimately the ups and downs of being a stage performer, of playing in a band, of arriving at creative and personal destinations you’re not sure you bargained for. I’m also a student of rock music history. It’s a cliché tale at this point, but also a timeless one.

What happens when all your dreams come true and you hate very minute of it? Well, if you’re my antagonist, Douglass James, the answer is both novel and terrifying. This is a horror story, after all. A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known is loosely based on some of the highlights of Jim Morrison’s life and career.

The Doors were one of the most popular and successful rock groups of the 60s, of all time in fact, but Morrison’s fate was tragic and mysterious. Nobody knows if he died of a drug overdose or not. The French police who investigated his death in a luxury Paris hotel did a poor job proving or disproving anything, perhaps blinded by the late singer’s celebrity or maybe even covering something up.

Jim Morrison will always be one of those pop music cautionary tales. Dead at the age of twenty-seven at the height of his fame, depressed, overweight, and addicted to heroin at a time in his life that should’ve been a celebration. But Morrison had never been a happy individual. His bandmates often said he was crazy, and indeed, he may have been schizophrenic or at least severely bipolar.

In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Jim once declared he was possessed. Apparently, when he was a boy on vacation with his family, his father had driven by a terrible car accident on a deserted Nevada highway, and the ghost of an elderly Native American man entered his body and sealed his fate.

Morrison was a natural talent, with a baritone growl that could send chills through any audience in the world. But he wasn’t particularly functional. Even though he and the rest of the Doors had become wealthy in the years since their 1967 debut, he lived out of hotels and had only one prized possession: a black ‘67 Shelby GT500, which he cruised around in whenever he felt caged. Which was often.

At the time I began writing A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known, I had just bought a big Doors CD box set and was listening to every single album the band recorded on a daily rotational basis. Then I started to read a couple Doors biographies, and in short order, those damned waking dreams started up. Sometimes they’d be beautiful or inspiring or at least fun, but at other times, they’d manifest in startling ways. A waking dream is simply a dream in which you know you’re dreaming. So in essence, you’ve got control of it and can mold it into whatever you desire. In my case, however, control was only a part-time proposition. Night after night, the dreams got away from me, and though I remained consciously aware in that half-twilight state, dark and twisted imaginings crept in from the corners of my mind. I kept dreaming of a killer rock star. That’s who Douglass James is. He’s Jim Morrison if the real-life rock legend had one day decided that old spirit rattling away within him deserved a little time in the light.

I had to write the story, because if I didn’t, the waking nightmares would haunt me well into the daylight hours. I used my skills as a musician and a lyricist to form a plot in which James absconded with a young nobody guitarist to, as it were, write one last song and pass on his ghastly legacy. Then I went a step further and imbued the story with a sense of personal history, mostly on account of those Doors biographies.

Though the events of Douglass James’ life are distinctly different from the life and times of Jim Morrison, the dark spirit and wild, primal, sexual power of the doomed front man are essential to its telling. I mean, consider the name. Jim’s middle name was in fact Douglass, and really, who else could this guy be? My troubled rock star is a clone really, at least in spirit.

Eventually, the waking dreams cleared up. I haven’t had a single one in all the years since I wrote A Peaceful Life. Sometimes I wonder if they weren’t somehow given to me, granted in a way, from some ethereal source not unlike Jim’s famous possessing spirit.

Then again, maybe I was just listening to too much Doors music. Break on Through, People are Strange, The Crystal Ship, Love Me Two Times, these were the songs that in part helped define a generation. They’re also dark and mysterious, just like the man himself. Jim never killed anyone, but that doesn’t mean his story is all wine and roses. Ultimately, the real tragedy of his life is that he never learned to be happy. I hope you enjoy my little tale, but maybe not too much. Nothing’s more twisted than a dream you can’t wake up from.

 

Whispers of the Past by [Booth, Kaye Lynne, Cheadle, Roberta Eaton, Goodswen, Julie, McHargue, Laurel, Rosch, Arthur, Turner, Stevie, Bowles, Jeff]

Book Blurb: 

A paranormal anthology with nine stories from six authors, including the winning story in the 2019 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest, A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known, by Jeff Bowles.

Amazon or other purchase links: 

https://books2read.com/u/38EGEL

 

An image posted by the author.

Jeff Bowles

AUTHOR BIO:

Jeff Bowles is a science fiction and horror writer from the mountains of Colorado. The best of his outrageous and imaginative short stories are collected in Godling and Other Paint Stories, Fear and Loathing in Las Cruces, and Brave New Multiverse. He has published work in magazines and anthologies like Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, Podcastle, the Threepenny Review, and Dark Moon Digest. Jeff earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at Western State Colorado University. He currently lives in the high-altitude Pikes Peak region, where he dreams strange dreams and spends far too much time under the stars.

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Bowles/e/B01L7GXCU0

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Amazon Author Page

Writing to be Read

 

Thank you for supporting this author and this “group” tour. To follow with the rest of the tour, Please drop in on the author’s 4WillsPub tour page.

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking  HERE.  

 

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Welcome to Day 1 of the “NO PEDIGREE” Blog Tour! @NonnieJules #RRBC #RWISA @4WillsPub

Welcome to Day 1 of the “NO PEDIGREE” Blog Tour! @nonniejules #RRBC #RWISA @4WillsPub

GIVEAWAYS:  (2) eBook copies of NO PEDIGREE & (2) $5 Amazon gift cards!  You must leave a comment on the author’s tour page  and any other stop along the tour to be entered to win.

I’m excited to host the Blog Tour for Nonnie Jules. Please read on to find out her amazing experience in writing this book “NO PEDIGREE.” She has wonderful insight and advice for your book writing!

 

Nonnie

Hi, and thanks for dropping in on Day 1 of my NO PEDIGREE blog tour!  I’m so grateful to Miriam for sharing her space with me today as I share how this story came about.

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THE ORIGIN OF NO PEDIGREE

On January 12, 2020, two words came to me in the middle of the night, by way of a dream.  Whatever dream I was engaged in at that time, paused for a moment, allowing me to sit up in bed, reach for my iPhone and type ‘NO PEDIGREE’ into my notes.  Mind you, because I’m an author, any thought that randomly pops into my head, has the potential to become another Nonnie Jules read.

The next morning, I rush into my office and create the book cover for NO PEDIGREE … again, I didn’t have the full concept of the story in mind at that time, but something was pushing me, almost forcefully, into the creation of the title and the cover.

Because my work schedule is so hectic between the editing work that I do with 4WillsPublishing and the two book clubs that I lead, the only way this book would ever see the light of day in 2020, was if I put it up on Amazon in a pre-order status;  and since it had been a while since I’d published last,  I was determined to do that immediately.

Now, you can put your book up on Amazon in a pre-order status without having the manuscript ready to go, but, I’m pretty sure you need a book blurb if you want any pre-order sales, so the next thing I did was stand in front of my computer to pound one out … and, if I must say so myself, it was (almost) perfect.  Let me tell you why.

I would assume that when most writers plan their books, the concepts are front and center in their minds.  Not so for me this time.  When I began to write this short story, I didn’t have any clue as to the direction it would go in.  I hadn’t given any thought to how it would begin, and I certainly had not any plans for the ending.  I decided that the blurb I had quickly pounded out, would serve as my compass.

For most of us, the story is written first, and then the blurb follows.  Working from the inside out this time, gave me a new appreciation for my backwards writing process.

When I’d get stuck in the writing, I’d return to Amazon and re-read that blurb.  I did this time and time and time again throughout the writing of the entire story.

This worked so wonderfully well for me, that I have decided to use this process going forward with all my future books.  Title, book cover, blurb – from those three very important elements, my stories will be born.

Faced with a self-imposed deadline of initially two weeks (what can I say, I like to challenge myself), I knew that I would have to steal the time to write, edit and proof this story many times over.  Due to many different and unforeseen circumstances, I ended up changing that release date, not once, but twice. Finally, it released on February 18, 2020 – later than planned, but still a lot quicker than it would have, had I not used this process.

My advice to you … the next time a story comes to you in or out of your dreams, don’t wait until you have the entire concept mapped out to begin working on it – that can sometimes take years.  Go on and dive right in, creating and designing all the other elements that will complete your book, and then let those elements serve as the tools you use to build a great read.  Many who know me, know that I’m an action kind of girl.  If I have an idea, I don’t want to sit on it – I want to act on it. I don’t like talking about things, I like doing things.  This can be you, too.

The moral of this story is, contrary to popular belief, sometimes you do have to put the cart before the horse.  The horse might be doing the pulling, but if not for the cart and the goods it’s carrying, what would the horse’s purpose be?  Even if the cart isn’t moving, it’s still housing valuable and precious cargo.

 

1

BOOK BLURB…

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Baylee never quite fit in… anywhere. She was taunted and teased because her clothes had no designer labels, and spit upon because her only pair of shoes had holes in the bottom. The butt of many jokes, she was excluded from all social activities, sneered at by the parents of her peers after school as she waited for the bus, watching them drive away in their fancy cars; assaulted in the most unthinkable fashion.

Having been born to a white father and a black native American mother didn’t make things any easier. In fact, that circumstance made her life ten times harder – until the day she made them all stand up, take notice, and regret every ugly word and deed they had inflicted upon her.

 

 

Nonnie profile

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Hi, I’m Nonnie JulesPresident & Founder of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {RRBC} and RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS {RWISA}.  As a writer who values the (polished) written word, it is my mission to help my fellow authors understand that their reputations as writers should be treated as rare treasure, and that the only way to be taken seriously in this business, is to ensure that your writing (no matter the forum) is impeccably written and well edited.  If not, you’re just another “Joe” with a pen who was the first to raise his hand when Amazon asked, “Hey, any old Joe out there wanna publish a book?  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be good and there’s absolutely no hard work involved.”

FYI:  If you don’t care what you put out into the world, you’re just a laughing stock in the literary community … and your name is “Joe.”

To learn more about Nonnie and how to connect with her, please drop in on her RRBC Author Page!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks for spending time here with me today, and Miriam, thank you so much, once again for having me on your blog!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

To follow along with the rest of the NO PEDIGREE blog tour, visit the author’s tour page.

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub tour to promote your books in similar fashion, click HERE.

 

4

 

 

 

Welcome to Day 1 of the “WHILE THE BOMBS FELL” Blog Tour! @bakeandwrite @4WillsPub #RRBC

Welcome to Day 1 of the “WHILE THE BOMBS FELL” Blog Tour! @bakeandwrite @4WillsPub #RRBC

Whie the Bombs Fell

While the Bombs Fell

How we decided on the title

While the Bombs Fell is a collaboration between my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton, and me and tells a fictionalized account of her life as a small girl growing up in the small English town of Bungay, Suffolk during World War II.

Deciding on a title for a book is never easy and we bandied around several ideas before coming up with “While the bombs fell.” Although this book is not violent and focuses more on how families carried on with their everyday lives, despite the on-going war, this title seemed appropriate as everything and everyone was touched by the bombing and the war across the channel and in the oceans and skies.

People became so accustomed to listening for the sound of the bomber planes and the air raid sirens they were not even aware they were doing so, especially the children. This is illustrated by the following quote from the book: “At night, before Elsie dropped off to sleep, she listened for the throb of the engines of the German, nicknamed Jerry, bomber planes and the piercing whistle of dropping bombs. The planes terrified her, and she lay worrying that one might drop a bomb on her house.”

Bungay was only bombed once during the war in 1940. My mother was just under two years old at the time, so she doesn’t remember it, but her older brothers and sisters do. When her brothers told her about the places that were damaged during the bombing, Elsie knew them all, especially the grandstand on the football pitch at the public recreation area.

Norwich, the closest city to Bungay, was badly bombed in April/May 1942 as part of the Baedeker Blitz. My mother was aware of the fires that blazed throughout the city during the attacks and the loss of life, especially civilians. She and her six brothers and sisters were also aware of the bombing of London and knew some evacuees who were forced to leave their home and come and live in Bungay to escape the air raids.

The air raid the shelter my grandfather built in the garden to protect his family during air raids held a particular fascination for me. The thought of crouching in a cold and damp room under the ground during the English winter, while the bomber planes flew over on their way to London is quite frightening. The following extract explains how my grandfather built the air raid shelter and how it also formed a useful part of the garden:

“Father and some helpers constructed the bomb shelter from galvanized corrugated steel sheeting, bolted together to form the body and ends of the shelter. They dug a deep hole in the ground, with stairs leading downwards and then poured the concrete floor and steps. Once the concrete set, they inserted the steel structure into the hole so that only the arched roof showed above the ground. Father covered the roof with soil so that Mother could use the space to plant vegetables. In this way, the air raid shelter served a useful purpose as a productive part of the garden.”

The war and threat of bombings also impacted the children while they were at school during the day. If the air raid siren sounded during the school day the children all lined up in a long crocodile to make the short walk to the air raid shelter. The children were orderly and disciplined during this fast walk and never gave their teachers any uphill; they understood the risk and the urgency.

Bungay also had its own squadron of U.S.A. pilots and soldiers who were affectionately referred to as the Bungay Buckaroos. They occupied the airfield and depot, known as RAF Bungay, which was located about two miles from Bungay near the village of Flixton. This book describes the impact the U.S.A. soldiers had on the moral of the British people and life in the town of Bungay.

Although my mother and her siblings made the most of life and enjoyed swimming and paddling in the river, gathering flowers, playing among the ruins of Bungay Castle and helping with the preparations for Christmas dinner, their lifestyle and activities were continuously being adapted to accommodate the rationing, blackouts and other changes necessitated by the war. It was for these reasons that we decided on While the Bombs Fell as a title.

 

BOOK BLURB

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often, they come and the air raid siren sounds signaling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.

2a.Robbie

AUTHOR BIO:

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalized biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

  • Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
  • Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Robbie Cheadle

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

 

Thank you for supporting this author and her tour.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on this author’s 4WillsPub tour page.

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking HERE.

 

 

WELCOME TO DAY 8 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @DLFINNAUTHOR #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

RWISA Revolution Tour Banner

Welcome to Day 8 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, D. L. Finn.

We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What D. L. has to say about RWISA…

D. L. Finn Revolution Banner

D. L. has a book she’d like to introduce you to:

“THIS SECOND CHANCE”

This Second Chance by D L Finn

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE: If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave us a comment and a “LIKE” below!

 

 

 

WELCOME TO DAY 4 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @PEGGYHATTENDORF #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

RWISA Revolution Tour Banner

Welcome to Day 4 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, Peggy Hattendorf.

We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

picBio

RWISA Profile

What Peggy has to say about RWISA…

Peggy Hattendorf Revolution Banner

Peggy has a book she’d like to introduce you to:

“SON OF MY FATHER”

Son of My Father by Peggy Hattendorf

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE: If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave us a comment and a “LIKE” below!

 

 

 

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