Tag Archives: reading

Flash Your Fiction!

Opportunities to participate in various writing competitions or flash fiction challenges pop up frequently throughout the year, giving everyone an opportunity to flex their grey matter, whether a literary genius or novice writer. Yup, I’m looking at you!

Colleen Chesebro, the Faery Whisperer, has kindly shared an active flash fiction challenge from Charli Mills at Carrotranch.com, which I’ve posted below.

Why not take up the challenge and see what you can free from the depths of your imagination?

Here is the prompt:

January 3, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who looks back. It can be a metaphorical reflection or a glance in the rear-view mirror. Who is looking back, and why? Go where the prompt leads.

Send a link back to myself in the comments or to Charli at carrotranch.com and share the love of writing with everyone you know.

Here’s my attempt at the flash fiction challenge…

Shadows grew as the winter sun faded behind the neatly packed houses. Children scampered in for tea and street lights twinkled to life. She sighed, unclenching her fingers and loosening her jaw. Another day – gone. Still no sirens, no-one searching for her. She was one of those shadows, forgotten from the light footsteps skipping home for tea. Her skeletal fingers traced the remnants of light filtering through her cramped prison. Sun-kissed skin, now wrinkled, stretched and cracked at the effort. Yes, she was now just a memory of the little girl who once lived at No. 15.

Now it’s your turn! Share your thoughts – its always great hearing from you.

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Kennings At Monday Coffee

Have you ever heard of a Kennings poem? Continue reading

Prepping

Uni starts in a few day’s time and I’m trying to wrap my head around all the basics required just to start. The forums are like live snakes swirling and hissing with comments and information of various people’s thoughts. Some have already completed week one and are discussing week two! Eek! What have I signed up for?

While I tackle the demons inside me, I have one over riding emotion: determination. I want to complete this course and learn to hone my writing skills. A writer’s peak is never reached with exploring and extending one’s reach or capabilities. This is my mission. There is every possibility that I will fail or circumstances will force me to quit. Until that obstacle is reached, I’m persevering.

It’s strange to think the year is almost out and I’m make a resolution. I guess the celebration of a year’s death and the new birth of the next year is not the only time we can make resolutions!

If you had the opportunity to make a resolution or pursue your dreams, what would you wish for or do? Let me know in the comments section or send me a message. It’s always good to hear from you.

In the meantime, ill bid you farewell.

My brain is fried and I need to sleep. Librarians don’t make good zombies!

Nightly bye.

Wine o’ clock

I love long lines of traffic, moody children complaining in the back and the scowling sky threatening to cry out to the world below. Love the stress of trying to balance a workday with after school clubs and meetings for four different children preparing for their new year in a new class (two at new schools!). Love the plucky looks of parents eyeing out my dog hanging out the back window as I park because he’s decided to make himself sick and nearly die, and me spending sleepless nights watching over him then going to work.

Yup. It has been fun. 

Suffice it to say, I am declaring it wine o’ clock and all my worries be damned! As I pour my glass of Shiraz and slip into my oversized pjs that don’t match but are the most comfortable clothes I possess, I feel bubbles of excitement fill my body. The thought of a night of relaxation with XXX on Sky (yes, of course I love Vin Diesel but not in the way you would think – I want to be him, not be with him!!) and my secret stash of Turkish Delights just waiting for me, I plan on forgetting the pending appointments for the week ahead, the deadlines on books I still haven’t finished writing and my start with the Open University where I will be studying a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. 

Yes folks, the future may be bright and filled with opportunities, but just for tonight, I’m taking a break. 

Please, be kind and leave reviews for my books. I will try to keep posts flowing on my blog but they will be intermittent (as they have been for the past few weeks). Apologies if I miss your posts. I will try to keep up but a few will fall through the cracks. 

If you need me, send me an email or contact me through my social media sites. I’m still around, just focusing on not drowning under children, work, studies and pets! 

Hugs to you all. 

Monday Coffee: Home

I have reached home.
Today I took the steps leading me to the future, the place I want to be. I sit here revelling in the feeling of achievement I so rarely get to enjoy and…I am in awe.

Sometimes wishing is not enough. Sometimes, settling only gets you so far. But I have to ask myself why, on this journey here, did I question the fundamental right of anyone to pursue more than what their goal is? I ridiculed the idea that pushing further would reap rewards of happiness and success equally. I postured the idealism that greed is the main source of pursuit, leading down a slippery slope to materialism and superficial lifestyles. I know it is. 

But here I sit. The hunger is dated. I have reached the point where I want to be and that gurgling murmur of delight escaping my lips is not one of greed or want; it’s the sound of knowing that taking the risk to reach my happiness was not complete madness.

My happy place: a wet log covered by a doggy sack to keep my posterior dry whilst I type this drivel. 

My view – exquisite! A soft clearing half way up a hill overlooking the valley of wild grass and heather below. The sound of crunching leaves behind me as Henry pursues the heady scents of foxes and birds in his happy state. I can’t say everything here is perfect. As I crossed the gulley surrounded by gorse bushes, I honestly thought I wouldn’t make it. But I did. And once in the clearing under the tall redwoods, my celebrations were greeted by a dead bird lying on the damp grass. Not to be dissuaded, I moved further away after praying for its little soul. Yes, if we have souls, so do the beasts that co-habit this earth. There, I found my log, riddled with woodworm and all things unpleasant. This is where I sit, content. 

Sometimes, pushing for those dreams is definitely worth it.

Book Tuesday with Teagan

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday. I have the pleasure of introducing a good blogging buddy of mine this week: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. She has been visiting many bloggers’pages over the past few days, spreading the exciting news about her new book. If you’ve been lucky enough to follow her blog, you’ll know that she is the queen of pantser writing. Her unique 1920’s based stories take her readers to a forgotten era, serving a delicious mix of home made recipes to tantalise readers as they delve into her stories. 

Without further ado, I’ll let her do the talking!

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.

Bijou front only 2

Yes, that’s the cover. (I love making covers!) I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise. I asked friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space. If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device. The purchase links are below. But first, here’s a snippet.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me. I’m not sure which. I opened my eyes to complete darkness. There was no light, no sound. The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean. It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else! Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily. The sound of a cricket came to me. Good. The utter silence had been very disturbing. I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses. My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark. Bare ground was beneath me. The air had a musty odor. A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound. Still sitting, I turned. My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness. When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away. I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was. I felt a burlap bag and round lumps. Rutabagas? I felt around and found another bag. That one felt like potatoes. I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape. Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar.

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Thanks for joining me and please remember, reviews help authors! Have a great Tuesday. 

#Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic Author Spotlight Guest Posts – “The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff,” by Eloise De Sousa

Colleen has me in her spotlight!

Colleen Chesebro ~ The Faery Whisperer


Welcome to my Author Spotlight Guest Posts

“I have started a new feature on my blog, called Author Spotlight – Guest Posts. As you can see from the image above, I am looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an interested author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more.” ~Colleen~


One of the best ways to meet new independent authors is to experience their writing. For my special guest author, Eloise De Sousa, this required her to step out of her usual writing genre and enter the world of fairies, myths, and magic. This is difficult at best for most writers, but not Eloise.

The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff,” is a fantasy series written by Eloise which I will update with future episodes as she writes them. Make sure…

View original post 1,444 more words

Book Tuesday

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday. Pull up a chair because we have a humdinger of a book this week.

Pic courtesy of Pan-Macmillan Books

Today’s focus is going to be on a children’s book written by an author who has been awarded numerous awards for her outstanding books.  Her name is Eva Ibbotson and the book we will share today is Journey to the River Sea.

Now I stumbled across this book in the school library and I was pushed to reading it with the Book Club because we had spare copies and that meant no-one had to buy the club book. Apparently it was a class reader once upon a time. Some of the children had already read Journey to the River Sea but they managed to convince the rest  of the members that the book was so wonderful, it was worth reading again. Straight away I could sense there was something special about it.

Journey to the River SeaThe story follows the life of an orphan called Maia, who is sent to live with her estranged uncle and aunt on a rubber plantation in Brazil, near the Amazon river. With hopes of finding herself a new loving family and twin cousins to call sisters, she embarks on the voyage with a rather stern governess who has a love of books that surpasses most things. Of course, the twisty tale takes us to a place where lies melt beneath the heat of the jungle and the true reason behind the request for Maia to live with her long lost relatives becomes apparent.

What I loved most about this book was the way Eva Ibbotson created characters that literally jumped off the page and into my heart. The setting brought to life vivid creatures from the Amazon and a life that most children could only dream of as an escape from the mundane. Danger is never far off and the promise of adventure is around every corner of the story, sending the reader on a journey down the river to a place where, hopefully, Maia finds true happiness. Not only did one root for the main character but each supporting role, whether protagonist or otherwise, as each evoked great emotion within the reader.

We are completing a chapter a week in our Book Club and the pressure is mounting to read faster to find out what happens next. To see the children enjoying the challenge of the book as well as listening to further explanation about some aspects of the culture of the people or the language used gives us ample opportunity to chew over the delicious details of this story.

If you are looking for a good read for your child and are stumped to find something that includes adventure, excitement, sadness and honest-to-goodness fantastic writing/vocabulary/grammar/punctuation (I fear a lot of the modern ‘fun’ books have forgotten good grammar), then this is the book for your child and you!

Click on the link below to order your copy of Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotsun.

 

Monday Coffee

Tonight, we are sitting on a wet log near the warbling stream, keeping an eye on the wet, grey blanket of skey above us. It’s cold; it’s muddy; however, for those of you who prefer the creature comforts of home, I’ve brought some black coffee with a dash of brandy to warm your cockles.

To be honest, I needed the air and an escape from the confines of domestic bliss. Losing us in the frosty embrace of the shadows of the forest felt like the best way to do it. Option B was tequila shots off a hairy barman’s chest until we were drunk enough to use him as a salt lick. I think you’ll be happy with my choice of Option A.

nominated blogThere are only a few days left to the Bloggers Bash in London this weekend and I’m a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Meeting new people in an unknown setting talking about books and blogs might sound appealing, but the fact that I have to hold conversations for a whole eight hours feels excessive. My only consolation is that this will be a meeting of many introverts, so I should be able to slip into a corner every couple of hours for some quiet time if necessary.

Hats off to the great committee/organisers of this event. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of blood, sweat and tears they have shed to make this event even bigger and better than last year. Plus, to top it all, Fahrenheit Press is sponsoring the event with prizes and goody bags for winners and attendees. Now that’s what I call an unexpected bonus!

As if the weekend ahead isn’t exciting enough, I have a radio interview booked for tomorrow with the lovely Annette Rochelle Aben, internet radio show host and author of Angel Messages. Since it is my first radio interview, I am very excited and can’t believe my luck! Finding a great host to interview you is always an advantage to any public speaking event and I’m sure after you’ve followed a few of her podcasts, you’ll understand why I feel as though I am in safe hands.

IMG_3718.PNGNow, before we finish off the flask of coffee, I need to push my agenda again: book reviews. Last week, I sent out a message on my Book Tuesday blog asking my readership to send in their reviews of my books. So far, I have found a few on certain sites, but there are many more readers that have not given feedback on the books. If you feel unsure about voicing your opinion, please don’t worry. Whether it is good or bad feedback, I would like to hear from you. It also helps other readers to find my books – otherwise they tend to disappear into the ether where books go to die. I’m a terrible marketing person and this is about as good as it gets, so please, if you do enjoy reading my work, leave feedback!

On that note, the weather is taking a turn for the worse and I can see your fingers are turning a tinge blue. I don’t want you getting sick before the Bash on Saturday. Watch your step as we slip through the darkness, back to the house at the edge of the forest.

 

Book Tuesday

Dear Readers,

I need your help. From my different sites, I’ve noticed that a few of my lovely readers have left reviews of my books. Now, on Amazon, it is an absolutely barren place for The Iron Pendulum and my children’s books. 

Cue the sorrowful music, tiny violins squeaking in the background attempting to set the moroseful scene…

Due to the low rate of reviews, my books are dropping down the rankings to the bottom of the pit where poor books go to die. 

Now the upbeat tempo kicks in, lifting the somber tone to one of hope…

There’s a way to change this. YOU, yes you, the wonderful readers who took the time to buy my books, or downloaded free copies or just read it from the backseat of the bus as the person on front of you dozed off – I NEED YOU! Please click onto Amazon from wherever you are and leave a review for me: good, bad, ugly – I’m a big girl, I can take it. If you’re not a member of Amazon, then please log onto whatever site you bought my books from, borrowed, stole, illegally downloaded and leave a review. 

I’m counting on all of you and will send you loads of butterfly kisses and well wishes. That might sound like a lousy repayment but my gratitude will be eternal. 

Eloise’s books – click