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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Like my Author Page if you have a minute



I'm happy to announce that I have finally created an Author Page on Facebook.

In the past I ran my author posts on my vintage Business Page. Needless to say, this is not really ideal. Now I have 3 pages on Facebook and it can get mighty confusing. My Personal Page which I try to keep for family (as they are all over the world). My Business Page and now my Author Page.

So please support me if you can by popping in and giving me a like. If you could leave your own link for FB I can then like you back.
https://www.facebook.com/catherinelvickers

Saturday, 28 September 2013

You are invited to meet Dean Mayes our guest author


The Hambledown Dream By Dean Mayes
Australian Denny Banister had it all; a successful career, a passion for the guitar, and Sonya - the love of his life. Tragically, Denny is struck down with inoperable cancer. 
Andy DeVries has almost nothing; alienated from his family, moving through a dangerous Chicago underworld dealing in drugs, battling addiction while keeping a wavering hold on the only thing that matters to him: a place at a prestigious conservatory for classical guitar in Chicago. As Andy recovers from a near fatal overdose, he is plagued by dreams - memories of a love he has never felt, and a life he's never lived. Driven by the need for redemption and by the love for a woman he's never met, he begins a quest to find her, knowing her only by the memories of a stranger and the dreams of a place called Hambledown...

Where you can purchase this book


Author Bio.
Emerging onto the literary stage in 2010 when in his mid 30's, Adelaide based author and Pediatric ICU Nurse Dean Mayes describes himself as somewhat of a late bloomer, having almost given up on the prospect of ever being published. Dean had an idea for a story that he dearly wanted to tell however, and decided instead to blog the story rather than allow it to wither and die in his imagination.
Quite unexpectedly, the blog took off, quickly logging upwards of 3000 unique visits per month as a rapidly growing audience “tuned in” to Dean’s dream like tale of a young man who discovers he has taken on the memories and dreams of a complete stranger in the aftermath of a near fatal drug overdose.
Following a chance meeting with Canadian based publisher Central Avenue in mid 2009, Dean was signed by Creative Director Michelle Halket to an initial two year contract. In 2010, Dean’s humble blog became his debut novel “The Hambledown Dream” – a lyrical and moving romance about a young man’s journey on both sides of mortality. The novel has since gone on to receive global attention and critical acclaim.
Having established himself as an author of great passion and literary style, Dean set about penning a follow up novel that was not merely a repeat performance. After 2 years of meticulous research, Central Avenue Publishing released the powerful Australian family drama “Gifts of the Peramangk” in October 2012.
A third project, an experimental sci-fi novella entitled “The Regenesis Cluster”, was released in 2013. Dean describes this piece as an exploration of death and life, an artistic interpretation of reincarnation using words.
Dean is now working on his third feature length novel, the tentatively titled “The Recipient”.


INTERVIEW WITH AN AUTHOR - arm chair time

So it's now time to have a chat with Dean. Get your cup or tea or coffee and pretend you're sitting comfy in a chair having a cosy chit chat with our guest author. I find we can learn from each other in these Q & A sessions and love to see how other authors approach their writing careers. 

Before we begin perhaps you might be interested in winning a copy of Dean's book. Please just click in the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a full time author or do you have another job as well and if so how do either or these fit in with writing time?
I am an Intensive Care Nurse working mainly with children, so I juggle my writing with my “day job” as such. I am also a husband and father to a 7 and 4 year old and they keep me well on my toes. I am able to devote two full days per week the business and craft of writing as I mainly work night shifts and these hours vary slightly to the average 9 to 5. Mondays and Tuesdays are my writing days.
Do you write on your novel daily or do you try to have days off?
Presently, I write when I can. I'll steal moments of time outside of the two full days I mentioned earlier so if I'm on a meal break at work, I'll have a notebook in hand or my Samsung Tablet close by so I can work. I'll also try to do some work after I get home from work and the house is quiet. This is actually really good because I use it as a way to wind down from what can often be a pretty demanding shift at the hospital.
Do you ever go back to a ‘published’ book and alter it for improvement?
I retooled my 2010 debut “The Hambledown Dream” after release based upon some feedback my publisher received about a couple of plotting issues. With my subsequent releases “Gifts of the Peramangk” and “The Regenesis Cluster” we spent a great deal of effort on their editing so once they were released, we didn't revisit them.
What is the most effective marketing for your books?
I don't know if I have found the most effective marketing tool yet. Undoubtedly, the web has enabled me to reach a truly international audience and social networking has been a large part of that reach. I've done both terrestrial and internet radio interviews also and I've found these to be a great way of reaching my audience in a more organic sense. People respond well to hearing my voice I think. It's tangible whereas my social media presence can often get lost in the rather big ocean of social media “white noise” that is out there.
Can you tell us about any romance in your novel The Hambledown Dream?
“The Hambledown Dream” - my 2010 debut for Central Avenue Publishing is perhaps my most romantic work to date – for it is primarily a romance. It tells the story of a young man whose life is torn apart by a terminal illness – but his death is not the end of his journey. It is merely the beginning.
Australian Denny Banister is a young man who has it all; a successful career, a passion for the guitar, and Sonya - the love of his life. Tragically, Denny is struck down with inoperable cancer. Andy DeVries has almost nothing; alienated from his family, moving through a dangerous Chicago underworld dealing in drugs, battling addiction while keeping a wavering hold on the only thing that matters to him: a place at a prestigious conservatory for classical guitar in Chicago.
As Andy recovers from a near fatal overdose, he is plagued by dreams - memories of a love he has never felt, and a life he's never lived. Driven by the need for redemption and by the love for a woman he's never met, he begins a quest to find her, knowing her only by the memories of a stranger and the dreams of a place called Hambledown...
What are your best tips of how to create a fighting scene?
I'm working on a project right now where there will be some action and fight scenes but I have to confess, I'm somewhat of a novice when it comes to these sorts of scenes. That said, I think the best examples of fight scenes in the written form are ones that depict the emotions of the combatants, their thought processes as well as the physical dynamics. You want to get inside the heads of these characters in order to “feel” what they are feeling within that scene. So balancing your action with thoughts and feelings, I think, is the best way of constructing a great fight scene.
Do you feel the sadness if you have to write a sad scene?
I do. In “The Hambledown Dream” I explored the grief of one of the protagonists, Sonya Llewellyn, who has to go on after losing the love of her life in Denny. In order to do that, I spent a lot of time, making notes about how I dealt with my own grief at losing both friends and family. Recalling those memories did evoke those acute emotions I felt at the time and I was able to channel those into my writing. I still have the tear stained notes I made when I was writing “The Hambledown Dream” (laughs here).
Did you write as a child or did you come into your talent as an adult?
My love of creative writing dates back to about aged 7 or 8. I had quite an active imagination that my then teacher, Mrs. Furnell, sought to nurture. We used to do these little creative writing exercises that I initially found really hard. However, my teacher pushed me until one day, I produced this little piece about a soliders experience of war. For that, I received what was then quite coveted – the Purple Dragon sticker. It was probably the most significant moment I'd experienced as a student. I loved to create grand adventures, some of which weren't wholly original (cough *Star Wars* cough) but I relished in the creativity I had discovered.
My life kind of got in the way and, throughout my teens and 20's, I my attentions were diverted by academia, establishing a career in nursing, marriage and family. But I never gave up on the idea of writing. In mid 2007, a personal hero of mine, a journalist named Matt Price, revealed that he had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. 2 months later, he was dead and his passing had a really significant impact on me. I decided then that I wanted to write seriously. I had a story treatment that had languished in my desk drawer for several years. So I took it out and began working on it with no goal in mind other than to finish it.
What is the time period setting of The Hambledown Dream?
The Hambledown Dream is set in mid to late 2010 which occurred a few months after it was published. Actually, when we were editing it, dates and times came up a lot in the conversations I had with the editing team, because we had to work out when certain events happened in the story – for example, the International Guitar Festival that occurs toward the end of the book. We had to actually set a date for that so I could back track and work out where certain other plot points occurred – like Andy catching a flight from Chicago to Australia. My editor even went as far as suggesting a real world flight that would get him there. It was bizarre but also a lot of fun.
Do you prefer to write as a series or one off books?
At this point, I don't think I have the discipline to write a series so my novels tend to be one offs. However, I have borrowed characters from “The Hambledown Dream” and placed them into “Gifts of the Peramangk” and this turned out to be a really satisfying move. I also plan to revisit another Hambledown character for my latest project but I'm going to keep that one under wraps for now.  
Do you like to use lots of subplots or do you think this just confuses?
Not at all. So long as subplots serve the main story, I think they are an essential part of creating a convincing narrative. I employed subplots in both “The Hambledown Dream” and “Gifts of the Peramangk” and I am really happy with how they informed the main story. It allows you to enhance the characters and situations in really satisfying ways.
What is the relationship of the protagonist and the antagonist in The Hambledown Dream?
The dual protagonists of Denny Banister and Andy De Vries work as both the protagonist and antagonist I think in that they represent both the dark and light sides of the same individual. It is a complex idea and would require me to spoil much of the novel for you so I'll leave you to ponder that one.
Do you find reviews useful?
I do and I read every review I receive. Often, reviewers will draw my attention towards things that I hadn't considered before – story telling elements, things they didn't like, things they did like and I'll make notes about those comments so I can improve my writing style. And, of course good reviews provide the little ego boost that we writers always like to get because it makes us feel good. I used to struggle with bad reviews but I've come to live with them and draw positive messages from them.
Do you think all readers should do reviews to help the writers improve?
I would love to receive reviews from as many people as possible. As I said earlier, I do take notice of them so the more I get the better I feel I can be as a writer.
When you receive reviews do you find yourself influenced to make changes?
To the existing works – no but to future works – most definitely. 


Thank you Dean for the opportunity to win a copy of your book and for chatting on my blog today.




Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Winners of Guardian Dragons Book 1


And the Winners are ...

CONGRATULATIONS
Go to:-

Melissa Weeks
AND

For winning a FREE e-version of 
Guardian Dragons

via the Rafflecopter run by
katebensonauthorpage

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Author Judy Goodwin Author of the Week

FEATURED AUTHOR of the week from Goodreads 
(Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopian & Romance Readers, Writers & Reviewers)

JUDY GOODWIN from Pheonix, Arizona, USA


Judy Goodwin has had poetry and short fiction published in magazines such as Space and Time, Dreams and Nightmares, Another Realm, and most recently in Beyond Centauri.  Her poem, “I am the Ugly Stepsister” was nominated for the Rhysling Award in 2005.  She has also had erotic fiction featured in anthologies, but MOSTLY writes science fiction and fantasy.  Her short stories often have a humorous tone.

In her “day job” life, Judy works as an academic counselor and also runs a side business as a technical writing consultant.  She has one child, too many dogs and cats, and a thirst for knowledge which never seems to be sated.

Witch cover ebook website small
Now out! Fantasy novel, “Heart of the Witch”
Heart of the Witch at Amazon
Twitter username  judygoodwin6


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Excerpt Free fantasy ebook 19-21 sept


Chapter 5 Stables
Heather hugged him closely. She felt a strange shudder as the warmth of his body touched against hers. Her head rested on his youthfully broad chest, her nose nestled up into the soft skin of his throat. She felt his skin shudder as he swallowed nervously. His strong square hands stroked her long golden waves. She gazed up at his handsome face. Slowly their lips met and caressed lightly, their breath intermingling, sweet and warm. The pressure of the kiss increased as their lips moistened. With eyes closed, both hearts throbbed with a passionate longing. This was the meaning of their true friendship. Their love burst open like the bud of a flower, for all to see.
     The stable boy stopped his chores with dismay in his bulging eyes as he stared at the dreamy lovebirds. He chuckled cheekily with his stinking hand covering his mouth so no one would realise he was so amused. He could not wait to tell the kitchen hands who would tell the guards who would tell everyone.
     The warm loving kiss ended. Heather’s eyes remained closed while her body shivered with excited delight.
     ‘Leon,’ Heather whispered, leaning her head gently on his beating heart. ‘What shall we do?’ She managed to say as she inhaled her breathe to put air back in to her empty lungs.
     ‘We could just simply run away from everything and everyone,’ Leon panted, putting his loving hands gently at the sides of her head and staring into her tearful eyes. ‘Hah, what a notion. We finally discover our love and off we all go on a mad expedition to save the world. Raphael would indeed laugh at our predicament.’
     One thing I know for certain Heather, I shall not be far behind you. I will complete the tasks the King’s Council has set me and then follow your trail. I’ll not part from you for long. Raphael will be saved, and when we return and all is well again, we shall marry. This is what I truly desire.’
     ‘You know you can’t follow me into the Darklands Leon.’
     ‘I know that,’ Leon agreed with a lovesick tone. ‘But I don’t see why we can’t wed when this is over. What about it Heather? You and me, at long last coming together as we should, now that we’re both adults.’
     ‘Oh Leon,’ Heather could not help but laugh at Leon’s remarks. ‘We didn’t just become adults you know, we have yet to earn that. As for our marriage?’ She left this suggestion dangling.
     ‘Yes, Heather,’ Leon was eager for her to finish her sentence.
     ‘We shall just have to wait and see.’ Turning away from him so she did not have to see the look on his face, she quickly pulled away from his embrace. Heather looked down to the ground. Leon placed his long fingers under her tiny chin and lifted her gaze to his. They smiled into each other’s eyes. Leon would have stood glued to that spot for the rest of the moonwake but Heather pulled herself away and slowly they parted company. Words remained unspoken.

FREE kindle version to download 19-21 September - Amazon worldwide
http://www.amazon.com/Flight-Changeling-Book-Aarabassa-World/dp/1484065727
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flight-Changeling-Aarabassa-World-ebook/dp/B00CPOWIKE


Monday, 16 September 2013

And the Winners are ...

CONGRATULATIONS
Go to:-

Jo Ann Palmisano

Prudence Hayes

For winning a FREE e-version of 
Guardian Dragons

via the Rafflecopter run by
Lindy Zart Author Page.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Unreleased excerpt fantasy series Book 3

Now is the time to obtain Book 1 Guardian-Dragons in readiness for Book 2 Flight of a Changeling which will be FREE to download on Amazon worldwide 19-21 Sept (3 days). Only then will you be ready for Book 3 which will hopefully be released October.

This is a quick peek at chapter ten of my next book (3) to be released in the World of Aarabassa series. 

10    Marshland Magic
Leon arrived at the emerald green lagoon. Misty fogs swirled around over the centre of the deep waters. No creature has ever been to the bottom and survived to tell the tale. Thus, no one knows the true depth of this eerie pond. Tales have emerged of long necked grey monsters rearing up through the surface to show giant ugly heads, and then disappearing down into the deep endless depths of the boggy waters. Some say these waters are an underwater entrance to the Darklands Archeronian Oceans, though never proved. Travelers will not linger long anywhere close to the lagoons sandy shores.  
      However, Leon being a young man of brave stature did not care to listen to tales told to frighten children. He decided to camp on the beach of the lagoon that very night. With absolutely no regrets upon this decision. He doused out his small cooking fire and stretched out his grey canvas cover to rest for the moonsleep. His horse Jhapar had other ideas, he chose not to rest so close to the waters edge. Leaving his master behind, he climbed further up the embankment to a dusty barren piece of wasteland that had been colonised with colourful plants that may prove to be quite tasty.
      The sun’s rays reflected from the green current of the lagoon creating an animated ripple that danced on the surface. Feeling a little agitated Leon watched the movement on the shore of the waters. He could only sleep in the darkness as he was used to blinds cutting out the light. He was finding the light of the sun distracting. Rolling over and turning his back to the reflection of light, he felt a cold chill, as if being watched. Frizzle had originally settled down in Leon’s camp but he also had slowly edged his way towards the horse’s choice of resting place. This had not gone unnoticed and further disturbed Leon’s fitful rest. It was usual for them to sleep back to back with the comfort of each others trusting friendship. Without his back covered he felt vulnerable and presumed this was why he felt so anxious.
      Finally, burying his head under his large leather saddle, he began to fall into a false sense of relaxation. Although it was pleasantly dimmer with his eyes covered by the saddle, the sour smell of sweat and leather was quite stifling. At least the sun rays were not so bright undercover. 
      Floating into a dreamy state of unconsciousness, he slowly became confused of the passing of time and realised he was not asleep but standing in the middle of the lagoon, walking on the waters.....








Monday, 9 September 2013

WINNERS of Guardian Dragons

Hap - Hap - Happy to announce another 2 lovely winners of Guardian Dragons as part of a Rafflecopter organised by https://www.facebook.com/philomena.callan

A FREE e-version goes out to 'K Jordan' and 'Desputaski' whom I have contacted today.

Hopefully they will also download the FREE e-version of Book 2 Flight of a Changeling between 19-21 Sept (3 days) on Amazon.
amazon.com/Flight-Changeling
amazon.co.uk/Flight-Changeling

Book 3 of the fantasy series set on the world of Aarabassa is in its final editing stages. However, still needs a title and a book cover. I'm hoping it will be ready for October - watch this space.

Meanwhile if you want to learn more about the fantasy world of Aarabassa then take a quick peek at the website
Aarabassa Website

OR - JOIN THIS BLOG FOR UPDATES

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Fantasy soon for FREE download


Book 2, Flight of a Changeling will be available for FREE download on Amazon from 19 - 21 Sept for a 3 day promotion.

So in order to be ready for the Sequel, you might want to read Book 1 Guardian Dragons first. Now available on Amazon, Book Nook, iTunes, Smashwords & Barnes & Noble in e-format or paperback (paperback Amazon only).

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Life on Aarabassa (fantasy)



Fantasy World of Aarabassa - full of fantasy creatures good and bad.

I've chosen this particular picture as it represents the monshaads who live on the dark side of Aarabassa. Pretty nasty creatures but then you'd have to read the book to learn how they fit in with the story amazon.com/Guardian-Dragons-Aarabassa-World

Illustration ©Mark Payne www.cutcaster.com


So, let's have some more details from my Aarabassa World Website. This time we will have a quick peek at the B section:-

Aarabassa World
Beldroth  = Human Royal City in Lairkland within the Lightlands.

Creatures & Characters
Bascas = Huge bat-like creatures that the vamplins use for flight.
Bhee =  Vamplin. Commander of the barbaric Northern tribes.
Bodice = Myeaz. Antiod. Queen.
Bryley = Huphin (mer-people). Princess. 10 Suncircles of age.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Lots of Giveaways

I'm supporting a Rafflecopter Giveaway with a couple of FREE ecopy Guardian Dragons 

To be a winner of this or books from many other authors all you have to do is:-

  1. Go to Lindy Zart’s Author Facebook page facebook.com/LindyZart and hit the 'like' button.
  2. Hit the link above to choose the 'raffles' you wish to enter.
It's as easy as that. As soon Lindy reaches 5000 likes, then the winners will be chosen and notified.

So come on in and choose your thing.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Rafflecopter Results

CONGRATULATIONS go to 2 lovely people called Shannon and Patty Ann. They were the winners of the latest Rafflecopter I participated in. They each received a FREE e-copy of Book 1 Guardian Dragons via Smashwords.

I quite like the flexible feature on Smashwords that allows readers to download from many different e-versions. Plus they also allow authors to give their works away whenever they choose to.

I'm trying to get more involved with the Giveaways on other blogs and sites. I'll post here whenever I'm involved and let everyone know where I'm participating.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Book Tours for Sept & Oct

HOPE YOU CAN JOIN ME
September 28th
The Hambledown Dream 
by DEAN MAYES
October 6th ~ 
Eden Forest by AOIFE SHERIDAN


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Writing List

My writing list seems to be ever growing like the Basil in my greenhouse. I like to think my writing is as tasty as the Basil but I suppose that's a matter of personal opinion. I am presently involved in a few writing projects:-

1 - Editing Book 3 to try and release asap - haven't got a title yet or a book cover
2 - Entered a short story competition based on a picture. Writing 500 words was a real challenge for me as I'm an epic sort of writer.
3 - Hoping my Halloween piece (mild horror) will be accepted by a small group of American authors putting together an anthology for October. I'm quite excited about this one as I've never participated with other authors before. Think I may do this one more often, Anthologies that is. Again it was a challenge keeping my wordage to 7-8k. I'll keep you updated with this one but I'm personally very pleased with my piece and excited about this project.
4 - Increasing the information on my website that is totally dedicated to my fantasy series set in the Aarabassa World
5 - I'm also trying to get more involved with Giveaways. It helps distribute Book 1 Guardian Dragon Latest Giveaway Link
6 - AND THIS - keeping my blog updated.