Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Wyrd Worlds II gang

Meet the authors who wrote the stories in Wyrd Worlds II.

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Steph Bennion
Publisher and editor, plus author of "Rock Of Ages"

Steph Bennion is a writer, civil servant and occasional musician, born and bred in the Black Country but now living in the big, bad city of London, England. Her witty space-opera mysteries for young adults and adults young-at-heart are written as a reaction to the dearth of alternative heroes amidst bookshelves swamped by tales of the supernatural. Paw-Prints Of The Gods, a sequel to her debut novel Hollow Moon, was published in 2013.

Website: www.wyrdstar.co.uk

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Ubiquitous Bubba
Author of "Humanity Was Delicious"

Ubiquitous Bubba spends a significant amount of time surrounded by imaginary characters from bizarre universes. He’s been known to hold conversations with animals, inanimate objects and food, which frequently diverge into philosophy, speculations on the nature of Reality/Unreality, and the proper role of cheese in society. He enjoys relaxing at home with his wife and three kids. His debut novel, Reality Challenged, was published in 2012.

Website: UbiquitousBubba.wordpress.com

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A.L. Butcher
Author of "Free Will" and "The Joy Of Socks"

Alexandra Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genre, including the mythic Tales of Erana. She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys.

Website: libraryoferana.wordpress.com

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Clark Graham
Author of "At The Bottom Of The Lake"

Clark Graham is a writer of fantasy. His book Dwarves of Elvenshore started it all. Now there are six books in the Elvenshore series and a standalone novel, Slayer of the Osgarth.

Website: elvenshore.blogspot.com

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Ross Harrison
Cover artist, plus author of "Horizon"

Ross Harrison is a writer of, primarily, science fantasy. He has been writing since childhood without thought of publication. When the idea was planted by his grandmother to do so, it grew rapidly, and here sits the fruit. The NEXUS series is his main body of work, but he has made brief forays into steampunk with Kira, and noir thriller with Acts of Violence. Ross lives on the UK/Eire border in Ireland, hoping the rain will help his hair grow back.

Website: www.ross-harrison.com


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L.J. Hick
Author of "Irrevocable"

L.J. Hick is an author, guitarist and former advisor to major banks. Born in Birmingham, he now lives in Warwickshire, England with his wife and three children. His debut novel Gods and Monsters is the first book in his series The Last Days of Planet Earth, which concerns myths, religion, the environment and politics, delivered in a humorous style. The second book in the series is due for release later this year.

Website: thelastdaysofplanetearth.co.uk

* * *

Josh Karaczewski
Author of "Changing Everything"

Josh Karaczewski sometimes feels like he is the only writer living in San Leandro, California, but that’s only until he can retire somewhere warmer. His stories have been published in several literary journals, while his books include the seriocomic novel Alexander Murphy’s Home for Wayward Celebrities and My Governor’s House and other stories. Until the riches pour in, he will continue forcing high school students to read, write and think.

Website: www.oralrandomly.blogspot.com

* * *

Peter Lean
Author of "Gy"

Peter Lean is the pen-name used by the author for his fiction works. Jurist in ‘real life’ and author of several law books in his native Italian, he started recently to write fiction. He has published a number of ebooks, including his collection of short stories Photographs: A Journey Through Space, Time, and More. His debut novel The Guns Of Napoleon, based on his short story that appeared in Wyrd Worlds, was published 2013.

Website: www.goodreads.com/book/show/18009911-photographs

* * *

Stan Morris
Author of "Sasha And The Collared Girl"

Stan Morris was born in Linwood, California. At age twenty-one he moved to New Mexico, where he met the teenager he later married. Now with two sons, they have since moved to Maui where he retired after years of assembling computers. He is the author of seven books: Surviving the Fog, Surviving the Fog – Kathy’s Recollections, Sarah’s Spaceship Adventure, The Colors of Passion and Love, Sam’s Winnings, Kate’s Movie Star, and Amy’s Hero.

Website: sites.google.com/site/stanandrene/home

* * *

Michael Puttonen
Author of "The Diner"

Michael Puttonen is a Minnesota native and author of young adult adventure/fantasy novels, short stories, and children’s tales. His Sanyel series tells the story of a gifted teenage girl born into a dangerous world. Seven and One Tales for Young Readers is a collection of thought-provoking stories for young children. Michael, a U.S. Air Force veteran, considers himself an philosopher of life. He also dabbles as a cartoonist, albeit one with debatable artistic aptitude.

Website: www.michlputtonen.com

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Laurel A. Rockefeller
Author of "Poisoned Ground"

Laurel A. Rockefeller was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. After receiving her bachelor of arts in psychology and history, she moved across the United States, perfecting her craft with life experiences. In 2012 she launched her medieval sci-fi series The Peers of Beinan. More recently, she released the first of The Legendary Women of World History series; Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni. Laurel currently lives in western Pennsylvania.

Website: www.peersofbeinan.com

* * *

Douglas Schwartz
Author of "A World Taken Over"

Douglas Schwartz lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two children. He funnels his creativity into fiction writing and tabletop game design. Checkered Scissors, his first novel, was published in October 2013, and he has a short-story collection due out very soon. His quirky, imaginative writing style has been described as the “They Might Be Giants of prose”. An avid Whovian, Doug also considers himself a chronological time traveler.

Website: www.checkeredscissors.com

* * *

Neil Shooter
Author of "Homeless" and "The Visitor"

Neil Shooter grew up in northern England and now lives in a quiet suburban corner of Ontario, Canada. After the stunning success he has not had over the past eighteen months of self-publishing, Neil finds himself limited by reality, but escapes whenever possible into one fantastical realm or another.

Website: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/neilshooter

* * *

Barbara G. Tarn
Author of "Guisarme"

Barbara G. Tarn is a writer, sometimes artist, mostly a world-creator and storyteller. She’s been building her world of Silvery Earth for a number of years: stories, comprise shorts, novels and graphic novels. Her Silvery Earth novella The Hooded Man received a honorable mention at the Writers of the Future contest. Used to multiple projects – a graphic novel is always on the side of the prose – she writes, draws, blogs and ignores her day job.

Website: creativebarbwire.wordpress.com

* * *

Zach Tyo
Author of "My Last Day"

Zach Tyo is an American author from the Ohio Valley area. Though his first loves are his wife and son, he found a third two years ago in writing. Having been an avid reader all his life he dove head first into writing ‘the great American novel’, but quickly discovered he had no idea what that meant. He is currently working on several short stories, due in September 2014, that are connected via a love for a happy ending wrapped in tragedy.

Website: ztyoauthor.com

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L.L. Watkin
Authors of "The Colonial Plague"

L.L. Watkin is the pen name for writing partnership Liz and Louise Smith, two sisters from the North of England who have been writing fantasy, paranormal and science fiction for nearly ten years. To date they have published four novels and several short stories in two series Leviathan and The Handmaiden, plus numerous other short stories. As well as writing they publish a couple of fanzines, blog a bit and enjoy spoiling their rabbit, Buzz Lightyear.

Website: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LLWatkin

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Victoria Zigler
Author of "Quest For The Purple Pumpkin"

Victoria Zigler is a blind author of children’s fiction and poetry. When she remembers to spend time in the real world, it’s with her hubby and pets, though she sometimes indulges in other interests such as crafts, music, movies, figure and role-playing games, and doing a little cooking and baking. Victoria was born in the shadow of the Black Mountains in Wales and has been writing since she knew how. She became a self-published author in 2012.

Website: www.zigler.co.uk

* * * * *

Click here to find out more about Wyrd Worlds II, and where you can get it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wyrd Worlds II

"WYRD WORLDS II is the work of an international collection of science fiction and fantasy writers, independent authors old and new, who have come together through the book recommendations site Goodreads to contribute to this anthology. This ebook contains a bumper 19 short stories from 17 independent authors from around the world, encompassing a wide range of science fiction and fantasy. Here lurks tales of the future, steampunk and time travel; of magical realms and fantastical deeds; and of things so weird they defy categorisation. The original WYRD WORLDS rode upon a new wave of indie collaborations; and now we're back!"

Here's the list of the stories contained in this anthology:

Horizon by Ross Harrison
The Visitor by Neil Shooter
A World Taken Over by Douglas Schwartz
The Joy Of Socks by A.L. Butcher
The Colonial Plague by L.L. Watkin
Humanity Was Delicious by Ubiquitous Bubba
My Last Day by Zach Tyo
Guisarme by Barbara G. Tarn
Rock Of Ages by Steph Bennion
The Diner by Michael Puttonen
Homeless by Neil Shooter
Gy by Peter Lean
Irrevocable by L.J. Hick
Poisoned Ground by Laurel A. Rockefeller
Sasha And The Collared Girl by Stan Morris
Quest For The Purple Pumpkin by Victoria Zigler
Free Will by A.L. Butcher
At The Bottom Of The Lake by Clark Graham
Changing Everything by Josh Karaczewski

Grab your free copy here:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/478114

(More book links coming soon!)

***

Click here to meet the Wyrd Worlds II gang.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rodent photos - September 16th 2014 (FD and LBE)

Some new gerbil and degu photos for you...

The degus love their nesting box - what they haven't eaten of it... Especially if one of them will volunteer as a pillow for the others...


Bilbo loves the gnawing block...


And Joshua loves the new degu mix we've been getting them lately...


Jenks just thinks he's the toughest degu in the world...


While Bilbo thinks he's an acrobat, and can often be found hanging from the roof of his cage by his front paws; sometimes also while chewing on the bars, but sometimes just hanging there like a child would hang from a climbing toy at a playground. We have no idea why, and have yet to see Baggins do the same, but Bilbo seems to enjoy doing it... Whatever makes him happy, I guess! *Shrugs*


When we had corn on the cob one time we thought we'd give the corn cobs to the boys to see what they'd think of them. I washed them thoroughly first though, so there was no butter left on them (butter is not a big deal for the gerbils, but it's not good for the degus to have).

The degus came to check it out, and at least one of them nibbled it a bit, but they didn't seem to be too fussed with it, and we eventually ended up throwing theirs away.


Bilbo got stuck in straight away though, and seemed to absolutely love it...


Baggins had a good nibble on it too, but for some reason he decided we weren't allowed a photo of him eating it. Every time we tried to get one, he'd run and hide, then sneak back for a nibble on the corn cob when we put the camera away, LOL!

Baggins was perfectly happy to just look cute for the camera though...


Bilbo says he's cute too...


The degus may not have been too interested in the corn cob, but they were very pleased with the chewable wooden toy we got them, and played with and chewed on it for ages.


That toy is looking a bit worse for ware already... Not that I'm surprised, LOL!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Crafty update - September 15th 2014 (kinda LBE)

You probably saw Victory AKA Vic (the unicorn I knitted for my friend and fellow author, Barbara G.Tarn last month) when I posted the photos of the two of us together. Or, perhaps, you visited her blog and saw him there? But whether you did or not, here are the photos we took of him before he was put in the bag he hid in while waiting to be given to Barb:


Here are some photos of a blanket I knitted for Kelly:


And here are my recent card creations:


Well, I say "recent" but some of those cards I've been trying to get Blogger to let me post on and off for some time now. Ah well, better late than never, right? Anyway, they all seem to be here, so I guess Blogger is feeling co-operative today... YAY!

Among the cards are birthday cards for family members - including my Grandma's Yorkshire Terrier, Jayde, who turned 9 on September 3rd 2014 - and online friends, as well as the cards for both my parents and Kelly's parents for Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day this year... Which will tell you how long I've been trying to get Blogger to post the card photos for me, LOL!

Friday, September 12, 2014

A reader interview

Normally when I do an interview it's an author or character interview.

Not this time though!

Nope! This time it's a reader interview, where you get to learn about some of my favourite things, including some of my favourite books.

Interested?

Then go to http://gardenlilie.com/2014/09/11/victoria-zigler/ and read the interview.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kero Crosses The Rainbow Bridge - final Kero's World book officially released

"Kero is sicker than he’s ever been before, and has been for a while now. It looks like it’s time for another trip to the vet. But this time Kero’s human won’t be bringing him home; it’s time for Kero to cross the rainbow bridge! What does this mean? And what will Kero find on the other side of the rainbow bridge?

This is the final book in the “Kero’s World” series, and tells the story of the saddest and very last chapter in the life of a beloved dog, as he goes to the place where all of us must go eventually."

As I've mentioned before, I never actually planned to do a 7th book for the "Kero's World" series. But when it came time to let Kero go, I needed to do something special for him. So, I decided to write a 7th book for his series. I figured then it would be something special for him, give a finality to the series, and give me the oppertunity to use the tool I always use when I need to vent my feelings; writing!

This was the most difficult book I've ever written, and yet the one I managed to complete quickest because - despite how difficult it was to write - I knew exactly what I wanted to say.

Today is one month from the day I lost my beloved dog; the best friend anyone could ever ask for, and the sweetest and most loyal dog I could have asked for too! Today is also the official release date for this book; my final goodbye to my beloved West Highland White Terrier, which I hope will help others dealing with the loss of a beloved pet one day too.

Kero loved when he was the center of attention, so I know he'd be pleased I wrote this book. He also loved when he made people feel good, so I know he'd also be pleased if his story helps others deal with the loss of a pet in the future.

Anyway, you can already buy it from Smashwords and some other ebook retailers, and will be able to buy it from others soon.

Don't forget that the first six books in the "Kero's World" series are free until the end of September, and a couple of my other books are half price. Go to this post for details and coupon codes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brew cover reveal

Salem’s Revenge strikes without warning or mercy, ravaging the powerless human race under the forces of united gangs of witches, wizards, and warlocks. During the slaughter, Rhett Carter's foster parents and sister are killed, and his best friend and girlfriend are abducted by a gang of witches calling themselves the Necromancers, who deal in the dark magic of raising the dead. Rhett’s sword-wielding neighbor with a mysterious past saves Rhett from becoming another casualty of the massacre and teaches him the skills he needs to survive in this new world.

Rhett is broken, his normal high school life of book blogging and football playing shoved in a witch-apocalyptic blender. The only thing he has left is his burning desire for revenge. Armed with his new witch hunting skills and a loyal, magic powered dog named Hex, he sets out into the unknown with one mission: hunt and destroy those who took away everyone he ever loved.

But Rhett isn’t just a witch hunter; he has secrets of his own that he has yet to discover, secrets that his enemies will stop at nothing to keep him from.

And discovering the truth about himself is the human race’s only hope.



Pre-order the ebook for your kindle today from Amazon Canada, or Amazon UK, or Amazon US.

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Inside Evil blog tour (LBE)

Inside Evil is a paranormal mystery set in a small town on the borders of England and Scotland. Like so many similar places, its residents cannot help but be drawn into each other’s lives, as they rarely venture from their seclusion. But, with such isolation comes danger, and whilst the world is blissfully unaware, an ancient terror is preparing for murder.

600wx375h option 2

Inside Evil – Synopsis

Life in the secluded town of Ridgewood is charming, simple, safe – isn’t it? The bubble that isolates the hamlet protects, or so the eclectic residents believe. Lurking in the background of everyday life is a curse that comes in cycles and picks off the innocent as it pleases. But this time there’s something different, this time the curse wants more.

Inside Evil 1

Roberta Arlington’s life changes the moment she finds one of her pupils, pale, frozen, DEAD. Her mind is filled with uncharacteristic thoughts, dreams and visions create bizarre scenes, and her blood boils as she lashes out at those she loves. Amidst her turmoil there are friends, and enemies, who come to her aid, piecing together the puzzle laid before them.

But with the ancient evil having struck down so many through the centuries, Roberta will have to muster every ounce of strength she has to survive. An entire world, a strange land, has unveiled itself. If Roberta knows one thing for sure, it’s that she alone won’t be able to escape as death comes calling…

Download for free:

AMAZON US - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JIH0EU/

AMAZON UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007JIH0EU/

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/inside-evil-geoff-wakeling/1110621721?ean=2940033163106

SMASHWORDS - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/141521

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Inside-Evil/book-b4J5z2f9JkGYSrspso3nCg/page1.html



My review: "This is a bit of a strange story, but a really good one; an enjoyable read. It has a bit of a slow start, but when it picks up will capture your interest and keep it until the end."

The Tower of Souls – Synopsis

When you conquer a curse, there’s always going to be repercussions.

Roberta has battled ancient and evil forces before, but after rising above her latest demon, she’d always thought that life could finally get back to normal. However, after surviving the terror lurking in Ridgewood’s forest, she comes to discover that her troubles have only just begun.

Tower of Souls - Inside Evil 2

Removed from the friends who aided her quest before, Roberta is now alone in a foreign world with no idea how to escape. Familiar faces are everywhere, but behind every friend lays a stranger waiting to kill her, or worse…turn her over to her greatest nemesis.

Whilst she may have fought a curse before, this time it’s worse. This time her enemy knows Roberta inside and out, and if there’s any hope of survival, she’ll have to go against every instinct she has.

Buy links:

AMAZON US - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0091SD3JM/

AMAZON UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0091SD3JM/

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-tower-of-souls-geoff-wakeling/1113036182?ean=2940044822221

SMASHWORDS - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/211538

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Tower-of-Souls/book-7HN7022JuUunr00v5xtdDw/page1.html



My review: "This is another strange but enjoyable read. It's a fantastic sequel to "inside evil" and well worth the read!"

Spirit of the Middlelands – Synopsis

Having escaped Gathin’s clutches, Roberta is on the run with the child she stole from her nemesis. In this case, the best way to avoid a war is to run, hide and never look back. But it soon becomes apparent that leaving Ridgewood behind may have not been in Roberta and her friends’ best interests, for things are happening in the tiny town that, once again, cannot be explained.

Spirits of the Middlelands - Inside Evil 3

Spirits of the Middlelands is the third book from the Inside Evil series. Despite battling a curse that descends upon Ridgewood on a 10 yearly cycle, Roberta seems to have become entangled in a world of mystery, danger and doppelgängers. There’s a war coming, and though she and her fellow gatekeepers’ believed they could prevent it, they’re now realising that they’ll need to use all their skills to stop the plague from Gathin reaping destruction.

Buy links:

AMAZON US - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3GEOCY/

AMAZON UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00C3GEOCY/

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spirits-of-the-middlelands-geoff-wakeling/1114999279?ean=2940044413269

SMASHWORDS - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/300754

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Spirits-of-the-Middlelands/book-pf9s6PJBJkq0P5RiyAWKFw/page1.html



My review: "This is another great addition to the series; just as strange as the first two books in the series, but also just as enjoyable!"

New Alliances – Synopsis

When Roberta was infected with a curse, she never realised the hidden world that was waiting for her. Ridgewood was a quiet and slumbering town, but it seemed there was a great menace waiting in every shadow. With the initial horror having been abated, Roberta’s been cast into an alternate reality where it’s quickly apparent forces of doppelgangers are waiting to break through to Earth.

New Alliances - Inside Evil 4

But Roberta’s not alone, and there are many friends left behind who are still fighting. Whilst the gatekeepers fight to uncover secrets and develop a plan to protect themselves, new alliances are forged. And, with new and unexpected allegiances created, the protectors of Earth are finally realising that they’re not defending themselves against a one-sided war.

Buy Links:

AMAZON US - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GCIN9IE/

AMAZON UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00GCIN9IE/

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-alliances-geoff-wakeling/1117351994?ean=2940045405379

SMASHWORDS - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/373209

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/New-Alliances/book-0IxASwjwOkmrKpQChpDDjw/page1.html



My review: "Where do I start on this one? It's another unusual yet enjoyable addition to the series, yes, but so much more! This one is a book that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride as you follow the characters the earlier books in the series have taught you to love."

About the author

Geoff Wakeling lives in London and escapes the smog of the city through his writing. The Inside Evil, even though being dark and mysterious, was a way to escape the drudgery of every day life and indulge in something a little more fantastical.

With a degree in Zoology, Wakeling is animal mad and has three cats, fish and five chickens in his London home. He is a keen gardener and conservationist. He is also still awaiting the arrival of his Hogwart’s Owl!

Social links

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWakelingWriter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5781929.Geoffrey_Wakeling

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Geoffrey-Wakeling/e/B007JNTZLG/

Website: http://geoffreywakeling.com/


~~~***~~~

Excerpt 1

Ahead of her something moved, it caught the edge of a strip of light hanging from the canopy, and for a few seconds, Roberta glimpsed the edge of a long, dark, robe. Straining her eyes ever more, Roberta felt her hands shake and pushed them onto the ground to steady her crouch and try to repress the rising panic she felt. Through the gloom a figure appeared, its outline increasing in visibility as it moved ever so slowly towards her.
“You’re too early,” a voice drawled. “It’s not your time yet.”
The words were a whisper, a low breathless hum. The figure stepped forward out of the dark and stood, lit up in a spotlight. Roberta could see nothing of the face, hidden as it was by the robe covering the figure from head to toe, but it was the eyes that took her breath away. Black shining gems bored down onto her. It was like looking directly into hell where all things were evil.
“Go,” the voice drawled.
***********
Turning around very slowly to sit up in bed, he saw he wasn't alone. Two naked men and a woman lay in bed with him, the men both bearded and burly, the woman pale skinned and pert. Another woman was sprawled across a sofa by a curtained window, her full modesty protected with a blanket. Yet another woman sat in a chair by a fire, though she was, mostly, still dressed. She breathed deeply, and Sam following the curling elbow that hung over the arm of the chair towards the floor where fingers remained clutched around a bottle of wine.
Swinging his legs over the side of the bed as quietly as possible so as not to disturb his slumbering companions, Sam removed the muscled arm that flopped across the bed and landed on his thigh. What the hell was going on?
There were a brown pair of trousers that had been carelessly thrown to the floor and Sam bent down quickly, pulling them on in almost one swift movement. As he rose back to a standing position, he glimpsed himself in the mirror and almost cried out in surprise.
Sam's face was familiar, but it wasn't the Sam Carter from Ridgewood who stared back at him. His jaw seemed more defined, and a scar ran its way from above his left eyebrow down to the top of his cheekbone. His hair was long, and it brushed his shoulders with a slight curl. He saw thick, muscled shoulders. As Sam looked at his chest, he couldn't help but feel his jaw drop; his skinny pale frame was muscled and bronzed. His slightly soft stomach was a wall of abs. The light which came from the fire and two oil burning lamps clinging to the wall created some very eye pleasing shadows across his torso. So, Gathin wasn't so bad after all.

~~~***~~~

Excerpt 2

It glistened in front of her, the edges finding the light on their own accord and creating a silvery glow. It had been this way for months now, the thin veil between worlds shimmering like a moth’s wing under the moon. The size of the portal between worlds hadn’t changed since Roberta, Barry and the girl had walked back into her cellar during the past winter, but the scene on the other side shifted. There were days when the gap was almost opaque and mirror-like so that nothing could be seen but one’s own faded and distorted reflection. At other times translucency returned, and they could see that construction on the other side of the rift had grown. The tiny crevasse through which Roberta and the others had squeezed had been blown apart, leaving a huge cavern leading from the catacombs to the other side of the portal. One of the gatekeepers would descend on the creaking metal ladder and catch movement out of the corner of their eye, only to peer into the darkness and find that it was devoid of life.
They called themselves that now; gatekeepers. Even though Martha was the only legitimate one amongst them, all those who quite literally guarded the gate carried the name now. And after having once glimpsed the Queen, they felt the dread of her survival. Her plans were covered quickly with a cloth or barrier closing off vision into her world, and now the group of gatekeepers feared the worst.
*********
Another scream rang out in the darkness and Roberta pushed her hands tighter over her ears. The torturing had been going on for hours. The cries had been sharp and prolonged at first, until they gradually quietened to a muffled and dull whimper. Then they’d stopped, and she’d been relieved the horrendous sounds were no longer eviscerating her ears. But it seemed the victim had only been given a slight respite, for another painful onslaught was soon brought upon them.
Roberta had quickly realised just where in Gathin she’d been thrust into. Through the opening at the top of the tall cylindrical tomb a light shone down upon her. But it was not the blue sky she originally thought, but a mural painted on a ceiling far above. The drop from the high room to where she lay now was vast. As someone had been dragged across the floor and propped into the chair that now covered the small spherical opening above her, Roberta had realised she was in Gathin’s central tower. It was the windowless pillar that rose out of the ground in the heart of the Queen’s domain. Above her was the room where she’d fought off the Queen of the North Realms, where she’d attempted to throw the doppelgänger to her death. The small opening was covered with an iron grate; the only barrier that kept the seat from dropping into the chasm below. As Roberta had surveyed the room, she’d realised that things, creatures…..people, were dropped from that height, for there was a mound of corpses in the room in which she was now trapped. They rose towards the middle like a newly forming mountain, the peak of which was directly beneath the opening above.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Owl photos from Saturday

We went to the local hospice for a fair they had going on there on Saturday (August 6th 2014) and were surprised to see they had owls there.

We tried to get photos, but most of the owls weren't willing to stay still enough for decent photos. Apart from this Barn Owl, who didn't seem interested in us at all:


And this European Eagle Owl, who was lapping up all the attention:


I didn't get the name or age of the Barn Owl, but the European Eagle Owl's name is Big Bird, he's 9 weeks old, and apparently very happy to be petted, since he let me pet him from head to tail so I could check out the fluff-like feathers he still has left on his head from when he was even younger compared to the feathers on the rest of him (which are still softer than cotton wool, but not so fluff-like).

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Cinderella's Escape by Gita V. Reddy; free this weekend on Amazon!

Cinderella's Escape by Gita V. Reddy

Free on all amazon stores on 6th and 7th September, 2014

Link to amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/CINDERELLAS-ESCAPE-Gita-V-Reddy-ebook/dp/B00I805O7I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410011001&sr=8-1&keywords=cinderella%27s+escape

Cinderella's Escape is about Anna Maria who gets caught in a very difficult situation when Priscilla becomes her stepmom. Her stepsisters also cause her a lot of grief.

Anna Maria is a modern day Cinderella but she does not have a fairy godmother. She wishes she had one, naturally, but when things get really bad and her life is in danger, Anna Maria finds a way out.

This is what reviewers have to say about Cinderella's Escape...

DD Gott rated the book with five stars on amazon.com:
She says, "I really liked the way it kept a positive attitude even when things looked so bad."

"the story brings you to the conclusion. a twist that you will NEVER see coming."

Ruma Chatterjee rated the book with five stars on amazon.com:
She says, " basic human emotions that tug at the heartstrings of not only children but adults as well."

June Finch rated the book with five stars on amazon.co.uk:
She said, "the story was so well written that it was like one of the true story tales."

From the blurb:

Anna Maria lived with her stepmother Priscilla, and her stepsisters, Stella and Marcella.
Cinderella's stepmother was no way as evil as Priscilla. Her stepsisters were a little less mean than Stella and Marcella.
Anna Maria did not live among cinders because there were no cinders. There were no mice and rabbits to play with either.
But there was a mystery to be solved and an escape to be made!
BRAINS + COURAGE = FREEDOM + HAPPINESS

From Cinderella’s Escape:

“I’m sure when Cinderella went to that ball, she took greater pleasure in outsmarting her stepmother than in the carriage and the ball dress and the glass slippers.”

“Even if the fairy had not appeared, Cinderella would have found a way out. She would have had to. It’s called survival.”

“Was I not lucky to be a modern day Cinderella? At least I did not have to sleep among the cinders.”

Monday, September 01, 2014

Book sale! Plus, I'm September's author of the month on Goodreads "Smashwords Authors" group!

All this month I'm author of the month on a Goodreads group for Smashwords authors.

We'll be discussing me and my books, and people will have the opportunity to ask me questions about myself, my books, the characters from my books, or anything else they feel it worth asking me about.

You can follow the discussion at https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1981288-victoria-zigler---september?comment=105316114# if you're interested.

I'm offering the oppertunity to those who aren't members of that group to ask me questions in the comments section of this post on my blog, or by going to my author page at http://www.goodreads.com/toriz and submitting a question in the "ask the author" box provided on that page.

Also, since being author of the month has made me feel generous - and since the 7th book in the series comes out this month - I've made the first 6 books of the "Kero's World" series free on Smashwords throughout September!

To get your free copy of "Kero Goes Walkies" go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/312873, add it to your cart, and enter coupon code PQ38G at checkout.

To get your free copy of "Kero Celebrates His Birthday" go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/319037, add it to your cart, and enter coupon code ZS89S at checkout.

To get your free copy of "Kero Gets Sick" go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/324875, add it to your cart, and enter coupon code WP58U at checkout.

To get your free copy of "Kero Celebrates Halloween" go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/342194, add it to your cart, and enter coupon code DY54E at checkout.

To get your free copy of "Kero Goes To Town" go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/344560, add it to your cart, and enter coupon code BD89P at checkout.

To get your free copy of "Kero Celebrates Christmas" go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/344566, add it to your cart, and enter coupon code UK65U at checkout.

Don't forget to look out for "Kero Crosses The Rainbow Bridge" - coming September 11th 2014!

If that's not enough, I also have two half-price books for you!

Get "Jinx And The Faerrie Dragons" half price by going to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/447528, adding it to your cart, and entering coupon code KY48Z at checkout.

Get "Cubby And The Beanstalk" half price by going to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/459061, adding it to your cart, and entering coupon code JE87N at checkout.

Please feel free to share the above links and coupon codes with your family, friends, book-loving pets, neighbours, strangers you meet on the street, or anyone else you think might be interested in grabbing copies of the books.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Character interview: Cubby the polar bear

Cubby the polar bear from my latest book "Cubby And The Beanstalk" is being interviewed today over at Creative Barbwire

You can check out the interview by going to http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/sunday-surprise-64/ if you want to know more about Cubby.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August 2014 reading challenge - new authors

One of the groups I'm on over on Goodreads had a reading challenge for August to encourage you to try books by new authors (as in, authors that are new to you). A pretty good challenge, I think! So, I joined in... Here are the authors that made my new-to-me list this month, as well as the book(s) I read by said authors:

1. Laurel A. Rockefeller.
A New Start In The Niobrara For Mr. And Mrs. O'Malley ~ read on August 1st 2014.
Boudicca: Britain's Queen of the Iceni (The Legendary Women of World History, #1) ~ read on August 5th 2014.
Catherine de Valois (The Legendary Women of World History, #2) ~ read on August 5th 2014.

2. Kevin Andrew Murphy.
Penny Dreadful ~ read on August 4th 2014.
Pathfinder Tales: The Secret of the Rose and Glove ~ read on August 9th 2014.

3. Josephine Heltemes.
Will You Call My Name ~ read on August 24th 2014.
Santa in a Shopping Cart ~ read on August 24th 2014.
The Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Guide to Revenge ~ read on August 24th 2014.

4. Alessandra Nadudvari.
Nicky and the Lost Templar (Adventures Of Nicky, #1) ~ read on August 25th 2014.

5. Michael James Ploof.
Billy Coatbutton and the Wheel of Destiny (The Sock Gnome Chronicles, #1) ~ read on August 25th 2014.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Me and Barb last week

Here are the promised photos from when I met fellow indipendant author, Barb, a week ago.



Barb writes under a couple of different pen names, including the one I've read books by, which is Barbara G.Tarn. To learn more about her and her books, check out her blog at http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com.

We were by the seafront not far from Hastings peer, and if our hair looks a bit messy, it's because it was rather windy. It was threatening to rain too, but we did manage to avoid getting wet.

Oh, and you see the knitted unicorn in the photo? His name is Victory (Barb named him) and I made him to give to Barb as a gift. Barb loves unicorns... Check out her blog tomorrow and you'll see what I mean.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cubby And The Beanstalk - officially released today!

"When Cubby’s Mother tells him to take their old goat to market and sell her so they can buy food, Cubby ends up trading the goat for a bag of magic wishing beans. His Mother is furious, and in her rage throws the beans outside and sends Cubby to bed. You may think that was the end, but you’d be wrong! In fact, it’s just the beginning!

Loosely based on the stories of ‘Jack And The Beanstalk’ and ‘The Magic Cooking Pot’, this is the story of a hungry little polar bear and his journey up the beanstalk to the home of the magical giant skybears."

That's the synopsis for my latest book, which is officially released today. It's called "Cubby And The Beanstalk" (in case the title of the post didn't make that obvious). Anyway, if you want to find out what happens when Cubby the polar bear goes up the beanstalk, grab your copy today!

It's available from Smashwords in all formats they offer, as well as from many other retailers.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Random happenings - August 24th 2014 (kinda FD)

In the past two weeks we've been to "The Love Cafe" - which is the cafe we used to go to with Kero - twice, "Alpha Cafe" three times, "Costa Coffee" once, "The Coffee Bean" once, and the cafe in Waterstones bookstore once. We'd be reluctant to go back to the cafe in Waterstones, because it's rather expensive, and we were quite glad at the time we only went there for a drink and a sit down. But we'll be happy to go back to the others any time!

We've also walked along the seafront a couple of times, walked around town a couple of times (including going to Hastings' weekly market this past Thursday) and walked to a couple of places more local. Also, I got an audiobook of Miss Marple stories when we were in Waterstones, and we went to Asda to do the grocery shopping. Plus, we've ridden the train a few times, and someone let me check out his motorbike - which was really cool, and had skulls for headlights!

Thursday's outing wasn't just the two of us though, since we met up with a fellow author who I met through Goodreads. Her name is Barb, she's from Italy, and she was visiting the UK so said she'd come down to Hastings to meet up with us. She writes under a couple of different pen names, but if you want to check her out, her blog is at http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com and you can find other links to do with her from there. I'll put up the pictures Kelly got of the two of us together once we get them off the camera.

On Friday my ankle made it perfectly clear that it had been walked on enough. I'm surprised it took so long, actually! But we'd already planned to stay home this weekend anyway, so it's no big deal. Besides, I needed to catch up on a bit of reading before I end up behind on my reading goal for the year, and wanted to do some work on a knitted blanket I'm making for myself (which I want to complete in time for this Winter); both of which were things I could do at the same time thanks to text to speech on my Kindle, and both of which were things I could do while resting my ankle. I actually ended up doing a bit of writing this weekend too!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Inside my head - August 20th 2014 (kinda R/WP)

It's strange. When I sat down to write Kero's story, I knew straight away what I wanted to say, and the words just flowed from me; my fingers tapping away at the keys almost as fast as I could think. But today I've been trying to write a simple post about what I've been up to in the past week, and I'm struggling to do so. All I wanted to do was tell you about the outings and walks we've been on, tell you about how we've been cleaning and reorganizing things (as well as figuring out what needs to be repaired or replaced around here), and how I haven't done much reading and writing in the past few days.

Why is it so difficult to write something that simple?

Is it because a part of me feels guilty for having enjoyed myself when Kero is gone? Is it because it's been so long since I've just blogged about random day to day stuff, and a part of me feels people won't be interested in hearing about it? Or, perhaps, it's a bit of both? Or, maybe, something else entirely? I just don't know!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Grandma Sarah's obituary - published in the Edmonton Journal

"ZIGLER, Sarah "Sadie" Isabela (Kennedy)
July 1, 1918 ~ August 8, 2014
On August 8, 2014, Sadie passed away at the Venta Care Centre in Edmonton at the age of 96.
Sarah will be remembered by her son Clarence; daughter Carolyn; grandchildren Kelly (Tori), Sherry (Warren), Vincent, Holly (Damion), Stacey (Joel), Lorren, Rehana (Sam), and Josh; great- grandchildren Tamara, Devon, Chelsea, Austin, Jeremy, Cynthia, Jarid, Ella, Jessica, Jacob, Jax-si, and Hunter. She will also be missed by Ruth Hart, Heather Bennett, as well as many other nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Sarah was predeceased by her husband Lee in 1986; daughter Ivy, as well as her siblings Jim, Howard, and Eileen.
Sarah was born and raised on a ranch near Simpson, Saskatchewan. Sarah helped work the ranch and enjoyed attending school. Later Sarah moved to Edmonton, Alberta where she helped her mother with many business ventures. Sarah worked hard and prided herself on being a good mother, wife and home maker. Sarah enjoyed staying active with friends by joining a travel club, the Edmonton legions, and many cribbage tournaments.
A Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at Howard McBride Chapel of Chimes, 10179 - 108 Street, with a Viewing one half hour prior, a Reception to follow and an Interment at Westlawn Memorial Gardens.
The family would like to thank the staff at Venta Care Centre for the care and compassion shown to Mom during her stay."

Published in The Edmonton Journal on Aug. 12, 2014
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/edmontonjournal/obituary.aspx?n=sarah-zigler&pid=172075155&

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Random thoughts - August 14th 2014 (FD & R/WP)

I miss Kero; especially at sleep time! Kero always slept with me, and not having him beside me feels wrong!

The neighbours two doors down are doing some work on their place. On Tuesday there were people and vehicles coming and going and making noise all day. But it still seemed too quiet to me as Kero would have been barking at those kinds of things so much that I'd have ended up with a headache. It might sound strange to complain that I didn't get a headache, but I really missed the barking, and despite the noise of the workmen and neighbours coming and going it was much too quiet here on Tuesday.

Kelly and I went out today for a drink and a bit of air. We also went out yesterday (Wednesday). We needed the outings, I think. Today we went for a drink at my favourite cafe, which is called "The Love Cafe" and sat outside. Yesterday we went to eat at a cafe called "Alpha Cafe" which is near where we get the train in to town, then we went to town on the train and ran a couple of errands. We both had burger meals at the café yesterday, though mine was a veggie burger, of course. "Alpha Café" has several vegetarian friendly options as it turns out.

While we were out yesterday, we picked up a couple of things the degus and gerbils could have a nibble on (wood chews, and a gnawing block for the degus, who have already gone through that big one we got them a few months back). Jacob needed a present; I think he misses Kero too, because he's been a bit down, and he was squeaking a lot in the way they do when they're upset. His gift seems to have cheered him up though.

Early this morning I wrote something that was the most difficult piece of writing I've ever done. Yet it was also the piece I knew the words for the best. What I wrote was the 7th and final book for the "Kero's World" series. I hadn't planned on writing a 7th book for the series, but I felt like I needed to write it. Iggy made the cover for me yesterday, which I really appreciate. I know Kero meant a lot to him, and if I didn't know it already then his recent post would have told me so. Kelly read the story this afternoon and said it was beautiful and that he could see why I needed to write it. I think Kero would appreciate it; he loved being the center of attention, and always got excited when I talked about his books (probably because his name was mentioned). I plan to publish the story on September 11th. I know that's already a signifecant date, and hope people understand that I'm not publishing it then because of what the date means to most people, but because that will be exactly a month from the day we lost Kero.

Monday, August 11, 2014

R.I.P. Castellan Keroberous

R.I.P. Castellan Keroberous
May 23rd 2004 - August 11th 2014.

***

Both before we had Kero and when he was a puppy I knew of dogs who were kept alive despite several health issues that made them miserable, so when Kero was a puppy I made him a promise. I promised him that if we were in a position where he was suffering and I had to decide between letting him suffer so I could have more time with him or putting him to sleep, then I would put him to sleep. I promised him he would never suffer when it could be avoided, and that I'd put what was best for him before anything else.

Today I kept my promise.

Kero hasn't been doing too well lately, so we took him to the vet today. He had chronic skin disease, and there wasn't much that could be done. The vet said it was the worst case she'd seen, and that she's never known a dog go from having clear skin to being really bad in such a short amount of time. I'm not sure of the cause of his other issues (the confusion, for example) but the skin disease would have been reason enough to end his suffering. So, I kept my promise and had him put to sleep.

I stayed with him through it, because I know he would have wanted me by his side.

He was a great dog; the best dog anyone could ask for. And I'm going to miss him dreadfully!

Rest in peace Castellan Keroberous. The little over 10 years you gave me were wonderful, and I'll never forget you!