Wednesday, 25 July 2012

String Bridge e-book, 2nd Edition!

I know I'm not meant to be here, but I have a bit of exciting news. String Bridge is available again on Kindle! And with a whole new look!!!

I'm really pleased and relieved to finally get it back out there. Here are the links:


The website is going to get a make-over too. I'll keep you posted!

Okay, now I'd better scurry back into my work hole ...

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Please Welcome Amy Saia, author of The Soul Seekers.

First of all, I want to thank Jessica for letting me write a guest post today. She has always been extremely supportive of fellow writers and bloggers! Second, I’d like to tell you who I am: not your typical writer. That’s something Jessica and I share—we’re musicians who write. If you ask us whether we're musicians or writers, we might have a mental meltdown. It’s a tough question. Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting to do both. There are tons of madly gifted writers who sacrifice so much every day for their craft, and here I am switching off and on between trades.

I grew up in a small town library that my mother was employed at for many years. Books were my friends. Libraries are silent, and even though I’ve always had music running around in my head, there was something beautiful about the silence. Nothing but words and more words; character’s troubles, not mine; towns, and people, and relationships. It filled me. It was enough to keep me. It developed in me a desire to string words together in the same, beautiful kind of way, so that other little girls, and boys, could escape their town, and their life.

But music was my parallel of desire. I wanted to be Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline (I’d seen both movies and was obsessed with having a blue chiffon dress and bright red lipstick). I wanted to wail, to croon, to make peoples’ hips sway in time. That’s quite a different effect than fiction.

What I found is, though still not easy to balance both, that I could mix both so that one wasn’t just writing and one wasn’t just music. There’s a heck of a lot of reference to rock and roll in THE SOUL SEEKERS. And in my music there is a literacy that is quite defined. The most important aspect is that I ENJOY doing both, and when I don’t, I can stop and catch my breath until it all comes back again.

I hope you enjoy your talents. Don’t let it become a chore. Find the love, find the music, find the silence in what you do. Thank you for reading this, and thank you again to Jessica Bell for having me here! Did I leave any wine glass stains on your sidebar? Yeah, sorry about that! I’ll just . . . clean that up.

Amy's BLOG
The Soul Seekers, on Amazon

Monday, 9 July 2012

Listening to my body ...

Remember THIS POST? Well, yeah, something has got to give. I'm TIRED. And I've had a huge curve ball (day job stuff) thrown at me this morning, so guess what that means?


I imagine I'll be out for about a month or so ... but you might see me lurking around now and again, leaving a comment here and there ... and you can always find me on FACEBOOK, yes?

I hope you all have an excellent summer, and will probably see you again around the end of August.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Help Carole Ann Carr gain exposure by downloading her free ebook today!

From today Carole is giving away one of two books for free on Amazon (see dates below). Let's help get her some mean exposure, and her rankings to soar through the roof, yes? Pretty please with a cherry on top, help Carole out, by downloading for FREE and then sharing it with your friends.

Candle Dark – a children’s historical fiction adventure story set in a Victorian mine is being promoted as a free eBook from the 6th to the 8th July inclusive – Pacific Standard Time.


Candle Dark
Book One - Ironbridge Gorge Series

Joshua was nearly eleven and he worked down the Blists Hill coal pit in the Ironbridge Gorge and he hated it down there. He hated working in the dark, he hated the rats and the stink of the tunnels, and he especially hated it when the mine flooded and his boots got soaked and rubbed his feet raw. Then the day that Mr. Bradley the horsekeeper gave him another beating so bad he ached and ached all over, he made up his mind to run away and find work on the Severn trows. But what would happen to poor Drummer, left behind in the dark? What would happen to his mother, left to the mercy of the evil Isaac Whitlock? And how could he sail to Bristol when his father had been sent to work in the most dangerous part of the mine? Afraid of the river gangs, and sick with worry about his dad, Joshua must decide whether to run for his life, or to stay in Coalport and protect his family despite the terrible danger.

(the sequel - River Dark - to be published in September 2012)

First Wolf – a children’s quest adventure story is set in 8th century Northumbria is being promoted as a free eBook on the 12th and 13th July – Pacific Standard Time.


First Wolf
Book One - Wolf Series

It was Toland’s twelfth year of life when his father hurled the wolf’s head at the mighty Eorl Uhtred, bringing his childhood to a violent end. These were dangerous times, with people driven from their settlements, tribal wars, and bands of robbers on the roads, but Toland must keep his solemn promise to save the Lindisfarne Gospels from the Vikings, protect his family, and find his father. With his faithful hound Bodo, he sets off on his quest through Anglo-Saxon Northumbria. Surviving the first Viking attack of Lindisfarne, his many adventures lead him to the mysterious hermit on Inner Farne, Bamburgh fortress, the slave girl Kendra, the mystery of the stolen jewels, a blood debt, and a terrible discovery at the White Church…..

Carole Anne Carr's Biography:
I'm an author and independent publisher of four children's books: two historical fiction, one fantasy, and one picture book. My early years were spent as a bank teller in Africa, then as teacher, owner of an art and craft business, poet, creative writing tutor, actress and Third Order Franciscan. I held the Office of Reader in the Church of England before beginning my writing career. I'm working on sequels to my children's books. I have taught poetry and other aspects of creative writing, been Deputy head of a Shropshire primary school for nearly twenty years, and I’m a member of the Society of Authors, the National Association of Writers in Schools, and W.I. Speaker. Visit her at

Thursday, 5 July 2012

In which I let it all hang out ...

Okay okay ... I'm letting loose. Just this once. I promise I'll be back to my professional self tomorrow. But today I drop some bombs and let it all hang out (you think I can add another cliché to this? Of course!) ... Today, I'm going to spill the beans without a care in the world. (ooh, look at that, two clichés!)

Well, the beans don't have much sauce, but they're beans nonetheless ...


I work and work and work and work. And Vine Leaves and Vine Leaves and Vine Leaves and Vine Leaves. And I revise 2nd novel, revise 2nd novel, revise 2nd novel, revise 2nd novel (which I finally have a publisher for, but I'm not supposed to tell yet, WHOOPS!), and I Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop organize, Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop organize, Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop organize, Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop organize, yep there's lots to do, hampers, dinners, mini-van bookings, drivers, workshop schedules, following up payments, budgets, organizing tax dilemmas! CRIKEY! And ... oh there's that thing called cleaning (never do it) and laundry (rarely do it) and eating and cooking, wait, I need to cook before I eat, I should keep that in mind for next time. The dog! OMG, the dog, I've ignored her for days ... WEEKS. And there's those bodily functions I tend to forget exist, and friends I try to catch up with now and again in a hurried dinner near the Acropolis and go home feeling sick because I ate TOO MUCH AND TOO FAST and pass out watching who knows what on boring Greek TV, and what about my PARTNER, whom I adore, who I seem to perpetually ignore because I'm working and working and working and working ... when do I spend time with him?

*inward heave*

So what's the poster got to do with this? Nothing. I just thought it was funny.

Yup. Can I go to bed yet?

I can't wait till August. Can you?

Monday, 2 July 2012

What do YOU think?

Note: I know this is a day early, but I don't post on Tuesdays, so you're gonna have to see it now :o)

I’ve noticed lately in a lot of writer’s forums (especially in LinkedIn, I really ought to keep away from those, they make me mad), that people like to answer questions with the opinions of other, more established professionals. “This agent says this, that publisher says that, this author says this that and the other …” Well, I’m not participating in discussions to read other people’s opinions, I’m participating to read YOURS. If I wasn’t, I’d be browsing that agent/publisher/author’s site, not reading a public forum.

Before I go on, I must point out, that researching the opinions of professionals in the publishing industry is only going to benefit your chances of getting published. I’m not in any way telling you not to do your research. The more information you gather the wiser you’ll become. But this information should be used to form the basis of your own opinions. Who do you agree with? Disagree with? And why? Whose opinions are you ambivalent about, or indifferent about? Why? Now …what’s YOUR opinion on the matter? And … you guessed it … WHY? And how is this information going to help you move forward?

Have a think about it.

Have you ever participated in some sort of discussion about writing and reiterated the information of others? Do you do this because you are insecure your own opinions aren’t valid? Or stupid? Or totally and utterly wrong?

Don’t be.

Most people will respect you a whole lot more if you come out with an opinion that is clearly your own. Take a moment to think about how YOU feel about the issue. If you want to support your opinion with someone else’s opinion, go for it, but do it in a way that puts you in control of what you’re saying, rather than hiding behind the safety net of someone else’s validated words. Pull out that pocket knife, slash open the net, and …


Have you ever hidden behind the opinions of others? Why?