Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

In Times of Violence

Karina Kantas never stops – helping push other author’s books, she also writes her own gritty, sizzling, energetic thrillers. What a treat featuring new books for the weekend. Here is another release by Karina Kantas…


In Times of Violence

MC Romance Young Adult Edition

Jade had been sheltered most of her life. Living in an isolated village with only sex and drugs to entertain. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father doesn’t give a damn.

Her only way out is to beg her Aunt to allow her to stay as a guest in their London house.

Jade meets fate head on in the form of Marcus, president of the Tyrants MC. She finally finds a family that loves and respects her and they are not BLOOD. Nothing comes easy to Jade and she is forced to fight to keep her title and status. Then just when life starts to go right, one-night changes everything.

A raw emotional story about love, betrayal and sacrifice.

&In Times of Violence had an addictive storyline. I actually got up in the middle of the night to finish reading it. I loved Jade, although I don’t fully understand her or her motives.&

&Do not miss this book. Jade, Marcus and Dylan will bring out the feels.&

&Remember it’s not always blood relatives that make a family!&


˃˃˃ From the Author

In Times of Violence is very special to me.  Some parts of the book are taken from my own experiences as a young adult. This coming of age story needed to be told. It was thanks to S.E.Hinton’s The Outsiders, that In Times Of Violence was written.

I hope you enjoy the book.
Order and start reading now

http://bit.ly/ITOVYAE


I had to settle things with my parents. I had to sit them both down and tell them my plans, hoping it would be the last I saw of them. I needed to pack up my belongings and say goodbye to my horrid past, once-and-for-all.

Marcus wanted to come along with me, but I talked him out of it. He wanted to see the cursed life I’d lived, and wanted to meet my mother. I had painted such a black picture of her I knew he wouldn’t be civil and I wanted to leave on good terms, despite everything. Even though she’d abused me, she was still my mother. I managed to convince Marcus to stay home and went alone.

What a nightmare! My first mistake was not having Marcus for moral support. Secondly, I’d chickened out and hadn’t told my dad I was coming. I thought I could cope with just seeing Mum, rather than both of them ganging up on me.

Third mistake, I wore my leathers. I think she would have gone easier on me if I had dressed down. Except that wasn’t who I was anymore. I wasn’t ashamed of who I’d become. I was proud to be a member of the Tyrants. I wasn’t going to shout it from the rooftops. I didn’t come home to show off and give the villagers something else to gossip about. I wanted to get in and out without anyone seeing me.

Mum wasn’t home when I arrived, so I used my key and let myself in. The house smelt of stale cigarettes, and damp. No change there, I thought. I’d only been in the room for a few seconds and already wanted to leave. Memories flooded like a wave, trying to drown my good spirits. I didn’t want to remember the unhappiest moments of my childhood. Literally shaking myself from the past, I cursed aloud for putting up with her shit for so long.

I expected her home soon, so I ran upstairs and started packing. I couldn’t take everything, just my treasured possessions. I’d been so busy, I didn’t realise how quickly the time passed. A door slammed shut, making me jump.

“Mum, it’s Jade. I’m up here.”

I didn’t want her to think I was a burglar. Maybe I should have phoned first.

Any loving mother would have run up the stairs and hugged her long-lost daughter, but not my mother. I timed her. It took her a full ten minutes before she came up. I heard the familiar tinkle of ice hitting the bottom of a glass, and the cabinet door being shut. Dutch courage, I wished I had some.

“Well, look what the cat’s dragged in. Decided to come home have you?”

Leaning against the doorframe, she held a glass in her right hand, a cigarette in her left. She looked a sight. Her hair needed cutting and dyeing, and I hate to think how long she’d been wearing the same clothes. She looked thin and haggard and had really let herself go. I turned away, unable to look at her in that state.

“I’ve come for a few things. I’m leaving, but is it okay if I stay the night?” I asked, pretending to be too busy to look at her.

She didn’t answer. Her stare burnt into my back, and I knew she was going to start.

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EVERY STORM BREAKS by LE Fitzpatrick – book 3 in The Reacher Series is coming!

Can you keep up with the amazing LE Fitzpatrick? I finished reading the first book in the Recher Series not long ago, and the third is already on the way and coming out on 3 September! Once I finish editing my novel, I’ll have to pick up my reading pace;). 

Anyway, fans of dystopian thrilĺers will have a field day with this because the blurb and a sneak peek are coming your way…

EVERY STORM BREAKS

Reacher Series #3

L E FITZPATRICK

Every Storm Breaks Blurb

When a Reacher terrorist group enlist the help of a deranged serial killer, their goal is simple: bring about chaos in Britain. But when the death count starts rising chaos comes sooner than expected.

With the tension between the London elite and the surrounding slums reaching breaking point, Charlie finds himself in handcuffs on the wrong side of the border. Government agents are closing in and Charlie is running out of time.

Can his friends save him in time?

When the storm comes, will anyone get out alive?

SNEAK PREVIEW…


The concrete barrier separating London and the surrounding Safe Haven was impenetrable. Built to withstand a full militia invasion, it was guarded day and night by trained security officers. On a normal day they would be watching a queue of traffic as the daily commute crossed the open gates, but this wasn’t a normal day. A full watch was gathered at the top of the blockade, automatic weapons poised, ready to shoot, ready to kill. The growing crowd being kept out was swelling, spilling over into the surrounding streets like an overflowing drain. The bubbling cesspit of discontentment polluted the atmosphere. Tension climbed as more and more people took up the plight of the immigrant workers, fuelled by fear, isolation, and more hardship. The rioters crushed themselves against the gates, kicking at the barbed fencing; screaming, climbing, falling. Blood stained metal like crimson rust. Things were turning bad and turning quickly.


John pulled up the car at the junction leading to the main gate. It was farther away than they had originally planned their ambush, but there was no way they were going to get any closer without being swallowed by the crowd. A raucous energy surged through the concrete jungle. Rachel dared a glance behind them. Another tribe of urban warriors was coming towards the gate, and soon their current position would be compromised too. Police sirens were getting louder, a tinnitus in this nightmare. It was going to erupt into a full-scale riot, and in a few minutes all of S’aven would be engulfed.

She twisted her fingers together, focusing on the closed border, allowing her powers to penetrate the collective feeling of the mob. The concentrated fear and hatred were overwhelming. She could feel their frustration, their utter hopelessness, even as far back as she was. Desperation was winning, and nothing short of a miracle could sate it. Bottles, launched into the air by the protestors, smashed against the fence. Glass rained down on the crowd, and blood started to pour. The police were closing in. Soon the fighting would flood into the surrounding streets. All of S’aven would be consumed. Rachel watched the gate and the air around her seemed to thin. She took a desperate gasp, trying to visualise their rescue attempt in this chaos. Anything leaving London was going to get swallowed up; anyone trying to help would be trampled.

“What if they don’t come out?” she asked.

“They’ll come out.” The certainty in John’s voice was unwavering. Nothing about their current view seemed to concern him. His composure was measured, as though he were watching this from a distant window, unaffected by the consequences of the phone call he had made.

Rachel couldn’t understand how he could be so calm. A couple of hours ago he was throwing bottles at a wall like the desperate men and women in front of her. Now he was sitting patient and expectant, waiting for a miracle she couldn’t believe in.

“And what if they do come out?” she said, softer this time. She clasped her hands together. The anguish around her was contagious. She wanted to lash out. To scream. To charge the gate and save Charlie herself. This wasn’t fair. This wasn’t how people should be treated. The rich shouldn’t be locked behind a wall with all the wealth, while people on the other side died in squalor. People shouldn’t be punished for wanting a better life. For trying. For being different. They shouldn’t be locked up, experimented on, executed.

“Hey, the gates are opening,” Roxy said, drawing her back before her outrage compelled her to action.

A shower of rubber bullets and gas canisters rained down on the crowd. Through the chemical mist, a vehicle pushed into the mess. It was unmarked, but it was obviously a government transporter. What else would brave leaving London in the middle of a riot? Before anyone could react, the guards behind it opened fire again. People dropped to the pavement, gasping in the smoke, crying out as feet stomped on their helpless bodies. Rachel could feel the rage surge through the street. If there had been a chance this was all going to pass over, they’d just lost it.

“Well, that was a good idea,” Rachel said.

The smoke hissed, making it impossible to see anything. Bloody, bruised people fell out of the poisonous fog, into cleaner pockets of air, but more were coming. Coming from the surrounding streets; healthier, stronger, angrier. And the border patrol continued to fire. Rubber bullets giving way to metal. This wasn’t a security mechanism—this was war. The gas was clearing and the gates were once again closed, but that left the van stranded and suddenly the only thing the crowd could retaliate against.

“Oh God, do you think Charlie’s in there?” Rachel said, unable to control her panic. Would the crowd take mercy on a prisoner? She didn’t think so. Even if they did, how much damage would they do before they even reached him?

“He’s in there,” John said. Still cool. Still calm.

The protestors started pounding on the truck, rocking it back and forth. Again and again.

“Holy shit, they’re going to tip it!”

“Take the wheel,” John told Roxy. “Turn the car around and get ready to move. Do not fall behind. Rachel, you’re on crowd duty.”

“Are you bloody kidding, they’re going to rip you apart!” Roxy shouted.

John gave Roxy a look, half smug, half challenging—I’d like to see them try — and gestured for Rachel to get out.


Marginally inspired by John’s confidence, Rachel took his hand and focussed. If they were going to have any chance, she couldn’t let her surroundings frighten her. The people’s tension and anger were fuelling the riot. This wasn’t going to dissipate. This was years of stored-up fury at the richer classes, at the injustice folk on the wrong side of the border suffered. There was so much hate. Too much to control. The weight of it was oppressive and, as Rachel tried to sway the crowd to her favour, she found herself blocked and unable to push her commands into their one-track minds. Her subtle Let me pass was being ignored, or unheard, or deliberately disobeyed, as though that was the one command they had conditioned themselves to reject. She needed something more, something that suited their mood.

Red and blue started flashing. The police were encircling them. They were surrounded, unable to go anywhere, and Rachel knew what to do.

“Stop the police cars,” she said, tapping the nearest man to her. He paused, his hand held up in the air as her words filtered into his brain. Then, like a switch being pressed, he was charging towards the nearest police car. She touched another, giving him the same command. By the third, the crowd had picked up the idea. They covered the police cars like a swarm. There was no escape.

Rachel squeezed John’s hand. She braved a step deeper into the rabble. If her powers failed, if her concentration slipped, they could both be crushed. A shot was fired in the distance. More smoke canisters struck the crowd. John took over. He pulled her towards the truck, somehow able to see what was happening in the frenzy.

“Get in the passenger’s side,” he told her.

She let him go, and for the briefest moment she was drowning. Smoke stung her eyes, and she had to hold on to the vehicle for support. As her hands touched metal, she could feel Charlie inside. The connection to him steadied her nerves. It was as though he were speaking to her, only there were no words or directions, just a feeling, a knowingness. A tremor passed through the vehicle, and she knew he had unlocked the doors for her.

She grabbed the door handle and pulled. It flung open, and she nearly went with it. A rioter pushed past her and grabbed a fat man from the passenger seat. As he came hurtling out of the truck, she launched herself inside. She swung the door closed and jammed the lock in place. Another rioter pounded on the glass, ecstatic that she’d breached the vehicle. He cheered, and a bullet hit him in the temple, spattering the window with pink flesh. His body fell out of view, swallowed by the violence below.

She turned to the driver and froze.

Mark was staring back at her. His lost brown eyes were wide, his mouth agape. Of all the people to come across. She tried to think of something to say, and then she saw the barrel of John’s gun press against his head.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” he said, and hauled Mark from the driver’s seat.

John slammed the door closed. A bullet hit the safety glass, scratching the surface. “We need a route out of here,” he said.

Rachel nodded and closed her eyes. She pressed her hands on the dashboard. Her heart was racing, but her head was focused. The command was instinctual. Attack the border! Immediately, the crowd was moving, abandoning the vehicle and heading straight to the gate. She didn’t watch them go; there was enough on her conscience already. John slammed his foot on the accelerator and hit the road.



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LAWLESS JUSTICE by Karina Kantas -new release


Author and book promoter Karina Kantas has a new episode of her Outlaw series out! It’s Lawless Justice and it’s free on Kindle Unlimited. A girl biker gang bringing justice to the streets? Check it out here.

(The following promo images have been provided by the author.)

In case you want to know more about each vigilante, here are some sneak peeks.

For more, read the books! 

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Enchantments – new release by Claire Plaisted

Claire Plaisted of Plaisted Publishing is not only a publisher and book promoter, but also a very successful author. Here is her latest release…

(All info below provided by Claire Plaisted)

Enchantments Synopsis and Information – Y A Fantasy

Meet the Characters who will keep the human world safe from the Shadow Realm.

They thought they were human…and though their DNA was similar and they each had human ancestry their lives were about to change…so you could live.

Farron – Bul’ith – British living in America

Praxel – Bul’ith – American with Egyptian Ancestry

Briar – Bul’ith – American

Ruben – Human American with European heritage

Fleur – Bul’ith – French Canadian

Mitsuoshi – Bul’ith – Japanese heritage

Maxwell – Bul’ith – New Zealander with British & Maori Blood

Bunita – Bul’ith – Indian

Meet their Trainers and the Animals they will be matched with.

Qwain and the Wolf

Quawn and the Falcon

Ngaire and the Cheetah

Avron and the Black Bear

Avrain and the Anaconda

Nikau and the Komodo Dragon

Kendrall and overall leader and the Wild Boar

Meet the Shadow Master and be careful of his minions…They are daring and act quicker than most can move. Their claws could grab your ankles at any moment and suck your soul.

Synopsis

The Shadow Realm had found a gap in space and time, a place where they could observe the Human world before they claimed it as their own.

Farron is one of six, chosen to embark of an epic adventure against the Shadow King and his evil Realm; but how can six Humans fight against the perils of the Shadows of Death?

Because they’re not really Human…

First born sons and daughters of the Bul’ith, Farron and the others must accept the truth and the animal energies they inherit, heed the words of their trainers and defeat the Realm of the Shadow King if they ever wish to restore their world.

LINKS

http://www.claireplaisted.wordpress.com

http://www.billionaireromances.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/claireplaistedauthor

http://www.facebook.com/garrettinvestigationbureau

http://www.facebook.com/girlieadventures

http://www.facebook.com/billionaireromances

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ClairePlaistedAuthor

http://www.plaistedpublishinghouse.com

http://www.facebook.com/plaistedpublishinghouse

http://www.facebook.com/groups/indiepublishingnews

http://www.facebook.com/groups/eroticauthormagazine

http://www.facebook.com/groups/ghostlywritesanthology

http://www.facebook.com/groups/childrensfairytaleanthology

https://plus.google.com/b/100378967483078787792/+PlaistedPublishingHouseLtdRotorua

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rotosis

http://www.twitter.com/rotosis1

http://www.amazon.com/author/claireplaisted  

http://www.amazon.com/author/bethbayley

https://www.instagram.com/rotosis

https://rotosistheoriginal.tumblr.com/

https://www.wattpad.com/user/ClairePlaisted​

Claire Plaisted lives in Rotorua, New Zealand with her family. Rotorua is one of the main tourist stops for a cultural Maori experience with lots of things to do, be it walking, cycling, museums, spa days etc.
Claire is an Multi Genre Indie Author, with side lines in genealogy where she researches and formats family history books for clients. Claire also developed a business to help Indie Authors self-publish, assisting over thirty clients so far

Claire has published twenty-six books.  Two are short stories, six are part of a series which is called ‘Garrett Investigation Bureau.’  She has one adult fantasy, one children’s mythical story. Along with six contemporary romance novellas under her pen name ‘Beth Bayley.’ Claire has a children’s book series called Girlie Adventures. The first three are now available. ‘Girlie and the War of the Wasps,’ ‘Girlie and the Quest for Pedi’s Family and ‘Girlie’s Circus Adventure.  They are adventure story for children from four years upwards. Each one sold gives 40% to a charity.  The first book is, in essence about healthy eating and the book will help raise funds for ‘Chasing a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes.’

Enjoy your lives and read a book.

Claire

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Dragonblood Throne by Tom Fallwell – fantasy fans, this is for you!

It gives me great pleasure to be able to present you the new release by fantasy author Tom Fallwell. Enjoy yourselves!

  

                              

BLURB

Orphaned as a young child and growing up alone in the forest, Delina lives a life of isolation; her only companion a saber-toothed panther. Her strange eyes frighten those she occasionally encounters, so she keeps to herself, until a young, wounded warrior ends up at her doorstep. As she nurses him back to health, she discovers she is more than just a young woman with unusual eyes, she is a dragonblood, destined to become the ruler of Almar.

 

Now hunted by the dark sorcerer who murdered her father, usurped his throne, and killed all her kin, she must find out how she can release the essence of the dragon inside her to defeat him. Everything depends upon her willingness to embrace her legacy and reclaim the Dragon Throne.


Excerpt from Dragonblood Throne: Legacy, by Tom Fallwell

Copyright © 2017 by Tom Fallwell – All Rights Reserved

Ignoring the two scribes fidgeting nervously behind him, Kargoth anxiously watched the cosmic tableau of the moons unfold in the darkened sky from his balcony. The rare, lunar eclipse was only moments away from its apex, the new moon phase of Tibel almost centered within the bright ring of Sianor behind it.

While he would never admit it, not even to himself, Kargoth was fearful as he waited to see if the prophecy was true, if there would be a sign indicating a dragonblood still lived in Almar. The words of that prophecy played continually in his mind as he waited with bated breath.

Ring of the heavens,

Ring shining bright.

Darkness the lesser

Than greater moon’s light.

When the ring glows bright

As the moons above turn,

Blood shows the sign

Of the dragons return.

A dragon reborn

From an innocent child.

The power will grow

As emotions run wild.

The dragon will rise

When all hope seems lost.

All evil will pay

The dragonblood’s cost.

The dragonblood comes,

The darkness will die.

The dragon wings spread

And the dragon will fly.

“Here it comes,” Kargoth said, never removing his gaze from the moons. “Now we’ll see if there is any truth to this prophecy.”

The scribes trembled, fearing their High Lord’s wrath, as Tibel firmly centered itself in front of Sianor. The light in the night lessened momentarily as Tibel covered much of Sianor’s full and bright splendor.

The slim circle of light around Tibel began to burn brightly, becoming a brilliant glowing ring in the night sky. For a moment, the scholars hoped that perhaps the prophecy was false, but a red glow began to fill the darkness of Tibel. It was as if some celestial being had poured a bowl of blood into the mold of the darkened Tibel, now glowing with a red, unearthly light. The eclipse became a white circle filled with a blood-red glow.

The prophecy was true! It was a sign of blood! Of dragonblood!

The scribes slowly backed away from the balcony in fear, anticipating the wrath of their lord. They could almost hear Kargoth’s rage brewing inside him as he suddenly turned on them, his steel eyes boring into their souls.

“It’s true! That beast, Jeraldin, had another child!” His anger turned on the two robed figures. “You should have known this sooner! You impotent cretins!”

He raised both hands in front of him, palms outward. The terrified scribes turned to run, but it was too late. A dark fiery energy streamed from both his hands, as jets of black, searing flame engulfed the two men. Their horrifying screams of agony echoed throughout the chamber and into the halls beyond as their bodies were consumed by the deadly power Kargoth had loosed upon them. Within seconds, only smoldering piles of ash remained on the floor.

Dropping his hands in frustration, a deep and tortured frown peeked from the shadows of his hood. Kargoth stormed toward the throne room door. “Guards! Guards! Get my generals! Now!”

Whoever this dragonblood was, Kargoth had to make sure they never lived long enough to be a threat to his power. He would scour the entire kingdom and find this dragonblood. He couldn’t allow one of their kind to live.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  

Early in life, Tom Fallwell discovered a love for fantasy and science-fiction, delighting in the wonderful escape into realms undreamed of. Weaned on the greats like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, and Michael Moorcock, just to name a few, Tom’s imagination was forever inspired by those marvelous tales.

One day, he discovered a simple book of rules called ‘Chainmail’, by Gary Gygax, and found a new love: the love of creating adventures and stories of his own. ‘Chainmail’ evolved into ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, and Tom played consistently with friends as both a player and a dungeon master (DM) for decades. Such activities helped him develop his ability to create worlds and stories for other players to enjoy.

Now retired from his long career as a software developer, Tom writes all the adventures and characters that constantly fill his mind and shares them with the world.

Website: http://tomfallwell.com

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Fallwell/e/B00IV2JSJI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11303749.Tom_Fallwell

Rangers of Laerean Series: https://www.facebook.com/RangersofLaerean

Dragonblood Throne Series: https://www.facebook.com/DragonbloodThrone


Where to buy

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073SYDP68

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/735008

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The Rhythm of Words

The rhythm of words has always fascinated me.

#free #poetry #ebook 

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Who is SHE? – Lisa Veldkamp

During May I will be doing several interviews with female authors in a series entitled ‘Who is SHE?’ It will not be a feminist rant, nor do I plan to nag about women’s oppression – in fact, I am planning a similar series with some male authors, too. But ladies first. It has been such a pleasure to meet so many creative talents and fighters in the writing world that I wish everyone could appreciate these ladies’ relentless pursuit of their dreams, whilst balancing the life of the ‘ordinary’ miracles such as family and jobs.

Seeing as my guests are all quite creative, I do not want to limit them with typical questions but try something different. My guests will be asked to say what certain words mean to them, and they will not limit their replies to books, but also write about themselves, the world today, even family and friends, to sort of give us the feel of them as people and artists as well.

At the end of each ‘interview’, the readers will be surpised by the latest news from my author guests – their new release announcements, sneak peeks and even glimpses into their work in progress.

My first guest is author LISA VELDKAMP and today of all days is the release of her new novel The Empath. All the best with the book, Lisa, and thank you so much for sparing some time to drop by. Here is what Lisa had to say about her challenge words…

DREAMS

Funny you should start with this one. For it was a dream that made me write The Fire Trilogy. It was after I saw Placebo in concert. They were headlining Pinkpop in 2009 and while they we’re playing ‘Come Undone’, I was taken to another world. The world of Catherine and Tristan. When I was home again, I dreamed the entire outline of the trilogy in two nights in a row. It literally picked up again where it ended the following night. One of the weirdest things that ever happened to me. I took it as a sign from the universe and decided to start writing.

STRESS

I’m certainly no stranger to stress. I used to have a very stressful job and eventually decided to turn my life around. It was scary, both financially and emotionally, but it was the best decision I ever made. My life is so much healthier now and I’m grateful I had the chance to be able to this this. Is my life stress-free? No, I don’t think that’s possible, not for someone like me. However, I know how to deal with stress now and I recognize the signs, so I can act accordingly. Playing my harp is really soothing. It helps me to unwind.

RELEASE

Well, on this particular day, release means the release of the second installment of The Fire Trilogy. My book, The Empath, is available in stores today. Very exciting. Tonight I will do a book signing in my local bookstore, which I’m really looking forward to. Other than that, release -for me – is mostly about letting go of control. I still find that….. challenging. I’m kind of a control freak. 

SUPPORT

First thing that comes to mind are my family, partner and friends. I have a great inner circle I can always count on. I feel really blessed in that way. Very fortunate to still have both my parents, who are my great example of a happy marriage. 

Support also comes from my favourite coffeehouse, Barista Café. I do my writing there and they’ve supported me and my writing from the beginning. Love those people!

MODEL

I have many people who inspire me and I consider a model/role-model. While I was growing up, I always saw the shows of Youp van ‘t Hek. He’s a stand-up comedian from Holland. I still go to every new show, by the way. He always makes me think about life and the universe. Yes, he’s funny, but most of all, he’s critical and sheds a painful light on what’s wrong with our society. He makes me cry, he makes me laugh, he makes me think. Yes, he’s been a real model to me.

ISSUE

Haha, when I hear the word issue, I think about my work as an editor for our Dutch harp magazine. We’re always busy with the latest issue. Do we have enough interviews, sheet-music, reviews and what not? We have a great team, though. I love to be a part of this process. And it takes my mind off my own writing.

JOURNEY

This great journey called life, I suppose. People tend to focus on a destination so often, they forget to live in the now. Living in the moment has become more important to me over the years. To really enjoy the now and be content with the present. You can’t change the past (unless you have a time-turner) and though it’s good to plan ahead, you can’t control the future either. So why not focus on the here and now? 

RELEVANCE

This is a tough one for me. I do not really concern myself with my own relevance. I’ll always be relevant to myself and those who care about me. Like they are relevant to me. Politicians are always concerned with their relevance. If they seize to be relevant, they might be out of a job. Which is why I could never be in politics. Relevance shouldn’t be about societies’ rules or pressure. To me, it’s a more personal word.

JOY

So many things bring me joy. Spending time with loved ones, music (especially Placebo and playing my harp), writing, riding horses, nature, healing. But also very mundane things like watching movies or tv series bring me great joy.

HAVEN

Well, besides the name of your blog, haven means my home. My safe haven. The place where I can always be myself, feel protected and loved. I love spending time at our own place. I’m a big believer in putting as much love in your house as you possibly can. It will give it back to you, really. Trust me on this one. It will work and your home will be the better for it.

And to finish this unusual ‘interview’, here is a wonderful piece of news from Lisa – her completely new release THE EMPATH – out now!

The Empath is the second installment of The Fire Trilogy and is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bol.com or you local bookstore. 

UK link 

US link 

Bol.com link 

Blurb

Battersea Park Station. Home of the company. The kind we all need, but nobody likes to talk about. Tristan Visconti works for the company and his clearance level has just been upgraded. Why? Simple, because he and his team have exactly one week to save our planet from impending doom.

When Tristan arrives in London, he needs to convince his client, Catherine van Dyk, of her own powers to help save our world. Problem is, Tristan believes he is on a suicide mission and so does his team. His former lover, Eve, is behaving out of character and then there is Alan, Catherine’s ex. Like Tristan, Alan’s an empath, but he’s also a master of death and the company can’t locate his whereabouts.

As Tristan, Catherine, Alan and Eve take center stage, the company is fulfilling its own agenda. Question is, are they working to save the world or to help destroy it?

Booktrailer The Empath

Lisa Veldkamp

www.the-elemental.co.uk 

www.facebook.com/theelemental

www.twitter.com/Lisa_Elemental 

Thank you, Lisa! Have a phenomenal release!

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Work in progress

‘He’d better get used to nightmares soon,’ she thought, ‘because he’s living in one.’

#quote from current #wip #amwriting

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TOP TIPS from TRACI SANDERS

Believe it or not, I can never have enough advice on writing (and living, for that matter;). As always, it is wonderful to get advice from someone kind-hearted, experienced, honest and professional, and if you are lucky to be friends with such a person – all the better. 

Today I am so pleased to welcome award-winning multigenre author, a hard-working and optimistic mother, and an admirable human being Traci M. Sanders. You may have read my reviews of her books here already (children’s, romance, non-fiction). She is here today to promote her amazing series of non-fiction books and shed some light on writing children’s books. Since I myself write children’s books, I plan to follow her advice as best I can.

AUTHOR’S BIO – TRACI SANDERS

Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides. Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A CHILDREN’S BOOK

TIP 237: Know your audience – part 1 – children’s books and middle-grade fiction

The following tip can be found in Beyond The Book: Tips on publishing, marketing, and networking to build your brand, available now in digital and paperback format.

Before writing a book of any genre, it’s important to know your audience—know their likes and dislikes as far as characters and plots, and know their attention spans.

Middle-grade books would obviously not be as short as picture books, but not as long as traditional novels either. As well, some adult readers might feel cheated by a novella-length romance book.

Here are a few guidelines for children’s books and middle-grade fiction:

Children’s picture books:

  • Animals are always favorite character types for kids this age.
  • A typical picture book is 32 pages, and around 24 illustrations, 500-600 words, no more than 1000, 1-2 single-spaced ms pages.
  • Young children respond to faces, especially faces of children their age.
  • The words should be challenging enough not to bore the adult who may be reading it to the child, but not overly sophisticated that the early reader can’t read it alone.
  • Avoid preaching or lecturing, to parents or kids. A subtle lesson on friendship, sharing, or the like is acceptable, if done tastefully.
  • Make sure the book has an actual plot, not just words thrown together haphazardly, even if they rhyme. It has to make sense to be memorable.
  • Use child-friendly artwork.
  • Bad guys never win, if any bad guys even exist in these books.

Early readers – first chapter books for kids:

  • Target age is 4-8 years old.
  • May or may not have real chapter breaks, could just be small images or large words that separate the sections.
  • Typically, no more than 1,500 words, 3 or 4 single-spaced ms pages.
  • Font size is smaller than that of picture books, and the verbiage is a bit more challenging to encourage early reading skills.
  • Very few images, but the ones present may be black and white rather than color.
  • Reads much like a 30-minute television show. The conflict is simple and is solved fairly quickly.

Children’s Chapter Books:

  • Target age group is 6/7 to 9/10 years old.
  • Even more so than in picture books, don’t be preachy. Kids this age hate that.
  • Between 5,000 and 15,000 words, between 30-40 single-spaced ms pages.
  • Very few pictures, if any. If they are funny or sketched images, (cartoonish), they may work.
  • Doesn’t use adult language, sexually-oriented words, or overly sophisticated verbiage.
  • Fantasy, comedy, and mysteries tend to be big sellers in this age group.
  • The story doesn’t “talk down” to kids this age. Nothing cutesy.

Middle-grade fiction books:

  • Target age group is 8-12 (often called tweens).
  • No pictures needed, except for cover art, of course.
  • Middle-grade fiction can be anywhere between 20,000 and 35,000 words, some even up to 50,000 (for advanced readers), around 40-60 single-spaced ms pages.
  • Contain some teen-ish content/language. Perhaps a slang word or two, but no profanity or sexual situations.
  • The kids run most of the show in these books, solve their own problems, with very little help or interference from adults.
  • Real-life issues are popular in this genre – boy/girl interactions (typically not sex, though), coming-of-age problems (pimples, menstrual cycles, betrayal by best friends, peer pressure, etc.,).
  • Kids learn life is not always pretty – child abuse, divorced parents, death of loved ones, during this stage of life.
  • Relatable characters and lots of action.

Certain guidelines must be followed if you are writing for traditional publishers, but even if you are self-publishing, it’s a good idea to stay within the realm of themes, page count, and structure.

Traci Sanders
Award-winning author of parenting, children’s, and romance titles
http://amzn.to/2cYUdKM
~Reviews keep authors writing~

Thank you so much for sharing this advice, Traci. I will make sure I check it before publishing another kidlit! 

And FYI, dear readers, here are some of Traci’s other books, just to show you where her vast experience comes from. 

Her recent contributions to two interesting anthologies of short stories.

These are two contemporary romances with different settings, but a common message – love will prevail.

And finally, from Traci’s previous career days of childcare provider – parenting guides and children’s picture books.

Keep writing, Ms. Sanders!


PS: THIS JUST IN FROM TRACI SANDERS:

I’ve decided to give away two prizes during this tour:

*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish Volume I

*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book Volume II

To enter, all you have to do is email me a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.
I will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour. Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to tsanderspublishing@yahoo.com
GOOD LUCK!

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Meet Anais Chartschenko

Here is a chance to meet a new author, both of books and music – ANAIS CHARTSCHENKO! Stepping out of our comfort zone is a challenge, and this lady faces it in her unique way.

Bio:

Anaïs Chartschenko hails from the Canadian wilderness. She has come to enjoy such modern things as electric tea kettles. Her published works include two collections of poetry, Bright Needles and The Whisper Collector as well as a novel in verse, The Weightless One. 

Excerpt from The Weightless One


Reasons I Have To Stay

I was signed in, 

I have no choice.

They tell me 

My heart is failing.

They tell me

When you starve 

Long enough, your body

Starts to eat your muscles.

Your heart is a muscle. It becomes

Your unwilling dinner. 

They show me charts with

Low iron, low this and low that.

They tell me I need to take this

Serious. 

But it doesn’t seem real.

All that is real is my sudden

Total lack of control, total

Forced surrender, it feels 

So broken it can never be

Fixed- 

I can’t agree to any of these

Things. Not even when I 

Feel my heart forget a beat.

Not even when I’m hooked

To machines. 

Reasons I Should Get To Leave

I don’t count calories.

I don’t weigh myself.

I don’t obsess over models.

I don’t exercise.

I don’t take laxatives or

Diuretics. 

I don’t make myself

Throw up. 

I don’t care what you think.

I think for myself.

I’m not this, I still have

My period. 

Okay?

Little Fish

We lay in a tight row

Like sardines, 

Wrapped tight in

Blankets and thick

Fuzzy pajamas

Getting our blood 

Pressure checked

Lay down, and close

My eyes to the other

Girls’ gossip, they

Try to include me,

But I have nothing

To say in the morning

This is a strange torment,

Laying so close to the others

Trapped between laughter

And the talk of having to

Drink ensures or not,

Of having to go to an

Increased nutrition plan,

Of family therapy sessions

Coming at the end of the 

Week.


Doll
Kara began

Pulling out 

Her hair

Extensions

Bundles of 

Blonde lay 

On the floor,

Her lion mane

Alopecia found

“I’m sick of

 The lies!”  She

Twisted her

Face up her

Hands knotted

In hair

“Where did this

Come from?

I didn’t grow it!”

We watched 

In horror

We watched

Unable to

Look away

From her

Transformation

Underneath she

Was so small

Like a fragile glass

Doll,

Her features too

Large for her head

Her hair was only

A few inches long

Thin dirty dishwater

Blonde strands like

Weeds dried out 

In the sun

She smiled

She laughed

She burrowed

Her face in 

Borrowed hair

And

Cried. 

Books

The Weightless One

The Whisper Collector

Bright Needles

Music

Howling at the Moon: Live from my Living Room

Immigration

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