Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Joanna’s Destiny by Karen J. Mossman – a new release

This is what happens when hard-working authors do their best. Karen J. Mossman has made her new book truly shine! Congrats!

Joanna’s Destiny

Description

Struggling with the past, Joanna can’t forget the love she lost and the man who broke her heart. During the summer at a rock festival, Joanna meets him again. Niko is now an international rock star. Can they put the past behind them and rekindle the love they once had?

Mike stood by her when no one else did, but Niko still wants her? Joanna becomes entangled in a web of lies and deceit. Niko is the love of her life, but she cannot leave Mike in confusion and betrayal.

In Joanna’s Destiny, she has some fun times in France and mingles with the stars in Montreux. With a backdrop of music and fashion, emotions and friendships are tested. But her love for Niko never falters, showing that love can conquer all, but at what cost?

Excerpt

Niko’s Song

He began to sing a ballad that started slowly with just a whisper of her name in the high tones of his voice. When the words came in baritone, they were powerful and strong. His voice blended with the music, haunting and enchanting. Joanna was mesmerised.

The lyrics told of a young girl he had met a long time ago, a mere shadow of the woman she would become. The chorus sent a tingle down her back as he sang of his lady, such a special lady, who had forgiven him when he had mistreated her. The undertones told of how his heart had broken as he went through the door, leaving her weeping and alone, and how her eyes had haunted him. The guitar riff was mournful, and she felt tearful at the strength of his emotion.

She had never known Niko had felt like that.

Excerpt 2

The After show Party

The atmosphere behind the stage was fizzing, and everyone was aware that a real professional was standing before them. Niko knew how to handle his audience and was a complete master of his art. Joanna knew him now and could read the expressions on his face. This one was pure pleasure. He was doing what he loved most, performing. There was no doubt in her mind that his career would always come first.

Tag line

Love can conquer all, but at what cost?

Teasers – Dinner for 2, Broken Heart, Singer

Bio

Karen J Mossman is a grandmother, but these days that is not as old as it sounds. A grandmother can be as little as thirty-two. Karen laughs, “It’s a long time since I was since thirty two, but we are who we are, and I have two beautiful grandchildren and a third on the way, so being a grandmother is fine.”

“I’ve always written stories. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I started out writing just for me because it gave me pleasure and it was a form of escapism. My parents fostered and having four siblings of my own, we sometimes had up to ten children in our house, so it was nice to go somewhere, even if it was just in my head!

“The story of Joanna first came to me back in the eighties, which is why the first book was set in that era. Although I must admit, the eighties pretty much passed me by as I raised my children.”

Karen originally wrote just one book, but it became clear soon after that the ending wasn’t right. Joanna’s heart belonged to someone else. So as the decade turned to the nineties, the second book was written and for a long time, the two stayed as one book and put away in a drawer.

Eventually, when publishing became accessible to everyone, the book re-emerged as two.

Besides writing, Karen is an avid reader and book blogger. She also loves to cross stitch and is devoted to her Yorkshire Terrier, Tilly. Living on the small island of Anglesey, just off the north Wales coast, she has plenty of nearby beaches to walk with her dog and draw inspiration for stories in her head, which may, or may not come to fruition one day.

Back in 1980 Karen married the boy next door and 38 years later, it’s a decision she has never regretted.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenswritingsonthewall/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenJMoss
Email: kazzmoss@gmail.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kazz_mossman/
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/karenmossman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KarenJMossman

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-J-Mossman/e/B00JJY69OO

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/101513298666906301324

Story site: https://magicofstories.net

Book Blogger site: https://karensbookbuzz.wordpress.com

Although Joanna’s Destiny is a standalone book. If you wanted to know what went on before, then you can read Joanna’s Journey – myBook.to/JJ

Free to download from 10th – 14th June

Book link

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Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth H. Newton – my review

Wow, what a ride! This is by no means the first thriller I’ve read by Elizabeth Horton Newton, nor will it be the last. Do not expect any spoilers from this review, or me retelling the events! Just grab it and read it. It’s worth it!
When you read an action thriller and feel breathless, as if you’ve just been there or at least watched it in a fabulous 3D cinema, that’s just perfection. This one had me biting my nails, staying up all night to get to the bottom of all plots and subplots, on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen to my favourite characters.

Much as I loved the villains in Riddle and Old Habits, I love, love, love the heroes and heroines of this book! Young Terza is adorable, just on the verge between a teenager and a woman, thrown into life’s adversity which forms her faster than she’d ever hoped. Tristan is strong, charming and supportive, and the balance Newton achieves between the two of them, and in developing their relationship, is wonderfully intertwined with the entire plot, filled with social issues, political intrigue and the criminal millieu. McCray and Nora, including Vanessa and the girls from Nora’s haven, they all paint a strong setting in which each detail makes a difference.

Feel like wandering into a breathlessly intense action story, with a fantastic couple at the centre and mind-blowing intrigue surrounding them? Grab this one.

https://amzn.to/2qBg0wr

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Take A Journey – Interview with A. L. Mengel

It is wonderful to be able to interview author A. L. Mengel as he begins his 2018 book tour. I first met the incredibly talented creative genius of A. L. Mengel in the Awethors writers’ group and have since witnessed his fantastic progress in the world of fiction.

1. How long have you been a published author now? What’s your favourite moment or memory for now?

I’ve been a published author for five years now. It’s really hard to believe. I remember sitting and tweaking my first novel Ashes repeatedly, readying it for publication. I had started writing that novel in 2002. Back then, I had dreams of being an author. But I was still so caught up with my young life. With the material world. And the quest for love. And experiencing human emotion. And relationships. Little did I know then, all of my experiences would come out in my written work in the future years. So I would write the story, originally titled The Last Nail in the Coffin, which was destined to become Ashes, bit by bit, over several years, on and off.

Fast forward to 2007, I finished the story. I can still remember the day, almost 11 years ago, like it was yesterday. I could feel the tickle of a cold in my throat, and was elated to type the words ‘THE END’. The next day, I came down with the worst flu of my life. It kept me bed ridden for several days. Looking back on that, and after talking with others about The Tales of Tartarus series of books, there have been some that have thought the sickness could have been some sort of demonic influence. Ashes tells a very dark story, but it leads to the light and forgiveness. Demons don’t like that. They don’t want to lose their grip on you.

And that’s really the goal of the entire series of The Tales of Tartarus books…in The Quest for Immortality, a character is racing against a certain death to achieve the gift of eternal life; in The Blood Decanter,those who have achieved the gift are under attack by an imposter – The Hooded Man – who is destined for their destruction by promising them salvation but giving them death. The book is a cleansing of the soul – as the blood “washes their sins away”. And then there is War Angel. Where redemption is found. Where protection is a right of the living and the dead. We all need to dispel our demons to elevate ourselves to a higher level of existence. The Tales of Tartarus did that for me. It may do that for others, as well.

But my favorite moment? Memory? I would have to say the creation of #Writestorm. It was so sudden, so intense, and also so life-changing. Once I introduced the writing methodology to the Literary Community, it was quickly embraced. It’s become easily searchable on Google. The book was released and received stellar reviews. There have been others that have copied #Writestorm on Social Media. I’ve seen multiple groups pop-up since #Writestorm that discuss a similar philosophy – tweaked “just a bit”. But there’s only one true #Writestorm. And people know that, it seems. But the book wasn’t written for notoriety, money, or fame. It was simply written to help other authors get their books written and follow their dreams. And for that, I hope I will have created something that will endure.

2. What and how much has changed since you started publishing? How has your approach to writing and marketing changed?

A lot has changed in the last five years. And a lot has also remained the same. I think, what has changed the most, is my approach to publishing. When I first released Ashes, I was so excited to release the book, I released it in parts, like the serial novels of yesteryear. It worked well initially, I could call myself a published author, people were reading the story and enjoying it according to reviews. I was happy. I was able to relive the natural high of a book release three more times until the paperback released in October of 2013. I still have copies of that paperback, which are now out of print. Amazon is offering it as a Mass Market Paperback, and some copies are going for up to $150 as that version has become rare. And Ashes was my best effort at the time. When I look back on that novel, I see a good self-publishing effort. But when I compare it to my novels of today, there really is no comparison. Ashes is a good story, and it got the high-end treatment it deserved in 2015 with the Special Edition, which is now the signature version.

My approach to writing really remains the same. I follow a very specific…and rather archaic…process. When I start a novel, I start with a spiral notebook and a pen. I have to get my thoughts out on paper, and I have found it best to be away from the distractions of a computer to get that done. When writing the prose, I use regular old Microsoft Word. No fancy book writing programs for me. I write notes during the writing process on a rather large whiteboard that hangs in The Writing Studio, and I do something I call “scene mapping” on the wall on a space mural I have hanging. Usually, I divide a book up into four to eight parts, which each have their own subtitle. I’ve been doing this since Ashes. I don’t work with chapters. Each part of my novels has its own story that relates to the overall story arc. I print the part subtitles out on paper and hang them on the wall. I tend to use sticky notes, on which I will write the scene in one sentence, and move it around on the wall underneath the part where I think it best fits.

But marketing is another animal. There’s a lot of authors and authors’ service providers that claim they have the answer, but for me, I am following in my predecessors footsteps who are now Best-Selling Authors. The Indie Author has to get out from behind the computer. At least if they want some sort of a level of selling success. Persistent and repetitive social media marketing really just turns into spam, which people tune out. That online marketing needs to be specific and targeted, and linked to something that page followers connect with. The goal is to get followers and convert them into readers. Getting page followers is the easy part. Just market your page on Facebook and they will come if you have a strong brand/product mix. But connecting with them is the hard part. I always check what’s trending, and also what is going on in the world to see how it could be linked to my brand. There’s a marketing opportunity in everything. I was recently out to lunch at a sports bar. When I was being questioned about my recently released novel The Mortician, it was decided on the spot to record a video, which was shared on my Facebook page. One needs to be adept at identifying marketing opportunities which are everywhere, and in places where you least expect them. And I have found, that page followers have been connecting with me more, increasing my engagement, as I get outside with the people and make videos and go-live with people-to-people interaction.

3. Who do you think your readers are? Do you write for a target audience or just any story that comes to your mind?

My readers are a wide and varied bunch. In addition to The Tales of Tartarus, I also have The Vega Chronicles, my Science Fiction series. In addition, there is a series called The Astral Files with the release of The Mortician. The Astral Files is a spin-off from The Tales of Tartarus, and I expect it to be a long running series. Then there’s also #Writestorm. And there are thousands who are Beloved Friends of The Writing Studio on my Facebook page who have never read a word I have written outside of Facebook. My target market doesn’t really focus on an age group but rather a level of intellect. My novels are typically for a more sophisticated, thinking reader. My books usually have steady builds, and tend to get philosophical in the later acts. Some have told me they’ve read one of my books the first time to take it all in, and then a second time to figure it all out. Some readers can get frustrated with that. My books are not simple reads. Books of today spoon feed everything to the reader. My books don’t do that. The reader needs to think. To discover. And I am also getting known for ambiguous endings in some of my novels, which I write intentionally to encourage discussion and personal theories about the story.

4. What do you find interesting or challenging in using social media to interact with your readers and fellow authors?

I recently was quoted on Facebook discussing Social Media: “Social Media is a smiling demon. It gains us readers, sells our books, and also robs us of our time.” It’s really true. Facebook, and all of Social Media, is a necessary evil. But the successful author will be resistant to its many temptations. It’s easy to get drawn into chats that have nothing to do with you or your brand, and even easier for time to get swallowed into lazy marketing of just blasting a book link around writer’s groups that will be ignored and prove to be a waste of time – even if it only took a minute or two.

Because for the Indie Author, that minute or two blasting a book link to other authors who are busy trying to market their own work could have been spent seeking out true readers away from social media. People that will connect with you, face to face, and read your work because they know you in person. Getting away from the computer and away from Social Media, to connect with the people, is where the true success lies, and honestly, what the brick and mortars look for when arranging events and stocking titles. I’ve been vetted for Barnes and Noble recently, and was approved not only because of my well-established online presence, but also because of the in-person marketing efforts I have made. For the Indie Author, it all really depends on their own personal goals, but I know for mine, I look forward to my titles being stocked in brick and mortars. And that requires a lot of hard work beyond writing the stories.

5. You recently had an interesting tour with author Jeremy Croston. Can you tell us how it went? What was the most pleasant surprise about it for you?

Oh yes! The tour is actually about to start at the time of this interview. It’s called “Take A Journey” with the hashtag #TakeAJourney2018. It’s a little different from the typical Author Book Tour. For one, it’s long running. It starts in February of 2018 and runs all the way to the end of October. That gives us the freedom to schedule event dates throughout the year without the tour seeming overwhelming. I’ve studied musicians for years, and how they tour, and have tried to emulate that touring formula. I think it can work for Authors as well. I think long-term touring…to represent our entire branding…could be the future for Authors getting their work out to the public. Brick and Mortars are still fading. But the best way to connect with potential readers still remains face-to-face. But arranging events at venues that may not be a book shop “official selling stop” can still build one’s market presence. Every tour stop should be embraced, because it’s an avenue to reach readers. So an author has to think outside the box. And that’s were Jeremy and I developed the “Author Discussion Series”, which will be a series of informal tour stops on our Book Tour that are at restaurants that have a topic of discussion that’s pertinent to creatives. That series won’t be selling stops, and they are being scheduled in-between the more formal, book shop selling stops throughout the tour. The “Author Discussion Series” stops are for creatives to get together and discuss the craft.

Jeremy Croston and I happen to live near one another, and after he had read several of my novels, we agreed on a meet and greet in early 2017. Shortly after, we discussed touring together throughout 2018. I had learned about his Malice of the Cross release which seemed to pair well with my own branding, so we decided to do it. We met monthly for tour planning meetings since July of 2017, and have held almost daily conference calls in the early morning discussing the progress of venue selection and other creative things. We’ve held pretty strong to the monthly meetings and the conference calls. Planning a tour – a real tour – is an extraordinary amount of work. Getting venues will not come easily. A lot of doors will be slammed in your face. And you just pick up and move on to the next venue. What’s great is that we currently have 21 dates on the books between February and October through multiple cities. Hard work, and persistence, truly does pay off.

The most pleasant surprise surrounding the Take A Journey Book Tour was the Go-Lives that we did promoting the tour, and the tour planning appointments. Our first go-live video was of me reading from Jeremy Croston’s Malice of the Cross and introducing it to the readers on my page, which has followers of over 6.7k. In just three days, over 1.4k people viewed the go-live. We were both elated. But it wouldn’t prepare us for what happened just two weeks later at our “Gods and Monsters” book tour planning stop. We went live again with over 6.1k views in four days and knew then that we were creating a buzz about the book tour.

6. What are your goals in writing? What would you like to achieve in the years to come? What are you working on now?

Honestly, my goal is to make a decent living with my writing. Usually, with fame comes fortune, but that’s not my goal. If it happens, so be it, but I just want to do what I love, which is writing books, meeting with the people and touring, and starting the process all over again. One thing I would like is for my writing to endure for generations. I recently received, as a gift, a box of very old, quite rare books. I mean, they are from the 1800’s or older. Many of the copyright pages are written by hand. And that is what I am referring to. These are 150 year old books. I want to make sure that three generations from now, my books are still out there. That’s one of the reasons why I am gradually releasing each of my titles in hardcover. Most of my market is paperback readers. Not Kindle. But when I told my business advisor that I was releasing hardbacks, he didn’t understand why. But I’m trying to create a market for the hardback. And even if I don’t, each hardback that’s printed will most likely be around for a century or more.

I’ve been taking a several month much-needed break from writing after The Mortician. That was the most personal book that I’ve written to date. Few know that I have several personal memories inserted into the story in various scenes. As a result, it was an exhausting write. I needed a break. I have a hard time moving from one book right to the next. I know quite a few authors do that, but I believe in a creative refueling period. We all have to go out and experience life again, once the book is written. Or else, how can we accurately depict characters in our future books? I’ve had discussions several times with other authors who don’t follow my philosophy of a creative resting period between books. Unfortunately, it seems many Indie authors are turning themselves into “Book Factories” by releasing book after book after book in a single year. In my opinion, anything over two releases in a year is too much. Readers get overwhelmed, haven’t had time to digest the previous release and the next one comes out, and the stories risk being underthought and underdeveloped.

Currently, I am working on a Science Fiction epic which is planned to be released in two novel-length volumes: Part One and Part Two will released on the same day together, and they both will be novel-length books. I’m not mentioning the titles right now as they are “working titles” and could change during the creative process. I never would have been open to that wave of inspiration had I not been on a creative break and experiencing life. My aunt passed during that time, and her love of my science fiction inspired the new epic novel. Taking a break from the writing is necessary. It opens the mind, and the outside the box thinking really begins.

7. What would you say to your younger self, the aspiring writer just learning about the publishing world?

I would say do exactly what you are doing, and keep learning from those who have gone before you, because it’s going to lead to something greater. In half a decade, you’re going to be touring kid. Keep at it.

8. What’s your favourite thing about your latest published book?

The most favorite thing about my recently release novel The Mortician has to be the transitions in the story. I really loved how they came out. The Mortician takes place in two separate time periods with two protagonists and two separate and complete casts. I was challenged as a writer to link the storylines together without confusing the reader, and as I write in parts rather than chapters, I had to find a way to move back and forth smoothly. The two separate storylines and two casts of characters were running concurrently. The reader needed a smooth transition from one time period and cast to the next. And I love how it was done. I used art, photos, music and photography to transition the story from one setting to the other. For example, a piece of music might be playing that one character experiences, and then the story transitions to another character in a different time period listening to the exact same piece of music, separated in time by decades.

I also really loved the cover. Shoutlines Design did the cover, and they sent me early renderings in April of 2017. We tweaked it over the next several months, and the final version was released on Halloween 2017. As I drafted the manuscripts, I incorporated elements of the cover so the cover represented scenes from the story. I love creative collaborations like that.

9. Is there any famous person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who you would like to discuss your novel(s) with and why?

I’d really love to get both Stephen King’s and Anne Rice’s opinions on my novels. I’d like to think that I am embracing my own branding, characters and storytelling style, but following in their footsteps in some way. I read novels from both of them in my younger years, and I believe their work has influenced my own in some ways.

10. What are the most excruciating and the most exhilarating moments about writing for you?

Oh, wow. That’s a tough one. Because writing can be a very challenging experience for me. But so rewarding. I’d say the most challenging part of my process comes towards the middle. When I have quite a bit written, and I have to make sense of it all, and smooth it out to form a story. It’s a period during my creative process that I can “Story Structure”. It comes after the main scenes have been written, the story, at least for the most part, is there, but usually it’s akin to an unfinished puzzle. Pieces are spread all over the place, and each piece (scene or passage) needs to be closely examined to see where it best fits into the overall puzzle, the story in this case. It’s a point in my process where my word count will expand rapidly. During this period, as the scenes are spliced and placed where I believe they best fit in the story, I then will fill holes, bridge gaps, and write smoothing sequences to build flow in the story. While the most tedious and challenging period of my process, it’s also one of the most rewarding. For this the stage where the story really comes to life for me, where it starts to flow, and I can see a true beginning, middle, and end.

But the most excruciating? I can still remember the most painful scene I have ever written, and it was a death scene in War Angel. I was pantsing my way through a passage, and the death really caught me off guard. It was violent, sudden and intense. And it was a major character that I’d only been writing about for a short while. When I saw the visual of gigantic, blood-stained angel wings, reaching up towards the Heavens in a mark of desperation, I could feel tears start to stream down my cheeks. It was just so tragic. So unexpected. It pained me to reread what I had just written. I had to stop writing that day and called my editor. She suggested to take a break, and I didn’t sit back down with the manuscript for several more days. I had to mourn the sudden passing of that character, whom I had loved so much throughout the story up to that point.

Now the most exhilarating experience for me, and I think most authors would agree, is holding a book in my hands for the first time. That amazing feeling just doesn’t go away, even with my seventh novel recently in print. Every time I open the box of the first printed copies, I can feel the excitement build. With my science fiction novel The Europa Effect, I opened the box and examined the first proofs on video, and shared it on my Author page. I got some great comments where the viewers said they could see how my face lit up when I opened the box. I think that’s a feeling that will never go away. It’s one of the most exhilarating points in my process, also one of the most rewarding. It’s where I have created something physical, something that I can hold and touch. I can look at it , as something that I’ve created that will most likely spend more days on this planet than I will. And by holding the books in my hands, by feeling the pages, and the binding, smelling the paper, and running my hands over the covers, I know that I’m creating books that will endure.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authoralmengel

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authoralmengel

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

(all photos provided by Andy Mengel)

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Distant Time – new release by Karen J Mossman

For some time now I have been following the wonderful work of Electric Eclectic publishing – offering novellas by quality authirs at a really bargain price, so that readers can get a taste and perhaps discover their new favourite author, like for instnce – Elizabeth Horton Newton, Paul White, etc. It gives me great pleasure to introduce one such novella.

Distant Time by Karen J Mossman

Distant Time is an Electric Eclectic book, novellas designed to introduce you to new authors.

Description

Imagine visiting a village that has just been invaded by German WW2 soldiers. Now imagine you are no longer invisible.

What would you do if you woke to find yourself in a strange place not knowing who you were? Running outside, you find yourself caught up in a war. Not only that – you run for your life and come face to face with yourself.

Julie is time travelling and something has gone drastically wrong. Read this thrilling adventure where the future needs evidence collected from the past.

Extract

Every nerve in my body was on fire, my heart beating so fast, I could hardly breathe. I was about to run into the open, but saw a soldier aim a gun at a man on his knees. He fired. The man collapsed. I saw his family watching and heard their screams and cries. I stopped dead in my tracks, stared, horrified, before turning to vomit behind a wall.

Wiping my mouth I crawled into a space between outbuildings. Balefully, watching the scene unfold, tears streamed down my face.

Tanks were rolling through the village, crashing into buildings, running over fences, anything that got in their way. Some people were being killed; others herded up like animals for slaughter. Fear fizzed in the air and the noise of terror was just as deafening.

Crouching down, my hands automatically covered my ears. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut. I didn’t want any part of this, yet here I was. I had no idea what to do or where to go. I didn’t want to die.

About the Author

Karen J Mossman is a multi genre author.

This is her second novella under the Electric Eclectic brand. One Christmas was published in December 2017.

She lives in north Wales on the Isle of Anglesey with her husband and Yorkshire Terrier, Tilly.

See all Electric Eclectic books here. http://amzn.to/2EI8HbX

Join their FaceBook page here.

Social Media

Website: https://magicofstories.net

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenJMoss

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814921.Karen_J_Mossman

Amazon: Author.to/KM

Distant Time Link

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Dogs are miraculous

Presenting a wonderful new children’s book, by a remarkable author, about a very special dog… (All materials provided by Plaisted Publishing.)

Bubba Tails from the Puppy Nursery at The Seeing Eye Written by Patty L. Fletcher Told by, King Campbell Lee – The Seeing

Eye Dog AKA Bubba Autumn 2017

In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?

The use of Tail instead of Tale for story and Magik instead of Magic is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765BWDJF

Author Bio

Patty Lyne Fletcher in her own words (October 2017)

About me and my crew

I’m a 49-year-old single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom I am very proud. I have a great son-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren. Three girls, and two boys. I hope to be able to write more about them later on.

I own and handle a Black Labrador from The Seeing Eye™ named Campbell Lee—a.k.a. Bubba Lee or King Campbell, to give just a couple of his nicknames.

When and where I was born

I was born on November 9, 1967 in Kingsport, Tenn., where I also grew up.

About my blindness

I was born one and a half months premature. My blindness was caused by my being given too much oxygen in the incubator. I was partially sighted until 1991, at which time I lost my sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. I used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.

Where I live and work

Currently, I live and work in Kingsport, Tenn.

I used to work for CONTACT-CONCERN of Northeast Tennessee, Inc. I left that position in order to spend time with family and pursue my writing full time.

Why I write.

I wrote Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life to tell the story of how going to The Seeing Eye™ and getting Campbell, learning to love, handle, and work him, then coming home and adding him to my life, gave me true freedom.

I tell of how changing from being a 31-year cane user to being a guide dog handler taught me things about myself I had never known before. I tell of the wonderment I experienced when I finally took that chance.

A major goal of mine is to help others who find themselves in domestic violence situations. I also want to help others learn more about mental illnesses and how different situations and environments can drastically affect those with such challenges.

I tell how training affected me physically as a result of the fibromyalgia I deal with, along with the side effects of the medications I take.

I focus on bipolar disorder, on how it can go horribly wrong and cause a person to behave in ways they normally would not. Another thing I have attempted to show is how, in certain institutional settings, attachments can develop—and how those attachments can become unhealthy for all concerned if they are not handled correctly.

Most simply, I want others to know more about me.

In Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye, it is King Campbell Super Seeing Eye Dog A.K.A Bubba’s turn to tell his tale.

While helping to ready a group of pups to go and meet their puppy raiser families, so they too, might one-day become Seeing Eye dogs, he tells of what it was like for him, to grow up and become a Seeing Eye dog.

My hobbies

My hobbies include reading, writing, music, and standup comedy. I also like nature walks, light hiking, tent camping, and fishing. No, I am not afraid to bait a hook.

Music I enjoy

My favorite types of music are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country, as well as some present-day country music. I also like meditation music.

My favorite books and authors

I enjoy fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. I love the books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and many more. My favorite books include Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.

Links

http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com https://www.amazon.com/Patty-L.-Fletcher https://www.facebook.com/Bubba-Tails-196761360863975/ https://www.facebook.com/tellittotheworld/ http://www.twitter.com/bubbalee04 https://www.facebook.com/0404Campbell/ Campbells Rambles https://www.facebook.com/groups/787037261329458/ (Campbells Corner the Comfort Zone. https://www.facebook.com/groups/128710790840540/ Patty & Pals https://www.facebook.com/groups/1092566100770913/ Bob Cat And Friends

Legal Notes THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The

Seeing Eye, Inc.See: www.SeeingEye.org

 

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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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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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LEFT OUT by Jean Gill – my review

Have you heard about the Looking for Normal books? They might be just the thing for your teenage and YA children and students, and hey,why not – even for you! Especially if you are dealing with such kids/adults:).


Another one of Jean Gill’s brilliant stories! The best thing a book can do is pull you in and make you think and feel, and this one does just that. No matter whether you are an adult or a teenager, this is definitely a story you should let into your library. Every educator and parent should read it, and so should teenagers (although we might try telling them they shouldn’t, just to increase the chances of it actually being enticing to them). 

The story touches on numerous important issues about growing up, without preaching, judging, laying blame or displaying any prejudice. Introducing the theme of prejudice through the seemingly simple problems of a left-hander in the right-handed world lures us into seeing our world as it is – filled with prejudice all around. We realize how many times all of us show it, unaware, yet effectively hurting each other. The witty and humorous parts of the story and the wonderful characters will feed your soul, and basically inspire you to be a better person, not a mere conformist. A special treasure are the various kinds of parents in the story – they made me angry and smile at the same time, as I recognized myself in their attempts at doing what’s best for their kids and loved them for it. Jamie and Ryan will, no doubt, resonate with teenagers – there is so much to relate to with those bright kids growing into great people.

The author shows admirable understanding of the teenage mind, led primarily by their emotional world, as they try to tug themselves out into reasonable adulthood. She displays the depth of their conviction, which sometimes may be misguided, but is deeply felt nonetheless, and we should therefore respect it in all its seriousness. For instance, when the main character Jamie observes her mother and never wants to be like her – we’ve all been there, right? Or when Ryan (mis)judges his mother’s intentions – that scene made me rethink my own relationship with my son. Reading about Kelly’s misplaced trust and about Ryan’s new school, opened my eyes to the fact that it is no wonder how many teenagers enjoy gaming and fantasy so much – it is easier to bear than their own reality. But life has its twists and turns, and when we try to do better, we can, as Jean Gill proves. The story is permeated with author’s expressive style gems, such as comparing Jamie’s family to a bus terminal, informative texts about left-handers (with charming comments by the main characters) and the realistic family conversations.

As a parent and a teacher, I felt this book in my gut. It hits so close to home on more levels than I can count. I felt for all those kids, all those teachers and parents trying, failing and succeeding at doing the best they can. It is amazing to see how similar parenthood is all around the world, how many things can go wrong, how many times misunderstandings stem from brief, implied (mis)communication instead of good old-fashioned listening. This may well be the best writing by Jean Gill I’ve read yet, and I am so happy to know there are so many books I still haven’t read by this author. 

Left Out on Amazon 

PS: You can never have enough of a good thing. Not only was I fortunate enough to read Left Out (and enjoy its remakewith this great new cover), but there is also a sequel – Fortune Kookie  coming out. It is the second part of the Looking for Normal trilogy. Quality reading for me and my YA learners!

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THE JIGSAW & THE FAN by Stewart Bint – new release

It gives me great pleasure to feature a new book by a most creative author and all around kind man – Stewart Bint!

Stewart Bint biography

In a nutshell:

International novelist published by Dragon Moon Press. Journalist/magazine columnist. Active awareness campaigner for mental health and sepsis. Named on the 2016 list of “Inspirational Mental Health Advocates that are changing the world.”

Previous roles include radio presenter, newsreader and phone-in host.

Married to Sue, with two grown-up children, Chris and Charlotte, and a charismatic budgie called Alfie

Lives in Leicestershire, UK. Usually goes barefoot. 

Novels: The Jigsaw And The Fan; Timeshaft; In Shadows Waiting; 

Novellas: Malfunction; Ashday’s Child. 

Short story collection: Thunderlands. 

Non fiction: Up Close And Personal

Anthologies: Awethology Dark; December Awethology Light; Blood Moon
Stewart Bint now puts a little bit of flesh on the bones:

“I’m just an ageing hippy who goes barefoot almost all the time and likes to entertain people through stories. My books aren’t great art and they’re not great literature, but my readers tell me they’re entertaining, so that’s good enough for me. 

“I was born in the dim and distant past (under extreme torture I have been known to admit to 1956). I have worked both for the BBC and commercial radio as a newsreader, current affairs presenter and ‘phone-in host. Now I’m a novelist, magazine columnist, and Public Relations writer.  

Family life – I’m married with two grown-up children, and an extremely charismatic budgie called Alfie. 


I was written by the writing bug when I was seven in 1963, through watching the original series of what has been my favourite television series ever since: Doctor Who. Even at that young age I was enraptured by the storylines which can take place at any time in the past and future, and absolutely anywhere in the universe and beyond.  I started creating my own worlds and characters, writing my stories in little blue notebooks until my parents bought me a portable typewriter for my 9th birthday. 

And those make-believe worlds became invaluable after my Dad died when I was 11. I retreated more and more into those places where I was in control of my characters’ fate, knowing that whatever happened to them during the story I would make sure they were okay in the end. My worlds were certainly better thn the real one at that time.

In my twenties it was my ambition to become a published novelist by the time I was 30. Hhmmm, I was 26 years too late with that…achieving it when I was 56 in 2012. I’d kept on writing fiction as a hobby, but it was only on holiday, bobbing up and down with a friend in the Caribbean Sea when he said I ought to seriously try and get published.

So I dusted down an old manuscript, gave it a thorough working over and submitted it. Now, with three novels, two novellas, a collection of short stories, a compilation of my early magazine columns, and a contributor to several short story anthologies, I’m mighty glad I took his advice.  

Links: 

Website:  http://stewartbintauthor.weebly.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/authorsjb

Facebook (personal page): https://www.facebook.com/stewart.bint

Facebook (author page):  https://www.facebook.com/StewartBintAuthor/

Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stewart-Bint/e/B00D18IARS

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Stewart-Bint/e/B00D18IARS

The Jigsaw And The Fan

How much trouble can one disgruntled ghost really cause?
Stewart Bint’s latest novel has been published as a paperback and ebook by Dragon Moon Press.

The Jigsaw And The Fan is described as social satire.

Albert Carter has died, and finds himself in the spirit world, to get sorted out at St Christopher’s gates. Having been a successful shop steward picketing the management of Jebson’s Glue Factory on behalf of his colleagues, he feels confident his final destination is Heaven, with the rest of the decent, honest working class.

However, on arrival at St Christopher’s Doomsday Ministry, an inspectors’ strike means all spirits in transit have to be temporarily repatriated to Earth as ghosts, until the dispute is settled.

Albert’s ghostly assignment is his worst nightmare: a wealthy Lord’s manor which operates on the hard-earned wages of his own class.

Immediately on arrival, he decides to ruin the capitalist family, and begins his unlawful haunting as the Ghost of Marlston Manor. Watching him from the heavens is a host of guardian angels, elders, overlords and scribes – all scrambling to undo the havoc that Albert is blunderingly creating in his short stint as a ghost.

The final straw comes as Albert riles up a “fright” of ghosts to collude and protest their sentences on Earth – and Albert finally faces St Christopher. 

So it’s pure satire, from start to finish, looking at various levels of conflict.

And, as we all know, conflict of some sort is at the heart of almost every story.

The conflict in The Jigsaw And The Fan comes in many guises:  Albert v. the management of Jebson’s Glue factory; Albert v. Lord Maxwell Filchester Barrington-Pottesherbert; Wallace v. Mozelbeek; and the inspectors v. St Christopher.  

Stewart Bint explains that the original idea for the book stemmed from his days working for BBC Radio, reading the news and presenting current affairs programmes during the time of the bitter miners strike in the UK. 

“I wanted to tell a story about the futility of such disputes, looking especially at how both sides are as bad as each other. Never having been involved personally in anything like that miners strike…just interviewing miners, their families, and the police regularly…I knew I could never capture the raw emotion that would be needed to make a hard-hitting book a success.

“So I chose to satirise the miners strike in this way, without actually mentioning it once in the book.”

Feel free to share Stewart’s news, read and review books and recommend them to your friends!

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