Meet William and Casey from THE ANNOUNCER

Intelligent, low-key Casey Abbott has watched William Armstrong on his hit TV show Home Shopping Bonanza now for years. She has always loved his zany antics on the show, and likes nothing better than to sit down after midday with a coffee, and catch up on his escapades.

Casey Abbott from THE ANNOUNCER

Casey Abbott from THE ANNOUNCER

William could be best described as a charming livewire, who takes life as it comes, but always with a humorous grain of salt. Casey notices one day that he is not entirely himself onscreen, and his change in character intrigues her. When this continues, it disturbs her to the point that she seeks out the cheeky, but very married William. Will Casey actually get to see William for real, and discover what may be causing him despair, or, will she fail in her quest to access the truth about William?

William Armstrong from THE ANNOUNCER

William Armstrong from THE ANNOUNCER

THE ANNOUNCER is now available on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, I-Tunes, Kobo, Indigo, Overdrive, Scribd, Oyster, Blio, and Inktera.

Interview with author Jenny Burnley

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jenny Burnley, author of science fiction short story ZENZORIS RETURNS, and welcome her to my blog.

Jenny Burnley, author identification photo

Jenny Burnley, author identification photo

Welcome Jenny!

Thank you for inviting me, Marcia. Wow, what a comfortable chair this is and fabulous coffee and cookies. You have made me feel SO much at home…

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  I have been writing since I was a child (and that’s a VERY long time) but I published for the first time as Jenny Burnley in 2013.

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: With two brothers, a husband and two sons in my life, who all watched scifi TV and movies endlessly; Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, you name it, I think I was dragged kicking and screaming to scifi initially, but if I was honest, I really love the genre now. That combined with my life-long interest in astronomy definitely inspired me to write the Sophie Radcliffe scifi series.

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A:  As I have a very busy working life in academia, my writing time is sadly very limited, but I am the kind of person who gets in the writing mood and then just can’t stop. If I have a poem or story in my head, I will write into the night and not want to stop. Of course I always regret it the next morning when the alarm goes off at 6.30 a.m.

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Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I am an avid reader and love all kinds of books, including historical novels, thrillers, fantasy and biographies. I really don’t have a favourite, but enjoy interesting books of any genre, depending on my mood.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: I was brought up on classics such as Wuthering Heights, Black Beauty, Pride and Prejudice and Little Women. I love Tolkein, some Shakespeare and GK Chesterton. I like to laugh, so books by amusing authors like Tom Sharpe, Bill Bryson and James Herriot are past favourites. These days I often read books by Indie authors, including those written by my many author friends on Twitter, such as Lynette Creswell, Judith Barrow, Rose Edmunds, Christina James, Val Poore and of course yourself Marcia! (What a little creep I am!)

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Q: I greatly enjoyed reading ZENZORIS RETURNS, and liked the characterization of agent Sophie Radcliffe, the science fiction themes and motifs, and how the wry humor throughout added fun and spice to the narrative. What inspired you to write this story?

A: Thank you Marcia. I lived in Texas for a few years, the home of the Johnson Space Center, which was a great influence on me. I love the idea that there are other life-forms in the universe and like to imagine how they might look, behave, communicate or live their lives. Sophie Radcliffe is a strong, Houston gal, whose fruity language I would never dare use! I guess she must be my alter ego; the woman I would really like to be but chose a path in life that prevents me from being that way. (Hang on, this is like talking to a shrink…)

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: I used to love watching Frasier and Friends with my daughter – such a joy after all that scifi, football and cricket inflicted on me by the boys in my life. I don’t have much time for TV these days, but when I do, I like to watch historical dramas such as Downton Abbey or Mr. Selfridge or documentaries about animals.

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A:  I love reading, walking, art, music and singing in a Rock Choir. I go to the art galleries and theatres in London as often as I can. I play the piano and find that to be hugely stress-busting (I don’t think the neighbours agree..hee hee)

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Q: You have successfully written in the science fiction genre. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: My over-riding writing passion is poetry. Perhaps I will publish some of my poems one day. I also love historical thrillers, so I am tempted to go there too. For now though, I am concentrating on finishing the Sophie Radcliffe Series.

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A:  I am right-handed and am absolutely hopeless with my left hand when it comes to things like using a key to open a door or pulling those cords for opening/closing blinds etc. –  strange for a pianist but true.

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Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A:  My next story in the Sophie Radcliffe series has had a bit of a setback. Without giving too much away, it is largely set in Egypt and features a Goddess whose name now has terrible political connotations, so I am doing a major rewrite, but hopefully I will publish later this year.

Thank you for allowing me to visit you, Marcia. My, those cookies were delicious..mmm

You’re welcome Jenny, it’s a pleasure.

*

*I am certain you will join me in thanking Jenny today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Jenny, she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Facebook page

*ZENZORIS RETURNS on Amazon.co.uk

*ZENZORIS RETURNS on Amazon.com

*Jenny’s website

*Jenny’s Blog

– Jenny’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below:

ZENZORIS RETURNS by Jenny Burnley

 

 

Cover Reveal: THE ANNOUNCER

Casey Abbott has watched her favorite TV personality, William Armstrong, for years on his Home Shopping Bonanza program on the local WSTY affiliate. An unexpected chain of events prompts Casey to meet William in person, where she will discover the real side to William Armstrong, and see him in a light she never expected…

THE ANNOUNCER

THE ANNOUNCER

Here is the cover for my romance novelette, THE ANNOUNCER.

THE ANNOUNCER will be available on Smashwords and Amazon from the first week of February 2015, with other bookstores in succession.

My Favorite E-books Read From July to December 2014

Today I have the pleasure of presenting the e-books I found to be the best I have read in the period July to December, 2014. As with my other round-up of favorite books, I was in the happy position of choosing these e-books, as there was a great array of entertaining stories from which to choose. You can click on the book cover for a link to its Smashwords or Amazon entry. And now, please enjoy my favorite e-books read from July to December, 2014!

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*MURDER ON THE MOUNTAIN, by Glenn Gabriel, best horror fantasy short story:

MURDER ON THE MOUNTAIN by Glenn Gabriel

MURDER ON THE MOUNTAIN by Glenn Gabriel

*EIGHT YEARS IN ANOTHER WORLD, by Harding Lemay, best non-fiction book:

EIGHT YEARS IN ANOTHER WORLD by Harding Lemay

EIGHT YEARS IN ANOTHER WORLD by Harding Lemay

*PRINCE OF THE CITY: THE CAT’S WHISKERS, by Mackenzie Brown, best mystery story:

PRINCE OF THE CITY: THE CAT'S WHISKERS by Mackenzie Brown

PRINCE OF THE CITY: THE CAT’S WHISKERS by Mackenzie Brown

*ZENZORIS RETURNS, by Jenny Burnley, best science fiction short story:

ZENZORIS RETURNS by Jenny Burnley

ZENZORIS RETURNS by Jenny Burnley

*PICNIC, by Vonda Norwood, best erotic comedy short story:

PICNIC by Vonda Norwood

PICNIC by Vonda Norwood

*CASABLANCA, MY HEART, by Hannah Warren, best romance novel:

CASABLANCA, MY HEART by Hannah Warren

CASABLANCA, MY HEART by Hannah Warren

*THE BEST FRIEND, by Sasha Gabriel, best horror short story:

THE BEST FRIEND by Sasha Gabriel

THE BEST FRIEND by Sasha Gabriel

*THE DEPOT, by Carmen DeSousa, best suspense short story:

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

*HEARTFELTS, by P.S. Winn, best short story collection:

HEARTFELTS by P.S. Winn

HEARTFELTS by P.S. Winn

*WHERE THE JOYS ARE: BERTHA’S GUIDED JOURNAL, by Jane Carroll, best self-help book:

WHERE THE JOYS ARE: BERTHA'S GUIDED JOURNAL by Jane Carroll

WHERE THE JOYS ARE: BERTHA’S GUIDED JOURNAL by Jane Carroll

*WHAT YOU SEE, by Ann Mullen, best detective novel:

WHAT YOU SEE by Ann Mullen

WHAT YOU SEE by Ann Mullen

*GLIMMER, by Melodie Ramone, best romance short story:

GLIMMER by Melodie Ramone

GLIMMER by Melodie Ramone

Starting The New Year With A Sneak Peek At Books To Come, And A Cover Reveal

I would like to start the New Year by offering readers a sneak peek at some of my stories for 2015, which I hope you find interesting, and, a cover reveal for one of them. THE ANNOUNCER (early February 2015 release)

Casey Abbott has watched her favourite TV personality, William Armstrong, for years on his Home Shopping Bonanza program on the local WSTY affiliate. An unexpected chain of events prompts Casey to meet William in person, where she will discover the real side to William Armstrong, and see him in a light she never expected…

HARVEY HANDSOME

Harvey is a forty-four year old university professor who piques the fascination of rapacious university student Annalise one day at when she sees him at a café she often visits. Annalise takes a shining to the reserved, but virile professor, and schemes to get closer to him by any means possible. Will this be a fanciful dip into the fountain of youth for Harvey, a May-December fling for Annalise, or true love?

THE CHAUFFEUR

Emmanuel is the chauffeur for Elaine Masterson, and is driving her to the reading of the will for her late husband, Edward. This will be anything but a conventional will reading, as Edward’s wayward, greedy relatives have also been invited, having a sense of entitlement which is larger than the world itself, and an attitude to match. Despite this, Elaine and Edward’s relatives will be shocked by what occurs at the will reading, as Edward makes conditions on everyone present, including Emmanuel, which will take them by surprise, and change their lives forever…

PATRICIA’S HOLIDAY AFFAIR

Freshly-divorced fifty-something Patricia has decided to pack up her woes, and take a holiday to an island resort to save her sanity. At the resort she meets a mysterious young man who is interested in her, despite their age difference, and Patricia entertains light thoughts of becoming involved with him, despite being on the rebound from her adulterous husband. Is this handsome young man all that her appears to be, or is he hiding something which may destroy Patricia’s life forever?

THE KIDNAPPER

Katie walks home from work to her apartment every day, and visits a small supermarket on the way home. On two occasions she encounters a duo of petty criminals outside the supermarket who eye her, and kidnap her one late afternoon. Will the valiant Katie’s life come to an untimely end of the hands of her kidnappers, or will this be a meeting of the minds in a most unexpected way for her and them?

And now, here’s the cover reveal for BRANDY’S SUMMER IDOL, available in Summer 2015:

BRANDY'S SUMMER IDOL

BRANDY’S SUMMER IDOL

Brandy Harper will be spending a quiet summer at home in mourning after the death of her grandparents, which has been mandated by her mother. As she has just turned eighteen, she is feeling the sensation of summer in her veins, but cannot go anywhere. One day when the family car is having mechanical problems, Brandy’s father Garth calls the workshop, and they send out young, good-looking Ryan Chalice to start the car. Brandy cannot believe her eyes when she sees Ryan, and makes subtle moves to become friendlier with the masculine, but low-profile Ryan, against the vehement protests of her mother Agnes. Will this summer be one Brandy cherishes for the rest of her life, or one filled with nothing but heartache?

I hope you enjoyed a preview of some of my books for 2015. Release dates, and cover reveals for the other books will be made through my blog closer to their individual dates. I wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2015, and that all your wishes come true this year. Marcia

Have A Very Merry Christmas, And A Happy New Year For 2015

I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year ahead, 2015. Thank you for your support of my blog this past year, your comments have been extremely useful, and are much appreciated. See you in the New Year for more books, and an insight into the authors behind them. Happy Holidays.

Christmas Image

Christmas Image

Interview with author Hannah Warren

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Hannah Warren, author of romance novel CASABLANCA, MY HEART, and historical mystery novel PSYCHIC CONFESSIONS, and welcome her to my blog. Before we begin, here is some biographical information about Hannah:

Hannah Warren was born in Paris, France, in 1956 as a second child to a Dutch father and an English mother. She has lived in The Netherlands almost all her life but maintains strong ties with her own favourite triangle: France, UK and Holland.

Hannah studied Dutch literature and Mass Communication at the University of Amsterdam and later obtained a B.A. in English Literature and Language and a B.A. in Translation from Rotterdam University. After having been a lecturer and a translator for many years, she now works as a staff member at the International Office of HZ University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen.

Her free-time is taken up by writing fiction, teaching Yoga and pottering around in the garden. After having been a single mum for nearly two decades, her three children have flown the nest. The great sadness that befell Hannah in March 2014 was the loss of her eldest child, daughter Joy, who died after an intense two-year struggle against bile duct cancer.

From the age of 8, Ms Warren has written poetry and short stories but it took her over 50 years to become a published author. Her debut novel – the literary romance Casablanca, My Heart was published by Thorstruck Press in June 2014. Psychic Confessions, first book in the series The Cottage On The Border (November 2014, Thorstruck Press) is Hannah’s second novel and positions her as a writer of suspenseful family sagas. 

Hannah Warren, author photograph

Hannah Warren, author photograph

Welcome Hannah!

Thank you for having me, Marcia! It’s an honour and a delight.

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Oh Marcia, for as long as I could hold a pen, which is over 50 years now. Until the age of 20 I wrote in Dutch, being brought up in The Netherlands but then switched to English, which is my mother tongue. It took me 50 years to become a published author, though.

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: I think a writer soaks up every life experience she stumbles upon and somehow converts that into fiction. It’s being born with the gift of the senses: colours, sounds, tastes, smells & feelings: they are all constantly in some stage of being transformed into words on paper or the screen.

I know this may sound like a vague answer to a concrete question about concrete life events but I truly believe I was a writer first and then got the extraordinary – often incredibly hard – life that met the job.

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: Oh-oh, I’m really hopeless at sticking to schedules. I do NaNoWriMo every year and manage to squeeze out 50K of words in less than 30 days every November. Then, always promising myself I’ll continue to be a good girl in December, fall flat on my nose already on December 1st. I’m a bit of an all-or-nothing type of girl, continuously telling myself to get into the routine of writing at least 500 words a day. That day will come! *nods with determination*

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Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I’m a sucker for old books. I try to grow up and become more modern but always seem to return to the classics. Having only a restricted time for reading at the moment, I really want to learn as much as I can to hone my craft and so…yes… that’s the reason. I study storytelling, vocabulary, sentence construction, atmosphere from the first novel writers. When I retire from the paid job, I’m going to allow myself to read wild and free.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: Rows and rows of authors and books, but first and foremost 19th and early 20th century writers: Russians (Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov), Brits (Brontë sisters, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy), French, (Gustave Flaubert, Stendhal, Zola), Americans (Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe). I always feel rather embarrassed bringing this up as it has layers and layers of dustiness around it and I already sense your readers raising their delicate eyebrows at my outmoded list. As said before, these books are more study material to me than reading distraction.

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Q: From my reading experience of CASABLANCA, MY HEART, I found it to be an engrossing, lush romance novel that kept my interest in the story, and its characters, until the very end. I also enjoyed the usage of international locales which added veracity, and interest to the story in a natural style. What inspired you to write the story of romance novelist Heather Simpson, and chart the course of her life over a multi-year period?

A: Thank you so much for your praise, Marcia. I was really moved by your kind review at the time! And gosh, a good question to ask about Casa’s origins! Once upon a time I was a Harlequin translator and for some reason thought I’d give the genre a try myself and this is what came out. I do love writing about other countries, feeling rather isolated on this small post stamp called Holland. So in my writing I always venture into the exotic or simply just next door. Part of Psychic Confessions is situated in Germany.

To be honest, I don’t have a clue where my stories really come from. I’m a classic example of “l’ecriture automatique”. With only a vague idea about the story and the main characters, I sit down at my computer and type what these characters come up with and what scenes develop. I’m forever trying to monitor where the story is going and sometimes see it deviate completely. ‘Ah well’, I then think, ‘you lot do whatever comes into your silly heads’. It’s what I call the Mystic Muse. Enjoy the ride every time, though.

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Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: I think it’s the story of my heroine in Daughter of The Alvar Book 1, Ingrid Gunarsson. It’s such a tragic story of a young vicar’s daughter who has all the wonderful prospects of a happy life before her when fate jumps in and changes everything. It’s purity trampled into the soil with filthy boots. And still her song is sung by her daughter Agnes. The story is based on some historical evidence and is situated on the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea, where I used to spend many happy holidays with my children.

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: I hardly watch TV, sometimes the news. Oh yes, I do love Downton Abbey, in fact most BBC historical dramas. Now wouldn’t I?

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A:  I walk a lot and then listen to audiobooks. And I practise Yoga. I’m a qualified Yoga instructor but due to circumstances have had to give up giving lessons but I still do it myself every day. Prevents me from growing too old too soon. Hopefully.

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Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in the romance, women’s fiction, and mystery genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: I think I’m not really a contemporary romance writer after all but never say never so perhaps I’ll return to the genre someday. At the moment, I love writing historical fiction, being the fact-checking-maniac, but I might dabble in fantasy as well some time or other. There is a series in the back of my mind circling around an otherworldly theme.

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: Haha, good question. Originally completely left-handed but forbidden to be a lefty by both school and parents, so became a right-handed person by force. Still do sports left-handed and am always pointed out I walk on the right side of my bicycle when pushing it, which points to left-handedness as well.

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Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: I’m currently editing “Ingrid” Book 1 in Daughter of the Alvar Series, which will come out in mid-2015. This is a historical family saga situated in south-Sweden in the 1890s. I was writing Book 2 in that series called “Agnes” but am now putting that on hold to first write the second book in The Cottage on The Border Series called The Angel Within. In the final stages of editing Psychic Confessions, I realised it needed a sequel.

At Christmas, my publishing company Thorstruck Press will bring out an anthology, with – among others – a story from my hand called The Blood-Red Nails of War, dealing with a snippet of Agnes’s life in World War I.

So yes, very busy writing-wise.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Hannah today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Hannah, she is available on:

*Twitter: @hannah_war

*Goodreads

*Facebook page

*Hannah’s website

*Hannah’s Blog

– Hannah’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below:

 

CASABLANCA, MY HEART by Hannah Warren

CASABLANCA, MY HEART by Hannah Warren

PSYCHIC CONNECTIONS by Hannah Warren

PSYCHIC CONNECTIONS by Hannah Warren