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Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017 and nominated for the RONE Award 2017

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

When Camels Fly - Guest post and Giveaway


I'm thrilled to welcome NB Horton to my blog today.   I was intrigued by the fascinating title of her book and asked how she came up with it.  

Over to you, NB:

Questions from bloggers originate from healthy distance about my work. Muddling through the answers makes me a better writer. Lyn’s question, “how did you come up with this intriguing title?” is a great example of a blogger nudging me to consider my books from a different point of view.

First, a confession: I love camels. I ride them every time I’m in the Middle East, such as during my trip in March, 2014. I’m dangerous on horseback, but camels and I have a weird bond. We were meant for each other.

Creative Reasons
When Camels Fly introduces archaeologist Grace Madison, sometimes on camel, in Israel and Jordan. (She temporarily leaves her favorite animal behind in The Brothers’ Keepers, set in Western Europe and releasing November, 2014.)

Grace is an intelligent woman of faith: confident that God has a plan for her, but unafraid to take matters into her own hands and trust her judgment. She is utterly devoted to family, but has taken the opportunity as an “empty nester” to do things she’s always wanted, such as complete her doctorate and participate in archaeological digs. She lives life on her own terms. (The Readers Guide for book clubs encourages readers to engage with her on a deeper level, and explore how they would respond to some of her tough choices.)

As you can imagine, Grace doesn’t have conventional adult children. She raised them to use their gifts and think independently. When those gifts endanger her daughter and son, she canters on camelback to their rescue. She then makes startling discoveries about Mark, her husband of thirty years, and about her elderly professors, whose early lives now endanger everyone she loves.

Most contemporary suspense about the Middle East is written from a male perspective by a male author. When Camels Fly shares aspects of the land and culture to which female readers can relate, while including the adventure and action of comparable novels.

When Camels Fly also explores the complexities of a functional, mature family. Grace’s distant relationship with Mark depicts a marriage gone stale, but in which the individuals still love each other. Sacrifices her children have made in their love lives, and to which Grace responds with pointed humor, represent the reality of today’s young adults, who delay marriage and family for multiple reasons.

Practical Reasons
My background in journalism/advertising/marketing stressed the value of a perfect headline or campaign slogan. But after writing (and rewriting…and rewriting…and rewriting…) eighty-plus-thousand words, I smothered in the adventure as I mentally rode with Grace during her manic undertaking. I also was writing The Brothers’ Keepers, so my creative juices ran low.

The working title wasn’t strong enough, and the story required a title and cover as unique and original as the storyline. Several Big Six publishers were reviewing the work (if I never hear the words, “there’s something here…” again), but eventually decided it didn’t fit within their history of successful genres. (Roughly translated, that means the book was outside their comfort zones.)

Specifically, I owe the title to a brainstorming session with my grown daughter. She’s my partner in crime across five continents; inspiration for one of my major characters; and the person with the greatest impact (via an unstoppable DELUGE of comments) on When Camels Fly and the Parched series.

We had been “title-wrestling” for weeks, usually with a shared pot of strong black tea in The Hermitage (also known as my office). In this instance, we were armed with glasses of champagne, celebrating the end of the Thanksgiving feast. Title proposals became goofier and goofier, interspersed with our usual discussion of politics in the region. This interaction led to a discussion of peace, and one of us commented that peace would occur when “you-know-where froze over.”

She immediately responded that peace was as likely as flying camels, to which I replied, “when camels fly.” We looked at each other, agreed that was it, and toasted the completion of an arduous process. I think we created the consummate title for an unconventional work about a fairly normal woman thrust into extraordinary adventures.

I hope your readers grab the reins and join us!


Thanks for the opportunity to share When Camels Fly on Romance That’s Out of this World, Lyn, and I hope to share The Brothers’ Keepers with you and your readers later this year.

Thank you so for that fascinating explation, NB.  Now let's find out more about this great book:

WHERE CAMELS FLY
A mother’s fatal shot. A daughter’s deadly choice.
In Israel, archaeologist Grace Madison shoots her daughter’s abductor. Seconds later, a handsome shepherd drops from the sky to kill a second assassin. Their world changes in two blinks of an eye.
Unbeknownst to them, a fiercely ambitious evil is destroying everything in its path—the unconventional path Grace and Maggie take. They struggle to right a wrong as old as time, and discover time is running out in the race for their lives. Family and friends are swept into their vortex, extinguishing old flames while igniting new loves.
While the scale tips dangerously toward disaster, millions of lives hang in the balance. And the mother-and-daughter team soon realizes nothing is as it seems. Even each other.
Because choosing what’s right is all that’s left.

Agent:  Mary Keeley at Books & Such Literary Management
Category: Contemporary suspense, thread of Romance
Tour Date: May/June, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 370 Pages

About NLB Horton:

After an award-winning detour through journalism and marketing and a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, NLBHorton returned to writing fiction. She has surveyed Israeli archaeological digs accompanied by artillery rounds from Syria and machine gun fire from Lebanon. Explored Machu Picchu after training with an Incan shaman. And consumed afternoon tea across five continents. When Camels Fly is her first novel. Her second, The Brothers’ Keepers, will be available November 2014. Website: http://www.nlbhorton.com 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NLB-Horton/289059931145461 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NLBHorton Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nlbhorton/
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GIVEAWAY
A copy of the book is available for one lucky commenter on this Blog, in Print or ebook.
Open internationally.  (Print is open to the U.S. only.)

To enter, leave a comment with your email address so that you can be contacted if you're a winner
(Contest on this Blog ends midnight EST June 10th)

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Monday, 2 June 2014

The Legend of Devils Bridge

I love featuring fellow authors, but I think it would be nice to include something myself, more often, so how about some of the folk myths and legends of my native Wales? Wales is full of legends. which have inspired the settings for most of my stories,  and I incorporated some of them into my fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate'. It's set in 5th Century Wales and the 'Devils Bridge'waterfall in these pictures is just as I picture the fall where my muse, Terpsichore, bathes.

Each Monday, I will try and feature a new myth or legend, or something about Wales  which  I hope you'll find interesting.

 I used to live near a well known beauty spot called Pontarfynach, or Devils Bridge. It is really three bridges, built over a spectacular and beautiful waterfall, which rages down into a deep pool known as the Devils Punchbowl. The first bridge was built by the Monks of Strata Florida, (where the Holy Grail is reputed to have been hidden for a while) in 1075. In the 18th Century it was deemed to be unsafe, and a second bridge was built, over the first. The third bridge being built over that in 1901. I thought it would be nice to share the legend of how the first bridge was built. There are different versions of the legend, but this is my favourite:

 An old woman had a cow of which she was very fond, and which provided her with all the milk she needed. Early one morning she was distraught to find that the cow had somehow managed to cross the river and was now grazing on the bank the other side. The old lady looked at the swirling river and wondered how she would be able to get her cow back. “What the Devil can I do now?” she asked aloud.

At once there was a smell of sulphur and a cloud of thick smoke, out of the middle of which appeared Old Nick himself! “You called?” he smirked. The old lady was made of stern stuff, and after a moment’s hesitation, she explained her predicament. Satan grinned wickedly. “That’s easily sorted,” he said craftily, “I can build you a bridge – but it will cost you.”

“How much?” the old lady asked uneasily. “Oh nothing much, just the soul of the first living thing to cross the bridge,” the Devil stated cunningly, knowing full well that she would have to cross the bridge herself to get her cow.

 “Done!” said the old woman. The Devil waved his arms and there, spanning the falls, was a beautiful new stone bridge. The Devil laughed nastily, “Now for my payment he said smugly. The old lady was not as na├»ve as she appeared. She put her hand into her apron pocket and drew out a crust of bread which she had put there for her breakfast, and threw it across to the other side of the bridge. Immediately her little dog ran across the bridge and gobbled it up.

Satan knew he had been outwitted, the soul of a dog was of no use to him; he scowled furiously and disappeared in an even bigger cloud of foul smelling black smoke than the first, and was never seen in those parts again. The old woman crossed the lovely new bridge, and having retrieved both her cow and her dog, made her way home, humming softly to herself. The bridge still remains, to this very day. (Although two later bridges have been built above it, and today it has the usual tourist attraction trappings)