Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

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, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Nicole Zoltac on Magic and Ancient Egypt

I'm thrilled to welcome NicoleZoltac to my Blog today.  Nicole is a very talented writer, who shares my love of horses (and unicorns) as well as history and fantasy. I've always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt, so Nicole's book is of particular interest to me, and I hope it will be to you too. So help yourself to something sparkling from the automatic drinks dispenser while I hand over the controls to Nicole.  

Over to you Nicole!



Ancient Egypt

Hi, everyone, glad to be here! I'm Nicole Zoltack, author of WHITE HELLEBORE. I've always been fascinated with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, but Egypt has such a ripe history, I had to explore it too.

The idea of magic being alive and practiced in ancient Egypt just made sense to me.

What time period calls to you?

BLURB:

After destroying Skull Krusher, Nicholas Adams thinks Falledge is safe and becomes a security guard at the museum, watching a valuable statue. Unfortunately, the Egyptian statue houses the soul of a scorned witch, biding her time to have her revenge on the descendants of her cheating lover.

Kiya the witch isn't the only new foe in town as the drug that created Skull Krusher has now transformed a scientist into yet another monster, forcing Nicholas to don his Black Hellebore mask again and save Falledge.

Nicholas has no help this time as Kiya gains possession of his love Julianna's body and brings the soul of Justina, Nicholas's high school sweetheart and Julianna's twin, with her. Despite himself, Nicholas is torn between the sisters. If he can't stop the fiends from taking over the world and destroying humankind, he'd never be able to find lasting, true love.


BIO:

Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranormal, or regency. When she’s not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic young boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV show is The Walking Dead. To learn more about Nicole and her writing, visit http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

UK Writer Susie Kearley talks about her book 'Freelance writing on Health, Food and Gardens

It's my great pleasure to welcome to the Flight Deck today, Susie Kearley a  fellow writer at the writing group I belong to, Chiltern Writers.

Make yourself at home, Susie and tell us a little more about yourself  - and is there something that most people don’t know about you?

  • eBook £6.99 || $9.99
  • Feb 28, 2014. 978-1-78279-303-8.
  • BUY | AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
  • Paperback £11.99 || $19.95
  • Feb 28, 2014. 978-1-78279-304-5.
  • BUY | AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
I’m a freelance writer, working on magazines and newspapers in UK, USA and Australia. I always longed to be a freelance writer or novelist, but was told to follow a more traditional path when I was young and ended up in marketing. It was the closest thing to writing, in which I could find employment.

I’ve got a new book out, ‘Freelance Writing on Health, Food and Gardens,’ which is a ‘how to’ book, focusing on these areas of writing. It tells my story and is hopefully inspirational for other people wanting to break into this line of work.

Most people don’t know that I was first published in The Lady when I was 21 years old.

Wow!  I had a short story published in The Lady, myself, a few years ago, but sadly they don't publish fiction any more.

What was your favourite part of writing this book/series?

Strangely, one of my favourite parts of the book, is the chapter made up of contributions from other writers. Perhaps this is because I find it really interesting to read about what other writers are doing in this line of work. I interviewed six other writers - two worked in health writing, two in food writing, and two in gardening writing. I found their answers fascinating. Originally I only did the interviews to help me reach the required word count, but it ended up being, for me, one of the most interesting parts of the book!

So what do you do for fun when not writing?

I watch movies. I’m a big fan of Nightmare on Elm Street and have recently had the urge to write a modern sequel of Freddy’s adventures!

Oh, that sounds fun! When did you start writing?

I first starting writing for publication when I was 19, and started a correspondence course. I wasn’t very successful and gave up two years later with one published credit to my name (and a letter, but I’m not sure if that counts!).

I took it up again seriously in 2011, when I quit marketing to follow a career as a freelance writer.

When you write fiction, what comes first: the plot or the characters?

I don’t write much fiction, but when I do, it’s definitely the plot first. The characters become more real as I write and edit. I’ve never had any fiction published. Not yet anyway.

Well good luck when you do! Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it

Freelance Writing on Health, Food and Gardens was published on 28 February 2014, by Compass Books. In 2011 I quit a 15 year marketing career to start up as a freelance writer in the middle of a recession. In the book, I share how, in under two years, I went from being an aspirational rookie, to working for some of the biggest names in publishing.

I explain how:  I built up valuable contacts from nothing; I used my nutrition qualifications and background in natural health to spur my career forward; I generated numerous feature ideas from single opportunities; I sold articles on health, food and gardening topics to diverse and unexpected markets; my unrelenting perseverance and tenacity came good in the end, despite numerous obstacles; I challenged those who said she would never succeed and proved them wrong.

The book is inspirational. It provides valuable tips to get you started in writing for the health, food and gardening markets, and has wider relevance to other fields of journalism.  

I've got my copy and look forward to reading it!
 What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most?
The biggest surprise in my literary career to date was being offered a book deal without actually delivering the first chapter that they'd requested. Here's how it happened...

I was bouncing ideas around with the commissioning editor of Compass Books and she liked one idea. She asked me to write the first chapter. I was so busy with magazine work that I didn't get around to submitting it – to be honest, I didn’t expect to get a book deal so it was low on the priorities list.

To my amazement, I got the offer of a paid contract anyway, based purely on the content of my website. She could see I had expertise and success writing about health, food and gardens. That was in April, and it's just been published.

Oh that just goes to show how important it is to have a good website doesn't it!  What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

I’ve written a whole blog on this. I think you should direct people to: http://susiekearley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/blog-hop-my-writing-process.html

Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it  distracts you?

No. That would be distracting.

Do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What   valuable lessons have you learned from them?

My husband has been very supportive and I attend the local writer’s group, but I’d say the best learning experience has been simply from doing it – writing.

What is your personal definition of success?

For me it was being able to give up conventional work to be a professional writer.

And what is your favourite source of inspiration?

Holidays are a lovely way to get inspiration. I do find things to write about on my travels, whether its historical locations, or story ideas.

  Is there any advice, as a new writer, that you were either given, or wish you had  been given?

Forget the glossy magazines and concentrate on the niche titles.

Excellent advice.  Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed on my blog, it's been great talking to you! I wish you every success in your future writing and look forward to seeing you again at our Writing Group.


The book:

Find Susie on social media:



Monday, 21 April 2014

No Refuge - Anne Nicholls Review and highlight

No Refuge
Known Universe
Book 1
Annie Nicholas

Genre: Space Opera/Science Fiction Romance

Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington

Date of Publication:  April 7, 2014

ISBN: 9781616505295

Number of pages: 94
Word Count: 24,000

Cover Artist: Renee Rocco

Book Description:

Hunted to near extinction by an alien race called the Ko, my people have run from Earth and drifted so far among the stars we can’t remember the way back. We live everywhere, but call nowhere home. The Ko want us erased from existence and memory. They don’t even want our DNA in the space dust. Humans disguise themselves as other alien species and hide in plain sight. It’s the only way we can survive.

I believe in the myth of Earth. I’ve even discovered a bona fide book written in the dead language of my people. My man, Brody, dreams of a secret human colony. He’s searched for years, hunting any rumor we’ve run across, and finally he’s made contact. Usually, he’s the one grounding me to station and keeping my head out of the atmosphere. Time for me to return the favor…that is, if I can ditch the Ko who’ve discovered me, thanks to my incessant artifact-hunting. If we don’t make our rendezvous, and the Ko don’t kill me, Brody just might…

CONTENT WARNING: Aliens, cargo ships, and a fast paced race against all odds.

My Review*

As a Science Fiction or 'space opera'  writer and reader, I was looking forward to reading this novella and I was not disappointed.  The action is fast and furious, and the characters are engaging and likeable.

Imagine having to disguise yourself as an alien race and be in fear of your life every day.  This is the way the two main characters, Lucy and 'her man' Brody have to live.  The powerful race of aliens known as the Ko would kill them if they suspected they were actually human. Lucille, like Brady, longs to find Earth and manages to purchase an illicit ancient human story book, featuring humans celebrating Christmas with a Christmas tree.

When Brody tells her he has been has arranged for a meeting with someone who knows the location of a secret human colony, she can hardly believe it.  However, they are to face many perils and unexpected events before the  end of the story, and find friends in unexpected places.  The love between Lucille and Brody is evident, and I liked the way he cared for her, and looked out for her, even though she is, herself, a very strong and capable character. The way these two love each other and the sacrifices they are willing to make, each for the other, is very touching.

There are some fairly steamy scenes, but nothing too explicit and they are in keeping with Brody and Lucille's relationship. I  was rooting for them to succeed in their quest to find the Earth colony and look forward to being able to read Book 2.

About the Author:

Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with a twist. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon’s ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the
restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont.

Annie writes for Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press.

Website: www.annienicholas.com  

Blog:  www.annienicholas.blogspot.com 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Annie-Nicholas#!/pages/Annie-Nicholas/162716537103705 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annienicholas
 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3132972.Annie_Nicholas 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/annienicholas/    

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/yt8Kv 



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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Cover Reveal - When Camels Fly

When Camels Fly by NLB Horton 
Publisher: NLBHorton, via Amazon’s White Glove (May 15, 2014) 
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

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.

Advance Praise for 'When Camels Fly':
"When Camels Fly brings an interesting twist to the typical suspense novels that I read. Usually, some man is the main character, who swoops in to rescue the girl, solve the mystery, and set all things right. Not so with this novel. The main character is a delightful woman named Grace, who is a brilliant archaeologist, but definitely no Indiana Jones. More comfortable digging and researching than getting involved in international "incidents," Grace is lured (or dragged, she'd admit) into intrigue and danger when she discovers her daughter, Maggie, has been kidnapped. Like a mama grizzly, Grace heads out to find and rescue her daughter, get the bad guys, and make her daughter comply with her demands (essentially, go home and stay out of trouble). But Maggie has uncovered a disastrous plot that could affect the entire Middle East. And only Maggie (and now Grace) can do something to stop the mayhem and evil.

When Camels Fly, of course, has intrigue and suspense, action-packed scenes, some fun humor, and vivid descriptions of Israel and the Middle East that will make you think you're there in the middle of the action. But its strength really lies in its characters, in particular the mother-daughter relationship with its friendship and tension, which will have you rooting for the dynamic duo. These women are intelligent and strong. No swooning here, readers. And for those readers who still love a bit of romance, this novel provides twists and hints at love blooming. There's married love (the reader watches a "real" marriage between Grace and her husband and how they process the struggles of staying in love after decades), love lost but possibly found (Grace's son and "the one" he let get away, to his great distress, or did he?), and love begun (Maggie meets a potential "one" or two suitors).

The first in a series, you won't want to miss When Camels Fly. It's a fun read-maybe even something you could read with your mom!"-Ginger Kolbaba, author of Desperate Pastors Wives and A Matter of Wife and Death.

"NLB Horton's debut novel, When Camels Fly, incorporates features I have never before encountered in one novel: suspense, science, family, religion, and Middle Eastern intrigue. Middle-aged archaeologist Grace Madison, Ph.D., binds these elements as heroine, and my inner feminist cheered her, and the cast of characters, from the first page through the last.

The Madison women - Grace and daughter Maggie, a hydrologist - are very human and very smart. Their relationship is complex, but loving and insightful, and laced with humor. They wrestle with moral questions in intelligent and intuitive ways, and are unafraid to do the right thing to protect family and produce the greater good. Mark and Jeff Madison, Grace's husband and son, respectively, provide backup while working through a complicated relationship of their own, and attempt to rescue women who are completely capable of rescuing themselves. The characterizations of this mature family are worth the price of the book.

One charming surprise - and there are many in this novel - is Grace's octogenarian seminary professors, former spies for Mossad who converge in Israel and Jordan to assist the family they hold dear. Their espionage skills, masked by the perceived harmlessness of the elderly, allow them to move about undetected, and assist the Madison family in creative and unexpected ways.

Another unique aspect of When Camels Fly is the incorporation of science and history as backdrops for the storyline. Horton's enjoyable and interesting depiction of hydrology and geology are well researched, and give legitimacy not only to herself, but also to her characters. The technical knowledge isn't overwhelming, but provides a solid foundation that increases the story's tension.

From drugged kidnappings and shootings at the Western Wall to a minor-key version of The Commodores' Brick House in Jericho, When Camels Fly empowers women and family in an entertaining adventure. Unstoppable women, well-placed humor, and critical contemporary issues make this book my top read so far in 2014, and I'm watching for news of Horton's second manuscript, scheduled to release later this year."- Leigh Bennett, Reader

"I picked up When Camels Fly, and I couldn't put it down because the dramatic opening hooked me.

Right off the bat, the relationship between Grace Madison and her grown daughter, Maggie, was committed, funny, and endearing - ideal, actually. They're smart, adventurous women stranded in Israel, running for their lives, initially unaware that Grace's husband Mark and son Jeff are in hot pursuit.

Author NLB Horton's vigorous dialogue moved the story along, and portrayed each character as uniquely intriguing. Her descriptions of Israel and Jordan were an enjoyable way to learn more about that part of the world, and it's obvious she's "been there, done that." I felt as if I were in the markets and atop the camels, participating in the story. One of the most interesting aspects of When Camels Fly is that it's contemporary suspense from a woman's viewpoint, set in a part of the world normally filtered through a male lens. And it presents the region in a realistic, approachable way.

I particularly appreciated Horton's strong portrayal of the squadron of elderly intelligence agents. I don't think I've ever encountered a novel in which senior citizens (and I am one) were crafted with such lively respect.

The Madison family is a refreshing, healthy model in the world of contemporary literature, where dysfunctional or overly simplistic family portrayals reign. When I discovered the end of the novel alluded to the story continuing in the next book in the series, I was delighted. I look forward to continuing the adventure begun in When Camels Fly."- Lillian Bohannon, Reader.

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/



Monday, 14 April 2014

The winner of my Amazon Gift Certificatefor the MFRW Blog hop is:

***D-r-u-m- R-o-l-l***


Stacey Smith


Congratulations Stacey, your prize is on its way.  

Thank you to everyone who visited my blog, commented and followed. I appreciate each and every one.  I hope you enjoyed the Blog Hop as much as I did and that you'll join me for the next one.

Have a great week and a lovely easter.  I'll be in Wales visiting my family so hoping for good weather!


Friday, 11 April 2014

Hop here for the great MFRW Spring event



Welcome to the MFRW Spring Fever Bloghop! The Next button at the top of your browser is a gateway to some fantastic authors, or you can choose any name from the scrolling list on our banner.

If our navigation bar disappears anywhere, clicking the bloghop banner in the post you're reading or using your browser's back button will bring it back.

Happy hopping!


Welcome to my post for the 
MFRW Spring Fever Blog Hop


Spring is finally sprung! Time flies, we're over a quarter of the way through the year already!

It's been a long winter in the UK. The weather hasn't been too extreme in the area where I live, but it's been wet and miserable - until last week when spring suddenly arrived.   The sun came out and it was really pleasant outdoors.

This picture is of the track down to the bridleway. The farmer has prepared the soil ready for sowing and the cheery daffodils sway their heads in the breeze.












The  crocuses in my garden decided it was safe to show their flowery faces without being soaked with rain or blown to pieces, while the daffodils were actually in bloom for St David's Day this year (March 1st and the birds are building their nests.

I love this time of year, the spring flowers are so fresh and colourful and the hedgerows are beginning to turn green  again and nature is bursting with  new life.


Last week I was able to take the horse's blankets off  and let them feel the sun on their backs for the first time this year. 

It's quite hard to stay indoors when it's so nice outside. Soon it will be warm enough for me to take my laptop into the garden so then I'll have no excuse for not working on my next futuristic romance, which I have a feeling might turn into Steampunk.

Easter is just around the corner, so to finish I thought I'd mention the origins of how we celebrate this Festival. The name Easter actually comes from Eostre, an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess, originally of the dawn. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honor. According to my research:
 
"In primitive agricultural societies natural phenomena, such as rainfall, the fecundity of the earth, and the regeneration of nature were frequently personified.

One of the most important pagan myths was the search of the earth goddess for her lost (or dead) child or lover (e.g., Isis and Osiris, Ishtar and Tammuz, Demeter and Persephone). This myth, symbolizing the birth, death, and reappearance of vegetation, when acted out in a sacred drama, was the fertility rite par excellence."(The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001)

"The name of a feast,
according to the Venerable Bede, comes from Eostre, A Teutonic goddess whose festival was celebrated in the spring. The name was given to the Christian festival in celebration of the resurrected Eostre. It was she who, according to the legend, opened the portals of Valhalla to receive Baldur, called the white god because of his purity and also the sun god because his brow supplied light to mankind. It was Baldur who, after he had been murdered by Loki, the enemy of goodness and truth, spent half the year in Valhalla and the other half with the pale goddess of the lower regions. As the festival of Eostre was a celebration of the renewal of life in the spring it was easy to make it a celebration of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus. There is no doubt that the church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them."


So, like Christmas the early Christians adapted the pagan Festival of Eostre and it became our Easter.  So, technically we should refer to Easter Sunday, as 'Resurrection Sunday' as this would be a truer name for what we are celebrating.

 I'll leave you with a question.  What is your favourite season?  Do you like the cold beauty of a snowy winter and Christmas, the gold and red of autumn glory, Halloween and Thanksgiving, the richness and warmth of summer, Holidays and trips,  or like me the freshness and newness of spring and Easter?

Leave a comment and 'follow' my Blog if you would, and I'll put you in the draw to win a $10.00 Gift Cert) Or the equivalent in pounds if you live in the UK)

 I hope you have a lovely Easter or Resurrection Sunday, and I wish you a beautiful spring.


You can also read a FREE fantasy short story 'A Bargain With Death' on my page at The Wild Rose Press (You'll have to go through the 'checkout' precedure, but don't worry, you won't get charged.)