NEW YEAR – NEW KING

We settled in to our hotel in Penang but the restaurant, well advertised on the net didn’t appear to be open, so we sauntered off and found yet another shopping mall! All lit up for Chinese New Year. Once again I opted for Italian – my favourite food – although they had just about everything you could wish for.

Next day we walked around to look at the colonial buildings.

We took another bus ride, the best way to see what there was to see.

Due to the holidays everywhere was crowded with queues for the temples. We had no idea what was going to happen here. We went down to the fishing village area, but I didn’t take many pictures.

IMG_4248

HISTORY RUBBISH

Bertie was involved in another scandal over cheating at cards (they worried about things like that in those days). His big enemy Emperor Willhelm of German his nephew spread the gossip all around Europe. WILHELM ADULT

That is the Kaiser on the left.

When Bertie became King, he was called Edward VII. His one claim to fame was the successful operation for his appendicitis which previously had been considered fatal.  He was generally regarded as a good king, one of the most popular monarchs since the 1660’s.

THE NATURAL BREAK (ADVERTISING)

 

Featured Image -- 5978

I’ve not mentioned my first memoir Walking over Eggshells, for a while.  It describes living in the shadow of a parent with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder – a word that is being used a lot in the news lately, and may help to raise awareness. Read this book and learn what signs to look out for – I only discovered the problem after my mother died. WoE can also be described as a travel memoir, a disaster memoir and an inspiration.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E8HSNDW

Till next week, take care. 🙂

Mystery Mondays: Lucinda E Clarke On Becoming an Author

Thank you so much Kristina

KRISTINA STANLEY

Today on Mystery Mondays, we welcome Lucinda E. Clarke, author of Amie African Adventure.

Becoming an Author by Lucinda E. Clarke

I was first published at the age of seventeen – for the church magazine. I had fraudulently volunteered to be the Sunday School teacher in order to gain brownie points for the CV I submitted to teacher training college. I have no idea what I wrote but it got little exposure, as I swiped most of them from the table at the back of the church and took them home to read.

I knew at the age of five that I wanted to be a writer, but life gets in the way, so in between I washed up in kitchens, made pies in factories and dug up dead Romans. I taught children, bred animals for pet shops, cairn terriers and a couple of daughters. Moving to Libya I…

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MEET TOM BENSON

This week’s writer is one I am really happy to introduce. Firstly, he helped me set up my web page (no, not true, he set it up for me – I’m clueless) and we read each other’s books way, way back when I was still new to social media. He held my hand every step of the way.

tom benson

The book Tom’s chosen to showcase in this guest blog is one I’ve read and I liked it so much that I bought the second in the series as well. Having been married twice to men who have also served in the forces, it was like getting a peep into what really goes on behind the scenes ‘among the boys’. Girls get curious about these things you know.

A Life of Choice   West Germany   April 1992

“Thanks, mate,” I said, accepting a bottle of beer from one of my soldiers.

“What are you going to miss most about leaving the military?” he said.

“Apart from the camaraderie, I’ll miss getting together with a bunch of the guys and putting the world to rights.”

“How will you deal with it?”

“I’ve got a long-term plan.”

“Don’t tell me it involves this idea of yours to be a writer?”

“Lee,” I said. “Twenty-three years ago my family laughed when I said I was going to be a soldier.”

He choked with the neck of his beer bottle still between his lips. A few of the other lads laughed as Lee wiped the beer from his face and shirt.

“You must have been a handful as a baby, Lee,” one of the guys said, which caused them all to laugh at Lee again.

“Staff Benson has just said he’s going ahead with his memoirs,” Lee said.

“If he said he is, he will,” Corporal Barr said. “You should know him by now, mate.”

I winked at the NCO, and we chinked our beer bottles together. “Thank you, Steve.” I turned to Lee who was having another go at drinking from a bottle.

I shook my head. “Oh, ye of little faith,” I said. More laughter followed.

TOM BENSON BOOK

Northeast England   January 2016

“I’ve pressed the button,” I said. “A Life of Choice: Part One, is published.”

My wife said, “How many parts will there be?”

“I’ve broken down my military career into five logical segments, and I aim to have all of them published by the end of 2017.”

“How do you know it will work out?”

“Apart from the other novels, short stories and poetry, I’ve written this story several times since 1996.”

“Are you not worried about anybody taking you to court?”

“No. I’ve listed the appropriate personnel for each unit and time period. I’ve got the real names, and allocated each a new name, description, age and home town.”

“Does it feel like you’re reliving some of your career?”

“Yeah. I’ve written the story in first person point of view, and I occasionally think the fictional lead character has had a great time; at least until he got married.”

I got a raised eyebrow and a scowl from across the room, but I’d been getting them for forty years.

Just wait until the film offers come in Tom!

Author Website:  http://www.tombensonauthor.com

A Life of Choice: Part One – links

Amazon Preview/Buy:  http://amzn.to/2pnVWxn

BookLinker – Universal:  myBook.to/A_Life_of_Choice_Part_One

PENANG AND PIED A TERRES

These are a couple of pictures I took on the bus tour round Kuala Lumpur.

It appeared a well ordered city and the people were friendly.

Now the original plan had been to get a train from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, but when we asked about this we were told the track ran through disputed territory and there had been some attacks on the trains. Probably not important enough for CNN or the BBC to report on, but since we’re cowards we decided not to chance it. So, we’d flown to KL and planned to take the train north to Penang (DH likes trains). I honestly can’t remember now why we included it on our itinerary. What we hadn’t counted on was Chinese New Year – remember those pretty lanterns last week? Everything was booked and I mean everything. Trains, busses, donkey carts, wheelbarrows, everything that might transport us to the next destination.

Eventually we managed to hire a car with driver (there were no facilities for self drive and drop off at the other end).

We clung on for dear life as we hurtled north, as strangely, our driver didn’t feel it was necessary to look at the road. Another of those frustrated Formulae 1 drivers I suspect.

The bridge linking Penang Island with the mainland was spectacular.

And the hotel we had chosen looked great on booking.com but reminded me of those horror movies!

But it was clean and comfortable.

FAKE HISTORY LESSON

No sooner had Bertie recovered from the typhoid attack when it was rumoured that he and Alfred were looking for a house where they could entertain their actress friends. Bertie was as “at home” in London as he was in Paris, and surrounded himself with aristocratic, elegant, extravagant and probably immoral friends. There were dozens of house parties at Sandringham, Alix and Bertie’s family home.

A family approaching the main entrance on the East side of the Royal Residence Sandringham House Norfolk UKWhile Alix saved all the coupons for cheap deals at Aldi, Lidle and Walmart, Bertie was frittering money away on the Euromilions and Candy Crush.

MY BOOKS

Guess I ought to mention these?  I have completed the first draft of the 4th in the Amie in Africa series. You might want to take a look at the other three? myBook.to/Amie1   They can be bought as a set.

amie-series-5-march-2017My newsletter has the continuing drama about Amie v Lucinda E Clarke though the British courts. This the sign up link if you’d like to read about that and the free back stories to Amie, currently featuring Samantha and Ben. http://eepurl.com/cBu4Sf  Plus news about other authors and competitions to win more books.

Till next week, take care.

MEET STEPHANY TULLIS

As you will see Stephany knows what she likes and what is important to her. And was I impressed when I asked her if she would like to be a guest – she offered me her media kit. Just another of those things we all mean to compile soon, right? But I also requested she write a few words about herself. 

FROM MY BIO: “In my world, there is no life without writing, traveling, family, music and my love of politics. My loves and interests are central to my writing.”

STEPHANY TULLIS

I’m not quite sure my readers, fellow authors and colleagues read or even think about my little world.  But for those who do, my day to day life reflects my seven continents. I’ll start with the most important and then in my typical ‘pantser’ style, go with the flow. Note, these seven continents are governed by my Leader. In my world, there are no walls of separation, thus explaining my ‘all inclusive’ lifestyle.

My world (my backstory) is guided by my faith and the inspiration I receive from God. Who can have a World without a powerful leader? Just ask J.K Rowling or JD Robb?

With this backdrop, regardless of the date or time of your visit, you will find family. Without exaggeration, family and relationships are the core of every book I write. The Master’s Plan, A Novel is a great illustration of the interrelationship and drama associated with my feisty and unpredictable characters. They have an opinion about everything—just like me.

I love to travel and currently, I’m planning a Spring beach trip, a visit to my father who is not doing well (the center of my family’s drama now), a jazz concert in June and a Thanksgiving Holiday with my family—in Florida. In this instance, you can see how intrinsically family is related to travel in my personal life. Like me, my characters are always off and running and in so doing require me to research (and often visit) so many fascinating places—like Bora Bora for an upcoming book. Never been there but you can bet it’s now on my ‘To Visit’ list.

I love music—all kinds and I’m never surprised by what track finds its way to my personal playlists and a character’s ring tone, door chime, or car radio station. In my recent release, Missing Pieces,(A Chandler County Novel), the sound waves of fictional Chandler County, Kentucky include, ‘On top of Ole Smokey’, Pitbull, Shaina Twain (I Feel Like a Woman), Enrique Iglesias, and Miles Davis.

STEPHANY'S BOOK

People frown sometimes and don’t understand my love of politics, but I have a political administration background and thrived on and in my government career. For me, it’s the people, the process and what democracy offers. As with life, my fictional towns and cities include mayors, governors, school board members, etc. And as in our ‘real’ world, politicians are diverse and have differences of opinion about what is ‘right’.

If you haven’t guessed, I love my world that allows me the joy of living a life I love but most importantly, one I have the opportunity to share with others.

And the book? 

Kentucky’s plans for its annual Kentucky Derby celebration come to a grinding halt when local newspaper editor, Rachel Blakely, discovers the scoop of a lifetime. She learns that her best friend’s husband, Mayor Fitz Manning, is at the center of an illegal land investment operation. Rachel’s journalistic spirit sags as she wrestles with the win-lose decision of blowing the whistle on the mayor. When a local detective appears unannounced at her office with evidence suggesting town businesses are under attack by unusual outside forces, Rachel postpones plans to confront the Mannings.

Literature and Fiction: Romantic Suspense, Inspirational: Mystery Suspense

eBook Price: $2.99  Paperback: $15.99  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MSF11U

Now that has given me some great ideas, to set my next book in Moscow, San Francisco, Beijing and Sri Lanka and persuade DH I have to go there for research. I know what he’ll say “What’s wrong with Google Earth?”

Thank you Stephany.

Why Amazon?

This is new – thank you Tanya for publicizing this.

T. R. Robinson Publications

Amazon - 1There is no denying Amazon has become the world’s largest on-line retailer. Nevertheless, they are NOT the only one. Despite this fact, many of Amazon’s customers appear reluctant to purchase from other retailers. Why?

To simplify the discussion, it has been separated into two distinct parts: Positive and Negative aspects.

As this website is primarily designed to assist authors and readers, the following will centre upon book purchasing. Nonetheless, some of the principles mentioned will apply to the purchasing of other products.

Positives

  • Naturally, the vast range of products Amazon carries makes it a useful multi-purchase site.
  • Many books are available in various formats: Hardback; Paperback; Digital; Audio; MP3; etc. whereas some other on-line book retailers only have digital editions available.
  • Authors have a tendency to migrate to Amazon because it provides easy to use publishing systems: CreateSpace (for Print-On-Demand paperback editions); Kindle (for Digital editions); Audio (AX) (for Audio…

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MARKETS AND MAYHEM

We had a whole day to spend in Kuala Lumpur and decided just to wander around. Quite a clean town with scruffy areas, but there was lots of interesting architecture.

We found this amazing market, part of it indoor and part outdoor. There was no tat at all. DH is hiding in there somewhere – you know how camera shy he is! To my delight I found a knock off Rado watch which was exactly the design I wanted. And yes, before you ask, it’s still working 16 months later! I was quite proud of my bargaining skills, learned in the Indian quarter in Durban, and despite watching the stall holder wrestle a huge flight case festooned with padlocks, out from a back store, containing silk lined boxes suitably labelled I didn’t believe for a moment the contents were real.

I am strong willed when it comes to buying souvenirs, and my only other purchase was a fridge magnet. I do hope you’re impressed.

Then it was the hop on hop off bus as we toured every route and stopped off at the bird park.

So had everyone else in the city and the place was packed. It took forever to buy rolls for lunch and just as DH placed these on the table, some feathered things dived out of the sky and swiped the lot. I’ve never been that crazy about birds and now I like them even less.

These two pictures should have given us a hint that we’d forgotten something – I’ll tell you next week.

HISTORY STUFF

Even while his mum was still alive Bertie was, to put it mildly, very naughty. He ran up huge gambling debts, (he adored buying tickets for the Lotto) consorted with actresses and was involved in several scandals.

BERTIE ADULT 2

DISRAELI

Then he went down with typhoid (the same illness which had killed his father Albert), even his mama rushed to his bedside and the British public suddenly forgave him all his bad behaviour and cheered when he recovered. The politician Disraeli commented  “To have come closer to death and lived was an even greater achievement than to have died.

ADVERTISING SLOT

Just to let you know that Amie African Adventure book one in the series is still at $/£0.99   just so you can get to meet her for almost nothing!

amie-1-new-cover-kindle-higher-res

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWFIO5K

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LWFIO5K

Till next week, take care.

MEET SARAH STUART

So I’m not the only author who is terrorised by the very character she created! And what do we get for this? Abuse, boasting, unreasonable demands and every inch of the spotlight with never a thank you to the very writers who created them. My advice to all authors reading this is to kill off your main character at the end of book one and show them who is boss!

Over to Sarah.SARAH STUART 4

I guess if you’ve met Michael from reading any of the Royal Command series you’ll know who really writes “Sarah Stuart’s” books. I plot: he does exactly as he likes, I sort his latest disaster. In Dangerous Liaisons, he gets his daughter, Lisette, pregnant. I, with the help of his wife, Lizzie, hide the birth and contrive a happy ending; it was supposed to be one book.

SARAH STUART 5

Oh no! The Diamond Superstar – he has grand ideas by now – points out Lisette might be in trouble, and shouldn’t we ask her? We do: in the sequel, Illicit Passion. She tells him she’s being blackmailed and tortured by her bodyguard, who suspects she did have Michael’s child and threatens to tell the paparazzi. I sort that and he ends up in a coma. I cried for days, until he recovered; he didn’t bother to tell me he would!

Is Michael satisfied? Huh! He demands Drama, with a capital D. His fraught scribe, Sarah, murders his wife. Is he happy? No. His son-in-law has vanished and the police suspect Michael, and very likely Lisette too, killed Lizzie.  I see a way out. THE END, of Dynasty of Deceit and the Royal Command trilogy. I have a book about Keely and Rik plotted.

SARAH STUART 3

“Who the heck are they, and a trilogy can become a series; I’m lonely.” Yes, Michael – I say that a lot – but you are now over sixty… “There’s Evie, the detective who helped in the search for Lizzie’s killer”, which is how “Sarah” comes to be writing Sweet Temptation.

There are times when I’m tempted to stick a knife in The Diamond Superstar; the next thing he’ll want is an affair with Julia to fill in his life before he met Lizzie, and Verity. The less said about Verity the better! Although, what’s a nymphomaniac, incest, twins who are lovers, and the odd murder, between friends?SARAH STUART 2

For friends, read fans. I have hundreds… “Quiet, Sarah. The word is millions, and they are my fans.” Oh, for a sprinkling of The Diamond Superstar’s charisma. Or maybe a few of his mythical millions… pounds… dollars; I’m not picky, and I could write about Keely and Rik. ONE book about Keely and Rik, understood? “We might need you to write a sequel.” I’ve been down that road before…

“Just write Sweet Temptation for me and I’ll love you forever.” Michael. Couldn’t some of you borrow him for a while? He’s free with Kindle Unlimited.

Buy links for the 3 published books.

viewbook.at/DangerousLiaisons       viewbook.at/ILLICITPASSION

viewBook.at/DynastyofDeceit

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Stuart/e/B00MA9XLHI/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 

Blurb – Dangerous Liaisons

Readers’ Favorite Romance/Sizzle Bronze Medal Winner

Lizzie falls in love with Michael and helps him become a showbiz superstar. Their eighteen-year-old daughter, talented actress Lisette, seduces Michael. Can Lizzie forgive them, outwit the paparazzi out to prove incest and the birth of a lovechild, save their careers and liberty, and her marriage?

Sweeping from a shooting estate in the Western Highlands of Scotland to London’s West End and the production of two musicals, this novel contains authentic fictional insider stories of two very different contemporary worlds.

The thread running through the Royal Command books is a secret diary first owned by Margaret Tudor, James IV of Scotland’s queen, which has been passed down an illegitimate female line for almost five centuries. It contains these words: I direct and beseech my heirs to find love where they may; a dangerous command that sounds so very innocent.

Blurb – Illicit Passion

READERS’ FAVORITE ROMANCE/SIZZLE FINALIST
Broadway singer and actress, Lisette Marsh, flees to Paris and joins her father, The Diamond Superstar, for a European concert tour. Michael discovers she is being blackmailed into perverted sex with threats to reveal that she had his baby eighteen years before. He gambles his career, his marriage, and his liberty, to discredit the paparazzi-fuelled scandal. Their lovechild, Harriet, discovers the truth about her about her parentage and vanishes. The man behind the blackmail sends ransom demands, so did Harriet leave her London home of her own freewill or was she kidnapped? “$6,000,000 or you get her body, darling.” Can Michael’s audacious plan to defeat the blackmailer work, or must Lisette return to the man she fears to save the whole family from imprisonment and financial ruin?

Blurb – Dynasty of Deceit

“Screams cut the clear air.” The Diamond Superstar, Michael Marsh, turns from signing autographs to see his beloved wife, Lizzie, lying dead on the snow: a skier in black is spotted speeding away towards the Matterhorn. Lisette leaves her husband, Brian, and rushes to her grieving father’s side, rekindling media suspicions of an incestuous relationship.

Jealous, and driven by guilty secrets of his own, Brian abandons Lisette, who is pregnant with his son. For the sake of Lizzie’s youngest daughter, Greta, he is determined to find the killer and mete out justice. The Swiss police ask the London force for help and the detective chief inspector assigned to the case is hostile, influenced by paparazzi stories that Lisette, Michael, or both, wanted Lizzie dead.

Who stabbed the woman everybody loved, and why? How can twins, secret lovers Harriet and Kit, help Greta, and will the way they choose bring the showbiz family empire crashing to the ground? Can rejected, deserted, Lisette keep her solemn promise to Lizzie to pass on Margaret Tudor’s Book of Hours with its Royal Command, “find love where ye may” to a daughter conceived in love?

I love these books and I’m sure you will too.

 

 

 

LOFTY VIEWS AND LOVERS

Well last time I left us half way up the twin towers, and after waltzing along the connecting bridge it was time to go higher. I noticed the nice (I love using ‘nice’ in my blogs as of course it’s a no no in books we all know that!) lady in the second bank of lifts wasn’t smiling. I don’t blame her going up and down all day. I wondered if you started working in the bottom set and then moved on up to working the top bank. I shall never know. The pictures speak for themselves, they need no words from me.

That first picture shows the information centre, and there was so much to read I almost forgot to look out of the windows.

Next it was on to Penang – but there was a big problem – something we hadn’t planned for. (This is known as a cliff hanger).

THE HISTORY RUBBISH.

JOHN BROWN

Well that got Bertie (#1 son) married off at last, to Alexandra from Denmark but he was quite naughty (had affairs and such). His mother – Queen Victoria – despaired of him, but honestly she couldn’t talk as she holed up with a Scottish gamekeeper who went by the unusual name of John Brown. She particularly liked his kilts.

But then John Brown upped and died so she took up with an Indian servant and elevated him while she learned Hindi. She called him the Munshi which roughly translated means Munchi.  We are of course supposed to believe she remained quite pure and corresponded mostly on Facebook and Twitter from one end of the palace to the other.

I think we better move on to Bertie next week, I’m quite fed up with the woman but, until very recently, she was the longest reigning monarch, she sat on that throne for 63 years. That’s quite some feat and goes to show how well they made furniture in those days, no IKEA rubbish for her.

THE HARD SELLL BIT

This is the section where I mention I write books and show you a picture of them, and very casually drop the links to my Amazon author page where you can see them all and go and buy them all.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914/

Till next time take care.  🙂

 

TO REVIEW OR NOT TO REVIEW

Once upon a time many moons ago I scribbled all sorts of things for a living. I wrote for radio and television, magazines, my newspaper column, brochures, leaflets, mayoral speeches, company reports, promotions, advertisements etc. etc. etc. you get the picture?

st bernardOne learned to be flexible earning enough to feed, house and clothe two children, a husband, a St Bernard and the family who lived out the back and took care of the house and garden.

Of course I read books too. I would rush to the local library at least once a week and emerge balancing a tower of books which I devoured at every spare moment – in the usual places – the bathroom, in bed, waiting for a parking place, during meal times. Then I returned the books and collected the next small truckload and so it went on.

umhlanga library

Did I review them?

Did I what? What are you talking about?

Now, I write books and I know that every review, even a one star, is like gold dust. I have reviewed every book I’ve read, even those by really famous, well-known authors who really don’t need my extra offering among all the thousands they already have. In total I rose to the dizzy ranks of #7,000+ in the reviewer status, until the Big A got twitchy.

So I did this massive survey and asked DH (Dear Husband) if he left reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. He’s a voracious reader.

“Do you write reviews and post them on Amazon?”

“Only if the book is really bad and I want to let them know exactly what I thought of it. And what’s Goodreads?”

“I’ll explain later. So, you only write bad reviews?”

“Yes.”

“Well isn’t that a bit mean? If you really enjoyed a book isn’t it nice to say so?”

“I tried to give you a review as your books aren’t bad (that’s high praise from DH), but Amazon wouldn’t let me.”

“Yes I know all about that, we’re too closely related.”

“We might just as well be on different planets when you’re writing. It’s like living on my own.”planets

(Hastily) “Let’s not go into that right now. Maybe you could start writing nice reviews, especially those books I’ve recommended?”

“I don’t have time.”

“Nonsense! We’re retired, at least you are. I’m still working just as many hours. So why don’t you have time?”

“I’ve more books to read. Now shush I’ve got to an exciting bit.”

I gave up. A few other people I asked said they didn’t know what to say in a book review, and they didn’t bother to look at reviews anyway before buying a book – they only consulted for hotels and tour companies.

I tried, honestly I tried, but I’ve got the picture that only those avid readers who chat with authors on Facebook and Twitter bother to leave reviews and they are the ones targeted by ‘you know who’ who are then accused of violating the terms and conditions and have their reviews taken down. They even refused to let me review an author who has been dead for over 20 years! I promise you we are not in daily contact, nor did I meet her or write to her when she was alive. But who am I to question one of the biggest corporations in the world?

I’ve rambled on a bit, so we’re back up the tower in KL next week and I’ll pick on the nonsense history. But the breaking news is that soon, Amie African Adventure should be available in audio, and all three Amie books have been translated into Spanish and should be on sale too. Amie African Adventure in English is still at the introductory price of only $/£0.99 so you can get to meet her for almost nothing!  myBook.to/Amie1

 

I’ve also completed draft one of Amie 4, but I have no title for it yet. Hopefully it will be out in July.

You can find them all at  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914/

A reminder about my monthly newsletter here is the sign up link http://eepurl.com/cBu4Sf

This month meet authors Vered Ehsani, Christoph Fischer, Max Power with Rod Craig in the Reader’s Corner.

amie-back-story-v2-1

The free Amie back story follows Sam and Gerry, still at the airport 24 hours after their plane took off and Ben is about to undergo his initiation into manhood. I continue the  saga of the court case, possibly the first time in history where a character has sued her author for cruelty and hardship, in Amie v Lucinda E Clarke. There are also competitions and bundles of free books to win every now and again.

Have a great week and take care.