MEET JOHN HOWELL

When I first chat to my guests about their guest post I often suggest that, if their books are more in the entertainment genre than in the more serious or non-fiction category, their posts are light and amusing. (I am being very selfish here as I like laughing). Well, this week’s guest John Howell has taken me at my word and written a very funny dialogue which shows a brilliant use of words. Read on and see for yourself but first a little about John.

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John W, Howell began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. Circumstances of Childhood in October 1st, 2017. The latest, The Contract between heaven and earth, his fifth book, is written in collaboration with award winning author Gwen Plano and will be launched the week of June 4th, 2018. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Hello everyone. I would like to thank Lucinda for having me as a guest today. When Lucinda and I first discussed a visit, I asked what kind of post she expected. She thought it would be fun to have a zany, fun, fluffy, and light submission. I told her if there was anyone who was light it was me. So, I hope you enjoy this little bit of craziness. Oh, and class you may put down your pencils. This will not be on the test.

A word about what you’re going to read. 1. It is all dialog. 2. There are no tags on purpose. 3. It is totally made up.

The writer and the Psychiatrist by John W. Howell.

“Please have a seat, Mr. Sampson.”

“Seat? I thought there would be a couch.”

“I’m afraid a chair is all I have, Mr. Sampson.”

“Couch too passive for you?”

“You chose an interesting word, Mr. Sampson. What made you say ‘passive?’”

“Oh, I don’t know. It just came to me. You know the idea of someone reclining on a couch while someone asks questions about how things make them feel.”

“Have you been in psychotherapy before?”

“Boy, I’ll say.”

“Tell me how that made you feel?”

“You’re kidding, right?

“I never kid on important subjects, Mr. Sampson.”

“I don’t know. I guess it made me feel like not answering questions anymore.”

“Now that sounds like we have a little aggression around the subject.”

“Oh, I see. You are trying to couple passive and aggression together. I think it is a little more complex than a simple label.”

“Hmm. What makes you say that, Mr. Sampson?”

“What makes me say that?”

“A question of a question is not an answer.”

“So, I’ve been told.”

“By whom?”

“My last Psychiatrist.”

“Why did you leave the last Psychiatrist?”

“I didn’t leave.”

“What happened.”

“He checked himself into a clinic.”

“For what reason?”

“He felt overwhelmed.”

“Surely not by your case.”

“What makes you say so?”

“I’m asking is all.”

“Is there a question in there somewhere?”

“Okay, did you drive your Psychiatrist nuts?”

“Interesting word, ’nuts.’ Why did you pick that word?”

“You turning this conversation around?”

“I do that for a living.”

“You do that for a living?”

“Yes, I do.”

“I used ‘nuts’ to imply an unnatural state of mental health.”

“Okay. Yes, I drove him nuts.”

“I’m beginning to get a sense of how you managed that, Mr. Sampson.”

“After all you were the one who wanted me to come in here.”

“I don’t think that is accurate.”

“Why not?”

“You called my office and asked for an appointment, Mr. Sampson”

“Sure, I did. But you gave me an appointment.”

“Okay. I concede. I wanted to talk to you.”

“See how I did that?”

“Did what?”

“Turned the conversation.”

“I see now. You are good, Mr. Sampson”

“So, you interested in writing my life story?”

“I have to think about it.”

“You could title it, the nutty Psychiatrist.”

“Been done before.”

“Come on. We’ll have fun together.”

“I think it will be more fun for you.”

The covers for two of John’s books and if the writing in those is anywhere near as clever as his short piece above they are must reads.

Altogether John has written 5 books, one in collaboration.

Circumstances of Childhood final front

I for one am certainly going to investigate John’s books. And here is where you will find him. Oh, and by the way, I avidly read John’s blog posts every week, it’s nice to put a name and face together with his ‘Ten Things not to do …”   They are so funny!

Like all of us these days John has several addresses and you can find him at any one of these.

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell  

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 

Thank you for being my guest this week John and for the laugh too 🙂

Till next time, take care.

Lucinda

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GUNS AND GARDENING

TRAVEL

Since our time in Vienna was limited, we decided not to visit the art galleries in the Belvedere complex as DH was keen to see the war museum. So off we trekked on and on and on and after circling the army complex a few times finally found the entrance. Now it’s times like this that you notice how big a building is when you walk around it on foot.

 

I’m actually quite glad I don’t live in a place quite that big, can you imagine how long it would take to clean all the windows and sweep the paths?

HISTORY

Henry IV 3

 

King Henry certainly has dozens of mistresses. I did find further information in my research with quite graphic descriptions of why Henry would never have been able to consummate the marriage, but this is neither the time or the place!!  It is a family blog after all.

Blanche is sent home to Aragon, only to be imprisoned by her own family in Olite. She is in line to inherit Navarre after her brother Carlos. She remains single and childless. Isn’t that so sad – Disneyland princesses were never treated this way.

 

 

AFRICA FACTS

Here are a few more pictures of what the schools managed to provide for their students. Many had computer centres despite the poverty in the surrounding shacklands. They were so innovative, holding hairdressing competitions, food sales, used clothing sales, growing garden produce – each bringing in a few pennies which all added up.

And they also gave spare food grown on the premises to the poorest in the community, even though they had so little themselves. It was sometimes difficult to stop myself from bursting into tears.

I will be sharing more of my experiences in the following weeks, and you can read about them too in more detail, in Truth, Lies and Propaganda

Till next time, take care.

Before I forget, it’s almost the end of the month and time for my newsletter to go out. If you’d like to read the first few chapters of Truth, Lies and Propaganda, I’ll post the link there. For signing up you will also get part 2 of The very Worst Riding School, which is only available to my special readers and, that’s not all! Each month there is an extra chapter of the Amie series backstories – it’s already as long as a book. What great value, and all FREE!!!  Just click here. http://eepurl.com/c-GqWr

Lucinda

 

MEET HANNAH HOWE

I am in awe of this weeks’ guest. Firstly she is so techie it makes me green with envy. Secondly she has got her marketing so sussed she is doing really, really well and hitting the high spots on ‘you know who.’  But who best to tell you about her work than the author herself?

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During the summer of 2014, I had an idea to write a private detective novel. I outlined the main character, a female narrator with a wacky sense of humour who lived and worked from a houseboat. The initial idea made me laugh, but then I realised that the character was too light-weight and didn’t really appeal to me. I was about to abandon the idea when I swiveled in my chair, looked up from my notepad and a little voice inside my head said, “Why don’t you write about me?” That voice belonged to Samantha Smith. I don’t believe in ghosts or harbour fanciful notions about ‘inspiration’ – writing is a craft that requires dedication and discipline – but Sam appeared to walk through the wall, a fully-formed character. Within a finger click, I knew her name, what she looked like, and her background. It was a magical moment. I’d found my narrator, or more accurately, she’d found me.
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So, I had Sam. I knew where she worked from – not a houseboat at this stage, but events would take her there – and her family history. But what of the other people in her life? A relationship strand to the story seemed like a good idea and so I created Dr. Alan Storey. The humour element remained important, therefore enter Sam’s mentor, Detective Inspector ‘Sweets’ MacArthur. Sam was a loner at the start of the series, but as the stories progressed a number of regulars joined the team: Sam’s friend and colleague, Faye Collister, a beautiful woman with a troubled past and chronic OCD; Mac, a heavy with a heart; and later, Blake, a man who combines the renaissance with the Neanderthal, plus many others. With Sam in place, I needed a story idea. So I wrote a list of potential subjects. Music topped that list and the initial story developed into Sam’s Song, a book that’s reached the #1 position on the amazon.com private detective chart on six separate occasions. My idea was to write a one-off novel. However, two-thirds of the way through the writing of Sam’s Song I realised that Sam had the potential to be a series character. Thirteen books later, she is fulfilling her potential and has developed substantially as a
character.
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The mystery genre has always appealed to me, hence my decision to write mysteries. However, I knew from the outset that the mystery element within my stories would be one strand. The relationship element would be the second strand and the third, and arguably most important strand would be the emotional strand, based on psychological problems and sociological issues. This third strand is the starting point for all my stories and represents their heart. I have written about domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, eugenics, delusions, schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies, rape, OCD, phobias, obsessional behaviour, depression and many other subjects.
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The Sam Smith Mystery Series is about mysteries, but it is also about individuals in crisis and finding ways to help them through that crisis. With fair weather and good fortune, I hope to write forty books in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. To date, I am a third of the way to that target. It has been an exciting journey so far with sales beyond my expectations, audiobooks, and translations. I have made friends amongst my fellow authors and received warm words from my readers. Sam has served me well. I love her as a character and feel that I know her as well as I know any person.

 The first thirteen books in the Sam Smith Mystery Series have been great fun to write. Sam will return later this year in Boston, book fourteen in the series, my homage to the American private detective novel and the late Robert B. Parker. The Devil and Ms. Devlin, and Snow in August will follow.

I’m not sure how Hannah manages to write so many great books – and yes, I’ve read several of them, and she still finds the time to do a huge amount of marketing in conjunction with other authors. She deserves all the success she has achieved,

Check out her Amazon author page

 https://www.amazon.com/Hannah-Howe/e/B00OK7E24E

Till next time, take care and if you would like to be a guest on my blog, either contact me on Facebook or drop me an email:  lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com

PALACES AND PRINCIPALS

TRAVEL

The next morning in Vienna we set off to visit the Belvedere Palace a complex of palaces built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Yes, there are two palaces plus an orangery and stables. We walked from the hotel so I was pretty exhausted by the time we got there, it must have been in the hundreds of meters.

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It was a bit puzzling to see two palaces facing each other with gardens in between, I wondered if it was a ‘his and her’ situation but it seems they were hardly occupied as the royal family members had lots of other palaces to choose from. Today they are art galleries, but on one occasion when Maria Antonia married the French Dauphin (later to become Louis XVI) they hosted a ball there for 16,000 close personal friends.  That’s more than I have on Twitter, FB and BookBub combined. You wouldn’t like to pop here and follow me, would you? It will just take a second.

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lucinda-e-clarke

lower belvedere Photo: Andreas Praefcke - Self-photographed
Photo: Andreas Praefcke – Self-photographed

HISTORY

King Henry also has a problem with his wife Blanche. After 13 years she still hasn’t produced any offspring and Henry is also finding her rather boring in bed, so he has the marriage annulled on the grounds of “por impotancia respective.”  (And no, I’m not going into that here). This is a family blog.

Blanche II of Navarre

Here she is and butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth – poor lady. She was shipped off back to her parents and locked away for the rest of her life. Have I persuaded you yet that you DON’T want to be a princess?

Some say that due to witchcraft the marriage was never consummated, and they subjected poor Blanche to an examination to prove she was still a virgin.  The priests also questioned the prostitutes in and around Sergovia who all attested that King Henry was more than capable. (Well they would, wouldn’t they? Can you imagine the consequences if they said he was rubbish in the bedroom?) Below is a picture of Sergovia a few years later.

sergovia 4

AFRICA FACTS

I was incredibly privileged to have the opportunity of filming in deep rural areas and visiting places where tourists and even locals rarely go and I saw so many examples of the tenacity of the human spirit, especially in the educational sector. Despite having minimal funds these head teachers and staff worked miracles.

I’ve included many of these schemes in my books about my experiences in rural Africa – Truth, Lies and Propaganda, and I will tell you about some over the next few weeks.

Many blogs do state how important a book cover is, and maybe I could improve on this, but these guys were my crew and the book is also for them in memory of the times we spent together – so it’s staying as it is!

Until next time, take care

Lucinda

 

 

MEET MELANIE P SMITH

I saw that this week’s guest has degrees coming out of her ears, but her marketing experience caught my attention and from the information she sent me, she is one switched-on author. So organized, on the ball and knows what she is doing! Over to Melanie to tell you about herself.

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Hello, my name is Melanie P. Smith and I am an American, Multi-Genre author of Paranormal, Criminal Suspense, Police Procedural and Romance novels.  I work hard to make my stories exciting, action-packed and gripping.  So, if you like a story you can’t put down, one that will keep you guessing and take you on a journey of discovery… I have something for you.

I was born and raised in the state of Utah and spent my younger years working hard and playing hard.  As a farm kid, we always had a huge garden and plenty of animals to care for.  But, when the work was done… the adventure began.  If I wasn’t riding horses, I was playing softball, waterskiing or exploring the country on my tote goat (Pictures 1 & 2).  I wrote a short blog on how the more things change, the more they stay the same.  If you’re interested you can find it here… How It All Began    https://melaniepsmith.com/how-it-all-began/  

2_Mel Softball

I have an Associates of Science degree in Marketing, a Bachelors in Business Management and a Masters Certificate in Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation.  I was still deciding how to use my education when I started a part-time, summer job with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  Part-time turned to full-time and I ended up staying for over twenty-six years. I eventually retired in the spring of 2016.  The job was difficult at times but very fulfilling and always interesting.  Why do I mention this?  Well, because they say write what you know.  I know law enforcement.  For over two decades I was assigned to the Special Operations Division and spent my time supporting Search & Rescue, K9, the Mounted Posse, and the Motorcycle Unit.  I thought that tote goat and my Shetland pony (Coalie) were strictly for adventure… turns out they were training for the future.  Who knew?

In addition to my regular duties, I coordinated communication and logistics for our SWAT and Child Abduction Response Teams.  In this capacity, I spent hours manning the Command Post on emergency callouts like hostage situations, barricaded subjects and missing or abducted children.  My time working with the police helped me gain insight and experience that I now use to create intense novels that are interesting, realistic and suspenseful.

I still love adventure but these days I spend my time camping and riding ATV’s with my husband and our Border collie “Port”.  Or, you can find me exploring backroads on my Harley. Occasionally, I still go horseback riding with my friends.  But mostly, my exploits are conjured in my mind, expressed on paper, and shared through my novels.

MY WORK

My Warrior Series is a completed paranormal romance collection.  There are 7 novels and 2 novellas in this set.  For book descriptions, purchase links and eTrailers see my Paranormal Brochure.  There’s also a sneak peek of my new work in progress… The Immortals.  Divergence will be the first novel in this trilogy.  Unfortunately, the project is still in the beginning stages and won’t be available for some time yet.

8_Warrior Banner_ Series

http://geni.us/Warrior

My Thin Blue Line series currently has two novels Mount Haven and Moondance Ridge.  The third novel, Subterfuge, is nearly completed and I expect it out sometime this year.  You can see all my police and crime novels with appropriate links in my Criminal Suspense Brochure.

http://geni.us/SuspenseBrochure

This brochure also includes information on my unique Police Procedural Crime Blog.  What is a Crime Blog?  It’s a series of short stories (nine per season) that follows Deputy Paige Carter as she solves local cases. Each episode introduces a new crime; similar to police procedurals on television like Blue Bloods, Longmire, or Bones.  Want to try it for FREE?  Subscribe to my blog and you will receive the entire 1st Season as my gift to you just for signing up.

http://geni.us/Blogsignup

The first episode of Season 3 – Paige Carter: Deputy Sheriff Series, was just released in April on my website.  So far, I’ve received amazing feedback and it was even featured in the local paper… the Sanpete Messenger.  As an added bonus to my readers, the current season is only available on my website and always FREE.

http://sanpetemessenger.com/2016/12/01/manti-backdrop-for-crime-series/
https://melaniepsmith.com/crime-blog/

Season 1

Paige Carter was an FBI agent who specialized in forensic science.  She decided to quit her job and move back to Manti, Utah.  She is determined to solve a cold case that occurred over ten years earlier.  Why so passionate about a cold case?  It was her mother’s murder and as far as she can tell…the local cops didn’t even try to solve it. 12_Paige Carter S1

Amazon http://geni.us/PaigeCarterS1
Nook http://geni.us/BNPaigeCarterS1
iTunes http://geni.us/iPaigeCarterS1
Kobo http://geni.us/KPaigeCarterS1

Season 2

Season two brings a unique blend of criminal investigation and human interaction to every episode.  Paige is still working to rebuild her personal and professional life one step at a time.  Follow her progress as she fights crime, searches for a killer and tries to deal with the undeniable chemistry she shares with her mysterious neighbor.

13_Paige Carter S2

Amazon http://geni.us/PaigeCarterS2
Nook http://geni.us/BNPaigeCarterS2
iTunes http://geni.us/iPaigeCarterS2
Kobo http://geni.us/kPaigeCarterS2

Season 3

Things are heating up in Manti in Season 3 of Paige Carter.  General Nathan Porter’s national security threat has now become a problem for Paige, her neighbor, and the small town she now calls home. Follow along as she works to stop a terrorist cell, investigates local crimes and struggles to manage her personal life.

14_Paige Carter S3

https://melaniepsmith.com/crime-blog/

 Connect with Melanie

Website http://geni.us/mpsmithpublishing
Amazon Author http://geni.us/melaniepsmith

http://geni.us/MPSFacebook
http://geni.us/MPSTwitter
http://geni.us/MPSmithYouTube
http://geni.us/MPSGoodreads  

I’ve lost count of all those books, but Melanie is certainly a prolific writer and a couple of those are destined for my TBR list.

Thank you so much for being my guest today and a further HUGE thank you from me – Melanie is also in a Facebook group – Independent Author Promotion Group – and there are 17 of us who have joined together to help promote each other. Melanie has designed some stunning graphics for several of the writers. I’m absolutely thrilled with mine and I will be sharing the posts on this blog in the coming weeks.

If you would like a guest spot, either pm me on my Facebook  page

https://www.facebook.com/lucindaeclarke.author

or email me:- lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com

 

ANIMALS AND AFRICA

TRAVEL

The Schonbrunn zoo is managed scientifically and set among the gardens, with several pavilions set in the area it’s a really great place to spend a long afternoon. We walked all of it, and I know this because my feet told me I had.

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Today they focus on conserving species and they have also conserved some of the old buildings as well (apparently, they are in the baroque model – so remember you heard that first here on my blog). Oh, and the menagerie-buildings are after the Versailles model, I’m sure you needed to know that as well. Personally, I’d just look at the pretty pics of the animals.

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Red pandas look nothing like their giant cousins do they?  I noted that we saw elephants, a polar bear, meerkats, giraffe, zebra lion and eland with the comment that many of the animals were past masters at hiding behind the leaves, branches, and shelters.

HISTORY

Bishop of toledo

 

Now, do you remember that King Henry, uncle to little Isabella, just isn’t a statesman, he’s an intellectual and he’s indolent? He’s frivolous, loves splendour, colourful pageants, and filling his court with poets and dreamers. He is wildly extravagant and imposes taxes on his poverty-stricken people to pay for it all. He’s at his pleasure 24/7 and leaves it to John Pacheo, Marquis of Villena, and Alfonso Carillo, the Archbishop of Toledo to run the country.

That’s a picture of the Archbishop and not the king – you can tell that from his pointy hat.

AFRICA FACTS

Over the 30+ year period, I lost count of the number of radio and TV scripts I wrote. At one time I had 4 x 15 minute programmes running daily on the radio all translated into one of the 9 indigenous African languages and the totals must run into the thousands. It’s also sad that I seldom even thought to take still pictures of all the TV shoots – mind those were in the days when you took a photograph and – wait for it – traipsed all the way to the chemist or similar, handed in the film and waited several days before you could go back and collect your pictures – which were occasionally rather blurred.

few of the videos I made

Later when we were filming I rarely took pictures of the crew or the subjects until I was working on a series which also commissioned illustrated booklets to accompany the videos.

I was also unfortunate to lose all my photographs in 1994, every single one of them.

Want to know what happened? You can find out in Walking over Eggshells my first biography – the personal one.

Until next time, take care.

Lucinda

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Lyn Horner, Sandra J. Jackson, Mae Clair and Lucinda E. Clarke.

Sally’s blog featuring several good writers and me!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore author update and time to share the recent reviews for more talented authors on the shelves.

The first author is multi-award winning  Lyn Horner with her latest release Tempting Adam: Romancing the Guardians, Book Seven

About the Book

He walked away from her once meaning to protect her and broke her heart.
Can she forgive him and overcome his stubborn resistance to love?

Guardian of Danu, Adam Dvorak has the power to make plants grow with a mere touch, but will he allow love to grow? An agronomist teaching better farming methods in a semi-desert region of northern Kenya, he has an accident and ends up in the local hospital where, to his shock, his former love Ellie Graham is a nurse. He’d never expected to see her again.

Ellie is equally shocked to see him. How could fate be…

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