MEET SHIRLEY LEDLIE

My guest this week has another inspiring story to tell. Like so many people we might bump into in our daily lives we have no idea what people have suffered – unless they write a book about it, and Shirley has done just that. Far from being a simple biography, Shirley’s book was suddenly in great demand, but I’ll let her tell you herself.

Billy

I was born in Nottingham, England in 1958 and yes, that means I will reach the big sixty later this year. I’m the author of Naked in the Wind-chemo, hairloss and Deceit plus, two short travelogues.

As far as writing is concerned, I’m a late starter. After moving to France, almost twenty years ago, I had the opportunity to sign a contract with the UK Bella Magazine to write a weekly life-style article. Each week I would write half a page about life in Brittany for an ex-pat family. Our ever-growing family of animals featured in it fairly often; with four dogs, hens, quails, ducks, two cats, a rabbit, guinea-pigs and last but not least a donkey, there was always some escapade to write about! How I loved it! This lasted for a little over a year until a new editor having a clean sweep, swiftly brought my writing career to an abrupt halt.

At this point in my life, I had no idea five years later I would be at the forefront of a Big Pharma scandal and campaign, a co-founder of a global support group and I would write a memoir about it! What a whirlwind ten years it’s been.

So, what exactly have I been campaigning for, the last ten years? Patient Rights.  After being diagnosed with breast cancer, the surgery, chemo, and radiotherapy became my routine for the following ten months. I don’t mind confessing to being a total wimp and if it hadn’t been for my friend dragging me into the car every three weeks I doubt I would have finished my chemo sessions.  Little did I know that the following year I would discover that the new chemo regime had left me with a permanent disfigurement, that wasn’t as rare as I’d been informed.  It wasn’t long before I realised others being treated with the same drug were also not being warned.

SHIRLEY LEDLIE

I’ve always been an ‘all or nothing kind of girl’ and this instantly fell into the ‘all’ category! I threw myself into raising awareness about this little-known side effect often in my own peculiar way,  took on the giants of the pharmaceutical world and co-founded a global support group.

Some of the support group members would despair at some of my wacky antics, but it had become apparent that nice and polite was not going to work. I carried on regardless.

After seven years of living in this surreal world, I finally accepted my disfigurement and the only thing left to do was write a book about my journey. This was supposed to be the grand finale. I could now get on with my new normal life. Wrong. The legal eagles in the US picked up on the story. One morning I checked to see how many books of Naked in the Wind I’d recently sold. There was a large bulk order. Suddenly my memoir was of much interest to several law firms in the US! I instantly found myself being sucked back into the, almost, forgotten world of Big Pharma. The podcast/radio interview requests started to appear in my inbox, articles needed writing and my past fight was discussed all over the internet. I’m still involved as of today, but where it will end I have no idea! I’m just going with the flow and if I can help in any way, I will.

sHIRLEY PILGRIM BOOK

After my first memoir, I wrote two short light-hearted travelogues The Unexpected Pilgrim and Mischief in Manhattan. I didn’t plan beforehand to write about my trip to Israel. After returning home from the spur-of-the-moment visit, I was so spiritually moved I felt compelled to share and I really hoped that readers would be able to put their political beliefs to one side. Some readers have emailed me, thanking me for telling a different story to the one they read about in the tabloids.  I will warn you though; your feet will be aching by the time you read the last page!

The Unexpected Pilgrim: A light-hearted and fast-moving travelogue.

When presented with an opportunity to visit Israel for four days, Shirley decided it was a

chance she could not turn down. It would mean sightseeing on her own – a daunting task for this woman in her mid-fifties with a terrible sense of direction.

She decides to cram as much as possible into her short time there with some amusing and exhausting consequences!

SHIRLEY MANHATEN BOOK

Before leaving for New York City, I’d already planned to write about this sight-seeing trip, so I was well prepared to take notes about everything. We crammed so much into every day; I was worried my poor Fitbit would explode as it clocked up on average 28,000 steps every day.

Mischief in Manhattan:  Five women from England decide to go to New York City for five days, to sightsee and celebrate a 50th birthday. Shirley was invited along to make up the numbers, but how would she get on with the three ladies she didn’t know? Would they all see eye to eye or would there be bickering in the Big Apple? How do fried dumplings, spoons and dress shoes become an issue? With neighbours they hadn’t bargained for and some typical ‘Englishness’ thrown in, this travel memoir is sure to keep you entertained!

What’s next? I have made a start on my first novel and the first in a series of motorhome travels around France, Portugal, and Spain.

Thank you, Lucinda, for inviting me to be a guest author!

Here are the links to Shirley’s books,

Naked in the Wind  https://amzn.to/2EX5TGD

The Unexpected Pilgrim  https://amzn.to/2ErAOer

Mischief in Manhattan  https://amzn.to/2JVTCWP

And thank you, Shirley, for being my guest,  I’m honoured to share your story which will inspire and give hope to many people.

PANDAS AND PLANTS

TRAVEL

Now you may remember that Austria, with its capital Vienna, does not have a coastline, so sadly the Habsburg royal family could not have a seaside cottage.

But, nothing daunted, they decided to have another attraction instead. Can you guess what it is? A zoo! As the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I set it up in 1752 it’s the oldest continually operating zoo in the world.

We loved it and spent lots of time there particularly as they have giant pandas.

IMG_4959

The lady panda is called Yang Yang and there are three males Long Hui, Fu Long, and Fu Hu. What a lucky lady! And she must be a happy panda as in August 2007 Fu Long was born the first by natural insemination – and then 3 years later Fu Hu was born by natural mating. Yet another baby Fu Bao arrived in 2013 and then twins Fu Feng and Fu Ban.

IMG_4958

They were quite difficult to see, as they liked hiding in the leaves and DH tried to convince me that unless I was waving particularly nice bamboo leaves at them they wouldn’t wake up and come over for a chat.

HISTORY

The Dowager Queen, little Princess Isabella’s mother is sure that King Henry is out to get her children, she is quite paranoid about it, so she whips the two youngest off to another dark, damp and drafty castle in Aravelo to keep them safe.

Aravelo castle 2

The Princess Isabella has lessons and, under instruction from her mother spends an awful lot of time praying. She spends hours and hours each day on her knees.  Court etiquette is rigid, it’s more nunnery than a royal court. Her mother is so cruel she won’t even let her meet up with friends at the local shopping mall.

AFRICA FACTS

Last time I left off as we were filming in deep rural Africa on a project that was excavating the Devil’s Claw. A pharmaceutical company in Germany had tested the root and found it had benefits for arthritis so they ordered supplies from this rural community.

I accompanied the women who scoured the ground then pounced and dug up a root, taking only part of it before covering it over with soil again to continue growing – very ecological and sustainable. What astounded me is they seemed to know exactly where the roots are – the dry, sandy surface of the ground gave no indication that a root would be in exactly that place yet each time there it was a couple of inches below the surface.

Crew shot 0344

Not only had they prepared an ‘interesting’ lunch in the village hall for me and the crew they had also written and produced a play for us to shoot. A local villager consulted the witch doctor who (not surprisingly) prescribed Devil’s Claw for all his ailments. When we left they handed us bags full of roots, which DH tried later following the precise instructions, but from the look on his face, it didn’t taste nice at all.

All my books (except Unhappily Ever After my Fairyland comedy) are set in Africa which must be the most fascinating continent on earth.

AMIE 1 JAN 28 2018

You can find them all on my author page:

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

or my web page: http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Till next time, take care

Lucinda

MEET CHARLES E YALLOWITZ

My guest this week is a name that often pops up on my social media as he’s very ‘into’ marketing and very successful at it too.  Charles has a new book out and we have timed his guest post to coincide with the publication.  But first a little about this weeks author.

CHARLES PIC

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

The Dawn Fangs have arrived!

CHARLES BOOK
Cover Art by Alison Hunt

In the wake of the Great Cataclysm, a new predator will emerge within Windemere’s shadow.

For fifty years, Clyde has been trapped beneath the earth while the vampire kingdom has been gradually losing its war against the Sun God’s followers.  Only Mab believes that her partner survived his holy execution and is determined to bring him back to the city of Nyte. Retrieving the vampiric thief is only the beginning as he comes out of the ground stronger, faster, and possessing abilities that their kind have never witnessed throughout their ancient history. Thrown into the war, Clyde must be careful to hide his true nature while fighting alongside his old friends. Too bad he is having so much fun being free that keeping his secret might be the furthest thing from his mind.

Will anyone be ready for the inevitable rise of the Dawn Fangs?

Book Excerpt: Execution Interrupted

“Feels like the earth is shaking,” Titus whispers more to himself than his friends. The ground abruptly lurches to the side as if the hill is having a violent spasm. “What in all of Windemere was that? Is this part of the execution? Maybe Clyde is using his illusions too. . . That’s not Clyde. Tell me you two see this.”

Decker and Mab begrudgingly stop their argument to follow Titus’s gaze, which is locked on the horizon. Ripples of magic run through colorful clouds that are billowing across the sky like they are being pursued by a terrifying predator. Constant explosions shake the land and the wind carries the sound of distant screaming, but nobody can discern any of the words. Cracks of lightning rain down on the landscape, the purple streaks pulverizing whatever they hit. In response, blasts of lava erupt from the earth and punch holes in the rushing storm. People cower as the molten rock returns in a hardened state and crushes those who are not quick enough to get out of the way. Animals run and fly in every direction, the threat so enormous that none of the creatures can figure out where they would be safe. Throughout it all, the executioners continue pulling Clyde apart while the other priests work to put up a barrier that shimmers and sputters around the temple and village. Sensing danger, the three vampires drop to the ground an instant before the holy shield explodes and sends a razor-sharp circle of sunlight across the land. All those too slow to react are sliced in half, but they continue to scream as the twisted magic keeps them alive.

Getting to their feet, the trio cautiously moves closer to the edge of the hill, which is now a sheer cliff devoid of plant life. They watch in horror as the region turns into a rocky landscape with a few patches of trees that grow to twice their natural size. A quake knocks the vampires down and they cling to the earth as an ear-wrenching shriek fills the air. The Duragian temple quivers before the valley floor collapses and every building falls into the ravenous pit. Mab heals her injuries by using most of the blood in her body and scrambles ahead of her friends. She can barely hear Clyde screaming and laughing as the execution circle slides into the water-like dirt along with everyone around it. The surviving mortals struggle to escape, but they are unable to find any handholds that do not break away and send them tumbling into the chaos. With a startling jerk, all of the surrounding hills sink until they are nothing more than small bumps in the earth. By the time the Great Cataclysm has ended, the three vampires are the only ones left in the area and the greatest stronghold of their enemies has been consumed down to the smallest of structures. The only sign that anything once stood in the former valley is a faint glow coming out of a single crack in the dry ground. As the silent minutes pass, the light steadily grows dimmer until it too is nothing more than a memory.

Get War of Nytefall: Loyalty on Amazon for $2.99!
Add it to your Goodreads To-Read Lists!

Interested in more Windemere?  Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

CHARLES 1
All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

As you can see, War of Nytefall is not Charles’ first book, nor his second, third and so on. He’s a prolific writer of fantasy.  And he’s quite techie as well, as the blue links above will take you straight to his new book.  You can also contact him and follow him here:

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Charles, thank you for being my guest this week.

Lucinda