GUEST POST JOAN FALLON-COOK

This week’s guest also lives in Spain and her books tell us more about the rich history of this fabulous country.  I’m so glad I asked her as I’m delighted to learn she was also a teacher and then moved career. We have a lot of common.  In her own words:-

JOAN FALLON

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Lucinda. I’m a great fan of yours, so feel doubly honoured to be here.

Well, I suppose you want to know something about me and what has influenced my writing. If you have read any of my books, you can see that I’m very much a feminist at heart (although that’s a term that has been abused over time), and strongly believe that women should have equality in all things. In 2020 this may now seem to be a given, but I grew up in the sixties and seventies, in a time when it was harder for a woman to gain recognition in a man’s world. So it’s not surprising that all my books have strong female characters who manage to succeed against the odds. By that I don’t mean they are all Boadiceas, driving chariots and brandishing swords, but ordinary women who have been dealt misfortune or disappointment, and managed to overcome it.

The other strong influence on my books is perhaps more obvious. I have lived in the south of Spain for twenty-five years and Spanish history and culture have always fascinated me and have provided some of the most exotic settings in my historical novels. Here in Andalusia, we are surrounded by the art and history of the Moorish occupation, and I have incorporated that into two series of historical

JOAN FC 3

fiction: The al-Andalus trilogy, set in Córdoba in the 10th century and The City of Dreams trilogy,  which follows on from that, with the protagonists now living in Málaga. There’s plenty of action and romance in the series, but it’s not all fiction. The historical part is based on hours of research, so for readers that know the area, it should make interesting reading.

I haven’t always been a writer, although for as long as I can remember I have wanted to be one. As with many people, retirement—or early retirement in my case—gave me the opportunity to fulfill a long-held dream. Writing about the caliph’s harem in 10th century al-Andalus is a long way from teaching primary children—my first occupation—or being a management training consultant, as I was at the end of my career, but just as fulfilling.

JOAN FC 4

Sometimes I find myself labelled as a writer of historical fiction, but I don’t think of myself in that way. I write books about something that has inspired me and it may turn out to be a historical novel or it may be set in the 21st century. One day a few years back I read a short article about children who were sent to Australia as child migrants during WWII. I’d never heard about it before, and because I was intrigued I investigated further and the result was a very popular novel called The Only Blue Door. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and sometimes it is in the form of an unanswered question. The al-Andalus series came from a visit I made to Madinat al-Zahra, some ruins just outside Córdoba. The guide book told how it had been the most wonderfully rich, powerful and cultured city in the land, but had lasted only seventy-five years before it was completely destroyed. My immediate question was ‘How could that have happened in such a short space of time?’ There was only one way to find out: more research.

My latest novel, The Prisoner, will be available at the end of the summer. It is book three in the City of Dreams trilogy and will probably the last book I shall write about Moorish Spain. I have a yearning to try my hand at a crime novel, and already have a dead body in mind.

I love Joan’s books and highly recommend them. Here are a few more you might like to check out.

And the links to where you can find more about Joan’s books.

www.linkedin.com/profile/

If you would like a guest post on my blog, just drop me an email lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com   or you can pm me on messenger.

Stay safe and happy reading.

Lucinda

#BookSale: Survival of the Fittest!

A guest post on Jacqui coming up soon, but in the meantime, you may like to grab this.

WordDreams...

Today, my latest prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, is available for sale on Amazon. To promote that exciting event, I’m putting Book 1 of the trilogy, Survival of the Fittest, on sale July 24th-July 26th 2020. The way this Kindle sale works is it starts at $.99 and goes up $1 each day until it’s back to it’s normal price–$3.99. Like this:

  • July 24th: $.99
  • July 25th: $1.99
  • July 26th: $2.99
  • July 27th: $3.99 (normal price)

If you haven’t read it (or you aren’t in KU where you can read it for free), now’s a great time to buy it!

Spread the news!

#IndieSale #IndieAuthor #booksale #kdpsale


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor…

View original post 62 more words

GUEST BLOG MAX POWER

I have two connections to this week’s guest. We are both Irish and we are both long time members of the FaceBook group Indie Authors Support and Discussion. (It’s a secret group for authors to do secret author things) I’ll leave that to your imagination! But we are a great bunch of people always willing to help and support each other – just like the group name.

I’d like to introduce you to Max, otherwise known as Patrick, who has sent me a potted version of his life to date and a little about his books.

MAX POWER PIC 5

Born and bred in Dublin, my Irishness influences my writing. I’ve been fortunate to travel the world and I’ve even lived abroad for short periods of my life, but the culture, traditions and language of the little green island I call home, are things I cannot escape. I married a childhood sweetheart which ended eventually in a divorce way too late in life, but I have been lucky to find love again and have been with my darling Joanna for the last 20 years.

All of our children are adults now and while life was tough for me in my early days, I am happy and, to be honest, I feel as though I have been lucky. It may sound odd but I also believe I made most of that luck myself.

My writing is my comfort blanket. It comes easily to me. I sit at the keyboard and I begin. Since I was a very small boy, I’ve loved words. They appeal to me. I love the sound they make, the meanings they express and the secrets they divulge. I love the way they feel in my mouth.

MAX POWER PIC 1

I wrote Darkly Wood with that love in mind. It was my intention to create a book with a style of its own, that told a rather unbelievable tale while somehow making that world real. It was such fun to write and there was so much more to tell, that it has now turned into 3 books.

MAX POWER PIC 3

MAX POWER PIC 4

Bad Blood and Larry Flynn, were long-standing stories that I wanted to tell, and Little Big Boy was perhaps my personal journey that broke me in its writing. I often cried salty tears as new ideas dripped onto the page.

 

MAX POWER PIC 2

 

Right now, I have three semi-suspended projects. I thought the whole working from home thing, would give me more time to write but it has had the opposite effect. Before Coronavirus, I came home from work, ate dinner then after walking the dogs, retired to my study to write. Now I spend my day in my study working harder than ever and I find it impossible to go back to the space I love so much at the end of a day working there.

But of course, that’s not the only reason I have taken a short sabbatical. My health is on the surface fine, but I have had a few recent challenges that demand I step back and while I cannot step away from the pressure of work, I need to look after myself or something will give.

That being said, I have a couple of crackers on the boil (I hope) and I am ‘typing away’ albeit ever so slowly. My blog is something I use to keep me fresh and active as this is always a bit of fun and it doesn’t take up much time.

If you’ve read my blog, you probably know a lot more about me than I care to think about, so it might be hard to give you a fresh insight into who Max Power the writer is in any real sense. Of course, Max is a pen name but that’s a practical thing for me, it serves a purpose. So, what can I tell you? Jo is the chief chef in our house but I am the master snacktician. Lunch is my speciality.

Joanna is practical. She plans and makes beautiful dinners which we have in the evening at our house, but when it comes to lunch, she is a heathen. Hunger rules and it’s whatever will sate her hunger in the moment that she goes for. I on the other hand, never get hungry. It is a weird thing. I can go all day without food, wouldn’t bother me. Left to my own devices, I could forget to eat. So, when I decide to prepare a meal, be it simple or elaborate, I will consider taste, flavour, smell, colour, design, and desire. It is always a triumph, but largely because I have the patience to create something a little different, as hunger never gets in the way.

My writing is like that. I sometimes add very thinly sliced strawberries to a salad, something that would horrify many people, yet you really need to try it, you might be surprised. So that’s what I do. I write like I make lunch. Never dull, always with a different twist, I am patient enough to look for exactly what I want – but most importantly, once you’ve had it, you know who has made it, and hopefully, you will come back for more.

OK, I have to be honest here, the Darkly Wood series freaked me out a little, but if you’re a Stephen King fan, you will love them. My favourite book is Little Big Boy.

Here are the links to Max’s books.

getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
getbook.at/Bad-Blood

Thank you Max for sharing your story with us.

If you would like a guest post on my blog, then leave me a message on Facebook or in the comments box below.

GUEST BLOG MARY EPSOM

My guest this week is very, very special. Why? She’s just published her first book at the age of 94. That is amazing.

MaryEpsom1_001

 

Mary Epsom is a Froebel Foundation trained teacher, who started a kindergarten in Nairobi, Kenya, and eventually owned and managed three more with a combined capacity of 400 pupils. She was a well-known teacher in Nairobi for many years and she knows how to make each chapter both interesting and educational.

“The Chameleon Who Went to the North Pole…Almost!”, is an excellent, 70 page, fully colour illustrated book, ideal for children aged 6 – 12 years.

This true story recounts the time in 1966 when Mary’s son Paul was a young child. As a typical Kenyan boy, Paul always had a snake in his pocket or a chameleon on his shoulder, and Mary’s delightful story tells how, on the flight to Europe on leave with the family, Mary saw to her horror, at 32,000 feet above the Sahara Desert, a chameleon walking across the back of Paul’s seat in front of her. There was no alternative but to bring the little chameleon, who Paul had named Mugia, along with them for the rest of the holiday. The book relates the stories of the family’s 17,000 mile journey through Europe, visiting nine countries as far as the Arctic Circle, as seen through Mugia’s eyes. The little chameleon proves to be helpful in getting the family through tricky situations, The book is both an enchanting memoir of a happy family holiday in Europe in the company of a charismatic little chameleon, and a nostalgic reminder of the freedom of travel in the days before airport security and border controls (and although Mugia was put into her own shoebox when the family went through customs, Mary strongly advises children not to try this trick today!)

At the end of the epic journey, Mugia returns safely to her Nairobi garden!

Paul died in a road accident in 2014 and “The Chameleon who went to the North Pole-¦almost!” is dedicated to him. With delightful colour illustrations by Samira Matthews, this makes a very special gift for children aged 6 – 12 years old.

It is available from https://store.bookbaby.com/book/the-chameleon-who-went-to-the-north-polealmost

It is also available via Amazon UK, (click on the cover above), Barnes and Noble, and several other online platforms. Most are offering free delivery.

Mary Epsom 04 at Book Launch MCC 290919

Mary Epsom is an inspiration to all writers, it’s never too late to create a legacy to be proud of.  Thank you, Mary, for being my guest this week, it was an honour and an inspiration.

Lucinda

You READ – but do you leave REVIEWS? – by Chris Graham (aka The Story Reading Ape)

Heartfelt words, thank you, Christopher.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

PLEASE

A stack of books and words Read - Review - RepeatIf not, why not?

I don’t have time

The author probably spent a heck of a lot more time writing the story than you took to read it, no matter how slow you think you are, so why not take a few minutes to record your feelings about it.

I can’t write long fancy reviews like those I see on book review blogs

You don’t have to, Amazon, for example, only ask you to use a minimum of 25 non repeating words.

I can’t express myself very well

No-one is asking you to produce a literary masterpiece, start off with things you liked, didn’t like or a mix of both about the book, e.g.,

I liked this book because –

it reminded me of –

it made me think about –

it made me so scared I couldn’t sleep for –

it made me feel homesick for –

it…

View original post 468 more words

GUEST POST – THERESA JACOBS

It’s great to meet another author who is not stuck in one genre only. If I thought I hopped around from one topic to another I am a long way behind this week’s guest.

Hi, my name is Theresa Jacobs and what can I say other than I love to write!

THERESA 1

 

And I have a crazy imagination. Soon I’ll have enough varied genres written that I’ll have a book for everyone.

Seriously…horror? Got it.

Sci-fi? Yup.

Laidback phycological lit? Sure – though that one is hard to classify because it’s set in space, it has a touch of romance and aliens.

 

Campy horror-action? You’re covered.

Oh, serial killer-detective. YES!

THERESA 2

This is Theresa’s latest book.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088SM5K15/

Being handsome has its advantages and affords him easy access to people’s homes. They quickly learn you can not judge a book by its cover when they pay the ultimate price with their lives. He didn’t ask to look the way he does, nor to lose his loving mother at such a young age. Dealing with unwanted memories, he will find a way to erase his past by cleansing the city as he sees fit.

And, as they say, ‘that’s not all’.

And now a YA literature is on the way.

I won’t be stopping there either, the ideas are abundant and I’m game if you are. If you’re looking for fast-paced, interesting, yet light easy reading, you’re in the right place. Pop into my website, check out the merch, or my blog, or my movie – yup I said that too – and don’t forget to subscribe for updates.

See you over there, Theresa

https://theresajcbs.wixsite.com/authorpage

Thank you for being my guest this week, Theresa and if you are a writer and would like to be a guest, please leave a comment below, or you can pm me on Facebook.

Lucinda

 

GUEST POST TOM BENSON

You will be hearing more from me about Tom Benson in the next few weeks as he’s putting a book of short stories together and he’s included one of mine.

I don’t think this is Tom’s first guest post, as we have been virtual friends for years and it’s thanks to him I have a web site. He helped me so much in the early days.

TOM BENSON AUTHOR PIC 6

Soldier, Retailer, Author

Saying that you spend your time telling tales is akin to admitting you have an illness.

Hello … my name is Tom … and I’m a … writer.”

Hello, Tom.

Yes, it isn’t easy to be open at first, but when a writer’s work earns a few great reviews, it lends legitimacy. No longer are you one of those strange creatures who spend their time living in another world. You are an author, envied by others. You’re earning money from months of toil—perhaps not a lot, but for authors like me, the real reward is knowing from the positive feedback that you have entertained.

There is a widespread notion that writing is an exclusive, even exotic activity. Still, like many things, you can join the club if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort to learn your craft, plus, of course, accept criticism of, as well as credit for your work.

Consider a cake with elaborate decorations. Anyone can gather ingredients and lay them out on a clean surface. It’s the choices of quantity, how those items are blended, and how the mixture is processed, which creates the basic cake. Only with the foundation can the decoration be added; the edible ingredients with which will make it appealing.

Whether it be a short story or novel, there is a sense of fulfillment when you start with a blank screen and with god-like power, create a world from imagination. It must be a believable world with characters, dialogue, and imagery, supported by narrative, a plot, and subplots.

An author can make a book sound exotic. Among my published titles are Ten Days in Panama and Amsterdam Calling.

Continuing with international intrigue, one of my next books will be Czech Mate. In crime thrillers, I can offer such titles as A Taste of Honey set in the USA, or the Beyond The Law trilogy set mainly in Scotland.

I left Glasgow in 1969 aged seventeen and headed to England to join the British Army. While in training, I thought it might well be a short career. During the next twenty-three years, I patrolled streets in Belfast, manned a helicopter-borne camera over Londonderry, and operated a radio in the military train travelling through East Germany from West Berlin. I worked radios all over West Germany, trained young recruits in the UK, and served throughout the first Gulf War.

At the age of forty, I tackled fresh challenges when I became a retail manager. After six months of training, once again, I was in a uniform. I wore a badge and had a team of people who, sometimes with a bit of gentle persuasion performed as I asked.

I changed jobs a few times, going from food and supermarkets to car accessories and then on to stationery which is where I finally settled. Pens, pencils, paper, binders, staplers, punches, printers, laminators and much more besides and I was happy at work for the first time in a long time. As an artist and calligrapher, I was at home. After gaining experience, I spent five years roaming around the UK. I opened new stores and closed failing stores. I had responsibility for hiring, firing, training, disciplining and developing staff, so I enjoyed my second career, which lasted twenty-five years.

I’d always enjoyed reading, and while still in retail, my thoughts turned to a personal dream—to write a book. I’d tried to produce my military memoirs back in the mid-90s, but the writing was awful. By 2010, having read a lot more, I figured I was ready to try creative writing again. I first read several textbooks on the subject.

My poetry online got lots of good reviews. I moved on to short stories and won prizes, both national and international. My first novel was a crime thriller, but the literary creativity was like a drug, I had a burning desire to write for hours every day, at every opportunity.

It was several years and a few books down the line when I revisited those military memories of mine, and I tried again. I describe the tale as fact-based-fiction, but A Life of Choice is a five-ebook series based on my military career. In effect, I researched it over many years but wrote about it only when I had earned my stripes in writing. The story is my top-selling title.

My latest experiment isn’t doing too badly, my post-apocalyptic survival story Light at The End. Thanks to some great feedback, it’s now the first book in a trilogy.

Perhaps I’m biased in believing that to write convincingly you must have experienced highs and lows in life. I always gave my best effort as a soldier and retailer. I still do.

Tom Benson–author.

Now is a great time to pick up one of Tom’s books as he’s reduced them all to $/£0.99 during the Covid crisis – links below:

Website: www.tombensonauthor.com

Blog: www.tombensoncreative.com

Ten Days in Panama: mybook.to/Ten_Days_in_Panama
Amsterdam Calling: mybook.to/Amsterdam_Calling
A Taste of Honey: mybook.to/A_Taste_of_Honey
Light at The End: mybook.to/Light_at_The_End
Beyond The Law – Box Set: mybook.to/BTL_The_Trilogy
A Life of Choice – Box Set: mybook.to/ALOC_BoxSet

Thank you, Tom.

If you would like to be a guest on my blog, post in the comments below, or drop me a message on Facebook.

Lucinda