SUSAN P BAKER

This week’s author lives in Mexico – another place on my bucket list – Susan I’ll be over soon! No, don’t panic my bank manager would be at the airport AK47 at the ready.

We’re in exalted company as Susan was a lawyer and then a judge and so all her books have a legal base, one of my favourite genres.

Susan_P_Baker_Photo_

Susan is also a grandmother and is a prolific writer with five novels and 2 non fiction books to date. And she likes chocolate, so we know she is one of us. You can find out more on her website  www.susanpbaker.com

She’s suggested I mention two of her books and the first one is My First Murder, the first book she wrote and it is FREE so you can grab a copy here. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013XEIUMO

My-First-Murder-original

or here on the universal link https://www.books2read.com/u/4jKNoD

Mavis Davis, a likable, new-to-the-job private investigator, not only has one of the wackiest office staffs in mystery fiction, but also goes about solving her first crime in her own, independent, highly interesting way. When greasy-spoon cafe owner Carl Singleton shows up wanting to hire Mavis to solve the murder of one of his waitresses, Doris Jones, a woman with whom he has fallen in love, Mavis reluctantly takes the job especially when Carl confesses that all the other private investigators in Houston have turned him down. But, facts are facts, and Mavis has to face that she has bills to pay that serving legal papers won’t cover.  Though the Houston Police Department, including Mavis’ boyfriend Sgt. Ben Sorensen, get in her face and try to discourage her, Mavis dives head first into the case. What she learns is, there is scandal deep in the heart of Texas. She only hopes she can uncover it before it’s too late for her.

Unaware KINDLE

Unaware is Susan’s latest book.

What you don’t know CAN hurt you.  Frustrated with the two controlling men in her life, Dena Barlow Armstrong has outlined a rosy future for herself and her children, independent of them. Her husband, Zack, constantly pushes her to turn over her inheritance to him, and when she doesn’t, he punishes her with his indifference. Her law partner and cousin, Lucas, controls her money and the types of cases she accepts.

Just as Dena begins to achieve her goal of independence, someone emerges with very different plans for her. Unaware of the danger she faces, Dena lives her life as a wife, mother, and attorney. Then one day when her husband is out of town, the stranger lurks in her garage, waiting until she and the children go to bed…

This standalone novel is Susan P. Baker’s sixth mystery/suspense novel.

Here is the link so go have a look (I’m told proper marketing people tell the public what to do – whereas I would probably write why not take a look? But I’m getting tough these days!!) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XTV5PTP  I’m off to get it right now 🙂 so I’ve persuaded myself, I must be a good salesperson after all!

Have a great week and take care.

CLARE BLANCHARD

You have to admit that us authors are a very special breed, weird maybe but extremely clever.  Last week I told you about a book that chronicled Eve’s life (yes the very first one) and this week we’ve moved on to ghosts from a later era.

Author Clare sent me two pictures, she said one was formal and the other informal. I’m not going to choose, I’ll use them both – it shows us writers as human, with real lives outside our fictional works – although I sometimes have my doubts about that!

Over to Clare.

Do you believe in ghosts? I didn’t, until I stayed at a hotel in the centre of Prague one night a few years ago. As I lay in bed, I became aware of a disturbing presence in my room. It was haunted, as well as haunting. It was the ghost of a man desperate to have his story told. I had no idea who he was and was too tired to be scared. The next day, I got up and wandered into a bookstore only a few hundred yards away. Taking an intriguing-looking book called Praga Mysteriosa off the shelf, I read to my surprise that the very street in which my hotel stood was said to be haunted by a ghost – the ghost of a barber who had abandoned his wife and daughters in the 17th century to go and become an alchemist. Bohemian Mystery is the result of my encounter with his ghost.

BohemianMysteryAdventureCOVER

A beautiful and thought-provoking novel….”

Bohemian Mystery is an intriguing novel, which opens in medieval Prague, a city at the heart of Bohemia, with its unique source of moldavite, a green gemstone laid down by a meteorite at the dawn of history. Sylvia, the protagonist, has an instinctive affinity to the city, which is where her own mother was born. But in modern Britain this is at odds with her burgeoning career at a prestigious girls’ boarding school – an institution steeped in hierarchy and eccentricity, which Clare Blanchard describes with an irresistible meld of humour and satire. However, gradually her affection for Prague draws her back again and again and she discovers that there are unexpected links between the old city and those ancient Etruscan civilisations that instigated the spread of culture and architecture across continents. She learns also that many of these legends stretch back to biblical times, and that there are even connections pulling at her own roots. Her life and purpose are transformed by these revelations. Bohemian Mystery takes you on a satisfying journey, providing food for thought long after the book is closed – a journey well worth travelling.

Brenda Parker, author of The Cilento Dove and Anya Paris

The experience of living in two or three different cultures drives Clare’s wicked sense of humour, but also makes her plots quirky, with unexpected twists of history woven in. Give Bohemian Mystery a try!

You can buy Clare’s book here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XX66Z7C

and visit her website  www.clareblanchard.com

ANGELIQUE CONGER

This week’s author came up with a question many of us might have thought about for a moment and then dismissed it as one of those unexplained events.  Angelique Conger took this one step further and wrote a whole book about it. I think it’s a really novel (excuse the pun) idea. In Angelique’s own words …

Book photo, resized

Have you ever wondered about Eve? I did. I wanted to know how she managed life in a new world. How did she have that first child by herself, did someone help her? Then I wondered, how many children did she have? And how did they think about writing? And, did they live in a cave or in the open or build a house? All these questions left me wondering. The only way I could find the answers was to write a book.

I’ve lived a while, I’ve thought about this a long time. And when it came time to write her story, it felt like she sat beside me, whispering into my ear. I’d reach a block and not know what could possibly happen next. All I could do is walk away from it. When I came back and set my fingers on the keys, the answers were there. Some questions couldn’t be answered. Eve had no idea what happened.

Each day’s writing was a miracle to me.  Writing is a miracle for me. Before that November day in 2013, when I started this, I had never been able to set down a decent short story. After 3 months, I had a decent start in rough draft form.  Those were tough years, and I learned a lot.

Through it all, Eve has become my friend. Ancient Matriarchs: Eve First Matriarchs is her story. Each new tale I write comes easier, though none are ready without lots of extra work, they are coming easier.

Ancient Matriarchs, Into the Storms, Ganet Wife of Seth will be ready to join Eve, First Matriarch on your kindle or bookshelf soon.

Eve - First Matriarch

I just love that cover don’t you? Here are the buyinglinks https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MU4KRWT/

To find out more about about an amazing lady with such an original idea you can visit her website  http://AngeliqueCongerAuthor.com where you can sign up for a free book.

Does anyone know, is that an apple tree on the banner at the top of Angelique’s web page? just thought how appropriate that would be.

NOT ABOUT LUCINDA (FOR A CHANGE)

I’m typing this under the dining room table, squirming in shame because it has dawned on me that my blogs have all been about me, me and then a bit more me – oh and a lot of dead people too.  But blogs are for sharing, so it’s about time I introduced you to some other great writers besides myself ha ha (Ignore that). So the plan is to feature a new writer each week besides my usual blog and the first up on the podium is

JULIE C GILBERT

Julie Gilbert 2013 (5 of 25)

Hi. Thanks for letting me chat with you today about the latest Heartfelt Cases story. The Christian Mystery series features a pair of FBI agents and several really personal cases. As one of my narrators pointed out, I sort of have a thing for kidnapping. Such is the case here too. The Keres Case can be read alone, even though it’s book 4. There are tie-ins to The Quinn Case – a short prequel – as well as the first three stories, which are their own novellas. If you enjoy mysteries and suspense stories with dashes of humor, this is a great series for you to check out.

The Keres Case:

After six years of silence, a serial kidnapper and killer returns …  His plans are convoluted. His motives are obscure. He leaves notes, cards, and other clues. What he truly wants is a worthy opponent. He kidnaps a boy only to return him in the Erie National Wildlife Refuge as promised. Then, he snatches one of the volunteers searching the woods for the child.

The Keres Case (1)
When FBI Special Agents Ann and Patrick Duncan are assigned to the case, they soon realize the kidnapper likes getting personal. To make matters worse, the perpetrator has help from surprising sources: victims’ families. The more the agents learn about The Keres Legacy, the clearer it becomes that their family and friends are both fair game.

Losing clearly means somebody dies, but even winning might come at a cost.

Invitation:

The Collins Case is permafree so you can grab that any time.

If you’d like Heartfelt Cases 2: The Kiverson Case, all you have to do is sign up on my website.

I look forward to meeting you. If you have questions or comments, you can always reach me at devyaschildren @ gmail.com (take out the spaces).

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Invitation:

The Collins Case is permafree so you can grab that any time.

I checked out Julie’s author page and she has over 20 books on there, a prolific writer, so do go and take a look.

I am featuring authors in my monthly newsletter as well as a chance to win a book and enjoy backstories so here is the link if you would like to sign up  http://eepurl.com/cBu4Sf   Have a great week everyone!

BREAKING NEWS

Those of you who have put up with my inane / insane ramblings over the last few months may remember that I hate giving books away for free. It’s not that I’m mean, but when I think of the blood, sweat and tears, the hours of labour, not to mention the cost of editing and the cover design, it’s hard to hand it over for nothing, even though, like many other authors I’m not in it just for the money.

So, at the beginning of this year I decided that if at all possible I’d not give books away – free chapters yes, but not the whole book. Whether I can keep to this remains to be seen.

TLP HIGHER RES

This is all leading up to my news that I am reducing the price of Truth, Lies and Propaganda book 1 to $/£0.99 for five days only.

To tempt you to download it for that ridiculous price, here is an extract:

It’s rare that you get away with trying to cut corners – someone somewhere will always notice – and we fell into this trap in a big way.

We were on another shoot for Durban Tourism. This time they were quite specific about what they wanted. Not just the usual sea, sun and sand, they explained, this is more for those looking for adventure.

“We need to show the different kinds of things the visitors can do, active things.”

“Fine,” we said, “what do you suggest?” Ah, that set them thinking, but eventually they came up with an answer. One of those wildly, adventurous, active things they wanted was fishing in the rock pools off the shoreline.

Now personally I wouldn’t go on holiday to catch fish in rock pools, especially things with claws and teeth, but I guess they knew what they were talking about and knew what normal people really liked to do on holiday. Who was I to question them?  crayfish

This was a larger than normal budget shoot, it must have been for a really big, important expo. We could have real, live models from the modelling agency and, much to my horror, the clients said they wanted real, live fish as well!

I’d planned to stock up on fish props from the local toy shop, or if they didn’t stock plastic crayfish, (I had my doubts about that), at worst I would change that to the ‘ocean fresh’ counter at my local supermarket. But now that wasn’t going to work either if they wanted them alive. Carl knew of a couple in his favourite fish restaurant, but when he went to enquire about them, unfortunately they’d been eaten the night before.

That was plan A and B up the creek, so we moved on to plan C. I would pop down as the fishing boats came in the following morning and purchase a couple of live crayfish from them. No, correction – I would get someone else to go down and buy the creatures, my bravery has its limits.

Plan C wasn’t going to work either. Crayfish were not in season and were nowhere to be found in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Natal. Could we think of a plan D?

Carl was a very keen fisherman and he came up with the bright idea of bringing some crayfish up from Cape Town. He picked up the phone.

On day one of the shoot, we met up with the models at a very smart, colonial hotel just north of Durban. They looked young and absolutely gorgeous, so understandably, I hated them on sight.

Next came Carl, straight from the airport, complete with a large box filled with ice and three crayfish in the back of his SUV. I found it hard to believe they had survived the trip still alive, but I was not about to question their health.

We lugged the camera gear, plus the box of crayfish, through the hotel, past the swimming pool and down to the rocks below. We were joined by the male model, I think he was called Sam, he was the one who would be doing the fishing.

Carl kept the fish in the box until he was ready to shoot the scene, and then slid them into the large, enclosed rock pool. He was not going to show they were in a confined space, but use creative camera angles to suggest they had access to open water and so on. I’m sure you get the picture. We did too.

The crayfish took to the water with glee, and then must have been thoroughly cheesed off when they were immediately recaptured by the male model, muscles rippling in the wind, as he suddenly leapt out of the water holding up one in each hand. You’d think the silly creatures would have learned their lesson the first time round. I could add here that I observed from a very safe distance, just in case they escaped and came my way.

Eventually we got the whole programme in the can (I’m using a little more in-house language speak here) and after the edit, the clients viewed it and were very happy. The clients were very happy for two whole days, until they received a call from a rather irate gentleman, obviously an important crayfish expert, who demanded to know why we were trying to pass off Cape Town crayfish as swimming off the coast of Durban. Didn’t we know that further south the crayfish were bright pink and the pale coloured ones lived near our shores? Or was it the other way round?

Frankly no, we didn’t. Nor apparently did our clients from the Tourism Board. I can’t remember what happened next, but we were in disgrace after that episode. It was no good us whinging about the huge number of awards we had won, or how many other happy clients we could mention. We had got it wrong this time.

umhlanga beachfront

Now as 2017 is the year I learn to market, apparently I need to tell you why you must buy my book and how you can’t live without it.

It’s a great book.

It will make you laugh and gasp out loud.

It will tell you stuff about Africa you didn’t know.

It will tell you what goes on behind the video cameras and how the ‘truth’ is manipulated.

It’s a good read.

It won’t be this cheap again for a long time.

You will enjoy it.

Amazon.com  4.8 on 41 reviews   4.7 on 35 reviews on Amazon.co.uk

And to be extra helpful, here are all the links.

http://amzn.to/2ihtYNf

B& N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/truth+Lies+and+Propaganda    

Apple itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/truth-lies-and-propaganda/id1146681503

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truth-lies-and-propaganda

Scribd. https://www.scribd.com/book/321929081/Truth-Lies-and-Propaganda

Inktera http://www.inktera.com/store/title/78827da8-7700-48f0-b070-dbb4f255e162

Did I do all that right? Bear with me, I’m learning.  All comments from you proper marketing people gratefully received!

THE BIG TRIP AND THAT WOMAN – AGAIN!

Well last week’s blog raised a lot of interest and a warm, fuzzy feeling among a lot of writers. I can only say I feel very privileged to be connected to so many clever and creative writers and readers across the world. And, in case you were wondering, it was written to make you laugh about the dreaded marketing monster we all face.  However, this week I’m back on the Big Trip, and a bit more about that dreadful woman (apologies to all royals).

TRAVEL BIT

Now, since writing about the Big trip I’ve been following several other travel blogs and I am so impressed with the meticulous note taking and careful recording. I did keep a small diary, and I do have the itinerary, but it was a year ago now and it’s all getting a big fuzzy (mind I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday!).  In the past I’ve written detailed information, but I missed a lot as I scribbled away – similar to the old days when we travelled and I had my head stuck in a map and saw nothing! Give the guy who invented the GPS a Nobel prize, he deserves it.

We spent several hours at the Bang-Pa Summer Palace and I wanted to share these pictures of this structure in the complex which was all in red.

I was constantly asking the guide questions, but I’m afraid I didn’t get much info from him as to why this building was so different from the others.

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ADVERTISING BIT

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter just click on this link, books, interviews, back stories, special offers and more. http://eepurl.com/cBu4Sf  amie-back-story-v2-1

 

 

HISTORICAL BIT

Yet again I have to bow my head in shame at the erudite, fascinating well-researched historical articles I read. They are full of interesting facts and information. Well you won’t get any of that here. If you believe a word of any of this, I would be amazed.

Now you may not agree with me that Victoria was a pain in the **** but of course she was there for a very long time, up there on the throne I mean and lots of things happened in the 63 years. She was kept busy a lot of the time being pregnant and having all nine of her children, so Albert and she must have ‘done it’ nine times! In 1853 she had her eighth child Leopold using chloroform to help with the pain. Members of the (all male) clergy were not pleased, they said it was against Biblical teaching, they even said that when having a baby a woman was supposed to suffer. Oh yes? How many of them had had babies? Let them try it just once, with or without chloroform!

VIC FAMILY 1846

Now because so many of the royals had led debauched lives in the past, Victoria wanted to be an example to all the poor, ignorant people who were not kings or queens and show them all how to behave. That’s why she made her family pose for pictures like this. How they kept the children still that long for the painter I’ll never know. Good old Victorian discipline I guess.

PS  I am planning on blogging a second time each week featuring writers and their books. If you would like to be included, just drop me an email, or pm me on my Facebook page.

 

 

 

PLEASE DON’T BE MY FRIEND

The other day I posted the following on my Facebook Timeline.

Dear Prospective Face Book Friend, I do understand that you may be looking for pen pals and maybe even a romantic connection, especially if you are posted abroad in a war zone. However, despite this being a public page, I use it to chat to my reader and writer friends and exchange hints, reviews, and other marketing information. So it’s probably not the kind of page you are looking for – besides, I’m a happily married grandmother, who’s rapidly losing the wrinkle war. I hate to decline friends, so I hope you’ll understand and not make a friend request.

Yes, I know I come across as hard, overbearing and pretty unpleasant, but I’m really a softie inside and I don’t like to refuse a friendship, my page is public after all. The problem is, I don’t like to be rude or offend, but then (like many of us) I get bombarded with virtual roses and bottles of drink and even more flowery comments.

I was also hoping my post would deter the ones from humans who, deep down, may not be genuinely interested in me and my books. For example I had one who asked me what I was wearing. Ah, I thought, s/he was curious about writers and their habits, so I told it (with a name like Alex it wasn’t easy to tell). I’m sitting here I wrote in my usual creative gear, IMG_0726my fluffy red and white pyjamas liberally adorned with red reindeer and Xmas trees (I bought them around Christmas time) under my red furry dressing gown with the rabbit on the pocket, a pair of free airline socks and my favourite reindeer slippers. (They may be mooses, I’m not quite sure).

I was then treated to a picture of my new friend. S/he wasn’t wearing very much at all and what s/he was wearing defied comprehension.  DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!

So with the very best intentions, I hoped my post would not subject me to such heart-stopping shocks, (it’s not good to call the paramedics in too often), this post will do the trick I thought.

Sure enough a few minutes later I got a friend request from a dear little granny living in France. She looked so cute and cuddly, grey wavy hair, delightful smile, pretty dress. Great, I thought another fan friend who has heard about my brilliant books and can’t wait to read them, she might even buy one, or two, or three, or four. I cheerfully pressed accept and said how happy I was to connect with her.

In just a couple of minutes she private messaged me, telling me how thrilled she was to be my friend. She lives in France, and she was dying of cancer. How sad I thought, my fingers were poised to send her virtual hugs, hearts and kisses.  She was a widow previously married to an English entrepreneur, (I hadn’t noticed at this point she had a German surname) and he had been killed in a car crash with their only daughter. I reached for my hanky

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and upped my mental reply to include a bunch of virtual roses (I was trying to decide if a bottle of plonk would be suitable as well in this instance). She continued by telling me she had 10.5 million Euro in the bank and if I promised to donate it to various charities….I could keep 20% for myself.

I groaned. Yes, it’s what we called in South Africa a 411 letter – they want your name, bank account number, the date you stopped being breast fed, your inside leg measurement and all your pin numbers.

What a disappointment. Off I go to Facebook to do the blocking and reporting thing – DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!  But FB do send you a nice apology don’t they – saying they’re sorry you’ve been subjected to this.

They can’t still be catching people out with this scam surely? Did s/he think I was born yesterday? Well maybe looking at my avatar…?

Now the big question of course is, she’s given me her private email address, so do you think I can add it to my Mailchimp list so she’ll get my monthly newsletter? I’m a bit worried she might unsubscribe.

You can subscribe if you like http://eepurl.com/cBu4Sf