MEET PENNY LUKER

I’m thrilled to welcome my guest this week as this will be one of the most colourful blog posts ever. Penny writes children’s books and the covers are so bright and attractive they jump out at you. And, yes, despite I’m a wrinkly, I’ve read several of them and loved them. Time to meet Penny.

Penny headshot

I think I’ve been a writer all of my life. When I left my job I flicked through years of diaries and found numerous (rather bad) poems on spare pages. Since leaving my paid work, I’ve taken numerous poetry and writing courses and I’ve discovered that writing is a skill where you keep on improving. Nature’s Gold and Autumn Gold are mixed anthologies with a variety of themes but my latest book, The Shadows of Love is an anthology based on the theme of love. It’s not sugar sweet love poems though!

Penny has written 3 poetry books:

mybook.to/AutumnGold     mybook.to/NatureGold    mybook.to/shadowsoflove

One of the most wonderful events in my life has been having grandchildren. I have four and have written a children’s book for each child. The Green Book and Tiny Tyrannosaurus explore family life. They touch on topics such as being greedy and stranger danger, with a sprinkle of added magic. Pablo the Storytelling Bear, tells stories of a wild polar bear and one that lives in the zoo. Following the wild bear allows the reader to become aware of the problems that wild life have to cope with in a changing environment, while the one in the zoo has magic and conversations with other animals. I feel it’s important that children’s books are fun. Desdemona the dragon without any friends, deals with loneliness and how sometimes we don’t see potential friends, because they are different from us. Children love making the sounds that go along with the story. It’s my one and only picture book and I did all the illustrations. It was such fun to do and I learned how to use Photoshop at a beginners level.

mybook.to/GreenBook                                        mybook.to/Tiny  

 

mybook.to/Desdemona                                     mybook.to/PabloSTBear

I attend a weekly writers’ group, The Winsford Writers, and so produce heaps of short stories. There’s another book on the way. Pebble on the Beach and The Mermaid were both published a few years ago. They are anthologies with mixed genres, but next I’m thinking of doing ghost short stories.

Short Stories

mybook.to/TheMermaidShort                            mybook.to/Pebble

The Truth Finder

I’ve also written The Truth Finder, a YA novel about earth in the fifth millennium. It’s about a young man who has the gift to read minds and his struggle to take control his gift. The sequel, ‘The Visualizer’ is nearly finished. I’ve been writing it all summer and I sometimes don’t want to come back to real life.

mybook.to/TruthFinder

Since leaving work I’ve definitely been focusing on my creative side. Apart from the writing I’m learning to play the ukulele and I play the piano after a fashion. I looked up all the old music I love and found easy versions to play.

I’ve also been to many art courses and classes in the last few years. I love doing batik work and painting pictures in wax. Getting messy doing printing or any form of painting is just such fun. Occasionally I produce something that someone actually wants to put on the wall. My favourite subjects are life and figure drawing and portraits. Sometimes I think that one will make a great character for one of my stories.

In real life, I help to care for some family members who are not too well, but I’m also a strong believer in life long learning. I enjoy meeting new people from all walks of life and discovering new facts, techniques and songs. Perhaps I’m a true Gemini, butterfly!

It’s great to meet another writer who crosses genres – it goes to prove if you are a writer, you can write anything!

You can find out more about Penny and her books here:

Author Blog   www.pennyluker.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page   author.to/PennyLuker

Thank you so much for being my guest this week.

Till next time, take care.

 

 

 

 

 

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MEET TOM JOHNSON

A warm welcome to this week’s guest Tom Johnson. Reading a little about his life it has been anything but boring!

Tom Johnson was born July 26 1940 in Seymour, Texas. His dad was a cowboy and cook, giving his family an itinerant lifestyle. Tom changed schools often, as his dad’s jobs were relocated. His dad wanted him to follow in his footsteps, but a cowboy’s life didn’t appeal to him. Instead, during his high school years, Tom dreamed about becoming an entomologist. He loved biology and math, but was weak in other subjects. He read every book he could find on insects, reptiles, and arachnids, as well as paleontology.  His dream was simple – buy an old car and small mobile home that he could pull behind the car and set up in the desert where he could study the animal life. Having something of a raw artistic talent, he wanted to write and illustrate books recording the life cycles of desert animal life.

However, his life changed when he joined the Army and spent a 20-year career in law enforcement. Afterwards, he and his wife started the publishing imprint of FADING SHADOWS, and published a hobby magazine for 22 years, and several genre titles for nine years.

Fading Shadows Books http://fadingshadowsbooks.blogspot.com

Tom Johnson

They published writers and artists from all over the world, and met many of the publishers, editors, authors, and artists from the pulp magazines of the 1930s and ‘40s. One of those he met was Walter Gibson, a writer and magician who created the famous character The Shadow. Tom had been a fan of The Shadow radio drama as a child, and later found the novels. Gibson wrote almost 300 Shadow novels, as well as helping bring the character to radio and comic books. They corresponded until Walter’s death.

Tom was a voracious reader from an early age, beginning with comic books at age 7 and reading novels by age 10 or 11. He has never stopped reading for pleasure, though his interest in genres have often switched from SF to western, to hardboiled detectives, the classics, and back to science fiction again over the years. In his own writing readers will often find something about his love of zoology, whether insects, reptiles, or saber-tooth cats. Tom had a stroke in March 2002. Now retired, they devote their time to keeping Tom’s books in print, as well as helping promote other writers.

PENTAX Image

They settled in Tom’s hometown of Seymour, Texas, home of the Whiteside Museum of Natural History, and the red-bed digs near the town where Permian fossils have been discovered for over a hundred years. A 250 million year old amphibian, the Seymouria, was discovered in the red-beds and is named after Seymour. One of the main predators of the Permian was a large finback reptile called a Dimetrodon, and a statue is displayed outside the museum. Several of Tom’s books are on hand in the museum.

PENTAX Image

With over 80 books in print that he has contributed to, Tom has slowed down now. He is still writing children stories while promoting his books still on the market. Plus, he still has hopes of one day seeing his short novel, Pangaea: Eden’s Planet, made into a film.

Pangaea: Eden’s Planet: Seven astronauts en route to Mars encounter a time warp in space that disables their ship. Crash landing back on Earth, they discover an alien planet sixty million years before the dinosaurs. Pangaea, the super continent, is filled with danger and terror, as they must survive against fierce reptiles that ruled the Earth 250 million years in the past! Surviving in a prehistoric world gone mad where even the environment can turn against you, survival is all you think about. But even in the harshest of times, two people will find their destiny in an Eden modern man cannot imagine.

There are lots of places where you can connect with Tom:-

Tom’s Blog http://pulplair.blogspot.com

Tom’s Face Book Page https://www.facebook.com/tomginger.johnson

Tom’s Books http://jur1.brinkster.net/index.html

Tom’s Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008MM81CM

ALTUS PRESS http://www.altuspress.com 

Thank you Tom Johnson for being my guest today.

 

 

 

MEET CHRIS-JEAN CLARKE

This week my guest is Chris-Jean Clarke who lives in England, but has strong literary connections in the United States.

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Chris-Jean Clarke grew up in the West-Midlands (UK), but now resides in South Staffordshire (UK) with her husband, Geoff and children, Nathan and Kyrsten.

Prior to giving birth to her two beautiful children Chris-Jean worked for twenty years with people with learning and physical disabilities.

She studied the art of writing children’s stories @The Writing School, Oxford Open Learning.

Chris-Jean also donates stories & poems twice yearly to the Peacock Writers to benefit various charities. (NB She does not publish her

contributions in any other form.)  9781497384699_p0_v2_s260x420The Peacock Writers are a group of independent writers from around the globe & each of our anthologies are written around a given theme.

I have contributed to nine books, so far, but the book I would strongly recommend is: Springtime Bullies: Special Illustrated Edition (The Peacock Writers Present) (Volume 6)

http://thepeacockwriters.weebly.com/

 

In November 2016, Chris-Jean was accepted as a paid reviewer for Readers’ Favorite. During this month she was also accepted as a Publishing Assistant for the Books4Kids program, South Dakota.

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Early 2018, Chris-Jean transitioned from Publishing Assistant to author with the release of her educational story: To Dye For. To Dye For was accepted for its entertaining look at esteem. Interested readers can purchase the eBook from BookRix.com or any of the major online stores, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes, whilst the paperback version of this book is currently gifted to children in schools across America, but can also be purchased from our website: PS Publishing & the Books 4 Kids Program
https://www.publishps.com/retail-store.html   

August 2018, Chris-Jean re-released her historical fiction story: Honesty in World War 2. This story is told from ten-year-old Cyril Blessum’s perspective and is currently available to purchase as an eBook, and is available to purchase from BookRix.com and all the major online stores, such as Amazon, GooglePlay and Barnes & Noble.

Caleb Pirtle

2016, Honesty in World War 2  received a 5 star editorial review by Sarah Stuart for Readers’ Favorite and was showcased by Linda and Caleb Pirtle on their website as a Saturday Sampler:

https://calebandlindapirtle.com/saturday-sampler-honesty-in-world-war-2-by-

Since its re-release in 2018, Honesty in World War 2 has also been showcased on Pulp Den by author, historian and war veteran, Tom Johnson:
https://pulplair.blogspot.com/2018/08/honesty-in-world-war-2.htmlchris-jean-clarke/ 

You can connect with Chris-Jean at any of the links below.

Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Jean-Clarke/e/B00JZX8GIQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1537080616&sr=8-2
BookRix: https://www.bookrix.com/_ebook-chris-jean-clarke-to-dye-for/
BookRix: https://www.bookrix.com/_ebook-chris-jean-clarke-honesty-in-world-war-2/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/authorchrisjeanclarke

Thank you for being my guest this week .

 

MEET JUDY PENZ SHELUK

My guest this week is Judy Penz Sheluk who writes in one of the most popular genres – crime mysteries. I’ve not read her books yet, but after now, they are firmly on my TBR list.  Great news is that her latest book is out tomorrow – just in time to snap up for the weekend.

Judy at local festival

Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short stories appear in several collections.

Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime – Guppies, Sisters in Crime – Toronto, International Thriller Writers, Inc., the South Simcoe Arts Council, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves on the Board of Directors, representing Toronto/Southwestern Ontario. She splits her time between Alliston, Ontario, and her property on Lake Superior, with her husband, Mike, and their golden retriever, Gibbs.

Gibbs enjoys the view

As an author, I get asked a lot of questions. One of the most popular is, “Where do you get your ideas?” While each author’s answer will vary, I typically reply “From life,” and then I’ll usually cite the premise behind my 2015 debut novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose:

 

A greedy developer comes to town with plans to build a mega-box store on the fictional town of Lount’s Landing’s historic Main Street, thereby threatening the livelihoods of all the indie businesses. That one was inspired by the goings-on in my actual town of Holland Landing (with one major exception: no one in my town was murdered over it).

The idea for my latest book, Past & Present, however, was inspired by death. Gosh that sounds macabre doesn’t it? And yet, it really isn’t. You see, I was trying to come up with a plot for book two in my Marketville Mystery series (the sequel to Skeletons in the Attic) and I was completely stuck. And then, on September 21, 2016, my mother, Anneliese Penz, passed away after a lengthy battle with COPD and a multitude of other health-related issues.

 

Going through her bedroom closet, I came upon a train case, the sort of case you’d have taken for toiletries and the like back in the 1950s. Tucked inside were a variety of documents, including her passport and immigration papers from 1952, documents from the ocean liner she came from England to Canada on (the TSS Canberra), old pictures and postcards…well, you get the idea. The thing is, I’d never seen any of these things before, and my mom never talked much of her life before coming to Canada to marry my father. In short, it was a mystery and the writer in me had to know more. I couldn’t ask my dad: he’d passed away from stomach cancer in 1970 at the age of 42.

I decided to start by researching the Canberra, reaching out to a friend who collects ocean liner memorabilia, and before long, a story was brewing. The end result was Past & Present, and while the story is fiction, the research undertaken by my present-day protagonist, Callie Barnstable, mirrors my own, right down to the occasional (and frustrating) roadblock as she digs into the past of one Anneliese Prei, who came to a “bad end” in 1956.

I’ve dedicated Past & Present to my mother, and the release date falls exactly two years after her passing. I like to think she’s with my father again, watching over me as my journey continues. It’s not exactly like life on an ocean liner, but some days it feels every bit as turbulent as a wild storm at sea…

About the book

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…

It’s been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.

It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone—least of all Callie—could have predicted.

Judy Penz Sheluk’s latest book in her Marketville Mystery series launches Sept. 21st and is available on Amazon in trade paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited: http://authl.it/afj

I checked out Judy’s  amazon author page and see she has written quite a few books – so lots for me to add to the list.  You can also find her on her web page at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.

Thank you Judy for being my guest.

 

MEET SUZIE ALBRACHT

suzie albricht

Suzie was another of the authors featured in the author promo on Facebook recently.  I’m so pleased to have her as a guest today and thanks to Hannah Howe for organising this amazing roundup of new writers, many I had not met before.  Now you have a chance to meet another one.

 

 

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day 6 independent

All Judy’s books can be found on her Amazon author page.

https://www.amazon.com/Suzi-Albracht/e/B00PB1JNLK

Thank you Judy.

MEET JANE BWYE

mypic

Now I have hosted Jane before but she has a new book out this week and I want to share that news with you.  (The fact that she says nice things about me has nothing to do with it – honest!)  This is what Jane wrote.

THE AGONY OF REJECTION

For Lucinda Clarke’s blog

Lucinda – thank you for hosting me today. I love your zany attitude to life and I admire your tenacity. It’s the only way to be in this world.

We both share a love of Africa, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed living with you through your Amie books, savouring again the sights and sounds of the country I still call my home. Let me introduce your readers to my two Africa books, written more in traditional historical fiction style. Each one is a standalone, even though some characters are shared between them.

breath of africa - 1.66mb

My first novel took me over thirty years to write – well, I admit that I started it in the mid 1970’s, and then family matters got in the way, so I had to put it on the back-burner until I came to live in the UK and wallowed in nostalgia. Then I suffered the agony of 72 rejections (and that didn’t count those agents/publishers who never bothered to reply). I was just about to give up, when I landed a publisher. Yes – persistence, does pay!

It was nominated for The Guardian First Book Award 2013 and has been compared with the works of Doris Lessing and Wilbur Smith. It covers thirty years of Kenya’s history from the Mau Mau days of the 1950’s, unfolding through the lives of Caroline, a privileged woman from the fertile highlands, and Charles Ondiek, a farm labourer with dreams of an Oxford education. It can be read as a love story, a psychological thriller, or as an exploration into the interactions of people of different races. Superstition and Christian faith clash. And the stunning beauty of the country is a major character in itself.

Final cover

21st century Kenya is an entirely different country.  I went back there to research for my second novel. It’s a story of social contrast against the backdrop of modern day Kenya, with its vibrant, chaotic capital, its beautiful scenery and exotic wildlife. Emily is an AIDS orphan, and two friends, Sam and Paul, form an inter-racial love triangle. Emily’s path crosses with Ouma, a beggar, who is not quite what he seems (the film Slumdog Millionaire gave me the idea), and she falls victim to a predatory stalker…

Here is a snippet to remind you of Africa as it will always be:

Emily went out by herself to savour the magic of their special place… Reaching a bend in the game path, she looked to her left.

There was a loud snort of concern. A wildebeest stood poised for flight. They eyed each other, frozen with tension. He was big; he tossed his horns and stamped a foot, then snorted again. Emily stood her ground and so did he. Only a few yards separated them, and a feeling of unease spread through her… If she retreated, the animal would chase her down. She held her breath, and eyed the surrounding long grass looking for an escape route – and the wildebeest lowered its head. To her great relief, it continued sedately on its way across her path. She had broken the confrontation, and it no longer saw her as a threat.

wildebeeste

For one long moment she had been a mere creature out there facing danger, tasting the fear experienced by wild animals every moment of their vulnerable lives.

********

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I have now ventured into waters new. It was a steep learning curve for me as I struggled with the change from writing novels to non-fiction. This little handbook follows the basic format of a simple business plan, which I have used to mentor clients over the past fifteen years. It is applicable to any type of business, anywhere.  Most of it is just old-fashioned common sense, but when you start a new venture, common sense seems to go out of the window. And because I love telling stories, it is illustrated with anecdotes taken from the experiences of my clients.

A reviewer has described it thus: “Business mentor Jane Bwye has written a fantastic new guide for anyone considering starting up their own business.  It reads like Jane is sitting right there beside you, explaining the various points to consider, and giving tips & advice on starting up a new company.”

Universal Amazon links:

Grass Shoots: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MRAG2F3

Breath of Africa: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B00BOAK0FA

Going It Alone: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07DN2RRXD

Jane Bwye lived for 55 years in Kenya. She has been an intermittent free-lance journalist most of her life. Her large family, scattered over three continents, are a good excuse for her to indulge in travelling. A former teacher, and owner of several small businesses over the years, she works as a business mentor for small business start-ups.

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Bwye/e/B00BOK0NN4/

Website: http://janebwye.com/

Thank you so much for being my guest Jane. And do please download and read her books. I adore them, and with her novels I can visit Africa again in an instant.

Till next time, take care.