MEET MARY L SCHMIDT

Today my guest is one of my favourite authors and I’m so pleased to welcome her to my blog. She has won so many awards with her first book that it’s becoming difficult to read the title on the cover! I read and reviewed her book and was overwhelmed with what she went through, I sobbed my way through it! But it has a happy ending as Mary is one of life’s survivors (whoops, was that a spoiler?) Learn more about this amazing lady.

 

Circa2011

Mary Schmidt writes under the pen name of S. Jackson and her husband, Michael, writes under the pen name of A. Raymond. Both grew up in the middle of Kansas, and they are eclectic authors having written 15 books thus far. They enjoy traveling, reading, poker, enjoying the mountains, and playing with two year old grandson, Austin.

I knew I would write a book eventually back in 1990. That year was a rough one for me and my family personally, and I’ve kept journals most of my life. I had many stories to tell but I wasn’t quite ready, mentally or emotionally, in going headlong into a 376 page book. When 2013 rolled around, I knew then that I was going to put words and stories from my journals into digital format.

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The hardest and most difficult part initially was actually going into and reading my journals from 1989 – 1990 as my first book is Non-Fiction/Spiritual in nature. I knew my book had to be written and I knew the many messages in my book needed to be published, so that hopefully I could help others through difficult times in their lives or the lives of others they knew. The timing was right as I had left nursing in December 2012. My first book was extremely difficult since the stories were real. Some days I could write one sentence and then I was done for the day. Other days I could write more.  From that was born When Angels Fly. From now through the end of October, When Angels Fly is 0.99 cents!

I have three books I would like to touch on in this post. These are books for children and I saw that Mary got a bronze medal from Reader’s Favorite for The Big cheese Festival. 

Awards:

2016 New Apple Official Selection E-Book Award

2016 Ring of Honor Circle of Books Silver Second Place Award

2016 McGrath House Independent Book Awards Finalist

2016 Number One Amazon Best Seller

2016 Reader’s Favorite Five Stars

2017 Literary Titan Silver 2nd Place Award

These are the American links for Mary’s books.

When Angels Fly https://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B017UNVWDI

The Big cheese Festival – a book for children about bullying.

http://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B01H3S381O

Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth, KS 150th Birthday

http://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B072TPMDRH

Mary, it’s been great having you as a guest this week.

 

 

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FRANCE AND FALSEHOODS

TRAVEL SECTION

Well, it’s a whole month already since my birthday, but I promised I would share my adventures with you as it was a bitter/sweet experience.

I’d been waiting in great excitement for the big moment when DH would ask me what I’d like as a present and I had my answer all ready.

blonde wig

 

I wanted proper publicity photos, taken at one of those places which provided the wigs, the warpaint, and the Photoshop experts. I would then burst forth onto Facebook and other places with my long, golden locks flowing over my shoulders looking 25 years old with ‘go to bed’ eyes the size of flying saucers.

It was not to be. Instead, he waved the bed and breakfast booking for 3 nights in Carcassone. This would have been my second choice and I was looking forward to visiting the medieval walled city in south-west France.

We set off in the car very early in the morning and after a few hours realized we were in France. We’d stayed on the motorway (the tolls were horrendous) but it cut the journey by hours. We whipped round the Pyrenees and reached Carcassone in the late afternoon. We had a bit of a battle with the GPS as it insisted on trying to take us down a pedestrian street to the B&B. Later, we discovered that everyone else drove down these walk only streets! We found a teeny, weeny parking place right outside the door, but by the time DH had maneuvered the Tank (that’s what I call his truck thingie) into the minute space there wasn’t room to put tissue paper between the bumpers.

The B&B was lovely, though by the time I’d climbed the 3 flights of tiny, windy stairs I was exhausted.

Now to my mind, a castle is in a town right? Not in Carcassone. The town is one side of the river and the castle is on the other, very strange I thought. The first evening we took a gentle stroll into the town, and had a highly priced coffee.

We also popped into a church and had a look round.

Next morning we planned to go to the castle, but I began to have my doubts – and this is where the bitter part comes in. It was perched somewhere up in the clouds!! DH goes mountain walking in the winter, and it was no problem for him. I, on the other hand, see no necessity to walk farther than from the front door to the car.

I huffed and puffed up this HUGE hill – honestly nearer to a mountain – with not a coffee shop open until finally, we got to the top. Imagine my fury when I saw a car park right next to the castle! I was totally exhausted by the time we made it up there, and it didn’t look as if there was any public transport going back down either! I’d not planned a workout on my special day. I was too tired to take photos of the steepest bit. More next week.

HISTORY TWADDLE

Now George V was probably a little worried about keeping his seat on the throne. Not only had his cousin Tsar Nicholas of Russia been cruelly disposed of, Kaiser Willhelm II of Germany also got the boot. George and his wife May had 5 sons and a daughter and he is quoted as saying “My father was frightened of his mother, I was frightened of my father, and I am damned well going to see to it that my children are frightened of me.” GEORGE v PLUS WIFE

See, I told you he wasn’t a very nice person. His sons were quite terrified of him. Yet, and this is a spin doctor’s dream – on his father’s death he wrote in his diary “I have lost my best friend and the best of fathers … I never had a [cross] word with him in my life. I am heart-broken and overwhelmed with grief but God will help me in my responsibilities and darling May will be my comfort as she has always been. May God give me strength and guidance in the heavy task which has fallen on me.”  Somebody’s telling porkies! (London Cockney rhyming slang – pork pies = lies).

 

THE ADD BREAK

By the time you read this Amie: Cut for Life book 4 will be off the pre-order and you can take a peep in the look inside. Book one is also available in audio.

You can find them all here on my Web page – http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Till next week take care.

 

 

MEET TRACY BLACK

I was so pleased when Tracy agreed to be a guest on my blog as I really admire her books. She’s what is now called a hybrid – both traditionally and indie published. But it’s the story of her tremendous courage and how she survived her childhood abuse that is so amazing.

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Hi, my author name is Tracy Black – yes, a pseudonym. It’s sad that I have to remain invisible. Why? For legal reasons seemingly, but a lot of readers, old and new, know the real ‘me’. I was only five years old when my mother was hospitalised for the first of many occasions, leaving me in the care of my father. His behaviour, seemingly overnight, changed from indifferent to violently abusive and, for the next seven years, I was sexually and physically abused by my father, his friends, and my own brother. All of the men were in the British Armed Forces.

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Tracy’s father compounded the abuse by sending her to babysit for his paedophile friends – whilst their own children slept in other rooms, these men would find excuses to leave later or return earlier than their wives in order to abuse her, with her own father’s blessing. When she sought help and safety the doors were closed as the authorities closed ranks.
In this shocking and compelling book, Tracy Black pieces together the jigsaw of a story that has haunted her for the past forty years. She reveals the horrific betrayal of trust perpetrated by men who were considered upstanding citizens and heroes.
Tracy’s tale reminds us all of the terrible ways in which paedophiles work and the secrets too many children are forced to carry alone. It is only now that she can tell her full story of recovery.

3dbookmother

Tracy continues her shocking story by telling how her mother closed her eyes to the cruelty, treating her little girl with cold indifference. Heartbreakingly Tracy traded her innocence for the love of her mother – love which was never given, no matter how much she suffered. As Tracy approached adulthood, she risked being trapped in damaging sexual relationships. But after years of struggle, she found the courage to break out of her past and turn her life around.

Tracy’s third novel is called Things Fall Apart.

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It’s an emotional journey of awakening, through broken trust, heartbreak, and family conflict. Despite being at the depths of despair, in the face of adversity, there is always a belief in the promise of a hopeful future. This is a coming of age story with a difference. Thirty-five-year-old single mother Mandy is forced to mature and grow up quickly in this incredible chronicle that takes us from the blindness of naivety into pain, despair and eventually, at great cost, the maturity of hard-won wisdom.
Set in the mid-nineteen-eighties in Edinburgh, a city dubbed as the drug’s capital of Europe, a place where Mandy faces a mother’s worst nightmare. The warning signs are staring her in the face, but at first, she doesn’t heed them. All she wants to do is love, nurture and protect her family, but despite all her efforts she has to stand by, watching helplessly as it fragments, and things fall apart. How does she bring things to a peaceful conclusion? Is it even possible?

tracey 2

 

Adult survivors of any PTSD may find Coping Mechanisms a blessing in disguise as it incorporates stories of surviving adults and how they get through flashbacks.

 I hope you take the time to read some of my work. Please feel free to email about everything and anything.

tracyblack05@gmail.com

Links to all the above books can be found on my Amazon Author page Author.to/myAmazonpage

https://tracyblackauthor.wordpress.com/never-a-hero-to-me/

Thank you so much, Tracy, it’s been an honour to have you on the blog and having read your books I cannot recommend them highly enough.

If any authors would like to be featured on my Thursday Guest Blog, please pm me on Facebook, or you can write to me lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com.

Till next time take care.

 

BIG TRIP AND BLURB

The Big Trip was nearly over and even though I love our little rabbit hutch, I was still not ready to go home after 2 months. I adored the warm climate in Singapore and I was not looking forward to February in Spain.

steak house

For our last meal we went back to our roots and had huge steaks in the Black Angus Steakhouse – though to be honest, since we left South Africa I’ve yet to have as good a steak as we ate there. The steak was OK, the price was horrendous!

Then it was off to the airport – as smart, clean and efficient as the rest of the country and we were on our way home.

Our next trip would be seven months later, but that’s for next time.

HISTORY

I really have my doubts about this king, George V. I read that two months after the end of the war, the King’s youngest son, John died at the age of 13 after a lifetime of ill health.

PRINCE JOHN

George was informed of his death by Queen Mary, who wrote, “[John] had been a great anxiety to us for many years … The first break in the family circle is hard to bear but people have been so kind & sympathetic & this has helped us much.”

This poor little prince who suffered from epilepsy was hidden away from the public and ignored by the rest of the family. It was thought he was autistic and they didn’t want him to embarrass them in public. ­­­­­Prince Edward, who was eleven years older than his brother and had hardly known John, saw his death as “little more than a regrettable nuisance.”

That is so terribly sad.

 

MY BOOKS

I’ve decided this week I won’t tell you I write books and I’m trying to sell them and I want new readers to sign up for my newsletter  http://eepurl.com/cBu4Sf   and buy my latest brilliant book on the last few days of its pre-order so I’m not going to put the link in for that either.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07545M9DB

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07545M9DB

Till next time, take care.

 

A SERIOUS IN BETWEEN POST

Just for once this is a serious post as I want to raise awareness of something that is going on in dozens of countries, including the United States and many places in Europe. It’s a theme I chose for my latest book and the more I researched it the more horrified I became. FGM is a topic only ever discussed behind closed doors, many people have never even heard of it.  

Then this popped up on my timeline on Facebook. It’s written by Serena Cairns and personalizes the fears and feelings of a young girl. It tore at my heart and I think it will tear at yours too. How long must we wait for men and women to be regarded as humans, different, but equal? Women are not possessions neither should they be second class citizens.

With reference to your latest novel, Lucinda, I thought you might like this very short piece.

My name is unimportant. I am twelve years of age. Today, I am to become a woman.

I must submit to tradition; endure humiliation and pain at the hands of those I love.

I am told that I am to be cut, but this is not Africa or Egypt, or India. This is England, and I do not live in ignorance. I know.

Today, I shall have my arms tightly clasped behind me, be pinned down on a stool, naked and afraid, my legs prized apart and held by those I have trusted.

It is no use screaming. Neighbours and passers-by will not hear me above the hi-fi and TV. I cannot ask for help in a world full of strangers.

A woman I do not know will kneel before me, light reflecting off the blade in her hand. I shall feel excruciating pain, feel the warmth and smell the blood, whilst I am held, hacked and mutilated.

If I struggle, I put my life at risk. A severed artery is all it takes.

I’m told I should be proud. I’m told I must be thankful my parents see fit to follow tradition.

I do not understand why I should be glad.
I know only that I risk infection and impairment to my walking.
I know to expect painful periods and incontinence as I grow older.

When I marry, I must be cut again to allow my husband penetration.

When I give birth, again I must be opened and risk painful tearing. Perhaps my husband will insist I be re-stitched between children.

I shall be deprived of my sexuality.

I am afraid.
I do not want to become this woman, this adult.
I do not want to feel the searing pain down there. Not now, not ever.

I want to run, to hide but there is nowhere to go, nowhere where they will not find me.
Who can I tell?
How can I turn against my mother, my family, my culture?
How can I betray them? I cannot.

Where is the reason?
Where is my consolation?
Where is justice?
They are not here.

Today, I am to become a woman.

Serena was aware of FGM long before I ever heard about this cruel practice. It has no medical benefits and appears in no religious teachings.

Please spread the word, education is the key to help stop this inhumane practice. Even in North America, it’s still perfectly legal in many states and there have been very, very few convictions for those adults who mutilate young girls. Over a hundred cases are reported by the British National Health Service every week and so far there has not been one conviction. Many people are not even aware of it. Two million young girls worldwide are at risk.

It’s simply heartbreaking.

 

MEET SARAH JANE BUTFIELD

This month is a trip down memory lane for me as Sarah is another long-time Facebook friend. It must be at least 3 years since I read her first book. She not only writes books but runs her own promotion company as well and is a great friend to other indie authors.

sarah jane

Hi Lucinda and thank you for inviting me to your blog.

Over the last few months, aside from pursuing my writing and publishing goals and ambitions, I have been dealing with some happy and sad family events. The happy events include the arrival of a further 3 grandchildren and the sad events include a family bereavement and some challenges involving our precious dogs.

Anyway back to all things ‘writing and publishing’!

I have been nicknamed, ‘The Accidental Author’ for a very good reason, hence why I used it as the title for the first book in the self-help new author series. I started writing my first travel memoir as a cathartic exercise after we lost our home, business and pretty much everything in the Brisbane floods in 2011. I had for many years longed to write a romantic fiction novel, not with any thoughts of having it published, I was purely focused on the writing of it. As a young adult, I was hooked on Mills & Boon love stories and I felt sure that I had a love story to share. At that time, and right up until after I published my debut book Glass Half Full, I had no idea what I had got myself into and how addictive the self-publishing and writing to be self-published would become.

sarah pic 1

Glass Half Full: Our Australian Adventure, my debut travel memoir, and the award-winning sequel Two dogs and a suitcase: Clueless in Charente, are regularly found high in the Amazon rankings in categories including; Parenting, Grief, Christian faith, Step-parenting, Travel and France. My culinary memoir, Our Frugal Summer in Charente was voted as one of the ‘Top 50 self-published books worth reading in 2015’.

Sarah has also written memoirs about her time working as a nurse.

Sarah Jane, the roving Florence Nightingale, has had a successful career as a qualified nurse and used her nursing and later her teaching qualifications to take her across the world. Her new nursing memoir books are part of The Nomadic Nurse Series which started with the multi-award-winning Ooh Matron! Published  in September 2015. Book two, Bedpans to Boardrooms was published in February 2017.

Sarah has also taken a sideways step into publishing for other indie authors. She published the first three books in a series of self-help literature primarily aimed at aspiring and debut self-published authors, but which are frequently referred to and complimented on by established authors who are leaving traditional publishing houses and contracts and entering the indie or hybrid world of publishing.

Book one is permanently free as Sarah Jane wants everyone who has a story to share to be inspired and believe that it is possible to self-publish a book whatever you hope to achieve by doing that, it is called The Accidental Author, which has become Sarah Jane’s nickname on the motivational speaker circuit which she has now taken a foothold in.

She says: From a writing perspective, I am working on book 4 in the self-help author series called, ‘The Accomplished Authorpreneur,’ where I take the authors up a level in their skill set to achieve global exposure and maximise sales.

I am also developing an author coaching service with my Rukia Publishing partner Margaret Daly who is based in New York, to provide a ‘marketing for indies’ coaching course with an optional ‘Done for You’ service including educational packages to enable authors to learn how to successfully promote themselves and their books online and in their local area.

As always I would love to hear from readers, authors and bloggers who are interested in finding out more about my books and my writing, the publishing and marketing services that we offer at Rukia Publishing and from anyone who would like to get involved as a reader, reviewer, blogger, etc.

A little bit about Sarah:

Author Sarah Jane Butfield was born in Ipswich and raised in rural Suffolk, UK. Sarah Jane is a wife, mother, qualified nurse and now an international bestselling author. Married three times with four children, three stepchildren, and four grandchildren, she an experienced modern-day mum to her ‘Brady Bunch’, but she loves every minute of their convoluted lives.

Author website www.sarahjanebutfield.com   Connect with Sarah Jane on social media:  Twitter  @SarahJanewrites   @SJButfield     @GlassHalfFullTM  @TwoDogsMemoir

@FrugalSummer

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahJaneButfield

www.facebook.com/Twodogsandasuitcase

www.facebook.com/OurFrugalSummerinCharente

www.facebook.com/Ooh-Matron-1646665865549530/timeline/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/rukia_publishing/

 Blogs:  Sarah Jane’s Writing Blog http://sarahjanebutfield-glass-half-full.blogspot.co.uk/

Sarah Jane’s Blog at Rukia http://www.rukiapublishing.com/sarah-janes-blog

Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, competitions and sneak previews – http://eepurl.com/0IuML  

Support and networking for authors provided by Sarah Jane:

http://www.rukiapublishing.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RukiaPublishing

https://www.facebook.com/promotingauthors

Does anyone remember the old days when we all had one address? Now, I ‘m showing my age.

Thank you, Sarah, there is lots to explore in the links and book above.

 

 

 

 

 

MUSEUM AND MISCHIEF

Now I’ll post general pictures of Singapore here as we spent a whole afternoon in the National Museum of Singapore and I don’t think you were allowed to take pictures in there. Honestly, these places have come a long way since I was dragged around them as a child.

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We followed the exhibits which told the story of Singapore from pre-historic times to the present day. It’s amazing how quickly it was developed from a small area covered in jungle with a population living in poverty to one of the most successful and thriving countries in the world.

Photo: Marcin Konsek

It was accomplished under a dictatorship, but then general elections were called and the People’s Action Party has won every election since 1959. The dominance of the ruling party, coupled with a low level of press freedom and restrictions on civil liberties and political rights has led to Singapore being classified by some as a semi-authoritarian regime.

I can’t comment on that, but comparing it to a communist country like Vietnam, the people here appeared happy and relaxed unlike those in Ho Chi Min City and, this is one regime where they have drastically improved the lives of their people as far as I could see – unlike most dictatorships which only enrich themselves.

HISTORY – A TRUE BIT (for a change)

King_George_V_of_the_United_Kingdom_as_a_boy,_1870

Looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth yes? Well, it has come to light that it was not the British government who refused to give sanctuary to the Tsar of Russia and his family, the British Secret service was planning a rescue when the King himself went back on his promise to help them. Consequently, they were murdered in the most brutal fashion and not once did George V show any remorse. Thus, he is one of my least favourite kings and I suggest you don’t like him either.

 

 

 

 

THE AD BREAK

Amie 4 is up on pre-order   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07545M9DB

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07545M9DB

And you can get it cheap at only $/£ 0.99 but the day after it will go up to  $/£ 1,596.98 – so if you grab it now, it’s a huge bargain!

Amie 4 Front 100 dpi v8

Once again Amie finds herself in hot water.

They told Amie it was a simple look, listen and report back mission, but from the beginning, everything went wrong. She is stalked across borders, the aid workers act suspiciously, she’s assaulted, and abandoned in a rural African hut miles from anywhere. What has happened to her partner Simon and can she trust the charismatic Frenchman who befriends her? The discovery of an ancient tribal tradition and a group of young children to rescue, test her skills to the limit. For the first time, she is prepared to kill to protect the innocent caught up in an international sex trade.

Till next time, take care.