Friday, 29 May 2015

The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living by Lacey Lane

Here is my 4 star review for Lacey Lanes guide:

The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living by Lacey Lane

I pride myself on being quite frugal (of course I picked this book up during a free give away!), so I was interested what I could gain from this guide. I believe that there is always room for improvement, so I would recommend you read this guide as I did with a note pad beside you. The book is divided in short clear chapters that have tips on a certain topic. A lot of them are common sense, but I did pick up a few tips. One thing I immediately implemented was to fill my half empty freezer with recycled ice cream boxes full of water. There are some helpful links to websites but I’ve could have done with more. Especially on the subject of making your own cleaning products and cosmetics. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to live more environmentally friendly, safe some money and is maybe a little new to the world of frugal living.

Skin Cage by Nico Laeser

This week I had the pleasure of reading a great book that thoroughly deserved it five stars.

Skin cage by Nico Laeser

A good book in my opinion is a book that engages its reader, provokes emotions and can be hard to put down. If it is beautiful, well written and leaves you sitting open-mouthed in awe at the end, than it is a great book. This is a great book. We see the world through Danny’s eyes. Left in an apparently vegetative state by a parasite, he is trapped in his cage of skin, unable to communicate. We get to understand his world as various characters in his life appear before him. Loss, love, anger and death are some of the themes explored. The subject matter is not an easy one but Mr Leaser has handled it sensitively while still creating an easy to read book. Short chapters with a good pace kept me engaged to the very end. The chapters themselves have rather unique headers. Never dipping into sentimentality and a good dose of humour made this a well-balanced story. I cared for the main character Danny a lot; despite his predicament and suffering he retains great humanity. Hope is the main sentiment I take away from this book. Things might seem futile, but if you persevere and be a caring human being, you might be doing more than you realise. Can’t wait to read more of this author and I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Interview with author D.Avraham

 The release date of the Anthology has been set for the 11th of July. I've already pre-ordered my copy on Amazon, you can do this too via the following link:
You're not Alone Anthology
So here is the next interview with one of the authors. I think I'm up on the 3rd of June. Probably will have to wear dark glasses after that and seek counselling about how to cope with fame:)

Interview with Author D. Avraham, contributor to charitable anthology “You’re Not Alone”

Youre Not Alone 3d inamge (1)Today I’m welcoming Author D. Avraham whom I’ve met through our work for “You’re Not Alone”, an anthology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care.
Twenty-seven writers from around the world, including myself have entered an assortment of short stories for your pleasure, show your support by liking the new page on Facebook and expressing an interest in buying the book.

You’ll find the book on your Amazon for per-order via these links:
You’ll find the Facebook page here:

And here is the fund, in loving memory of Pamela Mary Winton

Welcome to my blog. Tell us, how did you come to writing?davraham

The first time I decided to write, I was six or seven.  I wrote and illustrated a children’s book (obviously) called “Zero and the Case of the Missing Vase.”  I still have it.  My Mom saved everything.   I’ve been writing since.
That said, I took a break from trying to sell my stuff for about fifteen years.  After I served in the army, I wrote my first novel, Off Wire.  That was in the age when you wrote on a typewriter, remember those days?  Anyway, I actually travelled to New York and went to every publishing house I could find, but there weren’t any takers.  That was also at the time of the first big publishing crunch, and no one gave me the time of day.  There was no such thing as Indie publishing, only what was called Vanity publishing, and that was way out of my price range.  So, I put the manuscript away.  I kept writing, and sold the occasional short story or poem, but I never really went into it full force, until I wrote Foundation Stone.  That’s when I started relearning about the industry, and started putting more of an effort in to get published.
Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?
Yes.  I’ve already mentioned my Mom.  She was always a big supporter.  As far as influence, I’ve been influenced by everything I’ve read – good and bad.  I always loved the way stories could effect me,  and there was also a counter-need to express what was effecting me.
When did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)?
I didn’t.  And still don’t.  The stories and the genre’s choose mecover for offwire
Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?
Well, the Shepherd King Series grew out of stories I would tell my kids.  I would take the Biblical stories about King David, and try and make them accessible to them.  At some point I decided to try and do that on a wider scale.  Other stories come from some “Other Source,” cover621X810
You have created great characters. Which one is your favourite?
I love all my characters – even the bad guys.  They all have something redeeming about them.  Right now, my current favourite is Queen, the detective from the Dystopia.  In part, because he’s in my head the most now.  But, he’s this hard boiled cynic that wants to not care, but you know he really does.  Those are the type of characters I like the most.  Uriyah in the Foundation Stone is a lot like him, as is the hooker in “A Special Evening,” the story for the Charity Anthology.
Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
the characters all have pieces of me, or more accurately they reflect some aspect of who I am, even if I’m not so aware of it.  It’s the same thing with reading other people’s works.  The good stories are the ones where you discover some dimension about yourself that you didn’t know was there.
What is your main reason for writing?
Because I have to. cover
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
The best is the first writing, the discovery of the story.  Even rewriting and drafting can be exciting and fun.  The worst aspect is the business end.  I have to push myself to do all the marketing and promoting, and selling and social media stuff.
How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?
Balance?  Hahahaha.  Who said I was balanced?
What do you do when you don’t write?
Actually, I’m writing even when I’m not writing.  I even have a notepad by my bed if I get an idea or something.  I have a lot of note pads around the house.  My life is very full.  I home school my kids, so a lot of my time is spent with them.  We have a small farm, nothing special, but it takes some work.    We raise sheep and chickens.    I teach, read, learn.
What makes you laugh? davraham
Life … Well, I suppose it depends what you mean.  I find the world a little ridiculous sometimes, but as far as laughing from share joy – my kids.  I’m really blessed with a lot of good in my life.
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
Everyone.  You’re all invited.  Seriously,  we actually have a pretty open door policy at my house.  We get a lot of guest.  Once, we even had a guy recovering from a nasty divorce stay with us for a few months.
What song would you pick to go with your book?
It would have to be an original score.
What are you working on now? 
About a dozen things.   I’m just finishing up a Science Fiction short story for an anthology about a physicist that tries to find the parallel universe where the girl said “yes,” and warp that into his reality; trying to finish the sequel to Foundation Stone; I’m finishing up a Fantasy novel called Blight Crossing, and a few companion short stories that fit into that world; trying to sell my satirical novella, All About Me.  I started another Sci-Fi Dystopia where the main character, a eighty-four year old detective  seems to be the last thinking human alive;  oh and about a half a dozen other short stories and dozens of poems.
Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
I belong to several critiquing circles that help get the rough stuff up to snuff.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?
It’s a lot of work, but then so is trying to get your work published the traditional way.  The best part is  that you know your work will get out there.  The hard part is making sure that it’s edited and polished to a professional quality.
What is your advice to new writers?
Write.  That’s it.  Write – and read, and then write some more.  And then find people that will tear your work apart, so that you can make it better.  Throw out your ego, unless you only wantto show your work to your mom.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I just finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  It was a fantastic book.  I read it on Scribd.  I also reread Slaughterhouse Five, and Cat’s Craddle by Kurt Vonnegut.  I haven’t decided what I’m readin next yet.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
I love it.  They’re usually right
Bio: davraham
Avraham writes fiction and poetry, from children stories and adult humor; from spy thrillers to science fiction and fantasy.
He started his writing career as a freelance writer for the Daily News HeraldThe Cleveland Jewish News, and several other local publications.   He was also a weekly columnist for New York’s Jewish Press.
Avraham is the author of the fantasy novel, The Shepherd King Chronicles: Foundation Stone (Beith David Publishing, 2010). The second novel in the series is due out soon.  He is also the author of the spy thriller, Off-Wire (Lulu 2014), and the author/illustrator of the children book, Squared (beith David Publishing 2013).   D. has written numerous short stories and poems.   Some of his work can be found on his blog at
Avraham currently lives with his family in the Hebron Hills of Israel, where, aside from writing, he teaches at the Jerusalem College of Technology, raises sheep and chickens, home schools his own kids, and tries to stay out of trouble. Sometimes he’s successful.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Unfading lands by Katherine E Hamilton

Unfading Lands Katharine E Hamilton

I quickly became lost in this magical land that time has long since forgotten. This was such an engaging tale; it was quite hard to put down at times. I did love the main character princess Elisabeth. A feisty rebellious princess, who doesn’t stay in her room, wondering what dress to wear for prince charming. Instead she has been taught by her elder brother Edward how to ride horses and how to fight with a sword. The northern kingdom and the realm have much to worry about as their lands are bordered by the Unfading Lands. A magical land ruled by Lancer, who has a mysterious dark power. As his powers increase the borders move and threaten to absorb the other kingdoms in the Realm. When Edward chooses love over kingship and joins his beloved in the Unfading Lands (from which there is no return) the heavy mantle of the succession falls on the shoulders of Alayna, Elisabeth’s older sister. She is a very level headed woman who would choose what is best for the Realm over her own happiness. If I had one small issue with the book, it’s that the story isn’t finished and I have to wait to find out what happened to Elisabeth and the Realm. I certainly look forward to the follow up and recommend this book to people of all ages, with a warning to younger readers that there are some violent battle scenes and an amputation.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Interview with Ian D Moore

I decided to reblog all the interviews author Christoph Fisher is doing to promote the anthology 'You're not Alone'. You can follow Christoph's blog via this link: Writer Christoph Fischer
But here is the blogpost:

Interview with author Ian D Moore, author of “Salby Damned” and driving force behind charitable anthology “You’re not Alone”

Today I have the great pleasure to introduce Ian D Moore, the gifted author of “Salby Damned” , a fascinating and breath-taking thriller that blends environmental and humanitarian issues into a gripping Zombie story line.
The Shale Gas Fracking Corporation’s drilling has catastrophic viral consequences and a cure must be found while humans have to defend themselves against the Zombies.
With two interesting main characters, a freelancing journalist and a council leader, the book has also a spark of romance flying around and great chemistry. They are very likeable and not your usual stereotypes, giving the story more bite and substance.
If you like a good Zombie story, stories about corrupt corporations, great heroes and good action then this is definitely for you. Enjoy.
Ian is also the driving force behind “You’re not alone” a charitable short story anthology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care. 
This is the first in a series of interviews with the contributing authors of “You’re Not Alone”
Welcome Ian, please tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.Ian D Moore
Well, my full title is actually Ian David Charles Moore, which is quite a mouthful to say the least. I’m a 43yr old trucker, originally from Birmingham, West Midlands but have been living ‘up north’ in Yorkshire for the last 10 years. I have two sons aged 16 and 9 and a step-son 17 and step-daughter 15 with my partner of almost 4 years. I tend to be quite practical, not the most emotional person I know. If it’s broken, I’ll try to find the fastest, most efficient way to fix it. If it needs doing, I’ll get it done, one way or another. In a nutshell, that’s me.
Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?
I have always loved the written word. I tend to be quite inward in real life, not one for making small talk and I tend to avoid crowds. This has meant that I find it much easier to write than I do to talk, though it is arguable as to which one I do best. So far, I’ve just the one fully completed novel entitled Salby Damned. The idea came from a radio broadcast about Shale Gas Fracking and the story was originally written on my Samsung mobile phone and posted chapter by chapter in realtime onto Facebook – until it got to be too big. It took just 7 weeks to write the story, and a further 9 months to edit it correctly. This was my first attempt at a full scale professional novel. I had written a few short stories many moons ago, never published and long since lost. I’m prone to poetry from time to time, sometimes funny, sometimes a little more serious.
Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer? 
My younger sister Helen was the one who gave me the push to write a professional story. She knew that I could write and encouraged me to try to write a ‘zombie story for grown-ups’ is what she asked for. I hope I didn’t disappoint her.
The anthology You’re Not Alone came out of a need to do something in the fight against Cancer and has proved to be very therapeutic – if very hard going, to produce.Youre Not Alone 3d inamge (1)
When did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s) ?
From a very early age I’ve always been fascinated with the darker side of life, the horrors and thrillers of this world, from the bizarre such as Animal Farm, to the plausible and one of the greats Fahrenheit 451 and then, when I got older, James Herbert – Portent and Dean Koontz to name but a few. The macabre, psychological, paranormal and generally weird always seems to peak my imagination. It felt right to write in a genre that I love so much.
Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?
I was given specific instructions to write a zombie story for more grown-up people. Orders from my sister. At work trucking one day, the radio announced that gas and energy companies could now legally drill under our houses from miles away to extract shale gas… the juices started to flow and the ‘Deadheads’ were born. Writing a short story for the charity anthology was a new experience for me, not having created such a story before. I have to say though, that I enjoyed it immensely.
What is your life like outside of writing?
Life is very busy, as you can imagine with four children, two of which (mine) still live in Birmingham over a 120 miles to the south. I spend my days off alternating between home life in Yorkshire and time with my boys in Birmingham. My trucking work sees me out 60 hours a week on the road and I also run an internet based bed/mattress business which can mean long hours delivering nationwide in my free time.
What makes you laugh?
Lee Evans, generally speaking. His humour is outstanding. I warm to people who don’t take life too seriously – it is far too short for that. I find that seeing my children happy and smiling lifts me beyond words, equally to see my partner happy also turns a dark day into bright sunshine. I’ve not much patience for drama queens – some people really do see themselves as much higher than they actually are. Important in life to stay grounded, you’d be surprised at what you see down here.
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
The Head of NASA and the complete crew of Apollo 14 – what a story they would have to tell.
What song would you pick to go with your book?
In The Arms Of The Angels – Sarah McLachlan , it’s a VERY haunting melody.
What are you working on now?
Currently, every waking minute is spent on the IARE Charity Anthology along with a multitude of wonderful writers to complete a book of short stories for Macmillan Cancer Nurses. It is a very exciting project indeed and, as far as I’m aware, a first for the charity.
I also have the sequel to Salby Damned in progress – Nathan Cross is still semi-naked and walking out of the shower towards a gawping Evie… but that’s enough for now. And then I’ve another book I’ve started, something a little different in that it’s a paranormal thriller – thought I might try and bend my genre a little, reach outwards and see if I can do it. Watch this space… hehehe.
You have created great characters. Which one is your favourite? Selby
In Salby Damned, it would have to be Colin Snape. He was just the best character to create, everything loathsome in a human being and I got to write it all down… a lot of fun indeed.
Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?
Nathan Cross would be Hugh Jackman, Evelyn Shepherd would have to be Kiera Knightly, the officers in the book would be Hugh Laurie and Sean Connery. Corporal Simms would have to be played by Uma Therman.
Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
Nathan Cross was based upon my experiences – he is smarter, braver and considerably better looking but hey, that’s why I write fiction J. No really – he has a lot of my traits and would do a lot of the things I could see myself doing.
Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?
Salby Damned literally poured out of me. It’s as if it had been waiting for years to be written down. I was gutted when I came to the end of the story and honestly didn’t know if I’d be able to write another again. Truthfully, I still don’t but I seem to be inspired none the less to try. The plots, characters and scenes I could see in my mind as if I were actually there. I put a lot more time into thinking of my short story entry to the anthology “One Of Those Days” not least because it sits in with some extremely talented writers.
What is your main reason for writing?
I love to write. For me, it is an escape and allows me the freedom to express my feelings in a way that I struggle to do in spoken words. If, by some miracle, others enjoy what I produce, that can only be a bonus. Do I write seriously – yes of course. Does it matter to me what I put out – absolutely. Am I competitive in my writing – no, but I think we should all push ourselves to be better if we’re going to sell what we write.
I ‘ve only read one of the books so far. What is the idea behind your series?
You’ll have to wait for the sequel! Even I’m not sure where it will go yet but I do have a couple of open options.
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
Having the freedom to create whatever you want is very liberating. Your own worlds, scenarios and characters can come to life from mind to paper. I still get excited when the first proof of my book drops on the mat – that has to be the best bit.
The worst bit is the dreaded editing. It can be time consuming, frustrating, heartbreaking at times too, especially if you’re learning the ropes as you go along – as I have really. It is a necessary evil though, polish your work until it shines… then go and polish it again.
How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?
Marketing is different things to different people, depending upon how you see yourself as a writer. There are some who thrust flyer ads and media into the public eye on a daily basis – they may depend upon book sales for income. I do not. I’ll advertise every few weeks or so but have found the best way to get sales is to socialise with other like-minded souls. There is no better advert than a FREE advert in the form of a review that is re-blogged/reposted several times. It carries so much more weight.
Tell us one odd thing about you and one really mundane thing.
Although fairly diplomatic, I’m a fan of body art – tattoos to be specific. You would never know it to look at me, even in a short shirt, but I have three AND a piercing. Perhaps my rebellion against ‘the norm’. I successfully gave up smoking after 28 years almost 6 months ago to the day.
Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
My work remains self-edited. It is not easy as an indie to afford the high prices for editors and they may not be in tune with a writer’s style or expression. I choose to self-edit but have a team of willing victims… I mean volunteers, who will read a new piece and either throw it back at me or hand it back with a wink and a smile.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?
Self-publishing has been a roller-coaster ride of blood, sweat, tears and laughter. It is a learning curve, an ongoing thing and to have published one, or even three books doesn’t make you anywhere near an expert. Anyone can self-publish, but you have to have a certain discipline to get it right and to a high enough quality. High point has to be seeing your book online, and possibly googling your own name and having it come up! The low points are when you go back to your work after a few weeks and wonder why you write it that way – so begins the after edit fallout.
What is your advice to new writers?
If you have a story – tell it. Go and find yourself a good online author group, not a paid review group. A group where indies meet, like a watering hole, get to know them, participate in the posts and events – you’ll learn more in one week than you’d learn in a month on your own. There is a lot to learn, writing the story is the easy part but don’t give up! Polish your work until it glows in the dark and ALWAYS get a second opinion.
Who are your favourite independent writers?
From those I’ve read so far as follows: Lesley Hayes, Patrick Christopher Power, Tom Benson, Nico Laeser, Eric Lahti, Sharon Brownlie to name but a few. These are the ones who stand out for me.
Who are your favourite authors?
I always liked Stephen King, James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Nelson De Mille, Ray Bradbury and recently Andy McNab
What is your favourite book?
There are two that have stayed with me. By The Rivers Of Babylon – Nelson De Mille and Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
Currently reading Sharon Brownlie’s – Betrayal a gritty, gripping take of revenge.
What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?
My Kindle and possibly a good MP3 Player loaded with music.
Hot or cold?
Hot baby, HOT!
Salty or sweet?
A little of both, there is no harm in one or the other, indeed it makes a good combination.
What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?
I tend to be quite solitary sometimes, away with the fairies in my own little world usually immersed in thought about a plot or character. My temper – while longer as I’ve gotten older, is still pretty short though I have a lot more scope for understanding now than I once did.
Tell us about your other books?
In the pipeline…
How do you handle criticism of your work?
With the introduction of e-readers, kindles, mobile phone apps, everyone becomes an instant book critic. There will be some who delight in leaving a good, honest and positive review and on balance, there will be others who leave a negative simply because they can. The things about reviews and criticism is to take what is important from it, to look objectively at what has been said and see if it is based upon truth or emotion. In sticking your head above the parapet and putting your work out there, it is reasonable to expect that some will like it, others will not – don’t try to please everyone!
You’ll find me by using the following links:
Amazon Link to Salby Damned:

The title of the upcoming anthology is “You’re Not Alone” and we should be ready to go to epub/kindle in a matter of weeks, with a paperback version shortly after.

You’ll find the Facebook page here:

And here is the fund, in loving memory of Pamela Mary Winton

Twenty-seven writers from around the world, including myself have entered an assortment of short stories for your pleasure, show your support by liking the new page on Facebook and expressing an interest in buying the book.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Tails of a House Rabbit by Linda Bartash-Dawley

The following review was of a book I read in just a couple of sittings, cute, easy to read and great fun. I would rate this suitable for children, but any pet owner would enjoy this too:

Tails of a House Rabbit by Linda Bartash-Dawley

Animal psychiatrists keep warning us that we shouldn’t think of our pets like little people in fur coats. It’s very hard not too, so I can totally understand why this writer wanted to give her rabbit a voice. Meet Hannah the Flemish giant, definitely a diva in a fine rabbit fur coat! She regales us with her daily tribulations that run from finding the wrong herbs in her food bowl, to her owner daring to give her inferior quality wrapping paper. Hannah, I should explain, has a bit of an obsession about destroying wrapping paper. This book is a must for all bunny and potential bunny owners. Cute and easy to read, it will be enjoyed by any pet owners that like to talk to their animal.