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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Enjoy the research process of novel writing with Sue Bentley. Also... win a signed copy of WE OTHER!! #win #freebook #WeOther .@suebentleywords #blogtour #fantasy #lowfantasy #scifi #research #darkfantasy #YA .@rararesources

Sue Bentley
author of
Luckily I love research – sometimes, a little too much. It can be so fascinating that I can happily get absorbed in it for hours and get no work done on my WIP. I’ve learned to discipline myself.

I do extensive research while building my characters and their backgrounds. I like to plot quite a lot of the book before I begin writing. In that respect I’m a plotter more than a panster, but if a book goes off in a more interesting direction when I get stuck into it, I’ll go with it. In the same way, if a character starts doing unexpected things as I get to know them better and the result is more drama and tension than I’d planned, I’ll allow them to lead me down a different path to the one I was expecting.

For me, writing’s like going on a journey and then getting side-tracked. It can turn into a bit of a muddle. But I’ve discovered roads and by-ways, I never expected to find. And somehow, or other, the book turns out all right in the end.

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This is because writing is an art. For me there’s no absolute right or definite way to approach it. We all find our way through the tangled woods of a long book. It’s not a straight concrete road from start to finish. Every book throws up new challenges. The only thing one can be certain of, is that writing doesn’t get any easier. I’ve learned to accept there will be good and bad days. A bad writing day, can turn into a great opportunity to do some research.

I might need to know something in particular, perhaps about a poison, which has a specific effect. (As I needed for my WIP, entitled Second Skin, just completed.) I’ll research it by looking on-line and/ or checking one of my hundreds of books; one day the house will sink under the weight of all the books I own. I’m after ideas, not accuracy as I don’t write non-fiction. I particularly enjoy researching history, especially the fine detail of how people in the past lived. What they ate, what they wore, how they earned their living. Politics of the day, dry lists of dates, and which monarch was on the throne, interests me only in so as far as they affected people living at the time.

I write fantasy, sometimes side-by-side with a contemporary setting – as in We Other. So I’ll choose what to discard and what is useful. For the poison for example, I took an element from a number of different herbs, blended them into something to suit my requirements, and named it sleep-weed - which is self-explanatory.

I know of writers who travel widely while doing research. They need to see and experience the areas they visit, perhaps smell the spices of some exotic market or describe the velvet star-studded night over a dessert. I make such journeys in my imagination, although I might draw on my love of folklore and interest in different cultures. It might suit a story to take elements of life in medieval Europe and blend it with aspects of early Native American culture. The most interesting things often happen at the interface when cultures collide.

Most things I write contain an element of fantasy, even if it’s a contemporary novel. I make things up, sometimes entire worlds and cultures. So the sky’s the limit for my imagination, but everyone needs a starting point. That’s where research comes in.

You can find out anything. If you truly need expert advice, find an expert to speak to. Or look at the books the experts use. Need to find out how to deal with a maggot-ridden wound or safely amputate a limb? Consult a nursing manual or ask a friendly surgeon. Want to know about Police procedures? Buy the Police Training Manual. You often hear people advising writers to, ‘write about what they know.’ To that, I’d add – write about what you can find out. Research for me, doesn’t mute a good plotline, it provides the details that enhance it. And it can lead to completely new strands of the story, or become the focus of a dramatic scene.

During research, I often find golden nuggets of detail, which add a whiff of authenticity to my writing. For example it was once fashionable to wear heavily powdered wigs, have a heavily powdered white face and dust little circles of rouge on one’s cheeks. Rouge was expensive, so to display one’s wealth, a liberal covering would be used. Apparently the Empress Josephine’s face resembled a ripe tomato. 

Thank you for hosting me for the We Other blog tour. I enjoyed looking more closely into the subject of research.

We Other 
Family secrets, changelings, and fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.
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Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic.
When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment.
Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of Jess’s worries.
Sue Bentley discovered a love of books at an early age. She worked for Northamptonshire Libraries for many years, while teaching herself the craft of writing. She is the author of the worldwide bestselling Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy, Magic Ponies, Magic Bunny series for age 5-9 years. She also writes for children and adults under various pen names. A lover of English Folklore, her books often contain elements of the otherworld and the darkness within the everyday. Her books have been translated into around 20 languages. We Other is her first book for Young Adults.
 Giveaway - Win a signed copy of We Other and a personal letter (open internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Monday, 28 May 2018

Sounds good! The Letter – Kitty’s Story by Eliza J Scott #coverreveal .@rararesources @ElizaJScott1 #romance #books

The Letter – Kitty’s Story
Eliza J Scott

Life is anything but peaceful in the chocolate-box pretty village of Lytell Stangdale, where life unravels, and hearts are broken. Full of heart-warming moments, this book with have you crying tears of joy, laughter and sadness.

Thirty-four-year-old Kitty Bennett is trapped in a loveless marriage to criminal barrister, Dan, who’s gradually isolated her from her family and friends. Until the day she (literally) bumps into her first love, the handsome and easy-going Ollie Cartwright – someone she’s done her best to avoid for as long as she can remember. Looking into Ollie’s eyes awakens feelings for him she thought she’d buried deep years ago, and he clearly feels the spark, too. As she walks away, Kitty can’t help but wonder what might have been…
Coming  29th June 2018
Dan senses that his marriage is on shaky ground and knows he needs to win his wife round. He turns on the charm, skilfully using their two children, Lucas and Lily, as bargaining tools. But Kitty’s older brother, Jimby, and her childhood best-friends, Molly and Violet, have decided enough is enough. For years they’ve had to watch from afar as Kitty’s been browbeaten into an unrecognisable version of herself.
They vow to make her see Dan for what he really is, but their attempts are no match for his finely-honed courtroom skills and, against her better judgement, Kitty agrees to give her husband one last chance. But, all-too-soon, a series of heart-breaking events and a shocking secret throw her life into turmoil…
Will Kitty stand by Dan, or will she be brave enough to take the leap and follow her heart to Ollie?
Eliza J Scott (in her own words):  'I live in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with my husband, two daughters and two black Labradors. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found with my nose in a book/glued to my Kindle, or in my garden. I also enjoy bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off with a visit to a teashop where I can indulge in another two of my favourite things: tea and cake.'
Social Media Links –
Blog: Eliza J Scott - elizajscott.com
Twitter: Eliza J Scott – @ElizaJScott1
Instagram: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscott
Facebook: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscottauthor

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life? #coverreveal #selfdiscovery #cheatingdeath #truelove #fantasy #books .@KiltieJackson .@rararesources

An Artisan Lovestyle

Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life?

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

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Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfil their quests.
If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is a story of personal growth and self-discovery as two people find themselves forced to make overdue changes in their lives, changes in other people’s lives, and all with the added challenge of finding true love before their time runs out.

Will they do it?

Can they do it?

After all, it’s a matter of Life or Death…

Kiltie Jackson
Kiltie Jackson grew up in Glasgow in Scotland. This is a very unique city with a very unique way of looking at life. When she was old enough to do so, she moved to London and then, after several years of obtaining interesting experiences - which are finding their way into her writing - she moved up to the Midlands.  Kiltie currently lives in Staffordshire with five cats and one grumpy husband. Her little home is known as Moggy Towers, even though despite having plenty of moggies, there are no towers! 
The cats kindly allow her and Mr Mogs to share their house on the condition they keep paying the mortgage! She loves reading, watching movies, and visiting old castles. She really dislikes going to the gym! Her biggest desire is that one day she can give up the day job and write her stories for a living.
Kiltie's debut novel, 'A Rock 'n' Roll Lovestyle', was released in September 2017 and won a "Chill With A Book - Reader Award" in December 2017. She first began writing her debut novel eleven years before it was released but shelved it as she didn't think it was very good. In November 2016 when, having read more on a bestselling author who had begun her own career as a self-published author, she was inspired to revisit the unfinished manuscript and finally finish what she had started.
Since beginning to write again, the ideas have not stopped flowing. 'An Artisan Lovestyle' is the second book in the Lovestyle Series. Work is due to begin on book three (not yet titled but also part of the Lovestyle Series) in the Summer of 2018. She currently has a further ten plots and ideas stored in her file (it's costing a fortune in USB drives as each story has its own memory stick!) and the ideas still keep on coming. Kiltie now lives her life around the following three quotes:
"I love having weird dreams, they're great fodder for book plots!"
"Why wait for your ship to come in when you can swim out to meet it?"
"Old enough to know better, young enough not to care!"

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Decide To Hope by June A. Converse #Excerpt #romance #books .@rararesources .@JuneAConverse

An Excerpt from

Decide To Hope

June A. Converse

“Kathleen, I swear to you that if you are ever in my bed, it won’t be fucking.” He punctuated the final words and wiped away the single tear that moved down her cheek. He leaned across the table, nuzzled her face, and said into her damaged ear, “What I want is for you to be safe. What I want is for you to never push me away, for you to let me make you safe again.” Relaxing back into the bench, he added, “What is it you want, my Kathleen, what do you want? I’ll move heaven and earth to be what you need.”

Her eyes widened and her face jerked out of his hand. Tears streamed down her face. Staring at him, showing him her weariness and her abject terror, her blue irises turned a stormy gray.

“They’re gone, Matt.” She spoke with an eerily calm voice. “All of them. Everyone I’ve ever loved. Gone. I’m so tired, Matt. Do you understand?” She pushed away from the table. Her gray eyes blazed inches from his own. “I want to be gone, too.”

Matt’s arms thwomped onto the table. He sat immobile as Kathleen raced out the door into the pouring rain. The restaurant door thwacked behind her. Shaking himself, he realized she’d left her sunglasses, her bag, and even her shoes. The impact of the last few seconds held him in his seat. Time seemed to stop. Sound dropped away. The shadow of her danced behind his closed eyes.


Decide to Hope
An unimaginable trauma.
A future that seems impossible.
When your world shatters, how do you put it back together?

For 950 days, Kathleen Conners has struggled with that choice. Behind a scarf and sunglasses, she hides from the world, from herself, from The Event, from any future with anyone.
After receiving a box of letters from his deceased mother, Matt Nelson is shoved from his predictable, controlled life to a secluded beach in North Carolina. While trying to understand his mother's intent, he discovers Kathleen.

Matt must choose whether to follow the path his mother orchestrated or rescue the woman who has captured his heart. When the only person Kathleen blames more than herself reappears, can Matt be the strength Kathleen needs to create a new life, or will he be forced to walk away if she decides the climb is too great?

Author, June happily resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia, with her husband, Dave, and their dog, Sodapop.  They have two wonderful adult children and two grandchildren.  She is an enthusiastic exerciser and an accomplished cook.  She and her husband enjoy hiking with Sodapop, traveling, scuba diving, trying new restaurants, concerts, and whatever other adventures they can find.  Reading and a constant desire to learn keeps her busy too. 
A trauma survivor who struggles with mental illness, June is continuously reaching for hope like the characters in her books.  She openly discusses her personal struggles on her blog, JuneConverse.com 
Decide to Hope is her first novel and relies a great deal on her own experience with trauma, choices, recovery and hope.  If you’d like to discuss trauma, coping and recovery, contact her at JuneConverse.com or DecideToHope.com

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

For those who enjoy a good thriller and #crimefiction check out The Picture by .@rogerbray22 #thriller #mustread #bynr .@rararesources


The Picture


Roger Bray

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter.

Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew.
A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

The Picture

Context:  Ben Davis a retired Portland, Oregon police officer volunteers in the relief effort to the areas devastated be the 2011 Japanese Tsunami. He meets a young Japanese woman cradling her baby and a picture is taken of them which becomes an iconic emblem of the disaster.  A conman, Vince Brown, decides to pretend he is the man in the picture to star in a reality TV show focusing on natural disasters.  He realises that his connection to the picture could be his undoing if the truth were to come out.  Vince and his business partner decide to kill Ben to stop him exposing them and through a contact a pair of inept junkies are paid to carry out the task.  This scene is the aftermath of that attempt when a local young couple, trail bike riding in a wood hear a crash and go to investigate. 

As Brian approach the road through the trees, he saw a man standing on the road. He had his hands on his hips and appeared to be sucking in air; he straightened and ran to the passenger side of the truck. As Brian stepped onto the road, the Tahoe accelerated with a screech of the tires and took off down the road. He knew that there was no cell coverage round here, not on this bit of road, a bit further up near old Johnston’s place you could usually get a single bar, but only on clear days, any rain or even a strong wind and the signal was gone. Even so, as was usual for teenagers anywhere, Brian always carried his cell phone with him. Not understanding what was going on he understood enough to know something was and Brian quickly pulled his cell out of pocket and pointed it at the Tahoe as it skidded slightly, straightened then headed west on the highway.

Disappointed he hadn’t been able to get a picture of the man he managed a couple of quick shots of the back of the Tahoe before it disappeared from view.

They drove off.” Alice had caught up by this time and stood next to him on the road.

Yeah, maybe they hit a deer or something,” Brian said looking around.

The trees lining both sides of the road cut down the light and as Brian peered around through the gloom expecting to see a buck or doe lying on the road dead or maybe injured but he could see nothing, so he looked toward where he had first seen Feral standing on the road trying not to vomit. Brian took a couple of steps and saw the back tire of the Harley before he realized what else he was looking at.

It was quiet now, but he realized what he could hear was the tick, tick, tick of the contracting metal of the cooling Harley engine.

Stay here, Alice,” he said.

She nodded, deciding that there was a good chance that whatever was there was something she didn’t want to see, anyway.

Brian walked across the road and he could see the marks running along the shiny railing. It hadn’t been there long, a couple of months maybe, the old damaged and often repaired railing replaced with a shiny new section. When he was standing in the same place that Feral had been, he looked up the railing and saw the same view he had, he forced himself to look to the right and saw the wreckage of the Harley and the crushed body.

Like Feral he took a deep breath as Alice called out.

What is it, Brian?”

Brian walked over to where she was standing a look of fear on her face. He took her arm and turned her away from the scene and took a step with her back into the tree line and away from the road.

Motorcycle, it looks like a hit-and-run.”

The rider?”

Brian shook his head.

He’s there but there’s nothing we can do for him.”

He’s dead?”

Brian nodded, “I’m pretty sure he is, he certainly looks it. Alice, do you think you can ride the Honda home, tell your mom what’s happened, and get the sheriff out here.”

She nodded, “What about you?”

Well, I suppose someone should stay here, I guess that it’s the right thing to do, someone should stay with him.”

Alice hugged him and kissed him on the cheek, “I’ll be as quick as I can.”

Don’t rush, take your time, and be careful on the bike.”

She kissed him again, this time on the lips, “Don’t worry I will.”

She turned and taking hold of low branches to slow her down as she scrambled down the slope toward where Brian had left the trail bike.

Brian watched as her long blond hair disappeared through the trees before he turned and vomited his lunch on the ground. Taking another deep breath, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and looked up toward where he knew the Harley was. With a lot more bravado than he felt, he walked back to wreck and looked down at the body. He knew he was dead, he had known that from the first look before he had sent Alice for help, he knew that there was nothing he could now do except stay with the man until help showed up.

He walked up the road to well beyond the start of the marks on the rail and sat on a clear, new, and untouched piece of railing while he waited for the sheriff to show.

Author Bio –  'I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.'