Showing posts from 2016

Flash Fiction: Saving Time

This tiny story was inspired by an exercise set at Doncaster Writers' Group.  The story had to include a man, a young girl, a mother, a bench, an ice cream, a bank and a coat. The image is supplied by Pixabay and the protagonists' names may bear a certain resemblance to minor characters in a popular kids' story involving wizards. But hey, didn't TS Eliot say that all good writing is borrowing?  Or something like that?   James stepped off the bus and frowned at the view.  Outside the bank, there was no cash machine or security screen.  The staff were all dressed in olde-worlde clothes.  He dropped onto the bus stop bench and looked around. A girl walked past eating an ice-cream.  She was wrapped in a short, mint-green trenchcoat.  He'd seen one like it before, tattered and moth-eaten at the back of his mother's wardrobe when he and his sister had cleared her house out for her move into the home. "Lily," he called, not really believing himself, but

Review: House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the launch party of local author Lynda Stacey's debut novel, House of Secrets.  It was a lovely night (with an incredible book-cover cake - I definitely want one of those one day!) and a few days later I had time, while travelling, to start reading House of Secrets. Naturally, once I'd started, I raced through the book in no time, but it's taken me a bit longer to get around to working out how to explain its charm.  Here's my attempt... House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey My rating: 5 of 5 stars I love Choc Lit books, and House of Secrets is a great example of what Choc Lit do best: love stories with an added dimension. At one level, House of Secrets is a classic love triangle: Maddie is fleeing Liam, whose love for her has tipped over into a frightening obsession, when she meets Christopher Lawless, nicknamed Bandit. Maddie is a clever, capable woman whose confidence has temporarily been damaged by an abusive relationship -

A Poem for Referendum Day

I haven't been around much lately.  The real world has rather taken over from writing for a while, but here's one thing I have written which seems apt for today: It Isn’t You Of course I don’t mean you.  You are a product of the Empire With no memory of a home outside these Isles. Your stories and your smiles are in my earliest memories You’re British through and through And if we had to vote for you To leave or to remain, Despite your birthplace and the colour of your skin, I’m sure that anyone would vote you ‘in’.  I don’t mean you, I mean those others who Like the Loch Ness Monster, I have never seen, But must exist because the Daily Mail and facebook tell us so. No, they should go, the lazy slobs Who waste our benefits; the greedy ones who take our jobs. I don’t mean you, my friend, whose thirty years of Yorkshire overlaid On native Michigan have not yet made You local in some Donny eyes – or ears – Your fair skin and your perfect

Writer Wednesday takeover - Angela Wren interviews me

It's all about fantasy today.  So wishes can come true and authors can be anything they want to be!  And I am Angela Wren and I am temporarily taking charge of Stephanie's blog so that I can interview her about her writing and her wonderful book 'Djinn and Tonic'. AW   What is your current release? SC  Djinn and Tonic is a fun, fairy-tale inspired romance novella involving a photographer and a genie.  Sal is determined to win a photography award for an atmospheric photoshoot, but her wish for the perfect model is more effective than she expects –  she inadvertently conjures up Ashtad, who’s not only tall, dark and handsome, but also a genie.  Sal can have everything she’s ever dreamed of but, as in all the best fairy tales, she soon learns to be careful what she wishes for… AW    What first got you into writing and why? SC  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write.  My first love was poetry, but as a child I also used to make up long, rambling tales

Writer Wednesday Interview and GIVEAWAY with Elizabeth Meyette

Celebrate the Audiobook Edition of The Cavanaugh House with this Giveaway GIVEAWAY ALERT: Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card below! Welcome, Elizabeth!  When and how did you first become interested in writing? I was smitten with writing from the time I could hold a pencil and scrawl nonsense scribbles on paper. Mrs. McGrath, my third grade teacher, told me I was a very good writer and that affirmation launched my love of words. My first poem was published when I was a high school sophomore, and I wrote for our high school newspaper. I majored in English and minored in Journalism in college, and I wrote for my college paper. On a dare, I wrote a romance novel. Eventually, it became my first published book. 'The Cavanaugh House' isn't a traditional romance - what makes it different? One convention of a traditional romance is scenes that alternate between the heroine’s and hero’s point of view. The Cavanaugh House is told in limited omniscient point

Writer Wednesday interview: Mary Morgan

Today on my blog I welcome Mary Morgan, author of the Dragon Knights series.  Hello, Mary! When and how did you first become interested in writing? I’ve always enjoyed writing. I started at a young age with poems and plays. With an overactive imagination, I loved creating stories within my mind and writing them down. However, it took decades for me to have the courage to bring them out into the world for others to read. What gave you the idea for the Dragon Knights stories? On my first trip to Scotland sixteen years ago. I was sitting all alone on a boulder in the Highlands, surrounded by the magic and mists of the land. The Dragon Knights were born that evening. You write about Scotland, which seems to be a favourite setting for romance writers (my friend Lizzie Lamb sets most of her stories there and they have been very popular).  What drew you to it, and how do you evoke the setting in your books? My love affair with Scotland began decades ago. I blame it on my ow

Djinn and Tonic: Release Week

A huge thank you to all the people who've helped Djinn and Tonic get off the ground over the last week! My lovely fellow authors at Wild Rose Press helped create quite a twitter storm over the first few days, and I've done some very enjoyable interviews - if you've missed any of them, here are the links:   Nancy C Weeks finds out about the inspiration for Djinn and Tonic, and challenges me to write an 8 word love story.   Joyce M Holmes asks about my writing habits and my tastes in reading.   Mary Morgan finds out about my writing inspirations, and asks some entertaining personal questions.  

Writer Wednesday Interview: Iris Blobel

Welcome, Iris!  A few weeks ago I posted your cover for Echoes of the Past.  Thanks for coming back to tell us more about the book.  What gave you the idea for Echoes of the Past? The funny part is, I started the first paragraph as a post for “Tuesday Tales” where authors write to a different prompt each week. Coming back from a holiday in South Australia, I picked it up again, wondering what it’d be like to return to such a beautiful place after so many years. Family and friendship has always been an important theme in my books, so the story developed around these three issues. Is Echoes of the Past a single title, or part of a series? Echoes of the Past is the first book in the Fermosa Bay series. The story is set in Australia.  How important is the setting to the story? Very important. I write while visualising the scene and I have to like what I see. It’s like placing yourself into the story looking around and be the little spy in the corner. If you don’t like

Look, I made a book trailer!

It's been a fun release weekend.  I've made a book trailer for Djinn and Tonic... Djinn and Tonic ... and visited the blog of the lovely Angela Scavone to talk about my dream date I've got a few more interviews and visits lined up over the forthcoming week, so watch this space!

OUT NOW: Djinn and Tonic

 Publication day nerves never quite disappear.  I imagine it's a bit like sending your child off to school for the first day.  How will they fare out in the world?  Will the teachers be kind?  Will the kids want to play with them? Writers want our book babies to be loved, and so we worry.  Will anyone read the book?  Will anyone like it?  Is there some terrible mistake that both I and my editor have somehow overlooked?  (And I don't mean the slight liberties I may have taken with the geography of Whitby for artistic effect, or the major liberties I take with the laws of space-time for the sake of the pararnormal aspect of the story.  I mean something huge and unanticipated of which I was utterly unaware). I'm not sure how I'd have the nerve to send the book out into the world at all, if it weren't for the support of so many lovely people who've read and improved various versions of the story.  So a big thank you to the ladies from the Leicester and Yorkshire T

Writer Wednesday Interview: Queenie Black

I don't often read erotic fiction but I make an exception for Queenie Black, because I enjoy her well-developed characters (no, that's not an innuendo) and exotic settings.  Today I've invited her to my blog to chat about her short story collection, 'Love Bites'.   When and how did you first become interested in writing?   I’ve written for almost as long as I’ve been reading and I was a fairly confident reader when I was four! I got my first ‘proper’ book when I was five and it was called The Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton. I started by making up more stories about characters I liked or rewriting endings in my mind when I didn’t like the author’s. It was a kind of fan fiction I suppose. By the time I was in my third year at primary school I was writing short stories that were entered into National story writing competitions. So from about the age of seven I don’t think there was ever a time when I wasn’t writing stories or at least making them up. The four st

Writer Wednesday Interview: Angela Wren

It's a great pleasure to welcome to my blog today my multi-talented friend: author, actor and director Angela Wren.  Hi Angela! When and how did you first become interested in writing? I think it was story telling that first captured my attention as a very young child.  Apparently, from being only a few months old, I was mesmerised by voices, and I suppose I still am, as I have an uncanny ability to recognise voices in an instant.  When I was a little older I would listen to my Dad and my uncles telling me stories, for hours if I could, and all three of them were excellent narrators.  So bedtime stories were a must at home and later, when I was deemed too old to have them, I made up stories for myself.  Writing them down became the next logical step and I’ve been doing that since I was about 8 or 9. Where did the idea for Messandrierre come from?  The very first idea came whilst I was travelling in the CĂ©vennes in September 2007.  Overnight the weather changed dram

Flash Fiction Challenge: The Sounds of Marina Bay

Chuck Wendig's challenge this week was to write a piece of flash fiction inspired by a photo, and the picture I've used is this: I slightly overshot the word count, but since I don't have time to edit it down, here's my 1200 word flash fiction, The Sounds of Marina Bay Marina Bay wasn't pretty, but it was lively.  Jon liked to walk there, especially in the afternoon, when the kids were out of school and groups of them huddled on the steps, drinking, or chased down the sidewalks on skateboards and motor scooters.  Sometimes you had to be quick to dodge the teens on their quirky, not quite legal, vehicles; even the hulking great picnic tables on wheels seemed to have a knack of appearing silently out of nowhere. This particular Thursday afternoon, Jon had ducked out of his PhD research, promising himself he'd make it up later, because hell, you could research when it was dark, but walking the streets