Saturday, 26 March 2011

Awards Given & Credits Due!

I really want to apologise to fellow bloggers who've followed my blog for months, some for over a year or more, and who must have thought I'd deserted them, but in truth, for the last month I've been unable to follow/comment on blogs due to illness. At the moment, fingers-crossed, I'm back!

Also, I've been seriously lax lately on thanking in public for awards bestowed upon moi: here goes!

First off the lovely Karen Elizabeth Brown awarded this one, and I really do appreciate the gift. 

I'm supposed to nominate 7 other bloggers for this award. Now, to be honest there are more than 7 bloggers out there I would like to nominate. So, if you don't have it and you're a regular or new potential regular visitor consider yourself nominated. It's yours!


This award came by way of the very artistic Deirdra, and I can't say thanks enough!

Isn't it gorgeous, and ((sigh)) kind of romantic?


Now this award I've received from loads of people. It required answers to questions, but I cheated (see how) because numerous other awards required similar Qs & As: all revealing, perhaps enlightning!!


Oh, and if any one of you covets an award (see hanging) in my sidebar follow the link (press image) and go get your heart's desire! ;) 

Friday, 25 March 2011

A-Z Challenge - Are you Ready - Get Set . . . Wait up, wait up!

Yeah, yeah - like I'm ready;
Like I've been in training these last weeks;
Like I've pre-dated auto-posts;
Like I'm on top of this challenge;
Like hell I am . . . 

I'm on the fence thinking what the hell;
Who's the upcoming April Fool here?
Why did I volunteer to be a Jack . . .
Well, I'm in now and no going back;
So off-the cuff it'll be, and a literary theme to boot!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Delusional Doom Blogfest!

If you're here looking for my entry in the Broken Hearts Blogfest: it's here.

This blogfest is hosted by the lovely Hart Johnson (Watery Tart).

As the Title suggests one has the opportunity to kill off somebody at will - in a literary sense!

Below is a snippet taken from a romantic thriller, one in which terrible heartbreak and worse to come will haunt the MCs every waking and sleeping hour: it starts with scene in London house.

He paused directly in front of her, and with his left hand raised hers and kissed the eternity ring given to her the night before; a big grin on his face. ‘I reckon your answer will be a resounding yes, seeing as you’re wearing the ring.’ He dashed for the front door, and momentarily hovered with door still ajar. ‘I know you, Cassie, know what you’re thinking. And for all your cool persona, you’re still as hot as hell for Jamie Douglas.’ He blew a kiss, added, ‘I won’t be late, that’s a promise.’

As he slammed the front door behind him she again turned to pick up the vase. At the same time she noticed his wallet on the hallstand. To pick it up and rush after him wholly instinctive. Upon opening the door she looked to her right and there he was, eight cars distant and about to get into the vehicle.

Directly she called his name and held the wallet aloft split second mutual understanding fused between them; he’d grab it in passing. There was something else too, reflected in his smile. Something she hadn’t been able to resist since the day they’d first set eyes upon each other.

Cassie heard the car’s engine purring, guessed Jamie was readjusting the seat for the vehicle remained in situe. She stepped forward in readiness to descend the steps to the pavement below, a girlish flush rising to her cheeks at his remembered words in the hallway.

A second chance at happiness was better than divorce, surely, even if from time to time he still disappeared at a minutes notice . . .

After all, he had sworn – only yesterday – that divorce would never keep them apart for long, even if she filed for one. And if she ran away it would be as good as shooting him in the head.

Terribly dramatic, utter blackmail too, but highly effective when applied with: ‘What more can I say to convince you that I love you, always have, and always will, Mrs. Douglas’.

She once more glanced toward her car. Jamie had reversed it a little and the vehicle by now moving out from between parked cars.

The unthinkable happened.

An explosive blast rocked the crescent.

The car doors were blown outward and the vehicle rose into the air.

Shock waves slammed into parked cars and nearby houses; window frames splintered and hail of glass rained down all around.

Engulfed in a ball of flames the vehicle fell to earth a mangled heap of metal.

‘No, No,’ she screamed but couldn't hear the words.

Hell had just risen before her eyes and nothing remotely human able to survive the macabre scene before her, yet here she was alive, virtually untouched by the blast.

From the moment their eyes met in that brief exchange prior to the explosion she’d made the decision to tell him the answer to his question immediately upon his return. Her preferred terms would have been strongly disputed but adhered to all the same, because no matter how much water had flowed under shaky bridges neither had burned any.

He’d said the night before: ‘The last thing I want is for either to give up on the other’.

Not once had he used the children as a weapon in his defence to remain head of the household. He’d also striven to regain her trust, his case put forth, and her decision had remained in the balance. She’d done that partly as punishment for the heartache and tears and long nights spent with only the children for company, and for all the times she’d been left pondering the dangers he must have been facing in far distant places.

Immobilised, numbed, fingers toying with Jamie’s wallet, she voiced, ‘I’ll always love you, and you did guess right.’

Faces appeared at shattered windows and people spilled onto the street, as black pall of smoke billowed ever upward. Every movement around seemed to have slid into slow motion as nausea and faintness washed over her. In the far distance wailing sirens . . .

With blood trickling and tears cascading like red rain down her face she glanced to her left. There was suddenly overt police presence. Several fire officers dashed past her; and she noted a paramedic and a policewoman walking toward her.

Why, why did he have to die like this?

To see other participants entries go here

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Broken Hearts Blogfest!

This blogfest is kindly hosted by the lovely Dawn Embers.

The task of this blogfest is to convey the essence of a broken heart!
Mine is a snippet from a historical in which the hero reveals inner thoughts. 

As he saddled up alongside his men, he could not deny he had hoped for something more than tentative friendship from Anna. Their time together nothing short of torture for him, and her seemingly as indifferent as ever. Today of his departing Axebury Hall served only to inflict sufferance of separation, while for Anna it would afford sense of freedom for she would have the run of the house as and when she pleased instead of hiding away in her chambers.

What more could he say or do to convince her he had no hand in his father’s death? If perchance he had had more time he might have won her round. Unfortunately, he had no choice but to answer to the call of duty, now that Bristol once again secure in Parliamentarian hands.

He simply could not ignore a message arrived from Lord Fairfax the day of yesterday requesting all troops in attendance as soon as able near to Abingdon, which had caused him to think an offensive likely upon Oxford and the King’s court amidst the spires of the hallowed colleges. With Prince Rupert long since defeated it was assumed Prince Charles to be with the King and all ensconced at Oxford. Nonetheless, he thought otherwise and had it in mind Prince Charles already made safe and out of the country. It was something Anna had said in passing, but when questioned had denied any knowledge of the Prince’ whereabouts.

Sure his saddle secure he mounted up, in his heart hoping this to be the final assault upon Royalist forces. The end to the damn war? He wanted nothing more than to return to Axebury Hall as mere lord and master, not as a soldier of the state. And, with a Parliamentarian head of household in residence the old place would be exempt from heavy taxes to be levied upon known Royalist households and properties, as deemed likely as soon as Parliament in full control of the country’s purse.

As he led off and out of the mews his men in his wake, with solemn heart he glanced up at Anna’s windows, for she had not come to wave him off or to exchange favourable words. He’d thought her warmed a little in his direction over the last few days, but obviously insufficient to grant him a fond farewell. It was her way of saying she had not forgiven him, though what needed forgiving he couldn’t imagine.

Nevertheless he had served her well in giving her access to her dowry, and who could say what might happen in the months to come. She might run off and get wed, as she had suggested, though he’d thought her outburst more taunt than intention. Throughout he had kept his father’s treacherous theft of her inheritance secret, just that, secret. He bore no desire to tarnish the image of her once shining knight, the man who had brought her as a child to Axebury and when grown a woman had desired in taking her to his bed.

Morton Lord Gantry loved Anna Lady Maitcliffe with all his heart, and if the time ever arose and he fell to her favour once again, he would gladly marry her and provide for her and expect nothing but love in return other than of at least one son and a bevy of beautiful daughters just like her. Destiny, though, might be against him as it had been since his return to Axebury. For War, ever the unpredictable beast, could shatter dreams and destroy lives as it had his and Anna’s with one strike of a sword.

To see other participants entries go here and follow the Linky Tool at bottom of Dawn's post.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Still seeking that elusive publishing contract?

Are you still seeking a publisher, rather than go it alone as and Indie booky?

Where once it was a case of publishers holding the upperhand, and all wannabe writers fearing the powers that be. No longer is that so true, because if you're willing to shop around and check out the competition within the e-book/paperback world that exists - via the Internet - then the Cyber World of publishing is your proverbial oyster.

The biggest may not always be best is a good maxim to judge by. Think in terms of well-established e-publishers to that of relative newbies on the block. First off the well-established publisher already has a long list of inhouse authors, and its submission rates are going to be much higher. Now start thinking new means less resident/established authors, therefore more chances of getting a foot in the door. The other thing to look out for is quality of cover images already on their virtual bookshelves: the cover is the eye-catcher, the content needing to match it. 

So, with all that in mind you'll find an updated comprehensive list of e-publishers and paperback publishers in lower right hand column. Good luck!    

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Super-Snooper Blogfest!

The lovely Alison is hosting this blogfest.

The task for me in this blogfest is to describe things belonging to whomever one chooses as the subject matter. The task for the reader to assess whom the person is and what he might be like personality wise and any given profession.

I've chosen a hero from one of my romance novels, and the rules for this blogfest (as I recall) doesn't state no pics!

So, I thought I would start with a pic of my hero's childhood home where he grew from boyhood to manhood, and where family tradition led him into a dangerous world in which he risked life and limb in the glory of seeking prestige and hero status: one entailing immense skill and that of horsemanship.

Born to wealth he nonetheless sought his own path in life and ventured into independent business interests, but as mentioned above, by way of family tradition he met with "His Nemesis"  - his life he believes changed thereafter for the better despite the loss of one he treasured above all others.


Within his London based home vast equine portraits are displayed in a half arc following the path of marble and wrought iron staircase to second floor. The top portait is that of Xander, his greatest equine love and long since dead.  

Lusitano Stallion (Xander)

A man who thrives on danger this hero loves powerful cars, powerful horses and a fast and powerful life style, and not averse to powerfully attractive women. But always, always he remains wary of fast women looking for powerful trophy husbands.

Bentley Continental 

His favourite room in his London house is that of The Den.
Despite it's cosy snug appearance it's where he conducts business when not in various office buildings. It's where he keeps a safe, and where he often settles down with a book, a bottle of wine, or slums it whilst watching TV.       

The Den

When he's feeling really stressed and in need of relaxation or a physical workout does he venture to a gym in the basement?

Like hell he does, he just dives in and swims length after length! 

But one day, one day in this very pool a woman tilts the axis of his lonely if otherwise balanced world. Needless to say, he's smitten, thinks himself in control but she's not whom he thinks her to be and soon there's no way back from self-induced hell! ;)

Now for the final clue: these are part of what he loves doing most. By collating all the info here you should be able to uncover what he was and what he is now!

And, what do you reckon he's like as a person?  

Tomorrow I'll add two pics to this post showing what he was and what he is now! Check back to see if you were right . . .

Follow up day Allessandre revealed:

He's of aristocratic lineage and does have a ruthless streak in his business dealings, at the same time he rewards loyalty with same and of a philanthropic nature: gives a helping hand in setting up of own business with aim to own wealth.  He's fiercely protective of family, his own privacy, yet a social beast in that he's a team player.
El Cavaleiro

He was what many people might abhorr, but it was family tradition and at one time a social event: still is for many.  The Portuguese Bullfighter performs nothing less than that of equine dressage when taunting the bull from horseback, and of course it is intended the bull survive to fight another day. Nemesis, a much admired bull and old hand at being taunted, was a canny beast whom memorised every movement of Xander (horse) and finally sought revenge! Although Allessandre almost died, too, and later went back into the ring in the Spanish style of Matador with sword in hand to kill Nemesis, his admiration for the bull led to its retirement out to grass.

He is now a professional polo player and breeds polo ponies, Xander's offspring (mares & stallions) the source of a breed line sought by many of his ilk.