Talent Spotter #4. My guests, Hannah Warren. Sheila Belshaw. Mary T Kincaid. Jason O’Hara & Viktoria Faust.


I love promoting Talent! I love being part of a world where people explore the realms of inner thought. I love a world where escaping is as simple as opening your eyes and your mind.

With that in mind please welcome my first guest today

Hannah Warren

The Cottage on the Border. (The Jenna Kroon Series)

Talent Spotter Hannah Cocer Cottage on theJenna’s earliest memory is of her mother’s feet dangling in dust motes, as a three year old left orphaned while her mother’s corpse hung from a beam. Her mother committed suicide, that’s how she escaped and freed herself. When her own life falls apart Jenna’s earliest memory becomes her anchor, she too wants to be free.

Vincent Van Son is Jenna’s adopted brother, her psychiatrist, perhaps her only friend. He takes her to the Cottage for recovery, determined to rescue his sister from herself after her failed suicide attempt. The cottage on the border is at Oud Land, and is the location of many dark secrets.

Jenna’s close call with death leaves her open to the psychic world, and in this cottage in the onset of a misty winter, Jenna hears them, the voices of the past, memories of what happened on the border. It becomes a journey to herself. She has to listen, to witness, she has no choice. Their stories are her story, and it is a long heritage of murder, deceit, ethnic discourse and betrayal.

Perspective returns to the introspective prima ballerina, she has learned the truth of her family, of this cottage of psychic confessions. She alone emerges from the rubble of six decades of troubled family history, a lone phoenix.

The Cottage on The Border is a tale of murder, mystery, intrigue, familial despair, heartbreak, and spiritual resurrection.


Amazon link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Cottage-Border-Jenna-Kroon-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00XHWE9OG?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc
Website: www.hannahwarrenauthor.com
FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/HannahWarrenAuthor/?ref=bookmarks
Amazon author page: https://www.facebook.com/HannahWarrenAuthor/?ref=bookmarks
Tirgearr Author page: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Warren_Hannah/index.htm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hannah_war


My next guest,  is Author …

Sheila Mary Taylor aka Sheila Belshaw

Golden Sapphire.


A love story set in Stone

Samantha King has dedicated all her young life to mining sapphires in the Gemfields of Queensland – and at a cost. Her husband is killed in a mining accident trying to get her the biggest sapphire he can find – a magnificent golden sapphire she finds clutched in his hand when his battered body is recovered. Determined to make his sacrifice worthwhile she pledges to establish the golden sapphire as a symbol of love – a stone to rival the diamond. A stone every woman in love would want.

 But how?

Where there is one such sapphire, there are probably more. And they probably stretch into Old Dan’s concession, adjacent to her own … but unreachable because Old Dan is her dearest friend …

Five years later when Old Dan dies, his nephew, Mark, a prominent London jeweller – young, arrogant, confident, distinguished – comes to Queensland to wrap up his affairs and sell his uncle’s claims, but becomes fascinated by his uncle’s fabulous collection of sapphires. And by Samantha.

But Samantha is only interested in acquiring Old Dan’s mining rights. Is there some way she can persuade Mark to sell them to her?

And is there some way Mark can persuade Samantha that life is not just about sapphires?

Purchase Golden Sapphire on Amazon .com


Please welcome my next guest…

Author Mary T Kincaid

Talent spotter cover Mary Kincaid

 Is everyone supposed to always conform  to expectation.? Mortimer couldn’t? What if there is another world waiting for us? Would you reach for it? Mortimer did. Would you explore? Can you hear the music of another parade?

Purchase Mortimer Here


Please welcome my next guest

Jason O’Hara

Talent Spotter Jason O'hara cover

Cris Juarez watches as vampires rise to power, sweeping mankind out of the way with a war that destroys the peace she had known. Now, with the help of a werewolf named Grady, a tech wizard known as Angel, and two immortals known as Grigori, she learns the dark truth and why the world she knew ended. Now it is up to her to bring the vampires’ reign of terror to an end. But first, she needs to learn how to fight. In this, book one of the Angel of Death saga, She begins her journey. Will she survive it?

Purchase Here

Please welcome my next guest …

Viktoria Faust

Viktoria’s book is named  RECYCLED, no cover available, however the cover below is from her other work. The synopsis refers to RECYCLED.

Talent Spotter Viktoria 2


Humanity lost its ability to procreate, but stayed creative in ways to keep itself alive. Not to the satisfaction of all what was left of human kind.

Recycled available here


And one of my own books,

Author S. Burke

Spine chilling suspense
A chilling psychological thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.

In Book 1 of the ‘Unintended Consequences’ series Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly ,journey.
Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.

He and his team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.

Nothing in their experience has prepared them for this. Nothing in their imaginations could conceive of the truth hidden in plain sight.

Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from a truth too incomprehensible to be permitted to exist.

Revealing it and those that set it in motion would bring the most powerful country on earth to its knees. The corridors of power shake.

Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?

Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive.

Purchase on Amazon.com here









Discussion: ‘The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2016.’ Guest Eden Baylee.

I’m delighted to welcome Author Eden Baylee to the discussion. This is the final post in the month long series, thanks to all of you for participating.

   The discussion from the original post in 2011.

As sex exists today as it has since the beginning of time, I’d say it’s absolutely relevant in literature. If I didn’t think it was, I wouldn’t be writing contemporary erotica.

We all know that sex sells, but even in the genre I write, more sex does not necessarily make the story better. Given this, I’d like to approach the question a bit differently and ask “To what extent should sexual content be included in literature?”

What guides me in answering this question is simple. Does sex contribute to the story? If it’s included to develop the characters, then it’s relevant. If it’s a gratuitous scene that adds nothing to advance the plot, then it should be edited out. Sex without context is meaningless. Not only does it detract from the story, but it could also turn the reader off. Why? Readers are not fools, and they don’t like to be treated as such.

I’ll illustrate this point by using the medium of film.

Let’s start with car chases as representative of sex in literature.

Everyone loves a good car chase scene. It’s exciting, gets your heart racing, and should move the plot forward (even if only metaphorically). Some of the best car chases I’ve seen are from movies such as: Ronin; The Bourne Identity; The French Connection; and the classic—Bullitt.

Why did I like these films? Because they had a plot and characters I cared about. There was an intricate storyline that involved more than just a speeding car, but when the car chase did happen, it was integral to the plot. I didn’t feel as if the director added it as an afterthought or filler to make the movie more “saleable.”

That’s exactly how I view sex in literature. Page after page of sex is like watching a two-hour car chase on the big screen. Though it may be exciting for a little while, it quickly becomes tedious if you can’t answer some basic questions: Who are these people? What have they done? Why are they being chased?

In a well-made film, the requirement for car chases is balanced with the need to advance the story. This is the same balance needed for sex within literature. If you can’t answer the questions: Who are these people? Why are they having sex? Why are they having this type of sex? Then my prediction is you really won’t give a damn why they’re having sex at all.

The second point is realism. Any work of fiction is only successful to the extent that the audience can willfully suspend their disbelief. When the filmmaker pushes too far, the work fails—the same goes for authors, especially when it comes to writing sex. Most adults have experienced sex. For this reason alone, it’s essential to keep it real. The challenge is to write it in a way that is creative and yet sensual. Maintaining believability means characters are not engaging in acrobatic moves that even a contortionist could not muster. It’s sex, not gymnastics! Unless your writing involves the paranormal or shape-shifters, characters should not possess superhuman powers when having sex. That includes the frequency, type, and amount of sex they have.

The third comparison to film is genre. If you watch a comedy, you expect to laugh. If you watch a horror movie, you expect to be scared. The same expectations are inherent in literature. No matter what genre you write in, there is opportunity to include sex in your story—if it’s appropriate. Expanding on the car chase analogy, inclusion of one in a “heist” film would be expected, but not so for a mystery or science fiction film unless it makes sense to the story.

Erotica is a genre that obviously contains sexual content. Often misunderstood, some equate it to pornography, thereby discrediting it as nothing more than “just” sex. Because of this negative association, some writers of erotica have taken to calling themselves romance or erotica/romance authors—myself included. It’s not that I think romance is more credible or respected as a genre, but it does give me a wider audience. Some readers want more sex than is provided in the “happily ever after” romance novels. Good erotica delivers more sex—along with a strong storyline, riveting plot, and interesting characters.

It’s important to know what you’re getting when you buy something, and perhaps that’s the main reason to define the genres. At the heart of it though, does it matter if you call yourself a romance author, erotica author, or author of fiction who writes with strong erotic elements? I think not. Call yourself what you like, but if you are writing sex in literature today—do it for the right reasons: To draw your readers into the plot of the story; to arouse them to connect to your characters; and finally, to have them fully commit to your book, awaiting the next one with bated breath.

Eden’s update. 2016.


When the lovely Suzanna Burke, asked me to pen an update to an article I wrote for her series, “The Relevance of Sex In Literature in 2011,” I was shocked to realize how much time had passed.

I don’t usually re-read my old blogs because they tend to sound dated. Either my writing style has changed, or new information has come to light since its writing. In this case, I re-read the article only to provide myself with context. In the process, I made an interesting discovery. It was as if I were reading my words for the very first time. The post still resonated with me—five years later!

Of course, much has changed since I wrote that piece, both in the world of literature and in my own writing. What did not surprise me though, is that “sex is still relevant in literature,” and I’d wager that if Suzanna asked me to update my thoughts again in five years, I would give the same answer.

As long as we live, serious literature must at least acknowledge that sex exists. How this acknowledgment insinuates itself into the pages of a book is up to the author. Not all writing about sex will be good. For example, when I wrote my first article, Fifty Shades of Gray had not yet been released. Since then, opinions on the book have run the gamut. It’s been called:

The best thing for the erotica industry

A book that will get women in touch with their sexuality

A misogynist tale that has turned back the women’s movement

A dangerous and inaccurate representation of the BDSM lifestyle

The worst thing for the erotica industry


Confession time.

I never read past page 98 of the first book, so I won’t speak to the merits of the story. What I can say is the book came along at a time when people were open to a dialogue about sexuality. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook made it possible for everyone to voice their opinions. Good or bad, the book allowed for conversation about sexuality, and denial that it existed was futile. Everyone was talking about it. It may have taken a popular (if not a great) book to kick-start the conversation, but it was a conversation, nonetheless.

I’m a firm believer that myths can only be debunked when we talk about them. This is especially true on the topic of sexuality, which is still a taboo subject for many. An open dialogue goes a long way to creating understanding and stamping out ignorance. Even if we agree to disagree, we can no longer remain in the dark.

My hope is the conversation continues.



Eden’s updated bio:

Since penning several books of erotica, Eden Baylee has expanded her writing to the mystery and suspense genres.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called STRANGER AT SUNSET. She is now working on the next two books in the series.

Eden still writes erotica when given the opportunity, and many of her stories, regardless of genre, will continue to explore the basic human characteristics of love, hate, and sexuality.

Connect to her via her: Website | Twitter @edenbaylee | Facebook


edeneden 3

‘Talent Spotter’ #3.

Welcome to Talent Spotter #3. Again I’m delighted to welcome a marvelous collection of Authors.

If you care to join in and wish to be promoted on Talent Spotters, the details are at the conclusion of this post.

Please …Welcome, Author Kristen Stone.

             If the world hadn’t changed –

2019. Great Britain prepares for the election of a new prime minister, but just how great is this green and pleasant land? Who holds the power? Can the working man ever affect real change? Or are we destined to repeat the mistakes of the past in a perpetual re-telling of history. As today’s disenchanted, yearn for a rose-tinted yesteryear, the Smith family simply wish for a life without poverty and suppression, a world without the threat of war and disease in which they and their children might flourish amid fairness and equality. But things are rarely that simple… In this unique dystopian glimpse at a world unchanged by labour laws or advances in technology, we discover just how un-halcyon our days would actually be -If The World Ha’tdn Chagned.


 A dystopian future … Entrenched in the past.

Historical notes

Not until 1918 were all men given the vote. 1918 Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act, so this act was never passed.

 You will find Kirsten Stone on each of the following links

KINDLE UK http://dld.bz/eEmcG

KOBO  http://dld.bz/eErpv

ITUNES  http://dld.bz/eEmdb

SCRIBD  http://dld.bz/eEmdp

PAGE FOUNDRY http://dld.bz/eEmdu

B&N NOOK http://dld.bz/eErpp

 Paperback is available at Lulu and coming everywhere else soon.

Please …  Welcome, Author, David Rix.

Talent Spotter David Rix COVER.jpg

A Suite in Four Windows

A fusion of modernist music and horror story.

Four Windows.  Four View of the city from the Haunted House.  Four music students working hard to analyse a unique and extraordinary musical composition.  Four minds about to take a ride through derangement and beyond as the clouds gather over the city of London.  From The Night of the Electric Insects through the Songs of Bones and Flutes all the way to God Music and the return trip, George Crumb’s Black Angels paints a unique picture of good and evil, madness and ethereality.  But listen too hard to it and it can do things to you – especially as the skies turn yellow and lightning flickers like burning alcohol in the distance.  As the sounds shriek out into the night, who shall fly and who shall fall?  Who shall look up and who shall look down?  And when the music whispers into silence – what shall be left?

Contact David,  on the following link.


Please … Welcome, Author, Chuck Lovatt.

“The Adventures of Charlie Smithers”

Talent Spotter Cover Chuck Lovatt.png


Harry Flashman, step aside, old son. Make way for Charlie Smithers.

“Poetic prose and humorous undertones that are wildly entertaining.” ~ Serious Reading

The time is the nineteenth century. The place, the Serengeti Plain, where one Charlie Smithers – faithful manservant to the arrogant bone-head, Lord Brampton (with five lines in Debrett, and a hopeless shot to boot) – becomes separated from his master during an unfortunate episode with an angry rhinoceros, thereby launching Charlie on an odyssey into Deepest Darkest Africa, and subsequently into the arms of the beautiful Loiyan…and that’s where the trouble really begins.

Maasai warriors, xenophobic locals, or evil Arab slavers, the two forbidden lovers encounter everything that the unforgiving jungle can throw at them.

“A truly engaging read that will keep anyone’s attention from the hilarious beginning until the last word. I highly recommend this 5 star novel.” ~ Chapters & Chats



Please … Welcome, Author Taylor Morgan, writing as Phoenix L. James.

Talent Spotter Fifteen Shards of Broken Glass Cover

“One choice can change your life…”

Rising from the ashes of her shattered past, Annie Clarke finds redemption in an unlikely place where she has a second chance to start over. With a sense of justice burning within, Annie’s mission is to rescue her little sister. But Annie’s journey is thwart with danger as secrets, lies and corruption seem to prevent her from ever knowing true happiness. Detective Oliver Bradley follows his heart – not the rules. As a third generation New York City police officer, Oliver is tortured by a past that he keeps secret. Living a lonely life, Oliver’s heart leads him astray. When his path crosses Annie Clarke’s, she causes him to rethink and question everything he ever knew about the law. Can Annie and Oliver rescue Annie’s little sister and extract justice from the corrupt system before the one man who has manipulated their lives destroys their future? “A story of healing, courage, love, and strength to rise above adversity and defy the odds. A must read that will touch the human.

This book is also available in Large Print.



Please … Welcome, Author, RICHARD MCSTAY


Talent Spotter Cover Richard McStay.png

A mechanic who’s been to prison and a highly skilled plastic surgeon are certainly an unlikely match. Richard Buchanan, wrongfully convicted, is now looking for a new start by taking a job in China. Dr. Susan Ryan is taking a break from her controlling family and fiance to do some charity work in Bangladesh. But their plans go awry when their plane crashes into the Pacific and they are the only survivors. Only their ingenuity in building a make-shift raft from debris keeping them alive. After a week of eating raw fish and battling the weather and sharks, they reach a small island, thinking they’ve returned to civilization. But they’re wrong – they only find more problems. They get to know each other and fall in love as they fight off storms, injuries, and drug-dealing pirates who want them dead. If they succeed in returning to civilization, can they also fight public opinion opposing their love?

Purchase Richard’s work on the following links.



And take a look at:

“Acts Beyond Redemption” My Book. Author S. Burke.

Amazon Cover

“For those that enjoy a gripping, fast-paced, Psychological, Thriller. Buckle in … It’s one hell of a ride? Reviewer on Amazon.

In Book 1 of the ‘Unintended Consequences’ series Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly ,journey.

Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.

He and his team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.

Nothing in their experience has prepared them for this.

Nothing in their imaginations could conceive of the truth hidden in plain sight.

Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from a truth too incomprehensible to be permitted to exist.

Revealing it and those that set it in motion would bring the most powerful country on earth to its knees. The corridors of power shake.

Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?

Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive?

Available here on Amazon.

If you care to have YOUR work promoted here, please email me … at  suzieb4burke@hotmail.com  Please include the following,  Your Book cover. Back cover blurb. And all contact and purchase links. Most important … please note “Talent Spotter” in the subject line.

I may also be contacted on TWITTER @pursoot


Talent Spotter #2. A selection of books for your enjoyment.

Welcome to Talent Spotter. This is a site where promotion of Indie and small press authors is absolutely free.

Details on how you can have your book featured here will be given at the end of this post.

Welcome Author T K Geering

Talent Spotter cover Tee Geering RUSSIAN GIFT OF LOVE BOOK COVER

Appearances can be deceptive.

Vicky is a successful published author, but this is just a cover for her real job. A Detective Chief Inspector dealing with espionage and anti terrorism.

The handsome firefighter Nick moves into the cottage next door and they become friends. Due to an ankle injury he ends up spending Christmas with Vicky who is nursing him back to health.

As the snow falls heavily, they find themselves snowed in and their friendship turns to intense love. Nick, a secret Russian sleeper, has a contract to fulfill and the hit is Vicky.

You will find T K Geering on the following sites.

Amazon Author page:


Soulfate Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60o4BzyBsZo&feature=youtu.be






 Welcome author Joanne Sexton.

Talent Spotter Jo Sexton Cover

The Chosen One

  Sera’s life quickly becomes surreal when she discovers she’s a princess from a realm so full of magical folk they give credence to every fairytale she’s read. The realm is in danger; a wicked warlock has kidnapped a princess, and it will take all seven princesses to save her. Transported to this celestial environment, Sera is immediately captivated by the elf, Keelor. It is love at first sight. He’s infuriating and aloof, but chemistry sizzles despite their attraction forbidden by law and lore.

Welcome Author P.S Winn

Talent Spotter cover P S WINN

A gift was passed down from her grandmother. All her life Andrea Moore has been able to see spirits. Now, her grandma has passed on, but Andi still talks to her. When Deputy Vaughn Walker asks Andi to help solve the mystery of four women who have disappeared, Vaughn, Andi and her friend Nate are going to find those from the other side influence this life and some spirits are pure evil. They also find themselves in the middle of the epic battle of good versus evil.

Purchase Here.


Welcome Author Lauren Grey

Talent Spotter cover LAUREN GREY

Threads of fate connect those destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. A mysterious music box that when opened, triggers feelings of unbearable emptiness and loss for Darby. Her nights become filled with haunting dreams that spill into her days. The successful journalist’s entire universe shifts sideways as her internal demons strengthen their grip. She loses her job, her friends and fears her sanity’s next. Conventional medicine and therapy have done nothing to ease her tortured mind. Desperate, she seeks out an old psychic. The woman reveals the mysterious box, and her disturbing dreams are unearthly messages and threads she must follow – no matter what she might find at the other end. Darby follows the threads to her ancestral home in Ireland. She’s determined to discover the secrets of the music box and who the woman is behind the eyes in her dreams. There she meets Neil and falls in love – but in spite of her new enchantment, the threads of time become even

Threads of Time available on –



on Amazon – in Kindle and paperback


Welcome Author Daniel Bogogolela.

Talent Spotter cover Danniel B


In this novel, author Daniel Bogogolela describes the lives and loves of a group of urban young adults in a typical South African township. Hawk and his friends explore friendship and relationships within the sub-culture, morality, social rules and dangers of township life. The story unfolds somewhat like a play, with incidents involving love, betrayal and even violence taking place as the scenes constantly change. The novel makes extensive use of township dialogue to give the book a certain feeling of authenticity, as the youngsters come to terms with township life.

Purchase Here.

And here is one of my own works. Author S. Burke. This work will be available #FREE for the 1st and only Time on 28th/29th JULY. Grab a copy while you can. The sequel is coming.

Amazon Cover

In Book 1 of the ‘Unintended Consequences’ series Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly ,journey.

Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.

He and his team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.

Nothing in their experience has prepared them for this.

Nothing in their imaginations could conceive of the truth hidden in plain sight.
Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from a truth too incomprehensible to be permitted to exist.

Revealing it and those that set it in motion would bring the most powerful country on earth to its knees. The corridors of power shake.

Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?

Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive?

Purchase Here or grab it for free from 28th July for two days only..

Join in the promotion! It’s free. Interested? That’s great. Here is all you need to do. Send me an email at  suzieb4burke@hotmail.com  I need your book cover, book blurb and purchase links etc. Please be sure to have the words Talent Spotter in the subject line.



‘Talent Spotter’: #1 Presenting 6 Books for your enjoyment.

Welcome to the very first edition of ‘Talent Spotter’ I will be featuring Five Authors with each post. The links to purchase any of these books are included … If you would like to be featured details are at the conclusion of this presentation.

Lets Begin …

Welcome Author Greta van der Rol.

Talent Spotter COVER GRETA VAN DER ROL ELLE 27th july

About ‘Ella and The Admiral’

When Admiral Goran Chandler suddenly turns up in Ella’s restaurant her comfortable world is thrown into turmoil. Ten years ago he’d been a senior commander, and captain of the frigate Antelope. She had been Lieutenant Bulich then, and he’d kicked her off his ship.

With unexpected danger threatening, and a killer stalking the corridors of the Hotel Majestic, Ella and the admiral must work together to escape with their lives before they can consider the events of ten years ago, and what they mean now.

Buy the book at Amazon Nook Kobo iTunes

Fast-paced action adventure with a dollop of romance

Welcome Author Bill Kirton.

Talent spotter COVER BILL KIRTON

The brother of a respected G.P is found with his throat cut. Guilty men who, thanks to a clever lawyer, have been acquitted, begin to disappear. Rape victim Rhona Kirk starts a new life in Dundee but finds it difficult to shake off her past. And the men she’s been connected with also start to go missing.

DCI Jack Carston’s own darker impulses stir as he searches for the links between all these disparate events. He senses a strong, empathetic bond between himself and whoever is responsible. His investigation is a race against both time and his own unsettling thoughts.

 But the final outcome is beyond even his worst imaginings.



 Welcome Author Jay Shaw.

Talent Spotters cover for Jay Shaw The-Space-Colonels-Woman-JayAheer2016-smallpreview

Helicopter pilot, Julia Swift, lives her life from one rescue to the next. Unlucky in love, she longs for a lover who resembles the hero of her favorite space show, Phoenix Rising.

When an injured man falls through a portal and lands on her local beach, it seems the universe has granted her wish. Not only does Colonel Mark Holden resemble the fictional military commander, he also bears his name.

Despite the incredulity of their situation, Mark and Julia share an inexplicable connection. They realize they have spent their whole lives searching for each other. But when Mark’s team comes to rescue him, Julia must choose. Will she stay behind? Or will she travel with a man she hardly knows, to the fictional Dragonus Galaxy? A world brought to life in an alternate reality…

Purchase Here

Welcome Author Simon Forward.

Talent Spotter Cover Simon Forward.



Welcome to the worlds of the Tortenschloss Chronicles.

These are worlds of Singing Swords, Prodigal Bulls and Extreme Unicorns. Of woolves and pandas and investigative jesters. Where bee-stings can be magical and cups can grant wishes without the aid of saucery. Where heroes might not always be heroic, but they will certainly be colourful.

This is a short story collection that will continue to grow after reading. Every few months, this Kindle version will be updated with two more stories, FREE bonus content, complete with accompanying illustrations and author’s notes. Just download when your device notifies you the updated version is available.

Pour yourself a cuppa and grab yourself several slices of fantasy adventure.

(Suitable for dunking.)




Welcome Author John Holt.

Talent spotters John Holt

My latest novel, the sixth to feature Tom Kendall, is “A Case Of Murder”

Whittaker passed the drinks over. “Anyway, it seems that he’s got himself into a bit of bother,” he continued. “A very serious bit of bother.”
“Bother?” repeated Kendall.
Whittaker heaved a sigh. “Yes you know,” he replied. “Trouble.”
Kendall nodded. “Oh trouble, I get you,” he said. “So what sort of bother are we talking about?”
Whittaker took another drink. “Well it’s a case of murder I’m afraid.”
“Murder,” repeated Mollie. Whittaker said nothing, but simply nodded agreement.
Another murder, thought Kendall. Just what I need. “Just stop right there, for a moment, and re-wind will you,” he said. “Then let’s have it from the top, slowly.”



And finally my own book. S. Burke ‘Acts Beyond Redemption.’

Amazon Cover

In Book 1 of the ‘Unintended Consequences’ series Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly ,journey.
Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.

He and his team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.

Nothing in their experience has prepared them for this. Nothing in their imaginations could conceive of the truth hidden in plain sight.
Someone is deflecting their weary eyes away from a truth too incomprehensible to be permitted to exist.
Revealing it and those that set it in motion would bring the most powerful country on earth to its knees. The corridors of power shake.

Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?

Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive.

Purchase Acts Beyond Redemption here

See all my books here.

Would you like to take advantage of ‘Talent Spotter?’

If you are an Indie or Small press author this promotion is for you.

Send your details Book cover/blurb/purchase links; to me, at suzieb4burke@hotmail.com. Please be certain to write Talent Spotter in the subject line.

All genres are welcome .

This service is entirely free.

Please share this post.



Discussion: ‘The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2016.’

I’m delighted to welcome Author Jillian Brookes-Ward as my guest today. Jillian also writes under the name of Lucy Pepperdine.

Sex in Literature – 2016 or still 1811

If it wasn’t for sex, none of us would be here. It’s as normal a part of life as eating, breathing and sleeping – so why is it that it that some readers turn up their noses and cry ‘Foul!’ when they come across a sex scene in a book? It would seem some sections of society would like to prefer sex didn’t exist at all and because they don’t indulge (for want of a better word) would prefer no-one else did either. Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) the ‘father of genetics’, faced the wrath of his bishops when he conducted his experiments with mice, because the creatures had sex to procreate and the bishops were all (in theory at least) celibate. Mendel had the last laugh when he wrote in his journal – ‘What they don’t seem to realise is that plants have sex too!’

How do the sensibilities of others reflect on sex in literature today? It depends on how the sexual content of the book is presented. Obviously you don’t want to come across it in a cookbook – unless you’re reading one of Nigella Lawson’s food porn books – but when you pick up a romance, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise when expression of love turns to the physical. Despite their reputation for stiff laced prudishness, Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell had plenty of sex in their books, it just wasn’t as graphically illustrated as it is today, you have to read between the lines, but it is definitely there. Attitudes have changed, we are braver now and more open with our portrayal of sex and let us not forget of course as is blatantly illustrated day in day out in advertising – sex sells. If you want to sell your book, it seems you have to follow the trend for tittilation, whether you like it or not.

We know life isn’t always a bed of scented red roses with muscled heroes and heaving breasted heroines thrusting and throbbing their way towards mutual ecstasy, there is the darker side of sex too. Rape, incest, necrophilia, paedophilia, bestiality – but you won’t see those advertised. They are considered taboos best swept under the carpet. Should we write about them, too? Yes, we should. To not to is as good as denying their existence.

On the other side of the coin we find the double standard whereby it is perfectly acceptable to depict gross non-sexual abuses on one’s fellows in the form of the most obscene scenes of pain and torture your imagination can cope with and it’s allowed, but not a tender love between two men or two women.

All these things are happening around us every day in the real world, but is it right to depict it in a book under the guise of ‘entertainment’? So where do you draw the line of decency? Where is the point when depiction of facts of life becomes an invitation to experiment and does the author bear any responsibility for the way they offer their sex scenes, keeping in mind their audience? These are difficult dilemmas for an author not to be approached lightly.

It looks as if we may be getting to the stage where we need to put a ‘Caution, adult content’ disclaimer on the cover of every book. How far do you have to go? List the pages? Should books be submitted for censorship and redaction like secret government documents? Of course not, that would be silly…wouldn’t it?

On a personal note, I write sex scenes in my books. I’ve written gentle, tender loving sex, desperate masturbation, violent rape and silly, saucy, sexy rompings. I’m not ashamed of any of them. I enjoyed writing them and readers have enjoyed reading them. They have always been in context of the story, I don’t do gratuitious.

Sex is Nature’s gift. For the most part it gives a great deal of delight and enjoyment and unless future generations are to be conceived and grown in glass jars, long may it continue to do so, but portrayal of sex in literature is a two edged sword, you are damned if you do (smut) and damned if you don’t (prude) so it would seem that getting it right is a very delicate balancing act.


. Books by Jillian Brookes-Ward writing as Lucy Pepperdine

Discussion: ‘The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2016.’

My guest today is Zelda Jones.

Relevance of Sex in Literature


I have mixed feelings about the relevance of sex in literature. I think I was first made aware of it when I was in years 11 and 12 at high school. I had an English Literature teacher who seemed almost obsessed with sex and sexuality in literature. Miss T was probably one of the first people to dress in a kind of steam punk/ goth fashion. She had long, naturally black hair, big brown eyes, wore lots of thick, black eye make up, and dressed flamboyantly; often wearing a dead fox with beads for eyes, around her neck.


She got us to read books like D.H.Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterly’s Lover. She would then give us lengthy questionaires to answer; the majority were about the sexual symbolism and connotations in each book. She would then encourage class discussions about these topics. Although I respected and looked up to Miss T in other ways, these questions and discussions made me feel really embarrassed and squirmy. At the tender ages of 16 and 17,  in the mid 70’s, I don’t think I was really ready to engage in discussions about sex and sexuality in literature yet.


The year I left school, I encountered Miss T in the local gym one day. She was wearing nothing but a skimpy little tank top and a pair of extremely revealing leopard skin g strings. It was something I could not unsee. I guess she just had no shame.


Personally, I prefer sex in literature to be merely hinted at and not explicit or graphic. I prefer romance, kissing, hand holding, heart beating and emotional scenes. I find it quite dismaying that so many women these days seem to be right into erotica; where it pretty much seems like anything goes. I was once asked to review an audible historic erotic novel. I only got part way through, and simply could not go on. There was very little actual story line. Every single scene just concentrated mainly on graphic, explicit, no holds barred sexual activity. People’s sexual organs and what they were doing with them were described, again and again and again. It actually made me feel physically ill, and also bored, from the very repetitiveness of it all.


Another popular theme these days seems to be the covers of erotica novels, and even some romance books. A lot of these covers depict so called sexy men with bare chests and exaggerated“six packs”plus scantily clad, buxom ladies swooning around them. I feel like these covers are an insult to people’s intelligence. When I see a cover like that, I just cannot take the book seriously, and think that it’s probably trashy and not worth reading.


I worry about how seemingly intelligent women get pulled in by the Fifty Shades Of Grey novels; which promote male dominance and violence towards women. Have women come so far, only to go backwards again?


So to sum up my thoughts and feelings about sex in literature: I don’t feel comfortable reading novels that read like soft porn; full of graphic and sometimes violent sex scenes. I prefer there to be an actual story line, where relationships develop naturally, and sex scenes are more subtle and not graphic. For me, this creates a more finer, delicate balance.

Discussion: The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2016.

I’m delighted to welcome author Kira Morgana as my guest today. Join in as we revisit 2011 and read the update for 2016.

Original post from 2011.

A Parent / Teacher Perspective.

By Kira Morgana

Before I start into this article, I want you to think about a few questions.

  • Do you remember the first book you read with sex in it?
  • How old were you?
  • How did it make you feel physically?
  • What sorts of emotions did the sex scenes evoke?

Don’t answer them straight away, just mull them over, let them percolate in your mind and we’ll come back to them later.

As a Teacher, I have to shoulder the burden of teaching Sex Ed. In the UK, most schools amalgamate the subject into PSE (Personal and Social Education) and often it’s skipped over with only a couple of lessons wholly devoted to Sex Ed. In some schools, like many faith schools, sex is only taught as part of the reproductive cycle in Science.

Don’t get me wrong, there are schools that take it seriously and have a separate class for it. These good schools are often oversubscribed…

Therefore, when the teenage pregnancy rate grows, Teachers get a lot of the flack for not teaching the subject properly. Now, you can breathe easily, I’m not going to rant about how teachers are undervalued and underpaid, etc. etc. etc… I just wanted to give you a flavour of how Sex Ed is seen in schools.

Some kids learn about sex from magazines, others watch TV shows or movies that include it as part of the storyline and still others manage to get access to inappropriate sites on the internet. The information that they learn filters down through the grapevine of school and socialising, spawning the usual misinformation and rumours that fills many schoolteacher’s hearts with Lead when they start the Sex Ed lessons.

I’m not just a Teacher though. I am a parent with two young children. The oldest, my son, is ten (almost eleven) and he is obviously starting puberty. He is also trying very hard not to notice girls and is starting to become curious about Sex, which is one of the reason’s I decided to take this particular slant on the title subject.

I know that many parents are squeamish about talking about Sex with their children. I know it fills me with a certain sense of dread when I think about doing it. However, I am a firm believer in the theory that a lot of nonsense and misinformation can be averted through having a good “Birds & Bees” talk with my children when they get to that age. It also builds a good relationship with your children when you do this, so they won’t be worried about asking you questions on difficult subjects.

The problem about not taking this kind of view is that if you don’t talk to your children about Sex, they’ll get more of their information from unsuitable sources.

What am I going on about?


Now there is nothing wrong with Porn. It serves a purpose and a need. Nevertheless, it’s about titillation not education and can give the inquisitive teen a distorted view of what Sex is about. Porn says that Sex is about pleasure and that pleasure can be accomplished with a few minutes of licking, sucking, squirming, and penetration of various orifices in various positions.

Now you and I (as adults) know that Sex is more than that. However, remind yourself of your teenage years for a moment. Close your eyes and take yourself back to that point in time before you lost your virginity…

Stop sniggering at the back there and behave yourselves!

If you were anything like me, you didn’t know what Sex was about. In my school, we didn’t have Sex Ed. Classes and anything that was even rumoured to have sex in was a banned substance. So there was a lot of mystery surrounding the subject.

It also meant that when you managed to get your hands on something that did have sex in, you held on to it.

Just to clarify for those who are reading this and may be younger than I… We did not have the INTERNET. We only had VHS and CD’s had only just been invented when I hit Middle School.

For boys, Porn was the best route and I have it on best authority (i.e.: from several old boyfriends) that porn mags were handed from boy to boy until they started to fall apart. The older boys might even be able to buy Porn Videos. Boys were supposed to know about sex and while it might have been frowned upon to watch it or read it openly, they got the “boys will be boys” look and shrug.

Girls however, were supposed to be sweet and innocent. We were not supposed to be interested in Sex at all, until we met the right man and got married. Then it was up to our husbands to teach us…


Hah! In practise, that view meant we girls often had to look elsewhere for information. Girls magazines at the time were kept sweet and innocent. The raciest it got between the pages of Jackie was agony aunts answering questions about kissing and periods. If you were allowed to buy Just Seventeen, there may have been photo stories about heavy petting… I don’t know if there were, by the way, I was buying Top of the Pops at that point.

Many girls would borrow their mum’s Jilly Cooper, Catherine Cookson or Danielle Steel books and thumb through those, making sure they weren’t caught reading them.

Then came Judy Blume and the Children’s Book world was turned upside down. Finally, girls had somewhere to turn to, to find out about sex. Moreover, it was legal and you didn’t have to hide it from your mum. Well, until there was a mass up roar about it in Parentland and a lot of the County Libraries and School Libraries were forced to withdraw her books from their shelves.

Why? Well this excerpt from a Wikipedia Article on the book explains why –

The book is often cited as controversial because of Blume’s use of suggestive language, the detailed depiction of sexual intercourse, and because her character Katherine goes on the pill. Criticism of the novel often comes from sexual abstinence groups, as well as religious groups who consider the use of ‘the pill’ unsuitable for Blume’s teenage audience.

Katherine and Michael discuss their feelings carefully before deciding to have sex; when they finally have it, they talk about it thoroughly and obtain contraception from a family planning clinic.

“Judy Blume, an author of books for young readers, caused a scandal in 1975 with Forever… (1975), which is commonly considered the first YA book to deal with teen love and teen pregnancy. Although Bradbury Press infuriated Blume by advertising the book as Blume’s first adult book, Forever… is a Young Adult novel; it soon made its way into the teen audience, and is now being read by some preteens. ”

Judy Blume considers this book to have had one “odd and lasting side-effect of its popularity”; the decline in the popularity of the name Ralph. Throughout the book, Michael consistently refers to his penis as “Ralph”, and the subsequent generation who grew up reading Forever seemed unwilling to consider it as a suitable name for their children. Blume responded to several concerned Ralphs with “I apologize to all of them. It’s nothing personal.”

Taken from Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forever…_(novel)

Ahem – you can stop imagining being a teenager now and think about the answers to those questions now…

My first exposure to sex in a book was a copy of Skinhead by Richard Allen. I borrowed it from my mum when I was thirteen. The MC was male and it was set in the late sixties / early seventies, so it wasn’t the best of introductions to sex for a girl.

AGGRO – That’s what Joe Hawkins and his mates were looking for, with their shaven heads, big boots and braces. Football matches, pub brawls, open-air pop concerts, hippies and Hell’s Angels all gave them chances to vent their sadistic violence. SKINHEAD is a story straight from today’s headlines – portraying with horrifying vividness all the terror and brutality that has become the trademark of these vicious teenage malcontents

Taken from Dangerous Minds.Net – http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/richard_allens_skinhead_chronicles_oi/

The scenes were crude and in some cases violent and for a while, it put me right off the idea of letting a man touch me like that. It made me feel sick, but strangely tingly in various places that I didn’t know could tingle.

It fascinated me and I took it into school to show my friends. I narrowly missed getting a detention, when a teacher came into the library and spotted us reading it.

Thankfully, it was one of my younger, more broadminded teachers and he told me to put it away. I was that embarrassed at being caught by my teacher that I never read it again.

A couple of years later, a friend gave my mum a large box of books. They were mostly Mills & Boon type romances and as I was fifteen, mum said I could read them. I’d been reading James Michener and Robert Heinlein at school, so I knew what a good book should read like, but the M&B ones made me laugh; the language was so over the top!

One of the books I picked up was Jilly Cooper’s Riders. I think I read that book three or four times. The sex in Riders was a lot more emotional in content and through reading that and various other of the racier romance novels in the box; I got the idea that sex was supposed to be fun. I also realised that the characters having the sex were emotionally involved in various ways. That it wasn’t to do with the wham, bam portrayal I’d seen in the porn my male friends collected.

Yes, I embarrassed my male friends by watching their porn. I think they thought they’d get something out of letting me watch it, but I wasn’t that stupid.

Shall I get to my point now? Why yes, I think I shall…

And this is where Sex in Literature can actually help our children.

Think about the sex scenes you’ve read in books. Think about the first sex scenes that you came across in books when you were a teenager. Think about the world we live in today, the prevalence of sex in TV Shows and movies, in the sexualisation of the magazines that are aimed at teenagers, the music videos put together for their favourite stars and the easy access to porn through the internet.

Think about all that.

Now think. Where would you rather our young people learned about one of the joys of being an adult?

There should be picture books about the differences between boys and girls for the younger children.

There need to be books that explain the emotions that come with puberty in a gentle, yet informative way.

Sensitively written YA books highlighting the joys and the dangers of sex should be on our School Library bookshelves. Not just books about the mechanics of reproduction.

All of these things need to be addressed in our literature.


Well, because our children and our grandchildren, and their children deserve to learn about growing up in a way that isn’t going to scar their emotional and mental development.

So that they grow up as well rounded adults that enjoy the pleasure that Sex can bring, without the hang ups and the fears caused by the mishandling of those delicate issues.

If children can turn to literature and parents can answer the questions raised by turning to a book, then it has to be better than the children misinforming themselves through other means.

It would also make the Teacher’s working life a lot easier – they can study the books in class, give them out as reading projects without being scared that they are going to be censured for it.

Relevance of Sex in Literature 2016

 A Parent / Teacher Perspective – Revisited.


Well, I never! The time between writing that article and rereading it seems to have disappeared. I suspect that it has lodged itself firmly into the bodies of my children; not only has my son become a typical 15 yr old boy, but my daughter has started puberty herself and we now have a second daughter!


My opinion on the subject hasn’t changed.

I recently had to have a discussion about Porn with my son (he’d been “caught in the act” by his father) and explain the difference between Porn and real relationship sex.

It was an essential conversation; my son is High Functioning Autistic and one of his traits is being completely literal. If we had left him to his own devices, he probably would have grown up assuming that sex is supposed to be the way it is in Porn.

He’s been exploring the world of Japanese Animation and Manga as well, and sex in that setting is surprisingly graphic. Known as Hentai, it covers the whole spectrum of sexuality, from Hetero pairings through Homosexual and Lesbian, all the way to Tentacle Sex.

My son appears to have a certain amount of common sense and I am not particularly worried about any adventures he may have in his own life.


My daughter has a different route to follow.

She’s tall and will be curvy; she’s already interested in fashion and I can’t imagine that she won’t want to wear all the latest styles. We’ve had to do the “Bra Fitting” trip and have discussed heel heights that are appropriate for her age to wear.

However… while she knows about Sex (Thank heaven for a progressive primary school) academically, the reality of it hasn’t touched her yet. We’ve given her the “Inappropriate Touches” talk and suggested (gently) that she be careful how she sits when she’s wearing a skirt. She is also High Functioning Autistic and is a lot more suggestible than her brother.

Combined with the fact that she looks older than her actual age, that last fact gives me the collywobbles when I consider the future for her.

We’ve already started directing her towards books that have healthy relationships in them. She’s still on the animal, fairy and princess adventure stories at the moment, but we’re making sure that she has access to plenty of books that cover those sticky topics such as periods, special relationships and first times.

Thankfully YA literature these days is full of such topics and as long as she doesn’t discover Twilight (don’t get me started) we should be safe.

What do you think?

Please join in the discussion with my guest, ask questions and offer your thoughts in the comment section below.

Discussion: The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2016.

My guest today Jeff Rose-Martland.

“Is Sex Relevant in Literature in 2016?”

Let’s disregard the date, because recent years haven’t changed all that much in terms of ‘need’ for sex in writing, that is.  Since the 1960s, at least, sex in a book hasn’t raised many eyebrows.

Relevancy is easy: either it fits, or it doesn’t.  Sex in Romance/Porn, obviously, is crucial, since that’s the whole point (in those genres, one is more likely the debate the relevancy of the non-sex plotline).  In other words, the relevancy of sex depends on the story.  Is sex more or less relevant than a Can o’ Beans, a Dirty Sock, a Spoon, a Painted Stick and/or a Conch Shell?  In 1984, sex is a critical part of the plot, as it’s a basic human right which has been denied.  Sex can be critical to the plot, or it can just seem part of the natural flow of the story.  It can be suggested, implied, or graphic, but above all it needs to belong.

In many airport novels, sex between stock-protagonist and stock-person-they-just-met is der rigour, but generally not relevant to the story at all.  Hollywood does this too in many films, almost as if some producer saw a final cut, then threw a tantrum, “Where’s the SEX???  You can’t make a movie with no sex in it!  No one will go!  People LOVE sex.  If boy doesn’t get girl, then what’s the damn point??? I wanna see titties!”

There are literally thousands of examples of that, but I’ll give you a for instance: Blood Work.  Based on a novel by Michael Connelly, starring and directed by Clint Eastwood, what would have been a decent retired-cop-turns-PI movie gets really sleazy when Eastwood, aged 72, suddenly starts boning 43-year-old Wanda De Jesus.  There you are, fist full of popcorn, waiting for the shooting to start, and suddenly grandad is giving it to a woman who could have been his youngest daughter.  (To put this in perspective: the year Wanda De Jesus was born, Clint Eastwood landed the lead role in Rawhide.)  There had been no hint of romance between the characters, and the whole scene was so out of place, and ugly, that it ruined the film.  Given that Clint made the movie, as my date that night said, “Clint is a dirty old man who just wanted an excuse to feel up a younger woman.”

I love Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books, but I’m increasingly annoyed with the fact that Jack falls into bed with women he’s just met.  Novel #21 is coming up, which means Jack has had at least 21 bedmates – which should strike anyone as being entirely too promiscuous – and most of the books would be just a great without the sex.  In fact, if Jack was less of a mattress bunny, the books where Jack falls in love would be so much better.

That sort of thing is exactly why I objected to Soooz’ questions on the whole.  The question implies either a prudish censorship or a need to pushback or some massive change in society either should occur or has done.  All of those implications open the door for more sloppy story arcs.   Ultimately, that’s the problem with sex in literature.  Sometimes, it is a pivotal, crucial part of the narrative.  But most times, sex doesn’t need to be in there at all, any more than taking a piss, eating breakfast, or scratching one’s arse.  Think about all those little moments of humanity which we experience every day.  How many of those get put in books, and for what reason?  We don’t need to know that the protagonist had a huge dump, unless that’s going to be when he discovers he should see a doctor, and eventually learns he has cancer.  The woman crossing the parking lot, horking her hotpants out of her ass-crack can be turned into a social commentary… or it can just be 5 pages of wasting the readers’ time.

Sex in literature is not new.  From the poetry of Sappho of Lesbos to 1748’s Fanny Hill to Anais Nin to Story of O knockoff 50 Shades of Grey.  It took no time at all for the printing press to move from religious texts to exploring sex in The Canterbury Tales.  50 Shades, despite media fervour, wasn’t innovative – the Victorians wrote all sorts of smut about beatings, inspired by the rampant use of corporal punishment in that society.  No, there’s nothing new or innovative in writing about sex.  Just like the act itself, it has all been done.

Yes, in a broad sense, sex is part of the human condition and, therefore, suitable for exploration or inclusion.  But unless one is writing erotica (sex-fiction, pornography, whatever you want to label it), then sex has to fit the story.  Sex is every bit a part of life as eating, breathing, stubbing one’s toe… and deserves a place in literature alongside such things.  That is to say, only in keeping with the story.

Does it fit the narrative?  Is it crucial to the story arc?  Is it being used to make a point, or is it just filler?  These are question the writer must answer.  If a sex scene is crammed in just to fill a hole in the timeline, then it doesn’t belong.  If typical people, under the circumstances described, wouldn’t fall into the sack, then the scene probably doesn’t belong.  Portraying the human condition requires humans to act like humans, not contrived sex deities.

Sex can be used to great effect in a story, but a bad sex scene can kill an otherwise great tale.  And that is why focusing on the relevancy of sex is muddying the waters.  “Is Sex Relevant in Literature in 2016?” Possibly.  But frequently not.

– Jeff Rose-Martland is a writer and advocate living in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.  More of his work can be found here.