‘Author Showcase’ Featured Genre for June ‘Children’s Books’ Featured author Maretha Botha.

Hello and welcome to Author Showcase! I will be featuring different authors & genres each month. I interview each author, and showcase their featured work.

WHY? Simply because I enjoy supporting other Indie Authors every chance I get.

This Month, “Children’s Books” are being featured.

Please welcome my guest, Maretha Botha.

AUTHOR SHOWCASE CARD MARETHA BOTHA

MEET AUTHOR MARETHA BOTHA.

Maretha Botha 2013

AUTHOR BIO

Proud grandmother, happily married for 37 years, retired librarian who writes and illustrates children’s books most suited to readers between 9-13 years; confirmed bookworm, chocoholic and unapologetic coffee drinker, keen gardener and bird watcher, who occasionally walks on the moors, joints permitting.

INTERVIEW WITH MARETHA BOTHA

1.     What motivated you to write books for children?

This is a difficult question with no quick answer, but I like to see children happy. When I read to them, their imagination often takes flight.  The why’s, how’s and what happens next, make for lively discussions, building more stories. I experienced this with my niece and nephew, and then my own children, as well as at work, having planned reading activities at the school library.

Then too, I carried a lot of stories around in my head, but only after my post as librarian was localised, did I find the time to gather these thoughts together into proper stories.

2.     Most children’s books are written to impart life’s lessons to children. Was this your goal?

No, I seldom consider a specific life’s lesson when writing anything for children, but often the character’s choice or actions highlight an important lesson.  For example, the working-dog hero in “Flame and Hope” forgets his promise to open the red gate for the goats.  He learns a valuable, but painful lesson when a stubborn old goat picks him up with his horns and throws him down on the “WELCOME” rug.  Early the next morning, he apologises for barking rudely at an older animal and remembers that, “A PROMISE IS A PROMISE”, no matter what – restoring peace in Fauna Park.

3.     What life’s lessons does your work contain?

Apart from the one above, Fauna Park Tales is about living in peace – rescued animals and birds who would not normally be together, live up to their promise to protect helpless or vulnerable ones, often doing so at their own risk.  Many of the stories are based on fact – martial eagles’ fledglings removed from their nest, or large birds flying into moving trains at night, how drought effects the lives of everyone living on the savannah – yet both animals, birds and humans learn how to protect the environment, caring for each other – and they always have hope for the next day as their first little motto assures us.

‘HOPE REMAINS ALIVE AND KEEPS OUR FEARS AT BAY.

‘LET’S KEEP OUR HOPE ALIVE FOR MANY A DAY,

‘WHILE IN THE DARKEST NIGHT, OUR HOPE WILL LEAD THE WAY.

4.     What was for you the most challenging part of writing for children?

Writing a “true” story within the imaginative world which I created, doing so in language which is clear and understandable, age appropriate, yet enough to still be a challenge – not talking down to them – think of Beatrice Potter describing Squirrel Nutkin as “impertinent”.  So, I don’t mind occasionally using words like, ‘Are you a pachyderm?” The word has a nice memorable ring to it as does “conspicuous”, but the challenge is to explain it via the text without changing the story into a grammar lesson.

5.     All authors are aware of the need for reviews, yet I imagine an author of books written for children would face an even more challenging time, simply because these are children.  Have you found it challenging?

Yes, it has not been easy to persuade adults to write reviews for children’s books.  Then too, the way an adult looks at a children’s book might be quite different to how children would view the story.  When I review a children’s book, which is more difficult than you might imagine, I always get input from my grandchildren and based on their views, I’ve often changed my review to rather highlight their thoughts and ratings.  However, I mention that I read and discussed the story with them.

6.     Are you currently working on anything new?

Yes and no.  I’m writing the follow-up to book 4 – “Trails and Trials: An African Adventure” which is called, “The Bird Mission”.  This will probably tie up everything for the whole of the series, but I might keep the backdoor open and let the villainous poacher, Tall Leader escape . . .

Then too, I’m involved via my blog, researching and writing short stories about small, often lesser-known, wild animals and birds in Southern Africa – especially those who are on the threatened and/or endangered list.  I intend to compile an anthology of about twelve short stories when everything is written after a year – definitely a long-term project with illustrations.

TRAILS AND TRIALS: An AFRICAN ADVENTURE (book 4) in Fauna Park Tales Series –

Category: Children’s books>Action and Adventure>Survival Stories (ages 9-13 with illustrations). On pre-order till 18th July 2017

 

Book Blurb:

Four trails – one destination – the waterhole closest to the best place to cross the Tukani River into a neighbouring country. This adventure takes Flame and his furry friends on a thrilling, dangerous quest, but they always have hope. Were it not for the help of a meerkat clan, a gripe of sandgrouse and other feathered friends such as Mars, a martial eagle and Vera, an eagle owl, their trail might have had a different outcome. This fast-paced adventure takes place for one week and is told from four different viewpoints, because friends as well as foes race to get to the waterhole, and in striving to do so, experience their own personal adversities and trials.

These illustrated adventure stories will provide endless hours of reading pleasure to better readers who also enjoy seeing some illustrations of the characters, increasing overall reading pleasure. Book Three and Four should ideally be read in sequence and are most suited to readers 9-13 (Middle Grade), but younger listeners will enjoy being read to just as much.

·        Book 3.  The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure Purchase ‘The ORPHANS’ PLIGHT’ On Amazon– Category children’s books>Science, Nature & How it works>Nature>Environment and Animals>Birds This book is discounted to 99p to be bought and read before book 4.

BOOK COVER ORPHANS PLIGHT

·

Book Blurb:

Bad humans are disturbing the peace in Molodi valley, and two small orphans are in danger. One of them, Larita, speaks the bush creatures’ language – Faunalang – a rare and wonderful talent that they want to use. Alone in the desert, who will help them? Young and old will enjoy reading about the furry and feathered friends’ latest thrilling adventures, when Molodi’s bush creatures meet friends and foes in their quest to stick to The Promise to protect helpless ones in Fauna Park. Plump-Grump, the stubborn goat, and his harem do their bit, but what will happen at the farm while Flame and his friends are on a dangerous mission? His Handsomeness, King Rat returns, but is he a friend or foe?

REVIEW:Of The Orphans’ Plight.

Furry and Feathered Friends – Delightful!

5.0 out of 5 stars Furry and Feathered Friends – Delightful! 19 Feb. 2017

By Gracie Bradford, Author on February 18, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The illustrations are different than you see in most children books but effective and very well done. This story is suitable for all ages but primarily written for elementary school age children. Looking forward to book 4 of the series.
Pets take on humans. A delightful story of furry and feathered animals who listen to the strange conversations of people. Everyone, people as well as the furry and feathered friends, join in the search to find the orphans. I haven’t read book 1 and 2 yet but book 3 is definitely a good read.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Flame and Hope on FACEBOOK U.K
The Author on FACEBOOK

https://marethabotha2013.com

The Author on TWITTER

Thank you for joining me here and meeting my featured author today.

My featured Genre for JULY will be, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. Are you interested in being featured here in July? Send me an email at Email link

Please include links to the book you would like featured. I will respond with the details of your author interview and other requirements. Each Showcase will run for one month. Beginning the 12th of each month.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to my new feature. Author Showcase! Featured genre for June is “Children’s Books.” My first guest is Author Gracie Bradford author of “June The Prune & Lady Bird.” (Cancer Stinks.) Kids & Pets Cracking the POWER Code.

Hello and welcome to the first Author Showcase! I will be featuring different authors & genres each month. I interview each author, and showcase their featured work.

WHY? Simply because I enjoy supporting other Indie Authors every chance I get.

This Month, “Children’s Books” are being featured.

Please welcome Gracie Bradford Author of “June The Prune & Lady Bird.” (Cancer Stinks Kids and Pets cracking the POWER code).

AUTHOR SHOWCASE LOGO GRACIE EDITED USE

Meet Gracie Bradford

GRACIE BRADFORD PICTURE FOR BLOG

My business logo is “I AM….”. So, who is Gracie?

The best parts of me are that I am dynamic, an inspirer, a motivator, a risk taker, an explorer, a magnet to children, and a bookworm.

I am a retired senior healthcare executive who travels the world, a grandmother of an amazing 19-year old college student who lives with me, a grandmother to the awesome beagle, Lady Bird, an award-winning author, a lover of flowers, and a professional volunteer with causes related to childhood illness.

I am almost a vegan but still eats fish and eggs.

FEATURED BOOK: “JUNE THE PRUNE & LADY BIRD.” (Cancer Stinks.)

BOOK COVER GRACIE BRADFORD FOR FEATURE

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

Question 1

What motivated you to write books for children? I started my career working with the kids who had juvenile diabetes and other young children who were undergoing renal dialysis treatments. During that part of my professional life, I went camping with these kids during the summer. The resilient and positive attitudes of these kids were beyond amazing.

After hearing so many stories from my sisters, who are classroom teachers, about bullying and how kids treat other children who have life challenges, it motivated me to tell the stories through books. I chose to write about children with special needs telling the story from the child’s perspective so that parents, teachers, and classmates could have a better understanding of how one feels. Children tend to open to a grandmother figure before they talk with their parents or teachers or friends if they have any. Being from a family of nine and a village of more, I learned early to adore children and their antics.

Question 2

Most children’s books are written to impart life’s lessons to children. Was this your goal?

Yes and No. My goal was to impart life lessons more to teachers, parents, and grandparents. Children can teach us life lessons just as we can teach them.

Question 3

What life lessons does your book contain?

My book contains a multitude of life lessons.

I chose to approach those experiences using the concept that kids use coded power gestures and language that adults could learn to interpret and embrace in their lives. At the end of each chapter are quotes relating back to the content of that section. For example, in Chapter 6 entitled “Truth Collides with Reality,” I relate THE POWER OF BODY LANGUAGE.  The power quote is “A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.”

It is my hope that the reader will discover and relate life lessons about the dynamics of family relationships, the power of a child’s love, the power of pets’ presence in the healing process, the wisdom of older adults, and the power of positive thinking during a medical crisis.

Question 4

What was for you the most challenging part of writing for children?

Brain cancer is such a serious topic and perhaps a little frightening for middle school children to read. The most difficult part of writing for children is making sure the content is appropriate to the grade level and age. The common question when writing a children book is “how do I write to capture and hold the attention of middle school children?”

Even though most authorities suggest including pictures in children books, I debated about adding pictures to my chapter book but decided to write the message instead. In hindsight, I probably should have included some of the photography.

Question 5

All authors are aware of the need for reviews, yet I imagine an author of books written for children would face an even more challenging time, simply because these are children. Have you found it challenging?

I believe reviews are critical for any genre. If the story and book cover grab the reader’s attention, reviews should not be a challenge. As authors and as a reviewer, we should continuously promote the need for parents to get feedback from the child and write the review quoting the child.  Unless the child is part of a book review club, it is the parent who selects the book for the middle school child, often time reads the book to the child, and recommends the book to other parents for reading.

It also depends upon the goal set for the type of audience you want to review your books and whether you are a novice or an established, recognized author. My goal is to get feedback from professions mentioned in the book (i.e. nurses, therapists, veterinarians, physicians, dietitians, etc.), other writers/authors, parents, book lovers, middle school readers, special education teachers, pet lovers, librarians, and grandparents.

Question 6

Are you currently working on anything new?

I am currently working on the third fiction book of the Lady Bird series. Now, I am facing a writer’s block but continue to conduct my research while the block decides to move, or my procrastination floats away into the bright blue sky.

I am also toying with the idea of writing a picture book about autism. I have identified the characters but is pondering on the title.

My next middle school chapter book will tackle the all-important subject of Autism. June, the 12-year-old brain cancer survivor, Alex, Lady Bird, and the new pet uncovers the secrets of autism and the mysterious magic of understanding dog language.

The First Page

“June, a ten-year-old brain cancer survivor, frequently sits on the back screened patio with her dog, Lady Bird, an aging beagle now suffering from arthritis and hearing loss. After recovering from her coma, June discovers that she could understand and interpret dog language. While listening to a conversation between Lady Bird and the new puppy, June noticed a rhythm, a bright light and a defined wagging of Lady Bird’s tail realizing that it had meaning that June understood. June’s heart began to race at a speed she had never known before. What was happening?

Alex, her 12-year brother, is aware of June’s secret and promised that he would not tell anyone. Alex instantly bonded with the new puppy. He identified with the unusual behaviors of the puppy since Alex has some of the same traits himself. The King Terrier, exhibits very profound human characteristics of autism. What will Lady Bird, Alex, and June do to help the new puppy adjust to the happy and noisy environment in which they live every day? “

The story will have the reader laughing, crying, and cheerleading the characters. Expected to be released before the end of 2017.

Currently Featured is “June The Prune & Lady Bird” (Cancer Stinks)

 

Featured Book  .BOOK COVER GRACIE BRADFORD FOR FEATURE

Book Blurb

Love, hate, humor, and determination bundled in one package to make this book one to add to your reading list. June is a 10-year-old feisty girl who goes on vacation with her 12-year-old, brother and grandmother to Europe and has the time of her life. Six months after their return from vacation, a mysterious “THING” referred to as “Noma” attacks June spiraling her life out of control. June tells the story of being in a crazy and scary environment revealing unexpected powers that help in coping with loneliness. June finds imaginary friends during the darkest days. Lady Bird, the dog, ole folks, Alex and G-Mom play a pivotal role during the journey through a tunnel of darkness called brain cancer.

 

Favorite Amazon review.

4.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Bradford writes with sensitivity and skill, May 29, 2017

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code (Kindle Edition)

I’m actually giving this book Four and a half stars. I’d give it five except for a few editing snafus. However, the story is extremely well-written and can be read in one sitting because it is so engaging. June is a precocious 10 year-old who has some awesome responsibilities in her young life and guess what? Life throws her even more. Enter G-Mom, June’s 80 years-young grandmother. G-Mom is the awesome, undaunted, diplomatic, loving grandmother we all want. When G-Mom is not there to fight for June and her older brother, Alex, their trusted canine friend, Lady Bird can handle things. This book is a must read for any age, but kids who are going through any kind of trial, especially medical, can read this to know they are not alone. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Ms. Bradford writes with sensitivity and skill. This series is a hit!

5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Human Interest Story, February 13, 2017

This review is from: June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code (Volume 2) (Paperback)

Gracie Bradford tells a quietly powerful story of a set of family relationships from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl. Some of the relationships border on dysfunctionality, such as the relationship between the mother and her two children, while the relationship between the two children and the grandmother are as solid as one can find in human relationships. The two strongest relationships in the story are the relationship between the 10-year old girl and her grandmother and the relationship between the girl and her dog. The author does an amazing job in developing the character of the 10-year old protagonist. She goes from a smart child, clever beyond her years, who manages to carve out a normal life for herself and her 12-year old brother in a home environment led by their neurotic mother, who lacks self-esteem and a sense of purpose in life, to a frightened little girl who has to come to terms with the fact that she has brain cancer. Because this book taps into so many aspects of the human experience, it will have broad appeal to the reading public. I highly recommend this book to middle-school teachers who are looking for engaging books for their students to read, parents and grandparents who have sick children in their lives, as well as anyone who just likes a good story. Huey L. Perry, Ph.D.

AUTHOR LINKS:

 

Instagram  authorgraciebradford

Purchase this book on Amazon.com

Gracie Bradford on TWITTER

FACEBOOK LINK.

Author BLOG

Thank you for joining me here and meeting my featured author today.

My featured Genre for JULY will be, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. Are you interested in being featured here in July? Send me an email at Email link

Please include links to the book you would like featured. I will respond with the details of your author interview and other requirements. Each Showcase will run for one month. Beginning the 12th of each month.

My Next Guest for JUNE will be ‘Children’s Book’ author Maretha Botha.

 

What Mother’s Day means to me: “Mothers In The ‘Hood.” #RRBC

The ABSOLUTE Privilege of Motherhood.

‘Mothers in the ‘Hood!’

HER child.

Yes, I did say privilege. Why? … Because it must be so!  Motherhood must be regarded as the greatest joy of your combined life experiences.

We hand out special licenses to folks wishing to drive a car. A car is a potentially lethal weapon.

A child created and raised by unfit parents is also … a potentially lethal weapon.

I have written much about the woman that gave birth to me. For that is all she ever was. I spent many, many, soulless, and empty years hoping to find a different, a more palatable and convenient truth. For I so badly needed to believe, that She was damaged, and accordingly had no control over what she caused to come into being.

That thought kept me reasonably sane, in a violent, pain-filled world … that hated world, that world that made no sense to me at all.

But the years have peeled back the blinders that I used for safety, and I have come unwillingly to believe, that rather than an illness that caused her to inflict pain, I was instead her living sacrifice, to be punished upon the ‘altar’ of the train-wreck of her own life.

In order to accept that, I needed to lose the hate. Whilst I’ll never be indifferent, to even the mere mention of her name …  that bitter bile of hatred has been tempered over time. Not ever fully understanding what caused her to inflict such vile pain, is simply now just something I have learned to bear. Losing the hate I have accomplished. Forgiving her is a whole other journey I have at last been at least willing to begin.

My Child.

Amanda and MUM together ashfield
My daughter and I at the outset of our new adventure together.

The joy of giving birth will never leave my mind. Into my freshly awakening soul, a precious girl-child was permitted entry. I have yet to feel a more all-encompassing need to protect another living being. For the very first time in my life I was grateful to have been born a woman.

The greatest love I’ve ever known erupted into my unprepared world.

Her laughter and that boundless lust for life colored my planet with sunshine … as did the never ending fear that I would somehow let her down. That reflected in much darker corners in sombre tones.

My husband and I created ‘Magic’ for her newly awakened self. Her fathers’ loving parents, his brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews all became our willing accomplices, as they fell captive to her joyous laughter. We reconstructed ‘Neverland’ and housed her as the reigning princess within its seemingly impenetrable walls.

All those marvelous days we’d celebrate with the ‘Magic’ element firmly in its place.

Christmas, and Birthdays, Easter egg-hunts, and Halloween. We never granted any excuse to miss a single one.

We sheltered her like a fragrant Frangipani, never allowing even a hint of the cold touch of frost to damage those tender flowers.

And when unheralded, the end of the reign of the King and Queen ruling together united …  stormed into her life, at the as yet untested age of eighteen; that precious ivory tower melted like chocolate into  untried sands.

She staggered into a world she was unprepared for, for we’d never handed her the weapons or the skill with which to use them.

We lost some years she and I, whilst each of us learned to both grow, and let go. Time was an ally then, and softly the healing leaves were sown.

Please know we’ve journeyed far in those intervening years, and know too, that life is joyous now, and we share our tears  our truths and fears.

She asked me to be there, in that precious, priceless, unforgettable time as she gave birth to her son. How lucky am I to be so loved.

My Child’s Child.

Jacob Birthday
My Grandson on his 3rd Birthday.

He came screaming into his world two weeks earlier than expected. My child’s child … my grandson. I had the utter joy of seeing that look on her face as she craned to see and experience that ageless ‘falling in love with your first child’ moment.

We live together now, my daughter, my grandson and I. She has done me the great honor of asking me to assist her to raise her son.

Wise beyond her years she knew that living with my grandson’s daddy would only end badly for all three of them.

I’ve watched on proudly as she works tirelessly with the little ones’ father to be as utterly fair to each other as is humanly possible.

You will never hear one negative word about him. NOT in the house where his son lives, and grows. The young one loves his daddy unconditionally, which is as it should be for now. My child, grants, to her child, the right to ask questions, and she answers them with as much honesty as an almost five year old can handle. She gives him the ‘fairy tales’ with a hefty dose of magic …. but she also reads to him the darker ones, age appropriate to him.

Which does he prefer? I’m smiling here. For as long as there is no blood shown, or discussed, he’ll choose the dark stuff, every time. He’s relentless in the joy that he sheds when he’s just being a boy.

My daughter yesterday repeated something she says on occasion, which I will never tire of hearing. “Mom, I had the happiest childhood of any kid ever.”

She gives to me freely the greatest compliment I have ever heard.

Her way of parenting is uniquely her own, she teaches and creates using magic, and world truths tempered by her own life experiences, and above all things her all encompassing and unconditional ability to show and give love.

We’ll make quite the proud trio on Sunday Mothers Day May 14th  …. My Child … Her Child … and I.

I’m here and overjoyed to be so.  I have so many marvelous reasons to celebrate.

I wish you happiness, and the ability to share it with people that you love, on that special day. I am,  and will remain, forever grateful for the privilege of being graced with the title of  “Mother”.

It is possibly the hardest earned and most rewarding of any title you may have been granted.

Happy Mothers Day roses

Save

Rave Reviews Book Club “Springtime Book and Block Party!

RRBC Badges (2)

 

Welcome to my blog on this wonderful Rave Reviews Book Club ‘Springtime’ Book and Blog Block party tour! Coming to you today from my latest location; the beautiful rural township of Bathurst, in New South Wales: Australia.

BLOG IMAGES FOR CITY GIRL

Please leave a comment below today, April 21st, to be entered in the drawing to win one of these prizes!

1 (Ebook copy) of “Empty Chairs” (Standing Tall and Fighting Back) Book 1. #Memoir

1 (Ebook copy) of “Faint Echoes Of Laughter” (Standing Tall and Fighting Back) Book 2. #Memoir

1 (Ebook copy) of “Acts Beyond Redemption” (Unintended Consequences) Book 1 #Thriller #Suspense.

1 (Ebook copy) of “Acts Of Betrayal” (Unintended Consequences) Book 2. #Thriller #Suspense.

Total Prizes I’m gifting today = 4.

I do love a party! So, let’s have some party-time fun! I know just the woman to add a little ‘spice’ to the proceedings.  Meet Sheila Harrington one of the pivotal characters in my Thriller Suspense Novels “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts Of Betrayal”

Lets’ dress my little monster for the party … and we’ll make it formal, shall we?

Sheila ballgown by Michael costello

 

Ah, yes of course, we need a stunning location. What better setting than this  ballroom?  The occasion? The highly publicized Charity event of the season …The ‘Governors’ Black and White Ball’. Thrown with his accustomed panache by New York Governor (And Presidential Candidate) Damon Henderson. Sheila Harrington is as always his date.

Blog Black and White Ball 2

Sheila is tall for a woman, and the elegant Jimmi Choo shoes boost her height to just over six feet. She is both beautiful … and deadly. She adds more than just a mans’ heart to her little bag of collectables … she evicerates his spirit, and destroys his soul without hesitation, or remorse.

Love her or loathe her? Now that is the question. Whatever the decision, you may not forget her in a hurry.

Now relax,  kick your shoes off, and listen in to an (imaginary) conversation between the beautiful Sheila and her unseen ‘guest’… Let me see, what shall we name him? Ah, yes … Mr D Evil, will do nicely.

***

“You look bored, Mon bebe.” The voice was husky, inviting, deeply-timbered. Sheila shivered delightedly, then smiled.

” To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?” She whispered.

“I grew bored, and there are brief moments when you actually manage to entertain me, Mon bébé. I’m loving the dress. Black becomes you.”

“Yes … it does.”

“Have you chosen your plaything for this evening as yet?”

Plaything? An interesting choice of word. That implies that I would gain some sort of pleasure from any interaction I pursue.”

“Do you not?”

“Only the fleeting recognition that any predator enjoys. It’s all in the game. Pleasure in and of itself is not something I actively seek.”

“Only because you have yet to experience it, Mon bebe. You have had ample time to select.  Does nothing here interest you?”

Sheila  surveyed the glittering, brittle, breakable, crowd, before answering. “There may be one that could conceivably brighten up my evening for a brief while.”

Her companion followed her gaze, “The overdressed woman with the irritatingly piercing voice, now holding court with your date?”

Sheila laughed, well aware that heads would turn, drawn by the infectious warmth of the sound. “Too easy! Clarissa Mainwearing was born ugly, and no matter what amount of her ‘old’ money she throws at it, or how distinguished her pedigree; that type of ugly just won’t go away. My beauty would make her a lap dog inside ten-minutes. Besides, Damon is undeniably mine to control.” She sighed,  “So … no. Guess again.”

Her companion settled back, smiling contentedly to himself.

“I could of course force you to choose the one I desire.”

“That would rob you of surprise.”

 He favored her with his cold smile, “Who then?”

Sheila again surveyed the room. Then having made her decision, and without needing to point, she began, “Tall, well defined muscles, even the Armani threads can’t disguise the fact that he has a wonderful body. He has the confidence to wear his hair long and in a ponytail. He has not had his back to a door or window all evening. His stance is loose, and non-threatening. He surveys the crowd without making eye contact, or conversing with anyone. He is trained. How well trained remains to be seen.”

“Hm … interesting choice. I’m pleased. How will you proceed?”

“I’ll dismantle his detachment.”

Her unseen companion surveyed the subject of the discussion again, more slowly. “I don’t believe you can do it as easily as you may think, ma petite.”

“Is that the sound of a gauntlet hitting the floor?”

“Consider it so.”

“Wonderful! Watch me.”

“Always.”

Sheila missed the comment, already walking slowly across the crowded room, and as always parting the crowd in her wake. The women not graced with beauty of their own gazed at her retreating back with envy, the men, with unbridled lust.

She approached, glancing at the handsome, disinterested face; then shuddered briefly as his gaze met her own. She stood next to him now, still silent, sipping her cocktail and observing the room. She waited for longer than most would find comfortable, before, finally, he spoke.

“Is there something you require?”

She slid her eyes slowly over his body; it was more the studied look of an artist recognizing a fine piece of artwork, than a simple flicker of flirtation, “Require? That’s doubtful. Perhaps I’m simply curious as to what type of gun is tucked into your waist band?”

His reaction pleased her, for only the momentary dilation of his pupils gave any indication that her remark had even been heard.

“Probably the same type you are carrying in your clutch-purse, Miss Harrington.” He smiled, gave a brief dismissive nod and turning his back on her, he walked away.

Sheila smiled, and her blue eyes flashed fire. ‘Touche.’

Mr D Evil smiled at the exchange. ‘You have now entered the eye of the cyclone, mes enfants. Now … do you enjoy … or destroy? The evening ahead took on a new color … and the color was red. ‘Game on.’  He was well pleased.

***

Now that was fun. Sheila Harrington is a complex woman. This little interaction barely touches on that complexity. But I sure hope that you enjoyed it.

Acts Beyond Redemption (Unintended Consequences Book 1)

ABR MADE BY SATAN new for JANUARY 2017 HIRED ASSASSIN

BLURB

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.

His team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.
Their nightmares are stripping them to the bone.

Finally, a break in the case hands them a suspect!

Sheila Harrington appears to have confessed to the horrific murders.

Sheila Harrington also looks set to become the wife of The Governor of New York, Damon Henderson; the man strongly favored to become the next President of The United States of America.

Eminent forensic psychologist Nigel Cantrell is called in to assist the team.

Yet nothing and no one could prepare them for what is to come.
Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from an incomprehensible and shattering truth.

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’ on Amazon.com

 

Acts of Betrayal (Unintended Consequences Book 2)

 

ACTS OF BETRAYAL HENRY KISSINGER

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In this powerful sequel to Acts Beyond Redemption Nigel Cantrell is back, and he’s out for blood.

One of his team holds on precariously to life, with no guarantees of recovery.

Can those responsible drag him into a nightmare he will struggle to contain?

In a complex dual where oaths taken are forsaken, and promises made are broken beyond repair; he must seek the help of the only people he can trust, people who revere him … and, those that despise him.

Cantrell is efficient and deadly, but even he has ghosts in his past, demons that must be exorcised. And nothing is more demonic than the peril he must now face, as a one man’s maniacal thirst for revenge is uncovered.
A man so enormously powerful, with a hatred so intense, so extreme, that the possible demise of his own species means nothing to him.

He will dispense his revenge as his diseased mind sees fit.

Nigel Cantrell and his team do not have failure as an option.
The fate of their country and beyond now rests in their hands.
Can they prevent the final acts of betrayal?

Purchase ‘Acts Of Betrayal’ on Amazon.com

My non-fiction books are available as follows.

“Empty Chairs” (Standing Tall and Fighting Back) Book 1.

Empty Chairs available on Amazon.com

“Faint Echoes of Laughter” (Standing Tall and Fighting Back) Book 2.

“Faint Echoes of Laughter” on Amazon.com

“Still Sassy at Sixty” (Standing Tall and Fighting Back) Book 3. DUE FOR RELEASE OCTOBER 2017.

A very quick personal note. I have been hospitalized this week and just wanted to say a big thank you to the lovely folks that have taken a moment of their precious time and sent me such kind wishes for a speedy recovery. It endorses everything I’ve said about Rave Reviews Book Club being a family. Don’t be concerned my friends, it is a known health issue that caused my trip to ICU. I’m home now and will be back to my cantankerous ol’ self in no time. Hugs to you all. Soooz xo

 Don’t forget to stop in and check out the other tour stops at https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/rrbc-2017-springtime-book-blog-block-party/as the party goes on all month long!

Kangaroo they went thataway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: ‘Hurricane Kretschman’ by Jeff Lee. Book 4 of the ‘Adventures in La-La Land’ Series.

 

Meet the author.

Jeff Lee image for review
Jeff Lee.

Born in New York State, Jeff Lee was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has spent his entire writing career in Los Angeles.

For more than thirty years he has been a copywriter and creative director for some of the advertising industry’s most recognizable agencies, winning numerous awards for his creativity. None of those ad agencies are still in business, but Jeff appears to have a solid alibi.

Trained as a cook in the Army, he still enjoys being creative in the kitchen and admits that few things in life compare with the thrill of discovering you have just given a nasty case of food poisoning to 140 heavily armed men.

Jeff lives about halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, in a house he shares with his two sons and a cat that’s part golden retriever.

BOOK COVER HURRICANE KRETSCHMAN BY JEFF LEE JPG

HURRICANE KRETSCHMAN:

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All wisecracking, Harley-riding Repo Man and Bounty Hunter to the Stars Fish Fishbein wants is a cool vacation. It’s just him and his three best buds, potato-potato-potatoing down the highway — along with a force of nature named Shawna Kretschman, a bad-ass blonde with her own full-race hog. Not to mention a short fuse, serious fighting skills and an outfit that leaves zippo to the imagination. All lickety-splitting their way to Sturgis, South Dakota to link up with better than a million hard-drinking, harder partying Harley owners at the town’s annual Motor Cycle Rally.

But a high-powered real estate developer wants all the bikers gone, so he can sell the area as a family-oriented resort town. And he’ll stop at nothing – including murder – to get what he wants. Bikers and locals suddenly start dropping like road racers on a rain-slick GP course. And Fish, his friends and his big mouth are all in the developer’s crosshairs.

They’re on a hysterical collision course that includes phony cops, bar fights, pepper spray-laced paint balls, a no-holds-barred wrestling match in a ring full of chocolate pudding, getting adopted by the entire Sioux nation and manscaping.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally might be an 80 year-old tradition. But it’s going to take all of Fish’s brains and a ton of luck to keep himself and his buds alive long enough to enjoy a few more seasons.

My Review 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Hands-down, one of THE funniest Books I have read.

Every once in a rare while an author comes along with the comedic timing essential to writing a fast-paced one liner such as ‘Hurricane Kretschman’. Having been totally entertained by the three preceding books in this series, I was both curious and excited to see if this talented author could make me laugh out loud in public yet again. He did. Author Lee’s wonderfully creative touch has given substance to several amazing characters in his journey through the mayhem that is crafted within these pages.

Central character “Fish” Fishbein is more complex than you would suspect at first viewing. The layers of this hilariously funny and deeply caring man are peeled back slowly, and every clever line of dialogue is intertwined with the characters love for his crazy companions, Kenny and Einstein, as they decide to head across the USA to the Motor Cycle Rally to end all Rally’s in Sturgis, South Dakota.

His constant companions and partners in  … well … everything, are cleverly drawn. Well enough in fact, to become clearly visual and as equally lovable as they are chaotic.

To my delight (And Fish’s) a new character explodes into being along the way.

How on earth does a reviewer ever hope to encapsulate the outrageously funny, and often diabolically dangerous persona of Shawna Kretschman aka the Hurricane Kretschman of the books title.

Suffice it say that this beautiful blonde PTSD suffering, Harley riding ex-Military M.P with attitude to ‘die’ from …er … for, adds further dimensions to the reading enjoyment. She sets “Fish’s” pulses racing as fast as a hog on a racetrack. Has our hero found love at last?

Whether they live long enough to find that out remains to be seen.

Enter the villain in the unflattering shape of Dale Kimbrough, a land developer set on making the bikers (All of them) disappear so he can develop a family friendly place. What’s not family friendly about bikers?

Suffice it to say, bodies start appearing, and bad guys start disappearing in rapid succession. The developer badly underestimated just how much mayhem he was unleashing when he chose to take on our heroes.

I laughed out loud so often along the road of this amazing journey, it was indeed a pleasure to become reunited with author Jeff Lee’s superbly talented writing. I simply can’t recommend this book highly enough.

OTHER OUTSTANDING BOOKS BY JEFF LEE.

BOOK COVER JEFF LEE THE LADIES TEMPERANCE CLUB FAREWELL TOURBOOK COVER JEFF LEE CHUMP CHANGE

purchase CHUMP CHANGE on Amazon.com

Purchase The Ladies Temperance Club Farewell Tour on Amazon.com

Purchase Hurricane Kretschman on Amazon.com

Jeff Lee Author Page on Amazon.com

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Dazzled by the ‘Spotlight’ on Rave Reviews Book Club!

I love to share the special Highlights of my life! My month long featured tour as The Rave Reviews Book Club’s “SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR” for February 2017 ranks among the most memorable times thus far in my journey as an Indie Author!

WHY?

Let me give you just a glimpse!

SPOTLIGHT TOUR LOGO FOR FEEDBACK BLOGPOST

If you are expecting a “Rave” that’s precisely what you are going to get! BUT, I like to back up my rhetoric with some statistics. So let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

My “SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR TOUR” commenced on February 1st 2017.

My visitors to this site for the entire month of January 2017 numbered = 91.

My visitors to this site for the duration of the “SPOTLIGHT TOUR” February 1st/February 28th =181. Yes! My visitors doubled!

My visitors’ country …

SCREENSHOT ON COUNTRY BLOG BREAKDOWN VISITOR STATS

The rest of the world contributed a further 20 visitors! Considering the fact that I’m an Australian based author these stats are so very welcomed.

We all write because we love to do so! I’m no different. We wouldn’t put ourselves through all the angst of being a writer, otherwise. The icing on that cake is when other people purchase, read and hopefully enjoy our work. When that happens it sets off a chain reaction that reflects in that “Bottom line” we never thought we’d care about when we became writers.

SO! Lets get down to that, shall we? The SALES figures for my SPOTLIGHTED book “ACTS BEYOND REDEMPTION”

In the month of January I garnered For my featured book “Acts Beyond Redemption”  90 sales.

In my ‘Spotlight Author” month of February “Acts Beyond Redemption” Garnered 176 sales. Nuff said, folks? These figures really do speak for themselves, don’t they?

By extension of the interest in my work due to the SPOTLIGHT TOUR ALL of my books listed with Rave Reviews Book club had sales increased for the month of FEBRUARY.

And last but certainly not least my followers increased both here on my blog and on TWITTER @pursoot where I hang my hat.

My blog now has a wonderful 9445 followers.

Color me CONTENT! Don’t wait…pop in and take a look at #RRBC this is one place where you get out of belonging to a Book Club, exactly what you put into it … and THEN some.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

I re-located on February 27th to a small University Town hundreds of miles from Sydney! I was promised that I would have Internet connection within five days. Didn’t happen, folks! My internet was only connected YESTERDAY!  18 days later! Frantic doesn’t even come close to how I was feeling … on top of all the stress of such a big move. I logged in to Twitter only this morning to find that every one of my scheduled posts for the month to date had received continuous and marvelous support from all the folks at RRBC, despite the fact that I had been unable to offer reciprocal support for weeks!

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about.

I am one very happy camper!

THANK YOU ALL! For your faith in me, and the friendships which I shall continue to treasure.

To the President of Rave Reviews Book Club; The wonderful Nonnie Jules, thank you will never be enough.

talent-spotter-images-links-for-liza-oconnor

ACTS BEYOND REDEMPTION ON AMAZON.COM

My AUTHOR page on AMAZON

 

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Book Review: ‘Trafficking’ (Powell Book 1.) By Bill Ward.

Hello! Thank for stopping by. I always like to share a little about the author when I review one of their books.

Meet Author Bill Ward.

bill-ward-bio

Bill’s love of reading commenced at a very young age. He credits his Gran for encouraging his interest by regularly taking him to the local library after primary school. At boarding school, when the lights went out in his dormitory, he was often encouraged by the other boys to tell stories. English Literature was always his favourite school subject.

A long and successful career in IT saw him live and travel all over the world. With hindsight it was the start of his writing fiction but they were called business proposals in those days!

Having always enjoyed different cultures, the one life lesson Bill has learned is “wherever you go you will find good and bad people. This is not determined by colour, race, religion or country.”

Recently retired from the corporate world, Bill has finally fulfilled his lifelong ambition to become an author and has now written two thrillers, with the expectation of many more to follow.

Bill lives in Brighton, UK with his German partner and has seven daughters, a son, two horses, a dog and two cats! When he’s not writing he’s probably watching his football team West Brom, who he has now been watching for over fifty years!

book-cover-trafficking-by-bill-ward

Trafficking is big business and those involved show no remorse, have no mercy, only a deadly intent to protect their income.
Afina is a young Romanian girl with high expectations when she arrives in Brighton but she has been tricked and there is no job, only a life as a sex slave.

Facing a desperate future, Afina tries to escape and a young female police officer, who comes to her aid, is stabbed.

Powell’s life has been torn apart for the second time and he is determined to find the man responsible for his daughter’s death.

Action, violence and sex abound in this taut thriller about one of today’s worst crimes.

My review 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟An uncompromising, fast paced explosion of a book!

Lets be clear from the outset, this book deals with Human Trafficking; with all its inherent violence, degradation and shattering  control over freedom, using fear and pain to reach those objectives.

It is not a comfortable topic, but the Author doesn’t try and pretty it up for generic consumption, he tackles it head on with great empathy, revealing the utter degradation that keeps these girls silent, dis-empowered, and often forgotten.

The characters aren’t so much written, as they are etched, with a light touch, this author has beautifully drawn each of the central figures, with layer after layer of pain and anger  simmering as an intensely volatile brew just beneath the surface.

Author Bill Ward gives us Afina, he shows us her fragility, her desperation, her fear, yet her grants her a defiant will, lest we become too complacent and write her off to the dirt of the lifestyle she was forced into.

This author makes us care about his characters including their imperfections.

Powell is a man driven by revenge. His daughter is dead, he seeks retribution, whatever it takes to achieve it.

His child died whilst attempting to save Afina. He wants Afina protected to make his child’s death count for something.

We understand the demons that drive him.

The author weaves his web carefully, constructing its threads and leading us forward, in this relentlessly fast-paced explosion of a book.

If you enjoy uncompromising thrillers, this book is for you.

As for me … I’m off to grab book 2.

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