Tag Archives: Indie author

Book Review – Pushing Madness by Hart St Martin

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I’ve been reading this series for the past three years, following Lisen and her family, eagerly anticipating the next book. Here’s my review of the final book…

A fitting finale

This is the final book in the Lisen of Solsta series, and what a finale!

Once again, Lisen and Korin are separated, duty coming before their personal relationship, as they endeavour to prevent Garla and Thristas going to war. Sixteen years previously, a young, naive eighteen year old Lisen fought her first battle in these lands and she now prepares for another, though she hopes she can prevent it from ever happening.

The lives and fortunes of the main characters over the past sixteen years are recalled, tying up loose ends for the reader, while the story moves on to its ending. There’s suspense right from the beginning, though I have to confess to skipping a little in my eagerness to reach the climax of the story of the House of Ilazer.

The final chapters resonate with magic, power and courage. No spoilers, but a memorable and visually dramatic conclusion is a fitting finale for this enjoyable series.

 

The Lisen of Solsta series is imaginative, exciting fantasy fiction. Here’s my review from 2015, of the first book Fractured, to give you a taster…

From a Californian beach, Lisen Holt is transported to a different world, one she knows but does not yet remember. In the haven of Solsta, with the help of Hermit Eloise, the facts of her birth and childhood are drizzled into her consciousness. Her Destiny is laid before her, requiring her acceptance and this is the underlying theme running through Fractured. This is the beginning of Lisen’s journey from carefree Californian teenager, living with Mom and Dad to talented hermit and necropath and the heir to the throne of Garla.

I really enjoyed this book! Once into her writing, St Martin writes a great story. In a very short time I cared about Lisen and was interested to see how the story would unfold. With the story beginning from Lisen’s point of view, I was caught out and had to back track a couple of times when the point of view changed, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment and read easily from then on.

I loved the characters of Ariel and Lorain and can’t wait to find out how their relationship progresses! There are instances when the same story is told twice from two different points of view which, for my taste, was not necessary and one would have sufficed. I started to skim a bit where Lisen visited the same thoughts, as I was eager for the story to continue so maybe there was a little too much repetition of similar ideas.

This book is about a real young women, faced with a real situation. I felt for her as she battled with weapons training on the journey to Halorin and loved Jozan for supporting her. Her reticence using gifts she has not thoroughly explored is genuine as is her determination to help others, not considering the cost to herself. The final scenes of the book are testament to the mental and physical pressures she has been under as she attempts to come to terms with a new, strange life.

I have no hesitation awarding 4* and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

You can find both books via the author’s pages here https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Hart-St.-Martin/e/B0099S9GWW/ref

and https://www.amazon.com/D.-Hart-St.-Martin/e/B0099S9GWW/ref

 

To pop back for more reviews, interviews, writerly musings, dance, plant based recipes and magic. Bright blessings xx

 

 

 

 

The inspiration behind The Standing Stone Book Series – Home

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Even though our house only had a tin roof, heating was various and I spent sleepless nights wondering if we’d made a huge mistake, within a year I’d written the first in The Standing Stone Book Series, Home for Christmas. Whatever the weather or the living accommodation, the Welsh countryside inspired me to pen a series about the people who had dwelled on the land before me, or who will live here in the future.

We’d holidayed in Wales for fifteen years with and without the children, but finally living here, in a tent, then a caravan and finally a house, I felt I’d returned home.

Each of the books begins with a song and it beautifully sums up the idea of home.

Home

Think of me in this barren landscape

Think of me, on this hill

Far away from love and friendship

Think of me, if you will.

 

Spare a tear for my weighty burden

Digging new this foreign land

Felling trees to build my homestead.

Hearth and home made with this hand.

 

But the earth, it is the same earth

And the sea ‘tween shore and shore

Gives me hope in times of hardship

That I’m coming home once more.

 

Coming home, I’m coming home

Coming home from distant shore.

 

Think of me as I bring in the harvest

Plucking crop from land and tree

Tending flock and growing family

Dry your eyes and think of me.

 

Trees and hilltops, plants and flowers

Glossy stars that light Her dome

Where I live in Nature’s beauty

That to me, is truly home.

 

But the earth, it is the same earth

And the sea ‘tween shore and shore

Gives me hope in times of hardship

That I’m coming home once more.

 

Coming home, I’m coming home

Coming home from distant shore.

Rachel, Candy and Fern make their homes in Wales, dependent on the land, the people and the culture, to help them call it ‘home’.

Today, for a limited time, you can download The Standing Stone Home for Christmas for just 99p/$1.30 and begin a new, exciting series. Discover how Rachel copes in her little cottage, how Candy seeks to escape the Dome and Fern becomes a leader for her people, while immersing yourself in the Welsh landscape. Mabon blessings xx

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thorne Moore – author and co-organiser of the Narberth Book Fair

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Thorne Moore is a wonderful writer and supports Judith Barrow in organising the Narberth Book Fair. You met Judith earlier in the week https://wendysteele.com/2018/09/10/judith-barrow-author-and-co-organiser-of-the-narberth-book-fair/, so now it’s Thorne’s turn to share a little of her writing life and what makes her tick….

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I wouldn’t say everything is totally unplanned, but I certainly don’t work it out in detail. I have an idea of where it should go, an image – usually of a location – and a cluster of characters who are mostly 2 dimensional until I start writing. Then they begin to create themselves without any help from me and do or say things I wasn’t expecting. I work on the assumption that if the characters become real enough, the action will also become natural.

The one thing I do need from the start is not a plot but a theme. Something like isolation or guilt or motherlove, which drives the whole story.

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

No ritual whatsoever, unless you include removing the cat from the keyboard at regular intervals, and I don’t care what mug I drink from, as long as there’s caffeine. But I do have a pattern, I suppose. I start writing as soon as I wake up. Don’t bother getting out of bed: dressing is a waste of writing time. I write until I really have to get up and do something else. Afternoons are good for research, but my mind is too occupied with other things by then for total immersion. Finally, unless it’s absolutely tipping down, I always go for a walk after dinner and let my story play itself out like a film in my head. It’s the best way to let problems find their own solution.

 

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

  1. I ran a restaurant because I like cooking, but I really like it as an essential stage in eating the finished product. A sort of foreplay. I’m not so strong on cakes because they really need precision in following recipes. I’m more of a spontaneous-rummage-in-the-fridge-and-improvise sort of cook.
  2. Given the weather and a lack of other commitments, I’d walk all day. Of course having the Pembrokeshire coast path down the road is a help. I used to run every day but my knees no longer work. I used to climb Snowdon once a year, but now my knees seize up just thinking about it.
  3. Nobody could ever say I wasn’t opinionated. I was known for it at school and why change the habits of a lifetime? It is excellent aerobic exercise, shouting and throwing things at TVs and radios.
  4. I make miniature furniture – dollshouse furniture for collectors, mostly elaborately carved Tudor and Medieval. It’s my alternative means of earning a living and I’ve been doing it for 35 years. Eyesight problems are making it increasingly problematic, but I keep going.
  5. I love houses, their evolution and all the history fossilised in them. Big country houses, ruined castles, 1930s semis, half-timbered cottages, iron-age post-holes in the ground.

  

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

  1. A laptop with solar charger
  2. Inexhaustible wine (and a corkscrew).
  3. A really good carbon steel cook’s knife.
  4. I don’t do glare.
  5. A spider catcher.

 

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

  1. Mansfield Park. Really any of Jane Austen’s books, but that one’s the most complicated, I think.
  2. The Bell, by Iris Murdoch. A regular read full of enchanting imagery, quirky characters, deep thoughts, amusing quotations and it breaks all the current literary rules.
  3. Lord of the Rings, because, although I adored it when young, I haven’t read it for years and it’s nice and long. It set a trend for fantasy novels, but a lot that came after missed some of the elements that made it a success.
  4. Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, because it’s even more relevant in today’s world than it was when she wrote it and I’d like to be reminded how lucky I was to be marooned on a desert island.
  5. Albi by Hilary Shepherd, which I have just read, because it’s huge, not just in length but in scope, focussing on the intensely small and personal and yet highlighting the widest issues of humanity.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

That’s a difficult one. Lots of people I’d like to meet and question, but what if they were a huge disappointment? What if they were really boring? I think I’d plump for Shakespeare. Lots of questions to answer there and I don’t think he’d be too dull. I might have trouble with his sense of humour though.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

I like my books to be complete in themselves, and I never had a fancy to write a series, but I’ve suddenly been overcome by an urge to write a prequel to my first novel, A Time For Silence. I made a start on it a couple of years ago with a short story that keeps nagging me.

 

 8 Narberth Book Fair must take up a lot of time. Why have you got involved?

I was delighted when Judith Barrow held the first fair (in Tenby) because it was a chance to emerge from the private troll’s lair where authors work all alone and meet the public with my books. Or book as it was then. I was delighted to join the team because book fairs are a rare opportunity for indie authors or authors with small indie publishers to showcase their work. We could write the greatest book in the history of humanity but we would still be unlikely to find ourselves in W H Smiths or in the window of Waterstone’s. Book fairs offer that chance to be seen, and heard, but nobody is going to organise them for us so we do it ourselves. I’m gratified that we’ve been able to showcase an increasing number of authors to an ever-increasing audience. Hard work but worth it.

 

9 Other published work and links….

A Time For Silence https://amzn.to/2v6zvPH

Motherlove https://amzn.to/2M3jmkM

The Unravelling https://amzn.to/2LOxAsO

Shadows https://amzn.to/2mYgCKv

Long Shadows https://amzn.to/2NX0QLi

 

Blog: http://thornemoore.blogspot.co.uk

website: www.thornemoore.co.uk

FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/thornemoorenovelist

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThorneMoore

Amazon author page http://amzn.to/1Ruu9m1

 

NARBERTH BOOK FAIR www.narberthbookfair.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/events/187825558612624/

 

Thank you so much, Thorne for sharing with us…you’ll have to come and poke around in my old house one day!

Check out the website for the Narberth Book fair or the Facebook page and be sure to find out more about Thorne’s novels…I’ve Long Shadows on my kindle which I’m itching to start!

Support book fairs! They’re a brilliant way to introduce children to books and to meet the author behind the stories you love.

 

See you on 22nd at Narberth!

 

 

 

Blog Swap Interview with Christoph Fischer

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Today, I’m swapping blogs with the fabulous author Christoph Fischer. We ‘met’ on Facebook a few years back on Wanda Hartzenberg’s group and we’ve supported each other ever since.  Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. His historical fiction reflects his family background and I loved these particular books. Educated in Hamburg, he now lives in the UK with his partner and three labradoodles.

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1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I write impulsively. I start with an idea and a vague plan of where the book is meant to go but the stories and characters change and the outcome is usually different from my original idea. Additionally, I go back over the first draft many times and change some more.
For example, my latest book, The Healer, started as a character study and ended up as thriller.
2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I need to walk the dogs first, or else they won’t let me write. I prefer to write at night or early mornings, when the world is quiet and peaceful. I drink a lot of water and camomile tea and prefer total silence.

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

1. I used to be scared of dogs, now I have three large Labradoodles.
2. I worked as a DJ in Brighton [cheesy pop ;-)].
3. The only thing I hate about writing is that I don’t get to spend enough time outdoors any more.
4. I would love to be a vegan, but it is a very unsocial thing to be.
5. I once made a burger for Samuel L. Jackson

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

Ipod, Kindle, Running Shoes, Pen & Paper
5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng, Satan Hates Me by Robert Irwin, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Maybe not many people know my first choice: Vanessa Feltz. I know she can be difficult but she is highly intelligent and witty and I imagine dinner with her to be quite an experience. (For your American followers: Vanessa is a talk show host and radio presenter.)
To pick a more known celebrity: Hilary Clinton would be the other choice. Or Sarah Palin, for a laugh.

7 Your current writing projects?

“In Search of a Revolution” is in the final stages of proof reading. It is a historical novel about two friends set in Scandinavia between 1918 and 1950. I hope to release it around Easter.

I just completed the first draft for another thriller which was entitled “The Gambler”. Now there is a movie with Mark Wahlberg (also a potential dinner guest) with the same title and so I need to find a new title. I also want to release this new project as part of a charity Box Set with a few other authors. The Set will have an art theme, so I need to re-work the book anyway to make that angle more prominent. My basic story is about a man who rises from rags to riches overnight and needs to come to terms with his wealth and all that comes with it.
I’m also writing the sequel to my mental health drama “Conditions”.
8 Other published work and links….feel free to add as many as you like.

The Luck of the Weissensteiners (Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)
In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.
On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/Weissensteiners

On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8
On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395
Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/OtmyZh4Dmc/?autoplay=1
B&N http://ow.ly/Btvas

Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)
Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.
On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TNTSeb

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ
On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pthNy
Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/95jvSpHf5a/
B&N http://ow.ly/Btvbw

The Black Eagle Inn (Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)
The Black Eagle Inn is an old established Restaurant and Farm business in the sleepy Bavarian countryside outside of Heimkirchen. Childless Anna Hinterberger has fought hard to make it her own and keep it running through WWII. Religion and rivalry divide her family as one of her nephews, Markus has got her heart and another nephew, Lukas got her ear. Her husband Herbert is still missing and for the wider family life in post-war Germany also has some unexpected challenges in store.
Once again Fischer tells a family saga with war in the far background and weaves the political and religious into the personal. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.
On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pAX3y
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pAX8G
On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TBEI

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/mB2JZUuBaI/
Time To Let Go:
Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.
The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.
On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TTLG
On Facebook: http://ow.ly/BtKtQ
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/BtKs7
Conditions
When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.
The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.
Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.
Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.
On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX
On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw
The Healer

healer cover for kindle

When advertising executive Erica Whittaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer, western medicine fails her. The only hope left for her to survive is controversial healer Arpan. She locates the man whose touch could heal her but finds he has retired from the limelight and refuses to treat her.  Erica, consumed by stage four pancreatic cancer, is desperate and desperate people are no longer logical nor are they willing to take no for an answer. Arpan has retired for good reasons, casting more than the shadow of a doubt over his abilities. So begins a journey that will challenge them both as the past threatens to catch up with him as much as with her.  Can he really heal her? Can she trust him with her life? And will they both achieve what they set out to do before running out of time?

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/thehealerthriller
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHealerNovelbyChristophFischer?ref=hl
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23662030-the-healer
Book-likes: http://booklikes.com/the-healer-christoph-fischer/book,12975746
Rifflebooks: https://read.rifflebooks.com/books/388235

You can link up with Christoph Fischer here:
Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/
Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer
Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl
All Facebook links:
http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl
http://www.facebook.com/TheLuckOfTheWeissensteiners?ref=hl
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sebastian/489427467776001?ref=hl
http://www.facebook.com/TheBlackEagleInn?ref=hl
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Time-To-Let-Go/257989361049799?ref=hl

I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting one of my favourite Indie authors.

A Tour Through Blogland and Synergy in our Blogging Community!

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I was delighted to be invited to take part in ‘A Tour Through Blogland’ also called ‘The Virtual Blog Tour Award’.

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My nominator is Wanda Hartzenberg. She extended the hand of friendship across the water to me when I first joined Facebook three years ago as a brand new Indie author. A prolific reader and reviewer, she supports Indie authors with a passion. Last year, she joined us with her first solo book Suicide Song, a poignant and deeply moving read.

Link up with Wanda here http://tattlet.blogspot.com/

The rules for this project:

1. Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.
2. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post.
3. Answer 4 questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
4. The last part of Tour Through Blogland is to write a one-time article which is to be posted on a Monday (the date supplied by your nominator). This article can be in the same post in which you answered the 4 questions. The article can be anything of your choosing.

The date supplied by my nominator was Monday 9th February 2015. And I have opted for these two dates for my nominee. Either Monday 16th February 2015 or 23rd February 2015.

 

My nominee is Hayley Addis http://www.haloquin.com/

http://www.aworldenchanted.com

Hayley is a writer and storyteller and this year is launching ‘The Goblin Circus’ at The Spirit of Brigid Conference in Cardiff. Inspired by the world around her, Hayley’s writing guides the reader to enchanted places, meeting strange and beautiful creatures along the way. Be sure to visit her websites and be inspired by this beautiful, magical lady.

Here are my answers to my four questions:

1- Why write? Why not sing, dance or figure skate?
I write because I always have and I can’t imagine not writing but I’m lucky enough to dance as well. When I was 10 years old, I returned from the Tutankhamen exhibition in London and wrote my first poem. Ever since, if a day out, a place or a person inspires me, I come home and write about it.

My first piece of published writing was in the Dancing Times, after attending my first belly dance workshops. I didn’t start dancing until I was forty and once I began teaching and dancing most days, the writing became a perfect way to rest my weary body. It gave me the opportunity to sit down and use my mind.

2- Do you have a musical play list or do you need to write in absolute silence? If you have a play list would we recognize any of the songs or artists on it?
I don’t have a play list and prefer to write in silence. One day I will have a straw bale writing room on our land, surrounded by nature. I do have inspiring music though and one of my favourites is the soundtrack to Baraka.

http://www.soundtrack.net/album/baraka/
3- Can you see a future for yourself in which writing forms no part of your day to day life?
No, I just can’t imagine it. My bag always contains my trusty fountain pen and a few notebooks. Being invited to the writer’s group in the next village has helped ensure that I write something new at least one day each week and even when I’m up to my elbows in lime mortar, mud or both, my mind is always following a story line or exploring a new idea.
4- Which author/s inspire you currently? I am not talking about some of the greats but departed. Authors alive today, which of them inspire you?
I am a Terry Pratchett fan and regularly reread his books. I aspire to construct beautiful sentences and create characters like his.

Since joining Wanda’s group and receiving a kindle from my children for a big birthday, I’ve read far more widely than I did before and I’ve discovered new authors on the way in different genres. Paula Lofting’s Sons of the Wolf sticks in my mind as a particular favourite and Christoph Fischer’s Luck of the Weissensteiners. Both informed me about parts of history that I knew little about while providing a cracking story. To Tame a Highland Earl by Tarah Scott was a fast paced riot of a read while Waiting for Harvey by Lydia North was my first venture into ghost stories and I loved it.

I’m daily inspired by the dedication of Indie authors. It’s so easy for anyone to publish a book now so it takes grit, determination and belief in ones story, to keep fighting and get ones books read.

And now for my article….
A Time to Shine

Now is the time. As wind, rain and snow batter the Northern Hemisphere, make plans for bright new beginnings in the Spring. Do it today. Do it now.

Like hamsters caught on a wheel, the daily routine keeps us existing and unless we jump off, we’ll never find that path or door that offers new opportunities.

My Mum loved her sayings and one of her favourites was ‘Never put off ’til tomorrow, what you can do today.’ She lived a busy and varied life, learning to drive at the age of fifty three, starring in church pantomimes and regularly thrashing me at tennis. Her adage is summed up with another, ‘Seize the day’ and following this good advice leads to fresh, new experiences.
For me, new experiences are about facing my fears. So often, fear of failure restricts us. Moving to Wales, from idea to inception, took over ten years, but we made it and it’s scary…but I love it!

Having no time is a much used excuse for not trying something new or following an idea you’ve wanted to explore. It took me three years in half hour sessions in the car waiting to pick up my children from school, to write my first novel. Working part time and teaching belly dance most evenings restricted my time further so I began my day earlier (much earlier!), had an hour power nap in the day and still had the energy to work, teach and write and be Mum to three children.

My Mum was an influence but the person who changed my life was my best friend from school. When Sally died at the age of forty, I promised to live my life to the full in memory of her. It shouldn’t have taken such a sad time to make me realise how precious every second of life is but from then on, I’m happy to say, I’ve truly lived. I am happy. I’m shining.

What will you do? Will you write the biography of an axolotl that’s been buzzing around in your head for years? Will you join a dance class, maybe give your tap shoes a dusting off? Join the local amateur dramatics group or take flying lessons? Volunteer at your local charity shop or foster a puppy?

As the cold earth stirs and the first buds prick the surface, it’s Time to Shine.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog and will visit again. Kettle’s always on, there’s cake in the tin but bring your slippers as it can be chilly in our little cottage in Wales.

If you would like to find out more about my books you can find me and all my books here:

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365459567&sr=1-2-ent

My latest work, The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas, is a novella about three women linked across time by a standing stone.

http://www.amazon.com/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414328713&sr=1-1&keywords=wendy+steele

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas/dp/150272278X/ref=asap_B007VZ1P06_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415177277&sr=1-1