#amwriting, #WritingTips, content marketing strategies, Uncategorized

Bite Size Writing Tips

Here’s something to think about when sending a story out for a competition. I might use this tip myself.

via Bite Size Writing Tips

indie author promotions, Uncategorized

Featured Book of the Week: Three: An Electric Eclectic Book by P.J. Rosco

Hello everyone,

I’m starting a new column for my blog entitled “Featured Book of the Week”. If you’ve got a book you want featured, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll let you know what information I need and how to contact me directly. Now without further ado, here’s this week’s featured book.

 

three

Today I’d like to tell you about a book that was launched on Wednesday entitled THREE: An Electric Eclectic Book, written by P.J. Roscoe.

 

Book Blurb:

THREE is a book of three supernatural short stories along with three character sub-plots from three of her paranormal novels, two of which have managed to get to the semi-finals of the Reader’s Favorite and Echoes one best e-book in the Paris book festival 2014.

 

Purchase links:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Electric-Eclectic-P-J-Roscoe-ebook/dp/B07NDWXMRG/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=three+P.J+roscoe&qid=1550831179&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Electric-Eclectic-P-J-Roscoe-ebook/dp/B07NDWXMRG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1550831147&sr=8-1&keywords=three+P.J+roscoe

 

Book Excerpt:

A snippet from Ayleth, a character from Between Worlds

I heard the men ride out early that morning to patrol the boundaries, as there had been more talk of mercenaries venturing this far south, and Artorius would have none of it on his land. He fought long and hard to keep his people safe, and by patrolling frequently, him and his men had kept the murders and kidnappings to a minimum, so far. Though the talk of the castle was that a mean and cruel Saxon, Sagarus was close, and his greed for power would destroy all who stood in his way.

I was quenching my thirst when I heard the cry that Artorius had returned. I gave it no thought until Merek came to find me moments later, and begged me to attend a young woman they had rescued from mercenaries. The blood spatters on his face told me that they had succeeded in killing the enemy, but just how much damage had the woman endured was unknown, and with a nod, I picked up my herb bag and instructed him to fetch ladies to help in her care. Warm water, and lavender was required if she had been abused in a foul manner, along with honey, witch hazel, warm and cold compresses, and salt water. I gathered all of this together, and made my way towards the guest bedroom where she had been placed.

I arrived a little breathless, and froze in the doorway. Two ladies were attempting to undress her carefully. The young woman had been whipped, and her back was bloody and bruised. She was barely conscious but I watched as she sipped water from a goblet, held by Brunhilda, while Evelyn gently pulled a thin blue dress off her unresisting shoulders. The dress is no more than rags having been torn by hand and cruel whip, but I recognize its style, and my breath catches in my throat. I see the sandals lying on the floor and then, on looking back at the woman, I see the tattoos, and know without any doubt where she has come from.

 

About the author:

P.J. Roscoe is the award-winning author of four supernatural historical novels and faerie books for children, also having a variety of short stories accepted within various anthologies and historical articles published. She lives in North Wales with her Husband of twenty-six years and their cats and dog. Paula is a medium who is currently working on her first non-fiction book titled, Thirteen Hauntings which involves investigating haunted locations around England and Wales.

She is also a qualified counsellor, holistic therapist, Angel voice healer, Chakradance facilitator, drumming therapist to name but a few! Paula firmly believes in grasping life with both hands and enjoying every moment.

 

Connect with P.J. Roscoe at the following links:

 

Website:

www.pjroscoe.co.uk

 

Amazon author page:

https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/profile

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/storyladyauthor/

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/derwenna1

 

Instagram:

https://instagram.com/derwenna45

 

 

#amwriting

Brainstorming with my friends, #AmWriting

Good morning everyone,
This 4th of July week has been fun so far. However, I’m not here to write about the fun times my husband and I spent with my daughter at the park, at the pool, and going out to lunch, I’m here to write about brainstorming.
I’m playing with an idea for a story about a character and her husband who are forced to live in a cabbin. In the process of planning for this story, I did something I don’t usually do. I asked my facebook friends for some ideas, and the conversation gave me a lot of food for thought. I haven’t decided whether I am going to use this for NaNoWriMo, or for a just because kind of story.
I have a bit of brainstorming advice for new writers,and veteran writers alike. There is nothing wrong with asking your friends and fellow writers for ideas to help you move your story along. Some people would tell me that the story is mine and I should move it the way I want it to go, but when you ask those in your close circle of friends, their ideas can give you a wonderful foundation to get those creative juices flowing.
Have you had a good brainstorming session with your friends? How did your story turn out after this discussion? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Happy reading, writing, and God bless.

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Here’s the story I promised you

Hello everybody,

I promised that I’d post the short story that was inspired by a dream I had yesterday, well here it is. Feedback in either the comments section or via the How to contact me page is welcome.

 

A Magical Rain

I sat on my bed, wishing I could go back home to my beloved family. “Lord, take me home,” I prayed every night before falling into a restless sleep. Every morning I went to school,, but the routine seemed dull to me, until one day, everything changed.

When I awoke on that unusual morning, something felt very strange. I felt as though the world was a little off kilter. The air felt thick and heavy, like a fog had covered the land over night. I took a deep breath of the morning air as I walked to the dining room for breakfast. “It smells like rain,” I told my roommate Shelly Walters.

“Why do you say that Anna?”

“Take a Whiff. Don’t you smell it?”

“I don’t smell anything.” She took a deep breath, but her body didn’t tense up like mine did when I smelled the rain in the air.

“Oh Shelly, I wish you could smell it, this smells like a rain that I’ve never experienced before in my life. It smells like a magical rain.”

“Oh bosh! You’ve been reading too many ferry tales. You need to get ready for another boring day at school.” Shelly let go of my hand and ran off, leaving me to find my way with my cane. In that moment, I discovered why Shelly couldn’t sense things the way I did. I am totally blind, and she is partially sighted. In my experience, people who can see with their eyes, don’t focus on their other senses like I do, so I had to enjoy this unusual sensation on my own.

***

After breakfast, I went back to my dorm room to brush my teeth and get ready for another boring day at school, when I heard the first tiny drops of rain pitter-patter on the roof. “You’ll need your raincoats today girls, It’s about to storm,” Miss Barnes, our house mother called as I hoisted my backpack onto my back. All of a sudden, the rain began to drum on the roof like a band of soldiers marching off to war.

As the rain fell, a strange chill came over me. I dropped my bag onto my bed, grabbed my little umbrella, and headed out into the downpour. “Where are you going child?” Miss Barnes called as I opened the heavy door that led outside.

“I’m not sure, I just know that I need to go outside.” I ran out into the midst of the storm, heedless of the calls from Miss Barns and my fellow students. In the middle of the sidewalk leading away from the dorm, I stood rooted to the spot as the rain washed away my dread of the day ahead.

I closed my eyes, and the school disappeared altogether. I stood in the center of a beautiful meadow. The raindrops turned into beautiful haunting notes of a violin. An angelic voice sang out, “Come child! See the beauty from the mountain top. Come and be free-ee-ee-ee! Come to meeeeeee! and Darling we will beeeeee!”

Before she could finish the last phrase, the song faded away as I floated to the top of a mountain. The view was like nothing I had ever seen or experienced before. I held on tight to the umbrella, as the violins continued to play a melody that filled my soul with peace and gladness. Another voice whispered words of wisdom deep from within my heart. “See the world with your heart, not your eyes. Hear the music of the world around you. Smell the flowers and the heavenly aromas on the breeze. Taste a raindrop, feel the wind blowing through the trees. Touch the sky, and let the wings of your soul fly away, away, away!” The words drifted with the scenes as they faded from view. I found myself walking to school, with my pack on my back, my cane in my hand, and a song in my heart.

***

“Can anyone tell me what they have learned from this unusual storm this morning?” Ms. Smith asked as we filed into the classroom and took our seats..

“I have something I would like to share,” I replied after raising my hand.

“Yes Anna? What did you learn?”

“I learned a very valuable lesson in this magical rain. I learned that if we close our eyes and see with our hearts, a world of wisdom will be opened to us.” I heard several kids snicker in the back row.

“What do you mean, if we see with our hearts? I have a hard enough time seeing with my eyes,” Shelly scoffed.

“If you focus only on what you see with your eyes, you miss out on a lot of the blessings, sent down from heaven.”

“This is not a religion class Anna,” Miss Smith reminded me.

“I know, but there is a lot to be said when you open your heart and mind and truly listen to yourself and your surroundings.”

“Now that Anna has shared with us what she has learned, let’s do a little experiment, to see if we gain the same understanding that she did this morning.”

“How will we do that?” Myah asked.

“I will play a short piece of music. As I play this music, I want you all to close your eyes, open up your minds, your ears, and your hearts. After the music ends, I want you all to tell me what you felt, heard, and saw, in your mind’s eye, if you can.”

We all closed our eyes, as the music began to play. I was back on the mountain top in a flash, enjoying the view from above. As I watched the scene unfold before me, I heard one word whispered upon my heart. “Sing.”

I opened my mouth and began to sing the phrases I heard in the magic of the rain. “Come children. See the view from the mountain top. Come and be free-ee-ee-ee! Come with meeeeee! You and I will see-ee-ee-ee the world with our heart!”

As I floated back to the classroom, the room remained silent for several long moments. “Oh Anna, I’m so sorry for not believing you this morning.” Shelly said, as tears streamed down her face. I was looking for clouds, and I missed the magic that you were trying to show me. Now I see it all plain as day!”

“Class, for homework, I want you to write me a story based on what you experienced today. Keep the memory of today’s lesson deep within your hearts, children.” Ms. Smith dismissed us a couple of minutes before the bell rang for our next class.

The peace and tranquility I felt that morning has remained with me to this day. I will always close my eyes and remember the magic I found in a single drop of rain.

 

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A Christmas Gift to all my Readers

Here’s a special gift to all my readers. Warning, you may want to have a hankerchief or a box of cleanex near by. Merry Christmas to all, and may you be richly blessed in 2016.

 

Christmas Bells

“Dear Jesus, please bring my daddy home for Christmas. Mama and I love him, and we miss him so much. We know that he needs to work, so he can give us everything we need and a few things we want, but we need him here too. Mama doesn’t know it Jesus, but there are times when I hear her crying at night for my daddy. Please bring him home, and ask Santa to bring him a special gift this year, because I know he’s been good, He told us so when we talked to him on the phone tonight. Thank you for letting us celebrate your birthday once again, Amen.”

“Why Hannah Darling, what a sweet prayer!” Nancy Miller stepped inside her four-year-old’ daughter’s room, in time to hear her fervent prayer.

“Mama, I miss Daddy, and I know you do too.”

“Honey, Daddy must work, so that we can have all the food, clothes, and this nice home we all need and treasure so much. You know he has to work away from home sometimes, so you can have clothes and supplies for school next year.”

“I know, but We need him here too Mama. You cry for him at night, and it makes me want to cry too.”

“Oh my precious, precious little girl.” Nancy hugged Hannah to her as tears of joy fell down her cheeks. “I’ll say a special prayer for Daddy too.” She kissed her little girl good night and slipped into her bedroom. “Lord, please bring my Husband Thomas home safe and sound. I know he must work to support us, but Hannah is right, We do need him here on the farm. Father, I also ask that you bless Little Hannah and me this Christmas, as Thomas hasn’t sent me very much money for little extras that I long to give my daughter. Thank you for saving my soul, and for my precious miracle child, for each child that is born into this world is a miracle. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

She lay down, and closed her eyes to listen for any sounds of her husband’s truck pulling into the drive, when she heard a beautiful song in the night. “Be at peace my child, for I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” The beautiful melody sang her into a peaceful sleep.

***

Hannah Miller sat on the sofa by the window, looking out at the new fallen snow. “Mama, When is Santa Coming?”

“He always comes on Christmas Eve. You still have a few more days to wait,” Nancy said to her four-year-old daughter as she stood over the hot stove, baking Christmas cookies, pies, and cakes for their Christmas guests.

“Will Santa know what to bring me this year Mama?”

“Of course he will, You don’t have to sit on Santa’s knee, and tell him what you want, he just knows these things.”

“But what about the Santa I saw at school? I thought he was the real Santa. Will he bring what I want?”

“Oh, He was one of Santa’s helpers, and yes, he will tell Santa everything you asked for. So say your prayers and be a good little girl, and all your Christmas wishes will come true.”

“Ok mama.” Hanna stepped over to the window and stared in awe as the snow covered the ground like a white blanket. All of a sudden, she heard the faintest sound of bells tinkling in the distance. “Mama, Listen! I hear Christmas bells!” She closed her eyes, listening for the faint melody again. though the tune was one that she’d never heard before, it filled her heart with joy.. The melody grew stronger, as a figure came gliding into view. “Mommy, it’s an angel!”

Nancy placed a pan of chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack, and stepped over to the window to see what all the fuss was about. “I see the angel! I wonder what brought her here.”

The young lady dressed in a thick white robe and a warm wool hat stood in front of Hannah with a beautiful smile on her face. “My name is Mary, and you must be Hannah.”

“How did you know me?”

“I know all the people I am sent to help in times of need. I have been told that Christmas will be mighty slim this year for you and your mama.”

“I’m afraid so. My husband’s out on the road working a construction job, and I haven’t been able to find any work at all. Hannah’s been such a good girl this year, and I’ve wanted so much to give her a wonderful Christmas, but I just can’t afford it.” Nancy gave Mary a sad smile.

Tears filled Hannah’s eyes. “You mean Santa won’t come this year?”

“Sweetheart, do you know the true meaning of Christmas?” Mary knelt in front of the sad little girl.

“Yes Ma’am. Christmas is Jesus’s Birthday. Santa brings presents to all good little girls and boys, and we get to spend time with the whole family. Last year, we even went to Grandma’s house, before she went home to be with Jesus. Now, we celebrate here in our warm and cozy living room.”

“She goes to Children’s Church every Sunday morning, and my husband and I try our best to teach her about God, and we read from the Bible every night before bed, only last night, she said a prayer that nearly tore me in half.”

“What did you pray for Little Hannah?” Mary knelt before the child as her own eyes shown with unshed tears.

“I asked Jesus to bring my daddy home, and I believe that my wish will come true.”

“Well now, If you believe in miracles and you believe that God will answer your little prayer, you will be blessed beyond anything you can ever imagine.. I have a special gift for you. I hear that you love the tinkle of bells, is that right?”

“Oh Yes Ma’am. They sing out a joyous melody to me.” Hannah began to hum the melody she heard as Mary came to meet her.

Mary handed her a small, tightly wrapped package. “May I open it now?”

“No, You must wait until Christmas morning to open it, for this is a special gift.” Mary floated away as the chimes rang out their merry little tune once more.

“Come and put your gift under the tree.” Nancy guided Hannah to the tree so she could place her special present where her daddy would see it when he got home.

“Now Daddy can be blessed too.”

“How is that?”

“Because when he sees it, he’ll know we’ve been praying for Jesus to bring him home safely.”

“We’ll just have to wait and see. Now run along and play, while I put away the food and clean the kitchen.” Hannah went into the living room to draw a snow angel, while Nancy went to finish her Christmas baking

***

On the night before Christmas, Nancy tucked her daughter in bed, and together they read the Christmas story. After she closed the Bible, she took Hannah’s hands, and they began to pray silently. “Dear Jesus, I want to thank you for answering my prayer. I believe that Daddy will be home when I wake up on Christmas morning. Thank you for sending Mary with my special gift too. Please give us a wonderful miracle this Christmas, amen.” Nancy said a prayer of Thanksgiving, before kissing her little girl on the forehead. She tiptoed downstairs to await the sound of Thomas’s truck rumbling up the driveway. “Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus, thanking you for saving my soul. I also want to thank you for our precious little Hannah, who keeps the magic of Christmas alive for us, even on those dark days, when we don’t feel the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Bring my husband home safe, if it be thy will, and open his heart, so that he may discover the blessings you have in store for him. Protect my precious baby, and give us a blessed and peaceful Christmas, if it be thy will. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.” Her prayer faded into memories of her own childhood Christmases.

***

Nancy came fully awake at the sound of Thomas’s boots on the front porch. She stepped to the door to greet him with open arms. “Oh Tom, you’re home!”

“What are you doing up so late? I thought you’d have gone to bed, right after you tucked Hannah in for the night.”

“I wanted to wait up for you, but I must have fallen asleep on the couch, because I didn’t hear your truck as I usually do.”

“I came around the back of the house, so I could park in the garage.” He peaked under the tree for a moment and saw a shiny box standing front and center. “What is that?”

“It’s a gift for Hannah.” Nancy took her husband’s hand and led him toward the stairs.

“Who’s the gift from?”

“Well, it’s a long story. I’ll let Hannah tell you.”

“Why don’t you tell me the story now, and spare me the surprise on Christmas morning?” Thomas released her hand, emptied his pockets, and placed a couple of packages under the tree.

“Well, we had a visit from an angel-”

“What angel? What are you talking about Nancy? You know God doesn’t send angels down from heaven!”

“How do you know that? Just listen, and then you can give me your opinion.” She told him the story of the angel that came to their house, before his arrival. ” By the way Tom, Mary told Hannah that she would be richly blessed.”

“Do you still keep telling her about Santa? She knows that we give her the little toys and things she asks her for, for Christmas. Why must you continue to make her think that Santa is real?”

“And spoil the magic of Christmas? No way! and besides, you and I both have told her time and time again that Santa is the spirit of Christmas . She also believes that Jesus answers prayers, and she told the angel that Christmas is Jesus’s Birthday, and it’s a time to spend with the family. Don’t spoil her little dreams now, she’s still young yet. She’ll learn the harsh reality of this world in due time. I’ll be back in a minute.” Nancy ran upstairs, turned the bed covers down, and tiptoed back downstairs to place a couple of her own special gifts under the tree.

“Listen Hun, I don’t want to spoil Christmas for anyone, I just want you and Hannah to be happy. So if you say that an angel came to the house, I can’t argue the point, because I didn’t see it for myself.”

“I know dear, having you home does make us happy. I pray that you will find the special magic on Christmas that Hannah and I discovered a few days ago. If you asked Hannah, she’d say this was the answer to her prayer.” She threw her arms around him and gave him a kiss, to express all the love she held in her heart for both him and Hannah.

“Oh yeah, how?” He asked as Nancy laid her head on his shoulder.

“She’s been asking Jesus to bring you home for about a month now. She also asked that we all be blessed this Christmas.”

“Well, I can’t say we’ll have a big Christmas, but we’ll have Christmas nonetheless. Now, let’s get to bed, so we can get a little sleep, before Hannah comes skittering down the stairs by dawn’s early light.” They tiptoed hand in hand up the stairs, shushing each other as they went.”

***

On Christmas morning, Hannah looked out the window to find her daddy’s truck covered by a blanket of fresh snow. “Mama, Merry Christmas!” She patted down the stairs in her robe and slippers, to find a surprise waiting by the tree. “Daddy! Jesus did answer my prayer after all.”

“Really! How?”

“He brought you home!” She threw her arms around her father and hugged his neck.

“Santa’s been here too, and I think he must have needed a little help, because we have a few extra surprises this morning.” Thomas picked his little girl up and swung her around in a circle. “Has my little angel been good while I was gone?”

“Yes sir!”

“Well good for you my little munchkin!” Thomas put his daughter down and turned the Christmas lights on, so they would shine all over the room. “Nancy? Are you coming down, or are you gonna sleep all day?”

“I’m a little slow, but I’m here now.” Nancy stumbled down the stairs, and made a pot of coffee for herself and Thomas, and a cup of hot coco for Hannah.

“Mommy, I see something outside on the front porch!” Hannah called from her place by the large bay window.

“Well, we’ll have a look in a moment, in the meantime Daddy and I have a couple of little surprises for you. But first, you get to open your special gift.” Hanna’s eyes grew big as saucers as Nancy placed the little box in her hands.

“Is this the gift Mary gave me?”

“Yep, it sure is.” Nancy and Thomas watched as Hannah opened the gift. Nancy read the card alout.

MERRY CHRISTMAS HANNAH, FROM YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL

The little girl opened the small box, and found a tiny bell nestled inside several sheets of tissue paper. “Wow! May I ring it?”

“You may, but be very careful.” Nancy folded the tissue paper and put it away for future use.

Hannah gently took the bell by its handle and gave it a shake. All of a sudden, the bell lighted up and a beautiful melody filled the small living room. “Mama, Daddy! It’s the melody I heard when Mary came to the house!”

“That’s right!” Nancy and Thomas said in unison. They listened as the melody came to a sweet end, and their hearts filled with peace and glad tidings for that very special Christmas day.

The Millers said a prayer of thanks as Hannah shook the bell so the melody would fill the room once more. “Thank you Lord for making Christmas extra special for us and for our precious little girl. Thank you for the gift of salvation through your son Jesus Christ, and we also want to thank you for sending Mary to bring a special gift to Hannah, for she is our little angel here on earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

When they stepped out onto the front porch, they found several packages, with a card on top of each. One box held food, another box held winter clothing, while still another held a few toys for Hannah. Nancy sent up another prayer of thanks, as she read the cards aloud.

GIFTS FOR YOUR FAMILY, FROM GOD’S EARTHLY ANGELS WITH LOVE. MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU IN THE NEW YEAR.

“Listen Mama and daddy, Listen!”

A joyous melody rang out through the bay window, as a voice called out “Merry Christmas Miller family, Merry Christmas with love!” Hannah rang her little bell, so it too, could join the ones outside in a happy Christmas carol, as they ran back inside and opened their gifts of love for one another.

 

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Book review: The Black Lizard Big Book Of Pulps, edited by Otto Penzler

Today I am here to review a very long, but very good anthology that I finished a few days ago. This book is called The Black Lizard big Book of Pulps, and it was edited by Otto Penzler. Although this talking book was over 75 hours long, the stories, novellas and the full length novel were rivitting. There were a few stories that I didn’t like, because of the way they were written, or because I just didn’t get the concept, however, many of these stories were the inspiration that has kept me going during NaNoWriMo.
Not only were the stories by authors like Earl Stanly Gardner, Raymond Chandler, and other great pulp writers of the 1920s 30s and 40s outstanding works of nnoire fiction, but I want to publicly thank Ray Foushee, a narrator from The American Printing House for the Blind, for doing an outstanding job with the narration of this book, including the fabulous description of the Sally the Slooth comic strips found in the Dames section of the anthology.
When you read the first comic strip you need to pay attention, or you may think you’re reading one thing when the character is saying something else entirely. Happy reading, and have a fun filled mystery solving day.