Meet Allen and Elaine from @BarbCaffrey’s Brand New Release #romance #LGBT #books


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An Interview with Allen and Elaine from CHANGING FACES

By Barb Caffrey

 

A lean, tall, dark-haired man of average looks comes in, sits down on a long, comfortable couch, and crosses his legs at the ankles. He seems nervous, but friendly.

 

“Hi,” he says. “I’m Allen Bridgeway, clarinetist, graduate student in Music at Willa Cather University, and the fiancé of Elaine Foster—also a graduate student at WCU. I’m partial to Weber, allergic to cats, and I’m thirty years old.” He smiles wryly, adding, “Is that enough detail for now?”

 

Then a shorter, rounder, beautiful woman of Hispanic descent comes in and sits next to him. After giving him a quick hug and a squeeze of the hand, she speaks.

 

“And as you may have guessed, I’m Elaine, Allen’s fiancée. Though I’m not quite what I appear. I might look female, and I always identify as female for whatever it’s worth—”

 

Allen butts in. “You’re a feminist scholar, love. How could you be anything else?”

 

Elaine gives him a fond look. “But I’m not straight, and more to the point, sometimes I feel more male than female.”

 

Allen shrugs. “Whatever you are, however you present yourself, I will always love you.”

 

Elaine blushes. “Good to know.” Then she turns to me, the interviewer—otherwise known as author Barb Caffrey, who wrote their story in the new romantic fantasy, CHANGING FACES—and says, “Can we get to the questions now? So we can get back to playing our clarinets and living our lives?”

 

“Of course,” I tell them. “What is your idea of perfect happiness?”

 

Allen and Elaine look at each other, smile, and say nothing for a long time. Finally, Allen husks out, “Any day with Elaine suits me fine.”

 

Elaine blushes again, nods, and squeezes his hand. Apparently she agrees.

 

Next, I asked them, “What is your greatest fear?”

 

“Living without Elaine,” Allen says right off the bat.

 

“Telling Allen who I really am, because once I do, he’ll leave,” Elaine says in a low tone.

 

Allen looks confused for one moment, until Elaine squeezes his hand. “I’ll explain later, love,” she says.

 

“What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?” Then I look at them both, and ask, “Can Elaine answer this first? Allen, you always jump in…”

 

Allen mumbles something, and motions with his hand to Elaine.

 

“Ah, I like it when he goes first,” she says playfully. “It gives me more time to consider my answer.” Then she turned serious. “I am often hasty, and while I try to think things through, sometimes I just don’t. This causes trouble, but I can’t seem to break the habit.”

 

“I like all your habits,” Allen said, giving her a sidelong look. Then, focusing on me, he added, “I am reserved. This makes it harder for me to open up to people, and it takes a long time for me to make new friends. That’s caused me a lot of trouble in my life, especially as musicians are supposed to be gregarious sorts and I’m just not.”

 

“Who you are is just fine with me, love,” Elaine put in loyally.

 

I raised an eyebrow, and told them, “I like you both. So stop all this nonsense and just answer the questions, will you?”

 

“But it’s so much fun to tease you,” Elaine said.

 

Allen just laughed.

 

These two. What could I do with them?

 

“All right. What is the trait you most deplore in others?” I asked.

 

Elaine went first again. “Hostility. I can’t stand it. And ignorance is a close second.”

 

“People who think the arts are silly,” Allen said after a long pause. “Without the arts, we’d not have any culture to speak of and we’d probably be brute beasts.”

 

“I never knew you felt that strongly, love,” Elaine said, squeezing his hand again. “But I like it.”

 

Allen blushed dark red.

 

“And in that vein…what do you consider the most overrated virtue?”

 

After a look at Elaine, Allen went first this time. “Charity. Because people who believe they are charitable often have problems with hypocrisy, and I can’t stand it. They also seem to think that they are the best people on the face of the planet, and that annoys me, too.”

 

Elaine nodded, but her answer was different. “I think faith is the most overrated virtue, because most people seem to think of it only as faith in the Higher Power, not as faith in yourself. And really, it should be both.”

 

“Interesting,” I told them. “Now, here’s an easy one. Which living person do you most despise?”

 

Allen and Elaine looked at each other, looked at me, and in one voice said, “Donald Trump.” Then Elaine continued, “That man never should’ve become President, and has caused all sorts of problems, especially for the LGBT community, of which I am one.”

 

“Donald Trump gives Americans a bad name,” Allen added. “I am embarrassed for our country. We should have Hillary Clinton as our President, right now.”

 

“So, would you say that Hillary is the person you most admire, then?”

 

Elaine nodded, saying, “Her work with women and children throughout her lifetime—not to mention the disabled—has been exemplary.”

 

“Personally, I admire Nelson Mandela more, but he’s passed away. I can say that, can’t I?” Allen gave me a worried look.

 

“Sure. Who doesn’t admire Nelson Mandela?” Then I smiled, and said, “Here’s another easy one. Who is the greatest love of your life?”

 

Both Allen and Elaine burst out laughing. “If we weren’t each other’s biggest love, we’d not be here, Barb.” Allen raised an eyebrow, but still looked amused.

 

“Yeah, why are you asking us this. You know better.” Elaine wagged her finger at me, playfully.

 

“All right. Here’s a more serious question, and it’s the very last one. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Elaine, you go first.”

 

“If I had the power, I’d allow my gender-fluidity freer rein. Some days, I would be fully male outwardly. Other days, I’d be fully female. Maybe I’d change during the day, for variety’s sake…that way, I wouldn’t feel so alien in my body all the time.”

 

Allen gave her a look of concern. “This is a tough one. When I was younger, I wanted more athletic talent. When I first met Elaine, I wanted to be bisexual like her, so we’d have more to talk about.”

 

“I never knew that,” Elaine interjected.

 

“You weren’t supposed to,” Allen muttered. “But I’m depressingly heterosexual.” He sighed. “Now, I think the only thing I’d change, if I could, is to be healthier. I had a gall bladder operation last year that should’ve been routine, but wasn’t because of a complication…and poor Elaine had to take care of me.”

 

Then, he smiled. “Thanks for interviewing us in our original bodies, by the way. It’s harder for us to explain who we are, looking like each other.”

 

“No problem,” I told them. “Glad to do it.” (If this throws you, gentle reader, you really need to go read at least the blurb, and possibly the sample chapters, of CHANGING FACES. And as it’s only ninety-nine cents/ninety-nine pence for an e-book for a limited time, it’s quite affordable. Really.)

 

CHANGING FACES cover

 

Title: CHANGING FACES

Author: Barb Caffrey

Genre: Contemporary LGBT Fantasy-Romance

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

 

Book Blurb:

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

 

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.

 

He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.

 

Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.

 

Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.

 

Why?

 

True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.

 

Excerpt:

 Two angels decide to take a hand and help Allen and Elaine by changing their faces.

 

From the ether, I watched as Allen’s little car crashed into something. No one saw it but us, perhaps because of the dense fog along with the ice and snow. “What is that thing?”

 

“It’s a road grader,” Michael said absently.

 

“Is there anyone around to help?” Surely we couldn’t just leave them in this condition—could we?

 

“I thought I’d help them,” Michael told me, sounding deceptively casual. Then, just like that, he wore a human body again and stood directly behind Allen’s wrecked car—to human eyes, he now looked like a healthy, compact young woman. I wasn’t sure why he’d picked that particular form, but Michael liked variety. The light around his body danced with his usual rainbow prisms—what I thought of as his true form— before he said, “You could help, too, you know.”

 

Stung, I incorporated also, using the form I’d used at Jolene and Paula’s wedding months ago. “Will this do?”

 

“I hope so.” He turned to look at me; his blue eyes were grave, unchanging. “We have about two minutes, maybe three, before this car blows up.”

 

“Why?”

 

“They had extra gas in the back of the car in case of emergencies.” As he said this, he opened the passenger side door. Elaine’s head had hit the windshield so hard, the windshield had cracked; fortunately, her seatbelt and airbag had protected most of the rest of her body. She was still breathing, albeit shallowly. “Help me get her out.”

 

On this plane, we could not tap into any primal energy sources; at least, I couldn’t, or I’d risk an explosion. I was limited to what this body could do, as it was the only one I knew well enough to summon; fortunately, Elaine didn’t weigh very much, and we were able to get her out of the car. I picked up her purse and put it beside her, along with a blanket that had fallen to the floor, before racing back to help with Allen.

 

This was going to be much harder. Allen’s body was wedged in between the steering wheel and the bent, damaged door. The road grader was firmly on the other side; no help there.

 

“Why can’t we keep the car from blowing up?” I asked.

 

“I can only interfere so much. Now, help me with Allen!”

 

“How?”

 

“Get the other blankets out of the car, and put them on the ground. This is going to be tricky.”

 

While I hastened to do that, Michael reached inside the car. I heard the seat belt unlatch, and as I ran back to the car, I saw Michael start to pull Allen away from the steering wheel. Then, I don’t know how, Michael had pulled him backward, out of the car.

 

“He’s got a pulse. But he’s got multiple fractures, minimum,” Michael reported.

 

“We have to use their cell phones to call an ambulance.” As I blinked, he added, “Elaine’s phone has a pink cover. Get it and call 911—that’s for emergencies.”

 

I raced back to Elaine’s purse, grabbed her phone, and ran back. By this time, Allen was on the ground, but only a foot or so from the car. And there was something going on with the car, now…it looked unstable, to me, as an energy-being, rather than solid. I’d only seen this in the elderly, who were about to end their existence.

 

My unfamiliar fingers fumbled with the phone, but I was able to use it. I reported the emergency, said two people were on the side of the road after a crash, and gave the location. Before they could ask anything else, the phone went dead.

 

“Here. We need to get them to safety. Now!”

 

I helped Michael pull first Elaine, then Allen, about thirty feet. We did our best to protect their heads, but there wasn’t much time; we had to get them away from that car before it exploded.

 

Just as we got them both onto the nearby sidewalk, the car blew up. Even the foggy sky couldn’t hide that conflagration…surely someone would get here soon to take care of them. Right?

 

But before I could ask Michael anything, he yelled, “Now! Shift to the ethereal plane!”

 

I shifted planes, and saw Michael—now the Big Man, in his accustomed rainbow-prism form—dance over Allen’s body, then Elaine’s. “What are you doing?” I asked in pulse-speech.

 

“Changing faces,” he said succinctly.

 

“Huh?”

 

He took Elaine’s soul and bound it into Allen’s body, then put Allen’s soul into Elaine’s and bound it there as well. As the ambulance came, he told them, “Be well, children. This is the best I can do.”

 

“Why do this, though?” I asked. “It’ll disrupt so many things.”

 

“Separating them wouldn’t?”

 

“True…”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Changing-Faces-Barb-Caffrey-ebook/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (AUS): https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (IN): https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-faces-barb-caffrey/1125707044?ean=2940157587512

 

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Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician who holds two degrees in Music.

She has a particular fondness for the clarinet, lived in Nebraska for the better part of

three years, and appreciated the ability to combine both her loves with the writing of

Changing Faces.

 

Her other books are An Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble (otherwise

known as the Elfy duology), while her short stories have appeared in a number of

places (most recently in Realms of Darkover). She’s also the co-writer of the Joey Maverick

series of stories (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey), so the next story you might see

from her could be military science fiction—or better yet, military science fiction with

romance.

 

She lives in Wisconsin.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: Barb Caffrey’s Elfyverse https://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

 

 

 

Award-Winning Author Tia Shurina Shares #Wisdom + @everythingAAHE #RRBC


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We all want a happy ending in life, like Cinderella and Prince Charming, but sometimes Cinderella has to go through pain/suffering and discover her own path to a happy ending. Tia Shurina, author of Everything and a Happy Ending, is not only a talented writer but an inspiration. She’s got amazing inner strength and is proof-positive that when you spread the Light and Love to others, it comes back to you hundred-fold. Her book moved us so greatly that she won the 2016 N. N. Light Book Award for Nonfiction.

In honor of this award, she agreed to sit down with me for a follow-up interview. Everything and a Happy Ending talks about the three men in her life, her journey to self-discovery and working on her own happy ending. She’s an amazing woman and it’s my pleasure to re-introduce her. Take it away, Tia:

 

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I’m a very sentimental woman, & because of that:

I’d cast Brooke Shields as me since she holds very significant meaning to my story.

I would cast Ray Romano as my dad.  The physical physique & resemblance is stunning, &, as the 3rd man in the trio, I feel that casting would add an incredible full circle beauty & intimacy to it.  Plus, as a gambler, dedicated golfer, softball enthusiast & avid all around sports fan, I feel he would really, & truly, be able to capture the spirit & essence that was my father’s heart & soul.

I would cast Tony Danza as Larry, my ex-husband.

And as Ray I would cast George Clooney, again, because, like Brooke Shields, he has an extraordinary special significance in the book.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My best accomplishment is my 3rd baby, Everything and a Happy Ending.  It accomplished the 2 most important things in my life…

feeling I came full circle as a mom to my 2 boys as I gave birth to my memoir.  As my boys grew, & my dissatisfaction in my life grew, I hid a sad sorrowful feeling of disappointment that I was short-changing my children by letting my fears push me to settle in my life.  My dad’s death was the catalyst & catapult to a transformation & metamorphosis long in the making.  As they watched their mom face her fears & follow her heart for the 1st time in her life, I became the example I wanted to be for them.  In that experience & thru that process, I am now ecstatic & feeling so proud they are well on their way to happy “everythings” in their lives…relationships, careers, experiences, at least with the things that are within the realm of their own control, of course.

 

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Five years?!  Oh my.  Seems like a mini-lifetime away!  I have to be honest, I’m holding a vision very close & clear in my mind for much sooner than 5 years right now.  The last 7+ years that I have spent struggling to turn onto a different course in my life, & change an ending to a story I wrote for myself when I was much younger, much less mature, & certainly much less spiritually strong has been challenging, exhausting, emotionally draining, & very painful at times & I am now eager to finally, fully, turn that corner & step firmly onto that path.  But, since 5 is the lucky number you asked about, let me say that in 5 years, I see myself having long climbed completely out of the financial hole that I dug myself into as part of the extraordinary gift of “everything” that I freely, & faithfully gave to another in a spectacular, sacred gift of trust.  I see myself long enjoying a blessed, blissfully happy very intimate romantic relationship with excitement & much joy & laughter with a man I am madly, crazily, fantastically in love with.  I was blessed with an answered prayer when I was given the opportunity to make some new choices for myself at this certain age in my life.  It is the reason I finally faced down my fantastic fears & rose above them by ending my marriage.  I will not let that gift be in vain or go unwrapped or unlived & I have full faith that the Universe will deliver us to one another…whomever that someone turns out to be.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I have read each & every review that I’m aware of, so far.  Who I am, tho, struggles to NOT let the 1 negative comment out of 100 positive ones eat me alive so, can be draining.  In my life, I’m getting better at not engaging, or co-creating with other’s harsh criticisms, so, I keep the faith I will move to that place with the book as well.

In my heart, Ricky Nelson’s song, Garden Party, is my theme song (you can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself)…but my head sings a different song many days!  I won’t plan on responding to the negative.  Constructive criticism is one thing…an important valid tool and as an inexperienced, nonprofessional writer I accept they will be a part of the process, but I will do my best to let negative mean-ness “walk on by” (that’s Dionne Warwick…& yes, I love music & find it to be a very powerful inspirational tool!).

 

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

My least favorite part of the process has been the marketing & publicity aspect.  The book was a Plan C for sure (maybe even Plan D).  I had no desire or plan to share my own personal story so publicly.  When came time to promote that sharing…my book…a lot of old “stuff” seemed to circle their wagons.  I went kicking & screaming a bit to go with that flow I was so desperate to swim with finally in my life, instead of bucking that flow for so long in my life.  And, I’m so outside my comfort zone in soooo many areas of my life right now as a result.  It has brought a happiness & peace of heart I have never felt, yet, I am also exhausted from the journey I chose to take almost 8 years ago at this point.  Because I’m so beyond my limits, “running  on empty” at this point (with Jackson Browne singing back up for me!), & beyond in some important places, this particular part has hit me especially hard.  Ive been incredibly protective & especially particular about making sure the story ripples outward in the same energy & intention it was written in…and that is, of course, the spirit of LOVE, & because of that, I continue to wear many hats as I move along this beautiful journey I embarked on after my dad passed.  It has worn me out in some aspects, yet, in some other all important areas it has energized me & gifted me with a re-birth that has been so fulfilling.  What a rollercoster ride it has been.  Good thing I have always loved them!!  And, a good thing indeed I finally accepted the possibility that maybe this was something important I do & face & embrace in my life.

 

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

The situation I find myself in right now.  My ex & I have a very Modern Family kind of living arrangement.  He moved out for quite awhile after we split & then became my roommate after his dad passed away over a year later…a gift to my ex, wanting to be kind & help him out, even as I was trying to honor myself 1st & foremost, finally, in my life.  That choice was also a gift to Ray, which is all detailed in the book as to the why’s I made them.   At the time, I trusted was going to be for a short amount of time & felt certain was a positive healing choice & opportunity for my ex & I…& our 2 boys actually, after they witnessed a bit of tumult between us in the time before we finally split.  But, it passed its circle of healing at a certain point & rounded back to an un-healthy situation again, & I’ve been struggling mightily as a result as my circumstances have changed through the years as I tried to do what was best for Larry, best for Ray & honor myself at the same time.  I gave everything to Ray, as I promised him I would…and, he accepted my gift, which continues to make me so happy, but, it has also wreaked havoc on my life in many, many ways.  And, because I was giving to Larry at same time too, all of our choices have co-created a firestorm that is indeed scorching me now.  Its a difficult time, but, I am so devoted to myself…&, as my father’s daughter, am rolling the dice & placing a big bet…on me!

I’m currently in full swing of trying to get myself out, on my own…the book is part of my attempt to gain back some of the financial security I gifted to Ray, part of my offering of trust.

 

What is your biggest fear?

Well, to piggyback off the last question, I will share that on a difficult, dark day, I will allow the fears to have their moment & take me to my knees in fear & worry that even a tiny remote chance exists that I will be unable to get myself onto a firm financial foothold & start the new life I so desperately wanted for myself when I made the decision to end my marriage is definitely topping the list these days.  After I allow myself to be human, however, I am well aware of the importance to get up from my knees & walk away from those fears so that energy does not get to stick around me.  It is so unhealthy to wallow in it but I am also aware of the importance of allowing feelings & acknowledging emotions as well, after a long time in my life of kinda stuffing them away.  It’s a balance, for sure.  There’s a powerful scene in Eat Pray Love where Elizabeth is on her bathroom floor, distraught, praying to her God for help.  It’s a beautiful scene of surrender, and faith…& I’ve certainly been there, as I’m sure many have.  But, for me, balance is so important…& in my ordinary/extraordinary, divine but very human “story”, there is a scene where it isn’t the quite of night but the bright light & busy-ness of day, in my bedroom, with neighbors downstairs & kids in the next room to hear me, even as I have closed the door to try & maintain some privacy & dignity, screaming to my God, in devastation & despair, feeling betrayed & forsaken.  So disappointed in a divine Universe I felt could never be capable of, or allow, such selfishness, such unfairness, such cruelty.  That scene is my best way to articulate my biggest fear in a visual, to accompany the words I shared about the state of affairs that my ALL-IN choice & promise to Ray created.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I’d like to be able to become invisible.  Sooo much mystery & more than just a little angst too, would no longer exist in my life if I were able to do that.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Giraffe Hotel in Nairobi Kenya

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

 Besides above, which gets me to Africa, I’d like to visit Alaska & Hawaii, which were places my dad wanted to get to, drive cross country & see the Grand Canyon, a visit to a few other of the Wonders of the World (either classic, new or natural), a Mediterranean cruise, learn to speak a little French (which I find to be a very sexy language), learn to play the drums & piano, mentor…& since I have 2 sons, I’d like to mentor a girl, & lastly, have a book I wrote made into a screenplay!

 

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Title:  Everything and a Happy Ending

 

Author: Tia Shurina

 

Genre:  Memoir

 

 

Book Blurb:

A memoir about 3 interconnected relationships & 3 special men in my life. The fact that youre reading this makes me happy. Maybe youve mistaken this for a how to give a good happy ending sexual self-help book. Maybe youre reading because you have a genuine interest in anothers journey. Either way, Im good. My journey almost destroyed me. Almost. Boy, have I come to like that word. What a pleasurable word almost can be. You may almost be ready to buy my book. You may almost be ready to begin an amazing new journey of your own. You may almost be over that rainbow Judy Garland sings about. What great potential almost can hold, if you can flip your way of thinking. Just imagine controlled pessimism, doubt, and fear flipped into blind optimism, faith, and love.

 

Excerpt: 

Chapter 8

EMILIO

Grow with the Flow

(of the Current of Your Life)

Come together… at just the right and perfect time

Such wonderful advice, to go (and grow) with the flow. I heard it from my dad, as he encouraged me to swim more with the current of my life, rather than against it, as I’d done for a long, unsatisfying time. It is a great title for a book chapter or TV episode, yet it can be difficult to true-ly live in real life, I think.

There’s an Oscar winning movie, Marty, from 1955. It’s a fictional story of two average people who meet a bit later in life, fall in love, and get a happy ending. Marty, a plain man, meets Clara, an ordinary woman. Both are lonely, and both feel even less than plain and ordinary. It is a beautiful love story about meeting, connecting, trusting, redemption, and second chances arriving later in life. It is extraordinary and ordinary, both at the same time. It is almost unbelievable, yet totally attainable. It is a once in a lifetime story and an everyday possibility—the perfect balance.

Now, imagine the story is not fiction, but real. Imagine there real-ly exists a Marty and Clara, who meet when fate crosses their paths, but not as middle-aged, world weary, lonely adults, but as much younger, scared, lonely adults. Imagine also that this particular Marty and Clara are not plain or ordinary at all on the outside, yet on the inside feel the very same way Marty and Clara felt. It is a difficult challenge for even the older, wiser adult to go with the flow, but for the younger, intimidated, un-wise young adult to ponder the paths that could be taken, instead of the choice to trust, to let it all go, to jump in and let the current flow you to where you are meant to be is much harder. Imagine that this very real and very scared Marty and Clara pair go their separate ways, rather than go all in and take the risk first time around.

But if life is a journey of human choices and divine plans and assistance in mind and soul from the start, consider the possibility that, if their destiny is to come together, they will make their way back around the circle to reunite. Given another chance to simply be together, when the time was right and perfect for them, they’d reconnect like yin connects with yang.

What if the universe has always been watching their backs, moving them along divinely, in just the right and perfect way, to help them get a second chance someday? As Sophie says in Letters to Juliet, “‘What’ and ‘if ’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if?” What if, like in reel life, the real life Marty makes a promise to the real life Clara, to come back to her so that they can have that love affair, finally, to go with the flow, and meet up with her soon? What if the real life Clara devotedly waits as the reel life Clara does—sitting, motionless, on the sofa, just waiting for her Marty to reach out, not moving or budging until he did, because she grew scared that if she did, it meant she didn’t trust him, petrified it meant she didn’t have faith in him? What if?

What if, in a very real life, a very real Marty and Clara can face their fears this time around their circle, and find the courage to actually go with that flow? Maybe, just maybe, they can have that love affair that often exists true-ly in fairytales, but once in a while moves into reality as well, jumping off the pages of a book, leaping out of the TV or off the reel life movie screen—a real and a very true love.

 

Buy Links: 

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Happy-Ending-Tia-Shurina/dp/0578166038/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1457713470&sr=8-1

 

Publisher https://mascotbooks.com/mascot-marketplace/buy-books/nonfiction/bios-and-memoirs/everything-and-a-happy-ending/

 

 

Press Release

 PR Newswire

 

 

Will Tia Shurina give Ray Romano a “Happy Ending”? New Memoir Reveals Relationship and Unveils Transformation

Tia and Ray

 

Feb 01, 2016, 12:11 ET from Everything and a Happy Ending

NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Sometimes a person’s outside public persona isn’t reflective of their inside private life. Everything and a Happy Ending shares her struggle with authenticity between her outer and inner worlds; her real and true lives. It also details how an old friendship turned to secreted emotional love affair and how she helped him flip a not so funny reality into a fantastical new reel life self.

As Tia transitioned through her own real life roles she became the muse for one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars.

Her book illuminates her awakening and metamorphosis, committed to embracing the high road of nourishment, while exuding courage and kindness. Her memoir shares her journey to give and receive love without domination, submission, or sublimation. She takes the reader through sorrow and tribulation leading to growth, clarity, peace, release and joy recounting three interwoven circles & love stories. EAAHE chronicles how her childhood relationship with her father set the foundation for her long marriage to her ex-husband; then shares how their adult relationship “set the stage” for a unique love story with the comedian. She details how her faith is strengthened as her own re-birth inspired her old friend to grow and evolve himself. She’s been his shadow muse since a poignant, powerful reconnection became the catalyst for her privately shared personal evolution which became the root and core of Romano’s own journey of “soulwork”. That inspiration allowed him to achieve some of the greatest successes of his career.

Shurina states, “My dad’s advice to his children was, ‘hold your form’. Those bestowed bellwether words were integral to embracing my faith, finding joy within (and without!), allowing ‘true’ love, giving in peace and empowering others to rise to their own best form.”

Her story is a tour de force of emergence into empowerment & the recognition of the interconnected heart, balancing the spiritual and the material, and her selfless, unconditional giving to help liberate another from a life born of a need for adulation and acceptance.

“It’s my prayer another woman of a certain age feeling dissatisfied in her life might take a babystep forward.”

EAAHE combines real and true aspects of Eat Pray Love crossing paths with 50 Shades, Marty, Parenthood and Someday Someday Maybe meeting When the Balls Drop.

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/will-tia-shurina-give-ray-romano-a-happy-ending-new-memoir-reveals-relationship-and-unveils-transformation-300212049.html

 

 

Author Bio:

Tia Shurina lives in Queens, NYC but still spends time on the Jersey Shore, where she feels safest in the bungalows she spent her childhood summers.  She is, most days, really filled with joy.  She is, every day, truly filled with peace.   She looks forward to a happy ending each new day, however it unfolds, whomever it holds, & however the Universe molds, as she continues to create a new “happily ever after”, staying committed to rising above her fears, moving out of her comfort zones and going with the flow of her life.

 

Website: http://everythingandahappyending.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/everythingAAHE

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14261868.Tia_Shurina

Meet @Rats_Tales and Discover Why We Think Rod is the Best Author in Years #books #fiction


It’s our extreme pleasure to welcome Rod Humphris to the POTL blog today. He is the author of Dead Ground and Mr. N. claims, “he’s my new favorite author and I can’t wait to read more of his works.” We asked Rod if he’d like to be interviewed (because frankly, we’d love to get to know him better) and he agreed. We think you’ll find his answers insightful and witty. So, without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Rod Humphris. Take it away, Rod:

 

What is your writing process?

I invariable start with a sense of place and hopefully a feeling for the arc of the story. After that I start developing characters and then I disappear into the alternate reality of it and re-emerge, blinking into the light, a year later. I like to start early in the day and I’ll write anywhere; on the train, in a café. The greenhouse is good.

Do you have any odd writing habits?

When I’m stuck and confused, not unusual, I walk round the woods with the dogs talking to my phone. I lay out to myself where I’ve got to and where I think I’m going and what the problems are and record it. I’ve never actually used the recordings. I try not to go anywhere where I’m likely to meet another human.

What book do you wish you could have written?

A million. Often what I’ve just read. Recently Kim by Rudyard Kipling. A few notables would be: Kidnapped! by Robert Louis Stevenson just for the character of Alan Breck, The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler for the final scene in the bar where Marlow realises who he’s sitting next to, almost anything by P.G. Wodehouse for his amazing use of our language – “I have here in this sack a few simple rats.”, etc.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

John Buchan has an abiding place in my heart. Not just for the well known books but also for Prince of the Captivity and Sick Heart River. I rather like unreliable characters; Ian Flemming, Lawrence Van De Post and Axel Munthe. I admire the much missed Ian Banks for his courage and originality. Countless others.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I’m not sure who should play Si, Tom Hiddleston perhaps? I think Bill Nighy would make a great Guy Wealden. Kaya Scodelario would make a great Sam and Georgina Campbell could play Soumy. Benedict Cumberbach would do Bill brilliantly.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I try hard to choose good names but I don’t think I’m good at it. The trouble is that I sometimes just use the first one that comes to me to get going and then get very confused when I realise I have to change it later. Names, like all words, have resonances and layers of meaning and definitely matter.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

If I can’t write anything good then I just write something bad and then throw it away later. I persist.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In a beautiful villa on the Mediterranean shore – well, I didn’t take to this line of work to engage with reality, did I?

Have you always liked to write?

No, but I’ve always liked to read and I’ve always liked to make things; now those two things have come together.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Forget any idea that writing is an occupation for nice people. To write well you write your own words against all the other possible words there could be. Be a ruthless egomaniac and exclude the voices of everyone else that may be lurking in your head – and then when you’ve written it, find a good editor and listen to them.

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

Do I have to? I’d quite like to own a game park in the Kalahari, or sail a beautiful yacht around the world delivering… well, something or other, or perhaps try running the country. I’ve often found taxi-driving very useful so that’s possibly more likely.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I alternate and sometime get myself into trouble with it. I like to have a feeling for where I’m going but I also believe in the phrase, ‘there’s no such thing as plot, only character’. The characters often develop in unhelpful ways. Sometimes I throw away the character and start again. Sometimes I recognise that they are right and I just misunderstood what I was doing. Sometime I just go and bang my head against a tree until it all starts to make sense.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do but I’ve never responded to one. I also read all my rejections from publishers (to my agent). It worries me though; I go up with the good and down with the bad. One day I will be float serenely above it all like a cloud. Advice – take the bad and swallow them down; if you want to be a writer it’ll make you want it more.

What is your best marketing tip?

Find someone who’s brilliant at marketing and lay your sword at their feet.

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

I struggle with the conflict between publishing and writing. I get pulled into the publishing side of things when I really want to be writing. I’m hoping this will improve in time.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I give myself permission to write about anything whatsoever if I find it interesting. If I found something interesting and didn’t write about it because I thought someone else wouldn’t like it I’d be disappointed in myself.

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

I like my own writing room a lot but my favourite place to write is a small cottage in the French Pyrenees. I sometimes go there with my dog when I really need to concentrate.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

I find the hardest scenes to write are the ones where I haven’t invested enough in one of the characters in it. They end up sounding wrong. If I have to, I get up and walk about being that person, trying to think their thoughts and feel their feelings. It can be quite hard work.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

The first book I wrote lives in the proverbial drawer and can stay there. I’m currently re-writing my second full-length novel and I’ll be very, very glad if I ever manage to present something half decent to my editor.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

After I’ve finished the one I’m struggling with I want to spend time (probably just in my head) in the South of France. I’m having a bit of a love affair with the area at the moment; it has a romance for me and so much history and confluence of people.

Do you write naked?

Yes, but not in the café.

What is your biggest failure?

In writing? At the moment the book I’m working on. Failure is the means to success.

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

“No, I don’t really mind that you didn’t get round to reading my book.”

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Yes, but I think they’ve forgotten about it.

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

A few times but only through being young or stupid (I think I mean drunk). I’m no fighter and I’m perfectly comfortable with standing behind someone else who’s bigger than me if necessary.

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

Every time I try to write a book. My main character has always found a way out so far but I know that sometime I’m going to have to write something where he doesn’t. I’m not looking forward to it. When there’s no way out all you can do is endure and wait. I had a job in once IT that was a bit like that.

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I like alcohol but I’m not a big drinker. Good wine seems to me to be one of the great things in life. Never smoked. The marzipan filled chocolate that you can get in some supermarkets can be a problem for me. I’ve also had some trouble with Jaffa Cakes. I have to be strict with myself to work and not go fishing.

What is your biggest fear?

Possibly success. I’m working on that one.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Rod Humphris, 1966 – 2200. Let it be smooth and worn and lying flat in mown grass in a sunny, mossy churchard and do please sit on me and eat your sandwiches.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

All the time I need to do all the interesting things in life and to know all the amazing people there are to know.

If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

My name would be my own name and my clothes would be my own clothes – and no one would ever know.

What literary character is most like you?

Hannibal Lecter.

What secret talents do you have?

I can do a pretty good eye-splice.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

The Nikka plateau in Malawi.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I’d be my cat. It’s a lifestyle thing: no deadlines, mice to catch and someone to rub my belly at any given point.

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Finish writing this damn book! Be at the helm of a 25 metre Van Heok (sailing yacht) on a fast reach with full canvas spread somewhere beyond the horizon.

If you could have any name in the world, what would you choose?

Well, I suppose I could if I wanted to. What’s to stop me? I’m okay with this one.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Not that you can see. Didn’t we talk about reviews earlier?

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

When I was pretty small I used to sleep with an old carburetor, but I’m not sure why. I think relevant adjectives for me as a boy would be, free-range and organic. I’m still more comfortable with most animals than I am with most people.

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I often dream about the characters I’m writing about. There are days when I go to sleep thinking about a part of a book and wake up still thinking about it, almost as if there was no intervening time. Not that I’m obsessive at all.

 

Dead_Ground_large

 

Title – Dead Ground

Author – Rod Humphris

Genre – Historical Fiction, War & Military, Thriller

Publisher – Rat’s Tales

 

Book Blurb –

In the mountains and passes of Nuristan the men of patrol base Azun grind through their days and nights of constant vigilance. They hunt the Taliban and try to win hearts and minds. Trouble is coming, that is certain. How or when, where and in what form, they do not know. They fear it and also long for it.

Only Lieutenant Simon Ellice, with a clarity born of grief and anger, can see the shape of it. Only he, being beyond care, will do what has to be done and pay the price. Not that he will be the only one to pay.

Dead Ground is a story of the impossibility of the task assigned to British forces in Afghanistan and the heroism of some of those who attempted it.

“[Dead Ground]… unfolds with stealth, careful observation and close detail combining to produce an explosive ending.  The battle narrative is superb, understated and economical, it’s an immersive, terrifying and moving experience.”

 

Excerpt –

The world was going on and I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t want to feel anything except my anger.

I left my pack at the door and went into the busy, cluttered, low-ceilinged ops room of the patrol base Azun. Major James Snowhall was at his usual place in conference with Dan Granger, the 2IC. I stood to attention in front of them and said, “Sir.”

“You’re back, are you?” he said, looking up from his laptop.

“Yes, sir.”

“I see. Well, you’d better get to work then.”

“Yes, sir.”

I hadn’t expected much of a welcome. I turned and went to the exit.

“Wait.”

I stopped, turned round and waited.

“Your men will be glad to see you. Gerald will get you up to speed. Come and find me at nineteen thirty.”

“Sir.”

I went out into the hard light. The mountains hanging over us had a dusting of snow now and I knew that it would be cold later. I heft my pack onto one shoulder and walked the long way through the omnipresent dust to the bases’ living area. This took me past the mortar pit, the southern Javelin station and the main sangar from where we kept watch. There were a group of men in full kit on QRF duty lounging about at the foot of the raised platform. They called rough greetings to me which I returned with their name, or nickname. The unremitting tension seemed to have etched itself a little deeper into their faces. Mostly they turned back to their card games or play-stations, but some followed me with their eyes as I went on.

At the fifty cal I stood with Spicer and Deaks for a few minutes and looked at the terrain. It hadn’t got any better. There were children playing tag in the dust in front of the mosque and women moving about carrying their burdens.

“You’re back then, Lieutenant Ellice, sir,” Spicer said, giving me an exaggeratedly proper salute undercover of the Hesco wall.

“Yes, Spicer, I’m still a lieutenant. They haven’t promoted me yet,” I said.

That made them laugh.

“Good to have you back, sir,” Deaks said.

“Good to be back, Deaks,” I said.

“Really, sir?” he said.

“Actually, yes, Deaks,” I said.

“Fucking hell, sir,” he said.

“Quite,” I said.

I left them to it and went to look for Gerald. I found him in the tent that served us both as home.

“Fuck me. You’re back,” he said.

“Apparently,” I said, pushing a pile of papers off an empty missile crate that was doing duty as a chair and sitting down.

 

Buy Links –

Website: https://ratstales.co.uk/

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/28OjSmb

 

B&N (Nook Press): http://bit.ly/29MzR4Y

 

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/28MC68L

 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/29Jcg45

 

Rats Tales single Spine Logo

 

Author Biography –

I have no special qualifications to be a writer except that I want to be. I live where I’m from in the West Country in the UK and work in a small room above a pub in Bath, which is possibly the nicest city in the world. I spend my days thinking about, learning about and writing about whatever is interesting to me, which is possibly the best job in the world.

I’ve been working away quietly for many years, learning my trade and starting to build up a body of work. Now, at last, it’s all starting to happen. The first full-length novel of my Simon Ellice series goes to print shortly and will be available in all the usual places.

To introduce the series and the main character I’ve released a short story called Dead Ground in the digital formats. Set in Nuristan, Afghanistan, it tells of how a young man begins to deal with his personal grief amid the chaos of war and is launched on a course that will get him into a lot of trouble in Morocco a year later…

 

Social Media Links –

Rat’s Tales:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ratstalespublishing/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rats_Tales

Pinterest – https://uk.pinterest.com/ratstales/

 

Simon Ellice

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/simonelliceuk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/simon_ellice

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/simon_ellice/

Meet Anthony Stancomb and his new release Notes from a Very Small Island #travel #memoir


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to move from the hustle and bustle of the city to a small island? I must admit, I have had that fantasy. So apparently did Anthony Stancomb and his wife, Ivana. They left the UK in search of their dream and moved to the island of Vis. Now releasing his second book, Notes from a Very Small Island, he agreed to sit down with me for an author interview. Please welcome Anthony Stancomb to the Princess of the Light blog. Take it away, Anthony.

 

What is your writing process?

I start around 7am, write until 11, and recommence   from 3 till 7pm.

 

What book do you wish you could have written?

Saul Bellow – Herzog

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

William Dalrymple – City of Djinns

Pete McCarthy  – McCarthy’s Bar

Bill Bryson Notes From a Small Island

 

 

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Me – Jeremy Irons.

Ivana – Audrey Hepburn

Karmela – A terrifying grandmother-in black from Central Casting

Zoran- Javier Bardem

Dario – Johnny Depp

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

To have made people laugh and to have introduced them to the delights of Croatia and its people

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I am finishing a third book next year and I have two others that should be finished with five years

 

Have you always liked to write?

Never had the time until I sold my business.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Just do it.

 

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living? 

I used to deal in art until I sold the business – great fun.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

Cut price offers seem to be very popular

 

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?  

Sex. (I’m English!)

 

What is your biggest failure?

To tell and not show.

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

That I’m good-looking!

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

There was a price on my head in Nigeria during the Biafran War.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Living on an island abundant with wine, I drink too much of it (and have to take a lot of exercise to burn it off).

 

What is your biggest fear?

No one will read my next book.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

A talent to amuse.

 

What literary character is most like you?

Mr Pooter

 

 

What secret talents do you have?

Cooking, DIY, etc.

 

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Mongolia

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Ski in the Rockies.

Have dinner with Bill and Hilary Clinton.

Have Penelope Crux tell me I am the most charming man she has ever met.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Many – from a car crash when 21, and from being shot down in an airplane over the jungle

 

 

Notes

 

 

Title – Notes From a Very Small Island.

Author – Anthony Stancomb

Genre -Travel Writing, Memoir

 

 

BOOK BLURB

Notes From a Very Small Island is the book for anyone wanting to read about life on a Croatian Island, or indeed anyone who is thinking about going to live a backwater.

 

A follow-up to the bestselling ‘Under a Croatian Sun’, it tells the story of a couple upping sticks and leaving their humdrum life in London for blue skies and café life on an island in Croatia.

 

In this latest book, the couple continue their attempts to fit in with the village community, but it’s not always easy, and more often than not their endeavours involve them in disaster. They to start up various projects, and find themselves battling with maddening ex-communist authorities as well as highly suspicious locals, but through this, they get to understand the crippling legacy that communism and the recent war have left in the lives of their new neighbours.

 

This is a book for anyone who has a house abroad – or who has ever dreamed of having one. It is also a book for anyone who is thinking of embarking on a new life somewhere different.

 

Although the book is a light hearted account, it is also a heartfelt insight into a society trying to adjust to the 21st century and the ways of the Western World.

 

 

EXCERPT  –

Although I had avoided local and national politics, when it came to home politics, I hadn’t been so successful. When we first arrived, I had put all my tools in our main konoba (konobas are like cellars, only above ground, and form the ground floor of most coastal houses), but Ivana and Karmela had decided to turn it into a laundry room. Now Ivana has never shown too much interest in cooking or washing up, but when it comes to anything to do with washing machines or tumble driers she has always taken an avid interest, and now that she had an ally in the form of Karmela, machines were whirring away from dawn to dusk, and the room filled with heaps of colour-coordinated clothes, mounds of linen ready to be washed and neatly stacked piles of towels, sheets and blankets. How we managed to have so much of it, and how it managed to take up so much space, I didn’t know, but I was given short shrift when I dared to make a suggestion.

 

‘Why don’t you put the clothes and linen next to each other instead of spreading them all over the floor? It’d take up so much less room. And as for those buckets and baskets; wouldn’t it be more sensible to put them on top of the machines?’

 

‘Why this sudden interest in the layout of the laundry room?’ came the measured reply.

 

I took a deep breath. ‘Well, I was thinking that maybe I could turn half of the space into my tool room.’

 

‘A tool room!’ she shrilled like Lady Bracknell crying ‘A handbag!’ My suggestion was translated for Karmela, and her face took on a matching handbag expression. They muttered together for a moment and then turned on me like two Messerschmitt’s banking out of the sun.

 

‘We’re certainly not going to have you in here making a mess with all your things!’

 

‘But I’ve never had a proper tool room before…. and, er…. I’ve always wanted one…. it really wouldn’t bother anyone ….’

 

But the iron had entered their souls. The look on Ivana’s face was one I had learned to fear, Karmela’s expression alone could have won her the Torquemada Award for silent intimidation. They muttered again for a moment and Ivana turned to announce their verdict – that the konoba was now officially re-zoned as a ‘laundry only’ area. ‘And that means tool-free,’ she added with menace.

Feeling like Superman with a bag of kryptonite dumped on his lap, I went upstairs to get myself a beer.

 

 

With the forbearance of a man brought up by fearsome women, I put up with this lack of deference with good grace, as even though I might be the titular head of the household, I had to face it; like any constitutional monarch these days, I wielded no power at all.

 

Despite the lack of a tool room, I did like doing DIY. I had never been happier than when I was a young man in Africa, and spent half of my days repairing roofs, fixing fences and keeping old Land Rovers going. This had left me with a great fondness of saws, chisels, hammers and power tools, and I could spend hours fiddling around the house in perfect contentment – particularly if there were any power tools around. Many have an innate fear of anything more powerful than a hair dryer, but power tools never fail to thrill me. The damage you can inflict with some of these things is awesome. Just the sight of them makes me want to put on a hard hat and go chucking some pipe wrenches and scaffolding poles around. It felt good to be living again in a place where my true talents might be appreciated – except that they weren’t.

 

‘Physical labour,’ said Zoran when I mentioned my DIY, ‘is what broke the backs of our fathers and grandfathers. That’s what ground the poor bastards into the dust and sent them to early graves. We try to avoid it if we possibly can.’

 

Actually I didn’t get much more appreciation at home. Ivana has always taken Zoran’s view, and now she had Karmela to back her up. I also discovered something else that Ivana had in common with Karmela – antennae that could detect any unclean activity going on in the house. They could hear it if I dropped a piece of cheese onto the floor, smell it if I spilt the coffee on my desk, and if they ever suspected that anything unclean might have been pushed under a carpet (it did sometimes happen, I have to admit), they would descend on me like the Syrian coming down like a wolf on the fold. By now it had got to the stage where, if I was left unsupervised in the house for what they considered to be a dangerously long period, they would inspect the dish cloths on their return in case I had used them to mop something up.

 

But matters came to a head when, after an hour of doing a particularly nifty piece of wiring work in the kitchen, Karmela came in and gave it a decidedly hostile glare.

 

‘Come off it Karmela!’ I snapped. ‘If you didn’t know I’d done it, you’d think it was perfectly alright.’

‘Men of your age should pay someone to do these kinds of things and spend more time with their wives,’ she retorted. (Slightly off the point, but I got the drift.)

 

‘Well, I noticed you weren’t so disapproving of my skills when I got the tumble dryer working the other day,’ I countered.

 

‘Ha! That’s different!’ And giving me a trouty look, she scuttled off to bang some pots around in the scullery.

 

 

BUY LINKS

 

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Notes-Small-Island-Anthony-Stancomb-ebook/dp/B011U1ZNL8

 

Amazon USA –    http://www.amazon.com/Notes-Small-Island-Anthony-Stancomb-ebook/dp/B011U1ZNL8

 

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25969590

 

 

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

 

Anthony Stancomb was educated at Wellington College, St Andrews University and the London School of Film.

 

He first worked on feature films and political documentaries, before joining a private mercy airlift operation that was shot down in Biafra; After that, he joined the BBC and later ITV, where for seven years he produced programs about social issues and the arts.

 

Leaving television, he set up his own company to promote and sell British contemporary art to galleries abroad, and during the next twenty years he created a worldwide distribution network that turned over £10 million pa.

 

On a relief convoy with his wife to the Croatian refugee camps in the 1990’s, he discovered the island of Vis, and fell in love with it – and when the war ended, he sold the company and moved there. Once on the island, he began to write about it.

 

WEBSITE –    http://anthonybstancomb.com

 

 

Meet Award-Winning Author Michael Samuels #AuthorInterview #selfhelp #books


It’s January and many people are striving to improve themselves in 2016. Award-winning author Michael Samuels has written a series of self-improvement books that inspired me in 2015. His first book, Just Ask the Universe, changed my life. I asked him if he would like to sit down for a candid interview and he agreed. It’s my pleasure to introduce Michael Samuels to the Princess of the Light blog. Take it away, Michael:

 

What book do you wish you could have written?

I really wish I could have written Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  That book has inspired millions to use their thoughts to manifest their reality.  It was the seed that started it all for a lot of very successful people.  Plus it’s sold millions and millions of copies.

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

My list is vast, but off the top of my head the following have been HUGE inspirations for me, especially in writing Just Ask the Universe. Wallace Wattles, Dr. Joseph Murphy, Rhonda Byrne, Anthony Robbins, Thomas Troward, Robert Collier and Pam Grout.  They are my mentors.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

Besides making unbelievable children, I cannot believe how many people I affected positively with Just Ask the Universe.  My words, written on my laptop, in my den, at night…have touched people all over the world.  There is no feeling to describe it.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Writing screenplays full time that get produced into feature films.  Being paid big bucks by Hollywood Studios to take their ideas and turn them to screenplays.

 

Have you always liked to write?

As far back as I could remember, I’ve always written something. Whether screenplays, stories, poems, lyrics…I’ve always loved to write.  Just took my twenty something years to hone my skills…which I’m still doing.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Steal like an artist.  When you see something you really like – a quote, a billboard, an idea in a magazine – text it to yourself to use in your works.  But don’t plagiarize.  Use the idea and form it to your own verbiage.  I’ve been doing this for years.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I have read every single review for Just Ask the Universe a dozen or so times. I cannot believe I have over 647 reviews and ranked number 4 on Amazon in spiritual.  I never respond to good or bad reviews.  I leave it up to the critics to determine if my work is good or not, which it generally has been. Take negative reviews to heart and lose sleep over them.  KIDDING!  Laugh it off.  When you create something, anything, someone will have something bad to say about it.  It’s normal. It’s healthy. Read it and move on and know that it won’t affect you or your work one bit.

 

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Flying. Ugh, I hate flying.

 

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

My den. With my laptop on a pillow on my lap.  Travel Channel or Food Network on in the background.

 

Do you write naked?

Nope, but I do write in my PJs.  An Under Armour t-shirt, ADIDAS sweat pants and socks.  So cozy!

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

I’ve never told a fib.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Nope. I’ve always talked my way out of every speeding ticket I’ve ever had.

 

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

I once made a Supercomputer to get me out of pickle using a paper clip, scotch tape, an ice cream cone, some spit, and some vitamin C tablets.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Never smoked in my whole life. I do enjoy a White Russian once or twice a year when I’m feeling frisky, but I generally do not drink at all.  My life is pretty plain. I don’t eat carbs or sugar. My life is what you call – vanilla. A vice for me is a piece of dark chocolate.  Sometimes I like a good craps game, otherwise I’m an angel.

 

What is your biggest fear?

Flying. Ugh! If I could drive everywhere I would. Being in a metal tube with people I’ve never met, 35,000 feet in the air, is not my cup of tea. I’ve flown thousands of times – I just hate it.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Manifested everything in his life. Except being dead.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To teleport from NY to LA. Anything not to fly.

 

If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

Aerophobia Teleportation Boy. Fear of flight, so he teleports everywhere instead.

 

What secret talents do you have?

I have a massive, enormous tongue. Like Gene Simmons is jealous of the size of my tongue.  I can touch my nose with it.

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Sell a Hollywood screenplay and get the movie made. Write a Star Wars movie and get it made.

 

If you could have any name in the world, what would you choose?

Slubberdegullion Blazebeast Embermouth the third.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Nope. I love my body too much and I’m incredibly cautious.

 

Just_Ask_The_Universe_cover

 

Title: Just Ask the Universe

Author: Michael Samuels

Genre: Self-Help / Spiritual

 

Book Blurb:

Just Ask the Universe is not a book of New Age gobbledygook filled with empty promises. Angels won’t fly from above and touch you while you’re reading. You will not be asked to practice unusual or tedious rituals. There will be no preaching or sage advice and there will most certainly be no channeling of your inner chakras or dressing like Friar Tuck.

Just Ask the Universe is a realistic guide to personal development. By creating a blueprint for self-growth and commanding your subconscious mind, the Universe will manifest all your dreams.

For over two decades, Michael Samuels has studied and methodically tested hundreds of books on self-improvement, spirituality, and the metaphysical. Just Ask the Universe accumulates the wisdom from “thought teachers” like: Wallace Wattles, Anthony Robbins, Rhonda Byrne, Joseph Murphy, Robert Collier, and Napoleon Hill, and compiles it under one unified lesson: if your thoughts are clear and in harmony with your mind and the truth of your surroundings, your life can be filled with all the richness the Universe has to offer. As a culmination from these teachings, Michael will show you how to use simple and fun techniques to create a more desirable future. This approach, coupled with real-life stories, will teach you how to achieve personal power to overcome any barrier.

Regardless of what your present circumstances might be, by following the principles in this book, you will be able to gain power over your destiny. The Universe is listening. All you have to do is just ask.

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

Late one night, I saw an infomercial for Anthony Robbins’s Personal Power II program. I knew I wanted to change, but I didn’t believe in buying the snake oil. Here was a guy who lived in a castle in California earning hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and there I was, living in my parents’ house, lying in my unmade bed, criticizing Tony and belittling his success. I was jaded beyond belief, yet I still mustered up the courage to buy the program. Within thirty days, my entire perception of this world altered. My thought process was transformed. The Personal Power II program awakened my thirst for self-improvement.

There was one turning point in the program in particular that has stuck with me to this day. On or about day 14 of the program, Tony asks you to list your goals— personal development goals, “things” goals, and financial goals. At the time of listening to the program, I followed Tony’s orders and wrote down everything I wanted in life.

My goals covered a wide gamut—from the type of person I wanted to be perceived as among my family and peers, to the relationship I wanted to attract into my life. I listed the way I wanted to travel, the homes I wanted to own, and the number of sales I wanted my family-owned business to earn per year. My pen didn’t stop for two hours. I got engrossed in writing down as much as I could. I will never forget those two hours of my life. They’re among those rare times that you think about consistently that make you smile inwardly. I know a lot of people have had such moments, and this was one of mine.

After I had written down everything I desired my perception
changed instantly. I went 
about my life with a brand-new outlook. My new positive mental attitude was not just about accomplishing an
objective but about the value of life I learned on this new road.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Just-Ask-Universe-No-Nonsense-Manifesting-ebook/dp/B0060CJ9DQ/ref=zg_bs_156573011_4

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-ask-the-universe-michael-samuels/1115719944

 

Author Biography:

With a degree in English, a second degree in Finance, and a Masters in Business Administration, Michael Samuels has attracted everything into his life because he followed successful people and their thought ideologies. His first book ‘Just Ask the Universe’ is ranked 4th in the world under Spiritual on Amazon and has sold over 100,000 copies. His second book ‘The Universe-ity’ won Best Self-Help book for 2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards. Michael lives in New York with his wife and two children.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.samuelsbooks.com/

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18846682-just-ask-the-universe

Blog http://michaelsamuelsbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Just-Ask-the-Universe-193688950720679/

 

 

I’d Like to Introduce You to… Sally Saylor #authorinterview #bookpromo @sallydesmet


It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Sally Saylor. She’s the author of Pages in the Wind (which I can’t wait to read in 2016) and she agreed to sit down with me for an interview. Please make her feel welcome. Take it away, Sally: 

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are important as are nick names. I assign the names of the characters based on the time period; for example, in PAGES IN THE WIND, I chose the name Emily because it was popular during the 1950’s. It was also a name that could be broken down into nicknames. Her boyfriend called her “Emmy,” and her brother called her “Em,” and so forth. I like the idea of differentiating characters in this manner, which is especially helpful because I write in first-person.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

My best advice is to set a time and stick to it. During the writing of Pages in the Wind, I got up every morning and wrote for 5-6 hours straight. The story got under my skin, and the time flew by. It became a part of me and having a definite schedule helped me to pull away when I needed to. I could have written all day in my PJ’s and not gotten anything else done. Anyway, find a block of time that works for you and stick to it.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do read my reviews. I absolutely never respond to them nor do I think it is proper. Readers should not feel any pressure from authors. Admittedly, I have wanted to thank a reviewer for a nice review but I think it would be intrusive. Readers and reviewers and their opinions and views are very important to me, and have touched me deeply.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

The marketing can be a grind, frankly. Do a lot of research to find the best sites and trust your gut. The Goodread Giveaways are nice and fun. If you have a wide social following, Facebook is good. If you have a skinny budget, the pay-per-click gives you some control. If you have a big budget, Book Bub is very good (I hear).

 

 

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I would not want to write about a subject beyond my capacity to understand. If I couldn’t research a subject and feel confident in writing about it – I wouldn’t touch it.

 

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I am currently writing a book with an older female heroine. It is in the character development stage with a working title of “Brooklyn Bitters.”

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

No, I don’t drink or smoke. I’m a sugar addict and not trying to quit.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I want to visit Belgium, the country of my ancestors. I would love to walk from Belgium to Paris. My grandma did that every day.

 

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A parrot—they live a hundred years or so and it would be cool to fly.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Scars? Yes, I have a lot of psychological scars. It’s okay though, they gave me a wider view of life and empathy I wouldn’t have had without the “stuff.”

 

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I was very sensitive and a little sassy. My mom called me “saucy.” My favorite toy? Dolls. Lots of them. I still collect and run a small online vintage doll shop.

 

 

Pages in the Wind_Sally Saylor De Smet

 

Title: Pages in the Wind

Author: Sally Saylor De Smet

Genre: Thriller

 

Book Blurb:

When young Emily Quinn, accused of the brutal murder of her father, sits down with a world-famous psychiatrist, she has no idea she is walking into a frightening and twisted world…her own.

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

PAGES IN THE WIND is a fast-paced, mainstream novel set in San Francisco during the 1960s. The novel weaves through the tortured life of a young girl hindered by family secrets, the unexplained death of a twin sister, severe abuse, a disconnected self-image, and a peculiar attachment to an old Bloomingdales box filled with her drawings. She is driven to live through her art, personifying the imaginary girls she sketches. Following the murder of her father, she works with an aging renowned psychiatrist who quickly grows sympathetic to Emily and her disturbing childhood, and becomes obsessed with unlocking the reason for her need to embody the fictional girls she creates. The doctor and patient develop a warm and abiding partnership, sifting through unexpected revelations and troubling events culminating in a shocking revelation that neither saw coming.

Mental health professionals have recognized the book as a must-read for anyone interested in human emotions and how someone can survive under seemingly impossible conditions. But PAGES IN THE WIND is no textbook—it is a psychological thriller that will keep you riveted, invested in the characters, and wondering what will happen next.

 

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pages-in-the-wind-sally-saylor-de-smet/1122739456

Amazon http://amzn.com/0996527605

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pages-in-the-wind/id1045815336?mt=11

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pages-in-the-wind/id1045815336?mt=11

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/pages-in-the-wind

Scribd https://www.scribd.com/book/283374230/Pages-in-the-Wind

 

Sally Saylor

 

Author Biography:

Sally Saylor De Smet worked as an editor and public relations specialist for dignitaries before writing Pages in the Wind. ­She has a deep love of poetry, the classics, and any story filled with psychological intrigue.

De Smet was born in Nashville and lived in several states before settling in San Diego, California. She has two wonderful daughters.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @sallydesmet

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pagesinthewind/

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sally-desmet-6ab5a820

 

Google: https://plus.google.com/+SallyDeSmet

 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/saylordesmet

 

Blog: http://www.pagesinthewind.com

Monday Treat: I’m Featured on @CynthiaWoolf’s Blog #AuthorInterview #ASMSG #MFRWAuthor


potlbanner2

I’m so excited because best-selling author, Cynthia Woolf, is featuring me on her fabulous blog today. I sit down and talk candidly about writing, romance and being a self-published author. Check it out and be sure to comment on her blog to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

http://cynthiawoolf.com/?p=4540 

MRS N aka N. N. Light

Princess of the Light Character Interview: Joe Deacons


Interview

Today I am thrilled to have Joe Deacons from Princess of the Light sit down for an interview. He is an urban planner for the city of Golden Lake and the love interest of Mary aka Princess of the Light. Take it away Joe…

Thank you, MRS N. Let me be the first to tell you readers how thankful I am to be a part of this story. I am not sure how or why I was chosen but I am so thankful. The moment I laid eyes on Mary, I knew she was special. She glowed from within and I was immediately drawn to her. Little did I know what was in store for the both of us.

Let me tell you a little bit about me since you can’t see me in person. My name is Joseph Deacons and I just turned 33 years old today. Yes, it’s my birthday. I have dark hair, green eyes, medium build and a killer smile. Just kidding, I am an urban planner for Golden Lake and right now I’m trying to complete a project for the city that is close to my heart. I am the youngest son of Alfred and Marie Deacons and have an older brother, Edward. I come from a wealthy family but have made a name for myself through hard work and dedication.

  • What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement has been stepping away from my father’s law practice and becoming an urban planner. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and trust me, it wasn’t easy. There were plenty of screaming matches between me and the old man. But I had my mother to guide me and I did it. Now, my father is very proud and boasts to all of his friends how I went my own way. *chuckles*

  • What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Simply, spending my life with Mary. She is perfection and I am the luckiest man on Earth.

  • What is your most treasured possession?

I have a first edition of A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I love books and I have a terrific library.

  • What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Mary.

  • What is your most marked characteristic?

Ronnie tells me that it is my hundred watt smile; it has been known to melt the iciest of women.

  • What is it that you most dislike?

I dislike it when people find out who my father is and assume I am a spoiled rich person. I worked really hard to get where I am.

  • What is your greatest fear?

Losing Mary. When we were thrust into an impossible situation, my fear of losing her reared its ugly head. We fought and it almost cost us our lives. I still have that fear but I know she can handle anything thrown her way. She is amazing and I love her more than I ever have loved anyone.

  • What is your greatest regret?

Falling for a gold digger like Leslie. I couldn’t see past her beautiful face and I learned a valuable lesson.

  • Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to sing. I’m horrible at it and can’t carry a tune.

  • What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Honesty. There isn’t a bigger turn-off for me than a woman who lies.

  • What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I absolutely hate people who think they are better than others by their station in life. Just because you have money and a nice house doesn’t give you the right to look down your nose at others. We are all the same in the eyes of the Light.

  • Which living person do you most admire?

I admire my friend, Ronnie. After the death of his parents, he went to culinary school and is now the owner of a five star restaurant. He laughs at me when I tell him how much I wish I had his strength. I don’t know if I could be as successful if I was in his shoes.

  • What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Beauty. The world is full of beautiful people, according to Hollywood standards. Are they living happy, fulfilled lives? True beauty comes from within and reflects outward. I’ve seen some gorgeous people filled with the Light and have seen some ugly attractive people who are filled with darkness.

Thank you for spending time with me today. Please take a moment and buy Princess of the Light e-book. You’ll be donating to food banks to help people like the Walking Man and you’ll get to find out more about my and Mary’s story. I must go now as Mary is going to be taking me out for my birthday. Wonder if Than will show up. I really must banish him one of these days.

Buy Links:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/469480

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princess-of-the-light-nn-light/1120170709?ean=2940046124736

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO/ref=sr_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409056657&sr=1-16&keywords=princess+of+the+light

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409690022&sr=8-1&keywords=princess+of+the+light

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409689955&sr=8-1&keywords=princess+of+the+light

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/princess-of-the-light-1

Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/princess-of-the-light/9781310880230-item.html?ikwid=princess+of+the+light&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

iTunes/ iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/princess-of-the-light/id913013798?mt=11