Sunday, 27 December 2015

An author's work...

Today I am very lucky to have some space on Jennifer Wilson's blog.  Thank you for the opportunity Jennifer.  I have to say that Jennifer asked me some very tough questions, but the first one was about my current novel and was easy...
Col du Rieutort in snow

'...Messandrierre, which was published on December 8th, is set in the recent past and begins in September 2007 in the Cévennes in France - a place I have visited often.  Whilst I was there in September 2007 it began to snow overnight and the scenery the next morning was stunning.  That was when I had the idea for a body being buried and the evidence of the grave being hidden because of the snow.  It's a description of the burial, the snow and the mountains that begins my story.'

But then, the questions got more difficult and moved on to ‘rewriting’ history and what I would change if I could...
'Another big question!  It would be very easy and noble to say I would ensure the Franco-Prussian war never took place or that slavery never happened or any number of other things.  But the world is the place that it is precisely because of those terrible things and the lessons learned as a result.  If they were changed, we may not be who and what we are now.  So, my choice would be to change a question on the 1841 census.  On that census the enumerators only had to record whether an individual was born in the county in which they were living at the time.  For one of my ancestors - a potboy in a Coffee House in Southwark, London - the answer is 'No'.  So, I will never know who he was or where he was born and therefore who the rest of his family were.  A very large and solid family history brick wall!!

And there's more so scoot on over to Jennifer's blog (link below) to find out what else we discussed.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

For Two Days Only - Yule love this idea!

Today I welcome Ailsa Abraham to my blog.  Read on to take advantage of a wonderful offer...

We celebrate the Winter Solstice or Yule so as my gift to you readers I would like to present - for the two days of 22nd and 23rd December only.....Both books in the Alchemy series at 99p or cents each for an e-book. Come on, less than a cup of coffee? Lasts longer and keeps you awake better!
Click on the link below to see them on Amazon in YOUR country.
Universal Amazon link - anywhere in the world
 Plenty of five star reviews and the third one is on the way - grab them while they're this price!

Book 1 ALCHEMY  A world without war? Professor Sawhele Fielding stumbles across an invention that would change the world; something so monumental, it could spell the end of environmental disaster and conflict. With the help of her father, a shadowy figure in the world of international banking, she begins to set into motion the biggest upheaval the planet has seen. But in a changed world, dark forces are threatening the fragile peace. Where modern technology is proving useless, old magic from a bygone era might just save the day. Adrian Oliver, expert in ancient religions is sceptical until faced with incontrovertible proof that ancient evil is abroad once again. How could a Utopian dream of free fuel and peaceful co-existence turn into a nightmare? Iamo, a priest of the Mother Goddess and Riga, a Black Shaman assassin captain, are thrown together - reluctantly at first - to face a threat that nobody could have imagined before "The Changes". ALCHEMY is the prequel to Shaman's Drum which features the adventures of Iamo and Riga through their world in the near future, where the established religions of our own days had been banned.
Book 2 SHAMAN'S DRUM  England in the near future. Mainstream religions have been outlawed, and the old gods rule again. Iamo has been a priest of the Great Mother and is sworn to celibacy, but his love for Riga, a Black Shaman, a magical assassin, caused him to break his vows. After being imprisoned apart from each other for three years, Iamo accepts an offer to earn them both a pardon and the possibility of marriage. If they survive. Iamo and Riga must discover why demons are breaking through from the other side. Which of the cults are renegades who allow the demons through? Who can they trust? Combining their powers, they face the ordeal with the help of a band of eclectic pagans, spirit creatures, Riga's Black Shaman brothers, an undercover Christian granny, and three unusually energetic Goths. It's a tough assignment, but the hope of a life together keeps them fighting.

Follow Ailsa at : Facebook Page  Twitter  Website 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

James et Moi at Christmas

I try.  I try my best but my brother James will just not get on board with Christmas.  He thinks it’s

My Christams tree
an ‘over-commercialised excuse to eat and drink in excess.’  His exact words, which are usually uttered round about the end of November.  
This year I thought I’d take a different approach. 
‘Let’s do Christmas the French way,’ I said.  ‘Even better,’ I said, ‘would be to go to France for Christmas,’ I said. 
It was a Saturday morning and he was at my house, as usual, reading his paper.  I thought I’d picked an appropriate moment, but then, from behind the newsprint came a groan.
‘Over-commercialised excuse to eat and drink in excess in French,’ he said.  But I was prepared for this.
‘Hmm no it’s not, actually.  We could do Le Révellion on Christmas Eve.  That would be different.’  
He put the paper down.  ‘Revvie what?’
‘Le Révellion,’ I corrected.  ‘It’s a special meal that is traditionally served on Christmas Eve and includes things like foi gras, or escargot or-‘
‘Snails!  I’m not eating those slimy little things!'
‘Well I could replace them with smoked salmon I suppose,’ I said trying to be helpful.  ‘But the main course would be goose or a capon stuffed with chestnuts-‘
‘Goose!’  The paper was discarded to the floor.  ‘Goose!  But I don’t like goose.’
I ploughed on regardless; I was so determined to have a different Christmas.  ‘Then we could do dessert like they do in Provence,’ I said.  ‘Lei tretze dessèrts.  That’s Occitan for thirteen desserts.’
‘What’s wrong with Christmas pudding and rum sauce?’  At this point his face was completely drained of all colour.
‘But you like your puddings,’ I said, ‘and when we’re in France you go into every single pâtisserie and buy a cake or pastry.  I just thought that Christmas French-style might be something we could both enjoy that would be different.’
He picked up his paper and flexed it back into shape.  ‘I don’t like eating late and what’s wrong with your Henry the second stuffing and turkey?’
So, here I am, menu decided.  Smoked salmon, turkey and all the usual trimmings followed by Christmas pudding and rum sauce.  That’s the big day sorted.  However, what James still doesn’t know is that he left his wallet here by mistake on Saturday.  So I popped down the shops and on Christmas Eve I will be having my own celebration of Le Révellion with half a lobster, a few oysters, some foi gras and a bûche de noël to follow.  His Christmas present to me this year!
I think another glass of merlot is required and then I just need Mr Claus to arrive – that’s the tall dark handsome one, not the old guy in the red suit – and some snow!

Friday, 11 December 2015

An interview with Aaron Speca

Today on my blog I put Aaron Speca under the microscope.


Aaron's books are available from numerous outlets, links below.

AW Hello Aaron and thank you for agreeing to be quizzed about your writing. So, what sparked your first foray into fiction?
AS In 2010, my wife and her friends convinced me to join an online role-play writing group.  This has been a surprisingly fun diversion and it what got me interested in creative writing in the first place.  This is where I learned about character and plot building.  It’s almost like an improv version of writing with a large group of writers.

AW From your books do you have a favourite character?  And if so, why?

AS My favourite character is the first one I ever wrote, who became the main male character of the two short stories I wrote with Patricia Laffoon.  Rudy is damaged but noble, completely devoted to his love Trish, sarcastic yet caring. Hopefully soon you will hear more about these characters in novel form.

AW Writing alone or writing with others – which would you say is best?

AS I actually prefer writing with others, because of how I got started.  All my works so far have been with partners.  I think it gives another perspective built into the story and I really enjoy the collaborative process.  Plus, in the publishing world, it helps me at least to feel like I am not in this adventure alone.

AW And your latest book is…

AS “Progeny of Sin: Dark Dreams” by Dawn Treadway and Aaron Speca was released in August 2015.  It is a paranormal adventure romance set in the present day.  Here is the blurb and links …

The Devil wants his due … The Daemon wants his out … and Jade just wants it all to be over. You don't always get what you want.

Jade Shear is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary ability that’s literally about to send her to Hell. When Daemons discover Jade’s power to read and manipulate others true feelings, they force her to assist with the rescue of their sibling; thrusting her from her everyday normality deep into the Underworld with the tall, dark and deliciously demonic Nias Hu’dor assigned as her guide.

All Nias wants is to live out his life without being involved with anyone else. No more emotion, no more connections, especially to pain in the ass humans. But when he sees Jade twisting a long curl of her wild red hair, and showing off the most amazing backside he’s ever been privy to; Nias just knew he was staring at a world of trouble. How could his family have enlisted him to obtain this girl's help to traverse Sheol?

This dark paranormal romance takes you from Jade’s everyday existence into the world of the Djinn Sentry; an army of demonic solders determined to protect the human race; and then plummets you straight down into the seething malevolent Underworld where a multi-levelled caste system of Shaitan and the Devil himself welcome you.

AW If you had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with any fictional character, who would it be and what would you discuss?
AS What an amazingly difficult question to answer.  Being a techno and comic book geek, I might pick someone like Tony Stark and get him to show me around his lab!  It wold undoubtedly be a fun afternoon!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Busy, busy, busy

This week I am featured on the blog of author Victoria Howard.  Thank you Victoria for such a wonderful opportunity.  Here is a snippet for you to enjoy!

Lac de Sainte Croix
. light bulb moment was my decision to escape the rat race.  I started visiting areas of France I'd never had the time to go to before; I stayed in places I'd just driven through in the past and I wrote more seriously.  But when you have scenery like this to look at for as long as you want, it is hard not to be inspired.
I visited the Cévennes and took my Stevenson with me and, over three weeks, I followed his route from Le Monastier to Allais along with my version of Modestine - a Landrover!  That journey took me across some stunning countryside, tiny villages where everything stopped for lunch and the family, through vast groves of walnut trees and along winding mountain passes...

If you want to read more about France, Renoir, an interesting spot for lunch then go on over to Victoria's blog using this link :

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Messandrierre, published today!

Messandrierre, my novel set in the Cévennes and featuring my investigator Jacques Forêt, is published today.  Copies are available from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and Nook.
You've already seen some of the letters that Jacques may have written home to his father in Paris.  Now you have the opportunity to meet Jacques for himself and below is a little taster from the text.

it begins
I died beneath a clear autumn sky in September, late in September when warm cévenol afternoons drift into cooler than usual evenings before winter steals down from the summit of Mont Aigoual.
My shallow grave lies in a field behind an old farmhouse. There was no ceremony to mark my death and no mourners, just a stranger in the darkness spading soil over my body. Only the midnight clouds cried for me as they carried their first sprinkling of snow to the tiny village of Messandrierre.
My innocent white coverlet allowing the earth around me to shift and settle unseen and become comfortable again.
september 2007


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

More Letters from the Cévennes

Jacques Forêt, a local gendarme and the hero in my forthcoming novel, Messandrierre, writes to his father in Paris regularly.  Here are some more extracts from letters he may have written...
1 Grande-rue
September 2008
Fishing Lac Charpal
  How's maman?  You didn't say much in your last letter papa and I'm worried.  I can come home for a few days at the end of the month if you need me to.
  It was good to see Thérèse and the boys last month.  I see Francis' attitude has changed little.  I know work is hard to find but he doesn't seem to me to be making much of an effort.  I took the boys camping in the woods for a couple of nights whilst they were here.  We did a bit of fishing too.  They really enjoyed roughing it!  Me, not so much.  Family time like this makes me miss Beth even more.

October 2008
Out on a shoot
…I'm having a few days off work, papa.  Nothing serious, so tell maman not to worry.  Gaston - the manager at the restaurant and campsite here - took me boar hunting at the weekend.  I didn't prepare myself for the first rifle shot and as it rang out I crashed to the ground and rolled and crushed my shoulder.  I'm in a bit of pain and there is some bruising and stiffness, but otherwise I'm OK.  I don't think I will be taking Gaston up on his offer for a stag hunt.  I haven't the stomach for it and perhaps, I'm not mentally prepared for it yet.
November 2008
…yes I'm still in touch with Beth, it's just by message.  But I can't stop thinking about her.
  You say maman wants to know about Christmas.  I am trying to organise some time off so that I can come home, but there are a lot of other married men here who want to be at home with their families too and my boss, Fournier, is giving them priority.  I will try to be there on Christmas Eve if I can, papa, don't worry…
Your only son, Jacques