A Legend Passes…

Re-blogged from Sophie E Tallis, a tribute to a very great man!

Sophie E Tallis

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...

The sad news has just broken that the gentle giant of peace and freedom, a bastion of hope and courage and a symbol of the strength of the human soul, Nelson Mandela, has passed away at the age of 95.


It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, Nelson Mandela had an indelible spirit that couldn’t help but inspire you. A man of such dignity, eloquence and strength, he symbolised for a whole nation and in fact the whole world, how peace can overcome the worst situations. Every challenge he endured, he faced with tremendous grace. He has influenced millions, by his words and his actions. An idealist, a freedom fighter, a man of great power and humanity. President Bill Clinton with Nelson Mandela, Ju...

Nelson Mandela on Day After Release

More than anything, Nelson Mandela, showed in the aftermath of the hideous apartheid regime, how forgiveness can bridge the gap between peoples. At a time when black South Africans had at…

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Feeling Impressed

I’ve had quite a busy weekend for me, but looking back two things I’ve done have left me feeling impressed with myself!

Last Tuesday was November 5th, Guy Fawkes. As I grew up Guy Fawkes was always a big event, we hardly noticed the passing of Halloween and very rarely ever dressed up. My parents didn’t like the idea of trick or treating so we never participated in that and I have to say nether did most of the kids around us either. But on the closest Saturday to the 5th we would pool all our fireworks with those of our cousins’s and have a big party, either in our garden or their’s. In the early years we always had a bonfire too with a hapless guy perched on top, but later years saw our parents becoming more proud of their garden and so the bonfires stopped. Or maybe they just had second thoughts about the idea of burning an effigy of Mr. Fawkes in our garden! They were great times though, wrapped up tight against the cold, twirling sparklers in the air, making glowing pictures that hung magically in front of your eyes, before fading away in time for you to replace them with more swirly designs.

Over the years health and safety has stepped in, and my children were taken to safe, organised displays instead. I think some of the magic has disappeared with this much safer alternative, or maybe it’s just me getting old! And so on Friday night we visited a local pub, who had organised a massive bonfire and a great firework display in a field next to their car park. It had rained all day so the bonfire was fairly wet and took a bit of getting going. Once it was burning well they set off the fireworks which unfortunately were positioned beyond the fire and so the smaller ones were obscured by the smoke billowing from the damp burning wood. I took out my Iphone and started to photograph the first few fireworks, but then deciding this was probably silly as they surely wouldn’t come out on my phone stopped and just enjoyed the spectacle.

Smoky Bonfire

Smoky Bonfire

Later when home in the warm, I looked at the pictures I’d taken and was very impressed at the results! The effect of the fireworks behind the smoke cloud produced some amazing pictures.


There are more on Pinterest if your interested!

The second thing I did that left me feeling very impressed with myself happened on Sunday morning. Once a month my archery club organises a field shoot. We are lucky enough to have the use of a spinney and stretch of abandoned railway line. We have some very enthusiastic members who have devised some interesting and very difficult targets. One of the hardest to hit has to be done by shooting your arrow from around 15 yards away down a very narrow tube set in the centre of a target, so that it then flies out the end and hits another target set up behind. I have never seen it done and only a few of our archers have actually achieved it.

Impossible Shot!

Impossible Shot!

So when I stood lining myself up for this shot on Sunday morning, I was already resigned to the fact I wasn’t going to be scoring on this particular target. Maybe because I wasn’t trying ‘too’ hard or maybe through shear fluke my arrow sailed clean down the tube and embedded itself in the target behind. I spent the rest of the morning in a state of shock I can tell you.

So all in all an impressive weekend! I hope you all had fun this weekend too.😀

Sophie’s Silver Linings PlayBook – The Road to Recovery and ReadWave.

My Own Silver Linings PlayBook – The Road to Recovery and ReadWave..

Good news from my lovely dragon friend Sophie E Tallis!

Pumpkin Horror Story

This is Bob the pumpkin’s story, told in pictures.

Bob grew up in the warm summer of 2013 and by the time the weather finally turned cold and large drifts of golden leaves surrounded him, Bob had become a large fiery orange Pumpkin.


But one day, out of the blue, he was attacked by a lady with a knife and before he knew what was going on he found himself in a warm kitchen.


The knife re-appeared and poor Bob lost the the top of his head. You could see right down into his middle. “Looks like a set from the Alien films only in orange!” the woman commented.


And then Bob was gutted!


Large holes were carved in his lovely leathery, orange skin


and a small lit candle was placed inside.


But that’s not quite the end of the story though, because the woman did make Bob’s flesh into a very tasty, spicy pumpkin soup!




It’s probably more than a year since I first joined Pinterest and for most of that time I hardly visited my couple of boards more than once every three or four months. You see in the interest of building an author platform I joined a few different social media sites, but inevitably I didn’t have the time to keep up or really understand how some of these sites could help me. Anyway, last week I was reading a blog post (and I’m really sorry I can’t for the life of me remember who’s it was!) and the author writing the post commented on how useful Pinterest was for conveying her ideas. I visited her boards and found lots of images she had collected that she felt reflected the characters and places in her books.

Pinterest had been one of those sites I hadn’t really understood when I joined, hence why I hardly ever visited it. But now I could see some potential, I could pin images that I relate to my stories, people who look like my characters, and places that appear in my books.

Alex, Etienne and Richard

And that’s how it started!

Now I have got carried away and have started adding more boards full of other things I love, such as dragons


And archery


I am still very new to all this and compared to others I haven’t really even got started yet, but I think I’ve found a new favourite place to be and who knows by pinning images perhaps I might draw attention to myself and my books!

I Was Conned!!

I like to think I’m fairly savvy and wouldn’t be fooled that easily, but I have to admit that my local pet shop may have conned me!

As you may know I have a crested gecko living with me, and despite being told he should only eat puréed fruit I know he loves small insects.

IMG_0246 (2)

So as a treat I often buy him a box of silent crickets.

Box of Crickets

He loves these and can move surprisingly fast when I let a couple go in his vivarium!

IMG_0237 (2)

But here lies the problem, it’s not that easy to get the crickets out of the box and into the vivarium one at a time (there can be 30 or more in a box!). As a result occasionally one manages to escape! I try not to think about these small bugs that might be hopping around my house, but over the last couple of weeks I’ve not been able to. Why? Because the pet shop lied to me when they told me they were SILENT crickets!! The last one to escape is not silent at all! The little b**** has been making constant chirpy cricket noises and for a small fellow he can make a very loud noise!


He is so small, that so far he’s managed to evade capture and keeps up a constant reminder of his presence in my home. I’m nowjust a bit worried about how big he may grow!

Paperback Proof!

Look what I had come in the post!!!


Finally the paperback proof for Wicked Game has arrived and I’m thrilled with it! As you can see it looks great and I am pleased to announce I have okayed it, so it should be available to buy on Amazon and all other good book shops any time now!!

Awesome Give-aways!!

Yes! There are two give-aways containing books or swag from yours truly running at the moment! Not only do they contain stuff from me they both also contain a lot of awesome books and swag from some fantastic authors, so make sure you don’t miss your chance to enter either of them!

Firstly The Violet Hour Book Review is running a give-away for swag from me, a choice of a paperback by Airicka Phoenix and a choice of an ebook by Stephanie Constante. There’s only a day left on this one so don’t hang around, go and enter before it’s too late!!

The second give-away is being hosted by the wonderful Tianna Holley who I met and became good friends with at the RNConvention in Las Vagas!

Yianna and her banner!

Tianna has kindly included two sts of my ebooks in her give-away, which also includes loads of other fantastic prizes by some incredible authors! Here’s the give-away to make it easy for you to enter, because I’m so good to you!!😀

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There’s links to all the authors on Tianna’s web site so you can see just what wonderful prizes these really are! Get over there and check it out and good luck!😀

Great Advice for the Self-publisher

One of the many blogs I follow is Chuck Wendig’s blog ‘Terribleminds‘, Chuck writes a lot of sense about writing in a very amusing way. Today I read his latest post ’25 steps to becoming a Self-Published Author’ and thought I must share it with you. Not only is it very amusing, but very instructive too and a good place to start if you’re thinking of self-publishing or already out there trying to be heard. So click on the image below and do yourself a favour if you haven’t already read it!!

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. This is his blog. He talks a lot about writing. And food. And the madness of toddlers. He uses lots of naughty language. NSFW. Probably NSFL. Be advised.

Six immortal — and possibly invincible — animals

I’ve been following Guy Bergstrom’s blog ‘The Red Pen of Doom’ for quite a while now. He usually makes me laugh and has opened my eyes to many random things, but I particularly liked today’s blog post and thought I’d share it with you. Real immortal beings! wow!!😀

The Red Pen of Doom

There’s a difference between “True and Terrifying Facts about Actual Animals” and “Scary Stuff from Insane Writers at the Discovery Channel.”

That difference is simple: real life is far, far more frightening than SHARKNADO, though I do admire the writer who came up with the idea of JAWS + TWISTER = viral B movie goodness.

Here are six animals who are not (a) sparkly vampires or (b) moaning zombies but nonetheless (c) don’t age. We’re talking immortal.

Age-defying animals, I tip my hat in your direction. Also, please don’t go swimming around that nuke plant in Japan, grow to a giant size and decide to stomp on my town. Kthxbai.

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