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Sunday, 30 June 2013

A VERY WARM WELCOME on my blog today to the Book Tour of author Garry Rogers discussing his latest book 'Corr Syl The Warrior'.

Let's start with a spotlight on his latest creation and a brief insight into Garry's own story. I then asked Garry some questions from one author to another and here you can learn of his unique approach to the art of writing a book. I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did ...

Finally - don't forget the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Corr Syl the WarriorCorr Syl The Warrior by Garry Rogers

When an armed patrol crosses the border into Wycliff District, the Wycliff Council sends Corr Syl to investigate and recommend a response. Corr soon learns that spies have infiltrated his district, and already many lives are at risk. He catches a glimpse of something truly evil, and with no time to spare, must choose between a safe response that might fail, and a sure response that might start a global war.

Where you can purchase this book?

About the Author 

Garry Rogers has a PhD in Physical Geography.  He taught at Columbia University and UCLA, and currently serves as President of the Agua Fria Open Space Alliance, Inc.  He has published three nonfiction books, and hundreds articles in peer-reviewed science journals and conference proceedings.  He is currently working on a sequel to his debut novel Corr Syl the Warrior, and a second volume on Arizona wildlife.


Are you a full time author or do you have another job as well and if so how do either or these fit in with writing time?

During the day, I write, handle social media contacts, and take care of a few chores for the Agua Fria Open Space Alliance, Inc. for which I serve as President.  Writing is my main job.

Do you write on your novel daily or do you try to have days off?

I average about 28 days of writing per month.  I usually focus on one book for a month or two and then switch to another.  The days off are spent camping. 

Do you go back to published books and want to change them in any way?

I always find things I want to change.  One of the great things about independent publishing is that it is easy to make changes.   

What do you think is the most effective marketing is for your books?

A traditional publisher (a university press) published my first two books.  They were both technical nonfiction.  I decided to publish my debut novel myself, and that changes the marketing opportunities somewhat.  Since good reviews require good writing, the main marketing tool any author has is quality writing.  There a problem that is especially important for indie authors.  Since it is unlikely that all reviewers will agree on the quality of a book, it is necessary to have multiple reviews.  For new authors, this is a challenge.  You meet this challenge with flashy book covers, book giveaways, social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and others.  If you don't get any good reviews, you probably should begin reworking your book.

If you have a ‘baddy’ in your book, can you tell us a little about this character?

I have four bad characters in my book.  The first to appear is the worst.  Gifted with extreme intelligence, the character grew up in very harsh conditions where there was no family and no friend.  She lived in constant fear and, at first, constant hunger.  She learned to use others for defense and for food, and she learned to have fun with them, not as friends, but as toys.  Once fear, food, and fun melded in her mind, she became truly evil.

Is there any romance in your story and if so can you tell us a little about this?

The protagonist, the warrior Corr Syl, is attracted to Rhya Bright, a compatible though slightly younger warrior in training.  For Corr, Rhya is a heart stopper.  Rhya considers Corr the perfect companion, but she thinks he is too advanced to date as an equal.  To protect her sense of honor, she avoids, ignores, and rebuffs Corr relentlessly.  His approaches and failures are so frequent that they become a source of amusement for Corr's closest friends and many others in his community.  Daily, Corr gives up and then decides to try again.  

If you have to write any fighting scenes, what are your best tips of how you create them?

I have several combat scenes, but I'm not sure I can offer many tips.  I research the moves and the weapons, and then I go through the motions to try to make sure that what I describe is possible.  Martial artists have questioned my accuracy, but I think they tend to view everything in human terms.  My characters are faster and stronger than humans are.

Do you ever write sad scenes and do you feel the sadness as you write it?

Sure.  Imagining an injury or death in real life can cause melancholy.  It is no different in fiction.  This is probably truer for the author than the reader. 

Is your world in your book like earth or is it a fantasy world?

I try to make sure that everything I write is possible according to what we know now.  Some things may turn out to be impossible.  When science reaches that point, I'll just have to come back and revise my story. 

What is the time period setting of your latest book?

The story is set in our present, but it is on an Earth with a different history.

Do you prefer to write as a series or one off books?

I want to write a few more books within the framework I created for "Corr Syl the Warrior."  I have begun a sequel, but I haven't decided what will follow that.  I have several ideas for tangential stories that might be books three and four.

Do you like to use lots of subplots or do you think just confuses?

I like subplots when they fit well.  I certainly see no reason to let them cause confusion.

Can you tell us a little about one of your sub plots in your latest book?

The protagonist's first friend is embarrassed by an accident and behaves cruelly in retaliation.  The cruelty is repeated and becomes a habitat that continues into adulthood with tragic consequences.  For a long time the protagonist feels responsible and guilty because he did not intervene when the two friends were children.  He believes he could have helped his friend correct the behavior in those early years before anything bad happened.

Can you tell us a little about your protagonist and your antagonist and how they relate to each other?

The protagonist, Corr Syl, is young, has talent and potential, but is not ready for the adult responsibilities that are thrust upon him.  How he copes and how he changes are important elements of the story.

There are several antagonists.  The one with the greatest potential to cause harm is Aaron Li, a wise old human who has carried on his father's hatred and desire for revenge throughout his long life.  Li inherited and developed great military power and alliances, and has built has a secret force of assassins that has global reach.  Actions by Corr Syl could trigger the deployment of these forces.

How do you think you would feel if you received a really bad review that seemed justified?

Bad reviews are painful.  I have had reviews that blended a personal attack with harsh criticism of every flaw.  If the reviewer is right about something, however, improvements can be made in either the work reviewed, or in future works.

Do you think all readers should do reviews to help the writers improve?

It is up to the reader.  When I began reading, I could hardly say more than I liked or really liked a story.  If you don't think about the individual elements of a story, general responses might be as far as you ever go.  But if you notice something you like, or that you feel is wrong, you should be kind to your author and report it.

When you receive reviews, do you find yourself influenced to make changes?

Sure, some times.  I think some review comments reflect differences in personal preference.  I try to respect these, but I wouldn't make a change I disagreed with.  Occasionally there will be comments based on misinterpretations.  Only if the misinterpretation were made by several readers would I consider making a change.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Our Next Scheduled Book Tour

It's time for another Book Tour:-

Mark your diaries for this Sunday 30th June, and come visit my blog to read the interview of author Gary Rogers talking about his book 'Corr Syl the Warrior'.

PLUS we will be doing a Rafflecopter Giveaway. What have you got to loose? Seeya Sunday then...

Monday, 24 June 2013

Read Chapter 2 Guardian Dragons for FREE

Chapter 2 A Festival Murder

Time to read for FREE the next chapter of Guardian Dragons on Wattpad. I would love your comments and votes.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Guardian Dragons, Chapter 1, read for FREE

This little guy is going to be my future symbol to inform you that I posted a new chapter on Wattpad to read for FREE.

Yep, I have now posted Chapter 1, Preparations 1 Guardian Dragons, Preparations

I'm hoping that because it's only 2 pages, readers will kindly give me comments on their thoughts and possibly votes, if they like it.

So, please pop along, it only takes 10 minutes.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Celebration 4/5 for Flight of a Changeling

I just have to share my latest review on which is a whopping 4out of 5 stars and a lovely little review.

For any writer it's a wonderful feeling when you learn that someone really likes your work. My thanks go out to this reader for taking the time to read my books and give me such important feedback.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Read Prologue Guardian Dragons

I decided to join Wattpad and have posted the PROLOGUE to my 1st book Guardian Dragons. I am hoping some will read and I'm hoping some will comment and maybe, if I'm even more luckier, some will give me a vote. So far I've had quite a few readers, which is all I really want as the rest is just a bit of fun. Although I would love some comments but it's hard to analyse such a small piece.

So, if you have a moment to read a couple of pages please pop along and let me know your thoughts:- Guardian-Dragons Prologue

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Todays the Day that One Woman's Quest is Having a Book Tour Hosting

Well, I'm very excited about today's post as I'm hosting a Book Tour. When I wrote my title it was to the tune of 'Todays the Day the Teddies are Having Their Picnics', la la la.... Are you singing it? Louder please so all the world visits for a chance to win a FREE e-book of...

OK here it is ...  Drum Roll ...

I'm very proud to announce the hosting of an interview with the author Donna Hawk and a spotlight of her book Where Darkness Walks. I have 1 FREE e-copy to giveaway and all you have to do is let me have a means of contact to send it to you if you are the lucky winner.

ALSO if you sign up with my blog today you can have a FREE
e-copy of my fantasy book Guardian Dragons, but we'll talk about that if you sign up and I can contact you. 


Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I usually do a rough outline, generally what I know I want to happen. The problem is, sometimes the characters get a mind of their own and start stuff. Then I have to go back and change my outline or just let it flow for a while to see what they have on their minds. Characters… sometimes you just can’t tell them what to do!
Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 
Always. And then there are those times when my characters aren’t speaking to me at all. I do a lot of outlining and background at that time. Pretty soon, one of them shows up and starts talking again. Depends on their moods.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Not either one actually. But I guess I’m more of a morning person than a night person. I don’t mind staying up late, just don’t ask my brain to do anything that requires much thinking. In the morning, I like to get up and start my day. I hate sleeping late. Morning is definitely my favorite time of day.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I love to travel, but don’t get to do it as often as I’d like. Growing up, my dad took us to every state west of the Mississippi, including a two-month trek to Alaska. Now, the first place I’d choose to go would probably be Scotland. I want to chat with Nessie. My mom tells me my family is from there, but I’m pretty sure we don’t have family there any more. It just seems like it would be so pretty. AND they speak English, so that’s a plus for someone like me who doesn’t know any foreign languages.
I’ve been to Sweden twice to see a penpal of mine. That was loads of fun. Unfortunately, she passed away, but I have tons of wonderful memories of her and my trips there.
Do distant places feature in your books?
My first two books are set in the United States and are places I’m familiar with. This new one is set in an imaginary realm, a shadow world called Mortgatha. So, yes, it would be distant. And probably not someplace I’d ever choose to go.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
It’s called Where Darkness Walks. It is the first of the Mortgatha Trilogy. My main character, Clarie Perl, get caught up and pushed through a set of dark doors to this other, dark realm. It’s full of scary characters, not all of which can be seen, that are trying to keep her there. She knows there is a rift that will send her home, but the problem is that the rift moves randomly and she doesn’t know how it works.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
I have learned a lot, but I’m still an infant, so to speak. It’s so hard to break open any kind of notice but authors like Amanda Hocking give us indie authors a lot of hope. I know if you go through an agent, then a publisher, it could take more than a couple of years to get a book out—and that’s if they accept your manuscript. I know a lot of manuscripts don’t get the attention they deserve because agents and publishers are working so hard alongside the indie authors. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s who you know. Hmmmm, I don’t actually know a lot of people in the business. 
I also know that, like a lot of things that take so much time, writing has to be a labor of love because very few authors truly hit the big times. That said, because I do love writing, I will keep doing it as long as it gives me pleasure.
Is there anything you would do differently?
The only thing I’d do differently is I’d do it sooner. I’ve sat on full-length manuscripts for years because I didn’t have the nerve to put myself out there. Finally, I got the nerve and I’m really pretty proud of myself.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
Oh, I can’t think of anyone in particular. I just remember thinking while I was in college: I think I could write something like this… Finally I decided to do it. That was years and years ago. It was only recently that I let anyone else actually read what I wrote.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Keep at it. Don’t let a bad review or someone’s cousin talk you out of it. Keep writing because you’ll get better with every project. I know my second book was soooooooo much better than my first. Whatever you do, HAVE IT EDITED. There isn’t anything worse than glaring mistakes when you have such a good story. Write it, put it away for a couple of weeks, then read it again. Look for mistakes, just saying.

* * * * *
Where Darkness Walks (Mortgatha Trilogy Book 1) By Donna Hawk
Clarie’s world is about to change for the darker. Rand broke up with her at the prom, she uncovers a secret in the hidden back of an armoire, and she meets Patrick, who is determined to help her forget her broken heart.

As Clarie evades classmate Bulldog’s stalking, she and Patrick explore the dark halls of an abandoned cement plant. After following Clarie and Patrick deep inside the cement plant, Bulldog confronts Clarie as he fights with Patrick. When she is accidentally pushed against a set of dark doors into the shadow realm of Mortgatha, everything she fears is set into motion to keep her away from her beloved Earth world.

Even with Patrick’s help, the doorway home moves randomly, evil characters beset them at every turn, and the way home seems farther away than ever
Where you can purchase this book 
(Don't forget we have 1 FREE e-copy to giveaway, just leave your contact details and you may be the lucky winner)
About the Author 
I have been a teacher in Kansas for 33 years. I enjoy writing, riding my bicycle, and spending time with my husband. I am an avid photographer and Photoshop user. Currently, I am working on a dark trilogy for young adults, the first of which I am hoping will be completed by the end of the summer 2013. 
If you have any questions for me, you can email me at:

Any other websites/places readers can find you on the web.
This Interview & Book Spotlight was brought to you by:- 
Saskia Book Tours website: 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Book Tour information

I'm pleased to announce that I'm hosting a Book Tour tomorrow (Sunday).

Please visit my blog to learn more about the author Donna Hawk in her interview and read the spotlight on her book Where Darkness Walks. Plus she is offering a FREE e-copy of her book. All you have to do is leave a comment and a means for me to contact you if you are the lucky winner.

This is a very special moment for me because it gives me an opportunity to assist a fellow author in promoting their work. It is also my very first hosting of a Book Tour so wish me luck and see you all tomorrow.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Books Direct Online a Supportive Book Blog


I would like to extend my thanks to Books Direct Online for updating the article on my latest Edition 3 of Guardian Dragons, Book 1. This is a very supportive blog for all types of authors.

Based on the fantasy world of Aarabassa, which is divided by a magic wall. One side is in constant twilight and the other side has continual sunlight.

Dragons, vampires and other fantasy creatures. Four young heroes. Good versus evil in a plot to rule the world of Aarabassa.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Guardian Dragons Author Receives Wonderful Award of Support


I am so happy to be awarded this title on (csi) creative scene investigation. Click the link to read a wonderful Book Review for Book 1, Guardian Dragons. My thanks go to CSI for giving my work a B award and for supporting me with promoting my debut book. This is still the 2nd Edition but the 3rd Edition has only just been released on Amazon and is available in e-book format and paperback.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Review: Call of the Herald B Rathbone

Call of the Herald (The Dawning of Power, #1)


Well written. Flows smoothly and makes good sense coming together nicely in a believable plot. Well edited book.

I would have liked to have got to know some of the characters a little better ie the boys in the 'group' of protectors. I knew of their existence and a little about each background but that's exactly where they stayed, in the background. SPOILER ALERT: It may be because they're not in it anymore as we seem to loose them at the end.

I'm hoping the Captain of the ship is in the 2nd book as we seem to be lacking for a charismatic character and he sounds like he's a bit different from the norm.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Guardian Dragons, Re-published with New Cover

Today I'm very Excited to announce not only a new book cover but also a few changes for Book 1, Guardian Dragons.

Why a new cover?
The latest re-published version is Edition 3 and I wanted to set it apart from Edition 2. The paperback will have a similar cover but a slightly different version.

Why so many Edition?
All in the name of 'Improvements'.
Edition 1 was titled Divided Realms and this contained Books 1, 2 & 3. I deemed it necessary to split the book as it was too big a book for a new author. I feel readers prefer to take in a new authors' work in smaller doses.
Edition 2 was the first part of Divided Realms. An introduction to the fantasy world of Aarabassa and the main characters.
Edition 3 (the latest) is the same as Edition 2 but has a few wee changes to one of the sub plots. This is so it will flow better into Book 2, Flight of a Changeling.

Plus, and I hate to admit this, it also gave me the opportunity to clear up a few typos.

I began my journey as an Indie Author very inexperienced. I'm still no veteran but I do like to listen to readers who take the time to not only to read my book but also dissect and review it. This is not an easy task and one I struggle at when I read other authors' books. I either like or dislike and can never evaluate the exact reasons why. I consider a good reviewer to be very skilled. They are a vital tool for any author, and with the production of e-books, we writers can easily improve our books at the touch of a few buttons.

I truly hope there will be no need for further Editions but I'm not too proud to make those all important changes if they will make the story more enjoyable.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Street Art on Books

Today I bring to you images from the streets of the world. In this link you will see Street Art all about reading and books, it really is amazing. Follow this link : ebookfriendly

This article is titled:-

25 hilarious street art and mural works about books, libraries and reading

"I’m really excited to share this list, as I managed to find some fantastic examples of murals, that can’t be found on other lists of this kind. My favorite  works are the Valencia stuff from a famous street art group Escif, but also the one painted by Andreyante AO in Nizhny Novgorod, and the mural in Łódź created by a Polish street artist Barys."
I promise you will be impressed at the imagination of people all around the world. It is brought to you by Piotr Kowalczyk, the Founder of Ebook Friendly who is also a self published author in Poland.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

A Writer's Dream Supermarket

Tamara's One Stop Indie ShopI nearly gave up on finding a interesting article for my daily blog post and now I'm so glad I didn't. I have found a wonderful author's dream supermarket. Every service you could wish for is available on this very useful blog
"Are you looking for an editor, cover designer, or maybe even a writing coach? Click the links below and explore many different options for each service..." 
They even offer a PA service and it really does look an excellent package. Now all I have to do is sell a few books so I can hire a PA (sigh). I would truly love for someone else to be doing all the things they offer. Have a quick peek and I think you'll be impressed. I haven't used any of the services but with a few pennies I could be very tempted.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Are You Confused About the World of Publishing?

Today I came across a great article all about the different ways of publishing - what a minefield.

Here is the link to the full article and if you're a new author, like me, then I strongly recommend a quick peek:- dont-confuse-independent-publishing-with-self-publishing

different"I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a zillion times: yes, dear author-to-be (and those already published), there is a difference between self-publishing, vanity presses, pay-to-publish, a small press, and independent publishing. Don’t mix them up. Don’t get confused..."

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd (, an author and book publishing expert and the Chief Visionary Officer and Founder of Author U (, a membership organization created for the author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 30 books. Her latest, Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Eye Opening Tips for Promoting Your Novel

Build Book Buzz

This article is from one of the blogs I read regularly because they publish such useful information. I never tire of reading tips to improve my marketing skills:- 

BUILD BOOK BUZZ direct link

6 surefire ways to promote your novel
By Sandra Beckwith

The biggest mistake most novelists make when promoting their books is believing that it's all
about book reviews. Wrong. Book reviews are valuable and securing them should be on any
author or publisher's book promotion to-do list, but your novel deserves more widespread,
long-term, and ongoing exposure than it can get through reviews alone. It deserves to be
talked about month after month - as long as the book is available for purchase.

Here are six tips for helping you see the publicity and promotion value in your fiction so that
you generate the ongoing buzz your book deserves:

1. Find the nonfiction nuggets in your manuscript and use them to create newsworthy
material for relevant media outlets. 

Is your heroine a jilted wife starting over in the
workforce as - let's say - an account executive at a high-flying packaging design firm who
finds love with her client at a consumer products company? You've got publicity opportunities
with the packaging and marketing trade magazines. Is she a radio jock? The female morning
drive time personalities would love to interview you by phone. What about locations, products, 
or services in your novel? A story set in a national park or a convenience store gives you news 
pegs for exposure in the relevant trade magazines. A character's obsession with a little known 
beverage brand could get your book into that company's employee newsletter. If you're writing 
your novel now, work in some nonfiction nuggets you can capitalize on later.

2. Use your content to identify promotion allies.

Is your protagonist an athlete in awheelchair? Connect with groups such as the 
National Wheelchair Basketball Association or the National Wheelchair Softball Association. 
What about the professions of the people inyour book? Does it feature a secretary? Contact the 
Association of Executive and
Administrative Professionals. There's an association for just about every profession.
But don't just send them a note that says, “I've written a book your members will love.” Send a
copy of the book with a letter outlining promotional possibilities and what's in it for them. You
might offer to speak at their national meeting, do a Q&A for their member publication, or offer
a discount to members.

3. Leverage what you uncovered while writing your book.

Did you learn about a period in
history or a specific region? Use this knowledge as a springboard for publicity. The author of a
historical romance novel set in New York's Hudson River Valley, for example, can write and
distribute a news release announcing the top romantic and historical attractions in that 
region or pitch a local newspaper or regional magazine on an article about the area's most 
romantic date destinations. Your goal is to be quoted as an expert source because this would 
require using your book title as one of your credentials.

4. Support your book with a good Web site designed by a professional.

Your Web site has to be as good as your writing. It also has to contain information that 
convinces us that your books are worth buying and reading. It doesn't have to be slick, but it 
does need to be very well-written, attractive, useful, and enticing. We will assess your ability to 
tell a good story by your ability to communicate on your Web site, so the writing is crucial.

5. Get social.

Focus on one or two social networking sites - Facebook now has more users
than MySpace - and master the most effective and appropriate ways to use them to promote
your book before spreading yourself too thin on several sites. Once you understand how the
process works, expand to others and use new technology tools and resources such as those
at TweetDeck and to streamline your information sharing across your networks.

6. Share the love.

Help us connect with you by blogging about your writing process and
experiences. Get excerpts up on your Web site and read portions to us via podcasts so we
can get a feel for your writing and decide if the story is appealing. Give us enough online - on
your Web site, blog, and through podcast download sites such as iTunes - to convince us
we'd like your book.

There's no question that promoting fiction is harder than promoting nonfiction - but because of
that, it's also more rewarding.

You have permission to reprint the article with this required author credit:
Sandra Beckwith offers a free book publicity and promotion e-zine at and teaches the
“Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz” e-course.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Definition of Bad Writing

In my daily hunt for an interesting reading matter for my book blog, I came across a site called Here I found a very interesting piece of work on writing skills. Of course we have to remember whenever we read an article that it is only the opinion of the writer, but then that's how history was written in the history books. Our views are important but particularly if the writer has an understanding of what they are saying. I liked this article because I could relate to it quite well. Follow the link to read the full article.
What is it that makes bad writing bad? Well, that is a rather subjective judgement call. According to the writer of this WSJ article, “[i]t’s impossible to define bad writing because no one would agree on a definition.” This is true. Bad writing for me is likely to not be the same as bad writing for you.

Direct link to article

Blogged by a website administrator and editor at free-ebooks

Monday, 3 June 2013

Indie Author Feature - Fantasy Writer

M.C. Lavocat

Indie Author Feature: Cathy Vickers

Many thanks go to the author M C Lavocat (The Soul of Voodoo Books) for doing a most wonderful feature on me. Follow the link to the blog and view my author interview:-



Cathy, would you  please briefly describe your journey in writing your book?

On a cold, wet day in the middle of Northern France, I was stuck in a tent on holiday with my family. We are a family of readers so we were all lying on our camping beds reading our books quietly. I cannot remember what I was reading as I had strangely started to write some mini scenery plots down as a break from reading. The memory is vague, but I know I wrote everything by hand (as no electricity and certainly no wifi in camping).

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Self-Publishing Success Stories


The Anatomy of a Kindle Bestseller

"Writing for writing’s sake is absolutely brilliant, but many of us have ambitions to be #1 on the Amazon charts, selling hundreds of thousands of books and raking in the cash!"

An interesting article from 'one of us' who made it. Click the link to read the whole article:-

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Time for a bit of humour

PhotoSpotted this on one of the FB forums.  The smaller words say 'Commas save lives'. I found it very amusing. Especially as I'm a grandma. It should read 'Punctuation saves grandma'.