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The Entry Word 1.4

ENTRY1
‘I don’t know what I want with you yet,’ says Jodocus Meaddowcraft to the General Assembly of the United Nations. ‘You brought me here and I haven’t had time to formulate a plan.’ All languages at once are heard true in his ear. Only the world cannot hear each other. ‘You gathered people are right to be afraid because it was a terrible idea to wake me up and get me here from there. A terrible idea.’ The Assembly have no words. ‘I will take petitions like a king from old. You may visit me in my court. I will accept tributes of all and every kind. I will read four letters a day but only if they are handwritten. Be there in person and be prepared to wait for a long time.’ Jodocus Meaddowcraft t...
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The Entry Word 1.3


Sea levels start to rise. Waves lap. Buildings now bob. Submerged where once they stood tall and proud. Clouds boil black and fearful. Deserts grow tall green grass springing from the dirty sand. ‘Simple tricks,’ says Jodocus Meaddowcraft. ‘Pointless entertainments designed not to prove worth but to simply demonstrate. D-E-M-O-N-STRATE.’ Mere feints and darts. Patients are miraculously healed and tumours disappear. But churches collapse. Ocean liners sink without trace. Airplanes vanish. Technologies begin their fail. Countries start to starve. ‘This is what I mean by disorder,’ smirks Jodocus Meaddowcraft. ‘In the time we have already spent together I have brought seventy six species of pla...
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The Entry Word 1.2


‘We are here,’ says Jodocus Meaddowcraft. Not tall or small or large. Just him. Her. Both. Neither. All. Bleary-eyed. Centuries-old and the same tired. Crumpled after arriving. Constipated. Wearing a plain linen suit with a sweat ring beneath each arm. Polyester shirt. Slip-on shoes. Migraine. ‘I suppose you could call us cosmic spam if you felt so inclined but it matters not a jot. Most things matter the small sameness to us. We are endlessly without endless priorities.’ Jodocus does the chat-show circuit all at once, simultaneously appearing on every chair and sofa around the world. Beamed live on every screen. ‘It was you who spelt the Entry Word so don’t blame us for what happens next. W...
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Authorsdb Cover Contest


Mystic Evermore is also doing a "cover contest" at Authorsdb. Please visit to vote for my entry and feel free to browse through the fascinating entries and titles competing in 2018. http://authorsdb.com/2018-cover-contest-results/27325-cover-contest-2018-mystic-evermore Original link
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Some Meanings Behind Reading.

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Readers reckon they know what the verb to read means. Quite simply, it’s what you are doing now! But the verb can be used to imply a range of other meanings too. Here are a few: “All I know is what I read in the papers,” doesn’t literally mean that he/she only gets information from newspapers. What the phrase is intended to convey is that the speaker is ordinary, unpretentious, not an expert. The phrase was popularised by the American comedian, Will Rogers, in the 1920s. Sticking with newspapers, there’s the vendor’s cry “Read all about it.” It wasn’t long before the phrase extended beyond newspaper sellers – hence the BBC programme reviewing new paperback books with the same title. “Read an...
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The Entry Word – 1.1


PART I ‘MENAGERIUM JODOCUS’ 1.1 It is the global television coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics that brings about the end of the world. No virus. Outbreak. Meteor hurtling earthward. Planet warming. Planet cooling. Rising tides. Tidal waves. Instead, viewers around the globe are endlessly encouraged to email and text and tweet and share their views on the Games and the athletes and the achievements and as always happens too many people get too much wrong too many times simultaneously and so they mistype and misspell and send messages that don’t arrive and texts that aren’t delivered and tweets that never do and shares that never are but instead of these messages and texts and tweets and shares...
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The Apostrophe – a brief history

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If you are reading this blog it is probably because you have a passing interest in writers, writing, and grammar. You will, no doubt, know all about the correct use of apostrophes, apply them correctly most of the time – even the best of us slip up now and then – and snigger when you see them misused by greengrocers and such-like. Possibly you feel you are maintaining long-established standards, handed down to us by the Venerable Bede, Chaucer, and others of similar vintage. Wrong! There was no apostrophe in the English language until the sixteenth century, when printing was established and their use was adopted from the French to indicate an elision or abbreviation (such as wouldn’t). It wa...
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Have YOU joined the #VIROSWARM?

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Hi Everyone I’m experimenting with a new trailer for Book One in the VIRO series. I would really appreciate your feedback. Does the trailer work for you? Does it make you want to join the #VIROSWARM? Many thanks Barnaby JOIN THE #VIROSWARM TODAY! VIRO [Book One] is FREE TO DOWNLOAD http://bit.ly/VIRO1UKKindle http://bit.ly/VIROBOOK1 Original link
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A Right Royal Manifesto for Reading.

alan-bennett
In his book, The Uncommon Reader,  Alan Bennett the playwright, author, and humourist (to list just a few nouns attributed to him – many would also add ‘National Treasure’) imagines the Queen suddenly developing such an interest in reading it threatens to undermine her public duties and neglect her hitherto impeccable sartorial elegance. The novel is short and very funny, capturing exactly the Queen as we think we know her (apart from the reading) and her mind bogglingly stuffy courtiers. These try, using a mix of management speak, which she hates, and snootiness – which she also detests, to bring her back to her pre-reading senses. Without success, as it happens – by the end she has decided...
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Three New Things I’ve Learned about giving away VIRO for FREE on Amazon

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Hi Everyone Here’s three things I’ve learned about giving away VIRO for FREE on Amazon this week. 1. Free is a good thing. Giving away a version of Book One in the VIRO series – click the link here to get your electronic copy – has made a tremendous difference. Admittedly, I am giving the book away but any potential loss in terms of revenue – something that hasn’t really been a factor with the electronic version – is most definitely outweighed by getting the book out there. Obviously, the plan is that giving away enough FREE versions will drive readers to VIRO [Book Two] ; and Book Three [once it is finished] 2. Amazon categories and keywords are still a work in progress. I have spent a lot ...
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How to be a prize-winning author.

Anne Tyler
Anne Tyler is an American writer who has written twenty-two novels, won the Pulitzer prize, been shortlisted for the Booker prize, and had one of her books turned into an Oscar winning film. Her latest book, Clock Dance, has just been published and is likely to sell well. Very well – she has a huge following of both male and female readers and has sold more than ten million books since she started writing over fifty years ago. Unlike most novelists, who are encouraged / expected by their publisher to seize every opportunity to promote their books she has, for the past forty years, refused to go on book tours or appear on chat shows. Her books sell largely on her reputation, and positive crit...
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JOIN THE #VIROSWARM TODAY – VIRO Book One FREE at Amazon and Smashwords

VIRO BOOK ONE AD - MARIE QUOTE
Have YOU joined the #VIROSWARM? VIRO – Book One available for FREE at the following links: Amazon [UK] Amazon [US] Smashwords Original link
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VIRO – Super-Exciting Publishing News Update – Do YOU want to join the #VIROSWARM?

VIRO BOOK ONE TUNNEL
Hi Everyone It has been a tremendous few days so I thought I would post an update on where we are, VIRO-wise. 1. VIRO Book One – Number One in the Amazon Charts The Kindle version of VIRO Book One got to Number One in the Amazon charts. Currently available to download for FREE, this is really exciting so thank you very much to everyone who has joined the #VIROSWARM. If you haven’t downloaded Book One yet then don’t panic, you too can join the #VIROSWARM HERE and HERE . 2. VIRO Book Two – FIVE STAR REVIEW VIRO Book Two has just received another tremendous five star review posted up on Goodreads – you can read it HERE . ‘Having Read Falcon Boy and Viro, it was with eager anticipation that I st...
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The Restorative power of reading.

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Can you read to make yourself a better person? Laura Freeman thinks so. In fact she’s written a whole book about it – The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite. I haven’t read her book – yet, but I’ve read several reviews and it sounds like it’s a book for me. I’ve also recently read an article by her in The Times. Like her I find the concept of mindfulness to relax makes my teeth grind and I end up wanting to punch someone. Especially when the idea behind it feels to me like a process for emptying your mind rather than filling it – mind-less-ness, as it were, rather than mindful. (Don’t write in, I know other people swear by it, and it’s only my opinion). Laura’s cure, like mine, for...
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Meet Nuzo Onoh – the Queen of African Horror

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 Nuzo Onoh is a British writer of African-Igbo heritage. Popularly known as “The Queen of African Horror,” Nuzo was born in Enugu, in the Eastern part of Nigeria (formerly, The Republic of Biafra). She experienced the Nigerian-Biafran war as a child refugee, an experience that has influenced some of her works. She first came to England as a teenager and attended The Mount School, York, (a Quaker boarding school) and St Andrew’s Tutorial College, Cambridge, from where she obtained her A-levels. She holds a Law Degree and a Masters Degree in Writing, both from The University of Warwick, Warwickshire. Nuzo has been championing the alternative horror genre, African Horror, and has featured on mu...
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VIRO – Book One – Super-Exciting Zombie Adventure Series – Sample Chapter


Footsteps The tunnel looked dark and dangerous. I didn’t want to go inside. No way. I wanted to run away. But I had to help Ellis. She had helped me at the shop. She thought this was the right way to go. Ellis put her arm around my shoulder. We started to walk. The darkness ate us all up. It was impossible to see. I looked back at the entrance. I wished we were out there still. Ellis limped next to me. Her ankle was very sore. She was trying to be brave. I heard her gasping. It was so frightening. We went very slowly. I was very edgy. Danger could be anywhere. I kept my head clear. I needed to pay real attention. I heard something. The stones moved. I hoped it was just an animal. I heard it ...
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Words we owe to Africa.

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Next week I am excited to have the ‘Queen of African Horror’ on my blog, talking about her work. As a tiny warm-up act I’m doing an African themed blog today. First, here’s a small selection of words in English that we all know, but don’t necessarily realise have an African origin. BananaBanjoChimpanzeeImpalaJumboMacaqueOkapiSafariZebraZombie     And here are a few African proverbs that I think might include a lesson for the aspiring writer of any genre or nationality. Wisdom: The fool speaks, the wise man listens. (And takes notes – could come in useful for a piece of dialogue one day) Learning: You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. (Good writing comes from practice, practic...
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Thank you very much for the very kind reviews


  Hi Everyone I thought I would share a quick update on some of the amazing feedback that the two VIRO books have been getting. Reviews are the lifeblood of any author and it is great to hear that people are responding favourably to the post-apocalyptic adventures of Jake and his friends. ‘I bought this book a couple of months ago and it has been sitting on my desk up until last weekend. As I was travelling last weekend I decided to take this book with me. It would not be my normal choice of book but I decided to give it a go..! Bottom Line is I could not leave it down..! Over the course of two flights, sitting around airports and a bit of bedtime reading it gave a new insight into this styl...
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Meet author Pamela Q. Fernandes

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Pamela Q. Fernandes is an author, doctor, and medical writer. She writes romance, speculative fiction, and Christian nonfiction. She is also the host of The Christian Circle Podcast. You can find out more about her at her website: https://www.pamelaqfernandes.com or reach her on Twitter @PamelaQFerns. She is currently giving away 10 free ecopies of her book on Facebook.  What is the title of your latest book, and what is it about? THE MILANESE STARS is a romantic heist. It’s about the robbery of a set of pink diamonds also called the Milanese Stars. On the two sides of this romance are Vita, a barista, and Samuel, an insurance fraud investigator.  What are the most challenging aspects of bei...
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Dangling Participles.

Hamllet ghost
I don’t want to get too personal, but how do you feel about your dangling participles? Do you reel back in horror at the sight of them? Feel there’s a time and place for them if used wisely? Or wonder what on earth I am talking about? If you are in the last group, a dangling participle occurs when a clause in a sentence relates not to the noun or pronoun that follows it, but to one in a previous clause. As in: ‘Mary thought Mr Brown was a misogynist and she vowed she would never work for him; then again, being a woman, he probably wouldn’t employ her anyway.’ Sometimes a dangling participle will cause confusion, but few readers of the above sentence would assume that Mr Brown is female. Bein...
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