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Experience An English Civil War Battle Near You!

  In England we are lucky with the resources available to us if we want to learn about the civil war which tore our country apart during the 17th century. As well as countless books on the subject you can conduct research online or maybe visit the National Civil War Centre in Newark, but to get a real experience of what life was like when parliament rose up against the king we have a number of wonderful re-enactment societies. Cavalry (copyright Sealed Knot) Both the Sealed Knot and the English Civil War Society provide authentic re-creations of both civilian and military life, and the information they provided was very helpful to me whilst I was conducting research for my novel ‘The Cavalie...
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Romance for Everyone

    Romance is a genre that has stood the test of time. Women for millennia have enjoyed a tale of love between two people who might or might not be right for each other. Many men have also read these books, but until recently few would have admitted to that let alone allowed the world to know they actually wrote romance novels.   Get Cupid's Arrow Vol 1 on Amazon   Today’s romance has become as modern and open as the world we live in. Yet, many who seek out a romance aren’t looking for a romp in bed or a redefining of societal mores. What they want is an escape into the developing relationship between a couple who are either rekindling what they once had or are discovering each other for th...
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Retweet Groups ~ The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The use of social media for an author is important during this age where we are competing with so many others to sell our books. Gone are the days when an agent and/or publisher would fete an author with trips to expensive restaurants, book them on national talk shows, or send them on whirlwind book tours to prestigious bookstores.   Wow! That sounds like it would have been a lot of fun. However, today’s author faces a different situation when getting word about their book out. Promotion budgets at the Big 5 are often reserved for well-established authors or celebrities. Those of us considered mid-list are consigned to setting up our own promotion daily and often have a miniscule budget in w...
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When a Relationship Is Over, That Ship Has Sailed by Miss Know It All

  Miss Know It All Some people go into a relationship with their eyes wide shut and have to learn, early on, that not all hook-ups will end happily ever after. Yet, someone will continue to force a person to remain in a union that is not working and probably never will, no matter how hard a man or woman may want the bond to continue.  When’s over, it’s over. Don’t dwell over spilled milk, and never jump into another relationship until you’ve given yourself enough time to analyze why the relationship ended so badly, and what lessons can be learned from the breakup.   Whatever bad issues you had with an ex-lover, leave it in the past. You know the saying: “We were two ships passing in the nigh...
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Karavansara Free Library: Six books by Emily Hahn

The Internet Archive is a treasure trove of free ebooks somehow related to Karavansara’s themes and topics. We started the Karavansara Free Library with a few titles from Rosita Forbes, and now we follow up with another woman I find absolutely fascinating: Emily Hahn. Another traveler, journalist and adventuress, American Emily Hahn was the woman that attended posh parties in Shanghai in the ’30s in the company of a diaper-wearing monkey – a fact that I mentioned in my novel The Ministry of Thunder, and I was criticized for writing rubbish. Ah! Emily Hahn was also an expert on primates, a walking, breathing scandal, an opium addict (for a while), and a damn fine writer. In her career as a wr...
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Because of this I wasn’t able to fall sleep all night

“I’m sure that waking us up makes no difference to you,” she said. To which I said, “Why would you think that, Mrs. Horowitz?” “Because,” she said, “you must think that we here in the Big Apple are up and about around the clock, and besides, we can’t wait to get a call from an important persona such as yourself at any time whatsoever, day or night!” Utterly dumfounded I could not bring myself to say another word, which made it all the more difficult to put together a whole sentence, to beg her to wake up her daughter. So I was just about to say goodbye and so sorry, my mistake, this will never happen again, I promise, when all of a sudden Mrs. Horowitz said, “Natasha isn’t here.” “What?” I c...
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The Truth in Your Make-believe #atozchallenge2017

This is why I share all of those “Facts from my Fiction” posts; I enjoy doing the homework involved in creating historical fiction. The End Justifies the Journey Many people, I believe, think that writing fiction is all about the imagination. After all, you cannot write a fictional story without making up something that did not really happen. That’s creative writing, So they’re right, right? NOT SO MUCH. The fact about creating fiction is you add truth to the make-believe. Sure, imagination is the major tool to use, but even make-believe needs to be somewhat, well, believable. Say you are working on a science fiction story. Do you simply say the aliens have arrived and then every person or t...
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Review – Judy: A Dog in a Million – Damien Lewis – Military History, WWII, Animals

An amazing story of a true animal hero. Judy’s story is a tremendous tale of love and devotion. Library of Erana Review- Judy: A Dog in A Million Damien Lewis 5 stars The impossibly moving story of how Judy, World War Two’s only animal POW, brought hope in the midst of hell. Judy, a beautiful liver and white English pointer, and the only animal POW of WWII, truly was a dog in a million, cherished and adored by the British, Australian, American and other Allied servicemen who fought to survive alongside her. Viewed largely as human by those who shared her extraordinary life, Judy’s uncanny ability to sense danger...
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World Book and Copyright Day — and a Gift For My Readers

Hi, everyone.  Today is World Book and Copyright Day, as designated by UNESCO .  The date is symbolic:  Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died on April 23.  The stated purpose of the event is to pay world-wide tribute to books and authors, and to encourage everyone to discover the joys of reading.  The event was begun in 1995, as a way to pay respect to the “irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.” In honor of the event, I am offering a 24-hour coupon to my readers.  Click on the link to get a free copy of His Beloved Infidel by using coupon code RG38E at check-out.  The coupon will expire on April 24, 201...
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Real Lives Authors’ Memoirs: Fascinating Books

real lives authors' memoirs
I owe everything to Brenda Mohammed for the inspiration behind this post. It is in commemoration of World Book and Copyright Day. I reproduce in… Continue ReadingReal Lives Authors’ Memoirs: Fascinating Books The post Real Lives Authors’ Memoirs: Fascinating Books appeared first on Stephen Bentley . Original link

Time to slay your shibboleths?

Do you have any shibboleths it might be wise to get rid of? A shibboleth is a long-standing belief or principle that all your friends and family would regard as wrong, out-dated, or no longer important. Like BBC news readers having to read any news bulletin after 8pm wearing a dinner jacket – on the radio! This practice has long gone, and even wearing a tie on TV has started to look a bit old fashioned. Shibboleths abound in English grammar, although many are falling by the wayside. Who now worries about the split infinitive in ‘to boldly go…’? And who writes letters to the newspapers (or bloggers) if they spot a sentence starting with an ‘and’ or a ‘but’? Shibboleth can also mean a phrase o...
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Action Based Sci-Fi

It seems an oxymoron to say action based and sci-fi in the same sentence. Most of my experience with science fiction tales has been very action based. I’m a real sucker for a great space battle. In teen sci-fi novels, the author is faced with a conundrum. How scientific to you get? How much action and adventure should be involved? How much trouble should your characters get into? Venus Rising falls into the typical science-fiction story. The setting is an underwater research lab. There are scientists and administrators. Families live in this moveable sphere. Oh, and there’s Mick, who did something extraordinary as a small child and is on the station pretty much against his will. He’ll do jus...
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Historical Fiction Spotlight: Freedom's Pilgrim ~ A Tudor Odyssey, by Edward James

  Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US   1568. The world is a vast and dangerous place. Miles Phillips is thirteen when he sails from England with the famous Francis Drake on his third slaving expedition to Africa and the West Indies.    Miles is escaping an unhappy childhood in Devon. He has no way of knowing what lies ahead of him. Things bode ill from the start. When the ship reaches San Juan, a battle with the Spaniards erupts.... the effects of which will plague his dreams for a long time.    From Africa Miles travels to the West Indies. Here he discovers the beauty of the women and the rum. But life is about to throw young Miles off course.    There is not room for all the sailors and ...
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Only forever... Be my joy and my pride

When Natasha came back, she sat at the edge of the bed and turned on the radio. And to the faint sound of music, she started unbraiding her hair.  I turned on my side, drew closer to her, and ran my hand along the arch of her back and the fullness of her hips. Never before had I experienced such a complete sense of peace. In spite of the suffering of my flesh, I had no worry, no tension whatsoever in my soul. Until now, my life had been in turmoil, like dust and debris swirling around in the wind. And just like that, a revelation: here, I thought, was something that felt like the eye of the storm. Here was the core. This was us, united not only in love but also in trust. It was a new feeling...
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Write On by Kindle Amazon’s Critique Group Out of Business

Write On by Kindle
Write On by Kindle has gone away. This is old news by internet standards; Amazon’s online critique group shut down a month ago. It was a community where writers shared works-in-progress to get feedback from readers and other writers. But like many things internet, it was a fine idea that just didn’t last or wasn’t executed well or both.   Critique groups are helpful to any writer, in my opinion. That’s what excited me about Write On by Kindle, an online feedback forum hosted by the king of book sales. Sounds like a smart place to craft your next bestseller. Unfortunately not. One might assume since it didn’t generate revenue or spawn bestsellers that it wasn’t worth Amazon’s expense to maint...
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Blogging from A to Z: S is for Sofreh Aghd

Farukh kept his eyes shut for a moment as he held his breath. When he opened his eyes to look into the mirror of fate, he thought he had never seen anyone look so beautiful. She wore a white sheath dress, over which was tied a snug-fitting jacket covered in silver lace that then draped down over her skirt. Her veil, which hung to her knees, was secured by three silver chains across her forehead. It was a modern version of the traditional wedding dresses of his country, and his bride was beautiful in it. — From my novella, His Beloved Infidel   Traditional Sofreh Aghd/Shang Chen Photo Sofreh aghd is a traditional Persian wedding.  Steeped in the traditions of Zoroastrianism, the ceremony sees...
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42K words in 7 days? OK, let’s do it.

It must be an April sort of thing. In April 2012 I wrote a novel in six days – I started on the 25th of April and finished on the night of the first day on May. I did it because I wanted to test what Michael Moorcock said in the lengthy interview he did with Colin Greenland, published as Death is no Obstacle. Moorcock talked about writing a fantasy story in three days – and I planned taking twice as much to be on the safe side. I was also pretty fed-up with the talk about art, inspiration and the writer being some sort of mutant that taps some unknown source of writing power and blah blah blah. To me writing is skill, dedication and hard work. It’s a craft, it can be learned. There’s nothing...
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Do you know the smell of C4? Is bomb a noun or a verb? Does a bomb have a mother? Broadway shows bomb. Relationships bomb. Countries bomb. Each other. Sometimes there is no other answer… Too many mosquitos?? Bomb… “Bombs away” saved civilization in the ‘40’s…. depending upon your bias. Your bias would be irrelevant or non-existent if we had lost. Who loses? The dropper or the dropped on? Maybe the same hold for words. Some hurt. Some are necessary. Some scar. Some heal. Your choice which to be…. Asia is so pretty… Lotus blossoms and all…. The Middle East needs a bomb. There is no greenery anyway. Korea needs a bomb. Who goes first? Why are bombs needed? I don’t think we know until after they...
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The Lost and Found Pets Novellas

The Lost and Found Pets novellas are all available for $0.99. Alexandra Prescott opened Lost and Found Pets because she loves animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.     The Lost Great Dane   While searching for a lost cat, Alex finds a weak and injured Great Dane. The dog has no collar, no tags, and no microchip. And the only person looking for him is a man who might have murdered his own wife.     Within 24 hours, Alex has a hunted dog, a cryptic message, and a hitman on her tail. She realizes the only way out of this mess is to solve the mystery of the lost Great Dane.     Amazon:   B&N: http://...
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Historical fiction blog tour: The King's Greatest Enemy

  This week's exciting historical novel is book 3 in the series The King's Greatest Enemy by Anna Belfrage. Set in 14th century England, this is a great medieval page-turner. Under the Approaching Dark (Book #3 in The King’s Greatest Enemy) England in the early 14th century is a complicated place… However, Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II has been forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness.  But the turmoil is far from over.  England in the early months of 1327 is a coun...
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