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Don’t over-egg the pudding.

 “We have had quite enough of very,” she uttered.Writers sometimes strain to use different words when plain and simple is just fine. A common error is to seek desperately for a range of ways of indicating speech: I shouted / he screamed / she bellowed / they wailed / we whispered / he ejaculated (!) …None of these is wrong, but too many in one piece of writing (especially the more elaborate), can distract from the dialogue. There is nothing wrong, and plenty right about the humble ‘said’ The reader can concentrate on what is being said, whilst remaining clear about which character is speaking. Alternatively, the speech can stand alone, and the follow up phrase can indicate who is speaking, a...
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Book Launch: Living in Medieval England: The Turbulent Year of 1326, by Kathryn Warner

New on Amazon UK and Amazon US1326 was one of the most dramatic years in English history. The queen of England, Isabella of France, invaded the country with an army of mercenaries to destroy her husband's powerful and detested lover, Hugh Despenser the Younger, and brought down her husband King Edward II in the process. It was also a year, however, when the majority of English people carried on living their normal, ordinary lives: Eleyne Glaswreghte ran her own successful glass-making business in London, Jack Cressing the master carpenter repaired the beams in a tower of Kenilworth Castle, Alis Coleman sold her best ale at a penny and a half for a gallon in Byfleet, and Will Muleward made th...
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DL White – A Thin Line

Today, I have author DL White in the interview chair.  She’s here to talk about her latest romance release A Thin Line.  Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. **** 1. Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write? DL White: … Continue readingOriginal linkOriginal author: Maggie Blackbird

Guest Post by Crispina Kemp, Author of The Spinner’s Game Series

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon USThe Spinner’s Child, Book 1 of The Spinner’s GameSpliced with dark material, sprinkled with the mystical, Kerrid journeys through the timeless first days… and into the Spinner’s Web. Cursed, friendless and shunned, fraudulent seer Kerrid, born of a fisher-hunter clan, holds two beliefs. That in her psychic abilities and exuded light she is unique, and as Voice of the Lady she’s exempt from an arranged marriage. Both convictions are shattered when nine boats arrive from the east carrying the ancient Chief Uissinir who wants her for his wife, and five of his sons who emit lights and share tricks like her own. Forced to make an unwise judgement, a trail of de...
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****RELEASE DAY – “Forever In Deep****

 Book 3 of the Forever Detective Seriesis now availableRafael Jones is always a little out of his depth in rural settings, but he’s not just a detective, he’s also undead. He can’t ignore the call from the Saratoga County coroner when she mentions the bite marks found on several drowning victims during the spring and summer of 1947.However, he knows his weaknesses (sunlight, running water, and a woeful lack of country manners), so he isn’t working alone. His slowly developing powers and quick wits may not be a match for something old, strong in magic, and completely cursed.Available now in all e-book formats for $3.99 at:Kindle link: https://www.barn...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 88 – Out of the frying pan

“Let’s go,” Pan insisted. “We did what we came to do, Jinnaari!”The paladin shook his head. “Not yet. We have to go back for the Gnome. I’m not leaving her here.” Without waiting to see who followed, he headed out of the room.Halaster’s body, the robe he wore still smoldering, lay abandoned on the floor as he ran past. His head was in Jinnaari’s bag. Helix cleared his name, but he felt it necessary to bring the Baroness proof that the lich was dead.And, without his head, he’d have a harder time regenerating.He heard someone coming up behind him. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw Thia running to catch up to him. “Are you sure?” she asked. “Pan said he talked to Ash.”“I’m sure,” he replied. “...
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The Perfect Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder (Almost)

As they used to say on the old Monty Python TV show: “Now for something completely different.”After weeks of battling his backyard squirrels, Mark Rober decided it was finally time to design and build the perfect squirrel proof bird feeder, which goes to show that sometimes self-isolating can bring out the genius in any of us! At least it did in the case of these quick-witted and resourceful squirrels!Click on the link below to see how he did it! You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy! Proof Bird FeederOriginal link

One story per week

Today I have mailed off to the editors two more stories – a 1700-words piece and a 4600-words one – bringing the total count of this year’s submissions to 20. Which makes 4 stories per month. One story per week on average.Of these, five have been sold so far – which is a nice 25% sales rate.Good, but I can do better.Now I have two 8/10.000-words stories to write – having been contracted to write them – in the coming month. If I want to keep my average of one story per week, I’ll have to mail away two more. Thankfully, the opportunities abound, and there’s no shortage of ideas – but right now I am rather low on energy, and somewhat overworked. A job I should have closed in April is likely to ...
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Sample Saturday: “His Beloved Infidel”

Hi, everyone. Just an update on the injury I mentioned in an early blog post; it turns out that I have bursitis. The next steps involve 10 days of high-dose NSAIDs, ice packs, and rest. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never bet my walking program back on track! Still, it’s at least something that can be easily resolved, and no fractures were found on x-ray.And that brings me to today. It’s time for another sample from my work. This the opening of His Beloved Infidel.December 1978Farukh Aria scratched his chin through the hated beard as his brother, Dadash, pulled the tiny Fiat Cinquecento into Paris traffic. The thick black mass obscured his jaw and reached to his buttoned shirt collar; Farukh lo...
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Rufus van Dalen

My darling doggie, Rufus, went to Heaven today. I could not have asked for a better friend. For ten years of the fifteen years we were together, Rufus and I only had each other and my priority was always him. I organised my life around my dear, faithful, wonderful hound. I could have given him up and gone off to live in London enjoying theatre, opera, art, all of the things I love. But here was someone who totally relied on me and who was my responsibility. People used to say that I should give him away so that I could have a better chance of meeting the man of my dreams. To me that wasn't as important and seeing my doggie smiling and knowing HE was happy and contented.Rufus and I used to  w...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 20 ‘a sunny dappled playful meadow’

The clouds now part and the Crowley-Baird Inc. logo appears as if the sky was a giant screen. Behind the logo is a sunny dappled playful meadow and as the sunshine in the picture slowly fades the logo is replaced by the words ‘Terminal Transit.’ An automated voice begins to speak.‘On behalf of everyone at Crowley-Baird Inc. we would like to welcome you all to Terminal Transit.’The film playing now fades in to a beautiful sandy beach with slowly lapping waves and a hammock gently moving between two palm trees.‘Congratulations to you and your planet for having been selected.’Original link

Book Launch Guest Post By Sophie Schiller, Author of The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton

New on Amazon UK and Amazon USThe story of one boy’s struggle to survive amidst all odds in a land of sugar plantations, slavery, and smugglers, a boy who would one day grow up to be a Founding Father.1765: Alexander Hamilton arrives with his family in St. Croix to begin a new life. He longs for the chance to go to school and fit in, but secrets from his mother’s past threaten to turn him into a social outcast and tear his family apart.THE GENESIS OF THE STORYIn April of 2016, I was approached by a gentleman from St. Croix who asked me to write a novel about the early life of Alexander Hamilton in the West Indies. The reason for his request, he told me, was to show the world the importance o...
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Lily Michaels – Improbable Bonds

Today, author Lily Michaels is guesting.  She’s here to talk about her latest series release Improbable Bonds, a m/m contemporary romance.  Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. **** A Few of my Favorite Things: Every good writer starts out as a reader. I fully believe that and know for a fact that it is … Continue readingOriginal linkOriginal author: Maggie Blackbird


Coma Confidential cover art
LISTENERmissComa ConfidentialAsh Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance, Book 1By: Uvi PoznanskyNarrated by: Heather Jane Hogan fantastic Overall  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    5 out of 5 starsPerformance  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    5 out of 5 starsStory  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    5 out of 5 starsReviewed: 28-05-20wow what a fantastic audiobook from the pen of Uvi Poznansky and narrated by Heather Jane Hogan xxxxxxOriginal link

Birthday book haul

And so the day of my 53rd birthday is coming to an end. I’ve celebrated with a quick jaunt to the last pizza place open in the area, and I’ve had dinner with my brother and a friend. The rest of the day, I spent reading – because it was my birthday, and I received a lot of books as gifts.And I might as well share, so, here’s a list of all the wonders my friends gave me. In no particular order…Justin Humprey’s The Dr Phibes Companion – a learned essay on the ins and outs of the fabled Vincent Price movies.Mark Norman’s Telling the Bees and other customs – a compendium of folklore, traditions and superstitions connected with classic rural activities. Great as a source of ideas for future stori...
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Twitter’s New ‘Fact-Checking’ Label Has Dangerous Implications

Is Twitter a content publisher or a social media platform?Twitter insists it is a social media platform, but by adding a fact-checking label to posts by President Trump it is behaving more like a content publisher.On May 26, the president expressed concern in a Twitter post about mail-in ballots, saying that such a practice, if widespread, would lead to fraud and a “rigged election.” Twitter later added a warning label to the post that reads, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.”The label links to a Twitter article that is headlined, “Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud.”The message under the headline reads, in part: “These claims are unsubstantia...
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 19 ‘the fruit of whim’

A lightning storm takes hold and rolls across the sky with jagged ferocity, stabbing the darkness.A booming voice rings out through the tumult.Ten voices.One Hundred.Legion.Five.‘Welcome to Terminal Transit.’The suffering we are now visiting upon you is simply the fruit of whim.’‘We mean you each and every harm you are currently experiencing.’‘Only us.’‘Listen.’Original link

Character – the historical fiction variety | A Writer of History

In Write Away, Elizabeth George says that “story is character and not just idea.” She adds: “Put a human face on a disaster and you touch people more deeply … we continue reading a novel largely because we care what happens to the characters … an event alone cannot hold a story together. Nor can a series of events. Only characters effecting events and events affecting characters can do that. Characters are interesting in their conflict, their misery, their unhappiness, and their confusion.”Character – the historical fiction variety | A Writer of HistoryOriginal link

Book Review: The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler

This review follows hot on the heels of a recent post of mine about detectives, pulp fiction and authenticity. The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler My rating: 3 of 5 stars Overall, I liked it. It was worth reading if only for Chandler’s essay of the same title of this collection of short […]The post Book Review: The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler appeared first on Stephen Bentley.Original link

Book Launch Guest Post by Tracey Warr, Author of Conquest III: The Anarchy

Available for pre-order fromAmazon UK and Amazon USIn 1121 the Welsh princess, Nest, is unhappily married to the Norman constable of Cardigan Castle. She becomes increasingly embroiled in the Welsh resistance against the Norman occupation of her family lands. She visits King Henry in England hoping to secure a life away from her unwanted husband. Grieved and stressed at the death of his son, the King is obsessed with relics and prophecies and under increasing pressure to name his successor. In Normandy, Sheriff Haith distracts himself from the fact that Nest is married to another man by following clues surrounding the mystery of the drowning of the King’s heir in the wreck of The White Ship....
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