The Healing Paths of Fife by Diana Jackson

The Healing Paths of Fife_

Diana walked along the Fife Coastal Path from North Queensferry – beneath the famous Forth Rail Bridge – to St Andrews. On her way she ‘met’ some fascinating characters – from St Margaret in Dunfermline to the real Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk, in Lower Largo.

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As she paused to have a ‘wee blether’ with those she ‘met,’ she learnt a new way of looking at her world, finding values which gave her a way forward for the next stage in her life.

The further Diana travelled the more she became absorbed in the history of Fife and her affinity for the area grew.

As you read ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ you may find yourself ‘walking beside Diana’ along this beautiful coast of East Scotland. Her experiences might help you with some of the challenges you face in your own life, or they may inspire you to visit this region of Fife and have adventures of your own. Some would call this an allegory, but it is certainly a memoir with elements of fantasy. Diana leaves the reader to decide which is which 😉

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fife sign.jpg“The story magically interweaves fact with fantasy. Diana shares with us her predicament when she finds her husband off working in Scotland and then finds out she herself is redundant. I really enjoyed this beautiful tale and I was treated to a wee glimpse of the coastal paths of Fife and its rich history.

Very Highly Recommended the beautiful little maps and images add to the printed delight that I held in my hands. Thank You Diana Jackson.”

Rose English ~ author

 

Author Bio:

It was a turning point in Diana Jackson’s life when she took voluntary redundancy in 2013 from her role teaching English and business studies at a local Bedfordshire college. An opportunity came for her to move with her husband to Fife, which inspired her to write this Fife Fantasy, The Healing Paths of Fife.

11224368_1370981709582746_1651197301851229801_nDiana’s first novel Riduna was published by Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie before she took back the rights and published its sequel Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home through indie publisher Eventispress; a writers’ cooperative based initially in Bedfordshire, whose aim is to publish quality books professionally. Diana has also compiled a memoir, The Life and Demise of Norman Campbell and written her first murder mystery, Murder Now and Then; two murders set 100 years apart, linked by a web of family history. All of her work, in fact, reflects Diana’s love of social history.

Diana’s dream has become reality and now she is writing and living permanently on the beautiful Fife Coast, with regular visits to Bedfordshire ~ the best of both worlds.

To find out about Diana Jackson’s writing projects, you can meet her in person at her various book signing events and talks, or say a virtual hello on her Website, or on Twitter  & Facebook

Diana’s blogs:
Diana Jackson’s Muse, Views and Reviews & A Selection of Recollections

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Where Can We Have The Party?

by Deb Hockenberry

Where Can We Have The Party

 

Cover

 
Giraffe wants to have a party for his friend, Chimpanzee. There’s one problem with this idea, though. Where can he have the party? He asks his other friends for ideas.

They all sit and think about it. Giraffe’s friends do think of some ideas and they’re great ones! But there’s another problem. For one reason or another, none of the ideas will work. Where will they have the party?

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Where Can We Have The Party?  is aimed at three to eight-year-old children.

 

Meet The Author:

MeDeb has always wanted to write for children since she was a child. She loved
making up stories for her siblings, and neighborhood kids.

She has taken a course at the CBI Clubhouse  and multiple courses from The Institute for Children’s Literature, to keep up with the ever-changing children’s market.

She is a regular contributor to her church newsletter, sending out announcements
and reminders on MailChimp, and keeping the church website updated.

In her spare time, Deb enjoys knitting, crocheting, music, movies, and reading.
She and her cat, Harry, currently reside in the inspirational mountains of Central
Pennsylvania.

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Guest Post by Deb Hockenberry:

Writing Process

All stories start with an idea. ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ came to me when I was a child and this idea never let me go.

1. Take a course in writing.

Starting in 1988, I took multiple courses from The Institute of Children’s Literature. I’m also taking an ongoing, online course from CBI Clubhouse. I wanted to learn how to write this story down properly so a publisher would accept it.

 
2. Outline. 

I did outline “Where Can We Have The Party?” I would suggest anyone who wants to try their hand at writing to do both: be a pantser. That is, just write down the story as it comes to you (this is called free writing), then do your formal outlining.

 
3. Make a book dummy.

This is time consuming, but it really helps you catch those mistakes! You do this by taking several sheets of blank notebook paper or copy paper and printing out your manuscript and fold them all in half. Don’t forget leaving pages for the title, copyright, and dedication pages! Take your manuscript and cut it how you think each page would be. It also helps you catch where your flow breaks, where your characters don’t speak or act natural, or where you forgot something. Your errors stick out like a sore thumb, then. For exact instructions on how to make a book dummy go here.

 
4. Repeat.

‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ is written for ages 3-8. You have to have a certain phrase or word and repeat it 3-4 times throughout the book. For ages younger than that, you repeat a lot more!

 
5. The Rule of Three. 

What I mean by this is after you state the problem, have the main character try three times to reach the goal and fail finally trying again and succeeding. For the age group of 3-8, you keep it simple. I did the power of three with Giraffe asking his three friends, having all of their ideas fail.

 
6. Join a critique group. 

Critique groups are so valuable giving you great feedback. They also pick up some minor problem and give you suggestions for fixing it. If your area doesn’t have a physical critique group, you can easily find one online. Go to your favorite search engine and search “children’s writers critique groups.”

 
7. Get it professionally edited. 

Before I started submitting, ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ I had it professionally edited before sending out into the world. I fully recommend getting your story or article edited. Freelance editors are just as good but much cheaper than the editors who do it for a full-time job! To find editors or freelance editors, do a search on your favorite search engine.

 
8. Let it rest. 

Put it away and do something else for a few days or whatever time you think is best, and tape record it, read it aloud, or read it to your pet (don’t laugh, it works)! This helps you to hear the mistakes.

 
9. Listen to your feelings. 

I used this story as an assignment for The Institute of Children’s Literature. I sent it in with the talking animals and they loved it. Except, that it had talking animals. They suggested re-writing it with children as main characters since publishers weren’t accepting books with talking animals. Well, I made the changes, sent it back to them, and they were thrilled with it!

Well, during that time, publishers weren’t accepting stories with talking animals. This is why ICL asked me to re-write the story with human kids. That taught me something. Always listen to your feelings when it comes to writing. That’s the story talking to you. It told me it didn’t want to have human kids for characters.

 
‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ and every other story or article I’ve written has gone through the same process.

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A-Z: Books I’ve Read

 

A-ZE is for Emotion

 

The Storm Creature

Maria Gibbs

At eighteen, Lucy had everything going for her: a supportive family, a rapt audience, and her dream of becoming a published author about to be realized.

A single moment in time on a dark, rainy road changes things forever.

That was then, but this is now. Lucy has suffered through eight years of haunting visions and thoughts with every raging storm thanks to a tempestuous storm creature who torments her. What does the baleful creature want with Lucy? Will the troubled woman ever be able to let go of the past and forgive herself?

Or will she sacrifice everything she holds dear?

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The Storm Creature: Review

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An intriguing short story that hooked me on page one and kept my attention to the end. I was glad to be able to read it in one sitting, as I didn’t want to put it down.

The descriptive, and almost poetic, writing created a creepy and tense atmosphere. It was an emotional book, with a tragic ending, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

This is the first book by Maria Gibbs that I’ve read and I’m certain it won’t be the last.

Maria Gibbs:

Author, dreamer, loves travel, crafting, speed, horse-riding & music. Finds inspiration in many things, bursting with enthusiasm…maybe too much sometimes!

 

Raining Down Rules

B.K. Rivers

Jemma Bowers hasn’t kissed anyone in over a thousand days. She knows—she’s counted.

For twenty-year-old Jemma, rules are not meant to be broken…even if she’s the one who created them. Friendships have boundaries, relationships mean trouble, and don’t even get her started on sex. Haunted by the death of her mother and her father’s abandonment, Jemma finds herself hungry for something meaningful and permanent, but is afraid of what may happen if she pursues it.

Jordan Capshaw can’t fight his addiction. Not even if it will cost him his career…

When Jemma finds Jordan drunk and barefoot in the street, she convinces him to get in her car. Aside from the fact he’s the lead singer of her favorite band and pretty much the rock star of her dreams, she quickly realizes his addiction is a monster neither of them can control.

Who knew choosing between a rock star and a fireman could be so difficult?

Emotions run high as Jemma soon finds herself caught between the troubled rock star and her growing affections for Vic Harper, a swoon-worthy firefighter from her past. But when her grandmother passes away, leaving her with no other family, Jemma’s world falls apart.

To save herself from further heartbreak, she risks it all by breaking her own rules, and putting her heart on the line.

After all, the heart just might be the biggest rule breaker of them all.

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Raining Down Rules: Review

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A fun, fast and entertaining read, with a depth of emotion I didn’t expect.

There’s an interesting cast of well-developed characters, and there’s some great chemistry between them.

The ending was unpredictable and I wondered, whilst reading, who she would choose (I was happy with her decision)!

Mainly written from Jemma and Jordans point of view, I think it’a shame we didn’t get more from Vic’s point of view as well.

B.K. Rivers:

BK Rivers grew up riding through rolling fields of grain on horseback, driving hay trucks and catching frogs in a silver creek. She traded country life for the big city when she married the love of her life, but the heart always returns to the country.

When she’s not writing, she can be found baking anything sweet, in fact it’s been said her brownies are so good they save marriages.

The inspiration for her novels comes in many forms, but mostly from her Gotye channel on Pandora. She writes young adult and new adult novels to the beat of Gotye, Snow Patrol and many others.

 

A Casualty of Grace

Lisa Brown

When ten-year-old Oliver and his younger brother are unexpectedly orphaned, they are left with nobody to care for them. A promise to his dying mother means Oliver must now step up. As the workhouse looms and the threat of being torn apart becomes painfully real, Oliver sees the offer of a good home together in distant Canada as their salvation. His fears are eased, but not for long.

After being separated from his brother, fate delivers Oliver to the Pritchard farm, where Liza Pritchard, a woman struggling with her own fractured and afflicted life, sees in Oliver the family she so desperately wants. But Oliver has to contend with her husband, an angry and violent man, and he can’t see past the terrible life he has been thrust into. Both Oliver and Liza have much to learn about faith and forgiveness, and together they embark on an emotional journey that will change each of them forever.

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A Casualty of Grace: Review

26863388This touching and emotional story follows Oliver on his journey to manhood, after losing his parents, being forcefully transported to Canada and being ‘adopted’ by a family far from his home.

It is a realistic, thoroughly researched historical fiction that flows well.

All the characters are thoughtfully developed and I felt for Oliver, Simon, Liza and even, towards the end, for the cruel and flawed, Pritchard.

I was a little disappointed with the ending, which seemed rushed and was set many years after the main story.

Lisa Brown :

Lisa Brown is an avid lover of historical fiction and genealogy. Work on her own family tree began with a desire to reach beyond her Canadian roots and learn more about herself. She is intrigued by the natural order of life, of the sometimes serendipitous and sometimes cataclysmic results of singular moments in time, and how they can echo down through the generations.

Digging into the past led to the discovery of a wealth of fascinating people, places, and events, and an insatiable desire to tell some of their stories.

 

A is for Awethor and Awethology!
B is for Blood
C is for Creepy
D is for Death

Books I Read In December 2015
Books I Read In May 2016
Books I Read in February ’17

Unicorn Cupcakes

My grand-daughter and I made unicorn cupcakes

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Five on Friday

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Five Books – Five Authors – Five Genres

Looking for a new book to read this weekend? Try one of these 5 reads!

 

View From the Sixth FloorTitle: View From the Sixth Floor
Author: Elizabeth Horton-Newton
Genre:Romantic Thriller

This romantic thriller takes a fictional “what if” look at the JFK assassination.

Suppose accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had lived to defend himself. Imagine if 50 years after the assassination someone stepped forward to reveal the truth of what happened that day. What if the assassination was a conspiracy and the impact of those revelations reached into the 21st century?

This is the story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. You’ll never look at your neighbors the same way.

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My review:

A fascinating and unique take on an unforgettable event in American history.

The book is as much a romance as it is a thriller. It’s well-written and the story ticks along at a steady pace.

The main characters of the story, Olivia and Bill, are believable and make a great couple. It was refreshing to read a book in which the protagonists were older than I am!

The book is written in the first person and after a page or two, I felt like Olivia was telling her story to me personally and from that moment on I was hooked on this interesting and enjoyable read!

 

Storm PortalTitle: Storm Portal
Series: Quantum Touch #1
Author: Michael R. Stern
Genre: Time-travel

Time travel is real, of that, Fritz was certain. He’d just done it. Meeting Robert E. Lee was fascinating, especially the way he got along with the kids. But witnessing the Triangle Fire with his class was scary. As a history teacher, his job was to teach, not participate, in events long past. And what if they hadn’t been able to get home?

Fritz Russell, an experienced and well-liked teacher at Riverboro High School, has found a portal to the past, his classroom door. But his trips didn’t happen every time. To make matters worse, he and his principal, George McAllister, walked in on the President of the United States. The portal was also a tunnel in the present. And he had no idea how it happened, how to control it, or what damage he was causing, in the future.

With his wife, Linda, and his friends, Fritz investigates the mysteries of time travel, of the portal itself, while the nation’s security apparatus gears up. Can the President help them?

Can they find the answers in time?

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My review:

Michael R. Stern brings a new twist to the concept of time travel in this fun, fast-paced and inventive read.

The quality of his writing makes it easy and exciting to read. It’s a real page-turner, with a new surprise or twist with each turn of the page.

The captivating plot isn’t overloaded with science, but takes you on a wild ride into the past and back to the present day, bringing history to life on the way.

All the characters, past and present, are fleshed out and have their own personalities. Fritz is a down to earth, nice guy who cares for his wife and his friends, is committed to his students, and struggling to understand the circumstances he has found himself in. The President is tactful and poised and responds with confidence to the unique situation, as befitting his position. Ash is intriguing, and I think there may be more to him than meets the eye.

Storm Portal is a wonderful start to the series and I am eager to read book 2, Sand Storm

 

Raising HellTitle: Raising Hell
Author: Phillip T. Stephens
Genre: Humour

A clueless optimist ruins a perfectly good hell.

Pity poor Lucifer. He rules hell with a vice grip. Demons and damned scatter at the sound of his foot steps. The Supreme Butt In hasn’t pestered him in eons. Lucifer’s future looks perfect, pitch black, until an administrative error sticks him with an innocent soul—an overweight optimist who calls himself Pilgrim and who believes he must be in hell to do good.

Lucifer never considers sending him back. He orders his subordinates to torture, degrade and humiliate Pilgrim until he promises to become evil if only it will ease the pain. Unfortunately, Pilgrim makes the best of the worst possible experiences. Always polite and well-mannered, he makes Pollyanna seem like a prophet of doom. Even worse, the damned start catching on, and set about making hell into the most enjoyable place of everlasting torment they can.

Lucifer can’t let Pilgrim continue to wreak happiness, but he can’t send him back untainted, either. When God arrives with a deadline for Pilgrim’s return, he enlists fellow fallen angels Screwtape, Azazel and the gender morphing Mephistopheles in a plot to corrupt Pilgrim’s soul before the deadline expires.

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My review:

An unusual, one-of-a-kind, laugh-out-loud road trip through Hell.

This book is unique it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before.
Phillip T. Stephens is a master of one-liners with a brilliant, albeit dark and mature, sense of humour.

It’s a descriptive, brimming with details, that make you feel as though you’re there, however, this doesn’t prevent the story from moving along at a good pace.
The characters are well-written and likeable and had me alternating between rooting for Pilgrim and feeling sorry for His Satanic Majesty Lucifer, Sovereign Lord of Hell.

I loved the names for all the different parts of hell.

 

GravitasTitle: Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone
Series: The Gravitas Series – Sybil of Valkyrie Book 1
Author: Lynne Murray
Genre: Sci-Fi

Trapped in the Forbidden Zone with no way out.

A predatory warrior is on Sybil’s trail, the one man she could never forget stands beside her and a dangerous payload of Gravitas, a powerful aphrodisiac, has been implanted in her body. Rescue is impossible, all portals are sealed. Can she protect herself, shield her hazardous cargo and find a way home before the Gravitas destroys her?

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My review:

A well-written and fast-paced adventure. I liked the plot and the humour of this easy to read book.

I enjoyed the author’s ideas on how people from other worlds and cultures may see us, and the attention to detail and witty dialogue.

The author’s take on the origin of religions on earth is unique and amusing.

The characters are interesting and memorable, and I loved that the heroine, Sybil, is a ‘well-built’ woman instead of the size zero that seems to be the norm in a lot of books as well as in society itself.

 

FreshmenTitle: Freshmen
Series: The Felix Chronicles #1
Author: R.T. Lowe
Genre: Fantasy

Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, with the help of his reality star roommate, and Allison, his friend from home, he immerses himself in the distractions of college life and gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him.

But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence; and a grassroots movement emerges from the shadows to capture the public’s imagination, its hidden agenda as revolutionary and terrifying as the man who created it. Only one man—the school’s groundskeeper—knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.

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My review:

I really enjoyed reading this book. If you like your books short and sweet, this isn’t the book for you!
I have no problems reading a good long book as it gives me something to sink my teeth into.

The Prologue is long and at first I was unable to see the connection to the story, but it all made sense as events happen and the various plot lines meet along the way.

Q. What do you get if you mix monsters attacking and eating people in a forest, a serial killer who kills teenagers, a stalker, a band of assassins and a group of college kids?
A. A damn good story!!

The book is well-paced, with vivid descriptions, and plenty of suspense and action. There are violent scenes, some of which are quite graphic. However, there is also normal college life and moments of humour.

Felix and his friends are all realistically portrayed and wonderfully fleshed out. As are The Faceman and other villains of the piece.

I was surprised and slightly disappointed to find the end of the book wasn’t the end of this complex story and I am eager to find out what the author has planned next, for Felix and his friends.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Books I Read In January 2016
Books I read in November 2015
Books I Read in September 2015

A Bookish Bookmark

Bookmark

Supplies:

  • Black/coloured felt
  • White felt
  • Black/coloured ribbon
  • Ribbon crimp
  • Seed beads / Charms

Cut 3 rectangles of felt – 1 coloured, 2 white. Lay the 2 white rectangles on the coloured one an fold all 3 in half. Stitch through all 6 layers to form the book.

(You may need to trim the ‘pages’ after they’ve been folded.)

Sew one end of the ribbon to the inside of the back cover and add the crimp to the other end

Add your charms etc. to the crimp and personalise the book cover

Redemption by Mike Schlossberg

Redemption by Mike Schlossberg

Title: Redemption
Series: The Spades Trilogy Book 1
Author: Mike Schlossberg
Genre: Sci-fi, YA
Publication Date: June 5, 2018

 

Redemption Cover from AmazonTwenty young people wake aboard the spaceship Redemption with no memory how they got there.

Asher Maddox went to sleep a college dropout with clinical depression and anxiety. He wakes one hundred sixty years in the future to assume the role as captain aboard a spaceship he knows nothing about, with a crew as in the dark as he is.

Yanked from their everyday lives, the crew learns that Earth has been ravaged by the Spades virus – a deadly disease planted by aliens. They are tasked with obtaining the vaccine that will save humanity, while forced to hide from an unidentified, but highly advanced enemy.

Half a galaxy away from Earth, the crew sets out to complete the quest against impossible odds. As the enemy draws closer, they learn to run the ship despite their own flaws and rivalries. But they have another enemy . . . time. And it’s running out.

Pre-order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

 

Author bio:

michael-schlossbergMike Schlossberg has been a writer since he wrote his first short story in eighth grade, a Star Wars fanfiction. While he claims it was terrible, the creative passion followed him into adulthood.

Serving as a State Representative in Pennsylvania, Mike has had the chance to make a difference. The problem closest to his heart is mental health, where he strives to break the stigma surrounding those who suffer from mental illnesses and give them hope. For Mike, this issue is personal, as he has been treated for depression and anxiety related disorders since he was 18. It was this desire to help which drove him to write Redemption, his first novel, but not his first book. That honor goes to Tweets and Consequences, an anthology about the varied ways elected officials have destroyed their careers via social media.

When not writing, Mike plays video games (both modern and old school), watches anything related to the Muppets (specifically Fraggle Rock!), reads, attempts to get to the gym, and calls his constituents on their birthdays.

Mike lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his wife Brenna and his two wonderful children: Auron, born in 2011, and Ayla, born in 2012.

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