5 stars for All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends!

Three cheers for Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! Their book has its first review and it’s a corker. As in, it’s 5 stars! This is what the book is about…

Can five completely different animals become friends?

Meet two dogs who befriend a moose on the train from Vancouver to Toronto. Along the way, a black bear and a grizzly join them.

Will the group overcome their differences and discover that deep down they’re all the same?

5 stars

And now for the review…

5 stars! All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! by Melanie Robertson-King is a fun adventure story for children that demonstrates that friendship means you do not make fun of others. You accept the differences and never leave anyone out. Joan Y. Edwards

All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! will be available for the kindle and kobo soon. When it is, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. Actually, Buddy will. Since he’s received this review, the little diva’s head has swollen considerably to the point there’s no living with him. 😉 And then there are the four fantastic furry friends… but that will be another blog post.

 

Launching today ~ A Paris Fairy Tale by Marie Laval! #contemporary #romance

Thank you so much, Melanie, for welcoming me on your blog on the day my latest contemporary romance, A PARIS FAIRY TALE, is published by Choc Lit.

A Paris Fairy Tale

Blurb for A PARIS FAIRY TALE

Is Paris the city of happily ever afters?

Workaholic art historian Aurora Black doesn’t have time for fairy tales or Prince Charmings, even in the most romantic city in the world. She has recently been hired by a Parisian auction house for a job that could make or break her career. Unfortunately, daredevil journalist Cédric Castel seems intent on disrupting Aurora’s routine.
As Aurora and Cédric embark on a journey across France, they get more than they bargained for as they find themselves battling rogue antiques dealers and personal demons, not to mention a growing attraction to each other.
But with the help of a fairy godmother or two, could they both find their happily ever afters?

Extract

Aurora glanced up, and met the amber gaze of a tall, dark-haired man who stood in front of her, blocking her view of the rest of the room.

He had high, sharp cheekbones, his mouth was set in a cynical smile, but it was his eyes that held her attention. They were the most fascinating colour, warm brandy with flecks of green. Immediately, the names of pigments she would need to paint them flashed into her mind – Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Verona Gold Ochre, with a touch of Cobalt Green or Malachite.

‘Castel,’ Nenachko snarled.

The newcomer ignored him and looked at Aurora, holding her captive in his intense, mesmerising scrutiny. ‘I see Nenachko lost no time in securing your services, Mademoiselle Black. I guess he needs people like you to help him plunder the museums and art galleries of Europe.’

Aurora drew in a shocked breath and snapped out of her trance. Straightening her back to make her five foot two appear taller, she pushed her glasses up and gave him the frosty look that caused her colleagues to call her ‘Black Ice’ – those who liked her, that is.

‘It’s Doctor Black, actually,’ she corrected, ‘and I do not help anyone plunder museums, nor do I condone those who do it.’ Never mind the colour of his eyes. Who was this man and how did he dare question her integrity?

He arched his dark eyebrows as if he didn’t believe her and turned to Nenachko again. ‘I hope you’re enjoying the party. There must be plenty of rich people you can swindle here tonight.’

Nenachko’s face flushed harder. ‘What are you doing here?’

‘Letting you know that I was back from my trip in the Mediterranean.’

The Russian’s blue eyes narrowed to slits. ‘Ah yes. I heard you were still on a crusade to rescue refugees. What a shame you didn’t drown… By the way, I didn’t see your name on the guest list.’

Castel shrugged. ‘That’s because it’s not.’

‘Then how did you get past security?’

‘I have my ways.’

It was like watching a verbal tennis match, Aurora thought as she glanced from one to the other. The Russian looked like a man it was dangerous to cross, but Castel, whoever he was, didn’t seem to care. Worse, he seemed to enjoy goading him into a dark rage.

Author bio

A Paris Fairy Tale

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher and in her spare time she loves writing romance and dreaming about romantic heroes.

She writes both historical and contemporary romance. Her historical romance The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global Ebook Awards 2015 (category Historical Romance), and best-selling Little Pink Taxi was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!

Her latest romantic novel  A PARIS FAIRY TALE is released on July 23rd and is available as a ebook and audiobook on Amazon and various other platforms.

You can find out more about Marie on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/marielavalauthor/)

or Twitter (https://twitter.com/MarieLaval1).

You can also find on Pinterest the many beautiful photos of Paris and illuminated manuscripts which inspired the writing of A Paris Fairy Tale (https://www.pinterest.co.uk/laval0232/)

It Happened in Gastown ~ Opening Scene

Here you have it, ladies and gents. The opening scene to Book Two in the It Happened series – It Happened in Gastown. Somewhat darker than the first in the series, but I promise along with the heavy stuff there will be sweet romance.

Out on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Nik Kalivas drove north on Cambie Street towards the Gastown Steam Clock. As they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. Something’s down there.”

It Happened in Gastown
Steam Clock on Water Street, Gastown, Vancouver

“Your imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the mouth of the narrow passage. Originally the lane was called Trounce Alley. Some maps still referred to the laneway as that. Others labelled the back street Blood Alley. Given the appearance, Hilary thought the latter was more appropriate.

Gastown
Blood Alley at Cambie Street, Gastown, Vancouver

Window down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s mirror into the alleyway. “See, beyond those dumpsters.”

“Likely just garbage.”

“Wait here; I’m going to take a closer look.”

Before exiting the car, she plucked a pair of nitrile gloves and the naloxone kit from the glove compartment. Once out, she shoved them in the pockets of her trousers. With the fingertips of her right brushing her gun holster and gripping the barrel of the torch in her left, she sidled towards the object. Graffiti tags covered the walls of the buildings as well as the wooden hydro poles. The further into the confined space she crept, the hairs on the nape of her neck bristled beneath the bun in which she styled her black hair. Whatever was down there, it wasn’t rubbish as Nik said. The pong of stale urine made her eyes water.

Past the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall. Dishevelled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of skunk spray seem mild. At first glance, he appeared dead. His skin had a bluish tinge, and weeping sores dotted his face. Dark circles surrounded his eyes. Inching forward, Hilary squatted beside him. A blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Flashlight held under her chin; she donned the synthetic rubber gloves she brought with her and felt his neck for a pulse. The rhythmic pulse beneath her fingertips was barely discernible.

The naloxone. The kit had been made available to officers who wanted it. Nik was against carrying the opioid blocker in the cruiser, but Hilary persuaded him. Now was the time to use it. She took the package out of her other trouser pocket, peeled it open and placed the nozzle in the victim’s left nostril and pressed the plunger.

She keyed the mic on her handset and started to speak. “Constable Dunbar.” As if on cue the nearby Steam Clock began whistling. No sense in trying to outperform the thing. Wait until it finished its proclamation of the top of the hour. Soon relative quiet returned and Hilary tried again. “Constable Dunbar. Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie Street. Suspected drug overdose. Have administered four milligrams of Narcan nasal spray. No response as of yet.”

By now, Nik had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

The wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.

Hilary stood back, letting them do their jobs. “I gave him Narcan,” she said, handing the spent plastic bottle to one of them.

“He’s alive … just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run tests on it at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”

Coming soon! A children’s picture book

Here it is, the gorgeous cover for my

children’s picture book!

children's picture book illustrated book

What’s this children’s picture book about you ask?

Well, let me tell you.

Can five completely different animals become friends?

Meet two dogs who befriend a moose on the train from Vancouver to Toronto. Along the way,  two bears – a black bear and a grizzly – join them.

Will the group overcome their differences and discover that deep down they’re all the same?

You can read how the book came to be here.

I’m thrilled with the job Aria Jones did on the illustrations. I found her on Fiverr and would use her again.

I’m waiting for quotes from two area printers. Given the fact, I’d prefer to use ‘local’ companies; I’ve requested quotes from two of them. One did the original print run of Tim’s Magic Christmas. The other is new to me but within walking distance of my house, which makes it great for picking up the finished product. The colour pictures will drive the cost up, but you can’t have a picture book without them, and black and white images aren’t going to do it.

When the buy links are available, I’ll post them here. I’ll also post regular updates on my Facebook author page as to the book’s progress.

Most Saturday’s during the summer, you’ll find me at the Brockville Farmers’ Market. As soon as the print edition is available, I’ll be there with it. You’ll find me on the east side of Market Street West next to city hall.

 

 

 

All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends!

We started with two travelling companions – Buddy the Dachshund and Seaumus the Scottish Terrier. I know that’s not the traditional spelling for Seaumus, but there is a reason for that which I will reveal at a later date (and in another book).

While it’s not the book I planned on releasing by the end of the year, this one spoke to me on our recent trip to Vancouver and back on VIA Rail’s Canadian. Four days and four nights on the train in each direction.

 

Buddy

Here are the boys looking out the window in the dome car on our way to Vancouver.

It wasn’t until the return trip that we added to our little “family.” The first addition was Butterscotch the moose. She’s VIA’s little travel buddy. One of the employees on the train had one with her in the Park car, and I fell in love with it. Suffice it to say; it wasn’t long until the golden-brown moose became one of us.

At our stop in Jasper, we picked up two more ‘kids.’ This time bears joined the group. Jasper (aptly named considering where we picked him up), the black bear, and Banff the brown one who is quite likely a grizzly bear, given his colour.

 

Buddy

All five are in the window of the Park car watching the world go by.

One morning when we returned to our cabin after breakfast, as usual, the bed was put away, and the room back in its ‘daytime’ configuration, and all five of the ‘kiddies’ were arranged on the sofa.

Buddy

This note from Hollie, in our Prestige Travel Journal, was on our coffee table.

It was late when we arrived in Edmonton, like about four hours late. We put the kids to bed and got off the train for a breath of fresh air long enough to take this picture of them looking out the window. I think they’re looking worried, especially Buddy.

Buddy

We left them on their own again one more time when we arrived in Saskatoon.

Overall, they behaved well, although Hollie had to put Jasper and Banff on a time-out once.

A children’s picture book was never in the plan when we first booked the train trip earlier this year. Even on the way to Vancouver, it never crossed my mind. I planned to work on my novella, the second book in the ‘It Happened’ series set in the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver.

At some point on the way home, the light went on, and in the space of one afternoon, I had the children’s book plotted and partially written. That, in itself, was quite the feat as we were hurtling across the prairies at breakneck speed at the time. Wendy H. Jones, I salute you for being able to write on the train. I could tune out the people around me, but trying to type and keep my MacBook Air from escaping from me was easier said than done.

If all goes to plan, by the end of this year, yes 2019, I’ll have an illustrated children’s book featuring the five stuffed animals which came home from Vancouver with me on the train. I’ve contracted the gal who is going to do the artwork for me through Fiverr. Her name is Aria Jones. I’m impressed with her work.  I know the size and format I want for the print version, so it’s a matter of adding the illustrations and finding a printer. I know, sometimes that’ s easier said than done.

The plan for this year also includes having Book Two of the It Happened series published. That means, head down, bum in chair, and fingers burning up the keyboard.

 

 

And the winner is…

My recent guest, Dr. Bob Rich kindly offered an electronic version of one of my books to one randomly chosen person who commented within 2 weeks after the interview went live.

Today, I get the honour of announcing the winner.

Three people left comments during the giveaway period – Joan E. Edwards, Max Overton, and Dorothy.

The names were put in a hat and the winner was drawn by my esteemed spouse.

And the winner is… Drum roll, please…

Joan E. Edwards

The titles you can choose from are available at Bob’s Booklist.

Congratulations, Joan!

Honouring those who went before us…

I debated writing this post for quite some time as I didn’t want people to think I was looking for sympathy. However; honouring the fiftieth anniversary of my father’s death seemed the right thing to do. It’s hard to believe fifty years have passed since his death.

honouring

My dad was fifty-five when he died. I was twelve. Not many people can say they remember someone who has been gone for so long or the things they did together like waiting for the Queen and the Royal Yacht Britannia to pass by our house when we lived in a winterized cottage along the St. Lawrence River.

honouring

Or like going golfing at the local Highland Golf course with my father and cousin, Ricky, to caddy. Mostly, to hitch a ride on the bag strapped to the pull cart. One time, my dad asked me to get a specific club out for him. I refused. I didn’t want him to know I didn’t know what club was what. Back in the day, it was a nine-hole course. Now it’s eighteen! I wonder what my dad would think of that?

honouring

Or watching him play soccer at Fulford Park in town. He’s in the centre of the front row. He played for years before I was born and there are pictures of him in his football kit at out of town locations in the box of photos I have.

Walking the B&W rail line from Elbe Road near my grandmother’s house to the falls to cut pussy willows. The waterfall was raging at this time of year.

My father was a Home Child who came to Canada through the auspices of the Orphan Homes of Scotland. One of the things he talked about frequently was that train whistles made him lonesome. There was a rail line that ran behind Quarriers Village between the River Gryffe and the A761 trunk road.

The railway line is long since dismantled, and it’s now a paved walking/cycling trail.

But I digress. After landing at Halifax, he came to Brockville by train to the Fairknowe forwarding home. So, lots of train whistles to hear and remind him of home.

I have many more memories, but I’ll save them for another blog post.

 

Direct from Australia, please welcome Dr. Bob Rich! #author #giveaway

Hi, Bob. Welcome to Celtic Connexions. I’ve had a nosey around your website and blog to get a better insight into the man who is Bob Rich. You have your fingers in many pies, as they say. Author, psychologist, environmentalist.

Thank you, Melanie, for the honor of having me here. I promise to behave as well as I can, which is usually not very good.

There is something funny about “psychologist.” In Australia, this is a registered term. I would be breaking the law if I referred to myself as a psychologist, even as in “retired psychologist.” Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not collect $200. 🙂  So, I have to be careful and say something like, “Bob Rich has a Ph.D. in psychology and 22 years’ experience in psychological counseling.”

While as Bob Rich I have no Celtic connections at all, I have actually been an Irishman who was transported to New South Wales (what later became Australia) for the term of his natural life. If that sounds odd, you have to read the story of my life, Ascending Spiral.

I met Bob recently, after he left a comment on my blog interview of our mutual (but virtual) friend, Joan Y. Edwards.

What compelled you to start writing? I use that phrase because as writers, we’re driven to do it.

I’ve always been buzzing with ideas, but never knew I was a writer until 1980. I enjoyed distance running, and as the miles passed, I sort of meditated, without thought, but at the same time all sorts of things cooked in the background. In school and university, that’s how I dealt with essays and assignments: read the question, go for a run, have the answer all ready and hardly needing any revision. Often, though, what cooked was some story or monologue or a new way of looking at something. I didn’t share these with anyone — who could possibly be interested in MY ravings — but many years later, these ancient thoughts were the kernels of some of my best stories.

I did scientific research in exactly the same way. I still didn’t know I was a writer, but my reports were actually readable. Then I retired for the first time at 35 years of age, and started building an adobe house, with my own hands, not by hiring Experts. I even invented a new way of making the bricks. One day, the local kids were playing a boys vs. girls soccer game, and needed one more male. They kidnapped me, and who was I to argue? I went, muddy boots and all, slipped, and tore a cartilage in my knee. Let me tell you, this is not a good idea. So, there I was in hospital, with nothing to do. I borrowed the office typewriter (you know, one of those ancient things with wire levers, worked entirely with biological power), and wrote an article about my new way of making adobe bricks for Earth Garden magazine.

I’m still writing for them, 39 years later. My articles resulted in my first book, The Earth Garden Building Book. This came out in 1986. The 4th edition finally went out of print in February 2018. During that time it sold hundreds of thousands of copies. This was because although it was well-researched nonfiction, it was also fun to read.

Then I decided to train as a nurse. This meant staying in a nurses’ home. Being surrounded by gorgeous 18-year-olds, I had the choice of making a fool of myself or of doing something useful with my time. So, I tried my hand at short stories. The first one won second prize in a contest, and I’ve been writing fiction since.

Your books have a spiritual side to them, as in goodness prevails in the end. Can you tell us more about this underlying thread that brings the books and characters to life?

Melanie, that’s an astute observation. It is certainly true of the stories I’ve written this century, but it wasn’t always so. Look, until about 15 years ago, if an insect annoyed me, I killed it. I simply can’t do that anymore. I’ll either put up with them, or catch them and take them outside.

My novel, Ascending Spiral is actually my life story, fictionalized to protect the guilty. The hero, Pip, faces all the life experiences I did, but handles them the way I wish I had at the time. This is a valuable form of therapy, as I describe in my latest book, From Depression to Contentment. Because I had significant past life recalls, Ascending Spiral is the story of several lives as experienced by the same spirit (me/Pip). And I learned a lot of things about myself, including that, as Dermot, an Irishman born in 1780, I became a bully. I have no doubt that being on the receiving end for the first 20-odd years of my life was paying fair restitution. So, from my childhood on, I have always hated bullying victimization, exploitation. As a youngster, my response was to belt up the bully. As I grew, this changed to leading the bully to a better way of being.

So, my early novels, and short stories, and my award-winning biography, Anikó: The stranger who loved me celebrate the ability of the downtrodden in overcoming those with power. I have a collection of 26 short stories with the title Striking Back from Down Under. But my first novel to win a first prize, Sleeper, Awake has no villains. There is plenty of tension and conflict, but no nastiness. And, as you note, the books since have the theme of leading people to spiritual growth. This is true of my two recent novels, Guardian Angel and Hit and Run and also of my self-help book, From Depression to Contentment.

Where do your ideas come from?

To some extent, I’ve already answered this question, but if you have time for a few laughs, you might want to read one of my monthly essays on writing at Bobbing Around. There I introduce you to Little Bob, who lives inside my head, and does the actual work.

I mentioned in my introduction you’re an environmentalist. I’m not talking tree-hugging extreme, but you care about climate change and the effects it’s having on the earth. What have you done to create a ‘carbon-neutral’ or as near to as possible in your home and community?

Melanie, there are only two kinds of humans on this planet: Greenies and Suicides. I am a Professional Grandfather. Every person under about 25 qualifies as my grandchild; they only need to apply. I want a survivable future for them, and a future worth surviving in.

In the 1970s, I joined a recently established rural cooperative. Working for a sustainable future was an explicit part of what we were about. This cooperative is still vigorous. I’m still a member, although too many injuries have forced me and my wife to move closer to shops and doctors and things.

One of my mottoes is “Live simply, so you may simply live.” In 2001, I described how I do that, and why, in a speech, Saving Money — and Saving the Future. It even has a handout on what to do to reduce your personal footprint, and the first item is: get rid of your TV.

My electricity bill shows that my daily consumption is about one-tenth of that of my neighborhood. And of course we have solar on the roof. I am a member of a local group with the aim of making our little town 100% carbon neutral, and also a member of a political party with environmental sustainability as its major aim, the Australian Greens.

The trick is to have philosophy come before a list of recipes for action. This philosophy is, “Only two things matter in life: what you take with you when you die, and what you leave behind in the hearts of others. Everything else is Monopoly money.” Let go of stuff, and you won’t be stuffing up our lovely planet.

As a writer, there is always something percolating in the grey matter, whether it’s for the work-in-progress or ideas for future projects. How do you keep track of them?

Sometimes, I carry an idea around for years before doing something with it. Often, something around me leads to a concept, and I record it in a file, which goes into a folder in my computer. I occasionally inspect these, and one might take off.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write? I’m talking bum in chair and fingers on the keyboard (or pen to paper even).

Paper? PAPER? Not while paper is minced trees. In a sane world, paper would be recycled rags, agricultural waste like straw, or harvestable plants like bamboo.

I think on the keyboard, and my favourite time is whenever the world lets me. Before I retired the last (5th) time, this may have been ten-minute spans between clients, or between getting home and “Dinner is on the table, darling!” Now, life is far freer, and I have more time.

Today, I helped to run a solar energy workshop in the morning, then instead of writing worked on my answers to you, then a nice lady from a newspaper came to interview me about that community I mentioned, and if I wasn’t still answering your questions, I’d be writing.

But then, answering questions from lovely people is just as creative. The current children of my mind can wait.

Of your 18 books to date, do you have a favourite?

I don’t like playing favourites among my children. It is always the last project I’ve finished.

What’s next for Bob Rich?

Since early 2015, I’ve had an on and off and on again project, the Doom Healer series. Four books are complete, and I’ve submitted the first to a publisher. I am working on the 5th and probably final volume. This one is fun. Twelve humans have invaded a planet in another Universe, in order to help this Universe to grow up and become enlightened. Only, this planet, Magog, has 26 billion people of the dominant species, who are genetically cannibals, and where punishment for any crime is to have the victim torture you to death as slowly as possible (then eat you).

My twelve “special children” are doing well. You can read the start of this volume here: The Doom Healer part 5.

And what’s next after writing this is to once more thank you. I welcome comments, and am happy to offer an electronic version of one of my books to one randomly chosen person who comments before [2 weeks after the interview goes online]. You can inspect the list of books at Bob’s Booklist.

Here is one of my standard wishes, to you and our visitors:

May you live in contentment.
May you be healthy.
May you rise to your challenges.
And above all, may you grow spiritually.

About Bob

Bob Rich lives inside his computer. Everything outside of that, including you, is an illusion. This is just as well. In the outside world, there is a lot of suffering, and wars, conflict, terrible stuff. In the reality of his computer, you’ll find the same things, only there are solutions that work, so it’s a much nicer place to be.
Bob has been magically inhabiting his private world for a long time, and has written regular reports, some of which are disguised as short stories, others as novels. You can find out about them, and more about him, at his blog, Bobbing Around.
Naturally, you can’t believe anything he says, because he is a storyteller.
The picture shows Bob leaning against one of his favorite people.
Bob
You can follow Bob at the following links:
Writing showcase http://bobswriting.com
Environmental site  http://mudsmith.net
Newsletter archives with lots of good stuff http://mudsmith.net/bobbing.html

 

Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. It’s been a pleasure hosting you here, today. Don’t forget the giveaway for your chance to win an electronic copy of one of Bob’s books!

 

 

 

Please welcome Katherine and Jared from YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS

Today, I have the pleasure of not just one guest in the “hot seat” for a fireside chat, but two. Katherine Murphy-Whithorn and Jared Martin, from Melanie Robertson-King’s novel, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS, are with me here today.

Can you tell us a bit about YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS?

Katherine: Unbeknownst to me, I have a stalker. I thought he was just a poor homeless bloke, plenty of them in Aberdeen, so never paid much attention to him.  That’s it. In a nutshell, it’s a psychological, romantic suspense, thriller.

I understand you met under somewhat unusual circumstances. What can you tell us about that?

Jared: I still have the mark on the top of my foot where she rammed a spike heel down on me. *chuckles*

Katherine: It wasn’t that bad. * swats playfully at his arm* I was looking at CDs in HMV and backed up to move away from the bin. I didn’t know Jared was behind me and I trod on his foot. He’s never let me forget it.

I imagine it was rather painful at the time.

Jared: If she’d been half an inch closer to my toes, she would have hit the steel cap in my work boots, and I wouldn’t have felt a thing. *winks at Kat*

What do you do for a living?

Katherine: I own a bookstore on Exchequer Row – As the Pages Turn – you might have heard of it? *far away look crosses her face*

Jared: I work offshore on the Alba Ecosse platform.

After a long time apart, you recently found each other again. How?

Katherine: I had sent my part-timer, Melissa, up to the corner of Shiprow and Union Street to collect the new chalkboard sign, so it didn’t get nicked like the old one. I advertise our shop up there because of the increased foot traffic.

Jared: I happened along, onshore for a few weeks, and saw her struggling with it, so I offered to carry it for her.

Back up one second. Katherine, you just said you advertise our shop. Earlier you said you owned.

Katherine: *takes a deep breath* My husband, and I started the business before he was killed in the London Bombings when he was off on a book buying trip.

I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m sorry for your loss. *leans over and rubs the back of Katherine’s left hand*

Jared, before I interrupted you, you were saying?

Yeah. I picked up the sign and carried it down the street and into the shop. Poor kid never have managed on her own. It’s a heavy sucker.

Katherine: You could have knocked me over with a feather I was so gobsmacked to hear Jared’s voice and see his face. I didn’t think I would ever see him again.

If you don’t mind me asking, how did you fall apart in the beginning?

Katherine: My father was high up in the Royal Bank of Scotland. My parents didn’t approve of mine and Jared’s relationship, so when the chance came to get me away from Aberdeen, he accepted the position in Canada. They dragged me off kicking and screaming.

Jared: Didn’t approve was an understatement. Back then, I was living in a grotty bedsit trying to work my way through school. Not only was I from the wrong side of Aberdeen, I was from the wrong side of the border.

I thought I detected an English accent. What part of England?

Jared: North Yorkshire.

Recently, Melanie redesigned the cover of the book. Can you show us?

Katherine: *brings up the image on her iPad*  This one is different from the print version. While it was beautiful, it didn’t quite pull off the theme of the book – the psychological thriller aspect. This new design says it so much better.

Katherine
Yes, it is quite a powerful image.

Fire and blood are both red, making it associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. It’s also an emotionally intense colour.

In contrast, the hint of yellow reveals freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honour, loyalty, and joy, but also cowardice and deceit.

Melanie’s name in stand-alone white on red grabs the reader. The relationship of colours works well together. This book is going to the top of my TBR list.

Did I hear the book is nominated for an award?

Katherine: The 2019 Reader’s Choice Award in the thriller category. Reader’s Choice Awards in the thriller category which you’ll find on page 9. I’d love it if you voted for this book. It is a cracker.

The trailer for it is amazing. Do you think your readers would like to watch?

Blurb

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled, but as their second-chance-relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal? Is fate still not done its dirty deeds?

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

Where can YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS be purchased?

amazon

kobo


Books a Million


Barnes and Noble (print & nook)

iBooks

Diesel

Thank you, Katherine and Jared, for stopping by Celtic Connexions. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you.
Thanks for stopping by everyone. I hope you enjoyed the second in what I hope will be a number of fireside chats with characters from Melanie’s books.

Warm welcome to Joan Y. Edwards, author, illustrator and motivational speaker

It’s my great pleasure to welcome author, illustrator, and motivational speaker Joan Y. Edwards to Celtic Connexions.

joan y. edwards

I’m dying to know, when were you first bitten by the writing bug?

When I was five years old, My parents bought the 12 book collection called MY BOOK HOUSE edited by Olive Beaupre Miller and a Grimm’s Fairy Tales Book. Mother read me stories. Babysitters told me stories. I made up stories. I started reading these stories at four years old. I made up a folktale about a little duck, Flip Flap Floodle, who never gives up on his song. I told it to everyone who would listen: my sister, my baby brother in the crib, my cousins, and neighbours.

Flip Flap Floodle came to fruition. Can you tell us about it?

In 1967, when I was married and expecting my first child, I wrote the story down I tried for many years to get publishers to publish this book, but it didn’t happen. When I retired from teaching in 1998, I promised myself that I would illustrate Flip Flap Floodle and publish it in five years if no one said, “Yes. We will publish your book.”  So, in 2004, I self-published Flip Flap Floodle.

Flip Flap Floodle is a little duck who is on his way to play a song on his new flute for his grandmother. His mother warns him to watch out for Mr. Fox. Flip believes his song will keep him safe from Mr. Fox. However, when Mr. Fox doesn’t even like his song, Flip finds himself in deep trouble.

joan y. edwards

What prompted you to write your elder care guide?

When I started taking care of my Mother in 1995, there were no books and the only local resource was Social Services in the county where we lived in North Carolina. I learned through personal experience that the most essential thing for a caregiver is to have time away from caregiving responsibility. With that, it is doubly essential to leave plans for the person taking your place. They must know what the usual routine is and what your elder can and cannot do. Before Mother died in 2009, I thought maybe other people would like to have resources to help them take care of their elder and take care of themselves, too.

joan y. edwards

Was it difficult to make the jump from writing a picture book to a non-fiction guide for adults?

Going from 1,000 words to more than 150,000 words was very different. There were many subjects and many words and many ways to organize them.  Karen Cioffi-Ventrice, the second-editor 4RV Publishing assigned to me, helped me immensely with organizing it into a very helpful resource for caregivers.

Are you working on a book now? Can you tell us about it?

I am working on the second of a series of three Gospel-based crossword puzzles books to use with Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, or Home Bible Study. I am working on the illustrations for a chapter book, Larry, the Terrifying Turkey. I am reformatting a screenplay comedy, The Perfect Couple.

What advice do you have for writers beginning their author journe

My advice for beginning writers:

Read 100 books in your favourite genre.
Make note of your 10 favourite first lines.
Make note of your 10 favourite ending paragraphs.
Make note of 10 of the best setups and payoffs authors used to create a need for change in the main character.

In September 2018, I published the first of three Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzle books to use with Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, or Home Bible Study.

Anything else you care to share about Joan Y. Edwards that isn’t already included in your bio?

I worked one year and two summers for the Department of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. to earn money to pay my tuition for my last 3 years of college. I had a job as a typist. My boss, Lt. Col. Solossi, said you aren’t sweet enough to call you, “Sugar.” You’re not sour enough to call you, “Sour.” You are a little spicy, so we’ll call you, “Ginger.”

I received the Best Character Actress at Western Carolina University in 1961 for my role as Mommy in the Sandbox by Edward Albee.

Joan Y. Edwards is a motivational speaker, author, and illustrator who informs, inspires, and helps others to laugh and never give up. Her blog, joanyedwards.com/ has more than 521,000 views. She is the author of three books: Flip Flap Floodle, Joan’s Elder Care Guide and 80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B

Edwards has a Master of Arts in Education. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Charlotte Writers Club. She and her husband, Carl enjoy humorous mysteries, like Columbo and Monk. They love being with family and friends at home, in the mountains, and on the beach.

I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Joan’s Elder Care Guide. This is my review.

Must have resource!

An invaluable resource for anyone who finds themselves looking after an elder. I wish it were available when I looked after my mother. While specifically written for a US audience, the same principles apply anywhere, maybe even some of the organizations exist in other countries – just under a different name.

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King