Category Archives: Awards

Grumpies On Board by Carol E Wyer ~ BOOK PROMO






Grumpies On Board

Genre: humour, non-fiction

Release Date: 21st May 2105

Publisher: Safkhet

A “book it” list like no other, with humorous suggestions for extreme active ageing trips and why grumpies should not go snuffle trunting

Fancy a holiday with a difference? Then pack your bags and get ready for some extreme active ageing. Us ‘older’ folk are heading away from the traditional hotel holiday and at last, having fun!

This humorous guide, compiled by Mr and Mrs Grumpy, offers alternatives to the usual holiday—from sensible to outrageous—to suit every grumpy guts.

Learn about Arctic boot camps, ayurvedic retreats, drumming holidays, ice blokarting, motoring experiences, skijorking, tubing, Vespa excursions, voodoo trips and discover why Mr Grumpy will never go truffle hunting again.

With over 300 suggestions of how to get the best out of your vacation and live life to the maximum, this book aims to inspire and entertain.

Read it and put some choices on your “book it” list. After all, you only live once!

“An excellently researched insight into the world of the truly grumpy traveller. Youngsters beware..!” Nigel Vardy AKA Mr. Frostbite. Record breaking mountaineer, author and inspirational speaker.







Carol E. Wyer was born in Munster, Germany in 1960. She began her working life in Casablanca where she taught English and French in Language Schools and for companies. used to race around the streets on a clapped out VéloSoleX bike, avoiding donkeys. She changed career to become a fitness instructor in her forties and appeared in Zest magazine as a ‘success story’. No longer able to touch her toes with her hands, she has now become a full-time writer. Having written a series of educational yet amusing books for children, she turned her attention to the adult market in 2010 when her son flew from the nest.

Her first two novels Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and Surfing in Stilettos won several awards for humour and much attention from the media. Since then, she has won the people’s Book Prize Award with Grumpy Old Menopause and has appeared on over fifty BBC radio stations, several international radio stations, Sky News, NBC television and BBC Breakfast television discussing age-related subjects such as ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Grumpy Old Menopause’. Her writing style has been described frequently by the media as ‘witty’ or ‘humorous’ and has even been compared to the acerbic wit of Jeremy Clarkson and the humour of Robin Williams.

Carol has written articles for and featured in several national women’s magazines including Take A Break, Choice, Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Own who also wrote about her journey to becoming a best-selling author.

Currently writing a series of novels and articles aimed at the ‘older’ woman and man, Carol is also engaged in writing by-line articles and posts for magazines and websites including Silver Travel Advisor and the Huffington Post.

Carol is also a regular Loud Mouth on BBC Radio Derby.

Last year, she took a crash course in stand-up comedy and is currently doing a comedy tour entitled Smile While You Still have Teeth to sell-out audiences, proving you’re never too old to try a new experience.

Safkhet Publishing:






Member of Romantic Novelists Association:





1st Prize – copy of the book (uk winner a signed paperback / non UK an ecopy)


2nd Prize – Grumpy old git / cow travel mug


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Very Inspiring Blogger Award

The rules for accepting this award are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and link to their blog.
  2. Display the award logo.
  3. Nominate at least 15 other blogs (more or less) and provide a link where they may be found.
  4. Then, go to their blog, leave a comment to let them know they have been nominated, and where to find the information they need to accept (rules).
  5. Mention three things that inspired you the most during the past few weeks.

I’d like to thank Beverly Stowe McClure for nominating me. Beverly blogs at The Story of a Writer.

Three things that inspired me during the past few weeks:

  1.  Friends/family. No matter what’s going on in their lives, they’re always there with a word of encouragement and some hugs (real or virtual.
  2.  Travelling. My last trip was before Christmas but places new fill me with ideas for stories. Now to get the rest of the inspiration and get said stories onto paper.
  3.  Snow scenes. I might grumble about driving in the snow, but on a sunny day there’s nothing more beautiful than looking out at the carpet of white and seeing the sun glint off the flakes and making them sparkle.

There are so many bloggers that inspire me. So without further ado, my nominees for The Very Inspiring Blogger Awards are:

  1. Posts by Dayna Blog – Dayna Leigh Cheser
  2. Linn B Halton (founder of Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine
  3. Poignant Modern fiction – Sheryl Browne
  4. Miriam’s Ramblings – Miriam Wakerly
  5. Chris Longmuir, Crime Writer – Chris Longmuir
  6. Gina Dickerson
  7. Confessions of a Romance Novelist –Danielle
  8. Linda Gillard
  9. Between the Lines – Ali Bacon
  10. Reading and Writing – Rosemary Gemmell

Yes, it says 15 blogs (more or less) so I’m opting for less.

COVER REVEAL – Star of the Team by Beverly Stowe McClure

I’m thrilled to be a part of fellow 4RV Publishing author, Beverly Stowe McClure’s cover reveal for her newest YA novel (January 2014 release date) – Star of the Team.

star of the team

A girl.
A dream.
An accident.
A dream shattered.

Ten-year-old Kate Taylor dreams of being the star of her basketball team, Angels. When Kate’s tooth is knocked out at one of the games, and her mother, who is also her coach, says she can’t play until the tooth the dentist replants heals, Kate’s dreams are in jeopardy. Add Emily, the new girl at school who claims she’s the best, and Kate faces a challenge to prove that she is the star.

Will Kate succeed? Or will Emily ruin Kate’s plans?

Short summary of Book:

Ten-year-old Kate Taylor wants to be the star of her basketball team, Angels, but when her tooth is knocked out at one of the games, her goal is in jeopardy. Even though the dentist replants the tooth, her mother, who is also her coach, refuses to let Kate play unless she can come up with a way to protect the tooth.

With the encouragement of her friends and teammates, Kate tries everything. She asks her sister, Zoe, how her boyfriend, Ray, protects his teeth when playing football. Zoe is clueless. Kate wears her friend Simon’s catcher’s mask to practice, but it’s too big and blocks her view of the goal. Kate stuffs cotton balls in her mouth and thinks she’s swallowed one. Nothing works.

To add to Kate’s problems, Emily, the new girl at River Bend Elementary, is great at basketball. Kate worries Emily will be the star of the team. On top of that, Simon, the school brain, as well as klutz, says he plans to join the Angels, even though boys are not allowed.

In the final game of the season, Kate faces a decision that will not only decide who wins the game, but whether she’s star of the team or not.

Publisher: 4RV Publishing


Author’s Bio:
Beverly Stowe McClureBeverly Stowe McClure is the author of picture books, early readers, middle grade and teen novels. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, both national and North Texas. A fourth generation Texan, she lives in the country with two cats, and a variety of wild critters.





Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll is now open

Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll for 2013 is now open

Once again my publisher – 4RV Publishing – is nominated in the Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll in a number of categories. Voting is easy. Click on the link beside each category listed below, select the 4RV title/author/artist etc., then scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your name and email address. And to confirm you’re not a spammer, enter the author’s name in the box beside the thumbnail of the book cover that’s there. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a link in it. Simply click on it to confirm your vote. (My debut novel, A Shadow in the Past, finished 3rd in its category in the 2012 P&E Readers’ Poll.)

4RV Publishing is nomininated in the following Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll categories:

Other novels:

A Wandering Warrior by Harry Gilleland –

Young Adult novels:

Taking the High Ground by Amy Alessio

Children’s books:

I Like Pink by Vivian Zabel

Book/eBook cover art:

A Wandering Warrior Aidana WillowRaven (Aidana did the gorgeous cover for A Shadow in the Past)


Vivian Zabel

Print/electronic book Publisher:

4RV Publishing


Ginger Nielson

Print/eBook editor:

Carla Ralston Carla was my editor for A Shadow in the Past and we had a great editor/author relationship.


4RV Publishing

It would be great to see 4RV finish first in each category but in order for that to happen, they need your votes. Only one vote per category, too. The Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll closes January 14, so don’t delay.


The SHINE ON Award: 7 Random Things About Me

Melanie Robertson-King is the proud recipient of the prestigious SHINE ON Award in the ‘books involving her Celtic connections’ category.

Shine On AwardI’ve been nominated for the SHINE ON award! In order to accept the honour bestowed upon me by fellow Ottawa Romance Writer, Maureen Fisher, I have to share seven random bits of information about me with you – my readers.

So without further ado,

  1. Like my nominator, I’m an only child but both my parents came from large families. My mother was one of eight children and my father was one of twenty (his father was married twice and had 10 children with each wife).
  2. I’m a first generation Canadian. My father came to Canada as a Home Child through the Orphan Homes of Scotland.
  3. Not much of a surprise, but I love Scotland and all things Scottish and travel to the ‘auld country’ as often as possible, most recently this past August. I’m rather partial to a certain 18 year old Glenlivet single malt whisky and love haggis.
  4. I’ve never lived any further away from Brockville than 15 miles. Before I started school, I lived in a winterized cottage on the shore of the St. Lawrence River.
  5. I have a background in Computer Programming and work in payroll for an Eastern Ontario trucking company.
  6. I’ve been a story-teller since I was a kid. My cousins and I would gather in the woodshed at my grandmother’s in the dark and scare each other silly with ghost stories.
  7. I can live without chocolate. Yup, you read that right. If I have it fine and if I don’t, well that’s fine, too. Doesn’t say much for someone who writes romance.

The SHINE ON award is one that keeps on giving, so now it’s my turn to nominate the following worthy authors:

Nicky Wells – the ultimate Rock Star author who writes Romance that Rocks Your World

Janice Horton – Scottish Author who writes Contemporary fiction with humour and heart

Joanna Lambert – who writes Stories Written with Passion & Inspired by Music

And, you can read Maureen’s SHINE ON post here.



Book Review: Missing Believed Dead by Chris Longmuir

Book Review

To celebrate Chris Longmuir’s paperback launch of MISSING BELIEVED DEAD at Waterstones, Dundee, I’m posting my book review of this latest book in her Dundee Crime Series here today.



Missing children! Internet predators! Dead bodies!

She crossed his arms over his chest, and placed the jade beads in his eyes. ‘To remind you of me,’ she said.

Jade was 13 when she disappeared, five years ago, and DS Bill Murphy suspects someone from her family is responsible for recent Dundee murders. But is it her mother, Diane, who now suffers from OCD? Or Emma, her twin sister, who was catatonic for a year after Jade’s disappearance. Or Jade’s brother, Ryan, who enjoys dressing in women’s clothes and is going through a sexuality crisis, unsure whether or not he is gay.

What happened to Jade? Is she alive or dead? Or has she returned to wreak a terrible revenge on all male predators?

My Review

Thrilling read that kept me turning the pages!

Chris Longmuir has done it again. In this chapter of her Dundee Crime Series, we travel into the seedy world of Internet predators. DS Bill Murphy has to solve the case of missing girls who have disappeared after being on Internet chat rooms. Will he find them in time? Or are they already dead? In true Longmuir fashion, you never really know who the suspect is and just when you think you’ve figured it out, she twists the plot yet again leaving you with that ‘I was so sure I had it’ feeling.

Missing Believed Dead is a must read for anyone who likes dark, gritty crime.

Author Bio

Chris LongmuirChris Longmuir was born in Wiltshire and now lives in Angus. Her family moved to Scotland when she was two. After leaving school at fifteen, Chris worked in shops, offices, mills and factories, and was a bus conductor for a spell, before working as a social worker for Angus Council (latterly serving as Assistant Principal Officer for Adoption and Fostering).

Chris is an award winning novelist and has published three novels in her Dundee Crime Series. Night Watcher, the first book in the series, won the Scottish Association of Writers’ Pitlochry Award, and the sequel, Dead Wood, won the Dundee International Book Prize, as well as the Pitlochry Award. Missing Believed Dead is the third book in the series.

Her crime novels are set in Dundee, Scotland, and have been described as scary, atmospheric, page turners. Chris also writes historical sagas, short stories and historical articles which have been published in America and Britain. Writing is like an addiction to me, Chris says, I go into withdrawals without it. She is currently working on a further 2 crime novels.

Chris is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers Association and the Scottish Association of Writers. She designed her own website and confesses to being a techno-geek who builds computers in her spare time.



Blog: Chris Longmuir, Crime Writer

Amazon Author Page: Amazon author page UK

Amazon Author Page: Amazon author page US


Interview with Vivian Zabel, Founder/Owner of 4RV Publishing

Fellow 4RV author, Holly Jahangiri, recently interviewed Vivian Zabel. They chatted about the company and the exciting PUSH It Forward Contest that Staples is running in support of small business.

You can read Holly’s interview below, or on her blog at this link.

Interview with Vivian Zabel by Holly Jahangiri. (reprinted with kind permission)

I recently chatted with my friend Vivian Zabel, founder of 4RV Publishing, the company that published my first two children’s books, Trockle and A Puppy, Not a Guppy.

“Tell me a little bit about 4RV Publishing,” I asked.

“4RV Publishing came into being when as an author I realized that writing had few choices: a major publisher through an agent, subsidy publishing, self-publishing, or vanity presses. I wanted the opportunity for good writers to be able to have quality books published, traditionally. Authors also deserved to have a personal connection to the company that adopted their ‘babies.’” Vivian smiled, knowing that’s the number one reason I chose 4RV Publishing for Trockle, a story which I had written for my son and one that I did not want to sell all rights to or lose all creative say over.

“How many books do you publish each year?”

“How many we publish each year depends on several conditions: staff availability, funding needed, and what submissions are worth producing. In the less than six years we’ve been in existence, we have published a total of 101 books, some of which are no longer under contract (we put a limit on the number of years we have publication rights). We have 26 more titles to prepare and publish this year. We’ve had to close submissions for children’s picture books until 2015, except for authors under contract or invited to submit, because our illustrators can only do so many books during a year.”

Staples is celebrating small businesses in May and they are awarding digital marketing prize packages each worth $50,000 to three small businesses as part of the Staples PUSH It Forward Contest. 4RV Publishing has entered this contest, and you can help! By voting every day for your favorite small business, you increase your odds of being randomly selected to win a $1,500 Staples Voter Prize Package.

Voting ends May 31.

Link to vote for 4RV Publishing:

“What awards has 4RV Publishing or its books won?”

“We have received a number of awards and honors the past few years,” said Vivian. Asking her to talk about the accolades earned by books her company has published seems to give her almost as much pleasure as asking her to talk about her grandchildren’s accomplishments. “The most recent were two books which received the Children’s Classical Literature Choice Award: Life on Hold by Beverly Stowe McClure – a book is now in the running for another CCL award – and Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi, illustrated by Aidana WillowRaven, which won a CCL silver medal also. Viji Chary’s Porcupine Seeds, illustrated by Bridget McKenna, received the Mom’s Choice Award for Excellence.

“The 2009 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction went to Kirk Bjornsgarrd for Confessions of a Former Rock Queen.

“We had a number of books place in the Homeland New Day book competition: your book, Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard, took 1st in Children’s Books, and A Puppy, not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw, received 2nd in Tween books. Another author’s books took 1st in Novel and in Young Adult. One book received 2nd place at the North Texas Book Festival. Aldric & Anneliese, by Harry E. Gilleland, received honors from the Military Writers organization. Time Pullers, by Horton Deakins, placed in the top five for the USA Book Awards for Science Fiction. We have books entered in other competitions that haven’t released the winners list yet.”

“‘Another author’s books’? Don’t you remember the titles and who wrote them?” I pressed. I know Vivian doesn’t forget the names of the authors who’ve written award-winning books published by 4RV Publishing. It turns out, they were hers.

“Sure, I remember the titles: 1st in Novel was Midnight Hours by…me. 1st in Young Adult was Prairie Dog Cowboy by…me; 2nd at North Texas was Base Stealers Club by…me.”

I laughed. Vivian is a retired teacher, a mom, and a grandmother. She’s proud of her own books, but would rather shine the spotlight on others’ accomplishments. As the owner of 4RV Publishing, those are the kudos she’d rather promote. Next, I asked the million-dollar question: “Do you charge authors anything to publish their books?”

Vivian shook her head. “No, we do not charge authors anything to publish their books, or for any of the services needed to prepare their books once under contract.”

“I hear things are kind of rough in the publishing industry, these days – even some of the big publishing houses are opening subsidy imprints.”

“One reason publishers get in financial difficulties is the return policy. If a bookstore orders many more copies than they know they will sell, they can return left over copies years and years later and have their money returned. Publishers have to pay that money back, either through Ingram or their own distribution system. 4RV finally did away with returns after being hit with a huge bill for books returned that we could find no record of being bought, much less when they were bought. Major publishers pay millions every year for returned books. Of course that hurts. People aren’t buying books as much as they once did, and it has nothing to do with eBooks being available. It’s the economy. So many Big Guys are opening subsidy imprints. They need the income.”

“So why don’t you do the same?”

“Yes, we need the income, too, but we want the best books possible to be under our imprint. Once we accept payment for doing our job, putting out quality books, we lose at least some control over what is published under our name. We want the authors who deserve to be published to have their books in print and then in electronic format without a black mark against their names, which, no matter what some people say, still exists for self-published books. We try to give our authors the best chance to be successful we can.”

“Is it true that even the editors and illustrators work for royalties? So if books don’t sell well, they don’t get paid, either?”

“True and true. However, the owner of the company doesn’t even take royalties, nor does the head of the editorial department. We believe in the company enough that we leave what earnings we have in 4RV. What staff we have are dedicated to our cause. Of course we lose people quite often. They use 4RV to build a good resume and go on to bigger and better things. I can’t blame them, just ask they leave nicely without putting the company in a bind with unfinished projects. However, some stay even when they get positions elsewhere and do a few projects a year.”

“You’re an author, too – does owning the publishing house mean automatic acceptance and fast-track to print for your books?”

“Excuse me as I laugh. All submissions are sent to acquisition editors anonymously, no identification anywhere on the manuscript. One of my submissions was rejected — yep, rejected with malice. The head of the editorial department asked if the manuscript should be sent to a different acquisition editor, and I said, “No, she had valid reasons, and when I have time, I’ll revise and resubmit.” I’ve never had time. In fact, since 4RV was created, I have had only five books published by the company, and they were back when we had few submissions. I will have the first book come out later this summer, the first since early 2010, and it was in the works for three years.”

“So, 4RV is entered into the Staples PUSH It Forward Contest – what would you do with the prize money if you win?” Personally, I can’t think of many businesses that are more deserving of this “push” from Staples.

Vivian has big ideas on a shoestring budget. $50,000 lets her dream bigger – and lesser-known authors stand to benefit, too. “We need to upgrade all our technology and use digital accounting and record keeping. We would be able to create more eBooks. We need to hire people trained in digital marketing and promote our books even more effectively. The prize money from Staples would give us the “push” we need to compete in today’s publishing world.”

Help 4RV Publishing Win Staples’ PUSH It Forward Contest

You can help a deserving small business win $50,000 – and maybe win $1500 for yourself, while you’re at it! Voting is easy:

  1. Go to – this is Staples’ Facebook page already set up for you to vote for 4RV Publishing. If you have not already “Liked” Staples’ page on Facebook, that’s the first step; please click the Like button:


  1. Next, you’ll be taken to this page, where you can Vote for 4RV Publishing – just click Vote now > :4rv-staples-2-300x169You will be asked to give Staples’ app some permissions (Might as well – you can always revoke them later, but they ask only for access to your public profile data – something everyone can see, already – and to your friends’ list, presumably so that you can share this with them and promote the contest via Facebook. I have plenty of friends participating and have not seen any of them “spamming” me in the name of Staples, so I feel pretty confident in granting the requested permissions.)


  1. Last, but not least, when you vote, you’ll have a chance to enter to win $1500 for yourself – how cool is that? Just for helping a small business achieve more. We could all use this kind of “push,” right?


Want Some Good Books?

Shop direct from the 4RV Publishing book store from the comfort of  home at (many of these titles can also be found on Amazon and, as well, though I prefer to shop direct when possible).

Submissions guidelines can be found at


I’ll bet Vivian Zabel pops over here from time to time, and would be happy to answer them! You might also enjoy reading her blogs: 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News or Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap.



I’ve received the Sunshine Award!


This award couldn’t have come at a better time after yesterday. If you read my blog post from then, you’ll see what I mean.

So, I have to answer a few random questions, then nominate twelve blogs that I love to visit. Easy-peasy, right? Well, maybe not quite.

Okay the random questions and answers:

Favorite Color: Blue – light, blue, dark blue, royal blue, navy blue, sky blue…
Favorite Animal: Horse. They are so beautiful but since my dog will likely get his nose out of joint and eat one of my big stuffed animals in revenge, I best nominate him – Jake – aka the Jakemeister.
Favorite Number: I don’t think I have one but since I have to choose I would say 7 since it was on the 7th of June that my hubby and I were married.
Favorite Non-alcoholic Drink: Coffee.
Facebook or Twitter: I’m not the most creative with 140 characters so I would have to say Facebook, but even that changes everytime someone sneezes it seems.
Your Passion: Scotland and my Scottish heritage. Get me on that subject and you’ll never get me off it.
Giving or getting presents: I like to get but it’s more fun and rewarding to see the look on someone’s face when they open a gift that you’ve carefully chosen for that person.
Favorite Day: Since I work Monday to Friday, my choice would be Saturday. It’s the first morning that the alarm clock doesn’t go off before six o’clock. Mind you, the aforementioned dog usually scratches on the bedroom door about the same time. He doesn’t believe in lie-ins. Drat!
Favorite Flowers: Lilacs. I love the smell and have a number of bushes in my back yard.

And now I nominate 12 author bloggers whom I love to visit:

Suzy Turner
Ali Bacon
Carol E Wyer
Brian Henry (Quick Brown Fox)
Mandy Baggot
Lou Graham
Jo Lambert
Susan Livingston
Kathryn Brown
Michelle Betham
Carol Wright


I’ve received another Liebster Blog Award!


Woo hoo! I’ve been nominated for yet another Liebster Blog Award. This time fellow YA and Famous Five Plus author, Suzy Turner, bestowed the honour upon me.

The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is to recognize blogs with fewer than 200 followers that deserve a little extra attention. In keeping with the tradition of the award, I have to:

List 11 random facts about me
Answer the 11 questions Suzy has set me
Come up with 11 questions to ask other authors
And perhaps the most difficult, tag 11 authors who deserve to bask in the Liebster glow.

Here goes:

11 random facts about me:

1. I’m allergic to cat hair but not dog hair.

2. In my pre-school years, I grew up in a winterized cottage along the shore of the St. Lawrence River, about 6-7 miles east of where I currently live.

3. I’ve schmoozed with Royalty. I met Princess Anne in Scotland in 1999.

4. After a concert here in town, my cousin, her friend and I sneaked backstage and met the members of the band (we were about 14).

5. I don’t eat a lot of desserts but love cherry cheesecake.

6. I learned to play the guitar when I was 14.

7. I don’t play, but I love to watch curling on the telly.

8. I learned highland dancing when I was young and won a silver medal in the sword dance at the 1000 Islands Highland Games in 1969.

9. When I first met my husband, I didn’t like him. Hmmm… something changed, we’ll be celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary this year.

10. I love to wander through cemeteries – the older the better.

11. I’ve been to Paris.

Phew! That was tough. My poor wee brain hurts.

Now to answer Suzy’s questions:

Suzy: I always wished I had a middle name but I’m just plain old Suzanne (Suzy) Turner. Do you have a middle name? If so, what is it?

I have two middle names – Heather Ann.

Suzy: When I write my books, I usually have a rough idea of the general plot but I usually go off on a tangent and change it dramatically halfway through. What about you? Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I like to think of myself as a plantster. Some is plotted some is as it comes to me. As long as I know the ending, I can make the rest of it work.

Suzy: I was always a ‘pink’ girl until I had all my hair chopped off and then for some reason, I changed my favourite colour to blue. What’s your favourite colour and why?

I used to be ‘pink’, too, when I was younger then I moved on to blue. I’m not sure why I gravitated to blue, maybe because it looked better on me – and anything to get the boys to take notice, right? I love royal blue but any shade will do.

Suzy: I always loved the name Sheharazade. If you were to re-name yourself what would it be? (he he he… no I probably wouldn’t be brave enough to go for the aforementioned name!)

Rename myself… hmm… you’ve got me stumped. Maybe something that combines my middle name with where I live? Something like Heather Brock? Heather Park? Heather Scotland? No I don’t live there but read further down and you’ll see where this might come into being. The aforementioned names would make fab pseudonyms, too.

Suzy: I used to have the most amazing dreams where I was flying. Is there a recurring dream you remember having as a child?

It was more of a nightmare, actually. We’d be driving out in the country and when we got to his one place, the road disappeared… vanished behind a hill and around a bend. Not sure at the time why it terrified me so much, but it did. This disappearing road actually does exist (maybe as a child the family had driven down it – I don’t remember) and I’ve since been on it many times and it’s not as frightening as it was in my childhood dreams.

Suzy: My favourite TV shows at the moment are Castle, Scandal, Bones, Lost Girl, Haven, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones. What are some of yours?

Like you, I love Bones and Downton Abbey. In addition to those I love Criminal Minds and CSI (never thought Ted Danson could pull that role off but he’s doing a fine job of it).

Suzy: If my life was ever made into a movie, I’d want Sandra Bullock to play me. Who would play you?

I think Diane Keaton could do an excellent job. Somehow, though, I don’t expect to get that famous that my life would be made into a movie.

Suzy: In an ideal world, I’d have enough money and resources to spend half the year in England and the rest in Canada or the US. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

This is a no-brainer. I’d be on the first plane to Scotland.

Suzy: I’d change my feet if I could. If you could change anything about your appearance, what would it be?

Feet? I don’t like mine either but that’s what shoes are for – keep them covered. I’d get rid of the middle-age spread… the belly and the butt (keep the boobs – took me too long to get them) and go back to being slim and fit looking.

Suzy: The Time Spirit series by Melissa Pearl, The Marchwood Vampire series by Shalini Boland, Scarlet Vamporium by Poppet are just a few of my fave indie books. Name two or three of your all time favourite indie books.

Harry Leslie Smith’s memoirs – 1923: A Memoir, Hamburg 1947. When I’m looking for something fun, I love Juliette Sobanet’s Paris books – Sleeping with Paris, Kissed in Paris and she has more coming out – yay!

Suzy: I can speak Portuguese but it’s getting a bit rusty. Can you speak any other languages?

French but not well. Took it in school but haven’t used it a lot in years so it’s beyond “a bit” rusty. I can also rattle off a few words/phrases in German.

Now for the 11 questions for my victims… oops, nominees:

1. When you’re not writing/blogging, what do you like to do?

2. What’s the furthest you’ve travelled on a vacation?

3. What’s your favourite beverage (can be alcoholic or non – up to you)?

4. Did you have pets as a child and do you have pets now? If so, what type?

5. Do you have a favourite food?

6. As you saw in my random facts, I like to wander through cemeteries. Do you have a favourite place you like to walk?

7. Do you have a favourite author?

8. Salty or sweet? And what’s your favourite food in that category?

9. If money were no object, what would be your ultimate travel destination?

10. Can you share your most embarrassing moment? Or at least a moment that left you red in the face, at a loss for words.

11. If you were to win the big prize in the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

And now to nominate 11 bloggers:

1. Pauline Barclay
2. Maggie Jagger
3. Dorothy Bush
4. Vivian Zabel
5. Joe Mossman
6. Christopher D. Hanna
7. Patricia Capitain
8. Rosemary Gemmell
9. Maureen Fisher
10. Nikki Bywater
11. Jontybabe JB Johnston

A Little Bit of Madness

a_little_bit_of_madnessI’m thrilled to be part of Sheryl Browne’s cover reveal/blog tour for her latest novel A Little Bit of Madness. So without further ado, take it away Sheryl.

Hi Melanie!

Thank you so much for inviting me along today and helping me launch A Little Bit of Madness, my fourth book published by Safkhet Publishing!

Rather than waffle on – as I tend to, with Melanie’s kind permission, I’ve included a blurb and brief excerpt below. I do hope you enjoy!

A Little Bit of Madness

No rest for the wicked
Saving Charlton hall will burrow into your heart.


Celia Summers, intrepid mother of two, is too cuddly for sweatpants, she suspects. But then, her class at The Harbour Rest Home are similarly clad. Celia loves her work as an art therapist. She’s proud that she gives her elderly independents something to look forward to, even if her partner, Martin, disapproves of her efforts. He also has other things on his mind – telling complicated lies to Celia so he can sell Charlton Hall, his mum’s house, to pay off his debts.
Meanwhile, Celia fights to secure gallery space for her geriatric charges’ artwork, and to keep The Harbour from being closed. She’s even ready to abseil from a church steeple to bring attention to the plight of her old people, no matter that she might fall and end up splattered all over the flagstones. When she does fall, however, it’s much more painful – in love with PC Alex Burrows. Will he be her white-knight-in-blue and ride to her rescue?


Alex wasn’t listening. He was off, at a run towards the church. She wasn’t bloody well stuck. He knew it. Her shoulders were hunched. Her eyes would be clamped shut. He didn’t have to see her up close to know that. Her palms would be sweating. He wiped the sweat from one of his own as he took the steps to the roof two at a time. Her mouth would be dry and her heart beating fit to burst.
‘It’s okay, I’m a policeman,’ he said, pushing past an instructor with a stock-of-the-trade reassuring statement. ‘Alex,’ he introduced himself to the lead instructor. ‘What’s happening?’
‘Robert.’ The instructor shook his hand, looking relieved. ‘I’m not sure. She was doing okay. Scared, but doing okay, until that last slide and then—’
‘Air to base,’ said the colonel behind them, holding his mobile walkie-talkie style. ‘Air to base, over. Ah, Alex.’ He caught sight of his son. ‘Bit of situation, hey what? Lorst her bottle, I’m afraid. Happens to the best of us.’ He tsked sympathetically. ‘Now what I suggest is that one of us stays up here and keeps in touch with the ground troops and one of us goes over the edge.’
Alex sighed. ‘Dad. Go down.’
‘Ah, yes, well, I would, of course. Bit of a dodgy heart though, don’t y’—’
‘Dad, for Christ’s sake, this is no time for war games! Go down the bloody steps, will you?! The, er, women are on their own.’ Alex noted his father’s deflated look and softened his tone.
‘Great,’ he muttered, as the colonel nodded sadly and about-faced. As if bellowing at an old man was going to help the situation. Dammit, he’d have to apologise—later. Right now, as Celia might well be in considerable danger, he needed to do his job.
And, this time, he needed to do it right.
Quelling a sudden queasiness, Alex pulled in a breath and walked to the edge.
‘She won’t budge.’ Robert nodded towards where Celia dangled, looking neither up, nor down, and hearing nothing it seemed, including the other instructor who’d lowered himself and was reaching towards her. ‘She could have her rope caught. It does happen, but personally I think she’s—’
Petrified, thought Alex grimly, as Celia’s terrified tones reached his ears, causing the other instructor to draw back. ‘No-o-o!’ she screamed. ‘Don’t! I can’t!’
The instructor looked up, shaking his head as Celia clung tight to her rope, determined to stay where she was. Unable to do anything but, Alex knew. She was frozen. Literally unable to move, bar an involuntary shaking of limbs. The same debilitating shaking he’d once experienced.
A frightening compulsion to jump. Far from forcing you back from the edge, vertigo forced you forward, the void below sucking the will to resist from you—and you into oblivion.
And if you tried to tackle it, tried to cross that slatted bridge, climb that ladder, abseil … Total shut down. Sheer immobilising terror.
That’s where Celia was. And Alex had been there.
He swallowed hard, and sucked in another deep breath. ‘Let me try,’ he said. ‘I’m trained, don’t worry. Tactical Police Training Centre: Abseil tower, climbing course … I know what I’m doing,’ he didn’t lie, but left out the cognitive therapy course he’d also taken to overcome a fear that had cost him dearer than anything else ever had in his life.
‘She’s a friend,’ he said, as Robert hesitated. ‘She might listen to me.’
Robert debated a second longer, then signalled the other instructor to clear the way. He helped Alex into his abseiling gear, finally fastening the karabiner to the rope, which would stop him plunging to the ground.
Alex swallowed again. It would work, he reassured himself.
The figure of eight piece of metal, which acted as a brake, might not look very impressive, but it worked.
He’d done that damn abseil tower over and over. Until he could do it with his eyes closed … and without the crippling fear in the pit of his stomach.
‘Kick off against the wall once you’re over.’ Robert instructed. ‘Then you’ll need to kick off two, maybe three times before you’re level.’
‘Got it.’ Alex gave him a tight smile, then nodded to indicate he was ready. Right, okay, he could do this. And he would damn well get it right. This time there would be no indecision. No hesitation. Not this time.
Alex gritted his teeth and kicked off.
No casualties.
Christ, where did that come from?
Alex breathed deeply and tried to still a nauseating flashback.
He closed his eyes and breathed out. Concentrate. He told himself.
It’s too late! Something screamed in his head.
He panted out another breath. It’s not too late.
No fucking voices. Not this time.
You can’t reach her.
Alex wiped his forehead against his arm. He tried hard not to look down.
Don’t. He willed himself.
You can do this. You have to. For Christ’s sake … just do it!
He willed himself on. Willed the fear he’d tried so hard to forget from clutching at his chest. The same paralysing fear had gripped him when his wife needed him most. The fear that turned to out-and-out dread as he’d attempted to talk her down, his heart pounding so loud he could hear it.
Or was that his heart beating now?
Useless, said the voice in his head.
Christ, he was so fucking useless.
There was no point talking to anyone, raking things over, looking for reasons. Not to Celia. Not to anyone. That one single word summed him up.
All he’d had to do was hold on, take one more step toward Nicole—hold all of her. One step and he’d faltered. Jesus. He dropped his gaze, and the ground beckoned and swayed below him.
‘Shit!’ he said out loud, sucking air deep into his lungs as his foot slipped, sending him slamming into the wall. Oh, Jesus … He twirled and dangled, closed his eyes and prayed.
‘Alex?’ came a small voice beside him. ‘Alex?’ Celia repeated. ‘Are you all right?’
Alex clung to his rope and tried to focus on the simple act of breathing.
‘You’re not, are you?’
‘Uh-uh.’ He shook his head, indicating he was very much not all right.


About the author…

Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. A partner in her own business, a mother and a foster parent to disabled dogs, Sheryl has also been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy. She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing style and commissioned her to write her debut novel.

RECIPES FOR DISASTER – combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Festival of Romance Award. Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint. SOMEBODY TO LOVE, a romantic comedy centering around a single father’s search for love and his autistic little boy, launched July 1. WARRANT FOR LOVE, Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment – three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly – released August 1 and A LITTLE BIT OF MADNESS -White Knight in Blue rescues the Harbour Rest Home – releases Valentine’s Day 2013.


Sheryl’s Website

Safkhet Publishing

Author Facebook

Romantic Novelists’ Association

Sheryl is a loveahappyending featured Author and Editor.

Twitter: @sherylbrowne