Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview with Derek Birks @Feud_writer

Derek Birks was born in Hampshire in England but spent his teenage years in Auckland, New Zealand, where he still has strong family ties. For many years he taught history in a secondary school in Berkshire but took early retirement several years ago to concentrate on his writing. Apart from writing, he spends his time gardening, traveling, walking and taking part in archaeological digs at a Roman villa.

The Digital Ink Spot: What can you tell the readers about Feud
Derek Birks: Feud is set during the Wars of the Roses when local disputes are sometimes settled by violent means. It is the story of a fictional family, the Elders, who become embroiled in a savage feud with their neighbors, the Radcliffes.
The central characters are siblings: Ned Elder, a Yorkshire knight, and his sisters, Emma and Eleanor. At the start of the book in September 1459 their father and older brother are killed, their household is ransacked and the two sisters are abducted. The book tells the story of the Elders’ struggle to regain what has been lost to the Radcliffes.
When I wrote Feud I tried to write the kind of historical fiction that I like to read myself: authentic and fast paced. I aimed to include a lot of action which was driven along by the characters and I also wanted several interesting female characters to play significant roles in what was a very male dominated society.

The Digital Ink Spot: You wrote on your website you are inspired by images where a scene might take
place. How much more of your creative process is visual?
Derek Birks: Fiction is born in the imagination of course, so before I can put it into words I need to visualise it. I have to try to put myself in the position of my characters and because I am writing in the distant past that is not always easy. 
With scenes that take place in a known place, for example the town of Ludlow, it’s essential to go there and try to envisage how it would have been at the time. Looking at maps, especially of land use in the Middle Ages, helps to develop for me a mental picture of a site. In Ludlow I walked the line of the old town walls to get an idea of the size of the town in the 1450s. You have to strip back the trappings of modern life: what would the street have been like without the supermarket, pavements, double glazed windows, street lights and so on? The point is: it has to be a mental picture because in most modern places there is very little left to see of the medieval period.
In more natural settings, it’s a little easier. There is a scene in Feud which takes place on a misty autumn morning. When you are writing such a scene it helps to be able to call up images of an actual place in similar conditions. You can visualise stumbling through the swathes of brown, dying bracken. It’s damp and you’re disorientated by the mist closing in on you. Knowing how that feels makes it easier to create scenes which seem more authentic.
I create scenes in my head, often when walking or maybe swimming - the brain has to be focussed only on creating the scene. I play the scene through, always asking myself the question: does it feel right? If it doesn’t then I have to “press the pause button” and think again.

The Digital Ink Spot: As a historical fiction writer, what are your thoughts on the discovery of King Richard III’s skeleton in a parking lot?
Derek Birks: Well, it’s a real scoop isn’t it? I’m a keen, though very inexperienced, archaeologist and I know that these sorts of discoveries are about as rare as you can get. As if there wasn’t enough interest in Richard III, it would have to be him that turns up in a car park. Richard carries so much “baggage” with him I’m surprised he wasn’t found with a few suitcases! I don’t think that finding Richard’s corpse will solve any of the mysteries that surround his actions. As an author I have no doubt that Richard will make an appearance in one of my books about the Elder family, not least because his palace at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire is a stone’s throw from the fictional home of the Elder family in Feud.

The Digital Ink Spot: Do you recall how your interest in history originated?
Derek Birks: I don’t think there was a “eureka moment”. I think it developed gradually during my school years. I was fortunate to have some inspirational history teachers and they introduced me to the stories of history. Most people are drawn in by stories, by the qualities of a set of individuals or perhaps by the resilience or courage of just one man or woman. People are interesting and they are rarely one-dimensional. When I taught history to teenagers it increased my own interest because I began to learn what kinds of historical stories intrigued them. The challenge for me as a writer is to be true to the history and at the same time make my characters interesting to the reader.

The Digital Ink Spot: What can readers expect in the future from you?
Derek Birks: The next book in the Feud series is well under way and I’m looking to publish that in the summer if all goes well. The new story is set a couple of years later when King Edward IV is still trying to stamp out Lancastrian opposition and the Elders face a new challenge. I already have plans for the third book and ideas for a fourth. After that I may have to consider whether I want to start a new series in a different period of history but at the moment I’m enjoying recreating the blood and misery of Wars of the Roses with the Elder family.

Twitter: @Feud_writer 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What Happened in Witches Wood by Stephen Henning @Henningopolis

What Happened in Witches Wood (Class Heroes)

In 1987, 16-year-old Katie Blake died in mysterious circumstances in a stream in Witches Wood.
In 2009, a teenage couple enter the wood one hot, summer night and encounter her ghost.
In 2011, James and Samantha Blake are staying at their grandparents’ farmhouse, close to Witches Wood, while they come to terms with their new superpowers.

Those powers are soon put to the test. James comes face-to-face with the ghost of Katie Blake – his long-dead aunt – and discovers that she may be responsible for a number of grisly deaths that have occurred in the wood. Meanwhile, Sam foils an armed robbery in a nearby village and sets in motion a chain of terrible events that threatens the whole family.

Sir Michael Rosewood, owner of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firm, knows the secret of their superpowers and has taken a keen interest in the Blake family. But is he friend or foe?


FAMILY FALLACIES by Kassandra Lamb @KassandraLamb

FAMILY FALLACIES (The Kate Huntington mystery series #3)

2/6/13 – 2/7/13

Psychotherapist Kate Huntington is having a rough autumn. Someone’s been sending anonymous and vaguely threatening notes to the counseling center where she works, and now she’s being sued for malpractice, for supposedly planting false memories in a client’s head. There is one bright spot. She’s falling in love. Now if she could just get the ghost of her dead husband out of her head.

As the budding romance is heating up, the note sender ups the ante and is threatening to “destroy” Kate’s family. Can things get any worse? Yes, they can. Kate becomes a murder suspect when a party in the lawsuit ends up dead. Her good friend, lawyer Rob Franklin, still has some misgivings about her too-handsome-to-be-trusted suitor. But now the two men must work together to support the woman they both love, and help her stop a killer... before he or she comes after Kate’s baby girl.


Treading on Borrowed Time by Evelyn Klebert @EvelynKlebert

Treading on Borrowed Time


For Julia Moreau life seems complicated. Emerging from a failed marriage and managing a lifetime of diabetes, she lives alone in her childhood home where she communicates with the spirit of her Great Aunt Lilia. But Julia doesn't have a clue what complicated is until she is thrust into being the key chess piece in a match between two powerful men of extraordinary abilities on the wild hunt for a mystical creature hidden in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter. Will Julia lose her soul to the karma of a devastating past life or her heart to the love of a man driven by dark forces? What is clear is that whichever way she turns she is "Treading on Borrowed Time."

"Set in the marvelous city of New Orleans, Ms. Klebert takes us on a journey that's layered through lifetimes current and past. It is a marvelous adventure, and one that encompasses healing, trust, and the rapture of undying love. Treading on Borrowed Time is an outstanding achievement. It is a story that lingers upon the heart and mind." -- Aiden James author of The Forgotten Eden and The Vampires' Birthright



Five, Six ... Grab your Crucifix by Willow Rose @MadamWillowRose

Five, Six ... Grab your Crucifix (Rebekka Franck #3)
02/06/2013 to 02/10/2013

The Priest is a man with a mission from God. He is to help those possessed by evil to finally become free from their stronghold. He has expelled demons for years and had great success.

But there is one demon he never managed to cast out. And that demon has now come back to get him.

Rebekka Franck and Sune are on a vacation in Northern Zeeland when they suddenly find themselves involved in what turns out to be their most horrifying case to this date.

"Five, Six ... grab your crucifix" is a spine-chilling Scandinavian mystery-novel from the International Bestselling author Willow Rose. It is the third book in her series about the Danish reporter Rebekka Franck. Willow Rose will be writing the fourth book in the spring of 2013.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Frozen Footprints by Therese Heckenkamp @THeckenkamp

Frozen Footprints

02/05/2013 - 02/06/2013

"Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night." Eighteen-year-old twins Charlene and Max Perigard have grown up under the wealthy but tyrannical rule of their oil-tycoon grandfather. When Max disappears and a ransom note shows up, Charlene's world is shattered. She desperately tries to persuade her tight-fisted grandfather to pay, but the old man is convinced that Max is merely faking his kidnapping to extort money. Fearing the worst, Charlene determines to find her brother before it's too late. Her quest hurls her into a twisted, frigid world of snow and ice that leads to terror in an isolated cabin. Together the twins struggle for survival while enduring fierce trials of mind, body, and spirit. Devoid of all worldly comfort and consolation, will faith and hope be enough to get them through this chilling nightmare?


The Survivors by Angela White @Angelawhitelaw

The Survivors: Book One (Life After War)

An action adventure quest, with a supernatural romance, and many other subplots, set during the aftermath of the apocalypse.

So what's really in this series? Here's a short list:

*The End of the World, right-up-close and full of apocalyptic horror.
*A government conspiracy that caused the apocalypse.
*An adventure into the wastelands to find family, supplies, and safety.
*A supernatural romance with a dangerous secret about a child's parentage and a love strong enough to survive the end of the world.
*An invasion, ambushes, attacks from Nature and man - guns and magic.
*A refugee camp with very different laws, picking up those who've survived.
*A Hero you'll love, even as you ponder the secrets that could lose him leadership.
*A Witch, a Doctor, a government Storm Tracker, a TV Star, and three Marines struggling to keep their people alive and together as they prepare to defend themselves against Cesar's Slavers.
*A constant battle for survival that includes deadly trips into decaying American cities, insanity, relics of the past, and ghosts that stalk their every move.

Life After War. Magic and Reality blended into a post-apocalyptic fantasy series that you won't ever forget.

The Survivors (book one) has been a bestseller on multiple retailers in fantasy series, dark fantasy, science fiction adventure, and romance series. It has sold, or been downloaded, more than 50K times in its first 24 months.

Nook: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Survivors-Book-One/book-YReNN9M2j0O-TPuK8Woobg/page1.html

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-survivors/id430914727?mt=11

(Prices may change at any time. Before downloading, confirm that this book is still free. Some become Prime Eligible, with Prime, Kindle owners can choose from thousands of books to borrow for free.)

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Brooke and the Magic Spectacles by Heather Richmond @marquettepress


Brooke and the Magic Spectacles (Magical Murphy Farm Series 1)

2-1-13 to 2-28-13    

This story is the first in the Magical Murphy Farm series. The Murphy Family Farm is an enchanted farm that owes much of its success to an agreement made between the Murphys and the Fairy Folk over a century ago in Ireland.

With over a hundred acres of farm land, the fairies and enchanted creatures work together to help the Murphy Family keep the farm prosperous enough to be generous to the community. The fairy folk call the Murphy Farm Lismore Baile, their words for "Bountiful Home."

The wondrous world of Lismore Baile awaits!

In this first book, young Brooke Murphy enjoys life living on a her family's centennial farm. The Murphy Family Farm has prospered for over a century, producing better than any farm in the area. Life on a farm couldn't be better for Brooke and her animal friends. One day, she decides to go for a walk in her mother's elaborate garden. On her way there, she finds some magical spectacles that allow her to see fairy folk and magical creatures. Brooke becomes more and more excited during her adventure while learning about the inner workings of the farm she calls home.

As she ventures down the hidden path of the garden, she greets the enchanted people of Lismore Baile, a magical realm where fantasy meets reality and the two work together to bring in the harvest. Brooke is given an errand by one of the fairies, one that she has to get done before bed time.

Some of the characters she meets include the flower fairies Marigold and Violet. Aurora is another fairy that Brooke meets along the way. Aurora helps keep the farm warm with some special help from her friend Fireglide (a volcano dragon). Everyone has something to do to keep the Murphy Farm thriving, including Brooke.

Brooke learns from Lily (possibly the last water nymph of her kind) that fairies and magical creatures have always been a part of the Murphy Family Farm.

After so many adventures, how will Brooke get safely home before it gets dark? With time running out, perhaps a little magic is needed.

Perfect reader for ages 9+ or great to read to children of any age. Adults will also like this uplifting story. This story emphasizes helping others, being thankful and the rewards for being generous.


From Man to Man by David E. M. Emrys @DEMEmrys

From Man to Man (Wroge Elements)

02/02/2013 - 03/03/2013

‘I’ve traded my old enemies for just this one…’ The axe thundered home. ‘I miss the old ones.’

Every man has a past, none more so than Draven Reinhardt. Abandoning his old life to settle down as a villager, he struggles to fit in, let alone hold down a job. When opportunity offers the much needed coin, Draven is torn between a promise and a purpose.

But, what’s one last job if you’ve already got blood on your hands?
‘From Man to Man’ is the story of how one man can change – or not – for the best. Prequel to the upcoming novel ‘It Began With Ashes’, the short (6400 words) introduces the reader to a world of suspense, intrigue, and action.

Exclusive preview chapter from ‘It Began With Ashes’.


Seems Like Old Times by Joanne Pence @JoannePence

Seems Like Old Times

When Lee Reynolds, nationally known television news anchor, returns to the small town where she was born to sell her now-vacant childhood home, little does she expect to find that her first love has moved back to town. Nor does she expect that her feelings for him are still so strong.

Tony Santos had been a major league baseball player, but now finds his days of glory gone. He's gone back home to raise his young son as a single dad.

Both Tony and Lee have changed a lot. Yet, being with him, she finds that in her heart, it seems like old times...

[This story was previously published under pseudonym JoMarie Lodge.]

Website – www.joannepence.com
The book website - http://www.joannepence.com
Twitter -- @joannepence

(Prices may change at any time. Before downloading, confirm that this book is still free. Some become Prime Eligible, with Prime, Kindle owners can choose from thousands of books to borrow for free.)

And feel free to share this post via your social network of choice. Let's help these authors get the word out to other readers.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bluegrass State of Mind by Kathleen Brooks @BluegrassBrooks

Bluegrass State of Mind (Bluegrass Series)

2/1/13 - 2/3/13

McKenna Mason, a New York City attorney with a love of all things Prada, is on the run from a group of powerful, dangerous men. McKenna turns to a teenage crush, Will Ashton, for help in starting a new life in beautiful horse country. She finds that Will is now a handsome, successful race horse farm owner. As the old flame is ignited, complications are aplenty in the form of a nasty ex-wife, an ex-boyfriend intent on killing her, and a feisty race horse who refuses to race without a kiss. Can Will and McKenna cross the finish line together, and more importantly, alive?

http://kathleen-brooks.com/books/bluegrass-series/bluegrass-state-of-mind/           https://www.facebook.com/KathleenBrooksAuthor    

Personal Breakthrough by Martin Sterling

Personal Breakthrough: A personal development plan and day by day personal development program to transform your thoughts.

January 31, 2013 to February 04, 2013

"Personal Breakthrough: A personal development plan and day by day personal development program to transform your thoughts" explores what makes some people successful and others not. Written in easy to understand language along with illustrations, "Personal Breakthrough: A personal development plan and day by day personal development program to transform your thoughts" helps you begin to connect the dots on what it is you may be doing over and over again that hinders you from accomplishing your goal.
Some of the topics we touch on are:

- Why don't you follow through?
- What it takes to be a real leader.
- How to create success for yourself.
- and much more!

This is a short (under 30 pages) easy to follow book all should enjoy. These are tips and ideas that have been used by the most successful men and woman of our time from businessmen, rappers to inventors as well as featured in the best personal development books. This straight forward take on personal development is great for the person who never sees themselves as reading a personal development book or involving themselves with personal development activities, but is hungry and curious about what else is out there.


FEUD by Derek Birks @Feud_writer


1st - 5th February 2013

September 1459. England stands on the brink of chaos as the forces of York and Lancaster prepare to settle their differences on the battlefield. As the rule of law breaks down all over England old scores are being settled.

In Yorkshire, the Radcliffe family revive an old feud with their neighbours, the Elders. There is no warning: a father is executed, a brother is killed and a household is ransacked. Emma Elder is dragged from her home and forced to marry the Radcliffe heir. Her younger sister, the beautiful and tigerish Eleanor, is violently abducted and imprisoned in a nunnery.
In a day the Elder family’s world has been destroyed ... but one member of the family remains at large. A young knight, Ned Elder, flees with a handful of loyal companions.
To regain what has been lost he must seek powerful friends and rely on his skill with the sword. But as the brutal Wars of the Roses unfold it seems that Ned cannot succeed on his own. His sisters, his companions in arms and the girl he loves must all play their part if the Radcliffes are to be overcome.

If you like the sort of historical action fiction written by Bernard Cornwell, then you should like this.


Spent City by Andrew Kealy

Spent City

Thursday 31 Jan - Saturday 2

Reluctant investigator Gerry Lambe is wasting his days in a booze-fuelled oblivion when he is sent into a dizzying spiral of desperation after being hired by a cynical stripper for what initially appears to be a simple job. Things get out of control in a town where everyone has their price.


Castles by Benjamin X. Wretlind @bxwretlind

Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors

What would you do to build your castle in the sky?

When Maggie was six, she hid from desert storms under the sink where the Comet and Windex were kept. Now twenty, she welcomes the storms. Maggie has been abused, torn apart by the sins of others and constantly feels as if she is living on the verge of some grand epiphany perhaps passed down through her Grandmother, perhaps given to her by God.

Then again, she may just be insane.
Maggie doesn't know if the four bodies she dismembered and placed inside a rusted Volkswagen Bus are the only bricks left to her castle in the sky, but she hopes you'll understand if they're not. Castles is Maggie's story, a literary horror novel about love and redemption, belief and revenge and what brings a person to madness.