Monday, 21 December 2015

Peace and Love

Well it's Christmas week, so things are getting crazy here in the house, so let me take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful, healthy, safe and joyous Christmas.

If you are stuck for that last minute gift check out my Amazon pages Amazon UK

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'll see you in 2016.


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Meet The Pack

A group of shapeshifters have left their village and gone rogue.


JARMIL: He's the leader. Cold, hard and ruthless. He thinks he's superior to all other beings, and rules by intimidation.

KATSUO: Angry and disillusioned, he left with Jarmil to escape his violent father, but he's  discontented with the way things are now.

NAHUEL: The youngest member of the pack. He's been following Jarmil since he was a teenager. Not treated well by the others, except Katsuo, they are friends.
What will happen to them? Find out in Janalya.

Winner of Reader's Favorite 5 Star award.

Enjoy meeting the pack, and let me know who your favourite is.


Thursday, 26 November 2015

You Can't Do It

Has anybody said those words to you - "You can't do it/that." How did they make you feel? Because after all, what they're really saying is that you're not capable of doing it. Did it make you stubborn, determined to do it to prove them wrong? Well, that's good. But what about if you believed those words? Were they just another statement in a long line of put downs that chipped away at your self confidence? Think how that would feel.

What can be done? You can grow a thick skin and not believe them, but seriously, how likely is it that that's really going to help? I know, not going to happen, is it?

What else then?

How about changing just one letter and apostrophe?

You Can Do It.

Look at the difference taking those out make. Now a negative statement is a positive one.

There will always be some things that people can't do, but we have to try for ourselves first. We don't need someone else telling us that we can't do it, but someone giving us encouragement and telling us we can, that's worth much more than stubborn determination.

So be sure to say "You can do it" to someone today or if it is yourself that needs telling "I can do it."  And you can - I believe it you.

Have a wonderful and positive day,


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Escape from reality

I'd like to give you the chance to escape from reality and into the world of elementals and shape shifters. I've chosen this chapter because it is set on Halloween night - appropriate I thought!

Chapter Eleven


 A group of little witches, ghosts and vampires walked down the street on the cold crisp evening. The moon, its face clear and welcoming was already shining brightly as the stars began to appear in the black expanse of sky. Janalya turned her face away from the delights of the night glistening above her and noticed the children for the first time. The sight of them made her laugh out loud, sending a cloud of warm air into the darkness; dragon breath, she always called it. She smiled as parents hustled their children towards home, their trick or treat bags bulging with sweets and their outfits beginning to look dishevelled. Their masks dangled from the adults’ hands as the youngsters scrubbed at their eyes. The children’s protests that they weren’t tired were ignored and the streets were relinquished to the teenagers. They were noisy, and the air was filled with their laughter as they jostled each other down the road. Janalya studied their costumes. They were more elaborate than the children’s and the teenager’s faces were covered in paint or gory masks.  Janalya shook her head at them; it was one thing for kids to play dress up, but surely at their age the teenagers should know better? Then she realised that there was no reason for them to think differently. She smiled wryly; the truth about magic and the people who could use it was rarely told and had been kept secret for hundreds of years. A true witch definitely wouldn’t wear a tall pointed hat and stripy tights, and as for needing a broomstick to be able to fly; well that was just laughable.

The glowing eyes of the carved pumpkin lanterns seemed to watch Janalya as she retreated from her position on the top of the hill. She pulled her cloak more tightly around her slender body, raised the hood once more to conceal her blonde hair and walked in the shadows - back towards the woods. She’d long heard the rumour that on Halloween the boundary between the human world and the spirit world became thin, allowing spirits to pass through, but she wasn’t about to hang around to act as a welcoming committee; she had more important matters to see to.

Janalya reached the cover of the trees and paused, her head turning as she listened for any giveaway sounds of movement. She was confident that nobody had followed her but she wanted to be sure. The silence was broken by the call of an owl, but she couldn’t hear anything else, so she reached in her bag for her torch. Her feet made no sound as she advanced stealthily through the wood, her eyes continually assessing everything shown up by her light. The scent of damp earth and pine needles filled her nose; then she stopped suddenly as the aroma became tinged with smoke. Janalya clicked her torch off quickly and was instantly cloaked in darkness. She gave her eyes chance to adjust. Years of wandering around at night had sharpened her vision but not enough to see further than the area immediately around her; unfortunately, the Shatara had much better night vision. She stared into the darkness, listening intently, all her senses heightened ready to take action. A breeze picked up and carried with it a stronger smell of smoke. Janalya cautiously headed in that direction, placing each foot with measured care, her ears straining to hear any sound. Stray branches threatened to latch onto the wool of her cloak. She brushed them aside, eager to discover the source of the smoky smell. Her heart began to beat faster as she caught a glimpse of orange between the trees. She moved closer, unconsciously stooped lower and stopped behind a large tree. Keeping as hidden as possible, she peered around the gnarly trunk.

 In a small clearing, a coven of witches stood talking, a fire casting dancing shadows across their features. Janalya relaxed for a moment, resting her head against the tree. She had found them. She had known that they would be in the woods somewhere tonight. Janalya studied them; although the witches were all different ages, they were all dressed similarly in long sleeved blue dresses. No fancy pointed sleeves were evident, as worn by the teenagers in their costumes. The figures in front of her wore black boots and - as she had predicted - no pointy hats or stripy tights. All the women had long hair but looked ordinary; no grotesque features or warts, and certainly there was no cauldron in the clearing- those ideas had probably become popular from Shakespeare rather than reality.

Janalya moved from behind the tree as the first of the witches took off into the air. It was a sight she had watched before. It never ceased to amaze her, the way they just kicked off from the ground and rose upwards. The remaining witches doused the fire and joined the others, vanishing into the dark night sky. Janalya was pleased to see them go. She had been relieved to discover their meeting place because now she need not fear bumping into them again later in the night. She was not scared of witches; it was just easier and quicker not to get entangled with them.

As Janalya stood enjoying the silence of the woods, she was unable to stop the yawn that made her jaw crack. She’d been travelling since first light; so safe in the knowledge that the witches had departed, she decided to stop for the night. Switching on her torch again she moved away from the clearing. The beam highlighted each section of undergrowth until she found what she was searching for; a large tree trunk with a hole, partially hidden by a bush. Over the years, she had become adept at squeezing into small spaces, either in trees or rocks, fit only for children, but that was when she needed to hide. When she wanted to sleep, she liked it to be big enough for her to be comfortable. As she shone her torch inside, she saw that it was surprisingly roomy and the floor was carpeted with fresh dry needles. Janalya ducked into the hole and lay down, pulling her cloak tightly round her body but not before she had withdrawn the dagger from her boot. The confines of the trunk would restrict her movements, so she must be prepared and have access to her weapon.



With a bolt of fear and a loud gasp, Janalya woke up. The dream that had caused her such stress vanished the moment her eyes opened, although it took a few seconds for them to focus enough for her to figure out where she was. When she realised she was curled up in the hollow of the tree trunk, the hammering of her heart lessened. Janalya unclenched her fingers from the smooth handle of her dagger and wriggled them to ease their stiffness. All Janalya could smell was the damp forest floor and chilled, clean air. She put the dagger away in the strap in her boot and eased out of her overnight accommodation; avoiding the jagged peeling bark that had been invisible in the depth of night, until she was upright. She stretched, flexing each tight muscle, working her way around her whole body until she restored her suppleness. She breathed in the brisk morning air and looked around; it was peaceful.

She glanced up and saw that the sky was lighter than she’d expected. The overhanging canopy of the trees made it darker so it was later than she’d thought. There was a mist hovering above the ground that moved and swirled into the air like tendrils of a climbing plant. The sharp frost overnight had coated all the leaves and branches in white ice crystals. Janalya had moved off the pathway looking for somewhere to sleep the previous night, now she saw one small track winding its way through the trees. This must have been what she had been following. She shivered. It was cold, and a thick white cloud of dragon breath escaped as she breathed out. Cupping her hands in front of her face, she blew forcefully into them. The warm air caressed her fingers, and with practised circular movements of her hands, she managed to mould the heat into a ball and keep it there. She briefly clutched the mini heat source to her chest, and then uncurling her hands, she pushed the warm air downwards so it travelled the length of her body, bringing warmth with it until it dissipated against the ground.

Having to use her powers to warm herself reminded Janalya that she was going to have to make a decision. It was only going to get colder; if there was no sign of either danger or hope, she was going to have to settle down for the winter. Taking the woven bag off of her shoulder; somehow she’d slept with it in place, and making sure her cloak was underneath her, she sank gracefully to the floor, crossing her legs and extending her arms out in front of her.

Today there was just a cold bite that confirmed that winter was on its way, seeming to suggest that Janalya was right to seek shelter. She spent a few more minutes in quiet reflection then got to her feet, her cloak unfurling around her. She gathered up her bag. Grasping her cloak loosely at the edges, Janalya set off along the track, in the opposite direction to where she had walked yesterday, smiling whenever the sunlight penetrated the overhanging branches. Even in late autumn, the sun was strong enough to make itself felt, warming Janalya and causing patches of brightness to skip across the ground.

The last of the mist evaporated as the day warmed up. Janalya weaved her way through the trees, listening to the birds chatter as she went and grinning at the antics of the squirrels as they scurried across in front of her, leaping onto the tree trunks. Camouflaged against the bark they gripped on, and then hung there like statues, the tiniest flick of their tails the only thing to give them away. She moved quickly and quietly, except when walking through the driest of leaves; these made a satisfying crunch as she stepped on them, causing her to smile again. The trees that had discarded those leaves now stood bare, their branches twisting and stretching into arm-like features.

Janalya stumbled over a fallen branch and was startled to see familiar landmarks, like the huge pine tree and the old well, long since derelict and unused. The cottage stood on its own amongst the trees, the stonework reminded her of her childhood home. Studying it intently, various emotions fought for attention as she found herself standing outside it once more. Even though there were a few dwellings at her disposal, this was the only one that she thought of as home. Over the last few years, she’d always tried to spend the winter here; it made her feel as if she belonged somewhere. The stones were weathered with age and the roof had some moss on it, but apart from the fact that the windows were extremely dirty, they and everything else looked to be intact. She retrieved the large iron key from under a stone by the thick wooden door. Janalya had to jiggle it about in the lock before she heard the click she was waiting for. She pushed hard against the door in order to get it to move; then it creaked and groaned until the opening was big enough to slip through.

A musty smell greeted Janalya as she crossed the threshold, but she also felt a sense of welcoming, a lightness in her chest as if the cottage had embraced her. Her grey eyes darted around, although it was too dingy to be able to see properly. She rummaged for the torch and indistinct shapes, which turned out to be furniture, loomed out of the darkness as the light touched them. Janalya shone her torch at the walls; there were still some candles in their holders. She searched in her bag for her lighter.  The familiar etching of the full moon with flowers cutting off one edge, like clouds flitting across its surface, never failed to comfort her. She spent a moment tracing it with her finger before she flicked the wheel. The candle flames flickered and dimmed at first but soon stood upright and began to give out some useful light. The cottage was cold with a damp feel to it and needed to be heated. Janalya knew that she would need to sweep the chimney before she risked lighting a fire. Sweeping it would take a long time, so she closed her eyes and summoned a blast of air to push any soot or debris out of the way. She repeated this with the flue on the kitchen range. Satisfied the fires could be safely lit, she found dry logs in the store out the back and set and lit the fire in the main room and the kitchen range, pleased that she would soon have hot water, as well as a warm place to stay. The fire also gave off a lot of light and Janalya saw that the cottage had been invaded whilst she’d been away - by spiders. They’d been very active. There were large dusty cobwebs in every corner and stretching between the walls; the sight of them made her shiver. She was fortunate she hadn’t walked into any yet. She disliked cobwebs - the way they clung on with their sticky threads. The only good cobwebs were outside in bushes, glistening in the rain: not wrapping around her. She shivered again and went to find a broom.

The cottage was soon clean and tidy. The sturdy wooden chairs, well worn and polished smooth with age, the overstuffed sofa, all seemed to be beckoning her to sit on them. The fire blazed and crackled, adding its own welcoming greeting. She looked round satisfied. She’d found enough food to get her a meal later and breakfast in the morning. Tomorrow she would have to go into the village to get some provisions and spend some time chopping wood for the fires. Janalya ran herself a bath, putting all her clothes in a tub to soak; another job for tomorrow. She stepped into the hot water, relishing the feel as she sank down. She submerged herself and lay for a second - cut off from her senses. With a splash her head broke the surface and after wiping her face with her hand she laid there quietly, the one candle she had lit casting a pale orange glow around the rustic bathroom.

All scrubbed and cleansed, Janalya donned another dress. It felt good to be able to wear dresses again, instead of her usual garb of combat trousers, which were undoubtedly easier to move in. After all these years, she still felt uncomfortable looking at herself in trousers. She couldn’t imagine what her mother would say if she saw how she normally dressed. She could picture the disapproving look on her face, and it made her smile, which helped to lighten the moment. The loss of her parents still made her sad.

She ate her meal in front of the roaring fire and relaxed, for the first time in who knew how long - probably since the last time she’d been here. Because this was the one place that Katsuo or the Shatara had never found out about. The yellow flames reminded her of Katsuo’s eyes, and she shut her own to banish the thought. It still caused her pain that she had walked away from him.

 She swung her head round at a tapping sound against the window. She was about to get up to investigate when she saw a moth hitting the pane of glass. Janalya fell back against the cushion and listened to the wind. It began to whistle through the gap in kitchen window frame making her smile.  
This excerpt is from my YA novel Janalya.
Available now on kindle for only 99p/99c until November 2015. To purchase your copy go to Amazon.Co.UK or
This book has been awarded Readers' Favourite Five stars - I hope you enjoy it too, and I 'd love to hear from you.


Saturday, 10 October 2015

Next Step

Well it's six weeks since I published Janalya and I've taken the next step and ordered the paperback - I'm just waiting for the proof copy to come through.

I'm so excited to see it, and a few people have asked about ordering it already.

Can't wait to share it with you.


If you want it right now then the links for a kindle copy are : uk

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Battle for the Throne


Today I'd like to introduce you to Battle for the Throne by E.J.Willis.
Cover Blurb:

Alaina must fight to free the Kingdom of Falyncia from a demon who has taken control. The demon, however, will stop at nothing to destroy her. When he threatens all she holds dear, Alaina risks everything to save those she loves. Will it be enough? Or will the demon triumph over all?
And what about the author herself?

About the Author

E. J. Willis was inspired to write a story for her niece and nephew after she read a dedication from  C.S. Lewis to his goddaughter. The idea grew into a life-changing passion. Her friends are often amused (and perhaps a little worried) by her obsession with creating characters and their various trials. She shares her home in the Midwest with two cats and a cat-like dog that at times make life a little too interesting. While you're waiting for the next book in the Tales from Falyncia series, you can follow her short stories at Happy reading! :)
You can find out more by visiting her author page where there are some of her latest blog postings:
And although you can get to the book from there, here is the link for that too: Amazon.Com
I want to thank E.J for letting me spotlight her book today, and thank you to my lovely readers for taking the time to visit with me once again.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Order of the Four Sons


Today it is my pleasure to bring you the new cover for The Order of the Four Sons. The book is due to be published on the 25th September 2015.

Cover Blurb:
 Enter the world of the Order. For centuries, two ancient, magical sects, the Order of the Four Sons of Horus and Starry Wisdom, have battled for possession of the sacred, powerful Staff of Solomon. Whoever possesses the staff can open doors to other dimensions—or rip open the very fabric of existence. The staff was broken into pieces and scattered across the cosmos. Now, a member of the Order, Fernando Rios, has disappeared in a small Missouri town. When a team is sent to investigate, they discover that Rios was close to finding one of the lost segments. The problem is, he wasn’t the only one. The Order of the Four Sons by Coyote Kishpaugh and Lauren Scharhag is a classic tale of good versus evil. An epic, magical journey of fantasy and adventure. Join members of the team, Colonel JD Garnett, novice mage Kate West, Detective Ryan Murphy, scholar Doug Grigori, and field techs Bill Welsh and Cecil Morgan, as they race to stop evil from destroying not just Earth, but a myriad of worlds. And life as we know it.

To purchase this book go to:

Amazon UK

and for more information and to keep up with the authors:

Thank you for letting me be a part of your cover reveal and Good Luck with your book.


Sunday, 30 August 2015

Over to you Jeremy

Today I'm letting Jeremy Breitenbach take over my blog. Over to you Jeremy.

My name is Jeremy Breitenbach. I am legally blind with cerebral palsy. I use Braille. I've been writing since I was 15. I started out with writing original stories based off of The Legend of Zelda and original stories based off a '90's cartoon I love called Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, but in the years since I stopped writing the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog stories, but still continued to write The Legend of Zelda stories. I evetually created an original series based on The Legend of Zelda consisting of 3 books so far. I also began writing my own original stories based on the anime Dragon Ball Z (which I'm a HUGE fan of); so far writing 3 original Dragon Ball Z stories. In 2009, I started writing my first real book; a book for adults entitled The Gateway finishing it in 2011. While writing that I began writing children's books. I've written four (so far). Those books being: The Abduction of Benjamin Williams, My Dog George, Tim's Story (which I am still working on and will be the next book I publish), and Lost in Wisconsin. I also wrote a how-to book entitled How To Read and Write Braille. In 2014, I came across Author Ronnie C. Dawson, CEO and founder of Broken Bars Publishing and told him about myself and all 6 of my books. I e-mailed him The Gateway, and long story short I published it through them. It's available on Broken Bars Publishing's website, Amazon in paperback and Kindle, and Barns and Noble's website for Nook. Here's what all 6 of my books are about - How To Read and Write Braille: details how to read and write Braille, The Gateway: a physicist opens a gateway on a planet within another dimension which leads to an alien invasion; violence and strong language, The Abduction of Benjamin Williams: a family gets betrayed by a neighbor they thought they could trust, My Dog George: a boy's dog runs away, Tim's Story: A boy becomes an orphan after his parents are killed in a tragic car crash. (None of the characters in this book are based on actual people. The basis for this book was inspired by the story told in Contemporary Christian Music artist Steven Curtis Chapman's song "When Love Takes You In", and Tim's red hair was inspired by the hair color of the orphan boy in Steven Curtis Chapman's song "All I Really Want".), and Lost in Wisconsin: a boy gets separated from his parents while they are going on vacation, and due to his dyslexia boards the wrong plane. Excerpts from all 6 of these books can be found under the "Notes" tab of both my official Facebook page and my personal timeline (for those that wish to "Follow" me).

Here's what the books in my original The Legend of Zelda series are about - The Hyrulean Civil War: The Saga of King Link, Book 1 (a civil war breaks out in Hyrule), The Rezlorian Empire: The Saga of King Link, Book 2 (an emperor wants to conquer Hyrule), and The Great Moblin Invasion: The Saga of King Link, Book 3 (the King of the Moblins plans to invade the Upper World). Here's what my Dragon Ball Z original stories are about - The Return of King Piccolo (King Piccolo returns to Earth to seek revenge on Goku), Turles' Revenge (Several years after his defeat, Turles escapes from Hell in another attempt at taking over the Earth), and The Return of Garlic Jr. (The shattering of dimensions caused by Janemba destroys the barrier which separates the Dead Zone from Earth's dimension once again releasing Garlic Jr). Excerpts from The Legend of Zelda original series and my original Dragon Ball Z stories can only be found under the "Notes" tab of my personal timeline. (They will not be put into Notes on my official Facebook page. So if you are interested in reading any of these particular stories feel free to "Follow" me.)

Official Facebook page:
My personal Timeline (click "follow" I will not be adding friends sorry):

Links to The Gateway:

Hope you all hearing about Jeremy and his work


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Live Event

Janalya has gone live and to celebrate its release I'm holding a live event on Facebook.

There are interviews to be read and the opportunity to ask questions and chat with me, as well as a sneak peek at the first review of the book.

You're all welcome to join me/us.

Look forward to seeing you there


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

At Last

At last, I can present Janalya to you, and you can enjoy the story as much as I do - well, I hope you will.

I started this story a long time ago. When I originally had my idea for it, my main character was going to be a witch that could control the weather, then I got Beautiful Creatures out of the library and thought "Uh Oh - that's kinda  been done already ."

So I decided to make Janalya have power over my favourite element - the wind. Nothing I like better than a windy day, especially if I'm by the sea or on the edge of a cliff. Add some more elementals to even things out and you have the supporting teenage characters.

Now for the 'bad' to act against Janalya. Shape shifters seemed like an obvious choice to me, but not wolves. Don't get me wrong, I like wolves, but, apart from the fact that there are lots of books with shape shifting wolves in them, I had already used them in a short story for the Authors For Charity book, Paranormal Love. So, I needed something else - and what better than panthers? I love panthers. They're so mysterious, sleek and powerful - they make great shape shifters.

Before I go, I want to say Thank You to the lovely Iida Loiske to agreeing to pose for my cover.

Book Blurb:
Janalya is an air elemental, searching for others of her kind.

Katsuo is Shatara, a shape-shifting panther.

History decrees that they are enemies, but fate seems to be handing them different roles. What is Janalya’s true destiny, and is it more complex than even she knew?
Janalya is available on kindle on the 22nd August, but can be pre-ordered before that date.
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Thank you all for stopping by to read my latest post and I hope you enjoy the book. Get in touch once you've read it and let me know what you liked about it. Who was your favourite character?

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Agony of Tears

The pain gripped her insides, twisting and knotting until her chest felt hard. She wasn’t sure if she would still be able to breathe, it felt that solid.

She’d kept the tears away so far; she wasn’t sure if she wanted to cry or not. Usually, she didn’t give in, but maybe letting the tears fall would lessen the pressure in her chest.

She squeezed her eyes shut, not making a conscious decision either way. Water began to trickle slowly down her face, escaping from the corners of her eyes and finding its way to her lips.  Her tears were salty and unpleasant, making her face wet and itchy.

All that added discomfort and they hadn’t released the tension inside of her, she hadn’t cried hard enough for that.

That someone had made her feel bad enough, that she’d been forced into crying, that only added to the desolation.

Agony of Tears - Marie Godley

Friday, 3 July 2015

Road Trip

My daughter and I went on a mini road trip. This was nothing like the four day one we took a couple of years ago, but we enjoyed our two day excursion to Cornwall.

We had lunch at our favourite stopping place en-route, an old coach house.

We drove through most types of weather, leaving in sunshine, going through light to heavy rain and heavy mist, luckily we avoided storms and snow.

Had a walk round the town (and a cuppa in a cafĂ©), went down to the harbour to say hello to the sea and ships, including the navy.

On our way back, we visited Lanhydrock, a brilliant Victorian house with kitchens and servants quarters laid out as if everybody had just stepped out for a moment.

Now we're home, it's time to get back to editing and getting Janalya ready for publishing.

Thanks for reading about our mini adventure.


Monday, 4 May 2015


How are you all? I've been busy so this is a quick update before I head back to it.

I've decided to publish Janalya myself so get ready to meet his guy.

And I'm also working on a new story. These things are involved.

So much going on in my head that it might possibly explode, although I hope not because that will be painful and messy.

So forgive the short post and I'll see you all again next month.


Thursday, 2 April 2015


Going to splash photos all over this blog post in the hope that there is something for everyone.




Whatever you're doing this Easter - have fun,



Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Pick-Up Artist

Today I've invited Chris Hill along to chat about writing and his new book.

Welcome Chris.

Thanks for inviting me along to your blog Marie, it’s a pleasure to be here!

Let's great straight in with some questions: When did you start writing?

I’d say I started writing after a fashion in my early teens - just scraps in school exercise books and so on. I gradually became more serious about it until I developed to the point where I was producing proper short stories which were good enough to enter into competitions and I entered lots of those over time. I lost way more than I won of course but it was a great way of practicing as a writer. After that I moved on to novels though I had three finished before I managed to find a publisher for my first one.

You won a Bridport Prize award for your writing. Was that an important step for you?

In some ways it was yes. As you know it’s quite a big short story and poetry competition, one of the bigger ones in the UK and I won it with my story The Runner which is about a man who tries to win the affection of his son by beating his ex-wife’s new boyfriend in a half marathon.  They get tens of thousands of entries for the Bridport so it was a real surprise to win. I remember it was quite a posh prize giving with dinner and VIPs and a speech from the esteemed author Kate Atkinson who was the judge that year and who said some very kind things about my work.

It was some years ago and it didn’t lead to any big breakthrough in terms of agents and publishers flocking to sign me up. But what it did do is give me a boost of confidence. I thought I must be on the right track if I was able to win something like that so I persevered and I do think that dogged determination is one of the best things a writer can have on their side.

Your new novel is The Pick-Up Artist. Where did the idea come from?

Well, the first thing was just that I wanted to write something quite light and funny. My first published novel Song of the Sea God (published by Skylight Press) was a literary novel and quite dark. It does have jokes in it, I don’t think I could write anything which didn’t have some humour, but it is essentially fairly serious. It’s a kind of creepy fairytale about a curious figure who washes up on an island off the north of England and tries to persuade the local people he is a god.

And I wanted my new book to be a complete change of gear, something fun and not too heavy. So I wrote a romantic comedy.

The Pick-Up Artist is about a shy young man who’s unsuccessful with women and seeks the advice of a web community called The Pick-Up Artists, who claim to use psychological techniques to help their members appeal to the opposite sex. It’s fair to say it doesn’t go as well for him as he might have hoped. I suppose it’s a story about a weak man and some strong women. The women in the book are the most interesting characters in it I think. They are big and rude and funny.
You attended the Lyme Literary Festival to launch your book. What did you have to do? Was it fun? And was it like you thought it would be?
It was great, a really fun event. My publisher Magic Oxygen laid the event on at the festival to launch the books they had coming out this spring, including mine, and also to present the prizes for their Magic Oxygen Literary Prize for short stories and poems. I was one of the judges for the prize so it was a pleasure to meet some of the winners. 
At the event I had to talk a little from the stage about my new book and answer some questions about it. For the rest of the time I was signing copies at a table and meeting readers which is always a real pleasure. I also met some people I had only known through social media before so that was great.
There were lots of book lovers at the event which is what you need really. I have appeared at literature festivals before and had different experiences, some good, some bad. The worst thing is if you turn up and there’s nobody there - they’ve not put it in the programme or bothered to promote it and nobody knows you are on. I’ve sat in a few empty rooms! So this was great and a really nice way to launch my book.
Anything else the readers should know?
I suppose it’s interesting that I’m a man writing a rom com. There aren’t that many of us about - so I’m told. I sort of fell into it and we will see how this book goes before I work out whether I will do it again. The publisher say my book is ‘lad lit’ and I’m not really sure I like that label as it sounds ‘laddish’ and I don’t think my book is that really. I wanted it to appeal to women readers at least as much as men and I am grateful to find that, so far, it seems to be doing just that. Readers of the book who are women are telling me that they have found it interesting and amusing to read a book where the ‘dating game’ is described from a male perspective. Some have even told me they have found it an education!
Tell us where to find out more about you?

You can find me on my website here
My twitter handle is @ChilledCh

And what about your book?


The Pick-Up Artist was released in February 2015 by Magic Oxygen Publishing, you can find it on Amazon 

Thanks for your time Chris, I'm sure the readers will enjoy your book.

Thanks Marie.

Chris Hill- Bio

Chris Hill is an author from Gloucester in the UK whose new novel The Pick-Up Artist is published by Magic Oxygen Publishing. 

Chris works as a PR officer for UK children’s charity WellChild and spent more than 20 years as a journalist on regional newspapers.He lives with his wife Claire, their two teenage sons and Murphy, a Cockapoo.

The Pick-Up Artist is the story of a young man’s attempts to find a girlfriend using techniques developed by an online community who claim to use psychological techniques to appeal to women. Chris’s first novel Song of the Sea God,  published by Skylight Press is a literary novel set on a small island of the coast of England where a strange figure washes up and tries to convince the local people he is a god. It was short listed for the Daily Telegraph Novel in a Year prize and won the efestival of Words award for Best Literary Fiction novel. Chris has previously had some success as a short story writer including winning one of Britain’s biggest story awards, The Bridport Prize.
Once again, I'd like to thank Chris for joining me here today and thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Demon's Touch

Jennifer Loiske was going to come in and talk to me today, but it seems she's busy wrestling with a storyline, so she's sent Shannon and Ian instead. Now bear with us because Shannon is a bit upset, I'm sure Ian will calm her down though.

“I can’t believe she did it again,” A young girl said to her twin brother.

“Did what?” The boy asked without lifting his gaze from the phone he was playing with.

“This,” the girl waved her hand in the air, “Made us do all the hard work.”

The boy laughed. “She is busy trying to save our father, you know. Researching the ancient ways of magic and doing her best to find a loophole from the agreement signed with our father’s blood.” He glanced at her, “Give her some credit, will you.”

The girl crossed her arms and huffed. “Fine.”

“Hey,” the boy touched her cheek gently, “we’ll be fine. Besides, you like chatting with people. Especially with the readers.”

She offered him a careful smile. He nodded encouragingly. The light crept into her eyes. He was right. She did enjoy meeting new people. And after all, chatting was way better than fighting.

“Okay, here goes,” she grinned and started. “My name is Shannon McLean and this,” she pointed at the boy, “is my twin brother, Ian. We are the main characters in McLean Twins series by Jennifer Loiske. It’s a paranormal series for teen and young adult readers and its success has surprised us all. Yep, Ian and me, too.  The plot is unpredictable, the suspense makes the readers bite their nails off, and the magical part…what can I say? Couple of months ago I didn’t believe magic existed but now, now I can do wonders just by snapping my fingers.” Ian punched her lightly.

“But it’s true!” Shannon grinned, “we’ve harnessed the forgotten magic and we’re literally 

learning new things every day. Sometimes,” she swallowed, “sometimes I’m afraid what will happen when we reach the full potential of our magic.”

“Really?” Ian was surprised.

Shannon nodded. “In this series, anything is possible. And truth be told, I’m not sure if Jennifer even knows how this series is gonna end. Anyway,” Shannon went on before Ian could notice how scared she really was, “here are a couple of excerpts from BLACK DIAMOND, Book One in McLean Twins series, and from, DEMON’S TOUCH, Book Two in McLean Twins series. I hope you’ll enjoy them. Oh, and like Ian said, Jennifer is currently writing the final part, BLACK COVEN, so stay tuned. The ride will get pretty wild before the story ends.”

An Excerpt from BLACK DIAMOND:

She stared at the forest for a long time but there was no more light. Not even a dim one. Oh my God, she thought. Maybe they were hikers and had been captured by Connor or Robert, or even by some more horrifying person. She felt hot tears burning her eyes. She wanted to run into the forest and help them, but what could she do? She would only get herself hurt or worse and she had no idea how to help those poor people.

“I'll go there tomorrow,” she whispered. “I promise. Just hang on in there.” She heard a quiet voice behind her door and froze. “Who is it?”

“Lily,” a quiet voice whispered. “Please, let me in.”

Shannon moved the bureau away and opened the door. Lily stood there holding a bag in her hands. She slipped into the room and glanced around. When she decided it was safe she opened the bag and showed its contents to Shannon. The bag was full of food. Not nicely packed food but messy food that looked similar to what had been served at dinner.

Shannon gasped. “Ew! You cleaned my food! Why did you do it?”

Lily shrugged. “I don't want him to hurt you.”

“Who? Who would hurt me? Connor? Robert?” Shannon asked, stunned.

Lily looked out of the window and shivered. She couldn't answer and Shannon didn't want to press her.

“Thank you,” Shannon said and smiled.

Lily smiled, too. Shyly. “You can't throw it away. They'll know and they'll make you eat it.”

“But it's poisoned!” Shannon yelled.

“No, it's not.” Lily took some of the food out of the bag. Slowly, she put it in her mouth and ate it. “You see. It's not poisoned. It's just food, and if you don't eat you'll lose your strength.”

“So?” Shannon didn't care anymore.

“Then they'll get you, too.” Lily was obviously scared that she had said too much.

Shannon touched Lily's narrow shoulders. “Is that what happened to you?”

Lily shook her head and sniffed. “No. I came here of my own free will. Whatever happens to me is my own fault.”

“I came here willingly, too.”

“Yes. But you didn't know. I did and I still came.” Lily looked at Shannon's wide eyes. “None of this is your fault. He shouldn't have allowed you to come. He shouldn't.”

Shannon was confused. She had no idea what Lily was talking about but it made her more scared than ever. This place was seriously bad and these people, including her dad, were wacky. And that was putting it nicely. And yet somehow she felt sorry for them. Well, not for Robert, but for Lily and Simon, and maybe a little bit for Connor, too. She wanted to run away. To leave and never come back, but she knew she couldn't. She literally couldn't, and if she ever found a way to escape she wasn't sure that she would. There had to be a way to help them. There had to!

She took Lily's hands in hers. “I'll help you. Whatever it takes, I'll help you. You have my word.”

“No! You don't understand! There’s no way to help me or the others. We’re in this because we wanted to be! Help yourself and run!” Lily said desperately.

“No, you're not. Maybe you were at first, but you can't seriously say that this is what you want. Can you?”

Lily looked at her sadly and shook her head. “No. But I'm in too deep. Nothing can save me. Trust me.”

She showed her palms and Shannon saw the locks move again. She touched one of them and in that second it changed into a black diamond.

Lily gasped sharply. They both stared at her palms. Lily's eyes got wider. “Oh no! You're the one! Your life is in danger here! You need to run away. Now, before he finds out about this!”

“What do you mean? I'm not going anywhere!” said Shannon stubbornly.

The black diamond seemed to spin round, and the lock on the other hand seemed to change shape into a black skull.

Lily screamed. And then came the wind.   

An Excerpt from DEMON’S TOUCH:

Simon narrowed his eyes. They had to be joking. He could feel the magic all over him, and if he could feel it, they should, too. The place practically seeped magic. He shook his head and opened his mouth, a sharp opinion of what he thought about their empty-head, we-don’t-know-anything-about-magic game on his tongue. Right next to where Shannon and Ian sat was a small path that led straight into the woods. Behind the trees he could see a roof, and somehow he just knew it was Elowen’s house. He closed his mouth and stared at Shannon. She should’ve sensed at least something, but no. She just whined and leaned on her brother, looking completely clueless. Simon shook his head again. “I can’t understand why you don’t see it. This place is like the freaking center of earth magic!”

Shannon and Ian looked at him like he had lost his mind.

Simon cursed. “Elowen must’ve put some kind of shield around the house. Look, I can see that you’re both tired. I am, too. But please, trust me on this.”

Shannon formed a questioning ‘o’ with her mouth and frowned.

“A spell,” Simon snapped.

“Huh?” Shannon looked at him as if she’d heard the word ‘spell’ for the first time in her life.

A vein throbbed on Simon’s temple and he muttered something that very much sounded like a curse. He inhaled slowly before nailing Shannon with his intense, demanding gaze. “A spell would be nice now. Shannon, why don’t you, I don’t know, like ask the wind to blow a bit harder or just wish the house here. Maybe it’ll clear your mind and open your eyes.”

Shannon blinked.

Simon gritted his teeth. Right then, right there, Shannon didn’t look the least bit like a crazy-talented teen witch but exactly what she was: a thirteen-year-old little girl. He knelt down in front of her. “Shannon, something weird is happening in here. Something that for some reason has no impact on me, but obviously does something to you. It makes you weak and insecure, and so out of yourself. You need to snap out of it.”


He took her hands in his and looked straight into her eyes. “Humor me, okay?”

“Okay,” Shannon breathed and reached for Ian’s hand.

A dim light glowed from their hands when they touched each other, and they felt the familiar recognition as the magic flowed between them, entwining around their fingers and absorbing power from their bond.

“Are you ready?” Shannon asked.

Ian nodded.

Shannon turned to Simon. “Simon, don’t look. I’m not sure if my magic is good for you.”

Simon did as she asked, turning his eyes away from their glowing hands. Although he didn’t believe Shannon could ever hurt him. Not even by accident.

Shannon smiled hesitantly. “I’m not sure what to do.”

“Trust yourself,” Simon encouraged. “You have a natural talent and this spell should be child’s play for you.”

“True.” Ian smiled wickedly. “And if something goes wrong, I’ve got your back.”

“Thanks,” Shannon said dryly. “Okay, here we go.”

“Air, clear our minds. Earth, open our eyes. Water, restore our strength. Fire, light our path. What was hidden is no more. What was locked is now open. Reveal your secrets and show us what we’re looking for.”

Not the best spell she’d ever made, she had to admit that, but it didn’t seem to matter. A light wind started to blow, bending the trees and opening the thickets. The path next to them became visible to them all and the fog in Shannon’s mind vanished completely. She wanted to rub her eyes. Finally, she could see what Simon had seen the whole time. The miracle Elowen had so skillfully hidden from the mundane world. Her jaw dropped open.

“No way!”

Ian inhaled sharply, too, before laughing out loud.

Shannon took a step forward, hesitated, and stepped back. There was a huge white house surrounded by a high stone wall in the middle of the woods.

“Shall we go in?” Shannon asked.

“Sure.” Ian shrugged but none of them made a move towards the house.

They scanned the sight in front of them, their gaze stopping on a black iron gate, which looked as if no one had passed through it in years. Maybe it’s just another one of Elowen’s tricks, Shannon thought, examining the gate closely, as why would Elowen have sent them there if they could not enter? Surely it was just a gate and they were being paranoid, as nothing indicated danger. And yet there was something so out of the ordinary in the place that all of her instincts were urging her to leave. She narrowed her eyes, focusing on the details.

The gate was skillfully made, its metal bars tied into all kinds of Celtic knots, and its sides decorated by nature with ivy and other climbers that spread from the gate onto the wall. It looked ancient and Shannon wouldn’t have been surprised if someone claimed it had been made by elves hundreds of years ago. At that point she was ready to believe anything. The gate also looked very closed, with no keyhole visible anywhere, and she sure wasn’t gonna climb over the wall. She was staring at the gate, wondering if she should make another spell, when suddenly they heard a grating noise.

The gate opened slowly, revealing a beautiful, well-taken care of garden with flowering cherry trees and tulips. In the center of the yard was a wild black horse, and astride it was a boy who looked like a fairy prince.

That's great you two. Thanks so much for coming in. Why don't you go off to your studies whilst I give the readers the relevant links and info on Jennifer. Good luck!
Well that went all right in the end - now where was I? oh right - yes, information on Jennifer:

 Author bio:

Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a Teen/YA paranormal fiction author, with four exciting series available worldwide. McLean Twins series for teen readers, Immortal Blood series for mature young adult readers, Blood Hunters series, also for mature young adults, which is a follow up for Immortal Blood series and is created by the readers’ requests, and The Shape Shifter series for anyone age 16 and up.

Jennifer’s stories are full of creatures of the night. Vampires, demons, witches, shape shifters…but even if they are mostly fiction you can find a hint of a truth in every story. Jennifer loves to research so every time she gets an idea of a new story she does a crazy Google session looking for places, old myths, names, folklores, magical items…anything that could spice up her story and make it more real for the readers. Jennifer is also part of Authors For Charity, an international author alliance, and team member in Epilepsy FI magazine. She has a soft spot for people in need and anything furry.

In her spare time you can find her roaming in the woods with her two dogs or walking on a beach road, headphones on, a focused expression on her face, whilst her mind is developing wild plots which will make her readers to bite their nails off.
If you want to keep up with her latest news click on these links:
And the links so that you can get these great books:
For Black Diamond go to
For Demon's Touch go to
Thanks to Jennifer for sending Shannon and Ian along today - it was interesting - I hope you get your plotline sorted.
And as always, thank you to my readers for joining us here.