Saturday Sale – 21st January

First out of the bag is ‘Broken Soul’, a fantasy novel by Joshua Buller, which will be FREE ON AMAZON on January 25th:


After slave girl Micasa escapes with the help of her new friend, Hawke Morau, her world is turned upside down. She learns that Hawke’s soul has been broken into fragments, each of which holds a different power from his past.

Together, the two embark on a quest to recover the pieces of Hawke’s soul. Micasa learns of the mysterious essence that infuses all life, and allows its wielder powers that stretch far beyond the mortal realm.

As Micasa discovers the truth of the world, she also finds out that there is a lot more to it – and Hawke – than she ever realized.

Next is Christine Campbell’s cozy mystery ‘Searching for Summer’, which is FREE from 24th – 26th January.


The first novel in The Reluctant Detective Series. Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will. Casting all other concerns aside – food, sleep, work, relationships – in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer. Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer’s photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.

Last but not least is ‘Sisters of Ruin’ by Darren Lewis, which will be FREE from 20th – 24th January.


Every night I have the same dream
I save them and my world continues on
But when I wake I’m alone

The cold darkness reminds me I failed
And that the war is already over
We lost
I didn’t save them
I failed

The dragonwar has claimed our world. Three girls are thrust together in the aftermath to face the devastation inflicted upon humanity. They will discover and attempt to master a strange new power – one that will ultimately destroy or save the world. They will not face these challenges alone. The bond they share will bring them together and create a family.

The sisters have risen.

If you have a free book or an upcoming sale for a Saturday in the near future, I would be delighted to feature it on my blog.  Please email the details to   Thank you.


Exercise for the Auditory Ossicles



I’m pleased to announce  ACX has informed me that the audio version of For the Sake of a Child is now ready and available for purchase today.  I’d like to thank narrator Janine Haynes for a superb job, especially with Larry’s Liverpudlian accent!

For the Sake of a Child 3.jpg

ACX will be sending me 25 free codes, and so if anybody has an Audible. account and would like a code, please contact me and I will send you one.  First come, first served.

Also I’d like to thank Sandra Garston for narrating Lily: A Short Story.  The audio book was published just before Christmas, and already has one 5 star review:

Lilly Audio JPG - Sandra Garston.jpg

I’m going to chase up the free codes for this one, as I never received them.  Please leave a comment if you would like an code.

Janine is now narrating ‘Repent at Leisure’.



Friday Roundup – 20th January


1.  Blonde Write More gives us 12 difficult things that writers need to accept:

12 Difficult Things You Need To Accept About Being A Writer #AmWriting #Writer

2.  Here’s a good one from Indies Unlimited if you’re looking for reviews for a new book:

3.  Thanks to BookTown for these 518 hashtags for writers:

4.  Thanks to Blonde Write More for these 7 reasons why a writer is like a phoenix:

7 Reasons Why a Writer is Like a Phoenix #SundayBlogShare #AmWriting #Writer

5.  Jason Matthews at How  to Make, Market and Sell EBooks gives info about book copyrighting:

6.  Thanks to this guest post on the BookWorks site by Joan Stewart, who tells us of the importance of contact info:

7.  Indies Unlimited tell us about the John Gardner Fiction Award (US only):

8.  Michael Cristiano tells us of 5 mistakes that authors make on social media:

5 Mistakes Authors Make on Social Media

9.  Thanks to Frank Parker for this warning to all authors:

10.  Thanks to Lousy Writer / Chris, the Story Reading Ape for this infographic on how to use the colon:

10 Rules How & When to use the Colon – Infographic…

Thanks to Kim’s Author Support Blog, Chris, the Story Reading Ape, A Writer’s Path,  Don Massenzio, How to Ebook, Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie,  for the re-blogs.


2017 WRITING CONTEST: Tales2Inspire Celebrates Sixth Year

Do you have an inspirational true story to tell? You can submit it to this competition, and it’s free!

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

Get ready to share your story


“So much more than a contest

Lois W. Stern announces the opening of Tales2Inspire’s sixth yearwith a great little contest for those with an inspiring story to share. But it is so much more than a contest, as winning authors get tons of publicity to help them on their paths to discovery. Free to enter—NO FEES involved.

Stories must be true, with one or more relevant photos submitted to enhance the impact of the story. All details posted at:, so please refer to this link before you begin.

And since a picture is worth 10,000 words, while you’re there, grab a F*R*E*E e-book sampler of inspiring stories written by previous winners, and now published in one of the six Tales2Inspire® collections

~ Lois W. Stern
Creator of Tales2Inspire ‘Authors Helping Authors’ Project/Contest

Get the NEW Tales2Inspire

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Thursday Cite & Insight Invite – 19th January



This is a good one from C.S Lewis regarding friendship:

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

It’s true that we cannot choose our family but we can choose our friends. Yes, we tend to opt for friends who are on our wavelength and like doing the same things that we do.  I quickly picked up on the quiet, bookish girls when I was a terrified 13 year old starting in a huge secondary modern girls’ school back in 1971, and naturally gravitated towards them.  We would skip sports and the hated gym, and go sit in the library and read, successfully hiding our favourite books so that nobody else could find them. The loud, in-your-face girls in my class who were evening go-go dancers in pubs never gave me a second glance, and I shied away from them in horror!  The group of  quiet girls are still my friends today.

I have also made many ‘virtual’ writer friends online over the past 4 years.  We are all in this book marketing business together, and I have learned so much from people all over the world whom I have never met.  I first started out in 2013 thinking that all I had to do was write my story, publish it on Amazon, and hey presto, readers would flock to it in droves.


I then had the idea to interview other authors about their books and about their lives, and we struck up an online friendship.  I could ask them questions about marketing, learn a bit more about it, and include their answers in an interview on my website. These authors were then more favourably disposed towards promoting my own books.  I’m not too keen on publishing more than 2 blogs every day, as I work on the assumption that ‘less is more’, but I have made a New Year’s resolution that one of these blogs will always be from a self-published author who I consider a ‘virtual’ friend.

Real friends versus virtual friends?  What do you think?  As far as I’m concerned … it’s all good!




Ageism in the Workplace


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I read an article on LinkedIn by Lesley Jane Seymour about ageism in the workplace that made me want to expand a little bit on this:

I am almost sixty too, just like Ms Seymour.  I returned to work in 1994 at the age of nearly 37 after staying at home to look after my boys.  I chopped and changed jobs in the next few years without any problems, until I found the one that suited me the most – a medical secretary in my local NHS hospital.

The NHS took me on at the age of 44, after I voluntarily left my previous job.  I was promoted over the years and gained experience in several departments until I took early retirement in 2014 due to side-effects of treatment for thyroid cancer.  I eventually ended up 2 grades higher than when I started.  Probably about 90% of the secretaries there were ladies in their fifties – free of childminding duties and willing and able to start at 8am and work past 3pm.  I can actually say that I never came across ageism when I was a medical secretary at all.  Even now my ex-manager often sends me emails and asks if I would like to return to work as a bank secretary to cover for holidays and sickness.

The NHS put up with my frequent hospital appointments when I was initially diagnosed with cancer in 2005, and my colleagues always welcomed me back after time off due to major surgery.  I cannot fault the NHS at all as an employer.  I now receive a pension.  I know that some people in their fifties do experience ageism in the workplace, but I just wanted to write about the other side of it.

When I went for one particular interview just before I returned to work in 1994, I was told that the company never takes on women of childbearing age.  It did cross my mind to wonder why they had invited me for an interview in the first place, but I’ve since learned that companies do have to interview a range of prospective employees to make their documentation look good.  I actually found it more difficult to get that first job when I was of childbearing age and after 12 years at home.  The older I became, the more easily I was able to find employment.

I can actually say that I’ve never experienced ageism at work, but was definitely  discriminated against in my childbearing years a few times in the 3 years it took me to find a job and return to the workplace.

Have you experienced ageism in the workplace?  I’d love to read your comments!



Be my guest …. a reminder

Guest blogging opportunities here courtesy of Sue Vincent.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo


If you are a writer, artist or photographer…If you have a poem, story or memoirs to share… If you have a book to promote, a character to introduce, an exhibition or event to publicise… If you have advice for writers, artists or bloggers…

Why not be my guest?

I don’t bite and I don’t charge.

If you would like to be my guest on the Echo, please read the guidelines found HEREand email me at

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Closing Down The Blog

What a shame that Ms Watters is closing down her blog. However, she is right in that bloggers need to frequently post new content. This is difficult, but I’m sure it’s the way forward to gain new and interested followers. Re-blogs are fine, but if everybody is re-blogging the same posts, then…

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

Hi everyone, it’s been a great 6 years of blogging, but it’s time to end the party.

My advice to all writers regarding social media and blogging is that if you can’t post consistently with new content then it’s not worth it–and I’m taking my advice! I will leave it up so that you can still read the articles for information.

Thank you to my 3,000 blog followers–and 80,000 visitors a year!– for engaging with me and asking great questions.

Here are some of my top posts from over the years:

On comparison to other writers

On where your book begins

On Instagram

On characters

On category and genre

On querying

On personalizing your query to agents

On your first page

Did you have any favorite posts over the years? Let me know in the comments.

Moving forward, I’m taking the energy I was using on blogging and spending it on my other…

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Tuesday Newsday – 17th January



Last week, the ‘Health’ page of the BBC News app gave some tips for a good night’s sleep for the over 50’s.  Apparently as we age, our sleep patterns change and we wake more during the night and earlier in the morning.  Yes, I can vouch for this!

Getting the right amount of good sleep protects us from all kinds of problems that can affect our brains and bodies, and poor sleep increases the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes says a report written by The Global Council on Brain Health, a panel of experts convened by Age UK and the American Association of Retired Persons.

The report recommends that older people get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, and gives the following tips on how to achieve this:

  • Avoid tea and coffee.
  • Keep daytime naps shorter than half an hour.
  • Get up at the same time every day.
  • Get outside for some natural sunlight during the daytime.
  • Don’t drink alcohol to help you sleep.
  • Try to eat dinner about 3 hours before going to bed.
  • Don’t look at an electronic screen of any kind after you get into bed – tablet, phone, laptop etc (my husband is always telling me about this one!).
  • Avoid using over-the-counter sleep preparations.
  • Avoid arguments before going to bed.
  • Don’t sleep with pets in the bedroom.
  • Wear socks to keep your feet warm in bed.

The report also says that for those struggling to get to sleep at night,  get up and find another quiet place to relax until you feel sleepy, or if you tend to doze off in front of the TV, then go out and walk around a bit to keep alert.

I agree with most of these except that I couldn’t sleep with socks on or with pets in the bedroom, but I do tend to sit up and look at the iPad if I’m awake during the night.  I’ve been waking up a couple of times at night for at least 40 years, and so it’s quite the norm for me.

Are you an insomniac, or do you sleep all night?  I must say, you’re very lucky if you can go 8 hours without waking up.  The only time I can do this is if I have a general anaesthetic!


Have you entered the competition yet?

Hugh's Views & News

It’s less than 6 months before the 2017 Bloggers Bash takes place in London. And here’s something new for this year’s event – a competition open to all bloggers. There are some great prizes up for grabs. Check out Sacha’s post for full details.

I’ve closed comments off on this post, so if you have questions then please leave them over on Sacha’s post.

GOOOOOOOODMORNING bloggisphere… It’s the start of another year, and what a year it’s going to be. I have a little tickle in my tummy about 2017, and it’s screaming sparkle a…


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