Friday Click & Run – 5th July

Sometimes when we’re busy it’s nice to simply leave a link to our blog or blog post and run, and so Friday Click and Run is just for that purpose. However, of course you can check out others’ links and share away if you want to. So… every Friday do add some info of what your blog is about and also a link to your blog or blog post in the comments if you’ve got a minute. You don’t have to do anything else such as sharing or commenting unless you really want to. Isn’t that cool? People may decide to check your link out, or they may not. They might decide to leave their own link and run as well, so you may meet each other heading out the door. If I see a post that’s a bit risqué, then I shall be running too – straight to the ‘delete’ button!

Fire away then… let’s see what we end up with. Thanks to the 9 authors/bloggers who left links last week.


Has this Ever Happened to You?

Sam will soon be off to the US for a week on business, and he asked me to order him a couple of my ghost stories so that he had something to read on the plane.  I logged into his account in that mahoosive online  store that we all love to hate, and ordered  paperback copies of Finding David and ‘Partners in Time‘.   I did this on 23rd June.

As you know, once the paperbacks are delivered then the sales should have been recorded on my KDP paperback dashboard.  However, it is now nearly 2 weeks later and  only ‘Finding  David’ has been recorded even though both books have been delivered.

I have complained many times via chat and phone about the missing book sale on my dashboard, but the sale never gets added to the dashboard.  I have wasted hours on the chat facility going around and around various departments that shift me on to someone else and say they will get back within 24 hours and never do.  They are now trying to get rid of me by saying they have no details of the sale; yesterday a very convenient ‘glitch’ happened that had to halt the conversation.  When I try to ring, I get told that the KDP Department are not contactable by phone and that someone from that department will phone within 24 hours (ha ha).

Can one person fight such a large institution?  This makes me wonder whether every sale gets recorded.  I only know about this one because I ordered the books myself from Sam’s account.

Has this infuriating situation happened to anybody else?  If so, how was the situation resolved?

By the way, my ghostly short story ‘Finding David’ will be FREE from Friday 5th July to Sunday 7th July.


I was surprised beyond belief to receive an email from Executive Customer Relations this morning after I had emailed Jeff Bezos himself out of sheer frustration when noticing online that he reads all of his emails but doesn’t reply to all of them (I hoped at the time that he would reply to mine).  This is part of the reply:

Mr. Bezos received your message and I’m responding on his behalf. That particular event didn’t reflect on your royalty reports because we fulfilled this order with existing inventory from an either cancelled or returned order that was already reported as a royalty when the manufacturing event occurred. 

Yes, I remember that I’d had a Kindle copy of a different book returned, but this was a paperback bought at a higher price.  Oh well, I think I’d best shut up now…



Goodbye, My Brother… A Death with Dignity — Wandering through Time and Place

I was moved by this touching tribute by Curt Mekemson to Mitch, his much loved brother.  A dignified death is all we can ask for when our time comes…


I was with Marsh when he died on June 2, gently holding his shoulder. His hospice nurse, C, was holding his hand and quietly taking him through a beautiful meditation. She included the deer herd that had come down off the hill and stood around the RV. Coincidence? Probably. We normally have three or four […]

via Goodbye, My Brother… A Death with Dignity — Wandering through Time and Place

Streets Ahead Street Team Promotion


This week on Streets Ahead it’s the turn of  Adele Park’s fantasy/crime novel ‘Wisp‘.

Edra; a world where magic flourishes and where dark secrets are concealed by those who rule. Secrets which can get the innocent killed without a thought.

When the body of an elf is discovered in a treacherous area of the city, Wisp a young Law Enforcer is assigned the case. He soon realises the case is far from simple. As soon as he finds one thread another one leads him to unravel a tapestry woven from lies, secrets, corruption and evil. When friendship turns to love, Wisp`s life, as he knew it will completely change.

What started out as a murder case ends in a grisly battle which Wisp and his companions seem to have no chance of winning.

5 star review by Colleen Chesebro:

Meet Wisp, a law enforcer in the land of Edra, where magic is encouraged to flourish and is often needed for sheer survival. A mages council rules Edra compared to the neighboring area of Finah, who prefers humans to control their resources. After a bloody civil war, many years ago, the two lands exist beside each other in a fragile peace.

Wisp is a marsh fairy with raven hair and pointy ears pierced with silver earrings. Marsh fairies are rare and possess special powers. Wisp keeps his real identity under wraps, known only to his superiors. Abandoned as a child, the “Senior” Law enforcement officer raised him ensuring his survival.

In a desolate area filled with putrefying rubbish, Wisp comes across the body of a High Elf, a member of the Thorns, who was a high-ranking council member found murdered in the circle. The elf’s throat had been brutally cut. Wisp sets out to solve the murder not realizing he is to play an integral part in solving the mystery.

Wisp meets Finn Redhaven, the lover of the murdered elf, Sammiel Thorn, and feels an immediate attraction to him. Wisp and Finn fall in love and discover a wealth of magical abilities enabled by their relationship. And, they are going to need all the help they can get to battle the evil that has descended on Edra.

As fantasy novels go, Wisp stands out to me in its originality and political intrigue. Ms. Park creates a world where love is considered to be one of the greatest powers of all. I enjoyed that the two main characters were male and embraced their love and desire for each other, which was a refreshing approach to solving a mystery in a magical land. The reader discovers along with Wisp the extent of his abilities which I anticipate will increase over time.

I’ve added Wisp to my list of favorite fantasy novels. I loved the story and the characters. The ending is a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait for the next volume to find out what happens to Wisp and Finn. Hopefully, Ms. Park won’t keep us in suspense for long

Want to join Streets Ahead and take part in book promoting?  If so, please click on the link above.  Go on…you know you want to!


Share Your Short Story – Winners



Thanks to all who submitted their stories and poems for June’s ‘Share Your Short Story’ contest.  I enjoyed reading all of them, and have picked out a winner and 2 runners up below:

Congratulations to June’s contest winner L.A Myles, who has written a very touching poem entitled ‘Cold’.   L.A,  feel free to use the laurel below, and also let me know if you are willing to have the poem published in an anthology I’ll put together when I have enough winners.


I’ve chosen Wendy Van Camp’s true story ‘The Horse Thief’ and Abbie Johnson Taylor’s story ‘Dream Closet’ as  runners-up.  Congratulations Wendy and Abbie, feel free to use the laurel below:

Memoir: The Horse Thief


Please take some time out to read all the other lovely stories that were submitted this month.

Told by Harris:  The  Fake ID

Tea Cup  Writer:  11:17 a.m

Doug Jaquier:  Killing the Serpent

Christopher Marcus: From the Day You’re Born

D.G Kaye: The Life of a Good Book

Frederick Douglass Grimes III: Love is Blind

Ashlynn Waterstone: Equines Unite

Darlene Foster: If the Shoe Fits

Debbie Harris: Big Debbie’s Purple Boots

Julie Goodswen: Beginner’s Pain for Hopeful Gain

Tallis Steelyard: Picture His Troubles:

The next contest will be in  August. 

Open Book Blog Hop – 1st July



This week’s topic is:

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

There are a few traps to look out for in my opinion.  I’ll list them below:

1.  Rushing the first novel because you want to ‘get it out there’.

Yes, I rushed ‘The Porn Detective’ (now re-written as ‘Mind Games’) back in 2013.  Words were tumbling out faster than I could write them down.  I finished the book in about 3 months and sent it off to some agents.  One London agent deliberated with colleagues for a week whether to represent me, before declining.  Another one said she would be interested if I could re-write it.  I put it on the back burner as I couldn’t be bothered to write it out all over again, however, 4 years later I did re-write it and sent it back to both agents.  They still declined!  Maybe if I’d done a better job of it in the first place …?

2.  Taking part in ‘writing’ contests that only want your money.

There are a lot of shyster writing contests and screenplay contests out there.  Funnily enough they all want entry money – usually about $50.  What happens to the winners if there are any?  Who knows?  Good writing contests need to be researched thoroughly!

3.  Paying out for services that you can do yourself.

Just like the Klondike miners found back in the 1850s, there are many people willing to charge for aiding you in your quest to be an international bestseller.  These charges might be for formatting, publishing, editing, or cover design for example.  To quote W.S Gilbert, small publishers abound like ‘asparagus in May’.  You can find your own print-on-demand publisher and publish your book yourself without having to pay ‘setting up fees’ to a small publisher who is only interested in taking part of your royalties.

4.   Not getting discouraged by negative reviews and giving up.

All writers receive some negative reviews, and you cannot please all the people all the time.  The trick is to ‘suck it up’ as my US friends say, and carry on writing.

5.  Paying out large sums of money to vanity publishers.

Don’t do it!  Self-publish while you’re waiting for one of the Big 5 to whisk your book away.  You’ll probably do a much better job than a vanity publisher, who is only interested in your money.

6.  Not listening to constructive criticism.

Yes, your book is the bees knees … you’ve sweated blood and burned the midnight oil to get to the end of it.  However, an ARC reader or beta reader might have a different opinion, and can point out the flaws that you might be blind to.

What traps do other blog-hoppers know about?  Click on the blue button to find out, or just add a comment.

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Sunday Stills Photography – 30th June


This week on Sunday Stills the topic is ‘The Great Outdoors’.

I’ve added a couple of photos of my favourite place on the Isle of Wight – the Tennyson Trail at Freshwater. This is a popular trail with hikers and ramblers.  You can walk 2 miles along the cliffs to the Tennyson monument, and then carry on for another mile down into Alum Bay.  You’re up there with the sun, the wind, and the ghost of Lord Tennyson, who lived nearby and used to hike along the cliffs every day.

Tennyson Trail

Tennyson Trail1





#Bookreview – The Daughter-in-law Syndrome by Stevie Turner

Thanks to Robbie Cheadle for this brilliant review of ‘The Daughter-in-law Syndrome’.

Robbie's inspiration

Book reviews

What Amazon says

The Daughter-in-law Syndrome investigates the complicated relationship causing much friction between Grandmother Edna Deane and her daughter-in-law Arla. In addition it focuses on the sometimes tumultuous partnership between Arla and her husband Ric.

Arla Deane sometimes likens her marriage to undergoing daily psychological warfare. Husband Ric will never voice an opinion, and puts his mother Edna up high on a pedestal. Arla is sick of always feeling that she comes in at only second best to her mother-in-law, who much to Arla’s fury is never told anything by Ric or his sisters that she would not want to hear.

This novel explores the husband/wife, mother/son, and mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. After twenty eight years of marriage, Arla, the daughter-in-law, is at the end of her tether and persuades a reluctant Ric to accompany her for marriage guidance. As they look back over their lives with Counsellor Toni Beecher, Arla…

View original post 618 more words

Camping Under the Stars

As soon as I read Dorinda Duclos’ excellent poem about camping on Sally Cronin’s blog site, I remembered I had written an account of our own stay under canvas at the Download Festival back in 2010.  So here below for your delectation and delight, is Stevie’s camping experience of 9 years’ ago (never to be repeated).  We are currently entertaining relatives at the ‘van’ this weekend, and so will answer comments as soon as possible:


It was with some degree of heartsink when we were met on arrival at the West car park by possibly the same very amiable but charmingly persistent nun collecting money for her cause, who had also accosted us at the Isle of Wight festival the year before. Extracting ourselves from her clutches and two pounds lighter already, we asked directions to the campsite from one of the many ‘car park police’ dotted about. He pointed a finger and said it was ‘that way up the hill’.

‘Up the hill’ turned out to be an hour’s trudge to the Family Camping site lugging the last of the camping gear. Luckily Sam and Marc had set up the tents the day before, in order to bag a good spot not too far away from the festibogs (but not too near either). Marc had returned home as he and Lisa were attending the May Ball at Lisa’s college the next evening (they would return on Saturday), and Sam had returned home to collect the last of the gear and pick up Leon and I after we had finished work the following day.

The Family Camping site was described as a place for ‘People who want to enjoy the festival, but who also would like some peace and quiet’. It cost us a few pounds more for the privilege, but that suited us nicely. I looked forward to this island of calm and stillness in the midst of the usual racket of alcoholic and debauched festivity going on all around. Sam had mentioned that the previous night when he stayed in the tent, there seemed to be quite a few aeroplanes flying overhead.

Yes, there were. He was right. Somebody in their wisdom on the website failed to mention that the whole Download site was under one of the main flight paths out of the East Midlands Airport, a stone’s throw away. As we settled into our tent, every few minutes another plane came roaring over our heads, taking passengers away from the aforesaid alcoholic and debauched festivity going on below. Also, the Family Camping site was a short walk from the fairground rides that entertained 75,000 people into the small hours after the main arena closed. Peace and quiet? AI – DON’ – FINK – SO!!

Time to check out the loos. The festibogs were humming nicely in the mid-afternoon sun and pollulating with festeringness. An alarming festibug could gain entry to your unsuspecting digestive system with ease with only one visit to these gruesome establishments.

Nevertheless we were all set to enjoy the festival. Sam started pumping up the airbeds, and I looked around for my bag of clothes to find a pair of long trousers to change into, as it had suddenly become a tad chilly. It then hit me with a sickening thud that said bag of clothes and toiletries were still sitting at the top of our stairs ready to be packed into the car. I hadn’t brought them downstairs, and neither had Sam. Leon looked as though he wanted to be somewhere else, as he sensed a domestic brewing. It just gets better and better doesn’t it! Leon suggested buying some more clothes, but Sam kindly offered to go back and get them. I didn’t want to waste money on buying unnecessary clothing, so we made the decision to go back home after Motley Crue had played that evening, stay at home for the night, and then return with the bag of contention the next day. Leon would stay behind and meet up that night with some old workmates that were also attending the festival.

It was time to walk to the arena to see the bands play. It was possibly a half hour’s walk from the campsite to the arena, and we were joined on our travels by a few thousand new arrivals eager to check out the sounds. Young people seemed to outnumber us middle-agers by about 10:1. We came to the conclusion our peers either didn’t like the music, couldn’t do the walking, didn’t like camping, or maybe it was a combination of all three. The Isle of Wight festival seemed to attract many more middle-agers, but then there was a bit less walking there, and the music was less death-orientated. Perhaps we’re just unusual in liking Heavy Metal!

By the time we arrived at the arena at about 7pm, Limp Bizkit were just finishing their set on the main stage and Korn were starting theirs. Leon wandered off to meet up with his friends and watch Korn. Not being a fan of either band we weren’t too bothered – we preferred to watch Opeth and Motley Crue play on the second stage. We said our goodbyes to Leon as we wouldn’t see him until the next day.

Back at the South car park on the Saturday but this time with my bag, we looked out for the nun but she wasn’t there – she probably had had to go to the bank with a wheelbarrow to deposit her takings. Marc and Lisa were arriving soon. I gave Marc a ring to find out where he was. After quite a while a sleepy voice answered. They had slept through the alarm after partying hard at the May ball. He’d missed his chance to see Ripper Owens at 11am, and it would be some time before they saw any bands at all. We left the bag in the car, as we had previously booked a Travelodge room some months back for the middle night to have a bath and a good night’s sleep, being the sensible people that we were. I hadn’t actually slept in the tent yet, but hey, I couldn’t resist the pull of the bath and a bed over an airbed and a tent.

We arrived back at the arena just in time to witness the ‘awesome’ Five Finger Death Punch on the main stage. The poor singer was angry at the world and hated everybody, even himself. Nobody loved him, he knew. After a warning to the more timid front-of –stagers to move back, he then got on with a song which I think was called ‘I’m Taking it Back With my Knuckles’. This involved the entire mosh pit at the front punching each other senseless (if they weren’t already with the influence of several Jagermeisters) and shouting the aforementioned song title at the same time. The audience loved it, and the medical centre at the back of the arena was on standby. It was awesome to watch.

Not only did I not want to be in the front-of –stage moshpit, I actually didn’t want to be at the front at all. There was an unearthly pong all around the front of the stage area. People who were ‘lucky’ enough to get a spot stayed there all day. If they needed the loo, I think they did it there and then judging by the smell, which was coupled with the stench of stale beer and body odour. Beer bottles were used as receptacles for urine which were then tossed into the crowd. Am I making it sound agreeable enough for you? Sam and I agreed it was much better to sit nearer the back. You could still hear everything just as well as if you were at the front, but you were less likely to get hit by a bottle of urine.

My favourite band of the day were The Answer, who we had also seen at the Isle of Wight festival the year before. They followed Static-X, another good band, and were due to play at 4.25pm on the second stage. We’d met up with Marc, Lisa and Leon by this time, and we all got as near to the front as we could (without being knocked out by the smell), as I’d previously told them about The Answer and they were all keen to see them. Leon and Marc were wearing tutus, but nobody took any notice; anything went at Download. Two steel barriers a few feet apart separated us from the VIP’s right at the front of the stage who had paid twice the amount for their tickets. This chasm was supervised by the ‘arena police’ who stood with their backs to the stage watching us, in case anybody dared to vault the barriers and join the VIP’s.

The Answer are from Belfast and had obviously grown up listening to Led Zeppelin’s music. The singer even looks like Robert Plant with his long blonde hair. However, their songs are their own. Marc picked up their influences straight away, and Leon, Marc and Lisa rocked away until it was time for them to run round to the main stage to see Pendulum, then run back to the second stage to see The Prodigy (they had some unwanted attention in their tutus in the Prodigy’s mosh pit), and then they would hopefully get back to the main stage in time to catch the last of Slipknot’s set. Before Slipknot we managed to meet up again and catch Thunder’s set on the Tuborg stage. Unfortunately Thunder were to be no more after Download, so we made the most of it, singing along to ‘Love Walked In’ and their version of ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ amongst many others. Saturday night was also our chance to live in the lap of luxury at the Travelodge. The next night it would be the tent for me, and the festibogs.

Sunday was the best day as far as I was concerned. Sam took our overnight bags from the car back to the tent before all the best bands started on the main stage about 2.30pm. The ‘campsite police’ searched in my bag (yes, the bag of contention) and found a strange metal object which they wanted Sam to take out for their inspection. To his embarrassment it was my hairdryer (Travelodges have electricity!). Now why was this man taking a hairdryer to a tent? Sam didn’t have an answer either, and cursed the ****ing bag under his breath all over again. The ‘campsite police’ let it through, as there was no way he could use it for anything!

Just look at this lineup on Sunday afternoon; 2.30 Journey, 3.35 Dream Theater, 3.55 ZZ Top (are those beards real?), 6.35 Whitesnake, and to top it all at 8.45 there was Def Leppard to headline. I was in Rock heaven and so was everybody else. I particularly remember hearing the audience erupt as Dream Theater came on stage and went straight into ‘Pull Me Under’. Yes. It was worth sleeping in a tent for this. Lisa had to return home on Sunday evening due to work commitments, so it was decided that I would sleep in Marc and Lisa’s small tent, and the three boys would share the big tent. I didn’t fancy sharing a tent with three blokes who had been on the beer all day (you know – winds moderate to gusting /disgusting and all that…)

On the way back to the campsite at the end of the festival, we passed the ‘Comfy Crappers’. We had passed them on the Friday and Saturday, but now seemed the right time to check them out as the festibogs had started making Marc and I retch. Leon was using a nearby tree /fence, and Sam just wanted to wait until he got home before doing anything at all. The blokes all seemed to be using the fence opposite our tent for a wee, and Lisa had been quite dismayed on joining the early Sunday morning festibog queue to be last after 30 blokes, each holding a loo roll. She returned to the tent announcing she would ‘wait a while longer’!

There was a bit of a queue for the Comfy Crappers, but not too bad. Sam and I joined the queue whilst the boys went back to the tent. The Crappers are composting toilets and do not smell. I was all for that. Each person in the queue paid £2.50 and was given a wooden spoon. You can imagine the conversation Sam and I were having as to the purpose of this instrument. I came up with the idea that as the loos were composted, then once you had done your business you dug some earth out of a well-placed bucket and covered your traces. Sam’s brain raced away and his ideas are probably best left unsaid.

For my £2.50 I expected a virtual state-of –the- art flushing toilet. What I got differed wildly from what I had imagined. The long handle of the wooden spoon was used to put into two holes in the door to ‘lock’ it, and there was a wooden box with a hole in it on which you sat to do your business. Granted you had loo paper, but that was it. At least there was no pong to the loos though, but I wouldn’t actually say they were ‘comfy’. You were given some hand sanitizer on exiting.

Now then, I couldn’t put it off any more. It was time to sleep in Marc and Lisa’s pygmy tent. How they both managed to get any sleep in it baffled me terribly. Sam had put one of our airbeds in it for me, and the higher end of the airbed was facing me as I unzipped the tent. I crawled over it and tried to make myself comfortable. A plane went overhead. Snoring came from our neighbours on either side. The fairground was in full swing. Rain pitter-patted on the plastic outer cover. I wanted my Travelodge room. I was still in my clothes because I knew I would need the festibogs again sometime during the night. Another plane went overhead. This sucked already and I had only been laying there for 10 minutes.

I must have dozed off eventually about 4am, and was woken at 5.30 by our neighbours packing up to go home. This seemed to wake up the rest of the campsite, and most people were up and packing up by 6.30. A plane went overhead. The ‘tent police’ patrolled and made sure everyone was awake. Another plane took off. One tent was still upright with no sign of life. The ‘tent police’ unzipped the cover and looked inside. Had somebody died of alcoholic poisoning overnight? The tent was unoccupied so they started to take it down. The poor owner might have gone to the festibogs and wanted a Monday morning lie-in afterwards! No such luck. It was pack up and go home time. A plane went by overhead. We Rocked. See you there next year?


Friday Click & Run – June 28th

Sometimes when we’re busy it’s nice to simply leave a link to our blog or blog post and run, and so Friday Click and Run is just for that purpose. However, of course you can check out others’ links and share away if you want to. So… every Friday do add some info of what your blog is about and also a link to your blog or blog post in the comments if you’ve got a minute. You don’t have to do anything else such as sharing or commenting unless you really want to. Isn’t that cool? People may decide to check your link out, or they may not. They might decide to leave their own link and run as well, so you may meet each other heading out the door. If I see a post that’s a bit risqué, then I shall be running too – straight to the ‘delete’ button!

Fire away then… let’s see what we end up with.  I’ll be entertaining the in-laws on the Isle of Wight this coming weekend, so will get around to reading your blogs during next week.

Thanks to the 9 bloggers who left links last week.  I think Click & Run is slowly growing in popularity!