13 Dec 2013

CHRISTMAS REVIEW: “Yuletide Tales: A Festive Collective (The Indie Collaboration Presents)”

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 TODAY I PRESENT THE INDIE COLLABORATION,  a group of very talented authors, and their Festive Collection:

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“Yuletide Tales A Festive Collective (The Indie Collaboration Presents)” is a magnificent selection of Christmas-time short stories and poems that spans a wide range of angles and emotions about the festive season.

Classic x-mas stories about unexpected kindness or magical and biblical themes are included as well as an inspired horror story about the Anti-Claus and a very entertaining short about a spiritualist medium and her ‘workload’ at christmas time.

The Indie Collaboration is a collection of very talented writers, most of whom I have come across through their other work. This anthology is a showcase of outstanding writing talent. The stories are all well written, interesting and well put together, making for a great holiday read.

THE BOOK IS FREE ON MOST SITES

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/yuletide-tales-a-festive-collective-the-indie-collaboration/1117564455

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382637

Find out more about the group on Facebook:

 http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Indie-Collaboration/222566537909625

Here is the link to the book on the Amazon page of your country: http://bookShow.me/B00H0F2H5E

 

 

28 Nov 2013

Aaron David: “The Almost English Dictionaarony”

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Aaron dictionary

“The Almost English Dictionaarony” by Aaron David is a selection of eight intriguing and very funny shorts.
The author has a very quirky and unique sense of humour that he has already proven in a full length novel, The Tale of the Ancient Marina.
In this book he explores some obscure but clever ideas, such as space travel gone wrong, acting ambitions pushed to the limit, monkey vertigo and a set of hilarious made up biographies. Some stories are actually quite meaning- and thoughtful and show the author’s ability to serious reflection but the main purpose of the collection is valued entertainment.

Short, concise and very enjoyable.

 

 The Book is FREE 28 -30 Nov 2013

 http://bookShow.me/B00GT1HK5W

 

Interview with Aaron David:

 

Tell us a little about yourself as a writer and a person.

OK try to stay awake; I’m 48 years old, married 28 years, three kids; 20, 18 and 16 (unusual names). I’m a tradesman running a 24 hour call-out service. I live in Bolton in the north west of England.

What made you become a writer?  Aaronpic

In 1997 we were awaiting the imminent arrival of our third baby in four years. My wife worked strange shifts so I based my work around hers. Thankfully this meant we never had to rely on anyone else for childcare; the kids were always with one or both of us. Anyone who’s been through the whole “baby thing” will know you spend a lot of time waiting; for them to wake up, for them to be hungry etc. I thought I could use this time productively so embarked on writing a novel. Sure enough, a mere ten years later it was finished! The rest is geography… Physics… Double-French… History.

Have you always written? Was it always going to be comedy?

I always wanted to write, I was the class clown at school then later at work and in the pub. It HAD to be a comedy. I was genuinely shocked when my readers told me it was a thriller.

Can you be serious?

I can but prefer not to.

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

I found it easy because it was enjoyable. When you write you discover what your opinions are. I didn’t treat it as a job; didn’t sit down to write eight hours per day. I’d write when I felt inspired then stop when I wasn’t. I would go months between writing bits. I think over all the book benefitted from that.

Would you say there is a message in the book?

No.

Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

So far (touch wood) I’ve only had positive reviews. The only criticism was that it’s too short; which is kind of a compliment. Means the reader wanted more.

What do you like most about your characters?

They’re all fictional but could be real. None of them are based on real people except Mike, Ken, Clare & Judith. If I’d ‘nicked’ real peoples’ personalities I’d feel I owed them something.

Which one is your favourite?

I have a very soft spot for Nobby; In the face of adversity (being incredibly thick) he muddles through life somehow.

Are you like any of them?

Ken is an idealised version of the older me, Mike is an un-idealised version of me in my twenties

Who would play the characters in a film?

Steve Coogan would be a brilliant Tony, Peter Kaye could play Nobby better than he’s written.

What are your next projects?

The Almost English Dictionaarony; a collection of short stories is available on Amazon now. I’m running a free promo’ 28 – 30 November.

What is your life like?

Hectic!

What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My work and family keep me busy, writing is my only ‘hobby’.

Who are your literary influences?

My readers would be the best judges of that. Several reviews have mentioned Tom Sharpe. I’ve never read any of his work but must get around to it some time.

What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

I don’t get nearly enough time to read. I’ve re-read the Red Dwarf novels several times, heartily recommend them (except the third one; “Backwards”; not rubbish but not as good as the other three). “A Matter of Life and Death”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Toy Story 1, 2 and 3”, “Aliens”, “Terminator 2”, “In the Line of Fire”… I could go on for weeks. The best album ever is “Bat Out of Hell” by a loooooooooong way. The two ‘sequels’ were AWFUL!!!

What are your views on independent publishing?

Very hard work and very time-consuming but ideal for control-freaks like me.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

Your good self obviously, Ian Hutson, Tony Gilbert, loads of others

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

Friends?

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

Dog, black, playing football/ tennis/ badminton on a warm beach with my wife and kids + girlfriends/boyfriends.

What would you take to a remote island?

A boat and a map to get back home.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

The sequel to “Marina”; “All the Loft Insulation you can Eat” is an ongoing project. I write short stories when an idea hits me.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

They’re brilliant and worth every penny. J

 

Thank you so much, truly an honour and a privilege. As you know I’m a big fan of your work.

 

The Tale of the Ancient Marina on Amazon: http://bookShow.me/B004C05C98

An Almost English Dictionaarony on Amazon http://bookShow.me/B00GT1HK5W

10 Nov 2013

Calling Writers – Short Story Contest

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Calling Writers – Short Story Contest

November 15th through November 30th, 2013

Grand Prize – a Kindle Fire HD
Other prizes include Gift Cards, ebook bundles and winner banners

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You can join our Facebook Event to stay up-to-date.

THE JUDGES

Contemporary Fantasy – Maer Wilson

Horror – Danielle DeVor

Historical – Christoph Fischer

Paranormal Romance – Tina Moss

Romance – Constance Phillips

Young Adult – Lindsey Loucks

Mystery – LynDee Walker

 

THE RULES

1.  Submission dates – Opening date is 11/15/2013 at 12:00 AM. Closing date is 11/30/13 at 11:59 PM. All times are Pacific Standard Time.

2.  Each submission must be 3000-5000 words.

3.  Each story must be submitted as an attachment via email to goldenshortscontest@gmail.com

4.  The email should include:

Author’s name,
Story title
Genre
Author’s email address.

5.  Formatting – Submissions must be formatted in a standard .doc file as an attachment and submitted as follows :

Times Roman 12 pt
1 inch margins
Double spaced
Include only story title and page numbers. (NO AUTHOR NAMES in the story attachment)

6.  Submissions must be of original, unpublished work and all rights owned by the entrant. Copyright remains property of the author.

7.  Stories must be in one of the following genres:

Contemporary Fantasy
Horror
Historical
Paranormal Romance
Romance
Young Adult
Mystery

8.  Stories will be forwarded to the judge for that genre.

9.  All entrants must be at least 18 years of age.

10. The name of the winner and their winning story in each genre will be posted on 12/7/2013 on the judging author’s website. See below for the links to each genre.

11. The poll to vote for the Grand Winner will open on 12/7/13. A link to the poll will be available at each sponsoring author’s website.

12. Voting will close at 12:00 AM PST on 12/20.

13. The Grand Winner will be announced on all sponsoring websites on or after 12/20/13.

 

Good luck contestants!

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06 Oct 2013

NEW RELEASE: “A Menu of Death” by Lucy Pireel

2 Comments Book Reviews, News

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“A Menu of Death” by Lucy Pireel is a selection of very strong short stories, all written with a raw, edgy and bloody pen. Ranging from harsh reality to fantasy territory they provoke, open your mind, change your perspective, entertain and take you to the edge of your seat. They can be gory and violent yet also thoughtful and insightful; they are most certainly unpredictable and therefore a truly compelling read. Excellently written, tightly edited and brilliantly compiled into a varied yet homogenous collection the pages just flick through your fingers.
I’d find it hard to choose a favourite story or tell you much about the stories without giving vital clues away. I loved however one story about Karma, one about an abusive husband and one about a brutal killer, all of which turned out completely different from what I expected them to become and were extremely rewarding and a pleasure to read. There is a bite to these stories and a sharp mind behind them.
I came across the author via a tweet about her previous book, “Red Gone Bad” which was also an excellent reading experience and I am pleased that this new book is in no way second. Pireel is a fascinating emerging talent, an uncompromising wordsmith with plots that stimulate your adrenaline and your brain. 

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Here is a link to Lucy’s interview on my blog earlier this year:

http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/red-gone-bad-by-lucy-pireel/

05 Aug 2013

Andy Szpuk: “Poetry and Fate” and “Stories for Homes”

2 Comments Book Reviews

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Today I am pleased to welcome back novelist and poet Andy Szpuk. He’ll be talking about his poetry and about Stories for Homes, a charitable  anthology he has contributed to.

Poetry and Fate

 

My interest in poetry blossomed when I was working on a historical memoir of my father’s life, Sliding on the Snow Stone (That Right Publishing 2011). The story opens in Ukraine in 1932 and is one man’s journey through famine, Soviet terrors, Nazi occupation during World War Two and subsequent eviction from his beloved homeland. It’s one man’s quest to get back home, and for personal and cultural freedom.

I included, with permissions, English translations of some sections of ‘Kobzar’ by Taras Shevechenko, the most revered of Ukrainian poets, and each chapter of Sliding on the Snow Stone opens with a Ukrainian proverb. At that stage I resisted the notion of writing any of the memoir as poetry, although there is a short section in chapter one adapted from a poem of my father’s, and because of that, perhaps seeds were planted.

As a debut, Sliding on the Snow Stone proved to be a powerful and profound experience, and I knew finding a project to follow it wouldn’t be easy.

One day, almost by accident, a year or so after it was published, I constructed a short 12 line poem, called ‘History’, all about Sliding on the Snow Stone, and it served to act as a closure of sorts. A burden was somehow shifted, and I then knew it was time to move on.

Not that I’d wasted any time. Following the publication of Sliding on the Snow Stone I set up my blog: One Author’s Very Own Discovery Channel (http://andyszpuk.wordpress.com), to showcase my work and to engage with readers and the outside world. I also worked on a couple of side projects, while looking for another full-length work to undertake. And I wrote poems.

Then, one day, I discovered a story I knew was the one to tackle. My mother’s family comes from a region in the Carpathian Mountains called Lemkovyna, an area split across the borders of Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia. At the conclusion of World War Two, the Ukrainian Partisan Army remained active in battling for a free Ukraine, and regular ambushes took place on Polish or Soviet patrols. My mother’s people, the Ukrainian Lemkos, provided support to the partisans, whose activities continued into 1947, until an event occurred that was to trigger an act of revenge. A Polish General was murdered in an ambush by the partisans, and retribution arrived in the mountains. To break support to the partisans, the Polish Army came to carry out a forced resettlement.

The working title is ‘Fate and Circumstance’, and it already includes some poems, reflecting the thoughts of one of the characters, Kasper, who runs away to join the partisans.

My intention is to preface the novel with my own translation of one of Shevechenko’s works, a 16 line poem called ‘Fate’, from the abridged version of ‘Kobzar’. It was quite a challenge to translate even such a short piece, it took several attempts to get it into shape, and my appreciation of the talents of translators has grown as a result:

 

 

FATE

Those poor, starving 
wretches, my brothers and sisters,
All over Ukraine, eked out an existence,
Without mercy, you 
crushed them under your boot,
But, as a young boy, you led me to school,
You guided me well, and
 I quenched my thirst,
For knowledge and
 learning, wisdom and verse.
‘One day, we’ll be
 something, so learn well, my love’,
Your words drove me
on, they were enough,
To make sure I listened 
and learned so much more,
But your words were 
deception, for still I am poor.
My eyes on a road
 that turned onto nowhere,
I followed you
 blindly, I followed you square.
But my heart is still 
open and so is my hand,
And we still walk
 together all over this land.
We journey to glory, we 
wander so far,
And my legacy rests in the depths of my heart.

 

This poem sees Shevchenko reflecting on the fortunate circumstances that enabled him to get an education, but his affinity with the common man is evident.

‘Fate and Circumstance’ is multi-themed, with three interwoven storylines. I hope to get it finished soon.

 

 

STOP PRESS!!

I was lounging on social media one day when a post caught my eye – it was a request for submissions to a short stories anthology called ‘Stories for Homes’. I took a look at the WordPress blog and then emailed the editor Sally Swingewood to ask whether she would consider poetry. She said to send some over, so I did, and then received an email a few weeks ago informing me my poems were to be included. It’s now available on Amazon Kindle! The proceeds from ‘Stories for Homes’ go to the housing organization, Shelter. It’s a worthy cause, and by way of a preview here’s one of my poems from the collection:

 

The Sign Said For Sale

The sign said for sale

And when the people moved out

Removal men came

To heave away the piano

Along with the beds and everything else

Until the house was empty

And standing forlorn

Like a dog without a tail

The letterbox flapped

And deliveries of junk mail

Landed in a pile

Gathering layers of dust

On a worn out, left behind, welcome mat

The doorbell didn’t ring

And no footsteps

Ran down the hall to answer it

The doors were all locked and bolted

Lamps left on timer switches

The seashells in the bathroom

Long gone with the goldfish

Now and then, people arrived

To poke around and peek in corners

Until, one day, a ray of sunshine came

And took the for sale sign down

Once again, the house could breathe

The world was returning

It might be two-year old terrors

Making mucky marks on the landing walls

Or people with a taste

For Sky dishes and wallpaper paste

The house opened its doors

And let them in

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Here are some links to ‘Stories for Homes’ 

on Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

More Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Sliding-On-The-Snow-Stone/dp/1466305681/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365580081&sr=8-1&keywords=szpuk

http://andyszpuk.wordpress.com

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15739485-droplets-of-verse-volume-one

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12069307-the-history-of-rock-and-roll-in-99-tweets

 

 

 

 

© Andy Szpuk 2013

18 Jul 2013

“A World of Possibility” : A Short Story Collection by the Authors of ASMSG

1 Comment Book Reviews

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A truly eclectic offering of short stories ranging from humorous and inspirational to dark and frightening, A World of Possibility presents the work of many authors in the group ASMSG, or  Authors’ Social Media Support Group, and each author’s link is provided for your further review of their other work. We hope you enjoy the diversity, laugh, cry, shiver, or look behind you once or twice as you read.

The Authors’ Social Media Support Group (ASMSG) is proud to present the 1st Authors of ASMSG Short Story Anthology under the title A World of Possibility. ASMSG represents a membership of authors throughout the globe, so we found the title of the book and it’s cover appropriate. Inside, you’ll find twenty-six stories of pain, pleasure, anger, despair, fear, love, hatred, passion, and hope. Stories of historic inspiration to the edge of current affairs. Stories that will occupy your thoughts when you turn the lights out, or dance on your mind as you arise with the sun. We hope you will enjoy them

Reviews:

A World of Possibility” is a wonderful selection of short stories of a remarkably consistent high quality of writing throughout the entire book.
Always unsure what you get from an anthology that includes unknown writers I was glad to be captivated by the opening piece, “The Jumper”, and the mystery what said jumper represented in the story.
The book takes us through worlds past and present, into the minds of a killer, victims of abuse, to a possibly haunted Inn, into the past of shipping at Cap Cod in the 1869 or to Germany after WWII.
Not one of the stories failed to grab my attention, something that I find rare in anthologies and which I accredit to good editing and selection processes.
The situations described are inspired, captivating and provide amazing entertainment as well as food for thought.
I have noted down several of the names in the hope to find more of their work in novel form, my personally preferred genre.
This is an excellent showcase of writing talent and I wish all contributors the very best for their promising futures.
Highly recommended.

*****

What a wonderful collection of stories, showcasing the talents of many new authors. The stories range, as do the emotions and visuals they invoke. This is the perfect book to read when you only have a few moments… that five minutes waiting for the bus, ten minutes waiting to pick someone up… the perfect collection for everyone.

*****

“A World of Possibility”, an anthology of short fiction by ASMSG Goodreads authors compiled by Christopher Shields, is a heterogeneous blend of vibrant writers. We find stories of all genres ranging from Kirstin Pulioff’s tale of a young boy and girl unearthing a deadly buried treasure, to Yelle Hughes’ detailed account of a journalist’s sexual experience while interviewing a porn star. Alan Hardy’s sad depiction of a marriage gone stale also deals with sexual frustration.
Criminal acts, both present and past, abound: Iain Parke’s Lala Salaama is masterful with its gruesome depiction of the methodical butchering of a human body.
Ghosts, spirits and vampires make an appearance in quite a few stories. Susan Hawthorne’s description of how the spirit of a long-dead boyfriend takes over the body of a younger man in order to entertain his now elderly lover is captivating.
Each story had the power to transport the reader to another reality and to leave strong imprints of each character. Well done ASMSG authors! I bow to the talent in all of you.
*****

For more on the book on Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18144783-a-world-of-possibility

Download it now on Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/335901

For more on the Author Alliance:

http://asmsg.weebly.com/

6643379 6055453

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alliance Founder R. Grey Hoover

 

 

Editor Christopher Shield

 

08 Jul 2013

Of Words and Water: An Anthology in aid of Water Aid

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Of Words and Water

by Words and Water group, Ali Isaac (Goodreads Author), Kerry Dwyer (Goodreads Author), Marie-Anne Mancio (Goodreads Author), Mark Bell, Mike Duron (Goodreads Author), Mona Karel (Goodreads Author), Neel Kay (Goodreads Author) , more…

Short description

Published in support of WaterAid, a delightful selection of varied short stories, poems, and song lyrics from an international group of top class authors, that features Peggy Seeger, noted singer and environmentalist. The cohesive theme is Water, something most of us take for granted. For millions of people clean drinking water is a luxury. Together we can change that.

Water. Many of us take it for granted. With the turn of a faucet, an endless supply runs across our hands, douses our face, fills our pots, kettles, tubs and swimming pools. We depend on the life-sustaining qualities of water for everything from the essential to the mundane, to refresh our bodies and replenish our thirst, to clean ourselves, our clothes, our automobiles and even to maintain our lawns. For us, the fortunate ones, safe water and sanitation is an integral part of our daily lives. Could we survive without it?

Roughly one in ten of the world’s population do not have access to safe water. Two in five people do not have access to adequate sanitation.(*) WaterAid is working to change that. Since 1981, the international non-profit organization has been transforming lives by helping the world’s poorest communities help themselves.

Of Words and Water is a collection of water-themed works from authors around the globe, all of whom wish to contribute to WaterAid’s invaluable efforts. Our work is given freely: if you enjoy it please give generously to share the gift of clean water, the gift of life.

(*)WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2013 update

In my opinion: 

Of Words and Water” is an impressive anthology of short stories and poems, all around the theme of water, a charitable project for WaterAid.
The pieces chosen cover a broad range of approaches, they are poetic, poetic prose or use more modern language; some are more symbolic, others more direct and literal.
The editors did an excellent job at compiling a huge variety of unique styles and ideas on the subject. Whether we experience the power of ocean waves or have a comparatively safe swimming pool as setting, a flooded house, a woman’s water breaking or snow in an unusual location – the collection as a whole hits home the importance of water, its many shapes and forms and its all permeating importance. Water is needed everywhere, water is life.
The book can be downloaded for free, a donation for WaterAid is suggested.</em>

 

Get your copy here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/330936

Please donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/Of-Words-And-Water

or here: http://www.wateraid.org/uk

info taken from:

http://kerrydwyer.net/2013/07/01/get-your-copy-of-words-and-water-is-available-now-on-smashwords

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18142788-of-words-and-water

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/330936

 

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