Sunday, July 31, 2016

On #HastingsPeer For #HastingsPirateDay 2016

July 17th 2016 was this year's anual Hastings Pirate Day.

In case you're interested: Hastings currently holds the world record for the most people to be grouped in one area dressed as pirates at the same time. If I'm not mistaken, the record is currently 14,231, and was achieved in 2012.

Anyway, stuff happens for Hastings Pirate Day all over the town, but since they FINALLY have the peer finished - after it burned down the year before we moved down here, and they had to fight to get the work done, because it wasn't the council who owned it - and it was officially opened again this year, we decided to combine checking that out with our Pirate Day outing, so it was only the pirate themed activities happening in and around the peer that we witnessed.

Kelly and I had already planned to do this, but were then joined by our friends Lorna and Andy, as well as Lorna's friends Kaye and Robyn. So, though it was just the two of us for the first part of our outing, we finished things off as a group.

Luckily, the weather was beautiful. Unlike last year, when it rained heavily most of that weekend.

Anyway, here are some pirate themed photos we took. As I've mentioned before, our camera isn't the greatest, which means the shots aren't going to be great quality. But slightly fuzzy shots are better than no shots at all, right?

OK, so...

Here's a pirate flag that was blowing in the breeze coming in from the ocean:

We didn't dress up, but a lot of other people did. Even some of the dogs got in the pirate spirit, like Milly here:

Some of the pirates didn't stop long enough for us to get decent photos of them...

While others were more than happy to pose for the camera...

As I mentioned, even pets were dressed up a little. We didn't get any more pirate pup photos though. We also didn't get a photo of this adorable little toddler who was all dressed up.

There was music playing, and a guy getting kids to jump about to music. But we didn't get photos of that.

We did, however, get a couple of shots of a pirate who was entertaining the crowd with his juggling skills...

And Captain Jack Sparrow dueling another pirate...

(There would have been more of Captain Jack Sparrows duel, but they were obviously moving about a lot, and people's heads blocked the camera's view in most of the shots we attempted).

We were also lucky enough to be near where the pirate band was gathering ready for the pirate parade...

It makes a change... Normally we only catch the parades as they pass our building. But this time we were at the start of their route. So we got some photos as the pirate parade started out...

At this point, the pirate activities seemed to move away from the peer, and we didn't go and check out what else was going on in town. I expect you can find photos and information about the other stuff that happened for Hastings Pirate Day by looking it up on Google though, if you want.

There was a bit more to our day out though. But I'll tell you about that tomorrow, because this is already a long-ish and very picture heavy post, and I don't want to make it any more difficult to load than it already will be for those of you with slow internet connections. So, come back tomorrow for more from the peer.

Friday, July 29, 2016

#Furkid Friday: Jacob The #Degu's Recent #Vet Trip (FD)

Hi humans, rodent types, and anyone else reading this.

This is Jacob the degu.

My human caretakers took me to the vet.

They stuck me in a box with air holes cut in to it, and wouldn't let me get back out... I didn't even have my brothers with me! Then we had a ride in one of those taxi car things, which I didn't like, because it was hard to stay in one place in my box when we went around corners, and the taxi car thingy was really noisy. Plus, they still wouldn't let me come out of the box, which wasn't fair! I didn't like the box, and I especially didn't like being by myself in it.

Anyway, after that we had to wait to see the vet. I kept busy with escape attempts, but the human caretakers were paying too much attention, so I never managed to get out of the box. One time I even tried to trick them by suddenly staying still so they'd worry I'd hurt myself, and trying to leap out of the box when they lifted the flap to check on me. But they were too quick for me, and I never made it out of the box.

So, the vet checked me all over. I'm free of mites, and my ears look great. I'm also in the right weight range for a degu, and weighed in at 214 grams. However, two of my front teeth needed trimming, so the vet fixed those for me right away. Actually, those teeth were part of why the human caretakers decided to take me to the vet, apparently. Them, and the fact I've lost a lot of fur and have sore patches from biting at myself.

Part of the reason for the fur issue is how upset I am after losing Bilbo and Jasper, but another part of it was infection. You see, I somehow managed to bite the inside of my mouth, and it got infected, which isn't comfortable, as I'm sure you can imagine. So the vet said I had to have something for it, and squirted some nasty tasting stuff in my mouth. Then he gave the humans a bottle with more of the stuff in it, and said I had to have it twice a day, and have to go back to see him two weeks after the appointment to see if the infection has cleared up, and to make sure that I haven't lost any weight (which is a concern, both because I had an infection in general, and because of the fact I've been really picky with food lately).

I didn't like the sound of that, and wasn't impressed about what I had to go through when the vet was seeing to me. So I sulked in my box all the way home. Then I went straight to bed. I was going to refuse to talk to the human caretakers, but the Mummy human gave me one of my favourite nibbles, so I changed my mind about that. Speaking of nibbles, the vet also said I wasn't allowed to have any fresh veggies until I get better, just in case they upset my tummy. I'm not a big fan of fresh veggies anyway, so I don't mind that much... I'm more of a cereal kind of degu, so instructions for me to be on dry food only are just fine with me. It was the only part of the vet trip I approved of, actually.

Anyway, the vet trip was last week (on the afternoon of Thursday, July 21st) and my appointment to go back to the vet is scheduled for next week (it's at 2:00pm on August 4th). Personally, I'd prefer it not to have been scheduled at all. But apparently what I want doesn't come in to it, because the appointment was made before we left the vet... I heard the human caretakers scheduling it while I was still inside that stupid box.

I don't like vet trips, and this stuff they keep making me take tastes really awful! The human caretakers keep insisting it will make me feel better, but I'm not convinced, and don't see why I should have something nasty tasting squirted in to my mouth. I mean, how would the human caretakers like it if someone did it to them? I bet they wouldn't be so eager for it to happen then, would they?

OK, so maybe I am doing a bit better. Maybe. But for all I know I'd be doing a bit better even without that nasty stuff they keep squirting in to my mouth. Like I said, they keep insisting that stuff is doing me good. But, as I also said, I'm not convinced, and I'm not looking forward to going back to the vet next week.

Squeak soon,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#Writing Wednesday - July 27th 2016

I'm now done with writing about Saxons and Normans, since I've pre-released "Eadweard - A Story Of 1066" - my story about the Battle Of Hastings. It's not out until October, and I actually have another book - my science fiction story, "Jeffrey The Orange Alien" - due out between now and then. But it was finnished, so I figured I'd go ahead and pre-release it. This means that those of you who like to pre-order my books from places like Barnes & Noble, or Apple iBooks, can do so, if you wish to.

Also, "The Ocean's Lullaby And Other Poems" is now available in paperback from CreateSpace and Amazon, and will become available in paperback elsewhere soon... Barnes & Noble will start carrying the paperback version in the next couple of months for example (they already carry the eBook version).

(Clicking on the book's title above will take you to the page for it on the CreateSpace store).


Are you a writer? Or, do you just dream of being one?

Struggling with writers' block? Or, feeling creative, but out of ideas? Try this simple method for writing a good story... You'll never be out of ideas again! But, if you need some help getting started, here are 15 plots from European mythology and ancient literature to inspire you.


There are still a few days left in which to take advantage of the huge discounts in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale!

As I've mentioned so many times you're probably sick of hearing it by now, the eBook versions of all of my books are half price as part of this sale. So, just head on over to my Smashwords author page to see what books I have on offer, pick the books you want, and enter coupon code SSW50 at checkout for each book. After that, all you have to do is grab the version that works best for your eReader of choice - mobi, if you're using a Kindle, for example - and enjoy!

You may also want to just head on over to Smashwords to find out who else has their books on sale.


It's never too early to start thinking about the holidays when you have a product to market, whether it's a book, or something else. So, this is just a friendly reminder that you might want to start planning for the holidays. If not now, then at least some time very soon.

Finally, if you recently published a new book, and the book launch didn't go well, here's what to do when your book launch fails.

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 2016 #Vegetarian Friendly #Food themed Thoughts (FD)

If you don't already know, I'm a vegetarian, though my hubby, Kelly, isn't one, and swears he never will be. In fact, I'm the only vegetarian in my immediate family. I also like to try new recipes. So, though I don't always try them all, I'm always on the lookout for new vegetarian or vegan friendly recipes... Especially ones that are quick and easy to prepare and cook. I watch for them on social media sites I'm on, as well as on the blogs I follow, and I search for them on Google sometimes too.

During one of these Google searches, I recently stumbled across a tasty sounding avocado egg roll recipe, so decided to give it a try. I haven't had much experience with avocados, and the only other time I've done anything with them myself was when I had one raw in a sandwich once (I think it was with tomato and onion).

The first time I planned to try it, I couldn't get any avocados, so I decided to see how it worked out with zucchini instead, since I had everything else. It worked really well, in my opinion, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had it with a peanut sautae sauce for dipping.

The second time, I actually had an avocado. So, YAY! Anyway, I think it worked out well, and tasted really good that way too. That time I had it with hoi sin sauce for dipping.

Both versions I did work with other kinds of wrappers as well, such as tortillas. Tortillas aren't the best choice for making these though, since it's a little more difficult to get them to stay together for frying when you use a tortilla. Well, actually, a LOT more difficult... Messy too!


Don't forget, my website has a recipe section, which you may want to take a look at (if you haven't already done so). Most of the recipes listed there are vegetarian friendly, and several are also vegan friendly.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

More On The #Smashwords #SummerWinterSale2016

As you probably figured out from all my posts about it lately (especially if you follow me on Twitter, and have seen the stack of Tweets I've been putting up on there too) the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale is still going on.

But, of course it is... It lasts until July 31st!

Have you taken advantage of the great books on sale yet?

All of my books are enrolled at 50% off with coupon code SSW50, making even the most expensive of them just $2.50, and a couple of them free!

But mine aren't the only books enrolled!

There are hundreds of authors enrolled - if not more. So, to see who else has enrolled their books in the sale this year, browse the list of books on sale.

And, remember: Smashwords offers multiple formats, which most authors take advantage of. This means that there will usually be a format that works for you regardless of your eReader of choice. Don't forget to check the list of available formats on new to you authors though, just in case. However, my own books have all available formats enabled, and so do those of the majority of the other authors who publish via Smashwords. So, as a general rule, if you can read this post, you can read the eBooks.

As already mentioned... The sale ends on July 31st 2016.

Friday, July 22, 2016

#Furkid Friday: Star The #Rat On Correct Hot Weather Behaviour

Hi humans, rats, and anyone else reading this - rodent or otherwise.

This is Star the rat.

I know I posted about a similar topic a couple of months ago, but it's been a very hot week, so it's the topic on all of our minds right now. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have a reminder.

Because of the heat, our human caretakers have been making sure we had plenty of water to drink, and have also provided us with fans to help us keep cool. Even so, we've all been a bit cranky because of the heat. The human caretakers have been really good about it though, and haven't scolded us for being cranky, or bothered us too much. Not that our human caretakers do scold us if we're cranky normally, mind you.

I hope, if it's as hot with you, that everything is being done to make you as comfortable as possible too. Drink plenty, don't stay in direct sunlight too long (or expect your furry friends and family members to do so) and stay cool!

Also, humans, Be patient with your furry friends and family members if they get extra cranky in the heat... They can't help it.

Squeak soon,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#Writing Wednesday - July 20th 2016

Do you write poetry? Or, even just read it? If so, what are your thoughts on breaking grammar rules in poetry? Personally I agree with the post: it's OK to break the rules of grammar, as long as you know them and are doing it in a creative way that works better for the poem, rather than just because you haven't bothered to learn them. So, learning proper grammar is important, but breaking the rules is acceptable sometimes. In fact, I feel that way about most writing rules: learning them is a good thing, but there are times when it's acceptable to break the rules.

Do you write stories? If so, regardless of the genre you write in, it's a good idea to keep track of your worldbuilding details. You don't have to use the exact method discussed in the post I just linked to, but keeping notes of how things work in your world, what different places are called and who - or what - lives in them, etc, is a very sensible idea. Yes, even if you're writing about the real world. But, don't forget to get the story out of your head and on to the page.

Also, don't forget about the importance of an exploding sandwich!


The Smashwords Summer Winter Sale 2016 is still going on, with eBooks of all lengths and genres available in multiple formats, and at various discount lefvels from 25% off to completely free!

Among them are my books, which are all 50% off with coupon code SSW50, and are available in all formats Smashwords offers, including mobi for Kindle, epub for Nook, PDF for use on your computer (and many tablets too) and a few others.

The sale ends on July 31st 2016.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Parade Along The Seafront In #StLeonards

July 9th 2016 was the anual St Leonards festival.

I'd hoped to go, but wasn't feeling up for an outing. We were able to hear some of the music for the event through our open bedroom window though. Plus, there was a parade along the seafront, so we grabbed some photos of the parade as it went past, and I listened to some of the music - which was really good, by the way.

Conditions for taking photos out of windows weren't the best, and our camera isn't anything fancy either, so they're not the most amazing quality of photos, but here they are, anyway:


Sunday, July 17, 2016

#Poetry #Book by #Author Agnes Mae Graham

After learning that Chris and his sister had published a collection of their Mother's poems recently, I wanted to give them the opportunity to tell my readers about it. I e-mailed Chris, and invited him to do a post on my blog. Naturally, he accepted. So, here's what he had to say:

My thanks to Tori for including me on her great site, it's a great honour for me.

I must confess that my sister and I are completely blown away by the fantastic response to, and support of, our Mum's book 'My Vibrating Vertebrae: and other poems'

The reviews posted on Amazon have caused us both to feel very emotional, but proud, about Mum and her poetic storytelling skills.

Full credit goes to my sister Lorna for gathering, compiling and typing up all the poems she could find (I was still living and working Overseas at the time).

Her dream of publishing them came closer when I retired and, without knowing about the poems, decided to start a blog to help Indie Authors spread news about their works.

Three years or so later, Lorna sent me the poems and asked if I could publish them.

After reading them, I certainly agreed to try, thereby entering into the (scary) world of the 500+ authors I'd had as Guests on my blog.

To give a flavour of what Mum wrote, here is one of her poems:

Journey in an Aeroplane

Were you ever in an aeroplane?
My, but the feelings are hard to ponder.
The engine starts, the speed builds up,
then you're in the blue yonder.

We boarded the plane at Aldergrove,
and up the steps we staggered.
Our hearts in our mouths, our faces white,
our eyes all looking haggard.

300 miles an hour 9,000 feet up,
the fields looked so wee and neat.
The roads like grey ribbons,
and the houses like those for dolls, so petite.
The rivers were like silver bands,
the trees like chips of green jade.
A lough, like a shimmering jewel lay,
what precious things our God has made.

Clouds now each side like fleecy snow,
unmarked by man, so virgin white.
Bits of blue, like best porcelain,
what a glorious, breathless sight.

Now the sea of grey-green marble,
stretching as far as the eye can see.
Big ships, a lighthouse in model size,
huge waves, like ripples in the sea.

If all could fly, above God’s earth just once,
to see ourselves as God us does see.
Humility would make us pray, with joy,
thank you God for noticing me.

We land at last, land flashes past,
the doors open on man’s world again.
Strange how quiet and thankful we feel,
after our moment near God, in an aeroplane.
If you enjoyed it and would like to read more, the book is available in eBook and Paperback at:
UK  -  USA  -  CA  -  AUS
and other worldwide Amazon Online Stores

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#Smashwords #SummerWinterSale2016 - #Author Rosemary J Peel

Rosemary J Peel is an author of multiple genres, including - but not limited to - children's books and poetry.

And, guess what? I happen to know that at least some of her books are enrolled in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale this year. In fact, the ones I know for sure are enrolled are completely FREE!

Like me, Rosemary has a rather long list of published works. So I'm not going to list them all here. Instead, I'll tell you to check out her Smashwords author profile, either by clicking on her name above, or clicking on the following link:

For details of how much you can save, as well as the coupon codes you will need, see the individual book pages, where the coupon code will be listed (Yes, really... The codes get listed on the book pages, because it's a sitewide promotion).

Rosemary's books are available in multiple eBook formats, so there should be a format that works for you, regardless of your eReader of choice. In fact, if you can read this post, you can read her books.

Sale ends July 31st 2016!

Friday, July 15, 2016

#Furkid Friday: Baggins The #Gerbil's Cute Begging Trick (FD)

Hellooo everyone!

This is Baggins the gerbil.

I tried for a couple of weeks to find my gerbil brother, Bilbo, but after that I decided I wasn't going to spend the rest of my life sulking about losing my brother. Sure, I miss him. But there are tunnels to be dug, and nibbles to be eaten.

I'm especially enthusiastic about the nibbles, and have learned that raising one paw and wiggling my nose when the Daddy human is bringing nibbles will result in me getting an extra nibble, because he thinks it's so cute. Naturally, I take advantage of this every single chance I can. And, yes, it works every single time!

So... Anyone got any Cheerios, cheese, berries, or other gerbil friendly nibbles? *raises one paw and wiggles nose*

Squeak soon,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

#Smashwords #SummerWinterSale2016 - #Author Rita Lee Chapman

Rita Lee Chapman is another author who I know has her books enrolled in this year's Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale.

Her books include a suspenseful psychological thriller, a horse story for young adults, and a suspenseful romance.

Interested? Check out the details below:

Dangerous Associations
Use the code SSW50 at checkout to get this book for half price.

Winston - A Horse's Tale
Use the code SSW50 at checkout to get this book for half price.

Missing In Egypt
Use the code SSW50 at checkout to get this book for half price.

Like many other Smashwords authors, Rita has made the most of the option Smashwords gives to make books available in multiple eBook formats. This means that there will be a format that works for you, regardless of your eReader of choice. In fact, if you can read this post, you can read Rita's books.

Sale ends July 31st 2016.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#Writing Wednesday - July 13th 2016

In case you missed my post about it on Saturday...

My latest poetry collection "The Ocean's Lullaby And Other Poems" is now officially released!

The eBook version is already available to buy, and the paperback will become available soon (hopefully by the end of July). I have the physical proof on the way to me at this very moment, but it usually takes a couple of weeks to arrive, and then - assuming it all looks OK - I have to approve it.

Speaking of my books... I'd like to say a big thank you to fellow poet, Kevin Morris, for the post he did about my books being in paperback now, as well as the post he did about my latest release.

I'd also like to thank Chris The Story Reading Ape, for re-posting both the post about the paperbacks, and the post about my poetry book being released.

Also, thank you to anyone else who re-posted these posts, re-tweeted my tweets about them, etc.

Oh, and, thank you to anyone who has recently brought copies - in either eBook or paperback - of any of my books!


Don't forget about the 2016 Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale!

My books are enrolled at 50% off. But - as I mentioned in my post about it at the start of the month - my books aren't the only ones, and some of the authors have their books free during this sale.

The sale ends on July 31st 2016, so grab your eBook bargains while you can!


I've signed up for the KidLit Summer School on Nerdy Chicks Write. I've never done it before, though apparently it's been going on for a couple of years. I'm having fun with it so far; the exercises are cute and fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#Smashwords #SummerWinterSale2016 - #Author Diana L Wicker

Young Adult/Fantasy Author Diana L Wicker has her books in the Smashwords Sale.

The Dreamweaver's Journey
Use the code SSW25 at checkout for 25% off

The Guardian Child's Return 
Use the code SSW50 at checkout for 50% off

The Legacy of Mist and Shadow
Use the code SSW75 at checkout to get this book for free

These books are available in multiple eBook formats, so there will be a format that works for you, regardless of your eReader of choice. In fact, if you can read this post, you can read the books.

Sale ends July 31st 2016.

Monday, July 11, 2016

My Thoughts On #Brexit (kinda R/WP)

As you most likely already know, last month, the UK voted on whether or not to leave the EU.

Well, I didn't. I never vote, because I never feel well-informed enough to confidently decide on things like this. Especially when - as was the case in this situation - we don't actually have all the facts to be able to make an informed decision. But most people voted. I think nearly 80% of the UK actually turned out to vote.

Anyway, the vote was to leave the EU, which upset a lot of people who don't want to leave the EU, and started a bunch of hate crimes from others who thought if we're leaving the EU we should kick out anyone not completely British. Apparently they've conveniently forgotten that almost nobody in the UK can actually claim to be 100% British right the way back down the line of their family trees. Funny that.

But, are we leaving the EU? That's the big question. And, the sad fact is, I actually have no idea. I don't think even the government knows for sure at the moment.

The Prime Minister resigned when the votes came back saying the majority of the public had voted to leave the EU (well, England and Wales... Ireland and Scotland voted to stay in... But it still worked out that the votes to leave were more than those to stay by a couple of percent). So, right now a bunch of potential Prime Ministers are arguing over who gets to be in charge of the country. It depends which of them wins to what happens, how it happens, etc.

I actually think the uncertainty is worse than either outcome. I mean, there are pros and cons to both leaving and remaining in the EU. But this uncertainty is causing panic, which is causing problems of its own as people squabble like pre-schoolers fighting over the last cookie at snack time, or worse. Made even worse still by the fact that the people in power appear to be almost as confused as the rest of us as to what happens next.

I've been asked by several people if I think we should leave the EU or not. The truth is, I'm actually not sure how I feel either way, since there are pros and cons to both sides, as I said. We didn't have enough details before the vote, and I honestly don't really think we do now either. All I know for sure is that this uncertainty is worse than either choice, and the crimes of hatred, and increased racial violence, need to stop. Regardless of whether we leave the EU or not, attacking one another for a difference of opinion or background, or for any other reason, isn't the way forward. It saddens and sickens me that so many seem to feel it is.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

#Smashwords #SummerWinterSale2016 - #Author A. L. Butcher

Author of adult fantasy, A. L. Butcher, has her books in the Smashwords sale!

The Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles (The Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles, #1)
Use the code SSW50 at checkout to get this book for half price.

The Shining Citadel (The Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles, #2)
Use the code SSW50 at checkout to get this book for half price.

The Stolen Tower (The Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles, #3)
Use the code SSW50 at checkout to get this book for half price.

The Kitchen Imps 
Use the code SFREE at checkout to get this book for free.

Outside the Walls 
Use the code SFREE at checkout to get this book for free.

These books are available in multiple formats, so there will be a format that works for you regardless of your eReader of choice. In fact, if you can read this post, you can read the books.

Sale ends July 31st 2016.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

#Poetry #Book Release: The Ocean's Lullaby And Other Poems

A collection of more than 40 poems of various styles and lengths, many of which have an ocean theme to them.

As well as having an ocean theme in many cases, the poems in this collection explore a variety of other themes, using a variety of different tones; some funny, and others of a more serious nature. Themes include holidays, animals, imagination and creativity, depression and grief, among others; often overlapping with the ocean theme.

That's the synopsis for "The Ocean's Lullaby And Other Poems" - my new poetry collection, which is officially released today.

You can already buy it as an eBook from Smashwords in all formats they offer, as well as from a few other eBook retailers that Smashwords distributes to (such as Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, and Kobo, among others).

And, for those who prefer physical books... Fear not! The paperback version will become available in the near future; just as soon as it can be arranged. Watch my Wednesday posts for an announcement of its availability.

Friday, July 08, 2016

#Furkid Friday: Of #Degu Houses

Hi humans, rodents, and anyone else reading this. This is Joshua the degu.

There's not much happening in the degu cage right now, except that we degus need a new wooden house.

The human caretakers say we wouldn't if we didn't keep chewing on it. But we have to keep our teeth down, don't we?

OK, yeah, so we have sticks, gnawing blocks, etc. But that's not the point... The wood our house is made of just tastes so good! Plus, it's right there when we wake up from a nap.

So, we just ignore the human caretakers and keep right on gnawing on our house.

Which, as I said, means we need a new one again.

We're almost three and a half, and this is already our fourth house. Now we'll need a fifth one.

It's not so bad while it's still Summer, because the holes we've made give extra ventalation. But the human caretakers better get us one before Winter, because we'll need it when the cold weather comes.

You hear that, humans?

Squeak soon,

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

#Writing Wednesday - July 6th 2016

Just in case you missed my post about it on Saturday...

All my books are half price this month as part of the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale.


I've almost finished my story about The Battle Of Hastings.

Well, I suppose you could technically say I have finished it, since it's now going through the various editing stages my books get put through. So the story is actually completed, but not quite ready to be let loose to fend for itself in the big wide world just yet. Soon though... Very soon!

I put my books through several editing phases, and then the proofreading phase, in the hopes of catching all those pesky typos and things. That's what's happening to this story right now. Of course, even the best editors and proofreaders in the world can sometimes miss something. But I think it's important to at least try to avoid any sneaky typos being missed. Hence the several editing phases, which I consider essential before publishing.


Writing a story where you want to make reference to the night sky? make sure you have your facts right, so you don't jolt your reader from the story. The same goes for facts in general. Research is very important, whether you're writing non-fiction or fiction.

Confused about view points? This post about various points of view will help make it a bit clearer.

Also, don't forget that an author - especially an author of children's books - can help to encourage acceptance of others by using vicarious contact. So, if you're a writer - especially one who writes for young children - help show others that people who look different on the outside, or come from different backgrounds, are the same on the inside, and can often have a lot in common.

Ready to write your book's blurb, and dreading the task? These tips will help you to take the fear out of writing book blurbs, by giving you some helpful tips for writing yours.

Monday, July 04, 2016

2016 Second Quarter #Reading Challenge - BINGO!

One of the groups I'm a member of over on Goodreads tends to be quite creative with their challenges. For example, the reading challenge for the second quarter of this year, which ran from April 1st to June 30th 2016, was based on a game of Bingo.

This Bingo card was posted:

The goal was to cross off the spaces by reading a book with the description on the space. You could get a Bingo by getting 5 in a row, up down or diagonally! You could also get a Bingo by getting all 4 corners, and also BLACKOUT (if you were really motivated!)

You were supposed to set your own goal from the list below:

1-2 Bingos: Atari Newbie
3-4 Bingos: Tetris Building Machine
5-7 Bingos: Pac Man Master
8+ Bingos: Donkey Kong Champion
BLACKOUT: The Legend of Zelda

Now, despite how fun it sounded, when I read this far in the post, I almost didn't join in. I mean, the card is visual, after all! But it turned out that the moderator who created the challenge had very helpfully provided a list of what was needed under each letter at the bottom of her post. I have no idea if she did it intentionally for my benifit - the whole group does know I can't see - or if she did just do it in order to provide a quick list for reference to the group in general. I didn't ask. But, either way, her doing so meant I was able to join in. So, I did.

This was the full list:

B1- A book with a one-word title
B2- A classic
B3- An ebook
B4- A book with multiple POVs
B5- A library book

I1- A Sci-Fi book
I2- A book set in high school
I3- A first in a series
I4- An audiobook
I5- A book published in 2016

N1- A book off of your TBR
N2- A non-fiction book
N3- A standalone book
N4- A book over 400 pages
N5- A book under 300 pages

G1- A book by a new-to-you author
G2- A book set in the future
G3- A book set in the past
G4- A fantasy book
G5- A book set in college

O1- An adult book
O2- A re-read book
O3- A book that made you laugh
O4- A book that made you cry
O5- A book with a mystery

And here's what I managed to get read:

B1 ~ Ixeos (Ixeos Trilogy, #1) by Jennings Wright
B2 ~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
B3 ~ Finding Daisy by Bob Simms
B4 ~ Remnants (Remnants Trilogy, #1) By John Hennessy
B5 ~

I1 ~ RENOVO Grounded (Renovo, #2) by Geoffrey Wakeling
I2 ~ Bloody Zombies by Victoria Leybourne
I3 ~ Quicksilver (The Forensic Geology Series, #1) by Toni Dwiggins
I4 ~ Pathfinder Legends - Mummy's Mask, Chapter 4: Secrets of the Sphinx by Amber Scott
I5 ~ Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection by Marissa Meyer

N1 ~ Zombie Messiah by Eric Mead
N2 ~
N3 ~ Room 42 by Melody J. Bremen
N4 ~ The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
N5 ~ The Shunned House by H. P. Lovecraft

G1 ~ The Healer (The Healer, #1) by C.J. Anaya
G2 ~ The Martian by Andy Weir
G3 ~ The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories #2) by Bernard Cornwell
G4 ~ The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales by A.L. Butcher
G5 ~

O1 ~ Globular Van der Graff's Goblin Tales for Adults by Jack Eason
O2 ~ Hybrid: Pacifier 6 - Expanded Universe by Geoffrey Wakeling
O3 ~ Blithering Genius (The Other Universes, #2) by Ubiquitous Bubba
O4 ~ The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
O5 ~ The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, #4) by Carolyn Keene

I wouldn't normally count re-reads, but in this case it's taken a while for the book to be listed on Goodreads, so my Amazon review is from when I originally read it when it came out in February, but my Goodreads review is from when I read it again and put up a review for it when I discovered it was finally listed on Goodreads in June. So, this time I'm mentioning a re-read.


By my calculations, I got six bingos:

B1 through O1.
B1 through O5.
B3 through O3.
B4 through O4.
I1 through I5.
O1 through O5.

That makes me a Pac Man Master.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

#Smashwords #SummerWinterSale2016 - Grab Some #eBooks on #SALE Today!

It's time for the 2016 Smashwords Summer/Winter sale!

The eBook versions of every single one of my books is half price this year. So just go to my Smashwords page, pick your books, add them to your cart, and enter coupon code SSW50 at checkout for each book.

Yes. You can use it for as many of my books as you want, and it is the same coupon code for all of them... It works that way because it's a sitewide promotion.

No. The coupon code will not work on other sites. This is a Smashwords only thing.

You can also check out the other books on sale, if you're interested. There are books in all genres ranging from just 25% off to completely free!

Don't forget: Smashwords offers a large variety of formats, and most Smashwords authors take advantage of this - I'm one of them. This means that you can buy books from Smashwords in a format that will work for you, regardless of your prefered method of reading eBooks, be it with a spacific eReader, or on your computer.

So there's no excuse not to take advantage of this oppertunity to get some eBooks on sale.

Ends July 31st 2016.

Friday, July 01, 2016

#Furkid Friday: Jacob The #Degu's Struggles With Lost Pals

Hi humans, rodent types, and anyone else reading this.

This is Jacob the degu.

I'm a very sad degu right now, because I was still really missing my best pal (my gerbil brother, Bilbo, who went away in April) when my degu brother, Jasper, also went away a couple of weeks ago.

Jasper and I were really close. I'd comfort him when he was upset, and make our other degu brothers, Jenks and Joshua, leave him alone if they got too rough for him. But now he's gone, and I don't understand where, or why.

First the big white Kero dog went away, and then Bilbo, and now Jasper.

I loved the big white Kero dog; we were great friends. He used to let me sit on his head, and climb all over him, and he'd come to the bars of my cage for me to talk to him. When the big white Kero dog went away, Bilbo and I became even better pals than we had been, because he was there to listen to me and give me comfort. Now, I've not only lost both my pals, but also the brother I was closest too; the brother I looked out for.

Where do they keep going? Why do they leave me behind?

Why won't they come back when I call for them? I've called and called, but they don't come. They always used to come when I called for them. Why aren't they coming now?

The human caretakers say they went to some place called "Rainbow Bridge" and I'll see them again one day, but hopefully not too soon. But this just confused me even more.

I've tried to make sense of it, but I just don't understand, and it makes me very sad.

I'm stressing out over it so much I'm losing fur. The human caretakers tell me it's OK, and I shouldn't stress over it, but I can't help it. I miss them so much, and no amount of hugs from Jenks and Joshua, or even extra attention from the human caretakers, are making me feel any better.

Apart from being really sad, and losing fur, I'm fine... I'm even eating well... Just in case you were worried. I'm just missing my friends and brother so much, and not dealing with it as well as the others are. Even Baggins - who is now on his own in the gerbil cage, and has been for a little over two months now - is coping better than me.

I'm just really struggling with this... Why did they leave me?

Squeak soon,