Interview with Bitaah from The Ankhs Series, Books 1 and 2. Red Marks the Child, and Fire Bird by Amira Awaad.

Interview with Bitaah from The Ankhs Series, Books 1 and 2. Red Marks the Child, and Fire Bird by Amira Awaad.

Welcome Bitaah and a huge thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you for hosting me, you look really lovely, tonight.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you are doing right now?

Well, I’m partially a Djinn and I’m sure that can sound a little awkward to your readers. I mean, how is anyone partially a Djinn. It’s almost like saying ‘I’m partially pregnant’. *Laughs* But the truth is that I was born a Djinn, and at my initiation when I came of age, I pledged myself to the protection of those weaker than us, Mankind specifically, and so, rather than receive my full ability of magic, I was limited to having domain over the elements and my Djinn strength, only.

These days, I am between my steel-bending shop in Salhagaar and Pharaoh’s palace in Thebes.

What is it like in the village of Salhagaar? Do you have family there? How did you become a steel bender?

Interesting question. Salhagaar is fantastic. It’s a small village, I mean everyone knows everyone. It’s quiet for the most part. Actually, I came to Salhagaar, alone. Here’s something very few people know… When I left Thebes on the night of the new Pharaoh’s coronation, I didn’t really know where I was going. You know, I just travelled North. On my travels, I came by a steel bender in his shop and I saw a hammer resting on the floor in the corner, and I asked if I could buy it from him. Well, the man laughed and told me that if I could lift it, it was mine. You should have seen his face when I picked it up. Anyway, I’ve always been quite strong and I like the artistry and craftsmanship of making things out of steel… so…

Who is the least favourite person in your life right now? Why?

Anpu, you might know him as Anubis. I’m often torn between feeling sorry for him and loathing him with every drop of my blood. What he went through in his life… it’s devastating. But, what he allowed himself to become… I guess I just can’t forgive what he’s done to the people closest to me. I’ve tried, but I just can’t.

If you could swap places with a fellow person you are with or have met, who would it be? And why?

Hmm, you have a curious mind, Katrina, let’s see. *long pause* No one, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be. You see, I’ve given my heart to a very special woman. I can’t risk losing that, even if it was just for an hour.

When you met Mirr-Ha what was it about her that made you fall in love with her? Do you think there could be a future for you both together?  

Oh! I asked her to be my wife, and she accepted. *Big smile*

Remember when I told you about the night when I left the ranks of the Sekhrey? When I travelled North to Salhagaar? Well, I didn’t just wake up that morning and decide to leave. That night, at the coronation ceremony of the new Pharaoh, I had a vision. This is very common among the Sekhrey. But, that night, I saw her, Mirr-Ha, and I knew she was somewhere to the North. I came to Salhagaar to find her.

Mirr-Ha is very unlike many women. She’s shy and incredibly pure of heart. I remember when I first arrived there and took up the shop in front of her bread bakery. I had nothing. She didn’t even know me, you know, I was just some stranger — an outsider. Still, she brought me a basket of fresh bread, and quickly turned around and walked away. Every single day, I would wait for the moment she would bring me bread. It was the only time of day I could be close to her or be in her presence.

What do you believe your main propose is? And how far will you go to achieve it?

Anpu’s immortality poses a constant threat to Mankind. He will not rest until he’s enacted his vengeance and eradicated them all. So long as I have breath in me, I will stand alongside my brother and fight him till the end.

What is it like being a Sekhrey Warrior? Do you have a special job within your rank? What would you say your biggest challenge has been while serving your army?

Kemet is a very ancient land, it is known by so many names: Ker-met, Deshret, Hwa-ka-Ptah, Aegyptus, Misr, Egypt. My brothers and I take pride in defending her against those that would invade or seek to oppress or harm her spirit, from any realm of the universe.

These days, my job is complicated. Since I’ve awoken to my origin as a Djinn, I’ve regained some of my lost memories. I’ve chosen to remain by the good Pharaoh’s side, but on my own terms. I am between his palace and Salhagaar. The Legai chose not to re-bind my newfound power to travel by Fire, so that’s useful. With everything that’s been happening, and the Pharaoh being directly implicated, we’ve become quite close. I am his confidant and liaise between him and the Ancient Ones in Zinnat.

My biggest challenge was explaining all of this to the other Sekhrey warriors and the brave men and women who came from all corners of the Earth to face what was to come. It had to be done. Anpu found his way back to this realm, and they had to be prepared. For the first and only time in Earth’s history, the Djinn were forced to go against their most sacred law — never to be seen by humans.

Have you had any scary moments? Tell us what happen or why you feel like this?

Have I been scared? Of course. Ours is a very great responsibility and when you’re up against a force like Anpu… His magic is very strong and very dark. But, you know, the Sekhrey are very spiritually connected. We are patient and wait until our hearts beat as one before we attack. This is when we know we are ready and that the time is right.

More than anything, I was afraid of losing Mirr-Ha, and my friends, you know… not ever seeing them again.

What is it like to be stripped of your powers and memories? Are they stored somewhere for safekeeping in case you want them back? Does your family have anything to say about this life choice?

You’d be surprised. I think it’s very similar to how many humans feel at some point in their life… you know… lost. I woke up one morning on the streets of Thebes and I didn’t know how I’d gotten there. And there were all these people going about their business. I was so confused, and that’s when it happened. I panicked, and the winds grew quite fierce and the more I panicked the more intense the storm became.

I saw an old woman fighting against the sand to get to me. She had her arms outstretched like she was trying to tell me she meant me no harm and all I could think was that I needed to protect her from this storm. When I reached her, I used my body to shelter hers, and I remember her saying that I had to calm down, and she called me ‘Protector’.

“We know the signs,” she said, and then she pointed me in the direction of the palace. The humans call us “the chosen ones” or “the marked Protectors”. They believe that the strongest and most selfless of their sons are chosen by the land to be its protectors. That they become marked and gifted with the ability to manipulate the elements.

I have to tell you, when I first met saw Hathor, I couldn’t believe what was happening. But those events are what triggered my memory and I was transported back to Zinnat. I remembered my initiation… I remembered the city. I didn’t remember anything before that, except that I was born Djinn and grew up as one.

After the incredible adventure that I’ve lived, no, I don’t regret my choice. I don’t regret anything. If I had to go back and do it all again, I would.

Have you done anything unforgivable to someone else? Was it out of love or revenge? Tell us about it.

No. *Mischievous smile* I mess with Katnun from time to time, but that’s just how it is between us. I love him and he knows it. But he can be such an ass, and he leaves himself wide open. I mean, really, he practically invites it in. *Laugh* I really can’t say much else, he’d chase me to the ends of our solar system and kick the sh** out of me.

What is your favorite colour and how does it make you feel?

I don’t have one. I enjoy all the colors in creation. Each elicits a different feeling within me and I celebrate them all.

How do you move earth, air, fire and water? Do you use this power for good or protection?

*Laughs* Oh, if I had a shat [ancient Egyptian unit of currency] for every time someone asked me that… I will it. It is an ability born from magic. All the Sekhrey warriors are capable of it.

You can say our powers range from spinning water in a cup to moving the ocean water in a tidal wave, though you’ll need several of us together to do that. We do use it for good and protection. That is the main essence of what we are.

Thing is, we cannot create it. That’s just a rumor… for us to manipulate fire, a spark must exist first, and so on.

If you could have one wish right now what would it be? how would it help your current situation?

My one wish right now is for more people to know our story. One day, I will have a daughter — I’ve seen it in a vision, and she will be a Rek-ker [one that can manipulate time and space]. She will know what is written about us in the thousands of years to come, and I would wish that people come to know the truth about us; and about Hathor and her father, Sinoueh, especially. They’ve endured so much, and it’s not fair for their story to be eventually reduced to… a fragmented lie.

Katrina, I’m sure your people have heard of the Sinai Desert. The correct name is, Seena, and it will endure, in all of Egypt’s languages, until the end of time. They will always call it, Seena, but even they will forget why. They will forget that Seena was the name of Hathor’s mother. They will forget the reason why that desert was named for her. They will forget that all of us were real and that… we lived.

Thank you Bitaah  for taking part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.

Thank you for having me, the pleasure was mine.

Book Blurb:

…Little did she know that no human could ever see her.

Hathor, born a Djinn, raised as human and torn between the two as she comes of age and discovers her powers.

An ancient prophecy, a river of Fire, and the unification of three objects called “The Ankhs”, sets the world of Humans and Djinn into a race against time!

Can Hathor uphold the laws of Djinn, not to be seen by humans, when she falls in love with one? Does she stand a chance against Anpu, as he seeks to fulfill an ancient prophesy and destroy mankind?

Book Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Red-Marks-Child-Ankhs-Book-ebook/dp/B00FHHXL0W/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/red-marks-the-child-the-ankhs-book1/id1337777250?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/red-marks-the-child-the-ankhs-book1

Barnes&Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/red-marks-the-child-the-ankhs-amira-awaad/1127859863?ean=2940155093947

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/774902

About the Author:

Greetings from the land of the Pharaohs.

I’m an Egyptian woman – born in Central Africa and raised all over the world. I came back to Egypt when I was 18 years old and have lived here, happily, every since. By way of work, I’m an academic dean, an educator, and a writer.

As far as my writing goes, I tend to “break the mold”. Honestly, I’d shatter the bloody thing if I could. I like to change things up and keep things fresh and new and original. So, if a book idea burns in me, I light the flames and write it.

My favorite stories always flirt with old mythology and are intertwined with lots of romance and adventure. Be warned now: I LOVE writing a good plot twist!

In the labyrinth of my fantasy-driven mind, pens are my wands and I’ll spin the tales like a dervish-man.

Social Media Links:

FB Author: https://www.facebook.com/amiraawaadauthor/

FB: Ankhs Page: https://www.facebook.com/AmiraAwaad/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/llacroie

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00F0U9OXY

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MY REVIEW OF WATCHING YOU BY LYNDA RENHAM.

MY REVIEW OF

WATCHING YOU BY LYNDA RENHAM.

Watching you is a gripping thriller that feels a bit like a cat and mouse chase. I really enjoyed the gripping storyline and getting to see both sides of the tragic murder from Libby and  Ewan’s eyes. This is the perfect book to read in the dark or on your phone while running on a treadmill, either way, you’ll feel your heart pounding in your chest.

The story itself follows Libby as she discovers her loved ones murdered in their home. However, she knows who did it. 15 years later Ewan gets released from prison and starts to rebuild his life, reconnect with the few friends that still believe in his innocence’s. However, does he have darker motives to haunt Libby now he’s free? Libby feel’s he does and becomes a sacred shadow of herself, every noise, every phone call, the thought of returning to the outside world makes her jump, her heart pound. But will she come in contact with Ewan? Will he seek revenge? Or is this all in her mind and the world have moved on since 15 years ago? Read this book to find out.

I really enjoyed getting to know Libby and thought that author Lynda did a great job at projecting her feeling of fear and being mentally torched throughout the book. I think at times Libby had me wondering if the fear she felt was all in her head or if the phone calls were real and she really was getting haunted. I liked how her character kept me guessing.

I also found Ewan character interesting, after he was released from prison we get to see him in the past, his love affairs with taken women and fights that happened while working for Libby’s family, then him interacting with others from his past life and how they perceive his guilt/ innocence. For me, I was never sure until the end if he was a murderer or just a misunderstood man.

If you like chilling stories that will keep you guessing. Why not try Watching You by Lynda Renham.

Book Link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/WATCHING-YOU-gripping-edge-seat-ebook/dp/B07BGG9D48/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1526042589&sr=8-2&keywords=watching+you&dpID=51FKyaa6R2L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

Interview with Scott from Only One Woman by Jane Risdon


Welcome
Scott and a huge thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

1) Tell us a little about yourself and what you are doing right now?

Hi, thanks so much for wanting to chat to me. At the present time we – Narnia’s Children – are rehearsing for another tour – Europe this time and we are really excited. There is a chance of playing in Switzerland, and that would be ace. We’re about to move to another place – new flat or house or something. Stephan, our manager, is going to be meeting us in the week to give us the low-down.

Mo and I have written some new songs so we need to rehearse them and then decide where in our set they should go.  Rehearsals are usually fun and I enjoy working out our four-part harmonies with the lads, and my lead breaks, it sort of all comes out of thin air really, but when it does we all have to work hard to get everything perfect. And of course musicians are never satisfied and as the new songs settle in we often make adjustments and change things.

I’m also making some new trousers from an old pair of jeans I am fond of. It’s hard going as the denim is so tough – I’m adding leather patches and putting a new zip in, which I hate doing, but it saves Stephan, our manager, having to fork out for gear for me. He is bank-rolling the band until we earn enough to pay our own way. I seem to have a knack with sewing, no idea why. Don’t tell anyone, they’ll think it very un-cool!

2) How did you come to be in a band? How does it feel to sing songs other come to listen to? Tell us a bit about it.

Don’t laugh, I taught myself guitar when I was about 13 – Bert Weedon’s Play in a Day – on a wooden guitar my cousin made me. Most kids learn like that or just plonk around ‘til they play something. I got together with some friends from school (in England – not Narnia’s Children) and we thought it would be fun to form a band, and I taught the others to play guitar. It was really a laugh. We were called The Senators. We played at the local Youth Club, covers of all the cool bands like The Beatles and stuff, nothing too complex as we were all learning still. Thinking back I am sure it sounded dreadful.

Then I moved to Jersey and found another band….Main Street. They were all excellent musicians and I played some lead and when the bass layer left, they asked me to play bass which I could do. There were two lead guitars so losing me wasn’t a big deal. We did covers of The Stones – Under my Thumb, The Who – Pictures of Lily and I Can See for Miles, and lots of Motown which is so cool, including Martha Reeves and The Vandellas – Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide. It was fun, covering Pink Floyd’s Arnold Lane. Stuff like that. We went down really well.  After a while the band line-up changed, they just wanted to play for fun, but I’ve got ambition. I left to join another one which became Narnia’s Children – I was back on lead guitar again, and we started song-writing too. Yeah we’re serious musicians, you see, with big ambitions.

We played the Tropicana a lot and that’s where Stephan saw us and decided he wanted to manage us, get us a record deal and out of Jersey, touring and getting heard by more kids, on radio and TV, you know. Jersey is really small and to make it you’ve gotta be in England. We signed with him, came over to England and it’s just great, so cool.

3) Who is the least favourite person in your life right now? Why?

Nah, I don’t do that stuff. Someone messes me around or something I move on, leave it behind.  Don’t do favourites really. It is all about Karma.

4) If you could swap places with a fellow person you are with or have met, who would it be? And why?

Wow, that is a question. I’d love to be able to play like Jeff Beck, or Eric Clapton, Hendrix you know, or be in a band with one of them, but most bands have one lead player so I can’t see that happening. Rod Argent is really cool and a nice guy so I might like to be him but seriously, I never think like that. I am me. I am pretty mellow about being me.

5) When you met Renza what was it about her that made you want to marry her so badly?

Oh! Renza, such a babe. We moved into the village and every day I’d see this chick in her school uniform waiting for the school bus outside the flat. She had the longest, sexiest legs you’ve ever seen – the whole band agree, ask them. Her golden hair nearly touched her backside it was so long and in the spring sunshine, it shimmered. She was, well is, gorgeous. I never saw her that close up or anything to begin, but I knew she was beautiful, inside and out. I knew the first time I saw her that she was the one. I wrote a song for her right away. You know, we didn’t meet for ages. In fact I don’t think she knew we were around. We hardly saw her other than going to school and coming back, or shopping with a load of little kids following her around. Our flat was near her house and we could see into her garden from the balcony. Renza was always hanging out washing or doing chores of some sort. I really wanted to whisk her away.

The first time we spoke was that night she was late back from seeing The Equals in Reading. I had to talk to her so I did something really dumb and shouted at her from the flat window. It was funny, she nearly had a blue fit. Daft when I think of it, scaring her like that, in the dark. I sent her notes – her little brother Jasper used to come round every day asking us to go out to play with him – and he took them to her. He cracked us up. So we’d go and play football with him and that way I got to find out all sorts of stuff about Renza. She never replied or anything. Now I know her, I can tell you her Mum is a bit of a dragon. Anyway I nearly bottled it, but I sent another of many notes asking her out and out of the blue she wrote back and said yes. I was blown away. That first evening, walking round the village talking to her, just magic, really, and I kissed her and I knew right there and then, I had to marry her. Don’t laugh, but the band had already decided she should marry me too.

6) What do you believe your main propose is? And how far will you go to achieve it?

I guess I might discover my real purpose when I’m older. I dunno really. Playing is all I want to do and to do it as best I can. I want everyone to enjoy my music, for it to make them happy, to chill to and to make love to I guess. I never want to do anything else and I guess I’ll do what it takes. Music isn’t like anything else and so far it’s all new, really cool and no real pain to do. I would like to have some money and eat regularly though.

7) What is your favourite song that you’ve played? Why? Does it have a special meaning?

That’s a hard one. A while back if you’d asked I wouldn’t have been able to answer as I love so many songs, there are so many great ones out there. But now, meeting Renza, and the way I feel about her, well, the song I wrote for her ‘Because of You Girl,’ is meaningful and when we play it on stage, I feel choked up. But we do have a special song, and I sing it to her all the time. The Marbles had it out earlier in the year, and it’s called Only One Woman. There’s something about it, we both feel it and love it. Narnia’s Children don’t do it on stage, so it is something special between Renza and me. The Bee Gees are wonderful song-writers, they’ve captured us really well.

8) Have you had any scary moments? Are you scared now? Tell us what happen or why you feel like this?

Where do I start? So many, seriously. I never told Renza this but when we were on the Cruises (we did the Med), we went ashore in Naples and spent a day having a look round. Don’t ask how, but we found our way to a vineyard and they were giving free samples of some sort of wine to visitors and we got chatting to some girls working there and they got us drunk, seriously, it sort of happened. Anyway, the stewards from the cruise were with us, they liked us and wanted to protect us. They all carried knives which scared us stupid but they knew Naples and they were cool guys…Well, as I said we all got worse for wear and I seem to recall some blokes, Italians, arriving on scooters and there was a big ding-dong. I think it was about the girls and us. I dunno. Anyway, next thing there is a huge fight, the guys pulled knives on us and then the stewards all got handy with their knives. We’ve never seen anything like it. Someone called the police and the next thing Zak was arrested, no idea why and hauled off to the clink. They made him stay in overnight which was a pain but thankfully the ship was docked until the next night otherwise we’d have been in deep you know what. I can’t remember much, we all slept in the vineyard I think and I know I had a hangover from hell the next morning. We went to the police station and they let Zak go. We didn’t understand the lingo so just legged it as fast as we could. That was pretty hairy. Hey, I hope Renza won’t read this, or she’ll freak.

9) What is it like growing up in the 60’s among the worry of the cold war?

I think the 60s is the coolest time to be alive. We are so lucky. Everything is new, exciting and so groovy. It’s like someone pulled a plug and all the old stuff has gone down the plug-hole and fresh stuff water’s filling the bath, if you get my drift. I feel – we feel – we can do anything, be anyone, and achieve anything we want. There is such a vibe in the air, you can almost touch it, taste it. It wasn’t that way in Jersey so much, but England. Oh boy! You know that song by Roger Miller – England Swings like a Pendulum Do? Yeah well it does. It vibrates too. So much love and peace people send out. The music is just out there, so much, so new and different. I love that you can wear what you want. I even have pink stuff, I mean, you could never wear pink as a bloke, you know, before; you’d get lynched.

Yeah, the Russians, what are they like? I think it is the Americans getting them all worked up. It’s kinda scary and if you let yourself think about all this ‘one minute to midnight’ stuff they talk about, well, it would do your head in. Very Eve of Destruction…love that song by the way. Whatever we think no-one listens. I’ve seen the Ban the Bomb marches and stuff, and demonstrations, but I don’t know any of it works. Who listens to us? Nope, I guess all we can do is do the best we can and be loving and kind to everyone. I don’t know any Russians and I know they aren’t free like us, but I can’t imagine they want this crap too…oops sorry, I didn’t meant to swear.

10)  Have you done anything unforgivable to someone else? Was it out of love or revenge? Tell us about it.

I don’t think so, like I said I believe in Karma and it wouldn’t be cool, though I know I would hurt Renza if she found out about Stella. I have no idea how all this happened and I never want to hurt anyone; Renza or Stella. Oh, cripes, will they read this? Hope not. I’m dead.

11) Why did you fall for Stella? What affect does this have on your relationship  with Renza? Do you still love her or just lost the spark long distance?

This is hard to talk about, to put into words you understand. I’m not sure myself. Renza broke my heart when she went, we knew she’d go and we’d always be together, but it was lonely without her. There was this big hole, I felt empty and had no-one I’d ever talked to like her, you know, not even the band. Yeah I’d seen my Dad again with her, and it seemed cool, but you know when your parent’s divorce and remarry and have a new family, it is never the same for the original kids. We have no-one, my brother and I. We’re a bit sort of spare, adrift. I realised it when I saw Renza’s family and later seeing Stella’s. I don’t have any of that. I guess I missed Renza and felt lost and when I saw Stella, with her weird hair and clothes and she had a look about her, I dunno how to describe it…anyway, I saw her and she looked like she liked me and then her mate Vix pushed us together. I really thought she was going to have a sex-change operation; that Vix, she is wicked. No-one explained. I felt sorry for her, and there was this chemistry, intense feeling. Well, it just happened. She knew the score and I never lied to her. I told her I loved Renza and always would and we were getting married. Stella accepted that, she’s cool with it. She’s a cool chick. Renza doesn’t know, I need to tell her. I keep plucking up the courage, but I don’t want it to be the end if I do…it’s making me very down you know. I’m confused. I can’t do that to Renza and then what about Stella? I don’t want to talk about them anymore. Sorry.

12) How has touring in the UK been? What have been your favourite moment as far?

Ace, it has been ace. All the places I’ve read about in NME and Melody Maker etc. We’ve been playing them and we’ve been on the same bill as some really cool bands, like Fleetwood Mac and Idle Race, just so many I can’t think of them. Oh, yes and Doc Holliday and the Cards. Such a mega act now and it’s so funny touring with them. The London venues are out there, so cool, so unreal. Samantha’s, and Café des Artistes, I mean, who’d ‘a thought it! Doing press interviews and Radio and well, it’s been just unreal. Getting the record deal has been a dream come true…it’s all been magic.

Scotland has been a bit weird. I mean it is so cold for a start and the snow. Unreal. We nearly go killed in one of the loch’s – the van skidded in the snow and nearly went over the edge, Rich just managed to swerve or we’d have been history. Then the submarine base was just so far out there. American submarines being repaired, right in the middle of nowhere, in a loch we just happened to find when we got lost in a blizzard. Guns and dogs; those guys pointed guns at us. Elgin and Wick were strange places to play. The venues were right in the middle of nowhere, we were sure no-one would come, like being on the moon or something. But they came and they loved us and sang our songs. Aberdeen was a hoot The Assembly Rooms; it’s round with the stage in the middle and the kids just walked round and round following the walls as we played in the middle. We got giddy watching them.

Favourite moment? Not sure yet Ask me this time next year if we are still gigging.

13) What is your favourite colour and how does it make you feel?

Blue. I love all shades of blue. I feel great wearing it, everyone says it makes my eyes, which are turquoise, look bluer. Hey, anything that turns the girls on eh! I’m joking, Renza and Stella say blue is my best colour. I wear lots of black and purple too.

15) Do you feel you are attractive to all women who admire your music? Have you ever had any strange gifts off fans?

I can’t say I feel attractive to girls who like our music. I think they are attracted to musicians, full stop; and not just the girls, if you get my drift!  As for strange gifts, oh wow, if I were to tell you – you’d never believe it. And not just me, Zak get the weirdest stuff, he keeps a case with it all in. What he’s going to do with it, is anyone’s guess. A girl mailed herself to me once – we were out when she arrived and a neighbour had to take her in, unwrap her and feed her. She’d come Special Delivery and nearly got sent to the sorting office to await collection. That is pretty strange but it is not the strangest!

14) If you could have one wish right now what would it be and how would it help your current situation?

Right now I’d like to have a hit record and enough money to bring Renza over and for us to get married right away and live happily ever after. She could do her writing and come on tour with us and be with me always. I dunno how it would help things, what with Stella and all. But truly that is my wish this moment, right now. I miss her so much.  I’m gonna be so dead after this interview, I know I am.

Thank you Scott  for taking part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.

Hey, no problem, it’s been a gas; thanks for asking me to talk to you.

 

Only One Woman: the novel

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

Not only a love triangle, Only One Woman is a trip back to the late 1960s and is sheer nostalgia, with world events and social change colouring the lives of the characters as they more towards a new decade. Only One Woman is for everyone who loves anything Swinging Sixties, guys and gals, who love the music, fashions and vibe of the grooviest decade of the 20th century.

Jane Risdon Facebook Author Page:

www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2

Jane Risdon Author Blog:

https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

Jane Risdon Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8

Jane Risdon GoodReads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Jane Risdon Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

 

 Buy Links:

Only One Woman buy links: UK/USA/Australia

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

https://www.amazon.com.au/d/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/B075D88JBP

Only One Woman is being published 24th May 2018 in Paperback and Audio

UK/USA/Canada/Australia and elsewhere – all good stores and digital retailers.

ISBN: 97817375312

Social Media links:

Only One Woman has a Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/RenzandStella/

Only One Woman has a Blog:

https://onlyonewomanblog.wordpress.com/

Only One Woman: Both Renza and Stella have YouTube Playlists to enjoy as you read:

Renza: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC1auBpqZ4E&list=PLxjjrHlpZba4l3H9QNJZUfH8vgo-B5weT

Stella:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCJcJ7edks&list=PLxjjrHlpZba7jE5uLEyfxy_be7DbikvZv

 

 

 

 

 

Interview With Dory ( Isadora Seymour) From Life Class by Gilli Allan

Interview With Dory ( Isadora Seymour)

Welcome Dory and a huge thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Tell us a little about yourself and why you came home?

Home? You mean where I grew up? It took a while before I was sure I’d made the right decision. It seemed a bit like giving up, but I couldn’t do nothing. The break-down of my relationship meant I was out of a job and out of the house I thought of as my home. I had negotiated a financial settlement so, while I wasn’t on my uppers, I still needed to decide what to do with the rest of my life. It made sense to move out of London. Why not come back to Struley?

What were your goals and ambitions at the time?

To begin with I was in a rented flat with no clear view of the future. I certainly didn’t see myself starting another relationship. My sole thought was to buy a house, set up a business of some sort – I’d no idea what – and make a living.  In the mean-time I found myself a part-time job at the local NHS STI clinic, working as a technician.  Doing that job might have seemed like a come-down after being an employer, but at least I was using my skills and doing something useful while I debated my options.

How did you get into that line of work in the first place?

I was working in the Pathology Laboratory of the hospital where Malcolm was a junior doctor. Setting up our own private clinic was his idea. I’d not have got into that business if it hadn’t been for him.   He was the one who wanted to do it, wanted me to specialise so that our skills complemented one another’s. But all that is behind me now.

So, has working in STIs coloured your view of intimate relationships? 

Inevitably.  I had a sign over my desk that read ‘Never Trust a Smiling Heterosexual.’

Who is the least favourite person in your life right now?

I suppose I should say Malcolm.  He’s the one who turned my life upside down.  I was unwell and not getting better.  OK, he wasn’t a generalist but he is a doctor. Even if didn’t know what was wrong, he could have supported and looked after me, and urged me to get a second opinion. But he almost convinced me it was all in my head, or that I was just being awkward or exaggerating. And then he started an affair with one of our nursing assistants! Of course, splitting-up meant dissolving the partnership and all the upheaval that entailed.

After I left him I began to feel so much better.  Once I’d been diagnosed my health improved a hundred percent, as did my frame of mind. I can truthfully say I was beginning to feel at peace and content. But things changed after I viewed my art teachers house………

Your mention of your art teacher reminds me…. How did you come up with the idea to join a life class?

It wasn’t my idea!  At first I laughed it off. It was all my sister’s fault. Fran’s older than me and she’s always been the bossy one.  Art was her thing. She was the one who went on to study the subject. I enjoyed art at school but I was better at the sciences, so I gave it up and went on to do microbiology at university.  But now I’m back, it seemed really important to her that we should do something together. Why not the life class which she loves and has done forever? And I could always give it up if I didn’t enjoy it.

And did you enjoy it?

I almost gave up after that first lesson.  The teacher, Stefan Novak, was new and seemed pissed-off, as if he didn’t really want to be there. I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but it seems everyone had signed up to the class under false pretences.  Like Fran, they’d all done it for years and no one had noticed that since the Spring term the curriculum had been redesigned. It was no longer the purely recreational class they were all expecting. So, there was a certain amount of friction.

And then there was the male model! I arrived a bit late and the only space left was directly in front of him.  His … parts … kept moving! The sight didn’t upset or embarrass me.  In my work I’ve seen more cocks than most people have had hot dinners.  But that, in conjunction with his confrontational stare, plus the fact I was trying to get to grips with a skill I’d not employed since I was sixteen. Well, it’s a wonder I did go back the next week. But I did, and things improved after that.  We didn’t have that model again, not until……

 You were telling me about viewing Stefan Novak’s house.

Kitesnest. Until he surprised me in the garden I didn’t know it belonged to him, or that the amazing sculptures around the place were his work. The house wasn’t at all suitable for my purposes, too big, too much land, and I told him so … but there was something about it.  Funnily enough I suddenly remembered it from a childhood adventure. I didn’t realise it was the same place until that moment. Fran and I had climbed over the fence into the grounds, and we’d met a boy. I’d not have recognised he was the same person if he hadn’t recalled the episode too. But that’s another story……

You said everything changed then. What did you mean?

I couldn’t stop thinking about Kitesnest house. I felt really hyper  and stressed about it and even made an offer. I couldn’t rationalise why I’d done it. It was mad. At least I didn’t offer the asking price. I pitched it low, almost hoping he’d say no.

But before Stefan got back to me with a response, I spotted him waiting in his car at the clinic car park.  Inside, Dominic Barnes, the young lad who was one of my fellow students at the life class, was being shown through to a cubicle. In my job it’s not unknown to see familiar faces turning up to be checked for infection. You need to be un-shockable and non-judgemental. I’m not on the treatment side. The slides and swabs I deal with are anonymous. But seeing Dom there, apparently accompanied by Stefan, kind of pulled the rug from under my feet.  It’s not really ethical, but I checked the documentation.   I confirmed what I’d suddenly suspected. They were living together.  I didn’t really understand why I was so upset. I realised later of course.

Are you married or divorced or happily single? Have you had any experiences that put you off men?  If so what happened? 

I’m childless……… Malcolm and I weren’t married. That was the one saving grace. The added complication of divorce was avoided when we split-up.  Our break-up was a shock at the time, but it became clear to me that the love had been dying for a while.  It was never the same after I … after I got pregnant. Malcolm insisted on a termination.  At the time I accepted his argument that it wasn’t the right time, we were still building up the business. But his whole attitude was so dismissive, as if it was as insignificant as having a tooth out….!

Do you have any other family apart from your sister? And what’s your relationship like? 

Fran is my only close family now. We have the usual sibling relationship, I suppose. We love each other, but we have gone through phases of wanting to scratch each other’s eyes out.  I’m very grateful to her, of course.  After our father died our mother became increasingly frail and demanding.  It was logical that Fran should shoulder the burden. I was in London, after all. But she did so without complaint. I’d have been far less willing to put myself out like she did, and far less accepting.

Of the two of us, I’ve always felt I had my feet more firmly on the ground.  She’s always been a bit of a romantic, a dreamer inclined to be discontented with what she’s got and to fantasise about a perfect life. She already has a perfect life but she takes it for granted!   She needs to recognise the fact and count her blessings. So when I discovered she’d got herself into such a state after contacting an old boyfriend online, and she was being virtually stalked.…  I really lost it with her!  It was all her own silly fault. How could she have been so stupid?

Have you had any scary moments?

Yes! My niece, Melanie, got herself into trouble in Thailand. Fran had been so worried when she insisted on going on a gap year with her friends. I was the one who’d advocated for her, told Fran not worry, that she needed to let her daughter spread her wings! Who would have guessed that might happen?  If nothing else the whole experience has helped Mel to grow up a bit and improved her relationship with her parents.

The other scary time was Dom, of course.  I’d grown fond of him, he was so young and had had such a rough deal in life.  But if it hadn’t been for Stefan, I don’t suppose I’d ever have known his history, or understood why Stefan felt almost responsible for him.  While we didn’t know his HIV status it was a tense time. I’m just glad I was able to help and to swallow my pride and ask Malcolm for his assistance too.

Is there anything you’ve learned that changed your life since joining the Life Class?

It’s changed me. I’ve learned to look at life differently.  To look beyond the surface and not to accept or trust my initial perceptions.  And it’s given me a completely new sense of myself and what I’m capable of.

If you could have one wish right now?  

What I wish is for my new life to be a success.  I am thrilled to have found the thing I really want to do, with the person I really want to be with.

Thank you Dory for taking part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.

by Gilli Allan

Art, Life, Love and Learning Lessons

For four members of the life class it’s not solely the naked model they need to examine and understand. They each have to be honest with themselves, to strip away the layers of disguise and self-deception. Only then can they move forward to craft a new, unanticipated future, their lives intertwined.

Dory says she works in the sex trade. She deals with the damage sext can cause. Her job has given her a jaundiced view of men, an attitude confirmed by the disintegration of her own relationship. The time seems right to pursue what she really wants in life … if she can only work out what that is. Practical and realistic, she has turned her back on love, but her search for a place to put down new roots turns into a chase after a dream.

Stefan, a single-minded loner, is the class tutor. His overriding ambition is to make a living from his art. So how the hell did he find himself facing a class of adults who want their old teacher back? His one stroke of luck feels undeserved, but if he can turn it into cash then maybe he’ll be able to concentrate on what’s important.  Love is an emotion he long ago closed off, but it creeps up on him. Is it time to admit that letting others into his life is not defeat?

Fran – Dory’s older sister – is a wife and stay-at-home mother without enough to keep her occupied. On a collision course with her mid-life crisis, Fran gives in to the fantasy that she can recapture the romance and excitement of her youth. An on-line flirtation becomes scarily obsessive, putting everything she really loves at risk.

Dominic is a damaged child who’s been living dangerously. He knows all about sex but nothing about love. If he can only find his mother maybe he’ll be able to make sense of the past. But the past slaps him in the face.  Perhaps it is time to look forward not back? By accepting the help and love that’s on offer he has the chance to transform his life.

Biography

Gilli Allan started to write in childhood, a hobby only abandoned when real life supplanted the fiction. Gilli didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge but, after just enough exam passes to squeak in, she attended Croydon Art College.

She didn’t work on any of the broadsheets, in publishing or television. Instead she was a shop assistant, a beauty consultant and a barmaid before landing her dream job as an illustrator in advertising. It was only when she was at home with her young son that Gilli began writing seriously. Her first two novels were quickly published, but when her publisher ceased to trade, Gilli went independent.

Over the years, Gilli has been a school governor, a contributor to local newspapers, and a driving force behind the community shop in her Gloucestershire village.  Still a keen artist, she regularly attends a life class and has moved into book illustration. Her novels – TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY OR FALL are now published by Accent Press. All three have won a Chill With a Book Award.

LINKS

Find LIFE CLASS:

http://myBook.to/LifeClass 

Find all my books:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gilli-Allan/e/B004W7GG7I

Connect with me:

http://twitter.com/gilliallan  (@gilliallan)

https://www.facebook.com/GilliAllan.AUTHOR

http://gilliallan.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1027644.Gilli_Allan

 

Welcome Lynda Renham Talking About Her New Release Watching You.

Prologue

1st January 2000, 1 A.M.

Her bare feet pounded the gravel, the sharp stones cutting mercilessly into her skin. The wind whipped cruelly at her hair and played with her new chiffon dress until her legs became entangled within it. She pulled herself free from the material without once slowing her pace, her heart drumming in her chest. She could hear the blood pulsating in her ears like a wild war dance. Her scalp tingled. Something had touched her. She fought back a scream. It was a branch, just a tree in the blackness of the night. Keep going. She couldn’t stop. A firework boomed and lit up the night sky. She tripped, scattering the detestable gravel. A small sob escaped her lips before she dragged herself up and continued on. He’d seen her. He’d seen her. That’s all she knew.  Keep running. Don’t look back. An orchestra of colours exploded in the sky and lit up the tall iron gates of Greystone Hall ahead of her. She thought back to the house and nausea rose up in her gut. Soon she would smell the pungent odour of seaweed. Her heart beat a steady rhythm now. She knew the beach wasn’t far away. Excited voices and the sound of drunken laughter broke through her pulsating eardrums. People were partying on the beach. It was the beginning of something new, something exciting, a new start.

‘Happy Millennium,’ someone shouted.

She tripped in her haste to reach them. Her mouth connected with cold sand, it scratched her skin.

‘Help me,’ she choked. ‘Please.’

‘Had too much?’ said a voice.

There was laughter from a small group huddled around a camp fire.

‘Hold on,’ said another. The voice concerned.

She felt someone touch her.

‘Fuck, she’s bleeding.’

‘Call the police,’ yelled another.

There was scuffling and someone wrapped a coat around her. It was warm and comforting.

‘Christ, what happened?’ he said.

‘Someone shot my Aunt and Uncle,’ she moaned, trying to get up. She couldn’t. She was exhausted.

‘I think they’re dead.’

Thank you so much to Katrina for featuring me on her blog. I’m delighted to be here to talk about my new book ‘Watching You’

Ewan Galbreith is out of prison. Libby Owen is scared. Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun, and now he’s coming for her.

Amazon Link

https://goo.gl/JYytX9

https://goo.gl/4KyruR

The characters in this book are mesmerising. At least they were for me. I hope you find them so too. You may know me as a romantic comedy writer. I still am. However, a year ago an idea for a thriller came to me and I had to write it. It was titled ‘Remember Me’ and it went straight onto an audio book and into the bestselling charts. It was a bestseller in the US and in the UK.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Remember-Me-gripping-psychological-jaw-dropping-ebook/dp/B06XVDQDWB/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 I was thrilled but had no intention of writing another until another idea pestered me so I had to write it and that was ’Secret and Lies’ This is also now out as an audiobook if you prefer to read books that way.

https://goo.gl/qgftWF

Then I began another romance and really enjoyed writing it until a thriller idea entered my head and then I had no choice again but to write that one too.

This is ‘Watching You’ I think it is my best. I hope you do too. The romance is due out in a few months and I have so enjoyed writing that. I’ve given Katrina an extract from ‘Watching You’ so you can read the beginning.  It’s currently on Amazon for pre order for 99p/99c but this will most likely go up when the book is released on the 5th April.

Do join me on my Facebook author page. I have competitions often.

https://goo.gl/u8c2Mn  Facebook Author Page

Enjoy the books

Much love

Lynda xx

 

 

 

 

My Review of The Snow Witch Author Matt Wingett

My Review

of

The Snow Witch Author Matt Wingett

 The Snow Witch by Matt Wingett is an enchanting story, full of magic, devastation, rape and deaths as well as healing. Donitza and Eddy are both really interesting characters to read about- while Donitza played music like an angel attracting many, against her feeling of entrapment to her past, Eddy was shy, and often came across to others as not so bright and intelligent, but he was full of wonders and had skills to fix and build things that made him one of those characters you wished you knew more about while reading this book.

The story itself follows Donitza as she walks the snow fulled streets playing her music that her mother had taught her and advised that it would keep her safe. However, one night she attracts the attention of Riley, a drug-addicted power hungry and controlling man, who likes to keep women under his toes. But will his intentions to control the mysterious Donitza, backfire and results in his downfall? You’ll have to read this book to find out.

I like the switch between Donitza in the present day trying to find her way and her past when she was small, troubled by bad men, spells and fairytales of foxes. I also thought that the religious theme worked well and was very heartbreaking and emotional with scenes of violence and deaths, but it’s painted more in the eyes of the young Donitza that makes those scenes much more emotional and terrifying than just brutal murder or killing. I thought Matt did a wonderful job at showing this.

I also loved how by the end pieces of the story start connecting.  Riley an evil man- we get to see that somewhere in another life he could have been good, ‘kind’ even some called him. It shows that even the most troubled of souls have slivers of ‘kindness’, but only if they decide to use it.

I liked how this story also reminded me of a more adult version of Once Upon a Time the TV Show., in the way that The Snow Witch blurs the real world with folktales, good and bad and gives a magical yet emotional and terrifying vibe.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes enchanting meets violence and destruction, with mystifying and alluring characters that will take you through a journey that you will thoroughly enjoy.

 

Amazon link.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Snow-Witch-Matt-Wingett-ebook/dp/B0799R9NVH/

The Snow Witch by Matt Wingett will be available as a free kindle download from Saturday 17th February – Wednesday 21st February. 

 

Happy New Year Everyone. (2018.)

 

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Happy New Year Everyone.

2018.

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year ’s Eve with your family, friends and pets.

I had a nice Christmas with my mum, boyfriend, Smokey and Holly and Boxing Day with my nieces. I love Christmas time as my mum always made it special when I was younger and during Christmas time my boyfriend asked me out two years ago, so it has always been magical to me. My nieces loved Christmas, they both were disappointed when their elves’ went back to Santa-land, but overjoyed that Santa had brought them so many nice presents and ate the treat that my nieces left for him and his reindeers.

Holly and Smokey also loved Christmas as they got lots of toys and treats that they spend time enjoying and eating. It’s always lovely to see them both jumping around and having fun.

This year, I aim to be more creative and hope not to take stress or get anxious as much as last year. Creatively I’ve started trying felting, adult book colouring. Besides, I’m looking forward to continuing my writing. I also hope to catch up on the books I didn’t get chance to read before Christmas as well as the books I got as presents on Christmas.

Besides, I’m looking forward to doing more blogging and welcome more wonderful authors to share their stories and inspiration on my blog…

I hope this year all my family, friends and pets stay well and have a lovely year. I hope they reach all their New Year goals and have a really happy 2018.

How was your Christmas? What did you all get up to? What are you looking forwards to most in 2018?

Wishing You All A Lovely 2018