Julia Hughes - writing thrilling adventures - time after time after time.
On principal, I don't often agree with the sons, but on this occasion I have to admit they're right. Consequently, the publication date of "The Griffin's Boy" has been pushed back, and should hit Amazon's virtual shelves later this year.
Meantime, if you want to learn what really happens should you fall off your griffin mid flight, click here to read "The Boy's Fall".
It's a sensation common to all riders, whether your mount of choice is horse, cycle, or a beast of a motorbike. Terror grips as you realise that you've lost control and you're about to fall. The next moment, you're headed towards the ground at the speed of sound; nothing can save you, and all you can do is pray.
The Bridle Path hit Amazon's top 50 in free downloads - this promotion is now over, but you can still come for a romantic canter along the country lanes of Cornwall for only 99 cents, or 77p: The Bridle Path.
The phone rang yesterday with an insistent joyful noise. It was Charlie – bursting with excitement:
"I've just had the most wonderful news, and I wanted someone to squeal with!"
Now we all know Charlie Plunkett is the girl with the highest spirits, and leads an extra-ordinary life, as detailed in her "True Diaries". I imagine that everyday in the Plunkett household is packed with fun and laughter, but Charlie back tracked a little to explain why this day was Ultra-extra special:
Last month, the Duchess of Cambridge, who as we all know is expecting her first baby, revealed she was considering a "Hypnobirth". Charlie reasoned that her own experience of a Hypnobirth, as recounted in her "True Diary of A Mum to Be" might be of interest to the happy expectant couple. Without telling anyone, Charlie posted her book off to Buckingham Palace, together with its companion "True Diary of Baby's First Year" and also "100 Little Words on Parenthood", a compilation of advice and memories of the special child in their world from mums, dads and grandparents from all walks of life.
Yesterday, Charlie's postman delivered a very special envelope, bearing a crest, from St James's Palace. I don't often squeal, but Charlie had to read the letter's contents out twice to me! I couldn't be more thrilled and excited, and am still walking on air, so heavens knows Charlie must still be way above cloud ninety-nine!
When I could speak, the first thing I said was 'Oh congratulations!' Followed by 'you must publish this letter!'
'Julia, I'm afraid wild horses couldn't make me reveal the contents of this letter publicly. It's marked "private and confidential"' Charlie replied, 'although I couldn't resist posting a photo of the Royal Crest on Facebook. I simply had to share the excitement with all my wonderful author friends who contributed to "100 Little Words on Parenthood".
'I'm sure they'll all be thrilled to think that their anecdotes and stories are on the bookshelves of St James's Palace. However, it's enough for me to know that my gift has been acknowledged, and is appreciated.' Quite right too.
My friend has class.
Class, of course is something that money can't buy. But another friend, Sean Campbell who also knows more than a thing or two about class, has produced the definite guide to the British Peerage System.
While I harbour no aspirations of ever becoming a lady, I do nurture ambitions of writing the next "Downton Abbey" novel, so I immediately downloaded a copy of "How (not) to become a Lord or Lady" by Sean Campbell. You can download your copy now for £3.99, from Amazon. This concise and definitive guide to the British Peerage System also makes intriguing reading for anyone interested in history, sociology, or peering into how the other half live. Thoroughly recommended.
From the Sublime to the Ridiculous - and the 200 boozy challenges in what can only be described as a fine example of the genre "Prick Lit" are fantastically offensive, but also, according to the #1 son fantastically funny. At the moment "Slag Night" by Max O'Toole is free to download - the usual price is only 99p, and if you want to know how a Slag Night differs from a Stag Night - it doesn't. Not in terms of drinking, or playing hilarious pub games that are sure to end in tears - of laughter!
A good day for romance lovers: The Bridle Path, a romantic adventure set in Cornwall is free to download today, as is a true life romantic story: Charlie Plunkett's "True Diary of A Bride to Be".
Can't wait? To win an advance reader copy, visit Charlie Plunkett's blog, and enter her free competition. But hurry, entries close 16th June.
Shuffling through old favourites, and "must reads" requires self-control if a purge of the bookshelves is to succeed. However, there's one little book that stops me in my tracks every time I come across it. I've no recollection of buying it, so I've a feeling it once belonged to my dad, although it isn't his name written in pencil on the cover. No publication date either, though readers are addressed by a term once used to identify Native Americans, and the author calls himself Big Chief I-SPY, and claims to live in a Wigwam, on the banks of the River Thames. (aka Charles Warrell, who lived for 106 years).
Political incorrectness aside, the I-SPY series produced some great little "explorer" books. Pocket sized, and illustrated with exquisite cameos, with easy to follow text that invited children to add their own notes. Long before game-boys and such like, these books were considered essential to keep the kids amused on long journeys. According to Big Chief I-SPY, in the UK alone, there's over ten thousand different types of insect. Most of ours are pretty benign, unless you happen to be another insect: from the book's preface:
"The insects in this book are specially selected, and they include poisoners, paralysers, stingers, stinkers, bloodsuckers, and thieves – a sinister sounding crew."
Now, boys and girls, all you need do is substitute the word "characters" for "insects", to write the creepiest horror story ever.
In other news: "An Explosive Time" is featured in today's Kindle Books and Tips as a "Bargain Book". I know many of you have already enjoyed this read, but by clicking this link - you can like the facebook page and help "An Explosive Time" gain visibility. Not only that but - and here's the best bit - you'll also find lots of other free and bargain books. That's a triple whammy!
It’s been a busy 12 months for Charmain Zimmerman Brackett.
“If someone would have told me a few years ago that I’d publish three books in 12 months, I would have laughed at them,” said Brackett, who released her third novel, Elyon’s Light, on Kindle on May 31, the anniversary of the release of her first novel, The Key of Elyon.
Brackett has been a writer for a quarter-century, working for newspapers and magazines in her hometown of Augusta, Ga., but novel writing wasn’t something she’d planned.
She always loved reading novels. She grew up in a quiet neighborhood, made up mostly of retirees, and there were no other girls for her to befriend. Nancy Drew, Ramona and Laura Ingalls Wilder were the friends she found in the pages of books.
That love of reading spilled over into her collegiate days, and she majored in English literature.
But there was always a storyteller inside of her. It managed to come out in the numerous people profiles and other articles she’d written over the years. Some of her favorite news pieces were included in a series she wrote for the newspaper at the local Army base about returning wounded soldiers from the war in the Middle East. Their poignant tales won her a second-place finish at the Department of the Army level, beating out stories from U.S. Army bases all over the globe.
However, there was more her inner storyteller wanted to do. In 2011, her characters begged to come out.
“It all started with one vivid scene in my brain,” said Brackett, “From there, it snowballed. My characters developed personalities, and they helped me write the rest of the novel.”
Since she’d never written a novel before, she didn’t know what to expect. After she published it, she found a pocket of faithful fans, who asked for more. Some of them asked rather loudly.
“I started writing a sequel, Elyon’s Cipher, almost as soon as The Key of Elyon was released,” she said. “Once Cipher came out, people still asked for more. It was exciting and humbling at the same time.”
While there are plans for additional novels, Brackett is considering her next move. She has circus blood in her family tree and plans to write a factual account or a fact-based story on their lives using some of her grandmother’s journals as well as newspaper articles.
The thermals surrounding the Cherub Cliffs began to thin; Balkind's wing movements fell into a steady pattern of swipe and glide. Below them, the terrain sped by in a jumble of greens and browns: mostly woodlands with the occasional clearing. Sometimes the clearings bulged to encircle a village: faded yellow oblongs of thatched roofs, surrounding a silver penny of a pond. Toy people would halt in their scurrying or toil in the fields and the Boy guessed that they shaded their eyes to look up into the sky, while their children raced each other, pointing and shouting with excitement: 'Look – look – a griffin!' Or perhaps, he mused, having previously seen Romulus and his new recruits flying overhead, they shouted 'Look – look – another griffin!'
… I wonder if their mothers will tell them bedtime stories tonight about the lone griffin, and how it fell behind the rest of its troop.
If he were to make up a story about Balkind, he would call it "The Naughtiest Griffin". Ribbons of streams connecting one village pond to the next widened, collections of thatched roofs became more frequent, but otherwise, the landscape barely changed. They flew on, the steady swish swish of Balkind's wings against the air faded into the background. The boy wasn't concentrating on anything much, apart from concentrating hard on not thinking about what Romulus would have to say about "The Naughtiest Griffin Lad". Despite being alone and flying an inexperienced griffin over unknown territory, the boy fell into a daydream: Balkind headed in the right direction, they were far out of reach of any threat from ground, and nothing in the air – apart from another griffin – would dare attack. An experienced griffin rider knows better; an experienced griffin rider knows that danger is always present. Nothing in this world or any other competed with the thrill of soaring through the skies on a griffin's back. A thrill sharpened by the knowledge that one wrong move, one lapse in concentration could prove fatal – as the Boy was about to discover.
Chaffing at the bit to find out what happens next? You can download "The Griffin's Boy" from Amazon on July lst. To win a very special advance reader copy, with a unique dedication on the title page, zoom on over to Charlie Plunkett's site & enter her free fun contest. But hurry - entries close 17th June and the winner will receive their advance copy a week before publication date.
Wren Prenderson; "A Ripple in Time" best hero.
"The Griffin Cryer" best Urban Fantasy. Thank you to the hard working judges and everyone who voted at the eFestival of Words, organised by Julie Dawson, of Bards & Sages.
A Raucous Time, A Ripple in Time, and The Griffin Cryer. Thank you to Julie and her hard working panel of judges and reviewers.
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