Tag Archives: Zvonek

The Eyes Have It….

9 Oct

Today we are featuring, with pleasure, Denise Bartlett. Welcome Denise.

Denise Bartlett began writing short stories when she was nine. Pen and paper gave way to word processors and typing, printing, reading and perfecting. A dreamer, she has always searched for deeper meaning and more vivid experiences in her everyday life. From hypnosis, training with mystics and spiritual people of many walks to tax preparation and gardening, her interests vary widely. The thread that runs through her life is imagination. Denise has written a variety of poetry, short stories and novelettes, as well as columns and articles on gardening and income taxes.

Her GSP Halloween Promo book entry is The Eyes Have it.

Liza Casey called in to report a double homicide today. Sheriff Bobby Knowles had a high-school crush on Liza’s mother, Elizabeth, who disappeared without a trace, years ago when Liza was young. Liza’s life has been a maelstrom of tragedies, and this seems to be yet another one. But what is behind the latest report? Liza says it’s the green-eyed monster.
Excerpt:
Peace officer. Hah. Sheriff Bobby Knowles poured single malt whiskey neat into the same small Support Your Local Sheriff tumbler his father had always used. His father, Robert Knowles, Sr., had been the sheriff of Lane County, Texas, for years before retiring and backing his oldest son’s election to the spot. Easing into his recliner, Bobby pulled the remote out of the western-design saddlebags his wife had made for the old stuffed chair several years before. When he clicked the button, the pre-programmed CD player dutifully started through a stack of 20 George Strait and instrumental country music disks.
His back hurt, the worn out muscles sent spasms up his spine and he knew exactly where the pain originated. The desk chair at work was hurting his back these days, but that was his own fault. During his trip to the U. S. Law Expo in Washington, D. C. last month, paid for by the fair politicos of Lane County, he’d opted for the latest in technology-three new laptop computers equipped with satellite uplink and GPS-with absolutely no money left for new office chairs. Maybe he’d just have to set aside the money from the meager supply funds and get one. Yeah, right.
Sometimes he wondered why he had gone into law enforcement. As he mused, he smiled to himself. His mother had always said he had gone into peace-keeping. “It’s a worthy field, Bobby. Your father has kept the peace here for years.” He’d thought-there is no peace, Mom-but had kept that thought to himself. He knew it was the only way she could justify allowing another of her loved ones to wear a badge and carry a gun. But he had not been able to keep the peace.
Being a peace officer had not been enough to keep cancer from ravaging Jill’s body, either. They’d been married only five years when she died. They had no children; he alone remained. He still lived in his parents’ rambling old two-story, built somewhere around the turn of the century.
Shortly after his dad’s retirement, a car accident way off in Minnesota had taken both his parents from him. Peace. He could not believe how much he ached from the times peace had been replaced by tumult in his life.
Jill. He’d met her his freshman year over spring break in Galveston. She’d been a fresh, vibrant sociable fireball of a girl. Her blond hair was straight and her blue eyes bright-and he’d loved that little birthmark at the base of her throat that seemed to tremble when she was excited. She’d often been excited-at football games, at parties, out late at night at beach parties and alone with him in his car. Those were the days. . . .
Fun and youth and laughter. Going to Padre Island to look for shells, feed the sea gulls and watch the sun set on the dunes. Why did he feel so old and alone today? What was with him?
How he missed her. Jill. He sat staring at the brown liquid in his glass, moving it slightly to watch the waves swirl against the insides. He sipped again, letting the fiery liquid burn his throat as he slid deeper into reverie.
Before Jill, there had only been one other love interest, a local girl, Elizabeth Casey. He had a huge crush on her, but he never knew if it was reciprocated. Sitting there in his lonely house, forty years heavy on his frame, he recalled those high school days. He remembered very well the long afternoons spent daydreaming that someday she would be his wife. Unfortunately, there was a significant block of his unexpressed ardor from the beginning.
Liz Casey, one of the most beautiful young women in the county, had the most domineering father Bobby had ever met-maybe the most domineering man Bobby had ever known. How many times had the teenage Bobby driven to the end of the driveway leading to the lonely cliff-top home of the Caseys and turned back after sitting, staring, wishing for an hour or more? Bobby knew the number was not low. The young Bobby Knowles had never ventured anywhere close to the old mansion.
To make things worse, the man Liz had married as the result of an arranged betrothal was not any kinder than her father to the way of thinking of the citizens of this fair town, Bobby among them. Straight out of high school, she was swept off to someplace off in the Eastern USA to be courted and married. The town had been abuzz with the news that Elizabeth had married one of her father’s old friends. Scandalous talk-rumors really, gossip shared quietly over the side fence for fear of repercussions-sizzled through the town’s grapevine. Elizabeth’s father was not young when his daughter was born. Her mother had died in childbirth when her daughter was only ten years old. A housekeeper, Abigail Carlson, cared for the girl and her father, as old Naomi Carlson, her mother, had tended the Caseys before her.
Many believed hers was an unhappy marriage, for Elizabeth rarely came into town in the months after she and her husband returned to her childhood home. However, they had seen her blossom with the birth of her own daughter. For a short time, she had come out of her shell and spent time in town, showing off her child and adorning her in lovely dresses made by the local seamstresses.
Then, fifteen years ago, when her daughter was only six years old, tragedy had struck. Much to Bobby’s horror, at midmorning of a windy, overcast fall day he was summoned to the cliff-side mansion. The girl’s nanny was crying, almost incoherent in her worry. She haltingly reported that Elizabeth had disappeared. As they arrived, his men had spread across the land, working in a grid from the spot where they found her horse. An avid horsewoman, she always went for a morning run to exercise the restive Arabian mare, Katie.
Her beloved bay mare grazed on a long line. The animal was still saddled, its bridle hanging from the pommel of the saddle, a rope attached to her halter, keeping her close for the rider who never returned.
According to Mrs. Carlson, Liz sometimes came here, to the highest point of land overlooking the sea, to sketch scenes of nature-she’d always had a natural ability. They found a sketch pad with a riding jacket folded beside it, but not Liz. Teams of Search and Rescue dogs and their owners, familiar with the rocky coastline, were called in at noon. The afternoon wore on. When darkness approached, a sense of desperation settled in until one of the men shouted. Then it was a deep sadness which intensified in the hearts of the searchers when they saw him pointing down toward the turbulent, rocky waters.
Throughout the long day, Little Liza had refused to stay at the house, following the movement of the sheriff, as the others circled around him, watching from her seat on a big flat-topped rock. She was wrapped in a blanket the police had given her, but she would not give in to the exhaustion Bobby knew she felt.
It appeared the rocks on the side of the cliff bore some blood, but the rain and the waves washed it away before anyone could crawl down to gather it for testing. What had caught the eye of the man was a flash of color-one of the bonnets Elizabeth always wore clung below them, against the stark gray cliff side. Its bright red ribbons fluttered sadly from a crevice. Perhaps it had flown there on a breeze as she fell-or jumped-to her death. A storm raged through the night and the evidence, what there was of it, had washed away.
They spent a week searching for her, hoping against hope that the young mother would be found alive. After no additional evidence surfaced, Elizabeth Casey Skews was declared dead from accidental drowning. The conclusion the police and townspeople had drawn was that Elizabeth had slipped and fallen to her death. Wilton Skews and his daughter Liza continued living in the big manor house with only old Mrs. Carlson helping out as housekeeper. The nanny had been dismissed.
Wilton remarried three years later. And only three months after the wedding, the now nine year old Liza had come home from school to discover Wilton’s wife and two stepdaughters brutally murdered where they had picnicked atop the cliff overlooking the ocean. Although Lisa discovered the grisly triple homicide, she didn’t witness it. The murders were still unresolved. Bobby still wondered about it-had it been a random event? The women’s jewelry had been taken, but the house had not been broken into.
For more about Denise and where to get her books please follow the links.
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Denise.html#EyesExc
http://www.silvervalkyre.com
Denise@silvervalkyre.com/.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Eyes-Have-It-ebook/dp/B00433TAPQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349754518&sr=8-1&keywords=the+eyes+have+it+denise+bartlett

The Anvil Ghosts and ……a chance to win a free copy.

6 Oct

Today I have yet another Gypsy Shadow author. I would like to introduce you to Violetta Antcliff.
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Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.
Congratulations to Violetta for being in the 2011 Preditors and Editors top ten Short Story Category for Magic and Mayhem.

Violetta has very kindly offered a free e-copy of her book, The Anvil Ghosts, to the winner of a promo competition this weekend. This is how it works. Below is a question about the book. The answer lies in excerpt. All you as the reader has to do, is read the excerpt to find the answer and then email it off to annehpetzer@gmail.com. On Monday evening the winner will be announced. 🙂

What are the names of Anne Scrimshaw’s children?

The Anvil Ghosts.

When Anne Scrimshaw makes the decision to move her dysfunctional family from the city to a rundown cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, she has no idea what she is taking on. With two broken relationships behind her, a troubled teenage daughter and a six-year-old son who craves affection, the last thing she needs is a cottage with a history. Although Anne doesn’t believe in ghosts, her daughter does and forms a friendship with a ghost called Tom and Silver Blick, a phantom horse she runs away on in the middle of the night.

Excerpt:
The cottage was run-down, drafty and in need of repair; guttering needed replacing, doors rehung, as they didn’t fit properly, and there was no central heating.

Regardless of all the faults, the Estate Agent could tell the woman was interested, and he was desperate to get rid of the property, for it had been on his books for far too long.

“The cottage is worth twice what it’s going for; the owners want a quick sale,” he said, smiling down at the woman benignly. “If you want my advice, snap it up while you’ve got the chance. Look on it as an investment.”

Anne wasn’t looking for an investment, she was looking for something in her price range as far away from Nottingham as she could get. “Would the owners consider dropping another thousand off the price, as it needs so much done to it?” she asked.

The man rubbed his chin as if considering the idea, then shook his head. “Can’t see them agreeing to another thousand—five hundred maybe. I’ll tell you what: you take another look round and I’ll phone and see what they have to say.”

Mobile in hand, he walked round to the far side of his car out of earshot.

Anne didn’t want to take another look around; she’d seen all she wanted to. Anvil Cottage was just what she’d been looking for, but she couldn’t let the man know this; it was the reason she’d been finding fault with every little thing since they’d arrived. She’d pointed out it was a long walk to the village, grumbled about the lack of entertainment in the area, questioned the frequency of the bus service. Gone out of her way to nit-pick, making believe she wasn’t really interested in the property

“Susan! Martin! Come on, we’ve got a bus to catch.” Anne’s tone was sharp, impatient. She hadn’t seen either of her children since they’d arrived and she wondered what mischief they’d been getting up to.

“Susan, Martin, I’m warning you—if we miss the bus you’ll both be in for it.”

A boy no more than six years of age appeared from inside the cottage. Hands thrust in pockets, he ambled over to where his mother was standing and stared up at her. “Don’t like this place, there’s nowt to do ‘ere,” he growled.

Anne ignored him; she had too much on her mind, enough problems of her own to contend with. What her son liked or disliked didn’t come into the equation.

Patience wearing thin, she looked at her watch and yelled again, this time angrily, “Susan, where the bloody hell are you?”

A head belonging to a teenage girl poked over the bottom half of a stable door. “What you yelling for?” she returned hotly. “You knew where I was.”

Anne bit her tongue, determined to keep her temper. Her daughter was the reason she wanted to get away from Nottingham; the reason she’d split from her partner, Martin’s dad.

“Now you’ve seen it, what do you think?” she said, waving her arm around taking in the cottage and out buildings.

“Hate it,” the girl said, “and if you think I’m going to come and live in a dump like this you can just think again. I’ll go and live with my dad and Marlene, if they’ll have me,” she added under her breath.

“Just been on to the owners.” The man sauntered over to where Anne was standing, all smiles.

“And?” she said.

“They have agreed to five hundred off the asking price.”

Anne hesitated. five hundred off the price was less than she’d hoped.”I’ll think about it,” she said, brow furrowed.

Anvil Cottage was the type of property she’d been searching for and she’d considered herself lucky to have found it, but she still wondered if she was doing the right thing dragging the children away from a bustling city to live in the quiet of the countryside.

She was a woman on her own with two broken relationships behind her and two children to look after. Martin, with his dark hair and brown eyes, took after his father. He was a serious child, doing well at school. The girl spent more time playing truant than attending classes; fair skinned, blue eyed and blonde, she was the exact opposite of her brother.

“If you’re worried about missing the bus.” The man tousled the boy’s hair and got his hand pushed away for his trouble. “I’ll be only too pleased to give you a lift into Darlington. You can catch a later train, or a bus from there.”

“I said I’d consider it, I’ll be in touch when I’ve had more time to think about it.” Anne could see the man was weakening. She was no fool; she’d guessed he wanted rid of the property. “If the owners had been prepared to drop it a thousand, well . . . who knows?” she shrugged her shoulders.

“A thousand less it is, then.” the estate agent came back without a moment’s hesitation, and stuck his hand out to shake on it. “You strike a hard bargain, Mrs. Scrimshaw,” he said, ushering her toward the car. “Hop in and I’ll take you back to the office, and we’ll sort out the details.”

The only ones not happy with this turn of events were the children. Sullen-faced, they clambered in the car and sat tight-lipped, arms folded, on the back seats.

To learn about Violetta’s books please visit her page:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#AnvilExc

A Dozen of Dreadfuls…

4 Oct

Next up for our GSP Halloween promo, I have the privledge of sharing Charlotte Holley’s entry, A Dozen Dreadfuls.

Charlotte Holley has an inborn love of all mysteries and the supernatural, and has been reading and writing about the paranormal for more than forty years. A mass communications major, she has written and published newsletters, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as poems and short stories since receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1980. As a beaded jewelry designer, she has also self-published twenty-two pattern collections on CD and in eBook form and has produced almost 400 individual original patterns. 
Having spent several years as a professional psychic, she has had extensive experience with the spirit world and has observed supernatural dramas that defy all rational explanation. Charlotte uses her expertise and story-telling ability to weave a powerful tale of mystery and horror, of love and deceit and of the overpowering desire of the human nature to make things right.

About A Dozen Dreadfuls:
It’s been said if two or more people strongly agree on any one thing, no matter how unlikely, that thing will come to pass. When art lovers and critics alike unanimously acclaim Sam Forbes’ monsters in his Dozen Dreadfuls series as real enough to step right off the canvas and into the world, they unwittingly unleash a rash of gory killings and a plague of terror as well.
   As the only living human who knows what is happening, Sam sets out to make up for the damage his work has caused at the risk of losing his first and best claim to fame. Can he save the world from the horror in time, and what will he have left if he does?

Excerpt:
  He was alone; the streets, deserted. The city lay sleeping in the sultry hush of the summer’s night. He trudged along, kicking the debris at the edge of the pavement, stopping now and then to rifle through the trash for anything that might be worthwhile. Here, he found a dime; there, a perfect silver chain someone had lost when the clasp came unfastened, freeing it to slide unnoticed into the piles of refuse. He smiled as he held the gleaming silver treasure up in the luminance of the streetlight before he stuffed it greedily into the crumpled paper sack he carried. The pickings were slim tonight, but he was grateful for what he did find.
     Rounding the next corner, he stopped cold. Two men were arguing in the alley. The heavier of the two grabbed the other by the collar, nearly jerking the man off his feet. “I said, give me the rest of it, punk!”
     “Quinn, I already told ya. This is all I got, man,” the smaller man squeaked.
     Quinn let go and shoved his companion to the pavement. “Sure you did, Amos. Sure you did. Okay . . . fine. So give me the rest of the goods then, and we’ll be square.”
     Amos squirmed at Quinn’s feet, looking like he’d puke when Quinn asked for the drugs. “Uh—no can do. See, my mark—well, he done stole the rest of it from me.”
     “Is that so?” Quinn demanded, kicking Amos in the gut.
     The tramp ducked farther into the shadows, fearing the two men would spot him. This whole affair was no concern of his, and to tell the truth, he knew he should go on his way. He should be making tracks as far from here as he could, as fast as he could, but something made him stay glued to the spot, fascinated by the real-life drama unfolding before him.
     Amos was doubled over in pain from Quinn’s assault.
     Quinn grabbed the writhing man by the hair of the head and jerked him to his feet. Amos screamed, but Quinn just laughed. “How many times do I have to tell you? You’re supposed to take your mark for all he’s worth; not the other way around, stupid. This is—what? The third time your mark has made off with the payload, leaving you with only crumbs? Does that seem right to you?”
     “No,” Amos managed to say between gritted teeth.
     “And does it seem right to you for me to let you live when you are such a screw-up?”
     Amos’ breaths were coming in short gasps now. He tried to escape from Quinn’s steel grip, and the tramp thought he actually heard the sound of the punk’s hair ripping from his scalp as Amos staggered free, leaving a handful of his hair in Quinn’s hand. “Aw now, come on, man. Surely you don’t mean that.”
     “Of course, I mean it. You didn’t lose the goods to your mark, did you? Did you?”
     “I—”
     Quinn threw Amos’ hair to the pavement in disgust and reached inside his jacket, bringing out a .45 and aiming it at the other man in one fluid movement. He brought the gun to bear on Amos so fast the tramp could hardly believe his eyes.
     “No!” Amos wailed. “Please, man. I got a wife and two kids. Don’t kill me. Please!”
     “I’d be doing them a favor, punk,” Quinn spat. “You’re a loser. Why don’t you admit the truth? You sold a little of it for more than you should have and took the rest of it yourself. I know your kind. You’re not just a loser; you’re a junkie to boot. Probably beat on your wife and kids, you filthy—”
     Amos stared down the barrel of the .45, his hands shaking, his gasps a mixture of hysterical sob and wheeze. The front of his pants turned dark with the stain of urine that traveled down his leg and pooled at his feet. He didn’t say another word, unable to pull enough air into his lungs to expel the utterance. He swallowed hard, and then closed his eyes, perhaps hoping if he couldn’t see when Quinn pulled the trigger, it wouldn’t be true.
     Quinn cocked the revolver.
     Amos winced and steeled himself for the shot that never came.
     At that exact instant, the tramp saw movement in the alley behind Quinn. He was still trying to decide what it was when a ten-foot tall monster took two giant steps from the shadows and knocked the gun from Quinn’s hand. Another second was all it took, and pieces of Quinn flew all over the alley before Quinn even had the chance to react. 
Where the book is avaible:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Charlotte.html#DreadfulsExc
http://www.amazon.com/A-Dozen-Dreadfuls-ebook/dp/B0043EV9EK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349370168&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Dozen+Dreadfuls

Check out Charlotte’s website at: http://charlotteholley.com/

Thank you Charlotte for being part of my promo.

Snow white’s story..

30 Mar

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Today is my privilege to welcome an author from former Yugoslavia. Snjezana survived the war to tell her story in which she conveys a message of peace. Peace is something the whole needs so much of. Today she is sharing with us about her book, the first volume of two, Born in Sarajevo. Over to Snjezana.

One of the most important things that inspired Born in Sarajevo is a desire to show to a reader that there is much more about Sarajevo than the civil war which happened between the years 1992-1996 in this capitol of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For example, in 1885, Sarajevo was the first city in Europe and the second city in the world, after San Francisco, to have a full-time electric tram network running through the city. In 1984 Sarajevo hosted the fourteen Winter Olympic Games. In 2011, Sarajevo became the first city outside the European Union to be nominated for the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Sarajevo also has a long history of integrating all major religions into its culture. In this city, I and many people I know, were brought up to respect and love diversity. With this book, I also wanted to show to a reader that us, people from Sarajevo, as well as people from some other parts of the former Yugoslavia are much more than war exiles. We love to read, we love to watch Shakespeare’s plays, and between “to be and not to be” those of us who got an opportunity to survive, are grateful to live. Born in Sarajevo is also my personal, an ordinary citizen’s story, about my broken family, war-torn relationships, and lost dreams. Most importantly, with this book I wanted to show to the reader how war can change such a beautiful city and have the influence on such beautifully minded people. My yearning for the more peaceful planet was my biggest inspiration for writing Born in Sarajevo.

 

The gunpowder flows through the air

There are friends sitting on a tank

And there are too few moments to realize

They are targeting someone they know,

Someone who will this last time

Try to wave, try to smile

I run, but in my heart I want to stay

Because this is still Home

 

The blood covers our street and I am afraid

To look around, I am ashamed to hope that

A bird was hit while she flew

Toward her nest to feed her young ones,

But all I can see is Sarajevo helpless, alone,

No matter how far I would go

I’ll remember this is my home

 

 

Sarajevo, March 1992

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When first barricades and first gun shots occurred in the capitol of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, I was seventeen years old. It was the year 1992, and one of the worst mass killings in the history of mankind began. At that time, my family, my friends, my neighbors, and I were still unaware that we will lose all privileges related to peace. People of this country, which was called Yugoslavia, proudly holding the title of the biggest and the wealthiest Balkan country, started losing their freedom, their homes and their lives. I, as any other teen, knew about war only from movies and video games until my first encounter with those whose intention was not to act or play but to overpower, destroy and kill. 

Her book can be purchased at : http://www.gypsyshadow.com/SnjezanaMarinkovic.html#top

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BornInSarajevo

Website : http://www.snjezanamarinkovic.com

Book Trailer: Born in Sarajevo-book trailer.wmv

Thank you so much for being part of my blog. I wish you loads of sales of your book and peace.

and enter Kimmy..

2 Mar


Last week Christine shared with us the story behind Clawless. This week I am highighting yet another project of the lovely Irish author. To tell it in her words over to Christine :).

“When I left London in 200 7 after nearly 20 years, to move to Bath – I knew no one. Not one single person. I had given up a very busy job in television with a manic social life and what seemed like dozens of friends to go and live in a city where I would be working from home as a writer and hopefully making friends. But of course, it didn’t quite work like that and although I would never ever admit it, I felt a little lonely. I had always said that when I had the right sort of lifestyle I would get a cat and now I had the time to care for a cat and a house with safe courtyard so when Mum came to stay with me and expressed an interest in Bath Cats and Dogs Home it felt ‘right’ to go up there. Of course I fell for Kimmy, a tabby and white 10 year old who had recently been made Pet of the Week to try and rustle up interest in her as a long stay inmate.

I had never had a cat all of my own. We’d had family cats and dogs but I had never had one all to myself whose care was entirely my responsibility and I made all sorts of ‘rules’ with myself. I would not be her ‘Mum’ , I would not let her rule my life, I would go away whenever I wanted and find someone to care for her and I wouldn’t become one of those silly women who witter on about their cats all the time. Of course I broke all the rules within about a week – all except the going away ‘whenever’. The first time I left Kimmy – in the care of a pet minder, I was a nervous wreck all weekend.

Kimmy opened a world to me that I had never imagined – of love, trust and having another living creature to care for. She quite simply made me a better person and made my life just so much richer and I adored her. After regaling my Mum with yet another story on the phone she urged me to write some of them down. I had of course been doing just that in my diary but I began to wonder if anyone would be interested in reading about our lives together? I would write her diary with all royalties going to charity in my constant and eternal gratitude to Bath Cats and Dogs Home where she came from and where I was now working as a volunteer and making lots of other friends.

What followed was the Kimmy Diaries by Kimmy with narrative by both Kimmy and myself of our lives

together from when I first saw her in her ‘pod’ to our first Christmas.

Anyway, the manuscript did not take that long to write, a month or so and then was submitted to various agents – in order to find a publisher. That took time and was so frustratingly slow that I decided to fall back on the popularity Kimmy had on United Cats and in Bath itself and hope that they would buy a self published copy of her book. I was right to think this – because Bath was very good to me. The bookshops stocked it, Bath Cats and Dogs Home organised book signings and the local paper The Bath Chronicle did a feature on Kimmy and me. It was a Bath bestseller over the Christmas period and I felt ridiculously happy with it and was able to give Bath Cats and Dogs Home sizeable royalty cheques each quarter.

I was lucky enough to approach my favourite Media vet Pete Wedderburn to ask if he would write a foreword and he agreed. It gave the book such a good plug and some real validation. I was thrilled.

After nearly two blissful years I had to return home to Northern Ireland as my Mother had had an accident it spelled out that she could no longer live independently – as much as she wanted to. I would live nearby and be able to keep an eye on her. Of course Kimmy was coming too and I booked a taxi to take us door to door for Kimmy’s comfort. And of course this spawned the follow up to The Kimmy Diaries – Kimmy’s Irish Diary – 6 months from us moving from Bath to her first Christmas in N. Ireland. This book had many changes in Kimmy’s life from her having garden access, her making friends and meeting Mum’s cat Jamie for the first time. It was a very happy book full of stories about Kimmy and her new lifestyle and our life together. Again self published using Authors Online but sadly this time the sales took a back seat as Kimmy was diagnosed with cancer very soon after the book was published so I did little or no marketing to take care of her in what would be her final months.

A third Kimmy Diary will be available at some later date as we wrote about her last 6 months which I hope will please her many fans and bring comfort to those experiencing something similar. Her last months were shocking, sad and very distressing but they were also very ,very happy and led me to live my life in the present for the first time ever just taking one day at a time and being grateful for it.

If you want to self publish you do need to put a lot of work in. You have to market the book yourself. Design the cover – the publisher will help and you will have to take it round bookshops to see if they will stock it. You will also have to do your own publicity and if you want great sales you will have to put in a lot of hard work. But … if you choose a good publisher whose work looks professional on any shelf and if your own work is good, spell checked and proof read – you stand a good chance of selling as many – if not more than if you had a ‘traditional publishing’ deal. I was able to give £1.60 per book sold to Bath Cats and Dogs Home – for each book. And I am very proud of both.”

links:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kimmys-Irish-Diary-Kimmy/dp/0755206118/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330809732&sr=8-1
https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Kimmy-Diaries-by-Kimmy-for-fans-of-Kimmy/361593067237
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kimmys-Irish-Diary-Kimmy/dp/0755206118/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331293488&sr=8-1

Clawless on Centre Stage

24 Feb


This month we are fortunate to have yet another wonderful guest, hailing this time from Northern Ireland. I am very excited to have Christine with us today as her project which you are about to read supports a cause close to my heart. I consider animals, especially pets, to be one of the most vulnerable parts of our society. They often end up in a less than pleasant situation and Christine’s project aids the relief for some of them. Let’s hear about Clawless the first, I believe, feline soap opera :).

“When Clawless came out – it’s release week, our publishers sent out a press release to all the magazines and newspapers that subscribe and I sent out my own press releases to local newspapers and was thrilled to get a call almost immediately. My local paper ‘The Newtownabbey Times’ wanted to send someone round to interview me and take a photo. Of course, I felt nervous but also pleased as it is great to talk about your own achievement but strangely difficult. How easy is it to say ‘My book is very funny and wonderful’? Well, easier than you think because I didn’t write it! As a co author it is so much easier to be able to say ‘Oh it’s so funny. The other authors are a scream and write so well.’  Plus ‘Oh one when person wrote something really funny you sort of felt you had to write something as good so we all helped each other to keep up the standard’.  And when asked which was my favourite bit – it was fun to be able to praise one of the other writers’ work.
 
I had a few calls and emails from the Authors online press release including a few children’s comics ‘Animals and Me’ being one. They loved the book but maybe it was a little ‘old’ for their 6 – 10 year old readers. But any publicity is good publicity.
 
Choosing the charities had been hard.  We wanted to give the royalties to a cat charity and one that wasn’t too big so they would appreciate our donation and preferably and international one but we couldn’t find one. International animal agencies are there but mainly for wildlife or endangered species and I was keen to use Bath Cats and Dogs Home again as they do such amazing work – I had got Kimmy from there and truly they are the best animal rescue of its type bar none, in the UK.   (they have a vet on site to care for the animals and a behaviourist to work with dogs who are ‘difficult’ so they can be rehomed and they rehome cats of all ages but always have a waiting list of cats to come in. The animals are very well cared for too.)  On a par with Battersea Cats and Dogs Home which is also excellent but no better and with a different type of stray problem being in London.
 
As we had 2 UK writers,  4 US, 1 Canadian, 1 Australian and 1 S. African – it should probably have meant that they royalties went to one US charity if we couldn’t find an international one but the publisher was in the UK and it seemed … well unfortunate not to capitalise on Kimmy’s fan base in the Bath area plus the fact that Bath Cats and Dogs Home had been remarkably good at helping me sell books before via their newsletters and shop.  So we decided to give to two charities  – Bath Cats and Dogs Home and Ann Scarborough’s local shelter, The Humane Society of Jefferson County (another small but hard working centre where animals are not routinely euthanised unless very old or sick)  and both charities were so grateful.  As yet we have not made a fortune for them and the sales have been slower than I would like but we are still hopeful that the world will catch on to Clawless and that sales will rocket.
 
Had we done a second book we would have used two other charities probably in Australia next time and maybe in the US as well.
For more info on Clawless:

http://www.facebook.com/ClawlessBook
http://www.wix.com/squishgeo/clawless

It may purchased at: Authorsonline.co.uk

thank you Christine for being part of my blog. I wish you loads of sales.

Happy New Year

1 Jan

Bubbly anyone?


I wish you all a wonderful 2012, filled with peace and health. I have to say I am not sad to the see the back of 2011. It was a difficult year although not without high points.
The highest point was seeing my high school dream fulfilled, the publication of the Zvonek 08 series. As some of you know I wanted to live in Europe, have two cats and write books. Finally in April last year I could tick all the boxes.
Starting my blog was also a high point and it has been exciting to have wonderful people willing to be interviewed or being a guest on my blog.
My first ever guest was Shelia Deeth, telling us how she got started writing. Bless you Shelia for taking the plunge with me. If you haven’t read the entry please check October 29th.
In November I interviewed Hana Rawlings, whose book on Cake Decorating will be out this year. She shared a lovely Czech recipe for Gingerbread with us. By the way Hana would love feedback if any of you actually tried the recipe. I am including a photo at the end of this blog of the ones she made this year. Please see the entry for November 26th.
We saw the year out with my friend and fellow author Elizabeth Ann Scarbourgh, Feline Book Feast, telling us about her latest feline books. Please see the entry December 17th.
To all of you thank for being on my blog and to my readers a big thank you for your support and comments.
We start this year with guest blogger James Woods telling us about why he writes about South Africa. I have read James’ Assassination Safari and have to say it captures the South African image perfectly. As a native South African I am always suspicious of foreigners writing about my country but I have to give James thumbs up :). He will be my guest on 27/1, please do stop by.
Next month I will have Christine Wilson as a guest on my blog. Christine is an Irish author. We will be highlighting a special work of hers so please don’t miss it.
So from Zvonek and Metaxa purrs for a great 2012 and again from me all the best.

Hana's Christmas 2011 bake using the recipe she shared with us

Merry Christmas

25 Dec

Thank you all for reading and supporting my blog. To those of you who bought my book – a very big thank you. My wish is that you all have an amazing festive season with friends, family and loved ones.
Anne, Zvonek and Metaxa

Zvonek 08 Book 2 – with special Christmas story

10 Dec

Am so pleased to anounce that the second book in the Zvonek series published by Gypsy Shadow, is currently on sale in PDF format and on Amazon compatible for Kindle. Thank your Denise and Charlotte for your hard work in getting it out in time for Christmas. So all you feline fans out there here is an except ( for blurb please click on Zvonek 08 series heading)


Prologue
1786 BC

The bejewelled sky spread its dark velvet covering over the silent earth below. The pale light of the moon cast a cold glow on Ma’at. The form of the goddess nestled among the columns of the temple; statuesque, protected from the night. Still and calm filled the land with peace that brought comfort.

Somewhere in a corner, a small movement. Not threatening. In the shadows, a small, huddled bundle. Silver, shining in the tiniest of pale rays that reached it. Another movement, shifting, and then the smallest of contented mews.

On the other side of the temple, a door opened silently. A dark shadow grew in the pale light. Stopped. Then moved again. Another mew, the shadow moved stealthily forward, growing longer in the pallid light. It reached the far corner, bent. There on the floor in a golden basket, lying on a silken quilt, the small body of Anther was rhythmically breathing the safe, contented breath of sleep.

The shadow stopped, did not move for an entire twelve seconds, then quietly bent over the basket and gently lifted the sleeping kitten, clothed in the soft quilt, into its arms and moved quickly and noiselessly back to the door. A sharp glow from the eyes of Ma’at pierced the shadow, causing it to stumble and fall in a heap at her feet.

Anther, now awake and frightened, darted for the door and disappeared inside.

In the bright golden light of day, a few worshippers gathered on the temple steps, all with only one eyebrow. Anther could not be found. All that remained were the empty basket and a crumpled silk quilt.

2011

Zvonek was not in the mood to wait for Honza. They had decided to have lunch at Whiskers. The last mission had been successfully completed, the paperwork filed, and now all that was left was to kick back and relax. It hadn’t been as dangerous or as stimulating as other missions. Clawdette had decided to stay in Prague to oversee the mission, causing undue stress for everyone.

He looked around the pub. It wasn’t as full as usual. It was only their second visit to Whiskers since the HQ of Feline Intel had moved to their new location. Zvonek hadn’t been sad to leave the old FI building at all. It was getting cramped and they needed something more upmarket. Their new location certainly was in a better area. The garden around the flat—it had been arranged for Mom to move as well, which wasn’t easy since she hated change—was so much better, too. Lots of long, soft, grass. And trees! Zvonek loved trees. It was great to have them in his own garden! The flat was down the road from the former residence.

One window was situated halfway behind a leafy bush, so you could look out, but it wasn’t that easy to look in. This garden had a proper fence, about ten metres from the window. Nice all round. Alas, there still were many things he missed about the old flat.

The humans who came to pet him while he lay in the sun at the living room window. The human friends he had made on the block. Ah well!! Guess it was time to move on.

“Anything else, sir?” The kit arrived at the table, disturbing Zvonek’s thoughts.

“Nothing more for me, thank you. Just the bill.”

He looked around and saw Honza was still at the bar, purring at a couple of felines. Zvonek smiled to himself. It was typical of Honza; his friend just couldn’t help it.

He slowly walked home. It had been a hot day and Zvonek was glad for the reprieve. He stopped under the bushes in the garden to enjoy the coolness before going in.

He sat under the tree outside the window. He still used the flap method in the cat net to get in and out. Simple and it worked well. He smelled the air. Different smells, but not unpleasant.

This time, he had a dog to contend with. She belonged to their neighbour, and he had groaned inwardly when he saw her. She proved useful in a canine sort of way, like keeping strays away, which meant that he had peace, so he would tolerate her for now.

Zvonek stood up and stretched out his legs in front of him, rump in the air. He’d better go in. Mom would be home soon and he should be inside, ready to greet her. It was Wednesday, which meant poached fish! It was his second favourite. He especially hadn’t had lunch at Whiskers not to ruin his appetite. When he got inside he would nibble on some granules, just to keep himself going. He walked slowly towards the window, stretching one back leg at a time. Just as he was about to jump onto the window ledge he heard a noise. The dog! He high-tailed it across the remaining space, leapt onto the window, through the flap, and onto the sofa. Just in time. The dog bounded toward the fence, to bark at people passing the garden.

Dogs! Zvonek shook his head as he sat down on the sofa, catching his breath. He looked around the room. It was a smaller flat than their last, by a couple of square metres. Instead of a separate bedroom and living room, in this flat they were together. Mom closed the door between the living room and kitchen while she was out, so that he didn’t run out when she came in after work.

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/AnneHPetzer.html#Zvonek2
http://www.amazon.com/Mau-ow-Miracle-Intelligence-Republic-ebook/dp/B006JG0TWS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323409338&sr=8-2

Prague’s Old Town Square

4 Nov

To continue with the Prague series this week I have decided to concentrate on Old Town Square, in my opinion one of the most beautiful squares in Prague. It is nestled between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. From what was allegedly a market place in the 12th Century has now become a major attraction of Prague.
It’s buildings boast different styles of architecture. Prague is also known as The City of a 100 spires, a few important ones are visible on the square’s parameter.
St Nicholas church built in baroque style, shows off three of these spires and towering over the square it’s gothic rival, Týn Church, the main picture.Tyn Church is an impressive building with two spires stretching heavenward. The spires are probably two of the most famous and often seen on photographs of Old Square. The church is enormous and stretches backwards from the square to into courtyard beyond.

St Nicholas Church


Another attraction, is the Astronomical Clock mounted on the south wall of the Old Town city hall. The clock displays an astronomical design on its face, showing the position of the sun and the moon in the sky. Every hour the figures of the 12 apostles appear as well as the figure of death depicted by a skeleton. Attracting hundreds of tourists crammed in front of it waiting for the hour to strike after which a burst of applause can be heard.

Old Town City Hall


During the festive season it transforms into a fairytale Christmas delight. The square plays host to the official Prague Christmas tree and many stalls selling Christmas nick nacks. The delightful smell of spiced hot wine and trdlo- a Czech and Slovak Christmas pastry – permeating through the market has become the ‘new’ smell of Christmas for this South African. Snow adding to the ambiance brings the magic of Advent to earth.

Offical Christmas tree of Prague on the square