Today was a good day … Busy Bee Thursday

THURSDAY 29th MAY 2014

Today has been rather exciting.  It began with slipping back into more Autumnal attire; old suede boots that were lucky enough to survive last winter and a rainbow-splattered scarf, all thanks to a chilly breeze that sprinkled raindrops.

I hopped aboard a metro; late enough to miss the morning commuters, yet early enough to avoid the half-term hurricane of harassed Engage blog
parents and excitable kids.

I met up with the editor of Engage Magazine in a quaint little coffee shop tucked off Northumberland Street. It was here where we both sipped on our differing versions of cups of tea as we discussed a marketing and sales strategy. Forty-five minutes later, armed with my notebook, a sample magazine and some snazzy new business cards, we parted ways.

After a much needed hair appointment, I took another metro across the water to Gateshead for feedback on yet another interview.

I’m now home, sitting at my kitchen table with my laptop skewwhiff on the floral tablecloth and the back door ajar, the snatches of afternoon sunlight having dried up the morning’s drizzle. I have some marketing emails to draft for the magazine and then I’m off out to see Dirty Dancing at the Theatre Royal.

Life is good.

Oh, did I mention my snazzy new business cards?

Engage Business Cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in advertising in the magazine please get in touch with me at gemma@engagemagazine.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Tanya Bullock

WEDNESDAY 28th MAY 2014

 Cuppa and a Catch up pic

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Tanya Bullock.

~Author Bio~

 Tanya Bullock is a college lecturer, writer and award-winning filmmaker. She lives in the West Midlands with her husband and two young children. She has a Tanya Picpassion for foreign culture and languages (inherited from her French mother) and, in her youth, travelled extensively throughout Australia, America, Asia and Europe. As a filmmaker, she has gained local recognition, including funding and regional television broadcast, through ITV’s First Cut scheme; two nominations for a Royal Television Society Midlands Award, and, in 2010, a Royal Television Society Award in the category of best promotional film. In 2008, she directed a short drama, Second Honeymoon, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. On maternity leave in 2011 and in need of a creative outlet, Tanya began to write That Special Someone, the story of a mother’s quest to help her learning-disabled daughter find love. It is her first novel.
 
~Synopsis~
 
A poignant, witty story of a mother’s quest to help her learning-disabled daughter find love. 

Jaya, 18, is growing up. To single mum Izzie’s alarm, all her learning-disabled daughter wants from life is to get married and have babies. Which creates aThat Special SomeoneWEB moral dilemma for Izzie. How she can continue to protect Jaya whilst at the same time letting her go? 

Life as the single mum of a learning-disabled daughter in a small town in the West Midlands is tough. But the boundless love between Izzie and her beautiful, sparky daughter is reward enough in itself, fuelling the energy she pours into fighting her child’s corner who ‘isn’t disabled enough’ for much professional help beyond education in a college’s Special Educational Needs department. 

With little prospect of meaningful employment or continuing education, Izzie wonders if perhaps finding Jaya a ‘suitable husband’ via an arranged marriage wouldn’t be so crazy. It’s the common tradition of Jaya’s unknown, Indian biological father, after all, and an Indian girl in her class is already betrothed. But Jaya believes her obsessive love for John, a naive young teaching assistant, is reciprocated and it’s only a matter of time before they will be married. A d
isastrous sequence of events unfold until Jaya’s teenage fixation on love and marriage turns things around in a way that nobody could have ever foreseen. 
 

Let’s grab our cuppa’s as we settle down to find out a bit more about Tanya Bullock …

coffee and cream

Hi Tanya and welcome!!

Where did the inspiration behind your story for ‘That Special Someone’ come from?

 It’s a book I’ve wanted to write for a while. I’ve worked in education for over fifteen years and specialise in the field of Special Educational Needs. The young people I’ve worked with over the years have the same hopes and aspirations as everyone else, but often have less opportunity to fulfil their dreams. I didn’t want to make a strong political statement about this, but thought it was an important issue to address. Also, the notion that people with learning difficulties are somehow ‘childlike’ is a misconception that I was keen to tackle. I therefore set out to write what I hoped would be quite a gritty and realistic novel, from the perspective of a young woman with learning difficulties.

How would you compare writing this story with anything you’ve previously written?

That Special SomeoneWEBI’ve never written a novel before, but writing is in my blood and I always keep a notebook and pen by my bedside! In my current job role, I write a lot of theatre and film scripts for my students. We put on at least two theatrical productions a year and I do a lot of the writing for these. I’m also a filmmaker and have written short film scripts which my film company, Pat the Bull Films, has then gone on to make. Writing a novel is very different from writing a film or theatre script. I usually write for specific performers or am asked to write about a set theme, but with That Special Someone I could write whatever came into my mind – it was a great feeling!

How do you manage your writing time?

Finding the time to write is unfortunately almost impossible for me. I work full-time and have two young children. My husband works long hours, so most of the childcare also falls to me. My husband is very supportive and, at the weekends, always makes sure I have a few hours free to write. However, over the years, my determination to write has turned me into a bit of an insomniac and I do most of my scribbling in the wee hours of the morning.

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurred you on?

Being on maternity leave from work after the birth of my second child was definitely what spurred me on! Being at home with my baby and toddler was wonderful, but I really missed the creative outlet that my job provides me with. Whenever my two young children slept, I found myself picking up my laptop, or a pen and notebook and ‘escaping’ for a couple of hours. That’s really when That Special Someone began to take shape. When I went back to work, the book wasn’t quite finished, but the interest shown by my fabulous publisher, Stephanie Zia, was the encouragement I needed to get it finished. Also, I have to mention my dad, Keith Bullock, here. He’s a wonderful writer and a published author of short stories. He’s definitely inspired me to follow in his footsteps.

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

In bed! Always!! I wrap myself in my duvet, prop myself up on pillows and I’m away!

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know

Ooo…good question! Well, about fifteen years ago, me and a group of girlfriends were mistaken for The Spice Girls in the South of France. We were mobbed by a group of French schoolboys and didn’t have the heart to disappoint them, so gave them all an autograph. I think I was ‘Sporty Spice’. Is that the kind of interesting fact you were after…?

Thank you for being here today Tanya.

Thank you. It’s been lovely.

~Where to find Tanya Bullock~

  
 
 
 
Amazon  
 
Published by Blackbird Digital Books: Press Release Page 
 
Available to buy on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format.
 
Cover designed by Darren Lewis: http://howiezogdust.wordpress.com/ 
 
That Special SomeoneWEB
 
Quotes/reviews by readers:
 

1.) An enjoyable and thought-provoking read that offers insight into parenting a child with learning disability into adulthood. These very real problems, sensitively tackled by this author are given both a humourous and at times heart wrenching story. (Customer review on Amazon.com)

2.) The moving story of a young girl with learning difficulties, her journey into womanhood, and of her mother Izzie whose resilience and courage are unbending. That Special Someone touched me with its human spirit, its heart and its portrayal of a mother’s boundless love for her child. It made me laugh and it made me cry; a stunning debut novel. (Emma Rose Millar, Author Strains from an Aeolian Harp.)

Love Missuswolf xxx

 
 

Coming Soon – Engage Magazine

Engage Magazine is a dedicated lifestyle magazine for Newcastle and Gateshead.

Engage Logo

Coming Soon!

 

Reside in Newcastle or Gateshead?

Looking for a new lifestyle magazine that features local celebrities, entertainment, food and drink, cars, travel, sport, business, fashion and so much more?

Then seek no further – I’d like to introduce you to Engage Magazine.

If you are a local business why not advertise in Engage Magazine? With a website and a print run of 25,000 copies, Engage will be the largest print run of any North East lifestyle publication!

Engage Magazine hits an affluent ABC1 audience living in Newcastle and Gateshead, specifically in Low Fell, Festival Park, Whickham, Ryton, Crawcrook, Rowlands Gill, the Gateshead Quayside, Jesmond, West Jesmond, Gosforth, Ouseburn, Newcastle City Centre and the Newcastle Quayside.

Engage Magazine is a bargain package in itself – it’ll be delivered for FREE directly to 20,000 residences in the areas above.

The remaining 5,000 copies will be available as a free pick up from various bars, cafe’s, restaurants, shops, cinemas and business centres across Newcastle and Gateshead.

Intrigued?

Take a sneak peek at the website here.

Coming Soon pic

Image courtesy of Engagae Magazine Website

Want to be a part of this exciting new venture and see how Engage Magazine can promote your magazine? Please contact the staff at hello@engagemagazine.co.uk or on 0191 404 6857.

Love Missuswolf xx

All images courtesy of Engage Magazine

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Sylvia Stein

WEDNESDAY 21st MAY 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

 

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Sylvia Stein, a fellow GoTeamPIF member who is working on her first solo novella, Closure.

~Author Bio~

My name is Sylvia Stein and I am a native of Brownsville, Texas and I have always loved writing and always dreamt of publishing my own stories one day. I have worked as an educator in Texas and North Carolina. I have also written poetry on poetry.com.Sylvia Stein

In 2012 I joined an Incredible Writer’s group on linked in. Thanks to this group I was able to publish my first set of 4 stories which launched on Amazon in February 2013 Book One, Giant Tales Beyond Mystic Doors and her second Anthology with another set of 4 stories entitled Giant Tales from the Misty Swamp which launched in August 2013 thanks to my Writer’s group 750 started by the wonderful Heather Marie Schuldt.

However, I would also like to add that I would of never kept on pursuing my writing if it were not from the support of authors like Melissa Foster, and The World Literary Cafe (WLC Community) that paves the way for other authors, Melissa’s Awesome Support Team, Sass Cadeaux, Exchange Fan Page, Tammie Clarke Gibbs and Share an Excerpt Virtual e-book fair and last but not least my amazing family and friends and my faith in God. I currently reside in the town of Fuquay, Varina NC with my beloved and supportive husband Jeremy and my three wonderful children.

Closure is my very first novella and I really hope you will enjoy it!

~Synopsis~

Sara James was an only child who loved the world and life. Sadly, her world came to a screeching halt upon the news of her mother’s tragic death.

Devastated by the loss of his wife, Garrison neglects his daughter and turns to the bottle for solace.

Desperate to feel loved and wanted, Sara tries to pickup the pieces of what was left of her family. Sadly, no matter how hard she tried, her father continued his lust for the bottle and spiraled down a dark and abusive path.

Once removed from her home, Sara tries to pickup what was left of her life and begins to live again. She becomes a successful caterer and fights to maintain her promise to never look back.

A phone call threatens to end Sara’s promise.

Garrison is on his deathbed and he is asking for his daughter. Will Sara face her father? Will she reject his request or will she finally fight back and tell him what she really thinks of him?

Closure is a must read journey of the heart. Grab your copy in 2014!

coffee and cream

 

Let’s find out a bit more about Sylvia …

Hi Sylvia and welcome!!

First and Foremost thank you Gemma for your kind words and so Happy to be here!

Where did the inspiration behind Closure come from?

The inspiration behind Closure came from people I have met through my life that are estranged from one of their family members whether it be a mother, father, brother, sister etc.   I began to write Sara James story in one of my writing classes and then another fellow writer said how great it would be if I expanded this story into a novella.

How would you compare writing this story with anything you’ve previously written?

Writing this story can not be compared to anything I have ever written since the previous were all short stories and Sara’s character and the emotional journey that she goes through was powerful and profound. I think there are many who will relate to her story.

How do you manage your writing time?

I tell you it is not easy being a wife and mother of three. However, I love writing so I make time by working on it late In the night, and in the weekends. I always find some time to write.

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on? Closure

I started writing as early as 7 years of age. It was a way to create a new world and travel within my characters. I think the book that spoke to me was when I was in High School and I read, “ To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I tell you the message that this book created for me as a reader was something that instilled a passion to want to create stories one day that would make a difference and take the reader on a journey with their words.

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

I work best in my office late at night and I need to listen to my music – classical, ballads, rock, etc. Without music I can’t work.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I love to sing and I have also written some songs. I do not play instruments but I hear the melody in my head and create music.

Thank you for being here today Sylvia.

Thank you so much for having me!

~Where to find Sylvia Stein~

Facebook

Twitter: @sylvia_stein07

WordPress Blog

Anthologies:

Giant Tales Beyond The Mystic Doors: Four Stories

Giant Tales From The Misty Swamp: Four Stories

Giant Tales Lava Storm In The Neighbourhood: One Story
Closure
 Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Michelle Saint-Germain Weidenbenner

MONDAY 19th MAY 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Michelle Weidenbenner – Amazon bestselling author of SCATTERED LINKS and CACHE a PREDATOR. Scattered Links is only 99 cents to buy today on Amazon!

~Author Bio~

Michelle grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home from the hospital she cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting, without drama, she discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught her how to Michelle SGW Author Pictake direct criticism without flinching, which might come in handy with book reviews.

When she’s not writing she’s winning ugly on the tennis court. She’s known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.”

No joke. It’s ugly.

Her debut novel, Cache a Predator is a geocaching mystery and an Amazon bestseller in the thriller/crime category.

Scattered Links (initially titled Love is Just a Word) was the winner of the 2013 Aspiring Writers Competition, sponsored by Write on Con and The Reading Room.

Michelle blogs at Random Writing Rants where she teaches and encourages writers how to get published

 

~Scattered Links~

Scattered Links

Book Description:

Scattered Links is a novel that pulls its characters from the gutters and, in the end, celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit.

Thirteen-year-old Oksana lives on the streets of Russia with her pregnant mama and abusive aunt—both prostitutes. When Mama swells into labor, Oksana makes a decision to save herself from abandonment, a decision that torments her forever. When her plan fails and her aunt dumps her in an orphanage, she never has the chance to say goodbye to her mama or tell her the secret that haunts her.

Scattered Links is a story of family and the consequences that come from never learning how to love, of a girl’s inability to bond with her adopted family and the frustrations that follow.

How can a child understand the mechanics of forming a healthy relationship when she never had a mother who answered her cries, held her when she was frightened, fed her when she was hungry, or loved her unconditionally?

Only when the child meets a rescued abused horse, and recognizes the pain in his eyes, does she begin to trust again.

Now grab that cuppa and get settled as we chat to Michelle Saint-Germain Weidenbenner …

coffee and cream

Hi Michelle and welcome today!

Where did the inspiration behind ‘Scattered Links’ come from?

In 1997 we traveled to Russia to adopt our daughter from an orphanage, so some of the story came from what I saw and the families and therapists I interviewed since then.

CACHE-Book-CoverHow would you compare writing this book with anything that you have written previously?

It’s totally different. My debut novel, CACHE a PREDATOR, was a thriller. The other books I’ve written are about kids—some with super powers. This novel is multi-cultural and reads like nonfiction.

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on?

My parents often encouraged my writing. After we adopted Olivia I didn’t want to go back to work full time so I decided to try my luck at writing for magazines. That was more difficult then I thought. So I attended Taylor University in Ft. Wayne, Indiana—an hour from my home. I had a bachelor’s degree in business, but I wanted to learn more about how to write fiction, too. It was a blast. I love going to college. One of my friends once called me a consummate learner. I want to learn something every day.

Scattered LinksHow do you organize your writing time?

Honestly? Not very well. Ha! It’s always a struggle because I work at home and my family thinks I can cook, clean, and wash their dirty underwear. Sometimes all that living invades my writing time. I’m better if I make goals for myself. During NaNoWriMo I rock the words out, but my family suffers.

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

We recently moved into a home that has a large room over the garage. It was used as a play room by the previous owners, but I’m going to make it into my cave so I can go in and shut the doors (there are double ones) and pretend I’m not at home, but in some far-away place where no one can find me.

Also, I’m going to paint one large wall with paint that can be used as a dry erase board. I can scribble with markers on it and wipe it off when I change my mind. Have you heard of this type of paint? It’s different than a blackboard/chalkboard. Won’t that be cool? I will plot my story line on the wall. I love visuals. It’s going to be a blast once I get it all going.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I can be mechanically inclined. When I was a teenager my dad made me learn how to change a tire, my oil and filter, and the spark plugs in my car. Back then spark plugs had to be checked and I couldn’t afford someone else to do it for me. (What can I say? I’m old.)

Now when I have to put something together I’m not intimidated. Plus, there’s You Tube Videos that can show you how to do just about anything. I love that!

However, I do have my tech ‘tard moments, but when I look at how far I’ve come in the social media world I think I’m doing better than others. I’m proud of that. We’re never too old to stop learning.

Thanks for being here today Michelle – I love the idea of your dry erase board for a wall it sounds amazing!  

~Where to find Michelle Saint-Germain Weidenbenner~

Blog: Random Writing Rants

Teaching adults and teens how to get published

Website

Facebook 

Twitter: @MWeidenbenner1

Goodreads

Scattered Links

M. Weidenbenner

Young adult contemporary, multi-cultural

 Pages: 256

 ISBN: 978-1494366957 

 Ebook: ISBN: 978-0-9894049-3-8

 Cover artist: Avalon Graphics

 Random Publishing LLC

Buy on Amazon today for 99 cents!

~Endorsement~

“CAPTIVATING!

SCATTERED LINKS takes you down the street of nearly any Eastern European town, arm-in-arm with the orphaned. Michelle has captured the beauty and horror millions of children live everyday. The attention to detail is impressive. Having lived in a post-Soviet country for a time, visiting orphaned children, this fictional account rings with truth, from the heart-wrenching pain of abandonment to the realization of self-worth, and the love family and faith brings. Thank you for such an uplifting book, appropriate for the young reader, as well as adult. May your heart be encouraged, as mine was.”

Kim de Blecourt, speaker and award-winning author of “Until We All Come Home: A Harrowing Journey, a Mother’s Courage, a Race to Freedom”

Reviews

Check out the fab Book Trailer for ‘Scattered Links’ here:

 

 

You can also check out the Book Trailer for ‘Cache a Predator’ here too:

 

 


 Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose a Job You Love and You Will Never Have To Work Another Day …

WEDNESDAY 14th MAY 2014

Hello ladies and gents!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to my new Freelance Writing business:

Freelance cover

 

Why not hop on over to www.glwilfordfreelancewriter.com and take a peek?

I’m also on Facebook.

Freelance Bus Cards

Business Card Love ❤

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work another day.

Have a fab day whatever you’re up to 🙂

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

Cover Reveal: Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, book 2 by Andrea Buginsky

TUESDAY 12th MAY 2014

 The lovely Andrea Buginsky, an author who is a regular to my Cuppa and a Catch-up feature, is re-releasing Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen book two with a fabulous brand-spanking new cover …

 

chosen book two

 

~Synopsis~

During a time of celebration for The Chosen, a mysterious force appears on Phantasma, threatening to destroy Nature and all of her creatures. Will The Chosen find and defeat this force and save Nature before it’s too late?

~Excerpt~

Suddenly, as if someone had cast a freeze spell, everything stopped. As everyone looked around, they saw the shamans and druids gather together nervously and look up at the sky. Everyone else’s eyes focused upwards to see what was going on; chatter and screams could be heard as the sky suddenly darkened out of nowhere. Day became night in an instant. Now in a near panic, everyone shouted out assumptions.

“It’s Gastle! He’s back!”

“That’s impossible! This must be a new monster.”

“Perhaps it’s Gastle’s descendants seeking revenge for his death.”

“Or an old enemy trying to replace him on the throne.”

“Everyone, please, stay calm,” Striker spoke up. As the head of The Chosen, he normally took command, and it was accepted by those around him. “Let’s try to get some answers before we make assumptions.” He turned to the druids and shamans, who talked animatedly with each other while they pointed to the dark sky. “Red, any idea what this is?”

“It’s definitely not Gastle, or any other creature in Phantasma. There’s something off with the elements. Whatever caused this is a natural entity, and comes directly from Nature herself. There is a definite shift, and it’s unbalanced. We can all sense it.”

“Any idea what it could be?”

“No, but the strongest feelings we received are coming from the North, in the Polard region. We need to go there and see the situation for ourselves.”

Halli glanced at Queen Laurali who stood nearby and listened to the conversation between Striker and Red. The queen came toward the group, and Halli knew what she would say.

“I know this is a day of great celebration,” the Queen said, “but under the circumstances, I think it would be best if The Chosen headed out at once to seek some answers.” She turned toward the bride and groom. “Halli and Silvor, I will send a replacement healer and mage, of course, so you two can start your honeymoon. Until we know more, there’s no reason for you to cancel your plans.” But Halli and Silvor wouldn’t hear of it.

“We go with our family,” Silvor said. Halli nodded in agreement. “We can celebrate our honeymoon once we know what’s happened.”

Queen Laurali bowed her respect to them.

“Very well,” she said. “The Chosen, in its entirety, will head out right away toward Polard to see what you can find out. You may change in my tower while your horses are prepared.”

~Coming soon from Amazon~

Andrea HeadshotAndrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. The Chosen, a middle-grade fantasy novelette was her first book, and was followed by My Open Heart, an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. Andrea released Destiny, the first book of her New Avalon series, in 2013. She is currently working on more books in both series. You can find Andrea on her website. Her books are available at Amazon. Remember to sign up for Andrea’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on all of her exciting events.

Love Missuswolf xxx

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