Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column – 1990 – Michael Bolton and M. C. Hammer

Quote


 

Welcome to the next episode in our adventures and the music I was listening too back in 1990… that is still on my playlist today.

On a ferry trip in Portsmouth with my mother 1990

It is 1990 and I am 37 years old. Work was going well and I was now Advertising Sales Manager for the paper I worked for, bringing a fair bit of stress but nothing that I could not handle. I had a full-time telesales team during the day and part-time team that came in until 9.00pm each evening and all day Saturday selling private property and car adverts. This meant that I tended to be in the office from 8.00 a.m. to 7pm each weekday and on call on Saturdays. I had some great supervisors thankfully which meant I rarely received a call. It was also pre-mobile phone days which meant that if we had headed off to London to the cinema they had to make the decisions on their own.

There were some interesting moments at work as keeping 25 young telesales staff motivated enough to achieve the tough weekly targets we were given was challenging. Rejection is part of the package in outbound cold calling and we focused on building up regular advertisers who booked weekly. They were offered incentives of course for longer- term bookings and there were bonuses for those sales people who managed to obtain these preferred customers.

This did not always involve spot prizes such as money, cinema or theatre tickets. It also involved some personal forfeits by their sales manager. On one occasion I promised that if they hit a particularly heavy weekly target that I would do the splits; a skill left over from my ballet days at age seven. To be honest I did not expect that this target handed down from head office was achievable despite my team’s best efforts, and it was in desperation that I put my well-being on the line. Bless them they pulled out all the stops and at the eleventh hour they overtook the target in spectacular style. I am a firm believer in keeping promises and despite being a fairly hefty 15 stone at the time I honoured my commitment and descended into the splits. They of course were delighted but it did take three of the more substantial lads to get me back up into a standing position!

via Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column – 1990 – Michael Bolton and M. C. Hammer

Advertisements

Poetry Friday & Book Launch!

Quote


Congratulations to Vashti Quiroz-Vega on the release of her latest book today… Please head over to the link to read the entire post.

Welcome, everyone! I am beyond excited today! Firstly, the 2nd novel in my Fantasy Angels Series, “Son of the Serpent” is released today on Amazon (eBook). Secondly, I just received an amazing 5 STAR review from Readers’ Favorite for Son of the Serpent. I am so happy!

REMINDER: You can still purchase Son of the Serpent (eBook) for 99¢/99p, so please take advantage of this sale and download your copy today.

*Starting tomorrow 11/10/18, the eBook for The Fall of Lilith will be priced at 99¢/99p for a limited time.

 

Son of the Serpent, the latest book in my Fantasy Angels Series is released on Amazon today. The print book will be available soon. Son of the Serpent is a High Fantasy sprinkled with Romance and Horror aimed at an 18+ audience. All the books in the Fantasy Angels Series are standalone books, but it would be more fun to read them in order.

The VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR: Son of the Serpent by Vashti Quiroz-Vega will begin tomorrow hosted by 4WillsPublishing. I hope you can make it to some of the stops. I would greatly appreciate your support. Each post will be different. You will read excerpts from Son of the Serpent as well as The Fall of Lilith and I have also provided poetry, an interview and more.

Blog Tour-Virtual Book Tour-son of the serpent-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fantasy angels series-lilith-gadreel-dracul

BLURB:

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

 

Son of the Serpent-eBook-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Fantasy Angels Series-paranormal-supernatural-Fantasy_fiction-lilith-Gadreel-Dracul-fallen angels-demons-witches-Vashti Q

 

Readers’ Favorite Book Review:

son of the serpent-novel-five stars-Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-fantasy angels series-Readers Favorite-Vashti Q

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

 

 

via Poetry Friday & Book Launch!

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Children – Victoria Zigler, Jann Weeratunga, Janice Spina, Bette A. Stevens and Gigi Sedlmayer

Quote


I am going to start the Christmas book promotions with children’s books, as most are in print that are posted and therefore require a longer lead time.  There are many talented authors in the bookstore who write for both children and adults and if that is the case I will also include the covers and the Amazon author page for you to explore their books further.

About Ulrike’s Christmas – Paperback and audio

Ulrike knows all about the Winter Solstice celebrations of the giants, being one himself. But what he doesn’t know is why the humans cut down whole trees, only to take them home to decorate. Other giants tell him to forget about it, but Ulrike is curious; he needs to know why they do it. Finally, when he’s puzzled over it so much his head is sore from all the thinking, he decides that this is the year he’ll figure it out, and risks a return trip to the home of the last family he watched to look for clues, despite almost being spotted last time he was there. That’s how he meets Billy, a friendly little boy who loves stories, and is happy to tell Ulrike all about tree decorating, and Santa Claus, along with a couple of stories he knows about them. Stories which Ulrike loves, and which inspire him to add some of what Billy says are Christmas celebrations to his own this Winter, in the hopes that Santa Claus will visit him too.

Buy the book or audio: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ulrikes-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/dp/154125999

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ulrikes-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1541259998

A very small selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

A recent review for Rodent Rhymes and Pussycat Poems

 

 

via Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Children – Victoria Zigler, Jann Weeratunga, Janice Spina, Bette A. Stevens and Gigi Sedlmayer

Featured Blogger: Jan Sikes

Quote


A wonderful interview with Jan Sikes by Robert Goldstein on his blog.. Jan is an author and blogger who cheers us all along… find out more about her love of Rick Sikes, the books that tells their story and her life and passions.

Featured Blogger: Jan Sikes

The most beautiful thing in Life is that our souls remain hovering over the place where we once enjoyed ourselves. I am one of those who remembers such places regardless of distance or time. Let not your worrying about the future interfere with your tranquility.
— RICK SIKES

A portrait of Rick and Jan Sikes on their wedding day.
A portrait of Rick and Jan Sikes on their wedding day.

You write songs, poetry, short stories, screenplays, and novels. How do you choose a form?  

I started out with a screenwriting class when I decided I had to tell the story, as I was thinking movie. (I still am, by the way.) I quickly concluded that the story was way too big to tell in one short movie. So, I branched out and took novel-writing classes not realizing at the time it would take four books for me to tell the story from beginning to end. I was originally thinking trilogy, but the last book got way too lengthy and I had to find a way to divide it. When writing fiction, I tend to gravitate toward short stories. However, I am on the second book in a series of full-length fiction novels now. I suppose the answer to the question would be, whatever direction the story pulls me. Sometimes it’s no more than a short poem and other times a 90,000 word novel.

How did you realize you have a story to tell, what drives you to continue?

In all honesty, Rob, I thought someone else would come along and write our story. So many people passed through our doors over the years, and they would say, “Someone needs to write y’all’s story.” I agreed, but never in a million years thought it would have to be me. I thought my NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author sister would tell it, but she put it back in my lap giving me lots of support to tackle it.  It was about two years after Rick died that I woke up one morning to the realization that my sister was right. I had to be the one to tell the story as I was the only one there. And, that I had to get busy and learn how to do this. So, I started taking creative writing classes and learning the craft. When I started trying to put the story together, I was telling it in first person. But, I found that it was way too personal to continue it that way. I was stumped and didn’t exactly know what to do. So, I was sitting around one day talking to two of my girlfriends and one of them suggested I create characters to tell the story through. That was the lightbulb moment. It was exactly what I needed to move forward. I created Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone to tell the story through. That allowed me to back away and let the characters tell it. Rick died in 2009, and I published the first segment of the story in 2013 with “Flowers and Stone.” 

What drives me to continue with this story is the message that each segment carries. If my story can touch one life, I am happy, and I’ve done my job.

 

Please head over and read the entire interview

via Featured Blogger: Jan Sikes

A Southern Season

Quote


Claire Fullerton, author of Mourning Dove has collaborated with three other authors to create A Southern Season – Four Stories from a Front Porch Swing.. each author has selected a season to write about from a Southern perspective, and Claire has written her novella set in the Fall.

A Southern Season

A year ago, I was asked by Eva Marie Everson, the acquisitions editor for Firefly Southern Fiction (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, which published my 3rd novel, Mourning Dove) to contribute a novella to a book she had in mind that would consist of four novellas, each set in the South and penned by a writer who hails from the region. Eva’s idea was to capture the 4 seasons as they played out on a Southern stage through the art of setting and story. At the time she asked me to contribute, Eva and I had just finished three exhillerating rounds of edits for Mourning Dove. I knew there would be a long wait ahead before Mourning Dove’s release, and although I’d never written a novella, I figured I might as well try my hand.  It was that, and what self-respecting writer would say no to an editor with whom they’d just had a wonderful experience, who gave the added incentive of A Southern Season’s assigned publication date!

Upon learning the scant guidelines of 20,000 words set in the South during the season of my choosing, I knew right away I’d write a story set in a Memphis fall.  Fall has always been my favorite time of year, for all her eerily suggestive, mood-enhancing promises. As for my hometown of Memphis: I’ll never tire of wrangling her peculiar nuances and charms, which, I’m convinced, are spawned from her proud cultural heritage.

In the days preceding the drafting of my story, I tried on many Memphis hats. There’s much to choose from in that historic, musical mecca on the Mighty Mississippi; it’s seen more than its share of changing times yet still boasts of its past. And the way I see it, a good story always comes down to the characters. How they greet the common place in the every day is where I find the heart of the story. In the Memphis in which I grew up, the particular milieu I come from was rife with story-tellers. As I pondered the subject of my novella, luck had it that one of them called me on the phone.

 

Head over and find out more about the four novellas

 

via A Southern Season

Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 16

Quote


My week has been surprisingly eventful which is no bad thing.. and we have our lovely Spanish visitors arriving tomorrow.. so I have missed a couple of my regular reblogs. One of those being Teagan Geneviene’s Copper, the Alchemist and the Women in Trousers.. so here is a snippet of Wednesday’s episodes.. and hold onto your hats as there is definitely evil afoot.. or perhaps I should say afloat.. a hydrofoil with adversaries on the hunt for Copper and her companions.. Where will it all end.. I have no idea but you need to catch up with the story..

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 

SteamPunk art harlequin chess-Eugene_Ivanov_2361

Hello, November!  It’s National Novel Writing Month again — or #NaNoWriMo as it’s also called.  I have more going on than usual, so this year I’m doing the editing version.  I’m bookizing the third 1920s novel of Pip and Granny Phanny’s adventures, A Ghost in the Kitchen — Three Ingredients 2.  I’ll keep you updated on that.

Now it’s time for another Hidebound Hump Day, and another chapter of the spontaneously written, #SteamPunk serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. 

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 15Cornelis had thought they had gotten a good distance away from their pursuers.  Then the handsome innkeeper, Ignatius Belle showed up on a paddle steamer.  Belle, in true Victorian straightlaced form, objected to Felicity and Copper traveling with a man, and apparently being stranded.

Not wanting to reveal the existence of the road locomotive, the alchemist made made up the excuse that some old family friends were on the way to pick them up.

Then they saw another group of presumed foes headed toward them.  For reasons only the Woman in Trousers could understand, Felicity let Ignatius know about the road locomotive they had hidden.  To everyone’s surprise, Ignatius volunteered to draw the group of villains away so our heroes could escape.

All aboard!

Head over and join in the chase….

via Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 16

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order #Offer – Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series) by Vashti- Quiroz-Vega

Quote


A reminder that Vashti Quiroz-Vega has her latest book in the Fantasy Angels Series.. Son of the Serpent on pre-order for November 9th at a very special price.

Delighted to feature the new book by Vashti Quiroz-Vega which is now available to pre-order at the special price of 99c/99p. Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series)

About Son of the Serpent

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

Available at the pre-order price of 99c: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HS4C3B7

and at 99p on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Son-Serpent-Fantasy-Angels-Book-ebook/dp/B07HS4C3B7

 

via Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order #Offer – Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series) by Vashti- Quiroz-Vega

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – World War I and II songs that entertained the troops

Quote


At this time of the year, many of us will be remembering those who have died in conflict and also those brave men and women who served. My grandfather was on the front line in World War One in many of the major battles and survived three wounds, only to be killed the week before the armistice. My father served at sea in the North Atlantic in World War Two and saw much he was reluctant to talk about.

But as we remember those who have fallen or were left with physical and emotional scars, it is also important to celebrate their bravery and spirit. I do not believe in war, but sometimes it is a form of defensive action we are forced into by aggressors. And young men and women on both sides of a conflict are not responsible for the actions of those in power. Certainly during the last two world wars, entertainers were on the front line often at a danger to themselves to entertain the troops and to bring some few hours of respite from their fears.

Music has always played a part in military and naval traditions. Drummers and pipers have escorted troops into battle and the beat and the stirring notes have been used to motivate men as they faced the enemy.

via Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – World War I and II songs that entertained the troops

Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name – Queenie – Coming to life again by Sally Cronin

Quote


Welcome to the first of the short stories this weekend from volume two of What’s in a Name.  Meet Queenie who finds new purpose in her life following the death of her husband.

Queenie – Coming to Life again

Queenie Denton contemplated the crumbs on the plate in front of her. She barely remembered eating the toast and marmalade and wondered if she was losing her marbles.

It was six weeks since her husband of fifty-five years, Donald, had died peacefully clasping the silver cross he had bought at a charity shop in the high street the month before. He was not a religious man, but he had worked for an insurance company as man and boy, and she supposed he thought it prudent at eighty years old to cover his bets. She on the other hand went to church every Sunday and was a member of the church ladies group that arranged the flowers and kept the place spotless between services.

They called themselves the Holy Dusters, and she realised with a pang that she missed seeing her friends every few days. They had been marvellous of course, bringing around Victoria sponges and sitting with her in the first few weeks, but she had then begun to ignore the doorbell; sitting in solitude in Donald’s recliner.

She must make the effort and get back to normal. She could just imagine what her husband would have to say about the state of the house, and the fact that she had not put her make-up on for weeks.

There were a few other things she had neglected since Donald had suddenly collapsed and been rushed into hospital. She had cancelled her regular Wednesday morning hair appointment and she could see that her normally pristine and beautifully manicured nails needed immediate attention.

She picked up her plate, cup and saucer and popped them into the kitchen sink before reaching for the telephone on the wall.

via Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name – Queenie – Coming to life again by Sally Cronin

Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 15

Quote


With the Halloween Party this week and a few excursions, I did not get to head over to Teagan Geneviene this week to read about Copper, the Alchemist and the Woman in Trousers.. this week there is a hint of mystery, romance and a talisman from the past… with pursuers getting closer.. who to trust?

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Welcome back to the spontaneously written, #SteamPunk serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.  Everything about the story is driven by the random things that were sent by readers, back in 2015.

When I say everything, I mean it — even the location.  Although no one seemed to notice (or at least they didn’t seem to mind), after all those weeks, I still had not gotten a “thing” that guided me to where all the zany events were taking place.  Author and translator, Olga Núñez Miret sent the “things” for this chapter, and I finally saw a general location for the story.  Which of “Old Family Bible, Carved Whale’s Tooth, and Vine Leaves” do you think gave me the location? Read on and find out.

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 14.  Ignatius Belle seems a little too intent on getting Copper to visit his paddle steamer, anchored at the riverside near the abandoned church compound where our trio took refuge.  Or is it just that he believes the girl is Felicity’s supposed niece, and thinks being nice to Copper would endear him to Felicity?

However, Cornelis invented “old family friends” who are on the way to transport the trio to a fabricated holiday. So the handsome innkeeper will surely have to part company with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.  Or will the “things” create more complications?

All aboard!

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

15 — Old Family Bible, Carved Whale’s Tooth, Vine Leaves

Mourning Angel_Cat

There was a ragged hole in the roof of the old church.  Sunlight poured through the opening, engulfing Ignatius Belle.  He had taken off his coat and his white shirt caught the light so that it almost glowed.  The effect made him look tall, safe, and… angelic.

I stared at him without realizing it.  Apparently I gawked for so long that it made him uncomfortable, because he chuckled and looked askance at me.  I stuttered, trying to explain without embarrassing myself by telling the man that he looked like an angel.

“It’s just that— Your shirt is dazzlingly bright in the sun’s light,” I stammered, then I reached up and wiped a drop of the shepherd’s pie from his collar, pretending that was the only thing on my mind.

“You’re right,” he agreed. “This is an interesting ruin, but it is much too fine of a day to be indoors,” Ignatius said and surprised me by taking my hand.

He led me toward the front doors of the abandoned church.

“Oh wait.  What’s this?” I asked, stepping into an aisle where something was left behind on a pew.

At first I thought it was an old hymnal, but it was too large.  I carefully opened the book and turned thin, fragile pages.  Dates were recorded for births, deaths, and marriages.

Head over and read the whole post….

via Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 15