Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas & a small gift!


MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my family and friends - those who I know offline and those I only know in this crazy world called the internet - and all the book people I've met since self-pubbing changed my life in 2011, who are just as obsessed with writing little stories as me. Best wishes, lots of luck, good health and a big dollop of happiness to everyone. I hope 2014 rocks and all your dreams - or some of them - come true...   

Here's a little Christmas elf joy for you - I think Moggie dances the best!
http://host-d.oddcast.com/php/application_UI/doorId=1177/clientId=299/?mId=56738343.3


CHRISTMAS PRESENT - if you'd like a free copy of my Christmas book, just enter coupon code RU94G at the checkout at this link:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263475 



Friday, 20 December 2013

#99c / 75p today! Kiwi in Cat City purrs forth!

Kiwi in Cat City, the first book in my cool-for-cats series, is just #99c / 75p today (ebook format, although paperback is available for more). It's being featured on http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/2013/12/20/free-discounted-kindle-book-offers-73/. My book has received an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 33 customer reviews. Furry fun for ages 9-99.


Here is the book’s description:

Have you ever wished your cat could talk or wondered where he/she goes when you are not around? Kiwi in Cat City opens on one star-filled night. Amy cannot sleep and she looks out of the window into the garden to see her cat, Kiwi, transfixed by the moon, which is glowing brightly like a cat’s claw. Waking her brother, James, Amy suggests they follow Kiwi to see where she goes… whether it involves a hunt for mice or something else. Little do they know that with a flick of her tail, Kiwi is going to magically change the children into kittens and lead them on the adventure of their lives to a land they never knew existed in their wildest dreams. In the blue-lit world of Cat City, the budding detectives help Inspector Furrball to investigate the mysterious catnapping of Mr Katz and find out what happened to Madame Purrfect.

The books contain fabulous illustrations by Nikki McBroom.

If you'd like to win a copy, please leave your name and email or FB link below :)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Page Turner Book Tours Presents Ann B. Harrison's 'From the Outback'


Title: From The Outback

Author: Ann B. Harrison

Publisher: Self-published

Formats Available: Digital



Book blurb:

Although desperate to get out of her dead-end job, Sami is cynical when she hears of an inheritance from the grandfather she never knew. But once she and her young brother arrive in the beautiful valley, she discovers they are not wanted... especially by the sexy vineyard owner next door. 

Will she persevere and make a home for them, or give in and take the easy money when the going gets tough?


Excerpt:

A thump sounded on the bedroom door, jarring her from a deep sleep.

"Go away," Samantha Grace Rose Darling groaned into her pillow.

"Sami, phone."

"Tell them to f**k off and let me sleep." She threw a pillow at the door seconds before it eased open and her brother poked his head in the room. "Garth, I'm warning you, go away."

He sighed and she waited for the usual whine to follow. "There's an old guy on the phone. Said he wants to speak to you."

"Tell him I'm not here." She rolled over, brushed the hair from her face and then glared at him through half-closed eyes.

"I did but he insists on speaking to you. Said he wasn't going to go away until he does."
She groaned, pushed her blanket off with her hand and slowly slid out of bed. With languid grace Sami advanced on her brother intent on doing bodily harm to whoever it was who had the audacity to disturb her sleep. Holding out the phone, Garth waited for her to take it before he backed out of the room and quietly shut the door, leaving her alone.

"This better be bloody good. I pulled a double shift last night and I'm freaking tired."

Walking over to the window, she pushed aside the faded curtain and flinched when the bright Alice Springs sunlight filled her room, scorching her tired eyes. She promptly dropped the curtain into place wishing she'd left it alone. Sami rubbed her eyes and waited.

"Am I talking to Miss Samantha Grace Rose Darling?"

"Yeah." She dropped down to the edge of her bed, her fingers tracing a bruise on her leg from when she had bumped into a tray of glasses last night. I am such a klutz.

"Miss Darling, my name is Rupert Newland. I'm a solicitor with Newland, Newland and Cooper in Singleton, New South Wales."

She spat out a laugh before covering her mouth with the heel of her hand.

"I'm glad I amuse you. Now if you would be so kind as to contain yourself, I have news for you."

The voice on the other end of the phone was clipped and precise.

"I am acting on behalf of your grandfather's estate with regard to his final will and testament."

"I don't know who you're talking about. I don't have any family." Names ran through her mind but grandparents didn't come into the picture she had tucked away in her memory. "Nope. No grandparents I can lay claim to, sorry mate. You obviously have the wrong girl."

"Miss Darling, I have checked the facts and you are indeed the granddaughter of my late client. I need you to could come into the office for the reading of the will."

"Where did you say you were again?" Sami kicked through the pile of clothes on the bedroom floor and picked up the crumpled jeans from yesterday. She tucked the phone between her ear and shoulder to hold it firmly while she pulled her jeans on. One foot after the other she slid each leg into the jeans and yanked them up, wiggling her butt to pull them over her hips. Sami popped the button and did up the zip before she took the phone in her hand again.

"New South Wales, Hunter Valley. Singleton to be exact," he said.

"Mate, I don't know if you looked at the post code before you called me but I live in Alice Springs. In the middle of the frigging desert in the Northern Territory. I can't pop down the road and see you, understand?" She blew a stray curl from her face.

With one hand she opened her bedroom door and walked out to the lounge room. Garth tidied up his breakfast dishes and she smiled in his direction. He pointed to the coffee machine and Sami blew him a kiss.

"It will be worth your while to drive or fly down, Miss Darling."

"I can't afford it, okay? It's not like I do double shifts at the pub because I enjoy the work. I need the money and there isn't enough at the end of the week for a happy little visit to your office. Tell me what you want to say and let me get on with my day now you've dragged me from my bed." She lifted a hand and rubbed at her eyes.

"Very well. You have inherited Buttercup Farm and it's contents. There is also a bank account with a small balance which I will disclose once you have formally proven your identity."

"Are you serious?"

Garth looked over at her, his shoulders raised in question. She shook her head and turned away.

"I did send you paperwork last week but I didn't receive a reply, hence the follow up phone call today." The solicitor’s bristling attitude irritated her.

A pile of unopened mail sat on the cluttered kitchen counter and Sami screwed up her face. Out of habit she threw the next day's mail on top of the pile, dreading the bills inside the envelopes. The longer she ignored it, the larger the pile grew.

"Sorry. I've um... been a bit busy and haven't got around to opening the mail for a few days."

"Well I suggest you do that. I need signatures to transfer the bank account into your name. It would be significantly easier if you were here in town. Since you are not, I would appreciate it if you could go to the nearest courthouse and have a Justice of the Peace witness your identity and your signature where I have indicated. It might be best if you  Express Post the papers back to me today. You have to decide what to do with the farm and the stock." There was silence for a few seconds. "If I might make a suggestion? There are interested parties if you should decide to sell the property. Would you like me to have it valued for you? I can arrange everything from this end if you would prefer."

"No, no. I need to think about this for a bit. I'll ring you back after I read your letter. Thanks for calling." Sami hung up and threw the phone onto the couch and dropped her head into her hands.

"What is it? Was the landlord after his rent again? Sami, tell me."

"No, Garth. It was a solicitor." A wobbly laugh rose in her throat. "It seems as though we had family after all, even though he's dead."

Disclaimer: book excerpts are always posted as supplied and are never edited, Vickie.  

Purchase Link:



About Ann B. Harrison

Ann swears she was born with a book in her hands and has never put it down. A lifelong love of reading has finally culminated in achieving her dream of writing... and publication.

She lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley with her own handsome hero of many years. Ann has always loved the ups and downs of life in small communities, and she shares this with readers in her rural romances.

Strong, sexy heroines with a good dash of sass thrown in feature in her stories. Of course, these women need an equally strong hero. Bring on the outback hero and watch the passion ignite.

When not writing, Ann enjoys reading, gardening, walking her very large dog, Hugo, and fighting with her computer.

Ann’s Social Media Links







Wednesday, 18 December 2013

#WW WOW Wednesday: John Emil Augustine

Welcome to the very last WOW Wednesday of 2013! Is it almost the end of the year already? Oh my, 
but we're going out with a bang! Ding dong! My 14th guest is John Emil Augustine
author of the autobiograpical From the Abyss. So, take it away, John... 

Eeek, but first... I almost forgot to say that John is having a Facebook party today to celebrate the launch 
of this book. There will be fun, games and prizes, so feel free to pop along -  
http://www.facebook.com/events/452801828159353
  

"An abusive relationship masquerades as a perfectly normal relationship, especially to those involved in it." 
From the Abyss, Book I.

"An incredible story of love, abuse, friendship, loss, disappointment and most of all... hope!!!" - Teresa L Myrick

Book blurb

Twenty-four-year-old John Augustine is looking for a lasting, loving relationship and finds one hidden where he least expects it. Knowing that no relationship is perfect, he walks in with eyes wide open, but is unable to see the future swirling with hell and heartache. Amid the struggles of a new marriage, John begins to realise his wife is far different from the woman he thought he married. Her mental illness soon drags the new family past the point of no return. As a man, John struggles to be strong and tackle their problems single-handedly, though the marital foundation is eroding before his eyes. Once his wife files for divorce, he finds himself in a free fall.


All about John

John Emil Augustine grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and toured in his twenties and early thirties with local and national acts; writing, arranging and performing with notable jazz, blues, gospel, reggae, post funk, prog rock and folk groups. John has also been a landscaper, mail carrier, English professor and forklift operator. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and four boys.

Links


Reviews on Amazon

"As a 'guy', Augustine writes about stuff 'guys' don't typically talk or write about. Quite daring really... At first, I wasn't sure about this read. I was asking myself, 'Do I want to read about stressed relationships from a guy's point of view?' And then the author won this 'guy' over with literal, realistic story lines and statements."
G Mitchell Baker – 5 stars

"Heartbreaking at parts, full of life, in its best and worse, and a promise of a better tomorrow. Would definitely recommend for adult readers and especially to people at a crossroads, trying to decide whether to stay or leave."
Jennifer Loiske – 5 stars

"This is a good read, an in-depth look at the life of an abused man. A creature we don't often hear about, but one who is far more common than most know. Though easy to read, the author is unmistakably well versed. His writing reaches deep into the reader's heart, and I can only imagine it is because he, himself, has reached deep into his own while writing this book."
GypsyNana – 5 stars

Thanks for reading! Don't forget John's party!
Look out more WOW Wednesday spots next year!
I'll be back tomorrow with a book review:) 



Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Poem a Day (48): The Day Folds

The day folds into itself
Emitting but a murmur
A slight reaction
Undefined in true form
So gutless
It wrenches
This fading light

Life speeds past
Blurring into an endless
Blend of green
This flustered rush
Not pausing to breathe
So it is broken
A breathless pause

Closing upon itself
This day folds

Copyright Vickie Johnstone

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Poem a Day (47): On the train from Cornwall to London


Light floods
Dripping ‘neath the darkening clouds
Orange bathes the stark black lines
Of the spectre trees walking

It peeks, this brightness
This one true light
Blinding the eye that seeks it
Casting the green fields into gold

Like a blanket of corn stirring
Spun in flames of fire
Dusting all that dwells below

Red leaves bristle on hedgerows
The fields dip, deep chasms yawning,
Still here, this yellow glow flickers
Born upon a dream long ago
Where the old pit workings crumble
Grey stone etched with years

Shadowed in the gaze of the sun
A lone tree perches atop a hill
Where the golden tongue runs down
Caressing all with the dust of pixies

A wondrous sight to the passing guest

Streaks of grey blue pierce the light
Chasing night into its own dark cave.


copyright Vickie Johnstone

Friday, 13 December 2013

WOW Friday: Rebbekah White

Meet Rebbekah White! Many of you may not know her because she hides behind her wizard geek glasses (her term, not mine!), but she is the genius who does all of the websites for Master Koda Select Publishing (MKSP) and heads up their graphics team (http://www.masterkodaselectpublishing.com)


Rebbekah has been around the internet for eleven years. When she first came online she didn’t even know how to send an attachment in emails – yeah, I know, it’s hard to believe because now she is seriously one amazing webmaster and virtual assistant. You can find out more about all the wonderful stuff she does at www.advantagemarketingforyou.com.

Just to tease you a little, I will tell you this lady can customise and design WordPress websites, create marketing strategies for product launches, set up newsletters and format books all while dancing an Irish jig on a pool table. Her nifty graphics win awards and her work ethic is beyond reproach.

If that’s not enough, she is a radio personality and owns Heal Yourself Talk Radio (www.healyourselftalk.com). She started the show about nine years ago, as a way to heal her own body, mind and spirit when she was hit by several life-altering events one after the other.

Here is what Rebbekah has to say about her journey of the last decade: 

“Over the years I have grown in many ways, both professionally and personally. I met Kim Mutch Emerson a few years ago while networking on a popular website called Ryze. Over the years we have worked together on many projects. Last year, Kim and I were talking, and we both wanted to be able to help authors realise their dreams and become published, yet we didn’t want our company to be one without a heart. 

"Both Kim and I love giving, and we love helping, but we have different talents. That makes us a perfect fit! Kim loves to engage in people and be the mother hen. Her talents in the marketing arena far outweigh mine as far as party planning goes, and making what seems so boring and hard into something exciting and fun! I love being creative. I love doing graphics and bringing an author’s vision for their book cover to life – a cover they can be proud of. I also love helping those same authors learn how to brand their websites and take over their websites with confidence.”

So there you have it – the quiet (yet marvellous) half of the small publisher with the big heart (Master Koda Select Publishing, LLC) and owner of Advantage Marketing For You, Rebbekah White.

Free gift for you!

As a special gift for all my readers, Rebbekah has offered to give you a special ebook. Titled 365 Social Media Tips, it is stuffed with ideas on how to market yourself in easy and exciting ways. Just go to http://advantagemarketingforyou.com/gifts/365-social-media-tips/ - have fun!

Once you grab your 365 Social Media Tips eBook, don’t forget to sign up for the Advantage Marketing For You Newsletter, through which you will receive more free gifts, including a video that will show you how to use Pinterest in your business! Cheers! Follow this link: http://www.advantagemarketingforyou.com/newsletter.


Testimonial from Nadia Kilrick regarding the cover created by Rebbekah White for her book, 
Escape: Rough Hewn Book II.


"Rebbekah created the cover for my latest novel. Without reading the book, and with very few words from me about the story, she interpreted it as if she’d written Escape herself. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the reaction from readers. They love the cover, and agree that it captures the evil of the nefarious Jim."


Testimonial from Marni Spencer Devlin regarding Rebbekah’s work on her author website

"Bekah makes it possible – it’s as simple as that. Before Bekah, I had all these ideas about how to grow my business, but no way of applying them. I kissed a lot of frogs before I found my Bekah. Now I just dream it up, and sometimes seconds later, I can view it on my site. She knows everything about everything, and if there’s something she doesn’t know immediately, she learns it and can apply it the next day.
"She is the most responsive VA I have ever worked with. Even if she is buried under other work, she responds immediately and lets me know why she cannot do it right now and when she can do it. Then she completes it ahead of her own schedule. I often ask myself is this heaven? No, it’s Bekah!"

About Rebbekah White

Rebbekah White of Advantage Marketing for You prides herself on staying at the cutting edge of technology and marketing that works in today’s fast changing world. Some of her specialties include podcasting, audio and video marketing, customised WordPress websites, compelling graphics for ebook covers, social media integration, mobile website integration and applications. Rebekkah studies and tests new techniques continually, in order to propel her clients to greater levels of success.

Rebbekah takes great pride in every project she undertakes and knows what works. She will never suggest a product or marketing technique that she has not used successfully herself.

Let Rebbekah White help you make your dreams come true today! Visit her website at http://www.advantagemarketingforyou.com, chat with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/advantagemarketingforyou or follow her on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rebbekahwhite.

Look out for next week's author on the regular WOW Wednesday spot next week. I was visiting relatives this week.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A Poem a Day (46): Cast Adrift

Shedding its light 
the long day sighs
cast adrift
as it is
a boat bobbing
upon star-sparkled
ripples

splatter of clouds
the horizon yawns
a splash of red
dancing in water
it pushes us out
this little craft
so fragile

see fear stalking
soundless and bare
ragged, so skeletal,
he ventures forth
berating all
the waves surge
lifting as they fall

we sail forth
where the end dwells
in silent reproach
it beckons us
singling us out
this bloody moon

washes over

copyright Vickie Johnstone