Wednesday, 26 March 2014

#WW Wow Wednesday: Jennifer Loiske

Hi guys and girls! Yep, it's that day of the week again. Welcome to WOW Wednesday. My guest today is Jennifer Loiske, who writes about shapeshifters, vampires and things that go bump in the night. And she has a great gift for everyone -  her spooky novel, Black Diamond, is free until March 28th! 
Read on to find out more about Jennifer and her hot books...

Where you can get Black Diamond for FREE until March 28

All about Jennifer

Jennifer Loiske lives in Naantali, which is a small, sunny town on the southwest coast of Finland. She has written seven books, which can be found on Amazon worldwide, and has three different series: Shape Shifter for YA readers; Immortal Blood for mature YA readers and McLean Twins for teen/YA readers. 

Jennifer is a workaholic author. If she isn’t writing posts for her own blog or guest posts for others, articles for magazines or her novels, she can be found in the forest with her two dogs. She is also very keen on doing charity work and a big portion of her royalties goes to good causes; mainly to help families with epileptic children, but also to epilepsy units in hospitals. Jennifer is part of the author alliance, Authors For Charity, and an active team member of Epilepsy FI.


Part One of the McLean Twins series

For readers aged 12 and up

After her mum’s sudden death, twelve-year-old Shannon McLean has to move from the US to the English countryside to live with her mysterious father, Connor McLean, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a baby. Soon she discovers he doesn’t want her around and that her moving into his huge manor, Greyman Hill, is nothing more to him than a compulsory deal. But if he doesn’t exactly give her a warm welcome then his servant, Robert, is most likely an incarnation of evil. He runs the house with an iron touch and makes everyone who works there his little puppets.

Weird things start to happen and the whole place scares the crap out of Shannon. Her dad can control her just by looking at her. The walls are full of secret passages and apparently she has the talent to awaken the ghosts in them. Every day is worse than the day before and she badly wants to run away, but discovers it is impossible. If she wants to stay alive, she has to do exactly as her dad says, or she will not only jeopardise her own life but also those of the people around her.

While Shannon struggles to find the magic inside her, Connor is slowly turning into a demon. One carelessly spoken word from her could save or destroy them both. In the end she has to decide whether to save herself and her loved ones, or lose her dad to the darkness and evil that threaten to eat his soul.

What readers say:

“This was a great read and held my attention without a problem. I loved all the different aspects of the plot. The story was very easy to follow and all the characters were well developed. I really couldn’t stand the father in this story at all. You would think that he would have been more caring towards his daughter and it just bugged me that he was so cold. Great book for teen readers and I would recommend to anyone.”

“Black Diamond moves at a pace that can only be described as whirlwind. This is one impressive book. The storyline is unlike anything else that I have ever read. Jennifer Loiske is an author who has the ability to move her readers. I truly cannot wait to see what Loiske has in store for us next.”

“Jennifer has presented a fresh idea with a delightfully independent and strong female protagonist that will keep you cheering for her throughout the story. It kept me guessing until the end. The emotional rollercoaster that plays throughout this novel is one of a kind. Talent is evident in the ability to portray intense emotion without making the story seem cheesy or unrealistic. I am impressed by the ability of this young author and cannot wait to see what she has in store for the future.”

Excerpt (unedited by me):

“Shannon,” Connor said from the doorway. It looked like he had been waiting for her.
Shannon said nothing and tried to pass him.
He blocked her way but didn't touch her. “Shannon,” he said again, but this time danger lurked in his voice.
She swallowed. Connor's eyes were so dark and something horrible gleamed behind them. She froze. She could've tried to push past him, but his eyes warned her not to even try anything like that, so she lifted her head and met his eyes. “Connor,” she said, and was proud that her voice didn't shake.
Connor sighed heavily. “Shannon, Shannon, Shannon. What am I going to do with you?”
“You could start by letting me go,” she suggested quietly.
Connor shook his head. “Can't do that.”
“Can't or won't?” Shannon asked and felt the courage coming back to her body.
Connor was quiet. The air around him seemed so dark. Almost like he was a black hole that absorbed all the light around him. He was dressed all in black and looked more like a devil than a human.
Shannon could see Robert grinning wickedly behind him. Her mind was screaming that she should be deadly afraid of this man in front of her, but she wasn't. She was more afraid of the man behind him and somehow Connor seemed to be the safer choice. There was nothing human in Robert. It was like he was waiting for Connor to strike her down and feast on her dead body. He stared at them with his small, cold, mean eyes and seemed to be encouraging Connor to harm her.
Connor did nothing. After a very uncomfortably long time he shooed Robert away with his hand. “Both,” he said and moved out of her way.
She had almost forgotten what she had asked, but when Connor moved, she moved as well, carefully, from the outside to the inside of the house. He followed. She was scared of him, but there was something so vulnerable in him just then that she couldn’t leave him alone. After all, he was her dad. Robert was gone, thank God, so she dared to speak to him more openly than she had thought possible. “What do you mean? This is your house and I’m your daughter. You can do whatever you want,” she said and hoped she hadn't gone too far.
“I know. It's just that I'm no good with little girls like you, and it's been so long since I remembered what it feels like to be a—” He stopped and looked at her like he was suffering.
“To be what?” Shannon whispered, afraid to hear the answer.
Connor stared into her blue eyes and everything vulnerable was gone from him. He looked even scarier than before. The candles burned brightly around them and when he spoke, their flames flashed like someone had thrown something into them. “Never mind. Just stay away from me and obey my orders. If I tell you to eat, you'll eat and so on, okay?”
“No! It's not okay!” Shannon shouted. Tears burned behind her eyes. “You can't tell me what to do! I'm not a baby anymore!”
“You'll do what I tell you to do or you'll be sorry for the day you were born!” Connor thundered and something touched Shannon's hair. It felt like a spider web but it was really cold. It could've been somebody's bony fingers as well, but whatever it was made her scream.

Part One of Immortal Blood Series 

For readers aged 18 and up

Samantha Green wanted only to be normal, have a shallow life with smoking hot Jonathan Blake and an unforgettable senior year at Regents East High. But one morning she wakes up as a vampire. She has no idea who bit her or why. All she knows is she didn’t want it. Now her new life is full of secrets, deceit and fear, not to mention raw meatballs and red nectar that is definitely something else besides strawberry juice. Samantha tries to act normal. She pretends to like her mum’s chicken salad, goes to school and learns how to survive on her own, but what can she do when she finds herself inside a devious conspiracy, faced with strikingly fast hunters, secret clubs and mouthwateringly gorgeous boys – and the only food she can catch is her best friend Kate Walker’s wrist?

What readers say:

“This book was amazing and filled with humour. I read this book in one sitting because I could not put it down. Samantha is obsessed with fellow classmate Jonathan. She stalks him and then everything changes. She wakes up as a Vampire with no one to teach her the rules and way of Vampire life. Sam chases Jonathan around for answers, suspecting he's the one that changed her, but what happens when a stranger appears and seems to know more about her than what she expects? I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a good read and laugh. Jennifer Loiske has done an amazing job.”

“I am a middle-aged man who has never read a book about teenagers and vampires. The wrong person to review such a book, you may think... or perhaps the best. I had no idea what to expect and took it all at face value. I do have some experience in the genre though. I was once a teenager myself and I have a teenage daughter the same age as the main character Samantha. I know how hormone-driven teenagers with big ideas and an inwardly-focused approach to life, crave adventure and acceptance in any world other than that represented by their parents. Jennifer Loiske follows this theme and skillfully uses the vampire scenario as a vehicle to give a tired, old subject vibrancy and bite. Her subtle style (I stared at him, stunned, and tasted the word ‘friend’ in my mouth) is easy to read and helps convey difficult emotions to the reader. The finest quality of any writer is to paint a clear picture in their readers' minds. Jennifer does this.”

“I can say this is the first book that officially pissed me off in a good way. Why? It ended. Don't let the cliffhanger stop you! I have never experienced such a great hook, which by saying I'm still a bit miffed at the author is the highest possible compliment I can pay. I totally recommend this book to lovers of all things paranormal.”

Excerpt (unedited by me):

A quiet knock woke me from my miserable thoughts. I opened the door, sighing, and watched Kate rush onto the couch and look at me with her eager eyes. I sighed again. I could tell she was bursting but I didn't know how to start. Should I just blurt it out or should I smoothen the edges and tell her gently? Oh God! Why did this have to be so difficult? I glanced at her and saw how she was struggling not to talk. Not to ask anything, like she wanted to prove she was worthy of my trust. Oh, what the hell. I decided to spit it out.
“I think I'm a vampire.”
Silence. Kate's eyes widened and she opened and closed her mouth in turns. “You think you're a vampire.”
I nodded and she lifted her finger. She formed questions like what, when, who with her lips but nothing came out. I nodded again and saw an angry flash in her eyes.
“And that's why you dragged me here in the middle of the night?” Kate's voice rose alarmingly.
“Shh,” I hushed. “I don't want to wake my parents and neither do you.”
Kate got up and paced back and forth. “You don't think you're a vampire, Sam. That kind of thing you know.”
“Okay,” I sighed. “Let's assume I know I’m a vampire. Will you help me or not?”
“What kind of help are we talking about exactly?” Kate asked suspiciously. I licked my lips. I couldn't help it, but just the thought of her blood made me crazy. “Oh, no,” Kate backed away. “I'm so not going to let you bite me. Besides, what evidence do you have that you are a vampire besides your new gorgeous look? I thought you didn't believe any supernatural crap.”
“I didn't,” I admitted. “But something happened to me.” I opened my scarf and let her see the small fang marks on my neck. “I got bitten.”
Kate leaned over and looked at my marks. I couldn't help but sniff her heavenly smell and reveal my fangs. She glanced at me weirdly and I felt embarrassed. “Okay,” she said slowly. “So, you have fangs. What other proof do you have?”
I laughed nervously. She hadn't run yet and that was a good sign, right? “I don't have any pimples anymore.” I raised my brow.
“Right,” Kate's mouth tugged. “Anything other than what Clearasil won't cover?”
“My eyes hurt in the daylight and I look like a supermodel,” I grinned. “And I'm hungry.”
Kate went pale. “How hungry?”
“Don't worry, I won't jump on you. I can perfectly control myself.” I think, I added in my mind.
Kate sat down again and eyed me warily. We didn't speak for a while. I pressed my knees together with my hands as if my life depended on it and tried to ignore my ever-so-growing hunger. Five minutes had passed and I couldn't even look at her anymore. My throat was like sandpaper and my fangs hurt.
“Don't lie to me,” Kate said quietly.
“I'm not lying,” I managed to hiss. “I won't bite you. Scout's honor.”
“You're no Scout,” Kate sneered. “Tell me exactly how bad it is.”I glanced at her and shook my head. “Honey, your eyes are already reddish and I bet in a minute or two you’ll drool,” she said gently and moved closer to me.


Thanks for reading!
Look out for next week's guest!

Monday, 24 March 2014

A Poem a Day (53): 6 haiku

Ginger-laced biscuits
Don’t taste half as good as when
Dipped in fresh brewed tea

Panda prints in snow;
He peeks at me as he goes,
Freeze-framed ‘gainst this wall

This torn creeping flesh
Bubbles blood, bursts crimson pain;
Twisting heads crack bones

Answer if I call
Unreciprocated fool
Miss Pretence wonders

Invisible walls
Shift and part to lead the dance
In this maze of life

The mightiest voice
Trapped in a fissure so small
Whimpers in the dark

copyright Vickie Johnstone

Saturday, 22 March 2014

A Poem a Day (52): In the End

It is the ending of a brief glimpsed day,
One that awakened with the dawn
Breaking in a wash of hope and colour,
Inspiring the world to begin again

We move in haste, passing through,
Congratulating any small victory
Of ours, or theirs with a generosity
That portends to be second nature 

Our names are many, often on our lips
Introducing us and the lives we live,
As though one word can conjure up
This complexity that is us and only I

The sky is so much bluer than the sea
That much I have learned over the years;
It is a small item, a speck of knowledge,
Yet it is the wisest thing I can tell you

For in these photographs I breathe anew
Every person, every place, every scene;
I think in colours, shapes and forms,
Reliving the static as a moving picture

We roll with the times, taking it all in,
Doomed to repeat the same errors;
Seeing fate in the briefest of patterns,
Yet blessed we are to be able to change

Welcoming the breeze of a different land,
Standing ‘gainst the surge of the endless sea
In awe I count the restless birds looping,
Dreaming of flight in the waking dawn

copyright Vickie Johnstone

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

#WW WOW Wednesday: Yasmin Correa

Hi guys and girls! Welcome to WOW Wednesday. My guest today is Yasmin Correa, who writes in the genre 
of 'interracial paranormal romance'. Her new novel is the medieval romance MarcoAntonio and AmaryllisRead on to find out more...


The year is 1585, during the Anglo-Spanish War. England’s greed for Spain’s crops, land and supplies gives birth to the inertia of intolerance on both sides. Yet, even then, love surges forth.

MarcoAntonio, a Spanish gentleman and knight, defies all boundaries of colour and culture when he sets his eyes on the English lady Amaryllis. Although to others he may be a bit reserved, he dares to lower his defences solely for her.

Amaryllis is an English lady; one with an open heart, gentle spirit and shining eloquence. She knew that she should not desire MarcoAntonio. Still, a love that feels so right couldn’t be so horribly wrong?!

Travel with MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis as they duel with the internal and external forces that threaten to tear their powerful love apart. In the midst of troubles, the like of which have no compare, MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis find themselves having to fight the most unexpected of adversaries just for the right to love one another. Discover why their love is the result of all things conquered!

Some words from Yasmin

Hi! As far back as I can remember I've loved the art of literature. I've enjoyed many a story in many different genres, my favourite being romance; more specifically, paranormal romance. A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at writing a story of my own and when I made the choice, there was no going back. My passion for reading became my passion for writing. With that, my own personal style developed, along with my writing genre of choice – that being ‘interracial paranormal romance’. I do, however, intend to try my hand at many other genres in the years to come.

I come from humble beginnings. Brought up in the ‘ghetto’, I made a choice long ago that I would not let my past define my future. I've been lucky to accomplish many things in my life, but I have got to say that the one thing that sparks a fire in my soul, like nothing ever has, is writing. I feel as though my characters are my very best friends. It's a feeling beyond compare, and an amazing journey each and every time. My only hope is that when someone reads my stories, they too are elevated into that world and taken on that journey. Regards always, Y. Correa.

Book excerpt (unedited by me):

It was still dark, but it did not matter. MarcoAntonio was certain that his brother would provide him help. Pulling up to his brother’s home, Marco called out, “Damian!” The lights inside were out, but upon his call Marco heard some movement, so he tried again. 

“Damian, despertad. He llegado en necesidad de vuestra ayuda, hermano.”

“You know that I do not require much of anything. However, t'would be nice if you would at least give me the respect of speaking in English.” Rye spoke ironically as he did so well.

“Alright,” Marco responded with a tiny smirk, as he walked towards his brother's dormitory door and knocked. He could already hear his brother up and about. “Damian, my brother, I've come in search of you because I need your help.”

“Yes. Yes. I'm coming!” he heard Damian call to him from inside. Suddenly, a female voice giggled from behind the door. Marco and Rye heard Damian hushing someone “Shhh... behave, Ma’ Lady. I've company. 'Tis my older brother. Now behave.” Marco heard Damian speak to the lady in question lightheartedly.

The female voice replied, “Alright, but only if you gift me first, a kiss.”

“Oh, Ma’ Lady... naughty, naughty.” The female laughed.

Rye was appalled and disgusted. “Really, Marco? This playboy 'tis the man that shall help us?”


“Fine.” He crossed his arms on his chest.

In just seconds the door flew open. Behind it stood a statuesque man of about MarcoAntonio's height, weight, and color, and as strong as well. His curls were looser than Marco's. His eyes green, as opposed to Marco's brown, and he bore no facial hair. He resembled Marco quite a lot. He fought to put his shirt on properly.

Rye's face went blank. His skin went pale, eyes opened widely. Then Damian spoke. “Ah, my dear brother. How may I assist you?” Finally adjusting his shirt in the right place, Damian made space through the door way, and extended his hand out to his company. “Come in. Come in.”

“Brother!” MarcoAntonio said with glee, and gave him a big hug.

“Marco. 'Tis been way too long.”

“Yes. Indeed.”

Both Marco and Rye walked in. Rye was practically mute. Something about this man, not only resembled Marco, but also reminded him so much of Fonso. He was flabbergasted.
“Damian, this is my assistant, Rye. Rye, this is my younger brother, Damian.”

Damian extended his hand offering Rye a shake. Rye moved slowly and awkwardly, offering Damian his. “'Tis a rather small man, brother.” Damian told MarcoAntonio in an odd tone, as if Rye were not standing right in front of him.

Shaking himself back into reality, Rye spoke. “We gypsies have no need for size or strength. We've speed, agility and intelligence in our favor,”

“Touché!” Damian replied. “Well, 'tis nice meeting you.”

Damian's conquest for the night peeked around the corner of the wall, which divided his living room from his bedroom, and she assessed the men in the room. Then glancing over at Damian with coquetry she queried with a flirting delivery. “Damian, will you have me waiting all night?”

Damian looked back at her, and then at his visitors. Lifting a single finger in their direction, he hinted to them to wait a moment. “Ah. Ma’ Lady, I've something for you.” He jumped towards a shelf and grabbed something, then jumped back in her direction. 

“Ma’ Lady, please accept this trinket of my affection. And know that the rarity of this represents the rareness of my sentiment for you.” Then he placed the small box in the palm of her hand. “Now Ma’ Lady, I must tend to my brother and his companion, and I am forced to ask you to relinquish our venture for the night.” He took hold of her hand and kissed the back of it softly and winked. The girl sighed with a mixture of disappointment and rapture.


Twitter - @YCorreaFB

Thanks for reading!
Look out for next week's guest!

Friday, 14 March 2014

A Poem a Day (51): Listen here

Listen here to the sound of nothing
For in my dreams I fade away.
Like the sheerest palest gossamer
Torn on the teeth of the waiting

Life flickers, cheats with its sheen,
Pretending to be more than it is.

Dance this flick in the breeze of hate
Climbing walls of tactless distaste.
I wander in circles, confounding you,
See you drown in the echoes I leave.

Is this sense enough to begin anew?
Relive this pattern with a different face?

I wander places seeking hidden signs
Only to find myself lost, alone again
Among these tidal waves of strangers,
Chattering aimlessly in endless streams.

Whence did they come together?
Where will they roam once parted?

I spy faces staring from broken mirrors,
Smiling jagged grins spun of treacle.
It drips slowly in a snail’s pace
Wriggling like a worm to turn back again

I can see it now from where I stand
Hugging myself in this drizzling rain

How the years passed in a quickening,
Not pausing to see if I had enough time
Hear it now, these distant peels
Crying from the tower looking over me

In this sketch I draw myself a hat of blue,
Dipping it in tune to the music you play.

Give me a song on that trusty violin
Enlivening visions of youth in a sigh
I can dance, spin on my toes, evoke this,
The magic in the gasp of the dying day.

copyright Vickie Johnstone

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

#WW WOW Wednesday: John Emil Augustine

Hi guys and girls! Welcome to WOW Wednesday. My guest today is John Emil Augustine, author of the 
From the Abyss book series. John has lived a colourful life, performing with various bands - blues, gospel, prog rock; you name it, he's played it - and working as an English professor and a landscaper, among other things. Today, he's loving writing. With no more ado, here's John and his new book, From the Abyss II. 
There will be a launch party with fun, games and stuff to win - just scroll down to the links...


Having survived an abusive marriage, thirty-year-old John Augustine finds himself venturing into new territory. A girl with a son of her own lives far away, but decides to uproot her life and make the move to be with John. However, John’s ex looms in the wings, threatening his relationship with his new wife and her son, and even his own son. A greater threat is John’s lack of time, as working two jobs and taking night classes leaves his partner feeling alone and vulnerable in a strange town. Relationships will take dangerous turns and chances will not return when John finds himself standing at a crossroads he could never have expected.

Links to click: 

Book launch party - fun, games and stuff to win! Yay!

Review for newly released From the Abyss II:

From The Abyss II grabs you right back to where we left off. There is something soothing about John, 
even in the middle of chaos. He is a man of circumstance, but he doesn’t fold. He is a survivor here to tell his story in multi-colour techno theatre. His story comes to life and you are there with him each step of the way. 
This story is told in a beautiful, eloquent way. There is so much depth, but so much that is up for your own interpretation and that is what makes this story even more appealing, wildly compelling and insightful. 
I already can't wait for the next instalment!
Brenda - 5 Stars

Reviews for From the Abyss

"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

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. Currently, he lives in Minneapolis with his wife and four boys. John is the author of the From the Abyss book series and has also recorded the album Chants for Renewal, Presence and Awareness, which is available on Amazon, etc.

Unedited excerpt from the book:
Lindbergh Field

My plane touched down in San Diego, and I immediately texted two words once my phone rebooted: "Just landed." It was a Thursday evening in May, 2005. The captain thanked us for flying as the plane taxied across the sunny pavement. The scene from my window a few minutes before had been beautiful as we made the final turn onto the runway below. The city sitting on the edge of the ocean looked a lot like Minneapolis, though Minneapolis was a river town. But the size of San Diego’s downtown, and the sparse reflective skyscrapers reminded me of my own city. Only the extra presence of the ocean, blue and sparkling through my tiny airplane window, reminded me that I was not in Minneapolis.

What was I doing? I hadn't been on an airplane since I was a kid. I didn't travel. People with established lives traveled. Business people like the ones in the cheap suits surrounding me, the uniform of self-proclaimed importance, traveled to places like San Diego. I did not. This was not me at all. No one even knew I was doing this. My family didn't know I was gone. My ex-wife and my son knew nothing of my trip. Only my buddy Roland, whose house I was living in while he waited for the new occupants to take possession, knew of my trip. I was otherwise homeless, and he wanted his house to be occupied, so it was a mutually helpful arrangement. Except that I would be away for five days. So I had to let him know I would be gone. He was the only one who knew anything of my trip.

I sat in my seat watching everyone scramble for their carry-ons in the overhead compartments. Mine was up there, my only bag, but I wasn't in a hurry to get to a rental car or go find a second suitcase in the baggage claim. I didn't need either. So I just waited. A reply to my text came back: "I am here."

"Still on plane," I replied.

This was crazy. Like something out of a terrible movie with a plot I abhorred. One minute, I had been tallying the final grades for my last class of the semester, the next I was sitting on a plane in San Diego texting someone I had never seen in person. Was I insane? Stupid?Completely gullible? What ridiculous turn of events had put me here? Like a fading dream, I almost couldn't remember. I should have learned my lesson by now, by age thirty. I should have been wise to the trickery I was perhaps subjecting myself to. Why wasn't I smarter than this?

Thanks for reading! Don't forget John's launch party!
Look out for next week's guest!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Great Snowball Fight of 2014: win 4 ebooks!

Happy Saturday! Check out my Kiwi in Cat City fan page on Facebook for a 4-ebook giveaway. The competition closes on March 10. It's part of the The Great Snowball Fight of 2014 - 40 days of free books - organised by the amazing Candice Simpson. Thanks, Candice! You rock! 

Good luck!

Here's the link if you need it:

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

#WW WOW Wednesday: Karen Magill

Hi guys and girls! Welcome to WOW Wednesday. My guest today is Karen Magill, author of 3 paranormal novels and a new book about her battle with MSKaren thinks anything is possible, and in her fiction writing she treats the paranormal as an everyday occurrence, believing these attributes are within us all. 
With no more ado, here's Karen...

On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success 

What if you woke one day to find yourself paralysed on one side of your body? That’s what happened to Karen Magill on June 5, 2000. Nine days later, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and just over three months after, she had to leave the best job she'd ever had. So, Karen began the frightening and confusing journey that was her life now.

Then something interesting happened. Once Karen began adjusting to her new circumstances, coming to terms with the fact that her former life had vanished, she realised her MS was a gift. Her eyes opened to the possibilities around her.

On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success looks at Karen's life with MS and the factors in life that influence her. This is not a 'how to' book on living with a chronic illness, but rather a touching, opinionated and sometimes humorous story of how one person has gone from partial paralysis to being able to jump and touch low-hanging tree leaves.

As long as we are not six feet under, we are on the right side and anything is possible, says Karen. That’s the philosophy she lives by, and she hopes readers will come to realise that they can overcome hardships and live full lives too. 

Excerpts from the book:

First thing in the morning I am not fully awake, but I do know I have to go to the washroom – that room calls me as soon as my eyes open. Sometimes even before. That Monday I crawled the short distance between my bedroom and the bathroom where I hauled myself on to the toilet, took care of business, and then dragged myself up to the bathroom sink. I leaned against the vanity and brushed my teeth, watching myself in the mirror as I did so. It was strange. Nothing on the left side of my face moved. It was as if someone had drawn a line down the centre of my body and everything on the right side was fine, but the left didn’t move. What was going on?

All sorts of possibilities go through one’s mind when he or she is waiting for a diagnosis such as this. Could it be cancer? Or something I have never heard of? Is my life going to be cut short? So many possibilities. But that wasn’t what was worrying me. I was terrified the results of the MRI wouldn’t show anything and once again the medical professionals would think I was imagining things. I began to silently chant to myself, Let the MRI show something. I chanted that refrain the entire time I was travelling down town.

Yeah, there was a fair amount of self-pity. I resented the fact I had finally got a job that paid well enough for me to have a future and then this happened. It seemed every time I was making positive advances in my life, something would happen to derail me. Like the accident on the horse – I was going to college in Vancouver and on my summer break when that happened. What dastardly crime did I, or one of my ancestors, commit so that every time I got something good happening in my life, I would get knocked off my feet again.

Perhaps I was also afraid. This was my opportunity to prove I had writing talent and could succeed in the literary business. What if I didn’t have any talent? What if I was just a dreamer with no talent, no ability, and destined to remain the way I was until I died?  What if all my previous failures were a sign I wasn’t capable? What if there was no hope for me?

The Safeway I shop at stocks pre-made packages of food for the Food Bank, which cost $5. I do my shopping once a month and I add one of those packages to my cart. I was once interested in starting a programme called Five For Food, where I would encourage people to buy one of these packages – or the equivalent – at least once a month. I feel that most people can afford $5, even if he or she has to cut back on an extra. According to Stats Canada, the population of the lower mainland was 2.4 million in 2006. If even a third donated $5 worth of groceries to their local food bank monthly, think what a change that would make? I haven’t got it going, though one day I might. So watch out for it.

All about Karen Magill

Forced to leave the workforce in 2000 due to the onslaught of MS, Karen saw this as an opportunity to explore her lifelong desire to write. Initially, she explored other areas of writing before deciding that her future lay in creating novels.

To date, Ms. Magill is the author of three published paranormal novels, including the award-winning The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story. This month she will publish her first non-fiction book, an inspirational story of her journey so far with multiple sclerosis. It is entitled On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success. Her fourth paranormal novel, A Little Poison, the sequel to Missing Flowers, should be out sometime this year.

Karen lives in an eclectic area of Vancouver Canada, drawing inspiration from the history and stories around her.

Links to contact Karen:
(just click the words)

Twitter: @KarenMagill
Facebook profile

 Thanks for reading - look out for another WOW writer next Wednesday!
Happy reading & writing! :) 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

5 of my books are free or half-price this week! #free #99c

Hi, has a sale on this week, so I put in some of my books. Here are the ones that are either free or half price. Over on Amazon, I Dream of Zombies, my horror novel, is on sale at 99c/75p. Below you can see all of my books and further down are the ones on sale. Enjoy! Thanks. :)

Promotions on until March 8

Free! Kiwi in Cat City – 36 4-5 star reviews on Amazon - the first in a 6-book series about a magical investigative cat from Cat City. Use code RW100 at the checkout -

50% off! 3 Heads & a Tail – a quirky romcom starring a talking dog who swears a little, and it isn't for kids. Use code REW50 at the checkout -

Free! Life’s Rhythms – poetry - 316 haiku. Use code RW100 at checkout -

50% off! The Sea Inside - a YA clean fantasy adventure starring a heroine who is paralysed after an accident. Use code REW50 at checkout -

Promotion on Amazon

99c/75p! I Dream of Zombies – it started with a dream and then London went to hell! Starring a strong female heroine.
US -
UK -

Always free on Smashwords & Amazon US

Free! Day of the Living Pizza - zombie comedy for teens & Travelling Light - poetry – always free on both sites – no coupon needed.

Cheers! Happy reading! :)