Friday, August 31, 2012

TP Authors: Amanda J Ward

Amanda says, “Thank you for having me on your blog today. I really appreciate it.
I guess when it comes to promoting myself, I am the woman in the corner of a room with a glass of fizz holding a bookmark, hoping someone will notice.
So here's my bookmark, and I'm drinking a mug of tea!
My name is Amanda J Ward and I am the author of The Thrilling Adventures of Pann Haggerty; a short story series about an Englishwoman of a 'certain' age who takes a year off to travel around America in an RV in search of new experiences and perhaps love. They are fun and quirky, and the best compliments I have had is that my mother, mother in law and daughter have read them. Which is really amazing.

I have a full length novel out in September called Without Saying A Word.
The good guy gets his girl! After being in love with his older neighbour Laura since they met a year ago, Rhean Tate, Viscount Kirkleigh seizes his chance to make her his, when her past reappears threatening her and her children’s safety. This thirty-four year old male virgin, whisks her into marriage vowing to protect and cherish Laura and her family, with his name and noble family connections.
Will Laura feel overwhelmed by Rhean and run away. Her abusive marriage left her with scars on the inside as well as on the outside, or will she allow her barriers to crumble and be the woman and wife they both deserve.
I live in England with my husband, our three young children and two mad cats called Arthur and Merlin. I write mostly romance, but am dipping my toes in a few uncertain waters such as a regency time-shift which is all planned out. This is the first story in the Fitzroyal novels set around three siblings and their widowed mother.
A couple of years ago I entered New Voices run by M&B. I also entered last year with Her Reverend Majesty, about a vicar who marries a king of a foreign country and has to choose between her vocation or love. Unfortunately, although a lot of people were complimentary, it didn't make the final. So, later on that year I joined NANO where Laura and Rhean's story was being written. I managed to finish it early this year and I had an R&R from one publisher. However, when I was asked by Trestle to submit, I got an immediate response that they could have it. Roll on September when Bonkers in Boston and Without Saying a Word come out.
I'm by no means a regular writer. I don't have a set time of day when I can write. Each day in my home is completely different as to how, when and if I can get anything done. The past few weeks have been manic as the kids have been off school. It's only now in the week before they go back, that I am able to catch up and do reviews etc.
I am a HUGE reader. I have been reading since I can remember, and there were times when I am sure my mother despaired at me for hoarding books under my bed. Before my father died, we used to go to the library together every Saturday, with me trotting after him pulling the shopping trolley. He would fill it up with war books. My grandmother was a reader of romantic fiction. I found some in her spare room one day when I was eight and snooping. Since then I have been hooked. My favourite series is still the Temptation line of Harlequin books, but there are authors I am exceptionally loyal to. I adore historical fiction and royalty books. I have DVDs about them and biographies lining my bookcase. Phillippa Gregory, Anne O'Brien, Marguerite Kaye, Michelle Willingham and Sophie Perinot top my list there.
My influences writing wise come from my friends, and also what I like to read and watch. I am a HUGE Gilmore Girls, Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Sci Fi and Big Bang Theory fan.
When I write Pann, for some reason, I see it as a sitcom. I think that's the best way to describe the series, and I like working to a deadline for some reason. The worst thing about me is that I procrastinate like mad. It is really dreadful. Finding other things to do rather than sit in front of the screen and get words to appear on it from my head. For some reason I love working in peace and quiet. I guess it's because I talk to myself when I type and the looks I get from my children and husband, and the cats too are very offputting.  Yes, there are days when I feel I have no talent for writing and that what I do is absolute rubbish. How do I cope? I walk away from what I'm doing for a time.
Any advice? Don't give up.

Here is an teaser from Pann Haggerty Volume Three Bonkers In Boston.
Hope you enjoy it!.

When Joe came back to the meeting house for her less than half an hour later. He was laden down with bags. Hoping he got the right things for her, upon seeing the sight before him, stopped dead, lifted his face to the sky and whispered
"Oh Jeez not this. Not here. Not now"
For standing on the steps was Pann. She had a union jack cap on her head and and a frilly apron around her. She was handing out slices of cake and plastic cups of tea to anyone that would take it. A broad smile lit up her pixie like face and she was obviously having a fantastic time. Laughing and chatting to tourists and residents alike.
"What do you think you are doing Crazy Lady?" Joe said slowly.
"Well, duh" Pann mocked him. "What does it look like. I'm having a tea party. Where better to have one. Than here!" She announced taking a bow. Cutting a piece of sunken, lopsided cake, Pann put it on a napkin and handed it to Joe.
"I knew you were up to something" Joe muttered taking a bite of the cake. It tasted much better than it looked.
"You can't have a tea party without cake" Pann said stubbornly.
Joe took a deep breath.
"Wrong revolution darlin. That was the French one" He informed her.
"And the tea party?" asked Pann, totally confused by all the history being thrown at her.
"To do with taxing of tea. Crates of it were thrown overboard and into the river"
"What an absolute waste of perfectly good tea" Pann sniffed. She sat down with her own cup and munched on her cake.
Joe couldn't resist taking a photograph of her.
"Say Tea Party" he teased. Pann stuck her tongue out at him. Joe continued taking photographs anyway.  She pulled up her jeans at one point exposing red socks.
"Pann what are you wearing?"
"Red socks. You said Boston was the home of the red socks. So I am wearing them because I'm in Boston".
"Pann, you crazy Englishlady. When I said Boston was home to the red socks, I meant the Red Sox. A baseball team" Joe said slowly and carefully so she would understand.
"Baseball" Pann thought for a moment. "Is that like rounders?"
"You have to be kidding me! You've never heard of baseball?" Joe's voice was incredulous.
"Of course I have. You hit a ball with a round stick. Then run around the field and touch bases. That's rounders" The tone of her voice dared him to argue the toss.
"What about football?" Joe decided to open the can all the way.
"Rugby" Pann countered
"Football" Pann was evidently enjoying her banter with him.
He sat down on the steps and put his head in his hands.
"Save me from crazy Englishwomen" He pleaded to no-one in particular.
"Sorry pal. You're on your own" Came a retort from a passer by.
Pann sat down beside him and snuggled up. She gave a sigh of happiness.
"That was fun" She giggled girlishly sipping another cup of tea.

Well there you go. A sneak peek at what Pann is like. If you want to read more, you can catch up with Pann on these links.

UK Kindle:

US Kindle:

My website, Kooks Nook:

And of course, email me at

Thanks for having me and hope to hear from readers soon!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ten Equals One

See, that’s a misleading way to start. There are actually eleven of us and twelve stories. I’m talking about a group I fondly refer to as the Authors of One and our series, simply called One. The Authors of One consist of ten authors, plus me. Ten equals one. I think we have the math straight now.


       In the synopsis, I call it “a spiritual anthology examining True-Life experiences of Authors and their Faith. As the series evolves expect to discover what it means to have faith, no matter what that faith is and no matter where they live. Remember that we are all part of this One World.”


I think it has grown beyond that. What’s more, it has really taught me a lot.


We are nearing the end of the series. Story Eleven, by well-known Amish author Sarah Price, is available now. After that, I am going to put the bookends on it with Story Twelve.


In between my first story, Meant To Be, and the last, which I am calling Choices, a myriad of talented authors opened my eyes. I felt like they stuck out their hand and when I grabbed hold, they carried me around the world. Along the way, I watched them learn, live, fall in love, and even confront death. We shared more than one out-of-body experience and time-travelled.


The best part is that it is all true. These experiences are honest and emotional. Time and again, they bared deeply personal parts of themselves, taking risks that allowed we readers to become that much richer for looking into their lives.


Another thing that should be said is these are generous people. They are not preaching from some obscure pulpit. They each have a message and want to give something more. Each author in this series is giving at least half, some all, of their proceeds to charity. These stories support a variety of worthy causes.

Why not enrich your life and help someone else too? Each story is ONLY 99 Cents and the Amazon Kindle links are here:

Mark Miller – Meant To Be –
De Miller – Twelve Steps –
Sudè Khanian – Dr. Candy –
Giovanni Gelati – The Hand of God –
Melissa Studdard and Scott Lutz – For the Love of All –
George Michael Loughmueller – Snake in the Water –
Rachel Hunter – Perfect Nothing –
Crystal Linn – God’s Counterpoints –
Ron Starbuck – Wheels Turning Inward –
Don Lubov – 1971
Sarah Price – The Power of Faith -

Coming Soon
Mark Miller – Choices

Please connect with the Authors of One on Facebook –

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Jonathan Green's "Murder in the High Himalaya"

I have finished Murder in the High Himalaya: Loyalty, Tragedy and Escape from Tibet by Jonathan Green, but I don’t know where to start.

Maybe I should start with current headlines? Two Tibetan teens self-immolate in protest of Chinese control ( That makes fifty-one since 2009. Tibetans still struggle for their freedom.

Maybe I should start at the beginning, go back to 1950, or earlier? There is a lot I don’t know. That, I think, is the crux of it. I am the norm. Most people in the U.S. do not know about Tibet. Most of the world does not know what is happening there.

In attempting to write a review of Mr. Green’s heart-wrenching book, I feel like there is so much that needs to be said. There is not enough room on this blog to post it all, but I have some thoughts I would like to share.
First, there is the author’s writing style. More than an account of a tragic event, he puts his heart into this story. It is far more than a fact-based report. As I told him, when I read his descriptions of the land, I can see his love for that part of the world. The mountains are characters themselves. They stand over time as silent witnesses.
What is the story? It is about a young nun killed while trying to escape to a better life. It is about many others surviving that escape. It is about Chinese control of a beautiful, mystical country. It is also about the values of spirituality and faith clashing with commercialism and socialism.
In Mr. Green’s account, Dolma Palkyi and Dolkar Tomso were best friends from childhood. Dolkar took her vows at the age of sixteen to become a nun, known as Kelsang Namtso. In 2006, the two decide to escape Chinese controlled Tibet in hopes of meeting their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. This simple act of expressing religious freedom, something too many of us take for granted, would cost Kelsang her life.
At the same time, the story interweaves the travels of Luis Benitez, a mountain climbing expert and guide. His occupation was to lead the rich and privileged on luxury expeditions to the tops of the world’s tallest mountains. The way the author builds his narrative, it is interesting to watch Benitez’s path come together with Kelsang and Dolma. Even before the fateful event, they unknowingly cross paths in Lhasa on the same day.
The story is also about the world’s silence when it comes to Chinese control of Tibet. The climbers, like Benitez, witnessed the shooting of Kelsang, but would not speak out against the Chinese, primarily for financial concerns. They did not want to lose money over the death of one person. The book extrapolates that idea as the way the world views China’s treatment of Tibet – the “superpowers” do not want to upset business over one “little” country.
A lot of the much-needed history of Tibet, China and even mountain climbing is thoroughly detailed. Filled with footnotes and an extensive bibliography, it is clear that the author had a dedicated passion for telling this story.
Many events stood out for me. In the author’s words, “the unfiltered sun at 12,000 feet on the plateau drew the world into sharp focus with startling clarity.”  I think his descriptions and attention to detail brought the story into “sharp focus and clarity” repeatedly. I felt the tension of the late night truck ride. I felt Choeden’s compassion as he helped the young children on their journey, risking his own life. There are others instances: Jamyang’s experience at Gyalpung base, Sergiu Matei’s paranoia and Benitez meeting with Dolma. That meeting, more than the shooting, brought me to the verge of tears. As a reader, I could identify more with the American entrepreneur and truly felt his emotions. At the same time, I tried to imagine what the Tibetans felt. I thought about how they left behind family. I thought about how they dropped the last of their worldly possessions on the side of the mountainous path. Some of them walked until their feet bled and they went snow blind. In the end, they risked their life on a treacherous glacier while being shot at. I tried to think about what might motivate me to take those risks. People are dying and sacrificing themselves, while we try to decide what Kindle book to download next. I went from the verge of tears to shedding them only a few pages later when Kelsang’s family received word of her death.
That, I think, is the subtle power of Jonathan Green’s book. In a way, it sneaks up on you. At the beginning, everything was foreign to me and I was introduced to so many people. At that moment near the end, I felt compassion and sorrow. As much as discovering a tragedy on the other side of the world, it also made me look at my own life. It made me want to do something to help those people, but I don’t have money or power. I realized that I could help them by doing something in my own life, with my wife, my children. Start small, teach them about truth and faith (things I hope I have been doing). Let those actions take root and grow into something better. Also, I could share the book. Tell people about it. That’s a start, so I strongly recommend this book to anyone that wants to feel human.

I would like to close with a quote in the book from His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama:

Never give up
No matter what is happening,
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up

About the author: Jonathan Green is an award-winning author and journalist. He has reported from Sudan on jihadist militias, the guerilla-controlled jungles of Colombia on the cocaine trade, corruption in oil-rich Kazakhstan, the destruction of the rainforest in Borneo and human rights abuses connected to gold mining in West Africa. He has been the recipient of the Amnesty International Media Award for Excellence in Human Rights Journalism, the American Society of Journalists and Authors award for reporting on a significant topic and Feature Writer of the Year in the Press Gazette Magazine and Design Awards. His work has appeared in Men’s Journal, the New York Times, Fast Company, the Financial Times, British GQ and Esquire and the Mail on Sunday among many other publications. Green has been interviewed about his work on CNN, the BBC, radio and television, and NPR among others. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife. (from the author’s website)

About the book: In 2006, an impulsive, naïve young Tibetan nun and her best friend, both yearning for religious freedom from Chinese rule, joined a group of fellow Tibetans desperate to escape to India, where the Dalai Lama has lived since the 1950 annexation of Tibet by China. Kelsang Namtso and Dolma Palkyi embarked on the brutal journey over the Himalayas. Smuggled by illegal guides past Chinese border police, the group braved freezing temperatures and snow, the high altitude, and perilous crevasses. Green alternates the refugees' trek with that of Luis Benitez, an American celebrity mountain guide leading a rich group of international clients to the Himalayan peak Cho Oyu. The two groups met on the peak as Chinese guards, alerted to the refugees' presence, chased after the escapees with machine guns ablaze, and Kelsang was killed in full view of the Westerners. One of Benitez's clients filmed the incident, which gained worldwide notoriety. Awkwardly written and poorly edited, freelance journalist Green's earnest chronicle trumpets his disdain for the exploitation of the Himalayas by rich, macho mountaineering novices, his hatred of Chinese Communists for human rights violations, and his reverence for Tibetan culture. (June) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

You can read 
Murder in the High Himalaya
on Amazon Kindle at this link:

It is also available in paperback, on BN Nook, iTunes, IndieBound and GoogleBooks.

Links to more information:

Watch the documentary

(images borrowed from author's website)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Guest Post: Leanne Herrera has Inspirational Insomnia

My name is Leanne Herrera and I am the author of Mirror Bound, which is available now in paperback and Kindle. Get the Kindle version here for $3.99 (FREE to Prime users):

Mirror Bound is a story based in the hills of Kentucky. Our main character Anna, struggles through the fresh grief of losing her great grandmother, the woman who cared for her all her life, as well as the year old grief of losing her twin. She discovers paranormal secrets about her family and falls in love with one of the members of her great grandmother’s coven. Because of the death of her Ma, as she calls her, the mother she has never known has resurfaced. Her mother seeks to harm her and steal the power she has just barely learned about. She will have to fight her mother, who has killed others and stolen a great amount of power. She will have to face her down, but can she win?

I came up with this story during one late night round with insomnia. Kentucky is a place that has always held a great place in my heart and while thinking of the mountains and familiar places, I discovered a story. I power wrote the book in a short amount of time, because once a story hits me I feel the need to get it all out. I do not want to lose the story in my head. At the end of this book, I was thrilled it was on paper and out of my head but sad at the same time as I knew that this book would likely not have a follow up story.

I only hope that others will enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

My GMTA author page is here,

and my blog can be found here,

Thank you

TP Author: Marsha Hubler

Meet Best-Selling Author Marsha Hubler and
THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY SERIES published by Trestle Press

With “horse blood in her veins,” what else could Marsha Hubler write about but stories with horses?
“From the time I knew what horses were, I loved them,” Marsha says. “Although I collected horse models, wrote stories about horses, colored horse pictures, and had my own Annie Oakley outfit as a child, it wasn’t until I was married and had a place of my own that I owned horses. The only time I was near horses as a child was when my mother took me to a riding stable once in a while, where I always asked to ride a pony named Sugar. As I rode, I rubbed my hands on the horse real hard, and then for the rest of the day at home, I could smell the horse anytime I wanted (until Mother made me wash my hands for supper!) Now an ouchy back prohibits me from riding anymore, so I write books that have horses in them so I can ride vicariously. I have many fond memories from which I can base my plots.”

Marsha has had eleven juvenile fiction books published about kids and horses, including the best-selling Keystone Stables Series by Zonderkidz. Her latest project, though, has shifted her attention from kids’ books to the red-hot Amish/Mennonite fiction genre for ladies.

Marsha had owned horses over a twenty-year period, therefore knows her horse facts in and out. She also lives in central PA, “Dutch” country, highly populated by the Amish and Mennonites, who have been a valuable first-hand resource for her series about the Amish and Mennonite folk in the beautiful Susquehanna Valley in central PA.

Bachelor's Choice (, volume one in The Loves of Snyder County, was released on July 1st, and Teacher's Pet (, volume two, just came out. Love Song for Louellen will be out in September, and over the next year, Marsha is also writing twelve short stories based on the characters in her Amish/Mennonite books. All her latest books and short stories have elements of romance interwoven with Christian principles and … horses, of course! That compilation of short stories is called The Snyder County Quilting Bee.

Marsha has had a background conducive to effective writing. She has a master’s degree in education from Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, and has been an educator for over forty years. She had co-founded two private schools, Kreamer Christian Academy, Kreamer, PA, and the Bethesda Prep School, Milton, PA, and had served as teacher/administrator in each. She is presently a PA certified homeschool consultant, working out of her office in her Middleburg home, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

Marsha is getting very favorable reviews on Amazon for her Loves of Snyder County series. She also hears from her Keystone Stables fans on a regular basis. Several said they have started to seriously think about God, and one gal wrote that she was thinking of killing herself until she read one of Marsha’s books.
“That’s the best pay any writer could ever get,” Marsha says. “I write not only to entertain but also to encourage my readers. Every one of my books has a positive outlook on life with solutions to every problem with God’s help.”

Her life verse is 1 Corinthians 15:10a: “But by the grace of God I am what I am….”

She loves to hear from her readers of all ages. Visit her at

Hear Marsha interviewed by her Trestle Press publisher at:

Guest Post: Brian D. Anderson and Strong Females


When I was young, I was enthralled by Tolkien, mystified by Asimov, and captivated by Jordan. But back then, the fan base of that particular genre was male dominated. You could peruse the sci-fi/fantasy section of your local bookstore, and scarcely bump into a member of the opposite sex; which was too bad really, considering I was at the age when the opposite sex was all I could think about. Today, things are much different.

When I looked at my own fan base recently, I noticed that well over half were female, and many were avid fantasy readers. At first I didn't give it much thought. Then I received a comment regarding the female characters in my book, and I began ponder it a bit more. A young lady who stumbled upon my work online wrote me that she loved how strong the women in my book were, and that it made her want to read more fantasy. As pleased as this made me, it was not something I had done intentionally. Though I have never been a fan of the “damsel in distress”, and have always felt it detracted from an overall storyline, it is not the reason I wrote Kaylia, Dina, Maybell, or even Salmitaya, the way I did. The truth is; weak characters, male or female, are not very interesting to me, and unless needed as part of the story, are not worth writing about. Though The Godling Chronicles is a fantasy series, it is not driven by the fantasy aspect. It is driven by the characters.

Kaylia, an elf, is deadly yet sensitive. Her enigmatic past and strong convictions have caused her to become an outcast. As her exposure to human’s increases, she is forced to re-evaluate everything she once held as true.

Dina, (I can't reveal too much about her. It would ruin the story for you), though not a warrior, is resourceful and courageous. Her dedication and determination makes her a force to be reckoned with.

Maybell, though at first thought to be soft and weak, shows that her heart is true and her wisdom vast. She is capable in ways that make her an invaluable asset.

Salmitaya...well you're just going to have to find out about her yourself.

That more fantasy writers are cluing in to the fact that weak female characters are neither appealing or interesting, has made fantasy more accessible to women, thereby creating an entirely new generation of fantasy lover. I am happy to have contributed to this, and am thrilled that my work appeals to such a broad audience. I intend to keep working hard to make the series exciting, and I'm looking forward to sharing this world of Gods, humans, elves, and other fantastical creatures, with readers of all ages and genders.


Brian D. Anderson was born in 1971, and grew up in the small town of Spanish Fort, A. He attended Fairhope High, then later Springhill College where his love for fantasy grew into a lifelong obsession. His hobbies include chess, history, and spending time with his son.
Jonathan Anderson was born in March of 2003. His creative spirit became evident by the age of three when he told his first original story. In 2010 he came up with the concept for The Godling Chronicles that grew into an exciting collaboration between father and son. Jonathan enjoys sports, chess, music, games, and of course, telling stories.

It has been five hundred years since the Great War between Elf and Human ripped the world apart, and the Dark Knight of Angrääl has stolen the Sword of Truth. With it, he has trapped the Gods in heaven. If left unchallenged he will kill the Gods and reshape the world into an unimaginable hell. The only hope for all of creation is a boy named Gewey Stedding, the only being born from the union of two Gods. Aided by Lee Starfinder, the son of Saraf, God of the Sea, and a mortal woman, he must discover the true nature of his power. However, this will not be easy. He is bound to the earth a mortal man, and in many ways is very human. When Kaylia, a young elf woman, joins their party, Gewey discovers that perils of the heart can be as treacherous as any sword. Gewey, Lee, Kaylia and other friends they meet on their journey, must battle the Dark Knight, find a way to heal the hatred between elf and man, and restore heaven itself.

THE GODLING CHRONICLES (BOOK ONE) is available on Amazon Kindle for $3.99 (FREE to Prime users). Get it here:


Brian’s Twitter:  @GodlingChron

Friday, August 24, 2012

TP Authors: George Michael Loughmueller

An Amish Home. That’s what Allan has now. He found his path and so much goodness came into his life. My new stories are set in Karsten Field about eight to ten years after An Amish Journey. Allan is happily married with two young children. His oldest daughter, Alice, even has a family of her own. Life is good.
That doesn’t mean they don’t face any challenges. Sometimes, when life is that good, we need reminders. An Amish Home – Attainable is one of those reminders.
Karsten Field is suffering from a severe drought, something to which many readers can relate. However, having an independent, simple life could mean the end of Karsten Field. Without modern technology to save their crops, Allan and Ben Abrim worry about winter food shortages. They are in the presence of a metaphorical Goliath.
The story of David and Goliath inspired Attainable. A small Amish community is only as strong as its faith. A natural disaster could destroy everything they have. Escaping the drought seems to be unattainable. Although Allan has been set free, he still has plenty to learn and God is always teaching.
The big questions: If the people of Karsten Field are so faithful, why would God let them experience a drought? Why would He not send rain?
The answer is simple: No matter what comes before you, God will see you through it. That does not mean He will change weather patterns, mainly because His reward is not on earth. It doesn’t matter what happens to us here. Cancer, war, poverty are all people problems, not God problems. Bad things can and will happen to us in this life. God is not going to solve all of our problems for us, but He will be there to see us through them, as he did with David. God could have struck down Goliath or sent a flood. Instead, David had to stand up and face the giant. He was never alone, God was always with him.
God is in Karsten Field. Allan has to stand up and face his own giant.
If things seem impossible or insurmountable, Allan has to learn that everything is Attainable with God.
An Amish Home – Attainable available today -
An Amish Home – The Flood is also available  -
Get Set Free – An Amish Journey from the beginning -
You can also find me on BN Nook and Apple iTunes!
Please visit me on Facebook –