Thursday, January 24, 2013

Running Late

Well, my blog has been a little quiet so far this year.

Lots of things going on behind the scenes. Exciting things coming up for 2013!

Authors in the Park is growing fast. We are planning an event for March 30th. If you have not already, please give our page a "like" to stay informed.

Besides event planning and booking my calendar for the whole year, I got to spend a week visiting classes at a local elementary school. We celebrated National Literacy Week by reading from some great books (including mine) and talking about how a young avid reader became an author (me).

Oh, and I've done some writing too.

The Defective Amish Detective
Volume 3
Ho! Ho! Ho! in the Snow
(an After Christmas Special)

I am having fun with this series and I think it is starting to take on a life of its own. Maybe I'm not an Amish author, but I am learning fast. My approach to this is taking the POV of the G-Man, a non-Amish, who befriends and Amish blacksmith. It is an outside look at the Amish and their special way of life. I like that the reader can travel along with the main character as he walks the line between a worldly path and a spiritual path.

T’was the night before…wait, that’s not right. But you know Dash…no, you probably don’t know him.
Put it this way, a repentant fixer, an Amish blacksmith with a mysterious past and a Christmas party. That is a recipe for fun on any holiday!

G and Eli have become good friends. Through circumstances beyond their control, Eli comes to the city to celebrate Christmas with G’s family. Their story would not be complete without the right amount of chaos. Throw in a homeless man at the door, a bunch of hot food on wheels and Doctor Mike.

This will be one Christmas you won’t forget. It is ultimately a story of humor and second chances.

When you get into the story, you will see there is much talk of Italian food. My family (not Italian) celebrated the release of this story with a great homemade meal. There is a little bit of everything on that plate, but I'm not giving away the secret ingredient to my sauce!

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It is also on BN Nook, Apple iTunes and Kobo.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Guest Post - Alan S Blood

Capturing the Castle (How “Once Upon a Castle” was born)

On a bitterly cold, November afternoon, I found myself stranded near Bamburgh Castle on the wild Northumberland coast whilst the local, old fashioned garage, with tall petrol pumps, repaired my broken-down car.
The delicate, somewhat bright, late autumn sunlight created an eerie, pastel coloured scene, albeit tempered by a biting breeze, yet quite magical, certainly ancient, and almost ethereal.
Vikings have landed here,’ I told myself scanning the unique white beaches below the hazy castle ramparts. It was one of those strange experiences that triggered the imagination and I could see a Scandinavian longship coming ashore, disgorging horned-helmeted warriors seizing the beach before storming inland to ravage the sparse Saxon populace. I could feel that there was a tale to be told.
With the genesis of a story in my mind, I conducted research into Northumbrian castles and was intrigued to discover there was another ruined castle along the coast. This gave me a plot basis involving two castles, one of which was real and the other a phantom! Ideas built as I thought this was an area to where children were evacuated during World War II.
Things shaped towards an exciting novel for young adolescents involving twelve-year-old twins, Tom and Mary (to appeal to both sexes) who dread being sent from southern England to Aunt Victoria’s Northumberland farm. Yet she proves to be young, and fun, until lessons are arranged with a terrible private tutor, Miss Urquart. Their London Uncle Toby had said: “There will be castles to explore with ghosts and things.”
Teenage rebelliousness ensues as the twins escape and riotous, scary adventures involving castles, Vikings and even the Royal Navy begin.
“Once Upon a Castle” is republished by USA publisher GMTA Publishing under their imprint, Mythos Press.

“Once Upon a Castle” Blurb

Uncle Toby had said that there would be castles to explore, with ghosts and things. This helps to cheer up the glum twelve-year old Lovell twins, Tom and Mary, leaving their schools and loving parents to be evacuated to wild Northumbria during World War II. Then the adventure begins.
They live with their Aunt Victoria and Uncle Leslie, meet the loveable ‘Mrs M’, a strange dog called ‘Scamp’ and, worst, the terrible private tutor, Miss Urquart, from whom they run away to find a mysterious castle seen through an old telescope.
Now they are drawn into bizarre supernatural events of a time-warp between the war itself and ancient warfare. They encounter dark forces, as the story twists and turns, and are even rescued by the Royal Navy. Yet, this is only the beginning of more unexpected tragedies before the twins begin to escape from it all.

About the Author

Alan S. Blood worked in the British Civil Service, Advertising and journalism (edited three publications) before qualifying as a Teacher from the University of Reading, England. He enjoyed a long, distinguished career in the Teaching Profession, in both Primary and Secondary levels of education, in several parts of the UK - which eventually led to Senior Management. His main subject area was English and, at one time, he was Head of English and Drama. Throughout, he gained considerable knowledge of literature that children and adolescents enjoy.

Alan now devotes his time to writing novels, plays, screenplays and poetry. He won top award in the ‘Hastings International Poetry Festival’ (2003) with his controversial ‘litter’ poem ‘CONTRITE CAN CANNOT’. The paranormal genre features in much of his prose work.

‘ONCE UPON A CASTLE’ is a ghost story written for young people (but also enjoyed by adults) set in World War 11. It concerns both a real and a phantom castle based upon Alan’s experience of strange castles on the wild Northumbrian coast of England on cold, dark wintry afternoon.

Alan Blood has widely travelled the world and undertook research in Chile where some of his supernatural crime thriller ‘CRY OF THE MACHI A Suffolk Murder Mystery’ is set. He was previously a Cotswold Morris Dancer and the novel is a conflict between the forces of good and evil linking a Chilean ‘Machi’ and ‘organised crime’ to murders in a Suffolk Morris Men side.

Alan enjoys wildlife photography in the Welsh countryside, painting and scraperboard engraving. He lives in a Victorian (1873) house below the Cambrian Mountains of Mid-Wales.

Connect With Alan

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