Friday, November 24, 2017

A New Book Coming Out - the thrills and the anxiety

I wrote another book.

What a rollercoaster of a year it's been. All published authors will know the thrills and anxiety of the submissions process and then, hopefully, the publishing contract and what comes after that.

I wrote my fourth book and I have been lucky enough to be given a publishing contract by an excellent publisher: Crooked Cat Books. So I'm announcing it here!



A contemporary novel set in the forests just outside Lisbon Portugal. 




Here's the blurb:

Work to impress, dance to express.

It’s a long way to go to create a new life for yourself.

Classical ballerina, Flora Gatehouse, has no choice but to take a risk. Having failed an important ballet audition in London, she moves to a small cottage in a forest just outside Lisbon, Portugal, her only inheritance following her father’s death. 

Soon, Flora is involved in village life, where fate takes a new twist when she becomes attracted to forest ranger, Marco. But they are off to a shaky start.

Can Flora find acceptance in a foreign land, in a magical place that harbours secrets and heartache?

Forest Dancer is available for pre-order now (the ebook) with the launch (which will include the paperback) on 20th February 2018

Buy from Amazon here

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Wrath of the Ancients by Catherine Cavendish - Book Review

Yesterday Catherine Cavendish kindly visited my blog with an interesting, though chilling, article about the White Lady of Hoffburg. It's here if you'd like to read it.

Catherine's article was fine tie-in with her new book "The Wrath of the Ancients" (see here on Amazon) which starts out in Egypt in the early 20th century and then moves to Vienna.


Here's the blurb:

DESTINY IN DEATH
 
Egypt, 1908
 
Eminent archeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus has unearthed the burial chamber of Cleopatra. But this tomb raider’s obsession with the Queen of the Nile has nothing to do with preserving history. Stealing sacred and priceless relics, he murders his expedition crew, and flees—escaping the quake that swallows the site beneath the desert sands . . .
 
Vienna, 1913
 
Young widow Adeline Ogilvy has accepted employment at the mansion of Dr. Quintillus, transcribing the late professor’s memoirs. Within the pages of his journals, she discovers the ravings of a madman convinced he possessed the ability to reincarnate Cleopatra. Within the walls of his home, she is assailed by unexplained phenomena: strange sounds, shadowy figures, and apparitions of hieroglyphics.
 
Something pursued Dr. Quintillus from Egypt. Something dark, something hungry. Something tied to the fate and future of Adeline Ogilvy . . .



And here's my review:

I’ve read and enjoyed all of Catherine Cavendish’s books, most of which give the reader at least a glimpse of history. In “Wrath of the Ancients” she goes much further back, giving us a tale of Cleopatra and her burial tomb.

Dr. Emeryk Quintillus has discovered the tomb, thus achieving his dream of finding his one true love – Cleopatra. He steals dust from her body and also a golden statue of the God Set who was said to protect her. Quintillus murders all those involved in the discovery – not a nice man.

Early 20th century Vienna and a young widow, Adeline, is hired to type up Quintillus’s manuscripts, the content of which horrifies her, as do the strange sounds emanating from the basement of the old house, which, of course, she does have to investigate…

Written in the genteel style of the period, the horror that is building within is far from genteel – a horror that will kill many of those who come in contact with it in the cruelest way.

The Wrath of the Ancients is a horror story of the purest kind and I applaud Ms Cavendish’s brilliant plotting that leads the reader to the petrifying ending that can never be guessed at. Every character in her novel comes alive in the reader’s mind (even the ones you’d rather not) and her sense of place is perfect – I could see myself having a mélange with Adeline in Vienna. With every book she writes, Ms Cavendish becomes ever more adept at the horror genre. I thoroughly recommend this book.

Buy links: Wrath Of The Ancients


Connect with Cat :                  Catherine Cavendish

Monday, November 06, 2017

Catherine Cavendish The Wrath of the Ancients.

For those of you who follow my blog, you'll know that I'm a great fan of author Catherine Cavendish. She has a new book out called "The Wrath of the Ancients" (see below). I adored this book but I'll put my review on here tomorrow.

First of all, thought, Catherine's come along to tell us a bit about beautiful Vienna and also her book "The Wrath of the Ancients".

Welcome Catherine!

The White Lady of the Hofburg


My latest novel – Wrath of the Ancients – is largely set in Vienna, Austria’s imperial capital and surely one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in the world. Its streets team with culture and its proud residents are almost fiercely protective of their enigmatic, sometimes quirky, and endlessly fascinating home, where everyone from Strauss to Klimt and Freud lived and worked.
It is a city that once held sway over the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire, with palaces on almost every street and a royal family – the Hapsburgs – who had more than their fair share of grief and tragedy. It is also a city steeped in legends and, in common with so many, has its own version of the White Lady ghost.
In this case, the White Lady concerned is of unknown origin and there is even dispute as to her appearance. The Wittelsbach family who married into the Hapsburg dynasty more than once even claimed she wasn’t dressed in white at all, but that she wore black. Maybe she changed her appearance to suit her audience. But whatever she looked like, all agree, if she was around, that could only mean one thing. Imminent death.

In summer 1888, she walked the corridors of the Hofburg and within a few months, Crown Prince Rudolf, heir to the throne, died - almost certainly by his own hand - in his father’s hunting lodge at Mayerling. His mistress – Sophie Vetsera - also lay dead beside him, killed by a shot from the same rifle that killed him. Rumours still persist that Rudolf was murdered, but nothing has ever been proved. His distraught parents – Emperor Franz Josef and his beautiful wife, the troubled Empress Elisabeth, were left devastated.
But the White Lady hadn’t finished with them. In the spring of 1898, she appeared at the Hofburg again. Elisabeth – known in the family and to posterity as Sisi – was a Wittelsbach by birth, who had married her first cousin. There are conflicting accounts as to whether the ghost was dressed in black or white – either, it seems, would have been appropriate in this case as it was the Empress’s impending death which had caused the ghost to walk again. Elisabeth spent as little time as possible at home in Vienna, preferring to tour her favourite parts of Europe, including Corfu and Madeira. She was in Switzerland on September 10th and it was in Geneva that she was fatally stabbed by Luigi Lucheni, an Italian anarchist who didn’t even know who she was – merely that she was a royal personage and he wanted to kill one.

It was said that a few days prior to her assassination, Sisi herself saw the White Lady in the garden of her hotel, looking up at her. She sent servants to chase her away but the ghost vanished.
The White Lady appears to have made her final walk 1914 when she appeared to the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II to warn him of the devastation that was to come. She heralded the imminent death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Shortly afterwards, the Archduke and his wife were brutally assassinated by Bosnian revolutionary, Gavrilo Princip and World War I broke out soon after.
1918 would see a very different map of Europe and the end of most of the European monarchies. Wilhelm II was luckier than most in that he escaped with his life, spending a happy retirement in the Netherlands until his death, by natural causes, in 1941.
There have been no reports of this particular White Lady since the Hapsburg monarchy was deposed. Let’s hope she has found peace at last.



Destiny In Death
Egypt, 1908
Eminent archaeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus has unearthed the burial chamber of Cleopatra. But this tomb raider’s obsession with the Queen of the Nile has nothing to do with preserving history. Stealing sacred and priceless relics, he murders his expedition crew, and flees—escaping the quake that swallows the site beneath the desert sands . . .
Vienna, 1913
Young widow Adeline Ogilvy has accepted employment at the mansion of Dr. Quintillus, transcribing the late professor’s memoirs. Within the pages of his journals, she discovers the ravings of a madman convinced he possessed the ability to reincarnate Cleopatra. Within the walls of his home, she is assailed by unexplained phenomena: strange sounds, shadowy figures, and apparitions of hieroglyphics.
Something pursued Dr. Quintillus from Egypt. Something dark, something hungry. Something tied to the fate and future of Adeline Ogilvy . . 
.
Wrath Of The Ancients
Available from:
About the Author:

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. She was the joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy - Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle CurseSaving Grace Devine and many more. She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshiped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.

You can connect with Cat here:






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Monday, September 25, 2017

Social Anxiety - Author Interview and Review

If you've been following (😀 ), you'll know how delighted I am that in February  2018 Crooked Cat Books are going to publish my next book.

My fellow "Cat", Miriam Drori, has come along today to tell us about her new book Social Anxiety Revealed. You know, so many of us suffer from social anxiety and perhaps aren't quite aware of it. Let Miriam tell us all about it. (My review of the book follows at the end).

Welcome Miriam!








Hello, Sue, and thank you so much for having me on your delightful blog.

Congratulations on the publication of your new book, Miriam. What, to you, is Social Anxiety?

There are several definitions out there. I like to define it as a fear of people, especially of what those people think of “the sufferer.” People who have social anxiety are particularly afraid of rejection and negative judgement by others. They also suffer from low self-esteem.

Why did you write the book?

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     Social anxiety is very common yet little known. If someone who doesn’t know about it encounters someone with it, they’re likely to draw the wrong conclusions about them. For instance, they might think the person is lazy or standoffish. They might think that person doesn’t want to talk when, in reality, they want to talk but feel unable to.

Not all sufferers of social anxiety are aware of the name or even that the condition exists. This means that they feel alone with their problems when they don’t have to. It also means that they don’t have access to advice or therapy.

These are some of the reasons why I wrote the book. I believe social anxiety should be much better known and understood.

     

I think Social Anxiety Revealed is a book that should appeal to everyone, regardless of whether they have symptoms. Do you agree?

Oh, yes! It’s not a self-help book, although there are some tips in it. It’s intended for those who have it and those who don’t. Nearly everyone will know someone who displays symptoms of social anxiety. The book will help those people to understand and possibly offer guidance.

I think teachers, in particular, ought to know about the condition. Social anxiety usually appears in adolescence and that’s the best time to deal with it – before the behaviours it causes become ingrained.


There are so many myths surrounding the condition. Can you bust at least one of them?

Here’s one that shocked me when I first heard it. We were talking about a guy who was very quiet and who showed signs of fear when he did talk. She said (not knowing anything about me), “You don’t have to worry about him; he chose to be like that.”

I couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone choose to have anxiety? Why would anyone choose to have such a debilitating condition – one that makes it so hard to find a job, to have friends and relationships, to have a good time?

But that’s what she believed, and I’m sure she wasn’t alone in that.

Since then, this is one of the messages I’ve tried to emphasise. I even created a picture with the slogan
:


Tell us about other books that you’ve written.

Neither Here Nor There is a romance set in Jerusalem. The hero is a new immigrant from Britain, a little shy and still trying to find his way in a new country. The heroine grew up in an ultra-orthodox community. Normally the two wouldn’t have met, but she has just decided to leave her family and everyone she has known up to now. She has no idea how hard this will be for her.

The Women Friends: Selina is a joint venture with Emma Rose Millar. It’s based on Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece: The Women Friends, and is the first of a series of novellas, each of which follows the life of one of Klimt’s models.

Tell us something about yourself. You live in Israel, don’t you? How long have you lived there?

I was born and raised in London. School life, for me, was not good, because I was bullied throughout and that’s what led to my contracting social anxiety. That’s not why I left the UK, but it’s one of the reasons why I’m glad I left, although I love to go back for visits.

I’ve lived in Israel for over forty years, most of them in Jerusalem. I’m married with three grown-up children and previously worked in IT – first as a programmer and later as a technical writer.

I discovered the term social anxiety fifteen years ago, via a friend from school (I can call her a friend now) after we got back in contact via email. For thirty-five years before that, I suffered from it but didn’t know the term. I hope my book will help to prevent that happening to others.







Click to buy from Amazon

My review of Social Anxiety Revealed:

There is just so much in this book that rings true for me and I found myself announcing, "that's exactly right!" as I read. It's amazing how little is really known about the condition and just how many myths surround it. Social Anxiety Revealed not only explains what it is but also gives extremely helpful tips on how to overcome the symptoms. Professionals and sufferers alike will find much of interest in this well-written, no-nonsense book which I thoroughly recommend for everyone--even for those who don't have the condition because it'll help them understand those that do.



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My Reviews

My blog is destined for writers and readers. I write about publishing and writing, but I mostly post books reviews - with author interviews if possible.

I'm an avid reader, probably getting through two to three books a week. You'll notice that my book reviews are either four star or five star and the reason for that is: I only post reviews that are of that category in my opinion.

I also read many books I don't like but I just see no point in reviewing them by giving them a two or three star review. Some may say that the author would benefit from constructive criticism, but I have my reasons for not reviewing them: 

  • The author spent a long time with much hard work producing that novel;
  • maybe I'm not in the mood for that kind of book (that has happened so often - I've stopped reading a book half-way through because I couldn't be bothered with it and then picked it up again later, perhaps a year or two even, and adored it); 
  • my reading skills might not be working all that well at the time, perhaps through stress.


So, if you think I give four/five stars to every book I read you are sadly mistaken. Any book I'm not fond of will not appear on this blog.

Just to make it clear :-) 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Best Announcement an Author can Make

I am just so happy to announce that Crooked Cat Books (here) are going to publish my new book "Forever Autumn" in February 2018.

This will be my second book set in Portugal - the first, Rising Tide, (here) was set in the little-known region between Lisbon and the Algarve called The Alentejo.
Alentejo










I am extremely happy that Crooked Cat Books have signed me on as one of their authors as I've always enjoyed the books they publish. AND TODAY!!! All their books are on offer on the Amazons at 99p or 99$ - just go to Amazon and search for "Crooked Cat Books" and choose from dozens of books.

"Forever Autumn" is set in the forests just outside Lisbon ... but, as the time gets nearer to publication, I'll let you know more.

Sintra