Letter from a Stranger… Under Contract

tomewriter:

Well Done Louise… even though this means my own project gets delayed to allow for the editing processes to final publication of Letter from a Stranger. Wishing you many more successes :o)

Originally posted on Louise Roberts Author:

What a great way to end the week… on a high from having been offered a publishing contract for Letter from a Stranger by Luminosity Publishing, UK.

I just want to say thanks to the readers who took the time to read the first draft and pass judgment, and particularly to Tory who not only read it, but provided some editing tips, as well as a title name change. It will be coffee and cake to celebrate in the very near future – Thanks Tory :o)

Now the fun really starts [or should I say hard work]; as one of my LinkedIn and Facebook Friends, Catherine, said… writing the book was the easy part!

I know I’m no stranger [no pun intended] to the editing process of my books, but it is always daunting and very, very exciting… As they said in ancient Rome: Let the games begin. I…

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AUSSIE MONTH: Tea Cooper

tomewriter:

Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who ever got into trouble for scribbling on the walls :o)

Originally posted on AusRomToday:

Tea_CooperBooks

AUSSIE MONTH with Tea Cooper

Describe yourself in one word:
Capricious (I love that word!)

What is your background with regard to writing?
It began with crayons on my bedroom wall (I can still remember the belting!) then I started my working life as a journalist, became a teacher (English and History major), dabbled in PR, completed my Masters in Literacy and Creative Writing, taught Reading and Writing and English as a Second Language, retired and did what I had always wanted to do – write! Everything revolves around writing.

Tell us about Forgotten Fragrance your latest novel:
Forgotten Fragrance is the first in a new Australian historical series – FROM THE OCEAN TO THE OUTBACK. It releases in February with Escape Publishing

What inspired this novel?
A love of sailing, a trip aboard the magnificent three-masted tall ship Southern Swan and an over active imagination.

What are you reading…

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AUSSIE MONTH: Louise Roberts

tomewriter:

If I have to re-blog, it should be this one. I can’t have anyone saying that I don’t support my own alter ego? :o)

Originally posted on AusRomToday:

Louise Roberts

AUSSIE MONTH with Louise Roberts

Describe yourself in one word:
Intricate

What is your background with regard to writing?
I have always enjoyed history and literature from as far back as school days. I expect it was due to my teachers giving me immense encouragement. This was particularly expressed in art and drama classes in the way their professionalism nurtured my creativity. As a teenager I loved painting landscapes and seascapes, as well as writing short stories and poetry most of all. It wasn’t until adulthood when I wrote my first romance novel Beneath Southern Stars in 1994 but it didn’t get published until released as an e-book on Smashwords in 2012.

Still in the 1990’s I tried working on different genres rather than giving up on writing. I wrote a few children’s short stories mostly for my young son’s entertainment. Later I selected three of his favourites and…

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AUSSIE MONTH: Alissa Callen

tomewriter:

From one Chocoholic to another…wishing you a successful 2015 and beyond :o)

Originally posted on AusRomToday:

Alissa Callen

AUSSIE MONTH with Alissa Callen

Describe yourself in one word:
Chocoholic

What is your background with regard to writing?
I’ve always written and loved messing around with words.

Tell us about Down Outback Roads. What inspired this novel?
The setting and plot for Down Outback Roads much grew out of the things I see every day. The small town of Glenalla, and the surrounding red earth countryside, is based on central western NSW, in particular the Cobb and Co station at Molong and the murals at Eugowra. Some of the events that feature in the story are then drawn from my own farm.

What are you reading right now?
Allison Butler – The Healer

Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
Take my children to Paris.

Best thing about being an Aussie?
The intense blue of our sky.

What you want readers to know about the romance…

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My 2014 year in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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One story finishes and a new one begins…

With Affectionately Yours… finished I, or should I say Louise Roberts, now finds herself at a loose end. It’s not all done and dusted though as I shall be giving the manuscript to a few friends to have a read and give me their opinion . Then I will need to do some last-minute changes/edits before I venture in submitting it to potential publishers.

For the time being whilst I’m waiting for the verdicts to come back, I shall pick up where I left off with my own novel Out of the Darkness and see whether I can finish it off by early next year.

Meanwhile though, Louise Roberts is looking in starting another project. It will be the third book in The Sword and the Rose Series. I shall be aiming for another novella length book [between 20,000 to 30,000 words]. The book is to be named Passionate Harvest – take a look at the new page for the blurb. I will also be creating a page in Louise’s blog for it.

The tag line for it is:

A new beginning at the Villa Sant’ Angelo, Magdalena is attracted to the wine-master, Joquim. But will her domineering employer permit the relationship to blossom?

RLB – Tomewriter

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Christmas – A Time for Children

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Everyone loves Christmas especially children when Santa delivers presents overnight and the magic of Christmas Day fills the house with laughter and happiness.

As adults it is nice to remember the days when we too as children enjoyed the warmth of family all gathered around a huge dining table without an inch to spare between us. Food was plentiful, bon-bons [crackers to you poms], paper chains hanging across the ceiling, Christmas tree decked out with lights, baubles, streamers, and much more. In the background, if it can be heard, carols are sung from voices emerging from the gramophone [CD players or MP3s today].

My memory as I’m writing this reminds me of such banquets which my maternal grandmother would host. With my siblings, parents, uncles and aunts, cousins and numerous friends it amazed me how we all crammed into her dining room around her table. Being of Mediterranean background [those like me will know this to be true] the noise of everyone speaking [or should I say shouting] all at once must have been deafening to anyone walking passed in the street.

I would have those days again though as most of all those happy people are no longer with us. Of mum’s generation, only mum remains [may she remain with us for many more long years]; and of my cousins – three out of five are still with us. And of course my two sisters are always here to check up on me from across the miles.

But I would turn the clock back even further for a moment and share with you three happy snaps from my Christmas back in 1953:

Xmas 1953 002  Xmas 1953 003  Xmas 1953 004

The nativity scene was all hand-made by dad and we [my elder sister and me] were so proud of it.

As I said in my heading: Christmas is a time for children – even though mine [Brad] is now fully grown up [although still a big kid at 31] you can be sure we will be having a jovial time, sharing gifts, good food, and a few drinks to celebrate.

Once upon a time I wrote a few children’s stories for Brad when he was little. In 2012 I e-published three of my favourites in a compendium and called it To Tell Three Tales on Smashwords.

To Tell Three Tales Book Cover

Today I am giving the book away to all kids. If you click on the following link it will take you to the correct page:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/244165

The offer is running until 31st December 2014 so please take advantage of this and tell your friends to grab a copy.

When you log on to Smashwords you will need to enter the coupon code: ME54Z to get the book for free.

Finally let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year.

RLB – Tomewriter

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Tory Allyn – Author of ALTER EGO

Tory Allyn - Author

Tory Allyn currently resides in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with his brother and two sisters, who drove him into becoming the crazy person he is today. As a child, he made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started him on the path to writing. Today, his nephew, lovingly referred to as The Monster Child, is his partner in crime. Most days, you will see them playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool or snowboarding on a popular mountainside.

Tory has written his first novel titled, ALTER EGO, has completed a second novel titled, ALTERED STATE, and is currently working on the third which will be titled, ALTER BOUND. All three are a series entitled, THE DAVENPORT DECREES.

Alter Ego - Tory Allyn

Copyright © 2014 Krys Fenner

ISBN: 978-0692287507

Published by Christine F Anderson Publishing & Media

After a partially covered body displaying unusual physical characteristics was found in the backwoods of Virginia, FBI agent Jack Stanwick is once again summoned. This was the third victim to be discovered in this condition, and with most of the brotherhood on another high-profile case, he needed some outside help. Jack knew just where to go. He hires three former police officers who work for the Davenport Detective Agency. During the initial investigation, the detectives focus their attention on the militia group, M.A.G.O.C. (Men Against Government Overtaking Control), only to find that several members and a high-ranking official in the White House are involved in a governmental conspiracy.

Digging further, the detectives come upon Prescott Chemicals, where an elixir that was discovered in the Amazon Rainforest by the Mayapo natives years before, is now being transformed into a formula with irreversible consequences. While investigating a lead, the detectives accidentally come into contact with the elixir and experience a change to their bodies and minds causing some amusing, yet permanent issues. With the assistance of a beautiful journalist and a bitter French physicist, the detectives come upon the location of the perpetrators and uncover a plot which culminates into the betrayal and a secret that affects one of detectives, changing his life.

Buy Links:

Amazon link to the print version:

http://www.amazon.com/Alter-Ego-Tory-Allyn/dp/0692287507/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413303530&sr=1-1&keywords=alter+ego+by+tory+allyn

Amazon link to the Kindle version:

http://www.amazon.com/Atler-Ego-Tory-Allyn-ebook/dp/B00NCBZ6YO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413303578&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=alter+ego+by+tory+allyn

Barnes & Noble link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Alter-Ego-by-Tory-Allyn?keyword=Alter+Ego+by+Tory+Allyn&store=book

As Louise Roberts already posted this story Advertorial on her blog, I told Tory Allyn that I would also added on Tomewriter… Hope it all helps to promote the book :o)

RLB – Tomewriter

 

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Convoy SL125 – 72nd Anniversary of its destruction and the successful landings of Operation Torch

On 22nd October 1942 over 350 ships sailed for the north-western African coast from Allied ports with what was the commencement of Operation Torch – The Allied invasion of North Africa. This operation was regarded to be a “dress rehearsal” for the eventual landings in France and therefore immensely important as it was the beginning of the turning point of the war.

The concern was for the ships to get through unmolested by the destructive forces of Germany’s Wolfpack U-boat fleet.

Thirty seven ships left the port of Freetown in Sierra Leone on 16th October 1942 making up convoy SL125 bound for Liverpool, England. Most were in ballast [not carrying any cargo] amongst them the Anglo-Maersk. As they approached the Canary Islands on 25th October 1942 the convoy was intercepted by eight U-boats of the Wolfpack Streitaxt consisting of U-134, U-203, U-409, U-509, U-510, U-572, U-604, and U-659.

The Anglo-Maersk was first attacked by U-509 and finished off by the U-604. From the night of the 25th through to 31st October twelve ships were sunk and a further seven damaged totalling 126,755 tons.

It is generally believed Allied sources deliberately leaked vital details of convoy SL125 to Axis forces in order to draw the U-boats away from the Straits of Gibraltar and the North African coast which was to be the designated landing site for Operation Torch.

It does seem too much of a coincidence that 350 ships of immense importance to the Allied war effort managed to sail unmolested in one of the most treacherous sea routes of the Atlantic, whilst 37 ships of no importance at all are practically annihilated by all U-boats that would normally patrol the straits of Gibraltar?

My own personal interest in this event stems back to the early 1990’s when I was approached by a friend to write a book about his uncle* who served as a communications officer aboard the Anglo-Maersk from 1940 -1941. Having started the research and eventual writing of the book SMITHY’S WAR I developed an immense interest of the entire conflict of World War II…

Of a total of 55,882 Allied merchant crewmen between 1939 and 1945, 25,864 died as a direct result of Axis naval and air forces.

Those who survived are barely remembered…

Leslie George Smith*, who was born in Sydney, Australia on 14th May 1908, was one such survivor. Serving as a communications officer aboard the 12,000 ton Danish oil tanker Anglo-Maersk, under British Flag from May 1940, his experiences reflecting the dangers of working on fairly unprotected merchant ships during wartime are quite moving, and are included in his own words within the pages of the book named SMITHY’S WAR.

SMITHY’S WAR traces what happened to the other merchant ships Leslie mentions in his text. It also includes the final hours of the Anglo-Maersk taken from the Logbook of the German U-boat U-604 which was responsible for the sinking of the tanker when it formed part of convoy SL.125.

The book looks at the chase and final destruction of the U-604 at the hands of the US Navy and US Navy aircraft.

SMITHY’S WAR has been structured chronologically and includes events that were happening around the world during the time Leslie was at sea and up until the end of that horrendous conflict known as World War II.

 Smithy's War Final

To commemorate the 72nd Anniversary of the demise of Convoy SL125 and the success of the Operation Torch landings I have decided to reduce the price of my book by 75% from now until the end of October 2014.

The promotional price is now only US$1.75

The link for the book is: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263329

You will need to type in the Coupon Code: FS49U before you complete the purchase

Happy Reading!!

RLB – Tomewriter

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London – Travel Log 26

Even though I grew up in London and although I have been familiar with most of the City’s sights, I have not really ever seen it through the eyes of a tourist.

When I was young my dad made sure to take us to all the famous landmarks such as Nelson’s Column to be dive-bombed by pigeons [see photo below], and to visit places like the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, Henley-on-Thames to watch the Regatta, and of course to have fun at the fairs on Hampstead Heath – just to name a few.

Trafalgar Square 1957 001

My uncle Marcel, Me, my elder sister – Lesley, Dad and pigeons!! – 1957

Of course it’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy seeing all these things as I’m sure I did: particularly places like Madame Tussaud’s, the Planetarium, all of the museums in South Kensington – especially the Natural History museum.

It wasn’t just my dad who took me to see places of interest, my various schools had field trips here and there – such as the Imperial War Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum; and in later years as one began to appreciate the arts I began to visit the various art galleries, theatres, and the Royal Albert Hall.

London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is steeped in history [my favourite subject] and no matter which way you turn there is always something of interest.

It will always be very dear to my heart.

I love its parks, especially Hampstead Heath and around Kenwood House, Highgate, and Golders Hill Park – they are places of happy memories. I love its waterways, not just the Thames; but also its canals – particularly around Camden Lock.

And more happy memories at its various markets, such as Chapel Street, Notting Hill, Petty Coat Lane, and of course Camden.

Enjoying a pizza or ice cream at Marine Ices at Chalk Farm [http://www.marineices.co.uk/ when I was in primary school the owner’s son was in my year and many a time was spent there, even as young adults we would continue to support the café with our custom. And as young adults my friends and I would frequent the various pubs whether they offered rock bands or not. Some of our favourite haunts would include in Hampstead – The Spaniards Inn, The Bull and Bush, The Flask in Highgate, the Rising Sun in Mill Hill – until we got barred for being too rowdy, and many more I can’t even remember…

…For the last twenty-six years I have been living in Sydney and though the times I have returned to Europe on holidays during that time it has always been to catch up with family and friends.

This year however I decided I would spend at least one day visiting the city as a tourist. Having told my younger sister, Terry, my plans [as I was to be staying with her and her husband, Rudy, during my visit] long before I departed Australia she arranged that part of my tour would include a visit to Buckingham Palace.

Early on the morning of Friday 26th September 2014 Terry and I walked to Totteridge tube station and joined peak hour commuters on a trip to Green Park. It was an experience I had forgotten – as I used to be one of those commuters some forty years ago when I used to commute to Southwark to my first job at Conoco UK. It wasn’t a bad experience, as the tube trains in the capital are fast-moving and plentiful – every 4 minutes or so [unlike Sydney]. When we alighted at Green Park our first stop was for a coffee and pastry at a Pret a Manger café. We then walked across the park until we reached Buckingham Palace.

DSC00269  DSC00270

We entered the State Rooms and began our extremely well-organized tour. Having only seen the palace from outside so many times, I never dreamed I would be able to visit its interior. And although one is limited to the State Rooms and the garden only, the experience was well worth it. http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/the-state-rooms-buckingham-palace Then of course, one had to visit the souvenir shop… Needlesstosay I did not walk out empty-handed [all I can say is Thank God for MasterCard].

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When we left the Palace we walked to Victoria underground station for the next stop on our tour – Tower Hill. For in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War One there is one of the most spectacular exhibitions ever seen around the entire moat of the Tower of London. Some 900,000 ceramic poppies are being installed – each representing a fallen soldier from that conflict. Each poppy was lovingly created and is being installed by an army of volunteers. It truly is a sight one will never forget. http://poppies.hrp.org.uk/

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One of the things I have never done is walk across Tower Bridge. I have driven over it many times but never on foot; so as this was a day of doing things I hadn’t done before over the bridge we went. Half way across I stopped to take a snap of London’s tallest building – The Shard; below it the Thames and HMS Belfast added to its splendour.

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http://www.the-shard.com/

Although overcast it didn’t rain – save for a light drizzle which didn’t dampen our resolve to carry on with our sightseeing. Our destination was to be St. Paul’s Cathedral as this was yet another landmark I had only ever seen from outside. Once across the bridge to the southern shore of the river we leisurely walked along the embankment taking in the sights. The view of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London were fabulous.

DSC00289  Tower of London

From here we walked past the Hay’s Galleria where at its centre is a structure which looks as though it could have been created by Jules Verne:

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=hays+galleria&biw=1292&bih=661&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=lUZDVJehF4XbmAXOtICwCQ&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQsAQ

Then through a few back streets to emerge at Southwark Cathedral and across the road a beautiful replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind and around the corner the Globe Theatre came into view.

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By about now my legs were beginning to kill me and I couldn’t wait to reach our goal, but we still had to cross the Millennium Bridge. Half way across it I stopped. Apart from trying to catch my breath it was nice to view the river downstream to see the sights we had passed on our way thus far and photograph it. Nearby an artist was quietly creating some astounding little masterpieces of artwork depicting iconic London land marks. I was unable to resist a gorgeous painting of Big Ben [see below]. Having parted with £10 I was more than pleased with my purchase. So I then took a snap of the painter with the Tate Modern Art Gallery in the distance – it seemed apt. The building once housed the former Bankside Power Station.

DSC00304  DSC00306  London - painting acquired 260914 001

It was time to move on as we were due to meet my brother-in-law, Rudy and my sister’s friend, Anita for lunch at St. Paul’s Cathedral. After an overcast morning it was amazing to turn around and see the Cathedral bathed in sunshine – it was as though some divine authority was making a point of highlighting this wondrous religious institution.

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When I was told by Terry we were meeting them for lunch at a shopping mall my heart sank. It had been a glorious day so far, but the prospect of eating at a food hall surrounded by hundreds of people and perhaps noisy kids did not appeal. It was not to be. When we entered the One New Change shopping mall Anita directed us to a lift taking us to the roof and the Madison Restaurant café & bar. The views were breath-taking and the food was second-to-none. http://www.onenewchange.com/shops/madison-restaurant

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We dined in comfort and amusing conversation until it was time to get started again. Of course we had to view some of the wares the shops and stalls the centre had on offer. Rudy found some delightful custard tarts and though he purchased four – one for each of us – we were too full from our meal so we declined, much to his delight as he tucked into the rest with gusto.

As we emerged back into daylight we headed for the Cathedral and Anita, who is a Blue Badge Tourist Guide [Blue Badge Tourist Guides are the official, professional tourist guides of the United Kingdom. They are recognized by tourist authorities throughout the United Kingdom and by Visit Britain as Britain’s official tourist guides] directed me to the best position to take a photo of St. Paul’s Cathedral. You can’t get better than this…

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Once inside the building there was no need of the electronic tour guide as Anita pointed out all the best features with passion and first class knowledge. As much as I would have liked to have visited the Whispering Gallery my legs and stamina [lack of] voted against the climb. Instead, whilst Anita and Rudy took to the 500+ steps, Terry and I descended to the crypt where the café was located and waited for our intrepid adventurers, whilst sharing a pot of tea and some delightful pastries.

http://www.stpauls.co.uk/

RLB – Tomewriter

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