All posts by V.M.Sang

I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.

First book in series, FREE

Get a free copy of the first book in 3 of my series.

Vengeance of a Slave

A story set in Roman Britain

The Wolf Pack

An epic fantasy tale

The Stones of Earth and Air

A fantasy story of mystery, adventure and danger

If you get the books, or any of them, I would greatly appreciate a comment on Amazon and/or Goodreads, or anywhere else for that matter, depending on which platform you get the book.

Reviews are most important to authors. They are the main way we get our books known. Just a simple comment on whether you liked the book or not, with a reason is enough.

Stopping Book Piracy

An important post on Story Empire that should be read by both readers and writers.

How many readers really know how long it takes to get a book published?

Readers, please read this. You write the first draft. That might take anything form a few months to years. It’s not perfect. There are many things wrong with it. There are the obvious things, like typos, of course, but lots of other things can be wrong.

Timing, for one. You might find you have your protagonist take a week to get from one point to another, but someone else only take a couple of days using the same transport.

You might find your protagonist is blond in Chapter 1, only to turn up a redhead in Chapter 20 (and she’s not been to a hairdresser!)

People’s names. Check the spelling is consistent all through. I’ve occasionally changed the name of a character (or place) during the writing. A check needs to be done to ensure all the references have the new name.

Word usage. Have you used every word with the correct meaning. (I read a book where someone ‘etched towards a rabbit’ (I assumed the author meant ‘edged’).

Do you really need that scene? Does it add anything to the story? Do you need to delete it?

These are just a few of the things that need to be checked. I could go on, but it’s get boring.

So you see, there are a number of rewrites for every book. This can take months, too, before it’s ready for publishing.

Perhaps the book then goes to critique groups or beta readers and work needs to be done on their comments. (Maybe something isn’t clear to the readers that you think is perfectly obvious because you know the story so well.)

Cover design, formatting, professional editing etc needs to be done.

All in all, there is a lot of work goes into publishing a book, and the author deserves to be paid for it. (and the musician and artist, in the case of those subjects, too.)

Read the post on Story Empire

Pirates! They are fine for stories told within the pages of the books we read. But book piracy is another story altogether. Illegal book consumption accounts for 17% of all downloaded ebooks. This is stealing. Those who download and read books for free are just as guilty of theft as those who offer the books on hundreds of illegal sites scattered across the internet.

If you’ve ever Googled the titles of your own books or your author’s name, you’ve probably found your work being offered for free on one or more of these sites.

But now that you’ve made this discovery, what can you do about it? It’s your work. You own the copywrite.

Poetry Day: Avaritia

An amazing poem by Charles Yallowitz.

Legends of Windemere

Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist

(Another personification of an emotion poem.  I remember being excited about finding the Latin word for ‘Greed’.)

Humanity has evolved to suit my needs.
I am primeval.

*

Cities have been built to my glory.
I am monumental.

*

People have been crushed by my influence.
I am addictive.

*

Those that deny me are forced to toil in vain.
I am valuable.

*

Society will always keep me alive.
I AM GREED.

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My Interview on Vancouver Co-Op Radio’s the World Poetry Reading Series

One of my favourite modern poets is doing an interview and reading some of his poems. Don’t miss it.

K Morris - Poet

On Tuesday 10 May, I was interviewed by Ariadne Sawyer of Vancouver Co-op Radio’s The World Poetry Reading series over Zoom. During the interview I talked about and read my poetry.

The show is due to be broadcast at 9 pm (UK time) today (Thursday 12 May). For details of Vancouver Co-op Radio’s The World Poetry Reading Series please follow this link https://coopradio.org/shows/world-poetry-cafe/.

A link to the podcast will be available at a future date. Once available I will post it here.

My thanks to Ariadne of The World Poetry Reading Series for featuring me on her show.

Kevin

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Review of The Look of Love by Bella Andre

OVERVIEW:

I’m not a reader of romance as a general rule, and I don’t read erotic romance. Reading this book has made me realise why.

BLURB

After Chloe Peterson’s car skids off the road in the Napa Valley wine country, she’s ready to throw in the towel on a horrendous day. But when a gorgeous guy rescues her, though she’s immediately drawn to him, she knows better than to let her walls down with any man ever again.

Chase Sullivan is a successful photographer whose charm and charisma—along with his large and close-knit family—make him San Francisco’s most eligible bachelor. Intent on helping Chloe through this rough patch in her life, Chase soon realizes that she is not only lovely, inside and out, she’s also intelligent, talented, and extremely brave. He has never felt like this about anyone before, never knew love could be so powerful, or so true…until she came into his life.

Though Chloe tries to resist Chase, with every loving look he gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—the attraction between them sparks and sizzles. But after everything she’s been through, can Chase convince Chloe that he will always be there for her…and that their love will last forever?

STORY

The story is weak and just an excuse for erotic scenes. I had trouble finishing it.

A troubled young woman meets a handsome man and tries to deny the obvious attraction between them. She is not ready for a new romance after her disastrous marriage. I don’t think that Ms Andre made enough of this. Chloe gave in far too quickly. Only a few days after her last traumatic encounter with her ex-husband she is in bed with a new man. Not very believable.

The story is told from the point of view of each of the main characters in in turn.

CHARACTERS

Chloe has problems. This makes her vulnerable. I did think that she got over them in rather quick time, though. Only a few days after meeting Chase she is admitting her attraction to him, sleeping with him, and falling in love. It all seemed a little too quick for someone so deeply wounded as Chloe is from her previous love encounter. (Or rather, not love from her spouse.)

Chase, is rather a cardboard cut out. He’s perfect. Good looking, clever, rich, talented. He is infinitely patient with Chloe, always putting her first, especially in sex, because he knows she’s been deeply hurt. In spite of wanting to have sex with her desperately, he manages to hold back.

Like I said. Too perfect.

WRITING

Sadly, I found the writing annoying. Ms Andre overuses the word ‘just’, as one example. She peppers it throughout the book, even more than once in one sentence on occasion. She also uses many other words that are not needed, and slow the action. (What action?)

Also, vague words, like ‘seemed’. Well is it or isn’t it?

She kept on telling us that Chloe was lovely, and that Chase had a beautiful body. We aren’t stupid, Ms Andre. We can remember that. We don’t need to keep being reminded.

I give this book 2*

Have you read this, or any other Bella Andre books? She’s apparently a Best Seller.

If you have, let us know what you thought of her books in the comments box.

1 year this month since the world lost one of its bright souls

Sue Vincent was a bright light in the world. Sadly it is now just over a year since that light went out.

I wrote a poem as a tribute to Sue, and I think I should repost it now in her memory.

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Sue. Although this had been expected, it is nonetheless a most sorrowful day.

I did not know Sue personally, but her writing and her philosophy of life struck a chord in me, and in many others. The Blogosphere is a darker place now her light has gone.

I wrote this poem as a tribute to her. I was a bit reluctant to post it, knowing how wonderful Sue’s writing was, but then I thought, “It’s the least I can do for her.”

So here it is.

Sue Vincent

14th September 1958 – 29th March 2021

R.I.P

A TRIBUTE TO SUE VINCENT

Her light has gone;
Gone from the world.
So brightly it shone
Now darkness unfurls.

The stars in the heavens
Are happy tonight,
For she dances for aeons
In their beautiful light.

She was sent to us all
To teach us to see
The wonders abounding
On Earth, Air and Sea.

Her wonderful writing
Prose and Poetry
Made us look around
At the flower and tree.

Of the hidden world, too,
She gave us to see
Of what lies in secret
In church, hill and lea.

But she has not left us.
There are books we can read.
We can still learn much from her
If her wisdom we heed.

Perhaps in the future
One day she’ll return
And carry on teaching
Those who will learn.

There’s nothing more I can say.

Nectar Cakes

Image by Gasfull from Pixabay

When my son was small, about 6 or 7 years old, he enjoyed eating honey. One day, he suggested making cakes using it and so we came up with the following recipe, which we called Nectar Cakes.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry (Home made or bought.)

125g margarine

125g runny honey

125g flour

2 eggs

Method

Roll out the pastry and cut rounds. Place one pastry round in each hole of a bun tin.

Put all the other ingredients into a food processor and blend on high power until creamy.

Put spoonfuls of the mixture into the pastry cases and bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes.

When I was writing my Wolves of Vimar books, Carthinal decided he would enjoy these cakes, and so I had Lillora, Mabryl’s housekeeper, make them. (Mabryl is Carthinal’s teacher of magic.) Carthinal was not above creeping into the kitchen and stealing a few when Lillora wasn’t looking.

(See The Making of a Mage. A Wolves of Vimar prequel.)

In the book that I’m currently editing (Immortal’s Death. Book 4 of The Wolves of Vimar series) Randa, one of the companions who call themselves Wolf, is also partial to these cakes.

I must admit that I don’t blame either one of them. They are yummy, if a bit heavy in the honey.

If you would like to find more recipes from my friends and family, check out Viv’s Family Recipes.

There are a few ancient recipes there as well as modern ones. These give us an insight into how people lived in the early 20th Century. Also the book contains snippets of information about the various recipes and the people who gave them to me.

At the end, there are a few Hints and Tips from the early 20th Century, too. (There were more in the original book I took these from, but many were possible dangerous, so I didn’t include them!) As well as some ancient remedies for coughs and sore throats.

You can get the book in a number of formats from your favourite seller. Just click on the book title in this post.

If you want to find out about the friends who call themselves Wolf, especially Carthinal, you can get the books by clicking on the cover in the sidebar, or the book title above.

They are also in a number of formats and from numerous sellers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo etc.

If you make these cakes, I would be delighted to hear what you think about them, and possibly see a picture of how they turned out. Leave your comments in the comments box.

30March ’22: World Bipolar Day

Gabriele Romano has posted for World Bi-polar Day. I know I’m a day late, but as I have a nephew who is a sufferer, I think it’s important enough to post it, even late.

Bipolar disorder affects every aspect of life

Bipolar disorder affects every aspect of life

Bipolar disorder rarely exists alone:

Everyone’s bipolar disorder is different:

There are many celebrities that live with bipolar disorder:

There may be a creativity connection:

It is life-threatening, and support is vital: