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.

the Writing of The Wolf Pack, and a free offer

In the mid 80s, when I was teaching in secondary school I ran a Dungeons and Dragons club. We played a number of ready produced scenarios, but then I thought I could do this and write one of my own.

The game went well, and the players all enjoyed it. I played it with several groups in two different schools.

I had read (and played) the Dragonlance Saga by Weis and Hickman, which had grown from a D and D game, so I thought, “Why Not?”

After I took early retirement, I thought I could turn it into a book as well and I began writing. Surprisingly, the first book only took the heroes a small part of the journey. It took them to the finding of the Sword of Sauvern, needed in the quest to kill the antagonist.

I wrote this book without any planning, although I suppose you could have thought of the scenario I had written as my ‘plan’. I did know where it was going.

As to the characters, they came unbidden. One, who was only an npc in the scenario took on a part in the adventure as a whole. Another gave me a big surprise at one part in the first book, and another toward the end.

Thus was born ‘The Wolf Pack’, Book 1 of The Wolves of Vimar Series. It gets its title from the group deciding to give themselves a name and calling themselves Wolf.

I have written the next two books in the series, and am part-way through the fourth. I still write without a written plan, although I know where the stories are going in my head.

From today, September 23rd to September 27th, you can get the ebook version of The Wolf Pack absolutely FREE from Amazon.

Just click on the title in the sidebar, or on the links in this post.

The Wolf Pack can also be bought as a paperback.

Blurb for The Wolf Pack.

All Carthinal wants is admission to the ranks of the mages. Traveling from Bluehaven to Hambara, where his rite of passage is to take place, he doesn’t expect to end up on a quest to find the long-lost sword of the legendary King Sauvern.

With strangers he meets on his journey, Carthinal sets out on the seemingly impossible quest. Followed by Randa, the snooty aristocratic daughter of the Duke of Hambara, and the young runaway thief Thad, Carthinal and his companions face tragedy and danger.

Watched by the gods and an implacable foe, they will have to accept help from the least likely sources and face their innermost fears. As the fate of their world hangs in the balance, they realize that this is more than an adventure. This quest will change them all.

The ebook versions of Books 2 and 3 can be got from these links. They are also available in paperback format.

The Never-Dying Man

Wolf Moon

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3 haiku about fog

Image by Götz Friedrich from Pixabay

FOG

They called it Pea Soup
Thick and yellow, blinding all.
Traffic has stopped.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

MIST

The mist curls all around
Swirling like smoke in the air.
All colour has flown.

Image by Benjamin Balazs from Pixabay

Autumn brings the mist.
Dampness fills the morning air.
Dewdrops on cobwebs.

The Problems with Publishing

An interesting post from Nicholas Rossi about the current state of traditional publishing.

Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch recently shared a must-read post about today’s state of publishing, aptly titled Trainwreck, Fall Edition.

As she explains, she tried in June to order a copy of a book she liked for her sister. However, she wouldn’t get the book until September. Understandably, her reaction was: How odd. The book had released in February, so she should have been able to get her hands on a copy quickly. But she couldn’t.

Then she remembered that the same thing had happened with a couple of other books she had ordered for her sister back in May. They were backlist for an author her sister hadn’t tried and it took six weeks for her to get the books, with the shipment getting delayed more than once.

Putting two and two together, Kristine realized the ugly truth: traditional publishing is headed for a trainwreck.

The trainwreck

Trainwreck | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

Read more of this post.

The Pennine Way

I have recently got back from a holiday in Scotland. On the way, we stayed in the Peak District National Park as it’s too far to go to Scotland in one go.

We decided we’d walk some of the Pennine Way while we were there, This is Britain’s oldest long-distance trail, being 268 miles across some of England’s best scenery.

In 1932, ramblers did a mass trespass on Kinder Scout, one of the peaks in the Peak District. It was done to bring to notice the fact that walkers in England and Wales were denied access to many areas of open countryside. This led to the ultimate opening of large areas and the idea of the Pennine Way was born.

If you look online, it will tell you that the Pennine Way was opened in 1965. This is not true. Only the final stage to Kirk Yeltholm was opened then. The trail known as The Pennine Way was in existence long before that. The idea was proposed in 1935 by a man called Stephenson who had been inspired by long-distance trails in the US–especially the Appalachian Trail. I cannot find when the first part was begun, though, but I do know it was before 1965 because I have walked on it before that date! And it wasn’t considered new then.

It begins in the village of Edale, in Derbyshire and culminates 268 miles later in Kirk Yeltholm, just inside the Scottish border. It passes through some of England’s most beautiful scenery including, as well as the Peak District, The Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park.

The route follows the Pennines, known as the Backbone of England. This is a range of mountains and hills that runs down the centre of Northern England.

The popularity of the trail has been a problem. Even in the 1960s the path was becoming worn away, and so some parts are now paved.

If you enjoyed these pictures and a bit of history, please leave a comment in the comments box. I enjoy reading what you think of my posts.

I have recently heard that Vengeance of a Slave is now available in hardcover. You can find it here.

And Viv’s Family Recipes is available in paperback. You can find it here.

The Stones of Fire and Water is FREE for 5 days

If you have read the first part, The Stones of Earth and Air, here’s your chance to finish the story absolutely FREE. From tomorrow, the ebook version of The Stones of Fire and Water is FREE on Amazon.

Pettic has found the first two gems he needs to get into the ‘dimension bubble’ where his friend, Torren, the Crown Prince of Ponderia, is being held. Now he needs to find the gems associated with Fire and Water.

As before, he needs to help the inhabitants of the planes before the gems become apparent. But what kind of lands will he find? Will the world of Fire be just that—composed of fire? And what kind of people could live in such a place? What about the plane of water? If it’s just water, he’ll drown and Torren will be lost.

To get your copy, click here or on the book cover in the sidebar to take you to Amazon where you are.

It is also available in:

paperback

large print

pocket book

audio UK

audio US




If you’ve not read The Stones of Earth and Air, you can get a copy from Amazon by following these links.

ebook

paperback

Large Print

Pocket Book

Audio UK

Audio US

Torren, The Crown Prince of Ponderia is behaving strangely.

With the help of the prince’s sister, and the court magician, Pettic, Torren’s best friend, finds out that the prince has been kidnapped and a doppleganger put in his place. To free the prince, Torren must enter 4 elemental planes of existence and find a gem associated with that element.

These worlds are more strange and dangerous than he could imagine. And how can he set about finding an individual gem in a whole world?

100+ Statistics And Facts of The Internet

Some fascinating facts about internet use courtesy of Nicholas Rossi.

The team at Hostingclues has created an exhaustive snapshot of the state of the Internet today. It contains over a hundred facts and statistics to create an impressive Infographic. For anyone using the Internet, it makes for fascinating reading!

Key numbers

Some key data include:

  • Out of the 7.77 billion people in the world, around 4.54 billion have an active internet connection. This means around 58.4% of the world population has access to the internet.
  • The US has 293 million internet users.
  • In the US, almost all age demographics have internet access. However, the younger generation spends more time online.
  • 4.18 billion users access the internet from the mobile.

CONTINUE READING HERE

review of It Lives in the Basement by Sahara Foley

It Lives In The Basement: A Creature Feature Horror Story by [Sahara Foley]

Overview.

I found this book to be unputdownable (Is that a word?) I finished it in two sessions.

Blurb

A missing couples report and a mutilated body.
Two years apart, same house.
Coincidence or something more sinister?

When Lt. Flynn lands a missing couples case, he finds no evidence of anything amiss. There are no signs of a struggle or foul play. The only clue lies in a dog-eared notebook, but is it true?

Two years later, a mutilated body is found in the same residence. Lt. Carter is assigned the case, and now, he’s faced with a life-altering decision. Can he afford to ignore the evidence that Sgt Alvarez reveals to him – the same evidence that led to his partner’s disappearance?

How many people will die before Carter brings the truth to light? Who will believe in the existence of a genetically manipulated monster?

Story

The story grips you from the beginning. How can a couple and their three cats disappear from a house locked from the inside? Where did the policeman investigating the case go to?

Ms Foley takes us on a roller-coaster ride. There is plenty of action, and we hardly have time to breath before the next action starts. An exciting story that I think would make an excellent film.

Characters

This is more of an action story than one of charavcter, although we get a clear picture of the character of John Carter and his brother-in-law, Mark, as well as Seargeant Pete Alvarez. But character development is not what this book is about.

Writing

Sadly, Ms Foley is not clear on the difference between ‘lie’ and ‘lay’. In most cases, she uses it wrongly.

Having said that, the rest of the writing is good, keeping us on the edge of our seats. Except for a few typos that have escaped the editing net, there is little to comlain about.

Her descriptions of the creature gives us a picture of this beast and its amazing strength. We feel the fear of Carter, Mark and Alvarez when confronted with it.

Conclusion

An excellent read. I give it 4 stars ****. I dropped one star, mainly because of the grammatical errors and typos.

Do you enjoy horror stories? Let me know in the comments box.

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Trigger

I am sad to hear that Kevin Morris, who has appeared on my blog, has lost his guide dog.

I have lost my dear old friend Trigger. My guide dog who brought so much joy into my life (and that of others), and who served me faithfully as my guide from 4 July 2011.

Trigger became very unwell on the evening of Saturday 29 July. My mum, sister and I rushed him to the vets. Although Trigger received excellent treatment his condition deteriated. There was no chance of recovery and to avoid unnecessary suffering I took the heart breaking decision to have my dear old friend euthanised yesterday (Tuesday 1 September).

If you wish to read more click on this link

Did you go to Book review school?

This post is most helpful for writers who are having trouble getting readers to review their books. (Like me!)

Cynthia Reyes has some excellent suggestions to encourage readers.

Did You Go to Book-Review School?

No?

I didn’t either.

Nor did being a journalist equip me to write book reviews.

So while I buy and read other authors’ books, until I published my own first book, I didn’t take the next step and review them.  I feared I wouldn’t sound wise enough, that my analysis would be inept. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been timid to ask readers to review my own books.

And therein lies the issue. Authors need reviews. But if we ourselves are too timid to review books and too timid to ask it of others, we have a problem.

Continue reading here.