Tag Archives: writing

Review of Terry Ravenscroft’s Stairway to Heaven, Book 4, Still Hanging On.

 

 

BLURB

Yet another volume in the Stairlift to Heaven series. Terry Ravenscroft is still at it, accompanied by his faithful friend Atkins (although Atkins shows distinct signs of being unfaithful on at least one occasion). Similarly aged readers, and those approaching old age, will do well to heed the advice offered in these epistles. They will learn, amongst other things, how to deal with Men from the Orient who constantly plague you on the telephone, people who ring you up tell you there’s something that needs fixing on your computer if you don’t want your bank account to be emptied, General Election canvassers who arrive on your doorstep uninvited and unwanted, how to ensure that tarmac layers carry out their jobs in the manner promised and at the agreed price, and how definitely not to behave at a football match if you are seated amongst the opposition’s supporters. And lots, lots more. And, whilst doing all this, have a bit of FUN.

MY REVIEW.

I have recently finished reading Book 4 of Terry Ravenscroft’s Stairway to Heaven books. He has been writing these autobiographical books about his life and escapades for a while now, and they are very funny.

Terry Ravenscroft was, until he retired, a scriptwriter for many well known TV comedians and sit-coms, including such names as Les Dawson, the Two Ronnies, Morcambe and Wise and Ken Dodd as well as Alas Smith and Jones, Not the 9o’Clock News, The News Hudlines and many others.

This book does begin on a sad note when Terry tells of the sad death of his wife, The Trouble, from the earlier books. It is very clear he misses her immensely, and at first, he said he did not think he would write this book. I’m very glad he did,

Terry relates his escapades with his friend, Atkins, as well as tells of some letters he wrote to various pompous organisations. From trying to get Atkin’s neighbour, who has designs on him, to desist from her advances, to an incident with a letter Atkins wrote to David Beckham and Terry replied in Beckham’s place, we are kept laughing throughout the book.

I do not want to spoil it for anyone wanting to read it by saying too much of the events and escapades this book covers. Just let me say it is very funny and well worth a read.

This book is titled, ‘Still Hanging On.’ Keep on hanging on, Terry, long enough to write the next episode

I give it *****

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Horselords Part 6

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First of all, may I apologise for not posting this part last month, but I promised to do the cover reveal for D.H. Nevins. thank you for your patience. I hope you enjoy this part.

Kimi rode her own piebald horse as they trotted out of the camp, waved off by Andrid. Kimi felt happy and began to hum a tune. She was going home at last, and her longing to see her family made her excited.

But it was a long way. The Swooping Hawks held a large territory, and it would take nearly a sixday to get back to Kimi’s father’s farm.

Each evening, Davrael came to talk with Kimi in her tent. Mimola sat at the back sewing so the two young people could talk without her presence disturbing them. At first, Kimi asked her to join them, but she declined saying she had sewing to do. She was embroidering a tunic for Andrid. It was a surprise for him and this was an ideal opportunity for her to be able to get on with it without him knowing.

During the journey, the pair got to know each other better. Kimi liked what she saw of the young warrior.

One evening, Davrael said, ‘You remind me of a little mouse, Kimi.’

Kimi frowned. ‘A mouse?’ she said.

‘Yes, a mouse. Not because you’re timid. You are definitely not that, but you are small and brown, and very sweet. Your hair is brown and your eyes are brown, and you are very tiny.’

Kimi was not sure quite how to take this comparison, but she decided to accept it as a compliment. She smiled at the man opposite her. He looked into her eyes with his paler brown ones and she felt as though an electric shock passed through her. He seemed to jerk back slightly himself, as if he, too. had felt something. She saw a slight frown pass across his face, then he was back to normal.

Each evening passed in a similar way until they reached the edge of the lands claimed by Kimi’s family. Then, Davrael gave orders for his men to stay where they were with the horses and he and Kimi rode on towards the homestead.

The sun had just begun to set when they arrived at the farm. They reined in their horses just as Kimi’s mother came out of the house. She carried a bucket towards the well when she noticed them.

Giving a scream of delight and surprise, she dropped the bucket and ran towards the pair. Kimi slid off her horse and ran towards her mother, falling into her arms.

‘Kimi, you’re back, you’re back,’ said her mother, over and over again.

Her father came out of the barn at that moment and saw Kimi. He dropped the bucket he carried and ran to where the girl and her mother stood, still hugging each other.

‘Kimi,’ he said, tearing her away from his wife and hugging her to him. ‘We thought you lost, perhaps even dead, and here you are returned to us. Praise to Kassilla.’

Kimi extricated herself from her father and turned towards where Davrael sat on his horse a little way away. She beckoned him to come forward and he dismounted and led his horse to where the family stood. Before Kimi could say a word, her father’s face darkened.

‘I suppose you’ve come for a reward. Taking our little girl and then bringing her back. Not to mention the horses. Where are they? I expect you’ve kept them.’

Kimi’s face fell. She turned to her father. ‘It wasn’t like that, father. Davrael did not capture me.’

‘Hmm. Then how come you’re with him now?’

‘Father, he rescued me. I was captured by the Prowling Lynx. Davrael’s from the Swooping Hawks. The Lynx were the ones who stole our horses, and me. They wanted fresh blood in the tribe and were going to make me marry the son of their chief. He was horrible. He’s a cruel young man.’

‘They’re all the same, the Tribes. Thieves all. If it hadn’t been the Lynx it would have been the Hawks no doubt.’

Kimi’s eyes filled with tears. ‘Father, the Swooping Hawks are honest and they’ve punished the Lynx, including their chief. They would never have done the things the Lynx did.’

‘Perhaps they didn’t steal the horses, but where are they now? Tell me that.’

Davrael held up his hand and whistled. From out of a stand of trees, three warriors drove the missing horses. Kimi rushed to the gate of the paddock and opened it as the men drove the animals in.

‘But you want a reward, don’t you? Your kind never do anything for nothing. What do you want?’

‘I’m just happy that Kimi is back with her family. and safe. I want nothing more.’

‘Well go, then. You’ve brought our daughter back. There’s nothing more for you here. I won’t pander to the greed of the Tribes. It’d only encourage more theft and kidnapping.’

Davrael leaped onto his horse’s back and, calling to his men, he galloped ioff into the distance.

Kimi rounded on her father, tears in her eyes.

‘How could you, Father? Davrael was so kind to me. You were rude and now he’s gone.’ She burst into tears without quite knowing why.

‘Come in, dear,’ her mother said. ‘You must have something to eat and a nice hot drink,’ and she led her daughter towards the house. Kimi turned to look at her father.

‘I didn’t think you could be so hard, father,’ she said. ‘Davrael is a nice, decent human being,’

‘Of course he is. He wants you to think that, then you’ll be able to get round me to provide a reward. Or so he thinks.’

He turned and went back to his work.

Kimi was glad to be home with her family, of course she was, but she did miss Davrael. This surprised her as they’d not known one another very long. then one day, about a sixday later, as she rode along past some trees, a rider came out, She screamed, but then recognised Davrael.

Riding up to him, with a huge smile on her face, she said, ‘Davrael, what are you doing here?’

‘I came to see you. I needed to see you. Kimi, I missed you.’

‘And I you, Davrael. I’m sorry my father was so horrid.’

‘Kimi, in the time we’ve been apart, I realised I wanted to see you more and more. My tribe had moved near to the border of your land, following the horses and so, if you wish, we can meet a few times each sixday.’

He looked so anxious that Kimi almost laughed, but she smiled and said. ‘Of course I want to see you, Davrael.’

During the next few months, the couple met as often as they could until one day, Davrael said he wanted to marry Kimi. He had told his father, but he had forbidden marriage with one of the Settlers. The Tribes view of the Settlers was not much better than that of the Settlers for the Tribes. Davrael’s father had also arranged for a young woman to visit to see if Davrael liked her, so they could marry. It would be a disgrace and a dishonour if Davrael were to reject her out of hand. The young man told Kimi he would be prepared to give up his place in the Tribe and settle down in one place, if that was what was needed.

Later, Kimi spoke to her mother and told her of Davrael’s promise.

‘Your father will never agree, even if Davrael does settle down, although I can’t see him doing so, The Tribes are wanderers.

‘Mother, once our ancestors were wanderers, too, and they settled. I’m sure Davrael can do it.’

Of course, her mother was right. Her father adamantly put down his foot. No daughter of his would marry a Tribesman. He would find her a nice, steady young man to marry, and give them six of his best horses for a wedding present as well as some land.

The pair met in secret then, hoping against hope something would change.

Will Davrael and Kimi manage to change their parents’ minds to allow them to marry? Read next month’s instalment to find out.

Please leave any comments on this episode in the comments box below.

If you want to know more about Davrael and Kimi, read The Wolf Pack.

http://mybook.to/TheWolfPack

Punctuationg Dialogue

Today I’m going to talk about punctuating dialogue.
First of all, let me begin by defining some terms. I find writers, like many other professions, use their jargon so often they forget that new people may not know them. So here goes.
1. Tags. These are the words used to indicate who is speaking. They are things like ‘he said’, ‘Judith whispered’ and the like.
2. Beats, These are words telling you what someone is doing. e.g. Fred paced to the window. ‘Are you sure she said that?’ he asked.
Here, ‘Fred paced to the window’ is a beat.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, lets continue with our punctuation.

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I admit that when I started writing, I was unsure about this. I did not know what punctuation to put after the speech and after the tag. I learned by reading books and other writers’ blogs. Not a bad way to learn. In fact, a very good way to learn.
The first thing I should note is that US English and British English use quotation marks the opposite way round from each other. As I am British, I use British English, and the dialogue in my books is the British Standard.
In British English, we use single quotation marks for direct speech and double quotation marks for speech quoted within that speech. (Not very good English there. I apologise.)
Mary said, ‘Jaqui, go and see who rang the doorbell.’
and,
Jaqui said, ‘It’s John. He said, “I’ve come to return the book you lent me.” Do you want to see him?’
In American English it’s the other way round. The above would look like this:
Mary said, “Jaqui, go and see who rang the doorbell.”
and
Jaqui said, “It’s John. He said, ‘I’ve come to return the book you lent me.’ Do you want to see him?”
The quotes, either British or US go round direct speech only. If it is indirect, then there are no quotes.
This would be wrong.
‘John said that he came ‘to return the book you lent him’.
Whenever we write ‘he said’. ‘she whispered’, etc, we always separate it from the quote using commas. See the above examples.
Now should the punctuation be inside or outside the quotation marks? That depends on whether it is part of the quotation or not, Here are some examples.
‘How can he return a book’, said Mary, ‘when I never lent him one?’
‘Said Mary’ interrupts the sentence she is saying, which is, ‘How can he return a book when I never lent him one?’ The comma goes outside the quotation marks.
But if the quotation mark is part of what is being said, then it goes inside.
John said, ‘Did you not lend me this book then?’
The question mark is part of John’s speech so it goes inside the quotation marks. If it was a full stop (period if you are in the USA) then, as it ends John’s speech, it would go inside as well.

John said, ‘I’m sure I borrowed it from you.’

The punctuation goes outside the quotation marks if it is not part of the quoted material.

Now, if you have a beat, then that is completely separate.
Susan walked to the window and looked out. ‘Tell John to come in and bring the book up.’
There is a full stop (period) after the beat and not a comma because it is a separate action. I would say that we only put a comma after or before a tag, not a beat.
That’s enough for now, Hope I’ve not confused you.
Please feel free to make a comment of any kind.

Day 5 of D.H,Nevin’s Cover Reveal

Welcome to day 5 of the Cover Reveal event! This is for D.H. Nevins’ upcoming release: Angel of Shadow, which is book 2 of the fabulous Wormwood series. The first book was dark and brimming with tormented love, and was known for completely sucking readers into the story, only to spit them out again at 3 am. I can’t wait to see what book 2 has in store for us! Angel of Shadow is scheduled for release on January 13, 2018. I can’t wait!!!!
The cover fragment:
Friday

Fun Fact:
Angel of Shadow’s cover artist, Carlos Quevedo, is from Colombia. D.H. Nevins, the author, is from Ontario, Canada.
Did you know there are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT facts about the cover, the series, D.H. or her writing process at these blogs listed below? Each day, ONE of these fun facts also contains a chance to instantly win an Angel of Shadow eARC! But which one? Let’s support our fellow book bloggers and pop in to say hello!
*Electively Paige: http://electivelypaige.com/
Book Hooked Nook: https://bookhookednook.wordpress.com/
The Perfect Honeybee: https://theperfecthoneybee.wordpress.com/
*Dragons Rule OK: https://aspholessaria.wordpress.com/
Bookworm Brandee: https://bookwormbrandee.blogspot.com/
FUONLYKNEW: http://fuonlyknew.com/
And don’t forget about the giveaway!!! D.H. Nevins will be giving away 2 prizes of a physical copy of Wormwood combined with an Angel of Shadow eARC (Advance Reader Copy), as well as 10 prizes of an Angel of Shadow eARC. Enter the giveaway here! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/55157da22/
Remember, Wormwood (book one in the series) is available for free right now. Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2hOcWbq
Angel of Shadow can now be pre-ordered at http://amzn.to/2Axgvyi . Price will go up after release.

Thanks for stopping by. Full reveal will be TOMORROW!!!! Are you as excited for tomorrow as I am? I absolutely can’t wait to show you the full cover. You’ll have to tell me if you agree it’s as awesome as we’re saying it is… and I’m sure you will! See you soon!

Day 4 of D.H, Nevin’s Cover Reveal

Welcome to day 4 of the Cover Reveal event for D.H. Nevins’ upcoming release, Angel of Shadow. It’s book 2 in a fast-paced and haunting dystopian series, and is scheduled for release on January 13, 2018. We’re getting so close!
The cover fragment:
Thursday

Fun Fact:
Other facts about myself: I love to act and direct live theatre, I’m a travel addict, an outdoor enthusiast, and I have a motorcycle I’ve affectionately named Grendel. ~D.H.
Did you know there are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT facts about the cover, the series, D.H. or her writing process at these blogs listed below? Each day, ONE of these fun facts also contains a chance to instantly win an Angel of Shadow eARC! But which one? Let’s support our fellow book bloggers and pop in to say hello!
Book Hooked Nook: https://bookhookednook.wordpress.com/
The Perfect Honeybee: https://theperfecthoneybee.wordpress.com/
*Dragons Rule OK: https://aspholessaria.wordpress.com/
Bookworm Brandee: https://bookwormbrandee.blogspot.com/
FUONLYKNEW: http://fuonlyknew.com/
*Electively Paige: http://electivelypaige.com/
And don’t forget about the giveaway!!! D.H. Nevins will be giving away 2 prizes of a physical copy of Wormwood combined with an Angel of Shadow eARC (Advance Reader Copy), as well as 10 prizes of an Angel of Shadow eARC. Enter the giveaway here!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/55157da22/
Remember, Wormwood (book one in the series) is available for free right now. Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2hOcWbq
Angel of Shadow can now be pre-ordered at http://amzn.to/2Axgvyi . Price will go up after release.

Thanks for stopping by! Full reveal will be this Saturday, but don’t forget there will be a brand new cover fragment and a new fun fact tomorrow. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s piece—this cover is going to be awesome!! See you soon!

Day 3 of D.H.Nevin’s cover reveal

Welcome to day 3 of the Cover Reveal event for D.H. Nevins’ upcoming release, Angel of Shadow. This driving dystopian novel is book 2 in the Wormwood series, and is scheduled for release on January 13, 2018. Yes! That means we’re one day closer!
The cover fragment:
Wednesday

Fun Fact:
The main character, Kali, is named after the Hindu goddess of destruction and death. However, this goddess also represents new beginnings and is thought of as a protector. These elements all came into play when D.H. was creating this protagonist.
Did you know there are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT facts about the cover, the series, D.H. or her writing process at these blogs listed below? Each day, ONE of these fun facts also contains a chance to instantly win an Angel of Shadow eARC! But which one?
The Perfect Honeybee: https://theperfecthoneybee.wordpress.com/
*Dragons Rule OK: https://aspholessaria.wordpress.com/
Bookworm Brandee: https://bookwormbrandee.blogspot.com/
FUONLYKNEW: http://fuonlyknew.com/
*Electively Paige: http://electivelypaige.com/
Book Hooked Nook: https://bookhookednook.wordpress.com/
And don’t forget about the giveaway!!! D.H. Nevins will be giving away 2 prizes of a physical copy of Wormwood combined with an Angel of Shadow eARC (Advance Reader Copy), as well as 10 prizes of an Angel of Shadow eARC. Enter the giveaway here! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/55157da22/
Remember, Wormwood (book one in the series) is available for free right now. Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2hOcWbq
Angel of Shadow can now be pre-ordered at http://amzn.to/2Axgvyi . Price will go up after release.

Thanks for stopping by! Full reveal will be this Saturday, but don’t forget there will be a brand new cover fragment and a new fun fact tomorrow. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s cover piece!! See you soon!

Day 2 of Danielle’s Cover Reveal

Welcome to day 2 of the Cover Reveal event for D.H. Nevins’ upcoming release, Angel of Shadow! This driving dystopian novel is book 2 in the Wormwood series, and is scheduled for release on January 12, 2018. I can’t wait!
The cover fragment:
Tuesday

Fun Fact:
D.H. Nevins has extensive notes and details about each of her characters. Tiamat and Kali each have about 5 pages of notes and backstory, which is added to and updated constantly.
Remember to have a peek at some other unique facts about the cover, the series, D.H. or her writing process at these blogs. Today, TWO of these fun facts also contain a chance to instantly win an Angel of Shadow eARC! But which two? Come on… you know you want to look!
*Dragons Rule OK: https://aspholessaria.wordpress.com/
*Carlyle Labuschagne: http://www.carlylelabuschagne.com/
Bookworm Brandee: https://bookwormbrandee.blogspot.com/
FUONLYKNEW: http://fuonlyknew.com/
*Electively Paige: http://electivelypaige.com/
Book Hooked Nook: https://bookhookednook.wordpress.com/
The Perfect Honeybee: https://theperfecthoneybee.wordpress.com/
And don’t forget about the giveaway!!! D.H. Nevins will be giving away 2 prizes of a physical copy of Wormwood combined with an Angel of Shadow eARC (Advance Reader Copy), as well as 10 prizes of an Angel of Shadow eARC. Enter the giveaway here! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/55157da22/
Remember, Wormwood (book one in the series) is available for free right now. Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2hOcWbq
Angel of Shadow can now be pre-ordered at http://amzn.to/2Axgvyi . Price will go up after release.

Thanks for stopping by! Full reveal will be this Saturday, but don’t forget there will be a brand new cover fragment and a new fun fact tomorrow. See you soon!

 

An interview with Kado from Renee Scattergood’s Shadow Stalker books

Renee Scattergood, the author of the Shadow Stalker books, has agreed to interview one of her characters, Kado, the guardian of Auren.

Welcome, Renee and Kado.

 

 

 

Hello Kado! I want to thank you for joining us all the way from the Dark Isle today. I know it’s just a leap through the shadow world for you, but we’re so glad to have you here.

Kado: I’m honored to be here. Although, I should add that we do not leap through the shadow world. We move through it or more to the point it moves around us. It’s called a shift.

That’s good to know. Leaping through the world of spirits is probably not the best idea. So, the first thing I’m sure everyone is wondering is, were you born on the Dark Isle?

Kado: I was.

What was it like?

Kado: Life on the Dark Isle is difficult. It’s a dangerous place to live with all the venomous plants. The villages are kept safe enough, but outside the villages it is quite treacherous if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Also, there’s life as a shadow stalker which is equally difficult.

How so?

Kado: Training starts pretty much when we are old enough to walk and talk. Learning to shift into the shadow world is scary when you’re young. It’s also risky when learning to deal with the demons that protect the borders of the shadow world. They recognize fear as aggression, so you can see how that might make things tricky at first.

Yes, very much so. Is it true that shadow stalker children live with a foster family who trains and raises them from the time they are born?

Kado: Yes.

Why is that?

Kado: Well, as I mentioned, the training is difficult and often dangerous. Parents form a bond with their children that makes them want to shelter and protect their children from danger. Over time, we learned it’s more effective and less stressful on the parents to let someone else take that responsibility.

That makes sense. So, you didn’t know your real family growing up?

Kado: Oh no. Shadow stalkers value family. We maintain close ties with our families while we are growing up. Most often children remain in the same village as their parents. In some cases, when they are raised in other villages, they visit with their parents several times a year.

So, are you still close with your family now?

Kado: The only surviving member of my family is my daughter, Shai. And yes, (smiles) we are quite close.

Oh, I’m sorry to hear about your family. How did you lose them?

Kado: Most of them died when the Galvadi invaded the Dark Isle over twenty years ago. My niece, Calista, and wife, Raven, were the only survivors. My wife died several years later, on a mission to rescue Auren’s father from the Galvadi. Cali died a couple years ago as a prisoner of the Galvadi.

So basically, the Galvadi killed your entire family. How awful.

Kado: (deep breath) Yes, it is, but things are turning around. At least I hope they are. If Auren is successful, the Galvadi will be no more.

That’s good to hear. Well, that’s all we have time for today. Again, thank you so much for joining us.

Kado: (nods) It was my pleasure.

I hope you enjoyed this interview. You can buy the Shadow Stalker books on Amazon. They are well worth a read.

Here is a link to the first book.

 

Book Offer

Starting tomorrow, 17th November, Viv’s Family Recipes will be on sale for only £0.99 or $0.99.  This offer will last only until 23rd November, so be quick and don’t miss it.

vivsfamilyrecipecover

The recipes in this book are from Viv’s family and friends. It is not only a recipe book for today, but also gives insight into how people cooked and ate in years gone by. The recipes date from 1909 to the present day.

There are also little anecdotes telling of the people whom the book mentions.

 

Get your copy by clicking on this link.

http://mybook.to/FamilyRecipes.

2 more words that cause confusion (and are driving me insane)

 

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Last month I talked about the words NUMBER and AMOUNT. Today I’m going to talk about some similar words that get confused.
These words are FEWER and LESS.

I say they are similar to the previouys words because the same rules apply. So many people will say something like,
‘There were LESS people at the match this week than last week.’
This is WRONG. IN this case, it should be FEWER.
Just as NUMBER refers to things we count, like people, goals, sheep in a flock, minutes in an hour, items in a shopping trolley etc., so FEWER also refers to those things.
FEWER is a digital word. It refers to things we COUNT.
LESS refers to things we MEASURE. Thus we would have something like,
There is LESS snow today than the same time last year.
or There is less flour in this cake than that one.
BUT There are fewer eggs in this cake than that one.
We MEASURE the flour, but we COUNT the eggs.

Please leave a comment on this post. I love hearing from you, and reblogging would help get the message across to more people and save me from continually shouting at the TV and radio.