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The Pact: Op One #DBA

Book Review

The Pact: Op One

It began with a question. Navy Commander Celia Kelly is a strong woman of faith and valor whose husband, Tom Kelly, went MIA. As she seeks to unravel the mystery of his disappearance–is he dead? missing? abducted? –her connections in the military start facing danger.

“Celia, if you are reading this, I am in trouble or dead.”

Kelly discovers she’s been set up. With an unpredictable secretary, a by-the-book assistant and a Navy SEAL Team, Celia Kelly has her hands full as a Navy SEAL mission sucks her into murder, conspiracy and a hunt for an arms group, The Pact, missing 20 million dollars. What really happened to Tom Kelly? Is the conspiracy related to Tom Kelly’s disappearance and who are the members of The Pact?

REVIEW: With her husband missing in action, Navy Commander, Celia Kelly is sent on a navy seal mission to uncover and destroy a group smuggling arms. The mission uncovers links to her missing husband and a deep conspiracy involving the CIA.

The story is very well written and constructed and is full of action and suspense with many twists and turns with team members being picked-off one at a time.

CN Bring does a fantastic job of keeping the reader glued to the story in a believable fashion page after page.

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Amazon US

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Book of the Month… The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy

June’s Book of the Month is The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy by Colleen Chesebro!

In May, Colleen travelled across cyberspace from the USA to England as if by magic so she could properly introduce us to the swamp fairy from The Heart Stone Chronicles. Eleionomae (our beloved swamp fairy) was such a hit with our readers, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy won The Book of the Month Spotlight! A direct link to Colleen’s book on Amazon is now in the widget column where it will stay for a month… Get your copy now folks!

If you missed Colleen’s Book Talk post, you really must check it out. Here’s the Link: Meet Eleionomae…

 

If you’re wondering how to folks manage to win the Book of the Month Spotlight, you can check it out right HERE

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Across the pond

Hello dear readers of Kev’s blog, and The Editor’s Column, after an untimely absence on my part.

In a nutshell, this has been due to receiving a letter from our Spanish electricity company that only took three weeks to arrive, and threatened to cut us off. This was because we hadn’t been at home when they turned up, without warning, to change the meter. Sadly, neither of us is psychic so guessing when Endesa may pay a visit is not on our list of top skills. So, this month we have been exiled in Spain hoping they may pull their idle fingers out. No result as yet. More on my own blog this weekend.

But onto today’s topic. Following on from my previous post, I want to pick up on more of the linguistic differences between English across the pond.

The pond – the North Atlantic Ocean

One of the frequent complaints I come across is from British authors who have been criticised by American reviewers for their spelling or their strange use of words. But I don’t hear the reverse. Is this because Brits know Americanese is different but Americans expect all the world to be written in one form of English?

For me, the diversity of the English language is enriching. I don’t want to see everything morph into one blur.

A thong in Australia is not the same as elsewhere.

Then, we have multiple names for a pick-up in the English-speaking world. Or truck. Or bakkie. Or ute.

But increasingly I see discussions on forums about whether or not to write in American English to hopefully attract more sales, because America dominates ebook sales. It’s very much a hot topic.

And I see British authors using more and more American words or styles.

For example:

  • Ass instead of arse
  • He looked out the window, rather than he looked out of the window, or walked out the door instead of walked out of the door
  • Movies not films
  • You guys
  • Discombobulated
  • Cupcakes (fairy cakes when I was a kid, because they were small – like fairies, prettier name too, bring back fairy cakes!)
  • Making out (I can never work out where that is on the scale between snogging and sexual intercourse)

But, I find it somewhat confusing to read a book set in London, with British characters speaking American. I wouldn’t expect an American author to have an American in Louisiana speaking English! The author told me she threw in the Americanisms because that’s where she expects to sell her books, yet reading it, the writing style and grammar were basically British. What a hotch potch. Surely, if someone is tailoring their book for the American market, they should also be following the American style guide? (Usually Chicago for fiction.)

It’s not just Brits. Apparently Australian authors do it too. Again, with an eye on ebook sales. The idea of Australians speaking American strikes me as quite funny, but it is negating a very rich culture. Believe me mate, I’ve been there. Fair dinkum.

Most of us know (or maybe not?) the different words across the pond like:

    bonnet/hood
    bumper/fender
    boot/trunk
    pavement/sidewalk
    handbag/purse
    trousers/pants
    rubbish/trash or garbage

In fact, I was always perplexed about the obsession of American women with their purses. Nothing wrong with looking after the money, but I did wonder why they just didn’t stick their purse in a pocket … or … a handbag.

But some of the more difficult words that sound the same are not easy to get right, again, as language travels across the pond and infiltrates.

Here are a few more examples:

British first, American second

  • Axe, ax
  • Grandad, granddad
  • Jewellery, jewelry
  • Carat, karat
  • Moustache, mustache
  • Pyjamas, pajamas
  • Pedlar, peddler
  • Plough, plow

I saw a non-American get soundly berated on a forum for using pyjamas not pajamas. The whole premise of the original poster’s comment was belittled on the grounds he was using ‘incorrect’ spelling.

Food is a great one:

    Aubergine/eggplant
    Chilli, chili
    Coriander/cilantro
    Courgette/zucchini
    Gelatine, gelatin
    Pitta bread, pita bread
    Tartare sauce, tartar sauce

Still on food, my British style guide tells me we have scrambled egg and mashed potato, while Americans (sensibly) refer to them in the plural. One scrambled egg wouldn’t go very far. Actually, I think in our home we use both in speech – although we normally refer to scrambledies.

Let’s end with a drink. In the UK Scottish whisky is spelled without the ‘e’. Only Irish whiskey is referred to as whiskey. In America all whiskies are called whiskey as standard with whisky as an acceptable variant.

Cheers. Slàinte mhath.

And if you do read books with spelling, words or grammar you aren’t used to, remember the richness and variation of the English language and enjoy it before reaching for a red pen. These examples only touch the surface of the many detailed differences between British, American English and all other English-speaking countries. I hope those differences don’t disappear in the scurry for authors wanting to tap the American market.

Next post, I’ll take a look at the pros and cons of beta readers.

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DBA Update

Submissions to the Diamond Book Awards for 2017 are now closed. Good luck to all participants for 2017! If you missed out this year, submissions for 2018 will open in January 2018, and I will be relaxing the rules to make it a bit easier for everyone… Watch out for updates later this year!

21 Comments

The Best Advice So Far… Book Review

Book Review

The Best Advice So Far

“The Best Advice So Far” is about choice. Filled with wit, humor and poignantly real stories, “The Best Advice So Far” shares collective wisdom through a new lens, as well as practical application for living like it matters (because it does).

Review: Tyler presents us with a very sincere, yet fresh perspective for dealing with issues and problems of every day life. He draws from his experiences as a mentor, his relationships, in particular his long-term relationship with his best friend, Chad, and even shares his inspirations, particularly those of his aunt.

Rather than a ‘Do this/Do that’ approach, Tyler discusses possible solutions and then challenges us to reflect upon our own experiences.

The book is very thought out and cleverly presented with hyperlinks to the reflection exercises at the end of each chapter, and hyperlinks at the end of the exercises to the beginning of the following chapter making it very easy to bookmark.

I have to admit, for me it is usually the simplest things in life that give me pause to reflect and I found Tyler’s chapter, Lemonade to be a real ‘pick me up’ after having a very troublesome week. This chapter will stay with me for a long time. Perhaps there’s a particular chapter for you in this work.

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Amazon US

21 Comments

Book of the Month… A Thousand Rooms

My latest Book of the Month is A Thousand Rooms by Helen Jones.

Helen was awarded the spotlight for having the most popular book review last month. Helen’s book has also been entered into The Diamond Book Awards this year. A link to find out more and purchase A Thousand Rooms is highlighted in the widget bar where it will stay for a whole month. In case you missed my review of Helen’s book; here’s the link: Book Review.

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Update for KC Newsletter

If your inbox is anything like mine, you’re going through it pretty much every day to keep on top of things. With this in mind as well as for a couple of other reasons… like finding the time to keep up with it among other things. Consequently, I’ve decided to change my Newsletter from a monthly posting to a quarterly newsletter posting.

The next newsletter posting will now be in September followed by another in December, then March, and June of next year and forward to September again, and so forth.

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Meet Eleionomae, the Fairy Nymph from The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy

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Book Cover Design by Bookxeedo Book Covers

Hi, everyone. I would like to give many thanks to Kevin of KC Books & Music for his kind invitation to visit his blog. It is much appreciated and a great honor.

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Colleen Chesebro. I am a writer, a poet, and a fairy whisperer…

Yes, I bet a few of you are scratching your head wondering what I’m talking about – a fairy whisperer? Let me tell you the story of the greatest experience I have ever had.

While on a walk during a warm, foggy morning in November 2014, I had a close encounter of the fairy kind. At the time, we were living in Pensacola, Florida. I still remember the day, as if it has been carved into my memory; something I will never forget.

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The road I took on my morning walk near Pensacola, Florida

As I walked along the road, I heard a sound that instantly caught my attention. At first, I considered the possibility that the sound might be an injured bird rustling in the thick underbrush. I peered into the foliage and drew back in surprise. At first glance, I thought I saw a ruby-throated hummingbird with brilliant green feathers. However, that was not the case.

Instead, appearing in front of my eyes was a tiny green swamp fairy fluttering on delicate wings that looked like transparent leaves. She had hair the color and consistency of corn silk. Bottle green leaves adorned her small body. The heady fragrance of lavender, patchouli, and sandalwood wafted on the air.

fairy in nature

I stood there at the edge of the road transfixed by the vision. I realized then, I had witnessed a miracle. I had been given the gift of fairy vision.

The petite winged-being stared at me with eyes as green as the leaves she was hiding in. I must tell you, this meeting felt something akin to a spiritual encounter. An overwhelming feeling of peace and love surrounded me and held me within its grasp. In an instant, she was gone. The swamp fairy vanished into the fog that swirled around me.

I shook my head and continued my walk. My feet felt lighter that day. I knew something had changed. The swamp fairy had ignited my imagination. I knew what this fairy encounter meant. I had been granted the ability to become a fairy whisperer.

Soon after, I started to write stories about the swamp fairies which I posted to my blog. The stories came in quick succession. Next, the dreams started. I began to channel the stories of the fairy nymphs that had inspired me that day long ago.

Each day on my walk, I observed the real swamp as it was crowded out by the building of new homes. The natural wetlands were disappearing at a rapid rate. Slowly, a story began to form in my mind. That is how the swamp fairy was born.

SF and fairy butterflies

Today, I asked Eleionomae, the swamp fairy nymph, to join us in an interview so you could learn more about the mythical lore surrounding this YA fantasy story.

Colleen: Welcome Eleionomae. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us something of your fairy realm.

Swamp Fairy: My name is Eleionomae, and I am the first swamp fairy. We nymphs, or fairies, go by many names. We are the spirits who live in the mountains, the woods, in many different bodies of water, and in the seas. We are the forces of nature. You may know us as the elements or the elementals.

Colleen: Peace be with you, Eleionomae. Welcome. Can you share more about the nymphs?

Swamp Fairy: The gods placed us on earth to ensure a connection between the humans and the immortal plane of existence. For example, we swamp fairies, the nymphs of the primordial earth, belong to the Naiad clan who are sworn to protect the Pink Sundew plants.

We exist in the magical realm, found in the marshes that border the land of Abby Forester’s ancestors. There is an evil that strives to destroy the natural balance between what is fantasy and what is your human reality. 

We swamp fairies have a sacred mission to protect this land at all costs. We have shielded this area from human control since the beginning of time by entrusting Abby’s human bloodline with individual gifts. In this way, her ancestors ensured our survival.

Colleen: So, the nymphs are fairies? How many different kinds are there?

Swamp Fairy: There are many kinds of nymphs and fairy clans in the world of our existence. The Oread clan lives in the mountains. The Naiad clan lives around bodies of water like springs and lakes, or swamps. The nymphs of the trees and forests are of the Dryad clan who only inhabit oak trees. The Hamadryad live in many kinds of trees and die when the tree they inhabit dies. The Alseid clan inhabit the forests. The Meliae clans live deep within the ash trees that grow in ancient forests and meadows. The sea-nymphs are from the Oceanid clan. There is a total of seven nymph clans or families, all represented by the colors of the rainbow.

Abby Forester 2

Abby Forester, as imagined by the author

Colleen: Eleionomae, why was Abby Forester picked to become the fairy whisperer?

Swamp Fairy: Abby Forester was selected by the fairy realm long ago when the earth was in its infancy. It was her destiny to come here to save us. The humans have threatened our survival and hurried the ravages of climate change. We had to preserve our fairy kingdom and the Pink Sundew plants so that the natural balance between our two worlds would remain intact.

Long ago, the ancient nymphs selected humans who had the ability to dream and see into the future. Once the people proved their talents, the unique magical gifts enhanced their skills even further. 

Abby Forester is descended from the first Native American woman. She is a part of an ancient bloodline, which dates to the beginning of time. Her gift was the power to understand the language of all the animals, birds, and insects. She was given the ability to comprehend all the dialects, including those of all the nymphs.

Every generation brings forth empathic people who can move humanity forward to a better end. The gods foretold her birth with the hopes that she would be able to fix the mistakes humans are responsible for. The natural world must be protected to ensure the survival of the creatures of the world.

Abby’s mother could only understand those of us from the Naiad clan. Most of the gifted people can only interpret one tribe or clan.

But Abby’s destiny was to be unique. When the gods realized that climate change was advancing at a rapid pace, Abby was brought into the world. She is Clairaudient and has the ability to understand all the nymph clans. Her true destiny is to aid and protect us all.

As a Fairy Whisperer, she is the first of her kind. That is why she can hear the voices of all the creatures and those of the nymph clans. They speak with the same fluencies of sound vibration, which is different from how humans speak. This gift allows her to see and hear the tears in the fabric of time. That is how she can cross between the horizontal realms of our existence.

Pink Sundew

Pink Sundew

Colleen: You speak of the Pink Sundew plants often. What is the significance of these plants, Eleionomae?

Swamp Fairy: The plants are called Pink Sundew, and they have medicinal value. Their leaves contain an enzyme digesting protein that mimics antibiotics. We first came to Abby’s ancestors – the first Native Americans, who we taught how to use the plants that grew around them for food and medicine.

Long ago we warned the ancient people of impending danger. There were men, with skin as white as the moon, who had journeyed to the swamp. They brought a sickness with them. We taught the people to cook the leaves of the Pink Sundew plants and make a tea. When they drank this tea, it would keep their people safe from the white man’s sickness.

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Fairy Swamp

Colleen: Is that why Abby’s swamp is so important because the Pink Sundew plants grow there? 

Swamp Fairy: Yes, her swamp is one of the sacred places where the plants grow. All of your human antibiotics contain a small magical part of the Pink Sundew plant. As nymphs, we swamp fairies were sent into your world long ago by the gods to grow the plants that would protect humans from the diseases that would ravage their lands. It is our sole obligation to safeguard the plants from extinction with the help of Abby Forester.

Besides, humanity cannot replicate the medicinal properties of the plants. These plants were a gift from the ancient gods so that humans could flourish. It is our duty to protect this magic at all costs.

You see, we are all linked by the travels of the sun and the moon, and we are all interconnected to our collective reasoning and Mother Gaia.  If the sundew plants ceased to exist, the gods would end our agreement. We would die for failing in our responsibilities; just as the humans would die from the lack of medicines to heal their diseases.

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Colleen: Abby wears a calcite fairy stone pendant. Can you explain the significance of the stone?

Swamp Fairy: The Forester family has protected our secret since the beginning of time. The necklace Abby wears, she inherited from her mother. It is a piece from one of those sacred heart stones. These sacred fairy stones lay in specific locations around the Earth guarding the gifts the gods gave to humanity. Each heart stone is powerful and surrounded by a fairy rath, a circular wall of magical protection. That is why the Pink Sundew grows there protected from harm on Abby’s land.

Colleen: Eleionomae, what do you want all humans to learn about the status of our earth by reading The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy?

Swamp Fairy: Time is running out for the people of the earth. Humans must confront climate change — a threat facing our entire planet. People everywhere must take part in practical, affordable solutions. Protecting nature and our natural resources means a better planet for future generations.

Colleen: Thank you, Eleionomae for sharing more about The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy.

Learn more about Abby’s story and her life as the fairy whisperer…

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, Blake, and Cash, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Here’s where you can find your copy:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Goodreads

Universal book link

Would you love to own your own calcite fairy stone pendant like Abby Forester wears in the book?

You can read more about my friend, Irene, who designed the necklaces here. Please stop by and check out her blog, IreneDesign2011, and let her know what you think.

Here’s how to get yours:

small calcite for sale IreneDesign2011

The small calcite heart stone pendant is shown above. Here is the link to Irene’s Etsy site where you can buy your own pendant: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480852170/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

large calcite for sale IreneDesign2011

The large calcite heart stone pendant is pictured at the right just above. Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480852682/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

Heart You

Thank you, Kevin, for the opportunity to visit your blog. I had a great time. Stop by and visit when you can.

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CMChesebro/

Twitter at https://twitter.com/ColleenChesebro

Blog at https://colleenchesebro.com

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Book of the Month Update

Up to now, my Book of the Month choice has been selected from the most popular book review presented within the last four to six weeks. This is now changing to include articles written by authors on this blog about their new, upcoming and even previously existing books!

What doe this all mean?

Glad you asked!

This means that you don’t even need a book review on this site to win the Book of the Month spotlight and have a direct link to Amazon listing in the widget bar of this blog for a whole month! All you have to do is present your book in a very creative way on Book Talk!

For more about Book Talk and how to get involved check it out here: Book Talk.

Good luck folks!

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A Thousand Rooms #DBA

Book Review

A Thousand Rooms

You don’t wake up expecting to die.

Katie is thirty-two, single, and works in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with.

Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

Review: Wow! I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this work. Shamefully, I hadn’t even bothered to read the synopsis first which is so out of character for me. Why? I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you however, is A Thousand Rooms far exceeded any first impressions I may or may not have had regardless of my aforementioned neglect.

This is one of those rare books I simply couldn’t put down. I was immediately captivated from the first sentence, and became so completely engrossed that nothing else in the world mattered for a good few hours.

This story would make a great movie that for me would be something like a cross between Ghost, and What Dreams May Come… and some.

Jones’ creativity, originality, writing style, and storytelling skills are first-rate. This book ticks all the boxes for a five-star work.

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Amazon UK

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