What is your favourite line of poetry about a hamster? Writers Q and A Tag

It’s ages since I’ve done a writers Q& A tag and I loved doing this one from my lovely friend Shehanne Moore and the hamstah dudes. I hope my answers meet their exacting literary standards. 🙂

Shehanne’s blog and website is a delight you can visit by clicking on the images below

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What is your favourite line of poetry about a hamster? Oh okay, we mean a small furry creature, or animal

I don’t remember a poem about hamsters but I do like this poem by an Unknown Author about-‘A Dog’s Soul’. The line that encapsulates a dog completely is this one:

Altho’ his heart may break in two
His love will still be whole,
Because God gave to every dog
An understanding Soul!

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.What was your favourite children’s book if it was not Mrs Tiggywinkle?

I loved horses as a child and read so many books about them, but the one that sticks in my mind is ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell. The chapter about ‘Ginger’ the abused carriage horse still makes me so sad.

You’re in the forest, it’s dark, it’s cold, it’s mysterious, suddenly the bushes part and there snarling before your is  a savage, giant hamster. What happens next?

I reach in to my pocket and pull out a… Peanut in its shell guaranteed to calm down even the most ferocious and hungry hamster. Maybe I would need more than one for a giant hamster?

Is there any place in the world you would like to set a book or poem and why?

I always feel inspired to write in English country or coastal settings. Northumberland and the Lake District where I set  The Dragon Legacy’ are particular favourites.

 

You can have dinner with your favourite book hamster, character. Who is it and what will the first course be? Recipes are welcome. Of course if you can’t find a hamster, just choose another animal.

 I would love to have dinner with T.S Elliot’s Cats, such an interesting group of individuals. Naturally  they would like cream and I love strawberries so the first course would be shortbread biscuits with extra thick double cream and fresh strawberries. mm delicious. 

Tell us a bit about what you are working on now.What was the last book you read?

I have recently finished ‘Past Shadows’, ‘a historical mystery romance with a paranormal twist’. The story is set in Regency Derbyshire.  I am currently working on a  romantic mystery thriller, after the surprising success of The Dangerous Gift. More about this next week on my blog.

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How much of you is in your characters or your poetry?

 Probably more  than there should be. However the elements of me  are not necessarily me now, but me  when I was younger.

Forget all this hero stuff. You’re being cast as the villain and it’s your choice who you pick so long as they are from a book.

I do love villains. I must admit I loved Xavier, my villain in The Dragon Legacy who was definitely not what he seemed…

Who or what inspires your writing?

Places inspire me first. When I visit a beautiful place or an unusual historical house, it always inspires me to write a story about it. For example when I visited Hardwick Hall a couple of years ago. I was struck by the coldness of some rooms and how ill they made me feel. I’ve stored these feelings away  for use in a future story. 

 

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An Interview with Author -Linn B. Halton

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An Interview with...

Today I have the lovely Linn Halton on my blog, answering questions about her books and writing. The ‘Falling- Angels Among Us’ series was very popular, I personally loved it. What inspired you to write these books?

 My earliest childhood memories were all psychic ones, but it took me many, many years to face up to that fact. Even though things continued to happen around me increasingly more frequently as the years passed, it’s hard not to be a sceptic, isn’t it? It’s easier to file away those things as unexplained, wishful thinking (if it’s related to a loved one you’ve lost), or imagination. Then I had the first shared experience with my husband and both of our lives changed forever.
For this series I wanted to take a simply love story and wrap around it some thought-provoking questions. Is the power of love stronger than fate? If angels walk among us do they know they are angels? What if we all have a little angel-wisdom in us and without knowing it have the power to change someone’s future? What if just taking the time to listen to someone in need, or giving some advice at the right moment, prevents them from making a mistake that they would change the course of their lives forever?
I also did a lot of research – even attending two Gayatri Mantra chanting workshops which feature in the story and talking to a lot of people whose lives revolve around their beliefs. I’ve always had an open mind and my personal beliefs/theories are all based on what I’ve seen, heard and/or experienced. I think we all need to draw our own conclusions, rather than follow someone else’s theory without questioning it. I think that begins with something as simple as wondering ‘what if?’

22917661Where’s your favourite place to write? Why do you like it?

Ironically there is a little psychic story attached to this, too. Eighteen months ago we began renovating an old cottage on the edge of the Forest of Dean and a we decided a big flatscreen TV would look odd in the cosy sitting room, so the former dining room became a TV room/study. Then we started getting visits from our ghost cat, who belonged to the previous owner who died a year before we moved in. He’s very regal and often runs around the cottage, but his appearance is quite distracting at times. Twice he’s almost tripped me up as it’s hard to believe he’s not real! When you catch a movement out of the corner of your eye, you instinctively look up and that was becoming a problem for me when I was working on the computer. So now I have my office in a small building in the garden, which we are converting into a dual purpose guest bedroom. My husband is still working on the ensuite – which was an old stone storeroom and is now shaping up quite nicely! I love that I have views of the garden and also the fact that it’s totally separate from the cottage. When I finish for the day the walk home takes – oh – all of five seconds.

UTS for Jane ‘Under The Stars’ features a woman at a crossroads in her life, something I have personally experienced. What motivated you to write this story?

This was the second book I wrote after giving up my former career as an interior designer. I actually gave it up to spend some quality time with my mum as my instincts had been screaming at me that she was unwell. Within three months of giving up work she died, quite unexpectedly and I knew it was her greatest wish that I found time to fulfill my writing dream. So I wrote five manuscripts back to back. I think Katherine Dale’s uncertainty, worries and fears reflected a lot of what I was going through at that time. It’s one thing to sit down and write, but what if no one wants to read what you’ve written? Any major life change is unsettling, scary and requires a lot of self-belief to get through it. Mine was difficult because I was also grieving. Immersing myself in writing actually got me through one of the worst periods of my life. Katherine’s life was also in tatters and every day was an uphill battle – a case of fiction mirroring life!

Astrology is a central theme of ‘Under the Stars’, do you follow your horoscope on a daily basis and would you consider having a personal horoscope done? If so why?

I’ve followed the celebrated astrologer and astronomer, Jonathan Cainer, for many years. From his newspaper column, then into magazines and now his website, where I am a 5-star member. That means I get my daily forecast for the next day pop into my inbox and it’s the last thing I read before I fall asleep. He has also done my full birth chart and, yes, I do take on board the advice he gives me. If the planetary alignments aren’t favourable and he says ‘don’t sign a contract now’, then I hold off! If the planets are favourable then I take advantage of that and have taken risks I wouldn’t normally take that have turned out to be great opportunities. The recent introduction of Astro Alerts has been amazing and his level of accuracy means that this additional level of forecasting is timely and it definitely affects my decision-making. The planetary alignments have a great effect on the earth, so why wouldn’t they affect our individual lives?

Do you have animal companions when you write? Can you tell us about them?

Mr Tiggs (who is black and white and had a cameo role in Under The Stars and Quintessentially Yours) and our ghost cat, whom I’ve named Sharpie. He’s jet black like my Sharpie pen and annoying at times (I once wrote a note using my pen and had to do three coats of paint on the window sill as it seeped through the paper!). Ironically, Mr Tiggs has been around a few spirits (we’ve lived in a lot of very old properties) and he has a repetitive thing he does when he’s uncomfortable, but with Sharpie he almost ignores his presence. Mr Tiggs seems to know when I need to stretch my legs as he’ll uncurl and start miaowing – which means ‘feed me’ and it does get me off my typing stool.

25773021Your latest release for Harper Impulse is ‘A Cottage in the Country’; can you tell us a little about this? Does it have a supernatural element?

The basic story mirrors the experience we had when we moved into our cottage on the 19 December 2013, when Gloucestershire was experiencing severe flooding. We sold our previous house complete with furniture and on our first night in the cottage the bed wasn’t delivered because of the flooding. We only had a couple of garden chairs and that was it for furniture.
Moving into a cottage where the central heating boiler had seized up, there was a decidedly uncomfortable feel about it (the old lady had died one year prior and it had been empty the entire time) and the rain didn’t stop. It was the perfect backdrop for Maddie’s story, which is essentially about starting over and her fight to become that 50-and-fabulous woman of her dreams. Her now ex-husband had been sleeping with her best friend and she had been the last person to find out. There is a little reference to the spirit of the previous occupier, which is tied into the fictional story, and it’s true to say we did have a ‘visitor’for the first few months we lived here. However, now it’s just us and Sharpie, who seemed to appear as soon as the presence left – but he doesn’t appear in the story. If you ever wondered what it’s like renovating an old cottage, Maddie’s experience is our real story of moving mishap and renovation hell. However, it’s now coming along nicely and we love living here!

Can you describe your writing process?

It starts with one single thought, then I think of a title and sit down in front of a blank page and type. Usually I have no idea where it’s going, or how it’s going to end. Each character appears at the appropriate time and I let them tell me where to go next. It’s an exciting journey and I wouldn’t want to write any other way.

Have you any other releases this year, we should look out for?

It’s been a crazy year for me – four new books by three different publishers over a period of seven months. My next new release is 5 August 2015 and it’s Quintessentially Yours, which is the sequel to Under The Stars (both with Endeavour Press). Then my fourth novel this year will be my first with Choc Lit – Sweet Occasions and that’s coming in the autumn.

I know you are interested in graphics and how authors can use them for promotional purposes, can you tell us about this?

I love working on websites (I have four) and posts/articles look much better if there are some graphics to illustrate the text. When I set up Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine I suddenly found myself taking lots of photos and playing around with different forms of presentation. Then, wearing my author’s hat, I started using graphics to make slideshows to advertise my novels. For authors, I think it helps your readers if they can see the characters and the setting, so it has now become a part of the process, once the story is written. It’s something that’s a lot of fun to do.

What’s next for you Linn?

Well, Jonathan Cainer confirms that I’m on the right path and I’m certainly enjoying every minute of it. Although it has been an exhausting six years since I wrote that first word, I waited a long time to have this ‘me’ time and I’m going to make the most of it. I’m about to sign a contract for my first novel for 2016 and I’m literally thanking my ‘lucky stars’. But writing is really about the lovely reviewers who spread the word and the readers who choose your book from the hundreds of thousands out there. Every time a reader Tweets me to say they’ve enjoyed one of my stories, or a review is posted and knowing that someone has taken the time to put their feelings into words, I feel truly blessed. This is my dream and has been ever since I was about eleven years old and writing in my homemade journals. And it’s all down to my wonderful mum, who remains by my side with every step I take on this exciting journey.

Thanks so much for some really great questions, Jane, and for inviting me over!

Thanks Linn, it was lovely learning more about you and your writing.

Poppy - Author BioIMG_3069Bristol-born Linn B. Halton lives in the small village of Lydbrook, which nestles on the edge of the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her husband and feline with ‘catitude’- Mr Tiggs.
Linn began writing in March 2009 and her debut novel was published in February 2011. In a recent interview Linn was asked about genres:
“From a very young age I knew romantic fiction was always going to be my genre. I am, and will always be, madly in love with love! Whether that’s love of life, a partner, or the things I’m passionate about.
My stories are about love, life and real relationships – but romance is always the one thing that holds each story together. Often there’s a light, psychic touch and I never dreamed I would write drawing upon my personal psychic experiences. But as my interest and understanding in the subject has grown, it is now such a part of my life that it finds its way into my fictional tales. However, what is heartening is that most of my experiences have been uplifting and it’s wonderful to know loved ones are around me always. I hope it will make readers stop and wonder ‘What if?’
The result is that I get a lot of mail from readers who have had similar experiences and some are sharing theirs for the first time with me. I always feel that’s something rather special and for which I’m very grateful.”
Love, life and beyond… but it’s ALWAYS about the romance!

Linn is published by Choc Lit, HarperImpulse, Endeavour Press and Sapphire Star Publishing.
Linn is also the managing editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine.
Poppy - LinksWebsite/blog
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FB: Linn B Halton Author 

Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine

Check out my reviews of Linn’s books by clicking on the book cover links below:

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Here’s What I’m Reading – This Week.

 Past Shadows CoverThe Revenge Masquerade Cover  October 26 14Whilst I wait for my final round of edits for The Revenge Masquerade, due later this week. I am pleased to report that I am writing my new story Past Shadows. After last week’s hiatus I have  rediscovered my muse. (who was  probably trapped under my new fridge with me) 🙂  Now I only wish I could type faster.

 When I’m not writing, I’m reading and here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

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Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a global game that will decide the fate of humankind. Endgame has always been a possibility, but never a reality…until now. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player who has been trained for this moment. At stake for the Players: saving their bloodline, as well as the fate of the world. And only one can win.

  I’ve read the sample of this book and decided I wanted to read all of it and I’m not disappointed so far.

Click here for my review of the sample of The Endgame – The Calling by James Frey.

23487063The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.

The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.

Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems.

After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.

But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?

Welcome to Winterfold.

Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home.

 This series has really grown on me. It’s not the happiest of stories but  the characters are excellent and the plot intriguing, can’t wait to see how it ends.

Click here if you want to read my reviews of A Place for Us Parts 1-3  by Harriet Evans.

23245066Guilt can eat away at you, but love can cut like a knife…

Lusting after his best friend’s girlfriend is a cliché Billy knows well – it’s the tightrope he’s walked for years.
But now Jason and Lindy have broken up and Billy can’t help but be there for the girl he’s loved from afar for so long. She’s hurting.

Fighting to find a road to the future, Lindy’s heart hurts. She’s trying to escape the truth, but Billy keeps making her face it – and it’s ugly. How can she keep living when everything is made of glass and it keeps shattering?

Her one constant is Billy. Only, rebound isn’t his style and when Lindy starts to see him in a different light, he just can’t trust her. He’s no one’s second best

 I haven’t read any of this one yet but I hope to start it tonight. Jane Lark is such a talented author, I am a major fan of her historical romance and fast becoming one of her young adult novels. I have read the first two in this series and I have high hopes for this one.

 Click here if you want to check out my reviews of Jane Lark’s other books.

 Back to writing for me now. 🙂

Do I Really Look Like That?

As part of the production process for my next book-The Revenge Masquerade I needed a new head shot for my author bio. So I stopped procrastinating and asked my daughter to take a few photos of me in our garden.

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The photos were all in focus and beautifully staged but I didn’t recognise myself.

Even when I was younger and (passably attractive) I always dreaded having my photo taken unless it was in a really natural setting like the one on my  Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google +. 

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I debated whether to use my head shot from last year when The Dragon Legacy was released.

Jane Hunt 1 My hair was much longer and my face looked thinner (probably because it was??)  and my eyes were surrounded by less wrinkles but in the end I decided  to go with the new one. DSCN0580

My lovely son came in and said he liked my new photo best. Definitely an ah moment. 🙂

There was an amusing anecdote to accompany this tale of woe, which I will share with you. 🙂

It was Sunday afternoon and sunny even in England  our neighbours were barbecuing. As I decided between my photos I noticed a really strange smell. My daughter and I decided they must be burning rather than barbecuing the food and thought no more about it. Until I realised I was boiling new potatoes for tea and had completely forgotten them. Oh dear. The awful burning smell was in fact my potatoes. The smell drifted into the garden via the extractor.  Oh well  it seems I becoming forgetful too.

🙂 Happy Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz is 10 Today

 Jazz is ten years old and to celebrate I thought I would share his day so far with you.

 The day started early… A 7am walk in the sunshine.

DSCN0483No time to pose for photos there’s too much exploring to do.

DSCN0495 Oby says he doesn’t mind posing for the camera 🙂

 DSCN0505  DSCN0496 DSCN0516 DSCN0518  DSCN0513  On our walk…

I saw lots of lovely wild flowers.

Some new foals too.

 

DSCN0526Oby needed a sleep when we got home.

 

DSCN0527Jazz was too excited to sleep.

When is it present time?

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 At last time for my present 🙂

Oby got one too!

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 Happy Birthday Jazz

 

Writing In Different Genres – Jane Hunt

 the dangerous giftI love reading all genres of romance as well as mystery and thrillers. So I suppose, it’s not surprising that for my third book I decided to switch genres from paranormal/fantasy romance to romantic suspense. I’m half way through writing  ‘The Dangerous Gift’ which is set in Texas. ‘Strange and life threatening events  occur when Jennie Taylor is bequeathed a share of the ranch she grew up on, after the untimely deaths of the owners.’

Snake ring
THE REVENGE MASQUERADE

I am enjoying this change of genre but I have noticed similarities with my two previous stories in The Dragon Legacy series, both of which contained an integral sense of mystery and suspense, even though the characters were  mainly supernatural.

I also started writing a historical novel late last year with distinctly Gothic influences and I would love to complete this  as my next project. If I succeed that will be three books all in different genres.

I know many of you who read my blog are writers, what do you think? Do you prefer to stick to one genre or like me do you seek  more variety? If you already write books in more than one genre, do you write under the same  name or have a pen name?

Comment below and let me know. 🙂

The Dragon Legacy Cover

First Steps Gets a Liebster Award

The  Awe inspiring Milady Fury has nominated First Steps for the Liebster Award which she stole received from the lovely Shehanne Moore .    jane-hunt-writer.png

 To accept you have to display the logo and link back to the blogger who nominated you   in this case Milady Fury and her delicious Furious Unravelings.

Then answer the soul-searching questions . Here goes…

1 Which fictional character would you most fancy having a fling with and why?

Would have to be Caleb the vampire who resides in Lindsay Pryor’s Blackthorn.Lindsay-facebook-cover-imageAs to why its those green eyes and his ruthlessness that attracts me.

 

2 You’ve been shipwrecked on a desert island, what man ..sorry book can’t you be without?

This is so difficult but… What about my Kindle which has hundreds of books from my favourite authors on it. Well bending the rules seems to be allowed 🙂

3 What inspires you? Places or people?

2013-04-20 14.03.27Places all my books have started with a location. English Lake District for The Dragon Legacy , DSCN0616Northern Italy’s Lakes for The Revenge Masquerade, Texas for The Dangerous Gift and Pleasley where I live  for Past Shadows. The people follow on  afterwards and come out of my quirky mind although most are based on people I’ve crossed paths with in my 50 + years.

4 What little tome are you working on right now?

Book 2 in The Dragon Legacy –The Revenge Masquerade which features Jasmine (Witch) and Zane (Wolf ) from book 1.

The Dragon Legacy Cover5 Who would you like to see in the movie version?

In The Dragon Legacy I saw Lukas the dragon lord and demon slayer played by  Goran Višnjić when he was younger.

 Zane in The Revenge Masquerade  is like Caio Vaz

6 In your own books do you have a favourite character and why?

I always like my heroines who start off quiet and unassuming and end up strong and fearless as they save the day .

7 What do you think is the best book movie?

Loved Lord of the Rings.

8 Roughly how long does it take you to write a book?

Well the jury is still out on that one. I wrote The Dragon Legacy and most of The Dangerous Gift (still to be finished) in a year but  The Revenge Masquerade was started in January and should be finished by the end of March including the first edit. So three months now.

9 Favorite food?

Mushrooms.

10 Any bits in your book you are embarrassed to show your family?

Not really. 😉 My family are used their quirky mum.

 Finally :

I nominate any of my writing friends and blog followers to answer the ten questions below. I’m not nominating specific individuals because I don’t want anyone to feel pressurised. I know not everyone likes blogging as much as I do 🙂

My 10 Questions

  1. Why did you become a writer?

  2. What sort of books do you like to read?

  3. Why write about romance?

  4. Who would you like to be lost in the mountains with and why?

  5. What’s your most romantic location.

  6. What’s your worst nightmare.

  7. Would you write under a pen name and why?

  8. Would any of your books make a good television show and why?

  9. What  are you currently writing?

  10. Which of your books is your favourite and why?

 

Hope you enjoyed and thanks again to Milady Fury 🙂

 

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