Tag Archives: Reading

And the Winner is…

You may remember that I posted a St. Patrick’s Day Rafflecopter Giveaway in March.

St.Patrick's Day Rafflecopter Image

Well, they have announced the winners this weekend!

Winner of my book Living Like A Vampire is Jaclyn Mercer, from Canada.

Winner of the Good Luck Charm key ring is Sharon Extine, from the US.

Sharon, I have tried to send you an email, but it keeps bouncing. Please contact me on jackydahlhaus@gmail.com via an email address that accepts mine, so I can send you your prize!

Congratulations, Ladies!

Don’t forget there is a new Spring into Reading Rafflecopter running with fantastic prizes again:

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PS: Please note that when you enter the Rafflecopter, you will be subscribed to all these wonderful authors’ newsletters, offering promos and freebies!

Springtime Rafflecopter Giveaway!

My book is again available in a Rafflecopter giveaway! Check out the awesome 42 books and prizes you can win! This time there is a $120 cash prize too 🙂Spring_Into_Reading_Rafflecopter.jpg

PS: Please note that entering with entering the rafflecopter you will be signed up to these authors’ awesome newsletters. You can accept their freebies or unsubscribe at any time.

Meet the Author… David W. Thompson

David W. Thompson reacted to one of my Tweets and we began chatting. He was so kind to read and review my book (thank you again so much for this, David!) and, as I was intrigued by the blurb of his book, I bought his book, Sister Witch-The life of Moll Dyer (Legends of the Family Dyer), and I am reading it now. It is a wonderfully written book, with many details and descriptions of real-life experiences of the ‘olden days,’ that I can thoroughly recommend.

David W. Thompson

David W Thompson

You’ve always been reading, but you’ve had an extremely varied career before you began writing. What made you decide to write?

Most of that variety was prior to my stint in the Army. I was lucky—in terms of job security—to stay with the same aerospace/defense company for 32 years. That’s rather unusual nowadays. I’ve always written, but with my little people grown up (and retirement!!!!), I’ve discovered the time to pursue it in a meaningful way.  It’s what I’ve always aspired to, but making a solid living created a detour.

Your first book ‘Sister Witch’ is about the life of Moll Dyer. How much research did you do into Moll Dyer’s life and how much of your story is true?

As you may know, Moll is both a historical figure and a well-developed myth in this part of the U.S. There’s a lot of evidence to support her existence including Moll Dyer’s Run (a small stream) and a local road named after her that traverses her old homestead. Her rock (where she died leaving knee and hand imprints) is on display at our county courthouse. There is also a letter written by a colonist describing her (in very unflattering terms). Despite this, some still doubt she was real. Most historical evidence was destroyed in a courthouse fire, but after nearly 350 years, it seems every local family has an oral tradition about her! I spent many months interviewing folks about their version of her tale and started a Facebook page (Moll Dyer Fans) to gather more. Sister Witch is a novel incorporating all of these facts, tales and divergent points of view. Her story is a tragedy, and I cast her as I felt she deserved. Both in life and in legend, her story is heartrending.  How much is true? I can’t say with any certainty, I only repeated what she whispered in my ear.

The book has supernatural/paranormal topics. Do you believe in the supernatural? Have you had a supernatural experience yourself?

Yes and yes, but you have to promise not to tell! Isn’t that what people say for fear of being mocked for their experiences? On the Facebook page I mentioned above, I received so many PMs, but very few posts on the site. Most were “don’t mention my name” comments. But I digress. Yes, I saw both of my grandfathers after their deaths. Also, Sister Witch would never have been published if not for a nudge from my Mom—years after she passed. (Love and miss you, Mom!)

In your newest short story, ‘My name is Samantha,’ you feature another woman as the main character. What is your reason to write female main characters?

Hmm, I never really thought about that! I like women, and I don’t mean just that way. I grew up with very strong women in my life and respect how hard that must be in western society. I love what women represent—creators and nurturers… protectors of the innocent. From a literary perspective, I feel dialog is easier with women. I hate to make a blanket statement, but women seem to be so conversationally brave to me! While a group of hardheads are in a corner bragging about a favorite sports team, women are at the table discoursing on life, love, and solving the problems of the world. There are thoughts and feelings I find hard to make believable coming out of a man’s mouth. That said, Book 2 in the trilogy (My Father’s Blood) is told from Moll’s male descendant’s POV. The rough draft for Book 3 is split between the male and female main characters.

You also write under a pseudonym. Do you find it hard to keep up with the different names and accounts?

It can be. I don’t make a big secret of my pseudonym, but I thought at the time that it would be easier to segregate my writings by genre. Davina Guy also writes paranormal, but with a more romantic twist. I confess I spend much more effort on my “real” name accounts, so I’m not convinced it was the right move for me.

Which writer has inspired you the most and why?

One? How about a few? First, everything Thoreau and Tolkien ever touched. Albert Camus’s ‘The Stranger’ really struck a nerve with me. I love dark fiction, so I have to throw a thank you out to Poe, Mary Shelley, and Stephen King.

Does your family help you in any way writing your stories?

It would be impossible to separate life and family from my writing. I was blessed with a loving family and wonderful kids, but there’s always the “what ifs” simmering in the back of my brain.  As a parent, nightmares revolved around “bad things” happening to my children. What if something terrible happened? What if I wasn’t there to protect them? Of course, everyone has real-life trials and tribulations, moments that can turn your life dark or that you can rise above. That’s the allure of dark fiction—exploring those dark corners and what-ifs. Will your character be the guy or gal cowering from the scratching sounds under the bed or will they grab a baseball bat and dive in!

Have you already begun writing a new story? If so, what is it about?

Book 2 in the Dyer Legends trilogy is in editing. Moll’s spirit makes a cameo appearance. The rough draft of Book 3 is about done. I’ve also started a novel about a Native American couple. Still not sure exactly where that one is going, but we will see where the characters take me. That segment of history is particularly attractive to me.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us, David. I can’t wait for Book 2 to come out 🙂

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David W. Thompson’s books are available on Amazon.

St. Patrick’s Day Rafflecopter!

Last change, people! $100 cash prize, and 33 books & gifts (many of which are Amazon gift cards)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the Author… Mark Fowler

I know Mark Fowler from the One Stop Fiction Authors’ Resource Facebook site. We’ve been acquainted for two years now. Mark has been so lucky as to have his books published by Bloodhound Books and is doing pretty well, promoting his fourth book, Red Is The Colour, at the moment. I had the pleasure to chat with him yesterday evening through an author chat organized by Caroline Maston.

Mark L. Fowler

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What made you become a writer?

Possibly because I wasn’t any good at most other things in life! I love telling stories, making things up, indulging my imagination but in a way that communicates a truth to my readers. When I feel I have something to say, I write fiction, and I try to get to the heart of things the best way I can. 

Tell us a little about your work.

So far, I have published four novels: Coffin Maker (which took nearly twenty years to write!), The Man Upstairs, Silver, and Red Is The Colour. My books are all very different, and Coffin Maker, for example, does not clearly fit into any single genre, though it contains strong elements of gothic fiction and very dark humour. Red Is The Colour, on the other hand, is clearly a detective mystery thriller. The Man Upstairs is also a detective mystery, but with a twist of the very strange. While Silver can be read as a psychological thriller or as a gothic thriller. It is also very satirical regarding the publishing trade. 

Why do you write crime?

Crime is only part of it for me. There is crime at the heart of my books, though I would like to think that I’m also trying to explore what makes people tick, why people behave in certain ways in certain situations. I love the psychology of human behaviour. And the darkest crimes-murder for example-raise so many questions. We want to know what forms the heart of a monster or why an ordinary man or woman could carry out the most seemingly depraved acts on another human being. I also enjoy reading crime, of course, and many of my favourite authors write in the crime genres. 

What sparked your interest in the supernatural/gothic horror?

I’ve loved horror since the seventies when I used to stay up late Fridays to watch Hammer House of Horror. having said that, there are very few horror novels/films that I really love, whereas there are countless crime and mystery books and films. For me, many of the finest horror writers go beyond genre and are not constrained by it, for example, Ray Bradbury.

What do you find the easiest and hardest parts of writing a book?

For me, it’s starting a book that is the hardest part. Going off in the right direction, beginning at the right place. Once I get the opening right and the momentum starts to develop, I’m okay. I’m learning to plot a little before I set off as I always fear I may run up a dead end. Easier on the nerves having a basic plan, though to over plot from the beginning would kill the book off for me before it got started.

How much research goes into your novels?

I confess to not really being much of a researcher. Coffin Maker and The Man Upstairs were perfect for me, as I could make absolutely everything up. With Red Is The Colour, I gave myself a break by using a local setting, an area that I know extremely well and could write about confidently. However, there was the matter of police procedure, of course. I don’t particularly enjoy reading dense procedurals, and so I steered clear of getting too bogged down, but I did ask a police officer I know to help me with some of the details and to ensure that I wasn’t making any glaring errors. She was very helpful. 

What do you do in between writing books?

Read books! And listen to music and watch films, mainly.

What have you got lined up for us?

I have a follow up to Red Is The Colour written and two psychological thrillers also completed, not to mention three YA books that I would dearly love to find a suitable publisher for. I can’t stop writing them! I’m taking some time though to consider my options before moving forward with my next publication and will keep you posted.

I wish Mark success in the promotion of Red Is The Colour. Mark’s book Silver is on sale for £0.99 at the moment, so why not grab that one as well while it’s hot!

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Mark L. Fowler’s books can be found on Amazon and Bloodhound Books.

 

Twisted50 Vol.2 Teaser Trailer

 

Twisted50Vol2_Winners

Woohoo! Remember I said my short story won entry to the Twisted50 Volume 2 horror anthology? Well, the book is at the printer as we speak and the Create50 team has made a trailer for it.

Watch it on YouTube.

I’ve read some of the other stories, and I can tell you, these authors have frickin’ weird minds. Some stories are wicked, some are horrific, and some will make you want to keep the light on at night. Macaroni will never be the same…

My story is called ‘Rumour has it…’ and it’s about a girl standing trial for five most gruesome murders. Is she guilty or not? You’ll have to buy the book to find out! It’s out soon.

St. Patrick’s Day Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Get your copies now, before the promotion ends. There is a multitude to choose from. They’re free, so why wait?

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Social Media Takeovers: An Unknown Phenomenon

Yesterday, Halloween 2017, I took part in the Dark Fantasy Books takeover and had a ball. ‘What’s a takeover?’ you may ask. That’s exactly the problem; most people don’t know what it is, let alone that they can participate. I’ll try and remedy this situation and hopefully help authors and readers alike. A win-win situation!

What is a Takeover?

According to the Collins English Dictionary, a takeover is the act of taking control of a country, political party, or movement by force. The takeover I’m talking about is less aggressive as it is a virtual party where various people take the reins and host the party for a limited time, usually half an hour. I have only done Facebook takeovers (two in total; I’m still a noob), but you can have them on any type of social media.

There should be guidelines to a takeover and the person organizing it usually lets all participants know what is expected. See it as a real party. First, you introduce yourself in a post. You talk a bit about where you’re from and what you do. Then you promote whatever you’re promoting in a couple of posts, including samples and links to your product. You usually end with a post on how people can contact you for more information.

Sounds like a boring sales talk? Wrong! Laced through this information are quizzes, games, funny anecdotes, unknown insights, and samples! People have to post funny GIFs, answer questions about topics of the takeover, and there are usually jokes. The crazier the questions, the crazier the answers, the more fun to be had!

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Gain for Readers

Takeovers are so lucrative for readers! I was, again, amazed that all participants in the takeover were only authors. Apart from being lots of fun with quizzes and games, there are lots of free books up for grabs. Most authors give away prequels for free and the prizes are usually their books. Next to this, you get to know the author. You get a connection with them and this makes reading their books so much more interesting.

So you get a fab time and free books. What more could you ask for?

Gain for Authors

When you do a book takeover, you usually do it with a group of authors that write in your genre. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded spirits, read samples of their work, and make new friends. It is amazing how small the world becomes in this virtual reality. Best of all, your work gets seen by more people who hopefully will share your work, spread the word about your book, and possibly write a review.

Promotion

I guess the key to a successful takeover is promotion. If you don’t promote the takeover well in advance, nobody will know about it and nobody will show up. You can use all social media available to spread the word. Do it clear and do it loud! The more attendees, the merrier 🙂

If you are a reader and you know an author, participate in a takeovers when they advertise one. Like I said, it’s a win-win situation!

Header image by Luiz Hanfilaque from Unsplash, edited by Jacky Dahlhaus

Party photo by Anthony DELANOIX from Unsplash.

Happy New Year!

Hello again everybody,

Happy New Year! I wish you all a year filled with love, laughter and healthiness (if that is a word 🙂 ).

I just got back from my holiday and am almost back into the routine of things. The washing has been sorted and lays piled up in the laundry, waiting for their turn. Suitcases have been emptied and await their storage in the attic. Pre-holiday mess has not been cleared by pixies, so will have to deal with this still.

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Also, an appointment with the GP has been made to unblock my ears. We went diving in the Maldives (I know, lucky me!) and I’ve got swimmers ear now. Never had the problem before and I have been diligent with cleaning my ears after every dive, but unfortunately it hasn’t helped this time. I sure hope they can fix the problem as it is a horrible sensation. I may try to use a home remedy of a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar before the appointment. Waiting thirteen days with blocked ears to be seen by the doctor is a long time.

I found out this morning that my car has chucked a tantrum for not being used for almost a fortnight and refuses to budge from its spot. It starts up okay, just doesn’t want to move. Fortunately we are insured properly and somebody is coming to have a look at it within an hour. I feel disabled without being to move around as I please, so I hope it’s just some rusty break pads or the likes. Fingers crossed.

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Writing wise nothing has happened over the holidays, but I’m sure you can imagine why. I did get some reading done though and have finished The Hostile (by Joy Mutter), Vesta Mansion (by P.A. Priddey), The Second Guess, (by Keith Dixon), and am about halfway of The Keresa Headdress (by Larry D. Schackelford). Not as much as I had hoped, but still a good effort if I may say so myself. I will put some reviews up soon. My New Year resolution is to read on a daily basis. I will probably set an hour apart every day for this purpose.

Anyway, enough chatter by me. More writing news in the days to come.

xxx

PS: Nobody got infected by me after my visit to Holland. Phew!