Friday, 30 March 2018

Meet Author Aaron Brinker


    In this month's 'Author Spotlight' feature I'm happy to introduce you to US, indie author and writer of multiple genre fiction, Aaron Brinker. I was introduced to Aaron like many of my fellow author friends via the virtual world and I am delighted to have connected with him.


  • Aaron, what took you on the path of writing fiction in multiple genres?
          Life, literature, and film were my main influences into writing multiple genres. I grew up loving horror movies, as well as movies and shows with dragons and other fantastical beasts. Some of the books I read growing up were, A Wrinkle In Time, Where the Red fern Grows, and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
          I have an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and worked for Juvenile Corrections for four years and this is where my interest in potential crime thrillers originates. I also hold a Bachelor's in General Studies with minors in History and English Literature.

  • You have written both short-stories and a book for publication to date. For those thinking of writing for publication, what made you take the plunge?
          What pushed me into writing for publication was due to a professor in college. My English Composition professor pulled me to the side one day after I let him read some poetry I had written on a downward spiral. He asked me in which area of study I was majoring in, at the time it was history.
          He told me whatever course I chose, I needed to write, because I had a huge amount of potential. Since then, I have been pursuing writing for publication. I was taking care of an ill parent during  that time as well and I was not able to work due to the level of my father's care, so I started  pursuing it for extra income while caring for him.
  • Is your writing aimed at an adult only audience?
         Mane of Redemption, is currently my only story that is directed for younger readers. The Narrative of Benjamin White, could be read by younger audiences, but there are a few scenes that are graphic. Second Chances and Regaining Power are definitely written with adult audiences in mind.

  • The first short-story you published 'Regaining Power' I know contains scenes of domestic violence. What made you choose to write about this sensitive subject?
          Strangely enough, Regaining Power's overabundance of domestic violence was a spur of the moment creative decision. Granted, it stems from the Criminal Justice background. It started as an entry for a competition. I ended up not completing the story by the deadline. The premise of the story was supposed to be something that happened in a dark room.
         I automatically thought of a basement, followed by the usual cliche of a murder happening in the basement. From there it just went darker and darker. I finally ended up with a woman torturing and murdering her abusive husband to get free of abuse. For those who have yet to read it, I thought of another dark twist that brings it all too close to the dark reality that often happens in domestic violence situations.

  • We know that writing short-stories can help a writer develop their writing skills. Did you find that writing and publishing your short-stories before your novel helped you in any way?
          Publishing my short-stories before my novella helped in the sense it gave me more insight in the editing process. Second Chances, was completed at least before The Narrative of Benjamin White and Mane of Redemption were started. Every time I went back for another round of edits to Second Chances, I would catch something that I had not known before finishing the other two stories.

  • The final question I have for you Aaron is one I'm sure my readers would like me to ask. What are you working on at present and will we get a chance to read it in the very near future?
         My current WIP is the story following, Mane of Redemption. I am possibly going to try and get it traditionally published. There are many other stories, that I have on my to do list. One of these (crime thriller) I am dreading in the sense that I'm  sure it will give me issues sleeping at night. I have been thinking about it quite a bit today on whether, or not I should make it first in a series, or standalone.

    Thanks Aaron, for taking the time to answer my questions, so frankly and honestly. Readers click on the links below to find out more about Aaron and where to buy his books.


Goodreads Blog

Youtube Vlog 

 Books   :

Monday, 26 March 2018

Walking on Hallowed Ground

Robert the Bruce

    It has been a long time since I was five-years-old and my recollections are fairly vague of that time. However, I do remember that life inside my home thankfully for me, was mostly a happy time.

    Apart from problems of bullying at school I did manage to get through the rest of my life fairly unscathed so far.

Gatehouse of Dunfermline Palace

    But, what if I had been born in the 14th century and heir to a royal throne? David II Scotland was such a child, born in Dunfermline Palace, March 1324, became King of Scotland at the age of five years. The year was 1329 and he had big boots to fill, being the only son of, Robert the Bruce, one of the greatest Scottish warriors ever.

    It was a  sanguineous time, the constant power struggles between Scotland and England meant that it was dangerous to be the reigning monarch. Although, David was king until his death in Edinburgh Castle in 1371, he spent many years in exile in France like many of  the Scottish monarchy did in the years to come.

The Nave of the Abbey

   The echo of my footsteps on the flagstone in the nave of the Abbey made me feel like an intruder, knowing that many Kings and Queens of Scotland have walked upon the same ground. Would the child David have played here, or cried over the death of his father? Something for the imagination to capture that's for sure.

The Nave of the Abbey


Friday, 23 March 2018

Virtual Tour

    In 2017 Scotland attracted 30 million tourists. Edinburgh Castle and The National Museum of Scotland each attracting 2 million visitors each.

    When we plan our vacations it can be difficult to decide what main cultural, or art attractions we want to include in our visit, especially if we only have two weeks to spend in our desired location.

    We trawl the Internet, read travel guide books for information and most importantly photographs of our planned destination.

    I am very rarely disappointed when I finally arrive at my holiday place. However I have been and that was many years ago before the Internet was around. That's why I think the use of virtual tours is a fantastic idea. While, there are many things the tour cannot capture, as in smells, pollution and noise, initially for most of us it's what our eyes see that grabs our interest.

    The National Museum of Scotland wants to do just that and is the first museum in Scotland to allow us to take a virtual tour. Having visited the museum on several occasions I can recommend it and it is a must if you are visiting Edinburgh. See for yourself via Google arts and Culture's Museum View.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Celebrating Poetry


    Fear, anxiety, happiness, anticipation, sympathy, excitement, surprise, guilt, anger, and sorrow are all emotions that humans share.

    Whether we live in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Australia, or Antarctica, we express our feelings and the questions that we experience in our lives in all sorts of ways.

    Encouraging our children to communicate their emotions in any artistic form, is important in their human development. There is nothing more delightful than listening to kids singing. Or, your son, daughter, niece, nephew giving you a picture drawn in crayon, they did especially for you. Your heart is ready to burst with the pleasure you feel.

    Another such way for us all to demonstrate our thoughts and emotions is in writing poetry. UNESCO recognised the importance of poetry in our cultural identities and adopted March 21 as 'World Poetry Day' during their conference in 1999.

    Now, each year this is a day in which we can all come together to celebrate the art of poetry. A celebration I want to join. As poetry, I believe is one of the most fantastic ways to orally express ourselves.

    I want to honour this special day and the first day of spring with you today, therefore I've included one of my poems from my book poetry, In Deep. The book you can also download free with your Kindle app from March 20 until March 25.


    Mother nature yawns and opens her eyes,
she can at last silence her yearning sighs.
    It's time to sow her seed.
She's sent out her invitations,
 to join her in March madness to breed.
    Winter should now cease venting its wroth,
as the sun has started its journey moving north.
   Today the hours of light,
equal that of the hours of night.
The sun has crossed the equinoctial line,
and we now move into springtime.
 Hopefully saying "goodbye" to the chilly winds,
that cut like a knife.
The warmth that the sun bestows,
helping to nurture the gift that is known as life.

        Happy reading 'World Poetry Day 2018' and Happy Spring!

Friday, 16 March 2018

The Tears of Scotland

Fort George, Inverness. Built for defence against further uprisings such as fought at Culloden

      It was a cold winter's day when I visited Culloden Moor, near Inverness, Scotland. There was no place to shelter from the icy-cold wind that chafed my cheeks on this desolate landscape. 

    The hairs on the back of my neck bristled, my imagination caught up in the ghostly atmosphere. There was a continual feeling that the spirits of the two thousand who lost their lives here, were still roaming on this historic battlefield and burial ground. 

    I awaited the silence that surrounded me, to be broken by the sound of cannon fire, musket shot and the shout of charging Highlanders. But, not even birds can find a song to sing in this sacred place.

    Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army were defeated here, April 16 1746, by the government's red coated forces, loyal to King George. A defeat that ended,  "The Young Pretender's" claim to the British throne.

    While, there will be no more blood spilled on this land, it is becoming a battlefield once again. A war of words and red tape is being used to fight against this historical area becoming a building site.

    The battle now being fought is between planners, builders, local government and those who believe we should honour our dead.

    It seems that builders want to disrespect the fact that this area contains war graves and plan to build 16 houses. Local government has suspended their decision until May approximately.

    We say to them, "Please let Scotland shed no more tears."

Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banished peace, thy laurels torn
Thy sons, for valour long renowned
Lie slaughtered on their native ground
Thy hospitable roofs no more
Invite the stranger to the door
In smoky ruins sunk they lie
The monuments of cruelty

    The Tears of Scotland by Tobias George Smollet (1721-!771) 

    Unfortunately, no Culloden pictures to insert.

Monday, 12 March 2018

I Made Another Garden

    I love walking around gardens, when they are in full bloom, when the flowers start to fade away and die I feel kind of sad. Whether, public, or private if I've got my camera to hand I'll take photographs. For my classic poetry spot today I searched for something appropriate and this poem/song by British writer Arthur O'Shaughnessy somehow fitted the bill. 

    O'Shaugnessy's work included "We are the Music makers" featured in the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Words spoken by the late and great, Gene Wilder.


I Made Another Garden

I made another garden, yea
For my new love
I left the dead rose where it lay
And set the new above
Why did the summer not begin?
Why did my heart not haste?
My old love came and walked therein
And laid the garden waste

She entered with her weary smile
Just as of old
She looked around a little while
And shivered at the cold
Her passing touch was death to all
Her passing look a blight
She made the white rose-petals fall
And turned the red rose white

Her pale robe, clinging to the grass
Seemed like a snake
 That bit the grass and ground, alas!
And a sad trail did make
She went up slowly to the gate
And there, just as of yore
She turned back at the last to wait
And say farewell once more 

Arthur William Edgar O'Shaugnessy
14 March 1844 - 30 January 1881

Thursday, 8 March 2018

I'm a Barbie Girl


    I was brought up with the Barbie doll and today she is fifty-nine years young. Sadly, she is no longer amongst the small collection of dolls I have. However, I don't hold it against her that she packed her bags and left long ago, in fact I still have a great admiration for her. While, the natural ageing process hasn't affected her in anyway, she is now a lady of a certain age, an age when she and all women should be respected for their life's achievements.

    Seriously though, as a kid I used to use  my large collection of dolls to act out the crazy stories that ran through my head and retell my own version of the epic films I saw my father watch on TV. For instance, I can remember on one occasion he agreed to me sitting on his knee to watch, the Land of the Pharaohs, directed by Howard Hawks. Something, I know he must have later regretted.

    Of course, there were conditions attached and number one on the list was that I had to promise to be quiet. Yes, I was an obedient kid and not a word was spoken by me until the final credits disappeared from the screen.

    Then, it was time for my leading lady, Barbie, to take to the stage. Or, centre top of the coffee table in the lounge, as it was. Barbie was taking up her biggest role yet, as Cypriot, Princess Nellifer, second wife of Pharaoh Khufu, played by Paul, Sindy's boyfriend.

     I adorned Barbie's hair with my mother's old earrings and hung bracelets around her neck. The building of Khufu's burial tomb was central to the plot of the story and as no tombs were available, a shoe-box had to suffice.

    Barbie had many costume changes and kisses from Paul. Sindy along with my other dolls, which came in all shapes sizes taking on the role of extras. Which in this film particularly, was a cast of thousands.

    My memory of the rest of my tale is vague, but I do remember I had great fun that day with my friend Barbie. Although, thinking back I do hope Paul wasn't cheating on Sindy with Barbie.

    Happy Birthday Barbie!

Monday, 5 March 2018

At Sunset

   It never ceases to amaze me as to how many great poets and writers did not receive any formal education in their early years. However, a love of reading, a hunger for words and a passion for life goes a long way.

    One such poet was Canadian writer and performer, Emily Pauline Johnson and I wanted to share one of her poems with you today. Being a woman and from a culturally diverse background, I'm sure it wasn't easy to gain recognition in the 19th century, however her words speak for themselves.

    At Sunset

Tonight the west over-brims with warmest dyes
Its chalice overflows
With pools of purple colouring the skies
Aflood with gold and rose
And some hot soul seems throbbing close to mine
As sinks the sun within that world of wine

I seem to hear a bar of music float
And swoon into the west
My ear can scarcely catch the whispered note
But something in my breast
Blends with that strain, till both accord in one
As cloud and colour at set of sun

And twilight comes with grey and restful eyes
As ashes follow flame
But O! I heard a voice from those rich skies
Call tenderly my name
It was as if some priestly fingers stole
In benedictions over my lonely soul

I know not why, but all my being longed
And leapt at that sweet call
My heart outreached its arms, all passion thronged
And beat against fate's wall
Crying in utter homesickness to be
Near to a heart that loves and leans to me
At sunset

Emily Pauline Johnson

 Collections of poems by Emily Pauline Johnson can be found on Amazon and throughout the web.


Friday, 2 March 2018

Meet Author Nico J. Genes

    The wonderful thing about social media is that it allows like-minded people to connect all over the world.
    Recently through an author friend, I had the pleasure of making friends in the virtual world with Romanian born, author of lesbian romance and blogger Nico J. Genes.
    Currently living in Slovenia, Nico has recently published her second book and has kindly agreed to a Q & A feature.

Books Contain Adult Content

  •  Nico, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to let us into your creative world. Tell us a little about your journey into the world of writing. 

           Hello, Christina. First of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity of this interview. The Internet has made so many things possible and every day our life is becoming richer with virtual friends.

          While growing up and during my studies I scribbled some short stories and poems, but kept them to myself. It was less than two years ago when I decided to take a break from my occupation and I used the time to write my first novel and start my blog. My life gained a different perspective and I am grateful that I listened to my inner voice. It has allowed me to take a path to use my creativity and tell some unique stories.

  • What made you decide to write lesbian fiction? 

          I first got the idea for the plot and initially it wasn't supposed to be lesbian fiction. But, I wanted to write more than just a love story, I wanted to write a beautiful story with a message. Hence, I changed the initial idea and I must say I enjoyed that a lot. I am also happy that through my novels I can hopefully reach people's hearts and minds, especially those that still have prejudices. Love is love and shouldn't be judged no matter of gender.

  • What do you consider being your main audience?

          I know for a fact that readers of lesbian/bisexual romance are my main audience. But, 'The Reverie' series was mainly written for a wider audience. Readers of romance in general, looking to read something new, something different, something that makes them think during and after finishing the novel. I am surprised to see that men enjoy my work too. Probably it is a cliche to think that romance is mainly for women.

  • Is your work aimed at any particular age of reader?

          Having in mind some intimate scenes, I would prefer that my readers are over the age of 18 years old.

  • How did you decide on your debut title, 'Magnetic Reverie'? 

          In order to have the best title I came up with a few ideas, then I asked my friends and family for their opinion. It was actually my brother-in-law who came up with the final suggestion and when I saw it, I knew that was it.

  • You have a second book that was released in January, 'Reverie Girl'. Is this a venture into a new genre?

          My second book, 'Reverie Girl', is a sequel to my first book and offers the answers to this. So, for the time being, I stayed in the same genre. I believe it is a perfect addition to the first one from all points of view. The second book will bring the story above the fiction level. It is reality, we can't be judged for whom we love and we should always follow our heart in order to live happily.     

    Thank you Nico for letting us get to know you today. Readers I'm sure you would like to know more about Nico and her books, therefore I've included relevant links below. Please note Nico's work contains ADULT CONTENT.






Book Trailers: