It’s my pleasure to have talented author and fellow Crooked Cat, Ailsa Abraham, on my website today. Ailsa Abraham has worked at more jobs than she can remember, finally ending up teaching English in France over twenty years ago. Now on early retirement due to health problems she can devote herself to her passion for writing.
Her other interests include campaigning for animal welfare, motorbikes and studying ancient and modern religions. Her passion for genuine ritual practices are reflected in her writing.
As Ailsa Abraham published by Crooked Cat, she has written: Alchemy a romance / intrigue centred on environmental concerns and big business. Shaman’s Drum – a love story with adventure. She also writes detective fiction and has contributed to stacks of anthologies, usually for charity.
“In Attention to Death, Ailsa Abraham pulls off something I wouldn’t have thought possible – a steamy romance with a twist of murder and a splash of social conscience. A remarkable book that will have you turning pages as quickly as you can to find out what happens next.” ~India Drummond, author of the Caledonia Fae series
Finding a murderer among a group of killers is not going to be easy for two Royal Army Military Police investigators, Captain Angus Simpson and Staff-Sergeant Rafael ‘Raff’ Landen, whose Christmas leave is cancelled for an investigation into a suspicious death on a base in Germany.
The case is further complicated by unhelpful senior officers who make pre-judgements on colour, creed, race and sexuality. Yet the insight of the investigators helps them uncover a sinister plot, although they too have something to hide: their own fledgling relationship.
Will Angus and Raff be able to solve the murder without giving away their secret?
The best and worst of human nature is represented in this story, which is why it is suggested for over 18s only.
Today is the start of my first ever blog tour for my latest book, Ninja School mum. A big thank you to today’s host, author Michelle Abbott for her support and wonderful post.
Check out Michelle’s blog post here:
I am currently organising the paperback launch for this book and have set up a Facebook page that explains my whole journey of planning my first ebook launch online, which is on the 30th Jan, to my paperback launch and organising my own blog tour. If you are planning an event for your own writing, there might be some tips from what I have learnt there. Anyone is welcome to join. Enjoy!
Click photo for book link.
About Heidi Catherine:
Heidi Catherine is a writer with a weakness for stories that encourage readers to see the world in a new light. Her debut novel, The Soulweaver, explores the possibility of loving the same souls over many lifetimes. This novel is the winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award and will be released by Crooked Cat Books on 19 January 2018.
Not being able to decide if she prefers living in Melbourne or the Mornington Peninsula, Heidi shares her time between both places. She is similarly pulled in opposing directions by her two sons and two dogs, remaining thankful she only has one husband.
Heidi loves to hear from readers and can be found at www.heidicatherine.com
The Soulweaver by Heidi Catherine
She’s loved and lost him a hundred times across a thousand years. She can’t bear to lose him again.
Lin’s dreams are haunted by faces of people she’s never met. Unable to shake the feeling she’s lived before, she’s drawn to Reinier—a stranger whose soul is heartbreakingly familiar from a time gone by.
Reinier helps Lin unravel the mystery of her past life as Hannah, a girl who sacrificed herself for her true love, Matthew. As Lin falls hopelessly in love with Reinier, her memories of her life as Hannah sharpen and she finds herself unable to let go of Matthew.
With her heart torn in two, Lin must decide whether she should stand by Reinier’s side or track down Matthew and fight for his love. What she doesn’t know is that her decision will ripple across our troubled planet, affecting far more lives than just her own.
Winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award, The Soulweaver is a story that will change the way you see the world.
Here are five fun things you may not know about me, by Heidi Catherine!
1. I am a vegetarian who used to work in a delicatessen. You’d think that coming home with shoes filled with chicken blood might have been what tipped me over the vegetarian edge, but almost 20 years passed between me leaving work at the deli and deciding to no longer eat meat. My decision also had nothing to do with the tray of ham I threw at my boss’s feet when I resigned… I promise.
2. When I was growing up, my father was a forensic scientist with the police. My sister and I were strictly forbidden to look in his briefcase, which of course meant that we looked in it every chance we got. Until one day we found a jar with a human finger floating in it (nail polish perfectly intact). Scarred for life!
3. I recently had a Soul Reading, where I was told that in my past lives I’ve been a trapped miner, a dancer and a famous male actor in black and white movies. Apparently I was a very dapper and had a lovely moustache. Those were the days…
4. In my early 20s I was talked into doing a bungy jump. I was so petrified that I refused to jump so the guy working there picked me up by my hands and dropped me straight over the edge. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever done.
5. In celebration of signing my first publishing deal, I got a tattoo on the inside of my left wrist that says ‘BELIEVE’. A few minutes before the tattoo artist began he confessed to me that he’s dyslexic. Not exactly what I wanted to hear!
The Emerald Pro award is an annual competition run by Romance Writers of Australia for the best unpublished manuscript written by a published author.
The Soulweaver won first place in the Emerald Pro awards in 2015.
Emerald Pro judges’ comments:
‘This entry had me transfixed from the very first sentence and the intrigue continued throughout the whole book. Amazingly well written, fantastic use of poetic language, unusual story line that made sense even though it transposed time and characters. Thought it was wonderful.’
`I would describe it as really beautiful, clever and interesting story about love (not just romantic) and connections.’
‘The story, it’s amazing! Loved it! I love the concept and the storyline.’
‘The writing is beautiful, and I think this story has been very carefully crafted for the target readership. I think it will really appeal to young female readers (and older ones too).’
‘This was a very compelling novel opening. I shivered a few times while reading it— always the sign of a good story, I think! I thought the plot was well structured and well paced. The tone of the opening drew me in, and the writing was expressive without being overly flowery. The supernatural part of the story was also dealt with beautifully.’
‘The opening lines are very powerful and would definitely grab the intended audience. There was a feeling of intense emotion straightaway and I was captivated by what might have happened.’
Book Title: The Soulweaver
Author: Heidi Catherine
Release date: 19 January 2018
Available for Sale at: TBC
Retail Price: TBC
Publisher website: www.crookedcatbooks.com
Author website: www.heidicatherine.com
Author Twitter: www.twitter.com/heidicatherine
Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/heidicatherineauthor
I’m thrilled to introduce you to author Rose McClelland, who is published by Crooked Cat.
Rose writes women’s fiction with a splash of romance and comedy. She writes about dating and relationships in a humorous fashion, placing plenty of twists and turns along the way. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella.
Rose lives in Belfast but divides her time between the sofa and bubble bath. When she’s not writing, she’s reading. It’s a bit of an addiction actually. That, and the chocolate Freddos. She can often be found on Facebook posting photos and stories about her cat, her cooking or book reviews.
She has written a few short plays and finds it a buzz to see actors performing her words on stage.
Please follow her on Facebook or Twitter – she’d love to hear from you!
- What made you decide to be a writer?
I always had my head stuck in a book as a child. I loved our weekly library trips and would have gobbled the books up by the time we had drove home! I remember at the age of ten telling my mum that I’d like to be a writer. But the book that really made me want to write was “Rachel’s Holiday” by Marian Keyes. I loved the style of writing – the raw honesty mixed with humour.
- Tell us about your latest book and how long did it take you to write?
My latest book is called “The Year of No Rules”. It took me between 9 months to a year to write. It’s about a couple and their relationship. Believe it or not, he gives her a list of rules to follow and for a while, she goes along with it. Needless to say, this tests her patience to the max. Throwing the rulebook away, she then takes matters into her own hands and plays the game her way.
- Do you want each of your books to stand alone, or become a series?
My three published books are all stand alone. I am writing my fourth novel at the moment and because of the setting and the characters involved, I can see possibility for a series. This would be great as the characters are firmly lodged in my head.
- How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
It made me read even more and think more about what I want from books as a reader.
- What excites you most about being an author?
I still love reading and find the best way to relax is by being engrossed in good book. I love the process of tucking myself away and putting pen to paper. It is so much fun watching what the characters will get up to and recording the story as it unfolds.
- What is the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A laptop. I used it to write my morning pages and do an online writing course with my friends in Brighton. That was the course that really helped me get started on my first novel.
- How do you balance writing and marketing your work?
With great difficulty! I love the writing side of things, however I struggle with the marketing. If I had my way, I’d tuck myself away in an ivory tower and write to my heart’s content. However, there’s not much point in writing a novel if you’re not willing to share the finished product!
- Have you become friends with any other authors and has this helped or hindered your writing journey?
Yes, I have be-friended lots of other authors – in particular fellow Crooked Cat authors. It’s a massive help to chat with other authors and motivate each other.
- What did you edit out of your current book?
My editor helped me to edit the minor characters by writing a bit more of a back story about them. I had a tendency to just make small parts appear out of nowhere to move the story along.
- What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Becoming overwhelmed by the endless amount of marketing jobs that could be done. That is when I tend to bury my head in the sand!
“The Year of No Rules”
When Sasha falls in love with Kirk, she can’t believe her luck. He’s gorgeous, charismatic and charming. Within months he’s even discussing the ‘M’ word – marriage.
But there’s one problem – he’s given her a list of rules to sign.
Blindly led by her infatuation (and the fact that she’s been single forever) – she agrees to sign it and abide by them until everything goes horribly wrong.
Picking herself up and boldly moving on as a ‘No Rules’ girl, Sasha goes on a string of disastrous dates, and eventually meets Sam through mutual friends. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, she keeps him at arm’s length.
Can he tame her independent streak? Or will she be able to make Kirk come crawling back?
I have begun planning my book launch, which is in Jan next year. It seems so far away, but it will be here before I realise, probably. I’m trying to learn what to do, as i’ve never held a virtual launch before.
So far, I have set up a launch group for anyone who would like to join in with the launch and have designed a tour page, which I have put on this blog for bloggers to sign up to join my tour. It’s been a really interesting to try and find out the best way to approach this. After I had set my launch group up, I read it’s best to set it up 3 months before at the earliest …oops! I did mine a little before that. I have been posting all the tips about book launches I have learnt there to help other authors. I’ve also decided to do shout outs and posts about the bloggers who are supporting my tour across social media by way of a big thank you for their hard work.
If any of you would like to join my tour, or the Facebook tour group, here are the links:
Facebook Tour for Ninja School Mum.
Tour sign up page for Ninja School Mum.
My Twitter page for shout outs for my tour hosts.
Welcome to another Monday Marketing post. I hope you’ve had a relaxing weekend and are ready for a brand new week?
Today’s topic is link backs and raising the SEO rankings of your blog or website. I recently discovered that a great way to generate more views on your site is to add internal links.
- Write an article or post with original content. Google notices if content is the same somewhere else on the web.
- Add internal links within your post. This is a great way to create more page views within one article. People often only stay on a page for a few minutes, but may click links to other related topics if highlighted in the post and stay on your website or blog for longer, which in turn will boost your SEO and make your site more visible. I have added links in this post for you to see what I mean. Click the highlighted text and you will be taken to other articles on my blog.
- How to add an internal link in WordPress: Highlight the word in your text that you would like to make an internal link, then click the insert link button in your control panel. Open a new tab/webpage in your browser and open a different page on your website that is relevant to the keyword you have highlighted and copy the link. For example: The word marketing in one of my posts, could be part of the current post, but could also lead you to another post i’ve written on the topic, which you might also enjoy. Then paste that link from the browser into the insert link box in the article you are writing. Check the open in another page box to ensure a new window opens with the alternative page, then click, add link. This will make your chosen word into a live internal link.
Today is Rave Reviews Book Club’s Pay It Forward day (#PIF). It’s my pleasure to introduce you to an author who is so supportive of others and I’d love to help you discover her work.
Author D.L. Finn is an independent California local, who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks and cedars, her creativity was cradled until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to her readers to join her.
Click the book covers to buy your own copy and start reading!
Review for No Fairy Tale:
No Fairy Tale takes a look at the author’s life from childhood to adulthood and the struggles inherent along the way. What makes this memoir unique is that the author chooses to tell it in third person substituting a “princess” for herself throughout the narrative.
I was initially wary of reading this, knowing it would touch on issues of abuse, something I have a hard time reading about. But the narrative is so strong and heartfelt, it’s impossible not to be caught up in the writing. The journey is rewarding, especially seeing how the author grows and is able to find peace, not only in her life, but with those around her.
The second half of the book is devoted to poetry. Reading through these, the mood often conveys what the writer was experiencing in her life at that point. Some are beautiful, others sad and dark. My favorites are Meadow, Valentine Kittens and Get Old.
Well written, No Fairy Tale, has the capability of aiding others in similar situations to rise above circumstance.
Book blurb for This Second Chance:
D.L. Finn’s first adult fiction, which has just been released!
Newly married Rachael Battaglia finally had it all. The only detail that stained Rachael’s perfect wedding was a gift she received. It was the exact present that her late ex-husband had given her on their wedding day — a snow globe. That marriage was not what she had envisioned, and she endured years of his abuse and charm until one night she escaped with two kids and one on the way.
Now Rachael was headed to Hawaii with an amazing man and her chance at happiness. Unbeknownst to Rachael, she had an Angel on her side, although this Angel might not be able to save Rachael and her family from the evil that surrounded them. This is a tale of love, past relationships, things unseen, and redemption. Will Rachael find her happy ending, or will this evil thing get its way?
More books by D.L.Finn
You can find D.L. Finn on Twitter:
Happy new week everyone! Today’s Marketing Tips and are about team building. Being a writer can be quite isolating and I’ve found that networking and talking to others really helps me to be inspired and more confident. Here are some tips to gather your own team of confidants, creatives or co-workers to share your working life with. Some might even become good friends!
Networking: Networking is now big business, but the fundamentals remain the same. Networking isn’t always about furthering your career, it can be a great way to meet friends and share creative ideas. There are groups on most social media sites and they usually have a topic name. I run a networking hour on twitter called #CreativeBizHour and it’s for anyone who enjoys creativity and likes to meet other people and have a friendly chat. To join these chats, just add the hashtags to your tweets, but it has to be during the networking session times.
There are networking hours for so many industries or interests from working mums and dads to food lovers, fashionistas to people in specific areas of the world and the list is endless!
You can usually find networking groups locally by doing an internet search. These can be great fun and give you contacts with others who live in the same region as you and have similar interests.
Group Chats: Facebook is a great place to find groups of people with similar interests to you. If you love books, just type book groups into the search bar and lots of variations of book group will appear. See which ones interest you and ask to join. The page admins will then have a chance to check out your application, make sure the topic is a genuine interest to you and add you to the group.
Local hobby groups: Most small towns, villages and cities have local hobby groups. An internet search will usually find them. This is a place to meet people in your area with the same hobbies as you and a great way to network in person and make friends who enjoy the things you do.
Your vibe attracts your tribe. This made me smile. I think my tribe would be full of slightly zany creatives, or people who enjoy creativity and unusual books!
The vibe you give off and the person that you are, attracts like minded people. You can often tell what a person is like by those around them. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and enjoy your individuality. Most of my family and friends think I’m a bit eccentric, but they encourage me anyway. Thank goodness for that!
I love this photo. It can be easy to doubt yourself as a writer, but learning to believe in yourself and be who you are, can help tremendously. Here are a few ideas to bring inner confidence.
Do something that you love.
If you can find small pockets of time during the week to do something that you love, this will bring more confidence, as you will feel happier on the inside.
Don’t keep putting off getting things done. Task left unfinished will just drag your mood down.
Put on a happy face.
Research has shown that smiling makes us feel happier, even if we don’t fully commit to it. Try smiling a few times during the day when you wouldn’t normally and see if it lifts your mood.
Celebrate your achievements.
Pat yourself on the back for even the smallest achievement. If you did something well, feel proud of what you have done.
Be kind to others.
This is something that makes everyone feel good. Kindness to others is not something everyone can achieve.
Moving your muscles every so often increases oxygen flow to the body and helps your mind to focus. You won’t have time to doubt yourself when you are on the move.
Throw away any negative thoughts.
You don’t need them. Bin them!
Be you 🙂