The magic goes on

There’s something about Spring that makes me want to freshen things up a little, and while working on the cover for Magical Memories I decided to have a look at its predecessor too.
So, this isn’t just a cover reveal for the second book, it’s a cover reveal for the whole ‘series’ 🙂

I say ‘series’ in the loosest sense possible, since even when book two is out it’ll still only be a two-book series, but …

Nah, I’ve said too much. And I really should stop making rash promises to write more about Archie and his life.

So, back to business and the cover reveal for Magical Memories.

With any luck, this will be available to pre-order soon. The cover depicts a scene in the story, a memory of happier times that the daughter-narrator shares with her father as his life draws to an end. Seaside holidays always have that touch of nostalgia to them, especially ones from our childhood.

Magical Memories is all about those moments that stick like limpets in our minds. Many of those included in this short story are my own memories, but I hasten to add that this is not a memoir, it’s just told in that style.

So, what do you think? Does it evoke any memories for you?

As I said earlier, I’ve been revisiting Magic O’Clock (and not just for continuity issues LOL) and have decided to adopt the same reasoning to the cover too – i.e. using a scene within the story as the cover. Here’s what I came up with:

Of course, it relates to Archie’s “journey” to the End of the World (Tierra del Fuego) and his boat ride through the glaciers of Antarctica whereupon he met his beloved penguins and whales.

I also managed to squeeze in that wonderful IHIBRP Recommended Read badge too, so there was a method in my madness (which isn’t always the case) 😉

There you have it – consider the covers revealed! Ta dah! The Magic is all around us.

Oh, by the way, my hint earlier – the one that may have got lost in the ether – is gaining momentum; a prequel is a very definite possibility. After writing Magical Memories, I feel the need to explore Archie’s life before he became a father, which means getting to know him as a boy and a young man. It might not go anywhere, but sometimes you just can’t shake off a character, can you? I really do want to know more about Lily, the love of his life, so I might just have to follow that path under my own steam.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Let me know what you think of the covers if you get a moment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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Call me Happy!

You all know how I love badges …

This one, however, is more than just a badge … it’s a privilege too.

This IHIBRP Award Badge means that Magic O’Clock has been selected as an IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Read—a sign of excellence throughout the literary community!

If you’re not aware of IHIBRP, then you’re missing out.

It stands for Indies Helping Indies Book Review Project, and is operated by multi-award-winning author JB Richards.

In effect, the IHIBRP is a book review “lottery”, allowing Indie authors whose books have fewer than 15 Amazon reviews to gain a chance at being one of 10 authors each month chosen for an IHIBRP Book Review. The review is posted on Author JB Richards’ blog (The Writers Block – on the Yeshua and Miri Novel Series website) and Goodreads, and as an Amazon “verified purchase” book review. If the book is deemed to be an IHIBRP 5 star Recommended Read, the author earns the above award badge to display on their book cover.

Guess what I’ll be doing with mine in the very near future?

The news is already on my Facebook author page!! (Impetuous, moi? Maybe a little … but excited, proud and happy  – or rather, in my own words “Eek!”)

If you want to know more about “Magic”, please follow this link. 

It would be wonderful to see more readers pick up a copy of Archie’s story 🙂

If you’re an author – and you meet the requirements – then take time to explore what Jeannie offers here. It’s unprecedented, and you’ll not regret submitting for a single moment.

I mentioned that Jeannie (JB Richards) was a multi-award-winning author herself, so how she gets the time to do all this for other Indies, I don’t know. Miriamne the Magdala is the first book from the Yeshua and Miri Novel Series, a series which masterfully explores the “missing years” of Christ through the lives of the people who knew him best, expanding on his highly personal relationship with the woman who became his closest confidante, most loyal disciple, and one true love! Divided into a series of five novels, each story focuses on a key character personally connected to Yeshua, sweeping you forward on a wondrous journey from his birth to adulthood, and giving you a unique insight into the heart and soul of the most compelling individual in world history.

Read more here, and check out all the awards too.

A huge thank you goes out to Jeannie, and to everyone else who takes – or has taken – the time to read “Magic”.

It’s not a story for everyone, I realise that. But if you’ve lost a loved one to dementia, then maybe Archie can bring a little magic into your day.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Magical Memories – in production

Last year, when I wrote Magic O’Clock, I hadn’t ever considered a sequel. Writing about the death of a loved one – even in fiction – strikes fear in my bones. Don’t get me wrong, I can kill off a character if needed, usually … but Archie?

Could I do it? Could I even think about doing it?

Despite being a fictional character, there were so many real elements tied up in that story. Glimpses of truth weaved their way into my writing. Because to get into the mindset of the daughter-narrator, I was – unfortunately – most able to draw upon personal experience.

But readers asked for more. They wanted an ending, albeit one that could stir up heartache of their own. Surely, no-one expected him to recover, to beat the illness that took away his most cherished memories, and robbed his daughter of her father – except, of course, at Magic O’Clock.

However, once that seed took root in my mind, I was left to ponder the idea of taking Archie’s story to its inevitable conclusion.

Whew! The thought of resurrecting certain memories brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Memories are not to be feared, to be packed up in boxes and stored in dark loft or cellar. The memories I have of my father evoke all sorts of emotions, but the overriding one is that of happiness. I only had him in my life for a short while, losing him when I was 17 to lung cancer. Nonetheless, the time I had with him was precious, made even more so because it came to such a sudden and heart-breaking end.

So, you see, Archie was not my father in life, but he personified the man who lives on in my memories. Fiction enabled me to give him a longer life, but no less happier or full than that of my own dad.

Could I tell Archie’s final story?

You bet I could … and I will.

Please join me on April 1st – my dad’s birthday – for the cover reveal. At that point, I’ll also confirm the release date, expected to be on another very special, meaningful …and, might I say, most appropriate date later that month.

To whet your appetite, and hopefully to encourage you to stick around for Magical Memories, here’s a brief – and unedited – excerpt:

From the doorway, I poked my head inside. Dad lay on his bed, his arms outside of the cover, fingers laced. So calm. I stared at his chest, to make sure he was breathing, and I gasped as it rose. The room smelt stale, as though the air had been sucked out of it in anticipation of the inevitable. No air meant no breathing. No breathing meant …well, I knew what it meant.

‘Angie, this room is stifling. Can you do anything?’

She looked at me, shaking her head. ‘It’s not the room, love.’

Of course, it wasn’t. The room was climate-controlled. It was me, wasn’t it? I was shutting down. Bracing myself.

‘Lily? Is that you, again?’ Dad asked, turning his head ever so slightly towards my voice. His blue eyes, jaded by fatigue, sought me out and I crossed the room to rest my hand on his, stooping to kiss his warm forehead.

‘It’s me, Dad. Your baby girl.’

His lips curled up—denture-free, as was his preference— and a pink tongue peeked through his pale gums.

Thank you for reading 🙂

An extra special gift

It’s the season of giving, and this year, Magic O’Clock has been gifted something extra special too. A Five Star review by Jeannie Richards, courtesy of her Indies Helping Indies Book Review Project. (Fellow authors, you should check out Jeannie’s IHIBRP details on her website – you won’t regret it).

Magic (as I affectionately call it) is a little story about a father living with dementia while his daughter looks on, helpless and forgotten by him. The disease has stolen her hero from her – except at Magic O’Clock – 3pm – when glimmers of her dad shine resplendently through his tall stories and exaggerated adventures. It’s a story of hope, and a chance to remember that every second counts.

Here’s that lovely review I mentioned:

5.0 out of 5 stars: A Charming But Realistic Tale On Dealing With Dementia!
By Author JB Richardson December 22, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition – Verified Purchase
Seventy-year-old Archie Royle is the author’s dad—her storytelling hero who is stricken with dementia. At this stage in his life, Archie doesn’t know his own daughters or family anymore, and he lives in a world of his own time and making. But even though he struggles to recall the woman who stops in daily to chat with him and hear his stories, he seems quite happy existing in a place where time is irrelevant and hope is boundless.

At only 16 pages, “Magic O’clock” is a very short read, but Fellows’ fictional tale really packs a punch. While she stands by watching helplessly as her father’s condition continues to decline, she offers a unique insight into the world of dementia. This consummate master storyteller expertly demonstrates how Archie weaves an intricate web of wild and amazing adventures as she plays these imaginings against the vivid tapestry of his real-life events.

Certainly, Fellows mirrors her father’s talent and charisma in the telling of her tale. And, her deep and everlasting love for her dad shines through in this story within a story. I highly recommend this touching and charming tale to anyone who is dealing with a parent or loved one suffering with dementia. “Magic O’Clock” offer us the gift of peering out the proverbial window while gently and carefully revealing both the joys and sorrows associated with this disease.

***

To say I’m chuffed would be an understatement 🙂 It is indeed a wondrous sight to behold – trust me, I was (and still am) overjoyed at the kind words written about my short story. In fact, I’m overwhelmed by the impact Magic has had, and will hopefully continue to have, on readers.

For anyone living through this right now, all I would say is to cherish the memories you have, make new ones and find the joy in every moment you have with your loved one. Those memories you make will be the blessings that comfort you. Revel in them and hold them tight, save them for those times when you need your own Magic O’clock moment.

If you’d care  to see what the fuss is all about, you can find Magic here.  If you do choose to read it, I hope you enjoy it enough to leave a review. Reviews keep authors writing, and the sequel – Magical Memories – is already in the pipeline, with an April 2018 release beckoning (my dad’s birthday seems a fitting date, don’t you think?)

Thank you for reading 🙂

Merry Christmas everyone – Happy Holidays

Too busy to write? Not me!

The best part about being a writer is the writing (oh, and research – I  research), so it came as quite a shock when I realised that summer was over and I’d barely written a word.
The reason: Eddie & Marcia – aka editing and marketing (two words that fuel my procrastination like no others)

Editing, in the form of Eddie the Evil Reaper, is a natural by-product of the writing process, complete with scythe to chop away those words and trim your text.

He demands your complete attention, being one of those necessary evils. You just have to do his bidding and get on with it.

Fortunately, I’ve come to the end of the line and am now able to pass my WIP – Casualty of Court – onto my editor, who will no doubt cast the mighty red pen over all those changes I meticulously made in an attempt to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Marketing, however, enters your life as a mischievous minx named Marcia, but who is known by the wise  as the very devil herself. Wearing a shiny dress and flapping her gossamer wings she offers all the treats in the world if you, the author, deign to share your book with her. She teases you with images of glittery success, forcing you to promote your stories in places you would otherwise fear to tread – SOCIAL MEDIA!

I played along though, running a promotion for Lacey’s Law that garnered more downloads than ever before. However, it didn’t translate into reviews, so Lacey continues to die a death in obscurity. Personally, I think Marcia is jealous of Lacey and so spiked the whole process – promising the world in one hand and then taking it back before any benefit could be found.

Magic O’Clock had much more success with The Story Cartel, where in a month it received several new Amazon reviews across different countries. The same could be said of Goodreads where Magic had a  growth spurt as well as featuring in some wonderful – and I truly mean fabulous – blog posts. Not even Marcia could knock the shine off Magic’s time in the spotlight.

But now the marketing must take a backseat as I work towards bringing Fern & Raven back into the limelight. The prequel – A Fifth Wheel – has been well received, but it’s time now to tell the rest of the story. Casualty of Court (as mentioned earlier) has gone to the editor …which means I have time to write. Yay!

Heirlooms & Heiresses is now under construction, and Fern & Raven are back again, this time as private investigators in their own agency – The Blackleaf Agency. This story requires some research, so I’m mixing up my time, writing and planning as the story unfolds. (Naturally, there is no outline, but I just don’t … !)

And while that’s rumbling on, I’m polishing off another short story – To make the birds cry – ready for release in a couple of months.

It’s great to be back at the writing stage – although I know Eddie and Marcia will return to spoil my fun in the not too distant future.

But in the meantime, I can safely say – too busy to write? Not me!

Thanks for reading 🙂

A little bit of Magic goes a long, long way

Okay, so I have never really done something like this before, so bear with me. I got Magic O’Clock as ebook for free (through Story Cartel) in exchange for an honest review. This book by L.S Fellows speaks of a man who has dementia and how every day, at the ‘magic hour’ tells stories to […]

via Book Review: Magic O’Clock — Oseremen A.