Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to my blog, where I share my love of books and anything bookish, including my own novels every now and then, but mostly I share **Book Blog Tours** **Author Features** **Guest Posts** **Book Blitz's** **Give-Aways** and **Competitions**

Thanks for visiting ~ Bella x

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Saturday Showcase with Guest Author Peter Giglio

On this serendipitous Saturday I have the great fortune to showcase, not one but two great books with you, so without dragging the intro on and on, I'm very pleased to welcome


Anon

By

Peter Giglio



Hydra Publications
Published: 27th June 2011
Paperback and Kindle Editions


Product Description from Amazon


Rory Ellison, victim of his own misdeeds, wallows in misery. Then a door opens. Now he's got a new job, a dream assignment to rewrite the darkest mistake of his past, and a strange new companion in his head. Wielding powers beyond his comprehension and control, Rory returns to… Faith. She possesses the perfect husband, kids, and home. But when Rory falls back into her world, old wounds open wide, shattering her ideal life.

At the centre of the mayhem stands Anon, a seemingly benevolent organization with a sinister past of its own. "Helping you realize your dreams sooner," the company promises. But what do they stand to gain?  How far will they go to get what they want? And if they make dreams a reality, what about nightmares?

Only Michelle, a young girl with a strange gift, can defeat the evil threatening her family. But she must face fear, work with the ghosts of her enemy's past, navigate a maze of terror, and make the tough choice to grow up too soon in a world filled with evil and indifference.

Hold on tight! Anon ~ a tale of corporate and familial terror ~ is unlike anything you've ever read. 


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Beyond Anon

By

Peter Giglio

 (image courtesy of Amazon.co.uk)

Hydra Publications
Published: 17th June 2012
Paperback and Kindle Editions


Product Description from Amazon


BEYOND ANON is the long-awaited sequel to last year's smash-hit, ANON. As Michelle Breedlove travels home from Dexter Ridge, Wyoming, in constant wait for the next wave of terror, she discovers a message from Reggie Ellison. She is safe for now, the communication tells her, but there will come a time when she'll be needed.

Six years later, Michelle is once more drawn into a timeless game between dominions known as The Land of Light and The Land of Shadow. Torn between budding emotions and fighting for a world that has alienated and abused her, Michelle must face her fears for the final showdown with Anon.
 
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 Author Bio  
 
Peter Giglio is a Pushcart Prize nominated novelist, screenwriter and anthologist.  He is the author of two previous novels ~ Anon, Beyond Anon and The Dark (with Scott Bradley) and two other novellas ~ A Spark in the Darkness and Balance.  His short fiction can be in several bookins, including two anthologies edited by John Skipp, where he had the honour of sharing TOCs with Thomas Harris, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Chuck Palahnuik, and many other literary icons.  He is also the editor of the anthologies Help! Wanted: Tales of On-the-Job Terror and Evil Jestor Digest, Volume One.

Peter lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and three cats. He stays busy but always has time for readers. 
 

 
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Connect with Peter Giglio on the Web:






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I do hope you enjoy these exciting, page turning novels, so until the next Saturday Showcase and thanks for stopping by!

Bella xx



P.S.
And if you want to 'Follow Me!' and are having problems please check out my previous post here: Problem Following Blogs




 

Monday, 25 June 2012

Pinterest ~ Another Time Sucking Vortex or Great Networking Tool?

Well, I've spent the afternoon having a look at Pinterest, I know very little about it other than you 'pin' pictures to a board and then other users can 'repin' your pictures to their boards, a very visual and fun thing by all accounts. 

Anyway I digress, so I have now joined Pinterest, so that along with Twitter, FaceBook, Google+, BookBlogs, Blogspot, my website and lord knows what else, I have now declared my 'working day' as a National Disaster.  There was a time not long ago, when I had hours everyday to sit and write my novels plus get everything else done too, now all I seem to do is catch up on FaceBook, Twitter, Email and all those other web related social/networking activities, so my writing life has finally come to a grinding halt the last week.

So are all these 'platforms' for social and networking virtual interactions really necessary? Or are we just kidding ourselves that having 10 Gazillion Followers (OK a little inflated I know) let's try 1 Gazillion Followers really makes a difference, I have no clue whether it makes any difference whatsoever, so I keep doing it just in case it does. (I pray that it does - Please let me have 10 Gazillion Followers and please let it make a difference!) LOL

But what happens when I've reached the grand old age of 90 and I'm still doing all of this same stuff with my arthritic fingers, poor eyesight from too many years straining at a computer screen, hunch back from stooping over said screen, (don't forget the Rickets due to lack of vitamin D because I spent my entire life inside) plus all the new trends that pop up and so much more just to keep in the social/networking game and nothing is any different? What then, will I look back and think, jeez I spent my entire life in a virtual world and missed the real one? 

Or do I think screw this 'Time Sucking Vortex of Social Media' and just get back to the job which is writing novels?   I really don't know anymore, I mean how much online socialising can we do, given that there are only 24 hours in each day and a third of that time is spent sleeping, leaving us with approximately 16 hours, during which, we will eat three or so meals (if we are lucky), shower, bathe, take the daily commute to work and back again, do some chores, run a few errands, walk the dog (if you have one) feed the pets, have a bit of downtime after being subjected to the rat race all day, perhaps go for a walk, take an exercise class or go to the gym, read a book, meet friends for a few drinks, watch a bit of TV, go to the movies, do some hobby, how much time is left? By my maths brain, there is no time left. 

I constantly feel I'm in a major Time Frame Deficit (TFD) and can't possibly keep on trying to do a gazillion things a day and feel satisfied with life, I want things to be simple... TRES SIMPLES... so how is this achievable?  There are a lot of fancy titled descriptions for time management out there, but that's not the problem, the real problem is this, we are all trying to be super human and do everything all at once, think about your grandparents, your parents, they didn't have all these distractions, gadgets, gizmo's & mobile phones etc...and yet they managed just fine.  Perhaps we need to step back and smell the roses every day, look up at the sky and marvel at the clouds, I think eventually technology will become too much and as a race we'll want to return to our roots, simple = better.

So if you've got any thoughts on Time Sucking Vortexes feel free to comment and I'll let you know whether I think that Pinterest is a TSV or not in a future post, after I've had time to trial run it.

Bella (Suffering from acute Time Frame Deficit)


P.S. I have another wonderful Showcase for you this week, so stop by on Saturday and have a browse ~ Thanks xx

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Saturday Showcase with Gwen Perkins

I am very pleased to feature my latest Guest Author on this sparkling Saturday


Welcome to

 

The Universal Mirror


by

Gwen Perkins



Available from Hydra Publications



Product Description

On the island of Cercia, the gods are dead, killed by their followers and replaced with the study of magic. Magicians are forbidden to leave their homeland. Laws bind these men that prevent them from casting spells on the living—whether to harm or to heal.

Quentin, a young nobleman, challenges these laws out of love for his wife. His best friend, Asahel, defies authority at his side, unaware that the search for this lost magic will bring them both to the edge of reason, threatening their very souls. The Universal Mirror shows how far two men are willing to go for the sake of knowledge and what they will destroy to obtain it.

Watch the Book Trailer by Clicking Here: YouTube


About Gwen

Gwen Perkins is a museum curator with a MA in Military History from Norwich University. She has written for a number of magazines, exhibitions and nonfiction publications. Her interest in history fueled the creation of the world of The Universal Mirror, inspired in part by people and events of the medieval and Renaissance periods. She lives with her partner and three children in Tacoma, WA.





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Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 811 KB
Print Length: 179 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615596517
Publisher: Hydra Publications (9 Jan 2012)

E-edition: $2.99
Print edition: $14.99


 
Available to buy online at

 Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Powell's


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Connect with Gwen Perkins on the Web

The Universal Mirror 

FaceBook

 Twitter

  Google+


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I do hope you enjoy this fantastic novel, so until the next Saturday Showcase...

Bella xx
P.S.
And if you want to 'Follow Me!' and are having problems please check out my previous post here: Problem Following Blogs




Friday, 8 June 2012

Just to let you know...

Hello and many greetings to all my awesome Followers, Readers and Email Subscribers!

Just to let you know that there won't a Saturday Showcase this week due to an out of town commitment, but there will be a fabulous one the week after, on the 16th June, but I'll be back before then anyway.

So until next week, I hope that you all have a glorious weekend and the sun is shining wherever you are!

Bella x

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Saturday Showcase with Guest Author Cat Treadwell

I have great pleasure featuring my Guest Author on this sultry Saturday.

Allow me to introduce:


A Druids Tale

by

Cat Treadwell



Published by: Moon Books
Release Date:  29th June 2012
Paperback and Kindle Editions

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Here's a little about this fascinating book:

What do people think of when they hear the word ‘Druidry?’ The real questions, not the ‘old men in white robes’ stereotypes. What makes a Druid? What do they do?

Having been a practising Druid for over ten years, Cat Treadwell thought the same. Asked to present a talk at a national Pagan Festival, and unsure exactly what the audience would want to hear, she started a blog, asking friends and colleagues (Muggle and Pagan) what they would like to know about the Druid Path.

Two years later, they’re still asking.

This book hopes to answer some of those questions. For the benefit of those who prefer the more traditional methods of finding information, Cat has compiled and expanded on some of the more common queries (‘So, do you worship the sun?’) as well as focusing on the day-to-day aspects of Druidry as a lived path, constantly evolving to be relevant and accessible in the modern world.


About the Author:

Cat is a Trustee of The Druid Network and Derby Regional Coordinator for the Pagan Federation UK.

Since January 2012, she has been a full-time Druid Priest, working in the community on a consultancy basis to provide workshops, one-to-one teaching, multifaith talks at public and business institutions, and generally representing Druidry and Paganism in the wider world.

She is a regular speaker on BBC Radio, with appearances on BBC News, Radios 2 and 5 Live and in the national Press.



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Buy the Book:

A limited number of signed pre-release copies are available directly from Cat
Click here to pre-order the paperback 
 the books will be dispatched as soon as available

 (If a specific message or dedication is required, please let her know when ordering)

The Paperback and e-book will be available from Amazon


Kindle Link coming soon....


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Connect with Cat Treadwell on the WWW

Click on any of the Links below






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I do hope that you have enjoyed the post and will check out this fascinating book when it comes out later this month.

Until next time...

Bella x


Friday, 1 June 2012

5 Questions with Cat Treadwell ~ Druid Priestess

5 Questions with Cat Treadwell

I am thrilled to be speaking with Cat Treadwell, author of a fabulous upcoming release ~ 'A Druids Tale' which is featured in my next post.  But first I just wanted to learn a few things about Druidry from an actual Druid Priestess before we got onto the subject of her new book.


Druid Priestess Cat Treadwell at Stonehenge

 Here are my questions, fundamental as they may be, think of this as a crash course in Druidry in modern day society.

What is a Druid?

Generally, when people think of the word 'Druid', the image that comes to mind is either Getafix from the 'Asterix' cartoons, or some other Gandalf-esque figure: an old man with a white beard, robed and cloaked, working mysterious magic. I'm (obviously) not that!

Historically, as the Roman writers tell us, the Druids were the 'priests' of the tribes of the land that has become the United Kingdom, as well as mainland Europe. They were prophets, healers, teachers, lawyers and advisors to the chieftains. They were also largely wiped out by the Romans, who replaced indigenous ways with their own.

Modern Druids can differ greatly in their practices, but what they have in common is that they hold the natural world as sacred. Druidry is a Nature-based faith. We are part of this planet, one of numerous species, but with the responsibility of conscious knowledge of how we live within that. We can be aware of our connection to the land, our relationship to our neighbours on it, both human and non-human - so I call myself Druid as a Priest of the land, my homeland. In public ritual, I hold the relationship between the people present and the spirits of place, ancestry and the wider Universe. In daily life, I try to live with awareness of my own personal connection, as well as my duties to myself and others. On one hand, a very simple path; on the other, indescribably complex!


What do Druids do?

Personally, I do whatever I'm called upon to do!

Generally speaking, I'm a Priest. This means I am available to help those who need me, from a quick chat on the phone to an in-person meeting, private ritual to public celebration. I've performed handfastings (Pagan weddings) and funerals as well as seasonal celebrations; I hold regular teaching workshops and 1-1 training; I can undertake healing, journeying and divination... general spiritual support. I also blog on Druidry as I live it, and have a book based on that coming out at the end of June.

I'm also a Trustee of The Druid Network (see link below), a registered Charity in the UK, and Regional Coordinator (Derby) for The Pagan Federation. This means a certain amount of public speaking, explaining Druidry and Paganism in the media - from website interviews to the BBC!

What is it like being a Druid Priestess in the 21st century?

I'm never entirely sure what people expect of me. When they first meet me, there's always nerves, as folk don't know what to say to a 'Druid' - the mental picture doesn't tally with what they see in front of them! But then they find that I'm a real person too... and there we have connection and can start to develop relationship.

We can only ever be ourselves, ultimately. I can be a 'Professional Druid', being informed and articulate enough to explain my path and that of my fellows to those who don't understand. I can be a priest, teacher and friend - I'm honoured that more and more people are contacting me each week for my help in some way. I always promise to do my best for each and every one. No questions are 'stupid'; I actually encourage curiosity, as how else do you find things out? And it challenges me often, to say what I mean in a manner that can be understood!

To me, the spiritual path that we call Druidry is as relevant today as it ever was (if not more so).  I think in these modern times, people are gradually growing out of the secular, politically-correct view of spirituality and religion. They are curious and want to know why others believe the things they do. Unfortunately, folk often think that it's 'rude' to discuss faith matters with relative strangers, finding it hard to start a conversation without feeling silly. I do my best to make people feel at ease, answer their questions and help.

I do NOT evangelise or recruit! Paganism is generally a welcoming path, due to its great diversity; but you won't find us knocking on doors with leaflets! It's up to individuals to make their own decisions - I just aim to provide information. I speak my truth... it's up to the listeners what they do next. Responsibility is a key tenet of my spirituality.


What are the differences between Paganism, Wicca and Druidry?

I find it very hard to categorise these labels easily. Each person's faith is subtly different, based on their own beliefs, practice and relationship with 'God' - but there are certainly more similarities than differences.

Paganism is the overarching term for most Nature-based spiritual paths - it is to Wicca and Druidry what Christianity is to Catholic or Protestant. Recognising the sacred in the wider world, generally peaceful, and seeking to understand the energies at work which we can use through focused 'magic'. Pagan paths recognise festivals based on the Wheel of the Year, including equinoxes and solstices.

Wicca was formalised into a practice in the 1950s by Gerald Gardner, and the rites that he and others drew together formed the basis of modern Wicca. I understand from practitioners that Gardnerian Wicca is quite different to traditional 'Witchcraft', but as I said, there are places where the lines of difference blur. Generally, Wicca has quite a set mode of practice, with certain unofficial 'rules': 'And it harm none, do what thou wilt', and the Threefold Law - whatever you do will return to you, multiplied by three. Deity is divided into God and Goddess, as reflected in the masculine and feminine of life.

Druidry as a modern practice can be both formal in ritual style, or almost casual, 'on the fly!' There are no set rules as such, as each Druid explores his relationship with the world personally. Therefore Druids can be pantheists, animists, even Christians (combining other faith paths with Druidic practices). Generally, Druids divide their skills into those that we understand were practised historically:

Bards:
storytellers, musicians, those actively expressing their creativity


Ovates:
seers, diviners, ritualists, those seeking deeper connection to spiritual realms

Druids:
overall Priests, holders of knowledge, teaching and representing all three

A common symbol for modern Druids is the 'Awen' - see image below - three drops above three rays, symbolising the three drops of inspiration that spilled from Cerridwen's cauldron in ancient mythology. We seek connection to and through our inspiration, our creativity, the life and blood of our lineage and the earth and history of our homes.



Druid symbol of Awen



What was the inspiration behind your book?

I've always wanted to write - and I always have. But my blog originally came about as a result of being forced into giving a talk at a Pagan conference, with five minutes to prepare, and overcoming a lifetime phobia of public speaking!

It went well enough, but I resolved to do better - and formed the blog in order to ask people what they wanted to know about Druidry. It's now entering its third year.

Moon Books were excited to publish the 'book of the blog' (admittedly with a lot of editing and additions!), as I believe there are very few books out there that deal with Druidry and Pagan spirituality as I have.  I try to write as I speak, questioning myself as I answer others, exploring, foraging for the reasoning behind methods of practice, and of life.

We take so much for granted these days. Druidry has taught me that for spiritual practice to be honest and true, so your life must be. This means walking your path with awareness, responsibility, bravery and a good sense of humour - it's not easy, you will fall over, and there will certainly be challenges! But without that variety, it'd be very boring... We're learning to wake up to our connections, to really see the world and ourselves as part of it. That's where the magic begins.


Very many thanks to Cat for taking the time to answer my questions and for educating me, my followers & readers in the amazing world of Druidry! I've got two words: TOTALLY AWESOME!

 

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To find out more about Cat and Druidry, you can visit her website by clicking here:



To learn more about Druidry visit these websites:





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See you in the next post and don't forget to 'follow me' to keep up to speed with all the latest happenings on my blog and if you want to leave any comments, please do so, I love them and reply to all of them.

Bella  x


The Real Blogger Status: Follow Blogs, Without A Followers Gadget

Since Google has removed the Follow button from the NavBar, following blogs has become increasingly difficult and annoying.  For me personally, I have been manually adding the blog I want to follow via the blogger dashboard by copying and pasting the URL if they don't have a Networked Blog Widget or Google+ ~ this works fine, albeit a little long winded.

For those trying to follow me:

The Google Friends Connect Widget (GFC) doesn't show anything if I place it on my blog (even using GoogleChrome and FireFox browsers), it's blank and unusable.  So why display a completely useless widget? That's why I don't, it's worthless in my opinion and looks unsightly.

I have many, many people saying they can't follow me because of this.  That is why I signed up to Networked Blogs, however not everyone is using that, I also offer the Google+  facility to connect that way too, as this is being touted as the 'New GFC'. But there are still those that can't follow, so here is the solution, check out this link and it will solve all your following dilemmas.

The Real Blogger Status: Follow Blogs, Without A Followers Gadget: Recently, Blogger cleaned up the Navbar somewhat - and removed the "Follow" link. This left some blog would be Followers inconvenienced. Ho...


I hope this helps solve your following woes...

Bella
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