Wednesday, 31 December 2014

How a 31 day challenge turned into a 365 day habit

Thank you, Jeff Goins, for issuing this challenge and introducing me this wonderful group of people.

365 days ago, I joined a group of writers and bloggers in a 31 day challenge issued by Jeff Goins. He started the group on Facebook to encourage people to get into the habit of writing at least 500 words every day.
As with many other writers’ groups on Facebook, I joined but was not overly enthusiastic about its success, because of past experiences. How wrong did I turn out to be!
The 31 day challenge sparked a lot of interest, but that is not what I base my opinion on, quite the opposite. It is the continued support and encouragement from the group’s members that makes it such a wonderful group.
I will go so far as to say that I have formed friendships with people that I may never meet face-to-face in my lifetime.  While I may never have the opportunity to share a cup of coffee or a hug, when I don’t see a regular post or a comment from them, I do wonder if they are alright. Of course, I have real life friends in the group too, and we share the same views, our online friends…are friends.
One year have now passed since we started the group and not only has it grown in numbers, but also in maturity. It does take time for a group to form, even if we share the same goals. Sensitive topics have been debated, and while we don’t always agree, I love the respect we show towards each other.
Yes, our aim is still the same: write at least 500 words every day: be it blog posts, fiction or journal entries – and hold ourselves accountable for doing so. The group has grown to be more than a writer’s group, and it will probably be the last group I leave on Facebook, if ever.
On a personal note: I don’t write fiction every day, although I aim to write every day, with the exception of December. Even I need a break sometimes :)

What does 2015 hold in store for this awesome group of writers and bloggers? I cannot predict the future, but if the past is an indication of what the future holds… it will grow in depth and maturity and I will grow along with it, not only as a writer, but also as a human being.

What some of the awesome people who have been with me on this journey of 365 days have to say:
Vanessa Wright's Humouring the dark
Roslynn Pryor’s Pushing the Bruise
Stella Myers’ Stella’s Starshine
Amy Bovaird‪'s Amy's Adventures
Crystal Thieringer’s Muse and Meander
‪Carryl A Robinson‪’s Echoes from the Cave

Becky Williams Waters' A Novel Creation
Laura Hille's For The Love of Storytelling

Wishing all my friends from the My 500 Word groups, a successful and blessed 2015!
May your writing dreams come true in every way!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Book Feature: Touched with Fire by Christopher Datta

Touched with Fire, Christopher Datta's #1 best selling Historical Fiction is on sale now for only $0.99.

touchedwithfire"A tremendously amazing story for History lovers!"

"A fantastic story that engaged"

"An excellent example of entertwining a love story with historical facts"

$0.99 December 15th-19th

Touched With Fire, a novel of the Civil War inspired by the true story of Ellen Craft.

Ellen Craft is property; in this case, of her half-sister Debra, to whom she was given as a wedding gift. The illegitimate daughter of a Georgia plantation owner and a house slave, she learned to hate her own image, which so closely resembled that of her “father:” the same wiry build, the same blue eyes, and the same pale—indeed, lily-white—skin.

Ellen lives a solitary life until she falls, unexpectedly, in love with a dark-skinned slave named William Craft, and together they devise a plan to run North. Ellie will pose as a gentleman planter bound for Philadelphia accompanied by his “boy” Will. They make it as far as Baltimore when Will is turned back, and Ellie has no choice but continue. With no way of knowing if he is dead or alive, she resolves to make a second journey—South again. And so Elijah Craft enlists with the 125th Ohio Volunteers of the Union Army: she will literally fight her way back to her husband.

Eli/Ellie’s journey is the story of an extraordinary individual and an abiding love, but also of the corrosive effects of slavery, and of a nation at a watershed moment.

Announcing the release of Fire & Dust, book two in the Fire Trilogy

"fireanddustIf you thought you knew the Civil War, think again. In Fire and Dust, Christopher Datta takes you beyond the clatter and gore of the battlefield to reveal the very hearts and minds of the Confederacy. His characters will haunt you like a rebel yell, sounding down through the years to touch you with their sacrifices, their struggles, and—most of all—their humanity."
-Karen Lyon, Hill Rag Magazine

In the fall of 1863, there is still a chance to prevent a Union victory in the Civil War.

Robert E. Lee’s most trusted senior commander, General James Longstreet, takes two Virginia divisions west to unite with General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee. Longstreet arrives just in time to join in the Confederate attack on the Union army at the battle of Chickamauga.

As the fate of the Confederacy is decided, this epic saga plays out against the backdrop of the love stories of Mexican war veteran Sargent Sam Davis and the recently widowed Sally O’Grady, and of the young, poor and naive private Harry Kolb and Rachel Shaw, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. Their tales bring to vivid life the forgotten watershed moments of September, October and November of 1863, a period that more than any other determined the outcome of the war.

Fire and Dust narrates the history of the Civil War as it really was, and makes you a front row witness as the destiny of the Confederacy unfolds.

About the Author

Chris1Born in Washington, DC Chris Datta, Foreign Service officer, has been on numerous battlefields for his job and country. He has seen mass graves, brought war criminals to justice and in this new chapter, Datta brings readers a stunning historical account of the American Civil War with Touched with Fire. His attention to detail is superb, and his experiences abroad have given him ample stories to tell for years to come.

His action packed life has taken him across the world from the United States to Liberia and Southern Sudan. Not only serving in active war zones but often battling tropical diseases, Datta has nurtured his fascination with civil conflict by diving into the history books and historical records of America’s past. His research is meticulous, and his attention to detail creates vivid pictures of the past.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Happy Birthday to Me...and a special offer to YOU!

When you sit and reflect back over the past year, as one often does and needs to do, I came realise that I have had a truly blessed year.
Sure I am technically a year older today, but I have a lot to be grateful for.
And to celebrate my birthday and all the good things in my life - and to support Read Tuesday coming soon - I have discounted three books from 1 to 15 December 2014.
Oh, and there are still free books too, so don't forget to browse around on my Smashwords page for them.

Keeper of the Dragon Sword - The Dragon Masters

Now $2.99
Discount coupon : QY36M

Géra's Gift - The Grandmasters

Now $0.99
Discount coupon: SF78R

STORM Volume I

Now $0.99
Discount coupon: GQ69M

So there you go - get one, get them all and have a special treat for your Christmas stocking from me!
Oh, and if you want more, why not visit the Read Tuesday website for hundreds more books to enjoy.

Art Journal 2020: Friendship

It has been a while since I did an art journal post, mostly because I couldn't decide on the topic. But once I did it was only a ma...