Introducing: The Triangle by Nakisanze Segawa

Contributing author of Crossroads, Nakisanze Segawa is a Ugandan writer and performance poet. She is also a contributor to Global Press Journal, and to the Daily Monitor newspaper in Kampala. The Triangle is her first novel.

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It is a time of upheaval in the African nation of Buganda. Missionaries are rapidly converting people to Christianity, undermining the authority of their king and sewing discord among his people. Three characters – Nagawa, a young but unhappy bride to the king; Kalinda, a servant in the royal courts; and Reverend Clement, a Scottish priest – are swept up in forces that will change their lives and reshape the future of their nation.

While African history often has been told by Westerners rather than Africans themselves, Ugandan writer Nakisanze Segawa offers an African perspective. Her meticulously researched novel examines a critical moment in Ugandan history, and offers a surprising and fresh perspective on Africa in the days just before colonialism.

For more information, or for bloggers to request a review copy, email nagawakalinda@gmail.com.

The Triangle is available to buy in paperback and as an ebook on Smashwords.

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Weltanschauung: Price drop!

My short story collection, Weltanschauung, has recently been reduced in price!

Paperback: £6 | $7€6.42

ebook: £3$3.86 | €2.99

Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

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The harbinger, the oddball, the remaining twin… Weltanschauung seeks to open your eyes to different stories, set in different worlds and at different times, but with the same theme in mind: to make you question your worldview.

This collection of short stories traverses genres, introduces a variety of characters, and shines a light on some of our deepest fears.

Challenge your perceptions.

 

 

 

Grab your copy now. Let me know what you think on Goodreads!

Guest Blog: Book secrets you didn’t know by Taryn Leigh

Author Taryn Leigh jumps on The Bandwagon to reveal secrets you didn’t know about your favourite books.

Taryn Leigh is a South African born citizen, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become a writer. She first tried her hand at blogging, which eventually led to her writing her first novel. She lives in Pretoria, with her husband, son, and two cocker spaniels.

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Secrets of Thirteen Reasons Why

Not every character in the series is in the book.

When the writers brought the 288-page book to life as a 13-hour series, they had to expand the world of the story with new characters.

“I think of the book as this outline of Hannah’s story, and then from that, the writers of the series — with Jay’s blessing — added so many details and plots that allow the viewer to unpack the story to a greater extent,” Hannah said. “The new characters help out flesh out this world.”

Her character Stephanie is among the new additions, which meant Hannah was acting from a clean slate. She’s one of Courtney’s best friends and “a ditzy take on the typical mean girl,” Hannah explained. “When I got the breakdown for this character, it was funny because the script just said, ‘Stephanie (pretty, dumb.)’.”

Read more from the source here.

 

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Secrets of Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh

“Edward’s character in the book is actually inspired by my real life husband. Also the mention of Wuthering Heights in the book is a hint towards my husband, as Wuthering Heights is the very first book he gave me when we had just started dating.

One day we were walking in a flea market, and he picked up a used copy of Wuthering Heights sold by a book merchant, and bought it for me. He then took me to the park, and sat playing with my hair as I read the first few chapters. He won my heart that day!”

 

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Secrets of JK Rowling, Author of Harry Potter

JK Rowling finds ways to bring elements of herself into her books.

She and Harry Potter share a birthday, July 31st. She is reported as saying that Hermione is a bit like her when she was younger, and her favourite animal is an otter—which is, of course, Hermione’s patronus. Plus, both Dumbledore and Rowling like sherbet lemons (Rowling said that the wizard’s “got good taste”).

Read more from the source here.

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Secrets of Karen Swan, Author of Christmas at Tiffany’s

Karen Swans real name is Karen Anne Swan MacLeod.

Much as she loves her very Scottish name, Swan had to drop the MacLeod when she started writing blockbuster fiction since the shorter name suited the flamboyantly embossed covers of her saucy books.

“I’d always written as a journalist as Karen Swan MacLeod. Dad’s family name is actually MacSwan MacLeod, so we’re very Scottish. I think Karen Swan sounds like a made-up name for someone who writes sexy, romantic novels.”

Read more from the source here.

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About Perfect Imperfections

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa.

Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach.

Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence.

Perfect Imperfections is an intriguing tale which hints at wrongdoings and deceit without giving too much away. The author cleverly weaves a tale around fragile yet strong Sarah as she tries to reconcile her past with her future, engaging the reader to the point where we simply want the best for her and for happiness finally to come her way.

Find Taryn Leigh on social media

Facebook: @PerfectImperfectionsTarynLeigh

Twitter: @tarynleighbook

Instagram: @tarynleighbooks

Website: https://olympiapublishers.com/books/perfect-imperfections

Ask The Author: Patricia Bossano

Award-winning author Patricia Bossano grew up in Ecuador, South America and moved to the United States in the mid 1980’s to pursue a career in International Sales, as well as work as a translator, interpreter and instructor in Spanish.

PBossano_HeadshotOver the years, writing continued to be Patricia’s main passion whether journaling, writing letters, short stories, and eventually, composing full-length novels.  Patricia published the first of the Fairie books in 2009, starting with Faery Sight (winner of the 2010 Golden Quill Award of Excellence from the League of Utah Writers), followed by Cradle Gift in 2009. In 2016, Patricia left the corporate world to follow her dream of being a full-time writer, allowing her to complete the third installation of the Faerie Series with the 2017 release of Nahia. The trilogy chronicles the history of a matriarchal faery family and serves as “a celebration of the relationships between mothers, daughters and sisters” within Patricia’s family.   Patricia is a full-time writer residing in Southern California.

What inspired you to start writing?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve had issues with excessive blushing. Even though I thought I had a lot to say, speaking in front of my classmates turned me into a Gossamer lookalike—you know, the hairy red monster on Bugs Bunny and various other Looney Tunes shows. I’d heat up until my chest and face were covered in red blotches and everyone would point, laugh, and ask “why”, which only added to my anxiety.

Around the time I was in the 4th grade, a light went on for me about the importance of language, and that’s when my affinity with the written word began to unfold. Inspired by a desire to communicate without becoming a blotchy, uncomfortable, bright-red mess, I began writing in journals and in letters to my family when I was in elementary school. By the time I was a teenager, I had moved on to write short stories and essays, after which I began tackling full-length novels in my twenties.

What do you wish you’d known about the publishing process?

Whether you go the traditional route or independent, the publishing process is an overall complex industry filled with limitations and flexibility. What I hadn’t known or expected was that becoming a published writer would make me confront my fears on a daily basis, force me to define my dreams, and challenge me not just to believe in them, but to also follow through with making those dreams come true.

The publishing process is the daily battle of the spiritual warrior, and although I might lose a battle here and there, I’m aiming to win the war by creating a body of work that—in the end—reflects my overall transformation in style, language, experience, and personal growth throughout the various stages of my life.

Tell us more about your book.

My Faerie Trilogy chronicles the lives of key matriarchs in a hybrid (faery-human) family. Nahia is the third installment in the series, and it is the story of a rebellious faery princess who struggles with satisfying her own desires over what’s best for her loved ones.

Following her heart in pursuit of the human she loves, Nahia hides her true identity as a faery in order to enter the human dimension. After giving birth to a daughter, Nahia’s true identity is revealed, as is the realization that she has forever altered the genetic human footprint. Faced with death, Nahia returns to the faery realm only to have its weight thrust upon her. In the aftermath of the vicious attack that made her an orphan and deprived them of the magical Keeper of the Forest, the faerie realm enters a dormant state.

To save her home and renew ties with both her human and faerie family, Nahia finds a way to reawaken the realm, become the new Faery Queen, and provide a royal descendant for the new Keeper of the Forest.

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What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Plan: Out of respect for the reader, I begin a new project with three paragraphs detailing the beginning, middle, and ending of the novel. From there, I outline each chapter, establishing the structure of the book while looking for timeline issues or plot gaps. When I feel comfortable with the flow, I begin fleshing out the chapters.

Prioritize: Create a reasonable work timeline and stick to it out of respect for your craft and for the people you love. Respect your writing hours so the people who love you will too, and give them the assurance that when your daily writing hours are finished, your time is theirs.

Persist: Give it your best and never give up on your dreams.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently gathering information and interviewing family members for my grandpa’s biography, which I’m thinking of writing from my grandmother’s point of view (to keep to the matriarchal theme). I’m also evaluating the next steps for my publishing imprint, WaterBearer Press, whose initial projects include a collection of ghost/paranormal stories, and other works by talented merry faeries in my family.

What are you reading right now?

I must confess, during these weeks leading up to the launch of Nahia on June 20th, I’ve been re-reading the entire trilogy from start to finish! But the next book I plan to read once my nerves settle down is Anne Rice’s, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis.

Nahia will be released on June 20th 2017, and the rest of the trilogy is available on Amazon now.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Guest Blog: The Raw and Magical Journey of Writing a Fantasy Fiction Trilogy Series by Patricia Bossano

 

Award-winning author Patricia Bossano jumps on The Bandwagon to share her writing journey.

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Patricia grew up in Ecuador, South America and moved to the United States in the mid 1980’s to pursue a career in International Sales, as well as work as a translator, interpreter and instructor in Spanish.

“Write what you know”, we’re told time and time again. I’m not sure we have the final word on where this quote originated; some say Mark Twain, others Ernest Hemingway. Regardless of the author, everyone seems to have taken issue with its meaning, trying to decide whether it’s good or bad advice.  After all, if we wrote only about things we know, my guess is fiction wouldn’t even exist.

The first time I came across “write what you know” my reaction was that it was a true statement for non-fiction as well as fiction writers. The former are the biographers, chroniclers, historians, and manual writers of the planet, while the latter go on to know their heart and mind and can write volumes based off their imagine. As a result, exciting new realms of literature emerge from dreams, nightmares, visions, and over-active imaginations.

When I set out to write my first novella, my intent wasn’t to produce a full-length novel, much less a trilogy. I merely wanted to entertain people in my family through storytelling. The central idea for the plot was the relationship between two girls and their mothers. Since the target audience was a new generation of girls in my family, I placed the two main characters in a magical realm under circumstances that would test their bond while challenging their strengths and abilities.

I also wanted to write something that was readily believable, so I chose to incorporate family names to make it easier for them to identify other family members. However, I had to rethink that approach as soon as evil witches and bad faeries came into play, so I changed the names to protect the innocent, but I held on to the family’s ancestry (Spanish, Italian, and a little French).

Still determined to write a realistic fantasy, I searched the globe for the right locale and landed with the Western Pyrenees, a range of mountains that form a natural border between Spain and France.  The Pyrenees are known for their remote and nearly inaccessible location, which allowed me to tuck my characters away until circumstances forced them to acknowledge the world beyond (very much like my childhood in Ecuador, comparatively removed from civilization).

I also magnified and fictionalized certain features of the natural world, like the size of the full moon, or what might lurk behind a waterfall, so that I could blend reality with magic. I simply wanted to make my family grin while wondering if my story held any truth. I wanted them to look around and say to themselves, “So and so could be a faery” or “I could be a faery!”

With the publishing process underway for Faery Sight, a story set in the 1800’s, I began jotting down serious notes for another book—one that would involve two girls again (sisters this time) who are confronted with a family secret. But it wasn’t until Faery Sight was published in 2009 that I saw how the second story could work as a sequel. I lightly re-structured the chapters I had already outlined, and in 2013 Cradle Gift emerged as the story of a descendant of the main character in Faery Sight, a couple hundred years into the future.

Nahia, the third installment in the faerie series, hovered in the horizon as early as 2012. The character of Nahia is the common denominator in both chronicles, and through her we learn what happened in the two centuries between one matriarch and the other.

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The bit of magic I experienced in this faerie journey was that at the onset of Faery Sight and post-publication, I had no idea Nahia was on her way. As I set out to develop her story, (with fingers crossed), I discovered that the facts and omissions in Faery Sight, and the applicable references in Cradle Gift mystically aligned. This realization made me think back to what a seer told me a couple of years ago, which was that my family on my mother’s side had been guardians of a forest in ages past. He said my stories were not made up; rather they were “recollections” of my family’s life in another time and dimension. And I wholeheartedly believe that.

I didn’t set out to write a trilogy, but I can now see how it was there all along, and in doing so, the journey from writing Faery Sight to Cradle Gift to Nahia has been nothing short of pure magic.

 

Cornish Reading Challenge: Indulge in Cornish food & drink with Daisy James

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north-east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea”, china plates and teacups are a must!

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First of all, a huge thank you for including me in your Cornish Reading Challenge! My novel – There’s Something About Cornwall – is a celebration of everything that’s great about this wonderful county, in particular the delicious artisan food and drink that is produced there. For me, Cornwall is the epitome of carefree, sunshine-filled holidays where as children we could run free across the windswept dunes, eat sand-encrusted sandwiches, and shelter from the rain under a carefully constructed windbreak. Funnily enough, I never remember the cold of paddling in the sea!

The story is about Emilie, a food photographer, who is asked to go on a road trip around Cornwall with a famously prickly chef, Lucinda Carlton-Rose, to take the photographs for her upcoming cookery book. Emilie thinks she will be chauffeured around with Lucinda, but gets the shock of her life when a bright orange VW camper van rolls into the car park. Lucinda’s new book is entitled Lucinda Loves… Cornwall, and she wants to showcase the delicious, high-quality food that Cornwall produces. The county is also famous for its beverages which Emilie’s companion, Matt, is interested in, having previously owned a microbrewery.

I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the research and I couldn’t write a story about Cornish food without trying out some of the recipes that feature in the book. Of course, one of the things Cornwall is famous for is the cultivation of apples grown in the numerous orchards around the county. So, I had to include a scene in which Emilie and Matt visit an apple orchard where Emilie is asked to photograph a Cornish Apple and Caramel Loaf. I can vouch for the fact that the aroma of the freshly baked cake, with a top-note of warm spicy apples, is absolutely delicious. Here is a photograph of my attempt. What do you think?

Apple and caramel loaf

Of course, no trip to Cornwall would be complete without the taste of one of their iconic Cornish pasties. When Emilie and Matt arrive in St Ives, the focus of the photo-shoot is on the famous pasty, but Lucinda decides to rustle up a sweet version crammed to bursting with blackberry and apple compote.

Cornish Pasties

During my research, I was delighted to discover that Cornwall is also renowned for its amazing beverages. Another surprise was finding out that the county is also the only place in England that grows tea – Tregothnan Tea is cultivated on an estate near Truro. It suggests a whole new meaning to the label English Breakfast tea! So, I had the culinary road trip roll to a stop in Newquay where Lucinda makes a batch of Fairing Biscuits which are flavoured with the Tregothnan tea. I did try out a recipe for Fairing Biscuits – but flavoured them with ordinary Earl Grey tea, I’m afraid. Here is a photo of them before they went into the oven to bake. Sadly, they didn’t turn out quite as expected, so I won’t display the final result if you don’t mind! For some unfathomable reason, they all merged into one huge biscuit. I cut the disaster into squares and my family assured me that they tasted delicious!

Fairings Bisciuts

However, Cornwall isn’t just famous for tea and cider. There are a multitude of authentic artisan micro-distilleries dotted around the county producing whisky, gin, and other spirits, one of which is pastis. I was really interested to find that the aniseed flavoured aperitif I had always associated with France was being handcrafted in Wadebridge by SouthWestern Distillery. Tarquin Leadbetter is the Head Distiller and he is so proud of his product that every bottle has his name on it – and don’t they look amazing? I just had to include Tarquin’s Pastis in my story.

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I hope I’ve given everyone a flavour of Cornwall, and that your taste buds are zinging. Apologies if I’ve sent everyone rushing to the kitchen!

image001Life is far from picture perfect for food photographer, Emilie Roberts. Not only has her ex-boyfriend cheated on her, he’s also stolen her dream assignment to beautiful Venice! Instead, Emilie is heading to the wind-swept Cornish coast…

Emilie doesn’t think it can get any worse – until disaster strikes on the very first day! And there’s only one man to rescue this damsel in distress: extremely hunky surfing instructor, Matt Ashby.

Racing from shoot to shoot in a bright orange vintage camper van, Matt isn’t the conventional knight in shining armour – but can he make all of Emilie’s fairy tale dreams come true?

Amazon | Goodreads

Cornish Reading Challenge: Explore the magic of the moors with Terri Nixon

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil by Dead Letter Press. As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice.

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I live and work in Plymouth, and was brought up on the edge of Bodmin Moor, where I spent most of my free time getting stuck in bogs, falling off rocks, and wondering if I was late for tea yet. Doesn’t sound like the most fun, does it? And yet it was – and not only because of the clean, fresh air, the freedom, and the mind-melting views; something about growing up surrounded by moorland, with the sea just over the horizon, has stayed with me all my life, and I’m certain it has played a huge part in the way I write now.

It’s currently en vogue, I believe, to write stories set in Cornwall, and why not? It’s picturesque, rustic, pretty, and has a perceived ‘old world’ charm about its little villages and their inhabitants. But there is so much more to explore; the history itself is rich and colourful, though often bleak, and even frightening, and in an area so steeped in folklore, it’s easy to let your imagination take you on some wild journeys.

My books tend to shy away from the cutely countrified, and instead feature rugged cliffs, bleak moorland, deep forests, and the strength to be found in a hard-working community. My latest novel, the first in The Penhaligon Saga, takes place in a mining town and its neighbouring fishing hamlet, and as the characters form and grow around each other, shoring up each others’ stories with their own, it’s getting harder and harder to remember that it’s not a real place. I feel as if I’ve been there, that I know the publican, the grocer, the doctor (and his, erm, curious housekeeper!), the aloof Battens from Pencarrack House, and, most importantly, the Penhaligon family themselves.

Growing up in a small village – North Hill, which was featured heavily in Jamaica Inn – I and my friends were part of real country life, right in amongst it all. We didn’t lock ourselves away and learn about life from a distance – we spent time on our friends’ farms, and worked there in our holidays; we were members of the church choir, and got told off for whispering about last night’s TV during the sermon; we were sent on errands for various people around the village; we mucked in, and mucked out.

So now, although it’s been a long time, I can recall the smells and colours of a farmyard as clearly as if I’m standing in one, and I’m able to pluck those memories out, and put them in my work. I can smell the tang of silage in the air and taste it in the back of my throat; I can feel the uneven, spongy squelch of a tuffet of boggy moss, and I can place it carefully beneath someone else’s boot, and watch them deal with it.

I grew up surrounded by derelict mines, too, and would often wonder what might be hiding in their depths. Folklore tales are rife on Bodmin Moor, and this was the basis for my Mythic Fiction series, The Lynher Mill Chronicles. I wanted to wrap a gritty modern tale of betrayal, addiction, and revenge in traditional Cornish fantasy, and watch to see what happened. It turned into something quite unusual, and pretty interesting! With the human villagers becoming increasingly enmeshed in the world of three factions of Cornish spirits – the Moorlanders, the Coastals, and the Foresters –  unlikely alliances, strained friendships, and misplaced loyalties started to appear, and the story unfolded in quite a different way than I’d expected.

Whenever I’m on those moors now, I still find myself walking more quietly among the old engine house chimneys, peering down the shafts, and holding my breath in case I hear the low murmur of voices…

Amazon | Facebook | @TerriNixon

 

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Penhaligon’s Attic by Terri Nixon is available to buy now.

1910. Anna Garvey arrives in Caernoweth, Cornwall with her daughter and a secret. Having come from Ireland to take up an inheritance of the local pub, she and her eighteen year-old daughter Mairead are initially viewed with suspicion by the close-knit community.

Anna soon becomes acquainted with Freya Penhaligon, a vulnerable girl struggling to keep her family business afloat in the wake of her grandmother’s death, and starts to gain the trust of the locals. As their friendship deepens, and Freya is brought out of her shell by the clever and lively Mairead, even Freya’s protective father Matthew begins to thaw.

But when a part of Anna’s past she’d long tried to escape turns up in the town, she is forced to confront the life she left behind – for her sake and her daughter’s too . . .