Show that you love the world this Valentine’s Day.

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Hearts & Other Dead things
(A Cake & Quill anthology)

Jeremy wants Maggie back. Rosa hates Simon. Adam can’t get laid. Graham hates cats. Maisie brings her new boyfriend home to meet Mom and Dad. Yuki wants revenge. Jake really should get over his dead girlfriend. Bradley gets offered a donkey. Doris should know better. And Peter calls a number, hoping for a good time.

A handpicked collection of sad, mad, bad stories and poems from the realms of romance, sardonic or macabre, infused with woe or mirth, to make you glad you’re single – or wish you were.

Writers are: Bradley Darewood, Cat Nicolaou, J. Cassidy, Charlotte Stirling, S.A. Shields, Adam Oster, Angelika Rust, Ken Alexopoulos, W.D. Frank, Tina Rath, Yvonne Marjot, T.M. Hogan, Chloe Hammond, Jay Robbins, A.E. Churchyard

Cover by Charlotte Stirling

All proceeds will go to HOME, a charity in Singapore which works for the rights of migrant and domestic workers, and against sex trafficking.

To Buy a copy click – HERE!!!
(The link will take you to your country’s Amazon.)

 

I hope that everyone who comes to this page buys a copy – it’s a very good cause and what better time to tell the world that you love it, than at Valentines?

PS: If you pick up a copy, can you please review it once you’ve read it? It really is for a VERY Good Cause and every book we sell means more money can be sent to the Charity!

Marketing, Charity Anthologies and Guest Blogs…

You might not have realised this, but I’m an Indie Author.

Don’t look so shocked…

Yes, I know I don’t make a great deal of fuss about it – mostly because I don’t have the money to. It costs more than I ever expected to promote your own work. And this is where the Big Publishers have us Indie authors over a barrel.

They can afford to put adverts into magazines, send out Advanced Review Copies of the books they are publishing to the big papers and top book reviewers. They can set up events in which they can place authors to do talks or signings. They can pay to have the books they’re publishing submitted to the big book awards …

…well how else do you think that the awards get the cash to pay the prizes?…

Marketing is big business. It actually requires a certain amount of knowledge to be done properly, which is why there are actual companies out there that charge large amounts to the big publishers to do their marketing for them.

As a little Indie Author…

…and before anyone gets upset with me, as things go, I am a “little” one; I don’t have the fanbase of the Big Indie Authors, just the few people who visit my blog and FB page…

… as a little Indie Author, I don’t have the cash to splash upon adverts and events and awards. I can barely pay for the upkeep of my Coffee Habit. Marketing for me is something that cuts into the time that I need to use to write / edit / publish. So I don’t do a lot of it.

Currently I am in the Spotlight at Bookshop Bistro, a website dedicated to bringing readers and Independent Authors together. The Heir of the Dragon, my foray into the murky world of werewolves and vampires published under my A. E. Churchyard pen name, is on special offer for 0.99p. Once the Spotlight is over, I’ll put the price back up to £2.99.

This is one of the few marketing opportunities that I can access you see; everything else costs money.
Clearly I need to do more – I’m running out of coffee – but where to go next? I’m a lone voice shouting into a cacophony, trying to be heard and while I love writing, I adore being able to eat – and writing just isn’t putting the money on the table.

It’s depressing.

Just in case you’re interested, here’s the information for The Heir of The Dragon:

Turn a city upside down and shake it – what falls out?

The Treaty that binds the Vampires, Werewolves, Humans and the rarely seen True Dragons is over 1000 years old. It provides stability and safety for all the citizens of the city of Te Ling. Triads and Yakuza are not welcome here and Tourism flourishes amongst the bright lights, Night clubs, Temples and leisure facilities.

But many lights cast a multitude of shadows and they just get darker as you get deeper. Li is as deep into the darkness as you can get: cop by day, shadow by night, he eats and drinks the lifeblood of the city. A threat to the current Te Ling Triang Leader is a threat to the City and The Black Dragon cannot be risked. Li is handed the responsibility of tracking down and removing the threat…preferably permanently .

The special deal is only on Amazon UK – the book is available elsewhere though; just search for A. E. Churchyard

Amazon UK

* * * * *

I’m in the middle of writing more than one thing again, despite my stated intention to focus on one project at a time! Glutton for punishment, me…

Last month I wrote a short story as a kind of wake up call for my muse Puff. He’d been too somnambulant recently and I needed his input into “The Black Forest” (TTATE Sequel WIP) because I was trying to write a fight scene and it never works properly without him…

Anyway, I posted the story up on my personal Facebook page to see what my writing friends thought of it. Long story short – the story has been selected for inclusion in a charity anthology and I am now officially a Cake & Quill writer!

This is the beautiful cover that my story will be appearing behind –

hearts-and-other-dead-things-final

All proceeds will go to HOME, a charity in Singapore which works for the rights of migrant and domestic workers, and against sex trafficking.

The book itself is currently in the hands of the Editor and will be published later this month, so I’ll post the links etc then!

* * * * * 

And Finally…

Do you have a blog? Would you like to interview me about my work or maybe would like to take a break from writing posts – let me write a guest post for you…

If so, pop over to my Facebook Page – The Ramblings of Kira Morgana – and drop a message on my lap – I promise to get back to you as soon as I can to discuss the particulars…

Forget What you know…

My son has Aspergers. It makes him highly intelligent, socially awkward and seriously obsessed with various things – mostly Money, Pokemon, Doctor Who and Card collecting…

Aspergers is what they call an Autistic Spectrum Condition. Autism is –

a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them

Everyone has a few autistic traits, it’s just when there is a whole slew of them that the condition is diagnosed. Aspergers / High Functioning Autism are two separate conditions, but are so similar that they get mistaken for each other.

Why am I talking about this?

Well, I came across this video in my internet ramblings earlier today and was immediately struck by something… Go watch the video and come back – I’ll hang on until you do…

http://autismawarenesspage.com/jacob-barnett-forget-what-you-know/?utm_source=social&utm_medium=autaware&utm_term=20130820&utm_campaign=jacob-barnett-forget-what-you-know

…interesting one isn’t it?

Okay, what struck me about this video is that it took a teenager with Aspergers to notice something significant about the way the human mind works.

We shove our kids into school at an early age and push them to “Learn Something”. We insist that it is the best way for them to grow up; they have to be tested and constantly have information shoved into their delicate brains and memorised before they can be allowed out to play .
Yet Jacob Barnett noticed that it was only when Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were stopped from Learning (one by the plague, the other by racialism) that they made their biggest and best discoveries.

This is why his Tedtalk was called “Forget What you Know.”

In order to be truly creative in our thinking, we have to free ourselves from that crammed in mass of knowledge that the education systems of the world force us to memorise.

It doesn’t matter what subject you are working in or learning – forget about the book learning we are all piled high with and allow your creative mind to wander through the daisies.

Believe it or not, this actually works!

My best stories have come from times when I have ignored conventional forms and styles of writing and allowed my mind to run free with an idea. My favourite short story was created for a charity anthology called “Words to Music”.

The story isn’t remarkable because of that though. It’s different because of the way I wrote it. I originally wrote a story called “Statues of Justice” for the anthology.

I’d been assigned a song I’d never heard of and I had to look it up in order to write my contribution. The story that I created was just a little pedestrian and predictable (it’s changed substantially since it became “Tales of Cassius: Statues of Justice”) and wasn’t really my best work; mostly because I had tried to write the story that the lyrics told.

So when it was rejected, I lay back, listened to the song for about the fiftieth time, and let my mind wander.

It came back with the idea of rebelling against a higher authority. And while Statues is definitely about rebelling, it isn’t pure enough. The story for the anthology needed to be more idealistic and the second story  I came up with was perfect – it’s called “I, Dragon”…

The idea was simple – a lightning strike on a computer creates an AI mind which travels the interconnected worlds of the electricity system and the Internet to find a way of becoming a physical reality.

I managed to combine SF and Fantasy into one story without being too clichéd – and this time it was accepted.

So forgetting what you know and allowing your creative mind freedom does work… and it’s much more fun!