Bookish Banter’s Special Spotlight – Tracey Scott-Townsend

Published April 14, 2014 by Laura Crean Author

This week we are having an extra guest on the Bookish Banter.  Usually I do my Author Spotlights on a Saturday but as Tracey’s début novel The Last Time we Saw Marion  is out today, I thought we would give her a Special Spotlight on the day of her Launch.  So without further ado, The Bookish Banter is proud to present…

Tracey Scott-Townsend


LAURA: Please introduce yourself…

TRACEY: I’m Tracey Scott-Townsend, author. For many years I practiced as a visual artist but writing has always been important to me. Lyrics and poetry were often the inspiration for my artwork. I’m also a mother, wife and a part-time traveller in a bus-with-a-woodstove.
LAURA: Where do you consider home?
TRACEY: Ah, well. The question of home is not as straightforward as it seems. I have three beds: one in the house I live in with my family in Lincoln, one in the house in Hull my husband and I own, and one in our beloved LDV Convoy van in which we travel the UK, time allowing, and plan to go to France in this summer.
Although I was born in Lincoln and currently ‘live’ there, I suppose I consider my home to be East Yorkshire as that’s where Phil and I plan to move to when the last two children have left home.
LAURA: What genre do you write in or do you write different genres?
TRACEY: My writing genre is loosely termed Literary Fiction. I guess this means the writing style and the meaning behind the story bear an equal importance to that of conveying the story.
LAURA: Can you tell us a little about your latest work?


TRACEY: The Last Time We Saw Marion is my first novel. It’s been in the pipeline for a very long time. I wrote the first draft of it – at the time titled The Drowning Man – in 1989 when I was in the final year of my BA (Hons) course in Visual Studies.
It’s the story of two families. Marion Wilde died from anorexia at the age of 17, about the time 17-year-old Marianne Fairchild was born. Marianne has never felt at home in her own body or in her own life. Callum Wilde is still grieving his dead twin.
When Marianne reads author Cal’s first novel, any sense of identity she has managed to establish for herself is turned upside down. When Cal encounters Marianne, he’s convinced he can do things better the second time around. The passionate relationship they forge in a brief amount of time leads to devastating consequences for the troubled girl.
LAURA: Where did the idea come from?
TRACEY: I’d used the character of Marianne in previous attempts at writing a novel. Cal was inspired by U2’s song Drowning Man (Take my hand, you know I’ll be there, if you can I’ll cross the sky for your love. Hold on, hold on tightly, hold on, this love lasts forever) ©U2. The character had to have somebody he had lost, and a possible way of regaining her, or an assimilation of her. The two of them form the heart of the story. Sarah, Cal’s older sister; is the main narrator, the odd one out. Her story runs concurrently to theirs. I used more of my own thoughts and feelings in her.
LAURA: Did the book need a lot of research?
TRACEY: Yes. The story involves anorexia, catatonia and reincarnation, so, lots of research. Also it’s set in 1989 and in the ‘70s so I had to check things out, but it’s easy with the internet. The most fun research was going back to Kilnsea (Pottersea in the book) and visiting the old Broadcasting House building in Leeds (where Marianne first meets Cal and Sarah) and Strawbs Café bar in Leeds (where she goes for a drink with them.) Strawbs – on Woodhouse Lane – is still owned by the same couple as had it in 1989 so they were able to give me details of how it was decorated then and the kind of people who used to go in. Another important area of experience I brought into the story was being a mother. I have 4 children, like Jane Wilde, Cal and Sarah’s mother, which I hadn’t when I first started writing it.
LAURA: What is it that draws you to writing in general?
TRACEY: Necessity and impulse are what draw me to writing. It’s my ‘hit’. I need to have created something which then becomes separate from me. Making visual art used to assuage this craving, but I think I am far more satisfied by writing. The other thing is posterity, I suppose, books well outlive their authors.
LAURA: Do you have a detailed strategy when planning a book?
TRACEY: Not really. I tried to strategize when doing NanoWriMo last year (I wrote 55,000 words in the month) but it doesn’t really work for me. I do try to plan the story arc ahead of beginning the book, and as I start writing each chapter, establish what I want to get said in it, but the boundaries are always fluid. The characters take over.
LAURA: How do you tackle the editing process?
TRACEY: I’ve learnt that I need to go rigorously through the whole book several times, taking a break between each full edit. Mistakes, stumbling sentences, things that don’t make sense, are easier to spot from a distance. I’ve also learnt that just because I’m fond of a particular sentence or chapter it doesn’t mean the reader will like it and so I have to be prepared to let it go. I have several large ‘out-takes’ from TLTWSM. By the time I’ve done at least 3 full edits, the book is ready for a professional editor. In its rough stages, TLTWSM was thoroughly critiqued on the writers’ forum which was an enormous help to me.
LAURA: What is your experience of the publishing industry – was it tough to break into?
TRACEY: Breaking into the publishing industry involved 3 years of determination, sprinklings of hopelessness and low self-esteem, more determination, a willingness to take on board any amount of critique and work out ways of improving the manuscript, complete dedication to the task of producing a well-written novel, and then believing in it. This was followed by more willingness to take yet further criticism and suggestions for improvement and putting them into practice. Not to mention exhaustion, irritability and moments of sheer joy and excitement. Yes, it was tough but all the more worth it for that.
LAURA: Is your book part of a series?
TRACEY: There may be a sequel in the future and it will probably be my 4th novel.
LAURA: Who are your heroes and did any of them inspire you to write?
TRACEY: Reading books has always inspired me to write. When I was a child I read voraciously. The Dream in The House, a novel about an identical set of twins that occurred in every generation and who were always separated by water, inspired me greatly. When I was reading any particular book I would put the book aside and attempt to write something in the same vein. I liked historical novels and ones about travelling back in time, and also stories of individuality emerging from uniformity.
Leaders of peaceful struggles against oppression were my heroes: people like Martin Luther King Jr, for example, and Mahatma Gandhi.
LAURA: When you have a chance to unwind and peel yourself from your laptop – what do you do with your time?
TRACEY: I sew, I’ve made a few clothes lately but I also make dolls and clothes for them, as well as throws and cushions from scraps of pre-used fabric.
I read, an essential part of any day, usually before sleep.
I love going on journeys in our bus with my husband and dog, escaping to the fresh air and especially to the sea.
Spending time with my sons usually involves phone conversations since they all live away from home now. My daughter consents to spend some time with me still – it usually involves shopping. Ah yes and I’ve recently learned to drive, so going out in my car is exciting.
LAURA: Do you have any writers groups that encourage you and do you get positive feedback from your readers?
TRACEY: I received extremely beneficial feedback from a writers group I participated in on Authonomy.
LAURA: Have you got any tips for any budding authors out there?
TRACEY: Get your first draft read and be prepared to accept criticism even if it hurts at first. Whatever the feedback is, you should always consider it carefully. Your work is never as perfect as your biased mind thinks and it takes someone else’s objective perspective to point out the problems. It’s called ‘polishing’ for a reason, you take your rough-hewn creation and spend a lot of time smoothing out the splinters. Apart from that, be disciplined with yourself. For each writing session, set a word-count or an amount of time you’re going to work for, and do it. You’ll feel satisfied if you meet your own goals, however modest.
LAURA: Link party – anything and everything that exists on the www to help us find you and your work… – See the village in which The Last Time We Saw Marion is set.


<3 Thank you for joining in the fun Tracey <3

Thanks Laura, I’ve enjoyed answering your questions.

Bookish Banter – Featured Author – Jim Goforth

Published April 12, 2014 by Laura Crean Author

Saturday 12th April 2014


Bookish Banter is proud to present today’s Featured Author…


Jim Goforth


Welcome to the Bookish Banter Jim.  Please tell us from where you hail?  Let me guess Transylvania … just kidding…I hope gulp!

Not quite Transylvania, no, haha. I actually currently reside in a small country town in

Australia called Holbrook, although I originally hailed from Sydney.

How long have you been scaring people to death with your writing?

Almost as long as I have been able to read. I started writing a variety of stories from an early age, creating all kinds of fanciful monsters and things along those lines. I was always the kid in class with the freaky stories for the teacher to read out to the rest of the children and make sure they didn’t sleep well that night. I didn’t begin to seek to be published until the late nineties when I already had two books written. At that stage I had not much of a clue as to which publishers were liable to accept or be in any way interested in what I was writing, so sending unsolicited manuscripts to all and sundry resulted in loads of rejection. This was way back before the social media world of networking made things immeasurably easier for people trying to get published. For years after that I wrote reviews and things like that in the extreme metal scene (probably scaring a few people even then with some of the types of music I was required to listen to) and then I re-read an incomplete story written much earlier, rediscovered my passion for writing horror and that is basically where I’m at right now, successfully published with more dark and wonderfully gruesome stuff on the way.

Are you promoting a particular book at the present time?

I am currently promoting my début novel Plebs which was released in January this year through J. Ellington Ashton (available in both paperback and ebook format). I am also promoting the heavy metal horror anthology Axes of Evil from Diabolus in Musica, which I have a story in. This has only been out a couple of weeks, but it’s already spent time in the top ten Amazon bestselling Horror Anthologies.


   What genre do you consider you write in – just horror or do you write other genres as well?

Horror is my genre. Though there may be other elements of different genres creep in to various parts of stories, horror is the core of most everything I write. When I started writing way back in the day I used to write in a whole array of different genres, but once I seriously looked to get material published it was all of a horror nature. There are an array of different subgenres under the broad blanket of horror itself, and while I don’t consider that I work exclusively in any of the following, Plebs has so far been referred to as ‘grindhouse horror’, ‘splatterpunk’ and old school classic horror, all of which suit me fine. They are among the more visceral end of the horror spectrum and that is where I see myself mostly working, albeit with facets of other things added in.

Can you give us the gory details of your latest book –  can you give us the feel of it without scaring us all to death?

Plebs is the tale of three shiftless slackers, a trio of young men out having a good time celebrating a friend’s birthday. Along the way they happen to encounter a band of mysterious fugitive women who have a whole lot more to them than meets the eye, a whole bunch of deadly secrets and a request of the young men that is going to land them in a whole pile of trouble. From that point on, they are enmeshed in a nightmare of epic proportions that includes the freakish beasts of the books title, new enemies, old enemies, blood, violence and death. Good times are not had by all.

Where did the idea come from?

Initially this was supposed to be a short story with a similar premise, wrapping up much earlier with a different outcome, but the more I wrote, the more I loved building up the stories of the characters, tossing them into horrendous situations and generally just seeing where they could take the story. As a result I ended up with a six hundred page novel. I have myriad ideas about all kinds of things, probably more ideas than I have time to write and as with Plebs, the seeds of the idea may be there, but when I actually come to the point of writing it, it doesn’t exactly follow any particular blueprint at all, just takes on a life of its own.

Did you have to do a lot of research for your latest work?  You know late nights in a morgue or cemetery… or haunted house… (shivers)

For Plebs, no I didn’t need to do any extensive research, it all is derived from the twisted depths of my imagination. Generally speaking, the amount of research I do or don’t do for projects depends on the type of story, what is required. If there are certain things I don’t know or am vague about then of course I’m going to need to do a little research if I want it to sound factually correct, but then again, horror does require a little suspension of belief at stages so meticulous research isn’t something I constantly adhere to. All places I use in my work (as in towns, cities etc) are almost always of my own creation, I never write country specific or area specific so that gives me plenty of room and artistic license to do as I please with them. Cemeteries, haunted houses, all those great places for inspiration, I have had plenty of experience with them in any case over the years, research not required.

Do you think your writing is improving with each spine tingling addition to your supernatural library?

Yes I believe so. My first few attempts at writing novels, many years ago when I first became obsessed with horror in all its medium, was definitely derivative of all the authors I was fascinated with reading at the time so it wasn’t exactly my own voice, more of a conglomeration of my favourite authors. From then on, after I discovered the late great Richard Laymon, I altered and honed the way I wrote. Each consequential thing I write, I would like to think I am further honing my skills and advancing my abilities as a writer and storyteller.

Did you find yourself cursed at any stage during the writing that held things up for a bit or did it flow freely?

Not particularly no. In terms of writers block, I don’t really suffer it at all. I’ll reply with the same response I always do when presented with similar questions. I constantly keep multiple projects on the go at any given time and if I ever do happen to stumble into a bit of trouble on one, I switch to another and carry on with that. Usually I return to the original one which might have been giving me issues, rejuvenated, with a new approach on how to work it and continue writing no problem. I never have problems with the words flowing when I do sit down to write, they are always coming. It’s often a matter of finding the time to get to sit down and do the writing, around kids and other things, so once I do, I always make the most of it.

Why do you love this craft so much?  That’s the craft of writing by the way not witchcraft?

I just love to write, always have. I love to create horrific tales, I love to unleash the darkest corners of my imagination. Besides, I’m good at it. I was a fanatic of horror and writing from a very early age, I’ve grown up with a deep love for it that has never abated.

How much planning goes into a book?  Do you spend a long time planning or do you just start writing and see where it leads you?

Not a massive amount that is for sure. I am not one of these writers who needs to have everything mapped out to the smallest detail, and for the most part, as I’m writing, even I have no idea how the book is going to end. For some short stories I usually have a clearer idea of how things are going to culminate, but even then not always. I prefer to let my characters develop, throw themselves into peril and create mayhem, and just see where it takes them. Being a meticulous planner of things has never been the way I write, that’s one thing that has never changed over the years and nor will it. I run with a few ideas or a basic outline/plotline of what I originally think will act as a framework for the story, but again, that doesn’t always eventuate as I believe it might. In most cases, something completely different will crop up. I’m constantly bombarded with ideas and it’s a matter of getting them all out. Some work, some don’t.

 Do you have a crowd of zombie followers who read every word and encourage you?

Yes. Calling them zombies though would be doing them a great disservice. I have an excellent network of people who encourage, assist, read, provide feedback, support and promotion, from my family, to my publishers, friends, readers, all kinds of network contacts I’ve cultivated over the years.

What is your experience of the Publishing industry, apart from it being the most blood sucking industry out there?

I’ve heard loads and loads of horror stories (nothing like the ones I write) about bad experiences in the publishing industry, but personally I have nothing bad to say about my experiences in it so far. My publishers J. Ellington Ashton have all, without exception, been brilliant to me, supportive, helpful and always on hand to answer any potential questions, and I have nothing but great things to say about them and those involved with them. What’s more, they assisted in me realising a lifelong ambition, to have my work published.

Is this book a part of a blood curdling series?  Where is it going?

All I can say is yes, there will be a sequel to Plebs. Where it goes after that, who knows, but you’ll have to read the first book to get the gist of things.

Have you had some good reviews for your book?

Yes indeed. Currently over fifteen reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.9 stars. I’m always on the lookout for more, but so far I’m pretty happy with what various readers have had to say about Plebs. Still waiting for that inevitable terrible review, somebody is bound to hate it sooner or later.

If you couldn’t be a writer what would you do instead?  And no Count Dracula is not an option!

I’m doing exactly what I always wanted to do from an early age, writing horror fiction. There is nothing else I would rather be doing. Ha, pretty sure some of the folk in my town already think I’m some kind of Count Dracula as it is, so I have that covered too.

Your favourite Author is…

Richard Laymon. Discovering him back in the early nineties proved to have the biggest impact on me of any author I have read. He is still my greatest influence and inspiration when it comes to writing and still my number one favourite.


I am posting a link to Richard Laymon’s Author Profile on Amazon, thanks for that Jim, he looks like a cool Author to check out too.  I look forward to reading Plebs and one of Richard’s books and seeing if I can spot his influence in your own work ;)

Have you got a book trailer?

No, not at this point in time. It might be something I explore a little later down the track.

What do you do to wind down?

I spend time with my family, play with my children, listen to extreme metal music (Might not sound too relaxing to some, but it’s a perfect way of unwinding for me. I used to drift off to sleep to the sounds of Norwegian black metal as a teenager, nothing much has changed in that regard), read, watch movies and certain television shows. And I write. Writing is relaxing to me as well, it’s what I love to do, so I never view it as a chore. It is a pleasure and like I said, occasionally things will be happening in a day which mean there isn’t much time left at the end of it to be able to fit as much writing in as I would like, if any. So any time I get to write I love it, appreciate it and manage to wring as much out of it as possible.

Do you belong to a friendly writers group and does it help?

Yes, I belong to many. It does indeed help, in many different ways. I discovered my publisher through a group.

What is your experience of editing and polishing your manuscripts?

I currently have editors so once they run through my manuscripts and get back to me, it’s a matter of me going through any corrections or alterations and seeing what, if anything, needs to be fixed up. Usually my most common issue is being far too sparse with comma use. Anything I submit is almost always a first draft, written as is, nothing changed. Once I have written something, nine times out of ten, it is how I want it to be. Rarely do I tinker with the end result or go back and change things or agonise over bits and pieces. Plebs itself, was submitted like this and came back after first edits with very minimal changes needed. I wouldn’t say it was a polished piece right from the start, but it didn’t require too much done to it.

Any tips for all our budding authors out there wondering how to get started?

Never give up. That’s the first and most important thing I would have to say. It’s pretty easy to get discouraged with rejections and things like that, but they are all part of the process. Even the greatest of writers have had to contend with rejection. What doesn’t meet approval somewhere, might be exactly what someone else is looking for. If you love to write, just write. Keep at it. To me, writing is easy and comes naturally, although that might not be the case for everyone. If you have to push too hard at it or it seems to be turning into a chore for you or something you aren’t deriving enjoyment from, maybe step back from it and reflect on things.

Link city – as many as you need to guide us round your internet trail of ghostly goings on…


Plebs on Amazon

Axes of Evil on Amazon

J. Ellington Ashton Press


Thanks for stopping by Jim.  I am looking forward to reading Plebs, I like a bit of horror on a cold dark night.  We’d love to have you back on the Bookish Banter with any future spine-chilling stories.

<3 Laura <3






Futuristic plane dream

Published April 11, 2014 by Laura Crean Author

Futuristic plane dream

I just had a strange dream about flying on a plane that felt wrong from the moment I started my trip. It began with a car journey to an airport that didn’t seem to exist. I was in the car with my Mum and we stopped at a strange covered bridge over a motorway that looked a bit like a walkway from an airport to the plane, but it was going over a bridge across a motorway. My Mum and I started climbing this corridor like bridge but instead of going over the road, we turned right and took a different corridor that led to the plane. I asked where Dad was and my Mum said he was parking the car. When we boarded the plane it was a strange environment, a very futuristic bar lounge type area, what I would have expected in a science fiction space port or something, not inside a plane, but we knew we were on the plane even though it didn’t feel right. We went to sit on a settee and have a drink while we waited for my Dad and my sister. My Dad soon followed but my sister was very late, coming at the very last minute. The air hostess asked us for our tickets and I realised we didn’t have boarding passes. The air hostess didn’t seem to notice and everyone was handing over the same looking tickets, so we did too. However an air steward told us we shouldn’t have put our address on it because it wasn’t safe.

Then we were told to go and find our seats for the flight and we went to two curtains. We should have turned left but instead we turned right into what must have been the first class section. We knew we shouldn’t be there, that we didn’t belong but it looked so comfortable we thought we would try our luck and went in. Nobody questioned us so we stayed. It didn’t look like we were on a plane even though we knew we were. It was more like another luxurious bar area, and we noticed some passengers drinking and gambling on a high, round table so we joined them and pretended we belonged there. At one point I tried to go back through the other curtain to see what the other section looked like. I passed through the curtain and found myself in a cargo type area and I saw some strange men who looked like Farengi aliens from Star Trek. They were arguing and planning something, but I didn’t know what it was. I left there and started to go to the other compartment but as I peeked through the curtain, a steward stopped me and said there was no passing between areas while we were in flight. I just caught a glimpse behind the curtain and it was strange like a hologram that was broken, showing the old plane through the illusion. When I returned to the first class compartment I told my family that it was all an illusion, a hologram, and that the plane wasn’t real and someone was planning something but I didn’t know what. I reached up my hand and touched what should have been the wall but it was like touching water and the whole scene rippled in front of our eyes. Strange huh?

Is the idea of robotic music just a Pipe dream?

Published April 8, 2014 by Laura Crean Author

Originally posted on Time Travellers United:

I came across this video yesterday  on Facebook. A friend of mine had posted it.   Actually I had seen this video before a few years ago and had thought it was incredible then. However what I hadn’t known, was that this video, called “Pipe Dream” was actually a computer generated animation. At first I was rather disappointed because I had been in awe of the engineering and creative skill behind it, but then I came across this next video. It showed how real engineers at Intel had been inspired by the animation to come up with the real thing.

And then I really got hooked so I had a look to see if there were any more cool music and machine collaborations – check them out…

This next one is crazy! Think Punk rock robots and you’ll get the idea of where this is heading…

The Robots are taking…

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Bookish Banter – Featured Author – Brian Murray

Published April 5, 2014 by Laura Crean Author

Saturday 5th April 2014


Last week Bookish Banter  interviewed Doug Bolton, an inspirational author writing self-help books to reach out to those suffering with anxiety and depression, which is a condition I personally have suffered a great deal from.  Writing books isn’t always about fiction and fantasy.  There are a great deal of really good books out there that can find a person where they are in their lives, reach out to them and say “You can get through this – you can change things”.  Well following on from this theme Bookish Banter is  proud to present today’s Featured Author…


Brian Murray – author of…


Feel free to introduce yourself…

My name is Brian and I am the author of UNBREAK YOUR MARRIAGE, a book for those that woke up one day to discover that their marriage was hanging loose on the edge of an icy cliff.

Since Brian is so modest I have added just a little bit more about him and his work, taken from his Amazon profile…

Brian is a trailblazing author and Recovery Coach who works in areas of Intervention and Addiction Recovery. His work involves family, group, individual, face to face and online based counseling. He serves full time with a missions based organization called Youth With A Mission. Brian is dedicated to helping others discover freedom from compulsive lifestyles to finding a life of meaning and endless possibilities.

Please can you tell us where you are from?

Okay, umm’, with my debut book (Unbreak Your Marriage); I am anonymously working with readers as they work on reconnecting their marriages. Because of that anonymity, I prefer not to say. *Sorry.

Don’t apologise – it is admirable that you can connect so completely with your readers who are obviously also in your care and need to be able to feel safe in your hands.

How long have you been a writer?

I have been writing since 2004 but only first published in 2013.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?

My book, UNBREAK YOUR MARRIAGE: RECONNECT YOUR MARRIAGE IN 31 DAYS- WORKBOOK is for those that have woken up to discover that their marriage is hanging loose at the icy edge of the cliff and want to save it. It is a self-help book that offers a 31 day intervention strategy.

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Well, I had some marriages that failed to reconnect because the participants were not following the principles so I decided to write a manuscript and hand it to them. After that, I thought “Well, Amazon would be a great idea!”

Did you have to do a lot of research for your latest work or is this a field that you are already working in?

I saw a number of successes with this strategy and I just thought I would continue using it.

Do you think your writing is improving the more you write?

Yes, BIG TIME! I am now working on the second and third books and I see a lot of improvement.

Did you have any problems during the writing process of your latest work?

Not really.

Why do you feel the need to put your books out there and who do you think will benefit most from them?

With the number of marriages that end in divorce, I believe that this book can help to reconnect many of them.

How much planning goes into a book?  Do you spend a long time planning or do you just start writing and see where it leads you?

Well, I don’t look at it as writing a book. I see it as writing content. So, time and planning depends on what the content is about.

Do you get your ideas from personal experience or from people or events around you?

I get ideas from everywhere!

What is your experience of the Publishing industry?

I am self-published and loving it! Platforms like Amazon have made it easier for a whole lot of people when it comes to publishing.

Is this book a part of a series?  Where is it going?

No, this is not a series but I do have a second edition that is set for release soon.

Have you had some good reviews for your book?

I have received a lot of good reviews and some of the readers have even connected with me on Facebook.

Your favourite Author is…

Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life)

Have you got a book trailer?

Yes, I have made a book trailer and it is on YouTube.

What do you do to wind down?

I take a cup of tea or take a walk.

Do you belong to a friendly writers group and does it help?

Yes, there are a few very helpful ones.

What is you experience of editing and polishing your manuscripts?

Bad idea! I did edit my own manuscript and obviously had a few typos. I say find someone else to do it for you.

Any tips for all our budding authors out there wondering how to get started?

Write your stuff then call it a book later!

That has got to be one of the best pieces of advice yet – thank you Brian.  You can’t have a book without really interesting and informative content.  Know your subject – have a real reason for writing – know your audience – organise it – make your point – job done!

Link city – as many as you need to guide us round your internet trail…

Amazon UK:

Amazon Ca:

Amazon Au:



I want to really thank Brian for popping in and telling us a little bit about his book.  When a marriage breaks down, sometimes all it takes is the right person with the right strategy to get couples talking and working together to rekindle that lost love and I’m sure for many people, Brian and his book will be a welcome addition to rescue their marriage just in time.

<3 Laura <3


Tom Attwater Is Dying. His Daughter Might Die, Too. The Letter He Left For Her Is Unforgettable.

Published March 29, 2014 by Laura Crean Author

Laura Crean Author:

So sweet and sad and inspirational and touching…

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

Tom Attwater is dying of a brain tumor, but he isn’t worried about his cancer. Instead, he is trying to save his 5 year-old daughter from her own.

tom attwater

Tom Attwater with daughter Kelli and wife Joely

He has vowed to raise approximately $820,200.00 for her cancer treatment, even if he wouldn’t be around to see her go through it.

Now Tom is almost half way to his fundraising target he is more adamant than ever to reach it. Tragically his deadline is short as his latest scans show his brain tumour is growing.

He says: “These days people make bucket lists, and the very top of mine – the one that matters most – is raising money to make sure Kelli gets the medical help she might need.

Tom attwater

“Some people have advised me to slow down and concentrate on enjoying the rest of my days. But how can I knowing…

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Bookish Banter – Featured Author – Doug Bolton

Published March 29, 2014 by Laura Crean Author

Saturday 29th March 2014


Bookish Banter is proud to present today’s Featured Author…


Doug Bolton


I would like to invite Doug up to the front and give him the opportunity to introduce himself.  Hi Doug, could you tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Doug Bolton. I am a retired teacher. My wife and I have three children, and 7 grandchildren. I live in Salem, Oregon in the United States.

Are you promoting a particular book at the moment?

My book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to survive in an Unfriendly World,is an award winning book that received a national award from the Reader’s Favorite Awards in 2012. I was also a runner-up in the MARsocial Author of the Year Awards February of this year. (This is similar to American Idol, except it is for authors.)

Do you write full time or fit in with other commitments?

I write full time when I can get free from everyday chores, and being a good grandpa.

What is the genre you are writing in at the moment?

I write non-fiction, self-help books that reach out to those who may be suffering from anxiety, depression, addictions, self-doubt, rejection, and the many other usual suspects.

Where did the idea come from?

The idea for my book came from my own issues with life I was having. I was severely depressed, and was ready to check out of this hotel called earth. God stopped me and led me to write, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for thirteen years.

Did you have to do a lot of research for your latest work?

I did a lot of reading and searching for ideas and thoughts from people who have been through the same issues I have been through and put them together to help others.

Do you think your writing is improving the more you write?

My writing has improved tremendously since I started. That happened because I joined several critique groups through the years.

What is it about writing that gets you fired up?

I write because I know I may be helping someone who is in despair, and I just may pull them out of the muck and mire.

Do your fans encourage you to keep writing and do they give you ideas?

I have received many letters, phone calls, and messages on Facebook from people who benefited from my book. It makes the hard work worthwhile.

Is this book a part of a series?  Where is it going?

This book is a part of a series of books with the main title of Signs of Hope. They will be similar to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books. I am near the completion of my second book called, Signs of Hope: For the Weak Days. It is a devotional meant for all of those who trudge through life, and wonder what is next in their journey. The third book is, Signs of Hope: For the Military. I am a veteran, and I am sickened by the many suicides that are reported in the military. I want to reach out to the soldiers and give them hope.

Have you had some good reviews for your book?

I have had six five star reviews on my book. They all give me encouragement that I am doing the right things.

Your favourite Author is…

My favorite author is Max Lucado. His inspiring books have helped shape my life, and has giving me thoughts and ideas for my own books.

Follow this link if you want to find out more about Max Lucado’s work

Have you got a book trailer?

I did, but it seems to have been lost on YouTube somewhere. I am trying to search that out.

What do you do to wind down?

Believe it or not. I do crossword puzzles, solitaire, and computer games to wind down.

Do you belong to a friendly writers group and does it help?

I belong to several writers’ groups and I feel it is a must for an author to join one because it not only sharpens your skills, but you have others to bounce your ideas to.

What is you experience of editing and polishing your manuscripts?

I do editing the best I can and then turn it over to my editor, who puts pretty little red marks all over the page.  :)

Any tips for all our budding authors out there wondering how to get started?

Just Start! I started writing because I had being doing journals for several years. There are at least three books sitting in those journals.

Link city – as many as you need to guide us round your internet trail…,, www.facebook/ Twitter: @heavenencounter. Email: I belong to Pinterest, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and My Space,  

I would like to genuinely thank you for joining us here on the ‘Bookish Banter’ Doug and taking time out to give us such an interesting insight into your writing world.  I’m sure many people will find great comfort in your books and I especially feel the third book in the series will be very well received.  Sometimes the right book just comes along at the right time for some people, and I’m sure this will be one of those books for many people struggling with depression and self doubt.  


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