About Me

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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Five sentence Friday

Saw this on a couple of blogs and thought why not. Guess its a variant of seven sentence Sunday which I don't do as I don't write on a Sunday. So here are 5 sentences from my WIP Sunday's Child that I just wrote :)

I think the moral of the story really is don't annoy the writer or she will put you in a book and kill you.



The whole bridge shuddered, visibly moving as a huge wave knocked against it. Metal screeched and twisted with a loud creak, swiftly followed by a noise unlike anything she’d ever heard before. A long metallic groan, a whoosh of water that shot up into the sky and the wind howled and moaned.
As the spray cleared, Hattie’s eyes widened and she rubbed them, not wanting to believe what she was seeing. The central span of the bridge, and the lights of the train, was gone.



Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Godmachine - a review of the film starring Robert Leeshock

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love science fiction. Whether it’s TV, movie, radio or book. From Dr Who through Blake’s Seven, all the Star Treks, Battlestar Galactica, Earth Final Conflict, First Wave, StarGate SG1 – even going to several UK Stargate conventions, and annoying the kids by watching TV going met him, met her, been hugged by him, want to see the photo of me and him…  Not to mention writing sci-fi fanfic. In fact my writing started in fanfic, which is probably still out there somewhere under my internet name. At least the Stargate stuff. The Blake's Seven stuff is handwritten and under the bed.

I’ve even made Dad and Hubby drive miles out of their way so I can take photos of places with names the same as sci-fi characters. (Bridge of Cally for example. Actually there was a huge queue of traffice behind us 2 weeks ago when Hubby stopped the car for me to take a photo of said signpost. It's here if you really want to go look. Once you finished this post.) (And honestly why do you think the hero of Wednesday's Child is called Liam!)

So when I heard of Godmachine—a new sci-fi short starring Robert Leeshock (Earth Final Conflict) I was desperately hoping it’d be released in the UK. Most Canadian stuff takes years to get over here, if it does at all, then it's on a remote TV channel and never on DVD. To my joy the link to it was posted on his FB page so I could watch it. More than once =)


The short film is a promotional piece for a larger feature film in development using the characters, themes, and setting of the GodMachine universe. (And hopefully it'll get to the UK when released.)

Blurb: (yeah I know that's the writer's term, but my mind went blank)
GODMACHINE is the story of John Lee (Robert Leeshock), a PTSD-ravaged war veteran sent by the CEO of the Chinamerica Corporation (Von Flores) to destroy the source of the Khodamaha, a computer virus capable of granting sentience to artificial life.

The virus, however, has other plans for John, who himself becomes infected via his military implant technology.  John soon finds himself on a mysterious journey to rescue and protect Grace (Kiki Yeung), a female android also infected by the virus.  Unbeknownst to John, the Khodamaha has enabled Grace, through the corruption of her voice software, to sing the frequency of the Big Bang -- thereby "rebooting" his unconscious mind.

Upon repairing John's damaged psyche, the two become the "Adam and Eve" of a new Machine Age, able to harness the virus's power to heal man and machine alike, and end Chinamerica's technological stranglehold over all life on Earth.

Review:


“Even in the dark corners of hell awaits redemption.” - Godmachine

Godmachine is a well written, gritty short movie which packs as much thought provoking action into its 22 minutes than some films have in 3 hours. It's multi-layered story line leaves the viewer wanting more. It has a villain – or two – a hero with flaws he makes no attempt to hide, and an unlikely heroine. It reminds me of the line from Jurassic Park – “Life finds a way.”


You can watch Godmachine here - http://vimeo.com/41889798

Links to follow for more information:
https://twitter.com/GodMachineFilm
https://www.facebook.com/GodMachineFilm
http://www.godmachinefilm.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RobertLeeshock
https://twitter.com/RobertLeeshock

Monday, 27 August 2012

Few photos from Scotland.

You should have seen the queue of traffic behind us when we stopped so I could take this photo:


Yes the town really exists - its in Scotland. We drove an hour and a half just to take this picture :)


Look i found a lifeboat. Ok, I'm slightly obsessed by them atm, but that's because I'm currently writing Sunday's Child where the hero is a lifeboat crewmember.


Yes, its voluntary. And incredibly dangerous as this shows.


This was us this year. C is hiding there somewhere. I can see her feet.


Same lodge. Same table. Just five years ago


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Release dates

This week I got not one but Two release dates :D

Tuesdays Child comes out on October 19th. This one tells the story of DS Nate Holmes. He's been in and out of most of the Headley Cross books and wanted his own story. And who am I to argue with him?


Blurb:
Tuesday's Child tenders direction...

Deaf from the age of five, Adeline Munroe operates a hospital for injured dolls, but lately her quiet life is disturbed by violent, haunting visions. Perhaps it's just her unspoken fear--a serial killer has struck in Headley Cross. But Adeline soon realizes she's seeing each murder just before they happen and reluctantly contacts the police.

Detective Sergeant Nate Holmes has enough to deal with between caring for his orphaned niece and his current assignment--the Herbalist killings, so when a woman comes forward who claims to be "seeing" the crimes in dreams, he isn't hopeful she'll be of any help. But he knows her from church, and she inexplicably describes how each crime is committed. Is God answering his prayers through Adeline?

Adeline assists the police, yet more women die and she becomes the prime target of the killer. Will Nate crack the case before the Herbalist can complete his agenda--or will the next murder Adeline foresees be her own?

Excerpt:
All of Nate’s senses kicked into action, his copper’s antennae twitching.
She knew something, or at least thought she did.
“What is it?”
Adeline sucked her lower lip into her mouth, worrying it with her teeth. “This is going to sound stupid, but…” She took a deep breath. “I saw them. All of them. They all had their hair tied back or up.” She picked up the top clipping. “She was playing on a swing and wearing a red jacket. This one was walking the dog and wearing blue.”
Nate jolted as if he’d been struck by lightning. Those details hadn’t been released. Was he wrong about her? Was she somehow involved with the murders? “Wait  a minute. How did you know any of this?”
Adeline carried on speaking as she shifted through the papers. “She was on her way to dance class in pink. This one was jogging in a gray toweling track suit and the first one…”
Nate put a hand on her arm, cutting her off.
She jerked her head upwards in surprise.
He held her gaze. “How do you know all this?”
“I told you, I saw them.”


And as if that wasn't exciting enough, Wednesdays Child comes out Jan 11th, 2013.
That one tells the story of a guy who really has reached rock bottom. Liam, an alcoholic, ex-missionary and a man bent on revenge. (yes I did research - no I didn't get drunk doing it lol) And keep an eye open as Niamh and Patrick - Liam's twin sister and older brother - get their own stories told in Thurs and Fri Child respectively. (Just finished the pre-galley on Thursday's Child)

Blurb:

Wednesday's Child grieves for his soul...

Liam Page, school teacher and ex-missionary, is a man with a secret agenda. Revenge. But when he says it with flowers, toppling a vase of carnations and drenching  a woman who just happens to be the school's landscape architect, he may have found a light in his darkness.

After an abusive relationship, Jacqui Dorne prefers work to men. It's safer. But Liam Page with his boyish charm and wounded soul, manages to change her preferences. Has God led her to Liam to help him heal?

When their growing relationship is marred by the reappearance of Jacqui's ex-boyfriend, they find themselves suddenly embroiled in a series of dangerous events --leading them to Africa and leaving them fighting for both love and life.

extract
“Hey, watch where you’re going.”
“Sorry.” Liam turned around, hitting the table again. He watched in horror as the table shifted, like a view in slow motion. The vase of flowers tipped over, sending water all over the laptop and papers.
“Oh no! That’s all I need.” The female voice, as soft and silky as he imagined, was tinged with dismay and anger.
His face flaming, Liam snatched a pile of napkins from her side. “I’m so sorry. Let me help.”
“I think you’ve done enough.” Irritation flashed in her hazel eyes as she glared at him. “Just leave it. I’ll do it.” She picked up the flowers and shoved them back into the vase.
Liam’s cheeks burned, matching the churning in his stomach as it rebelled against his lunch. Dumping the napkins on the table, he pulled a pen from his jacket and scrawled his number on one of them. “I’ll pay for any repairs your computer needs. My name’s Liam Page. This is my mobile number. The phone’s on all the time. If you get voice mail, just leave a message, Miss...?”
The woman flinched as she took it, her cool fingers sending waves of heat through him as they brushed his hand. “Miss Dorne. No doubt I’ll be in touch”--she glanced down--“Mr. Page.”

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Review of Yield by Bryan K. Johnson






About Your upcoming release/Book:
Bryan K. Johnson
Author of Yield: Book 1 of the Armageddia Series



How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?
I was on a plane from San Francisco to Bend for a job interview, and the fog was so thick over the bay that it completely blotted out the sky. As we took off above the cloud bank, everything just disappeared beneath me. Mankind and all our worries seemed to fade into the grey. I wondered what would happen if the world changed at that very moment. What if the life I knew didn't exist when I landed? What if my world died somewhere under those clouds?

That experience started everything, and even turned into one of my favorite scenes in Yield. As our main character, disgraced firefighter Devin Bane, takes off on the way towards his own interview, everything he knows changes while he's in the air. Devin crashes headfirst into a chaos he doesn't understand, fighting not only to get back to his wife and kids, but also to protect the other survivors now looking to him for a leadership he wants no part of.

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?
Ex-fire chief Devin Bane rises above the thick clouds for an interview in Seattle and the promise of a better life. Packing up his carry-on items for their descent into the city, Devin is blinded by a distant flash, followed by the screams and chaos of a crash landing.

Outside the plane's wreckage, a new nightmare surrounds him. Seattle's iconic skyline is gone.

Searching for answers as he flees through the ruins, Devin and a handful of survivors are surrounded by the most primitive side of human nature. Plunged into the darkness of a broken society, their tattered souls are each tested by the horrors they face. Even if Devin can escape the city, a far worse danger now blocks his path back home . . . back to his family and the dawning of a changed world.

Are there any fun tid-bits about this story you can share with us?
Yield actually started its life as a screenplay. I thought the concept made for a very visual type of story, so I initially fleshed out Yield in a traditional screenplay format. That alone took me a couple of years because I was working on it after long days at work and time with my family. Putting it together as a screenplay actually helped me quite a bit while writing to better visualize the scenes, structure the story, and tighten up my dialogue. But screenplays have to be so concise and heavily formatted that it really limited the emotion of the story. I received a lot of feedback from prospective agents and production companies that the screenplay was overwritten and just too literary. So I took a deep breath and jumped in with both feet to expand Yield out into a novel. It took a few more years, but was extremely liberating to be able to flesh out how my characters felt and thoughthow the fear inside them was palpable and crippling. It allowed me to really explore my own style of writing and create a much deeper story.

How did you decide on the setting?
I'm from the Pacific Northwest, so I fell back on the locations I'm most familiar with. By placing Yield predominantly in Seattle and Portland, I thought that would also make it more unique than most of the other disaster books and movies out there. Those always seem to center around the cities of New York or Los Angeles. I lived in Portland for many years, but hadn't been to Seattle in ages, so I had to do some research to make it feel real. I tried to incorporate major landmarks, thoroughfares, and businesses downtown wherever possible to add to that feeling of realism and strengthen the overall believability of the story.

When will it be released?
Yield will be available in trade paperback and all e-book formats on August 14th. You can go to www.armageddia.com for all of the purchase links.

Review:
Written in the present tense, Yield is a fast paced book which throws you into the heart of the action as the survivors battle to find out what happened and simply make it through the first few days. At times a little confusing as you head hop through everyone in the scene, the gritty narrative keeps your attention and makes the book hard to put down. 
It's written from the perspective of the characters, who have no idea what's happened to their city or their families, only that there are very few people left alive. Not easy to read at times, as its no holes barred view on what could happen--but not from where you expect.
A good story, that pulls you in, keeps you reading and wanting more.




Where were you born?
I was born on a military base in Pullman, Washington, many moons ago. My dad was in the Navy, and we moved around quite a bit when I was little. After my parents got divorced, I moved down to Woodburn, Oregon, where I grew up and eventually went to high school. After that, my life blurred across four states before finally settling back in Oregon with my wife and two kids.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
I love the Oregon Coast, so even if I could choose to live anywhere, I'd have a house overlooking those crashing waves. There's just something so inspiring and powerful about watching the tide come in. New inspiration always seems to ebb and flow with those waves. I've sat out on the beach for hours on moonless nights, just listening to the water scatter across the sand . . . feeling it beside me in the black. There's nothing quite like it.

What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at?
Creativity is one of those things that I think can easily cross over into other disciplines. Outside of writing, I love to draw. I sketched out many of my characters and even some backdrops for Yield. You can check them out at: http://www.armageddia.com/Artwork.html  At one point in high school, I actually wanted to be a comic book artist, but I just didn't have the speed for it. The really good artists can finish several full pages in a day. My sketches, like my writing, I spent so much time reworking that they took considerably longer than that.

I also made all of my own book trailers and enjoy building motion graphics and 3D animations on the computer. That's what I did in the television industry for many, many years. I've won a dozen or so awards for my broadcast design and marketing work over the years. I play the guitar as well, sometimes using that as an escape. Jamming out on my Gibson has a way of freeing the mind.

What music groups/artists blast from your CD player while you write?
When I'm not writing, there's usually hard rock cranked up on my iPhone. Three Days Grace, Nickelback, Fireflight. I play guitar and enjoy the driving riffs and energy of that style of music. When I'm writing, my brain goes to a very different place and I have to listen to music without lyrics. For some reason, vocals distract my own words from coming out so I listen to an eclectic mix of trance, classical, and movie themes when I write. The various tones and emotion in the music I'm listening to can manifest themselves in very interesting ways throughout the writing process. I once had the idea for an entire screenplay while listening to an instrumental rendition of a Led Zeppelin song. I just couldn't scribble down the thoughts fast enough.

What got you interested in writing?
I've always loved to read, and started writing at first to continue those stories that I didn't want to end. I thought that the worlds other authors could create in my mind was so incredible that I wanted to try it for myself. We learn by doing, right? I started with the easier story lines of graphic novels, enjoying illustrating at least as much as putting together the words. I didn't quite have the speed for mass producing comics, so I moved on to other visual art forms like graphic design and advertising. Even though my career took me down that path, I never stopped writing. I've put together quite a few shorts that I'd love one day to expand out, and have also written a handful of screenplays. As I mentioned earlier, Yield was once a screenplay just begging to be freed. That story couldn't be confined.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
It sounds obvious, but make sure your writing is polished and professional. Edit it until your fingers bleed and you're positive that it just couldn't possibly be improved. Then . . . edit it again. I know it sounds painful, but to be taken seriously and to have a chance inside this competitive industry, the work has to stand its ground against an army of financially-backed juggernauts with legions of professional editors in tow. In order for a publisher or agent to take a chance on you, the material can't just center around a good idea. It has to be well executed cover to cover. Tighten it up. Make sure it is as perfect and captivating as you can make it. Then read it again.

Do you ever suffer from writers block? If so, what do you do about it?
I think everyone gets writer's block from time to time. Some days the words are flowing and it's all I can do to keep up with them. Other days, they can't be beaten out of me with a sledge hammer. If I'm stumped, I'll jump to a different part of the story or take a step back and try to look from a more macro perspective. Is it a local issue or is there a broader plot, character, or flow problem that needs addressing? Looking a page or two ahead of where I'm blocked and working down from there I also find helpful because it reorients me back to the broader story and helps to show the problem area in context.

Are you working on anything at the present youd like to share with us?
I'm currently working on book two of the Armageddia Series, and love the direction it's going. I feel like I learned a lot while writing Yield, and that's helped my process on book two tremendously. The follow-up to Yield explores a darkening world, one filled with revenge, retribution, and a desperate struggle to find hope within the chaos. Book one saw the transition from normality to a new way of life. It was very sudden and immediate in the lives of the characters. Book two of the Armageddia Series takes place a year later, and is more about the sustained struggle to survive and how the characters have changed in very different ways to do just that.

Whats the strangest thing youve ever eaten?
When I was twelve, my grandparents were celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary and decided to take the entire family on a cruise to the Caribbean. At that age, boys especially I think are open to trying things that more mature minds would caution against. So, I purposefully set out to eat the craziest things I could find on the menu. I had fried frog legs approaching Labadee, slurped down escargot in Jamaica, and had my first lobster tail somewhere between Haiti and Cuba.

What do you want to know about the future?
Who is to say the future will ever be written? (...says the guy who just wrote a book about Armageddon... ;) If I could only know one thing about the future, I'd like to know what kinds of people my kids turn into. Parenting is one of the greatest things we can ever do, and if I had just a tiny sneak peek into their lives years from now, I think that would be a very enlightening experience. Kids don't come with instruction manuals, unfortunately. That makes it hard to know if you're doing a good job parenting. Are we setting the right examples? Encouraging them enough? Too much? There is a delicate balance always at play, and it would be nice to have some confirmation now and then.

What is your favourite pizza?
Linguisa and olive at Abby's Pizzanot even a contest.

Are you a morning person or a night person?
I do better writing at night. I'm a relatively early riser, but not a contributing member of the human race until I have at least three or four cups of coffee in me. French roast. Black. STRONG. Is there anything better than having a steaming hot cup with absolutely nothing else on your mind? Watching the slow and steady ticking of the clock move past panic before reality finally sets in . . .  Sorry, what were we talking about again? I think I need some coffee.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Leslie's Lifeline by LoRee Peery


Lezlie’s Lifeline, Frivolities #5 by LoRee Peery

How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?
One of my goals for 2011 was to write a novella. Nothing came to me until I realized I had an unattached character in Sage and Sweetgrass, Frivolities #3. Lezlie is Sage’s daughter, a single mom. I knew where Lezlie worked. She had never told her father who fathered her son. A tagline came easy: An accusation reunites Lezlie Diamond and Jordan Marshall – will a secret keep them apart? One thing led to another and I had a completed first draft in days. I always smile because I feel as though this story wrote itself.

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?
Lezlie Diamond and Jordan Marshall meet again after a disgruntled husband accuses Lezlie of allowing his wife to die. A night security officer at the hospital, Jordan sees Lezlie home safely. Her nervousness tells him she’s holding something back. Jordan was devastated when Lezlie disappeared from his life sixteen years ago. Now she’s back and he discovers her secret: the birth of their son. How can he ever trust her again? The two loves of Lezlie’s life unite. The teen immediately forgives his mother for her secrets and wants to know his father, but dare Jordan follow their son’s example and grant Lezlie a second chance?

Are there any fun tid-bits about this story you can share with us?
The names. My first choice of a name for my oldest daughter was Lezlie. (I’m so glad she’s Paige.) When I worked at UNL two of the French professors were Jordan S and Marshall O.

How did you decide on the setting?
Easy. It was established in the third book in the series. Lezlie works at a hospital in Lincoln.

When will it be released?
August 3, 2012

Buy Link: Note: This book is a Dollar Download

Review:  
In Frivolites book five, we catch up with Lezlie, Sage's daughter. The book, by very nature of being a dollar download is a quick read at just 34 pages. However, those 34 pages are packed with action, drama and romance in a way that pulls you in and just doesn't let you up for air. It's got the awww moments and the heart stopping moments, not to mention the 'the author did what???' moments. We meet new characters as well as the old friends from the previous books. This one has gone straight back into my TBR pile.
If you love LoRee Peery's books, don't miss this one.

The Interview began July 27, continues . . .

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
It depends on what I need at the time – how-to, inspiration, craft elements. Different pointers strike me at different times. I don’t read Stephen King’s fiction, but his On Writing is valuable. Everyone has a different process. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Gail Gaymer Martin’s Writing the Christian Romance was very helpful when I planned one of my books.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
That’s a really good question. For the whole Frivolities series, except Found in the Woods, a character’s name is in the title. Don’t ask me why the heroes made it for the two books with older heroines. “Something” comes to mind, I write it down, nothing better pops up, and so far my editor agrees with what I submit.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When nonfiction Nebraska essays were published in academic journals and anthologies.

What person or experience inspired you to become a writer?
My mom loved to read. My husband’s challenge. An uncle who said, “Your letters sound like you’re right here talking to me.” A really good friend named Frenchy.

Describe your writing space.
The room of my own came about when I took over my son’s room the third time he moved out. The closet houses filing cabinets, paperbacks in crates, my TBR pile, collage materials, and a shelf full of three-ring notebooks. Along the walls are eight oak bookcases, two handmade by my husband. My writing space is L-shaped, PC and computer desk on the right, an antique square table for my printer, a refinished antique writing desk with a stained-glass lamp, and an oak file cabinet on the left. When I’m immersed, the desktops are covered.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I don’t think anything about Lezlie’s Lifeline was difficult, except maybe keeping the word count limited.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read. Take walks. Play Scrabble or games with family. Go to movies. Spend time with writers.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
The eternal hope we have as believers in Jesus Christ.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
First thing I remember is a ballerina. Then a music teacher.

What do you do in your spare time? (Assuming you have any ;-) )
It’s been a long time since I have just sat outside and soaked up nature. I need to get back to doing that. But not this summer when we’ve had more 100-degree-days than I can remember. Hmmm, I think it is past time for a vacation.

What genre would you like to explore that you haven’t tried to write in yet? Will you? What would you never see yourself writing?
YA – it’s so popular right now and young teens are so impressionable. Only the Lord knows. Fantasy.

Do you really, really want a dog?
Have one, and I think Bogey will be our last. He’s a big, loveable yellow lab. But he sheds incessantly.

Do you hate how you look in pictures?
Hate is pretty strong. I don’t mind head shots but I feel as wide as I am tall any more.

Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?
I mix printing and cursive and my lowercase Rs are really old-school.

What is your strangest habit?
Don’t you dare ask one of my kids. Maybe “singing” hello when I answer the phone?

You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
My father’s murder.

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
I’m leaving the house without mascara and I don’t care.

What were you doing at midnight last night?
Reading until “the end.”

What’s a saying you use a lot?
God is God and I am not.

Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Probably, but I don’t remember how it tasted.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Boxelder bugs.

What is your favourite animal?
A wolf.

What do you want to know about the future?
That’s too scary.

What is your heritage?
German American.

Have you ever cried during a movie?
Usually.

Do you sleep with the light on?
My hubby needs a couple night lights on. I usually “see” what’s in the house ahead of me.

What is your favourite pizza?
As much cheese as fits and green olive.

Are you a morning person or a night person?
Night. It’s best not to talk to me until I’ve had a cup of coffee.

If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?
I’d see all my loved ones in heaven some day. My house would always be clean. Twenty pounds would vanish.

If you could go anywhere to tomorrow, where would you go?
The Black Hills, The Rockies, or Idaho, where the evenings are cool.

If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?
My mom. She would love knowing that I’m an author. I can see her smile as I put this down.