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.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Easter post - or the day the assistant pastor ate the floral arrangement

It's almost Easter




Every time I see daffodils I'm reminded of Andrew Page, our then assistant pastor. And the same goes for flowers on Easter Sunday.

I was 16 so this is many years ago now. Andrew is now Pastor of his own church, ironically the same one this happened it.

Picture the scene. 500 people in the congregation, and a load of over excited children as its Easter.
Andrew starts the children's talk by asking what the children had had for breakfast. Cornflakes, toast and so on. He picks a daffodil from the flower arrangement on the platform and breaks off a piece of the stem and eats it.

He continues to talk about breakfast, all the time breaking off pieces of the stem and eating it.
 
Then he moved on to Easter Eggs. How many and what kinds. How many had they eaten. Was chocolate better than cornflakes for breakfast.

He pulls off the petals one by one and eats them.

Silence fills the church, and I mean you could hear a pin drop.

He continues to talk and eat until he's eaten the whole flower!

A pause. Then he looks out over the congregation and asks "What have I just done?"

No one answers, until one brave child at the front (no not me) raises a hand and says "You ate a daffodil."

He nods. "yes. Now I bet all the grown ups are thinking its a fake flower, rice paper or marzipan. It wasn't. It was a real flower and yes I know they're poisonous."

He pauses for a moment then adds. "There are 500 of you here that saw me do it. You'll go away and tell your friends, Andrew Page ate a daffodil and they'll tell you your mad, because its not possible."

Another pause. "500 people saw Jesus after he rose from the dead. No one believed them either."

And for weeks after he'd find tulips or other flowers in the pulpit with a note saying 'in case you get hungry during the sermon.'

originally posted here in March 2010

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Two new books from Dora Hiers.

Today I bring you Two new releases from author Dora Hiers.


Journey’s Embrace with White Rose Publishing

After an injury forces Deputy U.S. Marshal Sage Michaelson off duty, he heads to his hometown with two things on his mind: recuperating and reevaluating, but Sage can’t refuse his best friend’s plea to keep a protective eye on his little sister after someone ransacks her house. But Delaney’s not so little anymore—and definitely not the young “Dane” Sage remembers. 

Flight Medic Delaney Hunt has loved Sage forever. But, he’s all about control and order while she embraces life and takes risks. As much as the idea appeals to her, she doesn’t need Sage looking over her shoulder. But when things go wrong and she finds herself hanging by her fingertips, who does she call to rescue her?

Will Delaney ever be the woman Sage wants by his side? Can Sage learn to live by grace, recognizing that God is in control? Can they overcome their fears to embrace life together?

Review:
Who doesn’t like a hero who’s tall, dark, handsome and willingly puts himself in danger over and over again. Not to mention constantly getting hurt in the process and discharging himself from hospital against doctor’s orders. Well that’s the hero, Sage. The problem is Delany doesn’t want his attention…at least not like that.
This book has it all, action, romance, thrills, hurt heroes, strong female leads… Not one to be missed.



When Truth Whispers with White Rose Publishing

After a humiliating breakup, best-selling romance author Teal Benning flees to Promise Lake to complete her current novel, minus paparazzi and flashing cameras. Suffering from writer's block and a broken heart, Teal accepts the offer of help from neighbor, Hunter Miciver.

Hunter longs to be more than the friend who picks up the shattered pieces of Teal's heart, but when Teal finds out his secret, will she see him for the man he is—a man of faith and devotion, a man who would cherish her for the rest of her days—or will she lump him into the same category as all the other men in her life, including her father?

Will Teal recognize when truth whispers her name?

Review:
Yet another great book from Dora Hiers. This one had me gripped from the get go and I couldn’t put it down. At all. I even cooked with kindle in my hand, reading the whole novel in a day. Teal finds trust hard, after all every man she’s ever know has let her down. With one exception but he’s her best friend. Hunter wants to be more than a friend, but his choice of job means he’s going to classed as a liar and a cheat, just like everyone else. Another book not to be missed. And one that’s gone straight back on my tbr pile.




Contact Information:

                 
Bio:
After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son didn’t want her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing heart racing, God-gracing books. She’s thrilled that all of her stories found a home with White Rose Publishing/Pelican Book Group. Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers. Dora is married to her real life hero, a fire chief, who likes to plot with her during their lunch dates. They make their home in North Carolina.

When Dora isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, family gatherings, and mountain cabin getaways. She despises traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with a happily-ever-after!

Social Media:

Monday, 18 March 2013

Review - Beautiful Music by Marianne Evans

Beautiful Music by Marianne Evans
Book two of the Sal's Place series.



Escaping the black residue of her past, Callie Phillips finds sanctuary at Queen of Angels Church. The reformed rebel is a middle-school choir teacher by day, and music director on the weekends, mingling with parish members over breakfast at her favorite after-church haunt, Sal’s Place.
Luke West embraces a devout belief in the sacredness of human life. An EMT, he takes charge of life-and-death situations and acts as guardian for his ten-year-old niece, Dawn West who has a child’s zest for life and a God-given gift for music.
When Callie takes the little girl under her wing and becomes a mentor and surrogate mother to Dawn, Callie and Luke are thrown together. She’s drawn to the dynamic and handsome EMT, but her sullied past threatens any future she and Luke might share. Despite Callie’s former life, can Luke’s love teach her there’s nothing God’s mercy can’t wipe clean? Will Luke forgive even the bleakest form of sin and desperation in order to embrace the love of an extraordinary woman?

My review:
Laughter and tears...this book from Marianne Evans has it all. And plenty of it. Callie and Luke's story is sure to touch your heart and linger long after the last page is turned. As an EMT, Luke holds all life sacred. Callie's past is dark and scarred. But music and love and a really cute kid called Dawn help Luke to break down the walls. Until Ms. Evans throws in a twist that turns everything on it's head.

Buy Link

Bio:
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laud her work as: ‘Riveting.’ ‘Realistic and true to heart.’ ‘Compelling.’
Evans’s novel, Hearts Communion, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors in the Romance category as well as best inspirational romance of 2012 by ACRA, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Evans has also won acclaim in such RWA contests as The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence where she has been a finalist twice, and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence contest.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Evans is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of America chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. She’s also active in American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.
Connect with Marianne:

Sunday, 17 March 2013

I got a release date for Thursday's Child

Monday’s Child must hide for protection,

Tuesday’s Child tenders direction
Wednesday’s Child grieves for his soul
Thursday’s Child chases the whole
Friday's Child is a man obsessed
Saturday’s Child might be possessed
And Sunday’s Child on life’s seas is tossed
Awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost.

Thursday's Child is coming.... July 5th 2013 from Pelican Book Group.





Thursday's Child chases the whole...

Broken...with bits missing. That's how Niamh, senior prosecutor for the CPS, feels when she wakes in hospital severely injured with no knowledge what happened--for the past ten years. A tall man in a firefighters uniform claims he's her husband. While he's everything she's ever dreamed of in a man and more, she doesn't know him. And if he was so important why can't she remember? Was there something so terrible, so painful in her marriage, her mind has suppressed it?  

First on the scene at a horrific accident, Jared Harkin is devastated to find his wife one of the injured. He's already lost a child, can he live through this? Niamh survives the crash, but awakens with ten years missing and no memories of their life together. Determined to help her remember the past and their love, he sets about wooing her all over again. But are some things best forgotten?

As Niamh struggles to remember, the investigation into the accident reveals foul play. Did her recent caseload have anything to do with the attempt on her life? Or was it someone closer to her?  As bit and pieces of memory return, the attacker strikes again. Can she piece together the whole of her past before it's too late?

extract

The firefighter next to her took a sharp breath. “Hon?”

She looked sideways at him. “Please don’t call me that. I have no idea who you are.”

Shock resonated in his eyes and his jaw dropped. “I’m sorry? You don’t you know who I am?”

“No, I don’t.” She looked back at the doctor. “I don’t remember him at all. The only thing I do know, is when I woke, he was holding my hand.”

Dr. Anders looked at her, then across at the firefighter, concern showing in his steel grey eyes. “Would you mind waiting outside while I examine your wife?”

Niamh swallowed and choked. “Wife?” She didn’t know who this guy was. What other surprises waited for her? Maybe she was still asleep and in some kind of weird dream.

“Yes, Niamh. You’re my wife. I’m Jared. We’ve been married for eight years.” He tore his anguished eyes from her and looked at the doctor. “Why can’t she remember? I want to stay while you check her over.”

She shook her head. “No. I’d like you to leave. Please.”

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Godmachine

What do you get when you cross EFC, Star Trek, and Babylon 5?

A cast in a new sci fi film currently in pre-production. But like anything creative that's worth doing, it costs time and money. In order to even get to this stage, hours have been spent writing and rewriting the script. And take it from someone who knows, that in itself is exhausting.

The script finished, cast assembled, the next stage is filming. But this needs props and costumes and visual effects. Let's face it,  if Liam Kincaid was protecting Da'an with a piece of cardboard that said GUN or Dr. McCoy was trying to save a patient with a cereal box labelled TRICORDER no one would take them seriously and the fan base would not exist.
And yes I still get shivers watching certain scenes in EFC where Liam's hands glow with the Shaqarava which wouldn't have worked without the CGI.

None of this comes cheap. So there is a fund raising campaingn going on over on INDIEGOGO. There are various thank you's from the cast and director for the donations.

Watch the short film


Friday, 8 March 2013

Interview with Robert Leeshock - Earth Final Conflict, Godmachine

It's pouring with rain today. But at least the fog has cleared so I can see the bottom of the garden now. But that doesn't matter because today I have a very special guest blogger.

Actor Robert Leeshock (Earth Final Conflict, Godmachine). He very kindly took time out of his busy schedule to provide an interview and article and some photos.



He's currently trying to raise funds to bring his short film, Godmachine, to the big screen. You can see my review of the short film HERE. (and a slight rave about my sci-fi addiction.)



Anyway, enough of me... That's not why you're all here is it lol.


Question:
What do you get when you cross an Arts and Science major with an Engineering major?  More specifically, what happens when an Arts major tries desperately to get into the Engineering school, while prodded to give up the quest by his adviser right before the second semester of Junior year - I mean, that's a lot of calculus and physics classes going to waste, wouldn't you say? Maybe the question more simply put is: what is it like trying to force a square peg into a round hole… or rather, a round peg into a square hole?  Oh, the geometry of life can be confusing, as you know.  The grandiosity of those life choices at such a formative stage, and their resulting twists and turns, leave much to ponder.

Answer:
I found myself as an Engineering Materials Science graduate searching for the philosophy behind the science. The graduate curriculum (that never appeared as required reading on any syllabus) which aided me in solving some of the questions raised by my unorthodox choice appeared magically in the guise of "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra.  The contained philosophy so engaged me that I began the search to find a career choice that would do the same. I became an actor, inspired to regain both my Arts and Sciences sensibilities via theater training in New York City - yes, that endeared Cornell Education wasted on yet another waiter honing a new-found craft! The irony of it all is that the resulting rollercoaster of a career eventually led to the role of 'hybrid hero', Liam Kincaid, on the science fiction television series, EARTH:  FINAL CONFLICT, originally conceived by one of the grandfathers of sci-fi, Gene Roddenberry, well known for creating the all-time classic, STAR TREK.

A further irony in the serendipitous cosmos found me at a dinner in New York City many years later with my friend, Rod Roddenberry (Gene's son), who was in the process of creating a documentary about the search for his father. The director for the documentary showed up to the dinner with an additional guest; he thought it might be a good idea to bring along the son of famed Cornell professor and astronomer, Carl Sagan, to the same table so that Rod and he might share in their fathers' interconnectedness. The Carl Sagan Cornell connection, the Science Fiction genre, and the underlying philosophy… was I somehow a minute part of the glue in this puzzle?

I am sure that for many Cornellians, the post-graduate twists and turns have been exciting, challenging and humbling in many aspects. The exposure to so many fascinating and diverse students was probably one of the most compelling parts of the tapestry of my Cornell experience; I wonder what percentage of us actually found ourselves in an industry even remotely related to the initially intended field of study?  My journey is just one, the details of which can be found on the database more commonly known as www.imdb.com.  However, for me, the more compelling part of my path lies in trying to explain the steps from deep within the gorges of Ithaca to the streets of New York, and, of course, to eternally-sunny Hollywood - what a contrast to those gray and blustery days of climbing up Libe slope!

Currently, I am back in New York, working on yet another science fiction project - my own - called GODMACHINE.  My team and I have completed a short version of this film which has screened at various science fiction conventions. The response has been inspiring, to say the least.  The genre is ScienceFiction/Fantasy: a rare computer virus allows an android to channel the frequency of the Big Bang, forever threatening the balance of power between man and machine. This short film acts as a 'demo' to introduce our nonlinear narrative while creating the mystique of our universe in order to pique the audience's curiosity. In its execution, the short is thoughtfully compelling and provocative - a little artsy while full of great science. The planned feature version blossoms our story into an Action/Adventure-filled romp while never leaving the science behind.  We have just completed the latest revision of the feature, which ironically contains a journey over some precarious falls…  a suspension bridge, rushing water… do you get where I am going with this? Perhaps we can summon the forces of serendipitous irony in the cosmos and film the feature version of GODMACHINE right in Ithaca, NY!

Please feel free to email me your thoughts or ideas, I'd be more than excited to hear them.  Or even if you want to share your story of how Cornell shaped your experience - we may just turn it into a film!


Where did the idea for God Machine first originate and how did you become involved in the project?  

The idea was conceived after the head writer, Richard Cranor fought a battle with cancer and was forced to face the challenges following his ‘Kundalini’ awakening!  As I understand it, he was wrestling some unconscious demons and was using his ‘trauma’, to mirror the script’s use of Post Taumatic Stress Disorder as a vehicle to uncover obstacles to transformation.

I read the first draft of the script through the suggestion from a mutual friend.  The ideas the script first presented to me:  a Chinese corporate takeover of the southern US, Eastern metaphysical philosophy combined with echoes of the Big Bang and a provocative android comfort model who can channel the frequency of the Big Bang… I was hooked!!

What were some of the biggest challenges production-wise that you guys faced before the short film went in front of the cameras?

Have you ever tried to build a futuristic weapon by hanging out in the aisles at Home Depot?  Kidding a bit here… We struggled to find a linear through line to the unconscious journey in the script.  Logistically, we had to hire a Director of Photography and get everyone out to Seattle on a shoestring budget. Rich built sets using his generous girlfriend’s detached two floor industrial looking ‘guest house’.  We had to shoot before she lost her patience and we’d have to deconstruct the sets.   I guess she might find it difficult to create an appeal for a futuristic  brothel to potential renters.



How would you describe your character of John Lee and what were some of the acting challenges you found playing him?

John Lee is a war ravaged special ops agent suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the loss of his wife due to a botched mandatory implantation procedure. John is recruited to undergo implantation himself in order to suppress his PTSD and make him a more resilient soldier to fight in a corporate controlled army.  His mission is to seek out the source of a rare computer virus threatening the grid and ultimately the balance of power between man, machine and corporation.

The challenge with the character was to ‘live inside’ the psychological and emotional headspace necessary to portray a seasoned combat vet.  In addition, hitting androids over the head with a sledgehammer was always hard to justify.  The traversing of the line between gratuitous violence and provocative storytelling is always challenging.

What sticks out most in your mind about shooting the short film in general? Any memorable scenes? What was it like to work with Von Flores again?

It reminds me of the Nietzche quote:  “One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.”

With all the random and confounding parts that need to come together, the process of shooting even a short film forces you to trust your instincts and have FAITH, lots of it!!

The scene where Grace discovers her power and goes through her transformation, her evolution from machine to sentient being, she has a tear drop from her eye.  She looks at it questioningly…  “What is this?” she asks.  John responds, “Life.”  It is the beginning of their journey to discover their higher purpose.  An Adam and Eve of the future!

Von has matured as both an actor and a human being.  He brings a lot of depth and complexity to the role of chairman Fong.  He is always thinking like a director with very strong artistic views…  We shot the scenes with him on a separate trip to Toronto and used my camera, the Canon 5D Mark II to film his scenes.  He lent his eye in setting up some of the shots and is an all around versatile artist.

What is the current status of God Machine (including all the recent new castings) and what is your focus for the film’s future?

GODMACHINE is currently in pre-production.  We are expanding our scope in creating partnerships for producing a feature length version of our story.  The cast continues to grow as we welcome some iconic sci-fi talent who have expressed their love for the idea we have crafted.  Jason Carter of BABYLON 5, JG Hertzler of STAR TREK:  DEEP SPACE NINE and MARINA SIRITS of STAR TREK:  NEXT GENERATION.

Our focus for the future is to use crowdfunding to further the marketing and pitching of our idea both to investors and production companies.  We have invested much of our own resources in creating a short film, business plan, website and budget.  The feature script is a fantastic futuristic romp.   Compared to our short film, it’s more linear and marketable yet retains the sci-fi appeal and philosophy.  Hopefully by sharing our idea we will be able to evolve our ideas and share the humanity of our ambitious journey.



The details of our journey can be found below:
www.godmachinefilm.com
facebook.com/godmachinefilm
twitter.com/godmachinefilm

But more importantly, you can watch the short film at:
www.vimeo.com/godmachine/godmachinefilm

Thank you all for your time. You can reach me at: robertleeshock@gmail.com

Also on
Twitter
Facebook


There's an indigogo campaign to raise funds for the film, but it's here. Each donation goes towards getting Godmachine onto the big screen and there are incentives to donate - as if we need them.


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit here.