Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Beautiful British birds. Watercolour paintings by great new Artist Emma Hogan

Emma Hogan BA(HONS) Animation, illustrator of the front cover of my book Keeper of the Enchanted Pool is an extremely talented artist. Her remarkable talent for painting lifelike pictures of wildlife was spotted by The Wallington Gallery. Her watercolour paintings of birds are now included amongst their collection of Fine British & European Paintings for sale, including, among many other talented artists, William Hoggatt and Bill Hindmarsh. The Wallington Gallery is based in Corbridge, Northumberland and run by run by Brian Alger with involvement from the well-known and respected Mrs. Gillian Fairless.
Emma's eye for detail is remarkable. It has been said that her paintings look like photographs. With an ability to draw and paint in any medium and any subject, I am sure that Emma will be a name to watch out for in the Art world.
Her paintings are available from The Wallington Gallery framed and with free postage and packing Worldwide for all paintings bought on line.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Keeper of the Enchanted Pool is now on Kindle from Amazon

Lottie and the Pipples can now be read in Kindle form.  I have finally been able to master the technology to turn my Children's novel into a digital book.

So anyone with an iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch or computer (download the free reader from Amazon) can start reading in a few seconds.  It's a lot cheaper, too.

I, as many of you, will always prefer 'the real thing' to read and adorn my bookshelves, but I quite like this instant and very readable (I want the Kindle for Christmas please, Santa) new fangled idea.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Claudius, another Roman masterpiece from Douglas Jackson

Douglas Jackson’s Claudius, the sensational sequel to Caligula, is nothing short of excellent. Whilst I would highly recommend reading Caligula first, it is not necessary, as it is an exceptional ‘stand alone’ historical novel.

The author has woven in his two characters from Claudius, Rufus, the slave and Bersheba, the loveable, mischievous elephant, into the historical account of Rome’s conquer of Britain in a way that gives another dimension. ‘Seeing’ and ‘hearing’ Rufus’s version of events brings a personal touch to the proceedings, making it even more compelling.

The obvious in-depth research and poetic licence brings Claudius ‘to life’ with stunning clarity.

Devious plots, battles and their aftermath are portrayed in stark detail. Together with Douglas Jackson’s own brand of wit and a few unexpected twists, it will be extremely difficult to do anything else until one has finished reading.

This is not just history; it’s another epic from Douglas Jackson.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Allan Mayer’s ‘Tasting the Wind...’ Murder, mystery and mayhem!

Allan Mayer's Tasting the Wind takes us into a realm far darker than many a fictional or true life horror story. Neglect, physical, sexual and mental abuse, torture, ridicule and murder. It is not a story set in World War 11 enemy prison camps. No, these are places that have existed since the 13th century, starting with Bethlem Royal Institution, commonly known as Bedlam.

The somewhat hapless, but extremely funny, sensitive and caring Martin Peach is thrown into what is hopefully the tail end of a very dark stain on British history following the breakup of his relationship. Two hundred miles from home, living with a couple of lovable 'oddballs', coping with integrating six institutionalised people with so called 'learning difficulties' into the community and ... tangled up in solving a murder that happened ten years previously.

I got very attached to the new occupants of 'the Bungalow', learning difficulties? It brings to mind one of my Granny's sayings, 'He's not as green as he's cabbage looking.' I don't know if it was Allan Mayer's intention, but he has shown through his writing that it is a very large proportion of the general population that has the learning difficulty.

Allan Mayer's portrayal of life in institutions and helping to forge new lives for his characters, is stunningly accurate and poignant. His skilful injection of humour and compassion coupled with a very clever murder mystery to solve, make this a thoroughly enjoyable and compelling read.

Allan is very generously giving half of his royalties to Derian House Childrens Hospice.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Douglas Jackson’s Caligula... Did he time travel to write this remarkable novel?

Before I begin my review of Caligula, I must start with a quote from Stephen King's On Writing aka my 'bible'.

'Fresh writing on the other hand, teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narration, plot development, the creation of believable characters and truth telling. A novel like The Grapes of Wrath may fill a new writer with despair and jealousy - 'I'll never be able to write anything like that, not if I live to be a thousand.' But such feelings can also serve as a spur, goading the writer to work harder and aim higher. Being swept away - or being flattened, in fact - is part of a very necessary formation. You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.'

Well, my friends, it has been done to me by Douglas Jackson's
Caligula. Truly a modern day great. This is not me just spouting 'hot air' or false praise, as his new publishing success of his new 'baby' Claudius, (my next read) which I believe is part of a three book deal offer, will attest
. I wish him all the best with this new venture. Keep a close eye on this author's work if you are a true lover of really great fiction.


As shocking as it is spectacular, Douglas Jackson's
Caligula is so vivid, it is as if has witnessed everything. He writes with such mastery, that, like Rufus, you want to turn away from the horrific spectacles but are compelled to read on. I defy anyone not to be transfixed by this story that takes one through and beyond the full gamut of every human emotion. Such empathy and passion, with powerful sensuous erotic moments, intertwined with so much pathos.

Whether you know of the Rome of old or have not even the slightest interest in history, has no relevance. This book will appeal to anyone who wants a damn good read. It is, in short, a masterpiece.

Monday, 6 April 2009

A great new addition to our YWO stable of books

The Witches' Tree
Jacqi Campbell-Elliot

Will the Witches’ Tree give up its secret?

Maggie MacQueen flees to the Highlands of Scotland to recover from a broken love-affair. As the beautiful scenery and gentler lifestyle begin to work their magic, she finds herself being haunted by the ghostly figure of a woman and encounters a strange character from Scottish folklore. She sets out to discover the reason behind these supernatural happenings, wondering if there is a link between them and the grave of the Unknown Maid in the local churchyard.

At the same time, she has to deal with her developing feelings for Angus Cameron, landlord of the Loch Shee Inn. Both fight against the growing attraction between them; Maggie is certain she cannot face the heartbreak of loving again and Angus fights shy of commitment. The crisis comes on the night of a terrifying Highland storm when human and supernatural worlds collide.
My review

What a well-written, intriguing story, Jacqui. The preface was a good introduction with a promise of strange happenings to come.

Your descriptive powers are excellent and you handle the little dips into back-story very well.

Your dialogue is real and convincing. An example of one of the many pieces of prose you wrote that I loved, is - noticing that soft fingers of mist were beginning to creep lazily across the contours of the hill. Poetry in motion!!!

Extremely well done Jacqui. Good luck with it.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Somebody find me an unpaid publicist!!!

Well, my book is selling quite well already. I don't know exactly how many. But it looks as if it's doing well in various charts.

My family and friends are doing a sterling job all over the world. What I need is loadsa money to pay for someone to take over! It is fun and very exciting doing it myself though. It just takes up so much time! I am a writer and need to write.

Still, one day...

Thursday, 5 March 2009

My Children's book is out!!! Yabba Dabba Dooo...

Happy Days!!!

Just when you don't expect it, my book popped up on Amazon yesterday, while my husband was doing a quick search, after it not appearing in the usual list.

It's everywhere now. All over the world. It's hard to take in and a great feeling.

The cover by my daughter Emma Hogan (BA-Animation) looks absolutely terrific. Thank you sweetheartxxx

Thank you so much Ted and all at Legend for all your hard work.

And a big thank you to my husband, Bill for his contribution, my sister, Tricia Tvrdik in Chicago for hours of editing on two of my books and my 'English teacher'/friend for edificating me and giving up a great deal of her own writing time. I know you wish to remain anonymous!

Big thanks as well to the numerous writers/members of for all your reviews and help since. It really helped transform it into a proper book.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

It's been a long time!

Due to ill health and other things, I have not been blogging. I am still not 100%, but finding my way back into the land of the living. I have updated my fellow YWO writers books on my website and will add the others as they appear.

I am still to waiting for my baby, Keeper of the Enchanted Pool, to appear. It should be any day now, according to my publisher.

I can't wait for children to read it and be transported back to a time when children were much more innocent than today. There is a Nanny and teddies for my 14 year old, Lottie. Yet though innocent, she is strong and sensible. Lottie needs these qualities after her parents are missing, believed drowned, when the Titanic sinks. Strange things happen, nothing is as it appears and she finds her way to a mysterious new land, where she has an exciting and sometimes dangerous mission.