Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Rudyard Kipling, Something Of Myself

“(An unhappy childhood was not) an unsuitable preparation for my future, in that it demanded a constant wariness, the habit of observation, and the attendance on moods and tempers; the noting of discrepancies between speech and action; a certain reserve of demeanour; and automatic suspicion of certain favours.

Pictures: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Welcome Author Jacqueline Malcolm

Jacqueline Malcolm born in Northampton, England, has enjoyed a long lasting professional career in administration and event management to an executive level. A classically trained actress from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (New York) and the London Center of Theatre Studies (London), Jacquie has had a passion for writing since a very early age. A published author of the children’s book, The Adventures of Lucy the Lamb (AuthorHouse Publishers, 2005), her other writing credits to date include: The Red Dress (short play, The Kings Head Theatre, London, 2004); Cornflakes  (short play, The Kings Head Theatre, London, 2004), Twisted Magnolias  (short play, Camden Theatre, London, 2006); Lost In the Moment (short play, 2009); A Child’s Wish(commissioned script for theatre in education project in NY, 2009). Jacqueline presently lives on the Island of Syros, Greece, with her family.

Soon-to-be-published novel: 
SLAVE: Escaping the Chains of Freedom

I wrote SLAVE: Escaping the Chains of Freedom as, being born a black person living and growing up in England I’ve always been truly fascinated by the stories I have been told about my own ancestors filtered down through the years; about my own great great grandmother who was, apparently, the head slave and mistress of a Scottish slave owner and how that union still shows with my uncle who has black skin but green eyes, cousins born with bright red hair and even I myself, who was born so fair that when my mother tried to take me out of the hospital in 1968 Northampton, she was accused of trying to steal a white baby!!

In 2010 African American’s made up just over 12% of the US population. In 2001, the UK Census showed approximately 2% Black British (over 1 million living in London alone). All of us can share a similar story and for the most part are intrigued to know more. I believe ‘ROOTS’ did much to shine a light on the slave trade of the southern states of the US but SLAVE: Escaping the Chains of Freedom opens the door to the debate of those blacks who made great wealth themselves from the slave trade; those that were not victims but part of the very controversial, yet booming, trade industry of that period.

With the global downfall of the world market and so many, of all races, desperate to redefine themselves, the US and UK audience are ready for another ‘ROOTS’, for another ‘AMISTAD’ especially as SLAVE: Escaping the Chains of Freedom motivates from an alternative view point of the wealthy blacks which neither of these great stories really addressed.


It’s 18th Century New York and the slave trade continues amidst an historical political upheaval. Hezekiah Thomas, born the son of a white General and his black enslaved mother, discovers both the joys and tragedies that comes with his longed for freedom. Then, through a situation of chance and opportunity, Hezekiah is faced with the decision to go against all of his inner beliefs and convictions and for himself to become an owner of slaves.

This fictional story not only seeks to open the ageless discussion of whether the reported black-slave owners were such purely out of benevolent reasons, wishing to free and offer relief to their enslaved families; or whether they too were motivated by money and would purchase only for commercial reasons with the goal being the ever important ‘profit’; but it also seeks to answer a modern day question; ‘what is freedom without money?”. We’re living in a time of unbelievable financial challenges; forced to watch as the entire monetary system upon which we have built our lives collapses from under us - how do we survive? If we never had money, where do we go now to get it? If we had it, where do we go to keep it safe?

Having gained his longed for freedom at the death of his father, Hezekiah Thomas is faced with making it on his own for the first time in his life, though his wife and child remain the property of his vengeful half-brother, James Thomas IV. But graced with a sharp mind and high intelligence, he soon begins his own business in shoemaking and in time a fateful meeting with black slave trader, Albert Shelton, leads to Hezekiah being contracted by The Crown to supply the boots for the invading English armies.  However, in order for him to afford the materials and labor to meet the quantities, he enters into an alliance with Shelton which forces Hezekiah himself to go against all of his principals to become an owner of slaves, convincing himself that it will give them all the life they have always wanted - a life of wealth and freedom.

To secure the deal, Shelton requests Ruth, Hezekiah’s only daughter, as security against the loan, through marriage to his son, Adam. But Ruth has plans of her own and begins a love affair with Ezekiel, head slave belonging to Hezekiah, and soon becomes pregnant with his child. When Hezekiah discovers the deception he must find a way to appease Shelton before everything is lost.

An interesting fact for readers: Previous guest author, Marva Gregorio De Souza, and Jacqueline Malcolm, are sisters. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Welcome Author Marva Gregorio De Souza

                                                                          Picture: photobucket.com

Marva Gregorio De Souza born in England is a lover of cleverly woven words. Throughout her management career, writing has played a key role in her life, manifesting itself through a myriad of short stories, screenplays, stage plays and general, possibly unwanted, witticisms.

One of four girls, some of Marva’s earliest memories were trips to the local library, rare sun shining on her through the wide and tall windows while she delved into the seemingly limitless rows of alternative worlds only a book cover away. Home again and the special quiet in the house while everybody settled down and snuggled up to read. Other times hours spent writing, producing, directing, wardrobe, staging, make-up and acting plays all for the pleasure of their parents.  The joy of storytelling continued into Marva’s teenage years and throughout her twenties, in the form of a drama group with two of her sisters and a friend. For over eleven years they created and performed sketches, at schools, concerts, weddings and prisons all over England, even laying tracks in California and Jamaica.

Time spent on a screenplay course started Marva on her short story writing path. ‘Write.’ the course tutor said – whatever comes into your head – so you can carry the title of writer.  This is how Marva met Hettie, the elderly, confused character on the verge of dementia in her first short story.

A few years of fun following dark paths usually avoided, reading them to a growing family, sharing on the usual social media misfits, have now cumulated in a published collection interspersed with Marva’s own special brand of humor and outlook.

Marva exposes herself further on her Blog 

Pocket Full of Bleeding Posies
A Decently Dark Collection of Woven Words

Ring O' Ring O' Roses
A Pocket Full O' Posies
A-Tissue, A-Tissue
We all fall down into a blood bath of short stories and expressions overflowing with rich characters, synchronized murder, complete desolation, thwarted love and comprehensible randomness. Straight from the author's head, these stories are snap shots in the characters' lives and small windows into the human heart, thoughts and motives. Dark, humorous and twisted - just what you need to get from A to B.

Purchase Here:  Amazon   More Books   WHSmith.co.uk

Facebook Page        Amazon Author Page     

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Ten Years On - The Bali Bombing

The Bali Bombing Memorial 

The Price

For coins exchanged
For treasures bought
For carefree days
For pleasures sought

For shining skies
For dancing nights
For tasting freedom
For knowing paradise

A price was set
For living a dream
The music echoed
A silent scream

Envy burned in Hatred's house
And the whole world sighed
For the Free bought sorrow
The day that Bali cried.

©Jeanette Hornby

Book Spotlight

A Story from a Bali-Bombing Survivor

You're young, in love, and in paradise … surfing, traveling, partying.
Then in one terrifying wave of heat and noise your reality shatters into a million pieces that can never be put back together.

Hanabeth was hamming it up on the dance floor when a loud bang momentarily silenced the music and dimmed the lights.

'The noise which came next I will never forget... It was a thud, line the slam of a car door but multipled to a volume I simply cannot describe,' Hanabeth writes in this extraordinary memoir.

She found herself escaping from the flames of the Sari Club only to find that her boyfriend had been killed, and a photo had been taken of her leading a young man, Tom Singer away from the fires.

This heart-wrenching story of young love and lives cut short is chilling and confronting, yet it is the story of what Hanabeth has done since which brings a spark of hope and light to this terrible chapter in our history.

Confronting world leaders, campaigning for peace and against the war on terror, resolving to squeeze the most from every day, Hanabeth's inspirational tale provides a stirring case study in survival and healing.

Available from Amazon  ebook  paperback

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Jeanette's 4-stars-plus book montage

An Offer He Can't Refuse
Emily's Affair
Rough Harbor
The Chosen One
Runaway Heart
Bared to You
Melodies of the Heart
Fifty Shades Freed
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades of Grey
Somewhere in Time
House Guest
A Cop, His Wife and Her Best Friend
Hero Of Her Heart
All In Time
Asking for Andre
Almost a Bride
The Fence My Father Built

Jeanette Hornby's favorite books »

Jeanette's bookshelf: diversity

In Love With Death
3 of 5 stars true
I liked the authors take on the Angel of Death and enjoyed learning about the individual characters. The story was interesting and I liked the way the author simplified the subject matter. With a little more editing and polishing, this ...
tagged: from-dec-2011-to-now and diversity
An Offer He Can't Refuse
4 of 5 stars true
A thoroughly enjoyable tale. I liked the characters and the situation they were in. A good read for romance lovers.
tagged: from-dec-2011-to-now, 4-stars, diversity, and favourites
All In Time
4 of 5 stars true
An interesting and enjoyable story. I would have liked the unique events to unravel slower and continue longer, but overall, the tale was quite engrossing. A good read.
tagged: from-dec-2011-to-now, 4-stars, and diversity
4 of 5 stars true
An intricately woven vampire tale that keeps you wanting more. The historical and scientific content was unique and engrossing. I particularly liked the way the author separated each character's story in the beginning and then tied the...
tagged: diversity, 4-stars, and from-dec-2011-to-now
House Guest
4 of 5 stars true
A short, creepy and enthralling story. The development of the main character and situation was strangely enjoyable. A good read.
tagged: from-dec-2011-to-now, 4-stars, and diversity