Guest Blogger Day

7 Janna's father

Hi Dad!

Some people are putting pictures of their fathers out on Facebook saying “I love you Dad.” So many! I wanted to say Happy Father’s Day to my Dad too.

He has been gone for many, many years. He died when I was about ten, walking in the street, with me… Only me.

From that time, I think about him almost every day. Nothing is perfect in this world. Also, nothing is permanent. Our life is extended from one eternity to another, and it’s so important to make the best of it. I think my Dad did it.

He graduated from Law School when he was 22. He was just a kid at that time. It was so hard to make your way in the Soviet Union, especially as an intellectual. He made it. Although I knew him for such a short period of time, he influenced me immensely. I often think what would have happened with me if he had lived longer. How would he have influenced me in my whole life?

Once in a while, in the quiet, I ask him “Dad, did I do it right? Dad, can you hear me?” and I am creating an answer… by myself. Would his answer be the same, or not? I don’t know. But once I found a paper that announced his lecture “Society and Personality, based on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.” Isn’t it what I am doing as a life coach and leadership trainer, trying to help others find their spot in this huge world?

I was amazed. I couldn’t believe it. I was too little to talk with my Dad about such ideas back then when he was still alive and I was still a child. Would we talk about such notions later? I do not know, but I can see that we are still talking and probably he would appreciate what I do now. Thank you, Dad.

As a matter of fact, my former classmate wrote my biography for me. Currently it is on Amazon near my book Love is Never Past Tense, part of it devoted to my Dad. We were neighbours, and she still remembers him.

I still remember the snowflakes falling on us when we were sledding together. I still remember how he made me drink milk so I’d have strong teeth. Thanks Dad! I have great teeth! I still remember my hand in his when he was escorting me to school when I was in my first grades.

Thank you Dad for these memories. I hope you know that I am thinking of you.

Janna Yeshanova

How to Deal with a Perfect Imperfection and Expectations

“Nature needs no reason, Yet all of us have expectations and our reasons for them.” says lucy as she looks out the window and watches how nature does what it does without a need to please or expecting anything in return. “Only humans seem to need reasons to justify their expectations and demand understanding or even sympathy. What if all humans would cease to expect what they feel is how others should/could be, because their perception of the other humans is tainted with their expectations and might not be aligned with reality at all and therefor can never be fulfilled to match their expectations.” Lucy sits back and smiles, blinking at the last thought. “Just be and live the way ones story naturally flows to the rhythm of the music that sets ones pace to find that inner most peace and then, only then, one can be fully content. But wouldn’t that be a perfect world? And we all know there is no such thing as perfection, there is only life with all its flaws which show just how one should count his/her blessings instead of look for what one does not, or cannot, have.” And she rises to prepare an espresso before going out into daily life with all its magnificent imperfections.

perfect imperfection

perfect imperfection
photo found on My Imperfect Life

Featured Author – Jo Robinson


Today my dear friend Jo Robinson is here to answer my questions and I do so hope she’s brought Beep Beep or any of her other feathered palls with her.

Hi Jo my dear. (kisses her friend on the cheeks) Sit down, have a nice glass of pink bubbles and some cheese and chocolate to nibble on. There. Comfortable? Okay, here we go.

Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?

Whoop dee doooo!!!  Or in as my UK friends would say, Jolly Dee!

Hahahaha, it sounds like a winner. Must try it out too, later. 🙂 But does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?

The book I have coming out on 8th February, I started in November last year for the NaNoWriMo event.  Because you have to keep up with the word count there, you have to write on through, even if your muse is away at the pub, drinking and carousing.  My muse often comes to work with a terrible hangover, and smelling of curative omelette breakfasts.  When I went back to edit and complete it, I found that my muse actually works very well under the influence.  It was a good draft.  My first book was over-edited as I wrote it, and will only come out after this one, even though it was started quite a while ago.  I only started writing about three years ago.  This is all very new to me.

Still it sounds to me like you are on the right track. I’m very curious to your new book, but I’ll have to wait a bit I guess. 🙂

Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Shadow People

cover shadow people

Great cover! I know you paint, did you do the artwork for this one too?

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No.  In fact, I started out with the title, and the book grew from there.  To begin with I had no idea what form these shadows would take.

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

This book is a mix of science-fiction, fantasy, with bits of everything else thrown in.  If it had to be changed, it could be horror/fantasy.  There are some nasty demons in there, as well as beautiful alien dragon birds.  And a chicken.

Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?

I haven’t actively marketed my short stories on Amazon, and am always amazed when someone buys them.  So far no horrible reviews though, and I’m happy that people are enjoying them.  I do plan on marketing the two upcoming novels as well as I can.  It is time consuming building your marketing base, but there’s fun along the way too, and satisfaction knowing that you put the hours in.  I love interacting with people anyway.  I don’t like editing so much.  Some research can also be tedious, but other than that, I love everything about writing.  There’s nothing better than watching your own stories come alive.

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Constant interruptions send my muse off to the bar.  Also, if I’m feeling ill, I can’t seem to write anything but wood.  Fortunately, I’m normally pretty healthy.

What does your muse look like?

My muse is a mini-me.  So, she’s gorgeous, even after a good night out.

Hahahaha, indeed gorgeous all the time, any time! And good people!

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

I often hear my characters speaking in my head.  African Me was a difficult book to write, because of the extreme highs and lows.  I had myself laughing and crying when I started the edit.  Which is probably a good thing.  Shadow People was pure pleasure, although my demonic Nefandus did give me a nightmare or two when I first created them.

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

Pink champagne, cheese, and chocolate can get me started on pretty much anything at all.  I generally forget to eat when I’m on a writing roll.  Only when those around me start complaining of severe neglect, do I generally feel a hunger pang.

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

I was marketing.  Really.  You do have to chat all day, you know.  It’s not my fault, really….  Drank too much champagne the night before?  Fell down a manhole?  Got attacked by an angry crab?

Wheeeeeheeeee! All very believable. 🙂 Especially since it was me you were drinking the champagne with. 🙂 Good thing we managed to wrestle down the crab.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

This is a question I asked a very dear friend just yesterday.  Having a bit of a fight with severe malaria, these last two weeks, considering the real possibility of death, and being the generally dramatic soul that I am, I asked, “Am I doing the right thing?  Should I be spending the hours allocated to me on this planet in front of a computer screen?”  She said that doing what you love to do can never be wrong, and the joy of holding your books in your hands, as the fruits of those many hours spent writing, or even marketing for that matter, is more than enough to let you know that living behind a keyboard, slaving over a manuscript, is exactly what you want to do.  So the answer is, because I’m doing what I love to do.

Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Well now.  If I told you my dirty secrets, you would be terribly shocked, and never speak to me again.  I laugh at silly things.  If I type tit instead of tip, I laugh until I cry.  I like to sprinkle my writing with laughter.  I also like to plumb the depths of human feelings, and write about the darker things in life.  So, that’s probably why there are two of me.  My science-fiction self Jo Cavell, who can be a bit gothic and dour, and then there’s me, who can be pretty much anything at all.  Except a singer apparently.  People have been quite rude about that.  Birds scatter from the trees when I sing along to GaGa, who I love, apart from the weird meat clothes.  What’s up with that, by the way?  I live in Zimbabwe, in the bush, and am pretty much used to getting plagues of bugs and things around.  Sometimes animals come in uninvited.   I once had a bush rat run across my keyboard, which made me scream, and fall flat on my bum.  I got chased by a hippopotamus while innocently peeing under a tree, and I’ve come face to face with a screeching baboon.  Oh yes, I can run.  Other than the occasional brush with death, visiting frogs strolling around the kitchen, or walking into walls in sudden power outages, life here is not too exciting.  Which is why it’s so lovely to write books.

Jo! Next time you’re face to face with a mad baboon just sing!

Now, all together! Hands in the air and cheer on Jo Robinson as she sings her way to fame.

Jo,  would like to thank you for popping in and answering my questions. I know we’ll speak again soon and just wait for my review on Shadow People. Coming soon to a blog near you. 🙂 

That wraps things up for now. Leaves me only with telling the folks where they can find you online, and not unimportant where to buy your books! 

Jo Robinson (aka Jo Cavell) is to be found at Amazon, Facebook, her blog, on Goodreads, and on Google+ at Readers Meet Authors and Bloggers. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter too. 🙂

Shadow People

cover shadow people

Available through Amazon

Fly Birdie

cover Fly Birdy


The Visitation

cover Visitation


For The Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie

Judy Leslie has written a historical novel For The Love of Ireland. It is about a female American journalist writing under a male name during the late 1800s.  The story is based on real people and actual events and she is here to tell us more about it.

For the Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie3

Hello Leslie! Glad you could make it back here. Last tim we talked about you, tell us about the book this time. I have a few questions, but first have a coffee and make yourself comfortable.
Okay, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.

Right, we know which book you would like to talk about. So, tell us something and we’ll take it from there.

For The Love of Ireland. It is a based on a true story about a Chicago couple, Ireland’s Land League, and the secret Irish-American organization the Clan na Gael.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No. I think the title is perfect since the book is about several people and the actions they took “For the Love of Ireland”.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

It is hard because there are so many subcategories in the historical fiction genre now. My book is not a historical romance and romance readers would find it lacking in heat. If I had to change genre I would say women’s fiction would be my next choice, since my book deals with the issues women faced during the 1880s. My protagonist is an American journalist who publishes under a male name.

I’m glad to see you are one of the authors who does not let a genre’box’ keep her from writing the book as it is supposed to be. To show you what that is everyone should read the following part of this post.
Margaret Sullivan dines with politicians, rebels, and spies. She is an admired journalist with the Chicago Tribune publishing under a male nom de plume. Her unscrupulous husband is a prominent attorney and power broker with aspirations of his own. They are well-connected members of Chicago’s 1880s Irish elite.On her trip to Ireland to do research for a book she is writing, Margaret meets a charming one-armed Irish rebel named Michael and finds herself attracted to him and his ideas for liberating Ireland. While traveling through the stone-walled back roads of the island, Margaret sees for herself how the poor are treated. She breaks her vow never to get involved, and soon questions if she can ever go back to her old superficial life in Chicago again. Overcome with her new found emotions and strong desire to help the poor Irish tenants, Margaret finds herself easily convinced by Mrs. Delia Parnell that women can be just as crucial in the fight for Ireland’s independence as men.Back home in Chicago Margaret publishes articles hoping to gain support for Michael’s cause. That is until he is arrested. Desperate, she turns to her jealous, devious husband for help…but he has a hidden agenda of his own.
Torn between her career as a journalist and compassion for those overseas, she finds herself trapped by her own aspirations. Soon things spin out of control both at home and abroad, and Margaret has to decide how much she is willing sacrifice for Michael and her love of Ireland.For The Love of Ireland is a historical novel of love and loyalty, deception and honesty. It is about women fighting against traditional roles and gender prejudice, while trying to carry out humanitarian efforts in Ireland. For The Love of Ireland is a work of fiction woven around actual events of the Irish Land League, a Chicago couple and the covert activities of the Clan na Gael.
If you want to know what I think of this book, do return a week after today to read my review. For now I’m very curious to your first impression after reading this post.  
Can you tell me in the length of a tweet what will entice you to buy a book?
Should you not want to wait until my review goes live, please do buy the Paperback or Kindle Edition on Amazon and leave the author your review too.

Child of the Sacred Earth by Alicia Michaels

These are dark times in the land of Fallada, and I fear that they will only continue to grow darker. Only the return of those we’ve lost will even the score.
It will begin with first line of the prophecy, which foretells of a red sun over the desert sky…
~Adrah, Queen of the Fae
So began Daughter of the Red Dawn, Book 1 of Alicia Michaels’ The Lost Kingdom of Fallada series. The saga continues with the newly released Child of the Sacred Earth.
Get a degree, get a job, save adorable foster siblings from the clutches of the evil foster mom …
These are Jocylene Sanders’ top priorities as she enters her sophomore year of college. The last thing she expects is to find herself the champion of an entire kingdom. However, that is just what happens when the mysterious Faerie, Rothatin Longspear, appears to her, tasking her with saving a parallel world full of creatures from her wildest dreams.
Jocylene journeys with him into the world of Fallada, hoping for answers about her birth parents and background. What she finds is a mystifying past, and an even more uncertain future, as her heart becomes entangled with the stoic, battle-hardened Rothatin, as well as Eli, the untroubled Panther Shifter with no loyalties and no home. With her heart and soul pulled in so many directions, can Jocylene find the strength needed to become the savior one nation so desperately needs?
Buy Child of the Sacred Earth at Amazon and B&N 

Twitter Party with Alicia Michaels

Tuesday, June 25 at 8 pm eastern


Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Alicia Michaels

Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.

Alicia can be found on the web at any of the following links:
Follow her at Twitter: @fantasybyalicia

A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for teh delivery of prize.

Lucy Pireel received no compensation for this post