In Memoriam – Linda Rae Blair

 

After hearing the news of her passing I’ve let this sit a while to give the grieving family some time.

However, hearing the news of the passing of Lou Reed made me realise Linda needed this in memoriam post to give people a reminder of her legacy in words and emotions

LINDA RAE BLAIR

 

LINDA RAE BLAIR

Author of 

HARD PRESS’D

Hard Pressd 100yrs brotherly love Elusive

A GOOD FRIEND

She will be missed

Winners Announcement Giveaway A Menu of Death!

73e1b-3d-mofd

 

Available at:

KOBO | AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | iTUNES

or

via my site (that way I get a very small extra percentage)

Thanks to all of the lovely readers who took the time to share the news of the release of

A Menu of Death

Rafflecopter has drawn the Winners of the giveaway.

If you entered in this giveaway click the link below and see if you won.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Halloween Horror

banner Halloween Readed DepotThe Grim Reaper is set to make an appearance, and A Menu of Death has made the grade to participate in this gory, violent and yet completely entertaining selection of mind tripping e-reads.

Click here, see all the gore rich content -ebooks just waiting for you to read all alone, snuggled into the couch awaiting the intense anticipation of fright. Full of 5 Star reviewed ebooks.

Come along and join in this festive horror season for 2013.

Guest Blogger Day – The Story Reading Ape on Public Lending Libraries

Me Thinking about stuff

First of all, I’d like to thank Lucy for letting me loose inside her beautiful home (oops, sorry Lucy, that chair was a bit weak, it’s poor legs just gave way) and for the lovely snack, sorry – MEAL – she laid on for me – banana cake, apple pie, fruit fritters, banana split ice cream (with cherries and pineapples), banana milkshake and everything – YUM.

But now I have to knuckle under and get on with the reason I’m here – sorry Lucy, your touchpad keyboard breaks just as easily as mine does, have you got a real keyboard, you do? Great, thank you – now, where was I?

Oh yes, the REAL reason – oh, Luceeee, you don’t NEED to put the dishes into the dishwasher, I’ve made SURE they are all clean – a sort of prewash cycle using my tongue….

Wonder why she’s gone that funny pale greenish type colour…maybe she ate too much…mmm…

Yes, back to business, the REAL reason I’m here is to tell you all about something I’m very worried about – Public Lending Libraries!

Why am I concerned about them?

There are fewer and fewer of them every week, especially here in UK….

It seems to me that either people don’t care about them, or they feel helpless to do anything about it when some local authority or other decides to close them, using the excuse “they are undersubscribed” (aka – underused)”and the monies used to keep them open can be better utilised elsewhere”. I find it very interesting that no-one ever specifies WHERE this ELSE is….

It begs the question WHY are they being underused?

Lets think about this for a few moments…AFTER we consider the when and why libraries were set up.

WHEN were Libraries set up?

The earliest known Libraries date back almost 5000 years, (click HERE to read what Wikipedia tells us about them, then come back to read some more of my wandering warblings) 🙂

Bert WOW

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Done that?

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Find it interesting?

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I wonder how much knowledge has yet to be found, only today 11th July 2013, one newspaper reports that Archeologists say they have discovered a new form of primitive writing in markings on stoneware excavated from a relic site in Eastern China, dating back 5000 years, about 1400 years earlier than the oldest known written Chinese language (found on animal bones dating to 3600 years ago during the late Shang dynasty).

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Probably the most famous Library (outside of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Unseen University) is the ancient Egyptian Library of Alexandria and we all know what happened to that – either someone forgot to blow out the candle before leaving or, someone wanted to destroy it because of all the knowledge it contained.(was this the the REAL reason the Nazi’s burnt books just before WWII started, to keep the German populus in ignorance). That always helps make it easier to control people, certain churches did the same thing until the printing press was invented in Europe…

I digress…

WHY were Public Lending Libraries set up?

According to Wikipedia, for the benefit of users who were not members of an institution such as a cathedral or college

So why are they being under used?

Maybe because in these days of widespread technology people are more interested in SEEING things rather than READING about things – a lot less energy involved and we are all told to be more energy efficient….

Or

Maybe it’s cooler to be seen with the latest device, instead of the latest book. Although I don’t think this is the reason, after all, eReaders, etc, still need people to read them and use their imaginations to picture the characters and scenes in the same way as books.

Or

Some other reason entirely. For example, is it because parents are such busy people, especially nowadays, that there’s little or no time to sit down and read, or even teach their children how to read. Anyway, that’s the job Teachers are paid to do! It IS? Oh, REALLY?

I find ALL of the above ‘reasons’ very sad, because by not reading, people are losing the ability and desire to use their imaginations. Why is THAT important? Because it was by using imagination that the Human Race went from hiding in burrows, up trees, in caves or anywhere they could to avoid being killed, or worse, eaten.

Ach, that could never happen nowadays, we’re MUCH too advanced for anything to threaten us now I hear you say…..REALLY?

If the Sun were to send an extra strong pulse of its matter in our direction, wiping out all the electrical and electronic systems, including the – GASP – Internet – how would we know how to fix things again if there are no longer any Libraries, with BOOKS that are not affected by electronic pulses….

Oh, there’s always the National Libraries….REALLY?

It strikes me that if the Governments of the world all thought the same about National Libraries as they seem to consider Public Lending Libraries, i.e. “they are undersubscribed and the monies used to keep them open can be better utilised elsewhere, like storage, secure storage ,very, very secure storage and located in places where the populus can never find them” the world would be a much knowledge poorer place.

Realistically speaking though, THAT is unlikely to happen. What is MORE likely to happen is that people will lose the ability to IMAGINE…and it is this ability that is vital for the species to retain.

go on

OK, so HOW do we keep this wonderful ability alive?

Keep the Public Lending Libraries OPEN

Use technology for the TRUE purpose it was intended for – to make life EASIER for people and give them MORE TIME to relax and reflect and read, for themselves and their children, and to teach their children not only HOW to read, but how to ENJOY reading… that will exercise everyone’s imagination for a start.

Encourage Authors to keep writing and to write more by raising their profile and status the way that Actors, Architects and Scientists (and lately Engineers) have had their status upgraded.

Keep ARTS (which does include literature) ALIVE in Schools, Colleges, Universities and – YES – Industry…there’s nothing worse than an ‘expert’ who cannot explain clearly what they have just done / made / invented / created, except to another ‘expert’.

Teachers – invite authors into your schools and classrooms, from locally grown ones who can actually visit, to International ones who can be talked with (and seen) using the internet, Skype, video conferencing (use a Library that has these facilities for FREE) a fourth grade class in Honduras has already set the example.

Authors – contact schools and offer them the chance to meet you and learn about you and your books.

LOCAL and NATIONAL GOVERNMENT Officials – FUND your Libraries, REWARD schools that encourage interaction with Authors – MAKE THAT MUCH VAUNTED HARD DECISION and spend money on education which develops the imagination of children and adults….I promise you will see and reap benefits beyond your current imagination….

Gasp – excuse me while I get back down from the top of Lucy’s table, I mistook it for a soapbox there for a moment or two…

Whatever is done to keep imagination alive has GOT to be good.

The Story Reading Ape

What do you do to keep the imagination alive? And how do you think we can keep governments from closing Public Libraries?

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

My dear friend Gerry McCullough asked me to join her in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. She has a great book out, Angel in Flight which you could check out and perhaps even buy.

Cover Angel in Flight

Thank you Gerry for this opportunity to shed a little light on my first ever self-published collection of short stories. A collection of twisted fairy tales without a happy ending in sight. Red Gone Bad available on Amazon and Smashwords only one more week on sale for $0.99. Get it while it’s still available cheap.

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I also must thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my next to be published project.

What is the (working title) of your book?

I’m always struggling to find the right title. This time was no different. It’s been Angels From Heaven, Angels or Demons and now it is Heaven’s Closed.

Cover Heavens Closed

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I had two shorts with a theme, Angelic characters who could have easily been demons, or not. I have a thing with characters not being what they are supposed to be, or maybe they are. layer upon layer. Ogres are like unions, my characters are like ogres, Erm, I mean unions. Hahaha, unless you are perceptive and know how to read between the lines. Or maybe I’m just really all over the place. Or maybe I like characters who do not always behave the way they should or change when they need to.

What genre does your book fall under?

Fiction? Hahaha, I know that is not a genre. Shoot, why does that question always pops up? I have no idea. Fantasy? What with the angels, demons, witches and all.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

As always Helena Bonham-Carter for any female role. Love how she is able to play crazy mad as well as classical. My angels should be … Hmmm, not too slick and certainly not those fabricated, unreal Hollywood types. Maybe Vinnie Jones? Jason Statham? Okay, Lorry, just for you Karl Urban can play too. Hahahaha, at least I’ll be sure one person will come and see the movie adaptation that way.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

What if not all is what it seems and Angels could be demons, or even regular humans?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am again very proud to say that this double dip (it will be a small thingy consisting of only two short stories and free for all) will be completely self-published. Cover done by me this time too. Any and all comments made to improve said cover are more than welcome by the by.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Oh, I don’t know. A week? Two? Not too long in any case.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a question I really have no answer too, because I tend not to read much stories like these. My reading is all over the place and not limited to any one genre, but I haven’t read anything like my own work yet. And I have a dislike, to say the least, of Young Adult and Dystopian.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

The one called Heaven’s Gate was written by me as entry to a contest. Won it too, Whoop! Hahahaha, but since I hold the rights to it I am free to now publish it in this little book of mine. The other was meant to be submitted to a publisher. To fit into an end of year anthology. They loved it but it didn’t quite fit in with what they had already accepted. So I was left with a perfect story that needed to be out there before end of year. What solution did I come up with? Give it to Sue at Book Junkies Journal to put on their site. Again I still hold all rights and can publish it in this book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Hey! It’s free and one won a contest while the other only got rejected because of not fitting in with the other accepted stories for an anthology. Besides I like them and whomever wants bite sized reads for free might like them too.

Anyway, enough about me. Let me introduce to you some friends of mine who have great books out and will be talking to you about those in a weeks time. But for now I can at least steer you towards their blogs and ask you to take a look at their books. Shoot, you might even like them so much you’ll buy and give some away for Christmas.

Vicky Johnstone, writer of Kiwi in Cat City, a great childrens book based on her own pet.

Cover Kiwi

Elizabeth Black, author of Trouble in Thigh High Boots, an erotic retelling of Puss in Boots.

Cover Trouble

Kirsty Berridge, author of The Hunted, a great vampiric read.

Cover the hunted

Pam Howes, author of Not Fade Away, a great Rock ‘n Roll Romance novel available at Amazon UK  and Amazon US.

Cover Not Fade Away

And last but certainly not least,

Lorelei Bell, author of the Sabrina Strong Series. Vampire novels but better.

cover Sabrina Strong