Featured Author – A L Butcher

Alex is back today to answer a few more of my questions.

You’re going on a holiday. Where to? Beach to lounge, or a dig site to find historical stuff in the mud?

Well, ideally somewhere historical, although I am not sure I am up to digging up relics. I like castles and old houses so somewhere with many of those. Or somewhere wild.

If you could come back after death as an animal, what would it be and why?

A monkey. Why? Because I love them, they are clever, versatile and sociable.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Not really in the books, perhaps wine or brandy. In my life chocolate, cheese and tea.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I love cheese so anything with cheese in it. My mum’s old recipe for crispy cakes – rice crispies, dates, syrup and chocolate.

But that’s not why you’re here, is it? So, tell us, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles –Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy.

Available as an e-book in all the Amazon Stores, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony and the Smashwords associate stores.

Available as a paperback on Amazon, Createspace and Barnes and Noble.

For those that have become curious to the Chronicles, below is an excerpt for you to enjoy.

Dii was well aware her Keeper was wealthy, a nobleman, and thus rich and powerful. He was a man of influence but she also acutely aware where a lot of that money had come from. She had not dared take his gold, although he deserved to be robbed of it, she thought bitterly. It was simply self-preservation on her part more than any sense of morality. Desperately she hoped he would not seek her but were she thought a thief he might be more inclined to do so. So Dii had left with a few meagre possessions, such as her clothes, staff, dagger and a small bag of coins and everything else remained in her Keeper’s house. More afraid of what lay within than without she had risked her life to flee, both in physically escaping and being out alone in these lands. So far she had been lucky not to have been spotted by anyone unfriendly to her kind, and she thanked the gods for that. Not knowing the trails and roads well she had nothing to trust but her luck and her skills.

A Kept owned nothing by right; Dii knew her favours paid well and her lovers sometimes gave her coin or trinket if she had pleased them, or a grateful villager would pass on a few copper coins for the potions or herb-lore she distributed. Most of the common people had little healing knowledge beyond basic remedies passed generation to generation and many communities did not have an apothecary. People often turned a blind eye to the local “wise folk” although this was not always the case, and many a mage had found themselves in the “hospitality of the Order of Witch-Hunters” due to failure to heal someone successfully or from mere spite or fear. To be in possession of magic was illegal and in many cases meant imprisonment or even death.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Not really, there are reasons I chose it. Namely Archos, the main male character is the Lord of the Storm, and Dii’Athella (Dii) is the Lady of the Light. So really it refers to them and their adventures.

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 your work to suit the market?

Well the genre is fantasy/ fantasy romance with a bit of erotica. I am not sure what it could be changed to, unless I removed the erotica scenes. The answer to the second question is no. I write what I choose to write.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I don’t like marketing much. I actually have no clue what the best way to go is. It seems what works for one author might not work for the next. For me, I try and do a mix of strategies – I use facebook and goodreads a lot, and I do advertise there but more than that I network. It shouldn’t be all about the books, chat about other subjects, share other posts, help other readers and writers. If you just use these to spam it will end up backfiring and you’ll annoy people. Some groups on Goodreads have book/author of the month and this can be useful. It is a good way to get reviews and to meet authors. Of course there is no guaranteeing that the readers will like the book but that is the risk you take. So far both my novels have been book of the month on the Indie Group and this month (February) I am author of the month in the Smashwords group.

Author and character interviews are useful too, they get out to blogs and readers who might otherwise not see them. They also make you think about the characters, which might lead to more ideas.

I have business cards too, although it is hard to say how effective they are. I think the key is small amounts of lots of things, keep it fresh and regular but don’t spam. Get involved with other non-book posts, discussions and network.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want to blab about. But please no cats, 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. 🙂

I used to pretend to be a squirrel. I had a talking squirrel as an imaginary friend when I was little.

I hate clowns, puppets and dolls.

I am not allowed to watch politics programmes on TV as I shout and throw things.

Hahaha, those are a few very interesting facts about you Alex. 🙂 Thanks and whenever you want to return because there’s news, give us a holler and no doubt we’ll be able to facilitate you, since you are one of those that are always ready and willing to do the same for others.

Guest Blogger – Irene van Benthem on How To Handle 2 or 1 Star Reviews

Hello Everybody,

Irene, here from Ice Queen’s bookshelf, for the ones who don’t know me I am a bilingual blogger from the Netherlands and was asked by the lovely Lucy Pireel to write her a guest post about reviewing.

Lucy and I met at the Feed My Reads and Friends facebook event, she was hosting her hour and asked if we reviewed books we didn’t like. My answer was something along these lines: Yes, do review books I didn’t like, I try to do this in a respectable manner.

Why not review books you didn’t like, you are entitled to your opinion, right? So far I haven’t encountered many books that I really didn’t like. I have given only two 2 star ratings. And I always feel really bad about it. The first 2 star rating I gave was a book that was so slow and seem to have copy and pasted scenes/sentences all throughout the book. That ruined the pleasure of reading for me, while I was having many de-ja-vus.


I was really upset and wrote a rather critical review about it (which you will not find on my blog, since my blog didn’t existed yet it is on my GoodReads page if you want to read it). I would love to know what you thought of the review!

When I write reviews about books I didn’t enjoy, I try to point out why I didn’t enjoy it rather than just saying it was horrible. This way the author may benefit from it, if there are more people that share the same opinion, maybe the author could do something about it, see it a feedback.

However there is also a risk in writing negative reviews, for example misinterpretation, trolling fans and authors that take your feedback the wrong way. It could really hurt a reader when this happens, unfortunately it has happened.

I remember a case where the author was harassing a reviewer who wrote a respectable review, explaining why he/she didn’t enjoy it. I read the review (didn’t see any wrong in the review BTW) after which I read the comments which left me speechless. I did not know that people could be this rude on social media, and I felt really sorry for the reviewer who had to endure all of the harassments from the author and fans alike.

That leads me to my last point I want to discuss, does the author have the right to bully a reviewer for sharing their opinion? I think not, there are always people who are not going to like what you have created, it is like one person likes peanut butter and the other doesn’t. If you want to discuss a review, from a reviewer, don’t discuss it publicly, contact them privately.

This is a little bit about the way I look at writing negative reviews.

Thanks Irene. If you would like to read her reviews and compare your opinion to hers on the books she’s read go to her blog and check out what she’s written about the books she’s read.

How do you handle negative reviews? 

Bedlam by Babs Morton

Bedlam Front Cover


Babs Morton runs a giveaway at the moment on Goodreads

until the 31st Oct. you could win 3 paperback books worldwide

B A Morton(1)About the author

Born in the North East of England, B.A.Morton writes across a number of genres including crime, romance, horror and historical fiction. After a twenty year civil service career, she and her family escaped the rat race and relocated to the remote beauty of the Northumberland National Park. She now works part time in the village GP surgery and lives in a cottage built on the remains of a medieval crypt. Her debut novel “Mrs Jones” a fast paced, romantic, crime thriller set in New York, was runner up in the Yeovil Literary Prize 2011, published by Taylor Street Publishing and closely followed by the sequel “Molly Brown”, and the first in a medieval trilogy “Wildewood Revenge”. Her latest book “Bedlam” is a psychological/horror/thriller.



Joe loves Kit. Everyone thinks she’s dead. Joe knows she’s not.

If you lost the love of your life, how far would you go to get them back?

Detective Joe McNeil would do absolutely anything.

When Joe breathes life into a crime scene victim, he discovers what anything really means.

Nell will use whatever is necessary to ensure she survives, including Joe. Is she really a victim or merely the weapon being wielded by a much more cunning foe?

Against the background of a multiple murder investigation, Joe struggles between his love for missing Kit and his growing obsession with the enigmatic Nell. Plunged headlong into a spiralling nightmare of kidnap, murder and betrayal, his relentless search for the truth jeopardises his career, his sanity and his life.

But for Nell, the risk is even greater..

A haunting tale of obsessive love, ultimate sacrifice and deadly consequences

Available at AMAZON