Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Grammar Workshop

A big thank you to Cia for providing a grammar workshop of some of the most common errors with homonyms

Cia's Stories

So… grammar lessons, in a nutshell, don’t make much sense if a person quotes lots of things that you haven’t used or thought about since you first learned them at primary school, years ago.
I could quote rules and give you definitions, but that doesn’t help anyone. I do have a few tricks for some of the most common mistakes used with homonyms. The list goes way beyond these few I’m sharing so, if you’d like to read up on more, or quiz your knowledge, check out the links I’ve provided!
Commonly misused homonyms:
1. There versus Their versus They’re.  Okay, so - there is a noun. Their is a pronoun. They’re is a contraction of a noun and verb. Lost yet? To figure out which one you should be using - try thinking of it this way:
A. Does the sentence indicate a ‘here or there’? If so use t(here).  
B. Are you talking about an object that someone owns? Then is it ‘hers or his’ or ‘th(ei)rs’.
C. Try the sentence and see if they are performing an action and use ‘they are’ instead of ‘there’ or ‘their’.  Does it make sense? If yes. . .use they’re.
2. Your versus You’re versus Yore. Well, I throw the last one in there mostly because I’ve seen it from really bad spellers. Yore is an old way of saying times past, quite specialized in use really. For the most part it isn’t relevant.
As for the most common mistake, there is an easy way to know which one is right for almost every case. Just substitute ‘You are’ in the sentence; if it makes sense, you should use the contraction ‘you’re’. The other ‘your’ indicates possession.
3. Its versus It’s. One of the most common mistakes made, I do it all the time and it drives me nuts. One shows possession and the other is a contraction. To check your sentence if you’re not sure of the right usage, substitute ‘It is or It has’. If it works, use the contraction, it’s.
4. Except versus Accept. This is another easy one with a little trick. Accept is a verb-hence action. So I just remember if the word are indicating an action, use the word that starts with an a.
5. Affect and Effect. I remember this one in a similar way to #4. Affect is a verb-the action taken to do something. Effect is the result, often from whatever affects you, lol.  So to remember the difference, look at your sentence. If you’re indicating an ‘action happening, use ‘affect. A for action!
6. Hear and here. You’d be surprised how often I see this one. Just remember, if it’s going in an ear, use h(ear).
Two other major confused and misspelled words that aren’t homonyms:
1.Than or Then. Than compares, then indicates a time or sequence of events. So, if your sentence should indicate tim(e), such as ‘I had a cookie, then a bowl of ice cream’, use th(e)n. If your sentence compares such as ‘My cookie was better than a bowl of ice cream’ then use than
2.Lose or Loose. Lose means to misplace something, Loose means not tight, free, that sort of thing. So, think of it this way. If you mean something is lost… lose that extra o!
Okay…too much of a good thing makes your brain overload, so I’ll stop now. If you are interested in looking up more homonyms check out this site, http://www.grammarbook.com/homonyms/confusing-words-letter-a.asp  It’s a very comprehensive grammar website, I actually enjoy perusing.
 If you want to test your knowledge on homonyms, check out this quiz: http://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/100.html  I got a 97%, can you beat me?

Monday, 30 January 2012

Featured Book - Wraeththu Chronicles by Storm Constantine

This is my favourite author and my favourite book EVER. I also attach representations of some of the characters. These are pictures obtained from the web. If you recognise your artwork let me know and I will either take it down or big you up bigtime.

The Stories
The books are set in the future when a new race (Wraeththu) arise from humanity and take over the earth. Apart from the first (Theide) they are incepted from young male humans by the exchange of blood.

The Wraeththu are androgynous, with the outward appearance of young males. They are able to reproduce among themselves and are all but immortal, having various 'abilities'. 

At first a rag tag bunch of tribes eking a living from an unfriendly world, they gradually form themselves into organised societies, each very distinctive and very different from each other.

The story follows various characters, telling individual stories, but taking the reader on a journey towards the uniting of the tribes into not just a series of separate tribes but one people with all thier individual flavours.

In many places dark and brooding, the books will make you laugh and cry, gasp with horror and sigh with relief. They will introduce you to characters that you will never forget. Sex plays a large part in the books which is essentially m/m although, of course there is no division of the sexes, so it can't be :)

Cal and Pel


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Interview with DRC

 I have been honoured to be allowed to intervew the infamous cat lady... oops talented writer, DRC, AKA Dawn Cartwright. I have been given a fascinating insight into the world, and fridge of the writer of

Which can be found Here and Here

So, without further ado... I give you.... DR Cartwright (not to be confused with JR Hartley)

* What would I find if I looked in your fridge?
Erm…I’ll be honest, not a lot.  Always milk, butter, eggs, maybe some cheese and few random bits and pieces.  My husband is a lorry driver and away during the week.  At the weekends we eat like kings (and queens) but during the week I don’t eat that much.  I don’t see the point in cooking for one.  You can call me lazy if you want.  Sometimes I’ll cook a big meal, like stew, and freeze some so that I can finish it off during the week.  Because of this life style there’s never really much food in the fridge, and then my husband comes home on Friday night and complains because he’s hungry and there’s nothing.  Then we go out on our weekly shop…

* Is your house clear or cluttered? If clear, where has all the clutter gone? If cluttered, what clutters the most… toys, books, DVD’s…?
Hmm…clear or cluttered?  As I sit here and look around I realize that it’s somewhere in between.  I prefer it clear but life sometimes gets in the way.  We live a two bedroom bungalow that’s over three-hundred years old.  There’s not that much storage space to be honest, but we do our best.  My thousands of CDs and DVDs are tucked nicely away in cabinets and so are my books.  I think one thing that doesn’t help is the fact that I’m employed but work from home, so everything you’d expect to see at an office desk is sitting right here in my front room which makes it look cluttered.  I do like a tidy desk though.

* What’s your most treasured possession?
My Persian cat, Daisy-Mae.  I am a crazy cat lady after all… 

* If your house was burning down, what 5 things (other than your most prized possession) would you take and why?
So apart from my cat?  She would obviously be the first thing I’d make sure was out.  The next would be my memory stick.  I don’t trust computers a hundred percent when it comes to storing files and am always paranoid that I’m going to loose my work.  I have back-up copies everywhere but my main memory stick is what I usually work from.  It also contains all my notes and research for my current WIP, AND it means that no matter where I am, if there’s a computer I can work.

The next would be my other memory stick.  This holds a copy of everything I’ve written via computer.  My earlier works were handwritten.  That pile would be the third thing I’d grab.

Does my husband count?  He’ll be fourth.  Everything else in the house in immaterial in truth.  Yes, they’re treasured.  They make my house a home, but as long as I have these few possessions with me I’m happy, and things can always be replaced.  If I have to choose a fifth though, I’d grab my Enchantica model collection.  I’m a sucker for Enchantica dragons, wizards and witches.  Some pieces are worth a couple of hundred pounds, and some I’ve dreamed of owning since I was a kid.  Now I have them it’ll be difficult to watch them burn.  

* What’s your earliest childhood memory?
Being pushed down the shops by my mum in a pushchair with a plastic rain cover over it.  I was warm and cosy and the sound of the rain on the plastic cover used to send me to sleep.  Even to this day I love the sound of rain and running water.  I find it so tranquil and relaxing. 

* What achievement are you most proud of?
I started my first novel when I was ten and finished it just before my twelfth birthday.  I had the story I wanted to write for years and I always remember picking up a pen determined to start it, but being seven or eight years old there were a hundred and one other things to preoccupy myself with.  I tried five or six times to start it but it never went anywhere.  Then when I was ten I tried again, picked up my pen, started writing and never stopped.  If I hadn’t started that day I often wonder if I’d be writing today.  My first novel – 76 handwritten pages and fully illustrated too – is my proudest achievement, and I still cherish it to this day.   

* What are you least proud of?
Backing out from a move from Hertfordshire to Devon with my parents at the last minute.  I was nineteen (I think) and all set to go with them.  I didn’t go to college and at the time I had nothing to really keep me here but then while my parents were house hunting, I joined a local amateur theatre and fell in love with it.  My parents were devastated when I said I didn’t want to go and I know I really hurt them.  But they got over it; I visit when ever I can (free holiday as they live right on the coast) and now with the joys of skype, I talk to them nearly everyday.  If I could go back though, I’d like to handle the situation differently.

* Tell me one thing that no one else knows about you
I’m crazier than the crazy cat lady.  I can’t help it.  If I had my way I’d have a big house out in the sticks somewhere where I could run a sanctuary for Persian cats – but don’t tell my husband this…lol

* Tell me one thing that you really wouldn’t want anyone to know about you.
Erm…I could quite easily become a recluse.  Being agoraphobic comes to mind, but on the odd occasion I do enjoy going out.  I enjoy my own company, and now that I work from home it means I don’t have to go anywhere.  I suppose this is why my marriage is a happy one.  My husband is a born and bred lorry driver, and if he was in a job where he came home every night, he’d get bored and unhappy.  Him being away most of week works out quite nicely for both of us.  Of course, I also love it when he comes home. 

* What is your greatest hope for the future?
Apart from my Persian cat sanctuary???  To see my book/s on a shelf in Waterstones.  It’s always been a dream of mine, which is probably why I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to publishing.  It’s what I’m aiming for, and when (yes, WHEN) that time comes I would have achieved my ultimate goal.

* Now that we know all about you, is there anything you would like to tell us about your work, what you are working on, what you have out there for us to rush out and buy, how much you love/hate your publisher. Anything at all you want us to know.
I am, according to my heart, a fantasy/horror writer.  I’ve dabbled with other genres but I feel more content writing this.  It’s who I am, and I feel that’s important when writing.  If you’re writing something that you’re not hundred percent into or enjoying, then it often shows in the quality.  Writing becomes a chore instead of a passion and it’s a shame when it gets to that point. 

At the moment I’m working on a fantasy series.  My series is a collection of stand-alone stories that are set in one world.  This allows me to explore different storylines without being attached to the same characters.  It also allows me to explore the world I’ve created in full.  It’s full of dark legends and steeped in history.  Each location could make a novel in itself.  At the moment I’m writing the fourth installment, Lady of the Seas, which is based in a seafaring city and on galleon ships, and there are three other novels in the series planned for a later date.  No doubt more will come.  I’m hoping to one day find a publishing agent for these.

In the meantime I dabble with other genres and have a psychological thriller published and available for Amazon Kindle.  It’s published under Starfish PC, which is a something our writers’ circle put together to publish our own work.  It’s called ‘Son of Jack’ and, in a society shadowed by a dark serial killer, explores how the same fear and paranoia affects the lives of four strangers.  I do plan, at some point in the future, to publish other works under the same publisher, but that won’t be for a while yet.         

Starfish Publication
DRC's awesome blog WTF. Writing Thrilling Fiction

Show your appreciation of this lovely lady, by leaving a comment here, and on her blog too, which is much calmer and more impressive than mine :)


Okay, lets's do this again.

Hey guys, I'm in the author spotlight at 1 Place For Romance.

Go check it out

Nephy in the Spotlight

Friday, 27 January 2012

Interview 1PFR

Check out my interview with 1PFR today.

I'll post a link when I can find the interview myself. OR if anyone else finds it first can you please give me the link.

I'll post a new segment of Special later on.

In the meantime I am showcasing my favourite artist Heise. Check out the link below to find her on Deviant Art. She is a prolific digital artist and I LOVE her work

Heise http://heise.deviantart.com/

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Love Romance Cafe

I am going to be in the cafe tonight with my good friend Red Haircrow. If anyone has a spare moment pop in. 9 to 11 my time.

It's a Yahoo group if anyone is interetested in joining.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Blog Awards

WOW, I've received my first Blog Awards.  Didn't even know they existed. Thank you so, so much Dawn So, I have to give you seven facts about myself and then pass the awards on. Hmm

1.  I went grey early and, underneath it all, it's really white in places. However... NO ONE gets to see underneath it all, except where I want them to. My hair tends to change colour a lot. At the moment it's turquiouse and black. I have stayed pretty close to this colour for a while, because I like it.

2.  I don't like labels and I won't be fitted inside any boxes, personally or in my writing.

3. My daughter is gay and I am very very proud of her. As a result of this, and the experiences of many of her friends I campaign for gay rights, as well as writing gay literature. I think that young gay people, looking for strong, varied stories with little or no sex, are woefully under represented and so I decided to try to fill up the holes a bit.

4. I make really good home made shepherd's pie but terrible pastry.

5.  I am a family law solicitor and use my experience with clients, the courts and other professionals, in my stories

6.  My favourite authors are Terry Pratchett and Storm Constantine. If you haven't read their work (especially Storm's then I would VERY strongly recommend you do, especially if you like extraordinarily well written dark fantasy)

7. I really really really like writing, painting and meeting new people... well I like people in general.

Now, as to passing on the blog awards. Truth be known I am not familiar with THAT many blogs so... here goes.

First at foremost.

Red Haircrow - Songs of the Universal Vagabond My friend and publisher of my first EVER Ebook... my absolute favourite story, with my beautiful, beautiful boys Enigma

Michael Offutt for being my first interviewer Little Chat With Nephylim

Romance First  my publishers for The Unfairness of Life. What more can I say... they have GREAT taste :p

Julie Hayes For being a fabulous editor and running around in her briefs on a Wednesday.

LM Brown Got pipped at the post for being my first interview but was the first to agree to do the job. Also for getting me hooked on flashing.

Even though Dawn beat me to it, I HAVE to give an award to this one because... well just because I really like the blog and, let's face it, anyone into vampires has to be cool :) Blaze McRob's Tales of Horror

Last but not least, someone I have a lot to thank for a lot of things.  Cia

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Why Would Anyone Read This Blog?

 Because I want them to :)

No, seriously. I figure than, in order for people to want to read my blog, I should put things in my blog that they would want to read.  Given that I am striving to make a name for myself as a writer, that's kind of a big responsibility.

How do I attract people to my blog and keep them interetested when they get here. Well... there are the sexy men, of course, which people seem to like, but, for a writer, that really isn't enough.

I am posting a short story in bite size segments, which might be interesting to anyone who wants to get a flavour of what my writing is like, before they go running off to buy the books, but not really much more than blatant self promotion, which you can get in lots of other places.

So, what can I do to make my blog more interesting? I thought of interviews with other writers. The couple I have done were so much fun and possibly interested people in me... possibly not. Put the shoe on the other food and I'm not sure that anyone would want to be interviewed by me... yet. I am not likely to give them very much exposure or publicity.

If there IS anyone out there who dares wants to be interviewed by me then by all means say so and I will be delighted to oblige.

Well, I could do pieces about things that interest me, like the Nephylim, or vampires, or why people treat each other the way they do, but that might frighten people off.

I could write about writing... grammar, syntax, story arcs, pacing... etc etc, however, that would be pretentious because a) who's going to listen to my voice, being so new b) even if they did then the fact is I know very little about them and, even if I know what they are am likely to be crap at explaining or exploring them and c) I don't stick to the rules so I'd be pretty much a hypocrite discussing them. Although, I guess we need to know what the rules are before we can break them properly.

I thought about maybe doing features such as putting a question out there and having a few interested people giving their advice and answers. For example... Character Building - How do you make a well rounded and believeable character. How do you make sure the character is consistent in appearance and behaviour.  OR  Genres - What are they? Are they useful? Are they too rigid? What do you do when a story overlaps or doesn't fit into any of them? What if it fits into one that is totally misleading?

SO - over to you.  What do you think I could do to make my blog more intereting? Would you submit to interview? Would you participate in a discussion? Would you prepared to teach myself and others the rules?

Any other ideas?
Anyone interested?
Anyone actually listening? :)

Looking forward to the millions of responses. I hope I don't get TOO snowed under :)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

My Interview

Can't believe I forgot to publically humiliate :) Thank Michael Offutt for interviewing me.

Check out the interview here

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Poll Results

10 votes for this

3 Votes for




Special Part 3

Marc never went to school like I did; he went to a special school, in a taxi, every day. I knew he hated it, because I had to work hard to cheer him up every day, when he got home. I don’t know why he hated it, but I hated it too... just because it made him sad. He never learned to read, or ride a bicycle, or play football.
There were a lot of things he couldn’t do but there were so many more things he could do. For one thing, he could climb like a demon, given half the chance. He climbed trees, mountains, climbing walls, anything and anywhere, and I mostly got the blame, not that I minded, because he was happy when he was climbing, and when he was running, or riding.
Once, we went on an outward bounds course for... I won’t call it by its name because it doesn’t apply to Marc. Marc isn’t and never has been disabled, handicapped or challenged; he was, and is, just... special.
The course was good, though. It gave Marc the kind of freedom that he lacked at home and everyone was surprised by the way he took to the challenges. He was like a fish in the water, and wasn’t afraid of anything.
Once, when we were standing on the top of a tower, waiting to jump off, trusting a rope and a few pieces of metal to get us to the ground, he put his arm around me and smiled his smile. “I’ll take care of my Jamie,” he said, and then he pushed me off. I screamed all the way down, but he didn’t. When he landed he grinned at me.
“I thought you were going to take care of me.”
“You’re okay,” he said smiling, as if that explained everything and then he hugged me. I was fifteen and that was the moment I knew, for sure, I’m gay. The smell of him; the warmth of his arms; the softness of his hair. Although, later I felt guilty about it; about the way I felt; about who I was feeling it for, at that time, that one glorious moment I was totally and absolutely in love with him.
In some ways, Marc never grew up. As we got older, his childlike innocence became more and more pronounced, as he reached the age when he really should have left it behind. He never learned how to lie, how to cheat and steal, or how to hurt people. Marc would no more have hurt another person, than he would have pulled his own teeth.
That didn’t impress everyone. There were some who like to spoil perfection, to corrupt innocent. There were some who wanted nothing more than to tear him down and hurt him and, every time they did, I kicked their arses and built him back up again. It was never hard. Marc always found it easier to be up than down.
I thought that was because of the way he was, but I should always have realised that it was actually because of the person he was.
When he was fifteen, almost sixteen something terrible happened to Marc, something he never recovered from. He lost his best friend; his supporter; his protector; his other half. He lost his sparkle, his shine. He changed. He was broken.
I didn’t know that any of that would happen, when I accepted the place at an university, almost two hundred miles away. I didn’t know that I would hurt my best friend, so badly that he never completely got over it. I didn’t know that I would never see that light in his eyes again; that from then on every time he looked at me, there would be a shadow.
At first, when I tried to explain to him what was going to happen, that I was going to leave, to go to school, but I would come back for weekends and holidays, he really didn’t understand. He had no frame of reference. He had no concept of a life without me around. He didn’t understand and that was why he accepted it. It made me feel that it would be alright, even when I knew, deep down, that it wouldn’t
Both sets of parents reassured me that I was doing the right thing. His parents thought that, without me around, Marc would find a little more independence, that he would have to. I acknowledged that Marc relied on me totally, maybe too much, and so I believed then. My parents thought that I would find more freedom, a life of my own, a girlfriend maybe. I let myself be persuaded that it was the right thing to do, and I have to admit that the thought of total freedom was a rush.
I started a degree in technology, with a major in interstellar travel. My mother always said I had my head in the stars, and I was learning to design star drives; helping people travel to them. It was exciting, stimulating, all consuming. I thought there were no limits, no boundaries.
I had believed that Marc would learn to accept. I spent hours explaining what I was going to be doing. We looked at star charts, watched programmes about transports and cruisers; I even rented movies about university life or star travel. I really thought that he understood, that he was okay, even happy for me, but I was wrong.
The moment I saw the confusion replaced by pain in his eyes; the moment I hugged him for the last time and turned away, and he ran after me; the moment he looked into my eyes and begged, “Don’t leave me Jamie,” I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life. But it was too late. Way too late.