Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – A Book Themed Collection

February 7, 2023
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Some time ago, I began collecting book themed ornaments. As a writer, any book related item is fascinating.

It started with the little dark haired girl balancing on a pile of books (bottom shelf), and became somewhat of an obsession for a while. Many ornaments I have found in thrift stores, and a couple were gifts.

I love the variations of these delightful pieces – some are quirky, like the tree-man and sleeping elf, while others match my love of fantasy, such as the two witch figures.

If I see a nice ornament with a book, or books, I do buy it, but think that I might need to invest in a bigger shelving system!

What do you collect?

Why did you start collecting those specific items?

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Podcast Chat with Opal Writer’s Magazine

February 2, 2023
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I enjoyed this podcast chat with Cindy of Opal Writers Magazine. We talked about my recent article in regards to being a panelist at a conference. There are many aspects to not only accepting an invitation to attend, but also what you should and shouldn’t do during the panel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWjQI1ZIGPg&t=14s

You can find me on a panel at Wordbridge on 25th February 3:00 – 3:50 pm in the Theater Gallery of the Lethbridge library

Panel – Writing Crime, Thrillers and Mysteries

I hope you find the podcast and the article usage. And, as always, I am open to questions.

Subscribe to the magazine here: https://opalwritersmagazine.ca/

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – Big News – Rython Prequel to be Published in 2023

January 31, 2023
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I am excited to announce that the prequel to my fantasy series, Malgraf’s Dawning, will be published by Dream Write Publishing later in 2023. I have already contracted a book cover designer and will work with her to create an apt cover for this dark tale of a witch in the making, from childhood to adulthood.

The fantasy series began with The Rython Kingdom and was followed by the reader requested sequel, Rython Legacy. Set in medieval England these novellas are full of tales of kings, castles, sorcery and mystery.

Both books are available as print or e-book on all purchase sites. In several bookstores (Daisy Chain, Edmonton, The Bookworm, Sherwood Park & Shelf Life Books, Calgary) and also several libraries. (Sherwood Park, Jasper, and Spruce Grove)

Currently the first draft of the prequel is around 16,000 words and Malgraf is obtaining her dark powers and spells daily. Delving into the psyche of the villain in a story has its struggles, but can also be fun, as a writer it allows you to go to dark places with permission. As a Gemini, I find this easier than maybe other writers! Read into that as you will…ha,ha.

Creative Edge – Press Release – The Backside of Hades – Ann Charles & Sam Lucky

January 26, 2023
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“This here place? Worse than the backside of Hades.”
~ Hank Varney

First let me say, this here trip to Slagton weren’t my idea. This place is chock full of bad company done helped itself to a double dose of bad medicine.

Slagton needs cleanin’, accordin’ to Miss Clem, and I know the crew to do it. I’m one of ’em. Hank Varney’s the name. Miss Clem and me, along with the two Sidewinders from Santa Fe—we’ll get the sharp-toothed vermin cleared out.

Now, some people say I’m lucky, but I don’t know if’n it’ll do me any good, what with the army of trouble me an’ the crew are facin’. If’n we don’t live through it, well, there goes Deadwood. Maybe even the whole of the Black Hills.

We’ll all be down the privy hole then, lookin’ up at the Backside of Hades.

Amazon.com: The Backside of Hades (Deadwood Undertaker Series Book 4) eBook : Lucky, Sam, Charles, Ann: Books

The Backside of Hades (Deadwood Undertaker Series Book 4) eBook : Lucky, Sam, Charles, Ann: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store

PRAISE FOR THE DEADWOOD SERIES:

A Fantastic new series you will Love’ by Enchanted

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a visit to the past world of the Deadwood Violet Parker lives in. I am amazed at how real it feels!. Will definitely read more!!!,” by LisaReadsALot

Other Books in The Series:

There was a lot to love about the book. The characters are deep and interesting. The authors do a great job of giving the story an authentic wild west feel. The pacing was good and kept me turning the page_ Markus Matthews

I guess I’m hooked on Ann Charles books, especially her Deadwood series. They’re quick reads, about 300 pgs but with murder mystery, romance, paranormal situations and comedy, interesting eccentric characters… they’ve got it all _ Polly Picklez

Like Paranormal, Western, Mysteries or a mix containing all of them, you’ll like this book. Western comes first with 2 guys riding into old Deadwood circa early mining days. Supernatural strikes next with a nasty critter. Mystery unfolds as the expected person is missing. You will like this book as read alone, but you will love it if you read the series in order! Start with “Life at the Coffin Joint”, written by 2 of my favorite authors _ Morgue Rabbit

Sweet, touching and funny all the way through. I loved every moment! _ Black Hills Belle

About The Duo!

Ann Charles is a USA Today Best-Selling author who writes spicy, award-winning mysteries full of

Junction Mystery Series, Dig Site Mystery Series, Deadwood Undertaker Series (with her husband, Sam Lucky), and AC Silly Circus Mystery Series. Her Deadwood Mystery Series has won multiple national awards, including the Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Ann has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington and is a member of Sisters in Crime and Western Writers of America.

Ann Charles’s Website: http://www.anncharles.com

Sam Lucky likes to build things—from Jeep engines to Old West buildings to fun stories. When he is not writing, feeding his kids, attempting to seduce his wife, or attending the goldurn cats, he is planning food-based book signing/road trips with his wife and working on one of his many home-improvement projects.

Sam Lucky’s  Website: http://www.samlucky.com

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – Sharing a Short Story – Biker & Kitten

January 24, 2023
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Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The solitary rumble of a motorbike engine echoed along the back alley, the bright headlight chasing the jet-black night into the shadows. A sliver of a moon gave no illumination, so darkness enveloped the alley the instant the bike passed. Gravel crunched under the vehicle’s wheels, and exhaust fumes were added to the garbage bin aroma. The night air blew a chill breeze along the alley’s length blowing and spiraling detritus.

Dressed all in black leather accessorized with silver studs and chains, the rider was muscled and bearded. Large hands gripped the handlebars, tattoos across each finger and wrist. The jacket hid many more inked designs all over his body but bore the emblem of the gang’s name. His hacking smokers cough broke the midnight stillness and he spat on the ground. Another night of drinking and perceived nuisance under his belt, he smiled. His bike gang had a reputation and did everything they could to uphold it. Tonight, was no different. A brawl ended in a trashed downtown bar, with bottles smashed, knives drawn, and blood splattered on the floor. His compatriots made a hasty exit riding in a different directions to avoid capture once sirens were heard.

He switched off the motorcycle engine and silence descended in the alley, a low rumble of traffic on the highway across the hill the only sound. There were no lights on in the houses backing onto the alley, but he knew a few eyes were watching him. His neighbours were too scared to approach him, his attire and appearance deterring any interference or conversation. As he pushed the bike into a dilapidated garage a mewing sound to his right made him stop.  It was too dark to see where the source of the sound came from, and from what. Flicking a light switch the garage flooded with light making him squint and blink. One his eyes adjusted he looked round the cluttered garage, full of bike parts, beer cans, posters and scattered tools. Standing still he waited for another sound and didn’t have to wait long. Another stronger mewing sound allowed him to focus on a direction. He crouched down, peering into the shadows and lifting garbage and spare bike parts to one side. Two wide blue eyes peered back at him from under a discarded pizza box.

Holding out one hand, the man coaxed the little creature from it’s hiding place. A bundle of dirty cobweb covered black fur crept toward him. The kitten fit in the palm of the man’s hand, where it could easily be crushed in a second with little effort. Cupping his hand, the man lifted the kitten up toward his face. They contemplated each other for a moment – giant and miniature. The kitten mewed again and tipped its head to one side. The man’s grin revealed broken teeth and a gold filling.

            “Where did you come from, you little runt?”

With no answer, the man closed the garage door, grabbed his keys and walked through a doorway into a patch of brown dirt. A fire pit with old deck chairs surrounding it and more discarded beer cans and bottles littered the area. No grass could survive the scuffles, play fighting and urinating of the gang’s party nights. Unlocking a door, the man carried the kitten into a dim and untidy kitchen. Take out cartons and boxes were on every surface along with more alcohol containers, some full, others empty or half full. The room’s aroma was of stale beer, sweat and something indiscernible. Swiping his arm across the table, the man placed the kitten down and pulled open the fridge door. The interior light pierced the dimness showing dust and dirt on every surface. Pushing items aside the man found a carton containing chicken and pulled it apart before placing it in front of the animal. It sniffed, licked and then ate the offered morsel. Then looked up for more.

            “Hungry then eh? Here have some more.”

Guileless eyes watched the man place more shredded chicken on the table, and once again it was eaten with relish.

            “Now, what do I do with you?”

The kitten brushed up against the man’s hairy knuckles and mewed as he placed a dish of water beside the kitten. He watched as it lapped the liquid, then used its paws to wash its face.

            “Now, that’s darn cute – shit what am I doing?”

Unable to put the small creature back out in the alleyway to fend for itself, the man took it to bed with him, where it curled up against his tattooed neck, began to purr and slowly fell asleep. That night both lives changed – a safe haven for the kitten and a softness entering the man’s brutish heart.

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