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Indie Saturday: ‘What’s in Your Bag’ With Masha du Toit!

December 15, 2012 1 comment

Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Masha du Toit to the blog as part of the blog’s ‘What’s in Your Bag’ series!

If you are an author or reader who would like to participate in the series, check out all the details here!


Masha du Toit

About Me

I’m an artist and writer. I read far too much, draw pictures that tell stories and writes stories about everyday magic.

I live with my musician husband Brendon and dogs Anna and Pippin in a sunny house in Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa.

The Story Trap by Masha du Toit

About my book “The Story Trap

The Story Trap is an illustrated contemporary fantasy set in Cape Town, South Africa.

Rebecca never expected to meet a witch, least of all in a second-hand bookshop in Mowbray. Surely she had nothing to fear from an old lady holding a box of children’s books. But on the train home Rebecca collapses and is rushed to hospital, deep in a coma. Rebecca’s sisters, Pippa and Anmarie, are confronted by a frightening mystery: her body might be in the hospital bed, but where was Rebecca?

 What's in my bag

Click on picture to enlarge

What’s in my bag (that’s unique to me)?

At the moment, my bag contains:

  • Pens for drawing with
  • Keys for my writing studio
  • Wallet
  • Sunblock – South African sun is fierce!
  • Tube of brine shrimp eggs? No idea why.
  • USB sticks for writing backup
  • Mace in case I meet any trolls
  • Porcupine quill – a useful object
  • One silver earring
  • ID
  • Extra house keys for when I lock myself out 🙂
  • Dog. Her name is Anna. She’s not included.

Thanks again for stopping by, Masha du Toit! You can learn more about the author via her Amazon author page for more info!

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Indie Saturday: ‘What’s in Your Bag’ With Michelle Slee! @Bravetank

December 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Michelle Slee to the blog as part of the blog’s ‘What’s in Your Bag’ series!

If you are an author or reader who would like to participate in the series, check out all the details here!


Michelle Slee

About Me

Fiction writer & blogger.

I live in Swansea, Wales – so daily faced with an inferiority complex caused by coming from the same city as Dylan Thomas. But I drink less than him so it’s not all bad.

I love to run & row (recently completed a rowing marathon – my hip is wrecked for life), write (of course) and play World of Warcraft (I also write & blog about the latter as a clever cover up for being absolutely useless when I play the game).

Life Shift by Michelle Slee

About my book “Life Shift

Christine thought she was happy. Until one day she discovers another life in an alternate universe.

Fearing for her sanity she seeks the help of a university professor who introduces her to the world of quantum physics and infinite universes. She becomes increasingly drawn to her life in the alternate world – and to another man in this life – much to her husband’s horror.

It soon becomes clear there are decisions and sacrifices to be made.

This is story about choices, regrets and marriage, alternate lives and wishes unfulfilled.

IMG_0192

Click on picture to enlarge

What’s in my bag (that’s unique to me)?

I keep a handbag within my bag in case I need to look more formal at any time (the rucksack does’t seem posh enough somehow!).

I have a ripped off piece of cardboard with telephone numbers on it – why cardboard I don’t know- I write on whatever comes to hand (one day I’ll do an entire book on post it notes!).

I also have a tarot card – The Chariot. This is to encourage good teamwork, cooperation and success in work – some people might say more regular team meetings might do this just as well – I think they should be more imaginative!

There is also a dark chocolate kit kat… I always fear being stranded somewhere without chocolate so carry a KitKat everywhere …it is refreshed daily!


Thanks again for stopping by, Michelle Slee! You can learn more about the author via her Amazon author page for more info!

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Update on ‘Indie Saturday’ – Calling On Indie / Self Published Authors (or Fans / Readers)

December 5, 2012 2 comments

Hi all! You’ve probably noticed that we haven’t put up any Indie Saturdays for December, well, that’s because we’ve revised our plan for it. Instead of a guest post, we wanted to shift to having authors and readers participate in a ‘What’s in Your Bag’ Meme. We think that us nosy readers might be curious and it’s a cute way of getting to know authors or other readers better.

Basically, this is open to all indie authors and fans of indie authors. If you wish to participate, just send us an email (randomizeme at live dot com) with:

1) A short ‘About Me’ description
2) A book blurb about the book you want to promote (including Amazon, etc links) – you either wrote this book or you loved this book and want to recommend it
3) A picture of your bag and its contents (that you can attach to the email), plus a short description of any unique or ‘strange’ items you keep and why you have them in your bag (for example, I’m not sure how strange it is, but I always keep 3M Surgical Tapes in my bag since I get blisters a lot)
4) Message Subject Line should be: What’s in Your Bag Meme (so it doesn’t get lost in the mail)

Thanks! I hope we get some participants!

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Indie Saturday – Author Jennifer Becton on her book ‘Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice’ @JenniferBecton

November 17, 2012 1 comment

Today, we have author Jennifer Becton featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her second historical novel ‘Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice‘ (following the success of her debut novel Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice).

Jennifer is the founder of Whiteley Press, an independent publishing house, and has also written the six-book Southern Fraud Thriller Series under the pseudo-pseudonym of J. W. Becton.


Jennifer Becton writes :

Top 5 Reasons Caroline Bingley Is a Great Character for a Sequel

I hear what you’re thinking: Caroline Bingley as the hero of her own Pride and Prejudice sequel? Jennifer, what are you smoking? She’s horrible! Just think of what she said to Elizabeth and how she treated Jane. Why should anyone want to read a book about her?

Well, I’ll tell you my top 5 reasons for deciding to write about dear, sweet Caroline, and you can decide if you want to read a book about her.

5. Caroline speaks her mind. Sure, she may not always say the nicest things, but at least she is willing to make her opinions known. In Elizabeth Bennet, we find pert opinions to be a benefit. In Caroline, not so much. Caroline was happy to speak negatively of the Bennet’s vulgar relations and on many other similar subjects of decorum and dress, but in reality, her opinions on wealth and status were not dissimilar to those held by many people in the Regency period. She was an outspoken product of her time and social influences.

4. Caroline is funny. Consider her attempts to woo Mr. Darcy while he demonstrates his letter-writing prowess: “You write uncommonly fast,” “I am afraid you do not like your pen. Let me mend one for you. I mend pens remarkably well,” and “Do you always write such charming long letters to [Georgiana], Mr. Darcy?” (Austen, P&P, ch. 10). Okay, so she may not be intentionally funny, but that is comic gold!

3. Caroline is complex. Caroline is “of a respectable family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply impressed on [her memory] than that [her] brother’s fortune and [her] own had been acquired by trade” (Austen, P&P, ch. 4). Caroline has a secret. She is a wannabe. She may have money, but it was not gained through socially acceptable channels, and she is trying to hide her lowly past. That’s conflict and it makes for good reading and interesting character development.

2. Caroline is flawed. Mr. Darcy and Caroline were very much alike when they were introduced in Pride and Prejudice: “Darcy was continually giving offense,” and he said many unkind things about Elizabeth’s family and relations. He even participated in the plan to separate Jane and Bingley. However, he mended his ways. Caroline did many of the same things, but she never saw the error of her ways. Caroline has lots of room to grow and overcome her flaws just as Darcy did.

1. Caroline doesn’t mess around. She acts. She may not always do the right thing, but at least she is doing something. She does what she believes is best for her family. There is no dithering or whining. She sees a need and she acts upon it. That is just what we love in a heroine.

So Caroline Bingley may not be the most obvious choice for a heroine, especially because her goals in Pride and Prejudice were in direct conflict with Elizabeth’s. She was the antagonist, but not a true villainess who was out plotting her opponent’s destruction. She just wanted what she wanted, and she tried to make her desires come to fruition. She failed in all ways.

Did Caroline learn from her mistakes? Did she end up marrying a stuffy, old aristocrat? Or did she learn the joys of love?


If you’d like to read a free sample of Caroline Bingley, please visit Scribd (Also embedded below). Caroline is available in ebook and paperback formats at Amazon and in paperback at BN and other online retailers.

Also, please visit Jennifer Becton on her website: http://bectonliterary.com, Facebook and Twitter.

You can also check out Jennifer Becton’s Amazon Author’s page for more info and check out her other books!

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample of “Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice” after the jump!

Read more…

Indie Saturday – Authors Bill & Katie Frederick on “The Kite Surprise”

November 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Today, we have authors Bill & Katie Frederick featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for their illustrated children’s book “The Kite Surprise


Bill & Katie Frederick write:

Thank you to RandomizeME. It is such a treat (as I write this on Halloween) to let your loyal followers know who we are and to tell about The Kite Surprise.

Our message: Read to kids every day. Take them to the library, let them choose books; discuss the books; help them develop their love of reading. It’s the best gift we can give to youngsters!

It all started on the beach!

Bill relays the inspiration behind this story:

“Some years ago, I attended a mental health workshop on hypnotherapy. Those attending were asked to recall a forgotten memory while we were in trance. My recollection was of watching a kite contest with friends while on a trip along the Atlantic shore at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. This trip was definitely something I had not thought of for a long while. As I‘ve retold the story, I often heard that it would make a nice a book for kids. That book thought was in the back of my mind for a long time.”

With immense encouragement along the way, we finally put pen to paper and developed the story — together. Some 20 plus years later, The Kite Surprise was created.

The Kite Surprise is at schools in Iowa and Indiana, daycare centers, libraries, and a mental health advocacy center for children of abuse and neglect. The mental health group and school teachers provided input to develop a discussion guide for parents and professionals.

Many readers have offered moving stories and the reactions about The Kite Surprise from little ones who’ve heard it. Check it out. We love to hear from readers.


About  The Kite Surprise:

“Miss Celia Belle Addison enjoys everything, from big to little, but she is particularly captivated with Ansel, her big brother.

When she learns the family will be taking a day trip to the Atlantic shore, Celia Belle is beside herself thinking about the big adventure with sand, sun and kites!

The story begins as Celia Belle introduces herself and immediately says that Ansel has a knack for flying kites.

She expresses numerous emotions — exuberance, excitement, flabbergasted, even a little nervous and scared. Celia Belle tells a long tale with a curious tail in this high-flying picture book that shows pre and beginning readers there is a time to hold on and a time to let go.”


About the Authors:

Bill and I have been married for 30 years. Our daughter and son-in-law have two of the most adorable little girls anyone could imagine; our son and daughter-in-law live with 2 fur balls cats.

We have started our second children’s book emanating from mutual story telling sessions with youngsters. We are working on E-Books for parenting and self-help genres.

  • From Bill:

I have a private mental health practice in Indiana and I use entertaining stories when I work with clients. I often present at state mental health conferences on the use of stories in therapy and quality of care in therapy. I’ve worked extensively with children and families including teaching parenting classes for over 20 years. My blog focuses on current issues in mental health.

  • From Katie:

For over 20 years, I’ve worked in executive nonprofit positions, including gigs at public television, United Way, and a community business incubator for start-up companies. I currently work with small business, start-up groups and corporate clients on business development planning, research, communications, and ghost blogging. I LOVE what I do. No two days are the same!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


You can keep up with:

Or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katie.frederick.79
(*this is the tiny url for facebook – http://tinyurl.com/d7ere9p)

Sorry, not yet on Twitter!

Bill and Katie Frederick’s The Kite Surprise is online in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.
Download the discussion guide or purchase hardback book at Zoepublishers.com.

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample of “The Kite Surprise” after the jump!

Read more…

Indie Saturday – Author James Wharton on his books and writing philosophies @jamesmwharton

November 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Today, we have author James Wharton featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘.


James Wharton writes:

Real life is stranger than fiction. That’s the premise on which I work when I’m writing.

My name is James Wharton and I have written ten books in three entirely different genres.

Historical fiction has brought the most success with recently published The Destiny Project topping the sales list with over three thousand e-books in the last two months. I write that with great humility because just one person buying one of my books is thrilling and gratifying.

The Destiny Project was the result of an idea about the role of women in World War Two, specifically, the WASPs, Women Airforce Service Pilots. Their job was to fly bombers, fighter planes and every other kind of plane, ferrying them to different destinations around the country. Unlike today, these women weren’t in the military and couldn’t fly combat missions. But, what if unknown to everyone, they did fly secret, ultra-dangerous missions?

Hence, The Destiny Project:

“An ancient artifact with powerful secrets, a rogue government agency and a Nazi nuclear weapons factory cause the lives of two women from different times to spin out of control. World War II ended in 1945, but a bizarre incident on an American bomber on a forgotten raid over Germany now threatens the security of the United States.”

Oh, did I mention there is a bit of time-travel involved?

“In the present time school teacher Kate Darron’s bad day gets much worse when a strange woman wearing clothes from another era knocks on her apartment door. Kate is troubled that the woman seems to know every detail of her life. “Who are you?” Kate asks. “Think of me as the fairy godmother of death,” the woman replies. “You shall be dead in less than half an hour.”

The Destiny Project II will be published in 2013.

Detour is a second historical fiction novel which has also enjoyed substantial sales.

“Peter Krause is a German physics professor in 1935. David Kelly is an American history professor in 2010. In the closing days of World War Two, Adolf Hitler retreated to his Furherbunker in Berlin. Surrounded by thousands of Russian troops, no escape was possible. Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945. The world, including David, has long accepted this fact. Peter Krause was there when it happened. He knows Hitler’s death is a lie. In the present time Lomasi Goodwater, a beautiful Navajo shaman, is haunted by visions of a coming nuclear holocaust.”

Did I mention time travel is involved?

The Jaguar Queen, the first book in the Arizona Sheriff Jimmy Harris series, was just published. It is an action story, a tale of passionate love and tells of otherworldly secrets.

“The paths of an ancient Mayan queen, a sheriff haunted by a troubled past and a beautiful cartel boss intersect when the violence of the Mexican drug wars spills across the border into Staunton, Arizona. While Sheriff Jimmy Harris grapples with the murder of a United States Senator’s son, the violence spins out of control and a daughter he has never met is suddenly thrown in harm’s way.
As Jimmy Harris pursues the beautiful but dangerous cartel boss, he is increasingly attracted to her and forced to confront the shadowy boundary between good and evil. All the while, the mysterious loner Indian Joe prowls the fringes of reality.”

The second genre in which I write is humor.

The Deluxe UFO Tour Company, (not sci-fi) is the first novel in The Empyrean Arizona series. The second, Invasion of the Moon Women, will be published in December this year (2012). Voyeurs, a brief humorous book (actually a long short story) is about the Russian Intelligence Agency and the man who runs it who also happens to be the world’s worst boss. That he drinks lots of vodka and steals his employees’ wives are the least of his faults. I have also published two humorous short story collections, Strange Breakfast and Other Humorous Morsels and Ghost Pets, the latter being quite insane.

I have also published two short story collections dealing with ghosts. They are Ghosts of the Grand Canyon Country and Ghosts of Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. Most of these stories were inspired by actual events.


On his writing philosophies…

My writing philosophy is first and foremost “follow the story.” The story and its characters will take the writer where they intend to go. As an example, when I first planned to write The Destiny Project, I thought it would be a natural to have the main characters be a man and a woman in love. But, that is not the way the story wrote itself. The story shouted out that two women should be the lead characters. While that seemed unusual and definitely out of the mainstream, I couldn’t write it any other way.

“Kate Darron and Bebe Beardsley are forced to undertake a terrifying mission across continents and time, one on which survival is not an option.”

The second part of my philosophy is to not release a book for publication until I am convinced that I did everything in my power to write the best book possible. Once a book is “out there,” an author is judged by it alone. If that book is the first exposure a reader has to an author’s writing, he will judge the author by the quality of that book. If the quality is good, hopefully that reader will read another of that author’s books. If the writing quality is bad…..well, you get the picture.

Lastly, respect the reader’s time. The reader made a commitment to purchase a book. The least the author should provide is an enjoyable, fulfilling experience. When the reader finishes the book and can say, “I really liked that book,” the author has done his job. That is what I aim for with every book I write. It is also where I get the most gratification. I am flattered when a reader buys one of my books, but I am delighted when a reader tells me he or she really enjoyed one of my books. I got an e-mail from a reader just last night telling me how much he enjoyed The Destiny Project. Then he asked, “When may I expect a sequel?” That made my day!


You can check out James Wharton’s Amazon Author’s page for more info!

To learn more about James, follow James on his official website: JamesWharton.Net, Twitter: @jamesmwharton and Facebook: jameswharton. Drop by and say hi!

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample from “The Destiny Project” after the jump!

Read more…

Indie Saturday – Author Lola StVil on her “Guardians” Series @guardiansgirl

October 27, 2012 2 comments

Today, we have author Lola StVil featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her paranormal “Guardians” Series.


Lola StVil writes :

First, I would like to thank Randomizeme for allowing me to guest host.

I wanted to talk about writing Fantasy.

The best part about this genre is that you can still be a kid. You remember running around your house with a cape “flying?” Well with fantasy, you never have to take the cape off.

You can build worlds and planets. You can leap skyscrapers, make love potions and even save the world.

When I wrote book 1 of this series, there was so much action and adventure, my feet never touched the ground. I’m hoping you will feel the same way.

The first novel in my “Guardians” series is called “The Girl.” It centers around Emmy – a bookish, witty student who is rescued by six teenaged angels with powers, called Guardians. They’ve been sent to elicit the secret from her before the demons can; a secret hidden so deep, Emmy doesn’t even realize she knows it.

Things get worse when Emmy falls madly in love with Marcus, the well-intentioned but obstinate leader of the Guardians. He eventually confesses that he is in love with her as well. Unfortunately, Marcus has been warned by his clairvoyant and omniscient guide that should he and Emmy get together, the mission will fail and humanity will perish.

So, it’s okay if you are like me and can’t leap tall buildings and have no superpowers. Don’t worry. You can still save the world.

Lola St. Vil

Feel free to stalk me: )


Lola StVil’s Guardians series are all available on Amazon in Kindle format. Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3

You can also check out Lola StVil’s Amazon Author’s page for more info!

More author links!

Lola StVil’s Blog: http://www.marcusandemmy.wordpress.com and Twitter: @guardiansgirl

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample of “Guardians: The Girl” after the jump!

Read more…

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