#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger, Hugh W. Roberts: Are You Sure Everything You See Exists?

How certain are you that everything you see or hear exists?

When Marcia kindly offered me a guest writer spot on The Write Stuff, it could not have come at a better time. Not only had I just published a second collection of my short stories and flash fiction, More Glimpses, but one of the characters from the book was questioning me as to its existence.

It sounds a rather strange question, doesn’t it? Someone or something from a book or story asking if it exists. Not to be outdone or disloyal to my character, I told it to write a blog post. What you are about to read is the result.

***

I don’t have a name. Well, I did, but I’ve forgotten what it was. In fact, thinking about it, I could have had hundreds of titles.

Even though I don’t have a name, I appear as a character in the story ‘The Man In The Television’ in the new short story collection, More Glimpses’ by Hugh W. Roberts. Hugh gave me a satisfying role; one that definitely portrays who I am and what I can do.

But back to my question – Are you sure everything you see exists? How would you answer that question? Look around you and ask yourself if everything you do see is really there. Our brains and eyes play so many tricks on us, what’s the guarantee that everything you see or hear is actually there?

And about the things, you think, do not exist? They’re not real, are they?

Take Hugh, for example. Are you sure he exists? Have you ever met him? If you’ve never met him, how do you know he’s real? And if you have met him in real life, how do you know it was him you actually met?

Hugh’s had a few incidents in his life that he doesn’t fully understand. Was the ghostly figure he saw sat at the end of his bed really there? Where did the scratches he discovered under his bed come from? I’ve heard him ask himself many times if what he saw or heard were real, or if they were all figures of his imagination? He’s only told a few people about those incidents. Most of them waved them off as not being real. How wrong they are.

Have you ever witnessed something you can’t explain? A locked door that opens by itself, or the sound of footsteps coming from upstairs when you’re the only one in the house? How about that feeling that somebody has just walked over your grave?  They may go unchallenged or not seem to matter after a few minutes, but something caused them, didn’t it?   

The stories, characters and twists in Hugh’s book never existed until they were bought to life from an area of the brain not even you humans fully understand. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, does it? 

Should you be wary of me? That depends on whether you think I’m real or not. Now you’ve read this post I’ve written, I exist, don’t I?

I look forward to meeting you.

***

Story #19: The Man In The Television

Genre: Horror

Unaware of what is in the room with them, a family watching a popular Saturday evening television show have no idea what is really happening in front of them. Have you seen the man in the television?

Photo by Tertia van Rensburg on Unsplash

***

Whatever it was that wrote the above post can be found in the story ‘The Man In The Television’ from my latest short story collection, More Glimpses.

If you’d like to meet another character from More Glimpses, Jane Collins from the story The Jump, click here to read her blog post.

Click here to buy your copy of More Glimpses.

Also available – Glimpses, the first collection of short stories and flash fiction from Hugh W. Roberts.

Click here to buy your copy of Glimpses.

Thank you so much for allowing me to use your blog, today, to promote my new book, Marcia.

Now, back to the question I asked you all. Are you sure everything you see exists? Let me know by leaving me a comment.

***

About Hugh W. Roberts

Hugh W. Roberts lives in Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

Hugh gets his inspiration for writing from various avenues including writing prompts, photos, eavesdropping and while out walking his dogs, Toby and Austin. Although he was born in Wales, he has lived around various parts of the United Kingdom, including London where he lived and worked for 27 years.

Hugh suffers from a mild form of dyslexia but, after discovering blogging, decided not to allow the condition to stop his passion for writing. Since creating his blog ‘Hugh’s Views & News’ in February 2014, he has built up a strong following and now writes every day. Always keen to promote other bloggers, authors and writers, Hugh enjoys the interaction blogging brings and has built up a group of online friends he considers as an ‘everyday essential’.

His short stories have become well known for the unexpected twists they contain in taking the reader up a completely different path to one they think they are on. One of the best compliments a reader can give Hugh is “I never saw that ending coming.”

Having published his first book of short stories, Glimpses, in December 2016, his second collection of short stories, More Glimpses, was released in March 2019. Hugh is already working on the next volume.

A keen photographer, he also enjoys cycling, walking, reading, watching television, and enjoys relaxing most evenings with a glass of red wine. Hugh shares his life with John, his civil-partner, and Toby and Austin, their Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

Connect with Hugh

Blog: Hugh’s Views and News

Twitter: @HughRoberts05

Flipboard

Mix.com

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-hughsviewsandnews.com.

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger: End of Day by Mae Clair

Hello, fabulous followers of Marcia’s blog! I’m delighted to be here today as the featured guest blogger. Many thanks to Marcia for generously offering up space for me chat about my latest book—and folklore.

I’ve long held a passion for archaic legends, so it’s only natural those threads creep into most novels I write. In my latest, End of Day, I touch on myths revolving around church grims and burial. If you’re unfamiliar, a church grim is a spirit that stands guard over a chapel graveyard. The grim usually takes the form of a large black dog and is tasked with protecting those buried in the cemetery. It repels predators from the Netherworld including night demons, wights, and phantoms.

an old cemetery with weathered gravestones and a gnarled twisted tree in the background

In days rife with superstition, the custom was to bury a dog alive under the cornerstone of a church. People believed the first soul in a graveyard was responsible for protecting the rest. Since they couldn’t sacrifice a human for the purpose, a dog was substituted—a horrid and barbaric practice.

In End of Day, I altered that belief, adjusting it so that the first person interred in the cemetery became the protector of all the souls that followed—as well as the descendants of those buried in the graveyard. But what happens when the burial plot of that protector is violated and his remains are stolen?

End of Day is a book that features two mysteries—one set in 1799 when the small village of Hode’s Hill comes under attack from a strange creature, and one set in the present day. Both mysteries twine together, merging at the conclusion. As one reviewer said:

“This is a paranormal suspense novel with a dual timeline alternating between the year 1799 and now. A centuries-old curse grips a small town. There are thugs, a sweet dog, monsters, a supernatural talisman, a no-nonsense policewoman, likable characters, despicable characters . . . this book has it all.”

I hope I’ve intrigued you enough to read the blurb and to consider adding End of Day to your TBR list. Although this is the second book in my Hode’s Hill series, it also can be read as a standalone. In closing, many thanks again to Marcia, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my post!

book cover for End of Day by Mae Clair shows an old abandoned church with a graveyard in the backgroundBlurb
The past is never truly buried…

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

Universal Purchase Link

bio box for author Mae Clair

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

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Other books by Mae Clair:

Time Travel – A Frequently Used Literary Device

Guest Post by Don Massenzio

As a reader, my fascination with time travel began as a child. When I first read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, I was enthralled by the idea of travelling either backward or forward in time.

Traveling backward could allow one to catch glimpses of historical events or important figures. You could go back and wander among dinosaurs. Similarly, traveling forward gives a view of the development of man, technology and the future of our planet.

As I sat down to write my book, Extra Innings, I was fascinated by the different views of time travel that have been used in fiction. This post will discuss those various theories and I’ll give you a view of my thought process in landing on one.

Here are some of the theories that have been presented in fiction:

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  1. Precognition – This is the idea of seeing the future during dreams or through the feeling of déjà vu. Abstract black and white design
  2. Time Loops – If you’ve watched the movie, Ground Hog Day, you’ve seen this time travel plot device in action. Usually the events time loop repeat until the character or characters perform a certain action to end the loop and move forward.De Lorean
  3. Time Paradox – If you watched Back to the Future, when Marty McFly went back in time and nearly prevented his parents from getting together for the high school dance, you’ve experienced this time travel device.Time Tourism
  4. Time Tourism – Just like it sounds, when time travelers travel through time to witness historical events as a spectator, this is time tourism.terminator
  5. Time War – This is the use of time travel to conduct war over time using time travel. It could involve going back in time to change events leading up to a pivotal battle or trying to bring about a reset of events that didn’t play out as planned.Erasing The Past
  6. Changing the pastThis is the notion of time travel that I used in my book, Extra Innings. The idea of changing the past is logically contradictory. Even though the consensus today is that the past cannot be changed, science fiction writers have used the idea of changing the past for good story effect. Stephen King used this method of time travel effectively in his book, 11/22/63, by having his main character, Jake Epping, attempt to go back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Though ultimately successful, when Epping returns to the present, he discovers that his actions have had unintended consequences.


If you enjoy time travel and the possibility of going back in time to right wrongs and do things differently if given a chance, follow the adventures of Joe McLean in my latest novel, Extra Innings.

SAMPLE

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team.

Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past.

That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life?

Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

 

Creativity, Sensitivity, Laziness and Courage

(Reblogging here with Marcia’s permission)

In which I make the point that it is horribly hard to send our “babies” out to agents and publishers, something I think is overlooked in the ongoing debate re: indie vs. traditional publishing… Would love to hear you all’s thoughts on the topic.

by Kassandra Lamb

Please note that this is not a post about the pros and cons of indie vs. traditional publishing per se (I will cover those in a later post). Rather this post is about the “between a rock and a hard place” spot where new writers often find themselves as they explore how to get their words in front of readers’ eyes.

The indie vs. traditional publishing controversy was resurrected in December, 2016, by a Huffington Post article with the rather obnoxious title, Self-Publishing: An Insult To The Written Word? by Laurie Gough.

Quite a few indie authors immediately responded with some eloquent replies. And then the Alliance of Independent Authors published their New Year’s post: Successful Indie Authors 2016: Part One.

These two posts, along with the responding comments, represent the two sides of this controversy, but I noted that one thing was missing from the discussion. Indeed, I have never heard this point made during debates about the issue.

Creatives are, by definition, sensitive souls.

Van Gogh

One of Van Gogh’s self portraits, this one with a bandage where his ear once was. Creatives’ sensitivity sometimes leads to madness. (public domain)

It’s a cliché really—the tortured artistic poet/painter/musician/actor/author who drinks too much, uses drugs, suffers for their art with an angst-filled life, etc.

But like all clichés, this one has a kernel of truth at its core.

So why would we require that these sensitive souls endure months or years of rejection before they are allowed to show their work to the world?

The author of the Huff Post article calls literary agents and traditional publishers the “gatekeepers” of the written word. Indeed, that term is bandied about a lot in the world of trad publishing. The implication is that they are saving the unwashed masses of readers from bad literature by carefully vetting new works of fiction.

In addition to the implied insult to readers, the reality is that all too often these days agents and publishers are not always as concerned about the quality of a story as they are about whether or not they think it will sell.

That’s not just my perspective; I’ve heard agents say this at conferences. With regret in their voices, because they know good stories are being rejected and good writers are being discouraged by those rejections.

No one deals well with rejection. And the more important an achievement or some aspect of ourselves is to us, the greater the blow to our spirits if it is rejected… READ MORE

When & How Should Series End? — Guest: Kassandra Lamb

Hi, All! I’m guest posting today over at Jami Gold’s cyber home. She has an awesome following of authors for her writing oriented blog. Thought you all might be interested in this topic…

When (And How) To End A Series?

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I’m currently writing Book 9—what I thought would be the last book—in my Kate Huntington Mystery series (Note to my readers: don’t panic; I think I’ve changed my mind—more on this in a bit).

When a writer sets out to write a series, often there’s no set number of books in mind. The vague thought is that we’ll keep writing as long as readers are reading and we’re still coming up with story ideas.

But everything has to come to an end some time.

When Should We End a Series?

When should a writer stop a series? Here are my thoughts on possible reasons to say “the end,” based on my own ruminations about winding down the Kate series. Read more…

 

Cover Reveal & More

The Shy Girl Series, Short Story #2 – Little Black Dress

Cover Reveal

Blurb

“He kissed me! Roland kissed me! Wow! Did that just happen? It was so quick, but felt oh, so good!”

Having been offered a scholarship far away from the prying eyes and gossips of her small hometown, Betsy is excited to be going to the Valentine’s Dance, with her first crush Roland.

However, her clumsiness is a barrier as overcome by nerves; she worries that she will embarrass either herself or Roland. Luckily, her best friend Susan is on hand to offer some friendly advice and a shoulder to lean on. The two girls enjoy a fun-filled day shopping for dresses for the dance.

Will Betsy be able to control her nerves? Will her budding romance with Roland develop into a long-term romance?

Little Black Dress – Short Story #2 of the Shy Girl Series introduces the reader to an adorable young couple at the very start of their love story.

Little Black Dress

I’m pleased to announce that ‘The Shy Girl Series, Short Story #2 – Little Black Dress’ will be published and available for purchase on Monday, June 27th. In addition, ‘The Shy Girl Series, Short Story #1 – Bashful Betsy’ will be available for FREE!

‘The Shy Girl Series’ are teen and young adult short stories. ‘Bashful Betsy’ follows eighteen-year-old Betsy Robinson as she enters college, finds friendship with her new roommate, and develops a crush on fellow student, Roland Barrett.

Read more about ‘Bashful Betsy’ at: https://authordbmauldin.wordpress.com/my-books/

Be sure to check back on Monday, June 27th for links to the FREE ‘Bashful Betsy’ and the NEW ‘Little Black Dress’ available for only $0.99!

https://authordbmauldin.wordpress.com/

View and share my 1st Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/b6Thav

Sign up for my newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/bUs2wv

 

Fabulous Friday Guest Blogger D. G. Kaye #Aging Gracefully

FFGB Graphic

D.G. Kaye Author

A misnomer – aging gracefully; pretty words for a difficult time for many who face new dragons at this certain time in life where physical appearance changes, yet some women bow gracefully to the onslaught of face and body alterations.

I admire the attitudes of many women whom just accept the changes, but I am a polar opposite to that kind of acceptance. I will use my last ounce of vanity to seek out the best methods I can find to combat aging. Sure, it’s inevitable; I’m not immortal, but most likely, I’ll leave this world wearing something leopard, a pair of stilettos (if I’m not caught dead at home on my computer wearing slippers), and sporting my signature orange lipstick and flaming red hair. All of these things became a part of me at a younger age, and I’ve maintained them for decades, so why would I cave?

Why should I have to stop striving to be the me that I’m comfortable in just because I’m in my mid fifties? I don’t have to. And nobody has to if they don’t want to. Getting older doesn’t dictate the rules on when we have to stop caring about the way we look and feel. That decision, my friends, is all up to us. From the choices we make for health and diet, to our preferences about our outward appearance, including skin-care – body and face, we all get to decide how we want to face the progression of time. We can let it slip in through the night like a thief, or we can ride the waves kicking up our heels.

I am anything but graceful. I’m assertive, inquisitive, investigative and bold, but I’m downright afraid of getting old. I know my attitude stems from my feelings of inadequacy I’ve harbored since childhood, and since that time, I’ve been an ongoing work in progress with myself, always striving for ways to feel better about myself; mentally and physically. And just when I thought I had the perfect antidote for my self-esteem, menopause came along and assaulted much of my diligent lifetime work of maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. And so I persevered in a new battle.

I’m not delusional, certainly when we approach our fifties and onward, we’re not going to look or feel thirty. But with a little maintenance, we can look remarkably good as the years and decades try to take control of us. Now, I’m not talking about man-made alterations with surgeries and injections. I’m talking about taking care of ourselves from the inside and out with healthy eating, a little exercise, and a plethora of choices available from the beauty department. My decision not to ever have to succumb to polyester, elastic waist pants and orthopedic shoes is a driving force within me that keeps me focused on my maintenance plan. Continue reading

The #Mystery Book Tour 2015

Good Morning Readers.

Mystery Book Tour Bus copyright

I will be running a mystery book tour during November from my blog.

I have some spaces left if any of you authors have a book which fits the category and would like some free publicity for it.

No giveaways needed, I have a few questions for authors to answer for the posts, all that is needed is help sharing the posts and the tour.

Anyone interested can drop me a line via the contact box on my blog, first come, first served until spaces fill up.

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/contact/

My Guest Post on Evelyn Cullet’s Blog: What If?

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My Inspiration for the Painter Farmhouse

My heartfelt thanks to Evelyn Cullet for having me as a guest blogger today. Please stop by and take a look. If you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Finding Hunter (or a free download, if you prefer).  Happy reading!

Marcia Meara on Finding Hunter & Asking “What-If?”

Final FH Cover Smaller

Finding Hunter

Sometimes, your Muse needs to be romanced

imageBy Ned Hickson

Today, we’re going to focus on tips for writing intimate love scenes. Or more specifically, how to effectively insert (see what I just did there?) descriptive phrases like:

“He grabbed her bare shoulders, caressing them with the kind of longing one only reserves for fresh-baked bread …”

And

“She de-pansed him in one quick motion, opening a floodgate of memories from freshman gym class…”

As you can see, this is a genre I am intimately familiar with because, as I’ve said before, you need to write what you know. And believe me, when it comes to intimacy no one knows it better than myself. That said, as a personal favor to 50 Shades author E.L. James, I will actually NOT be offering insights regarding the the ins-and-outs (See how I did that?) of writing descriptive lovemaking scenes. The reason is because her latest book, “14 Shades of Puce” is due out later this week, and she is concerned many of you would recognize some of the techniques I would be discussing today.

In short, that “fresh bread” example wasn’t something I pulled out (are you following these?) just willy-nilly (Did I mention subtlety is important?)

So instead, we will turn our attention to a different aspect of romance and writing. If you’re a serious writer who also happens to be in an equally serious relationship, I have news for you: We all know about your love triangle! That’s right! Don’t try to deny it. We know you’ve been spending a lot of time together. And yes, they get your heart racing too because, when things are going right, there’s nothing quite like it. Now, before I inadvertently send someone off to confess an affair they think may have happened because they woke up at a neighbor’s New Year’s Eve party clutching a pair of party favors in a suggestive manner, let me put your fears to rest. In this case we’re talking about your writing Muse; that voice of inspiration that whispers sweet somethings that just have to be written down.

In the case of those party favors… Just don’t ever let it happen again.

Some of you might be asking:

What If I’m not in a serious relationship?
Or What if I’m single by choice because I AM serious about my writing?
Or Did my mother call you again?

Whether you are seeing someone on a regular basis or have temporarily stopped seeing anyone due to irregularity, being a writer means you are already in a serious relationship with your Muse. And like any relationship you want to see flourish, you need to do your part in providing opportunities to help it grow. If one or more of the following statements could be made by your Muse, it’s time to make some changes;

1) You never take me anywhere — As I’m sure E.L. James would agree, an integral part of any relationship is exploring new things. With your Muse, however, I’m talking about actually leaving your home/apartment/bonds and getting out to experience new sights, sounds, scents — things that can inspire you and your Muse. Or at the very least provide experiences you can file in a mental cache and refer to later. In addition, consider taking some photos and jotting down your impressions in case, like mine, your “mental cache” is more like Snap-Chat.

2) I need to be romanced a little first — It’s easy to fall into a pattern of groping at your Muse, getting what you want and then — at least in the case of many men — falling asleep at the keyboard. Much like having a lover, there is a certain amount of foreplay involved when “seducing” your Muse. Even if yours is slutty like mine, the seduction process — i.e., your writing preparation routine — is important. My writing foreplay involves making a cup of java that is best described as a liquid Coffee Nip, then putting on my headphones to listen to AC/DC, checking and responding to any comments on my blog and Twitter account, then getting to work on whatever I’m writing. If I can’t finish a piece I’m working on, I always leave off in the middle of a sentence. That way, when I come back to it, I can start right out with some momentum by finishing the thought I had. Your Muse will appreciate you coming back to finish what you started.

3) I think your Mom hates me — If your Muse tells you this, it’s a good indication you might be spending too much time together. If nothing else, it’s time to take a break and re-evaluate your relationship. Possibly with the help of professional.

Whether you’re in a love triangle or monogamous relationship with your Muse, it needs to be nurtured and appreciated.

It’s the little things you do on a daily basis to express your appreciation that will keep your relationship strong, supportive and continually inspired.

Oh, and the same applies to your Muse, too.

_______________________________________________________________

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Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.