A New Project

I’ve decided that I need another string to my bow. So, on 6 October 2014 I will be launching my chat show on Blog Talk Radio (BTR). The show is called “Holmsey’s Half-Hour” and will feature inspirational people from all walks of life. The first broadcast will be a pilot to help me get the hang of BTR, but it all looks pretty straight forward so I’m hoping there will be no hitches.

My first inspirational guest will be Author Janice Ross. I specifically chose Janice because she does so much to selflessly promote other authors. Janice will be discussing her latest project which is a book of short stories with a paranormal theme; due for release at Christmas 2014.

Because space is limited on my BTR cover page I’m posting Janice’s full bio and book info below. Please check out my page by clicking on the link. You can also keep up with all my broadcasting exploits by clicking on the “follow” button, which is at the top of my BTR page.


Janice Books









Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.

Janice is an author. She enjoys writing about social issues and personal experiences. Janice’s debut release was entitled Damaged Girls. She uses the three books in that series to detail the effects of different forms of abuse, discussing issues that are known to be taboo. Her next release, Jumping Ship, is a dedication to her country of birth and an introductory novella to the Island Hopping Series. It is a colorful and emotional experience of life, love and family. As of present, she is also a contributor to a short story collection – Just Between Us, Inspiring Stories by Women. And lastly, Loving Nate, a novella about the realities of losing one’s self to love.

Janice enjoys reading. And is drawn to stories with distinct characters that she can love or hate, characters she can form alliances with or characters that she can swear off and despise. She is also weak for a good cultural tale, preferably in the form of historical fiction. Janice loves to be taken off guard by clever language and settings.

Janice is also a devout supporter and promoter of other authors through social media. She hosts a show, Cultural Cocktails, on the largest social radio network, Blog Talk Radio.

You can connect with Janice on

Website: www.culturalcocktails.com

Talk show: www.blogtalkradio.com/culturalcocktails

Blog http://myculturalcocktails.wordpress.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/JGRWriter

FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/Cultural.Cocktails



LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/pub/janice-ross/58/691/894/




Wrong Place Wrong Time – Introducing David P. Perlmutter

It gives me great pleasure to welcome best-selling author, David P. Perlmutter to Tetbury today. While David helps himself to a cup of hot steaming tea and a chocolate digestive or two, here’s a little bit about him.

David PDavid P. Perlmutter is a full-time writer and living in the South West of England. His first book, a true story called WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME became a bestseller in certain categories on Amazon in the UK, America, Spain, France and Japan. David’s second book is now available also via Amazon and called, “My Way”. The book is intended as a mini-bible for struggling authors, it follows his journey from being an unknown author to topping the American Amazon charts.

So, where did it all start David? Where were you born and what is your background?

I was born in North West London into a large family with 4 brothers (I am a twin) and a sister. We had a fantastic and loving  background, huge family in a 3 bed semi where everyone’s school friends loved to visit, we were very close-knit; and still are. The road we lived in till I moved on at 19 is where 50% of my school friends lived. My career background is mainly in property, advertising and marketing.

DAVID-COVERv8Your book Wrong Place Wrong Time is a world-wide best-seller and it is a true account of your actual experience of wrongful arrest. So, what was the first thing that went through your head David when you realised you were not on Candid Camera and that your worst nightmare had become an actual experience?

Thank you for saying that Richard, it has amazed me and to see that in writing above, it’s mad! Yes back to the story, it was a moment in my life that I will of course never forget and still have nightmares over. First thing that went through my head was how was I going to explain this to mum and dad.

How did you cope with what ensued, knowing that the authorities had got the wrong man?

With difficulty. It was like the authorities didn’t want to listen to me at all. They saw a homeless beaten English man and I guess they thought I was guilty. Also as I mentioned in the book, when I was behind bars, I prayed to God. I am not a religions man, proud in being Jewish of course but I prayed and spoke out loud looking above.

How did the truth eventually come to light?

That is a question I can’t answer as the truth has never come to light. Since the events in Spain happened I have never returned.

It’s probably true to say that your nightmare experience became the springboard for your successful writing career. With this in mind would you change having that experience if you could, or do you now see it as a blessing and welcome it?

I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on anyone, but as for writing purposes it was a blessing and yes, without the events, I wouldn’t have been able to put pen to paper.

Obviously your book entails much more than your experience of wrongful arrest, so tell us what your book is about apart from that scenario?

It covers my rise and fall; of a successful real estate agent in London, to losing everything in one stupid reckless night, all self-inflicted. Then I travel to Marbella in Spain. After meeting people, partying and again being in the wrong place, I came across a hotel fire and after doing what anyone else would do, saving lives, I was wrongly arrested for arson and manslaughter. What follows is my journey involving the papers, strangers, police, jail and being strong.

Who should buy your book?

As it is a true story, anyone who is interested in real life. It should be of interest to anyone and everyone.

Ok, to change the mood a little; what is your favourite song of all time and your favourite album, and why?

This is tough Richard, so many to choose from. I am as stated in the book, a bit of an 80’s man when it comes to music. ABC – Lexicon of Love was a great album, Picture Box, first album by Simply Red, also George Michael. Far too many songs to say that one is the best. Hotel California?

Who is your favourite band/singer of all time and why?

Probably George Michael as he used to live down the road to me when growing up and his father had a restaurant in the High Street. Funny story here, when I was younger I used to wash the car of the chairman of the local football club. He told me that apparently before George Michael became huge, George went to him and asked for a 3k loan to make a demo tape. He refused. The rest is history.

Away from writing what do you do to amuse yourself?

I love being with my kids, I also love football, Spurs (We can’t all be perfect David; COME ON CHELSEA!!! Ed.)but in my heart LEYTON ORIENT, enjoy watching films, reading and writing of course. Try to have much fun as possible as life is no rehearsal.

Well once again time has beaten us. I’d just like to thank David again for being with us today. Finally, I always ask my guests to leave us with a pearl of wisdom that may give inspiration and encouragement in our daily lives, so can you leave us with some inspired words please David?

Blimey. “To fail in life is just giving you another chance to succeed”

Brilliant! That is a great piece of wisdom David; thanks!

To find out more about David P. Perlmutter check out the links below to where you can find him and his books online.

David’s Blog: http://thewrongplaceatthewrongtime.blogspot.co.uk/

David’s Amazon Author Page: http://ow.ly/q1xph

David On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/q1xVF 

Connect With David On Facebook: http://ow.ly/q1yl9 


Introducing The Wonderful Jacqueline Rainey – Author And Survivor

Well, the kettle is on and the chocolate digestives are on the table; all I need now is my guest. Wait a minute, there’s a knock at the door; this must be her. Yes, all the way from Augusta, Georgia to my living room here in Tetbury, it’s inspirational author Jacqueline Rainey. Thank God for the bus service!! Whilst Jacqueline is helping herself to tea and digestives here is a bit about her…

Jacq PicJacqueline Rainey’s life has been filled with adversity and battles to survive. After overcoming child abuse, sexual assault, being a foster child, domestic violence, and drug addiction, she became in her own words “a walking miracle of God” who is joyful, medication free, and spending her time writing and speaking to others to provide inspiration and healing. She regularly shares her stories with women’s and church groups, veteran’s hospitals, and anyone who feels lost and in need of a little guidance.

Rainey is not your typical author. She has stated that book sales are important to her “for a different reason; the more books sold the more opportunities to change lives.” She writes to help those in situations like hers to experience the same freedom and healing she has known. In “I Used to Be,” she writes closely of her own difficulties with addiction. She has stated about this story, “Addiction has a way of stripping us not only of our self-respect, but of our families and faith. Being a spiritual person and a woman of faith is what I believe intensified the battle and my struggle to break free not only from the substance, but also from the people whom I saw as destructive to me and to themselves. These stories are reflections of my personal struggles and my victories.”

Good morning Jacqueline and welcome to my humble abode. Thanks so much for coming to talk to us today.

Ok I need music “Flaws and All” Beyoncé. Now I’m ready.  Hello Richard thank you for inviting me to lovely Tetbury, England; is the Monastery still nearby? (Yes, it’s about four miles away in Malmesbury. Ed.)  If so I’m in the right place because being an inspirational writer I’m sure to find lots of inspiration there.(smile) By the way I couldn’t help but notice the Snooty Fox Hotel which sounds like the perfect place for me, lol. (From experience I wouldn’t wish The Snooty Fox on anyone Jacqueline! Ed.)

You have had such an eventful life that it’s difficult knowing where to kick this interview off. But I suppose the burning question for me is this. Having experienced in your life, and overcome, child abuse, sexual assault, being a foster child, domestic violence, and drug addiction, when did you first realise that none of these things were bigger than Jacqueline Rainey? When did you first realise that there is a power within you that can literally move mountains?

The truth is that all of them are bigger than me, but they are no match for God. I was fortunate enough to be in a veteran’s hospital rehab program and I know you must be thinking what is so fortunate about being in rehab. Well keeping with being honest I was in a drug rehab and once a week a veteran’s Chaplin would come by to give a class and one day I asked him if I could speak with him. Long story short he gave me the name and phone number of a Pastor that he was close to and once I was out of that program I called her and she took me under her wings and so did the rest of the church. That was the beginning of the life changing events, but I have to admit that things did not get easier after that, they got even harder and I had to fight.

Everyone I have ever met who has an understanding of spirituality realised at some point that the key to overcoming life’s demons is forgiveness, and to take that a step further, being able to forgive and love ourselves. Was it the same for you?

I wish that you could see the look on my face right now, but yes that is true, but it is not easy to forgive because when you have been so hurt and repeatedly it takes work; sometimes daily.  I also had to realize that I would never forget the things that were done to me, but over time the pain and power that those things have over you dissipates; the stronger I became spiritually the weaker they became.  I had to learn to self-love because of the things that I have experienced and been through they made me feel like something was wrong with me. I love me today and can also love others and I realize that there are many different types of love and that you can love someone, but not like them.

So many people who experience and overcome great trials and tribulations in their lives realise that they can turn adversity into advantage and use their experiences to help others. Was it the same for you? Is this what inspired you to become an author?

I have been writing poetry since I was elven years old. My first two books are all about helping others as a matter of fact I did not expect to profit from my first book “Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” because I believe that if I could get it into the hands of as many women as possible and in turn make a personal appearance it would change their lives. The places I am referring to are where women are incarcerated, domestic violence organizations, drug rehabilitation centres and Psychiatric wards; yes I have been there too.  But I did struggle with the fear of knowing that everyone would know so much about me, so many personal things. There are people in this world who like to use your past against you and try to break you. I have since walked through that fear and took control of it by putting as much as possible about me out there in public to take their power away.

Onto your work now Jacqueline; tell us about your book Through Whose Eyes: Rise Child of God. What is the book about?

Arise“Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” is my first published book and “Toni’s Blues” is my second work of love and hope.  “Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” is a book of short-stories and poems. The opening poems set the tone for the story to come.  I didn’t really use any character names in the stories because I felt it was a way for the readers to insert the names of those who they felt the stories related to, including themselves.  The most important thing to know about these two current books is that all the short-stories in “Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” contain actual pieces of me and my life experiences in them as a writer I embellished but the realism comes through loud and clear and it is the same with “Toni’s Blues”.  Yes I write about things like Child Abuse, Rape and Addiction to name just a few, but the emotions are all real; as a matter of fact I acknowledge and give thanks to my Psychiatrist and my Therapist in “Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” they were very proud of me and one of them has known me for many years. My Psychiatrist has seen all of me and I can only imagine the fear she must have felt for my life during those times of utter despair.

Moving on to Toni’s Blues; what is the book about?

Toni's BluesIn “Toni’s Blues” there’s a whole lot of me in there, more than I really care to admit, but I did dress it up and romanticised it a bit, I think I did that for me, even those who have been victimised like to somehow try and protect themselves.  I’m sure that all of us would like to rewrite some part of our lives and Toni literally writes Bible passages on her living room wall in the hopes of wiping out all the horrific memories of her bad choices in men.  I worried before it came out about how men would feel about my story, but the truth is that men are also victims of domestic violence and they share the same shame as women. Who should read it? If I had to choose it would be to start with teenage girls because we tend to think it is so cute that he is so jealous “Oh he must really care about me, he really loves me if he is acting so jealous”.  Sometimes those are warning signs, but not always.

Changing the mood slightly Jacqueline, I know music plays a big part in your life. Do you play any instruments and to what level?

Richard I wish I could lol, I bought an Acoustic Guitar and now I need an instructor because I believe once I learn to play that guitar I can then start to write songs because I can sing. I was once signed with Maurice Starr’s brother Michael Johnson as part of a group known as the J-Girls and was in the studio with the New Edition back in Roxbury Massachusetts, yes I stood in the actual room with Bobby Brown and all of them, lol. Hey I said I have a very interesting life and I meant it, lol.

What is your favourite album/song of all time and why?

I am going to have to say the album “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. It’s hard to choose just one song but it’s got to be “Human Nature” because it reminds me of my last foster parent Ms. Helen Greene.

Who is you favourite singer/band of all time and why?

Man Richard you are really bringing on the flashbacks, lol lol, Minnie Ripperton, I swear to you I had never heard opera before, but her voice on “Loving You”(Minnie Ripperton was fantastic. I’ve still got the original 45 vinyl version of “Loving You” that I bought when it first came out, but unfortunately, I no longer have anything to play it on. Ed.)  My so-called step-father at the time used to wake me up from sleep because he had made a bet with some of his friends that he brought home that I could hit those notes.  And Richard if you are wondering if I could, the answer is YES, each and every time, back then my voice was perfection, but my talent was not nurtured. 

Tell us about any projects you are currently working on?

My stories are a place where I can lay down the emotions within me in written word because I may not be able to find the right words to speak them out loud. Yes I’m an author telling stories in ways that no one else can because I add the broken pieces of me to all that I write; and that includes the books in my upcoming double release project.

“Dark Harmonie” a character who is special because the hand of God is on her, but she has become the object of desire by those using dark supernatural forces and black magic to steal what is within in her. 

“30”, a little girl who was fascinated with boys, but curious wondering why they never noticed her, wanting to know what made her different from the other girls; she becomes a woman who loses herself to another part of herself that she names “The Dragonfly Catcher”. 

“30” is the second book in my ambitious double-book release project to accompany “Dark Harmonie”. “Dark Harmonie”, which is in the editing phase, still carries the spiritual messages that I so love to incorporate in my stories that is evident in my first two published books. But I have taken it further and added a supernatural aspect as well as the evils of dark and black magic. Yes all my main characters are females and I love showing that women are both strong and survivors.  Even in the piece I am working on now “30”, although the woman is struggling with some issues I have painted her as a multilayer seductress which called for the story line to border on soft erotica.

You are a very inspirational lady Jacqueline. So, as time has once again beaten us, can you leave us with a pearl of wisdom; a piece of inspiration that will help any of our readers who may be struggling at this moment in time?

I believe in gentle guidance I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on anyone so I just ask them to try it for themselves and just ask God for something simple like peace of mind, patience or to cover all the bases; just ask to be blessed and then have faith.  For all those who know that I love music and music loves me because it is what I do, I enjoyed every minute of this interview while listening to the true Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin: “I Never Loved a Man” Aint No Way”, Baby, Baby, Baby” and “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”.  So now it’s time for me to return to my posh suite at “The Snooty Fox Hotel” (Don’t do it Jacqueline, you WILL be disappointed! Ed.), just kidding, I’m still in Arizona and it is HOT! (She’s not readers, she’s here in my living room drinking my tea and eating all my digestives!! Ed.)


Thanks for that wonderful wisdom Jacqueline and thanks once again for being my guest today; it’s been a pleasure.

To find out more about my lovely guest and her books please check out the links below.

Jacqueline’s website: http://sbpra.com/jacquelinerainey/

Connect with Jacqueline on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJacquelineRainey

Follow Jacqueline on twitter: https://twitter.com/BlueHarmonie

Buy Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child Of God on Amazon US: http://ow.ly/pCUNK

Buy Toni’s Blues on Amazon US: http://ow.ly/pCVeR

Buy Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child Of God on Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/pCVo3

Buy Toni’s Blues on Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/pCVEt

Introducing Jazz & Blues Singer, Actress & Writer – Elaine Thomas

Elaine ThomasToday is a very exciting day for me because I have another opportunity to host an extra-special guest on my blog. On this occasion I’m very privileged to welcome American actress, jazz and blues singer and writer, Elaine Thomas. Elaine should be here any minute, so while I go and put the kettle on and crack open a packet of chocolate digestives, here is a little bit of background on her.

face-2Currently residing in Hamburg, Germany Elaine has performed with some of the greatest names in international black American music: B.B. King, James Brown, Randy Newman, The Black Gospel Pearls (as lead vocalist), Alphonzo Mouson, Achim Kück, Jean Carne, Norman Connors, Sun Ra, Harlem Jazz Band, Gil Scott Heron to name just a few. Elaine started her career at 14 as a hip hop and breakdance competitor; achieving 3rd in a “Best Breakdancer in the USA” competition when she was 17 and No. 1 female breakdancer in the USA.

Elaine Thomas 1At 15, Elaine, (then known as Camille Thomas) auditioned for the famed Workshop for Careers in the Arts in Washington D.C., becoming one of the first graduates from the Duke Ellington High School for the Performing Arts, also in Washington D.C. This earned her positions with The Touring Co. Theatre West, Robert Hook’s Black Repertory Co., Back Alley Theatre – A Raisin in the Sun, Miguel Pinero’s Short Eyes, Jesus Christ Lord Today.

Elaine has performed in Germany in over 15 Musicals and as an actress in just as many theatre drama plays including Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, Chicago, West Side Story, Man from La Mancha, Kiss me Kate and with Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Cab Calloway in The Blues Brothers. She has also worked with Claus Peymann and Heiner Müller.

Elaine has since worked on several Compilations – Dance Floor, Classic Soul, Jazz, Pop & Gospel. The last Project, a CD – from Mr Confused Do you Realize was released in July 2012.

Elaine is currently working on her first short story compilation book of black American folktales and inspirational stories for kids.

Hi Elaine and welcome. Thanks for nipping over from Hamburg to be with us.

Hi Richard, thank you so much for inviting me here.

I must admit that when I first approached you for an interview, I thought I would be interviewing a very accomplished jazz and blues singer “only”. I was amazed when I read up on your career and realised that you have done so much in your life. We will come to that later, but to kick off, can you tell us where it all started? Where were you born and did your parents have any influence on the direction you took?

I was born and raised In Washington DC;  strict catholic parents…private school, strong disciplined daily life with lots of housework chores! I think that all influenced me to rebel.

How did you start singing and do you remember the first time you sang?

I started singing as a very young child, everything I heard on the radio, which was on constantly. Especially gospel and soul. When I was punished or depressed or even very happy…I would close the door to my bedroom, which I shared with 2 half-sisters and two aunts, and just sing my feelings out!

What brought you to Hamburg?

I previously lived  in Hannover, where I raised my two Black German sons and did my touring from. Saw Hamburg and fell in love with the architecture, the wharf, the multitude of bridges! Wow! An absolutely amazing city.

Who are your main musical influences and why?

I think everything that I heard as a child, the influences of my religious background. My stepmother was Baptist, so every Sunday after Mass, we would go to the Baptist church for the rest of the day.

Then during my high school and college days, I started listening to a lot of jazz, fusion…

Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dionne Warwick, the Stax folks, Motown Sound, all of that!

For me, music, at first was a way to escape the mundane of an overly protective family. Work out emotions, have fun…party, dance…that kind of stuff.

I note that you have worked with some incredible people over the years, so I hope this doesn’t sound like a stupid question, but have you ever worked with anyone who was also a great idol of yours?

I was once on the same show with Dionne Warwick. But we just happened to be on the same festival…as with BB King and a couple of others. Gil Scott Heron was an idol. Worked with him. He used to come by our house. At that time, I was just out of the High School for Performing Arts and lived with 24 other artists in one house! We’d jam and he’d let us come on with him and perform.

How does spirituality influence your work?

I left the Catholic Church at 17 and turned Buddhist. What I learnt during my Buddhist studies….ridding your mind of mental poisons, using kindness towards others every day, gave me a guideline for everything.

What is your favourite song or album of all time?

Wow! That keeps changing. Used to be Patches by Clarence Carter, Love Child from Diana Ross,   

Donny Hathaway’s Someday we’ll all be Free.

Are you currently working on any projects?

Actually, I’ve started working as a Storyteller! Really excited about this! I love books. Have a pretty large collection of fairy tales and fables from all over the world. Storytelling kind of prods the actress in me and of course, the cultural side is very important-

I also have a new Band named Elaine Thomas & the Poets Messengers.

We do poetry to fusion jazz, some of our heroes, especially people like Gil Scott Heron or even Marvin Gaye. Try to bring a positive awareness while having a good time at the same time.

OK, I’ve got to do this to you; what was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you whilst on stage?

Going back to my drama school as a young professional and falling on stage during a jump! I could have died!

Well thanks for sharing that gem with us Elaine. I said at the outset that I was amazed at the amount of things you have done in your life. But what I find incredible is that in amongst all the singing, acting and writing, you are also an English teacher. So, tell us a bit more about your work away from the stage?

I got tired of always being on the road. My second son also needed more of my time…English has always been a passion of mine…so I started teaching it too. Keeps me on my toes, Richard!

Well, once again time has beaten us. All that remains is for me to thank Elaine once again for a very enjoyable and insightful chat. Before you go Elaine would you just like to leave us with a few words of wisdom; maybe a favourite quote?

From me- Contemplate life, stay kind, accept and believe in yourself, live now and get closer to Mother Nature.

And most important, laugh, dance and enjoy what you have. Be thankful.

Thanks so much for that Elaine. I don’t want you to miss your bus so I will say bye for now, and hey, take some of those digestives for the journey!

The website of Elaine Thomas http://www.elaine-thomas.de/et/index.html

Why not check out Elaine in action? Enjoy the video below and find many more on You Tube

Live At Bielefeld Jazz Club

Introducing A Very Special Guest – TV/Film Producer – Denny Morales

Today we are very lucky to have as a special guest on my blog; TV/Film producer, amongst other things, Denny Morales. Before I bring Denny on here is a little bit about him.

Denny (Right) with best selling author Neale Donald Walsch

Denny (Right) with best selling author Neale Donald Walsch

For 14 years, since the age of 16, Denny Morales was directing, technical directing, and performing camera work for PBS, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox affiliates. He earned an Emmy award for technical directing in 2005. Throughout the years working at the television stations, Denny worked on short films as a sideline, doing  producing, cinematography, and many other jobs on the set. Denny finally broke off from his television job in 2008 and set about starting up various businesses, where he gained experience in marketing and business management. In 2011, he started Watery Flame Productions, fully focusing on creating his own films and television shows that geared towards uplifting the world. 

So, without further ado, here he is, all the way from Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s Denny Morales. Hi Denny, thanks for coming all the way over from LA. Come and sit yourself down and I’ll put the kettle on and crack open a packet of chocolate digestives!

Hello, Richard, the pleasure is all mine, and by the way the chocolate is how Richard got me into this interview, so that’s the secret ha ha.

I’d like to kick off by asking what drove you at such a young age to achieve so much in the TV industry?

Well, Richard, for some reason I always had this passion to do more with my life. For some reason I always thought I was dropped off on the wrong planet, ‘cause my mind always processed so fast. I always knew what I wanted and just went after it. I wanted to be a TV/film director from the time I was 12. I remember, my high school was a vocational school, and I was taking television production, and in that class we would go to the local PBS station and actually work as crew on a live show. I remember every Monday going to that TV station and asking for a job; every Monday. It was really never enough for me, I can feel the fire inside of me to this day.

That sounds amazing Denny; so how old were you when you received your first Emmy award and how did it make you feel?

I was 26 years old, and I remember looking into my mailbox that morning and seeing the certificate there, I felt numb for a second because I couldn’t believe I just won an Emmy for a national award. I knew then that I always wanted that feeling and to do more meaningful things like that. 

After hitting such great heights at such a young age you then came back down to earth with a bump; you lost everything in fact. Are you able to share with us what happened?

Yes, I always tell people that in that moment it was really, really scary but it was the biggest blessing in my life. I remember thinking “how could anyone be fired from their job”, I just didn’t get it because I was such a go-getter; until it happened to me.

I couldn’t take the job anymore, it wasn’t me, it wasn’t getting me to my goals, I had realized I wanted to do my own thing and wanted more out of my life, so that’s when my drive and performance went down, and that was it. I lost my job, house, wife, cars and dogs. Around the same time I found out my brother had gone to prison for murder, and I lost my grandmother; which would make anyone really think about going insane.

How did you go about building yourself up again?

So after I lost it all, I remember the night I was homeless. I called my mom, and told her I needed a place to stay. Fortunately my mom is awesome and of course is always there.
But that night as I slept, I broke out into shaking and cold sweats, and just bawled my eyes out. As I awoke the next day, it felt like God grabbing me and taking me under his wing and
leading me to the bookstore. I went every day from opening to closing. And read every business, spiritual, and self help book I could get my hands on. That lasted for about seven months. Wow, what an amazing experience. That was just the start. From there I began building myself back up again. The way I wanted to.

Denny, we have spoken on the radio before and you know that I am a huge fan of Neale Donald Walsch. Can you share with us how you came to have such a high profile author as a client?

While I was pretty much living at the bookstore during that seven months (Editors note: I bet they “loved” you Denny, seven months in their store from opening to closing, reading all their books and not buying!!!), I ran across three books that would change my life forever. Conversations with God, books 1, 2, & 3 by Neale Donald Walsch. Those books touched me so deep, that I did what it took to raise funds to go to one of his retreats. And I finally made it. By the time I made it, I had read CWG probably over 20 times. I think it was ingrained that Neale must have felt it. Or I just put it out; the intention of wanting to work with him. ‘Cause at that retreat, after he found out what I did, he asked me to bring my cameras and shoot his next retreat. From there, we also came up with the idea of pitching a TV show starring him that would be perfect for the Oprah Winfrey Network. It’s still hard to believe that my mentor, the guy that I look up to, wanted to work with me. It proved to me that creation really does work.

Tell us about your company, Watery Flame Productions?

Watery Flame Productions is dedicated to producing creative content such as films, television shows, and events that impresses upon audiences on a deeper level, reminding them of who they really are and inspiring them to let out their hearts desires in life. Our films, documentaries, television shows, and events consist of story driven themes and uplifting experiences that relate to higher consciousness philosophies, providing viewers with inspirational, introspective, and positive content to take away with them. 

OK, I’m going to diversify now, who is your favourite band of all time and why?

Ha ha, I love it Richard. Actually I’m a fan of Joan Osborne. She sings that popular song “(What if God was) One of Us”. We think it’s just a song, but it’s a very profound question that can lead to a truth to what might just be going on. (Editors note: I totally agree with Denny on this one. It really is a fantastic song, and very profound in that God is One of us. Just as us(we) is(are) One God. See below.)

And what is your favourite album of all time, and why?

Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Favorite song on that is “Beat It”. I love MJ’s stuff ‘cause of his passion.

Now here’s one I bet you didn’t expect Denny. Would you share with us your most embarrassing moment ever?

Ha ha, I remember one time on a date, we went to a movie. I had to use the restroom, and when I was walking out my date points down to my shoes, and I had a piece of toilet paper stuck on my shoes. HA HA and she’s still dating me. (Editors note: Nice one Denny; a man after my own heart)!

Thanks for that Denny. You will be relieved to know that there are no more questions like that coming your way! Would you like to tell us about any projects you are currently working on?

Denny (Centre) with his coach JT Foxx and "Arnie"

Denny (Centre) with his coach JT Foxx and “Arnie”

Yes, we are currently working on a passion of mine. I found a really cool tool, on how to create what you desire, and it started working for me. So, I decided to make a film out of it and interview successful people that were using it, and called it The Last Formula. We asked Neale if he could be our first interviewee, and he loved the idea, so after that we got some good momentum going. We have interviewed greats like Tony Hsieh, Larry Winget, Dina Proctor, G. Brian Benson, and so many more to come. Very excited about it. Please drop us your email so you can get the launch of it at http://www.thelastformula.com. (Editors note: You’ve got my email address Denny so keep me informed, it sounds great and something I’d be interested in)

Well, it looks as though time has beaten us, so all that remains is for me to say thanks once again to Denny Morales for nipping across the pond to speak to us. Now I don’t want you to miss your bus Denny, but before you go could you leave us with a few words of inspiration?

Richard it was a pleasure, and thank you so much for allowing me to be me. I would like to leave with anyone tuning in; if you’re being challenged right now, just know that, that’s the universe’s way of giving you the experience to know how great it feels to be happy. We wouldn’t know what happy felt like if we never had sadness. True living is right in the middle, so you can appreciate the energy when it vibrates.

Wonderful! Thanks again Denny and I hope it’s not too long before we chat again.

Editors note: Not only did Denny agree to this interview, but he also agreed to make a short video especially for YOU, the readers of my blog. He is a very busy man and I am eternally grateful to him for finding the time to do this for us.

Another Blockbuster From Author Janice G Ross

April 16 saw the release of Damaged Girls II by Author Janice G Ross. Janice is no stranger to reader’s of my blog and I am proud, not only to welcome her back, but also to showcase her wonderful books. Janice’s latest book is the follow-up to Damaged Girls I and you can check out both books via the links below.

DG CelebrationJanice was born in Guyana and has lived in the US since 1980. Although now a US national, Janice considers herself a “citizen of the world”, and to quote her own words “sure I have not physically been around the world and back, but I have travelled in my mind and in my dreams”. She enjoys writing about social issues and personal experiences and her debut novel series, “Damaged Girls” is about emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It is about the type of life many of us might not know exists, and the type of life many of us might not want to admit exists. Janice has been asked whether of not the novel is based on her own life; she says, “no, although some of the characters have traits that were found buried inside of me at some point in time. However, the experiences are not real to my life, but they are to someone else’s life”.


SONY DSCGet excited, cry, curse, hate, love, and despise! If you’ve already read Damaged Girls I, then these emotions should be familiar. The Damaged Girls Family & Relationship Series began with an introduction to the complex love triangle of Steven Briggs, Jillian McConnell and Jessica Rodney. In the second book of the series, Damaged Girls II, get pulled deeper into the trauma and gain valuable knowledge of why Jillian and Jessica might be such easy targets for a womanizer such as Stevie. Jillian has to come to terms with the crumbling idea of love that she desperately needed to find in Stevie. And Jessica is forced to grow up and away from the man she so badly wanted to keep forever. Stevie even realizes that he needs to get a grip on the drama he created years back; while his decisions and behaviors continue to spiral deeper into selfishness. Unfortunately, Stevie’s insatiable appetite has not diminished, only causing him to become less likeable. Will the three ever learn? As life progresses, we must confront our past, move into our present and plan sensibly for our future. How will Stevie, Jillian and Jessica cope, when life just can’t seem to smile in favor of their original desires? Damaged Girls is not a romance novel outlined in love. It is not pleasant and idealistic, but very cruel and extremely unsavory. In fact, it is deep and rather dark at times. The story focuses on emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and how easily its effects can cause some to own the title of Damaged Girls.

Buy on amazon.com http://ow.ly/kfG09 

Buy on amazon.co.uk http://ow.ly/kfFVd

Check out Damaged Girls I

DG I Updated Cover

Buy on amazon.com http://ow.ly/kgOet 

Buy on amazon.co.uk http://ow.ly/kgOis 

Showcasing My Latest Guest Writer – The Wonderful Janice G Ross

DG CelebrationIt gives me great pleasure to welcome US-based Contemporary Fiction Author, Janice G. Ross, to my blog today. Janice is going to tell us a little bit about herself and her book, Damaged Girls. So now it’s over to you Janice.

Janice was born in Guyana, South America; however, she has been
residing in the USA for many years. Her love of words has been built over
years of reading, personal writing and “life on life’s terms”. She believes that writing is about gathering up the jagged edges of life and connecting them with her audience. Janice is currently completing the second instalment of Damaged Girls, as well as working on several other novels.

Janice began writing at a very early age, but put her aspirations on hold for many years. During that time, she acquired several degrees – Industrial Engineering Technology, Marketing and Management. Within the past three years, she returned to her original love and obtained an English degree.

Damaged Girls Synopsis:

Be warned… Romance is not at the heart of Damaged Girls. This series
revolves around contemporary issues in families and relationships.

DG I Updated CoverSteven Briggs is thirty-five, gorgeous and partially successful as an auto shop owner-wannabe. He loves women – young women to be exact. Moreover, he is not above manipulating any situation to have the women he wants. Independent twenty year old Jillian McConnell was once lucky to be a part of his world. Since Stevie was the only man to ever shatter her rough exterior, he knows that she would always keep coming back for more. But Jillian is only good enough some of the time. When the sensual Jessica Rodney comes of age, Stevie is enthralled. He shuns the older part-time model, for the time being. But is Jessica’s liveliness enough to sustain Stevie? Or will he keep turning back to the sensible relationship of his past, since he can always make Jillian believe that she should readily be a willing participant in this triangle. Damaged Girls is a complicated novel about the choices and outcomes, associated with the mistakes we make over time.

For more information on Janice G. Ross and her books please refer to the links below.

Buy Damaged Girls on Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Damaged-Girls-I-ebook/dp/B00AMLEZ7Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358966390&sr=1-1

Buy Damaged Girls on Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Damaged-Girls-I-ebook/dp/B00AMLEZ7Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Check out Janice’s website http://www.culturalcocktails.com/CC/JGR/JGR.html

Connect with Janice on facebook https://www.facebook.com/janice.ross.7334

Follow Janice on twitter https://twitter.com/JGRWriter

Introducing My Latest Guest – The Wonderful Lynne Marie

Today I am welcoming the wonderful Lynne Marie to my blog. Lynne has hopped all the way over from New Zealand just to do this interview. Hiya Lynne and thanks for joining me here today.

Thanks Richard, wouldn’t miss tea and twiglets for the world! Thank you for asking me to join you here today.
So, tell us a bit about your background Lynne; just who is Lynne Ralph?

Wow, where to begin Richard..?? I am a 4th/5th generation “Kiwi” (New Zealander) with one of my ancestors born in Auckland when the population was just 15! I was raised in a rural setting and until ten years ago had lived all my life on the land. My parent’s farmed dairy cows and my younger sister, brother and I were surrounded by animals and home-grown veggies, a super lifestyle many would envy for its simplicity and good clean living. Personally I LOVED horses and my sister and I owned our own ponies and rode for a number of years, attending the local Hack & Hunters Club. I also enjoyed art and drawing, often combining my love of horses and drawing by spending many hours mastering the dimensions, angles and shape of the horse. I also loved to read and being a very introspective child who valued quiet and space, I would often demolish a book during the weekend. I later went on to marry a horse trainer and dairy farmer and we had three wonderful children. During another later partnership child number four emerged. From a work and career perspective I have majored mostly in Management and Administration, as well as Teaching / Training and Website Development.
Who Am I? Interesting question Richard and perhaps more difficult to define and answer than a summary of my background. My inner world and spirituality defines more of me than my outer world has tended to show. From a very young age I was aware of there being more than what we can physically see and that there is much more to life than we are often consciously aware of. One story I have often shared with friends is a beautiful demonstration of contact with the “unseen” dimensions and how I kept the knowledge of how I came to know what I knew, to myself. During a Sunday lunch as a child a family member asked a question, that question simply being, “What is your favourite number?” As each of my family took turns answering this question I was keenly aware it would be my turn soon and I was deeply concerned I didn’t seem to have a favourite number, it simply wasn’t something that had occurred to me before! So when it was my turn I admitted to not having a favourite number, yet I was secretly upset I didn’t have one when everyone else seemed to. After lunch I retired to my bedroom, lay on my bed and closed my eyes. In my minds’ eye I saw a white light emerge from the darkness and this white light began drawing a line. I watched in awe as a 7 was created and then in my mind heard the words “Your number is the number 7”. I was then relayed some other information, about the 7 being a number I would come to learn more about as an adult and that I would work with the energy of the 7. I had no idea consciously what was meant and in my childish enthusiasm begged to know more now and questioned why I had to wait. Then something beautiful was shared with me, the 7 began to rotate until it became an L. I was lovingly told that in the meantime (until I was old enough to understand) the reminder was “in my name” (the 7 becoming the L of Lynne). I was so excited to know what my number was that I jumped up off my bed, scurried back to the dining room and with much joy announced my number was 7. I knew I could not share the fullness of my experience, nor even hint at it, and that was okay. Much of my life has been like this Richard…..information perhaps shared, but the origin of how I come to know what I know often not revealed. (Btw my life path number is 7. The first numerologist I consulted remarking at how my chart is riddled with 7’s!).
In short, many of the most profound turning points during my life journey have come about as a result of some amazing spiritual experiences. Those experiences, scattered throughout my life, have sometimes swung the pendulum (so to speak) so far into the spiritual that I have had a tendency to neglect or struggle with physical living. Yet I have learned and continue to learn. At this time I feel the most empowered and grounded I have felt in a long time, empowered to make choices to co-create an amazing life worth living. The world really is our oyster! We can have, do or be anything we deeply desire and it is our choice. I am in a phase of rebirth and renewal as if parts of me are arriving on Earth for the very first time and I am looking at the world with awe and wonder. Life is a treasure chest…what do I choose?

How did you get into web design and how long have you been doing it?

During the early 1990’s the internet was birthed into New Zealand homes. I was intrigued and curious about how these things called web pages were created and also very excited by the potential. So I decided to learn! My third child had just started school and I approached the headmaster about the possibility of creating a school website. We chatted about the potential for students to connect with other children around the world. Consequently I was employed to teach computers and technology to students and set about becoming involved with teachers globally creating projects our children could be involved with. Our collective won a number of awards and a highlight was attending a Cable & Wireless Award ceremony in Sydney Australia. From there I went back to academia and enrolled in Computer Programming which I thoroughly enjoyed and where I broadened my knowledge of coding. Creating websites requires a balance of both creativity and structural logic – a wonderful way to keep both hemispheres of my brain actively engaged.

What prompted you to found Inspirational Storytellers; where did all the ideas come from?

Hmmm, what prompted me? After what I shared earlier Richard you would be right to suspect from guidance and intuition for the most part. I can’t pinpoint a particular date or event, just a sequence of unfolding. Seeds of being involved in publishing emerged three years ago after I was offered a publishing company a mentor had established to self publish her own books. Around that time I joined Facebook and from nowhere had friend requests pouring in and oft-times from authors! This trend continued and I had a knowing within, a growing desire in fact, to assist my author friends to be seen “out there” on a world stage and I wanted to assist in promoting and supporting their life purpose and work. Couple this with my love of stories, my understanding of personal development, of how some of our stories can inhibit us (when left unexamined) or help us shine (when examined and understanding gleaned) and you can see how the stage was being set for Inspirational Storytellers. When it finally occurred to me to build the website platform I put out into the ethers a request for assistance in choosing the name. More than once “Inspirational Storytellers” floated in…and more than once I discounted the name as it seemed too long. Finally, one day the penny dropped as everywhere I turned I kept hearing the words “Inspirational Story” being bandied about. And so, domain name purchased, I set about approaching authors I was drawn to and Inspirational Storytellers began to be birthed.

How do you see Inspirational Storytellers developing?

I have no doubt guidance and intuition will continue to play a key role in where things go next. I see a community of authors supporting one another, I see a place to come and be inspired and to share, I see a one-stop-shop where authors can pick and choose from products and services exactly what they need at any given time. How can we help authors? What are their needs? Future development will be guided by the feedback and support from those authors we help promote and serve with our products and services.

What about your own aspirations as an author? Is there a book in the pipeline?

I believe likely so, although no book in motion at this time. There is a growing desire to write and share some of my stories Richard and I will likely begin as I am encouraging other budding authors to, by sharing some short stories and articles on Inspirational Storytellers.

What was the defining moment that set you off on your spiritual pathway?

My defining moment that set me off on my spiritual pathway was not one of those spiritual experiences that have guided me on my journey, but a traumatic event that occurred when I was five years old. The child I was before the trauma was markedly different to the child I became after trauma. And it set me on a path to regain myself, to regain that connection….I became the proverbial “seeker”. Yet to seek is a double-edged sword as in the seeking one is not being and therefore healing, enlightenment, connection, however you describe it, is always something you hope to attain somewhere in the future. Yet my path was my path for a very good reason and from it birthed strength and fortitude, a “never say die” attitude. I imagine someday I will share my life story and when I do it will be when I am sure no victimhood remains and I have gleaned all the understanding of the gifts bestowed through my experience. As we discussed I have had a number of profound spiritual experiences guiding my path and actions throughout my life and one in particular changed my life. I had a spontaneous full kundalini awakening at the age of 18, almost exactly as Eckhart Tolle describes in his “Power of Now” book. I didn’t however spend weeks on end sitting on a park bench as I had a fulltime job. Make no mistake though it was every bit as powerful as the description Eckhart Tolle and others who have shared such an awakening describe. I awoke one morning to a different world and I was different too. Others who knew me well couldn’t help but notice the change, it was that remarkable! To be in such a blissful space of love, joy, grace and gratitude and yet simultaneously to be the most grounded and real I had ever been in the world, was a miraculous gift. I lived this way for a period of six months until the light anchored in me began to contract and finally largely withdrew, but not before I’d had a very good opportunity to understand and live as an enlightened and connected individual and to see the various aspects of how it manifested in my world. Someday I shall probably share that story too 

OK, now to completely change theme of the interview, what was the first record you ever bought Lynne?

That’s an easy one to answer Richard! The Flowers Album by Icehouse 

I’m not sure if you are familiar with this great Australian band (Yes I have heard of them Lynne ED.). I wore that record thin! They were the first band I experienced in a live concert, locally in the Founders Theatre in Hamilton. I’ve never forgotten that concert or the way their music touched me for many years…and still does!

(A sample for your listening pleasure Richard….  )

Who is your favourite band of all time?

You will likely not be surprised by my response…..Icehouse. (Wow! I’m so surprised!!!! ED.)

Batman or Superman?

The jury is out on that one Richard….whoever can bring Marmite back to New Zealand supermarket shelves will be my favourite superhero!(I hear the penalties are very stiff in NZ for anyone caught Marmite smuggling Lynne! Ed.)

All that remains now is for me to say thanks once again to the wonderful Lynne Marie for joining me today in Tetbury. Now Lynne, I don’t want you to miss your bus… but as a parting shot can you leave us with a message of inspiration please?

Richard it has been such a pleasure! Thank you! We all have inspirational stories and we are all on our own inspirational journey. Please share your stories, share who you are and where you’ve been and what you’ve learned. Speaking your truth and sharing your story inspires others to do so as well; we all need to be the hero in our own story and all need to know it is well worth the journey… don’t ever give up.

Great! Thanks Lynne, hope to chat to you again soon.

Showcasing Writer Moyra Irving


Today I am welcoming Writer Moyra Irving to my blog.  Before we have our chat here is a little bit about her.
Moyra is a storyteller and artist who has been involved in healing and spiritual growth work for over 30 years. The foundation of all her work, both artistic and practical, is ‘Soul-centred living’ and the recognition that we are all divine. Her stories are modern-day parables, all based on one theme: Coming Home to Your Self.
Through personal retreat she has created two sets of Guidance Cards, ‘Take Me to the Mountain’ and ‘Fiery Love,’ and six meditation and healing CDs for those wishing to retreat while living and working in the world. Storytelling provided the inspiration behind her charity The Extra Guest (Food for All), an end-hunger charity that supports food-aid and sustainable living projects around the world. Please contact Moyra on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/moyra.irving  or visit http://www.theextraguest.com/
Thanks for coming all the way down from Stoke-On-Trent Moyra for tea, twiglets and witty banter…  So, what actually made you start writing; was it some kind of inner pull?
My pleasure Richard.  Well, I love reading and I suppose I’ve always been a day-dreamer so ideas for stories come easily. I enjoyed English at school, especially learning about the structure of language. Some people have a natural ‘feel’ for language and write flawlessly without ever having to think whether something sounds right or not. However, for most of us I think it helps to know the basic rules of one’s own language whether writing factually or exercising the imagination. The two go hand in hand for me. Once the ‘rules’ of writing are mastered they can be put aside or skilfully ignored in order to create an effect. Some people think that grammar and spellings don’t matter – but imagine a composer attempting to create a symphony without any knowledge of music or an artist with no knowledge of colour or perspective or basic drawing skills.  With the right tools at our disposal we can eventually go beyond them and allow our imagination full rein. Perhaps only then we begin to create something worth reading.  Oh dear, are you still there? I think I went off on one for a while
I haven’t gone anywhere Moyra, I’m hanging on to your every word!  It seems to me that ‘The Extra Guest’ has a hint of autobiography in there, is this true?
Ah yes, the story. Thanks for bringing me back! It’s actually based on a novel I began in 1995. The ‘Extra Guest’ excerpt came to me while I was enjoying a bath. Most ideas come to me then – and often while I’m driving, walking in the countryside or, best of all, sitting on a train. Although Myrrnah, the character in the story, is very loosely based on me, she has actually directed the current phase of my life (and not the other way round). It was because of her that I decided to set up a charity similar to her own.
Tell us about your other projects, including The Extra Guest charity?
Other projects?  How much time have you got, Richard? I’m slowly completing a novel, ‘Hunting the Hart,’ which weaves together my interest in art, spirituality and human love, I’m working on two non-fiction pieces too: ‘Take Me to the Mountain’ and ‘Fiery Love.’
Two years ago, with the support of a group of friends, I set up ‘The Extra Guest’ charity: www.theextraguestcom  In recognition of the ‘extra guest’ at our table – that is to say, anyone who has little or no access to food – we promote the practice of ‘ethical dining.’ We work with restaurants that are willing to support our cause and diners are encouraged to make a donation at the end of their meal.  All donations go directly to fund food-aid and sustainable living projects around the world and we can proudly claim that nothing whatsoever is lost in administration. People are quite suspicious of charities these days and so we feel it’s important to reassure them that their money (100% of it) goes directly to those most in need. We all work as volunteers, covering overheads ourselves, and in less than two years we have raised over £20,000.
I’m also a healer and counsellor and eight years ago I set up (together with a small group of friends) The Centre for Spiritual Growth and Healing in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. As part of this initiative we offer a monthly Free Complementary Healing Clinic for the local community. We run entirely on donations and provide a ‘heart centre’ where people can come for inspiration, spiritual companionship and healing.
You are also an artist, I understand?  Tell us something about this aspect of your work?
321 256 028 081Yes, I almost went to Art School at sixteen to study graphic design but ended up staying at school to finish my A levels in Modern Languages instead. In my first few years as a teacher I taught both art and languages.
Although I always loved to draw as a child – Life Drawing and Portraiture in particular – I am now inclined to more esoteric, abstract work. As a student in Paris I loved  the French Impressionists’ ability to paint ‘light’ and I think this may have influenced my work, although in a more abstract way.
What are you working on at the moment?
In my head, quite a few themes. However, time doesn’t allow me to paint and write so for the moment writing is my focus.
OK, I am an alien, I’ve just landed on Earth, and you are the first earthling I meet.  What’s my first impression?
That’s for you to decide, Richard! (Hmm … do I really want to know your first impression of me?) Actually, I’ve always felt like an alien myself, especially when younger, and my attempts to ‘fit in’ had varying success. Fortunately, the older one gets the easier it is to be oneself. I’m a very friendly alien anyway – like the Space Brothers, just ‘here to help’! (With apologies to Gerard Aartsen, author of a book by the same name).
What was the first record you ever bought?
Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around the Clock.’ I was very young so can perhaps be forgiven! My taste has changed a lot since those pre-teen days. (Surprised you owned up to that one Moyra! Ed.)
Who is your favourite band and have you ever seen them in concert?
What a difficult question. There are so many – but I definitely can’t leave out The Who. I never tire of hearing them but didn’t get to see them live. However, I did see the Beatles and the Stones (both in Paris during my student days) and later, Leonard Cohen and Eric Clapton whose earlier stuff I like very much. I don’t have a current favourite but enjoy rock music, though not exclusively. Off the top of my head I’d include: The White Stripes, Guns n’ Roses, Florence and the Machine, and Calvin Harris. Please don’t ask me if I like James Blunt or I may have to be rude … (Some great bands there Moyra… and my lips are sealed with regard to James Blunt! Ed.)
What is your claim to fame?
I make no claim to fame – infamy perhaps but not fame. I suppose the sort of answer you might be interested in would be this: Mick Jagger was one of a group of friends and he did my Maths homework for me. He is a few years older than me (we girls weren’t interested in boys of our own age). He used to play tapes of his own music at parties and we’d all shout, ‘Take that rubbish off, Jagger!’ Two years later he was on the radio with a hit single ‘Route 66.’  For some unknown reason he decided to send me his Rugby football shirt for my birthday one year. He was, as you can imagine, very narcissistic, very sure of himself. And I, (very young, very innocent), tried desperately not to feel flattered and therefore sent it back, pretending to be piqued. It was maroon and gold and had his name stitched inside. Shame, it probably would have fitted me perfectly.  Had I only known then – I could have auctioned it and would be a rich woman today.  (Wow!  Sir Mick Rubber Lips himself!  Presumably it was his mum who sewed his name into his rugger shirt so he wouldn’t lose it? Ed.)
And finally… one more question.  As the world holds its breath… Marmite?  Love it or hate it Moyra?
Marmite – definitely a reason to hold one’s breath! Love it,  but don’t indulge.
Marmite lovers are always welcome on my blog Moyra!  Thanks once again for coming and all that remains is for me to inform the readers that on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I will be featuring Parts One and Two of The Extra Guest Story.

Showcasing loveahappyending.com Author – Ali Bacon

BOKAYASHA!  Dis is Dave from da Staines Massive innit, and today me is gonna welcome me mate Ali … Oh hang on a minute, I got dis wrong innit, me thought it was me mate Ali G, but never mind…please big it up for me other mate Ali B…

Yo!!!  Ali B is in da house…

A Kettle of Fish by Ali Bacon – or will she won’t she?


Ali Bacon was brought up in Fife (that’s the bit of Scotland that sticks out above Edinburgh) and went to St. Andrews University but somehow ended up 400 miles south in Bristol (marriage may have had something to do with it!) There she worked in libraries of all shapes and sizes until she fell victim to the writing bug which has proved harder to shift than the Noro-Virus but also a lot more fun. She now devotes herself to reading, writing and reviewing at http://alibacon.com although she is known to stray from her desk, ahem, occasionally, for a round of golf or a little bit of singing and dancing.

In the last few years her stories and articles started to get some attention and now she has achieved her ambition of having a novel published. A Kettle of Fish is a coming-of-age story set in Scotland. Described as ‘harsh, gritty, yet lyrical’ it was published on Kindle by Thornberry Publishing in October. It’s accumulating some rather good reviews, and now, by popular demand, there’s a paperback edition too.

The novel is about Ailsa, a girl whose life plan suffers an annoying interruption and as a result she finds herself on a date with the local fishmonger, a date that starts at 5 am! After such an early start, will Ailsa see Ian again? Here’s an excerpt that might give you some (but not too many!) clues.

Chapter 4 – Pittenweem

I set off back down the hill, and as I lurched into a half-run down the cobbles, the mist dissolved and the scene moved from insipid greyscale to a full colour display. I was like Dorothy waking up in the land of Oz. Sun bounced off the crowded quay and made rainbows in puddles of water and petrol. Everywhere was frantic with the call of birds and the shouts of stallholders. Everywhere slippery with fish.

I was relieved to find Ian in the crowd and he seemed pleased enough to see me. He took me round the stalls without embarrassment, showing me the catch: haddock, cod, whiting. The prices were falling, the best stuff had already gone. Incredibly, I’d got used to the smell.

“Come on then,” he said. “I’m clamouring for a cup.”

We walked along the harbour and passed two cafés before he stopped at a third. It was busy, and someone nodded to him, but I guessed this wasn’t his usual haunt. He wouldn’t go there with a girl. At the counter he ordered bacon and eggs and a bacon roll for me. In the melamine cubicle that smelled of floor-polish and stewed tea, I was struck by his bright-eyed cleanliness. His hair was soft and floppy. He must have showered before he left.

“What do you think then?” he asked, mopping up egg yolk with a crust of toast. I probably looked blank and so he carried on. “Better than sitting in an office all day, if you ask me.”

I was impressed by his energy. Anyone I knew who wasn’t going to uni was looking for a cushy billet in a bank or a call-centre and enough money to get rat-arsed at weekends.

“You wouldn’t have to get up so early,” I said.

“It’s not every day. Dad and me take it in turns.”

A shop’s less boring if it’s your own, and Ian and his dad were their own supply-chain, in thrall to the weather, the sea, and maybe the EU, but still knowing where the fish came from, making their own deliveries.

I looked at my watch, feeling Ian’s eyes on me.

“How’s your mother?” he asked.

This was what people asked me. Not “What music do you like?” or “Do you fancy a shag?” but “How’s your mother?” I imagined the scene in the front room chez Mackay: “You know her mother’s not well. Never has been, since her man left.” The not well would have been said with a look, implying possible mental problems, but that’s as far as it would have gone. His question to me was genuine enough.

“Not too bad,” I replied. “She’s up and down.”

“Do you have to look after her?”

“Sometimes. Usually she’s okay.”

“But you’re going to uni.”

“Yeah, can’t wait.”

Ian took this in. He was looking at me pretty full on and I was struck again by his mouth. The word “sensuous” crossed my mind but was quickly followed by “lascivious”, and lascivious for some reason the one that stayed.

“So,” he said, “what pictures do you like?”

At least we’d got past the mother question. I shrugged. “I don’t go much.”

“Come on, what did you see last?”

I mentioned a chick flick I saw with Faye, probably what he expected. “What about you?”

He named a sci-fi sequel. “We could go to something, if you like. You could choose.”

Before I could answer, he went to the counter and paid the bill.





 A Kettle of Fish is a rollercoaster family drama set in Scotland and published by Thornberry Publishing

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