Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Spotlight: Hohenstein by Didi Lawson

In today's spotlight I give you a hot new historical romance, Hohenstein by Didi Lawson.
Plus there's a day in the life feature for the main character, Marie-Louise von Hohenstein, and a contest.


Now Featuring



The Book



You can find Hohenstein on these sites:







~*~

A Day in the Life





The following is typical list of things for a day in the life of Marie-Louise, Baroness von Hohenstein, and her ancestral estate.

  • Breakfast with Tante Ambrosia
  • Inspecting the premises
  • Book keeping for the Café
  • Consulting with Jakob on the most pressing repairs that need to be done
  • Planning and shopping for the café
  • Lunch with Tante Ambrosia
  • Preparing for castle weddings
  • Visit from Ulrich Count Wolfburg
  • Playing piano for frustration relief
  • Walk in the forest with Kaiser, the German Shepherd Dog
  • Checking various carriages for carriage rides for the wedding and the children
  • Putting finishing touches on castle wedding decorations
  • Dinner with Tante Ambrosia
  • Practicing music for a castle concert with Dr. Walter 
  • Date with Dr. Nick Neff

 













The Contest




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vanguard Legacy: Fated

A treat today for all you YA Fantasy book lovers. The spotlight will shine on a new release, Fated by author Joanne Kershaw. It's the third book in the Vanguard Legacy, and looks to be just as riveting as the previous two books. I also have a little insight into the author as she spills the secrets of some of her favourite things, plus a great giveaway from Xchyler Publishing. So read on and enjoy!

Now Featuring


VANGUARD LEGACY: FATED
Vanguard Legacy: Fatedby Joanne Kershaw
Defeated but not vanquished, the foes of light have retreated. But victory came at a terrible cost to Elora Walker, with her friends lost and scattered. Eleven months later and just seventeen, she commands her own Vanguard quad but struggles with a past that won’t release her and a future she hesitates to embrace.
The barriers between worlds continues to weaken, Dark Seekers are emboldened, and David still plans to engulf humanity in eternal night. Elora means to end the threat once and for all but dreads the personal consequences. Will saving the world demand the ultimate sacrifice? And who must pay it?

You can find Fated at:

You can check out Books I and II of the Vanguard Legacy here:



Some of Joanne Kershaw's Favourite Things:


- TV show
Without a doubt, my favourite TV show of all time would have to be The X Files—and yes, I am supremely excited about the reboot! I watch far too much television, and so have several favourite shows right now. Top five would be Suits, Hawaii Five-0, Bones, Pretty Little Liars and Blue Bloods. There are soooo many more I could add to that list though. If you asked me in another two weeks, it might change again.

- Comic book character
Confession? I don’t have a favourite comic book character. I haven’t watched any of the Marvel films and have only seen the old Superman and Spiderman films. My husband and children have seen them all and love them, I just don’t get the time to watch them!

- Movie
I am so rubbish! Asking questions like this is like asking me to choose which child is my favourite! I guess, when I was a child my choice would have been The Labyrinth (with David Bowie). I still know every word of the script and every lyric of every song, and we watch it as a family. When I was a teenager, Philadelphia (with Tom Hanks and Antonio Banderas) was my favourite film. Since then, I have gone through phases of being addicted to Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent and more. I cannot possibly pick one favourite. However, want a kids film recommendation and I will usually say Lilo and Stitch—I love Stitch!

- Book
There is just no way to answer this question! I read so many books, and love almost all of them. As a child, I remember being chilled to the bone by Robert Cormier’s After The First Death, which you must read if you haven’t. It was visceral, real, painful and uncomfortable—I know that doesn’t sound like a must-read, but it really is. Right now, if someone asked me for a YA recommendation that is different to the usual love triangle with a supernatural twist (and yes, I know my book fits in that category, but I love reading them!), I would say Alex Scarrow’s Timeriders series. Historically themed, with relevant issues, and lots of humour and action., it’s a must-read series.

- Candy bar
Another of my vices is chocolate and sweets. I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine and I’m a vegetarian, so sweets are my go-to treat. Apologies for American readers, these will all be British chocolates, so if you haven’t heard of them, I’m sorry. Toffee crisps are great when I want something a bit lighter, mint or orange flavoured chocolates of any form will literally bend me to your will, and I love chocolates with caramel centres.

- Junk food
Pizza. A simple margarita or a vegetable-based recipe. (That one was easy!)

- Place you visited
I have never travelled abroad and, to be honest, not extensively within the UK either. My family and I holiday in Devon, in the South West of England, and we love it there. In terms of particular places to visit, we regularly visit The Deep, which is a submarium in Hull. They have hundreds of fish and unusual sea creatures, and we usually go three or four times a year.

- Restaurant
Friends of ours own an American-themed diner in Morley, called Luppy’s Diner, which we love to visit with the children. We don’t eat out very often because it’s so expensive with the children, and even more so without (because babysitters are hard to come by!). I don’t massively enjoy cooking either, but there are some days where I have really looked forward to something in particular and when I finally get to sit down and eat it, it’s great!

- Island
Guess I’ll have to say Hawaii, even though I have never been there and can’t see ever being able to afford to. But that is where Hawaii Five-0 and Lilo and Stitch are set, so that’s my choice.



JOANNE KERSHAW
Joanne Kershaw lives in Wakefield, England, with her husband, four young children, and an uppity cat named Dipstick. As a teacher of five- to eleven-year-olds, she spends her days playing at being a grownup, then goes home to delve into Young Adult dark romance and being sixteen again.
Joanne lives and breathes books, whether reading, writing, or marking them. She wrote her first novel in six weeks. Encouraged to submit her work by a friend and fellow YA novel addict, Joanne now finds herself a signed author at Xchyler Publishing.














The Giveaway



a Rafflecopter giveaway


And for more on Fated and Joanne Kershaw, check out this schedule for the Xchyler Publishing blog tour:

4/19: theauthorvisits.com
4/20: projectshadowlondon.wordpress.com
4/22: jaurelguay.wordpress.com
4/21: afstewartpromotion.blogspot.ca/
4/23: creativityfromchaos.wordpress.com
4/24: scotttarbet.timp.net
4/25: amindwandering.blogspot.com


Friday, April 10, 2015

An Abecedarian Poem - #NaPoWriMo



Alphabet Soup

A better catharsis defines eternity
facetiae gutting homogeny
iconic jibes kicked lengthwise
Man needs obfuscation,
precious quantum rents torn
under vascular wedges,
xenogenous yawning zanyism


© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved


Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Visual Poem - #NaPoWriMo




The Stone Bridge

The wooded glade
holds a secret
buried under
the old stone bridge

Evil deeds
and murdered bones,
deep beneath
the old stone bridge

Names whisper
in the darkness
from underneath
the old stone bridge


© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved


Also posted on Kintsugi Poets Society

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Poem for Easter





Daily Bread

Provide us
with sustenance and grace
and concede us strength on misfortune
Remit the light to direct the path from shadow,
bestow our hope in obscurity
and share prosperity,
faith and love


From Colours of Poetry
© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fool's and Nursery Rhymes

Today in honour of National Poetry Month and April Fool's, I'm posting an excerpt from my book Reflections of Poetry, a macabre bit of verse I call...



Zombies in the Nursery


Little Miss Muffet
sat on her tuffet,
eating some tasty brain.

She happily munched,
her rotten teeth crunched
on matter that used to be Jane.

You may scream, Ewww,
oh how could you skew
such a highly loved rhyme?

Well, you should beware
there’s trouble in air
and there’s no longer time.

For poor Miss Muffet,
perched on her tuffet
has joined with the zombie rank

When she’s done with her eating
she’ll be lurching and greeting
the humans with a stare so blank.

So, run while you can,
flee the bleak end of man,
as we’re hunted and eaten in pain.
Time for the Undead Nursery Reign.




From Reflections of Poetry
© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Poem for St. Patrick's Day



Irish Sunrise

The gold light of a rising sun
shimmers on the high green hill
where three aged yew trees grow,
above a long-forgotten grave.

Shimmers on the high green hill,
just glimpses of the ancient Sidhe
that haunt the lush emerald clover.

Where three aged yew trees grow,
branches spreading toward the light,
roots extending deep within the soil.

Above a long-forgotten grave,
a rainbow kisses the sapphire sky
and the lonely north wind wails.


© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart


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