Shopping: Is it in Our Genes? Anne Montgomery investigates.

My blog today gives a warm welcome to author Anne Montgomery who discusses the fascinating question –

Shopping: Is it in Our Genes?

by Anne Montgomery

I’ve been a teacher for 15 years and, when meeting new high school students, I often ask them about their interests. Without fail, numerous kids list shopping as their favorite hobby. These students, so far, have been female.

I try not to roll my eyes and then explain that a hobby is generally something where one might engage in creative or artistic pursuits, collect themed objects, or perhaps play a sport. Still, the girls smile and insist that shopping is their hobby.

I read recently that the average woman spends approximately 400 hours each year shopping. Conversely, men quickly get board with those trips to the mall, losing interest after just 26 minutes, while women can shop blissfully for two hours before tedium strikes.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s the women who usually spy the empty cupboards and resupply the milk and toilet paper and dog food and all of the other stuff needed to run a household. So, of course, they spend more time at the store. But, even when we discount those we gotta have it now moments, women are still in shopping mode much more than men.

I wondered why. I put on my history teacher cap and thought about our ancient ancestors: those hunter-gatherers who foraged for food and resources until they started to settle down in permanent communities about 12,000 years ago. The hunters, we suspect, were generally men. The gatherers: women. It’s estimated that 80% of our ancestors’ diet consisted of wild fruits and vegetables. While the men were out looking for something to kill and drag home, women and girls were peering intently at foliage and digging in the ground, looking for groceries. And their rummaging probably wasn’t restricted to foodstuffs. No doubt a pretty rock or feather might have found its way into a woman’s basket, perhaps to use for barter later on when food ran out.

What does this have to do with the modern female shopper? Here I have a completely unscientific hypothesis, though one that makes perfect sense to me. Human beings – and all creatures alive today – had to adapt in order to survive. So, perhaps, buried in our DNA is a “shopping” gene, passed on from our ancient female ancestors. Those women, who had to examine fruits and berries and roots and leaves, were forced to take great care and time to make sure they selected items that didn’t poison their families. They also had to stock up enough goods to make it through the harsh times of the year. So hunting and gathering were probably their main pursuits. Thanks to their abilities to pick the best available provisions, they were able to survive and pass their genes down to us.

So, don’t feel too badly about enjoying that time at the mall, just leave your beau at home. I, in the meantime, will try to stop rolling my eyes at my students.

Here’s a brief introduction to my women’s fiction for your reading pleasure.

A Light in the Desert traces the story of a pregnant teenager who bears an odd facial deformity, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon.

The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

To read more from A Light in the Desert please click a vendor’s name: Sarah Book PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

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The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors.

Today I am delighted to welcome to ‘The Alternative CV’ UK multi published author, Ailsa Abraham.12899979_603684189783591_1253017068_n

Hi Ailsa.  Make yourself comfortable, help yourself to a  custard cream, kick off your shoes and tell us all …

One quality you have which other people who know you might question?

I am totally consumed by self-doubt. I come across as bold and brave – I am not

A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with? (One of your own preferably.)

Iamo, obviously. The lead male character in my Alchemy series – but I am also very fond of Jack and Rory although they are gay so my hopes with them are zero.

One item you would consign to Room 101?

Phones on public transport, either people yelling down them or using them make the rest of the world disappear. Very rude

One line that sums up your WIP this week?

Still on hold while I recover.

One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media?

An occasional pain in the backside through which I have made very many real friends and near-family.

Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?
Mainly Kindle but if I love a book I buy the paperback to keep for always.

One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
Just one? Ahahahah – OK, a collection of adorable much-loved, charming geegaws like a robot pencil sharpener, several waving cats etc etc.

Waving cats !  That’s different. And I agree with you about phones. 

Now readers I need to explain that  the intrepid Ailsa has had her head shaved  for the Macmillan cancer fund raising event – BRAVE THE SHAVE . Here are the after and before pictures. 

12899979_603684189783591_1253017068_n             12476179_603684116450265_848992477_n

She is still taking contributions, so if you would if you like to support her with this very worthy cause, here are the links. https://www.justgiving.com/account/your-pages/Ailsa-Abraham2
http://www.justgiving.com    

Now, lets have a  quick  taster of  Ailsa’s  lastest books.
Alchemy and Shaman’s Drum  are published by Crooked Cat Publishing

515bNcrrwIL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_A world without war?
Professor Sawhele Fielding stumbles across an invention that would change the world; something so monumental, it could spell the end of environmental disaster and conflict. With the help of her father, a shadowy figure in the world of international banking, she begins to set into motion the biggest upheaval the planet has seen.
But in a changed world, dark forces are threatening the fragile peace. Where modern technology is proving useless, old magic from a bygone era might just save the day. Adrian Oliver, expert in ancient religions is skeptical until faced with incontrovertible proof that ancient evil is abroad once again.
How could a Utopian dream of free fuel and peaceful co-existence turn into a nightmare?

51eTP0WPH9L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_England in the near future.
Mainstream religions have been outlawed, and the old gods rule again.
Iamo has been a priest of the Great Mother and is sworn to celibacy, but his love for Riga, a Black Shaman, a magical assassin, caused him to break his vows. After being imprisoned apart from each other for three years, Iamo accepts an offer to earn them both a pardon and the possibility of marriage. If they survive.

Iamo and Riga must discover why demons are breaking through from the other side. Which of the cults are renegades who allow the demons through? Who can they trust?
Combining their powers, they face the ordeal with the help of a band of eclectic pagans, spirit creatures, Riga’s Black Shaman brothers, an undercover Christian granny, and three unusually energetic Goths.
It’s a tough assignment, but the hope of a life together keeps them fighting

  Four Go Mad in Catalonia – self-published, available from Smashwords

    When Nanny Ab and The Ancient Mariner (not forgetting the faithful hounds) decide to look for a peaceful spot for her to write in the sun, they head for their usual hide-away in Spain. It’s June, they know the place and the only thing Nanny knows she’s forgotten is her hairdryer. So what can possibly go wrong?

 

More about Ailsa

Ailsa Abraham retired early from a string of jobs, ending up with teaching English to adults. She has lived in France since 1990 and is married with no children but six grandchildren. Her passion is motorbikes which have taken the place of horses in her life now that ill-health prevents her riding. She copes with Bipolar Condition, a twisted spine and increasing deafness with her usual wry humour – “well if I didn’t have all those, I’d have to work for a living, instead of being an author, which is much more fun.”. Her ambition in life is to keep breathing. She has no intention of stopping writing.

You can catch up with Ailsa at –

Twitter – @ailsaabraham

Facebook – Ailsa Abraham

Amazon Author Page

Thank you for being a lovely guest Ailsa !

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors.

My talented guest on the Alternative CV today is UK author Kathy Sharp.

Hello, Susan, and many thanks for the opportunity to appear on the Alternative CV.

Great to see you  Kathy. Now, make yourself comfortable, help yourself to a chocolate digestive and tell me….12695509_774244632679352_851141837_o

 One quality you have which other people who know you might question.
I’m incurably lazy. Other people admire my industry in completing three novels, but I still think I’m bone idle.

 A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)
I can’t honestly say I fantasise over any fictional character, including any of my own. But I do have a soft spot for Captain Jack Sparrow. 

 One item you would consign to Room 101.
Garlic. Can’t bear the smell of the stuff.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.                                                         Coming along nicely, now that I know how it ends!
One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.
Not necessarily evil, but still a necessary evil. 

   Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?
Sometimes Kindle, sometimes paperback. I have been known to dozily tap the paperback  to make the page turn. It doesn’t work, you know.

 One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
A copy of the Royal Horticultural Society Plant Finder. It means I’m enjoying myself  sorting out my plant photos when I ought to be writing.
  Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time.                                         I would love to think I’ll have another four or five books published by then. Each one  teaches me so much, and I still have plenty more stories to tell.

 I can’t agree with you on the garlic Kathy, but delighted to hear there will be more of your stories on the way.  Now give us a  taste of your latest books.

  The Larus Trilogy is published by Crooked Cat Publishing.12714073_774244446012704_1236337396_n

Isle of Larus is an adventure tale in a fantastical setting, featuring a fleet of impossible ships, strange prophecies and a pub landlady with an alarming secret. Warm, humorous and unforgettable, the Isle of Larus and its people will steal your heart. One of the most original books you’ll ever read. Available in paperback and e-book formats http://tinyurl.com/olfyskv

 

 

There are further adventures and frights for the people of Larus in the second book in the 12674378_774244496012699_1767352556_nseries, Sea of Clouds. A singer of odd ballads, unusually polite pirates, a message in a bottle and a bald parrot all feature. And can you solve the riddle of the knotted cord? Bet you can’t! Available in e-book formats http://amzn.to/1wYCPH0

The third book in the trilogy, All the Wild Weather, will be published by Crooked Cat later this year.

Kathy Sharp lives in Weymouth, Dorset, and takes her writing inspiration from the beautiful Jurassic Coast. She publishes a new story every Monday morning on her blog https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2728164.Kathy_Sharp/blog

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors.

This week, I am very happy to welcome, multi published author, Sue Barnard  to the Alternative CV.  

Take a seat Sue, make yourself comfortable and tell me…Sue Barnard Author [381552]

One quality you have which other people who know you might question.

In spite of appearing to have “feminist” views, I’m not a radical feminist – it’s just that I cannot accept that the presence or absence of a certain bodily appendage should make any difference to the way a person is regarded or treated. I’m always reminded of the words of Rebecca West: why should a woman be labelled a feminist simply because she refuses to be a doormat?

 A  fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)
Fra’ Lorenzo (my eponymous Ghostly Father) – who is better known as Friar Lawrence in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. I’ve always been fascinated by him, and have often wondered why, in the play, he acted as he did. By giving him what I hope is an interesting and thought-provoking backstory, I’ve tried to offer some possible answers.

One item you would consign to Room 101.
There’s an awful lot of stuff I’d like to consign to Room 101, but top of my list is the degrading and insulting phrase “non-working mother”, when used to describe a mother who stays at home to look after her children. I’d also consign anyone who uses it. Especially politicians.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.
Still in progress!

One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.
It’s a good friend (and I’d have to agree that for writers it’s an essential rather than a luxury), but a bad enemy – there are some pretty weird people out there!

 Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?

When I’m on holiday, it’s paperback or Kindle. Otherwise, it’s tablet. I like to check the news and weather before I go to sleep. How sad is that?

 One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
A broken necklace. Don’t ask.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
I hope I’ll still be here. Who knows, by then I might have even finished my WIP!

Now, tell me about your recent release, and treat us to a little taster.

TUCOA front [381553]My most recent release, The Unkindest Cut of All, is a murder mystery set in a theatre during an am-dram production of Julius Caesar. I’ve drawn on my love of the theatre and my own experience of am-dram backstage work to create the setting. But the plot and the characters are, I’m happy to say, pure invention!
In the story, the part of Caesar is played by Brian Wilmer, who is the by far the company’s best actor. Unfortunately, he knows this – and he makes sure that everybody else also knows it. As a result, over the years he has made himself extremely unpopular with cast and crew alike.

In this extract, which takes place halfway through performance week, Brian is trying his charms on Sarah, one of the backstage crew (who also plays the part of Soothsayer):

“Drink, Sarah, dah-ling?”
Sarah hadn’t heard Brian approaching as she stood waiting to be served at the bar, and in view of what she’d heard about him the previous evening, she felt more than just a little uncomfortable in his presence. But for the sake of keeping things on an even keel, at least until the end of the run, she turned to face him and forced a smile.
“Thanks, Brian. That’s very kind of you. I’ll have pint of bitter, please.”
“OOOH, a lady who drinks pints?”
Not for the first time, Sarah had to suppress her irritation at having to explain it.
“Yes, I drink pints. I like beer, and there’s no point in my drinking halves. I get very thirsty and they don’t last.”
“Fair point, I suppose, fair lady! And I can’t say I blame you. I’ve worked up a pretty thirst myself. I think I might take a leaf out of your book. Now, you go and find us some seats, and I’ll be right back.”
He strode up to the bar and returned a couple of minutes later with two brimming pint pots.
“Cheers, sweetie!” Brian sat down opposite her, raised his glass and took a swig.
“Cheers. And thank you.” Sarah smiled and returned the gesture.
“That wasn’t a bad audience, for a Wednesday,” Brian went on. “I can’t believe we’re halfway through the run already. How time flies when you’re enjoying yourself!”
“Are you enjoying it?” Sarah asked as she took another sip of her drink. She knew before she asked that it was a pointless question, but all the same it made something to say.
“Am I enjoying it, dah-ling? Tell me, sweetie, is the Pope a Catholic?”
Sarah forced a smile.
“I knew it was a stupid question. Have you done any Shakespeare before?”
Brian’s face creased into a broad grin at the prospect of talking about his favourite subject – himself.
“Oh yes. I started very young, you know. Oddly enough, my first role was in this very play.”
“Really?” Sarah called on her own acting abilities and pretended to look interested. “What part did you play?”
“Lucius. It was a school play. Most of the other parts were played by sixth-formers, but they needed a younger boy to play the servant. It wasn’t a huge part, but it was the first of many. I was well and truly bitten by the acting bug by the end of it.”
“Oh yes? What came next?”
“The following year the school did A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I played Puck.”
“Then what?”
“After that, it was The Tempest. That time I played Caliban. Then the following year it was Hamlet, and I was Polonius.”
“Wasn’t he the one who was stabbed through the arras? I always thought that sounded slightly rude!”
Brian chuckled.
“Then, the following year,” he went on, “the school decided to do Romeo and Juliet.”
“Were you Romeo?” Somehow Sarah could picture Brian playing Romeo (though she couldn’t imagine what it must have been like for Juliet). So his reply came as something of a shock to her.
“No. The producers decided that I would make a much more convincing Tybalt.”
Sarah winced.
“What’s the matter?” Brian asked, with a rare display of concern.
“Sorry. It’s just that I’ve never liked Tybalt. No offence intended,” she added hastily.
“None taken, I assure you, dah-ling! No, I don’t think anyone is supposed to like Tybalt. That’s one of the things which makes him such an interesting character.”
“Really? I’d never imagined it in those terms before.”
“How well do you know the play?”
“Fairly well. I first did it at school. They showed us the Zeffirelli film…”
“Oh yes. That was a real cinematic masterpiece. And it was such a treat to see them played by actors who were the right age!”
“Wasn’t it just?” Sarah agreed.
“Oh yes. Well, anyway, Tybalt is often seen as a one-dimensional character; a troublemaker who hates purely for the sake of hating. Nobody has a good word to say about him…”
Sarah raised an eyebrow. “I know some real people like that!”
“Don’t we all, dah-ling! But elsewhere in the play, we’re told that Juliet loved her kinsman dearly. So he must have had some redeeming qualities, even though the audience never sees that side of him. That was what made him such a challenge to play. I had to somehow find a way of suggesting that he wasn’t all bad.”
“I’d never thought of that,” Sarah answered truthfully.
“No, dah-ling, most people don’t.”
“What did you do after that?”
“Nothing more at school, because that was my final year. But when I went to university I joined the Dramatic Society. In my first year I was Malvolio in Twelfth Night…”
Sarah grinned as a comical picture came into her mind. “Somehow I can imagine you in yellow stockings and cross gaiters!”
“Thank you, sweetie. But there’s a lot more to Malvolio than just some silly legwear! He’s actually quite a complex character. Then in the second year I was Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and in my last year I was Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.”
“Wow! That’s a pretty impressive repertoire.”
Brian smiled. “Thank you, dah-ling. So you see, I’m no stranger to the Bard. But until now I’ve never managed to play the mighty Caesar.”
By now Sarah had had more than enough of Brian’s constant stream of self-glorification. As he paused to take a swig of his drink, she took advantage of the opportunity to change the subject.
“I met your nephew at the dress rehearsal on Sunday.”
“Oh yes, he told me that you’d been very helpful. He was gutted at not being able to come to any of the performances.”
“He mentioned that he was on evening shifts this week.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“What does he do?”
“He’s a chef. He works at the Royal.”
Whatever sort of response Sarah might have been expecting, this was not it.
“Really?”
“Yes, really. Believe me, dah-ling, there are times when it’s very useful to have a tame food expert in the family!”
“I can imagine,” Sarah sighed wistfully. Cooking was definitely not one of her own strong points.
It was not a brilliant reply, but she figured it would suffice. She got the impression that Brian wasn’t really listening to what she was saying anyway. That impression was strengthened by his next remark.
“Talking of Martin, that reminds me, dah-ling. Can I ask you a HUGE favour?”
“You can ask, of course. But I can’t promise to grant it until I know what it is. You might be asking me to do something totally illegal!”
Brian grinned.
“Well, not strictly speaking illegal, but a little, shall we say, unorthodox?”
Sarah took another mouthful of her pint.
“Go on.”
“Well, sweetie, Martin tried to get a ticket for the Saturday performance, but as you know, it’s a complete sell-out. But would it be OK to let him come backstage on Saturday evening and watch from the wings?”
Sarah choked on her beer.
“I’m sorry, Brian,” she said, once she had got her breath back, “but I don’t think that would be up to me. You’d really need to ask John about it. And Alan too – backstage admin is his department, not mine.”
“OK, sweetie pie. I’ll go and have a word with them. But if I do manage to swing it with them, you will look after him for me, won’t you?”
Sarah nodded noncommittally. As Brian flounced off towards where John and Alan were sitting, she realised that this had probably been the reason why he had bought her a drink in the first place. Brian never did anything without some kind of ulterior motive. By the time he reappeared a few minutes later, Sarah’s glass was empty.
“Another drink?”
“No thanks, Brian. I need to get going.” She stood up and reached for her coat. “Did you have any luck?”
“Yes, dah-ling, it’s all settled. So I can leave Martin in your capable hands on Saturday evening. Thank you SO much!”
Sarah had mixed feelings about having Martin left in her capable hands. She had plenty to think about as it was, without having the added complication of having to babysit Brian’s nephew. All the same, the brief conversation she’d had with him on Sunday afternoon had suggested that he seemed a pleasant enough chap. If she could find somewhere for him to sit where he wouldn’t be in anybody’s way, he shouldn’t be any trouble. Unlike his uncle, she thought, with a wry smile. All those Shakespearean performances. No wonder Brian was such a prima donna…

To find out more:
The Ghostly Father: Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple iBooks
Nice Girls Don’t: Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo Apple iBooks
The Unkindest Cut of All: Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple iBooks

And I hope Mr Shakespeare will forgive me for repeatedly hijacking his plots!

I am sure he will Sue.   A very enticing extract ! 

Thanks for being a brilliant guest.

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors

This week I am delighted to welcome UK author Angela Wren to  The Alternative CV.

 Great to meet you Angela and thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us.

Let’s start with –

AEWBlackWhite Angela Wren

One quality you have which other people who know you might question.

To a lot of people I appear very well organised and focussed with everything in its place and a place for everything. Those people may be surprised to learn that my desk in my ‘Writing Shed’ is a disaster. I know exactly what is on there, of course, it’s just that I can’t be bothered to file it or bin it. Well, you never know when that bit of paper with that random scrap of a note on it might be useful. Oh and the post-it notes. The pad on my desk is covered in post-it notes for exactly the same reason.

A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)

I’m far too much of a realist to do any fantasising, so I don’t have anyone who fits the bill at all. However, I am writing the follow up to Messandrierre at the moment and my hero, Jacques Forêt, is currently my constant imaginary companion. And he’s quite a guy too, tall, dark-haired, French, honest, steely and determined, kind and generous. He’s also been described by one reviewer as ‘quietly sexy’. Actually, I think I’ve just found my first fantasy! Would be good if it were that simple to create such gorgeous guys for real!

One item you would consign to Room 101.

Spiders – all sizes, shapes, designs and colours. I don’t care what they do or if they’re pretty or not – mostly not, in my view – I absolutely cannot stand them and I blame my brothers for this irrationality.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.

One line? Can do that in one word. RATS! (Random Adjectives Temporarily Suspended)

One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.

Ditto, but scratch the bit in brackets!

Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?

None of those. I do own a tablet and I do have a Kindle app on there but reading for pleasure from a screen really isn’t something I want to do by choice. It just spells business change and project management work to me. Paperbacks – yes I can handle those and frequently do, but I consider them to be frivolous and temporary reading companions. It’s First Editions that I really get excited about. A beautifully bound book with dust jacket and some amazingly good words inside. Add to that the thrill of the chase to find said book, the DJHangoverSq Angela Wrenrealisation upon discovery and viewing from afar that the book really is the one of your dreams. Then the frisson of anticipation as you espy the spine of your sort after book   across a crowded bookshop. You rush across to introduce yourself and then feel the nervousness as you worry about whether the content will engage your mind and whether the dust jacket is a little too worn or the pages a little too foxed. Then the heart-melting realisation that the book really is for you and you make the purchase. Next, it’s the final journey home and a resting place on the bookshelf, where said tome will live in perfect harmony with you and provide everlasting entertainment. It’s a marriage made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. A book of such calibre is welcome on my bedside table any night of the week!

One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?

Apart from the post-it notes you mean? The Wolseley car decal from the 1920’s. I’ve been researching my family history and one of my ancestors was a Chauffeur Mechanic and he drove a Wolseley A4. I tried to trace the car but couldn’t find it. So my brother bought me the decal from some car boot sale and gave it to me as a consolation prize.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
Hopefully with the whole series of my Jacques Forêt novels on the shelves in bookshops. My anthology of alternative Fairy Tales selling well with probably a follow up in the pipeline. Maybe working on my series of romantic crime novellas featuring Nicolas Cheverny. Negotiating the film rights for Messandrierre? Proud owner of a red Morgan V8 maybe? Who knows!

Tell us a little more about yourself  Angela.

Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.

I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

And finally give us a taster of   Messandrierre  which, I notice, has received  great reviews. 

CoverArt A Wren

Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre.

But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won’t give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case.

Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?

Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Smashwords
Website : http://www.angelawren.co.uk
Blog : http://www.jamesetmoi.blogspot.com
Facebook : Angela Wren
Goodreads : Angela Wren

 

 

 

Does rejection make you stronger ?

I  am delighted  to welcome multi published author S. G. Rogers to my blog today as she explains how she dealt with one particular rejection.

“What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

My sword and sorcery fantasy novel, Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel has just been published. I couldn’t be more pleased, especially considering its inauspicious beginnings. You see, I originally wrote Tournament of Chance as a short story (around 8,000 words). I submitted the short to several fantasy magazines, and although the feedback was positive, I couldn’t find a magazine willing to publish it. Battered and bruised, I ordinarily would have chucked the manuscript into a folder marked REJECTS, licked my wounds, and moved on to something else.

But I just couldn’t let it go.

I liked the concept of a young woman striving to break through the glass ceiling between commoners and royalty by honing her skills as an archer. In the back of my mind, I knew there was more to the story than the 8,000 words I’d written. So in between revising, editing, and promoting my other titles, I allowed the full-length version of Tournament of Chance to unfold. Unlike other, more disciplined authors, I usually let my stories discover themselves. As the novel moved along, I was actually quite surprised at all the twists, turns, and events in store for me. For example, who knew time travel and shape shifters would find their way into the mix? It took about six months to finish Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel, and it incorporates many of my favorite things – peacocks, lava tubes, caves, volcanoes, dragons, wizards, romance, and magic. It also deals with some very human foibles, such as deceit, treachery, false hope, envy, abuse of power, and pride.

So if it weren’t for the rejections I experienced, Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel would never have been published as a full-length novel. Perhaps it’s the fighting Irish in me, but when I get knocked down, I get up again…and then I write some more. I’m not sure I agree with the Nietzsche quote, above, one hundred percent of the time, but it’s better than the alternative.

Has rejection ever motivated you to succeed?

~ S.G. Rogers

Here is a brief intro to S.G,’s latest release.

If Heather manages to win the Tournament of Chance, she’ll be the first commoner to earn a place at court. Instead of a glorious victory, however, she’s arrested and marked for execution. After a daring escape, she joins the Dragon Rebels, who seek to overthrow the despotic monarchy and restore the former kingdom of Ormaria. Amongst the rebels are three shape-shifting wizards who claim to be rulers from the past. On a perilous quest to free the wizards’ magic, Heather battles wild dragons, vicious predators, angry trolls, and unexpected traitors. When a horrendous accident sends her back in time to fulfill a mysterious prophecy, she must rely on her warrior skills, wits, and endurance to survive.

To read an excerpt from Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel, please click here.

To read excerpts from other books by S.G. Rogers please click here.

S.G. Rogers lives with her husband and son in romantic Savannah, Georgia, on an island populated by deer, exotic birds, and the occasional gator. She’s owned by two Sphynx cats, Houdini and Nikita. Movies, books, and writing are her passions.

Learn more about S.G. Rogers on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Also, be sure to check out the website for the Sweet Romance written by S.G. Rogers.

Warm up for Winter with Musa Publishing

Come and cheer up January with Musa’s great  book giveaway  
No particular order to the daily drawings for the books below
 
 
Outlaws by William Weldy
Only A Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge
First Frost by Liz DeJesus
Glass Frost by Liz DeJesus
Trusting Sydney by Helen Hardt
Taming Angelina by Helen Hardt
Treasuring Amber by Helen Hardt
2012: The Rising by Joanne Hirase
Typical Day by Gary K. Wolf
Obsession by JoAnne Keltner
Stained Glass byMindy Hardwick
Grape Bubblegum by Beth Bowland

Dragon Drop by Jerry Ackerman
New Girl by Joan B. Flood
The Fox’s Mask by Anna Frost
Unforgettable You by Marci Boudreaux
Storm’s Fury by Nya Rayne

And one of 30 e-books:

3.99 by Richard Satterlie
100,000 Midnights by Aaron Smith
A Company of Thieves by David Pilling
A Place to Call Their Own by L. Dean Pace-Frech
A Reason To Stay by L.S. Murphy
A Sense of the Ridiculous by Heather King
A Willing Spirit by Cindi Myers
Alaska Heat by Vella Munn
An Incident on MSR Tampa by SS Hampton, Sr
Apple of My Eye by Elizabeth Botts
Baiting The Hook by Mary S. Palmer & David Wilton
Between by Clarissa Johal
Black Widow by Lena Austin
Bring Me To Life by Scarlett Parrish
Captain Westwood’s Inheritance by Lynda Dunwell
Contingency Plan by Anita Ensal
Crazy Greta by David Hardy
Daughter of the Earth and Sky by Kaitlin Bevis
Deep Into The Night by Tracie Ingersoll Loy
Dragon Revealed by Nulli Para Ora
Enchanted Realms by Eleni Konstantine
Forget the Misteltoe by Lizzie T. Leaf
Her Goblin Prince by Thalia Frost
High Stakes by Chad Strong
ICE blue by Susan Rae
Identity Thief by Milo James Fowler
Keeper of Directions by L.K. Mitchell
Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi
Little Bird by Liza Gaines
Looney Dunes by Anne Skalitza
Masquerade by Sloane Taylor

All entrants are eligible for Grand Prize Drawing January 31

Grand Prize 
Warm Up for Winter Basket
Snuggly Blanket
$20.00 Musa Gift Certificate 
Starbucks Coffee
Coffee Mug
Specialty Chocolates
 PLUS
 5 paperback books: 
Marissa’s Choice by Kadee McDonald
The Dominus Runes by Peter Lukes
Walking the Dog by Linda Benson
Love Lies Bleeding by Laini Giles
For his Love by Nya Rayne


 

 Winners of paperback books who reside outside the Continental United States will receive their prize in e-book format     

Click here to enter   —–>       a Rafflecopter giveaway

                                                   Musa Winter warm up