Category Archives: inspiration

Neerja’s Story


I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.

neerja-bhanot-movie-pic-3I was alright up until the middle of the film. No, this is not a story but a real time event that happened many years ago. I thought I would not be affected by one single girl dying, for during this hijacking, many other people were killed by these terrorists. However, they had no choice but Neerja did.

She chose kindness over self-rescue.  I am talking about Neerja Bhanot who rescued over 300 passengers of Pan Am flight 73 in 1986 when four hijackers took control of the ground-bound airline, and threatened the Pakistani authorities to abide by their demands. The Pakistani authorities did whatever they could, but when the lights went out in the aircraft after 17 hours, the hijackers lost control and began shooting.

Throughout this ordeal, Neerja, who was the Purser of the flight, showed bravery and courage and helped the passengers as much as she was allowed. She hid the American passports so the hijackers couldn’t kill any Americans, and made sure the passengers were safe. In the end, Neerja opened an emergency exit and told the passengers to run. She was the last one to leave the aircraft with three children, when one hijacker turned on them. Neerja shielded the children and took the bullets.

Neerja Bhanot died.

A girl of 23 died to save the lives of three small children.

I salute such a brave girl. 

Researching about this magnificent soul, I came across the Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust – Neerja Awards. If you know anyone who is deemed worthy of such an award, please follow the guidelines, for anyone who can show such bravery, deserves recognition.

You will or will not feel the same as I do, but to me, she is an angel who had come to Earth for 23 years to save over 300 precious lives.

 

Guest post by Erika Gardner: Everyday and Not-so Everyday Magic & Miracles


I am a big believer in miracles and magic. Yes, I write about fantabulous things, magical creatures and wondrous sorcery, but I see quieter magic all around us. People can do great things on a daily basis. The power of a hug, the comfort of prayer, and the outcome of a sympathetic ear all have a ripple effect upon the world at large. One person holds a door for another, then that second person picks up something someone dropped, the third subsequently compliments a friend on something and so on. The positive vibes flow, changing each person’s day for the better.

It’s no less special than the stuff in my books though it’s easier to miss the power of a kind word than a dragon appearing in the sky before. And on that note I’d like to share exactly that. This is an excerpt from my new novel The Dragon in The Garden. This is Daisy coming home. Please enjoy.

***

“Siobhan,” Turel said. The intensity of his tone caught my ear, and I turned to him. He lingered a few feet away from me, his eyes fixed serenely on a point far away.

I joined him, my eyes on the horizon. The setting sun painted the sky a vivid seascape of blues, pinks, violets and oranges. As the sun lowered to the lowest point in the sky, in the instant before its rays spilled over the back of the world, there shone a beam of concentrated light, as precise as a laser. After a second, the light expanded, becoming a brilliant, white ray. It continued to grow, morphing into a tunnel in reverse, but instead of darkness, it blazed a corridor of light. The white light became prismatic, flickering with a rainbow of dancing diamond sparkles, splashing colors of all hues in front of my dazzled eyes.

Turel enclosed one of my hands in his warm grasp. “It is something to see, yes?” His tone reflected true awe.

“Is this your first time seeing this?” I asked in a whisper. The tunnel became larger, dwarfing us. With my free hand I shielded my eyes. Leia sat at my side, gazing in the distance.

“No, I have seen this many times.” He held out his other hand and waved it at the mighty light show. “But a miracle is no less glorious for having previously happened.”

To my left Tim and Alex continued their ridiculous rock throwing competition. Their stones sailed right through the expanding brilliance they could not see. “Guys, are you kidding me?” In the emotion of the moment, my voice growled, low and hoarse.

They stopped and gave me matching blank expressions. “What?” Alex said.

“Hey, what are you guys staring at?” Tim sounded defensive.

Before I could answer their questions, I heard it. A sweet sound, soft at first, barely a whisper, carried on the breeze. Turel’s smile grew even brighter, matching the shining portal. “She comes.” His eyes shone as they met mine.

Alex glanced this way and that. “Does anyone hear that sound?” he asked.

Tim craned his head. “I hear it. It sounds like bells.”

“Wind chimes,” I corrected, still staring straight ahead. “It’s wind chimes.” The air shimmered. Light danced in an intense aurora borealis. Patterns of colors streaked and swooped in a heavenly painting. One hue dominated the others. The deep shade of jade green spread. An enormous form took shape, dressing itself in swathes of color. The huge outline solidified: graceful wings, a serpentine neck, and a curving tail. Two amber lights appeared like jewels in the viridian air. Everything intensified, heightening each of my senses; the lights pulsed. A beautiful, green dragon hovered in the air. With two mighty beats of her massive wings, she crested then landed behind us. I ran forward with a cry. “Daisy.”

“Damn it,” growled Tim. “I can’t see anything even a bit like a dragon.”

“Unless it’s a super little one,” said Alex, his face downcast.

Turel laughed— a big, belly laugh full of joy. “Gwyrdd, you sly minx, show them. Drop the glamour and let our friends see you.”

Daisy twisted her head to one side in a coquettish gesture and in that voice I had never forgotten said, “Certainly, Turiel, dear one.” Suppressed mirth laced her tone. “How’s this, children?”

When she spoke these last words the music of wind chimes came again, louder this time. As their bright notes sounded around us, I saw the precise instant when both my brother and my first love, the two who believed in me all these years, finally saw my dragon.

TheDragoninTheGardenbyErikaGardner-200To purchase The Dragon in The Garden please see:

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Gardner_Erika/the-dragon-in-the-garden.htm

 

 

 

erikagardnerauthorpicThis post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

 

Author Spotlight: Caroline Bell Foster


Author Image - Caroline Bell Foster (2)Today, in the Author Spotlight is Caroline Bell, a successful East Midlands (UK)  author of many novels, including her recent book Feline Fix. Let us find out more about her, and her inspirational success!

  1. Please tell us a little about yourself and your books

Firstly, thank you so much for having me. I live in Nottingham, England, with my husband, two children and lady of the house a cat called Naomi.
In my early teens my family went on what should have been a six holiday to Jamaica, but we ended up staying. It took me almost 18 years for me to return to England, with long diversions through Canada and Kenya.
I like romancing and exploring different cultures. I write contemporary romantic fiction and my work reflects all that I am and my many travels.

 

  1. Can you tell us something quirky about yourself?

Hmm, hard one. I look forward to one day being called ‘The mad Cat lady down the street.’ I can belly dance? Is that considered a quirk? I love wine gums, Jamaican and Moroccan food and always always have music playing in my house.

 

  1. What is the name of your recent release, and can you tell us a little about it?

The Feline Fix, is my latest novella. It is part of the Valentine Pets & Kisses boxed set, alongside 13 other
The Feline Fix Book Cover
The Feline Fix
authors from around the world and is available to pre-order right now.
I loved writing it as it combined two of my favourite things. Romance and cats and although it wasn’t planned, it followed on from The Cat Café, although it is a stand alone novella.

 

  1. What new releases are you planning this year?

Aside from The Feline Fix, I have two full length novels.
Distracting Ace (Spring) and the follow up novel Convincing Kyle (Autumn) Both are set primarily in Derbyshire and then go over to different parts of the world. In both, I’m exploring disabilities and how people manage and are treated by others, although still very romantic.

 

  1. This blog is all about inspiration. Where do you find your inspiration from to write?

Someone once said, whatever you were doing before the age of 10 is what your were destined to be, before the noise of the world intrudes. I have two distinct memories.

The first, was seeing my name in print. It was under a photograph of myself in the Derby Telegraph celebrating Victorian Week when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I remember looking at my name, seeing the black fuzzy script and liking the feeling.
The second memory, was when I was around 11 years old. I had this crush on a boy and wrote him a love letter. In that cruel way of kids, he’d posted it on the blackboard for everyone to see! But to me, I was really proud my romantic words were actually being read! Unofficially, that love letter was my first ‘public’ works.
But I’ve always written in some capacity and inspiration is all around. I’ve learned to look at everything and everyone with a writers eye. I’ll be out shopping and see someone with an interesting face, and then match them with someone else, give them a history, and thus, a story is born. My characters are diverse and I like that I have an international fan base.

 

  1. Are you a self-published or traditionally published author? What do you like and dislike about it?

I’m what is called a Hybrid Author. I’m contracted to a publisher and I also self publish some of my own titles. I have the best of both world’s. My publisher is like family and we discuss titles and time frames and see what works for both of us.
I do like self publishing though and have a lot of fun doing it. Call me a control freak, but there is something very satisfying about being in charge of an entire project, right up to release day and beyond.

 

  1. In the current publishing era, it is known that all authors, new and established, have to do a lot of their own legwork to get their books out there to the readers. What is your best marketing strategy you have used, and did it bring in the results you wanted to see?

 Be yourself. I’m very personable online, well I hope I am (smile). I don’t spread myself too thinly across social media, and concentrate on my Facebook pages, as well as Twitter and Pinterest to ensure I have enough time to interact with people online and of course have time to write. I have found that my fans like when I do a Facebook page for a single title and when I host online parties. But mainly, I’m just me.

 

  1. Now let’s find out about some fun facts about you. What is your all time favourite novel and why?

Not a fair question as I love and cherish practically every book I’ve ever read, too many to name and most of the authors’ are now my friends.
Although, as a little girl I read the Milly Molly Mandy series and loved them and also a series about an old man who had a black and white cat. I don’t remember the name of that series but I do remember one story where he picked up the glue instead of toothpaste and glued his mouth shut. He couldn’t talk to his cat and started crying. His tears dissolved the glue and he and the cat lived happily ever after! Ah so sweet. I must have been around 6 years old when I read that.
As an adult, whenever I want time to myself I usually read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I’ve read it countless times and still find it fascinating and entertaining.

 

  1. Who is your all time favourite author and why?

I have two answers to this. The first is longevity and who I will always read. Throughout my teen years I read every novel by Johanna Lindsey. I loved her writing style and the way she could write in various genres from historical romance, to futuristic and everything in-between. Her writing has always inspired me.
The second answer, includes all the various authors who champion diversity in not only romantic fiction, but all fiction. For years an entire demographic had been ignored by publishers and agents. I am so proud of the likes of Delaney Diamond, Brenda Jackson, Harper Miller and JL Campbell to name but a few. These ladies ignored the rules and like me, defied convention to ensure readers have a choice.

 

  1. Any last inspirational words from you?

 Find the time to do what you are passionate about. New writers always say they don’t have time to write. They are in school, have full time jobs, a family and say there just isn’t enough hours in the day.
I write in the wee hours of the morning, for a few hours everyday and when I’m not writing I’m doing something writer relate, to ensure I’m always moving forward and following my bliss. Always make time to follow your bliss.

 

  1. How can we find you?

Website: http://www.carolinebellfoster.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolinebellfoster
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbellfoster
Newsletter: http://www.carolinebellfoster.com/#!sign-up/snde4
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3370362.Caroline_Bell_Foster
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/carolinebellfos/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00GFRKRB4/
VPKad
Available to Pre-Order from Amazon!

Two Realms


realmToday, I welcome Marcia Carter on my blog, Inspiration, today. She will be giving us an insight into her books, Realm of Miotas, and Realm of Bynthcahal, and her inspiration behind it. Over to you, Marcia!

I’ve always been captivated and enamored by the many mystical places of the world. My favorites happen to be Stonehenge and Easter Island. I was amazed after completing and publishing my first book, Realm of Miotas, to find that in fact, there are many similar structures all over the world, but Stonehenge seems to get the most recognition. The Maoi statues that litter Easter Island, standing tall and proud, with little to no true explanation as to their creators or purpose, have also intrigued me. Their presence in our world has sparked my creativity and flow from their esoteric origin. Maybe I am a vivid dreamer, but I invite you to read about my dreams.

Realm of Miotas – Miotas is Gaelic for Myth – so in translation it is really Realm of Myth.

I have utilized a structure that was in ruins and reaffixed by Druids similar to Stonehenge in a forest. They unknowingly reassemble a portal to another realm. It only opens for a few hours, once every twenty years, when the hunter moon lies above the entrance, and aligns in the center of the stone formation. When it becomes close to dawn the doorway closes. All but one of the Druids crosses back and forth, until the doorway closes, leaving only one man to carry the tale of his friends disappearances. No one believes him and the man is deemed crazy.

The structure conceals itself in the forest to hide against anyone who is not true in heart. A group of gypsies later discover it, only to carry on the tale of the structure, until it is discovered again in the 1800’s by a couple families fleeing for their lives, hoping that the structure will be as it has been fabled about, a doorway to a new and magical world.

When the portal opens, the families enter, and they experience for themselves a world that Earth has been long disconnected from, Miotas. There they encounter many creatures and beings, such as fairies and odd looking creatures that resemble nothing like we’ve ever seen here. Also they meet the natives and begin to learn of their culture. A few surviving Druids that had long since crossed over to Miotas crave to return to Earth.

They find and reassemble another structure in Miotas; only to find that instead of being a portal to bring them back to Earth, it leads to a long closed Dark Realm, Druneul. Upon it’s opening, evil creatures cross over to Miotas to destroy and be released from confinement. Dormant guardian’s of the Realms of the Universe, Zemaxians, ten foot beings with Angelic features, awaken to aid the Miotian people, to fight against the darkness and try to close the doorway.

I do go into great length to build the plot in the book, for you to really get to know the main characters well, because many appear in its sequel, Realm of Bynthcahal.

Realm of Bynthcahal – Realm of Bynthcahal is the Realm of the Zemaxians.

I have given the Maoi definition for their creation, purpose, and value. In this story I was able to introduce many more creatures, fictional, as well as I used actual animals that have long been extinct in our world. My thoughts are, if a doorway did exist once, that they could have traveled back and forth between the worlds and could still exist there. Since the basics of the portals have already been explained in the first book, I dove into deeper depths with another world long disconnected from. One that has even more marvels than Miotas, but is an integral part to all of the Realms.

Thank you so much, Marcia. May I take this opportunity every success in your books, and writing career.

If you would like a copy of Marcia’ books, please click below:

41EiRgyf5nL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Get it here on Amazon – Realm of Miotas

 

 

yantA6NW-webGet it here on Amazon – Realm of Bynthcahal

Inspiration on Writing that something


Do you love to write? Do you want to write? What are your excuses? Can’t find the time, I have kids, I have … and the list goes on.

Well today, I have Katherine Garbera, a very successful author with 75 books published, here with me today to tell us how she organises her workload and how she manages to write every day! Over to you, Katherine!

Katherine_Garbera
Katherine Garbera

For the majority of my adult life (since I was 23) I have been writing.  I’ve been published since I was 26 and have made writing my daily life.  I set goals so I stay on track and accomplish the things that are important to me.  Goal setting and daily writing go hand and hand for me.  And I hope these tips will help to achieve your goals as well.

 Goal Setting

  • Write it down. There is great power in words. We already know this, it’s why we are writers, but when we think we want something but we only keep it in our mind and never write it down, it isn’t concrete.  By writing it down and looking at it every day, it helps to focus the mind and gives you the motivation to ensure you do are working toward your goal every day.
  • Make your goals achievable.
    It’s easy to get excited when making a list but if you don’t believe you can do it, you won’t. So pick things that you can accomplish.  One of my goals is to write every day.  I can easily do that and some days, if I’m honest, writing feels like a job and not fun, so putting down a goal of writing every day makes it easier for me to do.
  • Small steps = success.
    Once you’ve written down your goal then figure out what steps you have to take to make it happen. For example if your goal is to finish a book this year, then think what do you have to do every day to make it happen?  Probably write a certain number of pages/words a day.  Then you make that your daily goal and finishing the book your yearly goal.
  • Put things on the list that are easy i.e. write every day.
    Don’t make your list so big that the thought of looking at it makes you shiver with dread. Put on things you can easily do.  One of mine is stand up for 15 minutes every hour.  This is something I really should do, but don’t.  For health reasons I really need to start making it happen, so by adding it to my list, I’m making it happen.  But it’s easy and achievable as well with very little effort from me.
  • Make it measurable.
    How will you measure you steps to your target? Taking our earlier goal of finishing a book in year, then the daily goal of writing each day, you should have a check in at the end of every week and month to see if you are getting closer.  It might be that your book is going faster than you thought and you might finish it early.  Or you might find that you have to write more to make your goal.  Whatever happens adjust accordingly.

Daily Writing:

  • All you need is 5 minutes.
    A lot of time it’s easy to make excuses not to write. Writing is hard and sometimes scary.  So we tell ourselves that we can’t write because we don’t have a dedicated space (go to the library or coffee shop), it’s too noisy (use headphones and some soothing sounds i.e. rain forest or ocean), I don’t have a huge block of time (you only need five minutes to write a sentence).  This is the inner creative child who is afraid of failing stopping you from writing.  You can calm it by sitting down and saying I’m only going to write for five minutes and then stop.  Usually, that will jump start the creative juices and lead to writing for much longer.
  • Log your writing and find the time that works best for you.
    This is sort of fun if you like graphs and spreadsheets. I don’t but I still like doing it.  You try writing at different times during the day. Some of you (like people with demanding day jobs and moms) won’t have the luxury and you’ll end up writing like I did when I worked fulltime…in my car on my lunch break and then when I had two toddlers at night after they went to bed.  But you will find the time that you are most productive by logging the amount of pages/words you get done in a writing session.  Then you can focus your efforts to writing during that time.
  • Set your timer: Write 15 minutes, break 10 minutes, Write 15 minutes.
    Try the timer. It’s kind of like the only 5 minutes things but this is for when you are on a deadline and you have to get a certain number of pages done in order to turn your book in on time.  You can adjust the timing to whatever works for you.  This is my current set up and I really like it.
  • Set achievable expectations: 500 words, 5 pages, 1 chapter.
    It’s unrealistic to think you’re going to write 50 pages in one day unless you’ve done this before. So set goals that make sense to you and realize they will grow the longer you are writing every day.  I think of this creative part of my mind as a muscle that gets stronger the more I use it.  When I first started writing I could do one chapter a week.  That was it.  I had a full time job, two kids and a husband—more than that simply wouldn’t work for me.  But once I started writing full time I found I could write a little bit more and now I write a chapter a day and still have time to do fun things!
  • Use an affirmation that jump starts your writing session.
    This only works if you believe in affirmations.  But I always say “Writing is fun and easy for me.” Makes the writing session more like fun than work.

Thank you Katherine! I know what my goals are going to be!

To purchase her latest release, Eye Candy, click here: Eye Candy

To purchase her upcoming release, His Baby Agenda, click here: His Baby Agenda

Comments below very much appreciated.