Acclaimed Authors, Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall, Release New Anthology

This week I am delighted to welcome back again authors Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall telling us a little more about their highly successful writing careers. Welcome back to both of you, and thank you, once more, for being my guests.
Guest Blogger Jenny Twist's image on Amelia Curzon's Blog - Curzon

Tara Fox Hall and Jenny Twist launched their anthology of speculative fiction, Bedtime Shadows, on the 24th September. The book has already received high praise from other authors and is said to rival the short stories of  M. R. James, Philip K Dick and even Stephen King.

The two writers became friends when they both contributed to the highly acclaimed anthology, Spellbound 2011, issued by Melange Books in October last year.

“I was so proud to be in that anthology,” says Jenny, whose own anthology, Take One At Bedtime, was chosen as Editor’s Pick when it came out in April of the same year. “I thought every single one of the stories in it was interesting and well-written and the authors were all such fun to work with.”

“I was excited to make the jump from short horror stories to longer works,” added Tara, whose flash fiction and short Guest Blogger Tara Fox Hall's image on Amelia Curzon's blog - Curzonstories have appeared on-line at Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, The Copperfield Review, and Microhorror. “I’d just published my first paranormal romance e-novella, and was anxious to be in a print book. Spellbound 2011 introduced me to some wonderful authors, some of whom have become very good friends.”

The two writers could not have come from more different backgrounds. Jenny was born in England and worked at many different jobs including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant before returning to full-time education at the age of 28 and doing 2 history degrees at Manchester and Oxford. Eleven years ago she retired to Spain. “I feel like I’m finally getting on with my real life,” she says. “I always wanted to write and now I’m finally doing it!”

Tara was born in the United States, earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a double minor in science at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and is currently an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop. In addition to speculative fiction, Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include non-fiction  action-adventure, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. “I love that my stories resonate with people,” she says. “That they can lose themselves in my stories means I’ve done my job.”

Bedtime Shadows by Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall - Book cover“We chose Bedtime Shadows as the title,” Jenny says, “to reflect my anthology, Take One At Bedtime and Tara’s Just Shadows. We are very proud to have an introduction by the illustrious horror writer, T. Fox Dunham (no relation to Tara) and we have been very lucky to have some excellent authors give us advance reviews.”

The book is a mixture of horror, speculative fiction and romance – stories of ghosts and vampires, future dystopias, travel through different dimensions, a holiday romance that changes everything, and a new twist on an ancient myth.

Here is what other authors have to say about it.

“I recommend this collection without any reservations” – Herbert Grosshans.

“Together these two authors will strap you to your chair and lock your attention to the magic they weave.” – Su Halfwerk

They know how to write stories that entertain and involve their readers. Someday I think we may identify them with authors like Shirley Jackson, Stephen King and HP Lovecraft.” – John Mecom

“This literary progeny of authors Jenny Twist and Tara Fox Hall was a joy to read for a couple of reasons. There’s a nice variety of stories ranging from dramatic to speculative to downright gruesome.” – Mysti Parker

Daily-living captured and stylistically rendered with a ‘twist’ of macabre lurking behind each provocative tale…BEDTIME SHADOWS delivers a punch — watch out for the unexpected.”
~ Douglas Wickard 

BOOK BLURB

The Man With No Face Jenny Twist

All her life Deborah has been haunted by the memory of a couple locked in a deadly embrace. She thinks the woman may be the mother that abandoned her but she cannot see the man’s face. Who is he?

All That Remains – Tara Fox Hall

This thrilling sequel to The Origin of Fear (Spellbound 2011) takes us back to Latham’s Landing. Will Tina and Sandra survive their encounter with the ghosts that inhabit the haunted isle?

The Children of Hope Jenny Twist

It is 1963 and Ginny is unmarried and pregnant. Her parents consign her to one of the infamous Mother and Baby Homes which  are little more than prisons and workhouses. Will she be able to escape before they come to take her baby away?

 The Bull-Dancer Jenny Twist

The twelve chosen bull-dancers are sailing out of the harbour under a black sail, bound for Crete and the deadly Minotaur, while a mother looks on in anger.

Take the Chance– Tara Fox Hall

A young girl growing up in post-apocalyptic America is determined that she and her sister will survive – whatever it takes!

A Victorian Dolls’ House Jenny Twist

When Violet sees the dolls’ house in the antique shop she has to have it. But the Delacorte House is no ordinary dolls’ house – and it is definitely not a toy!

Heart’s Bells– Tara Fox Hall

Theo and Casey are in love, but so many things stand in their way. They suffer separation and heartbreak but still remain true – until something happens to Theo that changes everything.

Doppelganger Jenny Twist

When Christine wakes up in a sumptuous white room with silken hangings, she assumes she is in heaven. But she soon finds out she is not in heaven. And before too long she begins to wonder if she is even still Christine.

Voices Jenny Twist

Olivia and Aidan are telepathic twins. Olivia is used to hearing Aidan in her head, but she is terrified when she hears a new and sinister voice.

Return to Me – Tara Fox Hall

Determined to find the source of the nightly creaking she alone can hear, Sam Reading discovers Harrison Benning, a ghost who becomes corporeal for one night of the year; the summer solstice. Their warm friendship soon becomes powerful love that lasts through decades, tragedies, and even beyond death.

Catch Me If You Can Jenny Twist

Willy prowls the streets at night, listening to all the sounds of the old town. But does he have a more sinister purpose?

Shades of Grey– Tara Fox Hall

Throughout history there has always been a Seer making sure that the world follows its proper course, keeping the world in balance. Yet when the old Seer prepares to hand over the burden to his apprentice Tim, he realizes too late that Tim has his own ideas of how things should go.

Other books by Tara and Jenny

Just Shadows by Tara Fox Hall - Book cover

Take One at Bedtime by Jenny Twist - Book cover

To find out more about the authors, go to:

Jenny Twist

Website

Facebook Author Page

Goodreads Blog

Amazon Author Page

Tara Fox Hall

Website                                          

Email

Tara’s Blog

Tara’s Facebook Page   

Twitter

For info on my recently published work, Lash, click here:

For info on my recently published work, Just Shadows, click here:                               

Guest Post: All in the Mind by Jenny Twist

I am delighted, yet again, to welcome back another of my past guest Bloggers.  This time it is the wonderful author, Jenny Twist, who has returned for a visit with her thought-provoking post about her new book; a novel with a sort of physical Benjamin Button syndrome twist to the plot. Thank you, Jenny, for being my guest again, and welcome back.Guest Blogger Jenny Twist on Amelia Curzon's Blog - Curzon

Years ago I read about an old folks’ home where they did the experiment of making their environment like that of their youth. I can’t remember where I read this or what they were attempting to prove, but I do remember that one surprising result was that the subjects’ hair darkened.

I’ve had the idea lurking at the back of my mind ever since. What if you carried the experiment to its logical conclusion?

Last year I entered Nanowrimo for the first time (a competition to write a novel in a month) and this was the idea that resurfaced when I sat down at my computer. I have never written so fast and furiously in my life before. The story just poured onto the page.

I kept coming across gaps in my knowledge but followed Stephen King’s advice and just wrote it, intending to deal with all that later. When I picked it up again a few weeks later and got down to seriously working on it I found I had to do a lot of research on the Second World War. I knew a fair bit already from reading and television documentaries, as well as the experiences of my own parents, but I needed to know things like what branded goods they used, how the rationing system worked, etc.

I also realised, when one of my characters suddenly got completely out of hand and decided to return to India, that I was woefully ignorant of Indian culture. I knew some from reading, and I had studied a lot of Indian history at university, but I had no idea whether my knowledge would suffice for modern-day India. The problem with something like that is you All in the Mind by Jenny Twist book cover on aecurzon.wordpress.comdon’t know what it is you don’t know. I did not realise, for example, that a Hindu would be unlikely to understand Urdu. So I appealed on Twitter for experts on Hindu culture to read and correct it. I had four responses and checked all their comments with Google. Thank you, you wonderful people. You’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment. And thank God for Google. It’s saved me weeks of work.

My dear friend, Caroline, read the proofs when she was staying with me and suggested the idea for a cover. She painted the beautiful hands. They belong to her mother, Anne Ritson, to whom the book is dedicated. The photograph is of my own mother, May Thornton, who was a nurse at the end of the Second World War.

So, to a large extent, this book is the product of friendship.

Here are some of the things other authors have to say about it:

Jenny Twist is an enormously talented story-weaver who just goes on getting better.  Fans of the wonderful novel, ‘Domingo’s Angel’ will not be disappointed with this latest offering from her.  It’s a sweet and haunting feel-good story which will immerse you totally in its fictional world and leave you feeling deeply satisfied.  Absolutely recommended.  (Lynette Sofras)

All in the Mind will take you on a mind trip, one from which you won’t want to return. As always, Jenny Twist’s fiction is an addictive treat that’s tightly woven to draw the readers in and keep them there.  (Su Halfwerk) 

This book moved me more than any other in recent memory, not because it was sad, although some scenes were very tragic, but because of the depth of emotion I felt for the characters, and the lasting love they share. . I dare anyone to read this book and not be moved to tears of joy.  (Tara Fox Hall)

Biography

Jenny Twist was born in York and brought up in the West Yorkshire mill town of Heckmondwike, the eldest grandchild of a huge extended family.

She left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant, she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.

She stayed in Oxford working as a recruitment consultant for many years and it was there that she met and married her husband, Vic.

In 2001 they retired and moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat

Her first book, Take One At Bedtime, was published in April 2011 and the second, Domingo’s Angel, was published in July 2011. Her novella, Doppelganger, was published in the anthology Curious Hearts in July 2011, Uncle Vernon, was published in Spellbound, in November 2011, Jamey and the Alien and Uncle Albert’s Christmas were published in Warm Christmas Wishes in December 2011, Mantequero was published in the anthology Winter Wonders in December 2011 and Away With the Fairies, her first self-published story, in September 2012.

Her new anthology, with Tara Fox Hall, Bedtime Shadows, a collection of spooky, speculative and romance stories, was published 24th September 2012.

Her new novel, All in the Mind, about an old woman who mysteriously begins to get younger, will be published 24th October 2012.

A few other places to find Jenny

Website

Facebook

Goodreads Blog

Twitter

Email: casahoya@gmail.com

And a few more books …

Bedtime Shadows by Jenny Twist book cover on aecurzon.wordpress.com

Away with the Fairies by Jenny Twist book cover on aecurzon.wordpress.com

The novel Spellbound book cover on aecurzon.wordpress.com

The novel Domingo's Angel book cover on aecurzon.wordpress.com

The novel Winter Wonders book cover on aecurzon.wordpress.com

Something for the Summer Break!

Looking for ways to entertain and occupy the teens during the  long summer break!

Or, how about something to keep them quiet on those long car journeys!

99c could buy a whole bundle of peaceful driving. Such a big return for such a small investment!

Eight 5 star and One 4 star reviews  amazon.com  and amazon.co.uk 

“With great dastardly characters and lovable up risers, and set amongst the glorious, if disappearing backdrop of an undisclosed jungle, Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a cautionary tale and a must read book for all”  BookChatterCath Reviews

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A young adult novel by Amelia Curzon“The sophisticated narrative will enhance any young reader’s vocabulary while making it an enjoyable read for any adult”  Maria Catalina Egan “M.C.V. Egan” (Delray Beach, Florida USA)

“AmeliaCurzon has created a beautiful fable in “Mungai and the Goa Constrictor” that warns of the effects of destruction of the forest in a fashion that is innocent, entertaining and compelling”  Scarlett Rains (Ohio, USA)

“Excellent book! Thought provoking and fun! This is a story that could take its place among ones the best in fairy tales with a lesson–but not only for children” The Happy Looker “T.H.L.” (Boston, MA, USA)       

“Truly, Curzon crafts an unforgettable story that speaks to the soul” Claudia Moss “TheGoldenGoddess” (Clarkston, Georgia United States)

“Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a charming story filled with much wisdom of the sort the world so desperately needs. I highly recommend it!”  Jason Sullivan (USA)

“Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a finely crafted fable that can be enjoyed by older children and adults alike” Patricia Paris (Annapolis, MD USA) 

Set in a rainforest of an unspecified continent, Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a humorous tale littered with colourful and enjoyable characters, conspiracies and unlikely friendships between the species. Told through the eyes of animals the narrative explores the predatory world of deception and greed. The book carries an important missive: ‘Beware of predators in the guise of friends’.

Mungai, the central character, is a jungle creature of indeterminate origin, who creates a cunning master plan allowing him to find ways of passing through life without too much cost to himself and as little effort as possible and at the expense of others not as strong-minded or as clever as he is.

He goes all out to achieve his objectives, regardless of the consequences, as he sets out to destroy the rainforest for personal gain.

On his travels Mungai encounters an equally ruthless and selfish creature, a boa constrictor called Goa, and together they go in search of innocents to use to implement their designs.

They subsequently meet, befriend and manage to convince all manner of creatures to join them in their venture with promises of great rewards in return for small labours.  The creatures believe their efforts to be beneficial to the environment and look forward to the promised bounty.  Before too long some notice their hard work continues but the rewards are not forthcoming and they begin to realise, with some input from the good outsiders they have teamed up with, the two legs, that what they are involved in is not good for anyone.

Dissatisfaction begins to burgeon and rebellion is imminent.

Mungai finds out, all too late, that those he shamelessly inveigled into his plans are not so naive as he first thought and eventually the tables are turned.

The perpetrators become the victims as Operation Equinox is devised and executed.

Website: Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

The Beauty Behind the Scar by Lindsay Anne Kendall

Welcome, this week, to my delightful Guest Blogger, Lindsay Anne Kendal, with her reasons for writing a less than visually perfect character into her novel, and how she has learnt that ‘everyone’s idea of perfection is different’.Guest Blogger Lindsay Anne Kendall on Amelia Curzon's Blog - "Curzon"

I always get a little stuck on what to write for a guest post, and the last thing I want to do is bore anyone. So I often think of questions people have asked me about my books and myself and try and answer one.

Since my second book, Torment, has been released, I’ve been asked one question over and over. Why did I scar my main characters love interest?

I’ve been waiting to be able to answer this for people. The answer is really quite simple, and I’m sure a lot of people will agree with me. At this current time the media is forcing the “perfect body image” down peoples throats. You have to be skinny, have no blemishes, the perfect hair and eyes, and so on and so on. I personally think its a load of rubbish! But I know there are people out there now who think that because they may have a curvy figure, a few freckles on their face, or even a few scars… nobody will find them attractive.

When I first introduced Eligos into my novels, I described him as being this “perfect” looking guy. Not a hair out of place, or single blemish on his skin. As I wrote I thought “hmmm, that won’t last.” I then, in Torment, wrote that he had a secret, something he wouldn’t show Keira, the woman he loves, for fear she will be repulsed by him and not be able to love him because of his true physical appearance. But oh how wrong he was. She loved him for who he was, how he was, and the scars he had, although they affected his appearance drastically, they didn’t phase her at all. She still loved him, and even more so once he had built up the confidence to show her the real him.

There are a lot of hidden messages in my books, they are things I feel strongly about, and this is one of them. I want people who read this book to be able to realise that you don’t have to be “perfect” in order for someone to truly love you. That beauty is based on far more than just physical appearance. I want them to realise that everyone’s idea of perfection is different and that no matter how badly scarred someone may be, there is someone out there who will love them more than life itself, just for being them.

I hope that will answer peoples questions, and I hope they too will follow in Keira’s footsteps and fall in love with Eligos. I also hope readers will pick up on more of the messages in these stories.

http://lindsayannekendal.blogspot.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lindsay-Anne-Kendal-Author/205994872781867
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3433502.Lindsay_Anne_Kendal

Some more books by Lindsay Anne Kendal