Wednesday, 26 June 2013

My first guest blog by a fantastic author: Mackenzie Brown. Check it out :)

I am very excited to host my very first author guest blog!  Mackenzie Brown is a published author hailing from Liverpool.  Read his post below and further information about Mackenzie with links below:

"I’m elated to announce that THE SHIFTING is now ready for re-release. It was my first published work and like most authors new to e-publishing I made a number of basic errors. I rushed to the gate like a crazed bull, failing to have my work properly proof read and formatted. It was only when I received a particularly nasty review last year, I decided to withdraw the book and endeavoured to put things right.

I can now confidently say the text is error free, as grammatically correct as I can make it and properly formatted. A lot of this is thanks to my new proof reader Lauren Prasad (@LaurenPrasad) who has worked painstakingly to get the text right.

The story begins when a ten year old boy who has been missing for almost ten years, turns up at a disused farm in Hertfordshire. He can’t remember where he has been for the last decade, or even recall his name, or why he hasn’t aged one day since his disappearance.  He only knows his life is in grave danger and in a race against time, he seeks to reconnect with his mother and avoid a group of paid assassins, who seek to silence him before his memory returns.
To coincide with the re-release The Shifting will be #Free for Kindle owners from Thursday 27th June until Midnight on Friday 28th June.

Mackenzie Brown
Mackenzie Brown was born and raised in Liverpool and from an early age always enjoyed making up stories.  He says: "I'm interested in many genres but I would not complain if I was referred to as a thriller writer. I enjoy writing fast paced stories that intend to grab the readers attention from the start.

To date, I have completed four novels, one of which remains unpublished. With the advent of e-books I have decided to take a deep breath and publish my work in e-book and paperback format and I am currently writing a sequel to The Shifting, I call The Burning and a series of detective stories set in Liverpool of the 1940s, featuring PI Vic Prince.

My personal hero is my grandfather Angus Mackenzie Brown, because he always lived his life with dignity despite what life threw at him, including incarceration in a Prisoner of War Camp in Italy, from which he escaped and lived to tell the tale.

My latest release is 'Lost Boys'. Delbert Walsh a world famous retired detective, yet borderline alcoholic; is on the hunt for a serial killer in 1970's Liverpool.

I'm happily married and have two fabulous daughters."
Don't miss out on getting your free download of The Shifting!  You can find out more about Mackenzie Brown at the following links:
Follow him on Twitter: @mackbrownbooks

Monday, 24 June 2013

Milestones, firsts and new journeys - the highs and lows of life...

For those who missed it(!) I had a milestone birthday in May and as far as I knew was being taken out for a family meal to celebrate.  Unbeknownst to me plans were being made over the last year by my husband, Jason, who then roped in my younger sister, Lisa, to help him plan things.

Thank god I bought a new dress as we arrived at a lovely, country pub and restaurant only for me to be shoved forward through the door to make my entrance!  My first thought as I opened the door was why are my parents-in-law here?  They should be looking after my children who should be in bed!  Then I saw my two daughters looking beautiful in new dresses and sandals and realised they had come to celebrate too.  There were lots of faces beyond and it was all totally unexpected.

I had been a bit suspicious, earlier that day, when my mum made a lasagne for lunch which is totally out of character for her if she was going out for a meal in the evening.  Jason fobbed me off with "she's thinking about you not eating until later" I dismissed it as thought it made sense for her to want to look after us as we were staying with her.

At the party Jason presented me with a book and inside was a flyer with a picture of Venice on and the dates of our trip!  I was so pleased as Venice has my heart and I have always wanted to return.  We went the following Monday and I relaxed immediately.  I was so pleased that it was still as wonderful a place as I remembered.

When we returned, after three nights away, the girls were very pleased to see us and Jason's parents had done a great job looking after them and everything else.  I missed them a lot but I knew they were in safe hands which helps.  I then had another night out with friends locally and some unexpected friends turned up so another nice surprise! 

I was a very lucky, spoilt girl and am luckier still to have a loving husband, who knows me so well, and wonderful family and friends to make sure I had the best birthday ever.  My older sister also flew over from Netherlands for the party which was also unexpected and it was nice to have all my siblings there with Mum and other family and friends.

This year was going to be different and tough because it was a milestone birthday for me and the first birthday without my Dad, who sadly passed away in December from Mesothelioma: cancer caused by asbestos.  His presence was missed at my party that's for sure and I know he would have loved having a rock and roll with mum and his daughters on the dance floor.  I'm sure he was there with us all.  We miss him dearly and there were some emotional moments for some that night.

The Inquest into Dad's death also took place recently and our family finally heard the official news that Dad died from an Industrial Disease and liability is with a former employer who allowed him to work with asbestos without any protection or ensuring he was aware of the dangers to enable him to make informed choices.  He was given no opportunity and therefore no chance to save his own life and it took decades for the deadly effects of asbestos to become apparent.  It was almost six months since we lost Dad and with the Inquest came renewed pain and grief as my family pondered the unfairness of his death once more.

I found it all quite overwhelming and found myself lacking in energy and enthusiasm as grief overcame me once again.  I allowed myself to slow down, knowing that I was mentally exhausted and I took a short break from writing and the whirl of social networking.  I was worried that I may never be able to write the same again as with every day I wasn't writing I felt my confidence in my abilities slowly ebbing away. 

It was with great relief, when I did finally sit down and work on some Larry stories, that the words flowed from me as if they had been waiting inside to come out.  It was with my renewed energy that I produced Larry the Liger - the Dangerous Day and I am very proud of it because it was written during some difficult times.  I love this story and indeed all the stories I have written but this one seems to have a bit of everything and makes people smile and laugh when they read it which is fantastic to know I created such a story.

Then came another first since losing Dad - Father's Day.  It was a difficult time leading up to it as there are so many things around to remind you to celebrate your father.  I also had to make sure I didn't overlook my own husband as he is a great Dad to our daughters.  Mum was staying with us and it helped having someone else to focus on.  We spent the day in Broadstairs but stopped on the way so I could let a balloon go in memory of my Dad.  It floated up high and drifted away; it seemed very appropriate and symbolic.  I know my sisters and brother also each let a balloon go.  I do wonder where our balloons ended up!

Another first was the milestone date of six months since Dad died.  It happened to fall in the same week as Father's Day so it was a very emotional time.  I was glad Mum was staying with us so we could be there for one another and I know the whole family were thinking of Dad and each other.

I know there will be more firsts to come and new milestones to reach.  The events of the last year and a half have provided so much emotion that I am certain my writing can only be better for it.  I feel every word I write and I am so pleased to be able to share my stories with you all.

My Dad would have been turning 74 years old on July 30th.  Another first... 

Fergus writes... about Ascot and the Epic

"Davina from Baltimore writes to ask whether I saw the Queen’s horse winning the Ascot Gold Cup and whether the whole country is celebrating? She says she has read The Epic 27 times and it is the best book ever written and wants to know when she will hear more of Anastasia.

Well Davina. I saw the Queen’s filly win the Ascot Gold Cup a couple of days ago. I was absolutely delighted as I am sure was everyone in Britain. You have read The Epic 26 times more than I have so you must be an expert! I agree it is the best book ever written. So emotionally draining!

I am sure you will hear more about Anastasia but at present Rachael is tied up with Larry the Liger. Between the two of us I think Rachael is in love with Larry!

Rachael has six Larry stories under her belt and 31 Anastasia stories so we are approaching 40 in total. Whether Rachael reverts to Anastasia or writes another series of ten Larry stories we will have to wait and see.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Big feet - a guest blog from Fergus

Well dear readers. We have a Liger called Larry with four left feet! I refer to the opening of the The Dangerous Day!

I had a racehorse who had lots of stamina but four left feet! His coordination was all over the place! He would win a Novice Hurdle by a remarkably long margin (called a Distance in horsey talk) but he would belt the tops of the hurdles and when it came to fences - well he was never going to win the Grand National - he could not jump for toffee cakes.

Aunt Judith now has six dogs. You remember Aunt Judith from the Anastasia adventures. Judith has always had dogs but usually one at a time although we bred two litters of Jack Russell pups about 25 years ago. We had a large Golden Labrador over forty years ago. We then had Jack Russells and a crossbred Rotweiller and Doberman who turned out to be the best dog we ever had.

More recently Aunt Judith has acquired six large dogs which are three Rotweillers and three Dobermans. All six are boys!

The three Dobermans are littermates but ... they are not like other Dobermans as they are Chocolate in colour! Yes Chocolate not Black and Tan.

No I am not having you on and you will ask yourselves what all this has to do with Larry the Liger?

I will tell you. When all six dogs were young pups I would look at their extremely big feet and I knew we were going to have big dogs!

When I am off to the horse sales with Aunt Judith in Fairyhouse, Newmarket, France or Doncaster shopping for young horses I look at the size of their feet! If they are too big they will never make a racehorse but will grow into a very large Hunter or Eventer. Perhaps a show jumper.

Our Zookeeper should have looked at the size of the Liger Cub's feet! He would have had some idea of how big Larry was going to grow!

 Liger Cubs grow into very large animals. That is larger than a Lion and larger than a Tiger!

They are real big boys!
Larry the Liger - the Dangerous Day now available to download from Amazon

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Clean Indie Reads: LARRY THE LIGER: THE NEW HOME: by Rachael Phillips & Fergus Wilson Children's Literature, Series Meet Larry the Liger: his father was a lion, his mother was ...