Tuesday 22 November 2016

Autumn Tales from Ruler's Wit

The fourth short-story anthology from Ruler's Wit, Autumn Tales, has an abundance of seasonal stories and is available from Amazon.

To give an idea of the genres, the stories are as follows:

The Bonfire is a tale of moving on. Who would want a Thai bride? Most appropriate for this time of the year.

Pilates, Pumpkins and Prosecco is both funny and heartwarming. It sees the members of a Pilates class preparing to celebrate, but why isn't one member as popular as she might be?

Dave & Dave and the Halloween Surprise - Are you afraid of spiders? Find out how Dave and Dave cope in this hilarious story set around a night for tricks and treats.

Time For Tea sees strange happenings around a little girl when a new tea shop is being prepared for opening.

Chocolate Makes My Clothes Shrink - Who is eating all the chocolates? Set in and around an MP's surgery in a town library, the librarian there needs to find out as well as fending off unwanted advances.

Hunting in Plain Sight - A femme fatale finds her intended on the spookiest night of the year, but is she all she appears to be and are her intentions honourable?

Life on a Silver Spoon 2: Part Two - Amber Hawkins returns to continue her quest to marry the Lord of the Manor; will she succeed?

The Child Inside - A special little boy has a strong relationship with his child-minder, so strong that his remarkable talents draw them to a disturbing conclusion.

Lee’s Painted Dragon - When Lee finds out that his life is not all he once thought, his dragon tattoo takes him to a dark place.

Medium Rare - Have you ever had your cards read? This humorous story sees two friends visit a medium to see what their futures might hold.

Retribution - A retired scientist finally perfects the invention that will change his life, but perhaps not in the way he had hoped.

A Hidden Clue - Caitlin Blake and Florence Carter have returned from their summer holiday and it seems that Caitlin's husband's death wasn't without suspicion, and she is threatened as a result.

Some Kind of Sign - The luckless DI Sandbach investigates a gruesome murder without a body to be found. You may not eat bacon sandwiches ever again!

What Alice Left Behind - Based on Alice Through the Looking Glass - the Alice in this story needs to return to the party and asks the mantel clock to help her.

Keeping the Peace - What would have happened if the Armistice hadn't been signed in 1918? Our time-travellers need to help to keep the peace.

Poppy Day - A moving story of remembrance set in the National Arboretum in Alrewas.

Autumn Tales is available from Amazon and on Kindle

You might also like:

Spring Tales

Summer Tales

Winter Tales

Monday 5 September 2016

UCAS 2017 - a step-by-step guide

Cover design by Mel Plehov
Mortarboard and Scroll images designed by Freepik

This up-dated guide for 2017 would be an enormous help to anyone preparing to apply to be an undergraduate at a university in the U.K. They would really benefit from reading this inexpensive book and it does exactly what it says on the cover - guide applicants every step of the way from registration through to sending off the completed form and accepting and declining offers.

It's affordable, accessible and indispensable for assisting with that step from sixth form to undergrad. It is full of tips and information in a straightforward, easy-to-follow guide. A small price for a huge piece of helpfulness.

I know from experience how stressful a time it can be for young people; I've even known students refuse chocolate treats because they were too worried about completing their UCAS form.

There are also helpful comments from university lecturers.

The paperback version (£4.99) is available by clicking here and there are even some pages for your own notes.

The ebook is available (£1.99) for download to Kindle - free if you have Kindle Unlimited. If you haven't got Kindle yet, you can easily get the Kindle app for your tablet or smart phone. 

Friday 15 July 2016

Summer Tales - Book Review

Summer Tales is here! Right on cue for the summer holidays and it would make a fantastic ‘beach read’ or a ‘relaxing in the garden’ read.

This is the third anthology of seasonal short stories from Ruler’s Wit, following on from Winter Tales and Spring Tales

Summer Tales has been written by the same four authors: Stephen Ashurst, Karen Ette, Melinda Ingram and Donna Shepherd plus a welcome, new addition - K. D. Parker who has only recently joined Ruler's Wit and so this is her debut appearance in their publications.  

The fourteen stories all have a summer setting, which brings them together in a united theme, but each one is very different from the others. Some of the characters from Winter Tales and Spring Tales take up new adventures as the seasons change.

The first five stories all have a different, well-known saying as their title and the book opens with a dark but hilarious tale, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, – you’ll never see Blackpool in the same way again.

At the Going Down of the Sun is set in July 1916 and the Battle of the Somme. It is fact-based fiction written from the unpublished diaries of a stretcher-bearer and a nurse.

Sign of the Times is a fascinating time-slip story, and is again fact-based fiction set around Salcombe’s South Sands.

In All that Glitters you can find out who Alistair’s group of friends are and what he discovers.

Life on a Silver Spoon shows how manipulative those in debt can be, and tells of one young lady’s plan to embark on life on a silver spoon.

Someone Who Cares will keep you on tenterhooks; it’s dark, it’s disturbing, and only two people can prevent devastation.

Scratchcards, however, is lighter and tells of a hot summer’s night in a village community, with a twist.

A Bloody Good Innings is a beautifully written story that made me cry; I’ll say no more other than ‘it’s been emotional’.

Back to the dark side with Excess Baggage – can relationships from a one-time meeting last? Fasten your seatbelts for take off!

If you have read Spring Tales you will recognise the characters in this fast-paced story, First Stop Venice. When tragedy strikes, a good friend will be there and take you on a holiday to remember.

More familiar characters continue their escapades in Far From Here (part 2). This Sci-fi adventure will make you smile, but there is a worrying element as to how on earth they are going to get out of this situation.

Cape Reinga is set in New Zealand, blending Maori culture and legend in this fictional tale.

Little Cuts of Film is another story based on accurate facts of the war in Iraq in July 2007. 

The last story, He Said What? is about two friends who live in different continents, but care so much for each other that drastic action has to be taken.
The openings of two of the fact-based stories, At the Going Down of the Sun and Little Cuts of Film can be read on the Ruler’s Wit website: www.rulerswit.co.uk

 Summer Tales is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.

Friday 1 July 2016

Steampunk Shakespeare

The rain had stopped and the sun was trying to put in an appearance too as we took our seats on the lawns of Thorsby Hall, near Ollerton in Nottinghamshire and awaited the performance of Macbeth by the Oddsocks Theatre Company.

The Oddsocks Theatre Company say that: ‘The Oddsocks approach is holistic, transcending from cast and crew through to local, regional and national audiences. No hierarchy and no elitism; just a creative group united by the aim to engage as many people as possible in exploring the potential of theatre and the stories it tells. Breaking down the barriers between communities and culture.’

Their adaptation of Macbeth was funny, hilarious at times, entertaining and had a musical theme where the cast could not only show off their acting skills but their musical talents also.

This was Shakespeare – Steampunk style.

Description: https://bid.g.doubleclick.net/xbbe/beacon?data=APEucNUWGJTXe5FspcrIakrIm2A1QmAm8bSXSEEEqyNCULGc01byuBXSCcgUWaLT_R6s3yIy3sTdesl4nk1mD3vFmaMZzcSI6w
Macbeth is a story of murderous ambition with supernatural intervention.  

After the introductions, the play opened with the three witches and then moves to a military camp where King Duncan hears that Macbeth and Banquo have defeated two invading armies. Banquo and Macbeth meet the three witches who tell them that Macbeth will be made Thane of Cawdor and eventually King of Scotland and Banquo’s heirs will be kings.

Lady Macbeth receives news from her husband of the prophecy and his new title and she vows to help him become king by any means she can. Macbeth returns as Duncan arrives. The Macbeths plot together and later that night, while all are sleeping and after his wife has given the guards drugged wine, Macbeth kills the King and Lady Macbeth leaves the bloody daggers beside the dead Duncan. Macduff then arrives and Duncan’s sons are blamed for the murder.

Macbeth, now King of Scotland, arranges for Banquo be killed, then at a banquet Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo, which troubles him and he begins to act strangely. 

Lady Macbeth tries to calm him but doesn’t succeed.

The witches tell Macbeth that he will be safe until Birnam Wood comes to his castle, and that he need fear no-one born of woman, but that Banquo’s son will be King.

Angered by this, Macbeth launches into murderous actions and many people are killed, including Macduff’s family. Macduff, however, has joined Duncan’s son, Malcolm, at the court of King Edward in England. Malcolm and Macduff decide to lead an uprising against Macbeth.

Back at Dunsinane Castle, Macbeth feels safe until he is told that Birnam Wood is moving towards him (cue audience to wave arms in the air) – Malcolm’s army is carrying branches to camouflage them.

Lady Macbeth is wracked with guild and commits suicide.

Macduff challenges Macbeth, who discovers that Macduff was born by caesarian section.

Macbeth riding a motorbike and singing Bat out of Hell, was brilliant. Macbeth realises he is finished and Macduff kills him. Malcolm declares peace and is crowned king.

Thursday 7 April 2016

Spring Tales - Book Review

Spring Tales is the second anthology of seasonal short stories from Ruler’s Wit, the first being Winter Tales, and is penned by the same four authors: Stephen Ashurst, Karen Ette, Melinda Ingram and Donna Shepherd.

Each of the twelve stories has a well-written spring setting, which brings them together in a united theme. Some of the characters from WinterTales take up new adventures as the seasons change. You are able to ‘Look Inside’ Spring Tales on the Amazon website and it is available in both paperback and Kindle.

The first story, Waiting for Spring tells of one woman’s heartbreak and how she turns her life around – revenge is sweet.

Promise of Adventure is a time-slip story based on historical facts. As the family gather for Grandma’s birthday, Ellen has the promise of a mystifying and unusual adventure.

Debt to Karma is an edgy tale of loss and desperation that revolves around one man’s life-threatening debt.

Spring Brake sees a young, pregnant girl, abandoned by her boyfriend, take hold of the situation and manipulate it – but is it what she really wants?

No Ball Games is an action-packed extract from a forthcoming novel and introduces firearms officer, Florence Carter; a tough lady in an even tougher, masculine world. Caitlin Blake is also a young lady in a tough environment – the Army.

Bluebell Woods is a modern-day ghost story where sadness turns to fear and Jack carries out his ‘job’ in a remarkable way.

In Laid at my Feet the readers will ask themselves if people can really change and if the debt has to be paid in blood when there seems no escape.

Dance with the Daffodils is set in Cumbria in the early nineteenth century. A young girl will hang if she isn’t proven innocent. And what does William Wordsworth have to do with it?

When you read A Gift in Spring you will be served a sad but very satisfying ending. Vengeance is mine – Mrs Read might say.

Who would betray their friend? In Betrayal readers will question if any of Ali’s would, surely not.  But will any of the close group of ladies tell another if they knew of any wrong doing?

Far From Here is science fiction and fantasy that leaves the reader wondering what on earth could have happened before realisation emerges.

The final story, Elephant in the Room, is funny with a satisfying ending that closes the anthology on a happy note when just desserts are served.

Spring Tales is available in both paperback and Kindle and is excellent to have on the coffee table or to pop into your bag when you might have to wait for an appointment or a train. An excellent accompaniment for a cuppa and a biscuit - morning coffee and afternoon tea, or a story before bedtime. So versatile.

I am looking forward to Summer Tales, which I believe will be published in June/July.

Winter Tales and Spring Tales are published by Ruler’s Wit.