MELYNDA’S LABOR DAY BLOGFEST AND BOOK FAIR

Sign up to join a Labor Day Blogfest and Book Fair. Sunday September 2nd -Tuesday the 4th. (Some free eBooks included!)In honor of Melynda Fleury–who has bravely been fighting diabetes and almost completely lost her eyesight–Wayman Publishing is offering unlimited free downloads of their top ten bestselling books to all entrants during this event! 

In addition, we’re featuring some phenomenal books you should check out AND giving away X-amount of Cash (announced after Blogger signups completed).
Other bloggers can join in for this great opportunity to gain new traffic. We’re excited to spread the word about some fantastic authors and Wayman Publishing; we hope you’ll join us for this fun event.
Feel free to grab this button:

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The first links to enter are free with the agreement that you will post the button and information about this giveaway on your site. Any additional links will be $3 for Social Network links and $5 for RSS/Email Subscriptions.

SYDNEY’S SONG’S ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH. YOU’RE INVITED!

 

 

I would invite you all to celebrate my book launch with me. Why? Because I’d love to share my joy with the world. SYDNEY’S SONG is a delightful novel for readers of any genre who occasionally want something different. Check it out and come celebrate with me ONLINE!

Jump in to SYDNEY’S SONG’s Book LaunchRegister your attendance early and you’ll be in the draw to win one of 100 Large-Print copies for your local libraries. I’ll be rolling out the programme and a new excerpt every day, and of course, answering YOUR questions. Visit regularly for updates, and stay tuned for more exciting news. And oh, any actor or talented prose reader out there? Come participate in my Excerpt-Reading Competition! 

 

 

SYDNEY’S SONG will be available in ebook, paperback, and large-print paperback. But you don’t have to buy my book, though I’m sure it will bring smiles to your hearts. Just celebrate with me, get to know me and my work.

 

 

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

 

AN UNDEFEATABLE HEROINE…
Olympic fever runs high in the Australian summer of 1999 and 17-year-old Sydney has caught it. Little does she know taking a holiday job in the beehive that is the Olympics’ public-transport call centre will be life altering. Shaken by her parents’ divorce, the sheltered Aussie is further plagued by abusive callers, obnoxious government agencies, constrictive office rules, and liberated friends. She is trying to negotiate these challenges as her own personal Olympics when Pete finds her.

A HERO TO LIVE FOR…
Pete, Boston’s former child prodigy whose soothing voice floats across her workstation, sees through Sydney’s tough outer shell. Pete knows what it takes to present a dignified front when all you want to do is howl at the moon. Treating their friendship like an art, he invests time and creative effort to pull Sydney out of her despair.

A LOVE NO READER WILL EVER FORGET…
Tragedy strikes when an accident leaves Pete with a major brain injury in a Boston hospital. When the going gets very, very tough, will you abandon the one who’s promised to love you until he dies? What if YOU are the one who became disabled?

A TRUE STORY…
Set in Sydney and Boston where heartbreaks are juxtaposed with Sydney’s sense of humour, SYDNEY’S SONG is a young girl’s courageous journey to adulthood. A work of fiction based on real events, this novel with an Australian accent also shows the world that living with disabilities does not prevent a person from attaining happiness.

PART OF SYDNEY’S SONG’S PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THE BRAIN FOUNDATION

 

EXCERPTS

 

Read the OPENING CHAPTER and more on  my website but here’s an excerpt:

“To Pokolbin Prison, please,” requested a woman in a very weak, barely audible low voice I could well relate to. A vision came to me of a gaunt, sickly, very depressed lady.
I worked out her travel plan. She had to catch a bus, two trains, and a bus again, for a three-hour journey. Then she asked, “How much would it cost for a pensioner and a three-year old?”
Tears gathered in my eyes. A poor young mother with a young child trying to visit her worthless husband at Christmas!
And she was not alone. “To John Moroney Prison, please,” said a miserable mother.
“To Silverwater Correction Centre, please.” A sad girlfriend.
“To Long Bay Jail, please.” A wretched daughter.
Long-suffering souls requested travel plans for Lithgow Jail, Parklea Jail, Goulburn Jail – you name it.
Come to think of it, there was hardly a male caller wanting to visit a female prisoner. Either the men did not use public transport or they didn’t bother to visit. What did this tell you?

 

 

 

 

REVIEWS

 

Here are some of what the reviewers say:

UVI POZNANSKY:I was too busy laughing and crying.”

MATT POSNER: SYDNEY’S SONG demonstrates the way in which human beings can thrive under adversity using the power of their hearts and wills.”  

IRINA DUNNIntelligent, touching, interesting and funny.”

MARY METCALFE“Haunting.” 

PHIL NORKThe writing was superb, the story kept me interested and the ending touched me in ways most books don’t.”

NORMA FOWLER: “Riveting… a young woman who is very keenly perceptive in all people and situations about her.”

JACOB COATES: “A fantastic love story grounded  quite firmly in a suburban setting with real  characters.”

BRENDA FRANKLIN: “Touches more than just the surface.”

 

 

 

If you are between the ages of 15 to 99, whoever you are, wherever you are,
you are cordially invited to attend and celebrate with The United Friends of Ia

Did I tell you that I have fans from three decades ago still treasuring my first novel in their goodreads shelves? They hunted me down, asking me to write again… Here’s hoping 200 years from now, SYDNEY’S SONG will still be read. And loved.

COMPASSION and LENDWITHCARE

 

 

“I shall pass this way but once

therefore

any good that I can do,

or any kindness that I can show,

let me do it now!

for I shall not pass this way again.”

 

A version of that was written by a thirteenth-century Courtenay ancestor, Edward, Earl of Devon. Many people love this poem. I don’t know what they do with their love, but my protagonist says love is more than just a feeling. Love is a drive, a force to act! Many hearts are moved when they see sufferings.

 

 

GRANDPA

 

My maternal grandpa was born in 1900, in a very beautiful green village by a forest-covered majestic mountain. Close to the equator, it was sunny during the day; but at the village’s altitude of 6000 ft, it was very, very cold at night. Grandpa knew what cold was, because he came from a poor home.

Grandpa was an angry boy. He was way too smart for most of the people of his time. There was a school in the village, but he was forbidden to attend it. His father and uncles said he would grow up to work the fields like them, and do what they do because that’s what all the men do. Their people were strongly matriarchal. Women had been heads of the big houses for centuries. Only girls could inherit. Men? Men worked for them. Or moved away to other lands.

Seven-year-old  Grandpa had to work shepherding goats and lambs when his father and uncles were at work. Grandpa soon figured lamb and goats were too stupid to run away, so he spent his time peeping through a class-room window, because he was dying to learn to read.  One morning the teacher caught him, and told him he was allowed to sit in the classroom for free.

Young Grandpa was very proud. At school there was Grandma, a horrible, most annoying kid of his age who was already a landlady because her mother had died, poisoned by a rejected ex-suitor. Young Grandma used to make fun of Grandpa’s social status, telling him no matter how well he read and write, he would end up working the fields. They argued constantly. Once Grandpa’s family overheard that Grandpa had been attending school. Busted, Grandpa was banished to another mountain, far far away from home.

But nobody – nobody! – could stop Grandpa’s quest for learning. And when there’s a will, there’s a way…

Grown up, Grandpa returned to his home village, where he proceeded to send many kids to school. He was regularly seen talking to young food sellers in the market, asking them whether they’d like to study instead. If yes, he gave them scholarships. Grandpa assisted their parents financially in their business, so that these children didn’t have to work.  I’ve met school principals and scientists who owe him their education.

 

 

DAD

 

My father was born as the son of a well-off butcher. When he was eight, my paternal grandfather adopted a brand-new religious view, and this caused the whole town to boycott his business. Restaurants and retail shops conspired to place their orders as usual, pleaded to delay the payment, but in the long run refused to pay my grandfather the money they owed him altogether, unless he give up his new beliefs. And there was no such thing like law in that town.

In short order my grandfather’s business took a nosedive. The family lost several of their properties to pay the cattle suppliers, my grandfather became very ill, and the family fell into poverty.

Dad used to reminisce of how, before going to school, he had to sell breakfast food prepared by his mother. At the age of ten, a horrible incident happened. A tiny wall lizard, common in the tropics, had the audacity to jump into the food, but his mother—who was so tired looking after her sick husband and the whole family on her own—did not see it.

Dad ended up feeling SO embarrassed when he served the lizard to his most generous customer. Right away Dad left home to get to his married sister who lived a thousand miles away. This elder sister had been ignoring Dad’s letters from home about the change in their family circumstances, because she could not believe it. Dad collapsed at her door, starving after not eating at all during his three-day bus journey, saying, “Please help Mummy!”

 

Dad did not live long. But in the short time I was with him, I watched how he was constantly active helping the poor by setting up small businesses for them, although he himself was a busy accountant. He did not only talk about compassion. He acted.

 

MY ELDEST SON

My son visited me last February, right after his holiday in the Philippines, horrified by the poverty he witnessed there.

“There was this woman with a son about ten-year old. They were scourging food rubbish, looking for something to eat.  And people nearby just continued shopping, ignoring them! When I tried to help, my friend would not allow me to donate a lot of money, because these two would end up being robbed by the nearest crime gang.”

 

OTHER AUSTRALIANS 

Many hearts are touched by news of sufferings. A large number of Australians are regular supporters of various charities, and many more jump in to help disaster-relief efforts. Compassion knows no political or religious boundaries. In this global era of ours, we can support people in need easily.

 

 

Microloans from CARE International UK

 

Lendwithcare works in association established The Co-operative to tackle poverty. By becoming a lender, you microfinance small businesses. The aim is to help those in needs help themselves, but you will be assured that your help will come to fruition, that your support will not go wasted. When you have successfully made a difference by eliminating one case of poverty, you can move your fund to a new project.

 

WHY I LEND via Lendwithcare

When I first heard of Lendwithcare, my first thought was, “Compassion.” My second thought was, “What a great idea!”

I had lost a large fund elsewhere last year, because I could not guide the people I lent the money to until they could stand on their own feet.  I did not have the expertise. I did not have the time, nor the means to monitor the businesses. How I wish I had known LendWithCare earlier!  While I still donate to others in need as gifts, I now lend via Lendwithcare, knowing my fund will continue to eliminate poverty and ease sufferings, one after another.

So how much is needed to lend?

As little as £ 15.

You can always add more of course. Save £ 1 a day, and in a fortnight you can support another project.

Speaking of savings… any smokers out there?

One of my best friends used to spend $600 a week for cigarettes between her and her husband—until cancer hit her.

Another friend lost her beloved husband to cancer, and they had a very beautiful ten-month-old baby! The kid can talk now, and is very adorable… sad that his father can’t see him.

Have I convinced any smokers yet?

Okay, last year my long-time friend and I attended a wedding party where many of our old friends were present. We couldn’t easily recognise some faces because they looked so oooold! We later discovered that those who looked old too soon were smokers.

Alright alright smokers, I’m ducking! Just remember before you purchase your next cigarettes, how much difference you can make in some poor household using your cigarette money.

 

 

Make a loan, change a life

PHIL NORK’S REVIEW OF SYDNEY’S SONG

 

 

After reading Sydney’s Song I have come to the conclusion that growing up, no matter where it takes place, isn’t an easy thing to do. Welcome to Sydney’s life. She is a typical Australian teenager … well sort of. When she comes home one day and her mother and father tell her they are getting a divorce, she can’t believe it. But they both have their separate lives already … and neither one includes the other. They have come to grips with it, but Sydney can’t.

Mum and Dad leave and seventeen-year-old Sydney has the house to herself and her trusty dog, Dimity. She gets a job answering phone calls about public transit. It is a boring and demeaning job, but she puts in her best effort and makes the best of it.

Sydney decides never to drink or do drugs, never to give herself to the beckoning of the boys interested in her, and never to fall in love. But those decisions get tested by the new group of friends she meets at her job. They don’t understand her, but they accept her.

Not to be a spoiler, Sydney does eventually meet a handsome American boy and they start to build a relationship together. He changes her mind about her feelings of wanting to be alone and they grow together. In fact, she decides she can’t live without him. But he has a secret back home … one that Sydney must face head-on. Who should she trust?

That’s as far as I will go. The twists and turns inside this book make the reading fairly easy. I found myself turning pages as fast as I could.

There is SO much more to this story, but I believe that you the reader should experience it for yourself. The morale is to listen to your heart and not always to those around you. Believe in something, anything, and then make it happen. Although some things in life don’t go as planned, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from your experiences, try new things and eventually still end up happy.

I give Sydney’s Song a 4-star rating. The writing was superb, the story kept me interested and the ending touched me in ways most books don’t. God works in mysterious ways sometimes, and this book proves it. I recommend this book to anyone, male or female, who is trying to find their way in this world. It is a reminder that life can work out if you just trust your insides and follow what you feel.

 

 

Phil Nork
Author of Misguided Sensitivity, Legends of The Lake, and You’re Never Alone
And coming soon Life Is a Balance … It’s Not Only About You.
follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/authorPhilipNork

Real life fiction for real life people

Some readers love stories about werewolves, shape-shifters or science fiction … things that may never happen to them. I write about situations that CAN happen to you and maybe already have … or at least they’re ones you can relate to.

 

 

 

MERLENE ALLISON’S REVIEW OF SYDNEY’S SONG

 

 

 

Wow, what a beautiful story! Not just a look at life through the eyes of another, this story takes you on a journey as a girl travels from childhood to become a strong woman who can deal with whatever life throws at her. Tears fill your eyes as she struggles with disaster only to be replaced with pride as she triumphs over each obstacle. You will also find a good balance of laughter that lets you know that no matter how hard life becomes there is always a rainbow after the storm passes.

 

 

 

Merlene M. Allison

Author of A Whisper of Secrets’

 

 

 

 

NORMA FOWLER’S REVIEW OF SYDNEY’S SONG

 

 

This book is riveting in its context and in the author’s expressions of a set time in her life. It has the honest and open opinions of a young woman who is very keenly perceptive in all people and situations about her.
I have also learned many things as it pertains to the Australian way. Many pieces of language and terminologies are apparently privy to that corner of the world. I found them to still be comprehensible; sometimes light and airy, sometimes comical

The ultimate thrust of the story; the love, honor and valor of a very young woman placed in a very difficult situation, was vividly seen throughout the story! I applaud the author for her compassion in sharing this story and conveying the important issues of brain injuries which could happen to anybody at any time.

Great Story!

 

 

Norma Fowler

Author of The False Prophet, The Devil & John Raines, Lucky Penny, several  poems and short stories
Northern Kentucky, USA 

ARTS, “ARTS”, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

 

“Chaos and Order”
Sculpture by Barbara Licha

 

Again, thanks to lovely Alex – I post this entry. Some of what I write here comes from my recent communications with Uvi Poznansky, Gary Jones, David Fleming, and Diana Wilder.  Alex feels deeply about how powerful marketers back questionable arts, and their reluctance in supporting true arts.

 

Sometimes I get angry. More often, I get disappointed. There are a lot of talentless people getting away with millions. From reality tv stars to artists who splatter paint like children, the talentless will always overshadow the talented in number. But I don’t think anyone should blame those talentless individuals for their success or their lack of talent. They are making the most out of their lives and no one should dispute whether they should have or not. I get more disappointed with the people behind the scenes who catapult the talentless into the spotlight. The blind masses, the praising critics, whatever authority in whatever field the talentless milk for cash. Without that public backing, the talentless would have no way of spearheading success. Such public backing is what a lot of us more talented writers, artists, etc. are missing.

10:17
Alex. I believe in freedom. Including the freedom of expression. I feel sad watching and/or listening to “arts” that millions of consumers love – but they’re entitled to. I feel sad about the material they feed to young teens, but it’s their right.
The producers and promoters are quick to produce and market mass commercial “arts” – fueling the trend. Whatever brings quick money. In the publishing world these are “authors”, agents, publishers, reviewers, distribution chains, bookstores – who love mainstream “arts” or controversial hits.
I respect their rights – and I don’t give a damn that they have criticised my work for being very non-mainstream. We live and breathe in a world where I’m granted the freedom to express my art.
Thanks to the modern technology, physically it will be easy to bring my work out to the world on my own. Soon I’ll be putting SYDNEY’S SONG out there for my fans from when I was 17, who have tracked me down, asking me to write again – and for the general readers who occasionally want something different in their bookshelves.
Not everybody will love my work, but no reader will ever forget it. Many will treasure this  novel in their bookshelves, just like those who still treasure my book of 32 years ago in their Goodreads’ shelves.
And 200 years from now, SYDNEY’S SONG will still be read.

BEST WRITING TIP I’VE EVER RECEIVED

Thanks to the modern technology, physically it is easy to bring our work out to the world. Nearly 10,000 new novels are being self-published every week. But as Alex has pointed out, the vast number of questionable individuals out there overshadow the talented. This makes gaining consumers’ trust in the indie market harder, and we don’t have the backing of established book-distribution chains.

David listed 10 links to help improve your writing styles and quality. I asked, “How can you write when you have to think of rules? Methinks either you have it, or you don’t. My teen daughter noted that I used such and such styles – when I didn’t even know they were styles.”

Right after this, I stumbled upon a massive  indie book of hundreds and hundreds of pages.  I cringed.  Immediately I thought of David’s list, which is sure to improve that fat novel.

And I remembered what I recently wrote on Diana’s blog comment,

“When you’ve finished the first draft, expand the manuscript until you reach double of the original word-count. This step will exert your imagination and writing skills to the utmost. That done, bring it back to the original word-count. This step will save your readers from tears of boredom.”

I heard this writing tip a few years before I wrote my first fiction, from an English teen who won a writing competition. Hard work? Sure is. But how could you expect readers to love you, if you didn’t care for them?

 

“This-is-one-of-those-things-that-hopefully-will-just-go-away-over-time”,
Sculpture by Bjorn Godwin & Jette Gejl. Photo by VivianeDalles

 

Hattie Gunter10:57 AM

The most I hope for is that the masses will stumble upon something that is actually worth reading. It happens sometimes.

Ia, I believe in freedom too, and the internet has opened a doorway that expands upon our freedom. Everyone has the right to like what they like. The same goes for those who choose to dislike something. But sometimes I wonder, if real artists were given the opportunity to reach the masses, a little more than occasionally, then what would the mainstream look like?

Alexandra Davidoff12:01 PM

Hattie, I share your sentiment. I know real art will never die, and it will always find its audience eventually (especially if pushed hard enough). Just because smut clouds our mainstream, that doesn’t mean all good taste has been lost! 🙂

Ia Uaro1:39 PM

Alex, it is a sad world out there, involving many layers of social issues. Greed rules. At the moment, those who feel their livelihood  threatened sling mud at the others. It doesn’t have to be this way, we can respect each other’s choice.