Meandering Monday Musings


The past few weeks have been quite busy, as I mentioned in a previous post, mainly because I’ve been working through the final edit and finicky formatting of my latest book, Hills and Valleys. Once that was released, my body then decided to go into meltdown with a nasty head cold, just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend. The head cold has now moved to my chest, and yesterday I had one of those days when I wasn’t even sure what day it was, when time seemed elastic, as though I could travel back and forth through the years by simply by thinking about it. No hard drugs, I swear. 😉

I’ve been this way, on and off, for a while now. I had pretty major surgery last summer (don’t ask 🙂 ), and I think maybe this is still part of the healing process. I was pretty ill when I went in for surgery, and I think the recovery, both from the op and the preceding ill health, has taken it out of me.

Still, I’m all right. There are plenty of people worse off than I am. It’s just getting a bit frustrating, that’s all. I said to my husband the other night that I can vaguely remember a time when I felt really well, but I couldn’t tell him how long ago that was. So I’m going to take a look around and see what I can do to make a difference. Kick my health back into shape (no martial arts puns intended). I’m pretty active – walking every day, karate twice a week, Pilates, zumba. I like to keep moving. And I eat pretty well, most of the time. So these endless head colds and coughs and chesty things and blocked ears and general malaise are starting to get me a bit down.

Having been so busy with the book this past little while, I’m a bit behind on keeping up with everyone’s blogs, only having time to dip in and out. I’ve also had a few new followers recently, and I just want to say ‘Hello!’ Thank you for choosing to follow my blog – you’re very much appreciated.

And, last but definitely not least, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s supported the release of Hills and Valleys on WordPress, Twitter and Facebook – I’ve been really thrilled by the number of tweets, reblogs and posts, as well as all the lovely comments. Setting a new book free can be a challenging time, so all your support has made it so much easier – thank you!

And that’s about all for my Monday Musings – wishing you all a good week! Time to go and find the cough medicine again, I think…


New Release – Hills And Valleys (Ambeth Chronicles #3)


Yay! I’ve been a bit busy these past few weeks working on the final edit and formatting for Hills and Valleys, the third book in my Ambeth series. And now I can happily say…. drum roll… it’s published!

Available on Amazon and part of KDP Select (so you can read for free as a Kindle Unlimited member), Hills And Valleys continues Alma’s story:

‘Sometimes things call to us until we can no longer ignore them. And Ambeth is calling you, Alma.’

After the events of the Harvest Fair, Alma is finished with Ambeth – they can find the missing Cup and Crown without her. But Ambeth is not finished with her. First the mystery of her dead father comes back to haunt her, then the Dark reach out, hoping to trap her once more.

And then there’s the strange power she seems to have…

If you’ve been reading along already, you know why she might be finished with Ambeth. If you haven’t? Well, it’s a long weekend, so head over to Amazon and check out the series 😉


New Release – Charles Yallowitz Legends of Windermere – Tribe of the Snow Tiger

Now Available on Amazon for Pre-Order!
Coming to your Kindle on June 1st!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Timoran Wrath has a shameful secret that is about to see the light of day.

The noble barbarian has always been a constant source of strength and wisdom for his beloved friends. His loyalty has been unwavering and they know that he would never hesitate to lay down his life for them. Even in their darkest hour, the champions know that Timoran will come through and fight to the bitter end. Now they must return the favor as he reunites with his tribe and willingly faces the executioner’s blade.

Is it possible that the honorable Timoran was nothing more than an illusion?

Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List too!

Excerpt: The Snow Tiger

“The snow is too bright and level for me to see anything clearly,” the barbarian growls. The sound of shuffling and mild cursing draws his attention to Nyx who has sunk up to her nose in snow. “What are you doing, fire sprite?”

Nyx shivers while squinting into the distance, her eyes coated in bronze energy. “The reason you can’t see anything might be because you’re too tall. I’m trying to see if there’s anything that breaks the level ground. My eyes are enhanced right now, but I don’t . . . wait a second . . . I think there’s something buried out there. A beast of some kind? It’s a very subtle up and down motion that reminds me of something breathing. It just stopped moving, but I don’t know what that means. I’ll lead the way.”

Not waiting for a response, Nyx pushes through the thick snow and uses wind magic to gradually shift the powder out of her path. She does her best to move quietly and avoid disturbing whatever they are approaching, but the crunch of frozen grass beneath her boots makes the half-elf cringe with every step. A violent sneeze threatens to erupt from her nose, stifled quickly by a silence spell around her nostrils. Rubbing at her cold legs, Nyx is thankful when Timoran puts a vest made of black fur over her. The Ifrit hair warms her body and drives away the looming cold that has been brewing in her chest for the last few minutes. With renewed energy, the channeler walks a little faster and adds a simple heat spell to the wind that is steadily clearing the path.

“Wow. Such a beautiful creature,” she whispers when she steps into a circular clearing that surrounds the dead beast.

The enormous snow tiger’s blue and black fur is thick, the hairs sparkling when touched by direct sunlight. It has long incisors of glistening white that jut out of its mouth due to their size and sharpness. A slender tail lies limp in the exposed grass and still twitches as the muscles continue to lose their tension. Powerful legs and massive paws are splayed on the ground, giving the body the appearance of having peacefully died in its sleep. The gaping wound in the gorgeous snow tiger’s side is the only sign of an attack, the surrounding fur matted with aromatic blood.

Timoran’s rage boils when he spots the three cubs that are mewling and pushing against their dead mother. Judging from their size and faint, black stripes, he assumes they are no older than three months. Rusty manacles are attached to their back legs, the chains running to a stake that has been driven into the muddy earth. Restraining his anger, the barbarian moves within reach of the animals and gently breaks the metal bindings that are bruising their ankles. Scared and confused, the cubs cower against the still warm corpse and hiss whenever one of the adventurers comes close. One of the snow tigers bravely charges at Timoran and bites his boot, proudly returning to the others when the towering figure moves away.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning?  Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen


Also Available:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Interested in a new adventure?  Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere!  Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author PhotoAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

New Release – Brothers In Arms by Melissa Barker-Simpson

Brothers in Arms - kindle - cover

I met Mel, aka Melissa Barker-Simpson, at last year’s Blogger’s Bash in London. I was already a fan of her blog and her writing, so it was lovely to put a face to the name and meet her in person.

She’s just released her latest book, Brothers In Arms, and I have to say, I love the cover. Here’s more:

Four years ago, Andrew Butcher dropped off the grid. Now he is back, and determined to reconnect with his family. But Andrew is playing a dangerous game. In accepting the position as head of security for a known criminal, he risks alienating those he respects and admires – starting with Ellen Parker.

Ellen is a former Troop Commander with the Royal Artillery. In her role at Morgan and Fairchild, she has a reputation for being tough, loyal, and someone who always gets the job done. Andrew and Ellen share a past, one she would sooner forget. But circumstances force her hand, and though Ellen tries to resist, every road leads back to Andrew and a case that will change everything.

You can find Brothers In Arms on Kindle, Smashwords and IBooks, so hop on and download a copy. You can also visit Mel over at her blog, where her Midweek Writing Menagerie is a popular prompt and a great way to kickstart your own writing.


Mel with logoMelissa Barker-Simpson is a multi-genre romance author. Her stories are about connection, friendship, and love in all its forms. So whether in a magical setting, an alternative universe, or a world where anything can happen – and often does – there is always an element of romance.                                           Melissa is currently residing in the North of England with her two daughters, and when not writing, is fulfilling her other role as a British Sign Language Interpreter.

Take A Tour Of Desertera with Guest Author Kate M. Colby

TCD Blog Tour Banner

Today I welcome guest author Kate M. Colby to the blog. Kate recently published her first book, The Cogsmith’s Daughter, a steampunk dystopian story set in the fictional world of Desertera. Today she takes us on a tour of the world she’s created…

The world of my novel, The Cogsmith’s Daughter, is Desertera. I call it a post-apocalyptic, steampunk dystopian wasteland—which is a mouthful…and not exactly that helpful to those who aren’t familiar with these genres. So, today, I want to give you all a little tour of Desertera and teach you more about this world that I’ve cooked up. But first, we have to start with a brief history lesson.

Roughly two hundred years prior to the start of my novel, the world of my characters looked very similar to our world from two centuries ago. They had an organized government (monarchy), cities with electricity, vehicles, and advanced technology (though steam-powered), and oceans and rivers and all the other standard geological features we have. Essentially, it was a world much like ours, just with steam as the primary power source. Fans of the steampunk genre can probably envision it rather
easily—I picture “the world before” much like a traditional steampunk universe.

However, the world before ended. A flood of apocalyptic proportions (think Noah’s Ark) wiped out the world and most of its inhabitants. The ancestors of my characters survived by building a steamship (the Queen Hildegard) to carry them through the flood. After years of rain, the waters eventually dried up, and they were left in a desert wasteland. Without an excess of water, they are unable to power their steam technology, and thus, we have a world of “steampunk without steam.” What remains is the steamship and four villages that have emerged around it. This is the Desertera we
see in The Cogsmith’s Daughter.

The Queen Hildegard, or the palace:

This is the steamship that carried the ancestors through the flood. It is named for the mortal queen who ruled during the flood, and it is the center of noble life in Desertera. The royal family and the higher nobles live within the palace, but it also holds libraries, specialty shops, a greenhouse, the courtroom, and the ballroom. Most of the “steerage” section of the palace has been gutted—the materials used for building houses and other objects—but one area, the Rudder, remains occupied.

The Rudder:

The Rudder is the brothel of Desertera. It is located in the back of the ship, with an entrance near the propellers (hence the name). While the citizens of Desertera know the Rudder’s location and what occurs there, most turn a blind eye to the activities unless forced to admit them. The Rudder is run by Madam Huxley, the longest-standing female business owner in Desertera, and is where the novel’s protagonist, Aya, currently works.


Starboardshire is a village to the east of the palace and is home to the lesser nobles and their servants. The most beautiful of the villages, it contains artisan-crafted homes, desert wildflowers, and even a bit of grass for horses (a major status symbol for noble families).


Bowtown lies to the north of the palace and holds the agricultural district. It’s inhabited by farmers, who manage to grow basic crops like wheat and corn. The farmers also have livestock—the descendants of the animals taken aboard the steamship—mainly pigs, chickens, goats, and sheep.


Portside is the economic hub of Desertera, situated to the west of the palace. It is home to merchants and local businesses—everything from bakers to cobblers to blacksmiths. Aya, grew up in Portside, as her father used to have a shop in the village. However, when he was executed, she could no longer pay the rent and had to turn to other means to support herself.


Sternville, to the south of the palace, is the most impoverished village and is where Aya currently lives. The homes are little more than tents or dirt-floored hovels, and its residents either work at the Rudder or as wellmen. The wellmen are responsible for going to the wells each morning and pumping water for the villagers to use. An important job, it is also dirty, dangerous, and viewed as “unskilled” labor, hence
its low status in the society.

The palace and its four villages make for a complex and starkly divided society. There is tension between the five locales, the four villages especially, and most people tend to stick to their “own kind.” In The Cogsmith’s Daughter, Aya spends most of her time in Sternville, the Rudder, and the palace. Despite her connections to each place, she doesn’t feel like she belongs in any of them. This helps her to see the good and bad aspects of each, as well as allows her to challenge the status quo and make others
question what they have always accepted about their homes. I think world travelers, or even just sociology/culture geeks like me, will really enjoy watching Aya dissect her surroundings.

If you think you’d like to take a trip to Desertera, you can enter my Goodreads giveaway for your chance to win one of three signed copies HERE.

Don’t like leaving things to chance? Me either. You can purchase your copy of                     The Cogsmith’s Daughter at any of these online retailers:

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, etc.

Barnes & Noble



The Cogsmith's Daughter - Ebook Small

Two-hundred years ago, the steam-powered world experienced an apocalyptic flood. When the waters dried up, the survivors settled around their steamship in a wasteland they named Desertera. Believing the flood and drought were caused by a scorned
goddess, the monarchs demanded execution for anyone who commits the unforgivable sin—adultery.


Today, King Archon entraps his wives in the crime of adultery, executing each boring bride to pursue his next infatuation. Most nobles overlook King Archon’s behavior, but when Lord Varick’s daughter falls victim to the king’s schemes, he vows revenge.


When Aya Cogsmith was a young girl, King Archon had her father executed for treason. Orphaned and forced to turn to prostitution for survival, Aya dreams of avenging her father’s death. When Lord Varick approaches Aya with plans for vengeance, she agrees to play the king’s seductress—even though it puts her at risk for execution.

Packed with high-society intrigue, dappled with seduction, and driven by revenge, The Cogsmith’s Daughter is a steampunk dystopian novel with the perfect mixture of conspiracy and romance.

Kate Colby Photo

Kate M. Colby is an author of cross-genre fiction and creative nonfiction. Her first series, Desertera, consists of steampunk dystopian novels with themes of socio-economic disparity, self-empowerment, romance, and revenge. She lives in the United States with her husband and furry children. You can learn more about Kate and her books on her website:

Guest Post – Geoff LePard – Tracing Your Ancestry

This week I’m starting with a guest post from pink-bearded lawyer, blogger and author extraordinaire, Geoff LePard. I had the pleasure of meeting Geoff at the Blogger’s Bash in August (when his beard was pink and he went by the name ‘Geoffle’ for the day – I’m sure he was thrilled when I told him that ‘jaffle’ was an Australian slang term for a toasted cheese sandwich!). Geoff has written two books – the first called Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, and the second and new release called My Father and Other Liars. Journey To Ambeth is the last stop on his blog tour, and he’s written an interesting piece about our desire to explore our ancestral DNA, a key theme in his latest book. Take it away, Geoff!


Geoff L Cover image

When I began writing My Father and Other Liars I decided to set up my own Church, the Church of Science and Development. As I explained over at Hugh’s Views and News, I needed to write a philosophy for this Church. At about this time, I had been reading an American Crime Writer, Tess Gerritsen. In one book, I forget which, she referenced the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, a Biblical story that recalled days in Sunday School. This is a brief summary of the Ten Lost Tribes:

10 of the original 12 Hebrew tribes, which, under the leadership of Joshua took possession of Canaan the Promised Land, after the death of Moses. In 930 BC the 10 tribes formed the independent Kingdom of Israel in the north and the 2 other tribes, Judah and Benjamin, set up the Kingdom of Judah in the south. Following the conquest of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians in 721 BC, the 10 tribes were gradually assimilated by other peoples and thus disappeared from history.

I had already decided on one theme, namely how the Church leader, Isaac Beaumont was obsessed by his ancestry so I took this story and wove it into the backstory of the Church. This extract is from the Testaments of Truths, the philosophical background to the Church as written by Isaac’s father, Joseph and updated by Isaac (you can find more of the Testaments at the back of MFOL).

“The Bible tells us of 12 children of Jacob, himself a direct descendant of Adam.
Those children formed 12 tribes of which ten were lost. Anthropologists tell us the
original human migration was from Africa and there is evidence of this dispersal
elsewhere in Africa, in China and Asia. But those tribes and their eventual homes
remain a mystery. It is my view that the Diaspora was God’s Plan all along, to spread
Man’s strengths, to let Man develop and then bring the tribes back together to create
stronger, healthier societies and strengthen the species to achieve God’s Highest
Purpose. This was God’s Plan for Man: to improve humanity. But it was a slow and
difficult path. Pollution and corruption are necessary consequences of close
proximity breeding so spreading out, growing stronger then re-mingling and
spreading again was one. The powers he gave us, the instinct to push, to look for
new pastures, to improve… they were all part of His Plan. We are to use every skill to get stronger, fitter and cleverer so we can survive longer.”

Isaac is determined to prove his father right. His mission to Nicaragua as a young man (which is central to the conundrum at the heart of the book) came about because Isaac wanted to study the dispersion of the Amerindian groups and show the links back to the original Jewish Diapsora. His (blinkered) enthusiasm to fund a genetics’ research facility at the Beaumont University is the result. What happens because of Isaac’s one eyed devotion to this idea is at the core of the story and the drama that unfolds.

While researching for this book I found that there are any number of people who are
convinced they have found and can trace those linkages back to those Ten Lost Tribes.

“In 2010, the Guardian reported that Israel was to fund a genetic study to test the veracity of a genetic link to the lost tribes of Israel. The article stated “Historical and anecdotal evidence strongly suggests a connection, but definitive scientific proof has never been found. Some leading Israeli anthropologists believe that, of all the many groups in the world who claim a connection to the 10 lost tribes, the Pashtuns, or Pathans, have the most compelling case.”

We are fascinated by finding out about our ancestry – the TV is full of programmes tracing someone’s family tree. Increasingly we are turning to DNA coding and genetic testing to show the links. We are becoming familiar with a strange language: Haplogroups – Y Chromosome DNA and mitochondrial DNA – used to determine genetic populations. Isaac is, in his own way, no different for many wanting to trace where they came from, the better to understand who they are today. And in so doing he, as do others, expose some of the lies we are told by our forebears or which we have misdirected ourselves into believing.

Lies. They are at the root of everything, especially a good book.


Geoff L Cover image

My Father and Other Liars is the second book by Geoff Le Pard. Published in August it is available as an ebook and paperback here:

His first book, Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle can be found here:


Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry and blogs at He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls.



Oak and Mist is finally published!

You can pick up a paperback or Kindle version on Amazon right now (and I would love it if you would do so) 😉

Oak And Mist final cover

The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.’

Alma Bevan didn’t mean to go on a quest.
But when she disappears between two trees at her local park and reappears in Ambeth, she finds they’ve been expecting her.

And now she has to find a lost sword or the consequences for humanity will be dire. With no idea where to look, despite help from her new friend Caleb, things become even more complicated when a handsome prince of the Dark expresses an interest in her.

All this plus homework too?

Travelling between worlds is hard enough without having to manage a suspicious best friend, complicated love interests and concerned parents. Add in some time-twisting, a mysterious bracelet and a group of immortal beings all vying for control of a lost sword, and it’s enough to make any fifteen year old girl want to give up. But then she wouldn’t see Caleb any more. Or Deryck…

Oak and Mist is book one of The Ambeth Chronicles. Book two, No Quarter, is coming soon.

For the paperback version on please click here

For the Kindle version on please click here

For the paperback version on please click here

For the Kindle version on please click here

For the Kindle version on please click here

To my Australian friends who’d like the paperback version, I recommend purchasing from the US Amazon site – I did look at print-on-demand in Australia but it worked out to about the same price. I will also be looking at publishing to Nook and IBooks in the future, but for the moment this is where it’s at!

As you can imagine I’m pretty excited – this has been a goal a long time in the making 🙂

So now I shamelessly ask you all to share the word, read and review (honestly, of course).

With much love