A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “Urbane Publications Limited”

Guest Post by Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith

To start off the Urbane Publications blog event here is a guest post from Matthew Smith himself.


Without you, we are nothing

Despite my cherubic looks and air of sweet innocence, I’ve actually been in the publishing game for quite a number of years. In that time, I’ve heard, discussed, laughed at, shaken my head in weary disbelief, and yes, been guilty of devising and implementing, some pretty ridiculous publishing strategies. All of which, on paper at least, looked very corporate, businessy and go getting, devised to improve the ‘bottom line’ and ‘drive growth’ – and all, without exception, failing to take into account that people were involved in every stage of the publishing process.

As you know I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about collaboration, particularly where authors are concerned, because I firmly believe, rightly or wrongly, that Urbane will survive and thrive because we understand that authors and their work matter and that they must be an integral part of the publishing experience. This isn’t just about finding the right ‘product’, but the right person to work with – and who wants to work with Urbane – because it gives each and every book the best possible chance of success. The advantages are obvious – shared goals, shared effort, shared energy, shared knowledge, and a partnership that can tackle challenges positively, rather than fostering ‘them and us’ attitudes.

So far, touch wood, stroke my rabbit’s foot and thank a few lucky stars, this is a strategy/philosophy/approach that seems to be working. We’ll obviously have to ask a few authors what they think, but it’s allowed Urbane to publish some bloody good books. But of course publishing success, and more importantly author success, relies on another collaboration, one that’s utterly vital. The collaboration with the reader.

Yep, I’m talking about you, the lovely person reading this. We, and I’m using the royal we that incorporates both publisher and author, would be completely lost without you. Now there’s a genuine initial obstacle to any hope of publisher-author-reader collaboration, and that’s the challenge of the reader finding us in the first place. With over 12.5 million books on Amazon, fewer bookstores, and those bookstores being very risk-averse to boot, it is harder and harder for readers to find new authors and authors to find new readers. But you know what, it’s an obstacle readers themselves have the power to break down very, very easily. How? By sharing. It doesn’t matter if you read 3 books a year (all on holiday on your kindle) or you’re voraciously consuming three literary masterpieces a week, your opinion counts. Your thoughts on a book, and its worth, are far more vital than you realise. You have power people. I could spend thousands running a poster campaign but good word of mouth from those who have actually read a book is the only truly effective marketing. A review has impact, it affects visibility, profile, discoverability – not to put too fine a point on it, YOU can make or break a book.

So let me finish this small piece with an appeal. If you love books, even if you just love one book, please, please, please make your opinion count. Let fellow readers know about the books that matter, that entertain, that bring joy, and happiness and provoke thought and feeling. You are the most important collaborator of all and WE need YOU.


Visit Urbane Publications at http://urbanepublications.com/



Introduction from Matthew Smith

Urbane Logo

When you spend every waking (and many sleeping) hour devoted to developing and publishing books, you realise very quickly how much the support and enthusiasm of others is essential to your potential success. Key amongst these are those who take their love of books beyond the page and give their time and energy to help publishers and authors grow and thrive. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am that people such as Sonya, and all her fellow bloggers and reviewers, exist. Our publishing world would be a much poorer place without them. I feel very humbled by the coverage Urbane will receive this week and I hope you will not only enjoy the wonderful reviews, interviews and articles but continue to follow Sonya as she brings you lots of fabulous books, authors and publishers in the future.

Matthew Smith, Managing Director, Urbane Publications


Welcome To My Urbane Publications Blog Event

Urbane Books

This week is all about Urbane Publications on my blog.  There will be guest posts, interviews, competitions, reviews and more.  Over the past year I have hosted a few guest posts and done a couple of interviews but I really felt that the publisher and his wonderful authors deserved more, hence this event.

I have been blogging for quite a while now and have read a number of books.  I support many publishers and authors and hope to continue to do so for a long time.  Through the use of social media, mainly Twitter, one publisher which really caught my eye was Urbane Publications.  The founder and owner, Matthew Smith has already achieved so much and works extremely hard with his authors to deliver a wide range of books to his readers.  There is literally something for everyone and with loads more to come there will definitely be no shortage of reading material.  To me Matthew is the superman of publishing and long may he be successful.

As you can see from the picture above I have collected quite a few Urbane books; a number of them were sent to me by Matthew and I have of course also bought some.  They are very precious to me and I will always treasure them.  I know I will be adding many more Urbane books to my collection over the next few years.

I really hope you all enjoy this event.




Guest Post by Jared A. Carnie

I would like to introduce you all to Jared A. Carnie.  He has recently signed up with Urbane Publications and is having his debut novel published later this year.  Jared has written a thought provoking guest post for my blog.


Life is a series of mid-life crises.

It doesn’t matter what age you are.

A mid-life crisis is a fracture. A rupture in the balance between adventure and settling. The battle between youth and adulthood.

This is the situation as T.V would have it: You’ve finally bought a house. Maybe you have kids. Maybe you’ve found a job you’ll probably see through until retirement. Your parents have passed away. You realise you’re going to pass away too. Not in some abstract sense in an unimaginable future, but really, at some point, you understand that you’re going to die. And you panic. Is this it? Is this what I’m going to do for the rest of my life? Have I really done enough? What about all those things I always promised I would do? Wouldn’t the young me be disappointed in what I’ve become? And that’s when the cliches come. You get that sports car or get the old band back together or whatever.

So why is it called a crisis? Because that’s not what people want from you. People like you to be a fixed, finite entity. You’ve secured a house! You’re winning. You should stick. You don’t need to twist anymore. You’ve got a family and a job. There are millions out there who would give anything to have what you have. Why isn’t that enough for you? People don’t appreciate you acting out. People don’t appreciate you seeming dis-satisfied. They’re dis-satisfied, of course, but they don’t talk about it. They certainly don’t do anything about it.

Here’s the thing. That’s not just middle-age. That’s every age.

When you hit puberty and you discover sex and drugs and poetry and music it seems impossible and ridiculous that instead you’re forced to learn algebra. What does that have to do with anything? Don’t these people know we’re going to die soon?

By eighteen you’ve probably experienced some tragedy. A friend dying young or a family torn apart or any number of awful things you never could’ve predicted. You’re older now. You want to get out in the world and get started. But instead you’re told about university. You must get your grades. You must choose the right university and get the right degree or you won’t get anywhere in life.

So maybe you do go to university. You get that degree. This is it now, you’ve been held up long enough. Now you’re really done, right? You’re a qualified adult and you can do what you want.

Except, of course, now you’re in massive debt. Now you’ve got to get a job. And that’s not easy. It won’t be the job you trained for. It’ll be whatever you can find. It’ll be exhausting and unfulfilling and everyone will tell you how grateful you should be for it. At least it’s money, right? Maybe in a while you’ll be able to quit and move to South America. Maybe you’ll save enough to take time off work and just paint. But then there’s other people your age. They’re having kids and getting houses. Are you going to be one of those people who hit their thirties with no idea of what they’re doing in life? Potentially still living with their parents and no nearer to being able to afford a house? Everyone tells you: don’t be one of those people. Secure your future. You’ve got to.

Meanwhile, more terrible things are happening. Relatives are passing away at an alarming rate. People you went to school with develop unimaginable illnesses and you watch their deterioration anonymously and sadly on Facebook. There isn’t time. There isn’t time for this.

And suddenly you find someone. Sure, you’ve got a big mortgage now but at least you’ve got a place together. Your job isn’t what you dreamed but you’re doing well. The mortgage ties you down but at least you’ll have somewhere for the kids. And now the kids are here. And you’ve got to stay near the good schools and now isn’t really the time to start your career over with how tight things are. And now your parents are ill. And now your parents are gone. And your children are growing up quicker and quicker and your body is aching in ways it didn’t used to. Maybe now’s the time. If not now, when? Maybe we cut down on a few things this year. Maybe we finally pack up and move away. Maybe now’s the time to explore the world. And that’s when you’re ridiculed. That’s when the cries of mid-life crisis appear. Isn’t this enough for you? Don’t your family make you happy? People would kill for the job you have. Why would you risk all that? And you can’t quite shake the idea that they’re right. Besides, you’ve been paying into your pension all this time and when you retire you’ll really be free, right? That’ll be when it really happens. That’ll be the real freedom.

From childhood to retirement the battle stays the same. Life is long and life is short. You need to prepare for the future. And you need to live while you have the time. How do you strike that balance? When it comes down to it, what is your priority?

It is difficult. It comes dressed up differently but it’s a problem everyone faces. For me, there’s actually something kind of reassuring about knowing that every daring, brilliant thing that human beings have ever accomplished was done to a backdrop of people cynically saying “’yes, but what about your future?”

My debut novel, Waves, will be out Summer 2016 with Urbane Publications. Amongst other things, this is what I like to think it is about.


About Jared A. Carnie

Jared A. Carnie is currently based in Sheffield. He was awarded a New North Poets Award at the Northern Writers Awards 2015. His debut novel, Waves, will be published by Urbane Publications in Summer 2016. He can be found at www.jaredacarnie.com or on twitter @jacarnie.


Book Cover


‘Waves’ can be pre-ordered on Amazon:-



Book Launch – ‘Simon says’ by Daniel Gothard

Simon says

Happy New Year!  Daniel Gothard’s novel, ‘Simon says’ is out today, published by Urbane Publications.  Read on to find out more about it.


Book Blurb

Simon Templar was named after a suave and heroic man of action, but he seems to lack the finer points of his namesake. Slightly hapless, occasionally hopeless, and prone to being chased by angry strangers, he is the everyman who doesn’t fit. When his drunken father-in-law divulges a shocking truth about the love of Simon’s life and takes away his one chance at happiness, it seems the world will always kick him where it hurts. Yet in the aftermath of this revelation Simon is determined to rebuild his life, hopes and dreams. Or at least have a life, hopes and dreams. With the support of his best buddy Sean, and embracing a dating frenzy that would put a lothario to shame (albeit a not particularly successful lothario), Simon goes on a journey of self-discovery. Can he learn to trust again, and finally understand the true meaning of love? In the best traditions of Richard Curtis and David Nicholls, Simon says is a wonderful bittersweet comedy of love, life and longing, and the perfect read for any rom-com fan.


‘Simon says’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/simon-says/

Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Simon-says-Daniel-Gothard/dp/1910692484/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451671468&sr=1-1&keywords=simon+says+daniel+gothard


‘Being Someone’ by Adrian Harvey

Being Someone

‘Being Someone’ is Adrian Harvey’s debut novel.  It was published by Urbane Publications in 2014.  I was sent a copy to review a while back.

James has gone through life, taking each and every day as it comes, whilst all the time waiting for that special something to turn up.  Amongst other things he loves travelling to India.  His ongoing journey seems to be lacking one vital element though, a fellow traveller.

Then he meets the lovely Lainey.  She is everything James wants and more and he is determined to win her heart.  Lainey gives James a reason to grow and he sees a bright future with her.  She promises him the happy ending he has been looking for.  But will things work out the way he imagines them to?

I really enjoyed reading ‘Being Someone’ and I felt I got a lot out of it.  I’m not sure if this is a book I would have bought had I seen it in a bookshop, but I’m so glad now that I gave it a go and I do truly recommend it.  The story itself starts off in Mysore and it took me a while to figure out what the relevance was, but all soon became clear.

‘Being Someone’ is a beautifully told story about life, love and loss.  I personally find it hard to believe that this is actually a debut novel, so advanced is the writing.  The descriptions of India were wonderful and so very vivid that at one point I felt as I was actually there with James.  I also like how the author has written about Jagganath who James met in India.  James was going through a hard time and Jagganath showed him hospitality, something that Indians are very well known for.

I don’t necessarily condone what James did, but I think it shows that things had changed and couldn’t be rescued.  Life is an ongoing journey that we are all travelling.  Good and bad, happy and sad, we all have to carry on.

I am looking forward to reading Adrian Harvey’s new novel which is out next year.

I give this book 5 out of 5.


‘Being Someone’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/being-someone/

Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Being-Someone-Adrian-Harvey/dp/1909273090/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451575323&sr=1-1&keywords=being+someone


Interview with David John Griffin

David John Griffin

David John Griffin recently submitted a short story for my Halloween event.  Since then his novel, ‘The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb’ has been published.  I asked David some questions.


I have really been enjoying ‘The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb’.  For the benefit of my readers can you tell me a bit about your book please.

The first draft of The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb was written over 40 years ago when I was a student at Medway College of Art & Design (as it was called then). It took two years to write the first draft. As it was written on a mechanical typewriter, the second draft meant typing the whole lot out again! No computers, cut & paste, etc., in those days, of course. Over the years, it has undergone another 2 or 3 major revisions, and many minor ones. I’m not sure now where the ideas came from though I was highly influenced in style at the time by Mervyn Peake’s books The Gormenghast Trilogy. The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb has been described by one reviewer as “Dickens with a dose of the psychedelic”. It’s published by Urbane Publications, a dynamic and up-and-coming indie publishing house.

Here is a description:

The turn of the last century and Theodore Stubb’s manor house resides in the quirky village of Muchmarsh. A renowned entomologist, he is often within the attic adding another exotic specimen to his extensive collection of insects. But Theodore is also a master hypnotist, holding the household in thrall to his every whim. Theodore’s daughter-in-law Eleanor – returned from the sanatorium two months before – is a haunted figure, believing that her stillborn child Alastair lives and hides in the shadows. Then she falls pregnant again, but this time by the hypnotic coercion and wicked ravishment of Theodore. A dreadful act begets terrible secrets, and thirteen years later the boy Alastair Stubb begins to lose his identity – it is not long before mystery, intrigue and murder follow gleefully in his wake. The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb is a gothic terror of the highest order, delivering a dream-like and hallucinatory reading experience that promises to reveal secrets both disturbing and astonishing.


Is this a genre you are particularly interested in?

It’s strange that with The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb I had no thoughts of its genre while writing it. It was only ten years ago or less when a reader described it as gothic. I realized then, oh yes, so it is! Also the aspects of magical realism weren’t consciously added with any thought of “I’ll add magical realism” – I wrote it with the sheer love of creative writing. I’m not sure if I’d ever write another gothic novel. I’ve visited that genre and that’s satisfying enough, I think.

Though I’ve realised that magical realism is important to me and has found its way (and will) into future novels.


I see that you’ve also got a novella out which I’ll be reading soon.  Are you planning to write any more?

I enjoyed the novella form very much. The original idea for Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn was for a short story but once I started writing it, I realised it needed more pages than that. Although I learned a lot, in as much as pushing my imagination to the limit then pushing some more, I don’t think I’ll visit the novella form again – though we wait to see. I prefer the novel form (with all its complications and headaches) even over short stories.


What are you working on at the moment?

I’m half way through the first draft of a fantasy novel. It’s turning out very strange indeed. Again I’m pushing my imagination – I only hope its not too strange even for my readers! The title of the novel is secret at the moment! I hope to have it finished, final draft, by mid-2016.

Here’s a work in progress description:

Stave Swirler is lost in a nightmarish dream. Or is he? His given mission is to save his Realm before it’s too late. A fantastical journey of strange discovery, in conflict with the malevolent agents of Tremelon Zandar. A surreal and imaginative tale of fantasy and love that will captivate you from beginning to end.


Do you have a favourite place to do your writing?

I write mainly in an upstairs bedroom which I call the studio. I used to compose electronic music and had my own recording studio in a spare room so any creative space now with a computer is called the studio.

I also have a writing desk in the corner of my garden shed where I write, during the summer months, on an iPad. If it gets dark, I light candles so it’s very atmospheric.


Did you always want to be a writer?

From the age of five! I remember way back then, in class at primary school, when the teacher gave us a piece of paper and a pencil each and asked us to write a short story. After I had filled the first page, I went up to the teacher and asked for another sheet of paper. She replied, in a delighted tone, “Another piece of paper?” I must have asked for at least another three sheets and the encouraging remark with a smile was always the same.

I knew I wanted to write. Though towards the end of this first story, my writing became half inch high letters – despite the thirst to write instilled in me then, I was too young to know what I wanted to write about.

At the age of fourteen, I wrote a 100 pages in longhand at my parents’ dinner table, an unusual science fiction story. Reading it recently, I was struck as to how surreal and naive it is! But that’s to be expected, I guess.

Which leads me up to the ‘70’s when I wrote Alastair Stubb at art college, the urge to write strong within me.

Despite that, my second novel wasn’t started until another ten years after, in the mid 80’s. (Called Infinite Rooms, due to be published May next year by Urbane Publications).


How has social media helped you?

Twitter has been the main help – I found my publisher via Twitter and many nice people, all to do with writing mainly. Goodreads and Facebook are fine too and have offered some good contacts and friendships as well.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

When writing a novel first draft, or even a short story first draft for that matter, keep going from beginning to end without looking back. Don’t read what you’ve typed, don’t correct or revise, just plough on to the end. Revision and correction happen in the 2nd and subsequent drafts.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

Walk our two dogs, Bullseye and Jimbo, spending time with my wife Susan, occasionally the cinema or out for a meal. The usual really! I also create apps for the iPad as a hobby.


Who are your favourite authors?

I have many favourite authors, new and old, but I’ll only mention the ones who have had the greatest influence on me and who I have admired and tried to emulate in certain aspects of creative writing: Charles Dickens, Mervyn Peake, Leanora Carrington, Angel Carter, Jorge Louis Borges, Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, John Wyndham. I could carry on, but leave it there!




Website – http://davidjohngriffin.com

Amazon: Author Page – http://www.amazon.co.uk/David-John-Griffin/e/B00NQ1GUPY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1449688005&sr=1-2-ent

Twitter – @MagicalRealized


Interview with Robert Enright

Author Photo

Robert Enright self-published his debut novel, ‘One by One’ earlier this year.  He has recently signed up with Urbane Publications and has a book coming out next autumn.  I asked Robert some questions.


Tell me a bit about your debut novel, ‘One by One’.

One by One is a gritty, violent revenge tale about one man’s quest to avenge his wife, who falls victim to a notorious crime gang. I wanted to write a revenge story where the protagonist could not only match the bad guys, but maybe even exceed them with regards to his methods.

Some of it was a little tricky to write as it is graphic in its depiction of violence and how it only leads to more, however I feel confident that I wove a real love story that drives Lucas, the hero, onwards on his quest for vengeance. Also, as a big fan of action and revenge movies, it was great fun writing some of the fight scenes!

Book Cover

How long did it take you to write?

It took me just under a year from start to finish. I did however, write it as a movie script the year before which I guess is a little cheating as I already had the storyline and large parts of dialogue already written. However, weaving a 97 page script into a novel of 129,000 words was quite the task.


What does self-publishing involve?

A lot of hard work and knowledge of Microsoft Word! The slightest mistake format wise and the book looks like someone has shaken it. So definitely getting clued up on formatting. I downloaded a couple of free books on my Kindle that were step by step guides and they really helped.

Also be prepared to slog it out. There are millions of books out there and a large number of them are independent authors with the same dream. So making sure you find the right interest groups, the right Facebook groups – it can make a huge difference.


Congratulations on signing with Urbane Publications.  Can you tell me a bit about ‘Doorways’?

Thank you very much. I still cannot believe that this time next year, I will be holding a hard copy of my book. It still hasn’t sunk in and I know how lucky I am.

‘Doorways’ is hopefully the first novel in the ‘Bermuda’ Jones series. It is about an agency which deals with a world that runs parallel to ours. The inhabitants of that world are granted asylum in ours, however they are monitored by the organisation Bermuda works for. The catch is, only a select few humans, who have a gift/curse known as ‘the knack’ can see them. Bermuda is the anomoly, as he is the only recorded human who can physically interact with them.

A pattern emerges of people going missing from places they physically cannot and Bermuda is assigned the case. He and his partner, a warrior that has defected from this parallel world begin to uncover a greater threat to our world and face a race against time to stop it.


Where did you get the idea for this book from?

I honestly do not know. I am a big sci-fi, comic book geek. I enjoy a good story and this one has developed from a private investigator with a medical condition to a whole organisation and different world. I just let my mind wander and eventually, big pieces of the puzzle emerge and they go down on paper and the idea truly took off. I think once I decided to introduce another world, the idea took over and just grew.


You have said ‘Doorways’ is hopefully going to be the first book of a series.  How many more are you planning to write?

I currently have, beyond ‘Doorways’, another four Bermuda books planned, and potentially have the idea for another one. I do have definitive ending to the whole story, yet how many cases we go through to get there depends on how many people enjoy them and how many ways I can keep the stories fresh.


Do you see any of your books being made into a TV series in the future?

I would never rule it out. The idea has a lot of things going for it, however, just having it out as a book is beyond anything I ever thought I would achieve.

If they do make it as a TV show, I know my cast! Haha!


Have you got any other writing projects planned?

I have a ‘to write list’ which has in total, 33 books on it not including One by One and Doorways. Five of those ideas have come in the last 4 months so it just keeps getting bigger. My brother, who is an independent games designer (Windy Beard Games) has approached me to write a story for an upcoming game and I have designs for 2 more revenge books to compliment One by One as a revenge trilogy.

It never stops!


What advice do you have for anyone wanting to write their first novel?

Literally, just do it. I don’t mean to sound like Nike, however it will not write itself. About four years ago, my brother and I saw an advert for a run of the mill, terrible Adam Sandler film. I started whinging about how rubbish like that gets made and my brother made the good point: because someone wrote it

There is no point talking about it unless you are going to get on with it. It will not happen overnight and sometimes it can be a bit of a slog. But if you can put the hard work in, you will get so much out of it.


Describe a day in your life.

I usually wake up tired because I really should go to bed earlier. I go to my job (such fun times) and then when I get back, I regularly exercise, ensure I get an hour of writing in and then usually chill out with some TV, a film or Xbox. The lovely lady has gotten me into The Apprentice this season, so I watch that on Wednesdays.


Who are your favourite authors?

I have a number of authors that I avidly read. Justin Cronin has written my favourite book, The Passage and its sequel, The Twelve. City of Mirrors, although 2 years delayed, has been confirmed for next year so I cannot wait. Big, heavy books but never has a vampire/wasteland/end of the world story been so compelling.

Others such as Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly are a given. I have been reading Leigh Russell’s Geraldine Steel books and am looking forward to her spin off series. I have met Leigh a couple of times and she is a real inspiration and is always so lovely and encouraging. I highly recommend her.

I have become acquainted with a number of authors this year. We are a crazy bunch but they are all so talented and great to chat to. I cannot recommend Karen Long, Tim Adler and Paddy Magrane enough if you want a good crime thriller. If you want to be creeped out, then I suggest picking up Hellbound by David McCaffrey. All of them are must read authors for me from now on!


What do you like to do in your spare time?

Usually wish for more spare time!

I do keep very busy. I work a full time job so a lot of spare time is taken up with writing and other book related things. I like to keep healthy and exercise regularly. Beyond that, I like reading, films, TV, gaming and winding up my lovely lady. The usual stuff really.


Author Bio

Born and raised in North West London and now residing in Hertfordshire, Robert Enright has been writing for over 10 years. His debut novel –ONE BY ONE – was self published on Amazon in March 2015, receiving critical acclaim and was nominated for Books Go Social Book of the Year 2015. The violent, revenge thriller gave Rob a path into crime fiction, but the constantly embraced geek within him went a different way.

2016 will see the release of DOORWAYS – published by Urbane Publications – the first in the Bermuda Jones series, a dark sci-fi about an agency dealing with the threat of a parallel world. He can’t wait to write the whole series – if he can put down his Xbox controller or his Nerf Guns!



‘One by One’ Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Robert-Enright-ebook/dp/B00UUBNRHW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robenrightauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/REnright_Author

Urbane Publications Author Page: http://urbanepublications.com/book_author/robert-enright/


Guest Post by Tracey-anne McCartney


This is the last post of this event.  Tracey-anne McCartney has recently had her debut novel, ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’ published.


The ramblings of a debut author

~ Slipping through the veil of worlds on All Hallows Eve/Samhain

Merry meet at the time of year when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.

The old year has passed and sunset on Samhain marks the beginning of the Celtic New Year. So what better time to introduce my very own new beginning ~ A Carpet of Purple Flowers.

I believe that a certain magic is carried from our soul through to our creations – be it a piece of art, dance, poetry or form of storytelling, etc. With this belief in mind, I hope that I can spread a little magic your way.

Writing ~

My mind raced as folklore came entwined with love, fate entwined with choice, science with spiritual teachings – all guiding me to write a romance that revolves around a karmic cycle.

Magic is many things, but for me, it stems from love, that unseen force elusive to science, baffling all logic. Learning to love yourself can be one of the most difficult lessons, but eventually, we can learn to let go of the things that no longer give our life purpose, though it can take time. Often, we go through life in automatic mode, sticking with what we know or feel comfortable with. The main book character Bea, discovers that strength comes from an inner light which secretly masks eternity.

Let me share with you a secret place, in which only a parted veil exposes. Briefly visit an ethereal plane in which Otherworldly, angelic-type beings, tend to a well of souls. It is there, in Calageata that the purple flower of Vororbla (karma) grows, emitting a thick mist, ready to greet the essence of a soul.

Love and light,


Meet Tracey-anne

When did you begin writing? Have you always envisaged being a writer?

As a child I was pretty creative, of which my hippy upbringing definitely encouraged. My beautiful, incredibly diverse family and friends have always been supportive of any crazy project that I threw myself into, usually involving art or writing. I’ve never envisaged myself as a writer, more a mixed media artist with a very active imagination. ;o)

Without any of high tech stuff we have today: TV, phone, internet (godsend), etc. (Wow, I sound ancient!). I often found myself sprawled over the bed writing or drawing. I would immerse myself into a world of fairies, sunshine/moonlight and Otherworldly realms. I’m not so very different now. ;o)


Tell us about the novel, title, and what inspired you to write?

The novel revolves around the life of a young woman named, Bea. She works in a secondhand bookshop in SW London. One evening, her normal quiet life turns upside down as she slowly starts to unravel a secret past after an encounter with two sects of an Otherworldly race. She soon discovers not everything is what it seems. A Carpet of Purple Flowers is a story of love and growth.

Once you read through the book the relevance of the title becomes clear. There is a certain scene that captures it’s importance beautifully. I used ‘Purple’ in all of the trilogy titles as it relates to the flower of Vororbla – a soul flower. This connects all souls in an ethereal home called, Calageata.

Purple is the colour most often associated with royalty, magic, and mystery, it is also the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow.


What POV do you use?

I write in ‘Third Person Omniscient’. I completely resonate with this style of writing, perhaps due to the way I see my initial story idea play out as a film in my mind – via scenes. When you watch a film there are different camera viewpoints, I use this method in writing. I focus on the scene/character that I need to tell the story in that moment. It works best for me as I’m an extremely visual person. :o)


What theme is strongest in your book?

Romance essentially, a karmic cycle of love. Elements of folklore mingled with my own imaginings.

I’ve tried to create a story that feels real, incorporating places that actually exist. Such as, Coldfall Woods, and Inchmahome Priory in Scotland. More information can be found on the book website.


What would you like readers to come away with from your novel?

Ideally, the message that no matter what happens in this crazy life, to always keep your inner light bright and to believe in yourself. We all have ups and downs and when you’re at your lowest ebb, to remember that the magic begins within.

‘Keep your light bright’ – Is a phrase used throughout the story.

The Otherworldly use the word ‘Ameusouya’ (Am-e-us-ou-ya) meaning complete/whole (you, me, us =one).

All are inspired by the word, Namaste.


Who are the authors that inspire you?

The crystal cave – Mary Stewart, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, There are too many to mention here, pop over to Goodreads to see some of the books I’ve listed – ongoing.

I read a lot of non-fiction, I have a thirst for knowledge, especially of anything that involves folklore/art.

Possibly one of my favourites is ‘The mists of Avalon’. I really resonate with this type of theme – the goddess, ancient wisdom, etc.

Devoured ‘The Game of Thrones’, and at present I’m on the fourth book of the ‘Outlander’ series by Diana Gabaldon.

I also really enjoy Dan Brown’s style of writing, his play of fact and fiction – very clever. He excites the mind, daring you to apply your own research, to see things a different way. His books have interested many readers that wouldn’t have normally read that genre/topic.

Oh, let’s not forget WB Yeats, CS Lewis, Conan Doyle, Fiona Macleod / William Sharp, and many, many others.


Do you see yourself as a one genre author, or are there other elements in your writing that you can see yourself developing in the future?

Hmm, I see my story as being quite diverse, and hopefully, my writing reflects this too. Actually, when I was trying to decide on what genre ‘A carpet of purple flowers’ would fit into, I noticed that it contained various elements – undertones of spiritualism, fantasy, paranormal and romance. I would really like to see ‘Spiritual Romance’ become a stronger genre in the future.

I would love to create a little separate book of the Sindria elementals. How they came to be in more detail and to include the ‘The Heaven Stone’ teachings. While editing, I had to condense the book and really don’t want to lose those parts. Perhaps, I’ll write a book on the Deisi too, their original purpose, origins, etc.

It would be quite interesting to create Jonathan’s journal, including artwork – via collaboration of other artists. Little steps. :o)


What inspired your book?

Another story, ‘The Butterfly Bridge’ was floating around inside my head for about two years prior to ‘A carpet of purple flowers’. Everything stemmed from the visual inspiration of a small, serene waterfall existing in a world far from prying eyes, hidden in a glade by dense woodland. Opposite the waterfall stood a large, ancient Oak tree which later became the focus of a special meeting.

This visualization was initially a place for me to rest my busy mind before drifting off to sleep, but one night, a young woman appeared by the waterfall, her name Enna – and that was the starting place of all my later writing.

I knew that ‘The Butterfly Bridge’ would take quite some time to write, as quite complex. So, I decided to start from a place that I knew well – SW London. This story very quickly grew into a bigger tale, and would need to be a trilogy – A Carpet of Purple Flowers. It was then that I decided that ‘The Butterfly Bridge’ was to be the fourth book, a pre-history, stand-alone addition.


Is there a lot of research involved in your writing?

Ha! Ha! Yes, there is. I never stop researching. ;o) My mind needs to be permanently fed information, not that it all stays in there. I research everything, then sift through what I feel is relevant to the story. There are few notebooks that I use to store factual, mythical information, and I usually refer back to that at a later date – cosmology, astrological, historical, pieces of lore etc. I find it all extremely fascinating – soul food.


Do any of the characters in the book relate to your own life?

*Giggles* I think with any writer some element of the self flows onto the pages. I probably relate mostly with Bea, the main character. However, I can also see a bit of myself in Kitty, Pia and Asta – depends what mood I’m in. ;o)


A Carpet of Purple Flowers is your debut novel. How does it feel to be published?

Absolutely amazing. Matthew at ‘Urbane Publications’ has created a wonderful concept, an author ‘family’. He truly delivers on ‘collaboration’. I’ve been able to discuss areas such as cover design, and most of the publication process, not many publication houses offer such unique involvement. The other authors have been fantastic too, and genuinely care about each other’s progress – it’s such a humbling experience.

Overall, writing my first book has been a very positive journey. Yes, there’s been some very difficult moments when I have questioned myself/abilities, but something has pushed me on – the need to share the ‘Otherworld’ that lives in my heart.

Absolutely none of this would’ve been possible without my super family, old friends and new, for supporting me through this whole process. Woohoo! Exhale…it’s finally there! ;o)

Thank you too Sonya, for asking me to be a guest on your blog. It’s been a pleasure.

‘Keep your light bright’



Publisher: Urbane Publicationshttp://urbanepublications.com/books/a-carpet-of-purple-flowers/Book

Book Websitehttp://www.traceyannemccartney.com

Author Biohttp://www.traceyannemccartney.com/authors-bio.php

Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/Traceyannemccartney

Tracey-anne’s Twitterhttps://twitter.com/jasmoonbutterfl






Matthew Smith is giving away 5 copies of ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’.  To enter just leave a comment telling me what you think of the cover.


Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 14th November 2015.

The winners will be randomly chosen and notified within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be given to Matthew Smith who will send out the prizes.

Guest Post by Sara Bain

Halloween Tree 2

It’s time for another guest post, this time from Sara Bain.


I grew up in a house haunted by spirits – or so I was told.

I was seven years old when I moved into one half of a Georgian mansion in south east London and remember one of our Great Danes would sit at the top of the basement steps and growl into the darkness below. The ghost of the basement still haunts my imagination.

My three sisters were once so spooked after hearing ghostly footsteps ascending into the attic that they armed themselves with hockey sticks and tennis rackets and jumped into the wardrobe. They hid there for a while, stuffed into the closed confines of their wooden sanctuary, until they thought it was safe to breathe again.

I, of course, saw and felt nothing during my childhood in that house – nothing, that is, but fear.

Up until very recently, I couldn’t sleep with the cupboard door open and without the soft, comforting glow of the hall light spilling into the bedroom.

Fear is a very powerful emotion. It is a state of mind that both fascinates and appals the logical thinker.

I hold a grim fascination for all things frightening. Whether this can be attributed to an addiction to the adrenaline rush or a perverse form of intellectual resistance is a moot point, but fear of those things that cannot be explained by the canons of natural, religious, logic or scientific laws, holds an ultimate terror for me.

My favourite parties are those when everyone gets together at the end of a meal and, in front of the fire, recount their own ghost stories until everyone is too terrified to leave the room on their own.

I once heard a story of a ghost that opened the door of a hotel bedroom and sat on the end of a couple’s bed before it moved to the next room where their daughter was sleeping and terrified her. There was a small fire in the reception area of the hotel that night but, in the morning, patrons were more horrified to hear that someone had experienced a visitation from the paranormal than ponder on the dangers of being burned to death in their sleep.

During my time as a journalist, I have visited many allegedly haunted houses and have reported on some of the most terrifying haunts in south west Scotland. Each place I visited – sometimes with a spiritualist medium, sometimes just with a camera, once with a minister and often solely accompanied by my own terror – the presence of the supernatural has always managed to evade me. In consequence, I am not convinced that the spirits of the dead can return to haunt the living.

It is for these reasons I wrote The Ghost Tree.

Based on an historically documented account of a poltergeist that pestered a stone mason and his family in south west Scotland at the end of the 17th century, the novel was a personal journey for me into a definitive answer as to whether or not a paranormal dimension exists in the living world as we know it.

The minister, Alexander Telfair, who performed the two-week-long exorcism and 14 other members of the clergy and community of Rerrick, certainly believed the steading was haunted by a mischievous spirit, for they all signed the statement which was published that year in a pamphlet.

That said, this was a time the church was still burning witches and when demons were abundant through the preachings of a misguided clergy that remained under the spell of the vivid imagination of a maniac Scottish king long after his reign had ended.

Whatever happened to Mr Mackie and his family in 1695, however, still baffles the experts and Rev Telfair’s “true account” has gone down in history of one of the only officially documented reports of the existence of the “noisy ghost”.

In order to write my own terrifying account of a 21st century man plagued by the Mackie poltergeist, I had to recreate my childhood fears. I wrote it at night with my back to an open door and a dark, empty hall. I decided that, if the story didn’t scare me, then it certainly wouldn’t make my readers jump. In consequence, parts of the novel are terrifying. Often I would get so frightened that my poor husband would have to accompany me to the toilet in the middle of the night.

I undertook a lot of research for the book – from ghost hunting experiments by paranormal experts, to religion, to quantum physics – in order to put my demons to rest inside some comfortable box that would give me an authoritative explanation for the phenomena of paranormal activity.

After all the reading, the experiments and the visits to allegedly haunted places, however, the jury remains in deadlock.

As well as a crime thriller and a romance, The Ghost Tree is an audacious exploration into the supernatural. All the theories are there to be discovered, yet do they come up with an answer? You’ll have to read it and decide for yourself.



The Ghost Tree - Cover

Enjoyed this guest post?  Well, you’re in luck because Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications is giving away 5 copies of ‘The Ghost Tree’.  To enter just leave a comment telling me whether you believe in ghosts.


Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 14th November 2015.

The winners will be randomly chosen and notified within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be given to Matthew Smith who will send out the prizes.


‘The Ghost Tree’ is available to buy from Amazon:-



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