Saturday, 28 February 2015

Tied in Pink - a Word with Jeanette O'Hagan

Today we welcome Jeanette O'Hagan to Promote Me Please. Jeanette is the author of one of the stories in the Tied in Pink anthology. First, let's have the blurb of the anthology, and then Jeanette answers five questions.


Tied in Pink
 consists of 15 romantic stories from 14 different authors around the world. Some of the writers have many book titles to their name - including Meredith Resce, Jen Ponce, Michelle Irwin, Stacey Welsh, Joanne Efendi, Druscilla Morgan. Others are emerging or debut authors. The stories range from classic romance, to fantasy, Sci-Fi, thriller or family mystery. Some are sweet, some heart-warming or inspiring while others are more risque and edgy. All the stories are written from the heart and include a reference to a pink ribbon to honor those who are (or have been) affected by breast cancer.

Q1. How did you come to participate in the Tied in Pink anthology?

A I heard about the anthology when publisher Stacey Welsh mentioned that she was looking for writers to be involved. One of her work colleagues had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and she wanted to do something for those affected by this far too common disease. Also a very close friend of mine was going through treatment for breast cancer at the time. I was thrilled at the idea of writing a story as a tribute to her and other friends who have faced this devastating disease. This is a charity anthology, so everyone involved – those that wrote the stories, the editors, proofreaders and graphic designer - all provided their time and skill free of charge and all profits go to breast cancer research.

Q2. What is the significance of the Tied in Pink name?

A.When we were brainstorming ideas for the anthology, I suggested that each story mentioned a pink ribbon as an Easter egg for the reader and everyone loved the idea. As you probably know, the pink ribbon is the international symbol of breast cancer awareness, so it was a perfect embodiment of the anthology’s purpose. Our anthology is ‘tied in a pink’ ribbon – as a gift to sufferers and survivors of breast cancer and their families as well as in support of breast cancer research.

Q3. What was your inspiration for the setting in The Herbalist's Daughter? 

A. While a number of the other stories in the anthology allude to breast cancer or have people with breast cancer as protagonists, my story is a sweet romance in a fantasy setting. Anna is a secondary character in my unpublished novels where she is an older widow and a bit more acerbic. At one point she mentions that she used to work in the palace as a nursemaid. I decided to expand on that concept, writing a short story about how she came to the palace ( and then this one set a couple of years later.

Q4. If you could pick a dream cast for your story-as-a-movie, who would play Anna?

A. I had to think a bit about this. Anna is not a beautiful princess though she is intelligent, brave and resourceful as well has having a kind heart. I did wonder about Jennifer Lopez but I think probably Daniella Alonzo or America Ferrera would be closer.

Q5. What short message would you like to give the readers of Tied in Pink?

A. If you buy Tied in Pink you will be helping the fight against breast cancer but you will also have a beautiful book full of entertaining and inspiring stories. Some of the stories made me smile, chuckle or sigh, while others brought tears to my eyes. And if you do buy, read and enjoy our anthology, we would love you to tell your friends and write a review (it doesn't have to be long) on Amazon, GoodReads or BookLikes.
Jeanette O’Hagan writes fantasy short stories, her Akrad’s Legacy series and poetry. You can find out more her on her website 

Thanks, Jeanette! Here's hoping for lots of sales. It looks like a win/win/win situation to me. It would make a grand Mothers' Day gift.

Now, don't forget, readers - comments are welcome, but make sure they are relevant to this post. And if you have a book or other artistic endeavour you'd like promoted, let us know at Promote Me Please. You can contact us through Affordable Manuscript Assessments at the website

Thursday, 26 February 2015

MR Jones and Ash on the Stairs

Today I welcome MR Jones to Promote Me Please, to talk about the new novel Ash on the Stairs. 
Q. Ash on the Stairs has an ominous ring to it. Did you choose the title before or after completing the book?

A. Yes, it’s true, the name Ash on the Stairs doesn’t make you think of gardens, flowers, and tea parties. I named the book and the main character at the same time and that was at the beginning of the story. I hope it intrigues the potential reader to take a look and see why Ash is on the stairs.

Q. Name three books someone might enjoy if they liked Ash on the Stairs 

A. There is always the gold standard of the Fifty Shades trilogy. Then there is Because You Are Mine by Beth Kery and Captivated by You by Sylvia Day.

Q. Debut novels are always special. Is this the book you were born to write, or is it one of many you might have debuted with?

A. Ash on the Stairs is my debut novel because I had written another book and couldn’t get anyone interested in publishing it. I realized if I wanted to sell my stories I had to write something people want to read. I became an erotic romance writer. I spun a story about Jesse Neil Ash, a tall highly intelligent young woman who took the stairs at work.

Q. Give me the high concept or log line of Ash on the Stairs.

A. You asked for the log line. Jesse Ash takes the stairs at work to avoid a predator and meets the man who owns work. He wants to own her heart.

Q. Which character is least or most like you in attitude and circumstance? 

A. I put a lot of my independent nature into Jesse and I have lived in a tiny one room apartment. However, I must say the character of the sexual predator, Jack Offiel, is the least like me in any way. As I wrote, he grew into a guy I love to despise. All the creeps I ever met went into him.

Ash on the Stairs is published by Eternal Press. 
ISBN 9781629292151

Eternal Press took the chance on me. 




Friday, 13 February 2015

Malcolm Wells and The Spires of Kurrong

Today we welcome Malcolm Wells to Promote Me Please to answer five questions on his new book The Spires of Kurrong. We love books at Promote Me Please, and we have a special love for innovative fantasy and sf with a heart.

Q. The people of the spires... this is an evocative description. Please tell us a bit about the spires and how they came about?
A. A chain of extinct volcanoes dominates the continent of Kurrong. The spires are two of these huge extinct volcanoes on which a mysterious sect originally built two domed cities in order to live in seclusion away from the surface dwellers.

Q. How long is it since people have been to the surface?
A. Many generations. The original inhabitants of the domes vacated the cities when war broke out between the two tribes who lived on the surface. The survivors of the warring nations were imprisoned in the spires. Their people remained incarcerated for a number of generations before this story begins.

Q. What was your inspiration for this existence?
A. I envisaged people building domed cities on top of extinct volcanoes and the story grew from there. I don’t recall just what evoked that vision.

Q. The class divide is a well-represented barrier to romance and marriage. How do Markus and Filona handle their different expectations?
A. The two main characters are both strong individuals with a will to decide their own fate. Filona is hesitant at first, but she has an inbuilt belief that she is just as good as the more affluent Outer Zone dwellers, and that helps her overcome her initial fears. With both of them, it is basically love and a will to succeed that overcomes their differences.

Q. The names Markus and Filona are good ones; sounding familiar but differing in spelling to the more usual Marcus and Fiona/Philomena. Did you start from those base names or did the spellings you use come intuitively?
A. There is a trend these days for people to alter the spelling of their names. For instance, a cousin of mine was christened Linda and now calls herself Lindh. I used a similar method to come up with names for the novel.

Thanks, Malcolm! Read on for details on publication and availability.

The Spires of Kurrong

TITLE: The Spires of Kurrong                                 
AUTHOR: Malcolm Wells                                                             
ISBN: 978-0-9942463-1-8
FORMATS: Paperback and eBook
EXTENT: 244 pages
AU RRP: eBook: $4.99
                 Paperback: $20.00
PUBLISHER: Morris Publishing Australia
CATEGORY: Sci Fi/fantasy
AUDIENCE:  Young Adult
Morris Publishing Australia -
Paperback and eBook available on Morris Publishing’s website, Amazon and

many online stores.  

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Kamla K. Kapur and the Singing Guru

Today we welcome Kamla K. Kapur to Promote Me Please to answer five curly questions about her book, The Singing Guru.

God is everywhere; in every direction. This is a wonderful concept. How does this work in everyday life?

It’s not a concept, but a reality waiting to be perceived. Our concepts have destroyed our vision. The Judeo Christian Islamic tradition has posited the concept of a force outside and beyond us when the reality is that we are made up of God. This force is closer to us than our skin. This realization has every application in everyday life, morally, ethically, socially, psychologically.

If you can conceive and live this idea, you will live well. Ethically, you will be a kinder and more loving person because you will be able to see that this power that is closer to us than our skins and hearts beats not just in us but in everyone. You will see that this force is privy to your thoughts, nothing at all is hidden from it, and you will train yourself, with the help of this power, to sift through your thoughts, discard the ones that harm you and others, and follow the ones that produce your own and the common good. This is the root of all happiness and joy in life; it is our true wealth. Guru Nanak says, it is to get this treasure that we were incarnated in life.

The Singing Guru is a lovely title. How does music amplify and express faith?

The title came to me when I thought that Guru Nanak, who has bequeathed us 974 of his songs in the Sikh holy book, The Granth Sahib, must have himself been a singer. It is a fact that Sikhs, most of all, tend to forget. Guru Nanak traveled the world in the company of his rabab (a medieval stringed instrument also called the rebec) player, Mardana, the two of them singing their message everywhere they went. Guru Nanak did not discourse or give lectures, he sang. And singing and music have the advantage that they go straight to the heart. Harmony is a direct conduit to the soul. Add to this the words that aid conceptual and cognitive comprehension, and you have a paved path to faith. This is why almost all mystical traditions have music at their core. Even Islam, that forbids music as a form of prayer, has it counterpoint in Sufism where not only music but dance becomes central to a connection with the divine.

I myself listen to kirtan, which is the sung version of the words, incessantly. I am very aware of the power of good kirtan. Not only is the music very pleasurable, stilling and calming and healing, but the words surface so often at the right time to instruct and guide. I sing, too, and know from first hand experience how instantaneously it can transport us to that space where we are deeply connected.

You mention "guides". Can you explain a bit about that?

On the turbulent journey of life one often needs guidance. The word ‘guru’ means ‘dispeller of darkness.’ Every tradition has its guides. The prophets of all religions function as gurus who teach us how to live, what to think, how to behave with others. This is the obvious meaning of guides.

A guide is anyone who has traversed the path before us, knows the terrain, knows where the pitfalls are, can see further than we can, and knows the best course of action in conflicted and confused times. A guide does not want to harm us by constricting or limiting our potential, by setting us apart from others. We can, after we have tried him/her for their worth on the touchstone of love, trust them. 

But really, anyone in life can function as a guide if we only keep your ears open. The mailman who says when you thank him for delivering your mail, “it’s what I do. It’s my job,” becomes a guide when you find yourself rebelling against your own lot. He has just guided you into the wisdom of doing what you need to do, and doing it well. Guidance can come to us from any source, any place, any person, if we supplicate and pray for it. It is never withheld.

How much should readers know of the Indian culture when approaching The Singing Guru?

Nothing. It is very reader friendly and explains within the text, the dialogue, and footnotes all those concepts and words that a western reader is not familiar with.

 Who is the ideal reader for this book?

Any spiritual seeker who wishes to know about a wonderful new (yet obscure) religion and to learn very simple truths that make the difference between suffering and joy, between living life blindly, or with awareness. The word ‘Sikh’ means a devotee and disciple of the ultimate Guide of all Guides, a student who is always eager and passionate to learn how to grown into his or her full potential as a true and conscious human being. Guru Nanak’s definition of a religious person is simply someone who treats all as equals. This is a lesson we all need to learn, over and over again.

 Visit Kamla at her website for more information.