Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Crime and Punkishment compiled by Brenda Perlin - book review


My review:




Brenda Perlin has compiled a unique set of short stories reminiscing about the age of Punk when music expressed the anxieties of the world’s youth during a very unsettling time. The author has shared memories from her past as have the other artists not afraid to tell their story, and how the mores affected their coming of age. A very interesting look at another milestone in the history of the music culture. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a generation younger than mine, and look forward to reading more from this author.

Available at:






Friday, August 9, 2019

New Release - Crime and PUNKishment compiled by Brenda Perlin






In ‘Crime Punkishment’, Brenda Perlin and her collaborators catalog in words and pictures those days of hope and rebellion... 

When punk first burst into the public consciousness, it caused the establishment to take fright. Suddenly, anarchy was no longer crouching in the shadows, but out on the streets offering disempowered and disenfranchised youth a rallying flag and a new identity.

In ‘Crime Punkishment’, Brenda Perlin and her collaborators catalog in words and pictures those days of hope and rebellion - sometimes in surprisingly touching ways. For black was not always bleak, representing as it did membership of a new family, a tribe who rejected the yoke of normality and blandness.

Read and remember!

Available at:






Brenda Perlin by Doc Ivan




Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Spotlight on artist Maria Jones-Phillips a.k.a. Little Frieda Mouse


Maria Jones-Phillips

Photographer, artist, and graphic designer
About Maria
I was born in the U.K. although I'm currently based on the East Coast of the United States where I run my art studio and Etsy store, Little Frieda Mouse. The name of my store pays homage to the wonderful Mexican artist, Frida Khalo who is one of 

Fine Art Original Print - Bridge Over the Darro River

$45.50+

Fine Art Original Print - ‘Il Duomo di Firenze’ from the series: Painted Cities by, Little Frieda Mouse - Simulated Pastel Sketch

$40.00+

Premium Throw Pillow/Cushion - 'Daisy Daisy' Collection, by Little Frieda Mouse

$38.00


Hibiscus Flower Print Bath/Beach Towel. Part of the Exclusive ‘Ruby Red' collection

$35.00

Friday, July 5, 2019

Spotlight on Voiceover Artist Michele Lukovich


Michele Lukovich

It is my pleasure to spotlight the very talented Michele Lukovich, the narrator for The Briton and the Dane: Timeline.  Her artistic interpretation created realistic characters, bringing the story to life with her vibrant, diverse and engaging narration.  

About Michele

Your Vision. My Voice.

Michele has been an entertainer and a storyteller since she was a toddler. With a history of singing and acting, she found her niche in voiceover.  Her musical background has given her a rich, melodic tone and an engaging delivery that keeps the listener entertained and enlightened. She can make the boring and mundane fascinating and memorable. Whether voicing your TV or radio spot, narrating your promo or film, hosting your E-Learning or company training videos, or anything in between, Michele makes each client her priority and makes certain they are not only satisfied but delighted.  And her stage experience gives her the ability to take your direction and run with it.

Need a seasoned pro? Michele has been doing voiceover for more years than she cares to count. In fact, she has been one of the voices of Chicago’s public television station, WTTW for over a decade. And though she can sound like a teenager, she has the experience to convincingly play the compassionate mom, the girl next door, the high-level executive, the physician, the patient, the sophisticate, the quirky best friend or the superhero. Or just narrate with authority or tenderness. She can play it straight or she can be the comic relief. Just tell her whom you want her to be. And she will find an honest way to be just that. Michele believes the best thing about having experience is that you can draw on it to convey almost any sentiment. The more you have gone through in life, the more you can be believable in almost any context. You can’t fake it. You want someone who has real LIFE experience.

Michele’s studio has a very quick turnaround. She uses StudioOne software and Most often, she will get your files in 24 hours or less (depending on the size of your project) and will give you several takes to choose from. If you need real-time recording, you can utilize SourceConnect.


Need a face to go with the voice? Michele’s on-camera experience makes her a versatile talent that can contribute to your project in many ways. Need a singer as well? You are in luck…Michele is also an accomplished singer. She has sung classical music, 40’s ballads, Broadway standards and a little pop, and most things in between. She has sung with symphonies, opera companies, regional theatres and even traveled the world singing on cruise ships.

Read more about Michele at  
Michele Lukovich's webpage

Follow Michele on Facebook     LinkedIn     YouTube

Listen to Michele's narration of The Briton and the Dane: Timeline on Soundcloud

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots: #BookReview — The Briton and the Dane: Legacy by Mary Ann Bernal

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots: #BookReview — The Briton and the Dane: Legacy by M...: The Briton and the Dane: Legacy (The Briton and the Dane #3) By Mary Ann Bernal Whispered by the wise and the...



SATURDAY, 22 JUNE 2019
#BookReview — The Briton and the Dane: Legacy by Mary Ann Bernal #HistoricalFiction @BritonandDane





The Briton and the Dane: Legacy
(The Briton and the Dane #3)
By Mary Ann Bernal




Whispered by the wise and the learned. Talked of in hushed tones round luminous firesides. Engraved by awestruck scribes in the scriptoria of the Chronicles. Against all the odds, great King Alfred defeated a vastly superior Danish army outside Chippenham.

This victory, the sages prophesied, would guarantee peace throughout the land. Or so they thought.

Two years later, Rigr the Bastard, vengeful and seeking to claim his birthright, was defeated in the wilds of East Anglia. His blood smeared berserker warriors vanquished; no quarter asked for - no quarter given.

Now, a further two years later, the Vikings return. Noble Prince Sven instigates a seaborne invasion, fuelled partly by blind rage when he discovers that his brother, Prince Erik, has sworn fealty to the Anglo-Saxon king.

His own brother: A traitor and a fool.

Erik’s love, Lady Gwyneth, attempts to stop the invasion before it starts by uniting the two estranged brothers, but her scheming only succeeds in making matters worse. Indeed, her interference guarantees the death of thousands of warriors in the freezing, tumultuous North Sea.

So when the horns of Sven’s monumental fleet of warships are heard off the fogbound coast of Britannia, King Alfred – outnumbered, outshipped and weary of the fray - must rouse his jaded Saxon warriors and lead them to sea, to repel his most formidable enemy yet.

For a host motivated by the spilled blood of the fallen, the spirit of black vengeance, and the delights of a warrior’s reward in Valhalla, is the most fearsome opponent of all.

Alfred. Sven. Erik. Gwyneth. Amidst the ferrous reverberation of a battle royale - one or all must die, and the fate of a nation hangs in the balance, one final time.



“Why must she be forced to choose between a husband and her son…?”

God against Gods. King against King. Brother against Brother.

Years of fighting. Years of bloodshed. How many more husbands, sons, and lovers must die? However, the men from the North keep on coming to the shores of Briton. Their numbers are as seemly endless as the tide. There is no peace for Alfred of Wessex, no matter how badly he may long for it.

One more battle and perhaps the future of a nation may be decided. Alfred and his men are formidable warriors — have they not already proven that? However, this time, the battle will not be on dry land. This time Alfred must meet the invaders where they are most formidable — amongst the waves.

Only time will tell if Alfred will be victorious. May God keep them safe and have mercy on their souls.

Filled with intrigue, betrayal, hate and love, The Briton and the Dane: Legacy by Mary Ann Bernal is as breathtakingly poetic, as it is sweepingly elegant in its brilliance. This story left me so breathless with anticipation that I could not turn the pages fast enough. I was utterly enthralled from start to finish.

I simply adored this book. So much happens that at times it left my head spinning! There is a cast of very colourful and memorable characters. Some of these characters I have come to adore over the course of the series, others not so much! One thing that can never be said is that Bernal’s characters are dull. They are so unpredictable, and many times during the course of this novel, I found myself shaking my head and whispering, “What are you doing? No. Don’t do that! Please… No, you did it!” The impulsiveness of the characters and the fact that their hearts and not their heads rule many, made their stories not only believable but wonderfully human in the telling.

Like before, with the first two books in this fabulous series, Bernal has captured the very essence of the era in which she writes about. Her compelling narrative and her decision to show every possible side to the story made this book not only exceedingly engaging, but it is also one that was next to impossible to put down.

What I liked about this series the most was the way Bernal has portrayed women. The majority of authors who write their fictional stories about Alfred the Great and this era in history concentrate their efforts on the men of this time, and the women take a more sedate secondary role. Not so with Bernal’s books. The women are centre stage, which I found exceedingly refreshing.

As with the first two books in the series, I was drawn to Elizabeth. She is such a warm and wonderful woman who will do anything for her family, even if it is sometimes a little misguided. Another character who I particularly enjoyed reading about was Dalla. It has been two years since Dalla’s husband, Rigr, was killed, but her love for him has not diminished. I had high hopes that she would find happiness with Loki, but Bernal was not about to make things easy for her!

As I have already touched upon, the historical detailing of this book has to be commended. Bernal has chosen to paint a vast canvas in which to set her story. Within this canvas, Bernal allows us to walk with Kings and members of the clergy— including the Pope, Norseman and Saxons. Rich or poor, you can discover them all between these pages. This rich tapestry of life gave this story an incredible sense of depth. The depiction of the sea battle was particularly well drawn. This was undoubtedly a violent time, and Bernal has not shied away from the brutalities of the era, but at the same time, she has an author’s intuitive understanding of when to stop and change the scene, therefore, giving her readers a moment to catch their breath.

As with the other books in this series, Bernal has presented her readers with a vast and wondrous cast of characters and, for this reason alone, The Briton and the Dane: Legacy is not, in my opinion, a standalone read. This series thrives on political intrigue and complicated sub-plots, so it is imperative that you start this fantastic reading adventure with Book 1.

Having read all of the books in The Briton and the Dane series, I now feel slightly bereft that this wonderful story has come to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed not only Bernal’s interpretation of Alfred the Great but also of the women who are so often overshadowed by the men in this era. I look forward to reading more books by this author in the future. Kudos, Ms Bernal.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.


Pick up your copy of
The Briton and the Dane: Legacy



  Mary Ann Bernal
  
Mary Ann Bernal attended Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she received a degree in Business Administration.  Her literary aspirations were ultimately realized when the first book of The Briton and the Dane novels was published in 2009.  In addition to writing historical fiction, Mary Ann has also authored a collection of contemporary short stories in the Scribbler Tales series. Her latest endeavor is a science fiction/fantasy novel entitled Planetary Wars  Rise of an Empire. Originally hailing from New York, Mary Ann now resides in Elkhorn, Nebraska.



Connect with Mary Ann: Website • Whispering Legends Press • Twitter.



Posted by Mary Anne Yarde at 05:00

Monday, June 10, 2019

Red Headed Book Lover Author Spotlight - Mary Ann Bernal





Mary Ann Bernal, Author Spotlight

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Mary Ann Bernal whose books Planetary Wars and her two Scribbler Tales books thrilled and compelled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend these books to all of those that love fantasy and science fiction as well as entertaining stories! but really the books can be read by anybody as they are flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Mary Ann Bernal will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Mary Ann Bernal!
Mary Ann Bernal attended Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she received a degree in Business Administration. Her literary aspirations were ultimately realized when the first book of The Briton and the Dane novels was published in 2009. In addition to writing historical fiction, Mary Ann has also authored a collection of contemporary short stories in the Scribbler Tales series. Her latest endeavor is a science fiction/fantasy novel entitled Planetary Wars: Rise of an Empire.

Mary Ann is also a passionate supporter of the United States military, having been involved with letter writing campaigns and other support programs since Operation Desert Storm. She has appeared on The Morning Blend television show hosted by KMTV, the CBS television affiliate in Omaha, and was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for her volunteer work. She has also been a featured author on various reader blogs and promotional sites. 

Mary Ann currently resides in Elkhorn, Nebraska.


Now, how wonderful does Mary Ann Bernal sound?! Mary Ann Bernal is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Mary Ann Bernal’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself

Thank you for having me, Aimee.
In addition to being an incurable romantic Anglophile history buff, I am also a science fiction fanatic, yes, I proudly admit to being a Trekkie.  I know, opposite sides of the pendulum. My son once told me I was born too late, having missed out living in ancient times. I quickly corrected his perception. The past is a great place to visit for a day using a time machine, of course, but, alas, I was born too soon. My profession of choice is a Starship Captain, and Captain Janeway paved the way.
My priorities are and always will be family first, supporting the children’s and grandchildren’s interests and pursuits. Throughout the years, this enthusiastic aficionado cheered everyone on to victory, or for playing a great game when defeated. From baseball to basketball, dance competitions to theatrical performances. Whatever the event would find me sitting in the audience.
Remembering that freedom is not free, I have been involved with military support programs since Operation Desert Storm. My work is dedicated to our fallen heroes, we must never forget their sacrifices. The next time you see a member of the Armed Forces, please thank them for their service.
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?

Did you ever wonder why “good” girls stay with “bad” boys? Why did Eva Braun choose to become Adolf Hitler’s longtime companion, marrying him shortly before his suicide? Again, the pendulum swings. Why did Padmé Amidala refuse Anakin Skywalker’s offer to rule the galaxy together?
Anastasia Dennison, M.D. is swept off her feet by Jayden Henry Shaw, not realizing he is the terrifying dictator who rules the Empire. Once she learns the truth, there is a choice to be made, does she divorce her husband or ignore her conscience and enjoy the spoils of war? That, dear reader, is the dilemma. What would you do?
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

To quote Commander Peter Quincy Taggart (Galaxy Quest), “Never give up, never surrender.” There will always be naysayers trying to dissuade a person to give up on a dream. It is up to you to ignore the negativity and the rejection. Do not quit. Be passionate about your work. Take classes and workshops. Learn your craft. Everyone has a book in him or her. Not everyone actually writes one. Don’t let that be you.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book? 

Telling a good story that has the reader experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon finishing the book.
Also, accuracy is important. If unsure of a date or location, be vague with descriptions. And historical events should not overshadow the narrative.
What is your writing process like?

Before setting cursor to blank screen, I set up my characters, name other worlds and make notes for future reference. Next is finding a time to write daily. I have burned the midnight oil, writing as soon as I got home from work, but since my retirement, I chose a block of time that works with my schedule, which fluctuates because of various commitments.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I am constantly researching material.  My file cabinet is filled with interesting facts on a plethora of topics ranging from ancient history to galaxy exploration. Unfortunately, no matter how prepared I am, there is always something that needs to be checked, at which point I can search the internet.  In the old days, I would have to stop at the library on the way home.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?

Once I visualize the story in my mind’s eye, I start writing.  Sometimes, however, the characters take me where they want to go.  Sometimes they win, sometimes they grumble, but they never give up trying to push the envelope.  I love sparring with my characters. 
Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?

Recently, I’ve been reading Michael Crichton, Scott Pratt, Steven Saylor, and J.B. Turner.
When can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you? 

There will be another volume in the Planetary Wars series but will refrain using titles – no spoilers here.

Before we close, would you tell us what inspired your diverse writing genres, which range from historical romance novels to contemporary short stories?
Erik, the Viking, was “born” while I was still an impressionable teenager after having seen the period Hollywood blockbusters of the time.  A few examples are The Vikings, Knights of the Round Table, Prince Valiant, and The Black Shield of Falworth, to name but a few.

My female characters are strong women, following the example of Eleanor of Aquitaine who was a woman before her time.  When Eleanor was Queen of France, she participated in the Second Crusade, was a powerful Queen of England, and as Queen Dowager, was regent when Richard I was fighting in the Third Crusade.
With this background, my original The Briton and the Dane novel became a trilogy because my secondary characters demanded more exposure.  The Briton and the Dane: Birthright is the second installment followed by The Briton and the Dane: Legacy, where all is revealed.

The Briton and the Dane: Concordia, a character offshoot from the trilogy, is a coming of age story, and is the recipient of The Coffee Pot Book Club book award.

The Briton and the Dane: Timeline, is a fantasy about an archeologist traveling back in time to meet Erik’s last descendant with whom Dr. Gwyneth Franger is obsessed, and has also received The Coffee Pot Book Club book award.

 ***
Does anyone other than myself remember The Fireside Theater, which was the first successfully filmed anthology series (circa 1955) on American television?  There was a new story every week showcasing the writing talents of a few of my favorites, such as Rod Sterling (The Twilight Zone).

Yes, the impressionable kid never left! And the mature writer remembered, creating the Scribbler Tales short stories collection comprised of wide-ranging genres: Crime, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Occult, Romance, Spies & Espionage, and Thriller & Suspense.

Scribbler Tales Presents: Escape from Berlin, which features Betrayal, Deadly Secrets, Murder in the First and The Ritual. Compelling stories, different, yet so familiar, since mankind has yet to learn from its mistakes.

 ***

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Mary Ann Bernal! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the link and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,

***

Escape from Berlin
Mark Dresdner’s cover is blown, forcing him to flee East Germany, yet he refuses to leave the woman he loves. Finding the border crossing blocked, and the enemy closing in, will he evade capture or be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Featuring
Betrayal
Aelia gives herself completely to the man she loves, revealing a life-threatening secret, trusting her husband unconditionally, but is he deserving of her trust?
Deadly Secrets
Lysandra seeks a new life in America, hoping to forget her past, but an accidental meeting with a man who knows her true identity endangers her happiness. 
Murder in the First
As judge, jury, and executioner, Bethel decides the fate of the man responsible for her plight, but things go terribly wrong and the predator becomes the prey.
The Ritual
Devona’s initiation into a modern-day pagan sect on All Hallows’ Eve sends the terrified young woman fleeing for her life amidst a raging storm. Escaping the sacrificial altar, will she survive the tempest?



Sunday, June 9, 2019

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots: #BookReview — The Briton and the Dane: Birthright ...

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots: #BookReview — The Briton and the Dane: Birthright ...: The Briton and the Dane: Birthright (The Briton and the Dane Book #2) By Mary Ann Bernal Travel back in ...



The Briton and the Dane: Birthright
(The Briton and the Dane Book #2)
By Mary Ann Bernal


Travel back in time to 9th Century Anglo-Saxon Britain and the reign of Alfred the Great who successfully repelled the Viking threat and drove the formidable Danish King Guthrum out of his Kingdom of Wessex. Journey throughout Britannia where Lord Richard and his children risk their lives in the service of their King; where treachery and treason threaten the uneasy peace; where the outcome of one battle determines the course of history.




“Treason is punishable by death, no matter the bloodline...”

It has been two years since Alfred, King of Wessex, accepted the surrender of Guthrum, the leader of the Great Heathen Army. Due to Alfred’s terms, Guthrum has turned his back on his pagan ways and embraced the Christian God. By doing so, he now rules the land from Kent to Northumbria. It is enough. No longer does he hunger for the desire for more land and the blood of the battlefield.

However, there are those who see Guthrum’s surrender to the Christian faith as a weakness, and there is one among them which threatens the tranquil peace that Alfred and Guthrum have worked so hard to embrace.

Rigr, Guthrum’s illegitimate son, seeks the throne of his father. However, because of his illegitimacy, Guthrum refuses to recognise him as his heir. Driven by the desire for power, Rigr plots to overthrow his father and to his delight, he discovers that many would not only support his claim but fight alongside him. His course is set. He will win the Daneland from his father, no matter what the cost...

Set in a world of superstition, blood feuds, and revenge, The Briton and the Dane: Birthright (The Briton and the Dane Book #2) by Mary Ann Bernal is the utterly captivating fictional story, set in the time of King Alfred of Wessex and Guthrum of East Anglia.

I have already read several books in The Briton and the Dane series and I was very much looking forward to reading Birthright. I had high expectations for this book, and I am pleased to say that Bernal did not disappoint. Bernal has presented a story that is not only rich in historical detailing but one with an almost tangible realism.

From the opening sentence, I was hooked. The short chapters and quickly changing scenes worked surprisingly well. There is also a huge cast of characters which drove this book forward. Putting all of these things together made this novel unputdownable. In fact, I was so engrossed in this story that I read it in one sitting!

The period of history Bernal chose to base this book on is one where minimal primary sources have survived and although there are many works by Historical Fiction authors about Alfred the Great and his war with Guthrum, the period straight after is one which is sorely neglected by authors, and because of this Bernal's story is wonderfully original.

There are many characters in this book that a reader will love to hate — Rigr being one of them. His anger at his father is like an uncontrollable burning fire inside of him. He is ambitious, and it seems that nothing can thwart him in his quest to become King.

This book is not just about those who desire power. Like with Book #1, I was particularly taken with the character of Elizabeth, who despite being contradicted continuously, is convinced that her husband, who has been missing for two years, is still very much alive. I thoroughly enjoyed Elizabeth’s story.

From the onslaught, this book is filled with non stop drama and cliff-hanger tension. Bernal writes with a vivid imagination and an energy that threatens to memorise. She has a novelist eye for human frailty, and her characters are authentic in the telling.

Tense, powerful and utterly compulsive. I thoroughly enjoyed the second book in this fabulous series.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.


Pick up your copy of
The Briton and the Dane: Birthright


Mary Ann Bernal



Mary Ann Bernal attended Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she received a degree in Business Administration.  Her literary aspirations were ultimately realized when the first book of The Briton and the Dane novels was published in 2009.  In addition to writing historical fiction, Mary Ann has also authored a collection of contemporary short stories in the Scribbler Tales series. Her latest endeavor is a science fiction/fantasy novel entitled Planetary Wars  Rise of an Empire. Originally hailing from New York, Mary Ann now resides in Elkhorn, Nebraska.


Connect with Mary Ann: Website • Whispering Legends Press • Twitter.