Sunday, 9 December 2018

Guest Author Ivan Holiday of Florida

The Scribbler is privileged to have Ivan “Doc” 
Holiday back for another visit. With a new manuscript under his belt, he’s here to talk about his latest work.

Ivan has been a guest previously with an excerpt from his last novel – Roadhouse Legacy. For those that missed it, please go HERE!

This week Ivan has agreed to a 4Q interview.

Ivan Holiday Arsenault was born in New Brunswick, Canada.
At 59 years old, Ivan “Doc” Holiday has worked a total of 55 nightclubs and bars, in both
the US and Canada, this is not counting the other 150 honky-tonks, dives & shitholes, he has worked
short stints in over the past 36 years.
He is recognized worldwide as a leading authority in the field of nightclub security.
Ivan is the author of 5 books -
The Bouncer’s Bible – The Art and Science of working the door” ,
The Cooler's Grimiore -The Comprehensive Instructional Guide to Nightclub & Bar Security”,
Sun Tzu & The Art of Bouncing”, "The Bouncer’s Bible 2nd Edition" and 'Roadhouse Legacy'. 

In 1999 he produced the World’s First Nightclub Security Instructional Video under the Bouncer's Bible DVD title.
In 2012 Ivan produced the World's first Bouncer produced & performed music video 'Pain Don't Hurt'? the lyrics written by Ivan.
In 1986 he invented The CRV Child's Riding Belt & was nominated for an Honorary PhD. from the University of Alberta Canada, in recognition of his creation of the CRV Riding Belt and its contribution toward the rehabilitation of paraplegic children.
In 2008 Ivan deployed to IRAQ as a Honeywell Defense Contractor to train US Army soldiers in a new Stryker Recovery System.
Ivan has a PhD in Correctional Psychology but considers himself a 'self-educated man'.
Ivan is an America Mensa member with a WAIS-III IQ of 144. 

4Q: What is the title of your forthcoming novel and tell us about it.

IH: The Title of my new novel is 'Merlin Ragnarr & The Book of Lies'
Basically its a Fantasy novel about a one and only college of Viking magic called “Şeiðrune School of Sorcery”. Only teens of Viking heritage that possess Şeiðr Blood (Magic blood) can enroll. I made Şeiðrune School of Sorcery one of the 12 schools of magic from the world of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series...I use brief references in my novel under the 'Fair use act' but avoid any plagiarism.

4Q: This story is quite a bit different from your last novels, Roadhouse legacy and the Bouncer’s Bibles. What inspired this story?

IH: I love the writings of JK Rowlings and her Harry Potter series. But I also have a great love for Viking mythology...Not the crap the movies put out but REAL Viking myths and legends. So I combined my two passions into a book series. My school is very different from the other institutions.
The students are older, stronger and more physical. All the magic and rituals are based on REAL Viking Seidr and Rune magic. My books even have a glossary in the back to translate Old Norse language to English. You will be able to speak old Norse tongue by the time you finish the novel! 

4Q: Starting from today, what else do you have to do to get your new story ready when can we expect it to be ready for either per-purchase or to buy.

IH: I am just now into my first draft review. Page 79 of 450. Its slow going because of the fun I'm having with it. But when my wife pry's it from my should be published February 2019. 

4Q: What next for Ivan Holiday, the author?

IH: Just started Book 2 of 7..... 'Merlin Ragnarr & The Tale of Two'

An Excerpt:

Within the last few years and as of late, Devilin the Darkmind had become increasingly disgruntle. He was annoyed and far from content, in regards to the teaching of Dark Fjölkyngi (magic). He believed and argued strongly, that the absolute scope of Dark Arts were not being taught nor attained.
That the doctrine of Dark Fjölkyngi, needed to take a more advantageous path of study and start exploring the deeper, darker side of Viking Fjölkyngi and Şeiðr (Rune magic).
The Morpheus and Elvin knew where their brother was going with this particular line of thought and voiced their disapproval of his proposal, straight away. Both brothers warned Devilin, that to venture deeper into the dark side was to enter the realm of Svartr Fjölkyngi (Black Magic).
This level of sorcery was not only dangerous but totally forbidden at Şeiðrune.
Devilin argued that he could control the Svartr Fjölkyngi…that together they could harness its infinite powers and untapped potential. Morpheus quickly reminded his brother, of the pitiless path of addiction that awaited those who carelessly ventured down that risky road. Many who drank from the dark chalice of Svartr Şeiðr suffered a terrible, tormenting thirst for its malevolence power. Devilin rebuked his brothers, with a curse and a hiss, he labeled them both, cowards and fools. Morpheus informed Magus Darkmind, that he alone, was the elected Headmaster of Şeiðrune… and with that being said, never would he allow Svartr Fjölkyngi to be taught or even spoken of, in his school. Morpheus refused to discuss the matter any further and turned his back on Devilin, putting to rest the debate and his brother's belligerence.
Magus Darkmind, took his elder brother's final say, and his back, as an inexcusable insult, that filled him with blind rage. Devilin pulled a jewel handled, dagger, made from the fang of a Dragon, from the inside pocket of his cloak, and headed in Morpheus's direction.

Thank you Ivan for being our guest this week. For you readers looking for more information on Ivan and his novels, follow the links below.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Returning Author Ann Knight of New Brunswick.

It's a wonderful day to have Ann back on the Scribbler. This is her second visit and she talks about the craft of writing. A special treat awaits you, dear reader, as she shares an excerpt from her latest work, Nightshade.

If you missed Ann's previous visit, you can read more about her and her work by going HERE! 

It’s a tough call, being an artist. It’s like chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole, into the unknown. We’re not so afraid of what we’ll find; rather we are afraid of what we might never find. We race against ourselves though we don’t always realize it. We are our own competition. How much deeper does that rabbit hole go? How close can we get to that rabbit? At any point, we could stop chasing the rabbit; turn around; change direction. But we don’t. We’re compelled. Driven. We’re driven to succeed – to create something – to catch the prize.

It works like this…

Writing demands a lot of time, commitment, energy, and an open mind. Defining your craft is not an easy task; perhaps there is no real need to define it, but only to accept it for what it is. One word at a time, one page at a time, a story is born. 

As the author, there are times when I am creating the story, but there are also times when the story is creating itself and I am simply jotting the events down on the page as I see/hear them. Achieving complete emotional identification with the story and one or more characters is my ultimate goal. This allows me to immerse myself into a strong, imaginative storyline. Accomplishing this ‘triggers’ my commitment to the project.

There are characters that become an extension of you, and this is especially true about (the character of) Darion Rhys. This journey, writing this series, has been profound and empowering. Darion and I have been through a lot together. Conflict is an important subject in literature. The Rising series explores themes such as identity crisis, authority and control, rebellion, and love. 

Darion was trained to be a soldier. She was raised to follow rules and to comply with those in power. She’s never had full control over her life. She is sixteen in the first book, a sensitive time in life when raging teenage hormones begin to disrupt our views and opinions about life, love, and identity. She questions not only the social order, but the intentions of those around her as well. Darion is on a wild emotional roller coaster, and it ultimately strengthens and defines her sense of self.

The series also looks at the subtleties involved around love triangles. There are three young men in Darion’s life–one she loves dearly; one who loves her dearly; and one who has and represents everything a young lady should be in love with—money, influence, power. Given her situation, does Darion have the right to fall in love?

Enjoy this sample from the newest book in the series, Nightshade. A series of events has placed Darion exactly where her family wanted her—in a position of influence. But this has also placed her in the clutches of the Rothwell family, and specifically, on the arm of the youngest heir, Johnny. After her new title was announced to the world, her rebel family moved in and rescued her from the Rothwell mansion. She can be safe now—but for how long?

Ann Knight books can be ordered by visiting: 

An excerpt. (copyright is held by the author. Used with permission)



Dark black billows of smoke choke the sky. This is my first taste of freedom in a long time and I’m not sad that it is cutting into my honeymoon. I didn’t want to marry Johnny. I didn’t want to become Mrs. Rothwell. Sitting in the back of the helicopter, I feel both grateful and eager to be heading far away from the craziness that has held me captive for so long. My father rescued me from the Rothwell mansion right on time. He couldn’t get me out of there fast enough. I thought I was going to be doomed forever—Johnny’s wife—but his prisoner in reality. 

The helicopter is flying over the mountains and I can see the destruction below us with my own eyes now. Wide pockets of fire incinerate the forest, devouring the beautiful green space that rebels call home. It won’t be long before the fire wastes it all. Soon there won’t be anything left. It breaks my heart. The helicopter veers right, making my stomach roll. The overhead thrumming of the blades is deafening. I’m sitting beside another rebel across from my father and a second rebel that I don’t recognize. My dad’s steel-blue eyes find me, and even in the dark, I can see the concern and agitation behind them. I draw in a deep breath, relieved that he came to rescue me in person. Any other man would have sent someone else to do the job, but my father would rather have died than to do that. It’s in his expression now—a dad’s determination and love.

Uncle John is flying the chopper and though he’s keeping it steady, I’m still feeling queasy. Maybe that’s because I’ve just been plucked out of my so-called life for the umpteenth time now. Hopefully this time I’ll get to stay with my family for good because it’s annoying to keep going back and forth like this. In one life I get freedom, in the other confinement. I’d rather a slice of freedom on any day.

We’ve got company!” Uncle John shouts.

At least we got a head start!” my father calls back.

I can see them now. The two black specs in the distance are twin Gunship Helicopters. They are used by law enforcement in combat situations and are equipped with AEP’s – Anti-Electronic Pulse magnets that can send us down pretty quick. We’re in a standard Squirrel helicopter—it’s light and acrobatic, but it has no weapon system on board.

Find a place to land,” my father instructs, “before they shoot us down!”

The chopper veers sharply and I grab onto the side cable until we straighten out again. I don’t know how we’re going to land in this mess. We’re cutting through swells of thick black smoke and it’s wafting into the back of the chopper, choking us. My father reaches over and pulls the front of my sweater up over my mouth and nose.

Brace yourselves!” Uncle John yells, taking us into a momentary nosedive. The landing is harsh but it isn’t technically a crash. Uncle John has flown just about everything and he’s a pro with emergency landings. Our chopper plummets towards the ground and swooshes upwards at the last minute. The maneuver catches an updraft and we hover for a few seconds before we ‘fall’ into park like a toy drone in the hands of an expert tech. As soon as the landing skids hit the ground, everyone bails. My father takes my arm and we jump out after everyone else, meeting Uncle John around the side.

They’re here!” Uncle John shouts over the slowing rotors. The two Gunships have us in sight. We run in the direction of the trees as the helicopters come down to land next to ours. The tree branches whip me in the face. I readjust the hoodie on my sweater, losing my balance as my foot sinks into a patch of softer ground. My sandal snags an exposed root and I trip, falling face-first on the ground. Pulling my legs into my chest, I grab my foot and bite down on my lower lip as pain shoots up my leg.

Darion,” my father’s hands are on my shoulders.

I’m good,” I strain, getting to my feet. My hands are sticky. I realize that my foot is bleeding but it’s too dark to make out the wound. My father wraps his strong arms around me and picks me up. “Dad, I’m fine!” I protest, but it does no good. He must sense that something is wrong. He keeps moving with me in his arms and I lay my head on his shoulder. I’m slowing him down but he doesn’t care. Rustling footsteps up ahead quicken their pace. We’re following the sounds made by those ahead of us because it’s too dark to make out much more than shadows. At least we’re heading in the opposite direction of the forest fire, though I can still smell the smoke. My father weaves us around scrubs and bushes so easily. He knows this landscape like the back of his hand.

Michael?” Uncle John calls. “Mike!”

Over here!” my dad calls back.

They catch up and the two other rebels stand next to me as they adjust their gear. “Can you hear the waterfall?” Uncle John asks, adding, “The safe house is just over the next ridge.”

I hear it.” I nod.

Michael, we only have a day before that fire reaches us. Judging by the wind—”

I know,” my father cuts him off. “Let’s just get there.” He sets me down and we start climbing. “Can you walk?”

Yes,” I answer.

Detectives have combed these woods for at least four months now. They’ve dug holes and set traps. Many rebels have already been caught. I want you to be careful.” He nudges me ahead of him and I grope my way around in the dark, pulling myself up the sloping hillside using every available branch and root. My foot is stinging. My toes are caked with mud and grass and I can barely move them.

My father climbs ahead of me, grabs the back of my sweater, and hauls me up on top of the ridge. We are about halfway up the mountain. The moon is full and the sky is like a black chalkboard—completely starless. Swelling clouds of smoke are slowly drifting towards the moon, reminding us that the fire is spreading and that we have to move if we want to survive.

Do you see that space between the canopy layers over there?” he asks, pointing to the area in the distance.

I see it.”

It’s a small lake where all the streams converge. It’s the only lake this high up into the mountain. The safe house is just beyond it.”

We start down the other side of the ridge. My father is completely adept in this environment but I’m totally exhausted, and by the time we reach level ground I stumble and fall to my knees.

I got you,” my father says, scooping me off the ground.

Give her to me,” my uncle tells him. “Hand her over.”

I feel like a puppet as they pass me around. My uncle puts me over his shoulder. We start moving and my eyelids get heavy. It’s the lack of food, I think to myself as I give in and my eyes shut out the world.

She’s drained Michael.” I hear my uncle say. It takes a minute for my vision to adjust after I open my eyes. It’s dawn. The forest is dull and dim, but I can tell that it’s the start of a new day because orange beams of light are spearing through the canopy of leaves over my head.

She needs to eat something,” my father says. “We have to get her inside.”

Inside. I turn my head towards a man-made cave opening. Camouflage netting is draped around the mouth in the rock. The cover is so good it would be impossible to see from overhead.

We’re here Darion.” My uncle’s expression is tight, and I can tell that he’s worried. “You’re finally home.”

I sit up, rubbing my head. “Smells like something’s… burning?”

My father’s lips tug down into a frown. “The fire will reach us in a day or two, depending on the wind.”

A sense of foreboding overtakes me. Something feels wrong. I take a quick glance down at my arms and then pull my jeans up to inspect my legs. I have no puncture wound, no reason to suspect that I’ve been injected with a trace.

What is it?” my uncle asks.

They can’t just let me go—it can’t be this easy.”

Easy?” He makes a face. “Glad you thought that was easy.”

What a terrific beginning Ann. This is a story I look forward to reading. Thank you being our guest and sharing the excerpt with us

Monday, 26 November 2018

Returning Guest Author JP McLean of BC.

The Scribbler is pleased to have one of our most popular authors back. JP McLean returns to talk about her books and the new covers. If you missed her first visit, follow this link

Thanks for inviting me to the South Branch Scribbler, Allan. Your support of me and the other authors you’ve featured over the years is commendable and much appreciated.

A Rebrand by Any Other Name

If you’ve ever wondered why publishers change the title of a book, here’s a case study.

The first book in what became The Gift Legacy began as a one-off titled Awakening. That book soon had two more to keep it company, Revelation and Redemption, and the one-off became a trilogy. The fourth book, Penance, put an early death to the trilogy notion and the series became what it remains today, The Gift Legacy.

If you aren’t familiar with the books, no one would blame you for thinking they might fall within the religious/spiritual genres. The books covers would even support that supposition.

Hence the problem. These books, in fact, fit into the fantasy/thriller genres.

It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that there was a problem. Sure, early on a few people wondered if the books were religious, but the feedback from most people was positive, glowing even. What author doesn’t like that kind of feedback?

However, as the books began to reach a wider audience, the “are these books religious?” voices grew much louder. About eighteen months ago, the ruckus reached a fever pitch and I was forced to stop and listen. I conceded that the naysayers were right, and the beautiful covers compounded the perception. In hindsight, I’m embarrassed to say it seems quite obvious.

Rebranding the books with new titles and covers was a difficult decision. It meant I risked losing all of the wonderful reviews that I’d collected on Amazon and reviews are an author’s lifeblood. There will never be a good time to rebrand, but with the final two books of the series written and ready to go, there will never be a better time. I took the plunge.

I feel like I’ve jumped off a cliff, and I suppose I have. I just hope the water below is not too cold … or too deep.

Thankfully, I’ve been handed some lifelines along the way. A good friend and author, Elinor Florence, was instrumental in helping me brainstorm new titles and my online blog family and social media connections helped tease out the best of them. And back in July, the design team at JD&J Designs began the process of designing new covers.

The first book in the series has now been launched and the second is on pre-order and I couldn’t be prouder of the final result. I hope you’ll agree.

Awakening is now Secret Sky.

An intrepid young woman. An incredible gift. A terrible price to pay.


When Emelynn Taylor accepted a stranger’s gift, she couldn’t know it would hijack her life. It strikes without warning, strips her of gravity and sends her airborne. Vowing to tame her gift, Emelynn returns to the seaside home where it all began. Here, she finds a dangerous world hidden within our own that will plunge her into a fight for her life.
(**Note from the Scribbler - Kobo selected Secret Sky’s cover as one of their top ten covers for 2018 in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category. The winner is determined by popular vote.  
Anyone can cast a vote by going to their website here: scrolling down to the bottom and clicking on the cover for Secret Sky. After you vote you’ll see the current tally.)


Revelation is now Hidden Enemy

A forbidden book. A dangerous secret. A life in the balance.

Emelynn Taylor’s discovery of a forbidden book threatens to expose dangerous secrets. Two powerful factions clash: one ancient, one evil. And both of them want a piece of her. Not even her gift of flight will save her. Emelynn must form an uneasy partnership with a dangerous man and risk her gift and her future to protect her friends’ lives.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Guest Author Darlene Foster of Alberta

The Scribbler is honoured to have Darlene Foster, an award winning author, as our guest this week. She has agreed to a 4Q interview and offered to share an excerpt from Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind, the sixth book in the Amanda Travels series

Brought up in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing stories, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of short stories, travel articles and the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky 12-year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When she isn't travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot. She believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true.

4Q: For those unfamiliar with your heroine, Amanda Ross, tell us about her.

DF: Amanda Jane Ross is a twelve-year-old girl from Calgary, Alberta. She lives with her mom and dad, both accountants and partners in an accounting firm. They work long hours. Her life is pretty ordinary. An only child, she is bored and lonely. She enjoys cooking, often prepares the meals at home, loves to read and has a great imagination. She wishes for travel and excitement on her twelfth birthday as she blows out all the candles on her cake. The next day she receives tickets in the mail to visit her aunt and uncle who work in the United Arab Emirates. That is when her life changes. In the UAE she makes friends with an English girl, Leah, and has an adventure of a lifetime. Her curious nature and eagerness to help people tends to get her in trouble.

4Q: Please tell us about The Amanda Ross Traveling Series.

DF: In the UAE, Amanda purchases a mysterious perfume flask, tries to help a beautiful princess, befriends a loyal camel and is chased across a dangerous desert by bounty hunters. After this exciting experience, Amanda is eager to travel and see more of the world. She jumps at the chance to meet Leah in Spain, where they attempt to help a young Spanish girl escape the clutches of a mean horse thief. Leah invites Amanda to visit her in England, where they get lost in a maze, hide in an underground tunnel and ride the London Eye while searching for a missing vintage novel. When Leah visits Amanda in Alberta, they enjoy the Calgary Stampede, Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump, and an amazing dinosaur museum, while trying to decipher the mysterious writing on a stone and keep it from getting into the wrong hands. Amanda and Leah go on a river cruise down the Danube with their families. Along the way, she meets a homeless young musician who gives her a valuable violin for safe keeping which turns out to be more difficult than she thought. Wherever Amanda travels, she learns about the history and culture, meets interesting people and encounters mystery and intrigue.

4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or memory with our readers.

DF: I have many fond memories of my maternal grandmother. I was her first grandchild and I know she loved all of us, but she always made me feel special. She lived in the city, about one hour from our farm, and I loved to stay with her whenever I could. On one visit, Grandma took me downtown shopping. We went to Woolworth’s where I found the most amazing colouring book, filled with pictures of children from all over the world wearing the traditional dress of their country. I had just enough spending money to purchase it. I couldn’t wait to colour the lederhosen, kimonos, flamingo dresses, wooden shoes and sombreros. Laden with packages, we took the bus home. When we got to Grandma’s place, I eagerly searched for my book in amongst the bags, but it wasn’t there. I was devastated. The next day my dear grandmother took me back downtown on the bus and bought me the last International Children colouring book on the shelf. I treasured that book and dreamt of visiting all those fascinating places as I coloured the pages.

4Q: Every author has their favorite spot to write, they either listen to music or must have complete quiet, prefer a Mac over a PC. What’s the ideal place and setting for you Darlene?

DF: Like Virginia Woolf, I simply need a room of my own to write. We converted the second bedroom in our small house in Spain into my office where I can close the door and write to my heart’s content on my laptop. I don’t need complete quiet but I can’t have loud noises either. I find once I’m really into my story, I can block out most noises. If it is nice outside, and it usually is in Spain, I will often take a notebook and pen, sit on my terrace and scribble down a chapter or two to be typed up and polished later. I also like writing longhand while I travel - trains, planes, automobiles or boats, it doesn’t matter. I feel inspired while travelling and there are few interruptions. 

Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Allan.

An Excerpt from Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda's travels.


Amanda stepped outside. She looked around for Caleb, but he was nowhere to be seen. The wind got colder and stronger. She zipped up her jacket and pulled the hood over her head, glad she’d listened to Ms. Bowler’s advice.
She took pictures of the San Geronimo church and then continued on to a ruin tucked behind houses. Crumbling gravestones and weathered wooden crosses were scattered around the remainder of a damaged brick bell tower. Among the weeds lay broken gravestones and crosses that had fallen over. Amanda felt a sudden sadness wash over her.
She pulled out her map and guide. It explained that the ruin was the original San Geronimo church, destroyed by the soldiers in retaliation for Governor Bent’s murder. Only the battered bell tower remained standing. The graves belonged to the many who lost their lives in the fight.
The sun went behind a cloud. Tall grass leaped around the crosses as the wind whistled a mournful tune.
Amanda shuddered. A harsh breeze pushed her forward. Looking up at the sky, Amanda felt the wind push her again and she tripped over a rock. She stumbled hard into the low adobe brick wall surrounding the cemetery. Another shove sent her right over the fence. Her head hit a fallen brick. She saw stars before everything went black.

Thank you for being our guest Darlene. For you readers that are curious to know more about Darlene and her novels, please follow the links below.

Amazon buy link