Category Archives: Lisa Burton Radio

Lisa Burton Radio

Sugar & Snails, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with the characters from the books you love.

I’m your host Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is a cat. A very special cat named Marmaduke. “What brings you to the show today, Marmaduke?”

“Diana, my human, has been acting strangely. We’ve rubbed along fine for years, just the two of us, she does her thing, I do mine. Different hours, different lifestyles, but checking in over a saucer of milk or coffee a couple of times a day. A pair of bachelorettes …”

“Oh! So you’re a girl cat.”

“I certainly was last time I looked. Is that relevant, do you suppose?”

“I just thought. You know, Marmaduke is typ—. Why would you be concerned about Diana?”

“I knew something was up when she went on a cleaning blitz at the weekend. Bought new crockery and sheets for the bed. Started studying recipe books. Let’s face it, she’s no cook. But last night she left three pans bubbling on the stove, dashed upstairs and came back down in a dress. And make-up. Then the doorbell goes and there’s a man standing on the doorstep. Turns out she’d invited him for dinner. Why?”

“Humans do things like that. Sometimes a girl has to cut loose.”

“Not Diana. She’s always been the quiet type. Stays at home most evenings. Sleeps alone. She’s forty-five, that’s seven and half in cat years. She’s set in her ways. Respectable. Staid. The riskiest thing she ever does must be getting on her bike to cycle to her Brainiac job at the university. But she’s losing it! Last night, when I walked in through the cat flap my food bowl was empty. I had to jump onto the counter and lick the leftovers from the dinner plates.”

“You poor baby! I don’t have any kibble, but I can open some tuna if you like.”

“It’s fine, thanks. I don’t mind making do now and then, even if it was vegetarian risotto. As long as she doesn’t make a habit of it. But when I went upstairs to remind her I have standards, she wasn’t there. Wasn’t anywhere in the house, even though it was far too early for her to leave for work. The bedding was crumpled as if she’d slept there or whatever she got up to with Simon, but her new sheets smelled sour. No wonder, Lisa, they were covered in blood.”

“Oh my God! Who is this guy?”

“Simon? He seemed harmless when I first met him a few months ago. I thought he was a gentleman – he’d given Diana and her bike a lift home from some party, but she didn’t invite him in. I think she liked him, though – her voice would go higher when they talked on the phone. But there was tension whenever Cairo cropped up in the conversation. He had to go there on business for a while – he was supposed to leave today. He wanted Diana to go with him, but she couldn’t even promise to go out for a visit.”

“Diana could be in danger, or worse.”

“Don’t worry, she’s safe in her room, fast asleep. Arrived home with the milk float at dawn. But she should be at work right now. It’s not right – she’s a woman of routine.”

“I hate to suggest this, but now it’s time to be concerned about Simon’s well-being.”

“Shouldn’t you be concerned about my well-being? Diana’s fine. She injured herself last night, but someone’s bandaged her up. A hospital, presumably – I hope they realized she’s going to need that arm to wield a tin opener. I do like my rabbit chunks.

“The odd thing is, I think she cut herself deliberately. Something or someone upset her last night, and it must be Simon, because it wouldn’t be me. I think it has something to do with this Cairo business. I reckon Simon’s pushed her over the edge.”

“That is mysterious. Some guy shows up out of the blue. Leaves just as fast, and she resorts to self-harming. That usually isn’t something a person her age suddenly starts doing.”

“She has done it before, I believe, although not in all the years she’s lived with me. Her forearm’s a patchwork of scars and I don’t think they’re scratches from another cat. Unless it was a tiger. I don’t like to bad-mouth my human, but that woman has issues going right back to the womb. Did I mention she went to Cairo, years ago, when she was a kid? Something momentous must’ve happened there but I haven’t a clue what is.”

“There are people who can help with problems like this. I really hope you can get her to see someone.”

“They stitched her up at the hospital, if that’s what you mean.”

“I’m talking about the issues on the inside. There are special doctors for that.”

“I’ll try and persuade her. It would certainly make my life easier if she gets herself fixed. Thanks for listening, Lisa. And thanks for having me on your show.”

“Will Diana get the helps she needs? Will she go to Cairo, and if she does who will take care of Marmaduke? What deep mysteries does Simon hold? To find out, you’ll have to read the book ‘Sugar and Snails’ by Anne Goodwin. I’ll include all the deets on the website after I log off.

“Make sure to use those sharing buttons today, too. I know Anne and Marmaduke would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Blurb:

At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance, until Simon melts her heart. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose him if she doesn’t go out for a visit. She’ll lose herself if she does.

Sugar and Snails describes Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

From reviews:

absorbing, clever and heartening  Alison Moore

truly impressive Fleur Smithwick

Anne Goodwin’s prose is at once sensitive, invigorating and inspired Rebecca Root

exudes authenticity The Psychologist

a pleasure to read from start to finish North East Lifestyle magazine

tantalisingly grips the reader  The Contemporary Small Press

a brave and complex story Literary Sofa

complex, fascinating and highly contemporary Shiny New Books

heart-rending Claire Thinking

absurdly brilliant Tales From A Bruce Eye View

Purchase links:

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010O8F9M6/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1908600470/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Publisher website

Sugar and Snails

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Bio:

Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, was published in May 2017. Her short story collection, Becoming Someone, on the theme of identity, was published in November 2018. A former clinical psychologist, Anne is also a book blogger with a special interest in fictional therapists.

Website: annethology https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/

Blog: Annecdotal

https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal

Twitter @Annecdotist https://twitter.com/Annecdotist

 

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

YouTube: Anne Goodwin’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPuR1zhp034

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The Tower in the Mist, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there all you sell-swords and spell-slingers, you heroes and wizards of every stripe. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Zathi from the land of Skaythe. My bio says she works for the ruling mage, named Dar-Gothull. “Welcome to the show, Zathi.”

“Well met.”

“So what exactly do you do for Dar-Gothull?”

“I am a Hunter-Guard, part of Dar-Gothull’s army. Our task is to move among the people and stamp out all who would rebel against our master. Bandits who ambush the tax collectors, scholars who speak or write against Dar-Gothull’s way, mages who would try to rival the great Dar-Gothull.

“In addition, we are a visible symbol. We remind them that no one can escape Dar-Gothull’s reach.”

“Wait a minute, that sounds a lot like an Imperial Stormtrooper. What exactly is Dar-Gothull’s way?”

“Dar-Gothull’s way is that the strong should rule over the weak. Their strength gives them that right. It doesn’t mean the weak can’t defend themselves. If they fight for what they have, then they deserve to keep it. Most people understand this. They send their mageborn children to Dar-Gothull’s temple for training, knowing that their whole family will one day profit from the mage’s status.

“Among the mages, there is a herarchy. They rise in power by fighting for what they want. But many of them develop a false sense of their own might and become corrupted by greed. Some even conspire to seize power from Dar-Gothull himself. We Hunter-Guards track them down and bring them to the master for his judgment.”

“That sounds… gladiatorial. But I suppose every leader lashes out at rebels. What does your boss’s justice look like?”

“He devours their souls to fuel his own power. Thus, any mage who seeks to overthrow Dar-Gothull only makes him stronger.”

“Um, I just––”

“Does that shock you? I am no mage, but I too have fought to achieve my desires. As a young woman, I was forcibly conscripted into the Hunter-Guards. I could have wept and wailed for my home. I could have stuck to nursing the wounded. Instead, I chose to follow orders and fight as hard as I could. Now I am a Sergeant, leader of my own squad. We are all women, so we don’t have to put up with guardsmen who can’t keep their hands to themselves.”

“Are there many female Sergeants?”

“There is one — me. The other Sergeants aren’t fond of it. They do what they can to drag us down. My guardswomen watch out for each other. Every bounty we bring in improves our gear and our reputation.

“Only, this latest mage has been… difficult. He may be more than we can hold onto.”

“Sounds like a tough guy. What makes him different?”

“We heard there was a group of them, traveling around in disguise as minstrels. They do funny plays and make people dance, even sing love songs. Gah!

🎼 “You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs” 🎶

“They make people weak. They tell them they deserve to have an easy life. But that’s not all. They take news around where it isn’t wanted. People who were sick suddenly get better. Sometimes the commoners start to make demands about cutting taxes. These renegades want people to be happy, but they’re less happy because of their ridiculous new ideas.

“Take Keilos. He was singing some sappy thing in a tavern. We knew he was a mage, but he didn’t even try to resist when we took him down. The others all ranted and made threats, or they tried to bribe us with money and power. Keilos just keeps smiling. He flatters the guardswomen with little jokes. No matter how rough we are, he doesn’t complain. It’s just unnatural.”

“Sounds like he isn’t as bad as Dar-Gothull thinks.”

“Lisa, he’s worse. He makes my guardswomen question their purpose. If he weakens our resolve, it will be the death of us all. I’ve sworn to take him in, just like all the others. But now there are problems. In order to reach the capital, we had to go through the Hornwood. It’s a cursed forest, full of dark magic and monsters like that giant badger —”

“Wait a minute. Giant badger? Regular sized ones have a bad enough attitude. What did you do?”

“We fought it, of course, but it was so huge that it hardly felt our blades. Keilos had been tied up, but he got loose somehow and came to help us. He made a light that blinded it, then pulled its feet out from under it. The beast even had me in its jaws, but I stabbed it hard enough to make it let go. It finally ran off.

“It was just good luck nobody was killed, but now we’re stuck in the Hornwood. The horses and oxen ran from it, and we have to find them or push our wagon the rest of the way. Somehow we have to keep control of Keilos all that time.”

“What’s your master plan?”

“I have a job to do. I’m going to do it, but there’s a whole lot of cursed forest between here and there. I hope I won’t need any more help from Keilos. I already owe him, and Hunter-Guards can’t make friends with mages. Not even the nice ones who sing pretty songs.”

“I wish we could all just get along, but since you’re my guest today I wish you good luck. Any closing remarks for our listeners today?”

“When you have a goal, fight for it and never give up.”

“You can learn all about Zathi and her mission in the book, The Tower in the Mist, by Deborah Fredericks. I’ll put all the details on the website after I go off the air.

“Don’t forget to tip your waitress today. By that, I mean use those sharing buttons. We want as many people as possible to know about this new story. Deborah and Zathi would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

The Tower in the Mist

Zathi’s job is to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into a cursed forest. Together, warrior and mage will face deadly beasts and grapple with decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten magic. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.

Pre-Order Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QL476BJ?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QL476BJ?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Other Formats: https://books2read.com/u/3nK1Mo

Author Bio

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000.

Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. The latest is The Grimhold Wolf, released by Sky Warrior in 2015. Her children’s stories and poems have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Babybug, Ladybug, and a few anthologies. In the past, she served as Regional Advisor for the Inland Northwest Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, International (SCBWI).

Web site: http://www.debyfredericks.com

Blog: http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com

Newsletter: http//eepurl.com/geV_nX

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War of Nytefall, Rivalry on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there, all you night-stalkers and day-walkers. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with characters from the books you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Mab. Mab is a new kind of vampire called a Dawn Fang. I know what that is, but our listeners might not. “Welcome to the show, Mab. Let’s start with the Dawn Fangs.”

“Thanks for having me. Although, I admit that I’m not comfortable being so exposed. Dawn Fangs are a new breed of vampire in Windemere. There are a lot of differences such as us having a heartbeat, being able to eat regular food, and not being able to use magic. We still have abilities, but their closer to natural talents than spells. The biggest change, and what causes a lot of trouble, is that Dawn Fangs don’t lose their powers in sunlight. Your world believes vampires get destroyed by the sun, but in Windemere, they used to only grow very weak. It’s pretty handy, but it does come with some complications.”

“It sounds to me like you’re missing the old ways. Would you rather return to the days of vampire one-point-oh?”

“Yes and no. Don’t get me wrong because I really like my new abilities and I get to work with Clyde again. Been decades since we were running our small gang. It’s the situation that I’m not a big fan of right now. I expected him to come back and we’d go back to taking whatever we wanted. Now, he has to think about the future of the Dawn Fangs and that doesn’t leave much time for the fun stuff. I mean, he’s turning out to be a pretty good ruler, but I’m not really sure where I fit in.”

“Sounds like we need to talk about Clyde. You two had a relationship once.”

“Long ago, Clyde and I were partners in crime then partners in everything else. It was love and respect that kept us together. Honestly, us being romantic partners wasn’t that different than anything else. Just more kissing and bed antics. Felt like a natural progression to what we already had. Feel like an idiot being so clinical here. That was a long time ago. Then I caught him in bed with Chastity who had used her magic to look like me in an attempt to help our relationship. That caused a lot of fighting and nearly broke the gang up, but Clyde and I managed to settle things.”

“My bio says Chastity was trying to help you. Seems like an odd way to help, but vampires are a bit different.”

“Vampires are different, but we were all mortal at some point. Even after centuries, most of us remember the emotions that once controlled our actions. As angry as I was at Chastity, I can’t say I was innocent. I went to her for help in spicing up my love life and made a joke about her impersonating me to do the things I didn’t feel comfortable doing. She thought that was a request and tried to help. Chastity and I get along now, but I did try to fight her a lot after that incident. Never won because she’s a master of charm magic, which she’s gotten better at since becoming a Dawn Fang. One spell and I do whatever she wants because I just cannot find a way around that. It’s pretty frustrating.”

“Keep fighting, I suppose. Besides, I don’t think robot girls can be charmed out of their pants. Not that way, anyhow.”

“Like I said, we got over it. Immortality means you really shouldn’t hold grudges, especially when you might have to work with the other person. Chastity is still a great source of information and, now that I can eat real food, she runs a popular bakery. I mean, the Scrumptious Siren has other things like the bar and brothel, but I’m a sucker for chocolate. Not like she charges me . . . or knows I snatch things from the shadows.

“Besides, we all took Clyde’s disappearance pretty badly. There was an event in my world called the Great Cataclysm, which changed the face of Windemere. Clyde had been swallowed up by the ground along with a city dedicated to the Durag the Sun God. Took me fifty years to get permission to look for him since we had a war going on in the aftermath and everyone else thought he was dead. I was the only one who thought he was still alive. Although, I didn’t realize what I was unleashing when I went to free him. To be fair, he was just waiting for me to turn up before he busted out and slaughtered a lot of Duragians before they could kill me.

“How do I explain this? Clyde came back very different. He’s the first Dawn Fang, so he turned all of us. It was an accident with me, but everyone else drank his blood willingly. Chastity was the first actually, which made it hard to keep hating her. When you think there’s only three of your kind, you tend to reconsider your issues with them. I wish that was the extent of the complications that my life would take. Should have seen what was coming, especially since being a Dawn Fang meant our old way of life was long over.”

“How so, Mab?”

“It’s hard to remain a carefree thief when you’re involved in politics and a civil war. Our enemies don’t really like that we exist because they think we’re going to try to wipe them out first. Well, Clyde is probably going to do that out of spite, but they really should have tried to leave us alone. It hurts to have old friends now be enemies and not being able to go back to your old home. We all worked out of the city of Nyte, but we can’t step foot in there without a battle. Then, the womb-born showed up and that threw a new wrinkle into our lives. Who would have thought Dawn Fangs could get pregnant and give birth to actual children? Once we got through that mess, this Vampire Queen steps out of rumors that are a couple centuries old and takes Clyde away. We have no idea where he is. I only have a vague idea of who and if that harpy is calling herself a Queen then I’m a friggin’ Goddess.”

“Sounds like you need to bail him out – again.”

“I can’t let someone have Clyde when they don’t deserve him . . . I mean, he’s my partner and I refuse to let him down. The biggest challenge is finding the Vampire Queen’s hideout and then it’s all about battling our way there. She’s going to make it difficult since we’ve heard that she has an army of assassins and followers. Clyde should be able to hold out until I can get there, but it’s going to take time. I have the ability to travel through shadows, all of which are connected by this monster-filled void. Only problem is that I need to know where I’m going and that requires time. A lot of time. Why couldn’t that idiot just punch and murder his way out of trouble instead of leaving me to save his ass? Strongest of the Dawn Fangs and he gets himself kidnapped without a trace. He better have a good reason for putting me through all this worrying and anger.”

“Will you use some of the Vengeance Hounds to help out?”

“My friends are definitely onboard. Doesn’t matter if I want them to stay behind. The Vampire Queen took one of our enemies too, so we have to work with a few of them. That whole enemy of my enemy is my friend. There’s going to be some friction, especially between those who never got along in the first place. I’m not really in the mood to play peacekeeper, so they better settle things themselves. Too much trouble and I’m leaving all of them behind. My brother can lecture me about teamwork and how I can’t take on an entire army by myself when I get back. Not like I have to fight since I can just sneak in, grab Clyde, and get out. That is unless the Vampire Queen is expecting that. Guess having a team does mean I can focus on saving Clyde instead of wasting time with everything else.”

“While it all seems pretty complicated, it sounds to me like you’re going to dive back in. I’m a sucker for a good love story, even if it’s kind of sick and twisted. I wish you all the possible luck, and I’m sure our listeners do too.”

“Love story? What do you mean love story? I didn’t say I was still in love with Clyde. We’re partners and protect each other. I’m sure he would be just as angry and worried if I was the one kidnapped. Love is a pretty strong word anyway and comes with a lot of weight to it. No, Lost, that isn’t the signal to stop! Don’t you dare cut off your psychic powers before I can-”

“You can read all about Mab and Clyde in the War of Nytefall series by Charles Yallowitz. The newest book is called War of Nytefall: Rivalry. I’ll post all the pertinents online after I log off.

“Charles has always been a great supporter of this broadcast. I don’t believe there is a single episode he didn’t reblog, tweet, and share somehow. Let’s return some of that support today and share my interview with Mab all across the internet. If your character appeared on Lisa Burton Radio, Charles was there for you.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Blurb-

Seeking the pleasure of revenge, an ancient rumor will reveal herself to be a deadly legend.

Lurking within the shadows for centuries, the Vampire Queen has been drawn to the conflict that surrounds Clyde. Only whispers have been spread about this elusive figure, who has amassed a kingdom that can rival Nyte and Nytefall. All that she is missing is the strongest vampire to crown as her king. In one fell swoop, she has taken the most powerful of her kind, including Clyde and Xavier Tempest. Hosting a tournament where the rules seem to change at her whim, the Vampire Queen threatens to shatter the already strained world that lurks beneath Windemere’s surface. Yet, there is more to her desires, which seep from a soul that is pulsing with fury. For her kingdom can never be complete until she holds the head of the one who wronged her centuries ago.

Can Mab stand against her ancient rival and save her beloved partner?

Sales link-  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QHLW76N/

 

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

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The Fondant Five, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you characters from the books you love. Today might be one of the sweetest shows we’ve ever had, and I mean that literally. “Please give a warm welcome to my special guest, the fondant lion.”

“Thank you, Lisa, I am so happy to be here, I feel a roar coming on. RRRROOOOAAAARRRR!”

“I know you are famous for your thick mane. Is it thicker because you live in the zoo?”

“Yes, that is likely. I don’t live in just any zoo, I live in the Chocolate Land zoo and it is a special place. All the fondant animals that live here are very happy and we receive excellent care from Sir Chocolate and his helpers. One of our favourite meals is Sir Chocolate’s famous custard. He makes it for us in an enormous pot. I can assure you it does not last long once it is made.

“I have lots of friends in the zoo and they treat me with respect. I am the King of the Jungle in the wild and the animals here all recognize that and let me take the lead on decisions regarding the zoo. I am better off than my brother who lives in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. He doesn’t always get as well fed as I do and sometimes, he has to fight other animals to defend his pride of fifteen other lions. It can be a hard life living in the wild especially when there are wild fires or droughts that destroy the vegetation. Finding food and water can be difficult at those times.

“The one thing I don’t have that my brother does is a wife. I have friends but I am lonely for female companionship of my own kind. I would like to have a family too. Lots so cute little fondant lion cubs running around would be wonderful.”

“Aww, poor guy. Maybe Sir Chocolate can find a wife to live with you.”

“It’s a good life here in the zoo. I get to meet lots of people and children. Sometimes we get to visit a school and that is great fun. During our school visits we teach parents, teachers and children about the benefits of creative art. Sir Chocolate brings fondant along for the children to play with and they learn how to make all sorts of fun figurines and other things out of it. Fondant is fabulous stuff, it is like play dough, but you can eat it. It is stretchy and elastic, and you can mould it easily into shapes. One of the children made a fondant hippo and she came to live with us in the zoo after the fruit drop fairies gave her life with their magic sugar dust.

“Our school visits are not always to demonstrate fondant art, sometimes we teach the children about baking. Sir Chocolate says that baking is very beneficial for children. It helps them develop hand-eye co-ordination, bilateral co-ordination, strengthens their little hands and helps them improve their planning and maths skills. As the King of the Jungle, I am proud of being part of something so useful to children and their teachers and parents.

“All of our books include five fun recipes for children to do with their teachers, parents or grandparents. The children love making the recipes and it is a nice way for parents and grandparents to bond with their children and occupy them doing something beneficial and entertaining. It is hard to complete with television and computers, but baking does. The kids love it!

“I do have one complaint, Lisa. I don’t have a recipe in Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five. There are five recipes. Sir Chocolate, Lady Sweet, buffalo and rhino all got a recipe, and even cheetah, and he isn’t even a big five animal. I didn’t get one and I think I should have but never mind. Perhaps I will get my own recipe in another book or on Robbie and Michael’s baking blog, Bake and Write.”

“Fondant sounds amazing.”

“You know what isn’t amazing? Royal icing. That stuff is like concrete.”

“Interesting. I would think the King of the Jungle would demand nothing less than the royal variety.”

“Well, Lisa, royal icing does taste rather amazing and it is very useful stuff. Sir Chocolate uses it to glue his chocolate and gingerbread houses together and, boy, does it stick. My friends and I had a bad experience with it in our book. We were kidnapped by the Wedding Cake Elves and taken to the home of the Chocolate Giant. His daughter was getting married and the giant had asked the elves to make her a wedding cake with an African theme. She specifically wanted the big five animals. They are lazy little fellows, so they decided to kidnap my friends and I rather than make their own fondant animals for the cake. Fortunately, they only took the fondant five, that is Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and me. A few of our friends were left behind in the zoo.

“We were dragged out of cages one night and made to march towards the Chocolate Chip Hills which is where the giant lives. When we arrived, the elves set about making a delicious tiered wedding cake and then …. [gulp] … they attached us to the cake with royal icing. It was a terrible feeling, Lisa, to be attached to a cake by your paws so that we couldn’t move about. Just thinking about it gives me the chills. The only redeeming factor is that the elves were smart enough to put me on the top of the cake. That is right for the King of the Jungle.”

“Kidnapping is bad. What did you do?”

“We couldn’t do anything, Lisa, glued to the cake with that terrible icing. Sir Chocolate saved us, he is a kind and generous man and would do anything for his friends. He discovered from the fondant giraffe and monkey what had happened during the night and he came to find us. Along the way he met up with the wily fondant cat who also wanted to help so the four of them arrived at the castle to implement a rescue.

“From our position on the cake on the table we could see Sir Chocolate’s rescue plan unfold, Lisa. It was really ingenious how he used each animals’ talents and special features, like the giraffe’s long neck, to rescue us. If I had a hat, I would take it off to Sir Chocolate.

“We all got away and went back to our lovely and peaceful life at the zoo. It turned out that Sir Chocolate knows the giant and he told him about those naughty elves and they were suitably punished for their laziness.

“Chocolate Land is an amazing place. Everything is edible from the trees to the houses and there are lots of amazing creatures and people who live here. I hope you will come and visit us at the Chocolate Land zoo and share our latest adventure. You will like it so much here that you will want to find out about all of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet’s other adventures too.”

“You can learn all about the Fondant Lion and the rest of the Fondant Five in the book Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five, by Robbie Cheadle and Michael Cheadle. This is a children’s book, and you get a bunch of extra stuff out of it too. There are recipes for children and their parents to make together. We should have made a fondant Lisa Burton and had me visit Chocolate Land. That would be fun one day. Anyhooo, this is an amazing series for children and their parents or grandparents. Any of the books are enjoyable, but the one on display today is Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five.

“We’ve presented Chocolate Land on this show before. Robbie and Sir Chocolate would hit those sharing buttons for you, so won’t you please give them a bit of love today? For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. 

Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

Robbie has also recently published a poetry collection, Open a new door, together with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

You can find Robbie at her website: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/https://bakeandwrite.co.za/

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Fluffy’s Revolution, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m reaching into the future to the year 2135, and my very special guest is Fluffy the cat. “Welcome to the show, Fluffy.”

“Thank you very much, Lisa! I’m not used to this kind of attention.”

“Does this mean cats eventually take over the world?”

“Oh no! We don’t want to take over anything. What do you think we are, humans? Well, let me start from the beginning. It’s kind of a long story. I’m what is called a GAB cat. That stands for Genetically Altered Brain. And it’s not just cats, it’s dogs, mice, and the occasional pig. See, way back in 2015, some scientists injected elements of human DNA into the brains of some unborn mice. When the mice were born, their brains were twelve percent larger than the normal mouse brain. Then, these same guys started also experimenting on cats, dogs, and pigs. What they didn’t anticipate was that, when two GAB animals mated, their offspring would come out exponentially smarter than their parents. Over many generations, our brains changed but our bodies didn’t, so we developed certain powers to compensate. Since our tongues and palates were the wrong shape to form words, we learned how to talk to each other telepathically. Since we didn’t have opposable thumbs to grasp objects, we developed the ability to move objects with our minds—telekinesis.”

“Cats, dogs, and mice are born in litters, so are there more out there like you?”

“Today, in 2135, about a third of all the mice, dogs and cats, and about an eighth of all the pigs on Earth are GABs. Since the world is controlled by three giant corporations, and just about all the jobs were taken by robots (hey, you fit right in, Lisa!), people were not happy. They were poor and hungry. So, the corporations gave them something to hate and fear—us! They started rounding up and exterminating us. I guess, like you, they were afraid we were going to take over the world. But we just wanted to make the world better. But now I’m getting ahead of myself.

“See, I spent the first five years of my life living with my dad—er—my human. His name is Professor James Riordan, a very smart and kind human. He brought me up, loved, and educated me, just like I was his real child. But I kept getting these psychic distress signals from my lost brother, Jack. He was the runt of the litter and never got adopted. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to go out there and find him.”

“So, you left the comfort of your penthouse to try helping your brother. That’s a pretty noble act. Were the streets anything like you expected?”

“Well, my dad tried to talk me out of it. He told me what a terrible world it was out there, especially for GAB animals. But nothing could have prepared me for how scary it really was. I almost got sucked up by an Animal Control truck, almost got run over by a car, almost got eaten by a dog, jumped into the back of a truck, and wound up in a warehouse that was the hideout for a group of animal revolutionaries: a brilliant mouse named Hacker, his wife, Mitzi, a sweet dog named Fang—she turned out to be a girl dog—and a young boy cat named Tigger. They also had three human helpers: Rudy, Giuseppe, and Janet. Everybody was really nice, once I got them to trust me. I was very mad about all the exterminations, so I joined up with them.”

“So, they’re exterminating cute cuddly animals, including animals that are as intelligent as humans?”

“Afraid so, Lisa… Especially animals that are as intelligent as humans. So Hacker planned a raid on the big extermination center that was pretty nearby. Their plan was to free all the animals and then blow the place up, killing the people who worked in there, but I talked them out of that part. See, my dad taught me that humans are the most violent species on Earth, that we shouldn’t try to match them in violence, because we would lose. Instead, we decided to knock the people out with some stuff called Livion. Anyway, we managed to get all the animals out, and, guess what, I found Jack in the extermination chamber, about to be killed, and got him out too. Everything went according to plan until Janet decided on her own to blow the place up.”

“Who’s Janet again?”

“Janet was one of our human helpers, and it turned out that she harbored secrets that made our fur stand on end.”

“Where did you go?”

“Well, we loaded all the freed animals into big trucks and took them back to our hideout. The plan was to smuggle them and ourselves, disguised as robopets—Epsilon’s line of new robot animals, up into the mountains. See, I’d heard of a secret university up there for GABs called Animal U.”

“Why would a university be any safer than your hideout?”

“Because our hideout was right there in the city, and the cops and the Animal Control people and Epps and his minions had ways of detecting us in there. But no one knew about Animal U. It was hidden in a valley that wasn’t even on maps. Anyway, Janet blowing up the extermination center put the kibosh on our trip to the mountains. They closed in on us with killer drones, guns, and bombs. They blew the place to smithereens. Most of the animals were killed. Somehow, I and a few others were able to escape. Making my way on foot up into the mountains by myself was no picnic, I can tell you that. I was kidnapped by bad people and almost killed by coyotes, but somehow, I made it to Animal U. Amazingly, my dad was able to find me there and we were reunited.”

“Wait, the penthouse guy? Aww, he must really love his kitty to find you there.”

“Stop! I’m on the verge of purring. The professor has discovered a problem, and he hopes our genetically altered brains can help him find a solution. We hope so too because it could mean the end of the planet.”

“Oh, my gosh! What kind of dangers are you facing?”

“A killer asteroid is headed directly for Earth. We only have thirty days to come up with a solution or we’re all catnip.”

“I wish you all the luck possible, Fluffy, and I’m sure our listeners do too. Do you have any closing remarks for us today?”

“Yes. Remember, animals are your friends, people. Also, look both ways before crossing a road, stay away from mean dogs, mean people, and coyotes, and, most important: love trumps hate!”

“You can learn all about Fluffy and her friends by picking up the book, Fluffy’s Revolution, by Ted Myers. I’ll post all the deets on the website after we go off the air today.

“This program only runs when we have guests. I’m here for you authors out there, but I can’t keep going without guests, so let me hear from you.

“Please don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Ted and Fluffy would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

.The year is 2135 and the world is controlled by three mega-corporations. With thirty days before a giant asteroid hits Earth, it’s up to a few good humans and a group of GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) animals, led by Fluffy, to fix the situation before all humanity and the animal world perish. Can Fluffy and her crew save Earth from certain destruction and learn the key to the GABs’ survival? Can Fluffy and her kind answer hatred with love and show humanity what it truly means to be human?

This unique and tender story takes place in the future but begins with genetic experiments that are taking place right now.

Fluffy is a super-intelligent GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) cat. Like many of her brethren―dogs, cats, mice, and the occasional pig―her brain is the product of genetic tinkering by humans that started more than a century ago. Because they need a scapegoat, the corporate oligarchs who rule the world have labeled GAB animals terrorists and have begun to systematically capture and exterminate them. Fluffy, compelled by psychic distress signals from her lost brother, leaves the safety of her home to look for him and joins a band of animal revolutionaries. With their powers of telekinesis, the animals can manipulate physical objects without being able to grasp them. With their powers of telepathy, they can speak to each other without audible voices. After a series of brushes with death, Fluffy and her friends find a secret university for GAB animals called Animal U and that’s when they find out about the asteroid…

Pick up your copy at the following locations:

Book website:

https://fluffysrevolution.com/

 

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/sci-fifantasy/fluffysrevolution

For a 15% discount before March 28, use promo code PREORDER2019

 

Amazon:

https://amzn.to/2T8QjiZ

 

Barnes & Noble:

https://bit.ly/2CGX7xB

 

About the Author:

After twenty years trembling on the brink of rock stardom and fifteen years working at record companies, Ted Myers left the music business (or perhaps it was the other way around) and took a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency. This cemented his determination to make his mark as an author. Ted’s nonfiction has appeared in Working Musicians (Harper Collins), By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution of 1969 (Backbeat Books) and Popular Music and Society. His epic and amusing memoir, Making It: Music, Sex & Drugs in the Golden Age of Rock (Calumet Editions) was published in 2017. His fiction has appeared online and in print in many anthologies and literary magazines.

You can find Ted at the following places:

Amazon Author Page:

https://amzn.to/2RJM2CD

 

B&N Author Page:

https://bit.ly/2DDizVN

 

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/Ted_Myers

 

Bookbub Author Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ted-myers

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ted.myers.56

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/TedMyersAuthor or @TedMyersAuthor

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Truth and the Serpent, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. They say fame is fleeting, but is it really? What if you were involved in something so nefarious that your legend held on for centuries, eternity even? We’re not taking flavor-of-the-month on some reality show, or a public meltdown by some YouTube sensation. This is the big time. Let’s give a warm welcome to this week’s special guest the Serpent, and I mean the Serpent. “Welcome to the show.”

“Thank you for having me, Robo-Girl! And I must say, it’s a pleasure being with you. And to be clear, you’re not an animatronic puppet are you? I’d hate to find out, that I’ve been having a conversation with a hairy old man hiding behind a curtain …”

“Nope, one-hundred percent robot girl here. The only hairy old man around here is working on something else today. Let’s dive right into it, shall we? You were involved in certainly the first, and possibly the biggest con-job in history. There are a lot of concepts about it, from myth to absolute fact and everyone thinks they’re right. We’d like to hear it in your own words.

“Interesting choice of words … but calling it a con, may be off putting too some of your listeners.

“You see I do not feel that humanity fully appreciates the gravity of what transpired. Technically speaking, if the events in Eden didn’t occur, humanity wouldn’t exist in its present form! So … You’re welcome! I mean really when you get down to it, what did I really do? Hmm? I gave a woman a choice … truly an unforgivable sin! To open one’s eyes is a dangerous thing. As the saying goes … I was blind, but now I SSSSSee!”

“So let’s clarify something for our listeners. You are not the devil, are you?”

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! They really do give me too much credit! Ha! Ha! Ha! Haa! But, my goodness, NO!”

“So were you working for him, or someone else?”

“I don’t get paid to go coiling about, and happening across the dislikes of humanity if that’s what you mean. I am as the Creator hath made me … Serpent is the name of my game! It took some centuries, but I’ve come to understand my station in life, but even more so… to embrace it.

“You see, the way things are, is the way they have always been. What I would like to convey to your listeners is not to judge a book by its cover. And to remember that everything has a purpose. Therefore, to acknowledge Good is to acknowledge Evil. To love the light is to embrace the darkness. Thus nothing alive is without its inevitable end. And what could be more truthful, more absolute than every man’s own impending death.

“Let me put it another way. These days, nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions. Everything is someone else’s fault. Here’s your chance to set the story straight.”

“Exactly, my dear! And I do appreciate you being so straightforward. But in all honesty, I have no intention of misleading man or woman kind. You see, good and evil are twin brother and sister, and are only differentiated by mere points of view. My motivation in life is simply to move humanity from one state to the next… bliss and ignorance into living and knowing.

“It’s an endless cycle of birth and rebirth, the ending of one existence and the transitioning into another. Only the ignorant would see that as Evil. If that is not the greatest cosmic joke then I don’t know what is.”

“So what’s a serpent to do after something like that? Did you make it into something like a celebrity status, kind of like a spot on Hollywood Squares? Did you become more of a recluse and avoid the spotlight?”

“I suppose those theologians would like you to believe that I just disappeared into the pages of history and lore, but I am ever present. And to belabor the point, there were three of us in Eden, but only two were cast out of the Garden… and I was not! I am free to move about any and all of the realms.

“I have lived to see the effects of that fateful encounter. From the earliest of human civilization where serpents were worshiped in cults, then to symbols of respect and protection. Mankind was never bashful of taking our gifts and using our venom for the first medicines. Then somewhere in time the feminine race became aligned with serpents and misleading all men into sin. What silliness, I must say.

“After Eden, I saw the first sons of men, who were bestowed with knowledge over the lands, only to betray each other in murderous rage. Then how the Creator saw fit to wash them all of humanity away. But like a cockroach humanity clung to life and spawned and spread again. Then came a King who towered above his fellow man only to mock the Creator, and how history speaks of him in a thousand tongues. Centuries of bondage and backsliding, and the multitudes of judges and redeemers sent to lead man with stone written law. I have traveled the entirety of the earth, and I learned my purpose in life after eons. And I can tell you good and evil are not defining traits, therefore human scientists can cease with trying to isolate an Evil chromosome. I prefer the balance of truth as opposed to the squabbling of morality. But woe to mankind, as he is slow to remember and quick to forget!

“But I have found a sort of peace in my life, and these days, I try to catch up on my reading. I have planned to pen a few novels, but they’ve mostly stalled during editing. I have many hobbies, but studying humanity is definitely my favorite.

“It’s quite interesting to have observed a thing literally from its conception, and even now as I look out at them I laugh. Such over confident, super civilized, backward facing, bipedal primates. Ha! Humans are exactly as they have always been; a bunch of naked, frightened, silly little things, hiding from their own shame.”

“That’s about all the time we have today. Any final thoughts for our listeners?”

“Please understand, humanity has the powers of creation and destruction within them, it’s just a matter of growing into their full potential. The whole matter is only food for thought, and is irrelevant for me to judge good and evil from my plane of observation. You see, I am not confined by mortal rules and laws.

“I am a predator and predation is part of my natural being. Now that I think about it… it reminds me of a very disappointing book I read once… Of Mice and men.”

“Of Mice and men, by John Steinbeck, was a complete waste of time?”

“Terrible! Cover to cover … not one good recipe!”

“You can learn about the Serpent in more depth by reading the book Truth and the Serpent, by J. Rutledge. I’ll post the links and such online after I go off the air.

“Let’s all remember to use those sharing buttons today, too. I don’t know how he pushes the buttons, but the Serpent promised me he would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.

***

2018 NewApple E-Book Awards: RELIGION / SPIRITUALITY  OFFICIAL SELECTION

What if you encountered a dark and sinister character of not so subtle reputation? One whose origins are the very meaning of temptation and sin.

What do we really know of creation, myth, and belief? There was a Man, a Woman, a Garden, and of course… a Serpent. Yet, what we have come to know as temptation, and mortal sin are only one side of the story. You see, three sinned, and three were punished, but only two were expelled from the Garden, but afterwards…what happened to the Serpent?

A present day man finds himself eye to eye with the infamous Serpent of curse and ruin. The Serpent who characteristically makes the man an offer to learn not just what happened, but why.

A tale unlike any other, where the fall of man is not weighed on a scale of good or evil, but in truth and lies. The Serpent whose intellect, sarcasm, and wit cultivates over time as he appraises the history of man and religious lore. The Serpent who is also on a journey of self-discovery to learn the meaning of that ill-fated encounter and the purpose of his own life.

Come to know the unsung story of one who lived through creation, survived the great deluge, witnessed a mass exodus, and the rise and fall of exalted kings of men. Could such a tale, as told by a forked tongue, be the end of lies, and the beginning… of the truth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1541235487

Bio:  Writing stories has always been a passion of mine that I rarely shared with others. As a child, I was often frustrated with the stories and characters I was presented with. I then began creating my own stories, and rewriting others with new endings or plot twists that I felt were lacking. As a learned man, I have always found myself asking more in depth questions, and seeking out different meanings than my peers. Over the years, I have come to embrace that obtuseness about myself, and now I let it drive me. It was that same sense of curiosity and need for a deeper meaning that led me to creating Truth and The Serpent, my first full length novel. My goal as a writer is to generate intriguing, positive, and challenging ideas, while leaving the reader with plenty to chew on in anticipation of the next story.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerJRutledge

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriterJ.Rutledge/

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Paying the Bills, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. Just me this week for several reasons. The main one is that I didn’t want to stick a guest during the week between the holidays.

Still, Christmas is over, and mine was wonderful. Bunny and I hung out at the writing cabin, and it was nice and quiet.

Speaking of Christmas, what did you get? I know this crowd, and every one of you got an Amazon gift card. You’re all readers and writers, don’t deny it. After you finish your purchases, there is likely to be a bit left over, and that’s what I want to talk about today.

Craig is my author. Officially, it’s C. S. Boyack, but we all just call him Craig. See, he writes books too. His are all ebooks, so you’ll need a Kindle or one of the apps to read them.

He has a lot of titles these days, so I won’t break them all down. There are novels, collections of short stories, one group of short stories that tells an over-arching tale, and even a couple of free anthologies he’s appeared in.

Craig lives in the world of speculative fiction, so you’ll find fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction among his titles. Sometimes more than one in the same book.

2018 was a fair publishing schedule. Craig released a novel and his first novella. Call it whatever you like, but it’s 50,000 words or so. We don’t like novelette or some of the other designations.

The first one is a novel called The Yak Guy Project. This one is about a rotten young man who wakes up in the desert with no idea how he got there. He’s rescued by a talking yak, and taken on an adventure that provides quite a bit of room for personal growth.

Let’s face it, the guy had a lot of room for personal growth. Know what I mean? Think of it like a coming of age story for a new generation. You can pick up your copy for $2.99. There’s bound to be that much left on your Amazon card.

This is the one that follows the Major Arcana of the Tarot if that appeals to you. You don’t have to understand it to enjoy the ride. If you do, it might be interesting to try spotting the places where a card is represented.

The next one is called The Hat. This is the shorter one I mentioned. You can actually read it in a long afternoon. It’s about a girl who crosses paths with an old hat. Only this isn’t really a hat. He’s a being from another dimension trapped in the form of a hat for all eternity.

They are worlds apart, so they argue a lot. She’s twenty-one, and he’s been in a box for twenty years. He missed cell phones, the Internet, and most of the daily technology we have today.

These guys are both pretty capable, but together they form a symbiosis that let’s them do even more. Think of them like paranormal superheroes, and they’re on the trail of some nefarious baby snatchers.

It seems like a lot of story, and it is. But you can pick up your copy for 99¢. That’s it, 99¢. Come on, you know you got free shipping on your Amazon Alexa unit. Check the reviews and I think you’ll become converts.

Oh, and I have it on good authority that Lizzie and The Hat are going to make a return engagement in 2019.

That’s it for me today. We’ll start having guests again after the new year. I usually throw in a bunch of links and stuff at this point, but you’re already here. I’ll add some cover art, make them link to the purchase site, and toss this link in for good measure.

Craig’s Amazon Author Page is https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY Just in case you want one of those free anthologies or a different title.

That’s it for me, I’m outta here. Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. Craig’s done it for over a hundred episodes of Lisa Burton Radio, and he’ll do it again when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.

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