Charlie, The Migrating Snail – Now Available To Pre-order On Kindle At A Very Special Discount!

Great News!

charliebookonecover28329While we put the finishing touches to the paperback, large print version of Book One of Charlie, The Migrating Snail, we decided to let you pre-order your copy of the Kindle version at a considerable discount, and be eligible to enter our Prize Draw!

Here’s what you’ll get for pre-ordering now:

  • Be one of the first to read the story!
  • Big savings on the official launch price!
  • Ensure delivery on February 28th!
  • Pre-orders are sent to you automatically.

That’s not all. If you contact Charlie and tell him you’ve pre-ordered a copy, you’ll be entered into a drawing for an amazing prize!

WIN:

An Exclusive, Signed and Illustrated Paperback Copy!!!

 

For a sneak peek, you can read an excerpt of Chapter One by clicking this link: SAMPLE.

And you can use any of the relevant links below to pre-order your copy now:

UK: Charlie, The Migrating Snail – Book One

US: Charlie, The Migrating Snail – Book One

CA: Charlie, The Migrating Snail – Book One

AU: Charlie, The Migrating Snail – Book One

Stay tuned for more updated news for when Book One will be available in paperback and in audio book formats.

New Blog: My First Goal-Setting Book

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone that has bought, read, downloaded, reviewed, used, and commented on my simple, easy-to-read book about changing your life through setting goals and taking manageable steps to achieve them.

Since I’m getting more and more interest in MY FIRST GOAL-SETTING BOOK and my motivational and self-development posts, I’ve decided to create a stand-alone site just for that book and that subject:

MY FIRST GOAL-SETTING BOOK BLOG

This will allow me to keep this blog focused on other things, musings, author interviews, upcoming books I’m working on and thinking of publishing soon, and things that are going on in my life. The other site will focus exclusively on personal development and goal-setting advice.

Thank you once again for all your help, support, and encouragement.

Anthony

Book Reviews: When The Rainbow Smiled by Anthony James Donnelly

Rainbows New Cover

I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas. I hope many of you managed to take advantage of my free books over the holiday season. My best presents this year are these two early reviews that have come in for my latest publication When The Rainbow Smiled.

A big thank you to both of these reviewers, what lovely words! Thank you both for taking the time to rate and write a review.

Beautifully written and illustrated short story for all ages.

A perfect accompanyment to ‘When the Trees Held Thier Breath’. This thought provoking story seems to have the ability to speak to you on many levels when considering what is happening around the world today and the society we live in. It’s a book that you can read and read again and reflect on the message of kindness, sharing and freedom of choice and what can happen when we do none of those things. If you are wanting something a little different to share with your children then buy this book!

Five Stars

Such a beautiful book. Thoughtful, thought-provoking and wonderfully illustrated. Warmth on a page.

 A beautiful book, with the charm

A beautiful book, with the charm, delight and unexpected discovery of childhood innocence. The way Anthony Donnelly has unfolded the parable, we are taken on a journey that makes not only the rainbow smile, but our hearts too. A book to read to be inspired, to be lifted and to share.

How lovely to have one of my books referred to as, ‘warmth on a page’. Here’s hoping your year ends well and the New Year begins well and continues to bring you love, success and happiness.

NEW BOOK: When The Rainbow Smiled by Anthony James Donnelly

Rainbows New Cover

Originally written back in 2000 as the sequel to my first publication, When The Trees Held Their Breath, this short, illustrated work tells the story of how colour first came to the world as a ‘smiling’ rainbow. At a much deeper level, the resounding message is one of peace, love, acceptance, and harmony.

This work is especially dear to my heart, as I thought it was lost forever. At the turn of the millennium, certain members of the UK education system were showing an interest in this work as an education tool for primary school children. Since I was living in the US at that time promoting “Trees”, I handed the project and all of my artwork over to an old Secondary School friend of mine, Richard Eyre. He had many contacts, and worked diligently with them to compile a teaching resource to accompany my short, powerful story.

Scan_20151212 (4)
Artwork by Mani Navasothy

Sadly, the project failed to reach fruition at the last minute, and was shelved. When you are an industry outsider, it’s very hard to break into a market that is controlled by the larger organisations! Even sadder is the fact that Richard passed away this year in a tragic motorbike accident in Thailand, where he had been living for the past seven years working on humanitarian projects.

It was at his funeral recently that I was surprised to be reunited with my text and some of my original watercolour artwork once more. Although a handful of my original art was missing, they had been replaced by the fantastic work of Mani Navasothy (an artist Richard had hired to ‘upgrage’ some of my images) which add even more depth and colour to my words.

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Artwork by Anthony Donnelly

With the advancement of online publishing and print-on-demand technology, I decided to edit and format this into a full colour publication in honour of my late friend, Richard.

Although I have no doubt that this short book alone will not bring about world peace, this is part of my continuing contribution to that effort. Perhaps some younger readers and their parents will take the themes and messages of my text and open a dialogue about how we, as a combined human race, can work towards that end. A good start would be to bring peace into our personal lives, more understanding in our daily encounters with friends and strangers, a daily focus on love rather than war… We can only hope that by a collective effort and focus on love and acceptance, our children may get the opportunity to live in a war-free world.

When The Rainbow Smiled is available in print format and Kindle via the Amazon website. I love to hear feedback from my readers, so please help spread the word by sharing, posting reviews, and leaving me comments. May this year end well for you, and may 2016 bring you closer to your dreams.

***

The Shepherd Cover ArtANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His latest book, a short, inspirational parable THE SHEPHERD  is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance. Most recently you can see him back on the sets of films and in front of the modelling camera again.

Birthday Reflections

Happy Birthday Cake 004AS MY BIRTHDAY rapidly approaches, it is my habit to reflect upon the past 12 months and give thanks, make adjustments where necessary, make amends where due, and dream up new and exciting plans for the next 12 months.

TRAVEL

I am continually thankful for the fantastic opportunities that I experience in this life. Last year involved a lot of travel – some planned, some not. I was fortunate enough to spend a few months in Costa Rica and meet many, many wonderful people from around the world. Hopefully one day I shall return and see some of my great, new friends once more. It was in Costa Rica where I was finally able to release a lot of emotional baggage and ties to the past, and reconnect to the free spirit and lonely child in the depths of my soul.

Canada was an unplanned experience, but the ‘wanderlust’ had grabbed me. It was a great counterpart to my experiences in America, and I had an interesting time there, but I doubt very much I could ever call Canada ‘home’ –  the people are warm, but the climate is far, far too cold!

PATTERNS & CHANGE

Throughout my life, I notice reoccurring patterns. No matter how hard I try to push in a different direction, my passions (and what I’ve come to believe are my destinies) keep pulling me back to where I am happiest and most content. England was also an unplanned destination… homeward bound after 15 years… a perceived backwards move…?

My country of birth has changed much since I’ve been away, mostly politically, and not for the better! Europe appears to have strong-armed its way into most, if not all of our legislation… I think there is even a European mandate on the correct way to have a ‘stiff upper lip’! It did not feel like the country I left behind before the millennium.

Tara's Folly
Tara’s Folly

It was wonderful to connect with family and old friends from long ago. An early experience, and something I’d always wanted to try, was to thatch a roof for some dear friends of mine who were building a summer house castle in their backyard! In England we call such things ‘follies’.

Although I had no intention of staying, so many of my friends and family lamented the fact that I had given up on my childhood dream of becoming a professional actor. I hadn’t given up on it, merely shelved it for a more suitable time, in fact I had been quite successful before I emigrated to the US, back in the late 90s..

NEW EXPERIENCES

Being open to new things, and relaxing into being led where life wanted me (getting out of my own way!) it’s been a fantastic final sprint to the finish line. Although it took quite a bit of effort to raise the money I needed to get headshots for my new acting career, step one of the professional process started well. I’m currently batting four-for-four: four auditions, four castings! In the past month I have appeared as the lead, or co-lead in three short, student films, which will help with step two of the process: getting my showreel together. And in May, I begin shooting my first indie feature film.

Two new books were published late last year (“The Shepherd” and “49q? The Enigma Continues”), and I have three more in the pipeline. I really does feel like I have landed right back in the happiest times of my life, back when I was last here as a freelance actor and writer! With more life experiences under my belt, and many, many more new talents, especially concerning business ownership, I feel supremely confident in the outcome of the next twelve months.

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

An old friend of mine plans to produce a play I wrote in my early 20s and enter it into the Lewisham Festival in November – naturally, I shall be co-starring.

On the business front, I have partnered with a new actor friend who runs ‘factually inaccurate tours of London’ (www.bullshitlondon.com) Drawing upon my past experience, not only will I be conducting tours later this year, but will be helping expand the business in new and exciting ways, and possibly creating some form of licensing program to develop other cities. Another ‘blast from the past’ friend – a highly successful business coach and self-development guru – offers an opportunity to indulge my love of helping people fulfill their true potential.

There are still many old friends I have yet to hook up with, but that’s all planned for this new year. It has been a really wonderful twelve months, and I have no regrets. As to thoughts, ideas, and plans for the next year…?

Don’t confuse confidence and happiness with arrogance when I say it is my fullest intent to be paid to appear in a feature film later this year. I will have an agent, and I will continue to help all those I come into contact with, as is my nature.

REFLECTIVE WORDS OF GUIDANCE

I’ll try not to sound too preachy here, but I really want others to benefit from the wonderful life experiences I have gained.

Take time to be quiet and calm, and connect with life around you. Do your best to find your true place in the world – don’t strive for something that doesn’t resonate, instead ‘feel’ where you should be and what you should be doing. Have confidence in your ‘true’ self, don’t let other people’s opinions or comments wrongly influence what your heart is telling you is right. Don’t sell your life for the mere attainment of money to attempt to buy back your happiness. Instead, choose to be happy in all things – be selfish (in the true sense of the word) and know that ALL of your real friends want only one thing for you: Happiness. Focus on what makes you fully happy, and the world around you will change for the better!

 

In happiness, joy, and love, I thank each and everyone of you!

 

#AUTHOR INTERVIEWS: Pat McDonald – “The Blue Woods Trilogy”

patmcdonaldWelcome to the next author interview… I have the great pleasure to introduce a very talented author, Pat McDonald. If you like intelligent crime fiction, this trilogy will have you hooked from book one. Imaginative characters and absorbing plot lines. If any of my production company chums are reading this, I think these would make excellent TV drama… But enough high praise, let me allow Pat to tell things in her own words:

 

  1. Your background is law enforcement. At what point in your career did you start thinking about writing a crime novel?

Writing is all I have ever wanted to do from when I wrote poetry and short stories as a teenager, it was my ambition to return to creative writing when I finished my career of which the latter part was spent in law enforcement. After seventeen years immersed in that arena it was inevitable that I should begin there although it wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened. Perhaps it was a need to download much of what my head contained and then leave it behind.

patmcdonaldbookI had a wealth of experience that I have used as a framework in which to allow my imagination to run riot. Inspiration for my books comes from my observations of the real world, which I think is reflected in them. The world is full of inexplicable phenomena and extraordinary people and provides me with sufficient material to allow my imagination to take it and ask ‘what if’ in those circumstances this was to happen. Just a twist can take something ordinary and make you wonder at it. I do think, however, that I have some deep recesses of my mind where lurks a murky pool of things to draw upon!

  1. You’re now on your third novel, do you find it is becoming easier to write or harder, and why?

I only intended to write one crime novel and as a ‘free flow’ writer my stories just pour out, so much so that I find it hard to end something I’m doing. This is why I have begun my crime fiction with a trilogy. I usually find I have more than one ending which leaves me with a cliff-hanger and a carryover plot – it is after all a potential real life series and real life doesn’t neatly fit most of our everyday time lines. I did manage to end the trilogy, although it would lend itself to a series if ever I chose to return to it. I would say that writing has perhaps become easier, although I would prefer ‘better’, sufficiently to try out something else.

  1. patmcdonaldbook2Do you draw on any specific experiences in your law enforcement career? Can you elaborate?

I haven’t taken any of the actual crimes from my experiences, but rather the setting and the process of law enforcement. However, I deliberately set it earlier than present day because some of the things I write about would not be allowed to happen today. My imagination can take a potential view of the ‘ordinary’ and turn it into something else entirely. Although my books are set within an imaginary police force, they also encompass the lives of the officers involved and the villains they have to deal with; sometimes the two become so fused that it is hard to separate them. My books are fiction with a real edge. They present characters and scenarios that I hope reflect reality, but the kind that doesn’t end in happy ever after – well real life doesn’t does it?

  1. If you couldn’t write in the crime genre, what would be your next choice and why?

My current work in progress is a move away from crime to a different genre. My Y.A paranormal thriller Breaking Free is about stalking and is set in the North of Wales, UK. It has a hint of historical W.W 1 drama that is surprisingly haunting! One of the characters in Getting Even escapes from the clutches of the bad Detective Chief Inspector and although he pursues her she drops out of the plot. I wanted to find out what happened to her, so I pick up the story when she returns to a small but close community in North Wales. I wanted to explore how someone could ‘lose’ themselves and to examine further about stalking and its outcome. I have recently found my ending to this story and am working the plot towards that end.

  1. What are the elements of writing you love and dislike the most?

I am a ‘free flow’ writer and as such do not plan my books. I sit with a blank page and allow the stories to develop as I write. I found this method surprising when I began, but love it and believe it works for me as a creative story teller. When I begin to write the next chapter or sub-chapter I have no idea what I am about to write. I love more than anything developing the characters that I create and imagine myself as each one whilst writing their particular chapter or sub-chapter. I love ‘oddball’ characters; describing and developing them gives me great pleasure. P.C Hugo Bott is a particular favourite and the most unlikely police officer who enters at Rogue Seed; he is a legend in his own police force for being in the right place at the right time and despite his communication limitations is a successful crime fighter or is he? I believe that most writers dislike the editing process the most; getting a book polished sufficiently for publication I found the hardest part of being a writer. But then my first book Getting Even is a lengthy one. I did however improve as the trilogy progressed and learnt how to reduce that, which may be why after publishing Boxed Off in December 2014 even that process began to become enjoyable!

  1. patmcdonaldbook3If you could offer one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, or someone considering writing a novel, what would that be?

I think that every writer will be different and I do have my own way of doing things. I would and do advise writers just to write. I tell them to stop trying to conform to a preconceived set of ‘rules for writers’, which I believe stifles creativity. Let it flow as you think it, give reign to your thoughts, ideas and imagination. I do speak out about people who write books and articles on how you should write, what words you shouldn’t use and a whole gamut of advice on the destruction of the adverb, because I believe it frustrates and destroys genuine expression. Think about your story and be true to it; you conceived it because you wanted to tell it, so concentrate on how you imagine it could proceed and end. Your style and way of writing is as valid as anyone else’s. If we all conformed to the one set of rules it would be like writing to a formula – how boring would that be for literature? Ask yourself though, is there more than one ending? There is nothing worse than reading a book and finding yourself disappointed by the ending. But at the end of the day it is YOUR story, so be true to yourself – how would you want it to end with a ‘bang’ or a ‘whimper’?

British Crime Author Pat McDonald lives in a rural part of the Midlands, United Kingdom. She previously worked as a researcher, project manager and programme manager in the NHS and in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. She is now a full time novelist. Her crime trilogy (nicknamed ‘The Blue Woods Trilogy’ because of an over active imagination at disposal of bodies!) consists of Getting Even: Revenge is best served cold, Rogue Seed and newly published Boxed Off.

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pat-McDonald/e/B00R372WK4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1424778904&sr=1-2-ent

Author Website: http://t.co/ImQ9ZT2ZbZ

Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pat-Mcdonald/502374626484358?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: Pat McDonald @issyblack

 

 * * *

The Shepherd Cover ArtANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His latest book, a short, inspirational parable THE SHEPHERD  is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance. Most recently you can see him back on the sets of films and in front of the modelling camera again.

#quotes “Change Is The Only Certainty We Have.” (A. Donnelly)

“Change Is The Only Certainty We Have.”

When you find that which is unchanging and unchangeable, have you found the source?

I don’t know, but it always puzzles me when I meet people adverse to change – especially older people – as, just from a molecular point of view, we regenerate all the time. Our cells are constantly dying and rebirthing. We are surrounded by change. Embrace it, it is as certain as Death.

If you want one thing to move forward with, because everything is in constant change, you can always start afresh…

“A Poem For The Hard Of Hearing” by Anthony Donnelly

I used to write a great deal of poetry in my younger years, a great deal. Now, not as much as I probably should, but this is my latest inspiration. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it…

 

“A Poem For The Hard Of Hearing”

Gesturing with hands and feet

Flailing and failing miserably to communicate

“Can you hear me now?”

The world cries

This is not me shouting

It is your conscience

Our conscience

 

We blind ourselves to what we see

With eyes wide open

Our ears are deafened by our shame

The inactivity of facts we fear to face

We eat injustice with milk and cereal

Gorging ourselves with apathy

While others – sisters and brothers – starve

Democratic dictators bulldoze our rights

In plain sight, within earshot

“Can you hear me now?”

 

Enslaved by technology

Distractions of the basest kind

A cancer of the mind

An electronic Advil numbing our thinking

Turning our senses into prisons

There may not be military parades

Bright banners and rousing songs

But the evil empire is obvious

Hiding right before our eyes

Shouting at us from within

 

We all know we are guilty

But there is no finger pointing

It is like shouting down your reflection

The silver colored alter ego

Alice’s twin – what we wish to see

The reflection is as deaf as we are

And just as blameless

 

“Can you hear me now…?

 

By Anthony Donnelly

#newrelease #books “Eric, the Brick” by Anthony Donnelly

Happy weekend to you all! I am very happy to say that I rediscovered this older work of mine from 1998, back when I still lived in London, and wrote for a younger friend of mine, and felt I should let it see the light of day. I thought it had been lost amongst my travels and crashed computers, but stumbled upon it just recently.

"Eric, the Brick" by Anthony Donnelly
“Eric, the Brick” by Anthony Donnelly

 

It is a very simple, almost old-fashioned story about a common house brick named Eric, who is ‘brick-napped’ from the building site he’s delivered to. Thankfully, a local ‘Brickologist’ (someone that makes a study of bricks!) is close by to save the day. Cute, charming, and educational, this little work will allow parents to discuss topics of ‘doing the right thing’, ‘good vs bad’, teamwork and unity, amongst other things, all via a very simple and engaging story.

EXERT:

Now for those of you who aren’t Brickologists and don’t know much about the subject, let me just explain a few things about bricks. Bricks come in all different shapes, sizes and colours. There are red bricks, yellow bricks, grey bricks – oh! far too many colours to go into for one story. Bricks also have many uses. There are house bricks, paving bricks, bricks that don’t even look like bricks, all fancifully carved and frightfully pretty.

Now, not many people know this (apart from Brickologists of course, who have spent a great deal of time and effort studying them in depth) but bricks also have some amazing abilities. For example, did you know that bricks can talk and have a language all to themselves? Well they do, it’s called Arabrick. How terribly boring it would be for bricks standing all day long next to each other in a wall without being able to talk! Seeing as only the very highly qualified Brickologists can understand Arabrick, I have taken the liberty of writing their speech in English so that you can better understand what they are saying. You’ll discover more about their talents later on in the story. Well, just so that you know what sort of brick Eric was, he was just your ordinary red house brick.
Now, on with the story…

 

Available to buy in about two weeks, if you go here: Book Country books

Remember to follow me on TWITTER and FACEBOOK, or email me here!

#Quotations: You’ve Made Your Bed…

Following on from my last post about quotations, this is one that I have adapted:

nails“You’ve made your bed, so now lie in it.”

 

How utterly stupid! Who in their right mind would take that advice?

I have altered this quotation:

“You’ve made your bed, but when you lie in it, if it’s uncomfortable, remake it .”

How often do we just take what is and “accept the hand that’s dealt us”? Okay, I admit, there are sometimes things beyond our control, but who in their right mind would lie in an uncomfortable bed? Remaking the bed might involve apologizing, or doing certain ‘uncomfortable’ things in the short term, but ultimately we will be in a more comfortable life situation. Since we spend a third of our lives asleep (for so many folks, that figure is higher and involves their ‘waking’ lives too!) why not make the experience more comfortable.

If you know of quotations you don’t fully gell with, please share them in the comments below or blog about them.