Friday, 30 October 2015

A touching WW2 story from John Searancke makes a great weekend read! #RPBP

WW2 personal story making the headlines! 

Good afternoon everyone,
I am currently reading Prunes for Breakfast by John Searancke and I try not to read reviews or articles about a book before I read it as I like to form my own opinions. However, when this article in the Tenerife News caught my eye yesterday I also found myself reading the review on Bookbag which the Rukia Publishing Tweet Team were formatting into tweets for the weekend. Prunes for Breakfast is an awesome read and extremely well written, so there is no risk of a change of opinion on my part. I wanted to share this with you in case you are looking for a great read this weekend. 
I will be posting my review tomorrow :)
Check out the article below and The Bookbag review then click the link and pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed.
Have a great weekend,
Sarah Jane

From Prunes for Breakfast by John Searancke.
"I chose to write in a diary format, reconstructing the story of my father’s war through research and reproducing sections from his letters verbatim in between the telling of the tale. I have not found (although I am sure that it must exist) another book which details the humdrum and mundane, as well as the exciting and dramatic, experienced and recorded in writing by one man over the full period of World War Two, as he was turned from a civilian into a fighting soldier and leader of men."
Get your copy and step back in time with John Searancke.

'Edward Searancke was called up to serve his country in 1940, not long after the outbreak of the Second World War and we hear his story from initial call-up, through the years of preparation for the invasion of France, to his eventual release as a Prisoner of War and return home to attempt to pick up the pieces of everyday life. It's a delightful mixture of the mundane and the dramatic (being surrounded and captured in an orchard in Northern France and his life as a prisoner of war) and much of the story is told through the genuine letters from Searancke to his wife which were handed to his son after his father's death. John Searancke tells us the story of his father's war.  
Prunes for Breakfast tells the story of one man's war and how he felt about what was happening to him. Edward Searancke approached the war much as I suspect he approached his life - determined to get the best out of it and prepared to work hard to do so - and rose from Private to Captain in the course of four years.  
The letters are not about great things, but the mundanities of living and his son's skill as an author is shown by the way in which his father's voice in the letters follows through into the accompanying narrative. The story is lightly fictionalised - but it's very difficult to see the joins.  
Although the story concentrates on the personal it gives an excellent insight into the planning of the war. The telling is cleverly done - this wouldn't be my natural reading matter, but I was fascinated.  
I began reading Prunes for Breakfast with interest, but found myself more and more drawn into the story, which was a real pleasure to read. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.'

 Find out more about John and his books at Rukia Publishing:

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Author John Searancke gives me a new destination for my travel bucket list! #RPBP

Good morning everyone,
I often find that Sunday is the only day I have to clear my desk of my yellow Post-It note reminders! During the week, I work methodically from a range of lists in my diary, either the on-line version or my well-used paper desk diary, yet l still I end up with scruffy notes stuck to the side of my PC or laptop. These reminders crucially do not get thrown away until the task is dealt with. As I started clearing down my notes this morning, acting on them as I went, I saw a note saying load Amazon reviews (a regular Sunday job) and 'check Dog Days review'. I felt sure that I had loaded this review so I struggled to remember the reason for the reminder - this must be an old age thing!

After checking my Amazon account and seeing the review was there I suddenly realised that I hadn't shared the review with anyone, what an idiot I am. So as I head off now to load it onto the Rukia Publishing website, John I apologise for my tardiness, I thought I would also share it with my blog-reading friends here.
Readers, this book is definitely worth a look if you enjoy travel memoirs about real people who have a sense of humour and love dogs!

Meet the Author at Rukia Publishing

Get your copy at Amazon


From the outset, I was a willing passenger on the journey into a new period in the lives of John and Sally. The eloquent, uncomplicated use of the English language enhanced the descriptive narrative so that I could easily visualise their surroundings and experiences. From the early chapters, I knew that I would need to add a new destination to my travel bucket list! Following their personal journey and decision making felt like a conversation with long-standing friends. Having lived in the West Country I loved their friend Peter and could relate to him from the moment he logged onto his computer, as I still monitor the Looe weather. The escapades with the dogs were excellently portrayed and believable, especially as a dog owner myself. This was a very easy read not because it is short or simple, but because it captivated me from the early chapters and I did not want to leave them in case I missed anything. Highly recommended :) I am now moving on to the authors next book.

Have a great Sunday,
Sarah Jane

Friday, 16 October 2015

It's the launch of the 2nd edition of Fred's Diary 1981 by Robert Fear with a special competition #RPBP

Good morning readers,
Many self-published authors, including myself, constantly strive to take on board reader feedback and work through a series of improvement exercises to ensure the quality of our current and forthcoming books grows with us on our writing journey.
A good friend of mine, Robert Fear, has recently been working on one such project. Robert has worked with a team of people to produce a second edition of his hugely popular travel memoir, Fred's Diary 1981.

I would like to congratulate Robert on the launch of the second edition of Fred's Diary 1981 which has changed in a variety of ways. The first thing you will notice is this eye-catching and enticing new cover.

It was designed by AMYGDALA DESIGN who also designed my Ooh Matron! Paperback cover.
Robert and his team have worked hard at editing and proofing the content and you will not be disappointed with the results.
To celebrate the launch, Robert has a new competition running which looks set to be even more popular than his previous travel writing competition because this time he wants your travel highlights in just 50-100 words.
Robert featured on my blog at Rukia Publishing yesterday and you can find all the details on how to enter his great competition to win some generous prizes. 

Congratulations Robert and good luck to everyone who enters the travel highlights competition.

Take a look at the second edition of Fred's Diary 1981 on Amazon

Have a lovely day,

Sarah Jane

Friday, 2 October 2015

Meet Belinda Buchanan as she chats to Sarah Jane Butfield #RPBP

Today I would like to welcome author Belinda Buchanan to my writing blog.

Belinda Buchanan was born in Owensboro, Kentucky in the U.S.  She is the youngest daughter out of four, beating out her twin sister for that title by a scant two minutes.  Growing up, her extreme shyness led to a lot of alone time, during which she began to write down the stories that swarmed inside her head.  She met the love of her life on a blind date and has been married to him for twenty-five years.  During this time they lived in a few different states, but now reside in a small town near Louisville, Kentucky which has been their home for nearly a decade.  Besides being a wife, she is a mother to two boys – one who loves her unconditionally, and one who loves her only when not in public, and a caretaker to a menagerie of animals which includes a hamster, two persnickety cats, and one dog that thinks he’s a person.  She is also a firm believer that Krazy Glue can fix anything.  

Welcome Belinda and thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Thanks Sarah Jane, it's great to be here.

Let's get started then
How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?
Some of my earliest memories are of me making up stories in my head.  I was probably the only five-year-old who looked forward to bedtime.  After snuggling under the covers, I would close my eyes and daydream.  As I grew older, the daydreaming morphed into words on paper.  For years, I had this story rattling around in my mind about two couples who had an affair and how it affects their relationship when a child comes of it.  I began writing it when I was in my twenties, and for two years, I worked on it non-stop.  When I was at work, and a certain passage came to mind, I’d write it down on a sticky note, and when I came home, I’d empty my pockets of those notes and plop myself down in front of the computer and type them in.  Back then, my writing space consisted of my PC mounted on top of a small wooden filing cabinet with the keyboard resting on a TV tray.  I’d sit on the couch and plunk away with my first born (my cat, Lance) beside me.  Two years, later, “After All Is Said And Done” was finished.  Of course, it wasn’t long before life happened and I put the manuscript in a drawer and forgot about it.  Then, when my youngest son started kindergarten a few years ago, I pulled it out, dusted it off, and fell right back into step with my first love. 

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
The best part is the thrill and exhilaration I feel when I’m creating dialogue and characters.  It’s an adrenaline rush that is comparable to nothing else.  The worst part of writing is that I’m taking the intimate most parts of me and putting it out there for the world to read. 

What inspires you to write?
Just about anything and everything.  My mind is constantly turning.  I can hear a song on the radio and take a passage from it and turn it into a scene that I’m working on.

Who or what has had the greatest influence on your writing and why? 
Without a doubt that would be my husband.  He is my biggest supporter, fan, and love of my life all rolled into one.

Do you have a writing schedule? How often do you write?
I’d like to say that I have a writing schedule, but the truth is I don’t.  After I get the kids off to school, I come down to my office in the basement and start, but the best laid plans of working till they get home sometimes fall to the wayside.  I steal every second I can and usually fall asleep thinking about a paragraph or scene that I’m not happy with.  I’ll wake up two or three hours later, and my mind immediately picks right back up where I left off with it.  It’s an endless, and sometimes frustrating cycle.

Tell us a little about Tragedy at Silver Creek and how you came to write it? 
Tragedy came from my previous novel, The Monster of Silver Creek.  A few weeks after I’d published it, I found myself continuing the story in my head because I realized there was still so much to say.  A couple of months later, I began writing it as a stand-alone sequel.  The story deals with a small town in Prairie County, Montana whose residents are reeling in the aftermath of a serial killer’s reign of terror, none of these more so than former deputy Jack Collins, who feels as if he is slowly drowning as he struggles to adjust to his new—and unwanted—job as chief of police. The pressure soon begins to take its toll when the body of a young woman, bearing the same puncture wounds as the killer's previous victims, is discovered. When the body of a young woman, having the same puncture wounds as the serial killer's previous victims, is discovered, Jack must determine if this is a copycat crime or the work of a possible accomplice—either of which—could put the killer's only surviving victim in grave danger.  As Jack delves deeper into the murder, his vow to keep the victim safe, combined with the secret he's been harboring, begins to take its toll.  His sudden inability to confide in his wife, Cheryl, causes their home, which was once a haven for him, to become just another source of tension.  An overzealous news team, a threat from his not so distant past, and a mayor who wants the murder swept under the rug, only add to the pressure surrounding Jack as he struggles to do what's right.

What are 3 of your favourite lines from your new release?
Cheryl closed her eyes and took a deep breath, allowing aftershave, soap, and all things Jack to fill her senses, while the sound of his heart beating softly against her ear, drowned out the rest of his words.

Katie stared at her mother’s face, entranced by its utter beauty, and yet at the same time, horrified by its indifference for her.

Jack shook his head inwardly as he began drawing the zipper of the bag closed.  There was nothing fascinating about a corpse, and the fact that people wanted to see one at all absolutely amazed him.

Jack’s chest crackled as it rose and fell.  “It doesn’t matter,” he finally said.

That was four. Sorry, it was really hard to choose just three.

Who is your target audience?  
A good portion of my readers are women, age thirty-plus, although there are a large number of men who read them as well.  Most of my characters are in their thirties.  They are mature and have careers, and I think that’s a part of what draws my readers in, as they can certainly identify with the ups and downs of trying to have it all.  They travel down the same tumultuous path I have laid out for my characters, going around every hairpin curve and trudging up every steep hill with them—coming through the other side of it, weary but satisfied. 

Are reader reviews important to you?
Very much so.  When you’ve poured your heart into something for the better part of two years, it’s rewarding to hear back from readers.

Do you have any blogs/websites?

Who are your favourite authors and what book are you currently reading?
I grew up reading Danielle Steel, and even though there have been many authors since her, I think that I’ll always gravitate to her books.  I just downloaded “Woman With A Secret” by Sophia Hannah.  I can’t wait to get started on it.

What would your friends say is your best quality?
I’m a great listener and sympathizer. 

Do you have any other writing projects to tell us about? 
Now that Tragedy at Silver Creek has been released, I’m going to take a couple of months to reintroduce myself to my family and clean my house. J  Then I’m going to get started on writing, The Safe Choice, which is about a pregnant woman facing the difficult decision of staying with her deadbeat boyfriend whom she loves for inexplicable reasons, or marrying her best friend. 

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers
to know, what would it be? 
That I can be bought with a KitKat.

I love that you can be bought with a chocolate bar, I am the same, but my chocolate of choice would be a Twirl!

Thank you for a great interview, Belinda.

Readers, here are all the links you need to check out Belinda and her books.
Thank you for reading and be sure to share, tweet  and comment :)

Sarah Jane

Book trailer for The Monster of Silver Creek

Book Links:
After All Is Said And Done - Amazon   Barnes & Noble  itunes
Seasons of Darkness - Amazon  Barnes & Noble  itunes
The Monster of Silver Creek – Amazon  Barnes & Noble  itunes
Tragedy at Silver Creek – Amazon  Barnes & Noble  itunes

Rukia Publishing pages: