China 1914…..


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Stone of Heaven and Earth is based on the real lives of my grandparents in China, and spans the years 1914 to 1929.

I never met my Grandfather, but was lucky to live with my grandmother until I was thirteen. I clearly remember as a child being told their story often. Their life together was one of the most amazing, adventurous, happy and sad stories I ever heard and it never failed to make me cry when my Nana described her years in China.

About eight years ago I travelled to China to walk in the footsteps of my grandparents. With all the changes brought about by cultural change and civil wars, China is a very different place now from in the early years of the twentieth century. It was very difficult to find exact addresses and places, however I did form an appreciation for the city of Shanghai and its inhabitants. I visited landmarks that I knew they had been to, places they had lived, and of course the buildings along The Bund are still there.


I mulled over how best to present their story for a long time.

The only way to do it justice was to write fiction based on real life. Memoirs are written by people who were there, and so I had no choice but to add meat to the skeleton. Apart from my grandmother telling her story, I was able to draw on two memoirs written by my mother and my aunt. But their memory was almost hearsay, as they were both quite young at the time. I also had a couple of letters, but the actual details were lost over the years. I have only a handful of photos of their life in China, so while I knew the bare bones very well, there was an awful lot I didn’t know.


I set out to find out what I needed. I had two tools: Research and Imagination.

The result is a story about four people whose lives were changed forever in the years from June 1914 until March 1929 whilst living in China. Yes, it contains all the elements of the true story, but I’ve enriched it with details gleaned from research, and character development based on traits I knew they possessed.

Stone of Heaven and Earth is very dear to my heart, and it will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading about adventure, adversity, hope, and triumph of the human spirit.

Out now  as an ebook. A few weeks later for print version.



It’s 1914, and while clouds of war gather over Europe, Australians are signing up in their thousands to help the Allies. In sleepy Brisbane, two women set sail on a passenger steamer for Shanghai to fulfil a promise.

Spanning the years 1914 to 1929, Stone of Heaven and Earth is an epic tale of love and loss, extravagant expatriate lifestyles, intense danger, heroic acts, and the hideous effects of a cruel and barbaric civil war. The complex and volatile politics in China is played out in the intimate story of two intrepid couples, foreigners who embarked on the adventure of a lifetime and made their home in China.

Based on the author’s true family history, this work of fiction is interwoven with real stories gleaned from memoirs, photographs, and from growing up hearing the stories from those who were there. Extensive research, which included a month spent in China tracing the footsteps of the characters in this book, has resulted in a captivating account of foreigners in China during some of the most violent and devastating times.

An Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. Noelle lives in Queensland, Australia. Visit her website at


Noelle Clark – Author
Contemporary and Historical Fiction – Adventure / Romance


Five reasons not to want your book in paperback.


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She shifted on the chair. The door was there. Was she making a mistake not signing the silly bit of paper? What if he kept turning up at all her signings? She could scream. She could have him arrested. Given the way he flitted all over the place like a vampire bat, the prison didn’t exist that would hold him however. Signing would get rid of him for good. Signing would probably ensure none of this ever happened.

“Actually, if you do want my autograph . . .”

“Brittany, I’m not here for-–”

“I’ll give you it. I’ll sign your piece of paper too. It’s really no odds. You and your time-mutant friends want peace. That’s my choice and my pleasure. If not, don’t come back.”

His gaze, dull as his eyebrows, flickered over her.

“Do you really think you can stick to that?”


She reached forward. It was worth parting with another book to get rid of him, since he clung to his copy like a drowning mariner. She opened it, scraped the pen across the paper.

“To Mort, with all my love, Brittany Carter. Will that do? Hmm? Or do you want something more personalized? Like . . . well, I forbear to say.”

A shrug of his equally un-expressive shoulders. “Whatever suits you.”

“Well, what suits me is for you to go away, Mort. So if you’d also care to hand me that bit of paper, I’ll also prove I’m as good as my word. Just make sure, you don’t go bursting into flames in here. Although they do say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Copyright Shehanne Moore Soul Mate Publishing





The Dudes are in the kitchen with Dolly


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Dolly. As I am more attuned to cat diet, rather than hamster food, I consulted with Mona, my granddaughter’s hamster.  She complained that she wasn’t getting any chocolate, and she would love some! Even though Mona is a dudette, rather than a dude, I am totally ready to offer you guys plenty of chocolate – how do you like the idea?

Dolly –Hey dudes, do you think Ivan the Terrible was a part of my family? Or Henry VIII? Caligula,

G-d forbid? Shame on you! And I thought you were a friendly bunch…

But seriously, it’s the loss of my father that started this blog idea to begin with, and his birthday that came so soon after his passing. I described it in one of my first posts:

Dolly. Much easier than you think! You want to join the next Lasting Joy club meeting? We’ll be making delicious CHOCOLATE no-bake pastries. Dudes also want to be happy, I am sure, and chocolate goes a long way towards happiness!


Dolly. It really is! You think you are the first ones asking this question? My mother is to blame, together with idiotic communist policies. I explained it in my About page

Dolly That’s a million dollar question – do you have a million dollars?

Beautiful, terrible, fun, harrowing, exciting, dangerous, and all of the above. I was 27 when I left, so in addition to growing up, I managed to get good education, get married, have a son, get divorced, get in trouble with communist government, write for newspaper and TV, and make some very dear friends.

Dolly -Yes! Cuba Libre / Morena Cake

But that’s because I am drinking a Cuba Libre right now. Otherwise, who knows… as long as it has chocolate in it, and the more chocolate, the better!

Dolly – We just started the Lasting Joy club (, and I opened a blog dedicated to it. Each monthly club meeting will be combined with a culinary class, and since there is no facility to cook or bake, it presents a fascinating challenge in itself.


Hopefully, it will result in a new book, tentatively called Recipes for Joy.


‘They say that to properly review a cookbook you should try to make at least five of the recipes. I have to confess that I’ve not made any YET,  because Kool Kosher Kitchen is no ordinary cookbook.  It’s like sitting down at the table with a friend–wine coffee, whatever your poison–and having a long, warm chat about all kinds of everything. Did you know, for example that some of the French non military personnel stayed in Russia after 1812 and this led to the creation of Apple Charlotte? It’s one story at least. Dolly Aizenman doesn’t just share recipes, every page brims with the story, anecdote or family history, connected to the dish. A tall order but one she doesn’t fail to deliver.  Soups, sides, main courses, desserts and  bread. Indian, Italian, Jewish, whatever. There’s something for everyone here. Dolly’s gift is in making you believe you’re making the dish as you chat.’ 


Kool Kosher Kitchen literally draws recipes “from the four corners of the world,” presenting international fusion cuisine the kosher way. Cook Indian, cook Italian, cook Chinese and Japanese, or cook traditional Jewish; make it vegetarian, pescatarean, or vegan, make it festive and nutritious, always easy to make and delicious, for holiday and every day, but above all, have fun in your kitchen and make your kitchen a fun place to be!

What makes Kool Kosher Kitchen unique is a combination of great recipes and fascinating stories. Dolly’s stories are humorous and inspiring, sometimes based on solid research, and sometimes on questionable historical anecdotes, but always riveting and always entertaining.



Dr Dolly Aizenman, a prominent educator, retired a while ago and suddenly found herself with time on her hands. While still teaching both college and seminary part-time, she has used the extra time to combine the two great loves of her life: cooking and writing. She has just published a cookbook Kool Kosher Kitchen, available both in print and eBook version.

In Dolly’s own words, “It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia, where I was born and lived for 27 years, until I was allowed to leave. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher (kosher certification), the way it is in the US. Here, chicken is already shechted (slaughtered) for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” After teaching for almost 40 years, I am now semi-retired, I love to cook, and I have time to share recipes and new food ideas.”

I don’t do social media other than Facebook which I usually forget that it even exists. It’s Kool Kosher Kitchen.


Do Writers Need Playlists?


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Shehanne. Well….


Shehanne.. Oh, you mean that one?  ‘Why I needed a playlist for this book and it is so ceaselessly whining too?

Shehanne – Well, first of  all it’s not the only whining things round here.

Shehanne – You know? I couldn’t agree more. I guess you just can’t help whining anyway even though there’s a few upbeat ones there. I mean obviously I chose Shut Up and  Dance because the heroine is called Destiny. Oh and did i say, it is something I wish you’d do?   You can get your little hamster rocks and socks off to that one. Then there’s some specially chosen, wonderfully atmospheric classical, largely because they are ones I play–Lachrymosa the Thalberg version–and I am certain it would be nothing for you to learn those.

By next week.


Look, this book was originally called The Lady Of Lavistock and it was a nice little rainbows and unicorns effort.  She’s in the house. He wins the house. She comes with it in a rainbows and unicorns kind of way.

It’s all fine till the day he announces he’s getting married to someone else. The problems were there even then, because to open the story at the point of change, would have meant starting with his announcement, not with her losing the house. But the real problems started, seeing as you are so kindly asking, 

 when the hero threw the book at the end of the first section in chapter two, as my heroes often do.

 he said. It was the first I knew. But hey do I ever argue?

I mean it’s not like I plot, or I might plot to get rid of you lot.

So? Where were we? Well, he also didn’t want to be called Manning Carver and he was most certainly NOT for being some fancy-ancy rich self-made Regency business-man.   ‘With a heroine called Destiny Rhodes, you need to bin the rainbows and unicorns and Lavistock shit and think far bigger and far darker,’ he said. ‘What you have in terms of motivating these characters to do what they do, has more holes than a colander. It’s wishy-washy.’

Every writer works differently but  I found a playlist helpful because, with the exception of the house premise, what I am now about to knock into shape, was kind of flown by the proverbial seat of my pants. 

is not quite what I sort of originally saw.

Maybe one of these days….

In the meantime I chose the versions I like of these songs. Songs that reflect two people who are more afraid of  clinging to the cliff face, than they are to let it go. It’s not failing to survive that scares them.

You know, sometimes that can be a lot scarier than it seems.















One event to change a life. Interview with Annika Perry.


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Annika. Not any more!


As a child in Sweden I had hamsters but mine obviously had the gallivanting streak in him and took off one night never to be seen again. Living on a first floor apartment and with the balcony door slightly ajar I like to imagine he headed outside before strapping on a little hamster parachute and floating down to the park below – all set to explore the world!

It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?


Whoa! Dudes, this is a great question…I can’t wait to hear about your life-changing moments! I bet they’ll be a lot more dramatic than mine!
Annika . Surprisingly enough, I never thought of my short stories in these terms until I started to work on my blurb. 
The most significant and life-changing moment for me occurred in my mid-20s. At the time I was a newspaper journalist in the Lake District when I was struck down by a severe illness. I was barely able to walk, unable to read, work etc. I had to return home and for months I was bed-ridden. As a result of my illness my career path to what I hoped was foreign newspaper correspondent came to a sudden halt. Over the next two years I made a very slow and gradual recovery; it was many months later that a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome was given. This debilitating disease was distressing, frightening and ultimately changed the course of my life. 
Annika I have actually written and completed a novel which just (!) needs final edits. 
Annika. However, like many writers, I started to work seriously on my craft through short stories. Although short pieces of work they require skill to master and just as much detailed editing as any novel. 
With so many shorter pieces of work completed, written both for magazines, competitions and for my own enjoyment, I was kindly encouraged  to publish these in a collection by friends both here on WP and by family and friends beyond. 
I am so happy I went ahead and completed the anthology and published them. I have learnt so much along the way…and now feel confident when it comes to releasing my novel for publication. It was hard enough with this collection and feel I would have floundered and possibly given up with a whole novel as my first publishing venture.
Annika . Without a doubt, short stories!! The ideal length for me is between 1,500 – 3,000 words…perfect to set a scene, carve a plot and develop the characters. I relish writing them and it’s pure pleasure creating them and honing them to the final work. 
Annika. I think it’s best to leave the past in the past and I am overjoyed the way my publishing career has taken off now!
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Teresa  

Absolutely!! With their tenacity and spirit I’m sure hamsters would have been a great help. At home the only other animals around are the fish and they are rather uncommunicative! Next door’s cat is a pal to me but does rather tremble when it gets down to serious matters…I feel hamsters are up for anything! 


Annika.  First and foremost I’ve learnt never to set a deadline publicly! Never again! The stress of this alone was humungous and the feeling of letting everyone down took its emotional toll on me…next time round everything will be completed and ready to sell!
Having said that, without my public journey to publication as documented on my blog I would never have made such wonderful contacts with other great bloggers and friends here – and received such wonderful, professional and quick work from David Cronin at Moyhill Publishing and promotional support and advice from Sally – the star of WP as far as I’m concerned! 



Annika.   Dudes, these biscuits are usually only made at Christmas time in Sweden but can be enjoyed all year round! Enjoy…the recipe makes a lot so there shouldn’t be any fighting over them! Make sure you have a supply of cutters to hand…my favourites are the Christmas tree and pig shape whilst my son’s is the shooting star one.
PEPPERKAKOR (Traditional Swedish Cinnamon biscuits for Christmas)
1/2 litre sugar
150 ml water
2 TBL syrup
2 TBL cinnamon
3/4 TBL cloves
1 TBL ginger
250g butter/margarine
1 TBL bicarbonate of soda
1 TBL brandy
11/2 litre flour
In a large pan, mix sugar, water, syrup and spices together whist gently warming the mixture. Keep stirring. 
Take the pot off the hob and add butter; continually stirring until mixture is cool. 
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with one tablespoon of warm water. Add this to the mixture as well as the brandy and flour. Keep mixing until dough is smooth. Place this on floured counter surface.
Roll out smaller portions of the mixture with a rolling pin until very thin and make shapes. Put these on a greased tray and bake in oven at 200C for approx. 7 mins until golden brown.


Annika . Following the whirlwind of activity preceding the launch of my short story collection I am looking forward to returning to normal! I’m determined to finish the edits of my novel and want to bring that to publication in 2018. Furthermore I have two children’s books which I want to rewrite and with the help of a friend who is a superb illustrator look at releasing these as well. A busy year ahead! 
About the Book 

It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever? 

In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure. 

One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary. 

Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks. 

About the Author

Although writing has been a lifetime passion for Annika, her route to full-time writing has been circuitous. She formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness followed by motherhood gave her an opportunity to pursue her dream.
Winning First Prize in a ‘Writing Magazine’ short story competition was the much-needed impetus and confidence booster for Annika to complete her first novel, ‘Island Girl’, which is currently in its final editing stages. ‘The Storyteller Speaks’ is Annika’s first published book. Furthermore, she has completed two, as yet unpublished, books for younger children. 
As well as writing, Annika is an avid reader (a world without books is unimaginable to her), a keen gardener, walker and she enjoys travel (in spite of her well-documented fear of flying!)
For the past three years blogging has been an important part of her life and she deeply values the friendships formed on WordPress. 
Annika lives in the South East of England with her husband and teenage son.
Connect with Annika via:

The Storyteller Speaks  Available at:  
Reply Reply All Forward

Christmas Chez Shey’s. AND a Coastal Christmas Blog Hop


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Christmas Chez Shey’s. By Shehanne Moore.

Cold enough for you? I’ve been reading through all the warm coastal Christmas posts and want to say I also live on the coast five minutes walk from the one pictured above, near Dundee. Not this Dundee-

That’s in New South Wales, this one in Scotland.

where right now temperatures are well in the minus and hamsters will get their asses booted if they don’t butt out and get on with finishing my latest book which is actually set on the Cornish coast not long before Christmas.

I recently did a post about my the  heroine of this book, who would sell her soul for a Christmas garland, and about how, when it comes to Christmas decorations…..

It’s not just the memories we hold onto, it’s the life we live, the life we’ve made while understanding that that life evolves constantly, which makes what we have right now in our hands, all the more precious.  I’m not going to be waking up ten times a night to see if Santa’s been, or woken by my girls running in to ask me if Santa’s been. Now me and the Mr, get up, get the tea on and open the parcels. Christmas in Scotland can be weather dependant, so we always hope our family are going to be able to get from one end of the city to the other. A few years back a tree fell right outside our door blocking one of the two roads into where we lived then.   Of course folks were soon out tying bits of tinsel on it and Santa Stop here signs.  We also hope there’s not going to be any accidents like the year the oven door fell off first thing on Christmas morning and broke on the tiled floor…..

It would be lovely to  stroll down to Broughty Ferry Beach and castle–pictured several images above– five minutes away but the family are all coming for a traditional dinner, turkey and duck.

I don’t know what you’re all cooking but here’s the menu.

Thank you for decorating the dining room table  fellahs…

making the cakes to hand round with the mulled cider to the arriving guests.

and for offering to make the meal…….

Maybe not eennee theeng  but you sure said plenty thing.

Now after the meal you will be sure to light the log fire,  won’t you? having stocked up all the log baskets first? We don’t want the guests to be cold in our Scottish climate. Or to have to go outside in the frost and rake about in the shed for more wood.

Mind you, I suppose you have fur coats? Then I need you to get the games started,  Pass the Parcel and Pin the Star on the Tree, which the grandbaby ses he is well gonna win,  Doorman and these other games you still need to plan,  for when the evening guests arrive, cos you know evening time is ‘partay’ time.

Indeed it is. Now you’re getting this. I’m thinking maybe Rapid Response and Limericks but we need a few prize winning games, so get the thinking hats on.

Forget that presents stuff, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without our family and friends around us, good food, good cheer AND the games to really get the party started. For me these are the things that make Christmas Day, the things I want to stand here again and see.  The big things.

Now…a  bit about this coastal romance group. They  are authors and readers who love reading romance by the water, whether it be the ocean, a lake, a tropical island or any other body of water where heroes and heroines fall in love and live happily ever after.

Well actually now I think about it, there’s a swathe of Lady Fury set on a coast, not to mention backstory set on various islands, Malice and Sin from The Viking and the Courtesan get shipwrecked on an island, the Black Wolf from His Judas Bride lives in a cave on a shore, AND did I mention that Brittany from The Writer and The Rake  is no stranger to Dundee?

AS for Christmas? Well, I believe Loving Lady Lazuli has  a lot to do with Christmas.

Anyway, you can enter the rafflecopter by clicking on the link but in addition to the Gift card and the 30 ebooks, second prize, there’s also a daily chance to win an ebook. All you have to do is visit the authors on the list  and leave a comment on their Christmas blog. Prizes will be drawn on Christmas Eve.

  The post before mine is Rich Amooi.  And tomorrow’s is  Fiona McArthur

Here is the overall link

So what are you waiting for? Me to ask…is there anybody out there who can give these dudes the names of a few Christmas games my guests can play?  


Ann  B Harrison

Bronwyn Stuart

Shirley Wine

Susanne Cass

Fiona Marsden

Clare Connelly

Jenn J Mcleod

Hilary Grossman

Sasha Cottman

Monique McDonnell

Shehanne Moore

Susanne Bellamy

Bronwen Evans

Kris Pearson

Carla Caruso

Bree Verity

Rich Amooi

Fiona McArthur

Elizabeth Ellen Carter

Tea Cooper

Renee Conoulty

Kate O’Keeffe

Nikki LeClair

Tracey Alvarez

Leesa Bow

Phillipa Clark

Darcy Delany

24th December: Prize Draw