Michelle Navajas is on the Launch Pad!

It’s my great pleasure to welcome international best-selling poet, Michelle Navajas, to this month’s Launch Pad spot. Some of you will already be familiar with Mich through her blog, where she posts her unique and highly accessible style of poetry and prose with awesome frequency!

So, let’s find out a little bit more about her. We’ll start with her official author bio:

Philippine-born Michelle Navajas, currently residing in Malaysia. Michelle authored the book After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars, for Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) during their Million Stars campaign. It’s a collection of true and inspiring stories of victims and survivors of abuse and violence in prose and poetry.

Graduating with a Master of Education majoring in English in the Philippines (University Of San Agustin – Iloilo), Michelle was a former college professor, teaching literature, speech and oral communication, creative writing, drama, and theatre arts. She is also a graduate of Mass Communications major in Journalism (Centro Escolar University – Manila).

Michelle is active in her writing profession and works as a freelance creative writer.

She blogs passionately at www.michnavs.wordpress.com, where you can find her prose and poetry on love, life, motherhood, and her advocacy on abuse and violence.

I’d originally approached Mich to introduce her fourth book, I Would Fly To Where You Are, which she wrote during the deepest time of Covid and which was released in May 2021. However, between then and now she’s released her fifth volume of poetry, I Will Love You Forever, Too. Published just a few weeks ago, this latest collection of Mich’s poetry went straight to the number one spot on both Amazon and Kobo on its first day of release: an impressive achievement that most authors can only dream of. Also impressive is the fact that Mich has produced her five books in just two years!

I’ve just finished reading I Will Love You Forever, Too – you can read my review on Goodreads here (or over on the side bar, depending which device you’re using).

Now, let me hand over to Mich now to tell us about her writing journey and how her wonderful poetry books came to be. Over to you, Mich!

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Thanks for having me on your blog, Chris. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Dreams do come true. And it can happen unexpectedly, anytime, anywhere, when you really deserve it. This has been my life’s mantra. I love to take things slowly and carefully and let things unfold on their own by the grace and power of the universe.

I remember, as a little girl, I’ve always dreamt of seeing my name in the newspapers, magazines, or in a book. And I told myself, one day I will make it happen, though at that time I didn’t know how to make it happen, not even how to begin.

My first book, After-Rain Skies, a collection of true and inspiring stories of abuse and violence in prose and poetry, was born in 2019, unexpectedly. Four decades after the conception of my dream.

It was written and published in 2019, with the sole intention of creating awareness on abuse and violence, with the hope of putting an end to the culture of abuse. It was received so well by many that I followed it up with an eBook copy made available via kobo.com.

The pandemic happened in 2020. We were all forced to stay at home and work from home. That’s how I started writing poetry almost every day. Surprisingly too, my long-time readers and followers, love my love poems. It inspired me to write even more. 

What If Snowflakes Don’t Fall In Winter? is my second book, a collection of poems about the nature of love. The success of my first book made me realize that I can be a love poet as well. After-Rain Skies taught me that love, more than anything else was what kept these victims going and hoping; their love for themselves, love for their children, their families, friends, and relatives, and most of all, their desire to want to love again and build a life around its seasons. Celebrate how love always changes, just enough to get better and better and better.

The world stopped during the pandemic. It prompted me to write poetry celebrating humanity’s perseverance and resilience. Oh! Dear One, was born to soothe everyone’s soul amidst the outbreak of a global pandemic. 

The outbreak of a global pandemic has led to lockdowns and isolation, which eventually led to the separation of families, loved ones, friends, and colleagues.

I Would Fly To Where You Are is my fourth poetry book, a collection of poetry written during the height of the COVID-19. Reflective of each and everyone’s love and desire to be with their loved ones – the special occasions we all missed to celebrate together like birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, and many other milestones, and also, reflective of the moment we failed to say our final goodbyes to our loved ones who went ahead of us during the pandemic. This is a collection of poetry on love; love, surviving against all odds.

We celebrate love, no matter how much it hurts and no matter how painful it is.

We celebrate life and love because there is always tomorrow, a better and kinder tomorrow.

My fourth book is definitely an epitome of true love. The kind of love that only gets better and better over the years and that no matter what it takes, it’s the kind of love worth taking the risk, worth taking the big leap, and worth keeping forever.

Finally, my most recent book: I Will Love You Forever, Too, is a compilation of poetry on the greatest love one can ever have. The kind of love that makes you want to write sappy love poems all the time (even if you are not a poet), the kind of love that makes you want to believe in “happily – ever – after” or “dreams – do – come – true”, it is the kind of love that makes you reflect on all of your “what ifs” and “maybes”, it is the kind of love where you will completely miss your beloved, strangely, even though your loved one is gone just briefly, and it is the kind of love that gives you the courage to commit to love forever.

This book also includes selected poems I wrote, which were requested by some of my very loyal readers and followers.

Book links

After-Rain Skies

What if Snowflakes Don’t Fall in Winter

Oh, Dear One

I Would Fly to Where You Are

I Will Love You Forever, Too

Mich is all over social media – pop along and see what she’s up to!

Amazon Author PageMichelle-Ayon-Navajas

Blog:  michnavs – poetry by Mich                                

Instagram: @michnavspoetry

Facebook: Poetry by Mich

Goodreads: Goodreads author Michelle_Ayon_Navajas

You Tube: Poetry by Mich

Jacqui Murray is on the Launch Pad!

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Jacqui Murray to this month’s Launch Pad spot. You may well already be familiar with Jacqui through her blog, WordDreams, others of you will know her through her books. It is Jacqui who introduced me to the wonderful world of prehistoric fiction, a genre I hadn’t heard of before, but now I can tell you, I’m totally hooked!

So, let’s find out a little bit more about her. We’ll start with her official author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction sagaMan vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, is due for release in winter 2022.

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Before we come to Jacqui’s latest book release, let me share what Jacqui as to tell us about her journey into self-publishing and finding her authorial voice.

Finding my Voice – by Jacqui Murray

I have been writing fiction for about 25 years (non-fiction longer, but that’s a different story). When I started, I wanted to write the biography of a prehistoric female – how she survived when experts said she shouldn’t. I took some classes, attended conferences, read a bunch of books, and got excited about writing as a craft. An agent suggested I not write prehistoric fiction because the market was too small so I switched to thrillers. I wrote one, another, both well received but they didn’t sell much. I figured if I was going to write and NOT sell, I might as well write what I wanted so I switched back to prehistoric fiction. My first novel, Born in a Treacherous Time, was rejected over one hundred times but still, I wrote another, Survival of the Fittest. That too was rejected one hundred times (I stopped sending out queries when I received my 100th rejection).  Repeat for two more and then I stopped submitting to traditional publishers. I got whatever message they were sending and decided to self-publish. Yes, I was confused and intimidated, like a web browser with nineteen tabs open, seventeen of them frozen and one with music blasting but I couldn’t tell where it came from.

But none of that mattered. I was in charge of my destiny and that felt good. I peacocked for a while and then went back to work.

Somewhere along the line, I figured out my voice. That was scary at first, putting a book out to the public written the way I wanted but I felt good about what I was writing. I knew the rules, which to follow and which to bend, and understood the importance readers place on how a story is told. In fact, that is as important as rules. By the third book written my way, I began to gain traction and sell enough that I could even call myself a writer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some success. A first place in a writing competition. Quarter finals in a national competition. I even had an agent for a while… That’s another story. I’ve tried quitting, but I’m back at it within weeks, like an addict. I know people who quit smoking and their rough period starts when they quit and continues till they die. Is that what being a reformed writer would be: “Hello, my name is Jacqui and it’s been ten days since I edited my last novel.” I get the shakes thinking of that.

If you’re trying to find your voice, here are my suggestions:

  • Know the rules of writing in your genre
  • Talk to professionals in that genre about your writing
  • Then, write the way you want to, with passion and energy. That’s your voice. You’ll find a group of people who like it and that will be good enough.

Someone once said about the death of one particular amazing writer whose stories seemed to be effortless:

Talent on loan from God. Talent returned to God.

When you find your voice, that’s what it feels like, as though someone greater than you is whispering in your ear and you darn well better listen.

~~~

Jacqui’s latest release is Laws of Nature, the second book in her Dawn of Humanity trilogy. I finished reading this only last week, and I recommend it whole-heartedly!

The Blurb

A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa, the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can’t stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

Book information

Title and author: Laws of Nature
Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase
Available (print or digital) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU  Kindle India

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Follow Jacqui here!

Amazon Author Page:          www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                      https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                             https://www.instagram/jacquimurraywriter

LinkedIn:                                http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

Paul English is on the Launch Pad!

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Paul English to this month’s Launch Pad spot!

Paul lives just up the road from me in Somerset West in the beautiful Western Cape of South Africa. You might remember him from the book signing we co-hosted back in 2019. It’s such a pleasure to have a fellow author close by with whom to exchange ideas and discuss the ups and downs of a writer’s life, although much of this has had to be virtual over the past year or so of lockdowns.

Paul’s an ardent superhero and sci-fi fan and has a love for mysteries, all of which has contributed to the writing of his novels. Originally inspired to create his first superhero character by watching an interview with the late great Stan Lee, Paul is an encyclopaedia of knowledge concerning anything and everything related to Marvel and DC comics. Paul’s also a keen follower of pro-wrestling and enjoys dabbling in drawing his own comic books and writing the stories. You can find him blogging about his writing and his books on his blog, Backroom Bulletin.

Paul’s book, Scorched Earth: Arrival was released earlier this year and he’s here to tell us about it. Take it away, Paul!

~~~

Thank you for having me on your blog today Chris, I’m excited to tell you about my latest book which is the start of my Scorched Earth trilogy.

Scorched Earth: Arrival is the seventh book in the Fire Angel Universe, the new superhero universe which I created when I started my writing and publishing journey. Once I’d introduced several compelling characters over the course of my previous Fire Angel books, I decided it was time for all these characters to come together, and what better time for superheroes to meet than during an invasion from an alien empire? Given the fact I’m a science fiction fan it seemed the obvious choice and hence the Scorched Earth trilogy came into being. This first book deals with the arrival of a powerful alien force, an empire bent on the invasion of yet another planet: Earth.

Writing the Fire Angel series has been really enjoyable, although each book has come with its own set of challenges. The Scorched Earth trilogy is proving no different. I’m currently nearing the completion of the second book, Scorched Earth: Takeover, so keep an eye out for that when it comes out.

The Blurb

The Earth is being invaded. A hero falls.

As a ruthless alien empire sets its sights on Earth, the time has come for courageous people to step up and defend the world.

When Project: Guardian’s leader, Kat Palmer goes AWOL, Randy Wilson is next in line to lead the clandestine government task force against the most serious threat the human race has ever faced.

And now, when both the military and the police have their backs against the wall, humanity needs new heroes too. Alexandra Grant answers the call, not only to save others, but to redeem herself for condemning the superhuman, Fire Angel.

Meanwhile, the members of the underground Society of Science, are working against the clock to find a chink in the invaders’ armor and stop them before it’s too late.

So begins the war for humanity’s freedom…

~~~

Discover more of Paul English’s books on Amazon

Read them in order:

Fire Angel: Genesis

Fire Angel: Turning Point

Fade: Shadows of the Past

Fire Angel: Igniting the Spark

Family Portrait: A Fade Spin-Off

Scorched Earth: Arrival

~~~

Here are Paul’s social media links. Pop over and say hi!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FireAngelUniverse

Blog: https://backroombulletin.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FireAngeluni

Pinterest: https://za.pinterest.com/AuthorPaulenglish/fire-angel-universe

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Paul-English/e/B07YSP6B41

Jude Itakali is on the Launch Pad!

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Jude Itakali to this month’s Launch Pad spot. Many of you will already be familiar with Jude through his blog, Tales Told Different, but let’s find out a little bit more about him from his author bio.

Jude was born and lives in Kampala, Uganda, and when not being an athlete on the rugby field, or crunching down numbers on a computer for work, he delicately pens the epiphanies from life and its different relationships and encounters.

He writes about all sorts of topics, finding a way to relate them with each other because no one theme exists in a vacuum.

Empathy is sometimes considered a gift, and Jude has it in abundance.

Jude has recently released his first book, Crossroads (Winds of Love) – a collection of poetry, prose and short stories. Here he is to tell us all about it. Take it away, Jude!

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Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today, Chris. I’m excited to tell you all about my book, which is entitled Crossroads (Winds of Love).

This is my debut publication and I used poetry because of its ability to touch a variety of people in a variety of ways. I admire the creativity it gives and the outlet of emotions that might otherwise fester within. The ability to exercise the breadth of language to pass on a message has always captivated me because it touches and evokes much deeper than plain words.

CROSSROADS (Winds of love) is a collection of poems, prose, and short stories written in verse. Many times, romantic love is depicted as a formula: advice on ways in which to get the best out of love. In my time and experience through many kinds of love, some my own, many from the people closest to me, and a few from the world testimonies and stories, I have come to understand that each situation is different, and not all advice is applicable for everyone. Love is not bound by rules, and in most cases, it does not make sense.

I wrote and compiled these poems and stories to show multiple aspects of love, to show the reader that they are not alone, that they should not be judged, and even though love’s pleasures may come with even greater pains, that in the end, the power to change it or discover it in its best form, lies within us.

This precious gem of a book has poetry in structured forms including, but not limited to sonnets, haiku, etheree, tanka, cinquain, shadorma, and many more. It also contains free verse poetry and a splattering of short stories. It takes us on an adventure through longing, intimacy, heartbreak and healing.

Click here for some of my latest reviews and some short extracts from the book.

The Blurb

In the corridors of love,
At the crossroads of loneliness,
We stand at our most vulnerable.
As the winds of love swirl, we are often ill-prepared for the portends and promises they carry;
The longing, fear, and deception.
The intimacy, and the horrors of heartbreak.
But also the hope, renewal and strength from the trials we have survived.

May these poems, prose and short stories touch each in their own particular way,
And bring us all perspective, compassion, hope and ultimately;
Love!

Find it on Amazon in ebook and paperback: USA ~ UK ~ IND ~ AUS ~ CAN ~ ESP ~ Rest of the World

If it’s available in your region, I’d recommend you order a paperback copy – so much better for poetry.

My copy arrived just a few days ago.

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Follow Jude here!

Goodreads: Goodreads Author Jude Kirya Itakali 
Blog: WordPress – Tales Told Different
Facebook:  Kirya Itakali Jude
Twitter:  @jude_clutch 
Instagram: judeitakali

Contact him on email: judekirya37@gmail.com

Lizzie Chantree is on the Launch Pad!

It’s my great pleasure to welcome international best-selling author, Lizzie Chantree to the first of my Launch Pad spots!

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor, running a popular networking hour on social media, CreativeBizHour, where creatives can support to each other.

This week I picked up a copy of Lizzie’s Networking for Writers. What a useful little book it is, containing lots of useful tips for any author navigating their way though the minefields of marketing and social media.

Lizzie’s novels are full of friendship and laughter, and are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.

Lizzie has a new book out and she can’t wait to tell us all about it. Take it away, Lizzie!

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Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today Chris. I’m excited to tell you all about my latest book, which is called Shh… It’s Our Secret.

The story is about a woman called Violet, who has lots of insecurities since losing her parents at a young age. Violet has been looked after by her older sister, but feels that the local community around the café that she runs, have become her surrogate family.

The café that Violet works in is very run down, but she can see it’s potential. Unfortunately the current owner, who is also her boyfriend, does not see things her way. Violet has a secret that could help the local community and her makeshift family, but first she has to pluck up the courage to leave a man who doesn’t appreciate her, rebuild her confidence and find her voice. Can someone who shies from the limelight, step out of the shadows and show the world how incredible she really is?

The Blurb

Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.

Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.

When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidently discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered.

Find it on Amazon: Shh… It’s Our Secret

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Discover more of Lizzie Chantry’s books

The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea

Networking for writers

If You Love Me, I’m Yours

Ninja School Mum

Babe Driven

Love’s Child 

Finding Gina

Shh… It’s Our Secret

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Lizzie is all over Social Media. Catch up with her here!

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lizziechantreeauthor

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnCop-RlAcGqggZG3JfE-Mw

Can I help you launch your book?

Introducing ‘LAUNCH PAD’ a new monthly feature here on Luna’sonline.

It’s a ‘First Fridays’ spot for writers with something to say about their new books by way of a guest blog. All mainstream genres are welcome be it fiction, poetry, memoir or even non-fiction – am I the only person who reads cookery books cover to cover? I’m particularly keen to support fellow Indie Authors, although by no means exclusively.

As many of you know I’m an avid reader and I’m always keen to discover new books. So let’s give it a go! If you’re interested, just drop me an email at chris87hall@gmail.com and in response I’ll explain what I’ll need from you and when. I already have the first spot in May filled, but if you’d like to book a First Friday from June to November, let me know, especially if you have a book release lined up in the coming months.

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And whilst you’re all here, it’s time to break out the bubbly and celebrate my first novel‘s
9th book birthday last week!

Have a great weekend, folks!