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Imagine This September 2013

I want to grow old with you

In This Month’s Issue: Stories from writers around the world The Master Terra Stone Memorial Day and the Pat O’Malley Mini-Mystery Series

Inspiring Pieces Shake it up!

Special Inclusion Get to know these authors

Competition Calling all graphic designers, photographers and cartoonists and everything in-between!


When I grow up I want to be …… Re-Defining Life and Dreaming High

Melanie Toye Book Review

Letter from the editor This September edition hosts a welcome change. Read the Author Profile’s to find out the truth behind the books. First time ever appearance in Imagine This. An intriguing and imaginative short story plus excellent, witty and moving pieces by my fabulous regular writers. Plus healthy, body and mind tips to help you r-e-l-a-x. My inspiration for the cover page is the woman reading a book and her fantasy of love and romance comes to alive with her imagination. A happy ever after ending. Also be sure to like fan pages and share with your friends the link to read Imagine This. It’s FREE! Please note, writers have submitted content from all around the world, so I have left spelling of their language as is, even if in another country, the word is spelt differently. Be sure to spread the word of this free online magazine and tell me what your favourite piece is at Yours sincerely,

Melanie Toye Editor of Imagine This Click here to become a fan on Facebook Interact on our blog at: Disclaimer Not all opinions in this publication are necessarily those of the publishers. No responsibility is taken by Imagine This Publications for any errors, misleading information or the validity of any third party content. This articles, information and anecdotes are not necessarily the original work of the editor or writers. Content thereof published by Imagine This remain the property of Imagine This and cannot be reproduced under any circumstances without prior consent. All published information, to the best of Imagine This knowledge is correct at time of publishing. Copyright All content submitted by a third party is copyright to the author.

Shake it up! Written by Melanie Toye Getting caught up in the daily routine can be stifling for dreams to be achieved. The daily work grind is exhausting. The home duties are just as dull. How does one shake up life a bit? How does one get back into the fantasying a bigger than life realm and when opportunities see it, when they are so distracted with everything else that is going on around them? This month Is called shake it up month. Place Here is what you need to do. During every day when you are doing something boring, dull, lifeless ‌ shake it up. Do something absolutely out there. Sick of sitting down at the office all day? Shake it up and do a little dance at your desk. If anything it will give your colleagues a laugh and pull you out of the boring moment. What about mopping the floors? Shake it up by adding some food colouring to your solution and have your floor a different colour for a week. A hot pink would look fabulous. Pretty outrageous? Perhaps doing something totally different to your schedule will help shake it up. At least when you look down every morning, you will have a huge smile on your face. The most important part to shaking up your routine, is thinking outside of the box, of what is normal and making it different. Playing, having fun with life will help lighten your mood to assist in day dreaming. One cannot day dream when one is stressed or worried. Have some fun, smile, be happy and live a little (crazy) then go out and chase your dreams! Follow Melanie Toye’s inspirational blog at:

Imagine This Space Imagine a place so magical and surreal that the sky lights up in magical colours and shapes. Would you make a wish in hope that the magic stirred in the air would have the ability to hear and make your wish come true? Each night would you walk outside and watch the changes in the sky? Would the magic of this place dwindle over time to you? Or would each day be as unique as the last? Imagine This.

The Master Terra Stone Written by: Daniel Peyton It was a normal day on Torela five spacepost. At least I thought it was. I am a out-trader cargo captain, nothing more than that. Why am I telling you this? Because I am about to change the fate of the human race. Yes, I am a human. I know, you probably haven’t heard of us. Two legs, just two arms, and hair on my head, I am weird looking. This is where she came in. This woman named Kim. I was going about my business as usual. I was eating lunch at the Sustenance Deck, trying to force down this horrid green sludge that the Olakan eat when who ran right into me but another human. She looked more scared of who or what was following her than apologetic. Before I could say hello, she ran. After lunch, and the odd encounter, I went about my duties with the Solari and emptied my cargo holds. After that I left Torela and boarded my ship. An hour into my trip sensors picked up five ships shadowing me. There wasn’t another ship in the parsec so I had to be their target. I had almost slowed down enough to let them catch up and find out what the hell was going on when who happened to come out of my secondary lavatory but that woman. “Jump to lightspeed now!” were her first words. I looked to see if she was holding a weapon on me and found nothing in her hands. “I have no intention of trying to outrun a small fleet of ships. I don’t even have any protonic shields.” “Please, the fate of the human race depends on me getting to Lunar Base Alpha.” Okay, now I know this woman is nuts. “Lunar Base Alpha! you have got to be kidding me. That is just a myth. The humans never built any outposts before the sun died, everyone

knows that. Now, why would I go back to that system and face the military blockade for a myth!?” Then she came close to me and said, “Because, you are human too. We have a duty. Lunar Base Alpha is real and I can bring back the light.” “You’re seriously bonkers, you know that. I am not helping you unless you give me one damned good reason.” For reasons I did not know, I wanted to hear her out. I could have turned around and handed her over to the authorities’ right there, but I didn’t. “Because, I have the key to the base.” It was then she grabbed my attention. Out of her dirty, ragged pocket she pulled a rutilated crystal. “Is that a Terra stone! I thought those were…” “A myth. This isn’t just one of the old Terra stones, this is the Master Terra stone. It holds within it the programming for the solar ray. Once we activate the ray, the sun will reignite and the defense systems of earth will be fully powered once again. Without this, earth will die and all hope of defeating the Galatic Order dies.” It was rumored that earth had the power to defeat the Galactic Order, or was close to an answer. All that is truly known is that for some reason the famous defense system that was built around the planet was strong enough to deflect the powerful fleets of the Galactic Order. But, it was powered by the sun. And when sun suddenly went cold, the system lost its main power source. Over the past hundred years the defense system was said to be nearing the end of its stored energy. No one has confirmed any of this, because just before the sun went cold, the Order put up a blockade around the Terran system that kept the humans in, save the few that had already left like my ancestors. It was then that I made my fateful decision. I don’t know what I was thinking. I am just a cargo captain of a small ship. But, I put my hand on the controller and activated the protomatter drive. I high tailed it out of there and headed for the one place in this galaxy that I never thought I would see with my own eyes, Earth.

“Oh my God!” I said the moment my little cargo ship entered normal space. We had arrived at the Terran system, Earth was near and so was the moon. It wasn't the blue planet that shocked me. The normal blockade around the Terran system was reinforced with an armada of the Orders best ships, including the Overlord. The largest, most dangerous ship in in the known universe. Kim wasn't scared by this as much as I, her eyes were glued on the moon. “It's there. The last hope for humanity.” I had no choice but to continue. Once we entered this system we both were sentenced to death. So, I charged my engines and prepared for the flight of my life. We dodged in and out of weapons fire, always heading for the bright white moon in orbit of the third planet. Five ships were right on our tail, each one doing its dead level best

to execute us right there. I am a good pilot and am able to dodge a lot of their fire, but eventually they would hit the right spot. “We aren't going to make it!” Kim clutched the crystal close to her. “I never intended on getting to the moon in this ship. I'm good, but not that good. In moments we are going to be destroyed.” Kim gasped, “You're insane. Don't you want to....WOAH!” They got us in the left engine. I controlled the spiral with ease, still maintaining a course for the moon. It was a crazy, stomach turning decent, but we were still on course. “Hold on!” I grabbed the only lever I had never used before on my ship and pulled it.

On the Overlord, Commander Ama Obbakar watched as the small ship exploded. With two of his hands he signed off on an order another hand was stroking at the tentacles surrounding his mouth. “Is it done?” “Yes sir.” “Good. Prepare the ship for the attack on earth. I want to break that barrier and scour the land of ever living being.”

“I can't believe you. You didn't even give me any warning!” Kim got up in the escape pod. “Hey, I got you here, didn't I? Now, put this on!” I attached a survival suit node to myself and gave her one, so we would survive on the surface. I found the door and shoved it aside. Looking up I saw the planet of my dreams. Around it, wrapped like a web, was the defense grid. The whole planet was protected by this, it even gave off light so that the surface remained healthy. That was what protected earth for all these years. But, it was doomed. Surrounding the planet were hundreds of ship. “Hey, we have to get moving, they look like they are about to attack. “ Kim ran quickly in the light gravity of the moon. “Follow me! The crystal will lead us to the outpost.”

Ama Obbakar smiled as much as an Barashe can smile. “Fire!” He gave the command and all of the ships started pelting the defense grid with all of their might. Instantly the shields repelled the attacks. All over the grid weapons appeared and began to respond, but their were so drained from lack of power that they couldn't do much.

“Here it is!” Kim stopped at what looked like more of the moons surface, a rock wall of white dirt. “Here is what?” Kim smiled and put her hand up against the rock. It began to glow and the ground shook. A voice spoke in the old human tongue. “Welcome to Lunar Base Alpha, please present the encryption stone.” She held it up and a blue light scanned it. Without any more questions, a door opened on the surface of the room and slid down to reveal the inside of a very old, legendary base. Lunar Base Alpha was amazing. The technology seemed so ancient, so....human. Yet, the Order feared this place so much that they had spent a century convincing the rest of the galaxy that it was a myth. “How could the Order have missed a place like this?! Surely the would've looked on the moon.” Kim walked around the place with caution, looking for the central control room. “They have been looking for it. But, you see, this place was built with the one stone that powers all of the human tech. The one controlling stone that gives their weapons the ability to hurt the Order. Pure quartz. “ “Pure quartz! There isn't enough pure quartz anywhere to threaten the order.” Kim shook her head. “It is very common on earth. They built the defense systems and this base out of it. The Order cannot scan through the quartz walls of this place, and they cannot enter without having human DNA. AH HA! The control room.” We walked into the main control room of this dormant facility. It was cold, dark, and old. I was beginning to have second thoughts. This might just turn into our tomb. We had no way off of this moon, and if this didn't work, we wouldn't have long before these survival suits wore out. “Here it is, the main system. Once we activate this, the re-ignition systems will fire and, hopefully, the sun will glow bright again.” “Hopefully?!” “There is only one way to find out.” with that Kim crammed the key into the hole and stood back. The systems seemed to do nothing at first, then the key lit up. The computers started to turn on. All over the room were maps of the solar system and a target set on the sun. Kim closed her eyes and said something in old humanese. With this command, the computers started processing and the whole base began to shake. “WHAT IS GOING ON!?” I held on to keep from falling on my butt. Kim steadied herself on the main control station. “IT HAS BEGUN!”

“Supreme Commander! There is an energy spike on the satellite!” Ama stood up, “WHAT!? IT CANNOT BE! TURN US, FIRE EVERYTHING AT THE SOURCE OF THE ENERGY NOW!!!” “But, sir, there is nothing on the moon!” Ama became irate, “I SAID FIRE YOU FOOL, FIRE!!” The Orders most powerful ship launched a volley of weapons at the surface of the moon, creating quite the dust cloud for a moment. When the dust settled an unscathed building was left. “Sir, that building is reinforced with....pure quartz.” he could not believe his readings. “Tell the fleet....” “Sir, it is launching something at the sun.” Ama sat back down, fearful of this moment. “ Tell the fleet to obliterate the humans defense systems NOW!! We can't let them...” Just then the sun burst out with an energy wave and its cold surface began to glow. Small cracks of reds and oranges broke the surface and it was getting brighter and brighter. Ama Obbakar hit a switch on the arm of his chair, “All ships, retreat, retreat quickly!” It was too late. The defense systems around earth garnered power fast. The weapons that had hardly scratched the surface of the nearest ship were now tearing through the shields and ships of the Order like hammering fine china. In moments, the most powerful fleet of the Order was nothing but debris. I know what you might be thinking, what happened to me and my friend? Well, we aren't alone any longer. I found a lot of other people who look just like me. Kim and I are now very important people on Earth. We have knowledge of the outside galaxy that few here have. And that is good, for The Order isn't gone yet, but now they have an adversary they actually fear. Check out the up-to-date information about Daniel’s writing, art, and other work here:

When I grow up I want to be…….. My daughter started Kindy for the first time: naturally I felt sick. A whole bundle of emotion coughed up and out of me that morning: fear, anxiety, and guilt mostly. Yup, I pretty much spiralled the whole spectrum of emotion as I signed the register and handed over the parental responsibility baton. I felt sick to my core as Tess, a pretty, twenty something carer, immediately crouched down to Miss 2. With a huge smile and a little tug of her hand I watched, (admittedly a little put out that I was so easily forgotten) and Miss Tess became her new best friend. Fast forward 6 weeks. Miss Tess, my savior informs me she is leaving the child care centre. NOOOOOOOOOOO ! I am heartbroken as I know Miss 2 will be too. I asked her what she her next job step will be. “Oh the same thing” she replied as her eyes clouded over. That was the moment I saw it. “You don’t want to work in childcare do you?” I asked tentatively. She shook her head. “I love the kids. (and boy do they love her, she is FABOULOUS) but it’s not what I really want to do.” “So what do you want to do?” She pauses. I think she dare not say it out loud. The job police might be waiting to arrest her for following her dreams. “I would love to be an air stewardess.” She exhaled loudly. “So what’s stopping you?” “Well, I have to finish my course first and I have accepted this new job now” OK, so I respect for wanting to finish her childcare qualification. But come on really? Does she think trading in one environment for another is going to make her happy? It appears so. “How long before you finish?” “2 years” “Two Years? That’s a long time. Do you need the qualification to be an air stewardess?” “No.” “Have you applied to any airline?” She shakes her head. “Have you talked to anyone in the industry? Found out more about it? What you need to do to make it happen?”

“No, not really…” We exchange a look at this point. Both knowing that she is in denial of what she really wants to do; the only thing holding her back, is her.

Work for most of us is something that happens to us, rather than an engagement of want and desire. The words love and passion are reserved for after 5pm when social time kicks in and your laptop is switched off. I hear it all the time. “I fell into my job”, or “I just kind of ended up here” or maybe the ultimate personal sacrifice “This was all I could get – someone has to pay the bills around here.” Is it the truth? Or is it an all too an easy excuse? By believing it, you allow yourself to remove choice from the equation. You allow yourself to be steam rolled into a job or a vocation purely based on your own expectation of what work is in the grand scheme of things. Sure like Tess, you might be fabulous at it. Excel and be the best in your field at it. But is it your truth, in what’s right for you? Do you feel it or are you playing with the cards you believe you are dealt and just getting on with it. We need to be free in our thought process in finding our truth in our work and what it means to us. Curious even. Allow the mistakes and the challenges. You can always learn better from knowing what you don’t want, rather than what you do. Learning to accept fear as a positive in your work life will allow your mindset to free itself up. What exactly are you frightened of- trying or failure? I emailed Tess to see how she was going last week. She started her new job and she told me the new location suits her –for now. But in the meantime she has applied for a position with a local airline and has made contact with a girlfriend of mine, who works for Virgin. They hooked up for coffee and reading between the lines; she’s excited. Baby steps, that’s all you need. Just put one foot in front of the other. You never know, you might just end up doing something that you can truly say; you love to do. You can follow Paula’s blog by visiting:

Get to know these authors Find your next author books to read. Take 8 authors of various genres and what do you get: laughs, honesty and wisdom. View all these fabulous books on Read more about new talent here:

Amelia James Do you ever wish your characters were real? I know my readers do. I'd love to flirt with Austin and give Jack a big hug. Many of my characters were inspired by real people. Some I've met and one person in particular I'd love to meet. What helps you focus to write? Turning off my internet connection. ;) I also need quiet and comfort, no distractions. I get up at 5am to write. I've always been a morning person. Even in school, I'd get up while it was still dark to finish my homework. I think better after a good night's sleep. But now that I have a 3-yearold, sleep is a thing of the past, so focusing can be a real challenge. What did you learn from publishing your first novel? I learned that everyone needs an editor. Not just someone to read it and catch typos, but an experienced editor who can teach you about the writing craft. I self-published my first novel, Tell Me You Want Me, and it did okay. I have a BA in English so I thought I did a pretty good job editing it myself. No one ever complained. But after I submitted it to my publisher, it went through editing twice: first for content and then for copy editing. I think it's a much better book now. My publisher rereleased it in June 2012 and by September 2012 it had made Amazon's Top 100 list in contemporary romance. It's still my best seller. My husband finds the prefect sized rocks to throw to catch the waters’ ripples and I look at the nearly perfect shaped shells laying in the sand. The sunniest day of all is our last day. We drive home, relaxed and with cleared minds. Getaways are ideal for a change of scenery, spending quality time with friends and family and taking a break from the news, electronics and even cleaning.

Brenda Perlin What is the craziest thing a fan has said to you? I think it is crazy every time a reader (okay a fan) says that they were touched by my story. Most people who hear the title Home Wrecker tends to be skeptical at first. The people that give the story a chance rank high in my book. The positive responses have been overwhelming and I am grateful to everyone that finds something positive in my life story. Home Wrecker has received some of the most insightful well-thought out reviews on It blows me away to see how many people identified with the main character Brooklyn or were emotionally attached to her. That right there is a huge compliment! What is your biggest challenge when it comes to writing? I am not a schooled author and I am not very good writing fiction. Just writing dialog has been a real challenge because I try to write from reality. It doesn’t seem natural to put words in people’s mouths but I am getting better. Still, it is not my strong point. I used to write on paper napkins in coffee shops everyday for the sheer pleasure and then share them with my closest friends. There was never a time I thought of being a published author. It really is a dream come true because it seemed so far fetched and far out of reach. When I started writing Home Wrecker I never planned on it being such a “tell-all” and I never thought the subject matter would be something so controversial. At the time I was preparing to get married and wanted to share my wedding experience on paper. The whole process seemed so ridiculous to me that I wanted to poke a little fun at the entire business. After the wedding was over I set the story aside thinking it would be something I would look back on when I got older. It wasn’t until my marriage blew up that I discovered I really had something to say. How has writing changed your life? My entire life has changed in a positive way. Writing this story and sharing it has not only been liberating but inspiring. I have met so many people from all over the world who have bent over backwards to help me succeed. You Melanie are one of the people I am talking about. It is your passion and kind heart that help not only motivate others but shows how unselfish people can be. My life now revolves around Home Wrecker and I am so proud that it does. I take pride in my work and I am so pleased to have everything out in the open. As I have gotten older I’ve learned that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am a work in progress and I feel beyond blessed to have this opportunity.

Christine S. Feldman Do you think being an author is an easy career choice? Rewarding, but definitely not easy. Generally speaking, becoming an author means preparing yourself for a marathon, not a sprint, so you have to be prepared to invest a tremendous amount of time and energy into writing before you begin to reap any kind of return beyond that of your own personal satisfaction at doing what you love. My understanding is that most writers need a second job to pay the bills so they can continue to write, which means that after a full day’s work, you have to be disciplined enough to knuckle down and write even when you’re tired, emotionally wrung out, or suffering from the dreaded writer’s block. And nowadays you have to consider the aspect of networking, which also demands a lot of time and focus. Then once you get your book out there, you have to be thick-skinned enough to face rejection and/or the possibility of negative reviews. No wonder some people say writing is like opening up a vein! But if you love it, you do it. How much do you think your book cover sells your books? I think I’d have to answer that question more as a reader than as a writer. Sure, people say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when you’re scrolling through pages and pages of books on Amazon looking for your next read, realistically the first thing you’re going to notice is the cover. If the cover doesn’t grab you, you probably won’t even bother to check out the book blurb or read the first few pages. Ideally, I think you want cover art that looks professional but also sets itself apart somehow from the zillions of other book covers in that particular genre. Plus you want cover art that communicates the genre of the book as well as the general tone so readers won’t be unpleasantly surprised by the book’s content when they read it. For example, cute animated characters work great on the cover of a light hearted chick lit kind of book, but on Stephen King’s latest release? Not so much. Readers like to know what they’re getting themselves into. What does writing mean to you? Writing is—corny as it may sound—a dream come true for me. I’ve wanted to write since I was a very young child, hammering out paragraph-long stories on my parents’ typewriter. I wrote now and then over the years but figured writing wasn’t a practical career choice, so I set it aside and was practical for many years. Then I took it up again on nights and weekends because I missed it so much, and it feels great to be doing it again. It’s kind of funny,

though, that writing can be bliss for me but also sometimes more like torture when the words just won’t seem to flow. But if you’re lucky enough to find something you love despite the times when it puts you through the wringer, you’ve got to go after it or else spend the rest of your life wondering, “What if?” Know what I mean?

Dennis R. Blanchard Have you ever found it hard to write? No. I'm an inveterate story teller, so I have no difficulty writing my story. I do have a problem disciplining myself to produce “x” amount of writing per day. I tend to take a random approach to writing and only write when it suits me. I suspect I could be referred to as a “binge,” writer, I'll write a huge amount one day and then go a few days writing nothing. My goal is to create a book that the reader will enjoy, one where they feel they are along with me on my true-life adventures. Judging by the various book reviews, I'd say that I have hit that target. What do you hope your reader gains from reading your book? Inspiration. Not only do I want them to purely enjoy reading the story, I want them to be inspired to go off and work down their own personal “bucket-list.” A reader is investing their personal time, reading my story, I owe it to them to give them something that can take along on their life's journey. One reader wrote me and told me they purchased five copies of my book for friends and relatives. I obviously reached that reader! Is your favorite genre to read the genre you wrote in? Absolutely. I have read practically every hiking, walking and trekking book out there. There are hundreds of books about hiking the Appalachian Trail, for example, and no two are alike. Everyone has a different story. My all time favorite was A Walk In The Woods, by Bill Bryson. I read it many years ago and it was my inspiration for hiking the Appalachian Trail and writing my own story.My younger brother, Tom, and I promised each other we would hike it together when we finished our military duty in the 60's, but he was killed in action in Vietnam. Finally, I did complete the hike in 2008 and knew I had to tell “our,” story. The book, Three Hundred Zeroes, is that story. I never contemplated writing a book about my adventure, but so many of my fellow hikers encouraged me to do so. I think that an author that reads a certain genre will write best in that genre.

Jane Blanchard How much research did you for your book? Walking 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago and interviewing women from various countries and cultures was my research. Once returned, I verified my data using internet searches, Google earth, Google maps, and Google translate. My interviews were recorded in French, Spanish, and English, since I speak those languages. I sent the translations back to the interviewees to ensure that I had not only translated them properly, but kept their tone and voice. I also asked that they send me Post Camino Comments that summarized their overall impressions of the Camino. Who is your role model in writing? Each time I read a book, I learn from the writer. Since I read a variety of genres and authors, it is difficult to single out one author. I learned a lot from Stephen King's On Writing, and by watching his style develop from Carrie to his most recent books...and he is so prolific. When I read, I subconsciously look at sentence structure, word selection, grammar, and figures of speech. I love similes and metaphors and often find myself wishing that I had the skill to coin such phases. Unfortunately, my radar is also on for grammar errors and styles that just don't work; these bloopers are not only a real distraction for me, but also a lesson on what not to do. What advice do you give wannabe writers? First, write everyday. "Writing doesn’t just communicate ideas; it generates them.� ~ Paul Graham. To generate ideas, write daily: a journal, a blog or comments on a blog, part of a chapter, a book review—even tweeting can help develop writing skills. What is important is writing with intention and attention to style. Read everyday, but with a critical eye. Use a professional editor. After completing changes suggested by several beta readers, I purchased a hundred copies of my first book to take with me to a speaking engagement. When I received the mark-ups from my editor, I was too embarrassed to sell the books and scrapped what remained. Take your time and publish only after you and your editor are satisfied with the book.

Jessica A Kong Do you feel writing is similar to your own small business? In terms of writing the book, getting it published, marketing etc. Absolutely. A self-published author has to create the book, create a brand to associate with the book, then you have to sell it to the world. That in itself is a full-time job. It is definitely a business. What challenges have you found in becoming a writer? My greatest challenge is promoting my books. Having limited funds and time really puts a strain on how much I can do. But writing is my passion, my drug, so I suck it up and keep promoting. What do your family think of you as a writer? My family is proud of me. They have supported me from the beginning. My husband has bought both of my books. I know he will never read them since it’s not his genre, but the fact that he bought them really warms my heart. My daughter can’t wait until she’s old enough to read them.

Lisa Day Do you prefer to write a range of genre's or focus on one genre for all of your books? I have done a couple out of my preferred genre. But, I find it easier to stay in one. You get to understand and refine what the readers wants to experience when you specialize. What was the funniest moment you experienced today? We had brunch with friends this morning and husband made a crack about the numbers of times I've been married. (we celebrate 20 years next month) My answer on my fourth and looking for the fifth. I thought it was funny when everyone laughed, but him.

Do you ever feel that you yourself is used as part of a character's personality trait? Of course, when I need to draw on someone who is sweet, tender, generous, kind, loving, talented, brave, wise, smart and sincere. I could go on but you said to limit our responses. Sorry couldn't resist. Editor’s Note - I asked for a head shot and she sends me the above. It is nice to see her holding a copy of her book.

Sherry A. Burton Who inspired you to write a book? I had a girlfriend who was going through so things. She was normally a happy person and she had lost her happy place, so I told her I was going to write her a happy ending. I think this surprised me as much as it did her as I had never written before. What I thought was going to be a short story about my friend quickly took on a life of its own. The characters took over and the rest is history. Did you study to be a writer? No. A part of me wishes I did as I am sure it was have been much easier. No, truth be told I have learned as I've went. I guess the thing that kept me going is that on multiple occasions I had people that knew what they were doing that encouraged me. I was told that anyone could write but not everyone could tell a story. They told me that I could tell a story and the other stuff could be learned along the way. I have learned a great deal since I first picked up a pencil and wrote that first manuscript entirely by hand. What is your daily/regular routine when writing a novel? I get up around 7am, check social media and answer e-mails. I grab a quick bite, then head to the gym. After the gym I stop in 7-eleven to get my morning cappuccino. Somewhere around 10am, I unplug my laptop and head down the hall to my home office. While I may make notes outside of my office, I actually prefer writing within the confines of those walls. I normally stay in my office until at least 3pm at which time I stop and take the dog for a walk, and do what needs to be done around the house, including fixing dinner. If the hubby is at sea I can be in my office until well after dark. The thing is A lot of my

"writing" takes place in my head before it ever gets put onto the computer. I am lucky as I "hear the voices. " I get these vivid movies in my head. I can see whole scenes take place in my before I ever write them down. I am still amazed when that happens!

Memorial Day and the Pat O’Malley Mini-Mystery Series Written by Jim Musgrave When I created my historical mystery series, I needed a protagonist who was troubled, heroic and vulnerable. As a veteran, I understand that emotion one feels when one is discharged from the military and one has difficulty assimilating back into civilian life. War and the military have codes of honor that do not match-up with the civilian codes. We honor the war dead, but we don’t do much for the war living. All I need to give as evidence are the high suicide rates amongst returning vets and the abysmal lack of support given by the Veterans’ Hospitals around these great United States. The first two mini-mysteries in my series have a lot to do with veterans and their posttraumatic issues and the hospitals that care for them. In my opinion, if the living amongst us who are not veterans would spend more time caring about these two issues, then returning veterans would be much obliged. In my first novel, Pat O’Malley cannot have a physical, romantic relationship with a woman because of his war experiences. The American Civil War was the most horrendous war we have ever experienced as a nation. More lives were lost because of the terrible field hospital care for the wounded than there were lives lost on the battle fields. In addition, as I point out in my novels, there were draft riots and other crimes that also took their toll on the populace. In summary, the Civil War took more American lives than any future wars, including World War Two. I love veteran authors. James Jones, J. D. Salinger, Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, Tim O’Brien, Joseph Heller, Herman Wouk, and even Miguel de Cervantes, were all vets who put passionate rage, humor and intelligence into their work following service to their countries. Salinger, who was one of the young men who invaded Normandy Beach on DDay, once mentioned Abraham Lincoln and his Gettysburg Address. I believe it was in his mini-novel, Seymour: an Introduction. Seymour Glass, a veteran and family mystic from World War Two, stated that “Lincoln should have just shaken his fist at the audience in Gettysburg instead of giving a speech.” I think the vet authors I have read were all shaking their fists at civilians in their writing. That’s what I am doing in my Pat O’Malley series. We need to understand more about what causes the wars and we need to understand vets who return from wars. Memorializing the dead is only a mental exercise for those who have not been in the military. We vets carry it all with us to our individual graves. You need not remind us. My father was a Pearl Harbor Survivor. He never told me or the family what happened on that day of December 7, 1941 until he was well into his sixties. He did “act out” in his alcoholism, womanizing and other negative behaviors. However, just before he died, in 2001, we were sharing literature, and he was sober over twenty years, and I was on my own road to slow recovery. The books we shared were by Lawrence Block, a veteran mystery novelist, and they starred Matthew Scudder, a recovering alcoholic and police officer.

Dad and I would each read the books, comment about them, and share a few laughs. Little did I realize that my subconscious was storing away the framework for my own mystery series set in post-Civil War New York City. Patrick James O’Malley is a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, but he’s unemployed and living in Poe’s Cottage in the Bronx at the behest of the government. He has sworn off booze, like Matt Scudder, and he also has a prostitute, Rebecca Charming, as his intellectual paramour. Block also uses a prostitute as Scudder’s girlfriend and confidante in his novels. I was, unconsciously, creating an historical version of Block’s formula for a mystery series set in 1865 New York! My father died before I could show him my new mysteries. He would have loved them, I know, because he loved the Matthew Scudder books we shared together in sobriety. These are the moments to memorialize: two vets, father and son, who can share something precious that talks about recovery and doesn’t glamorize violence, and yet these books have the intensity of war and its aftermath. My Dad and all vets live with this “intensity” every day of their waking lives. Sometimes, they have difficulty communicating the need for peace they harbor deep inside, and it often kills them. The civilians memorialize them, but they often fail to understand that intensity and its root causes. Art soothes the savage beast in all of us. I hope you can get soothed by reading my minimystery series. I am soothed by writing it. And, somewhere, somehow, my Dad and other vets will download (in my father’s case, “upload”) a copy and also get infused with the message I have attempted to capture within. The warriors do it because they want you to have peace. Try to understand them when they return. They just need a little time alone to get it together again and become human like the rest of us. View Jim’s books on Amazon here: Photo of Jim and Ellen

Healthy Body and Mind Take time out Recently I had the flu. The hardest part about being sick is to stop moving and relax. I realised I have this automatic reaction that when I finish something, I quickly move to the next item on the list. No break. No time given to rest. I have had to force myself to just take time out for 10-15 minutes every few hours. It is hard at first, how I do stop my thoughts creating more ideas and ultimately more tasks, when I am trying to relax? I also get so focussed on an activity that I can spend hours working on it, without even listening to my body signals. Result = sickness + burn out. If you are similar to my type of living – non-stop – there is an easy fix. Schedule, yes, schedule ten minute breaks every two to three hours. Do absolutely nothing. If your thoughts run havoc, grab a pen and paper. Jot down the thought and let it go from your mind. Refocus and witness for yourself how more energised you feel. Notice how the small break has actually helped you become refocussed and ready to continue. Take the break, add it to your schedule so you are reminded to do it and eventually it will just become habit. Remember to r-e-l-a-x.

5 top ways people relax around the world. 1. Practice the Shinrin-yoku Relaxation practiced in Japan. Walk through a forest and deliberately breathe in the air. The trees release wood essential oils that have a calming effect when breathed in. Similar to essential oils yet with the added benefit of being surrounded by a luscious landscape to take in as well. 2. Receive a foot massage and a pedicure in Malaysia from fish. Dip your fit into a large tank and have hundreds of fish nibble on your skin. Considered a

natural way to exfoliate and an alternative to skin cleansing therapy. A stressless event that will leaving you soft and smooth. 3. Belly dance in the Middle East. Belly dancing is a traditional folk dance that includes men and women of all ages. Belly dancing works internal muscles that promote relaxation through the body. It also helps blood circulation and strengthens the core. Even just watching belly dancing helps one relax. 4. Take a siesta. South America, Asia, Africa and other countries around the world will have their towns close for a period of time afternoon the midday meal. Typical in hotter locations. This time is to be used for quiet time to unwind, reflect and plan for the rest of the day. It is reported those areas who participate in a siesta also live longer, have less daily stress and have less cases of health problems. 5. Join a laughter yoga class. In India, laughing yoga groups are full of hysterics. In the mid-1990s a Doctor in India experimented with the idea that laughter could be the cure for disease. Laughter yoga lowers blood pressure, helps exercise core muscles and reduces stress.

This Month’s Book Review By Melanie Toye

Reality versus fiction A major twist occurs in the first 27 pages which really took me by surprise. As a reader, I think it would be many readers dreams to be able to bring to life characters from books to live in the real world. Ask them questions, have debates about worldly matters and when it comes down to it and those we most fantasied in the novel, be intimate with. The 92-Year-Old Lady Who Made Me Steal a Dead Man’s Car explores this path. I loved the story! Original and fresh. I enjoyed the voice of the main character Eberhardt Walker and Irene (the old lady) had me always wanting to know what she thought of the antics that went on. It does go into the realms of what creates somebody's imagination and what is real? What if only there is one real person in the world and everyone else is made part of their imagination? A somewhat philosophical insight produced through a thrilling and entertaining read. Should you read this, yes! Buy your very own copy here:

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Getting over the emotional and mental breakdowns in “Re-Defining Life and Dreaming High.�

Written by Anita Makaju

Calling all graphic designers, photographers, cartoonists and everything in-between! Imagine This is hosting our very own 'Imagine This cover design competition.' All you have to do is create a cover image that suits our image. The most creative design that works with our theme, wins. The winner will receive their cover image on the next edition of our online mag and a copy of Entice Me eBook and the boasting power that your creation is featured online, right around the world! To submit your entry: the final image will be inserted into a word document and then PDF, it must be A4 size and high quality resolution. To receive the eBook, you must have a kindle download software (available here for free): and have access to to claim your prize. Entries open: 23 August 2013 and close 10 October 2013. The winner will be announced on 11 October 2013 via wordpress blog site and the winning cover image will be in the October Issue, published in late October 2013.

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Browse the below books to find your next read Genre: Mystery/Thriller Click to preview on Click to preview on

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Imagine This September Edition  

Imagine This online readers' magazine, September Edition is filled with short stories, inspiration content, dream chsaing tips, fabulous aut...

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