Thursday, August 28, 2014

A YouTube Video Worth Watching

This speech by Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, goes beyond the normal politics of Democrat vs Republican or Labour vs Tory to tell the truth about the deep corruption within both nations' governments. 

I have no comment beyond what Mr. Murray says although of course he is talking about it in relation to the particular situation in Scotland. Who will I vote for in the US in the next election? I am not sure I can vote for anyone any more. They have all been proven complicit.

Good luck to Scotland in escaping the Westminster/Washington corruption.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Initiate by Tara Maya

Initiate is free everywhere except on Barnes and Noble (where it’s $0.99). You can download a free .epub version via Smashwords.

The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya



Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.


Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.


Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

She hadn't appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

"Join our circle, Dindi!" the fae voices gurgled under the water. "Dance with us forever!"

"No!" She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again.

There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, "Dispel!" but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn't be coming up again.

"Dispel!" It was a man's voice.

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

"Better?" he asked.

She nodded. He was young--only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

"Good." He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

Dindi's hand touched skin--he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

"It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that," he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. "What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?"


Tara’s blog
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Freedom Come All Ye

The last few weeks have been heartrending. From senseless slaughter in Gaza and Iraq to police violence on the streets of American, freedom from fear and oppression and unjust murder is far, far away. But I wanted to remember the hope expressed in Hamish Henderson's great anti-imperialist folk song. You don't have to understand every word of the Scots language in which it was written to understand the cry for the end to the oppression of all peoples.

Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Letter to Hachette Publishing

Dear Mr. Michael Pietsch, 
CEO Hachette Publishing,

As an author, although not one signed with Hachette, I want to express my concerns about the Hachette position in this dispute. Hachette has consistently resisted negotiating with Amazon and refused the offers Amazon has made to try to take authors out of the middle of this dispute which should be kept between the two corporations. Instead you are trying to use authors as leverage. Let me point out that there are many authors who support the position of Amazon. You will not achieve your goals by using authors as your tools.

I hope you will decide to negotiate in good faith with Amazon which I do not believe you have done. Your insistence on trying to keep e-book prices artificially high is bad for the entire industry. In the meantime you need to stop trying to use your authors as leverage and accept the Amazon offer to help them for having been caught in the middle of this dispute.


J. R. Tomlin

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Way it Goes

As you would expect if you know me at all, I am working on a new novel, but this is different from anything I've done before. It is historical fiction but the main character is fictional which is a huge change. It is going to be a historical mystery but I didn't want a monk as is so often the case with this genre and I wanted something just a bit darker. It has been a bit slow going getting started because it is so different from what I've done in the past but I believe it is gradually taking shape. So here is the start, completely unedited so allow for that, just a tiny snippet of what I'm working on:

A tiny peat fire in a brazier threw fingers of red across Law Kintour’s wobbly table. The room was small, smaller even than his tent in the days when he’d followed the duke to war. His narrow pallet bed was against the opposite wall to that he shared with his landlord Wulle Cullen and his wife. A single window overlooked the High street. Rain pattered against the closed shutters now, but when it was opened it looked out across the rooftops of Perth to the spire of St. John’s Kirk beyond the River Tay. The meager bits of furniture were rented with the room. A wooden kist near the door held the few belongings he had salvaged from the disaster in France.

Loud voices that nearly drowned out the sound of a minstrel playing a vielle filtered up to Law through the cracks in the wooden floor above Cullen’s tavern. The tavern was jammed between a brewster and a bakster with grayed timbers, the daub thin and flaking. The ground floor boasted a barrel of ale on a trestle, stools, a couple of benches and a long trestle table for eating. Bette Cullen could usually be found stirring a pot of broth that hung from a crane over a peat fire on the hearth whilst gray-haired Wulle bustled about tending to the customers.

Law hunched over the mutton broth he’d ordered from downstairs, though it had more of barley, onions and turnip and only a hint of meat to it. But he sopped up the rest out of the bowl with a hunk of oat bannock. When there was a tap on the door, he looked up with a belch.

Frowning, he pushed back the stool to step to the door and open it. “Yes?” he said to Cormac MacEda.

Cormac was a lanky man whose red and cream doublet with crumpled red ribbons at the seams Law always thought regrettable even for a minstrel. But his eyes were blue and playful in a boyish face. He closed the door behind him, leaned against it, and said, “There is a man in the tavern looking for you. His surname is Erskyn.”

“Looking to hire?”

“I think so. You’ll want to talk to him. He has enough siller judging by his dress.”

“Send him up, lad,” Law said. “Send him up.”