Saturday, April 4, 2015

James M. Hockey, Author of Dark Age Novels


Launch of Edith Fair as a Swan
(Book 3)


James M. Hockey was born in a Ham Stone cottage set on the side of an Iron Age Hill Fort. This is known as Ham Hill and bears the evidence of ancient British and Roman occupation. It is in the west country of England, King Arthur country. In other words, his birth put him smack into the middle of his stories – it just took him a few years to find his inspiration to write 



The Tales of Bowdyn series:

The Axe the Shield and the Triton (Book 1)

The Axe the Shield and the Halig Rood (Book 2)

Edith Fair as a Swan (Book 3)




I pressed him for details how he came to write his trilogy, and he told me this:

I had always thought I would like to write stories but everything I wrote was pretentious claptrap and ended life in the bin. Until I became tied to a particular area of the west country of England that is steeped in history. However, it took nearly sixty years when, on a nostalgic visit, I came across the story of the Holy Rood. I decided to write the story of a cross of ill omen and how it came to be buried on St. Michaels Hill.

What I didn't know was that as the story developed I would not only write The Axe the Shield and the Triton, Bowdyn Volume 1, 450+AD but then found myself writing The Axe the Shield and the Halig Rood, Bowdyn Volume 2, 500+ADfollowed by Edith Fair as a Swan, Bowdyn Volume 3, 1066+AD.

As if that weren’t enough, I am now working on Atland the Lost, Bowdyn Volume 4, 6500 BCE; with the final volume Wothans Army, to be Bowdyn Volume 5, covering a period from the Dark Ages up to the 17th century.

The series spans the history of a people over eight thousand years. Of course many scholars would consign it to the bin but it is just fiction after all. The research would have taken a lifetime if I had to rely on libraries and written works. Fortunately we live in a golden age for the writer of historical fiction, for we have Google, dare I say it, Wikipedia and, through my library card, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography not to mention the Oxford English Dictionary for finding words for the earlier volumes with an Old English origin.

For book descriptions, reviews by his readers, and purchase options,
visit James Hockey’s 
Also check out his website: http://wyrdsisterspublishing.co.uk/

Read Historical Novel Society Reviews of all three books on their site:
Tales of Bowdyn-HNS Reviews







Sunday, March 29, 2015

Write What You Know


     If they mean, what you have experienced personally - Yes, and No.
     Just think how poor literature would be without the boundless imagination of writers. I have always been fascinated and grateful to be able to escape to exotic places with larger-than-life characters. So what if I have to look up words and places? It’s a wonderful way to learn and grow, as I have with the great writers.
     On the other hand, personal experiences inevitably do slip into our own writing. You can’t help it, no matter how brilliant your research or how faraway a setting is. People we know, love–or don’t love quite so much–find their way into our characters, changing to our whim like chameleons.
     After I published KHAMSIN, The Devil Wind of The Nile, a novel about Ancient Egypt, some people did ask me if I had been “there.” In 3080 BC, nobody’s been there. Everything else can be gleaned from pouring over the many great archaeological outpourings. In weaving it all together, of course, we are on your own.
     Then came SIROCCO, Storm over Land and Sea. Now, here I did draw on my own sailing/cruising experience and the intimate knowledge of life on a sailboat. I also vividly remember the not-so-pleasant times when our metal mast was the only thing sticking up—in a lightning storm. Suddenly, a dark shadow looms high above you riding on the crest of a monster wave—all you want to do then is to run home to mother!
     When I wrote After the Cataclysm, I imagined a huge steel monster almost running the little Esperanza down and I remembers how my skipper loved to blast Wagner’s powerful music of The Flying Dutchman over the outside speakers when things got rough.
* * *
    Read the excerpt while listening to the music; it’s powerful—it certainly spurned my imagination.
     Fritz Wunderlich (pictured here as part of his life's story-which you will not hear), was an incredibly gifted German tenor, who, after a tragic accident, left us much too young, wanting more.
     The music you hear, of course, is the Sailors' Chorus taunting the Dutchman to leave his watch and come celebrate with them on shore.
     The images of ocean life are beautiful; however, at about 6:16 of the 7-minute tape, you will surely forgive that a terrified young Sam makes nine letters of a not-so-polite expression that usually is said to be a four-letter word.



Excerpt from After the Cataclysm -Part III, Chapter 8
 © Inge H. Borg

“Shiiiiiit!”
     The panic-stricken shout from inside the wheelhouse was followed by the cough of the ignition being turned over time and again. The starter didn’t catch. The wheelhouse door was ripped open. “The bastard’s going to run us down,” Sam cried into the dark cockpit.
     Jonathan pushed Naunet away and jumped up, almost crumpling into the well. His left leg had fallen asleep as he had held Naunet, comforting her, assuring her that everything would turn out all right. “Get on the horn!”
     Sam had already flipped the switch of the shortwave. He grasped the mike and pressed the ‘transmit’ button so hard he was afraid he would embed it into the surrounding plastic.
     “Sécurité, sécurité, sécurité,” the youth cried into the mike as if the higher volume of his voice would make a difference. “This is the sailing vessel Esperanza.” He shakily gave their coordinates and heading. “Large ship bearing down on us, please alter course to west-northwest. We are unable to move out of your way.” He depressed the button. Jonathan and he held their breath for an answer hoping the other guy on watch wasn’t dozing.
     Panic transmits itself quickly throughout the confines of a small boat. By now everyone crowded into the wheelhouse. They did not dare to say anything as they waited for a reply to Sam’s urgent transmission, imagining what would happen if it did not come. Too many large ships never knew they had run down a sailboat. Not until, by daylight or in the next port, they found tattered rigging dangling from one of their bow anchors. In his mind, Jonathan ticked off the steps required to release their lifeboat canister strapped down on deck in front of the main mast. Oh God, he prayed, let the damn thing cross in front of us just this one time.
     “Sailing vessel Esperanza,” a pleasant, nonchalantly professional voice boomed back at them. “We have you on radar. Passing to your starboard now.”
Suddenly, the slapping of their luffing mainsail, deprived of its breeze, was eclipsed by an overwhelming rhythmic pulsing. Jonathan engaged the autopilot. It would hold the Esperanza steadier than any human could; especially since her humans did not feel steady at all. Despite the terror in their hearts, they rushed outside.
     “Shiiiiiit!” Sam hollered again as he gawked up at a wall of steel towering above them, obliterating the moon. Its passage seemed to last forever. There was only the faintest of light coming from the high bridge.
     Jonathan suddenly remembered that the ship had not identified herself during her last transmission. On top of it, not running any navigation lights at night was a definite no-no in any sailor’s book. “Bastard,” he breathed, and then remembered they themselves were running dark. As the moon re-emerged, he knew they would now be bounced around from the propeller wash.
     “Hold on!” he shouted.
     The radio in the wheelhouse crackled to life again. “God speed, sailors,” the voice said and then added, “Sorry about the wake.”
     “Bastard,” Bill echoed Jonathan’s sentiment.

* * *

Dramamine, Anyone?


Friday, March 20, 2015

I Think I Died

But I certainly did not go to Heaven. Instead, I seem to be stuck in book-purgatory where all those writers go who haven't made the best-seller lists. Lately, I haven't even been able to attract a single reader; nor a smidgen of reviewers of those four-thousand downloads of my free promotion of SIROCCO. What gives, people? Like it, hate it, just tell me already.


Naturally, I am depressed asking myself 'What's wrong with me?' Or maybe I should be asking 'What's wrong with my books,' instead?

Perhaps the fault lies in that I haven't thrown up another novel lately. I am working on Book 4 of my Legends of the Winged Scarab series. However, true to form, I needed to do a lot of research and kept nitpicking to achieve the perfect 'literary' feel .... "Ugh," you say? Well, in my book (pardon the pun), it is still required to produce the best erudite writing I can.

Then, the thought hit me: Perhaps, I haven't sprinkled in enough violence and raw sex. Talking about research. I am a happy hermit in a retirement community; so, what do you want of me? Memories of my long-past trials and tribulations? Wouldn't fit into that series (okay, you can always read Edward, Con Extraordinaire - FREE - and get a glimpse of an extraordinary encounter with a persuasive scoundrel). Other than that, I'll be damned if I'm going to tell all. Too deliciously private.

Now my quandary is: Do I stay dead - or am I to arise like Lazarus. After all, Easter is just around the corner...

"Okay, Borg, there is only one thing to reignite the interest of your readers. Let me quote Nora Roberts, 'Ass in Chair,' the one thing that produces books."

Got it. Back into the chair to finish Crystal Caves, Book 4 - Coming soon, provided said chair et al retain its springs.




Friday, February 20, 2015

Acronyms, Nothing but Acronyms

     As a writer, I am expected to speak and definitely write in complete sentences without the use of acronyms (unless properly explained).
     The latest three letters in use baffled me: SNL. They were all over the media and at first I thought it was something out of FSOG (here we go again). I wasn't really curious. Still, I finally Googled the darn things: SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE! Who knew?
     Not I. But then, I am a dinosaur as far as language is concerned. You see, I still expect people to tell me something without the annoying “like,” and “you know,” and “I mean” so freely interspersed these days, especially by the young.
     As I scrolled down, I came across another another meaning of SNL. Oops, seems I wasn't too far off the first time. It apparently also stands for “Sex Now or Leave.”
     Good bye.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Love's in the Air

    Will Valentine’s Day leave you out in the cold because you don’t have that someone special in your life right now? That certain heart-throb to shower you with champagne, chocolates and flowers and—if you have been a really good girl—diamonds?
    Do not despair. With a good book, you are never alone because now, you can vicariously step into someone else’s shoes and dream about a hunky admirer. But be careful what you wish for…

    Just for you, and for a limited time only, I've discounted my 150-page Romantic Suspense Novella, Shadow Love, to 99 cents (down from $2.99).
   After you read it, do tell me what you think of my foray into contemporary women’s fiction. Leave a review; we authors really appreciate feedback for our hard work.



Available in print from Amazon, and several e-book formats at these sites:


Follow me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/@AuthorBorg
And please tweet this to your Followers:
* * *
RT-Love’s in the air, but it casts a shadow in #ShadowLove by Inge H. Borg, #Romantic #Suspense, briefly only 99¢.




Sunday, February 1, 2015

Naming a Crater on Mercury

I did. Well, not yet, but I entered a competition to 'immortalize an important person in the Arts and Humanities from any nation or cultural group by having a crater on the planet Mercury named in their honor!' We'll know the winners (there are many craters that need names) in March or April.

It's one of those things you find diddling around the Internet. Of course, I couldn't resist and named Peter Rosegger. Peter Who?

* * *
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Rosegger




Portrait of Peter Rosegger


Peter Rosegger (31 July 1843 – 26 June 1918) was an Austrian poet from the province of Styria.

He was a son of a farmer and grew up in the forests and fields. Rosegger (or Rossegger) went on to become a most productive poet and author as well as an insightful teacher and visionary.

In his later years, he was honoured by officials from various Austrian universities and the city of Graz (the capital of Styria). He was nearly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1913 and is (at least among the people of Styria) something like a national hero to this day.




* * *
You may or may not know, I was born in Graz/Styria (yes, Arnold, too -- you are not saying: Arnold Who?).

And so, I though that our most beloved poet/writer should have his own crater - especially since he was nearly awarded the Nobel Prize.


When I was in second grade, I remember our class outing to Rosegger's birthplace.

First, we went in a rickety old bus (it was 1949) to the valley below. Then it was a two-hour hike (we were just little kids with an apple and a hunk of cheese in our rucksack for lunch).

Across alpine meadows crewel-worked with blue gentian, yellow buttercups and tiny white margaritas, past grazing cows and through stands of old trees.



At last, tuckered out with blisters from ill-fitting post-war shoes, we stood facing the tiny house, practically tiptoeing through the even tinier dark rooms. Perhaps it was then that the seed for writing took hold deep within me...who knows.



Nowadays, the tourists come by the busload right up to the house where they can rest, eat and still their thirst at a typical Gasthof.







Competition is closed - but you can read more about this fun project - and do keep your fingers crossed for me. I think it would really be something if the powers that be chose Peter Rosegger, my Austrian poet.

Find out more here:
http://namecraters.carnegiescience.edu/home

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Romans are Coming, The Romans are Coming

Long before the Russians were thus feared, a like warning echoed throughout the ancient world – everyone ran and hid. Except a Macedonian youth who himself then went on to conquer his known world. This is NOT his story.

Instead, Author Andrew Levkoff gives us a hitherto unknown namesake, The Other Alexander. Book 1 of Levkoff’s The Bow of Heaven Trilogy deals with Alexandros of Elateia, a young slave, his liege and master, the powerful Crassus of Rome. When Crassus becomes blinded by a desire for revenge, both owner and owned become slaves to a destiny that will topple the foundations of the Republic.


This from the author himself:

First things first.
Thank you, Inge, for helping to launch the completion of The Bow of Heaven trilogy. You’ve made me blush more than once.
(Now, he makes me blush)

“It is laughable how often good manners interfere with my survival.” So says Alexandros, the 85 year-old narrator of The Bow of Heaven, looking back on 30 years of slavery, bound to the richest man in Rome. I began writing the series in 2004, inspired by Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”. Guess I got sidetracked, because in all the 1,400 pages of the trilogy, not one of the major characters ever suits up in the arena. I wanted to investigate the bad rap I believe Marcus Crassus has gotten from historians, but I soon became fascinated by the complex relationship between master and slave.

* * *
Andrew Levkoff came to my attention as both our books were shortlisted by the Historical Novel Society for the 2014 Best Historical Fiction Award; in essence, we were competing for the same coveted prize. Alas, both being left standing at the altar (or “honored to be a bridesmaid,” as Andrew put it afterwards), I took a closer look at his writing and realized just how tough competition had been (see my previous article on Helen Hollick, a staunch supporter of the Indie Writer – and a prolific author herself).



A Mixture of Madness is Book 2 of this Roman trilogy.


Selfishly, I picked Andrew’s brain trying to glean some pointers from this master of Historical Fiction:

People have asked, “Is writing fun?” For me, it’s about 20% inspiration, 80% perspiration. Breaking it down another way, it’s 90% thinking, 10% typing. (I do a lot of pacing.) But those few moments when a character surprises me, or I solve a thorny plot problem (this usually happens in the shower), make it all worthwhile.

I’ll be recording A Mixture of Madness as an audiobook. I don’t have a studio, and the only room in my home quiet enough for recording is my clothes closet. The sacrifices we make for art!

The Other Alexander is available to listen to here. That’s not my voice, but Andrew Randall reading. If he sounds familiar, it’s because he is the voice of the Geico gecko. Yes, folks, my book is being read by a lizard. And a fine job he did, too.

Andrew shares his next project with us (you heard it here first): 

After I come back out of the closet, so to speak, I’ll be publishing a prequel to the series:  Melyaket, a Tale of Ancient Parthia.







And now to the most exciting part:

December 6 is the launch of Book 3:

BLOOD OF EAGLES

(don't you just love these covers?)





Thank you, readers of Inge’s blog, for spending some time with me today. If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me from the website, www.andrewlevkoff.com

***
Andrew’s writings are available in various e-formats, in print and as audio books.

Andrew Levkoff Author Pages:

Books On Amazon:

Also check out his most interesting blog at http://www.andrewlevkoff.com/blog/ (note, the man does have a good sense of humor), and do watch the beautiful trailer as well. You may just want to fly to Rome and tread those ancient paths yourself.
In the meantime, the very next best thing is to start reading The Bow of Heaven Trilogy.


PSST!

The Other Alexander will be FREE December 8-10

Mark your Calendars for this author's gift to you.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

I've Gone Underground

Want to "get a piece of me?" Read the interview of yours truly by Underground Book Reviews Author and Co-Founder Brian Braden. He asked some interesting questions I almost had a tough time to answer. Of course, I enjoyed spouting off and much appreciated the opportunity to have my books highlighted on this reputable and Indie-supportive site.

You can read the entire interview here:
http://www.undergroundbookreviews.com/magazine/author-spotlight-inge-h-borg

 






You may also want to check out Brian's own Author Page on Amazon.
Black Sea Gods, 
is an amazing book, and so is the sequel:
Tears of the Dead


Saturday, November 8, 2014

25 Years Ago - A Wall Came Tumbling Down

Today's NBC news:


Berlin Wall Anniversary: Gorbachev Says a New Cold War Could Happen
(How scary is that?)


West Berliners peer through the Berlin Wall into the Eastern sector near Checkpoint Charlie on October 3, 1966.
(Picture: NBC News)

I may bore some of you as I had posted my poem about a divided Berlin only a month ago. If this bores you, I am glad for you - because then you have never had to experience the pain, the anguish, the suffering of being separated from your loved ones by an ideology, by armed guards, by a wall.

Think about it--and be grateful to live in a democracy; for it could all change overnight, you know.


Peace: War's Abandoned Grave

From its cache’d acorn womb
the seedling sprouts through pungent moss,
soon greened by a rambunctious spring’s exuberance.
The Westwind, taking pity, laughs and heaves
and trembles off the would-be devourer of tender leaves.

The sapling climbs toward the tranquil summer sky,
shading the meadow by the river,
until the Eastwind, cold and blustery,
defeats the balmy climes
and heralds in this city’s soon-to-come hart-breaking times.

Branches at half-mast, the tree holds silent vigil
against the rapings by lust-driven Ural-hordes.
Its meadow barren, flowers vanquished under iron treads,
the oak, denuded in the smoke-veiled morn’,
breathes acrid mist from the River Spree, forlorn.

Amber tears drip from the tree’s strafed bark
as the proud city, quartered by its raucous victors,
writhes in shredded ruin, a graveyard of the living dead.
A people torn apart, despaired,
as brother now must fear the brother whom war had spared.

A saw’s rasping bite takes hold;
the last tree topples at the cusp of dawn.
The oak’s green planks strain vainly toward freedom
from deep within the cursed Wall.
A fire-blackened church accuses, a grim reminder to them all.

The pendulum of time reverses.
Survivors hail their former foe.
To these living dead, abandoning their graves of war,
as if he were a citizen, but keener,
a young world leader avows peace with:
Ich bin ein Berliner!
* * *
(Excerpt from Moments of the Heart)



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

SIROCCO - First Time FREE

For a time, I am making an electronic copy of my SIROCCO, Storm over Land and Sea
(regular price $3.99) free on Amazon, B&N Nook, Kobo, and ITunes. If you need an epub or PDF, you can check it out on Smashwords (see links to my author pages below).

I think you will enjoy this second book in my Legends of the Winged Scarab series; while it stands alone as a modern-day archaeological thriller, you might then also like Books 1 and 3.

As always, a review would be greatly appreciated, but even a download will help. We writers work hard and heavily depend on visibility through reader reviews and the dreaded ratings for our works to be found by reader searches. And, please, tell your friends.

Also check out (also FREE) Edward and his machinations; before this bad boy becomes really dangerous in Sirocco.



http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/Search?Query=Inge%20H.%20Borg

I really appreciate the interest and downloads as I have never been #1 on Amazon-anything...so I am thrilled even if it is in two FREE sub-categories (of course, if it would be in the 'paid' column, that would be truly grand).

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense

Of course, this changes by the hour...still, I'll wallow in vainglory as long as the glow lasts.

First Review from Free Download:
"An artful blending of greed, passion, ancient Egyptian antiquities, crosses and double crosses makes this a genuine page turner. Enjoy this intriguing read."

Thank you, and keep them coming.