Red Carpet Days

I have on these pages the splendid guests I hosted before this blogsite decided to concentrate on my publications only,  I have kept them here so that those looking for them do not have to wander through cyberspace trying to locate them.  Some are showcasing new publications others offering advice.  The Red Carpet Day continues on alberta ross which concerns itself with wrting, blog hops and guests. 

This is a static page so please scroll down to find the guest you are looking for.  I will list them as they arrive.  After Emma Newman Red Carpet Day guests were hosted on this site as well as alberta ross for a couple of months to allow for the change over.

Emma Newman
Jo Linsdell
Shay Fabbro

 I am delighted to welcome Emma Newman here today.  I discovered Emma through her short stories - they are so good. I'll leave it to Emma to explain this project.  Enjoy the tale. 



This is the sixth in a year and a day of weekly short stories set in The Split Worlds.  If you would like me to read it to you instead, you can listen here.  You can find links to all the other stories, and the new ones as they are released here. 

The Proud Mother
Oxford, 1995

Even though she knew she shouldn't, Anna kissed the tiny fingers wrapped around her thumb, and held the swaddled baby close to her chest. The nanny was frowning at her from the nursery doorway.
            "Baby should be put down for his nap now my Lady," the Nanny said, but Anna continued to ignore her, until she heard a door slam down the corridor.
            "My husband?" she asked and the Nanny nodded before she hurried away.       Anna had time to press a gentle kiss on her baby's forehead before her husband brought his scowl to the door.
            "I was told you were here," he said. "I don't like coming into Mundanus at the best of times, let alone to find my wife."
            "Is there a problem dear?"
            "This is highly inappropriate behaviour. He's four weeks old now."
            "Is it a crime to want to hold one's firstborn?"
            His shoulders dropped, some kindness returned to his eyes. "Darling," he stepped into the nursery with obvious discomfort. "He should be with Nanny and you should be with me."
            "I just wanted to spend a moment with him before I take him out," she said, brushing his tiny fingers with her lips. "It's a beautiful day."
            He peered out at the blue sky with suspicion. "I need to talk to you about that. Your bizarre behaviour has been noticed."
            "By whom?"
            "The servants gossip, the Nanny's talk to others. It doesn't matter who it came from, the fact is the Patroon himself sent a note to me this very morning about it."
            "Is he angry?"
            His smart grey frock coat was incongruous with the pastels of the nursery. "Must we discuss this here?"
            "A few minutes in Mundanus won't be the death of you. Dear," she hurriedly added at the beginning of his frown. "What did the Patroon say?"
            "He said he'd heard tell of my wife, previously held in good regard, insisting on promenading daily in the University Parks with her baby. He said that ordinarily, such uncouth behaviour would need to be stopped immediately," he paused as she sucked in a tense breath. "But as Lady Wisteria herself has expressed an interest in a baby sighted in the Parks recently, the daily walks may continue."
            Anna dropped her face to breathe in her son's scent, steadying her nerves.
            "But only for one more week, on the understanding that our family will be represented with elegance, grace and perfect decorum. Do you understand?"
            "Perfectly," she sighed. "I'm not surprised he caught Lady Wisteria's eye. He is beautiful, after all."
            "That may be so," he muttered, "but there's no need to be so sentimental about it." The frown returned. "One week more Anna. Then this silliness has to end, for all our sakes."

Anna left the house with the baby tucked into his perambulator later than usual, having ensured that her walking outfit was perfect. Her son, pink and already the embodiment of perfection, stared up at her with his huge blue eyes as they set out, Nanny and a minder following at a respectful distance.
            She took the shortest route, still distrustful of the noise and fumes from the strange modern cars. They looked so different to the one Douglas had driven during their courtship, his had been one of the early Bentley's, all curves and gleaming metal.
            The University Parks had barely changed, Anna headed for the river, hoping that her friend would be there too. She kept an eye out for Lady Wisteria, but she couldn't really believe that one of the Seelie Court would risk an outing in broad daylight, in a city heavily patrolled by Arbiters, just to see a baby.
            Her friend was seated in the usual place, her obscenely modern perambulator beside her. Anna bribed the nanny and minder to stroll down the river as she always did; a daily conversation with a mundane mother was something she wanted to keep private.
            "Good afternoon."        
"Hello," her friend managed a tired smile. "I wondered if you were coming today. He slept four hours through last night, I'm still knackered." Her son, born two days earlier than Anna's, began to grizzle. She took him out of the pram and Anna did the same, eager for another cuddle. The two mothers shared a smile unlike any she had experienced in Society; one of empathy and gentle, unselfish pride.
Then a floral scent washed over them and Anna turned to see Lady Wisteria, lilac fabric floating
about her as if underwater. It settled, taking the appearance of heavy silk. Once it behaved like a coat should in an autumnal park, Anna noticed the pale skin and golden ringlets, surprised by how terrifying supernatural beauty could be.
She didn't know whether to stand and curtsey as manners dictated, or pretend that this impossibly beautiful woman was just out strolling, as one should when illegal fey activities were taking place.
            Before she could decide, Lady Wisteria had reached them.
            "What a beautiful baby!"
            "Thank you," the mundane said and Anna realised the delight wasn't directed at her child.
            Smile tumbling from her face, she hid her shame by hurriedly tucking her son back into the perambulator.
            "May I hold him?"
            That's not the right baby, Anna wanted to scream. Instead, falling back on years of practice, she sat back down neatly and remained silent.
            Lady Wisteria stroked the child's cheek, he gurgled as his mother watched, oblivious to the danger. "He's absolutely perfect," she said, and brushed the mother's arm with her fingertip.
            The mundane became statue-like and Lady Wisteria looked at Anna. "Take your child out of the pram."
            "But… my Lady," Anna croaked, her maternal instincts making her hesitate, even as she recalled the cautionary tales about the disobedient drilled into her from childhood.
            "If you want him to live, take off the blanket and put him in there." She pointed at the modern perambulator.
            Anna clutched him to her chest for one last moment, kissing the top of his head, her tears falling onto his tiny face as she laid him down and took the blanket away. The other child's blanket was passed to her, which she hurriedly tucked about him, watching as her son's clothes changed colour where the new wool touched.
            "This is your son now," Lady Wisteria held out the other child, now appearing to be dressed in her son's clothes under the effect of the same glamour. "The mundane will not know; your son will be loved as her own."
            "In Mundanus," Anna wept as she took him, "with a different name."
            Lady Wisteria watched the tears fall with hungry fascination. "It's hurting you," she whispered, enraptured, and leaned towards her. Anna felt a flicker on her cheek, went rigid with fear as she realised the fey had stolen a tear with her dry tongue. "Such pure sorrow," she smiled. "I shall treasure that. Console yourself with the knowledge that this child," Lady Wisteria pointed at the replacement, "will bring me so much more joy than your dull offspring. Care for him as if he were your own and never speak of this, otherwise I will see that your son suffers the worst of the mundane life." When Anna didn't move, her eyes narrowed. "Be grateful that I didn't punish you for bearing such a disappointing child. Now leave."
            She got up and began to push the perambulator away, ignoring the new eyes staring up at her. She looked back at her son for as long as she could, whilst Lady Wisteria wove a charm deep in the other mother's heart. She knew this was her punishment, for not meeting her patron's standards, for getting too attached; unlike her friend, she would know he wasn't her son.
            The Nanny and the minder were waiting at the gates. "Take him back to the nursery," she said and returned to her husband in silence.
            "I'm sorry for all the silliness," she said, kissing him on the cheek. "Nanny will take care of him now. You were right all along."


Thanks for hosting Alberta! I hope you enjoyed the story. If you would like to find out more about the Split Worlds project, it's all here: If you would like to host a story over the coming year, either let me know in the comments or contact me through the Split Worlds site. Em x

 Another splendid dark tale Emma, I am really looking forward to reading the years worth.  Thank you very much for coming here.

(I have to apologise for the strange happenings at the beginning of the post with the colours - I have tried 3 times now but blogger will have it this way!)


I have Jo Linsdell of writers and authors back today to help us find inspiration.

10 Resources for writing inspiration

By Jo Linsdell

Suffering from writers block? Need some help finding new ideas and inspiration for your writing? It happens to all of us from time to time.

Here's my list of resources to use for writing inspiration:

  1. Blogs- There are millions out there and the variety is immense. Read about other peoples passions and hobbies.
  2. Books- Visit your local bookstore or library and browse the shelves. If you can't leave your computer, look around on sites like or
  3. Eavesdrop- Yes, be a nosey neighbour and listen in on what others have to say. You might get a good bit of dialogue out of it or spark a new direction for your characters.
  4. Magazines- flick through and be inspired by the photos and articles.
  5. Movies- Watch a new release or an old favourite. Does a particular scene stay with you? Think about the pacing of the story. How many minutes pass between each piece of action? What could happen to your characters to keep things interesting?
  6. Forums- Connect with others. See what people are posting about. Could you write an article about it? Did you come across something you could put into your story?
  7. Art- Give yourself a visual aid and check out your local art gallery. If you can't get out and about search the web for images to inspire new ideas.
  8. Music- Listen to your favourite tunes or try out new styles that you don't normally listen to.
  9. Friends- Chat, skype, call or meet up for coffee with your pals. They might have a funny joke or story that could lead to a new poem, article or chapter in your book.
  10. Writing groups- No one understands the search for inspiration like your colleagues. Help each other and see what others are writing about.

Where do you find inspiration to help you get more words written?

Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer and author of the book Italian for Tourists amongst other titles. Find out more about her and her projects at her website

Thank you Jo a good list.  I have found short stories from bits of overheard conversations and  from a piece of music never heard before or since. Also have found 'prompts' at writing groups and up here on the  web splendid for taking me in new directions. 


I am  welcoming Jo Linsdell from writers and authors today.  Her site has given me, and many others, so much good advice over the past year I am very pleased to be hosting her here today. 

Get  networking with twitter

By Jo Linsdell

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media sites around with millions of people from all over the world posting tweets into their 140 character boxes on a daily basis. Make sure you stand out in the sea of faces by making sure you concentrate on your audience and not on yourself. This can be done quite easily by following these simple steps:

  1. Check your @ replies and mentions and acknowledge them
  2. Reply to and thank fans
  3. Read posts and content relevant to your audience and share it with them
  4. Participate in relevant tweetchats by using or hashtags

You will soon become a respected resource with a growing number of followers making you an expert in your area and well considered by your public.

Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer and author of the book Italian for Tourists amongst other titles. Find out more about her and her projects at her website She can be followed @jolinsdell

Thank you very much Jo.

It really is that simple.  Good manners, sharing and responding.  If any of you are nervous of Twitter - I know I was at the beginning of the year - it really is fun and you meet some great folk up there. Anyone else agree with us?


I would like to welcome Shay Fabbro as my very first guest and I'm excited because she has written some great books so welcome, it is so nice to have you here Shay.  

AR: First of all could you explain to the visitors here why this tour? 

Shay: I am putting out a second edition  of my debut novel, The Chosen! There’s an exciting new cover as well as some new material (character listing by planet, reviews, and sneak peeks at my other books).

 AR:  I am always intrigued with how other writers create their worlds.  What was the first inspiration for these amazing worlds of yours? 

Shay:  My intense love for the life forms that exist near the deep ocean hydrothermal vents!  While designing my worlds, I knew that one of them HAD to have life that evolved deep under an ocean. Such life would be very different from humans. It’s been fun using my background on biology to create many different planets, all with realistic alien creatures inhabiting them.

 AR:  Those hidden ocean life forms are amazing.  Yours are multiple worlds all of which are so well drawn. You created sound culture and customs for each.  How much more difficult did this make the process? 

Shay: I actually didn’t find this process at all difficult. In fact, I spent a year designing each of my planets, the life forms, history for them (back about 1000 years or so), clothing (or lack thereof in some cases), behaviour, various names I could use, life spans, etc. I filled an entire notebook with all sorts of information. It was one of the most rewarding and exciting parts of writing my novels.

The original cover for 
The Chosen

AR:  Most people consider book covers of outmost importance. I was drawn to yours because of the colour and subject matter and then find they seem to have mirrored the books very well.  How much control or input did you have over these?  And how important do you consider them? 

Shay:  I hired my cover artist, Eric Malbone, and he is an absolute genius! But after some careful thought (on both our parts) as well as some input by very well respected people in the publishing industry, we both felt that a new cover might help boost sales and give The Chosen a fresh start. Eric wanted to showcase more of what is actually in the novels, sort of like a movie poster. I am excited to unveil the cover in its entirety to my fans but I hope this sneak peek will please people and make them curious about the book.

Sneak preview of new cover for 
The Chosen

AR: Aren't they both great!

AR:  Now a little about yourself as a writer.  When did you start being a serious writer as opposed to a scribbler of stories? 

Shay:  I began The Portals of Destiny while in graduate school. I used to write as a child but drifted to my other love: science! In all honesty, I felt pursuing a serious career in biology would be better for my future than chasing the dream of being able to write full time. I don’t feel I have given anything up. I am one of the lucky ones. I get to write in my free time, and yet still have a “day” job that I absolutely love: teaching students about the wonder of the natural world!

AR:  Approximately how long would you say you spend writing?  I am including the thought processes as well here.  Imaginary conversations in your head, etc.! 

Shay:  It really depends on my teaching schedule. I don’t hold myself to a stringent writing schedule at all. I write when I write.  The cool thing about being a teacher? I get to write as part of my job so I get to use my creative juices and cleanse my creative pallet quite often. I guess you could say I write every day, just not necessarily on my novels ;)

AR:  And finally, can you tell us anything about your future plans? 

Shay:  I am almost finished with a rough draft of a second book in a young adult trilogy titled The Adventures of Alexis Davenport. The series follows the adventures of a teenage girl, Alex, and all of the troubles that plague most teenagers: bullying, having to move away from close friends, first crush, first kiss, making friends in a new school, absentee father. Poor Alex has a lot more to deal with, however; she has a mysterious gift and can travel through time using mirrors. Alex  must use her wits and uncanny knowledge of historical events to save the world from a mad-man from changing the past, and thus destroying our futures.

 Thank you Shay. I have to say I love the new cover, Eric is a very talented artist.  All the best with the rest of your tour and I hope I have the pleasure of seeing you here again one day.   

You can buy Shay's books at
  Barnes and Noble

and you can find Shay on
her website

Shay is also offering an e-book edition of The Chosen to a random visitor to this site so fingers crossed you are the lucky one.

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