For Lockie …

It was with great sadness and a heavy heart I received the news yesterday morning from a mutual friend that author Lockard F. Young, or Lockie as he was know to all of us, had died in hospital, surrounded by his family. I like to think Lockie was also surrounded – via the internet – by the community of writers and readers that had been drawn to him. I for one counted Lockie as a very close member among my own “family” of writers, and he was valued here on Reading Recommendations for his support of me, this blog, and his fellow authors, as well as for his writing, his striving desire to perfect that craft, and his general good humour and comraderie – in spite of all he was suffering healthwise.

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Lockie’s was one of the early promotions I posted here after I first set up the blog in November, 2013, and he has come back for several updates (and here), the most recent being this past Saturday, with news of a new print edition of his book. I know that seeing his words in actual print had been a longtime dream for Lockie. He was excited by the prospect and told me so in a private message just last week when I proposed a promotion update on this blog. Although he’s no longer here to see this dream become a reality, I’m sure he’s aware that I, and many other friends, will do everything we can to bring this new print book to the attention of readers everywhere. It’s the very least we can do for someone who was so generous with his promotion of all our books. Lockie was also a member of the Reading Recommendations Revisited group of authors – those I’ve promoted here who have gone above and beyond in giving back by way of support and promotion of me and their fellow writers.

Earlier this summer I put out a call to a group of author-friends who I’ve considered are part of my own “family” of writers as I’m planning to publish an anthology of their contributions with the title, We Are Family, under the IslandShorts imprint. Lockie was one of the very first to respond and submit a piece to me for inclusion in the book. While, Lockie won’t see the project completed, he will still be very much with us when the eBook is finally published – I’ve decided to dedicate this book to his memory.

The world is a better place having had Lockie in it. Even though I never met the man in person and had never even spoken with him online or by phone, I considered his to be among my most valued friendships. Lockie, you will be missed, but you’ll live on through the words you so generously wrote and left with us. Thank you, my friend, for writing.

Lockard Young – Just looked in to see what condition my condition was in

I have had the pleasure of “knowing” Lockie Young online since I first promoted him and his writing on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013. Lockie returned in Dec. 2014 as part of an anthology put together by another RR-promoted author, Tim Baker. (An anthology to which I had also contributed a short story!) Then he returned once again in Mar. 2015 to tell us of a new novella. Lockie has also been featured in the Reading Recommendations Revisited portion of the blog.

Throughout these past two-plus years I’ve been friends with Lockie, he has always been a bright light, full of fun, encouragement, comraderie and support for his fellow authors. He’s strived to improve his writing and find new readers for his work, all the while helping everyone else to get ahead, as well. I can see just from the number of comments he receives on Facebook whenever he posts, and what those friends say of Lockie and his writing, that he has touched many, many more people than just me. I am proud to be considered a friend of this fine man.

But, all this while, Lockie has been dealing with major health issues … life-threatening, in fact. He recently wrote a very moving, very poignant blog post that describes not only what he has been going through during a recent unexpected and lengthy hospital stay, but also how he managed to derive comfort from the one activity he has been engaged in for years now – his writing! I asked Lockie’s permission to run this post (a link to the entire post is below) so that my blog readers could read and see exactly how this very brave man is now coping with his life and the cards that have been dealt to him. He is an inspiration to me, and I hope he will be to everyone who meets Lockie through his writing here and in his published work and blog. Thank you, Lockie, for continuing to write and to inspire!

(When I first thought of posting an update about Lockie Young, this old song immediately popped into my mind so I just had to use the line for the post title. Lockie approved! Here’s a link to the original from The First Edition – and a very young Kenny Rogers! And there’s Mickey Jones on drums, Tim Baker!!)

Lockie Head Shot

Reflections from a Hospital Window
by L.F.Young

Streetlights blinking, winking and twinkling on the inky black stripe on the horizon, eyes of the city, waiting to greet the new day like a child in sleepy wakefulness. The first shades of bright above black ribbon, shot full of colors yet to grow into crimson, blues and purples, highlight the long thin clouds above in a sky just starting to lighten and asking the stars to please go to sleep, your time complete, now let the sun command.

Steam from a pipe on the roof below, a phantom, twisting and rolling into nothingness in the ice cold on the other side of the pane, makes me think of a dream, a fragile dream, escaping into unknown realms between here and there.
Shadow shapes now taking form, show their hidden likeness against the backdrop of night turned light, darkness no more. Black tree branches, devoid of leaf in this winter slumber, stretch gnarly fingers to the heavens in silent prayer.
A church spire, standing tall and pointed, protruding into the reds, competes with the reflection in the window of a walker and wheelchair, left abandoned in the hallway behind me, a reminder of the illusion in glass that seems so real, I need but just turn around to know where I am.

(To continue reading, please click through to the original blog post on Lockie’s Lectern.)

Book Covers

Lockie’s two eBooks are available to purchase here and here.

Lockie’s latest acceptance for publication was a short story called Old Memories. It will be published by the University of Saskatchewan in an annual journal on everything Hockey, titled Between the Lines A Journal of Hockey Literature Volume 3 2015/2016 edited by Dwayne Brenna and Sara-Jane Gloutnez. The journal features short stories and poetry from sixteen authors about the national sport.

Sending out good vibes and best wishes to you, Lockie! Readers, please post your wishes below or on Lockie’s original blog post.

Lockard Young – Reading Recommendation Revisited

Lockard Young was one of the “early adapters” of promoting himself and his work on Reading Recommendations, and since Dec. 9, 2013, Lockie has been featured twice on the blog, here and here when he published his own books, and here as part of an anthology in which a story of mine was also included. Lockie has become a great friend over these past 18 months since we “met” online. He’s been a terrific support of both my writing and the site as well as of his fellow authors. Here’s Lockie to tell us a bit more about himself!

Lockie-Head-Shotfix

RL_ereader Since my last appearance on Reading Recommendations I have finished the sequel to my first book, Ryan’s Legend. This newest called The Legend Returns, picks up a couple months after the first story ends, and continues with the main character, Ryan, struggling with trying to keep his discovery of a real dragon a secret from everyone, including his friends and his parents.

LegendReturns_ereader The Legend Returns came out this year in the beginning of 2015.

However I was also very fortunate to be picked as a guest Author for Tim Baker’s anthology, Path of a Bullet, which was released in 2014 and has one of Susan Toy’s short stories in it, too. I’ve been asked to submit again for another anthology by Mr. Baker, to be released later in 2015. Path Of A Bullet final

I am enjoying taking some free online courses in Fiction Writing and Poetry and have started a Blog and website where I showcase some of my work. I am currently working on a continuation, but not a sequel, to the The Legend series which is currently just two books. The working title is The Legend Never Dies. This story takes place when the main character is not 10 or 12 but nearly finished university. The story opens with the brothers dealing with family death, so this is not for middle grade readers. I’m aiming for a maturity in the writing, in both style and substance, as the main character also matures. The second book was tested for a grade 4 or 5 level, so a progression from the first. I’m hoping if this book is published, it will also be viewed as a progression in both character development and of course story line. I also want the reader to check out my style of writing now, and in a different genre, perhaps YA paranormal will be the moniker of the next book. I am also compiling a humorous collection of short stories dealing with my life as a service plumber, and yes folks, I have really rescued teeth from the family throne. I’m not saying anything else, but hey! Soap and water or four thousand bucks?

I also have another project I am working on which is tough to write and revisit. I want to tell my story in a memoir, how I smoked for 34 years and thought because I had perfect … well, fairly good, lungs and a strong heart, I would be safe from the big diseases and all the other goodies associated with smoking cigarettes. I want to tell the story of a once busy tradesman, now an amputee traveling a very different road, who didn’t know he could lose his leg because he smoked all his life. I think it’s important, and I think I need to tell it.

I am at the stage of my rehabilitation as an amputee that I have been fitted with an artificial leg, and am finally mobile, and working on losing all the weight I gained while I was not mobile at all. I am still not able to drive a car unless it is fitted with hand controls, but as my range of motion in my good leg returns this should improve and I’ll be back to driving myself around. I have acted as a volunteer coach for Ability New Brunswick in this area for anyone who is going through similar circumstances as mine, just to reassure them there really is life after illness but it is not won easily, and they need to fight all the way. I was asked last week to talk to another person, so this meeting is being set as I type this. My medical circumstances over the past couple years has been food for my writing and has inspired several personal essays about my ordeal.

Unfortunately the marketing of my books has been solely through social media. I say unfortunately because there is so much more that can be done. Of course, money and time are two very big obstacles to overcome when promoting. I am still recovering from a near-fatal blockage in my right leg, and I plan on getting out more in my hometown and do some promoting when I can. I think it’s important as an author to try and get over the shyness of self promoting your work. That is a challenge for me because I was never a type to toot my own horn, but there are so many of us out there, we need to get over that shyness and interact more with our reading public. My target audience is young first-time readers in middle grade. They don’t buy a lot of books, but Mom does, so my real target audience is the mothers (and dads, but still mostly mothers) of these boys and girls. That’s who I need to talk to in libraries and schools if I can get into the schools. Not as easy as you might think, but if that is part of your strategy for promoting your book, I suggest getting an RCMP background check, as you will need one anyway. If the book you authored is a cook book, I’d try to get a table at your local supermarket or farmers’ markets on weekends. My advice in a nutshell: get yourself set up on all the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. To showcase your book or perhaps short stories or poems you’ve written, you might want to start a Website or a Blog.

Lockie’s Reading Recommendations: I mentioned Tim Baker earlier, and his main character, Ike, is someone the reader can like and respect even though Ike does bend the rules a bit. Tim’s books can be found at his website (and on Reading Recommendations). The second author I discovered recently was Seumas Gallacher. His books also center on his main character Jack Calder, an ex SAS British professional, a ‘00’ if you will. His book links and excellent Blog can be seen here (and also on Reading Recommendations). The third author I have read lately that I want to read more of is actually you, Susan. I know that might sound like sucking up, but I’ve read That Last Summer and Island in the Clouds, and I loved both. I saw your growth in Island as a writer, and I can’t wait for your next book. Both are listed here. (And Susan is the brains and promoter behind Reading Recommendations.)

Aw, shucks! Thanks for that shout-out, Lockie!

Lockard Young – an update on a new book

Lockie Young was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013, and is back now to tell us about his new novel, which follows on from the first.

LegendReturns_Cover_HR

The Legend Returns picks up, in the time line of the story, a couple months after the first book ends, as the clock above the school’s chalkboard signals the start of summer vacation. Ryan, the main character, hosts his friend Cory for a weekend sleepover while at the same time struggling with the secret he continues to keep from everyone, including his parents. He discovered a very real live Legend in the first book. Ryan teaches Cory about life as he knows it by the seashore, and Cory, who is a city boy, learns a lot of lessons about nature he never knew before. Things turn interesting when a giant sea serpent shows up in the harbor . . . or is it a sea serpent?

“Everyone thought he was some kind of imaginary friend, but he was a lot more than that! In fact, he wasn’t imaginary at all, even though he was the stuff of legends.”

School is finally out for the summer, and Ryan is looking forward to long sunny days on the beach with his best friend Cory, and his old friend, Willie. What Ryan hadn’t anticipated was how difficult keeping Willie’s secret would be. Torn between doing what’s best for his old friend, and being honest with this friend and family, Ryan has to think fast. The world isn’t ready to know about Willie, but it might already be too late.

From Lockie: “I would like to dedicate this book to my two sons and my wife, who let me use their names, and who put up with my lack of company on many occasions while writing it. The Legend Returns is the culmination of a twenty year journey to publish. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Ryan, Jason, and Trish.”

Where you may purchase The Legend Returns:
Publisher with all the other links here as well:
Morning Rain Publishing
Amazon Canada
Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Kobo
Google Books

Tim Baker – update on a new book

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Path of a Bullet – A Collection of Short Stories featuring Ike available in print and eBook!
Amazon – eBook and print
Createspace – print

There are plenty of heroes in the world of crime-fiction, each with their own personality and style.

Ike has earned a seat at that table, but, being Ike, he prefers to find his own table…and let others sit with him.

A former US Navy SEAL, Ike’s current position as an enforcer for a local bookie often puts him in close contact with an element of society most of us fortunately never see. These encounters usually lead to trouble and Ike routinely inserts himself at the center of it all to make sure innocent people aren’t hurt. Ike has a tendency to…shall we say…bend some of the rules…and even break a few on occasion, but his moral compass is always strong and true.

It’s this very behavior that has readers of Tim Baker’s novels calling him “Robin Hood on a Harley” or “…an off-white knight in shining armor.”

Thirteen Stories.

One hero.

Path of a Bullet explodes from the barrel with the first tale about Ike’s encounter with a not-so-scrupulous Santa and follows a deadly trajectory until it hits a bull’s-eye with a Thanksgiving story that has Ike questioning his purpose in life.

Ike dispenses justice at a rapid-fire pace until the only danger in Flagler Beach is a traffic jam on A1A.

From the back cover …
Acclaimed author Seumas Gallacher has read it and had this to say …

“…for aficionados of clever, solid, pacy action writing, PATH OF A BULLET is for you… a compilation of great short stories dressed up as a loose calendar of events spins around Ike, an improbable, roustabout hero… ex-Seal, six-feet-five, 275 pounds of muscle, carefree by nature, but caring by inclination… a modern off-white Knight in shining armour, likes his beer, his liquor, and his ladies… most of whom seem to have need of the self-dispensing justice and skills that his past has endowed him with…

…Ike’s principal source of income comes from heavy duty collection work for a local bookmaker in Florida’s Flagler Beach and St. Augustine, and provides a baseline for the stories…

…Tim Baker’s ear for punchy narrative runs through this rapid-fire collection, in which a few hand-picked author pals have also contributed… Ike is an enduring character you can’t help but take to, although some of his methods will have you wincing…”

~Seumas Gallacher, Author of the Jack Calder crime series

From Tim Baker …
I was extremely flattered by that endorsement, and I’m fairly confident that Path of a Bullet will live up to Seumas’ praise.

This book was a year in the making. It contains 18 stories … but only 12 of them were written by me.

The other six were written by writer friends of mine.

For some of them it will be the first time their work has been published … making it a very special occasion indeed.

Over the past twelve months I had lots of fun writing my Ike vignettes, but I have to admit – it was just as fun working with the contributing authors too.

It was also very flattering that these writers thought enough of me and my work not only to become involved, but to write fan-fiction about my character. I can’t think of higher praise for a writer.

I’d like to share with you some of their thoughts about the experience…

Ann Marie Vancas

“This will be the first time I have ever been published. My writing has mostly remained hidden. It’s like having a crush you don’t want to reveal… But like love…once you know it’s right…you want to tell the world.”

Gi Arena

“I’d like to thank fellow author and friend, Tim Baker, for giving me the opportunity to write about his elusive character, Ike. I had the best time pairing Ike with my character, Ruby. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I loved writing it.”

Becky Pourchot

“I must say, I never thought I’d be in a compilation of Ike stories. Action stories were never my thing. That said, I liked the idea of pushing myself out of my comfort zone. In the end I had a lot of fun with it. Who knows, someday I might even write more stories featuring the tough guy, hero.”

Lockie Young

“It was an absolute pleasure working with Tim on this project. I tried to get behind the character of Ike, and figure out what he would want. I think I came up with just the down to earth guy to get Ike the goods he really wants.”

Becky Heishman

“I didn’t have to write a story for Tim Baker’s anthology. I’m a pretty fair writer with my own thing going on. But I believe in Tim Baker and his talent. I believe that his character, Ike, has the potential to become a cultural icon. So when the Tim Baker rocket ship is launched into the stratosphere, I want to be on board.”

Susan M. Toy

“Bequia Blues, a pure piece of Ike fan fiction that takes the man to my Caribbean home of Bequia, was written and submitted for inclusion in Path of a Bullet, because Tim Baker assured me I’d be able to go on a date with Ike as payment. That I’d stay on the boat with him, go for dinner and drinks at The Golden Lion, meet Brewski and Mr. Donebedian, and ride on the back of Ike’s Harley down A1A. That hasn’t happened yet and I’m beginning to think it never will. I’ve been hearing rumours lately that larger-than-life Ike is actually, and indeed, a fictional character! And that he may not exist AT ALL!!! WTF??? This all proves you just can’t trust novelists, because they all lie like a dog!”

Tim Baker has previously been featured on Reading Recommendations, as have Lockie Young, Becky Heishman, Seumas Gallacher (who wrote the promo blurb) and S.K. Nicholls (who provided the introduction). And I, Susan M. Toy, created Reading Recommendations!)

I now present … The Reading Recommendations All-Star Authors!!

When Authors sign on with me to promote themselves and their work on my blog, they agree to this sentence in my description of the site:

In exchange for this free listing, I request all authors reciprocate by promoting Reading Recommendations, their fellow authors listed on the site, and me and my work, as much as possible.

Ten out of the 168 Authors I’ve promoted here on Reading Recommendations have more than lived up to this agreement by not only sharing and retweeting their own promotions, but by sending me new authors to promote, liking, reblogging, sharing and retweeting other Authors’ posts and promotions, commenting on my blogs, engaging with me and other RR Authors on Facebook, Twitter, etc., reading and reviewing my books, promoting and interviewing me on their blogs, reading and recommending books written by their fellow RR Authors, and just being generally all-round congenial people who understand the value of this writing community I’ve created and how important it is to support one another.

So I’d like to take the opportunity now to give these Reading Recommendations All-Stars an extra shout-out, to let my blog readers know just how valuable these Authors have become to me and to their colleagues, and to show them how much I have appreciated their support over this past year. Please check out their links, buy and read their books, and give them a bit of reciprocal promotion – They deserve it!!

(Alphabetical list and all links lead you to their Reading Recommendations promotions.)

Tim Baker
Tricia Drammeh
Michael Fay
Seumas Gallacher
Rebecca Heishman
Allan Hudson
J.P. McLean
S.K. Nicholls
David Prosser
Lockie Young

Thanks to my All-Stars! After all, I get by With a Little Help From My Friends

Lockard Young

contract signing Lockard Young

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Ryan’s Legend is a Youth Fantasy for middle grade readers

Quick description: My name is Ryan, and this is the story of how I discovered a legend, and the biggest secret of my entire life! After Christmas, I saw these weird tracks in the snow, so I just had to check them out. You won’t believe what I found!

Deep underground, in a hidden cavern, I met the best friend a guy could have. The coolest thing of all was we used real magic to talk. He told me all about his life, and why I had to keep his secret. I know keeping secrets from my family is wrong, but this is different. I just can’t have my parents or my annoying older brother figuring out what’s hidden in the old chicken coop. If anyone finds out about this legend, he might disappear from the world forever.

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Brief biography:
In 1995, Lockard Young, started banging away at the computer, and before long he had completed five chapters of a book. Because the characters were named after his children, he thought it fitting to read the tale to them. Enthralled by the story, they demanded more and so Lockard wrote. The end result was a story entitled, Ryan’s Legend. A book was born, and so was a hobby. A plumber by trade, Lockard lives with his wife in the countryside of rural New Brunswick. Currently, he is working on the sequel to Ryan’s Legend. In addition to a number of stories he has “in the works,” Lockard also has an impressive poetry collection, inspired by his trip to South Africa.

Links to buy Lockard’s book:
Available in eBook format
Morning Rain Publishing
Amazon Worldwide
Indigo
Kobo

Lockard’s promo links:
For more information on Lockard Young, please visit Morning Rain Publishing
You can also view samples of my writing at my website
Facebook
Twitter

What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on a sequel to Ryan’s Legend. I also am compiling a series of poems about my experiences in South Africa.

Lockard’s reading recommendation:
I recommend a great book by Jaclyn Aurore called Standing Up, available at Amazon Worldwide.
I also recommend a delightful read called Remember Newvember by Jennifer Bogart, also available through Amazon Worldwide.