Thursday 26 July 2012

Online Friends & Writers Series – Judy Croome

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Judy Croome to my online community. Judy is a talented writer, generous, genuine, and one of the nicest people I've met online. I've read her book, Dancing in The Shadows of Love, and enjoyed it. Judy's offering free copies of DANCING IN THE SHADOWS OF LOVE to two lucky blog visitors, in the format of your choice. All you must do to be in the draw is comment on this post. If you post anonymously leave contact details. The giveaway will run for 4 weeks, so please share on social media platforms. I'll also give away one free skype reading or distant healing. If you want to be in that draw mention reading or healing in your comment. Don't forget to leave your email :).

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Lulu is different to others. Once, she believed, she had a friend to love her. Then that friend betrayed her and Lulu learned that hate is safer than love. When she begins her new life at the Court of St Jerome in the Old Sea City, she finds people who must fight their personal demons of hatred, ambition and greed. Embraced in St Jerome’s fold, Lulu learns to trust again, perhaps even to love.
Nothing, however, is as it seems and Lulu discovers that love doesn’t always wear the face of the one you yearn to call beloved.

Lyrical and atmospheric, buoyed by touches of magical realism, this compelling spiritual story explores the sacrifices people make in the pursuit of their dreams. Lulu’s quest, and that of Jamila and Zahra too, is to find the divine love that will fulfil their hopes and save their souls...if they can recognise the masks of those who seek to lead them astray. You can read the first chapter or browse reader reviews
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Judy Croome lives and writes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shortlisted in the African Writing Flash Fiction 2011 competition, Judy’s short stories and poems have appeared in various magazines and anthologies. DANCING IN THE SHADOWS OF LOVE is Judy’s debut novel. A LAMP AT MIDDAY, a collection of Judy’s poetry exploring life, loss and love, will be published by Aztar Press in June 2012. Visit Judy on her blog or join her on Twitter @judy_croome

Please tell us why you love writing?

I write because I believe that words have great power: they can bring comfort, joy and hope. They can reveal secrets and lies. And, while they may not change the world, they can - at their best - change people's lives, even if only for a moment. I hope that, in some small way, my writing opens new doorways of awareness for those who are touched by my stories.

What are you writing now?

I’ve just finished a volume of poetry called A LAMP AT MIDDAY, which will be available in print end June 2012, and eBook later in the year. I’m currently researching my next full-length novel (about child murders and forgiveness) and aim to start writing the first draft after July when we’re back from two weeks holiday in the bush.

If you could travel back in time and talk to yourself, what age would you be and what would you say?

I wouldn’t want to travel back in time – the age I’m at now is the first time I’ve really been at peace with myself and my human frailties. At the risk of being superficial and vain, I wouldn’t mind looking physically like I did at the age of 32. And then I’d say to myself “Be happy with your weight, not everyone is meant to be size zero!”

If you had the opportunity to talk to high school students, what would you talk about and why?

I’d talk to them about kindness. I’d say that giving in to anger and sarcasm is like planting weeds in a field: easy to sow and soon becoming a wilderness that ensnares all who walk through that field. But kindness is like an acorn: we can’t stay to watch that small seed we dropped into the ground grow and grow; we’ll probably never know the people who take shelter under its branches…but, if we have the inner strength to choose compassion for another’s actions when it’s easier to be angry with them, one day, many years or lifetimes in the future, we may stumble along, battered by life’s storms and, finding shelter, realise that the branches protecting us are those of the acorn we once planted long before, now grown into a magnificent oak tree.

Can you share a defining moment in your life?

My husband and I met when we were both accountants (he has now specialised in tax law and become a lawyer – you can imagine the slew of jokes he’s subjected too!). As is usual on early dates, we were asking each other deep and profound questions. I asked Beric why he decided to specialise in tax. His answer changed my life! He said, “The figures spoke to me.” I realised, that in nearly 15 years of accountancy, the figures on a page had never, ever spoken to me. Not once. I asked myself, If figures didn’t speak to me, what did? The answer was “words” – so I went back to uni and started studying English literature. The rest, as they say, is history.

What's on your bucket list that would surprise your family and friends?

I’m afraid I’m pretty much an open book to my family and friends. The only thing that may surprise those who knew me before I started writing is how serious I am about my career as a writer. Most of them see it as my little hobby that keeps me busy (and sometimes quiet!)

And, because we love them, do you have a ghost/supernatural story to share?

Oh, I have lots of fabulous supernatural stories, especially about my late Dad, who was an extremely talented dowser and healer. But my favourite personal story is from the days when I still did evolutionary astrology charts. Before starting a new chart, I’d do a cleansing ritual in my room and then say an opening prayer for protection and guidance, and call on the ancestral spirits of the person whose chart I was doing to help me. One evening, Beric was sitting reading the newspaper in the lounge and I felt a strong urge to start a new chart for a lady who was having a tough time coming to terms with the loss of her mother. So, off I went, closed the door and started my rituals. When I came to the calling up of the ancestral spirits, this lady’s mother – a VERY strong energy – just wooshed into the room and took over. I burst into tears, ran out of the room straight to where my husband (the accountant!) sat reading his paper and, between hysterical sobs, told him what had happened. A minute of silence, except for the rustle of the newspaper, passed. Then another minute. And then, just as I was about to ask him if he’d heard what I said, Beric lowered the paper and, in a calm, steady voice, said to me, “Jude, I think I’d like a cup of tea, please.” Well! Talk about being brought back to earth with a bang! But his reaction was probably the best thing at the time, because it grounded me instantly. And now we just laugh about it!

Where's Judy?

I’m most active on Twitter ( @judy_croome ) and on Goodreads ( Judy Croome ), but you’ll also find me on my blog “Judy Croome: Author on the Prowl”, Linked In or FaceBook.

Judy, thank you for visiting. Readers, Judy mailed me her book after I commented on another blog, and a few weeks later another package arrived in the mail! Judy, thank you for being you :)

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  1. Sawubona Simon

    Thanks for inviting me over for a visit - I love hanging out on your blog and just absorbing your beautiful energy!

    I'm away from home at the moment but will do battle with my iPad ( a new toy!) to chat with your readers. Hugs Judy xox

  2. Love how you explained Judy, About your ideas on planting the seed of Kindness.....And its stories like that, That keep me getting back up with a smile on my face...As sometimes the knocks of peoples fears, can knock you off your feet...But yet I will still love and smile....Thanks Simon :)

  3. Oh my goodness Simon, this book looks amazing. The cover really has me intrigued. I will definately need to add this author to my list. Hugz Pinky Pollock

  4. Oh by the way cant wait to see you in person if I win a reading. Your abilities are amazing.

  5. Accepting we wear these different masks throughout life, was a hige step in my journey. Deep soul searching and following my path within, has allowed me to recognise when I am pulling a mask on. This seems like a beautiful story, and one I thinkI can relate to. Can't wait to read it. Thank you Simon for bring ing it to my attention.
    Many Blessings
    Jodie Maree. x

  6. Harmony, it takes a lot of courage to smile when people lash out in their own pain and fear...may your smiles bring you much joy

    Pinky, the cover artist exactly captured the mystery of the book, I was so pleased with it! And I the person who wins Simon's reading will be so lucky - his healing gift is amazing (a long story, but he helped my Dad all the way from Australia to here in South Africa! )

    Jodie, our masks are sometimes so comfortable to hide behind it takes immense effort to recognize when we put them on. Your journey must have been an interesting one and, I hope, a rewarding one!

  7. healing....I'm a perfect candidate for this book w/ my current self.

  8. Tracy, so glad to hear you're on a healing's sometimes a long path, but always a worthwhile one! :)

  9. Hey Judy, you're one of my favourite international stars & I'm looking forward to meeting you in the future.

    Harmony, hi & it's a blessing.

    Sharon, I hope to meet you soon. I drive past your home every week ;).

    Hi Jodie :) Judy's book is a great read.

    Hi Tracy. Love & healing.

  10. What a wonderful story! I wish you all the luck in the world, Judy!

  11. Judy: I wish I had of been more loving and kind to people in high school, but I was too busy being a follower. I got myself into bad sitautions because I hung out with bad people. I grew out of my stupidity and I can honestly say that less people associate with me, but I have more friends. Those people during high school weren't real friends and they probably talked about me behind my back.

  12. William, try to be kinder to yourself too. We all make mistakes when we're young, but that's what soul growth is all about, isn't it? We make mistakes to learn, and we evolve from there. The important thing is that, as you've found your true self, you've found truer friendships. That sounds good to me! :)

  13. Hi Simon and Judy - isn't Judy great - such thoughtfulness ... my mother loved Judy's present when she sent it over - I wrote a blogpost about it .. as it brought my mother so much pleasure: and we had such a wonderful time opening it, looking at all the contents ... good memories.

    You'll love Dancing in the Shadows - and I must read it again ... and get to grips with more about Africa and its stories. I'll have time to read now - once I'm a little more sorted ... then Judy's new book I will be buying sometime soon.

    My thoughts are with Judy right now .. as her family is having a tough time ...

    With thoughts to you both - Hilary

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  15. Hilary, thanks for popping over and visiting Simon's great blog! Time to read is a precious commodity - enjoy it! You've earned it after all the love & care you gave your Mum for so long! :)
    Take care

    (Oops! I'm using husband Beric's computer and forgot he's logged in as himself. Please ignore previous comment!!)