Happy Samhain everyone. Or at least Happy Samhain for next week, I'm a bit early I know.
Samhain (pronounced Sow-en), or Halloween as it is better known, is a special time for many reasons, let me share a few with you and some great ways to celebrate.
A Beginners Guide to Celebrating the Traditional Pagan Festivals of the Seasons
Samhain is both the end and the beginning of the Celtic and Wiccan year. It is often referred to as the Witches New Year. The name 'Samhain' is believed to be a Celtic word which, when loosely translated, means 'summers end'. This is a time when the final harvest is safely in and so it is appropriate to celebrate the fruitfulness of the land over the past year as it prepares to rest and regenerate through the winter. This is also the time when the veil between the physical world and the world of Spirit is at its most insubstantial so it is a perfect time to remember and honour our ancestors and perhaps hold a feast in their honour. Ideal magical workings at this time will reflect the Endings and New Beginnings theme of Samhain. I have included some spells and a Meditation in the next chapters.
This is one of my competition winning short stories. It is one of my earliest successes and it was judged by the RSPCA. So naturally enough the story had to be animal based. At the time I had a golden retriever named, Elsa and we attended training classes and generally had a great time. She was super to train, very quick to please; usually me but sometimes she couldn't resist being a rebel. We always had a Christmas party where we would do something a bit special at the training group we attended. This is the story of Elsa breaking the rules at one of those parties and loving every minute of it.
were ready. After weeks of preparation, success was only a few short days away.
We had trained hard. What could go wrong? Elsa, like most golden retrievers, was
intelligent, alert and quick to learn. She had attended obedience classes from
the age of six months and by the grand old age of seven years she had ‘been
there, done that, and…’ well, you know what I mean. Suffice to say she had
mastered far more complicated exercises than ‘food refusal’. In fact it wasn’t
even the first time she had performed the food refusal exercise and come
through it with
flying colours! So why was I worrying? Well, for some reason
best known to themselves the organisers had decided not to use the reasonably
resistible dried dog food. Oh no! This time sausages were to be used instead.
mention that Elsa was a golden retriever? Put a Goldie in the vicinity of accessiblesausages and you have a sausage-fest. Goldies have a passion for
food, any food and let’s face it sausages weren’t just any old food. For her to
walk past a plump, succulent sausage without even a second look would be
nothing short of a miracle, but three weeks and two and a half kilos of plump
succulent sausage later I believed we were ready; the technique perfected.
a simple enough routine - I tell her to sit and stay, I walk away from her, I
turn to face her, I wait for a second or two, then I call her to me. Elementary
stuff. Puppy-hood stuff even, except, between me and her lay, The Sausage, and
to get to me
she had to pass it.
But hey, no problem, we were ready. Right?
day of the competition we arrived at the hall in plenty of time. As we ran
through our usual warm-up routines Elsa was keen and alert. I was quietly
confident. When it was time for the judging we walked sedately onto the floor
for the first of the exercises. She worked well and listened carefully to my
commands. Taking our turn at each of the exercises we sailed through Seek Back
and Send Away then Scent Retrieval. It was looking good.
it was time for the Food Refusal. As soon as she saw the small mat that the
sausage was to be placed on she began bouncing with excitement. As each of her
peers took their turn the tension grew until she was whining softly to herself.
Just keen that’s all.
I told myself, but there was a definite tremor in my confidence. So I reminded myself of how much she loved to work and that she was
probably just wanting to get on with it and I felt… worried.
last it was our turn.
onto the floor with Elsa at heel like the beautifully trained dog she pretended…
I mean she is. We take up position at one end of the hall and I give the
away. I pass the sausage and get to the other end of the hall where I turn to
face her and wait. Elsa, quivering with suppressed excitement, sits waiting for
the recall command.
keen don’t worry.
With my confidence registering point eight on the tremor scale I give the
she leaps into action with such speed her claws are scrabbling for purchase on
the hall’s wooden floor. When she at last moves forward it is horribly obvious
that all her attention is now on the sausage not on me.
Leave. Down,’ I yell
three commands, hot on each others heels are never-the-less just in time. She drops
down nose comfortable resting on the mat and 5 cm away from the sausage.
in control - of myself - I clear my throat. (Did it sound like a growl?
Personally I don’t believe it did despite what they said later!) The other
competitors and their dogs are now absolutely silent, watching, waiting. I try
not to notice them and focus on Elsa.
I remind her to, ‘Leave it.’
rises slowly to her feet but her head seems too heavy for her neck and she has
trouble lifting it from the mat where the sausage is nestled. At last she
begins to drag herself forward but it becomes obvious that her feet are now
caught in some Treacherous Treacle Trap and she has trouble moving her legs as
well as her head. Two tiny steps, three, the silence is total; her reputation
is on the line. Three and a half strides… and the sausage was gone! It happened
so fast I didn’t have time to draw breath. In fact it happened so fast I’m
still not sure how she did it exactly.
crowd went wild with delight and Elsa, grinning in immense satisfaction, was
off on a lap of honour around her fellow competitors. They all congratulated
her with ecstatic yelps on the audacity and speed of the strike and she thanked
them graciously, lapping up the adulation as her due.
COME’, I screamed over the noise and thus reminded of my existence she started back
to me. On the way, however she suddenly remembered her manners and made a rapid
detour, to the other side of the hall, to thank the kind person who had
provided the sausage and made it all possible, checking out his pockets at the
same time, then she came back. Perfectly of course and sat in the perfect
return position with a perfectly huge smile on her face and her magnificent
tail sweeping the floor behind her.
was saying, the whole problem of working with an intelligent, alert and quick
to learn dog who has attended obedience classed from the age of six months is
they are simply too smart for their owner’s good. I scowled at her. Elsa on the
other hand was absolutely delighted with her performance. She looked up at me
and her grin said as plain as any words, ‘Technique Perfected!’
Once I have the chapters or at least the 75% of them I give the book a time frame. If it is one of a series, as Dragon World is, then I decide how long it is since the last book, days, weeks, months? Then what time of the year it is again to correspond with the last book. This will set the length of days, time of dawn and dusk, the climate and type of flora I could expect to find. As most of my books are adventure stories those details are important.
Once that is done I go back to the sentences for each of the chapters and under that one sentence I write down what is the minimum that chapter has to achieve. Each chapter has a role and each chapter must advance the story. I make a note at the head of each chapter what time I can expect dawn and dusk. Then for the first two or three chapters I also note which day in the story it is, day one, or day two etc. and the approximate times I expect each event in the chapter to happen. When those chapters are written I do the same for the next couple of chapters. Plotting it this way gives an overall structure and keeps the chronological order, day, night and all the stages in between, in their proper place. It also ensures that each chapter is contributing to the story.
This may sound like a very rigid framework but when I am writing a book it becomes a living thing. It grows and changes despite the confines I have set on it. New story lines grow, old ones fade. Characters often point-blank refuse to conform to the role I set for them; asserting that their character would never say that or do that. So the frame I have so carefully constructed stretches and gives and alters but it holds the whole in place.
This is how I plot my books. It is time consuming and painstaking but such fun and it makes the actual writing that much easier. I can concentrate on the details, filling in the colours and shades as I write knowing the structure is solid.
I have been asked a number of times if I plot my books or if I just sit down and write. I plot. Most definitely. I have tried the 'just write' technique and though I find it invaluable for scenes within the novel or if I am brainstorming, the novel itself as to be plotted. Of course as I write I discover that the book takes on a life of its own and it will often suggest a course I had not thought of previously. But for for that magic to happen I first need a framework. Once I have the framework I can fill in the details rather like colouring in a picture. In my experience every writer works in a different way and what works for one may not work for another. But for those of you who have been asking me this here is part one of how I plot my novels.
When writing my books I first need a framework.
Plotting a novel - Part One. The basic framework.
I know it might sound simplistic but the first ingredients I need for a novel is a beginning a middle and an end. I have to have a good idea of what the essence of the book will be and the story I am intending to tell. Then I reduce the whole lot into one or at most two sentences. If I can do that then I know my aim is clear. The next step is to increase that sentence into three sentences. Then those three into nine and so forth. Each sentence follows the story in a chronological order from beginning to end. And each of those sentences becomes the basis of a chapter. I aim for around 30 chapters of around 3,000 words each but this is just a loose guide. The overall length of the book at this stage is judged to be around 90,000 words.
Mabon is just around the corner and as part of the celebration I would like to share an excerpt from The Wheel Of The Year with you. At Mabon most of us are hunkering down and getting ready for winter. But before the frost and snows arrive in earnest we have the glorious weeks of Autumn colour and perfect walking, gathering days. I hope The Wheel of the Year will help you in celebrating this beautiful season.
A Beginners Guide to Celebrating the Traditional Pagan Festivals of the Seasons.
Mabon is on of the Lesser Sabbats. It is a Quarter day midway between Lammas and Samhain. It is the Autumn Equinox which means that light and dark are once more equal, just as they were in Oestara which lies directly opposite on the Wheel of the Year. So Mabon is symbolic of equality and balance.
Mabon can be recognised in other ways than in a formal ritual. Prepare for the rebirth of the land by collecting seeds, gather and dry your herbs or maybe try your hand at wine making with the harvested fruit and berries. If none of that appeals then a simple walk in the woods or park to breathe in the change of seasons as the land prepares for the coming darkness can help you find inner balance.
Mabon is the time for spell work concerning balance, protection, self confidence and prosperity. I have included spells and a meditation in the next chapters to help you get started.
Seeking my favourite chair I was met with a united front. Diva and her half grown brood had gotten there first! I was clearly out numbered and out manoeuvred. Oh well, the coffee break will have to wait. Back to the computer and Dragon World book three!
Hi everyone, just a quick update on progress.
My books;- The Lost Sorcerer,The Bonding Crystal and The Missing Link - fantasy novels for age ten years up, (I like to think up to age hundred and one but I may be bias here!), are now available in libraries. Some have the physical copies others can order them in for you on request now that they are listed on the libraries register.
My latest book, The Wheel of The Year, is a reference book and will soon be added to the libraries list.
Winner of the Alan Place Memorial
Short Story Competition July 2014
Nancy grabbed David's arm and pulled. David
didn’t resist but he was slow and stumbling. He had never been particularly athletic
and the days spent in the forest without food had taken their toll. They
followed Nukka and Amka at David’s shambling pace putting as much distance as
possible between themselves and the ravine.
They are still in the valley, Nukka said.
What are they? Why do they want David? Nancy asked
silently not wanting David to overhear.
They are sprits. They seek the souls of unguided humans.
David would feed them for many years.
Nancy’s horror formed a knot in
her throat and she clung to a tree to steady herself. ‘Okay,’ she muttered, ‘he’s
a spoilt brat, but does that mean I can let a pack of… creatures feed off his
David threw himself to the ground
his breath rasping in his throat. Amka circled above him.
But he’s safe now, right? I mean he has us, we’re guiding him.
Nancy asked silently
If we can get him back to the passing-stone before they
catch us then yes, he will be safe, Nukka said.
She dreaded the answer but had to
ask, And if not?
Then only his own guide can protect him.
‘But he can’t see her!’ she snapped.
‘Can’t see who? Who you talking
to, sis?’ David
Nancy rounded on him. ‘I’ve told
you not to call me that. I’m not your ‘sis’. And for your information was
talking to Nukka about a pack of sprits, whose only goal in life it seems is to
eat your soul, slowly.’ She took guilty pleasure in seeing his watery-blue eyes
widen in horror.
‘It seems if we can’t get you
back to the passing-stone before they catch up, then your only hope is Amka,
who, since you insulted and rejected her, you can no longer see.’
‘Get up and run.’
He did as he was told.
It seemed to take forever to
reach the edge of the forest. They paused and she looked up the bare hillside
to the place she had met Nukka. It was close and hope swelled. She grabbed David’s
arm as he began to sink onto the grass.
‘Oh, no you don’t. Come on, run.’
David leaned over and retched. ‘I
can’t,’ he gasped, ‘need to breath, just for a minute.’
Nancy looked about her. The sun
shone onto the open hillside. Amka circled in the warm air above them. Nukka, a
few paces ahead, looked back at them.
‘Okay, you have ten seconds.
Before David’s ten seconds were
up, Nukka and Amka’s warning exploded in her head. She grabbed David’s arm and
tried to yank him to his feet.
David’s breath rasped in his
throat. ‘No, Nancy, please, you said ten…’
A wild screeching echoed through
the forest behind them.
She thumped him, hard. ‘David if you
want to hang onto your miserable soul you had better run.’
He looked up at her, his stricken
face purple and slick with sweat. ‘I can hear them. They’re coming; you’ve got
to help me.’ His eyes were wide with terror.
‘I’ve told you! I can’t help you,
Nukka can’t help you. Only Amka could have helped you. All you can do now is get
to the stone and leave.’ She pulled on his arm. ‘Run, you lump of lard.’
David struggled to his feet. After
a few stumbling steps he collapsed, sobbing. ‘I can’t, Nancy, I can’t. Please,
I can’t run anymore.’
Nancy looked back at the forest. Countless
small crouching figures crept from the shadow of the trees. Their shapeless
bodies seemed to shift and change in the pall of dark smoke which hung about
them. They were cautious now, looking up at the sun and back to the sobbing boy
as if calculating their chances. Nukka and Amka put themselves between the
creeping forms and David, but the sprits seemed to have no interest in the
guides at all.
Nancy pulled harder, ‘David if
you don’t get up right this second then you are worse than dead,’ she screeched.
‘If you won’t do it for me then think of Posy. She’ll be upset, really, really
upset, believe me, I know.’
Sobbing, David began to crawl.
The sprits spread out, surrounding him cutting him off from the crossing-stone.
Cold swept through Nancy as the sprits closest to Nukka passed through his body
as if he were smoke.
‘Amka, you have to help,’ she
Amka landed close by.
I can’t help unless David accepts me.
‘Accepts you? How can he? He
can’t even see you, you damn stupid feathered…’
‘Amka, Amka help me.’ David’s
voice was shrill with fear.
‘At last,’ Nancy said. ‘She’s
right here, sitting in front of me. See her?’
The sprits were moving closer as
if sensing their moment of victory might be slipping away.
‘David, can you see her,’ she
David reached toward Nancy with a
shaking hand. ‘Yes, yes, I see her.’
‘Then for heaven’s sake tell her
you need her. If I can Change to go find you then you can admit you were wrong,
Nancy was barely able to hear the
whispered, ‘Amka, you were right, please, please help me.’
Furious the sprits dived toward
them, Nancy threw herself over David only to be tipped off him a second later
when he swore and pushed her away. The sprits’ shrieks of triumph turned into
screams of rage as they dissolved in the warm air leaving trails of smoky
vapour behind them. Nukka’s triumphant howl filled the hillside. Nancy flopped back
onto the grass and flung her arms wide.
‘Damn, David, that was close.’ She
sat up and glared at him. ‘Do you realize how close? Can you imagine what it
would have been like if I had to go home without you? You have no idea how
unbearable your mother has been these past few days. Can I just say, if you are
going to be a member of this family you have got to promise you will never,
ever disappear again. I don’t think I could stand it if…’
‘Nancy, get a grip.’ David said
still engrossed in Amka as if seeing her for the first time. Then not even
sparing a glance in Nancy’s direction, he got shakily to his feet and tottered
up the hill.’
‘Well, you ungrateful…’
‘And don’t ever try to hug me
‘Hug you? Me?’
‘Are you coming or not, because
you know, now I have Amka, you’re sort of redundant.’
Nancy gaped at him, ‘This isn’t
over by a long chalk, David,’ she yelled after him. ‘You owe me. I saved your
‘Amka saved me, not you.’
Nancy spluttered in disbelieve at
David’s retreating back. ‘Only so your mother can kill you when you get home,’ she
screeched after him.
Yesterday I was honoured to receive First Prize in the Alan Place Memorial Short Story Competition with my Short Story 'CHANGE'. Alan was a much admired and valued member of The Write Stuff writers group based at Seaham. The awards were presented in the fantastic new Seaham Library. It was a great day in which I and my fellow winners were made to feel very welcome. Thank you for all the hard work the organisers had obviously gone to to make it such a memorable day.
Winner of the Alan Place Memorial
Short Story Competition July 2014
Her stepmother’s sobs drifted up the
stairs. Nancy could hear her father’s soothing voice as he tried to comfort her.
Nancy closed the bedroom door. It shut out the sounds of grief but not the
feelings of guilt. Dropping onto a stool she stared in the dressing table
mirror and began a one sided conversation with her reflection.
‘You warned him. You told him not
to follow you. Told him he didn’t know what he was doing, but, as usual, David
knew best. If he’s… stuck, then it’s his own fault.’
Picking up the hairbrush she
swept it through her black hair, being careful not to look into her dark eyes.
They were too much like her father’s though his eyes had been dulled by sadness
these past few days. She slammed the brush down.
‘Damn, David. And damn, Posy. Perhaps
now he’s gone she’ll
go too and things will get back to normal. We don’t need her. She’s useless,
even her name’s useless, Posy,
what kind of a name’s that?’
Nancy threw herself onto the bed.
By the time her father came in to see her it was getting dark. She sat up and
switched on the lamp. The light accentuated the shadows under his cheekbones
and sunken eyes. He took hold of her hand.
‘You alright Nance?’
He pulled her to him as he had
when she was small and she allowed him to cuddle her. ‘Thank God you’re safe.
Poor, poor Posy. I feel so helpless. If only there was something I could do.’
‘You want him back that much?’
The words slipped out before she
could stop them. Her father took hold of her arms easing her away from him to
look into her face.
‘Nancy, how can you ask that?
He’s your brother.’
Her anger, always close to the
surface these days, boiled over. ‘I don’t have a brother.’
‘I don’t believe I’m hearing
this,’ her father said. ‘David is part of this family now and yes, I want him
She hung her head and fought to
control the tears. Her father pulled her to him and stroked her hair. ‘It’s
okay, sweetie. Deep down I know you love him as much as Posy and I do.’
Nancy was torn between guilt and
incredulity. Guilt won. ‘Dad, there’s something I…’
‘John, John, where are you?’
Nancy gritted her teeth at the
sound of her stepmother’s shrill voice.
Her father stood up. ‘Get some
sleep, honey.’ The door closed behind him.
She pushed her fists into her
temples then smacked them down onto the bed, ‘Damn it. I’m going to have to go
bring him back.’
When Nancy was sure both her
father and Posy were sleeping she slid, fully clothed, out of bed and sat
cross-legged on the floor. Placing a small flat stone in front of her she
rested her hand on it. Closing her eyes, she brought the image of her guide,
Nukka, into her mind. A familiar ripple disturbed the air and a cool breeze
swept over her cheek. She opened her eyes and looked straight into the
blue-grey eyes of a wolf.
She stood, stepped off the crossing
stone and bowed formally to Nukka .
Nancy. I have been expecting you.
She was surprised; in all the
time she had been coming to Between-World, Nukka had never said he had been waiting
for her. Though as always Nukka had spoken directly into her mind Nancy used
her voice to reply.
‘You have? Why?’
A member of your pack is lost, he needs you.
Was that a note of rebuke? ‘He is
not my… my brother. What’s more it’s his own fault he’s lost. He shouldn’t have
followed me. Then, to cap it all, when he did get here he rejected his guide
and went off on his own.’
He’s a member of your pack and he needs you, Nukka
Nancy pushed down her annoyance.
It was pointless being angry with Nukka. She sighed, dusted off the seat of her
jeans and looked around. They stood near the top of a hill in early morning
sunshine. The forest spread below and around them as if they were on an island
in a sea of green. ‘Where do we start?’
David is in the forest to the north. Amka is watching him but
as he has rejected her she can’t help him.
‘The stupid…. Okay, let’s get
this over with.’
Nukka lead the way into the
forest. The path was broken and dangerous and progress was slow. She felt Nukka’s
Amka tells me something is stalking David. She’s afraid for
‘Stalking him? What’s stalking
Her mind holds no clear picture of what it is. We must run.
Nancy’s heart clanged against her
ribs. ‘By run you mean…?’
Nukka stopped and looked back at
her. You must Change.’
‘Damn and double damn. I swore I
would never Change after that first time and now because of him…’
Decide! Nukka commanded.
Her shoulders sagged ‘Okay.’
Remember what I taught you. Nukka said. Reach out with your mind, touch my
spirit, let it become one with your own and don’t fight the Change.
Nancy took a shaky breath and mentally
reached out as Nukka instructed her. She felt her humanity slipping away and
forced herself to stay calm. It’s
just for a while, she told herself. Just until we find David. She became aware of the
scents on the breeze, the noise of small creatures scuttling under leaves and
she could feel the earth beneath her four paws. She opened her eyes and
experimentally flexed muscles she had not had moments before.
Now, follow, she heard as Nukka streaked past
Nancy followed. The ground
blurred beneath her feet. Trees whipped past. She leapt fallen trunks and deep
ravines. The thrill of speed and pleasure at her surefootedness dissolved her
fears. The smell and sounds of the forest excited her and invited investigation.
Why have I denied myself this for
so long? she wondered.
Fear. Nukka’s voice was loud now she shared the
Yes, Nancy thought, Nukka was right; it was fear
of change. Not wanting to move from what was familiar and safe to what was
different and unknown. That’s why they were in this mess.
Nukka stopped and crouched low.
Amka is here, he said.
Nancy focused her mind on her
father and their shared love. With a pang of loss she felt her connection to
Nukka lessen and her senses dull as she returned to her human form.
Nukka looked up and a magpie flew
down to join them. Her black and white plumage shone in startling contrast to
the browns and greens of the forest. Nancy nodded her respect. The magpie’s
light crisp voice cut into her thoughts and she winced at its strangeness.
David is north of here. He still refuses to see me, refuses
to hear me. He must leave. Quickly.
Before Nancy could answer Amka
flew off and Nukka followed. Nancy trudged along behind feeling clumsy now she
was back on two legs. Within minutes they reached a shallow ravine. Brambles
and small bushes grew on its sides and a thin trickle of water fought its way
along the bottom. David sat on a boulder close to the water picking something
from the palm of his hand and pushing it into his mouth.
‘Stay here,’ Nancy whispered to
Nukka. ‘Amka too. I’ll go down alone.’
She was halfway down before David
‘You! What do you want?’
At twelve, David was two years
younger than Nancy yet he was both bigger and stronger. She had often consoled
herself that no-one could mistake them for brother and sister. He was large,
round and pink, she slight and dark. Pale blue eyes glared at her defiantly,
but as she moved closer she saw tear stains on his cheeks.
‘I’m taking you home.’
David stood up and threw the
remaining berries at her. ‘I don’t need you to take me home. Besides you’ve made
it obvious you don’t want me around so why pretend you do?’
‘Listen to me you little…’ She
took a breath and tried again, ‘Amka says…’
‘Amka? You still going on about
that stupid bird? I told you I don’t want no useless guide. I bet you’ve got
Nukka up there watching out for you. Frightened you’ll get lost without him or
‘Yes, as a matter of…’ with a
sudden flash of insight Nancy realized what this was about. ‘This is because
you don’t think she’s good enough for you isn’t it? Because Nukka is a wolf you
think Amka is inferior in some way.’
David glared. ‘I told you, I’m
okay on my own.’
‘Oh yeah? Well how come you haven’t
been home? How come Posy is crying her eyes out and dad is worried sick about
you? You’re right, I don’t want you around, but for some reason they do and
they are driving me mad.’
‘I’ll come back when I’m ready.’
Nancy held her arms out and spun
around taking in their surroundings. ‘David, look about you, this isn’t Waverly
Wood you know. It’s not just a case of wandering until you get to the edge then
yelling for your mummy. There are all kinds of…’
Nancy heard Nukka's silent
warning. She ducked and a rock sailed over her head.
‘Get lost. I’ve told you I don’t
want no help.’
Nancy stood up barely resisting
the urge to leave. ‘Amka says something is coming that is dangerous to you. She
says you have to leave here. Now. Unless you think you can drive it off by
throwing stones?’ She waited. ‘Well? Do you?’ she demanded.
At last she saw a flicker of
concern in his eyes.
‘What ‘something’ is coming?’
‘It’s too far away for Nukka to
know what it is and Amka isn’t able to explain, but she’s in a terrible state.’
‘She never left you. She’s with
Nukka. Will you at least go up to them?’
David’s eyes swept the ravine nervously
and he nodded.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Nancy
led the way back up the slope. Amka was flitting from branch to branch in her
‘Where is it?’ David asked.
‘She’s right there,’ Nancy said,
David’s eyes narrowed in
suspicion. ‘You’re lying, there is no bird.’
The magpie’s voice cut into her
head again. He can’t see me,
he has rejected me. Lead him away from here, quickly.
‘Amka says we have to go.’
‘There is no Amka, you’re lying.
You’re trying to trick me.’
‘For heaven’s sake, why would I
Nukka crouched low to the ground baring
his teeth and glaring at David. A growl rumbled in his throat. David backed
‘We have to leave, now,’ Nancy
From below them came shrill
screeches, the sound of twigs snapping and stones being overturned. Nancy
realized that whatever was after David was now in the ravine.
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The other part of the site is of particular interest for authors, especially Indie authors. Here is how it explains its role; The purpose of this site is to expose you and your books to large numbers of readers looking for great deals, and to notify those readers of any promotions and events you run. We will also help you to manage your promotion schedule and track the results.
The reader aspect of the site is totally free.
The Author / Publisher facilities are free for the first three months. Readers in the know is linked to Amazon and any books, both paperback and kindle, you have available there can be added to the site really easily. If you use my promotion code 2NHWH2BN when you sign up you and I will get 10 free advertising credits. I am definitely giving it a try. My books are on there now and I will be using it to run upcoming promotions within the next three months. .
Have a look, see what you think.
The Wheel of The Year is now published.
it is available as a paperback from Amazon and as an eBook from most places.
The next festival to be celebrated on The Wheel is Litha; the Summer Solstice.
is a time to sit back, relax and enjoy the abundant light and life. Decorate
your home with birch, fennel, St. John's wort and white lilies for blessing and
protection. Breathe in the promise of Litha as though taking a long
anticipatory breath before a dive into a warm, crystal clear pool.
The Wheel of the Year is a beginners
guide to celebrating the pagan festivals marking the changing seasons.
It has been written after many request from family and friends over the years for ideas on how to celebrate the turning of The Wheel; on appropriate spells, correspondences and activities. It is available in both eBook format at all the major outlets and as a paperback on-line from Amazon or on request at all the major bookshops. The Wheel of the Year is now available and is in time to prepare to celebrate, Litha, the Festival of Mid-Summer.
Celebrate the ancient and powerful magic held
within the Wheel of the Year with this clear and well-ordered guide. This book
is much more than a guidebook; it offers everything needed to mark the changing
of the seasons in a meaningful and fulfilling way. Within these pages are suggestions
for activities, spells, guided meditations and lists of correspondences for
each of the eight Sacred Festivals. Learn something of the role of the Goddess
and her Consort and gain an understanding of the important role the Festivals
played for our ancestors. Also included are guidance on Casting a Circle and
collecting and cleansing the basic tools used for Craft work. Although aimed at
those new to the Craft it will give the more knowledgeable tried and tested
ways to celebrate these ancient and beloved Festivals. available at Amazon as a paperback and eBook
Robby looked over his shoulder and saw one of the snufflers getting down on his hands and knees to crawl into the bush where he and Abigail lay. He glanced at Abigail's terrified face as she lay in a tight protective ball next to him. The
goblin was still sniffing the ground as he came and Robby drew his legs up as
Abigail had done. He waited until the grappling fingers were within reach of
his foot and then kicked out with all his might. He felt the sole of his boot
connect with flesh and bone and the goblin let out a howl of pain. Instantly
the others stormed the bush. Abigail and Robby got to their knees and began to
crawl. Branches tore Robby’s skin and clothes as they scrambled through the
bush toward a gap in the ring of goblins. Pulling himself free and grabbing
Abigail tightly by the hand he stood up and started to run. The goblins saw
them at once and with a howl of delight gave chase. Robby and Abigail had gone
no further than a few metres when he felt grasping fingers clutching at his
robes. Abigail screamed and fell to the ground with a goblin
holding her ankle.
Robby turned to face them at the same time the ear-splitting scream of an angry
dragon came from above. The goblins hesitated and looked up as Frenzel
descended bellowing his rage. The sound and sight of an angry dragon was
awesome. Robby instinctively threw his arms over his head and crouched low to
the ground. Frenzel dove into the midst of the goblins closest to Robby and
Abigail. Some were almost man high, yet the way Frenzel threw them aside they
could be no more than straw dolls. Even in his terror Robby was astonished at
Frenzel’s strength and realized he hadn’t fully appreciated his power until
now. Keeping low Robby launched himself at the goblin holding Abigail. Wrapping
his arms around the goblin’s neck he kicked at the back of his legs trying to
over balance him, but he hadn’t the strength of Frenzel. The goblin stood firm
and roared his anger. A second goblin came to help and Robby was grabbed in
hands like claws, pulled away from Abigail’s attacker and held firm. He and Abigail
were dragged to the shelter of the trees where Frenzel could no longer defend
them. Robby could do nothing but watch helplessly as Frenzel continued to fight
Hi everyone. I have just had published an in-depth Question and Answer interview on Smashwords. I thought a good way to celebrate the release of The Bonding Crystal as a paperback would be to share some of my dark secrets. Here is a sample;
Describe your desk
Well, my desk is large and neat with everything in its place. A picture of order in fact. But that is because I rarely use it! My work place of choice is my kitchen table, unfortunately a round table which makes it a bit awkward to work at and it is usually littered with bits of paper scribbled with 'great ideas' and 'maybe come in handy' snippets, and a kitten or probably two. The kittens are the reason I work at the kitchen table. I often have kittens to look after and don't like leaving them alone for days on end when I get immersed in writing. In fact I have a little white girl tugging at my sleeve demanding attention as I type - and then retype.
What are you working on next?
It is a bit of a change of pace for me as I am working on a non fiction book called The Wheel of the Year. It is based on the eight festivals, or Sabbats in the Pagan year which date back to pre-Christian times and are linked to the changing of the seasons.
I give an outline of the festivals as celebrated by modern Pagans along with their history and ways in which they can be celebrated today. I have used my many years experience as a practising Pagan to provided enough information to satisfy most early seekers without getting lost in detail. It will provide a solid base from where the reader can build on their knowledge.
Take a look here for more and let me know if there are other questions you would like to ask.
The Bonding Crystal will be available at createspace from tomorrow 14 February and shortly after at amazon
There are only six more days to wait before The Bonding Crystal is available as a paperback. It will be available createspace and shortly after on Amazon but if you cant wait until Valentines Day then it is available as an eBook on Amazon, Smashwords,
iBooks, Barnes and Noble.
Hi every one. It has been a long time but it has been all go
I am excited to tell you that The Bonding Crystal, Book One of the Dragon World series, will be available in print from Amazon 14
February 2014. Now Valentine ’s Day is even more impossible to forget. And it will still be available to buy as an eBook from Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks, Barnes and Noble and all the other great book shops it is currently available.
In the Bonding Crystal Robby meets his dragon, Frenzel for the first time and learns what
it means to be bonded and to be a part of Dragon World.
I will post again when The Bonding Crystal is on the shelves but until then here is a reminder of what this novel is all
Robby McRoss carries around a gaping hole. Not one that can
be see or touched, sometimes he feels that perhaps that would be better. This
empty place is inside him and is threatening to turn him into less than the
wimp his classmates already take him for. To add to his troubles he has an ugly
birth mark that is the cause of many a fight. He uses the term ‘fight’ loosely
he realises and is the first to admit he does little more than curl up and wait
until the fighting part is over. Trouble is it is usually his best friend who
sorts it out for him. Not so bad you may think but Abigail is tiny and looks as
though a good puff of wind would blow her away. She is also bossy,
self-opinionated and has appointed herself Robby’s guardian angel.
It is not until Robby meets, Frenzel, his dragon, that the
empty place begins to heal. However to keep Frenzel he must prove himself
compatible. Abigail has serious doubts about the whole thing and no intention
of letting him go off alone. Things get worse when Robby discovers that someone
is planning to destroy his new world and its inhabitants and everything he is
learning to love. He and Frenzel have to stop them and while doing so Robby
discovers the ‘Empty Place’ has finally healed. This leaves Abigail free to
discover that life need not always mean managing someone else’s.
The Bonding Crystal is currently available as an ebook at: