It is 7.30 in the morning. The air is still, and cool compared to yesterday, and the only sound I can hear is the repeated and annoying call of a wood pigeon. I counted twelve that time. It is 20 degrees already and we have been promised another hot day. Parts of the UK have seen 32 degrees in the past few days, something I have not enjoyed at all.
My swollen feet and ankles look like hobbit feet, and the arthritis is running riot. I live in a cotton nightdress and cannot bear to get dressed. Cool showers only work for a few minutes and drinking water makes me feel like a ripe peach, about to burst.
Torrential rain and thunderstorms were forecast for parts of the country, and you guessed it, nowhere near where we live.
Anita cannot stand the heat either, and is really suffering. Every day the angina attacks get worse, yet we have not heard from the hospital about the plans for a new treatment. Lockdown might be over, but it seems to make matters worse, not better.
On the work front, I am trying to keep busy in between moments of desperation and complete despair. What’s the point has taken up residence at the back of my mind, and ignoring it is becoming a full-time occupation.
To give my brain something else to bite on, I am trying to switch our subscriber list from Mailchimp to Mailerlite, as I have heard good things about them. For some reason, they just don’t like my email address so not getting very far with logging in. Stubborn is as stubborn does, so they say, so today I will try again. If your hear a loud explosion coming from the south of England, you will know I failed spectacularly!
I am also reading David Gaughran’s free course ‘Starting from Zero, to try and improve our marketing. You never know, we might even get around to doing some, once the dust settles…
This Book Funnel promotion ends at the end of the month, so thought I would mention it again. My book CrossFire is taking part and so far has been picked up well, so thank you to everyone who now has a FREE copy!
The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.
The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.
Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.
Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.
And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.
Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.
I had already fallen in love with this book, simply by the wonderful book cover and amazing trailer. I wasn’t prepared for the fast action packed prologue which had me gasping for breath. A truly remarkable beginning to what turned out to be an amazing read.
I loved the contrast between the different characters, the cruel machinations of most of the humans and the steadfast mindset of the beautiful but fascinatingly cruel Sea Witch.
Wonderfully written with the age old quality of legends, this story reminded me a little of Gulliver’s Travels and all their wars and bargains.
They had Gulliver to sort out their feuds, and in this book we have Callum, the Ferryman. And I loved every single word…
Best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.
Emlyn’s story continues in Journey 6, The Fluting Fell. She gains tragic insight into Boabhan… horrifying things that she is too young to know. This event also shows an unexpected softer side to another character. The travelers reach an abandoned estate, Wych Elm Manor, although it is not completely unoccupied. It yields answers as well as questions. Emlyn finds clues that lead them farther into their journey. She also meets the silvery-haired young man again. The travelers have put some distance between themselves and the Brethren of Un’Naf, but do even worse dangers await them? Danger deepens when they take refuge in a mysterious structure. Come, be a part of the Journeys of “Dead of Winter.”
I always look forward to the stunning new cover images and reading the next fascinating journey of the Dead of Winter. This time we are warned of a very disturbing chapter in Emlyn’s life, and we follow Emlyn as she searches for the truth. Gradually, the mysteries in this story are being uncovered, beginning to explain why Emlyn has always been different and special in some disturbing ways.
Like why Emlyn has such vivid dreams. Are they trying to tell her about her past, or is it the future they forewarn about? Nasty, vivid dreams that remind her of a terrible time in her past, something so awful she cannot remember it or believe it is to be true.
Emlyn learns the reason for this dream, of a disturbing secret, the memory of something she seems to share with a member of the Deae Matres. It happened at the time of the Binding, the time when the nightwalkers were driven into the Realm of the Dead.
This was a surprise for me too but was sensitively handled by the author.
Finally, Emlyn begins to understand the reason she is on this journey.
There are powerfully written events in this story, and such lovely moments too. I loved that Emlyn gets over her fear of horses, and that she finds some wonderful clothes to wear! There is another visit from the mysterious young silver haired man too, so many things to remember and experience, but all leading her further into danger.
All the while, the Realm of the Dead grows ever closer.
Composite image by Teagan R. Geneviene, sourced via Pixabay
Welcome, my chuckaboos. I hope everyone is safe and well. The Delta Pearl is almost ready to come into dock. It’s been a complex story, stretching over many months. For quite some time, I’ve only been able to offer extra-short episodes. Happily this one is a normal serial-sized length.
I’m about to unearth some details from the past, as I tie-off the many threads of this story. If you didn’t see the recap last weekend, it might be helpful to you. Use the “Delta Pearl” category on the right margin as a shortcut to all the chapters.
Clockwork creatures continued to emerge from corners and hidden crannies. A silver swan, a citrine bumble bee, and a sapphire bluebird flew to perch on Cécile’s outstretched arms. A moonstone monkey, a rainbow fluorite rabbit, a small rose quartz…
The titular dead of Winter begin this Journey in a collection of vignettes. The Veil separating the world of the living and the Realm of the Dead has indeed become thin. As feared the dead begin to enter the Realm of the Living. Small outbreaks of chaos are scattered across the world as spirits try to resume their old lives.
Also in those shorts, two characters are introduced who will come back into the story in future Journeys — Gregorios, and Mairead who recalls the circumstance that brought Zasha and Tajín together. The spirits also visit some characters from past Journeys.
Emlyn and company encounter the King of Hell, and this time, Arawn is not in a dream-like netherworld.
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.
Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.
Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.
Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com
Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.
In this journey, we discover Lyn Pistyll, a beautiful waterfall, and in Emlyn’s dreams, Arawn, the king of the dead lives there.
Legend has it that when the Great Wall was healed, this waterfall was created, sealing the dead away from the living.
Dead of Winter is a story with ghosts, but not your average ghost story.
The veil that was meant to keep the realms apart has been ripped apart by the untimely and brutal arrival of Arawn and the spirits can now more between the worlds, where, of course, Emlyn can see them.
But these ghosts are not here to cause trouble, they just want to pick up where they were before they died.
Dead of Winter gets better with every journey, but some serious co-operation by all concerned will be needed to sort this mess out!
In the corridors of love, at the crossroads of loneliness, we stand at our most vulnerable. As the winds of love swirl, we are often ill prepared for the portends and promises that they carry. The longing, lust, fear and deception. But also the hope, renewal and lessons of love. In this book, may we be strengthened by the memory of things we have survivedy, soothed with the understanding of perspective, and comforted with hope of things to come.May these poems, prose and short stories touch each of us in our own particular way.
Here’s a peek at the back cover summary;
In the corridors of love, At the crossroads of loneliness, We stand at our most vulnerable. As the winds of love swirl, we are often ill-prepared for the portends and promises they carry; The longing, fear, and deception. The intimacy, and the horrors of heartbreak. But also the hope, renewal and strength from the trials we have survived.
May these Poems, Prose, and Short Stories touch each in their own particular way, And bring us all perspective, compassion, hope and ultimately; Love!
CROSSROADS (Winds of love)
I truly believe there’s something in this book for us all;
Shivers, Blushes, Empathy, Awareness, A cacophony of emotions, And much more. All these under the shadow, or the light; Of love You’ll find a wide array of poetic styles and forms A blend of structured and free verse poetry, With a sprinkle of short stories that might take you to all sorts of places.
Not giving up on love is the perfect beginning, for in my humble opinion Jude Itakali’s wonderful new book has been written for us all, in the approaching aftermath of this deadly virus.
It reminds us that it really is LOVE that keeps this world turning around – and keeps us looking after everyone and everything on this planet.
This post is late, because of confusion over the release dates. My apologies, Jude…
My favourite poem
Being alone does not mean one is lonely
For solitude is a gift
A peaceful chance to grow
And while depression may lie in the cold loneliness
We are delighted to welcome Lizzie Chantree to our blog today, to tell us all about her new release,
Shh… It’s Our Secret, by Lizzie Chantree.
Over to you, Lizzie!
Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today and for the wonderful support of the launch of my latest book.
My main character, Violet, struggles with self-belief and feels and unappreciated by the sister who raised her and by her closest friends. Working in a rundown café bar, Violet is at the heart of the community and wants to find a way to make the bar become profitable and bring new customers into the town.
Violet always saves the last piece of cake for two zany pensions to share, as they come to the café bar to stay warm. She feels like they are her surrogates family and dreams about helping them all to relieve their daily struggles financially. To do this Violet has to tackle her own in a critic in foster new confidence, which means sharing her long held secret with the world and stepping into the limelight. This is a story of putting fears aside and being brave enough to reach for your dreams, even when they seem so far away that touching them feels impossible.
Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.
Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.
When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidently discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?
Violet wasn’t happy.
So many people relied on her now, so she couldn’t really walk away, although she desperately wanted to.
Can she sort out her miserable life and find some happiness, something just for her?
International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.
International bestselling author Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, about women with unusual businesses, who are stronger than they realise.
This is a mysterious, yet terrifying instalment of the Dead of Winter as the story really starts to heat up.
Emlyn’s life is being pulled in so many directions, none of them easy to understand. Something is happening, something she doesn’t understand.
Emlyn is unsure of her safety. She is to accompany the Deae Matres on a journey, one they are not telling her about, or what is to happen to her when they get there. She discovers that The Binding happened during a time when the night walkers were driven to the Realm of the Dead. Emlyn’s strange powers are growing stronger, leading to some weird journeys between the worlds. The white wolf becomes a friend, something she welcomes.
Will she ever return to the life and world that she loves?