Monday 30 September 2013

The Ghosts of Aquinnah by Julie Flanders

Today I am happy to be part of the cover reveal for Julie Flanders upcoming release, The Ghosts of Aquinnah. Congratulations Julie the cover is looking great.


A brilliant flash of light transcends through time.

Another freezes a cloaked figure within a frame of salty mist as waves crash against a rocky shore. Her harrowing expression shadows the beacon to a pinprick.

By the next blaze, she is gone. Only the lighthouse remains.

Hannah’s eyes blink in step with each heartbeat. Images of her deceased parents and Martha’s Vineyard explode like firecrackers inside her mind.

She shakes her head.

For weeks this eerie woman dressed in nineteenth century garb has been haunting my webcam, but tonight she stared into my soul.

Why? ...

Who is she? ...

Casting aside months of research on historic lighthouses, Hannah drives to the coast and boards a ferry.

What is the strange connection she has to this mysterious woman suspended in time?

Hannah finds out.

But, it’s not at all what she expects ...

Hannah unravels a century old murder.

Author Bio:

Julie Flanders is a novelist and freelance writer in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a life-long love affair with the ocean and has spent more summer vacations than she can count on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. When not writing, Julie can be found reading, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and watching too much television. She is an animal lover and shares her home with her dog and cat.

Find Julie at:

The Ghosts of Aquinnah will be released by Ink Smith Publishing on December 5, 2013

Friday 27 September 2013

Celebrations post

I've not been around the blogosphere quite as much as usual this last week. I haven't felt terribly creative so decided to put my writing aside for a few days and think about other things! However, I have still been busy. We celebrated daughter's 18th with a family meal out and I made a birthday cake in the shape of a sheep (she is mad on sheep!) I also looked at some of our recent holiday photos, which brought back some happy memories. I have included a handful at the end of this post. As the weather turns more autumnal and the nights begin to draw in thinking about the sunshine is uplifting.

This weekend we are getting together with a bunch of friends and going out for an Indian meal. It is another part of the 18th celebrations!

Finally, I would just like to thank you for all the lovely, supportive comments on last weeks post. It was a sad time for us and reading your messages cheered me and the rest of the family. You are all super amazing and I celebrate the fact I am part of this supportive community.

Whatever you're up to this weekend hope you have fun.

View from Villa
Beautiful beach
looking flushed from the sun!
tombs in the cliffs

pomegranates growing in garden

Friday 20 September 2013

A sad week

I am not joining in the weekly celebrations post this week because, well quite frankly, I'm not in a celebratory mood. It has been a sad week in our house. Our beautiful, loving cat, Buttons, died suddenly. Now I know she was a very good age, she lived a full and happy life, but you are never ready to let go. Buttons had been part of our family for over 17 years, my youngest daughter was only a few months old when we rescued her. And it was rescued in the true sense.

At the time we lived in a very old farmhouse with several run down barns outside. A feral cat (Buttons' mum) gave birth in the roof of one of these barns to five kittens. Tragically, the mother cat was run over and killed when the kittens were only about 4 weeks of age. As they were a totally wild family of cats we didn't realise straight away and sadly two of the kittens were killed by a dog.  Determined to stop the same fate for the remaining kittens my husband climbed up into the roof and, not without injury and numerous scratches, we managed to find the three tiny bundles and pull them to safety.

Our next problem of course was that they were too young to survive without a mother so we contacted a local vet for advice and before we knew it we were hand feeding three kittens with special formula in tiny pipettes. At that stage we didn't know if they would live or die but we had to try. We kept them in a utility room which was warm from a boiler. Naturally they were very scared to start with but gradually they got to know us and slowly started to gain weight. It was a pretty full on job! Young kittens can't go to the loo on their own either so part of our nursing job involved rubbing their bladders to encourage them to go for a wee!

We must have done something right because all three survived and were weaned. They were called, Holly, Ruby and Buttons. (Strange choices some thought because Holly and Ruby were boys but hey!) Sadly Ruby died aged about 7 from a tumour.  Holly died a few years ago, also from a tumour, aged about 12. Buttons had always been the shy one of the bunch and it wasn't till she was left without her brothers that she craved our attention so much. She was a truly wonderful cat, never happier than when she was curled up beside one of us on the sofa. She would purr so loudly we often had to turn the TV up! If I was sat writing she would keep me company and she was always there waiting at the door when I came in from work.

If there is one thing to be thankful for is that Buttons was happy till the last. Monday morning she had seemed fine, ate some breakfast, then went into the garden for a few minutes for her morning stroll. She never ventured further than the garden these days. My daughter had seen her that lunch time and all appeared fine. But by the time I returned around 4pm she was obviously a very poorly cat. I rushed her straight to the vets but there was nothing they could do. We don't really know what happened but they think it might have been her liver.

So today's post is dedicated to Buttons, fat and furry and very purry. We will all miss you, you have left a hole in our hearts and a space on the sofa that will take a long time to fill.

Monday 16 September 2013

Taking the blogosphere by Storm - CassaStorm!

There's a storm brewing ...

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.”
- Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

“I thought the revelation was going to be one thing and I was completely wrong … CassaStorm pushes the limits…”
- Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Reviews

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:
Amazon -

Mini Alex just wanted to join the fun today

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Book Trailer html -

And, as if that wasn't enough, one lucky commentor on Alex's blog will be chosen at random to win a Cassa mug, Cassa mousepad, swag and iTunes/Amazon voucher. What you waiting for?, Head over there now and wish Alex congratulations on the release of his final book in the bestselling series.  Over and out Ninja Captain sir!

Friday 13 September 2013

Celebrate the small things

Thanks to Viklit for hosting our weekly celebrations post.

This week I have managed to draft some outlines for a new writing project. I am a fan of mind maps and now have a pretty looking sheet sat next to my laptop. Next step some character profiles, hopefully will get time to start these over the weekend.  Then, knowing the way I work, I'll probably just dive in with Chapter One!

Update from last week's post  - the table is finally in place and being used. I am very pleased with it!

Happy Weekend 

Friday 6 September 2013

Celebrate the small things!

 Thanks to our lovely host Viklit at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author

This week I am celebrating the first week back at work after the holidays! (Well make that surviving the first week back!). It's amazing how all the kids grow over the summer.

We brought a new table for the kitchen. It's a glass top one and quite different to my usual style but fancied a change. Sadly it is still in the box at the moment because husband is away working for a few days and I can't get it out till he gets home later!

Busy weekend ahead. Two birthday parties for friends, one tonight and one tomorrow. Also got to fit in a university open day visit tomorrow a 100 odd miles away!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

My writing mantra (IWSG SEPT)

This month we are celebrating the two year anniversary of the mega IWSG, the brainchild of the Ninja himself Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Trusty co-hosts this month are;

Joylene Nowell Butler

Insecurities this month?
Yes, the usual ones are trying to rear their ugly heads. 

Am I good enough? Will I ever get there? Does anyone really like me or my writing???

BUT I'm trying to squash these insecurities and hold onto the believe in myself.

Repeat after me - I am good enough, I will get there and someone out there will just LOVE my writing really soon.

There that's better. Insecurities squashed!

Sunday 1 September 2013

Birthstone Unicorns - Sapphire

The last days of summer are upon us as we enter September and its back to work for me this coming week. I have enjoyed the last few weeks. It started with a trip to London and ended with a holiday in Turkey, in between was filled with family, friends and some writing. Even the British weather has treated us well, with plenty of sunshine.

September's birthstone is the beautiful Sapphire. To celebrate I thought I'd share a few interesting facts and myths about this gem that may be new to you. For example, did you know the ancient Persians believed the earth rested on a giant sapphire whose reflection gave the sky its colour? 

A little research produced the following references to sapphires through history and folklore.

  • Sapphires were once believed to offer protection against snakes. It was said that if poisonous snakes or spiders were placed in a jar containing a sapphire the creatures would immediately die!
  • Ancient Hebrew texts claim that Noah's Ark was illuminated with a giant sapphire used as a window.
  • A sapphire is documented to have been placed in the Jewish High Priest's breastplate, the original source of the notion of birthstones.
  • Sapphires were said to represent purity of the soul. Before and during the Middle Ages, it was worn by priests as protection from impure thoughts and temptations of the flesh.
  • Medieval kings of Europe valued sapphires for rings and brooches believing they protected them from harm and envy.
  • Warriors gave their young wives a sapphire necklace so they would remain faithful. It was believed the stone would darken if worn by an adulterer!
  • One of the most famous sapphires sits on the Imperial State crown worn by Queen Victoria in 1838. It resides in the Tower of London and is known as the St. Edward's Sapphire because it once belonged to Edward the Confessor, who wore the stone in a ring during his coronation in 1042.
  • Sapphires are also the stone to mark a 45th wedding anniversary.
Finally, the verse from the Gregorian poem (original author unknown) reads;

"A maiden born when autumn leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze,
A Sapphire on her brow should bind;
To bring her joy and peace of mind."

My youngest daughter celebrates her 18th birthday later this month so it is always a special month for me. For those of you also celebrating this month I wish you a very 'Happy Birthday.'