Friday 25 October 2013

Celebrate the small things

Due to one or two unforeseen circumstances I did not post my weekly celebrations last week so this is a two week round up!

I am celebrating adding just over 4000 words to my ms! Pretty good writing week stats for me! Next week is half term so with a few days off work I am hoping for another productive writing week ahead.

I spent an enjoyable evening with a few girlfriends seeing the comedian, Sarah Millican.

Tomorrow hubby and I are going to a dinner and dance. Anyone who has followed my blog for a while will no doubt know I love the chance to dress up and get out my dancing shoes!

Hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are up to.

Friday 11 October 2013

Potter Party and Celebrate the small things

Last weekend we hosted a 'Potter Party.' What fun! There were glasses of butterbeer and pumpkin juice, polyjuice potion cocktails and salmon with a gillyweed sauce. Not to mention Petunia Dursley's cream pudding and a chocolate golden snitch tart! We played games of, pin the scar on Harry, guess the flavour of the jelly bean and even our own version of quidditch. I know you wanna picture, I'll try and get a couple to post next week or maybe I'll update this post over the weekend if my daugher sends me over the pics.

This week I am celebrating having a quiet weekend to do some serious writing. Really looking forward to shutting myself away for some guilt free indulgence!

Whatever you're up to this weekend have fun.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Norse Gods Blogfest

In celebration of Siv's new release 'Secrets of the Ash Tree' 
Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Siv.

Norse God of knowledge and Diplomacy

Not being terribly knowledgable on Norse mythology I decided to do a little research to help with my post for Siv Ottem's blogfest and this particular God caught my eye. I thought it was an appropriate choice for a writer.

Kvasir was said to have been born of the saliva of two groups of god,  Esir and Vanir. Extremely wise he travelled far and wide spreading his vast knowledge until the day he was killed by two dwarfs, Fjalar and Galar. They not only killed him but drained his blood and mixed it with honey, resulting in a coccotion known as the Mead of Poetry. Said to imbue the drinker with wisdom and the gift of poetry. The God Odin drank the mead to gain great knowledge, but he spilt a few drops, the source of all the bad poets and artists. He is said to have offered the mead to those he felt worthy - the source of all the great poets.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Birthstone Unicorns - Opal

Opal is the birthstone for the month of October, along with pink tourmaline. Opals can vary in colour from the common milky white with pastel glints of rainbow colours to the rarer black opal. Like most birthstones, opal has its fair share of myths and legends surrounding it. Some are well documented, others less so. Here are just a few associated with the fascinating opal and this month I can actually say I do have a ring that contains an opal! A piece of jewellery that has been in the family a while and which I enjoy wearing from time to time.

A common myth is that opals are the ‘unlucky’ gem. In modern times this idea probably originated from the bestselling novel by Sir Walter Scott. His novel Anne of Geuerstein, written in 1829, was the story of Lady Hermione, who wore an enchanted opal in her hair. It gave off fiery red flashes when she was angry, and it sparkled beautifully when she was happy. She was falsely accused of being a demoness, and died shortly after a drop of holy water accidentally fell on her opal destroying its colour. In consequence, the European opal market was crushed within months of the novels release and remained at a low for around 50 years. Perhaps a warning to authors of the potential power of their written word!

Going back to the mid 14th century the opal was associated with the plague. It was rumoured that an opal worn by a sufferer was alight with colour right up to the patient’s death when it lost all its brilliance. But even in the 18th and 19th century opals were linked with disasters such as, famine and the fall of monarchs.

Another contributing factor to its somewhat tarnished reputation may be due to the fragility of the opal.  Compared to some gemstones the opal can be easily damaged if not treated with care. Not a gemstone to wear whilst doing the gardening or washing up!

In contrast, Queen Victoria laughed at the superstition and made no secret of her love of the opal. Frequently seen wearing them during her reign and giving her daughters fine opals when they married.

In Asia, opal is viewed as a symbol of hope.

In medieval times, all blonde maidens wanted a necklace made of opals. Thinking it prevented their hair from fading or darkening.

The opal was also thought to make a person invisible whenever he wished, and for that reason, it was called Patronus forum (patron of thieves).

The Arabs believed that opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightning whilst Ancient Greeks believed the opal gave the gift of foresight and prophecy to the wearer. It was also known as the love stone of Cupid. Cleopatra is said to have worn an opal to attract Mark Anthony.

Opals have strong spiritual respect in Aboriginal legends. It is said that their ancestors left their presence behind in opals.

Opals are also given to celebrate the 14th year of marriage.

Finally, the verse from the Gregorian Poem by unknown author;

“October’s child is born for woe,
And life’s vicissitudes must know,
But lay an opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.”

Well there we are, a few stories surrounding this stone. It is certainly a gem with a chequered history, but I happen to think it is a very pretty jewel and one any discerning unicorn would love to adorn its horn! On that note, why not take a look at the excerpt from Opal the Birthstone Unicorn's story. Click tab at top of page.

Happy Birthday to all celebrating this month.

Friday 4 October 2013

Mini celebrations!

This has been a record week for me and my blog. For the first time ever I have posted everyday! Not entirely intended it just worked out that way with helping my fellow bloggers and of course IWSG. I am not sure I could manage this on a regular basis, so I applaud all of you who manage it regularly. It is not just posting but replying to comments and visiting others that takes time and commitment.  However, I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of the promotions I helped with this week, so I am celebrating the fact I survived the week of posts and helped out some awesome bloggers in the process. I truly wish you all the best with your endeavours.

Thanks also for all the comments on IWSG. I am really hoping to make October a productive writing month and am looking forward to getting stuck into a writing groove next week.

It has been so busy that I haven't managed to slot in my regular Birthstone Post yet but I intend to get this up on Sunday/Monday. As an aside to that, is anyone else having any problems with changing items in their side bar at the moment? I have been trying to update and rearrange a few bits and bobs and it doesn't seem to be working. Maybe it's just me!

Hope you all have a happy, healthy and positive weekend.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Cover Reveal - Moonless by Crystal Collier

Today I am pleased to reveal the cover for Crystal Collier's new book, Moonless. Congratulations Crystal, the cover is fabulous!

Title: Moonless
Author: Crystal Collier
Series: Maiden of Time #1
Publication: November 13th, 2013
Category: Young Adult (YA)
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Alexia must choose safety and an arranged marriage, or true love and being hunted by the Soulless every moonless night. 

Short Description: Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. 

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

Author Bio
Crystal, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time 
  Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Tumblr

Wednesday 2 October 2013

IWSG - A sticky patch!

This month's awesome co-hosts

I feel like I'm swimming through treacle

Apologies for the use of blatant cliche but it sums me up so well at the moment. September was pretty  - blah! Maybe it was getting back into work after the summer break, maybe it was losing our beautiful cat, maybe it was the two university visits that took up two weekends, maybe it was the 3 birthday parties or maybe it was a combination of all of the above, but my word count on my WIP during September was a big fat zero.

I am determined to make October better. I hope my muse agrees to come play because I have plans!

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Guest Post from Nick Wilford

I have pleasure in welcoming Nick Wilford to my blog today. Many of you probably already know Nick around the blogosphere but he is here today to tell us all about his new venture. It sounds exciting, Nick, I wish you all the best.

With the unstoppable rise of self-publishing, it’s easier than ever to put your words and stories out there in the world. This is a great thing, and I’m all for it. However, it’s not just about the story - although of course, that is the most important part - but the way it’s presented. After spending months or years on a novel, building an incredible world and honing your characters and storylines to perfection, the last thing you want is to be let down by a lack of editing. It’s just as important as an arresting cover image.

Nick Wilford, Freelance Editor is a one-stop shop for affordable editing, proofreading and formatting services. With professional training and ten years of experience as a journalist and editor, the time has come to transfer these skills in order to help out the fellow authors I have come to love.

But it doesn’t stop there. I’m ready to edit anything; from a crucial term paper, to memoirs and other non-fiction books, short stories, articles or job application letters. Let me put that finishing touch on your masterpiece.

Feel free to take a look at my website for further details of my services and prices.


Nick Wilford is a writer, freelance editor and stay-at-home dad. Fascinated by words from a young age, he trained as a journalist before embracing the calling of fiction. When not writing he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also co-running a campaign to get a dedicated specialist college built in Scotland.