Friday 29 November 2013

Celebrate with the Dragon!

This week I am celebrating the honour of receiving this award -

Many of you already know Al, our dear dragon friend. He held a very special party on his blog last weekend. It was a blast, my head is still spinning from dancing on the table with a bunch of his dwarves! I understand there might even be the odd guest still lurking around so feel free to head on over and see if there is any food left. Click HERE to be transported in the blink of a dragon's eye!

How amazing is that?
 My name in dragon fire - purple dragon fire!
Thanks Al 
In other news, went to see 'Catching Fire,' we thought it was brilliant. Managed to enjoy both some Indian and Chinese food this week.

Thanks to the lovely Viklit for hosting our weekly hop!
Happy weekend everyone

Thursday 28 November 2013

Moonless Blog Tour - 28/11/13

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural
Series: Maiden of Time #1
Publication: November 13th, 2013
Category: Young Adult (YA)
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Today I am happy to be part of the blog tour for the lovely Crystal Collier and her newly released book, Moonless. Congratulations, Crystal. Below you will find an excerpt to wet your appetite, but not only that there is the chance to win your own copy of Moonless by solving the mystery sentence or entering the giveaway. Loads of great prizes to be won and fun to be had.

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.

Unravel the mystery of the Moonless night! Hidden in each of the 8 blog tour excerpts is a single word. Gather all 8 and figure out the sentence to win a free copy of Moonless. Send your mystery sentence to crystal (AT) with the subject MYSTERY SENTENCE before December 10, 2013, and you will be entered to win one of 10 copies of MOONLESS—just in time for Christmas. Happy hunting! 
The study door stood closed. She neared, shaking. Pressing cautiously against it, she expected the mahogany to burn her.
Father’s voice boomed through the wood. “No! And that is final!”
The barrier lurched. She leapt back as it swung open.
He halted before her. Boots, not stylish, but entirely practical and worn; breeches, a sturdy gray, modestly hugging a trim form; waist coat concealed by a subtly weathered coat; shirt, fitted and simple . . . 
Her jaw fell.
Ginger locks framed his clean-shaven face with a straight nose, high cheekbones, expressive brows and enigmatic blue eyes. He was a perfect paramour of twenty years, except for a jagged white scar cutting from below one eye down his cheek. A sheen of beauty hung over his whole being. He verily glowed.
Like Bellezza. Like herself!
She gasped. Sweet pollen and rustic oak tickled her nose, transporting her to a grove of wooded mystery so deep mankind would never comprehend the fullness. Those consuming eyes met hers and flickers of heat burst in her cheeks, spreading across the back of her neck. His pupils widened, nearly eclipsing the night sky. She wanted to reach out and touch him, to fall into the blackness of his gaze.
A grunt from the den brought her back to the hall.
He bowed, movements excruciatingly slow, eyes never leaving her face. His lips parted as if he might speak, but with a dark glance toward the room he’d abandoned, his mouth sealed in a grim line. The corners of his eyes crinkled, pain glinting in his hypnotic stare. He nodded and stepped around her.
A breath of fresh-cut tinder and summer blooms pulled her eyelids closed, like the farewell kiss of a faerie nightmare.

Praise for MOONLESS: 
1. Bethany Kaczmarek, editor at A Little Red, Inc: MOONLESS is powerful, compelling, and packed with soul. MOONLESS is wonderful. So many threads, such rich backstory. Such amazing world-building. It was familiar England, yet always hinting at a sense of Otherness. Made me wonder if those things had really been there all along and I missed them.

2. Sharon Johnston, author of SLEEPER: Collier transports us to a time of elegance and mixes in supernatural splendor that gives goosebumps.

3. Tammy Mckee: I fell head over heels for the characters. The story itself was magnificent and the way Crystal writes is beyond that. I truly enjoyed every minute. 

4. Rachel Hert, editor at Fantasy Editing: Moonless does a fantastic job building a complex world filled with a cast of characters that are individuals and stay in your memory. I highly recommend reading!

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


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Friday 22 November 2013

Celebrate the small things

Not a terribly productive time for writing this week but it has been a success in other ways. Last weekend hubby and I took off for a couple of days on our own. We needed some time away from work and phones and general stress so we headed for a cottage on the edge of Dartmoor for 2 nights. It was lovely, time to walk and relax. Even managed to do a little Christmas shopping.

View from the cottage towards church

View from the church looking back at cottage

Waterfall at Lydford Gorge

Sunset looking out towards the moor

Happy weekend

Friday 15 November 2013

Thankful on Friday and a red balloon

Rest in peace, Andrew 
In memory of Andrew McDonald McNoughton 1994 - 2013


This week I'm posting more of a 'I'm Thankful for' type of post and they're BIG things, not small.  When we are surrounded by sadness and natural disasters I think it is important we recognise how lucky we are.

* I'm thankful for my family, my husband and two daughters.
* I'm thankful for my home.
* And I'm thankful for the food on my table.

In the UK it is 'Children in Need' day. A chance for everyone to do their bit, however small, to raise funds for disadvantaged children and young people. I'm wearing my pyjamas to work today and making a donation for the privilege! Are you taking part in anyway?

Further afield there is the terrible typhoon that hit the Philippines. Thousands have lost homes and loved ones. Visit Authors for the Philippines to find out how you might be able to help.

I am unlikely to have internet access much over the weekend so will catch up with you all on Sunday/Monday.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

IWSG post (Nov)

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting, this month assisted by 

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.
Write because you love it - we've all heard this wise advice many times. Wise because I sincerely believe it is true. I write because I can't not do it. It is the first thing I think about when I wake and I usually drift off thinking about it too! My characters nag me and follow me around when I'm at work, doing the laundry or putting the bins out. Then they sulk and refuse to talk to me at the most inappropriate times. BUT I am getting anxious. Anxious that my characters and stories will forever stay in my head or on my computer screen. Destined to be read by a handful of family members or friends. And I want more. I want to be able to share my stories, to have them out there for the taking. 

I've submitted, edited, submitted, rewritten, submitted. Round and round till I'm dizzy. I've had some great feedback from editors, agents and publishers over the last few years but so far there has always been a but. I am still waiting for that moment when the stars align and everything falls into place.

I could think about self publishing, I have thought about it. But if I go that route I want to be able to do it properly and financially at the moment that isn't an option. Maybe in the future, but not right now, and, If I'm truthful, my dream is to be traditionally published. 

I know that I have to wait, to keep trying and believing I just needed to get this off my chest if for no other reason than to release some of the negativity that has been creeping in recently. 

Moan over, I'm off to read what is on everyone else's mind this month! I'll leave you these few words, the words that often sustain me when I'm feeling a little low. Happy writing.

"To be successful a writer needs two things. Belief and hope. Belief in themselves and their writing and hope that others share their belief."
Suzanne Furness

Friday 1 November 2013

Birthstone Unicorns - Topaz

Welcome to November and another birthstone post. Topaz is the traditional birthstone for this month. It is usually found in shades of yellow, gold and brown perfect for the days of autumn. Although it can also be found in various shades of blue, green and pink. There is even a colourless topaz! Said to promote feelings of happiness in the wearer, it is associated with loyalty, faithfulness and friendship. Health benefits are thought to be related to balancing emotions and easing tension. Not one of the gems I can say I own yet, but I think they are so beautiful I hope to add one to my collection soon.

Want to learn more? Read on for some fun facts and myths surrounding this gorgeous gemstone.

  • The most famous topaz is one of the colourless variety! Due to this it was originally thought to be a diamond. At 1680 carats it is known as the 'Braganza Diamond' and can be found in the Portuguese Crown Jewels.
  • In the 19th century pink topaz was discovered in Russia. So prized that ownership was only allowed by the Czar and family.
  • The Egyptians believed that topaz's golden glow came from the sun god, Ra. They wore it to prevent injury.
  • The Romans too believed there were connections with the god of the sun, Jupiter. They also thought it improved eyesight.
  • Whilst Ancient Greeks thought it had the power to enhance strength or even make the wearer invisible in times of emergency!
  • During the Middle Ages they thought it helped heal physical and mental disorders and might even prevent death.
  • Sufferers from disorders as diverse as insomnia, burns and asthma were told powdered topaz cured in wine might alleviate their symptoms.
  • Other 'health' benefits suggested over the centuries include,making you more intelligent, curing sadness and even curing the sores caused by the plague. Set in gold and worn round the neck it was said to ward off bad charms. It has been said to change colour in the presence of poisoned food or drink. 
  • It's mystical powers were thought to be strongest in moonlight and to alter with the phases of the moon.
  • Topaz is a hard gemstone but it can be split with a single blow, so should be protected from hard knocks.
Born in November? Here is the verse from the Gregorian poem by unknown author.

"Who first comes to this world below
In dreary November's fog and snow
Should prize the topaz amber hue
Emblem of friends and lovers true."

Learnt something new today or celebrating this month? Check out the link at the top of the page to catch up with an excerpt from Topaz the Birthstone Unicorn's adventure. Have fun! 


Before I go just time to add a short weekly celebration, thanks to Viklit at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author for hosting. Visit her blog to find out more and join us!

This week I'm celebrating;
  1. Adding another 2,000 words to my WIP
  2. Finally getting to actually see the woodpecker who lives in the tree in our garden. I've heard it many times, visitors to our house have seen it but until this week I haven't caught so much as a glimpse! However, something very tasty is obviously living in our grass at the moment and he has been strutting around the garden as if he owns the place!
  3. Cleaning the oven - enough said!