Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Readers of Tomorrow...

It was way back in the mists of time, all the way back to when I was a little girl - so many, many moons ago - that I first developed my intense love of books and reading.

Nothing gave me greater pleasure than the weekly visit to our local library where I exchanged a handful of clammy library tickets for a teetering pile of storybooks. Heaven!

The Secret Seven. The Famous Five. The Rilloby Fair and other 'R' Mysteries (Enid Blyton was a major she-ro of mine! I was absolutely gutted when I found out she was dead!) These were the books I devoured, often well into the 'silent watches of the night'* (* Shamelessly snaffled(!) from  A-Pony-For-Jill.)

If we want our children to choose books over today's vast range of electronic gadgetry, then those stories had better be Harry-Potter-H. O. T.

However, (You sensed one of those was coming, right?) if, on the other hand, we'd prefer our children to turn away from the written word forever and plug into the matrix, instead, then school home-reading books are definitely the right way to go.

For little folk, the love of reading can be a fragile flame, all too easy to snuff out...

So here's an example of the stimulating[/sarcasm]reading matter I retrieved from my daughter's school bag tonight.

She's eight, in case you were wondering. Eight!!!





'Find out what scaffolding is made from, what else it's used for, * and what it's like being a scaffolder...'

(Er, let's not, eh?)

Remember that episode of Peppa Pig where Daddy Pig keeps banging on about a book about Adventures With Concrete? Yes, it's THAT dull!


Sunday, 10 September 2017

On Writing On ...

While writing isn't the hardest job in the world - not by a long shot - it's not all Barbara-Cartland-swanning-about-whilst-dictating-wearing-a-floaty-pastel-chiffon-gown, either.

Honestly? Sometimes it's a flipping hard slog.

So do I have advice for any would-be authors? Indeed I do. 


Always show up at your keyboard/notebook at the same time every day, especially on those days when you're just not feeling 'inspired'. Few of us can afford to wait until that elusive Muse decided to put in an appearance. In my case, she usually shows up a few minutes after I do... and what a glorious rush that can be. Sheer bliss!

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'll get up and happy-dance about my kitchen - with the cat, poor thing! - when I've managed to nail a particular sentence/paragraph/chapter. Oh, yeah, baby! 

On some days I might hammer down 3k words, on other days I might only manage 300, but that's fine. Any forward momentum is good momentum, imo. You just have to keep your wagon rolling forward at a reasonable clip so that the uphill stretches are that much bit easier to tackle.

Keep on keeping on. That's the key!


That mountain is miiine!!!

The Winners of This Month's Giveaway...

Once again the mighty Randomizer has spoken. 

Congratulations go to ...

Deborah Hill 
&
Kitty Garley

Nice work, ladies. You've just won yourselves a signed paperback copy of one of my books. Easy as pie, wasn't it?

More exclusive subscriber giveaways very soon.


Have YOU signed up as a super secret subscriber yet?



Thursday, 7 September 2017

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

You Have To Be In It To Win It...

Hello, everyone.

Just to let you know I'll be giving away two signed paperback copies of my books this month to two lucky newsletter subscribers.

To be in with a chance of winning a copy, simply sign-up HERE.  Not only that, but you'll also be able to download a couple of free stories. Just my small way of saying thank you!

:)


Sunday, 27 August 2017

More photos of Orkney...



Edge of Heaven...

When I was a child - long, long ago in the mists of time! - my family and I spent many happy holidays in the north of Scotland, right up there on its most northerly coast.

John O'Groats, Scrabster, Thurso, Cape Wrath. These were always such magical names to me, places that have always felt like home - more so, perhaps, than some of Scotland's more popular tourist spots. Granted, The North might not have the massive picturesque mountains of the Highlands, but its bleak, windswept vistas possess a savage beauty that have always fascinated me.

During those long-ago childhood holidays, I often stared out to sea, from the place where the land ended and out to where the horizon met the sky. In the distance, the looming grey hulk of a distant island beckoned in the distance.

Orkney.

Part of mainland Scotland but worlds apart. Belonging, but not quite attached. Almost like loose pearls that have rolled away from the main strand of a necklace. The land where the ghosts of Vikings mingle with our older neolithic ancestors. A place of standing stones and brochs, of ancient settlements, and endless acres of sky.

Sorry for waxing lyrical, but Orkney can make a poet out of the most unimaginative person.

Orkney. The place I'd always longed to visit but had never quite managed to get there...

Until now.

So, was it worth the wait?

The Old Man of Hoy

Hoy from the ferry


View of the Ness of Brodgar from our kitchen window.




Solitary Standing Stone. Birsay.

Bay of Skaill

Skarabrae

Skarabrae

Beads found in Skarabrae

Standing Stones of Stromness


Ring of Brodgar

The dig at Brodgar

Brodgar dig.


The dangerous Eynhallow Sound

The distant hills of Hoy, and low cloud over Brodgar

Evie Sands




Oh, yes, my lovelies. Definitely!


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Regency Fun Time...

I was a ruthless social climber who married for love and married into the Royal Family... apparently(!)

How about YOU?


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Life Behind The Smiles...

RIP Rikki Dyson

During the hunt for new time travel books, you may have come across this particular author. 


I, myself, have often flinched on this writer's behalf over some of the vitriolic reviews her books have received. 

Now, maybe these stories deserved their slating, and maybe they didn't. As I haven't read any of Rikki's books, I couldn't possibly say. However, I like to think that even if I didn't like a book, I'd at least be kind whilst expressing my opinion of it. 

Well, tonight, I came across a review that's fair knocked the wind out of me.  It just goes to prove, I guess, everyone has a story, and everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about.

RIP, Rikki. You will be missed, m'dear. 






Friday, 28 July 2017

Birthday Presents...

With regard to birthdays, I think Hobbits definitely have the right idea. Giving is always so much more fun than receiving. 

Well since it's my birthday this weekend, here's my present to you. For the next few days, you can download any of my books for a knockdown discount price. 

My Birthday Discount is already happening over on Amazon.uk

Would one of my American pals mind checking to see if the books are discounted on Amazon.com yet? Thanks ever so much.




Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Happy 4th July...

... to all my friends on the other side of the pond.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and get to spend lots of time making memories with those you love the most. <3


Sunday, 2 July 2017

50 Shades of Bringlish...

I love the English language. It's like a living thing, ever changing, constantly evolving.

Although English has many rules - as any student will know! - most are fluid and exceedingly 'iffy'. 

From shire to shire and shore to shore, it's seldom the same language. 

The language of kings, and paupers, poets, and Vikings. So many vibrant shades and regional variations, a patch-word quilt of our history, and of lives that are no more.

What's not to love? 

All the Silly Walkers in the house say YEAH!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Random, but True...

Did you know there are 4174 hillforts dotted about the British Isles and Ireland?

No. Neither did I. 

Have fun playing about with this handy online atlas!

You're welcome!


Sunday, 25 June 2017

An Interview With Yours Truly...

Hello, everyone. How was your weekend?

Well, it's been the annual Lytham Club Day event here in my wee corner of Blighty. In other words, parades, picnics, lashings of Prosecco, and lots of partying in the sun.

Anyway, when I arrived home, footsore but happy, I found that my gorgeous author gal-pal Terry has uploaded my recent interview to her blog. 

Here's a bit about Terry and her wonderful books...

Terry Lynn Thomas grew up the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches, windy dunes, and gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back. Now Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which&nbspfeature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. She also pens the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, a series of novellas set in 1930s Cumberland, which features a feisty middle-aged woman who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

If you like Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, or Dorothy Eden, or if gothic suspense is your thing, please give these books a go. Oh, btw, the next book in the Sarah Bennett Series, "Neptune's Daughter" will release on July 25th. If you fancy getting your hands on an early copy, please get in touch with Terry by clicking here...




Friday, 26 May 2017

The Monk, The Midden and the Missing Monastery...

A fascinating documentary about last year's archaeological dig over on Lindisfarne.

(Ooh, look... I think I see our holiday cottage!)

:)


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Shaken, Not Stirred...

Here's a quick dream status update for you!

In last night's episode, yours truly enjoyed(!) a rather chilly encounter with none other than James Bond himself, Mr. Daniel Craig.

Poor D.C. had apparently taken one portal too many on his travels through time, and as a result was hypothermic and blue with cold. Aww. 

Quick as a ferret down a rabbit burrow - at the instigation of an old pal of mine who wouldn't do the deed himself on account of him being a straight bloke, thanks - I found myself in a close-up, fully clothed, clinch with old Blue-steel Bond. Not a task I ever care to repeat. 

Wonder who I'll be sharing some dream time with tonight, eh? Watch this space!

*sigh*

Is it real?
Or is it Memorex?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Perchance to Dream...

Another beautiful day here in Blighty. An afternoon of blue skies, gentle sunshine, and sweet bird song.

Here are a few pictures I took on the walk to school. 



It was so nice to be outside in the fresh air. I haven't been sleeping well just lately so I could fall asleep on a clothes line. Actually, to be fair, I'm sleeping just fine. It's the constant soap opera of crazy dreams that are wearing me out.



Here's a quick summary of some of the nightly highlights from the past week:

Dream 1: I was Pamela Anderson (!) in a movie where my screen son and I were on the run from my handsome, but cream cracker ker-azy, stalker played by Rob Lowe who, incidentally, had bumped off my former husband. 



Dream 2: I was an American spy - a male spy! - in North Korea, trying to sneak back home to the States. 



Dream 3: Last night I dreamt I was Katharine Parr, Henry VIIIs wife number six. Only in the dream, I hadn't yet married old Horrid Henry. The groom and I were plotting to kill him off... with poison. 


You see why I wake up worn out? If you have any tips on how to switch off my brain off while I sleep, I'd love to hear them.

I mean, I don't watch TV, and I avoid the news unless it comes up on my FB feed, so I have no idea what's fueling these dreams. 



Oh, well. I'm yawning my head off. Time to go to the land of nod to see what's showing on the big screen tonight!


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