Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

#WeekendWritingWarriors #SnippetSunday - The Matchmaker's mare




                                            Snippet Sunday Facebook  Group

Hi folks, I'm continuing snippets from the draft of my current 'work in progress' unpublished novel, a fantasy 'The Matchmaker's Mare' which takes place in Wales. The  story is told from three p.o.vs. and two time-lines. Today's excerpt is again in Glyn's P.O.V.  


Don't forget to visit the other authors at the link above, there's something for all tastes.


SNIPPET

 (This is only a rough draft to give the gist of the novel, and is subject to change and edits - and improvement on the creative punctuation which is needed  to adhere to the ten sentence rule!) 
Summary: Megan, new to the village, is delivering some medication to her neighbour, and finds him having a problem with a pony his employee, Evan, was trying to ride.


           He sighed deeply, “ I’m sorry, I’m keeping you, you’ll be wanting to get back home, I’m sure.”

            “Oh, it’s all right, I wasn’t in any hurry.” 

            No, she wasn’t in any hurry, in fact, she wouldn’t have minded listening to Glyn Phillips’ lyrical Welsh accent all evening. He probably wouldn’t appreciate her taking up his time chatting though, when he had a recalcitrant pony to catch and unsaddle, and most likely numerous other jobs needing to be done. All at once he stared past her to the paddock with a startled exclamation.

            “What the…?” his face darkened, his former friendly expression changed to one of horror—fear even. He leapt over the fence with the agility of a young steeplechaser and Megan gasped as she realised what had caused the sudden change in him. 

A young boy, who could not have been older than about eight or nine years old, had ducked under the fence on the other side of the paddock. He walked calmly  toward the gate, leading the chestnut pony with the air of one who knew exactly what he was doing.

             The mare’s ears twitched contentedly to and fro, as she walked calmly beside him, although Megan thought she saw something suspiciously like a gleam in the pony's large, dark eyes.












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Sunday, 3 November 2019

#WeekendWritingWarriors #SnippetSunday - The Matchmaker's mare - Evan is not amused!.


Hi folks, I'm continuing snippets from the draft of my current 'work in progress' a fantasy novel 'The Matchmaker's Mare' which takes place in Wales. The  story is told from three p.o.vs. and two time-lines. Today's excerpt is again in Glyn's P.O.V. 

(This is only a rough draft to give the gist of the novel, and is subject to change and edits - and improvement on the wonky punctuation needed  to adhere to the ten sentence rule!)


Don't forget to visit the other authors at the link below, there's something for all tastes.





                                            Snippet Sunday Facebook  Group












SNIPPET

(Summary: Megan, new to the village, is delivering some medication to her neighbour, and finds him having a problem with a pony his employee, Evan, was trying to ride.  This is a few sentences on from last week's snippet)





A very rough working cover
“You sure you’re okay Evan,” the horse dealer’s voice held a note of concern.


“I’ll live,” the other man growled, “there’s not many horses get the better of me, I can tell you.”


Evan held the gate for the man to walk through, as Evan slapped the mud from his clothes. 

“Little devil,”he said, adding a few more choice swear words, “I’m bloody sure she chose the most churned up patch in the ring on purpose.” He glanced across at Megan, “Sorry Miss, the little bugger—I mean beggar—got my goat she did, indeed.”


Megan grinned at him to show she hadn’t taken offence—She'd actually heard much worse if truth be told.


“Well, you’d better go up to the house and get cleaned up while I attend to our visitor here,” Evan nodded to his boss, and turned toward the rambling, ivy-covered farmhouse.
  
Thank you, Miss Johnson,” Glyn said over his shoulder, as he slammed the gate shut and the corners of his eyes crinkled in a manner she found fascinating, “as you say, it will save me a trip in the morning.”


“It’s not a problem, she said, smiling back, “this place is on my way home as it happens.” She looked across to the paddock where the mare, still wearing her saddle and bridle, stood happily cropping the grass like a quiet riding school pony, “you seem to have something of a problem there though.”









For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join


Thursday, 31 October 2019

Can you see the Devil in the Welsh Lady's Shawl - Salem Painting







Halloween is upon us,  so I thought I'd tell you a creepy story about a well known Welsh painting, and a few Welsh traditions which I found on The Welsh Book Shop's blog.

I love the Welsh Gift Shop and often purchase gifts  from their large selection of lovely items,from there, for friends and family . This is their website:
 https://welshgiftshop.com 

In Wales, Nos Galan Gaeaf (Halloween) is celebrated the day before Winter (Calan Gaeaf - 1st November) it is a 'Ysbrydnos' - a night when the ghosts and ghouls are rife.

Have you heard about the Salem Painting?  It is a depiction of Welsh piety, an illustration of traditional Welsh costume and, if you look closely, you might see  a portrait of the devil himself!
Salem Welsh Lady Painting

The 1908 painting by Sydney Curnow Vosper is called Salem as it is set in Capel Salem in Pentre Gwynfryn, Gwynedd (nothing to do with the witch trails of the 17th century)

The Welsh lady is Siân Owen, a real person. She was 71, a widow, and lived in an isolated farmhouse. Siân died in 1927 and is buried in Llanfair churchyard, near Harlech.
There are a few hidden meanings to spot in the painting.

Can you see the ghostly face in the window? Whilst the artist denied he had deliberately painted the devil - he did admit to adding this spooky character
    
Her bright shawl is in contrast to the modest dress of the congregation. Perhaps this highlights the sin of vanity. Did she made a fashionably late entrance to show off her shawl? The Devil himself! See how to find him in the below diagram by Wales Online:
Reproduced with permission
With thanks to Becca Hemmings of the Welsh Gift Shop - see her original post here:  
https://welshgiftshop.com/blogs/welsh-gift-shop/see-the-devil-in-the-welsh-ladys-shawl-salem-painting?


Here are some ancient Welsh traditions:

Avoid churchyards, stiles, and crossroads, since spirits are thought to gather here.

Families would build a fire and everyone would add a stone with their name on it. The following morning, if any of the named stones were missing, that person would die within the year. Imagine the sleepless night hoping your name would remain!

Legend has it that terrifying spirits in the form of a black sow without a tail and a headless woman would roam the countryside on Nos Galan Gaeaf. Keep indoors in front of a roaring fire and you should be safe!

Never look into your mirror on this night, or you might see witches and demons in your sleep!

Don't touch or smell the ground ivy - as it will make you see hags or witches while you sleep! It could also give you the power of prophetic dreams if prepared correctly; Boys would cut 10 leaves of ivy, throw one away and put the rest under their pillow. Girls would have to grow a rose, train it around a large hoop, then slip through the hoop three times before cutting the rose in perfect silence and placing it under their pillow (a bit tougher for the girls!)

In Glamorgan, tailors were associated with witchcraft. They supposedly possessed the power to ‘bewitch’ anybody if they wished!*

 With thanks to Becca Hemmings of the Welsh Gift Shop 

*(Hmm, a lot to be said for High Street Stores, perhaps.)


HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!





For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Sunday, 27 October 2019

#WeekendWritingWarriors #SnippetSunday - The Matchmaker's mare, continued...


Hi folks, I'm continuing snippets from the draft of my current 'work in progress' a fantasy novel 'The Matchmaker's Mare' which takes place in Wales. The  story is told from three p.o.vs. and two time-lines. Today's excerpt is again in Glyn's P.O.V. 

(This is only a rough draft to give the gist of the novel, and is subject to change and edits - and improvement on the wonky punctuation neede to adhere to the ten sentence rule!)


Don't forget to visit the other authors at the link below, there's something for all tastes.





                                            Snippet Sunday Facebook  Group












SNIPPET

Megan parked up and walked across the yard, just in time to see the pony’s wild display of temperament, and cringed inwardly, wondering why anyone would voluntarily work with such dangerous animals.


A dark-haired man who looked to be in his early thirties, leaned over the gate of the schooling paddock. He turned his head toward her as she approached, and smiled, and she took in twinkling brown eyes like liquid brown chocolate, under a shock of dark, wavy hair and a tanned, good looking face. That was something of an understatement -  the man was gorgeous!

 “Mr Phillips? I’m from the vet’s. I was just passing, so I thought I’d drop this prescription in for you, save you having to pick it up in the morning,” she said,  trying to draw her attention away from those eyes, and handing him the package.

He tucked it into his pocket and took the hand she  proffered, in a firm handshake. “That’s very kind of you, thank you, my old dog will be grateful if this helps ease his arthritis.” He straightened up and looked back toward the schooling ring. “Excuse me just one moment, I just need to make sure Evan’s all right.”







For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join