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'.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Fly Twice Backward - Book Tour and #Giveaway


I'm so pleased to be able to have another guest author on my Blog today, especially one who writes in my favourite genre, Science Fiction - it's been a while! Sit back and enjoy learning about David S McCracken and his new release:

Fly Twice Backward
by David S. McCracken
Genre: Alternate History, S.F. 
(Don't forget to enter the Giveaway at the end of this post, and follow David on his tour.)
 
 

 

You wake back in early adolescence, adult memories intact, including ones that could make you very wealthy now. Your birth family is here, alive again, but your later families are gone, perhaps forever. What has happened, what should you do about coming problems like violence, ignorance, pollution, and global warming? You realize one key connects most, the fundamentalist strains of the major religions disdaining science, equality, and social welfare. You see that there are some things you can
change, some you can’t, and one you don’t dare to.
 

Fellow idealists help you spend your growing fortune well--such as an artistic

Zoroastrian prince in the Iranian oil industry, a rising officer in the Soviet army working to find a way to destroy his corrupt

government, a Bahai woman struggling against Islamic brutality, a Peruvian leader working for a liberal future, and a snake-handling Christian minister, grappling with doubts, sexuality, and destiny. They are supported by an ally who develops essential psychic powers. The group faces familiar-looking corrupt politicians, religious leaders, and corporate czars, but there is an ancient force in the background, promoting greed, violence, hate, and fear.




David McCracken was born in Louisville, KY, in 1940. Raised mostly in Winchester, KY, he now lives in Northern Virginia, with his third and final wife. He has three children, two stepchildren, and six grandchildren.

After three years in the U.S. Navy following a lackluster academic start, he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1963, in Diplomacy and International Commerce. He then worked as a Latin American country desk officer in the U.S. Department of Commerce until he returned to school to earn an M.A. in Elementary Education in 1970 from Murray State University, having always been intending to teach. Eventually realizing his children qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his own teaching salary, he studied computer programming at Northern Virginia Community College and worked as a programmer until shifting back into elementary teaching.

He began working on what became Fly Twice Backward in 1983 and finally finished it in 2019! At 79, David strongly doubts he'll be doing another novel of such scope and complexity, but is preparing to work on a children's science fiction novel with a progressive bent, being a devout progressive in politics and religion, as well as a lover of learning.





Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon










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

Monday, 14 September 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends - King Arthur's awakening

Hello my lovelies, 

I hope this finds you still safe and well. Here in my part of England, we survived a minor earthquake at the beginning of the week, no damage and no-one injured, thankfully. I'm going back to my native Wales for another legend, this time featuring King Arthur.

Somewhere in the beautiful peaks of Snowdonia, King Arthur is said to lay sleeping with his knights, awaiting the call to return, at a time when the world has need of them.  This place is said to be the mythical Avalon, and their sleeping forms guard a great treasure in gold. Many people have searched for the gold and this is a tale of one of them.

A Welshman visited London, after selling a herd of good Welsh Black cattle. He carried a hazel staff, and as he walked over London Bridge, he saw a man staring at his staff. After a while the man asked him where he came from and he replied that he had travelled from Wales, although he wondered why the man was so interested. "Don't be offended," said the man, but if you can remember where you cut that stick, it could be to the advantage of us both, for there is treasure buried near that place."

It gradually dawned on the Welshman that the man might be a sorcerer, and although unsure whether he should trust him, eventually allowed himself to be persuaded to show him the place.

They journeyed together to Wales, and the Welshman, pointed out an old hazel tree. "This is where I cut my stick."

"Then we must dig," said the sorcerer. Eventually they dug down to a broad, flat stone. Together they managed to prise it up, and found some steps leading downwards. At the bottom of the steps, they walked along a narrow passage until they came to a door, which they opened, to see before them  a great cave, dimly lit. The first thing they came to was a bell. "Do not touch that bell," warned the sorcerer. As they looked around the cave the Welshman saw many knights asleep. Each one was clad in shining armour, a steel helmet  on his head, and a gleaming shield on his arm. The sword of each was in his hand. The King held in his hand, below the hilt,  a mighty sword with scabbard and haft of gold studded with gleaming gems; on his head was a crown set with many precious stones. He too slept. On the floor was a huge mound of precious gold.

"Are they really asleep?" asked the Welshman, hardly believing his own eyes.

"Yes, all of them. The King is Arthur himself and they have been sleeping for over a thousand years," answered the sorcerer, "but if you touch that bell, they will all awake.

They swiftly gathered as much of the gold from the treasure mound as they could carry, but as they left, the young Welshman stumbled against the bell, and the sound reverberated throughout the cave. As soon as it rang, the warriors leapt to their feet. Arthur demanded "Who rang the bell? Has the day  come?"

 The sorcerer shouted back ," No, the day has not come. Sleep on, Arthur the Great."

The sorcerer hurried the Welshman out of the cave, moved the stone back to its place, and vanished.

The Welshman tried many times to find the way back to the cave again, but although he dug over every inch of the hill, he never did find the entrance again.


If you like to listen to a book rather than read it, there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE, and there are plenty of other free listens available too.)

GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

https://www.freeaudiobookcodes.com/book/4911f918-9db3-4733-867a-53e015ec3192




(If you have a free audio book you'd like me to mention, just leave a comment with an email addy so I can contact you)





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

Monday, 7 September 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends The tale of Manadden and the mouse

 Hello my lovelies, I have another Welsh myth for you this

Harvest Mouse ORIGINAL Watercolour Painting, Realistic Wildlife Art, Cute Mouse

week, with a much less threatening creature than some I have featured.

The lord Manadden, who had been campaigning in Ireland, returned to Narbeth in mid Wales, to find his lands had been usurped. After a while, he met and fell in love with Rhiannon, the widow of Pwyll, and the goddess of horses, and soon they were married. 

Some time later, a fierce storm rose up and the land was covered with mist. When it cleared they saw that the countryside was deserted. All the animals, cottages and people had vanished. 

He and Rhiannon's grown up son, Pryderi, set out to discover what had happened and came across a deserted castle with a golden fountain. When they touched the fountain, he and Pryderi were instantly struck dumb, Rhiannon arrived in search of her son and husband and she too was stuck dumb. Then, with a sound like thunder, the castle and  Rhiannon and her son vanished. Manawdden was stricken with grief and turned his back on the land, to earn his living as a shoemaker in Hereford, but he was so good at cobbling that angry competitors threatened to kill him and he went back to Narbeth where he bought some land and settled down to the life of a farmer. He was as good a farmer as he had been a cobbler, and at harvest time he had three large fields of best quality wheat ready to be cut. "I will reap this to-morrow," he said and early the next morning went out to reap the first field. When he came there he found nothing but the bare straw. Every one of the ears of the wheat was cut from off, and all the ears carried away, leaving nothing but the straw. This also happened to the second field. He went to the third field and it was also ripe and he vowed to watch over it and catch the thieves red-handed.

At midnight there was a tremendous roaring sound and there appeared the largest hoard of mice ever seen, far too many to be numbered. Each mouse climbed up the wheat stem and bending it down with its weight,  cut off one of the ears of wheat, and carried it away, leaving just the stalk, then they all left taking the ears of wheat with them.

He rushed after them in a rage, but they all escaped except one, which he caught  and put  in his glove, tying the opening with string, and returned home. Then he went to the Gorsedd (a  Bardic throne) of Narberth, taking the mouse with him. And he set up two forks on the highest part of the Gorsedd, intending to hang the mouse.  While he was doing this, a scholar, dressed in rags, came toward him, and enquired what he was doing.

"I am hanging a thief that I caught robbing me," he replied.

"But it's only a mouse, set if free," said the scholar. He then offered him a pound to set the creature free but Manawyddan refused. "I will not let it go free, he said. "It is a thief and will pay the penalty for stealing."

Then a priest on a fine horse rode up and offered Manawyddan three pounds if hewould let the mouse go, but again he refused.

Then he noosed the string around the mouse's neck, and as he was about to draw it up, a rich bishop rode toward him, with a retinue of packhorses and servants, and again bargained for the mouse to be set free. He eventually raised the price of the mouse's release to twenty four pounds, together with all the pack horses and the their loads. Still Manawyddan refused, and the bishop asked what he wanted to reprieve the mouse. When Manawyddan insisted on knowing the truth, the bishop told him that the mouse was his wife. who was with child, hence her inability to run fast enough to get away, and he was a mage and the one who had cast the charm in revenge for the bag-trapping trick Rhiannon had pulled on the man who had wanted to marry her, many years ago. He'd turned his servants and the villagers into mice to strip the wheatfields, and his wife and ladies of the court also asked to be turned into mice, to join in the destruction of the harvest.

Manawyddan demanded that Rhiannon and Pryderi should be set free, and  the illusion of the castle be removed. He also elicited a promise that there would be no vengeance taken either on him, Rhiannon or Pryderi, that he would never cast a spell over the land again and that Rhiannon and Prederi immediately appear before him.

Llwyd agreed and as his wife and stepson came toward him, Manawyddan at once released the mouse.Then Llwyd struck her with a magic wand, and she was changed back into a beautiful young woman.

"Look around upon your land," Llwyd told him "and you will  see it all tilled and the people and dwellings restored.

And so it was. 

 

FREE AUDIOBOOKS


If you like to listen to a book rather than read it, there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)

GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

https://www.freeaudiobookcodes.com/book/4911f918-9db3-4733-867a-53e015ec3192




(If you have a free audio book you'd like me to mention, just leave a comment with an email addy so I can contact you)


 

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

Monday, 31 August 2020

Welsh Myths and legendary creatures - The Dormarth

 Heaven's Gate, courtesy of Hubble telescope

Hi everyone, I hope you're still staying safe and well. Back to mythical Welsh creatures this week - have you heard of the Dormarth?



The Dormarth (sometimes called the dormarch) was a hound belonging to Gwynn ap Nudd, who was the ruler of Annwn, a sort of Welsh mythical heaven. This legendary hound had two front legs and then its body narrowed, ending  in three fish like tails. Gwynn was responsible for escorting the souls of the dead slain in the 'Wild Hunt', from the battlefield, to the gates of Heaven, and was helped in his search for them by the Dormarth. 

Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture I liked of the Dormarth, so I thought I'd show you this beautiful picture of the 'Heaven's Gate' instead. (Courtesy of the Hubble telescope.)

FREE AUDIOBOOKS


If you like to listen to a book rather than read it, there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)

GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

https://www.freeaudiobookcodes.com/book/4911f918-9db3-4733-867a-53e015ec3192




(If you have a free audio book you'd like me to mention, just leave a comment with an email addy so I can contact you)


 

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


Monday, 24 August 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends - Devil's Bridge

Hi everyone, I hope you're still staying safe and well.

As a change from rather scary Welsh creatures, this week I thought I 'd turn to a rather more light hearted tale - the legend of Devils's Bridge. I have featured this before but if you haven't heard it before, I think you'll enjoy it - and if you have, I hope you don't mind me repeating it. It's one of my favourite Welsh legends.

I used to live near a well known beauty spot called Pontarfynach, or Devils Bridge. It is really three bridges, built over a spectacular and beautiful waterfall, which rages down into a deep pool known as the Devils Punchbowl. The first bridge was built by the Monks of Strata Florida, (where the Holy Grail is reputed to have been hidden for a while) in 1075. In the 18th Century it was deemed to be unsafe, and a second bridge was built, over the first. The third bridge being built over that in 1901. I thought it would be nice to share the legend of how the first bridge was built:
 

An old woman had a cow of which she was very fond, and which provided her with all the milk she needed. Early one morning she was distraught to find that the cow had somehow managed to cross the river and was now grazing on the bank the other side. The old lady looked at the swirling river and wondered how she would be able to get her cow back. “What the Devil can I do now?” she asked aloud.

At once there was a smell of sulphur and a cloud of thick smoke, out of the middle of which appeared Old Nick himself! “You called?” he smirked. The old lady was made of stern stuff, and after a moment’s hesitation, she explained her predicament. Satan grinned wickedly. “That’s easily sorted,” he said craftily, “I can build you a bridge – but it will cost you.”

“How much?” the old lady asked uneasily. “Oh nothing much, just the soul of the first living thing to cross the bridge,” the Devil stated cunningly, knowing full well that she would have to cross the bridge herself to get her cow.

 “Done!” said the old woman. The Devil waved his arms and there, spanning the falls, was a beautiful new stone bridge. The Devil laughed nastily, “Now for my payment he said smugly. The old lady was not as na├»ve as she appeared. She put her hand into her apron pocket and drew out a crust of bread which she had put there for her breakfast, and threw it across to the other side of the bridge. Immediately her little dog ran across the bridge and gobbled it up.

Satan knew he had been outwitted, the soul of a dog was of no use to him; he scowled furiously and disappeared in an even bigger cloud of foul smelling black smoke than the first, and was never seen in those parts again. The old woman crossed the lovely new bridge, and having retrieved both her cow and her dog, made her way home, humming softly to herself. The bridge still remains, to this very day. (Although two later bridges have been built above it, and today it has the usual tourist trappings.)

You'll rarely see the Devil in Wales these days, local folk say he's too embarrassed to show his face!


FREE AUDIOBOOKS


If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)

GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

https://www.freeaudiobookcodes.com/book/4911f918-9db3-4733-867a-53e015ec3192




(If you have a free audio book you'd like me to mention, just leave a comment with an email addy so I can contact you)


 

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

 

Monday, 17 August 2020

The Gwiber of Penmachno

 Hello my lovelies

I hope you're well and keeping safe. Continuing the series on Welsh mythical creatures, we're returning to the water again this week with the tale of how Wibernant (or the valley of the gwiber) near  Penmachno, got its name.

The word "gwiber" translated from the Welsh means viper or adder but centuries ago the word actually meant flying snake . This creature was similar to a dragon but not like the Graig Goch, the famous red Welsh dragon, being more serpent-like and legless.

The valley was terorised by a unique creature which was the only one in Wales that could live on land and under water. It preyed not only on the fish in the river, but also local livestock and on anyone foolish enough to cross it path.

The villagers offered a large reward to anyone who could kill he beast. A young man dcalled Owen Ap Gruffydd decided to try his luck at killing the monster.

He decided to seek the advice of a a local wise man,  Rhys Ddewin. "The gwiber is a huge winged snake, its body is slimy and it has a foul odour. It will bite you and kill you," the old man said grimly.

The next day, Owen decided to visit the wise man again . He disguised himself as a beggar, and told the old man he was about to face the gwiber, hoping to get a more favourable prediction. "You are brave but very foolish," Rhys told him. "You not succeed and will fall and break your neck."

Still not discouraged, the next day, Owen paid a third visit to Rhys, this time disguised as a miller, wearing a miller's apron and with flour on his face. He told Rhys he intended to do battle with the Gwiber. Again, Rhys told him he would not succeed and would die by drowning.

At this, Owen pulled off his apron and wiped his face in frustration, and asked Rhys to explain how he could give him three different predictions about his forthcoming fight with the Gwiber. Rhys merely smiled sadly and  said, "Time will tell".

Owen decided the old man was either senile or  just mistaken or lying to him, and bravely set off down the steep, rocky slope toward the river in search of the gwiber, swiping at the undergrowth with his sword, and yelling to the gwyber to show itself. 

All at once there was a rush of wings, a foul stench, and the moster swooped down from the sky, Before Owen could draw his sword against the beast, it pinned his arms to his sides and bit his neck. Dizzy from the odour and loss of blood, Owen lost his footing on the slippery rocks. . As he fell, he smashed into another rocky outcrop that snapped his neck, before  plunging into the river below, and drowning.

When his lifeless body was discovered shortly after, Owen's friends swore vengeance and set off kill the Gwiber. Eventually they found the Gwiber asleep on the river bank and let loose a hail of arrows that severely wounded the creature. With a blood-curdling scream, the gwiber plunged into the river and was never seen again. Some say, however, that the Gwiber’s eyes can still be seen looking up from the depths as you walk along the river bank.


FREE AUDIOBOOKS


If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)

GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

https://www.freeaudiobookcodes.com/book/4911f918-9db3-4733-867a-53e015ec3192




(If you have a free audio book you'd like me to mention, just leave a comment with an email addy so I can contact you)


 

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