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!

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 and nominated for the RONE Award 2017

Friday, 1 November 2013

And the winners are...

I hope everyone had fun at Halloween and enjoyed all the brilliant Blog Hops that were going on. I took part in three of them and thank you so much to everyone who took part, left comments and followed this blog. I chose the winners by 'Random Generator' to make sure it was fair and there were no spells left in my witches hat, and the following are the winners.
http://0.tqn.com/d/webclipart/1/0/Y/f/hplin1.gif - 3.3 K


 
SNARKOLOGY PARANORMAL BLOG HOP

Mer
(black cat crystal earrings)

http://0.tqn.com/d/webclipart/1/0/Y/f/hplin1.gif - 3.3 K
 
Halloween Blog Hop - Flash Fiction and Prizes! 
HALLOWEEN FLASH FICTION

Emily

($10 WRP Gift Card)
http://0.tqn.com/d/webclipart/1/0/Y/f/hplin1.gif - 3.3 K
 
TRICK OR TREAT BLOG HOP -


Meghan
 (Download of 'Dancing With Fate' or one of my other books)



CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners! I hope you enjoy your prizes.
 I'll be contacting you by email soon.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Trick Or Treat Halloween Blog Hop


31st Oct
Snarkology Paranormal Blog Hop
For the Snarkology Blog post click HERE
 or see post below
Whoops! Sorry folks, my little dog is ill and I've been so worried about it, I clean forgot about the Blog Hop today.

Thanks to author Francine Howarth for organizing this spooky event. I'm also taking party in the Snarkology Paranormal Blog Hop, so why not take a look at the post below as well if you fancy winning EVEN MORE PRIZES!


Anyway. on to 'Trick Or Treat''. I'm promoting my Greek Muse novella 'Dancing With Fate' for Halloween this year.  Here is a different excerpt to the one on my SNARKOLOGY post.  This novella was first published as part of the Wild Rose Press's 'Song Of The Muses' series and when I regained my Rights to the story I self published it and it is available from Smashwords, or as a Kindle or Paperback edition on Amazon.

BLURB
When Terpsichore, the Greek Muse of Dance, is assigned to revisit 5th Century Wales, and help the people regain their love of dancing, her task seems simple enough. She is unaware there is a hidden agenda. Before she can return to Olympus her path crosses that of the mysterious Myrddin, and her heart is lost.

But Myrddin is promised to another. His mind is set on the dangerous task that lies before him, and the woman he has sworn to save. Nevertheless, he cannot deny the growing attraction between him and the beautiful stranger he meets along the way.

Terpsichore and Myrddin face a deadly force that threatens to part them forever. She seems destined to lose the only man she has ever truly loved. Finally, when all seems lost, in desperation she finds herself DANCING WITH FATE.

EXCERPT
She peered into the shadows at the side of the throne. They were there. Klotho, the youngest, fair hair piled on top of her head, spun the thread of life. Lakhesis, middle-aged but still comely, measured the thread with her rod, and decreed the quality of each life. The most fearsome of all, the ancient Atropos, cut the thread with her shears. Each snip meant a mortal met his death. Terpsichore drew a deep breath. Please. Let me not be too late, let his thread be still uncut.

Atropos looked up, sheers poised. “‘Tis one of the young muses, Terpsichore. If you come seeking Zeus, you are too late. He is not here.”

“Thank you, I know he’s not. It’s the three of you I wish to speak to.”

Something like a cackle escaped the old crone’s lips. “Indeed? It is rare for anyone to come looking for us, especially the muse of dance. Would you not be better inspiring mortals instead of bothering us at our labor?”

“Oh, let her speak, Mother,” Lakhesis broke in, not for an instant taking her eyes off the thread she measured. “Terpsichore, what do you want with us child?”

Terpsichore drew herself to her full height. She would not allow Atropos to intimidate her. “I wish to ask a favor. I am willing to pay.”

“Pray, what have you that would be of value to us?” Atropos interrupted.

“What—what would you wish me to give?” Terpsichore asked, realizing she trod dangerous ground. She shrugged inwardly. No matter. She would give anything, even her immortality, if only Myrddin could live.



DANCING WITH FATE - Available from AMAZON  or SMASHWORDS
http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk  


You'd much prefer a treat wouldn't you.  So use your imagination to ask me for a treat and I'll put your name in the hat to win Dancing With Fate or one of my other two books Starquest or Children Of The Mist if you've already read it,

These are all the other blogs taking part in this event:
1. Francine  9. Denise Covey  17. Susan Hanniford Crowley  
2. Marie Laval  10. Grace Elliot  18. Stephen Tremp  
3. NancyJ  11. Gilli Allan  19. Hywela Lyn  
4. N. R. Williams  12. Alison Stuart  20. Iyana Jenna  
5. Alison Morton  13. Mary Pax  21. Vala Kaye  
6. Karen Aminadra  14. Natalie-Nicole Bates  22. Yolanda Renee  
7. Lori Crane  15. Douglas Boren  
8. Derek Birks  16. Anna Belfrage  







Monday, 28 October 2013

Snarkology Paranormal Blog Hop

Snarkology Paranormal Blog Hop

Welcome to the Flightdeck.  We've dressed the place up with spiders webs and pumpkins just for Halloween and The Snarkology Paranormal Bloghop! So ... help yourself to something strange and sparkling from the replicator and prepare to be scaaaaaeeeeerd.  (Manical laughter is heard from somewhere behind one of the control panels and red eyes glow in the semi darkness - the starship has pretty good sound effects -  or is it really haunted?) 
 scary red eyes
 An eerie glow lights up the bulkhead and a glittering message gradually forms - it says:
 
 (And there will be news of prizes to follow, so read on...)

As often happens when I take part in this type of event, my thoughts turn to my homeland, the Principality of Wales, so for the  Snarkology Paranormal Bloghop, I thought I'd tell you a little about the origins of the traditional Welsh Halloween in days gone by.

All Hallow’s Eve, also known as Ysbrydnos (Spirit Night) or Halloween, has its roots in the pagan tradition, called Nos Galan Gaeaf,  which is Welsh for 'the first night of winter', or Samhain, which is a Gaelic word meaning ‘Summer’s End. November 1st was considered to be the start of the New Year, the date on which the herds were returned from summer pasture and land tenancies were renewed. The Welsh word for November is Tachwedd  which means 'The month of slaughter' because on the 1st November, after the harvest, it was also time to cull the livestock. The prime animal stock were selected and would remain to be wintered over to the forthcoming spring. The remaining stock were slaughtered to supply the meat over the coming winter months.
 
The Celts dressed in animal skins and made Jack O lanterns from turnips (pumpkins were unknown until brought to Britain from America) to ward off evil spirts. Sometimes they wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the spirits believed to be present. In time witches, fairies, hobgoblins, and demons came to be associated with the day.


Halloween, was a time to remember the dead,  when their souls were believed to return to visit their homes.  In folklore these spirits were believed to congregate at crossroads and stiles and these were strongly avoided. On this night, gifts of food were left out for the dead, or a place laid at the table for them.

Bonfires, or Coelcerth, would be built on hilltops, to frighten away evil spirits, and from which each villager would light their  hearth fires  for the winter. Stones with names on would be cast into the fire, and if someone found the theirs the following day, it was considered good luck. However, if the stone with one's name on was missing it was a portent of death! As the fire burned down,and the darkness returned, the villagers would run back to their hearth to escape  the nwch ddu gwta, a demon in the shape of a black, tailess sow.

Halloween was thought to be favourable for foreseeing such matters as marriage, and death.An unmarried girl would throw the peel of an apple over her shoulder and whichever letter it most resembled would be the initial of the one she would marry. Another custom involving apples was 'bobbing for apples' where young folk would try to grab an apple from a tub filled with water, using their teeth.

Another tradition connected with the end of the harvest at Nos Galan Gaeaf,  was the 'harvest mare' or caseg fedi. This was a 'corn dolly' formed from the very last sheaf of corn, and  would eventually take pride of place above the fire hearth as a sign that all the corn was gathered in. The women would have been preparing the harvest feast as the harvest finished. The men would throw their reaping hooks at  The Mare and the one who was first to hit it would have the honour of bringing it into into the house with much merriment and jollity, past the women who would attempt to prevent its entry by trying to soak the mare with water, while the men did their best to keep it dry until they had entered the house with it. If successful, the reaper who had brought down the mare and carried it in would be rewarded with beer, if not he would have to sit at the end of the table in disgrace.

These days most of these customs have largely died out, replaced by the more modern ways of celebrating Halloween, although some, like 'bobbing for apples' still remain.

Because Halloween is associated with spirits and demons, I thought I'd end with a short excerpt from my fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate', which is set in 5th Century Wales and features the scary Ellylldan, Goblin Fire.



The glowing red sparks appeared a few hours before dawn. Terpsichore looked across to where she could just make out Myrddin, lying close to the fire, apparently asleep. She stood and wrapped her brat around her shoulders. What unearthly lights were these? In the name of Hades, she had never seen anything like this before. She watched them as they advanced and retreated, advanced and retreated. They seemed to beckon to her. She walked forward a few steps. 
This was not natural. She sensed evil, but of a kind she had never come across before. 

She tried to turn her head, to look away and move back to the fire. Some force compelled her to keep staring at them, to move forward. Further and further from the campfire she wandered. The air grew chill and she pulled her brat more closely around her. The flickering lights gyrated in a wild dance, inviting her to follow them. Dawn was approaching. In the dim early morning light, she could make out demon faces, red glowing eyes, hands outstretched, with flames at their fingertips. 

She recoiled in horror. Somewhere in her subconscious, she knew she was in deadly danger, but still she moved forward. They summoned her to follow and she could not help but obey. She tried to call to Apollo, and her father, but her mind was numb. She could reach no one on Olympus. 

“Myrddin!” No sound came from her lips. Still, a strange unearthly power obliged her to walk forward toward those eerie, mesmerizing points of light.

The ground grew soft beneath her feet. Cold mud oozed between her bare toes. The further she walked, the deeper the mud became; eventually, she realized she was up to her waist in chill, muddy water, and she was powerless to turn back, or even to move any more. 

“Zeus, oh, Father, please help me...don’t desert me now.” For the first time in her immortal  life, she knew fear. These creatures of nameless evil had her trapped. They would drag her down to the underworld and she would never see Olympus or her family again.


Then strong arms encircled her, swung her round. 

“Cora, look at me.” She gazed into two pools of azure blue, filled with concern, and a pale face set in resolve. Still she had an irresistible urge to look at those weird, flickering lights. She turned her head, and at the same moment, there was a flash like lightning. The ground behind her burst into a wall of blue flame. It blotted out everything, engulfing the demon lights and the hideous forms that a moment before had lured her onward. 

“Look at me. Look at me...don’t look back again.”
 Before she could reply, he swept her up and carried her back toward the campfire.

Eos in her chariot had started her journey across the sky and the pearly light showed their camp and the two horses grazing nearby. Never had anything looked so welcome. Never had Terpsichore felt so safe in a man’s arms.

He set her down, near the fire, and wrapped his own brat around her. He wore only his truis, and was bare-chested. “You’re trembling, you’ll catch your death of cold...but that would be better than the fate which almost befell you.”
DANCING WITH FATE - Available from AMAZON  or SMASHWORDS
http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk  


YOU CAN FOLLOW THE OTHER BLOGS PARTICIPATING IN THIS EVENT BELOW:

     CONTESTS     

BLOGHOPWIDE GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY IS A $60 AMAZON GIFT CARD 
Rafflecopter entry below
a Rafflecopter giveaway and my this is my Halloween 'trick or treat' prize:

Black cats are synonymous with Halloween, and when I saw this gorgeous pair, I just couldn't resist them! These delightful Charm Drop Round Black Crystal Cublic Zirconia Sexy Cat Bead Dangle Sterling Silver Earrings are perfect for Halloween but nice enough to wear on other occasions too.

To be in with a chance for winning please follow my Blog then leave a comment mentioning that you are following me  and at the end of the Blog Hop I'll put all the comments in my witch's hat.  Because these earrings will be quite light to post, the contest is open to everyone wherever the live! If you already follow my blog, just leave a comment to that effect and I'll make sure you're entered too.  I had to re-do my blog a month or two back, so I'm hoping to regain some followers since all my other ones disappeared!


Good luck!

And if you're still in the mood for blog hopping, don't forget to visit http://kmnbooks.blogspot.co.uk/ where I'm featured today on Karen Michelle Nutt's blog with a short story specially written by me for Halloween - and you could win a $10 Amazon Gift Card just for leaving a comment.