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 'Snippet Sunday' every week and 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 and nominated for the RONE Award 2017

I'm 'guesting' on Darlene Fredette's blog today, I'd love you to come and say hello, if you have a moment.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Happy St David's Day!


I make no apologies for being unashamedly patriotic today

MARCH THE FIRST IS ST DAVID'S DAY!

I have put my Welsh flag up in the garden and am wearing my daffodil.  For the first time in several years there are even daffodils out in my garden - in recent years they haven't appeared until later in the month.

(The leek is also a traditional Welsh symbol worn on this day, because St David is said to have ordered his Welsh soldiers to wear leeks in their helmets when they went into battle against the Saxons,but the daffodil is prettier and doesn't smell so strongly! :) )

ST DAVID'S DAY TRADITIONS
Many people outside Wales don't realise that St David's Day is as important to the Welsh as St Patrick's Day is to the Irish. Each year, the annual St David’s Day parade takes place on 1st March,  in Cardiff. A colourful parade takes place in the city centre. There will be parades across the whole of Wales including in Aberystwyth in Cardiganshire) my hometown, and in  Caernarfon,  Llandudno and Wrexham, plus a variety of St David's Day Celebrations in Bargoed, Blackwood, Caerphilly And Risca Town Centre.

The day is also commemorated with children taking part in concerts called 'Eisteddfods'  in schools or village halls.

FOOD
Cawl
A variety of traditional Welsh food is eaten, in particular, cawl, a clear soup,made of course,with leeks as a prime ingredient, eaten with bread and cheese. Its meat content varies with the region. Where I come from, which is mountainous sheep country, it  is always  lamb or mutton, but it can also be fish, bacon or sometimes beef. The broth or soup also includes potatoes, carrots, and other seasonal vegetables.

Welsh cakes
Then there are Welsh cakes, a kind of scone,  rolled out as a dough with currents, and baked on a griddle or 'bakestone'and  absolutely delicious served hot with butter, and just as good cold, sprinkled with a little sugar, then there is bara brith, a malty fruit cake made with tea, cut like bread and spread with butter,  and Welsh rarebit, toast covered with rich cheese sauce made with beer and seasoned with Worcester sauce, then poured onto the toast and grilled until bubbling.

Traditional Welsh costume

ST DAVID
So who was St David. and why March the 1st?
Well he died on that day in 589AD.

Dewi (the Welsh form of David) was born to Welsh nobility in the late fifth or possibly early sixth century.  The Anglo-Saxons had invaded Britain by that point and had driven most of the inhabitants into what was known as the Celtic Fringe: Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany.

He was educated in Cardiganshire and then went on pilgrimages, founding religious centres across Wales and England, including one at Glastonbury. He even travelled as far as Jerusalem, where he was made an archbishop.

He eventually settled at Glyn Rhosyn (now St Davids), in south west Wales, where he established a religious community. Many miracles have been attributed to him.including causing the ground to rise beneath him when preaching so that everyone could see and hear him.

When David died he told his devoted followers to: "Be cheerful and keep your faith and belief, and do the little things that you have heard and seen through me."

His remains were buried at the Cathedral of St Davids in Pembrokeshire. It became a popular place of pilgrimage and  two pigramages to St Davids were said to equal one to Rome and three equalled one to Jerusalem.

THE RED DRAGON
To end with I thought I'd tell you why the red dragon (Ddraig Goch) appears on the flag of Wales.  You might be surprised that it relates to the Arthurian legends.

King Vortigern came to the mountains of Eryri, in Gwynedd. On the summit of one of these, which was then called Dinas Ffaraon, he decided to build a fortress.

Then the king sent for artificers, carpenters, and stonemasons, and collected all the materials for building. In the night, however,they all disappeared. Materials were procured from all parts a second time, but a second time they disappeared in the night. A third time everything was brought together for building, but by morning again not a trace of them remained.

Vortigern called his wise men together and they told him he must find a child born without a father, put him to death, and sprinkle with his blood the ground on which the citadel was to be built.

The king thought the advice of his wise men was good and sent messengers throughout Britain in search of a child born without a father.When they eventually found one, they took him to Vortigern the king.

The boy asked why he had been brought before the king and when they told him he was to be sacrificed to enable Vortigern to build a fortress, he told the king his wise men were wrong and that there was a pool beneath the ground where they were trying to build. In the pool were two vases and in the vases a tent.  in the tent were two sleeping dragons, one white and one red.

The dragons fought each other, and the eventually the red one one the battle and drove the white one away.

The boy told the king and his wise men that the pool was the emblem of this world, and the tent that of Vortigern's kingdom. The red dragon was the king's, but the white serpent was the dragon of the Saxons,  At length, however, his people would rise and drive the Saxon race beyond the sea. But he must seek another place to build his citadel.

The boy's life was spared. He became famous as the great magician Myrddin Emrys , or Myrddin ab Morfryn (Merlin, as he is called in English), and the mountain on which he proved his mighty power was called  Dinas Emrys instead of Dinas Ffaraon.  Thereafter the red dragon became the symbol of Wales and is portrayed on the Welsh flag.


Friday, 28 February 2014

Fathoms Of Forgiveness - Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast

Fathoms of Forgiveness
By
Nadia Scrieva

BLURB:  

Meet the brave and fearless Visola; a woman unlike any you've ever encountered. Her wit and humor take
her through the darkest of dangers with a smile always on her face--and her smile only grows larger as the odds become more impossible. With no concern for her own safety, Visola dives headfirst into the throes of battle to protect the people and country she loves, even if it means facing her worst enemy--the one man who can get inside her head and break her down like no other: her own husband...


Excerpt

When Visola awoke, she realized with a start that she was not alone. The warmth of another body s

o close to hers had made her sticky and uncomfortable, and she was quite sure that it was not a puppy cuddled up against her back. No, as advertised, it was one of Aazuria’s half-naked, well-muscled, exotic men indigenous to the Southern Continent. She groaned, and slammed her elbow backwards into the man’s stomach, shoving him away from her with disgust. He hit the floor with a loud crash and an oof as the wind was knocked out of him. At least I have a story to tell Sionna when we get home, she thought to herself. She snuggled back down happily between the sheets. Then it occurred to her that she was no longer on the beach.

He hit the floor? Visola frowned and opened her eyes. She saw the wooden patterning of her bedroom wall on the ship. This confused her as she had not remembered returning to the boat. She had brought a Yawkyawk man back to the ship? What had she been thinking? What about Aazuria? Visola was reminded of the fact that she should never party, because she always partied too hard. Was it really worth ruining days or weeks of her life over one night of pleasure? Pleasure that she could not even remember, for that matter.

The man she had accidentally shoved off her bed made a grunting noise. She turned over to face him, and propped herself up on her elbow so that she could speak to him in sign language.

“Please leave my room immediately,” she told him. Even as she commanded this, she observed his features and physique. He was wearing trousers, but unclothed from the waist up; she was surprised by her evidently impressive subconscious taste. She kept her face stern, and did not betray that she found his appearance pleasing. “I was drugged last night, and I apologize for anything I said or did, but I do not remember any of it, and I did not mean any of it. You must leave immediately or I will employ force to remove you from my quarters.”

The man rubbed his head where he had hit it on the floor. “God almighty, are you always this grumpy in the morning?”

“I am not gru…” Visola froze. He had spoken in English. With a thick British accent. She noticed his fair skin and precisely groomed black hair which was swept back into a small curled tail. “You are not a Yawkyawk man,” she said slowly.

“No,” he said, yawning.

“You’re King Kyrosed’s new advisor.”

He nodded, closing his eyes and stretching sleepily. “I tried to explain that to you last night, but you were convinced that I was a bird.”

“You swine!” she yelled. She pounced on the man, and punched him in the face viciously. “You scoundrel!”

“Now hold on a moment,” he said, grabbing her wrists. He was surprised to find that he could not easily subdue her. “You’re being a tad judgmental.”

Visola straddled him and forced his hands above his head, pinning them there with one hand before punching him in the face again. “I was delirious! I was drugged! I expect you to know better—you are civilized!”



AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Nadia Scrieva lives in Toronto, Canada with no husband, no kids, and no pets. She does own a very attractive houseplant which she occasionally remembers to water between her all-consuming writing marathons.



Contact Information
Website: www.NadiaScrieva.com 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NadiaFans 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NadiaScrieva 
Blog: http://nadiascrieva.blogspot.ca/ 


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

BlindMercy- Why Violetta Rand loves history - and the Vikings. Giveaway and Guestpost



Prizes for the tour are as follows:
• One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.


I'm thrilled to have Violetta Rand As my guest tday - I asked her to tell us somethng about her latest book 'Blind Mercy', Over to you, Violetta:

Many things attracted me to Vikings. I’ve been in love with history for ever. As a highly imaginative child, prone to telling tall tales, reading and writing came naturally. Of course what I read and wrote is another story. It started with sneaking peeks at my eldest brother’s collection of Conan the Barbarian comic books and developed into a full blown obsession with heroes. What’s more compelling than a warrior’s tale?  Combine romance, action, and a touch of mysticism and I’m hooked—in a big way.

Lacking any central authority during the early raids, Norsemen seized this opportunity and often returned from pillaging in glory and wealthier than they ever dreamed. Commoners became princes, men of reputation and honor. That’s where I draw inspiration. All Vikings sought one common end—a seat at Odin’s table in Valhalla.

Imagining the glories of Asgard, the heavenly realm where Odin and his children lived, made it easy to develop my latest hero, Tyr Sigurdsson (Blind Mercy). Tyr might appear the typical Alpha at first glance, but he’s not. Born in Scotland, he chooses to return to his Norse roots and follow in his father’s footsteps. Life would have been so much easier in Scotland.

Tyr differs greatly from his siblings. He’s not a Christian. Odin speaks to his heart; and so does the temptation to be a true warrior.

Blind Mercy offers a glimpse into the turbulent life of a Viking who gives his heart to a woman he’s not supposed to love.

Blind Mercy opens up at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (September 1066), the moment some scholars consider the end of the Viking age. However, it’s widely accepted that this battle simply forced the Vikings to reinvent themselves. Two of my favorite historians (Somerville and McDonald) say it best, it might be more useful to think in terms of several Viking Ages rather than a single Viking Age.  They base this observation on Scandinavian roots and history. Where the Vikings settled and how their culture took hold in different countries.

Here’s a quick overview of the battle (Britain Express)…
When Edward the Confessor died he left no direct heir, and the throne of England passed to Harold of Wessex. Harold's brother Tostig influenced the legendary Viking warrior, King Harald Hardrada of Norway to invade England.
While a second claimant to the throne of England, William of Normandy, labored to launch his own invasion fleet, the Norwegians sailed by way of the Orkneys and landed at Riccall, near York with a force probably numbering 10,000 men.

Harold had been well aware of the dual threats to his new kingdom, and he called out his levies. These were free men from the shires who owed two months of military service each year. By September the two months were up and rations were low, so Harold reluctantly released these irregular troops. This left him with a trained force of about 3,000 mounted infantry known as house-carls. When the news came of the Norwegian landing, Harold quickly marched his men north by the old Roman road known as Watling Street.

The Earls of Northumbria and Mercia, Morcar, and Edwin, advanced their men from York and met Harald Hardrada at Fulford on September 20. The experienced Norwegian commander completely routed the earls, depriving King Harold of valuable allies for the fatal battle with the Normans which lay ahead.

The Norsemen appointed Stamford Bridge as a meeting place for an exchange of hostages with the city of York. The confident victors of Fulford were relaxing in the meadows surrounding this crossroads 12 miles from York when to their shock they saw a fresh Saxon army streaming up from the South.

Well, perhaps "fresh" is too strong a word, for Harold had just pushed his men an amazing 180 miles in 4 days, and they were doubtless exhausted. The Norsemen were caught completely off-guard; most had discarded their mail shirts and helmets in the hot sun. They were soon to pay for their carelessness.
Unfortunately, this war cost the Norwegians dearly. With their sovereign dead, command of Norway was split between his two sons, Magnus and Olaf. But we’ll save that for another tale!

Blind Mercy
by Violetta Rand

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

The Sigurdsson family legacy continues…

A woman who prayed for a hero…

Orphaned at a young age, Rachelle Fiennes prayed for a hero to rescue her from her tragic life in England. When her only kinsman goes missing after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Rachelle braves the aftermath of the battlefield to find him.

A man who lost everything…

Damned by the gods for surviving the bloodiest defeat in Norse history, Jarl Tyr Sigurdsson is still determined to get home. Hiding until nightfall so he can escape to his ship, his dangerous endeavor is disrupted when he’s accidently discovered by a beautiful Saxon.

Brought together by war, Rachelle and Tyr face many obstacles. Can sworn enemies find peace through love, or will fate be cruel?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Excerpt 

Since the first day they’d met, Tyr had been embroiled in strife and violence. Standing in this holy place, he seemed vulnerable, almost normal. Only once before had she seen this level of tenderheartedness in him. The degree of compassion he showed his deceased brother when he prepared him for funeral rites still haunted her. Of course, what man wouldn’t be moved by such tragedy? This was decidedly different. Baffled by this transformation, she watched him closely.

“I thank you for this kindness.”

He embraced her. The motivation behind his touch had changed, she felt it.

“I swear on this holy ground, I’ll never hurt you again,” he said.

He’d pledged it before. Could she be foolish enough to believe again? Didn’t he understand she couldn’t get past the fact he was holding her for ransom? Could she ever really forgive him for deceiving and shaming her? Caution did little to help her cause. Jolts of lust shot through her. It felt wonderful to be touched by him; but as welcome as those feelings were, they must stay hidden forever.

“I want to believe you,” she said.

He tipped her head upward. “I make no promises I can’t keep,” he assured her. “If there’s anything I can do to ease your pain, ask me.”

She remained silent. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind, a place existed where happy thoughts thrived. She pictured how it would be if he dropped on his knees and declared his love. All of this was quickly swept aside.

“I’ll leave you now,” he announced. “My men are aware of your situation and will not disturb your observances. When you are ready, they will escort you back to the house.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Violetta Rand holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and a master's degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

 Violetta has been "in love" with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.

http://violettarand.wordpress.com/

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Violetta-Rand/578321415528848

https://twitter.com/ViolettaRand

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