All posts by V.M.Sang

I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.

Roman Mosaics

I have recently returned from a holiday in Greece. While there, I visited Ancient Corinth. (Well worth a visit, especially if you are a Christian. You can see the very place where St Paul was tried for preaching Christianity.)

There is a small museum there where they show some of the things they unearthed while excavating the site. Amongst them were some mosaics from Roman villa floors. They are beautiful, and I thought I’d share them with you. I thought it pertinent at the moment because of the pre-order of Vengeance of a Slave. Adelbehrt, the slave of the title, is taken to a Roman villa where there would have been similar mosaics decorating the floors.

This was on the wall of the restaurant in the National Archeological Museum in Athens.
A mosaic in the museum at Ancient Corinth.
Detail of the above mosaic.
A more complete mosaic in Corinth
A pastoral scene from a floor mosaic in Ancient Corinth.

These pictures should give an idea of the beauty of the floors in the Roman villas.

Vengeance of a Slave is now on pre-order. You can order it from Amazon by clicking here. It is due to be released on December 26th. If you would like to have a pre-order copy so you can review it as soon as it is released, please contact me on vivienne.sang@gmail.com

I can provide pdf, mobi or epub, but not ‘real’ books as it has not been released yet.

I will be delighted to receive any comments in the comments box.

Adelbhert is only six years old when he is forced to watch his father and other men from his village being crucified in revenge for an attack on the Roman city of Mogontiacum.
Then he and his little sister are taken as slaves. They are sold to a merchant who takes them to the distant and mysterious island of Britannia. Here he is treated like a pet until he grows up and is no longer a pretty child.
His experiences make him hate the Romans and he resolves to escape one day and have revenge. but his hatred is eating away at his soul.
Will he get the chance to escape, and if so, can he remain free? And how can one young man take on the might of the Roman Army and win?

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Eating Meat to become illegal?

I’ve just read an article suggesting that meat-eating should be made illegal and a new crime of ecocide be put on the UN books.

Now, I’m not against that. The rearing of meat, especially in intensive conditions, no doubt does impact greatly on the environment. Not only on climate change, either.

These intensive farms are purely for economic reasons. The owners can argue all they like about how they aren’t impacting the welfare of the animals, but I saw, last night, a programme that mentioned the rising cost of pork in China. It showed a clip of pigs in what was described, in the case of veal, as crates. The animals would be able to lie and stand, but not turn around. Each crate housed only 1 animal.

Quite apart from the cruelty of this, surely in such intensive conditions, disease must be much easier to transmit. This will mean an increase in the use of antibiotics to alleviate this

Confused Words

The other day I was listening to the radio when I heard someone say “The FA is loathe to act on this.”

It struck me that she actually meant ‘loth’.

Loathe is to dislike intensely.

Loth is to be reluctant to do something.

There are many words that people mix up. Often they sound similar. Here are a few more I’ve heard recently.

Cowed/Cowered/Coward.

Cowed: Intimidated.

Cowered: Crouched in fear.

Coward: Someone who lacks bravery. Faint-hearted.

Averse/Adverse.

Averse: Opposed, disinclined or unwilling.

Adverse: Contrary. Hostile

Procedure/Proceedings

Procedure: Mode of conducting business.

Proceedings: An action or conduct.

I would be interested to hear any other word confusions you have heard recently. Please post your comments in the comments box

Pre-Order.

I have just got an email saying that Vengeance of a Slave is now on pre-order. The release date is 26th December.
You can ensure you get one of the first copies by clicking here.

It is available on Kindle and as a paperback. You can post reviews on the paperback site, but not on the Kindle one until the release day.

All reviews will be gratefully received. They are very important to get an author and his/her books into the public eye. In fact, some sites don’t allow promotion without a review.

This book is my first foray into historical fiction. It took a lot of research and hard work. I hope you enjoy it. Personally, I think it’s my best one to date.

Don’t forget the date DECEMBER 26th.

Forced to watch his father’s crucifixion and separated from his mother, orphaned six-year-old Adelbhert’s life forever changes when he is sold into slavery in Britannia.

Years of servitude fill his heart with malice and he resolves to escape, determined to rescue those he loves and deliver retribution to the Romans who wronged him.

But as new allies shed light on old perspectives, Adelbhert begins to question his path. Will he find true freedom, or allow his vengeance to consume him?

Carthinal 6

 

Reminder: After the fight with the Green Fish Gang, Carthinal’s gang, The Beasts, discover The Wren, Carthinal’s pickpocket partner, is missing. the Rooster, the leader of the gang, sends Carthinal and The Cat out to search for her.

Carthinal left with The Cat to search. “I think th’ guard caught ’er,” The Cat said. “I ’ope not. Th’ penalty fer killin’ is death by ’angin’.”
“But we don’t know she killed anyone.”
“There was a fight. Folks got killed. She was in the fight, so they’ll blame ’er fer killin’.”
Carthinal frowned, a sadness filling his indigo eyes. “Come on, then. First place to look is the jail.”
“We can’t go ter th’ jail, Fox. They’ll ’ave us in there as soon as we appeared.”
“Do you want to find Wren? If not, I’ll go myself.”
“Nah! I’m comin’ wi’ yer. I’m usually a lucky bloke. You have luck too, Fox. Mayhap our combined luck’ll ’elp us find Wren.”
The pair neared the jail and paused.
“I’ll climb onto th’ roof an’ see if I can find anythin’ out. There’s a chimney I can listen at.” The Cat sprinted around the side of the jailhouse and began to climb. Carthinal hid in a doorway opposite, chewing his fingernails. Soon The Cat returned.
“They’ve got ’er, alright. They’ve got a couple o’ Green Fish, too. Put ’em in th’ same cell, they ’ave. By luck, th’ Green Fish ’aven’t started on ’er. Not yet, anyway.”
“How can we rescue her without the Green Fish, too? In fact, how can we rescue her at all.”
The Cat thought for a moment. “If we can some’ow get th’ guards out o’ there, I can slip in an’ pick th’ lock. ‘Ow t’ stop th’ Green Fish gettin’ out, too, I’ve no idea.”
Carthinal pressed his lips together as he walked towards the jailhouse. He must rescue Wren. She was his partner, yes, but more than that. He was unsure quite how he felt about her. He was, after all, in terms of human life, just a boy in his early teens.
He passed through the door and found himself in a single room. On his left were two cells, and a table stood immediately in front of him. A guard leaned back on two legs of the chair with his feet propped on the table. He had his eyes closed. Carthinal drew in a breath. It was the guard who had thrown him out of Gromblo’s offices.
He turned to make a rude comment in order to get the guard to chase him but he heard a voice. “Fox!”
The voice came from the second of the two cells. Carthinal looked and saw a pair of hands gripping the bars of the door.
At the sound of her voice, the guard opened his eyes. “It’s you! Kendo Brolin’s grandson. What are you doing here?”
Carthinal swallowed the words he was about to say and looked at the guard with eyes wide.“You believe I’m his grandson?”
The guard nodded, “There was something funny about that death certificate. And there aren’t too many red-headed half-elf kids about.”
“Then why didn’t you help me? Why didn’t you expose him?”
“Grondin has friends in high places. It would have been dangerous to try. Besides, he made it worth my while to keep quiet.” He swung his feet down. “How come you know this girl? She called you Fox. Are you with The Beasts now?”
Carthinal glanced towards the cell door and did not answer.
“You know there’s a warrant out for any of The Beasts or Green Fish?
Wren called out from her cell. “There’s always a warrant for us. What’s new?”
The guard stood and walked towards the cell. “You keep out of this. There’ll be a rope for you.”
Carthinal thought quickly. How could he get the guard to release The Wren? He had an idea. “You said you knew the death certificate Gromlo showed you was forged. That means you knew he swindled me out of my inheritance, yet you did nothing. You took his bribe and left me to starve on the streets. I was lucky enough to fall in with The Beasts and that’s kept me alive.”
The guard looked at him through narrowed eyes. “What are you saying, boy?”
“I’m saying it would be hard on you if your superiors found out. Even after a year, they would still not take a good view of a guard taking a bribe.”
“You go to the bosses and they’ll arrest you before you get one word out.” He smirked at Carthinal.

The boy replied, “But if they got a letter, they wouldn’t know who it came from, would they? They’d have to investigate, and you would be dismissed. What would you do then?”
The guard laughed. “And who will write a letter? All you street kids are illiterate.”
“Are you so sure about that? Aren’t you forgetting who my grandfather was? He sent me to school.”
The guard blanched. “What do you want?”
“I want my friend released.”
“And how will I explain where she’s gone?”
“You’ll think of something. Now, give me the keys, and you go and stop those Green Fish from breaking out when I unlock the door.”
The guard picked up the keys, but before handing them to Carthinal, he turned to the door.
Carthinal jumped in front of him and drew his knife. His nostrils flared and his eyes blazed “Oh no you don’t! You’re not going to run out on me.”
The guard put up his hands. “I’m just going to lock this door, then if those thugs make a run for it they can’t get out. I’ll get them back into their cage then unlock the door for you and your friend.”
Watching closely, Carthinal held onto his knife and kept it pointed at the guard’s throat as he locked the jailhouse door and went to unlock the cell.
The Wren rushed out, followed by the two Green Fish. The guard tackled one of them, bringing him tumbling to the ground. The youth rolled over on top of the guard and looked like being able to overpower him, but the guard bucked and threw him off. As luck would have it, he banged his head on the wall of the cell and lay still.
Carthinal and The Wren took on the other youth. He was a big young man, but Carthinal threatened with his knife and as he approached, The Wren stuck out her foot and gave him a push. He stumbled enough for Carthinal to finish his fall and sit on top of him. He held the Green Fish’s long hair and pulled back, holding his knife at the other’s throat.

”Now go back into your cell like a good boy,” Carthinal said with a smirk, “or I might forget I’m a nice person.”
The guard dragged the first youth into the cell, and the second went in quietly, looking all the time at Carthinal.
“They’ll end up on the hangman’s gibbet, no doubt,” the guard said. “Now get out of here before I have second thoughts.”
Carthinal grinned. “You won’t. I know too much about you.”
He and Wren left the jailhouse and met The Cat outside. “What kept you? I thought you were goin’ in ter lure th’ guy out.”
“Long story, Cat, but I found a better way to do it. I’ll tell you on the way back to HQ.”
Wren reached up and kissed Carthinal on the cheek. “Thank you for rescuing me.”
He blushed. “I…it was nothing. You’re my partner.”
The Wren smiled.

***
Another year passed. Carthinal had been with The Beasts for just over two years. There had been many more fights like the one with the Green Fish. Other gangs tried to take over the Beasts’ territory. It was the best territory in Bluehaven, having the market. Carthinal learned to fight with his knife and usually came away with few injuries.

“The luck of the elves,” The Wren told him.

His relationship with The Wren deepened, and soon they shared a room. They were a good team, too, and The Rooster was proud of the way they never failed to get a good haul when they went out to pick pocket.

It was the spring equinox, Grillon’s Day and the first day of spring when they went out, not to pick pockets, but to watch the entertainers in the square.

Grillon’s Day was a day of celebration all over Grosmer. First, there was a service in Grillon’s Grove outside the city. Most people went there or to his temple in the city. Here the priests gave thanks to Grillon for past productivity and fertility. He was the god of the wild and wild things, and beloved by hunters, but because his day was the first day of spring, everyone worshipped him on this day. All except the gangs.

After the services, people came into the towns to feast and be entertained, then in the evening, there was dancing around the bonfires, after which couples sneaked away into the woods. Any children born after this celebration were not considered illegitimate, but thought of as Grillon’s children.

This year, a magician was billed to be appearing, and Carthinal and The Wren got to the square early. They stood hand in hand waiting for the show to begin.

It began with dancers in the centre of the square, then a group of singers appeared. Clowns and people on stilts followed . The stilt walkers began to dance and the audience clapped, cheered and threw money into the arena. A man dressed in a clown’s costume with a bucket, picked the coins up and then went round the crowd shaking it for people to add more.

A woman brought her dogs into the space and they ran around seemingly at random at the beginning, but then she began to play a flute and dance. The dogs followed her movements and soon they were all dancing, weaving around each other. That brought more cheers, and people threw money again. The same clown picked it up and asked for more from the crowd.

Finally the magician appeared. He wore a deep blue robe with stars and moons printed all over it. He had a hood pulled up over his head so no one could see his face. He waved his hands around in the air and appeared to pull coins out of the air.

“I wish I could do that,” whispered Wren. “We’d no longer have to steal to make a living. We’d be rich.”

“I don’t think it’s real magic, though,” Carthinal replied. “If he could conjure coins, I don’t think he’d be here doing that.”

The magician approached the crowd. He reached out his hand and seemingly pulled a sweetmeat from behind a small boy’s ear. He handed it to the child who immediately put it in his mouth and grinned.

This went on for some time, until Carthinal began to feel a prickling all over his skin. He scratched.

“What’s wrong?” Wren asked. “Got fleas?”

Carthinal shook his head and watched the magician carefully. He was muttering some words and a flame appeared on one of his fingers. Still muttering, he made it jump from one finger to the next.

The next thing he did, Carthinal felt nothing, then he felt the prickling again. This time the man held a globe of light that changed colour as he moved it around. He threw it into the air and it turned blue, then disappeared against the sky.

This went on for some time. The crowd loved it, especially when the magician conjured bursts of coloured lights in the sky. All this time, Carthinal’s skin prickled.

After the show, as the pair walked back to the headquarters, Carthinal said, “I think some of that was real magic. Not all of it, of course, just some of it.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Didn’t you get a prickling of your skin when he did certain things?”

Wren shook her head. “No, Nothing. Why?”

Carthinal looked down at her. “Doesn’t matter. I thought it was interesting, that’s all.”

Was it real magic, and can Carthinal sense when it is being used?

Please leave a comment in the comments box. and tell me what you think of this story.

If you would like to find out more about how Carthinal turns out and his later adventures, you can do so by reading The Wolves of Vimar Series. Just click on the book covers in the side bar to go to its page on Amazon, wherever you are.

Another Promotion

I apologise, but I only just checked schedule dates. The Stones of Fire and Water, Book 2 o Elemental Worlds, is only £0.99 or $0.99 until 27th of this month! If you got Book 1 in the last promo, you might like to get Book 2 now, but HURRY. You’ve only got till Friday!

Pettic has got the gems of Earth and Air, and solved the problems of the people in order to find them. Now he has to enter the worlds of Fire and Water. what will he find? Will the worlds be composed entirely of those elements? If so, how can he manage not to be burned to a crisp or drowned? Dangers abound for the young man, and time is of the essence.

The Year on Vimar

thewolfpack1

As I said in my previous post about Time on Vimar, the planet where The Wolves of Vimar series takes place, I have always been curious about how and why our times on Earth are as they are. In the same way I puzzled about why days begin in the middle of the night, I also wondered about the years.

We begin our year on the day we call January 1. Why this particular day? There seems to be no reason I can see. It’s not the winter solstice, or any other obvious astronomical event. Early people would have used nature and the movement of the sun and moon to work out their seasons. It is believed that Stonehenge was a mighty astronomical clock since it lines up with many astronomical events. (I may do a post on it sometime, It’s quite fascinating.)

To me it would seem much more natural to begin the year at one of the equinoxes. They are, after all, a time when the daylight and darkness are equal and the balance between them begins to change.

When I began to plan the year on my imaginary planet, Vimar, before I populated it with the people whom you can read about in the books, I planned how they would decide to organize their years. (I had to do it without them as I’d not created them yet. I apologise if they disagree!) So here is what I did with it.

From early times, it was known that the planet Vimar took almost exactly three hundred and sixty days to travel around its sun, the people divided this into twelve months of thirty days each. This number, and the three hundred and sixty days in the year meant that the number six took on a significance, and so they further divided each month into five ‘weeks’ of six days each. This was called a ‘sixday’.
The months are unrelated to moon phases as the planet has two moons, Lyndor and Ullin, each with a different cycle, but the study of the moon phases has become important as they are believed to indicate something of the future, both for individuals and the world as a whole.
The year is deemed to begin at the Vernal Equinox when life begins to spring anew, and each of the twelve months is named after one of the gods of Vimar. The first month of Grilldar is called after the god Grillon, god of nature.

The months are as follows:

Season                       Remit of God                       Ruling God

Spring

magnolia-trees-556718_1920

Grilldar                                                    Nature                                                       Grillon
Kassidar                                                      All                                                            Kassilla
Zoldar                                                  Knowledge                                                        Zol

Summer

leaves-291024_1920

Candar                                              Weather and Sea                                           Candello
Sylissdar                                           Life and Healing                                              Sylissa
Allendrindar                               Persuasion and deceit                                     Allandrina

Autumn

autumn-3186876_1920

Pardar                                                Agriculture                                                   Parador
Rothdar                                    Mining and metalworking                                     Roth
Bardar                                                     War                                                             Barnat

Winter

eiskristalle-1938842_1920

Bramadar                                 Marriage and the family                                      Bramara
Majordar                                                  Magic                                                          Majora
Khaldar                                  Death and the underworld                                      Khalhera

 

I would love to hear your comments on both how we on Earth have organized our years and about what you think of the World of Vimar’s organization. Please add your comments to the comments box.

Hurry. Don’t be late.

Starting from tomorrow, September 16th, The Stones of Earth and Air, Book 1 of Elemental Worlds, will be available on Amazon for the amazing price of $0.99, or £0.99.

This offer is only available until 20th, so make sure you don’t miss it.

The Stones of Earth and Air is the first part in a two book series called Elemental Worlds.

When Pettic notices changes in the behaviour of his best friend, the Crown Prince of Ponderia, he sets out to discover what has happened. He finds that the prince has been kidnapped and replaced by a doppleganger.

In order to free the real prince and prevent the cruel substitute from ascending the throne in due course, he must enter the four elemental worlds of Earth Air, Fire and Water and find four gems that act as the key to the prince’s prison. In each world he finds he must perform a task to help the people of that world, and he cannot escape back to his own world without the gem.

But if he manages to free the prince, how can he distinguish him from the impostor and convince others which one is the true prince?

Get your copy by clicking on the cover of the book in the sidebar.