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.

An Extract from Vengeance of a Slave

Adelbehrt was taken as a slave at six years old by the Romans. His new owner took him to Britannia, far away from his homeland. Here he grew up as a house slave, but never lost his resentment towards the Romans for his capture. He nurtured an idea that he could escape and return to his home village and find his mother once again.

But this was not to be, and although he did escape, he had to change his name and pose as a Britain. He is now known as Ailbert and has recently arrived in a village near to Eberacum, as the Romans called the city we now know as York. He has made a friend and has confessed that he would like to help get the Romans out of Britannia.

This extract tells of the first meeting of some hot-headed young men intent on rebellion.

As the sun began to set, Ailbert made his way to where Rhodri told him the young men were meeting. As he approached, one young man of about eighteen looked at Rhodri and asked grufflysaid, “What’s he doing here? He’s a stranger. We don’t know if we can trust him.”

“Come on, Rees,” Rhodri replied. “He can be trusted. I know he hates the Romans as much as the rest of us.”

Rees turned to Ailbert. “Rhodri says you hate the Romans. Tell us why.”

Ailbert looked at the other young man and began to chanted his litany of hate.

“They crucified my father; they took my family away from me; they took my home from me; they took my friends from me; they took my country from me; they sent Odila to a brothel; they treated me like a pet animal; they sent Avelina to a brothel; they took our names from us; they made a slave of Maeve; they tortured and killed an old woman for helping us; they made us flee from our new village; Tt: they took Awena’s chosen man from her.”

Upon hearing this, all nine of the young men gathered round the well stared at Ailbert. This litany could not have been made up on the spur of the moment, so they knew some of it at least must be true.

Gareth, who appeared to be their leader, then said, “It seems you have a great deal to hate the Romans for. You can join us if you wish. We’re planning an attack of some kind. It would be great if we could stir a full rebellion, but I don’t think the older men would join us. We need to decide what kind of things we can do to disrupt the Romans as much as possible, and even kill a few. If we cause enough trouble, then maybe they’ll decide it’s not worth staying here and go away.”

“Boudicca nearly succeeded in the south,” put in Ailbert. “Unfortunately, the Romans came back from Mona before everything had settled down.”

“And perhaps Venutius would have had some success if Cartimandua hadn’t been so difficult. If she’d fought the Romans with him and Caractacus, perhaps we wouldn’t be under Roman rule now,” someone said solemnly solemnly.

Gareth looked around. “Now, how are we going to fight the Romans? Perhaps we could send a message around the other settlements, asking people to join us. Then, when we’ve gathered enough men, we could fight a battle that we could win.”

“We’d need thousands, Gareth,” Rees stated from the back of the group. “How are we going to get so many?”

“When people hear about our proposed rebellion, then they’ll come, I’m sure.”

“No, not enough, Gareth. We can’t fight the Romans. Have you seen their organisation? That’s the reason we’ve never won against them. This meeting is a waste of time. The Romans are here to stay and we’ll have to get used to it.”

“Don’t be so defeatist, Rees,” said another voice piped up. “There must be some way we can fight them.”

As Ailbert had been listening to this, he’d had been thinking all the time. He then spoke with an idea that had been going round his head. “You’re all good hunters and are successful in killing your prey. Why is that?”

Silence fell as the young men looked at him and wondered what this had to do with attacking the Romans.

“We all know how to be stealthy and to hide. We only shoot when the animals are confident and not easily spooked.”

Rees said, “This is all nonsense. Hunting has nothing to do with raising a rebellion against the Romans. I’m out of here.”

“Wait, Rees!.” Ailbert’s voice was firm and confident. “Hear what I have to say before you go.”

Rees turned settled down again with a humph and a mutter no one else could make out.

“You’re all successful hunters because you know your prey. You know where they’ll be and when. Then you hide so you can’t be seen, and shoot from cover. The animals don’t know what’s happened. This can be used against the Romans.” Ailbert looked to the back of the group and his eyes found those of Rees. “I agree, Rees. We can’t fight them out in the open and so I propose we hunt them instead.”

Ailbert was surprised when a round of cheering erupted.

Then Gareth spoke. “Ailbert has some excellent ideas. I suggest we make him our leader in this. I couldn’t have come up with a plan like that.”

They greeted this suggestion with another round of cheers; and in this way, Ailbert found himself the battle leader of a group of young hotheads who wanted to fight Roman soldiers.

Until Thursday, March 4th you can get Vengeance of a Slave from Amazon for only 0.99 ($ or £). Don’t miss out on the chance to find out if Ailbert and his friends are successful against the Romans.

Here’s a review the book got on Amazon.

R. J. Krzak, Award-Winning Author
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Story Set in Roman Times

Vengeance of a Slave by V.M. Sang is a riveting story set during the period when Rome controlled Britannia. Follow the trials and tribulations of Adelbhert after he and his sister are taken by the Romans from their mother. They eventually end up as slaves in what is modern-day London. Adelbhert performs a nightly ritual to remind himself of the suffering he and his sister have endured, beginning with the crucifixion of their father. He vows to escape and punish those who have wronged him.

V.M. has created a moving story which will keep you turning the pages to find out how Adelbhert and his sister handle their new life. Experience their sorrow, anguish, and finally hope as they adapt to their changing situation. This is the first novel I’ve red of V.M.’s and it certainly won’t be the last!

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the last post

I am feeling sad. I have read Sue Vincent’s post that she entitled The Last Post.

If you don’t know Sue, you have missed knowing someone who is a wonderful person. Her blogs have opened up much of both historical Britain, and that inner light that shines still from her.

Not for much longer, though. She was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and, brave as she is, carried on posting her wonderful posts, writing her beautiful poems and even writing poetry from her ‘small dog’ Ani.

Now it seems a light is going out in the world.

This may be the final post that I get chance to write for the Silent Eye… that decision has been taken out of my hands. I spent much of last week in hospital, having, as many of you know, been diagnosed with incurable small cell lung cancer last September. It has been an interesting and informative journey on so many levels as familiar things have been stripped away and a gift of love left in its place… rather like the tooth fairy leaving something of real value in place of a discarded incisor.

First to go was the illusion of near-immortality that gets us through life, one way or another. We know there is a certain inevitability about life leading to death, but we tend not to apply it to ourselves until we are forced to pay attention.

Continue reading here

cartimandua, queen of the brigantes

I think most people will have heard of Boudicca and her revolt against Roman occupation of Britain, but how many have heard of Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes?

Here is a bit of what is known of her life.

Image by Jo-B from Pixabay

The Brigantes were a Celtic tribe that lived in the North of England. Their territory covered what is now Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Northumberland and a little bit of Derbyshire. It was a large territory.

There is little if anything written about how she came to be Queen of the Brigantes, but it is assumed that she was of the Royal family and inherited her position. She was in fact the granddaughter of King Bellnorix. which would give her a claim to the throne.

She was married to a man called Venutius, and when the Romans came in 43 AD she became one of their client kings. The Roman policy was to put a local king in place. This had the dual purpose of letting the people think they were being ruled by their own and of helping secure the territories without having to commit many troops of their own. A clever tactic!

However, in 51 AD, a man named Caractacus, who was leading the resistance to Rome , was defeated in battle. He went to Cartimandua to ask for sanctuary, but instead of granting it, she put him in chains and handed him to the Romans. She gained much wealth as a reward,

This turned her people against her, and when she divorced her husband, Venutius, and married his armour-bearer, Vellocatus, this angered them even more.

Venutius used this anger to incite rebellion against his former wife, and made alliances with other Celtic tribes to invade Brigantia. The queen was lucky, though, and narrowly missed being captured thanks to the intervention of the Romans, who came to the aid of their client monarch.

Venutius waited until 69AD when Rome was in turmoil after the death of Nero. There came a period known as ‘the year of the 4 emperors’ when civil war raged in Rome. The Romans could not afford to send help to Cartimandua.

Cartimandua fled to Deva (Chester) and there she disappears from history. What happened to her? Perhaps there’s a story to be written here. I must think about it.

Thanks to Historic UK, Wikipedia and English Heritage for the help their websites have given me for this post.

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From next Sunday, 28th February, for a limited time, Vengeance of a Slave will be only 0.99 ($ or £). It is set in Britain in the area where Cartimandua reigned, shortly after her defeat.

a review of a taste of ashes (echo 2) by kent wayne

I would first warn people that this book details a battle. As a result there is a lot of violence and swearing in it. This is not a criticism, though. In a battle such as the one Atriya and his collegues are in there would be both violence and swearing.
The book takes place over one day, and has a profound effect on Atriya.

Most of us change gradually—over the course of decades. For Crusader Atriya, it will happen in a single, agonizing day. On the edge of a decaying cityscape, Atriya struggles to hold onto his identity as he faces death from both enemies and allies alike. In the process, his old self is torn away, and he catches a glimpse of what he may one day become.

Twelve hundred years ago, humanity left Earth to settle on Echo. Despite hopes for a golden age, an era of darkness fell. Government and corporations merged into the Regime. The military and police merged into the Department of Enforcement. Over half the planet is covered by crumbling cityscapes and the elite live high above, removed and remote from the greater populace on the moon-city of Ascension. Hope lies in Atriya, but before he can break the cycle of darkness and ignorance on Echo, he has to do it within himself.

During book 1, Approaching Shatter, Atriya has fallen foul of the Jury, a religious organisation.
Now he is sent on this mission to be killed. If he does not get killed during the mission, his superior officers have orders to shoot him.
He performs some amazing deeds during the battle, saving his comrades many times. Will his deeds persuade then to override their orders and allow him to live?

Wayne has built a cast of believable characters. Atriya is a man with many demons, good points and bad. He wrestles with these throughout the book during the battle. And he changes gradually during this encounter.
Clement is a thoroughly unpleasant character whom Wayne has built into a believable person. A bully and a coward. I hated him!
I did like the retrieval office, Liber, though. He had not lost all semblance of humanity as many others had. He does have some sympathy for others.

The writing is, on the whole, good. Mr Wayne builds the tension throughout the story.
There were one or two little places that grammar could have been improved, but, unless, like me, you are a member of the Grammar Police, I don’t think you’d notice. It’s not enough to warrant removing a star.
The descriptions of the battle are vivid (including the injuries and people being blown to bits). The story moves at a fast pace, as it should in such a time.

An excellent read for anyone who enjoys fast-action and adventure stories. Having said that, don’t read it before reading Book 1, Approaching Shatter.

I have awarded this book 5*

I hope you enjoy my reviews. I try to review all books I read. As an author myself, I realise how important reviews are to authors, and to readers, too, of course.

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excerpt from the wolf pack

Silently, Thadora and Fero slipped through the rapidly lightning forest until they came out on an escarpment overlooking some flatter land. The trees disappeared here, and they could see the Grosmerian plain spread before them. To the east, the hills continued to rise to meet the mountains, but to the north and west the plains began.

Tracts of forest and open countryside separated small farmsteads They could just make out the lights coming on in Roffley, a day’s journey away, as people rose to their morning tasks.

Fero held out his hand to warn Thadora to be silent. They wormed their way forward on their stomachs, and looked down from the cliff top to the plain below and found themselves about twenty feet above the plain . Below them they saw a pack of wolves.

Thadora watched the animals in fascination. They were obviously a closely-knit group, with the exception of one animal, much paler than the rest, who seemed to hold itself aloof, or the others were ostracising it. Fero whispered that she, (for it was a she-wolf, he told her) was a stranger, and probably trying to join the pack. She had not been there when he caught sight of them yesterday. Maybe she had lost her own pack. He told Thadora that pack sizes were usually between six and ten, but that ten was rare. ‘More than about eight, and one kill would not suffice, and less than six and the pack would find it difficult to hunt down larger animals like deer,’ he whispered.

He pointed out the alpha male and female to her. The alpha male was a reddish brown animal, quite large, and the alpha female was a smaller, black creature. Fero told Thadora that only these two would mate, and the others would help in the rearing of the cubs.

Another large black male had begun to sniff at the pale she-wolf. She was cautious and bared her teeth at him, at the same time, crouching down, ears flattened to her head.

Of the others, one, obviously much younger, had a reddish coat again. She was obviously one of the cubs of the alpha male. There was another black wolf, slightly smaller than the very large one, and two greyish ones, one of which was a small female and the other was a very small adult male. Fero thought that the smaller dark wolf and the greyish female were probably littermates, the way they seemed to stick to each other’s company.

They watched for some time, and Thadora became fascinated. Then the large black wolf sniffed the air as the wind gusted and changed direction. He swung his head in their direction and gave a sharp bark at which the leader turned and led his pack at a loping trot away from the cliff.

‘Damn!’ swore Fero, ‘Wind changed direction and he smelled us. We’d better get back to the others. They should be ready to leave and we’ve still got our things to pack up.’

‘Thanks, Fero,’ said Thadora on their way back, ‘But, hey, those wolves didn’t seem scary. I don’t think I’ll be such a bloody wuss as far as wolves are concerned in future.’

Fero smiled.

When they got back to the camp, they found that the others had indeed packed up, including Fero and Thadora’s things, and that Basalt had made oatmeal porridge that he said would sustain them well for their trek.

Fero and Thadora sat down and took the wooden bowls of porridge that they were handed. The group sat round eating, then when they were finished, they wiped out the bowls, tied them to their packs and were ready to leave. Fero saw to it that they had put the fire out completely before they left, and they returned to the road.

Thadora was very quiet as they walked along. She had a frown on her face. Fero hoped that what she had seen of the wolves would help her with her fear.

She came up to Fero and asked, ‘’Ow common are th’ colourings o’ that pack, like?’

‘Well now—wolves come in a range of colours ranging from very pale to black. However, the very pale coat of the she-wolf we saw trying to join the pack is not common this far south, although they are more so in the snowy north. Maybe that was why she didn’t have a pack. Sometimes albinos are turned out. However, she wasn’t a true albino. Her eyes were brown and she had some colour to her coat.’


When they stopped for a midday break, Thadora suddenly said, ‘Carthinal, that poem about soddin’ wolves that you ’ad, right? D’you still ’ave it?’

‘Somewhere in one of my pockets. I expect. Did you want me to read it?’

‘No, Mother taught me ter read, so I c’n read it by meself. She learned at Madame soddin’ Dopari’s, right? It were somethin’ th’ damn Madame insisted all th’ girls learn. Would yer lend it t’ me for a while?’

‘Of course. You can keep it. I don’t know why I’ve still got it, since it seems to have no relevance to us or our quest.’

Carthinal gave the poem to Thadora and she began to read it.

All the afternoon, Thadora kept perusing the poem as they walked. No one seemed to be able to get anything out of her, and they all thought her behaviour a little odd and out of character, but she had obviously been working something out. Fero thought she was trying to work through her fear of wolves, but Kimi had the feeling it was something more. She expressed her thoughts to Davrael.

‘I expect she’ll tell us when she’s good and ready, and not before,’ her husband replied. Davrael was a man of few words.

‘Yes, you’re right of course,’ Kimi replied, linking her arm through his. He placed his other hand over hers and smiled down at the small young woman with love. They continued in this way in silence.

Thadora did not reveal her thoughts until after they had stopped for the night. After they had eaten, she opened the paper with the poem on and began to read it aloud.

“The wolves will fight ’gainst every foe
The balance to maintain
But far and wide the pack must go
All borders they disdain.

The pack contains the strangest group,
The one whose pride comes with her
And one who slips through every loop
The wilful one, the tracker.

“The leader with his anger held,
The ones who hunt the horse
The rock that’s strong completes the meld
And makes the pack a force.

“The wolf pack’s members are filled with zest
And all do have their place
The hunt their foes with ruthlessness
Then vanish without trace.

“In times of danger all must know
The wolf pack will be there.
They work as one. They keep their vow.
For each other they will care.”

‘I think this bleedin’ poem refers to us.’

The others looked at her in surprise.

‘What makes you think that?’ queried Basalt.

‘It was, like, when I were watchin’ th’ wolves wi’ Fero. They seemed in lots o’ ways ter be like us, see. Th’ leader was a big, soddin’, reddish brown animal that made me kinda think o’ you, Carthinal, right? There were somethin’ about ’im that seemed so kinda dangerous, but hey, ’e didn’t show any behaviour to th’ others that made my feelin’ logical, see? I think it were just that ’e seemed ter be holdin’ somethin’ inside o’ ’imself, right? You give me that feelin’ too, Carthinal. An’ that, wi’ ’is colouring an’ all were what made me, like, think o’ you.

‘Then I looked at th’ others. We was all bleedin’ well there. A small black wolf, the alpha female Fero called ’er, was you, Asphodel. Small and pretty, but wi’ plenty o’ spirit you know. Then there were a damn big, black wolf that were obviously Fero. A little distant, yer know. I noticed that ’e sometimes wandered off, sniffin’ around—fer game I suppose, or danger.

‘A small reddish one, much younger than the rest were me, see, while th’ two ’oo was littermates and was always together was Davrael and Kimi. Th’ male o’ these was black too. Th’ other two were obviously Basalt, a small adult wolf, and a light-coloured female for Randa. The pale wolf were findin’ it hard ter get accepted inter th’ pack, a bit like Randa is wi’ us, like. (Sorry Randa, but it’s true, ain’t it?) Then th’ large black, Fero, showed interest in th’ pale wolf. Don’t look away, Fero. I’ve seen yer eyes on Randa when you think no one’s lookin’.’

At this comment, Fero looked embarrassed and Randa looked annoyed, but Thadora continued, ‘So I wanted ter look at th’ damn poem again, right? Here is ’ow I sees it. Th’ wolf pack in th’ poem is us. OK? I’ll ignore th’ first verse as I don’t know what that means. Th’ second starts to describe th’ wolves. “The one whose pride comes with her” is Randa. Hey, you are rather proud an’ ’aughty yer know, Randa, and th’ “one who slips through every loop” puzzled me at first, but I think it’s me. I seem to allus manage ter get away when some bleedin’ person is on me track for some damn scrape or other.

‘Now the “wilful one” I think is Asphodel, right? You told us you ’ad to leave ’Ambara because you ’ad annoyed the bleedin’ Great Father o’ th’ temple by disobeyin’ orders because yer didn’t agree wi’ them. That’s wilful! And “tracker” is obviously Fero, OK?’ She paused for breath and looked round at them.

They were all looking at her with interest.

‘“The leader” is Carthinal, right?’ she continued. ‘You seem to ’ave a ’idden anger too, Sometimes not so idden, either, Carthinal, so that fits in wi’ “with his anger held.” “The ones who hunt the horse” are Davrael and Kimi, though strictly speaking you don’t ’unt ’orses, but ’erd ’em; and finally, Basalt is “the rock that’s strong.” Basalt is, I think, a rock. Is it strong?

‘I’ve not got no further wi’ th’ meanin’ o’ th’ first verse, but th’ last obviously means that we must stick t’gether and be as a wolf pack.’

‘Maybe,’ said Basalt sceptically, ‘but it could just be coincidence, couldn’t it?’

‘I think Thadora is right,’ Randa disagreed, surprisingly agreeing with Thadora and earning a sharp look from Basalt, and a murmur of ‘Of course. Never do to agree with a dwarf!’

‘Basalt, don’t be like that,’ whispered Kimi. ‘She’s a right to voice her own opinion.’

The dwarf stopped grumbling and sat scowling to himself instead.

Randa continued, ‘Look at it this way then. We were unsure as to how many of us there should be. This poem makes that quite clear. There should be eight of us. It makes it clear who should be here.’ Here she threw a glance at Carthinal and Basalt who had been reluctant to have her in the group at first. ‘Those wolves that Thadora and Fero were watching served to jog Thadora’s mind about the poem and to set her thinking. Yes, I agree that it refers to us, and someone has put those wolves where we would see them. Everything seems to be happening rather too conveniently for it all to be accidental.’

Asphodel had been thinking as well. ‘The first verse,’ she said slowly, frowning as she spoke, ‘refers to the Balance. Some clerics believe that in order for the world to work, there must be a balance between good and evil. Just as there is night and day, so we can sleep at night and wake in the daytime refreshed for our daily tasks. We, it seems must maintain the Balance and to do so, we must cross borders and travel far.’

‘And last verse say we must “Work as one and keep our vow,” and look out for each other. Much like wolf pack. But we have make no vows, do we?’ This came from Davrael. ‘Well, not all to whole group.’ He looked at Kimi as he spoke of vows, and smiled.

‘Well, that can be remedied,’ Carthinal spoke for the first time in the discussion. ‘We have a representative of the gods here.’ He gestured towards Asphodel. ‘I’m willing to swear to protect you and treat you as the brothers and sisters I never had.’

The others agreed, and they all stood in front of Asphodel.

Carthinal thought for a few seconds and then said, ‘I think I have the words. I will let you decide if they are appropriate before we swear.’

When they had heard his thoughts, the others concurred and he said, ‘I will be as the wolves, and learn from them how to live for the pack. I will put the good of the pack before my own good, and protect the other members to the best of my ability. I will follow my destiny wherever it may lead, and through whatever dangers may befall, serving the pack and the land in all things. This I swear, and may the gods hear my vow.’

The all agreed that the words were good, and then they all joined hands and repeated them.

Then Thadora said, impulsively, ‘We are Wolf.’ and the others repeated her words.

So was born Wolf, from a group of unlikely companions, sworn to each other and to the world.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from The Wolf Pack. If you would like to read more about Wolf and their exploits, you can buy the book by clicking here or on the cover in the sidebar. It will take you to Amazon where you are.

The Wolf Pack is available in a number of different formats, including audio.

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7 Tips to Adding Fear Into Fiction

Here are some helpful tips from Charles Yallowitz on adding fear to you writing.

Even if you don’t write horror, you may want to include some fear in your stories.  From fear, we can create hope and relief.  We can also drive people into despair and sadness.  It’s a fascinating jumping point for so many stories.  Yet, one does come off a little depraved if they enjoy the manipulation too much.  Still, we’ve come this far (5.5 sentences) and might as well move on to the advice.

Continue reading here

The wolf

Wolves have had a bad press over the years. Think of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids. There are others, too. I’m unsure why this is, except that wolves were probably the main enemy when humans first began to domesticate other animals like sheep, cattle, goats and pigs.

These animals would be seen, by wolves, as easy prey, being corralled and unable to escape easily, thus the humans began to look on the wolf as an enemy.

Wolves do not normally attack humans. They are aware of how dangerous people can be. They will only usually attack if they feel threatened, or are starving.

Of course, another thing that makes me think (and this is a personal view) that wolves were not considered to be too dangerous by our distant ancestors is that they were domesticated. Our modern dogs are descended from wolves. People did not decide to domesticate such creatures as lions or bears.

Wolves live a family group known as a pack. In the pack there is one wolf who is the leader. He is known as the Alpha Male and is the only one allowed to mate. He mates with the Alpha Female, although there is often only one female in the pack.

There is a hierarchy in the pack. There is a beta wolf who comes after the alpha. He will take over the position of the alpha when the alpha dies. Sometimes he will fight the alpha and gain the position that way.

The lowliest wolf is called the omega wolf. The other subordinate wolves are below the beta and above the omega wolf. Often they have climbed up the hierarchy by fighting those above them.
The alpha male is the first one to feed after a kill. When he has finished, the beta feeds, and the omega is the last. If there are weaned cubs, they feed first.

Wolves communicate through howls. They will howl to others in their pack through affection. They also howl to indicate their whereabouts or to tell other packs that this is their territory. A howl can travel for 10 miles if the territory is right. The sound of howling wolves will send a shiver down the spine of most people. It is a wonderful and evocative sound.

During the hunt, wolves will track their prey. They prefer animals like Elk or caribou, Although they will take other large creatures like bison. A bison, though, is a dangerous creature to tackle.

Some smaller and more agile wolves will herd the prey animals. The pack will often chase their prey over many miles during which time they choose the animal they want. It will often be a sick or old creature, or a youngster.

Young wolves will often hang around watching and learning rather than taking an active part in the hunt, then, when they are old enough they know what to do.

Wolves play an important part in the ecology of an area. They help to preserve the genetic viability of the prey animals by taking those less fit. They also help prevent the prey animals from over-running an area and decimating the vegetation.

They look after their own and are gentle and loving. I suspect it’s this quality that attracted our ancestors as well as their observations as to how they hunt.

In my books, The Wolves of Vimar series, the group of friends takes the name of Wolf after they find a poem and see a wolf pack interacting.

Here is the poem:

The wolves will fight ’gainst every foe
The balance to maintain.
Though far and wide the pack must go
All borders they disdain.

“The pack contains the strangest group
One whose pride comes with her,
And one who slips through every loop,
The wilful one, the tracker.

“The leader with his anger held,
The ones who hunt the horse.
The rock that’s strong completes the meld
And makes the pack a force.

“The wolf pack’s members are filled with zest
And all do have their place.
They hunt their foes with ruthlessness
Then vanish without trace.

“In times of danger, all must know
The wolf pack will be there.
They work as one; they keep their vow.
For each other they will care.”

Next week I’ll post an excerpt from Book 1, The Wolf Pack, but if you can’t contain your excitement until then, follow the link, or click on the book cover in the sidebar to go to Amazon where you are and pick up your copy.

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Trouble on the high seas (well, canals, anyway)

Reblogged from The Diesel Electric Elephant Company.

Ian Hutson is having a bit of trouble with the authorities. It seems, that unlike the rest of us who have to stay put, those on a canal boat have to move!

He has to prove he’s move the correct amount and to do so must show pictures of where he’s been. He has produced a number of pictures, showing how silly that idea is in this day and age.

It ought to be said, just so that it is noted, dire pandemic utterances from government notwithstanding, not even withsitting, that like other folk, I do not simply move my boat until C&RT cry ‘Halt! That’s enough for today’, then moor up and then stay inside peering out of some letterbox arrangement like a pair of disembodied, deranged, bloodshot eyes. No. I too need exercise and shopping and water and gazunders and suchlike. Like everyone else, I do get off the boat once moored up, once in a while. Moving my boat from neighbourhood to neighbourhood means, if it means nothing else, that my four or five mile daily “stay sane (ish)” walks must be taken in ever-changing neighbourhoods, with ever-changing people and ever-changing arrangements. In the more ordinary course of more ordinary World Events that would be fun fun fun, but in the Current Displeasantness it’s hardly the spirit of the whole Stay Safe thing, eh?

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new release

I am pleased to announce that The Making of a Mage has now been released and can be bought from Amazon as an ebook and paperback. It is also available in some bookstores.

It is the second prequel to The Wolves of Vimar and tells the story of the early life of Carthinal, the main character in the Wolves books.

Here is the blurb:

Carthinal is alone in the world. His parents and grandparents have died. Without money and a place to live, he faces an uncertain future.

After joining a street gang, Carthinal begins a life of crime. Soon after, he sees a performing magician, and decides he wants to learn the art of magic.

But can he break away from his past and find the path to his true destiny?

You can buy by following this link, which will take you to Amazon where you are.
Or you can use the ISBN numbers to request it from your local bookshop via the Ingram’s catalogue.

9781034314059 (6×9 Hardcover)
9781034314028 (6×9 Softcover)
9781034314035 (5×8 Hardcover)
9781034314042 (5×8 Softcover)

I am currently working on the third prequel, which tells of Asphodel and how she came to become a priest of Sylissa, Goddess of Life and Healing. I’ve finished the first draft, and had it critiqued, but it still needs work. I’ll keep you up to date with how that’s going.

I’m also almost ready to send the second book in my historical novel series, A Family Through the Ages, to the publisher. It follows a descendant of Adelbehrt from Vengeance of a Slave.

Helgha is a young girl living in the Danelaw, a part of Britain ruled by the Vikings. The book is titled Jealously of a Viking.

All my books can be bought from Amazon by a simple click on the cover.

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