Category Archives: writing

The promises of dragons a short story

I wrote this story in response to a picture prompt, but I’ve lost the picture, and can’t remember who posted it.

The picture showed a wizard standing on a rock in the mountains, and a dragon breathing fire towards him. this is the story I wrote.

I have considered the possibility of expanding it into a novel or novella. I like the title, and think it’s too good to waste! What do you think of the idea? Let me know in the comments box, please.

The Promises of Dragons

It suddenly appeared one day and took a cow from the field.

A week later, dark wings blotted out the summer sun. The farmer looked up and saw an enormous shape gliding overhead. A dragon! He watched, cowering behind a large tree.

The dragon swooped down and carried off another cow.

As soon as the creature disappeared towards the distant mountains he ran as fast as he could to his home.

“What? You say a dragon is stealing our cows?” His wife was incredulous. “They‘re supposed to be extinct, aren’t they?”

“It was a dragon. A huge beast with horns on its head, leathery wings and reddish-brown scales. It was a dragon for sure.”

“Then you must go and tell the village council. They must do something about it. We can’t have dragons taking all our cows,” his wife exclaimed.

“I’m not sure they’ll believe me. Anyway, what can they do?”

“Nevertheless you must go. Leave straight after we’ve eaten. I can see to things here until you get back.”

The farmer strode resolutely into the village that afternoon and made for the home of the leader of the council. When he heard the farmer’s tale, he called an emergency council meeting.

Once all the council members were assembled he turned to the farmer.
“Now tell the council what you told me.”

The farmer bowed to the council. “A dragon has been stealing my cows. I’ve lost three over the last three weeks. At first, I thought is was rustlers, although I did wonder why they were taking them one at a time.”

“It could have been a wolf pack, or some other predator.” The leader of the council looked around his colleagues and grinned.

“No. I thought that at first.” The farmer shook his head “But in that case there should have been blood and bones at the very least. The cows just vanished without a trace.”

“Did you search for remains?” one councillor asked.

The farmer nodded. “ I looked everywhere. There was nothing. Then I decided to wait near the field where I keep the cows. It was then I saw the dragon.”

“You are certain you saw a dragon? Most experts say they’re extinct,” the leader of the council said.

“It was a dragon. I can’t be mistaken about that!”

Another councillor asked, “It was in the sky, against the sun. Could it have been a cloud?”

“And clouds swoop down and steal cattle?”

The members of the council asked more questions but eventually they were convinced–at least enough of them to agree to send a troop of volunteer guardsmen to investigate, and to kill the beast, if it turned out it were truly a dragon.

Two days later the volunteers set off to track down the mythical beast.
They crossed the plain towards the mountains in the direction the farmer told the council the dragon had gone. It took a full day to get to the base of the mountains and they made camp when they arrived. The men were in good spirits. Searching for an extinct creature was a bit of a lark. They were mostly young men who volunteered and not one of them believed the story the farmer had told.

“An old man, going senile and seeing things,” one said.

“Or perhaps his eyes are going. It must have been a cloud. I’ve seen clouds in the shape of all sorts of things,” another said.

“What about the cows that vanished?” asked a third.

“Rustlers, as the old man suggested himself,” the first volunteer told him.

They all laughed at the foolishness of old men.

The next few days they spent climbing the mountains. They trudged ever higher, but the path stretched before them in a never-ending ribbon. The peaks soared high above them, wreathed in snow and clouds. Each footfall seemed to make little difference to their progress. Still the mountains grew above them. and as they got higher and higher some of them began to wonder why they were here on this futile search.

“Where are we supposed to look?” said a young red-headed man, little more than a boy, really.

The others shook their heads, then one of them, older than the others, said, “I’ve heard dragons live in caves”.

“Hey, I used to play in these mountains when I was a kid,“ another said. “We lived high up and we played in some caves. Perhaps we should look there.”

He led the troop in the direction of the caves he remembered.

After another day of weary climbing, their breath coming fast, and hearts beating ever more quickly, they saw dark openings in a cliff ahead. They stopped and had a brief discussion.

None of them believed in the dragon, but the oldest man said, “We ought to be careful, ‘just in case’. There might be bears in the caves.”

Later that afternoon, just as they were about to set off up the mountainside to the caves they heard a strange noise as though a large flock of bats were flying overhead, or a tanner was shaking out a piece of leather. A flapping sound like wings, but not feathery wings like a bird. More like what they thought of as …dragon wings. The sunlight disappeared momentarily and as they looked up, they saw what could only be a dragon, flying towards the largest of the cave openings.

“By all that’s holy,” breathed the leader of the group. “The old man was right. It is a dragon. Where has it come from? It can’t possibly exist. They were extinct hundreds of years ago, yet here it is.”

“Evidently the scientists were wrong. They’re not extinct. Some must have survived in the depths of the mountains where no one goes,” the oldest man said, standing beside the leader and shielding his eyes as he watched the beast enter the cave.

“We need to wait until it leaves.” The leader frowned as he peered toward the cave where the dragon had gone.

A full day passed before the creature left again. They took their opportunity.

“Aren’t dragons supposed to have hoards of gold and other stuff?” one man asked, rubbing his hands together. “If we find its treasure, we’ll all be rich men. We’ll be able to court any girl we want, and buy farms, but have someone else to work them. We’ll never need to toil in the fields or factories again.”

They all nodded and laughed at the idea of all those riches, but when the dragon left the next morning, the reality hit them. They would need to go into the cave to get the treasure. The little group of young men crept towards the cave mouth, keeping an eye on the sky above, and ears open for the sound of leathery wings.

The stench of dragon hit them as they neared the cave. It was a sickly, sweet smell with hints of sourness in it. They held their noses. Around the mouth of the cave lay bones from large animals. Many were obviously deer, but there were sheep and cow bones there too.
As they neared the lair the leader asked for a volunteer to go into the cave to look. These otherwise brave young men looked at each other, eyes wide and hearts pounding. What happened if the dragon returned while they were in the cave?

Then one man stepped forward. He entered slowly and with some trepidation and lit his torch, for it was dark inside. The smell was even worse here and at first he thought he might be sick, but he wrapped a rag around his nose and mouth. That made it a bit more bearable. A little way into the cave he stumbled over a smooth, rounded object. He lifted his torch and saw—an egg! Not just one egg, but ten. He sprinted out of the cave and reported what he had seen.

They went in and smashed the eggs. Even though they searched right to the back of the cave, no treasure could be found. The leader said they should take some of the egg shards to prove there was a real dragon in the mountains.

After smashing the eggs and destroying the threat of ten more dragons rampaging through the land they began the decent to the plain.

~~ When Gulineran returned to her cave and found her smashed eggs the roar of her anguish made the mountains themselves tremble. She determined to take revenge. First she looked for the culprits. She saw them like ants, trekking down the mountainside. Flying over them, she burned every last one to a crisp with her flaming breath. Her anger and sorrow still not appeased, she swept down and breathed flame onto the hapless village. The cottages burned like tinder. Many lost their lives. Those who survived crowded into the stone-built village hall. ~~

The leader of the council stood before the surviving villagers. His eyes raked the gathered people, and burned with tears. So many dead. And all those young men who did not return. The dragon must have incinerated them, too. He held his hand up for silence.

“We must destroy this pest,” he told them, over the sobbing of the people.

“Who is going to tackle a creature who can do such things?” a voice called from the back.

“And most of our brave young men are dead. There’s no one here who can fight, even if we weren’t facing a dragon,” someone else called.

A heated debate ensued, but in the end they decided to send for help to the nearby wizards, thinking perhaps magic would be able to destroy this dragon.

The message took a week to get to the wizards’ college, but eventually a message came back. The leader of the council called all the surviving villagers into the council chambers where he read the reply.

“We are very sorry, and we sympathise with your problem, but we cannot spare anyone at the moment. We are far too busy.”

There was pandemonium in the hall, but then, the door opened and a wizard entered. The crowd immediately became silent.

The wizard stood before them and began to speak. “I do not agree with my colleagues, I cannot stand by and watch a dragon decimate your village. Believe me, it won’t be the last visit you have from her.” His eyes blazed as he spoke. “I’ve made a study of dragons. You could say they’re my speciality. I have special knowledge not many others have. I am prepared to help you with your problem.”

He was a young man by the name of Oni. Oni talked to the council, and promised to do something about the dragon. The council accepted his offer and promised him great rewards if he could manage to get rid of the great beast that was terrorising them.

Oni walked out of the village and into the mountains. He followed the path the young men had taken until he stood near the cave, Then he called. Within seconds the dragon rushed out ready for battle. She breathed flame. The flames washed over Oni. Gulineran expected to see a dead wizard when her fire died away, but Oni was left standing and very much alive. She looked into his eyes.

“Ah.” Oni sighed. “I’ve not seen such beauty in two hundred years.”

“How can a human talk of hundreds of years?” Gulineran asked. “Your lives aren’t that long.”

“No, but dragons live centuries. You’re the first female dragon I’ve seen in more than three.”

His skin began to change, turning a rich, deep red and he grew and rippled, smooth skin turned into scales and horns sprouted from his head. His shoulder blades burst from his skin and he folded a pair of wings along his back. A handsome male red dragon stood before her. “Will you accept me as your mate?” Oni asked.

When Gulineran accepted Oni’s offer he changed back to human form and returned to the village. There he told the villagers of his encounter with the dragon.

“I used magic to charm her and I have managed to get her to agree not to attack the village nor take any cattle. She will live on the wild creatures of the mountains.”

The council offered him gold, but he refused saying, “I have everything I need now. Indeed, everything I ever wanted.”

When he returned to Gulineranm he told her of his promise to the villagers.

“Oh, Oni.” Gulineran answered, smiling. “Don’t they know not to trust the promises of dragons?”

Guest post from kevin morris, poet.

Today I welcome one of my favourite poets to my blog.

Kevin Morris is a poet who writes both humorous and serious poetry. I will hand over to Kevin now, and he can explain about his poetry much better than I can.

Welcome, Kevin. Please tell us about your poetry.

I have, for as long as I can remember, been a lover of poetry. The first poem I recollect having read is Alfred Noyes’s “The Highwayman”, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43187/the-highwayman. I was (and remain)entranced by the rhythm of the poem and how it matches the beat of the horse’s feet, as the Highwayman approaches the inn:

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.   
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.   
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   
And the highwayman came riding—
         Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door”.

I find good rhyming poetry profoundly beautiful, and much of my own work is written in rhyme. Take, for example my poem “Autumn Fly”, which appears in my forthcoming collection, “Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) poems”.

Image by FRANCO PATRIZIA from Pixabay

“An autumn fly
Buzzes around my head.
Summer is dead
Yet will not die.
Seasons pass.
We are brittle as glass,
This fly
And I”.

Whilst sitting in my study, in late autumn, a fly began buzzing around my head. This brought to mind the mortality of this tiny insect and also that of man. Hence the above poem was born.

I have many happy memories of strolling through the woods with my grandfather and it was from him that I gained my love of nature. This affection for nature was, I believe encouraged further by my reading of poems such as Keats “Autumn”. Much of my own poetry touches on the theme of nature. Take, for example my poem “Rain”.

Image by AlbiF from Pixabay

“The rain
Patters amongst these leaves.
I listen again
And ascertain
That it’s the breeze
Midst these trees.
Yet it sounds the same
As rain”.

As with “Autumn Fly”, “Rain” came to me naturally as a rhyming poem. I could not have expressed what I wished to convey had I utilised free verse, as rhyme comes naturally to me, whilst other forms of poetic expression do not.

Whilst there exists some wonderful poetry composed in free verse, to me much free verse is poetic prose rather than true poetry. Many poems written in free verse are beautiful. However, for me their beauty resides in their poetic prose, they are not, in my opinion poetry as I understand it (I.E. with real rhyme and metre).

One can not always be serious, and section 2 of “Light and Shade” is devoted to my humorous verses. Take, for example my poem “Jane’s Sad Refrain”:

“A young lady named Jane
Sang a most mournful refrain.
I could repeat her song,
As it wouldn’t take long,
But it’s copyright of Jane!”

To conclude. Poetry is, for me about rhyme and its rhyme with which I feel most comfortable. There is, as I said, some wonderful free verse poetry out there. However, for me at least much of this (but by no means all) is poetic prose rather than poetry proper.

(“Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) Poems”, by Kevin Morris will be available in the Amazon Kindle store, and as a paperback in July 2020).

Links:

Blog: https://kmorrispoet.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/drewdog2060_
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879063.K_Morris

Thank you, Kevin, for telling us more about your poetry. I agree with you about free verse. It’s something I’ve thought for a long time. I have written poetry that doesn’t rhyme, but it always has rhythm. And I love the poem about Jane!

I would encourage everyone to search out your poetry books and to visit your blog.

Good luck with this latest one. I look forward to its publication.

If you have any comments to either myself, or Kevin, please enter them in the comments box. Feel free to reblog this.

6 words that have lost meaning

I have been considering the degradation of words recently.I know words are constantly evolving, but it seems to me that more often than not, they become degraded and lose their meaning.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Let’s take SWEAR WORDS as an example.

When I was growing up, some words that are now considered normal, (and I use them myself on occasion) were definite no-nos, and had I used them I would have been in serious trouble. Words such a damn or b*&&er. (just in case the gremlins in the internet have decided it’s still a bad word.)

The words that are now thought of a swear words, I didn’t know. I never heard them. Such words as the F word and the C word have become commonplace, if what I hear in the street is anything to go by.

These words have become degraded. They are no longer as ‘bad’ as they once were.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

This has happened to other words, too. The one that immediately jumps to mind is AWESOME. Things are no longer just ‘good’ or even ‘excellent’. They have to be ‘awesome’. Do things commonly described as such really fill the speaker with awe? I doubt it.

Image by StanWilliamsPhoto from Pixabay

The next word we’re hearing a lot these days. That word is HERO. We hear it applied to all and sundry. According to dictionary.com, a hero is “a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character.” Not everybody who is simply performing acts of human decency.

Image by teotea from Pixabay

ICONIC is another word that has become degraded. Everything now sseems to be ‘iconic’. Originally an icon was a religious portrait to aid worship. It can also be the depiction of a victorious athlete, soldier, or a sovereign.

Image by Daga_Roszkowska from Pixabay

Here’s one we were told not to use, when we were in school. NICE.
Once it meant fastidious or scrupulous. Now it just apples to anything that give a bit of pleasure.
A nice garden. She’s a nice person.

Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

Finally, here’s one that can often be left out of sentences. (Writers take note.) It has degraded so much that it is now almost meaningless. That word is ACTUALLY.
Originally it meant something unexpected. Now it’s often only an interjection.

I hope you enjoyed reading these words. This was not what I originally set off to write. I was going to make a list of confused words I’ve come across recently. That will be another post for another day.

Are there any words that you’ve noticed being degraded? If so, add them to the comments in the comments box.

You can sign up for my quarterly newsletter by clicking the JOIN button in the sidebar. The next one isn’t until June 1st, but if there is any exciting news, like a new release, I’ll let you know.

What to do in Self-isolation

These are difficult times. We are all facing unprecedented restrictions to our lives. We are told to stay at home and keep our distance if we do go out.

Some people find this difficult. Some more so than others. If you are used to an active social life, and work with many people, you will undoubtedly find all this hard to do.

For those of us who are used to working from home, like writers, it’s not so difficult to keep on working. We are used to working in isolation, but for people who work in restaurants, cafes, and the like it must be very hard. Some people can work from home, but many cannot. What to do to fill the time?

Some people have decided, stupidly, that this is a holiday. The weather is good and they’ve nothing else to do, so they go off to the seaside, or National Parks. We’ve all seen the pictures of the crowds in these places. What are they doing but risking spreading the disease? It can spread fast enough on its own without stupidity helping it.

This sort of behaviour will force the government to create a lockdown when people are not allowed to go out. Do we really want that?

So what can you do in this self-isolation? Well, read a book. (Of course I would say that, wouldn’t I?) Or even several.

If you have been following the serialisation of Carthinal’s story, you might like to read this to find out what became of him in later life.

As it happens, from today (23rd March) until Friday 27th March, the ebook version of my fantasy novel, The Wolf Pack, will be FREE on Amazon. Why not pick up a copy while you can?

All Carthinal wants is admission to the ranks of the mages. Traveling from Bluehaven to Hambara, where his rite of passage is to take place, he doesn’t expect to end up on a quest to find the long-lost sword of the legendary King Sauvern.

With strangers he meets on his journey, Carthinal sets out on the seemingly impossible quest. Followed by Randa, the snooty aristocratic daughter of the Duke of Hambara, and the young runaway thief Thad, Carthinal and his companions face tragedy and danger.

Watched by the gods and an implacable foe, they will have to accept help from the least likely sources and face their innermost fears. As the fate of their world hangs in the balance, they realize that this is more than an adventure. This quest will change them all.

What have you got to lose? After all, it’s absolutely FREE, and you’ve now got time to read.

What are your opinions on this self-isolation? Will it work, or are there just too many people who are too stupid to understand what it’s all about?

Will this behaviour cause the government to impose even more draconian laws?

Let me know via the comments box.

those were the days

Some time ago, I posted a poem written by my Mum. I think it’s time for another one. She only started writing them when she was getting on in years, but the family all thought they were great fun.

Everything is so much further
Then it ever used to be.
The little shop around the corner
Seems twice as far to me.

The buses were always punctual
I could go with the greatest of ease.
But now they seem to be early
And my legs do just as they please.

The stairs are made so much steeper
I’m flat out when I get to the top
Amd the print in the papers is so small
That my eyes are beginning to pop.

I can’t do with the way people mumble.
I only hear half of the tale.
They tell me the news in a whisper,
Or shout till I feel I could wail.

The dresses are made so much tighter
Especially round waist and hips.
And diets are all in the fashion.
No goodies, like good fish and chips.

Even people are different this day and age
They all seem to look so much younger.
Yet people my age seem old and withdrawn
And look to be dying of hunger.

I met with a friend the other day.
She really looked old and withered.
I’m sure I look younger than that, I thought,
And I know I’m not half so bothered.

Everything is so much further
Then it ever used to be.
The little shop around the corner
Seems twice as far to me.

The buses were always punctual
I could go with the greatest of ease.
But now they seem to be early
And my legs do just as they please.

The stairs are made so much steeper
I’m flat out when I get to the top
Amd the print in the papers is so small
That my eyes are beginning to pop.

I can’t do with the way people mumble.
I only hear half of the tale.
They tell me the news in a whisper,
Or shout till I feel I could wail.

The dresses are made so much tighter
Especially round waist and hips.
And diets are all in the fashion.
No goodies, like good fish and chips.

Even people are different this day and age
They all seem to look so much younger.
Yet people my age seem old and withdrawn
And look to be dying of hunger.

I met with a friend the other day.
She really looked old and withered.
I’m sure I look younger than that, I thought,
And I know I’m not half so bothered.

I looked in the mirror to see for myself.
For I’m really not ready to go on the shelf.
But a grey-haired old woman was looking at me.
Even mirrors are not like they used to be.

If you enjoyed my Mum’s poem please leave a comment in the comments box.

Feel free to reblog. I would appreciate a link back to my blog if you feel like it.

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Using Verbs part 1

Before I get going with the verbs, I am puzzled. This, I suppose is a throwback to previously when I did nouns. I also mentioned it in that treatise, too, but it’s beginning to bug me.

So many pieces of writing I see nowadays, that mention our beautiful planet, fail to give it a capital letter. Why? It’s name is a PROPER noun. Proper nouns begin with a CAPITAL LETTER.

I haven’t noticed people writing Mars, Venus, Jupiter, the Asteroids, etc, and not capitalising the first letter, so why don’t people, and people who should know better, too, not treat our own home in the same way?

Writers and other supposedly educated people do it. One writer I read recently (who claimed an editor in the acknowledgements) occasionally used a capital, and sometimes didn’t. (What was the editor doing?)

It’s Earth, folks, if you’re talking about the planet, and earth if you’re talking about the ground or soil.

OK, that’s done, so let’s begin on the problem of verbs.

I propose to do 2 posts on this as there are 2 main problems people have.

 Every verb has to agree with its subject. Yes, you know that. I know you know that. But why can’t people get it every time.

The worst is ‘there’s. This is short for ‘there is’, so we cannot say ‘There’s three of them.’ Yet I hear it all the time, and even see it in writing.

 Then there’s another one I mentioned in the last post. Agreement with a collective noun. Collective nouns are SINGULAR.

How many governments does a country have? One? Yes, only one, and so it’s singular. To say ‘the Government are planning to look into this problem.’ is WRONG.

The same goes for ‘team’, ‘herd’, ‘flock’, ‘peloton’ (if you’re a cyclist) All singular. ‘The team are..’? wrong. ‘The flock are…’? wrong.

 Finally, some people make the verb agree with something that’s not actually its subject.

e.g. One of the girls ARE going to come with us.


Here, the verb is referring to ‘one’ and not ‘girls’, so it should be:

One of the girls IS going to come with us.

I’m sure you can think of many more examples.

I know I’m not as brilliant at doing these grammar posts as some others, but I hope to be able to help a few people.

It also helps me get things that annoy me off my chest!
If you think this will help others, please feel free to reblog and I would be grateful for any link back to my site.

Please leave a comment in the comments box, and if you would like to receive my quarterly newsletter, and information about new releases and special offers,click the JOIN button on the sidebar.

Last Day of free offer

Don’t forget that today is the last day to get my best-selling title, Vengeance of a Slave absolutely FREE.

It is currently number 2 in British and Irish Historical Novels and number 81 in Action and Adventure.

To get your FREE ebook, click in the cover in the sidebar, or here.

Here are a couple of reviews it got. For some reason, Amazon have taken these down, but they’ve left the stars. (I’ve heard of other writers who’ve had reviews removed for no apparent reason!) I can assure you, they were genuine reviews!

Randall Krzak

5*
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 read of V.M.’s and it certainly won’t be the last! Well done and highly recommended!

D. W. Peach

5*
Adelbehrt keeps a running list in his head of all the reasons why he hates the Romans—they crucified his father, stole him as a child from his mother, and enslaved him. As he grows into his teenage years as a slave, the list gets longer. With the help of a network of Britons, he escapes, determined to exact his revenge, but not everything is as clear cut as he once thought.

The plot is straight forward, and though there are some tense moments, battling and mortal danger isn’t the point of the tale. This story has a strong moral message about the nuanced nature of people and how they treat and judge each other. Ultimately, it’s about a young man’s growth and the events that change his perceptions as he matures.

The pace is moderate with some repetition, but I was engaged throughout. The historical details seem well-researched, adding to the authenticity of the story. Point-of-view focuses on Adelbehrt for most of the book, with occasional shifts to other characters, and all main and secondary characters felt believable to me. Adelbehrt is particularly well-rounded and likeable as the story centers on his thoughts and experiences.

Please add a comment in the comments box.

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review of argentum by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Argentum (The P.A.W.S.Saga Book 2) by [Kupfer, Debbie Manber]


**** stars

Overview

This is the second book in Debbi Manber Kuyper’s P.A.W.S. Saga, and it begins where book 1 finished. It is a tale of shapeshifters, werewolves and animagi.
P.A.W.S. is the place where these beings live. There are many such places all over the world.
Werewolves are humans that have been infected with lycanthropy, and are forced to become wolves at the full moon. Animagi can change their shape at will into an animal, while shapshifters require a charm passed down through families, and originally made by Merlin himself.
In this second book, we take up the story where the eveil werewolf, Alistair, has been destroyed.
Or has he?

Blurb


Argentum is the thread that binds all magic …
The silver of Miri’s cat charm passed on through the generations.
The silver of Jessamyn’s scepter, the source of her illusions.
The silver of Quentin’s scrying bowl, forged by Merlin.
All intertwine in Argentum.

With Alistair gone a measure of peace returns to P.A.W.S., but Miri is tormented by nightmares. The silver charm that had recently hung around Alistair’s neck is now in Miri’s possession and seems to have taken on a life of its own. And then it mysteriously disappears.
Jessamyn seeks help from Quentin, who claims to have repented his past association with Alistair, but can he be trusted?
And what of Jenna? The young girl rescued from Alistair’s pack house holds a terrible secret. One that could determine the future of P.A.W.S.

Story


I found the story to be as immersing as the first book. Miri’s growing romance with the shapeshifter, Danny, whose alterego is a large maine coon cat, plays a big part in the story.
There is also a mystery about how her friend Josh’s mother has a photograph that looks like one she has of her grandmother when she was young.
The story, I found captivating, and wanted to know more about the whereabouts of Miri’s second charm that had belonged to her grandfather, and who took it. Was the dead Alistair influencing events? And how could this be?

Characterisation.


The characters in the book are realistic. They all have their good and bad points, just like real people. Perhaps they did not develop as much as they could have, but then there are 5 books to get through. Perhaps they will be changed by the end of the 5th book.

Writing.


This is the weakest part of the book. While the style is easy to read, I found a number of grammar mistakes that should really have been discovered and corrected in the editing stage.

Conclusion


All in all, in spite of the grammar errors, the story is good, and so I decided to only remove 1 star from my review.

HOMONYMS

When I was at school, many, many moons ago, we learned about homonyms. These are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings. We were given lists of hthem and told to write a sentence containing each and showing what it means. Some of them are very tricky, and often catch people out. Yes, even writers!

A recent spate of these in a variety of places has prompted me to write this little post to try to help. So here we go!

Wet/Whet.
We all know the first of these. It’s what happens in the rain. We get WET. But the second? WHET is to sharpen something. Hence a WHETSTONE, which is something used to sharpen knives, daggers, swords scissors, etc. It does not need to be wetted before use as it’s not a WETSTONE. When I was little, I thought that’s what it was and pictured people sharpening their knives with a bucket of water by their sides to keep the stone wet.
So we WHET our appetite, we don’t WET it.

Examples.

Davrael sat by his horse WHETTING his knife before the battle.

As we sat down to our meal, the waiter brought a small savoury to WHET our appetites.

When the dragonet plunged into the water, they all got WET.

Peek/Peak

This is one I’ve mentioned before, but I make no excuse for doing it again. I see it spelled wrongly far too often.

Peek. This is a quick, or sometimes sneaky look at something. Many authors will give a sneak PEEK at a chapter of their new book.

Peak. The top of something, often a mountain.

Examples

Thadora PEEKED around the corner to make sure there were no guards visible before venturing into the alley.

The climbers were exhausted by the time they reached the PEAK of the mountain.

I think that the fact that Peek is often written after Sneak that causes the problem.

Poured/Pored

Pour. To run in a steady stream, or, of rain, to fall heavily.

Pore (verb). To be absorbed in reading or studying something.

Examples.

When we went to catch the bus it was POURING with rain.
Or
The barman POURED a measure of whisky into the glass.

In order to pass the test to leave his apprenticeship behind, Carthinal PORED over the magic texts.

Pore (noun) a small hole, often in tissue, such as skin or plant tissues, or even in rock.

Poor Needy, destitute, penniless, lacking money.

Examples.

He had runs so hard he was sweating through every PORE.

Under the leaves, plant have small PORES called stomata.

The woman was so POOR that she could barely afford to eat, and her clothes were ragged.

And one I had never thought about, but I came across only the other day on a notice for a lost cat.

Spade/spayed

Spade An implement for digging.

Spayed the neutering of a female animal (usually cat or dog) by surgically removing the ovaries.

(the sign said ‘Lost Cat, Black and white, called Shadow, spade…’ I had a picture of said cat digging the garden!

Examples

The ground was so hard after so little rain that I nearly broke my SPADE when trying to dig it.

There are so many unwanted cats in the district that all cat owners are requested to have their animals SPAYED.

I hope this has made it a bit clearer.

Please leave your comments in the comments box. I like to hear what you think.

A catch up on my #writing and an #offer.

I’ve been working on both the next book of The Wolves of Vimar series. It’s book 4, and will be called Immortal’s Death.

It will follow on after the friends, who call themselves Wolf, have discovered disquieting things about the Master of Erian and his designs on the land of Grosmer.

Duke Larrin of Sendolina has been missing, and all contact with Sendolina lost. The friends, who call themselves Wolf, send the little dragonet, Muldee, to find out what has happened.

When he returns with the news that Duke Larrin has been imprisoned in his own castle, five of them set off to rescue him.

Meanwhile, there have been riots in Hambara, and Thadora is dispached to find out what is happening. She finds the populace starving because there are no jobs, the richer people, who, by and large provide the jobs, having left in the riots.

I am about half-way through at the moment, and hope to get it finished in the next few months, Then I need to submit it to Next Chapter. It will be some time before it’s released.

In the meantime, I’ve submitted a prequel to the publisher, and am waiting for the next step. It’s the story of the parents of Carthinal, the protagonist in The Wolves of Vimar. I am looking forward to that being released, but as yet have no idea when that will be. I’ve also finished the story of Carthinal’s early life. Just a bit more editing, then I’ll submit that to Next Chapter.

Wolf Moon, Book 3, will be FREE in ebook format from tomorrow, 8th February until Wednesday 12th February. Get your copy soon or you’ll miss the opportunity. If you’ve not read the first two books, you can buy them at the same time by clicking on the covers in the sidebar.

Thank you for reading. Please add a comment in the comments box.