Don’t forget to get your copy of Viv’s Family Recipes at the special price of 0.99(£ or $). The offer ends today.
Click the book cover or this link. The link will take you to its page on Amazon. In your country.
Don’t forget to get your copy of Viv’s Family Recipes at the special price of 0.99(£ or $). The offer ends today.
Click the book cover or this link. The link will take you to its page on Amazon. In your country.
Dandelions, like gold, cover the meadows.
Newborn lambs frolic in fields.
New leaves on the trees are casting their shadows
And winter’s cold grip quickly yields.
At the edges of woodland the primroses glow
And cowslips their scent fills the air.
Anemones dance when the breezes do blow
And birds sing with never a care.
Then bluebells and campions come into bloom
Their colour the blue of the sea.
The cuckoo, that herald of spring, will come soon
His call echoing over the lea.
The song of the blackbird is like molten gold.
His notes are so pure and so clear.
Hearing him seems to banish the cold
And brings joy to all those who hear.
Robin is nesting, and other birds too,
The hedgehog is active once more.
The young of the deer and the badger and shrew
Play their games as in old days of yore.
The sun climbs higher and higher each day
Giving more of his heat and his light.
It sparkles like stars fallen into the bay.
All smile at the beautiful sight.
Hope and excitement come with each spring morn.
What blessings will come with this day?
New starts can begin once again with each dawn
And send us all hopeful away.
Asphodel stumbled as she landed in the covered wagon. She lay breathing heavily for a few moments, then she heard a voice and a hand lifted her up.
‘You just made it,’ said a melodious female voice. ‘A few more seconds and you’d have missed us.’
Asphodel looked at the woman who had helped her up and onto a seat. She was wearing white robes tied with a green sash. Asphodel knew this indicated the woman was a vicar and a cleric of Sylissa, the goddess of healing. The woman looked around forty years old and had a few grey hairs just beginning to appear in her dark hair. Her brown eyes had small laughter lines around them and she smiled at Asphodel.
‘Thank you for your help,’ the elf said. ‘It might sound like an odd question, but where is this caravan going to?’
The cleric raised her eyebrows, then replied, ‘To Bluehaven ultimately. We pass through a number of other towns though. First we go through several small villages in Erian before we get to the border with Grosmer. There aren’t any large towns between Frelli and Grosmer.’
The vicar leaned back in her seat and then asked, ‘Where are you going?’
Asphodel sighed. ‘Wherever my coin will take me,’ she said.
The vicar frowned. ‘Running away? What have you done, or who are you running away from?’
Asphodel closed her eyes foe a moment, then opened them and looked straight at her companion.
‘I’ve not done anything. It’s what he did.’
The vicar said nothing, but continued to look at Asphodel.
Asphodel paused, then it all came out in a rush. She told the whole story from meeting Vass to him hitting her. Then her eyes filled with tears and she looked away.
The other woman moved across to sit next to the girl. she put her arm around her and said, ‘You made a mistake, yes, but we all make mistakes, especially when young. How much did you give the caravan leader?’
When Asphodel told her, she tutted. ‘That won’t even get you to the border,’ she said.
‘But Vass saw which caravan I was on. He’ll get the next one and come after me, I know it.’ Her eyes darted around the wagon as though expecting to see Vass jump out from behind the cloth roof.
The cleric patted her hand. ‘Don’t worry about than for now,’ she said. ‘We’ll sort something out. The next caravan in this direction isn’t for a couple of days. By the way, my name’s Trinelli.’
‘Asphodel,’ replied the elf, not giving her full name as she knew the human woman would have difficulty in pronouncing it.
The caravan stopped for a meal at midday. While they were eating, a man came running up to them.
‘Vicar,’ he shouted as he approached, ‘vicar, please will you come to look at my wife. She’s sick.’
Trinelli stood up. ‘What seems to be the matter?’ she asked.
‘She’s vomiting and says she feels dizzy,’ he said. ‘She says that whenever she moves, it feels as if the world is spinning around her.’
Trinelli followed the man to a wagon and went inside. Out of curiosity, Asphodel followed. She stood in the entrance to the covered wagon and watched as Trinelli placed her hands on the woman and prayed to Sylissa.
The cleric’s head slumped forward. Asphodel watched as the sick woman’s colour began to return. Trinelli, at the same time, became paler. Asphodel almost thought she could see something flowing from Trinelli to the woman, but then she decided she was imagining it.
When they left the wagon, and received the man’s grateful thanks, Asphodel had to support Trinelli back to their wagon. The older woman rested for a while, then, as the wagons began to move once more, she seemed to be back to her normal self.
‘What happened there?’ Asphodel asked her.
‘Well. I prayed to Sylissa. She used me as a conduit to send her healing power into the woman.’
‘But it was more than that, wasn’t it?’
‘Yes. When I–or any of us–heals someone, the goddess sends her power, but it also takes some of our life essence to work. That’s why we’re always tired after healing.’
‘I thought I saw something going from you to her,’ Asphodel said. ‘I couldn’t have, though, could I? What you give her is invisible.’
Trinelli looked sharply at the young elf. She frowned.
‘You shouldn’t have been able to see anything,’ she told her, and she shook her head. ‘I don’t know what this means, but I need to think about it.’
The caravan stopped for the night. The caravan leader came to Asphodel and told her that her money had only given her passage to the next village. The girl looked frightened.
‘I have this ring.’ She reluctantly held out the ring she had picked up before leaving. ‘It was my grandmother’s. I think it’s valuable.’
Trinelli turned to the caravan leader.
‘You can’t take her grandmother’s ring,’ she scolded him. ‘It’s valuable enough to take her to Bluehaven and half-way back again.’
‘Well, she can’t have free passage.’ He shrugged. ‘She has nothing else. Seems it’s the ring or she leaves next stop.’
Trinelli fumbled in her purse and withdrew several gold crowns and a sovereign, which she handed over to the man.
‘Here. This should pay her fare to Bluehaven.’
The man took the coins and left.
‘I can’t let you pay for me,’ Asphodel protested. ‘That’s a lot of money. When we get to a town, I’ll sell my ring and pay you back, I promise.’
Trinelli smiled at the young girl.
‘You’ll do no such thing. If you want to pay me back you can help me when I go to heal people. People are always getting sick or hurt on these journeys. Your help will be worth more to me than coin. I’m going to Bluehaven, to the temple there, so I paid enough for you to get there too.’
Has Asphodel has found a means to get far enough away from Vass? How can she help a healer? She’s been brought up as one of the privileged classes in Elven society. How can she help a healer when she has no idea of healing?
Please leave a comment. I love hearing from you.
To find out more about Asphodel’s later adventures, read The Wolves of Vimar Series. Click on the books to buy.
Welcome to my blog, Auden. This story sounds interesting. I’m looking forward to you finishing it so I can read it.
Auden is the author of The Merging Worlds Series, which comprises The Sciell and Chains of the Sciell, and The Jura Series which comprises Visible through Darkness, Shadows Under the Light and Darkness Ignites the Flame. The books can be bought from Amazon.
Auden does her own cover art, If you want to see how she came up with the cover for The Unburned Island, visit her blog http://audenstreasury.blogspot.com/
She usually writes Dark Fantasy, so this is a new venture for her.
The entire island burned. Everyone disappeared. Somehow, one building remained unscathed. This building, a schoolhouse, is haunted. It and the island remained abandoned for years.
One day, Kiran, En and a team of magical investigators travel to the island to banish whatever haunts the schoolhouse. It takes them no time to realize the building isn’t the problem. The island is.
Add to Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34629301-the-unburned-island
Writing The Unburned Island has been a ride. Not always a fun one. I got stuck so many times. It was beginning to get frustrating. The story started as an entry for a magazine. I was barely halfway through writing it when I realized it was going to be too long to submit.
Then an idea hit me. This could be the start of a new series. Magical characters investigating haunted locations. The series is set in a fantasy world so these aren’t known haunted locations. I prefer it that way. Writing fantasy gives me the freedom to make my own worlds and give my characters cool powers.
Unlike most of my stories, this one isn’t apocalyptic. I know, strange. Don’t know what’s gotten into me. I don’t foresee the world ending anytime soon. The series will focus on relationships and creepy places. Of course, both themes gave me problems.
Kiran and En are partner investigators with an interesting history. At first, I didn’t know if I wanted them to be in a relationship. When I realized I did, I couldn’t figure out what their relationship would be by the end of Book 1. They start the story as good friends. Kiran and En told me what they wanted near the end of the story.
As for creepy locations, I wanted this story to have atmosphere but I struggled with how to do this. I created a Pinterest board for Haunted Buildings/Islands and collected images of abandoned buildings and creepy lands. While writing this story, I was able to visit a catacomb. It was so cool and so scary. The images and the catacomb visit helped me give The Unburned Island a nice chilling atmosphere.
I’m looking forward to seeing where Kira, En and co. will take me. They’re already telling me how they want Book 2 to start.
Thank you for appearing on my blog. Auden. I’m sure my readers will appreciate you sharing your writing process with them. Good luck with the rest of the series.
I am quite excited about this release because I started reading the series recently and am looking forward to reading the rest of it.
Debbie has kindly interviewed Miri for my blog. Here is the interview.
What do you miss most from when you were young?
Oh lots of things: my cats – Kitty and Susie; my best friend – Jenny; New York City and in particular the Lower East Side where I grew up; and most of all my omama. I think about her every day – the things she taught me, the stories she told. And I also wonder about the stories she didn’t tell. About her early life in Vienna and how she escaped from the Nazis. Maybe one day I’ll be able to piece all that together.
What scares you the most?
That I could lose my new friends here at P.A.W.S. I’d like to be able to just enjoy my classes and hang out like a normal teen (or at least as normal as a shapeshifter cat girl can be), but bad stuff seems to follow me around, so I guess I should be prepared.
How did you change as you grew older?
I think I’ve become more confident and a little less likely to trip over my own two feet – I think having four paws helps with that and of course having good teachers – Josh and Danny – also does wonders.
What has been the hardest struggle for you?
Believing that I actually have magic. I know Jessamyn says that my whole family had magic, but it does seem hard to believe.
Who do you hope stays in your life?
Well Danny of course (blushes), but I don’t really see how he likes me. And then I hope I’ll always stay close to my friends at P.A.W.S. – Josh, Sandy, Sean and Joey. Joey’s said that in a few years I should visit him in Australia. That would be a lot of fun.
What do you need to be happy in the future?
Good friends, my books and my writing. I hope someday to write my story and delve into my family’s past so that I can write a history of that too.
What is the most important lesson you have learned?
To trust my friends when they say I’m much stronger and more capable than I think I am.
Miri’s story continues in Umbrae (P.A.W.S. 3)
It’s been a while since I interviewed a character from my books, so I decided to track down Fero and ask him a few questions.
Me: Thank you for agreeing to talk a bit about yourself,
Fero. I know you don’t talk much about where you came
from, but please fill me in. You were born beyond the
Three Seas, I believe.
Fero: Yes. I was born in the land of Beridon. That is not only
beyond the Three Seas, but also beyond the Great Desert.
Me: Tell me about your family.
Fero: My father was a sandalmaker in the village where I
was born and grew up. I was the eldest son. I have three
sisters older than me. My parents were delighted to have
a son at last as in Beridon, girls are deemed to be of little
Me: That is shocking.
Fero: Yes. I now realize how bad that is. How much talent
is being wasted in that country I can hardly begin to
contemplate. It wasn’t until I came to Grosmer that I really
learned the value of women.
Me: I suppose, growing up with that way of thought you
wouldn’t think it unusual.
Fero: No, but I am ashamed now for my past, my family and my countrymen.
Me: What was life like in Beridon?
Fero: It was hard. We were not actually in the Great Desert, but in the summer there was usually a drought. Frequently our animals and crops died and we went hungry. However, in the past, we had learned about irrigation and so it was not as bad as it had once been. Only in really bad drought years were we in very bad conditions.
Me: Tell me about your family.
Fero: I haven’t seen them for many years. I hated sandal making but my father thought that, as the eldest son, I should follow him and take over the family business. I would then marry a girl of their choice and look after them in their old age. I hated that idea and was something of a rebel. I took every opportunity to go out into the wilds and it was on one of those forrays that I met an old druid.
Me: Did you decide to bevome a druid yourself?
Fero: Oh, no. I am not a very religeous man, although I do revere Grillon, the god of nature and wild things. The old man taught me much, but even he could see that I was not cut out to be a druid, so he sent me to a ranger friend of his.
Me: What did your family think of this?
Fero: My mother would have been quite happy with this. I had two brothers now and they were both happy to go into sandalmaking. My father was completely opposed and forbade me from going. Mother couldn’yt go against him as he would have beaten her and it would still have made no difference to his thoughts. He beat me too, and tried to lock me in my room.
Here Fero laughs.
Fero: He should have realized that he couldn’t really do that as my brothers had to come in and out!
Me: What did you do?
Fero: Well, I escaped, of course. I gathered my things and went to tell mother that I was going. Father came in at that moment, just as I was going out of the door. Mother called ‘Goodbye Fero. Don’t forget us.’ Father pushed her back indoors and I heard him say ‘Go in, woman, we have no son called Fero.’
Me: That must have been very hard. What did you do then?
Fero: I went to join my new master. She was very good and understanding and taught me well, until one day she deemed my apprenticehip was ended and I was to go out and make my own way in the world.
Me: Where did you go?
Fero: Firstly I wandered Beridon, then decided to go and look at the Great Desert. I almost died of thirst then. I was completely lost, but a tribe of nomads found me and saved me. I was sunburned, blisters all over me. They tended me and then took me travelling with them. I learned to wear the long enveloping robes they wear and to keep out of the direct sun as much as possible. They wandered eventually to the seaport of Candor on the Inner Sea. I had never seen a large expanse of water and it fascinated me. I got passage on a ship crossing to Grosmer. I worked my passage, of course, and eventually came to Bluehaven. Here I abandoned my new career as a seaman and wandered around the south of Grosmer for many years, doing jobs here and there. Sometimes I would pick fruit, grapes or peaches or oranges. At other times I was scouting for caravans. Then one day I was with a group of young men who decided to go to Eribore. I joined them, intending to cross the Western Mountains and see the Horselords on the plains.
Me: Did you see them? The are supposed to be quite a sight when they ride their horses.
Fero: No. I have wondered and wondered why I took that path towards Hambara, but I can’t tell you why. Just a sudden impulse came upon me and I left my companions and turned east instead of west. If I had not done that, I would not have met Carthinal and the others. I wonder what the outcome of their quest would have been if they were not 8 questors as the prophecy had said? Would they still have found the Sword or would the quest have failed? Also, I would not have met Randa either.
Me: Thank you for your time.
Today I’m reviewing a book I recently read, It’s the second book in the Excalibur series and it fuly lives up to the first one.
After Pamela’s father vanished twenty-seven years ago, her life has been content. That is, until she is visited by disturbing dreams, telling that her father is in danger.
She also receives a mysterious message, telling her that Arthur has been imprisoned on a distant planet, and only she can rescue him. To do so, she must release the evil entity trapped within the famous sword, Excalibur. If she trusts this strange messenger and releases the terrifying Shalit from its confinement, Pamela could be endangering Earth and all the other planets in the universe.
Will she be strong enough to control the Shalit, save her father, and protect everyone she loves? And can she risk destroying all life if she’s not?
This book is the second in the Excalibur series and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first one. This time, instead of following Arthur and Daisy on their adventures out in the Universe, we concentrate on Arthur’s daughter, Pamela. Arthur does not know of the birth of his daughter, nor that she has inherited his gifts.
Pamela feels something of a misfit on Earth as she has to hide her powers from others. If they know what she is capable of, they would fear her. One day she is whisked off to space by mysterious forces that turn out to be intelligences contained in a living spaceship. These two women, granddaughter and grandmother, tell her that her father is in danger and that he and his wife, the alien Daisy, whom he met in The Secret of Excalibur, are imprisoned.
The rescue of Arthur and Daisy involves the releasing of the Shalit from Excalibur, one of the entities known as Planet Eaters.
Pamela has to use her powers and faces great danger. She finds her true love in a most unusal person, and the twist at the end caught me by surprise.
Ms Foley has built complex worlds with strange alien creatures and a politics we can all recognise. Pamela’s change from a timid, self-conscious girl to a confident woman is believable, after what she goes through.
The writing is excellent and I have no hesitation in giving this book 4 stars.
The book is available as both an ebook and in paperback from Amazon.
If you have any comments on this post, or any others, please add them to the comments box. I’d love to hear from you.
I apologise for being a few hours late with this week’s blog.
Today’s post is from Clancy Tucker’s blog https://clancytucker.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/18-december-2016-common-grammar-mistakes.html/
I found I couldn’t reblog it as it stands so I copied and pasted it instead. I hope Clancy doesn’t mind. I asked him about reblogging and he said it was fine, but his reblog only goes to Blogger.
Do visit his blog. It’s very interesting. He posts on a variety of things including some of his photography, which is wonderful, information about famous people, historical events, British slang and of course, grammar mistakes.
COMMON GRAMMAR MISTAKES
None of us are perfect in the English language. I often see mistakes, especially spelling mistakes on advertisements, and on TV. Here are a few that might help, courtesy of Jon Gingerich.
This one opens a big can of worms. “Who” is a subjective — or nominative — pronoun, along with “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” and “they.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun, along with “him,” “her,” “it”, “us,” and “them.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the object of a clause. Using “who” or “whom” depends on whether you’re referring to the subject or object of a sentence. When in doubt, substitute “who” with the subjective pronouns “he” or “she,” e.g., Who loves you? cf., He loves me. Similarly, you can also substitute “whom” with the objective pronouns “him” or “her.” e.g., I consulted an attorney whom I met in New York. cf., I consulted him.
Which and That
This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring. e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores. In this case, you don’t have to go to a specific grocery store to obtain organic fruits and vegetables. “Which” qualifies, “that” restricts. “Which” is more ambiguous however, and by virtue of its meaning is flexible enough to be used in many restrictive clauses. e.g., The house, which is burning, is mine. e.g., The house that is burning is mine.
This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g., Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie” (e.g., I lay on the bed).
Clancy’s comment: Hope these help.
Today is a day when I address some things about our beautiful, interesting, but strange language.
There are many words in English that are spelled the same but pronounced differently. Also there are words pronounced the same, but spelled differently. Then there are words that are the same in spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings, depending on context.
The strangest, in my opinion, are words ending in -ough.
Though, pronounced ‘tho’
Bough, pronounced ‘bow’. (although that in itself has different pronunciations)
Enough, pronounced ‘enuf’
Thought, pronounced ‘thort’
Through, pronounced ‘threw’
No wonder foreigners have some difficulty with it, although (another one, similar to ‘though’, here) it seems they are able to manage quite well if the number of foreigners who speak the language extremely well is anything to go by.
I was in an Italian restaurant in Germany and was greatly amused to see the German waiter speaking to a French customer in English. This also happened when I was in Croatia. The Croatian receptionist spoke to a visitor I think was Russian in English. These strange inconsistencies seem not to faze them, even if they confuse some native speakers!
At last, I’ve got a working link to The Never-Dying Man. At least it worked for me. Hope it does for you too. If not, please let me know.
Here it is: