Friday, 24 November 2017

Cherishing a Daydreamer Forever




    Like many millions of David Cassidy fans, I was saddened to hear he had passed away this week. Hearing his songs  on the radio and TV made me feel like a teenager all over again.


    I had barely become a teen, when I began to adorn my bedroom walls with his pictures, one wall being solely dedicated to him. One Christmas I received a life size poster of the star, which I placed just at the correct height on the wall so I could look him straight in the eye, tell him how much "I loved him" and that "one day he would be mine." The problem was, every wild fan thought exactly the same.

    Although I was never lucky enough to see him in concert due to lack of finances, I did join the fan club and buy all his singles. The single 'Could it be Forever' I can remember taking to an English class, as we were asked to submit words by songwriters that we believed had true meaning. Can I say more?

    Unfortunately, the poster had to be discarded when I finally got married, many, many years later. My partner thought three was a crowd. However, I never lost that little space in my heart for David and may he R.I.P.


   

Monday, 20 November 2017

The Child in Me

   


    Christmas, which is mainly celebrated within western culture, can be a very magical time whether you are young, or old. The trees, the lights, the sparkling decorations and glittering tinsel adds to the mystique.

    In my town yesterday the Christmas lights were switched on and Santa even managed  to drop in for a flying visit, to the delight of the local children.

    I've been busy editing over the last week, however, the child in me wants to over indulge in the sentimentality of this annual celebration. Therefore, I have taken to watching a Christmas movie most days, sometimes even two I'm ashamed to say.

    I wonder what my daily doze will hold for me today? Will it be a rom-com, star an intoxicated Santa,  wayward elves, or over-worked reindeer? Who knows? But, it may make nostalgic watching.

    



    

    

   

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Mystery of Life



As I watch the sea lap gently against the shore
I cannot help but wonder, if to life there is more?

We don't know why we are here
In this place, or at this time

There has been many before us
And there will be countless after

Will one day the mystery be revealed?
To me, to you and to all


                                                                                        Christina Rowell



Monday, 13 November 2017

The Swing

Edinburgh, birthplace of Robert Louis Stevenson

    As a child I used to love to go to the public park with my aunt and uncle. I wasn't interested in the slide, or the merry-go-round, that always made me feel dizzy and sick. I only wanted to be pushed on a swing. The metal chains that suspended the seat clunked, clicked and squeaked, as I was pushed high into the air. On each push upwards, I tried to grab hold of the elusive clouds, or catch sight of my gran's house which lay over the field behind.

    That's why today on the anniversary of the birth of Robert Louis Stevenson, I chose his poem, The Swing. It brings back so many fabulous memories of my childhood.


The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall
Till I can see so wide
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside

Till I look down on the garden green
Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again
Up in the air and down!

Robert Louis Stevenson 
                      13 November 1850-3 December 1894

#RLSDay #onthisday #OTD

Friday, 3 November 2017

A Garden Without Butterflies


    Childhood memories of the lazy, hazy, day's of summer, stay firmly in the forefront of my mind. The smell of fresh mowed lawns and the scent of the flowers tickling my nose. Butterflies and bees flitting from flower to flower, pollinating the plants as they went.


   Young sparrows, and robins feeding like kings on the abundance of insects that lived in every nook and cranny of our garden. Pesky flies and wasps gate-crashing the impromptu  picnics that were spread upon a green and white checkered tablecloth on the back lawn.


    It seems that the insect world whether you love them, or hate them, are slowly depleting. We humans are destroying nature's pollinators and sources of food for our wildlife, with our chemical insecticides and pesticides.

    It's sad to think that future generations of children may never know a garden with butterflies.
  
    "What's a butterfly garden without butterflies?"

                                                            Roy Rogers


   

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Halloween Special


    As Halloween approaches I thought I would give you a devilish treat. Here is chapter twenty-one of, Salvation Hyperlink to Lost Souls. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Salvation-Hyperlink-Souls-Christina-Rowell-ebook/dp/B016IRYV7G/

Chapter Twenty-one

Day Twelve cont’d: Help! Get us out of here.
    Five minutes have passed since we last chatted and
the horror continues. The hole has stopped expanding
but, thankfully, hasn’t swallowed us all up. Yet. There’s
a lot of rumbling going on and it isn’t my tummy. The
deep crater that has now formed is smoking. I think it
leads to Hell itself. There are flames growing in height
as I speak.
    “We need all the prisoners together. Bring yours
here,” orders the bronze guy. He is the overall boss in
this group. “Hey, where’s your baton?” Trouble ahead;
he’s noticed that I am missing a vital piece of equipment.
Keep your thoughts clean.
    “I lost it when I was standing near the hole just as it
was opening up, and I must have dropped it.” Listen to
me. Liar, liar pants on fire. A weird look has come over
his face. It’s difficult to put into words, but I think it’s the
stare that does it for me. He pushes a spirit out of his way
and starts to move towards me and he waves at the clay
man who spoke to me earlier. He’s encouraging him to
join him. Told you there was trouble brewing. I think I
gave the wrong answer to his question.
    Heck, this is not the time for me to get visions of my
past life. I’m back in the schoolyard playing statues.
The thing is, I can see the faces of the other kids. All
that is holy, don’t let evil play with my memories. My
apparitions all seem to be splintering into pieces; it’s
important I get them out of my head, or I’m not going to
be able to deal with this imminent situation.
    Deep breath, mind has cleared, and bad vibes and visions have been locked away in the closet in my mind.
    “I asked you a question. Where’s your baton?” asks
the bronze man. His eyes are flashing like an animal’s
when an automobile’s headlights catch them in the dark.
    “I dropped it back there and I had no time to retrieve
it.” Oh, oh. That excuse must have been a lame one
because I haven’t halted the men’s advance.
    “How could you have dropped it?” asks the same
guy.
    “It just fell out of my hand, I told you.”
    “It can’t fall out of your hand. It manifests from your
wrist band. The wrist band that can only be removed
from an ordained disciple of the Devil himself.”
    “Eh…” Can’t answer that one.
    “I think we have an imposter amongst us here. Look,
he has no bracelet.” Do you recall the scene in Robin
Hood, Prince of Thieves, when Robin Hood visits the
Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin is impersonating one
of the bad guys. Well, that’s the situation that’s going
down right at this minute. No kidding. All I would need
now is a hood, bow, arrow, and a group of Merry Men
for support. The likelihood of that is near impossible, me
thinks.
    I’ve stopped pushing the light out of my body, so I’m
no longer glowing. If I had been in any other location in
the island, it would now be difficult for these humungous
guys to catch sight of me. But the fires creeping up the
hill are now well stoked and the light they’re giving off
is enough for these guys to see me. The only advantage
of the attention now being on me is that the guardians
have stopped trying to herd the prisoners. So, at least the
prisoners for now are safe.
    “Whatever happens, try and stay put,” I say to the
girls. They’re not saying anything. The three of them
are crouched down, arms around each other. Sobbing.
The bronze man is the first to grab hold of me. Since
eliminating my glow, I can feel my strength regenerating,
so I’m hoping I’m up for this fight.
    His hand clamps onto my right arm. It’s so tight it
feels like a vice. I’m trying to disperse my particles and
pull my arm free. Yep, managed. He looks at his empty
palm. His buddy the clay man fancies his chances. He
has his big hand around my throat. Excuse me if my
voice comes over a little funny at this point and I don’t
mean ha, ha. I shouldn’t do this cliché thing, but I say
them so you don’t get all bored on me.
    I think I might pass out if I don’t get my neck out of
his hand. He’s lifting me up by the neck and shaking me.
I wriggle free by altering the shape of my head. Not a
good look and, for goodness, sakes don’t try this at home.
    Here he comes again. I manage to push him with
some force. He’s lost his footing and he’s started to
roll down the hill. He won’t be coming back soon; he’s
being engulfed by the flames. Just be glad there is no
soundtrack to this book, or you would hear his awful
squeals.
    Clay man isn’t giving up. Here he comes. As he tries
to catch hold of me, I surround him with my particles,
which I’ve re-illuminated. He’s confused and, now, he’s
rotating like a ballerina doing a pirouette. As he spins
around, he swipes at me, but his hands can only grasp a
few molecules of me at a time and not enough to do me
any permanent damage. I feel a slight pinch but nothing
else. Nada. Thanks be to God.
    He’s continuing to swipe at my particles though with
his wand. “Ouch!” he managed to make some contact.
The brute. An electrical charge buzzes through me. Hope
it recharges my batteries.
    I’m trying to raise as much strength as I possibly
can from the inner soul of my soul. If that makes sense.
Although it’s not easy when a big guy with red eyes is
swiping at you and you’re trying to contain him at the
same time.
    Please God, help me raise my inner strength. I
suddenly feel revitalized. Never believe anything is
impossible because everything is attainable if you truly
want it. Hey, and it’s within reason of course. Reach for
the sky, kids.
    White light emanates from my dispersed body form.
I use the power of the light to squeeze him tighter and
tighter. With the heat I have generated on an already
melting body, the clay man has been force into a smaller
form. He’s gone all sticky and gooey. Here was me
thinking that he would fragment into tiny pieces, shows
how much I know. He can’t be made of proper clay; it
must be some kind of devil-made product.
    He’s thinner now but still the same height. I need to
compress him down if I can. I manage to rise above him
slightly and push his head down into his narrow body.
One slap down with the palm of my hand, his head
vanishes within the clay. Yeah! Done and crushed. He
can no longer do me any harm.
    I start to put my spirit back into a more manageable
metaphor and push hard to flatten clay boy out. I kick
him hard and he slides down the hill like a puck across
the ice at an ice hockey match.
    Two down. Eh…one, two, three to go. I’m hoping to
generate further heat from my form. I’ll tell you why in
a minute. I need to focus. It worked; the waxy guy who
thought he could do better than his buddies is already
flaking all over the place. So, I don’t think it’ll take much
to tip him over the edge so to speak.
    He’s now lunging at me. My metaphorical arm strikes
a blow to his head. Yeah. He felt the full force that was
behind it. A chunk of his face has fallen off. Huh, I wish I
could take a quick photograph for you. But hey ho, that’s
out of the question. I’ll describe him and you can draw a
photo fit. Big guy, six two, or bigger. Bulbous pink eyes
with a piece of his face and skull missing. His head now
has the appearance of a lop-sided church candle with
hair.
    I hit his head again with all the power I can muster.
Whoops, his head has just fallen off. “You shouldn’t lose
your head so easily, buddy.” Corny, I know. It rolls on
its own accord down the hill. It ignites instantly in the
flames and I can see it’s melting away into oblivion. The
rest of his strange manifestation has already turned into
a big puddle of wax. Gone.
    I scan my eyes over to the girls; they’re okay. To the
right of them is another waxy guy, but he’s not coming
for me, he’s taking a step back. The only two guys left
are now running towards me and they’ve linked arms,
showing they are united in their quest to annihilate me.
Holy crap.” I’m on my back and they’re both kicking
me and thumping me with their wands.
    It doesn’t matter how I change my body shape, every
blow and kick that’s being targeted at me is hitting a
bulls-eye, the bulls-eye being all over my body. Aaagh!
Hey, what’s happening? Zenda and Ruth have jumped
onto the backs of my clay and waxy attackers. Beth is
helping out by body punching each of the big brutes in
turn. These girls mean business. Ruth is poking the clay
man in the eyes and he’s pulling at her arms frantically.
This girl would be good on a bucking bronco, for sure.
Although these broncos are unlikely to be tamed in the
near future.
    I’m now able to resume my devil-slaying role since
I’m no longer being beaten with vengeance. I’m not
back onto my feet. Deep breath, deep breath. I’ve filled
my spiritual lungs with air. Note, I didn’t say fresh air,
because in this state I run on empty.
    That description would come under writers license,
I think. You know how those authors get carried away
with words and make life on occasions sound rosier, or
worse than it really is just for the sake of selling a book.
Um, moving on.
    Concentration time. I require it to get my particles
in order to create some extra destructive light and heat
waves. I believe that, when I beam this stuff out of me, I
will eliminate all that’s standing in the way of me getting
Ruth and Beth safely out at this present time anyway.
Because devil slaying I don’t believe is going to stop
here. We still have to get back to the Island of the Blessed.
Puuush. I’m now lit up like a light bulb and streams of
the white light and heat is emanating from each of my
arms. Each arm is now pointed at a distracted warder.
    The white heat sizzles into the matter that makes up
these evil spirits and makes strange zapping sounds. I
realize I have been calling them men previously, but it’s
easier for you to imagine them if I give you a description
that you can relate to.
    Otherwise, you may think that they were just a mass
of air floating about, or would you? Maybe I do you a
disservice, my friend, and you know what I’m talking
about right from the start and it’s not necessary for
me to spell it out each time. I’m rambling again. Okay.
But I think I’ll go with the safe option and continue to
explain things as best I can. Why I am I doing that for
you? Because that’s the kind of guy I am. Loveable,
considerate…
    I’m fully energized; say a little prayer, you guys. The
waxy spirit is now headless and Ruth has nothing left to
circle her arms around and slides down his back. Beth
kicks his right leg with all her might and his leg cracks at
the knee joint and crumbles into small pieces. His other
leg snaps in two with the weight of his upper body. He
is now a legless, headless torso lying on the ground. Beth
and Ruth jump on top of him and jump up and down on
the matter that is now left like they were on pogo sticks.
    The heat around here would make a cauldron bubble
and the spirit’s unstable body bends and splits into many
pieces. He isn’t ever going to give anyone any trouble
again. I think they could probably stop now, but it will
do them good to get their frustrated emotions that have
built up out of their systems.
    Zenda is struggling with with her victim, and I use the
word victim very, very loosely. I can now use a fullstrength
light beam on him. This should do the trick.
Zaaap! That was a mass of white light leaving me. It left
me so quickly and with such force that I now actually
feel dizzy. Gone. He’s just collapsed into a tangled heap.
    “Hooray,” the unguarded captives cheer at the
destruction of their keepers. Problem is, I now have a
group of spirits that think I’m going to lead them all to
freedom.
    Answers on a postcard as what to do next.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Meet Catherine Mesick

      

    I'm happy to introduce you today to the wonderfully, talented, Catherine Mesick in my, Author Spotlight, post. Catherine is a US based indie author and writer of teen paranormal fiction. The first book in her three book series, Pure was published in 2014 and she has agreed to a Q&A to give us an insight into her fictional world. 


 


    Welcome Catherine! 
     Catherine : Thanks very much for hosting me today!


Q & A
  • What made you decide to write teen paranormal fiction?
I enjoy reading teen paranormal fiction myself, so I just kind of fell into it naturally. The teen years are so important and formative, and you get to explore a lot of ideas that are new and exciting for teens. In addition, I always love anything with magic or the supernatural, and writing using those elements has been really wonderful. It’s great fun to dream up and create a paranormal world.
 
  • Have you faced any particular challenges writing for a YA audience?
Teens have very active minds—they’re always learning. So, I always try to bring something fresh and new to each story I write. I want to make sure that my plots, characters, and themes are inventive and thought provoking. I think that’s the biggest challenge in writing for a YA audience—making sure that you can capture their attention and keep them engaged.
 
  • Does your work appeal to the more mature YA reader?
My characters are all about seventeen or eighteen, and I try to give them the sophisticated material readers of that age deserve. You face a lot of big questions as a teen, and I try to come up with themes that have universal appeal. I always try to include a mystery element, too—which I think the more mature YA reader likes. Who doesn’t enjoy a good mystery!
 
  • How did you decide on the three titles of the 'Pure' series?
The first book, ‘Pure,’ was named after the struggles that the character William was having. William was thrown out of his society, and he believes that he is fundamentally flawed now—he feels he’s not good enough, not pure enough. The second book, ‘Firebird,’ is named after the fabled bird of Russian folklore. Russian folktales have a strong tradition of heroic female characters, and finding the firebird is often part of a quest that involves seemingly impossible odds. In this book, I felt like Katie’s quest to save others (and possibly sacrifice herself) was like her own personal quest for a ‘firebird.’ The third book, ‘Dangerous Creatures,’ is really just a reference to all the monsters Katie always seems to have chasing her.

  • 'Dangerous' was the last title to be released in your series, are you tempted to add another title? Or, do you have a new WIP that you can tell us something about?
I’m working on the fourth book in the series right now. It’s titled ‘Ghost Girl,’ and in this one, Katie meets a new adversary named the Queen of the Moon. The title refers to both the queen—who’s been making people disappear—and to Katie herself, who has been kind of hiding out from her own abilities. I’m also working on an anthology of short stories titled ‘Everyday Magic.’ I’ve had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope readers will enjoy it.
 
  • Please can you give us a glimpse into your paranormal world and introduce us to one of your favourite characters?
With the ‘Pure’ series, I wanted to create a place where there was magic around every corner. The action in the first book starts out in a small town named Elspeth’s Grove. I wanted Elspeth’s Grove to be a typical small town in the U.S., but a small town with secrets. And then, when the action shifts from Elspeth’s Grove to Krov, Russia, I wanted it to be like going from the known to the unknown. Traveling to Krov is like stepping into a fairy-tale world with spirits both light and dark, and all sorts of supernatural creatures. One of my favourite characters is Odette, and one of my favourite chapters in ‘Pure’ is one where Odette and Katie take a moonlit walk through Krov. Odette is a conflicted character, and she has some unpleasant personality traits, but ultimately, she’s lost and wandering and just wants to find her way. I feel a lot of sympathy for her.
 
  • Catherine, I'd like to thank you for taking the time today to introduce me and my readers to your world. But, before you go can you tell us a little about your journey into the writing world?
I’ve had a wonderful time meeting writers and readers through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc., and I’ve really learned a lot. I always thought the older way of getting published—sending out query letters and waiting months to get a response was a little cumbersome, so I was drawn to indie publishing from the very beginning. So, on the advice of an author that I very much admired, I decided just to take the plunge and publish my first book. It’s been hard work, but it’s also been a lot of fun, and I’m very thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to do this. I’m thankful, too, to all of the readers who’ve taken a chance on a writer who isn’t famous! I’m always trying to learn and improve, and I’m working now to get all of my books redesigned before my latest book is released. This new world of writing and publishing is a wonderful place, and I feel very lucky to be a part of it.

   


Thanks very much for having me today! I’ve really enjoyed my time in the Author Spotlight!

Link for my old blog: http://catherinemesick.blogspot.com/. You can read some free short stories here.

Link for my new blog: https://catherinemesick.com/. I’m just starting this one up, so there isn’t a whole lot of material. But you can read the first chapter of ‘Pure’ here.

Please feel free to say ‘hi’ some time on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CatherineMesick or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PureBookSeries/.

And if you would like to check out my books, you can find them on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=catherine+mesick