Sunday, 5 February 2023

Hyperlink To Lost Souls Book Extract

     It's the start of a new week, great. Hope you all have a fantastic one. I thought I'd share an extract from the first chapter of my second book in, my YA, fantasy, Salvation series. So here's a five minute read to start your week off.





Chapter One (Extract)

Day One: On the Road


    OMG, I’m on my way to a place called Tuktoyaktuk in the Northern territories. It seems the locals call it Tuk and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. Besides, all those key depressions on my android could give me repetitive strain injury.

    Before I set off, Mikey said to me, “Make sure and pack lots of warm clothing for your trip.” So, I can only assume it’s going to be on the nippy side. He didn’t enlighten me as to what the actual temperature will be, but he informed me that it was a land of ice caps, pingos, aurora borealis, and the midnight sun. Which I think translates into, brrrrrrrrr, shiver, shiver. Oh, and by the way, for those of you who have just joined me, Mikey is my pet name for Archangel Michael. Not to his face of course.

    Now, I need to tell you about my new amigo. His name is Stan Carter and he’s a truck driver. Come on, keep up. How could he drive a truck if he was dead? Don’t even try to justify what you thought or said out aloud. He’s very much alive and kicking, and he’s the
driver of the truck I’ve managed to hitch a ride in.

    Oh, apologies, apologies to my new friends who have just joined me. You don’t know that I’m D— I don’t say the ‘D’ word when I’m referring to myself. I have difficulty with the whole concept. You really should have read the first book before starting this one. If you
had done so, I wouldn’t need to keep explaining things as I go along. Boring the socks off the guys who joined me at the beginning of my journey on Earth. Whoa, I’m
not complaining, the more the merrier. I rely on all you guys out there in the real world and I appreciate your marvelous company.

    Back to Stan, I approached him at a diner some five hours back. He lives in Tuk and kindly agreed to take me there. Sorry, he agreed to take us the rest of the way. That’s if you’re sticking around.
    Pleeease, pleeease. I’m pleading with you; I won’t plead for too long. Great, make sure you pack your woollies. Well, maybe not. If you’re lying on an exotic beach reading this, you sure would look dumb.

    Stan says that we’ll reach Tuk in another three hours, as we’ve only one hundred fifty kilometers to go. We’ve just left Inuvik and it’s going to be ice road all the way now. The ice road being the Mackenzie River, which is frozen solid.

    You know, appearances can be so deceptive. Let me explain myself; Stan is a big, scraggy faced guy, arms covered in tattoos and a head full of piercings. Well, not actually his skull, but you know the sort I mean. He has rings in his ears, nose, and eyebrows and his tongue clicks when he speaks, because there’s a large silver stud in the middle of it. Eek! It was bad enough getting my demon early warning stud put in my earlobe. The thought of it still sends a shiver down my spine. Brrrrrr.

    What was I talking about before I digressed? Something that you newbies need to realize is that I do this on a regular basis. Oh, I was telling you about Stan. Yeah, yeah, Stan. If appearances were something to go by, you sure wouldn’t pick a fight with this guy, no sir.
But since I’ve been able to spend some one-on-one time with him, I’ve found out that he’s a great big teddy bear.

    He’s just invited me to stay at his place until I’m settled in Tuk. I’ll fill you in on my cover story later. He said I can share a room with his son, who happens to be the same age as me. Coincidence? Don’t think so. I’ve agreed because I believe this is where my adventure is about to start.

     Then again, it looks like my adventure could be starting here, right now. Holy cow! Visibility is very poor, a complete whiteout. Stan has slowed the truck down to 20 mph and the tail lights of the truck in front are no longer visible. Earlier some of Stan’s fellow truckers warned him over the CB radio of the blizzards ahead. He tried to prepare me for this situation, but hell I never thought it would be as bad as this. Sca–reee. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say hell in this context. Hell, I’ve said it anyway.

    “Don’t panic, I know this road like the back of my hand. We just have to try to keep moving. The ice is real thin here and I don’t feel like taking an ice-cold dip,” says Stan calmly. He sounds unruffled, in fact he’s as cool as a cucumber. 

    “Neither do I. I didn’t pack my swim shorts and I definitely don’t fancy skinny dipping,” I say, chuckling nervously. I can hear the ice road crackle under the weight of the wheels. Sooo, I’m hoping Mickey’s following my progress and can give me some help if something goes wrong.

    Whoa, Stan has just slammed on the brakes. The truck’s wheels have locked, we’re now skating on the thin ice and we’re not stopping. OMG, something very strange has happened to the road in front of us. A mound of sorts has risen up out of the ice and we’re skidding
straight towards it. Closer and closer we go.

    I can see the front of it has opened up, like a grotto. The thing is, I don’t think we’re going to meet Saint Nick, or Our Lady of Lourdes in here. Aagh! I think we may be
meeting up with the Tooth Fairy; we’re now staring into the open jaws of a huge and I mean humungous, white cougar.

    Gulp. That wasn’t me gulping, that was the giant cougar. He’s gobbled us up and that was the sound of him swallowing us, truck and all. We’ve been engulfed. Yes, you read my words correctly.

   End of extract                                                                                                      

Monday, 30 January 2023

Time to Escape


     Today, is National Escapism Day, yeah we all need to escape sometimes from the reality of our daily lives. We all face different pressures, whether work, money, relationships or, health, and to help us cope we all need to have some me time, from time to time. Even if it's just for an hour, indulging ourselves can make a whole lot of difference to our well-being.

    The good thing is that self indulgence doesn't need to cost anything. If you have a garden or, park nearby to your home, sitting for a while watching the local wildlife can fill us with so much pleasure.

    Personally I love just to walk an hour or, so alone each day. I'm lucky enough to live by the sea and there is nothing I like better than to watch and listen to the waves as they hit  the shore.

    Where I live now is so different from when I was back in Scotland, but do you know what? Yes, the scenery the wildlife are very different, but how it makes me feel is exactly the same.

    Now, I know that mobility problems may make getting about difficult for many. But, reading about wildlife, far off places or, even just a good romance can help us escape for just that hour we need.

    Whatever, you choose today to do ENJOY!

Friday, 27 January 2023

The Wise Woman




    Today, January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day, a day which commemorates an era we as human beings should never forget. A time when one man believed he had the right to say who lived or, died in the world.

    The first book that brought the realities of this period to life for me was, The Diary of Anne Frank. I was absolutely fascinated or was it astonished by what she wrote. Her writing was not of a thirteen year old child, but of a wise woman.

    I know at her age I always wrote in notebooks at every opportunity, with the hope that some day I would be a published writer as she did. But, thankfully what I wrote about was purely fictional and I didn't have any real life experiences of atrocities in my life.  Whatever, age you are, if you haven't read the diary it's a must.

    One of her quotes reminds me of why I continued to put pen to paper and still continue to do so. 

    "If I haven't any talent for writing books or, newspaper articles, well then I can always write for myself."

Anne Frank  1929-1945





Sunday, 22 January 2023

The Goat and I

    I haven't written here for a while, but before the first month of this new year ends I thought it was time to post again. Today I am featuring the poem, The Goat and I by British-Canadian poet, Robert William Service. While his rhyme is centered around the endearing animal, the goat; his words  reflect upon the then conflict that was going on in his world at the time of him writing. His verse I believe also befits the world we now live in and that's why I'm sharing it with you.


Each sunny day upon my way

A goat I pass;

He has a beard of silver grey.

A bell of brass. 

And all the while I am in sight

He seems to muse,

And stares at me with all his might

And chews and chews.

Upon the hill so thyme sweet

With joy of spring. 

He hails me with a tiny bleat

Of welcoming,

Though half the globe is drenched with blood

 And cities flare,

Contentedly he chews the cud

And does not care.

Oh gentle friend, I know not what your age may be,

But of my years I'd give the lot

Yet left to me,

To chew a thistle and not to choke,

but bright of eye

Gaze at old world-weary bloke

Who hobbles by.

Alas! though bards make verse sublime,

And lines to quote,It takes a fool like me to rhyme

About a goat.

By Robert William Service, January 16 1874-September 11. 1958.

  This poem is in public domain.

Monday, 25 July 2022

Nelson's Retreat



    Today  here in our capital of Tenerife, the city commemorates the 225th anniversary of the battle of Santa Cruz. Admiral Horatio Nelson and his fleet sailed to our shores with the plan to take the territory from the Spanish.

    Because of our location in the Atlantic Ocean, the island was desirable for the British. Unfortunately, for the Admiral, the Spanish under the command of General Gutierrez were ready to fight for their King, Ferdinand VII and country.

    As Nelson attempted to land with his party, they were welcomed by cannon fire. Horatio's arm was shattered by shrapnel and the landing party had to withdraw.

    That day the British fleet was badly depleted and Horatio was left with the constant reminder of his failure after his arm had to be partially amputated.

    There will be celebrations tonight, in the capital, that will include battle reenactments and of course lots of fireworks. We do love a good fiesta here!!



#Tenerife #SantaCruzdeTenerife #HoratioNelson #Fiestas #1797Battle

Saturday, 30 April 2022

     Five Minutes of Fame, or Cutting Room Floor ?

    Over four days or so, trucks parked up, car parks and vacated premises were taken over.

 The overhead signs on  the gates leading to the boat moorings changed, and the pricing of

 the jet-ski hire changed from euros to Croatian kuna. Not forgetting that the marina now 

sits on the Adriatic sea rather than the Atlantic Ocean.


    How on earth could that happen? Answer: the makers of 'Tom Clancy's, Jack Ryan rolled

 into town. Our beautiful little town of Las Galletas on the south of the island of Tenerife,

 the Canary Islands had been chosen as a location in the upcoming new series.


    While I'm writing this tonight, several roads are being closed off and security guards are

making sure no spectators visit the sights chosen, in anticipation of filming taking place

overnight in the hours of darkness,

    When the weekend comes around tomorrow, the minor upheaval will be forgotten, and

any signs of a film crew will be gone. The town's people will now be in fiesta mode, it will

be time to celebrate, Labor Day. Normal life will resume and this beautiful little town may

have at least five minutes of fame when series four, hits the screens. 

    Hopefully, the scenes don't end up on the cutting room floor.



Tuesday, 8 March 2022

 A Prayer for Liberty and Peace



   Today is, International Women's Day, and one woman I admire, is poet, Phillis Wheatley. I chose this amazing woman for many reasons.

   Phillis was born in West Africa, on May 8 1753, which is only 965 miles, from the Canary Island I call home. At the age of 7 or 8 Phillis was kidnapped to be sold for slavery. Humans were and still are a lucrative cargo, then in the hands of the greedy slave traders and now to the exploitative human traffickers. Last year 9255, illegal migrants of African descent, many of them Senegalese, as Phillis was, arrived in the Canary Islands.

    Sold to the, Wheatley family of Boston, USA, Phillis at an early age demonstrated her talent for writing poetry. Considering she was not writing in her first language it was a wonderful achievement not only to be published, but also to be one of the first, if not the first African/American to publish a book of poetry.

    The poem of Phillis's I have chosen to feature today is about war, something which is at the forefront of the minds of the world today. 

    This poem also celebrates the end of war. Something, that I pray, Ukraine and the African countries which are also being consumed by conflict at this time, will be able to do very soon.  

    Please, let liberty reign and let peace smile once again, as Phillis wrote.

Liberty and Peace
Lo! Freedom comes. Th’ prescient Muse foretold,
All Eyes th’ accomplish’d Prophecy behold:
Her Port describ’d, She moves divinely fair,
Olive and Laurel bind her golden hair.
She, the bright Progeny of Heaven, descends,
And every Grace her sovereign Step attends;
For now kind Heaven, indulgent to our prayer,
In smiling Peace resolves the Din of War.
Fix’d in
Columbia her illustrious Line,
And bids in thee her future Councils shine.
To every Realm her Portals open’d wide,
Receives from each the full commercial Tide.
Each Art and Science now with rising Charms,
Th’ expanding Heart with Emulation warms.
E’en great
Britannia sees with dread Surprize,
And from the dazzling Splendor turns her Eyes!
Britain, whose Navies swept th’ Atlantic o’er,
And Thunder sent to every distant Shore:
E’en thou, in Manners cruel as thou art,
The Sword resign’d, resume the friendly Part!
Galia’s Power espous’d Columbia’s Cause,
And new-born
Rome shall give Britannia Law,
Nor unremember’d in the grateful Strain,
Shall princely
Louis’ friendly Deeds remain;
The generous Prince th’ impending Vengeance eye’s,
Sees the fierce Wrong, and to the rescue flies.
Perish that Thirst of boundless Power, that drew
Albion’s Head the Curse to Tyrants due.
But thou appeas’d submit to Heaven’s decree,
That bids this Realm of Freedom rival thee!
Now sheathe the Sword that bade the Brave attone
With guiltless Blood for Madness not their own.
Sent from th’ Enjoyment of their native Shore
Ill-fated, never to behold her more!
From every Kingdom on
Europa’s Coast
Throng’d various Troops, their Glory, Strength and Boast.
With heart-felt pity fair
Hibernia saw
Columbia menac’d by the Tyrant’s Law:
On hostile Fields fraternal Arms engage,
And mutual Deaths, all dealt with mutual Rage;
The Muse’s Ear hears mother Earth deplore
Her ample Surface smoak with kindred Gore:
The hostile Field destroys the social Ties,
And ever-lasting Slumber seals their Eyes.
Columbia mourns, the haughty Foes deride,
Her Treasures plunder’d, and her Towns destroy’d:
Witness how
Charlestown’s curling Smoaks arise,
In sable Columns to the clouded Skies!
The ample Dome, high-wrought with curious Toil,
In one sad Hour the savage Troops despoil.
Peace the Power of War confounds;
From every Tongue coelestial
Peace resounds:
As from the East th’ illustrious King of Day,
With rising Radiance drives the Shades away,
So Freedom comes array’d with Charms divine,
And in her Train Commerce and Plenty shine.
Britannia owns her Independent Reign,
Hibernia, Scotia, and the Realms of Spain;
And great
Germania’s ample Coast admires
The generous Spirit that
Columbia fires.
Auspicious Heaven shall fill with fav’ring Gales,
Where e’er
Columbia spreads her swelling Sails:
To every Realm shall
Peace her Charms display,
And Heavenly
Freedom spread her golden Ray.
Phillis Wheatley 1753-1784