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.

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
    “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
    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
    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
    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,
    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
    Answers on a postcard as what to do next.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Meet Author 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: You can read some free short stories here.

Link for my new blog: 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: or Facebook:

And if you would like to check out my books, you can find them on Amazon:

Monday, 23 October 2017


    The classic poem I am featuring today is by French poet, Arthur Rimbaud. The poem tells us of the innocence of youth. For many youths are carefree in life and carefree in love. As his writing career finished at a young age I can only surmise that the words in this poem reflect his own attitude towards life and love at one time. The author himself died of cancer, at the age of thirty-seven years, but by this time had found out after a stormy love affair, that love wasn't so carefree after all.



No one is serious at seventeen
On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade
And loud, blinding cafes are the last thing you need
You stroll beneath green lindens on the promenade

Lindens smell fine on fine June nights!
Sometimes the air is so sweet that you close your eyes
The wind brings sounds, the town is near
And carries scents of vineyards and beer

Over there, framed by a branch
You can see a little patch of dark blue
Stung by a sinister star that fades
With faint quiverings, so small and white

June nights! Seventeen! Drink it in
Sap is champagne, it goes to your head
The mind wanders, you fell a kiss
On your lips, quivering like a living thing

The wild heart Crusoes through a thousand novels
And when a young girl walks alluringly
Through a streetlamp's pale light, beneath the ominous shadow
Of her father's starched collar

Because as she passes by, boot heels tapping
She turns on a dime, eyes wide
Finding you too sweet to resist
And cavatinas die on your lips

You're in love. Off mark till August
You're in love. Your sonnets make her laugh
Your friends are gone, you're bad news
Then, one night, your beloved, writes!

That night you return to the blinding cafes
You order beer or lemonade
No one is serious at seventeen
When lindens line the promenade

                                           Arthur Rimbaud 1854-1891

Thursday, 19 October 2017

A Right to be Heard

    As an obvious lover of storytelling, I was excited when my teacher told the class stories daily, at the start of my first year in infant school. However, my excitement quickly turned into dread, as we were increasingly encouraged to express ourselves, following these sessions.

    It wasn't that I didn't want to speak, it was because I found it difficult to do so as I had a stammer. Having to speak in front of my peers opened me up to ridicule and mocking, something that I tried to avoid constantly even at the young age of five years.

    There are millions of individuals, from children through to adults who struggle to be heard because of a speaking disorder. A battle they may face for only a short period of time, but for others it will be a battle of lifetime. Luckily, for me it was the former.

    Sunday, October 22 is, International Stammering Awareness Day, please be a good listener. We all have a right to communicate and to be listened to. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Her Voice

Oscar Wilde's Signature in Visitors book at Abbotsford House
    Today I'm celebrating the life of the notorious poet and writer, Oscar Wilde. Again as many of the writers I have included in this regular spot his life was cut short. However, his wit and charm live on in his written word. The poem I've featured today tells of a love break up, something that we know is hard to do.

Her Voice

The wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing
In his wandering
Sit is closer love, it was here I trow
I made that vow

Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea
As long as the sunflower sought the sun
It shall be, I said, for eternity
Twixt you and me!
Dear friend, those times are over and done
Love's web is spun

Look upward where the poplar trees
Sway and sway in the summer air
Here in the valley never a breeze
Scatters the thistledown, but there
Great winds blow fair
From the mighty murmuring mystical seas
And the wave-lashed leas

Look upward where the white gull screams
What does it see that we do not see?
Is that a star? Or the lamp that gleams
On some outward voyaging argosy
Ah! Can it be?
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams
How sad it seems

Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost
Ships tempest tossed
Will find a harbour in some bay
And so we may

And there is nothing left to do
But to kiss once again and part
Nay, there is nothing we should rue
I have my beauty, you your art
Nay, do not start
One world was not enough for two
Like me and you

                                            Oscar Wilde   1854-1900
  'Somehow or other I'll be famous, and if not famous, 
                                        I'll be notorious.'

Friday, 13 October 2017

Zero Tolerance to Hunger


     I love food. Not just eating it, but cooking too. I'm on a diet at the present, I'm happy to say it is successful and that I don't feel hungry.

    Being on a diet is my choice, what I cook for dinner and buy with regards to food for my home is up to me. If I want to go to a restaurant, I can.  The options I have to fill my thankfully, shrinking tummy are endless.

    But, there are so many in the world that do not know where their next mouthful of food is going to come from. Parents don't know how they are going to feed themselves, never mind their children. Natural disasters, climate change, poverty and wars add to millions of people's desperation.

    As individuals we can do very little, but governments and large organisations can. On Monday 16th October it is, World Food Day and Pope Francis will join ambassadors of the United Nations to discuss how we can eradicate hunger in our world.

    It won't be an easy task, but we can only hope that plans can be put into action and the people effected can at least have one less thing to worry about. 


Monday, 9 October 2017


    We all have memories of our childhood and I hope your recollections are of happy times. Unfortunately, life I know isn't kind to us all and many writers of the past and present put their own experiences down onto the page, creating unique work.

    I'm featuring today a classic poem by one of my favourite authors, Edgar Allan Poe. He was a genius at producing, a deep, dark atmosphere with his usage of words. Whether, the poem below reflects his own childhood, I am unable to say. But, as a man known to have had a turbulent, short life, the words do echo someone looking back at a not so perfect time as a child.


From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were, I have not seen
As others saw, I could not bring 
My passions from a common spring

From the same source I have not taken 
My sorrow, I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone
And all I loved, I loved alone

Then in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life, was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still

 From the torrent, or the fountain
From the red cliff of the mountain
From the sun that around me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold

From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by
From the thunder, and the storm
And the cloud that took the form
When the rest of Heaven was blue
Of a demon in my view

  Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849


Friday, 6 October 2017

Disappointing Hero?


    Last night on T.V I happened to see an author whose work I have admired for many years and still do. However, when I had the opportunity to meet the acclaimed writer in the flesh a couple of years ago, I was really disappointed.

    Blaming them for being much different from the one I perceived, or the one I believed they portrayed theirself as, would of course be wrong. Because, heroes and idols are on the pedestal that we as individuals place them upon.

    Leading on from this, I started to wonder about the many historical heroes that I and others refer to in our writing. If I had met Robert Burns, King Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, William Shakespeare, or Charles Darwin would I still be interested in them?

    I will never know. The lesson I have learned here is that I  will in the future reluctantly meet any hero, because it's no fun knocking them off the pedestal I created in my mind.






Sunday, 1 October 2017

The Angel

    Angels are obviously very close to my writing heart. That's why today I have chosen a poem by Russian poet, romantic writer and painter, Mikhail Lermontov. Like the great Robert Burns he also passed away at a very young age.

The Angel

The angel was flying through sky in midnight
And softly he sang in his flight
And clouds, and stars, and the moon in a throng
Hearkened to that holy song
He sang of the garden of God's paradise
Of innocent ghosts in its shade
He sang of the God, and his vivacious praise
Was glories and unfeigned
The juvenile soul he carried in arms
For worlds of distress and alarms
The tune of his charming and heavenly song
Was left in the soul for long
It roamed on earth many long nights and days
Filled with a wonderful thirst
And earth's boring songs could not ever replace
The sounds of heaven it lost

Mikhail Lermontov 1814-1841