Sunday 30 November 2014

Happy St. Andrew's Day!

Happy St. Andrew’s Day to everyone – even though it’s now almost gone for me in Scotland.

It's been a day of rushing to get to the end of my latest writing project- that WIP that's been on the go for ages. I’m now delighted to say that I have finished the lastest version, give or take that I am so anal I need to reread the whole thing all over again before I tackle the sensitive subject of getting beta readers and sending off the manuscript to an editor.
I have an editor in mind, and hope he’s still interested in working with me on this project that's taken so long to rewrite.

I still want to complete my challenge of getting the manuscript done by the end of November, so I’m going to have to read like fury – it being just past 10pm here. 

I've already given some background to St.Andrew's Day on this blog in past years, and may do a little more tomorrow- depending on how tonight finishes up.

In case you know nothing about St. Andrew here’s a link.


Friday 28 November 2014

Packing the boxes again..

Hello Friday!

Yes, I'm packing the book-selling boxes again, nice and early since I'm off tonight to the Garioch Jazz Club in Inverurie, Scotland to hear the Ken Mathieson Classic Jazz Orchestra.

That means a long night out so the preparation for tomorrow's stint at the book stalls has to be ready now!

I've not done as much as I wanted today to my lingering WIP but I am splicing the exciting ending better than it was a few days ago.


I've done something similar before when there is action happening in different areas with different characters. The trick is to be sure that the events are 'timed' properly otherwise the 'sequencing' of the story falters.

If that doesn't entirely make sense - no problem - because it's not quite there yet with me either.   

Will my table look like the one above? This photo was taken a few weeks ago but I'll be aiming to make the table arrangement just a little different- maybe.

Meanwhile here's a bit of the 'maybe' it will go in and maybe it won't in my WIP. 

This is near the end. My character, Aran, has been handed over to the Roman Emperor Severus as part of the treaty with the northern Brittanic Celts. 

By Taranis! He was getting used to mouthing to the god of the Celts.
If Severus didn’t kill him first, then Callum was bound to.
He was supposed to look after the twins and here he was, yet again, separated from them and unable to do anything about it. Half-run half-dragged it seemed no time at all before he was facing the turf walls of the temporary camp at Durno. The fright he’d been feeling as a prisoner was replaced by that treacherous excitement again. He’d stood at the very same part of the land in the twenty first century when all there was to show for a Roman temporary camp was a bump in the field. What faced him now was incredible.
On the far side of a shallow ditch was a wall of sharpened stakes at the top of the banking that formed the outer wall of the camp - a temporary palisade. Behind it he could just see the worn leather of many sizeable ridge tents. He knew that a contubernium group of eight men shared each tent, but when he was marched in through a tightly-lashed wooden gateway the sight of those tents was even more impressive. Precisely packed behind the earthworks were rows and rows of accurately positioned shelters with clear walkways between them - town streets full of tents.

Aran found himself shoved into the opening of one of the tents but he knew it was no ordinary accommodation. The rectangular tent reeked of officer status. There was a table set close to the far wall with a mound of scrolls upon it. A low cot was positioned at one side of the tent flap. Heaps of bits and pieces lay on top of low trestle tables and items of clothing and weapons hung from racks.
An order was barked into his face. He guessed it wasn’t the man telling him to make himself comfortable and there wasn’t much chance of escape during the daylight with Roman soldiers crawling around like ants in an anthill. Unfortunately, he wasn’t sure it would be better when darkness descended either.
The man who had frogmarched him into the tent stood talking to the soldiers.
Aran reached for the tiny nub on his armband knowing that it might be his only opportunity to use the language function. The second the flap opened, he depressed the red lips icon. When a message scrolled across the tiny display, it was a huge surprise. ‘The others are safe. You will be reunited soon. Do nothing rash meantime and learn what you can.’ Catching the words moving along the panel was an art because they fed along at a spanking pace.
It seemed he had to sit tight and work his way through the next stage of this weird adventure. He wished the twins were with him, yet he’d no time to dwell, or make plans, because someone was coming back in. He snapped the flap of the armband shut wondering why they hadn’t removed it from his arm.

Should I keep it or not? Compared to most of the novel it's a bit heavy on the narrative. 


Thursday 27 November 2014

BookWeek Scotland here I come!

Hello Thursday!

The days disappear in a haze of writing, editing and child-minding. The usual domestics? Yes. Almost. Remove gardening from the picture, since every day has been rainy and misty- definitely no outside tasks since I'm a fair weather gardener.
The main focus of this week has been tidying up the loose ends of this current version of my manuscript for early teens/ YA. How long does it take for an author to complete a book? My answer is much like many others- as long as it takes to be at a completed stage that I'm happy with but also my editor will be happy with.

The last bits are often the hardest to write. I might think I’ve got a nice ending but too short and the reader feels it's rushed. Too drawn out and it gets boring waiting for those final words.

The first edits to this manuscript indicated I really needed to do a lot of work on the ending, and I have. I’m desperate to do a last re-read before I send it to my beta-reader and editor. 

But first since it is BookWeek Scotland I have a ‘Meet The Author’ talk to do at Inverurie Library tonight at 7pm. Inverurie isn’t my local library but it is in the ‘county town’ only 4 miles away from my home. Local enough.

What have I been tasked to do?

After a general intro, I’ll be relating my pathway to publication in one of those ‘The Whole of Shakespeare in 6o minutes’ jobs and tell my audience what happens after the novel contract is signed. The post - publication promotions. Generally- the hardest bit. I’m hoping for a lot of questions to answer and I’ll give some options for short readings and see what’s preferred.

My talk at the library is only one of many events that are happening all over Scotland during this BookWeek Scotland week.


Tuesday 25 November 2014

More exciting news on the review front!

Hello. Since I'm writing this at just after my midnight time I'll say it really is a good morning for me!

Monday was almost gone for me when I noticed a tweet about a brand new 5* review for my contemporary mystery thriller - Topaz Eyes. Here's what the reviewer has to say about my novel which is an Award Finalist for The People's Book Prize 2014.

5.0 out of 5 stars Topaz Eyes A Jewel of a Book, November 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Topaz Eyes (Kindle Edition)
Reviewed By Marilyn Baron

“A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor.” This premise launches the book called Topaz Eyes by Nancy Jardine. Once you start this exciting romantic suspense, you won’t be able to put it down. I especially like the fact that it is set in such fascinating places throughout Europe and that it is about fabulous jewelry, two of my favorite topics. Keira and her newfound cousins go on a hunt for the jewels, which uncovers long-held family secrets and leads to murder, intrigue and love.
My thanks to Marilyn Barron. 
Before I toddle off to sleep I also need to check my new writing today. I'm delighted to say I've added about another 5 thousand words to my WIP!

Sunday 23 November 2014

Gratifying reviews!

Happy Sunday to you!

It is a very happy Sunday for me because I have just checked in to my Amazon author page and I found 3 brand new 5* reviews posted a couple of days ago. (21st November Amazon UK)

A reader named K. Peacock (no, I do not know the man) has posted short but fabulous reviews for all 3 books in my Celtic Fervour Series. I am so gratified to find he enjoyed reading my novels. This what makes the agonising process of writing them very worthwhile. I don't need huge long re-dos of my plot in a review - these short ones are absolutely perfect and cover the aspects the reader has enjoyed.

Since he has listed the reviews under 'paperback' versions I have to assume he has bought a 3-pack version of my novels directly from me at one of the Craft Fairs where I've recently been selling ...or he has bought it from The Scottish Crannog Centre at Loch Tay, the shop having stocked some of my novels to sell. 

Wherever you bought them from - Thank you very much indeed K.Peacock. 

Here's what he has to say:

5.0 out of 5 stars Great characterisation and well paced story, 21 Nov 2014
K. Peacock "Bridie Bhoy" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Beltane Choice (Paperback)
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Great characterisation and well paced story. Highly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series of novels, 21 Nov 2014
K. Peacock "Bridie Bhoy" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
A fantastic follow-up to the brilliant Beltane Choice. The author really gets inside the heads of the characters so you completely empathise with, and understand, their feelings and actions - even when you/they disagree with them. Highly recommend this series of novels.

This review is from:  After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks

5.0 out of 5 stars  brilliant action & characters 21 Nov 2014
The third, and best so far, novel in the Celtic series. More of action in this book, but still makes the characters real and alive. The action shifts up to the Garioch area for the decisive battle at Bennachie and the sad aftermath (obviously from a Celtic rather than Roman perspective). I can't wait for the next episode in this fantastic series. 

This is a great way to start off th coming week since it also happens to be 'Bookweek Scotland'. More of this tomorrow.
Happy Reading to you! 


Saturday 22 November 2014

Out blogging again...

Happy Saturday to you!

Aberdeenshire Canal - Wikimedia Commons

It's my 'every-second-Saturday' post at Writing Wranglers and Warriors today. Catch me there talking about this and that - and the Aberdeenshire Canal. Click HERE to visit. 


Wednesday 19 November 2014

Just dug up!

Wednesday welcome to everyone! 

My blog has been silent for days since my limited writing time has been devoted to my WIP. However, I had intended to do another of my 'Weapons through the Ages’ posts today but I got sidetracked by a new find.

A small excavation by the building engineer was done this morning in my back garden to ascertain the suitability of the soil for the foundations of the new house that is going to be built there next year.
I'm delighted to say that there will be no issues with the foundation digging since the site of the long defunct Aberdeenshire Canal is a little east of my garden. The worry was that the land would be waterlogged. I've been living and working the garden for 26 years and I could tell the engineer it is very free draining. Red tape exists, though, and he had to do his job and check what actually is there.

When the soil was backfilled for safety reasons, the work on the house not starting till next year, I had a look at the newest dug up patch. To my delight, another intact glass bottle had been brought to the surface. My garden ground is very old, the house built in the 1820s, so I have dug up a number of interesting items including other as yet undated glass bottles.
Today's find was this intact glass bottle.

Veno's Lightning Cough Cure2

It prompted me to find out a little bit more about it.

Mr Veno didn’t start off with that name. William Varney was born in Castle Douglas, Scotland, in 1866. Census information states that he was employed as a Telegram Learner at 15 years of age. At 17, William went to sea as a cabin boy on the Guion and sailed to America where he stayed for three years. In 1891, he returned to America and worked in advertising. By 1894, he patented Veno’s Drug Co Ltd in Pittsburg Pennsylvania.  At this time, there were a lot of quacks and charlatans doing a roaring trade selling all sorts of potions to cure ills but many of them were peddling rubbish and even dangerous mixtures. Varney was one of the more competent ones having acquired a reputable formula which he patented as - Veno’s Cough Mixture. Following on the success of his mixture, he changed his name to Veno. In 1897, he left the USA and returned to Britain. He set up a factory and headquarters in Manchester where his company produced the cough mixture. His company also patented and sold Germolene; a Veno’s Seaweed Liniment; and Dr Cassels Indigestion Tablets.

By 1920, he was a main employer in the Manchester area and by 1920 was knighted for his services to industry, though mainly for his help in the recruitment of soldiers during WWI.
By 1925, he thought he had skin cancer because he had a problem with his lip. At this point in time, he sold off his patents; company; and all rights to Beecham’s Pharmaceuticals. As it happened, he did not have skin cancer at all and in 1933 he was found dead of a gunshot wound in his garden grounds. It was thought to be a suicide because, although still reasonably rich, a number of his high finance projects had collapsed and he had lost a lot of money.

I know for sure that as growing up I was often given Veno’s Cough Mixture and Germolene was applied to my scrapes and wounds. The indigestion tablets? I don’t think so, but I was regularly given Milk of Magnesia to ‘make me go’ – a euphemistic phrase for having regular bowel motions!

How old my newly acquired  bottle is, I don’t know but it could be as old as the turn of the century if it is one of the earliest Veno’s bottles. My next research would be to establish what the meaning is of the 2 that is etched on the glass.


Friday 14 November 2014

Out today!

Happy Friday to you!

I'm out guest posting at James North's blog today. He asked me to write my path to publication story so if you haven't read it before catch it at :

James North Thrillers

I've also been busy this morning cheering myself up with a new poster...

Wednesday 12 November 2014

One Lovely Blog Award!

One Lovely Blog Award
I was nominated by Paula Martin for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'.

The award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a “lovely” manner, giving them recognition and helping them reach more viewers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines.

The Rules for accepting the Award(s):

1. Thank and link back to the awesome person who nominated you.
2. Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate up to 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know.

So, first, thank you Paula Martin for this lovely compliment and opportunity. Here's her BLOG  which I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Seven things about me
(and I'm cheating because there are more than seven :-) :
1. I'm one of those weird people who are totally content at home and don't constantly need to be 'out and about' doing socialising things- though I do like it when I am out on occasions.

2. In general, I don't get bored easily. I can be extremely anal and enjoy tasks which are long and repetitive like designing, printing and cutting to size items for marketing purposes like bookmarks, or business cards. I could send to Vistaprint etc but I prefer to physically make my own. I also love making Book Trailer Videos which take me forever! Though if I'm listening to music, at home or at a concert, I also want to be doing something else like reading or writing or years ago- knitting or sewing.

3. I hate shopping, even for things for myself. If I'm doing the grocery shopping I'm in and out of the store in a blink.

4. I'm a wannabe historian. I love reading about all things historic. I love visiting historical venues but I've such an awful memory that many places I've been to sort of merge together. I know that I've visited because I recognise the name - eg Vindolanda but if someone asked me to describe it I'd have to go back to the photos taken to be sure I wasn't mixing it up with somewhere else.I suppose if I could go back to my childhood I would try to find ways to improve my memory skills. I remember being a Girl Guide doing 'Kin's Game' which was a memory game. There would be 20 objects on a table and we'd be given a few minutes to learn them to recall on demand. I was rubbish then and I'm still rubbish at that kind of thing. All of this means I have to fact check constantly! 

5. I have read thousands of books over the decades bur rarely retain any of the storylines. If it's a classic I'll know that I've read a book from its title, but if questioned and given a character name I'd probably not remember which book they were in.

6. I used to be quite good at 'Who Wants to Be A Millionnaire' when it first started when the questions tended to be what I'd call good old fashioned general knowledge. Unfortunately, that changed when the questions veered towards TV programmes, films and modern music artists/ groups- they got me flummoxed! That would be because I DO get bored with general TV programmes; I've hardly watched any TV for decades and only tend to catch BBC historical serials and some politics programmes.

7. If people ask where I come from I've always said - I'm from Glasgow and I'm Scottish. The British part of me comes after that. Whenever possible in my writing I include something 'Scottish'. It's not intended as a political statement or even meant to be a nationalist one - it's just that I'm proud to add something about my homeland where appropriate.

I nominate Jane Bwye,  and anyone else who'd like to take up the challenge and who has a lovely blog. 


Monday 10 November 2014

Monday Moments and missing connections!

Hello and goodbye to Monday!

All day long I've been fighting a losing battle to keep my internet connection available long enough to publish some blog writing.

Two weeks ago, I had a BT telecommunications worker come to my door to ask if he could access the telephone pole in my garden as there would be repairs to it the following week. Yes, I said - no problem.

Last week the doorbell dinged and my husband went through the same scenario. Has anything happened? You guessed it...NO.

The telephone connection into my house is no doubt incredibly old since my house is one of the older ones in the village mainstreet but that's no exuse for us having a very unreliable and poor connection. Do we have fibre broadband? DUH...don't be silly I'm sure someone is saying though it apparently is in my village and some people do very well by it. Unfortunately more like 80% of the village still have an ancient copper wire system and are lucky to get 500k speeds on their very unreliable internet connections.

Change my supplier, you're going to suggest? The problem with that is that you still need BT
access with whichever supplier you use.

There is evidence nearby in the street that maintenance work is being done locally so I live in hope that tomorrow will be better.

Till then, I'll continue to plug on with my current time-travel for early teens WIP.

Here are some Monday Moments from it that are probably not going to survive as they are at present...enjoy! The location is north-east Scotland AD 210. The Roman Emperor Severus is camped along with more than thirty thousand of his troops. My time-travelling 13 year old Brian doesn't seem to be in a very advantageous position...
and his communications are worse off than mine!

Brian was prodded and jostled from all sides as the long line he was in was unchained, the clank of the iron bonds as they hit the earth making a sound of music he was in no mood to hear.
“About time, too!” he mumbled, though not loud enough to gain any of the thumps and slaps that others along the row had received when they’d protested about their imprisonment.
“What will happen to us?” The cry came from a nearby complaining Celt. His answer was a whack across the head from the hilt of a gladius and a barrage of gibberish from the soldier wielding the weapon as the warrior Celt was forced back into line.
Brian had a feeling the Roman auxiliary wasn’t speaking posh Latin but he hadn’t a clue what the language might be. One little press was all it would take for him to understand all the strange words around him but his tied wrists made that impossible. He wanted to use the help function to find out where the others were but was unable to do anything about that either.
Fianna had absolutely petrified him when she’d taken off to help Gypta. The last he’d seen of her was Tyrnan freeing her wrists before he was bundled across the Gadie Burn like a reluctant toddler. What had happened to Aran might be even worse because the last he’d seen was his friend being walloped on the head with a shield after which Aran pitched sideways onto the ground like toppled tree.
“They have to be okay.” His murmurs were indistinct, the words directed at the ground beneath his bent head. His toes worried at loose earth that had been disturbed during the excavation of the ditch when the Roman legions had created the walls of the Durno camp. Wouldn’t Callum, or whoever was listening in through their armbands, have wheeched them back to the National Physics Lab if the danger was really dire? Had it already been really ominous for Aran? Brian’s thoughts were a muddled whirl. He’d read often enough about head bumps causing deaths. His stomach did somersaults. His head was almost bursting with temper, frustration and… disgust.
What a complete mess they were in: so much for their pact to stay together. Where are they? His plea melted into the air when he realised the Roman officer was right in front of him.
 “What have you done with my sister?” His question was loud but not a shout. He guessed bawling in the face of a fully armed high-ranking soldier wasn’t going to get him an answer.
Along with many other Celts, he’d been dragged up the hill to the camp at Durno the rope and chain bonds as tight as a drum. The rope now binding his wrists together was a stronger different fibre that chafed less than the Celtic twine, but maybe he just thought it was hurting less because his arms were now crossed in front and not behind. As well as the individual tie at his wrist, the whole column had been chained together when they were at the bottom of the hill. That had made it easier for the Roman auxiliaries to yank on it if any of the tribespeople stumbled as they were forced up the hill.
Scanning along the row, it was so long he couldn’t see the end of it, though from what he could glimpse there weren’t many tribespeople who were younger than him, except perhaps for a few of the girls. Only a few of the hostages could be called old. He guessed that the Celtic leaders who had chosen the unfortunate prisoners were wise enough not to send any poor candidates. If the treaty terms demanded that Severus get some good slaves, then he was sure they wouldn’t anger the man by sending rubbishy ones.  
“Please let me go home?” The cry was pitiful, the tears streaming down the young woman’s face.
He wished he could understand the guy who stopped at each prisoner in turn and chose who was going where. Brian reckoned he had to be an officer of some sort since he wore a different uniform. His body hugger breastplate that showed the muscles was pretty impressive. After a word or two with the accompanying auxiliary soldier, the prisoner was dragged off to a different huddle most of them protesting and screaming. Some groups had only females in them, others had only males. Way down at the far end there was one group that just had two people in it. They looked so lonely.
When the officer stood in front of him, he held his head high. He was scared to bits but wasn’t going to show it. Strong fingers lifted his torque away from his collar bones, the man’s helmet almost touching his chin as the guy stared at the silver. Brian was dragged along and dumped alongside the lonely boy and girl.  


Saturday 8 November 2014

After day 1 of Fair/ WRANGLERS blog today

Hello to Saturday! 

This is a short first post, today,  as I'm rushing to get ready to leave for my second day at the Christmas Craft Fair. I know, it seems early to talk about the event but these fairs do start early! The stalls are fabulous and the atmosphere really great. I've bought too much from other crafters but they have lovely stuff.

I sold more novels than my best record so far at any fair so I'm delighted and with another day to go it could be a fabulous weekend. I've also made some contact with a local City Press so that's a very valuable connection!

Although I'm not availble to answer till later, I've got my usual 'every-second-Saturday post ' at WRANGLERS blog, so pop on over and read about my last Thursday evening event at our local Bonfire night. 

See you later with an update. Have a good Saturday.

My Sunday update! 

The fair was busy yesterday and I again sold a record amount for me at any of the fairs attended to date. It's not hundreds of books, as at some author book signings, but I sold 15 novels on Saturday and had lots of lovely conversations with other potential readers who promised to buy the e-book versions.  

A total of 29 sales over 2 days was very good.

Having been AWOL on Friday and Saturday my Sunday is now dedicated to doing a spot of extended childminding of my granddaughter and grandson. Since the day is fine we're going to the park!

Thursday 6 November 2014

Lovely new review for After Whorl: Bran Reborn


While I've been preparing for my craft fair tomorrow and having great fun at the local village bonfire and fireworks display, along with my family, I've other news.

There's a wonderful review of After Whorl: Bran Reborn by Anna Belfrage on the 'The Review ' site.

some of her comments include...

Ms. Jardine writes a flowing prose with strong dialogue and vivid descriptions

you have a most satisfying historical read, where facts and actual historical people take on shape and sound – two thousand years later

but you can read the whole review and see what's on offer at

I'm off to bed a very happy writer since Anna has encapsulated what I was trying to convey very well.


Christmas goodies early!

Hello and welcome to thrilling Thursday! 

My main task this morning is preparing for a 2-day Craft Fair where I hope to sell loads of my books.

Last year, I'm told the weather wasn't good and the turnout was lower than expected. Sadly, it's going to be rainy again, according to the local weather forecast, but we live in hope.

For Christmas gifts the wrapping and presentation of my books will be important, so I'll be aiming for a nice display. Photos later...

The venue is only a few miles from my home, so I don't have to travel very far!


Tuesday 4 November 2014

Mini-series Weapons 4 - The Pugio

The Pugio

In my post about the Roman gladius, I referred to the fact that I’d not leave my Roman soldier only wielding a Roman sword. One of the huge successes of massed amounts of the Roman Empire’s soldiers over the Celts of northern Britannia was due not just to the stabbing gladius but to everything else in the arsenal of the soldier.

In my Celtic Fervour Series, when my Celts in Britannia have engagements with the Roman Army, the leaf-shaped pugio seems to have been part of the uniform for some of the soldiers and mounted cavalry (Late first century AD). What is not clear is whether the pugio was standard issue to some soldiers only, or whether it was an optional weapon of choice by particular soldiers who gained some kudos from the wearing of it. The lack of sufficient written evidence, backed up by physical evidence makes proving this a difficult task.

The Roman historian Vegetius seems to indicate that the pugio was like the gladius in that the favoured use was for stabbing, though there are depictions of them being used for slashing or cutting. 

However, there is much conjecture over the actual use of the pugio. The name pugio may have its origins in the word pugnus meaning fist- the closed fist position of the hand necessary around the hilt to retract it before using the weapon effectively by the left hand. Alternatively, it could also be derived from the stabbing or punching movement a pugilist would make during a fist fight.

Evidence of pugiones and their scabbards seem to indicate the dagger had more than one function. Some of the daggers have very ornate designs etched on them and many of the scabbards found are works of art. The conclusions drawn are that by the late first century AD the pugio held some prestige value as well as being a secondary weapon- the weapon having gone through some changes in shapes during the first century AD. Two different shapes of blade appear to have been used: the leaf-shaped version and a slimmer version with a tapered point was also used.

In my time-travel novel set in the early third century AD it's thought that the pugio had gone through a time of less use druing the second century AD but then had soemthing of a revival. These conclusions are hard to prove, though, since there is scant evidence to show for this.

Whether the wearing of the pugio was earned, or acquired through having sufficient money saved to purchase one is still undecided. Till conclusive evidence appears of the use of them we can make our own conclusions.

This site shows some very ornate scabbards for Roman pugiones.

See some examples on my Roman Research Pinterest Board. 

Look out for more coming on Roman weapons sometime soon...

Monday 3 November 2014

Reluctant Prince by Dani-Lyn Alexander launches today!

Monday Moments are about welcoming an author friend, Dani-Lyn Alexander, whose novel Reluctant Prince launches today. She's sent along some release information about Book 1 of her Young Adult Fantasy Romance Series- Kingdom of Cymmera to share with us. 

If you're a reader of YA fantasy romance, there's an excerpt that 's bound to tease and whet the appetite. 

Don't forget to read on for the details of the RAFFLECOPTER  that you can enter to WIN Amazon Gift Cards.

 Reluctant Prince
Kingdom of Cymmera
Book One
Betrayal lies cloaked in shadow.

Seventeen year old Ryleigh Donnovan is certain her life is cursed. Nothing ever goes smoothly, and her first job interview is no exception. An earthquake rocks the building, sending Ryleigh on a frantic search for her younger sister, a search which lands her in the hospital. Terrified they’ll push her for answers she can’t afford to give, Ryleigh flees with a mysterious stranger.

Jackson Maynard is about to be ordained as a Death Dealer, a warrior for the Kingdom of Cymmera, but first he must pass one more test. When he fails to acquire the human girl the prophet has chosen, he’s forced to stand trial for treason. Banished from his realm, he seeks out the girl from the vision, Ryleigh Donnovan, and together they embark on a journey to save his dying kingdom.

Buy Links:

Here's a little to tease you...

Jackson clutched the stone wall of his chamber and gasped for air. What had just happened? He had returned to Cymmera, of that he was certain, but how? He hadn’t accessed the gateway. At least he didn’t remember opening it. A vision of her assailed him, beat at him, reminded him that he’d failed.
Oh, man. He was in trouble. He pushed away from the wall.
Images of his target taunted him.
He shoved a chair aside and tore through the pictures scattered across the table in a desperate search for salvation. There. He pulled the shot from the mess but found only condemnation. The long blond hair flowing behind her in the snapshot had not been visible to him, but there was no mistaking the deep blue of her eyes.
The pounding of a fist against the heavy wood door released him from whatever spell she’d cast.
“Jackson.” Another loud thud punctuated his name.
He struggled to get his bearings, tried to slow the racing of his heart. “Yeah, one minute.”
“Now. Your father wants to see you, immediately.”
Kai, his father’s most trusted warrior. He was in more trouble than he’d originally thought. Was it possible the king would sentence him to death for ignoring a direct order? Surely not without offering him a fair trial, or at least granting him the opportunity to explain. But what could he say? What explanation could there be for failing to deliver the girl? None.
“I won’t knock again.” The warrior would soon break down the door and drag him before the throne.
He crumpled the offending photo, the evidence of his disgrace, into a ball. Instead of tossing it in the trash as he’d intended, he shoved it into the small leather satchel he wore at his waist. With a deep breath, he released the latch and pulled open the door.
“Come.” Kai turned his back on him and strode purposefully down the corridor, their footfalls echoing through the silence of accusation.
The thought of escape taunted him, but he would never make it out of the castle. He had only recently completed his warrior training under Kai’s watch and would be no match for the seasoned soldier. Besides, Kai was a stickler for the rules. If he tried to run, the warrior would surely take him down, protégé or not.

Dani-Lyn Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.
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Thank you for visiting today, Dani-Lyn , and best wishes for a great launch of Reluctant Prince. 


Sunday 2 November 2014

Sunday snips or Sunday saves?

Hello on Sunday the Second of November!

Samhain is now over and November is truly begun for yet another year. I haven't signed up for NaNoWriMo again because I can't guarantee writing 1000 words a day, never mind the amount needed for NaNo- though I have set myself my own realistic writing goals for November.

That said, I did add some 8,000 words yesterday to a new ending for my time-travel novel for early teens that's like a never ending story in progress. Here are some unedited bits that may or may not be kept!

The scene is  Taexali territory, AD 210, in what is now North-east Scotland. The celtic tribes of the north are engaging not in battle, but in high profile talks and treaties with the Roman Emperor Severus who has been vicious during his military campaing in northern Britannia.


Wikimedia Commons

“Look. The Romans at the front are coming to the burn on their side.”
Fianna was first to spot the group led by one man on a white horse, a horse that was much larger than the Celtic horses that Mapon and his companions were riding. It had to be Severus..  
Brian whispered alongside Aran’s shoulder. “Why have they brought us here?”
“Why shouldn’t they?” Aran answered without turning round because he didn’t want to miss a single thing.
It was breathtaking. The files of Roman soldiers seemed so precise they looked drawn on the hillside as though an invisible ruler had been used. It was a magnificent show of strength flanking their Emperor.
“I think it’s suspicious, too, that they’ve asked us to be here.” Fianna backed up her brother. “Those chiefs haven’t told us what the negotiations are all about, so why bring us?”
“Maybe it’s because I helped them?” Aran didn’t care what they thought; he was so buzzed at seeing a real Roman emperor.
Severus got into place, the standard bearer with his legion’s insignia standing to his right and another mounted officer on the left.
“By Taranis or whatever they call him! Those things on that pole can’t be real gold.” Fianna’s question was a mere whisper.
“The eagle on the top will be, but the discs might be something else like brass.” They were certainly shiny yellow and looked the part. He whispered an answer without moving his head. “His aquilifer- the guy holding the pole- will have been polishing those things for hours. He’s got a really important job because that pole is the standard and it holds a huge superstitious significance. If the guy drops it, or if somebody were to steal it from him, it would be a very bad omen, a huge disgrace to the legion and that emperor over there is a really superstitious guy.”
“Yeah. You told us about that already.” Fianna wasn’t being sarcastic, just stating fact as she absorbed the ongoings of the delegations.
 The emperor might be old, but Aran found the man really forbidding in full armour; his breastplate and helmet amazing. A few mounted and splendidly dressed soldiers paced behind him, their horses well trained. Aran hardly dared breathe.
A formal greeting from Mapon rang out across the valley; repeated by the druid interpreter.
Aran strained his ears but he was too far way to hear the conversation that followed. Severus spoke first, the mounted officer interpreting his words afterwards.
 “That old guy’s really something isn’t he? Look at how rigid he’s sitting on that horse. Bet he’s got a pole up his back to keep him in place.” Fianna’s whisper tickled his ear.
He wanted to laugh at her comment but didn’t want to break the spell of the momentous occasion. In a very short time, the druid interpreter came back across the gap on the Celts side and beckoned to Tuach and the other chiefs. A low discussion took place after the minor chiefs joined Mapon and the high chiefs, their muffled voices unable to be heard though all around the area was dead silent except for the occasional neighing or whinnying of a horse. Tuach’s gestures were wild as he pivoted about, his arms reaching to the sky as though imploring his god Taranis.
The leaders all looked over towards Aran.
Brian grabbed Aran’s cloak to get his attention, “This isn’t good Aran. Something’s off here.”
“I don’t like it either,” Aran said.
After some rapid whispering and nodding of heads, Tuach strode away from the delegation. His voice was hoarse and he was unable to look them in the eye when he reached Aran and the twins. “You are going to the Emperor Severus.”
“What?” Aran gaped at Gypta’s father. Any worry disappeared in the excitement of the moment. “That’s fabulous!” he whooped with glee though no-one else around joined in.
“Tyrnan!” Tuach ordered.