Saturday 30 December 2017
I rated this with 3 stars.
Thursday 21 December 2017
I've written about the solstice before on this blog so won't repeat that but you can read about the posts HERE if you're interested.
The winter solstice, for me, marks the turn of the year when the days begin to lengthen again and the darkness of night shortens. Since we're often in the throes of poor winter weather it doesn't seem as though the days are lengthening, but astronomically they are from today onward till the summer solstice.
In days gone past, for thousands of years, the Pagan festival of Yule began on the solstice and for many neo-pagans they still celebrate Yule on this day and for some days to come. It's natural to celebrate the return of the sun for longer daylight spells and the festivities reflect this return to the sun's warmth and the new growth the sun can engender.
For me this day of the winter solstice is a day of looking after my grand kids for an early morning slot. It's a time for catching up with some promotions on Facebook for the December Discovering Diamonds daily theme and for reminding people on Facebook and Twitter that the Crooked Cat Advent Calendar continues its largess where anyone can download a FREE ebook if you pop over to their website and see what Santa is hiding.
I'm also preparing for a visit by a far flung nephew from Australia who is spending Christmas with us. Since his arrival is early tomorrow I'd best get off to the shops soon to buy in the groceries for our festive YULE meals. If all goes to plan 11 of us will be feasting together on Christmas Day, and on other days it will be anything from 3 to 11.
My Scottish shortbread is baked; my Rich fruit cake is done and iced but I need to find time today to bake the mincemeat pies.
Whatever you do on this solstice day, the beginning of Yule, I wish you a happy time!
ps. I still have a ** competition ** going for a signed copy of Topaz Eyes, running till Dec. 23rd!
Tuesday 19 December 2017
Crooked Cat Books is one of your publishers but could you tell us a bit about your other novels, please?
My first novel is a chicklit story split between
That was an excellent start to your published writing! Today’s launch is for The Girl in the Gallery, Book 2 of the London Murder Mystery series published by Crooked Cat Books. What are the 5 most important traits of Beth Haldane, your main character.
I think Beth’s five most important traits are her determination, her sense of justice, her feisty spirit, her reckless edge and her boundless affection for all those she holds dear.
Brilliant traits to have! Are the settings for the series all in and around the
The stories are all set in and around Dulwich, where Beth lives. Dulwich is quite an unusual area of
In Book 2, The Girl in the Gallery, would a reader of Book 1 of the series – Death in Dulwich – find that Beth Haldane has become more adept at sleuthing? Or is she using similar skills learned for the first mystery?
Once again, the mystery comes to Beth, piquing her sense of responsibility and getting her involved almost despite herself. I wouldn’t say that Beth has really become more adept as a sleuth but her developing relationship with Detective Inspector Harry York means that she is in on more of the police side of the case this time.
A little about yourself. Please answer in a maximum of 5 words.
The Girl in the Gallery by Alice Castle
Monday 18 December 2017
The contest will run until Sat 23rd December 2017.
Thursday 14 December 2017
|Arthur Rackham- Wagner Das Rheingold|
Those famous winged helmets as depicted above by Arthur Rackham are so iconic for Valkyries. The feature in the newspaper, however, was about another interpretation of a Valkyrie winged headdress.
Who would not be startled by this image in that newspaper of such an amazing headpiece?
|image from 'The National' Newspaper|
Click here to watch a video of this stunning tiara.
Monday 4 December 2017
Things have been pretty hectic for me lately and fitting everything in at all of the relevant places has clearly been unsuccessful.
I made mention of the Crooked Cat Advent Calendar on Facebook and Twitter since the 1st December but I've now realised that I didn't pop the details on here. I'm involved in two really important December promotions and one of them is the Crooked Cat Advent Calendar. (The other is the Diamond Tales mentioned in yesterday's post.)
Every single day in December till the 24th, Crooked Cat have a FREE novel for anyone to download. All you have to do is find the cute little Santa on the Crooked Cat Website, click on him to reveal the calendar and click again on the relevant day. Follow the directions to download your FREE copy of the novel.
One of my novels will be available for a FREE download but even I don't know which day so I'm going to be clicking every day to see if there are novels that I can send to my kindle, ones that I haven't read yet. As it happens, I've already read those that were available from Day 1 to Day 4, not a surprise since I truly have read and enjoyed loads of Crooked Cat novels of many different genres.
Keep checking this link every day and get your FREE copy for that day. Of course, if it's not a genre you normally enjoy you can browse the site to see the other kindle/ebooks to buy from Crooked Cat (mostly £0.99- £2.99 /$ dollar equivalents).
The links to both of the December promotions that I'm involved in should be on the sidebar for easy access, so look there and click through every day.
Happy clicking and happy reading!
Sunday 3 December 2017
There's a real treat in store for you throughout December, a tale every day from today onward that's just the right amount of reading for a FREE coffee break read.
December is now underway and one of my daily December delights will be to dip into the Diamond Tales shared by my fellow author, Helen Hollick of the Discovering Diamonds blog. She is presenting excellent short stories and extracts written by a host of talented authors from today (December 3rd) onward all the way through to the 23rd of December.
All stories are original short stories or extracts from already published novels. The common link is DIAMONDS! To find out how diamonds are relevant to each story just click the link below.
(I'll be aiming to update the link each new day)
The very first story of the interlude before Christmas - Diamonds - from Richard Tearle can be read HERE It's a delightful, poignant read so don't miss it.
p.s. An extract from my novel Topaz Eyes will be featuring on the 18th December.
And as an added extra on some days I'll be adding a new post that about a special diamond. Look out for my next blog post on 'The Hope Diamond'.
It was great to be in the Aytoun Hall, Auchterarder, in the company of around sixteen other authors, with a few other authors' books being sold in absentia. There were a couple of other authors who write historical novels and were 'sort of' in direct competition to my Celtic Fervour Series, albeit that their eras were much later than my late first century novels.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos but it was a worthwhile day for me drive the distance to experience the BookWeek Scotland event.
I consider that selling 6 novels was not bad considering the visitor numbers were not high and those who were buying had specific types of books they wanted to read. I'm never able to predict which of my novels will sell best at small events but yesterday it was the 3 copies of The Taexali Game that
put it into the 'Bestseller' of the day category.
My thanks go to Kathleen and Barbara who did the organising for the event- the coffee and cake was very welcome!
And now... I've got a few special December promotions to share. Look out for the details very soon.
Friday 1 December 2017
BookWeek Scotland has been another exciting week for me. On Monday 27th November, I visited Hill of Banchory Primary School, Aberdeenshire, to give an author talk to the pupils of Primary 7 and Primary 6.
Tomorrow, Saturday 2nd December, I'm off to Auchterarder down in Perthshire for the BookWeek Scotland Auchterarder Book Fair. I'll be meeting some other Scottish authors and signing/selling novels alongside them.
The snow has melted away and I'm hoping for a clear drive down early tomorrow morning, the journey to Aytoun Hall in Auchterarder expected to take around 2 and a half hours.
I'll post updates on what is going to be my very first 'Book Fair' attendance - if you exclude going to the Edinburgh Book Festival in 2014 when my novel The Beltane Choice was one of those in the festival bookstore.
ps I didn't forget about St. Andrew's day yesterday, 30th November. I have posted a number of times about St. Andrew's Day in years gone past, and though I didn't update anything on this blog, I did have my Haggis, Neeps 'n Tatties dinner last night. Yum. I love haggis and eat it all through the year.
Sunday 26 November 2017
Saturday 25 November 2017
Sunday 19 November 2017
Saturday 18 November 2017
|Vespasian -Wikimedia Commons|
|Vespasian - Jewish Revolt|
|Nero sends Vespasian to Jerusalem|
|Vespasian - Ostia|
|Vespasian sestertius A.D. 71 reverse 'Judea Captured'|
Wednesday 15 November 2017
The weekend vanished in a flurry of preparing for and attending one of the largest Christmas Craft Fairs in Aberdeen, Scotland. The AWA (American Women's Association) has been organising very popular Fairs for more than 2 decades and generally have very high turnout of shoppers. Sunday past was one of the good days. I had a great time, sold 25 novels and maybe a few ebooks.
But to the matter in hand...
He maybe had a big battle at the elusively referred to battlegrounds of Mons Graupius (biased written evidence for this)… and then he left quite soon after to go back to
From written records we know Agricola was back in
In northern Britannia, the population of the tribes would have been relatively small compared to some of the tribes in southern Britannia (the south of
|Giovanni Panninni Wikimedia Commons|
According to the most recent archaeological excavations in northern
|The Baths at Caracalla|
- Civilised: -behaving in a polite way instead of getting angry
Of course, there might have been sumptuous baths like those portrayed here by L. Alma Tadema. Wikimedia Commons. Have I ever mentioned I love his paintings- even if they are not quite what would have happened at the baths.