dying embers

The image shows a pair of spectacles to which a pair of rose-coloured clip-on attachment is affixed. You can see a view of skyline near a shore through these colored clip-ons.

She sits alone, staring into the crimson flames, a glass of ruby wine in her hand, the half-empty bottle on the wooden floor beside her. Muddy rivers run down her cheeks from red-rimmed eyes. She takes another sip and puts the glass down. Carefully. She rips off the pretty new blouse which he’d failed to notice – his eyes were elsewhere all night – flings it into the fire where the fabric curls like dead leaves; buttons pop in the heat. More wine sloshes in the glass.

betrayal revealed
in long lingering glances
scales drop from her eyes
sorrow seeps into her heart
dying embers fill the grate
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Image credit: Tathanhtaun @ Pexabay
The image shows a pair of spectacles to which a pair of rose-colored clip-on attachment is affixed. You can see a view of skyline near a shore through these colored clip-ons.

Written in response to Sadje‘s What Do You See #118 photo prompt

The Much-Heralded Book Launch

local authors Paul English, Jill Morsbach and Chris Hall standing behind a table stacked with their books
Paul English, Jill Morsbach and me at Bookworms bookstore

This time last week I was hauling a bag of my novels into Bookworms bookstore in preparation for last Saturday’s book launch event. We’d certainly had a big build up, with Bookworm’s owner, Waldo, inviting folk to come along and ‘rub shoulders with literary geniuses’. Ahem.

Here we are on the big day, posing happily for the paparazzi!

Paul, as some of you know, is my writing buddy. We meet up over coffee and cake and have ‘writerly conversations’ from time to time, email each other when stuck and generally exchange ideas about our current projects. You’ll find Paul over at Backroom Bulletin where he chats about his writing progress each week. Here’s Paul’s take on the event.

I hadn’t come across Jill or her books before, but after chatting on the phone a week or so before the event, I went down to Bookworms to snag a copy of her new book, thus ensuring a sale of one of mine! I’d almost finished reading Noah and his Solar-Powered Ark by the day of the launch, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. You can read my review on Goodreads here and meet Jill herself at her website here.

Also at the launch were a couple of beginner writers and it was great to offer them encouragement on how to progress their craft. All in all, it was a fun morning, and although sales were quite modest, it was lovely to meet both readers and writers and talk about books.

We also got a super write up in the local newspaper, the Bolander, which is widely distributed in the local area and also online, making it so much easier to share with you: Book launch at Bookworms.

As Waldo says, when quoted in the article: “Our very first book launch went down famously… and I’m looking forward to many more to come.” – I couldn’t agree more!

Now, I must dash. I’m off to meet my beta reader friend Laurette for her feedback on the manuscript of my soonish-to-be-released latest novel. The cover is almost ready and I’ve even finished agonizing over the ‘dreaded blurb’. More about ‘Spirit of the Shell Man’ soon!

The Jade Camel #1

Joey hunkered down in the corner of the heavily-graffitied bus shelter, trying to evade the spiny tentacles of the stiffening breeze blowing off the river Mersey and up the eponymous street that led from Otterspool Promenade onto the busy pavement-cracked main road.

Jealousy coiled its long yellow fingers around him, clutching at the frayed edges of his grungy army-surplus parka as he watched the rich folk in their fancy cars hurtling past him on their way back to the city, while a dull summer sun slipped slowly into the west, raising an ironic eyebrow and casting a rose-tinted light over the poverty-stricken suburbs and abandoned factories of the urban fringe.

Now fumbling his pockets for his last fag, Joey’s grubby nail-bitten fingers fell upon his latest treasure; a smile twitched about his lips, smoothing his habitual scowl and suggesting the possibility of a less desolate future for its twenty-something wearer. His latest jaunt down to the low-tide river, grubbing about among the detritus lodged in the sludgy mudflats, had yielded his best find yet.

He gripped the object tightly, a glimmer of hope kindling; he’d be popping around to visit Phil ‘The Fence’ tomorrow.

Perhaps, finally he’d hit the jackpot.


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: JACKPOT, JAUNT, JEALOUSY
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: SHELTER

MORE SIXES HERE!

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I cannot presently locate 😉

He will conquer

The image shows a person standing on top of a rock, his feet straddling two projections. In the background, you can see the skyline and down below some houses.

solo traveller
striding through life’s long journey
youthful confidence
casts trepidation aside
to reach the ultimate goal

he seizes the day
glorying in his triumph
all demons vanquished

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Image credit: Suliman Sallehi @ Pexels
The image shows a person standing on top of a rock, his feet straddling two projections. In the background, you can see the skyline and down below some houses.

Written in response to Sadje‘s What Do You See #117 photo prompt

Writing Challenge – The E-Book TBR Pile

Wonderful writer, reader and reviewer, Diana of Myths of the Mirror blog has thrown down her velvet gauntlet for a fun writing challenge. Here’s what she says: “I don’t know anyone who owns a Kindle (or other ebook reader) and isn’t buried in books. We groan as we add more to the stack… then laugh about it and buy more! That’s my situation anyway.”

That’s my situation too!

Here are the details of Diana’s challenge – The Teetering TBR Pile – the challenge is open until 23 January if you’d like to join in too.

This is my response:

Ode to My Kindle

Kindle, my Kindle, how do you compare
to those wretched stacks of curling pages
whose covers dim in daylight’s brightness
spines rendered unreadable by old age?

Shelves piled high with neither rhyme nor reason
unruly stacks wobbling and tottering
set to tumble in thunderous cascades
engulfing unwary readers in words.

Kindle, my Kindle, how long has it been
since first we browsed those virtual bookshelves
hovering o’er Amazon’s icons bright
daring downloads at the click of a key?

Far have we travelled by land, air and sea
since I first loaded a heap of beach reads
oh, my Kindle, faithful companion
never rejecting yet another book.

~~~~~~~~

While you’re here, fellow overstuffed e-readers, can I just tempt you to just one more teensy-weensy book? The book birthday freebie offer I was running has finished, but you can download Song of the Sea Goddess for a snip: USA ~ UK ~ IND ~ AUS ~ CAN ~ ESP ~ South Africa and the Rest of the World

Download FREE this weekend!

It’s a Happy 1st Book Birthday to the Song of the Sea Goddess this Saturday!

I’m celebrating the day with a book signing at Bookworms Fantasy
the fabulous independent bookstore in my home town
but for the rest of you far-flung folk, I’m celebrating in a different way.

The ebook is free to download right now and for the rest of this weekend. Offer ends Monday 17 January at 11.59 PST.

Read it in advance of the sequel
Spirit of the Shell Man
coming soon!

Download the ebook now:
USA ~ UK ~ IND ~ AUS ~ CAN ~ ESP ~ South Africa and the Rest of the World

Do you believe in faeries? ~ finale

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

The True Owl-King beckoned his rescuers to follow; he flung open the front doors so forcefully that they hit the pink palace walls with a crash, causing the creatures on the emerald lawn to flap and fluster in a flurry of fluorescent wings.

The Owl-King’s gentle brown eyes found Florigia’s and he inclined his head, his gaze fell upon Lobelia and he grinned, then stepping onto the lawn, he prodded the glaucous insulation that encased the fallen Captain Stinger with a wary wingtip.

‘Your crafty and clever charms saved us all, elegant ladies,’ he beamed; he opened his wings to encompass the entire company: ‘let there be feasting and fun, let there be singing and stories,’ he swung around to face the palace doors where a collection of pastel-uniformed retainers had appeared, ‘bring honey cakes and nectar juice!’

‘I still don’t understand,’ mumbled Mr Eyre through a mouthful of cake as Bryony tilted the travelling-bracelet against the inside case of his pocket-watch; its message now read: Prophesy fulfilled, time’s up!

Greta squeezed Bethany’s shoulder: ‘you were the golden-haired child after all.’

The bracelet started to vibrate; pocketing his watch, Mr Eyre hastily grabbed the girls’ hands; moments later they vanished.


This concludes our little tale. I think we can safely assume that Mr Eyre, Bryony and Bethany returned as if they’d never been away, just in time for breakfast…

Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: CRAFT, COUSIN, CRASH
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: JUICE

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!
The novel is now also available as an audiobook – free on Audible with a 30 day trial.

MORE STORIES HERE!

Afterwards

You can see a young person’s silhouette against a pink sky. You can see a subdued sun in the sky and birds flying in circle.

emerging at last
from an underground cocoon
pale sun still shrouded
yet emerald shoots glisten
birds are calling to the dawn

post-apocalypse
nature is undefeated
what will man do now?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Image credit: LuizClas@ Pexels
The image shows a young person’s silhouette against a pink sky. There is a subdued sun in the sky and birds flying in circle.

Written in response to Sadje‘s What Do You See #116 photo prompt

Looking forward to a live launch!

Book Launch Event

How cool is this going to be? A ‘real live event’… at last!

My favourite local bookstore, Bookworms has arranged a book launch next Saturday, 15th January, for Cape Town author, Jill Morsbach to introduce her new middle grade novel, Noah and the Solar Powered Ark.

Better still, bookstore owner Waldo extended Jill’s invitation to other local authors to join in the launch. Keen to support any book-related event, and even keener to publicise and, dare I say it, sell our books, fellow Somerset West author, Paul English and I jumped at the chance to join her.

By great good fortune, the author copies of Paul’s latest novel, Scorched Earth: Takeover arrived here just in time.

Although I don’t have a new novel out quite yet, it is at least a happy coincidence that Song of the Sea Goddess has its first book birthday that day. The sequel is ‘still in production’ but it’s not too far away from release. You might even get a sneak peak at the cover soon…

Look out for my freebie e-book offer next weekend to celebrate that special book birthday.

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 20

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

The window frame gave way and Mr Eyre burst through the opening: ‘Stop!’ his voice echoed around the almost-empty room; Bryony clambered after him and scurried over to join her sister, who was crouching behind the throne, wearing an expression of pained concentration.

Before Bryony could say anything, Bethany popped her head up from behind the throne and fired a stream of incomprehensible utterances at the tottering trio of arm-waving owlets; a moment later they crumpled like string-severed puppets and three white mice scuttled away into the shadows.

A low murmur accompanied what the two girls and their tutor initially took to be an optical illusion, as a shadowy figure started to assemble itself from the dancing dust motes, disturbed by the breeze from the breeched window; slowly, eyes and mouth materialised within a moon-shaped face. ‘Thank you,’ it beamed at Bethany, ‘your charm worked – you overcame those evil imps who impersonated me and tried to kill me; fortunately they couldn’t find me, even after taking my poor palace apart.’

The figure solidified into a regal, golden-robed individual, who retrieved the discarded crown and placed it on its head. ‘There is one, only one Owl-King, and I am he!’

/….to be continued.


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: MICE, NEON, OPTICAL
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: EXPRESS

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!
The novel is now also available as an audiobook – free on Audible with a 30 day trial.

MORE SIX SENTENCE STORIES HERE!