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Return to Rhonan

Hello dear Readers. I do hope to start the new year with interesting articles, excerpts, videos and the occasional visit from a fellow author or artist. I actually love both both creative writitng and the occasional non-fiction book. I also have an equal passion for art. I look forward to showing some of the art work here in coming months. I do hope you enjoy the video. This is my first attempt at including a video, fingers crossed it works. I have also included an excerpt from the first chapter of the trilogy Return to Rhonan. . you enjoy them.

It was Jessica’s late stepmother’s wish to travel to Scotland to discover whether the myth of the family’s Scottish origin was true.  Grieving, Jessica decides to go to Scotland to find the truth.

Drawn by chance to a hotel, formerly a castle, in the wilds of Scotland, Jess is shocked when she recognizes the owner, Lord Douglas Mavebury of Rhonan. He is the double of the brooding Lord Duncan of her dreams. Jess is stunned when she visits the family gallery and is faced with a portrait of a woman named Muriall, the woman of her dreams.

Danger stalks the rooms of the remote hotel.

EXCERPT CHAPTER 1. Return to Rhonan

Jessie knelt by the side of the bed, her hot tears falling on the still hand. ‘I’m sorry, so sorry.’

She raised her head to the squeak of the bedroom door opening. ‘Uncle Tom?  Oh God.’ An older man strode across to the four-poster bed.  ‘Jessie, my dear child.  It’s an awful shock …’ 

‘I wish I hadn’t hurt her. Why couldn’t she understand?’

‘Prissy loved you, Jess. You were her main reason for living.’

‘How can I go on without her?’

Taking her hand, he said, ‘you have to be strong, my darling.  You made the right choice for you. We all have the right to choose our own lives. You can—’ He broke off as he sniffed the air. ‘Seaweed?  Now, where is that coming from?’

Jessie smelt it too. ‘We’re not far from the docks.’

 Neither were aware of the wraithlike figure beside her.    

Gently, her uncle handed Jessie a tissue, as he led her to a carved mahogany chair. ‘Come, come and sit down.’ 

Jessie took the tissue, her voice still choking. 

He guided her to a sofa, unaware of the wraith gliding behind them.

***

 St. Brigid’s thronged with mourners and parishioners paying their respects to Priscilla Elizabeth McGregor. Jessie fingered the locket handed down through the generations from Grandma Morag.  Prissy always kept it locked away in her safe. Yet, as if having a premonition of her death, she had given it to Jess admonishing her to keep it safe.  Jess could almost sense her stepmother’s fingers on the old gold; hear her voice. ‘This is for you now, Jess. Keep it safe.’

Feeling Peter press her hand, she turned her head to him, the intensity of his eyes searing through the grief.  She saw the smile full of compassion, the cut of his jaw, the muscled arms that held her to his heart as she wept through the night hours. They’d been together for three years, in a relationship without ties. Gently, he turned the page of the hymnbook for her, although her voice choked over the words, ‘Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.’  

 Where did Prissy abide now?  Was her spirit now with her Scottish ancestors? Or, was she standing beside her coffin willing Jessie to see her spirit form?  She prayed her stepmother was in her heaven, wherever that might be.  She had helped so many people achieve their dreams.  McGregor Hotels served the community and individuals in so many ways.  

 Guilt crept in, as she remembered her aunt’s words. ‘Your future lies with the business, how could you forsake it – me? This isn’t about hotels, bricks, and mortar.  It’s about life, helping, reaching out to the thousands of the desolate and homeless, and all you can think about is your damn psychology.’

Uncle Tom’s words drifted into her mind. ‘You were never meant to enter the business. You are a healer Jess. The one is as important as the many.  Heal one heart, and you heal whole families.  It stretches out like ripples in a pond.  Remember that.’

 She glanced up at the coffin, to the wreaths of roses and lilies, the flowers, a beautiful place reflecting her stepmother’s soul. 

Keeping close to Peter’s side with her Uncle and cousin Grant near, she watched her stepmother interred in the family mausoleum; her name engraved under that of Jessie’s mother, Miriam, a young mother who took her life. 

Later at the reception, mingling among the guests, Jessie glanced at the maids in black dresses with frilled white aprons serving canapés, as young male waiters offered drinks or champagne from sterling silver trays.  Struggling to keep her face composed, she looked over to her cousin Dinah, helping to carry the load of greeting and listening to the mourners who flocked to the wake. They’d been friends for years, sharing a room at University until she’d met Peter. Now they had a therapy practice together.  Today, Dinah looked sophisticated with her pale white skin and dark brown hair swept up into a sleek chignon, her ample curves snugly fitting a black dress. 

The afternoon dragged on interminably.  Jessie just wanted to be alone, to sit with a glass of wine and reflect.  Pete took her hand, ‘How about you and I get out for a while later. ‘Go to the Park, take a ride – take a hamper.’

‘I couldn’t – I just want to go to bed and get over today.’

Fresh air would help you sleep. Come on, let’s do it.’

She knew if she went to bed early, she would follow the usual pattern of tossing and turning, with a kaleidoscope of fragmented memories flowing before her tortured eyes.   A quiet ride in the park, followed by a picnic by the waters of the reservoir glimmering in moonlight, might lift her from the grief that gave her no respite.

Silently, she apologized to her stepmother as she nodded. ‘Later then.’

Note from Katy. I’ll be back soon. Have a fulfilling and lovely week. Kind regards, Katy.

The haunting beautiful music is composed by Serge Pavkin https://amzn.to/35Wm2tS
Music ‘Dawn’ on SoundCloud.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

As Christmas approached I thought to reminisce by offering uplifting cheerful poetry drawn from the Georgian or Victorian eras. On searching through my books on ancient poetry and also the Internet, I realized with the exception of Xmas carols it was difficult to find one that was lighthearted. Most of the Victorian poems would break your heart by the second verse. So I spent hours searching for happy poetry of years ago. In the end, I found two that echo the spirit of a merry Xmas both in modern times and those of the Georgian early Victorian era.

So I do hope you enjoy these offerings with my warmest greetings for a wonderful Christmas to you all.

Little Tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see I will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
I will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and I’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy…

Little tree by e.e… cummings 1894 to 1962. This poet liked to used small letters for his signature name.



Ten Beautiful Christmas Poems website Leah Dobrinska

Fairly Modern Christmas poem



Excerpt from:

A Winter Song by Clement W. Scott 1841 – 1904

Found in The Victorianist’s website

The Mistletoe Kiss

Berries on holly proclaim ‘tis cold!

Cousin Annette, I am warmer thus;

A hand and a waist if my arms enfold,

The hand and waist will be cozy, puss!

For here we can sit and defy the wind,

Though panes are rattled with blinding sleet,

And happily one of us thus may find

That winter is best for us both, my sweet!

Mistletoe grows on the oak they say!

Cousin Annette! – she is fast asleep,

But this is a dangerous game to play,

For wandering rogues may on tiptoe creep.

The mistletoe’s beckoning over her head,

My fluttering heart, you must cease to beat;

Sleep soft! While over the floor I tread –

And wake at the touch of my lips, my sweet!

Winter is bringing the travellers home!

Cousin Annette, have I cause to fear

Lest one loved better than I may come

To claim the hand that is resting here?

The falsest women are fair as you,

And lips as pretty have sworn deceit;

But on my honour I’d swear you true –

As true as the rose at your breast, my sweet!

Winter is long! Ay, winter’s long!

Cousin Annette, is it time to go?

Perchance the lover and love-sick song

May melt forever with winter’s snow?

The dearest thoughts in the heart lie deep

Through snows of winter and rose-time heat,

But if your memory tries to sleep,

Remember the mistletoe kiss, my sweet!

Excerpt from ‘The Mistletoe Kiss’ from London Society Christmas edition 1868.

                  CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR.

              HAVE A  WONDERFUL   AND HAPPY  

From Katy. xxxx

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PARTY ON NOW.

There is a great party going on thrown by the Authors of Authors Billboard. There are so many fantastic prizes, giveaways, and exciting authors to chat to. So do come and join us. I won’t be doing a chat slot because of my eyes, as you know I have Acute Angle Glaucoma so I wouldn’t be able to keep type out messages to the huge number of visitors to chat to. But I’m here telling you all about this incredible party. Just click on the link in the first image.

NEW BOOK ON THE WAY.

I have been working on a new novel and have decided to explore a new genre – Psychology. It includes clinical and humanistic methods of treatment, a budding romance, and the symptoms of a popular and brilliant psychotherapist, It is chilling, yet touches the heart, surprising and traumatic. I do not have an ending yet, that is to come as the therapist and the clients tell their stories.

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter:

Diary of a Therapist

SOPHIE.

‘I can’t sleep Rache. Last night I lay there, tossing – sweating. I was soaking wet, so were the sheets.  I had to get up and change my nightdress. Then to top it all, the duvet was wet. I just didn’t have the energy to change it.’ 

‘Come on, you’re doing well. You were more probably churning up about coming today, but you’ve done it. You’re sitting here, for the first time since Tom…look, just stay a little longer.  Next time it will—’

‘There won’t be a next time Rache, my head’s exploding.  What’s here for me without him?’ I feel my throat dry up. ‘I’m sorry, Rache, I’ve got to leave –  I’m no good to the patients like this. ’ Scooping up the remnants of the foam, I let them drop back into the cup. ‘He’s in my dreams every night.’

So now to get to work. :))

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My Beloved Valley.

Poetry is beloved by authors throughout the ages. Way back in the mists of time, the poem began in the form of a story told by a traveling poet or shaman. Of an evening, the villagers would gather on the village green and warmed by an open fire enjoyed the magic of ancient verse. Throughout the centuries, the simple verses developed into lengthy historical accounts,  fables, sagas, and the fairy tale.

I cherish the memory of my great uncle, a man of the welsh valleys. He was both a coal miner and a scholar, as called in those days. Uncle Will spent many years down ‘the pit’ primarily at the coal face, as did my other great uncles and aunts. Often the men worked in waist-high water.

 In his spare hours, Uncle Will was a schoolmaster to the village children.

The image above relates to the children that would have worked in the mines at the time the poetry shown below was written.

In his later years, suffering from silicosis and wearing the blue scars of the coal miner, my uncle worked solely as the village tutor. I can still picture his small study where, in a hand-carved wooden bookcase, he stored fine literature ranging from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens and to the poets whose work survived the centuries.  

It was as you can imagine a hard life for the mining families of the  ‘valleys,’ but for me, as a small child, it was a time of joy and wonder, Even the name of the family’s humble cottage, Fairy Glen held enchantment.  In the twilight of the evenings, I would await the sounds of the miners, covered in coal dust blackening their faces, singing in full voice as they marched home from the mine, their way lit by small candles in tin helmets. I was one of the children who would rush out to be hefted upon coal dust shoulders to join in the songs.

I would wait while the men bathed in the two tin baths by an open coal fire. After the family evening meal, Uncle Will would lift me on his knee and read from the treasured book. 

I often think on those evenings, where beautiful baritone or tenor voices filled the living room accompanied by the robust mezzo or soprano voices of my aunts singing beloved hymns or operatic arias. Sometimes they would include popular songs or carols. But my most cherished memory was of Uncle Will reciting the works of the great poets. Some of the poetry dwelt on the beauty of nature and some to the poverty of the day, the pathos of children dying from starvation or women begging for a crust of bread.  For a child, it was a mixture of infectious joy, magic, and heartrending sadness revealed in the golden leafed pages of the family book of poetry.

So my love of poetry and writing was born. 

When uncle Will passed away, he left me his beloved book.  With yellowed pages and battered cover, it was a family heirloom that I treasure. The title is ‘The Thousand Best Poems in the World.’ The Dedication reads, This series of books is hopefully and lovingly dedicated to the Unity of Man.

The Preface is beautiful and echoes the voice of the day given hereunder.

This little book of poetry contains fully half of the poetic gems of the world collected together for the first time. Campbell defines poetry as ‘The Eloquence of Truth.’ Shelley defines it as ‘Man’s best Thoughts expressed in their best language. In their happiest moments.’ And indeed, poetry contains the noblest of human thought expressed in the most telling, the most pleasant and the most easily remembered form……’

The Preface ends with the words, portraying the effects of poetry on the reader.

 ‘….poetry has been appreciated by millions in the past, and I believe that hundreds of millions in the future will more frequently take up their favourite (English spelling) book of poetry to read themselves, or say to some dear friend in the spirit, if not in the words of the best poets of humanity:-’

‘Come, read to me some poem,

Some simple and heartfelt lay,

That shall soothe this restless feeling and banish the thoughts of the day.

Come, read from the treasured volume

The poem of thy choice,

And lend to the rhyme of the poet

The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares that infest the day,

…. Shall silently steal away.

I would so love to include a couple of incredible poems from this treasured book, but I have only so much space for this article. So I hope you will enjoy those I will put in the post for next month.

 There is no date on this editIon. I have searched the Internet and can only find one with the same cover with a  ‘circa 1900.’

First page entitled:  ‘THE LIBRARY OF THE FUTURE.

LONDON: HUTCHINSON & CO. (Publishers) LTD.

A woman of the mine.

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THE SOUL OF AN AUTHOR

                     

                             A Hidden Treasure.

Last time I wrote for the Newsletter, it was about the source of a language spoken and written. I still intend to do more on that subject, but for the time being,   I would like to share some thoughts on the promotion of books old and new. 

In the very beginning, I had a publisher, but that was quite short-lived. I switched to Indie and have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of choosing when and what I would like to write. I also have this urge to write across the genres, so it doesn’t help my being discovered by some publisher who is going to offer me a six-figure income,  fame, and the number I in Kindle Amazon.  No, I don’t think that’s going to happen. So I shall stick to saying tongue in cheek, I am pleased to be writing for myself.

 So onwards and upwards. I see Amazon now has a genre named Mashup, which suits me. At present, I am writing an erotic comedy and also a semi-serious medical book, following that is a historic trilogy weaving away in the back of my mind. They are all so different in genre though. I didn’t mean to write erotica, and maybe it isn’t. Instead, it could be sweet erotica!!  Nothing (cough – cough) ever happens if you know what I mean. But there are some humorous, side-splitting expressions.

These thoughts lead to the visibility of an author’s works. For a few years, I relied on Facebook, Twitter, and the occasional Google Ad but now I find the latter can be pricey and often ineffective. Especially as Facebook has insisted on Author pages, therefore keeping the main news thoroughfare free of authors promoting their books or readers searching for them. The author pages are a good idea, as authors can freely interact, concentrating solely on our books, but where does that leave our pool of would-be readers? I notice there is one author page that centres on readers and writers and, that is great, but so far, it seems to be the only one! But, still I feel especially with FB, we authors are not allowed to engage with the general public for would-be readers and buyers. I have found that putting my novels on the Authors Billboard website does engage with the public.

Through ill-health, I have been off the scene really for some time, but before this period and now on recovering, I’ve just had a couple from India asking for two of my books that formed part of a trilogy. I had unpublished them while I renewed the covers. I feel sure the people read the first book of the trilogy in a box-set.

Now, to come to the subject of visibility, there are some brilliant authors out there who are most probably feeling disheartened as the usual outlets of FB, Google, and Twitter fail to bring a response from would-be buyers of their new books.  I was too, as I put on a new comedy, having never written in that genre before only to find it was to put it politely a ‘bummer’ I’d tried FB and Twitter to no avail and then I got caught by those ‘TWEET ‘sites where they happily promise to get the book viewed by thousands upon thousands of readers, only to see my happy comedy die and sink like a brick to the ocean’s bottom.

Feeling a little low and vowing never to write comedy again, a friend, a fellow author, kindly showed me the way – promotion sites – yes, I know they’ve been around forever, but these are different, they do promote and effectively.  I am stunned at the response from using just two of these sites. My book shot up into the stratosphere in the Amazon Satire genre. So a big thank you to my friend. I realize now promotion means visibility through authentic promotion sites to the general reading public – no promises of thousands of tweets, no assurances of honest reviews, just pure advertising.  So I shall stick like glue to them.

I hope this helps some authors out there. Don’t feel disheartened; you know you can write. You have created something precious; something never read before, an original work – a creation. It’s like a new tree never seen before, yes it might have a trunk, branches, and leaves, but it is an individual. You’re good, even maybe a genius, your book can be the next high flyer; the next no. 1. It’s not the book that is failing; it’s the visibility that is lacking. It’s rather like the fairy-tale, the princess imprisoned in the tower or another hidden away sleeping for a hundred years. The prince searches for them bringing them awake with a kiss. However,  the author does not have a prince or a kiss. Neither do they want their book to languish for a hundred years? The Indie becomes a one-man band, a writer, a cover artist, and a banner-waving promotor of their precious book. It is here that the trustworthy promotion sites come into play saving the sleeping novel with the kiss of trustworthy promotors. So nurture your creation, nurture it with authentic promotion sites – google them. I wish you every success. Visibility on the promotion sites is the way.

Just a little addendum, my book soared, but now it needs a cannon to shoot it back up into the dizzy heights of the paid lists. I realize you have to keep it up.  One promotion is not enough, and you have to promote and promote. So good luck dear authors, I am glad to be with you all again and wish you every success.  

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New – description for LISTEN TO THE CHICKEN now on amazon.

amzn.to/2JEV7th

amzn.to/2XPu8Eb

Zach’s dream of opening his own veterinary practice seemed out of reach.  He could just about afford the rent on his one bed flat above the Co-op. Then he received a phone call from the local solicitor.

He’d inherited a decrepit manor. There were holes in the roof, some walls had caved in and there were only a couple of habitable rooms. That was enough for him after his tiny flat. He was delighted to learn he’d also inherited a small fortune, but only enough to renovate some of the manor. That was fine by Zach; he had time to restore the place, room by room. He could even hope to open a small practice.

But, the solicitor did not warn him about the complications – the strange inhabitants and the strange importance of the chickens  – lots of chickens. 

Only a week or so after moving in, there was a car crash just outside the manor. Zach became a hero, saving a young woman’s life.  He promptly fell in love with her. But how could he win her heart? Her infant son was in danger – how could he save him? Then there were the chickens….

Laughs and Romance and I hope you enjoy this.

Second Book ‘Folow the Cockapoo. Coming Soon.

historical romance, Horror, Kindle, mystery, mysticism, science fiction, Sexy Regency Romance, Suspense, Uncategorized

HAPPY TO BE BACK.!!!

Hello dear readers.

Do pour a cup of tea, I have the cakes. We can have a nice chat together.

Due to illness over the past eighteen months, I have not been able to post my usual articles and images. Happily, I am now recovering and the energy is flowing back again.

The illnesses which thankfully are not the lethal kind, but nevertheless impeded any interesting activity on the blog.

I will, however, have some interesting news on these three ailments which I think will be able to help others suffering from the same debilitating experiences.

Actually, two ailments are really interesting which led me to explore a whole new diet and a loss of two stone in weight which I managed to accumulate over the years. I was not obese but at 5ft. 2inches or let’s say 63 kilos,  I had to take the next size up from what was once my normal size, to be able to zip up a dress or pull on a pair of leggings and another size up to hide those nasty little tyres!!  Like any other lady, I like a sleek fit but that was proving impossible. I dislike cardigans or jackets to cover dresses or jeans. But, however much one can find some delightful cover-ups, they are still that, coverups. So what’s the point of buying a gorgeous outfit only to hide it with a cardigan!!

I wouldn’t recommend the illnesses but definitely, the diet is really healthy and a delightful way of losing the odd pounds.  Mind you, you can say goodbye to fudge covered in chocolate and mouthwatering double cream raspberry ripple ice cream, lemon meringue pies, etc.,   My mouth is watering writing this so although the new diet is exciting I would like to indulge now and then, but it just isn’t possible, not unless I want another endoscopy, you know – the operation where they push tubes down your throat that wind down into y our stomach and stretch your esophagus  – and no anesthetic!!! Well they do offer a sedative so no pain is involved just my own cowardly terror. I cannot imagine why some people refuse to have sedation.  I wanted – begged for a general anesthetic but they refused and I must say, the sedative did work. But I would suggest you have the throat spray as well which freezes the throat so you don’t feel anything going down your throat prior to your gut.  I have to say this just in case someone just has the sedation and feels something, then you might come back and tell me off. So yes you’ve guessed it, GERD is involved but for some of us with that condition, other ailments jump on the wagon.

Let me explain. I was thoroughly enjoying life, the children had grown and flown the nest so I was free to indulge in my passions, writing, painting, blogging and even selling books, quite a lot actually. But then one sunny day I opened a tin of salmon. One of my favorite foods to have alongside a fresh green salad with beetroot. I couldn’t resist having a forkful.  Within seconds, I felt this lump in my throat. Well, it was lodged in the chest area. I didn’t think anything of it, after all, I was having trouble swallowing tablets as well. But to my annoyance, this bolus like lump wouldn’t shift. I ran around the garden literally but still couldn’t budge it. So I had to forcibly get it up and I won’t go into that. Anyhow this happened on another three occasions when I was eating,

Hubby said I should go to the doctors but I wouldn’t hear of it. It was just a glitch, nothing to worry about. A week later I had to attend my local surgery for results of a blood test. As the nurse was finishing typing up my notes I said, ‘Umm, I hope you can help me, it’s nothing really, but I have this lump in my chest whenever I eat.

The nurse swiveled round to me, a vacuous smile on her face and said. ‘I’ll just ring doctor.’

I sat back. ‘Oh – but it’s nothing really.l’

She smiled kindly and phoned through. To cut a long story short within days I was in the hospital. I would have been in before that but it was a weekend.  So Monday morning I was on the operating table having an endoscopy.

Oh my God. I had a dreadful two days waiting for this blessed procedure, by which time my blood pressure rocketed even though I tried meditation,  breathing exercises the lot, but it went even higher.

Before the operation, the surgeon kindly asked me why was I so afraid? To which I replied, ‘well I can’t stand the thought of having things down my throat, in fact, it’s one of my worst nightmares.’

He replied ‘But you won’t feel it.’

I replied,  ‘I asked for an anesthetic and was told  I could only have sedation.’

He smiled and said. ‘You won’t feel a thing. Really.’ he took my hand gently. ‘Really, I promise.’

I looked down. ‘It’s not that so much it’s something else as well.’

He smiled ‘Tell me.’

I said, ‘I might punch you.’

He sat back, ‘Why?’

‘Well because I’ll see those tubes coming towards me and I’ll just start punching. I really don’t want to but it’s a kind of natural instinct you know? My grandfather was the boxing champion – knocked out the reigning champion during the war.’

Seriously, I said that I’m not kidding.

The surgeon laughed, ‘I promise I shall be putting you out. It’s one of those drugs where you forget the instant I do something.’

I frowned. ‘I have an excellent memory. What if I remember and I start swinging.?”

He creased up laughing,  ‘I promise you, you won’t.’

I still didn’t believe him, but I see I’ve written enough for today. I don’t know how much I can write in one on these blogs. So I shall tell you the rest next time.

Have a lovely day folks.

I will be putting on my new book images and details,  as well tomorrow or the next day.

Best as ever.

Katy.