Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Stuck for a name for your characters. Look no further than your own family tree.


 

 

Stuck for a name for your characters. Look no further than your own family tree.

One of the problems with writing short stories and also novels with a cast of thousands is trying to find original last names for your characters.

First names are a different issue as you have to choose names that reflect the time you are writing about. I doubt there were many girls given the names Sharon and Tracy in the 1500s or Darren and North!

However, most surnames have a long and illustrious history and go back hundreds of years and one of the places that is a treasure trove of names to use in your writing, is in your family tree.

I researched my own for both maternal and paternal lines over ten years ago, and because there was little actual history attached to the names you find, I decided to research the names origins too. It is not essential but quite useful to know where the names originate so that if you have characters that come from different parts of the country you can assign them a name that would be in keeping with the area.

Whilst I know that it is a huge undertaking to research a complete family tree it is well worth going back at least 100 years. You only have to go back as far as your great grandparents to find several names that you can use. As well as a wonderful source of names for your characters, if you are really fortunate, your parents and grandparents might be able to give you stories on the more recent family members that will give you the basis for your character backgrounds.

Just a word on that… Not a good idea to base your characters on those family members still living who might object to having their secrets shared so openly in your latest novel. But if you have an interesting ancestor from the 1900s or earlier, then the chances are you won’t be sued.

So here is the treasure trove of names from my direct line through my father back to 1490. No doubt if you read some of my stories or novels in future years you may meet one or two of them again!

NAME ORIGINS FOR THE ANCESTORS OF MY FAMILY TREE 1490 -2015

Coleman
Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Clumháin ‘descendant of Clumhán’, a personal name from the diminutive of clúmh ‘down’, ‘feathers’.
English: occupational name for a burner of charcoal or a gatherer of coal, Middle English coleman, from Old English col ‘(char)coal’ + mann ‘man’.

Cliff / Cliffe
English: habitational name from a place named with Old English clif ‘slope’, ‘bank’, ‘cliff’, or a topographic name from the same word. The Old English word was used not only in the sense of modern English cliff but also of much gentler slopes and frequently also of a riverbank.

Chappell
English: topographic name for someone who lived near a chapel, from Middle English chapel(l)e ‘chapel’, via Old French, from Late Latin capella, originally a diminutive of capa ‘hood’, ‘cloak’, but later transferred to the sense ‘chapel’, ‘sanctuary’, with reference to the shrine at Tours where the cloak of St. Martin was preserved as a relic.

Whitlock
nickname for someone with white or fair hair, from Middle English whit ‘white’ + lock ‘tress’, ‘curl’. Old English personal name composed of the elements wiht ‘creature’, ‘demon’ + lac ‘play’, ‘sport’.

Mills
Scottish and English: topographic name for someone who lived near a mill, Middle English mille, milne (Old English myl(e)n, from Latin molina, a derivative of molere ‘to grind’). It was usually in effect an occupational name for a worker at a mill or for the miller himself. The mill, whether powered by water, wind, or (occasionally) animals, was an important center in every medieval settlement; it was normally operated by an agent of the local landowner, and individual peasants were compelled to come to him to have their grain ground into flour, a proportion of the ground grain being kept by the miller by way of payment.

Seller /Sellers
English and Scottish: topographic name, a variant of Sell.
English and Scottish: occupational name for a saddler, from Anglo-Norman French seller (Old French sellier, Latin sellarius, a derivative of sella ‘seat’, ‘saddle’).
English and Scottish: metonymic occupational name for someone employed in the cellars of a great house or monastery, from Anglo-Norman French celler ‘cellar’ (Old French cellier), or a reduction of the Middle English agent derivative cellerer.
English and Scottish: occupational name for a tradesman or merchant, from an agent derivative of Middle English sell(en) ‘to sell’ (Old English sellan ‘to hand over, deliver’).

Jackson
English, Scottish, and northern Irish: patronymic from Jack

Prince
English and French: nickname from Middle English, Old French prince (Latin princeps), presumably denoting someone who behaved in a regal manner or who had won the title in some contest of skill.

Hubbard
English (chiefly Leicestershire): variant of Hubert

Hubert
German, Dutch, English, French, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements hug ‘heart’, ‘mind’, ‘spirit’ + berht ‘bright’, ‘famous’. The name was borne by an 8th-century bishop of Maastricht who was adopted as the patron of hunters, and helped to increase the popularity of the personal name, especially in the Low Countries.

Hilton
English (Lancashire) and Scottish: habitational name from any of various places so called. Most, including those in Cambridgeshire (formerly Huntingdonshire), Cleveland, Derbyshire, and Shropshire, get the name from Old English hyll ‘hill’ + tun ‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’. Others, including those in Cumbria and Dorsetshire, have early forms in Hel- and probably have as their first element Old English hielde ‘slope’ or possibly helde ‘tansy’.
English: some early examples such as Ralph filius Hilton (Yorkshire 1219) point to occasional derivation from a personal name, possibly a Norman name Hildun, composed of the Germanic elements hild ‘strife’, ‘battle’ + hun ‘bear cub’. The English surname is present in Ireland (mostly taken to Ulster in the early 17th century, though recorded earlier in Dublin).

Garner
English: from Anglo-Norman French gerner ‘granary’ (Old French grenier, from Late Latin granarium, a derivative of granum ‘grain’). It may have been a topographic name for someone who lived near a barn or granary, or a metonymic occupational name for someone in charge of the stores kept in a granary.
English: variant of Warner, from a central Old French form.
English: reduced form of Gardener.

Boulton
English: variant spelling of Bolton.

Bolton
English: habitational name from any of the numerous places in northern England named Bolton, especially the one in Lancashire, from Old English boðl ‘dwelling’, ‘house’‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’.

Mountford
Possibly a habitational name from Mundford in Norfolk

Montfort
French and English (of Norman origin): habitational name from any of the numerous places called Montfort, from Old French mont ‘hill’ + fort ‘strong’, ‘impregnable’ (Latin fortis). A Norman bearer of this name, from Montfort-sur-Risle in Eure, near Brionne, accompanied William the Conqueror in his invasion of England in 1066.

Wright
English, Scottish, and northern Irish: occupational name for a maker of machinery, mostly in wood, of any of a wide range of kinds, from Old English wyrhta, wryhta ‘craftsman’ (a derivative of wyrcan ‘to work or make’). The term is found in various combinations (for example, Cartwright and Wainwright), but when used in isolation it generally referred to a builder of windmills or watermills.

I used a number of resources to find out the origins of these names and here are some links that might help you.

http://surnames.behindthename.com/names/usage/english
http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts
http://www.localhistories.org/surnames.html
http://forebears.co.uk/surnames

Have fun.. and thanks for dropping in today. Sally

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Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up. – Irish Folklore, Debut Authors and U2….


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts and thank you for popping in to check them out.

I have been busy this week offline getting my next project on its way and will be doing the same next week. Thankfully there are plenty of contributors offering a wide range of subjects from their own archives and also some terrific original articles. I have also scheduled the usual health and humour posts whilst I am manipulating plots and characters and I hope you will enjoy again next week.

Next week sees the start of three new columns for the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. On Wednesday Carol Taylor debuts her new Food Column and I am sure that you will enjoy her take on ingredients and recipes after sampling them in the Cook from Scratch series in 2017.

On Friday our Writer in Residence, Paul Andruss will be showcasing his other talent which is horticulture in his new Paul’s Gardening Column. Expect an introduction to exotics and less common plants to turn your garden into an award winning exhibit.

On Saturday author Jessica Norrie will be joining us once a month for her Literary blog and for her first article will be starting at the beginning with children’s books.

William Price King will be in his normal slot on Wednesday with his Music Column and part two of the life and music of Bono and U2.

I hope that you will enjoy the new features, and in addition to the Health Column and book promotions, I hope to introduce more experts to the blog in the coming weeks.

If you feel that you could contribute a column and share expertise on the following topics then I would love to hear from you. Photography,  Alternative Therapies, Film reviews and Astrology then please get in touch. There is no pay involved I am afraid but you will have the opportunity to promote your blog, books, other creative work that is for sale.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Now time to look at the posts from this week.

A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed and to you for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing. You are a very important part of the blog and have helped it grow and evolve over the last four years.

Return of the Open House Sunday Interview beginning on January 21st.

Delighted to say that I have already filled the several slots for the new season of Open House. I schedule when I receive your answers to your questions, so please get them to me as soon as you can.. This is your showcase so when choosing your questions, select those that you can give a 300 to 500 word response to. If you are an author it is an opportunity to demonstrate your skill in engaging the reader and encouraging them to head over and buy your books.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/the-return-of-smorgasbord-open-house-interviews-for-all-writers-and-other-creative-artists/

William Price King Music Column

William Price King debuted his new Music Column with part one of the life and career of Bono and U2. This week and introduction to the band members.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/william-price-king-music-column-bono-and-u2-meet-the-band/

Writer in Residence – Paul Andruss

This week Paul Andruss entertained us with a five part story – The House by the Sea. It was clearly enjoyed judging by the comments and you can read all five parts in this directory. My thanks to Paul for this monumental effort and wonderful story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-special-the-house-by-the-sea-by-paul-andruss/

Sally’s Book Reviews.

This week I review Vampyrie: Origin of the Vampire by Tina Frisco and I am sure that reading this book will change your perspective about vampires.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sallys-book-reviews-vampyrie-origin-of-the-vampire-by-tina-frisco/

New Series – Debut Author Starter Pack.

Delighted that Dolly Aizenman and her debut cookbook Kool Kosher Kitchen kicked this series off in style.  Aimed at first time authors the pack includes a pre-post review of the writer’s social media and Amazon entry as well as a pdf copy of my Media Training for Authors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-debut-author-kool-kosher-kitchen-by-dolly-aizenman/

I am only featuring one author a week so if you are interested please contact me after reading the submission post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/smorgasbord-free-book-promotions-first-time-authors/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-caledonia-by-amy-hoff/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-toni-pike-deanie-humphrys-dunne-terri-webster-schrandt-jaye-marie-and-anita-dawes-and-tina-frisco/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-k-d-dowdall-bette-stevens-molly-stevens-jacquie-biggar-and-sacha-de-black/

Posts from Your Archives

If you would like to participate in the Archive post series then please read the following post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

Jane Risdon with a reminder of the dancing etiquette and music of the 1960s and 1970s and reminds us that zimmer frame or not… we can still get up and dance.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archivesdancing-around-our-zimmer-frames-with-generation-z-by-jane-risdon/

J. Hope Suis encourages us to let go anything that is tethering us and move forward to accomplish whatever we wish.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-un-tether-your-soul-lessons-from-a-baby-elephant-by-j-hope-suis/

Christy Birmingham shares some strategies for women who find meetings in business or in their personal lives a challenge.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-to-women-who-struggle-in-meetings-by-christy-birmingham/

The second part of the short story by Allan Hudson – Reaching for the Pinnacle.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-reaching-the-pinnacle-part-twoby-allan-hudson/

Frank Parker takes us through the events surrounding the arrival of the fleet of Henry II in Waterford, Ireland.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-henry-iis-irish-expedition-by-frank-parker/

Judith Barrow relates one of her adventures running a holiday let.. In this it would appear that not all was as it seemed!

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-tales-of-our-holiday-lets-or-is-it-really-worth-it-or-tales-of-the-unexpected-by-judith-barrow/

Lori Bonati shares her thoughts on our position in the centre of the universe.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-centre-of-the-universe-by-lori-bonati-phillips/

Chris, The Story Reading Ape has archives full of great creative writing infographics and also guest posts from authors sharing their experience and expertise. This article is from Eric J. Gates from 2014 which is just as relevant today.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-story-reading-ape-shares-researching-for-your-novel-effective-interviewing-by-eric-j-gates/

Karen Ingalls shares the story of a very brave young boy whose legacy was a pay-it-forward movment of random acts of kindness.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-paying-it-forward-by-karen-ingalls/

Elizabeth Lloyd will be sharing extracts from her mother Betty’s diaries from 1944 to the end of the war during her service with the ATS.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-bettys-war-ww2-1944-by-elizabeth-lloyd/

 

Health Column

dsc_1737

As we get older our perspective on many things begins to change. Our brain function may not be as sharp as it used to be, but with a healthy diet and plenty of stimulation you can remain mentally active your entire life.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/smorgasbord-health-2018-the-dynamics-of-change-our-mental-being/

seasonal-affective-disorder

At this time of year the lack of sunlight can result in a deficiency of Vitamin D which leads to a drop in levels of other essential chemical elements in our brains and bodies.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/smorgasbord-health-2018-seasonal-affective-disorder-tryptophan-and-winter-blues/

Humour

divorce

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-laughter-lines-lawyers-and-blondes-and-engineers/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-parrots-doing-what-parrots-do-compilation/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-the-joys-of-marriage/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-rewind-dont-set-the-alarm-this-weekend/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist

Two of the tracks on my playlist.. one from Peter Sarstedt from the 1960s and a current one from the Nashville television show.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-peter-sarstedt-and-nashville/

 

 

 

Writer in Residence – The House by the Sea – Chapter Five by Paul Andruss


Yesterday Patrick Noone discovered the joy and freedom of life beneath and in the waves of the sea with Muireann. Sadness enters his life however and his swimming lessons are put on hold. Will this mysterious woman wait for him? Paul Andruss takes us into the final chapter.

THE HOUSE BY THE SEA – Chapter Five by Paul Andruss

A month short of being twenty-one, Patrick was summoned home from work to meet a fancy lawyer from the country town. Biddy, with a deference Patrick had never seen before in his life, showed him into the parlour, previously only used for Pat’s funeral, and meekly poured tea, served in her best china. She indicated Patrick to sit down in one of the good armchairs; and him in his rough and shite and all.

The lawyer began without preamble. ‘Patrick Noone, on reaching your majority, you will inherit your father’s share of his business, this house, freehold and without lien, and a capital sum standing at a little over two thousand five hundred pounds, representing invested profits. As you are probably aware your aunt was able to draw on this for your support over the years, however it must be said, she has behaved admirably.

‘I have been instructed to inform you by your father’s old partner, a Mr O’Leary, now of Cork, he would like you to take your place in the firm. I believe he was kept abreast of your upbringing by your aunt.’

Biddy nodded.

‘Is it to do with my father’s fishing boat?’ Patrick asked Biddy.

The lawyer answered. ‘I believe that was the original company. However Mr. O’Leary subsequently built up a successful business of three merchant cargo steamers. He is making a very generous offer.

‘I do understand this is a lot to digest, young man; hence my early announcement. As I am affiliated to the company’s legal firm, I am instructed to offer whatever guidance you require over the coming month.’

Picking up his satchel, the lawyer took out a sheaf of papers. ‘I would suggest you review these and that we meet in my office in a fortnight to discuss your questions. I will send an appointment letter.’ He looked Patrick up and down. ‘I also suggest I introduce you to my tailor.’

He put out his hand for Patrick to shake and rather awkwardly Patrick stood to take the proffered hand in his own dirty paw. The lawyer’s expression did not change at all.

‘Delighted, I will see you in two weeks then.’

‘So what are yer thinkin?’ Biddy asked after the lawyer left.

‘I’m not too sure what I’m thinking.’

‘Give it time,’ Biddy answered.

After telling Ron the foreman, Patrick asked if he could carry on working, until they replaced him. He had wanted to say until he had decided what to do but thought Ron would not believe him. He barely believed himself. He said he would have to go home each night rather than sleeping in the camp. There were papers to look at, and things to think about.

In truth, the only thing Patrick wanted to think about was Muireann. He wanted to know if he had lost her forever. Each evening he’d stand on the beach, looking forlornly out to sea, praying she’d appear. When it got too dark, he’d reluctantly head off home. One precious night, he saw a solitary dark head break the waves. Carelessly he ran into the surf, calling out her name; slapping the water, shouting himself hoarse. By some miracle she came, swimming through the wine dark sea under a violet sky.

Peering through the deepening gloom, his heart sank every time he lost her in the swell and surged as she reappeared. Suddenly the head appeared so close he could clearly see it was a curious seal. For a few long seconds, it stared at him with large dark eyes, before diving underwater.

He swore there and then in his anguish if he could but see her one more time. Mermaid, fairy; no matter what she was, he would declare undying love and put his life in her hands. Declare it while he could: before his whole life changed and she was forever lost.

Walking back to the house Patrick thought he heard singing on the wind, faint but unmistakeable, like the song that haunted his childhood dreams. That night he prayed. He who never prayed, who had never asked anyone for anything, prayed to God and Jesus and the Holy Mother, to Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, to his mother in case she was in heaven, and his Uncle Pat and his father who already were.

The next day, at twilight, Patrick’s prayers were answered. Muireann waited on the beach wearing her antique green dress. Heart singing, he ran to her. All he wanted to do was sweep her up in his arms. To kiss her, and to have her kiss him back. She stopped him before he could touch her.

‘I tried to stay away’, she told him, ‘but seeing you unhappy…’

‘I knew it was you.’

She hushed him. ‘I am not what you think.’

I don’t care what you are. I love you.’

‘And I love you too. I always have, for your whole life. ’ she replied. ‘Patrick, I am your mother.’

He felt as if the whole world was falling in. He couldn’t speak; couldn’t look at her.

Her voice was gentle. ‘We of the Selkie live in the sea, only casting off our seal skins to come ashore. If our skins are taken we remain prisoners on dry land.’

‘My father?’

‘I loved your father Patrick, loved him so much I gave up everything. We hatched a plan to keep my seal skin locked securely in a chest. He said he would always wear the key over his heart, as a sign of our love. I returned with you one day to find his sister in the house. The chest dragged from its hiding pace with lid flung open. My sealskin, draped over a chair, had lost its sheen. It looked stiff and dry as old leather. It brought tears to my eyes. I was filled irrational longing.

‘He told me to tell you he doesn’t love you any more,’ his sister told me as I stared at my unloved skin. ‘Said, I should burn that auld thing.

‘How could it not be true? She knew our greatest secret. He must have given her the key to open the chest. Madness descended on me. I was afraid she would take my skin and throw it in the fire. I snatched it up. She grabbed you. ‘Go’, she snarled, ‘he wants you gone.’

‘All I could think was to save my skin; to bring back its gloss and shine. As soon as I felt the cold caress of the waves, felt my two skins bond, my form change, I remembered she had you. But what could I do? You were born without a skin. And I was unable to step on land until a year passed for each year spent in mortal form.’

His mother’s large brown eyes filled with tears. ‘I used to sing to you. Did you hear me?’

He nodded slowly, blubbering, ‘He never stopped loving you. He thought you left him; was terrified you’d come for me.’

His mother hugged him, tenderly pulling down his head to nestle in the crook between her shoulder and neck, gently stroking his hair. Although Patrick was taller and broader than she, he instinctively knew these were the arms he remembered caressing him as a child.

‘I know he loved me. I was the one who found him,’ she gently told her son. ‘He swam too long, too far, searching for me. The key, our key was still around his neck. And then I knew she lied. And he did too. Knew she’d betrayed the secret he shared with the sister he loved.

‘I brought him home to the strand in front of the house, waiting with him all night until the sky grew pale. I saw you leave for school, with her waving you off at the door. I waited until you were gone and called out.

‘Although she only heard the bark of a seal, she knew it was me. She seized the axe from the woodpile and came charging down the beach. When she saw him, she knew. I saw it in her face; all her schemes born from bitterness unravelling.

‘She dropped the axe, falling down in a heap, weeping and keening over what she’d done.

We stayed until the sun rose high, wife and sister with the man they loved, who had each thought in their own way to make him happy and between them destroyed him.

‘When she stopped crying she looked up, blowing her nose on her sleeve. It seemed as if some part was broken, or something inside had died. I turned back to the sea leaving her alone with her sin.’

When he got home, Patrick told Biddy he had met his mother on the beach. Biddy said nothing, putting out the dinner in silence. When he was in bed she knocked on his door and came uninvited into his room.

‘It wasn’t what you think,’ she began. ‘I was at me wits end with yer poor Uncle Pat shivering in two damp rooms an her, that godless creature, throwing the fact she wanted for nothing in me face; what with yer father, and you, and this fine big house.’

Patrick said nothing, pretending to be asleep until Biddy stumbled to a halt and left. Unable to sleep he got up before first light and made his way to work. Taking foreman Ron to one side he asked for his due wages. With none to be had until Saturday, the lads had a whip round scraping together what they could. A passing cart gave him a lift to the station up the line. From there took the train to the country town, where he told the lawyer he would like to take up Mr O’Leary’s offer. He then instructed the lawyer to sell the house by the sea and settle an adequate sum on his aunt.

Arriving in Cork Patrick lodged with Mr O’Leary and his wife. In time he fell in love with and married Mr O’Leary’s eldest daughter Kathleen. An arrangement, that must be said, suited all parties. His aunt did not come to the wedding; although his cousin did.

Patrick’s cousin was a pretty young thing. Some might call her beautiful with her thick dark curls and large soulful eyes that turned many a young man’s head at the wedding party. Although some young women cattily remarked, as some will when alone together at social gatherings where they feel ignored, that the darkness of her eyes, hair and brows left her skin looking pale as ivory and her generous lips quite pinched and bloodless.

©Paul Andruss 2018

© Image The Colour of Life Geoff Cronin and Pinterest.

I am sure that you have enjoyed this story as much as I have and a huge thanks to Paul for the enormous amount of time spent in writing it for us.

Find the previous chapters here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-special-the-house-by-the-sea-by-paul-andruss/

Paul asked that I share some of the links from The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin that he enjoyed and included elements of in this story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/the-colour-of-life-chapter-two-my-grandfathers-story-1930-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/the-colour-of-life-james-the-landlord-1939-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/the-colour-of-life-work-on-a-timber-gang-1942-by-geoff-cronin/

About Paul Andruss.

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul Andruss is the author of 2 contrasting fantasy novels

Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.
To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.
But there is a problem…
No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.
And even if they find her… will she let them go?

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC

Finn Mac CoolFinn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only.

When the fairy folk deliver a soldier called Finn (the first outsider in plague-stricken Ireland for a decade) Erin believes he is Finn Mac Cool – returned to kill the tyrant King Conor Mac Nessa of Ulster. and free Great Queen Maeve – Ireland’s true ruler & Erin’s dying mother.

The druids kidnap Finn – planning to turn him into the hero Finn Mac Cool – who will save the world by destroying it.

Erin goes in looking for Finn – so he can kill Conor Mac Nessa before her mother’s dream of a free Ireland dies with her.

Erin’s quest draws her ever-deeper into Ireland’s ancient mythological landscape; a place…
… Where dream and reality merge
… Where a man’s fate is written fifteen hundred years before he was born
… Where books are legends & a library a myth
… Where people hate Christians for defying the gods
… Where phony druids use real magic

Find out more and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Finn-Mac-Cool-Paul-Andruss-ebook/dp/B018OJZ9KY

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finn-Mac-Cool-Paul-Andruss-ebook/dp/B018OJZ9KY

Here is an extract from my review of Thomas the Rhymer

Challenge your senses with a rival to Harry Potter by Sally Cronin

After 60 odd years of reading it is easy to get into bad habits. By this I mean sticking to the tried and tested with regard to genres and authors. This is not healthy when you are a writer yourself, as I have discovered when reading Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss.

I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling when it was released. Whilst I enjoyed it as a children’s story, I really did not find myself engaged or inspired to read the other seven books or watch the movies. I felt excluded from the millions who did and usually keep my silence in the face of fans.

However, Thomas the Rhymer had me hooked from page one and continued to keep me engaged the entire 319 pages.

This is an ensemble piece with a cast of characters that would be happy in starring roles in Alice in Wonderland or any Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Jack Hughes, Ken, Catherine and the delightful Rosie, along with Thomas with his foot in this world and that of the Fairies; draw you into their inner circle and hold you fast.

Each of these wonderfully drawn characters face challenges in their past or present that make them feel isolated until they join forces to protect the most vulnerable amongst them and bring a brother home.

Read the rest of the review and challenge you senses and pick up a copy today: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC

Currently for a limited period Thomas the Rhymer is FREE to download via Paul’s website. It would be a great service if you could download the book and review and put it on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you to Paul for this special story and he would love your feedback. Thanks Sally

 

Writer in Residence – The House by the Sea – Chapter Four by Paul Andruss


In yesterday’s chapter we meet a woman who seems impervious to the cold as she swims naked in the sea. Patrick Noone is enthralled by her exotic behaviour and agrees to meet her and learn how to swim….Paul Andruss continues the story.

THE HOUSE BY THE SEA – Chapter Four – Paul Andruss

Biddy wanted to know why he was soaking wet. He could not tell her about the woman. No, he did not want to tell her. So he made up some tall tale about falling in the woods, getting covered in mud from head to foot, and washing himself in the sea. Biddy stared gimlet-eyed like she didn’t believe a word.

‘Yer stupid get,’ she said eventually. ‘Now get outta them wet things an get some aul newspapers stuffed in them boots to dry them out by the stove.’

That night all Patrick thought about was the strange woman. He wasn’t stupid. He knew no ordinary woman could swim naked in a storm-ripped winter sea. It came as no surprise her name was Muireann. He knew the story of Muireann from school; a mermaid caught long ago in Lough Neagh in the North, who became a woman when baptised by some old saint.

All his life Patrick had heard the old stories of mermaids drowning sailors or bad fairies dragging children down to the green weeds of the river bed. But if she’d wanted him dead, she could a done it there and then. She didn’t need to offer to teach him to swim. No, whatever she was, he was sure she meant no harm.

Saturday afternoon found Patrick on the beach. He had taken off his boots and socks, along with his jacket, trousers and shirt, to stand shivering in the wind off the sea, naked except his oldest patched pair of long underpants. The ones he knew Biddy would never miss.

Muireann did not come from the sea, but walked along the wind whipped sand in an faded dress of spoilt green satin and forlorn lace. It looked as if it might have once been worn by a fine lady a hundred years ago. Its long full skirt swept the sand smooth. Its trace washed away in turn by the tide.

The dress was wet and clung to every curve. He thought it strange as her hair and skin were dry. Her thick dark hair curled unbound to the waist. Sleek and glossy, it looked as if it had been brushed until it gleamed. Eyes, dark and lustrous as he remembered, left her skin pale as ivory; her full lips looked bloodless with the cold. He thought her beautiful.

‘Don’t you look handsome,’ she remarked.

Handsome or not he found himself lost for words, and felt his face colour. He stood watching her watching him, as the cold spray plastered the thin fabric of his underpants to every muscle. Without a word she reached out to take his hands and walking backward drew him into the sea.

‘Do not be afraid,’ she he told him.

‘I’m not afraid.’

‘It feels cold at first but that is the wind on the waves. Take a deep breath and fall to me.’

He closed his eyes and squeezing her hands fearfully, did what he was told. There was a moment of panic as his feet went from under him, but her grip held firm. Under the waves it felt warm, or at least not cold. He felt light as air and just as free. He put his head up to take another breath and plunged it back underwater, opening his eyes to a brief sting of salt. He laughed. The air bubbling from of his mouth forced him to find his feet and stand with the waves crashing from waist to chest.

‘Do you like it?’ she asked.

He nodded, eager; greedy; happy as a child on his birthday.

‘A deep breath,’ she instructed.

He breathed and together they plunged beneath the waves.

They say everyone favours one of the four elements. Some breeze through life with laughter in their heart. Some light up the world around them, though they may be changeable as the day is long. Others, solid and dependable, will not be moved if they know they are right. They thirst for justice and are good to have standing at your side in troubled times. Then there are those, often the quiet ones, who run still and deep. Whether they be calm or tempestuous, they do not give love easily. But when they love… ah, when they love, over time that love of theirs will erode mountains.

On Monday Patrick saw Muireann walking along the beach in another antique dress. As luck would have it, or maybe it was a premonition, he had packed his old underpants in his knapsack. After this they met for an hour each evening on his way home to swim together. With the lengthening days and bursting buds, Patrick realised he dreaded the return of spring. Sleeping under the trees night after night seemed a poor substitute with his new taste for the sea.

In his heart he knew this is what his father felt in his fishing boat: the call of the sea; in all her moods. And perhaps there was more. A dark sinister thought crept in, growing like a worm gnawing at his heart. Perhaps his father had known his own Muireann. Perhaps this was this why he drowned, searching for one such as her? Perhaps this was why his mother left?

Day after day he steeled himself to ask Muireann if she knew of his father. Each time he quailed, afraid of what it would mean. If her people were responsible for his father’s death or his mother leaving; where would that leave them?

One Thursday morning, no more than couple of hours after starting work, Sam the Undertaker’s son burst into the logging camp looking for Patrick. His Uncle Pat was dead. Ron the foreman told him to take what time he needed and he’d try not to dock his wages if he could. Although wages were the last thing on Patrick’s mind.

Biddy later told him Pat had died in his sleep. He knew Biddy and Pat slept in different rooms. Pat’s cough kept her up all night leaving her good for nothing. She’d seen him when she took in with his early morning tea. He was so peaceful; not a peep out of him. She thought it would be a kindness to let him sleep; not realising he was already gone.

As darkness fell Patrick grew fretful. Muireann was expecting him. What if he didn’t show? Would she ever come again? But how could he leave Biddy? She had no one else. Reluctantly he closed the curtains, knowing they would not be opened again ‘til after the funeral. There would be no swimming now, no dalliance, at least for a while. It was no comfort to know he was doing the right thing.

The funeral was Saturday afternoon so friends from the logging camp could act as pallbearers. Patrick was not in work but sat with Biddy night and day watching over the body. Friday night everyone turned up for the send-off. Biddy laid on a spread, with a barrel brought from the pub in the drayman’s cart.

It was a good turn-out. There was lots a laughing and singing round the coffin with two fellas from the pub on fiddle and banjo. Near midnight, when the songs were getting maudlin and people shifting uneasily, looking ready to leave, it was time for Pat to go. Biddy went over and opened the window, while respectfully the mourners formed an avenue for his spirit to pass between them out into the night.

The funeral went without a hitch. Everyone came round after. They were subdued for a while, probably nursing hangovers. Some brought a bottle or two by way of commiseration. Wives drifted by with a stew-pot, a spare pie or something else they’d baked. Before anyone knew, it was midnight again and the barrel was finished and the bottles empty and everyone was saying what a great aul fella Paddy was. Though by Jeasus, they’d bothered with him little enough before. And that was that. The man was laid to earth. Biddy and Patrick were expected to get on with it.

After Church on Sunday, there was cold-cuts for dinner and a slice of pie. Claiming a blindin’ head, Biddy went to bed. At a loss Patrick went to the sea. When Muireann wasn’t there, he stripped himself naked and swam until his arms and legs burned. Coming out he realised his eyes were running with tears and he thought it must be the bloody salt water.

For the next week he went to the sea each evening on his way home from work. Muireann had gone. Sometimes he stripped himself and swam. But his heart wasn’t in it. By the month end he was back to work proper and sleeping under the stars, or more often than not under a stretched tarpaulin with the rain drip, drip, dripping off the branches onto the oiled canvass above his head. He missed the sea. But on them nights he missed the sea least of all.

©Paul Andruss 2018

© Images The Colour of Life Geoff Cronin

My thanks again to Paul for this compelling episode in this story and I hope you will pop in tomorrow for the final part.

Find the previous chapters here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-special-the-house-by-the-sea-by-paul-andruss/

About Paul Andruss.

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul Andruss is the author of 2 contrasting fantasy novels

Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.
To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.
But there is a problem…
No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.
And even if they find her… will she let them go?

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC

Finn Mac CoolFinn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only.

When the fairy folk deliver a soldier called Finn (the first outsider in plague-stricken Ireland for a decade) Erin believes he is Finn Mac Cool – returned to kill the tyrant King Conor Mac Nessa of Ulster. and free Great Queen Maeve – Ireland’s true ruler & Erin’s dying mother.

The druids kidnap Finn – planning to turn him into the hero Finn Mac Cool – who will save the world by destroying it.

Erin goes in looking for Finn – so he can kill Conor Mac Nessa before her mother’s dream of a free Ireland dies with her.

Erin’s quest draws her ever-deeper into Ireland’s ancient mythological landscape; a place…
… Where dream and reality merge
… Where a man’s fate is written fifteen hundred years before he was born
… Where books are legends & a library a myth
… Where people hate Christians for defying the gods
… Where phony druids use real magic

Find out more and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Finn-Mac-Cool-Paul-Andruss-ebook/dp/B018OJZ9KY

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finn-Mac-Cool-Paul-Andruss-ebook/dp/B018OJZ9KY

Here is an extract from my review of Thomas the Rhymer

Challenge your senses with a rival to Harry Potter by Sally Cronin

After 60 odd years of reading it is easy to get into bad habits. By this I mean sticking to the tried and tested with regard to genres and authors. This is not healthy when you are a writer yourself, as I have discovered when reading Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss.

I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling when it was released. Whilst I enjoyed it as a children’s story, I really did not find myself engaged or inspired to read the other seven books or watch the movies. I felt excluded from the millions who did and usually keep my silence in the face of fans.

However, Thomas the Rhymer had me hooked from page one and continued to keep me engaged the entire 319 pages.

This is an ensemble piece with a cast of characters that would be happy in starring roles in Alice in Wonderland or any Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Jack Hughes, Ken, Catherine and the delightful Rosie, along with Thomas with his foot in this world and that of the Fairies; draw you into their inner circle and hold you fast.

Each of these wonderfully drawn characters face challenges in their past or present that make them feel isolated until they join forces to protect the most vulnerable amongst them and bring a brother home.

Read the rest of the review and challenge you senses and pick up a copy today: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC

Currently for a limited period Thomas the Rhymer is FREE to download via Paul’s website. It would be a great service if you could download the book and review and put it on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you to Paul for this special story and he would love your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up and A Very Happy New Year – Books, Music and laughter.


How quickly this year has gone and there have been many highlights that I will carry over to 2018. Certainly the amazing contributors such as William Price King, Paul Andruss and Carol Taylor who have worked very hard to bring music, legends and delicious food into our lives. Also to those who have contributed to the Archive Posts… the regular series and Christmas specials. It has felt like a party going on every week.

There are many others who 52 weeks a year have dropped in and liked, commented, shared and hosted. I feel totally blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.

Next year I feel that the world will be going through even more tumultuous times. Politically and socially there is much to redress and part of that is keeping the good things in our lives a priority. It is very easy to slip into negativity when we read the headlines daily that paint such a bleak picture. However, having been in the trade, I can confirm that BAD NEWS sells.

There are millions of us who blog and if ever there was a time for us to play a role in positivity it is now. This is not naivete. As individuals we may feel that what we write on our blogs or social media does not make a difference. But when we write, support and share the good news stories it does make a massive difference. The same applies to our actions offline and one of the most positive actions we can take is to give time and effort to promoting good people and their efforts.

There will be elections coming up for most of us in 2018. Election promises are easy to make and just as quick to break. But there are capable and honest people out there who can help resolve the issues that we are faced with. We have to identify them, support them and promote them at every level from local councils to those who lead from the top. I do believe we have to put party loyalties aside going forward and whilst difficult in some countries to do so, we need to vote for the right people for the job.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.. with love, laughter, joy and peace for 2018.

It was a slightly shorter week than usual but here are the posts from the week, including the 2017 review of the most viewed posts in a number of categories.

Sally’s Book Reviews – Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-review-2017-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-dont-forget-to-eat-your-purples-the-aubergine/

William Price King with music for Christmas

William finishes his Christmas series with What are you Doing New Year’s Eve by Nancy Wilson

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/an-evening-with-william-price-king-christmas-music-what-are-you-doing-for-new-years-eve-by-nancy-wilson/

Most viewed posts of 2017

These are the most viewed posts across the various categories for 2017 and my personal favourites too.

together-for-life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-2017-review-the-most-viewed-individual-post-of-the-year-together-for-life-image-tofino-photography-haiku-sally-cronin/

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-smorgasbord-writer-in-residence-the-gift-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-invitation-most-viewed-author-interview-tina-frisco-with-a-book-reading/

images

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-invitation-2017-review-the-top-health-post-candida-and-the-link-to-milk-allergy-lactose-intolerance-and-leaky-gut/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/new-series-of-william-price-king-meets-some-legends-barbra-streisand-the-early-years/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-review-2017-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-dont-forget-to-eat-your-purples-the-aubergine/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-artists-and-old-age-by-d-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-invitation-review-2017-top-personal-post-2017-behind-the-scenes-of-just-an-odd-job-girl/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-nice-christmas-by-pete-johnson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-author-on-the-shelves-ruby-slips-and-poker-chips-by-heather-kindt-wordweavercontest-winner/

Christmas Archives

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the festive posts with those from their own archives.. It was a wonderful series from my perspective..I enjoyed reading these guest posts very much.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-a-christmas-image-and-poem-from-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-happy-christmas-from-bob-dylan-charles-dickens-judy-garland-immortal-jukebox-by-thom-hickey/

Funny-Christmas-Cartoons

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-more-festive-funnies-from-the-story-reading-ape/

bathlift_lrg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-boxing-day-funnies-the-story-reading-ape/

winter-fairy-in-snow-dsc00059-1200px-wide

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-my-archives-dormant-beneath-snow-haiku/

The Leftovers

I opened the fridge this morning
To check on the state of the world,
I hoped to see that the turkey,
Was not all shrivelled and curled.

It peaked from its packet of foil,
Still juicy and raring to go
I shredded it into some sauce
With some shrooms and onions for show.

To read more…….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-my-archives-the-leftovers-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-humour-under-the-influence-with-a-few-cats-thrown-in/

New Series for 2018

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-update-free-book-promotion/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/new-series-smorgasbord-saturday-meet-and-greet-a-chance-to-promote-your-blog-at-a-friendly-watering-hole/

Personal Stuff

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/smorgasbord-happy-new-year-soar-like-and-eagle-image-tofino-photography-haiku-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-two-kenneth-by-sally-cronin/

Some promotional posts for new series tomorrow and then back to normal on Tuesday.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and wishing you an amazing New Year’s Eve and a happy, healthy, fun and love filled 2018.

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – The Snowman – The Finale by Gordon Le Pard


Welcome to the fifth and final part of this Christmas story – The Snowman by Gordon Le Pard

In the last chapter.. the two families worship together before serving lunch to some of the less fortunate in the village.. the engaged couple are enraptured with each other, but their fathers are concerned and make a decision to explore the matter of the missing snowman, Mr Scott and the village pond further.

The Snowman: A Christmas Story – The Finale by Gordon Le Pard.

Monday December 26th 1814

The morning was crisp and bright, the Squire and the Rector were watching as the tree was removed from the pond. The estate woodsmen had cut the stump clear and now three teams of horses had been chained to the tree and were in the process of dragging it clear of the water. Ice cracked as the horses strained, slowly it began to move.

The gentlemen were distracted as a post chaise stopped on the road behind them. A tall gentleman in a long brown coat stepped out, he walked over to see them.

“Excuse me gentlemen, can you direct me to two ladies of the name of Beddoes.”

Sir Thomas looked the brown man up and down and asked.

“Is this to do with Mr David Beddoes?”

The man looked surprised,

“What do you know of Mr Beddoes?”

“Only what I have read in the newspapers, and that he is Miss Beddoes cousin.” He paused, then continued. “Allow me to introduce myself, I am Sir Thomas Scott and this is the Reverend Edward Grainger, we are the local magistrates and well acquainted with the Miss Beddoes.”

“Excellent, I am John Shallard, an officer from Bow Street, and I have come to enquire if the Miss Beddoes have any knowledge of their cousin, we believe he came here at the end of November.”

“I believe he did too.” Replied the Rector, “But do not stand out here in the cold, come into the Rectory and we will tell you all we know, then we can visit the Miss Beddoes in their cottage.”

They had just turned away from the pond when there was a shout, they turned to see a man running towards them.

“Rector,” he panted, “in the pond, I fear ‘tis a body.”

“I feared as much,” he replied, then turning to the Runner, “Come with us sir, I am afraid what we find may be of use to you in your enquiries.”

Down by the pond there was a mass of clothing bobbing in the water.

“Go and get the thatch hook from the church, that should reach. I don’t want any of you going in this water.” ordered the Rector. Shortly afterwards two men came running back carrying the long wooden pole with a hook at one end, used for pulling burning thatch from a building. It took three tries before the hook caught on the bundle and it was dragged to shore.

“It’s not one body, it’s two!” shouted one of the men.

The Rector murmured a quiet prayer as Mr Shallard bent and looked at the bodies. They seemed to be wrapped together, he stood up.

“Gentlemen, this is the strangest thing I have ever seen. These bodies are tightly wrapped together, as though one was holding onto the other. However that cannot be as one body has been dead for some time, the other but a little while.”

The Rector and Sir Thomas looked down, at the same time they said, “Michael Scott!”

“Michael Scott,” said the Bow Street Runner, “I know him as Mr Frank Gifford, he had rooms in the same building as Beddoes and Smyth. Do you know who the other man is?”

The face was horribly distorted, both the gentlemen shook their heads, then Dr Gardiner said.

“The buttons on his coat, they are missing.”

“Does that mean something?” Asked the Runner, he eased the coat open and pulled out a watch. Sir Thomas held his hand out, and looked at it closely. He showed it to the Rector, then said.

“This watch bears the monogram of David Beddoes. I suspect the body is his.”

“But why should the body of David Beddoes, who has been dead for at least a month, be grasping the body of Frank Gifford or Michael Scott, who is only recently dead?”

Summer 1815

Sir Thomas and Dr Grainger sat on a bench in his garden, looking across the village green. A flock of geese and three goats grazed peacefully.

“Where has Lady Scott taken my wife?” Asked the Rector , “She seemed so agitated, as though there was no time to lose.”

“She and Charlotte have taken your wife to Stanton House, apparently there is some problem with the colour of the cloth for the curtains in the great parlour. They are meeting the linen draper there.”

“Poor man, I pity him.” Dr Grainger paused, “The house will be ready well before the wedding.”

“I never thought it would be James that wanted to postpone the wedding, though I admire him for it. Wanting to be ordained and the Rector of Stanton before they marry.”

They looked across towards the pond again, it was covered with little white flowers.

“As though it was covered in snow,” said Sir Thomas, he paused, “do you ever wonder what happened that night?”

The Rector was silent for a moment, then he leant forward and spoke quietly, “When the door opened, I was the only one who could see clearly. For a moment I saw Michael Scott, I will never forget the terror in his eyes, then he was pulled backwards, and the door slammed.”

“Pulled, who by?” said his friend quietly.

“All I could see were arms round his body – they seemed to be made of snow.”

It suddenly seemed very cold.

©Gordon Le Pard…

There you go…. a wonderful end to this spooky and engaging Christmas story.. So if you are passing a snowman…. I strongly suggest you smile and say good morning politely.. you never know……..thanks Gordon and this would make a great TV drama..

About Gordon Le Pard.

I am a retired archaeologist, who used to work for Dorset County County, where I mapped the wrecks off the coast. A maritime archaeologist who cannot swim is unusual, but there.

I have written a great deal, on many diverse topics, from the works of an arts and crafts artist, to a fossilised beaver, from early aerial photographs to medieval sundials (the last my father considered the most boring think I had ever written).

I read a great deal, and remember a heck of a lot, this actually has a downside, if you have difficulty in forgetting! For example I will often check the end of a story to make sure it ends happily, who wants a miserable story running about in your head for the next decade or so.

My wife and I are reenactors, Regency or Victorian, and I will try most of the odd things I reconstruct. I have limits, but not many.

You can connect to Gordon

Website/Blog: https://gordonlepard.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gordon.lepard

We would love your feedback… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – The Snowman Part Two by Gordon Le Pard


Welcome to part two of this Christmas story… the story began in 1814 with a heavy fall of snow, a snowman and a festive party with the gentry……and some thing mysterious in the park…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-a-story-for-christmas-part-one-by-gordon-le-pard/

The Snowman – Part Two – by Gordon Le Pard.

Friday December 23rd 1814

The Rev Edward Grainger was eating a boiled egg and sipping tea, the Squire’s copy of the Morning Chronicle was open on the table.

“How curious,” he said, lifting his head he realised that all his family had finished breakfast and left the table. He rapidly finished his tea, discovering that it was now ice cold. He knew his wife, would probably be involved in planning the dinner for Sunday, he followed the old traditions of the village and gave dinner to six poor men and six poor women at Christmas.

He guessed his children had already left the house so he put on his coat and walked towards the green, as he left his gate he saw that there were several people standing around the snowman. As he approached Charles, his younger son ran across to him.

“Come and look father, the snowman, it must be magic.”

He walked up, the snowman stood there as it had done yesterday. He saw his elder son with the girls from the manor, all sensibly wrapped up in thick cloaks with fur muffs, accompanied by Miss Grey their governess.

“James, what is this about a magic snowman then?”

“It’s not magic, it is just very strange. Yesterday the head was facing towards the Rectory, now it is looking across the green towards the park.”

“Perhaps the men knocked it when they moved the tree branches,” The Rector looked around at the disturbed snow, showing traces of where the branches had been moved and cut up the day before.

“But the branches had all been removed by the time we had finished.”

“And what about the buttons?” added Charles. The Rector looked closer at the snowman, down the front were a row of large brass buttons. “They were pebbles yesterday.”

“And they won’t come out.” Added Frances, the youngest of the three girls, “I think it is our cousin, perhaps he really is a wizard.”

The Rector touched the buttons, they were covered with a layer of ice. Only the bottom one could be prised loose, he looked at it, it was very muddy and discoloured but he thought he could make out a monogram.

“I am afraid there is no magic here my dear.” He smiled at Miss Grey. “They are covered in ice and frozen onto the snowman. Also look how dirty they are, I think they must have been on an old coat or something similar that had been lost in the pond. They were probably dragged out yesterday by the branches, someone found them last night and thought they would look good on the snowman.

“They have got initials on them, I will take this and get it cleaned, my wife may well recognise it.” He paused and looked at Frances. “But what was that about Mr Scott.”

The girl blushed bright red and buried her face in her muff, her elder sister replied for her.

“Fanny thinks Mr Scott is a wizard because there is a wizard called Michael Scot in one of Sir Walter Scott’s stories.”

“I don’t think so my dear.” Said the Rector kindly, “there may have been wizards in Scotland hundreds of years ago, but not in Berkshire today.”

“But he is still a horrid man.” Said Frances defiantly. Eager to change the subject the Rector turned to Charlotte.

“You young ladies must be feeling very cold, why don’t you go to the Rectory and get warm.”

“But isn’t mama getting ready for the dinner on Sunday, the one for the poor people?” Said Charles.

“Then we can help.” Said Charlotte, turning towards the Rectory.

“Parson’s wife in training.” Said Mary to Frances, as they followed their sister. Dr Grainger could see that both Charlotte and James were blushing. As the young men turned to follow the girls he said.

“James, will you come with me to the church, I want you to help me see that everything is ready for Sunday.”

Slightly reluctantly he followed his father across the frozen green. The church door was open and inside Caleb Smith was standing by a ladder, holding up a branch of holly to his son, who was putting the greenery along the ledge that ran along the bottom of the gallery.

“Still putting up the greenery then.” Said the Rector with a smile.

“T’is the old way sir. I know you don’t care for it but I hope you won’t be stopping it.”

“Oh no, Caleb, I have no wish to stop it. You can keep putting up the decorations as long as you are sexton.” Then, as he turned to walk up towards the communion table, he said quietly to his son, “Though, when he is gone, I doubt there will be anybody who will wish to continue with the tradition. In a few years there will be no more Christmas decorations in the parish.”

“I don’t know.” Replied his son, “I rather like it, and I know Charlotte – Miss Scott likes it as well.”

“Then when you have your own parish, you can decorate your own church.” Said his father with a smile.

“But that will be many years in the future, I know how hard it is to get a living, to get to the point where I can support myself.” He followed his father into the small vestry, where they took the communion plate from a strongbox.

“This will need polishing before tomorrow, we will take it back to the Rectory.” James said, stepping back towards the door. His father stopped him.

“You will be ordained next year, and as soon as you feel that you are capable of taking over a parish then the living of Stanton Lacy is yours.”

“But isn’t that one of your livings, father.”

“No, I am nominally the Rector, but have been holding it for you for the past seven years. The living is in the gift of Sir Thomas and this has been done with his full consent. Both he and I want you to be the Rector of Stanton Lacy.”

“But,” James sat on the tiny wooden chair, his father smiled down at him. He looked stunned, before he could recover himself his father launched another broadside.

“And of course there is Miss Scott.”

“Charlotte, what do you mean?”

“Well, you will shock the entire parish if you tell me you don’t love and want to marry her.”

“The entire parish thinks I want to marry her, everybody, her parents?”

“Of course, especially her parents.”

James was now so pale his father thought he might faint.

“Well, do you love her, do you want to marry her?”

“Of course I do, but I never thought I could, she is a baronet’s daughter. What will her father say if I asked for her?”

“He will probably say yes, but ask you not to get married for a few years, not until you are settled.”

“Oh,” James paused, “What should I do then?”

“Go and talk to Miss Scott now, tell her all I have told you, then I suggest you return to the Manor House with her and talk to her father. I am sure you will find it easier than you think.”

They left the church by the side door and had reached the churchyard gate when they heard a scream. Across the green they saw a several people around the snowman, their bright red cloaks showing that some of the girls from the Manor were there, as was a man on horseback. James ran fast across the frozen ground, his father following as fast as he could.

As he approached James could see that the man on horseback was Michael Scott, he was threatening Mary and Frances with his crop, there was no sign of Charlotte. Charles was standing in front of the girls, trying to protect them.

“I will ask again, where did you get the damn hat?” he pointed at the snowman, the Rector saw that it now boasted a battered tricorn hat, the colour had probably once been blue, with light coloured lace along the top edges.

“I just found it by the pond,” sobbed Frances, “And Charles put it on the snowman.”

“Don’t lie, you knew what you are doing, he gave it to you, didn’t he? Tell the truth?” Scott lashed down at the two girls.

“Stop that.” Shouted James, and swung at him with the bag he was carrying. The heavy communion plate hit his arm and he swung sideways, dropping his riding crop. His horse stepped a few paces to one side, Charles bent down and picked up his fallen crop and struck the side of his horse. It neighed and cantered a few paces away from the group. As Mr Scott regained control he turned the horse back to see Dr Grainger and James standing in front of the children.

“Leave here and never return.” The Rector shouted, then he turned his back on the rider and looked at the two girls.

“Are either of you hurt?”

“No sir.” Replied Mary, who was still holding her sister. “He struck at us and missed, then Fanny screamed and James came running.” She smiled at him. He was looking at the bag, aghast.

“Father, I think I have dented the cup. I am afraid I have damaged the communion plate.”

“Don’t worry, everyone even the archbishop would praise you for what you did. But now, let’s get into the Rectory. The girls mustn’t stand outside any longer.”

As they walked up the path the door opened and Mrs Grainger and Charlotte ran out, Miss Grey a few paces behind them. Charlotte wrapped her arms round her sisters and Mrs Grainger wrapped hers round her sons. From the look Charlotte gave James, it was clear that she would have much preferred wrapping her arms round him.

A few minutes later, sitting in the warm parlour, the girls sipping hot drinks Dr Grainger looked at his sons and said.

“The girls cannot walk back across the park now, it is not only getting dark but they are too shocked to do so. James, will you ride to the manor and let Sir Thomas know what has happened and ask him to send the carriage.”

The boys went to harness the horse and, a few minutes later James was riding as fast as he dare on the frozen ground. It wasn’t long before he strode through the front door of the Manor House, only to be greeted by a frightened Lady Scott.

“What has happened? My girls, are they all right?”

“Everybody is all right, they are all at the Rectory.”

At that point Sir Thomas entered, asking exactly the same questions. Now James was able to tell his story, only to be interrupted twice, first by Sir Thomas shouting an order to his servants to bar the house to Michael Scott, then to order the carriage. After James had finished his story he was embraced by Lady Scott whilst Sir Thomas shook him firmly by the hand.

There was no possibility of the carriage going to collect the girls without Lady Scott so Sir Thomas and James waited in the hall whilst she got her cloak and bonnet. Sir Thomas smiled at James.

“I must thank you again for protecting my daughters.”

“I was happy I was able to do so.” He paused, took a deep breath and added. “I would like to continue to protect them, particularly Charlotte.”

Sir Thomas tried to look stern, and failed.

“I suppose I should ask you what your prospects are, but I suppose I know that better than you.”

“You mean Stanton Lacy?”

“Yes, when did you learn about it? I know your father hadn’t told you yesterday.”

“He told me this afternoon, just before he told me that everybody knew that Charlotte and I were in love, and suggested that I should talk to you”

“What did you say to that?”

“Nothing, because that was when we heard Fanny scream so I left my father and ran to protect them.”

“Now how can I refuse my consent to the man who left his own father in those circumstances to help my daughters.” He smiled, “I would prefer if you had a long engagement, as Charlotte is very young, but with three women involved I don’t think you and I will have any choice in the matter.”

James looked dazed, he hadn’t expected it to be so easy.

“Three women?”

“Your mother and my wife, they have been planning Charlotte’s and your wedding for years, and I am sure that Charlotte will want to have her say as well. All you should do is sit back and say, ‘Yes Dear’, I have found that is always the best idea.”

“What’s a good idea?” Asked his wife who had just returned to the hall. Sir Thomas handed his wife into the carriage before replying.

“Oh, James had just asked permission to marry Charlotte.”

James, sitting opposite, was amazed at her reaction, she sprang to her feet, just as the carriage bumped on a frozen rut, and fell half across her husband. He burst out laughing.

“There’s no need to react so violently. It’s all right, I refused of course.”

“Refused, how could you,” she burst out, “when that is what Elizabeth and I have been planning for years.” Then she saw her husband’s laughing face and sat back, smiling at James.

As soon as they arrived Lady Scott ran into the Rectory and went straight into the parlour. Mary, Frances and Charles were seated at a table by the fire, playing spillikins. Miss Grey was quietly reading.

“Where is Charlotte?” she demanded.

“She is with Mrs Grainger, they are looking at the clothing that will be going to the Alms House for Christmas.”

“Parson’s wife in training.” Said Mary, her mother smiled and said, “Quite right.”

Mary looked stunned as Charlotte entered to be embraced by her mother, then everybody entered and there were explanations, congratulations, mulled wine and happiness, in the midst of all this everybody seemed to have forgotten the reason that the carriage had been sent to pick up the girls.

Sir Thomas remembered as all his womenfolk were climbing into the carriage. He bent down to the Rector and said.

“I want to talk about this, I will come tomorrow, will that be all right?”

“Of course,” his friend replied.

As the carriage drove away he looked across the green. He was certain now, the snowman had moved, it was half way across the green. He felt very cold, and it was not from the hard frost.

©Gordon Le Pard 2014

About Gordon Le Pard.

I am a retired archaeologist, who used to work for Dorset County County, where I mapped the wrecks off the coast. A maritime archaeologist who cannot swim is unusual, but there.

I have written a great deal, on many diverse topics, from the works of an arts and crafts artist, to a fossilised beaver, from early aerial photographs to medieval sundials (the last my father considered the most boring think I had ever written).

I read a great deal, and remember a heck of a lot, this actually has a downside, if you have difficulty in forgetting! For example I will often check the end of a story to make sure it ends happily, who wants a miserable story running about in your head for the next decade or so.

My wife and I are reenactors, Regency or Victorian, and I will try most of the odd things I reconstruct. I have limits, but not many.

You can connect to Gordon

Website/Blog: https://gordonlepard.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gordon.lepard

I hope you will join us tomorrow morning for the third part of this story by Gordon and of course we would love to have your feedback.

 

 

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss – Christmas Story – The Three Sisters (Part One).


Three Sisters (Part One) by Paul Andruss

 

* 1 *

‘Jenny isn’t it?’

Jenny spun round, staring blankly at the tiny old woman wrapped up against the cold.

‘Yes. Hello’, she replied, wondering who the hell it was.

‘You don’t remember me.’

No, I’m… Are you? She floundered. It couldn’t be. She’d have to be a hundred by now. But she looked exactly the same: the white hair carelessly tucked beneath the old felt hat and those sharp eyes, bright as buttons, in a web of wrinkles. ‘Mrs Partridge?’

‘And how are you, dear?’ the old lady’s voice dropped. ‘It must have been terrible.’

Jenny gave a brittle smile thinking she would kill Sally. This was the last thing she needed: a week of total strangers telling her they were sorry. ‘I’m feeling lot better thank you.’

But she wasn’t. It was hard to face it again in the middle of an empty windswept street. Just when she thought she had heard every possible expression of sympathy, something like this came out of the blue leaving it all raw. She felt tears start and laughed stupidly. ‘I’d forgotten about that wind. It’s biting. Do you ever get used to it?’

‘I never feel it.’

Maybe you didn’t when you’d been here as long as she had, thought Jenny; remembering how her mother hated the winter wind. She swore it brought the snow down off the Three Sisters. Jenny looked for the towering peaks, but they were lost in thick low cloud.

‘Your mother never liked the cold.’

‘She still doesn’t,’ laughed Jenny, scrabbling in her bag for a tissue, ‘couldn’t wait to move us out the valley! But I think the wind was a small price to pay for those winter wonderlands we had as kids.’

‘If you don’t mind, we can walk home together,’ said Mrs Partridge, handing Jenny a folded handkerchief to wipe her eyes. ‘Are you with Sally for Christmas?’

Jenny nodded. ‘Yes, just got here and was sent out to pick up some icing sugar before the shop closed. Honestly, I think Sally’s baking for the whole village.’

‘It’s nice you’re back,’ said the old woman.

‘Thank you, it’s nice to be back’, replied Jenny, thinking no it bloody isn’t. What happened to the place? She remembered it as something special. Snow a foot deep every Christmas. Now look at it; wet and miserable as everywhere else. ‘How are you and your sisters?’

‘Well, Flora will see us all out!’

Jenny smiled. ‘I remember those Easter egg hunts in her garden; full of daffodils and bluebells.’

‘It’s still as pretty. Sometimes I wonder where she gets the energy. Sadly Theresa passed away last winter. It was a shock for Flora when she returned. They were always close.’

‘Is Sally in your sister’s house?’ asked Jenny, wondering why she hadn’t mentioned anything.

‘Yes. It’s lovely to see the place full of life again. Theresa would be pleased Sally’s taking up the mantle. She’s really bringing everyone together. Theresa was fond of you girls. We all were.’

‘And we were fond of you too. Theresa used to make the most wonderful pies and cakes. Whenever we passed she would always have something for us. This was such a magical place as a child. Funny, it looks no different to anywhere else now. Sad you have to grow up, isn’t it?’ Jenny laughed awkwardly.

‘I think a happy childhood sets you up for the emotional bumps life dishes out along the way.’

Mrs Partridge chuckled. ‘Like an inoculation.’

‘What a nice way to look at things. And here we are. Have a Merry Christmas.’

As Jenny opened the front door, Mrs Partridge blurted out, ‘I was hoping you and Sally might come over for an hour tonight. You know, Flora is never here this time of year.’

‘Of course we will!’ Jenny answered quickly. Alone on Christmas was something she’d spent far too much time thinking about recently. The first thing she was going to do as soon as she got in was to run a nice hot bath and have a good long cry.

‘About 8.30?’ called Mrs Partridge heading up the hill to Pear Tree Cottage.

* 2 *

Her sister greeted her. ‘Put the kettle on Jen. And crack open that bottle of wine in the fridge.’

‘Want one?’

‘Not ‘til I’ve got this lot sorted, just throw a tea bag in a cup for me’.

‘I met old Mrs Partridge by the store,’ she told her sister. ‘I couldn’t believe it. She hasn’t aged a day since we were kids; that must be, what, twenty five years ago. I didn’t realise you were in her sister’s house.’

‘I was really lucky to get this place.’

‘I thought Mrs Partridge said she only passed away last winter?’

‘Did she? The poor old thing gets a bit confused.’

‘So what happened Sal how come you came back? You never said.’

‘I don’t know. It was all work, work, work and I suppose I thought what the hell am I doing? You know wrong side of forty, single and no life to speak of. It was really a spare of the moment thing. I was on the motorway and saw the turnoff for Three Sisters and thought I’d take a look at the old place. We had a lot of happy times here as kids. It always seemed magic.’

‘I said the same to Mrs Partridge. Oh and incidentally… How the hell did she know? You shouldn’t have said anything Sal.’

Sally looked genuinely shocked. ‘I didn’t. Come on, do you really think I would sis?’

‘Well someone must have.’

‘Look if I did, then sorry, I didn’t mean to. But I swear to God it’s like the woman’s psychic!’

‘It doesn’t matter. I need to get used to it. It’s just when I think I’m fine someone says something and it all comes flooding back.’

‘Give yourself time. Look, there’s loads of hot water in the tank now, go and get that bath. Take the glass of wine in with you. Hell, take the bottle!’

‘God, no, not the bottle, old Mrs Partridge asked us to pop round. Hope you don’t mind. I guess I was thinking about all the time I’ve been sitting by myself. Oh God, I’m going to start. I’ve told myself no more!’

‘Why didn’t you come to me?’

‘I wanted to get away and I thought the sunshine would do me good. But you know what me and mum are like; drove each other crazy after a month. Then, I just wanted to be by myself.

Seeing Jenny fill up, Sally picked up the glass and put it in her sister’s hand. ‘Go and get your bath and take as long as you want.’

* 3 *

Relaxing in the bath Jenny thought about Sal. All she had even known was this mad career woman, flying all over Europe: best medical equipment sales manager award five years in a row. Suddenly her penthouse apartment sold, sports car turned in for a big old roomy Audi. No more business suits, designer dresses, spa days and top salon colour and cuts.

In truth she envied Sal. She was like a new woman. Old Sal would have never invited her home for Christmas. Maybe taken her off to a fancy hotel in Rome or Las Vegas, but she wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of old jeans, up to her eyes baking on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve; she should be in Switzerland with John. It was all planned. Nothing special: they had been living together for fifteen years. She didn’t even know why they wanted to get married.

A simple Registry Office with everyone staying in the hotel close by. Some close friends, John’s parents with his brother’s family, Sal, and Mum said she’d fly in from Spain: you try and keep me away was what she actually said. After the ceremony back to the hotel for a meal and a bit of a knees-up. Then see everyone at breakfast and off around lunchtime to the airport.

‘Not another bloody skiing holiday’, said Annie when she told her. ‘What are you two like?’

‘Well, call it a honeymoon if it makes you feel better!’ she’d laughed at her best friend.

‘You miserable cow!’

‘You’re only jealous because we’re not letting you and Jed come with us this time.’

‘So, it is a honeymoon! I knew it.’

Then six months ago everything changed. Well, six months and eighteen days if you were counting. One wet Saturday evening, side swiped at a busy junction by a harassed woman. It must have been one hell of a knock because both cars went straight across the carriageway into an oncoming bus. And that was it. John, Annie and Jed gone: just like that. She heard the other woman died too.

But her?

Not a scratch.

Ok, maybe not. She looked down at the red scars lacing her arms, chest and shoulders. There were a couple of fractures, bruising and concussion. It was touch and go for a while they thought. Still, they said it was a miracle. Funny it didn’t feel like one.

At that point the tears started, and Jenny had the good long cry she’d promised herself.

* 4 *

‘Do you want a hand Sal?’

‘No, get ready.’

‘What about you?’

‘Look Jen, I’m going to need an hour.’

‘I’ll wait.’

‘We can’t both let her down.’

Jenny thought about it. She didn’t really want to go but Sal was right.

‘So what’s with all this domestic goddess stuff? As I remember it you couldn’t boil an egg!’

‘And look at me. To be honest I love it, and you know it’s a community here. When I thought of all the old people living alone, I had a word with Albert one Sunday after church…’

‘Whoa hang on. Who are you, and what have you done with my sister? So Albert’s your mysterious vicar! When do I get to meet him?’

‘He’s not my vicar, he’s everyone’s vicar. He’s nice and funny but we’re not serious.’

‘But he’s got to be better than that creep you wasted all those years on.’

‘At least he’s not married!’

‘Which gives him a head start!’

‘Yes, but… I don’t know… No, I’d do, we’re not serious. He’s fun. We get on.’ Sally turned red. ‘What!’

‘Nuthin!’ Jenny grinned. ‘You were saying about the old folks and going to church.’

‘Oh shut up you! Anyway I don’t know what happened to this place, but it’s not the same as when we were kids. Have you noticed? So I suggested to…’

‘Albert!’

‘Al actually…

‘Al now is it.’

I’m warning you little sister! …About starting a dining club. Obviously tomorrow can’t be any different. It’s just a couple of hours in the village hall.’

‘Hmmm, sounds like fun!’

‘Actually it generally is. It not just me and Al, everyone’s starting to pop in. Even those with kids usually bring someone down in the car and stay for half an hour. That’s what all the extra mince pies are for. You don’t have to come unless you want to…’

‘Let me think about it. I’m already doing my charity stint tonight!

‘No pressure sis, do what you want tomorrow. If you don’t fancy it, I’ll be back about three and then it’s just me and you.

©Paul Andruss..

Part two of The Three Sisters will be posted tomorrow at the same time……

About Paul Andruss.

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul Andruss is the author of 2 contrasting fantasy novels

Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.
To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.
But there is a problem…
No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.
And even if they find her… will she let them go?

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC

Finn Mac CoolFinn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only.

When the fairy folk deliver a soldier called Finn (the first outsider in plague-stricken Ireland for a decade) Erin believes he is Finn Mac Cool – returned to kill the tyrant King Conor Mac Nessa of Ulster. and free Great Queen Maeve – Ireland’s true ruler & Erin’s dying mother.

The druids kidnap Finn – planning to turn him into the hero Finn Mac Cool – who will save the world by destroying it.

Erin goes in looking for Finn – so he can kill Conor Mac Nessa before her mother’s dream of a free Ireland dies with her.

Erin’s quest draws her ever-deeper into Ireland’s ancient mythological landscape; a place…
… Where dream and reality merge
… Where a man’s fate is written fifteen hundred years before he was born
… Where books are legends & a library a myth
… Where people hate Christians for defying the gods
… Where phony druids use real magic

Find out more and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Finn-Mac-Cool-Paul-Andruss-ebook/dp/B018OJZ9KY

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finn-Mac-Cool-Paul-Andruss-ebook/dp/B018OJZ9KY

Here is my review of Thomas the Rhymer

Challenge your senses with a rival to Harry Potter by Sally Cronin

After 60 odd years of reading it is easy to get into bad habits. By this I mean sticking to the tried and tested with regard to genres and authors. This is not healthy when you are a writer yourself, as I have discovered when reading Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss.

I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling when it was released. Whilst I enjoyed it as a children’s story, I really did not find myself engaged or inspired to read the other seven books or watch the movies. I felt excluded from the millions who did and usually keep my silence in the face of fans.

However, Thomas the Rhymer had me hooked from page one and continued to keep me engaged the entire 319 pages.

This is an ensemble piece with a cast of characters that would be happy in starring roles in Alice in Wonderland or any Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Jack Hughes, Ken, Catherine and the delightful Rosie, along with Thomas with his foot in this world and that of the Fairies; draw you into their inner circle and hold you fast.

Each of these wonderfully drawn characters face challenges in their past or present that make them feel isolated until they join forces to protect the most vulnerable amongst them and bring a brother home.

The story will challenge your beliefs in spectacular fashion. Is there another world or worlds running parallel with ours, are fairies sweet and delicate creatures or demons; is that tramp outside the Post Office real or an illusion? As you travel with Jack, Ken and Catherine on their quest, hurtling along ley lines and battling fantastic monsters and evil temptresses, you will find your heart beating a little bit faster. And probably checking under your bed at night!

The scenes set in London that criss cross centuries are filled with historical facts distorted with fairy dust. Next time you are in the city and walking the streets you will be looking into dark doorways and wondering if behind that old oak door with chipped paint lies a nest of elfin waiting to rob you of your senses.

The writing is superb with wit, humour and an edge that turns this from a children’s fairy story into a multi-generational adventurous fantasy that I believe knocks Harry Potter into a cocked hat!

I recommend reading Thomas the Rhymer and at £1.22 it is a steal worthy of the elfin themselves with a value of very much more in my opinion. There are more books to come in the Jack Hughes series and I would love to see the movies.

Challenge you senses and pick up a copy today.

Currently for a limited period Thomas the Rhymer is FREE to download via Paul’s website. It would be a great service if you could download the book and review and put it on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thanks for dropping in today and as always your feedback is appreciated.. don’t forget to drop in to read part two tomorrow.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – Christmas Past by Jemima Pett


Welcome to another piece of Flash Fiction from children’s author Jemima Pett. She mentioned when she sent through the short story that it mirrored her life growing up… as you will see.. What it must be like for the fairy on top of the Christmas tree….

Christmas Past by Jemima Pett

The fairy clambered over the pine needles and came face to face with the globe of blue and white swirls on its golden surface. It was a grand reunion. She remembered when she’d first seen it, that Christmas in 1968 when everyone was watching the pictures from the spacecraft. She rested a while, contemplating Christmases past.

She’d been with this tree for years now, ever since she was a wee thing not long out of fairy-school. There had been another one. She’d played with that for two years and learned about the Outside from it, since that was where it spent the rest of the year. She would have liked to go outside with it and guard it properly, like a fairy should, but it said it was safe the rest of the year, and the fairy could rest in peace and quiet once her main task was done.

This tree lived in a box, like she did, once the season was over. They used to live at the top of a cupboard, but now they lived under the stairs. It wasn’t as quiet, but it was safe.

Each year when she came out of her box, she looked around to check where she was. For the first twenty years it had been a pleasant, east-facing room with a chimney and a coal fire. There was one long chair and two armchairs. The family sat and watched the picture box in the corner, or read books, or played games. She used to watch them do that, wondering if she could ever learn how to count money to buy Mayfair. Each year the children grew taller, then they disappeared. The girl always came back, and the middle son usually came for the day. She didn’t know where the others went, although the eldest came to see her now.

One Christmas she had a surprise. She was in a completely different place. This was a very light room, facing south, and it was always warm. The picture box was in a different corner, closer to her, and was much larger. The adults were, well, greyer than she remembered them, and the children were taller than ever. The same size as the adults in fact. About five years later there was a baby again, she came with the middle son and another woman the fairy hadn’t met before. It was nice having children around again. That continued for about five years, then they didn’t visit but her two old people went out, maybe to see them, she thought.

Another twenty years passed before anything else exceptional happened. She was taken aback when she found herself climbing the tree in a new place, in a bay window right next to a road. The room was low and dim, and quite small, although pleasant enough with pretty furniture. They were so close to the road she could watch the children going up and down the pavement, going to and from school, and then other people hurrying past, going up the hill in the morning, and down it again in the evening. The girl of the family was the only one in the house, and she went out in the morning and joined people going up the hill, too. The following year the room was even smaller. The tree was perched on a box in a corner by a bookshelf. All the furniture was squeezed into one room. She wondered what was happening, but the girl was there, and people visited, and they had a nice Christmas, so the fairy assumed all was well.

The following year the tree was in another new place, this one. Some years she was in the front window, and others she was in the corner of the living room. The tree didn’t have any comment to make, but then trees aren’t given to making comments. She would have liked a little conversation though. It could be lonely being a fairy.

She looked at the blue and white swirly globe. She could just make out her face in it. She was looking a little older, wings a bit tattered round the edges, but she was still as dainty as ever. I’m not as fit as I was, though, she muttered as she started her climb up to the top branch. There were no swans clipped on the branches now, but there were some pretty shiny birds who didn’t have much conversation. The big snowball had gone, and so had many of the old ornaments. The pretty purple bell was there, joined by more bells, small glass ones with ornaments making the clangers, and larger, wooden ones, beautifully decorated, who had introduced themselves very politely and explained they’d come from India. There was a reed-woven llama on a long string that spoke of a lake high in the mountains of Peru. There were matching gold and red globes with elegant decorations that told her of a much smaller tree they had decorated in the small room where the road was so close.

Christmas tree 2012She climbed past the icicles, only two of them now, but they were even older than her. Old. It was funny being a fairy on a Christmas tree. Work hard for a few weeks once a year, and count the years go by. She reckoned she must be the same age as the girl, now grey-haired, who sat and enjoyed her Christmas once again with her brother.

This was a nice house, she thought, as she did every year. She was lucky to have found a family that looked after her. She climbed past the little angel ornaments, one with a light, one with a lamb, another with a star and the last with a little tree. They were older than her too.

She reached the final ascent. She climbed over the end of the tinsel, shinned up the twig to the top light, and took up her place.

She always made sure her family had a merry Christmas.

©Jemima Pett

About Jemima Pett

When Jemima Pett discovered the words ‘portfolio career’ she realised she was an example of a new trend – having not only a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in her spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… Jemima loved words, loved to learn and to apply her learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so she went back to inventing her own, as she had as a child. First came the Realms, a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism. Her next project could be anything from a D&D fantasy type world, to a children’s picture book about the real adventures of her guinea pigs, who live with her in a small village in Norfolk, UK.

A selection of books by Jemima Pett

One of the reviews for Book 7 of the Princelings Series Willoughby the Narrator.

Jul 09, 2017 Victoria Zigler rated it Five Stars.

I loved hearing Willoughby’s whole story, and thought the addition of some of his tales when he’s telling them was a nice touch.

And as J.M Pett,   About White Water Landings.

White Water Landings – views of the Imperial Airways Africa service from the ground

The silver bird straightened up and sank lower, lower, until it met the sea with a sleek spray that rushed past the windows in its fuselage. M’beriali – the imperial mail bird, as it became known in Swahili – had arrived!

Imperial Airways’ man at Lindi, East Africa, was Geoffrey Pett, then just 22 years old. Selected as a Commercial Trainee aged eighteen, he was posted to the middle of Africa to look after the ground arrangements for the new ‘Empire’ Flying Boat Service between London and Cape Town/Durban. His Africa postings ranged between Alexandria, Egypt, on the Mediterranean coast, Juba, now in South Sudan, and Butiaba on Lake Albert, Uganda. His war years were as traffic superintendant at Cairo (and at RAF Wadi Saidna, Sudan), handling troop movements and other priority personnel on the civilian aircraft, as well as ensuring the ‘Horseshoe Route’ between South Africa and Australia operated at its turning point, Cairo. His career continued with the new British Overseas Airways Company, through BEA into British Airways, until ill-health retirement in 1968.

Geoffrey was often sought out for his memoirs of Imperial Airways in Africa. After his death in 2005, he left a box of memorabilia including his photograph album and a set of tapes dictated between 1995 and 2004. His daughter, J M Pett, has laboured over the contents, producing this book to place the information out in the wider world. More content and links to archive material are on the website http://whitewaterlandings.co.uk.

Praise for White Water Landings:

a remarkable and significant piece of aviation and colonial history… shining through his memoirs is a capacity to ‘make do’…, and the sense of the Imperial ‘family’ as a source of identity, support and obligation away from home. … he reveals anxiety and frustration,cynicism for arbitrary authority… Told fondly, plainly and modestly, with touches of humour, Geoffrey’s story reads easily and lingers long. The text is equally delightful as family history, autobiography, and colonial history.” — Professor Gordon Pirie, Deputy Director of the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, and Editor of the Journal of Transport History

The romance of the Golden Age of flying meets the romance of two people torn apart by war.”

Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima

Blog: http://jemimapett.com/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jemima_pett
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jemima.pett

My thanks to Jemima for this lovely story in tribute to the fairy on the top of the tree.. Don’t forget to thank yours this year… Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – Christmas Lights by Sue Vincent.


Hard to believe that we are only 15 days away from Christmas and this weekend we are putting up our tree. It is a six foot artificial variety that you won’t find in any botanical reference, but it has been with us for twenty years and is part of the family.

Sue Vincent shares one of the posts from her Christmas archives and as always with her stories, it will leave you with a warm glow. Tissue alert………

Christmas Lights by Sue Vincent.

“I must be mad.” A wry smile played amongst the wrinkles as she heaved the top half of the faded tree into place. Not a large tree… about the same height as its owner. Taller, probably, these days, she thought. She had always struggled with the damned thing. Why today? She cursed herself for an idiot, laughed at herself… a fine picture in her nightie putting up a Christmas tree no-one would see. Except her, of course. She would know.

So many times she had dressed this tree and carefully packed it away again. Every year for over half a century. Gawd but that sounded a long time. Somehow, at this end of life it didn’t feel it. But the children had grown and had homes of their own now… trees and children of their own. There had been the year when no-one came… and there is nothing sadder than a Christmas tree no child will see. She hadn’t bothered with the tree after that; not for a long time. Why she had decided to drag it out this year she would never know.

Boxes littered the floor; scraps of tarnished tinsel, the inevitable sparkle of old glitter and dust motes. She straightened the branches, bending their ageing wire into some semblance of order. The thing looked a sorry specimen, after all. Years of use and longer years in the cupboard under the stairs had taken their toll. “Should have left it there.” Her voice broke the silence that hung in the air. Too much silence, she thought.

In the bottom of the box she spied the old CD in its dog-eared sleeve …old favourites. Would it still work? They would make her cry… they always did… but what the hell. The machine groaned and creaked as she pressed ‘play’ and the crooner oozed into the familiar song. She could never hear it without tears welling unbidden; even in the supermarket. That and the damned chestnuts roasting … got her every time, they did. Ah well, she had memories for every note … she pressed repeat. It could keep playing.

She sniffed and wiped her eyes on her sleeve, smiling. Then, eyes narrowed with determination, she bent her knees. Joints protested at the unaccustomed movement; it took a while and a fair amount of cursing to make it to the floor. She had forgotten what the world looked like from down here. The tree looked taller, more imposing. A child’s eye view… Mind you, they had been proper trees then, smelling of pine and shedding needles everywhere that turned up all year in the strangest places. There had been trees so tall they’d had to saw the bottom off to get them in the room… and the ceilings were high in the big old house. She remembered Grandad wrestling with the biggest of them, fighting his way in. It took up half the room. The whole place had smelled like Christmas, garlanded with holly and mistletoe. She’d never liked killing trees though…

They’d always decorated the laburnum outside the French windows too… stringing monkey nuts together to make garlands and making fat balls and coconuts instead of baubles for the birds to have Christmas too. That was where she’d learned their names. So long ago now…

The lights were all tangled, of course. “Sod’s law”, she thought, “I’ll sort ‘em out and then they won’t work…” Even so, her fingers began the long, fiddly job, untangling the wires. She remembered tiny candles on the tree as a girl. Little golden holders with clips on the end. “Gawd, what a fire hazard that must have been. I suppose that’s why we only lit them Christmas Eve.” She plugged the wires into the socket, astonished to find herself surrounded by pinpoints of multi-coloured light. “Bloody hell…” She winced as she climbed to her feet once more, catching her breath as she straightened the stiff spine before winding the little lamps around the tree. Somehow, they seemed to bring it to life.

Tinsel should be next, she thought, picking up the crumbling mass. The tarnished strands looked drab and brittle. Maybe not… She’d always liked the tinsel. Even the plain silver stuff they’d had back then… thin and sparse. Not like the big, thick garlands of it she had bought when the children were small… emerald green. They had spent one December making big, shiny bows to hold the top loops of the draped tinsel that ran around the picture rail. Faded green now, almost silver. Full circle…

The icicles were okay though. She loved those… clear and iridescent, they had always looked good. Garlands of small ones to drape through the branches… big individual ones to hang alone… they looked almost new, like the day they had bought them. Their first Christmas together with the kids… Woolworths, she recalled. They had been expensive back then… they could only afford a few and by the next year the icicles were frosted twists. Not the same at all.

There had been icicles on the real tree too… glass ones. She remembered the care with which they had been packed and unpacked each year from the sectioned cardboard boxes. Each one wrapped in tissue paper… and still there were always broken baubles; shattered piles of gilded shards amid the treasures. The caps went missing too… and the little sprung pins that went through them to hang on the tree. It was always a time of wonder for the little girl, unwrapping the magic of Christmas, discovering old friends… all the baubles were special and had their stories that wound back through the garlands of time and family. Plastic now. Safer. But not the same.

Adeste Fideles… Grandma used to love that song. She sang along with the Latin carol. Her mind went back to the merry old lady in the paper crown, scraping the brazil nuts she loved against her few remaining teeth. Granny had hated the false ones. “Yeah…. I can understand that now.” Paper crowns… and turkey and Christmas pudding…. And Great Granny needing the commode halfway through Christmas dinner every year… “And I’m older now than she was…”

She found a few crackers… squashed and battered. They wouldn’t bang, not now. But then, she wouldn’t be pulling them. They’d had to help great granny pull them too. Still, they had the paper crowns and corny jokes inside. Grinning with remembered mischief, she teased the crimped end apart, tipping the little plastic toy into her hand. Utter rubbish of course… but she had been adept at peeking to see what was in them when she was little. She put the cheap puzzle back in the cracker, crimping the ends so you couldn’t tell… she could still do it… not that anyone would look. They probably never had…then she placed the crackers on the tree. The magic was always there for children… they didn’t care that the toys in the crackers were rubbish. It was the laughter.

She was near the bottom of the box now. Were they really still there? Those little parcels, neatly wrapped… their very first Christmas when they couldn’t afford baubles so had wrapped all manner of things… mainly matchboxes…to hang on the tree. Then there were the little knitted toys her own granny had made… a snowman, an angel and a Santa. The star was missing though… the big, shiny star for the top of the tree. She had made a hole in the back so she could light it up… but it had gone, who knew where… He was still there though. She smiled, reaching down to the bottom of the box… the robin was a little moth-eaten and threadbare, but he still seemed to smile back at her. Could robins smile? He would be the star. She placed him on top of the tree and stood back. A bit wonky, but suddenly it felt like Christmas.

There was still something missing though. Rooting around in the screwed up paper she found the little bag… the nativity figures. She set them out around the base of the tree. Crudely carved, she loved the lines of the tall Magi… and especially the little wooden donkey. She was still holding him as she sat down, breathing in harsh little gasps… she needed a rest. Getting old was no fun…

Rheumy eyes travelled across the tree. She’d always had good taste, always been at war with herself over the Christmas decorations. On one level she saw them as a little overblown and tawdry… but they held memories. Lifetimes of them, not just her own. Every bauble held a story… and they would all be forgotten one day. She was their custodian. For now. Did it matter? Probably not, not any more. The children had their own memories… no-one else would care, not really. They wouldn’t even know they didn’t know, would they?

Half a dozen Christmas cards on the mantle… old friends far away, one to Grandma. That made her smile. She’d kept them, the special ones… the ‘I love you’s, the ones the children had made… they were there. She remembered long strings of cards filling the walls once upon a time, hundreds of them. Never enough room. Such a lovely thing… paper thoughts that had fallen on the doormat, bridging miles and bringing friends and family close to the heart with each opened envelope. She was tired now. “…Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light…” Said it all that song… The room blurred as the tears came. They always did.

Gentle tears, greeting each memory with love, grateful for their presence. Setting them free like snowy doves, saying farewell to the memories that would not return to her ageing mind. There had been love, so much love. And laughter. Silliness and games, tears and longing. Empty places, missing faces, new brides, new babes…There had been Life. And every year of it, there had been Christmas. “…Through the years we all will be together, if the Fates allow…” Would they come, she wondered? Would they be waiting? She stroked the rough lines of the cockeyed wooden donkey… she’d have to put him with the others. Let him go. Not yet though… a few more minutes…

Outside she could hear children playing in the August sun…

The young woman watched from the corner of the room, silent and unseen. She was filled with love for this little old lady. Her heart ached for her, wanting to reach out and wipe the last traces of tears from the withered cheeks… yet she smiled too, knowing they were not tears of regret for loves that were lost, but joy for the love she had known.

She watched as the eyes closed and the mouth fell open, saw the arthritic fingers relax and the little wooden donkey fall to her lap. He would stay with her till they found her.

Unseen, unfelt, she studied the quiet figure, moving closer, dropping an ephemeral kiss on her brow. Where had the years gone? How quickly they had flown… what had she learned and what would come next?

She turned to say a last goodbye to the faded glory of the Christmas tree… a present of Christmas past. A final gift. A Christmas feast of love and memory illuminated by fairy lights. The lights filled the dark corner of the little room. Lights filled with Love and the promise of a greater Light beyond.

Light that drew her like open arms, waiting… drawing her… onward.

There was always Light and Love at Christmas.

©Sue Vincent

My thanks to Sue for this delightful story that illustrates how powerful the memories of Christmas and love of families can be.

About Sue Vincent, her collaborations and her books.

One of her most important collaborations is with a small black dog with a delightful mind of her own!  Meet Ani..

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Sue is a prolific author and has also co-written a book with Dr. G. Michael Vasey and over recent years a substantial number with Stuart France.  Here is a small selection.

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About An Imperious Impulse: Coyote Tales – the latest release from Sue and Stuart.

“Couldn’t you make me into a Bull?” asked Coyote. In a time before Man walked the Earth, the Great Spirit breathed life into the land. Coyote was the First. Playful, subversive, curious and sometimes comical, he and his fellow creatures shaped the world for those who were to follow. Coyote is a Native American Trickster and hero of many adventures.

Tales of Coyote were passed down and shared with the young to illustrate the dangers of being human. Wilful, headstrong and always in trouble, Coyote journeyed through the spirit worlds, stealing fire and outwitting Death. When the Earth was loved as a living being, the rocks sang and the trees danced. Animals uttered Nature’s wisdom and the sun rose and set upon a wondrous world. The echoes of this magical landscape can still be found in the myths and legends of many cultures. They represent the weaving of the human spirit and the silent lore of creation.

‘Be careful, Coyote, never perform this trick more than four times in any one day.’ ‘An Imperious Impulse’ is the first book of the Lore Weavers, a collection of ancient tales retold. All traditional cultures evolved stories through which the natural and supernatural worlds could be explained and approached. Beyond their entertainment and humour is a deeper layer of mystery and symbolism through which the wisdom of the people could be transmitted. Telling of a time beyond human experience or memory, these tales meld a knowledge of the natural world with the spiritual and moral code of their creators. The essence of the human quest for an understanding of our role within creation has changed little over the millennia.

From the Dreaming of the Australian peoples, to the Great Mystery of the Native Americans and the ancient Celtic myths, there is a common thread that unites humankind across time and distance. It is in the rich tapestry of folk tales that we glimpse its multi-hued beauty. Long may they continue to be enjoyed.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Imperious-Impulse-Coyote-Tales-Weavers/dp/1910478172

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Imperious-Impulse-Coyote-Tales-Weavers/dp/1910478172

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer currently living in the south of England, largely due to an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. Raised in a spiritually eclectic family she has always had an unorthodox view on life, particularly the inner life, which is often reflected in her writing, poetry and paintings.

Sue lived in France for several years, sharing a Bohemian lifestyle and writing songs before returning to England where the youngest of her two sons was born. She began writing and teaching online several years ago, and was invited to collaborate with Dr G Michael Vasey on their book, “The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power” (Datura Press).

51sl-a2xhyl-_uy250_Stuart France and Sue Vincent are also the authors of the Doomsday series.

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Find out more about their work together: http://www.franceandvincent.com/

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Sue, along with Steve Tanham and Stuart France, is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, an international modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Also by Sue Vincent

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Discover all of Sue Vincent’s books: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue Vincent

Blog: http://scvincent.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scvincent
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/S-C-Vincent/17967259931?ref=hl
Silent Eye Website: http://thesilenteye.co.uk/
Website (books) : http://www.franceandvincent.com/
Silent Eye Authors FB: https://www.facebook.com/silenteyeauthors?ref=hl

Thank you for dropping in today and I am Sue and I would both love your feedback.. thanks Sally