Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas -#Supernatural #Fantasy – Marcia Meara, Charles E. Yallowitz, Stuart France and Sue Vincent


Time to get a little supernatural in the Christmas book promotions and indulge in some paranormal and Fantasy…..and no better place to start the proceedings than with Marcia Meara – The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody.

About the Novella

In Marcia Meara’s second installment of The Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our three heroes at it again. Beautiful new places, exciting new adventures, and a whole assortment of new problems await them, bringing tears, laughter, and an extraordinary amount of love along with them.

Trouble never does a head count before showing up …They’re back!

Jake and Dodger, the first (and so far, only) Emissaries to the Angels, are on the road again.

They’re looking for mortals about to take a wrong turn. You know the ones—the kid thinking about stealing from a corner market or the man planning to lie about a coworker and destroy her career. Yeah, them. People on the brink of making a mistake that could send them down that wrong road and jeopardize their mortal souls.

Of course, there are rules by which the emissaries must play, and the archangel Azrael stands ready to enforce them. First and foremost, a person’s free will must never be compromised. Emissaries are allowed to use only the smallest of mental nudges. Thankfully, a whispered suggestion here or images of a better course of action there is usually all it takes. The potential mugger walks on by. The thief drops the wallet back into the unattended purse. But whether the results are obvious or not, Jake and Dodger are fully committed to making a positive difference, even as they struggle with issues of their own.

Will Dodger get over losing his chance to learn what true love is all about? Will Jake survive the grueling angelic equivalent of Boot Camp? Will Azrael ever finish the Official Emissarial Guidebook—including the chapter titled Do Not Even Think About It?

One thing’s for sure—Jake’s and Dodger’s strengths are growing daily, as they help more and more people make better choices. But is the price for so much power higher than they’re willing to pay?

A recent review for the book

Not all sweetness and light this time, as Azrael gets serious about equipping both Jake and Dodger for their job of helping souls in trouble. I loved the chapter about the training session, and how Dodger and Jake reacted to the new strong-arm tactics.

I loved everything about this book just as I did the first in the series. The way Dodger tries to cope with his insecurities, and Jake’s capable and patient attitude. Azrael had me laughing, he tried hard not to lose it as he struggled to get his point across to these very different personalities.

You never really imagine an angel getting cranky, now do you?

The missing element between Jake and Dodger, always a possible father-son relationship, really gets going in this book. I found it beautifully written and very emotional as I never got to know my own father. Altogether though, I thought they made a great team as they travel around the country, helping us mortals keep on the straight and narrow.

A subtle reminder that some of us in this world can’t be helped, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to know someone cares enough to try!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JDP2B3D

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07JDP2B3D

A selection of other books by Marcia Meara

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

And Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

Read more reviews and follow Marcia Meara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242441.Marcia_Meara

Connect to Marcia via her website/blog http://marciamearawrites.com/

Now time for some Fantasy courtesy of  War of Nytefall Book 2: Lost by Charles E. Yallowitz

About Lost

As the Vampire Civil War of Windemere rages on in the shadows, a mysterious girl appears to deliver mayhem to both sides.

Rumors of old-world vampires disappearing and mortals being attacked by an army of humanoid monsters have reached Clyde’s ears. Still learning how to rule the city of Nytefall as a strong, but fair leader instead of a vicious warlord, the former thief assumes he has rogue agents on his hands. Instead, his people stumble upon Lost, a teenage Dawn Fang looking for her father and aided by a decrepit bunny that might be an animated corpse. Bounding from one side of the Vampire Civil War to another, this carefree girl will turn out to be more trouble than she looks as all of the demons of her past emerge to get what they have been promised. Yet, her chaotic actions are nothing compared to the secret of her creation, which will change the very fabric of the Dawn Fangs’ world.

It is time for the womb-born to be revealed.

One of the recent reviews for the book

N. N. Light  4.0 out of 5 stars Yallowitz pens an all-encompassing world! October 5, 2018

As the vampire civil war intensifies, a new player emerges and like most in power, judging this teenage girl by her appearance is a deadly mistake. Her name is Lost and she’s a Dawn Fang. She looks innocent and keeps talking about her mission to find her father. Chaos follows in her wake, causing mass confusion between Clyde and the Dawn Fangs as well as Xavier, his wife and their subjects. There’s an army of followers looking for Lost, too. When she reveals she’s womb-born and not fang-born, the vampiric world erupts. Once reunited with her parents, will Lost obey vampiric law or will she destroy them all?

Lost continues where Loyalty left off and for the most part, the plot moves at a good pace. Lost is a deceptive character, appearing innocent yet she’s one powerful vampire. Lost reminds me of Darla from Buffy and Lamia Zacharius from Death Coach. Betrayal, especially in a vampire’s world, is a criminal offense and there’s plenty of it to go around. Yallowitz pens an all-encompassing world with quite a few twists and turns. The ending, though, was a little let-down. It can be read as a standalone, but you’ll understand characters’ motivation if you read book one first. Perfect for this time of year!

Favorite Character/Quote: “Fine, but after we take naps. A grumpy Princess General is a sloppy Princess General.”

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H4X3P6C

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-War-Nytefall-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07H4X3P6C

A selection of the most recent books by Charles Yallowitz

 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

Connect to Charles via his blog: https://legendsofwindemere.com/

The next authors bring us fantasy in the form of a graphic novel…Mister Fox – Winter’s Tail by Stuart France and Sue Vincent

About the book

Where is Mister Fox? The night howls in triumph… pale eyes watch from the shadows… It is the night of the Hunter’s Moon and the dancing ground should be alive with flame as the Foxes dance in the dark. But the dancing ground is deserted. They are gone. No earthly light pierces the gloom, only the sickly glow of a veiled moon. Don and Wen stare in disbelief. Whispers in the shadows, a faceless voice, a tale of ambush and betrayal… of Foxes driven from their home and scattered, condemned to wander far from their ancestral lands. Charles James Fox wounded… none has seen him since that fateful night. Will the Hunter’s Moon pass in darkness? Have the Demon Dogs succeeded in their mission to bring eternal winter to the land? Or will their celebrations be short-lived? …For none may mar the Dancing Ground Nor add their darkness to the night, Nor stand against the Silver Fox, The wielder of the Staff of Light…

One of the recent reviews for the book

The graphic novels that make up the Mister Fox series are, frankly, weird. Character development, plot, pacing, or almost any of the elements I would normally demand from a book—especially one I like—are virtually irrelevant. Instead the authors have created a visually stunning retelling of the cycle of the seasons, presented as an otherworldly re-enactment of a myth.

Every culture has stories of supernatural interference with the cycle of nature. Persephone has to go to Hades before she can come back to bring spring. The great summer and winter solstices have to be observed so planting and harvesting can be scheduled. Night has to follow day. Egyptian sun god Ra must fight the underworld serpent Apep every night in order for the day to return. The Greek goddesses of day and night, Hemia and Nyx, meet each day. “Nyx and Hemera draw near and greet one another as they pass the great threshold of bronze: and while the one is about to go down into the house, the other comes out at the door.”–Hesiod’s Theogony, c. 700BCE”

And how do you mark this importance? By showing what happens when the cycle is broken of course. When Persephone’s distraught mother Demeter, the Goddess of the Harvest, can’t find her daughter, all the crops fail. It’s only the return of Persephone every spring that allows crops to grow.

And, as all believers know, it’s better not to leave anything this important in the laps of easily distractable deities. So you build temples, chapels, stone circles. Conduct ceremonies, say prayers, and even channel your gods through ritual to ensure they stay on task.

And that’s where Mister Charles Fox and his band of (anonymous) dancers come in. By firelight as autumn moves toward winter, Summer, in the form of a giant crow, wages epic battle against the foxes who herald the change of season and the arrival of winter. Their primeval battle is a dance, set to drum and pipe music and waged against the flickering flames of fire and torch.

But when the friends of the foxes, Wen and Don, arrive expecting to see the usual dance, they’re shocked to find all the foxes have disappeared. Their search for their friends turns up a story that starts in 1591…

For this modern day recreation of a myth, the graphic novel format is perfect. The flames glow against the darkness, wrapping the dancers in a layer of magic and fantasy. And you’ve just got to love a background mystery that begins with, “The year,” he said, “is fifteen-hundred and ninety-one…”

Like all books in this series, Mister Fox Winter’s Tail is beautiful, fun, confusing, and leaves you feeling there are a lot more things going on than the few words and gorgeous pictures tell you (besides that pun in the title, of course!). And, while there are only a small number of pages, if a picture is worth a thousand words, this book is an epic.

Read the reviews and buy on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mister-Fox-Winters-Tail-4/dp/1910478199

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mister-Fox-Winters-Tail-4/dp/1910478199

A selection of other books by Sue Vincent and Stuart France

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links.

Sue Vincent UKUSAFranceGermany

Stuart France UKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue and Stuart through their book website:  http://www.franceandvincent.com/

I hope you have found one or two fantastic or supernatural books to add to your Christmas book list…thanks for dropping by.. Sally

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Meet the #reviewers – Wednesday 10th October 2018 – Sue Vincent, Judith Barrow and Lizanne Lloyd


On Monday I was the guest of Sue Vincent  on the subject of old age and the preferred state of Second Childhood.  What I did not know at the time was that I had missed a post of Sue’s on the same topic when I was unplugged in September… Just to confirm that great minds think alike (in contradiction to “Fools never Differ”) I hope you will head over and enjoy Sue’s take on this issue… take your toys and video games with you.

Frolicking Nick Verron

Frolicking ~ Nick Verron

With the unconscious wisdom of youth, my son decided that he would give me a games console. It is not, perhaps, the obvious gift for a woman about to enter her seventh decade, but then, he assures me that as I am a ‘tweenager’, it is entirely appropriate.

When the boys were young we always made sure they were up to date with the growing technological revolution. From the blocky arcade games of the ancient Atari to our first home computer, they soon became confident with consoles and keyboards and we played as a family, working out the puzzles, learning how to share, to be patient and to persevere in the days when games took ages to load and progress could not be saved.

Spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, foresight, reaction times and logic were all well-served, Games that now look primitive were often complex and demanding and to complete them was a real triumph. We have fond memories of those times. The software available for the Commodore 64 and the old Sinclair Spectrum even allowed you, with a little vary basic knowledge, to build your own games. Such violence as there was tended to be of the ‘Tom and Jerry’ variety, with little or no relation to reality and gameplay was often as much of an intellectual challenge as a test of manual dexterity. We hoped that introducing the boys to technology early would stand them in good stead in later years and that has indeed proved to be the case.

I am decades behind the times where technology is concerned these days. Modern consoles do more than play games, it seems, allowing you to access your PC, play music and films and do much of what I now do at the computer from the comfort of the sofa, which can only be a good thing… as long as the dog lets me share. All the skills that early gaming honed for the boys are ones that need to be maintained in later years… and oddly enough, I kept the best of the old games. So, in an unexpected role reversal, my son is giving his tweenage mother a games console for her birthday.

Please head over and read the rest of Sue’s insightful post: https://thesilenteye.co.uk/2018/09/09/second-childhood/

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Blog: http://scvincent.com/

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

prof-pic1

The next blog post is from Judith Barrow who shares a story from one of her creative writing students, which will resonate with any of us who remember black and white televisions and snow on the screen… Meet Trish who is a very talented writer.

The Rat in the Python #MondayBlogs #Fifties #Memoirs #Humour

Many of you will have enjoyed Trish’s writing here before. She is one of my many talented students that I’m privileged to tutor each week. Hope you equally relish this dip into the past. For some of you it’s a small history lesson, for others, a memory. I am not saying which group I belong to!!

The following words belong to Trish…

If you haven’t heard of a liberty bodice, believe that half-a-crown is something to do with impoverished royalty and never had the experience of slapping a television to stop the grainy black and white picture from rolling, then this book is probably not for you.

It is intended for us Baby Boomers who, in the stability following the Second World War, formed a statistical bulge in the population python. It is a personal snapshot of a time that is as mystifying to my children as the Jurassic Era -and just as unrecognisable.

My intention is to nudge some long-forgotten memories to the surface, test your own recollections and provide statistics to put it all in context.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

The Rat in the Python

Chapter One The House

It would be fair to say that most houses in this country pre-date our generation and so this topic should present few surprises.

However the external appearance is deceptive. We’ve all seen old postcards of towns and can instantly recognise many of the buildings. But what of the insides?

They were different.

In my day none of my friends had fitted carpets and central heating was unheard of. We did have carpets, and the ones I remember were hideously patterned, but they were square or rectangular, circular or oval and housewives in a hurry could lift a corner and sweep the dust and dirt under them.

Heating

We had a coal fire downstairs and my mother would plait and weave strips of newspaper, lay them like a nest in the grate and build a carefully-constructed pyramid of coal in the centre in and around more of these strips. Then she’d light the paper. If it looked as though it was going to sulk and go out she’d produce a sheet of galvanised zinc like a flat shield that she’d hold over the front of the open fire to ‘draw’ it up and once it was going properly we’d feed it with great hunks of coal the size of bread loaves that you could later split open with the poker.

My father would hold the paper he was reading in front of a flagging fire to quickly perk it up. This wasn’t always successful. A dark patch would appear in the middle of the newsprint before the hastily dropped paper burst into flames. Occasionally we’d use a toasting fork to dangle bits of bread in front of the fire but conditions had to be just right. Too soon after the addition of fresh coal and you had a brittle piece of bread with smoked edges; wait until it was too hot and the bread itself would flame and char. There was also a knack to balancing the bread on the fork so that as large a flat surface as possible presented itself to the heat. I lacked this knack. The bread would tear around the prongs and slide down towards the handle or I’d have it so delicately balanced that it would fall off into the gritty ashes or the blaze itself

Paraffin heaters were also popular; ugly great brutes that reeked and smoked but put out an impressive bit of heat. When I first heard ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ I thought of these heaters and even now I can see the blue ring of flames that had to be set at just the right height to balance heat against pollution. And if you’ve lived in a house with a paraffin heater you won’t need me to remind you of that all-pervasive, oily smell. 

Carry on reading this very entertaining post and enjoy the nostalgia of remembering some of the things you don’t miss and those days: https://judithbarrowblog.com/2018/10/08/the-rat-in-the-python-mondayblogs-fifties-memoirs-humour/

Judith Barrow – Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6
Blog: judithbarrowblog.com/Goodreads: Judith on Goodreads

Now time for a book review from Lizanne Lloyd –  Gift Horse by Jan Ruth

A time-slip novel about the choices women make, the healing power of horses, and the devastating consequences of human error.

Imagine living eighteen years of your life around a mistake…

Caroline Walker’s daughter suffers a horrific riding accident. Her distraught parents wonder if she’ll ever walk again, let alone ride. And when Mollie’s blood group is discovered as rare, her husband offers to donate blood. Except Ian is not a match. In fact, it’s unlikely he’s Mollie’s father.

Eighteen years previously, Caroline had a one-night stand with Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. Caroline fell pregnant. Deeply flawed boyfriend, Ian, was overjoyed. And Caroline’s parents were simply grateful that their daughter was to marry into the rich, influential Walker family. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Caroline turns to Rory’s friend Connor; and although his almost spiritual connection with his horses appears to be the balm she needs, Caroline cannot forget Rory, or her youth – both lost to a man she never loved. Eighteen years on and after surviving cancer Rory lives as a virtual recluse in the Welsh mountains. Through his well-meaning but interfering sister, he is shocked to discover he has a teenage daughter. Or does he? As the truth begins to unravel, Caroline finds herself faced with a complex trail of moral dilemma.

Someone has made a terrible mistake… someone is going to get hurt…

My Review

Caroline has it all, a rich successful husband, a large beautiful home and a daughter they both love. But Mollie’s terrible accident while competing on her horse, Sahara Sun, exposes cracks in their apparently happy life and Caroline’s past catches up with her. Can she take Mollie from Ian, the father she loves so much, and will Mollie ever forgive her secrecy?

Read the rest of Lizanne’s review for the book: https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/gift-horse-by-jan-ruth-newrelease-bookreview/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 – Sue Vincent, D.G. Kaye and Annette Rochelle Aben


Welcome to today’s small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last couple of days. The first takes us far back in time, when Britain was a land of many kingdoms. Sue Vincent writing for The Silent Eye looks at the Arthurian Legends.

North-easterly: Legends

There are many stories associated with the castles of the Northumbrian coastline, some historical, others apocryphal, but it is often buried within the myths and legends that some fragment of truth may be found. Few tales will pique the interest as much as when dragons or the name of King Arthur are mentioned. Stuart has told the story of the Laidly Wyrm of Bamburgh, in which a princess becomes a dragon, and were that the only tale the castle had to tell, it would be enough. But the castle has not always been known by its present name. It was once at the heart of the ancient realm of Bryneich, or Bernicia, and the castle was known as Din Guarie, a name that comes down to us through the Arthurian legends as Dolorous Guard….

The Dream of Lancelot~ Study by Edward Burne-Jones

The Castle of Dolorous Guard was the home of Sir Brian of the Isles, who some call King Bran Hen… Bran the Old… a cruel and evil knight and the sworn enemy of King Arthur. Sir Brian had learned enchantments from the Lady of the Lake and turned them to sate his own vicious pleasures. He took great delight, so the story goes, in imprisoning and torturing both men and women alike.

Head over and find out more about the legends of King Arthur and his knights: https://thesilenteye.co.uk/2018/10/02/north-easterly-legends

Sue Vincent is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Blog: http://scvincent.com/

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

prof-pic1

Now a follow up to D.G. Kaye’s post last week on the #MeToo movement. This week she bravely describes one of her own experiences, and illustrates how a few minutes can impact you for life.

Memoir Bytes: Escaping a Sexual Predator and the #WhyIDidntReport Movement

Last week I posted an article about the #MeToo Movement. This courageous coming out of women all over the world got me thinking about my own encounters with sexual harassment and sexual abuse.

As a memoir writer I’ve questioned myself many times, wondering if I would ever become brave enough to talk about my own experiences on this topic. And if you’ve read any of my books, you won’t find any of those stories I’ve shared in them because, I, like many women, chose to keep my silence and those memories far away from myself. I’ve kept those secrets buried for decades and only a few select people know about their existence.

Perhaps I’m still not ready to talk about them because some of the characters were too close to home and in one situation, out of the goodness of my heart I voluntarily allowed a male co-worker to come to my place for a cup of coffee one blizzardy winter night to wait off the storm before he could drive his long journey home, eventually offering him the couch to stay over on because of the treacherous road conditions. I was young and naïve to think that would be the end of the story. It wasn’t. But I’m still not ready to share what happened.

If I were to share what happened back then on that blizzardy night almost 30 years ago, I was sure I would have been accused of ‘getting what I deserved’ because I openly invited it in. And so, only my best friend knew.

Please head over to read the rest of this compelling post: https://dgkayewriter.com/memoir-bytes-escaping-sexual-predator-whyididntreport-movement/

D.G. Kaye is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Please head over to Amazon to discover all her books

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com – Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Now a post by Annette Rochelle Aben as part of the team on Sisters of the Fey. It is on the subject of numerology, which is the ancient practice of prediction.  There was a part one that you can link to, but in this post Annette shows us how to determine our personal number for 2019…. I am hoping mine has a few 00000000 attached.. are no that is the lottery.. sorry Annette I drifted for a minute.

Anyway mine is Personal Year 9 which according to Annette means I need to clear out what is unnecessary and live life to the full……

Here is a snippet from the post and I suggest that you pop over and find out what your personal number is for 2019… you never know where it might lead

In yesterday’s post, we established what MY Personal Year is for 2019 and that I begin the New Year (in Numerology speak) at the beginning of October every year. What we need to do now, is to address ALL NINE options for Personal Years.

To discover the Personal Year, you add your birth month and day together and reduce it to the smallest number between 1 & 9. Mine was 8. Then you add that number to the number of the year in question. Add all the numbers of 2019 together, reduce and you will have a 3. I added my 8 to the 3 and came up with a 2.

So, add your numbers together… go ahead, I will wait.

Personal Year 1 – This is energy of your thoughts. You could find yourself worrying about what you don’t think you see happening. Remember that thoughts are powerful things, so use them to your advantage and you will have a bonzer year!

 Personal Year 2 – This is energy of your emotions. If you become blue over what the world is doing to you, taking a deep breath and relaxing will do you some good. Allow patience to be the order of the day and you’ll see life going your way!

Here is the link to the post… check it out: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/step-into-numerology-whats-your-personal-year-for-2019/

Annette is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Annette Rochelle Aben, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY
Blog: www.annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com

Please visit Amazon or Annette’s blog to view all her books.

annettebooku_cover_for_kindle

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will enjoy reading the entire posts as much as I have.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Mister Fox: Winter’s Tail by Stuart France and Sue Vincent


For Sue Vincent and Stuart France fans, and Mister Fox... then latest book has been released. Mister Fox – Winter’s Tail

About the book

Where is Mister Fox? The night howls in triumph… pale eyes watch from the shadows… It is the night of the Hunter’s Moon and the dancing ground should be alive with flame as the Foxes dance in the dark. But the dancing ground is deserted. They are gone. No earthly light pierces the gloom, only the sickly glow of a veiled moon. Don and Wen stare in disbelief. Whispers in the shadows, a faceless voice, a tale of ambush and betrayal… of Foxes driven from their home and scattered, condemned to wander far from their ancestral lands. Charles James Fox wounded… none has seen him since that fateful night. Will the Hunter’s Moon pass in darkness? Have the Demon Dogs succeeded in their mission to bring eternal winter to the land? Or will their celebrations be short-lived? …For none may mar the Dancing Ground Nor add their darkness to the night, Nor stand against the Silver Fox, The wielder of the Staff of Light…

The book is available Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mister-Fox-Winters-Tail-4/dp/1910478199

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mister-Fox-Winters-Tail-4/dp/1910478199

A selection of other books by Sue Vincent and Stuart France

One of the reviews for Mister Fox: The Legends.

In almost every culture from the very earliest records we have, there are stories of the tricksters who use brains to triumph over larger, stronger, richer foes, frequently to aid people around them. Tricksters from ancient Prometheus—who tricked Zeus, stole fire, and gave it to mortals—to Loki, Anansi, Kokopelli, Lugh, Coyote, Crow, and so many more worked their clever, funny, and often helpful schemes.

Sue Vincent and Stuart France have added a page to that legend. But instead of simply retelling, they’ve pulled together the mystery and the dance, combined it with firelight and magic, and graphically presented an experience rather than a story. “I have seen them write in fire on the darkness…and heard the drums beaten with flaming brands.”

I can’t review this like a regular book, because my normal benchmarks—plot, pace, character development—are irrelevant. Oh, sure there are words—a new Trickster legend for Crow, and a tale-within-a-tale legend told appropriately by Punch, that most British of Tricksters. There are even inside jokes like the one in which the ancient Fox manuscript is lost when the original Sir Rufus Foxx has to flee the country after “disaster is visited on the family” by younger brother Guido Foxx (Guy Fawkes?).

But ultimately, all I can tell you is that this little book is more than the sum of its parts. The glowing artwork, with its puzzles and hints at so much more, is a much a part of the voice and the magic as the spare words. You can’t read this book as much as experience it. But if you do, you’ll know how art and fire and dance can combine to make magic. And just maybe a sky-full of stars too.

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links.

Sue VincentUKUSAFranceGermany

Stuart FranceUKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

About France and Vincent

The writing partnership of France and Vincent has a peculiar alchemy of humour, scholarship and vision that has given birth to many books, including the The Triad of Albion and Doomsday series’ as well as a number of unusual tales presented as graphic novels.

Stuart France – writer and mystic; author of The Living One and Crucible of the Sun. Stuart has a deep and practical knowledge of the Western Mystery Tradition, having followed a Path that has taken him hopping through the branches of the Trees of Knowledge and Delight. His astonishing work with symbolism and the interpretation of myth comes from a profound understanding and love of life and humanity. After gaining his BA in Philosophy and Literature, and his MA in Writing, this Child of Light studied with OBOD, AMORC, and the Servants of the Light and is a Director of The Silent Eye School of Consciousness. Stuart blogs at somethingferal.com.

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer, esoteric teacher and Director of The Silent Eye. She has been immersed in the Mysteries all her life. Sue maintains a popular blog and is co-author of The Mystical Hexagram with Dr G.M.Vasey. Sue lives in Buckinghamshire, having been stranded there some years ago due to an accident with a blindfold, a pin and a map. She has a lasting love-affair with the landscape of Albion, the hidden country of the heart. She is currently owned by a small dog who also writes at scvincent.com.

The Silent Eye School of Consciousness is a modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. With students around the world the School offers a fully supervised and practical correspondence course that explores the self through guided inner journeys and daily exercises. It also offers workshops that combine sacred drama, lectures and informal gatherings to bring the teachings to life in a vivid and exciting format. The Silent Eye operates on a not-for-profit basis. Full details of the School may be found on the official website, http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk.

Connect to Sue and Stuart through their book website:  http://www.franceandvincent.com/

Thank you for popping in today.. I am on a ferry at the moment off to house and dog sit.. so I would be very grateful if you could share the post.  I will be back online in a couple of days to respond to comments.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 – Sue Vincent, Don Massenzio with Victoria Zigler and D.G. Kaye


We often hear the expression ‘follow your instincts’ which can be confusing advice, as most of our natural instincts have been suppressed by ‘civilisation’ and the rules of the society we happen to live in. Sue Vincent explores the value in opening up to those gut feelings or instincts when presented with something or somewhere new.

Have you ever done something completely illogical, just because it ‘felt right’? Chances are that you have, and that it turned out that listening to that inner, elusive prompt was the best decision you could have made. In bypassing the circuits of habit and the imposed logic of the everyday world we sometimes manage to tap in to a deeper understanding and a clearer vision, one that sees beyond the boundaries we tend to impose upon ourselves all our lives.

We build our vision of reality based on the interpretation of events, both through our own eyes and the filters we impose on ourselves, and through the interpretations we are taught as we grow and learn how to live in a society that has its own rules and preconceptions.

When we are taken out of our accustomed milieu, perhaps travelling to a foreign land where the culture, habits, manners and morality even are different, we notice things we would not have seen in our own habitual places. How we see them depends largely on our own reactions and choices. As a simple example, I remember well the reaction of someone I know to travelling as close to home as France. She found the French to be rude, unmannered and did not enjoy her time there at all.
 

Head over and read the rest of the post and open your mind to allow your gut feelings a go at the helm: https://thesilenteye.co.uk/2018/09/04/following-the-feeling/

Sue is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W Blog: http://scvincent.com/

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

prof-pic1

The next post is from author Don Massenzio who interviews Victoria Zigler, children’s author and poet. Don is also looking for authors to interview, so if you have a new release coming out or would like to take advantage of his hospitality, I am sure you would be very welcome.

If you haven’t been interviewed, or even if you have and you have a new release coming out, please feel free to contact Don to be interviewed at don@donmassenzio.com. He will send you the information and get you scheduled. You can check out the 2108 author interviews conducted thus far on his Author Directory page HERE.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I don’t really intentionally set out to do either, though I’d say I’m more likely to try to be original than to try and give readers what they want.

I obviously hope my stories and poems are what readers want, because then they’ll buy them, read them, and – if I’m really lucky – enjoy them enough to tell their friends and family about them. But I write what I want/need to write.

I don’t base my writing projects around what topics and themes are popular right now, or worry about writing in a genre that generally sells best.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Head over and read the rest of the interview: https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/the-2018-author-interview-series-featuring-victoria-zigler/

Both Don and Victoria are authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Don Massenzio, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI
Blog: https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com Please visit Don’s Amazon page or his blog to view all his books.

51jyfophdxl-_uy250_ 51t21unx3l-_uy250_

Victoria Zigler, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6
Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/ – Please visit Amazon or Victoria’s website to view all her books.

And last but not least…. a post from Debby Gies, D.G. Kaye on her experiences with Carbon Monoxide. One of which could have been fatal if Debby’s detector had not alerted her to the problem. The message needs to be repeated frequently, as far too many people do not have a detector in their homes.

I read a scary article last week over at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Invitation, about her near fatal experience of discovering carbon monoxide gas leaking in her home. Besides the frightening story, Sally has a added a great list of tips to follow in that post to ensure your home stays safe from this deadly gas.

While I was reading Sally’s article, it brought back two memories of my own where my own carbon monoxide and gas leak detectors went off in two of my homes. Gratefully, nobody was hurt, and equally grateful, both my situations ended up in laughter.

One Friday night back in early 2000, a girlfriend was visiting and we were in my basement drinking wine and gabbing in my fairly new home. It was approaching midnight and my husband had long gone to bed when I heard something beeping in the storage room where the water heater was hooked up in. I followed the sound and saw an alert button flashing as it beeped. I tried to read the tiny fine print on the sticker to look for some instruction if it were to beep but couldn’t make it out. Rather to be safe than sorry, I went back in the other room to pick up the cordless phone and came back to punch in the phone number listed for the gas company to call in case of emergency gas leak.

I reported what I saw and heard with the beeping and flashing warning light. The agent said it was good I called and the problem must be investigated pronto, and until the gas company and the fire department were to arrive I was instructed to get everyone out of the house. I knew my husband was snoring like a buzz saw upstairs and wouldn’t be a happy camper if he were to be awakened, but I wasn’t leaving him behind.

My girlfriend ran outside and I ran upstairs to shake my husband awake. As I alerted him to what was going on he mumbled back to me that he was going back to sleep. I was in panic mode and he couldn’t give a crap. He was adamant that he wasn’t getting out of bed and as I kept urging him to get up I could already hear the sound of sirens. So I left him in bed and ran downstairs to greet the crew.

Head over and read the rest of Debby’s story about this silent killer and make sure that you have a detector in both your home and any holiday accommodation, such as motor homes and boats: https://dgkayewriter.com/silent-killer-carbon-monoxide-avert-danger/

D. G. Kaye is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com – Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will head over and read the posts in their entirety..Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 24th July 2018 – #History – Tony Riches, Sue Vincent and Brian Lageose


Welcome to today’s selection of blog posts I have enjoyed and the theme today is history.

The first post is from Tony Riches, whose Tudor Series I very much enjoyed. His guest is another historical author Marilyn Pemberton.

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

It was a time when women were starting to rebel against Victorian conventions and to strive for their independence. This is a story of Hannah Russell’s physical, emotional and artistic journey from the back streets of the East End of London to the noisy souks and sandy wastes of Egypt; from the labyrinthine canals of Venice to the lonely corridors of Russell Hall in Kent. Hannah thinks she has found love with Mary De Morgan, a writer of fairy tales and one of William Morris’s circle of friends. But where there is devotion there can also be deceit and where there is hope there also dwells despair.

I became somewhat obsessed with Mary De Morgan (1850 – 1907), having “discovered” her whilst working on my PhD. I went on to write her biography, Out of the Shadows: The Life and Works of Mary De Morgan, but despite significant research there were still huge gaps in my knowledge that really bothered me. I decided to write a novel and fill in the gaps with my imagination, the result being The Jewel Garden.

The story is told in the first person by a fictional character, Hannah Russell, who has a lonely childhood with an uncaring father, who has never got over the death of his wife during child birth. When her father dies Hannah moves to London and meets Mary, and so begins a relationship that lasts for decades.

I have included real family members in the book, such as Mary’s father Augustus, who was an eminent mathematician, Mary’s mother Sophia, who was a renowned spiritualist and social reformer and Mary’s brother William, who made beautiful tiles, which are still collectible today.

Head over and find out more about Mary de Morgan and The Jewel Garden: Tony Riches Blog

Tony Riches is an author in the Cafe

Tony Riches, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOXA
Website: http://www.tonyriches.com

To view all Tony’s books please visit his Website or Amazon

Now it is time to step back more than a few hundred years to a very different era in humankind’s history, in the knowledgeable hands of Sue Vincent.. there is a part two and I have linked that as well on The Silent Eye

“The information board graphically illustrates the sheer enormity of Maiden Castle when it tells you that the summit alone is the size of fifty football pitches. It is the largest hillfort in Britain and one of the largest in Europe“.

The Giant and the Sun – The Great Hill – The Silent Eye

Our final site of the official weekend workshop was Maiden Castle, an enormous prehistoric structure just outside the Roman town of Dorchester. We gathered in the car park beneath the hillfort and began the climb to its gates.

The name, Maiden Castle, is of debated origin, with some scholars taking it to mean an impregnable or unconquered fortress, while others look to the old Brittonic language and see it as mai-dun, the great hill. Perhaps it is both, but for our purposes, the site was definitely well named and large enough to be the virginal bride of a Giant.

Aeriel view of Maiden Castle; image from photo of information board.

Head over and read the rest of this fascinating look into our distant past: The Giant and the Sun Part One – The Silent Eye

And you can find the equally fascinating second part of the post here: The Giant and the Sun Part Two – The Silent Eye

Sue Vincent is in the Cafe

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Blog: http://scvincent.com/

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

prof-pic1

Next is a satirical look at American history through the eyes and humour of  Brian Lageose. Whilst there is no doubt that America, like all our nations, has a great many things to be proud of… there are plenty of events that are a little less favourable.

A Totally Random History of America – Part I

2000 B.C. – 999 A.D.: The Native Americans live peaceably for thousands of years. Sure, a few of the tribes were a bit violent, but this pales in comparison to the religious persecutions that were all the rage in the Old World. (“I have the religious right to kill anybody who doesn’t think my religion is right.”)

1000 A.D.: The Vikings show up and almost immediately leave, disappointed that Starbucks hasn’t been invented yet.

1001 -1491: After the one-hit-wonder Vikings sail back to wherever, the Native Americans continue living in relative harmony with Mother Earth, especially after the southwestern tribes discover peyote, otherwise known as Nature’s Vicodin. (They’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name…)

1492: Christopher Columbus gets top billing for the discovery of America, even though he really didn’t and it’s highly possible that he never even set foot in what would become the United States. (Perhaps he had a vision about the eventual Trump Administration and he wanted no part of that?) He doesn’t hang around, either, only staying long enough to make a proclamation that every town in America should build an elementary school in his honor.

1620: The Pilgrims slam into Plymouth Rock, a forerunner to the Exxon Valdez disaster centuries later. They break bread with local Native Americans and share the same table, a forerunner to Thanksgiving, and it can be argued that this is the last time the invading white people did right by the people who already lived here.

Head over and discover the other highpoints or lowpoints, depending on your point of view of the remaining 400 years: Totally Random History of America

Thanks for popping in today and I hope you enjoyed the selection and will explore them further.. Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger and #Reviews Daily – Thursday July 12th 2018 – D.Wallace Peach, Sue Vincent and Wendy of My Plaid Heart #Scotland


Welcome to my small selection of blog posts I have enjoyed in the last couple of days. I hope it encourages you to head over and read the entire article….You will notice that most of the posts today are from authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Part of book promotion is sharing more about the authors and showcasing their writing and personalities. No better way than through their blog posts.

To kick things off today.. a review by Diana Wallace Peach for Fairies, Myths & Magic by Colleen Chesebro.

Colleen Chesebro has a new book of poetry and short stories. The tagline is “A Summer Celebration” and how perfect that it was released on the summer solstice. I snapped it up and read it while the sun lollygagged overhead. Rather than quiz Colleen, I asked her if I could share my favorite short story from the book, and she agreed. Her gorgeous story “The Pond” struck a deep chord, as if she’d written it just for me. My review for the collection follows. ❤
The Pond

by Colleen Chesebro

My journey brings me to a nearby prairie slough where prescient reflections shimmer under the summer sun. Today, I am in pursuit of mythical enlightenment. You know, the kind where magic resonates in the shriek of a hawk and in the howling yips from the coyote pups that play on the sandy shore under a full moon. The alchemy of the moment is not lost on my hungering soul.

A numinous pack –
as turquoise heavens beseech
Mother Gaia’s goal.
Spirit, water, fire, earth, air,
her connection reigns supreme.

As I gaze into the pond, I see the reflections of the woman I’ve become, Past and future meld as one. For today, the wisdom I seek is my bond with the one.

***
My Review:

The tagline on this book is A Summer Celebration, and what better day to read it than on the summer solstice. Chesebro’s book is a collection of poetry and short stories that celebrates not only the presence of summer, but the connection of the human spirit to the Earth, a bond that is ancient, new, and eternal.

Head over and read the rest of Diana’s review: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2018/07/10/fairies-myths-magic-book-review/

Both Diana and Colleen are authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

D. Wallace Peach, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

Please visit Amazon or Diana’s website to view all her books.

book photo51om2I6e0kL._UY250_61abvx-feql-_uy250_

Colleen Chesebro, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967
Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

51vob-3uucl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Next Sue Vincent hosts Balroop Singh as she explores the synergy between life and poetry and her connection to writing from early childhood.

Poetry and life seem synonyms to me. The prism of poetry reflects life and its varied colors but the spectrum of life is much wider than poetry, which tries to capture some hues and even drifts into the darker crevices to discover those emotions that lurk on the sidelines, yearning to be embraced. Poetry digs deeper into those sensitivities; it understands the finer nuances of life and offers solace.

How well has Walt Whitman summed up the connection of poetry with life:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.” – Walt Whitman

Most of the poets from John Donne to W.B. Yeats, from Emily Dickenson to Mary Oliver have talked about life in their poems. If Robert Frost reminds us of the promises that we make with ourselves, William Blake has highlighted discrimination and social injustice. Kipling inspires his readers to stick to goodness despite a streak of wickedness in humanity; Maya Angelou infuses a spirit of freedom and Adrienne Rich raises her voice against oppression.

Head over and read more of Balroop’s guest post and enjoy one of her poems: https://scvincent.com/2018/07/11/guest-author-balroop-singh-poetry-and-life/

Both Sue and Balroop are in the Cafe and Bookstore

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Blog: http://scvincent.com/

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

prof-pic1

Balroop Singh, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U
Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

61ebbw1tqhl-_ux250_51hws7e9y-l-_uy250_415pxawf6tl-_uy250_51cezfo0l3l-_uy250_

Now time for a new blog to me My Plaid Heart which you might guess is all things Scottish and is the domain of Wendy – When you head over you will find some fantastic articles on Scotland with beautifully photographic guided tours.

Hello again, my friends. Are you all having a nice weekend? I sure am. Just when My Plaid Heart thought it couldn’t physically handle another weekend of Virginia temperatures in the mid-upper 90’s, Mother Nature has finally thrown us a bone. It is GLORIOUS outside with early fall-like temps, lower humidity, and a nice, cool breeze. It’s short-lived, though. Pity that the dreadful temperatures are set to return next week. Pity indeed.

In keeping with the aforementioned cool breeze, I’d like to invite you to come along with me today as we set sail on the brackish waters of the estuary that meets the North Sea – the Firth of Forth.

fullsizeoutput_190

Image © My Plaid Heart

fullsizeoutput_193.jpeg

Image © My Plaid Heart

Head over and enjoy many photos of this wonderful part of Scotland and find out more about the area: https://myplaidheart.com/2018/07/07/sailing/

Thanks for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the small selection of posts I have enjoyed.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Norah Colvin, Sue Vincent and John Rieber


Welcome to today’s selection of posts that I have read and enjoyed when browsing the community. I wish I could mention everyone. Please do leave a link to your latest post in the comments.

The first post is from Norah Colvin on the subject of birthdays and bouquets of flowers. And if you have not read some of Norah’s informative posts on education you can find here Readilearn

Here is a snippet and please head over and read Norah’s entire post.

Do you celebrate your birthday? I do. I love to mark each one. I don’t even mind that the numbers are getting big now, though not quite as big as my grandchildren tease (he says 150, she says 954). I wouldn’t mind a few additional years to accomplish even more, or at least try. But I know I am lucky to have had so many. Not everyone is as fortunate. And we never know how many days or years we will get. For this reason, I think we must enjoy every day and treat it as a gift. That’s why today is called the present, after all.

yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bouquet. You can explore the meaning of the word or gather a bunch of flowers. Go where the prompt leads.

You could say that the prompt was beautifully timed to coincide with my birthday, although I hadn’t considered the connection and was struggling for a response until I received these beautiful flowers from my daughter and her partner.

Head over and read Norah’s lovely poignant 99 words: https://norahcolvin.com/2018/06/19/a-bouquet-of-wishes/

Sue Vincent​ hosts Jim Webster​ on his book launch tour for A Licence to Print Money.. he is sharing a story from the book at each stop on the tour and today it is Episode 8 – A Measured Response.. as Jim says.. if you follow all the stops on the tour you will have read the book for free….

Oh yes, sorry, I’m still here. Hope you’re enjoying the story, ‘A measured response.’ Have you worked out whodunit yet?

As I was saying, I’ve just published, ‘A licence to print money: The Port Naain Intelligencer.’ It’s available on Amazon.

In it, Benor, who just wants to get paid for some work he’s done, struggles against corrupt officials, bent bookies, and all manner of other problems. On the positive side he does get to meet a Magistrate who is also a performance poet, and young Mutt finds somebody who might even be tougher than he is.

As with all the stories in the Port Naain Intelligencer collection, you can read them in any order. It’s a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote them in a particular order, but you can dip in and out of them, you don’t need to start with volume one and work through them chronologically.

But it struck me that people have got used to me writing about Tallis Steelyard and might need reintroducing to young Benor. So I decided that I’d write another Port Naain Intelligencer tale, ‘A measured response,’ where each chapter is a post on the blog tour. Follow the blog tour and you’ll probably get to uncover the mystery, free and gratis. Cannot say better than that can I?

Head over and read your free episode- A Measured Response: https://scvincent.com/2018/06/27/guest-author-jim-webster-a-measured-response-episode-8/

Sue Vincent is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Blog: http://scvincent.com/

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

prof-pic1

As is Jim Webster

Jim Webster, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/
Blog:  http://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/

And to finish off.. just a few photographs from a post by John Rieber.. travel writer and broadcaster…California’s Amazing Coastline.

“Hitch Hiking” #2! “The Birds” At Bodega Bay! California’s Amazing Coastline! A Series Of Great Hikes + Alfred Hitchcock’s Best Movies!

Talk About A Hike With A View!

In the distance is downtown Los Angeles – and there are so many great ways to get a spectacular view like this…so I wanted to share some of my favorite hikes in the world! These hikes are made even better because of who I get to take them with – my wife Alex:

Let’s Go “Hitch Hiking!”

Alex came up with the title “Hitch Hiking” – a series of hikes we’ve done together, and classic Hitchcock films that these hikes reminded us of…let’s begin “hitch hike #3” with a trip to Northern California, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world…

Just south of Bodega Bay is Dillon Beach, miles and miles of sand and sea – with beautiful views in both directions…and we explored it for hours…

Head over and enjoy all the other images and the interesting facts and descriptions of this part of California and the great Alfred Hitchcock: https://johnrieber.com/2018/06/28/hitch-hiking-2-the-birds-at-bodega-bay-californias-amazing-coastline-a-series-of-great-hikes-alfred-hitchcocks-best-movies/

©images John Rieber.

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you enjoy the selection of posts and explore further.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Drive Time #Playlist – #Music to get the weekend started – The Requests – Sue Vincent, Jacquie Biggar, Mary Smith and Tina Frisco


Since the beginning of this series, I have asked you to share your favourite music with links in the comments. I thought I would create a special playlist, sharing the track and link to the latest post of those requesting the song.

The first track is requested by Sue Vincent  Eric Clapton and ‘Bad Love’ Apparently Sue cannot hit the road without this blasting out.

We have some country coming up from Charlie Pride with ‘Kiss an Angel Good Morning‘, requested by Jacquie Biggar and if you head over you can read Jacquie’s review of Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs.

Billy Joel and ‘Uptown Girl’ was the selection by Mary Smith to keep her company when hitting the road.

The stunning voice of Loreena McKennitt and the song ‘Santiago’ was selected by Tina Frisco which I am sure you will enjoy. If you head over you can catch Tina’ recent guest post on The Story Reading Ape.

Tune in next week for part two of the requests from the series. Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful weekend. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives -Christmas Past by Sue Vincent


Welcome to the second of the posts from Sue Vincent’s Christmas Archives… and today a look back at her vivid memories of a Christmas in Paris…………

Christmas Past by Sue Vincent

There are some things we don’t forget. Times, places, memories that stay in that special corner in our hearts where treasures are kept. There are many Christmas memories, from childhood, of course. There are those precious moments with my children when they were small and their eyes sparkled brighter than the lights on the tree. The one we knew would be the last with my late partner which was full of love and laughter, friends and silliness.

There are times and places we see as pivotal in our growth into who we are and will become. And there was Paris 1981.

And of course, I have the Diaries.

I had been in France for a year and had made some wonderful friends, mainly amongst the resident artists who stayed there all year round and took their art seriously. Others came and went chasing the concentration of summer tourists and francs. My friends were the ones who had made it their home. I modelled for them and fed them when they were broke, and when they sold a painting, we partied. They were some of the best friends you could wish for and we took care of each other.

We congregated in the bar on the corner of the square, “Au Clairon des Chasseurs”. I could arrive for coffee on a Saturday morning and still be there sipping wine in the wee small hours of Sunday. Just talking. The artists would come in between clients to warm their hands and have a coffee or a beer, and as one left another would arrive. Actors, writers, diplomats…all came and joined the conversations at the bar. Mini, Tahar and Thierry the waiters joined in as they could when a moment allowed, and we discussed and debated just about every subject under the sun and then went further, delving into the mysteries of the inner universe.

All nations, all languages, all faiths seemed represented and the only rivalries I ever saw were in jest.

This particular Christmas stands out for many reasons. It was my first in Paris and it was beautiful with the lights and the powdering of snow. How I love that city! It was my first, too, away from home, just divorced from a violent marriage and finding my feet in the world. I had never lived as myself before, having gone from my mother’s shadow to my husband’s control and the year had been one of growing confidence and self-discovery.

It is a curious feeling when a fully formed adult can stand back and observe themselves.

Had I been asked I would have told you I was self-assured and competent at life. Yet as I watched myself in this new environment I was surprised at how small I seemed, how afraid of life, how insecure.. I saw myself as the mouse I had been called and felt myself worth little. I had been under my husband’s control for so long I had lost sight of who I was supposed to be and seemed to have failed to grow into myself. I could see myself hiding behind a false personality, but you could not do that for long in Montmartre.

Gradually, over the course of the year, it had dawned on me that the friends I was making must actually like this person for some reason. Here, I was just me, not my mother’s daughter or someone’s wife. Just me. It was a novel feeling. It fed my confidence a little.
I bought myself a bright red outfit, I who had always dressed in colours that hid me. My friends nicknamed me ‘la Tomate’ affectionately, or called me ‘Yorkshire’ in heavily accented tones. I really felt I had come home. When they give you a nickname, they explained, you have been adopted into the family.

 

My closest friend was Tom Coffield, a brilliant Glaswegian artist. He was a small, wiry Scot with a deep love of Burns and a gift for holding up the mirror of the soul. We had met after I had been sitting on the pavement talking philosophy with Big Boris in broken French. He handed me a portrait but I shook my head. It was spring, the early transient artists had arrived and I wasn’t buying. “An I’m no’ sellin’!” Boris introduced us and wandered off to paint and Tom joined me on the pavement. We must have talked for six hours straight.

He became my friend. And conscience. Advisor and confidante, protector and in many ways a teacher. He was well read, well educated, a challenging conversationalist and damned good fun. More importantly for me, he stripped back every layer behind which you could hide and made you look at yourself. We spent most of the summer talking. He promised me a proper portrait, but it never materialised. Each time he tried to paint he saw something new, knowing me so well, and tried to capture it all.

But that Christmas he gave me something better. He gave me a memory.

We had dined chez Denise on the Rue Lepic and Tom introduced me to Thierry Arnault, who introduced me to his bizarre work and his cats, Snoopy and Pigalle. Armed with a bottle of 1978 Chateauneuf from Mini at the Clairon, we descended on Montparnasse.

Thierry Arnault art.

There was a party at a friend’s apartment. It was snowing and the city was magical in the moonlight. Next day I was heading home for England for a family Christmas, but tonight was for laughter.

I have no idea what possessed me to join Vince in ‘Ilkley Moor bah’t ‘at’ to drown out Tom’s Gaelic. I may be obliged to plead the fifth… not amendment, but Chateauneuf. There was dancing, I was officially renamed ‘La Princesse’, and my diary records, “ …and that was a good day. So many friends I have made! I am a lucky woman.”

The evening ended with Tom kissing me merry Christmas and telling me to come back soon as I was loved by many and would be missed. It was the first time I felt that I really mattered in the world. One is born into a family, but the loves that find and cherish us for who we are, they are very special.

Tom also gave me a Christmas gift which hangs on my wall today. The Clairon and all my friends. Tom is the small guy with the beret on the left talking to Monsieur Steve and old Marcel who loved the light in my hair… I am gazing the long way up at Big Boris and his beard. Alain, gazes soulfully across the room… but that is another story. I knew them all.

Even the pigeons on the glass roof…

…once upon a time.

©Sue Vincent

My thanks to Sue for sharing what was clearly a magical year in Paris and wonderful Christmas.

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..

41irlk3aanl-_uy250_ 51eltwi-cal-_uy250_

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.

41j6menjpbl-_uy250_ 41lardqnpnl-_uy250_ 41rbtzowjbl-_uy250_41pohqnoakl-_uy250_51xri-fkwfl-_uy250_

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.

41g1rltc0wl-_uy250_ 41mb7ais2l-_uy250_ 510ubnb19ql-_uy250_

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

inner-temple-three

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

41wlzm7ejdl-_uy250_ 413l6tp2v-l-_uy250_

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