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Hello Everyone!

I’m excited for the release of THE FALLEN SHADOW next month! The third book in the Revel Night Saga will be out on June 20, but until then here is another special excerpt…

 

The Stairway blinked out of existence and Livia experienced a moment where she thought she might be okay, but then the Earth’s gravity caught her, it yanked her away from the portal and she was helpless against the powerful hold. The last thing she saw was the man and his soldiers dragging her unconscious father away as the portal closed.

Flailing and fighting, she began to register the heat as she fell. Hotter and hotter, she folded her wings in front of her hoping that they could protect her. They began to glow as she passed through the upper atmosphere. Her feathers crisped and burst into flame, the pain so intense she couldn’t even scream.

She knew then that she would not survive this. Black spots began forming in her vision and she felt the tug of unconsciousness, a slumber from which she knew she would not wake. She only had a few moments more, time enough to picture his face and remember the sound of his ghostly voice. One last good thought…

Tynan.

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I hope everyone had a nice celebration. I got texts from loved ones and long phone calls from my sons.  🥰  I also took the opportunity to cook some of my favorite dishes, plus have fun trying out new ones!

First off I made Rosie Londoner’s Easy French Yogurt Pot Cake and had it for breakfast. What? It’s Mother’s Day I can have cake for breakfast if I want to!

French Yogurt Pot Cake
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

1  4-5oz pot of Unsweetened Plain Yogurt
(Empty the yogurt into a bowl and then use the clean pot for the rest of your measurements…that’s why it’s so easy!)
2 pots Self Raising Flour
1 pot White Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1/2 pot Vegetable or Coconut Oil
A splash of Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
Handful of Blueberries (or chocolate chips!)

Combine all of the above ingredients and stir to mix well.
Line a 8×4 loaf pan with parchment or coat very well with cooking spray.
Scrape batter into the loaf pan and wiggle it until the batter is smooth, pop your berries or chips into the top.
Bake in the oven for 45mins to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan then serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

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For cocktail hour my husband made a Bees Knees!

The Bees Knees

2 parts Gin
1 part Lemon Juice
1 part Honey Simple Syrup* (I like mine to have a lot of honey flavor add less if you’d prefer less sweet)

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until very cold
Serve up in a coup glass.

*For the Honey Simple Syrup
Add 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan over medium heat. (You can experiment and decide how much of a honey flavor you want in your syrup. The more honey you use, the thicker the syrup and stronger in flavor it will be.) Stir until blended. Strain into a jar and seal tightly with a lid. Will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator.

For dinner I made my Indian Spiced Pulled Pork Sandwiches!😋
Along with Coleslaw!

Bon Appetit Mom!

 

 

 

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Hello There!

I’ve used this great wall paper to showcase my daily Oracle card draw on my Instagram

Speaking of…. I bought this amazing oracle deck from Megan Buccere as a cheer me up gift at the beginning of quarantine. They are beautiful and insightful in equal measure!

Another thing I’m enjoying is Ollie and Carrie’s Good Morning/Evening series. Ollie and Carrie are actor/singers in musical theater, they, like most others in the entertainment profession are out of work so, every morning since the beginning of quarantine Oliver Ormson posts a wake up chat with his girlfriend Carrie. Subjects range from feelings about the current state of the world to favorite movies and funny stories from behind the scenes of the West End of London.  (nothing too deep 🙂 )

And in the evening Carrie Hope Fletcher posts the wind up of their day chatting to us while making dinner or having a drink on their back patio, and sometimes they post a duet– they have the most amazing voices!  It’s been something I look forward to everyday.

Also I’ve been enjoying the return of small Spring rituals despite the strangeness that permeates our everyday life right now.  Fires in our fire kettle on cool evenings, getting my annual herb garden planted, the return of our favorite seasonal cocktail the Mint Gimlet.

What are some of the things you’ve been looking forward to these days? Leave a comment and let me know!

Be well, my friends!

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Hello Friends!

I hope you are doing well! It’s been awhile since I did a Surfing episode mostly because thats kind of what we’re all doing full time now 🙂 But I did find a few things of interest out there that you might not have run across.

Quiz: Poisonous Plant or Indie Band?

Weatherman’s cat crashes his home broadcast and now she’s his co-host! 

Purse lost in the 1950’s becomes an unexpected time-capsule. 

Family puts up Jurisdiction of the The Ministry of Silly Walks sign in front of their house…Hilarity ensues.

Out of reading material? Remember the Little Free Library near you! 

Is running in place as good as actually running?

Did you know movie villains can’t use an iPhone?

How to pronounce “Tzatziki” 

See Chicago’s Million Dollar Fairy Castle

This tutorial for cutting men’s hair is the best one I’ve seen yet! (PS I followed it for cutting my husband’s hair)

Cooking 3 meals a day 7 days a week getting to you? You’re not alone. 

What travel might look like post Covid-19

The Madalorian is in pre-production for the 3rd Season! 

Have a great Sunday!

 

Enjoy a special excerpt of THE FALLEN SHADOW. Out June 20

Available now for Pre-order

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You never know who you will meet on Revel Night….

The boathouse was a favorite haunt of Tynan’s; it had all the characteristics a Boogeyman needed. Dark, damp and decrepit, it was a place where Mortal teenagers came looking for a little mischief. Something he was more than qualified to provide.

It was a two level Adirondack style, the upper level a three-season porch and the lower level a sagging launch, the water lapping up over the end of the dock.

He assumed it would be vacant until later, the bonfire having just been lit, so he was surprised when he heard voices below. Melding into the closest shadow, he slipped through the darkness and downstairs.

“There’s a ghost that haunts this place.”

A boy in what Tynan guessed was a slapdash attempt at a Dryad costume and a girl dressed as an Angel was on the dock.

“Have you ever seen him? Does he appear often?” she asked.

“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” The boy took hold of her shoulders and clumsily attempted to kiss her. He was more than a little drunk. The girl turned her head and backed away.

“Stop it!”
“Aw c’mon.” He continued to paw at her.

“This was foolish, I should go.”

“Just one kiss, Angel baby, please!” He grabbed onto her wrist and laughed when her attempt to pull away failed.

Tynan was of a mind to intervene before the boy carried things too far, perhaps manifesting as the ghost the boy had mentioned would break things up. Before he could, the girl balled up her fist and executed a perfect right hook, landing it square on the boy’s jaw. He stumbled back and fell with a splash into the water.

Watching as he flailed in the lake her hands on her hips, the girl’s wings flapped a few times in agitation. It was then that Tynan realized the girl wasn’t dressed like an Angel she was an Angel! He must have made some kind of sound because she spun to face him, her fists at the ready.

“Who is there?” she demanded.

She was lovely. Long red-gold hair fell in waves to her waist. The tumbling mass framed a heart shaped face sprinkled with freckles; her eyes reminded Tynan of buttery brown caramel. It was no wonder the boy had wanted so desperately to kiss her.

“Oh! Hello there,” she said, the hostility draining from her face.

She was looking right at him, she could see him! Not as an apparition but as he truly was. Further proof she was an Angel and not human.

“It’s alright, don’t be shy,” she said.

He stepped forward emerging from the darkness and she took a startled breath, her hand fluttering to her mouth. It was a reaction Tynan was accustomed to but it pained him that he’d alarmed her.

“My Heaven, you’re a Shadow aren’t you?”

Tynan blinked; surprised she had not run in terror. “I… uh, yeah…yes I am.” She had the sweetest smile. He felt his palms go clammy.

“Are you Nox Tenebris?”

“Me?” He could not help but laugh. “Gods no! Nox is my father.”

“Oh.” She blushed. “I’m sorry. My Father said he was the Master and it felt like…” She rolled her eyes and blew out a breath. “So, you must be Tynan?”

He experienced a thrill at her not only knowing but saying his name. “Tynan Tenebris,” he said, executing his best courtly bow. “A pleasure, Mistress.”

“Greetings, Lord Shadow.” She dropped an elegant curtsey her dark wings spreading gracefully outward. “I am Livia Windancer.”

Beautiful.

He took a step closer but noticed her breath was starting to steam so he halted. The cold spots could not be helped; it was his nature to leech the warmth from the air surrounding him.

Sputtering and coughing up lake water, Livia’s unlucky swain hauled himself up onto the dock and crawled to a post. He unsteadily got to his feet and shot Livia a glare. “Bitch!” he snarled. “I should kick you in the ass for that.”

Tynan stepped forward putting himself between the boy and Livia. Black mist uncoiled from his fingertips and reached out toward the boy, his body deformed into an emaciated hunched posture. His face altered, eye sockets hollowing to black, his mouth spread into a gapping maw lined with sharp silver fangs.

The ominous creature’s voice cut like a cold dagger, “Flee, mortal, or face the Wraith!

The boy practically injured himself running away, screaming in terror.

As the Wraith dissipated and Tynan drew himself back into his real appearance, he suddenly realized he might have done more harm than he intended.

“Mistress Windancer, forgive me if I…”

Her mouth was agape and she stared at him wide-eyed. “That was magnificent!”

“You mean…you weren’t scared?”

Her hands were clasped over her heart. “Oh yes! Oh terribly frightened, yes!”

Tynan tipped his head and gave her a befuddled look. “No offense Livia, but you are very strange.”

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Hello Friends!

It’s been a bizarre month hasn’t it? I hope that you and yours are safe and staying healthy! Despite the gloom of the Covid19 outbreak there were still some things to love about March.

First is this beautiful wall paper I’ve enjoyed all month!

This Playlist on Spotify is upbeat and cheerful in the background when working.

Pablo Cimadevila is a master jeweler and great to watch!

If you need something soothing  LIVE VIEWS FROM THE SPACE STATION is just the ticket!

Speaking of soothing, why not tuck into your favorite comfort read? What’s that you ask? It’s the book you’ve read 10 times but would gladly re-read. There’s nothing like hanging out with fictional friends and reading a well loved story…again! Here are some of my comfort books: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore,   The Starless Sea The House of Spies,   The Black Widow….to name a few.

Also, I’ve got a new cover for my E-reader and I’m EVER so pleased with it!

If you enjoy baking here is Joy The Baker’s English Muffin Bread recipe. Her IG stories are really nice too.

This tutorial on How To Knit A Scarf For The Absolute Beginners is really good!

Finally, here is Esther Walker’s advice about working from home… a little levity to lighten the mood.

Be well my friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is a special excerpt from my up-coming release, THE FALLEN SHADOW.

Enjoy!

June 21st
Revel Night

Chapter One

Tynan could always tell when his father entered Shadow Manor. Like plucking the string of an instrument his presence vibrated along the whole. A hush fell over the usually boisterous students for a few moments, sensing what Tynan felt now as his father drew near, the spine chilling power of the Master Shadow of Faerie, Nox Tenebris.

A sprawling estate, Shadow Manor was owned by Tynan’s grandmother Elspeth Glenghlas. She was a powerful aristocrat and one of the Seelie Queen’s closest friends and advisors, her position within the Seelie court kept her away from her ancestral home.

That was the story Tynan been told when he was a child, now a young man one week shy of his eighteenth birthday, he knew the truth of his father and grandmother’s estrangement. Elspeth could not abide what her son was.

Even amongst the Fae, Tynan’s father was special. He wielded the darkest of magic, the ability to sense and amplify fear and transform into a person’s worst nightmare, he could merge and melt into the dark; disappear from one dark place and reappear in another, powers Tynan inherited. He was a Shadow, in the Mortal or human realm they called him The Boogeyman.

Tynan realized early that he was different from his sisters. While his twin Clare and younger sister Juno, enjoyed playmates and socializing with other children, he was often excluded; the children too afraid to even come near him. His sisters and parents became his only company. He was comforted by their loyalty, but ultimately they couldn’t fill the void of being the only child Shadow.

He walked to the balcony off the sitting room in his quarters, ten young boys were playing kick ball in the grass beneath him. He smiled as they passed the ball to each other.

Everything changed, for Tynan, and indeed the Faerie realm, as other Tenebrosai began to seek out he and his father, drawn to them and each other by the rare gifts of the Shadows. Nox created within the halls of the disused manor a place to house and educate the Shadow Boys who came to him, the Tenebrosorium.

Although elated that he was no longer alone, the fact that more Shadows were being born was not a cause for celebration. He and his fellows were a harbinger of another attack by a species of conquerors called the Phaji: The World Eaters.

Three thousand years ago, during the First Age, the Faerie, Demonic, and Angelic realms reached across time and dimensions and joined with the Mortal realm to become a new universe, The Four Realms. The Mortal realm acted as a conduit to and from each separate realm that lived in harmony.

Then a fifth realm inhabited by the Phaji sought to join as well but it became very clear that peaceful co-existence was not the goal. The Phaji Swarm would have crushed the Earth, consumed and dominated the humans, then decimated the other realms as well.

It was before this War of the First Age that the first Shadows had been born to the Faerie realm. Their leader had been the legendary Shadow, Vailintin Xivass. The Shadow Boys’ historical brethren had been critical in the battle waged to protect the Four Realms.

Or so the ancient stories told, but Tynan knew the truth, the Phaji had not been defeated, just quietly biding their time until they could strike again. That time was drawing near Tynan could feel it. The Shadows were like antibodies created to fight a disease. History was repeating itself; the universe needed them again.

The signs were clear, the Phaji were back and he was ready. It was what he was born for, his imperative, what he had been training his whole life to be. He was eager to finally step onto the path that would lead to his destiny.

Sometimes though, he thought of what it would have been like to be the son of a simple man, a blacksmith, or tailor. Guilty thoughts were these, he was proud to be a Tenebris; his family loved and cared for each other fiercely. Proud too to be commander of his father’s Shadows, he loved each of the Tenebrosai as a brother. It was just; sometimes he wondered what it might feel like to have simple cares, what he might be if he had not been born to be a weapon of war.

THE FALLEN SHADOW will be available for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited on June 20
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These are great for packed lunches and a light dinner. Just serve with a green salad!

Bacon, Leek and Cheese Muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 cup Milk
2 large Eggs
4 rashers of Bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped Leeks
1 1/2 cups grated Cheese

Fry up the bacon until crispy, crumble then set aside. In the remaining bacon fat sauté the leeks until soft, then set aside to cool.

In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder & cheese. Add in the oil, milk, & eggs. Add in the cooled bacon and leeks. Mix until combined.

Line a 9 cup muffin tin with paper baking cups and fill each baking cup 2/3 full with the muffin mix.

Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Change up the flavor by using fresh herbs, or sausage or dried fruit like figs or feta cheese.

 

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Ever since reading The Coroner’s Daughter I’ve been in a historical mystery mood.  Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series has fit that mood very nicely.

Set in 1887 London, Veronica is a woman who rejects society’s ideas about how a woman should act, think, dress….pretty much everything. Along with her (very hot) companion Stoker, Veronica gets swept up in some pretty crazy situations, and I loved every page!

A CURIOUS BEGINNING is the first of (so far) a five book series.

London, 1887. 

After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

 

May I also humbly recommend:

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Another beautiful wallpaper for my desk top

This hands free book light is perfect for working on my embroidery

I have tried out the Beauty and the Bees solid conditioner bar! It’s really good! Lasts for a long time (i’ve been using it all month) detangles like a champ!

I’ve followed author James Mark Miller for a number of years on Twitter and I love his very, very short stories called A Small Fiction. They are poignant little bites of perfect prose. Recently I’ve bought his book (with illustrations!) based on his Twitter feed. I love having a hard copy of this inspired work!

I look forward to my installment of Elyse Watches The Batchelor & Bachelorette. Joined by her cats, a large quantity of Kraken Rum, and occasionally her husband, she recaps the episode of the series most love to hate. She’s made me nearly wet my pants with laughter on many a lunch break. She has an extensive backlog, so if that sounds like your glass of rum and coke then I invite you to check it out!

First, I must say that I like squirrels. But they also destroy my bird feeders and hog all the feed I’ve put out. One particularly piggy little dude would just lay down in the tray of the feeder and munch away like a fuzzy Tarrare! My solution, after much research, was The Squirrel Buster Plus. It’s attractive and not overly complicated. And before you start feeling sorry for the poor deprived squirrels, I also put out suet that I am happy for them to have instead.

In response to the ban on plastic bags, lots of people have a collection of bags they keep for trips to the grocery or shops. I’m particularly proud of mine. I started collecting Envirosax in 2009 and have been a devotee ever since. They are great quality, machine washable (very important), sturdy (that first bag from 2009 is still in service!). They come in really cool designs, and I like to give them as gifts.

And finally, speaking of  plastics, and my ongoing quest  for household products that reduce the use of them, I’ve been giving Blueland cleaning products a try.  You get the cleaning squirt bottle and one of their clever little fizzy cleaning tablets (the kitchen one smells like lemongrass). You make the cleaning solution like you would an Alka-seltzer, dissolving the tablet in the bottle that you’ve added tap water to. So far I’ve tried the kitchen cleaner and the glass cleaner and I really like them!

Have you tried anything in this months Love List? What was your take on it?

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