Today for Colleen’s Weekly #poetry challenge I’m focusing on a short excerpt from my debut novel The Curse of Time – Book 1 – The Bloodstone which I will be releasing this summer, (all the relevant details have been emailed to my book cover designer!) plus a new Tanka I’ve written.
Excerpt: The Curse of Time – Book 1 – the Bloodstone
I felt the need to unravel the mystery of my father’s disappearance. Somehow, I knew it all began with Esme, a captured victim of a curse who lived in the mirrors of our house and kept out a watchful eye. I could see her but Mum couldn’t. As far as I could tell, neither could Dad. That suited me because Esme was my secret.
I remembered seeing Esme shortly after she had vanished from school, when Dad disappeared, two years ago. The memories of that day flooded into me so much that I’d thought I had been hallucinating. Poor Esme. When I saw her reflection staring at me in the mirror, the first thing I did to acknowledge her presence was to grab a flannel and try to wipe her away. Some welcoming! Except, she wasn’t a reflection she existed. When she spoke, I almost fell over in shock.
‘Hey, stop that,’ she scolded, ‘I don’t need a shower, you’re making me all smeary.’ I stepped back and stumbled in surprise. This was crazy. Bizarre. Extraordinary, how could this be happening? At that moment, I felt like I had tumbled into a Dr Who mystery. Who else had such a dysfunctional family – a disappearing Dad, an accomplished vanishing cat, a cranky Mum, and now, a girl who lived in mirrors for a best friend? No one!
Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!
Today, my husband and I had a grisly conversation about death… not exactly a cheery morning chit chat but I thought if I have to go one day and no doubt I will…. this is how I’d like to imagine it… Not some black, bleak, meaningless end. No, I’d like a supernatural being to visit me. No vampires please unless you are so handsome and your final bite is worth it! Perhaps a magnificent unicorn to carry me far away on some incredible adventure, or a mermaid to take me swimming in some exotic land… Wait a minute…. What about many supernatural beings, (except zombies – they don’t rock my boat!) plus the delicate kindness of the fairies to see me off?…. Now, that sounds perfect!
Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club is a friendly group on Facebook for authors, bloggers and book reviewers. The club endeavours to create a wonderful community, a place to make friends, and to foster meaningful, helpful connections with like-minded people.
He is a thoroughly decent chap, a friendly, amusing bloke whose blog I urge you to follow. He is also a top dog in the Annual Bloggers Bash in London – next event – Saturday 9th June 2018 – one of the current gang of four organisers – enough said. He’s a writer of wit, a keen flash fiction enthusiast, a course junkie, (Arvon, MA at Sheffield Hallam, etc,) dog enthusiast, walker, (that follows,) gardener, and has written four novels. One of which – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle – I have read and reviewed, with a title like that how could I not!
Thrilled to discover I am poet of the week – Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge. Thank you Colleen. Read this reblogged post to read all the entries and details of Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s poetry contest that Colleen is hosting on her blog. She is one of the judges!
Today, I am delighted to welcome fellow member of the Facebook Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club, author Linda G. Hill as my Blog Tour/Cover Reveal guest.
Her release is entitled The Magician’s Curse. How exciting! I love the sound of that….
When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.
Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?
Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.
Available soon on Kobo, and on June 27th in paperback on Amazon.
An excerpt from Chapter 2:
The moment Stephen stepped out the door, the foyer fell silent again. He didn’t have to look at any of the interviewees perched, alert upon burgundy velvet-covered benches against both sides of the room, to know their eyes were on him. They were drawn to him as though he were a human magnet, just as Herman had been. He passed the stairs, turned right, and stepped into the dining room where his agent, Margaret, waited for him to arrive.
“Hey,” she said without looking up. She sat poring over the applications that were strewn across the large antique dining room table. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it, staring at the top of her dark mane of hair shining in the light of the chandelier above her head. Her long, graceful fingers, poised to turn a page, were an elegant extension of the rest of her lithe body. Finally, she looked up and took in his appearance with icy-green eyes. She was every bit as beautiful as any of the women outside.
“What’s the matter with you?” she asked. Being inseparable for five years, both as best friends and then co-workers, made it easy for her to tell when there was something different, however subtle, about him.
“I found her,” Stephen said, his back still to the door.
“She has a perfect body and long, brown hair and the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. And her lips! Full and beautiful. And the way they move when she speaks … absolutely captivating.”
Margaret narrowed her eyes. “You hired someone on the train again, didn’t you?” It was a statement more than a question.
“Okay,” she said, sitting back in her chair. “Tell me more about her.”
“I think she’s running away from home. She has a job to go to, but she agreed to come and check this one out. She’s sweet and innocent and she’s almost eighteen.”
Margaret crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes even more.
“No, I didn’t audition her the same way I did the others,” he said.
“So you didn’t bang her in the limo on the way here.”
“No! She’s not of age. And anyway, I knew from the second I saw her that she’s the one.”
Margaret began to say something just as the door opened on the far side of the room to her left, and Nina came in from the kitchen. Both Stephen and Margaret glanced at the slight young woman and then at each other.
“Should I leave the two of you alone?” Margaret asked.
Stephen shook his head almost imperceptibly and walked over to have a quiet word with the girl. After a few seconds she bowed and backed out of the room, and Stephen turned back to his friend.
“Well then,” Margaret said, throwing her hands up and glaring down at the stacks of paper in front of her. “Tell them all to go home.”
“No, I still want to interview them.”
“What the hell for?”
“Herman might not take the job.”
Margaret raised her eyebrows. “Herman?”
“Okay, let me get this straight. You’re telling me she’s the one you want but that she might not stay. I’m confused.”
He stood, silently pleading with his friend to understand what he had only begun to comprehend himself.
“What the hell is wrong with you, Stephen? I’ve never seen you undone like this before …”
Margaret put her hand up to her mouth, realization dawning on her face. “Oh my God,” she said quietly.
He closed his eyes as he spoke. “It doesn’t matter whether or not she’ll be my assistant, Margaret.” He opened his eyes and swallowed hard. “She’s the girl I’m going to marry.”
About the Author
Linda G. Hill was born and raised an only child in Southern Ontario, Canada. She credits the time she spent alone when she was growing up, reading books and building worlds and characters of her own to keep her company, as the reason she became a writer.
A stay-at-home mom of three beautiful boys, Linda is a graduate of the Writing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Aside from caring for her family, she enjoys traveling the world, eating trout cooked on the barbecue, and, of course, reading.
The prompt words this week are smoke and veil. They fit in beautifully with a particular character in my book : Book 1 – The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone which I am currently formatting with a planned release date to be confirmed this August…
The particular character I have in mind looks a bit like the young man in the photo below…. I shall be doing a character interview post soon.
Photo courtesy of my keen photographer daughter Georgina. Thank you to J. English, (media studies, drama student,) for agreeing to be our model!
To enter Colleen’s weekly challenge follow the link:
On Saturday 10th June I caught the train to London in the early hours of the morning and travelled to the much-anticipated Bloggers Bash.
I bought a new dress, jewellery and even did my nails….
In typical Marje fashion I did some nutty things on route, starting with trying to get through the barriers with an invalid, outdated ticket. This gave me a mini case of palpitations until I realised that I had the correct ticket in my wallet! Thereafter, I had a sneaky feeling that something else would happen and it did. I jumped on the tube at St Pancras without checking what I was doing. Of course, this meant that I was now headed in the opposite direction to the way I should have been going, so I jumped off, gave myself a stern talking to and sorted myself out!
Phew…. thereafter it was easy peasy. Blogging pal, committee member Geoff’s instructions were great … Though, I didn’t hear any giggles to follow, so that was a bear faced, or in Geoff’s case, a pink beard face lie! Miraculously, I arrived at the hotel with time to spare.
Thereafter, it was a blast. So many faces, both new and not so new. Bloggers from far away, bloggers from London, bloggers from just about every neck of the woods. Have bloggers will travel.
A big thank you to the committee for organising this labour of love: Sacha, Geoff , Ali and Hugh.
I failed miserably at taking photos during the event – Bloggers Bashes do that to me – obviously I struggle to talk and take photos, but there are loads of photos on Facebook on the #bloggersbash page: Facebook: Bloggers Bash & ABBA Awards.
But I did take this one of Sherri, Sally, and Mary.
Can you believe it? Three years of bashes! This year’s bash felt grown up. It occurs to me that, in retrospect, the first bloggers bash reminded me of those first baby blogger steps into the unknown, the second bash involved toddling off confidently and now we’re all grown up and have progressed to an International Bloggers event! Very posh.
So, who knows what the fourth bash will bring? Exciting times ahead. I just hope they get proper name badges next time rather than those sticky labels that refuse to stick to your dress and travel up your arm, waltz around your skin and end up being worn as a bracelet.
If you haven’t been to a bash before and would like to come, here are several reasons why I think you should:
You will learn a huge amount. At this event there were discussions about social media, Pinterest, and many blogging tips from the panel of experts: Suzie, Elena and Christoph.
You’ll meet loads of like-minded people.
It’s a great opportunity to network with other writers and authors.
We are all introverts so we know what it’s like to come to your first event.
You’ll feel welcome. Everyone is very friendly.
There are cakes, (this has to be a good thing,) biscuits, tea and coffee, and alcohol too!
You will find that there are hugs a plenty, from huggable Hugh who is our resident king of the hugs, but newsflash – Hugh may have competition. Our inspiring Shelley is huge on hugs. She gave me a real bear hug as I was leaving – it took my breath away.
After the talks and discussions I rewarded myself with a great big carrot cake cupcake – just one of Ritu’s delicious recipes which she brought along. It melted in my mouth – so delicious. I had a ‘wee’ drink but not too much, as I had a sneaky feeling that getting home inebriated would be a bad idea for someone who can’t even find their way whilst sober!
The lovely Ritu, and Willow accompanied me from the venue, until sadly we drifted off our separate ways home. I ended up on the slow train to Cambridge which stopped at every bl***dy stop. This meant that I had to walk about a mile to my bus stop from the train station in my (for me,) high heels, to catch the last bus to the back water I call home. Yes, our sad little village has a last bus home at 8.40pm, thereafter you have to wait until 10pm for the next one!
Guess who I saw on my way home ? My youngest riding towards me on her bike. So I asked her where she was going. Bad idea, I should have run, but in those heels, I had no chance. She had forgotten her keys so I ended up going back home with her and taking her out in my car. What a sucker, such a soft-hearted mother, that’s me. Luckily, I had only had one drink, so could drive!
The story doesn’t end there…
No, there were chips, and a very dodgy scampi supper to consume. I wish I hadn’t. The scampi oozed milky liquid which really didn’t look edible. Still, I survived, I have a tough old stomach that can consume such dubious delicacies with no ill effects.
And… In the short while I was away… a mere day, my hubby decided it would be a good idea to let my daughter have her first driving lesson. He let her reverse his car out of our very tricky driveway. Whatever possessed him? So, wonder of wonders she had a bit of an accident. He said ‘crashed,’ but I checked the damage and luckily it is a mere scratch! It could have been a lot worse!
So the moral of the story? Next time, I will be staying over in London so no one can find me, or assault my stomach with a chip supper or request that I lift them anywhere in my car, even if it means that my hubby does something crazy!
Sorry for that waffle, un-bloggers bash yarn. I thought it was funny and hoped you might do too!
Who did I chat to? Loads of folk… methinks they were… perhaps…
It was such a shame that Esther couldn’t make it this year as she was moving house that very day and of course there were many others who would have loved to have come but couldn’t join in the fun. They were sorely missed too.
But there is always another year, another opportunity.
The date has been set for next year’s bash so don’t forget to put it in your diary:
9th June 2018. It sounds a long way off but don’t believe it, before you know it I’ll be on a tube going the wrong way again.
So sorry to hear that my good friend Irene is in intensive care in hospital, reblogging this to share the news. I shall be thinking of her and her family and hoping that she will get well. Please spread the positive energy by reblogging this post and sharing on social media. Thanks.