Thank you to Colleen for including my latest poetry release, Lockdown Innit Poems About Absurdity in this wonderful bunch of reviews for Mark W. Sasse, Stuart France & Sue Vincent and yours truly!
Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to not one but two guests!
A hearty welcome to Sue Vincent and Stuart France. I originally contacted Sue regarding a Spotlight on my blog, a while ago. She pondered a while, as I would in her place – this lady writes haikus, has guest author spots on her wonderfully entertaining blog, and has not one, not two, but several novels under her belt. Which of these novels to focus on? Sue elected for Lands of Exile – But ‘N Ben which she’d co-written with Stuart France. In her words Lands of Exile – But ‘N Ben is: ‘the first in the Lands of Exile series that combines the tales of ‘our’ travels through the ancient landscape as ‘Don and Wen’ with a rather odd police chase. And a fair bit of humour.’
Sounds promising – I love humour, have a brother called Donald, and an aunt Wendy, (God Bless Her Soul,) perhaps this is meant to be? I do believe in fate…
How to reflect the general quirkiness of this novel? A dog came to mind as Sue is a dog lover, and perhaps Stuart is too? Too obvious. Next, I considered a country scene and ended up seeing green and red in everything, blending beautifully with Sue’s red hair. Then, I came across the above photo of six birds. Bingo! This was the perfect social media banner! Quirky but simple, and astonishingly the divergent bird and his less adventurous feathered friends are free, gratis thanks to Terri: Second Wind Leisure – Free Photos For Your Blog! who I featured recently: Author/Blogger Spotlight Terri Webster Schrand
Success, it’s always nice to shout out about freebies!
Right, I better get to it, enough of this waffle or my chosen birds might fall off their perch, or fly away.
So… chirp, chirp… It’s time to find out more about my guests Stuart France and Sue Vincent.
The writing partnership of France and Vincent has a peculiar alchemy of humour, scholarship and vision that has given birth to several books, including the six volumes of The Triad of Albion and the Doomsday series.
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. He declines all responsibility for this introduction. “I blame Wen…..”
Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer 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. Michael Vasey and a number of other books. 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 blogs.
But ‘n’ Ben
The first volume in the Lands of Exile series
For once, Don was right… it was all Wen’s fault. If only Ben had not insisted in going back for the gun… Don and Wen should hand themselves in and share the fate of their co-conspirator. It would be the noble thing to do.
Does this course of action appeal to our errant duo? Not on your Nelly!
As Ben languishes in the dank cells of Bakewell Gaol, Don and Wen hit the road. Their headlong dash for freedom takes them north, where they are beset by a host of ‘Orphan Stones’ clamouring to be led back home. But they are not alone… and the sinister Black Shade is not the only thing dogging their heels as they blaze their customary trail through the signs, seals and sacred sites of old Albion.
The unofficial re-siting of an ancient stone is viewed in a rather negative manner by the authorities. Ben has been arrested and the other two birds have flown. Heading north, Don and Wen follow the whisperings of ancient stones carved with enigmatic symbols, unaware that they are being followed. Their journey takes them through Cumbria and into Scotland, visiting ancient and historical sites, whilst piecing together fragments of the secret and magical history of Albion. Illustrated in colour.
Extract from Lands of Exile: But ‘n’ Ben
Stuart France and Sue Vincent
Bark Jaw-Dark contemplated the pork pie he had recently fished from the depths of the jacket pocket of his un-pressed suit and placed it whole in his mouth.
“Jaw-Dark,” spluttered Bark through the pork and pastry.
“Is this a joke?” snarled Bark’s mentor, Tom Patrick, picking up the newly positioned desk tag and scrutinising it distastefully.
Bark swallowed and gulped, “Real name’s Mark… first day at school… had a cold… never been able to shake it.”
“The cold or the name?” smiled Patrick, briefly impressed with his own wit, and then continued more seriously, “You don’t get these unless you’re important… and you’re not.”
The desk tag flew through the air and plummeted into the depths of the tall blue recycling bin with a dull thud.
“And you can drop the sir. It’s Tom. In this day and age we treat you like shit but informally. It’s called progress…Got it?”
“Good lad,” growled Patrick turning to leave.
“Did you want me?”
“Ah yes…” said Patrick turning back, “the stone hugger!”
…Bark looked blank.
“Wealthy business man… moved a stone… went back for the gun… mad as a frog…”
“…In a box full of other frogs?”
“…In the clink.”
“I’d gathered that, but what about him…?”
“He wasn’t alone. Prime suspects… fellow directors of his school of conscience, or some such, have disappeared. Supposed to be on holiday but no one’s sure quite where. They’ve done a runner if you ask me. That’s where you come in.”
“Ah!” said Bark Jaw-Dark rising to his feet and pulling down his suit. “They are wanted in order to help the police in their enquiries.”
“Attaboy,” said Patrick. “You’ve got the weekend.”
A business card landed on Bark’s desk bearing the Egyptian Eye of Horus and a moniker, ‘The Silent Eye, a school of consciousness.’
“I don’t work week…” But Patrick had gone.
Bark Jaw-Dark fished his name tag out of the recycle bin and placed it back on his desk. He pulled down his suit again, sat down, picked up the business card and turned on his computer…
She is looking at me, the stranger child.
Eyes green as summer…
She looks at me as if she knows me.
Better than I know myself.
They say the Old Ones have green eyes.
She watches as I haul in the fish trap…
Website: France and Vincent
Have you read Lands of Exile – But ‘N Ben? If you have please do comment below.
Until the next time, keep smiling.