Monthly Archives: July 2021

Have you “heard” Silver Lake yet?….

His inbox was crammed full of unread mails – most of which were advertising junk. Before this infuriated him further, he tweaked his junk mail filters, then returned to his inbox. There was one email from Maddy that caught his attention. The subject heading was “Silver Lake album and merchandising artwork.” He opened the message, scanning the details about a band meeting scheduled for Friday to discuss the attachments. Jake opened the first of four attachments to reveal the three draft designs for the album cover, each significantly different. Instantly his eyes were drawn to the distinctive signature on the drawings. He opened the other three attachments and found a variety of other designs tagged as t-shirt proposals and miscellaneous. One proposed album design caught his eye – a dragon, with its wings spread out nestled inside an intricate Celtic knot. The twist of its tail reminded him of the Celtic trinity that was in the band’s logo. When had Lori found time to complete this portfolio? Why hadn’t she told him? Suddenly, he desperately wanted to talk to her, but it was four o’clock in the morning. Smiling for the first time since Monday, Jake reached for his phone and turned it on. A barrage of text alerts pinged through – he ignored them for now. Quickly he typed, “Love the designs. Love the Celtic dragon knot. Love you. J x”. He hit send.

(extract from Stronger Within, book 1 in the Silver Lake series)

If you want to read more then check out the Silver Lake series today

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RR1FGLG

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RR1FGLG

Ellen….why not check it out this weekend

The cottage garden was sheltered from the breeze and, with the chimnea blazing, the patio felt cosy and intimate. Lit tealights in old jam jars were scattered around the boundary of the paved area, their flames flickering in the darkness. Plucking a gentle melody, Taylor watched as Nana and Jen brought out bowls of crisps and dips and some beers and cider. He smiled over at Ellen, who was sitting on a pile of cushions beside the fireplace.

“You ok?” asked Taylor, noting that she was staring intently at the flames.

“Never better,” she replied with a relaxed smile. “I was just daydreaming.”

“Ghosts in those flames?”

With a wistful smile, she nodded before confessing, “A year ago I couldn’t have sat here. Couldn’t stand to see flames. My dad helped me over those ghosts. Calmed my fears.”

“Shit! I never thought!”

“It’s fine, Tailz,” assured Ellen warmly. “In fact, it’s more than fine. This is perfect.”

Want to know more? Check out Ellen on Amazon today.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 http s://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

Continue the Story……

Last Wednesday, I spent the day in Glasgow shopping with my Girl Child. We did the usual mother/daughter things- coffee, shopping, lunch, more shopping. After so many long, restricted months, it was nice to just meander through the shops, masks on, doing something that felt “normal.”

One of our last stops of the day was Paperchase. I love that shop. As a writer ,what’s not to love – notebooks, journals, pens… oh I was in seventh heaven! I was also looking for a specific journal as a gift. As I searched for it, I spied this lonely book lying on the shelf.  It wasn’t what I was looking for, wasn’t what I was planning to buy but it spoke to me… no, more accurately, it screamed at me! I bought it. (Well, it was the only one left and it looked lonely…. and well it had pleaded with me…)

I’ll confess, creatively of late, I’ve struggled. Progress with Book Baby 7 has been painfully slow. For once, I actually have a clear idea of its storyline but putting pen to paper and stringing some sensible words together just hasn’t been happening. This isn’t writer’s block as such but more like burn out. The batteries were totally flat.

As I shared on here last week, I knew I needed a rest. And you know what? For once, I listened to myself.

I’m in the middle of my two-week 2021 Staycation. Week one has been hot and sunny (I love the sun!) and I’ve barely been indoors. After months of working in my living room, I can honestly say I’ve hardly set foot in it for 10 days. I’ve walked, I’ve run, I’ve practiced my yoga, I’ve listened to music, I’ve shopped, I’ve relaxed in the sun, and I’ve read and read and read (I’m on book 4 for this staycation). Apart from last week’s blog, I’ve not written a word.

Having bought the Continue the Story journal, it lay abandoned on my desk for three days before I picked it up and flicked through its pages. They whispered encouragingly…. I picked up a pencil, selected my prompt and tentatively tested the waters….

If you can’t read my handwritten scrawls, here’s the typed version of the short piece I wrote last night.

She’d waited a lifetime to see this view. Well, it felt like a lifetime- a hundred lifetimes! All those long cold months dreaming of this moment. Those endless dark depressing days where thoughts of this moment were the pot of gold at the end of her rainbow. The hours she had spent breathing stale clinical air, imagining it was clean salty ocean air.

As she’d sat on the plane the ay before, she’d fretted that she’d done the wrong thing. Was it too soon? What if the kids needed her? Would the cats be ok? Was four weeks too long to be away?

Despite her exhaustion, jet lag had kicked in. She’d been wide awake in the strange bed at 4am. With no one to answer to, no one to tip toe around for, she’d got up, showered and dressed, throwing on a vest tee, shorts then, as an afterthought, her Hard Rock Café hoodie. Slipping her bare feet into her flip flops, the key and her phone into her pocket, she left her rental apartment.

The pre-dawn air was still and cool. In a few short strides, she was across the worn planks of the boardwalk and heading down the nearest path. The sand felt icy cold on her feet as it flowed over her flip flops. Kicking them off, she padded down the beach towards the ocean.

Gentle waves lapped ashore. Sitting down on the soft sand out of reach of the waves, she hugged her knees and let out a long sigh as the sun started to rise above the horizon. Her pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The creative batteries aren’t quite fully re-charged yet but they’re getting there.

Need a beach vacation?…..

escape to the beach this weekend with Jake Power….

An early morning mist had rolled in off the ocean creating an eerie atmosphere along the beach. It had been early when Lori had crept out of the house to go for a walk. She did some of her best thinking alone down on the sand. Over the months her confidence and her physical strength had grown allowing her to walk along the shoreline without a constant nagging fear of falling. With the broad base plate attached, she still used her cane for support, psychological as much as physical. She had left Jake snoring loudly in bed, his long limbs spread out over more than his fair share of the mattress. When she had come down the hall, she had found Rich asleep on the lounge floor, his leather jacket serving as a blanket. As she wandered through the sun room, Lori wasn’t surprised to find both Paul and Grey asleep on the couches. The last two revellers hadn’t even made it indoors. Gary and Scott were dead to the world on the sun loungers outside. Someone had had the good sense to cover them with the fleecy blankets from the sun room. Images of the sleeping rock stars made her smile as she strolled along the sand. This early the beach was deserted, and the pockets of morning mist created her own small private thought bubbles.

If you want to read more then check out the Silver Lake series today

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RR1FGLG

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RR1FGLG

Time to rest…

Normal blog service will resume next week. 🙂

A little graffiti and a lot of nostalgia

Ever been tempted to leave a wee note on the wall when you have been decorating for future generations to discover? Your own wee DIY memorial?

Yes?

Did you ever expect to see any of your own notes again?

No?

Me neither…..until last week.

One of the girl’s I work alongside in “the salt mine” lives in a house we used to live in. Small world, eh? We moved from there a long long time ago. In fact it was almost twenty-two years ago so you can imagine my surprise when she messaged me one evening last week to say she’d found something whilst decorating.

She sent me three photos … these three photos.

Coming face to face with my own “decorating graffiti” from twenty-four years ago was a bizarre feeling.

Equally bizarre – I remember writing it!

The room in question was Boy Child’s nursery. At that time. the Big Green Gummi Bear and I agreed not to find out the sex of our first baby so, until he was born a few months after the graffiti was left for posterity, he was known as “Jellybean”.

I loved that nursery when it was finished! It was such a bright cheerful room. We kept the furnishing simple- pine cot, pine chest of drawers and a pine rocking chair. We thought we’d created the perfect room for Jellybean to sleep soundly in.

Wrong!

He was a “difficult” baby and a terrible sleeper! He never slept a full night in that room!

Now all that’s left, apart from countless precious memories, is the chest of drawers, the cushions that sat on the rocking chair and “Jellybean” himself!

Wasn’t he cute? LOL

Oh, it’s a funny old world.

Butterfly – an acrostic poem

Balanced on the smallest of blooms

Unique in her beauty

Trusting of the world around her

Terrified of what the future holds

Excited to feel free in the evening sun

Relieved that the rain showers have passed

Fragile to those to care to look closely

Lost on life’s journey

Yearning for something as yet unknown

Spend 4th July with Silver Lake for free

Want to spend 4th of July at a Silver Lake BBQ for free…

Less than an hour later, the burgers were sizzling on the grill, Maddy and Lori were bringing salads and relishes out from the kitchen, Becky was contentedly watching TV and the four band members were all catching up with each other, as they sprawled across the sun deck. Rich had taken charge of the BBQ, ordering Jake to stay clear of the smoke. Happy to relinquish the cooking duties, Jake had gone back to the sun lounger without a word of complaint. Once all the food was out, Lori came and sat beside him. He draped a protective arm around her shoulders, kissed the top of her head and whispered, “Love you, li’l lady.”

“Love you too, rock star,” she purred, resting her head against his bare chest.

Within a few minutes, Rich was dishing up burgers and they were all scrabbling round the table for rolls, salad and relish. No one was standing on ceremony and the relaxed atmosphere gave it the feel of a family meal.

Stronger Within, book one in the Silver Lake series is free to download today. Check it out using the links below:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Silently Watching Under A Waning Strawberry Moon

His feet landed firmly on a patch of rough gravel. The jolt caused the dark angel in his arms to groan weakly. Swiftly, he left the path, crossed the narrow strip of grass then carried her down the rough-hewn stone steps to the walled courtyard of the beach hut, taking care not to slip. Hearing him approach, Trine opened the door, spilling light out into the courtyard.

“You brought her here!” she gasped, eyes wide with surprise.

“I didn’t know where else to take her,” said the runner as he carried the angel inside. “Close the door. Can you fetch the bag of first aid stuff? I think it’s beneath the sink.”

Heading into his own bedroom, he called back, “I’ll need some hot water soap and a flannel too.”

“Do you need help?”

“Yes,” he replied without hesitation. “That knife is still in her back.”

“What?”

“I think she’s been on the floor of her mausoleum for the last three months,” he revealed as he laid the dark angel on the bed face down. “She’s barely alive. She’s been feeding on mice and voles. The place was littered with them.”

“It’s a miracle she’s alive,” muttered Trine as she turned to fetch the supplies.

Taking care not to hurt her any further, he began to strip the dark angel’s soiled clothing from her limp body. Her cloak practically fell off in his hands, revealing her blood soaked back. The fabric of her blouse was torn and thick with congealed blood and stinking green pus. He could see it was all crusted round the embedded blade and around the hilt of the knife. Through the sheer fabric he could see that the skin around the root of her wing to the right of her spine was black. The root of her wing looked shrivelled, and the wing lay limply by her side, the feathers dull.

“We need a healer,” stated Trine simply as she appeared beside him with the Boots bag and a bowl of steaming hot water.

“I know but I can’t rock up to A&E with her, can I?” he replied sharply. “We’ll need to pull that blade out ourselves. Unless you have a better idea?”

Silently, Trine shook her head.

“Let’s clean her up first before we touch the knife,” he suggested. “Do you have any spare clothes she can borrow?”

“I’ll find something,” said the Ice Maiden, already heading towards her own room.

By the time she returned a few minutes later with some underwear and a loose blouse, he had stripped off the angel’s stinking clothes and thrown them outside.

“I’ll bathe her,” said Trine bluntly, her tone leaving no room for debate. “We’ll need more medical supplies. More of those white pads and more of that sticky tape.”

Nodding, he said, “I’ll fetch some. I’ll see if I can find some antibiotics too. We need to kill any infection.”

“Your modern drugs may kill her,” said Trine wisely. “Bring back some honey. Manuka honey if you can find some. We’ll treat this the old-fashioned way.”

“Ok. I’ll see what I can find,” he promised. “I’ll be as quick as I can.”

Finding the first aid supplies was easy. He transported himself back to Boots and filled another bag from their shelves, adding some penicillin from the pharmacy just in case. There was no food section in the store so there was no honey. Thinking on his feet, he transported himself out of the shop and into the empty concourse of the mall, keeping to the shadows. Nervously, he looked around. Further along to his right, he spotted a sign saying, “Health Food Store”. Cautiously, he crept through the empty mall, praying that he was avoiding being seen by the cctv cameras. Once outside the small health food shop, he transported inside. Luck was on his side! Inside the door was a display of manuka honey. Quickly, he scooped six jars into the bag, folded his wings around himself and returned to the beach hut, landing lightly in the courtyard.

When he re-entered the bedroom, Trine had just finished bathing the dark angel and had managed to dress her in some clean underwear. She had begun to gently clean the infected skin around the knife.

“How is she?” he asked anxiously.

“The same,” replied Trine without looking up. “She hasn’t regained consciousness. I haven’t found any other injuries though.”

“I got everything you asked for including the honey,” he said, holding up the bulging bag. “I brought some antibiotics just in case. Penicillin.”

“Penicillin?”

“I’m no chemist but they discovered it was a cure for infections a hundred years ago. It grew as a mould or something.”

“We’ll try the honey first,” suggested Trine. “If it doesn’t work then we can talk about using your modern magic pills.”

“Ok, so now what?”

“We pull out the knife and be ready with clean clothes to staunch the flow of blood,” she advised calmly. “You pull it.”

Silently, he nodded his agreement.

Space in the room was tight. Carefully, Trine climbed up onto the far side of the bed, gauze swabs in hand, taking care not to move too much and disturb the prone angel’s position. Standing at the side of the bed, the runner placed a hand on the dark angel’s arm and whispered, “I’m going to pull the knife out now. Sorry. This is going to hurt.”

“Slow and steady. Don’t twist the blade,” cautioned Trine, looking as anxious as he felt.

Wrapping his hand round the ornate hilt, he pulled gently. At first there was no movement from the blade.

“Harder,” instructed the Ice Maiden.

He applied a little more force, and the blade began to ease its way out. It was catching on something hard inside, either the edge of her shoulder blade or maybe a rib or a vertebra. Blood started pouring down her back around the metal.

“Pull hard. Quicker!”

“You said slowly.”

“There’s too much blood. Get it out now!”

With a final tug, he freed the blade. The second it was out, Trine placed a wad of gauze over the wound to soak up the blood. A putrid smell filled the room.

“That wound is bad,” she said. “Smells of death.”

“Well, that knife’s been in there a long time. I felt things moving inside her as it came free. I’ve a feeling there might be bone fragments loose in there,” he explained, feeling a little queasy as he recalled the blade catching on bone as he’d pulled.

“Bones will heal. We need this bleeding to stop first. Pass me more of those white squares.”

It took a few minutes, but the flow of blood finally eased then stopped. Taking care not to start the bleeding again, Trine washed the gaping hole out with hot water then cleaned it with some antiseptic wipes. The runner watched as she then soaked some more the square swabs with honey and packed the wound. She taped a large clean white dressing over the top.

“That will need to be cleaned and dressed daily until it heals,” she said calmly. “If it heals.”

“You’ve done a good job. Thank you.”

“I’ve done my best,” she said with a weary sigh. “Healing her just to kill her feels all wrong.”

“I know,” he acknowledged. “But she’s got to heal first. That wound could end it all.”

“True. All we can do now is wait.”