Monthly Archives: August 2021

What’s happening with Book Baby 7?

Somehow, we’ve reached the end of August – no idea how we got here! My head’s still back in June somewhere! – and the last rays of summer are sinking on the horizon earlier and earlier each evening.

I’ve come to wonder of late if I’m really solar powered at heart. Every opportunity I’ve had all summer, I’ve been outdoors either meandering or simply sitting in the sun lost in a book.

Now though, as the evenings are growing cooler and darker, it’s time to move back indoors and turn my creative attention back to Book Baby7.

Don’t panic- it’s not been entirely neglected over the summer months. I have made progress both with writing the first draft and typing it up, but the pace has been leisurely.  Maybe it’s been a summer case of writer’s block rather than sun block, but I’m not convinced.  Personally, I think I just needed a break to recharge these (solar powered) batteries.

Like many people, the day job still involves working from home. My home working space during the day is in the living room and when I finish up each day, the work stuff gets cleared away and my creative space is restored for the evening… unless the sun’s shining and its warm and I’ve been lured outside once more to sit on my nice new bench with my kindle until the sun sinks below the rooftops. I do think that part of the issue is that I am thoroughly sick of the sight of my living room!

Now though, its time to refocus and show Book Baby 7 some love and give it the attention that its craving.

So, for those among you who are impatiently waiting for it, where am I with it?

Good question!

I’ve roughly 30% of the first draft handwritten.

I’ve about 25% of the first draft typed. (I’ve paused typing to focus on adding to the handwritten word count).

I have the storyline pretty much worked out in my head.

It has a title but no, I’m not sharing that with you just yet.

I have a release date in mind too but that one needs to remain under wraps for now.

It’s still entirely naked as I’ve not yet given much thought to the cover.

So, all I would ask for now, is that you bear with me and trust that it’s coming in 2022 at some point (hopefully!).

And, if you’re patient, I promise to share a little excerpt soon.

I will write 500 blogs…..

When I posted the most recent part of my Silently Watching story, WordPress sent me a notification.

It was my 500th blog post!

WOW! How did that happen?

It feels like a lifetime ago when I sat down and wrote then posted my first blog back at the end of 2013.  Missed it – here’s the link December | 2013 | Coral McCallum (wordpress.com)

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to post at least once a week to my new blog page and I’ve somehow managed to stick to it for over seven years.

The creative journey has wound its way steadily through the pages and although it took me until 15 April 2015 to finally publish my debut novel, Stronger Within, I am now six books in and working on the seventh. Stronger Within’s “birth” will always hold a special place in my heart. Stronger Within —-the dream’s come true! | Coral McCallum (wordpress.com)

My confidence has grown since those early blog posts (although I still get anxious about posting some articles) and over the years I have self-disclosed on a few topics. I’ve shared my innermost thoughts with you. I’ve shared poetry and fiction. I’ve introduced you to several fellow indie authors. I’ve tested the creative waters and introduced you to my characters to gauge the reaction. I’ve shared some hopefully interesting facts. I’ve shared my photography with you too.

And you know what? I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Writing for me, weaving that story, is my escape from this crazy real world we all live in. It’s become like oxygen to me, and I need to write to keep going.

So that said, I’ve a book to write and hopefully many more blog posts to share with you.

None of this would be possible without you though.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting the first 500 blogs!

Love n hugs

Coral xx

Silently Watching Before The Sturgeon Moon – three days later…

Gale force winds and rain lashed the beach hut, the waves from the high tide reaching the outside edge of the high courtyard wall. Thick dark storm clouds blanketed the area and had done for three days.

They had been three long tense days as the occupants of the beach hut had watched and waited, taking it in turns to sit with the dark angel day and night. Those seemingly endless hours keeping their vigil had given then time to talk and time to formulate a plan.

During the first long night, Meryn had sat with her son watching him almost as closely as she watched the angel. Gradually, she began to tell him about her past, told tales of her youth spent in both Spain and in a small village at the southern most tip of England. He listened closely as she told him about her parents, both true blooded vampires. With tears in her eyes, Meryn spoke about her Spanish mother, her adoration for her evident from the emotion catching in her voice. Her father had been Italian, from one of the oldest vampire families and been one of the founding members of the Court of the Elders. When she spoke of her late husband, her tears flowed freely. He had been her true soulmate and, despite her family’s misgivings, had happily sacrificed her wings to enjoy a “mortal” marriage. Reaching out to touch her son’s knee, she said, “You are my greatest love. You always will be. Despite what this creature has done to you, I am so proud of the man you are. Never forget that.”

The next night, she sat with Trine. For hours they sat in silence before the younger woman began to reveal the depth of her feelings for the runner, voiced her fears for their future and, after some gentle motherly encouragement, spoke of her hopes for that future too. Recognising the signs from the younger woman’s words and from the look in her eyes, Meryn saw that she’d found her soulmate in Jem.

Huddled together in the living room, listening to the raging storm on the third night, they all sat in silence.

“Time to bathe that wound,” Meryn announced shortly before midnight. “I want to try something different. Let’s heat the solution and see if that helps to drive out the last of the poison. Make it hot.”

Without argument, Trine poured some of the infusion into a pot and set it on the stove. The initial hot poultice had drawn most of the poison from the wound; the twice daily washes of the alcohol-based infusion seemed to be drawing even more from it, but the swabs had not come away clean yet.

When the liquid began to bubble, Trine lifted the small pot from the burner and carried it through to the runner’s bedroom. Meryn had already removed the soiled dressings from the dark angel’s back and was gently running her fingers over the open wound, muttering under her breath. Taking care not to burn herself or to touch the liquid, Meryn took the pot from Trine and soaked two square cotton swabs. She applied them to the wound, added a dry dressing on top then pressed down hard.

“Her eyelids flickered,” whispered Trine.

“I’m surprised she didn’t scream,” commented Meryn. “We’ll repeat this in an hour. I added an incantation to draw strength from the storm to add to the cleansing forces at play here. If we need to, we’ll repeat it a third and final time an hour after that.”

An hour later, as Meryn pressed down on the wound again, the dark angel’s eyelids flickered again. The fingers of her right hand clawed at the bedcovers.

“A promising sign,” said Meryn calmly.

Another hour later, Meryn showed Trine how to apply the hot infusion, taught her the healing incantation and where to press down on the wound. As the ice maiden applied the force as directed, the dark angel let out a hoarse cry of pain. Looking down on her, Trine saw that her eyes were open and filled with agony and hatred with a hint of fear there too.

“Welcome back, Anna,” said Meryn coldly as she moved into the dark angel’s line of vision.

Silently Watching Before The Sturgeon Moon

Reds and oranges streaked the skies in front of the beach hut as the last light of day began to disappear. Sitting on the beach, the ice maiden and the runner kept a close eye on the path, watching for dog walkers and stray cyclists. Being outdoors before darkness had fallen always came with a risk.

Inside the hut, the dark angel still lay clinging to life. For eight days, they had kept watch over her, changing her dressings and keeping her comfortable; for eight days, the dark angel had remained unconscious, her wound oozing black stinking poison. It was the lingering stench of that dark pus that had driven them outdoors before nightfall, their desire to breathe fresh air mutual.

“We need to send for a healer,” said Trine softly. “That knife wound is beyond my skills and your modern medicines are too big a risk.”

“And where do you propose we find a healer?” quizzed the runner, running his hand through his dark tousled hair.

“I may have a way,” she whispered, keeping her gazed fixed on the river in front of them.

“What are you trying to suggest here?”

“Before we left the castle, my father gave me a crystal ball to use to communicate with him in an emergency,” revealed the ice maiden. “It’s paired with one he has. I could reach out and ask him to let me speak privately with the healer I have in mind.”

“A crystal? And you never thought to tell me about this?”

Bowing her head, Trine whispered, “I’m sorry.”

With a sigh, he reached out and took her hand, “It’s fine. Do you think you can get help from a healer by using it?”

Trine nodded, “But we need to be careful what my father hears. If he thinks I need help for our guest, he’ll refuse on the spot and most likely turn up here to kill her himself. You are meant to be killing her, not healing her, after all.”

“There is that” conceded the runner. “I assume you have a plan?”

“I can feign a womanly issue to put my father off the scent. It’s my only hope of getting a private audience with the healer.”

“That could work, I guess,” he admitted. “Who is this healer? Can they be trusted? How can you be sure that they won’t tell your father the truth?”

“I trust her,” replied Trine without hesitation. Turning to face him, she said, “It’s Meryn.”

“My mother?”

Trine nodded.

“Shit!”

“She’s our best hope,” stated Trine quietly. “We know she doesn’t want you to die so she might be prepared to help here to keep you alive.”

“Is there no one else?”

Trine shook her head.

“Fine. Do it,” he growled, getting to his feet. “I’m going for a run. I need to…”

“I get it,” said Trine, putting her hand on his arm. “Be careful. I’ll try to reach my father.”

Under the cover of darkness, he pounded the familiar forest trails. With his wings drawn tight, he increased the pace, keen to put some distance between himself and the beach hut. How had his life become so complicated and tangled in the lives of two vampiresses? As he ran, he allowed his mind to drift back over his first meetings with the dark angel. In a twisted way, he realised in those early days he’d drawn some kind of pleasure from knowing that she was watching him. He’d felt flattered, he guessed. Then there was Trine… His feelings for her ran deep…ok, he admitted to himself, he was in love with her but how did that work in this vampire world? How could their relationship have any future when he’d already requested of her father that he end his life once the dark angel was dead? Did he really want his life to end? Deep in thought, he continued to pound out the miles, hoping to find some answers in his heart.

Carefully, Trine opened the drawer and reached into its depths for the suede pouch containing the crystal ball. Slipping it out onto her trembling palm, it felt heavy, just like her heart. She knew how hard it had been for the runner to hear that she needed his mother’s help. Over the months they had spent together, he had confided in her about some of the complexities of their broken relationship. A wave of guilt washed through her. What she had omitted to tell him was that she’d need to invite Meryn to the beach hut in order to heal the dark angel.

The crystal in her hand filled with a smoky blue light then, as the mists cleared, it showed her father sitting by the fire in his study. Her heart swelled at the familiar scene, and it struck her that she missed her evenings by the fire in that room with him. He looked worried and that concerned her.

“Father,” she spoke softly so as not to startle him, “Father, turn around.”

“Trine!” gasped Stefan. “A pleasant surprise. Is everything alright? Have you found her yet? Is she dead?”

“So many questions,” replied Trine, trying to keep her tone light. “Yes, no and no to answer them. I do need your help though. Is Meryn with you?”

“She’s resting in her chambers. She only returned from Spain a few hours ago.”

“Spain?”

“Court business. Restless nights in Barcelona. Carelessness by some fledglings,” he muttered. “Nothing for you to concern yourself with. What do you want with Meryn?”

Bowing her head to avoid eye contact, Trine said, “I need to talk to her woman to woman, father. It’s a delicate personal matter. I need her herbal guidance.”

Even through the glass, Trine could tell her father’s cheeks had flushed slightly in embarrassment. He had always shied away from such things and his reaction sent a little surge of hope through the ice maiden.

“Can it wait till tomorrow?” he asked.

“If it has to,” replied Trine, feeding some disappointment into her voice. “I’d hoped to talk to Meryn tonight but, if she’s retired for the night, it can wait a few more hours.”

“I’ll go to her,” stated Stefan. “Reach out to me in half an hour, child.”

“Thank you,” said Trine but the crystal was filled with only blue mist once more.

Slipping the ball into her pocket, she went to check on the dark angel. As she pulled the curtain aside to enter the runner’s bedroom, the stench of the wound hit her. The angel lay face down on the soft mattress, with her back exposed. Gently, Trine peeled back the white dressing to check on the knife wound. Underneath, the cotton pad was saturated in black pus. Fighting back a wave of nausea, Trine bathed the wound with salt water then applied a fresh dressing. She scooped up the soiled pads, took them through to the living room and threw them into the wood-burning stove. The flames flared a bright green as they engulfed the soiled material.

In her pocket, she sensed more than felt a change in the crystal. Her hands were still wet from the salt water, causing her to take extra care not to drop the ball as she withdrew it. The blue light shimmered then cleared to show Meryn’s chamber rather than her father’s study.

“Trine, darling,” greeted Meryn warmly. “Your father said this was urgent. Are you ill?”

Shaking her head, Trine asked, “Are you alone?”

“Yes. Stefan has gone back to his tower. Talking about women’s issues unsettles him,” replied Meryn with a mischievous smile.

“I need you to promise to keep what I am about to ask a secret.”

“A secret?” echoed the runner’s mother, her curiosity piqued. “You can trust me, Trine. Is this to do with my son?”

“Not exactly. We need your help to heal a wound,” replied Trine.

“Is my son injured?”

“No. He’s fine,” Trine paused. “It’s a long, complicated tale. I need you to come here. I’ll explain all when you get here.”

“Darling, I’m exhausted,” began Meryn hesitantly. “I’ll need to hunt before I can make that journey.”

“Hunt on the way,” suggested the ice maiden swiftly.

“A possibility,” acknowledged the senior vampiress. “Tell me what you can about this wound.”

“It’s a knife wound. It’s a deep one but beyond my skills. I’ve been treating it as you showed me but eight days on, it’s still black and the pus smells vile. When I throw the soiled cloths on the fire, they burn green.”

“Not a good sign,” nodded Meryn. “Do you know which poison the blade was tainted with?”

Trine shook her head.

“Is it a mortal you are treating?” quizzed Meryn, choosing her words carefully for fear of being overheard.

Again, Trine shook her head.

“I’ll come,” said Meryn calmly. “I’ll be with you before sunrise.”

“Thank you,” sighed Trine, her relief evident. “What will you tell my father?”

“That you have a woman’s monthly sickness that needs my hands on healing. That will buy us a few days at least. Maybe even a week.”

With his soul somewhat soothed and his anger quashed, the runner returned to the beach hut an hour or so before dawn. He had paused to hunt briefly on his return journey, dispersing his threatening Rabbia Sanguina with fresh blood. He snatched two deer near the edge of the forest, drank his fill from the first then filled two leather flasks with the blood from the second before draining it dry too. Opening the beach hut door, he sniffed the air. It reeked of poison.

“Trine?” he called out quietly as he stepped inside.

“Through here,” she called back from his bedroom.

Joining her in the room beside the dark angel, he asked, “Any change?”

Trine shook her head, “Meryn will be here before dawn.”

“What did you tell her?”

“Just that there was a poisoned knife wound that I needed help with. I was careful not to mention our guest, just in case my father was listening in.”

“Good girl,” he nodded, passing her one of the flasks. “For you.”

“Thank you,” said Trine, accepting it from him. “Thoughtful of you, Son of Perran.”

“I’ll mix the other flask with some wine.”

The ice maiden nodded, “Have some ready for Meryn, please. She’s going to be tired when she gets here.”

Without a word, he nodded and left the room.

As the first light of dawn began to streak across the sky, they heard a soft noise out in the courtyard. With a glance at Trine, the runner got to his feet and crossed the room to open the door.

“Mother,” he said coolly, stepping aside to allow the small dark-haired woman to enter.

“Meryn!” cried Trine, rushing towards her before embracing her tightly. “You made it! Were you followed?”

Shaking her head, Meryn said, “No. I made sure to fully cloak myself before I left my rooms.” She paused to look round the hut, “Cosy. Very homely.”

“Thanks,” said the runner, forcing himself to smile. “Take a seat. Wine?”

“Please, son,” answered Meryn before turning to Trine. “Now, tell me the truth, child. What’s the true story of this poisoned knife wound? I can see its neither of you, but I can smell it.”

“Let me show you,” began Trine, looking suddenly nervous. “Then we’ll talk.”

She led Meryn towards the heavy curtain, drew it aside and beckoned to her to follow her into the bedroom. When she saw who was lying prone on the bed, Meryn gasped.

“What have you two done?” she demanded sharply, “Jem, explain this.”

“Jem?” echoed Trine, hearing the runner’s given name spoken for the first time.

Rolling his eyes, he confessed, “Jeremiah but don’t even think about it!”

“Enough!” snapped his mother as she moved to examine the dark angel. “Which one of you did this?”

“It was me,” admitted Trine. “But I acted in self-defence. She slashed and stabbed me first.”

“You appear entirely healed though?”

“She caught me with a different knife. It was also several moons ago. She lay injured for three moons before we brought her here,” Trine explained. “Can you help her?”

“Let me examine her,” stated Meryn. “Then I want the full truth from each of you. Give me space to work here.”

Taking that as their cue to leave, Trine and the runner retreated to the living room.

Half an hour passed before Meryn pushed the curtain aside and re-joined them in the living room. She lifted her glass of wine from the table and swallowed it down. As she poured herself a second glass of the blood-infused wine, she let out a long sigh, “I can help heal that wound but I need some specific herbs, stones and moss. This is going to take time. As for her wing, I doubt I can save it. Time will tell.”

“Tell us what you need, and we’ll fetch it,” replied Jem without hesitation.

“For someone tasked with killing our friend, you seem very keen to save her life,” observed his mother calmly. “And there’s the simple observation here around how you knew where to find her.”

“Killing her and letting her die like this are two different things, mother.”

“How did you find her?”

Keeping his eyes down, he confessed, “I knew where her lair was.”

“And you kept that information from Stefan when you made your bargain with the court of the elders?”

He nodded.

“Why?”

He shrugged his shoulders, keeping his eyes cast down to avoid her angry gaze.

“And you, young lady,” she continued turning to face Trine. “Did you know he knew where she was?”

“No,” replied Trine honestly. “But we weren’t in a hurry to find her.”

“I bet you weren’t!” spat Meryn. “Too busy playing happy families in here!”

“Mother, its not like that,” protested the runner sharply. “Trine has been teaching me how to use my wings, how to hone my skills.”

Meryn stared intently at Trine, opened her mouth to say something but changed her mind.

“What am I going to do with you both?” she muttered before taking a mouthful of her wine. “You truly don’t understand what you have done here but its too late now.  It’s done. I need rest. I need those herbs and mosses. The stones may be more of a challenge. While I rest, you two need to work out where to source those from.”

“We can’t fetch anything while the sun’s up,” commented Trine quietly.

“True,” she conceded wearily. “Fine. We wait till dusk then seek out what we need. Now, where can I rest?”

“Have my bed,” offered Trine readily. “It’s through here.”

As she headed through to the ice maiden’s bedroom, Meryn said, “Now, you two better have your story straight by tonight. I want honest answers here and not this bullshit you’ve been telling me.”

With the sun sinking behind the hills across the river, the runner and the ice maiden again sat on the beach in front of the hut. Neither of them felt rested; both of them felt like naughty teenagers who were about to be grounded. In unison, they looked up as they heard the hut door opening behind them then listened to the crunch of the stones as Meryn picked her way gingerly towards them. Without a word, she sat on a nearby rock, drinking in the spectacular view.

“I can understand why you chose to settle here,” she commented softly. “I can understand why you’re in no hurry to leave here either. It’s beautiful.”

“We didn’t mean to deceive anyone,” began Trine, holding onto Jem’s hand. “Meryn, you know how claustrophobic my life was. Being here. Being free… I just wanted to enjoy that for a while.”

“I understand, child,” nodded the older woman. “He still sees you as his little girl. A little girl needing her father to protect her.”

Trine nodded, tears stinging her pale blue eyes.

“No tears,” said Meryn warmly. “I’ll do what I can to preserve your freedom and your new life here. I can see that it suits you both. Plus, my son still has a lot to learn.”

“Thank you,” whispered Trine with a small smile.

“More pressing is what to do to help your friend indoors,” began the senior vampiress. “I’m unfamiliar with the plant life in this area. To treat that wound, I need to treat poison with poison. What I don’t know is what she used to poison the blade in the first place though. I need to choose carefully here, or we could end up using the same poison and that would kill her.”

“Would it help if I took you to her mausoleum?” offered Jem calmly. “When she transformed me, she used bottles of stuff kept in her storage boxes. She also gave me three gemstones to carry always. She may have more.”

“That would be a wise place to start,” acknowledged his mother. “Trine, I need you to remember your lessons. I need you to find me some hemlock, not cow-parsley but hemlock. Young strong stalks in full bloom. They look similar but the hemlock will grow near water. I need at least six large stems. I also need digitalis. Choose the ones with the deepest shade of flowers and the brightest speckles in the mouth of the flowers. I need six stems of those too.”

“Anything else?”

“There’s moss that I need. I’m not sure if it will grow this far north. It’s long and stringy. It’s a silvery strand.”

“I know the stuff,” interrupted Jem. “She gave me some to heal the holes in my back before my wings sprouted. It doesn’t grow here. It was dried moss she gave me. She may have kept some though.”

Meryn nodded, “Its easily found in Spain and Portugal but not any further north than the south coast of England. Let’s hope she still has some. We need its healing properties.”

“Anything else?”

“Feverfew. As much as you can gather.”

“What’s it for?” quizzed Trine curiously.

“I’ll dry it and leave it with you to use as tea, child. It’s to put your father off the scent. If he asks what you gathered for me, that’s what you say I used,” stated the older woman with a wink. “Now, to work. We’ll meet back here at midnight. Jem, where’s this mausoleum?”

“I’ll transport us. It’s not far.”

Unfurling his majestic wings, the runner took a step back, allowing his mother to become accustomed to the dim forest light. In front of them stood the dark angel’s mausoleum. He felt his mother shiver beside him.

“This way,” he said simply, setting out towards the dark stone tomb.

The door was stiff to open and as it swung aside the stench of decay hit them both.

“This place needs smudged,” muttered Meryn. “We need some young pine branches.”

“I’ll fetch some in a bit,” he promised. Using his cigarette lighter, Jem lit the sconces, praying that they would stay lit. Shadows danced on the stone walls as his mother surveyed their surroundings.

“Not much to show for over two hundred immortal years,” she commented almost sadly. “Do you know where she stores her belongings?”

Silently, he nodded then reached down to one of the stone benches and slid a section of the stone aside. “There are several sections, but I think she keeps most of her stuff in this one.”

Snapping her fingers and murmuring an incantation, Meryn plucked a ball of light out of the air, balancing it above the palm of her hand. She bent over the open storage space, allowing the ball of light to illuminate its contents. Inside there was a carved wooden box and several leather pouches of various sizes.

“Lift those out,” she instructed bluntly. “Then open the next bin.”

Within a few minutes all six storage spaces had been searched. Two contained clothing but the remainder were home to various treasures.

“It feels wrong going through her stuff,” commented the runner as he closed over the last stone lid.

“Its necessary,” replied his mother, taking a seat and lifting the carved wooden box onto her lap. “I never thought I’d see this again.”

“Pardon? You know her?”

His mother shook her head, “Not exactly.” She paused then said, “My brother created her. This box was originally my mother’s and her mother’s before that.”

“That explains something.”

“And what’s that?”

“My blood is toxic to her,” he revealed then, bowing his head, added, “That was my plan for killing her. I thought I could trick her into drinking it in some wine.”

“But you never intended to kill her, did you?” she asked softly.

“I’m not sure,” he admitted. “I’ve thought about it many times over the years. She stole my life, my real life, from me and I’ve struggled to forgive her for that. She tricked me into this life. I never asked for it.”

“It’s the last life I wanted for you,” said Meryn sadly. “But what’s done is done.”

“What happened to your brother?”

With tears in her eyes, Meryn said, “That was the first golden rule she broke. She murdered him in cold blood. She drugged him then burned him alive. Lowen was my twin. I felt his pain as he died.”

“I’m sorry, mum,” he said reaching out to put a hand on her shoulder. “I know how it felt when I lost my wife. It tears your heart apart.”

Wiping away her tears, Meryn nodded. “Let’s take this stuff back to your house. First though, fetch some branches till I purge the smell of death from this place.”

When they arrived back at the beach hut, Trine was already back from her foraging. She had filled the log basket with the various plants she’d collected, and her efforts met with Meryn’s approval.

“Alcohol,” stated the older woman. “Clear alcohol. Vodka or gin.”

“There’s some vodka in the cupboard.”

“Fetch it,” she instructed. “Trine, boil some water in a pot that you are prepared to discard when we are through here. When its boiling, add the hemlock and digitalis. Feed them into the water like spaghetti into the pot. Don’t breathe in the fumes.”

Muttering under her breath, Meryn sorted through the items they’d brought from the dark angel’s mausoleum. Every now and then, she added a few items to the pot on the stove before finally adding some powdered tiger’s eye, rose quartz and black tourmaline.

“Where’s that vodka?”

Jem passed her the half empty bottle.

“We’ll need more,” she stated bluntly. “At least two more bottles.”

“I’ll fetch them,” he volunteered before stepping outside to transport himself to the nearest supermarket.

“Trine, fetch me some of those dressings you use,” said the elder vampiress. “Lay them out on a plate till I drip some of this onto them. Three should be enough for now. We need to apply this while it is still scalding hot.”

Taking care not to drip the poisonous liquid onto the bedcovers, Meryn laid the swabs over the suppurating wound. There was a hiss as the swabs touched the black pus. Carefully, she covered it them with a large dry dressing then stepped back.

“Now, we wait,” she stated calmly. “That dressing needs to stay in place for twenty-four hours then we bathe that wound twice a day with the cool alcohol infusion.”

“Thank you,” whispered Trine with a smile. “Do you think this will work?”

“We’ll know in three days.”

Will you be spending the weekend with Jake and Lori?…

The weekend …the perfect time to sit back and relax with a good book. Pour that coffee, wine, beer, pink gin , curl up and meet Jake Power…. I think you’ll like him.

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

Room 316 – adult flash fiction

Her heart skipped a beat as their hands touched. He smiled and took her hand in his, their fingers instinctively intertwining. The smile was one of those smiles that travelled from his mouth to his eyes and straight into her soul.

Without a word, he led her from the function suite, across the foyer, past some of their fellow guests, towards the elevators.

Two other couples joined them in the lift and, as the doors closed, he gave her hand a little squeeze.

They were the first to step out of the elevator on the third floor. Still hand in hand, they walked down the long corridor to her room – room 316, the heels of her stilettos sinking into the deep pile of the carpet.

Housekeeping had already been in and turned down the bed, leaving the bedside lamps lit. The soft light complimented their mood. She looked round the room, checking it was tidy, and smiled up at him when she saw the ice bucket with a bottle of champagne nestling inside and two crystal flutes sitting on the table in front of the window.

Filled with desire for her, he drew her towards him then delivered a tentative kiss to her lips. Hungrily, she returned his kiss, grazing his lower lip with her teeth. His tongue gently parted her lips, as it moved to explore the sweetness of her mouth. Kissing her deeply, his hand reached down over her derriere until he found the hem of her short black dress. Reaching under the soft material, his hand gently brushed her inner thigh then sought out her most intimate, sensitive area.

She could feel his erection pressing against her, his needs obvious. Fumbling with the fastening of his dress trousers, she sought to free him from the confines of the fabric. With his erection free, he lifted her off her feet. Nimbly, she wrapped her long, tanned legs around his waist. Kissing her hard, he lowered her down on his length, almost exploding as he slid into her.

“We’ve waited too long for this,” she purred softly.

That First Proof – Throwback Thursday

I read a Facebook post the other day on one of the writing pages I follow where the indie author was sharing her feelings about holding her first ever novel in her hands. It struck a chord.

I’m still recharging these creative batteries, so I reached for my Continue the Story journal (love it!) and picked a prompt- She knew she’d remember this moment for the rest of her life.

She knew she’d remember this moment for the rest of her life. The Amazon man had dropped the parcel off and left it with a neighbour while she’d been at work. When she arrived home, the neighbour brought it over as she got out of the car, joking, “Is this a copy of your new best seller?” Politely she smiled and thanked him, saying, “You never know.”

She set the brown package down on the bed and stared at it for a few minutes, unsure about opening it. Her heart was pounding in her chest; her hands were trembling. She took a deep breath to steady her nerves. Carefully, she eased back the tear off strip to open the box.

Oh! There it was inside!

Oh! It was thicker than she’d expected.

Nervously, she eased it out, scared to look at it.

It was real!

That was really her name on the front cover and spine. Those were her words filling page after page. It was a dream come true moment.

In her hands, she held the first paperback proof copy of her debut novel.

Never in a million years had she thought that she would actually see her name on the cover of a book yet there it was.

Tears flowed freely down her cheeks as she savoured the feeling of holding her book baby, her first born book baby, in her hands.

That moment was six years ago now and I’m six books into this dream come true journey. Every time that first proof copy arrives, I relive that moment. Holding each book baby for the first time is a moment that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Now to re-focus and finish writing Book Baby 7 so that I get to “meet” it next year.

If you want to read more then check out my book babies you can find them on Amazon

Silver Lake series

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

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

Amazon.co.uk link   https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44