Satyulemas is coming…

Mid-Winter is a tricky time of year for me.
Firstly there’s all that nonsense about Christmas being warred upon. People get up in arms about the strangest of things – who really cares what sort of paper cups that Starbucks is using?
It’s annoying and amusing at the same time.

Then there’s all the hoo-har about what we should be saying:
“Merry Christmas!”
“Happy Holidays!”
“No, it’s Christmas…”
“It’s not just Christmas, there’s:
Saint Nicholas Day (Christian),
Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican),
St. Lucia Day (Swedish), Hanukkah (Jewish),
Christmas Day (Christian),
Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian),
Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish),
Kwanzaa (African American),
Omisoka (Japanese),
Yule (Pagan),
Saturnalia (Pagan)…”
“We’re a Christian Country everyone should be saying Merry Christmas!”
That conversation is always more annoying than amusing, because it drags way too much religion into a season that should be more about Family and Love than which version of god you worship.

Then the Seasonal Affective Disorder hits – the dark mornings and short days, coupled with predominantly cold and damp weather make me feel depressed, ill, irritable and definitely not festive.

I grew up as an Anglican, which meant that I went to church carol services like Christingle and church christmas parties. I sang the carols and bought into the stories that were told… it wasn’t until I was a lot older that I realised it wasn’t the religion I wanted to be a part of.
But I still loved the music and the happiness that the carol services seemed to bring to the children at that time of year.

After I met TOH, we spent Christmas with his family and for several years we had holidays full of music, wine, family and fun… until his mum left us and although his sister tried hard to keep it going, the holiday fell apart.
For a while it was hard to keep the festive feeling going. We managed to do Christmas itself, mainly for our kids sake. Being in Guiding helped because we’d do carol concerts and christmas activities.

After we had so many problems with housing and finance, TOH and I decided that we’d celebrate what we called “Satyulemas” – this starts on the 17th December  (Saturnalia),  takes in Yule on the 21st  (Astronomical Midwinter) and covers Christmas on the 25th Dec, then finishes the day after my youngest Daughter’s birthday.

So this year, I’ve decided to start a new tradition –

 

Three of these books have homes to go to… but the fourth one (signed & dedicated)  is going to be going to the winner of my Satyulemas Competition!

There will also be E Book Copies for four runners up.

All you have to do is comment on this Blog post with your favourite, book related,  Mid-Winter Holiday Memory.

The competition will end by midnight (GMT) on Satyulemas – 17th December 2018 – the winner will be notified by email, so don’t forget to leave a contact email!

Feel free to share the news – I want to hear about everyone’s memories and hopefully make a new one for someone!

 

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Chamberlain’s Curse

As usual I am taking part in NaNoWriMo.
For those of you who have no idea of what that is, here’s the official explanation:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

https://nanowrimo.org

It’s essentially a competition with yourself, but you can buddy up with other writers, inspire and encourage each other and take part in events – it all depends on how you like to work. For the last couple of years I have started the competition but been unable to finish anything. It’s been a rough time personally (as regular blog readers will know) and that has an irritating tendency to take away my focus and determination.

Anyhoo, this year I’m working on a standalone book set in the world of “The Heir of The Dragon” but set a few years after the events of that story, tentatively entitled “Chamberlain’s Curse”  Here’s the Blurb again:

Kai-Lynn Riordan loved Te Ling.

The day-time streets thronged with tourists that would pay her to tell their fortunes. The night-time streets crawled with people who needed her services as a Hunter.

Life was good.

The only drawback to Te Ling was that the only thing that you could rely on was that everything would change…

I’m posting the chapters each day on my Patreon Page; however,  only Patrons will be able to read them for the first 3 days.  The story is proceding nicely and I’ve been above the goal wordcount of 1667 words every day so far (it’s early days yet) so I’m fairly happy with myself at the moment.

I’m also going to reduce the price of “The Heir of The Dragon” for this month only, so if you haven’t read it yet (why not?) you’ll be able to pick up an e-book copy for £0.99 / $1.00!

 

You can buy a copy anywhere that sells e-books – but here are the main links:

or if you prefer a different format to Kindle, just pop over to Smashwords, where they have it available in all sorts… https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/421184

Happy Reading!!

Guest Blog: The loss of our youthful dreams by Vivienne Tuffnell

I have the absolute pleasure of introducing one of the most unique authors I know. Her books are beautifully written, multilayered stories that are entertaining to read, but also make you think about the issues contained within the pages.

Today’s post is inspired by her latest novel, “Little Gidding Girl”. I purchased a copy in my hands and will be reading and reviewing it soon… so, without further ado,  I’ll hand you over to Vivienne…

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What did you want to be when you were a teenager? What shining golden dream did you hold towards the end of school or college?
Without doing a proper poll, I suspect that few of us achieved those dreams. At fourteen, I still dreamed of becoming an astronaut. By the following year I realised it was never likely to happen. Of all the career paths, that’s possibly one of the least probable for a young woman growing up in the UK. I still have a great fondness for star gazing and astronomy but it’s been a long time since I ever thought I would walk among the stars.

After my finals but before leaving university, it was required that I attend a careers’ interview. Too little, too late, I feel, at that stage but the 80s were a different era, less pressured. When the career’s officer asked what I wanted to do, I told her I wanted to be a writer. She laughed at me. The young me was very hurt and angry at being dismissed like that but the mature me knows only too well that the path I did choose to follow isn’t actually that much less difficult to succeed in than my original one of being an astronaut. At time of writing, there is ONE female, British-born astronaut; though there are a number of stellar female British-born authors, the chances of being listed among those stars is very small indeed.

Little Gidding Girl’s main character is Verity, once a dreamy, love-struck teenager who’d envisaged a life of poetry with her poet boyfriend Nick. The daydreams of a life together, bound with cords of words and with devotion worthy of the world’s favourite love poems, come to an abrupt and tragic end before she even turns eighteen. So too do her talents and ambitions and hopes.

It’s very hard to come back from that kind of loss. In the time between Christmas and midsummer in the year I turned seventeen, three close friends of the same age as me died in three unrelated tragedies. One in a car crash, one from toxic shock syndrome and one from heart failure. I’d known each for years, since we all entered high school together and one I’d known my whole life.
The final death was that of my best friend. Yet much as that changed me, I was not romantically entangled. I’d not planned out a future for us together. I’d known that in the coming years, friendships would probably fade a little, or even dwindle and die. There’d be Christmas cards for some years, perhaps meeting up for drinks in the university holidays, and perhaps the friendships would develop and endure into full adulthood. But for Verity, it was an ending that she never quite recovered from.

Not only did it end that future she and Nick had planned and dreamed about, it also ended a future where she herself grew and developed and blossomed into the woman she was meant to be. So years passed but she remained at heart that bereaved girl who has lost her future.
Yet those dreams and hopes and talents did not die. As the year turns at the autumn equinox, at her mid-point of life, something starts to stir and change. Too long has the past been forgotten and buried, too long have those lost dreams been ignored. And as they come surging to the surface, they begin to wreak havoc in the life of the girl who has been frozen in time.

At seventeen, Verity lost the future she’d craved when Nick, her enigmatic and troubled poet boyfriend, drowned at sea. At thirty-five, in a safe, humdrum and uninspired life, she finds that snatches of the life she didn’t have begin to force their way into her real life. This other life, more vivid and demanding than her actual life, begins to gather a terrible momentum as she starts to understand that her un-lived life was not the poetic dream she had imagined it might be.

Doubting her own sanity as her other life comes crashing down around her in a series of disasters, Verity is forced to re-examine her past, realign her present and somehow reclaim a future where both her own early creative promise and her family can exist and flourish together. Exploring the nature of time itself, the possibilities of parallel universes and the poetic expressions of both, Verity searches to understand why and how Nick really died and what her own lives, lived and un-lived, might truly mean.

‘From the unknown spaces between what is, was, and will be, messages and sendings break through into Verity’s life: are they nightmares of a parallel reality or projections from a love that has flown? Vivienne Tuffnell keeps us guessing with utmost artistry as we trace the interweaving way-marks in pursuit of the truth. Little Gidding Girl kept me enthralled until the very end.’
– Caitlín Matthews, author of Singing the Soul Back Home, and Diary of a Soul Doctor

* * * * *

If you’re wondering how my writing is going, keep your eyes open for my next blog post…

If you like my blog posts and enjoy reading my books, perhaps once you’ve gone and picked up a copy of Vivienne Tuffnell’s new book, maybe you would like to keep me writing as well?

There are two ways to do that now –

The first is simply to buy the books that I have already published and out there. They’re available through Amazon and Smashwords… and via other e readers like Nook, Kobo and i-Books.

The second is to become one of my Patrons! There are various different levels of Patronage, so I’m sure there will be one to suit everyone’s pocket, not to mention the rewards that my patrons can access… https://www.patreon.com/KiraMorgana