Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Captured by Christmas...

A Christmas Anthology: Snowbound and the Mistletoe Effect.

Isn't that a fab title? Not my own, but by wonderful (and beautiful!) author, Lynn Crandall.

It’s Christmas, and the season of holly, Christmas trees, and goodwill is drifting on air in merry holiday wishes. Romantic suspense and paranormal author Lynn Crandall and contemporary author Lainee Cole present in their own way two stories of love in Captured by Christmas. However it finds you—under a Christmas tree or drifted in snow in a backwoods cabin—the spirit of the season will wrap you in love.

In Snowbound, Lynn Crandall lets readers check in on favorite Fierce Hearts series were-lynx characters Kennedy Mitchell and Asher Monroe as they uncover the identity of the creature scaring the humans in Octavia, a small rural community in northern Michigan. Plans for an intimate getaway and family-style holiday are crumbling as the snow piles higher and Kennedy and Asher find themselves snowbound with a killer outside their door.

In The Mistletoe Effect, Christmas is second-grade teacher Tess McCall’s least favorite holiday, but she’s doing her best not to let it show. Learning he’s a father to seven-year-old Holly makes Alex Randle anxious about the upcoming holidays. When Tess’s class starts reading to shelter dogs, Holly and the antics of shelter dog Mistletoe lead them all to rediscover the magic of Christmas.

Lynn very kindly agreed to answer some random questions that I like to ask any author...just a bit of fun :). 

If you were told that you couldn’t write in any medium anymore otherwise the world would blow up, what would you do? I have been told something similar to that. The voice is an inner critic that tells me I’m going to have my head chopped off if I write. I keep doing it. If the fate of the world depended on my not writing, I’d consider hiding my writing and keep an eye out for signs of explosions.  Hey, that's a fun answer, go for it Lynn. Just hope the explosions don't start on this side of the Pond!!

If you knew that no-one would ever read your writing, would you or would you not still write and why? Be honest! I would continue to journal. I’ve journaled almost all of my life and feel it is creatively and emotionally satisfying. But I do want my writing to be read. Still, I’ve come to an understanding that I write for myself with the hope that readers will find my work enjoyable. If they do, it’s very nice and I feel all sparkly inside.  Feeling sparkly is simply the best :). 

What is your favourite word, and why? AAHH…I have so many. In fact just this year I started keeping a list of words I find interesting. Maybe that’s one of my quirks. The list includes moribund, vacuous, capricious, acute, and many more. I’ve always loved the sound of words and enjoy stringing them together. Capricious is wonderful--makes me think of fairies and fun things!

How would you like to be remembered? I’ve given this thought, believe it or not. I’m an introvert who reflects a lot. As an author I would like to be remembered for writing interesting stories that feature characters who struggle but don’t back down. Who don’t succumb to what others think and who travel through their internal issues to become the best they can be. As a person, I would like to be remembered as someone who listened and accepted and loved. That's a nice way to be remembered!

Desert Island question – I know, it had to be here – so you know you’re about to be banished to a desert island for ten years. There will just about be enough food and water for one person, but nothing nada zero zip else. You can make one wish – what is it? My wish would be to go home or wherever I wanted to go, but definitely off that barren island. A-ha! Clever one!

If you had to choose between love and sex for the rest of your life, which would it be? Definitely love. I think a relationship can have wondrous intimacy without sex. But sex is a really good thing to do with a loved one. I agree with you, wholeheartedly!

And just for pure, adolescent fun, which superpower would you choose and why? I am so glad you asked this question. It’s a question more people should ask. I write paranormal romance and look at the characters as within the world’s realm of normal, we all just don’t realize it yet. Life has so many possibilities. N-e-way…I would choose the ability to fly. Life has so many possibilities--you're right. Perhaps we all have superpowers, we just don't know it. Flying would be awesome!

Awesome answers, thank you Lynn. It's been really wonderful getting to know you better and I wish you all the very best of luck with your fabulous sounding anthology. Perhaps your co-author might pop along and answer some questions for me too. Thanks, and have a wonderful holiday season!!


To read more about Lynn and to buy her Captured by Christmas, head on to:  

Twitter, @lcrandall246, 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Celebrating the Winter Solstice.

It's that time of the year again.

Do you feel it?

The stillness in the cool morning air, the anticipation. Mother Earth loosing pale misty sighs and preparing herself for her long winter sleep. Final leaves droop from their branches backlit by the watery Sun.

We are creeping towards the shortest day of the year which, in 2016, falls on the 21st of December in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Solstice is a simple moment in time, 10.44am.  The North Pole is tilted the furthest (23.5 degrees) away from the Sun, making this day an incredible eight hours shorter than its sister, the Summer Solstice. As and from 10.44am, the tilt will decrease and Mother Earth turns her face more and more towards the Sun and we lucky inhabitants gain a few more minutes of precious light with each passing day.

It's a magical time of year with everything ahead of us.

Previous winter solstices have seen me attend ceremonies in St James' Church, Piccadilly, a wonderful old church designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren. Here I saw in the light, accompanied by my two sisters and a crowd of like-minded individuals. There is drumming and chanting, darkness and light. It is rather wonderful.

But this year, as my shamanic background has come more to the foreground, I'm taking my children and some friends to the woods--those of you that are friends of mine on Facebook will have seen the photos I can't help taking of these ancient woods--where we are going to d̶a̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶n̶a̶k̶e̶d̶have a small ceremony to give thanks and appreciation for the love and light in our lives. This year, special thanks are going to the Water Protectors for protecting our sacred land.

To the accompaniment of the Sunset we will sing, drum, rattle and give glorious thanks for our bountiful lives. Call on the Spirits to join us to offer wisdom and courage. Possibly dance, heck, who knows (all depends on how private we manage to be).

We'll celebrate our dark sides and embrace our shadow selves (don't be letting your imagination run away with you here ;) ) at 15.54pm as the sun sinks under the horizon.

Written on a piece of paper, we will have the things of which we want to let go, whether they be emotions or physical things (for instance, I'm letting go of my previous home). When darkness falls across the land (Thanks MJ!) we will stand in silence and contemplation, respecting the year that has been and letting go of things we need not take further with us on our journey.

A small flame will light a main candle, which will light each participant's smaller ones.  I hope to have a small fire (as does my oldest as she wants to toast marshmallows...ancient tradition, anyone?) in which we then burn our writing and allow the ashes to return to Mother Earth.

We will honour the Celtic deities; the Dagda, and Brighid, daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the art of fire-making and forever blazed brightly through the dark Winter nights. She is my hero.

Having let go of what we don't need, there is more space for peace, love, harmony and increased happiness.  I believe with all my heart in reciprocity and promise the bringers of these gifts that, to the best of my abilities, I shall share where're I go.

All very simple, but all very life affirming. The Winter Solstice has been celebrated since Neolithic times and it feels right to be engaging in these ancient traditions. My soul sings...and on a dark winter night, what more can I ask for?

I'm interested--how do you celebrate? Come to the woods...

Love and blessings to you all in the run up to the Solstice.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Exciting times...

A few lovely things have been going on in my life over the past twelve months or so. Slowly, slowly I'm settling down. An unusual situation for me as I never have been settled.

As a divorced mum, I have moved from the house I brought my two daughters up in. Now I have a wonderful home and an even more wonderful family (whisper it--there are six of us now :) )  

Outside my work as an author, I have spent the last two years studying rather intensively as Shaman. The more I learn, the more the beauty of the Multiverse reveals itself to me. I am incredibly lucky to be studying at the Shamanka school in Dorset and so have received the nine munay-ki rites, nine empowerment rites of the Peruvian shamans. Munay-Ki rites mean the energy of love and they are very special to receive. 

And in my spare time, I tutor English, something I very much love doing as English being one of my five main passions in life. 

So all in all, lovely lovely lovely. 

Brings me back to my book news. 

London TV presenter, Ava Whittaker, has a baby by twice-former Argentine Tango Champion Matthias de Romero. The problem? He doesn't know. 

Fast forward two years and Matthias is the judge on a new dance show,  one where Ava is a contestant. But time hasn 't healed the wound of discovering he became engaged straight after their tryst whilst on holiday in the Andes. Although she's in love with Matthias, she carefully guards her secret and her heart from him.
 In search of answers on why Ava walked out on him, Matthias takes a place as a judge on a new London TV show, To Dance or Not to Dance. But seeking answers only creates more questions.

Will the glitterball--and her secret--cause their intense feelings to burn out or fan further the flames of desire?

is being re-released in 2017. This is the third time for Tango, may it be the third time lucky!! Release date coming soon :).

When orchid hunter, Evie Bourke stumbles across a near deserted monastery deep in the Burren, she has no idea she’s the first person  alive to have seen it. 

All she knows is that life went a bit strange and was getting more bizarre by the minute.

Meeting alpaca farmer Aiden Dunne over a pint of Guinness, she is  struck by his resemblance, yet to whom, she can’t quite remember. 

Aiden is searching for Munster Abbey for his family was connected to it for generations, culminating in the disappearance of his relative, the then Prior. 

What happened all those years ago? Who or what is ‘the Wanderer’ and, more to the point, what does he want?

Mugs will be re-released in 2017 too--a lot of re-releasing going on. One of my publishers closed down so I have re-housed these beauties. 

In the pipeline is a series called Pride, and another fantasy trilogy, the first of both having been written. So I am very blessed to be doing something I love and to be seeing my words out there. 

2017 is going to be an awesome year. I truly hope so for you too.

Friday, 2 September 2016

New Release

Sefton Manor

Sefton Manor 2nd September by The Wild Rose Press. It's still one of my favourites, heck, I think it will always be.


Sefton Manor, a country house that has somehow withstood the ravages of time, holds the key to Martha Kendall's dysfunctional family. 

Asked by her grandmother to uncover the truth about her missing Aunt, Martha comes to Buckhurst Village and starts to ask questions. Questions that lead her to Will Fellowes, a famous musician whose family tended the grounds of Sefton Manor for centuries. 

Amidst whispers of pacts with the Devil, they pair up to wrestle the secret from the house and their growing feelings for each other.

Sefton Manor was my first foray into Gothic writing and I loved it. I started my career in the romance genre--Romancing the Seas being my first baby and one conceived as my ill-fated marriage fell apart around me. A couple more romances followed, and then I decided to marry my loves--literary (As opposed to literally!): Gothic,  romance and fantasy. 

Hence Sefton Manor combines all these lovely elements: 

Gothic by virtue of house hauntings, faintings, odd and inexplicable goings on. Crows. Darkness. 

A romance theme that has always fascinated me is love throughout the ages. If a love has not been fulfilled in one lifetime, it will emerge in another until satisfied. 

The fantasy emerges in the way the story end (only kidding, I'm not twitter and bisted ;) ). Fantasy in the way Martha and Will deal with Sefton Manor. 

Check it out, you won't be disappointed!

Sefton Manor at The Wild Rose Press

Sefton Manor on Amazon.co.uk

Sefton Manor on  Amazon.com