Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hallsfoot, heucheras and hazelnuts

Book News:

I've just signed the contract for the second in my fantasy series, Hallsfoot's Battle, which will be published by Bluewood Publishing probably sometime next year, hurrah! Here's the blurb just to stimulate your interest:

In the second book in The Gathandrian Trilogy, Gelahn the mind-executioner begins his campaign. His powers are sublime, unmatched – even without the mind-cane in his possession. Using fear and pain he enslaves his victims, but next he will break and possess the Lammas Overlord. Recently appointed Acting Elder and left in sole charge of her people, Annyeke Hallsfoot draws on all her mind-skills and courage as the fight for Gathandria rages. The precious ancient Legends are her bedrock and she begins teaching their wisdom to the scribe, Simon Hartstongue, who must quickly learn to work with the mind-cane’s strange powers. But Simon is distracted by his own demons and only fears the artefact. Supported by Johan and Talus, her young charge, Annyeke plots a desperate strategy to defeat the enemy. As the Gathandrians rally behind their new leader, Gelahn strikes at the heart of the city.

And before Number Two in The Gathandrian Trilogy arrives, don't forget there's still time to read the first in the series, The Gifting. Don't delay - buy today! Here's the next small snippet:

It's damning for Johan in so many ways, as Chief Advisor to the Sub-Council of Meditation, but it's true.

Other good book news this week is that gay erotic short story For One Night Only gained a 4.5 star review at Top 2 Bottom Reviews - so many thanks to Michele for that. In addition literary thriller A Dangerous Man gained a lovely 4-star review at Goodreads - thank you so much, Blake. 

I've also uploaded a new blog to The Thoughtful Corner which, this month, concentrates on fresh starts and what they mean, or might mean. I hope you enjoy the read.

This week's meditation poem:

Meditation 570
A people said to be
as numerous as stars

must always remember
not to be distant,

sterile, and a reminder
only of history

but a light
in the darkness

and an absolute promise
of hope.

The Sunday haiku is:

The cardboard boxes
now unpacked and gone: old lives
give way to the new.

Life News:

I appreciate very much that today is a day of quiet remembrance, but it's also K's and my 18th wedding anniversary, so we've been celebrating, but quietly. We've had a lovely lunch out at The Woolpack and then wandered round Wisley Flower Show where we bought a Paris heuchera for one of the borders at the back - K has already planted it and it looks fabulous.

Other house and garden excitements this week have been: we've bought a shoe tidy, a washing line, pegs, a peg bag and some compost, well gosh. And I've hung the washing out to dry for the first time in our married life (18 years today, don't you know! Did I say that already? ...). A fact which, strangely, has made me extraordinarily happy - it's almost like being an adult really, ho ho. I've also sorted out the wardrobes so we know where everything is, and K has planted the French lavender, the rose and the azalea which Jane and Liz (thank you, both!) very kindly between them bought us as house-warming presents. He's also planted our own rose and nemesia, but we have yet to see how they cope with not being in a pot.

And, to cap it all, we've harvested the first hazelnuts from our hazelnut tree - all two of them, and yes they were utterly delicious. Perhaps we'll harvest some more one day ...

On Friday, Marian and I played golf for the first time in ages and I actually won, hurrah! Which just proves that I'm better if I don't play for a while - the weirdness of golf indeed. Practice makes me worse, ah well. And in the afternoon, Liz came round and we had coffee, cake and chat - all perfect for a Friday afternoon really. Ah, this is the life.

Yesterday evening, we took Liz & John to a Proms party at the house of a friend of theirs in Woking - supper and chat in front of the TV. What could be nicer? We were, sadly however, rather late, as I'd confidently programmed the route into Celia SatNav and merrily directed K there from the back seat - but when we "arrived" I realised it wasn't Liz's friend's house at all, but some other address I'd keyed in, and we had to start all over again. Ho hum. Naturally enough, someone else directed on the way back ...

And the Spider Sagas continue. Liz kindly lent us her new spider vacuum (which allegedly allows you to get the spider in a tube and then deposit it in a nature-friendly way in the garden) and we had occasion to use it earlier in the week when I got up at about 1am and discovered one of the evil beasts next to the loo. Well, one can't really go when there's an enemy in the camp so K nobly rushed to get the spider doom machine and attempted to vacuum it into the tube. Alas, the power wasn't strong enough to suck the enormous beast up the tube (as it were ...), and I was so desperate by then I had to dash to the other loo to answer Nature's call - thus abandoning poor K in the ensuite with a cylindrical plastic tube planted on top of a rather large spider. I think he understood, but I may well have lost Wife Points ... By the time I got back, he'd somehow tipped the spider into the loo and flushed it away, hurrah. So whilst I fear that the nature-friendly nature of the vacuum might have been missed, at least it did the job. Sort of.

However, we decided we really needed something stronger so when, after the Proms party, we discovered another spider, this time in my bathroom,  K dashed to get the real vacuum and we sucked it up to its doom in a matter of moments, aha. Nature? Bah, humbug and Death to the Enemy, eh. We are indeed the Spider Destroyers of Elstead - call us anytime, hey ho.

Anyway, for a week or so, our unwanted house lodgers will be safe as we're off on holiday cruising down the Rhone and enjoying the Colours of Provence and Beaujolais and, hopefully, having a lovely relaxing time from tomorrow.  I suspect it will be our last holiday abroad for quite a while but, hey, we definitely deserve it, though I think we'll both be looking forward, secretly, to coming back to our new home afterwards. Who wouldn't!


Stevie Carroll said...

Happy anniversary! Enjoy your holiday!

Anne Brooke said...

Thank you! Hope you have a good week also! :))