Monday, May 1, 2017

Happy Beltane, Marvellous May & #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy2 #scifi #romance


Today marks Beltane, halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, when the beginning of summer is marked by burning fires. While I don't believe in astrology, I'm a fire sign myself and certainly had an obsession with lighting fires as a child (though very carefully so I didn't become an arsonist, even accidentally!).

The elements of fire and water often show up in my writing too. In the Christmas story I wrote for Keir and Quin, Keir mentions a tradition of keeping a candle burning throughout the winter to encourage the sun to come back after the months of darkness, or homes decorated with fire symbols or red, yellow and orange ribbons to represent flames.

For me it marks another change in the year - the coming of summer, of longer days, and when I was a child the endless summer holiday between July and September where I would essentially run free for seven weeks in the fields behind our house or along the country lanes. Now it marks seven weeks of trying to find entertainment for my three monsters (though not so much for the older two now, in their teens or approaching them and with a social life way more complex and busy than mine), and hubs taking a couple of weeks off work to join us, and birthdays for myself and oldest. But until then, it's another point of expected change in the yearly calendar.

This May marks my fifth year as a published author and a fifth book anniversary for my debut novel Keir. It feels like a very long time but doesn't sound it so much, especially as not too long ago five years could be a mere blip in traditional publishing. I struck exceptionally lucky in only taking two years from completing my novel to its first publication, and with my debut too.

So this year I'm going to celebrate the landmark with a special giveaway in collaboration with Hoot and Luna. It'll open on the 7th of May and run until the end of the month. And what can you win? A pair of custom made dragonscale gloves, in Keir blue. :P To be notified of the contest opening, you could sign up to my email HERE, or for a bonus book you can enter my new Instafreebie giveaway HERE (which requires a sign up to my newsletter to enter).

There will also be two Instafreebie events in May, which will also be in my newsletter and posted here, plus a Solstice SFR Sale in June. That should give you lots of opportunities to stock up your ereaders with yummy SFR for your summer reads!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2
I didn't realize until I'd already seen it last Friday that the US isn't getting Guardians 2 until the 5th of May. I'm so sorry! But rest assured you won't get any spoilers from me. I can tell you that it is totally AWSOME! I wasn't expecting too much since sequels have a hard time being up to the standard of the first, but film 2 rocks. You will laugh. You will cry. You will be somewhat horrified and still laughing. You will die of the cute. And if you're lucky, you'll have a crowd like the one in my cinema, who cheered and applauded at the end like it was a party. Tip: watch the credits until the very, very end - I mean right up to the final logo! And don't just watch - read. There are all kinds of little treats all the way through. Take tissues. And don't feel bad at laughing at some of the horrifying bits. If taking kids under ten, be warned - though the violence and humour is about the same level as the first, there are a lot of body parts mentioned that you might not want your younger offspring repeating in the playground next day, and if they're particularly sensitive to death you might want to check the film beforehand to decide if they can handle it. And that's all I'm saying!

Status Update

I won Camp NaNo! Although I ended up having to include my revisions on Keir's Shadow to make up the word count, the edits on Reunion and Revived are complete. Well, ish. There's still some tweaking required but the bulk of them is done and they aren't due to my editor until June, so I still have time. However, I have a third novella that needs completing to get to my other editor by the same point in time, so there's no room for slacking!
I also completed the Tauriel cosplay, but I won't/can't be posting the details at my Tumblr blog as I still have a redesign to finish. So here's a piccie of it in its full glory.
This now means moving onto the Witch-King costume for my 12yo, including some complicated fake metalwork. Fun!
Here in the UK, it's a Bank Holiday today for May Day, so I'll be off out with my monsters. In the meantime, a few pics of our latest walk, through some bluebell woods. No chooks this week as the chilly weather has left them tucked away in their coop, sorry!



12 comments:

  1. Did you see in the recent article I did for Amazing Stories that SFR readers thought your Keir's Fall cover was extremely memorable? Enjoyed the post, always fun to keep up with your 'doings'!

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    1. I didn't know until you tweeted me! Thanks for that!

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  2. I also enjoyed lighting fires as a child (and am also a fire sign). I created a little hidey-hole for myself in my closet, where I would curl up and read nearly in the dark. I had a tiny hurricane lamp in there given to me by my grandmother and I loved burning it. I cannot BELIEVE my parents allowed this. Happy Beltane! Good luck with the monsters. Mine will be home for 10 weeks starting at the end of June, oh boy...

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    1. Yay, it's not just me then! Lol. Hubs says my pyromaniacal tendencies are weird. :-P We had some old hurricane lamps when I was a kid as power cuts were a weekly occurrence out where we lived but my parents were very careful to keep them out of reach (but not the matches).

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    2. Ha! My daughter is also a fire sign. I keep the matches hidden!

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    3. My monsters are more water sprites despite being a mix of air, fire and water. Matches weren't the issue - hiding plugs and doing taps up tight was more of a problem with them!

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  3. Ha! I'd not heard of Beltrane before. As always, love all the pics. The cosplay outfit came out great, and the Bluebells are so gorgeous. Also, congrats on the Camp NanoWrimo win!

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    1. Thanks Laurie. I tend to keep an eye on the old pagan holidays - one of my monsters was born on the autumn equinox for one thing, and passing the winter solstice means the longer days are coming to counter my SAD.

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    2. I used to get a major case of SAD in Michigan. I remember being so depressed in the winter I could barely function. It's been pretty much a non-issue since moving to New Mexico. Our days are just as short, but we get so much more sunshine and those blue, blue Southwestern skies even in the dead of winter.

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  4. No fire starting tendencies here!, but it was fun reading your post. It reminded me of a marvelous TV programme from 1978 called The Moon Stallion, filmed at the White Horse of Uffington and Wayland's Smithy. Wonderful stuff! I also LOVE bluebells and your photos are gorgeous :-).

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    1. Oh, I loved Moon Stallion! And I've been to Wayland's Smithy several times - I had a friend who lived in Newbury and I stayed with her several times a year. We'd go to the Smithy and the giant stone circle at Avebury - wonderful places. Thanks Merry!

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    2. So glad you've seen the Moon Stallion too! There were a lot of marvelous Britih fantasy TV series back then. It would be awesome to visit all of the ancient historic sites in England and Wales. I love British castles too, so I'd need a very, very long holiday LOL!

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