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).
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!
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.
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!