Category Archives: My world

Destiny of Angels is on promotion! Last day!

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Download Destiny of Angels today for just 99p/99c!

You can read Destiny of Angels anywhere…. or even…

Here’s a brief synopsis of Destiny of Angels and some of the characters you will meet in the book…

Traumatic events in her childhood, send Angel Parsons upon a different life path.

Fifteen years later, with the help of her new ‘family,’  Angel confronts the perpetrators of her misery. Rather than seeking revenge and to free herself from her past, Angel uses the skills she has acquired to offer her persecutors the chance of redemption.

Laugh at  Angel’s partner Aidan, slim, blond, chiselled, a landscape gardener and former stripper, as he attempts to form a friendship without sex with the orange tanned, surgically enhanced Tiffany.

Cry as Eli, a big, triathlon competing hunk, tries to dissuade Clare, who is consumed by jealousy and hate, away from her life of prostitution.

Enjoy the struggles of Sophia, a slim, smart, sassy young woman who runs her own company, carrying on the philanthropic work of her granddad, as she shows Justin, a confident, cocky, player, an honest, less egotistic way of life and Maddy, a petite, doll-like young woman who runs her own events company, who attempts to steer Vincent, cool, hard and unfeeling, away from money as his driving force.

Smile as Zac, a broad, dark, quiet man who runs his own fitness centre befriends the sad, overweight Danielle and turns her world upside down and Jed, a rugby playing Adonis, who runs a security firm and helps Aidan expand his business into vertical gardens, gives Rob, a sad, lonely, overweight single dad, a second chance to be a success and he flies with it.

Open your mind to the possibilities of magic, levels of consciousness, angels, demons and parallel universes as Angel is guided by Lilith, the dark goddess, in her quest for closure on the past.

Will Angel fulfil her destiny and put her past behind her or will the demons she unleashes consume herself and her ‘family’ and leave her empty and alone once more?

Today is your final chance to download Destiny of Angels, First book in the Lilith Trilogy at the amazing price of 99p/99c!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Destiny-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007OX5J8O

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007OX5J8O

And there is a sequel! Wrath of Angels is available too, while book three is in production.

I do hope you enjoy your magical read, and if you still haven’t had enough of a magical fix, why not tune into my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon, for short stories told to you on my Welsh riverbank https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

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Destiny of Angels is on promotion! Why read Destiny of Angels?

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Destiny of Angels is on promotion at just 99p/99c!

Destiny of Angels is the first book in the Lilith Trilogy, and my first published novel. A reader summed it up perfectly in their review…

‘a revenge/ redemption story with a spiritual twist, where the mundane and the mystical intertwine.’

Destiny of Angels isn’t a fantasy novel. The modern characters are real, as are the rituals and Angel Parson’s magic, where she follows the paths of the witches Qabalah. Destiny of Angels is Witchlit; modern, contemporary magical writing, with a heroine-centred narrative focussing on the trials and tribulations of the protagonist, Angel Parsons.

While writing the novel, I imagined Salma Hayek playing the lead role of Angel; a beautiful, strong yet vulnerable and feminine young woman.

Here’s an extract for your enjoyment…

Seven figures stood in the circle, identical in pure white shifts and new flat leather sandals. Each wore a moonstone on a leather thong about their necks bar one, who wore a citrine flecked with azure, as the sweet scent of jasmine and exhilarating ginseng invaded their senses. A single voice and then the joined chorus protected their work and raised the power.

            Seven figures stood on fine white sand, the depth of night around them dappled by a host of glittering stars. A crescent moon appeared and they hailed and greeted the goddess Levanah.

She descended to the horizon where she spoke to them. “Welcome worthy travellers to the sphere of Yesod, the Treasure House of Images. Here, everything that is to manifest on earth must first emerge and gain strength. Every dream, every wish and desire must first become an image and be given form here with me. I am the Force before the Form, the Divine Source of all being, who succours humankind and takes care of its needs.”

            Levanah paused, smiling down, her pure white hair glistening with stars as it enfolded her naked body and her eyes, the bluest cerulean, twinkling like planets. “As individuals, you’ve been brought together and lead to this point. You’ve been strengthened and tutored within a family unit, relying on each other for nurture and support. From this point on, whilst travelling the astral planes beyond this realm, you return to your individual status. Guidance and learning will be different for each one of you. Within you exists a special image, now in your unconscious but soon to be made conscious. Be aware of your dreams and you will know. No longer will you view the earth as you once saw it, all things separate and disconnected from each other. You’ll see not just the Form but the Force that inspired it and, as you strive on the plane of Malkuth to make sense of these wonders in the face of criticism, disbelief and unkindness remember, you have seen Yesod.”

            Dark and murky water crashed and flowed all around and above the circle, smashing and mixing and wallowing in a mass of uncertainty. Above the thunderous waves they heard anguished  moans, screams and cries and they held each other’s hands tighter, seeking comfort from the touch. Levanah rose out of the chaos aboard her crescent train. Silver and glistening in the midst of the darkness, whispering her purity over the bedlam, she calmed and cleansed the waters and they quietened and stilled.

            Angel lay in the centre, on the hub, as the wheel began to turn and she rose up into the sky, past the earth and the universe, on into space. There she lay with all that is around her. She saw planets and stars and, as she watched, silver threads began to join one to another and then, each and every one to her and as each thread attached, she felt a tingle or a buzz and on and on, the threads crossed and joined and soon, space was dark no more, as every planet and star she could see and all the dark matter between were connected.

If you’re looking for a magical read, a ‘no punches held back’ kind of book about relationships and the human struggle to make sense of the world we live in, you’ll enjoy Destiny of Angels.

Destiny of Angels has a host of characters, including Angel’s friends…

Laugh at  Angel’s partner Aidan, slim, blond, chiselled, a landscape gardener and former stripper, as he attempts to form a friendship without sex with the orange tanned, surgically enhanced Tiffany.

Cry as Eli, a big, triathlon competing hunk, tries to dissuade Clare, who is consumed by jealousy and hate, away from her life of prostitution.

Enjoy the struggles of Sophia, a slim, smart, sassy young woman who runs her own company, carrying on the philanthropic work of her granddad, as she shows Justin, a confident, cocky, player, an honest, less egotistic way of life and Maddy, a petite, doll-like young woman who runs her own events company, who attempts to steer Vincent, cool, hard and unfeeling, away from money as his driving force.

Smile as Zac, a broad, dark, quiet man who runs his own fitness centre befriends the sad, overweight Danielle and turns her world upside down and Jed, a rugby playing Adonis, who runs a security firm and helps Aidan expand his business into vertical gardens, gives Rob, a sad, lonely, overweight single dad, a second chance to be a success and he flies with it.

Open your mind to the possibilities of magic, levels of consciousness, angels, demons and parallel universes as Angel is guided by Lilith, the dark goddess, in her quest for closure on the past.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Destiny-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007OX5J8O/

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007OX5J8O

 

 

 

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature & Book Fayre – Meet the author – Nicola Beechsquirrel

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I first met Nicola at my first book fayre in Llandeilo in 2015 when she arrived at my table and proceeded to unload my first three paperbacks from her rucksack for me to sign. Since then, she saw Tribal Unity Wales dancing at the Lampeter Food Festival and is now a valued and much loved member of the dance tribe. She’s beautiful on the inside and out, and I’m blessed to call her friend. Here’s what happened when I interviewed her….

Hi Nicola! Let’s start with a general one. How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I write non-fiction based on family history material, which can involve a lot of research. I don’t usually work to a plan – just have a loose idea of what needs to be done and get on with it. If one line of investigation dries up, I take up another.

I love research! I wanted to be a BBC researcher. Anyway, do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

My writing ritual is unimaginative and basic – switch on the computer, sit down and contemplate my documents to see what needs doing. Tea and biscuits are usually involved somewhere during the process!

Nothing unimaginative about tea and biscuits, in my opinion. Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

Ah, that would be telling! I like to keep a certain air of mystery!

Ha ha! I knew you were going to make this tricky! Okay, if you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

My desert island items would probably be a well-stocked sewing kit, some pens and paper, my comfy bed, a bag of clothes, and a guitar so I can practise chords. This is probably cheating though as the overall total of items is a lot more than 5!

Good choices though. On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

I would find it hard to take just 5 books – there are so many that I want to read! Anything by Carole Matthews would be good to relax with. I would also take Charmian Hussey’s “The Valley Of Secrets” for the sake of its marvellous descriptions of landscapes and plants, and if I can also take the three volumes of Helen Dunmore’s “Ingo” series which I’ve not yet read, that would be a good mix.

They all sound wonderful. I shall check them out. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

If I’m allowed to travel back a little way in time, I’d like to have dinner with Marija Gimbutas, the archaeologist who wrote all those marvellous inspiring books about Stone Age Goddess cultures in Europe.

That would be fascinating, wouldn’t it? On to your current writing projects, what are you working on?

I am currently researching the historical background to my grandmother’s writings concerning a holiday she took in Burma in the early 1900s. It’s a fascinating task!

Other published work…

My list of published work is growing steadily! Currently it consists of:

“Memoirs of  a Twentieth Century Homesteader” by my grandfather, Lawrence Nowell, for which I compiled a historical background and various accompanying notes; “Grannie’s Own Picture Book” and “Granny’s Own ABC”; both written and drawn by my grandmother, Ivy Hindley; “Tales For Grandchildren”, by my mother, Olive Cole; and “The Old Woman Who Spun Clouds”, a childrens’ story by myself. And most recently, hot off the press, “Tongas, Doongas and Lilac Blossom”, an account by Ivy Hindley of her trip to Kashmir in 1913.

Thanks so much, Nicola, for taking the time to share with us, and thank you for reading this post. You can find Nicola on Facebook if you’re interested in purchasing a book, or come along to the Literature & Book Fayre, part of Lazzmatazz on 2nd June in Llandovery. See you on Sunday!

 

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature and Book Fayre – Meet the author – Colin R Parsons

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Welcome to my blog and an interview with another Welsh author. I’ve met and chatted to Colin at a couple of book fairs, so I’m delighted to have him on my blog today. Colin is from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales and writes books for children and teenagers in a number of genres including Science Fiction, Steampunk and Fantasy. Welcome, Colin…

How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I literally start with a sentence and go from there – no planning or destination in mind. I did exactly that recently and ended up with a 17k short story, which I’ve just delivered to my publisher along with another seven stories. It’s a bit unorthodox, but I can’t write any other way. Each to their own, I suppose.

Absolutely!  Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

My computer screen or notepad must have something on it – a title, or sentence or even just a word. I can’t start anything with a blank piece of paper or white screen. It’s too daunting. Once I’ve got something then it evolves by itself.

So aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

I’m partially colour-blind so that hinders me in some respect. Most people don’t know that about me. I need to walk so that I can set things in motion (literally and figuratively). I used to cut the heads off chocolate Easter bunnies and place them carefully back on, just to see the reaction on my kids faces when picked them up. I hate swimming. I sing the Thunderbirds theme in my head when I pass big trucks on motorways, with over eight wheels.

Brilliant! I might start doing the Thunderbirds one! Moving on, if you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

My specs. A lifetimes supply of notepads and pencils. An indestructible solar panel, to power my fridge. 50 years supply of chocolate and Liquorice toffee.

I’m guessing you’re going to smuggle something else into that fridge;-) On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I am Legend by Richard Matherson. Airbourne by Kenneth Oppel. Lord of the Rings in one edition by J RR Tolkien. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Because I love them.

 

Great choices. Neil Gaiman’s book is a relatively new read for me and I loved it. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

That’s difficult. Maybe, Angie Sage author of the Magyk series.

 

She’d be great fun, agreed. Your current writing projects?

The Gamer, which is with a publisher as I speak.

Wintercode, which I worked on a while ago, but never finished.

A series of adult magical detective books called Killian Spooks Mysteries.

 

Exciting times! Thank you so much for chatting, Colin. Please list any other published work and links to find them and you…

Wizards’ Exile – (Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie due soon).

The Man with the Black Shoebox and Other Strange Stories (Thunderpoint Publishing out 2020)

Amaya’s Imagination (my first picture book) by Haus of Clare. (Amazon since March 2019)

You can find all Colin’s books via his author page here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Colin-R.-Parsons/e/B0034Q4XS2

and for our friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Colin-R.-Parsons/e/B0034Q4XS2

And on his website http://www.colinrparsons.com

 

If you’re in mid Wales, it would be lovely to meet you at the Literature and Book Fayre on 2nd June in Llandovery. Come along and check out a host of Welsh authors.

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature and Book Fayre – Meet the author – Lazarus Carpenter

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I met Laz last year at the Llandysul book fair. It was a magical fair in a beautiful setting, and I spent a good chunk of it chilling out with him. He’s far more than an author. He is the creator of Lazzmatazz, but I’ll let him tell you about himself. Welcome, Laz…

How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I have an idea and it will develop as a picture in my mind. I am a very intuitive writer and tend to narrate my stories as a character and as such am a real part of it (in my mind anyway). Planning is based around, knowing where I may start and indeed end, but the middle has to evolve within my character’s journey. As an example I wanted to write a story about Crach Ffinnant who was a prophet, seer and interestingly a dwarf, riding with Glyndwr. Little is known about him yet much is known about Glyndwr, so some research and a little creative imagination and he became alive after six hundred years. I wanted him to have been an apprentice and serve a prophecy related to Glyndwr. So I created his life. In the Prophecy I created scenes of the Middle Ages and loosely made it fit historical facts and Crach began his magical journey. I do not have any particular time of writing nor pattern, simply I will binge and finish three chapters at a sitting then perhaps nothing for a week or so and so on. The follow up to the Prophecy, Rise of the Dragon took six months to complete from beginning to proofing. Thanks to winning first prize in a writing competition in February 2018, I now have a formal publisher, published two books in my series and contracted for further volumes. I can sit on a rock, look at the sunset and instantly story-tell, it just flows and that is how I write. When I am in the zone, little thinking but a tremendous amount of story flow!

Cool, do you have any writing rituals? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I can write anywhere but I do like my desk with the window to my side and the amazing views of the valley. I tend to use my laptop for everything nowadays but always have a pencil and paper around to jot ideas as I work. A few cups of coffee is helpful but time of day is not important. My only ritual is recognizing my ‘mood to write’

So, aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

I am also a musician and singer/songwriter and have been playing for forty years. I have done a bit of acting which I really enjoy and also some performance poetry. I have been qualified as a hypnotherapist for thirty years and occasionally do comedy hypnosis shows. I adore dogs.

You’re a great story teller too, if I may say so. Different questions now, iIf you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

I would want 1. paper 2. pencils 3. Knife 4. Pillow 5. Fishing Rod

I love that authors need pencils and paper! On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

‘Course in Miracles’ because it has always filled me with inspiration and is a source of grand inner thought when quiet.

‘Survival Manual’ because I am going to need it.

‘Christmas Carol’ (Dickens) will remind me of my childhood and father reading it year after year. It would help with any sense of loneliness but, I am quite content with my own company.

‘War and Peace’ because I have never read it and will have plenty of time on a desert Island.

‘Conversations with God’ (Donald Walsh) because if there is a God, then I will have plenty of time to converse and find out why I ended up on the desert island to begin with. As long as I was not responsible for sinking the ship of course!

Fascinating choices, thanks for those. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

This for me is a no brainer, because it has to be Peter Dinklage. We would be discussing his forthcoming role as Crach Ffinnant, now he has finished Game of Thrones. I did not have him in mind at all as I was inventing the character but he would be just the ticket if ever my series hits the screen. It is a dream, but then so was getting a publisher on merit of my work, not my pocket. But I did after over thirty rejections on the manuscript, so anything is possible, even dinner with Peter Dinklage.

Absolutely! Why shouldn’t we see our book as a movie? So what are your current writing projects?

I am half way through writing book three in the Crach Ffinnant series, ‘Ravens and Dragons’. There are plans for further books related to his adventures during the Welsh rebellion of the 1400’s.

Excellent, thanks so much for joining me, Laz. I’ll add below the places where folk can find you and your work.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/LazarusCarpenter?fbclid=IwAR0od5TMDffGpyKCCFs_7mTQtPazTd2rdtOScOveJxBz74gRgp4Rlj0Cr_0

http://www.lazaruscarpenterauthor.com

Crach Ffinnant – The Prophecy  – Words Matter Publishing 2018

Crach Ffinnant – Rise of the Dragon – Words Matter Publishing 2019

Ballad of Penygraig – Self published with LULU 2015

 

Don’t forget, if you’re in Wales, you can find Lazarus and myself at Lazzmatazz 2019 in Llandovery.

 

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature and Book Fayre – Meet the author – Stephen Greenhalgh

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Welcome to the second of my author interviews, showcasing the talented authors at the Literature and Book Fayre on 2nd June in Llandovery, as part of the Lazzmatazz 2019 festival. I first met Stephen wearing a different hat, as the sound guy and compere at the Lampeter Food Festival. For the past four years he has handled Tribal Unity Wales’ music requirements for us in the main marquee. He’s recently published, so let’s give a warm welcome to a new author.

Lovely to have you with us, Stephen. Let’s start with your writing. How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

It’s all roughly mapped out, but a story doesn’t flow properly if you don’t allow it to shift slightly as you write.

And do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I generally lie on the bed with my laptop on my knees. I do enjoy a Jack Daniels if I’m writing in the afternoon with no responsibilities later in the day.

I’m a laptop on my knees writer too. Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

I love to play guitar and sing. I meditate regularly. I love Roleplay games. I sometimes pretend I’m a spaceship. I love random adventures.

And you’ll be singing at the Lazzmatazz festival, so check out the timetable folks. Stephen will be performing on the Friday. A different kind of question now…If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

An unlimited supply of JD. My fiancé Beth. My laptop so I can write (and solar panels for power.) My son, if it were a short term stranding, (cause I wouldn’t want him to get bored. A sat phone to call him with if it were to be longterm.) And access to the complete stock of Ann Summers (if it were just me and Beth.)

Brilliant answers! I should add sunscreen to the list if I were you! Moving on, on said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Supposing I had access to my own books on a laptop for continuity checks I would take:

The Silmarillion, really enjoyed it, will definitely read it again.

The Illiad for the same reasons.

The Odyssey again for the same reasons.

The Complete collection of Terry Pratchett because he’s absolutely brilliant.

A random recommended scifi or fantasy book from a friend.

Cool. I had to look the first one up…that’s going on my birthday list, and you can’t beat the Discworld novels for escapist reading. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Not fussed, don’t really do star struck. Mind you, I’m sort of easy if the famous person is paying for dinner in a nice restaurant.

I love you’d go for the food rather than the company! So, tell us about your current writing projects?

Love Island Two – Realms (Book four)

Thanks so much for joining me today, Stephen. Please share your published work and where we can find it:

Love Island Two – Beginnings:

http://www.stephengreenhalgh.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/theloveislands/

Make a date in your diary and come along and join the fun in Llandovery, for a weekend of art, craft, music and books.

 

 

 

Life begins at fifty – Healthy Life #14 My favourite way to eat quinoa and kale…at the moment!

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Up until last month, I didn’t like quinoa. I’d had it twice, once hot and once cold, but both times it was bland, wierd and gritty. I wanted to like quinoa. Whole grains are important in a plant based diet, and I was sure quinoa could be useful. Then I learned something interesting – add your flavourings to quinoa BEFORE you add water to cook it. This is my favourite way to cook quinoa.

Cooking quinoa

1 cup quinoa

1 cup water

1 tablespoon sesame/coconut oil (I cut this down to 2 tspns of sesame oil, and it works!)

1 teaspoon turmeric

salt and pepper

1 Toast quinoa in the oil and turmeric until you can smell the spices, and all the grains are well coated.

2 Add salt and pepper and stir again.

3 Add water. Bring to the boil and cook on a low heat for 12-15 mins. (Half cover the pan and stir at 10 mins to check all is well.)

The quinoa should puff up and all the water will be gone. Tip into another bowl. Fluff up with a fork and allow to cool.

This quinoa is tasty hot or cold, and a great way to get your daily turmeric, as well as being a whole grain.

Which leads us to kale…my delicious chickpea and spinach recipe https://wendysteele.com/?s=spinach+and+chick+peas

can be made with kale, but I’ve been looking for a way to eat kale raw, and Alyssa at Simply Quinoa gives a number of options. I’m working my way through them, and I’m sharing my favourite so far with you today. For more recipes, this is Alyssa’s YouTube channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKUDSBYR-rOFBflYGJ43Ixg

Kale and quinoa salad

1 cup red cabbage

1 cup grated carrot

½ cup quinoa (I used 1 1/2 cups)

4 cups chopped kale

¼ cup cashews

(I added ¼ cup raisins)

Dressing:

3 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

1 whole lime, juice of (I used ½ lime)

¼ teaspoon maple syrup

1 In a large bowl check through kale and remove all hard stems. Add dressing and massage for 1-2 minutes. (I added half the dressing, then a little more, so didn’t use it all and saved it in the fridge)

2 Mix in the rest of the ingredients and it’s ready to eat, or chill in fridge.

This salad is a great way to tick off lots of boxes of your Daily Dozen! There’s veg and cruciferous veg, whole grains and nuts. In the photo you can see I added more salad, with tomatoes, rocket and beetroot, as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

I hope this has inspired you to try quinoa and kale for yourself, and do share your favourite ways to eat them! See you soon for more recipes and updates on my Healthy Life journey.

 

 

 

 

 

New story on Phoenix and the Dragon and links to more magic!

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It’s been a while. I’m sorry. But I’m back telling stories on my Welsh riverbank, just for you.

Tune into the first part of The Waterfall now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFQE3M3O18k&t=45s

Tune in next week for the concluding part of the story.

Are you a magical reader or writer, or both? Have you heard of the Witch Lit podcast on YouTube? Subscribe to the channel for magical writing updates, ‘In the Broom Cupboard’, interviews, ‘Witchanory’ and more! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHtAJO5uh6c9TSai1lhwF7g

Looking for a magical read? Check out my author page for a selection of magical stories https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06

Enjoy ‘The Lilith Trilogy’, for high magic and pagan ritual.

Read ‘The Standing Stone Book Series’ where the countryside is the focus of three women’s magic, embracing the gods, goddesses, tree spirits, elves and fairies.

Immerse yourself in ‘The Lizzie Martin Series’, about a woman who embraces magic in her life, to aid her with the stresses of modern living.

Happy reading!

 

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature and Book Fayre – Meet the author – Angela Fish

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Welcome to the first of my author interviews featuring authors taking part in the Literature and Book Fayre, part of the Lazzmatazz 2019 festival. I first met Angela last year when we both had a table at a book fair in the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. It was a really warm day, and we took turns minding each others tables so we could nip outside for a breath of air! She writes delightful children’s stories, beautifully illustrated, perfect as gifts for boys and girls.

Welcome Angela! Lovely to have you here. Let’s get started

How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I generally have a good idea/plan of the overall story, but things always change! With my WIP the characters just will not do what they’re told and keep challenging my plans for them!

It’s always exciting though, isn’t it? Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I’ve never been able to stick to a fixed time for writing, it’s when the mood takes me. I might go days without writing a word, and then suddenly I’ll have a few days where I can write up to ten hours a day. I used to love having my cat on my desk, but sadly she’s no longer with me and her son prefers the garden. Apart from that, the only ‘quirk’ I have is that I only write with a pencil, until it’s time to move on to the computer.

I love a pencil! So, aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

Mad about cats – they always seem to know when there’s a vacancy at my place.

Left my blood on the portcullis of Castell Coch, Tongwynlais, when I was about five (lived in the village and often visited. Ran up the drawbridge too quickly, fell and bumped my head.)

Hate flying.

Love gardening and cooking.

Absolutely useless at drawing!

I too have a tendency to acquire cats…we have four at the moment! If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

Sunscreen/specs/notebooks/pencils/cats

On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Almost impossible to pick just five (and I’d probably read them too quickly!) but if pushed:

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Classic from my childhood

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos-Ruiz-Zafón. A book about books! Fabulous other-worldly mystery.

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore. Her last novel. Wonderfully written and thought provoking.

Any of the poetry books of Seamus Heaney. Just love the way he handles words and the pictures he paints with them.

Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolien. What an imagination!

Great choices, though it is hard to pick just five. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

David Attenborough

I’m with you on that one. His eloquence and affinity with the natural world could be the beginning of saving our planet. What are your current writing projects?

I’ve almost completed the first draft of a novel that explores the nature/nurture question through the lives of two girls who have their sons on the same day. Over the course of the next twenty years, their lives follow different paths but intersect occasionally, as do the lives of the boys. The impact of their backgrounds and experiences shapes much of what they do and the decisions they make but how much of a part does fate/luck play?

I’m also about halfway with a novel for children, which uses myths and legends from around the world, and moves between the ‘real world’ and a magical one. Essentially, it’s about making friends, bullying, the transition from junior to senior school, and the relationship between the heroine and her grandmother, who supports her on her quest.  Oh, and of course, it has cats!

You’ve been busy! They both sound great. To finish, do share your published work.

Ben and the Spider Gate                    (Book Guild)

Ben and the Spider Prince                              “

Ben and the Spider Lake                                “

The Captain’s Favourite Treasure      (Matador)

 

Hard copies via my website: www.angela-fish.com

Ebooks via Troubador bookstore: https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/

Thank you so much for joining me, Angela. Been lovely to chat and finding out more about you and your writing. See you in Llandovery on the 2nd!

 

 

 

Life begins at fifty – Healthy life #13 – Why Vegan?

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This post documents my personal journey from being brought up as a meat eater by my parents to my ethical and health based choice to be counted as a Vegan. Everyone’s story is different. My reason for sharing my story is my inability to understand how a person can stop being a Vegan, if they’ve made a stand to be counted as one, and return to eating animal products. Let me tell you why…

I was born and brought up in a typical, ordinary household, where we had a roast dinner on Sunday, that also made up a dinner of cold meat, chips and peas on Monday, and the remnants added to the curry on Tuesday. As a child, I always disliked hot meat.

It wasn’t until I left home, bumped into an old friend at a wedding reception, that I learned there was an alternative to eating meat and fish. I was in a position to cook for myself, but didn’t know how, so I signed myself up for an evening class in vegetarian cookery. I chose to give up eating living creatures when I committed to being a vegetarian. It wasn’t easy. Though I rarely ate out, omelettes were the usual choice available at a restaurant. Over the years I built up a repertoire of delicious vegetarian meals, sharing recipes in the school playground if asked. At that time, I believed I was doing my best for animals, the human family and the planet by not eating meat and fish. I’d read as widely as I could (before the internet) about the huge swathes of land and water given over to producing beef that could feed the world, and I wanted to be part of a movement that had that as a goal.

Almost fifteen years later, with my life maxed out with stress, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In order to stop the pain, I needed to change my diet. With little guidance, I struggled to work out what was causing the problem. Further tests revealed I was intolerant to wheat and dairy, as well as a list of other foods. Wheat and dairy were the main culprits, causing most of my pain, yet I’d spent years cooking and perfecting recipes that regularly featured both (hence the problem), and I struggled to cope with the change. I continued to cook for my family, while eating very little in an attempt to keep my pain small too.

Bellydance saved my life. I joined in a class at the age of 40 with my daughter, then aged 9. I knew if I wanted to dance, I needed to eat. I began to learn to put meals together for myself without wheat and dairy.

It took me years to get the balance of foods ‘right’ in my body, and I tended to eat less, just to be on the safe side.

Five years ago my partner and I moved to Wales. Around this time, one of our sons switched from vegetarian to veganism. He pointed me in the direction of videos and books, explaining how damaging dairy can be on the body. He lives with arthritis, has done since he was twelve, and he decided to remove dairy from his diet. The inflammation in his joints reduced significantly and he felt a lot better, so my partner and I took a step in that direction; I gave up the goat’s cheese I occasionally ate and the Magnum ice lollies (made with skimmed milk powder that didn’t affect me as much), and my partner cut down on cheese. The biggest change was adding more green vegetables to our diet and making them a much bigger part of our plate share. Eldest son and his fiancee joined in the plant based eating, switching from eating meat to focussing on plants. Recipe swapping was prevalent, though the youngsters were so much freer with trying new ideas, making up recipes as they went along.

January 2018 my partner and I gave up smoking nicotine. The hormones in my body went ballistic. Weight landed around my middle, I felt weighed down, depressed and anxious. I took up walking regularly. In the time we’d been in Wales, we’d watched documentaries and Youtube videos about the environment, knowing a crisis was coming. We’d always done our best to recycle and make as few trips in the car as possible. By December 2018 it was evident that the climate crisis was upon us. Everyone needed to do their best.

I knew eating a whole food, plant based diet was best for my body. I now know it’s best for the planet too. I can’t proclaim to care about the amazing planet we live on, if I don’t stand up and be counted as a Vegan. I know Vegan means different things to different people; it must do, or the vloggers who can quit so easily were lying all along. I was a vegetarian; I am now a Vegan, and for me that means not consuming animal products or derivatives, but it also means I live my life caring about the causes of all my actions; from driving to a supermarket for only three items, to buying a bag of salad in a plastic bag. I need to think, and make choices not just for me. I’m not perfect. I have a long way to go, but it’s no longer a good enough excuse to say ‘but plastic is so convenient’ or ‘but I prefer drinking from a plastic straw’.

The new array of Vegan products in the supermarkets made to taste like meat, are a step in the right direction for all meat eaters to join in Meat Free Monday, but small steps need to be converted to big strides quickly. We need celebrities to get on board now. I was appalled to read Dr Michael Moseley’s articles on why he won’t be going Vegan or giving up meat, and even more disheartened to read in the comments the hateful abuse against vegans. It’s time we woke up to what is really happening to our world, or there won’t be a world to wake up to. It’s time to care. The time has gone to say ‘I’ll think about it’. We need to act now, so why not join me on my Vegan journey?

I’m excited! I’ve thousands of new recipes and food combinations to explore. Plant based food tastes good and it does you good! My energy levels have definitely increased since the beginning of this year, and my excess weight is disappearing. Check out the recipes on this website – put in ‘plant based’ or ‘healthy eating’ into the search box and away you go. All recipes are tried and tested, and my tips and alternatives are listed for your convenience.

We already do clothes swaps within our tribe….why not organise a similar one with your friends? Use local swap sites rather than buying new. Recycle items yourself….the inside of a washing machine makes a fabulous fire pit!

We can do this! Let’s join forces to save our planet.