Wednesday, 27 October 2010

A real life Ghost story for the Boo-fest!

A real life ghost story?  Nah, you say, pull t’other one, it has bells on it . . .
((((ring ring)))

Thanks to Quinn for hosting this blogfest: see link below.

Whatever your thoughts on ghosts and strange spiritual happenings, this incident did happen, and it all started with the early morning feed round in the stables, and sudden mystical apparition of a horse.

 A really thick morning sea mist swirled around the stable block, and with half the horses already fed I happened around the corner from the tack room to see a dark bay – identical to my favourite horse. It was standing a little ways beyond the far box. He shouldn’t have been there he should have been inside his box, so it was natural to assume one of the stable girls had inadvertently left the bolt unlatched and he’d sneaked out to graze nearby lush pasture.

As soon as I made toward him I realised he was bridled and the rein broken, but no saddle. What in hell ? came to mind. Meantime he turned about and ambled off, unlike Barboy who would have stubbornly carried on grazing in defiant stance until made to return to his box. I never thought to look in Barboy’s box: needless to say he was standing at the back of his box and merrily munching hay whilst I made toward the apparent mirror-image horse.

The horse immediately swung about and took off at a meandering trot out of the main driveway and then headed off along the lane keeping a few strides in front of me. At times like these it's best to follow without trying to intercept a renegade horse, which is likely to spook just for the hell of it. So, there I was jogging in its wake hoping to hell no vehicle came our way and collided with either one or both of us. The mist by this time had thickened somewhat and there was nothing but eerie silence as we headed off the lane and down a track through sand dunes. By the time we hit the beach it felt as though the horse was leading me somewhere, but where and why?

It’s difficult to judge distance covered in fog, on open estuary it can be deadly, especially when the tide is out but on the turn. The incoming tide washes across these sand flats and flows up the river so fast it’s easy to get cut-off from safe ground, so few people ever venture beyond red flags. Unfortunately, in thick sea fog red flags are worse than useless.

Suddenly water is seeping across the sand so I know the tide is incoming, water rapidly deepening, and that’s when the horse turned about – me following in its wake – and before I knew it we were back on dry sand, the dunes directly in front of us. The horse stood motionless for a moment as though the fun was over and he was ready to give in. Nevertheless I approached with caution, and not wanting to alarm him I sat down, which usually incites a horse’ curiosity and they’ll come investigate why you’re sat down. Anyhoo, that’s when I heard voices, male voices yelling and splashing sounds out on the estuary.

If you’ve ever been out in real thick fog you’ll know when trying to discern exactly where sound is coming from it is nigh impossible. I looked to the horse, his ears pricked. He let go an earth-shattering whinnie, and replies came back. By this time I was on my feet, and shouting like mad trying to guide whomever and their horses to safety. More shouting came across the water, more splashing and eventual silence. I had no cell-phone with me, and although it was only a short jog back to a telephone it wouldn’t have mattered, and as hard as I listened there was only silence coming out of the fog.

The horse whinnied again and then took off at the gallop from a standing take-off; rein trailing in its wake as he thundered along the edge of the dunes. The horse I never found, nor sign of dead horses or people when the fog cleared quite suddenly as it often does with offshore breeze. There was nothing, not even a hoof print in the dunes. No one else reported hearing horses or voices, and I think people seriously thought I’d lost it.

Five days later out riding I met a wild fowler who’d been shooting on the salt flats up stream, and whilst passing the time of day he said he’d heard about my experience. He then confessed to a similar incident he’d had some ten years beforehand, and relayed a similar story told by a yachting family who were anchored out at sea and came in on a high tide. All had heard horses and men as though floundering in the waters of the rising tide.

The wild fowler revealed he’d already embarked on research some years back because his experience had haunted him, plus he learned through his findings that when the first dredging of the estuary was carried out in the 1900s (to allow larger boats access to the neighbouring harbour the other side of the estuary) bones were recovered and identified as that of equine in nature. Also some people with metal detectors had found horseshoes on the sand flats dating back to the 1600s.

Haunted day and night by the horse apparition I set to with historical research 1600s upwards to present time. What came up was a Castle besieged during the English Civil War by Cromwell’s forces,  (castle above). Beneath the castle lies a cave, through which Royalist top brass reportedly escaped from by boat and sailed up river to where Royalist troopers and horses were waiting for them. They then fled northward to what they thought was a safe haven under Royalist control, intent on making for Chester and expected there but they never arrived. Unfortunately the only crossing point of a third river was under the control of the Parliamentarians, so the assumption being the Cavalier force lay low on the salt flats and undercover of darkness set out to cross the estuary.

All of the Cavaliers presumably perished, with exception of one horse: the horse I encountered, because he galloped along the fringe of the dunes quite hail and hearty. And given his broken bridle and no saddle, maybe his rider escaped a drowning as well. Who knows? But, that experience still haunts me, and if you’ve followed this blog for a while you might have read two snippets from historical novels set within the period English Civil War. This experience is featured in my latest Civil War novel, and I do feel a sincere affinity with this particular period in history. Given poetic licence the rider of the ghost horse survives, but that's all I'm prepared to tell you!

So, what happened that morning in the rolling sea mist, other than that of equine ghost expressing loss of fellow horses and their riders on the sand flats?

To see entries by other participants go here.

Halloween party two posts down from here.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Never-Ending Blogfest!

Today's blogfest is hosted by Brenda Lee Drake.

The criteria: to write a never-ending scene (cliffhanger -whatever)

Naturally, because I'm a romance writer this is a snip from a romance novel.

Brief: After a horrendous journey in blizzard conditions, cooped together in one vehicle, Luc has finally broken through Tory’s ice-maiden stance, and has, he thinks, reclaimed lost ground on a once happy love affair that went awry for reasons beyond on his control. Meanwhile, although momentarily basking in a rosy glow of renewed affections, Tori is wary and unsure she can fully trust in his sincerity toward her. And so, to the cliff edge moment:

Tori had just emerged from the hotel lift and making toward her own room when Luc stepped from the far lift, Fiona at his side; the other woman fussing about him in manner that of wife rather than PA.

Although there was a brief exchange in passing, more eye contact than verbal between herself and Luc, Fiona's expression was pure cat-with-cream, and Luc’s former request to keep their relationship businesslike hurt more than Tori had thought likely. Worse, anxiety took hold, in seeing Luc about to enter Jean-Claude’s suite and Fiona hovering alongside, though her heart did lift somewhat when Fiona suddenly turned away and walked briskly toward Jean-Claude’s office looking less than pleased with herself.

Mind in turmoil Tori sought sanctuary in her own room, well aware that the next few days would be a testing time. She held no illusions to the fact that Fiona saw herself as Luc’s future wife. The other woman had made that quite clear, just by the manner in which she’d plucked a speck of fluff from Luc’s jacket whilst he busy putting key-card to door.

Tori couldn’t help but think Fiona was the reason behind Luc’s request to keep their romance quiet. He could not be ignorant to his own PA’s overt interest in him beyond that of mere PA, surely?

After all, as soon as Luc had walked inside the foyer Fiona had pounced on him, her entire persona that of a jealous fiancĂ©. She hadn’t needed to say hands off, he’s mine all mine, that was clear by her body language alone. Luc on the other hand, had given the impression of being incensed by the implied intimacy between them. He’d even made his excuses and moved away from Fiona and had gone to have a word with Rory. Yet the damn woman had still hovered close by, as though immune to his indifference.

Tori slid her coat from her shoulders relishing the thought of a long hot bath, and as she made her way to the en suite bathroom something Luc had said, came to mind:

What had he meant by his not looking forward to what he had to do, and, that he was hoping to achieve a happy outcome with little, or at best, no unpleasant fallout. Was that statement an admission of some sense of guilt? That perhaps he and Fiona had been more than mere boss and PA, and that Fiona rightly believed they were a couple? What-if, what if Luc wanted out of the relationship purely because of Tori Bellamy?

Questions, questions, there were so many unanswered questions.

She would hate to think herself to be the cause of a once perfectly happy relationship wrecked because of her, but she loved Luc, had loved him since they’d first met. And what of Fiona? Was she as Tori Bellamy imagined: mercenary, dangerous, malicious and of the gold digging kind of PA?

She’d met sexually obsessive and devious PAs before and had seen the damage flirtatious office affairs had inflicted upon unsuspecting wives and children, the latter innocently believing their loved one genuinely running late due to business commitments. She’d hated witnessing the fallout from such liaisons, and had suffered the wrath of a boss wracked with guilt and torn between sexual love for the mistress and loving duty to wife and children. Often as not these silly men had ended up the losers, their lives ruined by emotional stress and latterly financial straits post divorce, and all because of a moment of madness and wild bout of physical indulgence. She’d sworn, sworn she would never set her eyes at a boss, no matter how dreamy or devastatingly handsome he might be, and now she’d broken that rule.

In Luc’s case it was a little different because he was unmarried and had no children. Fiona was his PA, maybe more, Tori couldn’t be sure. But, and it was a big but, Fiona hadn’t known Tori existed until Paula’s wedding day, and Luc hadn’t known then that Tori Bellamy was still as free as a bird and no partner, but he’d still made a play for her. He hadn’t known then that she was about to become PA to one of his company directors, or had he? She couldn’t be sure on that, because on reflection he hadn’t looked the least bit surprised at seeing her at the airport: in fact, highly amused more like.

Oh God, he’d known, known all along she was free, had known she’d taken this job, and had known that with a bit of love talk en route from the airport and a kiss in the 4x4 he could twist her romantic wrist and get what he’d set out to get that day at Paula’s wedding.

Tori stupid Bellamy, had done it again, fallen in love with Luc Montagne who would break her heart a second time just as surely as he had the first time. God, how she remembered that wonderful ski holiday and the fun they'd had and then, then the romantic entanglement and the disaster no one could have foreseen.

‘Life’s hell,’ she said, turning on the bath taps, thinking: I can’t do it, can’t do what Luc wants. I can’t stay here I really can’t. To be the other woman is just not for me. I’m out of here, as soon as.

  To see contributions by others to this blogfest go here.

If you're inerested in knowing what happens next in the Tori & Luc saga, go here.

Always, if I join a blogfest I make every effort to read all entries, so if I don't get to your blog today I will be there tomorrow: promise!

Quick add-on: I've been having trouble with Google friend follower - it seems to be down at the mo  but I will check it out tomorrow!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Halloween Blog Party! - Join in the Fun.

Oh dear, I think I've had too much witches brew . . . hic!
Oh, and I almost forgot it's N.R's Halloween Party, hic!

I'm late, hic!

Still, it took a little while to secure my sister, hee hee, thereby lessening the competition for my coachman's eyes, whom she has a fancy for, and no amount of witchcraft will get her released before dawn!

Goblins, fairies and broomsticks, what shall I wear?

Ghastly frightening garb to scare the kiddos?
No, red and alluring to tempt their fathers to vices of the night?
Hmmm, I think slinky black catlike velvet. It's by far more in keeping with tonight, for I do have a bit of a hankering for my rough and ready coachman! 

  Will this do the TRICK?

To think I used to get around on a broom just like dear old grandma up there, but I now prefer to travel in style. One never knows who one might meet along the way, especially on All Hallows Eve. After all, we will be driving past Lord Draculon's Castle, and I daresay he'll be out an about seeking the blooded vile of his desire - not a virgin maid safe in bed once his lordship alights upon a chosen bedchamber window sill!

(((((shudders shudders)))))  

 If you wanna lift to the party just send a raven on the wing, though my coachman will challenge you to a trick or two. He's a bit of a dark, rather sinister character, and half-brother to Lord Draculon, so you might experience a chill Bite in the air, and feel a tad light-headed thereafter.

Though he's not half bad when TREATING!

Now all we have to do is find N.R. Williams haunting abode. I've heard it's not unlike a spooky setting out of Lord of The Rings, and has a treacherous road leading to the castle. I believe our host expects her guests to behave with sense of decorum, and I shall try my best to conform to party rules and shall not spend the entire time leading others into temptation.  Well, not all the time, but it is a party! !  

Goodness, we've arrived already, and I do declare there are
 some queer folk loitering at this party.
Sheesh, what a grand nose, my dear, did you tell terrible porkies when young? Oh my, and your friend looks awfully poorly, and by all accounts in need of a wholesome feast.
Clings to coachman's arm.

And Glam guests, of course, thinking up mischief and spells!

Trick or Treat?

Follow my lead

If you Dare!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Tessa's Blogontest - test your skills as a writer!

Tessa's Blurb is hosting an interesting new Blog Hop, in which she challenges us to stretch ourselves and write something outside our norm. There's no rush on this blogontest - Dec 5th is the deadline.

Taking a gamble, I chose YA, which is way out of my comfort zone! Believe me, it was not easy because the MC is male.

You can see it here

Also, why not join this blog hop and test yourself in writing something you've never tackled before. You'll find the link on my story about Hoody

Saturday, 16 October 2010

First Page Blogfest!

This is my contribution to Elle's  " First Page Blogfest".  

The rule: first page of a novel in no more that 250 words!

This is the opening of a romance novel in which the hero has left the love of his life behind in France: the one person he treasures above all else but is unable to be who she wants him to be. She's not his wife, nor his mistress. Can you guess who she might be?

The traffic lights turned red on approach, and although several vehicles back in a long queue of motors he was able to slip his motorbike out of the line and squeeze alongside the lead car.

With steadying foot to floor he was determined to get ahead of the car beside him. Not that he was running late for an appointment. It was a simple case of fate having dealt him an opportune moment to take advantage of two wheels over that of four.

Unfamiliar with the City of Bristol, for the moment he was keeping a lookout for a particular signpost: Cathedral Court. It was that, or get lost.

His last trip to the plush offices of Carlton International by taxi, from the airport, had afforded no real sense of the place, unlike that of getting around the city on two wheels.

Sensing scrutiny from the driver of the car to his left he cast a cursory sideways glance. A woman, a rather strikingly pretty woman with dark hair and catlike green eyes mouthed something. He guessed it to be anything but flattering.

Averting his gaze from the woman and back to the traffic lights, Henrietta Marie came to mind: her raven hair; ice-blue eyes and quirky smile. She'd stayed by the horses, a mere wave, and then looked away as though accepting that he would return, one day, when his wandering days were over.

Why did he keep making promises he couldn’t keep? 

To find out who the love of the hero's life is,  and see the mystery hero go here.

To see the other participants go here.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Hook, Line & Sinker blogfest!

This blogfest is kindly hosted by Justin -  the title speaks for itself! 

Hence this is a snippet from opening (first draft) of a historical sequel novel, literally written today Sunday.  

Loxton House, Somerset 1650:

Elizabeth Mountjoy rose from her seat, sense of rage enveloping. If she did not exit the room immediately she feared she would strike Catherine Thornton a blow to the face, and for the life of her she could not imagine why she had agreed to marry this insufferable woman’s brother.

‘I fear it is time I made my way back to Axebury Hall.’

Her tone markedly deceptive in deliverance of intention surprised herself as much as that of her host, whom she thought of as the most despicable woman she had ever had the misfortune to meet.

‘So soon?’ queried Catherine, a poisonous sweet smile as she rose to her feet. ‘I hope I have not caused undue disquiet in mention of Anna Gantry, but I thought you should know a little of the history associated to Axebury Hall and its occupants.’

Lady Gantry,’ intoned Elizabeth, 'whom I owe much gratitude in providing temporary sanctuary from plague ridden Bristol.’

‘Be that as it may, but Axebury Hall was at one time a Royalist stronghold full of fornicating Cavaliers. It is no wonder Anna became tainted by the likes of those unruly beasts when sleeping within the house and her so young then.’

Elizabeth knew Catherine to be well aware a vindictive comment relating to Anna Lady Gantry would see Miss Mountjoy speedily on her way and, out of the house she herself would soon be mistress of whether Catherine approved or not.

She truly despised the widow standing before her, and couldn’t think why Catherine’s fair skin and dark locks and pretty face had failed to secure her another husband.

‘Are you forgetting Thomas, your brother, was a Cavalier Captain when I first met him? May I remind you I am aware he frequented Axebury Hall, and I do find it distasteful any suggestion he was one of the supposed fornicating band of Royalists you speak of with such disdain.’

Catherine’s face flinched not a jot, her tone full of pious malice. ‘Although he is my brother, I did not approve of his bawdy behaviour when a Cavalier Captain of horse nor his frequenting of gambling dens and doxy houses.’

At the mention of whore houses Elizabeth clenched her hands so tight she feared her fingernails would pierce the fine calf leather of her gloves. ‘Were you not yourself the wife of a Royalist?’

‘A loyal Royalist wife by design not out of love.’

‘You did not love your husband?’

‘No, I did not, for I was betrothed to Morton until he saw fit to disobey his father and declared he was for the Parliamentarian cause.’

For the first time Elizabeth noticed a flaw in the perfected mask of calm indifference essayed by Catherine along with her haughty airs and graces. ‘You . . . You were betrothed to Morton?’ she asked, knowing full well her future sister-in-law was never betrothed to Morton. ‘Then why did you not follow him, if you loved him as much as your countenance implies?’

‘Follow him,’ railed Catherine, ‘how could I, how could I? His father banished him from the estate. He had nothing but the clothes on his back and he ran away to fight for Parliament. You think I the daughter of a staunch Royalist could have held my head up if I had followed him?’

‘If you’d loved him as I love your brother, yes.’ Before Catherine could muster a reply, Elizabeth headed for the door, where she paused to say, ‘I would have followed Thomas to the end of the world if he’d asked me. Luckily he didn’t, and our courtship was fully approved by my father. Even when Thomas switched allegiance from King to Parliament my father accepted the inevitability that Parliament would succeed in ousting the King.’

‘Does a merchant have allegiance to anything but monetary gain, and the bleeding of rich coffers alongside the penny poor?’

Elizabeth opened the door and left in a rush, tears brimming.

One day, one day, she really would find herself unable to desist from striking that hateful woman a severe blow, and what then? What would that do to hers and Thomas’ relationship as man and wife?

She didn’t wait for a manservant or maid to open the main door. She just fled, and ran round to the stable block where her horse was tethered and waiting. A stable hand stepped forward and tightened the slacked off girth, not a word spoken as though he’d sensed her distress. He then proffered cupped hands to aid in her mounting one of Morton’s serene tempered mares, followed by tentative gap-toothed grin when assured she was ready to ride off. She thanked him and rode away pondering her fate in becoming Captain Thomas Thornton’s wife.

How was she to survive at Loxton House alongside that fiendish sister of his?

May God forgive her for thinking murder most foul the simple solution to her problem: beside that of an ultimatum she would be putting to Thomas next time she set eyes upon him. He must choose either her or his sister, for she would rather return to Bristol and die from the plague than live in the same house as that evil woman.

Does it hook, does it keep the line taught, and will Elizabeth land Captain Thornton without his sister?

To see entries by other participants go here.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

At First Sight Blogfest - Hate, Love, Soulmate!

Today's blogfest is hosted by Jacee. To see the other participants go here. 

This snippet is from one of my historical romances.

Brief: The two MCs are soulmates and madly in love but circumstances of war have placed them on opposing sides. 

A runner reached Axebury Hall (Cavalier household) with news that drunken deserters from Waller's army (Parliamentarians) have it in mind to attack the house with intention of rape and pillage. All the female staff have left, and the men gone to the gates to try and prevent assault upon the house. The young lady and her personal maid have set out for Knoll House to raise the alarm and, to try and secure help from a enemy captain of horse, once the love of the young lady's life.

‘We cannot go by way of the bridge. It might be dangerous if those deserters are already at the gates,’ declared Anna Lady Maitcliffe, and so they set off toward the church. ‘We shall have to go up the valley a little way and across the fields to the woods, and thence to Knoll House.’

‘Yes m ‘lady,’ said Tilly, sounding as nervous as Anna felt.

‘The lantern Tilly, we must leave it behind. It’s too dangerous to show even a speck of light with the enemy at the gates.’

Tilly stopped, opened the lantern window and blew out the candle, and then left it safely beside the church gate in passing.

They stumbled, they fell, but onward they went all the while eyes adjusting to night vision, and on one occasion almost screamed when a deer crashed across the path directly in front of them.

Tilly whispered, ‘I cannot hear a battle. No men shouting, not a sound.’

‘Nor me,’ said Anna, as they finally reached the woodland path. ‘Let us hope the deserters were ale hearty and drank more than was good for them.’

‘Drunken sops m’lady, is that what you is hoping of them?’

‘Indeed Tilly, I am hoping that.’

They rambled on making good time according to the clock striking out across the valley, and by one of the clock had reached Axebury Wood, where they stopped to get breath and to listen for any sound of enemy soldiers within the woodland. By half-past three of Knoll clock they were through the meadows, past the village and began their ascent up Knoll Hill, but with no moon it was doubly difficult and painful on occasion of their tangling with brambles. By four they had reached the end of the spinney at Knoll House boundary, and as they came up the side of the spinney a man’s voice said, ‘And where do you think you two is going my little maids?’

Tilly clung to Anna’s arm, and in reply to a man sitting on the ground, said in her sharp tongue, ‘Who be asking?’

The man rose to his feet towering above them, a blanket falling to the ground and shiny breastplate evident as he blocked their path. ‘I’ll be asking the questions around yer. Now, who be you and what you wanting yer?’

Anna stepped in with, ‘I’m here to see Morton Gantry, Captain Gantry.’

‘And you are,’ he asked, tone surly.

‘Anna Lady Maitcliffe.’

He chuckled, spat tobacco from his mouth, said, ‘That’ll be me then.’

‘Shut your silly mouth,’ said Tilly, ‘and let us pass.’

‘It is important we see Captain Gantry immediate,’ stressed Anna, concerned for the men at the gates of Axebury Hall. ‘Deserters from Waller’s forces were seen in Axebury village alehouse and heard threatening to ransack Axebury Hall and kill its occupants.’

‘You from there are yer?’ he asked, turning to gather something from the ground.

‘We are, and I must see Morton straight away.’

‘Deserters you say?’

Yes,’ yelled Tilly, ‘now either let us pass or go tell the cap ‘n yerself.’

At that outburst from her and her brave stance, the soldier held a musket aloft and fired it skyward.

Tilly screamed hands to ears, her former bravado to flight.

A short while after the bell over the coach house then began to ring out.

Knoll House was on alert, and by the time they reached the house soldiers were assembled out front and horses being readied. Morton appeared almost the very instant a young soldier stepped forward to accost Anna and Tilly, as they in turn hurried to the front entrance.

Halted by the young soldier Tilly stepped between to protect Anna,

‘Anna, what has happened?’ enquired Morton, dashing forward.

‘Roundheads sir,’ said Tilly, stepping aside along with the surly young soldier, as both allowed Morton access to Anna. ‘They be attacking Axebury Hall, or at least we thinks they is. That’s what they said in village alehouse, and was looking to rape us women and to kill your father who ain't there a course’

‘My men are all here,’ rallied Morton, sounding defensive of his troopers.

‘Deserters Morton, from Waller’s forces,’ informed Anna, glancing at the sleeve of his previously injured arm. ‘Can your men not go and stop them?’

He saw her eyes fallen upon his arm, and he turned about as though preferring no recollection of her former kindness and shouted, ‘Mount up men, we have deserters hereabouts and,  arms and ammunition to be rested from their hold.’

Anna lightly touched his shoulder. ‘Are you well enough, Morton, to go with your men?’

‘I’m well Anna, and all thanks to you the arm is as good as new.’

A warm feeling embraced her, his hand clasping hers so natural and comforting as he briskly led off back toward the main doorway at Knoll House. He ushered her inside, Tilly on their heels.

‘You were right to come here, Anna, and I will leave guards outside the house, and know that men are in and around the grounds, so you are quite safe here.’

In the hallway, its oak panelling and oak staircase dark and sombre beneath candlelight, Morton drew to a halt and turned to face Anna.

In his sky-blue eyes she saw love, untainted love, and it tore at her heartstrings because something in his manner expressed knowledge of her betrothal, betrothal to his father.

‘Morton, I am so . . .’

He placed a finger to her lips, as though unable to bear hearing her excuses.

‘The Lady Georgina will be roused by now, and I shall leave you in her care.'

The pause that followed seemed an eternity of eyes locked with longing, hearts pounding in unison and each knowing the awful truth, and it was all too late. Then he broke the moment.

'The sooner I go the sooner I shall return.’ He drew her hand to his lips and kissed her fingers. ‘Let us hope I am not too late, and Axebury Hall razed to the ground by fire.’

‘Oh no, not that,’ she said, ‘cook bolted herself in the kitchens.’

‘I shall check on cook first chance I get, I promise.’

He stepped round her, reached for his sword and pistols and helmet left lain on a chest and strode out through the main doorway. She ran to the doorway, and there stood and watched him as he made ready for battle and then mounted his horse. As he rode off he glanced back as though sensing her there. She waved, he waved, and she feared for his life.

She loved Morton, had never stopped loving him.

Oh god, what had she done, what had she done to be so emotionally tormented by father and son?


There's another blogfest today hosted by Erica & Christy.

To see my entry and link to other participants go here

Monday, 4 October 2010

In Loving Memory - Poetic Leanings!

In comments re my entry for "They're People Too" I said I would post up a special poem this week:

My husband, who used to be based in London, happened to be walking through Hyde Park and felt as though the ghosts of the horses killed - by an IRA bomb blast in London see news item - were walking alongside him.
Needless to say the Blues & Royals of the Queen's Royal Household Cavalry were on ceremonial duty at the time of the bomb blast. Bear in mind the horses are Irish Draught x Thoroughbred bloodstock.

Hyde Park

All Ireland hang your head in shame , We horses here were not to blame

Our blood it came from both your lands, Our mouths were held by gentle hands

No soldiers these upon our backs, But loving men who cleaned our tack

Our hooves will never ring the ground, We never heard a battle sound

I hope our deaths will make you pause, For the land you seek was always yours...


( walking in Hyde Park)

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Bad News Blogfest - Directly Below: They're People Too blogfest!

This is my contribution to the Bad News Blogfest - it's a snippet from my novel Unbidden Billionaire Legacy! 

Brief: This scene kicks off the next morning after Tara received a telephone call asking her “Where in hell is Rick?” She had presumed him arrived at his destination in South America. The phone call itself although disturbing and distressing, far worse is yet to come.

By eight Giorgio was the first guest to surface in the sitting room. ‘Any news?’

She felt numb and lacking in emotion. ‘I wish.’

She noted the casual way he draped his jacket over the arm of the chair, and the swivel of his hips before sinking his backside into the plush cushion seat. Liza was right. He was the epitome of elegant debonair man about town with hint of darker side yet to be revealed. His suit was dark grey, almost black, his Sicilian heritage more than evident in suntanned olive skin and dark eyes.

Oh yes, he was a handsome young individual and he knew it.

His eyes met hers and she saw ally not opponent as Liza had suggested might be the case. There was empathy reflected in his dark sultry Mediterranean eyes, unlike on the previous evening when he and Liza had embarked on a sparring match. His eyes then, had given the impression that if asked, he’d kill to keep Trans Europa Shipping under the Easterly flag, despite his name that of Giorgio Denaro: his mother Darrell Easterly’s sister, his father a Sicilian businessman.

‘Miss Tara,’ said Beattie, entering in haste waving a newspaper. ‘You better see this. It bad news.’

Tara leapt to her feet and took hold of the newspaper. The front-page headline said it all: Ricky Lindon Missing. The sub heading: Air Crash in South America and the article said: Yesterday morning rumors of a missing aircraft hit the airwaves, and coastguards and air sea rescue crews were scrambled. The golden boy of Hollywood failed to turn up on location for his latest movie some six days ago. Although hopes were raised late yesterday evening when a spotter plane reported a crash site on a remote beach, the crew saw no sign of life in or around the wreckage. This morning the aircraft was confirmed to be that of Ricky Lindon’s Learjet.

She felt sick.

She read on aloud: An air rescue team reached the remote crash site early this morning, and reported the largest section of the Learjet’s fuselage was partially submerged. It’s been confirmed there are no survivors.

She couldn’t bear to read more. ‘Yes, but it’s a week since he left. What if someone else has rescued him? A boat perhaps . . . sailing past. Fishermen? I don’t know, someone . . . some how.  It’s possible, isn’t it?’

Oh god, she was clutching at straws, but she couldn’t give up on him. Heart pounding her stomach tightened, and bile rose in her throat.

The silence of the room was a deafening void.
She hardly felt Giorgio easing the newspaper from her hands.

Beattie meantime wrapped arms around in a motherly way, and tears could not be held back.

As soon as Liza and Max entered they feared the worst, and Giorgio handed the paper to Liza. Max leaned over her shoulder as both absorbed the reality of what had happened.

Liza was first to speak. ‘Oh Tara, Tara. I am so sorry.’

She needed time to think, to seek sanctuary in her own room. If she didn't she'd scream, every ounce of strength and self-restraint fast diminishing.

What had happened?

CNN would surely be reporting the latest on Rick’s crash. ‘Give me a minute or two, Giorgio, and then we’ll go through your proposal thoroughly.’ She turned to leave, addressed herself to Liza. ‘Can you go through those pointers I mentioned yesterday, and let Giorgio have the file to read through.'

Thankfully no one tried to dissuade her from leaving, and the room fell silent as she made her exit. It wouldn’t stay that way once she was out of earshot. Always at times like these she knew hushed whispers became the norm.

As soon as she stepped inside her room she cried her grief, sobbed her hurt and despaired the longing. She felt empty and lost without him, but she had to know for sure that he wouldn't be coming back, and had to know why his plane had crashed.

Was he too tired to fly that distance, after  . . .?  Oh God, why had he left in the way that he had?

She switched on the television.

What have I done, what have I done? Oh God, that we should be so cruelly torn apart like this.
I can't, can't go on without him.

Of course, Tara does go on without him but events that follow take her (she thinks) to the brink of insanity, until the night of a masked ball (held in her honour) when truth becomes stranger than fiction. Suddenly feeling as though caught up in some bizarre Cinderella set and that of reverse role play,  she then finds herself the heroine in a Beauty and the Beast scenario.  Oh how I love writing romance and putting heroes and heroines through emotional hell. ;)

To see the other participants for this blogfest go here

Directly below this post is my contribution to Tessa Conte's "They're People Too" blogfest, so please check it out and the other participants.

Friday, 1 October 2010

My entry for "They're People Too" blogfest!

Many thanks to Tessa Conte for hosting this blogfest. I think it's probably the most difficult one to date.
I really had to put my brain into gear for this:

Through ages past we danced our life from seed to journey’s end.

WE shimmied in carpets green and gold and watched through rainbow arches. WE flounced in drifts of blue and white, oft spied beneath some wooded bough. Yet, no other it would seem as wild in dance and blaze of glory.

Why then that WE, are the chosen symbol of death, of grieving, and remembrance?

A rippling breeze, a howling gale, wind-ravaged, wet and ragged, and still we stand on spidered green. Yet, for all the whispering and singing of the grasses, and leaves all hollering from the trees, none of that can temper our vibrancy.

Why then that WE, are the chosen symbol of death, of grieving, and remembrance?

Adrift in canorous water-filled holes, fluttering through bared bones and twisted metal, we've see the lifeless souls depart, from the barbarous sins of wars and wants. Yet, still we remain, in annihilations waste, beacons all aflame.

So perhaps, most blessed then are WE, the immodest among our species, who represent death, grieving, and remembrance. For when our garish scarlet hue stands proud upon lapels, WE are the symbol of the fallen.

For battlefields and oceans deep, are a hellish place to die.

Francine Howarth

To read the other entries go here.