Saturday, 4 June 2016

Skyjacked - Book 1 of the Corvus Ranger series ~ Sci-fi fantasy ~ NEW Release ~ Debut

Excited ~ Guess what arrived today?
'Skyjacked' novel by Shirley Golden, a debut author with Urbane Publications. I can't wait to get stuck in. :o)
Separated from his son, only a galaxy stands between him and home... The year is 2154, and Corvus Ranger, a space pilot and captain of the Soliton, embarks on a penal run to Jupiter's prison moon, Europa. It should be another routine drop, but a motley band of escaped convicts have other ideas. When Soliton is hijacked, Corvus is forced to set a new destination, one which is far from Earth and his son. Unable to fight (or smooth talk) his way to freedom, Corvus finds himself tied to the plans of the escapees, including their leader Isidore and a gifted young boy who seems to possess strange abilities. Desperate to return to Earth and the son he left behind, Corvus is thrown into the ultimate adventure, a star-strewn odyssey where the greatest enemy in the universe may very well be himself.
Amazon U.K HERE
When I opened this book and read my name in the acknowledgements, I was blown away. Honestly, I just sat back on the sofa speechless. What a beautiful thing to do for someone. It really touched my heart. I only know Shirley through cyber chatting, where we supported each other in the early part of the debut author journey. So I wanted to say thank you and make this blog post for her. This book will be treasured for eternity. <3 nbsp="" p="">
If you can, please show Shirley some support on this journey. It takes an extreme amount of hard work and guts to get a book 'out there'. Thank you so much.
You can find Shirley on Twitter @shirl1001
Website HERE
Urbane Publications HERE
Right, I'm off to escape inside a great book. :o) 
Love and light,

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Trysting Tree ~ Folklore

Many a romantic story features trysting trees, including the tales of Robin Hood and his merry men. In the 1845 version of the story, Maid Marion and Robin Hood are buried together under their 'Trysting Tree.' Scott's Ivanhoe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The White Company make several references to trysting trees.
Tom Cadrin.jpg
And named a trysting day,
And bade his messengers ride forth
East and west and south and north,
To summon his array.
~ A poem by Macaulay.
In Sir Walter Scott's Waverley the large decaying trunk of a Trysting tree lies on Tully-Veolan moor and is still used as a meeting place.
Old Photograph The Covin Trysting Tree Bemersyde Melrose Scotland
Trysting trees are trees of any species which have, through their individual prominence, appearance, or position, been chosen as traditional or popular meeting places for meetings for specific purposes. Names, dates, and symbols are sometimes found carved on the bark, favouring trees with smoother bark, such as beech, hornbeam and sycamore.
Many other forms of landscape features have served as trysting places, such as the Lochmaben Stone on the border of Scotland and England. It was a well known, well recognised and easily located 'marker' on the Scottish Marches and where a number of functions were performed prior to the Union of the Crowns, such arranging truces, exchanging prisoners, etc.
Smaller Lochmaben Stone (Clochmabenstane or Old Graitney) (Standing Stone or Menhir).
A 'tryst' is a time and a place for a meeting, especially of lovers. In Old French the word meant an appointed station in hunting. It is likely from an Old Norse source sharing its origin with 'traust', and the Modern English 'trust' (and thus also related to the Old English 'treowe' which survives as the modern 'true'). A trysting day is an arranged day of meeting or assembling, as of soldiers, friends, lovers and the like.
There is a trysting tree to the memory of Robin Hood, situated in the small wood just off the left-hand side of Kiveton Lane on the south exit of Todwick in South Yorkshire. The "venerable oak" was stated as "great trysting tree in the Hart-hill Walk" which was, in earlier times, a private road owned and maintained by the Dukes of Leeds, and now forms that part of Kiveton Lane between the Rectory glebe land and Kiveton.
On the sandy heath of Barnhamcross Common in East Anglie used to be a pine tree about which curious customs have gathered. Called variously the Trysting Pine, Kissing Tree or Wishing Tree, the trunk had twisted and curled itself into a loop not far from the ground. One tradition said that a person had to pull off or knock down a single fir cone, hold it in the right hand, place one's head through the loop and make a wish. Another version told that couples must hold hands through the loop, then kiss and pledge undying love, hoping the tree would bind them to it with its magic.
Robert Burns writes of a trysting thorn tree (see below) at the Mill of Mannoch at Coylton in South Ayrshire. A new hawthorn tree was planted on the site and iron railings placed around it. This tree still survives (2012).
The Millmannoch Trysting Tree
The National Burns Collection holds a cross section of thorn wood from a tree which grew at the Mill of Mannoch, Coylton, Ayrshire which was said to be Robert Burns' "trysting thorn", a romantic meeting place.
One polished surface of the thorn wood reads:

"At length I reached the bonnie glen,
Where early life I sported,
I pass'd the mill and trysting thorn,
Where Nancy aft I courted"
The 'Kissing Beech' is located at Kilravock Castle, Inverness-shire. This ancient 'layering' beech took its name from an occasion when a member of the local laird's family was caught in the middle of a kiss with a maid under the tree's canopy. It carries the names of many pairs of lovers and symbols of their devotion inscribed in its venerable expanse of smooth bark.
Source HERE
The 'Great Fraser Yew' may be as much as 700 years old and once served as the rallying point of the Clan Fraser members in times of trouble.
Great Fraser Yew
Kelso, in the Scottish Borders has a 'trysting tree' which is connected with the annual Common Ridings.
The locally famous trysting place of the 'Three Thorns of Carlinwalk', this being an old name for Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway, are recorded in the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland.
Winston Howes, 70, spent a week planting each oak sapling in Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, after his wife of 33 years Janet died. The farmer planted thousands of oak saplings in a six-acre  field – but left a heart-shaped  area in the middle, with the  point facing towards his wife’s childhood home.
Josephine Wall.
The Trysting Tree at Oregon State University, in the USA, is a large Gray Poplar (Populus × canescens) located southeast of Benton Hall, and was a popular gathering spot on campus. According to one story, George Coote, a faculty member in Horticulture, planted the tree between 1880 and 1885. An early alumnus claimed that the Trysting Tree was so named because of its "magical effects on students, especially in springtime". The tree's popularity was such that the Board of Regents felt obliged to place two arc lights on the cupola of Benton Hall (then the administration building) "to keep the tree from being overworked". On September 27, 1987, the original Trysting Tree was cut down because of advanced disease in its trunk and limbs. Prior to its removal, Jack Stang (Department of Horticulture) took several cuttings from the tree and rooted them. One these "off shoots" (Trysting Tree II) was planted in 1982 near the original tree.
A poem, published in 1908, entitled The Trysting Tree, begins:
Beneath the faithful Trysting Tree,
A youth and maiden stand:
The youth, a noble lad is he,
Who claps the fair white hand;
The light that fills those earnest eyes,
Who can understand?
Its final lines are:
Long may'st thou live, thou worthy friend
Thou dear old Trysting Tree
Long may thy branches proudly wave
Majestic'ly and free
To mind us of those happy days
Spent at old O. A. C.*
More lore HERE
Gwynne estate and cottage
What would your choice of trysting tree be?
This would be the trysting tree of my choice, in Calageata. :o) 
It would be like a larger form of Hawthorn. Flowering as a Jacaranda/Blossom/Willow.
Photograph Cherry blossoms at night by Noriko Tabuchi on 500px.
Love and light,

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

A Character's growth ~ Tommy Collins

Piles of notes that need to be typed up lay around me as I procrastinate on Pinterest boards, Youtube, Twitter, FB, and daydream different scenes, as writers do. So, on that note, I thought why not create a blog post to continue the procrastination. *Winks* ;o)
Tommy Collins (O'Coileain) ~
This character has come a long way since the first book. He has refused to remain in a minor role and has grown tremendously while writing book two. Obviously, I can't give anything away, but I wanted to share a few video's / images that relate to this rather strong willed character. I've actually grown to adore Tommy's part in the story,  appreciating his complexities.
For those of you who have read book one, 'A Carpet of Purple Flowers', you'll know that he had a close connection with an important book character. Some of the songs, further down the page, relate to their story/relationship.
Tommy was brought up the 'old skool' way, rough and ready. He's a South London villain with a traveller background, but at the core, has a good heart. He's been in some dodgy scrapes and since associating with Brandon his illegal activities have moved up a level.
He loves Trilby hats, especially one in particular which used to be his dad's. 
Another favourite item, 'Heartbreaker', a gun. Much needed in his world.
He also has a fondness for 'Sherbet Pip' sweets,
...and Guinness ~ An Irish dry stout
A Carpet of Purple Flowers has many different types of characters, each with stories to tell. Some are painful, some happy, and every one of them has imperfections. Gentle or rough, messed up or holding it together, their flaws make them who they are and ultimately define their choices. Are any truly good or bad? Sometimes it's hard to draw a clear line differentiating the two.
Tommy and Brandon when kids ~ old loyalties. 

An excerpt from the first manuscript that was removed from book ~ unedited 
The Landlord's Daughter 
The night before Bea's uncle died. Roxy, Leanne’s friend, showed up in the early hours of the morning creating havoc by persistently banging on the shop door. Bea rushed down the stairs thinking Brandon was in some sort of trouble, again, but to her surprise, she found Roxy swaying on the doorstep, drunk.
“You’d best get down to the Castle. Brandon took a girl back with him from the Red Lion.”
Bea felt sick at the revelation, and the rest of Roxy’s words became a distant hum. She didn’t want to leave her uncle to check out Roxy’s drunken spill, but after all the rumours, she had to put her mind at rest.
When she arrived at Brandon’s pub, The Mitcham Castle, a young lad called Jerry let her in. Tommy, Brandon’s right-hand man, ran up the stairs after her. “Bea love, please don’t go up there. Come, let me take yah ‘ome.” He had insisted.
It was then that she knew Roxy was speaking the truth. She pushed past Tommy bursting the bedroom door open. Her stomach turned at recalling the memory. 
Brandon’s head twisted round towards the door. “Shit.” He grunted as he lay naked on top of a pretty blonde. Bea instantly recognised the woman’s face. It was Rosie, one of the old landlord’s daughters. She knew that Brandon had been spiralling out of control, but she never thought that he would betray her, not like this, not now. “How could you?” she yelled. Her emotions became a jumbled mess of confusion. 
Brandon threw the sheet over Rosie, jumped from the bed, and started searching for his pants while yelling at Tommy. He needed someone to blame other than himself, as always. Bea ran as fast as she could from the pub and him.
The next thing she knew he was kerb-crawling the roadside, beside her. She ignored him, but on reaching the shop, he scrambled out of the car, still high from whatever he took earlier and begged her to listen. Bea pulled away opening the door, but when she tried to close it, he stuck his foot out, jarring it. 
“Move your foot, Brandon. Now!”
“Hear me out, please, babe.”
 His explanation involved, You were going through so much. I didn’t want to pester you. I don’t love her, it was only sex. Needless to say, his poor excuse given for his betrayal as her uncle lay dying fell on deaf ears.
The little tinkle of the shop’s bell broke Bea away from the past. Her heart panged as Leanne approached. She knew that Brandon’s behaviour had nothing to do with his little sister, but only seconds ago she was reliving the pain that he had so carelessly delivered, and seeing Leanne again only heightened the feelings of resentment.  Bea took a deep breath, trying to lay the memories to rest on exhaling.
“Hi, Bea.” Leanne gave her a warm, but cautious smile.
“Hi, birthday girl. It’s good to see you. How does it feel to officially be an adult?”
Leanne shrugged, “No different to yesterday.”
Bea knew Leanne could feel her awkwardness, it was written all over her gentle face. Slowly, Leanne reached out and held Bea’s hand. “I know my brother hurt you, and I should’ve popped in after you broke up…I’m sorry. I didn't want to be in the middle...I wanted you to know that Brandon isn’t around much these days anyway.” She paused and smiled. “So please come tonight. I’d really like you to be there.”
Bea gulped. “Course I will.” 
A big grin appeared upon Leanne’s face and she hugged Bea in excitement. “I’ll see you tonight then? With Liza?”
Bea nodded. Guess the excuse I was planning to give Liza later has just been kissed goodbye. 

Books One and Two Character Playlist HERE

Warning: Explicit Lyrics in song/video below.

Tommy's Pinterest Board HERE

Love and light,