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IT is quintessentially English – and yet the scone is something the country as a whole simply can’t agree about.
So, is it Scone (sc-own) for you, or Scon? I know that it’s always been a Scone for me and my family.
Living in Devon, as I do, it’s always clotted cream on first, followed by a huge dollop of strawberry jam. And that is how it is. Unless, of course, you live or come from Cornwall. Then, it’s jam on first, followed by cream.
Is it that important?
It’s not just the argument about whether to spread the cream or jam first. Now, there’s an even more contentious question – how to pronounce the word scone.
If one isn’t from a posh background, it seems to be scone (sc-own)! If one is posh, it’s definitely scon; as in gone! Where a person is from, or their social standing, also determines how we pronounce our English scone. So, which is it for you?
Thank you for dropping by today. Before you go off for a Cream Tea, buy my books! Amazon Author page
At 40, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who never married and had no children, was walking through a park one day in Berlin when he met a girl who was crying because she had lost her favourite doll. She and Kafka searched for the doll unsuccessfully.
Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would come back to look for her.
The next day, when they had not yet found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter “written” by the doll saying “please don’t cry. I took a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.”
Thus began a story which continued until the end of Kafka’s life.
During their meetings, Kafka read the letters of the doll carefully written with adventures and conversations that the girl found adorable.
Finally, Kafka brought back the doll (he bought one) that had returned to Berlin.
“It doesn’t look like my doll at all,” said the girl.
Kafka handed her another letter in which the doll wrote: “my travels have changed me.” The little girl hugged the new doll and brought the doll with her to her happy home.
A year later Kafka died.
Many years later, the now-adult girl found a letter inside the doll. In the tiny letter signed by Kafka it was written:
“Everything you love will probably be lost, but in the end, love will return in another way.”
Embrace change. It’s inevitable for growth. Together we can shift pain into wonder and love, but it is up to us to consciously and intentionally create that connection.
If You Liked what You Saw Today ~ Please share to family and friends! Thank you.
So what does a poinsettia have to do with Christmas? One interpretation of the plant is as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem, the heavenly body that led the three magi, or wise men, to the place where Christ was born.
A Mexican legend tells of a girl who could only offer weeds as a gift to Jesus on Christmas Eve. When she brought the weeds into a church, they blossomed into the beautiful red plants we know as poinsettias, known as Flores de Noche Buena in Mexico (Spanish for “flowers of the holy night”).
My daughter recently bought me a Poinsettia… not sure how long mine will last.
There are certain warning signs in nature that may be easy to miss, at least at first. J-Shaped trees are a potential sign of dangerous landslide activity in the area. These trees signify that a landslide is on the way. How do they signify this? Well, before a landslide is fully triggered, the ground begins to shift. As the ground shifts, these trees begin to bow from the movement. If you see trees beginning to bend into a J-shape, it’s time to move!
You might consider yourself a very rational person, but then something as simple as a calendar date or a number makes you feel differently about things. You might think twice about boarding a plane on Friday 13th or taking a flight number 13. I once worked with a fella who was so superstitious he stayed in bed all day…apart from a quick dash to the loo for a pee. Every Friday 13th, I think of Roger; wondering if (a) he’s still alive and (b) if he is (alive) would he be in his pj’s snugly tucked up under the duvet covers. Probably!
I avoid walking beneath ladders whatever the date. Simply because I would feel stupid if a pot of paint fell on my head. Or worse, if heavy scaffolding knocked me out cold on the pavement. Otherwise, no I’m not at all superstitious.
Some people, like my work colleague of yonks ago, Roger, are really scared of the date. He booked every Friday 13th off as holiday in the Office Diary. We were all – well some of us more than others – (well, yes moi especially) made many attempts to book the 13th off before Roger could get his hands on the new diary. You guessed it, it was never going to happen! We (I) tried ringing him on his house phone in an attempt to get him out of bed to answer it. No chance of that either. He confessed once that he always pulled the phone cord from its socket just to make certain it didn’t ring downstairs in his hallway. Had it all covered, did our Roger. A pinned notice on his front door ensured parcels were redelivered the next day.
Such fear has a rather long name: ‘Paraskavedekatriaphobia’ now try and pronounce that after a couple of G & T’s.
Why are we so scared of it?
‘Tis said that the fear is likely rooted to Christianity. Jesus was crucified on the cross on a Friday 13th and ever since, the day has been associated with ‘general ill omen,’ according to Michael Bailey, a history professor at Iowa State University who specialises in the origins of superstitions.
Weddings in the Middle Ages, for instance, were not held on Fridays and it was not a day someone would start a journey. Thinking about that for a moment, I always liked to travel midweek on a Wednesday. Maybe I have hidden superstitions, after all.
Thirteen guests are believed to have attended the Last Supper, the night before Jesus was killed. And, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, is considered to have been the 13th guest.
Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, through later folk traditions, has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world. Valentine’s Day 1909 Valentine’s card. Also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine observed by people in many countries.
There are a number of martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including an account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century. According to an early tradition, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer. Numerous later additions to the legend have better related it to the theme of love: an 18th-century embellishment to the legend claims he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution; another tradition posits that Saint Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry.
There is a tradition that the Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269. The feast is found in the Gelasian Sacramentary (which was compiled after Gelasius), meaning that is has been observed since at least the eighth century. The day became associated with romantic love in the 14th and 15th centuries when notions of courtly love flourished, apparently by association with the “lovebirds” of early spring. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In Italy, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”, as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine’s Malady).
Saint Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday in any country, although it is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church.
Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred in 269 and was added to the calendar of saints by Pope Gelasius I in 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The relics of Saint Valentine were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which “remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St. Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV“. The flower-crowned skull of Saint Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. Other relics are found at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.
Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (now Terni, in central Italy) and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian in 273. He is buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location from Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino). Professor Jack B. Oruch of the University of Kansas notes that “abstracts of the acts of the two saints were in nearly every church and monastery of Europe. The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him. A relic claimed to be Saint Valentine of Terni’s head was preserved in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester, and venerated.
J.C. Cooper, in The Dictionary of Christianity, writes that Saint Valentine was “a priest of Rome who was imprisoned for succouring persecuted Christians. Contemporary records of Saint Valentine were most probably destroyed during this Diocletianic Persecution in the early 4th century. In the 5th or 6th century, a work called Passio Marii et Marthae published a story of martyrdom for Saint Valentine of Rome, perhaps by borrowing tortures that happened to other saints, as was usual in the literature of that period. The same events are also found in Bede’s Martyrology, which was compiled in the 8th century. It states that Saint Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman EmperorClaudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer Asterius. The jailer’s daughter and his forty-six member household (family members and servants) came to believe in Jesus and were baptized.
A later Passio repeated the legend, adding that Pope Julius I built a church over his sepulchre (it is a confusion with a 4th-century tribune called Valentino who donated land to build a church at a time when Julius was a Pope). The legend was picked up as fact by later martyrologies, starting with Bede‘s martyrology in the 8th century. It was repeated in the 13th century, in The Golden Legend.
There is an additional embellishment to The Golden Legend, which according to Henry Ansgar Kelly, was added in the 18th century and widely repeated. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he is supposed to have written the first “valentine” card himself, addressed to the daughter of his jailer Asterius, who was no longer blind, signing as “Your Valentine.” The expression “From your Valentine” was later adopted by modern Valentine letters. This legend has been published by both American Greetings and The History Channel.
John Foxe, an English historian, as well as the Order of Carmelites, state that Saint Valentine was buried in the Church of Praxedes in Rome, located near the cemetery of Saint Hippolytus. This order says that according to legend, “Julia herself planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.
Another embellishment suggests that Saint Valentine performed clandestine Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. The Roman Emperor Claudius II supposedly forbade this in order to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. However, George Monger writes that this marriage ban was never issued and that Claudius II told his soldiers to take two or three women for themselves after his victory over the Goths.
According to legend, in order “to remind these men of their vows and God’s love, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment”, giving them to these soldiers and persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine’s Day.
Saint Valentine supposedly wore a purple amethyst ring, customarily worn on the hands of Christian bishops with an image of Cupid engraved in it, a recognizable symbol associated with love that was legal under the Roman Empire; Roman soldiers would recognize the ring and ask him to perform marriage for them. Probably due to the association with Saint Valentine, amethyst has become the birthstone of February, which is thought to attract love.
While the European folk traditions connected with Saint Valentine and St. Valentine’s Day have become marginalized by modern customs connecting the day with romantic love, there are still some connections with the advent of spring.
While the custom of sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated in the UK, Valentine’s Day still remains connected with various regional customs in England. In Norfolk, a character called ‘Jack’ Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many children were scared of this mystical person.
In Slovenia, Saint Valentine or Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. A proverb says that “Saint Valentine brings the keys of roots”. Plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day. Another proverb says “Valentin – prvi spomladin” (“Valentine – the first spring saint”), as in some places (especially White Carniola), Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring. Valentine’s Day has only recently been celebrated as the day of love. The day of love was traditionally March 12, the Saint Gregory‘s day, or February 22, Saint Vincent’s Day. The patron of love was Saint Anthony, whose day has been celebrated on June 13.
Connection with romantic love
Possible ancient origins
No evidence has been demonstrated to link St. Valentine’s Day and the rites of the ancient Roman purification festival of Lupercalia, despite persistent and sometimes detailed claims by many authors to the contrary, nor to any otherwise unspecified Greco-Roman holiday supposed to have celebrated love or fertility. The celebration of Saint Valentine is not known to have had any romantic connotations until Chaucer‘s poetry about “Valentine’s Day” in the 14th century, some seven hundred years after celebration of Lupercalia is believed to have ceased.
In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia was observed February 13–15. It was a rite connected to purification and health, and had only slight connection to fertility (as a part of health) and none to love. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning “Juno the purifier” or “the chaste Juno”, was celebrated on February 13–14. Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia. Some researchers have theorized that Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with the celebration of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and claim a connection to the 14th century’s connotations of romantic love, but there is no historical indication that he ever intended such a thing. Also, the dates do not fit because at the time of Gelasius I, the feast was only celebrated in Jerusalem, and it was on February 14 only because Jerusalem placed the Nativity of Jesus (Christmas) on January 6. Although it was called “Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, it also dealt with the presentation of Jesus at the temple. Jerusalem’s Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary on February 14 became the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple on February 2 as it was introduced to Rome and other places in the sixth century, after Gelasius I’s time.
Alban Butler in his The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints (1756–1759) claimed without proof that men and women in Lupercalia drew names from a jar to make couples, and that modern Valentine’s letters originated from this custom. In reality, this practice originated in the Middle Ages, with no link to Lupercalia, with men drawing the names of girls at random to couple with them. This custom was combated by priests, for example by Frances de Sales around 1600, apparently by replacing it with a religious custom of girls drawing the names of apostles from the altar. However, this religious custom is recorded as soon as the 13th century in the life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, so it could have a different origin.
“For this was on seynt Valentynes day Whan every foul cometh there to chese his make Of every kynde that men thynke may And that so huge a noyse gan they make That erthe, and eyr, and tre, and every lake So ful was, that unethe was there space For me to stonde, so ful was al the place.”
In modern English:
“For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day When every bird comes there to choose his match Of every kind that men may think of And that so huge a noise they began to make That earth and air and tree and every lake Was so full, that not easily was there space For me to stand—so full was all the place.”
Readers have uncritically assumed that Chaucer was referring to February 14 as Valentine’s Day. Henry Ansgar Kelly has observed that Chaucer might have had in mind the feast day of St. Valentine of Genoa, an early bishop of Genoa who died around AD 307; it was probably celebrated on 3 May. A treaty providing for Richard II and Anne’s marriage, the subject of the poem, was signed on May 2, 1381.
Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls refers to a supposedly established tradition, but there is no record of such a tradition before Chaucer. The speculative derivation of sentimental customs from the distant past began with 18th-century antiquaries, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler’s Lives of Saints, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars. Most notably, “the idea that Valentine’s Day customs perpetuated those of the Roman Lupercalia has been accepted uncritically and repeated, in various forms, up to the present”.
Three other authors who made poems about birds mating on St. Valentine’s Day around the same years: Otton de Grandson from Savoy, John Gower from England, and a knight called Pardo from Valencia. Chaucer most probably predated all of them; but due to the difficulty of dating medieval works, it is not possible to ascertain which of the four may have influenced the others.
Court of love
The earliest description of February 14 as an annual celebration of love appears in the Charter of the Court of Love. The charter, allegedly issued by Charles VI of France at Mantes-la-Jolie in 1400, describes lavish festivities to be attended by several members of the royal court, including a feast, amorous song and poetry competitions, jousting and dancing. Amid these festivities, the attending ladies would hear and rule on disputes from lovers. No other record of the court exists, and none of those named in the charter were present at Mantes except Charles’s queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, who may well have imagined it all while waiting out a plague.
“To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine. Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes, And dupp’d the chamber-door; Let in the maid, that out a maid Never departed more.”— William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5
All the Ayre is thy Diocese And all the chirping Queristers And other birds ar thy parishioners Thou marryest every yeare The Lyrick Lark, and the graue whispering Doue, The Sparrow that neglects his life for loue, The houshold bird with the redd stomacher Thou makst the Blackbird speede as soone, As doth the Goldfinch, or the Halcyon The Husband Cock lookes out and soone is spedd And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed. This day more cheerfully than ever shine
This day which might inflame thy selfe old Valentine.”— John Donne, Epithalamion Vpon Frederick Count Palatine and the Lady Elizabeth marryed on St. Valentines day
International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000.
She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support each other.
Lizzie books are full of friendship and laughter, about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise.
She lives with her family on the coast in Esssex.
The Woman Who Felt Invisible (now downloaded to my Kindle) is currently only 99p
A gorgeous romantic story of love and new beginnings. Learning to love herself and be content on her own is the first step. But will Olivia be able to leave her past behind, follow her heart and find lasting happiness?
A book full of humour, romance, and tear-jerking reality.
Working as a stationery supervisor and a sitter to a pair of internet-famous, delinquent dogs, wasn’t how former cyber-specialist, Olivia, imagined her life turning out.
Working in a tiny cubicle with a decrepit computer and being overlooked had suited her for a while, but now she’s fed up, lonely and determined to make the world ‘see’ her again.
Old school friend, Darius, wants to fill Olivia’s days with romance, but their love of technology has taken them on very different paths.
Gorgeous undercover policeman Gabe is steadfast in finding out if Olivia was part of an online scam, but something doesn’t feel right and he suspects someone else was manipulating her life.
Can love blossom from the most deceptive of starts? And can someone who feels lost, find a way to flourish against all odds?
I hope you have enjoyed reading out about Lizzie Chantree and her fabulous page-turning books.
Information from the History website reads: “Some historians speculate that April Fool’s Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563.
“In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.
“People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognise that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools”.
We’ve all learnt something new today.
Hope you enjoyed April Fool’s Day.
If You Liked what You Saw Today ~ Please share to family and friends! Thank you.
Please give a warm welcome to author and friend, Helen Hollick, and her many page-turning books.
About Helen and her writing.
When The Mermaid Sings is a prequel novella to Helen’s Sea Witch Voyages series telling how Jesamiah Acorne fled his home in Virginia because of his bullying elder half-brother. He’s seeking a sailor friend of his father, but instead discovers much more: the ghost of his father, Captain Morgan, a mermaid, and a new life of piracy.
About Jesamiah Acorne
Jesamiah was born in Virginia; son of an English privateer and Spanish mother. Enjoy the following excerpt from Ripples In The Sand: (I have a signed author copy, ahem. Just saying)
The rain had started to lash down as Jesamiah kicked open the door to the Full Moon and negotiated his way through, taking care not to scrape or bump Tiola enfolded in his arms and wrapped in a swathe of blankets.
The landlady, a homely woman in her early thirties, bustled from behind the counter concern bubbling from her as energetically as the wisps of hair escaping beneath her lace cap. “Oh my, the poor maid looks nigh on exhausted.” She shooed away an elderly man sitting before the fire, ushering him to another seat. “Set ‘er down ‘ere Cap’n. The girl’s lighted the vire upstairs an’ put a pan in t’warm the sheets. It be a nice corner room overlookin’ the harbour, it’ll do you cheerily.” She pursed her lips and tutted. “I suggest you keep them shutters closed ‘cross the smaller side winder though, sir. The view o’ the drang oft’n be not respec’able.”
Grumbling beneath his breath the old man, as bald as a coot but with a great bush of a white beard, took his half empty tankard of cider along with his pipe and baccy pouch, and shambled to a settle near the window. He sat, sniffed disdainfully and wiped his nose on the cuff of his coat, which he ostentatiously drew closer around his chest, then turned the collar up against the draught. “It be goin’ t’snow on them moors,” he predicted. “Prob’ly ‘ere an’ all. Vruzzen in us’ll be.”
“Drang?” Jesamiah queried, not recognising the word and struggling to understand the conversation. Tiola had a slight Cornish burr, but his ear was not attuned to this unfamiliar Devon dialect. He shrugged, guessed he would pick it up soon enough.
The old man chuckled. “Nowt wrong with Cock Lane tha’ an ‘ealthy man can’t be makin’ good use ov.”
Getting the gist of the statement Jesamiah raised an eyebrow, was about to repeat his ‘drang’ question, but let it pass.
In On The Account, Jesamiah’s wife, Tiola Oldstagh; a white witch, spends the night on Exmoor:
An hour after dusk had settled into the star-frosted night, Tiola fed another stick into her meagre fire. The wood was damp and it gave off more smoke than heat, but it was better than nothing up here on the windswept openness of Exmoor’s exposed coast. She was sheltered in the hollow behind the magnificent tor of rocks that separated the valley from the sea, three hundred feet below. A place steeped in myth, legend and mystery. It was said that the Devil had resided in a castle of rock with his many wives, but angered at their infidelity he had blasted the eyrie to pieces. All that remained were the bare, jagged bones; the skeleton rocks piled stone upon stone. Nothing but a story, an old tale to explain the strangeness of a natural glacial formation – the Devil did not exist, but Tiola was aware that something was lurking out there in the darkness, watching her.
The stick flared into flame and the light caught the glint of an eye a few yards off. Tucking a loose strand of her black hair behind her ear, Tiola calmly added more wood to the fire and smiled to herself. This was the Valley of the Rocks, known also for the herds of feral goats that thrived on the coarse sea-salt grass. A huffed snort and a stream of misted breath evaporated into the cold air. A wild pony then, not a goat; one of the distinctive two-thousand-year-old Exmoor breed with their thick, weather-resistant, shaggy coats and light-coloured muzzles. Had she borrowed such a pony from the stables at Tawford Barton she would be at her destination by now, but her mission was secret and she wanted to know who had been watching her these past seven days, and had followed her, this night, up on to the moor.
Helen decided to take a change in direction:
A Mirror Murderis a cosy mystery set in 1971 with the lead character, Jan Christopher, working (as Helen did!) as a library assistant.
A Mirror Mystery:
Eighteen-year-old library assistant Jan Christopher’s life is to change on a rainy Friday evening in July 1971, when her legal guardian and uncle, DCI Toby Christopher, gives her a lift home after work. Driving the car, is her uncle’s new Detective Constable, Laurie Walker. It’s love at first sight for the young couple. But romance is soon to take a back seat when a baby is taken from its pram, a naked man is scaring young ladies in nearby Epping Forest, and an elderly lady is found, murdered…
Helen’s home – beautiful isn’t it
Helen Hollick and her family moved from London to North Devon in January 2013 after finding an eighteenth-century farm house. The thirteen-acre property is also home to a variety of animals on the farm, which include hens, ducks, geese, dogs, cats, and beautiful Exmoor ponies.
Will Helen be writing the sixth Sea Witch Voyage? I, for one, hope so. I’ve enjoyed all of Helen’s books, after all who doesn’t enjoy spending time with an ansum pirut (pirate).
More about Helen and her busy life:
Accepted for publication by William Heinemann in 1993 just a week after Helen’s fortieth birthday, she became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend. She also writes a pirate-based nautical adventure-fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages.
As mentioned earlier: Helen is now heading in a different direction. The first in her Jan Christopher Mysteries series, set in the 1970s, is available now. A Mirror Murder includes hilarious memories of her own experiences for over a decade as a library assistant. (All true. And hysterically funny).
Helen is never seen without a gorgeous hat: Not anuff (enough) room for ‘em all on here.
Helen never ceases to amaze me. She has failing eyesight but still keeps churning out page-turning adventures with believable characters. She also helps so many writers. Nothing is too much trouble. I take my hat off to you, dearest Helen. Speaking of hats… Helen has many…always wears a hat…making her easily recognisable down at her local Devon pub! Cheers, Helen!
If You Liked what You Saw Today ~ Please share to family and friends! Thank you.
Brixham residents came up with a great idea: How to raise funds for Shoalstone Seawater Pool.
Here’s what happened next:
Scarecrows started appearing in gardens. Thirty in total (more to be added here later so do drop back and have a look) I spotted several on my dog walk. Including Ironman atop Brixham Theatre! All brilliant. Everyone a Winner.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to help save Brixham’s Seawater Pool (there is a Donate link on their website) or to simply learn more about its history, please click the link: www.shoalstonepool.com
Below: Local Scarecrow David (Kindly agreed to pose for my lens)
My guest on the blog today is international author, business mentor and inventor Lizzie Chantree!
Lizzie is here today to tell us about her new book: Networking for Writers. I’ve already downloaded my copy to my Kindle. Make sure you get yours too.
Hello Caz, thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog today.
Hello everyone. My name is Lizzie Chantree and I am a romance author of nine novels, who is about to publish my first non-fiction book! I ran my own award winning business for over fifteen years before I began writing books as a way to reduce stress and found a beautiful new career that is full of excitement and fun. My latest book is called Networking for writers and I talk about how to help writers build a support network and hopefully find new readers for their own work. I suggest tips on how not to waste valuable writing time, offer ways to simplify your marketing plan, how to make your marketing more effective, ideas for apps that might help save time in scheduling social media posts. I work as a business mentor and have included simple techniques that can be applied to author branding, book marketing, book signings, media planning and more. I also talk through how I grew my social media platform from scratch and filled it with avid readers and creatives.
International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.
Are you swamped with book marketing and looking for a way to find new sales? Whether you are a new or experienced writer, self-published or traditionally published, Networking for writers, will help you learn simple and effective networking techniques, to grow your readership and connect with other authors and book lovers, today!
This book will show you:
How networking can help you sell more books.
Why author branding is important.
How networking hours work.
Specific Facebook groups for writers
How to utilise social media to grow your readership.
How not to waste valuable writing time.
How to make our marketing more effective.
Throughout Networking for Writers, we will explore running or attending book signings, hosting seminars, finding a writing buddy or mentor, author networking groups, social media planning and so much more.
A reflection on our daily living during COVD19 Pandemic 2020.
And people stayed at home And read books And listened And they rested And did exercises And made art and played And learned new ways of being And stopped and listened More deeply Someone meditated, someone prayed Someone met their shadow And people began to think differently And people healed. And in the absence of people who Lived in ignorant ways Dangerous, meaningless and heartless, The earth also began to heal And when the danger ended and People found themselves They grieved for the dead And made new choices And dreamed of new visions And created new ways of living And completely healed the earth Just as they were healed.
A short story by my youngest Grandson, Ethan, aged 9 ~ soon to be 10.
Southampton: April 1912
The weather was calm at sea as Sailor Robert stood at the helm steering the huge, unsinkable, Titanic on its first sea voyage. The ship, known as the floating palace due to its over-the-top accommodations, and its hundreds of paying passengers, was on its way to New York. As they journeyed across the Atlantic, people below decks were busy getting to know each other in the plush surroundings while eating, drinking, and dancing to the ship’s orchestra. As the ship approached the north-west Atlantic the temperature began to drop. Those on lookout duty received several warnings that icy seas were ahead. However, no one believed that the ship was in any danger and ignored the warnings believing the ship to be unsinkable. They received telegrams from the ship SS Amerika giving warnings of large ice-burgs ahead. SS Amerika had already passed two large icebergs on their journey. Evening approached and sea conditions became very icy, but, the captain chose not to reduce the ship’s speed and ignored the warnings. The crew believed, wrongly, that there would be lots of time to get out of the way of the ice, if necessary. Still, no one saw any dangers ahead. The lookout suddenly spotted an enormous iceberg in the distance. He soon realised it was much bigger than he first thought, and so, he rang the warning bell as Titanic headed straight for the ginormous iceberg. Suddenly, as the bell continued to ring out, confusion, screams, and fear echoed throughout the ship. Passengers only felt a bump, but nothing more than that. There were only four officers on duty on the bridge. The first officer in charge ordered the ship to change direction, but, it was too late to avoid a massive collision. Rocket distress signals were fired into the night sky. The direction change caused the ship to strike the iceberg side-on, causing Titanic to start sinking below the icy waves: where the ship would eventually stay forever on the seabed. Several lifeboats were launched into the cold-as-ice sea. Seven-hundred-and-six lives were saved, but hundreds of passengers sadly drowned that day. It would take several hours before a ship large enough would reach the sinking Titanic, and rescue those who had managed to scramble to safety into lifeboats. The poor souls unable to clamber into a lifeboat due to them being already over-full, perished in the coldest waters.
A short story by Ethan J. Ward aged 9.
Submitted to BBC Competition 500 words. 2020
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