Is there night when snow is upon the ground? Is there darkness? I don’t ever recall it being too dark to explore. It seemed as though the snow lit the forest and provided enough light to mark my way.
It had been a glorious August day in 1990. I had set out in my twelve-foot row boat around noon. The sun was shining and the water was placid. As usual I was alone, settled in the centre seat with my fingers wrapped around the blue oars. My boom-box sat on the seat in the stern on top of a sweatshirt and towel and beside my sneakers.
Most of the time I sailed barefoot. I loved the feeling of cool wood and salt water on my skin. I could climb in and out of the boat, walking through knee-deep surf, without worrying about wetting my rubbers.
Rubbers…I don’t recall owning a pair back then. I either went barefoot or wore my ocean sneakers. These were old sneakers I wore without socks to places I couldn’t go barefoot.
Cindy Fletcher rocked back and forth with the rhythm of the boat. She kept telling herself she knew where she was, but her inner voice wouldn’t listen; it knew she was lost. She pulled her hoodie around her and peered into the thick, white fog. It had consumed the row boat within minutes, erasing the shoreline and casting Cindy and her childhood friend, Michelle Purdy, into a cloud-like world.
The fog had devoured every sound save the oars striking the water. Michelle rowed in the direction both believed would take them to the wharf where they had rented the boat. In thirty minutes, it would be Cindy’s turn to row again. It would also be 7:00 pm, marking the fourth hour in the fog.
Destiny Governed their Lives is a short story starring Catriona Wheatcroft, the sorceress in Shadows in the Stone fantasy novel. When the novel begins, she’s twenty-eight years old, but in the short story, she’s only seventeen.
Catriona is young, impulsive and believes she knows everything. Mmm, sounds a little like me when I was seventeen. I wasn’t, however, an apprentice studying with a sorceress who practised powerful spells. I also didn’t live in Maskil with the constant threat of an evil wizard creating terror on the streets. If I had, I might have done the unthinkable, too.
I love tea. It’s one—no, it is—my most favourite drink in the world. I like rum, cranberry juice, gin and wine, but I love tea. I love it so much that if I couldn’t make a good cup where I lived or have one shipped in, I’d move. I think I might survive a week—maybe seven days—without tea if I had one of my other likable drinks or hot chocolate, but that’s pushing it.
Coffee doesn’t factor into the equation.
Tea drinkers—I’ve found—are often in search of two best things: the best type of tea and the best vessel in which to drink it from.
Reader’s Guide to E-Publishing is one of those sites that if you’re a reader, you’re missing out if you don’t visit often or subscribe to the posts. A host of wonderful writers talk about their books and their writing life, and they either have their ebooks available for free, low prices or gift ebook copies to lucky readers. Sometimes, free swag gets thrown into the giftaway basket, so you never know if you’ll walk away with an ebook or an ebook, bookmarks, cards and other goodies.
Today I’m a feature author at Reader’s Guide to E-Publishing. Check out my post and get a chance to receive a gift copy of my ebook Pockets of Wildflowers, my first romance novel.
Julianne lay still, fearful any noise she’d make while adjusting her weight would be heard by others in the building. A single movement of her hand or foot sounded as if a band of bagpipers passed through on their way to battle. Each breath remained even, each inhale and exhale controlled so as not to arouse suspicion that she did not yet sleep.
She supposed as a child, sleeping in a soft, pillowed bed felt normal. Although the sounds of her childhood room went unremembered, she imagined they had comforted her on her way to dreamland. But those sounds had not touched Julianne’s ears for more than a decade.
An earth-shaking crash and shrieks of terror behind Delia shattered the beautiful day. She whirled to find a ten-foot, silver robot blasting buildings with the weapon attached to his arm. For a moment she stood frozen in shock. Where had this mad man come from, and what was he doing on a busy street in Halifax?
The sleek machine appeared to have no specific target; it fired at buildings, vehicles and anyone who came within its sights. Smoke, fire, debris and bodies quickly littered the street.
A firm tug on Delia’s hand snapped her back to her senses. She looked down at her nine-year-old son Jack who stared at her with big eyes. The movement of the robot shook the ground and propelled her into motion. She tightly gripped Jack’s hand as they raced along the sidewalk.
Late August in Nova Scotia provides cool nights (down to 12 degrees Celsius) and hot days (we reached 37 degrees today). These extreme temperatures create the perfect environment for thick morning fog and cobwebs.
Below are a two scenes captured early yesterday morning on my little homestead, Moon Meadow Croft.
The map of Ath-o’Lea has been in the making for years. It’s changed many times since its conception, but the one thing that remains the same is my idea of what makes the land where my Shadows in the Stone characters live special to me.
After all that time spent creating the map, I still don’t feel it’s finished. I want it to look better. As an overall map for The Castle Keepers series, it’s useful because it shows Maskil in relationship to the sea and places mentioned in the first novel (Midway Keep, Ellswire, Pogwa Mountains, Petra), as well as places introduced in the second book, Scattered Stones (Tigh Na Mare, Glentosh, Titterton, Wardlow).