My Scottish Highlander Romance

My Highlander release is out on Amazon today-yahoo!

Buy now from Amazon

My book is called Hemlock And Honey and is set in medieval Scotland in 1244. This was a time when superstition and curses ruled peoples lives; it was their way of explaining the unexplainable.

In Hemlock and Honey, the folk of Caithness Castle are ravaged by illness. They are suffering from a type of fungal crop poisoning called Ergotism. A few hundred years on, and the resulting illness has a new name-St Anthony’s Fire.

Every now and then, somewhere in the world, ergot poisoning sneaks into our bread production, and cases of St Anthony’s Fire are reported.

Here’s the cover and the blurb. Hope you enjoy my book.

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Blurb:

Scottish Highlands
1244
A great sickness is striking down the Highland folk of Caithness Castle. They are dying from ergot poisoning, from eating infected crops. But this is the year 1244, and almost no one has heard of this condition, a disease later called, St Anthony’s Fire.
Desperate to save his clan, Laird Gus turns to a soothsayer for answers. The mystic tells him to hunt down and capture a special Sassenach lady. He must find a young woman with God given healing gifts.
Laird Gus tracks down Lady Sybilla and kidnaps her. Only trouble is, she keeps insisting that she has no magical abilities, nor healing skills of any sort. She’s not even clever with herbs. He has captured the wrong girl.
English Lady Sybilla might not have the ability to break curses and cure a castle of folk, but she is clever. And cleverness turns out to be exactly what he needs.

Buy now from Amazon

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What the fig?

I’ve been drooling over my baby figs for months now. My small fig tree is usually a great little producer. I get more than a dozen juicy fat black figs from my meter high tree. So, when the figs suddenly swelled and softened in the hot sun,  my greedy fingers plucked the babies from the vine and rushed for the chilled white wine.

I ripped the first one open and was just about to take a bite. But something was horribly wrong. Every one of my figs were brown and wizened inside. If anyone knows what happened, please let me know. I suspect fruit flies. I’ll take my revenge on the flies next year, no holds barred.

Something else happened yesterday too. I was inside my vegetable cage harvesting yellow tomatoes when I felt something itch my leg. That’s not unusual for me. I’m a magnet for all forms of mosquitoes and biting insects. So I brushed my hand over my leg and carried on. But the tickle didn’t go away. I looked down and saw a giant black hairy Huntsman spider above my knee, heading for the leg opening of my shorts.It was a seriously yuk moment.

I do not have a spider phobia and I also know that Huntsmen are not poisonous but I draw the line at letting them crawl up the leg of my shorts. Why is everything in the country so large?

 

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Photo by Tontan Travel, Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been a while…

I haven’t written a blog post for a good long while.  What, you might ask, have I been doing for the past year and a bit? Well, I moved to the country and renovated a house. Actually, hubby and the builders did most of the renovating but the thought was there…

And,  when I wasn’t painting or cleaning or spending an endless about of hours in my new over-sized garden, I wrote my third book. Debby at Soul Mate Publishing has accepted it already; release date is set for some time around June. Book three is a Highlander romance set in 1244, but I ‘ll talk about that later.

From now on, nearly all of my blog posts are going to be about my new life in the country.

Last night we saw a huge kangaroo bounding across our front paddock. It only took the giant roo about a dozen bounds to cross our 4 acres so you can image its size! My little dog Scout was outraged and barked many loud angry threats at it from behind the safety of our lounge windows. After the recent news about the girl who got attacked by a kangaroo while out running, we decided to stay inside for a while:)

Tomorrow, I’ll  tell you about my figs.

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Kangaroo(3) by Janus Serendipity

 

I’m on sale for 99c

I love a good sale, who doesn’t. My book  is now only 99c  for a short while. Best of all, my sale is just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Reading, eating, family and friends and most importantly, time off work – could it get any better?

The Outcasts by Elizabeth Preston

The Outcasts by Elizabeth Preston

 

Happy Thanksgiving All.

Purple Snow In Sydney

Okay, maybe it isn’t snow, but the jacaranda flowers really are blanketing everything. Each morning I wake up and look out and my back garden has a fresh coating of purple. It’s enchanting in a Disney movie kind of way.

There’s a local legend about Sydney’s prolific jacaranda trees. Apparently many years ago, hospitals on the north shore of Sydney used to hand out jacaranda saplings to new mothers. The mothers would plant the baby trees in their backyards and watch their trees and children grow up together. And, according to this legend, that’s why Sydney’s north shore is coated in purple right now.

 

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My back garden

 

Jacaranda

 ‘Jacaranda’ wikimedia.

Snippets of Australia

I’ve rounded up a few Aussie facts and photographs to show my American friends.  Because I come from little old New Zealand, I still find these monster things amazing.

 

Australia is a vast country, and has larger-than-life things like giant road trains.  These trucks travel around The Outback shrinking the distance. The bull bars are a protection against Kangaroos.

Photo - Kevin Trotman

Photo – Kevin Trotman

 

Australia is home to the largest fence in the world. It is 5,614 km long, and was originally built to keep the dingoes away from sheep and fertile land.

World's largest fence. Photo - Kevin Trotman

World’s largest fence. Photo – Kevin Trotman

 

Anna Creek Station in South Australia is the world’s largest cattle station. It’s even larger than Belgium.

Waterhole. Photo - Don Shearman

Waterhole. Photo – Don Shearman

 

Kookaburras aren’t giants, but I love these iconic laughing birds anyway. They’re a reasonably common sight around Sydney. They become quite tame and will allow you to hand feed them scraps of meat. They always whack the strip of beef or chicken against something before eating it.

Kookaburra - photo by Richard Taylor

Kookaburra – photo by Richard Taylor

Kookaburra. Photo by Richard Taylor

Kookaburra. Photo by Richard Taylor