“What did he say?” I said to a friend the first time I heard the word. Until recently, I mistakenly assumed it was the Celtic term for Christmas.
Hogmanay is a celebration of the new year, as close to our ‘watching the ball drop’ festivities and the Rose Bowl Parade wrapped up in one lovely holiday. So, I am taking a moment to wish you all a very HAPPY HOGMANAY and a very, very HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Just to wrap-up my activities in 2017, here are what books I released:
November is one of my favorite months, and not because my country celebrates Thanksgiving Day on the 24th with some of my favorite foods: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie! It is also my birthday month (the 13th), and the holiday shopping season starts on the 25th with a day most shoppers refer to as ‘Black Friday’, and the following Monday, November 28th, called ‘Cyber Monday’.
The word ‘November’ comes from the Roman word ‘novem’ meaning nine, because it was the ninth month in their Roman calendar. What is so special about this month? Well November is the official month for the following:
Aviation History Month
Child Safety Protection Month
National Adoption Awareness Month
National Diabetes Awareness Month
National Epilepsy Month
National Model Railroad Month
And National Novel Writing Month which is also known as NaNoWriMo. Many authors and would-be authors sit at their computer screens and write, write, write. The goal? To write at least 50,000 words (the start of a good book) and to commiserate with or get inspiration from writers all over the world. I participated once, and although it is not my cup-of-tea, I highly recommend joining. Learn more at their national website HERE
November is also known for being the official month for some very ODD Holidays, such as:
November 2 Deviled Egg Day…one of my favorite foods, but I HATE making them!
November 5 Book Lover’s Day…print books are like kittens because they are fun to cuddle up with.
November 7 Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day…need I say more?
November 13 Sadie Hawkins Day…when I was 16, I asked a boy out because of this day!
November 16 Button Day…I have a big tin box full of buttons.
November 19 Have a Bad Day Day…what? Guess I will stay in bed.
November 27 Pins & Needles Day…our parents gave sis and I cats that we named Needles & Pins!
When not celebrating with one of these ideas, try one of my books… find all my titles HERE
I asked another author to share a supernaturally-flavored event in their life, which I will call musings with author Ria Cantrell. Since she and I both have lived on New York state’s Long Island, this story made me shiver.
Ria: When I was about five years old, I attended a church on Long Island. When my mom led me up the steps, I started pulling away and crying. I said I did not want to go in that church…that witches were burned there and that I could still smell it. I kept crying, “Can’t you smell it? Can’t you smell it?” My mom thought I was just having an “active imagination” day, except, I don’t know many five year olds that know about burning of witches.
That memory stayed with me all my life and when I got older, I researched the history of that place and the grounds. It turns out that there were no DOCUMENTED cases of “witches” being burnt on Long Island. There were several hangings in colonial times, but no burnings. I was very definite about that; because of the smell. Well, after doing some further research, in Rouen France, there was a church in the 14th century with a similar name (which I do not want to mention, by the way). There, many people were tried and convicted for witchcraft and you guessed it…burnt for their crimes. Hundreds to be exact.
That’s my little creepy story.
Ria grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, New York. Her family has promoted her love for the arts, especially music. She learned to read music at a very early age and started singing at the age of four. Ria has enjoyed some very exciting endeavors in the past including competing as a figure skater, dancing professionally as a belly dancer and singing as a classically trained vocalist with auditioned chorales. She also enjoys working as a soloist. Ria began writing at a very young age and even had some of her early poems published in local literary magazines. Frequently, she would be seen carrying notebooks to scribble many of her stories and poems. With a love of the past, Ria was fascinated with Medieval and Renaissance history and found herself drawn to participate with a reenactment group, The Society for Creative Anachronism, which re-creates the Middle Ages. Since fostering her love of all things medieval, Ria’s stories soon became flavored with Medieval and Renaissance themes. Ria is a hopeless romantic. She married the love of her life after a long-distance courtship, spanning two continents. She now lives in the sunny tropical paradise of Southwest Florida with her English rock-star husband. The two share their love for music and writing. They perform together locally and they collaborate on writing endeavors. Her husband’s first full length novel, Reflections of Love, is being released simultaneously as Morag’s Tears. Connect to Ria: FacebookTwitter
Tartan Day is a day to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 at Arbroath Abbey, in Scotland. The abbey’s red sandstone ruins still stand, and what occurred inside its walls stands proud. Today, the residents of Scotland celebrate all that is good about their small country. As an American, I also celebrate Scottish history, culture, and legacy every 6th of April.
If I could travel to Scotland this week, I would enjoy the various events such as a re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath; the massed bands and bagpipe concerts called a Tattoo; or Highland games.
Were you aware that Americans of Scottish descent played an important role in the growth of the United States? Even before we were a country, John Hancock, the first signer of America’s Declaration of Independence, was Scottish. More recently, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is a Scottish-American. My own American Clan MacBean, descendents of John Bean of Exeter, claim astronaut Alan Bean (the 4th person to walk on the moon) among our Scottish-American heroes. Men and women such as these famous people contributed to the fields of law, the arts, and more, which is why Americans who claim Scottish and Scotch-Irish roots celebrate on Tartan Day, April 6th.
Scottish Americans are encouraged to wear their modern kilts or ancient plaids anywhere and everywhere. Many communities host parades, Highland games or festivals, or special church services. Tartan Day is the unofficial start of the Highland games season. As we head into spring and summer, the chance to wear Highland attire and shop the various clothing, souvenir, and food vendors is something my family and I look forward to. In fact, ideas collected while at various Highland games helped me create most of my Scottish-themed books. *
My husband is threatening to wear his kilt to work on April 6th! If he does, I will get a picture!
I have written several novellas that wove a tale around Scottish dragons, and used my love of modern Scottish Highland Games to weave tales of time travel, and ancient Highlanders. Since my family volunteers annually at the New Hampshire Highland Games every September, I filled notebook after notebook with my interpretation of the sights, smells, sounds, and history of the games.
What do modern games have to do with a story of ancient Highlanders? I use modern day people and ancient Scottish folk, then twist their lives around Highland games and hunky athletes in kilts.
I fill my romance novels with sexual tension, costumes, weaponry, sports, food, craft displays, music, and vendors beneath tents selling everything under the sun. The aroma of meat pies mingles with the tang of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Sheep, herded by a border collie, run near tent-covered platforms where pretty girls dance a Highland fling. Bagpipers march while craftspeople spin wool or tell tales to kids; these are a few of the tastes, sounds, and sights that have found their way into my paranormal books.
Hubby and I are proud members of Clan Gunn and Clan MacBean. Dozens of clan tents at the games help visitors discover their heritage.
If you stop by the games this month, please stop at the Information tent and say ‘hi’ to me! For more info about these annual games click HERE.I have six titles with the Scottish time travel themes. Please check them out today!
All three books in the
HIGHLAND GAMES THROUGH TIME series
shown above are available FREE for Kindle Unlimited Users
Tree swings, sandy beaches, sunny summer afternoons. They are coming, but today we celebrate spring. Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and the birds and the bees are doing what comes natural.
The air outside my door smells fresh, and most people I meet have a smile on their faces. Is it because of this past winter’s exceptionally deep snowfall? Even in North Carolina where I now make my home, we had a few storms that made everything stand still; schools closed for more than a week, roads left icy and rutted, no mail delivery, things like that. With the horrible, cold weather behind us, I look forward to sweeping the deck and sitting in the sun while writing or editing my manuscript.
As an author of over a dozen books, I am either writing a story, editing a completed story, creating a book cover, formatting a manuscript, or promoting my books. I love to connect with people on Social Media and will do my best to take a break, now and then, to stop and watch a butterfly.
Summer is officially over, but the days are still sunny and the nights just right. While writing and editing in a quiet corner of my home, or out on my deck, I find I keep thinking of how I got to this moment in time…September 2014. I was fortunate to find a love of writing, and took the chance at writing fulltime by retiring from my 40-50 hour/week job.
The various ups and downs that have plagued me does not tell it all, but I find that I have been blessed by people who help me achieve my dreams. Since my second publisher just closed its doors, I am now officially an Independent Author, also called an Indie Author. Even without a publishing house behind me, I still require help. A couple of these fabulous helpers are called editors. They work nearly as hard as I do, making sure my spelling is perfect, my meanings are clear, and my story makes sense. That can be a challenge.
Writing and editing books with a supernatural flavor, filled with either shape-shifters, vampires, dragons, the occult, zombies and the like takes very special people. They have to understand what we are trying to share, then jump in and clean it up. (Not TOO clean, mind you)
I discovered that September has been designated Be Kind To Editors and Writers Month, so I wish to publicly thank those editors out there, especially the ones who read and correct my work. (You know who you are but I am NOT naming you because I have too many books for you to work on!)
If you are an author, I hope others are kind to you this month. To all those editors of romance, technical books, magazines, blogs, newspapers and the like, be proud of your talent. Without u, mi werk wood reed farely dull end bee filt with erreres. Thanks!
My latest release, MY LADY HIGHLANDER
is available at Amazon & Kindle Unlimited for a short time.