Oddness #Skyr

I have often bemoaned the demise of the unsweetened fruit yoghurts available in the 60s/70s.  Almost all modern products are sickly sweet. Doubly so with many ‘free’ varieties that merely replace the bucket load of sugar with artificial sweeteners that to me at least taste as sweet and then some!

When Skyr came about I thought ‘yay’ …  but without wishing to be boring … Apple, Carrot & Ginger?

Having sampled this I think it might be termed ‘interesting’ … but the jury is out on whether I would repeat the  experience. I liked its fresh, tangy tones but something in the mix gave an odd aftertaste.

Image result for skyr carrot

I have yet to sample the Rhubarb & Beetroot still sitting in the fridge.Image result for skyr beetroot

Maybe I am old fashioned  but thus far  I prefer the Blueberry or Raspberry Skyr🙂

Book Gifting #bookgifting #buymorebooks

writing editingNow is the time of year when we are all busy buying gifts for people we love.  The best way to help any author is not just to buy their books for yourself but to buy them for others and pass the word!

Your friends get a great gift and your writing friends have their work out there with a new audience. It is a WIN WIN!

Failing that review a book your have loved and let people know about those hidden gems!

Guest blogs with books to offer are always welcome, or blogs on books you have loved in review.  Read all about how to take part HERE.

 

An Extract From ‘Drawing Down The Moon’ #fiction #fables&fabrications #horror

In the light (  :-) ) of this week’s supermoon…

front cover copyAn extract from ‘Drawing Down the Moon’ – one of the creepy tales to be  found in my collection Fables and Fabrications.  (Available in paper and kindle formats)

***

…She breathed in ozone-laden moisture and remembered how she had stood on the hillside within the temple grounds on many such nights as for old enmity he held for her sisterhood.

Wilder elements always focused her psyche. This rite was something she had not anticipated acting out ever again, yet it was always there; waiting in the shadows for her to reach out and pluck it into the semi-light.

Kicking off her shoes she shed her coat, letting it slip free of her fingers. She unzipped her skirt and allowed it to drop around her ankles. I who have nothing, she crooned into the room’s silence, and smiled. In the old days men were crazed by the notion of spying on her order. In the old days the Sisters would have crazed any man known to risk that spying. She unbuttoned her blouse as she hummed the recent ballad, swaying her hips, taking her time, taunting. Any added emotion her audience brought to the rite was to be welcomed.

She stood tall in nothing but black chemise and composure. Long ago she would have been naked but temperature ruled against it. They would have their floor show soon enough. Let them leer, allow them anticipation.

Her lips moved, like a slow reader, not singing now but chanting. To herself first, and then more loudly as her conscious merged with the echoes of beyond. She called on the Keres, daughters of Nyx, on Mnemosyne and Bia and on Lethe, but most of all she called to Styx and to Hecate. She slipped into the ritual as a ripe and luscious strawberry slides into the rich, sweet, darkness of chocolate. She became the rite, the vessel, through which the tendrils wafting off the Veil strayed into this world.

Energised by her actions she moved to the fountain; stretching her arms toward the spigots, whirling three times in a twisted, fluid dance; aping the very water. She swayed beneath the liquid, allowing it to cascade around her neck and shoulders before throwing her head back to loose a wild ululation. She called once again upon Hecate and Styx to allow the soul departed a brief return.

From beyond the clouds she felt the pull of the moon. It called her and she called back, repeating her watery dance twice more. Then she dropped to the hard, cool floor; prostrating herself before her elementals, with arms outstretched.

Wind rattled the glass, reaching into the room and splaying the fountain’s water flow in its passing, rippling the voile curtains into horizontal.

Whilst this Thessalian woman worked her dark acts; diving into the world of shades and emerging with an act of full blown necromancy, just two pairs of eyes watched her, in thrall as the bodyguards, having washed the corpse had withdrawn; apparently not to be privy to any information the deceased might have.

Cin saw Jeno.

Cin saw her boy.

Their heads were almost touching. She saw them both look at her, and whisper to each other.

Betrayal? Was he also a man? Mid-rite she could not permit her own wants to intrude. She could not, would not, see her boy intimate with the man who killed so lightly.

The storm cut off as though a switch had been flicked. Where there had been only cloud, a harsh moonlight slotted across the untidy shagginess of blasted borders and winter lawns, glinting off the door panes and onto the woman who waited for its touch.

Cinthia swept off her eye patch to expose a puckered depression. Deliberately, elegantly, she came up to full height with arms up and rigid fingers splayed wide. She flexed each digit, clawing at the shaft of light, emitting a litany of noise from deep in her throat.

Listeners could not discern words in either Greek or English, but there was an unmistakable cadence placed on the edges of those notes that shredded nerves as surely as cat-claws down velvet curtains.

The moon’s colour changed, starting on one side and creeping across its face, growing deeper and larger than its silvery persona. It had taken on a reddish hue, hanging low, resting on the jagged horizon of surrounding rooftops; a fecund and brooding night bird waiting to drop on its prey.

Maddy’s Castle – From Misha Herwin

Maddy’s Castle – from Misha Herwin

Misha Herwin

maddys-castle-2

Pride of place in our dining room is this edifice constructed by my granddaughter, with help from one of her other grannies. My grandchildren have eight grandparents, but more of that on another blog.

The castle has been there for quite a while now, but I am strangely reluctant to relegate it to the recycling bin. I love it because Maddy gave it to me and I when I was young I wanted a toy castle and soldiers. Those, however, were not considered toys for girls and, in any case, there was no way my parents could have afforded anything so expensive.

So my sister and I made our own. We drew and cut out cardboard battlements, plus towers and a keep, then I, being the eldest and at that time marginally better at drawing than Anuk, who went on be a professional artist, but more of that in another…

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Green Figs

figThis recipe uses up all of those unripe green figs that are still clinging on to your tree as autumn approaches.

Across most cooler climates is wise to remove any unripened  figs larger than a pea from your tree. This is because when larger fruit are left to overwinter not only will they seldom (if ever) ripen but they are also liable to deter new fruits from forming for the following season.

Continue reading Green Figs

Water Spaniels? from Misha Herwin

Misha’s Spaniels

Misha Herwin

water-spaniel

Yesterday I was at a dog show. It was an open show for Irish Water Spaniels and it set me thinking about the breed and the part these dogs play in  my books.

For those of you that don’t know, an Irish Water Spaniel is quite a rare creature. It looks a little like a poodle, with a brown curly coat. Unlike poodles, however, they have a bare chest and a thin whip like tail, which they wag with great enthusiasm. It is best not be anywhere near striking rage of these because they can really hurt. They also have a silky fringe which covers their eyes. Eyes which can be as melting as chocolate, or as evil as a large puddle of stinking mud.

Even the most loving and devoted of owners admit that these dogs have “character” which is, in the dog world, an euphemism for being bloody…

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