Friday, 28 February 2014

Birthstone Unicorns - Aquamarine

Welcome March, I hope you bring warmer, drier weather for us in the UK. At least there are some signs that Spring is trying to push her way in. 
A new month brings a new birthstone to enjoy. This month I am highlighting the very pretty aquamarine. Of course there is a unicorn story to accompany it. Click tab for extract if you would like to read.
The word Aquamarine is derived from the Latin words, 'aqua' meaning water and 'marina' meaning sea. Hence the translation 'Sea Water.' The colour of this lovely gem reflects its name perfectly as it is usually found in a transparent blue or sea green. One legend suggests they are found in the treasure chest of mermaids. 
Here are some other facts and myths surrounding the lovely aquamarine, not surprisingly a lot of stories feature connections with water:

  • Archaeologists have found the stone carved in statues of the god Poseidon. 
  • Romans thought the stone capable of absorbing young love. 
  • Another Roman legend said that carving the image of a frog onto an aquamarine would reconcile enemies and indeed make them friends.
  • In Medieval times, aquamarines were believed to reawaken the love of married couples. 
  • Worn as an amulet aquamarines have been said to bring relief of pain, make the wearer friendlier and cure laziness!
  • Aquamarines have long been prized by sailors as a prevention for seasickness and as protection at sea.  Having such powers as warding off sea monsters, storms and other perils of the sea. Egyptians, Romans and Greeks believed the gem conjured the good spirits of the water.
  • The largest aquamarine was found in Brazil in 1910, it weighed around 243 pounds.
  • Aquamarine is suggested as a gem to give on the 16th and 19th wedding anniversaries. 
  • The gem has been thought to have magical healing powers for ailments relating to the stomach, liver, throat and jaw. It has even been used as an antidote against poison.
  • Fortune tellers have used aquamarines to help them look into the future and make predictions.

The verse from the traditional Gregorian Poem for this month is one of the nicest I think.

"A March born shall always be
Soothed by Aqua, gem of sea
This mermaid's treasured stone you wear
Will bring happiness, love, affection and care."

Happy Birthday to all celebrating this month.

And on the topic of celebrations ...

Thanks to Viklit
 This weeks highlights include;
* Editing a short story
* Chamomile tea and chocolate - lots of! (It's been one of those weeks)

Friday, 21 February 2014

Celebrate the small things

Hosted by Viklit

This week I am celebrating;

*Seeing the sunshine and being able to get out and walk without getting soaked.
* Hearing that a short story of mine will be published in an anthology later this year
*Adding more words to my ms and feeling quite positive about the way it is going
*I'm not celebrating having a stinking cold!

Happy weekend 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Ring of Morgana (Cover Reveal)

Today I am pleased to welcome Donna Hosie with her beautiful new cover. Congratulations, Donna.

In a brand new series, Donna Hosie revisits Logres with THE CHILDREN OF CAMELOT. 

Sixteen-year-old Mila Roth wants to be normal. It’s a phrase that has been drilled into her by her mother since she was born.

But Mila Roth is anything but normal. For sixteen years her parents have hidden a secret from her. For Mila was born one thousand years ago in the land of Logres, and far from being a math teacher and a housewife, Mila’s parents are the awakened King Arthur and Gorian druid queen, Morgana.

Two worlds, one thousand years apart. And those worlds are about to collide.

The spirit of the malevolent Lady of the Lake has been contained for sixteen years in the fabled Ring of Morgana. When the ring curses Mila’s younger sister, Lilly, the Roth family has no choice but to return Mila to the land of her birth as they face a battle against time itself.

Accompanied by her best friend, Rustin, Mila will have to decide whether to defy those she loves in order to save her sister. Should she trust the Gorian druids and the mysterious Melehan? What is the true cost to Mila’s heart as she strives to master the purple flame? And why have her mother and father denied the truth of her origins for so long?

For she alone has the combined power of royalty and druid magic within her.

And now only Mila can save Lilly and Logres.

THE RING OF MORGANA will be released in ebook and paperback on the 15th June 2014.


Friday, 14 February 2014

Celebrate the small things

Thanks to Viklit

My little celebrations for this week include:

Reaching the end of another wet and windy week! When will these storms pass? Thoughts very much with those suffering with flooding at the moment. I took some photos of the sea last week with the intention of posting here but to be honest the photos really don't show how big the waves really are. So you'll have to take my word for it - they are huge!

Week off work for half term, hopefully will get a little writing done later in the week but first catching up with an old friend who is visiting for a few days.

Added about 300 words to ms. Not massive I know but still progress so worth a mention!

The Blog Blitz Team! Never heard of them? Hop on over to DL Hammons to find out more and sign up to join the fun.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Celebrate the week

This week I am celebrating;
 * adding a 1000 words to my ms 
*It's Friday!

Before I go can I just give a shout out for Alex's promotion

CassaFire is on sale from 4-10th February. 

...delivers on the promise of its predecessor, combining military action sequences and political intrigue with strong, memorable characters. Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction…” - Library Journal
Alex J. Cavanaugh’s CassaFire just .99 for a limited time! 
Amazon -

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

IWSG Post for February

Thanks to our host Alex J. Cavanaugh

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Thanks also to co-hosts for this month Sheena-kay Graham, Julie Musil, Jamie Ayres, and Mike Swift

My goal for 2014 was to keep moving forward with my writing. Last month I wrote that my key words for the year were going to be positivity and focus. These two words still sum up my attitude but the last few weeks have taught me that I have to be flexible with my plan. Some weeks I have managed to add over 2000 words to my ms whilst other weeks have been far less productive! It is just the way my life is at this time, but you know what? I'm ok with that, I'm still moving forward and that is progress, however small and I am still focusing on where I want my writing to go. So my message today is this ...

You fail only if you stop writing
Ray Bradbury
And I certainly don't intend to stop!

Sorry this post is late in the day for some. I had it all prepared and then the storms battered Cornwall and power was off and on for hours. Whilst power is on at the moment, internet connection seems very slow so apologies if I don't get round many blogs today! Normal service will be resumed a.s.ap!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Birthstone Unicorns - Amethyst

Well February is upon us and so it is time to offer my monthly birthstone post. A few facts and legends surrounding this pretty gem.

Amethyst is the traditional birthstone of those people born in the month of February. It is usually lilac or purple in colour and symbolizes stability, peace, courage, inner strength and a calm disposition.

Amethysts can also be known as the ‘sobriety stone.’ Believed to prevent drunkenness and other forms of addiction! However, you may prefer to use to treat headaches, insomnia, arthritis or for general pain relief.

"The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear."

(taken from the Gregorian Poem - author unknown)

In ancient times a true purple dye was costly and quite rare (see I always knew I had expensive tastes!) it is a colour often reserved for royalty and many crowns have amethysts on them. Through history they have been found everywhere from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs to soldiers graves in Europe.

The word amethyst comes from the Greek 'amethystos' meaning not drunken. It was sacred to the God of wine and overindulgence, Dionysus. According to Greek mythology Amethyst was a young virgin who upset Dionysus when he became drunk on red wine. Amethyst sought the help of the Goddess Diana who turned the young girl into a white, shimming stone. Feeling remorse for his actions Dionysus's tears fell into his goblet of red wine, it overturned, spilling the red wine over the white rock and saturating it until it became purple.

In ancient times the amethyst has been more prized than sapphires and rubies

Amethysts have been used to adorn the rings of Bishops.

Saint Valentine was thought to wear a ring set with an amethyst in the shape of cupid.

In Medieval times soldiers often wore purple as they went into battle.They considered the amethyst an aid to healing in case of injury.

In the Chinese philosophy  of Feng Shui amethysts enhance the wealth corner, focusing on giving and receiving of material wealth.

If you or a loved one is celebrating this month, have a very Happy Birthday!