I See Faces and other things…

FACES and…

As kids, we likely all lay on our backs in the grass looking at the clouds finding faces, animals and other objects at one time or another.

What about with standing stones? Well, yup, I see faces there, too.

facesDo you see a face in this stone at Stonehenge?

facesHow about now after I draw the outline of the mouth, eyes, nose and chin? I should have picked a different color other than black because the contrast on the rock tends to overpower the painted line.

Since my attempt with black to outline didn’t achieve the result I wanted, I went back in and outlined it in white. Does this make it easier to see?

faces

Maybe this is the face of the troll who lived under the bridge in the Norweigian fairy tale, The Three Billy Goats Gruff?

facesOr what about this stone along the avenue near Avebury?

facesLooks a handsome fellow despite his large nose. But look at him from another angle… what do you see?

facesFrom this angle, it looks like a horse’s head. Perhaps the knight piece on a chessboard.

facesAnd this one reminds me of a shark with the shape of the head and the placement of the mouth. Look who’s grinning at us from the right side of the picture!

Did you see any of these faces?

 

Sheryl Browne reveals her new covers

I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine author, Sheryl Browne to Celtic Connexions!

Thank you so much for featuring me and allowing me to share my latest news. I was a bit worried some people might have missed it actually, as I haven’t been shouting very loudly. Much. Ahem. OK, I lie. I’ve been shouting if from the rooftops! If perchance anyone did miss it though, my latest contemporary romance, recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel Fiction Buyer, no less, is now available from Choc Lit! It’s had some super reviews so far. I’ve popped a little snippet or two below, some of which had me hooting out loud, some of which had me filling up – but in the best possible way.

The Rest of My Life: What the reviewers say:

The Rest of My Life is ‘‘HOT! HOT! HOT! Steamy, Heartfelt Romance! – oldvictorianquill

I love books that spot up my glasses with projectile tears. Five stars! – Double-Edged Words

Sheer enjoyment from beginning to end! … Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to enter the bedroom with the delectable Adam? – Being Anne

Wow! Sheryl Browne has excelled herself with this book… there is not much it doesn’t have! Love, hate, sex, violence, apparitions… – A Chance to Blog

I quite like the cover. Correction, I absolutely ADORE the cover…

Sheryl Browne

*Sigh.* Isn’t it just utterly dreamy?

The Rest of My Life

“You can’t run away from commitment forever … “

Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…

Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.

And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?

 I’m now also thrilled to share that Choc Lit have issued a further contract for my contemporary romance, Learning to Love. The book, written around a short story selected for publication in the Birmingham City University Anthology, Paper and Ink, is currently available on Amazon for Kindle. Please do feel free to take a browse. Meanwhile here’s a peek at the current cover and the blurb:Sheryl Browne

Learning to Love – Exploring the Fragility of Love, Life, and Relationships

An emotionally withdrawn, angry little boy is grieving the loss of his mother. Ten-year old Jake’s anger is aimed at his dad, who In Jake’s mind deserted his mum in her hour of need. Dr David Adams, Jake’s father, is carrying the heavy burden of guilt around the death of his wife. For all his training as a doctor, David had been as ill-equipped to deal with her decision to delay anti-leukemic treatment for their unborn baby’s sake, as he is to deal with his son’s grief. He feels Jake’s anger is justified. Now alone with his son, he has no idea how to reach him.

Andrea Kelly, David’s neighbour, mum of three and carer to her dotty mother, is forced by circumstances to take refuge at David’s house and becomes instrumental in bringing this lost little boy and his equally lost father together. Andrea, too, has relationship issues and, as her attraction to David grows, she wonders whether she should love a man who is, by his own admission, flawed.

What the reviewers are saying:

Deals with loss & betrayal in manner that lifts it far above an average ‘chick lit’.

Five enormous shining stars made of platinum!!!

Tissue box at the ready reader! 5 out of 5! On the Top reads for 2013 list!

An entertaining, easy read- a more mature style of chick-lit that might appeal to fans of Katie Fforde.

Truth, lies, deception, love, hate, anger and joy. This book goes on my top ten reads of all time!
DIZZY C’S LITTLE BOOK BLOG – TOP READS 2013!

Did I mention that all of my romance books now have lovely new covers? No? Oh. I think I probably did, but I can’t resist showing them off again. Here we go:

Sheryl Browne

Thank you for indulging me! And a HUGE thank you to all those bloggers and readers who have taken time to read and review my books! I would be lost without you!

Sheryl Browne

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl has seven books published to date.

Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY LIFE comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Sheryl BrowneAuthor Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Buy | Buy US | Pinterest

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Safkhet Publishing | Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

The Face in the Stones – REVEALED

It’s only recently, I saw the face in the stones in this photograph. I guarantee that once you see it, you won’t be able to “un-see” it every time you see the picture. It’s even visible in the older version of the photograph that’s the header photo for my blog.

stones
The photo from the earlier post
stones
Now with the face outlined

This stone circle, located in rural Aberdeenshire, Scotland, features in my debut novel – A Shadow in the Past – and its not yet published sequel – Shadows From Her Past.

This type of stone circle, known as a recumbent stone circle, is unique to Aberdeenshire. You can find out more about them here.

I’ve visited a number of stone circles in Scotland but I’ve never seen a face in them before.

Interesting? Creepy? What do you think?

Character ~ John Robertson from A Shadow in the Past

John Robertson – patriarch of the Robertsons

John Robertson played an important role in my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. He was the grandfather of my hero, Robert (named after my father Robert Robertson and my uncle Andrew Robertson).

In order to make this chart even remotely readable, it had to be split into three sections. This first section starts with the patriarch himself and his wife and ends with his grandchildren, Robert being one of them.

John
descendants of John William Robertson

This second section begins with his great-grandchildren who were Margaret’s (Robert’s sister) children.

john
descendants of John William Robertson cont’d

This last chart ends with one 5th great-grandchild – Colin Cameron.

John
descendants of John William Robertson cont’d

Some of these characters were mentioned in the first book. Some (but not all) will be introduced in the second one – Shadows From Her Past.

These charts were created using Legacy genealogy software and the handy dandy snipping tool in Windows, which I have to say is as ‘handy as a pocket in a shirt’.

A Shadow in the Past Blurb:

When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

I can’t share the blurb for Shadows From Her Past with you yet but when I can, you can read it here.

 

 

Character ~ Gordon Eadie from A Shadow in the Past

‘Auld’ Gordon Eadie

While he didn’t play a big role in A Shadow in the Past (two mentions in two paragraphs one one page in one chapter), his character was important to the story … and in more ways than one.

His forename, Gordon, latterly became part of the name of the farm Sarah was born and raised on – Gordonsfield.

Gordon
descendant chart for Gordon Eadie

And, as you can see from the descendant chart above, produced from Legacy, he was Sarah’s 3rd-great-grandfather. If you click on the chart, it will give you a larger image which is readable.

Not all of the characters appeared in A Shadow in the Past, nor will they all appear in the second book in the the series – Shadows From Her Past – but I needed to create a family for Sarah that included aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and grandparents.

A Shadow in the Past Blurb:

When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

I can’t share the blurb for Shadows From Her Past with you yet but when I can, you can read it here.

For more information on A Shadow in the Past and where you can purchase it, visit my website.

 

 

 

 

UK Style Car Boot Sale

Car Boot Sale

On Saturday, August 15th, I took part in a UK style car boot sale To benefit the Spencerville Mill. My UK friends will know what a car boot sale is. The nice folks at the mill were billing it as an English style sale, but they are popular all over the UK.

We could set up our allotted space any way we wanted. I happened to arrive first, so got the best ‘stall’ – right outside the entrance to the mill.

Car parked where I wanted. Canopy erected and partly over the car, it was time to open the ‘boot’ and set up my display.

car boot
my car and display

With it being a car boot sale, I only took a small portion of my wares out of the boxes to display. Everything else remained in the trunk.

As you can see from the way the table cloth is blowing, it was breezy. Good thing we had three bottles of water and a bottle of windshield washer anti-freeze and a multitude of bungee cords.

car boot
Me with my display

You’ll notice, although it doesn’t match my tartan throw, I am wearing a red and black tartan infinity scarf.

While it wasn’t one of my better sale days, I had a couple – one of which using my Square credit card reader. I sold 1 copy of A Shadow in the Past and 1 copy of The Consequences Collection.

 

 

A Perfect Place for a Murder?

In the name of progress a number of Eastern Ontario communities were basically wiped off the face of the earth for the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project.
murderThe dark blue on the map above shows the original river and the lighter blue shows the ‘new’ river after flooding.

People lost their homes and their livelihoods. Some houses were moved but the majority were either torn or burnt down but their foundations remain.

Zooming in on the google earth image of the area, you can see the old highway and rail line and how much land is now submerged.

The following three pictures were taken in August 1957 when the rapids at Long Sault were drained.

murder
my mum walking on the once submerged boulders of the rapids
murder
me on my dad’s shoulders at one of the once submerged boulders of the rapids
murder
me on my dad’s shoulders at a stack of once submerged boulders of the rapids

According to what my mum wrote on the backs of these photos, I was only 9 months old at the time.

I definitely don’t remember seeing the rapids drained but I do remember after the flooding. We lived near Maitland, ON far enough west that the effects of the seaway construction weren’t felt, but close enough to make it a nice Sunday drive.

murder
the old highway disappearing under the water and reappearing on the other side

I do remember scenes similar to this one in the photo I took in July of this year. As a child, I remember having nightmares about the road disappearing under the water never to be seen again but I didn’t know at the time where it was.

Bridges and causeways were built to join the islands created due to the flooding and became part of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. The road joining them is known as the Long Sault Parkway.

The scenic drive is free but to stop at any of the beaches or campgrounds or even the 45th parallel, you have to buy a pass.

murder
45th parallel cairn on McDonell Island
murder
closeup of the plaque on the 45th parallel cairn

The old CN line (formerly the Grand Trunk Railway) in the photo below is part of the Waterfront trail. I had taken photos from the same side of the road but after I crossed to see if I could see where the rail line reappeared, the sun came out from behind a cloud and illuminated it perfectly.

murder
the old rail line between the mainland and West Woodland Island

With  so much land now being under water, wouldn’t this location make a great place for a murder? Maggie Wheeler thought so and used the area of the Lost Villages for her Farran MacKenzie murder mystery series.

Maggie will be my special guest on September 19th. Mark your calendar for that date so that you don’t miss it.

 

 

The Face in the Stones

It’s only recently, I saw the face in the stones in this photograph.
face
This picture has been the wallpaper on my computer since the end of 2014 when its predecessor decided it was time to have a major malfunction.

The stone circle, located in rural Aberdeenshire, Scotland, features in my debut novel – A Shadow in the Past – and its not yet published sequel – Shadows From Her Past.

This type of stone circle, known as a recumbent stone circle, is unique to Aberdeenshire. You can find out more about them here.

Located on the top of a hill on a working farm (we gained permission from the owners to enter), in a field with cows and one bull, we had to  watch where we placed our feet. Initially afraid of us, it didn’t take long before the cows became inquisitive (sounds so much more polite than nosy) enough to set fear aside and come see what we were doing.

This particular cow looks like she’s resting her chin on the recumbent stone. Hers isn’t the face in the stones.

face

 

Do you see the face in the stones?

It’s Book Lovers Day!

Happy Book Lovers Day!

This unique holiday can also be celebrated on the first Saturday in November. So why not celebrate it both days?

book

bookHardcover, paperback, ebook. What’s your preference? Both have their advantages. Ebooks are usually less expensive than a paperback and definitely more so than a hardcover.

One hundred books on an e-reader weigh far less than the same number of physical books and take up a lot less space – better for travel.

For the person who likes mystery and suspense with romance…

book

When a contemporary teen is transported back in time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen year old Sarah Shand finds herself in Victorian Era Aberdeenshire, Scotland and has no idea how she got there. Her last memory is of being at the stone circle on the family farm in the year 2010.

Despite having difficulty coming to terms with her situation, Sarah quickly learns she must keep her true identity a secret. Still, she feels stifled by the Victorians’ confining social practices, including arranged marriages between wealthy and influential families, and confronts them head on then suffers the consequences.

When Sarah realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, she faces an agonizing decision. Does she try to find her way back to 2010 or remain in the past with the man she loves?

Buy links for A Shadow in the Past can be found here.

~~~~~~~~~~

For those who prefer short stories…

book

The Consequences Collection is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

The Consequences Collection is available for the kindle on all amazon platforms and in epub format at lulu.com

~~~~~~~~~~

And a middle grade Christmas novelette…

book

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus teaches Tim that the greatest gift you receive is the gift of giving.

Tim’s Magic Christmas is currently only available in paperback. To find out how to get your copy, contact me via email. Watch for it coming in kindle and epub formats.

 

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King

Copyright © Melanie Robertson-King 2008-2012 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form, or by any means electronic, mechanical or photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Should you wish to use material from this site, please e-mail melanie@melanierobertson-king.com for permission.