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Somewhere Between Light and Dark – 2018 Tipsy Santa Blog Hop

Filtered Christmas Lights

© Lisa Shambrook

Somewhere Between Light and Dark

Birdsong filtered through the city noise and a breeze, as cold as the arctic, blustered through the trees. Kira let the chill dance about her feet and pulled her scarf tighter. She rested her hands on the park bench beside her. Frost still coated the wood like icing sugar and her finger tips traced gentle patterns.

She’d had a little tipple or two before leaving the house and a giggle left her lips. She felt deliciously naughty and not nice.

The birds still sang, but footsteps quietened them for a moment before they struck back up in a wintry chorus. Kira closed her eyes and listened to the beat of the shoe – heel, toe, heel, toe – until it faded in the distance.

The cold indicated snow would soon blanket the ground and the faint discord of Christmas music tickled her ears. She focussed on the music so intently that she missed the footsteps sauntering past, but her nose didn’t miss the scent that filled the air: salty, citrusy, and… sandalwood. Her cheeks flushed, but she didn’t move an inch.

Her attention leaped back to the footsteps and her eyes fluttered open again. The man sat down on the bench and Kira’s body tingled as the planks of wood sank adjusting to the weight of two. She was a little unsure if the cider she’d drunk at home caused the tilting warmth in her bones, or if it was something else.

He shifted his weight, somewhat uneasily, and the bench creaked. She splayed her fingers beside her on the wet wood, but they touched nothing. Her fingers retracted and her thighs tensed. His breath came light and shallow, and she imagined vapour like dragon’s smoke swirling before him.

“Hi.” His voice was soft, nervous, and gravelly.

He sounded like chocolate tasted, like coffee and vanilla, and Tia Maria, and she felt her heart skip. “Hi,” she responded, her own nerves tingling. It was a dangerous word, because maybe it wasn’t her he spoke to.

She felt the heat of his smile. “It’s cold, isn’t it?” he commented, staring ahead at the trees in front of them.

She nodded. “It is. Winter is definitely here.” She swallowed and bent her head a little.

He opened his mouth to speak again, but hesitated. Kira barely breathed, wondering if she should turn her head to him.

“I’ve seen you here loads before…” he began, then stopped abruptly, maybe worrying if he sounded like a stalker.

She smiled, recalling booted feet and aftershave. “I’ve noticed you too,” she said.

“You have?”

She nodded. “I know it probably doesn’t seem like I notice anything…”

“I didn’t mean it like that,” his voice betrayed anxiety.

“It’s okay.” She giggled, the cider giving her confidence. “I’m Kira.”

“Like Nerys?” he said quickly. “I’m sorry, that might be a bit too geeky! You might not have…”

“I have, and yes!” She grinned.

“Nick,” he said.

“Like Saint?”

He laughed. “Yep, just like him! But I don’t look a bit like him…” He paused and drew in a breath.

She laughed. “That’s okay, I’m not into the beardy type…” This time she hesitated. Maybe he had a beard.

“Good!” He said firmly, and she let out her breath. He moved a little closer on the bench and it rose and sank beneath his weight. “You’re not usually here alone,” he said.

Her mind whirled with danger, with attraction, and with a slightly tipsy sway. “I know, but I felt like getting out on my own.” She didn’t dare add it was because she knew he spent his lunch breaks in the park.

“Where is he?” he asked.

Kira reddened. He knew. She took a moment to compose herself. He was still talking to her, initiating conversation, even though he was perfectly aware of her situation. “He’s at home.”

“Do you often come out without him? I’ve never seen you alone before. I’d imagine he’s quite protective?”

She nodded. “He is, but I think he’ll like you.” She turned her head and bokeh from several points of light burst into her eyes. Even through a blur of light and dark, his silhouette was attentive and striking and she wanted to reach up and stroke his face. “You should meet him.”

“I’d like that,” he said and his hand moved across the bench to touch hers. “Would you like me to walk you home?”

She nodded. “I think Odin, my guide dog, will love you!”

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This is a Christmas tale for Ruth, Laura, and Cara‘s 2018 Tipsy Santa Blog Hop

750 words max on a tipsy Christmas theme. ‘Bring us your tales of drunken holiday mayhem (no Santa actually required, but the Tipsy part is highly encouraged).’

I’m feeling mellow this year, so not going full out drunk, just romantically tipsy…

Spring’s Symphony of Dragons

Let the Song of Dragons Lead You…

A Symphony of Dragons - Lisa Shambrook - Purple Ad lower

Marketing books is not easy – writing them is much more fun!
But if you’re looking for a new book this will tell you everything you want to know about A Symphony of Dragons.

Soar on dragon wings within a collection of fantasy, contemporary, romance, steampunk,
and post-apocalyptic tales composed with the gossamer threads of dragon fire.

Seven tales which will introduce you to my storytelling, if you haven’t read anything of mine before, and will enchant you. These are stories that move from very short to epic, and will leave you wanting more. Every tales entwines the theme of dragons, from stories about actual dragons, to the slightest hint of the refrain…

Symphony and Spring ad the last krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

So, here’s what you’ll get:

Change – The seasons arrive on dragon wings…
A Symphony of Seasons – If you thought you knew how the seasons arrived
– think again. They arrive with dragons.

A Symphony of Seasons © Lisa Shambrook

A Symphony of Seasons © Lisa Shambrook

Desire – A dangerous love potion…
The Apothecary’s Art – He’s looking for a love potion,
but going to get much more than he asked for.

The Apothecary's Art © Lisa Shambrook

The Apothecary’s Art © Lisa Shambrook

Love – Carving love in ice…
Between Ice and Fire – It’s a freezing morning when Laine comes
across an ice sculptor – will he carve a place in her heart?

Between Ice and Fire © Lisa Shambrook

Between Ice and Fire © Lisa Shambrook

Belonging – The finale…
Freya’s Dragon – A fitting and inspiring closing tale to my
Surviving Hope novels which can also be read as a standalone story.
Freya, Meg, and Jasmine find peace.

Freya's Dragon © Lisa Shambrook

Freya’s Dragon © Lisa Shambrook

Passion – Dancing beneath la luna…
Noctilite Tryst
– When dragon’s find their soulmate it requires passion, fire,
and a dance beneath the moon.

Noctilite Tryst © Lisa Shambrook

Noctilite Tryst © Lisa Shambrook

Sacrifice – Atoning Steampunk…
The Paroxysm – Faced with a ferocious dragon battle, steampunk Captain
Jericha Blacklocke and her crew make a devastating choice…

Paroxysm © Lisa Shambrook

Paroxysm © Lisa Shambrook

Triumph – Arianwen’s legend…
The Legend of the Seren Stone – The Daenmawr has attacked post-apocalypse Wales, and only Arianwen can conquer the beast.
She becomes the legend that accompanies my forthcoming Seren Stone Chronicles.

The Legend of the Seren Stone - Arianwen - art Hither the Wind - Tahina Morrison and J Edward Neill

The Legend of the Seren Stone © Lisa Shambrook – art: Hither the Wind by Tahina Morrison and J Edward Neill

Please visit my website to find information and links to purchase. This book is available in print and eBook at your local Amazon. All the purchase links and availability can also be found with my publisher at BHC Press. You can also purchase paperbacks at a reduced price at my Etsy shop Amaranth Alchemy

Please remember to add A Symphony of Dragons to your Goodreads Want to Read list and scribble out a reviewyou already know how much I’d appreciate that!

Symphony_Lisa_Shambrook_Ad_Release

Hanging out at the Book Fair Book Cafe

I’ll be taking part at the Llandeilo Lit Fest on Saturday 29th April… See you there!

writerchristophfischer

Book Fair and Book Cafe

Every year in April there’s a book fair in Llandeilo, an integral part of the Lit Fest with many authors being part of the festival programme as well. Local authors show off their books and are available to talk about their work and sign books. Get to know the talent that’s sitting in our very back garden.

This year we are collaborating with The Hangout to create an even cosier Book Fair and Book Cafe ambience. Sit down, have a coffee and hangout with the authors.

The Book Fair will be held  between 11am and 4pm Sat 28 and Sun 29 April at the Llandeilo Civic Hall on Crescent Road.

With over 30 local authors showing off their work it’s a good job that  food and drinks will be provided by Llandeilo’s very popular  cafe / breakfast venue The Hangout.

The Hangout  are special…

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Which Animal Lives in your Heart – what Animal Are You?

Many of us identify with animals…
we relate to certain creature characteristics, to animals we connect with,
on both an aesthetic level and on a much deeper spiritual level.

Which Animal Lives in Your Heart - What Animal are You - The Last Krystallos

Lots of novels bond their protagonists with animals, from Philip Pullman’s Lyra and Pantalaimon, her dæmon, in His Dark Materials, to Harry Potter and his stag Patronus, and countless other books. My own Seren Stone Chronicles, which I’m currently writing contain animals that have connected with some of my characters, and it’s definitely fun to write.

Many cultures have beliefs that connect them to animals like Native American Spirit Guides and Animal Totems. There is huge significance to those who recognise their animal guides, and it’s not a frivolous choice of whatever creature you like, but a deeply sacred experience. There are plenty of online games and quizzes to find your Spirit Animal, but it doesn’t work like that, a Spirit Guide will come to you, not the other way round and no one can assign an animal to you.

So, I am not talking about Spirit Guides or Spirit Animals here, I’m taking a more light-hearted look at animals that we feel a commonality with.

Years ago I wrote a paragraph, at a time when I felt trapped and confined in my life, and I yearned for escape: ‘I once answered a question: If you could be an animal, which would you be and why?  No hesitation… I would be a horse, a wild horse. “I couldn’t stand being a trained horse, left in a field and ridden when the owner wished…” I wrote. “I would be wild and free, roaming valleys, mountains, forests… I would race, chase the wind and explore, as free as the air. Graceful and beautiful.” Then I put a spin on my answer, I wouldn’t be a horse, I’d be a unicorn. I would not only be wild and free, but I’d be mythical and mysterious. People would wonder if I really existed, I would live in dreams, a free spirit, magical and carefree… I would be a unicorn.’

When I came upon this piece recently, it made me think about animals we relate to, and what animal I would associate with myself? Then I expanded and was curious which animals I would link my family to. I wonder if they agree?

Although I don’t like to limit the choice to one, I’d still love to be a unicorn – I know much more about myself and I believe I am probably a Squirrel

Lisa Squirrel

© Lisa Shambrook (bottom right: Squirrel wallpaper)

I’m anxious, socially awkward, and a hoarder. I scamper about erratically, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, collecting treasure – acorn cups in particular – and I am very much at home in nature, within the forests, wandering through mossy glens beside trickling streams. I will observe you from a distance, and maybe, just maybe, if I feel confident enough, I’ll sidle up close to see if I can trust you enough with my presence! I am soft, nervous, bold, a paradox, and wild, just like a squirrel.

Vince Bear

© Lisa Shambrook (top left: Bear wallpaper)

I see my husband as a bear, a big, brown bear. He keeps me safe, and gives me confidence and my trust in him is implicit. He’s large, in the best way, has a huge heart and when I’m in his arms, nothing can touch me. When he’s grizzly and grouchy he needs love and appreciation, and then his fur fluffs up and he’s happy to explore and adventure with us. His inner strength shines like the sun. Vince is cuddly, protective, tender, warm and passionate, just like a bear.

Bekah Fox

© Lisa Shambrook (top left: Fox wallpaper, bottom right: Fox wallpaper)

Bekah is a wild one, she moves to her own beat, and follows her own path. She has a nature that embraces adventure and exploration, and a spirit that defies definition. She knows what she’s doing, constantly bettering herself, learning new things and developing. Bekah is an individual – conforming is not in her dictionary – and her style is her own. She is passion and cunning, spirit and character; she’ll twinkle like the stars and keep you enchanted and enthralled, just like a fox.

Dan Dog

© Lisa Shambrook

Dan is definitely a puppy dog. He’s cheerful and loving and sensitive to everything about him. He’ll play with gusto and disregard, and throw himself right in at the deep end. Dan will be your rock, your companion, the person you can rely on, and he will trust you just as you trust him. He is faithful and strong, playful and open. You’ll know exactly where you are with him. He’s adorable, happy, stubborn, funny, and caring, and will always be there for you, just like a pup.

Cait Wolf

© Lisa Shambrook (top left: Wolf wallpaper)

My lone wolf is Cait, a spirit that seeks something deeper and won’t rest ‘til she finds it. She’s a deep thinker, an empathic soul that desires the best in an imperfect world. She wonders in the simplicity of nature, and yearns for compassion in her fiery heart. Cait will champion your cause and fight for your rights while wrapping herself within her own aesthetic. She is quiet, sullen, bright, and quick-witted, sharp and devoted, and she will move beneath the moon, just like a wolf.

What animal do you relate to most and what do you think others’ would perceive you as?

If you could be any animal, which would you choose?    

And…I might be a unicorn, or a squirrel, but I am also a dragon, and a cat…
and much, much more! What about you?

 

Love, Fear, and Gratitude – Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Suffering anxiety and panic for most of my life and seeing a counsellor has allowed me to investigate and see that its root is fear… There are many ways we can control fear, but it’s possibly the most damaging of emotions to us, so love really does need to win through! This is a beautiful and important post 💕

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

What is love? Not romantic love, but the essence of love, pure and unadulterated. Pure love lightens and enlightens. But what is it? In truth, love can’t be defined; we can only talk around it. In attempting to de-fine it, we con-fine it and thus lose it. Love simply is. And love is our true nature.

What is the opposite of love? Many would say hate. Seems logical, right? When we’re not sitting in love, expanded and with an open heart, we’re struggling to keep our heads above the quicksand of raw emotion. Truth is: the opposite of love is fear. All that isn’t love stems from fear. Love and fear are our primeval baseline emotions.

So what is this seemingly ubiquitous, all-consuming emotion we call fear? When we constrict – when our hearts close, our muscles tighten, our thoughts ricochet, our spirits dim – we sit in…

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Llandeilo X-Mas Book Fair in Pictures and Review

This is what I got up to last weekend – and I wore antlers!

130-llandeilo-christmas-book-fair-lisa-dec-2016

writerchristophfischer

15069158_1255388731194546_2608188367540591925_oOn Dec 10th the second Llandeilo Book Fair took place at the Civic Hall. It had a lovely Christmas theme and the town of Llandeilo continued its marvellous tradition of supporting the arts. Despite heavy rain there was a reasonable footfall an15493730_10153868506042132_6044812924487945261_od the characteristic positive vibe in the hall.

Many of the over 30 authors present had dressed up for the occasion, festive music added to the atmosphere and the popular “Hangout at the Yard” offered delicious refreshments.

15327500_10153868348822132_4609684603723834833_nEvery half hour a different events lured some of the audience to the upstairs event room throughout the day for performances ranging from interactive story telling, poetry open mic and author readings. On this occasion the organisers put particular emphasis on ‘Welsh’. Almost all authors present live in South Wales, and books with a Welsh theme or location were plenty afoot. 81ae2-hiraeth-a-loss-front-cover-artworkLiz Riley-Jones read from her Hiraeth Trilogy – introduced in Welsh, Graham…

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Wednesday Worries : How did we get into this mess?

Some thoughtful and passionate words from Christoph Fischer, emulating my own feelings about the hard right of society. Don’t tell me you care when you can’t give to others… We need less hyprocrisy and more compassion throughout humanity…

writerchristophfischer

We IMGP2282never had it this good on our beautiful planet: Life expectancy, average intelligence and health have improved so much in the last decades, overall poverty is in decline, we have more democracies than despots and fewer wars than ever.

Past generations fought for a fairer and better world, millions gave their lives to stop evil, racism, fascism, sexism and CWBY8Hxhate. They took in Jews, refugees, sent Care packages and even fed the ones who started the war, out of goodness and love.
The dividing line between good and bad was clearly visible but friend or foe, the Red Cross helped, we didn’t turn our backs on fellow human beings.

I was under the illusion that the United Nations, Nato, the EU… all of these were institutions to prevent future wars and bring us closer together as humans. Humanity was moving forward and we were approaching a new, good age.

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Tenby Book Fair: 24th September 2016

Come and join us at The Tenby Book Fair, come and find your new book!

Judith Barrow

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Events

Events to be held at the 2016 Tenby Book Fair, 24th September

Revised
Some talks, readings, Q&A sessions will be held in an adjoining room at the fair. Numbers will be limited, so it is advisable to reserve a place in advance. There is no charge.
  1. 11:00    Cambria Publishing Co-operative will be giving a talk and taking questions about the services and assistance they offer to independent authors.
  2. 11:30    Poet Kathy Miles will be giving a reading of some of her work.
  3. 12:00    Firefly Press will be talking about publishing children’s books and what they look for in submissions.
  4. 12:30    Prizes for the short story competitions will be presented in the main hall – no booking necessary.
  5. 1:30      Colin Parsons, children’s writer, talks about his popular work
  6. 2:00      Honno Welsh Women’s Press will be talking…

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Meet the Team at Blue Harvest Creative (@JustAddBlue) #BookDesign #BHCAuthors

Come and meet my Publishing Partners: Blue Harvest Creative – changing the face of independent publishing with its amazing authors…

I Write. I Read. I Review

Interview_BHCBlue Harvest Creative is a full-author services company, including website design, graphic design, print and advertising, and social media. But it’s their book designs that I’m featuring on my blog today.

Based in Michigan, U.S.A., Blue Harvest Creative works with independent and best-selling authors from across the globe.  With over 700 book designs, BHC is fast becoming a one-stop shop for authors looking for the best design, and guidance, to enhance their product.

I am delighted to invite two of BHC’s talented design and marketing specialists, Joni and Vern, to my blog to talk about book design and what the future holds for Blue Harvest Creative.

How did you get into book design?

My background is in graphic design, and I’ve designed everything from business cards to billboards. Many moons ago, before the days of eBooks and self-publishing, the industry was very different. When a client asked if I…

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Guest Post from author, @LisaShambrook #wwwBlogs 7 Reasons Why You Should Be You…

Got a chance to be part of The Big Blue Takeover on Shelley Wilson’s blog…so find out How to Be You!

I Write. I Read. I Review

Guest_Lisa

Today’s guest on the Big Blue Takeover is, Lisa Shambrook author of the beautiful ‘Hope Within’ series and blogger at The Last Krystallos. Over to Lisa…

To be nobody but yourself - the last krystallos- lisa   shambrook7 Reasons Why You Should Be You…

I spent years trying to be someone different, trying to be someone everyone wanted me to be. Way back in 1989 – I’m giving away my age now – when I was 18, I scrawled a poem: ‘I’ll open my heart and show you inside, but don’t let me know what you’ve seen. I want to be everything everyone wants me to be, but I’m not sure I know how. I don’t even know how to be me.’ …and I lived that teenage angst for another decade or so before allowing myself to discover who I was.

Don’t do it. Don’t be anyone but yourself.

Figuring out who you are is the whole point of the human experience. …

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