I cannot believe it has been 10 years since I first published Butterscotch & Me! But it has been and it seemed a perfect time to send them back out into the world again. Paperback, 8.5 x 11, these new editions were a lot of fun to put together. I enjoyed going back through all the illustrations. Seeing them with fresh eyes, I found I still loved them all. Each one holds so many wonderful memories for me and I can only hope that they will bring joy to others who read them.

And keep an eye out. I hope to have them available in ebook format in the near future. There is a fun interactive version of Molly the Mermaid on Reading’s a Breeze which you can find here.

Butterscotch & Me

With dreams as the canvas and their imagination as the brush, there are no limits to where a child’s mind will take them. Come along as a young girl and her friend Butterscotch set off on their dream-time adventures in this whimsical bedtime story. Drift on clouds through the starry night sky, play hide-n-seek in the miniature world of the garden, and swim to the deepest depths of the sea.

Butterscotch & Me shows us that there are no limitations when we use our imaginations.

Molly the Mermaid

Have you ever leapt over the rolling waves as they crashed on the beach and knew… just knew that you were meant to be in the sea? Follow Molly and her friend Penelope below the sunlit waves into the mysterious ocean blue. Search for silver combs and mirrors – a mermaid’s favorite things, explore long-lost cities and have tea with a leafy seadragon in this delightfully illustrated story celebrating the joys of a child’s imagination.

What Every Dragon Needs

What does every dragon need? Why a princess of course! Or so says the wise old frog. Join a young dragon named Percival as he sets off on a quest to find out what a princess is, and most importantly… where to find one.

Given my Stolen Away series is about fairies, it should be no surprise that I did more than a few web searches about them. No, the surprise was just how far down the rabbit hole I fell for just a few paragraphs.

Lumina and the Goblin King – when Lumina first sees the Goblin Host at the Fairy Queen’s court

Lumina’s eyes searched through the goblin host of their own accord, passing over its bogels, boomen and powries, henkies, glastigs and bodachs without stopping. She saw the blue face of muilearteach and brown fur of the wulver, but the familiar dark coat and feathered visage which she had hoped for, was nowhere to be seen. There was, however, another in the throng who caught and held her gaze. The Goblin King watched her as she spun past in a dance that now seemed infinitely slow. His eyes captured her as neatly as a butterfly in a net.

Lumina and the Goblin King – when Lumina first sees the Goblin Market through the mirror gate.

When she looked, the reflection in the water was no longer that of a crumbling ruin, but a great stone keep, whole and proud.

“Turn around, fair one,” Crow said, his taloned hand gently turning her back towards the Keep. 

When she looked, the same crumbling ruin greeted her, but the doorway was no longer filled with a crushing darkness. Instead it opened on to a busy market. Goblins of all kinds wandered through the stalls: bucca, brownies and barguest. Here a gruagach, there a hogboon; she even saw a human or two browsing amongst the merchants’ wares.

Yep, the writing of those couple of paragraphs set my feet on the path into research wonderland, and when I finally emerged, literally days had past. Or course, I enjoyed myself immensely! Here are some (but certainly not all) of the links that led me down that rabbit hole, in case you want to follow.

A quick note – I am not affiliated with any of the sites whose links I have shared below. I make no money if you click on them, and any of the ads or opinions seen there do not necessarily reflect my own opinions or suggestions.

Zeluna.net

Gruagach

Quaerentes in Extremuis

Into the Wonder

Scotland in my Heart

Wikipedia – Bauchan

Wikipedia – Bodach

Wikipedia – Wulver

sacred-texts.com – TheFairy Rade

There were also several books, because rabbit holes are not always confined to the internet. *wink* You can find a list of them on any of my previous posts titled “The Goblin Host”

There are so, so many out there nowadays! And everyone has a particular one they tend to gravitate to. For me, that would be Instagram. Seeing all of the amazing pictures that people post never fails to bring a smile to my face. And I have had the chance to meet people from all over who share my interests, whether they be fellow authors or cat lovers, or just people who, like me, enjoy the beauties of nature and allowing their garden to grow just a little too wild. There’s something kind of magical about being able to find those little commonalities, touching souls all over the globe.

So here are a few pictures, little bits of my world I’m sharing with you.

If you are interested in seeing more pictures of cats, gardens, my books and the sea, hop over and take a look at my Instagram.

Have you ever decided that you were going to “just take a moment” to look something up, only to emerge from your internet adventure hours later? Or, have you ever started out looking at one thing only to find yourself, again hours later, reading about something so far removed from where you started you would need a complex chart the size of a wall to trace back how you got there?

For me, the answer to those questions is a resounding YES! I have frequently fallen down the rabbit hole while looking something up for a story I am writing. And it’s usually for some small, insignificant little detail that really has almost no bearing on the story itself! I thought it might be fun to share some of these little side trips with you and what it was that led me there. So here is the first in a series of posts I’m calling Down the Rabbit Hole.

– Coffeehouses

” “Vandercroft? Not Amaris? So, your family follows the matrilineal line. How interesting,” he said as he held open the door of the coffeehouse for Devon. “That is a very old custom, and not one I often see used, even during this age of invention and enlightenment.”

The inside was much bigger than it appeared from the exterior, and surprisingly well lit by its numerous gas lamps. Tables and booths filled most the space, arranged so that one could have a small intimate conversation or a large heated debate with equal ease.

In one of my current WIPs, Where the Angels Dream, I wanted a place where various conversations between two particular characters could take place. Some place people might naturally gather but that would still allow someone to speak privately. That led me to look up coffeehouses in the late 1800s.

Did you know that coffeehouses originated in the Middle East in the late 15th/early 16th century? They made their way to Europe, England, and the Americas in the 17th century and were immensely popular. They did indeed become gathering places where people (mostly men) went to have quiet discussions and lively debates. Of course, this led me into looking up coffee and the various methods of making it: press, pour-over, vacuum pots and percolators…

Needless to say, over half the day went by before I wrote a single word on my manuscript, but I regret nothing! 😀 Here are some (but certainly not all) of the links that led me down that rabbit hole, in case you want to follow.

A quick note – I am not affiliated with any of the sites whose links I have shared below. I make no money if you click on them, and any of the ads or opinions seen there do not necessarily reflect my own opinions or suggestions.

Coffee History

The History of Coffee Houses – Driftway Coffee

Coffeehouse -Wikipedia

How Coffee fueled Revolutions – and Influenced History

The Surprising History of Coffee Houses – Coffee Affection

English coffeehouses in the 17th and 18th century – Wikipedia

Coffee Preparation through the Ages (Part I) – Comestibles

The History of Coffee Brewing

Interested in seeing out what I’m working on? Check out my WIP’s page, coming soon!

It’s true, reviews are a book’s best friends. So if you have recently enjoyed a book, any book, take a moment to write a review for it. The next person who spends several enjoyable hours reading it will thank you for introducing them… and so will the starving author who wrote it 😀

As many of you already know, I have a deep fondness for classic fairytales. That fondness extends to their illustrations as well. The bold pen and ink drawings, the intricate block prints, for me, they are part of what makes those classic tales so compelling.

“Through the night sky they flew, the stars a blanket above them. Below them rose seven high mountains, which fell into seven deep valleys with seven wide rivers winding through them like silver ribbons. On and on they flew until he saw in the distance a dark hill crowned by a house that shone like fire”
“The Swan Maiden landed in a great wide field that lay only a few miles from the king’s castle. It was there that she told the prince to open the first egg.  He did as she suggested, and what should he find inside but the most beautiful little castle, made all of gold and silver. He set the palace on the ground and it grew and grew until it covered a whole acre of land.”

When I saw fellow author and artist Anne Nydam’s block prints, I fell in love with them! Here are two she made for my retelling of Howard Pyle’s The Swan Maiden. Take a moment to check out her post about them on her blog Black and White. Or, for more wonderful art (of which I own a few) go to Nydamprints.com.

Excerpt from The Broken Court, book 2 in the fantasy series Stolen Away.

This scene is very much a nod to a book I read and loved as a young girl, “A Net To Catch The Wind” by Margaret Greaves.

It was a library book, and I wanted to own a copy so much. Of course, back then (pre-internet) it was sooo much harder to find books. If it wasn’t in a book store then you were kind of out of luck, and there was really only one bookstore in my town at the time. Say what you want about Amazon, but it has made it much easier to find and buy books, even ones long out of print. I have hunted down several books I remembered from my childhood and added them to my library with great glee.

The Broken Court was definitely written for a much older audience than “A Net To Catch The Wind” but it also has a character that has to learn to love unselfishly. Want to read more about the eld woman and Hoax? You can find their story on Amazon or B&N as well as many other online retailers.

The Broken Court is now available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! To celebrate, I posted an excerpt below. Of course, if you can’t wait for it to be released on May 30th, or if you just like to be in the know before everyone else (and you like free books) you can get an advanced reader’s copy here. I have also made a copy of Lumina and the Goblin King available here.

Reviews are a book’s best friend! So please, if you enjoy a book, any book, even just a little, take the time to write an honest review. Thank you.

And now for an excerpt. Hoax is deviling the eld woman, but not in his usual way.

Excerpt from The Broken Court, Chapter 2 – On the Breath of the Storm