Marsali Taylor brings you A Shetland Winter Mystery #ASHETLANDWINTERMYSTERY

Marsali Taylor

The Shetland Islands are the backdrop for another murder mystery by Marsali Taylor.

Marsali Taylor

Blurb

It’s the dark nights in the run up to Christmas, and sailing sleuth Cass Lynch’s first night on dry land is disturbed by strange noises outside her isolated cottage. Tiny footprints in the moonlit snow trail from her front door before mysteriously disappearing. Soon Cass learns others were visited by the same tiny feet in the night.

It looks like ingenious local teenagers playing tricks – but what happens when festive games turn deadly?

Cass soon finds out as a schoolboy disappears, leaving only a trail of footprints into the middle of a snowy field. She’s determined to investigate, but uncovering the truth will also put her in danger . . .

Chapter One Extract One

trow: The trows were Shetland’s “little people”, who lived in mounds in the hill, and could only come out after dark. They liked bright colours, feasting and music (there are tales of human fiddlers being kidnapped underground for a trowie wedding), and were known for working mischief about the croft; sometimes their actions were more sinister, like substitut- ing a baby of their own for a human child (Old Norse, troll)
There was the sound of children giggling, stifled quickly as if they were up to mischief; a group of trainees planning some devilment. Kitten growled and jumped down from the bed. Whoever was on watch would deal with it, I thought, hunch- ing into the bedcover, and the thought jerked me awake. I wasn’t in my cabin aboard Sørlandet but in Gavin’s cottage in Shetland. Our nearest neighbour was a mile away over the hill, and didn’t have children.
I eased my nose out from under the downie and listened. Cat stirred and sat up. Nothing; silence, that dead silence after snow had fallen. There had been the first few flakes as Gavin had driven me back from the airport, followed by a rattle of haily puckles that had covered the ground in white; a good base for snow to lie on. I tilted my head up to look out of the window. Yes, more had fallen while I’d slept. The low hill of Papa Little was blue-white in the moonlight, and the stars sparked with cold light.
 I reached for my watch and pressed the button to light up the face. Half past eleven. Naturally the youngsters of the ship’s watch would be up at that hour, but I wasn’t on board ship now. All good land children were tucked up in their beds, sleeping peacefully, or illicitly playing on their computers or texting their friends. They weren’t wandering round a cottage miles from anywhere.
I was thoroughly awake now. Sørlandet had spent the last two months exploring the eastern seaboard of the States, and my body-clock was telling me it was six in the evening. I’d had a short nap to refesh me, and now I could get up and party. Beside me, Gavin was curved over on his side, back towards me, his breathing deep and even.
I slid out of bed and padded over to the window. The sliver of crescent moon had gone down, but the clear sky gave a pale light over the snowy hills and stars gleamed in the depths of the coal black water. There was no sign of move- ment anywhere, yet I had this sense of something stirring in the darkness. Kitten looked downwards from the sill, growled again, then trotted downstairs. I heard the clack of the cat flap.
Whatever it was, I supposed I’d better inspect. Maybe the ponies in the field behind the house had broken into the gar- den. I lifted up my bundle of clothes from the chair, and was tiptoeing out of the bedroom when I heard a car start up, way in the distance. I wouldn’t have heard it at all if I hadn’t been awake, if the back skylight hadn’t been open, if it hadn’t been such a still night. I reached the window just as the sound died away, and thought I saw a brief flash of headlights move across the starry sky. The silence closed in again.
I went slowly downstairs, not switching the light on. The ground shifted disconcertingly under me, as if the land had become fluid. It would take a couple of days before my balance adjusted. Freezing lino under my feet, the air icy on my skin.

AMAZON LINK TO BUY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shetland-Winter-Mystery-Sailing-Mysteries/dp/1472292065/

ABOUT MARSALI

Shetland
Author Marsali Taylor photographed onboard her yacht in Aith Marina, Shetland, Sep 2005

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland’s scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland’s distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women’s suffrage in Shetland. She’s also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.

You can follow Marsali at these links:

AUTHOR WEBSITE:www.marsalitaylor.co.uk

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/MarsaliTaylorAuthor

TWITTER: @marsalitaylor

I Made it Out by Avishai El #IMADEITOUT

Avishai

Avishai

BLURB

“I Made It Out” details the raw, uncut, and honest life events of Avishai El. She is 32 years old and decided to write this book to help other people who are going through situations that they feel as though they can’t get out of. She affirms that you can get out of any situation and provides historical context in which she used her mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual capacities to face challenges head on. In order to maintain peace, one has to go through things in life to get there. She has gone through ups and downs. All readers from all walks of life will be able to relate to her shared experiences. On days where you feel low in life and on days where you feel high on life, opening this book and reading it will provide you with the tools you need to succeed no matter what. Some of the imagery is explicit to paint a visual picture for the reader.

If she could get through it you can. You can make it out.

AMAZON LINK TO BUY

https://www.amazon.com/I-Made-Out-Avishai-El-ebook/dp/B09JN5T7C2

BARNES AND NOBLE LINK TO BUY

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-made-it-out-avishai-el/1140373886

ABOUT AVISHAI

Avishai

Avishai El is an international best-selling author of the Power of Why Book Series.  She is an international, professional speaker, and host of the most blunt holistic health podcast, Avi Unfiltered.  She is a Spiritual Medium and Holistic Health Coach who empowers people to fulfil their purpose and destiny on this planet.  Teaching others the holistic lifestyle utilising nutrition, lifestyle, and spiritual methods is her passion.  Avishai has worked with women all over the world and has helped them lose weight, change their mental health for the better, develop businesses, and reverse several diseases.  She has won an award for educating hundreds of people on the benefits of essential oils.  Hospitals have entrusted her to be on hospital papers as a holistic nurse for cancer patients.  People come to her when they are in a health crisis and Avishai has saved lives using holistic therapies.  As an avid vegan she heavily promotes the plant-based, vegan lifestyle.  The planet and Human Rights mean everything to her as she affirms everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  She comes from ancient ancestry and is currently in the process of learning her native languages: Latin, Moorish Latin (Modern Day Spanish), Chaldean (Modern Day Hebrew), Arabic, and Amharic.  Astrology and medical research on an array of topics geek her out, and is something she thoroughly enjoys studying.  Black, white, and grey are her go-to colours and the minimalistic lifestyle brings her so much peace.  She is multitalented and when she’s not writing, speaking, coaching clients, or running her many businesses, she is doing some form of interior design, graphic design, honing in on her innate makeup skills, randomly playing violin, singing, doing comedy, and so much more.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

www.instagram.com/avishaiel/

www.twitter.com/avishaiel/

www.facebook.com/avishaiel/

www.pinterest.com/avishaiel7

www.youtube.com/avishaiel

www.linkedin.com/avishaiel/

I would walk 500 miles, and I did!

On March 22nd, 2021, I had a left total hip replacement. In addition to the exercises I had to do daily, I set out walking not far at first. In the beginning, I did well to walk to the property line closest to the front door with the aid of my two-wheeled walker. However, never in my wildest dreams did I think I could walk as many miles, including that day (lots of steps from the car to the operating theatre) until the day before I saw my surgeon for a follow-up visit on November 4th.

miles
Can we have a drum roll, please…
miles
March 22nd, until midnight November 3rd, I managed to get an astounding number of miles walked!
miles
Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. I walked 500 miles in that time frame. Crazy, eh? It was 502.10 miles. And those are the only ones recorded. Some would have occurred when I was moving about not wearing my Fitbit because it was “charge-challenged” and sat on its charger.

To put this into perspective, it would be approximately the equivalent of walking from the CN Tower in downtown Toronto to Science North in Greater Sudbury and back.

I had good days and bad. My worst was April 16th, when I only had 295 steps or .12 miles. It must have rained heavily that day because I was out every day, even if it was just around the block. My best day was August 23rd, when I achieved 21,339 steps or 8.45 miles.

As a result of all my hard work, I feel better. I’ve likely lost weight, although I’ve not stepped on the scales to see. I know when I returned to work I was asked if I’d lost weight. That’s an added bonus of walking.

My next goal is to reach 1000 miles by the anniversary date of my surgery. I’m a further 12.51 miles closer after yesterday’s multiple treks.

Yay me!!!

 

N.N. Light’s Book Heaven 7th annual Holiday Gift Guide #holidaygifts #books

I’m one of the many authors taking part in N.N. Light’s Book Heaven 7th annual Holiday Gift Guide.
Book Heaven

Need a holiday shopping hand this year? I’ve teamed up with several award-winning/bestselling/top-rated authors to bring you the ultimate holiday gift guide for any book lover. The best part: it’s an online store. Scroll away and do all your holiday shopping in one place. Who knows? You might even find a few books you’d enjoy for yourself. https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/holiday-gift-guide

Throughout November, N.N. Light’s Book Heaven website will feature books in different genres.

11/1 – Audiobooks

11/3 – Contemporary Romance

11/5 – Holiday Fiction/Romance, Historical Romance

11/8 – Mystery, Cozy Mystery/Cozy Crime

11/10 – Self-Help/New Age, Nonfiction

11/12 – Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Supernatural/Horror

11/15 – Children’s Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult

11/17 – Women’s Fiction

11/19 – Fantasy/Science Fiction Romance, Fantasy/ Science Fiction

11/22 – Steamy/Erotic Romance

11/24 – Sweet Romance

My Christmas novella, It Happened on Dufferin Terrace, is in the Holiday Fiction/Romance category, which releases November 5. This first book in my “It Happened” series is priced 365 days a year at the low price of 99c/99p. That’s less than a cup of coffee.

What’s it about? Think “Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle.

You have until January 1, 2022, so there’s plenty of time to shop.

 

#BookBlitz ~ Snowflake’s Big Adventure

It’s a #BookBlitz today for Snowflake’s Big Adventure – a fun read for children.
#BookBlitz

#BookBlitz

#BookBlitz

BLURB

Sometimes going out into the world is scary, but it can also be exciting.

We all worry about our place in the world and Little Snowflake is no different. When the day comes for him to fall to Earth for the very first time, he’s filled with worry and wonder. Guided by Mama Snowflake, Little Snowflake and the others anticipate their destination. He knows the possibilities are endless and wishes he could do them all. There are so many things he could be, but will any of it be meaningful? Will he be satisfied with his destiny?

Snowflake’s Big Adventure is a fun and engaging picture book that helps children grapple with the age-old question: “What is my purpose?” It teaches, them how to overcome anxiety and trust the wisdom of those around them. Combining beautiful pictures with powerful life lessons, this book could be your child’s next lifelong favourite.

Buy Link

https://books2read.com/Snowflakes-Big-Adventure

About the Author

Snowflake's

Helping kids to love reading one book at a time.  Erin Mackey writes in various children’s genres, including picture books, early readers, chapter books, middle-grade fiction, and Young Adult fiction.  She has more than 40 completed picture book manuscripts and she continues to develop new story ideas on a regular basis.  So far, Erin has published picture books, middle-grade fiction, and Young Adult books.  She enjoys spending time with her husband, family, friends, church family, and her crazy cats who constantly entertain her and get into trouble.

You can follow Erin at these links:

Website- https://www.erinmackeyauthor.com

Blog- https://www.erinmackeyauthor.com/blog/

Facebook- https://facebook.com/ErinMackeyBooks/

Twitter- @erinmackeybooks

Instagram- @erinmackeyauthor

LinkedIn- https://linkedin.com/in/erinmackeyauthor/

 

the rough blurb and a scene #amwriting

Lately, I’ve not shared much of my own writing here at Celtic Connexions. I’ve been busy sharing and helping others promote their books and book-related ventures. Today, you’re in for a treat … or not. It depends entirely on your perspective. The good thing is I #amwriting. I’ve experienced a drought, but the thoughts are percolating once again. During my dry spell, I researched the plot thread that runs through this next project, and that’s the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire and the animals left behind. I know, pretty heavy subject matter. So without any further ramblings, here is the rough blurb and a scene.

The rough blurb …

Christopher Scott works in the oil sands at Fort McMurray and has to leave the care of his great Dane to his friend and neighbour when he’s away on the job. Unfortunately, while he’s at work, the nightmare of the wildfire becomes a reality and sadly, during the mandatory evacuation, his dog bolts and runs off.

A victim of childhood sex abuse, Lori Brownlee, has relocated to Calgary trying to put the sordid past and its unpleasant memories behind her. It’s been years, but she’s still plagued by the nightmares of those events from long ago.

Lori, an animal lover, joins forces with the volunteers risking their lives to save the pets left behind. She finds a great Dane and is able to persuade the dog to come with her.

Through social media posts about his missing pet, she and Christopher connect, and he heads for Lake Louise, where she is.

Is the great Dane Christopher’s missing pet? Will Lori’s past come back to haunt her?

and a scene (which could or could not hit the cutting room floor) …

Christopher Scott paused in front of the flatscreen TV mounted to the Millennium Lodge’s recreation room wall. News of the wildfire burning to the southwest filled the screen.

Earlier in the day, the sky was blue, as if no fire burned. A something inversion, they called it. Temperature possibly. The clear cerulean from before now replaced with brown, orange, and red closer to the horizon. Plumes of smoke rose from the ground as the fire ravaged everything in its path.

He pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and took it out of silent mode. Missed calls. Lots of them. Checking the callers’ list, he discovered most were from his mother. The other came from his neighbour Frank Connolly. 

Frank moved in a couple of years prior while Chris was on his two weeks off. They worked opposite shifts to one another. Unless one or the other took vacation time, they didn’t see each other. Wolfgang, Chris’s Great Dane, needed ‘doggie daycare’ and more while Chris worked. When the dog was a puppy, he took him to work with him. The women employed at the lodge looked after him while he worked. That arrangement worked well until Wolfgang got too big for his crate. Frank’s two daughters loved the big lummox. 

Pressing the screen on a call from his mother, Chris dialled. “Hi, ma. What’s up? You’ve only called me like a dozen times today.”

“I’m worried sick about you., and you not taking my calls hasn’t helped.”

“Sorry, but you know I can’t be on the phone when I’m working. There’s nothing wrong with any of the family, is there? You’re okay?”

“We’re all fine, but haven’t you heard?”

“What?” Chris paced back and forth in front of the television.

“Mandatory evacuation. Everyone. Especially in your neighbourhood.”

He pressed his thumb and fingers against his forehead. “Calm down, ma. I’m sure it’s just a precaution. It’ll be fine.”

But would it? Was that the reason for Frank’s call? Except for pictures of Wolfgang with the children, accompanied by a quick update, communication was usually minimal.

“I missed a call from Frank. Let me return it, and I’ll phone you back. Won’t take long. Love you. Bye, ma.” Christopher ended the conversation with his mother and immediately rang his neighbour. “Hey, Frank, what’s this about an evacuation?”

“You heard right. The authorities gave us fifteen minutes to get our stuff together and leave. We planned to take Wolfie with us, but he bolted, and we couldn’t find him anywhere. I’m sorry. We had to go.”

Christopher swallowed hard. The thought of Wolfgang, alone and scared, roaming the streets during a wildfire terrified him. He understood Frank’s position. If only his dog weren’t so strong-minded. His friend referring to the dog by his nickname brought back the memory of when he first met the Connollys. Becky, the youngest, wasn’t quite three years old yet, and she couldn’t pronounce Wolfgang or Wolfie. So when she said it, it always came out Woofie.

Rest assured, nothing happens to Wolfgang. I know better than to kill an animal in a book. That’s a sure-fired death knell for an author.

And here’s a picture of the big, lovable guy. Isn’t he cute?

blurb and scene
Wolfgang

 

What do you think of the rough blurb and a scene? I know it’s not much so far, but even the largest oak tree came from a little acorn.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to read them.

Do you want to know more about my It Happened series? You can read about it here.

The Conflict Thesaurus Is Here!

I don’t know about you, but I get a little excited when a new writing guide comes along. Today I get to spill the news that The Conflict Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Obstacles, Adversaries, and Inner Struggles (Vol. 1) has hit the shelves.

conflict thesaurus

This guide is about that killer ingredient our stories need: Conflict. It shows you exactly how to use conflict to raise tension, create a fresh story premise, and pull readers in. The guide also dives into over 100 conflict scenarios and how each can be endlessly adapted to challenge a character inside and out. Problems, Moral Dilemmas, Ticking Clocks, Obstacles, No-Win Scenarios…this book is plot brainstorming in overdrive!

I’m part of Angela & Becca’s Street Team for this release, and we have an important question to ask you:

Can You Survive Danger as Well as Your Favorite Protagonist?

 Sure, it’s easy for you to use conflict to torture your characters and make them struggle, but what if it’s you in the hot seat instead? Will you make good decisions, or bad ones? 

It’s time to find out by taking the Conflict Challenge! I dare you to become the protagonist in a special story Angela & Becca have created. And heads up, if you survive, you win some pretty cool stuff! 

conflict thesaurus

GIVEAWAY ALERT

While you’re at Writers Helping Writers taking the Conflict Challenge, make sure to enter The Conflict Thesaurus celebratory giveaway, too. But hurry – it’s only on for a few days. 

So, take the challenge…if you dare. And don’t forget to come back and let me know how you did against Camp Deadwood! 

Snowflake’s Big Adventure ~ #CoverReveal

Snowflake’s Big Adventure is a fun read for children.
snowflake's

Snowflake's

BLURB

Sometimes going out into the world is scary, but it can also be exciting.

We all worry about our place in the world and Little Snowflake is no different. When the day comes for him to fall to Earth for the very first time, he’s filled with worry and wonder. Guided by Mama Snowflake, Little Snowflake and the others anticipate their destination. He knows the possibilities are endless and wishes he could do them all. There are so many things he could be, but will any of it be meaningful? Will he be satisfied with his destiny?

Snowflake’s Big Adventure is a fun and engaging picture book that helps children grapple with the age-old question: “What is my purpose?” It teaches, them how to overcome anxiety and trust the wisdom of those around them. Combining beautiful pictures with powerful life lessons, this book could be your child’s next lifelong favourite.

About the Author

Snowflake's

Helping kids to love reading one book at a time.  Erin Mackey writes in various children’s genres, including picture books, early readers, chapter books, middle-grade fiction, and Young Adult fiction.  She has more than 40 completed picture book manuscripts and she continues to develop new story ideas on a regular basis.  So far, Erin has published picture books, middle-grade fiction, and Young Adult books.  She enjoys spending time with her husband, family, friends, church family, and her crazy cats who constantly entertain her and get into trouble.

You can follow Erin at these links:

Website- https://www.erinmackeyauthor.com

Blog- https://www.erinmackeyauthor.com/blog/

Facebook- https://facebook.com/ErinMackeyBooks/

Twitter- @erinmackeybooks

Instagram- @erinmackeyauthor

LinkedIn- https://linkedin.com/in/erinmackeyauthor/

Covers by Suzy #customcovers #coverdesign

It’s my pleasure to welcome friend and fellow author, Suzy Turner to Celtic Connexions today. Her latest venture is designing book covers.

Without any further ado, we’ll get right on with it. I’ve had the chance to visit your website and peruse your covers. What made you decide to make the leap into creating covers to sell?

I’d been creating covers for my own books for a few years (as well as for an author friend) and people kept suggesting I should do it for others. But I wasn’t confident enough… until now. I’ve learned so much over the past few years that I finally feel that I can use my knowledge and skills and put them to good use!

You mention the fonts can be changed from the ones used on the display covers. What if an author has a different title in mind for their book? Can the title be changed as well? Is there an extra fee involved?

The titles I use on the pre-made covers are just my titles for the books (to make it easier for me to identify each one and to give the author an idea of what it will look like), and will be changed at no extra cost.

If an author chooses a cover that doesn’t have an additional line of text (ie. USA Today bestselling author, NYT bestselling author, Award-Winning author) can it be added? Is there an extra charge for it?

No, not at all. I’ve used an additional line of text just for example. Authors can choose to have whatever text they like on the covers at no extra charge.

Where do you get your images?

I use my own photography, as well as stock imagery from legitimate sites such as www.depositphotos.com.

What software do you use to create the covers?

I create my book covers using Affinity Photo (very similar to Adobe Photoshop).

So let’s have a look at a few of your covers!

covers

covers

covers

covers

covers

About Suzy


Suzy Turner is a keen reader and writer who has always been obsessed with all things magical and mystical, so it was only natural that she would eventually find herself writing books and creating book covers and photographic art about such mysterious things.

She’s been writing books for over a decade, mostly within the YA urban fantasy and chick-lit genres, and she currently has 13 books available.

Suzy recently started creating pre-made book covers for other authors, after having made her own for years. It’s only since discovering a passion for photography and fine arts that she realised she had something to offer her fellow authors.

Married to her childhood sweetheart, Michael, they live in the Algarve with their three adorable cats and a cheeky little dog. The couple grew up in Portugal, after moving there in 1986 when they were kids.

In January 2021 Suzy launched a brand new 40+ lifestyle blog, The Grey Brunette, where she shares her love of style, beauty, travel, etc.

You can find Suzy at:

Lifestyle Blog: www.thegreybrunette.com

Facebook (book covers): www.facebook.com/coversbysuzy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/suzyturnerbooks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/suzyturner

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/suzyturnerbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/suzy_turner

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your latest venture with us. Best of luck with your cover design business!

Detective Kate Young series by #CarolWyer

Nobody can get into the mind of an erratic killer—except an unpredictable detective.

When a young man is found lying on a station platform with a hole in his head, DI Kate Young is called in to investigate the grisly murder. But the killing is no one-off. As bodies start to pile up, she is faced with what might be an impossible task—to hunt down a ruthless killer on a seemingly random rampage.

Meanwhile, Kate has her own demons to battle as she struggles to come to terms with her husband’s death. And she is hell-bent on exposing corruption within the force and bringing Superintendent John Dickson to justice. But with the trail of deception running deeper—and closer to home—than she could ever have imagined, she no longer knows who she can trust.

With her grip on reality slipping, Kate realises that maybe she and the killer are not so different after all. But time is running out and Kate is low on options. Can she catch the killer before she loses everything?

And now for the moment you’ve been waiting for. The cover for book 3 in the DI Kate Young series – A Life for A Life.

Detective

Out March 15th Available to pre order now.

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook

US: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Life-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook

“WOW! Gritty and tense. DI Kate Young is an exciting new lead character I can’t wait to see more of in this compelling series.” —K. L. Slater, bestselling author of Little Whispers and The Apartment

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King