Sunny Saturday

Well, after a few flurries early in the morning, the day turned out to be gorgeous. With sunny days in the winter, the temperatures are colder, but we were well prepared.

After breakfast at the hotel, we were off. Our first stop was the slide outside Cosmos. Hubby took Buddy down it. Too bad I didn’t remember how to shoot video (a function I might use once a year at the most with my Canon). With my murky – no completely absent memory – all I got was this shot when he stood up at the bottom. Not what I planned on at all. However; he received accolades and high-fives from folks on the sidewalk afterwards. 😄

sunny

Despite my inept video shoot, they do look like they had fun, don’t they?

Further down the street outside the ice castle, there was a sculpture of a VIA train engine. What guy can’t resist pretending he’s driving a train?

sunny

Or a girl and her dog for that matter, even if he is a stuffed one?

sunny

There is so much snow on Dufferin Terrace that most of the benches are buried under it. Said snow crunched under our feet as we walked.

sunny

My favourite street in all of Vieux-Québec, Rue Sous-le-Cap, is once again open from one end to the other. This narrow street at the base of the cliff was closed for some time because of a rock slide.

sunny

It might be open, but it wasn’t all that easy to traverse with only tire tracks to walk in and slip and slide as one struggled for traction.

sunny

At the other end, the cars had been buried under blown snow (either by wind or mechanical means). I wonder if the one who left the bumper imprint was cleaned off entirely when it departed?

sunny

We don’t usually walk with canes, but when you’re on ice and snow, it’s nice to have a little extra support. Ice-picks affixed to the tip work well. Although we walked up the hill a few times, we took advantage of the funiculaire to ride to the top on this occasion.

By riding up the hill, we arrived in time to watch this performance. A freighter going upriver and the ferries leaving the ports of Québec and Lévis at the same time. It’s quite the water ballet.

sunny

The plan was to visit Simons after this display of navigational coordination. Who did we run into on our way there? The Mad Hatter! One can’t visit Carnaval and not take the time to speak with someone this famous (or should I say infamous). There were other people in costume in the area but they were otherwise occupied talking with other folks.

sunny

We did get to Simons and this time wasn’t out of necessity, but luxury. I love the quality of their wool socks so I stocked up.

It was later in the afternoon so we decided to have a few drinks and an early supper before returning to our room. Between the time we left the store and got to the Pub Saint Alexandre, a young man (not dressed for the weather) asked hubby if he could take a picture with him. We both think the lad thought “homeless” the way hubby carried the Simons bag on his cane over his shoulder.

The girls working behind the bar loved Buddy. I mean what’s not to love? Look at that face.

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He’s welcome there anytime because he was so well behaved.

sunny

A few drinks and fish supper later, we headed back to our hotel after a stop at the Mary’s Popcorn outlet up the street. The small bag of chocolate popcorn we bought previously tasted like more.

A beautiful moon made the walk back to our accommodations even more romantic.

 

 

 

 

 

Red sky in morning …

The adage “red sky at night, sailor’s delight, red sky in morning, sailor’s warning” summed up Friday, the 15th perfectly. Look at the beautiful sunrise in the first two pictures. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
red sky

red sky

How about now? This picture is of the same view as when we arrived, but the snow was so heavy, practically the entire vista vanished. The tower on the Parliament Building is barely visible!

red sky

After breakfast, we girded our loins and headed off to the Metro supermarket on Avenue Cartier for more French’s Sweet Onion Mustard, which is no longer available in Ontario. 😒

Some of the restaurants along Grande-Allée had ice sculptures in their patio areas, but the best ones were in Lower Town. These are just a few.

red sky
Yogi Bear and Booboo
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one of the smurfs

Created from ice, and it’s a slide! Okay, there’s some bare plywood showing. Remember this picture.

red sky
ice slide

Back to the sculptures.

red sky
Shaun the Sheep
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Three little pigs

When we reached this spot, we were asked to take a photo of a group of people with Bonhomme. The young lady taking the picture wanted to be included, so handed me her phone and I snapped some pictures for her. In return, she captured this one of us. If you look closely, you can see Buddy’s nose sticking out of the ‘book’ bag between Bonhomme and me.

red sky
with Bonhomme

And still more sculptures.

red sky
Snoopy and Charlie Brown
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Bambi

So much snow already on the ground, and now with today’s dumping, folks were removing the snow and icicles from their roofs and eaves. This wet stuff was perfect snowman making snow, and with too much weight, a roof could collapse.

red sky

After riding the funiculaire to the top of the cliff, we trundled off to Pub Saint Alexandre for a well-deserved drink and a chance to dry out. While there, we bought official Carnaval tuques. Our stuff was so wet; I didn’t think it would be dry by morning and wandering about in the cold in damp clothing does not bode well for one’s health.

This arch was outside Cosmos where we had supper. Just out of the picture on the left is another ice slide.

red sky

Tomorrow is Saturday, and they say it will be a fine day. We’ll see if they’re right.

 

 

Love is in the air … and adventures, too

It’s going to be a year of adventures for us, but for now, I’m concentrating on our recent trip to Quebec City, Vieux-Québec in particular.

What better time to arrive in this beautiful old city than Valentine’s Day?

On this trip, we stayed in a different hotel than on previous occasions. Our usual hostelry had no rooms available for the duration of our stay. However, its sister hotel around the corner fit the bill quite nicely.

I love older hotels or bed and breakfasts because of their character, but they lack some amenities – like elevators.

Hôtel Le Concorde not only provided us with a stunning room on the topmost floor (26th) with a fantastic view down the Grande Allée but underground valet parking, too.

adventures

I said the view was fantastic.

After settling in and enjoying one of the bottles of champagne we brought with us, we set out. I had to get my Simons fix, although this time it was a necessity rather than a luxury. It seems in the course of packing and rearranging; I left my tuque and scarf behind. Winter and not having those, especially when a snowstorm was in the forecast for the next day, not a good idea.

Suitably attired, we wandered down to the Lower Town where we stopped at Sapristi‘s Petit Champlain location, which we discovered on our trip in November, for our supper, followed by The Fudgerie to stock up on our chocolate, and finally the last stop before returning to our room was Mary’s Popcorn.

Suitably fortified with sweets and snacks for the rest of our time in Vieux-Québec, we headed back to our hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

2nd edition of A Shadow in the Past is in the kindle and kobo stores

Here it is all shiny and new! The 2nd edition of A Shadow in the Past.
2nd edition of A Shadow in the Past

 

Finally, the day has arrived where I can tell you the 2nd edition of A Shadow in the Past is available for purchase in the kindle and kobo stores!

Blurb

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 only to suffer 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

I’M A READER’S CHOICE NOMINEE

Not me, but my book!

Toot! Toot! My novel is a nominee in the thriller category!

nominee

Yes, you read that correctly. YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS is a nominee in the thriller category of the  2019 Reader’s Choice awards.

Blurb

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled but as their second-chance-relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal? Is fate still not done its dirty deeds?

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

 

You can only vote one time per category so I hope you’ll make it count by voting for YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2019-readers-choice-voting-page/

You can purchase your own copy of YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS from these retailers.

Amazon

Kobo

Books a Million

Barnes & Noble paperback

Nook

iBookstore

Cheers, and thanks for you vote!

Here’s tae the Scottish Bard, Robbie Burns

What better place to celebrate the life of Scottish Bard, Robbie Burns, than in a tartan chair in front of a crackling, wood fire.

I’m remiss this year in getting an online Burns Day celebration together. Shame on me. But, I have a valid excuse. I’ve had my head down working on my next novella. If you go by word length, it does qualify as a full-fledged novel, but that’s neither here nor there.

celebration
January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796

It’s Robbie Burns Day. Will you celebrate the bard today with haggis, champit tatties and bashed neeps?

Here at The House of King, we celebrated last Saturday (Jan 19th). My idea of a small haggis (about 1 pound), went straight out the window when the smallest one I could get this year weighed in at almost 3 pounds!

So tonight, I’ll have some leftover haggis, sans tatties and neeps as there aren’t any leftover, with whatever else I make for supper. With Burns Day falling on a Friday, it also means it’s grocery night for this gal. A hearty Scotch broth? Fish and chips? Maybe shortbread or sticky toffee pudding for dessert? Decisions, decisions.

celebration
The “Guest of Honour”

Address To A Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
Are bent lyke drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
“Bethankit!” ‘hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

And a wee bit of light reading for ‘after the feastie’.

 Enjoy your Robbie Burns celebrations no matter how/where your celebrate.

Book Trailer ~ YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the plunge and created a book trailer. In fact, Windows Movie Maker was still available. I read where you could make them using the Windows Photos App. A little search for ‘how to’ instructions and a lot of tweaking, and here’s the result.

 

Prologue

1st December 2010

The ScotRail service to Aberdeen pulled away from the platform at Stonehaven. The next stop would be his destination. As the train accelerated, the carriage swayed from side to side. The action reminded him of his mum rocking him after a bad dream. He drifted into a light slumber. When the compartment he was in crossed through a switch, it lurched waking him.

Less than thirty minutes to go. He settled back but was too excited to relax. When the Girdle Ness Lighthouse came into view, he knew he was almost back to the place he was born.

New, to him, construction dotted the landscape. Fresh graffiti adorned the stone parapets of the bridge over the River Dee. The Mitchell Tower at Marischal College, the clock tower of the Aberdeen Town House and the Salvation Army Citadel, vied for attention over the tops of the cluster of newer buildings.

He fooled the medical staff at the secure forensic unit in the south of England. After feigning rehabilitation, they released him into the community but he didn’t stay there long. He did a runner. He had unfinished business in the north east of Scotland.

Adrenalin coursed through him. Giddy with excitement, it was hard for him to remain calm. He shook his hands to try to stem some of the fidgetiness. Now, he was back in Aberdeen where it all began. How much of the city would he recognize? What changed since his departure?

Were the authorities looking for him yet? He would have to act normal so as not to attract attention. Stepping off, he adjusted his Fedora and strode across the concourse to the exit. Diesel fumes hung in the air and caught in the back of his throat. He coughed.

With the exception of the Union Square shopping complex adjacent to the railway station, Guild Street stayed more or less unchanged. Some of the storefronts in the granite buildings transformed, but overall, not a huge difference since he left.

The pavement ended at Market Street forcing him to cross over the road. He continued eastward. The location he sought should be nearby. He stopped for a breather – pressed his back against the building. The ships that supplied and supported the offshore oil industry occupied the available berths on this side of the harbour. Through a gap, the ferry to Lerwick and the terminal were visible on the far side.

The familiar Maritime Museum dominated the head of Shore Brae. Beyond that, the artery curved and became Shiprow. The cobbled road surface and pavement were difficult to traverse. Even the larger stones nearer the buildings were uneven. When he rounded the corner at Provost Ross’s House, another well-known building peeked out. He had come so far now, he couldn’t go back. He strode with purpose up the hill.

The Aberdeen Town House clock tower stretched above the roofline but that was the place he sought. Nestled between Henry’s Bar and the pedestrianized portion of Shiprow stood the As the Pages Turnbookshop.

When a customer exited holding a carrier bag emblazoned with the same signage as over the door, his heart skipped a beat. He hoped the establishment’s ownership hadn’t changed. That would defeat the purpose of his returning to Aberdeen.

The voices in his head only told him to come back. He had unfinished business with the woman with ginger hair – the one with no soul – who ran the retail outlet in front of him.

Now, to find a suitable place to wait and watch and bide his time until the moment was right.

BUY LINKS

amazon

Books a Million

Barnes and Noble

nook

Kobo

iTunes

What do you think of the trailer?

 

Welcome 2019!

welcome 2019

Welcome 2019!

Depending on where you are in the world, New Year’s celebrations are long since finished. Here, in my part of the world, they’ve just begun to welcome 2019.

In Scotland, the celebration is known as Hogmanay, and in the city of Edinburgh, the festivities are three days long! Now that’s a party.

My plans for seeing out 2018 and bringing in 2019 changed rather abruptly on Christmas eve, and I had to cancel them.  Two broken ribs and a cracked one (not mine, my husband’s) have that effect on things.

Vieux-Québec will have to wait another year. I wanted to be there to see in the new year so badly because I wrote about it in It Happened on Dufferin Terrace. Seeing the Ferris wheel and all the restaurants and bistros along the Grande-Allée with their outdoor patios open and the street turned into a giant dance floor. The night culminating with the fireworks display from the Plains of Abraham.

How did I see 2019 in since our plans changed? The same as every other year – in bed and sound asleep before midnight.

What did you do to bring in the new year?

 

 

 

N.N. Light’s Book Heaven ~ December giveaway

N.N. Light's Book Heaven

There’s still time to enter the December Curl up with a Book Giveaway! No better time to fill up that kindle you got for Christmas.

Having a hard time choosing what to read this month? While there’s so many wonderful authors and books available, it’s imperative to have a dependable and responsible place that can help you choose what to read. It’s even better when you get a chance to win free books! Every month, you can win free books from multiple authors hosted by N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. Numerous authors are offering their books in this collaborative group entitled Literary Giveaway Portal.

Literary Giveaway Portal:  https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal

Here’s the list of books up for grabs in this month’s giveaway…

e-copy of Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwan

e-copy of Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling

e-copy of Too Good to be True by Livia Quinn

e-copy of Debriefing the Dead (Book 1 of The Dead Series) by Kerry Blaisdell

e-copy of The Cauldron Stirred (Guardians of Erin Book 1) by Judith Sterling

e-copy of Arresting Mason by Amber Daulton

e-copy of The Queen of Paradise Valley by Cat Dubie

e-copy of The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser

e-copy of Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of A Debt to the Devil by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of The Kitchen Imps by A. L. Butcher (Smashwords voucher)

e-copy of The Colony and The Last City by RM Gilmour

5 e-copy of Angelica by Clabe Polk

2 autographed print copy of Erin’s Gift plus swag generously donated by Nancy Fraser (US/Canada only)

e-copy of Life Sucks After You Die by Crystal-Rain Love

e-copy of Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

audiobook copy of Rescue Love by Melissa Keir (US/Canada only)

e-copy of To Save a Lady by Patricia Preston (US only)

2 e-copy of Cinderella Busted by Petie McCarty

print copy of Sweet Seduction by Janet Lane Walters (US/Canada only)

autographed print copy of Seventeen Days by Linda Griffin

e-copy of It Happened on Dufferin Terrace by Melanie Robertson-King

e-copy of Dreamtime Sensuality by David Russell

e-copy of Romeo Vs. Juliet (Descendants of Time Book 1) by Laura Hogg (US only)

Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win!

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December Book Giveaway from N. N. Light’s Book Heaven

book giveaway

Once again, I’m taking part in N. N. Light’s Book Heaven book giveaway!

Want to find a new writer, learn what novels some of your favorite authors are reading, or find new book reviewer and blogger recommendations? Visit https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal  to enter this new multi-author giveaway. All genres are included whether it’s novels from debuting authors to award-winning/bestselling authors with multiple books and/or series. The best part — it’s all free for readers to enter, as authors are generously donating copies of their books as well as other prizes each month to help find new fans and build up their reading communities. I’m excited to participate in this month’s giveaway and can’t wait to share with you all that will be offered this month and moving forward. You never know which surprising authors might just show up on the list this year!

Here is a list of the books on offer this month:

e-copy of Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwan

e-copy of Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling

e-copy of Too Good to be True by Livia Quinn

e-copy of Debriefing the Dead (Book 1 of The Dead Series) by Kerry Blaisdell

e-copy of The Cauldron Stirred (Guardians of Erin Book 1) by Judith Sterling

e-copy of Arresting Mason by Amber Daulton

e-copy of The Queen of Paradise Valley by Cat Dubie

e-copy of The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser

e-copy of Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of A Debt to the Devil by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of The Kitchen Imps by A. L. Butcher (Smashwords voucher)

e-copy of The Colony and The Last City by RM Gilmour

5 e-copy of Angelica by Clabe Polk

2 autographed print copy of Erin’s Gift plus swag generously donated by Nancy Fraser (US/Canada only)

e-copy of Life Sucks After You Die by Crystal-Rain Love

e-copy of Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

audiobook copy of Rescue Love by Melissa Keir (US/Canada only)

e-copy of To Save a Lady by Patricia Preston (US only)

2 e-copy of Cinderella Busted by Petie McCarty

print copy of Sweet Seduction by Janet Lane Walters (US/Canada only)

autographed print copy of Seventeen Days by Linda Griffin

e-copy of It Happened on Dufferin Terrace by Melanie Robertson-King

e-copy of Dreamtime Sensuality by David Russell

e-copy of Romeo Vs. Juliet (Descendants of Time Book 1) by Laura Hogg (US only)

Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King