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.
Out March 15th Available to pre order now.
“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
Celtic Connexions is thrilled to host Maggie Tideswell and her latest book, Haunted Bride.
Moragh’s Ghost Book 1
by Maggie Tideswell
Genre: Paranormal Romance
“Excellent read! Maggie Tideswell’s book is impossible to put down. This writer is skilled in evoking deep emotions in the reader. A pleasure to read.” – Amazon Reviewer
A marriage of convenience – no strings attached – suited both Holly and Joshua just fine; a virgin marriage, so that they could both walk away… But they made a crucial mistake: they didn’t take chemistry into account.
Seriously? They actually advertised for a husband for her without telling her?
She was going to have to kill them, stone dead.
But having a ‘husband’ behind her would give her an edge she didn’t have now. Donald, her ex, and his wife would have to revise their strategy of keeping her children away from her. That was an advantage worth taking a risk for. But what kind of man was likely to respond to a tiny ad in the newspaper no one reads anymore?
Nicole had to marry him now or let him go. He was done waiting, but he did not know what else he could do to persuade her to his way of thinking. Until he saw the little ad in the paper. A plan fell into his head as if he’d snapped his fingers. This woman who audaciously advertised herself as available would do perfectly. Married to another woman would make him irresistibly attractive to Nicole – as was the case with everything she wanted and couldn’t have.
From the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage, strange things started happening to her, and the strangeness followed her to her new (temporary) home. She was going to have to unravel a decades-old mystery before anything else.
A ghost, a wronged fiancée, and trouble with everyone around them. Will Holly and Joshua get what they’ve set out to achieve?
Windows rattled in the wind, threatening the glass in its frames. Smoke billowed down the chimney, filling the room, tendrils of which swirled around the lovers, heating and cooling them at the same time.
Then, silence. That was when Holly heard the owls again.
She imagined she heard their wings beating the air, but it was probably her blood slowing in her veins.
Reality hit unmercifully. She covered her face with her hands. What had she done? This wasn’t supposed to have been a real marriage. How weak, needy, immoral—or all of the above—was she? She had only met the man a few hours ago.
Joshua raised himself onto his elbows propped on either side of her head and glanced about the room. “Was it me, or did the earth move for you, too?” When he kissed her, she felt his grin. “The owls approve. This can only predict good fortune for our plans.” He rolled to his feet, swinging her up into his arms as he went. The door of the morning room crashed against the wall when he kicked open.
The passage was dark, the only light coming from a small window at the far end and from the open door behind them. The house creaked and sighed around them.
Every house has its own sounds.
Holly snuggled into Joshua’s shoulder, rubbing her nose against the hot skin of his throat. There was nothing to be scared of, yet she jerked in his arms when he kicked another door open and it rebounded against the wall.
He grinned down at her. “Skittish, aren’t you?” he said, depositing her in the middle of the huge four-poster bed.
He didn’t understand, and she wasn’t about to enlighten him. What wouldn’t he think if she were to tell him a ghost was following her around, scaring the daylights out of her?
The fire in the hearth cast long licks on the walls. When he met her eyes, she lifted her arms to him in welcome, her earlier remorse a thing of the past. She couldn’t wait to be possessed again, this time to the chorus of the nocturnal hunters she could hear outside the window. She wouldn’t fear them. If Joshua said their presence was a good omen, who was she to argue?
Drifting back down to earth with the pleasant weight of her new husband pressing her into the mattress, there was a flutter of wings in the absolute silence before an owl landed on the headboard. Its claws scratched the finish from the wood.
Holly flapped her hands, trying to shoo the creature into the air, but only when Joshua rolled off her, did it take flight. She watched him sit up on the edge of the bed to follow the owl’s progress around the room. When it found the window and the night outside, he settled onto his pillows and pulled her head to his shoulder, lighting a cigarette.
Through the fog of sleep, she heard him say, “Wasn’t that something? They’ve never made their way inside before. It seems to be a time for firsts.”
Holly’s eyes fluttered. She’d take his word for it; she was far too sated to worry about birds. About to succumb to slumber, he said from somewhere above her head, “I presume you are on the pill?”
His voice was low in the still of the night, but her eyes flew open, and her head came off his shoulder quicker than he could have said ‘gotcha’.
Sitting on her ankles in the middle of the bed, she clasped both hands to her mouth. She hadn’t worried about birth control for so long, it had completely slipped her mind.
What if she got pregnant?
They had done it twice without protection.
This could turn into a complication that would most surely foil his plans, although it would help her own cause tremendously.
Joshua had been stubbing his cigarette out, but when he turned back and saw her face, he, too, shot up from the pillows. “You’re not on the pill,” he stated as he swung his legs from the bed. With a vicious curse that had her ears burning, he pulled a pair of jeans and a shirt from the closet, and slammed the bedroom door behind his naked self.
Tears welled in her eyes and spilled over unchecked. Okay, this was nothing new. She knew he wanted children, but the kiddies had to be born from Nicole to satisfy Joshua’s sensibilities. In so many words, he had told her he’d amuse himself with her while they were married, but it would be no more than part of the act.
How easily she had fallen for him?
This was not what she had planned to do.
Would he ever believe she hadn’t meant to trap him?
Maggie Tideswell, internationally acclaimed bestselling South African author, has a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, making it love, not money, that makes the world go round.
Ghosts just can’t seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can’t be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.
Maggie just can’t do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time.
The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them.
That might change soon.
$15 Amazon giftcard,
ebook of Find My Love by Maggie Tideswell
– 1 winner each!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
What would you do if you saw your father murdered and no one believed you? When he was twelve Finn McAdam, saw his father, a scientist, murdered. No one believed him. Now he has returned to his native Galloway to discover the truth. Wherever it leads him. Whatever it costs. But the conspiracy he discovers exposes a cover-up involving leading political figures and places his life in great danger. Some people are determined that the truth must not get out.
Chapter 1 – Part one
I was level with the library when I first saw him across the road, emerging from the entrance to a garage. He moved into the light of the late afternoon sun, casting a long, dark shadow across the pavement, which felt like a dagger pointing at my heart. There was no doubt it was him. His face was etched in my mind forever: straight, long nose perched above a narrow mouth, not overly attractive, dour type. Black hair that now looked dyed, slicked against his head. He seemed at peace, unaware of me as he walked down the road, wearing what looked like an expensive tweed jacket edged with leather piping, smart tan trousers and black brogues.
I was stunned that I had finally found him, disbelieving, adrenaline surging, light-headed. I had searched for him unsuccessfully for many years, always on the lookout. Now I had run into him when I hadn’t expected it, on my way to get food from a local supermarket.
Jolted by his sudden appearance, I found myself standing gawking at him but turned away not wanting to alert him to my presence. Desperately trying to regain my composure, I walked on trying not to turn around. Hurriedly, I reached stone steps leading up to a car park at Market Hill near the top of the town, clutching at the handrail gasping for breath, my stomach knotted, head light, dizzy. After all this time I had seen him again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alasdair’s first two novels were set in Islay and Mull (west coast of Scotland) and have proved very successful, rich in local detail with interesting plots.
His third novel, Devil’s Cauldron, is set in Galloway which is in southwest Scotland, he likes to write about places that he knows the best.
Before he turned to fiction, he produced a series of books exploring Scotland’s lost railways, a hobby that he enjoys with his sons and that took him all over Scotland.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alasdair-Wham/e/B0034NASL6/
Fascist populists, callous sex-traffickers and murderous mafia gangs – these were not what Pastor Jude Kilburn had expected to face when he moved to Albania. But when vulnerable 19-year-old Alban disappears from his poverty-stricken village to seek work in Greece, Jude has to undertake the perilous journey across the mountains to try and rescue him from the ruthless Athenian underworld. Accompanied by a volatile secret-service agent and a reformed gangster, Jude soon finds himself struggling to keep everyone together as personal tensions rise and violent anti-austerity riots threaten to tear them apart and undermine the mission. Caught between cynical secret police and a brutal crime syndicate, the fate of them all will be determined by a trafficked girl – but not every one will make it home. The Migrant is a tense and evocative thriller with a powerful redemptive twist.
Chapter One Part Three
Ssshhh … budalla,’ hissed Ervin as he stepped back and lifted him by the arm. When he was upright, Alban yanked it back and glared again at him. He walked briskly for the next hour close behind him, listening as the trees rose around them and the darkness between them deepened. At one point they came upon a wolf cub lying alone on its side at the track’s edge. Its breathing was shallow and rapid. Alban squatted down beside it and gently lifted its head.
‘Oh, how bad,’ he whispered to Ervin. A little blood from its mouth came off on his fingers. He remembered his uncle Skender and the argument they’d had: the shock and the hurt when Skender struck him across the mouth forwards and backwards. He loved Skender. It was the raki: he drank too much of it. Well, he was nineteen now, not fifteen, and old enough to make his own decisions. He wanted to take the cub and nurse it. He brushed a tear from his cheek, partly for Skender, and left it.
The track came to an arched, stone bridge just wide enough for a cart to cross, and Alban stopped to peer over the side. The sound of trickling water came up from the ravine where a cluster of fireflies were gyrating around each other.
‘Ervin, shall we stop a little? What time is it?’ he asked quietly.
‘Let’s get across that clearing … by the edge of those trees. It’s gone ten.’ They passed a circle of blackened stones that lay around the charred remains of branches, plastic bags and empty Tirana Beer cans. ‘Albanians … always leave the local picnic spots clean when they leave. Why don’t they mark the route with arrows so the Greeks know where to wait for us?’ said Ervin with disgust. Alban slumped down on the grass by him and lay on his back.
‘Hey! Ervin, that was close. I thought you’d done this before?’ said Alban. Ervin looked away, avoiding the embarrassment of an acknowledgement, thought Alban. ‘So, what are the Greeks like?’ he continued. ‘Do they cook their pilaf like us?’
‘You’ll see them soon enough,’ said Ervin. ‘There are good and bad ones … the army are the worst. They could shoot you in these parts in the early years. They caught a group of Albanians once and made them all climb up a tree. Then they cut it down – laughing – as they fell through the branches, like it was sport.’ He then smiled and wiggled his finger as if it was swimming through water. ‘They like their pilaf with seafood in it. Prawns.’
Alban felt a coldness entering him despite the warmth of the June night. He drew his sack closer and untied the string around its neck. He lifted out a jar of village cherries in syrup with a spoon, and some sardines fried in flour and wrapped in newspaper his mother had cooked yesterday. Then he pulled out a roll of plastic sheeting for sleeping under. Lastly, he took out his best training shoes. They were white with a black tick on the side. He buffed them with the edge of his T-shirt while he ate a little.
‘They are originals, not Turkish,’ he snapped as he noticed Ervin’s sceptical look. They were like his cousin Shpetim used to wear. They would help him make a good impression on Greek employers, he thought. He’d find work, despite the crisis. He would show them that he was a good worker too. He could put his hand to many things: plastering, picking peaches – he even knew a little about plumbing. He picked up a tiny, tin compass that had rolled out onto the ground. It had the flag of Great Britain on the back and the white wheel of the London Eye on its face. He tapped it and noted where the needle pointed and then where south-east was, deeper into Greece, where the distant silhouette of a watchtower could be seen just above the treeline. ‘Want some fish?’ he said and passed the sardines over to Ervin as he stuffed the other items back inside.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Alkazraji worked as a freelance journalist in the UK from the mid-nineties. His articles were published in Christianity Magazine, The Christian Herald, The Church Times, The Baptist Times and other publications. His travel articles were also published in The Independent. His first book Love Changes Everything, a collection of seven testimonies, was published by Scripture Union in 2001. His second book Heart of a Hooligan, a biography of ex-football hooligan Dave Jeal, was published by Highland Books in 2000. His third book Christ and the Kalashnikov, a biography of missionaries Ian and Caralee Loring, was published by Zondervan in 2001. From 2004 to 2010 he was editor and publisher of Ujëvarë magazine in Albania. His first novel, ‘The Silencer’, was published by Highland Books in 2012. His new novel, ‘The Migrant’, set in Albania and Athens during the austerity troubles, was published by Instant Apostle in February 2019.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Muthena-Paul-Alkazraji/e/B0034OJYLK/
First, it was Marketing Matters, then Motivation Matters and now we have Creativity Matters which has already hit the #1 spot in Hot New Releases at Amazon.
Have you always thought about writing a book but don’t know where to start? Are you an experienced author and want to spread your wings? Are you looking for inspiration for every step in your writing journey? This is a book for everyone who wants to write, whether history or contemporary, science fiction or humour, local fiction or set in a made-up world, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, there’s something here for you. Join thirteen authors as they share their passion for why you should write in their genre and find your own passion as you read.
It’s time for you to spread your wings, follow your dreams and find your passion for writing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy H Jones is the Amazon #1 international best-selling author of the award-winning DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her Young Adult Mystery, The Dagger’s Curse was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers’ Choice Award. She is also The President of the Scottish Association of Writers, an international public speaker, and runs conferences and workshops on writing, motivation and marketing. Wendy is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival. She is the editor of a Lent Book, published by the Association of Christian Writers and also the editor of the Christmas Anthology from the same publisher. Her first children’s book, Bertie the Buffalo, was released in December 2018. Motivation Matters: Revolutionise Your Writing One Creative Step at a Time, was released in May 2019. The Power of Why: Why 23 Women Took the Leap to Start Their Own Business was released on 29th June 2020. Marketing Matters: Sell More Books was released on 31st July 2020. Bertie Goes to the Worldwide Games will be released on 5th May, 202, and the third book in the Fergus and Flora Mysteries will be published in 2021. Her new author membership Authorpreneur Accelerator Academy launched in January 2021. Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion for Writing the third book in her Writing Matters Series will be published in September 2021.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-H.-Jones/e/B00OABSKH0
A husband is given an early release from prison. What could go wrong? Better yet, what could go right? Karen Moore spins her take on just that in her latest novel.
When Hanna’s estranged mafioso husband, Luciano, is released early from a Sicilian prison, she fears he will come after her and her young daughter, Eva.
The revelation leaves her with a dilemma. Invited to Sicily to attend her best friend’s wedding, can she really take the risk?
But even staying at home in North Wales may not be safe. Something strange is going on at her old cottage in the hills. As the lines between Sicily and North Wales blur, Hanna uncovers a criminal operation that leads her to fear for Eva’s life all over again.
Will Hanna ever be able to release herself from Luciano’s grip? Or will her discovery lead her into even deeper danger?
Karen Moore is passionate about all things noir – crime, mystery, thrillers – and writes in that genre.
She has been writing all her life, mostly for work purposes, and is now delighted to be able to spend more time developing her own creative work.
Her debut novel, Torn, is a dark tale of intrigue and betrayal set in Sicily and North Wales. Release is the sequel, although it is written as a standalone novel for people who may not have read Torn.
Karen worked as a tour guide across Europe, North America and Canada, followed by a career in PR and marketing. She has lived in France and Italy, and is now based in Cheshire, England. Her cat, Lexi, often appears in her social media feeds.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Today is National Book Lovers Day!
I happen to love books every day of the year. There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book, whether it’s an ebook or print.
How will you celebrate, participate?
There are many genres out there to choose from – crime, romance, erotica, YA, memoirs, creative non-fiction, non-fiction and the list goes on.
All these main genres have a multitude of sub-genres as well, so there is something out there for everyone’s taste in reading.
I write romance, primarily, although YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS has a psychological thriller element included. It’s probably my darkest work yet. I remember when I was having the computer read it back to me, my husband entered my ‘writing cave’, and the particular segment scared him. I guess I nailed the creepy, unnerving bit.
You can check out all my books on the novels page on my website. Perhaps, you’ll find a little something to your liking.
In what format do you prefer to read your book?
Are you a hardcover fan? Paperback (trade size or mass market)? E-book (kindle, kobo, nook, or other)? Or do you read from a combination of all of the above?
Leave a comment stating what your favourite genre and format is. I’d love to hear your thoughts and preferences.
Marsali Taylor returns with the ninth gripping mystery in her Shetland Sailing Mystery series.
While onboard her last chartered sailing trip of the season, Cass Lynch is awoken in the middle of the night by a Mayday call to the Shetland coastguard. A fishing vessel has become trapped on the rocks off the coast of one of the islands.
In the days that follow, there’s both a shocking murder and a baffling death. On the surface there’s no link, but when Cass becomes involved it is soon clear that her life is also in danger.
Convinced that someone sinister is at work in these Shetland waters, Cass is determined to find and stop them. But uncovering the truth could prove to be deadly . . .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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, 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.
AUTHOR WEBSITE LINK
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
a gripping tale
Celtic Connexions is happy to welcome Helen Forbes, author of Unravelling ~ a gripping tale of dark secrets, lies and murder.
And just look at that cover! If that doesn’t draw you into this gripping tale, then perhaps the blurb will.
Incarcerated in the gloom of a Highland asylum,
a young mother finds illicit love. And death.
Kate Sharp’s family is a mystery. Her mother, Ellen, disappeared into the shadows of Craig Dunain psychiatric hospital when Kate was a child. When her grandmother dies, Kate is desperate for answers. What were the circumstances of her mother’s life and death? Who is her father?
Kate’s not the only one trying to uncover the truth. The remains of two bodies with murderous injuries have been found buried in the forest next to the former hospital.
And someone else is searching for answers, and he will stop at nothing to find them.
As the tale of Ellen’s tragic unravelling unfolds, the secrets that led to her death are exposed, along with the shocking truth about Kate’s father.
Unaware of the danger stalking her, Kate continues her search.
Will she find the answers? And can she save her own life?
Go, a voice cried in my head. Run. Before it’s too late. A little overdramatic? Not really. Who wouldn’t run from a seven-hour shift of spooning mushed-up food into gaping, toothless mouths, wiping backsides, and mopping up body fluids? But I didn’t have a choice. Not without another job, and I lacked the energy or motivation to find something else. Pushing open the front door, I caught the scent of tangerine and lemon. Mrs Shelby had been at the homemade air fresheners again. It made for a pleasant welcome to the foyer of the care home, but a few essential oils couldn’t cover up the natural scents of warm cabbage, bed sores and incontinence. Not that it was a bad care home. A large Victorian villa with high ceilings and big rooms, clean and well-managed, it was one of the better ones. There were just some scents that couldn’t be shifted. And some residents.
I heard Smyth before I saw him, his entitled plummy tones and the squeak of his wheelchair grating through me. Scarcely a shift passed that I didn’t fantasise about smothering him with a pillow, but that would be far too kind. He needed to be strung up and eviscerated.
‘Pole, you come here right now.’
Stefan was at the reception desk. He ignored Smyth and smiled at me. Deep in my belly, something primitive tugged and taunted. It was another good reason for running, but I’d left it far too late.
‘Pole!’ Flecks of spittle shot from Smyth’s mouth. His face was twisted with venom. There were bulging veins on his forehead, a crimson flush creeping up his wrinkled neck. I willed Stefan to pull the old man from his wheelchair and throw him on the floor.
He didn’t. Of course, he didn’t. He held out his hands. ‘Mr Smyth. What may I do for you?’
Smyth’s eyes narrowed. ‘What is your name?’
‘Why are you here? Aren’t there care homes in your own
Stefan nodded. ‘There are, Mr Smyth. Remember, we
talk yesterday and I tell you all about them. The story of my grandmother and the tattoo?’
‘Yesterday?’ The old man’s eyes shifted between us. ‘A tattoo? Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve never seen you before in my life. I couldn’t believe it when Matron said you came from Poland to work here.’
Stefan’s smile didn’t falter. ‘I did, Mr Smyth, with others.’ ‘There are others? My God. Matron, get me out of here.’
As Smyth’s frantic hands wheeled his chair down the corridor,
I apologised to Stefan, and not for the first time. He waved his hand. ‘Kate, it is not your fault. There are many head-dicks.’
He laughed. ‘Ah, yes. I will learn.’
‘What’s this about your grandmother and a tattoo?’
‘My grandmother is… was… in a care home in Warsaw. My
young wild sister – you know, I tell you about her punky hair and purple lips – she take my grandmother out one day and she comes back with a little black cat on her ankle. There is… what do you say? Hell to pay. My father, he doesn’t speak to my sister again. Yesterday, Smyth, he almost die laughing when I tell him this.’
‘Almost died?’ I shook my head. ‘Stefan, you have to try harder next time.’
He laughed. ‘Today, he remember nothing. His head, it is full of holes.’
‘Full of shite.’
‘This too.’ Stefan smiled. ‘Forget him. He is just an old man. Tomorrow he will be my…’ He frowned and fished his notebook out of his pocket. He thumbed through the pages of scribbled vocabulary. ‘Ah, he will be my beastie.’
I couldn’t keep my laughter in. Stefan looked devastated. ‘This is not right?’
‘Let me see.’ I looked at his notebook. ‘I think you mean bestie, though you’re not too far wrong with beastie.’
‘Whatevers.’ His hand rested on my arm. ‘You are tired, Kate. How is she?’
I would have told him. I might have cried, and he might have held me, but our conversation was severed by the shrill voice of Mrs Shelby, a cloud of stale perfume, the crackle of starched polyester, and then the woman herself. She looked about to cry. ‘Stefan, whatever have you said to Mr Smyth? He’s in quite a state. His daughter will be here shortly and we mustn’t upset her. She’s very generous…’
Stefan shrugged. ‘I no know what you ask, Madame Shelby, but you look very… how you say…?’
‘Haggard,’ I muttered.
Stefan sighed. ‘Very beautiful, Madame.’
Mrs Shelby blushed and waved her hand. ‘Oh, Stefan. Just be
more careful. It’s not your fault things get lost in translation. Kate, there’s a new resident in room nine. She’s a little fragile. Younger than our usual clientele. She’s refusing to get out of bed. Says she can’t walk, but she had no problems yesterday on arrival. Perhaps you could have a chat, see if you can get her up and dressed, and into the dayroom.’
I nodded. ‘I’ll try. What’s her name?’
‘Lucille Leonard. You’ll need the key. She wants the door kept locked.’
That was understandable with the likes of Smyth roaming around, interfering with everyone else’s business.
‘What’s wrong with her?
About the Author
Helen Forbes is a mystery author known for her crime novels Madness Lies and In the Shadow of the Hill. The author has also written a few contemporary and historical fiction pieces as well as short stories. When she is not writing, Forbes enjoys her work as a lawyer in Inverness. She published the first two novels based in Outer Hebrides and Inverness, two areas that she feels have not been given enough attention in the crime-fiction genre. Forbes also has a deep liking for the Gaelic language and island communities, which explains her choice of characters in her stories.
My stop on the Scent of Water blog tour #SCENTOFWATER
Penelope Swithinbank’s book, Scent of Water – Words of comfort in times of grief is the featured book today here on Celtic Connexions.
When Penelope Swithinbank’s mother died tragically and suddenly as she watched the out-of-control car sweep her away, she plunged into deep depression. She found nothing that reached her dark soul of the night, nothing that helped her know that God was still with her. She was numbed by grief, frozen into solitude and nothing and no one seemed to be able to penetrate her protective walls. She found it very difficult to pray or to read the Bible. She couldn’t concentrate, nothing seemed to help, and she wished there was a specific daily devotional to help her to connect with the Lord in and through the grief. For a full two years she was there. When hugs rubbed her raw and consoling, well-meant clichés did not ring true. When God seemed far away. She was far away. She couldn’t read. Anything, let alone the Bible. When the depression and the blackness were all-consuming and life was barely worth living. Eventually, out of that experience, she wrote a daily devotional to help others going through the first six months of bereavement. Those who found it on her website and either used it themselves, or passed it on to others who were grieving the loss of a loved one, kept asking her to publish it so that it could be easily given to those who mourn. Maybe as a gift in their time of need. So here is A Scent of Water. Penelope hopes it will help others in times of bereavement and grief. Just a verse and a few thoughts for the times when mourning and grief mean that anything longer, anything deeper, is impossible.
A NEW DAY DAWNING – a daily remembering
Each new day dawns with the awakening moment of remembering. Each new remembering still hits hard, contracts my gut, releases tears. What will this new day bring in terms of memory, of pain, of loss? The anxious moment jumpstarts my day – unless I turn to the Lord.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
That could read, could sound, so glib:
Don’t worry, just pray.
But it’s true. Lord, this loss causes me anxiety about today, about
every day. I bring that anxiety to you, thanking you for the good memories of happier days, of love and laughter in those long-lost moments.
Here is my worry, my anxiety, my loss, Lord. My grief, really. Take it for me. Hold it for me. Hold me in the hollow of your hand.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 (NLT)
Again, Lord, I hold out this worry, this anxiety, this loss, to you. Thank you for taking hold of it for me.
I long for your peace, the peace I need, yet can barely comprehend at the moment.
Let it come, Lord! Let that peace you give pour over me now and through today.
Thy God hath sent forth strength for thee . . .
Psalm 68:28 (BCP)18
Another new day, another time of not knowing what lies ahead. Another fear that I haven’t the strength to meet the unknown, the unexpected, the reminder.
And yet now I know it will be all right, that all will be well – because my God (yes, mine, even mine) has already sent out the strength I need, ready for when I need it.
Thank you for sending out the strength I need already! I’m taking hold of it as best I can!
My God with his lovingkindness will meet me . . .
Psalm 59:10 (ASV)
That difficulty coming to meet me, that unexpected reminder, that clearing out of _(PERSON NAME)__ ’s things which I have to do – all that and more, I don’t have to confront alone.
Before it can meet me, my God will meet me with all the love and kindness I need, poured out upon me.
Meet me today, Lord. Meet me before I meet that anxious moment.
I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
Psalm 63:8 (NLT)
Cling is the Hebrew word for glued or stuck to. It is also the word for following or chasing, in order to grab hold. So that’s what I need to do today – stick myself to the Lord, and grab hold of him! Or maybe grab hold of him and then stick to him.
And make sure I don’t let go of him.
But could you please hold me securely – not let go of me? Because I may not have the strength to grab hold and cling on to you! Thank you that your right hand holds tightly on to me, not letting me fall or sink.
An angel from heaven appeared to him [Jesus] and strengthened him.
Luke 22:43 (NIV)
It’s a comfort to know that when there was a need for special strength, you, the Father, sent an angel to your Son, Jesus, even though Jesus had already said he had ‘overcome the world’ (John 16:33).
Lord, I need your special strength to keep going through all of this. Thank you that I can tell you what I need; thank you for all you have already done.
About the Author
Penelope Swithinbank is a chaplain at Bath Abbey and a spiritual therapist and counsellor for clergy. Since becoming a vicar nearly 20 years ago, she has worked in churches in the UK and the USA, and has led pilgrimages in the UK and in Europe. She and her husband Kim have been married for more than 40 years and have three children and six grandchildren.
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