TOURISTS AND TITLES

CARCASSONE CASTLE

There is quite a town now around the castle and the basilica at Carcassone. Even though it was raining when we were there the place is packed with tourists.  The narrow streets are crammed full of eateries, souvenir shops, more souvenir shops and a few more souvenir shops. DH is always a little tetchy when there are swarms of people around but he does understand they were not going to clear the place for us.

There are also a couple of hotels in the citadel. I couldn’t find out – probably due to my appalling French – if any of these buildings had people left in them when they were all ordered to go and live across the river. Did they all flock back again when they heard the tourists were coming?

The only museum worth seeing according to the Trip Advisor reviews was the school. Now I’d hate you to think I am quite this old, but I did recognize some of the things I saw on display. And it was fun to practice writing with a nibbed pen and real blue ink in a pottery inkwell set into the desk. DH chickened out of that one.

HISTORY STUFF

Who knows if Edward thought through his decision to abdicate? His reign lasted 326 days one of the shortest ever (if you don’t count Lady Jane Grey who only managed 9 days). He couldn’t marry straight away as Wallace still had to finish getting divorced from husband #2.

300px-Wallis_and_Edward wedding

Edward was downgraded to a Duke and then took his new wife off to visit Germany (I showed a pic of this a couple of weeks ago). This was not a popular thing to do at that particular time, and from being wildly celebrated when he was younger, life didn’t seem like much fun. He also had to take a huge cut in salary of course. They don’t look wildly happy, do they?

I hope you don’t feel sorry for him, remember what he said when his younger brother died? Here is another quote:  from 1920 when he visited Australia about the indigenous Australians: “They are the most revolting form of living creatures I’ve ever seen!! They are the lowest known form of human beings & are the nearest thing to monkeys.”

So you can imagine how he felt down at being demoted, and serve him right.

BEGINNING OF Amie book 3 Amie: Future Shock

Behind her veil, the tears streamed down Amie’s face as she watched them lower the coffins into the freshly dug graves. She could remember little about the previous few days and constantly fought an overwhelming panic. Her mind was a jumble of disconnected thoughts, blurred memories and questions. People she didn’t know well had invaded her world to arrange this terrible funeral.

From where she was standing on the far side of the cemetery, partially concealed behind a tall Natal Mahogany tree, she could see Ouma Adede who had once foretold her future. What was she doing here? There were others: Mrs Motswezi from the orphanage where Amie had first found Angelina, half-familiar faces from the Club, couples they’d dined or swam with at the beach. There was a tall, very good looking man with blonde hair she had never seen before, he was probably from the embassy. And Ken, of course, the sun reflecting off his dark skin and black curly hair that showed his African heritage. Even Jennifer and Patrick were there, but Amie was not allowed to talk to them, neither could she approach them. At one point, without thinking, she’d taken a step forward as if to walk over and join them, but a hand had grabbed her arm and held her back.

stolen-future-kindle cover 150dpi

“You can’t go any closer, not now, not ever,” the stern voice displayed no emotion.

At last the preacher finished his eulogy. One by one the mourners filed past the graves on the way to their cars. Ouma Adede looked up and stared straight at Amie, even though she was shrouded in a black muslin veil and hidden behind the tree, and Amie could have sworn she gave a brief nod. But then the elderly witchdoctor walked out of the graveyard without a backward glance. Did their eyes really connect or was it her imagination?

Once all the mourners had departed and the preacher had hurried away, Amie was herded straight to the car, then back to her room and once more the door was firmly locked behind her.  Now Amie could weep in private.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M67NRG4

Also available in Spanish.

Till next week, take care.

 

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MEET JIM MORRISON

Now I hope I have the correct picture up here for Jim Morrison, as I’ve had to do a bit of shuffling around with dates as some guests wanted features later, and some were not ready.  So, all the files I put neatly in labeled months are now being moved around and you can guess what happens then, can’t you?  Anyhow, I think this is a very nice author picture 🙂 I just hope its the correct author!

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I just want to thank Lucindae Clarke for this wonderful opportunity. Hello to all that read this, I am going to wing it as I have never done anything like this before, and have no idea what to say. So, if I ramble on a bit, then forgive me. Maybe I should start with my name, always a good place to start. My name is Jim Morrison, no not the famous rock star from The Doors. I was born in Raigmore Hospital in the year 1974, and the 19th day of the summer of June. I am from a wee town on the West coast of Scotland, Fort William in the bonnie Highlands to be exact.

I got the writing bug in high school. I think it was a test or exam I was doing. I had to write a short story about a war or something like that and my English teacher was very impressed and said I should keep it up and become a writer. I spent the next few years writing short stories at home, mainly featuring superheroes and I am sure I done one set in the wild west.

My childhood was very up and down, I do not want to say too much here. I will, however, be writing my biography someday and that will have all my heartache and shenanigans in that, so look out for that book. It will be 100% true life and will shock some people, and hopefully, make some people laugh at my crazy life.

I left school and home at the age of 15. Started work in a hotel as a kitchen porter. The job was okay, I was happy to be making money and partying way too much. Then I became a chef. This was a fun job that I enjoyed, I travelled around Scotland working in different hotels and meeting some cool people. I gave up writing and began to party a lot. I then became a breakfast chef. That was more enjoyable, I was in charge of the kitchen, I worked 5 days a week from 6am till 2 pm and had the rest of the day to myself.

But I gave up catering, it had lost its buzz for me and became a night manager. That was the best job, in charge of a hotel overnight. I loved it.

Going back in time now to 2008, I took an interest in photography. I still love to go for a walk with my camera and snap away at things. I have a photography page on Facebook if anyone wants to go and check out my work and like my page. Just look up J. Morrison Photography.    https://www.facebook.com/J-Morrison-Photography-268493803592438/

My photography work so far has been scenic shots, I have also made some videos. I would like to one-day branch out into all aspects of photography and try doing model shoots and helping people with their model portfolios.

Going back even further, around about 2003, I began to write again, this time it was poetry. I had notebooks that I took everywhere with me and used to write down what came to my head. I had over 300+ thoughts and poems at one point.

In 2005 I was offered a seven-year contract with the publisher, Publish America. I released a poetry book through them, that was a huge mistake. They only paid me 10% royalties and kept telling me my book was not selling, I knew my book was selling as it was in stock then out of stock on Amazon. I never published with them again, and you should avoid them. Fate's Monolith Cover Art  In 2015 I began to write novels again. I finally self-published my first book of poetry, it is a 182-page book of thoughts and poetry about social issues and the like. The book is called, Musings of a Highlander, and it is available online and in bookstores.  https://www.createspace.com/7295903

 

In 2005 I became a paranormal investigator and started my own investigation team, that was a fun time. I enjoyed it but everyone eventually left and it was just me so I gave up.

JIM MORRISON LIFE OF OWEN CONNOR

This is the cover for my latest novel, it is called “The Life of Owen Connor: Trapped in the Asylum & the Aftermath.” The story is about a famous rock star Owen Connor, his crazy upbringing. The bands rise to fame and the fateful night he ended up in an asylum. Read how he got trapped in the Insane Asylum and if he makes it out alive. The book is a thriller/horror with action and humour thrown in. Here are the buying links.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/197611537X

and all other outlets.

What I like to do when I am not writing is. Hill walking, playing Football (Soccer), Basketball, Mountain Biking, going walking out and about, exploring. I also love to read books, not into ebooks. I prefer a good hardback or paperback. I am currently working on a new novel, it is called, Highland Terror. The book is set in the Highlands of Scotland. It is a story about a girl that is just your average 20 something girl and she gets caught up in the worst terror of her life. Does she survive? If so how is she coping? Read the book and find out.

Thanks for sitting through my ramblings, look out for me on Twitter and Facebook. Add me and say hi.

 

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012304865403

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/JMorrisonAuthor

All Jim’s books are available from Amazon marketplaces worldwide, CreateSpace, Barnes and Noble along with Koko and the like.

 

RUINS AND ROSE WINDOWS

The Bastide (it’s what they call the castle but I have no idea why)fell into ruins and had become a bit of an eyesore until a local man thought of building it all back up again.

This wasn’t going to be easy, as no one had thought fit to lodge the original plans with the town council. So they brought in this famous architect who poked around for a while and drew up what he thought it should have looked like.

It has been suggested he added a few extra towers with pointed tops to make it look nicer. He seemed to be very fond of these as they were everywhere. So while a couple of bits remain from the past, a lot of it is new, less than 200 years old.

And I sensed this, even in the streets surrounding the castle. It did not have the same vibes as Fontainebleau or Hampton Court where you can feel those who lived there long ago. (All other writers will understand this). In one of the courtyards, there were some red steel frames leaning against the walls and I wondered if they were still doing restoration work, but I was informed this was a modern sculpture. It looked so out of place I deleted the photo I’d just taken in disgust.

Of course in those days when you built a large home it had to have a chapel or church to show how religious and good you were and in this case, it was the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire.

There were two rose windows which faced each other east and west and I suspect this must have been the original building?

HISTORY INSERT

The problem was Edward VIII kept turning up everywhere with this obviously

unsuitable woman. The Dowager Queen Mary of Tek refused to even acknowledge the American’s presence when they were forced to meet.

Duke of Windsor and Mrs. Wallis Simpson

Then parliament got involved, and they all threatened to resign if the wedding went ahead. Edward VIII had already discovered that being king was not much fun after all. There were a lot of papers to read, and boring meetings to attend, and behind the scenes, he had to do as he was told. He was by now completely besotted with this social climbing upstart and was lost without her. He was given the ultimatum and decided to hop off the throne and let his younger brother have it. As far as I know, he’s the only British king to do this by choice.

BOOK SHOW

This is the opening to the second Amie book – Amie and the Child of Africa.

The silence of the night was shattered by the sound of approaching vehicles. Bright lights split the night, illuminating flying insects in their beams as the trucks drew nearer. There were excited shouts and one driver blasted his horn which immediately woke everyone in the camp. Whoever had been on guard duty barely had time to shout a warning as the new arrivals thundered towards them.

Jonathon wriggled out of his sleeping bag and seized the rucksack that was always next to him before pulling Amie to her feet.

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“Run. Run,” he whispered loudly. “Run as you’ve never run before.” Stopping only to grab their shoes, they left the tent and raced off into the darkness.

Amie didn’t need to be told twice. They’d been discovered and the only thought she had was to get as far away as fast as she could. There was no time to jump in the two trucks parked next to the tents, their only chance was to make for the other side of the valley on foot and hide in the trees on the lower slopes of the mountain range.

She ran blindly, trying to keep up with Jonathon. His legs were so much longer, he was just over six foot tall and she was seven inches shorter, so he was forced to slow down to keep pace with her. She didn’t stop to think she might step on a night adder, or crash into one of the smaller termite mounds she couldn’t see in the dark. Nor did she stop to think of all the dangers beyond the safety of the camp. There were lions out here, hyenas, buffalo, jackals, wild dogs and elephants. Anything they might bump into could easily turn round and attack.

As soon as they were on the other side of the wide, dry river bed, they stopped to put on their shoes, Amie’s feet were already bruised and bleeding and it was more painful with her shoes on.

They set off again, running over the veldt, not caring what was in front or to the side of them, not even stopping to see who else was also running. They only knew certain death lay behind them. Low hanging branches slapped their faces and legs, and twice Amy stumbled over shrubs as she tried to zigzag round the odd acacia tree that loomed in front of them. The only piece of luck was the moon. It was bright enough to cast deep shadows near the larger objects which lay in their path, but not bright enough to make Jonathon and his wife too easy a target.

myBook.to/Amie2

Till next week, take care.

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – New Magazine, Dionne Warwick, Glastonbury and Watermelon

Sally as usually selflessly promoting lots of indie authors, but then I’m not sure she has time to sleep she is so prolific – a wonderful lady we should be in awe of. (Ignore the awful grammar here, it’s Sunday!)

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you may have missed. After a stormy start to the week we are ending in the same way with heavy winds and lots of rain the last two days. But not as bad as Ophelia, but for those who have not still had power or water for the week it is hampering the repairs.  Interestingly people here were saying that following the last hurricane in Ireland in 1961 there was a ferocious winter of snow and very cold temperatures, and the weather forecasters are saying the same thing now for the UK and Ireland.

I have been catching up this week and also putting in place some of the new features for the new look blog. As you will see if you read the post below, I am aiming for a more magazine theme, with contributions from other bloggers to provide…

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MEET H MAX HILLER

Now I’m a little confused (not difficult in my case) as my guest today has his name on Facebook as H Max Hiller and also as Hiram Hiller, but I’ve checked very carefully and they are one and the same. I hope you don’t mind me calling you Max?
PROMO PIC 2015
H. Max Hiller’s restaurant career began with a cooking job on Bourbon Street at the age of seventeen. His resume now includes many of New Orleans’ iconic dining and music destinations which provide a lifetime of characters and anecdotes to add depth to his Detective “Cadillac” Holland series. 
 
MAX MILLAR AND WIFE
He now divides his time between working as a chef aboard a boat traveling America’s inland waterways and writing in the home he and his wife share with their rescue pets that include a neurotic wolfhound-mix and far too many cats.
(I found this lovely picture of Max and his wife on his Amazon author page)
Books by Max – Blowback – The Blue Garou  (Silver Medalist 2016 Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards)
Can’t Stop the Funk and Ghosts and Shadows.
 
SERIES DESCRIPTION: The award-winning “Cadillac” Holland Mysteries are equal parts compelling mystery, travelogue, and insightful looks at one of America’s favorite destinations through the eyes of a detective as battered as the city he patrols. Detective Holland has returned home as a retired Special Forces and Intelligence operative and brings those specialized skills to bear on investigations that all too often place him at odds with NOPD’s own way of doing things. It’s why the Chief of Detectives only assigns “Cadillac” cases which are as unique and challenging as the detective’s way of seeking justice and not just answers.
 
I’ve not read this series yet, but as it is one of my favourite genres I’ll be looking them up soon. One can never have too many detective series.
Thank you Max for being my guest this week.

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Colleen Chesebro, Lucinda E. Clarke and Sue Coletta

This popped up on Facebook today with huge thanks to Sally – an author’s dream 🙂

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

The first author with a recent review is Colleen Chesebro for her book The Swamp Fairy: The Heartstone Chronicles Volume One.

About the Swamp Fairy

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations. Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy.

The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors. But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy…

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WANDERINGS AND WALLACE

TRAVEL BIT

We walked around Carcassone castle and were very impressed with how well the building had stood up for the last 800 years, I mean even the walls were nice and clean.

DH remarked several times that they don’t erect edifices like they used to, to last for centuries. I detected the odd pitying glance from the passers-by, which was puzzling. We sat and watched the movie on its history and learned that all the people living in and around the castle had been ordered to go and relocate on the other side of the river.

Next, the Black Prince came along and set light to the Bastide as they call it, and that didn’t do it much good either.

The locals were quick to grab what stones were left to build their own houses and I understand they didn’t leave much of it.

So what did we see? I’ll tell you next week.

SHOCKING HISTORY

Now, on one hand asking Wallace Simpson to marry him might have reassured many people that Edward VIII was not gay as had been thought by some. But there was an even bigger problem. She had married and divorced twice before and both her ex-husbands were alive and well.

Prinz Harrys Urgroßonkel Herzog von Windsor traf Hitler

This would never do. The King was the head of the Church of England they didn’t allow such things. The answer was to marry and shove off, or find a better match. Some historians tell us that the lady in question wasn’t all that fussed about marrying Edward, but she had told everyone that she would re-furnish Balmoral Castle and get rid of all that nasty tartan that Queen Victoria had installed.

BALMORAL

THE NATURAL BREAK

That’s what they say to pretend they are not advertising yes?

I thought I would do something a little different and paste in the beginning of one of my books over the next few weeks. I’ll start with book 1 of the Amie adventure/spy series African Adventure.

They came for her soon after the first rays of the sun began to pour over the far distant hills, spilling down the slopes onto the earth below. At first the gentle beams warmed the air, but as the sun rose higher in the sky, it produced a scorching heat, which beat down on the land with relentless energy.

She heard them approach, their footsteps echoing loudly on the bare concrete floors. As the marching feet drew closer, she curled up as small as she could, and tried to breathe slowly to stop her heart racing. No, please, not again, she whispered to herself. She couldn’t take much more. What did they want? Would they beat her again? What did they expect her to say?AMIE 1 NEW COVER KINDLE HIGHER RES

There was nothing she could tell them, she was keeping no secrets. She knew she couldn’t take any more pain; every little bit of her body ached. How many films had she seen where people were kicked or beaten up? She’d never understood real pain, the real agony even a single punch could inflict on the body. Now all she wanted was to die, to escape the torture and slide away into oblivion.

The large fat one was the first to appear on the other side of the door. She knew he was important, because the gold braid, medals, ribbons, and badges on his uniform told everyone he was a powerful man, a man it would be very dangerous to cross. He was accompanied by three other warders, also in uniform, but with fewer decorations.

They unlocked the old, rusty cell door and the skinny one walked over and dragged her to her feet. He pushed her away from him, swung her round and bound her wrists together behind her back, with a long strip of dirty cotton material. She winced as he pulled roughly on the cloth and then propelled her towards the door. The others stood back as they shoved her into the corridor and up the steps to the ground floor.

She thought they were going to turn left towards the room where they made her sit for hours and hours on a small chair. They’d shouted and screamed at her and got annoyed when she couldn’t answer their questions. This made them angry so they hit her again.

She’d lost track of the time she’d been here, was it a few days, or several weeks? As she drifted in and out of consciousness, she had lost all sense of reality. Her former life was a blur, and it was too late to mark the cell walls to record how long they’d kept her imprisoned.

This time, however, they didn’t turn left. They turned right at the top of the steps and pulled her down a long corridor towards an opening at the far end. She could see the bright sunlight reflecting off the dirty white walls. For a brief moment, she had a sudden feeling of euphoria. They were going to let her go!

myBook.to/Amie1

audio   https://www.amazon.com/Amie-African-Adventure/dp/B0725CYNYG

Till next week, take care.