Friday 31 March 2017

Cephalopod Coffeehouse: March 2017

The Armchair Squid says: 

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  

Here is my 5* review: 

Is it chance that brings Fay and Persephone together?

Or is it the restless and malevolent spirit who stalks them both?

Once rivals, they must now unite if they are to survive the mysterious trail of roses they are forced to follow into a dangerous, war torn past.

The Rose Trail is a time slip novel set in both the present day and during the English Civil War. The complex story weaves through both eras with a supernatural thread. 

My review

This is a time slip novel covering the present day and the English Civil War.  The transition between to two time zones is well written, no confusion for the reader as to which time stream we are in. 

In fact I felt more involved in the ‘past’ story than I did in the ‘now’ story.  The past has been well researched although I don’t know a lot about this period in history it all rings so true – the characters are fantastic with traits that you like and dislike which also applies to the ‘present’ characters who have their own issues to contend with as well as being able to connect with the past.

A combination of love, tragedies, friendships, past and present, lashings of historical aspects, religious bias, controlling natures all combined with the supernatural give this novel a wonderful page-turning quality.

The descriptions of the supernatural (for want of a better word without giving spoilers) is, for a wimp like me, scary in some places but in keeping with the nature of the story.

Well written and totally believable. 

Wednesday 8 March 2017


Wednesday Writers
Writing Prompt for 3/8/17
·       March 2, 2017

This week’s challenge from Debb is slightly different:
1.      Think back to when you were 10 years old.  If that causes a problem, make something up.  
2.      Tell us in a narrative, story or poem what did your 10 year old self think about SNOW?
3.       If it helps you, use the bad grammar and less-than-perfect spelling that a 10 year old might have.
4.       Do not limit yourself on the word count, and write at least one sentence; the only thing we are NOT interested in would be a novel.  
Everyone is welcome to try the challenge.  Mail your piece to by Monday noon, 3/6/18, then check back on Wednesday to read all the entries.  Questions?  Just write me – thanks!


We didn’t know if we would get there on time.  The snow had come down overnight covering the roads in a blanket of white.  Mum was getting agitated.  She shouted at my brother and myself while dad went out to start the car.  He sat there with the engine running, he said it was to warm up the car for us all but now, many decades later, I wonder if he just wanted to get out of the house.

We had a journey of about an hour before we arrived at my aunt’s house where we were all going to get changed.  This wedding had been planned forever it seemed.  My grandmother had been going all day and all night on her Singer Sewing machine trying to get my bridesmaid dress and my brother’s pageboy outfit ready before we left.

I was so excited. Outside looked so pretty, crisp and clean, flakes of snow falling gently on my hair.  I tried to lick the snowflakes to see what they tasted like.  My brother and I had a competition to see who could hold a snowflake the longest before it melted.  I don’t think either of us won but it didn’t stop us from bickering about it.

We arrived eventually, bags and baskets were carried in to Aunt Ivy’s flat about the shop.  She was still working in the shop, she wouldn’t close the shop until the very last minute.

All the adults seemed cross so I just sat quietly on the sofa until it was my turn to have my hair done.  My brother played with his cars.  Finally we were all dressed up and bundled in to the cars.   The sun came out and melted the snow from the ground as we drove through the lanes to the church. 

A winter wedding.  My first time as a bridesmaid.  I was quite nervous.  I didn’t want to trip up, the dress was longer than I was used to wearing.  The two pageboys were smart enough but I thought I was the bee’s knees in my long red velvet dress, a red peaked bonnet on my head and my heads kept warm in a muff. 

Then I saw the grown-up bridesmaids.  They were so elegant I wished I was their age.  Their hair was in a bouffant style.  Their muffs matched mine but they didn’t need a cord to keep it around their necks, they knew how to hold them.  We were given brooches which were pinned on the white faux fur collars of my dress and the other small bridesmaid’s dress, the two adult bridesmaids (the bride’s sister and the bride’s friend) wore their brooches on their dresses.  The two page boys wore red velvet bowties and braces and stood to attention for the photos shoot. 

My very favourite photograph is the one where my grandmother is sprinkling confetti over me – I felt so special that day.  

The church was picture perfect and the photos taken by the lych gate bring back memories of a wonderful day for a ten year old girl.  Perhaps the snow could have stayed for a while to make the photos more romantic but for ease of everyone and those who had to travel it was a bonus that all the snow had melted away and the sunshine came out to play.

Photo credit: Sally Stackhouse      

Photo credit: Sally Stackhouse
Photo Credit: S

Photo credit: Sally Stackhouse      

The three pictures below are of Hollington Church in the Woods taken from Google Images

Thursday 2 March 2017


Posted on March 1, 2017 by rogershipp

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner Home Site.

Your Photo Prompt for Week #10 – 2017 


Charlie pressed his nose up against the window of the pet shop, they were so cute.  He wouldn’t be allowed even one of them at home let alone the family.  How did they all live together like that?  Their own situation at home was cramped enough, he was the eldest followed by, Harry and James and now his mum was going to have another baby.  Then there was dad, who was always at work and of course there was granny. 

Granny wasn’t really a granny.  For starters she didn’t look like a granny, she didn’t have any grey hair and she went running in the mornings, she drove a sports car that spewed up dust on the gravel path leading to the house and wore make-up and nail varnish.

His mum was always shaking her head but without granny’s money coming in they couldn’t pay the bills.  At 12 years old Charlie knew what was going on, he listened in at the top of the stairs to the adults chatting when he was supposed to be in bed.

In another two years he would go to work, perhaps as a paperboy, then maybe he could get his family of mice.

Word count: 200

The Six Easy Guidelines
§  A photo prompt topic is to be used as your ‘muse’. They will arrive promptly at midnight each Thursday morning.
§  Include the photo prompt and its credits with your story on your blog.
§  All stories are to be crafted and honed to under 200 words in length.
§  Each flash fiction piece should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. No serial stories. It is harder to stay abreast of a serial story. (Please keep content PG-13.)
§  Post your flash fiction response by clicking on THE BLUE FROG. Follow the given directions.
§  It is the desire of this blog to begin a new writing community. Plan a day to visit the writings of our challengers to enjoy our creations and to provide a little positive feedback.
Thank you for your participation. I look forward to reading each of your stories. Please remember to check back and follow the journeys of our fellow writers. Kind comments are always appreciated.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Wednesday Writers - A Proposal of Sorts

Writing Prompt for Wednesday Stories for March 1, 2017

Our lovely Debb from Inner Sunshine set us a photo prompt and five random words to craft in to a story of 500 words.

If you want to join in the take a look with the link below.

Judo caffeine  cave senator lump

A Proposal of Sorts

‘One lump or two?’ Michael smiled at her, his hands poised over her cup of coffee.

Megan could almost taste the caffeine, her mouth was salivating anticipating that first burst of the hot liquid upon her tongue, her taste buds exploding as she sipped the delicious nectar.

The café’s television was on low in the background.  She didn’t follow politics, especially American politics, she couldn’t follow the dialogue but was rather shocked when reporters aggressively pushed and shoved each other for the prime position to interview the senator.

Dragging her attention back to her companion, she wondered why she’d let herself be persuaded to spend time with this man she didn’t really know.  They’d exchanged pleasantries each time they dropped their kids off on Saturday morning at the judo club.  Her Sam was only seven but doing really well in the group.  It helped with his aggression and anger issues that were lurking in his mind since his dad had left a few months ago. 

Megan looked again at the man in front of her.  He was nice looking, she knew his daughter was well behaved but she didn’t know their situation.  She had assumed he was also unattached, whether separated or divorced she really didn’t know.  After all it was only coffee in the adjacent café from the school hall where their kids were.

The Cave, was a retro café, juke box playing, down a few steps into what was once a basement or a cellar.  The staff were all females, wearing beehive hairstyles and frilly aprons on their waists.
Michael’s phone lit up – his screen saver a rather distinctive sunset/sunrise, all pink and purple hues, it really was a rather stunning scene.

He apologised with a lift of his eyebrows as he walked away and took the call.   A few minutes later he returned with a smile on his face. 

‘That was my mother,’ he explained.  ‘All her tests have come back and she has the all-clear.’
Michael grabbed Megan's hand, squeezing it tight, his eyes glittering with emotion. 

‘That is fantastic,’ Megan responded and squeezed his hand back before disengaging from his grasp.

She looked at her watch, only another half an hour before the kids were finished with their session.  Could she sit here with this stranger and make small, polite talk about his mother?  She didn’t know the ailment.  She didn’t know the relationship.  Should she ask?  Perhaps that would be too intrusive.  She ought to wait for Michael to open up.  Then again, did she really want to know his problems?  Surely she had enough of her own to contend with.

To diffuse the situation somewhat Megan pointed to his phone.  ‘Where is that place?  Have you been there?’

‘Actually this is where I want to take my wife on honeymoon,’ came the response.

Megan’s recoiled in shock.  He had a wife!

‘No, no. You misunderstand.’  Michael gave her an apologetic grin, ‘I mean – maybe you will be my wife one day.’


Word count: 499