Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cover reveal for THE QUEST OF THE ARTISAN by Donna Hosie!

Donna Hosie is a hybrid YA author and full time geek. Part Potterhead, Ringer, Whovian and Sherlockian with sprinkles of Whedonite on top. If it's fantastical, she's in. Originally from England, Donna currently resides in Australia with her husband, three children, and a crazy Golden Retriever named Harry (after a certain boy wizard, of course)!


Six months ago, seventeen-year-old Rustin Hall thought he knew what he wanted. Then he travelled back in time with his best friend, Mila, to the world of Camelot, knights and magic, and everything changed.

Now Rustin is the artisan, and he knows his future because it's written in the past.

But Rustin's plan to build the first temple for the Gorian druids is cut down like the trees he talks to when the Round Table reveals the name of the newest knight of Camelot: a name that carves fear and unrest into the other knights. With Mila now in danger, Rustin, along with his friends, James and Jalaya, goes on a quest to find her before a new malevolent evil gets there first. A necromancer is building an army of the dead, and they are coming for Arthur's daughter.

Rustin will join forces with a young would-be knight called Galahad, as his quest takes him into the very heart of the Arthurian legends he grew up reading. A quest that could be the end of the artisan's life, not just in Logres, but for good.
Due for release 2015. Click here for Amazon

Also by Donna Hosie.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Taking a short break while I navigate the turbulent world of publishing.

I have always proclaimed that I would not 'self-publish'. I appreciate that it has opened up a whole new world for many, but not for me. I will continue to bang on the doors of literary agents until my knuckles bleed ... Well, saying that, I have only banged on two doors thus far, and for my effort I have received two rejections, 'Badges of Determination' a bruised ego, and a broken nail.
So, if I have any aspirations of seeing my books in print, (you know, that paper stuff that books used to be printed on?) it is time to stop procrastinating, roll up my sleeves, show some backbone, buy a large carton of band-aids, and practice what I bloody well preach ...  

After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

So, see you all in a few weeks. With any luck, not bleeding ... too much ...


Friday, June 27, 2014

Left to die for a bowl of what??

Firstly, I'd like to thank all those who commented on my last post (it meant a lot) - especially Martha from Plowing Through Life, whose act of kindness took my breath away. Click to view the post Martha so kindly dedicated to me.

Secondly, this many sharks (below) are finned PER HOUR and left to die. Yes, per hour. And for what? A bowl of SOUP ... 

Scroll down ... if you have the time.

(I apologise if the graphic does not fit in. But hey, I'm sure you get the gist).

Friday, June 20, 2014

RIP my beautiful little boy

In all the excitement of having rescued Muppet, I failed to mention (to those new to my blog) that we have in fact, two other dogs. And in any case, I wanted the posts to be about Muppet. Nothing more.

Yes, Muppet was fortunate enough to walk into a ready-made-family. Two adorable brothers of the same breed. Shih Tzu. But yesterday, one of them died. Our sweet little Barnie-Boy.

In twenty-four hours, Barnie-Boy went from a happy, healthy, bouncy little boy to a vomiting wreck unable to catch his breath.

His death, so the vet suggested, was indicative of having been poisoned. Whether something had been thrown over the fence, or he ate something whilst at the beach - we do not know.

If you are not an animal lover, I don't suspect you will understand that we are heartbroken. The fact that he had fur as apposed to skin, matters not to us. 

Last year, Barnie-Boy's big sister, Coco died. We would like to think that they have reunited in the Land where-the-living-is-not-allowed-to-tread, and that they are madly chasing butterflies amid a vast field of daisies. 

Until we meet again. RIP xxxx

RIP Coco. 29th May 2000 - 2nd February 2013

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Muppet update!

             For goodness sake go away. I'm trying to sleep!
It's been about 8 weeks since I (with the help of others) rescued Muppet from a puppy mill. He was a trembling little soul terrified of his own shadow ... Click to see my first post.

And now? I'm delighted to say that he is a boisterous little boy with a happy and playful nature. His love for me is immeasurable. Always at my side just like the shadow he was once so afraid of.

But of course, Muppet has a past that haunts him. And always will, I suspect.  Someone, (definitely male) has hurt him ... badly. I know this because whenever he sees a man - especially an older man - he completely losses control. Along with his nerve and his bowels. It is a horrible sight to see something so precious, so small and so helpless, be so so aftraid. I cannot imagine the horrors this little boy has gone through.

Nevertheless, Muppet now has a 'Forever Home' with me. Each day whilst out on his walks, he gets a little more brave. Not much. But a little. Baby steps after all ...

Oh, and Muppet's got a cyber-girlfriend.  Did I tell you? Typical man. Doesn't take them long ...

What a little cutie!
Hello? I'm not bad either, thank you very much!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Funny figures of speech (Paraprosdokians)

Paraprosdokians (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
10. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put 'DOCTOR'.
11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head
and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure...

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now!   

Look out for my Muppet update next week!

Friday, June 6, 2014

UK woman calls police regarding inadequate sprinkles on her ice-cream. True story.

UK woman calls police in ice-cream row

UK police have released a recording of a woman who called the cops to request help in a row over the number of sprinkles on an ice-cream.
The caller, who was not named (and for good reason I suspect) by the West Midlands Police, contacted emergency operators on Monday while arguing with the owner of an ice-cream van.
During a minute-long call, the indignant woman told the operator: "It doesn't seem like much of an emergency, but it is a little bit because I've ordered an ice-cream and he's put bits on one side and none on the other.
"He's refusing to give me my money back and saying that I've got to take it like that."

Urging the public not to misuse the emergency system, Chief Superintendent Jim Andronov said: "If someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life or death emergency, then a minute is a very long time to wait.
"I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only."

Dear god. My only hope is that this woman never breeds...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blog posts that caught my eye over the last week - or so.

In no particular order ... and for all very different reasons as you shall gather, I recommend you click on the links.

Firstly, I found this blog post by Gary at Klahanie rather amusing. Take a look. BlogAir: The Mystery Flight.

A heart-rendering post by Dezzy at HOLLYWOOD SPY about the horrendous flooding in Serbia. Please give a little if you can.

A most entertaining post: If You Were.... A Toy, by the The Blue Grumpster . . . well, usually

There were two thought provoking posts by Roland, at Writing in The Crosshairs: Is Honor Fading? and Have You Ever Been Bullied at Work?

A 'gorgeous' poem by Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer: With the Entirety of Me...

S.K Renait writes about: Depression - When it's time to quit

A gorgeous pic of The Happy Whisk's dog who I suspect was caught in the act of doing something rather naughty!  Lady Bug Ga Ga

If you aren't following these good people (above) I suggest you rectify the situation :)


Thursday, May 22, 2014

What it's like being a Kiwi ... and a few useless facts.

Flight of the Conchords is a popular musical sit-com on HBO about two kiwi musicians trying to make it big in New York, albeit with little success.
Bret and Jemaine are quite self-deprecating as they deadpan their way through zany situations, mixing in the odd (and I do mean odd) musical segment. It's funny.
Below you'll find the canonical example of their humor, er...humour.

Why it matters? All kiwis want to think they're this funny. Humour them ...

Lord of the Rings -What is it?

Much of the hit movie trilogy, Lord of the Rings (LOTR), was filmed in New Zealand. This was partly due to NZ's stunning natural splendor and partly because the director, Peter Jackson, is from Wellington.
Several years on you can still take tours of many of the sites used in the movie.

Why it matters?

Kiwis seem to have mixed reactions when you bring up LOTR. They are either extremely proud or mildly defensive depending on whether they think you're taking the piss (see Slang).
Kiwi males are unanimous, though, in their judgement that Jackson's best work was in fact not Lord of the Rings, but rather that pièce de résistance of the "splatstick" genre, Bad Taste. I disagree.

Extreme Sports - What is it?

Ride the Zorb in Rotorua 
Traditional bungy jumping isn't the only way to physically endanger your life on a visit to New Zealand. Those ingenious kiwis have come up with dozens of ways to increase your odds of visiting hospital while on holiday. (And no, kiwis don't say "the hospital" ... just "hospital".)
You can do 360s in a jet boat, jump off the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere, get bounced 4 stories in the air on giant rubber bands, and even roll down a big hill enclosed in a giant plastic ball, a practice known as "Zorbing."

Why it matters?

Kiwis are quick to note that bungy jumping was invented in New Zealand. The funny thing is, you rarely see a kiwi doing extreme sports. They're usually safely off to the side strapping a harness on some bewildered tourist. True.


New Zealand has a lot of sheep. You may have heard that there are more sheep than people in New Zealand. In fact, there are 10 times as many sheep as people in New Zealand.

Why it matters? It doesn't. It's just funny.

Zebras -What are they?

Zebra crossing 
The only zebras in New Zealand are in zoos. That doesn't stop kiwis from calling sections of road with big white stripes painted on them "zebra crossings" (that's pronounced "zehbra," not "zeebra," by the way).

Why it matters?

I'm not sure, but I think kiwis consider it sporting good fun to floor it whenever a pedestrian dares attempt to cross a street anywhere except at a zebra crossing.
Even where it's required by law, kiwi drivers stop, but only grudgingly. Notice, in the photo above, how these experienced pedestrians keep a watchful eye on the stopped motorist, alert to any sign of an emotional snap that might send him lurching forward.

All Blacks -What are they?

An All Black crushes some hapless opponent (photo from nzherald.co.nz) 
No, this isn't some kind of pre-civil-rights era "separate but equal" restaurant. It's the national obsession religion rugby team.
Traditionally, New Zealand has had the best rugby team in the world (though that reputation has taken a bit of a hit with a few ugly losses and closer-than-they-should-have-been wins.) This is a no mean feat considering the country's population is less than the state of Kentucky. Speaking of mean, take a look at that dude to the right. He'd just as soon eat opposing players for breakfast.
One particularly intense source of kiwi pride is the haka, a traditional Māori warrior challenge the All Blacks before every match. It's a controversial spectacle that is unique in all of sport. (And, no, kiwis don't say "sports" ... they say "sport".) 

Why it matters? Um...duh.

Māori Words & Phrases

About 1000 years before Europeans colonized New Zealand, Polynesians known as Māori had settled most of the North and South Islands. Māori culture is a major presence in New Zealand, so it's good to know a few of the more common words and phrases.
The pronunciation of the language is similar to Hawaiian in that words are usually pronounced as pairs of letters. It's important to note that "wh" is pronounced like "f" and that "ng" is pronounced like the letter "n".
Wondering about a particular word or phrase not listed below? Check out this English/Māori translator!
the Māori word for New Zealand, meaning "Land of the long white cloud"
love/unconditional respect
Haere mai
Traditional Maori dancersHaka
challenge dance, performed by men (and All Blacks) before going into battle
a traditional feast where the food is cooked in an earth oven
traditional Māori greeting featuring the pressing together of noses
Kai te pai
Sweet as! (See Slang)
local protocols/customs
Kia ora
hello/good afternoon (informal, literally "be healthy")
Kī tōnu taku waka topkaki i te tuna
My hovercraft is full of eels
gift/donation (you might see this at the entrance to a museum, for example)
Marae at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds 
sacred meeting place, situated within a village, you have to be invited inside.
foreigner, person of European descent, some might say it's akin to "howlie" or even "honky", though it's used pretty widely by both whites and Māori.
man/woman (you sometimes see this on restroom doors).
sacred, restricted.
Te Papa
literally "our place", also the name of the national museum in Wellington.
Traditional Maori war canoe 
canoe (like the ones used by the Māori to get to Aotearoa in the first place).
a family or extended family.
toilet (literally "house of poos and wees").


Kiwis say stuff funny. In fact, researchers say kiwis speak like Neanderthals. See the video for an example of the local dialect or watch this guide to proper kiwi pronunciation.
The following are some words and phrases you may hear during your visit:

Gidday (hello) 

Crikey (an expression of surprise: 'Crikey! I never thought I'd see you again')
Sweet as ("Sweet as, bru.")
cool, great
Choice ("Choice, aye, bru?")
cool, great
Stink ("Aww, stink, aye, bru?")
not cool, not great
Heaps ("I'm heaps beached, bru.")
much, lots, tons
Chips ("It's cheap as chips, bru.")
no, not potato chips, but french fries (also called "chups"), though sometimes even kiwis get confused on this point, again, see the video to the right
Take the piss ("Are you taking the piss, bru?")
to mock, ridicule or tease
Classic kiwi bach 
pronounced like "batch" not like "Johann Sebastian," a bach is a holiday home, usually near a beach (kiwis also use the word "crib" for the same kind of dwelling … with a straight face) (in the photo above, note the tractor where one might expect to see a car; this is a sure sign of an authentic kiwi bach).
The mainland
what South Islanders call the South Island, I guess because it's slightly bigger than the North Island (clever South Islanders).
to have sex (to put it politely) … for example, you probably don't want to say you're "rooting for the All Blacks" unless you're involved in some kind of kinky fundraiser
Bob's your uncle (said primarily by old people).
and that's all there is to it...

Bob's your uncle!


Very important message. The post below has been copy and pasted directly from HOLLYWOOD SPY. Dezzy is from Serbia. His country is under water. Please help.

This is a special post, people! I don't know if most of you around the world have heard about the terrible floods in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia (since most of the bigger news channels have started writing about it only after Serbian tennis players Novak Djokovic criticised BBC and CNN for not reporting about the true extent of the catastrophe at the Balkan peninsula) but the damage after the torrential rains last week, which caused monstrous flooding waves in most of the rivers, is huge with tens of thousands of people being evacuated, dozens and dozens of dead people, and countless houses, bridges, roads, buildings being destroyed, hundreds of thousands of animals drowned.... Most of the Southern part of Serbia has been turned into a sea in just hours! Serbian capital city Belgrade has on itself taken in tens of thousands of evacuated people, women, and children, who were left without their houses and all belongings. It will take years to recover from the catastrophe and many efforts and luck to fend of all the diseases and illnesses that usually come after extreme floods and landslides.
If you are willing to help in any way (even the smallest donations count) here is the official PayPal account open for the victims of the floods, to which you can donate money and help these poor people!
PS I will be very thankful to all of you who are willing to post the help account over in your posts and at your blogs and websites! Every help is welcomed and appreciated!