When in Prague . . .


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SHEY.. Indeed. It is the door to our little studio room at the Archibald Hotel at the Charles Bridge.

And this

Well, obviously this is a statue with a pigeon on its head. If it had had a hamster on it I’d have taken that but it didn’t. As for the diff between a Charles Bridge statue and a hamster? Well, they are being renewed cos they are world famous and worth renwing . Hamsters now?

And this is maybe the best band that play there. The Champagne Lovers. Of course if they loved hamsters they might have been called that, but they’re not and who can blame them?

. And this??? Just outside our hotel at night.

The Strahov library inside . . . out ….. and a hand written and hand painted, many centuries ago, manuscript, preserved in a glass case, incase, talking such things, hamsters are about.

A scooter we never used to get about Prague.

And a ladder we never climbed to get to get into the roof space of the Klementinun. Obvi it’s not allowed, although doubtless a hamster could climb it.

The prog for the United Islands of Prague Music fest that was allowed. So we allowed ourselves twice. And to be drawn down through the dark trees later by the strains of Cohen’s Hallelujah, taking some of the of the attendees with us, to sit on the grass outside a community centre where a folk evening was in full swing.

The Anthropoid Church where the Czech Paratroopers having holed up after taking down Reinnhard Heydrich, took down as many of the 700 Waffen SS troops as they could during a four hour seige that ended when they took their own lives. I also chose this one, despite ahving been there a few years ago cos of the Mr’s thing about calling it by its proper name and insisting it wasn’t round the corner where I said it was. This guy stopped, asked if he could help us and had abso no idea what the Mr was talking about when he gave the proper name. ‘Anthropoid Church,’ I said. ‘Round that corner,’ said he.

Bicyles in Kampa Park at the Islands Fest. The ‘juniors’ arrived first, complete with helmets and were all given money to spend on the stalls. Then the ‘bad’ boys arrived sans helmets and headed for the converted watermill bistro. When I think of the places, I’ve been rounded up out of at that age, the rounding up I did in earlier drama days, I got to say,without exception they all appeared back on time, totally sober, happy just to be there, got on their bicycles and headed off.


Oh…all right . The Klementinum library ceiling. And part of the Klementinum

Lastly, some scary wifies…

made by Hana Purkrabkova. Of course if she had known about hamsters she’d made some scary statues of them but she didn’t, so she never. This one I chose cos this one I am not meant to have, having missed the notice forbidding photography….. Here’s hoping no hamster dude will tell. . . . .

Okay…SO, the trip to Prague went something like this.

Airports, Edinburgh x 2, Schiphol x 2 Prague x 2

Airports escorted by Airport Security, once for over a mile, in — 2

Airport check in operators it was then necessary to charm in order to avoid baggage charges —2

Hotels – 1, the fabulous Archibald—lucky them–at the Charles Bridge.

Attractions visited—even luckier them–Old Town, Wenceslas Square, Petrin Park and Observation Tower, the Anthropoid Church and exhibition, the Klementinum, Charles Square, Our Lady Before Tyn, the Strahov Library, Kampa Museum, Kampa Park.

Random, on the doorstep things to watch and go to — 2, the Prague Marathon x 1, the United Islands of Prague Festival x 2 Kampa Community Centre Sat night music, on the wander back from the Festival x 1

Days stayed—4 and a half

Miles walked — c 35

Feet hanging off –yeah

Eateries visited – 5 + festival street food booth x 2, they sold great chips.

Beer consumed – a lot.

Weddings gatecrashed–None


But of course.

It’s cup of kindness time . . .


USA. UK.  India, Italy, Canada, Spain, Germany, France,  Kenya, Turkey, Indonesia, Finland, South Africa, Nigeria, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Pakistan, Ireland, Brazil, Romania, Philippines. Peru, Austria,  Nepal, China, Uganda, Bangladesh, Poland, Guatemala, Malaysia, Jamaica, United  Arab Emirates, Mexico, Chile, Israel, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Bahrain, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Iraq, Ghana, Egypt, Belgium, South Korea, Czech Republic, Greece, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, Denmark, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, El Salvador, Croatia, Ukraine, Panama, Bolivia, Vietnam,. Argentina, Portugal, Columbia, Bulgaria, Myanmar, Taiwan, Afghanistan,  Malta, Benin, Qatar, Namibia, Paraguay,  Mali, Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway, Moldova, Macedonia, Guadeloupe, Serbia, Iceland, Haiti, Algeria, Guinea, Mozambique, Cote d’ Ivoire, Kosovo.

D. Wallace Peach and the Necromancer’s Daughter


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Greetings Shey, I’m so happy to be visiting with you and the Dudes.

We often chat about gowns and your heroines’ beautiful attire,

so I thought today we could touch base on the topic of fashion.In The Necromancer’s Daughter, my poor character Aster spends most of the book dressed as a peasant and filthy from weeks of rough travel. But there’s one point in the book where she’s dressed up to meet her uncle, the king. Here’s a peek (slightly condensed):

Layers of rose, cream, and violet silk cascaded around her legs like water. Even on the high wooden soles of her embroidered slippers, the wide openings of her sleeves nearly brushed the floor. Two women wrapped her waist in a blue sash and smoothed out the puckers in the final layer, a sleeveless blue robe embroidered with dragons along the hem.

The queen entered and stepped behind her, tall and imposing. The two of them gazed into the standing mirror. “The colors suit you, Aster. Anything brighter would have left you looking like a ghost.” The queen swished around her for a final inspection. “We have completed our transformation. Let us see if the king approves.”

One lady bustled for the door while the others pinched at Aster’s clothing, correcting invisible oversights. Despite the supple apparel, Aster stepped into the hallway as if she balanced a tea set on her head.

“You’re not posing for a portrait,” the queen whispered. “You must let the clothing flow. Therein lies the beauty of silk.”

I also created a graphic for a gown! 

This isn’t Aster’s gown, since it’s not the right colors. But it’s the style – based on traditional hanfu Chinese clothing.  And that’s the dragon Grandfather with Scars behind her.

Thanks so much for letting me come over and play!



A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.



I’ve said it before and I will say it again, fantasy is not my preferred genre. But a  special author and  story will always convince me to click ‘buy.’ And D. Wallace Peach is such an author.  Her world building –for me a key element in fantasy writing—is second to none.  Set against that we have Aster, the stillborn daughter of the King of Verdane.  Yes, you may wonder how a stillborn baby can go on to be the heroine in a fantasy novel, but trust me she is because the man tasked with saving her has the gift of bringing the dead back to life. He just doesn’t manage it immediately.  The themes are universal. An ageing  man suddenly aware he has an heir, an Order that will stop at nothing–not even murder–to thwart this,  a  perilous journey through lands torn between ,hunted and hunters, in other words, good versus evil at every turn, and a fantastic cast of characters along the way, all in the skilled hands of a writer who knows how to deliver.

The dudes give it 5 paws.

D. Wallace Peach.

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.



US: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach/dp/B0B9FY6YZJ

IN: https://www.amazon.in/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

Barnes & Noble



Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach


The fascination of Capybaras with Mike Allegra


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Hi, Dudes! I cannot even begin to say what a pleasure it is to finally meet you! As I think you know, I love all rodents. I am very pro rodent. I’m prodent. I might be the prodentest person in the history of ever. So to meet you at last is a dream come true…..”

QUESTION ONE. You caught the reading and writing bug young, was that what drew you to write for children?

MIKE ALLEGRA. I don’t think so. When I was young, my goal was to write stories that adults would find funny. It was easy to amuse my friends, but if I could get my parents or my teachers or my cranky Uncle Bill to laugh, well that was an achievement. When I pulled it off, I felt like a million bucks.

Now that I’m an adult with an adult sense of humor, I’ve done a 180. The challenge and the joy of my career is to make kids laugh. I love writing kid’s stories because it gives me permission to delve into the silly side of my personality.

Being silly is not only fun for me, I think it makes me a better person. The world would probably be a better place if more adults allowed themselves to get their silly on.

Could a worldwide increase in fart jokes lead to world peace? I’m not sure, but it’s a hypothesis worth exploring.

QUESTION TWO. You’ve written plays, worked as a reporter, an editor, as well as being an author, which would you say is your favorite and why? 

Mike Allegra . All of the writing gigs in my life were fun and rewarding in one way or another. My two years as a reporter, however, was, far and away, my most valuable work experience. It made me the writer I am today. The job taught me how to research and write fast, polished work on tight deadlines. It taught me how to work with editors, conduct interviews, and deal with critics. It also taught me the ins and outs of government, which may not be important from the perspective of a writing career, but is essential to anyone who wants to be a good citizen. (We should all want to be good citizens.)

I recommend a stint as a reporter to anyone who wants to do this writing thing as a career. I even wrote a blog post about it:

But my most satisfying work is my children’s book career. I love letting my imagination go wild. I love visiting schools and meeting my readers. The gig isn’t very lucrative, but it makes me terribly happy.

QUESTION THREE Which book have you had the most fun writing?

Mike Allegra . That’s a tricky one, but I think it’s my most recent picture book, Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles. The main character is a capybara, the world’s largest rodent. (See? I told you I was prodent!) I’ve been fascinated by capybaras ever since I’ve first heard about them as a kid in the 1980s. Back then (and now!) I kept gerbils as pets, so the idea of a rodent being the size of a golden retriever captivated me in ways I can hardly explain. When I became an adult, and I learned more about these ginormous critters, I was even more captivated. Capys cuddle with other animals! They babysit each other’s children! They are excellent foster mothers to other species! They are amazing swimmers! And they are soooo cute! How could I not write a book about a cuddly capybara?

God, I love this book.

QUESTION FOUR Have you ever written a book about a hamster? 

I feared this question might come up.

My picture book, Scampers Thinks Like a Scientist, stars mice; another book of mine, Everybody’s Favorite Book, features a guinea pig; and, as I mentioned, Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles has a capybara. But no hamsters yet. No gerbils either—much to the consternation of my beloved fur children, Dusty and Oreo. But fear not,

I have more books in me. I’m sure I can get a couple of cool dude hamsters in one of them sooner or later. I’ll write a book starring gerbils, too.

MIKE ALLEGRA Ah. Writing tips? Question five eh?

Okay……. I will give them. Aspiring writers please forgive the tough love:

Your book ideas are worthless if you don’t write them down. Don’t just talk about your ideas; don’t pass the buck by trying to collaborate with someone; don’t say, “You know, I really should write a book.” Get your tush in a chair and start writing. Writing is slow, hard work. It can sometimes be frustrating, exhausting, maddening and make you want to bang your head against the wall. But don’t get discouraged. Keep going. Because when those words of yours finally come together in just the right way, when your story makes people think, laugh, or see the world with a new point of view, well, dang, that’s the best feeling in the world.

QUESTION SIX 6. What’s next for Mike Allegra

MIKE ALLEGRA Well, in addition to running around telling everyone about Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles, I’m also gearing up to run around to tell everyone about my next picture book, Pirate and Penguin, which will be out in May 2023. It’s the story of a penguin finding his way onto a pirate ship and being mistaken for a chubby, mute, monochromatic macaw. It’s a fun one. 


Mike Allegra is the author of 17 books for children including the picture books Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles (Page Street, 2022), Scampers Thinks like a Scientist (Dawn, 2019), Everybody’s Favorite Book (Macmillan, 2018), and Sarah Gives Thanks (Albert Whitman and Company, 2012). He also wrote the chapter book series Kimmie Tuttle (Abdo Books, 2021) and Prince Not-So Charming (Macmillan, 2018-19; pen name: Roy L. Hinuss). Scampers was the winner of Learning Magazine’s 2020 Teacher’s Choice Award and was selected for inclusion in the Literati Kids subscription box. His story, “Harold’s Hat,” was the winner of the 2014 Highlights fiction contest and was published in the July 2015 issue.

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Mike-Allegra/e/B00E5M07EI?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1663250421&sr=1-1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mike.allegra

Influential Observation with Catherine Cavendish


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My Greatest Influence BY Catherine Cavendish

Since I’ve been fortunate enough to be a published writer, I have met many others and once of the first things I discovered is that I wasn’t alone in having been the nerdy schoolgirl who used to inwardly cheer when our English teacher would set us an essay to write for homework. I especially hugged my inner creative embryo when we were given no clear parameters as to what that essay would centre on. Sometimes it would be a line from a poem which could be interpreted in a myriad of ways. On other occasions it would be an emotion we had to express – be it joy, sorrow or whatever. All around me, my fellow students would groan while I wanted to do that Mary Tyler Moore thing with my (ridiculously old fashioned) school hat.

For decades I believed I was the only one who ever felt like that. What a relief to discover I wasn’t.

I should have realised it really though because while there have been and still are a host of people I count as influences on me and on my writing, there is one who stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Her name was Doris May Buttery. She was born on 23rd October 1920 and passed away on 13th March 2018 – and Doris was my Mum. She loved to write.

When I was a little girl and, okay, I’ll say it first, that was a long time ago, one of my enduring memories is of Mum sitting at the dining room table, her pencil sharpened, lost in her own world as she busily transcribed memories of her childhood, growing up in a small Staffordshire village between the two world wars, onto sheets of lined foolscap paper. 

While Mum wrote, I would play with my dolls or my cat, Penny. I would make up stories, read, let my imagination run free…

And day after day, once her chores were done, Mum would write. She had a small win on the Football Pools and used to it to pay for a creative writing course where she learned the art of short story writing. I still have at least some of those stories. They were fiction but always, somewhere, there lurked a grain of truth. Invariably set in the 1920s or 1930s there would be a character in there that I would later come to identify in her memoirs. Sometimes she would write about a scandal that I would later discover had actually taken place – although the names and some identifying details had all been changed.

I can’t remember exactly when she stopped writing. But for years, maybe a decade or more, the pencils and foolscap were put aside only for her to return one day and pick up where she left off. This became a pattern. Days and weeks of daily writing followed by months and years of none. From her childhood she moved onto recollections of the war years 1939-1945 when she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) – the British women’s army of the time. Sadly, she didn’t get too far with these but the account of being a naive eighteen-year-old office girl joining up (against her father’s wishes) immediately casts the reader back to those far off years. Mum could certainly create atmosphere and a sense of time and place in her writing.

Meanwhile, I had caught the writing bug. Watching her may have been the catalyst, or perhaps it was simply because she enjoyed it. Some of those school essays of mine grew into short stories; one eventually morphed into a novel. Mum encouraged me while my father considered my desire – at around eight or nine years old – to purchase a portable typewriter as a complete waste of time and money. I bought my typewriter, selling a number of toys in order to do so. The rest, as they say, is history.

After Mum passed away, I found the folder I knew existed and opened it. There were Mum’s childhood memories. These eventually became a published book An Elford Childhood .

Mum never ventured down the path of supernatural, ghostly or scary stories. Nor did she attempt a crime story – although in her later years especially, crime fiction was by far her preferred genre. She did, however, tell me that she had always enjoyed a good spooky book when she was younger so maybe that’s where I get it from. I also enjoy crime – real or fictional and Agatha Christie was a shared passion of ours.

Mum left me a legacy of a love of reading and writing, history and cats. Wherever she is now, I hope she is enjoying a good book, with a cat purring on her lap, a notebook and pencil by her side and a nice cup of tea.

As for my latest? Well, I hope Mum would approve. There is an awful lot of her in one of my main characters – Vi  – and then of course there’s her hero,Winston Churchill, those secret underground war rooms and…

Eligos is waiting…fulfil your destiny

1941. In the dark days of war-torn London, Violet works in Churchill’s subterranean top secret Cabinet War Rooms, where key decisions that will dictate Britain’s conduct of the war are made. Above, the people of London go about their daily business as best they can, unaware of the life that teems beneath their feet.

Night after night the bombs rain down, yet Violet has far more to fear than air raids. A mysterious man, a room only she can see, memories she can no longer trust, and a best friend who denies their shared past… Something or someone – is targeting her.

Dark Observation is available here:

Flame Tree Press


Barnes and Noble


Bookshop.org (where you can support your favourite local bookshop)

and at good bookshops everywhere (on the shelf or to order)

About The Author

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels and novellas.

Her novels include: Dark ObservationIn Darkness, Shadows Breathe, The Garden of Bewitchment. The Haunting of Henderson Close, The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse an Saving Grace Devine.

Her novellas include: The Darkest Veil, Linden ManorCold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife

Her short stories appeared in a number of anthologies including Tomes of TerrorOne of Us and Haunted Are These Houses.

She lives by the sea in Southport, England with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat called Serafina who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue.

You can connect with Cat here:

Catherine Cavendish







Nik Keevil and Flame Tree Studio

Author’s own

Jade. (Or a gown to die for…..) by Resa McConaghy


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Have you ever walked away from love?

Yes!? Then you know its bittersweet taste.

Jade has been called by Chinese poets “the concentrated essence of love”.

Well, all that sounds like a Historical Romance novel to me, and Shehanne Moore writes the best .

Art Gown, Jade, is lovingly dedicated to Shehanne.

If anyone knows the twists and turns of romance, it is she.

It all began with 2 vintage decorator pillow shams. My friend, Kat, found them in Wiarton’s Goodwill – 220 km. north of Toronto. She sent them to me.

I wasted no time pinning one onto Judy. It was a natural. Last year Kat sent me 40 pounds of fabrics, much of it stored for up to 25 years. In the poundage was a generous yardage of 60″ wide green polyester faux silk.

That was cut on bias and hung for 2 weeks. I harvested miles of ribbon from an old gown. It was marked with needle holes, so I gathered it to hide the flaws.

The faux silk had been cut without blunting the bottom for a hem. The points were picked up, and attached onto the bodice. This meant no fabric was wasted, and I sewed (by hand)  420 inches of seams & 660 inches of hem.

540 inches of ruffled salvaged ribbon was sewn onto the hem. The decals from the 2nd pillow sham were cut out, and positioned strategically onto the gown. Then began the fun of designing the bustle.

Jade is a dream to drape. That polyester faux silk is like fabric butter. However, it does not biodegrade like butter.

Front lit or backlit, she shines.


I’m a huge fan of Shehanne’s books. I’ve read all but one, so far. These are just 5 of her titles. Click on the banner to go to her Amazon page!

D. Wallace Peach – Myths of the Mirror has just read “Loving Lady Lazuli”. Her review will appear in her next books review.

However, you can read it NOW! Just click on the book cover!

I read if you hit a piece of jade, it rings like a bell. Whether for pleasant listening or for ritual practices, chimes, xylophones, and gongs have been created from melodically resonant jade.

I kept hearing this song while doing the post. Maybe because Sade looks like Jade, but an “s” instead of a “j”. When I learned about jade being resonant, I put it in.

On top of it all, Timothy Price – Off Center Not Even sent me a gift of LED lights with 4 filters: red, orange, yellow and blue. Jade is the first Art Gown learning lesson. I experimented in night, and day.

As Jade retires to the plant room, I’m mini Jade here to say thank you for popping by & come again!

Author D. Wallace peach’s review of Loving Lady Lazuli

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Loving Lady Lazuli by Shehanne Moore

Ten years ago, Sapphire, the infamous London jewel thief, slipped the Wentworth emeralds into the pocket of an unsuspecting young lord. Caught with the jewels, Devorlane Hawley spent ten years serving in the military, which included getting shot. At the end of his service, he returns home to find a very familiar face at his welcoming party.

Cassidy Armstrong feigns innocence and concocts a series of lies that unravel as quickly as she can think them up. Retired from her years as Sapphire, she’s on a mission to prove that she’s the heir to the Armstrong estate, but in order to do that, she needs to scour a stack of paperwork entrusted to you-know-who… Devorlane. Bent on revenge, Devorlane agrees to let her search through the documents as long as she agrees to become his mistress for the duration of her search.

These characters dislike each other intensely (despite their attraction), and that conflicting dynamic plays out for most of the book as they attempt to irritate each other. Multiple POVs give glimpses into both characters’ thoughts and motivations as well as their ambivalence. As always with Moore’s romances, there is plenty of witty humor, and to me, the action/thoughts around sex were more entertaining than the act itself.

Secondary characters are colorful and distinct, adding complications and personality outside the main conflict. The pace is snappy, and I read the book in one sitting. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy witty characters, enemies to friends romances, and a wild plot.

July Book Reviews https://mythsofthemirror.com/2022/07/21/july-book-reviews-3/ via @Dwallacepeach

A visit to the Klementinum and a new review.


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Shey’s trip to Prague

Length of stay –5 days.

Attractions Visited. 5 -The Castle, John Lennon wall, Old Town, The Klementinum . Wenceslas Square.

Attractions not visited 1. The day was just too warm.

Bars Visited. 4. Bella Vista Cafe, the Olympia, the Stage Bar, and the outdoors deckchairs bar downstairs from the Bella Vista Cafe.

Bars visited more than once. 3. Bella Vista Cafe, the Olympia, and the outdoors deckchairs bar downstairs from the Bella Vista Cafe.

Bars we wanted to visit more than once. 1. The Stage bar.

Bars not visited – every other one there.

Weddings in bars, not asked to but ended up there anyway. 1

Bars flung out of on last night there with magnificent resident-in-Prague-Scots-couple., met by chance two nights previously and again that night . . 2

Glasses nicked that night…. The count was lost.

Locals THAT couple cannot show their faces in again?? 2

Hotel stayed in?? The Red & Blue Design. Five stars to them.

Epic musicians listened to. 1. The Champagne Lovers, whose gigs are on the Charles Bridge.

Book Shops visited. 1 Palace of Books. Five stars to them. Now that’s a book shop.

The Klementinum by night.
View from the top.
A quiet cafe
The epic Champagne Lovers, Jazz Band/Skiffle. Total class. Fantastic Charles Bridge feature. No second thought about buying their CD.

My new favourite authors! https://dragonscaleclippings.wordpress.com/2022/05/31/authors-i-recommend/ via @FreyasClippings

The Dudes aren’t in the kitchen with D. Wallace Peach.


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D. Wallace Peach. Thanks so much for the invite to visit with you and the Dudes, Shey. What a treat to hobnob with the famous (infamous?) Hamstas.  Hi guys.

Question one. ·  Fantasy  can stand or fall on the world building and making a reader completely believe in that world.  When you first sat down to write Catling’s Bane, what came first, the world  she inhabits or Catling?

D. Wallace Peach. For me, both happen at the same time.  Usually, the theme comes first – in this case, the ability to manipulate emotions. That bit of inspiration starts a cascade of character, world, and plot ideas that inform each other as the story takes shape. Not until that magic has run its course, do I begin writing.

D. Wallace Peach. Oh I am definitely a plotter.  And I wrote all four books before I published the first. That way all the details line up from start to finish. I can’t help obsessing about the cohesiveness of my stories, so it’s how I’ve written all my series.D.Wallace PeachI’ve definitely considered it. Hamsters have fabulous personalities. So dashing and clever. 

D.Wallace PeachAnd handsome! I forgot to mention how incredibly handsome they are.

D. Wallace Peach—. Most of my books have an element of social or political commentary, usually based on the corrupting influence of power. A timeless theme, right?!  I like asking “what if” questions about issues I’m passionate about and turning them into fantastical tales.

D. Wallace Peach. Ha!  Great question, but no recipes. I’ve eaten just about everything my characters have, including eels, snakes, and crocodiles (crajeks). None of my characters eat hamsters, by the way. That would be unforgivable.

D. Wallace Peach. Find a way to get constructive criticism!  It’s wonderful to hear about how great your books are, but you need to know what’s not working in order to improve. Well-considered and specific criticism is a huge gift!

D. Wallace Peach I hope to have another stand-alone book out this summer called The Necromancer’s Daughter. Adventure, danger, flight, dragons, love, and raising the dead!  Stay tuned.

Thanks, Shey, and the Dudes for having me over. This has been great fun.

A book that puts the e in epic, the f in fantasy and the w in world building.

All within the first few paragraphs too. In that brutal early part we also meet Catling, a little girl who can do what no-one else in that world can—see through the power of the ‘influencers,’ to the horror that lies beneath. I did say fantasy, didn’t I? And maybe you’re saying I don’t read fantasy, but that’s all right, normally I don’t either, but I will now be reading more. Certainly of this series. The map is magical and the writing spell-binding. That any book can stand or fall by the believability of the world created, is especially true of fantasy, which is I why want to say that the world-building wasn’t just engrossing, it was effortlessly done, people, places, plants, all leap off the page, but the idea of a world where thoughts are shaped, something that resonates in today’s actual world, leapt in huge print, alongside political intrigue, inequality and yep…less than wonderful leaders. Meantime, a previous mysterious and mystical culture peeps, a culture squashed and slaughtered beneath the boot of the existing rulers, adding even more layers to the story.
I absolutely loved the idea of this book. How can this be fought, especially when only one person can see it. AND even worse, that person is a lowest of the low child who’s already fallen through several cracks? That they are also the only one with the power to break the system, means the ride is not going to be easy. People have their own needs and plans after all.
All in all, a book that delivers on every level, an amazing constructed world, with gripping characters and a plot that whips us along on the promise of more to come in book two.


Blog: https://mythsofthemirror.com

Author Website: https://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach


A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.