‘Have you ever seen one of those dramatic moments in a film when two people meet, and all the noise in the room disappears?’
CAROLYN. Yes, it was at Hugh Hefner‘s party, and I was there to meet Hugh and his then-girlfriend Barbie Benton. I don’t think I ever believed in love at first sight until that evening. Even then, it took some time before I realized the thunderbolt was love. LOL During my conversation with Lloyd, I asked him what he did for a living, and he told me he was a bra salesman. Considering where we were, I thought business must be good. Besides, Lloyd was too convincing for me to laugh out loud, so I just stared quietly. LOL
CAROLYN. Lloyd Haynes, the lead actor of the 1970s TV show Room 222. The show had premiered a month earlier, and I missed it and didn’t know who Lloyd was. Despite that evening we weren’t together right away. It was quite a long journey.
CAROLYN. I started as a child with dancing, ballet, piano, voice, and modeling lessons. Then appeared in a few children’s shows, sang with on-camera personalities. I still have newspaper clippings that my mother saved. I grew into television, films, sang in a few clubs, and Lloyd and I almost toured together as singers, but my family came first.
CAROLYN. Yes, after Lloyd died, I wasn’t ready to go back to acting, and working with Sol Saks became available.
CAROLYN. Yes! I’ve been in the process of writing a book on Bewitched for the last two years now. I’m editing at the moment and hope to find a publisher with more clout to launch the book.
CAROLYN. Over the years, people asked questions regarding Lloyd and growing up in the Hollywood area. Then, one day a dear friend suggested I write a book. I was reluctant, but she convinced me.
I prayed a lot and began the four-year adventure that I surprisingly enjoyed. With the success of my first book, I then had the honor to write a book for Sol Saks. Though he did ask me a couple of times while we worked together, I couldn’t imagine writing in those days.
CAROLYN Thank you, dudes. I hope it’s a book that people enjoy reading. The best advice I received on writing I learned from Sol Saks. During the years we worked together, I took pages of notes on the advice he gave university students, his regime, and experiences writing for newspapers, scripts for radio, television, and books. His words explain it so much better than I can, and I believe I’ve captured the advice in this new book.
A native of Los Angeles, California U.S.A. and born into a large fun-loving Italian family, I had the good fortune to grow up in Montrose, California and New York. I have been blessed with four wonderfully talented children, worked as an actor, assisted Mr. Sol Saks of “Bewitched” with his writing projects, continued my formal education, and traveled. Now, “Help for Angela,” my first true short story has just been published and Imy special biography, “The Lloyd Haynes Story.” Samuel Lloyd Haynes, notably known for his staring depiction of Pete Dixon on “Room 222,” is a look at an extraordinary international, multicultural, and sometimes controversial soul that I think you will enjoy.
Lloyd Haynes, the beloved star of critically acclaimed 1970s television series Room 222. A visceral story of unyielding love and epic valor, as we follow Lloyd Haynes remarkable journey from a family mortuary to stardom, military officer, and recognition from the U. S. Senate. “With all those gorgeous women around, what made his eyes seek-out yours? Or, did you seek-out his?” Alison Bogert A MUST READ- SUPERBLY WRITTEN – The Tribune
Princess Blue Holly descended gracefully into Otherworld.
She was led by her Tangle-Heart. A moonless night was falling, as it watched over the defoliated magic trees.
Upon arrival, Blue Holly adopted the garb of the common peoples of Otherworld. She wandered tirelessly through a dark, eternal 3 a.m., searching for SheyGoth.
At first the song was far away, but PBH followed the music. AGM Shey was an incurable romantic. She was sure SheyGoth was behind the music.
As PBH drew near to SheyGoth, DracGoth intercepted.
“Princess Blue, I call you out! You are not in your league here. You have few powers to do anything. SheyGoth is here of her own free will. She can only leave of her own free will. We are Otherworld lovers.”
Blue Holly faced him dead on, albeit a tad cheeky.
“Was it the red hair that tipped you off? Look, I just want to talk to SheyGoth!”
SheyGoth appeared behind her Goth lover.“Princess Blue, I have no desire to talk with you!”
PBH replied, “then at least speak with Rene. You owe her that much. She made you, and all of the Art Gowns Models international celebrities.”
Driven by her love for all her AGM sisters, SheyGoth conceded. Blue Holly chose Nowhere & Nothing World, for the meeting. SheyGoth slipped on a simple gown, thereby becoming AGM Shey for the occasion.
A hologram of Rene Rosso appeared. “Come home dear Shey!”
“Remember the gowns, the colours, the joys of the catwalk? Remember Holly, Dale, Marina & Gigi? Remember how all the AGMs help each other? They wait for you! Rebecca Budd says she can’t do another show without you!”
AGM Shey’s memories filled the air around her. Soon her true colour came back.
AGM Shey looked at RR, and asked,”Will you sing “Once I Was Loved”, by Melody Gardot?”
DracGoth was frantic. “SheyGoth, don’t leave me! I love you! I need you! We are Otherworld lovers!”
“Sorry, Dahling! As much as I love our loving, there is no colour, no daytime, no any other time but 3 a.m. here. The Girlfriends and Gowns are calling. Dahling, you can come up and see me any night! I’ll wait in the dark for you.”
With that, SheyGoth slowly faded into a golden glow. The golden glow was cast upon the leafless magic trees.
Soon AGM Shey’s tree and all other magic trees were green again.
“The ball had just begun when Kitty and her mother stepped on to the central staircase, which was bathed in light and embellished with flowers and powdered footmen in red livery. From the interior came a steady rustle of movement which filled the rooms like bees buzzing in a hive, and while they adjusted their hair in front on a mirror between the potted plants on the landing, the delicately clear sounds of the violins in the orchestra could be heard striking up the first waltz in the ballroom.”
Shey. As Silv just said there –sorry, just let me let go of her paws–I am on my 8th book and when that’s done there will have been a ball, or dance scene in six of them. I was uncertain re this latest one whether the ball would actually take place but on reflection, I am big on what ball scenes in books can offer. You can blame the scene in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenin for that. It’s not only a case in point being the first time Vronsky and Anna really eye each other up, leaving Kitty standing. The lavish description of the ball, of Kitty descending the staircase, full of starry eyed hope was like a beacon to me when I read that book. An eternity ago now but even now, I can remember it. Before that, talking balls? Well, there was Cinderella. I used the idea of Cinderella shamelessly in Splendor. The second ball scene –yes there’s two– is the big pivotal moment where she finds out the whole truth about the hero and runs, realising there’s things she can’t manage—managing things being her biggest strength and greatest flaw– and things she can’t lay on him either, leaving her glove on the stairs. Of course I thought the shoe might be a bit much, as would hamsters pulling the coach.
I’m sure you were asked but you fell under the wheels and that is why you are crushed. Sadly.
A ball also gave scope for when he loses her in a complicated dance set, mirrorring the maze of hopelessness he then lives in for months, and the contrast between this glittering world and the one facing her, if she doesn’t ‘manage’ this evening and that of her ex fiance, now begging in the gutter outside.
But the first ball scene was ideal for the hero really noticing what’s been under his nose and that’s her, as opposed to the awkward, clumsy, accident-prone, woman who has faced him as a man across a pair of duelling pistols and a chessboard. From the liveried footmen to the shining chandeliers, balls are such glittering occasions, all kinds of magic can be at work. Especially when neither partner can dance and they don’t want anyone knowing either.
I dunno dudes, you tell me. In the Viking and the Courtesan, Malice decides to confront her husband in a similar glittering scenario, after he’s set the law on her for services unrendered re a little biz she runs– a move that backfires spectacularly when, having failed to recognise her, he then kidnaps her at fork and knife-hurriedly-nicked-from-the-kitchen-point, after she tries to insist that the pillow she’s stuffed up her skirt is far more than that; all to the tune of a Mozart minuet.
‘Since you were low enough to ask us, naturally we were low enough to come.’
Miitchell Killgower cuts his’ ball’-breaking ex sister-in-law and aunt by marriage, short at the start of the ball scene in the Writer and the Rake. A ball she’s thrown in the middle of a bitter inheritance dispute, in order to expose the fact his ‘wife’ in his sham marriage has been missing presumed vanished off the face of the earth for weeks. It’s another pivotal moment where the heroine discovers that Morte, a man roughly five years older than herself is in fact her ten times great grandson and aged a thousand, and has her revolting feet admired by Francis Dashwood,—the actual founder of the Hellfire Club. Balls are also a great place to introduce real historical figures.
Again, neither hero nor heroine can dance, except the latter on a 21st century nightclub floor. But they’ve had a lot of fun learning–a good chance to sort of get together–with the help of Mitchell’s polar opposite teenage son, who he’s finally liking. Alas, all before Brittany learns from Morte, exactly what she’s doing wrong about getting back to her time. Sob, sob as the dudes would say.
Nor do balls have to be grand society affairs as in these three books. In Loving Lady Lazuli the fact the ball was set in Assembly Rooms in a small town, and held for everyone regardless of class, on Christmas Eve, was a good excuse to delve into a more rustic affair, with children jigging on the upstairs landing and farmer’s wives unpacking pot luck suppers. And the perfect scenario
for the heroine to go for broke with an I am Spartacus moment about who she really is. Or rather an ‘I am Sapphire,’ after she’s gone round nicking every thing she can lay her hands on and dump it on the floor, because the hero intends betraying her so what does it matter? It’s also the perfect scenario for him to show exactly the man he really is and finally admit his feelings for her.
There’s no grand ball in His Judas Bride either. Not in the wilds of Scotland at that time. There’s a supper party/ dance, where the heroine learns that her drunken, womanising, horror of a husband-to-be may have other sides to him–he’s an ‘awfie guid cook, when he lays aff the nips’ apparently. But there’s still no way she can marry him, after he insists not just on dancing with her but in her showing off the fine dancing skills she’s allegedly learnt in ‘Edinboro.’ With the emphasis on the word ‘allegedly’ and every step of what she’s making up, under the nose of her betrothed’s brother, a man nothing gets past, reminding her of the abuse she suffered for years in a prison cell, she also learns it’s time to run, as in ‘now’,
thus setting up the rest of the book.
SO yes, after much debate the current WIP does have a ball scene. Why the uncertainty? Well, that it’s being held in an abandoned house, by two people on the run and even the food on the guests’ plates is of course
nicked and not a bowl matches a plate, should be answer enough. Also I didn’t want to go for another world crashing in ruins ball scene. But equally, if a world is going to crash…….
, where better to let it fall than on a ballroom floor?
So, there you go, balls in books, balls in films. From Scarlett O’Hara leaping forward to….raise money for the ‘noble’ cause., with Rhett Butler, Anna and the King of Siam, to Maria getting up close and personal with Captain Von Trapp–AND, let’s not forget one I forgot until Rene reminded me in the comments, Jezebel where Bette Davis loses her lover over a red dress. Even if there’s no ball, there’s dancing, the romance of Dirty Dancing, of Strictly Ballroom.
So come on folks, tell me your fav ball or dance scene that way?
Oh come on dudes, just crack open the voddie and get on with the cossack dance will you?
The Rogues of Cornwall and O’Roarke’s Destiny—the best laid schemes … Shehanne Moore
Firstly I’d like to thank Elizabeth Schultz for inviting me along to Authors’ Lounge, a great resource from all I can see, for authors, so a great honor to be here.
Secondly if you know anything about quotes, you might recognise the bit about the schemes, coming from a poem by Scotland’s own bard, Rabbie Burns, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, Gang aft a-gley.” which roughly translates as, ‘you can make your plans as foolproof as you want, they will still go to pot. Indeed they are a hundred times more likely to.’
O’Roarke’s Destiny never began life as a darkly dangerous tale of ghosts, grief, old scores, curses, secret passages, mythical figures, old houses, smugglers, or the excisemen charged with bringing that particular ‘cottage industry’ under control, (trying to rather).
Will you shut up?
It wasn’t called O’Roarke’s Destiny, or even set in Cornwall either for that matter. It was a frothy, little comedy about the ownership of a house, starting, not when the hero wins it in a dodgy card game, (the heroine too, after she rashly throws herself in with it, not knowing who to) but a few years later when he announces he’s getting married and it’s not to her.
Boy, when it comes to plans, am I glad I’ve never seen a book beyond chapter one. I might get upset otherwise.
The hero whispered early on that he didn’t want to own some fancy pad in Hampshire, he fancied Cornwall and the book should start with the house being lost to the heroine. Then he didn’t want to be a ‘poor boy made good,’ house and garden designer either. He wanted that to be a front for smuggling—temporarily—because, of course, then he didn’t want to be a real smuggler, since it made him look very bad indeed and he was already bad enough. Instead he wanted to have been forced into it to assist the excisemen because of his dodgy business dealings. But that was temporary too, since, on reflection, that made him look even badder.
Wouldn’t it be a million times better–in addition to you lot shutting up– if he was an exciseman, an undercover exciseman, a man on the edge, who has gone rogue, messed up horrendously on the last job, and can’t afford to stray again, as in ever again? But at every turn he’s haunted?
Oh, and could he please be called something other than Manning Carver too? Thank you. You can see my heroes don’t ask for very much at all. Just a dude free zone.
Fortunately I could see there were some merits in what he wanted. Inspiration had originally sparked one night over a glass of wine with now sadly deceased, friend. It had been a difficult time selling the family home of nearly 30 years and I’d been telling her how a pupil’s father had come to the door, said he’d been shafted on buying the house, three doors along, was going to make a very good offer on ours and please don’t worry about showing him round. He understood this must be difficult to sell a house like this after all the years.
‘Wow,’ she said.
‘The deal was done on the spot,’ said I. ’Maybe I should have turfed myself in as a housekeeper while I was about it?’ A joke of course but my mind started whirring.
As for the move of the story to Cornwall? Maybe I haven’t been there but I have always loved stories about smugglers and they were on my ‘get to’ list for a future book. So, why not this one, a hopefully raunchy historical romance, about two flawed people, who have been damaged by life, finding redemption and happiness, since that’s what I write. It may take them a bit, but it’s what I hope readers over a certain age can relate to. Maybe getting a few laughs along the way at the idiosyncrasies, the gall and lack of self awareness of the characters? As I wrote it I also thought this could be the first in a series about undercover agents. Book two, Wryson’s Eternity, about a secondary character in O’Roarke’s Destiny, a man who intriguingly doesn’t know who he is and an ‘extra,’ a woman who is only seen briefly through a window in one scene, is nearly finished.
So my goal is to extend O’Roarke’s Destiny into three books.
I guess the moral is, you don’t have to have everything meticulously plotted to write that book that’s in you. You just have to be unafraid to start.
In fact, living here in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Scotland, on the banks of the River Tay, naturally devoted to my family, who live nearby, I’m surrounded by some wonderful scenery. Being out in the wilds, the Glencoe mountains especially, led me to compare writing a book to hill walking. How? Well it’s like this. ‘I see the beginning, I see the end and in the middle, I hope I won’t fall on my ass too much.’
Once again, a big thank you Authors’ Lounge. You’re the best.
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EXTRACT……. The bit that threw the book and left me thinking……………….since when???
He’d never known any man leave it at that around her. Look at Nick Trengouse, threatening to blow his head off with a pistol after she turned down his offer of marriage, look at Harold Penhaligan who’d gone to drink and the devil when she’d finished toying with him for giddy months on end. It didn’t matter how changed she was.
Rose was here, waiting to ambush him. What would she think if he followed Destiny Rhodes upstairs, presuming the dead could think? Over his dead body could he go up these stairs.
“Then tomorrow can’t come fast enough, sir,” Gil said. “Because if she ever finds out what your business really is she’ll go to the law. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“I don’t doubt it, but aren’t you forgetting one thing?”
ELAINE JEREMIAH. Well funnily enough it was my husband who suggested I write Jane Austen fan fiction. TBH the sales of my romance books weren’t amazing. My husband pointed out that to be successful as an indie author, it can be a good idea to target a sub-genre to gain a bigger, more loyal readership. It can be easier to be more successful within a sub-genre. Romance is of course a huge genre, with loads of sub-genres to it. I’d read a bit of Jane Austen fan fiction, so thought I’d write a story about a girl who’s a huge Jane Austen fan (like me!) who accidentally time travels to Regency England. I then decided to turn it into a trilogy and having taken a break from writing it to write my ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation, I’m now working on book 3.But being honest again, the first two books in my trilogy didn’t make waves. I hadn’t read that widely in Jane Austen fan fiction and as I read more and more JAFF,
I realised over time that what is most popular is ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variations, particularly those about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, set in the Regency era. Basically retellings of the Darcy/Elizabeth story which people love. The time travel story I’d written, while I’d enjoyed writing it very much, wasn’t quite what people wanted to read within the genre.So having written and published book 2 of my trilogy, I decided to turn my attention to writing a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, though it took me a lot longer in the end to write than I’d planned. I got bogged down with the plotting of the story and then the editing stage took a long time. I changed quite a lot, with the help of my beta readers and then my editor, which was absolutely right, but it did take quite a lot longer.
I’m very happy with the result though. The story is much stronger and better for all my hard work and I’m really pleased and proud to finally be able to share it with the world.
ELAINE JEREMIAH. Hahaha! I wish! But no, I don’t live in South Korea, I haven’t even been there yet, but it’s on my bucket list. I’m definitely going to go there one day, for sure. I kind of fell into a love of all things Korean by accident – a friend of mine recommended Korean dramas – or Kdramas as they’re known – and I started watching them and was hooked. They’re all on Netflix. I would highly recommend them!
Most of them are romances and a lot of them follow the Darcy/Elizabeth trope of rich arrogant man falls in love with feisty, poorer girl. I just love them – I’ve watched more than 25 series now. The settings and the people are beautiful. It’s so interesting to learn about another culture this way. South Korea is a first world country, but of course it’s Eastern so they have a very different society to ours. There are good and bad sides to that and it’s fascinating to me to learn about their culture.
I was inspired by watching so many Kdramas to start learning the language and more about the country in general. I’ve got this Korean language audio course I’m listening to, mostly while I do housework! It’s so much fun. I also have an app on my phone I use. So I’m in love with all things Korean!
ELAINE JEREMIAH . Of course (not) But you see I live in Bristol, South West England, which isn’t far from the Regency city of Bath, the setting for 2 of Jane Austen’s novels. Di you know has some beautiful Regency buildings and is also generally a great city to live in? There’s loads to see and do, like visiting the Clifton Suspension Bridge or the SS Great Britain, which was one of the first passenger steamships crossing the Atlantic in the mid-nineteenth century. It’s now a permanent museum in Bristol’s docks. Well worth a visit if you ever come to Bristol.
If you’re into street art, Bristol is also the home of Banksy and if you have a sharp eye and know where to look, you can spot some of his murals on certain buildings. Bristol also has loads of great shops, restaurants, museums, cinemas, art galleries – you name it, Bristol has pretty much got it.
ELAINE JEREMIAH. RE Jane? Loads of reasons. Partly because the characters she creates feel so real, they’re so well developed. Characters like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy stay with you in your mind long after you’ve finished reading her novels. And there’s always something new to spot in them, even if you’ve read them loads of times before.
For example, I’m realising the more I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ just why exactly Mrs Bennet is so keen to get her 5 daughters married off and how in some respects she’s actually quite wise. It was very difficult for women in Austen’s day who weren’t working class to get work and support themselves except as a governess. Which wasn’t a great job. If they weren’t married and couldn’t get work, they’d have to rely on their male relatives to support them. So a young woman in the Regency era, especially if her family weren’t rich, would need to marry well. Mrs Bennet is very aware of this, particularly because being girls her daughters can’t inherit the family home when their father dies and it will go to his distant cousin Mr Collins instead.
Jane Austen is also very funny – I laugh out loud at some of the scenes in her books when I’m reading them. She also doesn’t hold back at subtly criticising the social conventions of the era she lived in. Like how Elizabeth Bennet, a woman who’s not very well off, turns down not one but two marriage proposals, defiantly refusing to marry without love. That’s very subversive for the era it was written in.
As for the writing just now? Actually I would say it’s been easier than usual. It’s really given me something to focus on and take my mind off the dire news that we’re bombarded with day after day.
And because what with the internet and me self-publishing digitally via Amazon, it can all be done remotely anyway. So you don’t need to physically be in the same room with someone to share your work with them, to use beta readers or an editor. I can also promote my writing entirely online. What with this new release and how well it’s going, I feel more motivated than ever now to crack on with my writing!
ELAINE JEREMIAH. Uhmmmmmm. Well…uhm…as I mentioned, I’m writing book 3 in my Jane Austen-inspired time travel romance trilogy. And that would be hard to do in hamster cage. It’s called ‘Captivated in Time’. So maybe one day I might be very willing to…might even enjoy..living in hamster cage. What’s more, I’ve more or less plotted it out, so I pretty much know what’s going to happen. I know the ending! So this could be sooner rather than later. I’m trying to keep the momentum going – I tend to write quite slowly, so I want to try and make more time for writing and get this one finished as soon as I can. After that, I plan to write more Darcy/Elizabeth Regency era ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variations. That’s what’s most popular within JAFF and actually I feel that writing in Regency-esque language is what I’m most comfortable doing. I feel like I’ve finally found my niche. Just maybe not in a hamster cage. …. But look on the bright side of keeping all that voddie to yourselves.
Little does Elizabeth Bennet think the journey across muddy fields from her home at Longbourn to Netherfield Park will change her life forever.
But an unexpected encounter with the proud and haughty Mr Darcy leaves her injured and vulnerable. Worse still, she is left alone with him for a significant amount of time. Her reputation at risk, she is forced to make a decision about her future. Now her life will never be the same again. Can Elizabeth ever be happy? Or will she always loathe Mr Darcy
Elaine lives in Bristol, South West England with her husband and their golden retriever, Dug. But she was privileged enough to grow up in Jane Austen country, in Hampshire.
She’s always loved writing, but it’s only been in recent years that she’s been able to devote more time to it. She decided to self-publish with the help of her wonderful husband who’s very tech-savvy! In 2013 she self-published her first novel, but it was only with her fourth, her novel ‘Love Without Time’, that she felt she finally found her niche: Jane Austen Fan Fiction!
She’s always loved Jane Austen’s writing and the Regency era, so this felt like a natural thing for her to do. ‘Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again’ is the first ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation she’s written.
If you want to connect with Elaine online, her Facebook page can be found here:
John Quinn. To answer that question? In a nutshell? NO. The album came from two things. A chance meeting outside a supermarket with a very talented local musician I know, Paul Fitzpatrick, a few years back now, and the fact I am a sometimes poet.
‘I write music,’ Paul said, ‘But I can’t get past June, moon and spoon when it comes to words.’
Me now? Write music? Not for toffee. I sent him a few of my poems fully expecting him to do a runner. But instead he came back with the Ballad of Peter Black. For those who don’t know about Peter Black, he was a local lad from across the water in Newport-On-Tay…….
Anyway, maybe we weren’t Rogers and Hammerstein but that was the beginning. Paul brought a load of Dundee musicians onboard, singers, guitarists, string and accordion players, you name it, all of whom gave their time for free in the hope of putting together an album about the city and its people, past and present that would be sold for charity. It took a while, given the logistics of that AND the fact that yes, we paid for some recording studio time and were helped in this by a local Dundee businessman, but the rates were reduced, so folks came together when they could and when the studio could let us in.
John Quinn That must have been an oversight….. Of course if we had known of Donovan and his great talent…….
John Quinn –-okay guys don’t fight amongst yourselves. Of course I didn’t overlook it but the fact was, there were no Dundee hamsters that..that I knew of. The songs are all about different things. And people, people who were players in the city in some way, for example Jim Maclean, a Dundee footballer and Dundee United football manager, who put Dundee on the world stage, as you can see
Mary Shelley—-who hasn’t heard of Frankenstein, right? William McGonagall the world’s best writer of bad verse. Winston Churchill? Why is he here? Because the last man to take him down before Joe Biden, was Eddie Scrymgeour the phohibionist MP elected by the ‘drunkest city in the British Empire, just to get Churchill, who they also served maggots in kippers to, out. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Scrymgeour
Many of these people had been depicted in my play O Halflins an’ Hecklers an’ Weavers an’ Weemin. So much so that this album also includes two songs that Shey and myself wrote the words and music for. Mother of All the People and No Pasaran, Albert Square. But there’s also a song about Kenga Kuma, who designed the V & A Museum here, as you can see from the back cover, with your typical Dundee bairn, more interested in his mobile phone than any stunning vista!
But it’s not only people who were players that these songs are about.’ In Juteopolis’ was inspired by Annie Golden my Irish born great-grandmother. By the time she was ten she was having her boots packed with jute so she was big enough to stand at the loom in a jute mill!! No Passeran is the story of the Dundee men who went to fight in the Spanish Civil War, and never returned. Peter Black I’ve mentioned already. The title and title track are a slightly surreal take on the stunning view of the city and the river from the top of Dundee Law. The Giza Pyramid may be in Egypt but here ‘Gie’za’ means Give me a, so it’s Giza Pyramid, Gie’za V&A.
John Quinn. There’s every style, rock, pop, folk, Spanish, quite a bit of metal in McGonagalls’s Ghost. Paul’s son Michael, did an acoustic version of the title track, recently at home, just to keep things ticking over, given that like everything else right now, this has been delayed by Covid, and put it on Facebook. Bear in mind it’s not the official recording.
John Quinn. Well, believe it or not, it was quite hard to get a charity onboard and we didn’t want NOT to have them named on the cover.
Yeah, but finally we did and a very good charity it is at that.
In fact the Archie Foundation is the official charity of Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells, who look forward to the pressing and to selling the CDs online.
I have set up a Just Giving page to which many of you have already very kindly donated, so we can go ahead and get the pressing done. But if anyone else feels like putting in any sum at all, believe you me, it’s hugely appreciated.
John Quinn’s Twitter profile tells him he’s a persistent Dundonian, left footer, ex-teacher, global justice worrier and “wid be scriever.” His poetry has appeared in numerous publications including Poetry Scotland, Northwords Now, Mind the Time, and Lallans. He has performed his work including slam poetry in various places ranging from public parks to coffee shops and pubs. However, unlike his Dundonian predecessor, Oor Wullie McGonagall, he has found that to date, people have only thrown words at him. He is also the author of the play ‘O Halflins an Hecklers an Weavers an Weemin’ about the history of Jute and its impact on the City of Dundee. In 2017 and 2018 the play was performed in the High Mill at Verdant Works Museum accompanied by the music of Michael Marra. And again in 2019 at the Hamish Matters Festival (The Hamish Henderson Festival) in Blairgowrie, Perthshire. His book, The Eyes of Grace O’Malley is published by Black Wolf Books.
John Quinn lives above the River Tay with his wife.
Not much in my book. And if you’re looking for a place with a freakish amount of scares, then the Eloise Complex would be right up your street. A few years ago, if you had the cash, you might even have wanted to make a purchase. That’s if you had a million or so dollars lying around in your attic. Of course, that money would have bought you a place that was once big enough have its own zip code.
The complex certainly has a history. It all started in 1839 when Wayne County, Michigan established a farm and poorhouse which expanded until it eventually covered 902 acres and encompassed some 70 buildings.
In 1913, there were three divisions – The Eloise Hospital (the mental hospital), Eloise Sanitorium (TB hospital), and the Eloise Infirmary (the Poorhouse). In 1945, it was renamed the Wayne County General Hospital and Infirmary at Eloise Michigan.
Back when it was at its height, during the Great Depression, around 10,000 patients and 2000 workers lived there in a self-contained city that included a bakery, slaughterhouse, fire department, post office, amusement hall, cannery, tobacco field, cemetery and police department. It was in these days that it earned its own zip code.
Image – Edward Pevos MLive
Eloise was at the forefront of pioneering psychiatric treatment. Now, today, we might laud this as a Good Thing. At the time we are talking, back in the first half of the 20th century, we are talking straitjackets and electroshock therapy, lobotomies that rendered the patient into a permanent vegetative state.
In Eloise’s case, there was also massive overcrowding. 10,000 patients there may well have been – maybe even more. But the facility was only built -even at its largest – to house 8.300. Patients slept on floors, were left unattended and neglected. Some inmates spent their entire adult lives there and, when they died, their burials were usually anonymous. The more disruptive patients could find themselves physically restrained – bound by hands and feet and, at one time, it has been reported, they could be chained to the roof of the asylum barn, above the pigs who dwelt beneath.
By 1974 it had two divisions: the Wayne County General Hospital and the Wayne County Psychiatric Hospital (there being no further need for a TB hospital following the development of the life-saving streptomycin drug). The psychiatric division closed in 1982.
By 2019, just 5 of the buildings remained (firehouse, bakery, power plant, commissary and ‘D’ building) along with the cemetery. The complex was redeveloped into a strip mall, golf course and condominiums. ‘D’ building is now called the Kay Beard building and the old commissary is now a homeless shelter. The firehouse (which became the psychiatric facility laundry) and the power plant are still standing but the bakery was severely damaged by arson in 2016. The entire complex was sold in 2019 for the princely sum of $1, as it was at that time costing $375,000 per year simply to maintain it. Its purpose is to provide affordable housing for senior citizens in a minimum of 106 units.
But what of the ghosts?
In December 2019, members of the group Detroit Paranormal Expeditions visited the long closed-off basement of a building on the complex. It had been flooded for decades but had recently been drained.
They reported the eerie stillness, the total, unnatural quiet and the strong sense of someone else being down there with them. They heard the sound of dripping water (perhaps not so surprising) and shuffling footsteps (more disquieting). Their videos captured orange and white lights, and an orb.
The group have paid a number of visits to the Eloise complex – with terrifying results. They describe being chased out of the place by ghostly phenomena, describing it as so haunted as to have almost daily supernatural occurrences – shadows, unexplained noises, objects moving of their own accord, disembodied voices, unexplained footsteps.
Other visitors to the complex have described a so-called ‘flying ghost’.
With so much spirit activity, we can only wish the new residents well in their brand-new homes. Given the philanthropic nature of the current enterprise, maybe that will go some way towards placating those who, as yet, cannot leave.
A few years ago, a horror film – Eloise – was shot on location in the ruined buildings, making for a highly atmospheric setting.
Carol and Nessa are strangers but not for much longer.
In a luxury apartment and in the walls of a modern hospital, the evil that was done continues to thrive. They are in the hands of an entity that knows no boundaries and crosses dimensions – bending and twisting time itself – and where danger waits in every shadow. The battle is on for their bodies and souls and the line between reality and nightmare is hard to define. Through it all, the words of Lydia Warren Carmody haunt them. But who was she? And why have Carol and Nessa been chosen?
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, novellas and short stories. In addition to In Darkness, Shadows Breathe, Cat’s novels include The Garden of Bewitchment. TheHaunting of Henderson Close, the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy – Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade,The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine.
Her novellas include: The Malan Witch, The Darkest Veil, Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife
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.
This is a gift tag I put on the Mr’s present the first year we were married. It always reminds me of how, in common with many just setting out couples, we were not exactly well heeled.
The tag is of course in pride of place and these are
some of this year’s decs.
I have two books set against the backdrop of Christmas. Loving Lady Lazuli where a chance encounter one Christmas Eve leads to ten years of hell for hero and heroine,
And of course, given backstory does not a book make, having history, they meet again, in October no less, leading to a spectacular going down in flames on –yep you’ve guessed it–Christmas Eve, after the heroine decides to go for broke at the local town ball, largely cos she feels like it. Haven’t we all at times and leaving her to wonder in the carnage afterwards…
‘Christmas Eves? Did they get any better or worse?’
The other book is O’Roarke’s Destiny, where–again in October and again, talking pasts–the high functioning depressive, heroine holds obsessively onto the little things in life having lost everything else.
You can tell my books are chock full of Christmas cheer.
In fact these books are probably like the year it’s been. Such a fabby one NOT, I know there were folks who not didn’t feel or see the point of decking their halls. And yet in some of the streets here the lights have never been brighter.
I guess an awful lot of us are holding onto the little things in order to hold onto something far bigger, and seldom has that been more important. Because neither lives, nor Christmases are perfect.
Wherever you are, in the world and in life, I wish you the best. Merry Christmas. And yeah, now I will clear off and let the little dudes open the voddie and get the cossack boots on.
Paula Arnett would swear she knows everything about hers, that is, until she gets the call that the love of her life was involved in a freak accident. She doesn’t think things could possibly get any worse. But, after his funeral, she’s blindsided when their lawyer informs her that, several months before, her husband liquidated their assets and purchased a run-down fishing resort in East Texas!
Worse yet, while searching for answers, Paula discovers a note from a mysterious woman whose name gives her reason to believe that her husband may have actually been married to this woman at the same time he was married to Paula! Determined to learn the truth, Paula enlists the help of her best friend, Cassie, and together they go undercover on the road trip of a lifetime.”
I grew up in a small Texas farming community very much like the one my main character, Paula Jean Purdy Arnett, resides in. Floydada, Texas, is one of those places where everybody knows your business, and where people pull together in times of need. I’m very lucky to have been raised there by two loving parents.
A second grade teacher in Floydada put the idea in my head that I should become a writer, and while it took me most of my life, I’ve finally accomplished that goal. In the meantime, I’ve been a secretary, a dental assistant, a teacher, and a research assistant. I married my high school sweetheart, who I affectionately call Studly Doright, many, many years ago, and we have two beautiful, brilliant, grown children, and five equally beautiful and brilliant grandchildren. My cup truly runneth over.
Paula turned off the radio mid-song. “Tell me the story of why Cal called me Goldilocks.”
Cassie’s eyes twinkled. “You know darned good and well why.”
“I know. I just need to hear it today.”
Cassie shifted in her seat. “The fishing guys came up with it. Cal, Delbert, Mel, and someone else, I can’t remember who, went fishing right after you two got married. Cal couldn’t stop talking about you. Everything you did was just right. Finally, Delbert or Mel, one of the two, said, “Sounds like you found yourself a Goldilocks. Everything is always just right.” Cal thought that was hilarious and started calling you that. The name stuck.”
Paula shook her head. “I still can’t imagine what it was he thought I was doing right.”
Cassie rolled her eyes. “C’mon now, Goldilocks, even you can’t be that innocent.”
A rosy blush covered Paula’s cheeks. “Oh my gosh! Surely Cal didn’t talk to the guys about—you know—sex!”
“Probably not, but then again, men will be men. I’m sure they ribbed him about it. And he really thought you could do no wrong. That never changed as far as I could tell.”
Paula hung her head. “I always thought that about him, too. Until yesterday. Yesterday kind of changed everything, even if I’m willing it to be otherwise.”
“It’s all going to be okay. It really is. Hey, could you pull over at the next rest stop? I need a potty break.”
A few minutes later, they came to the town of Gallo and Paula pointed to a Dairy Queen sign. “How about there? It’s a little early for an ice cream, but we could get a little snack.”
“Suits me, but who says it’s too early for ice cream?”
Paula parked and raised an eyebrow. “First burritos, now ice cream, and all before noon. None of my pants are going to fit.”
Cassie opened the door. “It wouldn’t hurt you to put on a few pounds, Goldilocks. I’ll bet you’ve lost five just since…Well, since Cal’s—Um, speaking of that, have you heard from the highway patrol?”
Paula pulled the Dairy Queen door open. “They’re still investigating, but the preliminary report is that he just went to sleep and drove off the road. Apparently, the way his car landed in that ditch, his airbag didn’t deploy.
They remained silent as they took their place in line. Paula gestured to a narrow corridor down the side of the dining area. “You go on to the ladies’ room. I’ll order your usual: Hot fudge sundae, extra fudge, a smidge of whipped cream and a cherry on top. No nuts. Right?”
Cassie smiled. “You know it.”
As Cassie headed to the restroom, Paula watched a table of coffee drinking men turn their heads in admiration. There was no doubt her friend was eye-catching. She was a couple of inches taller than Paula and curvier. Her gorgeous raven hair hung to her shoulders in soft waves, and the headband she wore added a touch of innocent sexiness.
Paula always joked that if she was Goldilocks, Cassie must be Snow White. She always thought it was a shame that Cassie had never married. She’d never even had a long-term boyfriend after high school, as far as Paula knew, and she knew Cassie better than anyone.
As the line moved along, she became caught up in her daydream….”There probably is a right man out there for her, but he’d have to be one perfect Prince Charming to match Cassie’s Snow White.”
Paula was seated with their food by the time Cassie returned. She nodded at the ogling men at the back and said, “Don’t look now, but those men are checking you out.”
Cassie rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I noticed, too. Tried not to. Obnoxious asshats.”
Paula stifled a grin as she pushed Cassie’s sundae across the table, and they ate in silence until George Strait started singing about all of his exes living Texas as the juke box lit up in neon colors.
Cassie pushed away her empty ice cream cup and wiped the corners of her mouth with a napkin. “You want me to drive awhile?”
“I’m good, but let’s plan on switching just before we get into too much Dallas traffic. I sure don’t want to deal with that mess.”
“No problem. We’ll need to stop again anyway for gas pretty soon. Maybe have a light lunch then you can nap while I navigate the jungle.”
“We’re eating hot fudge sundaes at 11 a.m. and you’re already planning lunch? I like the way you think.”
They turned their heads when a man from the coffee drinkers’ table approached them.
The man tipped his head and held his hat in his hand. “Mornin’, ladies. My name’s Derek Tuttle. I’d like to welcome you to the fine town of Gallo, and invite you to attend services at the First Baptist Church on Sunday morning. I’m the minister there.”
Cassie pursed her lips. “Thank you very much, Derek, but we’re just passing through. And we’re heathens.”
Paula’s hand covered her unexpected giggle.
Derek’s jaw dropped open and he steadied himself on the back of the booth. “Well, we welcome heathens. Everyone is welcome.”
Cassie collected her trash as she said, “Oh, we’re also communists. Heathen commies. And Wiccans, to boot.”
Paula’s eyes grew large and she blushed. “Uh, I think it’s time to go. You know, before they bring out the pitchforks.”
Cassie stood and batted her eyes at Derek then sashayed out the door.
Paula, unable to make her feet move, or even find her voice, looked back and forth between Derek’s look of shock and Cassie’s confident strut out the door. “Um, I’d better go chase after my heathen commie friend.” She jingled her keys. “It’s my car.”
I’m a terrible cook and baker, but this is one even I can’t mess up.
“Southern Pecan Balls”
1/2 cup margarine 3 T. Sugar 1 C. Flour, sifted 1 T. Vanilla 1 C. Chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. (148.889 C)
Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add vanilla, flour, and then the nuts and mix well. Roll into 35-40 small balls.