Reviews, podcasts and first chapter dissections.

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HIS JUDAS BRIDE interview/review by RESA McCONACHY.

This fiery, passionate romance thrills without much graphic reference. True, Lady Kara wears a see through gown, revealed at the top of the story. However, it’s not her choice. She makes many choices, good and bad, but her gowns are imposed by her vile father.

Comments are in regular type. My questions are in italics. Shey’s answers are in bold.

1 – Shey, I want to draw Lady Kara in her gowns. It feels like 1700. Is there an exact year to this tale?

I based the Trojan horse premise of this book on the actual Glencoe Massacre. Let’s be clear that whole bit of Scotland was a law unto itself. South of the highland line was an entirely different Scotland. Anyway, the way to get into Glencoe, which was pretty impregnable at that time, was to come as friends. I liked that idea of a small clan who largely survived where they were because no-one could get in or out.

I looked up the Glencoe Massacre. It was in 1692. So, without mentioning an exact year, the flavour of your writing sets up the right time frame.

2 –  Ewen and some other characters speak in a dialect that give the Scottish highlands an authentic feel.“Whit? Can ye no see Ah’m busy.” “How is it no’? Mah horse, laddie.” Is this written by ear, or have you studied  Gaelic? Or?

Now here in Scotland we probably speak English, in  a local dialect. This is sometimes incomprehensible to those who are not local. We also speak…maybe not old Scots but certainly Scots as Ewen and some of the other characters do. Gaelic would have been spoken by the clans. It was mainly spoken in the Highlands and islands of western Scotland. It is still spoken by about 58,000 people in these parts. When you’re writing dialogue and trying to give something an authentic feel, you’re torn between that and being understood which was why I didn’t have everybody–hero and heroine particularly speaking in some form of Scots. I think it’s fair to say we often joke that there’s more than one book set here which we don’t understand because the dialogue is not authentic.  For example ‘donnae’ is a name, not the word for ‘don’t’ which is ‘dinnae’!

3 – I find certain small bits of your writing make me laugh…..such as Ewen’s talents, the description of the green dress and Callm asking himself:

Is it just me? Or do you insert this humour on purpose?

No and no. It’s not just you and no I don’t mean to do it, but it sort of comes out. I mean, I love that people have idiosyncrasies. They are what makes us. Kara’s little habit of firstly, secondly, thirdly, and her mantra about doing  things that she will be happy, or not happy with, when it comes to choices–quite awful things in some instances. These are her little idiosyncrasies.

Also people can be gloriously unselfaware. As you see with Callm asking himself why he shouldn’t be considered suitable, is a rich seam to be mined. Also let’s face it too, funny things do happen to people. Things like Kara not being able to get on that horse and walking round the yard trying to, while making out she knows what’s she’s doing. Well, honestly one day in the middle of nowhere in Yorkshire of all places, this woman asked if I could hold this absolute beast of a horse steady while she got on it. She’d been walking for miles at this point trying to do just that and hadn’t come across anybody.  As for asking me? Well… But hey (no pun intended) I did it. In truth I’ve never been any good at being serious, or keeping a straight face. It’s probably why my palms have half inch fingernail dents in them. Just joking. But not actually.  So I guess I don’t bung the humour in on purpose. It just appears.

4- Near the end of the story, Ewen joins Callm on the mission. It’s a wonderful twist of sorts, that solidifies the family. When asked why, Ewen answers – “Te get mah bride, Kertyn. Or Ardene. Whitever ane will hae me.

Kertyn returns with Callm and Ewen’s entourage. Does this mean Kertyn marries Ewen?

Well now… I didn’t want to ruin it entirely for the poor girl given he’s not exactly an oil painting, but I guess she is gonna be lady ruler of Lochalpin while Kara is gonna rule her glen. That’s if Kertyn doesn’t do a runner next!!!!  I honestly just don’t like writing cardboardy villains. No-one is all bad.  (except maybe Snotra from the Viking!)

Hahahaha! No oil painting! Just oily! Still, you gave Ewen the talents of dancing and cooking/baking! 

Lol…I did!!  I wanted to give him something!! Also, I wanted to explore resentment between two brothers who ultimately are still brothers.

I wanted to explore Ewen as the younger sibling, the one the lassies never looked at. As he says, no very bonnie, he’s loud, overweight, and cos he has had the glen handed to him on a plate, even down to Callm keeping it safe for him, he’s fallen in with the wrong crowd and is throwing his power around. Meantime here’s the big bro who obvi has done so much right… the wife, the child … in the past anyway.

And by the way Shey, OMG! Snotra is a total bitch!!! 

On that note, I thank Shehanne Moore for  answering all of my questions. I totally enjoyed this book! A+

‘So much of her life had revolved around fear and shock, little paths of darkness she had managed to find her way along, to places where she’d always managed to survive, after all. It hadn’t  broken her. Because the thing she had to care about was always there for her to see. No matter how dark the night. To tell herself it was all gone, lost at Maisie’s croft door, and she should now do as she was told, would be an act of unparalleled folly. She’d no intentions.

Yet it was hard when she also saw clearly as the silver moon above her head that she hadn’t lost Arland at the croft door. She had lost him a long time ago.

Until this moment she just hadn’t wanted to see she had.’

His Judas Bride- Shehanne Moore.

ABOUT RESA.

“My name is Resa McConaghy. I’m a Costume Designer for film and television.

“Art Gowns” is a creative project that has sprung from my old Blog,  Queen’s end.

As “Art Gowns” continues on,  I will Post other creative clothing ideas with the “Art Gowns” branding.

All of these ideas, of course, will revolve around the “Art of Glamorous Fantasy”. I’m thinking things like Poetry Shirts, DIY Gowns and DIY Crystaline Accessories.

This is all new to me, and should develop with time.

Cheers! “

https://artgowns.com/

https://jeanleesworld.com/2021/09/08/a-powerful-study-in-character-on-this-firstchapter-fiction-podcast-the-unraveling-of-lady-fury-by-shehannemoore/ via @jeanleesworld

Season 3 Episode 33: Shehanne Moore on the Writer/Publisher Connection https://teatoasttrivia.com/2021/08/16/season-3-episode-33-shehanne-moore-on-the-writer-publisher-connection/ via @chasingart

Visiting Wolfe Manor with Adele Marie Park

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AND BY HER TOO

Hi, I’m happy to be here today. Hi Dudes, it’s good to finally meet you all.

Wolfe Manor began as an exercise on “showing not telling”, however as is always the case it blossomed into a horror awakening tale of Fianna and the others who called Wolfe Manor home.

I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, dyspraxia, functional neurology disease, and am on the autistic scale. The reason I’m including this information is that it had a lot to do with the development of Fianna and the story.

Change is annoying, I know most people will agree with me but change to someone like me is a nightmare. Confusion, anxiety, and their friends visit and overstay their welcome.

I placed Fianna in her secure life in her secure home, Wolfe Manor. Then threw her a curve ball introducing change in the first chapter by introducing Miriam with her hippy hat and witchy vibes. From there things just got worse for Fianna until she is forced to face her fears and do battle with them.

Did I base Fianna on myself? Well, no. I am lucky enough not to have to battle demons or live in a private school hundreds of years old.

Yet, I have had to battle all through my life against situations, people who have hurt and betrayed me and the loss of family. So, I guess I was writing Fianna from experience to a certain degree.

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Wolfe Manor took a long, long time to come to fruition. When Black Wolfe Books were gracious enough to take me on, there were many re-writes, days, and nights spent going over the manuscript. My wife helped so much, reading the whole manuscript several times, and picking out not only spelling or grammar but whole scenes that didn’t make sense.

I am proud of the finished product and happy to see others enjoy the story and wish for more.

Is there vodka in the story? No but there is plenty of tea drunk.

Speaking of which, the character of Mr Smith, came with a fully realised back story and way of talking that resembles a certain British actor who is well known for playing fantastic gangster characters. Can you guess who it is?

Once she lived a normal life, a good, boring life, but a safe one…

Abandoned as a baby on the steps of Wolfe Manor, Fianna was raised with love, secure inside its walls. Now her bubble of safety is about to burst. Can she save the home and school which once cocooned her when old fears overwhelm? Facing students at the start of a new term is frightening enough without nightmares resurfacing which terrify Fianna.

She may have a degree in teaching but will this skill help her?
The return of old friends sends Fianna spiraling down the rabbit hole of her past. Wolfe Manor may call her to be what she was born to be, but can she find out in time to save it from an evil only she can defeat? Or if she fails and Wolfe Manor falls, what happens when the evil faces humanity unchallenged?

Meet Adele Marie Park Here.

http://www.facebook.com/firefly.fly.14

https://firefly465.wordpress.com/

‘Fantasy, horror writer. Forever stories that flow into me and hopefully out of me, onto paper and into your minds. I am from a small Orcadian island called Rousay. I am married to my beautiful wife Becca, who patiently puts up with my creative moods. My daughter Tara, I am so proud of and our dog Dante who keeps us sane, well, as sane as you can get in our world. And say hello, our world is fun, mad and great to visit.’

Read the latest review from Horror Addicts here.

Book Review: Wolfe Manor by Adele Marie Park https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2021/08/15/book-review-wolfe-manor-by-adele-marie-park/ via @horroraddicts13

Carolyn Haynes, Bewitched and a Beloved Star

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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.

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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.

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CAROLYN. Yes, after Lloyd died, I wasn’t ready to go back to acting, and working with Sol Saks became available.

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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. 

ABOUT CAROLYN

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.

CONNECT WITH CAROLYN HERE

https://twitter.com/carolyngrace505?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/carolynhaynes5050

https://thelloydhaynesstory.wordpress.com/

https://amzn.eu/3oNCik6

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

SheyGoths and Otherworld Adventures

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OTHERWORLD ADVENTURES BY RESA McCONAGHY’

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.

One-eye shed a tear for love.

Princess Blue Holly & Rene Rosso characters © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Since September 2019

Shey – Gigi – Marina – Dale – Holly

All magic tree photos curtesy of & © Timothy Price – Off Center Not Even

TWO Things of note.

1. I was commissioned to draw Dracula. DracGoth is some of the drawings that did not win. Here is the winner:

2. AGM Shey/aka SheyGoth/ aka Shehanne Moore – IS a true romantic. She writes the best historical romances, ever! Of 8 I’ve read 7. I’ve reviewed 6 here on Art Gowns. More will come!

Click on the above banner & go to Shey’s Amazon page!

In case you missed the first episode to this adventure, click on the pic below, and go there!

Otherworld Adventure https://artgowns.com/2021/05/04/otherworld-adventure/ via @resalis

ABOUT RESA

My name is Resa McConaghy. I’m a Costume Designer for film and television.

“Art Gowns” is a creative project that has sprung from my old Blog,  Queen’s end.

As “Art Gowns” continues on,  I will Post other creative clothing ideas with the “Art Gowns” branding.

All of these ideas, of course, will revolve around the “Art of Glamorous Fantasy”. I’m thinking things like Poetry Shirts, DIY Gowns and DIY Crystaline Accessories.

This is all new to me, and should develop with time.

Cheers!

The Ball’s the Thing

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ANNA KARENIN   Leo Tolstoy .  The ball scene.

“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?

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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 …

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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.

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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.’

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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?

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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.

A bit about Authors’ Lounge

The goal in Authors’ Lounge is to help aspiring and new authors reach their more audience by featuring their book or their story.

Here’s the link for the submission guidelines: https://readersmagnet.club/authors-lounge/

Please take note that you have to register first before you can submit your article.

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?”

“What?”

“I am the law.”

 

Beginning Again with Jane Austen

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3s7xr6dAmazon UK: https://amzn.to/2LiP3LH

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:

https://www.facebook.com/elainejeremiahauthor/

Her Twitter handle is: @ElaineJeremiah

Her website is here: https://elainejeremiah.co.uk/

More Than Seven Wonders ….

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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…….

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There’s more about him here.

https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/down-some-cold-field-in-a-world-outspoken-peter-black-and-the-newport-war-memorial/

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_McLean

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

Mary Slessor, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Slessor. Dundee mill lassie and missionary in Calabar. So far as I know no Dundee hamsters went there or of course, I’d have made the song about them.

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.

https://t.co/E0PYmY78Mi?amp=1

ABOUT JOHN QUINN

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.

Find John Quinn here.

https://t.co/ZZ5lUTQVII?amp=1

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004436284172

Catherine Cavendish and the Eloise Complex.

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The Unquiet Spirits of the Eloise Complex

BY CATHERINE CAVENDISH.

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Image: Detroit Free Press

What can be scarier than an old abandoned asylum?

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.

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Image – Bill Bresler https://eu.hometownlife.com/

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 – Eloisewas shot on location in the ruined buildings, making for a highly atmospheric setting.

You’re next…

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?

The answer lies deep in the darkness…

Amazon

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Flame Tree Press

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, novellas and short stories. In addition to In Darkness, Shadows Breathe, Cat’s novels include The Garden of Bewitchment. The Haunting 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

Her short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies including Midnight in the Pentagram, Midnight in the Graveyard 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

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

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Relevant links for this article:

Detroit Free Press: https://eu.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2018/06/21/eloise-asylum-hospital-michigan/720896002/

https://eu.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2019/03/19/ghost-eloise-psychiatric-hospital-westland-haunted-basement/3204379002/

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/11/eloise-hospital-haunted-michigan-mental-asylum

Detroit Paranormal Expeditions:

Dawn Ziegler:

Hometown Life

https://eu.hometownlife.com/story/news/local/westland/2019/10/16/scary-encounters-coming-eloise-asylum/4000027002/

Last Year…

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India, Slovenia, Bahamas, United States, United Kingdom, Monaco, Curacao, Timor-Leste. Brazil, Finland, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Canada, Germany. Thailand, Indonesia, France, Australia, Turkey, Nigeria, Bangladesh Roumania, Philippines, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Netherlands,South Africa, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Nepal. Austria, Guatemala, Greece, Jamaica, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Poland, Sweden, Japan, Mexico, Serbia, Columbia, Norway, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, Czech Republic, European Union, Chile, Mauritius, Israel Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Switzerland, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Venezuela, Russia, South Korea, Albania, Iraq. Reunion, Qatar, Tanzania, Bahrain, Ukraine, Singapore, Albania, Egypt, Yemen, Peru, China, Mali, Hong King and SAR China, Denmark, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, Argentina, Armenia, Libya, Cyprus, Haiti, Benin, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Zambia, Kuwait, Guam, Azerbaijan, Ghana, Panama, SLovakia, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Jordan, Hungary, Vietnam, Malawi, Sengal, Somali, Cambodia, Congo Brazzaville, Myanmar-Burma, Georgia. Angola, Ethiopia Taiwan, Syria, Zimbabwe. Gabon,. American Samoa, Kyrgyzstan.

A little slice of raunch.

https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

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Men in Kilts. Why do we love them? https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/men-in-kilts-why-do-we-love-them/ via @shehannemoore

Films and Box Sets Not To Watch in a Pandemic

https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2020/04/04/films-and-box-sets-not-to-watch-in-a-pandemic/

One day in 1950s Korea

https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2020/06/05/one-day-in-1950s-korea/