The click of her clack…

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A beautiful, heart-touching post about the power of love and loss and the stories they compel us to write …

Maxpower's Blog

That love is selfless and grief selfish, may be incongruous notions of illusion we perpetuate through rampant phases of emotion that strike us at very different times in our lives. What I want to be and who I am, are defined and separated by a chasm of uncertainly, self-delusion and reckless hope that make my aspiration noble but my reality shamefully fickle and lacking. I think perhaps I am not alone in this.

On grief, I have no doubt of the selfishness of that emotion. It is felt deepest when aligned to the loss of love of course and I have been caressed by its touch, felt the nettle sting on my cheek through fallen tears and try not to consider the next time it will visit itself upon me. True grief, is selfish. At its core is the rendering of one’s heart and the world stops for you alone…

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Birthdays and Beaches and Turning Forty-Two

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Cassandra shares beautifully simple yet profound refelections on her blog. I love taking a few moments to read her thoughts. Perhaps you will too?

Cassandra Rankin

Sometimes a mama can get busy and when that happens, every little interruption becomes a big interruption and then pretty soon the baby who’s not really a baby anymore comes in and his big brown eyes well over and he hugs long and tight and he says “Mama the sign at the hardware store says ‘don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to live the life you made'”. DSC_0877

And my heart quivers in my chest a little and even though it’s just a short-term project that’s taken me away from my normal everyday routine for the past week, to them…a week without mama is a long time.

It worked out nicely that it rained so hard over my birthday…our outdoorsy stuff could be put on hold. And by the time they all got home from shopping with Daddy for Mama -how they love to spoil…

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First Kisses, First Novels and a little bit of Darkly Wood …

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Fellow author and blogger, Max Power, is promoting his novel, Darkly Wood, this week. I’ve just started reading it, and have high expectations judging from the reviews I’ve read. His post, First Kiss, which can be found here (which made me laugh and cringe in equal measure, and which I recommend you read) reminded me of a post I first shared in April 2014 in which I share the story of my first kiss, a kiss that went on to inspire the love story that became my first novel, Strong as Death. For those of you who downloaded it whilst it was free over the past forty eight hours, thank you. I hope you get to fall in love again for the first time with one of the characters (Mullog seems to have quite a fan club).

My first kiss …

Ships in the night. The summer I learned what that meant, I was fourteen. And a half. I was on holiday with my family. Camping. That was the summer the realisation of my own mortality struck me so forcibly that, so afraid of falling asleep and never waking again, I spent the whole night nestled in the safety that was the space between my parents. It was also the summer of my not-quite-kiss. His name was Mark and he was not-quite-eighteen. For a few brief days, our lives sailed alongside one another. On the last of those days, for the briefest of not-quite-single afternoons, Mark held my hand. And at the end of that afternoon, for a moment that lasted less than a breath, he brushed his lips across mine and was gone and I didn’t know whether I’d been kissed or not. Ships that pass in the night. Some people are with you for a season, then gone for a lifetime, my father explained as I nursed a heart not-quite-broken. That was the summer I stopped being fourteen and a half. That was the summer I turned not-quite fifteen. 

Years, more than I could ever imagine living when I was not-quite-fifteen, have passed since that summer. Other Marks came and went. Some left my heart more than broken, some limped away with their heart not-quite-intact. The seasons I spent sailing alongside my parents have gone. My eldest child has lived for more than half of my lifetime. And I thank God for those ships that have passed; for those whose waters I have yet to share. I am even thankful for the times I was so broken I thought I would never mend. I am thankful to have learned about love and loss and the treasuring of times that can never be gone as long as they live in my heart. And I look forward to discovering alongside which of those ships I will sail in eternity.

Mark was the template for Dylan Lachlan in my novel ‘Strong as Death’. Dylan has Mark’s eyes …

first posted as in April 2014 as ‘Where characters come from (3): Dylan Lachlan 

Strong as Death – free till Sunday

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Second edition.

Second edition.

Download my debut novel, Strong as Death, free this weekend –  click here for Amazon UK and click here for Amazon.com– and please let me know what you think by leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. I’d love to hear what you think, but here’s a few highlights of what a few others have said on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars A truly beautiful tale of the power of love… 22 April 2014

‘Strong as Death’ is the beautifully written story of young love and the obstacles it must overcome. Anyone who remembers the pain and joys of their first lover will feel an affinity with this beautiful tale, mixed with memories of those awkward first moments, and then the thrill of realising that your heart’s desire might just be feeling the same way!

4.0 out of 5 stars A most intriguing read. 29 Aug. 2015

This … is a magical spell binding novel with a clever twist to the tale! It is beautifully descriptive with funny lines that made me laugh aloud and yet a sincerity and sadness about choices and there being a right time for everything  … After reading this I was keen to read this author’s recent novel ‘Selkie’ and was delighted I did… absolutely fantastic!

5.0 out of 5 stars A rollercoaster of emotions

… (a) …  wondrous tale … The main character’s journey is a rollercoaster ride of emotion, and the imagery is outstanding throughout … I highly recommend this book. A superb piece of writing.

5.0 out of 5 stars Heart achingly beautiful

I loved this book! The writing is exquisite. The story is compelling. I really cared about the characters, felt their fear, their love, their hope, their despair. Tears of sorrow and joy were spilled along the way. Will love and faith ultimately triumph? I had to find out, so I could not put it down. I love this book!

5.0 out of 5 stars I could not put this down!

I absolutely loved this book and was hooked into the story from the first page. The characters were beautifully drawn and the story unfolded in my head as the plot unfurled … Julia Lund has a gift for description and making the characters come alive from the page. Minnie is a vibrant central character and I so wanted everything to work out well for her. I found myself emotionally tied into the situations that she found herself and just when I thought it was all lost…. read it for yourself and you won’t be disappointed …

4.0 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this …  Minnie is an engaging, vulnerable protagonist. The sections with her nemesis in reminded me curiously of Evil and his minions in “Time Bandits”! Julia Lund has an ear for narrative detail and dialogue; it’s a nice change to read an English book like this, rather than American counterparts. Anyone even considering getting this should do so: a well-written novel …

What’s the book about? Here’s a hint …

You’re not supposed to think about dying when you’re sixteen, but when you’ve heard death whisper your name, felt it brush your cheek, is there anything that can stop it claiming you?

The first time talented musician Minnie Shilling sets eyes on Dylan Lachlan, time shifts and she falls heart and soul in love of the forever kind. But as she starts to hope that just maybe Dylan feels the same, she is increasingly troubled by inexplicable sights and a sense that someone is watching her; someone no one else sees. As Minnie’s life comes under threat from the dark force that will move Hell to steal her soul, which will turn out to be stronger? A love to live for? Or the kiss of death?