A timely Sherlock Holmes tour of London

For the Sherlock Holmes fans – and anybody wanting to do a walking SH tour of London.

Luxereporter

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It’s 130 years since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published his first Sherlock Holmes novel and his character is, after numerous incarnations on screens large and small, probably going stronger now than it has since the early 20th century.

Back in the 1880s, though, Holmes’ creator wasn’t finding life particularly easy. He had moved to London from Edinburgh to set up as an ophthalmologist and things weren’t going quite according to plan.

savini-interior.jpg Savini at Criterion

Holmes’ first bow

Stephen Liddell runs Sherlock Holmes tours of London and has researched many places in the capital related to the author and his creations.

He says: ‘Conan Doyle had set up a practice on Montague Street, opposite the British Museum, but he found out after a while that he couldn’t afford the rent. It was here that he started writing his first Sherlock Holmes novel.’

Possibly for that reason, when Doctor Watson makes his…

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Guest post: Kathy Bryson and the legend of leprechauns

Introducing author Kathy Bryson – guest posting today about her latest book “Fighting Mad” – an intriguing mix of romance, humor and family drama. Ah, and a touch of Irish legend in there somewhere.

Here you have it: romance, money and those (ahem) leprechauns – slippery but handsome and charming creatures that no one quite believes exist. Despite their sly shyness, author Kathy Bryson has sniffed them out. Here’s her story about the delightful Irish legend of Leprechauns and how it inspired her popular, award-winning romantic comedy series.

leprechaun-28759_640The Legend of Leprechauns

Around St. Patrick’s Day, you sometimes see cartoons of little men in old-fashioned top hats dancing around a pot of gold. The leprechaun is an Irish fairy who has to give you his gold if you capture him. He’s famous for tricking people into giving it back and teaching them a lesson about being greedy. Well, there’s trick involved all right, but it’s not what you think.

The trick goes all the way back to roughly 2,000 years before Christ when the Tuatha Dé Danann invaded Ireland. They were a magical race, including Lugh, the Celtic god of war and commerce. Far from being wee men, leprechauns or ‘luch-chromain’ were the ‘sons of Lugh’ or the soldiers of the ancient Irish gods.

Now I know that you’re thinking…how on earth did Marines turn into fairies? Well, eventually the Tuatha Dé Danann lost to new invaders and retreated underground. The stories continued, but now they were stories, not history. Which was just what the leprechauns wanted. If you don’t take the leprechauns seriously, you won’t go looking for the gold, will you? That’s the trick!

I started writing about leprechauns because I thought it would be funny to explore money in a romance. It’s the second thing couples fight over most. Little did I know what I was uncovering! You might be able to catch a leprechaun, but holding onto his gold is a whole ‘nother story. And when it comes to gold, the power plays and politics are out of this world. Leprechauns will do anything to protect the gold AND whatever else they hold dear!

Fighting Mad #2b Final (small) copy (3)FIGHTING MAD – Laid off from her job at the bank, Carla turns to her friends for support only to find they’re more concerned about their jobs. The one person she can count on is local bartender Murphy, but what kind of example is that to set for her daughters? Having learned the hard way, Carla’s not depending on any man, even if he is cute, charming, very kind, and some kind of leprechaun?

Murphy is used to sneers. Clurichauns are the redheaded stepchildren of the leprechaun world and then there are the late-night throw-downs at his bar. What he wants, however, is to protect the dainty little mom who ogles him when she thinks no one’s looking. He knows she’s fighting overwhelming odds, but she’ll need more than bravery when the conflict between the King and Queen of the Fairies becomes outright civil war!

Amazon link – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019BOJM5E
Book trailer – https://youtu.be/Y2QLlOC1f9k
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28210463-fighting-mad

me2About the author – Kathy Bryson knew she wanted to be a writer when she finished reading through her school and local children’s libraries. She honed her writing skills on marketing brochures, websites, and several unfinished manuscripts before going into teaching and finishing award-winning books with all the stuff she enjoys most – from coffee to love to Shakespeare! Kathy lives in Florida where she caters to the whims of spoiled cats and wonders what possessed her to put in 75 feet of flower beds.

Follow her at:
Blog – http://kathybryson.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kathybryson22

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+KathyBryson22

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kathybryson2

Publishing: A lot of Smoke and Mirrors?

janruthblog

In which I’m made to eat my words as I come full circle through the maze of publishing to discover that the grass isn’t necessarily greener over there; it’s still mostly desert scrub from every direction…

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Last year I wrote a general post about the publishing industry which resonated with a lot of independent authors: https://janruthblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/my-affair-with-john-hudspith-and-why-i-had-to-leave-self-publishing/

It came about through sheer frustration at the lack of visibility and the cost of producing books. A turning point came when a small press offered a contract for Silver Rain. This is it, I thought. This is the change of direction I need… but be careful what you wish for! Don’t get me wrong in that I had huge delusional ideas at this stage. I was simply seeking greater visibility and some respite from the nuts and bolts of self-publishing.

And all the outward signs were good: they took five back-catalogue titles and one…

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Why write? Mere promise of immeasurably massive skies.

The urge to write - the wings within

The urge to write – the wings within

Writing is one of the most beautiful expressions of who we are. Writing is pure self-expression, an ordering of the mind, the making of patterns and rhythms that seem to breathe with us and create something that is of us and yet becomes its own without us, living in the world in a different sphere that is no longer our brain but a connective dart weaving into other minds, influencing other lives. Writing as a craft makes those darts with subtle precision and powerful energy.

Jennifer Lean is a Cape Town poet and writer who is internet shy in this crazy, noisy world – and so she has these quiet moments of brilliance that catch in the mind like tiny stitches in the tapestry of a busy life. She doesn’t know how to share her work with the world – so I have decided to do it for her. And here and there, now and then, I will bring you a Jennifer Lean poem that will prove that the human mind is infinitely astonishing and, for some, set in rarefied airs we can only admire.

~ Why write ~

The written word is a
reaching out.
It is competitively squawking, bulge-blue-veined,
brittle-boned, fluff-bare baby birds
within the nest, stretching scrawny necks,
reaching always upward,
enthralled by the thrill of self-sound,
indignantly demanding
substance for the throat,
something solid in a
nebulous, insubstantial world
of unfathomed, as yet
unfathomable needs.
It is the right to be
angrily hungry
for acknowledgement of fears in the face of
daunting, dizzying expectations of
flight

for it is a huge leap,
a potentially painful fall.
It is mere promise of
immeasurably massive skies
of movement.

It is an inchoate compulsion,
the written word,
a reaching out
from the infinite reach
of irresistibly untested
wings within.

~ Jennifer Lean ~

The Lost Treasures of Bad King John (plus other treasures both found and missing).

Stephen Liddell

Have you ever wanted to get rich quick?  Long before Nigerian spammers were in on the act there was the art of metal-detecting.  Often metal-detecting enthusiasts are derided as being a little bit odd and depicted as spending their lives wondering around barren fields with not much to show for it but then one of them discovers a lost treasure and spends the rest of their lives still being the subject of jealousy the rest of us.

The largest UK hoard of Anglo Saxon treasure was found in a field near Lichfield in Staffordshire in July 2009, by metal detector enthusiast Terry Herbert.  His 7th Century hoard of 1,600 items including sword pommels, helmet parts and processional crosses was valued at £3.285m!

It was announced yesterday that Paul Coleman from the Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club discovered more than 5,000 coins buried inside a lead bucket two feet under a field near Aylesbury.  The…

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D-Day Commemorations in Pictures

Stephen Liddell gives a stunning pictorial remembrance of D-Day – not to be missed!

Stephen Liddell

Most of the D-Day veterans are sadly no longer with us but this past weekend has seen commemorations with some of the few more survivors.  All photos from BBC, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Getty Images, AP.

Paris Guard of Honour A Paris Guard of Honour escorts The Queen down the Champs Elysees in Paris

The Queen in Paris The Queen is the only state leader who served during WW2 and here she is laying a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris

A number of events were also held in Portsmouth which was the Headquarters for D-Day planning including a Drumhead ceremony, commemorations and a special flypast by the Red Arrows acrobatic team.

Red Arrows The Red Arrows perform a fly-by and stunt-show at Portsmouth, the D-Day Headquarters.

Allied Flags Flags of the U.K. and U.S. are flown on the south coast of England.

British Veteran A British D-Day veteran visits the grave of his friend, killed 70 years ago today.

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