Seeking a bay fort

West Metro Mommy Reads

I’ve been in Pensacola, the last week, running around like a madwoman, erm, that is, scouting future installments in my Antique Magic series of paranormal fantasy novels. Where was I scouting, you ask?

Fort Pickens Road sign

Yep. I finally got to Fort Pickens–and it was fantastic! So, for this Saturday Snapshot, I’ve got some site-seeing photos to share.

Dunes

Santa Rosa gnarled Tree by Juli D. Revezzo

Once you get on the island, there are just miles of these gorgeous sand dunes, and signs everywhere that warn drivers to watch out for nesting seabirds (unfortunately, we didn’t see any though. I guess it was too hot for them). Then the Gulf Islands National Seashore sign, but we’re still seeking out the fort.

Fort Pickens Gulf Islands National Seashore sign

Then finally, we come around a corner and see… (eep!) This:

Battery Langdon

Battery Langdon

Getting a little excited now! *rubs hands* We must be close. Yes. Once inside we see…

Guarding the bay

Guarding the bay

Was that all? Oh, no. But, patience, my friends. I’ll show you more next week! Have a great weekend.

To see more participants in Saturday Snapshots, go here.

And if you’d like to sample the (currently) freebie novella, see the post here for details on how to get it.

Tiresome dribble | Tampa Bay Times

I read this article, and laughed out loud. The moral of the story, spell check is *not* your friend. Read on….

Every time I write a column criticizing the misuse of English by “citizen journalists” on the Internet, I get two kinds of reader response. The first are letters of applause, often from prim grammarians pushing their own pet peeves. The second type is scolding me for being a prim grammarian, such as this letter from reader J. Meyers….

read more via Tiresome dribble | Tampa Bay Times.

Mountain fall and a book

The one thing about living in Florida that I will admit I miss is the fall color. It’s been ages since I’ve seen any so last month I went up to North Carolina, again, hoping to see some color. As usual, I took my camera. :)mountains_1013

Unfortunately, no matter where we went, the trees hadn’t quite all turned yet. But of course I had to get the smoke off the mountains. :) It just looks so cool…and in some ways, mystical, yes?

mountain_shadows

This one isn’t as colorful, but I loved the few dots of shadow on the left-hand mountain so I couldn’t resist. *sigh* Maybe next year we’ll get up there a little later and I’ll get some pretty color.

Oh! Also, I got something nifty in the mail this week.

JuliandtheBook_copy

Why yes! That would be a paperback copy of Passion’s Sacred Dance. (Just in time for Christmas shopping. Ack, Christmas!)

Also, if you look close (beyond my funny looking mug) the neighbor’s dog thinks he’s hiding behind the fence pole. ;) *cough* You can’t see..er, he thinks you can’t see him. *lol* So those are my pictures.

Oh and Passion’s Sacred Dance is now available for pre-order and The Wild Rose Press and Amazon as part of the “Matchbook” program at Amazon and at Itunes.

Remember, the Kindle version is available or purchase anytime.

Oh,  Caitlin’s Book of Shadows has been, er, slightly updated this week. Er…okay. So if you’d like a copy of that, it’s available at Amazon too, for $.99.

So those are my Saturday Snapshots. :) Have a good weekend!

Nanowrimo is…going. I’m just not quite to where I want to be, at the moment.

‘Roman’ roads were actually built by the Celts, new book claims – Telegraph

‘Roman’ roads were actually built by the Celts, new book claims – Telegraph.
I just found this online and you know? I almost feel like saying “Well, d’uh.” I mean, it’s not surprising. Really. I’m waiting for the day researchers find out we got a heck of a lot more from the ancient Celts than we know… After all, there were Celts spread all over Greece and Rome at one time. If nothing else, it’d make an interesting (at least to me) alternative history story. ;) Just thought I’d share.

Friday Flowers–Fennel Failure

Forgive the alliteration, coffee hasn’t kicked in.

You know what I’ve always wanted? An herb garden. Unfortunately, I am admittedly a  failure at it. I had a slight success with some rosemary a couple years back. Kept it alive for about five years. The basil did okay, but I don’t recall it lasting for more than maybe two seasons. But it went to pot and I’ve never tried it again.  I had lemon balm, it died, tried dill, ditto. (again with the alliteration!)

Recently, I went to this place my mom likes and was tickled pink to find they had herbs. So I found some fennel and thought what the hell.

Fennel, so says Grieves’ Modern Herbal, is: a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves, grows wild in most parts of temperate Europe, but is generally considered indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, whence it spreads eastwards to India. It has followed civilization, especially where Italians have colonized, and may be found growing wild in many parts of the world upon dry soils near the sea-coast and upon river-banks. It flourishes particularly on limestone soils and is now naturalized in some parts of this country, being found from North Wales southward and eastward to Kent, being most frequent in Devon and Cornwall and on chalk cliffs near the sea. It is often found in chalky districts inland in a semi-wild state.

For the medicinal use of its fruits, commonly called seeds, Fennel is largely cultivated in the south of France, Saxony, Galicia, and Russia, as well as in India and Persia.

Okay, good. If it’s been around in temperate areas for centuries how hard can this be?

I brought it home and repotted it, rocks in the bottom for drainage and such, just like dad taught me. At first, it did well. By the end of the first week, it looked like this:

fennel1

This is from week one, back in May, with watering it whenever it felt dry. Its previous owner is an organic genius so I figure it’s me and my yellow thumb (yeah, not so good for the druid thing, eh?)

Herm…. A good friend of mine says the stuff grows wild around her but she’s in the Northwest. I asked her advice and followed it…and the conventional wisdom around the web says likewise:

Moreover, it demands little attention from its host or hostess after having been made to feel at home; once sprouted in only moderately fertile, chalky soil, it requires little watering or feeding.

Okay so I snipped the dead piece off (it’s in my herb cabinet right now) and I tried the “dribble when I got worried” method, leaving the soil mostly dry. Yet still. It’s doing it again:

fennel614

Does this look, like Modern Herbal says:

4 to 5 feet or more in height, erect and cylindrical, bright green and so smooth as to seem polished, much branched bearing leaves cut into the very finest of segments. The bright golden flowers, produced in large, flat terminal umbels, with from thirteen to twenty rays, are in bloom in July and August.

To you??

I wish I had my heroine Caitlin’s touch. Brother, if that don’t make her books fantasies I don’t know what does. ;) Because she’s better than me, and what I wish I could garden like!

So, I gotta ask, if watering normally (’til the soil’s wet to the touch) is causing it to do this, and if dribbling it with water though letting the soil remain 90% dry  is causing it to do this….how do I save this plant? When you read the conventional wisdom it says “this plant’s easy to care for” and “watch out because it’ll take over!” but …uh, herm. I’m not seeing that in my little plant.  For the gardeners out there: any suggestions? I’m thinking this poor thing ain’t going to make it to the end of August let alone July, at this rate–or the second year that Florida Gardening says it should get to. And surviving to get me some of the seeds? Yeah, good luck with that. I know I’m in zone Hot as Huh…mmm… (that would  be zone 9) but you’d think a plant that’s suppose to take over would be harder to kill. What do I do besides call this another failure?

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Guest post: Nicolette Andrews: The Prophetic Meaning Of Dreams

Today we have a treat for you, a fellow member of the Magic Appreciation Tour, Romantic fantasy author Nicolette Andrews has stopped by to talk about that favorite subject of most fantasy writers: Dreams. Welcome, Nicolette!

The Prophetic Meaning of Dreams

You awaken in a cold sweat you heart is beating against your rib cage and you fumble around in the dark for your significant other to reassure yourself that you are back in reality. Upon hearing the steady cadence of your loved one’s breathing, you settle in and drift back to sleep. This is the terrifying and urgent nature of our dreams. At times we all are woken from a nightmare of a loved one dying or even being chased by a masked murderer.

But what about our more mundane dreams, the ones where you are smoking cigarettes even though you’ve never touched them in your life or a dream where one color seems more vivid than any other that it leaves an impression on your waking self. Could our dreams hold a significant meaning to our everyday lives? Is our subconscious aware of something your conscious mind is not?

I am not a dream expert or a scientist, what I am is a fantasy writer with an active imagination.  What would you do if your dreams came true? Imagine falling asleep at night and in your dream world you see in perfect clarity, your much hated boss getting canned for some shady dealings. You would wake the next morning refreshed and maybe a bit pleased. How surprised would you be if when coming into work the next day and you see your boss carrying a box of his things towards the elevator? How would you react?

In my novel, Diviner’s Prophecy, Maea is a woman born with the ability to see into both the past and future. That is until a spell is put upon her that stripped her of an identity and a past. Her powers are crippled and she was fight to regain her past and save her kingdom from an unknown destruction.

Unlike you and I, when Maea dreams she is looking into the future, seeing what may come to pass. What would you do with that kind of power? What if we already have that power lying dormant within us?

Take deja vu for example: where does that come from? What if our waking mind forgets what our sleeping minds have foretold?

Have you ever ran into someone at the market or the gas station and thought: I was just thinking about you but I cannot remember when. Perhaps the secrets to these questions, these feelings of premonition, lie in our subconscious, our dreaming minds. As I mentioned, I am not a scholar or a specialist; what I am a fantasy writer with a lot of time on her hands.

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Thank you to Juli for letting me take over her blog for today and if you would like to read more about prophetic dreams, check out my Romantic Fantasy Novel: Diviner’s Prophecy now on sale at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. You can connect with me on my blog, on facebook and on twitter. And happy dreaming.

Diviners-Prophecy-ebookAbout Diviner’s Prophecy:

Maea is a diviner, the last of a once influential family of women who could see into the past and future through visions. Though she holds immense power, once sought after by kings, she is helpless. A spell has wiped away her past and crippled her abilities, leaving her dependent upon her foster mother and her companion. Maea wants to trust them but their evasive behavior in regards to her missing memories makes her wary. They claim an accident caused her memory loss. Maea, however, remembers the night the man took her life away. She suspects they are accomplices to the act and further believes they plan to use her in her their own political plottings.

At the royal court, the first diviner speaks to Maea through a vision and charges her with an immense task: to stop a catastrophe that threatens to destroy her, her kingdom and all life in the realm. She must navigate the dangerous waters of court intrigue where foes appear as friends and no one can be trusted. Is she plays the game right, she will regain her past and save her kingdom. If she fails, it means the destruction of every living thing.

About Nicolette:

Nicolette Andrews, a romantic fantasy author, lives in San Diego California with her husband and two daughters. Apart from a good book, with healthy doses of romance, fantasy, intrigue and mystery. She enjoys spending time with her two daughters and her husband. She can often be found enjoying the California sunshine but she is usually behind a computer screen working on her next novel.

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Thank you for being with us, Nicolette and best of luck with Diviner’s Prophecy, and all you do! Folks, I hope you enjoyed Nicolette’s chat. If you’d like to check her out you may do so at the links above.