Monthly Archives: March 2015

…not one, but two upcoming book launches for my dear friend, Authoress, Nancy Jardine…

…it’s a delight when the ‘usual suspects’ drop by the blog to say ‘Hi’ and give me a heads-up on what they’re up to (and I promise not to tell the police)… the prolific Authoress, Nancy Jardine, has two pending titles, which you can read about here… enjoy…nancy 2


Hello Seumas, and thank you for allowing me to share my writing news.

Sometimes that bus stop at my door is very busy…

The last time I popped in to visit you may remember I was deliberating over whether to use my own name, or a pseudonym, for The Taexali Game – my first time travel historical adventure novel for middle grade/early teens. It’s just as well that I made the choice to use my own name for all of my writing, regardless of the intended market, because I’m pretty sure I’d become demented in the next few weeks trying to remember who I am.

My planned self-publishing date for The Taexali Game was the end of February or early March, but unexpected delays happened.

Final Nancy Jardine x 488

…My cover design wasn’t completed till last week but I’m so…. glad I waited for it because I think it’s fantastic and perfect for the early teen market. In a global way, I hope a reader can immediately see from the cover that my intrepid trio of teenagers – Aran, Brian and Fianna – are about to confront soldiers of the Roman Empire in their adventure set in AD 210. The location of the novel is northern Roman Britain, currently Aberdeenshire, Scotland (my part of the world). Since part of the intended market is also local, I think my cover designer- Neil Saddler – has done a fantastic job because that bumpy hill you see is an iconic shape in Aberdeenshire, the hill range of Bennachie very recognisable to those who live in the area. I’ll now be publishing The Taexali Game in April. Further details will soon be on my blog but before then…

Like your Jack Calder Series, I’m also in the wonderful position of having Crooked Cat launch a new edition of Monogamy Twist, a contemporary romantic mystery. My fantastic, quirky cover for this was revealed a couple of weeks ago and I adore this cover design, too. 27th March 2015 is the date now set for its launch and I extend an open invitation to join my festivities at the Facebook Launch Party. Goodies can be won and lots of information on my protagonists will be divulged.

MonogamyTwistNancyJardine x360

The setting for Monogamy Twist is Yorkshire, England, where Luke Salieri has been bequeathed a dilapidated old mansion. Though he’s no idea of why he’s the beneficiary, he’s determined to fulfil the quirky Dickensian conditions attached to the bequest but he desperately needs a woman- though not just any old female. Rhia Ashton is perfect to help him solve the mystery since she’s an ancestry researcher but Luke finds her help comes with more conditions. Luke and Rhia were lovely characters to create and if you like a bit of history with more twists in your mystery, you’ll love Monogamy Twist. Dog lovers are also drawn to my wonderful Irish wolfhound, Thor, who was a delight to create.

Once again, Seumas, it’s great to visit you- thank you!


Nancy Jardine lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She currently shares a home with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, 3 year old granddaughter and 1 year old grandson. It’ll continue to be a busy household till late summer of 2015 when the new build home will be completed for the young ‘uns on what was Nancy’s former back garden. The loss of that part of the garden won’t be missed since there should now be more writing time available this spring and summer! Childminding is intermittent over the day and any writing time is precious. (If interested in how a new house is built these days, follow my blog posts named ‘Gonna build a house’ )

 All matters historical are a passion; Ancestry research a lovely time-suck. Nancy regularly blogs and loves to have guests visit her blog. Facebooking is a habit she’s trying to keep within reasonable bounds! Any time left in a day is for leisure reading and the occasional historical series on TV.


Author links:    Twitter @nansjar Facebook:

Amazon Author page for books and to view book trailer videos:


Novels also available from Barnes and Noble; W.H. Smith;; Smashwords; TESCO Blinkboxbooks; and various other places


…thanks for coming in, Nancy, always good to have yer company…

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

From a wee blether to a total guddle…

…thick end of the Weegie (Scots’ll understand that)… from the LUVLY Barb Taub… enjoy… Master Gallacher is available at a modest fee for translation services…

Barb Taub

I’m in a total guddle.

See, I might live in Scotland, but this is what I live here for. I’ve gone along all these years without once knowing that I’m in a total guddle [confused mess] , let alone owning it like Glasgowdragonfly does.

The hotel room was a bit of a guddle after Kate's hen party in Glasgow...The hotel room was a wee guddle after Fiona’s hen party in Glasgow…

Since we moved up here from England just as I was starting to get a handle on the whole separated by a common language thing, I’ve started to document a new vocabulary. Luckily, I have an expert tutor in the form of the receptionist at a nearby medical office. I’m completely smitten because she says och and aye and every noun is modified by wee. When I call, I always have a pencil ready to write down everything she says so I can look up translations when we hang up. Take, for example, today’s conversation:


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…Authors… ’chocolate’ is usually the answer, regardless of the question… right?…

…it evolution had dictated I was to become a ‘gym rat’, then surely this ol’ Jurassic would have been born on top of a ton of exercise equipment and be sporting four grey/black paws and a long stringy tail?… oh, sure, over the years, I’ve fallen into the trap of investing hard cash into my very own special torture machine, a.k.a. ‘treadmill’ for home use… it got about as much usage as a politician’s guidebook to honesty… the guy who eventually bought it from me, for about 2% of the price I paid for it, had to clear away the cobwebs before transporting the contraption off to his own dungeon… in latter years , I also tried ‘jogging’, which yielded about as much success as yon Master Canute in turning back the tide… after about fourteen seconds of the first attempt at that particular activity, a measured (read, ’slow’) walk ensued forever thereafter… comes now the scribbler’s dilemma… how to maintain anything approaching even a small amount of fitness and (ssshhh) weight-control when seated  for great spans of time glued to yer Mac?… applewhich same Apple Mac, by the way, frequently vies with the McDonald’s Macmcd for yer attention… my favourite typing tipple is Diet Coke… but unhappily, it’s by the tanker-load, but hey, yeez‘ve got to die of sum’thing, right?… might as well be sum’thing yeez like… but, as in all the best narratives, there is a magic ‘silver bullet’… the enigma gets solved, the senses appeased… yes, yeez’ve guessed it… ’chocolate’ is usually the answer, regardless of the question… right?… no more immediate example occurred than just a few moments ago, when I opened the computer… a small collection of chocolates just ‘happened’ to be parked at the left of the desk… don’t ask me how they got there, officer… I just WURK here, honest… one was not gonna do me any harm, nor the second that followed it… next thing I knew, when I looked at the box…it was empty!… I’m thinking of calling the police, to see if they can throw any light on who may have stolen the rest of the contents, beneath my very nose… I hear this crime afflicts lotsa quill-scrapers, so be careful, it’s a confectionery jungle out there, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!...



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…don’t WURRY, they’re here…and I’m one of them, thankfully…

…a wee contemplative post for yeez… click on the clip and listen while yeez read…

…the beautiful truth that has resonated with this ol’ Jurassic for quite some time now, is that the next perfect person I meet will be the first one… oh, sure, like most of us, I’ve had my pinnacle moments… yeez know the kind… those delicious passages of time when yeez want to carve them out and keep them forever, they feel so good… selective mem’ry on the other hand, often deletes the nadirs… the occasions when yeez have f**ked up royally… and realise all too late the sagacity of the writing of Omar Khayyam,

‘The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it…’

…as yeez might surmise, I’ve been indulging a bit of poetry-delving over the last day or two, and re-discovering to my delight how it can trigger mental indulgence such as this… contemplating my literary navel, p’raps, but an enjoyable indulgence, much to be recommended, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… as for the video clip that kicks off this piece, apart from the magical vocal quality of Judy Collins, the WURDS are magnificent…


…I wonder how many of yeez yearn for songs and music of a time not so very long ago, when yeez could make sense of the lyrics?… Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, all carried messages in their music if yeez cared to listen to them… and many carried the same theme as ’Send in the Clowns’… the ecstasy/torture of ‘being in LUV’… the unrequited reaching for stuff yeez couldn’t get… galores of career faux pas… opportunities missed… friendships prejudiced from mutual misunderstandings… and yet… and yet, Mabel… we all seem to have survived thus far… having spells of being geniuses and nutters in equal measure… so, where are the clowns?… don’t WURRY, they’re here…and I’m one of them, thankfully… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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… ‘IF’… let there be no ‘ifs’ nor ‘buts’ about it…









…now and again, this ol’ Jurassic takes a pot at scribbling what might be loosely called ‘poetry’, but when the whimsy is on me, I revert to delving into books such as the Collected Poems Of Rudyard Kipling… I find in those kinda pages distilled wisdom that is ageless… this afternoon I happened back across that wunnerful offering, the great man’s magnificent ‘IF’… I’ll append it at the end of this post for emb’dy who wants to read it all as it’s well WURTH a measured read… but meantime, let me pick out a coupla gems from it…


…’If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 

    And treat those two impostors just the same;…
…it has taken me all of multi decades of experience to acknowledge that eternal truth… emotion has the capacity to so easily run away with my sense of balance in many things… hopefully over the years, that has tempered down sum’what… the other day, I mentioned in the blog about a balanced approach to reviews that we quill-scrapers get for our wee masterpieces from time to time… there’s nowt wrong with savouring the moment when a genuine compliment comes yer way about yer WURK… but don’t get overwrought when sumb’dy doesn’t share yer own LUV for yer novel…
…the other pearl I enjoy so much is this:
‘…If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!…’
…for me as an Author that translates to filling my time usefully, not necessarily banging my head against needless deadlines… enjoying the literary ‘stroll through the garden, smelling the roses… there now, that’s enuff of my cogitating for one post… here’s the whole of ‘IF’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
IF… by Rudyard Kipling
(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)
If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…SOSYAL NETWURKIN learner, teach thyself!…

…it’s not often this ol’ Jurassic is able to claim first hand experience of anything WURTHwhile… however, all false modesty aside, the combination of my vintage and late-coming to the glees of being an Author lends itself to a hint of credibility… the fact that I didn’t pick up the Scribblers Virus until after the Fire Brigade had doused the candle-fire on my 60th birthday cake means that I came to the literary gig with none of the conventional ‘luggage’ of the last half-century of publishing practice… in essence, I’m a child of the eBook phenomenon… a kindakicking-on-a-bit-child, maybe, but one with a clear, virginal approach to this new Age of Biblio… my first-ever laptop purchase was made only six years ago, in order to tap out the initial book in the Jack Calder crime thriller series, one finger from each hand at a time… the way I still do it… I knew NUTHIN, nada, zippo, rien, zero, nil, nowt about the mysteries of the Mac…


…I hardly understood how to switch the bluudy thing on… and there are still mysterious bits on there that defy my wee gray cells… the joys of childlike discovery have included how to ‘save’ a just-typed passage… how to use the ‘mouse-thingy’ to scroll down a page, rather than running it up and down manually (that went on for eight months before sumb’dy pointed it out to me… sniggering behind their hand, of course)… six years ago, ‘Amazon’ was a river in South America and a name for a certain type of lady… ‘Kindle’ to me meant bundles of twigs to start fire with… ’SOSYAL NETWURKIN’ translated as corporate cocktail parties… and ‘E’-books were probably sum’thing between ‘D’-books and ‘F’-books… go figure… and a ‘blog’?… well, go wash yer mouth out, Mister…


…so what happened?… what happened was that I was compelled to teach myself how all this quill-scraping sorcery actually WURKED…  painful in many aspects, yes, but, truly, the most enjoyable educational enterprise I’ve ever been privileged to undertake…

heartand why am I sharing with yeez all now, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land?… coz, the wunnerful diaspora of writers on the internet constantly confide with me that many of yeez face similar conundra in grappling with being a writer in the evolving universe that is publishing nowadays… take heart, if this ol’ bustard (correct spelling, Mabel) can do it, so can any of the rest of yeez… to plagiarise/parody the phrase of ‘Physician, heal thyself!’, …SOSYAL NETWURKIN learner, teach thyself!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

Fear of Big Feet

…just HAD to reblog this wunnerful post from my pal, Pamela Wight… …what a terrific post… it occurs to me she may wanna do a neat get-together with her daughter and her granddaughter… she reads the story to her daughter, and her daughter in turn reads it again to her own daughter, two readings in one sitting… be a great evening I bet…B ucket List stuff :):)


Cinderella, DisneyCan you think back to the first book you ever read?

Here I am, my 4-year-old self, on the green-carpeted floor, the sun pouring over me like water over a flower. I coo with pleasure as the sunlight highlights the pictures on my skinny “Golden” book with pages ruffled from turning them so many times.

The spine is broken, but I don’t care. I caress the cover of a beautiful lady with golden hair, a pink bow-shaped mouth, and a soft blue dress that fits tightly on her body until it opens wide and flows down to her toes.

I squeal the title out loud.

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…Authors… just a wee WURD about getting negative reviews…

…if yeez are like me, fellow Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, yeez’ll remember well the first ever ‘bad’ review for any of yer masterpieces… the pink cloud of having finished the first novel was still my principal means of transportation when the thunderbolt struck… a flurry of ‘nice’ supportive reviews had already landed on the Great God Amazon pages… there I was, this  ol’ Jurassic, now a Proper Published Scribbler, getting real reviews from real people… the universe was beautifully smudgy round the edges, like when the dentist gives you a tad too much of the laughing gas… then in came the party-spoiler with a stab to the literary heart… ouch!…and ouch! again… a thousand times ouch!…


…the initial reaction of course, is hurt… followed by a modicum of resentment… oh. alright, a ton of resentment, bordering on outright hatred… but, sensibility settled in… the guy had awarded THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY a mere two stars out of five… on a whim, I checked out his other reviews… he’d only done one other … for John Grisham… and he had panned that with a one star out of five rating… and all at once, Master Gallacher’s WURLD was a happier place… it taught me a vital lesson… to take any review, be it anywhere from one to five stars, with a pinch of salt… over time, if yeez read the content of yer reviews, yeez’ll begin to know when they’re the real deal, and when they’re not… but another WURD of caution…


…if all of yer babies’ reviews are five-stars and four-stars, the chances are that the real less-than-sterling ratings have been suppressed … it’s not feasible to think that ev’rybody who reads yer stuff is gonna fall in LUV with it… in fact, I’d suggest that a sprinkling (at least) of negative ratings lend more credibility to the whole, and that prospective new readers will make their own minds up accordingly… and please, please, please bear in mind, the most important person yeez write for is yerself… please that person , and ye’re most of the way home already… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…oh, where, tell me where, have all the eloquent rhetoricians gone in Parliament?…

…it is with great sadness that I post a general Obituary for the Presence of Eloquent Rhetoricians in the Houses of Parliament… the art of the sparkling soupçon, the elegance of counterpose debate, the majesty of vocabuleric nimbleness, alas, have all joined the Dodo, the Woolly Mammoth and the Sabre Tooth Cat on the roster of extinct creatures… dodowooly mammothI’d posit that the genus ‘Statesman/Stateswoman’ has lapsed into ever-receding mem’ry… my not so ‘umble view is that Master Mikhail Gorbachev is/was the last of that illustrious line… I watch the SkyNews channel for no other reason than that it’s so bad, it’s often quite funny, and today it carried the usual weekly slanging match in the British Houses of Parliament, guising under the term, Prime Minister’s QuestionTime... these days, this constitutes half an hour of assorted insults in the form of Questions to Her Majesty’s premier parliamentarian from the Leader of the Opposition, none of which the P.M. actually answers, but rather uses it an excuse to sling back his own package of desultory comments on the Opposition… an added ‘treat’ this Wednesday was the presentation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s 2015 Budget… cue for further raised voices, haranguing at large, and the demeaning sight of grown men, supposedly well-educated, trying to outdo each other with abuse, accusation and scurrility… oh, Mabel, would that for once we could echo the delivery of a Benjamin Disraeli and his wonderful commentary on Sir William Gladstone, ‘A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself.’… better by far than screaming, ‘the man’s a liar’ … or any of the great Sir Winston Churchill’s Commons speeches in his hey-day…winston even the Australian parliament, not known for its silver wit, produced this gem, where one member, speaking of another, said, ‘I suppose we must excuse the (opposing) member for being absent from the chamber today…I believe he’s attending the wedding of his mother!’… the stuff I listened to on television today, brought to mind the phrase, ‘Silence is Golden’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…which Musical Muse trips yer soul?…


…in the ‘hand-across-the-mouth-mumble-mumble-mumble’ years this ol’ Jurassic’s been floating around the planet, I’ve enjoyed a disparate range of music… if it’s harmonic, and has good beat, rhythm and catchiness to it, I’ll hum, whistle, and sum’times even sing along… but I make no secret of the fact that my favourite Musical Muse is anything remotely Celtic or Celtic-sounding, and particularly the haunting sort of tune that gets into yer bones and seeps through to yer soul… if yeez don’t know what I’m talking about, best yeez skip to the next blog… but if yeez do relate, yeez’ll understand when I say certain pieces of music just never leave yeez… lately, this beautiful version of She Moves Through The Fair, clickable above, was delivered to me per the WUNDER of the Web, when my good pal, James O’Shea, exchanged it for another artiste’s cover of it which I’d shared for general enjoyment… I must ‘fess up in that I’d never heard anything by All About Eve before, but this rendition has stuck in my head since I heard it a few days back… see what yeez think, and let me know what yer own particular tunes are that ‘hang in there’ with yeez all … enjoy… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff