Would you give up a portion of your garden to wildlife?

I live in the countryside surrounded by fields and am fortunate to have an acre of land. Despite having a main road at the front, lots of wildlife live in my garden. The reason? I have left many areas to grow naturally and hopefully, given a safe haven to many species that are on the brink of extinction.

blue dragonfly b

Yes, there are brambles everywhere, but also beautiful wild flowers that attract bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, which in turn attracts, bats, hedgehogs, snakes, toads and other less cute animals such as rats. But hey, they’re just as adorable in their own way.

With Bees - garden

poppies tall

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buzzy bumble

So I wonder if anyone else has decided to let a part of their garden, or yard, for my American friends, go back to nature and let the ‘weeds’ flourish? I would love to hear from those who have.

My Sci-fi/Dystopian series – The Song of Forgetfulness – is to a certain extent an homage to Mother Nature and a condemnation of mankind’s disregard for the delicate balance of the environment. I didn’t intend to make it an eco-warrior rant, but as I researched global warming, deforestation and the like, I became angry and deeply upset, so how could I not vent my feelings of despair and try to get a message across – please save our beautiful planet Earth before it’s too late.

I will be releasing a prequel to the series – The Chronicles of Mayer – in the next few weeks so watch out for another post!

The Chronicles of Mayer:

A story of survival and courage in a devastated world.

Adara needs to know more about her past if she, and everyone else, is to have a future. The Moocow Monks of Mayer have the answers. Inside their subterranean archive, as Adara sits and watches the history of NotSoGreatBritAlbion unfold before her eyes, she learns disturbing truths hidden for centuries, in – The Chronicles of Mayer.

The catastrophic flood of 2158 wipes out most of the population of Great Britain and destroys Mahabharata House, a Buddhist community. The only two surviving cow herds, Gopi Jnanamaya Kosha (Mayer) and Gopala Arjuna Bhutapanchaka, are forced to flee, taking the cows with them. With water levels rising at an alarming rate, they move the sacred herd to the highlands of Scotland.

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You can find all of the books in The Song of Forgetfulness series here:

Author.to/BooksonAmazon

 

Want to Come to a Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party? Then Read On – Meet the author – Nicola McDonagh

Prior to the Facebook Extravaganza – Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party I am spotlighting each author taking part. Today, the day of the event, I am spotlighting – Myself!

In June, my publishers closed down and I gained the publishing rights to my YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi series The Song of Forgetfulness. So I self-published the books with an addition of a Prequel, Whisper Gatherers.

So, this is me:

me and storm b&W

Nicola McDonagh is an author, creative writing tutor, and photographer. She lives in Suffolk, UK, with her musician husband and a plethora of rescued/feral cats. She came to writing prose late in life and is trying to make up any lost time by dabbling in more than one genre.

Nicola won the Suffolk Book League’s Short Story Competition 2011 with her story, ‘Glimmer’. The anthology of short stories – Glimmer and other stories was given a Certificate of Excellence by All Authors Publications and Promotions in June 2015.

Nicola was short-listed for the Escalator Genre Fiction Competition 2012 with an extract from Echoes from the Lost Ones; book 2 in her YA dystopian/sci-fi series, The Song of Forgetfulness.

You can contact Nicola and learn more about her work below:

 Email:                          nikki@nicolamcdonagh.com

 Author Website:      http://www.nicolamcdonagh.com/

Book series site:     http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com/

 Facebook:                https://www.facebook.com/thesongofforgetfulness?ref=hl

Blog Page:               https://nicolajmcdonagh.wordpress.com/

Twitter:                      @McDonaghNikki https://twitter.com/McDonaghNikki

Re-Launch of The Song of Forgetfulness-Dystopian/Sci-fi Series  

“A story of trust and faith…it is an adventure that takes you to a time and place like no other.”

“A brilliant and unique read for adults and young adults alike…reminded me of Patrick Ness’ Walking Chaos Trilogy.”

                    sof covers

http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com

 The struggle to survive just got harder.

In a land disfigured by famine and disease, fear spreads throughout the scattered population of NotSoGreatBritAlbian when the Agro Empire cuts food supplies and kidnaps special children – The Meeks. But there is hope. Adara, with her secret power.

 I’m Adara. I’ve got six fingers on each hand, and a secret I cannot share.

There is a rustling in the wind. Lights beyond the boundary fence.

A sign of Agro threat.

A murmur haunts Cityplace.

Something is coming.

 Shock-faced moon

“The moon shone bright. A shock-faced ball in the black sky that looked down on the three of us as if to shout, “Prevail. Stand steady.” The wind whipped around our feet and legs, and a swirl of ash and dry earth spiralled up before us. I coughed and spat out the filthy soil that bore the taste of Agro boot.”

Synopsis of The Song of Forgetfulness:

The Song of Forgetfulness is an unsettling and mysterious vision of the future where animals are almost extinct, humans are subjugated by the sinister and secretive Agros, and gifted children know as Meeks, are going missing.

After her brother is snatched and her Santy is injured during a ruthless raid on Cityplace, Adara embarks on a dangerous quest to find Deogol. But her journey through the ravaged terrain of NotSoGreatBritAlbion is fraught with danger when her search is jeopardised by lustful Woodsmales, savage Wolfies, and sinister monks in the Monastery in the Clouds.

Yet Adara finds friends and allies who help her to realise her true potential as a Bringer and deadly weapon. When she encounters powers greater than hers, Adara must use all her courage and skill to battle against evil forces to save herself and those she loves from being slaughtered by Agro spies.

As filthy battles ensue and loved ones perish, Adara must sing The Song of Forgetfulness one last time if she is to save not only the Meeks, but all the folk of NotSoGreatBritAlbion, from a life of slavery and despair.

There is hope. The Meeks have a hidden weapon that only Adara can unlock. Outside the Agro headquarters, folk are gathering. A legion of Woodsfolk, Clonies, S.A.N.T.S, Holy ones and Ladies, are on their way.

There’s just one problem Adara’s bro – Deogol.

You can purchase your copies of the books in The Song of Forgetfulness series on Amazon.

From 18th July to 25th July, all three books will be on sale for $ 0.99 and £ 0.99 What a Bargain!

Plus! there is a short story Changeling Fog Free to Download when you purchase a copy of Whisper Gatherers.

author banner for FB event

http://amzn.to/1GSFkQQ

I hope you found my books interesting.

Don’t forget – join the other authors and me Today – 18th July for – Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party

Facebook  book banner

https://www.facebook.com/events/577034945770324/

 

Book Launch of Sentinel by Frederick H Crook

I am very pleased to announce the launch of Sentinel by Frederick H Crook. Read all about this gritty sci-fi drama below:

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It is 2110 and migration to the colony planet, Alethea, has depleted Earth of billions of people. As a result, migration has been declared illegal by all world governments. Human trafficking becomes highly profitable for organized crime and their influence reaches beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Many starships returning from Alethea are diverted from the scrapping process and secretly refurbished, allowing the population to shrink further.

Frank Campanelli is a blind Chicago Police detective who depends on his fully functional bio-electronic implants to see and do his job. After assisting on a botched infiltration of a top human trafficking network, he and his partner, Marcus Williams, are transferred into the CPD’s Organized Crime Division to head the newly formed Sentinel group and bring down the Ignatola family business.

Excerpt:

Frank took manual control of the car and set its alert status to ‘Condition Two’. The car’s computer sent out its signal to traffic lights and other computerized vehicles, clearing the way for them. The blue lights flashed and the siren whooped and warbled to warn pedestrians and non-computerized vehicles of their presence.

Campanelli adjusted his lenses to zoom in just enough that he saw the leading edge of his vehicle’s hood and beyond. This gave him advanced warning of upcoming pavement hazards. He kept his thought commands on visual adjustments, putting them back to default when the car was in traffic and zooming forward again once the road was clear ahead. Frank’s full-service lenses had an advantage over the standard bio-electronic breed. His fully encompassed the surface of the eyes to give him the benefit of peripheral vision. When he magnified his view, it was not merely like looking through binoculars, it was akin to being physically thrust forward a few feet, albeit with some distortion at the edges of his field of view. With this advantage, Frank Campanelli had the reputation of being a rather insane driver, but from his point of view, he simply saw more detail than others and drove to match.

As it was Saturday morning, the traffic was light. As a result, Frank could get the car up to eighty miles an hour at times, broken up by sudden slowing and lane changing to avoid a vehicle or road hazard. This unsettled Marcus Williams to no end, forcing the veteran to increase his serotonin levels as he held on to the door handle and center console while plastering his feet into the floorboards.

The engine whined and whistled with acceleration, alternating with the crying of rubber whenever the brakes were hit hard or the steering yoke was twitched to go around something.

Marcus was just glad they were not in pursuit, otherwise Frank would be in a real hurry.

Campanelli slowed at the corner of State and Madison and hung a tight left. The powerful car accelerated like a shot, but the siren went quiet. Marcus dared to open his eyes and saw that the road ahead was deserted of pedestrians, cars and potholes.

The siren sounded again as they approached the intersection at Dearborn. Dodging around a CTA bus, Frank made the turn and accelerated again, though only briefly as they were close to their destination.

Suddenly, the siren quieted and the motor wound down to its near-silent normalcy. Marcus opened his eyes in time to see the blue lights cycle one last time before going out. The light at West Washington Street still turned green for them, indicating that Frank had set the car to ‘Condition Four’: ‘No lights, no sirens, just an officer in kind of a hurry’, as it had been explained to him once by someone he could not remember.

To purchase Sentinel go to this link:

Amazon Link

http://www.amazon.com/Campanelli-Sentinel-Frederick-H-Crook-ebook/dp/B00PMET6JA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416403905&sr=8-1&keywords=Campanelli%3A+Sentinel

 

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And now a little bit about Frederick:

Frederick was born in Chicago in 1970 and now lives in Villa Park with his wife, Rae and their three miniature dachshunds. He began by writing fictional works all through high school, earned an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Electronics in 1994 and the Bachelor of Science in Technical Management from DeVry University in 2005.

In 2009, Frederick began writing his first novel, The Dregs of Exodus, which was self-published in late 2010. This was followed up with another novel, The Pirates of Exodus in 2012.

Throughout that year and early 2013, he continued writing and published four short stories in eBook form for Kindle and Nook. All of these stories share the same premise, but all are independent from one another, though the short eBook, Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair and his third novel, issued by Solstice Publishing, Campanelli: Sentinel, share the same main characters.

He loves writing and enjoys meeting and talking to readers at book signing events.

For more information about Frederick please visit his website: 

http://frederickcrook.wix.com/crooksbooks

Haikus for Boris the Feral Cat – in honour of National Black Cat Day

boris up closishSince it is National Black Cat Day, I thought that I would re-blog this post relating the story of a plucky feral cat we named Boris. He has overcome so much and is now a loving and talkative feline that loves to play and be cuddled.

boris-2 copy

About a year ago a black feral tomcat came into our garden and decided to stay. He would come and go and catch the rats that plagued us. So, to thank him we began to give him some food. Winter came along and he shivered in the cold. We built him a kennel and he kept as warm as he could. Gradually over the months he became quite friendly and allowed us to pet him. One day he didn’t turn up. Not that unusual, especially in the warmer months, he would go off for a few days at a time, return famished and sleep for a while before going away again. This time he was missing for a week. Then we saw him squatting by the place we fed him. He stood and limped over to us. He had been in a terrible accident. His back legs were badly injured, one was very swollen and his tail had been stripped of all its fur.


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He was thin and clearly in a lot of pain. We nursed him as best we could and gradually he recovered. During the course of his recovery, he became the most loving and affectionate cat I have ever known. Now, Boris, as we called him, is our shadow and follows us everywhere when we go outside. He is so adorable and very talkative. He loves to be cuddled and plays with various toys our other cats have long forgotten about. He will never be able to join us indoors, because we have several other felines that would object strongly, but he is welcome to be our outside cat and we will continue to make sure he is warm and well fed. To celebrate his return to health, I decided to do some slow synch flash photographs of Boris at play, and write some Haikus to go along with the pictures. I have fiddled with the photographs to try and make them look more like paintings or pastel art works.

So, here’s to Boris. One hell of a cat!! Boris blue

From out of the blue

Whiskers and claws, swipe at the

Mouse unused to play

Boris jumping

Feral leaves, feral

Cat, both fall and tumble in

Autumn’s blustering

Boris eyes Beyond the greyness

Red. A slash of hue amidst

The colourless day

Boris wooly bully

They become circle

For one brief moment and then

Split like a seedpod

Boris times two

He wanders solo

Shrugging off the shoulder ghost

His Doppelganger

Boris most of him

Half in the picture

Long white nails scratch at the air

Summer leaves behind  

Happy National Black Cat Day to Boris and all the other black cats in the world!!

boris handsome   boris narrow eyes  Boris beautiful