5 Reasons to Celebrate Pagan Festivals

1, Pagan festivals break up the year into smaller sections, so we always have a fun celebration to prepare for. This month it is Lammas, or Lughnasadh, the first harvest festival.

2, Pagan festivals usually involve lots of dancing and merriment, and who doesn’t love the opportunity to meet up with friends, have a good catch up, and dance the night away? If dancing isn’t your thing, you can sit on the sidelines and observe the party, or chat to other people. You need never be alone.

5 Reasons to Celebrate Pagan Festivals

3, I mentioned the party element of pagan celebrations, but did I mention the food? Each festival revolves around having a drink (traditionally mead, but whatever you prefer is fine), and eating lots of home cooked food. “Cakes and ale” is a traditional reference to pagan festivals, because we usually bake cakes and bread, and either brew our own ale, or drink wine and other alcoholic beverages. Yummy!

4, The harvest festival has a bigger meaning in the sense of community and society. We celebrate first harvest and give thanks to Mother Earth, and her gods and goddesses, for once again creating delicious food that will keep us healthy and strong. We share our bounty with those less fortunate, and the harvest festival has become a big annual event here in the UK, with Christian churches collecting food produce to hand out to the poor and those who need help.

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5, Finally, and this is a much more personal reason, we celebrate our very own birthday girl, our little Lammas baby, Georgina! She turns 6 this week, and I have been busy organizing gifts, tidying our home for visitors, inviting guests for her birthday party, and helping her count down to the big day… Happy Birthday, my gorgeous girl! Mummy, Daddy, Elliot, Baxter and Lizzie love you very much.

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One Small Family Doing Our Bit #recycling #WATWB

We are the World BlogFest (#WATWB) focuses on positive stories no matter where they’re found. It is all about spreading peace and humanity on social media. All participants post on the last Friday of the month, sharing a positive news story that contributes to making our world a happier, safer, and better place to live. I was a little late discovering this blog hop, so I’m posting my story today, on the last Monday of the month. It’s in my diary now, I promise! You can find more about #WATWB over on Damyanti Writes.

One Small Family Doing Our Bit #recycling #WATWB

As I said in the title, we are just one small family, from a small town, doing our bit for the environment. My husband is a Chartered Waste Manager and his profession is all about environmental waste management. He quite literally lives and breathes it (he specialises in compost production). For our part, my children and I leave him to do his work, and we tolerate the awful smells that permeate his clothes, his car, and his skin… but I digress. My focus has been on making small changes in the home to improve our impact on the wider world. I am trying to cut down on our consumption of disposable plastics. My children and I drink from reusable bottles rather than buying them when we go out and about. I use a travel mug for my coffee on long journeys, and I take a flask when we are on daytrips and outings. I recently bought a set of aluminium drinking straws for the children, which are very pretty. No more disposable plastic straws for us! And my latest triumph is making the switch from disposable plastic toothbrushes to bamboo ones. I bought a family pack of bamboo toothbrushes that have nylon bristles and are fully biodegradable. They also came with a box of bamboo cotton buds which I hadn’t seen before, but which will be very useful. My next challenge is switching to a more eco-friendly shaving regime and continuing to avoid buying products with unnecessary plastic packaging from our local supermarkets.

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How are you making the small changes at home? Remember, we can do our part to make the world a better place. It all helps.

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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Monster Summer at LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort

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How to Love a Vampire

Do you love vampires? Are you fascinated by the mythology of these creatures, who present as human but can cause so much death and destruction? I studied vampires in popular culture for my bachelor’s degree at university many years ago, and that brought me to the point of writing my first vampire novel, Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel). I am now writing the last book in the series, and my vampires have battled with hunters, werewolves, witches and their own kind. To love a vampire is to enter a world of danger. Part of their allure is the promise of magic and power, but truthfully vampires exist only to feed. They can feed on more than human blood, but feed they must, and when they don’t, the consequences can be very dangerous. Here is an excerpt from book 5 in the Redcliffe novels series, Heart of the Vampire:

How to Love a Vampire

“You have to feed, Jack,” I insisted, “And you cannot use me. We tried that before and you almost killed me, remember?”

“You found a way to survive,” my vampire replied gruffly.

I laughed, but it was not amusement that brought such a reaction.

“I survived,” I said, emphasizing the word, “because of your brother. Danny saved me. He sacrificed his wolves so that I could claw back some human strength. Maybe that’s what caused this…” I gestured to the empty space on the bed behind me, “thing with Suri.”

“Perhaps,” Jack replied quietly, “But the point is, you survived.”

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How to Make Your Marriage Work

Are you happily married? Have you experienced a happy marriage that broke down, or are you currently working on your marriage? I am somewhere between happily married and working on the marriage right now. It happens. My husband and I are two very independent people trying to fulfill our needs, and sometimes we disagree. He also has mental health challenges, namely anxiety and depression, and when the demons arise, boy do they cause trouble. I am a child of divorce, and so I was absolutely determined that when I got married it would be forever. I talked at length with my husband about this and he agreed, because while his parents are not divorced, they have come very close in the past. Both my husband and I agree that we must always fight for our marriage, no matter what happens. We accept that sometimes we both make mistakes, say the wrong thing, behave unkindly to each other.

How to Make Your Marriage Work

We are only human. We are not perfect. I can be flighty and overly optimistic, whereas my husband is sometimes so realistic about our situation that it makes me feel depressed. Right now we are at odds because he is succumbing to his demons. I don’t know what goes on inside his brain, but I feel it is a very dark place, and I wouldn’t like to get inside it. But then it might help me clear a few things up. He refuses to communicate when he is in these moods. He shuts himself away at work and avoids dealing with our problems. I don’t want it to affect our children, but I am mindful that I say a lot of mean things about their dad, random throwaway comments, and I need to stop doing that. He is a brilliant father, and I want both him and our children to flourish together. But I also need him now to recognise the part he has to play in our marriage. I feel neglected and put upon, the classic downtrodden housewife. And I am not that person. I am a strong-willed, intelligent woman who just needs a little help around the house, a few holidays here and there, and a break from the drudgery of housework and childcare. Is that so much to ask?

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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School Summer Holidays

School is out for summer, hooray! We have been very busy during the past academic year, and both me and my girls are exhausted. Being a parent in general is exhausting, but when you have to do the school run every day, remember packed lunches, money for clubs, equipment and kits, and respond to the many letters that we receive throughout the year, you realise why we need a summer holiday. I never appreciated it before I had children. Now I do! But there is no rest for us. Tomorrow morning we must be awake early to pack the car and travel up the M6 motorway to Blackpool, where I am attending Books on the Beach. Will I see you there?

School Summer Holidays

Here is a taste of one of the books I am exhibiting, Return of the Vampire Hunter, which was inspired by my work as a mother and wife during the past few years:

We were on the motorway and I was in the passenger seat. I had been passing food to the children in the back seat, and as I twisted back round to face forward, I glanced at James. My heart skipped a beat and then pounded heavily as the world spun around me.

“What is that on your neck?” I asked sharply.

James glanced at me and then checked his mirrors as he moved into the middle lane.

“What?” he asked absently.

“That,” I said, “On your neck.”

I reached across and gently touched the mark on his skin. It looked like two small, neat puncture wounds. A vampire bite. Shit.

James touched the bruise, winced, and then shook his head.

“I don’t know,” he said, “I must have cut myself shaving.”

“That is not a shaving wound,” I said.

He glanced at me again and frowned.

“Why are you so upset about it?” he asked curiously, “It’s nothing.”

I stared at the tiny wound as my whole world flipped upside down. Was it Elaine? Had she finally found me? Or was it another stray vampire? One thing was certain; I had to return to work. This one had to be destroyed before it came for my whole family. Gathering my senses, I shook my head and smiled.

“Oh, forget it,” I said lightly, “It looked more serious at first, that’s all. But, if it doesn’t hurt then it doesn’t matter. Can you see the sea yet, girls?”

RotVH Book Blurb

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When a Witch Falls in Love

Have you ever met a vampire? I was never quite sure whether they existed, despite what my family said. My parents warned me never to get close to a vampire. They told me that it is dangerous for witches. Vampires would seek to seduce us and feed from our power as well as our blood, and we could not compromise our coven by allowing such an attack. But I always felt like my family didn’t quite understand vampires. They feared them, even though they told me we could defeat them. The more they tried to persuade me not to seek out vampires, the more I wanted to find one, to see for myself exactly how cold and calculating they could be. And then I met Meredith Hanson, in Blackpool of all places! I moved to a new hospital for work, and it was only a few months into my job that I met her. She was in my local pub one night, The Raven. I had made some friends there, and the pub landlord had decided he must watch over me on behalf of my coven. He was a powerful witch, and I knew immediately when the vampire entered his pub, because I felt his energy and I saw his reaction to her presence.

When a Witch Falls in Love

Meredith quite literally took my breath away. I had never been in love before, and I had no idea what these strange feelings were. My heart flipped, my pulse raced, I felt both hot and cold, and I had to speak to her. She tried to ignore me, and then she tried to frighten me away, but I was smitten. I felt like a giggling schoolgirl in her presence, especially when I sensed how old she was. Paul, the pub landlord, tried very hard to send her away, but she refused, because she was in the mood to play. Eventually she decided to go hunting, and I stupidly followed her outside. That first night she nearly drank my blood, but I was strong enough to stop her with my magic. And then she decided that I was interesting, when she recognised my strength as a witch. And our game began. I knew she was only playing, but I also knew I had to see her again. We began dating, but not in the traditional sense. We just seemed to bump into each other, and eventually she accepted that we needed to be together.

Vampire of Blackpool

It wasn’t an easy start to a relationship, but then it never is when you deal with supernatural creatures. Our moods are far more extreme than humans, and of course we have magical abilities and additional strength to contend with. Meredith and I battled quite a lot in those early days, but that just made me want her more, and it made her even more hungry for me. Then she met the vampire hunter that had been sent to kill her, she put him in the hospital, and he ended up on my ward. I had to help her before he completed his job, but I didn’t want her to kill him either. I’m not a violent person, that’s why I trained as a nurse. But when a witch falls in love with a vampire, you must expect violence eventually. I helped Meredith to deal with the hunter, and we tried to continue our relationship. It was tough, and my coven certainly did not approve. They still hate her now, and they have pretty much excommunicated me. But I don’t care. As long as I am with her, I am happy. She is my lover, my other half, my best friend. And I am hers.

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Femdom Dating and the BDSM Community

Summer is upon us, and we are bombarded by media images coaxing us to try different methods of dating, to find our true love, or simply to have a summer fling. I’m talking Love Island, First Dates and all those other TV shows that are popular right now. There has even been a series of programmes exploring alternative sex lives, pornography and LGBTQ+ lifestyle.  Have you explored dating within the BDSM community? This is an area I am enjoying now, and more specifically, femdom dating. Traditionally, dominant sex partners were men, and submissive partners were women. But the balance of power is changing, and women are taking back control of the men in their lives. Now you will find dominant women seeking men or women to be submissive, over whom they can exert any number of mind games, sexual tension, sensual control and other activities. Femdom is a fast-growing industry, and indeed a very exhilarating lifestyle for the right people. Some men feel they are expected to be dominant and commanding in their professional lives, when really, they just want to bow before the feet of their Mistress or Master and do as they are told. Here is where femdom dating can be the answer to your prayers.

Femdom Dating and the BDSM Community

Some men and women can live in quite submissive personal situations, and they want the opportunity to throw off the shackles and restraints. When you have grown up in a society that teaches you to obey authority and follow orders, sometimes you want to break free from that institution, issue your own orders, and have someone kneeling before you to be your plaything and your sounding board. When your daily life becomes a boring routine, it can be fun to shake it up a little and meet some new people with new ideas. Subs and Doms will naturally come together and find their dynamic, either as a duo or something more. Subs will often need punishment and training from both a Mistress and a Master, to provide different experiences and create different results. Doms will have a set routine for training and punishment of their subs, and occasionally they grow bored of the sub they are working with. Then it is time to find a new sub, or perhaps more than one, so that they can create a collection of willing slaves to do their bidding. The world of domination and submission is so very expansive that it cannot be explained in words. It must be lived, experienced, felt by the individual. What feels good for one sub may not have the desired effect on another person. One Dom may use very different toys and methods of punishment, or they learn what their sub will respond to, and adjust their play sessions accordingly. Ultimately, when you explore the BDSM world, you will be awestruck, unable to break free, and totally in love with the lifestyle. Happy playtime!

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What I Learned from Killer Queen

I am a VERY PROUD MUMMY! Last week my eldest daughter took to the stage in her school summer play, a production of We Will Rock You adapted from the Ben Elton musical. My daughter landed the role of Killer Queen, and she rocked it! She has never been very confident to perform in front of people before now, but she auditioned for the part at school, and she was very excited to be the leading bad guy character in the play. We Will Rock You was performed by our Year 3 (my daughter and her friends) and Year 4 children, each taking half of the performance. I am still buzzing from watching them perform and seeing how confident and talented the children are. And I am in awe of the teachers for producing such a fabulous play in just four weeks. They have worked damned hard, and they certainly deserve their summer holiday.

What I Learned from Killer Queen

Towards the end of last week I spent some time musing on the character of Killer Queen. My mum, and some of the school mums told me that my daughter looked exactly like me when she took on the stern, dominating persona of Killer Queen. Apparently, she has the same stern look that I give when the children misbehave. Otherwise she generally resembles her father, poor child (I’m joking!). I decided that I quite like being equated to Killer Queen. OK, I’m not planning world domination or brainwashing people, but I would like to command a room when I enter it, and I would like a bit of presence in a crowd. I was always a shy, meek child that never answered back and never questioned authority, but I am encouraging my children to always assess the bigger picture before they fall in line. Admittedly that strategy does backfire when they question my instructions, but mostly I am happy to see my girls growing up confident, self-assured and demanding respect for themselves. And I decided that I am going to take some lessons from Killer Queen and be more assertive. It’s about time I started speaking up for myself and get what I want for a change. “Alchemy, Khashoggi. Pure alchemy!”

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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Join Us for Books on the Beach in Blackpool

The first Books on the Beach event will take place at The Village Hotel in Blackpool on Saturday 20th July 2019, just one week to go, eek! We will be joined by over 80 authors from across the globe. We are excited to bring so many names together under one roof and we would love it if you could join us! Check out our Facebook group for more details and to meet the authors who will attend.

BotB Blackpool Banner SpookyMrsGreen

I will be at the event showcasing my contemporary English Gothic novel Vampire of Blackpool, along with the Redcliffe novels series and whatever else I can find in my stash. There will even be book themed handmade greetings cards and bookmarks that I will offer to visitors. Order your ticket today and we will see you in Blackpool!

Key to My Heart BotB Anthology

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