Friday, 25 May 2018

Tau the Scribe's Flying Sandal

Tau the Scribe's Flying Sandal. Object Post 17


Source? His sister made sandals for him after he was chosen to work in the temple
Significance? Tau threw the sandal at Ramses Rat
Fate? He recovered and replaced the sandal and befriended Ramses
Author’s inspiration? A sandal seemed a likely thing for a young temple scribe to throw at a rat


And then a boy in a white linen kilt and flat sandals came to the door with a lamp. He set the lamp on a shelf and pulled the big door shut.

Ramses Rat encountered the flying sandal when he appropriated a honey cake in the Temple of Bastet. Tau the scribe saw him trying to remove the cake and tossed his sandal to scare Ramses away. When Ramses stood his ground, Tau admired his courage. Thereafter, the two became friends.

His eyes bugged. His mouth opened. ‘A rat!’ he said. ‘A thief in the Temple of Bastet!’
Slowly, he bent and took off his sandal. Slowly, he stood up. And then he threw the sandal at me.
One second, the sandal was flying through the air. The next, it landed on my back and then scraped down my tail. It didn’t hurt. It was a light sandal, made of palm fibre.
I was so cross I let go of the honey cake. I spun around on my haunches and chittered at the boy.
‘Why did you do that?’ I squeaked. ‘I am Ramses Rat and I was born in a V.I.P. Why did you throw a flying sandal at me?’


After an encounter with the great cat, Bastet herself, Ramses was granted the boon of limited human speech. Tau, Ramses the flying sandal and Bastet appear in Ramses Rat and the Great Cat, Bastet

About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!


Thursday, 24 May 2018

Cornelia Conti's Shampoo

Cornelia Conti’s Shampoo. Object Post 16


Source? Bought with considerable difficulty
Significance? Cornelia’s declaration of individuality
Fate? Unknown, but it seems likely she still buys it, or possibly makes her own

Cornelia brushed her grey hair out of her eyes with the back of her hand and grimaced. The grey hair was another of her attempts at individuality. In the second half of the twenty-third century, no one needed to go grey. In fact, it took a lot of attention and energy to do it, as almost all cleansers had Stay-colour built in.

On the surface, Cornelia Conti was a forgettable and conventional middle-aged woman with a penchant for drab clothing and free-form embroidery.
Her fifteen minutes of fame passed her by in 2254. She was thirty-five then, a grace-and-favour board member of a company called Outward-Bound, appointed because of her influential family. Cornelia was chosen to become one of the faceless four; the four whose simultaneous thumbprints were required to release the star ship Elysian Dawn from its moorings.
Eighteen years on, Cornelia is settled in a backwater life, still mechanically standing watches for Outward-Bound, but largely forgotten; not that anyone ever knew her. Despite appearances, and a certain weariness, Cornelia was far from drab and compliant by nature. She was stubborn. She struggled with a desire to make her own decisions, and to escape an increasingly inclusive and homogenising society. Her one outward sign of rebellion was her grey hair. Since most people didn’t want their hair to go grey, cosmetic companies added Stay-colour, an ingredient that prevented hair from turning grey in the first place, to all shampoo-style cleansers. Cornelia spent a lot of time and effort sourcing a shampoo that let her have what she wanted.

It was theoretically possible to buy cleanser without Stay-colour. As Cornelia had discovered, the absence of the word Stay-colour on the label was no guarantee it was not present. It might be there under any number of aliases. Ostati u boji was one. Bly kleur was another. Cornelia had lost count of the crafty labelling ruses, designed to erode her freedom of choice and restore her hair to its original brown or to turn it copper or blonde. And why? Why should cosmetic companies care if someone preferred her hair to be grey? She was fifty-three years old. Why should she not have hair that matched her age? It seemed so petty.

Why didn’t she simply make her own cleanser? The governmental regulatory body strongly discouraged anyone from making their own cosmetics and cleansers because such things wouldn’t be tested for allergens and would lack quality control. In much the same way, it was made difficult to buy ingredients for cooking. The best way to ensure a healthy population was to provide everyone with the optimum diet. One could buy ingredients, but the fumigation, grading, homogenising and quality control made such items inordinately expensive. It wasn’t illegal to grow a carrot (for that would be contrary to human rights), but the endless permits and inspections coupled with fines for unauthorised produce meant few people even tried.

That Cornelia Conti had achieved her desire for natural grey hair was a testament to her exceeding stubborn nature.

Cornelia and her shampoo appear in Elysian Dawn first book of the Elydian Dawn series. Cornelia pops up in other books in the series as well, but this is the one with her shampoo.

About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!




Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Edsen Balm

Edsen Balm   Character Post 62


Edsen Balm is the son of Eduard and Carolina; one of the two communications specialist couples aboard the star ship Elysian Dawn. Edsen is an only child. His parents are both cool, practical and reserved, and have always treated their son as a mini adult. This makes him something of a misfit. At fifteen he has a stocky build, over-long hair that flops in his eyes, and a broad face with a pugnacious chin. He thinks a lot, and, in the absence of much information about the star ship and the world they left behind, he spends a lot of time developing theories.

The nearest things Edsen has to friends are Marianne Arcadia and her fiance Jeremiah Rain. They are tolerant of his presence but as Jeremiah says, "If we’d given him any encouragement, young Ed would have tagged along. Haven’t you noticed how often he happens to appear wherever you are?”
 
Edsen would love someone to put him first, to take him seriously and to seek his company, but he knows that's unlikely to happen for a while yet. His parents are training him to manage the basic communications portal of the ship, and he expects to take over from them in the distant future.

When disaster strikes Elysian Dawn, Edsen is swept up with the others, but finds some compensation when he teams up with Marianne and Jeremiah to undertake the ship census. Unexpectedly, he discovers his underused talents are now needed. The future he gets is not what he ever expected, but he is doggedly determined to make the most of anything on offer.

Edsen Balm appears in Elysian Dawn, The Silvering and New Dreams.  You can read more about the series at the Elydian Dawn website here.

About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Beckingham Bride Chest

The Beckingham Bride Chest. Object Post 15

The Beckingham Bride Chest was made in 1530 as a wedding gift from John, Lord Beckingham, (1510 - 1565) to his bride Grauni "the gypsy witch". The chest was decorated with carved panels, with a new one being added for each Beckingham bride in a direct line from John and his gypsy. The first emblems were the Beckingham peacock, which was set with a large pink pearl, and the gypsy (fire)drake, set with a diamond.  More followed, with the seventh and last emblem, the Frith owl, being set in 1815 upon the engagement of James Beckingham 1794-1815 to Elizabeth Frith. 

The chest was unusual in that it was passed down through the women of the family, belonging to each incoming bride to the heir until the night before her eldest son's wedding at which time it was passed on. After being passed to Elizabeth in 1815 it went to no more brides. Elizabeth received the chest on schedule but the untimely death of James meant she never married into the Beckingham family, and thus never had a Beckingham son to provide the next bride in line. Obviously, the former owner, Elizabeth's mother-in-law-elect Margaret, wanted it back for her second son's bride, but Elizabeth wouldn't give it up. For two hundred years no one except Elizabeth knew what had become of the chest. The only trace left of it was a painting, done in 1786 and hung in the muniment room of Beckingham Castle. 

In 2016, a descendant of the Beckinghams finally learned the location of the Beckingham Bride Chest. Getting it back was quite another matter.

The Beckingham Bride Chest appears in the Cat Mahal is Magic series, beginning with The Peacock's Pearl.

ABOUT THE BLOG

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

Monday, 21 May 2018

Tulpenmanie

Tulpenmanie Place Post 11

Tulpenmanie was a yacht belonging to Bart Merriweather and his alpenfee wife, Brigitta. Bart, only child of Dennis and Marieke, was brought up on Tasmania's north west coast. His parents had a tulip farm and Bart must have inherited his Dutch mother's interest in plants as well as her impressive stature, because he studied botany. As a young man, he spent time working in the Netherlands, and developed a taste for adventure.  This inspired him to build the boat he named Tulpenmanie (Tulipomania) as a nod to his heritage.

Since his wife and their three children often accompanied him, he outfitted the yacht with a large cabin and sleeping room for six. In his fifties, Bart still spent a lot of time afloat, preferring to anchor well-offshore from the Victorian marina which served as Tulpenmanie's home port. He and Brigitta had no objection to visitors, and indeed often held gatherings on their boat. They did prefer plenty of notice before anyone came aboard.

Tulpenmanie could be handled by one person in an emergency, but it was better with two, so Bart hired a casual deck hand. The yacht was always easy to identify for its tulip-hued sails.

Tulpenmanie will appear in Man Overboard. 

ABOUT THE BLOG

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Pearl the Magical Unicorn

Pearl the Magical Unicorn. Book Post 419

Pearl is the only unicorn in the Kingdom, but she's not lonely. She has her best friends Olive and Tweet for company. Like all unicorns, Pearl has magic, but no one has ever taught her how to use it. It;s up to Pearl to find out.

Olive and Tweet enjoy the fun of watching what Pearl will do next, but sometimes things go wrong and Pearl gets discouraged. That's where her friends really show their worth. As Olive says, "You can do it, Pearl, and even if you can't, we love you anyway."

Not everyone in the Kingdom is kind and lovable. The gobble'uns for example... They have magic too and they;re not afraid to use it!

Pearl the Magical Unicorn, (2018) is the first book in a new series that celebrates magic, adventure and friends. 

ABOUT THE BLOG

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Elysian Dawn

Elysian DawnBook Post 418

Elysian Dawn…the legend begins

Marianne Arcadia expected to marry Jeremiah and raise a family.

Edsen Balm had no more hope than to stay close to Marianne.

Jameel Singh intended to travel home to Terra to meet his fiancĂ©e’s parents.

Hanaka Moon meant to oversee the next generation of ship-born and pass the mantle of healer to her daughters.

Meera Singh wanted to prove herself as the brightest new diamond in Mother Shiva’s crown.

Cornelia Conti hoped to get her embroidery done and to find a shampoo that didn’t contain Stay-colour.


All their plans crash-landed with the starship Elysian Dawn but that, as they say, was just the beginning.

Elysian Dawn is the first book in the Elydian Dawn series. As the cover copy above suggests, this is a story with a wide cast of characters whose lives are all impacted by what happened on that day in 2272. When I began this book it was meant to be a short prequel to the series, but it ended up at well over 100,000 words. On the advice of my editor the book is being published in three parts, close together. The first part, now called Elysian Dawn, will be followed by The Silvering and then by New Dreams. Other books will follow. Because of the big cast and the long time span, and because some books will overlap, I've made a website where anyone interested can find a glossary and cast list. I'll be adding more as the series expands.

This first book focuses largely on seventeen-year-old Marianne Arcadia and the two young men who love her, the serene healer Hanaka Moon, Citizen Meera Singh of the new colony of Shiva and  dogged civil servant Cornelia Conti.  So, is this a science fiction epic or a romance? Is it adventure, mystery, or disaster story? It's really all of them. 

Elysian Dawn is available in four ebook formats from Devine Destinies HERE. It will come out in paperback as well, though I'm not sure when. The website mentioned above is HERE.

ABOUT THE BLOG

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

Friday, 18 May 2018

PitchPerfect


PitchPerfectPlace Post 10

PitchPerfect was a party yacht-for-hire. It was of a reasonable size, and the anonymous owners made quite a killing hiring it out for events. To their credit, they kept PitchPerfect in good repair, and her trademark dazzling white paintwork, picked out in red, was touched up as often as needed. 

Some of the parties aboard got rowdy, bringing disapproval from other sailors around the marina. Nikolai Vasiliev, who'd grown up around boats, actually warned his stepbrother Zach not to take the crewing job he was offered for a hen party long weekend. Since Nik had got Zach into casual deckhanding in the first place, this didn't go down too well. Zach took the job.

Once aboard, a steward gave him the hen-party-themed apron and informed him his job, aside from general crew work, had some extra aspects.

      Zach dropped the apron over his head and pulled the ties up at the back.
     The steward nodded. “Right. Usual job, but you’ll also be babysitting the guests. What they get up to isn’t our affair, but their safety is. Got it?”
      “Got it.” Zach wished he’d listened to Nikolai. It was going to be a trying couple of days. 

That wasn't the half of it, of course. Riding herd on the bride-to-be (clad in a vast veil with an interesting choice of jewellery) and her French-maid-costumed maid of honour, in rough seas in the dark proved difficult, even for a man used to wrangling lively school children in his other job. Pumping music, strong directional lights and free-flowing booze added to the difficulty especially when the bride abruptly vanished from the railing.

PitchPerfect was well-equipped with life-rings and life-rafts, but in the chaos no one noticed but Zach. There was only one thing for it...

Man Overboard!

To the captain's credit, PitchPerfect retrieved the floating bride-to-be, and dropped all the available life-rings overboard. She stayed in the area until the official search got underway. After that, the chastened party headed back to the marina, minus one apron, several safety items and a piece of its temporary crew.

PitchPerfect will appear in
 Man Overboard. 

ABOUT THE BLOG

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Granny's House Place Post 9

Granny's house is evidently in Adelaide. It's a fairly old place, with a vintage laundry trough, a big bath and large windows. There must be at least two bedrooms, because Granny has a spare room.
What else do we know about Granny's place? She stores toilet rolls near the loo, and Grandad keeps his shaving cream in the bedroom. There's a good-sized clothes cupboard where Granny has at least three spare sets of clothing for her grandson, young David.
Out in the garden there are lots of vegetables, a hose attached to a tap, Granny's kitten, a letterbox and David's tricycle. Oh, and there's definitely a compost bin with an easily-removable lid.
In fact, Granny's place is the perfect spot for Dreadful David to get into mischief!
Granny's place appears in Dreadful David. 

ABOUT THE BLOG

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Harvest Hob

The Harvest Hob Place Post 8


The Harvest Hob was a pub in Adelaide. Tab Merriweather and his
girlfriend Josefa happened upon it during their road trip to pass on a message for a friend.


They found a small pub tucked away in an alley of old buildings. The sign proclaimed it as The Harvest Hob. Tab stopped Josefa with a hand on her arm. “Want to meet some more green tomatoes?”
“What? Where?”
   “In there, more than likely.”
Josefa looked at him suspiciously. “Do you know this place? Did you know it was here?”
“I promise you, I had no idea.”

Inside, the atmosphere was warm and smelled gently of apples. The place had dark panelling and paintings of haystacks, corn fields and people harvesting crops hung around the wall.


Having ascertained that the pub is indeed run by a hob: one Nathaniel Applebee, and that his barmaid, Sheelagh Chalk, is a leprechaun colleen, Tab and Josefa decided to ditch their plans for a caravan park and spent the night in the Harvest Hob. As they discovered, the publican wasn't the only unusual feature of the place. The door of Room 1, to which they had the key, turned out to be invisible to Josefa. Once Tab opened it, they saw...

The room had a large double bed with brass rails and a patchwork quilt, a fireplace, laid and ready, a stand with a china bowl and ewer and two generous bedside tables with a lantern on each. There were no chairs, and the window was shuttered, making it a dimly lit prospect.
Josefa’s eyebrows were raised in amused surprise. “What is this place?”
“It’s a replica of a room in a cottage over there,” Tab explained.
Josefa picked up a folder and took out a sheet of handmade paper. “The Harvest Hob, est. 1839. Licensee Nathaniel Applebee,” she read. She sniffed. “I can smell lavender.”
“That’ll be the sheets,” Tab said. He looked about with more attention. This replica was so close he’d almost swear they were over there. Even the lanterns, and wouldn’t Health and Safety have something to say about that? A sudden idea struck him, and he stepped over the braided rug on the floor to fumble with the stiff shutters. He got them folded back and looked out into the mellow afternoon sunshine. Grinning, he beckoned Josefa over to enjoy the view.
Her gasp of astonishment rewarded him, and he put an arm around her.
“Where’s that? Where’s the city? What—”
“We’re looking down on the chalk cliffs. That’s hob country.”
“But we’re in Adelaide.

“We are, and we’re not. We’ve found the Adelaide gateway. Well, one of them. I’m betting there’s a staircase or doorway somewhere around here that takes you directly onto the chalk.”

Tab's surmise proved right and the Harvest Hob played an important role in the next stage of their adventure... and the next one after that.


The Harvest Hob  appears in  SunshowerIt gets a mention in Man Overboard and one of these days it might take centre stage as the major setting for Nathaniel's story. 

ABOUT THE BLOG

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of May 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!