Saturday, 24 November 2018

Saturday Snap!

On this week's Saturday Snap, I want to share the picture of this beautiful rainbow that appeared to dive down into the ocean.



You can also keep up with my pictures on Instagram @paulinebarclay

Until next time, take care and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x 

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Beautiful Gifts from Kit Domino's Tears for the Fallen

What a wonderful surprise I had when I opened the little parcel our postman delivered yesterday. Inside where these gorgeous goodies:



Blank greeting cards, a note book and pen. All of these beautiful gifts were from the fabulous collection “Tears for the Fallen” by Kit Domino. A HUGE thank you Kit for these, I will treasure them.
With Christmas looming what a wonderful present these goodies will make for all ages. Cushions, bags, cards, postcards and framed prints of “Tears for the Fallen” along with items from other of Kit’s paintings can be purchased from Kit’s page at…

Redbubble.com https://www.redbubble.com/people/kitdominoart/portfolio?ref=carousel_portfolio.

Pens, mousemats, cards and notebooks are available by request as special orders via Kit’s website… Kit Domino Art website: https://kitdominoart.com/


I am sure you will share with me that these are beautiful and of course, original in the fact that Kit painted the picture.




Thank you again Kit and thank you for stopping by. I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.

Love
Pauline

Monday, 19 November 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - WW1 with Flowers of Flanders by Ros Rendle




This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to WW1 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War




During November there will be two authors talking about their books set in this period and one very special guest.


Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Ros Rendle, the author of, Flowers of Flanders,  so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the time of WW1




Tell us a little about yourself
Hello, and thanks for this opportunity. I was a head teacher, and used to writing policy documents, essays and reports as well as short stories to which young children enjoyed listening. Now I enjoy the much more challenging task of writing contemporary and historical fiction for adults. After early retirement, we went to live in France. We were there for eleven years before returning to live in the UK. In both my contemporary and historical novels France and its inhabitants was a great source of inspiration.


What inspired you to write about and around WW1?
We lived in the north of France surrounded by the battlefield sites and cemeteries associated with WW1. As members of the Royal British Legion we were often invited to ceremonies and re-burials associated with this. These are fascinating and moving occasions, especially when relatives of the deceased are traced through DNA and research by the War Graves Commission.





Tell us a little about the story and its plots without giving too much away
This is the first in a series; three sisters and three times of major 20th century conflicts. Subsequent books are Delphi’s Dilemma (a novella), ‘Flowers of Resistance’ (WW2), and I’m currently writing ‘Flowers that Shattered Stones’ (Cold War).
‘Flowers of Flanders’ is set between 1912 and 1916. Rose rivals her beautiful and mercurial sister for Michael’s love but calculated lies and misunderstandings alter all their young lives. War breaks and Michael is as eager as others to go. This is a story of deceit and loyalties, complex relationships and loves developing from youth to adulthood during a cataclysmic time in history.
Does a man need grace and serenity to rediscover his own, or is it frivolity and seduction he craves when he has been through the darkest places of war? Which sister does Michael need to survive?



Is any part of the story based on fact/ real events?
The setting of much of the story is real, and events detailed of the training of recruits in the Manchester area are also based upon factual accounts. Anecdotes and details of the battles are based on written letters and soldiers’ remembrances as well as other writings of the time.



Are any of the characters based on someone or are they pure fiction?
The image on the front cover is that of my granny and she was certainly the inspiration for the story. However, it is not her history but has come from my imagination. My grandfather was at the battle of the Somme, but again this is not his story either. He had a tiny ‘fumsup’ good luck figure (see image). These were given to soldiers to keep them safe and were also called a ‘touchwud’. The arms are articulated and touch the wooden bead head. Wings on the ankles are to speed the return of the loved one and a small engraving, on the head, of a four-leaved clover are also for added luck. Now, I have a collection of more than forty of these, all individual in design.



If research was necessary, what did this involve?
I did masses of research. Having visited the National Records Office at Kew, I looked at war diaries of the time. My grandad is mentioned by name, so we were able to visit the site of the battle for July 1st 1916 (the first day of the Somme). We walked within ten metres of where he was, over one hundred years before.
I found several books of first-hand accounts of soldiers who were there, as well as letters written at the time. The internet is invaluable for discovering the minutiae of the daily lives of Edwardian middle classes. What people ate, how they dressed, what food was cooked at the front, when the name of Manchester’s railway station changed are all critical for authenticity. It’s not just the big events about which we’ve nearly all read but the small daily elements. Meticulous research is of vital importance to me.




Media links
You can find out more about my writing and me at:



Thank you for stopping by and meeting Ros.

You can also read...

Tears for the Fallen

Broken Faces

Until next time, I hope the sun is shinning on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x

Sunday, 18 November 2018

New from Janet Few, Barefoot on the Cobbles




Today, I am delighted to have Janet Few sitting round my pool and talking about her brand new novel, Barefoot on the Cobbles. So please help yourself to a glass of bubbly and a plate of tapas and meet my lovely guest.




When Pauline invited me to visit her blog as a guest poster, she suggested that I write a few words about myself and my new book, so I have done just that.

The few words about me

I inhabit the past. You might find me lurking in my four-hundred-year-old North Devon cottage, or spot me thinly disguised as the formidable Mistress Agnes. This alter ego is a goodwife of a certain age, who leads a somewhat chaotic life during the mid-seventeenth century. One way or another, most of my time is spent working to inspire others with a love of history, heritage and the written word by giving presentations across the English-speaking world.

In a vain effort to support my incurable book buying habit, in the past, I have been known to pull the odd pint or two, sell hamsters and support very special schoolchildren. Somewhere along the way, I acquired a doctorate in community history ‘for fun’. I am told that I have an international reputation as a family historian. My claim to fame is that I am the current Commonwealth gold medal holder in the virtual ‘Rockstar Genealogists’ Award’.

Any time that I can carve from my history-obsessed existence, is spent embarrassing my descendants, travelling, trying to make my garden behave itself and leading my grandchildren astray.



….. and a few words about my new book

Having published several non-fiction history books, writing a novel ‘seemed like a good idea at the time.’ I knew exactly what I was going to write and it wasn’t Barefoot on the Cobbles. In that inexplicable fashion that writers will know so well, despite all my intentions, Barefoot on the Cobbles is what took hold of my imagination and appeared on my laptop screen.

The story is based on a real tragedy that I uncovered during some family history research. It isn’t a pretty tale, there is death, disease, shipwreck, conflict and a manslaughter trial. There are some lighter moments, these are real people and their lives shade from joy to despair.

The book spans three decades but the emphasis is on the 1910s. This particular era provided me with plenty of scope, encompassing as it does, the First World War, the fight for women’s suffrage, the influenza epidemic, the dawning of a social conscience and medical care in pre-NHS days, all of which feature in the book. Being an historian, the novel is grounded in meticulous research and even passing references are based on fact. The local doctor really did have an interest in chicken genetics, the cousin’s beau worked in the ironmongers and Granny Smale did indeed run out of cream.

Barefoot on the Cobbles is a book about human behaviour, exploring how our experiences impact upon our actions. I sometimes refer to the story as a ‘why done it’. The novel opens during a trial and then looks back to the incidents in the characters’ pasts that led them to be in that place, at that time, to become accuser or accused. The characters and their backgrounds allowed me to explore such issues as anorexia, shell-shock, mental health, alcoholism, the menopause and infant mortality. You will find evidence of my interest in the history of medicine and of my love of the Devon landscape, hidden between the covers of this book.



More information, including mini-biographies of many of the characters and extracts from the book, can be found on my own blog The History Interpreter http://bit.do/bfotc.
Barefoot on the Cobbles – a Devon tragedy ISBN: 978-1-911438-54-0 is available on Kindle in the UK, USA, Australasia and Canada. Although printed copies are available from Amazon, if you are in the UK, please consider using another option, such as buying from Blue Poppy Publishing, from your local independent bookseller or directly from me. Thank you.


Thank you Janet for taking time out to visit and talk about your book and I hope it is flying of the shelves.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Saturday Snap!

On this week's Saturday Snap, this little bird is a happy chappy eating the seeds from the aloe vera plants 



You can also keep up with my pictures on Instagram @paulinebarclay

Until next time, take care and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x 

Monday, 12 November 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - WW1 with Broken Faces by Deborah Carr




This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to WW1 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War




During November there will be three authors talking about their books set in this period and one very special guest.



Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Deborah Carr, the author of, Broken Faces, so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the time of WW1


Tell us a little about yourself

Thanks for inviting me, Pauline, it’s great to be here.

I live on the island of Jersey and can see the French coast from my bedroom window at night. My husband and I share our home with our three rescue dogs and my family believe that I’m slowly filling my house with these rescues to make up for my two children, now 27 and 24 having left home – I think they could be right.

I’ve written for years and Broken Faces was my debut novel set during WW1. HarperImpulse recently published my second novel set partially during this period, The Poppy Field, to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1. I also write contemporary romance series as Georgina Troy and psychological suspense as Ella Drummond.


What inspired you to write about and around WW1?

My paternal great-grandfather, 2nd Lt Charles Wood of the 17th Lancers served in India, where my grandmother was born, and also in WW1. He died just before Christmas in 1922 and my great-grandmother was so upset that he’d left her – poor man, it wasn’t by choice – that she burnt all his photos. I was researching his life looking for a photo for my father who apparently looks like him. I never found that photo, but did find a love of the period and having ridden horses when I was growing up, setting a novel during the four years of that war about two cavalrymen and the two women in their lives seemed to make sense.




Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away

The story is about four friends and how their lives are changed forever during the 1914-1918 war. Freddie Chevalier, is a farmer’s son from Jersey. He joins the Lancers to be with his closest school friend, Charles Baldwyn, a rather badly-behaved man from an aristocratic family. One of them is terribly injured. Charles is engaged to Meri, a wealthy American girl who Freddie is secretly in love with. Something happens between Meri and Freddie, which devastates Charles. Charles’ younger sister, Lexi is in love with Freddie, but although he’s fond of her, he still sees her as his best-friend’s younger sister, rather than the beautiful woman she has become. Meri becomes a nurse and Lexi a volunteer in the war effort and each of them soon discover that war is far more shocking than they had imagined.


Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?

I like to keep true to historical facts and always hope that a reader will not only enjoy reading my books but discover things they hadn’t previously known. I work out what historical events I would like to include in the book and write the story around them.


Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?

I’ve based Freddie on my paternal great-grandfather in that he’s in the Lancers and they’re both very good looking (or so we were told by my grandmother) and blonde. Charles’ family live at a beautiful estate in Shropshire and although none of the characters are like my ex-husband, his family do have a lovely estate and I based the Somerton Hall in the book on their home.


If research was necessary what did this involve?

I did a lot of research and took over a year to write this book. The hardest part about the research is what to leave out. Very little ends up in the book, but the research does help ensure that an essence of the period filters into the story, so the reader can have a sense of how it was to live during that time.

I did a lot of research online, some through very old books that I sourced through charitable book sales. I also visited Paris and was lucky enough to discover and be allowed into the building where the plaster-of-Paris masks written about in my book were made. It was surreal and memorable experience walking through the passage way, into a peaceful courtyard and up the wooden stairs retracing the steps of men from one hundred years ago as they went to have the plaster of Paris casts made of their damaged faces from which their masks were then made.




Website:  http://deborahcarr.org/



Thank you for stopping by and meeting Deborah.

Next Tuesday ...





You can also read...

Tears for the Fallen


Until next time, I hope the sun is shinning on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Saturday Snap!

On this week's Saturday Snap, I just love how the water droplets caught the early morning sun from this leaking irrigation pipe



You can also keep up with my pictures on Instagram @paulinebarclay

Until next time, take care and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - WW1 with Kit Domino and Tears For the Fallen




This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to WW1 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War




During November there will be three authors talking about their books set in this period and one very special guest.


My special guest,  Kit Domino, opens November's Yesterday Uncovered.

Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Kit Domino, the author of Every Step of the Way, but today Kit is talking about her specially commissioned painting for WW1, so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable as we slip back to a time when the world went mad.


Thank you, Pauline, for such a warm welcome. It’s good to be back here in the sunshine.



Tell us a little about yourself

Although I am an author and have been a blogging on writing, gardening and cookery, among other topics, for some years, I only turned to painting a few years ago, purely by chance at a writing workshop weekend. Having had no formal training either in art or with acrylics, something clicked that day, and here I am now painting as a semi-professional with work sold in the UK, Canada, Australia, Spain, and Germany. In the New Year I will also be teaching Acrylics for Beginners at a local art group near to where I live in the UK.


What inspired you to paint this beautiful picture?



The Society for All Artist (the SAA), of which I am a member, decided to mark the 100th anniversary of the cessation of First World War hostilities by hosting a challenge to paint a poppy to form part of a large display in partnership with the Royal British Legion. Most of us had family who fought in that war, my own grandfather fighting in France. He survived, but many thousands never came home, thus I wanted my poppy to represent far more than a simple flower painting. As a result, “Tears for the Fallen” has a black background as a sign of mourning, a flower bud representing the young age of those called to arms, falling petals marking respect for those fallen, and teardrops shed by those who lost brothers, sons, uncles, fathers and more in that dreadful conflict.


Where can the painting be seen?

The painting measures 125x125mm and will form part of a larger SAA exhibition (date to be announced) both online and at their headquarters in Newark, UK.   


Will the painting be for sale?

The original painting will not be. I am, however, currently working on a larger, similar version, which will be available to purchase through my website.


Is there any chance people could buy a copy of this, for example in postcard or greeting card format?



Framed prints of “Tears for the Fallen” plus cards, postcards, bags, cushions etc can be purchased via my page on Redbubble.comhttps://www.redbubble.com/people/kitdominoart/portfolio?ref=carousel_portfolio.
Other items, i.e. pens and mousemats, ­will be made available via my website.




You can find Kit, her books and her fabulous paintings at all these places ….

Kit Domino Art website: https://kitdominoart.com/
Kit Domino Art on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kitdominoart
Kit Domino website: https://kitdomino.wordpress.com/



Thank you for stopping by and meeting Kit.

Next Tuesday ...






Until next time, I hope the sun is shinning on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Saturday Snap - A Purfect Climb!

On this week's Saturday Snap, I could not resist photographing this cat who seemed determined to shimmy up this palm tree.




Until next time, take care and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x