Maighread

Maighread MacKay is an author and visual artist from the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. She is a member of the Writer’s Community of Durham Region (WCDR), and the PRAC (Pine Ridge Arts Council) and Sisters in Crime, (Toronto). Her publishing credits include three books for children: Bedtime Treasures, The Mysterious Door and the Crystal Grove written under the name of Margaret L. Hefferman. Her novel Stone Cottage is her debut novel released in September by Solstice Publishing. Also, her story "Being Santa" was published in the 2015 edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas. She has also published articles for a variety of magazines, including most recently, the Durham Region online magazine – More 2 Life 4 Women and the WCDR publication Word Weaver.
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Meet YA Author MICHAEL THAL

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Koolura is no ordinary girl. Neither is her best friend Leila. While visiting Mexico, the girls discover a device which hurtles them back in time to an early Mayan civilization. The Mayans have troubles of their own—the alien Aquari people have all but enslaved them. They need a goddess to set them free. Could Koolura be the one?

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This is my kind of book. I love paranormal anything and especially YA. The author weaves a wonderful tale which includes a bit of a history lesson on the Mayans. The protagonist, Koolura, is a twelve year old girl who posses psychic abilities. Koolura and her friend, Leila, are sent back in time through teleportation to help the Mayan people against an invading alien race.

As a side note, I know the author is deaf and I love the way he wove American sign language into the plot.

The pace is good and the story is well thought out. Two thumbs up!
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Meet YA Author MARGARET EGROT

Girl Friends - coverNothing is working out for Courtney, and even Grace, her beautiful best friend has no time for her now she has a boyfriend who has promised to get her a modelling contract. Courtney senses something is wrong—what is Grace getting herself into? And can Courtney and her new found friends rescue Grace before it is too late? It is a race against time…

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What happens when teen-aged Courtney has to be the adult in her family of two very young sisters and an alcohol addled mother? Then what happens when she must also save her best friend from an abusive boyfriend? How does Courtney keep her dreams of going on to college when she’s faced with dire prospects and told there is no future for her by her own mother? There are no easy answers for this insightful-beyond-her years girl.

Ms. Egrot’s characters have very human flaws and with personal demons of his/her own to overcome. There are no villains and no heroes in this story. The book lends itself well for further group study.

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Meet Fantasy Author REBECCA FRENCI

 

 

Cover pageThe world is changing. Monotheism is rolling across the world like a wave, driving the old gods into hiding; their followers converting the world by fire and sword.

Nathanial, an angel of vengeance and fire has been appointed the lord of Hell’s Gate, the angel in charge of the judges who weigh those souls in doubt, but he’s not convinced that he is right for the job. Nathanial abandons his newly appointed post, preferring to walk the earth as a mortal instead. He meets Iya, the priestess of a dying religion and falls in love. Semiazas, another angelic judge, steps into Nathanial’s place. He revels in power and longs for recognition and the souls he judges suffer as a result. As punishment for his lack of empathy and his lust for power, the Archangels strip him of his wings and send him to earth hoping he will find his compassion. The demons Asmoday and Mammon see this as their chance to gain control of the lord of Hell’s Gate and jump in to meddle with their lives. Though they seek the same end, their demonic natures keep them at odds even as they work to ensnare the wayward angels. Two angels. Two mortal lives. Two demons vying for control of the master of Hell’s Gate and a world in flux. Heaven, hell and the mortal realms between will never be the same.

 

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I just finished reading First of the Fallen.It was very exciting, couldn’t stop reading it until I finished it.Excellent writer.I can’t wait to read more from this author. Laura Klinge

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Meet Crime Author SIMON MALTMAN

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Hardened by the mean streets of Belfast, ex-cop Brian Caskey works as a struggling PI. He is isolated and erratic, often losing the battle to maintain his fragile mental health. Caskey escapes the real world by writing crime fiction stories about a 1940’s PI investigating mysteries during the Belfast Blitz.

‘A Chaser on the Rocks’ follows both of these characters in parallel as a ‘novel within a novel’. The two stories collide in a dramatic conclusion set against the backdrop of The Giant’s Causeway.

Simon Maltman has created a modern noir with a new twist, a dash of black humour and a fresh approach and comment on storytelling.

 
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Meet Author VIVIENNE VINCENT

 

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“There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

An avant-garde romance that goes beyond sexual chemistry and digs deep into human nature and relationships.

Elizabeth Goodenough met Saber Fergus for the first time when she was eight and he was twelve. He broke her heart when she was eighteen. Ten years later, an unwitting mistake on Izzy’s part once again brings her face to face with the same one-night stand that once brutally crushed her.

But something seems different this time. Has her dark knight really transformed into a knight in shining armor, or is he playing her all over again?

 
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Meet Author DINA RAE

Book cover

 

When Maya Smock writes her first novel, everything seems to go her way. Her book practically writes itself. She marries her gorgeous agent. Her name is on all of the best seller lists. Billionaire author Jay McCallister takes an interest in her meteoric rise to fame and invites her into his world of alien-believing celebrities. Her life changes forever when he tells her that they were both created inside of a laboratory. These authors are embedding an alien genetic code within the pages of their novels that originated from Nazi Germany because…

The time has come. They are here.

 

 
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Meet Author JIM CRONIN

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“Come in, Latonia Base…come in Latonia Base. This is Starship Hegira, repeat, this is Hegira. Come in, Latonia.”

Static crackled from the speaker. The lieutenant, bleeding and dying from the injuries he received during the mutiny trembled feebly as he gripped the microphone. Blood soaked his crest feathers; his talons broken and jagged from the hand-to-hand combat in the spaceship’s passageways. He knew his wounds were fatal, but his duty was clear: to report back to base about the failure of the mission. His body tensed as the next wave of pain shot through him.

“Latonia Base, this is Hegira. Come in. Priority clearance Falcon, Delta. Come in Base. Damn you to hell!” the soldier shouted in desperation. “Somebody answer! Come in, Latonia!” The microphone dropped from his talons, clattering on the control panel before falling to the metal plated floor. The lieutenant slumped back into the chair, pressing a blood soaked rag to his shoulder. Staring out the view port he watched the star-filled blackness and wondered at the cruel turn fate had taken over the past few days.

 

Reader’s Favorite 5 Stars:

  • “…Hegira is a very well-written story that combines so many complex layers that I was thinking about it for days after I finished reading it.” – Renee Taylor
  • “Hegira is an incredible scientific world that Jim Cronin wrote eloquently. It is full of danger and adventure, as well as suspense and scientific discoveries that will blow your mind.” – JJ Phillips

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The wounded grendel charged. The hunting scythe missed its mark barely slicing the hairy beast’s shoulder blade instead of smoothly gutting the creature. The man recovered his balance, twirled the curved blade, a grendel claw tipped and edged with sharpened metal and attached to a long handle, and turned to face his prey again. Sunlight flickered through the green canopy of the forest, highlighting the blood flowing from the wound. Howling in rage the great black brute snapped at everything in its reach. Branches shattered in the massive jaws that ripped them from the trees. The beast’s monstrous curved claws tore at the ground leaving long deep trenches in its wake. Rising on its haunches, the creature stood to its full eight-foot height and roared a deafening bellow.

The two men back among the trees watched the incredible display of power and rage, circling around for the opportunity at another clear shot. The grendel’s shaggy dark head swung from side-to-side, stopping to face the enemy as they stepped into the narrow trail to the watering hole, and attacked. The beast attacked the men before they could raise their weapons.

 
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Interview with Author Christopher Davis

 

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Hi Christopher and welcome to my blog. Let’s learn a few things about you.

Hi Margaret and thank you so much for having me this morning. I haven’t had much coffee yet, so please bear with me?

  1. What genre do you write or do you write more than one?

Under Christopher Davis, I’ve had short crime, western and horror published in both the U.S. and England for a few years…TJ Adams (pen name), is relatively new and has only been around for about a month and a half now, with the acceptance of my first (and very accidental) erotic short story, An Innocent Act.

  1. Why did you choose this genre?

Twenty-five years ago, I wanted to write civil war fiction. Although I did get a piece crossing that era with Sci-Fi published, there doesn’t seem to be a market for it, so westerns became my second choice. Of course there are many more small publishers that will read crime and horror, so I adopted a sort of white-trash style of short crime story that seems to go over well.

Erotica….the jury is still out on that one? I don’t outline very often and as I was feeling out characters, I let the young man telling the story meet one of his neighbors and thought, What if he kind of gets the hots for this older gal?

The story went downhill from there, but it wasn’t a bad story. So I subbed it and got turned down (too short) right away. The editor that read the story insisted that I keep trying to find a home for the story and I did.

  1. What is your latest book?

In the last few weeks, I’ve had two short westerns and one 1930’s prohibition crime era story released in a pair of anthologies Hangmen & Bullets and Dames & Sin both from Dead Guns Press and under Christopher Davis. Those were followed up with An Innocent Act over at Solstice Publishing under TJ Adams.

Although I do not have release dates as of yet, Cinnamon Girl (short story) and a pair of 1930’s prohibition crime novella’s Meet Me in Tulsa and Going Back to Dallas are in editing under my name. I’ve seen the cover for Cinnamon Girl, but am not sure if it’s OK to share as of yet?

An erotic/crime novella Pandora’s Box is also undergoing editing under the name of TJ Adams. I’ve seen the cover for this one also and am really excited to see this one come out.

All are with Solstice Publishing.

  1. When did it release?

The recent anthology stuff was out in late June and An Innocent Act, the 29th of July. The others, I don’t know yet?

  1. Who is your target audience?

That’s always been a tough one for me. The crime stuff probably appeals to guys only and the westerns, an older audience? The horror stories probably have the widest audience and now the erotica…I have no idea as I only have the one short story out for the moment and no reviews or feedback of any sort?

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m probably not the typical male writer and I can guarantee you that if we met on the street…you wouldn’t say “that guy looks like a writer.” I’m not the uber-cool, jazzy hipster sort.

I grew up the son of a half-ass pro rodeo cowboy and like any good son…followed in dads footsteps for a good part of my misspent youth, up through high school anyway.

I’ve always been an avid reader, even back in elementary school and I’ve always enjoyed history. When the other kids were reading Nancy Drew, I was searching out the stories of the Mexican bandits that frequented this part of central California and the lawmen who trailed them.

  1. Do you belong to a writing circle/group?

No. I’m only aware of two within a hundred miles of where I live. I was introduced to some of the folks at the more local group years ago and honestly, they seemed too stuffy or snooty for my taste.

  1. Do you have any new stories on the go?

I have a surreal tragic romance sort of thing Cinnamon Girl coming out soon, along with a pair of 1930’s prohibition era crime novellas Meet Me in Tulsa and Going Back to Dallas all under Christopher Davis and published by Solstice.

Somewhere in there will be an erotic/crime novella Pandora’s Box. The story is really more crime than erotica, but I think it will work out OK and I hope that readers of either genre will enjoy it. This one will also be under Solstice Publishing.

A 100k + western, is being shopped around along with a 60k Las Vegas mob/crime story that I hope to see out next year? And I’m presently working on a 1930’s / 40’s Private Eye story.

 

Thanks for joining us today Christopher and sharing a bit about  yourself and your work. I wish you every success in your writing career and look forward to reading your work.

 

Thanks again for having me Margaret and you can find out more at either

www.christopherdaviswrites.com

www.tjadamsfiction.weebly.com

 

Lammas or Lughnasadh

Lugh

The wheel of the year now moves to Lammas which is currently celebrated on August 1st.

Also known as the First Harvest, Lughnasadh celebrates the Celtic God, Lugh, with games (Nasad) and assembly. It is thought to have started as a way for Lugh to honour his foster Mother, Tailte, one of the Tuatha de Danaan. This celebration was practiced mostly in Britain, Ireland and France (ancient Gaul) as Lugh was not a well known deity outside of the British Isles. He is said by some to be a solar God; a God of the Harvest, craftspeople, and trade and commerce. Traditionally, Teltown, in Ireland was the original site of Lughnasadh celebrations although there may have been earlier celebrations for the harvest held there prior to the worship of Lugh. The festival began on or about July 15th and ended on or about August 15th with the full moon nearest August 1st being the actual day of the fire ceremony. The festival was held to celebrate the first harvest. When Christianity came to Ireland, the name of the festival was changed to Lammas meaning “loaf-mass”. The grain that was gathered was ground into flour and baked into bread, the first of which was offered to the Church to celebrate the Mass.

Being a harvest festival that lasted a month, a great fair complete with games (as important in their times as the modern Olympic games) and the assembly of the High Kings of Ireland was part of the celebration. It was here at Teltown that all of the kings were reconfirmed in their office. The Stone of Fal was brought from Tara and each of the kings was required to find the Fal Stone during the festival or his reign would be over.

It was during this fair that marriages were contracted and petitions were presented to the Druids for judgement.

Couples could enter into a contract for a trial marriage for a year and a day. An interesting custom comes to us from a 19th century writing. It was said that at Larganeeny, near Teltown, there was a tall wall of stone in the hollow. Young men and women would enter the hollow, the men on the north side of the wall and the women on the south side. One by one the women would put their hands through a hole in the wall and a man would take hold of it on the other side neither one being able to see the other. This would make the couple handfast for the time specified. At next year’s fair, the couple would go to the Rath of Teltown, where it would be decided whether or not to make the marriage more permanent. One of the factors that may have helped in the decision was whether or not a child had been born to the couple during the year. If a child had been born, this was seen as proof of the Goddess’s blessings on the union and the marriage would probably be made more permanent.

The Druids were the Priests, Judges and Teachers of Celtic society. In their many years of training they were taught the law of the tribes and clans. The tribal law required that those who had been hurt during the crime, be it robbery, assault, murder or anything else, were to be recompensed for their loss by the perpetrator. This could be in the form of a fine which could include things that would be useful to the victim such as animals, fighting gear, household items or such. For more severe crimes, the accused most likely would be banished from the clan. Since capital punishment was not the usual form of punishment, a person might be set adrift in a boat in the Irish Sea with no oars or rudder. His fate would be decided by the Gods. Given the rough sea, most likely the person would drown. Other crimes would elicit tasks which would place the person responsible for the crime in great danger. If he survived the tasks and completed them in a set period of time, he would be ritually cleansed and then re-instated into the tribe.

Many of the games played at Lughnasadh included foot races, track and field competitions, archery, wrestling and events showing the prowess of the clan’s men. Our modern Highland Games from Scotland probably descended from the Lughnasadh games. Although these are now held at various times of the year, many are still held in the traditional time of early August.

Horses were very valuable to the ancient Celts. The old Irish Kings were wedded to a mare, symbolizing the Goddess of Sovereignty, at their coronation. Lughnasadh provided the clans with the opportunity to show off their prized horses in races, which were the main event of the festival. Even today, events such as the Dublin Horse Show, the Connemara Pony Show or the Galway Races take place in late July or early August.

Let’s Have Fun: Volume 3

The sun shines longer on this day—the Summer Solstice. People gather for picnics, fun in the sun, and all kinds of celebrations. What can be more fun than checking out the fabulous stories in Let’s Have Fun Volume 3!

Cover of summer anthology

Ten Solstice Publishing authors present to you stories of events that happened on the Summer Solstice. A May/December romance, angels versus demons, and a plus sized woman who discovers love along with other great tales of the Summer Solstice discover new authors who have a multitude of books available for your pleasure.

Let’s Have Fun Volume 3 features A.A. Schenna, Alex Pilalis, J. Wayne Williams, Jillian Chantal, Maighread MacKay, Margaret Egrot, Rachael Tamayo, Susan Lynn Solomon, Tevis Shkoda, and Virginia Babcock with stories all about what happens one summer solstice day.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01HBU1RQM

Check out our authors and their stories with Let’s Have Volume 3 on June 21, 2016!

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podcast symbol Click here to access my podcasts on interviews with authors and artists from the Durham region, plus reading of my work.

My Latest Book:

Murder at Mother's boxshot 235

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I am delighted to announce my new book Murder at Mother's was published in June 2017 by Stones Throw Publishing and is available in hardcopy and on Kindle at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

Read Murder at Mother's reviews on Goodreads.


Murder at Mother's has been featured on a number of book blogs. Find them here.

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Maighread Mackay is a Member of the Visionary Fiction Alliance.

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