30 December 2008

It's Aliiiiiiiive!!!!

It's here! It's here! Woot!

Legends, Book 2: A Ghost of a Chance, the sequel to the award-winning Beaudry's Ghost.

Here's an excerpt - the one that prompted my editor to comment "You write the most unusual first-kiss scenes I've ever read!"


He’d never stayed in a materialized state for this long. The strain tore at him, threatened to separate the layers of his energy field and send them flying off into space like water rings from a dropped stone.

It had taken every atom of his strength to stay solid long enough to rescue the woman from the flooded cave. He’d intended to bring her all the way to the top of the cliff, leave her there to be found, and be on his way about finding John.

But the effort had cost him.

Troy glanced down at the face of the woman in his arms, grit his teeth and held on.

If he let go and shifted back to his energy form, she would die.

His superb sense of balance, an asset in life and still now in the afterlife, didn’t fail him now as he crouched on the narrow rock ledge, braced so the woman’s body wouldn’t slide off into the roiling sea that pounded at them, seemingly from all sides. Rain slapped them from above, and the roar of wind and waves seemed to batter him inside and out.

Risking precious balance, he used one hand to gently unwind her long, matted black hair from around his arm and away from her face. Her lips were blue and slack, her eyes partially open and dull. He lowered his face to hers, checking for breath. Nothing. He let her head roll to one side and slid his fingers to the pulse point on her neck. If any life throbbed there, he couldn’t feel it for the vibrations of wind and storm.

“Oh, no you don’t. Don’t do this to me, lady...” He tilted her head back, filled his chest with air and covered her mouth with his.

He blew once, then swayed, dizzy, feeling his grip on his materialized state slipping dangerously with the extra effort it took to breathe for her. He clenched his jaw, tilted his head back and growled deep in his chest, willing his form to stay together, just a little longer. Just until help arrived. He’d seen two people poke their heads over the cliff edge above them, so he knew it wouldn’t be long.

“Not yet,” he muttered, using the vibration of his voice to send binding messages throughout his energy field, reminding it that no matter what the laws of physics said, he was in charge, here. Never mind the fact that before now he’d only managed to stay solid for a few minutes at a time, and only in dire emergencies. The last time he’d done it, was for the lives of his sister and Beaudry, and for his effort he’d earned a bullet hole in his shoulder to keep company with the gaping hole he carried around in his chest.

He lowered his mouth and breathed for her again, turning his head to feel her automatic exhale, this time accompanied by a gush of water.

Yes! Another breath from his lungs to hers. Were her lips slightly warmer? He left his own there for a second or two longer than necessary, testing. A faint green color flickered in front of his eyes, like the brief flash of a hummingbird, there and gone. He tore his mouth away from hers and looked up to see what kind of strange lightning this could be, then he ducked and pressed her body tightly to his as a heavy wave broke over them. The water lifted them both off the ledge, and only by sheer will did he manage to bring them back onto the ledge safely. How much higher was the tide going to rise?

He shook water from his face, pressed the woman’s body firmly between himself and the cliff wall, and bent his head to hers once again. She had to start breathing on her own soon. He couldn’t keep this up.

A movement off to his right snagged his attention. A glowing figure, winged and silent, stood on a nearby ledge, observing, not moving. Her guardian angel, clearly. He spared the being a two-second glare, then lost patience.

“Hey! Aren’t you going to do anything, here?”

The guardian’s expression grew thoughtful, then regretful. But it didn’t move, either to help or to hinder.

“Thanks a bunch,” Troy growled, and ignored the creature, turning back to the task at hand.


Without thinking what he was doing, he willed life into her. Closed his eyes and focused his energy inside her body, targeting her lungs, her barely fluttering heart.

This time, he felt her jaw move under his mouth, and her body flex in his arms. The weird pale green lightning flickered around them again. Her first strong heartbeat resounded like a bell throughout his being, her first voluntary breath sucking in what he’d given her.

Then, before he could lift his mouth from hers, she breathed into him.

Troy nearly lost his balance, and flung out one arm to find a fingertip hold on the rock. Her breath filled his mouth, his chest, and even with his eyes closed he saw the faint green flickers of light strengthen, steady, intensify into a solid glow greener than any brilliant shade Ireland had to offer on its best day. Heat rushed through him, and it took him a moment to register the fact that he felt it at all. As a ghost, normal physical sensations were foreign to him.

He tore his mouth away and stared down at her. Her eyelids trembled, opened, dark brown irises expanding as her pupils focused on his face. The fiery green light burned in their depths. Even with their mouths now separated, her strengthening heartbeat echoed through his being, rushing around him as if he were a child enveloped in her womb.

What the hell is happening to me?

If he were anywhere else but perched on a narrow ledge, an inch from losing her to the maw of the sea from whence he’d rescued her, he would have done a quick about face and put as much space and time between them as possible. But stay he did, her life force growing stronger and flowing like a river under his hands, into him, through him, and back to her. She seemed to be studying him, her mouth moving slightly as if trying to form words. But if she made any sound, it was swallowed by sea and storm. Then her eyes slid closed and her head rolled to nestle against his chest, fitting perfectly under his chin.

Troy swallowed, trying not to breathe in any more of the living energy that still enveloped them both. Something about it was as seductive as it was disturbing, and all his instincts screamed to get outside it and look at it from an objective distance before deciding what to do about it, if anything at all.

He took her cold hands, intending to tuck them inside her coat, when he caught sight of the diamond sparkling on her left ring finger.

She belongs to someone. Absurdly, the thought brought a stab of pain to the empty area that used to hold his heart, before a high-powered bullet had blown it away along with his life.

He looked up, and finally, finally, he saw two people rappelling down the cliff, red-and-black jumpsuits making ripping sounds in the wind, a metal litter dangling between them.

“Take her first,” he yelled above the crashing tide as the rescuers reached them. Their reply was lost in the noise, but they quickly assessed the situation and expertly relieved him of his burden.

The instant body separated from his, he felt himself dissolving, the last of his strength leaving as the green light faded. One of the rescuers cried out in alarm, but could do nothing as Troy’s grip on the rock slipped, and the icy grey sea closed over his head.

Copyright 2008 Carolan Ivey, All Rights Reserved


Click here for another excerpt!

Web site
Follow me on Twitter

26 December 2008

Writers will totally "get" this...

"Oh Ken, be careful...you know what he's like after a few novels!"

21 December 2008

Winter Solstice Haiku

Winter Solstice Haiku

Ice coating red bud
of dogwood dormant, resting
waiting for the spring

~ Poem and photograph by Carolan Ivey, 2008

20 December 2008

Last Chance! Enter by noon Dec. 21

Cool Yule Contest has ended. Thanks for participating!!

18 December 2008

Samhain Publishing's Best of 2008 - Vote!

Click here to make your voice heard! I'ts easy - only five questions, all optional. Pick your favorite Samhain books and covers of 2008. And I hope you'll consider choosing:

16 December 2008

Yule Faery House

This is a beautiful Yule faery house creation by Mika! See more at her blog.

11 December 2008

Thirteen Faces of Ioan Gruffudd and a CONTEST!

Continuing the tradition of "Thirteen Faces of Oded Fehr" and "Thirteen Sexy Scottish Actors", I bring you another face that inspires my writing. Enjoy!

See more Thursday Thirteens!

Now for the contest!!
Go to the Beyond the Veil blog and check out our Cool Yule Giveaway. Twelve days, twelve authors, twelve winners! Come on an join the fun and chat with Samhain's top paranormal and fantasy romance authors.

07 December 2008

Contests, contests, contests!!

Samhain Publishing is all about the freebies this month! Make sure you enter for a chance to win free stuff!

Winner Wonderland Contest

Holiday Hunt Contest

Kindle Giveaway

Have fun!


06 December 2008

Shameless Plug

Run, do not walk, to get this new story by Dominique Adair! It's the first of a trilogy involving the adventures of Miss Jane Porter and the Master of her dreams, Antonio Villareal. As always, Dominique mixes up the perfect blend of plot, characters and steamy sex. Being bad never felt so good!

30 November 2008

Celtophile Monday - Holiday Season Kickoff

I'll be having surgery on my hand today and probably will be offline for a few days. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, and best wishes for all the good things that come with this time of year! Enjoy the following new video from Anuna. Have a good week!

24 November 2008

Celtophile Monday

Welcome back to Celtophile Monday! All sources credited. :)

I'd like to start off with a fun fact: Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII, was born on Nov. 29, my birthday. She later married King James IV of Scotland in the "Union of the Thistle and the Rose". It was due to her bloodline that King James VI of Scotland was able to inherit the crown of England in 1603. (Graphic from the UK National Archives)

European Fishing Quotas called "Draconian"
Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead has described as "draconian" proposals by the European Commission which would stop fishermen catching whiting, cod and haddock on the west coast of Scotland aimed at allowing fish stocks to recover. If the European Commission are following their usual tactics, the proposal is a "worst case scenario" which may well be ameliorated during negotiations. Everyone accepts, however, that the white fish stocks off the west coast of Scotland are in a dire state. But the proposals by European civil servants could have severe consequences on the important langoustine catch. Scottish fishermen are also trying to persuade the European Commission to abandon the practice of dumping thousands of tonnes of bycatch cod back into the North Sea. (rampantscotland.com)

National Trust Takes Over Burns Cottage
Further steps have been taken towards the creation of the £21m Burns Birthplace Museum - a more fitting building dedicated to Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet. The National Trust for Scotland has taken over the Burns Cottage (seen here), where the poet was born, the nearby Burns Monument (built in the early 19th century), and the Tam o'Shanter Experience in Alloway, along with surrounding land owned by South Ayrshire Council. In addition to the buildings, the Trust has also taken over a large collection of manuscripts, letters and other historical documents written by, or about, Burns and previously owned by the Burns Monument Trust. The collection includes more than 5000 artefacts, including more than 300 manuscripts written by Burns, including Tam O'Shanter, Holy Willie's Prayer and Scots Wa Hae. Work on the Burns Birthplace Museum has already started and is due to be completed by 2010 - though £4 million of funding has still to be found. The building was originally to have been completed to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns next year. (rampantscotland.com)

New Forest for National Park
A grant from the National Lottery of nearly £1 million will help to create a new forest in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Billed as the largest native broadleaf woodland in Scotland it will cover an area equivalent to the city of Glasgow. It will transform an area centered on Loch Katrine, into a forest landscape. (Carolan's Note: Will it get rid of the midges? LOL) (rampantscotland.com)

Scottish Car of the Year - a FORD!
Car sales may be well down on last year as a result of the financial problems in the economy, but that doesn't stop the automotive journalists voting for the best cars available in the showrooms. Last year Ford took the title of "Scottish Car of the Year" with their Mondeo saloon and they have scooped the award again this year with the compact Fiesta. Ford introduced a new version of the already popular Fiesta and the journalists were most impressed, despite the high calibre of competing models. (rampantscotland.com)

Waxwings Invade Edinburgh
Every few years - when food is short or the weather is harsh in Siberia and northern Scandinavia - flocks of the lovely Waxwing bird will fly south, with some reaching the UK. That seems to be happening this year and ornithologists and amateur bird watchers have spotted several hundred in the Edinburgh area. There is the hope that this could be a "Waxwing Year" when thousands of these birds come to our shores. Waxwings are characterised by soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. These tips look like sealing wax, and give the group its name. They feed on fruit and berries in the winter - and the large crop of rowan (mountain ash), cotoneaster and other berries here this year will be just to their liking. The flocks move across the country, finding and feasting on such food, before moving on. They will return to northern latitudes in the spring. (rampantscotland.com)

Nessie Turns 75
Although reports of a monster in Loch Ness go back to the days of St Columba's biography in 565AD, the fame of the Loch Ness Monster took off 75 years ago when a series of photographs of a creature swimming in the loch were published in the press. A picture by Hugh Grey on 12 November 1933 is credited with being the first photographic evidence when it was printed in the Scottish Daily Record under the headline "Monster photograph of the mysterious Loch Ness object". There have been suggestions that it was actually a Labrador with a stick in its mouth (!) or a double negative. Nobody is certain, however. Another picture the following year was ultimately proved to be a fake - even though it is still frequently used to illustrate articles on the subject - see illustration. Despite (or because of) the advent of digital cameras everywhere, recent photos of Nessie have been thin on the ground in recent years, despite some major scientific projects to track it down. But that doesn't stop folk looking - just in case.... (rampantscotland.com)

Leaky Dunvegan Castle Gets Funding
Dunvegan Castle on Skye has been the MacLeod clan seat for 800 years. But as it was privately owned, the clan chief has struggled in recent years to find the finance to keep the building in a good state of repair. When the 29th clan chief, John MacLeod of MacLeod, controversially put the island's Cuillin mountains up for sale in 2000, it was so he could raise the money to stop the roof leaking. He claimed that he had to sleep with an umbrella above his bed due to water getting in. The mountain range was put on the market for £10 million, but no buyer came forward. He reluctantly agreed to transfer the mountains to public ownership and the castle to a charitable trust. An application for £25 million to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the castle and develop the visitor centre was turned down in 2006. Now, Historic Scotland has - at last - agreed a £594,188 grant for a three-year programme of works. The current chief, Hugh Magnus Macleod of MacLeod has expressed his gratitude to Historic Scotland and pointed out that Dunvegan, in addition to its historic significance, is a key driver of economic growth on the Isle of Skye, acting as a magnet for 100,000 visitors a year.

Akron, Ohio, St. Andrew's Day Event
The highly active Scottish American Society in Akron, Ohio, has organised their first St Andrew's Day dinner on Friday, 6th December at the Northwest Family Recreation Center, 1730 Shatto Avenue, Akron, Ohio. The modest cost includes dinner, dessert, beverages and entertainment. There will be pipers piping, a performance by the award winning Tigh na Creige Highland Dancers, a silent auction, lively music - and encouragement to participate. It will be a fun evening in true Scottish tradition. And, looking ahead, the society has already organised a Tartan Day dinner on 12 April 2009. For more details on both events, see Scottish American Society in Akron, Ohio.

Poetry Corner
With the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War this week, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, here is a poem from that era by Joseph Johnston Lee (1876–-949). Lee was born in Dundee and worked as a journalist and sketch artist, publishing his first book of poems, Tales o’ Our Town, in 1910. During World War I, he served in the Black Watch regiment as a Sergeant, sending sketches and poems back home to Scotland, chronicling life in the trenches and as a prisoner of war. These were eventually collected in two books of poetry, "Ballads of Battle" and "Work-a-Day Warriors".

The Half-Hour's Furlough

I thought that a man went home last night
From the trench where the tired men lie,
And walked through the streets of his own old town—
And I thought that the man was I.

And I walked through the gates of that good old town
Which circles below the hill,
And laves its feet in the river fair
That floweth so full and still.

Gladly and gladly into my heart
Came the old street sounds and sights,
And pleasanter far than the Pleiades
Was the gleam of the old street lights.

Then I came to the glade where my mother was laid,
'Neath the cypress and the yew:
And she stood abune, and she said, "My son,
I am glad that your heart was true."

And I passed me over both hill and down,
By each well-remembered path,
While the blessed dawn, like the love o' God,
Stole over the sleeping Strath.

And from a thorn came the pipe of a thrush,
Like the first faint pipes of Peace:
It slid with healing into my heart,
And my sorrowing found surcease.

Then I awoke to the sound of guns,
And in my ears was the cry:
"The Second Relief will stand to arms!"
And I rose — for that man was I.

Nature Wales Blog
Lovely photos, wildlife notes, gardening tips!

Welsh Castles
Find out why Beaumaris Castle is different from other Edwardian Welsh castles.

Dinosaur Tracks in Skye and Wyoming are Linked
Footprints found on Skye and in Wyoming, in the US, were left by the same dinosaurs or a similar species, recently-published research has found. Click here.

Aaaand Just To Wind Things Up...
A piccie of Scottish actor Paul Telfer. Now I ask you - would you kick him out for eating haggis in your bed? LOL

19 November 2008

13 Sexy Scottish Actors

Okay, let's get the obvious out of the way first:

1. Sean Connery

2. Paul Telfer

He's so purty I had to use him twice...

3. Paul Telfer

4. Brian McCardie

5. Ross McCall

6. James McAvoy

7. Michael E. Rodgers

8. David Robb

9. Ben Jelen

10. Hamish Clark

11. Ewan MacGregor

12. Gerard Butler

13. Sean Biggerstaff

See more TTs!

18 November 2008

The To'rags

Just discovered this band on LiveIreland! Check them out. My personal favorite song - "North Sea Holes." Enjoy the music!

Click here!

14 November 2008

November newsletter!

Click here for my (a little late) November newsletter.

Contained therein:

  • Upcoming contest info
  • Celtic Corner
  • Cauldron recipe of the month: Laird's Shrimp
  • What's Cooking on the Keyboard
  • Link to my latest book trailer, produced by and original music by Vaerna.