Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Silver Lake Series – have you read it yet?

Is your New Year’s resolution to read more books?  Need a day at the beach? Need some rock music and a hot rock star to go with it? Yes! Then check out the Silver Lake series today!

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

 

#SilverLakeseries #StrongerWithin #ImpossibleDepths #BondedSouls #bookpromo #kindle #ebook #fallread #romanceread #weekendread #bookworms #bookblogger #summereading #beachread #Rehoboth #rockstar #rockmusic #beach #love #romance   #book #lovestory  #JakePower #SilverLake #amreading #ebooks #lovetoread #NewYearResolution #newyear #resolutions

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2017…. a time to reflect

Well, it’s reaching that time of year when everyone seems to be taking stock and reflecting back on the year.

Guess I better join in….

Here’s my year in photos

2017 part 12017 part 22017 part 3

And in musical terms…. here’s my take on 2017

2017 music 12017 music 22017 music 3

Picking just 24 photos out of the hundreds…. ok thousands.. I’ve shot this year was nigh on impossible LOL.

These really are just a flavour of the year gone by.

And not to forget my biggest achievement of 2017 …. book baby 3 🙂

Bonded Souls 6x9draft fv

Huge thanks for all your love and support and encouragement this year.

I wish each and every one of you all the very best for 2018.

 

Silently Watching on the Winter Solstice

dark angel

The shortest day had been anything but, he thought, as he pulled the laces of his well-worn trainers tight. Work had been frustratingly busy with missing paperwork only adding to his misery. A manic two hours after work of ferrying kids to and from various Christmas parties had not improved his mood or his stress levels.  Despite the icy chill and the lateness of the hour, he needed out, needed to run to clear his mind.

“I’ll be back in a bit,” he muttered as he left the house.

Stars twinkled in the clear night sky overhead and already he could see the pavement starting to glisten as frost settled in for the night.

With a deep breath, he set off, iPod playing a new playlist he’d set up the week before. A fast run out to the lighthouse and back should be enough to recharge his mental batteries.

 

Perched on top of the church roof, the dark angel drew her wings around her, gazed up at the night sky and sighed. It had taken almost four long months but her strength was more or less restored. One frustration remained…the tip of her fang refused to regenerate. As her energy had increased, she had flown further to hunt, seeking the best livestock. Shortly after All Hallows Eve, she had risked a human kill, selecting one of the country park rangers who was on the cusp of retirement. His blood had helped but again it had been tainted with prescription medication, rendering it thin and watery for her tastes.

A distinct rhythmic thud, thud, thud caught her attention and she turned her gaze to the pavement below her. With a twisted smile, she watched the runner flow past; with a grimace of pain she felt her broken fang throb anew. As she ran her tongue over it’s broken tip, she watched the runner reach for his neck then look down at his fingertips. She could smell the fresh blood on them.

Deep within her, the desire to sink her fangs into his neck and drain him dry stirred. Over the months, her lust for him had turned to hatred. She longed for nothing more than to have him as her own but knew, if she drank from his ripe veins, it would be her last meal.

The runner was the only being on earth potentially who was capable of killing her.

 

Angrily, he wiped the blood from his fingers across his shirt, cursing under his breath, then winced as the now familiar pain shot through his tooth into his cheek. He’d surrendered and gone to the doctor with the wound on his neck, been given some antibiotic cream and a tetanus injection along with assurances that it would heal in its own good time; he’d gone to the dentist who had found no issues with either his teeth or their roots. Still, four months later, both issues continued to plague him.

In his own mind, he knew the two things were somehow connected. Over the weeks, he’d tried to work out what triggered the throbbing feeling in his neck just before the wound began to bleed and tried to rationalise the toothache. Nothing added up. He couldn’t see a connection. In desperation, he’d tried Google but that search had proved to be a waste of time too.

As he crossed the main road, leaving the village behind him, the toothache vanished.

A thought struck him….. his tooth felt worse when he was passing through the village near the church and the graveyard. It was sore when he drove past as well as when he ran past so it wasn’t connected to his running. Now that he thought about it, his neck usually throbbed then too but seldom bled if he was in the car, unless he took the narrow single-track graveyard road.

Falling into an easy running rhythm, he made a mental note to watch out for the symptoms returning on his way back up the hill.

 

As he disappeared out of sight, the angel spread her majestic wings, and was ready to follow him when she had a change of heart. Instead, she flew back into the trees and returned to the mausoleum to think for a bit. Once inside, she snapped her fingers and the candles in the sconces flared with light, casting flickering shadows across the arched ceiling. Carefully, the angel slid one of the marble slabs of the bench away from the wall to reveal a wooden chest underneath.

The aged hinges squealed in protest as she eased open the lid. Inside lay an odd assortment of effects- a well worn child’s cloth doll, a length of worn, pink ribbon, a small, silver hand mirror, a leather, drawstring purse full of gold and silver coins and a small, cloth bag, tied with a leather cord.

It was the small, cloth bag that the angel withdrew from the chest but not before she had gently fingered the doll, the only remaining item from her human childhood.

The cord slid easily from the neck of the bag. Tipping the small bag upside down, the dark angel allowed its contents to fall into her open palm. The bag contained a silver signet ring, a gent’s silver signet ring with a detailed crest on it. The crest showed a family coat of arms that incorporated a bear, a unicorn and a two-headed black bird. It was the crest of the family of her creator.

She allowed her mind to wander back to the fateful night, more than two hundred years before, when she’d met him on her way home. If she closed her eyes, she could still hear the waves crashing against the cliffs below, could feel the wind tearing at her hair, smell the strong odour of the dark haired, male, winged creature, who had her pinned to the wall of an abandoned miner’s cottage. He’d promised her eternity and that was exactly what he’d given her. Her creator had told her that the only being whose blood could kill her was his. Yes, there were other ways that she could be killed but, if she were to drink from her creator or from his bloodline, death was certain.

Fire had killed her creator less than ten years later. It had been a tragic fire that had engulfed the entire building that they had been living in in London. All of the occupants, apart from her, had perished. She’d grown tired of her creator’s company, tired of his constant moaning and whining. It had been all too easy to allow the hem of his coat to catch light when the burning ember fell from the fire while he slept; it would have been easy to stamp it out too but she hadn’t. All she had taken from him was his coin purse and his signet ring as she’d fled into the night.

Now, as she held the ring in her hand, she realised a certain truth. The physical similarity had eluded her till now. The runner had to be a descendant of her creator’s.

The distinctive thud, thud, thud of footsteps on the road jolted her back to the present.

 

Since he’d run down the hill less than an hour before, a layer of black ice had formed across the road and pavements. Common sense told him he’d be safer taking the shorter route up past the graveyard. If nothing else, the road surface was rougher and less liable to have iced over. As he drew level with the church, he felt his neck throb and the familiar stab of toothache. Within a few strides of turning into the narrow dark road, the throbbing was incessant and he could feel fresh blood trickling down his neck.

Digging deep, he upped the pace, keen to be clear of the dark, creepy stretch of road. He had just passed the boundary wall of the cemetery, at the point where the road veered slightly to the right and became a little steeper, when he saw something moving in the shadows off to his left.

The moonlight caught her alabaster skin. He halted dead in his tracks as the dark angel emerged from the trees. Breathing heavily, he watched as she circled him. It was the same female creature that he’d encountered at Halloween the year before; the same creature that he’d encountered on mid-summer’s night when he’d come across the two, dead dear. Her wings rustled as she walked round to stand in front of him. Her green eyes locked onto his gaze and she smiled.

“We meet again,” she observed, her voice surprisingly soft.

Silently, he stared as she reached one gloved hand up to touch the wound at his neck. Her fingertips came away coated in fresh blood.

“Pity,” she commented, glancing down at her blood covered, gloved fingertips. “I’d hoped you would taste divine.”

Slowly, she smeared the blood across his cheek. He noticed that she wore a ring on the outside of the black leather glove.

“Forbidden fruit,” she smirked. “But what to do with you, son of Perran?”

“Pardon?”

The sound of a car approaching broke the spell of the moment.

“We need to talk,” stated the angel. “And soon.”

There was a rush of air as she spread her impressive black wings. Unable to resist a last touch, the dark angel ran her gloved hand down his cheek and along his stubbled jawline almost tenderly. With one beat of her wings, she was gone.

 

The headlights of the oncoming car came into view dazzling the runner, and he only just made it to the safety of the side of the road before it sped past him.

Slowly, he began to walk up the narrow, dark road, glancing around expecting the angel to reappear at any moment. As he reached the junction at the top and saw the welcome sight of street lights and houses, a thought struck him.

He’d seen the crest on the angel’s ring before. In fact, he saw it every day. The ring bore the same coat of arms as were on the keyring with his car key.

(Image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)

 

 

 

 

 

A Pre-Christmas Coffee Catch Up With……Jake Power

coffee catch up

It was a chilly Saturday afternoon when I finally managed to catch up with Jake Power, front man with Silver Lake.  The band were in Glasgow a day early for the final show of their hugely successful Bonded Souls tour. Many of the arena shows in the UK have been sold out weeks in advance and Sunday’s show in the SSE Hydro is no exception. (I bought my ticket pre-sale over six months ago)

As we sat in a city centre coffee shop, I asked Jake how the recent run of shows had gone.

“They’ve been incredible! British audiences are so much more passionate than American crowds. And louder! You guys really know how to rock!” he enthused. “I don’t mean any disrespect to our American fan base but shows at home tend to be in smaller venues, security can be strict and things seem a little more reserved. In these 10 000 seater arenas here, we’ve seen mosh pits every night.”

Before reaching the UK, Silver Lake toured through mainland Europe so I asked how those shows had measured up.

“They were all great. Some countries are more passionate than others. Italy was insane. We played shows in Milan and Rome. Those crowds were crazy! Cologne in Germany was a good show too. We played in Amsterdam just before we came over here. That one didn’t pan out so well. There were a few glitches. The fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the venue twenty minutes into our set. I feel we owe those fans another show. We only had time to play three or four songs after they let us back into the building.”

With three critically acclaimed albums under their belts, I asked Jake what the Scottish fans could expect for the final show of the tour.

“A full two hour set, that’s for sure,” was Jake’s immediate reply. I was rewarded with one of those “Power” smiles! “We were talking about the set at lunch earlier. Grey has it written on the back of a napkin. I think we were up to nineteen or twenty songs. If we can work them all in before the curfew then we’ll play them.”

“Jake, you’ve been on the road for the last six weeks and have already commented on stage that it’s the longest that you’ve been away from your wife. How tough has that been?”

“Very,” admitted Jake, running his hand through his long blonde hair. “Usually Lori would travel with us for part of a tour. We had planned that she’d come over and spend a week or so here and travel back home with us but, when we really thought it through, it just wasn’t going to be practical. Both of us felt it would be too much for Miss Melody and would trash her routine.”

This is a rare mention by Jake of his baby daughter and seizing the moment I asked how she was.

“She’s incredible. I can’t wait to get home to my girls. Melody’s at the stage she’s changing every day. I’ve missed so much in six weeks. Her personality is developing. If only she slept a bit better at night!”

Almost shyly, Jake showed me a photo on his phone of his wife Lori holding their baby girl. So far, they’ve shielded their daughter from the media but trust me, she’s adorable.

Now that the Bonded Souls tour cycle is winding up, I asked Jake about his and Silver Lake’s plans for the coming year.

“We’re all taking a break over the holidays then I head into the studio late January with Weigh Station. Those guys plan to have a new album out in the spring and to do a few of the summer festivals. Maybe a few side shows too. My diary has a few dates both here in Europe and in the US pencilled in from May through till August. Silver Lake are planning to hit the studio again in the fall. The schedule is filling up for next year and the year after. There’s talk of a full Weigh Station tour and a Silver Lake tour.”

“So, what’s first on your agenda when you get home, Jake?”

“Laundry! I’m running out of clean shorts,” laughed the charismatic front man, his hazel brown eyes twinkling with mischief. “No, seriously, laundry and some quality time with my li’l ladies. A quiet family Christmas.”

“At the beach?”

“No. Actually we’re heading off to the Poconos on Dec 23rd. Lori and I spent a short honeymoon there last Christmas, thanks to our manager Jethro. We stayed in an amazing log cabin near a huge frozen lake. It was so quiet. So peaceful. Both of us loved it so much we decided to go back this year. We’ll head back to New York for New Year’s then home to Rehoboth a few days later. Both of us have some business commitments in the city the first week in January. We’ll bring in the New Year with Maddy, our manager. She throws these huge New Year’s parties every year at her apartment. I’m under strict orders to be there with my guitars.”

As Jake stretched out his long denim clad legs and settled back in his seat, we ordered another coffee then I asked if he found it hard to slip back into “normal” life after a tour.

“It takes a few days to adjust,” he confessed. “On tour we are ruled by the clock constantly. Jethro and Maddy run a tight ship. We stick to the published itinerary. Doing as the boss tells us..well, most of the time.” He paused then continued. “The first day or so, Lori usually gives me a bit of space to do my own thing. Come down time. Time to go for a couple of long runs. Time to sort out my guitars after the tour. Time to do my laundry! I suspect things might be a little different this time. It’s the first time I’ve been away from my daughter for so long.  I just want to spend time with her and with Lori. Family time. That has to come first.”

As our coffees arrived, I asked Jake how his bandmates chilled out after a tour. He laughed then revealed, “They’ll kill me for saying this. Grey needs to get his hands dirty. He’s a mechanic and his yard is full of “projects”. He’ll be under the hood of one of his wreckers before the jet lag hits him.  Paul needs a day to go fishing. He also needs to get past Maddison and that can be a challenge. She’s a scary lady! I’d put money on it though that Paul has a boat trip booked for the end of next week already. Rich is the only one who takes a proper vacation every time. He heads to Florida to his sister and her family. I guess he likes to thaw out in the sun after this cold winter weather. He’ll be back in Rehoboth mid-January as we have teaching workshops booked in.”

“Workshops?”

Jake nodded. “We’re both music teachers at heart still. Every chance we get, we run a workshop or two at the high school where we both taught. As we’re home for a few weeks, Rich has worked out a four week course. Grey and Paul are involved here too this time. I think it’s two workshops per week after school and two all-day Saturday sessions. The aim is to pull a band or maybe even two bands together in time for the Valentine’s Day Ball.”

It struck me that home really is at the heart of Silver Lake. All four members live in and around the same small town, Rehoboth, Delaware, and all seem keen to give something back to their local community.

“We owe a lot to the local fans,” Jake acknowledged. “They’ve been behind us for a long time and it’s a pity we don’t get to play more shows closer to home. The closest we get to Rehoboth is either Baltimore or Philly. We talked about doing some small local shows like we used to. You know, Friday night set in a local bar. Something impromptu and low key. Hopefully we’ll make it happen in the spring next year.”

I asked Jake if he had any plans for any solo shows.

“No but never say never,” he replied with a grin. “I’ve only ever done one. That was couple of years back at the air force base in Dover. My brothers are both air force. Peter called in a favour at the last minute. The band he had booked to play had missed their flight or something and were stuck in Canada. I only had a few hours’ notice but I didn’t want to let him down. It’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done! I felt like I was stripped naked in front of two hundred airmen.”

Now, there’s a thought, ladies….

I pointed out that Jake had appeared half naked several times with Weigh Station, prompting a fit of laughter.

“You can blame the late Dan Crow for that,” said Jake grinning. “And before you ask, I intend to keep all my clothes on in the Hydro tomorrow night. Too damn cold here to do anything else!”

Checking the time, Jake apologised that he would need to go, explaining that he had a call to make back at his hotel. I had time to squeeze in one last quick question so, as Christmas is only a couple of weeks off, I asked what he hoped Santa Claus would bring him this year.

“Actually, I’m hoping for a new laptop,” Jake said as he reached for his leather jacket. “I dropped mine in London the other night. It fell off the table in the dressing room. Smashed the screen. Split the casing. I haven’t confessed this to my wife yet though. I only got it just before we left for this tour. Maybe I’ll be on the naughty list for that and end up getting underwear and socks on Christmas morning.”

As I watched Jake leave the coffee  shop, flashing a smile at the waitresses behind the counter, I couldn’t help but wonder if he’ll get that laptop or not….

 

 

The Silver Lake series is available via Amazon both in  Kindle and paperback formats

Amazon.com link   https://www.amazon.com/Coral-McCallum/e/B00VYU1SZ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Amazon.co.uk link    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coral-McCallum/e/B00VYU1SZ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Book 4 in the series is planned for  2019

 

(image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)

 

 

 

 

 

The End Is In Sight…..of my tether that is!

end-of-the-tether

It’s Monday and this isn’t a good sign….. I’ve reached the end of my tether!

Anyone who knows me will appreciate that I generally quite a patient person. Some of you might even say too patient but occasionally even I reach the end of my rope.

So where does the phrase come from and what does it really mean?

A little research ( not got the patience for extensive research this evening) revealed it’s a phrase used mainly in the USA and UK. It means to have reached the end of your patience, to be completely worn out, exasperated or exhausted.

So. What’s a tether in this context? Cue more Googling – a rope used to restrict the freedom of grazing animals by tying one end around their neck and the other to a stake in the ground.

tethered pony

 

Hmmmm…….

 

Pass me the scissors or a knife….this tether is being cut!

Normally to soothe me frayed nerves I would head out for a walk along the beach but its kind of cold and dark out there right now.

Virtual beach walk required before I settle down to continue the tale that’s shaping up to be Book Baby 4.

 http://livebeaches.com/rehoboth-beach-de/webcams/rehoboth-beach-boardwalk/

 I can almost feel the sand between my toes…..

 

(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)