Saturday 27 July 2019

Guest Author Kade Cook of Shediac, New Brunswick

Real Magic Dusted With Life 

– That’s what you’ll read when you visit Kade’s Facebook Author page. How’s that for a tempting lead-in?

I met Kade at the recent Metro Book Festival, a charming and friendly lady that writes supernatural fantasy novels. The Scribbler is most fortunate to have Kade as out guest this week. She has agreed to a 4Q Interview and to sharing a brief excerpt from one of her novels.

Kade Cook is a major fantasy fangirl. Her love of Twilight, The Mortal Instruments and A Court of Thorns and Roses inspired her to write her own fantasy book series, The Covenant of Shadows.

Book one, GREY, was a finalist for the 2017 Emerging Writer's Prize for Canada's best new books in Speculative Fiction.

Born and raised as a 'Maritimer' through and through, Kade will always be at home around good times and kind hearts, proud to be a daydreamer with a story to tell.

4Q: Your series is titled The Covenant of Shadows. Tell us about the series and what inspired it.

KC: The series is about a young Phycologist that is anything but illogical and in complete control of her world but when she starts seeing colors around people, and starts getting visits from clients that no one else can see, she begins to question her own sanity.

Her world is not only changing and becoming unstable, but she can’t even return to the life she knew before. She is now awakening to the real world around her, one filled with Magik, Supernaturals and maybe even a dash of romance.

It is a journey of discovery, of finding hope in the darkest hours, and of internal importance.

These books were inspired by the desire to find myself when life had decided to put a label on me that didn’t quite fit right.

4Q: Please tell us about your writing journey, when did it start and what do you love about it?

KC: I never dreamed of being a writer though I have always been in awe of those who could. And once I quit my day job of the IT sector, I became mom of a large brood of kids. Though I love my children deeply, my mind became bored and unhappy without cerebral stimuli to engage in. So, my husband told me if I was so bored with my life, why don’t I write a book. And so I did to his surprise and haven’t looked back since.

The entire writing process from start to finish is a journey that engages my entire existence and brings my soul to life with each and every word I am granted with. Though I had never seen myself as an Author, I can now happily say that I cannot imagine myself being anything but. No longer do I search for who I am, I’ve met me, within the pages of my books.

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

KC: I’ve never fit in as a child, not like everyone else. I’ve always danced to the beat of a different drum, once which sometimes had caused people to either truly love being around me or quite quickly shy away as I will admit to anyone, that I am weird.

But I guess since I spent most of my time in my father’s woods, my only companion on many days was my trusty best friend Lady Dawn – a dog, searching for fairies and little folk in the twisted trees and the thick mystical underbrush, it was only a natural step forward in my world to actually pick up a pencil and set my interpretation of the world into word. I had only really written one story that I can remember as a child, called the Hounds of Hell. I can’t quite remember all of it but at the time, the story reflected my fear of the dark and those things that lingered in it.

Now I write stories that bring the darkness goodness, turning what I feared most into a place of peace and protection, aka Shadow Walker Guardians in my series.

4Q: Most creative people have a “special spot” where they perform their magic. Tell us about yours.

KC: My magic spot is not anything wondrous or majestic place. It is a boring little corner of my basement upon an aging treadmill where I stare into a blank chocolate brown wall as I walk and daydream. I find most of my stories there. While my body is busy walking and being healthy, my mind is free to roam and dream, to watch and listen to the characters as they take form, and what they have to tell me about the story they want to tell. I am merely a scribe to the beautiful characters that live in my imagination.

4Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

KC: I just want to say to all the readers out there who keep believing in us, and dreaming right along with us in our stories, Thank You

An Excerpt from GREY

(Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission)

This is at the point Gabrian Shadwell, my main character is having some major issues with her new world and being introduced to some of the Elders of the Magical Realm she is now a part of. Let’s just say she isn’t exactly handling it well…

Now seated across from her unwelcomed guests, Gabrian listens quietly as Rachael begins to introduce them one by one.

“Gabrian, I would like for you to meet Ariah, Elder to the Fellowship of Vindere,” Rachael says, pointing toward the smaller woman that holds resemblance to herself. “In common English, the Reincarnate Fellowship. This is the fellowship that I belong to.”

Fellowship? Belong to? Is she in some kind of cult or strange group that I was unaware of? Gabrian ponders, silently deciding that she is going to make it a point to monitor her future employee’s extracurricular activities a little more closely—not to mention screen her choice in friends.

“You already know Orroryn, or Mr. Redmond, as we call him.” As she continues, Gabrian notices that Rachael’s face flushes slightly as she speaks of Mr. Redmond. “He is the Elder to the Fellowship of Schaeduwe or the Shadows Fellowship better known as Shadow Walkers.”

Ah, what did she just say? Shadow What? Gabrian’s legs begin to tremble as she feels the angst building within. Her fingers have shifted from a warm tingling sensation to a full-blown burn. She hears Rachael still talking in the background, but Gabrian’s mind focuses on trying to decipher what a Shadow Walker might be. All she catches is the word ‘Air’.

“Excuse me, I didn’t catch that last part.” Gabrian giggles unwillingly. The comic book creations that her delusional best friend is trying to feed to her are a bit distracting. “All I heard was something about air.” Gabrian closes her eyes and presses firmly against the bridge of her nose, reaching for reasoning while trying to sort through all the deranged details piling up inside of her mind. She hungers for some type of understanding of how any of this could make sense.

Vaeda interjects when it comes time for her portion of the introductions in a sultry voice. “I am Vaeda, the Elder to the Fellowship of Zephyr. We are the Air Fellowship as we are one with the wind.”

Not knowing what to say to that, Gabrian just raises her eyebrows and nods her head slowly.

“Gabrian, we are friends of your parents, Sarapheane and Jarrison. Ariah, Vaeda, and I have known them all our lives for they too are people of the Realm from the Schaeduwe Fellowship like me. We have existed in each other’s presence for eons, training in the ways of the Schaeduwe. Our ancestors are descendants of the ancients and act as the Guardians to the Covenant.”

Gabrian freezes, the small rapport she had built with this man has now been obliterated by the words spewing out of his mouth. He seemed so normal. She shifts her view to Rachael. She seemed so normal too. She sits in a stupefied state, playing a tennis match with her eyes as she looks back and forth between them all, completely at a loss. She becomes brutally aware she is in a room surrounded by strangers who are absolutely, undeniably off their rockers.  

Gabrian chews on her bottom lip as she contemplates how she ended up in this situation—youngest Valedictorian in her graduating class to date, undisputable ability to detect those in need of help in the reality department, and an obsessive need to be in control of all aspects in her life to a fault. How was Rachael able to fly under the radar and get close enough to her that she was able to put Gabrian in a situation this deranged—and possibly psychopathically dangerous?

Unsure of what else to do, Gabrian slowly stands up. Smiling her best I-need-to-get-me-the-Hell-out-of-here smile, she studies her route of escape and hopes to make it to the door of her apartment before any type of violent reaction breaks out with these people.

Rachael, having witnessed every altering mood-swing since the time she met Gabrian, senses her escalating anxiety. She takes note of how Gabrian’s new, permanent grey aura, swirls and whips itself around her like a veil of protection and realizes what may come next—she is going to try and make a break for it. 

“She is going to run!” Rachael yells just as Gabrian quickly darts toward the door.

Flying full speed across the room, she reaches for the doorknob and fumbles with it but manages to open it. With the door wide open, and the small glimpse of freedom in front of her, Gabrian bursts forward and tries to run through the open frame. In the same instant, Vaeda speaks in Zephyr tongue and curls her fingers gently inward.

“Claustra solidus,” she whispers, and Gabrian slams into an invisible wall manifested by the will of Vaeda’s words, knocking her backward onto the floor. Panicked and running on pure adrenaline, Gabrian picks herself back up for another try at escape.

“Silozan Dvarah!” Vaeda continues and the door of Gabrian’s apartment slams shut before she can reach it. As the door closes, Orroryn instinctively reaches for the hem of the shadow beside him and pulls it across his massive body. Almost instantaneously, he expels himself out of the darkened contour of the entry leading to the door. He thrusts his hand outward and twists the knob on the straight bolt before Gabrian can stand, halting her exit plans. 

Holy crap! You are going to die! her mind screams, eliminating any chance of rational thought. Staring at the massive wall of man before her—and knowing the sparkly wicked witch of the west is behind her—Gabrian decides it is fight-or-flight time, and her survival instincts take over. Flashes of the bodies from the park swirl dizzily within her memory, blinding her sight with the visions of those left lying lifeless. She rushes into her mind and rips at the sensations that surround her, figuring it may be her only way out.

If she can take out three people without even trying, she can conjure up whatever is in her to slow down these crazies.

Thank you Kade, for being our special guest this week.

For you readers that want to discover more about Kade and her writing, please follow these links:

Join me on my journey as I attempt to pull you into my magical world filled with Vampires, Shadow Walkers and Mages...and maybe even a few ‘Monsters’ along the way. (KC)

Amazon links:







Saturday 20 July 2019

Guest Author Arianna Dagnino of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Arianna Dagninos cultural and professional experience crosses many borders and five continents. (Quoted from website)

The Scribbler is most fortunate to have Arianna as our guest this week, certainly one of our most interesting invitees. I discovered her novel – The Afrikaner – on Twitter and was immediately drawn to the story and the author.  She has kindly agreed to a 4Q Interview and to share an excerpt from her novel.

In her career as an international reporter, literary translator and academic researcher, Arianna Dagnino has lived in many countries, including a five-year stint in South Africa. The author of several books on the impact of global mobility, science and digital technologies, she holds a PhD from the University of South Australia and currently teaches at the University of British Columbia.  Her novel The Afrikaner has just been published by Guernica Editions in Toronto. 

Arianna Dagnino in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa, 1998

4Q: Let’s start by talking about your novel. Please tell us about it and what inspired this story.

AD: In a nutshell, the Afrikaner is an on-the-road adventure story that blends history, scientific research and politics in a plot set between Johannesburg, Cape Town, the Kalahari Desert and Zanzibar. Set in newly post-apartheid South Africa, the book is inspired by the five years (1996-2000) I spent there as a foreign correspondent for the Italian press. The main character, Zoe du Plessis (33), is a young female scientist (paleontologist) of Afrikaner descent. A conflicted woman struggling with group guilt and a dark family secret, Zoe embarks on a field expedition into the hot plains of the Kalahari Desert in search of early human fossils. Her journey of atonement and self-discovery will lead her to memorable encounters with a troubled writer, a Bushman shaman, and a Border War veteran.  The conclusion spirals the reader into a new perspective, where atonement seems to be inextricably linked to an act of creative imagination. 

4Q: You have an impressive CV, world traveler having lived and studied in many countries, a doctorate degree in Comparative Literature, a published author, a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, translator & interpreter and citizenship in three countries. How does writing fiction novels fit into all this?

AD: I have always thought that a writer needs to live intensely, harshly, wildly before s/he can put anything on paper. Combine this with an unquenched love for hard travelling and deep immersion in other cultures/languages and here I am. My fiction writing emanates from my multifarious experiences across the globe.  I re-entered academia later in life and this allowed me to further explore my use of the English language within a literary context. For this reason, my book Transcultural Writers and Novels in the Age of Global Mobility (Purdue UP, 2015) starts with a creative non-fiction piece. In it, I recount my encounters with five internationally-renown authors (intercutting them with my own diary entries) using the harbour city of Istanbul as a fictionalized setting. 

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

AD: If you allow me, I would like to share an anecdote of my youth (I was 21, then) – rather than of my childhood – that happened to me in 1985 while I was living in former Soviet Union at Moscow’s Pushkin Institute as a student of Russian language. The passage is an excerpt from my travel diaries:

“In Moscow in 1984 I read Dostoyevsky, I read about the miseries of the Russian people, then as much as ever. I sent letters to my family, writing with a pencil on the coarse paper that they used as table- cloth in unauthorized basement taverns. For six months I was almost cut off from the outer world. To phone abroad from a public place was an enterprise that demanded long hours of waiting among hundreds of ethnic proletarians assimilated by the empire: Turkmens, Kazaks, Georgians, Kyrgyzs. The news from abroad was metered out with a dropper.

Dimitri was my guide to the Russian underground. He kissed me and sang Vysotsky to me—the songs of this anti-establishment singer-songwriter ostracized by Soviet authorities spoke truth in their own oblique way. One night, he led me where no foreigner—least of all a fortuitous tourist—would ever get to: a street, a nineteenth-century building, a front door, a cold entrance hall, one landing. In the silent darkness that smelled of bygone affluence, my poet lit his cigarette lighter and brought it closer to the wall. Then, through our condensed breaths, I saw, at first indistinctly, then more and more clearly: tens, hundreds of writings running up those walls encrusted by time and memory. Dimitri read out loud some of them, interpreting them with his warm actor's voice. They were all passages from Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. He told me that the authorities regularly covered those writings under a layer of whitewash but—relentlessly—those surreptitious traces kept reappearing. The magic of the initiated. The words that lived on, at all costs. ‘Manuscripts don't burn’ (Bulgakov, The Master, p. 287). It was an exemplary lesson.


4Q: Is there a special time or place where you sneak off to write?

AD: I like getting up very early in the morning, around 5.00 am, have my cup of rooibos tea and sit at my desk while everyone else in the house is still asleep. Possibly, while I write I love being able to peek at the sea (any sea). As a woman of the sea, born by the sea, I am always inspired by the line of distant horizons.

4Q: In the world of fiction, what’s next for Arianna, the author?

AD: With my husband Stefano Gulmanelli we are exploring the idea of writing together a fiction set between Vancouver, Canada and Genoa, Italy in two different time frames: the now (21st century) and the year 1796 (at the aftermath of the French Revolution). The two main characters are a modern Vancouverite woman doing research on an 18th century Genoese painter, and Carlo Rivarola, a fallen Genoese nobleman living in contemporary Italy. 

Carlo Rivarola
We would obviously capitalize on the thorough understanding we have developed of both countries and their related societies. Through engaging story-telling we would use the intersection of these different cultural spaces and time frames to explore issues of national identity, cultural prejudice, and the quest for self-determination (both at the individual and collective level). We think this would make the work both timely and topical.  

An Excerpt from The Afrikaner 

 (Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission)

Kurt moves to the kitchen to prepare their drinks.

As she looks around, Zoe notices another window-door, slightly ajar, leading into a studio. She peers inside. Three of the walls are covered with books; in a corner facing the window is a sturdy desk of what looks like reclaimed wood; a computer and a stack of black leather notebooks are the only objects on it. She enters, walks over to the closest shelf and runs a finger over the spines of the books: they’re arranged in alphabetical order. She pauses at the V and reads the titles of his works.

“Here, Zoe,” Kurt says, handing her a tumbler. She jumps slightly: He has come from behind, catching her by surprise.

“I’m sorry, I hope I’m not intruding.”

“Not to worry,” he says perching himself on a stool by the window: “A fossil hunter can’t help being snoopy.”

“I guess so,” she says, listening to the ice tinkle against her glass. “Most of the time with few rewards, though. I mean, Mary Leakey found her first hominid footprints after she had wandered in the desert like a mad woman for thirty years.”

He seems to wait for more. She can’t suppress a smile. “Is something funny?”
“I’m sorry. With your high-neck fisherman’s sweater, whiskey in hand and unshaven stubble you look like a real writer. I mean, the way anyone would imagine, say, Hemingway in his study.”

“Putting on weight, with greying hair and ready to shoot himself in the head. Too much like the old man, right?”

“I see you have most of his books.”

“We never stop imitating our models, for better or for worse.”

Out there, the sky has suddenly turned blood red. Below them, the Atlantic waves keep beating on the shore with dogged insistence.

As she turns again toward the shelf, Zoe makes eye contact with a young woman framed within a picture. She is of unusual beauty, with shiny black hair wrapping her shoulders like a silk shawl, slightly almond-shaped eyes and the golden-brown skin of the Cape Coloured.

Kurt stands up rather abruptly.

“You’re going to miss the sunset,” he says laying a hand on her hip, leading her gently through the window doors onto the terrace.

They reach the others in time to pick up what Cyril is saying: “He built this house with his own hands, soon after he came back to South Africa three years ago.”

Zoe looks sideways to check Kurt’s reaction, but he seems lost in his thoughts, perhaps in his memories. He keeps his eyes not on the fireball in the sky but down, at the relentless surf under their feet. Once again, he has retreated behind a curtain of cold detachment. Even his dwelling, so apparently open to the sun and the sea breeze, is standing within invisible walls – the ones he has erected between himself and the rest of the world.

Thank you for being our guest this week Arianna. I’ve recently purchased your novel and am anxious to “dig in”.

For you readers that would like to discover more about Arianna and her writing, please follow these links:

Book website:

Sunday 14 July 2019

Guest Author Steven Spears of Shediac, New Brunswick.

Poetry and Stories by Steve S.

That’s the heading when you visit Steve’s Facebook page where you will find lots of interesting material about Steve and his books. He has kindly agreed to be our guest this week on the Scribbler, as well as share an excerpt of his writing.

Steven Spears is a 49 year old Forester and Biologist, who spends his evenings writing and trying to figure out his head. He is still trying.  He is a pagan, who investigates and studies his faith by writing. His poetry takes a look at different aspects of being pagan and what its like to be pagan in today’s society. He also writes erotica, sensual, horror, fantasy and his own brand of fairy tales. He has two self published books “A Journey with the Lady” and “Under the Red Sheet”.

4Q: Let’s talk about Under the Red Sheets first – a collection of short stories and poems about tantalizing subjects.

SS: Under the Red Sheet started out as a collection of poems and stories, mostly around relationships and sex, but as time went on it grew into something else. Yes sex is still part of it, but the book itself goes through the cycle of flirting, dating, shyness, relationships, sex, and loss and breakup. The short stories are just another way to look at these subjects, and oh yes there is a fair amount of humor in there as well.

4Q: A Journey with the Lady has received some very pleasant reviews. What’s it about and what inspired this  story?

SS: A Journey with the Lady is my first book of poetry and prose and it deals with paganism. The poems in it look at how it is being a witch in today’s society, how it’s like to “come out of the broom closet”. It also has teaching poems, chants, and poems relating to ritual. Some of the poems have been used in Wiccan rituals. Also there are more fanciful poems, including a whole chapter of poems on a theme of humor, a poor gentleman who keeps bumping into supernatural creatures.  Journey was a way for me to explore and study my faith more closely, one in which I continue today.

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

SS: The past is the past, though it does tend to make us what we are, I do not try to dwell on it. Having said that it was not that my childhood was bad or horrible, it is behind me.  Though if there is one thing it would be this, when I was 11 days old it was found out that my esophagus was not fully formed. It took an immediate operation to correct the situation, and due to complications I nearly died three times in those two weeks that followed.

4Q: Where’s your favorite place to write and please share what gets your creative juices flowing.

SS: I am a bit weird when it comes to writing. I tend to write where ever I am or any time. Basically, it comes down to if something strikes me, I tend to write about it. I could be at home, work or on the road. I even have in meetings, wrote poems when something has come to mind. 

4Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

Photo credit:
SS: I would suppose it would be this that I write not just in one genre. I write poetry and short stories around paganism, erotica, sensual, horror, fairy tales, fantasy and general poetry. In a way they all revolve around the theme of paganism, that of life, fertility, imagination and death. 

An Excerpt from Under the Red Sheet

(Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission)

One Last Dance

Out on the floor the young couples twirl,

Tonight is the night of the old barn dance,

To the young ones it is all for a chuckle or a giggle,

Not for all for old memories are again once alive.

He sits in the corner and watches the kids dance,

Old he is that is true but in his mind still young,

She is gone now having passed just last year.

Here he sits forgotten in a corner,

His kids, now adults with kids of their own have left him there,

But as he watches the couples dance he relives his time with her.

They would dance the night away in each others arms,

Remarked it was that they made such a perfect couple.

And in his mind he dances with her still and always will,

His love has gone and he knows he soon will join her,

But right now he sits and watches the youngsters.

His little granddaughter asks him to dance; smile at her he does,

But he must decline for his old legs will not let him anymore.

Instead he holds her and she rambles on about all she has seen this night.

Soon she is off again chasing her brothers and he is again left alone.

She is always with him; for he can feel her nearby like he always could,

So he watches and taps his foot to the music and relives the past,

Tapping with the beat his foot goes, but then his foot stops.

Later they find him sitting in the corner with a smile on his face,

Crying and sobbing they say oh why has he gone?

He has gone to join his love for one last dance.

By Steve S 08/09/2016

Thank you for being our guest this week Steve. For all you readers that would like to know more about Steve and his writing, please follow this link: