Friday, 22 September 2017

Supporting our Community

Surgeries Under  Pressure.

We are all aware of the pressures in our health service. Here in our own little corner of North Wales, we have been struggling a little more than most. 
My OH and I became involved with a local support group, the Friends of Pen-y-Maes Health Centre, whose aim is to get the Health Centre back to the excellent service it used to be.
Not to go into detail, suffice to say that things came to a head over these last two weeks when, at a public meting in the local church (divine intervention?) there was overwhelming support for a public protest before an Executive Board meeting for the North Wales health service.
After letters, e-mails, and contact with the media by organisers, councillors, and patients, we may, just may, be moving forward.

The Wrexham Leader covered the planned protest.

As did the Daily Post Wales who always give good coverage for Welsh matters.

The Peaceful Protest.

It rained. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) 'top brass' met with patients -in the rain - delaying the meeting in the process. They gave time and an ear to listen to concerns. We often say that there is a divide between North and South Wales, split as it is by a mountain range. And so it proved. Our combined voices, led by the courage of organiser Hayley, reached across the valleys of North Wales, over the mountains into the valleys of South Wales in this land of song, to Cardiff - the seat of the Welsh Assembly who are responsible for devolved health provision in Wales.

The media were out in force at the Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University to cover the story.
BBC Wales Today also reported on the evening news. 

Local papers also carried the actual protest as well as online posts.
Online newspaper

But we had a result. We were listened to. Hopefully the situation will be resolved soon. Let's hope so.

With the onset of winter, lives are at risk.

Rosalie x

Monday, 18 September 2017

Post Island Interludes Release - What Next?

Time to take stock on the home front.

Another hectic year today as my inner demons drove me to not only complete Island Interludes but bring it out in a glossy hardcover as well. In true madcap fashion, not only the latest release but the other three books in the Just Us Two Travel series along with fiction story ORANGES: A Journey. But first - 

On the Home Front.

Taking stock of the garden and increasing mobility/maintenance needs prompted us to embark on Garden Project Stage 1 - back garden. Down came the dilapidated shed and up went two smaller maintenance-free ones. The gardeners found where the badgers had dug under next door's fence and under our flags a while back. Horrifying.

Garden Project Stage 2 - replacing flower beds for pots. This involved visits to Garden centres and eventually a lovely visit to Coed-y-Dinas Charlies Garden Centre in Welshpool. They had exactly what we were looking for. Of course, I had to fill a trolley with plants.
More online trawls have highlighted where I could buy and 'everlasting' shrub for a tub that is sheltered from the rain.  Another garden centre where I can get some quarter miniature standards for patio pots. Another day out, with lunch of course, is on the cards.
After shifting around some pots in the back garden and digging up some plants in the front bed, I have now turned my thoughts to spring bulbs. (Still daffs. and tulips to dig up in the front but I think  some small ones around the standard Lavender would be nice - that is if it survives the haircut that my daughter gave it! Snowdrops? Jonquils? Small tulips? they would look good in the old stone boot. 

Moving into the world of Glossy Hardback Books.

It was an offer that I couldn't resist - a free upload promotion. I always remember a book event customer saying to me when I was a newbie at this game, 'I only buy hardback books'. How deflated did I feel?

Of course, re-formatting the cover and interior into a larger size book was not a problem. In updating the front and back matter for the new release, now that both series are complete, I decided that the new hardbacks also needed the same treatment. A sweep of the editing produced a few updates. 

The other four travel-based paperback books needed new files.
Then of course,in the interests of consistency this led to the eBooks. It was an opportunity to revert to colour photographs in the travel eBooks that we had lost in recent changes.

All this followed on from our 'holiday' field trip to the Canary Islands to bring the last chapters up to date. Oh! and a jaunt across France and Spain into Portugal on a family visit. With temperatures at forty-five degrees, we were less than happy that the air conditioning failed (and even a loss of power on cruise control on inclines), The upshot of all this is that we 'eventually' had the car replaced.

Now that Island Interludes is live to order/download at point of sale globally along with the new glossy hardbacks with illustrated back cover, I only have to concentrate on keeping up momentum. And battle with frustrating IT system updates with other organisations - not USA ones I hasten to add. How can two electronic upload systems for the same information in the same organisation  not talk to each other? Actually, it is not the system. A computer only does what it is told to do. That is the difference between the human brain and a computer - well it used to be.

All in all I have been spending money but not on dresses. I promise. Not yet, I need to lose a bit more weight first!

Watch this space for Garden Project Stage Three . . . and the battle of the bulge.

Rosalie xx

Friday, 8 September 2017

Island Interludes eBook Launch Offer. Ends Saturday 9th

Global Distribution.

  • EBook half price launch offers (until Saturday 9th 23:59.)  eBook is enhanced with the images in colour.
  • Live links to Apple iTunes,
  • iBookstore, 
  • B&N Nook, 
  • Google Play
  • Plus download to tablets, PC with apps etc. in Smashwords Store 
  • **Kindle launch is delayed until October. In the meantime you can download mobi for Kindle and other formats for most reading devices and PC at the Smashwords Store
Lose yourself in the story and enjoy as you escape to the sunshine lands with us.

What people have said already:

"I read the Canaries section which is described beautifully, accurately, and with your unmistakable personal passion! Success and Good health to you both!" David Berry Canary Island resident and traveller. 01.09.2017

“The author’s professional approach strikes through”. A.J.Portugal.  16.08.2017
“I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to relax reading this easy flowing narrative of our part of the world.” Joseph Abela.
Island Interludes is illustrated with five maps and twenty-five photographs.
Island Interludes has a wealth of historical and geographical information.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Island Interludes.Now on Release in Print and eBook.

Introducing Sicily - where we left you in The Long Leg of Italy.

"An island of mystery, sunshine, and untold stories. An island dominated by a volcano that erupts when it is angry and the molten lava needs release into the sky as it forces its way from the bowels of the mountain. An island that stretches back into the mists of time, drawing you into its deep mysterious soul as it hugs its secrets of the past to itself. An island at the foot of Italy that floats in the Mediterranean Sea with the warm waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas lapping at its northern and eastern shores.
In The Long Leg of Italy, we left our story as we arrived in Messina in Sicily on the ferry from Reggio de Calabria in southern Italy. As the coach rolled down the ramp, we couldn’t help reflectin
g on our first visit in 2005 when we had taken the train to Messina to check out the logistics of coming across on our Honda Gold Wing converted trike.

The romance and mystery of Sicily had always made a pull on my imagination. As we had had our wings clipped so to speak in 2004, the big question was, ‘Where do we go next?’ The story continues. . . ."

Share our diverse adventures and explorations into this ancient island,. Siracusa, Castel Mola high above the sea above romantic Taormina with its Greek Theatre . . .

What people have said already:

"I read the Canaries section which is described beautifully, accurately, and with your unmistakable personal passion! Success and Good health to you both!" David Berry Canary Island resident and traveller. 01.09.2017

“The author’s professional approach strikes through”. A.J.Portugal.  16.08.2017
Island Interludes is illustrated with five maps and twenty-five photographs.
Island Interludes has a wealth of historical and geographical information.

From the book back.

"With her usual self-depreciating, dry humour, the author recounts the adventures, the culture, sights, and sounds as ‘just us two’ bound through the islands with joy; ride up mountains on a scooter, a Boom Trike, and even on foot like a mountain goat as they escape to the sun in the ancient islands of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean."

Global Distribution.

Lose yourself in the story and enjoy as you escape to the sunshine lands with us.


Monday, 4 September 2017

Introducing Beautiful and Diverse Tenerife -

The beautiful and diverse island of Tenerife is the last of the islands that we are visiting in Island Interludes

An uplifting testimonial from a Canarian resident and traveller, "I read the Canaries section which is described beautifully, accurately, and with your unmistakable personal passion!" D.Berry. Gran Canaria.

Excerpt: "The only two that we have not visited are the smaller islands of La Palma and El Hierro which both lie to the west of the archipelago. Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is an isosceles triangular-shaped island with lush, green mountainous terrain in the north that gives way to the more barren coast and hot temperatures in the south.
Tenerife lies to the east of the islands of La Palma and El Hierro and north-east of the island of La Gomera a short ferry ride away which we explored in the last chapter.

Our first visit to Tenerife with close friends was a journey into the unknown. Hiring a car, we explored the island to the full and what a wonderful introduction to this stunningly, beautiful island."

Over the years we visited again and again - twelve times in all - as we escaped to the sunshine  from a cold and dreary British winter to re-charge our batteries. There is so much to tell you about our adventures as we left our sunbeds to explore the more hidden jewels away from the usual sun-seekers choices.

Masca Valley; Garachico; Taganana Valley; climbing a mountain like a mountain goat; to Mt. Teide on a scooter, carnival time  . . .

Launch offers on eBook site wide.
 PLUS-download ePub for tablets and  mobi for Kindle  in the Smashwords Store.-no coupon needed.



Friday, 1 September 2017

Four days to go. This week - Introducing La Gomera

Where is the small and mysterious island of La Gomera?

It lies sleepily in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by other islands of the Islas Canarias. On a clear day, you can see the outline of the island from various vantage points on other islands. Can you see La Gomera to the south west of Tenerife?

If you are visiting the larger and better known island of Tenerife, an adventure by ferry from Los Cristianos  is a must.  We have visited twice. The second time, earlier in 2017 as we couldn't miss the opportunity and there is a fast ferry now - a trimaran - and "according to Lineas Fred Olsen the largest fast ferry in the world. Actually the size of three football fields."
Here is a short excerpt:

"The island of Tenerife receded as the boat ploughed through the water with white foam left in the wake of the ship. The rising sun shone down onto the water, a portent of a good day ahead. The peak of Mount Teide on Tenerife dominated the skyline. It was very windy at sea but as La Gomera came into view, the green hills rising above the coast came clear, as did the cluster of houses around the harbour below a sheer rock face.
The south of the island is very green. The winding mountain road took us through this lush and fertile land. Higher, we saw barren rock from lava flow, cacti, and ferns. We were now in the Parque National de Garajonay where, at one point, we stopped at a viewing platform. From here the fertile fields spread themselves out before us. La Laguna Grande in the centre of the island was misty. . . 

After an early start however, we were ready for lunch."

And what a treat was waiting for us at Las Rosas restaurant in the north of the island. A demonstration of the ancient art of communicating by whistling.On the way we had stopped at the small village of Hermigua in the Valle de Hermigua. The descent from the road is so steep there is a handrail [pipe] running down the wall of the convent. They don't need a gym there to keep fit! And of course the inevitable bananas...


Map courtesy

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen. in Summer.

Another ride out to an old favourite.

Sunday saw us heading into the hills again, Our destination was the Ponderosa Cafe on the Horseshoe Pass, above Llangollen.

As it is Bank Holiday weekend as I write this, we decided to change our usual route down the A5 trunk road - the old historic coach route from London to Holyhead on Anglesey for the ferry to Ireland. Instead we turned the other way, heading northwards towards the town of Mold - Yr Wyddgrug in Welsh - on the River Alyn. 

Reaching Pontblyddyn we turned off the road to take the Corwen Road. This part of the journey is so beautiful as you travel through quiet villages and roads bordered by leafy trees. Rising higher the road opens out as you reach the Llandegla moors. Being a fine day, there were many motorbikers about, leaning themselves and their powerful machines to the bends in the road, zooming along as they enjoyed the freedom of being at one with the world. An experience enjoyed by bikers.

Reaching the top of the moors we soon came to the Ponderosa Cafe at the summit of the Horseshoe Pass. As expected the car park was thronged with bikers but we were astonished to also see a great number of cars - more than usual. Many opt to eat outside with the take-away food, even a full Sunday Lunch, but we opted for the comfort of an inside seat. As Allen paid for  our sandwich and cold drinks I found an empty table inside and we waited for our Gold Wing biker friend from way back. This meeting is usually a monthly arrangement.

I took the opportunity to browse in well-stocked Shop in the Clouds gift shop where i bought two tea-towels relating to Wales. After putting the world to rights we made our way through the packed car park that was buzzing with machines of all types and their riders who were enjoying the sunshine. To one side, the footpaths lead into the hills, where many wander off to see more. On the other side, the valley falls away in a rich pattern of lush green fields and sweeping folds in the mountains. We decided to turn left out of the car park and head towards Llangollen, taking a chance that we wouldn't be held up too much in what would undoubtedly be a packed Llangollen. I never fail to be uplifted by the view across the valley as we head towards and down the Horseshoe Pass. It is truly beautiful and one of the many unforgettable scenes in this beautiful world of ours.

Llangollen was festive with colourful bunting straddling the ancient, narrow bridge over the River Dee; it flowed down from its source at the Horseshoe Falls, twisting, turning,racing over and around the many rocks found in various parts as it babbled its way to Chester and eventual  release into the sea. The bridge was also decked with huge tubs of colourful flowers as were many of the surrounding buildings. Passing the bridge, I could see that Castle Street was thronged with visitors.

All in all, another satisfying foray into the hills.

The Horseshoe Pass has many faces. In the winter, it is just as beautiful and dramatic.Below is a view from the Ponderosa after the snows.


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Getting Closer. This Week - Introducing Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria, another jewel in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

As with other Canary Islands, the island lies in the Gulf Stream off the west coast of Africa, but between Fuerteventura to the north-east and Tenerife to the north-west. It is rounder in shape than the others with all the valleys and rivers flowing out from the mountains high in the centre of the island. This makes for some dramatic scenery.

We have visited twice, both times art the end of March when the temperatures were bearable. On our first visit, we took advantage of the Island Tour, which opened up to us the whole of the island. here is a flavour. . .

The mountains rose high as we traversed valleys along switchback roads. Las Palmas was visible in the distance from our viewpoints. Teror is a typical Canarian village with those fantastic ornate wooden balconies. Finding a gift shop, I browsed happily into the far reaches of the building while my husband waited outside in the fresh air and shade.
Tejeda and Ayacata.
The roads wound higher and higher providing an ever-changing scene. At some viewing points of nearly one thousand five hundred feet high you could clearly see Las Palmas. Heading south towardsAyacata, the Roque Nubio in the distance towered high into the sky. If it had been a clear day, our guide told us, we would have been able to see Mount Teide which dominates Tenerife.

San Bartolome de Tirajana and the coast.
It was getting cooler now in the mountains when we made our last comfort stop. Then, our route took us south to San Bartolome as, gradually, we made a hair-raising, stunning, and spectacular descent down the mountains to the motorway, the coast and our hotel. What a brilliant day we had had."

This shows that it is well worth leaving   a sunbed to explore and that there is more to Gran Canaria than at first meets the eye.
And then there is Puerto Mogan. But I won't spoil it for you just yet. It is all in the pages of Island Interludes along with five maps and twenty-five photographs.

Promotional Launch Offers. 50% off eBook at GooglePlay (ePub) and Smashwords store (download ePub,mobi for Kindle and more) 
eBook offers go global from Sunday Aug. 27th

copyright Rosalie Marsh.

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Day Draws Nearer. Introducing Lanzarote

18 days to the release of Island Interludes on Tuesday September 5th

I have to admit that I am getting excited. The research, writing, revisions, and production hard work is now finalised.This weeks 'peek between the covers' is to introduce the island of Lanzarote.

Google image courtesy
"There is much to choose from among the Canary Islands but Lanzarote, lying just off the west coast of Africa, has a certain appeal. It is north of Fuerteventura and the closest to Africa, being east of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. The islands also lie south of Madeira which we have visited in the last chapter. Although Fuerteventura is known for being windy we had not expected there to be so much wind in Lanzarote.
An island of contrasts, with the terrain completely different to Tenerife, Lanzarote is dominated by the Timanfaya National Park and the ‘Fire Mountain’ – where the temperature in the ground reaches three hundred and eighty-eight degrees Celsius. It was such fun to see the experiments and cooking. I was also fascinated to see how camels got down onto the ground as they rested lazily after shedding their load of tourists.

Island tour.

The usual included trip took us on a day-long tour of the island which included the Timanfaya National Park and Fire Mountain. My initial impression on our first visit, was that the countryside uninspiring, flat and the land scrubby. The villages consisted mainly of non-descript low buildings. ( An impression that was soon dispelled -author)
Climbing higher, the landscape became more lunar; it felt quite eerie. More ..."

We have found that a Island Tour is the best way to be introduced to what an island is really like away from the beaches. It also encourages you to go a little further independently on a future visit.

 Global distribution. Go to Rosalie's Bookstore for links.

Amazon Kindle - is delayed until October but in the meantime you can download mobi files from the Smashwords Store.

**Take advantage of launch offer and pre-order at Smashwords with coupon code FM43D
 Price: $6.99 $3.50 USD Use the code FM43D at checkout for 50% off. 
Available ebook formats: epub mobi pdf lrf pdb html
(Offer good through Sep. 10, 2017
Island Interludes eBook is illustrated with 30 images - 5 colour maps and 25 colour photographs. 
It is also  good reference book as is The Long Leg of Italy.

Copyright Rosalie Marsh 2016

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Launch Offers now live - Countdown 24 days to September 5th

This Week - Introducing Fuerteventura and the camels.

Clearly visible, as the plane circled its descent over the sea, was the outline of the island of Fuerteventura with its long sandy beaches and low mountains spread out below. What a perfect retreat from the hurly burly of daily life and the harshness of a British winter.
This current escape in November had been a last-minute decision. Having visited Fuerteventura before, it was one we knew we would not regret.

Caleta de Fuste.

Fuerteventura – one of the Canary Islands – lies south of Lanzarote off the west coast of Africa. Our destination was again the small resort of Caleta de Fuste on the east coast of the island. This is a modern resort built around an old fishing village that has a marvellous sandy beach in the curved bay.
With two lazy camels watching as they waited for passengers, we passed along the yellow sands and sun beds of the curved bay before reaching the old fort or ‘Castillo de la Caleta de Fuste’ and the Puerto Castillo Yacht Harbour in the old centre of the village. If you want to be a little more adventurous you can have a guided session playing with sea lions in the harbour or take part in other underwater activities on offer.
Continuing north around the headland, the scenery changes dramatically as the sea crashes over the rocks which form this part of the coast; here, if you are very quiet and still, you might see chipmunks as they scurry over the rocks stopping only to catch the peanuts which tourists feed them.

Now, I could tell you all about the Island Tour, the Aloe Vera Factory,and even our adventure into mountains on a Boom Trike . . . Oh, and goats . . .

Now live. . . Half Price Launch Offers until Sunday September 10th

Google Play link (ePub) No coupon code needed.

All prices quoted for UK include the UK punitive tax on eBooks of Standard Rate VAT 20%

Smashwords link download ePub, Mobi for Kindle, Pdf etc. Quote Coupon Code  FM43D at checkout.


PS.(All titles will be back on Amazon Kindle in October when Amazon’s criteria for changing distributors to Ingram Spark from Kindle Direct Publishing has been fulfilled.)