Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Guest Blog Post by Ashley Redican and NaPoWriMo Challenge

Hello Readers,

First of all, I am still in the process of finishing Lady Raven. You must be thinking 'Wow, how long does it take to write a book?' Well, the answer is in this case, a little while longer. It seems a life of reading, writing, studying university and a full-time job is not that easy after all! But, the story is practically writing itself now, which means it's also changing too, or as I like to say evolving. I will be sharing more about Lady Raven in due course. But, as I have decided to submit this one to an agent, I will be awaiting a reply before posting more on this.

I've also decided to join NaPoWriMo this year. For those of you who are unfamiliar with NaPoWriMo (just like I was five minutes ago) it's where you commit to writing a poem every day for the month of April. That's thirty poems in thirty days! Seen as though I've decided to give this a go, I will be committing to posting one poem per day (written on that particular day) on here and my social media channels. If you'd like to join in the fun, or simply find out more information, please visit:

I've been thinking about doing the odd guest post here and there, for a while now. So, here it goes ...
My first guest post comes from romance and fantasy writer Ashley Redican. Enjoy ...

Hey gals and guys, I’m Ashley. I didn’t always want to be a writer; I thought one day that I’d be a Palaeontologist. But, something happened when I was young that stopped me from pursuing that dream. However, that is when I fell in love with writing: creating my own characters, making them say and do whatever I wanted, and most importantly getting to choose who lives and who dies. It was like playing God and I loved it!
I haven’t published anything yet, but, I have sent a manuscript to a couple of publishing houses, which I'm still waiting to hear from. I wrote a book titled The Broken Unicorn, which I hope to find an agent for soon. But, the most recent story that I'm working on right now is called Two Birds of a Feather. It’s about two people – a boy and girl – who grow up together. They fall in love at a very young age, and at the beginning of high school, they become girlfriend and boyfriend, until one day changes their lives forever. The girl – Emily – is diagnosed with Leukaemia. From then on, the two lovers grow ever so apart, until they’re practical strangers to each other.  This story may seem sad… and it is, which I apologise for in advance. But, this story is very personal to me, as it’s based on my life, my story.  
On a more positive note, the story I'm going to share with you today is called The Mermaid and The Dolphin. Here's a sneak peak ... 

The Dolphin 

The mermaid swam in the blue ocean. She was lost and afraid. She had no idea who she was, her memory was lost. She was a beautiful mermaid; she had long blue hair, blue eyebrows, blue lips and a long, blue scaly fish-like tail. Her name was Alaya, the Sapphire Mermaid.
Alaya was swimming in the ocean, she was trying to find her way home, but she had forgotten where it was. She was sad and angry at herself for forgetting. What would her mother think? In fact, Alaya had also forgotten her mother, and her father, too.
 She found a nearby rock above the surface, and climbed on it. All she saw was the sea, crashing against the rock, making her feel a bit uneasy. On the rock, her fish-like tail was in the water; she shut her eyes tightly and tried her best to remember who she was, and where to go from here. But all she remembered was…falling, drowning.
Yes, she thought, I remember falling, but from what?
She was still lost and alone. She wanted a friend, most of all. From the rock, she jumped back into the ocean, where she almost hit a baby eel.
“Sorry,” she said to the baby eel.
She swam on, endlessly.
Alaya came up to a school of fish, but they were having a little talk.
“Hi,” she said to one of the fish. The fish turned and saw a beautiful mermaid.
“Well hello, miss. What can I do for you?” he asked.
The fish was small; he was yellow and had black stripes that ran around his small, plum belly. He also had two great big eyes. He was a very ugly fish.
Alaya stroked her long, blue hair and spoke in a gentle voice, “Hello, my name is Alaya, and I’m trying to get home. I just wondered if you may have seen my family, or other mermaids?”
The fish thought for a moment, and then said, “Well I don’t believe I have. I’m sorry. But my friend may have. She is always talking about mermaids.”
“Do you know where I can find her?”
“Yes, she should be.” The fish was turning his head this way and that, searching for his friend. “She should be around here somewhere. She’s quite hard to miss, because, you see, she’s a white dolphin.”
“A dolphin?”
“Yes, a dolphin. She is also trying to get home. She broke away from her family and now she, too, needs help trying to find her way home to her family.”
“Maybe we could help each other,”
“Yes, I suppose you could. Wait here; I might know where she is.”
Alaya waited as the yellow fish swam very fast toward a little boat that sank a long time ago on the seabed. When he came back, a large dolphin was behind him. The dolphin was white with a bottlenose, and two small blue eyes that looked like tiny embedded crystals.
“This is-” said the fish but was cut off by the dolphin.
“I have no name,” said the dolphin. “I can’t remember what it was. Fish here call me Dolphin.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. May I call you just Dolphin, then?” Alaya asked.
“Yes, I suppose you can. This here is Nigel, and this is his family,” Dolphin said, pointing with her flipper at the school of fish that were still talking and auguring amongst themselves.
“Hi, my name is Alaya. I’m trying to find my family. Have you seen them? Because Nigel said that you have.”
Nigel looked at Dolphin and then at Alaya and said, “I never said such a thing; all I said was that you may have seen them.”
Embarrassed, Alaya apologised. “I’m so, so sorry. He’s right, he did say that.”
“Well there is a place that mermaids go to-” Dolphin began.
“Where?” Alaya asked, excitedly.
“They go to a special place only mermaids know how to get to. All I know is the name.”
“What’s it called?”
“Crystal Island.”
“Crystal Island? I have never heard of it or been there. How am I supposed to find it?” Alaya asked.
“All mermaids know where to find it. It’s inside of them.”
“Inside of… mermaids? Me? But how do I know?”
“Search inside yourself. The answers you seek are there.”
“Can you…you show me?”
“I could. But won’t. I, too, need to find my family.”
“Well then, maybe we should try and find them together?”
The dolphin thought for a moment. Nigel came between them and said, “Why don’t you take this conversation elsewhere because I’m trying to take my kids to school.”
Alaya and Dolphin looked around and saw they were blocking traffic. There were a lot of schools of different types of fish lined up, waiting and looking a little angry at them.

An Unlikely Pair

Alaya and the Dolphin swam together in the ocean of blueness. After they left their friend Nigel, they hadn’t said a word to each other. The sea was quiet, no fishes, eels, or crabs were to be seen. They were completely alone.
Alaya wanted to say something, but could not find the right words. She opened her mouth but was cut off by Dolphin, “So, what do you remember?”
“What?” asked Alaya.
“About before. You told Nigel that you don’t remember anything.”
“Oh, that. I remember falling.”
“Falling? Is there anything else? Do you remember your parents, your family?”
“No, I can’t remember them. I try picturing them, but all I see is nothing, just blackness.”
The young mermaid swam a little slower than before. Dolphin had to stop for Alaya to catch up, and when she did, she saw that the little mermaid was sad, looking down to the seabed, where a group of hammerhead sharks were picking on a crab. If they had looked up, they would have spotted a lone mermaid, floating with a white dolphin by her side. Luckily they didn’t.
“I lost my mum and dad, too.” Dolphin said, looking at her new friend with pity. “We were out hunting for fish when a shark chased us. I hid in a cave by myself as the shark chased my mum and dad. When it was quiet, I came out, but they were gone. My mum and dad are still missing.”
“I’m so sorry. I hope you, we, find them.”
“I hope so too. But I wish that was now. I wish they were hugging me right now, like they used too. I never knew that the sea was so big and dangerous.”
Alaya hugged her friend.
The dolphin was surprised but hugged the mermaid back. In the ocean, they hugged for a while, comforting one another.
The three hammerhead sharks got bored of picking on the crab. One of the sharks spotted the mermaid and the dolphin hugging above them.
“Hey, check out them up there,” he said, pointing with his flipper at the mermaid and the dolphin.
The two sharks looked up and spotted them. The sharks all beamed in delight; all teeth, bad breath and all. They swam slowly, their tails swaying side to side, toward Alaya and Dolphin.
When they stopped hugging, Alaya and Dolphin went on their way to find their family. They never saw the three dirty, horrible sharks behind them, slowly sneaking up on them.
“Thank you,” said Dolphin.
“For what?”
“For hugging me, I really needed that.”
“It’s nothing.”
“No, it’s not nothing. You really are a good friend.”
Alaya smiled.
“Boo,” said the ugliest shark.
Alaya and Dolphin turned their heads to see three hammerhead sharks swimming slowly then faster toward them. Alaya panicked and Dolphin clicked. They swam as fast as they could, not paying attention to where the other was going. Soon, the mermaid and the dolphin were separated.
Alaya swam as fast as she could, she was too scared to turn her head and see what was behind her. Her tail moving up and down as hard as she could, she was like a rocket through the water.
The sharks were too far behind; they could not catch up to the fast mermaid. Instead, the three hammerhead sharks searched for the white dolphin. They used their ugly noses to sniff the dolphin out, but found no scent. The three sharks abandoned the hunt until one of the sharks spotted a very interesting thing lurking in a cave at the bottom of the seabed. It looked like a dolphin.
Dolphin hid away in a nearby cave, surrounded by seaweed. She stayed there, watching and waiting until the three thug sharks left. Watching them above, she kept her crystal-like eyes on the three sharks that were chasing her friend, Alaya. Alaya soon disappeared in to the deep, dark ocean beyond.
Dolphin was all alone when the sharks came back. One of the sharks spotted her in the cave. Minutes later, all three began to charge at her, but Dolphin was quick and smarter then a bunch of bullies, she saw them coming. Lifting her big tail up and down, she rocketed out of the cave and swam past the three sharks that were closing in on her.
The three sharks looked a bit dumb as Dolphin sped past them, leaving their heads in a daze.
“What was that?” asked one of the sharks.
“I don’t know. But my head is a little dizzy,” said another.
“Quit your whining you two. You let the dolphin get away,” said the ugliest of the three.
“Me? What did I do?” the one with the dizzy head asked.
“You let her get away,” said the ugliest one, again.


Alaya was looking around for her friend Dolphin. She was swimming around in the open sea, looking everywhere. She asked a couple of eels if they had seen a white dolphin pass them by or if they had seen some nasty looking sharks, but the eels hissed and spat at her. Alaya had always hated eels for their ill manners.
Alaya continued her search for her friend; she swam near the seabed, where there are small openings for Dolphin to hide in. But she didn’t find her. Alaya realised that when she was being chased by the three hammerhead sharks, she sped off in panic and she realised that she had no idea where she was, and what part of the ocean she was in.
Alaya wanted her friend.
Swimming aimlessly, she let her tail guide her home. A group of fish saw her wandering alone in the sea. One of the fish came up to her and asked, “Excuse me, miss, but are you lost?”
Alaya looked up from her search for Dolphin, and saw a little orange fish with white stripes looking at her. “No, I mean yes. I am lost; I’m looking for my friend. She is a white dolphin. Have you seen her?”
“No miss, I have not. But I’ll help you search for her, if you want.”
“That is mighty kind of you. I’m Alaya.”
“Hi, my name is Frankie the Clown Fish.”
“Nice to meet you, Frankie,” said Alaya, politely.
Together they head for the dark waters in front of them, leaving behind the group of fish Frankie was with, and beyond them, the three nasty hammerhead sharks.
“How did you split up with your friend, miss?” asked Frankie.
“We were chased by three sharks.”
“Oh, I sure do hate those sharks. I’m pretty sure that your friend has got away.”
“Thank you. I hope so.”
“Do you think she came this way?” Frankie asked after a while.
“I don’t know. But I have to check.”
“Okay, miss.”
They head in to the dark waters, a place where it was called No-Fish-Zone. Frankie was scared. He had never been this far out in the open sea, and was afraid. His body was shaking. Alaya gave him a hug and said that it was alright. That calmed him down.
“Thank you, miss-iss.  I am quite scared of these w-w-waters.”
“It’s okay Frankie. You don’t have to come any more. You can go back home.”
“No miss, I made you a promise,” he said, defensively.
“No you didn’t.”
“No, miss, but I could of.”
“Go home, Frankie, I’ll find my friend from here.”
Frankie looked back and saw the light blueness of his side of the ocean. “Are you sure you’re okay, miss? I could stay?”
“No, that is quite alright. I think I have got it from here. You can go home. And thank you for your help.”
They hugged, and then Frankie left, glad to get away from the dark waters of No-Fish-Zone.
Alaya, alone again, swam on through No-Fish-Zone. It was not a pleasant place for a fish to go, not to mention, a mermaid as well. All Alaya wanted was to find her friend and find their families.
Underneath her, the seabed gave way, going ever so deeply. Alaya stopped as she tried her best to see the seabed, but she could not, because of the No-Fish-Zone’s black waters. All of a sudden, Alaya wished she had not made her friend, Frankie, leave so soon. But she knew that would have been selfish of her.
In the distance, Alaya saw a great big shadow of an enormous whale. When Alaya pushed her tail up and down to move on, something below her, on the seabed, reflected in her eyes, making her stop. She looked down but saw nothing. She pressed on, but as she lifted her blue tail up, the same light shined in her eyes.
Could it be Dolphin? she thought.
Alaya headed down into darkness. She never had been so scared in all her mermaid life. Near the bottom, Alaya could see clearly. The young mermaid had never seen anything like it. She gasped.
On the seabed, under where Alaya was floating in the water, her arms out-stretched, was the biggest boat she had ever seen. But it was not a boat, but a ship. It was so massive that the whale could of easily have looked puny in comparison.
The ship was old looking. It clearly had not sailed in a number of years. It looked as though someone or something had vomited on it; it was covered in green slime and seaweed.
Eww, Alaya thought.
Again, something shined in her eyes, more brightly this time. She wondered what it was. She swam down toward the ship, as she did; she caught a glimpse of the name of the ship. It was called The Ladyship.
The Ladyship, Alaya wondered, never heard of it.
Continuing on her way down to the seabed, she never realised how big the ship actually was. It was gigantic!
Through the windows, she saw fishes, eels, crabs, squid, and an octopus all playing, and talking amongst each other, having fun. Alaya finally made it to the bottom and saw a picture frame near where the ship had sunk years ago. It was gold, and had a marking at the bottom. It read:
Our sweet, sweet daughter
In the picture, there was a man and a woman with a young girl. The man was old; he had very scruffy whiskers that tickled his nose, and thick, black glasses. He looked like an explorer. By his side stood a young woman, her hair all up in a pin, her arms crossed over her chest, and she too had glasses on, but was pink, and was dressed as an explorer too. In the middle was a young girl, a lot younger than the mermaid Alaya. Like Alaya, the girl in the picture had blue hair, blue eyebrows, blue eyes, and blue lips. She looked remarkably similar to Alaya, the Sapphire Mermaid. Alaya then noticed that the hair of the man and woman were also blue.
Alaya was confused.
Who were these…people? And why were they with Alaya?
As she thought the questions, no answers came.
“Oh, Alaya, I’m so glad I have found you,” said a very familiar voice.
Startled, Alaya dropped the picture, and turned.
It was Dolphin!
Alaya and Dolphin both hugged.
After a while, Alaya asked, “How did you find me?”
“Oh, I bumped into your friend while I was trying to find you.”
“My friend?”
“Yes, the little clown fish that always calls us females ‘miss’.”
Alaya laughed. “That’s Frankie. I hope he got home safe.”
“He did.” Dolphin assured her friend. “He did.”

I hope you enjoyed this sneak preview of The Mermaid and the Dolphin. If you want to get in touch with me, please E-mail me on: or alternatively you can find me on Facebook: Ashley Redican.
I would also like to thank Louise for giving me this opportunity to tell you a bit about myself and my writing. Ashley Redican.

Thanks for reading,
Louise Lake. 

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