On A Dark and Snowy Night…

On a Dark and Snowy Night front cover

…Is the title of an anthology released earlier this month by Zimbell House Publishing, which includes my short story:

The Wood-Shades of WinterAnd, like all their fabulous anthologies, it comes with a matching bookmark, which, when they send out the contributor copies is set alongside the author’s story.  A great touch!

On a Dark and Snowy Night bookmark(Apologies for the poor picture quality)

So, what is my story, The Wood-Shades of Winter about?

The story tells of a young woman named Seren, and her connection to an older witch, Dorothea.  Seren is running for her life, but from what?  When Dorothea dreams that Seren is in danger, she sends her son, Bryn, into the forest to find her.  But will he reach her in time?  And what secrets, kept hidden for decades, are about to be brought out into the open?

The Wood-Shades of Winter is a tale of winter magic, set in a forest where all is not as it seems…

Some useful On a Dark and Snowy Night links:

On A Dark and Snowy Night on the Publishers website | Amazon UK | Goodreads

22 thoughts on “On A Dark and Snowy Night…

  1. Hey Sammi,

    Congratulations on another publishing triumph! 🙂 It appears as though being published is becoming something of a rather enjoyable habit for you! 😀

    I like the cover photograph, it’s sense of silence is very atmospheric and reminds me of many a good creepy film. The choice of font for the title of your story is wonderful: it just has the word timeless ‘magic’ written all over it. As to the actual title of your story itself, ‘wood-shades’ is very rich in imagery and demands our imaginative attention.

    The bookmark accompanying the publication is a great touch…somehow it seems to personalise the contributor’s copy you hold 🙂

    I do hope Bryn races quickly to find the fleeing Seren before it is all to late! And what of these ‘secrets, kept hidden for decades!’ Oh, the drama, the excitement and adventure, it’s unbearable! 🙂

    Enjoy your Friday evening and the weekend ahead. Take good care.


    DN – 11/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dewin 🙂 It is definitely enjoyable 🙂

      Glad you like ‘wood-shades’ – this is the second time they have been mentioned in one of my short stories, so perhaps they will soon be demanding a longer tale.

      I do love what the publishers do with the bookmarks – it’s such a small thing but as you say, it personalises the whole thing so much more.

      “Oh, the drama, the excitement and adventure, it’s unbearable!” – Lol You’re so funny 🙂

      Wishing you the best of weekends 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sammi,

        Indeed, I do hope the publishers request a longer tale and in their asking, keep you busy and buoyed by continued success! 🙂

        I hear there is a decent spell of sunshine on its way to the UK next week, and imagine you’ll be frequenting favourite haunts to enjoy the springtide warmth flushing the page of your scribble-book.

        Take care on your travels Sammi.

        Best wishes for an inspired weekend 🙂


        DN – 12/03/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • 😀 That is good to hear. Don’t forget the glass of wine, or to pack a slice of something nice, a tasty sweet to eat as a treat, beneath those radiant beams.

        Hope you’re enjoying the weekend 🙂


        DN – 12/03/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can imagine it will be a flask of tea that I will be taking with me. It’s still March and it will still be cold no matter how much the sun shines! lol 🙂
        Hope you’re enjoying the weekend too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Then tea it is, and the taste of a brew, to lift spring’s gently warming hue, and still the chill of staying still…
        I hope your scribbles will all go well.

        My weekend seems to be unfolding quite nicely so far, thank you 🙂 And you?


        DN – 12/03/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • Morning Dewin 🙂

        What a lovely little rhyming line 🙂 I hope my own efforts will be as inspired 🙂

        My weekend is going well on the whole, thank you. It seems to be a weekend for creative endeavours…short story writing…long story planning…a couple of poems scribbled down (I’m just wondering if I am brave enough to try submitting them to a couple of online magazines…gulp!) and I also got signed up to Camp NaNoWriMo, which is something I have said I wanted to do for the past couple of years but never got around to doing.

        All in all, a good weekend, thus far. Hope you enjoy the rest of yours 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good afternoon Sammi,

    You sound perky! 😀

    It must be most assuring to know that Saturn endeavoured to endeavour with your endeavouring endeavours and you endeavoured to endeavour with your endeavouring still further! Sammi, you have been prodigiously busy! 🙂

    I’m certain your efforts will be inspired,
    when you sit and scribble away,
    your pen will ignite and bring you delight,
    throughout your visiting day! 🙂


    Will you be bold and submit your wares,
    to online mag and ‘zine?
    Or will you secret the work siently away,
    and publish that side of the screen?


    This wonderful idea, Camp NaNoWriMo!
    It looks, the perfect place to go!
    I hope your novelling will fruitfully grow!
    so pleased you’ve registered with them,!


    But do say more, as you open their door,
    And step into your inspiring flow!
    What treasures lie in your writing drawer?
    Where will willing work wish to go? 🙂

    Very pleased to know your all-in-all good weekend has thus far gone well. I hope that will continue long into the new week ahead.

    Good Luck! 😀

    Take care always in all ways, and in all ways, always take care.


    DN – 132/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin!

      I hope you’ve been having a good week?

      Another great poem, penned by a great poet 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing it. To be able to reply in rhyming verse to a comment is a rare talent indeed!

      And has there ever been so many endeavour / endeavoured / endeavoring’s in a single sentence before?! Great stuff! 🙂 How do you come up with these quirky snippets? 🙂

      Take care and enjoy the rest of your week 🙂 Wishing you the Brightest of Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good evening Sammi,

    Thank you for your very warm and appreciative comments. You are always kind and generous, thank you. I’m pleased the poem left a smile 😀
    How did your endeavouring go, and how are you and your week doing? All going well I trust? No doubt you’re grateful the end of the week is finally here and the days are yours to enjoy! Yay! 🙂 I hope it all unfolds as you desire, and if writing, that you spin yarn and ink story with threads of pure gold.

    As an aside, I was thinking the other day about ‘weekends’ and ‘weekdays’, and wondered: ‘what does a weekday do, when not being a day of the week?’ Does it become a weekend, at the end of the end of the week? Or the start of the end of a new weekday, at the end of the start of a new week? Perhaps a day of the week is just a part-time weekday with aspirations to become a weekend but takes a week off every week and becomes an end of the week instead? 🙂

    Lol 🙂 I’ve never understood traffic lights either where the sign reads, ‘part-time signals.’ What do they do when not in use? Perhaps they team up with part-time weekdays and head-off at weekends as signals refusing to work either at the end of the week, or on any other day with a ‘y’ in it, and certainly never at night?

    I like the words ‘quirky snippets’…it’s a fun sounding word with an amusing edge. It could be a characters name in a story…one could imagine a cheeky bounder and gossip called Quirky Snippetts, ‘snippetting’ and ‘snippering’ in quiet corners or shady bars. They could be a trader of information, like a copper’s nark, a gossip that keeps ‘snippets of tattle’ and writes them down like ‘pen-spits’? 🙂 Or, I can imagine a macabre, quirky surgeon ‘snippetting’ and removing ‘snippets’ during an internal operation! Or perhaps a snippet, is a bite from a ‘nipptess’, a ferocious ‘snips pet’, and far dastardlier than Khepri? Or perhaps snippets, is the Latin verb ‘snipptes’, as in ‘meo snepptis’ lol 🙂 Or perhaps a snippet if inserted within a written article becomes a snippert? Lol It’s a bit of fun messing about with words…like a cat playing with balls of string.

    Enjoy your Friday evening, and relish the anticipation of the weekend, it is nigh! 🙂

    Take care.


    DN – 18/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin, Good weekend? I hope so 🙂 The praise is deserved, always 🙂

      You really enjoy playing with words, don’t you 🙂 Definitely some interesting thoughts there.

      You should totally write the adventures of Quirky Snippetts 😀 I couldn’t stop laughing when I read that. I can imagine him typing his case notes on a really old typewriter, in a shed in his garden 🙂

      Wishing you the Brightest Blessings for the coming week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sammi,

        How are you? Hoping Monday has left you both unstirred and unshaken and got your week off to a great start 🙂 Personally, I had a sneaky day off work and extended the weekend for 24 more precious little hours. Wonderful!

        Thank you for your kind comments…you always know just how to leave a reader smiling 🙂

        I do enjoy playing with words and often find a whole world of new ideas wrapped within their letters. The English language is so vast and rich and full of words that want to express themselves differently on the page to the meaning they were originally assigned. I like the idea of words having the ability to morph depending on their mood 🙂

        Quirky Snippetts is an excellent name for a character, and he was all your own wonderful creation, not mine! You are simply spilling over with ideas 🙂 And maybe you are right, perhaps Quirky does needs a short story of his own, a small narrative to settle in to and a tale to call home: something to give him definition and personality, and a place each night to lay down his latters and grab 40 winks. There is such scope for amusement when one has an imagination like yours…I do like your idea of the old fashioned typewriter in the garden shed, it’s a wonderful ‘quirk’ of Quirky’s…heaven only knows what other aspects one could find to add to his oddball ways! lol 🙂 (I wonder what the neighbours think of him? 🙂 )

        Thank you for best wishes for the week ahead…your blessings are returned three-fold and polished to their brightest shine 🙂

        Take care, and happy writing!


        DN – 21/03/2016

        P.S: Did you see sun rise this morning? The sun was a fireball with colours of molten cranberry. Spectacular. Well worth getting up early for 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Dewin, I am fine, thank you 🙂 How was Tyr’s Day?

        An extended weekend? Sounds like pure bliss.

        It looks like we both have had a hand in crafting Quirky Snippetts. 🙂 I believe the neighbours think he is quite mad and avoid him at all costs. He tried interviewing them for a case – I think it was The Curious Case of The Wandering Wheelie Bin – and since then they’ve not been too keen. I reckon he either doesn’t have a very high success rate or that he solves all his cases purely by chance! lol I can’t help but wonder what else he has in his garden shed…I hear it’s where Quirky finds all his inspiration 🙂

        I missed yesterday’s sunrise, unfortunately. Pity. Your description of it – molten cranberry, indeed! – conjures up visions of early morning brilliance.

        Brightest Blessings for Woden’s Day and the rest of the week!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Sammi,

    How are you today? I didn’t even know it was Tyr’s Day! Oooops…should I have dressed in red or worn a leek as a buttonhole or something to celebrate? I did have a Welsh Cake or two if that’s a good substitute 🙂

    ‘The Curious Case of the Wandering Wheelie Bin’ had me chuckling away. 🙂 What a great title! And mad Quirky’s first official case…a dastardly deed the neighbours are obviously keen to cover up or not willing to discuss further. Hmmm, interesting, the plot thickens…what if all the neighbours are in on this despicable neighbourhood crime as well and have formed something of a Wheelie Bin cartel? What will our hero do? Who will he turn to for help? Who’ll believe him, he’s mad Quirky? Perhaps you could be right when you suggest he solves crimes by chance rather than traditional means, he is Quirky Snippetts after all. I to think his shed is key to all of his comings and goings, it’s his snug, a place of quiet thought and refuge where he can ponder his gossip and keep his snippets…a ‘snippet snug’ so to be speak. But where exactly he gets his inspiration from is another mystery entirely 🙂

    I woke early again today to make an effort to see sunrise, only to find the sky a gloomy grey again and visibility diminished: so no rising ball of cherry this morning. It’s stayed cloudy all day as well, so the full Moon isn’t visible either, nothing more than a small lick of flare on the edge of a cloud. Never mind, there’ll be other mornings and nights to enjoy Nature’s masterpiece.

    Hoping Tuesday provides a warm welcome for your evening and leaves you rested and ready for Woden 🙂


    DN – 22/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good evening Dewin,

      I am fine, thank you for asking. And yourself?

      Glad you liked the title of Quirky’s first case. 🙂 I did wonder if the wheelie bin was his or one of the neighbours? A wheelie bin cartel! That’s great. Is Quirky clever enough to outsmart them? Or does he find himself captured by one of the thugs and quickly dumped in the wheelie bin he’s been trying to find? Can he escape or will his first case also be his last? There are just too many questions and possibilities! lol I can’t bear the suspense!

      “A snippet snug” – marvellous idea! I bet there is definitely an armchair, a kettle for tea and perhaps a stray cat or dog (or both – he is Quirky, after all).

      “Who will he turn to for help? Who’ll believe in him?” Someone must do, but who? It could be the woman who lives in the tree house on the scrap of wasteland next to Quirky’s house, the one with the little caravan beneath it. I don’t know her name but she keeps Shetland ponies and a goat with a temper…

      Wishing you the Brightest Blessings for the coming weekend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Sammi,

    I am all good thank you, and very grateful that the weekend is here again! 🙂 How was your day?

    I did indeed think Quirky’s case an excellent idea for his first storyline, and I see you’ve now given the story some further thought as well. There are just too many questions and too many possibilities and no one in the neighbourhood is saying anything to anyone. Quirky is well and truly on his own, there is no help coming and he must face the bad-guys all on his lonesome! Perhaps he gets caught as part of a cunning plan to insert himself into the midst of the cartel operation and once there gathers his evidence from the inside? But even then, once he does getaway (if he gets away) where will he go, how will he bring the cartel down? Rumour has it there is another neighbourhood eager to take over the business operating under Quirky’s nose, and everything is about to get real ugly! If he’s lucky he’ll hide out successfully in his snug for a little while until the coast is clear, and then perhaps make his move.

    I like the brief description of his snippet snug, the kettle and armchair both being essentials of course, and the 2 pets maybe not all they seem. Could it be that Fido and the Cat are actually highly skilled field operatives, and it is they who are the real success story behind Quirky’s case solving ways? The plot thickens! And just who is this crazy woman living next door in a tree-house, why does she keep Shetland ponies, and what gave the goat a bad temper…she sounds just as cuckoo as Quirky! Your imagination is rife with humour and fun and quirkiness, brilliant! lol 🙂 There is so much here already to be chewing over and finding stories for, and Quirky has only just begun his adventures. I’m beginning to like Quirky, and think at some future point he’ll have to make it in a Blog post and bring his story to the world…they’ll love him! 🙂

    It’s Easter weekend and an extra day off on Monday! In addition, I awoke to sunshine this morning and it looks set to be a lovely day…fingers crossed the sunshine will stay the whole weekend, it’ll be wonderful to get out and about in the dry for a change. I hope all your plans come to fruition and you have a great weekend. Take care and have a happy time 🙂


    DN – 25/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin,

      Hope you are enjoying your Easter weekend.

      Quirky’s storyline seems to be expanding exponentially!

      As if the wheelie bin cartel wasn’t bad enough, now there’s another gang trying to take over? And poor, hapless Quirky is stuck in the middle. Things are getting a little dicey in his world. That snippet snug must surely be a safe place to hide while the dust settles. A highly skilled field operative cat and dog is hilarious! lol The crazy woman rescues Shetland ponies, collecting them like china ornaments. She already has 6. As to why the goat has a bad temper…who knows what goes through the mind of a goat? But more importantly, what is it about wheelie bins that two rival gangs want control of them?

      This story is so much fun…and the scope for its silliness appears to be limitless. Some day someone will have to write the story of Quirky…he definitely deserves it. Poor chap.

      Brightest Blessings for the rest of weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Sammi,

    My weekend has been almost seamless with no clear distinction between the days, and it’s been wonderful to feel so unimpeded 🙂 As a consequence of the bad weather, and in being largely confined indoors, time has found its own ‘quality’, my days have overlapped and merged, nights have transited to morning, afternoons have been displaced by evenings, and I’m not sure I’ve even noticed the hours shifting by in-between lol 🙂

    And you Sammi? How was your Easter weekend? 🙂

    Quirky’s adventures have only just started but already it looks a tough case to crack, and a dangerous one as well! Poor, hapless Quirky, just what will he do faced with such overwhelming odds? 🙂 There’s a feeling I have that the crazy old woman who collects Shetland ponies like ornaments lol is not all she appears to be. Could it be that the caravan is actually an entrance and exit to a secret Neighbourhood Watch HQ? A covert group of helpful neighbours, who meet beneath the caravan in a deep underground and discuss strategy? Could it be they are already altered to the cartel’s diabolical ways and are using unwitting Quirky to help save the ‘hood from ruin? You ask what is it about wheelie bins that have two rival gangs vying for territory’? The answer, they are smuggling Billabongs The town Quirky lives in is called Billabong and is famous for producing Billabong berries, affectionately known locally as Billabongs. The berries are indigenous to this far flung land and used as a dye for the most luxurious fabrics across the entire kingdom. The colour they create is deep golden saffron, rich and warm and sumptuous. Billabong’s prosperity is dependant on this one priceless commodity. It appears the cartel have desires to take ownership of this rich resource, and are harvesting and smuggling vast volumes of berries via a network of wheelie bins, waste collections, waste chutes and waste deliveries, and the control and use of old mineshafts and passageways beneath the town. A disused entrance to the mine lies on the far edge of town in a run-down industrial neighbourhood with access to an abandoned canal, which the cartel is using to ferry away the berries. 🙂 Oh, and the goat, it never moves, just stands and chews, stands and chews. Have you ever wondered why? It’s because the goat is a surveillance camera in disguise 😀

    Meanwhile, back in Quirky’s snug…the radio plays a track from an old black and white film, a cup of tea steams on the writing desk, a half-eaten cheese sandwich waits on a side plate and the cat stirs from sleep in the armchair. But Quirky is gone…

    Enjoy your Bank Holiday Monday and have a wonderful week ahead. Take care always 🙂


    DN – 28/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin,

      I hope you have been enjoying your Easter weekend. I love the sound of your time finding its own quality, and the idea of seamless, unnoticeable shifts in the transitioning of time. Amazing. 🙂

      My weekend has been a mix of utter busyness catching up with family, mixed in with long periods of quiet, for reading and writing, of course 🙂 There was a little bit of baking thrown in too. So an enjoyable weekend, all told 🙂

      You have so many ideas about Quirky and his adventure! I just love this…this is so much fun 🙂 And Billabong berries – that’s great! Those berries have the potential to bring into being an entire series of adventures for Quirky. I can imagine they have other uses that a cartel might be interested in as well as being an expensive dye… An underground bunker for a secret neighbourhood watch group – lol. Perhaps they already have an undercover operative working behind the scenes, but Quirky’s interference threatens to ruin everything. So they have to rescue him in an attempt to limit the damage he can do…And a disguised goat camera…I’m struggling for words I’m laughing so much!

      The snug sounds mysteriously eerie now…the door is open slightly, a gentle night breeze is rustling a lace curtain…apart from the radio, the snug is silent. Something’s wrong…

      Brightest Blessings for the rest of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good morning Sammi,

    How are you on this slightly ruffled Tuesday morning? 🙂 Is Sammi Scribbles HQ left stirred and not shaken after the rushing wind and stormy weather at the weekend?

    The Easter weekend has come and gone more quickly than I anticipated! Looking at the calendar on the fridge this morning I discovered it was already Tuesday! I can’t begin to imagine where Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday must have disappeared to, or even when they left! 🙂

    Very pleased to hear your weekend of ‘utter busyness’ left you feeling equally content…a fine blend of socialising and scribble time it sounds as well. I trust your family are well.

    Regards the baking…is that yet another tease? Have you been baking my favourite cakes again? And will Khepri snaffle them all, again? I’ve been a good boy and deserve something! lol 😀

    So you like the story so far? That’s great, your ideas are excellent, I love your twist of starting the story with the neighbourhood watch team rescuing Quirky after his clumsy snippetting lands him in a wheelie bin and packed securely away in the cartel’s secret HQ. It will take daring-do and high-adventure to free poor Quirky from the hoods in the hood, and even greater danger to expose them to the authorities and bring them all to trial! Quirky has much to be grateful for in being freed, and in return agrees to join his rescuer’s, Walter Drips (Plumber) and Woody Splinters (Carpenter), both stalwart neighbourhood ‘watchers’, in their fight to save the town of Billabong from Rattus Fink and his henchman Lunk and Knuckles.

    Meanwhile…’ The snug sounds mysteriously eerie now…the door is open slightly, a gentle night breeze is rustling a lace curtain…apart from the radio, the snug is silent. Something’s wrong…’

    …a lace curtain? At Quirky’s! Fluttering in the breeze! lol Well okay then, that’s pretty quirky! lol I had in mind an old duvet cover secured to the doorframe with drawing pins and hanging more as a draught excluder than a curtain…but lace curtain…that’s cool, we’ll roll with that. 🙂

    …A hand reaches down through the open skylight window and fumbles at the leather chord of a pair of binoculars looped on a rusty hook. Fingers fail to find purchase and the binoculars fall from their moorings. The cat shrieks and leaps clear from the chair to land claws extended on the lace curtain. She hangs there momentarily, just long enough to nonchalantly glance back and see what awoke her. Seemingly unimpressed she slides to the floor and looks up towards the skylight to watch Quirky descend the ladder one rung at a time and step down on to the wooden floorboards. Atop the stove, the kettle whistles her boiling song, whilst a whistling wind flurries through the snug and flicks the pages of a diary on the old walnut writing bureau…

    Enjoy a happy and prosperous week. Take good care of one and all.


    DN – 29/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good evening Dewin!

      How are you? Wednesday treating you well?

      Well Sammi Scribbles HQ remained mostly intact after the storm, though ironically, given Quirky’s case of the wandering wheelie bins, Storm Katie decided to break mine…

      That must have been some weekend if you can’t work out where it’s gone…lol 🙂

      My family is well thank you. I hope yours is too.

      Me? Tease you? Never. If I was going to tease you I would have posted a picture of the cake, alongside the caption, “want a slice, Dewin?” or gone into great detail about the light and fluffy vanilla sponge, which was covered in the most delightful white chocolate buttercream and decorated with pieces of broken easter egg and mini eggs. But I didn’t…oh, wait a minute… 😛 And yes, Khepri got the last slice when my back was turned…when will I learn?!

      You’ve been a good boy have you? Sizzles begs to differ… lol 🙂

      You have some very funny ideas for Quirky and Billabong. Walter Drips? Woody Splinters? My oh my! So funny. And Lunk and Knuckles…words escape me. I can’t stop laughing…

      Come on, it’s Quirky’s. There are lace curtains at the windows *and* an old duvet over the door. An almost threadbare square of carpet in a shade not seen since the sixties (I assume – I’m far too young to know for certain 🙂 ) acts as a doormat.

      So there is a lookout post on the roof of the snug? Good thinking. We don’t want anyone to sneak up on him now. Also it makes it easier for the woman who lives in the tree house to keep an eye on him 🙂

      The question is, what does he think he has seen that requires the binoculars? Something is raising a whole lot of dust at the end of the street, but what is it? And why is it heading this way?

      Wishing you the Brightest of Blessings 🙂


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