Sisters of the Silver Moon, the first in my Gypsy Moon trilogy, is FREE on Kindle for the next five days. Get it while you can.

From midnight, I’m giving away TEN copies (print) of my novel. Go to Goodreads to be in to win.

Please leave a review on Amazon when you’ve finished reading. With thanks, Veronika x

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Sisters of the Silver Moon, by Veronika Sophia Robinson (Book one in the Gypsy Moon trilogy)

Published by Starflower Press

ISBN: 978-0-9931586-1-2

CIP Available in UK libraries

£7.99 pbk

Azaria Linden, the community herbalist, spends her days tending herb gardens, concocting lotions, potions and tinctures, beekeeping, and being a mother to four grown-up daughters who have left home. Her handcrafted life is the envy of many, but when the lives of her children change in dramatic ways, she wonders if she can keep it all together. Is it possible to still live a heart-centred life when everything around you is falling apart

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Available in paperback from Amazon, other online retailers, good bookshops, Starflower Press, and signed copies from the author: www.veronikarobinson.com

Also available on Kindle.

 

About the Author

Veronika Sophia Robinson is an Australian writer living in rural Cumbria. She’s the author of 12 non-fiction books (one translated into Italian), including the popular cookery book The Mystic Cookfire.

She was editor of The Mother magazine for 12 years, and takes her passion for women, community, natural living, health and well-being, family, home, and food, seamlessly into her fiction writing.

“Veronika brings something new and fresh to women’s fiction. She has a gift for allowing her readers to bond with her characters and feel at home in their locations. No matter where her novels are set, she describes the scenes as if she were a native to the area. With a highly distinctive writing style, she has been described as a true storyteller who writes beautifully descriptive narrative which reads easily, and is warm and clear. A writer of our time, she bravely explores cultural taboos, such as menstruation, women’s sexuality, and death.”

Veronika writes novels, mentors women, enjoys barefoot gardening, and runs a thriving international psychological-astrology practice. Sisters of the Silver Moon is her third novel.

 

Reader reviews (from Facebook/Twitter/Amazon/Email):

 

“Heartbreakingly beautiful.”

 

“Your books are unlike any others I’ve read in terms of themes and references.”

 

 

“When you get to the last page you are going to be mighty relieved there is a sequel! Beautiful characters that I totally fell in love with!”

 

 

“A simply beautiful story. It pulls you in, like being drawn into a warm embrace. Can’t wait for part 2!”

 

“I want a beehive after having read this novel.”

“I’m in a full blown love affair with the book. I was right there on that veranda.”

“I’m reading the Kindle version but wishing I had the real book to hold in my hands. It’s just beautiful.”

“I’m sitting in the sunshine with a bowl of your courgette & potato soup from The Mystic Cookfire, and reading Sisters of the Silver Moon.”

“I’ve really been enjoying Sisters of the Silver Moon. It’s my favourite of your novels so far. Wonderful characters, stunning descriptions. I’ve enjoyed/been devastated by the surprises, and it’s given me quite an insight (and yearning!) into a world I’m actually quite unfamiliar with – the world of women! I come from a family dominated my males. I hung out mostly with male friends prior to becoming a mother and unfortunately I don’t have strong relationships with the few females in my family. So thank you for the wonderful and thought-provoking read. The only downside is that I’ve been staying up at night, way later than is good for me, in order to read it.”

 

 

“Truly lovely characters — I miss them this morning– which is always a sign that I have really connected with a book. It is another gorgeous novel.”

 

“Well that was a morning well spent. I’ve just read Sisters of the Silver Moon.”

“A little bit of everything I love in a book – earthenware mugs, tea, bees, tinctures and balms, birth, knitting, love, sex, and did I read a chicken named Fleur?”

“Your books are the only romance novels I read.”

 

“I have a favourite earthenware mug that has the words ‘I Create my Day’ on it. Having read Sisters of the Silver Moon I need a new mug that says ‘Veronika Creates my Day’. I was transported into a reality that I became totally involved in. I was surprised and a little sad, on finishing, that the characters were no longer part of my day. I enjoyed the mix of family conflict, herbalism, community, bees, tea, knitting and a life well lived. This was an easy, pleasurable read that connected me with new friends and I’m impatiently looking forward to the sequel.”

 

 

Over the twelve years I edited The Mother magazine, I was blessed to find my community. My sisterhood. Women were spread far and wide across this beautiful Earth but together we shared a passion for holistic living and parenting. We may not have agreed on everything, but at the heart of our values was love. Given I live in rural Cumbria, such soul systers aren’t always easy to find though I am blessed to know heart-centred women here.

 

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Leaving my Eliza in the city for a week!

 

Last weekend my family and I headed down south. My 17-year-old daughter, Eliza, had work experience for a week at Working Title Films in London. She had the best time, and I can see that a week of independence in the city has really helped her to blossom and given her the boost she needs to get through the final year of school before university. The look on her face when we picked her up on Friday night was priceless. She thrived on being in such a creative environment with interesting, passionate people. To share her days with like-minds talking about movie scripts, psychology and politics was food for her soul.

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My daughters, Bethany and Eliza.

We all have a type of ‘soul food’ which nourishes us.

I think it’s fair to say that my soul food is evident in the novels I write. The themes which were important to me when I founded and edited The Mother magazine are still important to me: women, family, home, love, community, nourishing food and conscious lifestyle choices. I’ve been told many times by people who’ve read my novels that they want women like that in their lives! Apparently I write about lovely men, too. I’m saving that bit for another blog, though.

Our week away included me doing two more author readings on my author tour.

 

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En route to London, we stopped at my sister’s pub, The Plough, in Bodicote, Oxfordshire. Heidi recently returned from a five-year stint back in our home country of Australia. It was good to see her again and to laugh so hard we had tears trickling down our cheeks. I also did an author reading while I was there. So lovely to see friends, old and new.

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Me and my sister Heidi.

 

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Paul finished off the evening by singing to the locals!

 

After settling Eliza into her London hotel, Paul and I headed down south to deepest, darkest Surrey, and had the pleasure of staying with a dear friend, Keeley. Don’t you love it when you can turn up to a friend’s house and just feel completely at home? That’s what it’s like when I’m at her place.

We then headed to Hampshire and I did an author reading at the Ringwood Steiner School. Such a joy to meet wonderful people, and feel a deep connection with men and women who were previously strangers. Our hosts were Syenna, Tom, Hugo, Charlie and Rupert, and what a wonderful family to be nurtured by. They arranged for a picnic in the playing field at the Steiner School. Paul and I really enjoyed chatting to everyone, and then spending the night with our host family

 

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Summer picnic for my author reading in Hampshire.

 

About four years ago, I saw a lady walking through a car park in town. She had the most gorgeous, blonde, angelic daughters by her side. I had to stop her and say how beautiful they were. But there was something about this lady, within less than half a minute of interaction, which really touched my soul. It wasn’t anything I could readily put into words. It was an energy force. I came home and said to my husband that I’d just met this woman who radiated something really beautiful, and was just the sort of person I’d love as a friend. I still couldn’t tell you what it was, but I fell in love with her vibration. I really kicked myself for not prolonging the conversation and asking her out for a cuppa! For a long time I looked out for her as I walked through town. Maybe she was just a visitor to the town and we’d never meet up again. As fate would have it, turns out she was a subscriber to my magazine. I didn’t know this until sometime later when she came into my life in another way: through my daughter! Eliza is blessed beyond measure to have this AMAZING woman as her Philosophy teacher. I mean, what are the odds?

In April, Paul and I had our vow renewal ceremony. I woke up one morning in February and just put it out to the Universe: who should I ask to be my celebrant? When Nicola’s name came to me in a nano-second, I smiled but dismissed it. She’d never say yes. We don’t even know each other. But, being the impulsive creature I am, I popped a letter in the post and asked. Because, frankly, if you don’t ask for what you want in life you won’t get it! Anyway, to my immeasurable joy, she said ‘yes’. It took a long time to manifest this person, who at a soul level, feels incredibly beautiful to me, but it gives me hope for other people and experiences I wish to create.

 

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Paul and I with Nicola.

Opposites can attract, and diversity is good, but oh my, when you share common interests with someone, and a similar set of values, it nourishes and nurtures you so much. Finding our sisterhood may be a slow process, but I find that the older I get the more clear I am on the values I hold strongly in friendships. Time is precious. Most people live busy, hectic lives. But those couple of hours when you share a cup of herb tea beneath the shade of a fruit tree in the late summer sunshine are priceless.

I hope that for those people who have yet to find their sisterhood, my novels will give them the faith and courage to hang in there and trust that the women/men who are on your wavelength will be drawn into your life. As you read my novels, I hope you join the characters for a cup of tea and really allow yourself to dream. Your vibe attracts your tribe!

 

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Thank you to everyone who has left a review on Amazon for Sisters of the Silver Moon. REALLY appreciated! Thank you! I hope to get the second book in the trilogy, Behind Closed Doors, out for you by Christmas. And the third book, Flowers in Her Hair, out by Summer 2016.

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What does family mean to you? This is the question that is asked in my new novel, Sisters of the Silver Moon. Can you get by without family? Is there more to a relationship than blood?

It’s out now! You can get your paperback copy from Amazon’s Create Space, Kindle or signed copies from my website (the signed copies will be available in about a week, but you can pre-order now).

I loved writing this book. Here’s a description:

Azaria Linden, the community herbalist, spends her days tending herb gardens, concocting lotions, potions and tinctures, beekeeping, and being a mother to four grown-up daughters who have left home. Her handcrafted life is the envy of many, but when the lives of her children change in dramatic ways, she wonders if she can keep it all together. Is it possible to still live a heart-centred life when everything around you is falling apart?

 

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Sisters of the Silver Moon
978-0-9931586-1-2
246 pages
Pbk and Kindle
£7.99 (pbk)

As an independent author, it would mean a great deal to me if you could take time to leave a review of my book (or any of my books) on Amazon, or on your blog. Thank you!

 

Meanwhile, I’m writing book 2 in the trilogy. I’m so honoured to have such beautiful artwork by Sara Simon. ~ Veronika

 

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When I was a young girl of about seven, I would walk miles along the dusty road to the nearest church. It was for Catholics, and I wasn’t one. That didn’t matter. I would walk that road with utter devotion, always with an eye out for snakes. I was off to talk with the Divine Father!

My mother had sewn me a beautiful ankle-length turquoise taffeta dress for church.

The rural church was a white wooden building with a red corrugated iron roof and sat handsomely right beside the creek in Freestone, a rural community on the Darling Downs, near Warwick. (Queensland, Australia.)

 

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Scrubland in Freestone

 

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Freestone, near Warwick, on Queensland’s Darling Downs.

 

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My childhood home nestled against beautiful eucalyptus-covered mountains.

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Freestone State School. I’m on the left, third row up. 1975.

 

 

In childhood, I’d wear my baby sister’s square terry cloth nappies on my head and pretend I was in a nun’s habit. I’ve since experienced past life regression which has shown me lives in monasteries and convents. I guess those memories were strong in early childhood.

 

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My Mum and baby sister, Ramona, 1973

Although I still delight in the nature of church buildings, my faith is far removed from any man-made religion. I pray regularly, but not in the way depicted in the movies or religious books.

Today a friend and I were talking about such matters as faith and loneliness. I said that even when I’m alone, I know I’m never alone. My connection with the Divine is a constant in my life, whether it’s when I stand under a dark sky illumined with starlight or have my hands in the cool dark soil.

 

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Sunrise from my garden.

I pray in gratitude for fresh air, and sunshine on my skin. I touch the face of God when I brush my fingers on the bark of a tree or hear the hooting of an owl or make love with my lover.

 

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To feel the strength of trees in the forest.

No matter how upsetting life can be or frustrated I might get with a certain situation, I always know that I’m not walking this life alone. I feel it, in the deepest cells of my being, that my Breathmaker and I are one. I may well disagree with Him/Her sometimes (okay, often), but together we walk along the path.

I pray when I read beautiful scripts by candle light, such as anything written by Kahlil Gibran.

I pray when I see a smile on my child’s face.

 

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Sunday morning sunrise at Long Meg, the stone circle near our home.

My first thoughts when I wake and the last thoughts I have before sleep are also a prayer: forgiveness.

I pray every time I have a thought, and am on constant Guard duty making sure that negative thoughts are quickly ousted. I’m a work in progress, and that’s a prayer, too.

I pray when I move firewood and when I wash dishes. I pray when I hug a friend and imagine our hearts connecting as one.

I pray when I am beside the crackling woodstove, with nothing but the sound of flames for company.

I pray when my heart moves to the haunting sound of cello music.

I am praying when I prepare my family meals or wash their clothes.

My life is a prayer, and I’m thankful that I have an inner church in which to bow down to the Universal Energy which connects us all.

The veil is thin, and the ancestresses are just a whisper away. Imagine, if you like, a foggy day. You can’t see ahead of you, but you can sense what is there. This is how it is with our deceased loved ones, and the ancestresses of our family line. We may not see them, but they’re there on our landscape.

 

Our culture may teach us that Halloween (known also as Samhain) is about spider webs and horrid witches, but the origins of this festival are far from scary. This festival of the wise grandmother is a time to reflect and review our year.

 

The grandmother asks: what have you learnt from the past? What can you take into the future? She is kind, and perhaps she’s firm. If you haven’t learned your lessons, she’ll want to know why. But scary? Never!

 

Halloween, for me, is a quiet practice. A time when I draw near to my ancestors and ancestresses by taking out my divination cards and asking for guidance. It is a time when I truly allow myself to be held by Mother Earth.

 

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As a mother, I haven’t perpetuated the fear of the culture. Just because ‘everyone’ does something and it has become the norm, it needn’t mean we have to follow the trend. If you feel in your heart that there is something more to this ancient festival, you’re right. (Read my article on this in issue five of Starflower Living magazine www.starflowerpress.com)

Why not create an altar dedicated to your ancestresses? You can place their photos or heirlooms here, and decorate with Autumnal gifts such as apples, conkers, rosehips and pumpkins.

 

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My mother Angelikah, a grandmother to many children, lives in Tasmania, Australia. We haven’t seen her since 2005 when she came to England to visit us.

Today, on Samhain, I am putting a prayer out to my ancestress and my deceased father, to find a way to bring us together in 2015 for a joyous and delightful reunion. It is my sincerest wish for us to be together again in this lifetime.

 

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My mother, at about the age I am now, enjoying a swing in our garden in rural Australia.

Samhain is a time for remembering the power of attraction. What we think, we create.

Scorpio is the zodiac sign associated with death, letting go and release.

 

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It’s been interesting for me to see this play out so literally in my life. The girl cat was put down two weeks ago, and today our old car, which has served us well for six years, was sent to the scrap yard. Release. Let go. Goodbye.

 

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It has been a time of decluttering and clearing out. The difference I felt when I walked into my writing room this morning at 6am (after yesterday’s major clean out) was huge. It felt like “I” had been cleansed, not just the room. That’s the power our living space has over us. It becomes a mirror of our internal world. How often do you apologise for your living space when a friend turns up unexpectedly? Do you bless your home or make excuses for it?

It’s funny how ‘stuff’ just creeps up around you and quickly becomes part of the furniture. With the best will in the world, it’s easy for a chair or table to become a dumping ground bills, gym bag, letters and so on.

I always know when I’m a few hours from my period arriving: I can’t tolerate any mess of any description. Even the possessions I love could, at those times, be easily thrown out. My body has a complete need (a desperation, even) to purge everything and anything. My body is expecting the environment to mirror the monthly detox and cleanse.

By nature, I’m instinctively drawn to a Shaker-style simplicity. Quiet, simple, clean, peaceful. This is what my soul craves. This isn’t something easily attained when living in a family situation!

 

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View from my writing room

All around me, the trees are letting go of their leaves. There is no waste, though. They will eventually rot down and become part of Mother Earth. I love the way she recycles everything. Though not a lover of the cold (or being cold), I do adore and celebrate the beauty and majesty of Winter, in particular the bare trees. I love how everything is stripped back to basics.

If you’ve not yet read issue 5 of my online magazine, Starflower Living, I write about grief as a time to withdraw from daily life. Clare Cooper writes about learning to let go. Samantha Parker explores the meaning of soul mates. And, with Halloween tomorrow, you might be interested in the origins of this tradition. It began as a celebration or festival of the wise grandmother. And there’s also a piece on the power of the burning bowl ceremony.
Just a reminder, too: Issue one of Starflower Living is available for free. Visit www.starflowerpress.com

 

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How do we know when it is time to let go? I believe it is when something or someone or a situation no longer feels right or good to us. Letting go is like exhaling. Sometimes we need to take in a rather large amount of air first.

 

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The decision to have our girl cat put down did not come quickly or easily. It was a painful time, but her needs were more important than ours. Like cleaning a room, the change in this home after she’d gone was huge. It wasn’t just because we missed her, but the energy her illness brought to this home was felt throughout. I hadn’t realised just how much until she was no longer here.

Energy is everywhere and in everything. This is why it is so important that we consciously purge negativity from our life on a regular basis. If it isn’t something that comes easily to you, then do use this time of year to release and let go.

 

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At my desk

New Year’s Day is often seen as a time to make resolutions and goals, and yet, this time of year (to my mind) is pretty perfect. The veil between this world and the next is considered to be thin during Samhain/Halloween. It is a time to connect with our ancestresses. As we head into the darkest part of the year (here in the Northern Hemisphere), we can plant seeds of intention into the dark earth, trusting that they will germinate. First, though, we purge. We let go of all we don’t want from our lives, and then fill the vacuum with ‘good’ ideas, intentions, habits, people.

Right, I’m off to completely declutter the kitchen cupboards. And bake some pumpkin brownies!

 

The was the first Autumn leaf of the year to catch my eye

The was the first Autumn leaf of the year to catch my eye

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Would you like to write for Starflower Living magazine?

Issue 6 themes for the New Moon in Sagittarius (due date, November 2nd): optimism, faith, adventure, freedom, truth, travel, publishing, horses, expansion, higher learning, Nature, conscience, friendliness, universities, philosophy. Health: thighs, sciatica, liver, hips.

Issue 7 themes for the New Moon in Capricorn (due date, December 1st): self-discipline, commitment, public image, aging, success, reaching goals, financial security, ambition, respect, fathers, and tradition. Health: knees, skin, bones, joints, gall bladder/stones, arthritis.

We are looking for articles which make people think, and that will inspire, take them out of their comfort zone.

Love, Veronika

 

 

 

 

 

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, , , Memories of Sweet Pumpkin Pie

As a child, I only knew pumpkin as a savoury dish. This all changed after I left home. At 19, I met my dear friend Amy from America, who was travelling through Australia at the time. She baked me sweet pumpkin pie. It was ridiculously gorgeous! I hope my recipe in issue 5 of Starflower Living comes close to her wonderful creation.

 

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