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Calm Lake



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Inspiration from the Common Wealth of Writers

'We will be passionate in our work and encourage flair and creativity in all that we do.' 

Is this approach the secret behind the successful and prolific careers of critically acclaimed poets, novelists and playwrights from America to Zimbabwe like: Kei Miller, Skye Loneragan, Liz Niven, Ryan Van Winkle and others who choose to live, work and write in this dynamic and inspiring city?  While the rest of us gaze at blank sheets of paper, struggling to come up with a first sentence, these writers seem to polish off poem after poem and novel after novel. In 'Inspiration from the Common Wealth of Writers to Boost Creativity', Jacqueline Smith collects personal memories of how the writers got started, who & what inspires them, advice they would offer to other writers and important aspects for crafting your writing. Jacqueline provides her own commentary and tips for keeping the spark alive, plus much more from some of today’s best Commonwealth writers who reveal the secrets of their writing success.



Speaking Woman whispers beyond time and through spirits known and unknown to Morag MacAulay, and sometimes they just downright interfere! 

Awaiting Morag across continents and time is an initiation as a High Priestess in the Indus Valley in 4BC, a magical reinvention as a Gnostic Saviouress on 16th Century Mallorca and the French déjà vu of Morag’s teenage years is finally solved in her third remembrance and she thinks maybe she’d have been better off not knowing! Khanti, her preordained consort, follows her through the many adventures that she relives on her journey from one life to the next as she wonders what to do when somehow ‘Betray Me’ seems to be stamped on her forehead. She could use some help to figure out why and how it all began and how she can prevent it happening again. But what do her local medium Mhairi, her wise-cracking friend Maggie and would-be lover Enrique, think of all those strange dreams and second sight visions? 

Is Morag wacky or wise and will she find the love, friendship and meaning that she seeks? Will she be able to leave her dead-end life and very dead father’s ghost, behind?A painted leaf, a clay whistle, a steamy bath and that voice whispering in her ear. Who knows where will it all end or does it ever end?

JS Front Cover-ScottishWitchfinder.jpg

Best in Fact and Fiction Category

The Scottish Witchfinder

The story of the much maligned historical figure Janet Douglas, made famous by her part in ‘The Bewitching of Sir George Maxwell’ in 1676, is retold in her own words including her full involvement, using second sight, in several witch hunts in the years following this case. The story offers a re-imagining of her unknown beginnings and unfolding of her later life after banishment from Scotland, now set in Jamaica at the commencement of Scotland’s involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Janet’s journal is complimented by the story of her possible descendant from Jamaica in the character of Mercy Douglas, who after the unexplained death of her cousin Hope (the journal’s finder); travels to Scotland. While there, Mercy encounters more unexplained deaths, duppies and finds some witches of her own. Ebook here:

Book no.1
Book no.2
Book no.3
Book 4


Tribes, Shrine Priests, Ancient Traditions

and the oldest Profession in the world.


 Fifteen year old Krisi Bodan is brought to Ghana from Scotland by her doctor father after her parents separate.

While trying to cope with missing her mum and failing to forgive her dad; a new friend, local head trader Gifty, needs her help. Then Krisi becomes

dangerously mired in much more than old Ghanaian practices.

A new country, a new culture and on discovering the scary activities of some of her new enemies of the criminal and not so criminal kind.

Book 5

Collected Poems 2006-2021 

A collection of poems with the theme of fragility, written over a period of fifteen years, covering the stages of human being. With poems exploring childhood, situations arising as a woman, the joys and trials of being a lover, getting older and the myriad expressions of humanity and creativity.

Take a journey through the stanzas and accompanying images, recognising fragility doesn’t always signify weakness. In these poems there is an enduring strength that can be passionate, playful, tender and wise. 

Book 6

A collection of poems and short stories with the idea of Mosaic.  The mosaic that is life. Short stories and poetry inspired by dreams, visions and perceptions of varied realities such as that in child and parenthood, relationships, the world of work, world issues etc. and our unconscious ways of placing the myriad strands of the life we consider to fit together just so. Journeying through the sentences that make up the poems, stories and the accompanying images, we realise that life is a  multifaceted mosaic and often manifests as  contradictory, rhythmical, amusing and  creative.

Prose & Poetry

In the Family Way


The resilience of the Maguire family is apparent in the life of fatherless Mary, brought up to be a good Catholic girl, or so her famine-surviving granny thought. On finding herself in a tricky situation, Mary discovers a way to fight back with Cumann Na mBan in 1920s Glasgow before deciding to cross the pond to America, then back to the land of her forefathers in Ireland, looking to find what was never really lost.

Book 7
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