History and writing – I’m visiting Vanessa Couchman

Today, I’m visiting fellow Crooked Cat author Vanessa Couchman. She’s asked me a few very intriguing questions. We’re chatting about history, food, wines and cats. Come on over and join us! :-)


We’ll see you in France! ;-)


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What do you call a tartan cat?

Originally posted on The Bingergread Cottage:

Sometimes one strikes up friendships on-line and even though you never meet each other, it is a case of “real pals”. Such a man is Seumas Gallacher who, in deference to his Weegie start and my own family’s connections with the city, I usually refer to as “Big Man”.
I have been very remiss recently and did not welcome him to the family of Crooked Cat Publishing when he joined. I’m putting that right today by inviting him over from far-flung lands to chat about this decision and show off his wares … drop the kilt-hem, Seumas, I meant your books!
Welcome, welcome, dear man, both to the scruffy kitchen and to the Cat Basket. Let me ask you some impertinent questions while you help yourself to a drink.Seumas
SG : Question away, m’Lady… it’s a pleasure as ever to be here with you.
I’m published by the…

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…Written Acts of Kindness Award… my pal Authoress, Ailsa Abraham…

Originally posted on Seumas Gallacher:


…it’s amazing how the paths of people yeez have never even met can cross on the virtual channels, and it seems as if yeez have been kindred spirits all yer lives… such is the focus of my Written Acts of Kindness Award today… the indomitable knitter of woollie jerseys for penguins… the erstwhile motorbike acrobat… the doyen-ess of all things strangely British in the middle of her adopted domicile in France… and the quite proper champion of wildlife protection everywhere.. my fellow Crooked Cat Publishing cattery mate, Ailsa Abraham...

Digital Camera

…her tireless support of many of we quill-scrapers is legend, with her open-house blog at the Bingergread House the source of much fun and fellowship… so, put yer paws and flippers together, and welcome m’Lady, Ailsa ;

book 1book 2

yeez can also connect with m’Lady here : http://ailsaabraham.com

…Ailsa, the rules for passing this Award on are very simple:

  1. You are welcome to…

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Esty, the heroine of Neither Here Nor There, my romance with a difference set mostly in Jerusalem, has been brought up in a haredi (ultra-orthodox) family. Her upbringing was full of rules and traditions she learned to keep without question – or at least without questioning them to anyone but herself. One of those traditions was that of touching the mezuzah affixed to every building and room as she entered it and then kissing the fingers that had touched it.

MezuzahWhat is a mezuzah?

A mezuzah is a small case containing a scroll made of parchment. On the scroll are the words of the prayer known as the Shema (hear). The prayer begins: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” The case usually contains the letter shin (ש) to stand for one of the names of God.

Why is the mezuzah fixed to doorposts?

The Shema contains a commandment to inscribe the words of the Shema “on the doorposts of your house.” Whether this means every door or only the front door is open to interpretation.

MezuzahWhy is the mezuzah positioned at an angle?

I’d never thought about this before, but I discovered the answer from http://www.jewfaq.org/signs.htm and a longer answer from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezuzah. The rabbis couldn’t decide whether the mezuzah should be horizontal or vertical, so they compromised. Also, the mezuzah is placed so that it points into the room, implying that God and the Torah are entering the room.

A misconception

There is no connection between the mezuzah and the lamb’s blood placed on the doorposts in Egypt, part of exodus story celebrated on Passover.


Neither Here Nor There by Miriam Drori is available from Amazon, Smashwords and The Book Depository.

Miriam usually blogs at http://miriamdrori.com.

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Crooked Cat Winter Sale – now on!

If you’ve been wondering what to do with your new ebook reader, you’ve come to the right place!

From 28th – 31st December, you will find many Crooked Cat ebooks reduced to 77p / 99c!


Fancy a romantic read, something historical, a mystery or even crime? You’ll find them here:

Amazon UK   Amazon.com

Enjoy your new reads, and Happy New Year! :-)


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