#bookreview for Words of Wonder, an #anthology of #shortstories and #poetry written by students of the Creative Writing Course at #Nottingham College @GreenWizard62 @PhilPid1

Words of Wonder_

Words of Wonder is the latest anthology produced by the creative writing students of Nottingham College. Here is my review.

At Least Seven Ways to Hate Carrots by Emma Penny

This is a wonderful non-fiction piece about food. I loved the conversational style of the writing and, as I have a great interest in eating, the subject matter also. I found myself nodding along, trying to work out the seven ways to eat carrots and wanting to chat further with this author as I’m in total agreement with her ‘giving it another go’ philosophy. Oh, and if she could bring along some of that Cheaty fudge, or the usual sort, I’m not fussy, that would be terrific!

Homeless and Cold by Mark Adams

I liked this story. It has an eerie feel to it, right from the start when a man is sleeping rough in a churchyard. However, the ending completely took me by surprise. It was well-written but I didn’t know the reason why the thing that happened happened and wondered if I’d missed something.

The Dogs of Gorbatov by Caroline Denson

This was very well written. I loved the way the author described the way the administrators toiled in their departments as though she were talking about a river. Great story too.

Just Browsing by Rob Gibsmere

I’m a big fan of random acts of kindness so this story was terrific. It was really well told too which meant I felt for the characters and the ending was great, understated, simple, nothing else needed to be added.

The Greatest Place to See Weird by Grace Mitch

Anyone who reads my reviews will know that I’m not a huge fan of fantasy so this one was something of a stretch for me. The story takes place in and around a grand house where there is a death, possibly a murder, which brings Deliu everything he wants but nothing but trouble by way of nightmares and spiritual interference. Nice descriptions though and great imagination!

Echoes of the Past: A Ghost Story by Kelly Badder

This author has used her knowledge of Bess of Hardwick and woven that into a story about Rufford Abbey adding a paranormal edge, though by the end I wasn’t sure if this was a true story or not – which was interesting.  It is always nice to see an author confident in what they are writing about because they know their stuff and you then trust and have confidence in everything they say – well done!

Writer’s Block by David Steele

Oooh, how familiar this piece was. I once read that the most frightening time for a writer was that moment just before you begin to write – is there anything there? Do you know what’s next for your characters? So often your mind is a blank and this autobiographical piece covers all those feelings nicely and is very well written too.

The Return by Bella Rye

Rory was living in Norwich but has to return home when his only remaining parent, his father, dies suddenly. The house he returns to sounds idyllic and is filled with memories, but then the Twitchers arrive and Rory has to launch a cunning plan to get them to leave him alone. I was terribly envious of Rory’s home, and lifestyle actually, and could picture it exactly which shows what a great job this author did. Loved the ending too.

Footprints in the Sand by Jane Daskin

This is a story about Milo and I have to say I did wonder for a while what was going on but it does all become clear at the end of the story which I won’t give away. There is a lot of description which sometimes was a little too much and slowed the story down a tad (sometimes less is more) while at the same time building a solid picture of the setting.

An Ending by Louise George

This is a story told from the point of view of an eight-year-old girl and it’s about her babysitter, Stella Valentine. I thought it was terrific. I really enjoy things told from a child’s pov as they so often view events with an innocence where everything is taken literally and this holds true in this story. A dark storyline but very well told and written.

Shrimp by Marjie Griffiths

What a wonderful ending to the prose section. A memoir, I believe, and a fabulously well told story of a mother and daughter and their relationship with a boat. Moving, and very well written.

Poetry and Haiku

There then follows a section bulging with poetry and Haikus from Marjie Griffiths, Jane Daskin, J.D. Hackett, David Steele, Grace Michu, Emma Penny and Bella Rye.

Again, as readers of my blog will know I’m usually not that fond of poetry but actually I really enjoyed reading through these – perhaps I am growing up at last and am finally finding an appreciation for poetry. Well done to all these authors, I know how hard poetry is to write and I applaud all your wonderful verses.

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#bookreview for “A Midnight Clear” and other stories by Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie @jaydawes2 #shortstories #TuesdayBookBlog

A Midnight Clear

A Midnight Clear

This is an uplifting story of a woman standing alone in London and contemplating the breakdown of her marriage, the significance of the bells as they start to chime more poignant than ever before.

Magic Christmas

Alice and her children are facing a dismal Christmas in a hostel until a kindly stranger makes her an offer she can hardly believe, one which shows all the magic of Christmas.

Let Angels Weep

This is a tale from the point of view of Merlin but I’m afraid to say I rather struggled with it.

Two White Mice

Ruth is lonely, living in poverty and mourning her husband when an unexpected gift brightens her Christmas.

Eye for an Eye

This was a rather sad story of two children living with a mother who was struggling to deal with the loss of her husband. There is a paranormal element for added interest and I enjoyed the story right up until the ending which I was slightly confused by.

Tom and Jerry…

This was a great non-fiction piece about having a mouse, or mice, in the house – shudder!

Don’t Speak his Name…

This was a terribly sad story about a woman who falls in love and the difficulties that brings because of something that happened in her childhood. The struggles this woman faced were really painful to read about and I found myself rooting for life to improve for her. You’ll have to read it for yourself to find out if it did!

Misty

Aww… This is the tale of the rehoming of a cat, from the cats point of view. I thought this was a sad thing to begin with but was soon shown otherwise and it had a lovely ending.

Half of the Truth…

Sally loves her brother Tommy but is worried about him, his bad dreams and his obsession with collecting stones. She starts questioning the past finding more mysteries than answers at first but when all comes clear it doesn’t solve the problems in her family.

Jesse…

With mental health being discussed so much more openly nowadays this is an interesting piece on the narrators’ relationship with her own black dog and how it appears to her when needed.

Kindness

Karma is at the centre of this final short story as Danny’s kindness pays off when he suffers a terrible fate after being brave enough to stand up to some older children.

This is a nice, if sometimes quite dark, well-written collection of stories that are varied and give a good indication of what you will find in the novels of these two authors. I shall certainly be reading more by them.

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Introducing Electric Eclectic Novelettes via Paul White @fluffybunnypj #novelette #shortreads #SundayBlogShare

EEBear

To quote that wonderful philosopher, Winnie the Pooh, “The beginning is a very good place to start”.

For me, it all started was when I was looking for a great book to read.

I finished reading the last book by my favourite author. It would be another year, maybe two before his next book became available.

This meant I needed to search for another book to read. I was even willing to stray from my usual genre to find an excellent read.

Something easier said than done.

You would think, with over 45 million books on Amazon alone, finding a story to enjoy, a book you can immerse yourself in totally, would be a pretty easy thing.

But no, it is not.

Finding and selecting a book which looks like it will meet your criteria is not a simple affaire, not if you want to make as certain as possible you will enjoy reading it.

You could, of course look through the thousands of free books on offer. But…. much of the time there are reasons books are offered for free, or heavily discounted by their authors… and not all those reasons are good. **

There is the uncertain quality and content of many of the full priced eBooks. Anyway, do you really want to commit spending your hard-earned cash to buy something you do not enjoy reading or find the writers style is not to your taste?

It all makes choosing a ‘new to me’ author or selecting a book from a different genre a bit of a lottery.

That is when I thought there must be a better way

I asked myself, “HOW CAN YOU MAKE CERTAIN A BOOK YOU BUY WILL BE ONE YOU ENJOY?”

That is when I had my eureka moment.

The result is Electric Eclectic Novelettes.

‘Electric’ because they are ebooks, digital… electric.

‘Eclectic’ for the various styles, genres and authors who write them.

And ‘Novelettes‘ as not to mislead readers they are anything other than short, sample books; introductory books to new authors and new genres.

Electric Eclectic books are written by some of the best indie authors in the world, each Electric Eclectic Novelette delivers wonderful and entertaining storytelling to a high standard.

People searching for their ‘next favourite read’ can rest assured in the knowledge that Electric Eclectic Novelettes have undergone a rigorous selection process, ensuring the stories meet our exacting standards.

This means you do not need to read through a bunch of ‘hookey’ or substandard books, or spend out on a random book hoping you will enjoy its content.

With each Electric Eclectic book costing just 1.00 (dollar/euro/pound), it is a small price to pay to ensure a thoroughly entertaining read and an introduction to your next ‘new’ author.

Once you have found the right style of stories, the ones you love, you will have found your next favourite author and can start to work your way through their full-length books and novels knowing you thoroughly enjoy their writing.

Say goodbye to dealing with ‘dodgy’, inferior writes.

Download a handful of Electric Eclectic Novelettes and give yourself a literary treat?

What is more, Electric Eclectic Novelettes are easy to find.

The first way is to visit the Electric Eclectic website where all the Novelettes are shown, along with author insights and links to their personal books and pages.

The second is to go to Amazon books and type ‘Electric Eclectic books’ into the search bar. (In the USA you will need the Amazon.com Kindle search page.)

Alternatively, if you are on Amazon.co.uk you can follow this link: http://amzn.to/2BnYe7u

Website link: https://goo.gl/q2zwTS

Email: EEbookbranding@mail.com

camping

(** I’d just like to add, in the cause of self-preservation if nothing else, that there are other reasons why books are available for free, such as for marketing purposes. Ahem… Ed)

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Guest Post – Reluctant Courage A Family’s Struggle to Survive in Nazi Occupied Oslo By Rica Newbery #Oslo #Norway #Nazi #WWII

Reluctant Courage

A Family’s Struggle to Survive in Nazi Occupied Oslo

By Rica Newbery

Reluctant Courage

It is 1942 in Oslo, two years into the Nazi occupation of World War II.

Maria is used to struggling with food rations, bickering daughters, and her husband’s frequent absences from home with police work. She is enraged when Johannes leaves her for another woman and Leo Wolff, a Wehrmacht officer, forcibly takes up residence in their flat, but worse is yet to come. One daughter becomes seriously ill, and another is raped. When the youngest goes missing, Maria must find a way to transcend her bitterness and survive, for her own sake and for her daughters.

A Guest Post by Rica Newbery

Although my novel is fiction, it is inspired by real stories told by my mother, Brit Maja Holmsen, who was 8 years old when the Nazis marched into Oslo. Real events and situations experienced by Norwegians are woven into the story. Resistance fighters risked death every day with hidden radios and distribution of leaflets. Red hats became a symbol of the resistance and were banned by the Nazis. Teachers and Church leaders refused to propagate Nazi ideology, and teachers were arrested en masse, only to return later as no-one would fill their roles. Underground papers printed cartoons mocking the Nazis and graffiti abounded.

     Food was scarce, and women queued for hours or pawned their belongings to afford items such as eggs or meat on the black market. Stomach complaints were common as people ate meat eked out with herring or bread with added newspaper or saw dust from unscrupulous shopkeepers.

      Five hundred and thirty-two Jews were arrested by Norwegian police and handed over to the Gestapo at Pier 1 in Oslo Harbour. They were sent to Auschwitz via the famous SS Donau on 26th November 1942.

     ‘Lebensborn’ mother and baby homes were set up as soldiers were encouraged to impregnate local girls, seen by the Nazis as ‘good Aryans’.  Many of the resulting babies were taken out of Norway to Germany for adoption, and abortion became punishable by death.

Brit Maja Holmsen

Brit Maja Holmsen 1931 – 2016

Author Bio

I am a retired psychiatrist, living with my husband in Bristol. After completing an Open University course in Creative Writing, I wrote my first novel Reluctant Courage. I am now writing a novel about a young woman experiencing the trauma of a psychiatric admission in Bristol in 1957.

Rica Newbery

Links February 2018

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/RELUCTANT-COURAGE-Familys-Survival-Occupied/dp/1640699732

Book Venture (US)

https://www.bookventure.com/bookstore/title/315/reluctant-courage.html

Amazon (US)

https://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Courage-Familys-Survival-Occupied/dp/1640699724/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517228608&sr=8-1&keywords=reluctant+courage

This is the link supplied by Publishing Push – and if you would like a copy to review please contact them (Reluctant Courage is 230 pages long)

http://publishingpush.com/blog/coming-soon-reluctant-courage-rica-newbery/

 

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#RBRT #bookreview for Jonah by Carl Rackman @CarlRackman #psychological #suspense #thriller #paranormal #military

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Jonah

I am a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team and chose to read Jonah after seeing some other reviews for it. I received a copy of the book from the author but this has not influenced the content of my review.

It gives me great pleasure when an independent author has committed time, effort and money to ensure that when they publish their book it is the best that it can be, and that is the case here. Everything about Jonah’s presentation is professional which means no distracting typos or formatting errors during the read.

Mitch Kirkham, branded Lucky Kirkham, re-boards his ship, the Brownlee, after it has undergone repairs following a kamikaze strike. He just wants to get home but once out on the ocean a mysterious insanity starts to take over the crew and, amid an atmosphere of strange sightings that cause hysteria and suicide, he discovers the cause of the terror, and who’s behind it.

I know very little about naval warfare or the ins and outs of military ships and actually I have little interest in either but I was drawn into this story by the compelling characters Rackman creates and the setting in which he puts them.

I hadn’t read the blurb and knew nothing about the paranormal element and while this wouldn’t usually be my thing when it is incorporated into the storyline so naturally I completely accepted it without issue.  I also really enjoyed the flashbacks into various characters’ lives which gave the background to the visions that haunted them.

There is a fair amount of detail about the ship and crew and with many technical terms the author has provided a glossary at the back of the book. But who has time to go looking for that when this skilful writer manages to impart all the information in a way that makes it clear what is going on, doesn’t slow down the storyline, and provides chapters of a length that make you want to fit in one more before you go to sleep. Well-written and thoroughly enjoyable I have no hesitation in recommending Jonah.

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A #bookreview for Dark Words by Paul White (Dark Tales and Darker Poetry) @fluffybunnypj dark and emotional #poetry and #prose #TuesdayBookBlog

Dark Words

I received an advanced copy of this book from the author but that has not influenced my review in any way.

I chose to read this book because I like dark, emotional stories but I am not that fond of poetry, generally, so thought I would probably skip that and concentrate on the prose. However, my thoughts changed pretty quickly… with the first poem, Bad Days. The tagline for this book is Dark Tales, Darker Poetry and this was definitely a dark poem, one which I thoroughly enjoyed. I went on to devour this book in a couple of sittings drawn on by the flow of each beautifully placed word.

There is a terrific story, Eyes Like A Ghost, that reveals the horrible reality of the situation slowly and incompletely as it’s told in the voice of a child. Another one, Neat and Orderly, had a surprise ending I loved. In fact, I could ramble on about each piece but I won’t as this would last forever. What I will say is that although the pieces vary in length and style there is one thing that does not alter, their quality. This book is immaculately presented, contains occasional photos which are a nice touch and is so well written I have no hesitation in giving it five stars.

I’ll finish with two points. Firstly, this read is exactly what it says on the cover, dark, and it covers subjects that are depressing and emotional so readers should probably assess their own mental state before opening it up as to its suitability. And finally, I’m surprised to see it is only available as a paperback at the moment and hope it will eventually be made into an ebook as well so as many people get to read it as possible.

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A Publication Day #Bookreview and Excerpt for Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies by Barb Taub @barbtaub #humour #parenting #families

Life Begins FRONT cover eArc

The Blurb

ONCE UPON A TIME…

Chapter 1. A California girl named Barb met her prince of a guy. He was tall, dark, and handsome. (Actually, he was a Republican. But he was definitely tall.) They fell in love, and got married.

Chapter 2. He brought her to his castle in England and they lived happily ever after. THE END**

**Luckily, 35+ years of living happened between Chapters 1 and 2, giving Barb plenty of material for this collection (in no particular chronological order) from her newspaper columns, articles, blog posts, and that time she killed Mom.

And that’s before Chapter 3 even starts.

“I have learned to put down the coffee and place breakable objects at a safe distance when a post from Barb Taub comes up. It is very hard to drink coffee and laugh at the same time without redecorating the desk…”—author Sue Vincent

My Review

I was fortunate enough to discover Barb Taub’s blog early in my writing career and she has kept me entertained ever since. Because of this insight into her writing and humour I’ve gone on to read everything she has published so I was delighted to receive an early copy of her latest release, Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies (thank goodness Twitter has upped its character limit when it comes to sharing!)

This book is made up of some the posts that have appeared on Barb Taub’s blog over the last few years. There are eight parts covering: kids, relationships, life, holidays, travel, pets, death and writing, and as it says in the tagline it covers (mostly) funny stuff.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book over the last few days and I sincerely wish my mind worked in the same way as Barb’s does and that I was even half as funny. Barb is a professional and her books are turned out accordingly – well-written, well-formatted and with a smart cover. Some of the entries I recognised, because I was already following her blog, but that didn’t matter because re-reading any of them was a thing of joy, and there were plenty in there I hadn’t read before.

With her quick-witted sparky humour I’ve learned that when one of Barb’s posts arrive in my inbox I have to put all else aside (including any liquids, I’ll say no more!) and buckle up for what I’m about to read. Get this book and prepare to be entertained, you can thank me later.

Here’s an Excerpt I’d like to share with you:

Chapter 45: Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies

As proof of the continuing deterioration to be expected from advanced cases of parenthood, we decided it was time we acquired a puppy. Of course, before we got her we did careful research to determine the most intelligent and trainable breed for a family dog. Those who know how this technique has paid off for us in the past will not be surprised to learn that we became the proud owners of Natasha, a Border Collie who looked like Spuds McKenzie and boasted approximately two brain cells.

We reasoned that dog ownership would encourage the kids to spend time outdoors, become more responsible, and enjoy devoted companionship. Of course, the kids and the dog never got that memo. Instead I now got to spend healthful, responsible stretches of time in the great outdoors hanging around fences in my bathrobe and begging the dog to “go here”.

We consulted several books about training your Border Collie. These related tales of dogs performing feats of genius and bravery that would make even the most hardened Lassie scriptwriter blush. “Dan,” his master would say, “Go to Pennsylvania, cut my sheep, Fluffy, out of the flock of five million and get her home by dinner.” Dan, who barked in complete sentences, probably did the shopping and dropped off the dry-cleaning along the way.

Another interesting concept of puppy training is the “pack leader”. The theory is that your dog will kick sand in your face and despise you for being a weenie if you don’t immediately and firmly establish your position as head wolf. Of course, while the real wolf pack leader would rip the throat out of any wolf who didn’t obey him, you are cautioned that any display of physical force on your part will cause your dog to grow up a terminal neurotic and, probably, an ax-murderer. In addition, Natasha developed a little condition the vet called submissive bladder, so nobody in their right mind would try to dominate her. At least, not more than once.

I have heard that some Border Collies are able to guard and herd their master’s children. But I found out otherwise one winter day when I went to the bathroom. Of course, like all mothers, I did this with the door open to listen for sounds of carnage. If I had to close the door, it served as signal for every child and animal in a three-state radius to fling themselves against it, demanding to know exactly what I was doing in there and for how long I intended to do it. This particular time, I hadn’t been in there more than 30-seconds before I looked out the window and saw the barefoot preschooler and puppy (with the keenly honed herding instincts of generations of championship breeding) running down the street in opposite directions. I was momentarily tempted to let them keep going, but we did actually pay quite a bit for the dog.

In earlier years, we sniggered with amused superiority over stories of friends and neighbors who had to remortgage the house in the face of canine calamity, such as doggie surgical teams called in to remove a $1,200 tennis ball from the stomach of the family mutt. Thus the Hub and I agreed that we would never authorize the vet’s use of extraordinary measures (costing more than $50) to prolong our wallet’s hemorrhage dog’s suffering. But all of this was forgotten the midnight I was awakened by the dog being spectacularly ill. To my horror, I saw her foaming at the mouth. With visions of rabies shots for the entire household, I rushed her to the vet, wondering how much cash I could raise quickly if we sold off a few extra children.

This was the point when I discovered that the dog we had chosen for her breed’s intelligence had eaten every bar of soap in the house and was retching soapsuds.

Sorry to say, Natasha doesn’t represent a fluke in my history of pet ownership, starting with our old college cat, Buster, who spent his days (when he wasn’t having epileptic seizures) with his head up a lampshade. But for show-stopping density, the true champion was our cat, Cournot, who once stayed up in a tree for three days because she saw her reflection in an upstairs window and thought the other cat was after her. To our astonishment, she did prove to be an efficient mouser in our infested rental house. Our only theory was that as she was lying there with her mouth open, drooling, suicidal mice jumped in.

Sadly, the day came when we had to choose between the cat and our son, who turned out to be allergic to her. This was a difficult choice because while our son had never coughed up a hairball, he was not a very good mouser either. Also, the cat bathed herself, we had never had to change her diaper, and we didn’t think she would expect us to pay for a college education.

I wrote out an ad – “Young lady Persian Cat from good home seeks new family because son is allergic.” The phone rang day and night with people who were apparently desperate for a used cat. I’m not making this up. I don’t know if there was something in my advertisement which was code for “free crack”, but Madison Avenue should consider using sales pitches involving secondhand Persians.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, if you order this amazing cookware value today, we will include absolutely free this used Persian cat. Operators are standing by…”

Barb Taub

In halcyon days BC (before children), Barb Taub wrote a humor column for several Midwest newspapers. With the arrival of Child #4, she veered toward the dark side (an HR career). Following a daring daytime escape to England, she’s lived in a medieval castle , a hobbit house, and a Scottish isle with her prince-of-a-guy and the World’s Most Spoiled AussieDog. Considering all her days are now Saturdays, Barb is amazed that this is her sixth book.

I have reviewed her other books here – Round Trip Fare, Tales from Null City, Don’t Touch, Do Not Wash Hands in Plates and One Way Fare.

Want more? Well below are the magic links that will take you where you need to go to get a copy all of your very own… enjoy!!

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Posted in New Release, Reviews | 8 Comments

#bookreview for Straight from the Heart, an #anthology of #prose and #poetry from the students of #Nottingham Central College @GreenWizard62 @PhilPid1 @NoveletteMW

Straight From The Heart

I shall start this by saying how much I like the cover, the maze showing that despite the title, Straight from the Heart, love, in all its forms, from finding it, to keeping it, is anything but straight forward.

Life, Death, Love by Xanthe Hirst

What a superb start to this book! This is an absorbing tale of the acceptance by Life of Death and of the love between the real beings of Life and Death. Life gives gifts to Death who is saddened because she cannot reciprocate. However, Life already loves Death for the way she handles the gifts she gives her. Eventually Death unexpectedly gets the opportunity to give a gift to Life. This is a well written story and an interesting take on a love story with a difference.

The Silent Wife by Novelette Williams

Ruben is living a double life protecting a wife he can never see while living with a common law wife he has kept the truth from. He seeks hypnosis to find out what happened when he was injured and finds what is revealed hard to believe. This was an interesting tale on a complicated life but I did feel like giving Ruben a good shake for not telling Alice the truth in the first place, no wonder she was frustrated with him!

The Great British Snog Off by Manda Greasley

This was a great fun story about kisses in general and the snog in particular. A well written story it traces the timeline of snogging endured enjoyed by the narrator with humour and I loved the research element to it.

Getting Home by Adam Andrzei

This is a really good story because it leads you down the path of thinking one thing before the big reveal of what’s really going on. Touching and poignant with bits of well-timed backstory dropped in I enjoyed this darker tale.

DIY by Caroline Stancer

Told from the child’s perspective this is an interesting tale of a small boy and his mother visiting a DIY superstore. It is a perceptively told tale as the boy, with his attention to detail, but likelihood of distraction, and the minutiae of his knowledge about such subjects as Minecraft, and his need to complete tasks has special qualities he and his mother are learning to figure out together. A lovely well told story.

There is an added extra at the end. An originally written view from a black and white photo which again is an interesting perspective.

The Date by J Anton

This is the kind of story that makes me thankful I no longer go out on dates. Our male character goes out with one Jekyll and Hyde type of girl and doesn’t know what he’s getting from one moment to the next. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of! Fortunately, the alarm bells ring in time for the narrator to make a wise decision.

Seidr by Kit Bachmann

This is a fantasy which I felt came from a longer piece of work, or could do. The Boy visits the Goddess of Love and Death for an elixir but she sees him for what he truly is and changes the potion. The sacrifice that follows causes a different type of rebirth.

I’m not generally a fan of fantasy but I’ve read this piece a couple of times now and it has grown on me, helped no doubt by this authors excellent descriptions.

Out of the Blue by Paul Sinkinson

Chris Brown meets an alien called Keiry and introduces her to his life. Stories about aliens from outer space are not my thing but there were some interesting points here such as what happens when you feed pizza to an alien. Overall I felt the story had a good base but it could have done with a bit more work and editing. There are POV changes and some points in the dialogue when I was confused over who was speaking. I should add though that this is not surprising given the extremely tight time frame for submission and publication of this anthology.

This also felt like it could be part of a longer piece which would obviously have a lot more work done to it before it was published in the future.

A Fine Bromance by Aidan Parr

A fine tale of the lifetime of friendship between two men which I enjoyed reading, right until the last couple of paragraphs. The story has a good pace all the way through but for me it then ended a little abruptly, and on a question. It may well be that given the time constraints this is as far as it got, but I think there is plenty more to explore in this story if the author wants to extend it in the future.

Jordanna’s Black Heart by KC Brier

This seems to be part of a longer story. Jordanna is the matron of honour and the story is being told from the bride’s point of view. Jordanna is behaving very oddly right from the hen night and I’d have loved to have found out why, but we are left with a to be continued ending.

Vertical Living by EWE

There are some terrific images created by this author in this story about a man called Romeo and it’s interestingly written but I’m not sure I totally understood what was going on in it, or the significance of the moose… but that might just be me.

Tulips and Love On the Mountain Top by Elaine Davis

This was a quite detailed account of friendship between two women who met at university and their life after including an eventual romance for one of them. There were some tense issues which caused the storyline to be a little confused at times but given a bit more time those could be easily sorted out.

TAB – LOW#7 by LS by Damian Goy

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The attention to detail in the build-up was excellent and just as you are starting to get the feeling that everything is not quite right bam, the twist comes and everything changes. Very good.

The Painting by C C Boaler

This is a really creepy story which begins when Lisa moves into her new office. She’s having problems with her partner, Josiah’s, mental health and things only escalate when she starts to hear things too. I think this has a horror twist to it which I liked and I thought the ending was terrific.

Tea for Two by Elaine Smith

This was a super ending to the prose section. A tale of the friendship of two girls who bonded over their love of tea parties. Who introduced each other to the way different people lived and whose friendship endured their separate lives until they met again and like all good friendships picked up as though they had never been parted. Lovely.

Poetry

There is a large selection of poetry at the end which really shows off the talent of these writers and I admire their flexibility of being able to write both prose and poetry.

I am sure we will be reading more from some of these creative writing students.

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#LazyDays #BlogTour ~ #Author Interview by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie @jaydawes2 on the release of Lazy Days #Family #Adventure #TuesdayBookBlog

Lazy Days

Some of my most creative thoughts happen when on a dog walk, as do my best conversations with my dog-walking buddy. So I thought I’d invite some of my author friends along to join me and my Ruby and see if I can find out a little more about them and the book they’ve just released.

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Ruby and I are delighted to have Anita Dawes, one half of the duo who have written this book, join us today.

Anita Dawes has been writing unusual fiction for the last 22 years. Her favourite novel, ‘Bad Moon’ has been circulated to all the best mainstream publishers over the years and their comments were inspiring to say the least. Averil Ashfield at Transworld said it was a powerful story… and Andy Mckillop at Arrow said that her imagination had a thoroughly nasty streak…

She tends to alternate between ‘horror’ and the ‘supernatural’, although all of her novels are based on different kinds of family units. It has been said that her writing is not for the fainthearted!

However, I think what she is releasing now is something a bit different from her more usual horror or supernatural…

Hi Anita, I hope you’re ready for a hike across the fields of sunny Cambridgeshire?

Hi Georgia, I have never been to Cambridgeshire before, the weather is glorious, so really looking forward to our walk.

Well now you’ve got my undivided attention, Anita, this is your chance to tell me all about Lazy Days and convince your readers to buy it and move it up their to-be-read list?

It means so much to our family to have Lazy Days immortalised in print. 40 years ago we decided that even though we couldn’t afford it, we wanted to have a family holiday, dogs and all! We thought of all the different things we could do, but something was drawing us to water and some kind of craft big enough for us all.

The River Thames was close to us in South London, but all the Locks we would encounter didn’t really appeal. We had to think of the safety factor too.

Someone suggested the Norfolk Broads, and although it was miles away, the idea took hold and the decision was made. We didn’t have much money back then and had to save up for months to be able to afford it, but we were so glad we did. We had no idea what to expect, or what would happen when we got there.

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The Blurb, written by Jaye:

This novella is the true story of our family’s first proper holiday back in the Seventies. Looking back, I wonder what made us think it was a good idea, but despite all the things that could have gone wrong, we had a fantastic time. I was the Skipper most of the time, and for some reason decided to record our adventures in a small notebook. We were young and without husbands, Anita was a widow, and I was glad to be rid of mine (and that is another story.) Money was precious and scarce back then, but all the saving and sacrifice turned out to be worth every single memory we all cherish.

This notebook has been treasured and kept safe, despite numerous house moves and family disasters, as a symbol of our courage and determination. Renting a boat on the Norfolk Broads could so easily have been one of the stupidest things we had ever done, but even after 40 years, we have such good memories of that time.

Over the years, we often thought of making it into a proper book, but along with everything else in our often-complicated family life, it was something we never got around to. Until just recently, when we were looking for some old photographs, found the now fragile notebook and knew it was time.

It wasn’t as easy as we imagined it would be either, for our logbook writing skills leave a lot to be desired, but there was just enough information entered on those pages to get us started.

I believe you write with a partner, your sister. How does that work and do you suffer any sibling rivalry?

You ask if there is any sibling rivalry between us, but there always is between sisters, isn’t there? Rather a sweet description of what happens in our house, for when we are brainstorming one of our books, the air can be pretty volatile and several different shades of blue! But despite our infamous rows, we have produced some amazing work between us.

I know you’re an indie author Anita, but we all need help at various stages of writing and I’d like to know more about the team you have behind you. Who helps you pull your books together until they’re ready to be published?

It is just the two of us on our team, and we each have different skills so most of the time it works well. We do use beta readers whenever possible, but Jaye is a wonder. What she doesn’t know, she will research like crazy until she can master whatever it is. Her computer has been known to holler ‘uncle’ when she has a bee in her bonnet!

(I was amazed to see from your bio on Amazon that Jaye is typist, editor, proof reader and publisher rolled into one – an excellent person to have in your corner! Ed)

If you could choose to be any character out of any book you’ve written, who would you choose? And why?

It would have to be Maggie from The Scarlet Ribbon because time travel and the supernatural fascinate me. Think of all the things we could learn if we could travel back in time.

The Scarlet Ribbon

Jaye actually is one of her characters. Kate, from Nine Lives, is almost totally autobiographical. Kate is an artist though, something Jaye has always wanted to be.

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A few quick fire ones.

India or Iceland?

Neither country appeals, as I don’t like extremes of temperature, but I would visit India if it wasn’t so flipping hot!

Sunsets or sunrises?

I love both with equal measure. Nature is the only force on this planet without fault.

Which superpower would you like to have? And Why?

If I could choose a superpower, it would be invisibility. Think of all the places you could go if no one could see you! Think of all the stories just waiting to be discovered.

What piece of advice would you like to give your 16-year-old self – if you were given the opportunity to use a time machine!?

I remember what I was like at 16, all the things I needed and never had. I could have handled it better if someone had explained everything to me. Instead, I spent far too much time being angry, something I know didn’t help much.

I believe that perfect days are unplanned, BUT if you were to plan your perfect day what would it look like?

My perfect day would be the day I read a great book, wish I hadn’t, so I could read it again…

(Ah, yes, I recognise that desire to finish a book so you know what happens, while at the same time never wanting it to end, Ed)

Thanks for joining me Anita and I wish you every success for the sales of Lazy Days, which readers can find here…

Amazon UK

Amazon US 

You can find Anita and Jaye here:

Website:     http://jenanita01.com

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/jaydawes2/media

Facebook: http://facebook.com/anita.dawes.37

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie

Anita’s Author Page/Amazon Link :    https://Author.to/AnitaLink

Jaye’s Author Page/Amazon Link:       https://Author.to/JayeLink

This is a terrifically busy launch as there are events happening on Facebook too!

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Here is the link if you want to find out more about their Book Tour Quiz:

 https://www.facebook.com/events/#LazyDaysBookTour

And, there are many more blog posts to follow on this Grand Tour!

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Posted in Author Interviews | 2 Comments

Anything But Books ~ fun blog tag thingy #MondayBlogs

I was delighted to be tagged by writer pal Terry Tyler to take part in one of those random questions things, Anything But Books. You can read her post HERE. She, in turn, was tagged by Shelley Wilson, you can read her post HERE, and before her came Claire from BrizzleLass Books

I’ll say upfront that I found these questions quite difficult, and it’s taken me this long to post anything since being tagged because I seriously struggled to come up with some of the answers. Here goes…

Name a cartoon that you love?

I don’t watch any cartoons anymore but the last one that I did watch and really loved was King of the Hill.

What is your favourite song right now?

Tricky, tricky, tricky… however, I’m going to choose one that has become something of an anthem for my family and it takes me right back to a dancefloor on one magical night in April when all of us danced to this together.

Mr Brightside by The Killers.

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

At the moment it’s walking and thinking. I’ve been doing a lot of both recently in mountainous areas, on beaches… bracing British beaches, I should add… as well as around my own village. I’m trying to sort my head out and as it hasn’t worked yet I think more of both will be needed in 2018!

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What is something that you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Rather depressingly I’m not sure that I do anything that would surprise anyone actually – I might have to rectify that ;-D I have found sometimes that people believe I’m a confident, socially gregarious person, which I’m not, so the fact that I love to stay in rather than go out might surprise a few.

Here is a perfect tee shirt for me.

What is your favourite, unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

I’m not sure it’s my favourite, but it is the most necessary. Writing, and more specifically publishing, particularly as I have started producing the books of other authors at Three Shires Publishing. There is so much to learn and an overwhelming amount of information available.

What is something unusual you know how to do?

Again… a question that only reveals how boring I am. Sigh… I can plait a horses’ tail. This is the only thing I can think of that maybe not everyone can do.

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Name something that you’ve made in the last year?

Other than my usual high number of social faux pas I can’t think of anything else except, dinner, every night! I don’t think we’re meant to be mentioning books in this post but there was that, a book… I made one of those. 😉

What is you most recent personal project?

Ahh, losing weight. Although there has been a certain amount of backsliding over Christmas I was on the cusp of reaching my two stone before so I need to get back to that and progress onto my target. All with the help of Slimming World, I should add.

Tell us something that you think of often.

Writing, and at the moment my inability to do it.

Tell us something that’s your favourite, but make it oddly specific.

One of my favourite books is Pride and Prejudice and while I generally don’t watch the film adaptation of a book I’ve loved I did with this one as I did it for O Level decades ago. However, the oddly specific bit is that I will only ever watch the black and white Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson version, from 1940. It so closely follows the book and its characters are so brilliant it is utter perfection.

I have never seen Colin Firth emerge dripping from the lake – was that even in the book!? – although I am told it was a sight to behold, nor any other production. For me there is only one, and it is a delight. Try it for yourselves 😀

I’m tagging… anyone who fancies giving this one a go. It’s fun and different so go on, you know you want to!

Georgia xx

Posted in Writing and Sharing | 6 Comments