5* Review for Life’s Rich Tapestry ~ Woven in Words by Sally Cronin #shortstories @sgc58

Sally’s book would be perfect for everyone in lockdown, as every story and illustration will make you glad to be alive!

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Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, micro fiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word micro fiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres.

 

Our Thoughts

There is such wonderful variety in Life’s Rich Tapestry by Sally Cronin.

A really lovely collection of poems and short stories, all delightfully illustrated.

Always a fan of Sally’s storytelling, I really enjoyed reading this book.

Originally bought as an eBook, I will be purchasing a paperback copy for my bookshelf, so it will always be there to read again (and again!)

 

#TuesdayBookBlog ~ Our Review for Finding David by Stevie Turner #OccultHorror @StevieTurner6

 

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When Karen and Mick Curtis attend a demonstration of clairvoyance for the first time, Karen is singled out by the medium, Rae Cordelle. Rae has a message from Karen’s son David, who passed over to the spirit world many years before. The message shocks Karen and sends her on a journey of discovery, rocking her previously happy relationship with second husband Mick, David’s stepfather.

 

Amazon Review

“Stevie Turner’s latest was a great escape read, and by the second page I had to find out what this psychic was going to tell Karen, and then I became absorbed and wanted to just keep reading.

Karen and Mick’s happy life was shaken and stirred after a chance outing to a clairvoyant’s public show where Medium Rae focused her attention on Karen, offering her a message from beyond from Karen’s deceased son – gone missing years before. Rae offers Karen her card, inviting her to contact Rae to learn more if she chose. What mother of a missing child wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to connect with their missing/dead child?

What Rae reveals to Karen sets the tone for the journey to seek out what happened all those years ago when David just a boy then, completely vanished – never to return. The search to find David’s never been found body ensues, and as clues develop and possible suspects for David’s death appear, a great strain weighs between Karen and Mick’s marriage.

Turner always has rich characters who draw us into her stories. I also enjoyed how the story carried through with a tiny crumb given in each chapter, leaving me anxious to turn to the next chapter while still kept wondering – Who the heck killed David – until near the very end. I also enjoyed reading in this genre, which is not a usual one for me. If you enjoy a shorter book with all the meat of a story wrapped up nicely, you will no doubt, enjoy this book!” – D.G Kaye

Our Thoughts

Hoping for a message from her son David, who disappeared years ago, Karen attends a Spiritual meeting with her husband, Mick.

Through the medium, Karen receives a message from her son.

This message shocks her and sends her on a journey of discovery, shaking the foundations of her marriage.

Her husband Mick is not a believer in these things and aggressively refuses to believe that David blames him for his death. This was a classic misunderstanding, for Mick is David’s stepfather.

Right from the beginning, I hoped the child would be found alive.

I found myself wondering what I would do in those circumstances. The message would have to be convincing, like something no one else would know, for there are many so-called mediums out there who prey on the vulnerable.

I don’t understand what drives people to these meetings, surely it must only bring more heartache?

It was particularly distressing to witness the destruction of Karen’s marriage, although the husband’s attitude didn’t help.

The author has done a brilliant job of creating a devastating story and believable characters, sometimes a little too realistic!

The medium in this story and the story itself, are remarkable and very believable, especially the effect this discovery had on the parents of the missing child.

Finding David isn’t very long, but it certainly packs a punch…

About the Author

Stevie Turner is a British author of women’s fiction family dramas, romantic suspense, and darkly humorous novels. She is married and lives in Suffolk, UK. Stevie can be contacted at the following email address: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk You can find her blog at the following link: http://www.steviet3.wordpress.com

Sign up to Stevie’s mailing list for new publications, events and giveaways: http://eepurl.com/dvNklL

Stevie Turner is a British author of suspense, paranormal, women’s fiction family dramas, and darkly humorous novels. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017. Some of Stevie’s books have been translated into German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

 

#TuesdayBookBlog: Secrets by Anita Dawes #Psychological Suspense

 

Many children have an invisible friend, and sometimes they can be a necessary part of a child’s life for many reasons.
But when this ‘friend’ starts to cause more than childish mischief, it is time for his mother to investigate.
Maggie Swan loves her little boy Danny, but his new playmate was becoming something of a problem.
Her husband Jack was no help at all, dismissing her ideas as rubbish. But was he merely trying to hide a guilty secret? One that Danny’s new friend knew all about?

Amazon reviews

I’ve been thinking about this review for a few days. I finished Secrets a short while ago and I’ve been trying to decide how to express what I felt about it, but now my heading really says it all. This is a strong and powerful story, very well told. The characters are well-drawn and empathic; you have to like and sympathise with them fully, and the main plot, being that of a child who has an invisible but somewhat malicious ‘friend’, is very compelling. If you enjoy and read a lot of paranormal suspense, then you will really love this book. It isn’t my usual choice but I still found myself ‘turning the pages’ on my Kindle till I reached the end. In fact, it is very good!

I won’t say too much about the story as I don’t want to spoil the suspense and excitement for the reader, so this review is quite short. However, I think Anita Dawes has tapped into subjects that are very topical today and it’s well worth reading this book to see what can happen when we bury secrets for too long …

 
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary + Well Written
 This was a beautifully written novel and flowed from chapter to chapter. Many children have an invisible friend and sometimes that can be a necessary part of a child’s life for various reasons. But when the “friend” starts to cause more than childish mischief, then it is time for the adults to do something about it. The characters in this book were well defined and I liked them all and felt empathy for all of them. This was a page-turner for me and I kept thinking there might be more sinister things going on, especially with the neighbor. I don’t want to give away too much, but I’d like to hear from other readers what they thought about the ending. An entertaining read. A 5 star from me.

Excerpt from Secrets…

The men began to dig, just to one side of the old barn by a broken down fence. She could just make out what was left of an old tree. Her curiosity strained just enough to keep her watching as Janet stepped out from the shadow of the house and took a few steps towards the men.

‘What you got there, buried treasure?’

‘You hold your noise woman, I could always make this here hole big enough to put you in, now get on with you!’

She shrugged, picked up an old basket and walked off around the side of the house.

‘I couldn’t have done that,’ breathed Cathy. ‘I would want to have a look.’

‘Maybe she believes what Tommy said…’

‘Could be, I wouldn’t want to bump into him on a dark night. Did you get a load of his teeth?’

Maggie smiled in spite of herself. ‘I did, every dentist’s nightmare.’

The word sent a shiver down her spine.

After quite a pile of earth had been dug up, Jack threw his shovel aside and began pulling at something that was stuck in the ground.

Maggie felt sick. Where was the dignity? All she felt was the shame and sorrow of it all.

Tommy gave something a kick with his boot and Maggie felt herself flinch as a large, mud covered bundle came free from the grave. She couldn’t believe her eyes when Jack simply picked it up and carried it back across the field to the car. She watched him put it in the boot and noticed that Tommy was watching him too, before throwing the shovel and pick into the barn. He rinsed the mud from his boots with a hose outside the back door, then he came in and they heard him open the Aga.

‘He’s going to eat his lunch, for God’s sake!’ she said to Cathy. ‘How can he?’

Even as she said it, she realised that today of all days, anything was possible.

Jack was on his way back to the house when Janet appeared again. Waiting until she was sure he’d hear her, she asked,

‘Got what you came for, then?’

Trying to wipe the mud from his hands, he nodded.

‘Come inside and wash up.’ she said.

Janet squirted the hose over his shoes, soaking the bottom of his trousers and he held his hands under the stream of freezing cold water to get most of the mud of.

‘We’d better sit down.’ Maggie said, nudging Cathy towards a chair. ‘They’ll be here in a minute.’

They heard Janet tell Jack to use the sink in the small room behind the Aga. ‘But then, you’d know about that, wouldn’t you.’ she said. Seeing Tommy getting stuck into his food, she asked Jack if they would like some lunch before they go.

‘For God’s sake, don’t say yes.’ Maggie whispered, and Cathy held her breath waiting for his answer.

‘No thanks, we really do have to go. I’d like to get back home before it gets dark.’

Jack came into the living room and brought the smell of freshly dug soil with him. It was a smell Maggie usually liked, but not today. In her minds eye she could see the shallow grave, dark and forbidding, with white bones sticking out of the mud. How was she going to get into the car, knowing what was in the boot?

5* Review for The Light by Marcia Meara~#UrbanFantasy @MarciaMeara

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The Magic is Back!

For Robert MacKenzie Cole—or Rabbit, as he’s known to all—the chance to accompany his family to see North Carolina’s infamous Brown Mountain Lights has him nearly dizzy with excitement. And what better night to watch this unexplained phenomenon unfold than Halloween?

But when the entrancing, unpredictable lights show up, Rabbit gets far more than he bargained for. He’s gifted with what folks in the Appalachians call “the Sight,” and it’s this extrasensory perception that enables him to spot the one light different from all the rest.

In his biggest challenge to date, Rabbit—aided by his daddy and his newest friend, Austin Dupree— begins a quest to learn more about the mysterious light. Their investigation unveils a web of cons and corruption none of them expected and exposes a brutal murder along the way.

Throughout all, Rabbit is unfaltering in his commitment to do whatever it takes to understand the truth behind the glowing orb and to determine how he can help it. After all, it followed him home.

para one

 

Our Review

I had been looking forward to reading Marcia Meara’s latest Wake-Robin Ridge story, as I am a devoted fan of the adopted, delightful eleven-year-old star of the previous books, Rabbit. I expected to be welcomed back and was not disappointed!

This story is all about the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights, a very real phenomenon, something that has puzzled people for years and had Rabbit entranced. I wondered if he would end up discovering something connected to his own special gift, his ability to ‘read’ people and sometimes see the future.

Along the way, he becomes involved in a murder mystery, turning what I thought would be a light-hearted story into something seriously more complicated.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Light. The quality of the writing, the wonderful cast of characters and the sublimely complicated plot left me in awe of the author’s talent.

Cannot wait for the next in the series!

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Beauty Thief: by Rachael Ritchey ~ #ScienceFiction & Fantasy @RachaelRitchey

 

 

 

Magic is long dead in Twelve Realms, a peaceful kingdom where the dark arts were once as normal as the seasons. At least this is what most believed until the life of a princess becomes the obsession of a man who defies time by stealing the one thing that sustains his life: true beauty.

Princess Caityn is more than a pretty face. Her beauty runs soul deep, and because of this, her life is priceless to the thief. On the eve of her wedding to the high prince, Caityn is attacked by his powerful dark magic, leaving her a wretched hag with a soul so empty even she barely recognizes herself.

But it’s not too late. Her betrothed and a group of loyal knights might be able to save her from a living death, but it will take more than a kiss to rescue this princess. Love means sacrifice.

What will those who profess to love Caityn be willing to sacrifice to save her life? Time is not on their side. Doubt is a strong enemy, and the thief knows exactly how to use it to his advantage.

**Note. An updated revision of The Beauty Thief has been added as of 11/30/2016. If you own this title already, you can set up automatic updates for your Kindle in Content Settings which should enable you to get the updated version!**

 

Our Review

It was the amazing cover, created by Rachael herself, that compelled me to read The Beauty Thief, a modern, yet classical fairy-tale with a nasty twist.

This is the authors first novel and intelligently written. It soon grabbed me by the back of my neck as the tension develops.

Although it has a typical beginning for a fairy tale, a handsome prince and princess, the story builds into a fascinating yet disturbingly dark world.

Such is the quality of the writing and the spell cast by the characters, I knew I was in for one hell of a ride. All of the characters come alive with complex emotions, wit, and charm, especially Caityn, the main character. She handles her sad fate with such dignity.

This story ends with a great cliff-hanger, reminding us that there will be more to come.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Beauty Thief and look forward to the next book in the series.

About the Author

 

Rachael Ritchey is a writer and book designer for indie authors. She mainly writes YA fantasy fiction, but you can find her dabbling in sci-fi and contemporary genres too. She has a passion for beautiful books, so book cover and interior designing are high on her list of enjoyable hobbies. When she’s not writing, working on design, spending time with her four kids and husband, home-schooling her youngest, reading a book, or watching movies, Rachael can be found enjoying one of the many beautiful lakes of the Inland Northwest or hiking in the woods of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

 

Biography

Rachael Ritchey was born and raised in Northern Idaho with a short, seven-year stint in scenic SE Alaska. Inspiration from the picturesque places she grew up has played a huge part in her imagining of the fantasy world she created.

The Beauty Thief is the first book in her YA series called Chronicles of the Twelve Realms. While she considers the book’s fantasy because of some of the elements of the stories, they read more like historical fiction. Book two is on its way to completion. She also has a middle-grade book started that she hopes to find time to finish, too!

Rachael is an everyday wife and mother who writes books she would want to read; she writes stories she’s proud to share with her kids and you. While her goal is to entertain, she also wants to use her writing to inspire courage and compassion.

Being an author, sharing her stories, is about more than selling books. If you want to contact Rachael, you can find her at
http://www.rachaelritchey.com
on Twitter: @RachaelRitchey
on Facebook: WritingRaci
or Goodreads: Rachael Ritchey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Chocolate and the Baby Cookie Monster Story and Cookbook

We are reviewing Robbie’s book as part of last weeks promotion on Streets Ahead Book Promotion… https://mewe.com/join/streetsaheadbookpromotionclub

 

Book 2 of the Sir Chocolate series: Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.

 

Our Review

 

Robbie and Michael Cheadle love to cook.

I know this for I have watched them in action when I needed a recipe for a Christmas cake. I found an amazing video and watched as Robbie carried me through the most delightful cookery lesson. (and the cake I made was delicious!)

They love to write about the fondant characters they make too, featuring them in a lovely series of children’s books.

This review is for book two of the Sir Chocolate series, and I can’t wait to share the rest of the books with my grandchildren!

I would love to buy the series in paperback to get the full beauty of the illustrations and know I won’t be disappointed.

You should also check out Robbie’s website for more images and recipes from The World of Sir Chocolate… https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

#Tuesday Book Blog ~ Doggerel by Sue Vincent #HumourousVerse @SCVincent

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The relationship between Ani, the inimitable Small Dog and her two-legs, first came to light in ‘Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two’. Their poetic adventures continued in ‘Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End’. In this new collection of poems, their daily life together takes centre stage. From the perfidy of humans who insist on bathing dogs, to the unpunctuality of writers at mealtimes, the relationship between two legs and four is explored in verse. The Small Dog reveals her continuing fascination with chicken, tennis balls and the compulsion to re-write Shakespeare, while exposing her two legs’ misdemeanours to the world.

 

We first met Ani when we started blogging nearly seven years ago, along with Sue, her long suffering two legs and all the other wonderful people we have discovered along the way, and they have changed the sometimes-lonely life of two writer/bloggers into a delightful journey.

Doggerel, this wonderful book of poems will introduce everyone to the inimitable charm that is Ani, the four-legged poet extraordinaire, whose touchingly beautiful face adorns many of the pages.

All the poems are a delight to read, but my all-time favourite must be ‘The Small Dog Suffers…’  describing the many ways Ani has of trying to get around Sue for more food, ending with this last line…

‘and by the way, for afters, I shall help you eat your dinner…’

Sue Vincent’s poems always manage to make me smile and make my day a lot brighter!


About the Author

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer currently living in the south of England, largely due to an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. Raised in a spiritually eclectic family she has always had an unorthodox view on life, particularly the inner life, which is often reflected in her writing, poetry and paintings.

She maintains a popular blog, https://scvincent.com and is currently owned by Ani, the inimitable Small Dog, who also writes.

Sue lived in France for several years, sharing a Bohemian lifestyle and writing songs before returning to England where the youngest of her two sons was born. She began writing and teaching online several years ago, and was invited to collaborate with Dr G. Michael Vasey on their book, “The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power”.

Since then she has published a number of books, beginning with “Swords of Destiny”, a magical tale set in the ancient landscape of Yorkshire. Her retelling of the Egyptian myths, “The Osiriad”, came shortly afterwards along with her collaboration with Stuart France. Together they have written the Triad of Albion, the Doomsday trilogy and the first books in the Lands of Exiles series.

These books tell a true adventure in a fictional manner. They are at once a journey into the ancient and sacred landscape of Albion and the story of a growing and rather oddball friendship.

The Triad of Albion was followed by the Doomsday trilogy and France and Vincent are now working on the three books in the Lands of Exile series, where the adventures of Don and Wen stray down the paths of fiction.

They have also published a number of graphic works together exploring folklore and legend, as well as writing independently. https://franceandvincent.com/

Sue, along with Steve Tanham and Stuart France, is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, an international modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. https://thesilenteye.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

#TuesdayBookBlog Review for Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner @StevieTurner6

 

 

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

 

Our Review

Starting a new job is always fraught with tension, you worry whether you will be liked, and more importantly, are you able to convince them of your competence?

Jill Hayes is met with total disdain from her new superior, so when she questions something that doesn’t seem right, she is met with hostility on many levels.

If you discover something is wrong, could you be a whistle-blower, or would you hope that someone else would do it instead?

This story has it all, corruption and greed, and an interesting cast of fascinating and true to life characters. Although Examining Kitchen Cupboards is a work of fiction at its finest, you could be forgiven for thinking it seems far too real to be comfortable, and I’m sure some of it must be based on fact, which of course, makes it all the more chilling…

 

About the Author

Stevie Turner is a British author of suspense, paranormal, women’s fiction family dramas, and darkly humorous novels. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017. Some of Stevie’s books have been translated into German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Stevie can be contacted at the following email address: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk
On her website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk you can find a free suspense novella to read so that you can check out her writing style. You can also find her blog at the following link: http://www.steviet3.wordpress.com and you can sign up to her mailing list at http://eepurl.com/dvNklL

 

 

 

Shattered Figurines… (Det. Jo Naylor Series Book 1) Our 5* review for Allan Hudson’s brilliant new #Adventure Story @hudson_allan

 

 

Detective Josephine Naylor receives an email telling her where to find the last body. The messenger tells her “only you can stop this madness”. Discovering a shattered figurine on the corpse, she’s overwhelmed by the possibility it might be the one she sold in a yard sale. If so, she knows who the killer could be. She prays that she’s wrong…

Our Review

The opening chapter presents the detective, Jo Naylor, with a very important question. One she didn’t really want to answer but knows she must.

The next chapter, one year later, hits you square in the face with full on complicated and violent action as we discover what this story is all about.

Shattered Figurines is a surprisingly unusual detective story in that it doesn’t follow the usual plotline for this genre and the characters aren’t run of the mill either. The author has captured a very real element in both the story and the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I love a good detective mystery story and Shattered Figurines is one of the best I have read this year. I shall be first in the queue when the author writes another one in this series.

Do you need to be Enchanted? Review of Fairies,Myths&Magic by ColleenChesebro @ColleenChesebro

 

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Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love.

You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning.

Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong.

 

Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

 

Our Review for Fairies, Myths & Magic. A Summer Celebration…

These enchanting poems and stories are a joy to read and would make a truly beautiful present for anyone who loves the magical world of myths and magic.

I had just finished editing my complicated mystery/thriller and wanted something to undo all the knots in my brain. I chose to read this delightful book written by Colleen Chesebro and it worked a treat!

I was transported back to a time when I saw fairies everywhere, and the years simply fell away as I remembered those golden days of my childhood.

Thank you, Colleen, for restoring the magical centre in my brain…

 

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Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer and author of YA fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood – or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.

 

A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams.

Colleen won the Little and Laugh Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community.com in November 2017 for her piece, called, “The Bus Stop.” Her debut novel, “The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy,” won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.

Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. You can learn more about Colleen at www.colleenchesebro.com.