Thank you so much to Judith Barrow for featuring me in her places in our memories series with a chat about the Cambridge Botanical Gardens, and the sculptural treasures of Cambridge and Edinburgh that have inspired me in much of my writing.
A gorgeous romantic story of love and new beginnings. Learning to love herself and be content on her own is the first step. But will Olivia be able to leave her past behind, follow her heart and find lasting happiness? A read full of humour, romance and tear-jerking reality, from international bestselling author, Lizzie Chantree.
Have you ever felt invisible?
Working as a stationery supervisor and a sitter to a pair of internet famous, delinquent dogs, wasn’t how former cyber-specialist, Olivia, imagined her life turning out.
Working in a tiny cubicle with a decrepit computer and being overlooked had suited her for a while, but now she’s fed up, lonely and determined to make the world ‘see’ her again.
Old school friend, Darius, wants to fill Olivia’s days with romance, but their love of technology has taken them on very different paths.
Gorgeous undercover policeman Gabe, is steadfast in finding out if Olivia was part of an online scam, but something doesn’t feel right and he suspects someone else was manipulating her life.
Can love blossom from the most deceptive of starts? And can someone who feels lost, find a way to flourish against all odds?
International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.
International bestselling author Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, about women with unusual businesses, who are stronger than they realise.
The Woman Who Felt Invisible captured my attention right from the beginning with a great opening chapter which immediately hooks. The premise about older women feeling invisible is such a perceptive idea and Lizzie Chantree has explored this with touching humour, attention to detail and great characters. I loved all the funny details, the hot house, the dogs, the internet sensation! Jen’s fake smile and how she looked down her nose at the other women.
The main character Olivia (an older woman who lacks confidence,) meets Constance, (Connie,) at the office xmas party and there is reference to Connie looking young but being in her 40’s. A tip off to suggest where the story direction is going…
There are so many funny little moments like when Olivia’s boss Greg, who happens to be her new friend’s cheating husband, corners Olivia in the stationery cupboard (where she works,) and Olivia stabs him with her pen.
After the office party Olivia and Connie become great friends and this is the pivotal point where the story changes and progresses to reveal stunning revelations about Olivia and her best male friend Darius.
The love interest/love triangle appears in the form of injured Policeman Gabe who is doing a stake out of Olivia as he thinks she’s a drugs criminal! And Darius who has his charms and an abundance of good looks too… no spoilers read to discover more!
Connie wants to plan revenge on her cheating hubby Greg. And a whole bunch of extraordinary revelations follow. A great read! Perhaps less romance than some of Lizzie’s other books. Lots of humour, and commentry on women being more powerful than they seem. Overall, an entertaining novel and a celebration of older women having much to offer society with Olivia’s character demonstrating many hidden aspects, talents and much to admire. I loved it. Light-hearted, quirky but thoughtful too.
I’m pleased to welcome award-winning author; free-lance columnist, blogger, poet and up-and-coming podcaster, Cynthia Morgan to my blog.
Cynthia has a passion for words… Here is what she has to say…
I love words. I admit it. They are my full-blown addiction, plain and simple. Most particularly, I love writing words. Yes, there is quite a difference between reading them and writing them. Oh, please don’t get me wrong, I do also enjoy reading them; however, if someone were to give me the choice between never being able to write again or never being allowed to read again, I would, without a single moment’s pause to contemplate the consequences of such an ultimatum, choose to never read again.
Words move me. They fill my spirit. I wake up creating headlines and spend my day filling page after page (after page). You might ask why, but I would probably respond with a similar question, such as: Why do artists love to paint, or why do musicians live and breathe to write/perform music? It’s in our soul. It’s what makes us who we are and it defines us just as surely as the color of our hair and the clothes we wear.
If you’re familiar with my writing, you may already be aware that my particular penchant for words leans very heavily toward the superfluous end of the scale. Charles Dickens and Jane Austin have nothing on me when it comes to the peculiar joy I find in creating paragraph-long sentences that would make even an English major’s head spin. Why? Again, I’d simply have to say because it’s in my soul. I take sick pleasure in pumping up a simple sentence into an over-indulge, show-stopping extravaganza of linguistic gymnastics…that is grammatically correct.
Many of you have never seen such an exquisite thing of beauty (or outlandishness, depending on your point of view) so I shall provide the following paragraph as an example. I wrote this glorious one-sentence paragraph for an article on my blog (Booknvolume…otherwise known as BnV)
….at long last I am here to fill your next few moments with the tumbling musings of my mind (fair warning!)
Now, since my thoughts are flying in a rather confusing array of directions, at least at the present moment, I thought I would preface this post with the aforementioned disclaimer before I end up lost somewhere in the wilds of Uzbekistan with you sitting there with that particularly enchanting, though perhaps somewhat frustrated (at least for you) and puzzled expression on your face that most people end up having when they sit down and read one of my whirling posts, most particularly on night’s such as this when the words are flowing faster than I can logically keep up with, though often, depending upon the moon’s cycle or how much chocolate and/or caffeine I may have had before sitting down to begin writing, it can be a rather bewildering experience; whereat, being the kindhearted soul that I am, and never wishing to intentionally lead someone into a grammatical quagmire, as I am for all intents and purposes a good soul (though you and I both know that even good souls have halo’s that glow neon red now and again) I generally tend to use this moment of perplexity to point out that I did warn you, my dearest readers, very early on in our relationship (that being the early days of my blog BnV) that I do have the most annoying (or potentially amusing, dependant once again upon the aforementioned phase of the moon or how much chocolate or caffeine You’ve ingested before beginning to read) predilection to run off on wild tangents of verbosity that would make even Charles Dickens’s head ache, but let that go.
Word Count: 259 Sentences: 1 Passive Sentences: 0 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 52.2 …. YES!!!!!!!!!!! (My work here is done, thank you)
It is moments such as these that give me the oddest, yet greatest pleasure and were during my high school years, amusingly, opportunities for me to stretch my writing skills to such degrees that my English professor (a very good soul indeed who loved words nearly as much as I do) resorted to noting that my fondness for crafting compound-complex sentences on the backs of my test papers during the remaining time I had in class (because I often finished the tests early, being rather good in English class, perhaps not entirely surprisingly) and then diagramming them for the sheer delight of doing so was, in his opinion, a very strong indicator that I had, either, some form of mental derangement not yet diagnosed, or, I was a word-smith in the making. (oooo Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 53.8! Marvelous! )
You may at this moment tend to agree and I would not argue the fact, but before I leave you with a beautifully muddled expression and echoes of words ringing in your mind like the bells of St. Pauls, please allow me Bestow this final thought, which should, if nothing else, answer the original question.
To Write; To Paint with Words as an Artist Bedecks his canvas with hues and shades and layers of pigmentation; To Sing a Melody upon which the gaze may Linger and over which the Heart may Muse again and again: To Create visual Splendor with grammar and language that is, perhaps, fundamentally underutilized or neglected (and to use Capitalization in the most maddening, although explainable manner), to me, is the most Beguiling form of Intoxication in which I could ever take Pleasure and, for you, Dear Intrepid Reader, to Undertake the Journey; to Brave the Frontier of Superfluous Verbosity and reach the shore with a Smile (though, perchance, also to some extent exhausted), is far more Rewarding an Endeavor than any other I shall ever undertake.
Cynthia A. Morgan is an award-winning author and Inspiration Coach. Morgan’s captivating stories and lyrical poetry promote positivity and Being The Change we want to see in the world. Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, poetry or essays, Morgan’s writing inspires change, encourages harmonious perspectives, and promotes belief in the power of one. She is the founder of Booknvolume.com where over 20K readers across 90+ countries find her inspirational poetry, daily meditations, prompts for positivity, book reviews and more.
Award-winning YA Fantasy Dark Fey Trilogy explores our perspectives on ‘Good and Evil’ and resonates with the message: The Only Way to Achieve Peace is by Becoming Peace.
Amazon Best Seller and IAN Book of the Year Winner The Mercy Series follows the Archangel Tzadkiel on his search for a single merciful human being in a medieval dystopian future where justice and mercy are ancient history. It’s powerful axiom ‘Show Thankfulness through Kindness and Appreciate Blessings through Generosity’ is woven into a powerful, Speculative Fantasy.
Whispers in Verse- Morgan’s first book of published poetry has been compared to Shakespeare by Readers Favorite and has received outstanding accolades from reviewers: “Whispers in Verse reads as if written on the wings of angels….If I could give this book a 10, I wouldn’t hesitate.” and “Whispers in Verse is a treasure of quiet, subtle poems, leading us into a place of contemplation and calmness, evoking lovely images, and leaving the reader with a sense of calm….This author has touched my very soul.”
You can Morgan through social media in the following places:
I’m thrilled to welcome Richard Dee to my blog to highlight his amazing fantasy book The Syk’m. Richard is a talented author with much to offer, his enthusiasm for writing and cooking are never ending! And he is a lovely chap to be much admired.
Everyone said that they were monsters. Then they asked for my help.
Behave, or the Syk’m will come and take you away.
That was the threat hanging over my childhood, the terrifying punishment that made us all obedient.
As children, we were told that the Syk’m watched over us. Should we misbehave, they could do unimaginable things.
Because we were young and knew no better, the mere mention of their name was enough to control us. We went to bed, minded our manners, stopped our shouting. Although the Syk’m were mythical creatures, never seen, we all believed in their power over us.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I thought that I had outgrown the unseen terrors of my childhood. I thought that I no longer believed in the power of the Syk’m.
Then the day came when I discovered that the Syk’m were real. The day they found me. Their message was clear. Despite everything I had imagined, they needed my help.
It was the day I discovered that they were not the monsters we had all believed them to be. There were others in the universe.
How the story was devised and written.
It all started with a memory, my grandmother used to tell me that if I was bad, a creature that she called the bogeyman would come and take me away. It scared me when I was younger, because of the way she said it and the threat that it implied. Whether it improved my behaviour is another matter.
Anyhow, fast forward to a couple of years ago, when my wife and I were talking about aspects of our childhood. I mentioned the bogeyman and we laughed about the effect things like that had on children. And how we grew out of such fears as we got older and learned more about the world.
Then I had a thought. What if the bogeyman was real, what might happen if you met one? What would be the truth behind the stories, the basis of the legend?
My mind went into overdrive, perhaps the bogeymen were members of an alien race, watching us and occasionally taking someone for research? Maybe they had been more active in years past, hence the old tales. It could be that they had since turned their minds to other things and had decided to leave us alone. If that were true, then how, and for what reason, might the first new contact in ages develop?
I realised that there were enough possibilities in that paragraph alone to build a story.
The Syk’m grew from that premise. I decided to write it as a sword and sorcery fantasy adventure, given the origins of the tale in folklore. I thought it would be the most fitting genre for it. I invented a world, Skander, with a medieval society. These were the people who would be held in thrall to their own version of the bogeyman, who they called the Syk’m. The story would concern what happened when the people of Skander finally learned the truth.
I made some brief notes and let the story stew in my mind. The whole story came to me, just in time to be my project for NaNoWriMo 2020. I wrote most of it in November 2020 and sent it off to my editor, as well as a few trusted friends. I got positive feedback and completed the final version in April 2021.
As a writer of Sci-fi and Steampunk, building the world was fairly straightforward. Incorporating magic and primitive technology was a bit more of a challenge. I had to forgo all the usual tricks and the freedom that writing about the future gives you, go right back to basics. The aim was to make it as plausible and integrated a society as I could. A place like our history suggests, yet not ours
Apart from the action and adventure that such a tale demands, I also wanted to examine the emotional aspects of meeting people whose existence had only ever been hinted at and feared. I thought that it would be fun to explore the relationships that might develop between the two races, the similarities and differences that such an event might expose.
Beta readers comments,
I loved it. The characters are amazing and the plot just flows. Channing Schneider
Everything I love about High Fantasy. Dixie Messing
Richard Dee has crafted a fantastical fantasy filled with fun, adventure and danger all in equal measure. Steven Smith
A short excerpt,
She passed the last stalls and turned off the street into a narrow alley between two high brick buildings. I stepped after her into the gloom. I had no thoughts of a trick, or possible danger, I just wanted to find out who she was, why she had looked at me in that way.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw her, no more than ten paces ahead. She had stopped, her back to me. Suddenly, it looked as if she was encased in a glowing cloak of rainbow colours. It was a trick worthy of the best entertainments at Kauron’s palace. Perhaps she was a theasp, an illusioneer, or should that be illusioness?
Hearing my footsteps behind her she turned and looked back. I couldn’t see her expression, just a flash of bright teeth as she stepped sideways, into the wall. It accepted her, she was gone.
What I had just witnessed was impossible. I ran to where she had been and looked at the bricks. They carried a faint glow of rainbows. Gently I reached out to touch them and watched in disbelief as my hand vanished deep into what should have been a solid wall.
How had she done that?
I knew of magic, of the tricks worked in the market. I’d seen the disappearing coins found behind the ear and watched as people or objects appeared to vanish. But I also knew that it was not real and that there was always an explanation. Yet this was beyond my mind to explain. I quickly removed my hand, lest the bricks should change their state and trap me. Then, as if poking a wound to see if it still hurt, I pushed my hand forward again, once more it vanished.
One small step was all it would take to follow her. I didn’t hesitate, had no thoughts of right or wrong. Where was I going, how would I return? It never crossed my mind. Taking a deep breath, I stepped forward.
Published on October 15th 2021, you can find The Syk’m for yourself at
I’ve had the pleasure of reading many of Richard’s books in different genres and I loved The Syk’m, his latest, first foray into fantasy – not surprising as fantasy is my favourite genre! And what a confident foray it is!
I particularly enjoy narratives that explore the idea of feared creatures not really being quite what they seem and The Syk’m has this off to a tee. The story introduces us to Hors Lawis, and his friends, who are encouraged to follow a Syk’m girl Enuna to help them. In Hor’s homeland Skandir the Syk’m are feared winged creatures, so can he persuade his friends to join him on this potentially dangerous quest?
Here are some excerpts from the book:
“I can’t agree with you,” said Torsen. “Just because the Syk’m were used as a threat, it doesn’t necessarily mean they were bad. Look at the Watch, for example. Children are told of the Watch in the same way, to frighten them. Don’t steal, don’t be rude, don’t fight or the Watch will get you. It’s the same thing; the Syk’m were just another reason to make people behave. It doesn’t inherently make them bad.”
“the Syk’m became known on Skander as a thing to be feared, a source of anxiety in children.”
I loved the winged creatures, the beautiful passages where the author Richard Dee’s words take passionate flight:
“She undid the clasp at her throat, shrugged her shoulders and the robe fell to the ground. Underneath, she was dressed as a warrior. A simple tunic and shorts. Muscled arms and shoulders, a flat stomach. Her torso was adorned with crossed leather straps, a collection of blades hung from a wide belt at her waist. Her long, shapely legs were encased in more polished leather, boots extending to mid-thigh. She had the look of a goddess and I felt my pulse quicken. But that wasn’t the strangest thing. I watched as huge wings unfolded from her back, gossamer-thin with white ribs, they extended and beat the air.”
It’s an exciting, gripping tale which will keep you entertained throughout. There are fight scenes, mentions of magic, and The Druhaan might have no wings but they like to make war!
And what an amazing ending in the Epilogue, I absolutely loved it.
Richard Dee has crafted a truly wonderful fantasy which I can highly recommend.
My recommendation. A must read – 5 amazing stars!
The Syk’m launches on 15th October 2021.
Thank you to the author for an ARC. I was lucky to beta read an early copy of The Syk’m and my opinions are my own and unbiased.
About Richard Dee
I’m Richard Dee and I normally write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures. I also chronicle the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective for the space age.
I spent forty years at sea, firstly as a ship’s officer, then as a Thames River pilot, taking vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and Tower Bridge.
Congratulations to Ruchira Khanna for her latest release which I am thrilled to announce today…
The Other Wife: A Twisted Tale By Ruchira Khanna
The Other Wife: A Twisted Tale
Dimple is at the peak of her career when a devastating event changes her whole life. Amidst legal battles, she finds love and takes a decision that will change her life yet again. But will that decision go well with her parents?
Will, there be a happily-ever-after for Dimple and her beau, or will she need to accept the other wife? The Other Wife is a twisted tale sure to entertain as well as make you introspect.
“You don’t get it, Dimple. You’ve changed so much that I don’t even know you sometimes,” Rishi said in an agitated voice and turned his back to me.
My tears felt hot and prickly as they touched my cheeks. “Just breathe, Dimple. Just breathe!” I muttered to myself.
I continued contemplating the day’s events and realized that I found my husband and the circumstances were to blame, so I was baffled as to why he condemned me.
Then I tried to play the whole scenario with the old me he had fallen in love with, but I couldn’t find her within. I twisted and turned in the tiny space I had courtesy my better half, who had taken most of the bed.
No such luck!
The back-and-forth search made my tears stop, but the drama continued within. Even though my eyes were shut, my mind was in a turmoil. The scene looked like a Presidential debate where both the candidates—my mind and the circumstances—were speaking simultaneously, not giving my intellect any reason. Amidst the chaos, I didn’t realize when my mind hit the snooze button.
I turned around and, with a frown, greeted the girl back.
“Aren’t you, Dimple?” she said.
“Umm, yes, I am. How do you know me? Who are you?”
“I am Pearl,” she said with a broad smile that showed off her even teeth just like mine. Although hers sparkled like in a toothpaste advertisement.
“Okay, but who are you?” I asked, quite irritated at this rude interruption as if she had just pinched me hard.
“I am Rishi’s wife.” Her manner was cool, the way a cucumber mask gives coolness when peeled off the face.
“Rishi who?” I inquired with a frown, a little confused about where she was leading with this.
“Rishi Malhotra. Yes, you heard it right. I am your Rishi’s wife.”
About the Author
A Biochemist turned writer who gathers inspiration from the society where she writes about issues that stalk the mind of the man via tales of fiction. She projects the mental growth of her characters thus, making her readers tag her work as, “Books that make you ponder!”
She blogs at Abracabadra which has been featured as “Top Blog” for three years. Many of her write-ups have been published on LifeHack, HubPages to name a few.
*** You can find many posts with character intros & a video about the book in the above links
Abigail has always struggled with strange voices appearing inside her head. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that forever changes her future. There are moments from previous periods that serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, but they also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of these voices while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator. Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between some of the people they meet during the journey, and secrets long thought buried come to light in devastating ways. With the twisting of elements, numerical alignments, and the trauma of spiritual entanglements, no one will be the same… and just a few might not even be around anymore.
Contemporary Fiction but with historical interludes, metaphysical elements, past life regression, suspense / mystery
Release Day Giveaway:
Didi and James are giving away 4 prizes as part of this book launch. The giveaway will run from 3/31 thru 5/16. We will close it after Release Day and select 4 winners.
Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search for Maylee, Justice for Belle, Aggravated Momentum, and Sketch, along with multiple short story collections. She’s collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection. Most recently, she published her first romance novella titled Skinny Dippin’ which was originally released as a part of the highly appraised Anthology, Sinners and Saints. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat play an important part of her day to day lifestyle.
Ahnia has a very dicey past – one that is scratching under the surface, just dying to get out.
She’s hit rock bottom, broke and desperate to be on top again. When she finds herself partnering up with man she hardly knows, and who’s utterly untouchable, she’s forced out of her comfort zone in every way.
Will Ahnia and Mac’s dangerous decision be a success, or will she find herself in the clutches of an unforgiving force, brought about by her childhood sin?
In this nail-biting thrill ride, no one is as they seem…and no one is truly safe with those they trust.
When local girl Misty is found dead in an underground bunker, the town is thrown into a whirlwind of panic and speculation. Times are tough, but the spaced-out farmer community pulls together as one, trying to uncover who’s guilty.
Thrown smack in the middle of the chaos is a group of teens: local troublemakers, but with good hearts. Although they’re innocent, the local law enforcers believe otherwise, and the true killer is lurking far too close for comfort.
Will the four be able to uncover the truth before one of them pays the price for Misty’s death?
The Suspenseful Collection (Vol. 1):
For Mature Readers Only: A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!
Blurred Lines (The Suspenseful Collection Vol. 2):
For Mature Readers Only: As the second installment of suspenseful short stories by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds, Blurred Lines offers a thrill ride with nine stories in genres across the board. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With the use of writing prompts Kim and Didi have created tales that will tug at your heart strings, drop your jaws, and leave you clinging to the edge of your seat. From gory horror, romance, crime fiction, family drama, and fantasy, there is a story for everyone!
Jackson has barely reached manhood when lightning heralds the end of the world as we know it. The lightning has awakened the Lamians: descendants of the mythological creature Lamia.
In his world, The Company delivers supplies into his village, and harnesses technology that others lack. Soon, Jackson is taken by The Company; he is to be an ultimate warrior, alongside few others, as their blood is rare and compatible with the technology needed to transform them.
According to The Company, the Lamians are monsters who need to be defeated at all costs. But is Jackson really the one who can save the world?
When Carla agrees to house sit a condo by the beach for a summer, she’s met with a juicy surprise. Though reluctant, and determined to stay away, Carla is drawn to a young man a few doors down. Blake is handsome, temperamental, and just as determined to win her over as she is to stay away. Will Carla succumb to his possessive, domineering traits and become his for the summer? Or will she let better judgement along with their age difference drive a wedge between the undeniable connection? Three months under the summer sun is about to heat up the parts of Carla that she once believed to be lost, tossed to the wind and gone forever. After an accidentally naked night in the water, everything changes, and Carla is forced to face his persistence head on.
About the Author – James J. Cudney
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.
Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.
Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.
Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.
I write in the family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. My first two books were Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I wrote a sequel, Hiding Cracked Glass, for my debut novel, and they are known as the Perceptions of Glass series. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with seven books available.
All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, paperback, hardcover, large print paperback, pocket size paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.
Father Figure (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)
Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen are revealed. FATHER FIGURE is a stand-alone emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.
PERCEPTIONS OF GLASS SERIES
Watching Glass Shatter (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)
The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family. Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death. We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them, or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits.
Hiding Cracked Glass (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)
An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for? In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late? Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light. Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved.
BRAXTON CAMPUS MYSTERY SERIES
Academic Curveball: Death at the Sports Complex (#1)
When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled. Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever. In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss.
Broken Heart Attack: Death at the Theater (#2)
When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer, or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright?
Flower Power Trip: Death at the Masquerade Ball (#3)
Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus? As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion. Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him.
Mistaken Identity Crisis: Death on the Cable Car (#4)
A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case from shortly before Gabriel vanished one stormy night. When a missing ruby is discovered near an electrified dead body during the campus cable car redesign project, Kellan must investigate the real killer to protect his brother. Amidst sorority hazing practices and the victim’s connections to several prominent Wharton County citizens, a malicious motive becomes more obvious and trickier to prove. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton? The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized, and if he wants to move forward, he must make a few ruthless sacrifices. Election Day is over, and the new mayor takes office. Nana D celebrates her 75th birthday with an adventure. A double wedding occurs at Crilly Lake on Independence Day. And Kellan receives a few more surprises as the summer heat settles in Wharton County.
Haunted House Ghost: Death at the Fall Festival (#5)
It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.
Frozen Stiff Drink: Death at Danby Landing (#6)
A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead, and second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother? Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future. Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.
Legally Blind Luck: Death via Curse (#7)
Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Horrific murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident. Someone discovered Queen Tessa’s cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Too bad it changed hands during an anonymous auction and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim. It appears he might be next on the avenger’s list too. Will Kellan protect Tessa’s true heir and prevent a killer’s nefarious plan from ending the curse? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery via legal means or purely through blind luck.
“The King of Swords shows a righteous man. He will sacrifice himself for the good of his family. The last card is the Tower. This represents overcoming that in the past which holds you back, the breaking of chains and the crumbling of old ways.” She smoked and with her other hand she rubbed her temple.
Laurence opened his mouth to speak, but the door crashed inward with a determined push of energy. An invisible guest entered with a rush of wind. Fianna screamed.
Miriam got to her feet. “Get out of my house.” She ran towards the kitchen cupboard, opened it and took out a glass jar. Once opened she sprinkled the contents around the room. “Get out!”
“Laurence, what’s happening?” Fianna said, gripping his arm so hard, he winced in pain. The pain enabled him to focus on what attacked the cottage. A wind sprung up from nowhere. It battered the tree limbs against the window. A vase of flowers levitated in mid-air, remaining for a moment before they sped as fast as a bullet towards Miriam. They smashed against the cupboard, missing her by an inch. Cupboard doors banged opened and slammed shut as if they played a demented symphony.
Fianna gaped at what was happening around her. Laurence took her hand away from his arm. “Fianna, listen,” he shouted above the noise. “This thing is here because of you. Command it to leave.” She shook her head. “It’s attacking Miriam. You can stop it. Command it to leave,” he said. But, she couldn’t move, her whole body had become a wobble of shakes and fear. He gazed at her then kissed her forehead.
“Okay. I’d only do this for you.” He left her side and stood in the middle of the room where plates executed a macabre dance above him. He flung his arms out to the side of his body. “Hey. Demon,” he shouted, and the chaos stopped for a second. “Yes. You know me. I remember and so do you. Leave or I’ll do what I did years ago.” A howl of anguish echoed around the small cottage. It ended in a deep throated-growl. The plates dropped and crashed. The door shut itself with a vicious slam that vibrated bones and teeth.
Miriam turned towards him, her hair as wild as the mess of objects, the jar still held in her hand. “Why did that thing do your bidding?” They stared at each other, frozen in the moment until the sound of sobbing fractured them. Fianna sat at the table with her head on her arms and sobbed, her body shaking, convulsing with the aftermath of terror.
“I’ll explain later. Cleanse the room,” Laurence said.
I received a review copy and happily give my unbiased opinion.
An atmospheric story demonstrating the writing talent of Adele Marie Park. If you enjoy supernatural coming of age stories with elemental magic, witches, family secrets, gateways, portals between worlds, nightmares and dark demons this is for you.
It is an intricate read with a fair few characters and quite a complicated back story, so be prepared to invest time and attention to the narrative. There are some wonderful passages to enthrall you. I particularly loved the sections with the animals: the wolf, mouse, stag, owl, and badger. I’m a sucker for animals in books!
The authors words really shine in this latest book. I particularly enjoyed the passages devoted to art. I believe the author also paints and this is evident in how detailed and real these are.
I particularly enjoyed the humour and flurries of brilliance in this novel, as you can see in these quotes:
“Hey. Demon,” he shouted, and the chaos stopped for a second. “Yes. You know me. I remember and so do you. Leave or I’ll do what I did years ago.”
“As memory infiltrated the adult personae her emotional shield dropped. It was as it had been when she was a child and Miss Appleton chased away the darkness.”
Fantasy and horror writer, Adele Marie Park originally hails from the Orkney islands. Rousay is a small, but archaeological important island, dubbed “The Egypt of The North.” The oral tradition of passing down stories fired the young Adele’s imagination with tales of trolls, faeries, sea monsters, witches, ghosts, and seals who could change into humans. The landscape of the island fascinated her as moorland hills swept down through green fields to the shores of secluded beaches, where black volcanic rocks might be a troll or a sleeping giant.
Reading the Hobbit at an early age inspired her and in her teens she turned to Stephen King, James Herbert, Anne Rice and Storm Constantine to appease a mind hungry to delve into the paranormal. Throughout her life she never gave up writing but it was an ongoing medical condition which forced her to give up work that began her passion to publish her writing for others to read.
Genres may come and go, but Adele’s writing encompasses a solidity which does not change; the overcoming of obstacles in one’s life, love, death, grief and pain all infused with those supernatural elements that one sees out the corner of the eye or feels when one is alone in the house at night and a floorboard creaks.
To connect with Adele, and learn more about her work visit this sites:
Book blurb: From the international bestselling author of If you love me, I’m yours, Ninja School Mum and Babe Driven.
Genie’s family is in crisis. Their seafront business is failing with the loss of Genie’s grandmother and her legendary ice cream flavours. Genie is determined to be the one to save her family’s heritage, but suddenly her mother wants to sell to developers and leave their shared history behind.
Buying the business and taking on a sixty-eight year old business partner, Ada, with a mysterious past and a gorgeous but distracting grandson, Genie sets out to prove her parents wrong.
Ada’s grandson, Cal, wants to protect his gran from ‘pensioner persuader’, Genie, but soon realises that living in a little seaside town and away from the paparazzi in Hollywood can actually give him time to heal. Hiding in a seafront business with its fiery owner and working as kitchen staff, is the only way he can think of to keep his ex-Hollywood glamour-puss, gran from harm.
But his meddling might also ruin Ada’s second chance at love.
Hiring a private detective and learning about Genie’s parent’s past makes Cal regret his own impulsiveness. The information he has unearthed could destroy their blossoming romance and turn Genie’s world upside down.
Genie soon discovers that friends can become enemies and your closest family can have lied to you for your whole life.
International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.
Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.
Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never plans a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing, and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.
Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.
Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.
7 books published to date, described as “Crime thrillers that will make you laugh, cry and think”
Dead No More – book 1 of the Rhubarb papers series – due out in a few months.
Rite Judgement – book 2 in DaDa Detective Agency series – out later in the year.
I have also just contracted 3 different book with my publisher – Whopping Tales:
“The imaginary is what tends to become real.” – Andre Breton
8 years ago my first granddaughter was born. In her first year I wrote and illustrated a story for her, a Whopping Tale. Two more followed and I resolved to get them published when she was 8 and, I’m pleased to announce I have signed a contract for all 3 books.
“Zany, intelligent, well-written with fantastic illustrations, a cross between Spike Milligan and 1066 and All That” – Alison Baille author
Whopping Tales are children’s stories for grown-ups who have not grown up, written and illustrated by an 8 year old girl, (but really it’s me, der). Isla Rose is eight. Her Granddad, whom she calls Fevvers, is a gazillion years old and as a consequence, has a mental age of about, eight. Isla Rose narrates and illustrates the adventures she and Fevvers have whilst correcting the history books and, her teacher, who doesn’t like Fevvers.
In three breath-taking adventures Isla and Fevvers meet King Canute, Francis Drake and Pharaoh Heepbigfattcheops, writing wrongs. Laugh historically and be educated. These books will change history and your life, if you allow it.
“Did you ever have a much loved relative who made up stories for you when you were a child? Well this is perfect. I was transported back to curling up safe and sound and being able to giggle my way through a couple of hours” – Ali Dragon Slayer – book blogger.
“Highly entertaining! Surreal, with dashes of Monty Python, Edward Lear, Ronald Searle, Alice in Wonderland and Spike Milligan but with Adams’ own flavour to it” – David John Griffin – author
I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing Black Rose.