Some great reads in the indie community and some great folks whose writing and community spirit I can heartily recommend to you.
I have shared this blog post to support my fellow indie authors. It’s a thank you to community members some of whom beta read my books, read and review, promote and support me. I appreciate you all. It includes books from Sally Cronin, D G Kaye, Colleen Chesebro, Adele Marie Park, Roberta Cheadle, Richard Dee, D L Finn, S C Skillman Darlene Foster, Helen Pryke, Ritu Bhathal, Chantelle Atkins, Sim AlecSansford, Heena Rathore Pardeshi, D Wallace Peach, Sarah Northwood, Lizzie Chantree, Kim Rigby and new discoveries Jina S. Bazzar and Rosemary Mairs.
Of course, there are many others, so this is just a small snapshot of all the wonderful authors out there.
Richard Dee – We are Saul. Every time I read a new story from Richard Dee I am always struck by his ability to create wonderful new story lines, worlds and characters. We Are Saul is brilliant. Do read it!This tale has love, heart, thoughtful observations and sci fi too!
We Are Saul is a thoroughly entertaining read from start to finish. What a fabulous concept for a story. I absolutely loved how this explored fascinating medical technological advancement in the form of robotic ‘humans.’ The main protagonist Saul has a terrible accident leaving him paralysed but is given the chance to live fully again by becoming an ARP – a robotic enhanced version of himself – using cutting edge technology.
Colleen Chesebro – Fairies, Myths & Magic II – A wonderful celebration of the winter solstice.I’m on the blog tour for this celebratory book by this wonderful author on the 14th December! It is currently in the promotion phase. Buy a copy. It is fab.
I really enjoyed reading the 2nd book in Fairies, Myth and Magic series. It’s a wonderful celebration of the winter solstice, with a fabulous mix of stories, flash fiction and poetry.
Colleen is a huge supporter of the poetic, and writing community. Recently, she started up her own formatting and cover design business. Her portfolio of work can be seen here, (including the cover for my poetry books The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet and Do What You Love.)
Sally Cronin is a wonderful supporter of the indie community. But… doesn’t have time to promote her own books as she is always promoting other peoples’ books. So...
Life Is Like A Mosaic.. Eclectic Poems, some wise, some amusing, some darn cute!
I’m a big fan of poetry in all its forms, so this book of eclectic poems from Sally Cronin really appealed to me. There are a wide variety, some wise, some amusing, some thoughtful, some just darn well cute. They are all beautiful presented with accompanying photographs taken from various sources.
Sally Cronin‘s latest Variety Is The Spice of Life is a Smorgasbord of life, love and the world in which we live!
This is a beautiful collection of poetry, flash fiction and short stories about life, love, getting older, experiencing and cherishing the world and all its magnificent inhabitants: birds, cats, bees, and much more!
D G Kaye (Debby Gies. Have Bags Will Travel: This is such a hoot, what a laugh!Debby writes memoir, travel stories
Have Bags Will Travel is such an entertaining read which gives you an insight into D G Kaye’s character, her shopping obsession, packing troubles, germaphobia, and brushes with airport security. Enjoy her recollections on the glamour and glitz, her love to travel and a nostalgic aspect to it all
D L Finn – A Voice In The Silence – A mysterious novel with heart. I can recommend several books from Denise. She writes in a variety of genres including her poetry and short stories all of which I relate to and enjoy. It seems we have a lot in common including a love of trees!
A Voice In The Silence is recommended if you love novels with heart that are a little different from the mainstream. Good characters, ( both human and otherwise ) and pacing make it a pleasing, at times suspenseful and ultimately romantic read.
Darlene Foster – Amanda In France – What a clever way to introduce youngsters to different cultures.I’ve read several adventures and enjoyed them all! I love to travel and spread the word about cultural adventures.
Darlene Foster’s entertaining style draws the reader in and keeps their attention throughout. In this latest adventure, Amanda in France, we are treated to the wonders of Paris with mention of many famous places.
Adele Marie Park – Adele and I go back a long way, bothof us like writing horror as well as fantasy! Her fantasy writing is original, atmospheric and different.
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.
A new author to me Jina S. Bazaar. Shadow Walker is vivid, exciting, imaginative.
I loved the characterisation in this story, the mention of all sorts of magic abilities, the powerful houses, Melaina’s disguises, her roller skating and physical exertions even with an injured ankle! And her obvious love and devotion to her family, plus the lovely touches of humour and vivid descriptive scenes.
Everything about this engaging romance, (Marriage Unarranged,) appealed to me: the characters, the cultural aspects, the little touches of humour, the Asian family dynamics, the beautiful and informative descriptions of India, (I’ve never been, but it has always been forever on my bucket list,) This story transported me there, and I especially loved the detail in the Gurdwara scenes in which Sikh’s come together to worship and share simple community tasks. Oh, how I would love to visit!
Fellow fantasy author, and supporter of the community Diana Peach. Her latest book is one of my favourites: The Necromancer’s Daughter. I loved it from start to finish. There is conflict, uncertainty and excitement, heartfelt scenes, and tender moments in this story.
What a beautifully written fantasy book. Stunning prose, engaging characters and a simple but effective plot weave a rich tale of the love of a daughter for her father, and the concerns and morality of awakening the dead.
Right Beside You from Helen Pryke is part of the Maggie Turner Suspense series. I’ve enjoyed reading more thrillers of late. A gripping read. I’ve read book 1 and book 2 and can recommend both.
It’s a gripping read! One which kept me reading and intrigued to find out what happened next. It’s somewhat gruesomely revengeful in bits but this is beautifully counterbalanced by the love that investigated journalist Maggie and policewoman Sally share.
Sarah Northwood is a talented lady: artistic, a poet and author. I’ve enjoyed her poetry in Poetry of The Heart and Soul and in Bi The Way she shares her own experience with her daughter to promote tolerance and understanding of LGBT.
The main aim of the book is to promote understanding, tolerance and to lessen psychological damage by non-acceptance from parents/friends/community. A worthy aim, which I am happy to support too.
Fishnets in The far East by Michele E. Northwood – My eldest daughter spent a year in South Korea Teaching English As a Foreign Language so I was curious to pick up this memoir of the author’s experiences. I am glad that I did. It was so funny! Lighthearted and fun.
Follow their (the young dancing troupe’s) crazy madcap adventures: the motorbike episode, strip bars, dancing disco spots, unsalubrious dives, food, (and the desire to eat!) kim chi, hooker hill, and details of the national drink – soju (which is lethal.)The poor dancers experiences are absolutely horrendous with death threats, misognistic behaviour, danger, rats (furry and not.)
Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire by S C Skillman – Authors, writers, tale hunters, and those keen to discover more about Warwickshire would love this. S C Skillman is a talented author, and a lovely community member who also writes supernatural and fantasy tales which I recommend.
Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire is a wonderfully informative, interesting and beautifully illustrated book of tales of Warwickshire. Some of the images within are the author’s own photography. And I learnt a thing or two! Readers who enjoy strange, supernatural, historical and quirky tales will enjoy this book immensely. It is evident that the author S. C. Skillman loves her home in which she has lived for over 20 years.
Mystical Circles by S.C. Skillman is a thoughtful mystical novel which explores relationships between men and women in an unusual cult community.
Its strength lies in the depiction of a whole host of characters who are all strange to a degree. It is a difficult book to review without including massive spoilers so I will say just this, the revelations at the end of the book took me by surprise and also seemed quite forced. But, having thought about it deeply I realise that the author was most probably illustrating that life can be confusing and changeable and partnerships are driven by more than passion. With two choices do we decide to take the safe, or the more dangerous path? Or, is the decision taken away from us? A recommended read which I enjoyed. This is part of a series, book 2 is A Passionate Spirit.
I have read several books by Lizzie Chantree and have more on my radar! I would really recommend Lizzie to you for feel good romance stories.
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..
Heena Rahmore Pardesi. The loveliest of book enthusiasts, cat person,author interviewer/youtuber/podcaster and amazing editor. I know because she helped edit Golden Healer book 2 in The Curse of Time series.
Kim Rigby writes awesome adventure fantasy books for kids that I can recommend.
The Black Fire Chronicles Origins was a fun middle grade adventure read for a younger audience. I enjoyed it and particularly liked the growth in the main character Andrew and the close relationship with his talking dog Ralph. Who is super funny and cute. There is something very engaging about books with talking animals in them.
Another New Author to me, talented short story writer – Rosemary Mairs – A Recycled Marriage.
This is my first read by this author and I was impressed by this short story collection which shows great variety, imagination and flair. I’m not surprised to discover that three of the included stories are award winning.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a Happy New year.
I’d like to spare a thought this Christmas for all those who are lonely, or devastated by terrible news. Not everyone is surrounded by family and friends at Christmas. Perhaps someone you know will be at home eating baked beans alone. I know someone who is. His partner works shifts as a hospice carer, she will be working Christmas day, so he will be alone. Fortunately, they are having their celebration the day after on Boxing Day with a big family get together.
My heart goes out to my daughter’s friend this Christmas. Her mum is terminally ill with cancer and will not live much longer. I feel for her and her brother who are overwhelmed with much responsibility and sadness at such a young age. To add to their plight their parents are separated and they are young adults living alone.
Reflecting upon these overwhelming emotions are perhaps one of the reasons why I became a writer – to express those emotions that are not always easy to understand or to live with. Life can be cruel, but it can also be wonderful. So, I am going to spare a kind thought for her family this Christmas, and hope she finds the strength to deal with the ordeal that will surely follow. From what my daughter has told me she is a resourceful, admirable young woman, and I am sure her mother would be so proud of all she is doing.
2017 hasn’t been the best of years, has it?
There has been much senseless violence, sadness and loss of life, but I discovered a wonderful tweet from one of my writing hero’s: Stephen King which lifted my spirits …
Wishing for you all acts of love and ordinary kindness this holiday season. In the end, you know, most people are good.
THE PARTIES NOW OVER BUT FEEL FREE TO STOP BY AND LEAVE YOUR LINKS, ETC, IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…….
Let’s have a big splash, a veritable Mad Hatters Xmas Party…. Invite masses of bloggers over to share cake, music, their links and stories. Wait a minute, it’s a bit cold for swimming… so let’s pop over to Winter Wonderland.
So first things first – provisions – I’m off to Cambridge market to get some nibbles…. I better wrap up warm, it looks cold out there. I’m just starting to recover from a bit of a nasty illness. No worry, I’m sure some hot jacket potatoes, olives, tasty bread, cheeses, fruit, and whatever else takes my fancy, will warm me up and make me feel much better. Don’t worry, I promise not to eat it all!
Now with that done, phew these bags are heavy. How are we going to get to Winter Wonderland? We could walk but that would be boring, and Kyrosmagica doesn’t do boring. So, let’s go ….
Via Rudolf’s magical golden sleigh of course. One sleigh?
No of course not… Rudolf has an army of reindeers and sleighs to take us there. This one is just a mini version stationed at the Grand Arcade in Cambridge. One twirl of my Kyrosmagica wand and we are all set. See those presents? There is one for each of you, just open and see what’s inside. Pop your present on your lap, and let’s hop aboard….
This is your Christmas Link Up Party, have fun, share links but please try to….
I haven’t been for ages…… Every Saturday I (teenage me!) used to go to Murrayfield Ice rink in Edinburgh. Grab your skates, no one will fall, I promise. In fact Kyrosmagica’s Wonderland skates are magical, so everyone, even me will be able to do all sorts of fancy footwork! Wherever you go you will leave a trail of magical golden ice in your wake. Isn’t that just so cool?
Hugh @ Hugh’s Views and News is bringing some mince pies… There is mulled wine too, and party food a plenty, so tuck in, drink, and be merry!
Leave at least one comment – what you say is entirely up to you – write a short poem, don a party hat, bring your crackers, tell your worst Christmas jokes, play your favourite Yuletide music, do whatever you fancy.
Share your stories, or if Christmas isn’t your favourite time of year you have my permission to be a total humbug, ignore the other guests and fall asleep in a corner. Who is our resident Scrooge? Hey, confess!! But snoring isn’t compulsory. Keep the music and the snoring down, we don’t want to upset anybody!
Let us know what Christmas books you are reading… I’m currently reading Mistletoe And Murder, A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery by Robin Stevens which is set in Cambridge.
Thereafter, I will be diving into Hugh’s Glimpses – his recently released short story collection.
What else? Do encourage gate crashers, the hostess may be in and out so you can ask who you want. Bring your dog and cat, if you want, but please keep them off the ice. This is an open house. Yes, you heard right, you can leave your links too if you’d like to. Oh, before I go I better remember to share some posts to get the conversation going. Perhaps this one for future reference – Natalie @ There She Goes – Xmas Cake Recipe.
This is the mix…..
The cake…. as it came out the oven…
Dress up in your finest, it’s nearly Christmas !! Or if you can’t manage that, show us your quirky Christmas jumpers, ties, or earrings. Tell us what unusual presents you’ve bought. This year I bought a lovely amber jewellery set from fellow blogger Irene Irene Design 2011 for my mum – (mum isn’t very internet savvy so I know I can put this up and not worry about her seeing it before Christmas!)
Somebody better sing, definitely not me, it wouldn’t be recommended. Find someone willing, or suitably inebriated amongst the guests.
Have fun – talk amongst yourselves, have a glass or two of bubbly, an obligatory piece of Christmas cake which I have lovingly prepared for you dusted with my special recipe of magical sugar dust and don’t forget to stand under the inspiration mistletoe. One kiss and all your stories, (for authors,) and dreams, (for normal folk,) LOL will come true…
This is a lovely Christmas wreath that my sister in law Lorraine Mallon made for me, and below is the table top arrangement that she made too. Isn’t it lovely? She’s branching out into creative endeavours, and this is a small sample of the sort of thing she hopes to do in terms of floral arrangement, and well as this she intends to make jewellery, and paint too. So good luck to her, I wish her all the very best.
My daughter also had a go at some floral vase arrangement too:
I finished work at 6pm on Christmas Eve so I have been super busy, retail is such hard work! I’m now looking forward to two days off to rest my weary bones. My husband is cooking, (luckily he loves to cook!) so Lorraine and I are going to be sous chefs peeling the spuds.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with friends and family.
All the best for 2016.
Bye for now, this is what I’d like to be doing….. you can dream …. No snow here, and no hot tub, sigh….!!
Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News is sponsoring his Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge again this year. Last year’s challenge was a great success!
Do you want to join in with Hugh’s Photo Tree Topper Challenge? Here is all you have to do:
From Hugh’s blog: “Here’s how you can all join in and help Angela, Macy, Toby, and I raise £250 for The Dogs Trust.”
1. Take a photo of what sits on top of your Christmas tree. 2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge.” 3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing. 4. Create a pingback to Hugh’s post or leave a link to your post in the comments section of Hugh’s post so that other participants can view your post.
The challenge is open until Tuesday 5th January 2016 and more details can be found on Hugh’s and Colleen’s blog:
Please click on the link The Dogs Trust if you would like to make any donations directly to The Dogs Trust, in UK. Or alternatively in America, you could consider making a donation to the Humane Society of the United States or a local Humane Society in your own hometown.This is not compulsory to enter in the challenge, but if you would like to do so that would no doubt be more than welcome!
Sadly I don’t have a dog myself nowadays but I did as a child, Topsy, a cute little black and white cheeky rascal who used to like eating all sorts of things that weren’t particularly good for a dog! Look at that tiny frame it disguises a hearty appetite for inedible things! I remember one year she ate a balloon at my birthday party. Thank goodness she was okay no harm done. Also one year she ran off and had a love affair with a local dog, we were really worried that she had been lost for good but she reappeared with her guilty tail between her legs…
So to get into the spirit of celebrating man’s best furry friend here are a couple of photos of Topsy:
First this photo is of mum and I on our balcony in Hong Kong, I used to live there when I was little. Actually this kind of captures cheeky me and rascal Topsy pretty well I reckon! My mum is smiling but in a hesitant way as if she knows that she has a handful there…
This photograph below is of Topsy, my brother Donald and my dad Ronald looking all smiley, but Topsy is a bit sad, she is thinking of her wild escapade with her lost love….
As well as participating in the Tree Top Challenge and chatting about dogs I am also joining in Colleen at Silver Threading’s lovely idea to share Christmas Trees from Around The World, so if you’d like to join in with this particular challenge don’t forget to say where you are! My tree is situated at my home in Cambridge, England.
Here’s the link to join in Colleen’s Trees Around The World:
At the weekend I went out with my husband and my youngest daughter to find a lovely tree at our nearby garden centre. At that point in time my eldest was still at University so unfortunately she missed this trip but she’s back home today, it’s so lovely to see her, and now she has seen the tree too.
I just love a real tree, don’t you?
Especially when it is lit up.
I knew it was the one as soon as my husband pulled it out from amongst an array of other trees it had such lovely symmetry and a fullness that caught my eye. So I said, “That’s the one.” Of course my husband still pulled out a few other likely contenders but I got my way in the end! I can be quite stubborn at times….
I decorated our beautiful Christmas tree with my youngest daughter but to my dismay we couldn’t find the angel to top the tree, so I asked my husband if he could get me another one, but he didn’t manage to find one, he was too busy buying the groceries! Just as well, as I found her hiding in amongst a large bag of Christmas gift tags and wrapping paper. For some reason she wasn’t in the bubble wrap with the other Christmas baubles. Perhaps she felt a bit too grand to be stuck there amongst the bawdy riff raff!
Now she may look like she’s sleeping on top of my tree but don’t let that fool you, she knows what’s what! She’s keeping a look out for any sneaky opening presents before Christmas, that is not allowed.
Thanks for popping by to see my tree and my childhood dog and for joining in the Christmas festivities Kyrosmagica style, and don’t forget to pop over to Colleen and Hugh’s blog to join in the challenges.