Merry Christmas!!! Reviews, News, This Year and Happy Holidays…

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here’s hoping for a brighter, covid free year. And what a year it has been for so many. Personally, I have had many worries about my elderly parents and my MIL who I haven’t seen for months…

My daughter Natasha and I had an interesting philosophical discussion this morning about whether 2020 is a wasted year? And whether we should all refuse to age this year. Her birthday is on Christmas day and she is turning 25 and would much rather remain 24. Of course, that idea does have its appeal! I’m all for staying young but in many ways, 2020 is not a wasted year as it has taught us many invaluable lessons.

A tragic lesson, sadly. One that has made us all reevaluate our lives and to consider what really matters… Family, friends, loved ones, walks in nature, the simple moments that make us smile, these are the aspects of life that we must treasure.

It has been a year in which the world has suffered.

But the human race is resilient. We do what we can to cheer our spirits up…

During this time, I have relied heavily on my writing community to keep me occupied, and distracted. So, with that in mind, I created my first anthology/compilation entitled This Is Lockdown.

It originally came out in a kindle version with my personal diaries – 20th July 2020.

I’ve just finished creating the paperback of This Is Lockdown... which is available to buy and review on Amazon. So, if you can, please do consider reading and leaving a review of the paperback which includes contributions from 28 wonderful international authors, and creatives.

PLEASE NOTE – The paperback does not include my personal COVID diaries originally published on the kindle. These are currently only available to read on the kindle version of This Is Lockdown.

Blurb:

An anthology and compilation of short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK.

“A Piece of Living History!”

This anthology and compilation is for everyone, wherever you live in the world. We are all experiencing the impact of COVID19 and lockdown. As writers, bloggers and creatives we express our thoughts and opinions in writing: in heartfelt poetry, pieces on isolation and the impact of COVID19 and the ‘new normal.’ There are twenty eight talented contributors, including the creative NHS Mask Making Fundraising Team of Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago Val. The contributors come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe, or closer to my current home in England – in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

It is as Willow Willers, a contributor said, ‘A piece of living history.’

This extraordinary and unexpected time period will be shared with future generations one day. Compiling and editing this anthology has given me a purpose over the period of Lockdown and for that I am grateful. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer.

In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The list of contributors, bloggers and authors are:

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem  (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) and two contributors Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val who raised £40,000 for the NHS with their mask making enterprise  which became a new charity: Sew Positive.

More about the mental health charity Sew Positive here: https://www.birketts.co.uk/insights/latest-news/birketts-supports-sewing-charity-tailored-to-boost/

Before I go, in case you might have missed these recent book reviews.

I received this lovely review for my poetry, prose and photography book Mr. Sagittarius from fellow fantasy author Diana Peach:

I didn’t know what to expect when I opened this book, and must have been in just the right mood, because it was charming and poignant and very sweet. The book offers a glimpse of three elderly siblings -William, Harold, and Annette – one already passed on at the books opening. The intermittent visits with these characters, a paragraph or two here and there, form the thread that holds the book’s narrative together. The memories and grief are touching, and it isn’t long before Annette is on her own.

Between the story’s visits with the siblings are loosely related sections of prose and syllabic poetry. Some pieces touch on the seasons. Others are fantastical tales about bubble monsters and snow snakes. Most of them are about nature and flowers which are tied to the garden bench where the siblings enjoyed their days. I especially enjoyed a chain cinquain titled That Twinkle in her Eye is Magic. This book is less than an hour’s read, and I recommend it to readers who enjoy a fanciful and touching foray into poetry and short prose selections.

Here are four of the recent reviews I’ve written for books that I’ve read under my new review moniker – MJ Reviews… for Natalie Ducey, Ruchira Khanna, Didi Oviatt and Jacquie Biggar. All of which are recommended reading and in a range of genres.

So, stay safe and well. Happy reading and writing! And…

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