Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.
I’ve been curious for some time to read D.L Finn’s work. In fact, she has so many enticing novels, short stories, and poetry to choose from it was quite a job to decide on which to try first. I opted for Just Her Poetry, it is a sweeping poetry book with part one focusing on poems about nature, the seasons, and musings from the back of a Harley! Part Two is entitled Seasons of A Soul and expresses the author’s emotionally poignant poems about her experiences in darkness and light. There is a bonus section of Some Readers’ Favourites and bonus poetry too.
It’s a lovely book of poetry, so personal and moving. It’s almost as if you are sharing a day out with the author sharing her life, loves and sorrows via her words. In the author note at the end she mentions how nature inspires her writing. I am the same; I loved it. I particularly enjoyed the section of poems written on the back of her husband’s Harley motorbike! Journeying, seeing little details, observational poetry at its best. And some special mentions of poems that I particularly related to: Fingers of The Sea, Trees, Ocean, (as the sea is my spiritual home and I adore trees!)
My recommendation: A wonderful collection of poetry. Highly recommended.
Thank you so much to D. L. Finn for this wonderful review post supporting so many indie authors : Vashti Vega, Charles W Jones, D. L. Cross (Staci Troilo,) and including yours truly and Mr. Sagittarius is so thrilled!
Thank you very much, Marje, for offering me this space on your blog to introduce my book Paranormal Warwickshire to your readers.
It is my pleasure Sheila.
Warwickshire is a county steeped in the supernatural, as befits the county of Shakespeare and the many ghosts and spirits that he conjured up in his works.
The towns and villages of Warwickshire, its castles, houses, churches, theatres, inns and many other places both grand and everyday have rich and complex stories to tell of paranormal presences.
In this book I investigate stories at places such as Guy’s Cliffe, the Saxon Mill, Warwick Castle and St Mary’s Church, Warwick; Kenilworth Castle and Stoneleigh Abbey; Nash’s House and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as in the towns of Rugby, Nuneaton and Leamington Spa.
I explore the spiritual resonance of each location, recounting the tales of paranormal activity associated with it and examining the reasons for this within the history of the place.
What inspired me to write about this subject? I’ve lived in Warwickshire for twenty-four years, at the time of writing. Though born in south-east England, I have, since coming here, grown to love and feel a deep connection with some of this county’s most iconic locations: castles, houses, abbeys and churches; and also some of its less familiar ones.
I began by frequently visiting these places, and then I wrote blog posts about them in my occasional series Places of Inspiration. Ultimately I was to draw those posts together into a book.
As a writer of psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction, I’m very interested in strong atmospheres in old houses. There’s a vast difference between a house which leaves you cold, and a house with a rich atmosphere. That seemed to lead me on naturally to paranormal events, though I’ll admit that I didn’t focus upon them until history publisher Amberley had expressed interest in my proposal and said they wanted it to fit into their paranormal series.
Amongst the places I write about, we may find Guy’s Cliffe House in Warwick, an atmospheric ruined gothic mansion near my home. As I say in my book,
Many stories linger within these ruins. As you wander around you may wish to climb the gaping staircases, or stand on one of the stone balconies and gaze at the view cross the river and over the surrounding fields; or imagine you see a shadowy figure flit past an empty window-frame.
In this, and so many other historical sites, I feel a distinct spiritual resonance; and that is why I’m drawn back to them again and again.
When I began to put my book together, it occurred to me that since this is Shakespeare’s county, and several of the locations have close personal connections with the Bard, it would be a good idea to base the book around the theme of Shakespeare’s ghosts and spirits. I hope you agree that the words of Shakespeare with which I have chosen to open every chapter in this book, capture the very essence of what these special places signify to us today.
One of my favourite quotes is this, from the mouth of Prospero the magician, in The Tempest:
These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into this air. And like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
I love Prospero’s relationship with his servant, Ariel, whom he addresses as my tricksy spirit. Ariel obeys his master’s every command, until such time as the magician chooses to set him free to the elements.
And how I love Puck, that shrewd and knavish sprite who does Oberon’s bidding in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One of my favourite speeches is the one he chooses to end the play with:
If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here whilst these visions did appear…
No-one can be quite sure whether Shakespeare believed in ghosts and spirits, or used them purely as dramatic devices. One thing’s for sure; they make frequent appearances in his plays. It’s known that he himself played the spirit of Hamlet’s father, many times, and it was the top of his performance as an actor, according to his first biographer.
I’ve heard opposite points of view on Shakespeare’s own beliefs from an Oxford professor and from a Shakespearean actor leading the Stratford-upon-Avon town ghost tour. But Shakespeare’s ghosts and spirts certainly inspired me as I was writing my book!
To us now, entering these places as curious visitors separated from their living inhabitants sometimes by centuries, those long-gone people have all melted into air and are insubstantial, but have left an imprint of their lives in the very fabric of the buildings.
Paranormal Warwickshire will be published on 15 th November 2020 hope you will enjoy reading the stories as much as I enjoyed researching them!
It has been a pleasure hosting you on my blog Sheila. I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and this collection is one to treasure. Thank you so much with entrusting me with an advanced readers copy to review.
I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and have had a far few ghostly and strange experiences myself, so this book by S. C. Skillman caught and kept my attention throughout.
It’s a well-researched, detailed and beautifully photographed book. Some of the images within are by S.C. Skillman herself.
If you like tales of haunted castles, churches, theatres, hotels, manor houses and many more locations beside, (a ghost can hang out anywhere they feel drawn to,) this is for you!
The collection begins in Warwick and moves on to various locations in Warwickshire: Kenilworth, Stratford-upon-Avon, Lapworth, Alcester, Rugby, Nuneaton (Birthplace of George Eliot,) and Leamington Spa.
Some of my favourite tales within included ghostly tales from theatres: in Stratford-upon-Avon, Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The ‘grey lady’ ‘is thought by by many to be the spirit of Elisabeth Scott, and is one of the theatre’s most well-known ghosts.’ ‘She appears so real she is often mistaken for a lost theatregoer.’ ‘It seems that many who have loved this theatre in their lifetimes cannot turn away from this magical and evocative place.’
And in Rugby Theatre: ‘One of the stories told here is of a woman seen floating down the stairs. It is thought she was an usherette in former times…’
It’s an interesting collection and one that will encourage you to explore the paranormal. After reading, you will want to visit these locations first hand to see if you experience the haunting visitations described within. Who knows, you might even want to become a paranormal investigator!
Sheila lives in Warwickshire, and writes psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Association of Christian Writers.
She began her publishing journey with a duology of novels Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit. This was followed by a non-fiction book Perilous Path: a writer’s journey. Sheila is currently working on the second novel in a new gothic fiction series.
Sheila was born and brought up in Orpington, Kent, and studied English Literature at Lancaster University. Her first permanent job was as a production secretary with the BBC. Later she lived for nearly five years in Australia before returning to the UK.
She has now settled in Warwick with her husband and son, and her daughter is studying at university in Australia.
This is Lizzie Chantree’s debut non-fiction book about networking for writers. I’m familiar with Lizzie’s romance novels having had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Ninja School Mum and If You Love Me I’m Yours.
Did Networking for Writers meet my expectations? Absolutely. This is a clear, well-written and invaluable resource especially for those who are fairly new to writing, getting to grips with the marketing and business side can be daunting. It is also a great book to refer to for writers, such as myself, who have been blogging and writing for five years plus. I learnt new things and was reminded of aspects of networking that it’s possible to forget in our daily busy lives. It’s simple things that are so easy to do which make a difference.
Lizzie’s personality shines throughout this book. She is honest, helpful and caring in her approach to help you with your networking skills.
To all those who wear their hearts on their sleeve because I know sometimes that can get messy.
Sarah Northwood, award-winning author of multiple novels and multi fiction writer presents her fourth poetry collection, Poetry of the Heart and Soul. This moving collection is split into roughly three parts. Beginning with relatable pieces which delve into the mind of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, then exploring what it is to love and feel loved. Ending with uplifting and inspirational pieces, each poem includes a footnote from the author.
I am part of Sarah Northwood’s advanced reader/beta reader group. It has been such a delight to discover a new author/poet via Kaleigh @(Cooking The Books) who invited me to beta read Sarah’s book.
I’m glad that she did as I thoroughly enjoyed Poetry of The Heart And Soul. It’s a beautiful collection of poetry – personal to the author in many ways and shared in a thoughtful, generous and accessible way.
There are considerate touches in this collection – the asterisked explanations of some of the poems enabling the reader to get a deeper insight into the author’s thought processes whilst writing Heart and Soul. For instance, in Fears, she explains that the poem was written at a time when she was fed up of giving life to her fears.
There are three lined poems like Minor Key, touching upon the subject of melancholy and Fly which manages to be magical in its brevity. Longer story type poems grace this collection too – such as Lost.
I loved all the poems but especially:
Falling (inspired by a visual cue)
Blue (which was originally a lyrical piece to put to music)
Cease and Desist – that made me smile – our British obsession with the weather!
Reach Out (suicide prevention)
Presently (about holding back the years.)
More than Once (on the subject of life and marriage.)
My Kind of Romance
A Mother’s Love
My rating 5 stars. Highly recommended for poetry enthusiasts.
Sarah Northwood is a multi-genre British fiction author. She enjoys writing stories and poems for children, young adults and adults alike.
Thank you to James Cudney for this review of my YA fantasy. I featured James recently on my blog. He is a great supporter of the indie community. Please pop over to his blog to read his book review at source.
Thank you to Jenny at Neverlands Blog Tour for this wonderful opportunity to host Claire Ayres and to the author for a copy in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
Cellist, Luka, has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes.
Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why.
Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again. *Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*
Well this was a surprise. I agreed to join Netherlands Blog Tour for Entrapped and thought it was a contemporary romance, which it is, but I didn’t realise that it was an 18+ novel with several graphic sex scenes.
What I was looking for in this novel was plot, storyline, interesting characters as well as sizzling sexual chemistry and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.
So if you like your contemporary romance on the sexy, graphic side THIS IS FOR YOU.
This novel wasn’t smutty, or lewd. It was utterly, deliciously sensuous and the message conveyed was very much about our human desire for physical, as well as companionable love.
My other observation is I absolutely LOVED the musical aspect to it. It was so enticing – the cello – and the man! No wonder she was enthralled. Who could resist such a sexy combination?
I couldn’t help but ogle the cover art. Isn’t that cover wonderful?
The story follows Jess’s initial reluctance to get involved with another guy – Luka – after her previous boyfriend finishes with her because of her depression. Luka and Jess are insanely attracted to each other and readers will be glad to know that they can’t resist each other for long!
I liked how Claire Ayres touched on depression and how debilitating this can be. Entrapped didn’t dwell on this topic too much – I reckon that would have dragged the narrative down and would have made the tone of the novel too serious. So, Claire Ayres handled this well.
This is not a novel to read at bedtime if you want to fall sleep!
Overall, it was a sizzling debut read that I devoured very quickly. It certainly wasn’t boring!
Recommended for those who like their contemporary romance on the 18+ with graphic sex scenes, side.
Ask most authors what made them want to write and they will say they always wanted to write. For me that’s not true, I’ve always enjoyed writing and have always been good at it, but my creative passion originally lay elsewhere. I took inspiration from that dream when planning my musical hope series.
As a teenager I was determined to become a professional musician, I was being classically trained in several instruments starting with the cello which features in book one and two of this series, moving onto the clarinet which will feature in book three and finally I played the saxophone. In addition I wrote music and I sang. My dream was to attend the Royal College of Music and train as a musician, ultimately, I wanted to be a composer. Still writing just a different type of writing.
My love affair with music came to an unfortunate end the combination of diagnosed bipolar and a pushy teacher colliding with my GCSE’s left me feeling the most anxious I have ever felt at the prospect of picking up an instrument or a pen to write music. To this day I have not played another piece of music or ever written anything else.
But I’ve never stopped loving music, I absorb music like a sponge and have spent the majority of my life around music, albeit heavy metal. Working as a freelance music journalist for many years and writing about the music I love. I also attend classical concerts regularly, unable to let go of the music which had my heart from the beginning and that is where we pick up my story about this book series because it was at such a concert one evening that it all came together.
I had gone to see the London Philharmonic play The Planets in full (very good I recommend it) and while I was sat there absorbed in the music and watching the musicians I became caught up wondering what their personal lives are like and what my life would have been like if I had succeeded in achieving my dream. Just like that Musicians Hope was born and Luka my first character in Entrapped started to take shape, a cellist who moves from London to Bristol to escape a bad break up we see him juggle his life in the orchestra and as a passionate musician, with his personal life which is far from simple.
In each book we will spend time with a different musician from the Bristol Symphony Orchestra, and while each story is standalone, they will interweave so that you can see the world growing, characters you know and love coming and going from later books and development of characters you’ve met in earlier books into main characters in the later books.
I may not have become the musician I planned but I am passionate about writing and to put my love of music into fiction in this way has been one of the most inspirational things I’ve ever done. I have so much more planned for the musicians in this orchestra and I can’t wait to continue sharing their story with you.
About Claire Ayres:
Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point.
Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.
Have you read Entrapped or intend to grab a copy? I’d recommend that you do!
Feel free to comment below.
Bye for now,
The Curse of Time Book One Bloodstone:
Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)
Goodreads Synopsis: Edra; a world where magic flourishes and where dark secrets are concealed by those who rule. Secrets which can get the innocent killed without a thought. When the body of an elf is discovered in a treacherous area of the city, Wisp a young Law Enforcer is assigned the case. He soon realises the case is far from simple. As soon as he finds one thread another one leads him to unravel a tapestry woven from lies, secrets, corruption and evil. When friendship turns to love, Wisps life, as he knew it will completely change. What started out as a murder case ends in a grisly battle which Wisp and his companions seem to have no chance of winning.
This was one of the most unusual and imaginative YA fantasy stories I have read for a long time. I really loved it. I particularly enjoyed the wonderful range of characters in the novel, which Ms. Park brought to life via her engaging writing style. I especially loved Wisp, a marsh fairy law enforcer.
The dialogue flowed effortlessly and the narrative kept me engaged throughout with some really exciting passages and witty repartee. I am so looking forward to reading the second book in this series.
Adele Marie Park shows great promise. This is her debut novel and I will definitely be following this author’s progress with great interest and much excitement.
Ms. Park has also written stories for several anthologies including The Box Under The Bed, edited by Dan Alatorre, Plaisted Publishing Ghostly Writes Anthology, The Darkest Midnight in December: Ghost Stories for the Winter Season Anthology, and Betrayals of Another Kind: 2016 Fantasy Writers Anthology.
My rating of Wisp: 4.5 stars.
A definite recommendation for readers of fantasy readers, LGBT YA Fiction, (male love affair.)
Adele Marie Park – Bio:
I love writing, it`s my passion. My genres include fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, and a mixture of all those. I love telling stories; period. I am married to my wonderful wife, who is my rock. Our daughter and our dog, German shepherd collie cross, are also my passions. To experience a moment of pure love is to experience the world.
Creativity is something I couldn`t live without.
I am also a Supernatural geek, and love my music. Punk, Goth, Rockabilly and visual Kei music from Japan.
The paranormal is my normal.
oh, and I also totally believe in faeries.
I’m thrilled to be part of Lizzie Chantree’s blog tour for her latest novel: If You Love Me I’m Yours.
Thank you to Lizzie Chantree for an ARC copy of If you Love Me, I’m Yours.
Please note: Receiving a copy via the author in no way influences my review.
‘If you love me, I’m yours…’
Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.
Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.
Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.
Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.
Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?
I was delighted with the prospect of reading another novel from Lizzie Chantree as I really enjoyed Ninja School Mum.
What I didn’t expect was that this latest book If You Love Me I’m Yours is now my favourite!
What did I like about it?
Lovely engaging characters, I especially loved the main protagonist Maud and her relationship with Daisy and new friend Dot. And Nate is too cute and his brother Elliot is too! Oh, I could go on and on… Basically I loved all the characters and the characterisation was one of the strongest aspects of this novel.
It was nice to read a light-hearted chick lit romance for a change. And I really enjoyed the fantastic conclusion. Loved the ending!
I engaged with the art aspect to it – how Maud didn’t have much confidence about her creative talents – but then left her art everywhere for people to enjoy. This was charming and touching too. I’m not an artist myself but do enjoy funky, eccentric characters and If you Love Me I’m Yours really delivered on this.
It’s an uplifting, sweet romance – a great option for a holiday read and with summer upon us…
What I wanted more of!
I loved the sexy scenes between Maud and Nate but I wanted more! I’m greedy that way. This was quite a slow burn with Maud and Nate’s uncertainties and fears, holding back the ‘love action’ which had me desperate for more! I could understand why they were both reluctant but even so. Lol.
Overall a charming, engaging novel which will bring you lots of smiles! Definitely a recommendation.
Award-winning inventor and 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 in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. 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.