Poetry Review – Poetry of The Heart and Soul by Sarah Northwood : #Review #Poetry

Synopsis via Amazon:

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.

My review:

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)

Imagination

Everybody

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.

Author’s blog: https://www.sarahnorthwood-author.com/

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Creeping Shadow By Caroline Peckham

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A man waits in Vale, a world void of humanity.

A mother vanishes, her disappearance concealed by the police.

A girl collapses, black magic invading her blood.

And a boy linked to them all must fight to save his family.

Earth is just one of seven worlds. Gateways divide the realms and those who pass through must earn keys, participating in challenges that will separate the fearful from the brave, the weak from the strong, and the witless from the cunning.

Sixteen year old Oliver Knight knows nothing of the other worlds or his family’s dark past. But when his adopted sister succumbs to a deadly curse the truth is revealed and he is plunged into an unknown land in a desperate bid to save her. However, a sinister enemy is on the rise and the danger they face at every turn throws those around them under suspicion. In order to survive, Oliver must figure out who to trust, who to believe and, ultimately, who to fear…

I received an ARC copy from the author, Caroline Peckham in exchange for an honest review.

My review:

Well, I’m so glad I decided to read this. It has a heck of a lot going for it, full of mysteries to solve, a girl appears in the middle of the road, and is welcomed into the family, a missing mother…… It is reminiscent of several books, to begin with it reminded me of A Series of Unfortunate Events with the children’s mother going missing, and the two distraught youngsters Oliver and May being sent off to a strange Grandfather’s house to live. I have to say their Grandfather Ely has one seriously cool house that has an enormous tree growing in it!

There is a fair amount of world building to begin with, Creeping Shadow is part Science Fiction, part Fantasy with magical beings called Mages. In the beginning you will encounter a plentiful amount of characters to get to grips with but don’t let this put you off.

As the story unfolds it begins to be more reminiscent of Hunger Games, with a new perhaps more interesting slant, focusing on teams working together to achieve a shared goal rather than individuals trying to kill each other. An element of danger still exists in the race to secure a key to one of the kingdoms making it an exciting, gripping, read. The teams compete against each other for a key but they also work together in their individual teams to reach their goals. Cooperation is the focus and the way to win, nice touch. The action really hots up when the race starts, the contestants hoping to get a key. This is crucial for May as the only way to cure her from a deadly curse is to get a key to travel to another kingdom.

I particularly loved this quote about the effect of the curse on her body:

“May’s eyes were opened but they roamed unseeing, bloodshot and red. What scared Oliver more were the dark bruises that covered her body and the thick, black veins that slithered like snakes between them under her skin.”

We are introduced to a whole bunch of weird creatures and many obstacles to overcome. There are shadow creatures called varks, fire bats, wolver bats, a platform and a ladder challenge, an abyss, a waterfall, a whirlpool, and even hogtrouts, and luggerfish!! I’m not going to tell you what all of these are you will have to pick up a copy of the book to find out!

I particularly enjoyed the chapter in which Oliver and May tumble over a cliff, a fantastic fight scene follows, no more about it as I don’t want to spoil it for you!

If you like a bit of developing romance then you won’t go away empty handed, the main characters Oliver and Anna,  supply the love interest and it is sweetly done.

The characters are well crafted I particularly liked the brother and sister, Oliver and May, and also Rogan and even Quinn! As well as this the matey banter between Oliver and one of the other team members, Rogan,  is well written and entertaining.

It is an ambitious novel for a debut novelist, with shifting points of view, world building, multiple characters, as well as a Fantasy/Science Fiction framework.  I have to say that on the whole I’m pretty impressed. Perhaps there are a few overused phrases and the odd typo but there is very little in this advanced readers copy to find fault with. I would definitely like to find out what happens next, and I look forward to reading more from Caroline Peckham. This is a series with five books in all!

Highly recommended.

But unless you can get your hands on an ARC you’ll have to wait until December 10th for Creeping Shadow to be released!

My Rating:

4 stars.

Links:

http://carolinepeckham.com/upcoming-fantasy-series/

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Trees of Reverie Readathon

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I’m joining in the Trees of Reverie Readathon, hosted by Sarah on Tumblr, here’s a link to her post about this: http://treesofreverie.com/post/131283792785/trees-of-reverie-october-read-a-thon

This runs from 12am on Saturday, October 17th and runs through to 11.59pm on Sunday, November 1st, so fingers slapped I’m a bit behind, it’s already October 18th and I’m just starting! Still my excuse is I’m still participating in the #redeyereadalong and I wanted to devote some time to reading something slightly different for the Trees of Reverie read-a-thon….. 

So I will be reading Creeping Shadow by Caroline Peckham.

The title Creeping Shadow sounds in keeping with my theme of creepy, stuff and nonsense leading up to Halloween.

The hashtags for the Trees of Reverie event are:

| #treesofreveriereadathon | #treesofreveriebookishchallenge |

I received an ARC  of Creeping Shadow from Caroline Peckham, more details of that here if you’re interested in receiving an ARC for an honest review: http://carolinepeckham.com/2015/10/13/arcs-for-honest-reviews-creeping-shadow-a-ya-fantasy/

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Here is the Goodreads Synopsis:

A man waits in Vale, a world void of humanity.

A mother vanishes, her disappearance concealed by the police.

A girl collapses, black magic invading her blood.

And a boy linked to them all must fight to save his family.

Earth is just one of seven worlds. Gateways divide the realms and those who pass through must earn keys, participating in challenges that will separate the fearful from the brave, the weak from the strong, and the witless from the cunning.

Sixteen year old Oliver Knight knows nothing of the other worlds or his family’s dark past. But when his adopted sister succumbs to a deadly curse the truth is revealed and he is plunged into an unknown land in a desperate bid to save her. However, a sinister enemy is on the rise and the danger they face at every turn throws those around them under suspicion. In order to survive, Oliver must figure out who to trust, who to believe and, ultimately, who to fear…

Creeping Shadow will be released 10th December 2015 on Amazon Kindle.

As well as this I have the following in mind to read next on my TBR’S, a Fantasy contemporary  by fellow blogger, author pal Helen Jones : Oak And Mist (The Ambeth Chronicles #1) 

Helen Jones blogs at Journey To Ambeth :  http://journeytoambeth.com/

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Goodreads Synopsis:

‘The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.’

Alma Bevan didn’t mean to go on a quest.
But when she disappears between two trees at her local park and reappears in Ambeth, she finds they’ve been expecting her.

And now she has to find a lost sword or the consequences for humanity will be dire. With no idea where to look, despite help from her new friend Caleb, things become even more complicated when a handsome prince of the Dark expresses an interest in her.

All this plus homework too?

Travelling between worlds is hard enough without having to manage a suspicious best friend, complicated love interests and concerned parents. Add in some time-twisting, a mysterious bracelet and a group of immortal beings all vying for control of a lost sword, and it’s enough to make any fifteen year old girl want to give up. But then she wouldn’t see Caleb any more. Or Deryck…

Oak and Mist is book one of The Ambeth Chronicles. Book two, No Quarter, is coming soon.

And if my eyes go a bit squiffy reading off readers I have one of these in mind as a diversion, my kitty is guarding them and it’s a secret at the moment which one I might chose!

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Hope you like the sound of my TBR’s for the Tree of Reverie Read-a-thon.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx