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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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract – #YAFantasy – The Curse of Time : Book One – Bloodstone by M.J. Mallon

Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for sharing an extract and review of my YA fantasy The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone. x

Sunday Book Review, Mr. Sagittarius – Prose and Poetry by MJ Mallon

Sunday Book Review features a whimsical tale – Mr. Sagittarius by Marjorie Mallon Prose and Poetry

Source: Sunday Book Review, Mr. Sagittarius – Prose and Poetry by MJ Mallon

Book Review: #RRBC Son of The Serpent by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Goodreads Synopsis:

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories. 

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind? 

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . . 

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way. 

 

My review:

I’m reading this as part of the RRBC (Rave Reviews Book Club) group – an organisation to promote fellow RRBC members by sharing reviews etc. The founder of the group is Nonnie Jones – find more about the group here: https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com

I received my one year membership badge in June but have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to share it yet! Oh my!

I’m a big fan of Vashti Quiroz-Vega’s dark fantasy angels series. This is the second book and I loved every minute of it, though some dark scenes had me squirming and groaning!

I read Book 1, The Fall of Lilith some time ago and reviewed that too. Here is the link to that review:

https://mjmallon.com/2018/01/20/abrsc-review-of-the-fall-of-lilith-by-vashti-quiroz-vega/

Son of The Serpent can be read as a standalone novel but I would recommend that you read book one and two to follow the story through its many wonderful moments. It is well worth it.

This is for you if you if you are a mature reader who likes dark fantasy with a biblical slant and aren’t put off by shocking aspects such as: Dracul’s mother Lilith inflicting horrible payments to cure loved ones of ailments, plus some vivid and disturbing sexual scenes too.

Highly recommended for the fluency of Vashti Quiroz-Vega’s captivating writing, the breadth of her imagination and engrossing characters.

My rating: 5+ stars plus I am marking as a favourite on Goodreads.

Vashti Quiroz-Vega’s blog: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/

What have you been reading? Have you read Son of the Serpent? Please comment below I’d love your opinion.

 

 

Buy Book: 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)

 

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

 

 

#ABRSC Review of Wisp by Adele Marie Park #YA #Fantasy #LGBT

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.

Review:

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.

YAY!!!

Ms. Park has also written stories for several anthologies including The Box Under The Bed, edited by Dan Alatorre, Plaisted Publishing Ghostly Writes AnthologyThe 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.)

Author Details:

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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.

Adele Marie Park’s Author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adele-Park/e/B01G9VHA9W/

Blog: https://firefly465.wordpress.com/

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com/

 

I’ve written oodles of reviews for traditionally published and self-published authors. Reading is my passion. To see my reviews please follow the links below:

https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-m-of-my-book-reviews/

https://mjmallon.com/2016/11/27/my-kyrosmagica-reviews-n-z/

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Please note:
I’d love you to leave a comment. Please read my Full GDPR Privacy and Compliance for further details: https://mjmallon.com/2018/05/20/privacy-and-gdpr-compliance/

My Social Media:

Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Founder of Facebook #ABRSC Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Group:

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
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My #Review of Poetic Rituals by Ritu Bhathal

 

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

My review

Anyone that follows this blog will realise just how much I love poetry. I enjoy writing it, and reading it too.

Ritu Bhathal’s collection of poems is accessible, easy readable poetry that warms the heart and keeps you smiling. It would appeal to everyone. It’s not high brow, it’s very down to earth, human and touches upon so many topics that readers will relate to – such as the trials and tribulations of bringing up children, family life, and relationships. It’s very witty, and made me smile in lots of places.

The chapter headings give you an excellent indication of the breadth of poems covered:

Family Rituals, (children, motherhood, being a daughter and sibling, even a few poems about cats!)

Life Rituals – Life, Different cultures, Christmas and positivity – and Ritu’s poem But I Smile Anyway that is the title of her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

Rituals of The Heart. Tender first love and sizzling passion too !

Rituals to make you Smile. Lots of witty ones in this section!

Would I recommend it?

Indeed I would. I rate it 4 stars, a very lovely collection of poems.

 

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review.

Amazon UK Buying Links -kindle : http://amzn.to/2xqb7rE

Amazon UK Buying Links – paperback: http://amzn.to/2yU1xks

Have you read Ritu Bhathal’s Poetic Rituals? Do comment if you have.

Bye for now,

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My social media links:

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

 

 

 

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon  @curseof_time

Instagram

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#Review of Better Blogging With Photography by Terry Webster Schrandt

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Terri inspires the reader with this wonderful quote right at the beginning setting the tone for her clear, concise and friendly little book:

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.’ Bruno Barley.

Isn’t that the absolute truth? It’s remarkable how the medium of photography can draw people together from different cultural backgrounds in a common moment of wonder. Curious, I googled Bruno Barley and found these stunning examples of his work: Pinterest examples of Bruno Barley’s photography. Wow, I just love photography!

Terri kicks off her book with a simple premise –  Why? Why use photography on your blog? The answer, is of course, simple – images draw attention, interest, break up text, make your blog post more interesting and memorable.

She adds tips on how to –

  • Create an engaging profile.
  • Ways to make your sidebar design attractive.
  • How to design a defining header.
  • Adding widgets and not overloading your posts with too many images.

Terri warns about the dangers of using images without consent on your blog even if the images happen to be from friends, and particularly if the photos are randomly found on google.  The Rule is: Always get written consent – though an email will do.

There’s an interesting section on how to use old images and give them a new lease of life. I read this part with great interest.  Recently, I created a scrapbook of images for my dad for his birthday, (the first few photos you can see here,): My Instagram page Kyrosmagica

Then Terri mentions how to find free images for your blog via sites such as Canva and Picmonkey, both of which I have used, and recommend.

There are chapters on how to:

  • Crop your photos, edit, add captions, size and add watermarks. Again, I was particularly interested in the section on watermarks as this is something I still have to try…  Terri suggests using tutorials on Pinterest and picmonkey.
  • Organising images, in storage solutions such as Dropbox, which I still have to investigate.
  • Participating in or holding photography link parties and joining in photo challenges, such as  Norm’s Thursday Doors. I enjoy taking part time permitting…
  • Using quotes to inspire, creating blog banners or blog badges. Here’s the link to the tutorial and other excellent blogging suggestions via Diana’s Adventures: Dianas Adventures – Tips for new bloggers
  • A section on photo-friendly social networking sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, plus a fantastic resources page.

Would I recommend it? Are you kidding?  Most definitely. I just wished I’d read this book years ago when I started blogging – it would have helped me so much. I found out the hard way how to do much of what Terri mentions, but I still have a lot to learn.

Don’t forget to follow Terri on Instagram: Terri Webster Schrandt – Instagram

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram too, LOL… (cheeky personal plug,)  – find me here:  My Instagram Page: Kyrosmagica

My rating.

A richly deserved 5 stars.. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

 

 

Before I fly off to take some photos to add to my Instagram feed let me point you in the direction of this wonderful free resource from Terri: Second Wind Leisure – How To Get Hundreds of Free Photos for Your Blog

Bye for now, photo enthusiasts!

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Glimpses by Hugh. W Roberts

http://hyperurl.co/42ou22

Goodreads Synopsis:

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.

Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.

Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

“If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story has been cleverly crafted; through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, he has the ability to whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future. Every story makes a compelling read and just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, Hugh masterfully reveals a brilliant twist. With bite-size and longer stories, Glimpses is a must-read. I loved it.” – Esther Newton, Writer, and Author.

My review:

Welcome, this is my first review of 2017. Happy New Year!!! Happy Reading!!!

This is undoubtedly an excellent collection of short stories from Hugh W. Roberts.

In my opinion, short stories are so difficult to write as the author has to encapsulate so much into such a rigid format and end on an engaging twist too.  Hugh effortlessly manages to introduce us to such a wide range of well-crafted stories, encompassing several genres, ranging from Science Fiction, Supernatural, Thriller, Drama, Humour, LGBT, to Horror, with something for everyone in this entertaining compilation.

When Hugh jokingly remarked that his horror stories might give me nightmares I really didn’t believe that this kind-hearted chap could write that scary a horror story, but I was so wrong!!!!  The particular one that stays in my mind the most is undoubtedly Needles, which definitely made me wince a lot and with a title like that it’s no wonder! Other favourites of mine in the horror category are The Easter Bunny,  The Gingerbread House, and Lipstick. You can see I do like to read horror! I also have a soft spot for The Cake Decorator, (Thriller) and The Last Train to Aldwych (Ghost). Every single story in the compilation is a little nugget of imagination. Hugh may be dyslexic but he certainly has no difficulty on the imagination score! His powers of imagination and creativity are first class. Often dyslexic people are amazingly talented, and Hugh certainly is.


My advice:

Glimpses is highly recommended for all short story enthusiasts. Go get a copy!!

My rating:

4 stars.

Competition Time….

To celebrate the launch of Glimpses Hugh is offering six wonderful Amazon gift prizes. Follow the link here to find out more: Hughs Views and News Competition

Do check out his most recent post about this as Hugh has kindly given us a clue!

A clue from Hugh – Glimpses Competition

Please do support Hugh and buy a copy of his book, and if you could share a review even better…

DISCLAIMER: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Amazon buying link:

Universal buying link for Glimpseshttp://hyperurl.co/42ou22

I recently interviewed Hugh on Kyrosmagica. Here’s the link:

Hugh W. Roberts Awesome Author Interview

Have you read Glimpses? Do leave a comment below and let me know…

Soon I will be reviewing Ruth Hatfield’s The Colour of Darkness, the second book in the Book of Storms Trilogy, so keep a look out for that.

Bye for now, back to my books…

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Glimpses

My Kyrosmagica Review of Ravens Gathering

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Goodreads Synopsis:

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security.

“You know what they are, don’t you?”

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but their unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. And no one can explain why the ravens are gathering.

Ravens Gathering twists and turns as the truth is gradually exposed in a gripping thriller with a supernatural edge to it.

My review:

This is a very ambitious first novel, and on the whole Graeme Cumming does a fantastic job, creating a novel which is both highly imaginative, and unusual in many respects. The dialogue is believable, as is the detail in the various innocuous, homely settings: the pub, the farms, and this close knit English village.

Ravens Gathering does a shape shift through several different genres, embracing fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, police procedural, thriller, and horror.

The main character Martin Gates returns to this community, his home after a long time abroad. Martin’s reappearance is not welcomed with open arms by his family, in fact they appear to view his reappearance as something to avoid rather than embrace. To begin with Martin is a difficult character to engage with. His character is somewhat obtuse, but there are reasons for this, which become apparent as we read the book and realise why he is the way he is. We do get a sense of his outrage about being so unloved and uncared for by his family, and yet to begin with we have no idea why this the case. We can only speculate, but there’s no way that our speculations will be correct.

Equally, Tanya, and Ian aren’t particularly appealing either, and neither are Martin’s family. The further we get into the book it seems more and more likely that everyone in Ravens Gathering are flawed in some unique and individual way. The key words that initially come to mind are: selfish, shady, desperate for sexual diversions, or damaged in some way. 

The story unfolds slowly with a considerable amount of detail, making events more real. Shocking and disturbing revelations in the latter part of the novel don’t come as a complete surprise given the underlying sense of a community where something is terribly amiss. Nevertheless I had no idea of what was coming, and the shock factor of what did surprised, and appalled me in equal measure. This is a novel where you can’t help but go WTF!!!!!

The characters for the most part are not particularly lovable which initially distances the reader from them but that’s not meant as a criticism, in fact under the circumstances having read the story one realises why this is the case.

The bad guy is about as horrible, wicked, and debauched a villain as you can get.

This is a very complicated story that remains in your psyche for some time afterwards. It winds its way stretching the believability of the fantastical elements to the max, edging the story to its conclusion.

My recommendation: Definitely an author to watch out for, a well written, confident debut. Read if you like mysterious thrillers with a fantastical, but deeply shocking element.

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in in exchange for a review. 

Verified Purchase –  I own a copy. 

Buying Link: 

 

Do connect with Graeme via his link below:

Graeme Cumming’s website

Have you read Ravens Gathering? Do comment below.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx