Remember, remember the month of November…

This last month has been a rather tricky month for my writing due to working full time and I’m so eager to write it can be overwhelming, with what I have yet to accomplish. I have been in contact with some amazing authors for the last two months as well as completing writing challenges on my Instagram because it has been far too often that I get writers block!

Continue reading “Remember, remember the month of November…”

A Review of: Essentia: Part 2 – The Pearl Wielder Trilogy

Rating: 8 out of 10.

I was given an ARC version of the second installment of The Pearl Wielder Trilogy by Hannah Reed, for an honest review. Essentia was published in 2020, as part 2 of the Pearl Wielder Trilogy which you can check out updates on Hannah’s Instagram page @Hannah.Reads!

Continue reading “A Review of: Essentia: Part 2 – The Pearl Wielder Trilogy”

Gnomes and Cherubs – A Short Story

The moon shone across the small square garden, it was perfectly manicured, something from House and Garden magazine. The lawn was recently trimmed, flowerbeds were freshly turned, not a deadhead or drooping petal to be seen.
Clusters of garden gnomes, plastic painted animals and stone cherubs gathered around a pond at the bottom of the garden, led by granite stepping stones from the back white door of a neat brick house, not a stone nor tile out of place.
As the pale light of the moon fell across the sweetly positioned garden decorations, it revealed the chilling view to anyone who might have peeked out from behind their curtains.
The moonlight slowly moved across the garden and the cherubs started to move, their stony faces grimacing, exposing sharp teeth emitting a gravelly growl as their grey arms reached toward the house slowly dragging their stiff bodies towards the meticulously immaculate house. Eyes black as the night they scanned the garden for the goody-two-shoes plastic animals, hours passed as the silent fiends appeared to take the garden hostage.
As the night steadily wore on, the gnomes were making their way across the garden from the pond, brandishing their fishing poles, spades and pitchforks, their faces drawn in wicked sneers. As they gained on the innocent house, they fought past the poor plastic animals; the gnomes stabbed at an over-sized plastic hedgehog who was trying to stop them, the gnomes callously toppled over the deer on her stand who was unable to work free her long legs from the plastic base that connected her cloven hooves. Not even the sweet, glittery plastic fairies could stop the maleficent ornaments with their tiny plastic wands, unable to warn anyone of the impending danger steadily creeping towards the untainted house.
As Pitchfork Gnome stretched his gnarly fingers towards the patio door, scraping the double-glazed doorframe with the tips of his pitchfork, the sun started to rise, steadily moving up above the line of privet hedge overshadowing the garden, higher and higher until it bled into the garden. The gnomes turned in horror towards the warm light, the cherubs’ faces twisted into a silent scream, pulling at their round chubby faces as if in pain. The plastic animals all managed to stand, in their wobbly way, facing toward the sun, letting the light wash over their sun-bleached bodies they all smiled, knowing they had survived another night.
Just as the other tortured creatures had barely managed to get to the back door they all froze, pushing their weapons towards the sun in attack before completely freezing for another day.
The lady who lived in the impeccable house opened the back door, tossing birdseed onto the lawn, laughing as seed bounced off the heads of the infernal gnomes who cursed her silently in their never-ending torment.
“Oh dear, my little Cherubs”, she chuckled as she bent to pick up one of the gnomes, “you’re not in your place little man, here we go.” She tottered over to the back of the garden, placing all the gnomes back around the pond in their perfect positions, digging them back into the dirt. She rearranged the cherubs around her flowerbeds, complimenting their cherry faces, occasionally tipping dirt over them and muttering to herself about vandals. She steadied the poor deer on her stand and patted her head, hands on her hips, satisfied at her positioning.
She would never know their torment, staying silent forever, destined to mould, moss creeping over their stony and ceramic bodies. Only the plastic animals would feel relief as the cheery lady hosed them down, keeping their bodies pristine forever.

The next time you buy a garden gnome or stone figurine, and you find it amusing to keep them buried in forgotten parts of your garden, never to see the light, forever cracked and worm-riddled, they may… one day… find their way into your home to seek their diabolical revenge.

A Review of: Alter Ego: League of Independent Operatives; Book 1

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Alter Ego, by Kate Sheeran Swed, is an urban superhero novel, with the heroes and heroines described as Independent Operatives (IO), famous and popular with the people! The story follows the secretive life of Mary O’Sullivan, who has an alter ego, her struggles at keeping her identity a secret and keeping the public safe from enemy #1: Mange, who has a hot temper!

I was a little sad I started this on my Kindle, I would have liked to buy the paperback version. When I finished reading, I knew I would be buying the rest of the series, the next one being ‘Anti-Hero’. I connected with all the characters, their fight for good was believable, as when I read a superhero comic I think: “That wouldn’t happen”, and I found myself rooting for the romance side of ‘Alter Ego’, desperately willing it to move forward… which I will only know about in the next instalment!

***SPOILER ALERT*** – yes I know this whole article is a spoiler… but there’s one thing I LOVED – a twist! When you think the good guys are on top and are winning, the plot twists, making the villains and criminals looks like they’re saving the world rather than the IO’s. Kate Swed wrote each chapter from the viewpoint of that hero or villain, which was an interesting technique as most authors write in the third person for all the characters, rather than giving them each a chapter to hear their side of the story.

I do think that Kate Swed managed to find a new type of hero… I mean, we all know about a water hero, fire hero, strong hero and mind control hero or few, but there is a new hero in this story which I found mysterious and unpredictable: The Pearl Knife. She finds herself trying to live up to her parents’ leadership of the LIO, but she feels she hasn’t even mastered her abilities and her fears kept me gripping my Kindle, wondering whether she would suddenly lose control and hurt the people she loved!

A new collection of heroes, who are highly relatable and enemies with potentially good sides? This is a great read, and I would recommend it to adults 18+, full of action, fast-paced with a hint of romance for good measure!

Thank you, Kate, I’ll see you in the next book, and you can see her works here.

A Review of: Stone Cold Mortal: A Tennesse England Novel; Book 1.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Stone Cold Mortal, by Disa Dawn is an urban fantasy looking at demon-fighting and the struggle between good and evil. Tennessee England is the main character, a strong female lead who knows how she wants to run her life and knows who her friends are. This novel is great for 15+, I am in my thirties and thoroughly enjoyed the read of this book, and got to know the author who really loves the main character, Tennessee.

Tennessee is a mortician, which I thought was a nice change to Disney princesses and legally blonde pampered girls, trying to show young women a more ‘normal’ way to look at life and behave. While Tennesse isn’t perfect herself with a smoking habit and cussing way too much, she loves her friends and would fight to defend them… which she does end up doing.

This story moves on to show Tennessee have a near-death experience, be shackled to a demon who feeds on her pain and negativity, fighting demons and ***SPOILER ALERT*** – saving her beloved dog Polar, a giant fluffy white pooch who pinged my heart strings when described.

The concept of Tennessee having a ‘demon’ be tethered to her, so she can fight and kill 1000 demons for a demon-queen, to ultimately be free… is immense. Disa Dawn warms up in the first three chapters, to get readers to love Tennessee and her friends, set the scene and thrusts the reader into this demonic struggle.

Tennesse shows a huge amount of courage, by facing demons who are trying to kill her, facing people who she secretly love (yes there’s a love-triangle!), managing several jobs and having health issues is example to the reader on how to look after yourself, and fight for what you believe in. It shows that Tennessee is resilient, is a fighter, which is a far more attractive quality than a preening princess, and her old love interest flares up creating more emotion for her.

This book is engaging, Disa Dawn has researched how to engage an older audience, and while I don’t get the American slang (being British) it just set the character up to be more realistic and approachable, rather than some gorgeous blood-sucking heartthrob.

Tennesse England could be a good example for young women: fight for what you believe in, don’t give up and have friends around you.

Go check out Disa Dawn’s work, this is Book 1 of a series, and if you like the supernatural or fantasy, I do think you’ll enjoy this series.

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