Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

I have been nominated for this award by author: Maria Savva, You can read her post here:

 Thanks, Maria

Here are the rules of the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

1. Display the award logo on your blog
2. Link back to the person who nominated you
3. State 7 things about yourself
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them

So, here are 7 things about me:

1 - I love my husband.

2 - I have a room full of craft-wares but don't have enough time to use them as much as I'd like.

3 - I love going to the cinema with my husband.

4 - Chocolate is my enemy.

5 - I want to live in Cinderella's Palace with Tinker Bell as a neighbour (I already have my Prince Charming).

6 - I cannot read fast enough.

7 - I'm an alien.

Now tag some bloggers:

Fiona Wilson:

Busy Mums Book Reviews: http://busymomsbookreviews.blogspot.c...


The Indie Exchange:

Monday, 18 February 2013

Darcia Helle

As soon as I started reading Darcia Helle's book, I was hooked.  They are full of suspense and very quick reading - action at its best!

I haven't read them all yet, but I fully intend to do so as soon as I can.

These are my thoughts on those I have:

Enemies and Playmates

I love a book that gives a character to hate right from the start - this story gave me that pleasure! I don't give spoilers but I will say that it's a great story, well written, fast-paced and excellent style for this kind of book. A satisfying read and I would recommend it to all that like this genre.

No Justice

Sent this book some time ago, I've only just been able to read it and I'm so glad I did.

An explosive start, which hooked me at once. I really liked Michael and his 'night job' - many of us would love to be able to dispense real justice without being caught.

Good, believable characters bring alive this story - which in itself was fast-paced and easy to read (a difficult job for any author), making it seem deceptively simple - yet brilliantly done.

Highly recommended for those who like an exciting 'action' story, giving a sense of satisfaction throughout.


I won a copy of this book and I was immensely glad I did - it was fantastic. It's extremely well-written and so fast-paced that it was almost mind-blowing, to coin a phrase. The characters are wonderful - both good and bad - and I couldn't wait to see what happened.

Secrets is a true testament to the saying that an easy to read book is difficult to write - a truly amazing talent.

There are many things I'd like to say about it, but I never give spoilers, however, I will say the storyline will have you on the edge of your seat, and that it certainly deals with how secrets can both save lives in the beginning but will destroy them in the end, if we don't take them by the scruff of the neck and shake them loose.

Highly recommended.

Miami Snow

I loved this book from beginning to end and was very glad to have been given it by the author. I was already a fan and every time I read another of her stories it only confirms it.

Miami Snow is fast-paced, full of suspense and has an easy flow of writing that forces you to read on and on until you realise it's way into the early hours of the morning.

I never give spoilers but will say that I thought the characters fitted well into the story, the plot was realistic (even though I can only guess this is what happens in the underworld of drugs in Miami), and it also highlights how the choices we make can alter our lives in an instant.

Highly recommended.

Into The Light

Into The Light brings to us a mixture of humour and mystery, as it deals with what could happen after we are dead. It shows how we don't always appreciate the 'imprint' we leave while we're are alive, and that maybe we were more than we thought.

It is a book that deals with the human condition, with such themes as love, sorrow, regret, grief, jealousy and of course, death, yet, attempts to answer the many questions and thoughts we might have about 'the mysterious journey' beyond our comprehension.

It also gives us hope and I was delighted with the proclaimed ideas.

Altogether, a read that is thought-provoking and fun.

I would certainly recommend it to others.

Quiet Fury: An Anthology of Suspense

I was so pleased to be given this book by the author, as it was a fantastic read - each story as brilliant as the last. I never give spoilers, so I can only say that nobody will regret reading this collection of suspenseful and spine-tingling stories.

Highly recommended.

Darcia also has a blog series called, Criminal Justice, well worth a look.  She also talks about this (with other points of view) on her Goodreads blog.

A full list of her books are on her website: Quiet Fury Books 

Find out more about her and her struggle with Lyme Disease

She generously gives her time to support other self-published authors, has giveaways and competitions.

I urge you to take a look.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Maria Savva

Maria Savva

I met Maria through Goodreads and we swapped books, a few years ago now - Gone with Time To Tell - and we've been friends ever since.  

Maria has written novels and short stories that involve family, relationships and tackles problems that we can all face at one time or another.  She also writes mystery, fantasy and paranormal - my favourite genres - Haunted being my favourite book of hers so far. 

As well as her writing talent, she's also one of kindest people I've ever met (and yes, we have met 'for real', once). 

She is always willing to help others and has a website and a blog on Goodreads where she gives a mountain of writing tips, as well as wonderful interviews with other self-published authors (just scroll through the pages for the treasure trove) ...which, of course, has expanded my reading list to a ridiculous length (but I'm slowly loving everyone of her recommendations.  In addition to this, it's great to 'meet' other authors and discover their techniques and the pros and cons of being a writer - we know we're not alone.

Just to point out that I have been interviewed more than once by Maria - all of which can be found in the Interviews and News section.

Thanks, Maria, it was a good day when we first 'met'. 

I've enjoyed all of Maria's books, so here is what I think...

A Time To Tell

A Time to Tell raises important issues surrounding what has been named `domestic violence'. It was interesting (and sad) to see how history repeated itself throughout the generations, echoing the tragic dilemma of humankind.

However, the switch between `times' was cleverly done in this sophisticated story of Cara and her family, giving a good insight into the relationships to which we can all relate.

A Time to Tell has a great prologue that creates enough intrigue to pull in the reader and has a fabulous twist at the end.


Second Chances

 Maria Savva is a great storyteller and Second Chances is no exception. I particularly liked the way both male and female points of view were portrayed, so that the reader could understand both sides of the story.

Second Chances has an easy to read style and successfully delves into the ups and downs of relationships where most, if not all, of us can certainly relate.

Not to give away any spoilers, I thought it clever how it was sprinkled with surprises - a few twists and turns, so that we're not quite sure where things will lead...always a good idea.

Altogether, a worthwhile read. I would recommend it. 



I've read all of Maria Savva's books and I have never been disappointed - Coincidences is no exception. From beginning to end, I enjoyed its storyline, characters and 'reality'.

I never like to give spoilers, but I will say that the story picks on a subject that relates to many people and uses sensitivity and intelligence to make the point and deal with the relative issues. The author is able to 'get into the minds' of the characters in such a way that the reader cares about what will happen to them.

Even though it was a fast-paced book, I was impatient with my reading, as I wanted to know what happened - such was the cleverness of the writing.

Yes, I loved it, and would highly recommend this book.  


Pieces Of A Rainbow

What a fabulous analogy for the range of emotions that drive us humans. Loved the easy to follow style and the relationships to which we can all relate, this in addition to the realistic characters, it can only be a success.

I loved the lines, '...a blank canvas on which to build her dreams...' and '...he was a tattoo on her heart that could not be removed...' from Seeing Red, the first story, and '...leaving a hole the size of a watermelon in Sally's soul...' from, Envy (story four), where irony is particularly relevant.

All the stories draw you in and I, for one, couldn't wait to see what happened. There were many twists and turns and certainly unexpected events where the themes of responsibility, the ups and downs of relationships, and parental dilemmas are unmistakeable.

I would have to say that Mystic Purple was my favourite story, where I thoroughly enjoyed the comedy of small talk between Jen and Amy - the whole story bringing a smile though leaving a question as to whether we make our own fate.

This is not the first book by Maria Savva, and Pieces of a Rainbow is not a disappointment...I really enjoyed it...and I can honestly recommend that all are worth a look.

Clever, interesting and extremely good...great writing. 



This is another wonderful collection of delightful stories from Maria Savva, all with twists and turns and surprising endings.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book with its wealth of `easy to know' characters, which bring to life these simple yet clever ideas.

It's amazing how a story can evolve from the tiniest spark, and Maria shows her genius again and again.

I particularly liked The Legacy and The Time Machine, where hopes and wishes are successfully explored.

Highly recommend. 


Love & Loyalty (and Other Tales)

A fabulous collection of stories that unearth the many facets of the human condition. They made me laugh, cry and certainly surprised me. Each story has a great hook and pulls you in until the end and have an easy to read style. The characters are believable and some are extremely 'funny to watch', not least due to the clever 'one-liners'. All of us can relate in one way or another.

Altogether, enjoyable and in places extremely insightful.



Cutting The Fat (with Jason McIntyre)

It's amazing how successful stories materialise from just a spark of an idea and Cutting The Fat is no exception. To me it has a bittersweet quality, where conflicting feelings seesaw and rational thought is pushed into the background in favour of justice.

But is it?

I can understand and certainly sympathise with the anger felt by those who are waiting for that lucky break in the `real world of publishing', where, after receiving day by day rejection letters from publishers that state: `Sorry but we not taking on any new clients.' In other words, unless you are already famous, there's not a chance in Hell you'll ever be published.

But what choice is there for the rest of us?


Many look down from lofty heights and say, `Who are they to do such a thing? If they had any real talent they'd snapped up!' Maybe, but wouldn't it be fantastic if submissions could get by the janitor, the slush pile - or at the very least, the junior editor who's just left school and has an uncle `in the trade' so was given the holiday `sifting' job?

But then if luck is on your side and `Hey, look, I have a book in print,' should happen, then what right has someone else to negatively criticise that very piece of our souls?

No wonder such ideas for this story evolve.

Yes, everyone has an opinion, but why should it be used to destroy?

Nestor Maronski - a fantastic character for us all to hate; a demon to slash that very soul with each barbed word of his own. And don't we know him so well? Someone we suppose has no talent except to use our work against us, with such arrogance and steel, as if he were the slayer and not the demon. So easy is it to slice apart another's work, without regard for the heart that lay defenceless amongst the pages - so why?

Like bullies in the school playground, negative reviewers see easy prey in writers, and as we have learnt, the only way not to let them win is to fight back.

Cutting The Fat has done it, but again I wonder if (despite the relish of sweet revenge) it helped? Was what happened to Nestor true justice, did it resolve the problem; did it really make us feel better?

Hey, that's not to say I didn't enjoy the idea!

Cutting The Fat is a clever story, well written and certainly thought-provoking. At the very least it could make the elite think twice about the souls of writers they wish to destroy.

Wishful thinking indeed.


An added bonus - Only time can divide us - Maria Savva from her new book, Fusion

I loved the intriguing first line, `There was history in her face.' As I read through the story, its endearing quality went straight to my heart. A delightful tale showing you never know when or where love will creep into your life. A beautiful if sad story, which would tug at anyone's heartstrings.

And the excerpt from Jason McIntyre's Thalo Blue shows talent in abundance. 


The Dream

I was intrigued from the start of this story, as it began with a delicious mystery, which continued to develop and then unfold with pleasing affect.

A clever tale, where its heroine, believable and likeable, helps the reader relate and sympathise with many of the `love' issues, yet pins us to our seats wondering what will happen next.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to those who are fascinated by that `something extra', that something which allows the imagination to wander where enigma is the watchword. 



I was lucky enough to read this story in advance of publication and I loved it from beginning to end.

I really enjoyed the in-depth character building - so important to a story - where I could see into the minds of each of them, making for great reading. The plot was dark and clever and kept me guessing until the end.

The story gave great insight into the emotions of mankind, where guilt can create an obsessive and insane point of view. We can wonder what we'd do in the circumstances given in the plot and whether conscience is a spark for 'doing the right thing' and if we don't, we have to accept the consequences - these issues are dealt with creatively, yet never once leaving behind reality...cleverly done.

A fantastic read, well written within its many twists and turns, and so far, my favourite story by this talented author.

Highly recommended.  

So please take a look at her work and I'm sure you'll be delighted. 

Alchemy: The Magic Of Words: I am an author and part of that includes reading. ...

Alchemy: The Magic Of Words: I am an author and part of that includes reading. ...: I am an author and part of that includes reading.  So for the purposes of this blog, I will be posting reviews, thoughts and feelings about...

I am an author and part of that includes reading.  So for the purposes of this blog, I will be posting reviews, thoughts and feelings about other people's work.  I will be choosing from the self-publishing pool, as those from publishing houses have enough help, and independent writers have virtually nothing on their side.

Of course, I am self-published, so I have extensive knowledge and experience of this subject and there will be times that I'll talk about what it means to me, the pitfalls and the positives.

However, for the most part it will be about other self-published authors and their work.

As I've said, I am an author and love to write, but reading is an essential part of that process, in my opinion, and having been involved with the self-publishing arena for many years, I've found that I actually prefer stories from there, rather than the ones that fill the shelves in bookshops and supermarkets.


I'm not saying that all are bad, and actually, my favourite author is Dean Koontz, however, over the years, I've found most to be of a certain formula that don't think 'outside the box' nor push boundaries or are just 'different'.  With self-published books, there are no bounds.

Traditional books are there because they are 'safe', in that they make money for the publishing houses, who are afraid to take risks on anyone or anything new - that is what I think.

I will talk more about self-publishing in another post.

This is just an introduction away from my website.  A place mainly for posting reviews, especially in the light of Amazon's next proposal - to delete all reviews where the books haven't been purchased from them.  As a reviewer, this makes it difficult, as I cannot afford to buy everyone's book.  Most are given to me through other book sites, where I review, or I download free because they look good.  I always state that mobi files for my Kindle are best because the only time I have for reading now is at night - there are great converter sites to do the job.  Paperbacks are far too expensive and authors have little to spare.

So here is my first posting, where to add as frequently as possible, but time is my enemy and really, writing has to come first.

Now I have to do this, being my own marketer /promoter - all my books can be found on Amazon (Kindle editions) and Lulu (paperback)



Thanks to anyone who reads this.