I read a little more … Annika Perry, Natalie Ducey and Victoria Zigler

I managed to read 18 books over my 10 day Christmas break. Two were poetry books and three were short books for children but I still managed 13 adult novels which I thought was marvelous. I wish I could read this much all the time.

The Storyteller Speaks by Annika Perry

The Storyteller Speaks is a collection of short stories, and a couple of poems too, about life, love and death. This is the debut book of Annika Perry and she has certainly managed to write a lovely selection of very different stories.

Chillies in my handbag is a story of a woman’s gradual disillusionment with love, her married life and even her child. The Mother’s inability to protect her only son from entering the traditional boarding school attended by her husband and his father before him, sets him on the road to becoming everything she has come to dislike in her husband. The son’s gradual reshaping of himself, a round peg, to fit into the traditional square hole is interesting. Will the Mother finally rebel against the dictates of her husband and if she does where will it all end?

The man on the flying trapeze is a rather interesting poem about a trapeze artist who finds himself in an accident situation. The format of the poem was rather unique with each stanza reading almost like a limerick. I did enjoy this very much.

Smouldering Shame was another tale than fascinated me with its very likelihood in the set of circumstances. A tale of a woman whose life suddenly comes unraveled because of the secret activities of her husband. He is a man who cannot see the blessings in his life and, as many older men do, seeks more excitement in his retirement than is on offer in his home with rather disastrous consequences.

A couple of the stories could definitely have continuations. I think the author may have quite a bit more to tell us about these characters.  I really enjoyed this book. I think Annika Perry has a lot of potential as a writer.

Purchase The Storyteller Speaks

The Heart’s Lullaby by Natalie Ducey

The Heart’s Lullaby: a candid portrayal of love in all it’s splendor and pain, is a collection of beautiful poems written by Natalie Ducey.

The book comprises of predominantly two types of poems, with the sections entitled Confessions, Eternal love and The Agony of Holding On & The Angst of Letting Go focusing on the best things about love and relationships and the sections entitled Journey of Becoming and the poems that form part of the Peace by Piece Puzzles being about the tides of life.

I enjoyed the poems about love, but I found some of the poems about life to be quite remarkable in their insightfulness.

A verse that remained with me from a poem called The Reckoning was as follows:

“Waves crash the rugged shoreline

Unforgiving in their furry

Relentless in their cause

To break me?

Restrain me?

The injustice of it all.”

The poem Mighty Heart brings tears to your eyes with its words of courage and suffering. Once extraordinary verse is:

“Fear shall not cage nor define us

Here we stand on vast, shaky ground

So, let’s never doubt our courage

Dare this voyage …. both noble and proud.”

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt their heart racing at the sign of another being and enjoys tributes to the nobility and greatness of the human spirit.

Purchase The Heart’s Lullaby

Three books for children by Victoria Zigler

Home Squeak Home

When Matthew’s mother takes him to the pet store to choose a pet he ends up leaving with two gerbils. The pet store assistance had told his mother that gerbils are very sociable animals and need company, so they had bought two. How wonderful.

Sooty and Scamp are a little sad to be leaving their two brothers, but they are excited to have a new, permanent home. What a home it turns out to be, so different from their old and very plain cage in the pet store.

Home Squeak Home is a lovely story for young children with a lovely subtle message about coping with change and a new environment.

A very Degu Christmas

This book was quite short, only 15 pages. It is a sweet story for children about the Degu’s first experience of Christmas. They are very interested in the coming of Santa Paws, who will bring them nibbles but for whom they must leave nibbles in return. The Degu’s make a plan to wait up and see this mysterious Santa Paws.

The Great Degu Round-Up

This is a sweet tale of a new experience for the degus when their cage is cleaned. Their cage is a place of safety and enjoyment for the degus and is where they play, eat and are entertained by their human caretakers. When they are temporarily transferred into the bathtub it is a time of anxiety for the degus who are unable to climb the slippery sides. Things get even worse when Jacob manages to launch himself onto the rim of the bath and gets lost in the forest of bottles and soups that surround it. What will happen next and will the degus ever get back to their clean and comfortable cage?

Find Victoria Zigler here:


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Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town


70 thoughts on “I read a little more … Annika Perry, Natalie Ducey and Victoria Zigler

  1. Robbie, thank you so much for your wonderful review of my book. I’m honoured! I’m so glad you enjoyed the stories and choose to share some here…that always gives the prospective reader a sense of the book. I’m so happy you felt some stories could be continued and I must admit to feeling the same and I might return to them at a later stage. The same applies to certain characters who are especially dear to me and I missed once I finished writing the stories.

    Wow! That is a huge amount of reading over the holidays and it is a wonderful treat – for you and for us as you so kindly share your thoughts about the books. I’ve got Natalie’s book on my kindle and your review here has reminded me I really want to read this soon.

    Wishing you a lovely day, Robbie and thank you again. Hugsxxxx

    Liked by 4 people

  2. You certainly managed to get a lot of reading in, Robbie! I’ve enjoyed both Annika’s collection of short stories and Natalie’s poetry volume. And it sounds like Victoria Zigler’s books are wonderful books for children. Congrats to all the authors for these reviews.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think I must read quite fast, Diana. The children’s books I always read with Mike and Greg sometimes listens in. We listen to audio books while we do artworks and baking. The family was there, I promise. I hosted 21 for lunch on Christmas day.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I am impressed in more ways than one Robbie.. One for the amount of reading you managed to get done and two for those amazing reviews.. Thank you Robbie.. I know how excited Annika is with her new publications so she will be thrilled to pieces with your review…
    Love and Hugs xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sue, I know….I’m not quite sure how Robbie managed either…a fantastic feat and yes, a treat and joy for me to read this wonderful review, written with such thought and care. Oh yes, I was so excited to see it here and am still flying high..reckon I have to land soon! Hugs xx

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You are a fast reader Robbie and a great reviewer. I read every day but Christmas involves more social life than usual.
    I read Annika’s “Storyteller Speaks” and was enthralled. I have a few favourites but there wasn’t one that didn’t fill me with joy or deep thoughtfulness.
    Will be more productive both in reading and writing now.
    Thank you

    Liked by 3 people

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