#Bookreview – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet by Sally Cronin

What Amazon says

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.

The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.

Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.

My review

Sally Cronin has a sharp eye for the joys, miseries, hopes, aspirations, of humanity, as well as their weaknesses and she wraps these observations up into stories that touch the full spectrum of the reader’s emotions.

Who would not understand the frustration of a shopper who, having agreed to a healthy eating programme but fallen off the wagon, is thwarted in her attempts to purchase longed for goodies by an Artificial Intelligence purchasing system that forces shoppers to stick to their confirmed eating programme and disallows the purchase of said goodies. You can read about this shopper’s reaction in The Weekly Shopping.

The author reveals the delight of finding unexpected and previously unknown family connections through a sophisticated and interconnected DNA AI tracking system. Read DNA to find out more.

The Wedding Day was one of my favourite stories and explored the dual concepts of a spirit trapped on earth and seeking closure and a daughter who has grown up fatherless and knows very little about his life. A delightfully satisfying read.

The Nanny is a beautiful tale about the strong attachment that exists between a person and man’s best friend and this tale is contrasted by an emotion rendition of a couple’s journey to acceptance and healing following the death of their baby, in utero.

The final story I will mention in this review is Friday Night which explores the themes of disappointment in love and finding the right person in one exciting and emotional story.

There are other beautiful stories and various lovely poems in this collection which I shall leave readers to discover for themselves. A truly beautiful collection.

Purchase Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet by Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another thirteen books since then on health and also fiction, including five collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse and speculative short stories titled Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

My blog is https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com
And for more information on my books listed here at Amazon please visit
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

#Bookreview – BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE (Brody Cody Series Book 2) by Toni Pike

Today, I am delighted to welcome author, Toni Pike, to Robbie’s Inspiration to introduce us to the second book in her Brody Cody Series of books for children.

Welcome Toni

Thank you so much, Robbie, for inviting me to write about my new book. I’m always amazed at how you manage to combine so many creative pursuits including your writing, so it’s a real honour to be here. I found it more difficult to write during the pandemic, and that gave me a lot of sympathy for children around the world and all the difficulties they’ve experienced over the last year. I think there’s nothing more important than teaching children to become enthusiastic readers, because It helps them in every aspect of their lives.

Brody Cody and the Haunted Vacation House has just been released, and it’s the second book in the Brody Cody Series. The first book, Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space, was my first foray into children’s chapter books. I had so much fun writing it, that I couldn’t wait to continue Brody’s story with a second book. In his new adventure, Brody is surprised to learn that he’s going to have a little brother or sister. When his parents take his friends with them on a trip to the Blue Mountains, it turns out to be much less relaxing than they expected. They stay in a lovely old house – but Brody and his friends begin to suspect that the house is haunted. I’m also pleased to introduce young readers to the Blue Mountains – an area of breathtaking scenery just outside Sydney.

My review of BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE (Brody Cody Series Book 2)

What Amazon says

Brody Cody loves his new stepmother but is surprised to hear that she is expecting a baby. To celebrate, his parents take Brody and his friends away for a week to a very spooky house in the Blue Mountains, owned by the elderly and even spookier Mr Sludge.

Very strange things start to happen, and the friends soon become convinced that the house is haunted. They love scary stories and know all about ghosts, but will they be able to solve the mystery?

A hilarious adventure for children aged 6-9.

Book 2 in The Brody Cody Series.

It would be best to read the series in order. Book 1 is BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE.

My review

I enjoyed the first Brody Cody story and when I saw this author had released another book in this entertaining series for middle school children, I was enthusiastic to read it.

Brody has adjusted to having a stepmother and is enjoying the benefits of having a mother who cooks delicious and healthy meals and ensures he gets his homework done timeously, when his parents drop a new bomb on him. He’s going to become an older brother. Brody’s friends have siblings but he is uncertain he is up to the task. Sharing his home and the attention of his parents with a rival is also uncertain territory for young Brody. He is unsure about the impending new arrival to say the least.

Realising that Brody is feeling a bit uncertain, his parents go out of his way to do some fun and entertaining things with Brody and his friends. The group of youngsters go to a Creepy Terror Zone and enjoy visiting a haunted house and some other ‘ghostly rides’.

Next, his parents take him and his best friends on a vacation to the Blue Mountains. The guest house they stay in was very well priced and it doesn’t take long for the kids to discover why. Something is not right at Wysludge Manor and the kids think it is haunted. Brody and his friends set about unraveling the mystery and Brody also learns the contribution an older brother can make to protecting his family.

Younger readers will enjoy this engaging story about Brody and his friends and embrace the challenges of the kids trying to solve the riddle of the haunted vacation house. They will also find the humour entertaining and understandable.

I would recommend this book to young readers who will enjoy and entertaining and humorous story which is well written in simple and readily understandable language.

Purchase BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE (Brody Cody Series Book 2)

Amazon US

About Toni Pike

Toni Pike

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing exciting thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.

The Brody Cody Series is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE and BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

To find out more, her website is tonipike.com.

Coming soon – Further Selected Poems by Kevin Morris

Talented poet, Kevin Morris, has a new poetry book, Further Selected Poems, coming out in March 2021. I am delighted to welcome him to Robbie’s Inspiration to share a poem from this new collection.

Flowers in my mum’s garden

Flowers in my mum’s garden

Bring to mind

A former time

When my grandfather grew roses.

I remember the scent

Of roses in his garden.

And my attempt

To make perfume.

In youth

Few engage with age.

And the truth

That roses,

Are gone so soon.

(“Flowers in My Mum’s Garden” appears in Kevin’s Further Selected Poems, which will be published in March 2021). 

About Kevin Morris

Kevin Morris was born in the city of Liverpool on 6 January 1969.

Having obtained a BA (joint honours) in history and politics, and a MA in political theory, Kevin moved to London where he now lives and works.

Being visually impaired, Kevin uses Job Access with Speech (JAWS) software, which converts text into speech and braille enabling him to use a Windows Laptop. 

Kevin blogs at https://kmorrispoet.com/.

He also produces a monthly author newsletter, https://mailchi.mp/426d57064ebd/sign-up-to-my-newsletter.

In 2019, Kevin published his Selected Poems, which are available in paperback and ebook, and can be found here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WW8WXPP/.

Kevin’s  Further Selected Poems will be published in March 2021.     

Some other books by Kevin Morris

The Selected Poems of K Morris by [K Morris]

The Selected Poems of K Morris

My review of The Selected Poems of K Morris

This beautiful collection of poems by K Morris features some of his best work. The book is divided into four sections, namely, Time and Mortality, Nature, Love and Sensuality and Progress and Human Nature. Kevin’s poetry reflects his ability to see deep into the human soul and each poem speaks to an aspect of human nature or human life such as sexuality, death, aging and even everyday things such as going for a walk, and highlights its uniqueness and beauty, while overlaying it with a tinge of nostalgia and sadness for a life that is passing and must eventually end.

I always find Kevin’s poems to be beautifully written but slightly disturbing and his powerful words stay with me for some time after I have finished reading them.

One of my favourite extracts from the Time and Mortality section is from a poem entitled Time:
“The reaper moves
In time with the pendulum.
No rush
Or fuss;
He has plenty of time.”
These words give me goosebumps every time I read them.

Another favourite extract from the section entitled Progress and Human Nature is from a poem called Legacy (A Poem on the Late Enoch Powell)
“An intelligent man
Frequently can
Do more harm
Than a stupid one,
For he is possessed of charm
And learning too.
True, he has gone;
But the bitterness lives on.”

My review of The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems

The Writer's Pen and Other Poems by [K. Morris]

My review of My Old Clock I Wind: and Other Poems

My Old Clock I Wind: and Other Poems by [K.  Morris]

#Blogtour – The Click of a Pebble by Barbara Spencer Day 3

Today I am delighted to welcome talented author, Barbara Spencer, to Robbie’s Inspiration for Day 3 of her The Click of a Pebble book tour hosted by WordCrafter Blog Tours.

You can find Day 1 here:  https://writingtoberead.com/2021/02/22/welcome-to-wordcrafters-the-click-of-a-pebble-book-blog-tour/

You can find Day 2 here: https://pattysworlds.com/2021/02/23/wordcrafters-the-click-of-a-pebble-book-blog-tour-writing-to-be-read-day-two/

The Series: Children of Zeus

‘Where Historical Fiction and Fantasy Collide’

My book here on Amazon 

Click of a Pebble at Amazon

After a decade or more writing for children and young adults, I pretty much know my way around a children’s book. A couple of years ago, deciding I need a new challenge, I turned my attention to writing magical realism for adults.

But what is magical realism and how does it differ from fantasy? I think of fantasy as being set in a mythological world in which there are rules but maybe not the rules we subscribe to in our humdrum human world. Magical realism takes place in our world and follows its rules, except occasionally those rules are skewed.

Which is so exciting.

I had already found a story, plotted it and written the introduction. And yes, I admit, I’m a plotter not a pantser, using tables and graphs, blurbs and a storyline.

The title was never in doubt: The Year the Swans Came (See my blog – why I wrote Swans) only the names of the characters. 

I had called my main character: Yöst. But when I completed the first draft, I realised the name was wrong. It didn’t fit. The character stalking his way through the story and dominating its action wasn’t Yöst – it was far too gentle a name. And so Xander was born, except the spelling very soon mutated into Zande. I first submitted this novel to agents in 2013. Four in all, including Tor Macmillan. They all asked to read the full manuscript but sadly the book fell at the final hurdle. The UK agent Felicity Bryan told me I needed to write a prequel to explain the magical side of the novel. So that is what I decided to do – write the prequel. And having attended a lecture about ‘book titles’, when it was suggested that titles should come from the first page or pages of your novel – The Click of a Pebble was born. 

With a storyline so very different from anything I have attempted before, I am still pinching myself that it came from my pen. It starts with a bang and ends with one too.  Certainly in its hero, Yöst, I have drawn yet another memorable character. And he is so very human, it is quite a conundrum to discover he isn’t totally human. 

‘You must promise never to speak out about your heritage,’ his grandmother said, her old voice fearful and faint, ‘because people fear anything different.’

‘Fear us!’ Yöst laughed in protest. ‘We are too few to fear.’

‘It makes no difference. You are carinatae, descendants of Zeus, magical creatures …’

Persecuted throughout the centuries for their ability to shape-shift into swans and heavenly beings, three children, Yöst, Zande and a little girl, Tatania, are the sole survivors of the latest purge. Unaware of their real nature, Ramon, a gypsy farmer offers shelter on his farm in return for work. Striking up a close friendship with Rico, the only son in a house full of girls, it is Rico who helps Yöst through the first difficult year. As their relationship strengthens and deepens, Yöst begins to think of staying and making his life there as a farmer … forgetting that as carinatae, his date with destiny is approaching.

Naturally … the writing of Click (as I call it) has solved nothing. 100,000 words and three characters later, maybe I had explained the magical slant that runs through The Year the Swans Came but in so doing, I had succeeded in introducing a completely new story line with a raft of new characters, each one with a story to tell. This is the first review:

Joscelyn S Reviewer on Net Gallery. A great coming of age fantasy story. I really enjoyed seeing these young characters struggle to survive in the aftermath of the massacre that leaves them only each other to depend on. Their journey drew me in and had me reading this entire book in one sitting, I’m looking forward to reading more books set in this fascinating world.

And so I began Book 2: An Ocean of White Wings, hoping to settle the matter once and for all.

Has it?     No. It has taken a third book, The Drumming of Heels, which will be published at the end of February, to bring the series to an official close and explain what happens to all three characters: Yöst, Zande and Tatania.

Is that it? Really? You tell me that after The Drumming of Heels, we have to close the book on these characters who we know and love?

Hm! Wait and see!

Amazon.com: Click of a Pebble on Amazon   

Amazon.co.uk: My book here on amazon

About Barbara Spencer

In 1967, considering herself to be destined for a life of mediocrity, Barbara Spencer hi-tailed it to the West Indies to watch cricket, the precursor to a highly colourful career spanning three continents, in which she was caught up in riots, wars, and choosing Miss World. No stranger to schools and book-signings at Waterstones, after twelve years writing adventure stories for children and thrillers for young adults, Barbara began writing historical fantasy for an adult audience. Her first novel The Year the Swans Came was published in 2018.

www.barbaraspencer.co.uk
Connect with me on:
Twitter: @BarbaraSpencerO
Facebook: facebook.com/BarbaraSpencerAuthor and Facebook.com/BarbaraSpencerOBlog spot: barbaraspencerauthor.blogspot.com

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @pat_garcia @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

RWISA Revolution Tour Blurb

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite to membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

The goal, the purpose, the contribution and Covid-19 by Pat Garcia

Among the books that I have placed in collection boxes on my iPad, Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes is sitting in my favorite collection box. I read it for the first time in the print version of my first year at University.  It impacted my belief system, turned my way of thinking upside down, and challenged me to get my act together and do what I had been called to do.

Later, the song  To Dream The Impossible Dream that is so widely well-known from the musical Man of La Mancha, based on the Don Quixote, had me believing that I could take my experiences and reach what I saw them as the impossible star after I had failed at that particular moment in my studies and had been put on academic suspension for a year after my sophomore year.

During the year of my expulsion, Don Quixote worked on my imagination. I saw windmills in the form of words pouring into stories even though I had entered the dark night of the soul––the unknowing of not knowing where I was headed.  I got a job working for Gracewood State School and Hospital for the mentally and physically disabled. The children at Gracewood awoke that lively, precocious, impish, and headstrong child I had buried deep within me. Today, that child in me is still living. A year later, after my academic suspension, I returned to the University and completed my first college degree with honors.

My father asked me, after I had graduated, what took me so long? I never answered him because I didn’t know then, and I still don’t know.

I thought of this incident when RWISA extended to me an invitation to become a fellow member among such an elite group of writers.

My goal has always been to be the very best writer that I can be. To write all the books, I am carrying within me and leave behind a legacy for others brought up in environments like mine. To give them the courage to step out there and try to reach his or her impossible dream. 

This is a long-term goal. It ends when I die. My purpose will be fulfilled, and the legacy must stand on its own. The plan I have keeps me faithful to myself. It can’t be broken down into one year, five years, or even ten years. It is active until I expire.

The long-term goal influences my daily interactions with people. Having been blessed to write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and sing, I can help others. I’m not looking to get rich, but I want to be able to help children and women in war-torn regions. I wish I could sponsor them all, but that is probably unrealistic. So, I do what I can and support as many as I can. The sponsorships will grow as I grow.

As COVID19 started last year, the organization that I sponsor through expected me to stop the donations until COVID19 has passed over. I didn’t think that was the best solution and continued my sponsoring.  Each month I get a kick out of knowing that I am making a difference even though it is small.

Another important thing for me is getting people to open their eyes to see what is real and not accurate. Especially in these times, we need to recognize in our hearts that the world is not black and white. It is multi-colored, and it was created that way. This is the generator behind my purpose. I write Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Women’s Fiction with a tad bit of fantasy. My characters are flawed, hurt, sometimes disillusioned, but they always find the connection to love and acceptance. They learn to cope with their idiosyncrasies and the idiosyncrasies of others without trying to change people.

Through COVID19, my characters are teaching me lessons that I am storing up for new books.

As my two friends from my allegory, The Child and The Prophet, will tell you in their own words below.

The Child lay on the lily pad singing a song as the ocean waves quietly moved her further on her destination. She’d forgotten how long she had been trying to get to the white house where her car was park.

“Prophet?” she called out to the figure that had suddenly reappeared again. He was preparing her a delicious seaweed lunch.

“Yes, Child?”

“How long now?”

The Prophet glanced up at the sky.  Dark, blue, the cumulus clouds were moving quickly above them. “Why do you want to know that, Child? Any particular reason?”

The Child’ frowned. “I just think it’s taking a mighty long time.”

The Prophet snorted. “Don’t worry, Child, you’ll make it. That’s undoubtable.”

“Prophet?”

“Yes, Child.”

“What does undoubtable mean?”

“That’s something you’ll find out later.”

Amazon US

RWISA Revolution Blog Tour

RWISA Pat Garcia Page