Marriage Unarranged my review.

What a morning I am having! I am actually in bed feeling rough and tired because as I said on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Hubby and I have got the nasty Covid!

But I wanted to republish my review of Ritu Bhathal’s Marriage Unarranged. Well so far I messed with my Goodreads and Amazon account trying to find it and now I feel stressed out! There is no point in worrying is there. So I am going to write another review from memory, after all I loved this book so much that I have read it twice and I have the paperback as well as the book on my Kindle. So before I fall asleep again or mess anything else up here we go!

News first!

Ritu has now signed with Spellbound Books and will be writing at least two more books in what Spellbound Books are calling The Rishtay Series, with book two coming out in June 2023! Rishtay means relationships, which covers both romantic and familial relationships that are at the heart of this whole series.

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Marriage Unarranged is like diving into another culture and time. Set at the beginning of this Millennium we are totally transported into Aashi’s world. Family, culture, friends, bad reactions from Ravi’s family and travel…not only travel to India but Aashi’s journey to maturity.

As the story unfolds we see what a cad Aashi’s fiance Ravi is…how he is a liar and a cheat. Luckily for Aashi her family and her best friend Kiran are there to catch her as she falls.

Now a trip was planed to India with her mother to buy wedding Sarees and the like, that is changed to a holiday for Aashi, her two lovely brothers and Kiran. A trip of discovery for everyone in the group. This is where the book turned into a film inside my head, a Bollywood film. I was transported by the sights, sounds, history and smells of India. We travel on planes, trains and by foot, visit Markets, temples and even business places with Sunny, Aashi’s eldest brother.

Plus a chance encounter with a handsome stranger on the plane and a friendship made bodes well for all. I am not going to tell you any more because you need to read for yourselves, this is a book definitely do not to miss.

******

© willowdot21 : Rutu at the second Bloggers Bash.

Ritu can be found at :

Twitter: @RituBhathal

Facebook

Author Blog

Blog: But I Smile Anyway.

Ritu’s Amazon page

Lets just throw in a little East meets West music.

Ritu’s Book Release and Chickpea Curry Lit Series.

Today I am delighted to have the one and only Ritu Bhathal here to discuss her book Marriage Unarranged. Where it’s going and how it has grown.

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Firstly welcome Ritu it’s so good to see you again. I am always so excited to have you visit!  Now tell me how do you feel about tackling some taboo subjects in this book?  The broken engagement, the shattering of family honour and the fact that your girl is so definitely in the right and saw the light in time.

Thank you for the lovely welcome, Willow, it is good to be back here! You know, I never intended to be a writer who writes about more serious issues, but as this story took hold, I realised that I could use this book as a platform for bringing some of these taboo subjects into the public eye, but without being overly serious. I don’t mean to gloss over them, but to highlight them in a manner that is easily accessible for all.

I get that Ritu and I think you have found that fine line to walk. Would you like chai or coffee and of course some cake… Hubby has even made some scones and we have clotted cream and jam. 

I’d never turn down a cuppa, Willow, after all, I am Indian,where chai is one of the most popular beverages, born in Britain, where we all love a quintessential cuppa, with connection to Kenya which is also a tea-growing country! And scones? Yes please… please let’s not argue over which comes first, the jam or the cream… it all goes down the same way!

Lol yes indeed it does, we don’t need to argue the cream and jam…no more than we would about whether the toilet roll is hung on the holder to come from above or below. Now you have Aashi’s elder brother who I feel has something he is hiding. Do you think you could discuss this with us? 

Dear Sunny, the gentle, but protective older brother of my main character, Aashi will actually be the focal character in book two. Again, something which showed a hint of colour during, and at the end of Marriage Unarranged is something I felt would be another taboo subject to tackle. I have sown the seeds about him questioning his sexuality… Book two will reveal all! Shhh!

Right my lips are sealed! More tea, another scone Ritu?

You are spoiling me, Willow! I’d better leave another scone, but I may take one home with me. Another cuppa would be perfect!

Yes of course, do take a few scones with you they are not bad are they?

So many big issues to address I think you are very brave. This one, stand-alone book has just taken on wings, with so many twists and turns, so many surprises! Sis…where do you see everyone going next. I for one can’t wait.

Thank you, Sis! Yes, I never, for one minute, thought that my initial venture into writing a novel would result in a series, but if I am honest with you, my characters speak to me, rather loudly, and when I finished, there were other secondary characters who wanted their story told… as well as readers who wanted to know more, so that is why the second in the series will focus on Sunny, and the third will be based on Bali, Aashi’s other brother… and I have another meaty storyline for that one too, based on some personal experience, but it’s not my story, it’s theirs! 

There could even be spin-offs or novellas, but we have to wait and see.. let me get book two written, first!

Oh! This mystery man: he is so perfect but he has baggage too. I love that you have tackled so much that is taboo. You have bought it to the front and fore and I love that. 

We all have baggage, don’t we, Sis? Aashi’s ex-fiance is an example of the way some people view their sons, and how he can do no wrong, even though he clearly has. Her new love interest, Arjun, is, in my eyes, perfectly imperfect! Again, his ‘flaw’, though we shouldn’t view it as such, is something that many in our community shun, so why not add it to the whole Taboo spice mix I have going on!

But, I must say one thing. It is important to remember that this story is set in 2000, so there are some aspects that may not be relevant to the thinking of today’s youth. Think of it as a Modern, Historical, Desi Story – Chickpea Curry Lit at its finest!

I can do that, yes I can. Hey, shall we open a bottle of wine and we can toast your future 💜💜

Why, that sounds delightful, Sis! Thank you, so much for inviting me over! Cheers!

Release News about Ritu Bhathal’s Marriage Unarranged.

The new rerelease of Marriage Unarranged, rerelease on 6/6/22.

It will now officially be part of a series, The Rishtay Series with book two coming out in June 2023! Rishtay means relationships, which covers both romantic and familial relationships that are at the heart of this whole series.

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The blurb

It all s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶e̶d̶ ended with that box…

The year 2000 and Aashi’s life was all set.
New Millennium ,exciting beginnings, new life.
Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets?
A stranger who’s hiding something…

Coming Summer 2023 , book 2 in The Rishtay Series

About the author

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a side line to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Not only is Ritu a famous author she is a lovely friend of mine 💜.

© willowdot21: Here we are with another famous author Marjorie Mallon.

Jemima Pett’s Latest Release Zanzibar’s Rings.

Today I have the pleasure of the company of author Jemima Pett. Jemima has joined me today to talk about her new book: Zanzibar’s Rings (Book 3 in the Viridian System series).

Firstly let’s find out about the author. Jemima has been an independent author for over ten years, with twenty titles published, and plenty more in the notebook waiting to be written. 

Jemima Pett

Jemima Pett

Jemima reckons she has read all of the science fiction in her local library, and most enjoys alternative universes, time travel, consequences of social change and unusual ideas surrounding alien species.  Her favourite authors include Anne McCaffrey, Fritz Lieber, Poul Anderson,  Becky Chambers, Matt Haig, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Clare O’Beara, Jennifer Ellis…  She also loves series – once involved with characters she loves to read their continuing adventures.

She has degrees or diplomas in maths, earth sciences and environmental technology and studied with the Unthank School of Writing while she lived in Norfolk. She now lives in Hampshire, where she enjoys rewilding her garden, raising organically grown vegetables, and birdwatching.

Tell me Jemima with all this going on in your life how do you find time to write ?

In truth, I have no idea. I think when I’m writing, everything except the guinea pigs gets left behind. It helps that I’m not in full-time employment any more–and in fact I class writing as employment, so that makes it easy to prioritise it as ‘work’. But I do tend to write in blocks, when I can dedicate my time to it.

© Jemima Pett.

*****
Let’s hear about the story from Jemima.

A galactic crisis: the entire comms system destroyed. No waypoints, no navigation aids, no database access… and how will spaceships in flight get home–or to any destination? Dolores is stuck in warp with a very dangerous passenger, Pete gets his shuttle back home on manual. But why does anything in close contact with pure orichalcum fix itself? Just flying through Zanzibar’s Rings solves the problem–as the Federation’s Fighters find, as they descend on the Viridian System to take possession of the planets.
This third book in the series wraps up the adventure that started with The Perihelix and continued with Curved Space to Corsair. It is a self-contained story with references to previous events, but no prior knowledge is required.

This sounds sounds so exciting Jemima where did you get the idea for this saga.

It came a little at a time. Pete and the Swede arrived in my head pretty much as full-blown characters, everyone else snuck in later. I did several short stories featuring them before I decided to make them in to a series, and after that, as with my other work, they tend to take control of my pen and make me write what they want.

Tell us Jemima when you develop your story which comes first the characters or the plot.

Characters. It helps if I can find a title to write to, as well. I suspect that comes from most of my writing starting from flash fiction prompts. These days I set out a four line plot: situation – problem – nasty twist – possible solution. It helps me when I wander off in the wrong direction (or when the characters do!)

Did you write stories as child Jemima and were they science fiction then ?

My first story was environmental! The Enchanted Stream (I found it the other day and realised I’d been giving it the wrong title) is simply the story of a stream’s journey to the sea. If I wrote anything else until I went to college it was probably adventure or horses, but I remember maps and drawings, not words. The first thing I wrote while I was at collage was so scorned by a person I thought was a good friend, I stopped writing completely.

Oh! Jemima that’s so sad but at least you overcome the bite of their harsh words, well done you.

********

I first met Jemima at Blogger’s Bash l believe it was 2017/2018 and she is such a lovely person. Here is a photo I took at the 2018 Bash.

Jemima Pett © willowdot21 2018

Thank you for joining me today Jemima it was a pleasure to have you here, do  you fancy a cuppa and some cake? 

Yes please – and I was looking through my Bloggers Bash photos the other day, looking to find one of Mary. I saw several of you! I’m glad I recognised you in them – I can’t put names to most people. Looking forward to another Bloggers Bash now the avirus (as my gps call it) is leaving us in peace (hopefully).

That’s a great thought to finish on Jemima, hopefully better times to come and success with the books.

Social media links:Visit Jemima’s website at jemimapett.com or connect with her at BookBub,TwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram and Pinterest.


ebook links (pre-order and launch offer $2.99 until late March)Amazon ~~~ Apple iTunes ~~~ B&N (Nook) ~~~ Kobo ~~~ Smashwords
Good Luck with the Book Jemima ! And thank you for visiting me .

News Of Marje’s Progress

Blog tour Bloodstone

I’m pleased to announce that my YA fantasy is on tour with Henry Roi PR from 24th to 27th November.

If you are interested in joining the tour the link is below:

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Series – Book 1)

By M.J. Mallon

November 24 – 27

  • Purchase linkhttps://bookgoodies.com/a/B097QZBKNY
  • Genre:  YA Fantasy/ Paranormal
  • Print length: 234 Pages
  • Age range: YA
  • Formats available for the Tour: pdf, mobi and epub [sorry, no paperbacks]
  • Trigger Warning: A dark fantasy with sensitive mention of a character’s previous self-harm, mental health issues and alluding to the potential dangers of sexual attraction with regard to vulnerable teenage girls. 

About Bloodstone

I didn’t think my life could get weirder, but I was wrong…

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery

full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

The 2nd book in the series, Golden Healer – The Curse of Time Book 2, is coming soon.

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of writing began inspired by their vivid storytelling. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery, heart-warming smile to greet her.

MJ’s writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.  he has worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and later she wrote a spin off poetry collection, Lockdown Innit.

She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic,) where she celebrates the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

MJ’s motto is…

To always do what you Love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and

and inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked against you like black hearted shadows.

Her favourite genre to write is

Fantasy/magical realism because life would be dull unless it is sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Pagehttps://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

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

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon

#ABRSC – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

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

Spiritual Sisters: https://www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters.

YEA! Marje go! 💜💜💜💜

Midnight Haiku,my review.

© SueVincent.

My copy of this beautiful book from Sue Vincent late yesterday afternoon. I have read it, I simply couldn’t put it down . I am now re-reading it in-between housework and writing. Here is my review.

A Year In Contemplation Midnight Haiku. This is much more than a book it is a becon of light and wisdom. I read it in one sitting and found it delightful. Every Haiku or set of Haiku has a beautiful accompanying photo.
I am re-reading now, in-between cooking and cleaning and writing. Each turn of the page teaches me a little more. A beautiful book from a beautiful person.

You can buy A Year In Contemplation . Midnight Haiku. Here I definitely recommend it it a rare treat. And it’s top of the pops.

Available in Paperback and for Kindle via Amazon.ukAmazon .com and worldwide.

Great News on Marjorie Mallons New Book : Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity

Marjorie Mallon’s latest book Lockdown Innit.

© Marjorie Mallon.

I am so excited to let you all know that the new poetry collection from Marje is on pre-order from 26th February: Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity by M.J. Mallon

About the collection

Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!

Head over to buy the book on pre-order: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Also by M.J. Mallon.

All about Marje in her own words.

© Marjorie Mallon

I am an author who has been blogging for many moons: M.J. Mallon. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 Book Reviews

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters have almost flown the nest, but often return with a cheery smile to greet me.

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Whats your day job when not in Lockdown

During the day, I work in an international sixth form with students from around the world. I’m the meet and greet lady who welcomes them to their new college and issues them with late slips when they don’t get to their lessons on time!

So Marje what’s your style of writing

I write YA fantasy, paranormal, horror/supernatural short stories, flash fiction and short form poetry. More recently, I have produced and compiled an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown. Following on from this, in February 2021 I will be releasing Lockdown Innit, poems about absurdity which will be available in kindle and shortly after release in paperback.  

I’ve been blogging for many moons at my blog home Kyrosmagica, which means Crystal Magic. From time to time I write articles celebrating the spiritual realm, inspiration and my love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

Well Marje I think you have a much more exotic life than me even now in lockdown!

Preorder Buying Links Lockdown Innit Releases February 26th

Kindle Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08VW81Q53/

Kindle Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VW81Q53/

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56949934-lockdown-innit

Universal link for kindle: https://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit.

Haven’t you written another book about Lockdown Marje.

Yes willow, Lockdown Innit is the second book that I have released during this time period

The first, This Is Lockdown released in kindle in July 2020. This Is Lockdown is a compilation and anthology of my diaries, poetry, flash fiction and 28 wonderful contributions from international authors, bloggers and creatives sharing their thoughts, poetry, and flash fiction during covid19. Many old friends contributed to the anthology and I discovered many new authors, and creatives via compiling this anthology.

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS

Authors Website:https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Pagehttps://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon 

#ABRSC – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

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

BOOK LINKS 

Kyrosmagica Publishing

YA Fantasy: The Curse of Time Book1 Bloodstone

https://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

Poetry, Prose and Photography: Mr. Sagittarius

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

An anthology: This Is Lockdown  

Kindle: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Paperback: mybook.to/Thisislockdownpb

Short Stories in Anthologies:

Bestselling horror compilations

Nightmareland compiled by Dan Alatorre

“Scrabble Boy” (Short Story)

Spellbound compiled by Dan Alatorre

“The Twisted Sisters” (Short Story)

Wings & Fire compiled by Dan Alatorre .

Well Marje I really have loved having you here, socially distanced of course. Shall we have a

Before you go.

An interview with Author, Jane Dougherty.

Today I am very excited to have the very talented Jane Dougherty to visit and discuss her latest book. This is a new adventure for Jane as this is a poetry book.

Hello, Willow. Thank you for inviting me to talk about my very first book of poems. 

Hi Jane it’s great to have you here do sit down and have a cup of tea, tell me what made you decide to write a book of poems about the elements

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I write a lot of poems, every day, and although I post many of them, there are still lots left. Some of them I have been keeping because I think they deserve a bit more than to be just one blog post among thousands. A themed chapbook seemed like a good idea. Every time I do some physical sorting, weeding or clearing out, I hurt my back, but sorting poems is a relatively safe activity. When I looked through the scores of poems in the homeless folder, they all seemed to fall into a few main themes, and the first theme I tackled was water. 

That makes a lot of sense Jane, I am all for saving my back too. When did you first start writing and was there a specific reason.

I went to a very special primary school—big shout out for Saint Patrick’s in Birstall—with a visionary head teacher. It was founded by Irish immigrants who wanted their children to succeed through education, and the nun who headed the school through the 1960s and 70s until she left to run a war orphanage in Sarajevo, believed in education, not just the three Rs. We learned about the natural world, about physics and how things work, we had an orchestra, learned calligraphy, meteorology, how to wire plugs and make cheese. And we were encouraged in all kinds of creative activity, all kinds of art, and writing; we all wrote poetry from the age of nine or so. I had an ideal environment for developing a taste for creativity and taking it seriously. Having a father who was a poet and sculptor and mother who was an artist and art teacher certainly helped too.

Your school and teachers sound very progressive and you obviously had a varied education. Would you like another cup of tea.

Tell me Jane who most influences your work.

It probably sounds strange, but there aren’t too many poets whose work I read and reread with boundless admiration. There are individual poems I love, but not many whole bodies of work and none remotely contemporary. Yeats is the poet I love the most and whose words, even when I don’t get all the mystical references, inspire and uplift. Francis Ledwidge too is a favourite and John Masefield, Walter de la Mare. All rather old-fashioned sounding now, in their clarity and lack of self-analysis. The poems point outwards rather than inwards, showing us the world as it is all around us, not how it seems at the back of a troubled head. 

You mention your parents  in the dedication of your book, were they influencal and supportive to your writing.

Both my parents died when I was still in the throes of having babies and bringing up young children. I hadn’t started to write seriously, then, but as I said earlier, they were both artistic and expected that their children would be too. I know they would be proud that I have finally got around to it.

Tell me Jane have childhood memories influenced you much.

I think that a happy childhood has been fundamental to making me what I am. It obviously wasn’t happy every single minute, and there are memories that still make me anxious. Tuesday, for example, will always be music lesson day, when I’d leave school early and walk up the hill to the music teacher’s house with fear oozing from every pore. But it was a country childhood, on farmland at the edge of a small town, and we four children spent most of our time poking about in woodland and along the banks of streams, listening and learning. Although I have enjoyed some of my time living in cities, I have always hankered after trees. Three years ago, we moved from the centre of Bordeaux to the countryside, with a large chunk of land of our own. Too much, really, but sharing a place with trees wildflowers, animal and birdlife, has been a revelation. Who knew there was so much life going on?

Now tell me Jane which do you prefer to write poetry or prose.

I write poetry for pleasure. It’s something that I do in-between doing other things. Often an image will strike me and I jot it down to find that it’s already working itself up into a poem. Poems are short and they can be turned out in hundreds of different ways. I can work with an idea or an image for half an hour and get something that pleases me. A novel is different. If writing a poem is like sketching, or shaping something in clay, a novel is like hacking at a slab of wood or stone. The frame of the story might be tenuous, the characters vague, and all I have to go on might be an opening phrase or an idea from a legend or myth, but it’s there. The hard work is in revealing the story trapped inside and maintaining enough interest in it, because it’s a long job. The two approaches probably complement one another; I write poetic prose and often write stories into poems.

Thanks a lot, Willow, for the opportunity to give some background to what I do and why. 

thicker than water

© mjdougherty

Book details

Link co.uk https://tinyurl.com/y2et7dcr
Link .com https://tinyurl.com/y5ueldrq
Link Australia https://tinyurl.com/yykla7nm

Link Canada https://tinyurl.com/yxu5azlk
Link India https://tinyurl.com/yy6qvle5

https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

@MJDougherty33 

©mjdougherty

Jane’s Bio, so you know.

Jane Dougherty has wandered a bit from her Irish origins but still feels close to her roots, especially in the bit of green field where she now lives in southwest France. She writes incessantly, and hopes to continue as long as the ideas keep coming, and the scene beyond the window demands that she take notice.

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I have read Jane’s book, thicker than water. It is full of beautiful poetry. It’s a joy to dip into but I read it from cover to cover unable to stop. I can highly recommend it. Here is my favourite poem .

No Light

All is death and the ache
in the breast where the heart is
wave-wrought in cold seas
or on grey pavement, it whispers
in the spray of salt and blood,

There will be no moon this night
no petals on the rose

🌹© mjdougherty

Thank you for visiting Jane it really was a pleasure to have chance to chat.

Petals of the Rose ~ A New Book.

Petals of the Rose

Guided Journeys

Sue Vincent

A collection of guided meditations, designed to open aspects of the personality in as gentle and natural way as the petals of the rose open at the touch of the sun. Each inner journey will carry you to a haven within your own psyche from which to explore layers of your own being, learning their meaning and purpose.

From mystical and silent castles, to the song of the unicorn… each journey takes you deeper into your inner being and carries you out beyond the stars.

Read more at France and Vincent

The sincerest form of poetry by Geoff Le Pard.

Today I am delighted to have Author and friend Geoff Le Pard over for afternoon tea and a chat about his latest book. Which is full of delightful poetry!

Geoff, how are you, do sit down I have got everything ready for us. While you get comfy I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the book. I love the first half very much always a smile and a barb..The sonnets too very much to my liking, especially the two about the Vet, (I assume) Hand me down, and Loyalty, especially the last lines in both. Also the the guiding hand possibly about the textilist? Here have a cuppa just as you like it I think and tell me was I right? How’s that cake?

Geoff with Buster and Moo

 In fact, while hand me down is about Jenni, point of view of a shadow which came to me while doing a poetry prompt a couple of years ago.Originally it had me rhyming ‘shadow’ with ‘saddo’ which grated horribly so I’m pleased with the revision. I can spend hours getting nowhere, revising poetry, finding the right combination of… yes, another slice would be lovely… syllables, rhymes and stresses. Oddly, the thing I notice that most poets fail to appreciate is stress. They’ll nail a rhyme, ensure the right number of syllables but when you read it, the stress you place on the words makes it feel like a bad gear change. I wonder if they read the poem out loud or in their head. The imagination is too forgiving, I find.

On reflection Geoff I have to agree with you on that.

How much did your father’s poetry influence you? 

First, he spent so much time honing his work that I am constantly forcing myself to one more read through, to mimic him. Second, he loved finding humour in poetry and I think that can be my driving force. Third, we argued constantly, vigorously and with no holes barred. Thus if I write anything with a political or social angle it will almost certainly reflect my views and equally certainly be 180 degrees contrary to his. He didn’t hold back, he wasn’t shy of voicing his opinion and I often sanitise my attempts so as not to offend. That would have annoyed him mightily, so I try and fight the urge to hide. If you’ve a point to make, make it with conviction; if not, don’t make any point. That comes from him. Mostly though, he enjoyed the process, gained huge satisfaction from a job well done. I’ve learnt that, however hard it is – and it is hard – enjoy it. In a way dad only really expressed his true self, his deepest emotions, via poetry as seen in the love poems he wrote to mum and which he refused to let my brother and I see and which mum only shared after his death. I still think he would be mightily cheesed off and equally secretly pleased with her for doing that.

What made you decide to revamp some of best known poems from the BBC’s collection of British Poets?

Don’t worry about the crumbs, Ruby or Dog will pick them up , they are getting on well aren’t they.

Back to Dad, really. He loved Kipling’s poetry and many of his best efforts use the same rhyming scheme that Kipling favoured in some of his finest works. One day – I think I was walking with a couple of friends – I conjured up a couple  of lines of ‘If’ but rewritten to the discussion we were having. Again, memory suggests it was a new take on the couplet ‘if you fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run’. I got a laugh. Later I re-read the poem and some other changes, based on the current Zeitgeist occurred to me and off I went. Once I’d begun, it was a fairly natural progression to try it with others. The sharp eyed readers will see that with my re-imagining of ‘if’ I don’t keep the first line, whereas that became one of the criteria I tried to apply to my re-imaginings. Another cup? Thanks. I’ll have oat milk, as part of a new health kick.

Really, luckily have some oat milk in the fridge, I will just get it . Here you are, just a splash. Would you like another

Tell me why did you pick sonnets for the second half of your book? 

My whole love of writing began the summer after Dad died at a summer-school in Wiltshire. July 2006. A year later, at the self same summer-school I took a poetry appreciation course that looked at British poets from Chaucer G to Cope W. In amongst the many marvels were a variety of sonnets, from Shakespeare through Rossetti to Manley Hopkins. That week I wrote two, or at least the first drafts, of the sonnets that appear here  – the opening work on the frontispiece and what turned into ‘Only skin deep’ a re-imagined Shakespearean sonnet. After that, I spun out several, I entered a number into some on line magazines and had a few published or won or were placed in competitions. I adore the simplicity, the discipline and the history of the sonnet, hence it is my go to form of choice. Hmm, is that lemon drizzle? Oh al right, just a small slice. No, not that small….

Sorry is that better?

Tell me how different do you find the experience of writing poetry as compared to fiction or flash fiction? Do you find poetry a more difficult discipline to writing prose?

Oh my, chalk and cheese. Give me a word, a picture, a phrase, a theme, a genre and I’ll write you a piece of flash, a short story or a novel, often with the bizarrest, most unlikely take imaginable. But do the same with poetry and you may be lucky one in five times. I’ve tried committing to poetry prompts and sometimes that has led to something part way decent. But mostly it just grates. Poetry = emotion and that’s something I’ve taken from dad; without a core of emotion, of self it’s just clunky prose dressed up as something pretentious and clever sounding.

Can I get you a you anything else, Oh Look Ruby and dog are asleep out in the sun. Let’s have a look at my two choices from your book.

A Dog At Leisure

(Leisure, William Henry Davies)
What is this life, if full of care?
Go fetch my lead, don’t comb your hair.
Don’t give in to untimely sloth
I know what fun awaits us both.
Let’s try the park; we know it’s free,
Full of places for me to pee.
Squirrels anxious to play chase,
Friends who’ll let me lick their face.
Secret corners where I can poo
Long lost balls for me to chew.
Picnic scraps and chicken bones,
Stale crusts and broken scones.
These treats and many, many more
Are just beyond the bloody door.
So find your shoes, tie those laces
And I’ll take you now to wondrous places
Full of fun, grass and the freshest air
And while I play, you’ll stand and stare.

And the beautiful sonnet.

Hand -Me-Down

Still wet from the womb, she flapped a fat hand,
A mindless hello that captured my soul.
Older, unsteady, like a day old foal,
She gripped me so tight, determined to stand.
She didn’t let go till the first day at school;
Then she wept as I forced her fingers apart.
From that betrayal she developed her art;
Round her finger I’d twist: her so willing fool.
One day, so glorious, and, yes, there were tears
I released her hand as I gave her away.
I smiled her free, and felt no dismay
At the thought of that other hand itwrapped round hers.
But it’s only a loan, for when I come to my last
She’ll be holding my hand, as I let go life’s grasp.

********

Now for your Authors Bio and all your book details.

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Geoff’s books

My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

In this, the second book in the Harry Spittle Sagas, it’s 1981 and Harry is training to be a solicitor. His private life is a bit of a mess and he’s far from convinced the law is for him. Then an old acquaintance from his hotel days appears demanding Harry write his will. When he dies somewhat mysteriously a few days later and leaves Harry in charge of sorting out his affairs, Harry soon realises this will be no ordinary piece of work. After all, his now deceased client inherited a criminal empire and several people are very interested in what is to become of it.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The third instalment of the Harry Spittle Sagas moves on the 1987. Harry is now a senior lawyer with a well-regarded City of London firm, aspiring to a partnership. However, one evening Harry finds the head of the Private Client department dead over his desk, in a very compromising situation. The senior partner offers to sort things out, to avoid Harry embarrassment but soon matters take a sinister turn and Harry is fighting for his career, his freedom and eventually his life as he wrestles with dilemma on dilemma. Will Harry save the day? Will he save himself? 

   

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves. 

This is available here 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com 

Smashwords

Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

When Martin suggests to Pete and Chris that they spend a week walking, the Cotswolds Way, ostensibly it’s to help Chris overcome the loss of his wife, Diane. Each of them, though, has their own agenda and, as the week progresses, cracks in their friendship widen with unseen and horrifying consequences.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The sincerest form of poetry.

Famous poets reimagined, sonnets of all kinds, this poerty selection has something for all tastes, from the funny, to the poignant to the thought-provoking and always written with love and passion.

 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page

********

I can honestly say I have read all these books and enjoyed them greatly.

Thank for joining me today Geoff it was

To have you and Dog visit.

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