We’ve just had a great book blog tour to send off Poetry Treasures 3: Passions and this is where we announce the winners for the Giveaway for that tour. I always love doing this post and then notifying the winners individually, because I get to make somone’s day with this announcement. Hopefully three someones.
I want to thank everyone who followed the tour or just dropped in to a stop or two, and of course my wonderful hosts. The hosts for this tour were Patty Fletcher and Patty’s Worlds, Miriam Hurdle and The Showers of Blessings, Carla Johnson-Hicks and Carla Loves to Read, Robbie Cheadle and Robbie’s Inspiration, and of course, Writing to be Read. And before I tell you who will be the recipients of the three digital copies of Poetry Treasures 3: Passions, I also want to give a big shout out to all of the contributing authors for this anthology, who all were great about doing their parts and helping to make the tour as fabulous as it was, with their audio/video poetry readings and guest posts. Every author participated and we couldn’t have had such a great tour without them.
This is the final stop in the WordCrafter Poetry Treasures 3: Passions Book Blog Tour. We’ve had a fantastic tour, with opportunities to hear from almost every contributor to the anthology. Every stop featured at two poets, sharing their works, which offers a nice taste of what you can expect in the anthology.
My dear friend and mentor Colleen Chesebro has a new book called Fairies, Myths, & Magic II-A Winter Celebration which was released on 1st December.
Colleen said to me. “Willow you and I both love myths and legends. One legend that remains to this day is the burning of the Yule log during the winter solstice. I found it interesting how this ancient tradition is still part of our celebrations. Many people light bonfires to celebrate the longest night of the year. If you live somewhere where you can’t have a bonfire, candles burning indoors is always a nice substitute.
So here’s a bit of history behind the tradition. During the Winter Solstice, Pagans burned huge logs to honor the return of the sunlight. The end of the darkness was at hand with spring not far off.
The Yule Log often comprised an entire tree specifically chosen for the occasion. It was cut and brought indoors, with the end piece of the trunk placed inside the fireplace, while the rest of the tree stuck out into the middle of the room.
Wow! Just imagine that , it would take up a great deal of room and be a real fire hazard by today’s standards.
Anyway, the people rubbed the log with a mixture of oil, salt, and mulled wine. Often, the new log was mixed with the remains of the previous year’s log, which was kept in a box under the bed. It was believed these ashes brought the family good luck, saving the household from lightning strikes, and even forest fires!
Learn about more Yule traditions in Fairies, Myths, & Magic II—A Winter Celebration. This is book two in the series, with the first book dedicated to summer and the summer solstice.
About the Book:
In this second book in the Fairies, Myths, & Magic series, step into a world where dark fairies, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by winter and the celebration of the winter solstice.
From Autumn’s scary fairies to the forgotten female characters of Yule, prepare to embrace the magical winter solstice myths from around the world. Meet Frau Holle in the Wild Hunt, Befana—the Christmas Witch of Italy, and the Japanese goddess Ameratasu who controls the springtime. Prepare to embrace the Scottish trows, The Irish Goddess of Winter—the Cailleach Béara, and Snegurochka—the Snow Girl.
Learn how to make Yuletide rituals part of your celebration by embracing the symbols of Yule by decorating with evergreens and crystals.
An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction.
In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft Poetry.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry.
Colleen Chesebro isan assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch.
In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books.
Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.
Here is some information I learnt in Canada about how trees can raise from fires like the phoenix,which supports the Yule logs story/ legend/ Myths and MagicBook.
Jack pine and lodgepole pine have serotinous cones (protected by a waxy coating) that require the heat of fire to release their seeds. Fire also produces favourable conditions for the seeds of these pines to germinate. Information here.
Giant sequoias are the largest trees on Earth. They can grow for more than 3,000 years. But without fire, they cannot reproduce. The giant sequoias really are born of fire. Information here
Hi everyone, I know I have been very quiet of late but I am hopefully back ! Today I am delighted to have Dan Antion of NoFacilities here visiting me to discuss his new book, part two of The Dreamers Alliance , The Evil You Choose.
“Hi Dan it’s really great to see you come on in, let’s go through to the garden and take a seat . Ruby is ready out there sleeping. You’ve certainly picked a great afternoon for us to have tea and a chat about Book 2 in your series The Dreamers Alliance, Knuckleheads.”
“Hi willow it’s good to be here, it’s nice and restful here considering how central to the town you are. I’ll just take a seat here if I may.“
“And to drink Dan? I am having a black coffee but I do have all types of tea in just for you.”Yes do sit there you have the shade and a nice view. What can I interest you in? something to eat? we have the typically English sandwiches, cream cheese and salmon , ham and cheese, coronation chicken…ect., cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam.” “I try one of each willow they are small and delicate.. not like the sandwiches back home. Not much more than a bite each. I think I’ll try some earl grey Please”
“Now then, let’s talk about the book. What gave you the idea for Dreamers Alliance, Knuckleheads and The Evil You Choose. Did both books come to you as a done deal or did you start the first book and find there was just so much more to write.”
“I actually started this series with The Evil You Choose. I was trying to work in a lot, probably too much of the backstory when it was suggested that maybe the backstory could be a separate book. I set The Evil You Choose aside and wrote Knuckleheads.”
“I believe you said they can be read as stand alone stories….is that correct…I have actually read both books and yes indeed they both stand alone well but they are great as a pair. Here try one of these beef and horseradish sandwiches they are very tasty.”
“Cheers… yes they do have a kick. The books yes I wanted to write them so they could stand on their own, but everyone who has read both agrees that the second book is better if you had read Knuckleheads first. There’s a third book in the series as well. That is a sequel to the current book, and will be released in late November. The third book, working title, “When Evil Chooses You,” is a true sequel.”
“I like the sound of a third book Dan, I shall definitely be up for reading that one too. When I finished reading The Evil You Choose, I really wanted more? So how long have you been writing this story? Have you found it hard or have experienced being along for the ride while the story wrote itself? Can I offer you a piece cake or a scone?
“The Victoria Sponge looks very light willow I think I will try some of that, did you make it?
I started writing The Evil You Choose in early 2020, shortly after I retired. I thought I would have it finished by July or August, then I switched to Knuckleheads. I finished a rough draft of that fairly quickly, but I already had an idea for a sequel. I started working on that, to make sure the entire story would hang together. By the spring of 2021, I had drafts of all three books. Several people had suggested waiting until all three were complete before releasing any of the series, since events might need to change. That turned out to be excellent advice, as all three books have changed over time. I thought I was ready to release the books in March 2022. I ordered proof copies and began working with my beta readers and proofreaders.”
I find, Dan I can write absolutely anywhere and do , but do you have a special place where you write , a room, a shed or do you just write just like me do you write where ever ? How is the cake? ” More tea?
“The cake is very moist and so are these scones did you make them all willow.”
“I made the cakes and sandwiches but the scones are made by hubby he’s an excellent cook not unlike your Billy. “
“Well he does have a light touch willow your lucky. Where do I write? most of the three books have been written at a small desk in our bedroom. I am comfortable there, and its size prevents me from cluttering it with distractions. I built the desk, and I guess that fact helps me to feel creative in that space.”
“Are there parts of this story that you have drawn from your personal life or have you plucked it all out of the either Dan?”
“I do experience lucid dreams. I have since I was a teenager. I am not able to travel in them like Zach, but I often become aware of the fact that I am dreaming, and I can change the nature of a dream. The childhood portions of Knuckleheads are drawn from my own experience, and those of my brother and a few close friends. I found it impossible to make up a different childhood. I wouldn’t know what it would have been like. All three books are set in the area around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am very familiar with that area and although I’ve lived on both coasts, and in New York City and briefly in the south, I think Pittsburgh is the most interesting place I’ve ever lived.
I also had several friends who were labeled as being “mildly retarded” or were considered “abnormal” and suffered from isolation when we were in school. The school systems were very crowded in the 1960s, and they really didn’t have time to deal with these kids. The character of Billy is a composite of those kids. There is no one person that is Billy, or Zach, but I understand both characters.”
I can understand that well Dan, I was isolated at school, by teachers and piers… Like Billy I had a couple of good friends and apart from them I kept very much under the radar. Thankfully we all grow up and experiences like that often makes us stronger “
How about we visit my local pub later and I can review your two books. But first Dan? Here are the important links for everyone to visit!
Zach Amstead had kept his ability to participate in lucid dreams a secret for over fifty years However, in the high-tech world of the 21st century, he has been discovered by an FBI Special Agent who has a corrupt agenda and who is willing to employ illegal tactics while working toward his goal.
Thomas Slocum gives Zach a choice – cooperate in an illegal operation or be arrested as a terrorist. Slocum’s plan puts Zach on a collision course with organized crime leaders, a corrupt politician and brings innocent people into dangerous situations. Worse, the FBI process which allowed Slocum to uncover Zach’s abilities threatens to expose the abilities of his best friend, Billy.
Zach must get ahead of the FBI in a dangerous race. He must protect Billy, and he must choose where along the spectrum of good and evil he can place his trust.
Well Dan it’s been great to have you here to sit and chat, I have really enjoyed talking about your new book. I hope you can come again soon. Maybe when the third part of the trilogy is out.
Keep an eye out everyone out everyone I shall be reviewing books one and two very soon.
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.
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!
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.
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 💜.
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.
***** 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 firstthe 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.
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.
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