A review of Marjorie Mallon’s new book. Do What You Love .

Marjorie sent me her wonderful new book to read. When I say wonderful I mean it is a book full of wonder. Marjorie takes us on a journey through her life from when she was a small child up to now where she is on verge of yet another life adventure.

In this little book of delights Marjorie introduces us to the three sisters of fate who basically are in charge of spinning out life, measuring the length of life and the ending of life. I won’t tell you anymore about them Marjorie will introduce them to you and then you can eavesdrop on their conversation and their jokes.

I really enjoyed this very personal book by Marjorie, her past, present and her future, her family and her friends . The magic she finds in the every day, her love of insects, creatures and trees her love of life. Don’t be put off by the word personal, this book is so welcoming. I strongly recommend it to you all.

Blurb

Do What You Love Fragility of Your Flame Poems, Photography & Flash Fiction is a personal poetry collection celebrating how the fates may have a part in all that we do.

With special poems and short reflective moments inspired by family, flowers and nature, love, scrumptious morsels, places I’ve visited, lived and intend to live in, the friendships and hopes I have for the future.

The overarching theme is to live a life well lived… And to do what you love.

float along with me

create clouds of sweetest joy

to do what you love

hold fate’s hand as we venture

near and far on life’s journey.

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

You can preorder the kindle via the following link:

Release Date: 25th November 2022, able to preorder via the following links.

Buy Links Do What You Love:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BKLC9DYY/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY/.

Exciting news from Marjorie.

“I am thrilled to say that two of my poetry collections, (Mr. Sagittarius and Lockdown Innit,) have been requested by prestigious libraries in the UK: The British Library, The Bodleian Library Oxford University, the Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin for Legal Deposit.

Woohoo!! Marjorie great news.

Add the book to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63114445-do-what-you-love

The cover of the paperback and kindle have been designed by Colleen Chesebro who has a new service for authors which I can highly recommend. Colleen also designed the interior and cover of The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet.

https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services

Portfolio:
https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/portfolio

https://wordcraftpoetry.com/unicorn-cats-publishing-services/

Other poetry/flash fiction collections:

Kyrosmagica Publishing

The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet

https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Anthology – This Is Lockdown, (poetry, diaries and flash fiction – kindle)

http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit

 http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Poetry also features in my highly acclaimed YA Fantasy series.  Each chapter begins with a short poem. The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone and Book 2 Golden Healer are published by Next Chapter Publishing.

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/bloodstone

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/golden-healer

https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon.

Author Bio

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 storytelling began bolstered by these vivid raconteurs. 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 sometimes in the UK, and often times in Portugal.. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile to greet her.

Her motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too.

Review of Immigrant Secrets by John Mancini.

I have just listened this amazing book . I can’t recommend it enough!

I found this book heart wrenching and so interesting. The hidden story of two lost souls who started off so well in a new land.After immigrating to America from Italy. Sadly neither of them were strong enough and they both sadly were lost in the American mental health system of the 1940s up to 2000s. Unbelievably outliving both their sons. I was moved to tears at points. This is a fantastic mix of genealogical research, facts and where nessary fiction.
I will add the narration was excellent.

Three Lessons in Family History Publishing

Discription of the Book. What John has to say.

The only thing my father ever said about his Italian immigrant family was that his parents died in the 1930s, shortly after arriving at Ellis Island. Except they didn’t. Once I began the search for my grandparents, I mostly ran into dead-ends. Until the 1940 Census. My grandparents magically appear, but as inmates at the Rockland Insane Asylum. What happened? Why all the secrecy? And how did I use genealogy to unravel the mystery?

Like many of their greatest generation compadres, my parents, Joseph and Sallyann, quickly headed from New York City to the suburbs in the 1950s shortly after they were married. They arrived in New Jersey, and began their own personal population explosion, having six kids—John, June, Joseph, Jennifer, Jeffrey, and Jeanne—within an eleven-year span. Yes, all Js.

My father was born in 1925. He grew up during the Great Depression, served in the US Navy during WWII and worked as a business analyst at Union Carbide, a somewhat mysterious large chemical company. Later, he started his own business with a friend, but I have no idea what they did. In my father’s last episode, he had a heart attack in New York City in 1987 shortly after officially retiring.

Other than those skeletal facts, my father had no “backstory.” My father never mentioned his family. Never. We only knew – or thought we knew – that his parents died in the 1930s. Unless you knew my father — the consummate family man — you will have no idea how weird this was.
And therein are the seeds of my quest to unravel our family history mystery.

In a pair of ship manifests, I discovered my father’s parents, a pair of Italian immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in the early 1920s, intent on grabbing their share of the American dream. In the 1930 Census, I found a family of four – my grandparents, my father and his brother — with a tenuous foothold on that dream, operating a small fruit stand in Manhattan.

After that, I had mostly frustrating dead-ends — until the release of the 1940 Census. My grandparents magically reappeared in the Census – but as “inmates” at the Rockland Insane Asylum, never to reemerge. And through my entire lifetime until my father’s death, there was no mention that he had an extended family of aunts and uncles and cousins, all living within driving distance.

What happened? Who were these people? How did their lives go so awry?

This is a story about my efforts to use genealogy to discover the truth about our family and a reflection on the impact of secrets on our lives. It is also the story of what it means to be an immigrant – and the impact that “otherness” and mental illness can have on the vulnerable. And lastly, it is my attempt to think through the “why” and “how” of my father, 34 years after his death.

John Francis Mancini

John Francis Mancini

John Mancini is the author of Immigrant Secrets: The Search for My Grandparents and is a frequent speaker on records management and genealogy topics. He blogs about these topics at his blog

He is the President of Content Results, LLC — http://www.contentresults.net — and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on digital transformation, information management, and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77.

John is happy to do association, company and family history society presentations..

All I can say this is a not to miss book whether you listen on Audible or read on Kindle or hard back.

Review of the first Two books in Dan’s Trilogy The Dreamers Alliance.

“Hey Dan you made it’ how are you doing today? I am impressed you found our Local welcome come on in. Meet Jim our host and his staff. “
“Hey everyone, it’s good to meet you, this place is quite something has it been here long Jim? “
“It certainly has Dan. Beer was first sold here in the 1850s when the railway arrived and we’ve been here selling food and drink since then…. Well Obviously not us personally!”
“Ha! well that’s good to know you’d be pretty tired by now if you had! Well it really looks the part”
“What can we get you Dan, willow tells us you like a Carona with a twist of lime…we can do that and willow your usual glass of Shiraz? “
“Yes please Jim and a couple of menus too “
Well Dan let’s sit by the fire and you can have a look at my review of the first two books of your trilogy The Dreamers Alliance, Knuckleheads and The Evil We Choose.

I have read these two books now and I can tell you that yes they can both be read independently but if you want to fully enjoy the journey and get the full picture to read them both in sequence is a boon.

Knckleheads. The Blurb

Zach and Billy didn’t ask for the paranormal powers that were beyond their capacity to understand, or control. Zach, interacting with his lucid dreams, and Billy, “gifted “with shadowy glimpses of the future struggle to make sense of the world around them. Adults in authority in the nineteen sixties have no time for what they consider mental outliers of the baby-boom.

The boys are institutionalized, marginalized, and ignored. Zach’s father learns of the challenges they face as children and knows the dangers they will face as adults. With no way to comprehend how these boys perceive and move within their world, he must find a way to guide them.

If you like speculative fiction with a touch of technology, humanity and a bit of sarcasm shared among men, you will enjoy this book.

******

Well here is what loved about this book. It captivates you immediately. It’s like a social history of life set in the era and area that Dan himself grew up in.

The tale of the two friends with unusual special powers …not really your ‘normal’ super powers but to be honest more intriguing and amazing. It’s great to see these two lads grow together as friends and allies. The way they help eachother through school even when separated by circumstances!

I really enjoyed every part of the book, Zach’s family were beautifully portrayed especially his father who helped both boys. I also learned a lot about the running of a bowling alley and also how mechanisation changed things! Also how both sides of the criminal line were bonded together. I am saying no more just do read Knuckleheads!

The Evil You Choose

Zach Amstead has 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 treated 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 precarious race. He must protect Billy, and he must choose which criminals he can trust.

********

My feeling on this book is totally woo! The tingle factor. It truly brings the whole story together and it is a really brilliant read. Zach and Billy are now both older guys who are retired when ghosts from their past come to visit them.

Zach’s brother plays a bigger part in this book as does Zach’s Daughter! Everything that happens in the first book plays a part in this book.

All I can say these books are brilliant and I highly recommend them so suspend the every day and read them, you will not regret it.

********

“What do you think Dan ….is that fair. “

“Yes willow I reckon that will do! “

“Right Dan come over here and meet some mates ! and order some food “

© willowdot21

relinks.me/B0BCBQSHQZ

Amazon and universal link to my author page

reLinks: relinks.me/DanielAntion

Knuckleheads Kindle edition

Knuckleheads Paperback edition.

https://www.facebook.com/dantion

http://nofacilities.com

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 417 BREAK and Dance.

image Pixabay

we move in rhythm
the joy of life moves us on
don’t undo the chain .

Above a Haiku, 5.7. 5. using synonyms for Break and Dance. Below a Senryu 3.5.3. no synonyms this time I used the prompt.

always dance
brake the silence now
spirits fly.

Haiku Challenge
Ronovanwrite’s ..

This is part of Ronovanwrite’s Weekly Haiku

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.

.

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.

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 .

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.

*************

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.

Introducing my great niece Saffron Collins.

Right guys this is a bit of a departure for me but family pride strikes again. This young talented lady is my great niece Saffron Collins. Great niece as in my nephew’s daughter, that said she is a great artist. The top videos is one of her songs from two years ago.

Saffron is a songwriter, musician, arranger and producer.. Those of you who know me will know why she reminds me of my favourite Imogen Heap… not necessarily sound wise but definitely talent wise. Saffron spent most of her school life and early musical career in the U.A.E. making her mark on the local scene in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Well the family are back in the UK. This post is to showcase her latest E.P. Album below. Good luck Saffron. Give it a go I hope you like it 💜

check her out here ,

As her dad says : “Saffron was A-Z music, lyrics, production, mastering…. really proud of her ability to create. As a music fan I love them all…. no cookie cutter sound!” And I agree with him 💜

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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