The Valarsard Chronicles by Erin Eldridge


Ravening Heart of the Wolf  (The Valarsard Chronicles Book 1)
by Erin Eldridge

A brutal medieval warlord believes his lost true love has returned to him from the grave. A young girl is uprooted from the sheltered life that is all she has known and must learn to survive in a violent and pitiless world where man is wolf to man. A valiant young warrior loses his heart to her, but the unforeseen tears them apart. Fate conspires to throw all three into each other’s path with shattering results. A colorful cast of minor characters helps to create a stunning, stained-glass-montage of an adventure that will enthrall readers young, old, and in-between.


The Wolf in Winter
(The Valarsard Chronicles Book 2)
by Erin Eldridge

Following the dramatic events that closed Book One, the Valarsards settle back into harmonious co-existence. But tranquility is short-lived, enemies are close at hand, and both the wolf and the eagle are called upon as never before to protect loved ones and avert further tragedy.

 

 


~Meet the Author Erin Eldridge~

 

Hi, I’m a New Zealand author, residing in Christchurch New Zealand, along with most of my family. I took up writing seriously two years ago and have now published 3 books, each one very different in style and content. I’ve been a teacher all my working life, working in mainstream as well as in Special Needs, specifically with deaf children. I’ve worked all over New Zealand as well as in Africa (book about my experiences there is in progress) and Asia (another book!). My subjects are English language and literature. Reading has always been a passion, especially history, and now i’m enjoying writing books myself, which I hope my readers will enjoy too.

More of Erin’s books on Amazon

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Glimmerglass Girl

Glimmerglass Girl
by Holly Lyn Walrath

Poetry | Woman | Art

A chapbook of feminine writings with tales of fragile emotions that stir a whirlwind of strength. If read by a male mind, he may feel closer to knowing the heart of a woman. When a woman reads these poems, she may feel they were written for her.


It was impossible for me to stop reading until I had finished the last poem. Then I was sorry to see it over. I truly wanted more of this writing style.

The author tells secrets. She dares to say it. Life expects us to play nice and these poems felt like an outlet. Each poem meant something very deep and very personal to me.

While reading, I was reminded of things I do not need and the things that mean the most. What should be cherished. What can be let go.

In this wonderful book of poetry, the mundane is art.

Taking a note from one poem in particular, “I AM GOING TO FIND THE UNICORNS”. The entire piece is surreal yet hits me. It screams and sets things straight with “Blood and horns and teeth.” It is a beautiful way to thumb your nose to the world and carry on as one may see fit.


This poetry is not typical. The art following each poem makes this book a beautiful illustration.

The stories are told quickly. Being short and to the point, the point is driven hard and deep.

Mature reading and highly recommended.

Product Description (Netgalley)

Description
In her debut chapbook, Holly Lyn Walrath explores the boundaries of womanhood through speculative poems that defy genre. For readers who love Rupi Kaur or Lang Leav, Glimmerglass Girl is as powerful and delicate as a glass-winged butterfly.

“Tensile and luminous as a glass-winged butterfly, Glimmerglass Girl chronicles the passions of a woman’s heart and its multifarious musings with a marvelous mix of toughness and tenderness. In a shimmering world at once ‘honey-brimmed and buzzing,’ where ‘blueberry coffee’ and a ‘kissing prayer,’ or a ‘quiet mess of a body of light’ offer diurnal delights, this wildly chimerical gathering of hybridized fairy tales and fabulous meditations on womanhood might carry Emily Dickinson’s admonition of epistolary intimacy, ‘open me carefully.’ Indeed, readers should open Walrath’s slender volume carefully, hold these rare poems up to the sun, then lean in quietly to hear each one sing in flight.”

—Karen An-hwei Lee, author of Phylo of Joy, Ardor, and In Medias Res.

“. . . an intersection between ethereal loftiness, humorous speculation, and poignant consideration. . . a collection of poetry and images that encourage readers to be more than they perceive themselves to be.” –VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts

 

~Meet the Author Holly Lyn Walrath~

Holly Lyn Walrath received her Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Liminality, Crab Fat Magazine, Mithila Review, Nonbinary Review, and other places. She works as a freelance editor and currently resides in Seabrook, Texas, just five minutes from NASA Johnson Space Center. She has two cats named Cleo and Panda and a husband who is a pediatric physical therapist. Along with writing, she enjoys geekery, books, self-aggrandizing statements, feminism, dystopia, and cat pictures.

~Follow Author~

Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Website

Buy Glimmerglass Girl Finishing Line Press

 

The ebook format I read was borrowed at Netgalley

Feature Invitation

I would love to feature you and your book.  Contact me through the contact form or email me at willowbeithe@gmail.com. If you have a promo ready to go I can use that. Or, if you send me some information I will create my own.

Some things to consider sending for a feature.

Book Title
Description of Book
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Are you interested in doing an author guest post? It could be an author Q&A or an excerpt from your book. A guest post can be anything you want. I’m not hung up on one particular genre or topic. The options are open.

All I am looking for in return is the experience, blog content and hopefully, a referral.

 

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Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks Swag Giveaway


This is my stop during the blog tour for Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 14 till 28 May. See the tour schedule here.

Phi Alpha Pi (21st Century Austen #2)
by Sara Marks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult, Adult
Release Date: May 28, 2018

Blurb:
Phi Alpha Pi is the oldest and largest sorority on campus and new president Lizbeth has a busy senior year ahead of her. She’s determined to keep her sorority in good standing on campus after a year on academic probation. She’s trying to manage the new sorority house manager, Mrs. C, who has her own ideas about how to support the sorority sisters. All while trying to find balance with her own academic goals to complete an honors thesis, graduate, and decide her future plans.

The last thing Lizbeth expects is her anger when Wil, a new member of the Alpha Pi fraternity, pushes every one of her buttons. Lizbeth finds Wil, a new transfer to the university with his best friend, to be rude, snobby, and judgmental. Even though she tries to avoid him, he seems to be everywhere, scowling with displeasure when he sees her. That is, until his Thanksgiving proclamation of love. That causes Lizbeth to reconsider how she sees the world.

You can find Phi Alpha Pi on Goodreads

You can buy Phi Alpha Pi here:
Amazon
B&N
Kobo

Check out the first book in this series!

“Tension builds as they each learn about the current version of the person they once loved and resolve the ramifications of their choices.”Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
B&N
Kobo

About the Author:
Born in Boston, MA and raised in Miami, FL, Sara Marks has two masters degrees and plans to never stop getting over educated. She likes the idea of having all the academic regalia she can ever possess and winning with the most degrees in her family. By day she’s an academic librarian. In what little free time she has, she also knits and plays with her dog Cedric Doggory.

You can find and contact Sara Marks here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Amazon
Mailing List

Giveaways
There are two tour wide giveaways during the blog tour of Phi Alpha Pi!

There is a US Only Giveaway for a prize pack and an international giveaway for 14 e-copies and a print copy of Phi Alpha Pi!

US Only Giveaway
One winner will win a Prize Pack containing:
– Mrs. C’s homemade officers shirt in Comic Sans (you pick XL or XXL)
– A Phi Alpha Pi sorority sticker, candle, and bracelet (some of the items mentioned in the story).
– An illustration by cover designer Risa Rodil
– A rooster dishtowel (so you can make cock jokes with Lizbeth and Wil)
– Autographed printed copies of Modern Persuasion, A Little More Modern Persuasion, and Phi Alpha Pi (not pictured)
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
Click here for a Rafflecopter Giveaway

The following is an Open for all Giveaway
These are the prizes you can win:
– 14 winners will each win an e-copy of Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks
– 1 winner will win a print copy of Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
Click here for a Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

Busy Breakfast and Books

Yesterday I picked up my holds from the Library. I intended to get them last week but unfortunately was not able to. So a couple days turned into a week waiting to get my books.

Then I remembered promises made to help cousin with her daughter’s wedding. Happy to get the books I’ve been waiting to read though my reading is being exchanged for a paint brush. We are painting wedding decor and making flower arrangements.

I’ve also signed on as a tour host and my first one is coming up in the next week!

Her Crowning Frenzy: A Collection of Poetic Stories

Her Crowning Frenzy: A Collection of Poetic Stories

by Robin Chappell

Literature | Fiction | Poetry

Robin Chappell writes about real-life issues and situations. The author groups her poetic short-stories into chapters of Love, Rebellion, Heartache, Life, and Passion, sculpting the plots of each short-story with poetry. ‘Her Crowning Frenzy: A Collection of Poetic Stories’ is an upbeat read with a modern and fresh style.

The moment I started reading ‘Her Crowning Frenzy: A Collection of Poetic Stories’, I was reminded of Poe or Lovecraft and their writing styles. The notable difference, Robin writes with light and love. Her poetry has a strong and sometimes dark message but the light shines through her words.

Monsters exist. And while some of these stories have their monsters and horrible situations, Chappell writes with a spark that lights up those dark corners. Though they are fiction and fantasy, these stories felt real. The messages and life happenings were not always easy to take. However, through the trials and tribulations, the author brought forth hope, endurance and inspiration.

The stories are charged with lessons. Each story alone has an emotional message between the lines. At times the words tell of hard truths while every story absolutely leaves a deep and lasting impact.

Sometimes the stories felt whimsical, gentle and tender. At other times the stories felt more dire, dreadful and creepy.  Two stories stand out in my mind as I write this review. One of heaven and one of evil. The tone was completely different, though both stories flowed beautifully. One book, one author, with every story taking on a life of its own.

The poetry is incredible at digging deep. Amplifying, distorting, emphasizing, fabricating, heightening, intensifying, magnifying…. doing exactly what poetry is suppose to do. Poetry stirs the soul. And that is exactly what this book did for me.

These poems, stories, shorts, or prose, what ever name an expert of words would like to use, have brought me joy and sadness, sometimes snapping me to attention. The works in this book do exactly what poetry should. Each story made me feel.

I highly recommend even if you do not normally read poetry, you will still love this book. It is for adults and mature readers.

follow Robin Chappell on Instagram.

Her Crowning Frenzy: A Collection of Poetic Stories

Beautiful Books

My Library didn’t have a copy on hand of “Wuthering Heights” but I was able to put the title on hold. Amazon has it for free  in eBook format and that made me want “Jane Eyre” too.  I still put both on hold. While waiting for my books at the Library I decided to clean house and found “That Part Was True”. When I opened the cover a few family photographs fell out. I have to read it now.

I follow Robin Chappell on Instagram. That’s how I found Her Crowning Frenzy: A Collection of Poetic Stories. I bought the eBook and started reading right away. The hardcover is now on my wish list.

Four wonderful titles.

All different genres!

Reading for now, reviews later.

 

 

Her Crowning Frenzy: A Collection of Poetic Stories
by Robin Chappell
Product Review
Prepare to be swept away into a unique collection of imaginative adult short stories expressed in poetic form. Told directly from the mind of an eccentric millennial poet, they are divided into five important chapters: Love, Rebellion, Heartache, Life, and Passion. Each contains five expressive stories and poems from the authors up-close and personal experiences filled with dramatic controversy, philosophy, and dreams untold. These intricate tales are certainly for reading aloud and beginning deeper conversations!

 

Her Crowning Frenzy: A Collection of Poetic Stories

 

That Part Was True
by Deborah McKinlay
Product Review
When Eve Petworth writes to Jackson Cooper to praise a scene in one of his books, they discover a mutual love of cookery and food. Their friendship blossoms against the backdrop of Jackson’s colorful, but ultimately unsatisfying, love life and Eve’s tense relationship with her soon-to-be married daughter. As each of them offers, from behind the veils of semi-anonymity and distance, wise and increasingly affectionate counsel to the other, they both begin to confront their problems and plan a celebratory meeting in Paris–a meeting that Eve fears can never happen.

That Part Was True

 

Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë
Product Review
WUTHERING HEIGHTS is Emily Brontë’s only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846, Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 under the pseudonym “Ellis Bell”; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. Wuthering Heights and Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of their sister Charlotte’s novel, Jane Eyre. After Emily’s death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights, and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850. Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarised; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day, including religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality. The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti referred to it as “A fiend of a book – an incredible monster […] The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there.” In the second half of the 19th century, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was considered the best of the Brontë sisters’ works, but following later re-evaluation, critics began to argue that Wuthering Heights was superior. The book has inspired adaptations, including film, radio and television dramatisations, a musical by Bernard J. Taylor, a ballet, operas (by Bernard Herrmann, Carlisle Floyd, and Frédéric Chaslin), a role-playing game, and a 1978 song by Kate Bush.

Wuthering Heights

 

Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë
Product Description
Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its eponymous heroine, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr. Rochester, the Byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. In its internalisation of the action—the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane’s moral and spiritual sensibility, and all the events are coloured by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry—Jane Eyre revolutionised the art of fiction. Charlotte Brontë has been called the ‘first historian of the private consciousness’ and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel’s exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.

Jane Eyre (Bantam Classics)

The Bridges of Madison County

 

The Bridges of Madison County

by Robert James Walles

Hardcover: 192 pages

Publisher: Warner Bros. (1992)

Fiction | Romance | Women

Purchase
The Bridges of Madison County
at Amazon.

 

My Synopsis

On the back cover of the jacket is an excerpt from the book, shortly stated a quote “he noticed all of her”. That in essence is what makes this story, the story that it is. The two leading characters are not two young sex pots going at it. There is no need to put into words the fullness of her breasts or the tightness of his abs. These are two people that see each other, really see each other. The sensuality is through their study of and getting to know the other. The delivery makes it plausible that a dedicated wife and mother could let go for a very brief moment of time and allow the memory of that to last until her death.

My Review

This is Francesca’s story.

It is a short story considering the size of books that most read. Within this small number of pages, contains a story with a large impact.

In the beginning, a prologue from the author himself explaining how he came across his story. There’s a meeting with Carolyn and Michael, the children of Francesca and Richard Johnson. The two grown children thought their mother’s life long secret was worth sharing. It describes how they brought their mother’s journals, letters and photographs to prove the events of a relationship between Francesca and Robert.

The book is so believable and to be perfectly honest, I wanted it to be true. The Bridges of Madison County certainly reads like non-fiction but unfortunately,  it is all fiction. No real evidence is found to express this man’s art with exception of Francesca’s keepsakes. Even so, the author continually flirts with the suggestion of this being a true story.

The story really begins August 8, 1965 with an old green Chevrolet pickup truck containing everything its driver will need for a road trip. Photographer Robert Kincaid plans for Madison County, Iowa from Bellingham, Washington. It would be his job for the following days to photograph the covered bridges of Madison County. While simply working his craft fate will bring him and Francesca together.

The author speaks of how writing this book altered his perspective to world views and what is possible of human relationships. It had the exact same impression on me. What could be a travesty is set to such gentle explanation. Francesca is quickly described with dedication to her family life, how she may want more, yet she is satisfied and content with how things are. What could be written with more complication is left simply done, giving the reader credit to know how life feels, and how life changes us, no matter our situation, no matter what we have, or what we do not have.

In Conclusion

What was so significant to me is that no one was actually telling this story to Carolyn and Michael. The reader gets the story from Francesca herself. On her birthday she performs her celebration ritual by remembering Robert.

When Francesca passes away, her children are introduced to those memories with letters, photographs, journals and magazines. Some of the things found were things sent to their Mother by Robert over the years.

No one is physically there to share their side of things or to influence Carolyn’s or Michael’s thinking or thoughts of their mother. Of course they are angry when they first realize what happened. However, these two grown adults have complicated lives of their own.

Both Carolyn and Michael are suffering for different reasons in their marriages and with their own children. As the past unfolds for them, they are able to draw their own conclusions of truly what took place all those years ago, and how it lingered for a life time, and even after death.

Perhaps their own struggles allowed them the opportunity to understand better and to rationalize the events…..

Their mother saw things differently when she was young, before she was married and before her children. She grew as they grew but never lost her loyalty to them. Life happened and things changed. Maybe she wished for something more. She held her values but still had dreams. One thing she got really good at was hiding her disappointment in life and in herself. She got really good at hiding all of that from them until the time was right for her to share everything about who she really was.

 

“She watched him go through the kitchen door way, across the porch and into the yard. He didn’t let the screen door bang like everyone else did but instead shut it gently.”

The impact of the slamming screen door was meaningful to Francesca and the author makes it easy for the reader to connect to that emotion. All the tiny bits and pieces that create the explosion for her to erupt with a stranger can be accessed with the sound of that door slamming shut.

It is simple and it is easy and it is magnified.

 

The Book VS The Movie

I have read the book and I have watched the movie. There really is very little difference between the two other than the arrangement of events. The movie begins with the children (as adults) and the effect on them and their relationships. Where as the book focuses on Francesca answering a question. How could a woman of her nature fall in love with a complete stranger? Then explaining how that brief moment in time rested heavy on her heart and soul for the rest of her life. The children’s aspect and Francesca’s are very different and presented very differently. Anyone that simply sees the movie might walk away getting an entire different message than the author may have intended.

As with all books that are made into a movie, I still think reading the story is best. Emotion and desires come through words that the movie screen can not provide. I wont say that movies are not emotional. It is as simple as this…this little book should be read.

 

Witch Song

Witch Song

by Amber Argyle

fantasy | witches | magic

My Review

It is a beautiful cover and the beginning is strong. I thought the story-line was beautiful and loved the concept. 

Witch Song is an eBook I purchased through Amazon quite some time ago. It appealed to me. The title and the cover all beautiful and alluring. As I began reading,  I was thinking “wow, I really like this”.

It is not uncommon for the subject matter to deal with witchcraft as an earth religion focusing on nature. None of that is new. What was really different about this story is the use of song and the elements are presented a little differently.

I was enjoying the dialogue and there was some energy between the characters. By chapter two, I was fully engrossed and intrigued about what was happening. There was a real thrill and suspense building. Quickly, characters were introduced and names were given of those I became anxious to meet.

Then, by chapter 14, I lost my connection with the story. It might just be me. I am really not sure why but I became not interested anymore.

At times things happened and I could not understand why and there never seemed to be answers to those questions. When the female is the lead character, I want her to be strong. Though, that aspect alone does not determine a good story or not, it is my preference and important to me. I read Young-Adult a lot and have enjoyed that genre. This book though,  seemed really young and too immature for me.

 

1 star – I hate it
2 star – I don’t like it
3 star – It’s okay
4 star – I like it
5 star – I love it

I am giving this book 3 stars.  It is not a terrible book. If someone is looking for a fantasy with witches and magic, this might be the book to try. I do recommend giving it a look for yourself.


Book Description

Brusenna is the last free witch.

The others have all been imprisoned, their magical songs twisted from harmony and growth into chaos and death. With only her guardian by her side, Brusenna must free her fellow witches before their stolen magic destroys the world.

But freeing them won’t be easy. The dark witch is cunning, cruel, and vastly more experienced. Brusenna must face magical storms, choking fog, and her own demons before she’d ever be ready to fight for the world that hates her.

With over 1,000 pages of adventure and romance, the acclaimed Witch Song Series will sweep you into a world brimming with magic.

In WITCH SONG, Amber Argyle makes a riveting debut, creating a fresh new world full of wonder, peril, and splendor. I found WITCH SONG to be positively engrossing from the first page to the last. I’m convinced that this is just the first book in what will be a long and prosperous career! ~David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In WITCH SONG, Amber Argyle makes a riveting debut, creating a fresh new world full of wonder, peril, and splendor. I found WITCH SONG to be positively engrossing from the first page to the last. I’m convinced that this is just the first book in what will be a long and prosperous career! ~David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author
I can honestly say that I haven’t gotten this lost in a fantasy world since the Harry Potter series. . . . Amber Argyle for me, has earned herself a rank equivalent to the best fantasy fiction authors of this decade. ~Cory, Antidrug Reads

Witch Song is a debut with an engrossing world full of magic, adventure and romance. It’s a story that fascinated me with its unique witch lore and rich world building, and introduced me to some great in-depth characters. ~Katie, Mundie Moms

Witch Song was a rich and compelling fairytale of magic and dark controlling forces, that gives a unique twist to witchcraft and witches, in general. It was powerful and interesting. Argyle’s ability to create a world in which the power of song is used to create magic, is not only masterful but brilliantly clever. ~Suz, Soul Unsung