Posted in book review, recommended, women's fiction

Book Review – Women’s Fiction

The Foreign Language of Friends

by Nadine Galinsky Feldman

Having been a foreign language teacher, naturally I was drawn to the title instantly. It’s not often that a title really resonates with my own life experiences, but in this case, after reading the book’s description (and the class being a Spanish one too), it was an obvious addition to my book shelf.

When four women meet in a foreign language class, their different backgrounds and experiences cause instant clashes! There’s Julia, vivacious and fun, who longs for something more than the country club, jet-setting lifestyle that she leads. Claire, a company attorney in a male-dominated field, intimidates everyone around her. Shy Ellen is trying to have a personal life while caring for her ailing parents. Mickey, a young newlywed, wants to get out from under the shadow of her domineering parents. As these women face various life traumas, they must learn to lean on each other. Ultimately, the foreign language they must learn is: friendship.

For me, this was a story for and about every woman. Four women, each at a different stage in their lives, join a foreign language class. Their reasons for doing so are as diverse as their backgrounds. Claire is clear about her needs; it all boils down to her career. Ellen struggles with the thought that, like her parents, she may face a future with Alzheimer’s and believes learning a language will keep her brain active and stave off the disease. Julia appears to have everything in life, but there is a void. Is learning Spanish the answer? She doesn’t know, but then again, she’s not even sure what is wrong with her life. Finally, Mickey, the youngest of the group, takes the class almost as an act of rebellion. She wants to make her own decisions for a change and break free from the pressures imposed on her by her new husband and preacher parents.

None of the women would ever have imagined how their coming together would affect their lives; especially given their initial awkwardness with each other, not to mention their contrasting attitudes and behaviours.

As life throws challenges their way, the language class becomes a safe haven, a place to try to forget their problems and work towards new beginnings. However, it is during their study group meetings that their personal issues come to the forefront. It is here too that they learn to open up and share their troubles with each other. What they don’t expect is that they would come to value the comfort and support they receive.  Bonds grow stronger and friendships blossom, these are ties that will last a lifetime.

Every reader will see some of themselves in these characters. They are real women with stories that readers can relate to. I am happy to give this a full 5 stars – not just because it’s a well-written story, but because it comes across as thought-provoking and heartfelt, honest and believable. This is fiction with oodles of credibility.

 

 

Posted in Featured author, supernatural

A Dare, A Ouija board and A Riddle

Something spooky this way comes … but you’re going to have to wait until September 1st for this treat. Sorry, but it’ll be worth the wait, because this week’s featured author is none other than Lynette Ferreira.

Here’s a little insider info about this very talented author, with a whole shelf of books waiting to welcome you.

Lynette writes predominantly supernatural fiction and most of her stories address social issues. Her stories always have threads of first love, really cute boys, kissing and all the drama. Her stories “will touch you and sometimes even make you cry“.

Her first indie book, My Recycled Soul (Recycled Souls) hit #89 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list in August 2010. In that year, Lynette also entered her manuscript in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards where it was chosen from 5,000 entries as one of the Top 250 in the competition. My Recycled Soul can often be found in the Top 10 Most Wished for Young Adult Books on Amazon in the Christian Science Fiction category.

In 2011, Lynette entered When we Love (The Great Divide) in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, and again was chosen as one of the Top 250 stories from 5,000 entries.

For me, creative expression is as important as breathing.

Since 2008, Lynette has released more than 20 fiction books, one of which is a collection of bestselling and popular Flash Fiction, The Dark, Dark House.

In 2016, Lynette founded Bellatrix Books, where she helps fellow self-published authors to turn their amazing stories into good-looking books. Here she utilizes skills she acquired from working as a personal assistant in an international financial environment for most of her adult life.

I always seek truth and meaning, and I try to live my life in line with my values.

She also worked as a shoulder to cry on at a Youth Group once and she loves connecting with young people, listening with a sympathetic ear to their real worries and stresses, providing a safe place to discuss their issues which she will never ever share with anyone or anywhere. She could not be more honoured to be a sounding board for all the hurt, sadness and often exhilarating happiness of living in the modern world.

I think there’s room for everyone at the table, and I love to learn what makes people tick.

Since she was young she moved around a lot and has not yet found the place she can call home. She currently lives in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Lynette does not really like the cold, is afraid of what might be hiding in the dark, and loves anything in, on or smothered with chocolate.

The book I’m dying for you all to read is The Girl in Room 13.

As part of her initiation, as a new arrival at boarding school, she has to accept a dare. Unfortunately, Alison’s dare requires her to go into the dreaded room thirteen on the anniversary of Lily’s death. It is rumoured, Lily, the girl who used to reside in the room killed herself on the thirteenth of February, the day before Valentine’s Day. When Alison goes into the room, alone and afraid, armed with only an Ouija Board, the dead girl gives her a riddle, which leads Alison on a journey of discovery to find out what really happened to Lily. What dark secrets is the girl in room thirteen hiding?

It’s available to pre-order here

I know waiting is hard, but as the saying goes “everything good comes to he who waits”.

But, if you really want to try some of Lynette’s other works, then I can recommend both  The Otherworld and ForNever series. Check out her website for more details, there is so much more there can I can squeeze into one post.

You can connect with Lynette at any or all of these sites.

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Goodreads
Pinterest

Don’t forget to snag your copy of The Girl In Room 13!

Posted in ageing parents, dementia, Magic O'Clock, short story, Uncategorized

A review to make this writer happy

5/5 Stars! Love Still Wins! This short, fictional read packs an emotional punch that will stay with the reader long after the story is finished. It will also resonate with those who have ‘lost’ loved ones and friends to Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Archie Royle is ‘lost’ to his family, stolen from his children by Dementia […]

via “Magic O’Clock: A Fictional Tale of Dementia and Hope” by L.S. Fellows #Review — Nesie’s Place

Posted in dementia, FREE for a limited time, hope, Magic O'Clock

Archie’s story

Welcome to Magic O’Clock,

where time is irrelevant and hope is unlimited.

If dementia has touched your life in some way, then Archie’s story will bring a touch of magic to your day.

Judges have called it “a poignant and compelling piece; emotional and engagingly written; and a moving narrative of finding grace in difficult situation.”

Readers say it’s heartwarming, touching and emotionally gripping: a love story that is beautiful beyond words.

If you have never felt the pain of watching a loved one struggle with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, then Magic O’Clock may not be for you. But, if you can relate to Archie’s daughter, watching on as her father fails to recognise her, then you may enjoy this short and hopeful story.

Magic o’Clock

Archie Royle is a kind, funny, gentle man.
He’s also my dad. My storyteller. My hero.

Except he doesn’t remember my face any more.
His world, these days, doesn’t include me or his family.

Life may have changed for him, but he hasn’t given up on life.
Not at all.
It’s just different.

Dad still tells his stories, albeit for a new audience.
He makes people smile and chuckle. As he always did.

He’s a fighter, a survivor and maybe sometimes too clever for his own good! He’ll surprise you. I can assure you of that.

Welcome to Magic O’Clock, where time is irrelevant and hope is unlimited.

This story is purely fictional, but the emotions are all too real.

***

I created this short video to supplement the description. You can view it here (clicking on the link takes you to YouTube)

If you’re tempted to take a further peek, then “Magic” is currently free for a limited time from The Story Cartel. You can get a copy here. You’ll be asked to sign up to the site, but the books there are all offered for free. Who knows you might find a treasure trove of new fictional worlds.

Thanks for reading!

Hopefully, greater awareness will lead to more investment into research for a cure. Hope is really unlimited 🙂

 

Posted in Darker Side of Fiction, DM Wolfenden, Featured author, Giveaways

Why you should travel to the darker side of fiction

I admit, it’s not something I usually read. The very thought brings me out in a rash. I could never watch a horror movie after The Birds (and that was eons ago)
That was until I read a short story by a good friend of mine:

Meet DM Wolfenden

Now, it’s clear she has a ‘different’ view of what makes a great read – she was horrified (pun intended) when I didn’t know who HP Lovecraft** was. (Even Googling the man and his works freaked me out!)
Evidently, on that point we can agree to disagree.

But, this lady knows how to tell a good story.

Twisted? Often.    Chilling? For sure.    Dark? Always.

DM Wolfenden is a British author, who loves to write about the darker side of life, she describes her writing as a little dark with a lot of heart. From vampires to poetry, serial killers to people looking for love, full length novels to short stories there is something for everyone one and with prices starting as little as 99c, her stories won’t break the bank.

The first story I read of hers was Carly. To this  day, it is still one of the best short stories I’ve read. Here’s a snippet:

After he laid me down, he washed my wounds with disinfectant, he put plasters on almost every little scratch. He kissed each plaster.” She pulled the scrunchie out of her hair, and put it around her wrist. Absentmindedly, she scratched her head.

“He kept going on about how much he loved me, how he didn’t want to hurt me, but I needed to be punished. Something about the stars and the signs, how they meant we were to be together. I had to promise not to try and leave him again.” Her hand went to her pocket, and she took comfort in knowing the pictures were still there.

“He fed me soup. He even gave the dog some, but only after I pleaded with him. I asked about Lisa again.” She stared into Vanessa’s cold eyes. “He said, not to worry about her, she’s with Nessie now.”

Vanessa’s face paled. “He said Nessie? What did that mean?”

Carly pursed her lips and shrugged her shoulders. “Don’t know. Wouldn’t tell me.”

Vanessa closed her eyes for a few seconds.

This story has a sinister undertone, but also a heart-tugging backstory. It’s a clever suspense tale and – I promise you – you won’t see that twist coming.

If you follow it up with The Box, Then I guarantee you’ll be hooked. Read on …

The hospital smells hit me the moment I stepped inside, like sour disinfectant. Why do they all smell like this? The corridors seemed to go on for miles, and my head spun in the harsh light. Each step I took felt like I was walking through the gates of hell. Did I really want to do this? No, but I had to!

A nurse stopped me when I entered the ward.

“I’m sorry, but visiting hours are over. You will have to come back tomorrow.” Her face was quite firm.

“I have to see my dad. He called me, and said they were going to operate on him in the morning. What does he need an operation for?” I kept my voice purposefully low, I don’t know why.

“What’s his name, love?” Somehow, she looked ten years younger as her face softened. She walked behind the nurse’s station.

“Philip Doves.” I replied and wrapped my arms around my stomach. Just saying his name made me feel sick, and want to run away.

But, I kid you not, there’s more to come. Wolfie’s most recent publication is a beautiful story that will have you laughing and crying – until it hurts. Winters Day is a Rom Com (yes, from the Mistress of Dark Fiction!!) and therefore, of course, there has to be an evil antagonist lurking not too deeply below the surface.  Check this out:

She stood in the living room. There was blood on the chair nearest her, her blood. The side table lay smashed on the floor. In the carpet shards of glass sparkled like diamonds as the winter sun shone through the window. She jumped when Peter touched her arms.

“Why don’t you go and have a soak in the bath? I’ll clean up.”

She nodded.

She lay down in the warm water, bubbles encasing her, the smell of vanilla and coconut filling the room. Her emotions went wild. She silently cried as the anger, sadness, fear, then finally relief flooded through her.

See! I told you so.

But, the best is yet to come.

DM Wolfenden is offering a free copy (direct to kindle) of each of these stories to the first people who head over to her Facebook page and Like and leave a comment saying where they have seen this offer.

Tell her “Twinnie” sent you 🙂

Click here for her Author Page on Facebook or to follow her on Amazon UK  or US.

I still haven’t told you about Bernie & the Beast, another fantastic short story with some very foreboding moments. Not forgetting her debut novel Behind Blue Eyes,which is the most original vampire story you’ll ever read.

If I were you, I’d head over to Facebook and Amazon and get to know DM Wolfenden better.

Rumour tells me she’s working on an awesome Zombie novel next. Shush …. you didn’t hear it from me (okay, so yeah, she scares me a little!)

**Yeah, I got his name wrong first time round – I called him Lovelace. Proves my point – I had – have – no idea who this man is? It is a man, right? 🙂

 

Posted in Canada, Featured author, Immigration, Memoirs

Meet Mr Memoir

It takes a skillful wordsmith to tell a personal story with integrity, wit and honesty. My friend and author Rod Baker has such a talent.
I’ve been reading excerpts of his soon-to-be-released book “Um, where is Belize?” and I can guarantee there is indeed a treat in store for readers.

If you’re not familiar with Rod’s work, let me tell you a little about the main man (in his own words):

I grew up in small town England. Like many teens I was bored with life and decided to leave home and go to sea. At age sixteen, I joined the British merchant navy as a deck hand. It wasn’t quite what I thought it would be, but then nothing ever is. My first book, Constant Traveller R8011768, is about those adventures.

In 1968, aged 21, I immigrated to Canada and worked as a mate on a tugboat. The tugboat sank and was run over by a barge in the Haida Gwai islands. I decided to change careers and worked as a shipwright, businessman, College instructor, and CEO for mental health organizations.

I could never decide what to be. Now retired, I am trying my hand as a writer. I live in Lions Bay, British Columbia with my partner, Anna, and dog Fargo, who takes me for walks between bouts of writing.

You can read more about Rod’s experiences on the high seas in the 1960s in his book “The Constant Traveller – R801168”

 Reviews so far call it:

“a captivating story from start to finish”

“a damn good read”

“round the world on a merchant ship at 16”

“an excellent debut book”

and my particular favourite, “The first part of a remarkable life.” You can get a copy here

But that’s not all Mr Memoir has to offer. Oh no. siree! Book number 2  tells the story of his life running a boat repair shop.  “I need my yacht by Friday” is an apt title for the story that covers twenty years.

As a recent immigrant to Canada, I had completed an apprenticeship as a shipwright and found a good paying job in the shipyard, which allowed me to buy a three-bedroom house house for my growing family. Three weeks before Christmas, the foreman at the shipyard gave me one hour’s notice that I was laid off. I found piecemeal work to help pay the mortgage — then decided to go into business repairing boats. I rented a large warehouse, brought a chair from home, made a desk from a door and bought a brown manila envelope to put receipts in. I Need My Yacht by Friday, is the story of what happened next.

Reviews confirm that this is more than just a boat book. If you like messing about on boats or just want a great read about the challenges of setting up a business, then this is the book for you.

Get it here

To follow Rod’s progress with his next memoir, you can track him down on his website here.

You can be sure of an entertaining, funny, mind-boggling read. Sometimes, you’ll never believe it’s not fiction!

Thanks, Rod, for letting me share your writer’s life here.

Wishing you lots of success with many, many more books.

 

Posted in FREE for a limited time, Magic O'Clock, Readers wanted

Why I am giving my book away for FREE

Magic o’Clock

Yep, you read it right – for FREE

Head on over to The Story Cartel, where you can download a free copy (for Kindle, PDF or EPUB).

All I ask of you is that you then post a review on any book site such as Amazon, B&N or Goodreads

Why Story Cartel?

Story Cartel is a new way for readers and authors to connect.

This is a home to any kind of book you could imagine, from nail-biting thrillers to tender romance novels, serious literary fiction to self-help non-fiction.

Every book is free for a limited time. Now that’s Magic!

The books you see on Story Cartel are all offered free by generous authors in exchange for your honest review. For book lovers, Story Cartel is a resource to discover great books and fresh authors.

Readers support authors by leaving their honest review.

All books on Story Cartel are completely free, but in return you support authors by leaving your honest review, whether good or bad, of the book you downloaded. Your reviews help authors market their books and gives them valuable feedback to improve their writing.

Story Cartel isn’t about buying reviews. It isn’t about manipulating people into giving your book five-star reviews. Story Cartel is about using the power of social media and generosity to help your book spread to the hands of readers who love great books.

If you’re looking for great books, and you’re prepared to leave a review afterwards, then The Story Cartel is perfect for you as a reader.

I hope you’ll join me there and take a copy of Magic too.