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Ignite Your Creativity…adding spark to your creative life! 

More and more people are becoming aware of the healing powers of creativity.  Human nature makes people want to strive to feel good and keep their bodies free from illness and dysfunction.  Two goals most people hope for are to be creative and to improve/maintain health.  Taking our cue from physics, the first law of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed but is changed from one form into another. Expressing your creative energy means the energy within you is given an outlet; it is redirected into a more positive energy.  Everyone is inheritably born with the potential for creativity.  Drawing, painting, writing, acting, sculpting, knitting, dancing, cooking and playing an instrument are all creative activities that can ignite that creative spark.  Many people already embrace their creativity while others are in the realm of “I am just not creative”.  The key to being creative is taking action!

“Another word for creativity is courage”  ~ George Prince


© Belinda Witzenhausen & IgniteYourCreativity.net, 2009-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Belinda Witzenhausen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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#BookReview of The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore via #NetGalley #Historical #Suspense

 

Review

The Companion

A Novel

by Kim Taylor Blakemore

Release date: January 14th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Companion, A Novel by Kim Taylor Blakemore from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in order to read and give an honest review.

an exquisitely written, atmospheric suspense that kept me engaged right to the last page...”

Author, Kim Taylor Blakemore gives us a beautifully written historical fiction novel brimming with slow-building suspense and atmosphere.  Set in 1855, New Hampshire, our narrator, Lucy Blunt is in her jail cell awaiting the hangman’s noose looking back at the events that led her to that moment.   

Lucy running away from her past shows up with falsified reference letters in hand at prominent mill owner Mr. Burton’s estate to get a position as a servant. Hired, Lucy settles in working in the kitchen, although the work is tiring and tedious but acts as a distraction from her past and the overwhelming grief that haunts her.  Her predecessor Mary is found dead and she is thrown in the middle of a grieving household. When Rebecca, the blind mistress, Eugenie Burton’s nasty companion, falls ill, Lucy ends up filling in. Unlike Rebecca, Lucy is respectful and kind towards Eugenie, earning her respect and affection.  Once jealousy rears its ugly head betrayal, threats and murder are not far behind.  

One of my favourite things about The Companion is the character development Each character felt well rounded, distinct and very real, each struggling with their lot in life. My only complaint, to be honest, I didn’t care for the open ending, in my opinion, it felt unfinished, I felt it deserved “more”. Although the ending wasn’t for me the story was an exquisitely written, atmospheric suspense that kept me engaged right to the last page. I would highly recommend.   

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#Review of The Woman in the Veil (#Victorian Mystery No.4) by Laura Joh Rowland #Mystery via #NetGalley

The Woman in the Veil

(#Victorian #Mystery No.4)

by Laura Joh Rowland

Release date: January 7th, 2020

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The Woman In The Veil


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Woman in the Veil (#Victorian Mystery No.4) by Laura Joh Rowland from NetGalley & Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

The Woman In The Veil is a new entry in Laura Joh Rowland’s Victorian Mystery series featuring crime-scene photographer and reporter Sarah Bain. I consider Rowland to be a master at writing fast-paced, suspenseful whodunits that keep readers on the edge of their seats. I have been fortunate enough to read and review her first three books in the series, the first The Ripper’s Shadow, the second, A Mortal Likeness, the third  The Hangman’s Secret and her newest book, The Woman in the Veil, like her previous books, does not disappoint.

Set in 1890 London, the adventure begins when Sarah, Mick, and Lord Staunton are called to photograph a disfigured, naked female body that has washed up on the banks of the Thames. While the police prepare the crime scene, Sara notices not all is as it seems, something is not right about the victim….the poor thing is actually alive. When the unidentifiable victim is in the hospital in a coma, Sara feels responsible to help get to the bottom of this.  She convinces her boss, Sir Gerald Mariner, owner of the Daily World newspaper to allow her to stay on the story. Mariner gives the victim the name Sleeping Beauty until she is identified. Sarah, Hugh, Mick and along with Sarah’s fiance, Constable Barrett, are determined to get to the truth about who Sleeping Beauty really is and who tried to kill her. The investigation heats up when three different parties show up, all claiming that they are the loved ones of Sleeping Beauty. When sleeping beauty wakes up from her coma with amnesia, things become more desperate, they must get to the bottom of things before the killer decides to finish the job.  When one of the parties claiming to know her is murdered, Sarah becomes a suspect and Inspector Reid, is back, with his usual animosity and Sarah’s life and reputation are at stake. Sarah true to form puts her life and reputation in jeopardy to get to the bottom and save the woman she’s become incredibly fond of.

If you are looking for a clever, fast-paced, Victorian mystery this is definitely a must-read.

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Happy Holidays from Ignite Your Creativity!

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Christmas 2019

Wishing those who celebrate…

A Very Merry Christmas & a
happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Thank you to everyone for their love, kindness and support this year.♥️
🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲

#merrychristmas #seasonsgreetings #happynewyear

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#Book #Review Music Macabre (Phineas Fox #4) by Sarah Rayne #Historical #Mystery #NetGalley

Review

Music Macabra Cover

Music Macabre

(Phineas Fox #4)

by 

Sarah Rayne

Release date: December 3rd, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Music Macabre(Phineas Fox #4)
by Sarah Rayne from NetGalley and Severn House Publishers in order to read and give an honest review.

” …clever, complex and incredibly well-written, this book keeps the reader enthralled…

This is the first novel I have read by Sarah Rayne and I know I will definitely be reading her others as well.  A modern-day mystery interspersed with a gothic victorian murder set in the late 1800s, the author manages to intertwine multiple plotlines wonderfully.

Music researcher, historian and author,  Phineas Fox is collecting research to write a biography about famous and flamboyant composer Franz Liszt. While researching he comes across Linklighters, a  recently opened restaurant that was once a well-known Victorian music hall.  Phineas meets it’s mysterious owner Loretta Farrant and uncovers old memorabilia that points to Liszt, Jack the Ripper and about the murder with the famous performer known as Scaramel at its centre. The story travels back in time to meet Scaramel, Daisy, Joe and hear about the gruesome murders that are occurring in the area. Present-day we follow Phineas as he uncovers research and we also learn about Loretta Farrant, her husband Roland as well as the mysterious death of Roland’s mother.

I actually really enjoyed this book but wished I would have seen more of Phineas.  This is the fourth book in a series and I regret not reading the previous three to get more of a glimpse into Phineas’s character but it was a fantastic read as a stand-alone.  Overall I found it clever, complex and incredibly well-written, this book keeps the reader enthralled until the last page and I would highly recommend it!

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A Young Writers Guide To Writer’s Block

WritingMay

Some people will tell you there is “no such thing as Writer’s Block” and to some degree they are right. But there will be days when writing just isn’t working for you. You know what I mean, those days when you sit in front of your computer and it feels like getting a cavity filled would be easier. Unfortunately, the only way to overcome this dreaded feeling is to write or refill your creative well… Here are six tips to help ignite your creativity…
Keep a journal. Set the timer on your phone, computer, whatever works for about 20minutes. Your goal is to just write continuously without stopping until your timer goes off.  Write down whatever comes into your head, however random, strange or unimportant it may seem. No censoring and no over-thinking.

Brainstorm. If you are stuck on a particular plotline grab a large piece of paper or a mind-mapping app and write down as many ideas no matter how unusual they may seem, they might trigger something that will work. It’s all about getting ideas down. A page full of ideas can jumpstart your creativity.

Talk with other writers. There are some moments when it’s easier to speak to others about ideas than to write them down. Try talking your story out with another trusted writer. If you are not yet ready to share ideas with another record your ideas on your phone or computer, talking things out can often help.

Writing Prompts. Sometimes all you need to get the creative juices flowing is to have some fun with silly or thought-provoking writing prompts.

Create an Atmosphere or Ritual to get you in the writing mood.  I absolutely love my writing area. My original workspace is no longer available so I recently set up a new one in a corner of my bedroom and I love it! I have bookcases filled with inspiring books, vintage typewriters, inspirational pictures or quotes and a few kitsch items that are prominent in my story. I listen to music that helps evoke images in connection with my current WIP, light candles, grab a tea or coffee and snuggly blanket, something to stimulate each of my senses.

Get a change of scenery. Sometimes all you need is a change of pace. Use to writing at home try, a café, library or outdoor venue. People watching, background noise or a little sunshine might be all you need to fire up your creative engine.

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Young Adult Writing Corner ~ #WritingPrompts

Writing prompts are a wonderful way to kick-start your creativity and generate ideas. There isn’t a right or wrong way respond, just be honest, be creative and use your imagination!

“Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Write a modern-day fairy tale based on your life. Where will you turn to for inspiration? Is your fairy tale replete with evil warlocks, fair maidens, fairies, goblins, elves, trolls and heroic princes? Is it set in a faraway land or your local mall? Are you locked away in a tower or in a place without Wi-Fi?

Write, be creative and most of all HAVE FUN! 🖋

A picture is worth a thousand words…

In Canada, we are experiencing extremely cold and stormy weather this time of year.  It’s also a time when electrical blackouts happen occasionally. Write about what happens on a stormy night during one of these blackouts.

Get creative, write and most of all, have fun! 🙂

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Blissfully busy season ahead! #amwriting #UrbanFantasy #Egyptology #amstudying #Archaeology #ForensicAnthropology #IrishMythology

November December Montage

“I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Between now and next January is shaping up to be blissfully busy! November and December have always extremely busy for me and this year is no exception.  I have been busy taking courses for both pleasure and business.  I’m currently studying Forensic Anthropology, Archaeology and Irish Mythology as well as pursuing complementary courses and workshops for my creativity coaching practice at IgniteYourCreativity.net which I will be relaunching with new content, new courses and new look in Winter 2020.

As well as my courses and usual to-do list,  I’m also halfway through tackling this year’s NaNoWriMo. To sum it up,  in between writing essays, blog posts, book reviews and articles, I am attempting to finish my draft of a  50,000 word (min.) on my #UrbanFantasy #Gothic novel by the 30th.  So far I’m on track, but as with most writers, the first draft is awkward, messy and often frustrating but it’s become an addiction I’m not ready to quit.

Keep your eyes open for Professor Owl’s Book Corner December Newsletter for Young Adults coming out this weekend, my #WATWB We are the World Blogfest post on November 29th and a few book reviews coming up over the next few months. I will be taking a hiatus of sorts over the last two weeks of December to celebrate the holidays with family.

“This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re living with passion and purpose!  🙂
Live, laugh & love! ❤

#amwriting #researching #mythology #egyptology #urbanfantasy #gothic #writerscommunity #studying #archaeology #history #arttherapy #coaching #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #bookreview #authorinterviews #journaling

““Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.”~Neil Gaiman

My Spotify Playlist ~ #AmWriting #UrbanFantasy #Egyptology #Mystery ~ The Secret of Living

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A Secret Finally Revealed #ShortStories #SCCA4 #AnimalsAcrobaticsAttitudeand Amore #AwardWinner #NewAppleLiteraryService

A Secret Revealed

New Apple Literary Services has been holding on to a secret for a few months. Why? Because they wanted to provide their viewers with all the information and the sparkles that are medallions on their website. Just like National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo it’s been a work in progress.

Not sure what I’m saying?

New Apple Literary Services held a Summer eBook Awards competition earlier this year (2019). After the results were tallied, some categories had more than one book that met or exceeded their expectations. Since there is only one Solo Medalist per category, the judges must determine the best of those and then assign the others in the Official Selection category. November 10, 2019, they updated their website with the winners.

If you’d like to see who won what, you can visit: http://newappleliterary.com/2019ebookwinners.html

Why am I telling you this?

My friend and fellow author, Lynn Hallbrooks, participated in this competition. Her book, Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore, won Official Selection in the Short Story Collection category. http://www.newappleliterary.com/2019ebook/2019ebookCat20.html

SSCA4 With Label - Big - High Resolution

What can you do?

You can help me applaud her efforts. That can take the form of sharing this blog post, purchasing her book (see links below), and/or simply saying congratulations to her here or on social media.

Bonus: The book is currently on sale for 99 cents (USD) and equivalent around the various global market places.

Of course, you aren’t limited to saying congratulations to Lynn, you can say it to all the winners of this competition. If you’re an author you could consider participating in future events: http://newappleliterary.com/awards.html

CONGRATULATIONS LYNN!

About Lynn

Lynn Hallbrooks posing

Lynn Hallbrooks is a USAF veteran who enjoys reading as much as she does writing. She even started a website to share the love of books with fellow authors and readers. https://author-reader-cheerleader.weebly.com/

Lynn runs her own business, Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC where she self-publishes books among other things. You can see the range of her books and connect with her social media platforms via her website: https://cswcllc.weebly.com/

You can find Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore via multiple vendors. Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6C2FB3

Amazon global: mybook.to/SCCA4 Multiple vendors: https://books2read.com/SSCA4

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You Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas ( @damyantig ) #BookReview Proceeds benefit @projectwhydelhi & @stopacidattacks #CrimeFiction #AcidAttacks

You Beneath Your Skin Cover

You Beneath Your Skin

by Damyanti Biswas

Release date: September 15th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of You Beneath Your Skin
by Damyanti Biswas from the author and Simon & Schuster in order to read and give an honest review.

” …a flawlessly written, atmospheric, intriguing story with…”

In her debut novel, You Beneath Your Skin, Damyanti Biswas gives us a compelling psychological thriller which is not only a brilliant page-turner but shows us the truth about the misogyny and violence against women which sadly happens throughout the world.

The story opens when Anjali Morgan, a well-respected psychiatrist, is called to consult on a string of murders of young slum women, raped, murdered and disfigured with acid on the streets of New Delhi. Anjali already living a complicated life, being a single mother raising a special needs son named Nikhil, bearing the weight of a secretive past and working along-side her married boyfriend of ten years, Special Commissioner of Crime Jatin Bhatt is dragged into the center of a dark and dangerous case. Atmospheric and gritty we are witnesses to the investigation and the very real, very disturbing details of the crime. During the climax, Anjali finally begins to realize that she is on a path that may put herself and those she loves in grave jeopardy.

Personally, I loved everything about this book, I loved the detail brought to every scene, being immersed in the culture and most of all I love the way Anjali was written…her honesty, intelligence and insecurities all felt genuine making her very relatable.

To sum up, Ms Biswas gives us a flawlessly written, atmospheric, intriguing story with well developed, authentic, characters and an intricately plotted realistic crime story makes this such an incredibly entertaining and engrossing read that I would highly recommend!


D Biswas Bio Picture

About the Author

Damyanti Biswas lives in Singapore, and works with Delhi’s underprivileged children as part of Project Why, a charity that promotes education and social enhancement in underprivileged communities. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. You can find her on her blog and twitter. All the author proceeds will go to Project WHY and StopAcid Attacks.

 

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#Art for #Recovery ~ Using Art to Help Heal

Shared from http://www.BelindaWitzenhausen.com ~ #WATWB October Blogfest Post

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Welcome to the “We are the World Blogfest” (#WATWB ). The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Sylvia McGrathLizbeth HartzShilpa GargMary Giese, and Belinda Witzenhausen.
To learn more about #WATWB or to join us click here!


“Art is the meeting ground of the world inside and the world outside.”~ Elinor Ulman

Establish in 1988, the University of California, San Francisco’s Art for Recovery (Ernest H Rosenbaum Art for Recovery)Program,  is a creative arts program introducing art, writing and music to adults living with cancer and other potentially terminal illness. To date, it has helped thousands of patients find a voice to express their feelings about their illness.  By being able to communicate they build confidence in themselves and finding a way to cope with life-changing illnesses. 

Approximately 200 patients participate in Art for Recovery’s weekly, three-hour Open Art Studios workshop. Other activities they offer include writing workshops and visits by musicians at Mount Zion and Mission Bay. Volunteer guitarists, harpists and madrigal singers also perform in hospital lobbies. Both inpatients and outpatients may attend and participate.  Program director, since it’s inception, Cynthia Perlis  discusses the benefits of the program in the video below:

“Expressive art therapy integrates all of the arts in a safe, non-judgmental setting to facilitate personal growth and healing. To use the arts expressively means going into our inner realms to discover feelings and to express them through visual art, movement, sound, writing or drama. This process fosters release, self-understanding, insight and awakens creativity and transpersonal states of consciousness.” ~ Natalie Rogers