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#Book #Review of The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2) by Anne Rice & Christopher Rice #Horror #Sci Fi & #Fantasy

Review

The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2)

by Anne Rice & Christopher Rice

Release date: November 21st, 2017

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Passion of Cleopatra Cover


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2) by Anne Rice & Christopher Rice from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

I read the first book, The Mummy (Ramses the Damned) about twenty years ago and was surprised to find out about a sequel.  Although I chose not to reread The Mummy, The Passion of Cleopatra works well as a stand-alone which is saying a great deal about the authors’ abilities to craft an engaging series.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2), it did take me a while to get into, however, after a few chapters it grabbed me and I devoured it in a day. Although there seemed to be quite a few characters, I feel they all added to the story and it slowly unfolded into an amazing adventure that kept me turning the pages.  Multiple intertwining plotlines run throughout the book and join at the end for a thrilling and very satisfying conclusion.

The story opens in Jericho 3600 B.C.E. then jumps everywhere from Cairo in 1914 to Edwardian England. Not to give too much away, the story’s focus is on the consequences that arise as a result of a magical elixir which grants immortality. The main plotlines all have this elixir at their core, albeit for different reasons.  Although there are quite a few characters, they are all unique and dynamic, each helping to drive the plot along. Reginald Ramsey also known as, Ramses the Great and his fiancé Julie, are involved in a life or death battle after Ramses uses the elixir to raise his former lover, an already dead and mummified Cleopatra.   What extended the life of both Ramses and Julie reacts very differently on the already deceased Cleopatra, especially when her soul has passed on to another…which, we get glimpses of in another plotline. The author also gives us a battle between two very ancient powers, one the originator of the elixir and her nemesis who holds a corrupt version but ruthlessly hunts for the original formula in order to create a kingdom of immortals.

All in all, this book was a great read and I would definitely recommend it.  I really enjoyed the collaboration between Anne Rice and her son Christopher and I hope to see book three in the not too distant future.

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Making it a November to Remember! #AmWriting #Coaching #Studying #BookReviews

“Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” 
~ Gilda Radner

November Collage

 

November is here, and in Toronto, we are finally getting some crisp autumn weather. Although I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo my main focus will be writing this month. As usual, November also brings with it more, studying, coaching, blogging and books to review but also a few new projects in the works.

Things are busy at IgniteYourCreativity.net both of my coaching programs:“Ignite Your Core Creativity” & “Art As Therapy” are available this month. Both of these programs are designed to help you embrace your passion, put your dreams into action, and ignite your creativity!

Over at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, we recently published our November 2017 NewsletterThis month features some great book recommendations, literacy tutoring information about NaNoWriMo and writing inspiration for our young writers. 

On October 27th, we celebrated our eighth instalment of the “We Are The World Blogfest” #WATWB.  We are so thrilled about the fantastic response we are getting and send out a huge thank you to all those who have participated.  My October post was titledMagic Wheelchair, Putting a Smile on Children’s Faces! #WATWB about an incredible organization that creates fabulous Halloween costumes for kids in wheelchairs.

Wondering what #WATWB is all about? 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 positive stories led by five co-hosts. If you are interested in learning more about this or to join us please click here for details. Next post is November 24th, 2017!

Wishing everyone a wonderful November and may you make some new and exciting memories! Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you are living in and loving the moment.

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” 

~Groucho Marx

#amwriting #researching #urbanfantasy #CelticMythology #mystery #historicalfiction #learning #studying #archaeology #egyptology #manuscriptstudies #palaeography  #codicology #history #arttherapy #coaching #WATWB #bookreviews #art #volunteering #transcribing #amreading  #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling

My Spotify Playlist ~#AmWriting #UrbanFantasy ~ Moon of Morrigan Trilogy

October: Autumn is in the Air

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

~ Marcel Proust

 

October is here, although in Toronto we are still facing some warm summer-like days, I am still enjoying my autumn. I look forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving and have so much to be grateful for. Huge thanks to my wonderful family, friends and followers who make each day so special.

October brings more writing, studying, coaching, blogging and  books to check which will no doubt be keeping me very busy as usual. In order to meet some of my goals I might not be online quite as often but will be checking in at regular intervals.

Things are picking up at IgniteYourCreativity.net both of my coaching programs:“Ignite Your Core Creativity” & “Art As Therapy” are up and running. Both of these programs are designed to help you embrace your passion, put your dreams into action, and ignite your creativity!

Over at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, we recently published our October 2017 NewsletterThis month features some great book recommendations, literacy tutoring and creative writing inspiration for our young writers. 

On September 29th, we celebrated our seventh installment of the “We Are The World Blogfest” #WATWB.  We are so thrilled about the fantastic response  we are getting and send out a huge thank you to all those who have participated.  My September post was titled “Making Magic for Pediatric Cancer Patients” about an amazing women who crochets fantasy wigs for young cancer patients.  A fellow #WATWB blogger, Lynn Hallbrooks, forwarded this story to me knowing I am an avid crocheter and she knew that this story would be right up my alley.

Wondering what #WATWB is all about? 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 positive stories led by five co-hosts. If you are interested in learning more about this or to join us please click here for details. Next post is October 27th, 2017!

Wishing everyone a wonderful October…wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you are living with grace & gratitude.

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy

#amwriting #researching #urbanfantasy #CelticMythology #mystery #historicalfiction #learning #studying #archaeology #forensicanthropology #manuscriptstudies #palaeography  #codicology #history #arttherapy #coaching #WATWB #bookreviews #art #volunteering #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling

My Spotify Playlist ~#AmWriting #UrbanFantasy ~ Moon of Morrigan Trilogy

Review of The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti ( @KateMoretti1 ) #Suspense #Mystery

Review

The Blackbird Season

by Kate Moretti

Release date: September 26th, 2017

The Blackbird Season Cover

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Blackbird Season” by Kate Moretti. This is a unique well-written, atmospheric read that is character driven and although it has a familiar plot, the author still manages to surprise you at the end.

It starts with a mysterious incident where blackbirds begin falling from the sky, which, seems to have little to do with the plot that unfolds but instead acts as a lead into a bigger event. A widowed teacher, Brigit, her old friend Nate, and his troubled family life captivate the first part of the book. Nate, a fellow teacher is trying to cope with an unhappy spouse while she struggles to care for their autistic son. Nate a very respected and adored teacher known for going above and beyond for his students becomes prime suspect when a student, Lucia, goes missing.  Lucia due to years of abuse and absentee parents is different from other girls, dark and melancholic and considered an outcast to peers.  When Lucia turns to Nate for help his world is turned upside down and he goes from being well-respected to becoming the town pariah.

The best part for me was the authentic characters who were written in such a compelling way. The characters viewpoint change chapter to chapter which in my opinion gives an interesting perspective to the plot.  Just when you think you understand what’s happening another viewpoint sheds a different light on events making the reader second guess.

This is the first book I’ve read by Kate Moretti but I have become a fan and will definitely be reading all of her work!

September Surprise via @CSWCLynn

Since September is a significant month to them, it was decided that the series David McKoy and Lynn Hallbrooks created should go on sale. If you’ve missed the previous blog posts about them, simply put, the stories center around six teammates who were former US Special Forces. They combined their talents to become a CIA Special Operations team know by their call sign: Wrecking Crew.

CSWCLLC logo by Grindhouse Media

In the first book of the series, the team is sent on a mission that would forever change their lives and the way they view their oath, including the part about enemies foreign and domestic.

In the second book, the team uses their knowledge both past and present to help defend their hometown. A few obstacles prevent them from completing that task.

The third book shares some of the team’s backstory and how they became a tight-knit unit. Fighting for your country is one thing, fighting your “family” is quite another.

CSWCSW via Amazon

Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Storm Warning (book 1)

Amazon U.S. link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004INHK2G

Universal link to Amazon marketplace nearest you: myBook.to/CSWCSW

CSWCWOE via Amazon

Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Wings of Eagles (book 2)

Amazon U.S. link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FH94MPS

Universal link to Amazon marketplace nearest you: myBook.to/CSWCWOE

CSWCSOL via Amazon

Genesis: Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Slice of Life (book 3)

Amazon U.S. link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JOZDW98

Universal link to Amazon marketplace nearest you: myBook.to/GenesisCSWCSOL

This series is exclusive to Amazon in all marketplaces for purchase or download via Kindle Unlimited. If you prefer a print version over an electronic one, the price is more but can be found in some of the Amazon locations alongside the electronic one. The series is also part of the Kindle Match program, so if you want both a print and electronic version of the book, that will be no problem. Just indicate that when purchasing. With the sale on, you might be pleasantly surprised at the current eBook price.

Below are some locations where you can follow David McKoy and Lynn Hallbrooks:

Lynn Hallbrooks posing

Lynn Hallbrooks

Amazon:

David McKoy: https://www.amazon.com/David-McKoy/e/B0051LMR54

Lynn Hallbrooks: https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Hallbrooks/e/B0050ZOGAA

Google+:

Call Sign: Wrecking Crew: https://plus.google.com/b/102552383467235441572/+Callsignwreckingcrew

Lynn Hallbrooks: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LynnHallbrooks

Twitter:

@CSWCLynn: https://twitter.com/CSWCLynn

@LynnHallbrooks: https://twitter.com/LynnHallbrooks

Website:

http://cswcllc.weebly.com/

Review of The Devil’s Wedding Ring by Vidar Sundstøl via @UMinnPress ‏

Review

The Devil’s Wedding Ring

by Vidar Sundstøl

Release date: September 26th, 2017

Book Cover The Devils Wedding Ring

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Devil’s Wedding Ring from NetGalley & University of Minnesota Press in order to read and give an honest review.

I’m a huge fan of Nordic Noir and The Devil’s Wedding Ring by Vidar Sundstøl is a perfect example. Dark, edgy and brilliantly plotted, this novel captures your attention and holds it through to its very satisfying conclusion.

When Knut Abrahamson, a Police Officer is found a victim of apparent suicide, his former partner Max Fjellanger returns from the US to pay his respects but finds that all is not what it seems. Max, now a private investigator in Florida, doesn’t believe Knut would choose to end his life especially when the pieces surrounding his death don’t seem to fit. Thirty years ago the last case Knut and Max investigated, the mysterious disappearance of Peter Schram, a case that would drive Max from the force and still seems to still weigh heavily on Max’s soul. In 1985, Schram a folklore researcher writing about Pagan rituals and the Stave Church in Eidsborg disappears without a trace on Midsummer Eve, an important date in Pagan culture.  The Stave Church is a tourist stop, although a Christian Church today was notorious for its Pagan history and rumours of a ghostly Monk who walks the grounds. The case of Schram’s disappearance remained unsolved but when Knut’s death looks like it is possibly related to the disappearance of a young grad student, Cecilie Weiborg as well as Schram, a shocking mystery begins to unravel. With the help of a quirky young librarian and mystery buff,  Tirill Vesterli, Max sets out to solve the mystery but not before putting his and Tirill’s life in danger.

This story has it all, mystery, murder, Norse myths and the mysterious ghostly Monk. Vidar Sundstøl ( Translated by Tiina Nunnally)  has written a story that is fast paced, well written and contains multi faceted characters. It has that great atmosphere that is indicative of Nordic Noir.  I would definitely recommend this read to anyone looking for an exciting Nordic Noir thriller that perfectly blends murder and mythology.

Studious in September ~ #amwriting #studying #creativitycoaching

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” ~ Ella Fitzgerald

September Writing

It’s hard to believe the summer is almost over and autumn, my favourite season, is almost upon us!  I see cool evenings, warm blankets, pumpkin spice lattes (yes, I’m a pumpkin person…don’t judge😉 ) and lots of reading in my future.  Many of my projects are falling into place, I’m looking forward to some busy months ahead working hard, pursuing my passions and making my dreams a reality.  This month writing, studying, coaching, volunteering and reviewing will be keeping me very busy as well as my usual blog posts.

Stuck in a #creative slump? Check out my recently launched creativity coaching programs at IgniteYourCreativity.net~ “Ignite Your Core Creativity” & “Art As Therapy” both of which are designed to help you embrace your passion, put your dreams into action, and ignite your creativity!

Over at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, we recently published our Back-to-School Newsletter. This month features some great book recommendations, literacy tutoring and creative writing inspiration for our young writers. 

 

On August 25th, we celebrated our sixth month of the “We Are The World Blogfest” #WATWB  We are getting a fantastic response and a huge thank you to everyone who participated.  My post was about the inspiring artist, writer, model and  UN ambassador, Muniba Mazari. Read my post The Art Of Converting Adversities Into Opportunities #WATWB”  here. Next post is September 29th, 2017!

Wondering what #WATWB is all about? 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 positive stories led by five co-hosts. If you are interested in learning more about this or to join us please click here for details. 

Wishing everyone a successful September…wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you are making your fondest dreams a reality!

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

#amwriting #researching #urbanfantasy #CelticMythology #mystery #historicalfiction #learning #studying #archaeology #forensicanthropology #manuscriptstudies #palaeography  #codicology #history #arttherapy #coaching #WATWB #bookreviews #art #volunteering #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling

My Spotify Playlist ~#AmWriting #UrbanFantasy ~ Moon of Morrigan Trilogy

Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human by @LynnHallbrooks on sale now! #HHH4HH

helpfulhints-cover

Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human by Lynn Hallbrooks has recently been revised and is currently on sale.

Some young adults will be leaving home soon, either for college or to make their own way in life. Ms. Hallbrooks hopes that her book with its recent updates will make their journey a little easier. It includes general cleaning advice as well as tips to help in the kitchen, laundry, and office.

In order to make it affordable for those on a strict budget, she has reduced the price to 99 cents USD. The book is exclusive to Amazon, so it is available through Kindle Unlimited and all Amazon marketplaces.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Helpful-Household-Hints-Harried-Human-ebook/dp/B01H68UEW2

Don’t have a US account, then this should get you to the Amazon Marketplace closest to you: myBook.to/HHH4HH

Lynn Hallbrooks posing

Lynn Hallbrooks wrote short stories for fun during her High School years. After serving in the U.S. Air Force she continued her Health Information Management (formerly known as Medical Records) career into civilian life. In late 2009, she and her writing partner, David McKoy began the Call Sign: Wrecking Crew series. In 2010, the founded Call Sign: Wrecking Crew, LLC which Lynn runs. Along the way, she has stayed with some friends and earned her keep by doing household duties such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. She realized she might be able to help others with a few pieces of advice, thus Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human was conceived.

Below are some locations where you can follow Ms. Hallbrooks:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Hallbrooks/e/B0050ZOGAA

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LynnHallbrooks

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynn-hallbrooks-39207934/

Twitter: @LynnHallbrooks: https://twitter.com/LynnHallbrooks

Website: http://cswcllc.weebly.com/

Would You Join in the We Are the World Blogfest? #WATWB #WriteBravely

I recently had the opportunity to share a bit about the “We Are The World Blogfest”. Check out my interview with Damyanti Biswas. 🙂

Source: Would You Join in the We Are the World Blogfest? #WATWB #WriteBravely

Review of The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley #Fantasy #HistoricalFiction

Review

The Bedlam Stacks

by Natasha Pulley

Release date: August 1st, 2017

Bedlam Stacks Cover

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of  The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

To start off with The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley is a well written, complex and captivating story which, I  found intriguing and thoroughly enjoyed. To me, this is a book unlike any other I have read, which is saying a great deal. Although it is hard to define if I were to generalize I would say it’s a mixture of historical fiction and fantasy.

Set in the 19th century, the protagonist, former East Indian Trading company smuggler, Merrick Tremayne, is living a dismal life with his brother in a dilapidated estate in Cornwall. Left with a bad leg, Merrick seems to have given up on life, enduring bizarre and difficult circumstances bound to push him to the edge. At his lowest point, he is offered an opportunity to go on an adventure. After an outbreak of malaria and a shortage of quinine, the East Indian Trading Company contact Merrick about going on an expedition to Peru to acquire cinchona cuttings so that they can produce their own quinine supply. The Peruvian Government has a monopoly on the quinine trade and is very protective of their crops which potentially will make this expedition a very dangerous one. Although dangerous, with the encouragement of his friend Clem and wife Minna, as well as a family connection to Bedlam, Merrick agrees to go. Once in Peru, Merrick and Clem are guided to Bedlam (New Bethlehem) by a priest, Raphael. Without giving away too much, their trip to Bedlam takes strange twists and turns leading the reader on a fantastic journey rich with folklore, myths, and magic.

Natasha Pulley has done an exquisite job with this novel, full of fantastic imagery, characters that come to life, rich, well-researched world building and beautiful and flawless prose. My only criticism is that it did move at a slow pace at times making it difficult to get into but by midpoint, I felt the story beautifully unfold and was so glad I persevered. The Bedlam Stacks is not a quick read but in my opinion is definitely one that should be savoured and enjoyed.

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