Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review of Strange Love by Victoria Pearson

I have reviewed this book on behalf of The Masquerade Crew and this will also be appearing on their blog in the near future.

Strange Love: Short Stories and Twisted Tales by Victoria Pearson (@vspearson)

This collection of 10 short stories captures love in it's many forms, and as the title suggests there are a few twists along the way to surprise and delight. The Nature of Loyalty will alter your perceptions of acceptable behaviour within different relationships and The Tall Tower and The Mis-sold Prince bring a new twist to two popular fairytales. My favourite story of the collection has to be Welcome to the Family - A Kitten's Tale, told from the POV of an older cat showing the new addition the ropes, it's both funny and believable, anyone who owns a cat will know what I mean.

Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable and quick read (I finished it in less than two hours). Although the stories are short, the characters are all well-rounded and I became emotionally invested in their tales. No two stories in this collection are the same and all have a very different feel and atmosphere. I would definitely read more from this author. 

I give Strange Love 4 out of 5.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Writing in the Midst of Chaos

"Write even when the world is chaotic. You don't need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement." Cory Doctorow
Image courtesy of juliejordanscott /

Do you have a particular set of circumstances that have to be 'just right' before you can sit down to write? As ideal as the picture to the side is, reality is very different.

I have written before (here) about making the most of the spare minutes in your day and doing some form of work towards your writing in just ten minute intervals. But what about the actual writing?

Personally I find that I can brainstorm and do short exercises in the middle of what ever happens to be going on in my house at the time (with a three year old it tends to be something noisy and messy). When it comes to working on my WIP however, I have to have silence. Any kind of distraction puts me off and pulls my attention away from the page/screen. I also prefer to be in a room by myself, somehow feeling self-conscious when others are around. Unfortunately these conditions are not met very often and so my actual writing time is severely affected.

Reading the above quote made me realise that if I want to put some serious effort into my writing I need to train myself to write in the middle of the chaos. If I can brainstorm with noise and interruptions, why not write as well?

So, starting this week with just short bursts of writing here and there, using the timed writing method I talked about last week (here), I am going to attempt to do just that. Wish me luck!

Anyone up or joining me? What do you need before you can start writing? Or can you already write in the midst of chaos? Any and all comments will be greatly appreciated, we can spur each other on. You can use the comments section below or contact me here. Alternatively, use the hashtag #writinginchaos

Friday, 22 February 2013

Weekly Inspirations #6

Image via
Here is a round-up of all the links that I have tweeted this week. Have a great weekend.


25 Inspiring Stories to Make You Smile  via

9 Unconventional Habits of Extraordinary Success  via

Allow Yourself To Make Big Mistakes. |  | via @GeaoffTalbot

Licence to think - Blog No. 15  via @cathy_birch

7 Reasons You’re Not as Successful as You Could Be by 

Why you shouldn't let fear stop you changing careers  via @shellmeister84

52 Ways to Shift Your Focus: Recall Your Old Interests  via @kcmickelson

When the next step can seem too high, too hard.  via @Seeds4Parents

Is Fear Stopping You From Following Your Passion?  via @jennifer4hicks

9 Lessons from 9 Inspiring Quotes I Live By  by


Random Thoughts: How my Male Hero from the Vespian Way Would Handle Valentine's Day  via 

Christine Presents: The New Kindle Phenomenon, Good or Bad via 

String Shots Together to Make Dynamic Scenes by 

20 great writers on the art of revision:  

7 Tips to Get Your Novel Started:  

Hi Tweeps!! I wrote a blog post inspired by one sentence I heard at a work conference. It resonated with me.  by @ericamchapman

My Guest: Medical   Jordyn Redwood … Story Ideas

I was nominated for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Here are my 7 titbits! Enjoy!    via @Susan_Buchanan

Readers Have Needs By  

10 tips for finding the time, energy and motivation to write by 

The Twitter Secret  via @DanaLeipold

I Recently Fell In Love With Flannery O'Connor  How Her Works Are Making Me A Better Writer via @10MinuteWriter

Inside the Writer’s Studio with Steven Vincent via 

I've decided to throw my hat in the ring and do some author interviews on my blog. First come first served. … via @lawrence_wray

5 Key Questions to Ask as You Write Your Novel | Write to Done by 

Learning Curve: Editing and Publishing  via 


Flash Fiction Submissions Wanted!  via 

 ... Why Do We  via @mollygreene

The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley: Do you like to win contests? via @sassiegirl500

I Need A Hero: Can You Kill Too Many Good Guys?  via @Elfwriter

Enter flash fiction for the Flashbang competition to win CrimeFest tickets  via @Short_Story_Net

For the Love of Writing  via 

Top 15 Ways To Build Your Subscriber List  via

Writing Down the Bones: Writer's Block  via

The Liebster Award | S. D. Keeling  by 

"We never fail. We experiment." - 

4 Steps To Being Awesome At Google Plus In 15 Minutes A Day via 

The Meritocracy: My Rant as an Indie! | Things "Writerly" by 

"Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you" Kahlil Gibran a poem >  via @SufiJohn

Reader's Appreciation Award  via @DBryantSimmons

Self-awareness creates presence. Lets remind kids to return to themselves!  via @AlexandraFolz

Five Ways to Handle Stuff and Other Nonsense Mystery Writing is Murder by  

Three Ways to Ground Readers in Your World  by


I can hear a melody written on the wind. It's a song full of passion that comes from all the people who dare to take any risks to be happy. by @sadieduarte

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. - William James via @wendyyoung

"Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement." ~ Henry Ford via @DouglasWickard

Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do. ~Bruce Crampton via @grattongirl

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. - St. Francis of Assisi via @wendyyoung

You don't get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour. ~ Jim Rohn via @ShonaHealingINT

"Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave." - Constantin Brancusi, sculptor via @The_Daily_Muse

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit - Richard Bach via @traffordpub

: "Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me." -Ray Bradbury


Gerri Bowen and Audrey’s Love is released!  via

'I soooo wish I had read this book, back when I was dating' THE DATING GAME     by @Susan_Buchanan

"If you do one thing this winter, I suggest you read Cephrael's Hand.    by @melissagmcphail

Christine Young Presents: Highland Magic  via

Christine Presents: Bobble Head Babes  via 

"A Secure Heart" is my baby and it would really make me happy if u checked it out :-)  via @CharityParkerso

The battles intense, the monsters foul, the magic amazing! "Warrior Class," an epic fantasy.    by @ptmayes

All my books only 99c this week. Collect them all!      by @ptmayes

Vol. 1 of The King Trilogy, an astounding epic, revealing what perfectly ordinary people will do for love and money. by @douglasssteve

“Pax in The Land of Women” by Monica La Porta, a dystopian tale of forbidden love  via @momilp

Solving cold case murders--WHO KILLED CHRISSY? Las Vegas mystery killing...$2.99 KindleBook via @BeverlySimcic

Christine Young Is Happy To Host The Doubting Heart via 

'Darkly captivating' and 'deliciously unpredictable' 5 stars! via@bevjoneswriting

Sacrifice Of Innocence -- 4.5 *s on Amazon!  PLS RT! -  via @alleycat34

Christine Young Presents: Lady In Deed  via 

Review of The Great Twitter Adventure “I truly enjoyed this book.” Thanks Heidi!  via @writinggroove

Looking for a fun new read? Check out LIFE AND DEATH OF LILY DRAKE!-  via @TMichelleNelson

For over forty years she had blanked those terrible images from her mind... ‘The Counsellor’ only £1.85 @  via @GillianJackson7

Christine Presents: HER LIFE WAS AT STAKE... ...AND SO WAS HIS HEART  via 

NOOK bargain ‘Heart warming, I didn’t want to put the book down’ 5* review for ‘Maggie’s World’ @  via @GillianJackson7

Step into the mind of an assassin with The First Kill -  on  via @DarciaHelle

"This book has a very consistent selection of tales, each very different but all effectively creepy."  via @montoure



Beautiful RT  Have you seen this tearjerker of a video?  via 

60 Short Love Stories to Cheer You Up from Warning, some of these may bring tears to your eyes

Bloodstone is My Birthstone? By Barbara Edwards  via

So random. We are tiny passengers on a fast-moving ship.

Hackers. Things to watch out for.  via

Did you see these amazing amateur videos of the meteorite falling from the sky in Russia? 

Via  {thank you Mandy, for everything } RT This is why we need art, just beautiful.

Phil's Author Blog: Crazy People Do Crazy Things via @philip_parry

All Opinions Are Not Facts  via 

RT : Mentally disabled........ < One for 

Photo:  via @zer0cipher

Should we label creative people as 'mentally ill'?  via @andyinstone

Yoga time Animal Talk 

Dream Big Animal Talk 

What a badass:  via @GoddardMike

PP Vicki Batman on Cuddle Up!  via 

Kitty experiences static electricity Animal Talk