Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.



Cover Reveal: Danu (line of Enya, book 2), by T.L Harty

Danu, by T.L. Harty is the second book in a YA Historical Fantasy packed to the brim with fascinating insight to a dangerously magical blood line. It was released just a few days ago and I can’t wait to read it. Stay tuned for a review, it’ll definitely be sooner than later!  I finished up the first book in the series just over a week ago and it was an excellent read.

Read the review for book one here: Review: Behold Ellowee: Destiny is Rarely Your Own, by T L Harty

Muriel is whisked away, safely nestled in Danu castle so she can’t be found.

Still coming to terms with her abilities, she begins to understand their importance, and gains more insight about her ancestry, as historical errors are revealed in a powerful way.

With so much to learn and loved ones to protect, she can’t afford to ignore the inevitable responsibility of her lineage.
Muriel is destined to complete the Council, which has been missing the Line of Enya seat for over 500 years.

Sometimes, life has to fall apart before it can finally come together.


Review: Deity’s Soulmate, by Angelina Kerner 4 of 5 stars

My Review:

4 of 5 stars.

Deity’s Soulmate has the most uniquely modern twist on mythological aspects I’ve ever read. It’s different, and I love different. Gardenia is the daughter of Athena and Zeus. She has a bit of a temper, and often makes rash decisions. She lets her family and the fates press her buttons, and she’s known to act on emotions rather than thinking things through.

Her stubborn bull-headedness isn’t all bad though. After breaking the rules, checking out human kind in war without permission, and listening to some negative comments of belittlement from her family and one of the fates, Gardenia makes a split decision to create a Galaxy of her own. Such a task usually requires years of extensive training. It’s extremely taxing on the body and soul, and the complexities of creating life is far to overwhelming for a teenage goddess to understand.

Luckily Gardenia survives the first step. But, for punishment Zeus places her creation in a limbo state and requires her to train for quite an extensive period of time. Everyone is expecting her to fail. After her choice to seek out the help of dragons as her trainers rather than the obvious choice of her family, they all seem to stand against her even more. Gardenia uses the lack of faith in herself by her family to feed her determination. She seeks out the help of dragons to train her for the task at hand. What she finds in her journey is far from what she expected.

I really enjoyed the style of this story and am excited to read the next books in the series!  I enjoyed the fates. They’re deceptive and weave a path of destruction. It’s kind of like they are irritating in a perfect way. I love the approach Angelina took with Dragons! I felt like Gardenia was a bit juvenile. A part of me felt like that was necessary to the plot, and part of me not so much. Ultimately I really enjoyed the read, and will definitely be reading the next in the series!


From author Angelina Kerner (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted) comes an all-new fantasy series about Gardenia, a daughter of Athena, and her 100 years of coursework on how to create whole new worlds and subjects of her own.

A sheltered schoolchild in a realm of condescending gods and goddesses, Gardenia goes to Earth on a dare to witness the unsavory side of mankind for herself. Believing she can do better, she undertakes the formation of an entire galaxy, but without permission from Zeus.

Zeus disciplines her by assigning an epic 13-fold creational lesson destined to take her a century to complete. But he is taken aback once more when she makes an odd choice. She vows to fulfill this knowledge quest by tracking down a lost race of dragons, and discovering the secrets they’ve kept since time began.

Searching the universe to meet even one dragon may be a fool’s errand, but that’s the least of her worries. For ancient wartime resentments linger between the nations of dragons and deities, and some dragons would attack Gardenia on sight!

Yet she ventures out undaunted, learning unexpected things about nomadic life, tender love, and mortal peril along the way. The biggest surprise of all, though, goes by the name of Ri. Ri may be the man of her dreams, the voice in her head, the dragon she’s seeking, or all these things and more…

Meanwhile, the Fates brew sordid plans of their own and Hera jealously sets traps and trials for Gardenia at every chance. What’s a young goddess to do? Flight or fight?

The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall @shanannigans81 #blogtour #thriller #giveaway

Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller/ Romance

Publication Date: January 2018


Twenty-eight-year-old cultural anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead.  The cause of death is unknown.

At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital with total memory loss.  For Dax, his memory loss is an act of self-preservation.  Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares.

Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that left Dax in a catatonic state. Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne.

Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares.

However, Noah has a secret of his own, a dangerous secret, that will put Lilly in harm’s way.

Available on Amazon

The Stone Arch Secret Cover

About the Author

D. Dowdall, PhD, MSN, RN was born in New England and spent her elementary-grade school years in Granby, Connecticut. She graduated from FAU with a master’s degree in Clinical Research Nursing and has a PhD in clinical nutrition. K. D. is also a lover of ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, contemporary dance, and has had her own dance studio.  She has written songs, poetry, short stories, and now several fiction novels; a children’s fantasy adventure story, a historical mystery/murder with a dash romance and a third fiction novel almost complete;  a mystery thriller with romance. All are standalone novels.  Her next book is a series.

Along the way, it was her good fortune to live in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Each culture she experienced reinforced her belief that all cultures are rich in storytelling to explain their human hopes, dreams, struggles, and life experiences, often in magical fantasy presentations. K. D. still dances, loves swimming, scuba diving, and theatre.

KD Dowdall

Giveaway: 2 Print Copies of The Stone Arch Secret

Review: Behold Ellowee: Destiny is Rarely Your Own, by T L Harty

4 of 5 stars. My Review:

Behold Ellowee was a very pleasant surprise for me. It’s far from your typical fantasy involving magical heritage and secret societies. I’m also very glad that the second book in the series will be coming out soon so that I don’t have to wait long to see what happens next. I felt like most of this book is actually the back story, necessary in order to understand exactly what an Oris is and to feel the family ties before diving into the adventure and danger of what is to come. We get to know the origins of the family and the magic that’s weaved within. The history and angle of Muriel’s (the main character) blood line is told in a unique way. It has a very realistic and relate-able feel to it, I actually felt emotionally connected to her, and to her Grammy, which I absolutely love in a book.

Muriel spends the summers with her Grammy and Gramps every year. Her mother abandon her when she was three years old, so the bond that she has with her Grammy is much more like a mother daughter relationship. When Muriel is fifteen, and her body is changing into womanhood a chain of events forces the truth of her blood line and who she really is to the surface. She begins having visions. The things she sees are shocking and disturbing, mostly involving her mother. Muriel sees the nasty thoughts and the truly selfish ways of her mom. Dealing with the realities of her moms history and inner demons is a troubling feat.

Luckily the first of Muriel’s visions began to show up during one of her summer visits. Grammy recognized this issue right away, familiar with what was happening to Muriel on an extremely personal level. Grammy is a wise woman, I really love her! She’s my favorite character in this book, and without her Muriel (as well as many many others) would be lost.

The book bounces from past to present. Explaining that summer, as well as what Muriel’s life has become as an adult. Muriel winds up married with a child, living a regular life. She’s tried everything she can to live her life as far away from the facts of her heritage and the burdens of her visions as she can get. Fate has different plans for her! Much much different. When tragedy strikes Muriel is forced to face her heritage head on. There are many hints of lies, deceit, danger, and secrets through out the journey, and the build up for what is to come is immense. I can’t wait to see what happens with the Oris society, especially with Muriel’s child!


Muriel was shipped off to her grandparent’s house every summer. She enjoyed the break from school and loved her grandparents dearly, but would describe these months as uneventful…even boring. Not this time.

Strange changes in Muriel ensured this summer would be different from the very beginning. Grammy’s history lessons hold many answers, but Muriel is too busy awkwardly coming of age to comprehend the full weight of their meaning.

As the summer progresses, she reluctantly navigates her new reality while learning long-kept family secrets. These secrets explain why her mother left when she was three, and how a normal life may never be attainable.

Now as an adult, Muriel is still attempting to deny her lineage- until tragedy strikes. It is then that Muriel receives the final piece of the puzzle and understands what is required of her. The temporary guide that has been assigned to her can only help so much. Muriel must first embrace a history she has tried so desperately to forget.

Destiny is rarely your own.

#ARC sign up! Choose Between 7 books, Amazon #kindle Gifted!

My writing buddy Kim and I are inviting all friends to an ARC read and review round! This means you will be gifted a FREE Amazon Kindle copy of one of the below books, in exchange for an honest review. The event is taking place between the 1st- 31st January 2018. The only polite request is, if you receive a copy of the book you signed up for, please read and leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads during January 2018. Note that all but three of these books are novella length, and should not take long to read. Feel free to forward this event onto anyone who you may feel is interested! Sharing is caring!!

Further descriptions on each book can be found on Amazon Author Pages here:



We are both so excited for this freebie review round!! It’s a hell of a way to kick of the new year.  The requests have been coming in and neither of us can wait to see your shining reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!  Thank you readers!


Happy Reading!!!


Review: Before I Let You Go, by Kelly Rimmer 3.75 stars

My Review:

I get mixed emotions about books often, but I think with Before I Let You Go it was the first time I’ve ever actually had a deep rooted LOVE HATE relationship for the read. From cover to cover there were so many times I bawled my eyes out and literally wanted to throw my kindle at the wall. Then there were other times that I wanted to give Kelly Rimmer a gigantic hug and tell her thank you from the depths of my soul for bringing such a powerful story about.

There are several reasons this book was a hard pill to swallow for me. I struggled to have babies of my own. During my personal journey I heard so many stories of drug addicted mommies and daddies. I even worked in a daycare at the time, and witnessed firsthand the struggles of kids being very obviously mistreated. Every time I’d suffer a miscarriage it was a struggle to wrap my head around the fact that babies are born into inevitably hard lifestyles every single day, yet women like myself couldn’t even have one. I now have two children (after loosing seven) and a long since hysterectomy. I went into this book knowing that it would be emotional for me, yet I was hoping for a different outlook and an insight into compassion. The type of compassion that I know I should have a little more of for people who have different lifestyles than my own.

What I got was SO much more complex than what I expected!!  It felt so real, on so many levels, and left me with the type of understanding that I’ve never had before. I have plenty of loved ones who have struggled with addiction, but the insight that this book offers is so intense and so gut wrenching. I didn’t expect to experience even a fraction of the emotions that this story drug out, but I did, and so here I am… writing a review that is likely to be the longest in depth break down that I’ve ever actually given a book.

Before my love hate details, I’ll do a super quick rundown of the story line:

Lexie and Annie are sisters, and they couldn’t be any more opposite. Their father died when they were young, and their mother wound up raising them in an extremist religious community. For the most part, Lexie stepped up and played the role of a parent to Annie. She was the first to run away (at 16) and Annie eventually followed suit (at 15).. but not before the community (mostly their step-father) broke Annie in practically every way imaginable. While there, Lexie was compliant and found her own way in secret growing up, all the while Annie was always on the receiving end of punishment for wearing a personality on her sleeve. To say the abuse was taxing on her young mind would be an extreme understatement. The time Annie was there without Lexie was life altering.
Fast forward some years down the line… Lexie is a doctor, and engaged to a general sergeant named Sam. (I love Sam!). Her life is perfect in every way aside from the burden of her now long time heroine addicted sister. Annie has a track record of running to Lexie for a bail out, who is always quick to the hand out. Lexie tries to understand Annie and wants to save her despite the constant emotional and financial drain that Annie brings every single time. But, now things are different. This time there is a baby involved, and the process of detoxing during/after pregnancy, followed by intensive rehab and care for the addicted child is an excruciating process.

Things I loved:
I really liked the writing in general. Kelly has a way with description, and the picture drawn is flawless. I love her style. I felt like I was actually there, and like I truly understood the thought process of whoever’s voice was being portrayed. I love the way it all plays out, and is unfolded over time. I love the insight to how exactly Annie’s addiction spiraled so out of control, and I loved that I gained compassion for her. I love Sam! He is just the level headed and supportive character that this story needed. I love the light this book shines on enablers, and the way they blindly feed the addiction of those they are trying to save from it. I love the depth of love and family ties between siblings!  Last but not least, I love the ending.  I felt it to be extremely realistic!

Things I hated:
Lets just start with Lexie and Annie’s mom. I hate everything about her. I point the finger of blame at her just as much as I do her disgusting husband. Honestly, how could she!?!  How could she expose her children to a lifestyle that she knew first hand to be awful? One that she herself once escaped from? How could she put them in the path of the man she married? How could she turn away and burry her nose in the blindness of her “faith” over growing a backbone to protect her own kids?!  Especially after they suffered the same loss as her in their father. She may have grieved her husband, but those girls lost their dad and she should have been their rock. Instead she dropped them and watched quietly while they shattered against the very faith and the very man that she hid behind. This woman plays a very small part in the book, yet possibly the biggest all at the same time. I hate her.

I also had a hard time with Lexie, the perfect one. If there were ever such thing as a first place prize for the biggest enabler in the history of all enablers, then Lexie Vidler would win that prize. She’s an idiot. Her outlook on Annie, and on how to approach Annie’s addiction had me pretty consistently pissed off. I also hate the way that she pushed Sam away all the time and tried handling everything on her own. Especially since she was handling it so stupidly!

Most of all I hate everything that that poor sweet innocent little baby had to go through! Annie acts like she will do anything (and is trying) for the baby, but why did she wait until that poor child was due before she called for help?! Also, I hate that Lexie cares more about handing the child back over to her addict sister for the sake of ‘helping’ than she is about actually assuring Annie has broken her addiction before giving her an actual human life!  I spent the entire book rooting for Annie to get well, yet was pissed off left and right at Lexie for caring more about hurting Annie’s feelings and/or bailing her out of rehab than keeping that baby safe! That baby should have came first and foremost from the day Annie realized she was pregnant, but she wasn’t. It’s the child that received the blunt end of the entire family’s issues, and she was the least focused on. I hated that.

I’m very glad I read this book and would recommend it to anyone who is suffering or even enabling addiction! It’s a MUST READ that I equally hated as much as I loved.
Thank you NetGalley and the Publisher for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As the weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhoods, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

Start 2018 With Free Books!

Hello Book Lovers!

My co-author and I are inviting you to our Author Review Copy read and review round…. this means freebies!

1st-31st January 2018

Would you like a FREE Amazon gifted copy of one of our books below? (plus more!!!) There’s no catch, we promise. We’re doing an ARC read and review round. Anyone who is interested in a book will be gifted a copy, in exchange for an honest review. Check out the blurbs, if something takes your fancy there’s a Google forms link THAT CAN BE FILLED OUT HERE to indicate your interest and you will receive a free copy directly. The link will be clickable at the bottom of post as well.
Happy New Year!
Happy Reading!

The Red Room, Romance In The City

The Red Room is book one of the Romance In The City novella series, of steamy and romantic standalone short stories.

Rita Lane lives a double life in her day job she’s a receptionist at the prestigious London Park Hotel. By night her adventures begin. As a thirty something year old woman she is content with her single status. Richard Clarkson a New York based guest at the Park Hotel has firmly closed the door to romance, after a rocky marriage. As soon as Rita checks Richard into the hotel as a guest the sparks and electricity between the two begin.

After hours, the day before Valentine’s Day , their paths cross in an unexpected way. Rita and Richard’s desire for each other is on maximum …. will they cross the line to become more than just friends? The Red Room is a steamy short story set in London with diverse characters that will leave you wanting more.

Lover’s Retreat, Romance Set In Paradise

Lover’s Retreat is book #2 of the Romance Set in Paradise Series of stand alone modern, steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories. All set in exotic locations around the world.

For thirty seven year old recluse Yasmin O’Neil, life feels like one crisis after another. Her husband left her five years ago, she starts to suspect she’s losing her hearing, and then her mother is diagnosed with cancer. When her mother passes away her fortune changes. Yasmin is fifty thousand pounds richer from her mother’s estate. Yasmin takes her fate into her own hands after years of being a recluse, she rediscovers herself at a spiritual retreat in Sri Lanka south Asia, before she plans to spend the next six months travelling around the world. In Sri Lanka, Yasmin’s path crosses with Michael Thomas, an army soldier on his own path of self discovery. With their luke warm initial encounter the pair don’t hit it off straight away. After some push and pull the two are finally on the same page. Their encounter turns from luke warm to steamy sizzling hot.

In Lover’s Retreat two very different characters originally on different paths, embrace the need for change and companionship. Set in the back drop of paradise, palm trees and untouched nature of Sri Lanka, these two lonely souls gain more than just self discovery they gain a soul mate.


The Suspenseful Collection Volume #1

For Mature Readers Only:

A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”


Search For Maylee

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee? It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do what ever it takes.


Havana Heat
THIS IS FREE NOW ON AMAZONHavana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradise series of modern,steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.

When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, and conflict builds over their past both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away. Forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in paradise.



Review: Watching The Daisies, Life Lessions on the Importance of Slow, by Bridgid P Gallagher #5stars


I am completely in Aww by Bridgid’s life and accomplishments. As a child, her family suffered much loss including her mother at a young age. Bridgid also has a series of medical ailments that starts in her youth. From abscess, to depression, to joint pain and more, which eventually leads to her diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Music, travel and family are a big help with the ongoing battle Bridgid is forced to cope with.

Fortunately, Brigid discovers her passion for natural healing methods and finds a real passion to travel, on a mission to bring spirituality and natural healing to the world. In this memoir she leads us on a journey to such amazing and beautiful places. Music and food play a huge part through out. From beginning to end, which I love. It all ties together so seamlessly.

For me it was a slow read, in a good way. It took me a few weeks to finish it up. It’s one that I took my time with for good reason. I felt it to be extremely informative and inspirational, so every time I picked it back up I was able to read slow, absorb, and learn something. Most memoirs I read fairly fast allowing myself to get sucked into to persons emotions, but with Watching The Daisies it just felt different. The story line was unique, and Brigid has led such an impressive and humble life, despite her ailments, I couldn’t help but to take my time. Everything about this book had a rich, practical, and informative feel to it. Kudos Brigid, and thank you for this beautiful insight. You’re a gem and I adore your journey.



If you enjoyed “Eat, Pray, Love-You will love this travel memoir!”

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:


    • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease


    • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms


    • Entering a new life of SLOW


    • Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…


    • Brigid learns many


    •  about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being:

“First learn to love thyself.”

    • In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and

watching the daisies.


A Writers Story and Advice – Guest Post, by Lisa Reynolds

I have Lisa Reynolds with the Culture Vulture Express blog here with an inspiring guest post on writing! I love Lisa’s blog, it’s always so full of interesting and uplifting content. Today Lisa will share her writer’s back story, her books/projects, as well as some excellent advice for writers!

(If you’d like to be considered for a guest post visit here!)


Now, lets welcome Lisa!

When Did I Start Writing?

It’s difficult to put an exact age on it. But it was from a young age. I was doing bits of writing by the time I was 7 or 8. I remember when I was 8 my short story about talking snakes in a forest won a competition in my class and the teacher asked me to read the story out. Daunting but flattering. The teacher who liked it was very encouraging about my writing and she said that she hoped I would pursue it. I love writing so that was lovely for someone to say. I really began writing more though when I was 11 and from there I was constantly putting stories together. Maybe someday some of them might see the light of day. Revamped by my years of writing experience since. At 18 I started sending my work to TV stations, publishers, magazines, newspapers and theatres with no luck. But at 22, I started my blog and continued sending my work to various places including websites now and my first article on the style and charity work of Grace Kelly was published on the website Miss A soon followed by my first piece for Eile Magazine who I still write for today. And soon I learned how Amazon worked and published my first of twelve books so far, a murder mystery called Blood which was a book I had in my head for two or three years before I finally wrote, revised and published it.

What Draws Me To Writing?

I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. I always read a lot growing up and reading often tends to lead someone to write. I was also introverted and it has always been my way to express the things I find difficult to express in daily life. I also think I love creating characters and seeing how they interact, their inner emotions and how those emotions make them act outwardly in consequence. So maybe there’s a slight interest in human psychology there. I also have always been very passionate about social issues and through my writing I like to think I put my two cents in towards equality.

After all, by reading other peoples’ work it helped me be a more open-minded person and I hope at least one or two people can take something like that from my work. I do believe creative pursuits have been very instrumental in progress and I find as a writer it is a duty to not always write the same characters over and over again and give other people in our society voices because we all make up the world, not just a handful of people.

What Genre Do I Write?

I mostly write Mysteries and Romance. To narrow that down further cosy mysteries and contemporary romances. The two genres are what I read the most so that has naturally flowed into my writing. I’m reading more of other genres lately because I find it makes your writing more interesting if you’re coming from a variety of sources and it has been really interesting. I think the more I’m reading of different genres it’s improving my writing because at heart, the human element is the same no matter what genre you’re reading and I’m learning so much from writers from various genres.

Is There A Genre I Currently Would Love To Give A Go?

It’s probably best to take baby steps so the genre I would love to write a book in at the moment is Historical Romance. I do read Jane Austen’s books and absolutely loved Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. I’m currently planning to read more and more historical romance by newer writers too. It’s not a huge jump from contemporary romance but a jump nonetheless. Someday I’ll write a historical romance. I think it’d be quite fun. I also like watching horror films and I have the start of an idea forming for a horror novel too so that will probably happen at some stage too.

What Advice Would I Have For Other Writers?

There is definitely writers more qualified to give advice than me. But there is things I’ve learned in my writing career. A huge one would be to keep going, keep at it. I’m not a writer who had a lot of writing contacts starting out and I’ve built up a few over the years. It’s a business where you get more rejection than success so keep sending to everyone and don’t take rejection personally. I have been published in a lot since I began but I’ve had far more rejections. If you don’t keep trying, or as I like to call it, pestering you won’t get the successful moments along the way. Remember the rejections are even part of the process and don’t take them to heart. Also believe in your writing and write what you feel you want to write.

Don’t write with market in your head. Your writer’s voice, that uniqueness where someone could tell it was your work without been told, is your selling point ironically because it’s authentic and people can feel that. So don’t copy the latest bestseller if it isn’t what you want to write. And also remember it’s the writing that matters, not where your publishing your writing. The amount of writers who run down blogging saying it isn’t ‘real writing’ is a lot. But while there’s good and bad blogs, there’s good and bad mainstream writing too. Don’t let that kind of snobbery get to you. Just keep doing your thing. Actually I think blogging is a really great thing because as I said I didn’t have writing contacts and it allows people like me who don’t an opportunity that we might not have had previously to get our work out there. And I personally think that’s wonderfully democratic. So yeah, take every opportunity you can and believe in your work.

What Is My Latest Book?

My newest release is a collection of six short Christmas stories called Ketchup & Other Short Christmas Stories. I wanted to write a Christmas book, which I hadn’t done before, so I set about writing a variety of Christmas stories. Ketchup was the story that came to my mind and gave me the idea for the collection so I thought it was only right I put in the title even though it doesn’t sound overly seasonal. Not too long before that, I released a novel called Defying Gravity which is a romance set in the world of ballroom dancing where dance partnership Ethan and Alan (or Eth and Al as they became throughout the writing of the book) fall in love and set the ballroom world on fire. Not literally obviously although I wouldn’t put it by Al to have a routine with fire in the middle of the ballroom!

What Will Be My Next Book?

I’m currently writing my next novel. It’s probably the hardest novel I have ever written which means I have no idea when it’ll be released or if it’ll even be the next one for that matter. It’s plot is set in London and is about Radical Islam and terrorism. With such a sad and sensitive subject matter I’m taking my time with it. It’s a very difficult and emotionally-draining book so I come away from it a lot. I think if I do it right, it could be a great book but it’s definitely a hard book to sit down and write. As writers, I think we have a duty to write about things that are happening in our world but they aren’t always easy to write about.

Where Do I See My Writing Career In Ten Years Time?

To be honest, I couldn’t tell you. It’s an unpredictable business. I hope I have plenty more books out but that’s as far as I could say. Otherwise I don’t know. So many unexpected and wonderful opportunities come up in writing out of nowhere when you dive right into it and that makes it quite an exciting profession to be in.


Ketchup & Other Short Christmas Stories

Defying Gravity


Lisa’s blog:  Culture Vulture Express



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