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Welcome

Hello, I’m Belinda (McGrath) Witzenhausen and in a nutshell; I am a Writer, Creativity Coach, Artist, Student, Bookworm, History Geek, Armchair Archaeologist, Amateur Photographer, Coffee Connoisseur & Hubby’s Grossly Under-Paid Bass Roadie. 😁

Profile Picture of Belinda Witzenhausen

I have always enjoyed helping others, as well as actively expressing my creativity. Both my education and work history have revolved around social services, counselling, visual arts, art therapy, coaching and channeling my creativity through writing, art, or photography.

Over the years I have been blessed to cross paths with many interesting and creative people who have been such an incredible source of inspiration.

To sum it up, I love life and try to make sure that each of my days is touched by the creative process. I make it my mission to help others heal by igniting their creativity and by challenging them to make their creative dreams a reality. Other passions of mine include anthropology, archaeology, paleography, animal welfare as well as acting as an advocate for young adults with special needs and learning challenges.

Currently, I am working on novels inspired by my love of archaeology and mythology scheduled to be released in 2022/23. I am also a contributing writer for various mainstream websites, main writer/creator of BelindaWitzenhausen.com, WriterzBlox.net, a partner at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, main book reviewer at Boho & Bookish and Urban Word Nerd as well as Creativity Coach at IgniteYourCreativity.net.


*Updates*

Due to courses and writing I will be taking a brief hiatus.  Please be advised I am fully booked (pardon the pun) and unavailable to accept further book review requests until Autumn 2022.


© Belinda Witzenhausen, 2009-2022. 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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#NetGalley #BookReview The Secret of Karabakh by Fidan Bagirova #Thriller #LiteraryFiction #History

The Secret of Karabakh

by Fidan Bagirova

Release date: April 14th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Secret of Karabakh by Fidan Bagirova from Net GalleyLume Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

a brilliantly intricate blend of mystery, thriller and historical fiction that takes you on a journey

Alana Fulton, has it all, the only child of a self-made, jet-setting, wealthy couple, she is a well-respected student finishing her PhD in Archaeology at the illustrious Cambridge University and is in a relationship with a movie star…she is living the Dream. Her reality is shifted when out of the blue she is chased by a strange man, her dorm room is viciously ransacked, and it becomes clear she was the intended target of a terrorist attack at her dorm. During the investigation it becomes clear that both her and her movie star boyfriend are prime suspects in the case. After a mysterious encounter with a hooded figure a note is pressed in her hand that reads…

“You are not who you think you are.

Your future is not what you think it will be.

You are in danger…”

When the accumulated events become surreal, and fractured memories begin to surface, Alana’s dream life begins to become a nightmare. Alana becomes driven to stay alive and protect those she loves while unravelling the mystery of who she really is.

The Secret of Karabakh by Fidan Bagirova is a brilliantly intricate blend of mystery, thriller and historical fiction that takes you on a journey from London, to Cambridge, to Switzerland and finally to Azerbaijan. Rich with detail the author seamlessly blends the challenging history and rich culture of Azerbaijan with the page-turning plot keeps the reader reading into the wee hours of the morning. Filled with multifaceted, authentic characters including a refreshingly portrayed female protagonist who is intelligent, driven, strong and resilient. All in all, this book was a wonderfully original and engaging read, that I highly recommend.

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock #Historical #Fiction #Generational


Review

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare

by Kimberly Brock

Release date: April 12th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock from Net Galley and Harpers Muse.

so beautifully written that I was completely drawn in. For me it was a beautiful statement of resilience, in facing trials and tribulations and growing through the process…

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock is an interictally woven multi-generational tale with, genuinely crafted characters, atmospheric setting, and captivating plots: it is a brilliant and complex tapestry of reality, fiction, love, family, grief, joy, regret, forgiveness, discovery, resilience, and healing.  

It is the story of Alice, her daughter Penn, and the women who came before them right down to Roanoke survivor Eleanor Dare. Jumping timelines from WWII Savannah, Georgia with war widow Alice and her daughter Penn to Eleanor Dare in 1590 Roanoke.  

After losing her father to a stroke, Alice and Penn go to their ancestorial family estate “Evertell” in Savannah to see about parceling some of the land and selling it to pay for Penn’s education. Although still a working farm and mill run by a long-time employee, they had left Evertell after her mother’s death and the secrets that surrounded it. Coming back Alice fights to forget the past, help her daughter heal and repair the house so it can be sold. The more time they spend in Evertell the more the past comes to the forefront, especially when they find the commonplace book of Eleanor Dare. Penn, a curious teenager, wants to make her mark and learn where she came from despite her mother’s need to forget. Both work on uncovering their truths with the help of each other as well as friends, new and old. 

This book is not a fast placed, thrill a minute read but it is a heartfelt, mysterious, and spellbinding tale which unravels keeping the reader engaged right to the very end. It is unlike anything I have read and to be honest hard to describe but it was so beautifully written that I was completely drawn in. For me it was a beautiful statement of resilience, in facing trials and tribulations and growing through the process as well as finding family not through blood, but friendship. Although it touches on Roanoke it doesn’t delve too deeply other than discussing the legacy of the stones.

I believe this is a book you will either love or you won’t, as reading is very subjective; I personally loved this memorable book and highly recommend it. 

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Burning Pages (Scottish Bookshop Mystery #7) by Paige Shelton #Cozy #Mystery

The Burning Pages

(Scottish Bookshop Mystery #7)

by Paige Shelton

Release date: April 5th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Burning Pages (Scottish Bookshop Mystery #7) by Paige Shelton from Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press /Minotaur Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

Filled with intrigue, red herrings and incredible characters, The Burning Pages is a classic cozy that will keep you guessing in the end...

I am a fan of Paige Shelton, I have read her Dangerous Type, Alaska Wild and this, the Scottish Bookstore Series, and to be honest she has never disappointed me. The Burning Pages, the seventh book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery is no exception, it is definitely one of my favorites in the series to date.

When Protagonist Delaney Nichols, a bookseller at the Cracked Spine Bookshop, is invited to attend a Burns night dinner held annually in honour of poet Robert Burns. Not a fan herself, Delaney asks her co-worker and Burns fan Hamlet to join her. Hosted at the “Burns House” by a close-knit trio of Burns devotees. Delaney suspects ulterior motives at play when she gets the feeling there is more than meets the eye with her hosts. Hamlet begins to act strange when meeting Neil, one of the members, although according to appearances the two had never met. It soon becomes clear that Delaney had been conned into attending the dinner in a misguided attempt to repair a long-held feud between Malcolm, one of the members. and her boss Edwin. Malcolm has been accusing Edwin of burning down his bookshop for twenty years. Once upon a time Malcolm and Edwin had been best mates, however when an argument between the two had been followed by a deliberately set fire that destroyed Malcolm’s livelihood, the suspicious fire sealed a grudge. Malcolm carried that grudge for years to the point of Edwin needing a restraining order against him. A disgusted Delaney and Hamlet leave the dinner, and later learn that the Burns House had been deliberately burned down and Neil’s body had been found. When the police confirm it was foul play and a witness gives a description of the perpetrator, Hamlet becomes prime suspect, and Delaney is determined to clear his name but in doing so learns more than she bargained for about Hamlet’s past. The further Delaney digs the more she catches the killer’s attention evident in the fact that fires seem to follow Delaney as she follows the clues. 

Filled with intrigue, red herrings and incredible characters, The Burning Pages is a classic cozy that will keep you guessing in the end. I loved the inclusion of Wyatt, Delaney’s brother in this installment, he adds the “Big Lug” component to the cast of characters. This was a wonderfully enjoyable installment in the series, and I cannot wait to read more of Delaney’s adventures. I highly recommend.