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#NetGalley #BookReview The Art of Dying (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson #2) by Ambrose Parry #Historical #Victorian #Mystery

Review
The Art of Dying
Raven, Fisher, and Simpson #2
by Ambrose Parry

Release date: March 2nd, 2021
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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Art of Dying (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson #2) by Ambrose Parry from NetGalley and publisher, Canongate/Black Thorn in order to read and give an honest review.

“… a well-written novel, rich in historical details, it contains a brilliant mix of fact with fiction making it an engaging read… ”

Will Raven has spent the past couple of years in Europe training to become an obstetrician. When a violent attack in Germany causes him to kill a man he decides to return to Edinburgh. Will returns under the employ as an assistant to Dr. James Young Simpson, known for his groundbreaking expertise on anesthetizing surgical patients. Upon the return not much has changed except Sarah Fisher, the former housemaid and Will’s former love is no longer a servant but now the married assistant to Dr. Simpson. Will after leaving Sarah, as she was considered unsuitable to be a Dr’s wife, is weighed down by his regrets. Sarah has done well for herself, married to Dr Bates she has become well respected at her job, defying the confines that women were faced with during Victorian times.

When several patients from one family die questions arise as to what may have been the culprit. With Dr. Simpson’s reputation is in question Will and Sarah become obsessed with clearing his name. When it appears that they might have discovered a new disease Will excitedly pursues his theory one that could be the making of his career. With Sarah’s assistance he begins to delve into the origins of the disease, but the clues begin to lead them into another direction…the evidence suggests that the deaths were not natural at all but the work of an elusive serial killer. Faced with constant misdirection, regret and plagued with enemies from his past Will has his work cut out for him.

Although, I did not read the previous book in the series, “The Way of All Flesh” in my opinion “The Art of Dying” was perfect as a stand-alone. The authors give just enough background to pivotal moments from the previous book in a way that does not overwhelm or seem unnecessary.

Fast paced and intelligent, I thoroughly enjoyed The Art of Dying. Written by husband-and-wife team Chris Brookmyre and Dr Marisa Haetzman under the pen name of Ambrose Perry, this is a well-written novel, rich in historical details, it contains a brilliant mix of fact with fiction making it an engaging read that will keep you flipping pages.

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#NetGalley #Book #Review of After Alice Fell by Kim Taylor Blakemore #Gothic #Historical #Suspense

Review

After Alice Fell

A Novel

by Kim Taylor Blakemore

Release date: March 1st, 2021

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

“…exquisitely written, atmospheric and rife with edge of your seat suspense that kept me captivated… ” 

Author, Kim Taylor Blakemore gives us a beautifully written, suspenseful, American gothic tale brimming with family drama, secrets and lies. Set in 1865, Post Civil War New Hampshire, former army nurse and newly widowed Marion Abbott is forced to move in with her newly remarried brother, Lionel and his second wife, Cathy into their old family home filled with memories. Cathy who was best friends with Lionel’s first wife Lydia is trying to establish herself as matriarch of her new family and tries hard to create a home for Marion. 

While Marion was working during the war Lionel in her absence was forced to put their mute and disturbed sister Alice in the Brawders House Asylum after he catches Alice hanging his son out of the top floor window by his ankles. When Lionel and Marion are summoned to the Asylum on scorching summer day, they learn that a despondent Alice has jumped to her death from the roof.  

Upon preparing for Alice’s funeral Marion cannot bear the condition her sister’s body is in; bruises and evidence of restraints do not sit right with Marion. Reeling from guilt and haunted by memories, Marion struggles to believe that her sister committed suicide. Marion’s thoughts are justified when she is contacted by a witness to the incident who paints a vastly different picture that the one her family had been given. 

Marion is convinced more than ever that Alice’s death was not of her own doing. Driven by sisterly love and overwhelming regret Marion is determined to get to the bottom of what happened even if it puts her in danger of a similar fate.  

I have been a fan of Kim Taylor Blakemore since I read and reviewed her novel the “The Companion” and true to form she has not disappointed with “After Alice Fell”.  Both books have been exquisitely written, atmospheric and rife with edge of your seat suspense that kept me captivated to the very last page. 

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Seventy Year Old Man Rows 3000 miles for a good cause! #WATWB #AlzheimersResearch

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, heart-warming 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 Eric Lahti, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Shilpa Garg, Susan Scott and Sylvia McGrath.

“Age in just a number. It carries no weight. The real weight is in impacts. The truth is that you can do it at any age. Get up and be willing to leave a mark.”~Israelmore Ayivor

At 70 years old Frank Rothwell took on the challenge of rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (TWAC), in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK. Alzheimer’s’ research is an important cause to him after he lost his brother-in-law Roger to Alzheimer’s at 62 years old. Alzheimer’s has touched my family as it has many others around the world and it’s people like Frank who give our family hope. Frank is not a stranger to challenging himself, in 2017 he spent five weeks on a deserted island for “The Island with Bear Gryllis.” Frank took his sense of adventure to new levels and for a fantastic cause ~ three thousand miles in fifty-six days Frank raised £1 MILLION for Alzheimer Research!

Frank whose motto is “…you’re never too old!” has become my new hero! 

Read an interesting article on Frank from People Magazine ~ https://people.com/human-interest/70-year-old-man-raises-more-than-1-million-for-charity-with-solo-row-across-atlantic-ocean/

Frank’s Website ~ https://frankrothwell-atlanticchallenge.com/https://frankrothwell-atlanticchallenge.com/

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A #YoungWriter’s Guide to Covid Fatigue

Check out this article “A Young Writer’s Guide to Covid Fatigue” over at http://www.IgniteYourCreativity.net

IgniteYourCreativity.Net

Writing

As some of us are heading into our second and third lockdowns due to COVID-19 we can feel tired and overwhelmed not knowing when we will see an end in sight. If we don’t have a way to channel our frustrations, they can make us and those around us feel miserable. Writing can often offer a great outlet for these feelings. Here are some ideas for writing projects that might help:

Keep a Journal!
I am a big fan of journaling; it can help to just purge on the page. It can help find solutions to problems, establish ideas or just be a safe place to get your feelings out. Journals can also be a great way to see how far you’ve come down the road helping you find things to be grateful for or even track your progress in a certain endeavor. Gratitude journals are also great ways to…

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Three #Inpirational Stories of #Resilience #WATWB

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, heart-warming 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 McGrath, Simon Falk, Shilpa Garg, Mary Giese , and myself,  Belinda Witzenhausen

To learn more information about us or join #WATWB check here


“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~Maya Angelou 

With many of us facing physical challenges and trying to coming to terms with our “new normal” the past year has made us even more uncertain of what the future holds. Often negative life-changing events can overwhelm us, making us feel hopeless and insecure. These stories help demonstrate that if we dig deep, perhaps, we can find that those challenges uncover something life affirming in us. These 3 stories about the resilience of the human spirit go to show that the only thing holding you back is our attitude.  Living outside our limits is about recognizing our limitless potential no matter what our physical  limitations maybe.  Check out  the stories from  Amy Purdy, Paralympic bronze medalist,  Travis Mills, veteran & quadruple amputee and Janine Shepard, pilot and  flight instructor. They have all faced life-changing tragedies but instead of giving in, they discovered that with a positive attitude, human potential is limitless. 

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” ~ Elizabeth Edwards 

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#NetGalley #Review The City of Tears by Kate Mosse #HistoricalFiction #Mystery

Book Review

The City of Tears

 (The Burning Chambers #2)

by Kate Mosse

Release date: January 5th, 2021

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The City of Tears by Kate Mosse from NetGalley and Publishers Group Canada/Pan Macmillan to read and give an honest review.

… brilliant and intricate tapestry of murder, religion, insanity and greed…

The follow up to the first book in the series The Burning Chambers, The City of Tears continues the dramatic saga surrounding the Joubert family. Ten years after The Burning Chambers, Minou and Piet have settled down with their family on their beautiful estate in the south of France. They are busy making plans to attend the royal wedding of Margot and Henri, the Huguenot king of Navarre hoping to establish a peaceful alliance between the Catholics and the Huguenots. Before their journey begins they are faced with an assassination attempt and the death of a beloved family member, however they venture to Paris to bear witness to such an important event in hopes it will end the persecution of the Huguenots.

The wedding happens as planned, lending hope for a peaceful future. While in Paris a mysterious woman reaches out to Piet, rumours come to light, and a violent nemesis from his past has Piet and his family once again in his crosshairs. Before they leave Paris for their arduous journey home, their daughter Marta goes missing as a violent coup known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre breaks out shattering their family forever and forcing them to flee to Amsterdam abandoning all they knew and loved.

I am a fan of Kate Mosse she has a talent for bringing her historical stories to life through vivid description, interesting characters and her interwoven, dynamic plots, this book is no different. I thoroughly enjoyed this book it is a brilliant and intricate tapestry of murder, religion, insanity, and greed; I highly recommend.

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Turning a Negative Into A Positive…Lessons From A Seven-year Old. #WATWB

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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, heart-warming 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 Lizbeth Hartz, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Damyanti Biswas, and Roshan Radhakrishnan please visit them and share the love!

To learn more information about us or join #WATWB check here!


“Every act of kindness is a piece of love we leave behind.” ~ Paul Williams

With many cities and countries going back into lockdown it’s often difficult to see the positivity that is going on out in the world. Sometimes when you least expect it you see that the biggest gifts often come in the smallest packages…meet Cavanaugh Bell.

Bullying has always existed and many of us have had first hand experience that at times has even left physical and emotional scars. When seven-year-old Cavanaugh Bell went through being bullied he reacted differently, he reacted with love and hope….check out his story below.


Read more here: This 7-year-old is making and delivering care packages to the elderly shut in by the coronavirus

Check out Cavanaugh’s foundation ~ Cool & Dope ~ https://coolanddope.com/

“Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”

~ Karen Salmansohn

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#NetGalley #BookReview of The Organised Writer by Antony Johnston

 

The Organised Writer

How to stay on top of all your projects and never miss a deadline

by Antony Johnston

 

Release date: November 12th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Organised Writer: How to stay on top of all your projects and never miss a deadline by Antony Johnston from NetGalley Bloomsbury Publishing in order to read and give an honest review.

well-written and informative this book has something for every writer…

I’ve been working freelance in a few fields for years now on top of taking work-related courses and working towards an archaeology degree. My time is limited, and organization is a must in order to get both work and course assignments done. Having worked in professional offices for many years, I have learned a few organization techniques some of which are in The Organised Writer however, Mr. Johnson offers sound advice that can help those new to freelancing establish an organised work routine while also providing new and unique tips to help those who have been freelancing for a while. This is a no- nonsense all-encompassing approach to getting and keeping the working writer organized.  Well-written and informative this book has something for every writer…I highly recommend it!  

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#NetGalley #BookReview of The Once and Future Witches Alix E. Harrow #Fantasy #Witches

Review

The Once and Future Witches

by Alix E. Harrow

Release date: October 13th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Once and Future Witches
by Alix E. Harrow from NetGalley and Redhook Books in order to read and give an honest review.

…a well-written, character driven story that is brilliant…

Set in New Salem in 1893, The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow follows the journey of the three Eastwood sisters: Beatrice Belladonna, Agnes Amaranth, and James Juniper. Years after their mother dies due to complications after childbirth, the sisters are separated by their monster of a Father but not before their relationship with each other had been damaged.  The sisters before being separated grew up hearing fairytales and stories of magic and witches from their grandmother Mags. After Mags dies an invisible force draws the three sisters together. An angry, bold and bitter Juniper is drawn to New Salem where the eldest sister Beatrice Belladonna, timid librarian and the unwed, strong and pregnant middle sister Agnes Amaranth are pulled to the middle of town where the three end up in the middle of a Suffragette protest. When a magical storm hits, a dark tower briefly appears, the three sisters realize that Mags’s fairytales and stories about witches might have had some truth to them, a truth which becomes their mission in life.  The sisters realize that they are not alone on their mission, uncovering powerful enemies, reforging bonds, and embracing a way of life long forgotten. 
 
I really enjoyed the novel, but it felt quite different from Ms. Harrow’s previous novel The Ten Thousand Doors of January. Although a well-written, character driven story that is brilliant in its way of tackling subject matter such as abuse, sexuality, racism, misogyny etc. with captivating, emotional, and heartbreaking moments (keeps tissues handy) I found some of it was hard to get through, some sections long-winded and cliché although the book still held my interest. An interesting read for those who love character driven, witchy stories with a powerful sense of sisterhood.