Friday, September 25, 2020

There's Magic in All of Us - Poem by Nada Adel Sobhi


There's magic in all of us

We may not see it

Feel it, or even understand it

 

But it's there

Always has been

Always will be

 

Sitting deep within

Waiting to be unlocked

Like a whirlpool

Waiting for the lid to be removed

Like a fire

Waiting to be ignited

 

There's magic in all of us

A spark

Waiting for the right moment,

The trigger

To awaken within

To rise

and push and pull you higher

 

Trust me

It's there

Poets have spoken of it

Authors dream of it

 

Some call it love

Some call it passion

Many call it many things

 

How do you awaken your magic?

By exploring

 

Exploring the world

Exploring yourself

Understanding yourself

 

You are not your wants and needs

You are not what society demands

You are not a grain of sand

Tossed by the wind

 

You are water

Ever-changing

Ever-flowing

Ever-growing

Flexible and magic

 

So look out the window

Breathe the night's fresh air

Walk out the door

And discover yourself

 

Look at the stars,

The trees, the flower, the birds

Clear your mind

Look, observe, listen

Enjoy and discover

 

Look at the sun and sea

Be entranced by their magic

Read & read & read

Till your curiosity is unleashed

 

There's magic in all of us

But are you brave enough

To discover

And unleash it?

 


Written Saturday, 12 September 2020

Inspired by a phrase by author Tish Thawer


Monday, September 21, 2020

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips – Book Review

My newest book review is for The Beast and the Bethany and it's part of a blog tour with The Write Reads. 

It was a different read to say the least... but here's the full review. If you've read this book, let me know your thoughts.



The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips and illustrated by Isabelle Follath is unique and unexpected story with equally unique characters.

When I picked up this book, I didn't know what to expect. But what I felt after I finished it was that I didn't want it to end and that I wanted to hug the author and characters.

The Beast and the Bethany is about a mean and evil man, a mean and evil beast, and a meaner girl. And all of them learn lessons and two of them discover other sides to themselves.

The book opens with: "Ebenezer Tweezer was a terrible man with a wonderful life."

And no kidding!

Ebenezer Tweezer is nearing his 512th birthday. He lives "a wonderful life," and has literally everything he could ever need and everything he doesn't need.

But what gives Ebenezer his young looks and never-ending life? A massive beast resides in his attic. Every year, the beast asks for a "meal," which Ebenezer readily provides and in return gives Ebenezer a potion that stops his aging.

This year, however, the beast asks for something new. He wants to eat a child. Ebenezer, who never had feelings or a reason for them, is shocked by the request.

There's a ton of humor in The Beast and the Bethany, literally never a dull moment!

"For the first time in his life, Ebenezer was sad that he didn't have a family of his own. It would have saved so much time and energy if he could have just fed one of his children to the beast."

Enter Bethany. There's a reason this book is called "The Beast and The Bethany" because Bethany is literally a creature herself. She's a rude, mean, and angry little girl.


If this beast thinks he's large and in charge, he's got Bethany to deal with and change its life!

One of the things I liked about The Beast and the Bethany is the themes and lessons, like the quote below. There are also the themes of learning, discovering one self, learning not to be selfish, and many more.

"A wonderful life can turn someone into a terrible person. It makes you forget that there people in the world who have problems, and this can stop you from really caring or worrying about others.

So, you can understand how Ebenezer Tweezer came to be one of the most selfish men who ever lived. After spending nearly 512 years without difficulty, Ebenezer had never really learned about pain or sadness."

I was often jarred when the author spoke directly to the reader. I never like that it novels and works of fiction, it brings me out of the story. I accept it in non-fiction because the book needs to be conversational. Here, it doesn't work for me.

That said, I've never seen character development as amazing as I've seen in The Beast and the Bethany. Simply brilliant! And one of the reasons it deserves 5 stars!

Despite the three mean characters and how the story begins, The Beast and the Bethany left me feeling happy and hopeful. I was also 100% entertained.



So do I recommend this story? Absolutely! I loved it and I look forward to reading the second part in the series. Don't worry it's not a 100% open ending.

Overall rating for The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips: 5 stars

 

Note: I received a free copy of The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips as part of The Write Reads blog tour for the book. This did not impact my review in any way.



Friday, September 11, 2020

Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn – Spotlight

Today, I'm featuring a spotlight for Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn.

I really wanted to read this book but I knew my time constraints and the time available for reading this wasn't going to be enough.

Check out the blurb/synopsis and you'll know why I had to feature Little Bookshop of Murder in any capacity on my book blog.

Should I have the time at the end of 2020 or next year, I'll definitely pick it up.




Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for (1) Novella Killer Spring Fling. (e-book only) and a $10 Amazon gift card

 

Book: Little Bookshop of Murder
(Book 1 in The Beach Reads Mystery series)
Author: Maggie Blackburn
Genre:
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publishing date: 8 September 2020
ISBN-10: 1643854380
ISBN-13: 978-1643854380
Digital ASIN: B0818ZX2NY


Blurb:

A Shakespearean scholar inherits a beachside bookshop--and a murder mystery--in this delightful new cozy series for fans of Kate Carlisle and Ellery Adams.

Summer Merriweather's career as a Shakespeare professor hangs by a bookbinder's thread. Academic life at her Virginia University is a viper's pit, so Summer spends her summer in England, researching a scholarly paper that, with any luck, will finally get her published, impress the Dean, and save her job. But her English idyll ends when her mother, Hildy, shuffles off her mortal coil from an apparent heart attack.

Returning to Brigid's Island, NC, for the funeral, Summer is impatient to settle the estate, sell her mom's embarrassingly romance-themed bookstore, Beach Reads, and go home. But as she drops by Beach Reads, Summer finds threatening notes addressed to Hildy: "Sell the bookstore or die."

Clearly, something is rotten on Brigid's Island. What method is behind the madness? Was Hildy murdered? The police insist there's not enough evidence to launch a murder investigation. Instead, Summer and her Aunt Agatha screw their courage to the sticking place and start sleuthing, with the help of Hildy's beloved book club. But there are more suspects on Brigid's Island than are dreamt of in the Bard's darkest philosophizing. And if Summer can't find the villain, the town will be littered with a Shakespearean tragedy's worth of corpses--including her own.

 

About Maggie Blackburn

Maggie Blackburn is the author of the Cora Crafts mysteries and the Cumberland Creek mysteries under another pen name. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman's World.

She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People's Choice Award. She is the mother of two young women who are off following their dreams in the music business. She currently lives in Waynesboro, VA, and works at the University of Virginia as a development associate.

Connect with author Maggie Blackburn via her Website and Twitter @molliecoxbryan

Buy the book via Amazon - B&N - Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep up with the rest of the blog tour for more book reviews, author and character interviews, spotlights and more.

8 September à Baroness' Book Trove – Book Review & Cozy Up With Kathy – Book Review & Character Interview & Ascroft, eh? – Character Interview & Thoughts in Progress – Spotlight

9 September à Hearts & Scribbles & Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlights & Books a Plenty Book Reviews & Sapphyria's Books – Book Reviews

10 September à FUONLYKNEW & The Pulp and Mystery Shelf & Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic à Spotlights & I'm All About Books à Spotlight and Recipe

11 September à  Book Club Librarian – Book review & Celticlady's Reviews & Nadaness In Motion à Spotlight & Brooke Blogs à Character Guest Post

12 September àHere's How It Happened & Literary Gold à Spotlights & Moonlight Rendezvous & The Avid Reader à Book Reviews

13 September à eBook addicts & Melina's Book Blog & My Reading Journeys & Reading Is My SuperPowerà Book Reviews & StoreyBook Reviews à Guest Post

 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Trick or Thief by D. E. Haggerty – Book Review

Book: Trick or Thief

Series: Book 6 in The Death by Cupcake Series

Author: D. E. Haggerty

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Independently Published
Number of pages (digital edition): 120 pages
ASIN: B0878QF5V9

Synopsis:

A little haunting sounds like innocent fun until a ghost plunders your stockroom.

Kristie is convinced ghosts don’t exist until food starts disappearing without a trace from the Youth Center storage. There are zero clues as to who’s been inside the building. The security guard hasn’t seen a thing, and the security tapes are mysteriously blank. 

When the ghost widens his hocus-pocus to include Kristie’s office, the gals of Callie’s Cakes jump in to find the culprit before Kristie can get in a whole mess of spooky trouble. 

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes expose the ghost before Kristie’s facility is destroyed?

 



Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

I've wanted to read D. E. Haggerty for some time. She writes cozy mystery and I've been unable to get on her book tours. Until now.

Trick or Thief is the sixth installment in The Death by Cupcake series and it's my first read for Haggerty and the series.

I was excited by this book but sadly it put me off reading Haggerty's other books.

Trick or Thief is narrated in the first person perspective of Kristie, a woman who keeps mentioning how her age is an obstacle against society but who only mentions that she's 24 at 60% of the book.

Trick or Thief is a short read, at about 120 pages, but I struggled to finish and considered not finishing it all but only plowed further to see if the mystery will make it up for me.

It didn't.

I must say that I'm surprised that the sleuths in this cozy mystery are the supporting characters, Anna and Callie. They are also the fun characters. The narrator and main character Kristie is obnoxious to the bone.

I couldn't stand her.

And by the way, the mystery only solved itself in the end. Kristie was literally standing in the way of getting the mystery moving and the trio weren't the ones who solved the mystery! Imagine that!

There was some light humor in Trick or Thief like when Kristie first discovers the thefts going on at her Youth Center. Anna argues that the first suspect, a security guard, might be the thief.

"Why would a security guard whom I pay a decent salary steal white bread and no-name peanut butter?"

"Maybe he has a gambling addiction," Anna claps. "Or maybe he has a lover he doesn't want his wife to find out about."

"And he feeds her peanut butter sandwiches?"

One thing I did LIKE about Trick or Thief was Haggerty keeping me wondering if there really was a ghost.

That said, I found Kristie's tone to be annoying throughout. Her boyfriend may be sweet and romantic but I felt like the whole story was written in a childish way. The dialogue was childish too (especially between Tyler and Kristie).

My favorite character was Anna. She's an adult who is a child at heart. She's funny, energetic, and downright cute.

Overall, I didn't like Trick or Thief as much as I had expected.

Overall rating: 1 star.

 

Note: I received a free copy of Trick or Thief by D. E. Haggerty as part of blog tour via Lori Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. However, because this was a promotional tour I posted the review at a later time and only opted for a spotlight then.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Death at the Cafe by Alison Golden – Book Review

Book: Death at the Cafe

(Book 1 in The Reverend Annabelle Dixon Mystery Series)

Author: Alison Golden

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Number of pages: 162 pages

Publication date: 24 October 2015

ASIN: B01759EIJW


Death at the Café is the first book in the Reverend Annabelle Dixon Mystery series written by Alison Golden and my first read in the series as well.

It's easy to fall in love with Annabelle from the opening lines.



"Nothing brought Reverend Annabelle closer to blasphemy than using the London public transport system during rush hour."

She's smart, sleuthing, caring, and funny. It's also cool in a way to have a main character who is member of the cloth and a woman no less.

That said, I was a bit confused by the idea of a woman reverend and the idea of reverends in general. I'm not a Christian and I don't think I've seen a woman reverend amongst Orthodox Christians. But then again I'm no expert. I quickly got over it.

Back to Death at the Café, the book opens with Reverend Annabelle Dixon going to meet a friend of hers, Mary, at a café in London, before the latter heads back to missionary work.

However, when they arrive a woman approaches Mary, hands her a paper and drops dead. Mary is also set to meet a woman named Teresa who will supposedly give her funds for the missionary work.

Once the woman drops dead, Annabelle takes her friend to visit Teresa and discover what is happening.

"Where are we going?"

"Baker Street."

"Home of Sherlock Holmes," Mary added, joviality returning to her voice.

"Perhaps he can help us with this confounding turn of events!"

Soon after the duo locates Teresa, she ends up dead. And guess who isn't happy about this and thinks it's too big a coincidence? The police.

"I don't believe anything in my line of work. I just deal with facts. You have been at the site of two very similar deaths within the past three hours. The woman at the café died from poisoning, and I would bet a large chunk of my retirement fund that this Teresa died from the same poison."

With two deaths, and Mary being framed for them, Annabelle begin sleuthing and questioning people.

Death at the Café is narrated in third person. Although most of the book focuses on Annabelle and her viewpoint, one section – or line - was from another perspective and I felt it was jarring for me.

That said, I loved Annabelle, her pure-heartedness and her determination.

Death at the Café also has some recipes at the end like "Cherishable Cherry Blossom Cupcakes." I'm new to the kitchen but I'm definitely planning on giving this book's yummy treat a try.

Overall, I fell in love with Death at the Café and finished in a day or two. It's fast-paced, enjoyable, and definitely a perfect start to the series.

Overall rating for Death at the Café by Alison Golden: 5 stars

Check out my other reviews for Alison Golden books:

The Case of the Screaming Beauty

The Case of the Hidden Flame

The Case of the Broken Doll



Monday, August 24, 2020

How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months by Patric Morgan – Book Review

This book review is quite different from my other reviews because it relates to my work. You'll find bits in blue italics. These are my personal comments.

 

How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months by Patric Morgan is the book I wanted to read 2 years ago. That said, the book is filled with helpful information and advice on blogging, content writing, and launching a blog.

I found lots of helpful ideas and tips in there that I'm planning to use and experiment with when writing blog content for my freelance clients.

By the way, the full book title is: How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months: A practical and straightforward guide to increasing traffic to your blog in your spare time - and without having to pay for advertising.

While Patric Morgan's blog (Wales on Craic) is a bit different compared to other blogs, his tips and experiments are quite helpful. That said, the part on viral posts is still a bit hazy.

I'm still of the opinion that you can't really create viral posts. You can try, but whether they go viral or not depends on your audience and some ad spend.

How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months is divided into seven parts. Part 2 is where Patric talks about finding a niche. And as a freelance writer, I can tell you that's the hardest thing.

I've been freelancing full-time for almost a year now (had previous freelance gigs in the past but as a translator) and I only discovered the idea of a niche and what it means to narrow down on niches a year ago.

I kept changing and editing my LinkedIn profile (based on the type of working I was getting and exploring) and when I zoomed in on a niche, people started approaching me.

"I always remember my first ever boss telling me that you have to invest to get money back," says Morgan. And I can't agree more.

Before I shifted to freelancing full-time, I was a managing editor and later an editorial manager for different companies. Because budgets were tight, we didn't have training options in these companies.

So, I would constantly encourage my team members to invest in courses (online or offline). Whenever I tried anything on Udemy, I'd send them the courses when they were on sale and tell them which were the good ones.

My advice to any person in the world is "don't stop learning" and that normally involves some investment. It doesn't have to be financial, but investing your time, effort, and energy also pays eventually. And it shows in your work.

There are lots of quotable parts in How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months. If I could I'd like to quote pages 39 & 40 WHOLE! I've bookmarked them for my next blog post and will see how things turn out.

Overall I want to thank Patric Morgan for writing this book. It's short, easy, to the point, and doesn't make over the top promises.

It's about one man's experience with blogging and it's not a "get rich quickly scheme" compared to what you'd often find online.

 

Overall rating for How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months: 4 stars

 

Note: I got a free copy of How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7 Months by Patric Morgan as part of a newsletter subscription.

 

Other non-fiction and self-help book reviews on Nadaness In Motion

Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal

The Beginner's Affiliate Marketing Blue Print by Alex M.

The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan