Sunday, July 21, 2019

Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter - Book Review & Tour

Book: Leg Up
(Book 1 in the Lark Davis Mystery Series)
Author: Annabelle Hunter
No. of pages: 165
Independently Published
Publication Date: 1 June 2019


A severed leg with no body? Check.
A disturbing lack of coffee? Check.
A murderer bent on revenge and a hot cop using her as bait? Double check.
Larklyn Davis moved to the small picturesque town of Barrow Bay, California, needing a new start on life. She found the perfect cottage house, almost the perfect distance from her ex-husband, and built the perfect stable for her dressage business. But when a severed leg suddenly appears on her front porch, her life takes a turn for the absurd.
As more clues pile up, and the killer not content to leave Lark alone, she’s forced to take things into her own hands. One problem: the hottest detective she has ever seen is convinced she is involved. Detective Brecken Wilson looks like he should be in a movie, not glued to Lark’s side, waiting for the other leg to drop.
There’s not enough coffee in the world for Lark to deal with this crime, the detective who stirs things she hasn’t felt in years, and a matchmaking town, intent help her find the happiness she doesn’t want.

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

"There was a severed leg on my porch."

That's how Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter opens. From the first lines, we notice that Larklyn "Lark" Davis is one of the most sarcastic characters ever. And a hilarious one too.

There are tons of quotable parts in the book. Even when dealing with problems, Lark's sarcasm makes way for humor and comic relief.

Lark has recently moved from a big city to the small town of Barrow Bay, along with her daughter and horse-training business. Minding her business, Lark wakes up to find a body part on her porch. But one body part isn't enough, soon she gets a second…

Leg Up, the first book in the Lark Davis Mystery Series, is narrated from Lark's first person perspective, giving the reader a ton of humor and sarcasm, along with her inner thoughts. 

"Ma'am, we ask that you give us the facts and not any assumptions."
"Okay. I opened my door and there was a severed leg on my porch."
"Are you sure it is human?"
"Yes, I'm sure."
"May I ask how?"
"Well, the shoe was a good indication, but the tattoo really clinched it for me."

One of the many things I enjoyed about Annabelle Hunter's Leg Up were the characters and the pace, which was quite fast and exciting. We meet Brecken Wilson, who everyone sees and calls Captain America, making way for lots of laughs especially for Lark.

I like how Hunter introduces the characters, each with their quirks. I loved how the characters – yes plural – sat together to talk about the murders and point fingers and jump to conclusions in the presence of the handsome detective.

The language and narration are easy to navigate. The incidents, including the final showdown, are all full of humor. As soon as I finished reading Leg Up, I felt like I was going to miss the characters.

I also liked how Lark often discovers that her thoughts are voiced aloud - unintentionally of course. *big grin*
Leg Up is literally a ton of fun to read! I loved every bit of it! 5 stars!

Note: I received a free copy of Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter as part of a blog tour with Lori's Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. This did not affect my review in anyway.

About the author:
Annabelle Hunter is a stay-at-home mom and an avid fan of classic mystery shows and dressage. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, and too many animals.

Connect with Annabelle Hunter via Facebook, Twitter, and her Website.

Purchase Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter via Amazon

Don't forget to the enter the GIVEAWAY for 3 print copies of LEG UP by Annabelle Hunter and a Cozy Queen Mug

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep up with the rest of the blog tour including more book reviews, author interviews, guest posts, and spotlights
July 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Author Interview & A Wytch's Book Review Blog – Book Review
July 16 – Babs Book Bistro & T's Stuff Spotlights & Defining Ways - Spotlight
July 17 – Brooke Blogs – Guest post & Island Confidential – Spotlight
July 18 – The Cozy Pages - Spotlight
July 19 – Celticlady's Reviews & Literary Gold – Spotlights
July 20 – Laura's Interests – Book Review
July 22 – Baroness' Book Trove – Book Review & Readeropolis – Author Interview
July 23 – I'm All About Books & Socrates Book Reviews – Spotlights

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Cleopatra's Spring by Nada Adel Sobhi - Poem

I see you
Travelling from the shores
Of the mighty Mediterranean
To a lonely oasis
In the heart
Of a thousand palm trees

I see you
Shrugging off your sandals,
The weight of the world
For a warm water dive
Your little spring
Where you let go,
And heal

Where the water washes it all away
And you let it
And over
With every dive
And every plunge

Cleopatra's Spring. Image via Let's Explore Siwa Group on Facebook

You paint your skin
And traverse the land
Like a queen
And you are a Queen

Close your eyes, Cleopatra
And let the water drench you
Let the world and its wars
Drop to the bottom

And open your eyes
See with a new vision
A clear sight

Close your eyes, Cleopatra
Then open them
And decide…

By: Nada Adel Sobhi

This poem was written while on a trip to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt. Amazing place. A desert but full of beauty and natural scenery and simplicity.

Image taken from Facebook group Let's Explore Siwa, which is moderated by Siwa resident Yahya Moussa, who was also part of my tour.

Cleopatra's Spring via Trip Advisor

Monday, June 24, 2019

7 Reasons Why You Should Sign-Up for The Freelance Writers' Den before Time Runs Out!

June is the season to be jolly especially if you're a freelance writer. Why? Because Carol Tice is opening the Freelance Writers Den to new members! And it's a great community.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links, so if you make any purchases, I get a tiny percentage, and we're both happy. And NO I wasn't asked or paid to do this post)

What is the Freelance Writers Den?
It's an exclusive community of freelance writers and gurus sharing tips they've learnt over the years when it comes to freelance writing. Whether you're writing blog posts, web copy, white papers, e-books, or anything in between, you'll find a ton of resources. 

And if you don't find the topic or resource you're looking for, you have a forum to ask questions, where over a 1,000 freelance writers with experience ranging from a few months to decades can answer your questions.

Grow Your Writing
Income: Learn How

What do I think of the Freelance Writers Den?
I've been a member for a year and a half, and while I could have used my membership more – yes there's a membership but it's not what you're thinking and more on that later  here is what I like and dislike about the Den.

First the cons:
-         Because I live in Egypt, the pricing mechanisms are completely different from my local market. For example, people can charge $0.50 per word and sometimes $1 per word, if you're in the Middle East and Egypt, your eyes – like mine – are probably glazing over these rates. Still, these rates can guide you when dealing with international clients.
-         Sometimes I feel that the content provided is a bit repetitive
Now onto the pros
-         I like the community. Everyone wants to help you. And being surrounded by people from all walks of life, who don't know you but want to help you is priceless.
-         The fee is affordable – just $25 a month (That's less than EGP 420 at current rates, which less than any course you'll find and there little to no writing courses in Egypt to begin with!)
-         Then Den is great for newbie and seasoned writers alike. There's a lot of food for thought and lots of topics to be discussed. Plus you can get your work critiqued in the forums. (Like if you have a blog post idea you want to get feedback on or if you think your email marketing needs a boost...etc)
-         I enjoy the bootcamps and have learnt a ton from them.
The Den offers quarterly bootcamps, which are 4-week online workshops with a specialized freelance writer from a certain field (ex: ebooks, selling, social media…etc) alongside the Den's founder (aka the Den Mother) Carol Tice or Moderator Angie Mansfield – both with over a decade of experience in freelance writing. During these 4 weeks, you get to either pay a discounted $97 for the course, study the content, do homework and get expert feedback OR you don't pay at all and work the course material on your own.
-         You can study old and new bootcamps any number of times you like. You download the PDFs, listen to the audio and presentation, and you can do the homework and get feedback through the forum. This feedback won't be from the "expert" giving the bootcamp but you'll definitely find others who've had some form experience with what you're working on.
-        There is also a section called the Resource Library where you'll find audios with freelancers who talk about particular topics for an hour. Now, I'll mention that some of the experts they bring in the resource library are amazing and some not so much. There were a couple of audios that I didn't complete because I felt the content wasn't strong – but that could be that the content didn't relate to me.
-      There's also a job board, where you can find some freelance writing assignments. I'll confess I've not been able to use it much because many ask for freelance writers within the US but it's there and it can give you an idea sometimes about fees and available freelance writing gigs.

For me, two of the bootcamps, I absolutely loved and have learnt greatly from were Writing Persuasive Sales Copy with Belinda Weaver and Writing E-books with Steve Slaunwhite. Since then, I've been following Weaver's blog and taking on any other bootcamps by Slaunwhite.

So, would I recommend The Freelance Writers' Den?
The answer is: Yes.

Is there a fee?
Yes, but don't fret. I pay $25 a month.
Not a hefty sum, and while I haven't been making maximum use of my $25 monthly payment, I will be doing exactly that in the coming period.

How do you pay?
There are PayPal and a Credit Card options.

How can I get the maximum value for my money?
Log in as much as you can. There is no limit to how much of The Freelance Writers' Den trainings you can study in a day, week or month. So, make time and gobble up as much information and training as you can.

How many people are currently in The Freelance Writers' Den?
Over a 1000!

Can I get a taste of The Freelance Writers' Den?
Yes! Here's a free PDF on 8 Ways to Get Editors' Emails

8 Ways to Get Editors' Emails. Free PDF for writers! - DOWNLOAD NOW

As I said The Freelance Writers' Den is an exclusive community, which means it's not open all-year-round for anyone to join. It opens twice a year.
At the moment, the opportunity to Sign Up for the Freelance Writers' Den ends on 25 June. And as a Den member, I recommend you give it a shot. If you don't like it, you can get a FULL REFUND within 14 days of signing up or you can opt out any time afterwards.
I've been on the Den for a year, and there's lots I still need to go through.
Last but not least, while my intention was to grow my freelance writing skills and establish myself in the field, I picked up a LOT about marketing and writing in general that have helped me in my current and previous full-time jobs.

If you're still unsure if this place is for you, check out some writers' success stories – how people have grown their freelance writing businesses or scored retainer clients after joining the Den.

Writer Success Stories!
Free webinar: Hear exactly how working freelance writers grew their income and
moved up to better clients. SIGN UP NOW – Freelance Writers Den
So, here's the sign-up page for The Freelance Writers' Den.

Hurry up! Just a little time left!

If you feel you're not yet ready to commit $25 per month to self-help, well that's you BUT Tice has written several books on earning better as a freelance writer and generating income from your blog.

Check them out (purchasing through these links helps me and my blog) J

Small Blog Big Income - Sidebar Ad Learn More about the eBook

FEAR NOT! Confidence-Building Insights, Tips, and Techniques for Freelance Writers - the eBook

How to Get Great Freelance ClientsGet paid more money for your writing! Freelance Business Bootcamp - the eBook

Here's the Sign Up link again for the Freelance Writers' Den

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Takhayyal Writing Prompt 97: Music in the Woods

Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's MONTHLY picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal or Imagine.

Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity and explore new genres.

The newest image has a bit of spring and for some reason reminds me of the introduction of Nightwish's song "While Your Lips Are Still Red."

So grab your pen and paper, or an empty word document, and may be some music and let the image and the notes inspire you :) 

Your post can be in English or Arabic, prose, poetry, short story, flash fiction, an imaginary situation, an artistic thought; you name it and write it.

General rules:
·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·        Leave the link to your post in comments below OR post your piece as REPLY to this post
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·        It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets!


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Exclusive Interview with Author-Poet Sophie Schiller

Today I'm featuring an author and poet whose poems just spoke to me. Meet Sophia Schiller, whose poetry collection On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles I read and reviewed recently and gave a 5-star review.

The interview and review were originally planned to published in April 2019 for National Poetry Month, but due to some setbacks from my end, both were delayed.

About Sophie Schiller

Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She is a novelist and a poet. Kirkus Reviews has called her "an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer." Publishers Weekly called her Island on Fire, “a memorable romantic thriller,” her Race to Tibet, "A thrilling yarn," and her Transfer Day, “a page-turner with emotional resonance."

On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles is her first collection of poetry. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is presently working on a novel about a Founding Father. 

Connect with Sophie Schiller via Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.

On to Nadaness In Motion's exclusive interview with Sophie Schiller!

Q: Did you do anything special for National Poetry Month?
Sophie Schiller: I conducted a giveaway on my Facebook page for 5 free copies of my poetry book. I’ve been posting my poems online to get people to take a few minutes of their day to look at the world a little differently, through the lens of poetic verse. Almost any topic can become more salient through the use of poetry. Poetry allows us to discover more about ourselves.

Q: Your poetry collection On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles was inspired by the Caribbean, what other countries have inspired your writing?
Sophie Schiller: No other countries, but other poets have inspired my writing, such as Emily Dickinson, Derek Walcott, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats. Their poetry inspired quite a few poems in my collection, such as “I Found a Danish Skilling” which was inspired by “I had a Guinea Golden” by Emily Dickinson, and “Annaberg” was inspired by “To Helen” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “A Song to Hugo Larsen” was inspired by “Ode to Salvador Dalí” by Federico García Lorca.

Q: Where else do you plan to travel in search of other adventures and inspiration?
Sophie Schiller: I think the West Indies is the place where my soul is most at home, and where my creativity comes alive. I would love to see St. Vincent, Nevis, and St. Lucia, not necessarily in that order.

Q: I noticed that your poetry mostly rhymes, do you have difficulty with rhyme while not making it sound forced? Have you tried writing in free verse?
Sophie Schiller: During the course of my writing I have found that for every problem (in rhyming) there is a solution. If you work on a poem for a long time and it’s not working, in other words, it if sounds too forced, it probably means you have to approach it from a different angle. The solution will come to you eventually. Sometimes you have to put the poem away for a few weeks or a few months and approach it from a fresh perspective. I have never tried writing in free verse. I would have to take a course in it to really understand the technique and the artistic elements of it.

Q: I see you have several books of historical fiction. Are you a history teacher?
Sophie Schiller: No, I discovered late that I love history and stories set in the past, so all my novels are historical. There’s so much to discover!

Q: What are you currently working on? And what books are set to be released in 2019?
Sophie Schiller: Currently I’m working on a novel about Alexander Hamilton’s boyhood in the Caribbean. The novel should be released in 2020. The only book I released in 2019 was my poetry book and it has turned into one of the most fulfilling projects I have ever worked on.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Sophie Schiller: Never give up. Nothing good ever came without some sacrifice.

Check out more exclusive author interviews on the Nadaness In Motion book blog.