Archive | January 2022

A Thing With Feathers #Prose #Poet

Please welcome Joe Nordstrom to my blog. Good morning, Joe, please take a seat while I grab our coffees.

1. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

I am J. John Nordstrom (“Joe”) aka Joseph John Jablonski, Jr., born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and raised in the small suburb town of Millbury, by mother Sandra and my late father Joe Sr.  I am a poet, novelist, lawyer, sociologist, and political scientist.  My poetry and fiction nom de plume, J. John Nordstrom, was taken in honor of my great-grandmother Gerda E. Nordstrom and my grandmother, Elna E. (Nordstrom) Anderson, as well as my mother Sandra Lenore (Anderson) Jablonski, who have all, in their own ways, majorly encouraged my literary endeavors.  My great grandmother gave me a now-treasured copy of Aesop’s Fables for a seventh birthday. The fable of the tortoise and the hare was her favorite, as it is mine.  

My poetry stresses intuition over reason and is heavily influenced by the Romantic tradition of poetry in both America and Britain.  It explores natural, emotional, personal and artistic themes, for example, lost love, the mystery of soulmate love, death, beauty, wisdom, the human being’s relationship to nature, the mystery of the Muse, and life’s existential mystery. 

My debut novel, A Thing With Feathers, should be considered as fictional autobiography.  The novel draws from academic, literary, professional, and personal experiences over my lifetime, in Worcester, Millbury, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati OH, Fairfax, Arlington, Falls Church, Richmond, Williamsburg, Charlottesville. and Roanoke VA, Baltimore MD, and Claremont CA.  I have remained a bachelor and have several other novels in the works.  

2. Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

Yes. Ever since I started writing in the 1st grade. It was when I was 13 that I began to compose my own poetry after I read T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men,” Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” Poe’s “Annabel Lee” and Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the thing with feathers.” I twice won 1st prize for poetry in the ICON Literary Contest at my high school, St. John’s High School, Shrewsbury, MA, my sophomore and senior years. I knew it was time to write my first novel after having a compelling experience with a woman named Jill, for whom the novel is dedicated. She is a literary type and she reminded me of Emily Dickinson. Jill used to call me “her rare booksman” and told me that the poetry I wrote for her reminded her of Poe’s poetry. Jill also told me she adored “prose that read like poetry” and so that is precisely what I tried to give her in A Thing With Feathers.

3. How difficult was it writing your first book?

The novel went through several drafts over the last several years. It was first conceived in 2006 and the actual hard writing of the novel began in 2014 four years after I arrived in Claremont CA in Sept 2010. It was really a labor of love–I spent considerable time improving the story itself and getting the lyrical prose and poetry right. I wanted the product to be “prose that read like poetry,” and I feel that I succeeded to some extent in doing that. Jill was always on my mind when I wrote the novel. Sometimes I would awake at 3am and sense that she Jill wanted me to write this poem or this passage that ended up being in the novel. I filled several black marble notebooks with poetry and prose with 3 am inspirations. I felt I was connected to Jill on some kind of soulmate wavelength and that novel and its poetry are a product of the soulmate energy that Jill created in my own literary heart.

4. Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

No, I never wanted to give up, but I had often wondered when I was really going to be satisfied enough to hand it over to a publisher. I was writing the novel for “Jill,” to show her how much I loved her and how much influence she had had on my life for the better, and so I cannot say I wanted ever to give up or stop. Jill is my muse. Her identity needs to be kept a secret for now.

5. Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?

My mother has been among the most supportive of my efforts as she herself wanted to be a novelist as a young woman. My mother enrolled in the Famous Writers Course in the 1960s and I still have her books in the attic at home in Millbury. She was enamored of Hemingway, Hardy and Updike, and I was enthralled with Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, D.H. Lawrence, and T.S. Eliot. My mother and I used to challenge each other to remember the author and exact title of a famous novel. She used to buy me Cliff Notes and Monarch Notes for novels I was reading—all of which I still have in my library at home. She always took me to the Worcester Public Library where I used to take out 1-20 books at a time and audiocassettes too.

Jill, the woman to whom the novel is dedicated, had been very supportive of my writing ambition. She believed I had the talent to be a novelist. She told me, “I love prose that reads like poetry.” Jill told me that Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is an example of beautiful lyrical prose.

Aria Ligi,, a great poet who writes in the Romantic tradition, has been and remains a huge support for my prose and my poetry. She has been involved in editing both my prose and my poetry and always believed that my work should receive the highest literary recognition. She pushed me to write my very best.

My friend and fellow novelist Mary Carr Jackson, author of Two Sisters Torn (2012) has been and is very supportive of my writing, both my prose and my poetry.

My editors Daniel Burgess, Rob Bignell, and Gay Walley were all hugely supportive of my work. Joseph Sale, my British editor, @josephwordsmith has been especially supportive of my work.

6. Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

The novel is borne out of my love for Jill who is also a fellow writer but, like Emily Dickinson was during her lifetime, she’s not yet ready to share her work with the world. If I hadn’t met Jill, I could not have written this novel. She reminds me of Emily Dickinson and she gave me the initial inspiration for A Thing With Feathers.

The novel also owes a great deal to a number of Poe’s short stories, including The Assignation, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Oval Portrait. It is difficult to assess precisely how many references, hidden, implicit and explicit there are in the novel to Poe, and to Dickinson for that matter.

Fellow poet Andrew Benson Brown, author of Legends of Liberty Volume One, who recently reviewed my novel, noted that “Poe is everywhere” in Nordstrom’s novel A Thing With Feathers. See

Pulitzer Prize winning poet, the late Sylvia Plath, exerts a profound influence on me both as a novelist and as a poet. Her novel The Bell Jar and her poetry generally have greatly inspired me, “Parliament Hill Fields” and “Ariel.”

7. What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?

Follow your instinct, write your heart out, do not obstruct your deeper self, in all its ugliness and in all its beauty, and then figure out later what your subconscious was trying to tell you. Talcott Notch Literary Agent, Paula Munier, has been a mentor and fan of mine; she advised me that I had to write a crackerjack 1st chapter or you will lose the read from the get-go. Munier thought initially that I was a “new John Irving,” thinking of his novels The World According to Garp and Cider House Rules. Mike Neff, from Algonkian Conferences and Author Connect, compared my work in A Thing With Feathers to Michael Cunningham’s The Hours (Pulitzer Prize 1999) and to A.S. Byatt’s Possession (1990 Booker Prize).

8. What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience? My target audience is the world of the literate.

I think the women of the US will absolutely love this novel because it revives the tradition of soulmate love which was so written about in the 19th century during the heyday of the Romantic tradition in the US. Poe’s poetry captures the tender sentiments man and women felt for each other in the 19rth century and the novel is an attempt to re-introduce this kind of love in the 21st century that surely and sorely needs it.

9. Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

Yes, most certainly, I was working with the poet Aria Ligi, and Joe Sale and Ross Jeffery, my British editors, and we all came up with various ideas, Aria wanted a more classically romantic cover design, but I wanted to depict Poe as a raven and Emily as a wren/sparrow as she self-described herself and it was Joe Sale who finally found what we were all looking for. The cover also captured Amherst MA in the winter with the wreath, the forest and the snow motif. See the wraparound cover.

10. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

I am working on a sequel novel to A Thing With Feathers with more of Jonah’s poetry for Julia and Julia’s poetry for Jonah. It is looking more like a trilogy now. Here is a draft of a poem I am thinking about using in the sequel. Jonah writes another poem for Julia:

Immortal Love 

Jonah Q. Cincinnatuski, Jr.

When my soul first entered yours, 

My heart tentatively followed, 

Still afraid once again to be crushed to powder, 

But I overcame that fear and gladly so.  

We assuaged each other’s anxieties  

Until the storm in each of us lost its rage. 

I fell in love with thee, tempestuous insanity thou art. 

When you told me you loved “prose that reads like poetry,” 

 I heard thee speak my own language. 

You and I discovered soulmate love is real. 

Afraid of the dark were you like I was, 

As I would tremble in the night like an earthquake, 

Until your hand lifted to brush gently my brow.  

When dawn’s rays tiptoed under the curtain 

Like a ballet dancer goes excruciatingly low to the floor, 

Happy as birds in a nest were we for a moment, 

But thence waves of sorrow did crest and break upon us– 

To know death would knock one day, 

And we thus felt like dying together, 

That is, 

In the exact same instant, 

That we would enter the vale simultaneously, 

And that neither would ever have to suffer 

The loss of the other– 

That would be our heaven– 

Together forever. 

And then we walked along the shore 

Of a sea filled with our own tears of joy 

As children do in love with a life 

That no thought of death could ever trespass upon. 

11. Any last words before we wrap things up?

I think writing and publishing a novel was the most satisfying project I have ever been involved with. I had written a ton as an appellate lawyer, countless briefs and a few law review articles, but nothing as so much fun as writing fiction which is quintessentially literary. I really enjoyed narrating, from the POV of 3rd person omniscient, the romance between two characters, Jonah (Poe-like) and Julia (Dickinson-like).

“A Thing With Feathers” takes me back to those novels reviewers used to categorize as “sweeping.” Why is that? Because every scene is written so deftly, so vividly, that I felt like I was quite literally standing by the side of the character at the time and living these moments with them. To say this is unforgettable would be an understatement. A litany of emotions are written to the nth degree; heartbreak, longing, hatred, tragedy – you name it, it’s in here. This is a dark, intelligent, suspenseful “game” and, because of the number of genres that are included (mystery/romance/drama), it appeals to a ton of readers.

Winter’s Malice #murder

From Amazon: Three bodies in the span of twenty-four hours… In Weeping Rock, South Dakota—a small town crippled by racism, drugs, and violence—Sheriff’s Deputy Liam Matthews has his work cut out for him when he steps in to take over the duties of sheriff from his father, who for far too long has turned a blind eye to certain crimes for what he says is the overall good of the town. Coming under scrutiny for hiring a Lakota to fill his position as deputy, things quickly go from bad to worse for Liam when the body of retired pro-baseball player Hector Ramirez, who had recently returned home to coach ball at his high school alma mater, is found floating in Crow’s Foot Lake. Hector’s bludgeoned corpse is no sooner on its way to the M.E.’s office in Rapid City, however, when the partially clothed body of a young girl is discovered in a clearing in the snow. With two seemingly unrelated murders, Liam is judged at every turn of his investigation by the local population, Hector’s reality TV star wife Kiki Grey, and his own father. Upon uncovering a tangled web of desperation, lies, and greed, the mounting pressure inside Liam to do the right thing becomes jaded when the skeletal remains of a third victim is found in a submerged car, bringing to the forefront…  

My review: This well written story tears at your heart in many ways. Some blood, not much, not a gore story. It is a truly great book with stories that entwine and when you think you have the perpetrator figured out, think again. I do think is the best story I’ve read in this genre. Five stars.

A Creation of Tomorrow

Please welcome D. L. Fletcher to my blog. Welcome. Shall we have a cup of coffee and a chat?

1.  Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

My name is D. L. Fletcher. I am an indie author with two published works – A Creation of Tomorrow and The Dying Butterfly. I am 47 years old living in Ontario. I am a full-time project admin, mother of two, and grandmother of four married to a very supportive man who writes in her spare time.

2. Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book? (If you are here as an invite to promo your small business, then please write your own questions and provide relevant photos and links, thank you.)

Yes, writing has always been a part of my life. I have had an infatuation with pens and paper my whole life. At least as far back as I can remember. I had so many notebooks and pens. I still have so many notebooks and pens. When I was a young girl I would write poetry and short stories. It was when my nest emptied that I decided it was time. I had stories that needed to be told and the time to now tell them, and so my writing journey began.

3. How difficult was it writing your first book?

I didn’t find it difficult to write my first book. The challenge was the confidence to put myself out there. I wrote my first book followed immediately by my second. I simply published them putting them out to the world to maybe stumble upon them. A few people did, and I received good reviews, yet I couldn’t promote myself. I thought “What if it was just dumb luck that these people liked them? What if everyone else hates them?” I eventually was brave enough to let friends know that I wrote, and it was their encouragement that pushed me to finally put myself out there. I now have a webpage and a blog.

4. Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

Yes, I have wanted to give up. I think writing would always be a part of me, but I was close to tossing in the towel with publishing and debated maybe just keeping my stories mine. A reader wants to meet new people, visit another world. They want to experience something beautiful, dramatic, and emotional. If I can’t give them that then why am I doing it? When a reader reaches out to me telling me they loved my book it solidifies that I am bringing them what they were seeking when they picked up my book. I am sparked with every positive review, by every reader that reaches out to me asking me when the next book is coming. It is my readers that keep me from giving up.

5. Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?

My mother is the most supportive. She has read both my books many many times. She provides me feedback, I make the changes, and she reads it from beginning to end again. She has bought my books in every format. She is the best kind of crazy when it comes to my writing. She shares every post I make on Facebook, and every blog I write. What makes her amazing is I know she wouldn’t allow me to embarrass myself, so if she didn’t think I was good she would tell me. Next up would be my husband. He has listened to me go on and on about my writing, and all that I have learned about building my webpage, promoting, and more. I know he understands little of what I say but he still listens. He has read my work and listened to them when they came out on audio. If I need something for my writing or promoting he makes sure I have it.

6. Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I know I have a lot to learn. I know this because I am learning every day, but I want to thank my readers for taking a chance on me. Your words of encouragement, your positive reviews, your taking to the time to connect with me have been all the encouragement I need. I hope to continue to provide you with more worlds for you to escape into. 

7. What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?

The best advice I have been given was at 16 by my mother ‘Start your RRSP now” If I had taken that advice then and continued with it, I would be retired now and writing full-time. I did not, and so I am still working when I would love nothing more than to be writing all day, every day.

The other was to choose a career where waking up to go to work wasn’t going to feel like work. I wish I had taken that advice years ago. Maybe I would have a lot more books out there and would be spending my days writing.

I can go on and on with great advice given to me but I took none of it. I was young, life seemed long, and choices seemed endless. One thing I did learn, and only while writing is this:

The future ahead is paved by actions and choices made today. Hindsight is 20/20. Make wise choices today and you will be able to predict your future rather than look back into the past and see where you went wrong.

8. What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

I honestly am not sure I can answer this question. I don’t have a target audience. I mean, I guess I target adults, but man, woman, age group, genre… I don’t really have one. I simply write what comes to me. One book – The Dying Butterfly – is post-apocalyptic/romance and all about hope. It can be read by almost anyone. I think 16yrs and older, and has been read by people from 16 to 65. My readers are both genders. My other book – A Creation of Tomorrow – has had a few men reading it, but mainly women. It doesn’t really fall into a genre. I stuck it in crime/ thriller as it is the best fit, but it still doesn’t belong there. I should probably have a target audience, but I don’t. I just write. Maybe in time, after a number of books have been published I will find I have a target audience or understand mine better, but at this time I don’t have one or understand mine if I do.

9. Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

I created my covers as I wrote, meaning they kept evolving. I like to have a cover from the beginning, but as I got to know my characters and the feel of the story I would change my cover until eventually, I had one that I felt provided the best feel.

10. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

Currently, I am working on completing the sequel to my book – A Creation of Tomorrow, titled – A Creation of Yesterday. Following that I will be working on two books, the sequel to – The Dying Butterfly, titled- Flight of The Butterfly, and another I have not decided on the title. I am leaning toward – The Guardian of Dreams – or -Where our Souls go to Play.

11. Any last words before we wrap things up?

Yes, more than anything I want to thank all of those that have taken a chance in reading my books or listening to my audiobooks. I want to thank all of my readers that have taken the time to connect with me either by leaving me such great reviews or by messaging me personally. I am so very grateful for all of you as you have helped provide me the courage to put myself out there. It has been a journey, on that that I am proud of, but I wouldn’t be on it if it wasn’t for all the support and encouragement from you.  I know I am not perfect at what I do, but I am learning more and more every day.

 I also want to thank those that will give me a look and maybe take a chance on me in the future. I hope my writing can provide you with the escape you are looking for when you pick up a book.

 Lastly, I would love for you to visit my website at and subscribe to my newsletter. I promise I will not spam you.




Facebook page:




Book links:…/dp/B06ZZNFRCR.…/dp/B09DMTR1RR

Amazon UK:…/B06Z…/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0…


Barnes & Noble:…/a-creati…/1126255820…


Audiobook links:

Audible UK:

1066 Turned Upside Down

Today we feature 1066 Turned Upside down and an excerpt from contributing author Carol McGrath:


by Carol McGrath

Harold Godwinson, as Earl of Essex and then Wessex, had taken Edith Swanneck as a common-law wife. By her he had several sons and daughters – all legitimate, for this was a legal marriage, but not one blessed by the Church. Harold set his first wife aside, however, when he became King, for he needed to confirm an alliance with the earls of northern England, and the only way to do so was to take their sister as wife. It must have been hard for his sons and daughters by that first wife to accept the second. Harder still for them to realise that he was now vulnerable to outside threats and maybe even attempted murder… and to the portents that appeared in the April sky…

Thea stared up at the night sky wondering if King Edward dwelled in Heaven, or was he one of the stars that glowed through April’s frosted darkness? She certainly never considered Uncle Edward saintly. He had been stuffy and pious – too devout, surrounding himself with Norman priests, building a new abbey at Westminster, expecting Aunt Edith to be kind and welcoming to his visitors from across the Narrow Sea. Yet, Thea pondered,  as she gathered up her thirteen-year-old thoughts, in the end, Uncle Edward had approved of her family and chosen her father, Earl Harold, his brother by marriage, to rule the kingdom after his death. It was a surprise to them all when the dying king expressed his wishes as he had hovered between the world of angels and a darker and very frightening place. She shuddered and hurriedly crossed herself. Surely better for Uncle Edward that he was a star in the night sky, than facing the terrors that lay between Heaven and Hell?

Thea’s father, King Harold, second of that name, had been crowned on the day her Uncle Edward was interred in his new abbey. Even though she was now a princess, this was a mixed blessing. Her father had remarried, taking Aldgyth, the sister of the powerful Northern earls and widow of a king of Wales, as his wife, claiming that marriage with Thea’s mother, his true hand-fasted wife of eighteen years, was not approved by the Church. He told the family that since their union broke the Church rules on consanguinity – they were related at three times removed – he would have to marry the Northern widow to ensure her brothers’ support and to keep the Church on his side.

‘As you know well, there are too many greedy eyes on our kingdom. I must ally with her brothers if I am to protect England,’ he had explained.

After his pronouncement, her father had sent her mother away. He had packed her, Thea, his elder daughter, off to Grandmother Gytha’s household.

Thea stared up at the night sky, bright and star-dusted after several weeks of heavy cloud and cold rain, and wondered if she dared refuse to attend her father’s Easter Court at Westminster. She could not be pleasant to the woman who had usurped her mother, though she still loved the huge, bearded warrior who was her father; a warrior who seemed to her as golden as the sun and gentle as the moon. She had another thought. Her childhood friend, Earl Waltheof, would join her father’s Easter Court…

* * *

The night sky was lit up with stars. A group of monks stood, staring up at a bright new star that had appeared as if summoned by a sorcerer. Some were praying, others were pointing as they clutched each other’s robes. Through the gaps in the pillars, Thea watched some of her father’s attendants also gathering – was that Earl Waltheof amongst them? She shook her head, no, her thoughts were no longer for him. Rather, they had settled firmly upon the importance of her father’s survival and his kingdom. She looked into the sky to the enormous star with a dragon-like tail hovering above the abbey church.

Book Title: 1066 Turned Upside Down

Authors: Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee

G.K. Holloway, Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, Annie Whitehead

With a foreword by C.C. Humphreys.

Publication Date: 14th September 2021

Publisher: Taw River Press (paperback) Matador/Troubador (e-book)

Page Length: 222 Pages

Genre: Alternative History

Twitter Handles: @HelenHollick @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @annabelfrageauthor @carol.mcgrath.58 @alisonmortonauthor @anniewhiteheadauthor @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #1066UpsideDown #AlternativeHistory #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page:

Book Title and Author Name:

1066 Turned Upside Down

By Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee, G.K. Holloway,

Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, Annie Whitehead

With a foreword by C.C. Humphreys


Have you ever wondered what might have happened if William the Conqueror had been beaten at Hastings in 1066? Or if Harald Hardrada had won at Stamford Bridge? Or if Edward the Confessor had died with an heir ready to take his crown? If so – here is the perfect set of short stories for you.

1066 Turned Upside Down explores a variety of ways in which that momentous year could have played out very differently.

Written by nine well-known authors the stories will take you on a journey through the speculative ‘what ifs?’ of England’s most famous year in history.


“1066 Turned Upside Down is the exemplar for how analytical counterfactual history should be done, combining the best elements of fiction and non-fiction to create an immensely impressive achievement.”

“As a collection, the quality of the writing is exceptional and the variety of possible outcomes presented is truly fascinating.”

“The collection is assembled in such a way that between the ‘alternatives’ are the related facts as they happened, as far as historians and archaeologists know – which still leaves room for these experienced writers’ imaginations.”

“A book I will read and re-read. I heartily recommend it”

“The real joy of a collection of stories like this is, of course, that you are likely to be introduced to writers you may not have come across before.”

Buy Links:

Universal Link:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Barnes and Noble:


Troubador Books:



Author Bio:

1066 Turned Upside Down is a collection of eleven alternative history short stories of a ‘what if’ nature imagined by nine well-known successful authors:

JOANNA COURTNEY Ever since Joanna sat up in her cot with a book, she’d wanted to be a writer and cut her publication teeth on short stories and serials for the women’s magazines before signing to PanMacmillan in 2014 for her three-book series The Queens of the Conquest about the wives of the men fighting to be King of England in 1066. Her second series, written for Piatkus is Shakespeare’s Queens exploring the real history of three of the bard’s greatest female characters – Lady Macbeth, Ophelia and Cordelia.

Joanna’s fascination with historical writing is in finding the similarities between us and them –with an especial goal to provide a female take on some of the greatest stories we think we know.

ALISON MORTON writes the award-winning alternative fiction Roma Nova thriller series featuring tough, but compassionate heroines. She blends her deep love of Roman history with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical, adventure and thriller fiction. A ‘Roman nut’ since age 11, she started wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women. She has recently branched out into a contemporary crime setting with Double Identity, the first of a planned series.

ANNA BELFRAGE Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy set in 14th century England. Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. His Castilian Hawk – returning to medieval times and her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands. Anna has won several awards including various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.

ANNIE WHITEHEAD is an historian and prize-winning author. Her main interest in history is the period formerly known as the ‘Dark Ages’. Her first novel, To Be A Queen, is the story of Aethelflaed (daughter of Alfred the Great), who came to be known as the Lady of the Mercians. Alvar the Kingmaker, tells the story of Aelfhere of Mercia, a nobleman in the time of King Edgar. Cometh the Hour goes further back in time to the seventh century, to tell the story of Penda, the last pagan king of Mercia. Annie has twice been a prizewinner in the Mail on Sunday Novel Writing competition, she won first prize for nonfiction in the new Writing Magazine Poetry and Prose competition, and was the inaugural winner of the HWA (Historical Writers’ Association)/Dorothy Dunnett Society Short Story Competition and is now a judge for that same competition.

Annie has had two nonfiction books published. Mercia: The Rise and Fall of a Kingdom (Amberley Books) has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England was published by Pen & Sword Books in 2020.

CAROL McGRATH is the author of The Daughters of Hastings Trilogy. Her fifth historical novel, The Silken Rose, first in The Rose Trilogy, published by the Headline Group, is set during the High Middle Ages. It features Ailenor of Provence and was published in 2020. The Damask Rose about Eleanor of Castile was published in 2021. The Stone Rose, Isabella of France, follows in 2022. Carol has also written Historical Non-Fiction for Pen & Sword.

ELIZA REDGOLD is an author and ‘romantic academic’. Her bestselling historical fiction includes her Ladies of Legend trilogy, starting with Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva released internationally by St Martin’s Press, New York. Her historical romances are published by Harlequin Historical, London (Harper Collins). They include Playing the Duke’s Mistress, Enticing Benedict Cole, The Scandalous Suffragette and The Master’s New Governess. They have been translated into multiple languages including Italian, Polish, Czech, Danish and Swedish, and are available internationally.

G.K. HOLLOWAY After graduating from Coventry University with an honours degree in history and politics, he worked in education in and around Bristol, England, where he now lives. After reading a biography about Harold Godwinson, he studied the late Anglo-Saxon era in detail. When he had enough material to weave together facts and fiction he produced his novel. 1066 What Fates Impose, a story of family feuds, court intrigues, assassinations, plotting and scheming, loyalty and love, all ingredients in an epic struggle for the English crown.

HELEN HOLLICK moved from London in 2013 and now lives on a thirteen-acre farm in North Devon, England. Born in London, Helen wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science fiction and fantasy, and then discovered the wonder of historical fiction. Published since 1994 with her Arthurian Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, followed by her 1066 era duo. She became a USA Today bestseller with her story of Queen Emma: The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK), and its companion novel, Harold the King (titled I Am the Chosen King in the U.S.A). She also writes the Sea Witch Voyages, a series of pirate-based nautical adventures with a touch of fantasy. Commissioned by Amberley Press she wrote a non-fiction book about pirates in fact, fantasy and fiction and a non-fiction book about smugglers, published by Pen and Sword.

Recently she has ventured into the ‘Cosy Mystery’ genre with her Jan Christopher Mysteries, the first of which is A Mirror Murder. She runs Discovering Diamonds, an independent online review site for Historical Fiction, primarily aimed at showcasing Indie writers.

She occasionally gets time to write.

RICHARD DEE was a Master Mariner and ship’s pilot, now living in Brixham, South Devon.  His novels include Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective.

Social Media Links:



Amazon Author Page: 


This entry was posted on January 5, 2022. 4 Comments

Adam’s Witness by J. C. Paulson

From Amazon: Where Does Justice End And Vengeance Begin? When newspaper reporter Grace Rampling stumbles onto a grisly crime scene while on a routine weekend assignment, she abruptly finds herself at the centre of a police investigation into the death of a Catholic bishop. The Crime: BewilderingAs the investigation unfolds, evidence points to a troubling hate crime as Grace finds herself central to the case – not only as a key witness, but a suspect and even potential victim. Lead investigator Detective Sergeant Adam Davis is thrown by the fierce attraction he feels toward Grace that, if acted upon, could throw the entire case into jeopardy. The Race: Intense With Grace at risk and off limits, Adam races to unravel an increasingly disturbing mystery, while he struggles to both protect and resist the woman of his dreams. A swirling thrill ride through the labyrinth of a mystery, romance, crime and a gripping conclusion that no one will see coming.

My Review: What an intense book of love, murder, mental disorders, criminal actions, and including the LGBT+ community. I easily fell in love with all the protagonists and literally disliked the antagonists. The more I read, and the sicker some were, was intense. I don’t want to give anything away. Five stars.

The Girl from Portofino

Book Title: The Girl from Portofino

Series: Girls of the Italian Resistance: A collection of standalone novels set in Italy during World War 2

Author: Siobhan Daiko

Publication Date: 30th December 2021

Publisher: Asolando Books

Page Length: 300 Pages

Genre: Womens Historical Fiction/29th Century Historical/World War 2 Historical

Twitter Handles: @siobhandaiko @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @siobhandaiko_asolandobooks @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #WomensFiction #WorldWarIIRomance #WomensHistoricalFiction #ItalianHistorical #HistoricalRomance #CoffeePotBookClub #BlogTour

Tour Schedule Page:

The Girl from Portofino

(Girls of the Italian Resistance: A collection of standalone novels set in Italy during World War 2)

By Siobhan Daiko

In 1970 Gina Bianchi returns to Portofino to attend her father’s funeral, accompanied by her troubled twenty-four-year-old daughter, Hope. There, Gina is beset by vivid memories of World War 2, a time when she fought with the Italian Resistance and her twin sister, Adele, worked for the Germans.

In her childhood bedroom, Gina reads Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. As Gina learns the devastating truth about her sister, she’s compelled to face the harsh brutality of her own past. Will she finally lay her demons to rest, or will they end up destroying her and the family she loves?

A hauntingly epic read that will sweep you away to the beauty of the Italian Riviera and the rugged mountains of its hinterland. “The Girl from Portofino” is a story about heart-wrenching loss and uplifting courage, love, loyalty, and secrets untold.

Trigger Warnings:

The brutality of war, death, war crimes against women.

Buy Links:

Available on KindleUnlimited.

Universal Link:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Author Bio:

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and two rescued cats. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, Siobhan now spends her time, when she isn’t writing, enjoying her life near Venice.

Social Media Links:







Book Bub:

Amazon Author Page:


The inspiration behind my novel, “The Girl from Portofino” for When Angels Fly

Thank you so much for inviting me here today to tell your readers about the inspiration behind my newly released novel, “The Girl from Portofino.”

After I published “The Girl from Venice”, which featured a 2010 heroine and her grandmother, a Jewish girl who joins the partisans in the Venetian mountains during World War 2 in Italy, I thought long and hard about which direction to take with the second standalone novel in the “Girls from the Italian Resistance” series.

In “The Girl from Portofino”, I decided to tell the story from the point of view of Gina, who lives in London and returns to Portofino in 1970 to attend her father’s funeral. There, she reads her twin sister, Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. Readers learn the truth about Adele’s wartime experiences through Gina’s eyes while she reminisces about her own experiences fighting with the partisans.

What many people don’t know is that women’s involvement in the Italian Resistance was highly significant, and the fact that it occurred at all is very clear proof of the general impact the Resistance had on Italian society. For the first time in Italian history, women came out of their homes in large numbers, voluntarily, and got involved in politics. Many women did not want to take on just a supporting role and had to ‘fight’ within partisan brigades to be given the right to fight. One such woman was Elsa Oliva, who was from an anti-fascist family, and luckily managed to escape from a transit camp in September 1943 before being sent to Germany. She went up into the hills, looking for her brother who was already a partisan, and joined the 2nd Brigade of the Beltrami division in May 1944. After several days she told the commander and the rest of the men: ‘I didn’t come here to find a lover. I’m here to fight and I’m only going to stay if you give me a gun and put me in the group for guard duty and military action. … In my first firefight I showed I wasn’t handling a gun just for show.’

Because she showed herself to be a good fighter, she was given the command of a group, and when moves were made to relieve her of command she managed to hold on to the position only because her men defended her. She was also a severe disciplinarian, tying up men to posts as punishment from time to time.

Another remarkable story concerns Laura Seghettini, who went up into the hills as a 22-year-old and asked to join her local group as a fighter, a request that was agreed to after initial hesitation. A few months later she was asked to form and lead her own squad of 40 men.

These two remarkable women were my main inspiration for writing “The Girl from Portofino”. I hope readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

This entry was posted on January 3, 2022. 2 Comments

Livin’ on the Edge – A Guide to Your Abundance Seeds

Please welcome Tinker McAdams to my blog. Hello Tinker, welcome to my spot, shall we begin?

Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

Hi everyone, my name is Tinker McAdams and I have written this book Livin’ on the Edge – A Guide to Your Abundance Seeds, through the guidance of my spiritual guides!

Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

Well, my writing for many years was in the business world. It consisted of business letters, contracts, etc. It was through meditation and automatic writing that this book came about. I have always had a connection with those that were put in place to help each and everyone one of us make it through this time in the physical world. It was actually their idea for the book! I kept putting them off, but eventually they won! So, here it is!!

How difficult was it writing your first book?

The hard part for me was being able to have the time to go within and get connected with “my Guys.” But the book does cover a lot that has to do with the reader becoming connected and aware. Through the years I have researched and through this it also covers things like what herbs and supplements are good to use as well as using crystals and various stones. My Guys helped with explaining things from their side of the veil.

Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

Once the book was started there was no turning back. I’m one of those people that has to finish what they start.

Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?

I would have to say my three sons. They helped me find the time, and my oldest was one that stood in as my Beta Reader!

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I know this isn’t your normal book. But the whole idea is to help those that read it find out that life can be lived without stress and depression. There are those that are always there for you and through the book it is the hope of myself and my Guys that you can get in touch with your own and live life happy!

What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?

My Dad used to always have sayings. Some were “Can’t could never do a damn thing!” Another was “You don’t know until you try!” He was one that never gave up and always strived. Guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree!

What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

This book is for those that are in search of who they are and what their purpose is. Life is hard enough and finding a guidance that can help you in whatever you need to do is essential. We all have a purpose for being here and this book can help. Some say it would be classified as “spiritual” but it’s much more that that. If you have questions about where you’re going and what to do, this book is for you!

Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

I had several ideas but through the help of a guy named Ricardo it came into being and I think it’s perfect.

What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

At the present time I am working on something else. It has to do with The Tao! Once again it is through my Guys! So, keep an eye out next year!

Any last words before we wrap things up?

I can only hope that whoever reads my book can see that there is so much more to life! Everything around us can be so beautiful and real. Life is so worth it!!


In 1957 “Tinker” was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A natural bookworm and researcher, she extended her skills in business, and developed writing to word in layman’s terms for everyone concerned to understand.

With the advice of her “Guys” she has put her writing skills and ways of expressing her thoughts with theirs onto paper helping all find the answers they seek through their own Spiritual Beings.

Self-proclaimed believer in energies and vibrations the Guys gave her the knowledge, that abundance is more than money. They live life to the fullest with many smiles and blessings.



Twitter: @TinkerMcAdams