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Showing posts from April, 2017

Masterworks: Legacy - Samantha Wilcoxson - Interview

  Today is the last of a series on nine interviews I'm sharing on the Crowvus Book Blog. These are from the authors of the short stories included in the  Masterworks  anthology by the  Historical Writers Forum . We're running through chronologically, some are video interviews, others are written. I am delighted to welcome the fantastic Samantha Wilcoxson, who is sharing the artist inspiration for her short story Legacy , as well as the appeal of James A. Hamilton, and the delights of researching. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself, what you write (besides Masterworks!), and what inspired you to begin writing. I was inspired to write by my love of reading. After watching me read, write reviews, and keep journals for twenty years, my husband asked me why I didn’t try writing, so I did! Without really planning on it, I ended up writing historical biographical fiction. I’m drawn to a tragic tale but also to lesser known historical figures with emotive stories to tell

Inspirational Perthshire

Virginia Crow (author of Day's Dying Glory) at Innerpeffray Library I’m not sure what it was about my last holiday that made it so special. Whether it was because it was intertwined with the Day’s Dying Glory book launch event at Innerpeffray Library, or because I needed a rest from all my responsibilities, or that it was just an amazing place to stay…I really loved last week’s holiday! The cottage was The Old Post Office on Dunalistair Estate and we had booked it from Saturday to Saturday. The road to the cottage was bumpy and bendy which, being a non-driver, I didn’t mind a bit. In fact, it seemed to add to the whole experience. Once at the cottage, I realised what an astonishing view we would have for the next 7 days. The cottage looked out across an open field, over Dunalistair Water and to Schiehallion beyond. On clear days, you could see the whole mountain which stood quite close to the cottage. Once every day, however, the mountain top would be covered by mi

Change of Circumstances

Last week, I was on holiday in Perthshire. While we managed to get quite a bit of holiday-ing in, it also meant that I felt relaxed enough to read. This week, I've started my final teaching placement. Because of this, I'm not reading as much as I'd like. Therefore, I'm hoping to post up at least 2 blog entries a week instead of every single day. I'm taking my kindle everywhere I go as I can't be without it for long periods of time! And I'm still accepting review requests. Please see my Review Policy if your are interested in getting your book reviewed on here.

"A Wounded World" Book Review

"A Wounded World" by Crit Kincaid Book Review ☆☆☆☆☆ “A Wounded World” was one of 5 books I got off Amazon. I’d just got a subscription for Kindle Unlimited and I knew I would want to read something while on the train north. I scrolled through my Kindle and clicked on this book at random – entirely unsure what to expect but I wasn’t holding my breath… The first chapter gripped my attention in an uncommon way. I have not read many books where my interest is piqued so near the beginning but I found that I really did not want to put my kindle down. The Highland scenery went by…and I was still engrossed in this book. As far as I’m concerned, a book that can elicit heightened emotions from me is a sign of good writing. At one point, I looked up from the ‘page’, needing to find the composure to carry on. My Mum notices, as she does, and moves forward to place her hand over mine. “Don’t read it!” She says. “No, I have to.” I stubbornly look back down to my kind

"Only One Death" Book Review

"Only One Death" by Alexander Crow Book Review ☆☆☆☆☆ “Only One Death” is an engaging novel, which is quite dark in places, but creates a sense of urgency for the reader to read on…you need to find out what’s going to happen next!! As a result, this is a very difficult book to put down! It is a fantasy novel and some of the names can be a bit tricky, especially as it is about a group of 10 people. Three characters, in particular, are very well developed. As it is a novella, it is quite short, but you feel like you really know some of the characters by the end. The book is written by someone who knows how to survive in the wilderness, and this comes across in the writing. The wilds play an important role in the story, and is clearly important to the author. The reader is left pondering on a time when more of Britain was engulfed in wilderness, rather than the towns and settlements we know today. I would certainly recommend this book to any lover

The Greatest Lesson the Bronte Sisters Gave Us

Charlotte Bronte - author of "Jane Eyre" On this day in 1816, Charlotte Bronte was born – author of Jane Eyre and older sister of Emily and Anne Bronte who were also writers. It’s quite poignant to stop and think of these events that happened so long ago, but in a family of strong-willed individuals, it isn’t long before there is a debate opportunity: Which has the better ending? Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte has an almost fairytale like ending. Everything is resolved for the better – there is love and a convenient change in circumstances too! I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but no one can say that Jane Eyre does not have a satisfactory ending. Yes, there’s a tiny hint of darkness in the fairytale ending (no details on this), but there are generally smiles all round. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is quite a dark novel which spans two generations. Whilst the first generation suffer un

"Beginning Time" Book Review

"Beginning Time" by Claire Davon Book Review ☆☆☆   This was quite a fast-paced story which I appreciated. There was no chance to get tired during the book! The plot was quite thrilling and I wanted to read on to see what was going to happen next. The description of The Event was quite evocative and I found the short post-Event part very intriguing. Although I didn’t really gel with any of the characters, Fiona and Sonder were developed reasonably well, especially through the strange relationship between them. I found it quite confusing in parts, and it took me a while at the beginning to understand what was happening. This, I think, helped the reader stand in Fiona’s shoes and share in some of her feelings. Cleverly done! There were a couple of formatting errors but nothing that a fine toothed comb wouldn’t solve! Blurb (from Goodreads) Fiona Jensen was an ordinary woman leading a normal life…until she discovered she could manipulate time and space.

"Lifesong" Book Review

"Lifesong" by Julia Blake Book Review ☆☆☆☆ The first thing that struck me about this book was the beauty of the language. Each sentence has been exquisitely crafted to ensure it has the most impact and meaning on the reader. Although it was not my sort of book, I appreciated the artistic skill of the author and must congratulate her that she portrayed such a worrying concept so beautifully. One of the main things I look for in a book is the strength of its characters. The author developed all the characters well in the short time she had given herself, so I felt the characters’ concern and pain alongside them. I found the novella a little dark for my taste (this is purely a matter of personal taste) and I would have liked a little more hope in the story. The end seemed satisfactory – and not – at the same time. I acknowledge, however, that this is important for the message the story conveys. Blurb (from Goodreads) She came from a different place, a w

"Day's Dying Glory" Book Launch

11th April 2017 The Ropewalk Barton upon Humber North Lincolnshire Rows of "Day's Dying Glory" from the initial print run. Many thanks to Caroline Watson for the photo. The first of anything is always a daunting experience. The first book launch for a story that has been years in the making, and embodying a little segment of our souls into each page, is a terrifying experience. We’ve been planning the launch of Day’s Dying Glory  by Virginia Crow for several months now so, when the time came to make it over to The Ropewalk in Barton-on-Humber on the 11 th April, we weren’t really sure what to say. The tension disappeared, however, when we arrived at The Ropery Hall and people started arriving. My sister, Judith, had surprised us by travelling down that day – all the way from the north of Scotland – to be with us on this momentous occasion. As more and more people arrived, some of whom I knew from when we lived in Lincolnshire, the atmosphere g

"Victoria's Victorian Victory" Book Review

"Victoria's Victorian Victory" by Abigail Shepherd Book Review ☆☆☆☆ I really enjoyed this book! It was about a subject that I'm really interested in - I love old-style farming. In fact, Mum and I love to snuggle up in front of an episode of "Victorian Farm". The fact that the story was engaging and very well written, on top of this, meant that I could very easily go back and read the whole book again!   Vicky was very well developed throughout the book. I can't say I particularly liked her all the way through, but this made her human. I identified quite a bit with Mary-Anne and could see myself in some of her characteristics.   Weirdly enough, I imagined the farm somewhere in Devon. I can't remember if it says where it is set – I think it was the strawberries! And the weather!   My wish was that the ending could have been longer. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew the characters well and I would have liked maybe

"Hebridean Storm" Book Review

Book Review "Hebridean Storm" by Libby Patterson ☆☆☆ Something that I really loved about “Hebridean Storm” was the way the characters were developed. Matt went on a very clear journey from the beginning of the novel, but most of all, I loved how the baddies were portrayed. The main baddy was clearly really bad but the two henchmen could be identified with. I think the passages written from their point of view really helped with this, and it showed them as real-life 3D characters. The plot was very exciting and had me sitting on the edge of my seat at times. Although I’m from Scotland, I’m not used to the Hebrides (being more of a north coast girl!) but I found the references to the geography very interesting. Being very familiar with an island community, I could recognise some of the characters clearly! The book does, however, need proofreading. There are a lot of errors – mostly with speech marks. It’s very easy for an author to read over these so it’s

"How to get bloggers to review your self-published book: An insider's guide" Book Review

Book Review "How to get bloggers to review your self-published book: An insider's guide" by Knockin' Books(!!) ☆☆☆☆☆ Today, I was travelling down from Caithness to Perthshire for a week’s holiday, including the Perthshire book launch of Day’s Dying Glory . I’ve just settled into the holiday cottage and feeling very sleepy so forgive me if this book review is too short and to-the-point. I’d like to go on for ages so I feel like I’ve done “How to Get Bloggers to Review your Self-Published Book” justice. I’m surprised that this is my first review – I was expecting to review fiction books – but I found that this book was just so helpful I must share it with everyone I can find! Find it on Amazon here . I took this e-book with me on the train to Inverness. The train journey goes through some of the most breath-taking scenery in Britain but I found I was too engrossed in this helpful book to notice. The first thing I noticed was the language.


Hello Reader! For those of you who don't know us, we are a small independent publisher whose main aim is to provide people with good quality books. We all have different jobs and Crowvus is something that we do because we love good literature. We've just had a bit of excitement as we've published our first novel: Day's Dying Glory by Virginia Crow. Since we're gaining momentum a little, we thought it would be a great idea to have a book blog, where we can review books we've read - and perhaps list books we'd like to read! As we all have other jobs, we can't guarantee how often we will post on here but if you have a book that you think we'd like, please get in touch with I'll be putting together a Review Policy in due course.