Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Castle Doctrine: Daniel Faust rides again (YES!!!).

God I love Daniel Faust. He is just the right combination of conflicted and naughty to keep me interested.
So it will come as no surprise that I was delighted to crack the (digital) spine of book 6 in Craig Schaefer's amazing and addictive series.

'The Castle Doctrine' rolls seamlessly on from the previous volumes, with Daniel battling his immediate problems (a 3000 year old ego maniacal necromancer and a 30 something gangster with Daddy issues) while trying to unravel the mystery behind the series continuing theme; defeating the seemingly all powerful 'smiling man'.

More so that in other volumes, I was left wondering who was truly friend and foe.
Certainly Daniel's girlfriend, Hell hound Caitlin is a head scratcher.
Does she love him, is she even capable of  love?
Or is she playing a long game? Gradually, with each sweet encouraging nod in the direction of violence and mayhem, honing Daniel into the ultimate weapon to use in the service of Hell?

Certainly Daniel grows ever darker with each succeeding book; leaping across moral lines in 'The Castle Doctrine' that were most definitely left uncrossed in previous books.

So in the face of my growing unease, did I enjoy my reading time as Daniel shot, stabbed and magicked his way though the pages of this book? You betcha I did!

If you share my love for magic mixed with taut story telling and a billowing sense of encroaching doom, then you need to jump on board this series!
Do me a favor, start at the beginning; you will enjoy the show!

Happy Reading!
xoxox LMK

Buy it, Read it!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

'Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert: A Love Song to The Creative Life

In 'Big Magic', Elizabeth Gilbert's ode to the 'life creative'; there is a lot of spooky stuff going on.
I'm not just talking about Hogwort's style magic (although bless her cotton socks, Gilbert does); rather I am referring to her uncanny ability to nail every single insecurity and phobia held dear by us creative types and then:

 Tear. Them. Apart.

By chapter three, I had book marked eight separate cliche destroying paragraphs designed to free the creative spirit.

Turns out, I (and I'm guessing I'm not alone here) have been beavering away creating a razor wire topped wall between myself and my love of creative expression.
Bricking in fear, doubt, struggle, expectation and perfectionism (which is after all just fear dressed in a gold buttoned coat) until my wall was strong and rigid and such a God Damn waste of time.

If ever there was an example of the Power of Words to remove obstacles and blast away barriers,'Big Magic' is it. Even better, Gilbert manages all this without preaching. Not for her a sandwich board warning of a 'creative apocalypse' or mega phone on the street corner hectoring us to repent of our sins against our god given talent.

So what's inside?

Within the pages of 'Big Magic', Gilbert launches an all out attack on ‘attachment’ in all its sneaky and evil forms; encouraging all creative types to

‘Please try and relax!’

She has no time for attachment to the struggle, noting of the professional creative community;

‘'You would think these people had been sentenced to their vocations by an evil dictator, rather than having chosen their work with a free will and an open heart’

Complaining she says, scares away creative inspiration; making it ‘take it’s business elsewhere’.
'Big Magic' is not all about the what not to do!

Within its pages is a multitude of wisdom aiming to free our creative souls from our self imposed bondage.

My favorite advice?
Treat your creativity like a treasured lover. Delight in it, make commitments to it, dress up for it.
Own it.
Gilbert's book is a balm for all writers and artists, crafty types and chefs, landscape gardeners and Bullock decorators (you'll have to read the book to figure that one out ;).
Whatever form your creative spark takes (and she assures us we were all born to make and create), isn't it a relief to hear that we can approach it with love, unshackle ourselves from doubt and perfectionism and just get on with the job we were born to do?
For me, 'Big Magic' is worth each an every one of five out of five stars.
For all those who are in need of a joy filled guide to conducting a hot and steamy love affair with creativity, then 'Big Magic' is the potion for you!

As always, may your books be long and your reading time (like life) be unlimited:)

xoxox LMK

Buy it, Read it!

Sunday, 16 October 2016


See more like this at Pins to Love and Points to Ponder

Saturday, 15 October 2016

'Brave Enough' By Cheryl Strayed: Prepare to be Delighted!

For a self described 'over thinker' it is strange that I had never given any real thought to the power of quotes, other than to acknowledge the ones I love and to firmly believe in their inbuilt power to inspire and uplift.

But the 'how’ behind their pithy, emotional clout, I had no real concept. It had never occurred to me to consider why certain phrases can move the collective consciousness with an efficiency and consistency usually only seen in nature.

Why ‘I had a dream’ and ‘We will never give up’ and ‘'Be the change…’ all have the power to resonate across the world and stay inspiring. The soul shaking impact of their message not fading with the passing of time.

In the forward to Cheryl Strayed’s new book, 'Brave Enough: A Mini Instruction Manual for the Soul'; she discusses this ‘why’and her insights into the ongoing power of quotes caused me to have what is called in the ‘self help’ world an ‘Ah ha!’ moment.

As Strayed puts it;

“"Their (quotes) existence is proof that others have questioned, grappled with, and come to know the same truths we question and grapple with too.”
For me then, quotes are nothing less wonderful than empathy and understanding, solidified into words, then inked onto the pages of humanity. Little snippets of truth that can be shared across all boundaries of faith and space and time.

What's Inside?

In her lovely little book, Strayed has selected those quotes that continue to guide her and move her.
Most are her own;
‘'I considered my options.
There was only one, I knew.
There was always only one.
To keep walking.”
Some attributed to others;

“If your nerve deny You-;
Go above your nerve”

Emily Dickinson

Some are hard truths and some gentle, all will speak to her readers at the time when they are needed. Jumping from the page at the appropriate moment to offer motivation, solace, inspiration or just a kick in the pants.

I  loved this charismatic book, wrapped like a chocolate in its pale pink cover. Reading it was a 'stop and start' process; with frequent pauses necessary to absorb those lines that caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up.
'Brave Enough' is a must have for any library that seeks to enlighten as well as entertain; as all the best libraries do!

For similar reviews, check out my Better Life Reads, it's a theme I love to revisit:)

Happy (and uplifting) reading!

xoxo LMK

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Amazon UK

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