August/September 2022 Chilling with Books Corner with a double spotlight.


August ran away from home. Before I could catch the rascal, I was thrown into September. Chilling with Books Corner got put in the corner. The truth is I am very busy at present, and I am selfish. I like what I do and don’t know where to start cutting down. How about I decide this next month because at the moment I have some spotlighting to do from last month, and I refuse to miss the opportunity (and to use a cliché I am going to kill two birds (metaphorically) with one stone so will do one for this month as well.

I find when I slow down for whatever reason, nothing is as adrenalin producing as looking at people who are industrious and thus productive enough to get me thinking and moving. In this case I am talking about two lovely Indie Authors I follow, Caroline Noe and Julia Blake. Both Caroline and Julia work hard at their craft which is inspiring on its own, but they also cross genres. I admire them and love putting them in the Chilling with Books Corner.

As a blogger, poet and author I fit into the crossing of genres. I blog, write poetry and am working on the second book of my series Unexpected Love and have begun a psychological thriller. However, both these writers have completed at least one series, several novels and are working on more, more of everything I suspect as I sit dreaming between typing and more dreaming. See, they do therefore they inspire. Let me show you rather than tell you and if it come to that, let them show you through their books. Pick one, any one book and you will be entertained.

Caroline Noe

Julia Blake

My books

My editing is at a standstill but rather than complain I am grateful as instead of crying I tweaked a few things that were missing from the characters. Better still, I have begun working on the third book. The series is stand-alone but there is a connection between my characters. They are family and friends, and actions have repercussions on lives and the years that follow. My characters don’t exist in isolation, and I love realistic connections within the suspension of disbelief. We all want fantasy, but I prefer mine with a healthy dose of reality although sometimes that fact can be exhausting.

The world around me

The writing group I belong to (TWPC) is holding their first workshop in a few months. Between the floods and Covid the group was totalled (not just a figure of speech). Slowly we have begun to rebuild better and bigger. It is easy when you have a wealth of local talent to showcase and the willingness to do it.

This young author has been traditionally published and has also moved into the Indie arena. Rachel Armstrong is industrious and not afraid to tackle whatever it takes to succeed in sharing her writing, her stories, and her love for romance. If you like rural romance then try her out and if you live in Townsville stay tuned for December 4th, 2022, when Rachel will discuss the art of bringing brings characters to life at her workshop.

Books I’ve read and Films I have seen.

Due to feeling overworked and overwhelmed I have gone for books and films that lighten the heart. Calamity Jena (Invertary Scotland Book 4) did exactly what I needed and Jenna the female lead was adorable. Matt was a man to love and the addition of the Mob a very nice twist and as it turns out, an exciting touch of unexpected drama. Janet Elizabeth Henderson is also someone that crosses genre. I love The Red Zone and wish she would hurry up and add to the series.

As you might have noted I don’t just read Indie. Books decided what I read, and I do read a variety and I enjoy them in a variety of ways. Books are like people, individual and enjoyable even if not your normal read.

Julia J Simpson’s Ashes Swept was a twist on Cinderella but on a clever level and was beautifully written so it swept me in as much as the ashes. Tangled Spirits by Kate Shanahan on the other hand had a historical Japanese twist and a fascinating fantasy element and proved very different in story and writing. Both discussed values and I am drawn to that element.

Don’t laugh but I watched the Twilight series again. I swear it was not my fault. Instead, I blame the person who puts repeats on television for people like me who can’t afford Netflix or Stan or whatever else is out there. I can’t resist the temptation. Just like the above books, Twilight is about values.

I like the contrasts in morality and Carlisle has created a real family with vampires that can control themselves. The wolves also have a code of honour. I love the fact that the desire for family is so strong. It is the idea of family that gives us hope for the future although with a Sicilian background, the use of the word family does bring to mind some interesting ideas.

I also watched Tickets to Paradise even though I did read some terrible reviews. You know what? I don’t care. It was lovely and there was a lesson about love that proved most interesting. It concerned the difference between being the one who loves and the one who is loved. No, I am not going to explain. You figure it out and let me know. George Clooney and Julia Roberts certainly know how to age well.

Lastly, I will end on a question. Films or books? Twilight raised the question for me. Although I did prefer the books (yes, I read them and loved them), the films have a certain charm. The progression towards Bella’s immortality is fascinating because we watch the characters mature physically and it allows us to ignore the often-questionable acting and the idea of  good winning over evil always pleases. Is there a book you have read and then seen the film you can discuss? I would love to hear from you.

Alla prossima,


Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. A like and a comment will keep me working harder and if by any chance you have read my books or a book I have featured then please leave a review on Goodreads or wherever you originally purchased the book. It helps writers learn to be better writers.

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  1. Yes! I read How to Train Your Dragon and loved every minute and so was looking forward to the movie. And, I mean, I know most movies don’t stand up to the book, but this movie didn’t even follow the book’s basic storyline! They really just capitalised on the name of the book and then did what they liked. VERY DISAPPOINTING!

  2. “August ran away from home. Before I could catch the rascal, I was thrown into September.” I know the feeling. Seems I barely have time to catch my breathe nowadays. As for films of books – I agree, they usually don’t do the books justice. Wishing you well Barb 🙏

  3. Pingback: Chilling with Books Corner May 2023, Julia Blake, long roads and hiccups - Barbara Strickland - Author & Blogger

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