Thanks for visiting my blog today

This is my final blogpost on Indie Bookworm.

I’ve developed some health problems which have disrupted my blog writing career.

I’m trying to keep my Cabbage and Semolina Blog updated so you might like to check out Don’t leave it too late.

I’ve enjoyed writing my Indie Bookworm blogposts and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. And, more importantly, I hope you've enjoyed some of the fantastic titles by talented indie writers that I've discovered over the years.

Very best wishes,

Cathy Murray

An Interview with Author D.N. Frost

I'm delighted to welcome author D.N. Frost to Indie Bookworm.

D.N. Frost is the creator of Tales of the Known World and today she's going to tell us about Book 1 in the series: Awakening.

First, let's read the book description of Awakening taken from the Amazon website.

Centuries ago, the prophetic Golden Age ended in war, and history spiraled into darkness. Now, only scholars retain the last portent of the mythic city A'lara, concealed in a distant glade for the advent of the dragon mage.

At the edge of the Known World, the slave Larin escapes her new lord before she meets his dark masters. Deep in the mountains, the legendary elf Kingard awaits his call to battle. When young Darek flees imperial mages tasked to exterminate shape-shifters, he launches them all on a voyage to redeem their unsought destiny.

United by fate and guided by prophesy, their growing band of fugitives journey for A'lara to fight the ancient evil infiltrating the capital. But looming over the gears of fate, their enemies follow the same prophesies. With the unknown close upon them, Kingard and his allies face a mortal quest to restore their infected empire.

It's a great pleasure to meet you Ms. Frost

and thank you for taking time out of your busy writing life
to share some of your thoughts with me and the readers of Indie Bookworm.

1. Why did you write Awakening?

I have many reasons for writing, but I wrote my first book mainly to inject qualities of literary fiction into the rather diluted fantasy genre. As the reading public is generally aware, modern fantasy novels tend to be either Lord of the Rings rehashes or romantic drivel ensconced in supernatural trappings. I love exploring notions of magic and empowering my readers with their liberating ramifications, and I noticed a distinct lack of quality fiction within the fantasy genre. Determined to fill this niche myself, I set out to write a fantasy saga imbued with the human stories, masterful writing, and social commentary of literary fiction.
I write more about my personal spark in these latest inspirations.

2. What kind of reader would enjoy Awakening?

Readers of literary fiction would enjoy Awakening, especially if they also enjoy epic fantasy. Reviews of my Tales of the Known World saga praise its in-depth characters, well-written prose, and engaging storyline. So far, I've been focusing my marketing efforts on fantasy fans hungry for a higher caliber of epic fantasy. However, I've received positive feedback from numerous readers who have never read another fantasy book in their lives. These readers praise the novel's relatable characters and gripping plot, as well as how naturally the fantasy features of my world integrate with the story and how realistically the book embodies various cultures, governments, and other aspects of human life. If you are looking for great literary fiction with an unconventional twist, Awakening is for you.
I write more about my intended audience in this saga introduction. What is TotKW?

3. How did you develop your characters?

In life, I have the profound ability to see things through other people's eyes, and this empathic dexterity shines through in my writing. The characters themselves develop in two ways. Most prominent in their development are their own internal drives, what they desire and how they want their own stories to turn out. Less prominent but just as important are the demands the story itself, what must be done and who the characters must become in order to enact those deeds. Real people grow and change through a mixture of experience and insight, and I mirror that in all my characters, whether they are heroes or villains, large roles or small. Ultimately, I perceive each character as a real human, vibrant, indomitable, and striving for fulfillment in a world all too often choked with grief.
I write more about my character development tools in these character workshops.

 4. What has been the biggest influence on your career as a writer?

It is difficult to isolate a single influence as the biggest or most important. I don't have any heroes, just a sea of people I respect and admire. Ultimately, I think the biggest influence on my writing career has been me. I felt a yawning void in my beloved fantasy genre, a void I sought to fill with my own work. But beyond this inspiration to produce great work, I feel a profound calling to impart spiritual concepts and evoke honest introspection in the people with whom I interact. This spiritual calling manifests in many forms, from overt counseling sessions to the subtle but pervasive maxims that under-gird the magic systems of the Known World. By exploring these maxims in a fantasy setting, I circumvent a lot of real-world resistance to different spiritual ideas and instead present them in a way that readers can easily absorb and explore while still feeling self-consistent.
I write more about my spiritual calling in this inspiration. Enlightened Entertainment

5. Are you working on any new writing at the moment?

I'm always working on something new. My Tales of the Known World saga spans centuries and at least eight books, plus a number of planned short stories and bonus scenes. I am currently in the revision phase of my second novel, Broken. Beyond the story, I'm also working on new content for my website, which hosts a number of mini-series about writing, map-making, world-building, my personal inspirations, resources and bonus content from the Known World, and prophetic riddles in meter and rhyme. I also present a slew of guest resources, including book reviews, project collaborations, contributions to my website, and my advocacy of people who inspire me along the way. My latest works are also featured in my twice monthly newsletter.
I write more about my works in progress in this book profile. Upcoming - Book Two: Broken

What a fascinating interview, Ms Frost.

You've certainly piqued my interest in TotKW. I've visited your website several times to follow the links you've given above and to read some of the other pages too. You're a skilled cartographer and the maps of The Known World are beautiful. I've signed up for your email newsletter and enjoy reading it. And, of course, I'm looking forward to reading Awakening. A huge thank you for your interview here today and every success with your future writing.

Long Spoon by Kath Middleton

Kath Middleton is an interesting author whose writing ranges from drabbles and short stories, through novellas to full length novels such as the recently published Long Spoon. 

I've read nearly all Kath Middleton's books and was delighted to find she'd released a new title. 

Well, Long Spoon is another surprise from this talented author: an entertaining and well written book as you'd expect but quite unlike anything she's previously published.

Long Spoon takes the reader into student life 

and the desire of two friends, Ed and Paul, to make loads of money. Their plan is to sell a home-made legal high to their friends and other students for a grossly inflated price. Ed becomes carried away with what they might accomplish although Paul is the person in the firing line when things get out of hand.
It's possible that Ed is one of the most unlikable main characters ever devised.
Even at the end of the story when he's undergone something of a transformation Ed remains an obnoxious character. So brilliantly envisioned by the author; really well done. The mirror for Ed is his fellow student, Paul, a gregarious, engaging character who simultaneously encourages Ed's genius while trying to help Ed become more socially aware.
The other cast members in Long Spoon range from the charming and quietly intellectual Rose to some seriously scary heavies via a motley collection of middle aged, middle class truth seekers. Kath Middleton's descriptions of their hippy commune are well observed and very funny.
There are some underlying serious aspects to the novel but these are explored without dragging the book down.
I particularly enjoyed the way the author leads the reader to think the novel is heading in one direction then suddenly throws a spanner in the works and goes off in another. This keeps the book light and lively and makes for a most entertaining read.

You can get details of Long Spoon and Kath Middleton's other books on her Amazon Author Page.

Pattern of Shadows by Judith Barrow

Pattern of Shadows is a wonderful story 

set in the latter days of World War Two somewhere in the north of England.

Mary Howarth is a nurse 

who is part of a medical team given the unenviable task of caring for sick and injured prisoners of war at the prison camp hospital.

Mary starts a relationship with one of the guards at the camp, Frank Shuttleworth. 

The relationship proves difficult for Mary but Frank is persistent.
Meanwhile, Mary's home life is far from easy and she finds solace in her work.

As the novel evolves Mary's life becomes increasingly fraught and complicated. 

To say more would be to give away an extremely well constructed plot which explores some challenging issues of the day.
I've already read Silent Trauma by this author and know that Judith Barrow can write about difficult subjects with sensitivity and honesty.

The writer displays that same talent again in this novel. 

The novel is well researched and the sense of time and place is established securely.
The author has created a group of characters who are very real and the dialogue and interactions between them are a strength of the writing.
The romance element of the novel has a degree of predictability but when the concluding chapter is reached there is a sense of relief that what was anticipated has occurred.

Pattern of Shadows is the first of a three part set which takes the story on further and it's going to be fascinating to see what happens next.

Details of all Judith Barrow's novels are on her Amazon Author Page.

Fur Coat and No Knickers by Adrienne Vaughan

Adrienne Vaughan is the author of a romantic trilogy: The Heartfelt Series.

I read all three novels, one after the other, a couple of months ago.

The central love story is between Marianne Coltrane and Ryan O'Gorman, a journalist and an actor.  From the outset, Marianne and Ryan are clearly meant for each other but they take several hundred joyous pages to get there.The Heartfelt Series is a great block-buster of a romantic saga set on a beautiful, remote island off the west coast of Ireland. The plotting is complex as befits such a substantial piece of writing and Adrienne Vaughan demonstrates great skill in keeping on top of all the intricacies.

It was with great interest that I turned to the author's collection of short stories and poems: 

Fur Coat and No Knickers.

The book description promises "fascinating and unforgettable characters" 

and believe me, that's what you get. After reading The Heartfelt Series I thought this author was good but the short stories showcase her talents to a whole new level. The range of emotions that are explored in this collection results in a very satisfying read.

And there are so many twists on the notion of a love story:

an older couple meet while a beautifully described solitary swan reflects their emerging romance; a one-sided telephone conversation is amusing and edgy; so  much emotion packed into one lemon bag; a woman meets a man in a bar and her ultimate ruination; a so-called married man sends poor Eva to a tragic end; a theatrical agent is stitched up by his best friend; a lonely woman is helped to find something positive in her marriage by an ageing father; and a young woman finds out that all was not as it seemed in her early life.

Great variety and depth of feeling in these short stories.

My favourites were: 

A Seed of Doubt

A man whose wife has died goes on a weekend bereavement course. He is struggling to come to terms with his loss as he believes his wife was unfaithful. Help and a solution come from an unexpected source and the moral of the story is one from which many might benefit.

A Visit at Christmas

I mean it: I had tears in my eyes at the end of this story.

Fur Coat and No Knickers

Just so much fun! A woman who is a snob and a traditionalist turns out to be living a life of pretence.

There's a poem between each story. 

I don't read a great deal of poetry but I liked the break that each poem provided between the stories. I particularly liked "Friends in Graveyards" and the inclusion of the Heartfelt poems at the end.

A fine collection of short stories, well worth reading.

Fur Coat and No Knickers is available to download at
And details of all the author's books are on her Amazon Author page.

Take a chance on us by The New Romantics Press

Have you met the New Romantics?

In 2012 four writers:

Adrienne Vaughan,
Lizzie Lamb,
Mags Cullingford
and June Kearns

(all members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) New Writers’ Scheme)

decided to take destiny into their own hands,
form The New Romantics Press 

and publish their novels.

Although I'd read novels by 

June Kearns and Lizzie Lamb already, I downloaded Take a chance on us and got to know Mags Cullingford and Adrienne Vaughan too.

This collection of story samples 

is a great way to try out each of the writers' individual styles and get a flavour of the wealth of content they're offering.

Each novel is truly romantic 

but the amazing four demonstrate such variety, originality and flair that every book is hugely different.
From June Kearns' yee-ha romantic Westerner,
Lizzie Lamb's smouldering Highlander,
Mags Cullingford's worldly, charismatic Priest and
Adrienne Vaughan's glamourous Film Star,
these writers show time after time that they can conjure up hugely attractive leading men for their entertaining, engaging and ever-so readable romances.


all handled with expertise and style. Twists and  turns. Ups and downs. Never a dull moment. Great reads for holidays, winter evenings in front of the fire or lazy summer afternoons in the garden with a glass of chilled Chardonnay!

To find out more about the New Romantics Press
check out their website and 

to download Take a chance on us, just hit this link: