Posted tagged ‘freya pickard’

Music Reviews

1 July, 2022

This year I’ve been listening to the following albums and tracks on…

VINYL

You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen This vinyl record is infinitely superior to both cd and streaming – I was astounded at the quality. The album is profoundly intriguing. The quality of Cohen’s voice and the orchestral mixing are incredible. The songs strike a chord with me and I think this is my favourite album by Cohen. It also contains three of my favourite Cohen songs; You Want It Darker, Travelling Light and Steer Your Way.

Meliora by Ghost My favourite album by Ghost and it sounds incredible on vinyl. The atmosphere is awesome and the orchestration second to none. Dark and beautiful, terrible and inspiring, this album contains the best ever Ghost song – Cirice.

CD

Ten Thousand Fists by Disturbed Heavy metal at its best. There’s no let up from the first track, Ten Thousand Fists, all the way through to Avarice. This kind of music helps me exorcise the darkness from the past. It allows me to process the rage inside in a safe, therapeutic way. The track that means the most to me is Overburdened. Even if you’re not a metal fan, you’ll find Overburdened an inspiring song.

Splinter by Gary Numan I love the dark, industrial feel to this album. I enjoy Numan’s music anyway, but feel a real resonance with his later, industrial sounding work. He expresses angst and anger, darkness and danger in a way that really speaks to me. It’s not frightening, it’s releasing. If you’ve never listened to Gary Numan before or aren’t a fan of his earlier works, try this – you’ll be surprised!

And, if you enjoy dancing, these two CDs are absolutely brilliant to improvise to!

Streaming

Julience If you enjoy discovering new talented musicians and have been disappointed with the latest episodes of Later With Jools, give Julience a listen! I came across him on Twitter and love the dynamic energy of his songs, particularly the guitar playing. I enjoy listening to all his songs but my favourite track of his so far is Love Lies Cold.

And thank you to wordaholicanonymous for introducing me to IGNEA back in March! Check out IGNEA’s song and video Alga HERE! And, if you enjoy it, #PleaseShare as I believe Ukraine still needs our support in every way…

Thank you for reading this post! Do you listen to any of the music I’ve mentioned? Do you think you’ll try listening to any of the artists I’ve recommended?

Recent Reviews

16 June, 2022

Following my blog post in March on Why Reviews Are So Important, I wanted to share a handful of reviews that I’ve received over the past 18 months.

Aura Vere (Volume 6 of The Kaerling)

“The protagonists of the previous stories in this series finally meet, but dire forces gather in secret, in aid to the threat from the North for their own gain! Now that the characters are together, what plans might they make that will ensure or stop the kaerlings’ conquest of Falna for their side in this crisis? What has happened to Erl’s memory, and who does Lored meet at the Temple? I enjoyed this one enormously!” Troithulu

“This is a lovely book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We learn more of Lored who is probably my favourite character and the revelations about his past were both unexpected and intriguing. There’s a sense of the different story lines starting to merge and it’s good to see Erl beginning to play his part. You don’t have to have read the others in the series to understand this one, but I’d recommend starting with book 1 – you won’t be disappointed!” smallblondehippy

Uneasy Allies (Volume 7 of The Kaerling)

“Been waiting a few months for this since I finished the previous book. And I wasn’t disappointed! Incredible world building and amazing characters who travel through it. This is traditional fantasy as its best.” Jiri

“I enjoyed reading this from start to suspenseful end! Otta and her brother Erl travel with the priestess Undine, her acolyte Tari, and the taku-kevir Lored to catch up with their foes and rescue Derri. But trouble brews as they are trailed by a dark agent who does not have their continued existence at heart! Do they manage to evade pursuit, or will their unseen enemy find their spoor and renew the hunt? Find out!” Troithulu

Fair Wind (Volume 8 of The Kaerling)

“I love this whole series. Each book builds. Suspense and action. My only disappointment was that the next book was not available yet. I love the magic and different cultures that interact with each other. Just delightful and dreadful at the same time. What do I mean? You’ll have to read the series…. you’ll be glad you did!!” JimRuth

“It’s been a while, but this was certainly worth waiting for! Fair Wind continues the 4 companions’ journey in their quest to rescue Derri and Lally from the kaerlings. Pickard doesn’t disappoint as they embark on a short voyage and end up stuck on the Isle of Kiros. Beautiful imagery, poignant prose and characters I just love! More please!” Jiri

Elkadanu

“The adventures in this series are fun. The twists and turns amazing! And I don’t want to wait, but I need to wait for the next episode!!” Jim Ruth

“This is one of those fantasy series that flies under the radar and really should have a wider audience. Freya has a real command of the written word and her pacing and beats flow perfectly, making the story a very pleasant read and the world an even greater pleasure to visit…” Chris S

The Rusalka Ritual & Other Stories

“This was the first indie novella I’ve ever read and I was really blown away by the tight and evocative prose. All four fantasy tales were well paced, with interesting characters and settings laid out before you without being too heavy handed or-and I hate to use this word-info dumps. A solid collection by a writer with a true mastery of storytelling and the written word. I will definitely check out her other works!” Chris S

Insides

“I only know Freya through her poetry. I was unaware of her struggle with cancer until I began reading Insides. I immediately connected to Freya’s journey because of my own. She gave words to the invader, words that I’ve too often found elusive. Her poems are at times dark and treacherous, at times hopeful and light, but always they faithfully capture the ups and downs, the misery and the longings of those doing battle with cancer. Kudos to Freya — you’ve spoken for thousands of us.” Gwen Plano

“Pickard’s collection of poetry deals with her insides that were invaded by cancer. Her feelings, her body’s workings, her surgery, and the seasons she missed while trapped focusing on her healing. Plus a sweet, heartfelt cat poem. Pickard’s lines are generally short with snapshots of emotions, animals, stomas, even her surgeon’s fingers. Some poems are freeverse, others syllalbic. She is equally skilled at both.” Priscilla Bettis

As any author will know, these kinds of reviews are necessary to writers who often feel alone and isolated because of their chosen profession. Keep them coming! And don’t forget to check out my latest book, Elkadanu on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo and other stores!

FREE Books!

8 June, 2022

Two things to tell you about today!

Firstly, my second poetry collection, My Mythology is currently FREE at iBooks, Nook, Kobo and many other online stores. And, if you’re not yet signed up to my newsletter, you can download My Mythology for FREE when you sign up only at My Book Cave! I’ve managed to get the price down to 99c on all Amazon marketplaces – for some reason, Amazon don’t like me giving my books away… If you’ve not read my poetry before, My Mythology is a really good introduction to the way my creative brain works and what my life is like!

A collection of poems inspired by myth and legend. Will you dare to walk on the fringes of fear or glance into the blank mirror? Are you brave enough to stand before the thunder god or receive the sun lord’s gifts? Can you survive the bewitching ocean song or escape from zombie mushrooms?

Secondly, my book, Silver Fire, is part of a wonderful Giveaway at the Summer Book Bash which runs until 30th June! Check it out before it’s too late and stock up on your summer holiday reading! If you’ve not yet started The Kaerling series, downloading Silver Fire for FREE is a brilliant way to get into the series!

Banished from their village, Otta, and her twin brother Erl, (who has lost his memory), must stay ahead of those who seek to kill them. Learning how to follow the unicorn’s trail and deal with her brother’s dark side, Otta must keep them both safe as she attempts to follow the commands of a shrineless god. This epic fantasy tale is a FREE download and begins the saga of The Kaerling.

Discover more of my books HERE…

My new favourite authors!

31 May, 2022

Eye of Fire by D Wallace Peach This book not only satisfied my desire to read about dragons, but it also profoundly satisfied me on many levels; intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Peach’s writing is effortlessly lyrical. Her characters are wonderful to discover (both good and bad) and her story telling is a gift of Belonging itself. Authors like Peach are rare and I am so grateful to have found her. Her works are a masterclass in every aspect of fantastical story telling. 

Five Elements Anthology Tightly spun tales of sci-fi with fantasy elements. Fascinating reading! My favourite tales were by CJ Jessop and D Wallace Peach!

His Judas Bride by Shehanne Moore If you like your heroes smouldering, your heroines feisty and complicated, you’ll love this steamy romance!

Memory of the Fae by KJ Baker If you like your Paranormal Romances fast and furious, with plenty of action and passion, this is for you! I was delighted to discover a 4th book in the Mated Faes series. This story focuses on Asha’s best friend, Gracie, and Raven’s brother, Hawk. Unlike the others in this series, it doesn’t have a happy ending, instead it has a rather unsettling end…!

Rogue Hunter by KJ Baker This is the first in a new series from KJ Baker, this time set in modern day London. I loved the concept of a treaty between humans, immortals and vampires and how the balance of power is threatened by rogue vampires. The narrator, Marney, is a rogue vampire hunter and is delightfully hot-headed and impetuous. This is certainly a different take on paranormal romance!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Stories by Washington Irving is a delightful collection of interesting, sometimes sentimental essays and stories. 

The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen is a YA novel with fantastic conceptualisations and brilliant characters.

Rogue Online: Devil’s Gate by Mark Glarvey & E K Baxter I loved the engaging nature of the narrator and experienced his frustrations and victories as he battled his way through the Rogue Lands.

Todd Sullivan Presents The Vampire Connoisseur A collection of tightly written stories on the theme of vampires. I enjoyed reading these diverse tales and the three that stood out to me were; Parasites; A Tale of Route 66 by BJ Thrower, Splinters by Keawe Melina Patrick and The Sun Sets Nonetheless by Priscilla Bettis. All 3 authors have an individual narrative voice which is a delight to read and all 3 provided me with a unique and original view on the well-told tale of the vampire. 

I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons The best biography I’ve read! This meticulous book provides fascinating insights into Cohen’s life and creativity.

I found two books by Jeff Steele; The Multiactivity Series Books: Four Different Activity Types for hours of Focus and Fun and Easy DIY Essential Oil Projects. Both are short and sweet but extremely useful!

Ludo & the Star Horse by Mary Stewart Still an enchanting read as an adult as it was for me on my 10th birthday! The imagery is compelling and the storyline riveting.

A Walk in Wolf Wood by Mary Stewart As fascinating and compelling as it was when I first read it at the age of 10. This is a Grimm fairy tale with a unique slant on the werewolf. Suitable not just for children but for adults also. Stewart’s description of the unseen transformation from man to wolf is a masterpiece in itself.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Don’t forget to watch the book trailer for my latest creative offering at Elkadanu!

A fresh new voice

23 May, 2022

A fresh new voice in the fantasy genre with a style and skill reminiscent of Ursula K le Guin.

Wow! That’s how one reader describes me, the author of Elkadanu!

“This is one of those fantasy series that flies under the radar and really should have a wider audience. Freya has a real command of the written word and her pacing and beats flow perfectly, making the story a very pleasant read and the world an even greater pleasure to visit…”

Doesn’t that make you want to read Elkadanu?

Read the rest of the review from Chris S here at Amazon. And don’t forget to download YOUR copy of Elkadanu on Kindle UK, Kindle US, Kobo, Nook, iBooks and lots of other online stores!

What’s Elkadanu about, you ask? As Lored attempts to investigate the truth of the charges brought against Rue, the herb woman, Tari tries to hide her insecurities and doubts behind a facade of serenity.

Discover more HERE!


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