Posted tagged ‘reviews’

The Rusalka Ritual …

15 December, 2016

Five tales set in fantastic locations; an arid canyon, a smoke-wreathed ale house, a moonlit sea, a haunted inn and a golf course …

Five tales encompassing human emotion; expectations disappointed, self-sacrificing love for the unlovable, will power that overcomes dark enchantment, bravery in the face of evil and fear of the unknown in hum-drum life …

Five narrative voices ranging from a young child, a redeemed murderer, a strong-willed young woman, damsels awaiting rescue and a retired banker haunted by death …

Available at Amazon UK, Amazon US, iTunes, Nook, Kobo, Page Foundry and Scribd

Find out more in Freya’s short video about The Rusalka Ritual and Other Stories

This collection is available as both a paperback and an e-book

These tales are very unusual and unpredictable; fantastic and full of optimism. A Winter

These are suspenseful stories. I want to read more. U Gohla

Such intriguing tales… Where can I buy more? J Poulter

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Parchment Poll October 2016

24 October, 2016

Here is my last Parchment Poll for 2016…
The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer
This is hard going but fascinating! (Yes, I’m still reading it!) I’m learning the differences between sympathetic and homeopathic magic and how they’ve influenced modern day superstitions. I think this is a “must read” for any fantasy / speculative writer because it shows you the variety and similarities of many magical practices. The reason I’ve struggled to read it is that it is definitely “research” rather than a story. My concentration is low still, but if there is a good plot and fascinating characters, I read the book very quickly!
I needed a break from such intense research and decided to read Catweazle by Richard Carpenter (a children’s book based on the TV series that my soulmate grew up with). It’s really funny! But, ironically, it’s all about sympathetic magic – lots of things I’d been reading about in TGB, are in Catweazle! It made me laugh!
I’ve also read Patchwork An Anthology of Poetry from The Christie Autumn 1994. Unfortunately it’s no longer available in print. A friend gave me a copy as it is written by and about people who have experienced cancer. I found this slim volume very encouraging and uplifting, even though many of the poems talk about death or the person’s imminent demise. The one that really struck a chord was Tamar Hodes’ “For My Father-in-Law” which was so positive, amidst the sorrow.
I read Selected Cautionary Verses by Hilaire Belloc in about 30 minutes, whilst waiting in the doctor’s surgery for a blood test. I have to say it was an hilarious read – had to stop myself laughing out loud because English people don’t do that in public places in front of strangers! These verses are timeless, cruel sometimes, but excellent entertainment.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
© Freya Pickard 2016
I’ve started making some videos about my writing! Please check them out at YouTube

ch-ch-changes!

5 September, 2016

Just wanted to let you all know that I’m making a few experimental changes to this blog over the next couple of months.
More of my time is being taken up with publishing and promoting my books so that I have had to reduce the amount of time I spend blogging. It’s OK, I’m not going to disappear! I just want to try a few things out…
I will still be posting here on a Monday and Tuesday (sometimes on a Wednesday too) and will re-blog a post most Fridays. Instead of a lot of poetry (which takes an age to put into a post) I want to create some more discussion posts, such as interviews, reviews, news and of course my muse! I will continue posting Freyan Verse as and when I can as so many people seem to enjoy them. That’s not say I’m getting rid of my short form poetry posts completely; there just won’t be quite as many of them – for the time being.
My biggest change will be Escape Pod Emulations These will form an interview once a month with either an author or an artist. At the moment they are by invitation only. Please check out the link for a background to these “unusual” interviews that I have planned. (Currently booked up until March 2017).
Since having cancer, I have to be careful not to over do things. These changes, I am hoping, will still provide you with delight and entertainment, but also make my own workload manageable. Keep the comments coming – they’re my life blood in this writing world! I hope that with me, you will be able to embrace these ch-ch-changes!
I’ve started making some videos about my writing! Please check them out at The Rusalka Ritual, The Essence of Thyme and Patreon

Wednesday Words – Dragonscale Leggings

18 November, 2015
My novel, Dragonscale Leggings, is a parody of the genre I love best; fantasy. In it, I gently poke fun at the Arthurian legends, the common concepts of dragon slayers and dragons and how they should (or shouldn’t) behave.
What would you do if you woke up in a place you did not recognise, with no memory of who you are? Would you fall asleep again and hope to remember when you woke up next? Would you hide yourself away, giving into self-pity? Or would you walk out and explore this strange new world, hoping to recover your memory on the way?
Join the narrator of Dragonscale Leggings as she sets out to discover where she is, why she is there and how or if she can return home. Accompanied by Tygar, a white stallion who appoints himself her guardian and armed with a giant potato peeler, Dracomagan travels through a lush and dreamlike Otherworld.
Who will help her find her true identity? Will it be Sama, the gorgeous harpist who gives her a name? Will it be aggravating Agravaine, a knight who prefers fashion to fighting? Can Gatus, the goat herder help her? Or will the mysterious retired Pirate King show her the path to her real memories?
I don’t write about imaginary worlds; I write about imaginative ones. These are worlds that could be real in a parallel universe or another time dimension. I don’t promote escapism; instead I take my readers into a refreshing place so that they return to their normal lives feeling strengthened and renewed.
Visit My Books to watch the video and find out more about this novel!.
© Freya Pickard 2015

Wednesday Words – Parchment Poll August 2015

5 August, 2015
I’m presenting my Parchment Poll slightly differently this time… What do you think?
Brilliant books – will re-read
Lord Hornblower by CS Forester A tale of daring and adultery; Hornblower’s adventures continue to intrigue and inspire. The twists and turns in this tale will keep you guessing right to the last page. Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald An engaging first person narrative leads the reader straight into the story. This is a tale of deception, fraud and adultery. Fascinating reading with an intriguing last line. A thought-provoking and challenging read from CS Lewis in Christian Reflections. Daphne’s Diary #4 2015 Inspiring and refreshing as always! Sinuosita by Claudia Messelodi Utterly delightful! If you enjoy reading haiku – this is the book for you. Daphne’s Diary #5 2015 Amazing and inspirational – so refreshing to read through…
Interesting but probably won’t re-read
Interzone 258 Excellent unicorn story (re’em) but the rest was a bit too bloke-ish for me… Interzone 259 Do I detect an anti Tolkien feel to this magazine? Still very blokey and just didn’t understand the James White Award winning story at all… Commentary on Matthew by RT France Interesting read but not as thought provoking as either CS Lewis or David Pawson. Poems of John Donne These were hard going but interesting. I liked the Divine poems best because I could understand what he was talking about easily. Mslexia #66 Interesting articles as always but oh my goodness, the winning short stories were SO depressing…! Healthy Eating for the Menopause by Dr M Glenville Interesting recipes but the author assumes you are a vegetarian or just eat fish as your main source of protein which is a bit limiting for me…
Re-reads
Bridget Jones’ Diary and The Edge of Reason are still both relevant and entertaining if you need easy-to-read escapist material to dip into. The Letters by Fiona Robyn This is Fiona’s best book in my opinion – I love the character development and the way the plot keeps you guessing until right at the end… Thaw by Fiona Robyn Still as beautiful and as striking on this re-read as it was the first time I read it. The Temp by Serena Macksey Absolutely hilarious but it doesn’t make me miss my temping days at all. Thunder on the Right by Mary Stewart If you need something light and easy to read that’s romantic, try this. The descriptions are lush and vivid.
Currently reading: –
“Daphne” by Justine Picardie
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
© Freya Pickard 2015

Wednesday Words – Dragonscale Leggings reviewed …

4 July, 2012

Dracomagan’s response to Dragonscale Leggings:
“She got the events in the right order, I’ll give her that. But I’m sure I wasn’t as besotted with Sama Conn as she makes out. She didn’t make Agravaine the Aggravating anywhere near as annoying as he really was. And I certainly wasn’t really scared of Merlin and the wizards, they just made me feel uneasy. And as for finding Piera attractive – she must be off her trolley. I might let her write another book about me so long as I get to read it first and make corrections…”

Review by Linda Turner
“I have rarely bought a book that entertained me so much as did this one. The characters are delightful, and even the villains are funny. Not so much amusing as laugh-aloud, tummy-hurting hilarious. But the humour is merely the icing on a superb Fantasy story cupcake that the reader regrets having to finish. Freya Pickard is an adept of the genre and whilst her writing is richly vibrant, her plots intricately woven, her narratives are always immediately accessible to any kind of reader. Easy to get into, hard to put down. A most enjoyable read.”

Other comments …

“Although the book is not the sort of genre I generally read, it was not, to my relief full of ethereal elves and talking creatures. Well, the dragons talk and are rather rude actually! It’s as if the author has held up a mirror to the fantasy genre and had a really good laugh at it.” Greenpea

“Writing comedy is very hard to get right. I can count on the fingers of one hand the writers of fantasy comedy I can think of that do it well. Now I’ve read Dragonscale Leggings, I’d have to add Freya Pickard to that list.” Elizabeth Baxter

“I read this fabulous book in under two hours; loved it and I can’t wait for the next exciting installment.” Emma Pope

“I loved the heroine’s character. She is brave and funny. The dragons are surprisingly interesting/smelly creatures.” Olga Diamant

“I have just finished reading Dragonscale Leggings and found it unique, original, amusing and exceedingly well written – a wonderful book, when’s the sequal comming out?” Elizabeth Leaper

“What a nice, funny, captivating story. I burst out laughing every time I encountered Agravaine the Amorous.” Claudia Messelodi

© Freya Pickard 2012

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