Sunday Book Review – Vampyrie by Tina Frisco

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye



Today’s book review is on Tina Frisco’s book – Vampyrie. I will preface this review by saying that neither sci-fi or horror are my genres of interest and I wrongly presumed that these genres are what I’d apply to this book but more based on a different theory, a twist on the presumed folklore of the vampire, bringing in good vs. evil types of vampires with an intriguing story about a girl determined to discover the secrets of her family roots.


Vampyrie by Tina Frisco


Get this book on Amazon!




What if vampires were not the undead, but rather the dying? What if there were two factions among vampires: the sustained and the unsustainable? And what if those factions were at war with one another over the life of a young woman who promised them a future? Vampyrie brings the myth of the vampire into the realm of possibility.

Phoebe Angelina Delaney is a reluctant genius and compassionate hothead. She finds herself in a pitch-dark underground and doesn’t remember how she got there. Did she drink too much alcohol and wander off in a stupor, or was she kidnapped by a malicious element determined to make her life a living hell?

Sir Michael Alan David is a vampire – an enigma, charismatic and mysterious, who weaves in and out of Phoebe’s life. Does he intend to use his title as a ruse to draw her closer to an unearthly fate, or is he a cloak-and-dagger knight in shining armor?

Too many secrets have been kept for too long. Phoebe must unravel the mystery in order to survive. Two major characters from the author’s first novel, Plateau, join forces with Phoebe to battle the demons in Vampyrie.


My 5 Star Review:


A brilliant theory that Frisco brings to this story – good vs. bad (rogue) vampires and a story that takes us through fast-paced action with the protagonist, the impetuous Phoebe who finds herself abducted by a vampire in the beginning of this curious tale.

Although the story revolves around the theme of vampires, the story is a twist on the vampire theory, bringing unpredictable action with the characters who find themselves entangled in this alternative world of secret vampires.

Throughout the story we’ll find ourselves wondering why Phoebe’s father kept their vampire history secret, and why did her mother mysteriously disappear out of her life when Phoebe was a young child. But the events that follow the story keep us engaged and waiting to find out about – The Origin of the Vampyrie and how all the characters involved came to be part of the Vampyrie circle. Through this journey Phoebe discovers who she really is as we watch her grow through the learning process.

This book is far from the average vampire story containing blood and gore, but a delight to read with Frisco’s quick witted writing and her uncanny knack to be able to insert love and compassion even in a story about vampire lore. A recommended read.


Visit Tina’s Amazon author page to discover all of her books!

Download The Fountain FREE – John Maberry’s Writing

Free book promo



Special double header post today. I want to share that my friend John Maberry is offering his new book, The Fountain, FREE starting today through the whole weekend. Grab yourself a copy before it goes back to regular price.  See his post below and read 2 reviews!


Fountain by John Maberry



Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories. Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman. A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.” A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.” A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.” What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks? Read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson. A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but will it be as good for him? Check out “The Wizard.” Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.


Download The Fountain FREE

You’ve seen it highlighted here before. Now you can download The Fountain  for FREEthese three days only: August 25, 26 and 27. It will be back to $2.99 on the 28th. Don’t miss out! See just two of the reviews that we have received so far. Read more on the Amazon page.


A great read! Says D.G. Kaye, author of several nonfiction books“If you enjoy short stories in fantasy/sci-fi genres, and stories that make you think then look no further than Maberry’s tales which will engross you with stories about karma, greed, time travel, aliens and muses. . . Maberry is a prolific writer who knows how to keep a reader captivated till the end and finishes his stories with an unexpected twist.”

The Twilight Zone Meets Philip K. Dick” says Nicholas Rossis, author of several sci-fi and nonfiction books. “I wonder if The Fountain’s stories should be labeled speculative or science fiction, as they remind me more of Twilight Zone and less of Philip K. Dick. Maybe that’s the best definition of them; the common ground between these works. Whichever it is, I enjoyed them and their twists. Maberry writes in a clear way that immerses the reader into the story. He has a gift for creating easily identifiable characters who feel familiar after just a few lines. All in all, a fine collection for those who enjoy their short stories with a twist.”


Source: Download The Fountain FREE – John Maberry’s Writing

#WATWB We Are The World Blogfest – Random acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness


We are the World Blogfest


The last Friday of every month, a group of writers join in to advocate for kindness by sharing a post of something positive and inspirational to spread some kindness messages in our community and deflect off some of the negativity in the world. A link is added at the bottom of this and all posts for #WATWB contributors if you’d like to add one of your own.


For this month’s contribution to  #WATWB I thought I’d share something about what I did with my last book promotion I ran for Free days on Amazon.


While I was running the promo, I posted about it on my blog, and I received a comment from a fellow blogger, Lea from the blog –  FoundinFrance, after she read my post, leaving a wonderful idea in her comment.


My book, Words We Carry – Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem, focuses on stories about my growing up without a self-esteem because of emotional neglect in my childhood as well as the scars left behind, and how I learned to overcome. When Lea had read my post she mentioned that my book may be helpful to women of abuse who were living in shelters.


It hadn’t dawned on me before that just because my book was available for free that so many wouldn’t be aware, beyond where I advertised it. So after I read Lea’s comment I did a Google search of local shelters in my city, made up an introductory email letter, and sent it out to a few managers of those shelters, offering them to share the free download with the women in those shelters.


We certainly know the power words have and how they can hurt us and leave deep scars. But words also have the power to lift up others, and often, empowering books can give a lot of people a boost of optimism when they read about other people’s journeys through adversity and how they have overcome, shining a light on the possibility that there is always a way out.


Next time I run a promo, I’m going to be sure to contact some charities so they can share the offer of a free book to download and hopefully my books will give inspiration to a few of those readers. Maybe we could all consider sharing our free promos with various charities to spread the word around and make someone’s day.


And now, I’d like to leave you with this most inspirational video!


share the light candle

Hosts for this month’s linkup are:   Simon FalkRoshan RadhakrishnanInderpreet Uppal, Lynn HallbrooksEric Lahti, and Mary J Giese

If you’d like to contribute a post, please Click on this Link that will allow you to see who is participating and a place for you to add your own post.


Blogger's Pit Stop feature winner


Invitation to Sally Cronin’s End of Summer Party at Smorgasbord Invitation

Newsworthy notes


Just spreading the word here in case you missed this Bulletin Alert from Sally Cronin. Sally is whipping up a fun-filled weekend at her blog in honor of the end of summer. Read about it in her post below and hope you can all pop by and meet some stellar bloggers and mingle in the comments section at Sally’s Smorgasbord Invitation!


Smorgasbord Invitation to an end of Summer House Party – Saturday 26th to Monday 28th August


In a few weeks we shall be coming to the end of the summer holidays and I thought that as I am also approaching my fourth blogging anniversary, it was time to have a party.

I have already begun to prepare my guest list with those wonderful writers who have supported me throughout those four years. They will be appearing automatically with their details and links over the three days.

However, as with any good party there is also an opportunity to mingle and share contact details with others to promote your blog, books and social media connections.

There will be some music, personal recollections of my special guests and something to eat and drink…virtually of course. . . Continue Reading


Be sure to visit Sally’s blog Saturday through Monday to join the festivities!

August G…uest #11: #Glutenfree baking with D.G. Kaye – Delicious Biscotti | The Recipe Hunter

Baking with D.G. Kaye


And now for something completely different!


I was delighted to be invited over to Esme’s blogCookandEnjoyRecipes – The Recipe Hunter, this past weekend. I’m not the world’s best baker, but I do have a few good recipes in my stash and these gluten-free biscotti are definitely in the ‘delish’ category. Check it out!



August G…uest #11: #Glutenfree baking with D.G. Kaye – Delicious Biscotti

Debby Biscotti Please meet our awesome Canadian author, writing under the pen name of D.G. Kaye.

Hello readers of Esme’s wonderful blog. My name is Debby Gies. I’m a writer/blogger and author of 5 books, soon to be 6!  I’m a nonfiction/memoir writer who writes under the pen-name of D.G. Kaye, writing about women’s issues, self-esteem empowerment and surviving emotional abuse growing up with a narcissistic mother.

I came across Esmé’s blog by reading a reblog a fellow blogger had posted, joined in the conversation, and before I knew it, Esmé had kindly invited me to share a post here.

I live on a dairy-free and gluten-free diet which I began 18 years ago when I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and began studying the disease, searching how to combat flare-ups without drugs. I learned a lot about how dairy and gluten were my intestine’s worst enemy and subsequently, I’ve been living drug-free ever since. But today I’m not going to talk about that journey, one I’ve shared on many blog posts and in some of my books, but rather, I wanted to share a delicious Biscotti recipe I’ve had for years now, and although baking isn’t my strong point,  I’d have to say that anyone who has ever eaten these cookies begs for the recipe.

I will warn you all, when you start making these cookies, your arms will get a good workout as the batter becomes heavier, but hey, maybe we’ll burn up a few calories before ingesting them! But I will also add that anyone who has eaten them wouldn’t know they’re gluten-free, and quite frankly, those who aren’t gluten-free couldn’t care less because they are so delicious. Because of the work involved, I usually only make a few batches at one time once a year – Christmas time, because those family members who have become addicted to them almost expect them now and consider them a real treat. They know it’s the only time of year they will get some. And the good news is, they freeze beautifully. I’ve been known to have some packed away for 6 months in my freezer and you wouldn’t know it wasn’t freshly baked after taking one out and letting it sit for a mere few minutes before eating one. So without any further ado, here’s the recipe . . .

Nutty Biscotti – Gluten-free

Here are the list of ingredients you will need:  Continue Reading at the Recipe Hunter . . .


Note * On the ingredient list I’ve used Buckwheat flour, but I forgot to add that I’ve also used 2 cups of Amaranth flour to make them which I found I much preferred because they come out lighter and softer on the inside. 🙂

Source: August G…uest #11: #Glutenfree baking with D.G. Kaye – Delicious Biscotti | The Recipe Hunter


Guest Feature at The Recipe Hunter


WERE YOU ABUSED? – Getting to Know Chuck Jackson

Reblog and featuring


Today I’m sharing an important post from memoir writer/blogger/author Chuck Jackson, writing on the subject of child abuse.


Abuse comes in many forms  -physical, mental, and emotional, and it’s important to keep talking about it and sharing informative articles on the subject to create awareness and offer hope to those who have and who are suffering. Both Chuck and I have been victims to these abuses, and we share our messages in our books and in this today’s blog post by Chuck.




If you have been following my blog post or social media pages, you know I have been discussing the issue of child abuse. I am no expert or do have the credential to advise anyone struggling with the issues. What I can do is share an article I have read. I can also tell you my experiences.In one of my first blog post I wrote, I spoke about self-esteem (Self-esteem – A Self Examination). I told the story from my youth and the effects it had on my self-confidence and self-esteem. Had it only been that one incident, the long-term effects would not have been as severe. However, as I shared with the readers of my book, What Did I Do? my entire childhood contained incidences of mental and physical abuse.

I found the website Blue Knot Foundation – Empowering Recovery from Childhood Abuse“Experiencing any form of childhood trauma and abuse can impact on an adult’s quality of life in fundamental ways. It can make basic day-to-day activities, such as eating, sleeping, working and study difficult. Trauma and abuse in childhood can also affect your mental health, physical health, and your relationships with the people around you…”  Continue Reading 



Source: WERE YOU ABUSED? – Getting to Know Chuck Jackson

Sunday Book Review – Words We Carry – Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem/D.G. Kaye

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Last week I ran a book promotion on my book, Words We Carry. I found out that author, Luna Saint Claire had not only taken advantage of the free copy I offered for download, but read it quickly and posted an inspirational review within the same week.  Thank you Luna for taking in the heart of this book and for sharing publicly for others to read. I hope it empowers many more.


Words We Carry

Words We Carry 
by D.G. Kaye (Goodreads Author)


Luna Saint Claire‘s review

Aug 17, 2017
It was amazing

bookshelves: discoverypsychologicalrelationshipmemoirself-helpself-esteemself-reflectionwomen

Authentic and Intelligent. I read the introduction to Words We Carry, and I couldn’t put it down until I finished. Everything D.G Kaye wrote about growing up—the obsession with fitting in, being slim to point of hipless, trendy fashion, big hair, makeup and even the high heels that we practiced walking in from the time we were three years old, had me nodding my head until I felt like a bobble-head doll. I was struck by a sentence in her chapter on flirting. “Our egos may lead us to believe that we have to be the object of someone’s attentions to quantify our sexualities.” I can see now how as young girls we learned to flirt and use our sexuality to gain advantage. D.G. Kaye openly shares her memories of growing up, vividly detailing her feelings and insecurities. I personally can identify with every single chapter, right down to the movie Psycho and my fear of the dark.
But this is a timeless book and one that is still extremely relevant today. Kaye’s chapter on vanity, centers on insecurity and people pleasing (friends, parents, teachers, boyfriends) out of fear of rejection but more so for validation. In the section Relationships, she reveals how in a past relationship her overly compassionate, ‘I can fix him’ mentality lead to an erosion of her self-worth. Kaye advocates doing away with negativity and not letting it overtake your life, and permeate your well-being. She stresses the importance of addressing and overcoming one’s fears, which if ignored can easily make one a target of abuse. Kaye’s chapter on that subject rang true for me as well, and is a clarion call to develop self-esteem early in life. But it is never too late. Kaye hit the bulls-eye with the statement “We all possess the ability to save ourselves.”

Available on Amazon


Guest Author Feature – Sally Cronin – What’s In a Name? Volume 2

Guest Featured Author


I’m thrilled to have Sally Cronin back to my blog today and feature her new book, What’s in a Name? – Volume 2.


For those of you who may not yet be familiar with Sally’s first book in the series, both books are written as short stories using names to tell a story about a person who was named after something or someone significant to their family legacy.


Sally’s stories touch so many in all of her books, no matter if they’re her heartfelt short stories or her informative, nutritional and healthy living books. Sal gets to the heart of the matters in all of her writing. Sally is a dynamo in both the virtual and her real world. She’s lived a most exciting and entrepeneurial life and shares her experiences in her books and on her blog – SmorgasbordInvitation .


Sally’s blog is informative and entertaining, almost like a magazine you can visit and flip scroll through daily. The blog is aptly titled Smorgasbord because of the variety of posts she offers – everything from short stories, interviews, laughter, health advice, and of course, the many promotions she offers writers to feature their posts, books and book reviews.


I’d like to mention two things I most enjoy about Sally’s blog (besides the fact that she’s one of the best promoters of other’s works), her daily posts offer a variety of posts which come in handy for those bloggers who may have missed them elsewhere, plus we get an opportunity to read some great articles she hand picks to feature for the day where we can be entertained or learn something new and make new connections with those bloggers. Second, I can attest to the many new friendships I’ve made along the way from connecting with many of these bloggers I’ve met through Sally’s blog.  These friendships we make along the way enrich our lives and tend to expand our own blog following when we engage, which expands readership on our own blogs and within the blogging community. As writers, it’s important to forge these connections which often lead to great friendships beyond the virtual world. As a writer who is often confined to my four writing walls, I can certainly attest to the fact that nobody understands a writer’s life quite like another writer.



Sally Cronin


About Sally:  

My name is Sally Georgina Cronin but you will find that I have had a number of variations online and for my books including Georgina Cronin and Sally Cronin.


After working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 18 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition. I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released nine others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.


What's in a Name by Sally Cronin

Get This Book on Amazon!




Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.


Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.


Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.


Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son.


Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.


In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.


*There is also a bonus story introducing a new collection The Village Square to be published in 2018.


Now, without any further ado, Sally has generously offered to share one of her short stories for this post and she has cleverly picked out a story about shoes because she knew shoes are a subject close to my heart. Sheesh, my shoe-lovin’ reputation has certainly been made known, even in the virtual world. In one of Sally’s other books, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sally tells the story about a girl named Imogen, which includes many odd jobs she worked along the way, rising above many sticky issues. The book is written in the fiction genre, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that Imogen was indeed Sally! Today, Sally is sharing a story about one of those jobs she had from the real life version.


Odd Jobs and Characters – The Shoe Department by Sally Cronin


My thanks so much to the wonderful Debby Gies.. .D.G. Kaye for her continued and much appreciated support for my blog and books.


I loved working in the dental surgery, but I felt that I would like to take the medical side of my training further. I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and join the Royal Navy as a nurse in the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service. I applied and was accepted for an interview which I attended at Haslar Naval Hospital. It was a bit of an ordeal as it involved a written exam, physical exam and an interview with senior nursing and naval officers. I returned home and waited for the outcome. A letter arrived a week later, to say that I had been accepted, but not for another eighteen months.


This left me in a quandary, and being the age I was, I felt that before I joined up I should see a little more of life. I handed in my notice at the dental surgery, applying to the local department store for a temporary job whilst I decided on my strategy for the next year or so.


I have to point out that I am one of three sisters, with a mother who loved shoes and handbags, and it appeared that she had passed those particular genes onto us. I can remember at a very early age spending many happy hours in the bottom of my mother’s wardrobe, rummaging through her high heeled dancing shoes and trying them out for size. Not very elegant at five years old, but habit forming.


When I was offered a temporary post over Christmas, in the shoe department of Handley’s Department store in Southsea, I was obviously more than excited. Little did I know that I would experience petty theft, a rather revealing encounter and potentially dangerous equipment!


The shoe department was staffed by a manager and a number of assistants, one of which had been there for donkey’s years. She was a spinster lady, who seemed ancient to me at the time, but was probably only in her fifties. She was designated to show me the ropes and duly took me under her wing. One of the bonuses of working in the shoe department was that you received commission on every pair of shoes you sold. You would cut out the front of the shoe box and write your name on it, saving these up until the Thursday and handing them to the manager to be sent up to the accounts department.  It didn’t add a fortune to your weekly pay, but a few extra shillings a week was not to be sniffed at.


My mentor told me not to worry the first week, as she would make sure that the box ends were collected and handed to the manager. I kept a record of my sales and was surprised to find that I was missing half my commission on the Friday. I was new and didn’t want to rock the boat, but I obviously looked after my own box ends after that. I later found out that one of the other girls had encountered the same problem when she started. We had a couple more assistants arrive to help over the Christmas rush and we made sure took them under our wings!


Come the sales in January and we were rushed off our feet with high end shoes reduced considerably. I also got staff discount and was in seventh heaven, spending my lunch hours in the stock room trying on everything in my size. One day a very smart middle-aged customer arrived and pointed out several pairs of shoes that she wished to try on. Delighted by my luck in finding a big spender, I set about gathering my wares.


We had short-legged stools with a sloping rubber covered surface on which a foot was guided into shoes with a shoe horn, and if needed a gentle shove. As I helped madam into her first shoe, I looked up to see if she approved, to find her skirt had slid upward to above the knee. She was wearing no knickers, and I have to say that for a moment I had no idea where to look. The customer was completely unconcerned and not wishing to cause embarrassment, I tried to keep my focus on the number of box ends I would be submitting at the end of the week.


This brings me to the piece of equipment that was in my opinion highly unsuitable for use in a department store. Particularly as it was primarily used to identify if a child had sufficient room in their new shoes for their feet to grow.  You placed the customer’s feet on a platform underneath the housing of the machine, looking through a viewfinder to see the x-ray. Having worked in a dental surgery with stringent precautions when using an x-ray machine, I was astonished to find one in use in public. I am afraid that after my introduction to this equipment I relied on the safer, tried and tested method of determining fit, by pressing my thumb all around the child’s foot in the new shoe to check for the necessary growing room. These shoe-fitting fluoroscopes were subsequently banned in the mid-1970s in the USA and Europe, and thankfully I only had minimal exposure. There were however grave concerns over the long-term effects on sales personnel who had used the machines over many years.


However, I did enjoy my time in the shoe department and also being in a sales environment. I had made friends amongst the staff (except for one) and asked if I could stay on. They no longer needed me in the shoe department, but I was asked if I would like to be a powder blender and roving consultant in the cosmetic department. My favourite items after shoes… More adventures on the horizon.



Thanks for that story Sal. It was no wonder I enjoyed that book so much because I was captivated by Imogen’s dynamic personality and her ability to adapt to all of her surroundings and her ability to excel at whatever situation was presented to her. She instantly reminded me of you, and your empowering personality. And no doubt, just some of those qualities about you were common ground between us that drew us together as friends.


A few weeks ago Sally shared one of her heartfelt stories in her new book, What’s in a Name? Volume 2, it’s titled Xenia. And I want to share that story here to give you a sampling of what you can expect  to find in her book of heartfelt stories.




Your name is Xenia, after your Greek grandmother, whose wrinkled complexion smelt of roses and almond oil. I remember the hot summers of our visits as we played on the rocks beneath her stone house; working up an appetite for the platters of goat’s cheese, olives and warm bread. The loaves were taken straight from the wood stove; handled carefully with well worn hessian rags, and served up on the rough wooden table in her wild garden. I remember being fascinated by her hands as they sliced thick warm chunks with an ancient serrated bread knife. They were blackened from nearly 80 years in the sun, with dark-rimmed nails from digging into the soil for home grown vegetables.


She was still a beautiful woman, who loved to have her long black and grey hair gently brushed in the twilight; sipping delicately from her glass of rose pink wine. Happy sighs filled the scented air; encouraging continued effort. We dreaded her tears as we left to catch the ferry at the end of summer, with her whispered goodbyes and pleas for us to return again the next year, remaining in our minds for weeks afterwards.


But one summer only my father made the journey, to stay just a week to bury his beloved mother, with her silver backed hair brush and a small bottle of almond oil resting in her hands.


That was ten years ago and I have been saving up her name to give to you, my first child. From the moment I knew that I was carrying you in my womb, I felt certain that you would be a girl and worthy of this much loved name. As the months passed, and I felt that first movement beneath my hand, I began to talk to you of your name and the woman who owned it with such grace. Sometimes when I listened to music playing softly in the background, I would feel a flutter, as if you were dancing in time to the tune. I would imagine Xenia, swaying and clapping her hands in delight, lost in the gentle songs that my father played on his guitar after our evening meal. I knew she would be so happy that I had named you after her.


My time with my grandmother was too short, but I had saved up the stories to tell you, as well as photographs we took during those summers. I would tell you those tales as we rocked, still joined together, in the chair in the newly painted nursery. I promised to show you the embarrassing snaps of your mother when a girl, dressed in her bathing suit with face filled with sticky baklava. I imagined taking you back to Greece to see where you came from, and to visit Xenia’s grave to lay some blossom, and to show her how beautiful you are. I was certain that your hair would be raven black and that you would love almonds.


Your father laughed at me as I waddled around the house in search of more feta cheese and pickled onions. He said that there must be two of you, or that you were really a big bouncing boy; destined to be a rugby player. He would lay his head on my stomach and listen to your heartbeat; loving it when you kicked against his hand. We had chosen not to know the gender of our baby. I already knew it was a girl to be called Xenia, and your father just wanted a baby who was healthy that we would love.


I knew the moment you had gone. All was still where you had been so active. I thought you must be sleeping, and lay in the hospital bed resting, waiting for that kick and ripple, telling me you wanted my attention. But the cold gel, and pressure of the machine in a doctor’s hand, broke the spell. Your father and I held each other as we cried at our loss.


The love I feel for you will not diminish or change throughout my life. It comforts me to imagine you holding the hand of your great-grandmother, as you twirl to the music of a guitar. I see you eating baklava with sticky fingers, and her washing your hands and face lovingly, with rose scented water. I know that you are safe now, and that one day, we will meet face to face, and I will recognise you as the child of my heart. One day the three of us will sit in that wild garden, and laugh in the sunshine.


My two beloved Xenias…..




You can buy the book:


Thank you so much for being here today Sally, and for sharing your wonderful stories with us. I am very much looking forward to reading your newest book! And before I let you go, I must ask you if you can please just give us a little hint about your next book you mentioned about The Village Square?


The Village Square is a collection of short stories about the inhabitants of a small village through the second world war. It is based on the village that my mother was brought up in and where I was born. The stories will be linked by a small number of central characters who will feature across the stories from time to time. I will be using my mother and father’s recollections of those years and basing characters on the people I knew growing up.


Connect with Sally on her social sites:


Read about Sally’s books and reviews:


Amazon author page:




Visit Sally’s blog to check out the many promotions she offers for writers to have their works and books shared on her blog and check out the extensive list of authors and their books that are already there!

Books by Sally Cronin