Indie Author Friday: Victoria Zigler #IndieAuthor #poetry #childrensbooks @VictoriaZigler

Welcome Victoria Zigler to Indie Author Friday!  If you’re looking for poetry and children’s books, she has over 40 to choose from.  As a Potterhead, I loved her answer to which fictional character she’d be.


A collection of poems of different lengths and styles – some with a hint of humour, others of a more serious nature – exploring a variety of themes, such as animals, nature, emotions, and the world around us.



Losing a sibling is hard. Losing three of them is even harder. Repairing a broken bond of trust is harder still.

After his three brothers disappeared, one after another, gone to a mysterious place known only as The Rainbow Bridge, Buddy the degu is all alone in his cage. Confused and frightened, he knows only one thing for certain: he last saw his brothers in the hands of the human caretaker. That knowledge breaks the bond of trust forged between Buddy and his human in the years since he was a pup, and leaves him convinced that letting her get her hands on him will mean he disappears too. Somehow, she has to convince him he’s wrong, and earn back his trust.

Based on actual events that took place in the life of one of the author’s own degus, and told from the point of view of a degu, this is the story of how patience and love taught a confused and terrified rodent how to trust again.

What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?

I had someone give me some constructive criticism regarding my writing of battle scenes recently.  The advice was really appreciated, because I’m rubbish at writing battle scenes that really make you feel like you’re there.  I’ll be sure to bear her comments in mind next time I need to write one.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

“Keep your poems and stories safe.”  Because I have very few of my early poems and stories, since I never worried about keeping them safe as a child, and it would have been nice to have them to look back on.  I had plenty from my very late teens and later – which I’ve rewritten and expanded on to make many of the books in the list of my published works – but almost nothing from before that, despite the fact I’ve written both poetry and stories since I was old enough to know how.

How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

It hasn’t changed it much.  The main difference now is that I’m more careful about making sure editing happens, and have to organize things like covers and marketing.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

I love shortbread.  Especially proper Scottish shortbread.  I don’t know why, and I don’t really stop to think about it while eating it, since I’m usually too busy enjoying my snack.

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

He greets me – though not by name, of course – and then says, “Can you tell me the way to Penguinopolis?” And he’s here because he got on the wrong flight when trying to get home from a trip to Mexico, so now he’s lost.  I think I might go with him when he goes home, just to make sure he gets there safely.  Well, also because then I can play in the snow, but that part’s a secret… Shhh!

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

I want to be Hermione Granger, because then I could have access to the Hogwarts library, and get to meet Luna Lovegood.  Plus, she’s really good at magic, and being able to do magic would be cool too.

Author Bio

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time. To date she has published 8 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.

Social Media



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Buy Links

How To Catch Snowflakes and Other Poems



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Book Depository:


How To Trust Your Human



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Welcome Indie Author Katie Polen! #newrelease #fantasy #indieauthor @KPolen_Author

Today is a special edition of Indie Author Friday – not because it’s on Thursday, but because it features my niece (can I say that if she married my nephew?), Katie Polen.  Katie works full time and is the mother to an adorable little girl who is immune to my hubby’s charms (which totally wrecked him – babies, especially girls, always love him), yet found the time to pen her debut novel, Elliana and the Keepers.  So, without further ado, meet Katie!

“Elliana, they are coming for you!”

Elliana wakes from a weird dream to discover her entire world is about to be turned upside down. When her parents tell her that she was adopted and that she is a descendant of Zeus she gets thrown into a battle she didn’t even know existed. The Demigods of the world are in a civil war and her mother has hidden Elliana to protect her. But, that may not be all she was trying to protect. Elliana is quickly attacked by Druids, Demigods of Hades, who are seeking out any Demies that could be a threat. She is saved by a Keeper, demigod warrior who protects earth, who vows to protect her. Along her journey, she discovers that her mother has stolen an important artifact that can change the fate of the world as they know it. Her mother is arrested by the Council of Keepers and it is up to Elliana to discover the truth and help protect the people of earth.

What are your favorite books in your genre?

I think anyone who writes YA fiction would have to say the Harry Potter Series. Aside from that, the most memorable series I have read in this genre is The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce.  Now I was much younger when I read it, but it left an impression.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would have told my younger self to let go of the fear. My writing career would have started much sooner if I could have gotten over the fear of judgement and failure.

What do you love most about the writing process?

I love telling a story and letting go of my neurotic self. If you know me personally, you know I like to be in control a lot, or at least know what is going on if I am not in control.  When I write I just let it flow from inside me without any real plan.  I have a beginning in my head and an ultimate ending, but the road to get there is a complete mystery to me even as I sit down at my computer to write it.

Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

This is a difficult one. On one hand Batman is very strong and can fly plus he has multiple types of vehicles in order to run over Spiderman with, on the other hand, Spiderman can swing in from above Batman un-detected and trap him using his spider webs giving him an opportunity to kill him before he can get free.  If the fight is planned than I give the upper-hand to Batman, but if it is completely spontaneous then Spiderman would win.

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

“Cerbeza por favor!” He’s here to start the party!

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

Elizabeth Bennet. Pride and Prejudice.

Author Bio

I am Katie Polen, hopeful author of a new series called The Elliana Series.

I have always had this secret dream of writing a book.  I have even tried to write one a few times before.  Life, however, always seemed to get in the way.  A family member recently published their own book and it gave me the encouragement to follow my dream to fruition.

I grew up in a small town just outside of Columbus, Ohio.  I didn’t stray too far from home and went to Otterbein College (now Otterbein University) for my Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Masters in Business Administration.

By day I am a Corporate Accountant but at night I am an Author/Mom.

My favorite types of fantasy novels are the ones that put you into other worlds.  Harry Potter, Song of the Lioness Quartet, and The Mortal Instruments are just a few of my favorites.

I am excited to create a world of my very own and hope you all enjoy it too.

Social Media
Twitter: @KPolen_Author
Instagram: Katie_Polen_Author

Buy Links

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller #bookreview #fantasy #YA

I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive. –

Mask of Shadows is full of action, suspicion, lethal fights, and retribution – all good things in a fantasy novel.  The action sequences are exciting, well-written, and played out easily in my head.  I also applaud Linsey Miller for writing a gender fluid main character, a very underrepresented demographic.


I struggled with the world-building and character development.  The beginning of the book was a bit confusing, with the explanation of Sal’s world almost an info dump, and I never felt as if I had a good grasp of that world.  I understood Sal’s need for revenge after living through such a horrid experience, but the decision to audition for Opal seemed quite sudden.  The other contestants are referred to by numbers only, and with so many, it’s difficult to keep them straight or even imagine them as actual characters, with zero information given.

Mask of Shadows contains a good story, but a familiar one.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.


Guest Post by Georgia Rose – Standalone or Series? #NewRelease #TuesdayBookBlog #mystery @GeorgiaRoseBook

Standalone or Series?  Haven’t all writers wondered this at some point?  Georgia Rose is here today to discuss her decision to make her new release, Parallel Lies, a standalone.  Welcome, Georgia!

Standalone or Series? Keeping Your Options Open – Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose @GeorgiaRoseBook

I have already written a series, and mighty hard it was too, so I had no intention of doing that again. Ever. Parallel Lies was definitely going to be a standalone I thought as I started out on writing it. Although it wasn’t a conscious decision I found at the end I’d made sure of this by killing off someone crucial to any future story line. Dead, done, finished and that is that I’d thought as I’d metaphorically walked away from the completed manuscript.

At least that was the case until my editor took his first look at it. Why have you done that! Was something along the lines of what he’d said, along with, there’s no future in that. You have no possibility of a sequel without him/her (no spoilers!)

I had never considered the possibility of a sequel. Still haven’t, if I’m being totally honest. I have no storyline for that, not as yet anyway.

But when I gave it some thought it did seem a sensible way forward, to leave my options open. I mean where would George R R Martin have been if he’d killed off the hero/heroine in his first book – oh, wait, no, he did that, scrap that, it’s a bad example.

Anyway I rewrote a major section which led onto something completely different (and potentially quite controversial) happening and consequently there’s a subtly different feel to the ending. I think I like it better too, which just goes to show how useful it is to have an editor on board.

I’d be interested to know what other writers who come this way think. Do you always plan for a sequel, or a series? Or, does that happen along the way and, I guess, become more pressing if the first one is a success?

My name is Madeleine, Madeleine Ross. It is a name chosen with thought and because it is classy, and that is what is needed here…

Madeleine Ross has life exactly as she planned it.

Cosy cottage, friendly village, satisfying job.

Company… when she wants it.

It’s an enviable existence for an independent young woman, and one she’s keen to protect.

Enter Daniel – strong, dependable and a danger to everything she’s built. He’s not something she was looking for, but hearts can’t be controlled and maybe, just maybe he might be worth letting into hers.

But, all is not what it seems. Because Madeleine is hiding a lifetime of secrets. Deep secrets.

And they never stay buried for ever.

Her darkest secret returns, like the proverbial bad penny. He is her first love, shadowy, dangerous, the baddest of bad boys. No matter how far she runs, or how well she hides, she can never escape him.

Or her past.

Here he is, on her doorstep, with a proposition she is powerless to resist but which could devastate the future she hoped to have.

Can Madeleine satisfy the old love while keeping the new?

You can’t always get what you want but, desperate to preserve the life she has worked so hard for, Madeleine is willing to risk everything to prove that she can.


Pre-order Parallel Lies by Clicking Here

But wait! There’s also a Giveaway for you to enter, should you wish!

Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favourite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.

Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone to be released on 12 September 2017, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre.

Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her overactive imagination!

Georgia loves Spring for its display of daffodils and Autumn because her favourite fruit, the Victoria plum, is in abundance. She dislikes olives and can’t see the attraction of hummus.

Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage!


Thank you for inviting me on your blog, Teri, it has been a pleasure to visit you and get to chat to your readers.


The Authors Bookshelf – Teri Polen @TPolen6

I’m a little late reblogging this – out of town this past weekend. Book lover and indie author supporter Claire Ayres interviewed me for her feature, The Authors Bookshelf – jump over for a visit!

BrizzleLass Books

Welcome to The Bookshelf. Each week I feature an author or book blogger and talk about their bookshelf with them. It’s a light-hearted, book focused, Q&A.

This week I have Teri Polen, I’ve been speaking with Teri via our blogs for a while now, and her horror novel, Sarah has received some fantastic reviews from bloggers I highly regard.

I hope you enjoy peeking into her bookshelf…

What was the first book you remember having on your bookshelf?
I know there were plenty before, but the one I still remember is Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan.  It was my first ‘age appropriate’ horror novel – I think I was 8-years-old at the time.

What was the most recent book you added to the bookshelf?
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang – I heard it’s an entertaining read about a dysfunctional family, which is something everyone can identify…

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Indie Author Friday: Ranjeeta Nath Ghai #IndieAuthor #poetry

It’s a very rainy Indie Author Friday – prayers for all those affected by Harvey.  Today’s author brings with her a book of poetry – isn’t that a beautiful cover?  Welcome Ranjeeta Nath Ghai!

Achievements and disappointments, success and failure, love and infatuation, introspections and retrospection, Life is a wonderful journey with its highs and lows. Is there something you feel that you can’t express? A feeling, a thought, an experience or a relationship…? Then…. this book is definitely for you. Most of us fail to express ourselves on a personal level. This book, written and packed with romance and rejection will touch a chord in your heart. The poet has penned down a plethora of feelings and experiences for you to read and enjoy. ……….

What do you wish you’d known before you were published?

I wish I had known how to promote my book ‘Mann Ki Aarzoo’ in the market. I would have done the ground work and then launched it in a big way…

How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

Earlier I used to write randomly. After my book was published I became a more regular writer. I also started writing micro poetry, quotes, prose poetry and short stories. I started experimenting with my writing in a more serious way.

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

Some said that my poetry brought tears to their eyes and them moist, some said that they could feel that it was tailor made for them. Compliments like these really made my day.

Book you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

I just love to read chicken soup series.

How would your best friend describe you?

A loyal friend who would die for you. An easy going, laid back person with good humor.

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

We are two sisters and when we used to fight my mother used to say that we behave like Tom and Jerry… so keeping that in mind I would love to be Tom.

Author Bio

Born to a Gujarati mother, Assamese father in MH Agra Cantt, Uttar Pradesh, brought up in New Delhi and married to a Punjabi… I have a rich cultural background. “Mann Ki आरज़ू” is  debut attempt at publishing a few of my poems which I have been writing since 1985 to date. Being an army BRAT(Born Raised And Transferred) and Army Officer’s wife I have had the golden opportunity denied to many(and mine by birth)… to have covered the length and breadth of India, and seeing it in its splendor. Hardly have I ever lived in any state for more than a period of 2 years. Giving up my promising career as a graphic designer I build a parallel career as an educationist, to spend more time with my expanding family.

My life has been enriched by my seven furry buddies who with their unconditional love have always been a de-stressing factor of my life teaching me to value and love all HIS creations unconditionally.

From being a daughter to being a mother, from a caregiver to being loved back in return, being a friend and having friends worth dying for, life has come a full circle. “Life has treated me well and God has been kind to me. Looking back today I feel no regret as I have lived and celebrated each moment of my life with passion, on my own terms and conditions.”

Social Media

You can follow me on my blog sites…. and

mann ki aarzzo fb fan page



Buy Links

My book, “Mann ki Aarzoo” available on all leading online stores, Amazon, Amazon U.K, snapdeal, flipkart,  Notion Press and kindle etc in paperback and e-book versions. For more on “Mann ki Aarzoo” check out

Notion Press:

On Amazon:


Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen #bookreview #YA #scifi

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.


Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden–a planet that Babel has kept hidden–where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human. –

With the competition between the recruits, think The Hunger Games or Divergent set in space, and you’ll get the general feel of Nyxia.  

I recently read a similar book in which several characters are pitted against each other in a tournament, but had difficulty distinguishing between them.  With Nyxia, it’s quite the opposite – the diverse cast of characters, whether friends or enemies, are fully realized, with a variety of motivations and flaws.

The story leans heavily on the competition, and there are some harrowing moments, but also includes heart-wrenching subplots, unexpected twists, and surprising discoveries, indicating all may not be as it seems.

Emmett made a couple of choices that surprised me – one a dangerous risk that seemed out of character, and the other something near the end that seemed sudden and out of place.

If you’re a sci-fi fan, Nyxia has much to offer with a fast pace, mystery, competition, and fantastic character development.  Be warned – it ends with a cliffhanger, and I’ll be needing that second book sooner rather than later.  Nyxia is scheduled for publication September 12th, 2017.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.