Basilike Pappa Shares Her Favorite Indie Books of 2018

Name: Basilike Pappa

Where you post your writing: I post on my blog Silent Hour
and on Sudden Denouement – A Global Divergent Literary Collective

Publications: My prose has appeared in Life & Art Magazine, Intrinsick, and Timeless Tales, and my poetry in Rat’s Ass Review, Surreal Poetics and Bones – Journal for Contemporary Haiku.

A sentence or two about you & your writing: I live in Greece, where I don’t work as a translator, a copy-editor or a historian of the European Civilization. I write poetry, short prose and folktale re-tellings. A touch of darkness, humor and sensuality are among my favorite writing elements.

My favorite indie books of 2018

Title: Anthology Volume I – Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

Where it can be purchased: Amazon

What I loved about the book and why I think you should read it: If you’ve come across the collective on WP, you know what these writers can do. The Anthology holds some of their best poetry, prose and short fiction in its pages. An uninhibited exploration of what it means to be human, through different voices, different forms and styles. Reading this book once is not enough – you will return to it again and again, always finding something new.

My Star rating: 5

Title: Composition of a Woman

Author: Christine Ray

Where it can be purchased: Amazon

What I loved about the book and why I think you should read it: It felt warm, as if the writer was sitting right there in my living room, sharing parts of her life with me over a cup of coffee. And it was addictive: reading one or two poems a day wasn’t enough. ‘Oh, just one more.’ And when I finished it, I still wanted more.

My Star rating: 5

Title: For You, Rowena

Author: Kindra Marie Austin

Where it can be purchased: Amazon

What I loved about the book and why I think you should read it: I loved Austin’s voice. It has freshness, it has style, a sense of humor, good doses of truth, and unexpected twists. But telling you more would mean giving you spoilers. So read it and see for yourselves.

My Star rating: 5

Title: Leonard the Liar

Author: Nicholas Gagnier

Where it can be purchased: Amazon

What I loved about the book and why I think you should read it: It made me think, it made me feel. It made me put myself in these characters’ place and wonder what I’d do if I were one of them. Reading it was meaningful. The story stayed with me long after I reached the final page.

My Star rating: 5

Basilike Pappa lives in Greece. She likes her coffee black, her walls painted green and blue, her books old or new. She despises yellow curtains and red tape. She can’t live without chocolate, flowers and her dog. Places she can be found are: kitchen, office, living room. If she’s not at home, I don’t know where she is. You can find Basilike up late with a notebook in the Silent Hour.

Dena Daigle Reviews Love, Lies and Lullabies by Ashley Jane

I must admit, before I was introduced to Ashley Jane’s debut book of poetry and prose, Love, Lies and Lullabies (released on July 30, 2018), I had not yet had the privilege of indulging in her work; but after opening the cover, which is adorned with raw yet beautifully soft imagery, I am an instant fan.

Ashley opens this collection with the lines, “We painted with words, immortalized our souls with ink, sold our hearts to the masses,” a brilliant tagline sure to entice any admirer of words. We are then whisked into the whimsical realm of romance, where we experience both the beauty of the fall and the not-so-elegant reality of relationships in the book’s first section, Love.

In this section, Ashley brings us along the journey of a wounded heart that once settled for far less than deserved until coming to the realization that everything she ever wanted was right before her very eyes.  Ashley describes the “quick descent” one experiences when falling in love and puts perfectly into words what we feel in a new relationship, when struggling to find balance between the urge to stay and the instinct to run- a battle of the mind and the heart that anyone who has ever been scorned by love can relate to. But in pieces like Fragmented Heart we experience the patchwork art of careful hands willing to gently put the pieces of a once shattered heart back together.

I practically fell in love myself when I read the poem Lesson in Love, which reads:

“You hold me under velvet skies,
tracing each of my scars
and reminding me
that I am stronger because of them,
leaving me enough of those shadows
to rebuild myself
with bits of love.”

And although in Love is Messy, Ashley says “we try to define it, but it is not meant to be defined,” I believe she describes Love rather perfectly in this aptly titled section.

In the second section, Lies, we relive the pain of betrayal that adheres to our bones like mortar to the bricks we then stack high around our broken hearts.  As Ashley shares with us the misadventures of seeking happily-ever-after in fraudulent fantasies portrayed by “actors who use hearts for a stage,” we are reminded to take caution in the quest for love. She perfectly explains the way we lose ourselves when we become wrapped up in the pretty little lies we allow ourselves to believe against our inner knowing. I love the way Ashley reclaims her power by learning to “filter through the fallacies” in Self-Taught and then seals the deal by scrawling the lying muse’s name into her “little black book” and tossed away the key. My inner goddess cheered with joy as I celebrated that victory!

Lullabies, the last section of this incredible compilation, serves as a beautiful reminder that our inner light is always ready to illuminate the darkness when we are. Its dreamy vibe is filled with magic and mystery, the moon and stars, and an oceanic sky of endless possibilities to soothe the soul.

Ashley Jane’s Love, Lies and Lullabies is a must have for every poetry collection.

Love, Lies and Lullabies is available at Amazon.

Indie Blu(e) Welcomes Susan Conway

Susan M. Conway is an indie author from Auburn, Georgia, USA. Her debut novel, “A Life of Whoredom” was published in August, 2018. Other publications include two short story fiction ebooks, available on Amazon and Kindle. She is currently working on Life After Whoredom, a sequel to her debut novel.

Susan has been writing since grade school. In 2012, she began working on A Life of Whoredom. Initially, it was a blog that she was encouraged by her fans, to turn it into the novel that it is today. She is an avid reader, gardener, and meme hoarder. She can be found either going on adventures with her family, or lying awake at all hours of the night laughing at memes-even though she swore she was going to bed by 10 PM.

Follow Susan on

Instagram: @AuthorSusanMConway

PUBLISHED WORKS

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

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Deeply seductive and profoundly compelling, A Life of Whoredom weaves the tale of a troubled young woman from rural South Carolina, desperate to heal and seeking her truth, when she meets a mysterious older gentleman who captivates her heart. Taking her by the hand, he leads her into the belly of the BDSM lifestyle. Their torrid affair rips the veil back, exposing the risks and rewards of alternative lifestyles surrounding kink and fetish. A Life of Whoredom, is a tragic love story with a very provocative twist, that will embed itself in your heart, staying with you long after you have turned the last page.

Fear of Flying-Melody Lee

Fear of Flying

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I flew to Philly to meet his parents,

to be with him, to see the city and watch him smile.

I met him in the airport wearing my new dress

and black knee high boots. It was my winter break…

and it was seriously winter in Philly.

Snow every day.

Floridians aren’t accustomed to snow

and no Christmas tree left a weird chill in my bones

and an ache for home.

We ate bagels in the morning and had sex

in the afternoons, when his father was at work. Unlucky

for us, his step mom was always lurking somewhere

in their two-story house.

I missed how he played guitar for me back home, typically

something by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles or Paul Simon.

We took the subway to NYC, my first time for both.

I fell in love…with the lights, the fast pace,

the energy, NYC and Jewish delis.

He took me to Vassar, where he graduated with a degree

in Philosophy. I met his friends, got drunk, puked.

We skied in the Poconos, my first time on skis. I sucked.

Ice did not agree with my feet. My balance wasn’t right,

on the ice or with him. His father was stern. He didn’t like me.

His step mom heard us banging and my non-Jewish

moaning didn’t win her approval. Awkward. I didn’t like her,

but I adored his mom. She gave me “Fear of Flying,” by Erica Jong,

and that has stayed with me all these many years later.

 

© Melody Lee / September 2018

My Publishing Story-Nicholas Gagnier

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I wrote my first novel in 2008, at 23 years old. It was called Harbour City Story and, despite being light years short of publication worthy, it would lay the groundwork for the years to come.

After the death of my friend Michelle in that same year, it would take 3 years to write what would become my first published novel, released summer 2018. After it was finished in 2011, parenthood pulled me away from novels for six years. It sat in a drawer, unedited.

In 2012, I began posting poetry on a WordPress blog. That blog, Retkon Poet, would grow to over 8,000 followers in a 3 year period. In 2015 I shuttered RKP to begin what would become Free Verse Revolution. During those five years, I released several poetry books. At War with Water, my first, was the first foray into the world of self-publishing through LuLu Publishing. As expected, no one bought it. This had to less to do with the book itself than my ignorance of how to market it.

In 2013, I assembled several writer friends I had made through WordPress to release Ground Zero, a commemorative book to Michelle. It was my biggest success thus far, garnering local media attention, decent sales and (finally!) slight validation I was on the right path. For the next three years, I opted to publish several digital chapbooks that released through my blog as free reads; THE KILLING WAGE (2014); LITTLE CITY (2015); GENERATION WHY (2016) and MEN IN PAPER COATS (2017). Through cultivating my site and several writing relationships, I put together a follow up to Ground Zero at the summit of my forthcoming mental health journey. Bringing together 22 amazing people (many of them part of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective), SWEAR TO ME included many of the people I now count among my closest friends.

In 2017, I began writing FOUNDING FATHERS, which would become my first full-length published novel. At the same time, I pulled out my novel from ten years earlier and edited it into a novella called LEONARD THE LIAR. The combination of these projects convinced me I would need a vehicle to drive these stories to market, using all the knowledge I had gained self-publishing poetry.

In 2018, I shuttered the Free Verse Revolution blog to start FVR Publishing with my friend Kristiana Reed. In summer, we joined forces with indie author Kindra M. Austin. Kristi took the reins of a six year old entity and will relaunch the original Free Verse Revolution blog where writers can contribute in a celebration of poetry. Kindra’s imprint One for Sorrow became our fiction-publishing arm and O4S and FVR merged under a new parent company, Blank Paper Press. Leonard released in July and Founding Fathers will be here in November. On the poetry side, FVR will release Georgia Park’s QUIT YOUR JOB AND BECOME A POET (OUT OF SPITE!) 2ND ED. on October 2.

Indie Blu(e) Welcomes Nicole Lyons

Nicole Lyons is a tornado harnessed into the body of a writer, social activist, voice for the downtrodden, and a powerful poet whose words reveal truth like a scalpel through silk. A Consulting Editor and long-time member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, her writing is featured in Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Lyons’ essays, articles, and poetry can be found in The Mighty, The OCH Literary Society, Anti-Heroin Chic, Sidereal Catalyst, and OTV Magazine. She was inducted into The Mental Health Writer’s Guild in 2015 for her work on The Lithium Chronicles, Psych Central, The Mighty, and the International Bipolar Foundation.  Lyons volunteers as a speaker and event coordinator with a Canadian non-profit that focuses on suicide awareness and prevention in children and teens.

The best-selling author of HUSH (no longer in print) and I am a World of Uncertainties Disguised as a Girl (Sudden Denouement Publishing) lives a good life in beautiful British Columbia with her daughters and husband.  From her sunny porch, Lyons is enjoying a glass of wine, and working on her much anticipated fourth collection of poetry.


PUBLISHED WORK

(AVAILABLE ON AMAZON)

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‘I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl’ written by author and poet Nicole Lyons, is a breathtaking collection of poems that blurs the lines between love and madness. A sorceress of words, Nicole Lyons takes the reader to the edge of the abyss of creativity, sanity, and love, and asks the question, ‘can one survive both a broken heart and a broken mind?’

©Nicole Lyons/Cover Art by Mitch Green


High quality image from Mitch 300 DPI

In Blossom and Bone, Nicole Lyons’ third collection of poetry, she is unafraid to bare her soul. With never a wasted word, Lyons’ work has a hypnotic immediacy that leaves the reader breathless, as if she were in the room with them, saying; “I am standing here screaming / I live, I live, I love.” Blossom and Bone is “A beautifully crafted work of art that will punch you in the face with its gritty realism before soothing your wounds with elegant prose, thought provoking lines, and sublime imagery.” – Samuel Decker Thompson

©Nicole Lyons/Cover Art by Mitch Green