Day 2 of the WordCrafter “A Ghost and His Gold” Book Blog Tour: Meet Peiter Van Zyl

A Ghost and His Gold Book Blog Tour

Welcome to Day #2 of the WordCrafter A Ghost and His Gold Book Blog Tour. Yesterday Roberta Eaton Cheadle shared the origins of the story for this historical paranormal novel and I added my review of the book right here on Writing to be Read. Today we get a look at one of Cheadle’s characters, Boer, Pieter Van Zyl. Please join us as we snatch a glimpse into the author’s thoughts as she developed a character who represent one side of the Second Anglo Boer War in South Africa.

A Ghost and His Gold Give Away

Each stop on this five-day book blog tour will offer the opportunity to win a $10 Amazon gift voucher. (*Winners must be able to retrieve Amazon US gift vouchers.) Author Roberta  Eaton Cheadle will also give away 2 paperback copies of A Ghost and His Gold. All you have to do to enter is drop by each tour stop and leave a comment!

Guest Post by Roberta Eaton Cheadle: Pieter van Zyl characterisation 

Pieter van Zyl is a Boer living on his farm in Irene near Pretoria in the South African Republic when war between the British Empire and the two Boer republics breaks out. Although the historical sections of the book are narrated from the points of view of a British soldier stationed in Mafeking during the siege, Robert, and Pieter’s eldest daughter, Estelle, as well as Pieter, he is central to the backstory and background of the other ghosts as well as the main themes of the book which are human greed, the horror of war, the desire for control and power and, most importantly, the erosion and corruption of the human spirit and individual’s morals, and ethics, under conditions of continuous war, destruction, and death.  

Pieter’s late grandmother was English, and he is familiar with the ways of the British and more understanding of their characteristics and motivations that most of his peers.  

Pieter is highly intelligent and well read and, although he is ready to play his role in fighting for the independence of his country, he is pessimistic about the eventual outcome of this war in the face of his peers excited optimism for a quick victory. Pieter is an introverted loner who keeps his thoughts to himself having learned his opinions and views on many topics are not popular with his peers. Pieter is a peacemaker and does not like conflict in his life. This is apparent in his relationships with his wife, Marta, and oldest daughter, Estelle. Pieter is incapable of dealing with the conflict between the pair and taking positive action to control his wife’s resentment towards her unusual oldest child. 

The suffering and trauma that Pieter experiences during the war, in particular the loss of his farm and the confinement of his family in a concentration camp, wear down his abilities to tolerate and cope with his circumstances and his will to live is destroyed long before he dies.  

Photograph credit:

Relevant extracts from A Ghost and His Gold 

Extract 1 

He believed he would be safer among family and friends, having quickly learned that being obligated to fight for your country did not necessarily translate into an eagerness to do so. The reluctance of some of the Burghers to take up arms surprised him, and he chuckled at some of the conversations he’d overheard.  

“I don’t want to go to war now,” said François Naude, “it’s spring and I need to be here to oversee the planting.”  

Pieter, who was waiting to collect his grocery order from the proprietor of the Irene General Store, hid a smile at this amusing comment.  

What does he think our government should do? Ask the British if they mind waiting for a more convenient time before we commence hostilities. 

Extract 2 

Grabbing his loaded Mauser rifle from its hooks on the wall near the door, he hesitates for a moment to admire its smooth and shiny wooden length. The feel of the gun in his hands gives him confidence; he is an excellent marksman.  

This gun brought me a lot of respect.  

His ability with a gun had been his saving grace when, as a young man, his peers had been mystified by his interest in books and writing and had liked to share their derogatory thoughts in that regard. 

Extract 3 

Willem was in high spirits. “This war will soon be over, Pieter. It’ll be the same as the last one. We’ll defend our borders against the invaders, and it will be over in three months. We’ll be home by harvest time.”  

Willem shared the sense of excitement and euphoria that many of his fellow countrymen were experiencing, but Pieter did not.  

War brings bloodshed, grief and tears. This time the British will probably send 36 many more soldiers. I think this war is going to be a much harder win.  

He had not shared his own thoughts with Willem. There was no point and he had learned many years ago to keep his unpopular opinions to himself. 

Extract 4 

Pieter stops talking and gazes into space. Memories assail his mind in a kaleidoscope of sounds, smells and visions.  

“At about midday, we saw a large cloud of dust coming our way. Having no idea how many horsemen there were, ten other Burghers, Willem and I quickly set up an ambush. As they drew closer, we could make out a mass of at least seven thousand horses and men. It was a hopeless situation and we prepared to withdraw, but the Khakis saw us and started shelling our position. My horse took fright at an exploding shell and bolted. I fell and broke two ribs, but luckily my horse is well trained, and he came back to me. Oom Willem hoisted me back onto my horse, and we were able to escape.”  

Marta’s pale face and the tension around her mouth and eyes suddenly register with Pieter.  

Is she upset because of my injury or because the Burghers ran away?  

“It was cowardly of you men to flee, you should have stayed and fought,” said Marta, her lip curled with contempt.  

How does she think I could have carried on fighting with broken ribs? She’s being ridiculous; if we’d carried on fighting, we would’ve all been killed. A handful of men couldn’t hold back such a significant force.  

Smiling wryly, he took a sip of water. “Maybe you are right, Marta, but I was in too much pain to influence that decision.” 

The Blurb 

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.  

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?   

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lies in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened. 

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle 

I am a South African writer specialising in historical, paranormal and horror novels and short stories. I am an avid reader in these genres and my writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, the Bronte sisters, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.  

I was educated at the University of South Africa where I achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. I was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.  

I have worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and have written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. I have won several awards over my twenty year career in the category of Transactional Support Services. 

I have been published a number of anthologies and have two published YA books, While the Bombs Fell and Through the Nethergate. I have recently published my first adult novel called A Ghost and His Gold which is partly set in South Africa during the Second Anglo Boer War. 

Other books by Roberta Eaton Cheadle 

Through the Nethergate 

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. 

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. 

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself. 

Follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle at: 






Purchase Links:

TSL Publications (paperback) (ebook and paperback) 


2021 Wordcrafter New Beginnings Virtual Writing Conference

2021 Wordcrafter New Beginnings Virtual Writing Conference

Spring is in the air! It’s a time for new beginnings! That’s why the theme for this year’s virtual writing conference is “New Beginnings”. I hope you all will join us for this fantastic writing event. On Monday, May 3rd, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. MDT, we will gather on the Facebook Event Page for a promotional and social event, sort of a pre-event cocktail party and attendance is absolutely free! Meet some of your favorite authors or meet and learn about authors who are new to you, enter giveaways, or just hang out with us for awhile.

The interactive conference will take place on Zoom, May 4th & 5th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. MDT. We have a great line-up of presenters offering a wide variety of interactive workshops and panel discussions. This year, we’ve included something special for the poets in all of us, with a Writing the Rain Poetry Workshop with poet Erin Robertson and a poetry panel including author and poet, Geoff LePard, and author and poet Radha Marcum. Other presenters include national and international bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy, Kevin J. Anderson; author, editor and media tie-in writer, Russell Davis; U.S.A. Today best selling author, Dan Alatorre; national best selling speculative fiction author, Mario Acevedo; author and liscensed universe writer, Keith R.A. DeCandido, speculative fiction and romance author, Chris Barili; fantasy and science fiction author, Anthony Dobranski; science fiction and horror author, Jeff Bowles; award winning fantasy author, Ellie Raines; novel and short fiction author, Rick Wilber; science fiction author, Kevin Killany; award winning science fiction author and poet, Jim Nesbitt; and young adult fantasy author, L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright, with a Keynote by best selling horror author Paul Kane.

Tickets are available and affordable, for $5 for each individual hour session, or in a Full Event Pass for $50. I’ve created a Writing to be Read Event Page, where you can see the full conference line-up of offerings, author bios for conference presenters and purchase tickets.

Don’t miss this virtual writing event. Purchase your tickets today.

Day #4 of the WordCrafter “Seizing the Bygone Light” Book Blog Tour: My Review

Seizing the Bygone Light Book Blog Tour

Day four of the WordCrafter “Seizing the Bygone Light” Book Blog Tour brings this wonderful tour to a close. Thanks to all who ventured on this brief book tour with us. On Day #1, I introduced this wonderful collection of photgraphy and poetry, Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography, an amazing collaborative effort from Cendrine Marrouat, David Ellis, and Hayida Ali, right here on Writing to be Read.

Seizing the Bygone Light authors, the ProArtMo Collective

On Day #2, we visited Barbara Spencer’s Pictures from the Kitchen Window, where she interviews the three members of the ArtProMo Collective about their inspiration for Seizing the Bygone Light and the combining of poetry and photography as a storytelling medium.

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography

Day #3 found us over at Robbie Cheadle’s Robbie’s Inspiration, where we get a guest post from the authors about their visions and collaborative efforts to create this unique collection of visual imagery and verse.

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography

Now here we are, back where we started, where my review of this very interesting collection will finish off the tour. I want to thank you all for joining us, and if you missed any of the four blog stops along the way, just click on the links above to go back and see what you miss kelellpe.

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography

My Review

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography combines the visual media of photography and the art of poetry into a insightful method of storytelling. Cendrine Marrouat, David Ellis, and Hadiya Ali are visionaries in their arts. This collaborative effort employs the use of styles of both photography and poetry, which they have created themselves, exploring new and unique realms in their individual mediums.

The book is structured into three sections of black and white photographs. The third section combines the Pareiku and Haibun poetry of David Ellis with photographs of bygone days, while the reminigrams created by Cendrine Marrout produce timeless photos, and the captivating subjects and striking images of nature by Hadiya Ali are inspired by the photographic images of Irving Penn and Karl Blossfeldt, but her young eye and fresh vision offer unique perspective. The result of this collaborative effort is a stunning collection of inspiring visual stories that pay homage to the black and white era of days past, while at the same time, celebrating the rise digital photography with their original and innovative styles

Inspirational and innovative, Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography, is a must for anyone with an interest in photography or its history and for anyone who likes to view the world through a unique and captivating lense, as well as those who just have an appreciation of poetic form. I give it five quills.

Buy Link for Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography


About the Authors

Hadiya Ali is a 19-year-old Pakistan-born artist who now lives in Oman. A keen observer of people,
she noticed at a very young age how talented market workers were at what they did – but that they
seemed unaware of their own talent. So she decided to capture their stories with her camera.
Before she knew it, her project had attracted attention and she had been booked for her first
professional photoshoots, suddenly realizing that she, too, had been unaware of her own talent all
this time.
Hadiya works on projects that capture unique stories and themes. Some of her photography is
featured in The Auroras & Blossoms PoArtMo Anthology: 2020 Edition.

David Ellis lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in the UK. He is an award-winning poet, author
of poetry, marketing workbooks/journals, humorous fiction and music lyrics. He is also a co-author
and co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms, and the co-creator of PoArtMo (Positive Art Month and
Positive Art Moves) and the Kindku / Pareiku.
David’s debut poetry collection (Life, Sex & Death) won an International Award in the Readers’
Favorite Book Awards 2016
for Inspirational Poetry Books.
David is extremely fond of tea, classic and contemporary poetry, cats, and dogs but not snakes.
Indiana Jones is his spirit animal.

Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born Canadian photographer, poet, and the multi-genre author of
more than 30 books. In 2019, she co-founded the PoArtMo Collective with Isabel Nolasco, and
Auroras & Blossoms with David Ellis. A year later, Ellis and she launched PoArtMo (Positive Art
Month and Positive Art Moves) and created the Kindku and Pareiku, two forms of poetry. Cendrine is
also the creator of another poetry form (the Sixku) and a type of digital image (the Reminigram).
Cendrine writes both in French and English and has worked in many different fields in her 17-year
career, including translation, language instruction, journalism, art reviews, and social media.

Together, Cendrine, David, and Hadiya comprise the PoArtMo Collective, an artist collective dedicated
to creating and releasing inspirational and positive projects.


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Welcome to the WordCrafter “Seizing the Bygone Light” Book Blog Tour

Seizing the Bygone Light Book Blog Tour

Welcome to the Seizing the Bygone Light Book Blog Tour, where we will be learning more about a delightful collection of photographs and poetry, which was created by three authors of the ProArtMo Collective as a tribute to early photography. This is a four day tour that will run through March 18, bringing you a guest post on Robbie’s Inspiration from the authors on what they strived to accomplish with Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography, an interview with the author’s by Barbara Spencer on Pictures from the Kitchen, and a review of the book by me to wrap things up, right here on Writing to be Read. I do hope all of you will join us in celebrating the history of photography along with authors Cendrine Marrouat, David Ellis, and Hayida Ali.

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography

The medium of limitless possibilities that is photography has been with us for almost 200 years.

Despite its great advancements, its early days still influence and dazzle a majority of professional photographers and artists. Such is the case of Cendrine Marrouat, Hadiya Ali and David Ellis, three members of the PoArtMo Collective.

The result? Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography.

This unique collection of artistic styles brings together different innovative concepts of both gripping writing and stunning visual imagery.

Visual imagry can be a method of storytelling, and a powerful one at that when presented with a skillful hand. I know each of the authors has put much thought into the stories they wished to tell here, and how they wanted to do it. So, to introduce you to this marvelous group of original photography and poetry, I wanted the authors to tell you what they are trying to accomplish in their own words.

What inspired you to create this book?

All three of us were inspired together to celebrate the stunning vintage photography of the past and at the same time create an artistic project that shines a contemporary light alongside it, with our own individual blends of photography and poetry. This book allowed us to express ourselves in endearing ways that combine all of our passions and strengths. We wanted to collaborate in a way that would cause people to really become interested in the
images of the past and the endless rewards that they have to offer.

What makes Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography unique?

Our book looks back at the beginnings of photography in a way that has never been done
before. It is divided into three parts.

In part 1, Hadiya Ali has “recreated” the timeless photographic styles of Irving Penn and Karl Blossfeldt. Part 2 features some of Cendrine Marrouat’s reminigrams, a type of digital image that she invented years ago. Finally, in part 3, David Ellis shares a series of pareiku poems inspired by archival images.

Anyone with an interest in vintage photography has noticed how it documented the minutiae of
everyday life. Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography looks at that triviality
with a refreshed and positive outlook. It is one of the reasons why it is so unique.

The other reason? Three authors and artists whose vastly different styles actually complement
one another in a fascinating way.

(The Pareiku is a visual poetry David and Cendrine invented in 2020. For more information, visit

Did you face any particular issues while working on the book?

Yes, we did. But these issues actually helped make the book more interesting and unique than if just one author had worked on it.

Hadiya decided to recreate the timelessness of Karl Blossfeldt’s and Irving Penn’s beautiful photography. She quickly realized that the subjects and props she was supposed to use were not as widely available as before. She had to find substitutes, like ordinary plants and create her own props, which taught her valuable lessons about simplicity and creativity.

Cendrine struggled to select the images that would fit the book, until she found herself thinking about her emotional relationship with photography. The result was ten images that made complete sense together, gelling naturally with Hadiya’s photos and David’s poems.

David used archival images as inspiration for his poetic section. At first, he was a little unsure about which photos to include, until he realised that since every photograph tells its own story, there should be an unconscious thread that can link almost anything if you are willing to look hard enough to uncover it. He then made sure to select the most intriguing, engaging images he could find and let his subconscious mind make the necessary connections between them, which was very exhilarating in the extreme.

Why do you think poetry and photography work so well together?

Because they more or less speak the same language. It is all about the finer details and how they are interpreted. Photography, just like poetry, thrives on meaning and purpose; both disciplines require attention to subject matter and framing things in the right light if they are to be taken seriously. Both mediums are great at telling stories with minimal amounts of words, they connect instantly with our souls and move us, just like beautiful music, we identify with common struggles and the beauty of life as it unfolds around us.

What are your goals with this release?

We would love it if this book led to more people getting interested in checking out photography of the past. Digital images are fantastic, but exploring old and film photography leads to a greater awareness of what photography truly is and represents. The greatest rewards lie there.

Do you have any advice for artists?

Never give up! Make time for your craft, do many different things to feed your passions and above all don’t be afraid to put your work out into the world. If it sounds like someone is exerting their opinion rather than giving you actual independent advice, feel free to take what you need and ignore the rest to improve and evolve your work. Your work will never be perfect but that doesn’t stop you from always trying to make the next piece even better than the last, to the best of your ability, then move on and sincerely appreciate the art you have made!

What kind of book can we expect from you next?

We are always working on new ideas. This year, Auroras & Blossoms (Cendrine and David) plans on adding several more guides and workbooks for authors and artists to its list. Members of the PoArtMo Collective will also continue working together on more positive and inspirational books and themed exhibits.

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography

When this book was brought to my attention, I was eagar to learn more about this unique collection of original photography and poetry, and as I learned more about the creativity and inspiration of its authors, I came to believe that Seizing the Bygone Light may be a very special collection indeed. If you would like to following along on this book blog tour to learn more, check in right here on Writing to be Read for guiding posts that will lead to each blog stop, or just subscribe to this blog for reader feed or email notifications.


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Time to bring the “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour to a close

Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour

Willow of Ashes has been a great tour. I’ve known Ellie about a year, and I learned things I didn’t know about her and her books. For this blog stop, we’re going to wrap things up and recap the highlights about the book. We covered the basics about this book in my introductory tour post on Day #1. This award winning fantasy novel is book one of the NecrSeam Chronicles series, and it is also available in audiobook through Libro and Google Play.

Willow of Ashes

Five kingdoms face destruction. Two brothers fight to prevent it. Their epic adventure of magic, love, and loss will become a timeless legend.

The five realms of Land, Sky, Ocean, Dream, and Death have been at peace for centuries, but that peace is threatened when dark forces seek to destroy it. The Gods have chosen a champion to protect the world, yet unexpectedly that champion was born as twin necromancers whose magic was split at birth. Only together would they be strong enough to survive what’s to come. But now one of them has died… and his soul became trapped inside his brother.

The coexisting twins embark on a journey across the five realms, determined to be normal again. But their quest of hope turns into a living nightmare when they stumble into an army of undead beasts that have been unleashed on the lands by a vicious sorceress. With the help of new comrades and a mysterious lady Reaper skilled with the scythe, they must fight for more than a new life. Now they fight for the future of the themselves.

Willow of Ashes is available on Amazon

Ellie Raine

Author Bio

“Writer’s Digest award-winning fantasy author Ellie Raine is a voracious BookWyrm when it comes to epic adventures, detailed world-building, and thrilling battles. Fueled by coffee-bean concoctions brewed by the finest caffeine alchemists in the land, she only emerges from the depths of these daring tales when she is summoned by her loving king and their darling daughter: the Dragon Princess Felicity, in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA.

Her first book, Willow of Ashes, won First Place in Fantasy for the 2019 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Ebook Awards, as well as Honorable Mention in Fantasy for the 2019 Readers’ Favorite Awards.”

We had a lot of fun on Day #2 over at Roberta Writes, where Robbie Cheadle did a wonderful Q & A with the author, Ellie Raine. We learned how Ellie accidentally became an award winning author of a story intended to be a video game.

Day #3, we heard from Ellie, herself in a guest post on This is my Truth Now, where she talks about the inspiration behind this story and the Necroseam universe.

Willow of Ashes

On Day #4, I posted my review of this fresh and original new series starter. With traditional elements of storytelling scattered throughout, usually with an unexpected twist to them, this book was unlike any story I had ever read before. Fresh and original, with interesting and unusual characters you can’t help but like, I highly recommend this book.

The Day #5 blog stop was on Robbie’s Inspiration, with a guest post from Ellie, where she talks about what it’s like to revisit the early beginnings of the five book series of the Necroseam Chronicles. Willow of Ashes is that beginning, and it is so cool that this award winning novel is now available on audiobook, too.

On Pictures from the Kitchen, Barbara Spencer hosted Day #6, with a guest post from Ellie that was designed to help us understand the Necroseam universe, including a chart to help translat the Grim language.

That brings us right back here. I want to thank you all for delving into this fresh new fantasy journey on this tour. If you joined the tour later in the week and missed some blog stops, or you’ve followed with us all the way through the tour and just want to go back and revisit a stop, click on the links above. Willow of Ashes and the Necroseam Chronicles are definitely worth reading. If you’d like to learn more about Ellie and her books, you can check out the following links.

Check out the books!



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Stopping by my blog today is author Ellie Raine!

Learn more about the NecroSeam universe and the Grimmish language of Ellie Raine, for Day #6 of the WordCrafter “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour on Barbara Spencer’s lovely blog, “Pictures from the Kitchen Window”. Drop by and join in the conversation.

Pictures From The Kitchen Window

“My goodness, what a difference a few weeks make. Stepping into the world of blog tours is like bungee jumping when you don’t know the first name of the instructor and only met him two seconds before – definitely a dive into perilous waters.”

My guest, Ellie Raine, is a young novelist who is currently taking readers of fantasy by storm. Not only does she write about things that might go bump in the night but she is very good at it. And on reading her bio, I realised she and I only share one thing in common – our love of Terry Prachett. Other than that she is young, reads Rachel Aaron, Brandon Sanderson and Douglas Hulick, and originally set out to create a computer game. In all honesty, she shares far more with my granddaughter who has just given up on her attempt to create a graphic novel…

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Willow of Ashes blog tour – Day 5

For Day #5 of the WordCrafter “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour, Robbie Cheadle hosts a guest post from author Ellie Raine about what it’s like to go back and revisit her seriews beginnings, on “Robbie’s Inspiration”. Come join us and learn more about this award winning epic fantasy novel and the NecrSeam series, which follows.

Robbie's inspiration

Today, I am delighted to welcome author, Ellie Raine, to Roberta Writes for Day 2 of her Willow of Ashes blog tour with WordCrafter Book Tours.

You can read the other posts for this tour here:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Ellie Raine’s Take on Revisiting her Series’ Early Beginnings

After spending the last 13 years writing the NecroSeam Chronicles to completion, going back to work on the first volume’s audiobook was an interesting nostalgia trip for me. A lot happened between book 1 and book 5. Similarly, a lot happened in my life throughout the whole endeavor. I’m really not the same person as the girl who wrote Willow of Ashes. I barely remember who she was.

But since I’m an indie author with the rare opportunity to work (extremely) hands-on with the narrators for the audiobooks (Matt Goodson &…

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Day #4 of the “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour: My Review

Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour

What they are saying on Readers’ Favorite:

“One of the most fascinating universes I have ever encountered… rich, mysterious, inviting and frightening at the same time. You will want to visit it again and again.” 

~Readers’ Favorite Review

Five kingdoms face destruction. Two brothers fight to prevent it. Their epic adventure of magic, love, and loss will become a timeless legend.

The five realms of Land, Sky, Ocean, Dream, and Death have been at peace for centuries, but that peace is threatened when dark forces seek to destroy it. The Gods have chosen a champion to protect the world, yet unexpectedly that champion was born as twin necromancers whose magic was split at birth. Only together would they be strong enough to survive what’s to come. But now one of them has died… and his soul became trapped inside his brother.

The coexisting twins embark on a journey across the five realms, determined to be normal again. But their quest of hope turns into a living nightmare when they stumble into an army of undead beasts that have been unleashed on the lands by a vicious sorceress. With the help of new comrades and a mysterious lady Reaper skilled with the scythe, they must fight for more than a new life. Now they fight for the future of the realms themselves.


Willow of Ashes

When I picked up this Willow of Ashes, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I was about to enter a fantasy realm, but I didn’t realize I was about to embark on fresh and different fantasy adventure unlike none I’d ever explored before. As I said in my introductory post for this tour, it is easy to see why this fantasy novel won the 2019 Writer’s Digest Award for best self-published eBook, once you begin to emmerse yourself in the story. Raine has masterfully crafted this epic fantasy adventure in a universe that is fresh and original in Willow of Ashes, which is book 1 of the NecroSeam Chrinicles series. In a universe where ears an tails are all the fashion, but probably a dead give-away in a poker game, Raine’s characters are well-developed, interesting and unusual, drawing us in as we meet each one and get his or her portion of the story. There are many ‘aha!’ moments as the details unfold and the pieces begin to fall into place.

In this story, we meet the future Reapers of Grim, Xavier, Alexander and eventually, Willow, none of whom are what you might expect. Oh, you may find them to be cloaked figures, who wield scythes, but underneath they are adolescents on the verge of adulthood, unsuspecting players in a vicious and deadly plot that is bigger than anything anyone on their world has ever seen. If their mysterious foes, who are always lurking in the background, are successful, it could mean the total destruction of their world, and to make matters worse, they may be the only ones who can stop them.

The story begins when Xavier’s soul is ripped from his body as he thrown over a cliff, and it only gets more difficult from there. Raine throws every obstacle she can think of at our protagonists and their companions, at every turn of the page. The two brothers have the ability between them to resurect the dead, or send them on to their next destination, which might be a good thing, since they now share one body. On a search for a ghost gone missing who might have information about Xaviar’s missing body, they gather a troop along the way, including their reptilian friend, Jaq; the cat-eared son of the ghost they’re looking for, Octavious; and and a fire-wielding fox/wolf girl, Lilli, who are fellow apprentice Reapers; a resurrected rabbit-eared ghost, Vendi, bound to serve them, and her weapon crafting uncle, Henry. Together, they prepare to take on a powerful and clever enemy, who controls the soul eating Necrofera and Rock Dragons that can crush buildings and destroy whole villages.

Willow of Ashes

Ellie Raine has skillfully created a fresh and original fantasy universe, with a diverse array of captivating and unique characters. It is easy to see why this was an award winning novel, as the characters draw you in and each individual storyline comes together to form the intricate weaving of the bigger story, as a whole. I give Willow of Ashes five quills.

Five Quills

Buy Link:

If you joined the tour late, you can visit the blog stops that you missed here:

Day #1 – Introductory postWriting to be Read

Day #2 – Interview with Ellie Raines and Robbie CheadleRoberta Writes

Day # 3 – Guest post by Ellie RainesThis is my Truth Now


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Day 3 of the #WillowofAshes #BookBlogTour

Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour

For Day #3 of the Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour, we’re over at This is my Truth Now, where James J. Cudney IV brings us a guest post from author Ellie Raine about the inspiration behind Willow of Ashes and the Necroseam Chronicles universe. I hope you’ll join us there.

Willow of Ashes blog tour – Day 2

For Day #2 of the “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tours, finds us over at “Roberta Writes”, where Robbie Cheadle brings us an interview with the author, Ellie Raine. Don’t miss it. 🙂

Today, I am delighted to welcome author, Ellie Raine, to Roberta Writes for Day 2 of her Willow of Ashes blog tour with WordCrafter Book Tours.

You can read Day 1 here:

Q & A with author Ellie Raine

What attracted you to writing fantasy?

I’ve always been into dragons and magic and gallant knights. My family is very strictly sci-fi/Fantasy readers, so I guess I just grew up surrounded by it. The first “long book” I ever finished to completion was The Dragon and the George, and after that it was The Color of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Hogfather, Mort, Reaper Man, Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events, Artemis Fowl… and the list just kept getting bigger.

But truth be told, I never considered being a writer. I guess I did win some kind of writing award in middle school, but I had only entered it because…

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