Do you believe in angels?



Being Anne, Books Travel & Other Things That Make Life Interesting..., aka Anne Williams, has been an especially wonderful supporter of our authors over the years. The number of retweets we get whenever an @WilliamsAnne13 Twitter post is shared is phenomenal and, along with posts by the other top bloggers in the thriving bookblogger community, Anne truly, seriously, helps our #authorpower authors reach a wider audience. 


Anne's posts are always entertaining and wholly sincere. As can be seen by this post, sharing an extract from our unusual, controversial even, new debut author memoir Call of an Angelabout an ordinary working mum and her two teenage sons who are suddenly able to communicate with angels & spirits, with her customary skill and generosity of spirit.


These days Anne must be swamped with requests for reviews by publishers large and small, and we are really grateful that she could find a space for a feature extract...  It's wholly appropriate that Anne was the winner of the Best Pal award at the Annual Blogger Bash 2017 AND in 2016. Thank you, Anne! you're an angel of this world..  


#Feature: Call of an Angel by Patricia O’Toole @callofanangel @Blackbird_Bks #angels #memoir

By  | November 8, 2017

A bit of a first for Being Anne today – but when it’s from one of my favourite publishers, Blackbird Books, it’s a pretty safe bet that as well as being a little different it’ll be a little bit special too. Call of an Angel by Patricia O’Toole was published yesterday, 7th November, and is available in paperback, large print paperback and as an e-book. Now I’m not that familiar with the work of Lorna Byrne or angel gurus like Kyle Gray – perhaps the obvious comparisons – but this book really does look absolutely fascinating. And how about that magnificent cover? The cover art is under licence from the internationally-acclaimed artist Josephine Wall.

Let’s take a closer look at the book…

‘In the still silence of the night, I said a little prayer asking the angels never to do anything that might startle me. Feeling somewhat reassured by this, I snuggled down and drifted off to sleep. I am not so sure I would have been quite so easily placated if I had had any notion of the sheer volume of angels and spirits that were soon to come into my life at every opportunity and everywhere I went, from that night forward.’

The remarkable true story of angels and spirits appearing in the lives of an ordinary working mum and her two teenage sons, living quietly in a remote corner of Ireland. This was no chance meeting between heaven and earth and they soon became part of a phenomenon that would change their lives forever.

Intrigued? I have an extract to share, chosen mainly because of its gorgeous description…


One sunny afternoon while walking my dogs down a lane we always took, I became aware of a small forest that lay to our left. We had never ventured inside, as it was a forest that was cultivated and it saddened me to think that one day it would all be cut down. I hold a deep respect for trees, conscious of their almost timeless magnificence as they can live for hundreds of years and while understanding the ever-increasing importance of renewable energy, I was reluctant to grow fond of a walk that was destined for destruction.

This day, however, something was different. A strength of energy from within the trees grew to such an extent that I stopped walking altogether to gauge what it was. The urge to go inside became so overwhelming that, ignoring all my previous reservations, I stepped off the path and into the forest.

After a few minutes I reached a small clearing filled with broken beams of sunlight. In the middle was a tree that must have seeded itself when the conifers were being planted. I did not recognise what kind of tree it was, as many of its branches were dead and lay on the ground, with the tree itself covered in lichen and moss. Instinctively knowing not to move any closer, I stood admiring the way the sun filtered light through the branches, onto the trunk, creating an effect of warmth and beauty in the middle of a regimented wood.

While standing there, I suddenly realised that I was no longer alone. Through my third eye, I became aware of a massive presence in the clearing. It was that of a young woman, seated, resting with her back against the tree. Looking at her closely, I was struck by her beauty and serenity. Although she made herself visible to me, she appeared oblivious to my presence and was quite content in her own company.

Her energy was new to me. She was not a spirit, but nor was she an angel. She was dressed in all the hues of autumn, a spectrum of orange, red, gold and brown. Even her dress appeared to be made from the fallen leaves that are characteristic of this beautiful season. What was perhaps most fascinating though, were her eyes and eyelashes. They were exquisite. Her eyes held a liquid-gold light to them, and when she blinked, her eyelashes were very fine, small twigs. She was stunning to gaze upon. I was intrigued, yet was unable to communicate with her, as she continued to ignore me.

I began to feel annoyed.

‘Why did you bring me into the forest if you are not going to speak to me?’ I demanded to know. ‘You would have known that I didn’t want to come in here in the first place.’

There was no answer. Then for some reason a wave of loneliness washed over me as I thought of the future of the trees and I began to cry. As my true feelings surfaced, she began to speak, but still without looking at me.

‘Try not to think about the future of the trees in that way, but enjoy them while they are still here.’

After she had spoken, unsure of what to do next, I tried asking for her name, but she did not reply. Standing quietly in her company, I attempted to compose myself and gather my thoughts. Deciding to try a different tactic, I asked, ‘Do you have a message for me?’ Maybe that was why we were now here together. This time her response was immediate: ‘You are to write a book.’

I was stunned, completely taken aback by this reply. It was the last thing I had expected her to say, yet at the same time didn’t doubt her for a moment. I hastily spoke again, in case she left.

‘What sort of book?’ I asked.

Again, she answered without hesitation. ‘You are to write a book about Mother Earth and all the animals whose voices cannot be heard by humans.’

After giving myself a few minutes for this amazing revelation to sink in, I began to feel frustrated. Considering the ups and downs of the past few years, trying to cope with my psychic abilities as well as carrying on with my day-to-day life, the idea of now writing a book about Mother Earth seemed a bit much.

Along with many other people, I have always been distressed by the continuous destruction of native habitats throughout the world and of the blatant disregard for the protection of vulnerable species. I stood staring across at her speechless. My mind was already fast-forwarding through images of trying to explain myself to the general public on television. I had seen others attempting do this when talking about angels, noting the underlying sarcasm that sometimes accompanied these interviews. Just the thought of having to do something similar was too unbearable to even contemplate. Could you imagine trying to explain my story?

Don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to reading more. Not entirely convinced? There’s another extract here  for you to read – maybe a slightly more straightforward story of spirit communication…


This is a brave one from Blackbird – maybe not for everyone, but I really think the quality of the writing raises it above other books that might seem to be of a similar ilk. I’m definitely intrigued, and plan to give it a try when I can – how about you?

About the author

Patricia O’Toole lives in a remote part of Southern Ireland. Call of An Angel is her first book.

Valentina by S E Lynes Signed to Tantor Audio

S. E. Lynes' popular psychological thriller debut Valentina has been signed to top US audiobook company Tantor Media. Valentina was a Good Housekeeping Thriller of the Month on release in July 2016, and has gone on to become a US, UK and Australian Amazon Top 100 [paid] ranking title.


Tantor's extensive catalogue includes Man Booker, Pulitzer, and National Book Award winners, as well as countless New York Times bestsellers and titles with starred reviews from all the major publications. Tantor then adds the most popular and talented narrators to the mix, taking care to match the right voice to each book. The end result is award-winning audio. Tantor is the recipient of numerous Audie Awards, AudioFile Earphones Awards, Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, and starred audio reviews.


S E Lynes' 2nd novel, Mother, is out with Bookouture on 22 November.  


Read C1 of Valentina here: 

Diane Chandler at the UK Fertility Show

Diane Chandler was at the UK Fertility Show this weekend, signing copies of her novel Moondance at the buzzing stand of the online fertility magazine,  IVF Babble. Then she was on the Q&A stage talking about the emotional impact of IVF, as portrayed in her novel,  with the incredible Jessica Hepburn, author of The Pursuit of Motherhood.


 See Jessica's amazing  21 Miles video at Unbound Books - swimming the English Channel, no less, sharing 21 fertility journeys in her search for the meaning of motherhood.


IVF Babble will shortly be running a competition to win a signed copy of Moondance.


Click on the images below to read Chapter 1. 

The Fear of Success by Pam Billinge

On publication day of her first book, The Spell of the Horse, Pam Billinge reflects on the fear of success.  Guest post reblogged from Linda's Book Bag, first published on Sept 18th 2017.

Today my first book is published, The Spell of the Horse. Thank you to Linda’s Book Bag for the opportunity to write a guest blog to mark this special occasion. You can read Linda’s review of the book, along with the other publication week reviews, also on the Equest news page or on The Spell of the Horse Facebook page.


Writing a book, never mind publishing one, was beyond my wildest dreams a few years ago. When someone suggested that I should do so, to tell the story of how I came to do what I do for a living, I laughed with a self deprecating tone. ‘Yeah, sure!’ Owning a horse, too, was once a longing I thought would never be met. I still remember vividly the moment that my first horse Delilah was mine, after parting with way more money than I should have done. I was 28 years old and gazed at her over the top of her stable door with the adoration and wonder of a 6 year old.


My passion and respect for horses has only grown stronger over the intervening years and those I have known have helped me to be who I am. Now I work as a horse-led therapist and coach – a vocation which I wasn’t even aware could exist until many years into my career. The Spell of the Horse reveals how this path emerged for me and what horses have taught me, and others, about living a life with purpose and joy.


Writing The Spell, as I call her, took me on an emotional rollercoaster which I had not bargained for at the outset. Fear of failure and of being judged paralysed me at times, and almost stopped me signing my publishing deal. Yet continue I did and today The Spell is set free in the world to do her work. I hope that if you read her you will enjoy the stories and be captivated by the wonderful horses and people you encounter.


Perhaps the biggest surprise of all for me, in this writing journey, is that receiving praise for my book, and owning it, is a lot harder than hearing criticism (although I should like to add that if you do like my book please do tell me via the review pages!) This has led me to reflect on how it isn’t fear of failing which holds many of us back, it is the fear of being as great as we can possibly be. Because if you embrace your greatness fully, who knows what might happen?!


So today, do something to reach for your dream. That thing that you long for but feels out of reach. Why should you not have it? Be open to the path which is unfolding before you and trust where it is taking you, you are probably not even aware of your likely destination yet. Open your heart to receive and offer praise. Step into your own potential, and help those around you to do the same. And if a horse is still an unfulfilled childhood dream, remember…it is never too late!

'I confess, I thought The Spell of the Horse would be a twee book of sickly entries from a horse fanatic. My abject apologies Pam. There is nothing twee or sickly about the depth of emotion portrayed in this wonderful book. in fact, I found much of The Spell of the Horse so powerful I had to read it in chunks as I couldn’t deal with the emotions portrayed in big sessions. I shall be revisiting the pages of The Spell of the Horse many times and if you’re feeling lost in your life I urge you to read it too.'  Linda Hill

Read Linda's full review here.

Amazon Kindle  £3.49 & worldwide

Paperback, £8.99, Waterstones click & collect & available to order from all good bookshops