What difference does it make if you live in a picturesque little outhouse surrounded by 300 feeble-minded goats and your faithful dog? The question is: can you write? Ernest Hemingway

Let’s start with the book recommendations for April:

  1. The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves — for the lovers of crime. I finished it last week, and I had never read any of Ann Cleeves’s books before. Why did I pick it? Because I love the TV show, Vera. My thoughts about this book: intelligent, full of action, a clean procedural crime novel with a touch of rural life in the UK, quick read. DI Vera is a great character: older woman, cranky, smart, independent, funny, odd, honest, unmoved by what others think of her. I can’t say anything about the writing style, but the manner of presenting facts and characters is wonderful. I’d advise watching the TV series, though, and only then read the book. 😉✌️
  2. The Divine Spark, edited by Graham Hancock — for the lovers of science and non-fiction. It’s for you if you’re looking for new ideas for your next fantasy novel. The book consists of a series of essays on psychedelics, consciousness, and the birth of civilization (different authors).
  3. The book of a fellow blogger and indie author, Dave Williams: Other Lives of the Boothbys.

The author’s blog — Dave Williams Writer Blog 
Please check it out. His post yesterday was a fantastic read. If you love or are fascinated by Hemingway, scroll down and find an incredible story about Hemingway and Paris. Today’s post: Book Review EMBRACE YOUR WEIRD

April 6 is also the release day for this beautiful poetry book: The Streets, like flowers, come alive in the rain by Steve Denehan. Check more about the Irish author on River Dixon’s site: click here

Next week I’ll share the first chapter of my new thriller — Almost Faithful (I’m polishing it right now). It’s a challenging story because I had to describe 2 suicides, 1 serious psychiatric issue, and 3 murders. The main places are Illinois, USA and Perth, Australia. Also, one of my characters flees to New Zealand. I think the book will be available at the beginning of the summer, but I still have to check many details (one of the heroes is a politician). 

The blurb:

One bored woman.
Two ordinary families.
Three dangerous men.

Margo and Barry are living the perfect life. They’re happily married (or so it seems), working great jobs, and traveling the world. Ellen and David have it all — the looks, the big house by the beach, a successful business, a grown-up daughter, Marie. But underneath, each couple is in crisis, and there is only one cause. His name is Charlie.
Charlie is a man with exceptional acting skills, struggling to forget his painful past. A man who is not ready to let go, who is breaking two families and destroying their trust.
Out of options and with their backs against the wall, Margo, Ellen, Marie, and David discover that murder isn’t a tool reserved only for criminals… 

 Are they ready to go to the end?
How easy is it — to take a human life?

Everything changes the moment when the bodies of Ellen and Marie are found dead in their bedrooms. Full of shock, anger, and grief, blaming himself while hiding from the local police, David chooses the dangerous road of revenge: he plans to find Charlie’s mysterious boss. The boss is a woman called Pitaya — the reason for all David’s troubles.
Little by little, the walls of the seemingly happy, rich, and famous families fall down, and the life of Pitaya, as well as the freedom of David, comes to an end. 

Triggers: suicide, murder, 16+

One more piece of news: my book So Absurd It Must Be True, book 2 is a finalist of Book Excellence Award 2021 in the humor genre!! 🕺🕺😀💙

I’m continuing with The Story of Harmless Bullet (absurdist comedy) online until autumn, then I’ll publish it as a book on 12 December 2021.
Also, I’m going to post a humorous crime novel, set in Amsterdam, with a young Detective Inspector Nael King, half-Lebanese and half-French (second-generation immigrant). His mother left the country because of the Lebanese Civil War, and she met Nathaniel’s father in France. I’ll post it chapter by chapter during summer-autumn 2021. The title is Eyebrow Killer. The novel is written in collaboration with Esther Aiki (50/50).

In my blog post, The Magic in Operation, I mentioned the wordless vacuum. There’s a condition called manolaya — a temporary stillness or pause of thought. Of course, as soon as this concentration ceases, thoughts — both old and new — rush in as usual, but if you could stop the flow at least 2-4 hours a week/or day, you’d be much happier. Temporary lulling of mind will never lead to the total destruction of thought. Still, you’d finally be able to feel the real state of liberation — from anything, even from birth and death. Absolute peace.

Remember, peace is your natural state. It is the mind, the environment, and the governments that obstruct the natural state.

I believe this manolaya and meditation (even if guided) are very helpful to us writers because we are working with words and images almost non-stop. 🤓

An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate. François-René de Chateaubriand

Ah, and The Secrets of A-Ria (young adult novel) is on the way too… Hopefully, ready to publish in August! 👋

 Have a great week! See you next Tuesday!



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25 Responses

  1. I Googled you and found this.
    Victoria Ray grew up in Orsa, one of the oldest towns in Belarus. Although interested in writing fiction from a young age, it wasn’t until 2018 that she decided to pursue it as a career. Victoria lives in Sweden with her family and two dogs: Daisy and Sky. She hold Phd/MA in Classic Russian Literature.

  2. George F. says:

    Thanks for the rec’s!

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      :)) 👋 well, I probably take a break because I have to edit (laaaaaastt revision) the novel before sending it to proof 😅😅

  3. A lot is packed into this post! First, thank you for mentioning my book and blog … Congratulations on So Absurd 2 becoming a finalist for the humor genre award. It’s such a funny book, and in ways that keep readers on their toes … Looks like you have a dizzying amount of projects that you’re juggling! It’s great that the ideas are flowing for you 🙂

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Haha yes, “packed” all I could because I’m leaving* blogging (kinda😂) until Tuesday. And thank you, I’m rarely participating (bcz it takes a lot of time & money) but I got a discount for the submission, so I used the opportunity 🙂
      Yep, the ideas 💡 are arriving all the time 🙂 but I have to finish first what I’ve already started… 😅😅

  4. B says:

    Great recommendations. I actually started reading Steve yesterday (I regularly read his work), and since I adore Hemingway, I’m going there right away. Thanks.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Im going to start with his book I mentioned (I think I never read his work 🤔) & thank you, Bojana 🦋☀️

  5. As ever, Victoria you give me so much to think about – and damn, you may even get me watching ‘Vera’ – a tv program I’ve avoided for years for no good reason other than I couldn’t be assed to watch it – and that it put the 10 o’clock news back to 10.20 on UK ITV disturbing my circadian rhythm (the only rhythm I still have!). I’ve got Steve’s book and like, Bojana, I’m about to start to read it – I sense it’s going to be something special! And, on a personal note, you and your husband have been in my thoughts. Eric.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Thank you :)) sorry for the late response – I had very hectic day 😅. I think I liked the book of Ann Cleeves only bcz I watched Vera 🙂 & liked the actress 😛. About the circadian circle – took me a week to get back to my usual routine… so difficult with time change. I’d like to read Steve’s book too, mmm… bcz I love Ireland 🇮🇪

  6. Fabulous post, VR. You have everything in here but the kitchen sink. Oh look, there it is. Congratulations on all your books. I’m going to be forced to stay up nights just for reading. Dave is a super writer. Congrats on the award. Have a great weekend.

  7. Eilene Lyon says:

    Again, you amaze me with all the projects you manage to work in, seemingly simultaneously. Are you really more than one person?

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Yes, I’m often working simultaneously on multiple projects: often 2 books, sometimes-3. Maybe that’s why they are not so “perfect” 😂 BUT… I like them anyway 😛

  8. Sorryless says:

    Brilliant as always. And I love that quote you began with.

    Peace of mind is the key. Hell, it’s everything.

  9. Macxermillio says:

    I missed you, VIc. It’s my fault though. I have been gone forever.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      :)) Anything new? Hope life is going… well, moving forward 🙂 👋📚☕️

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Read your latest post… interesting 🧐🤓😉

      • Macxermillio says:

        Yeah. How I have changed. I am working on a poem after a long while. Thanks for reading. I am loving my little articles though. I wrote a big one. It’s going to be hell editing it. lol

        • Victoria Ray NB says:

          Yep, 😂 the longer your article or story – the more hell is the editing process:)) I’m in hell right now 😹😹

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