Review. Worse Things Happen at Sea. Martin Appleby. 

WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA by Martin Appleby

25 poems about life, love, cider and punk rock.

“Honest. Funny. Vital. The poetry of being alive and everything that comes with it. These are Positive Poems for Negative People.” –
Jared A. Carnie (author of Waves)

“Martin Appleby is a much needed new poetical voice. Here are poems from the margins, poems from the cultural hinterland, poems from unrequited lovers of the world. Worse Things happen At Sea, is I suspect, the first of many collections to come from a young poet unafraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and transfer raw emotion onto a blank page.” – Joseph Ridgwell (author of Burrito Deluxe, The Cross, and many more)

Published by Holy&Intoxicated Publications 2017.

There’s not a bad poem in this by Martin Appleby. They are all relevant. 

I like that Appleby is a British writer, and writes with humour, that sometimes uppercuts the seriousness of some of the more complex poems, such as Ten Years, and Poetry is Hard with Kittens. 

You will probably recognize something of yourself in the poetry, as Appleby recounts nights out, old relationships, and rejection. Poem Austerity is actually something I myself would do with a fiver. Having had no interest in football until last summer poem Bad Supporter I could relate with.

Worse Things Happen at Sea is likable, and I loved the look into Appleby’s head, from politics, to missing bacon, and permanent tattoos.  

Available at Etsy.com

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Martin Appleby runs Paper and Ink Zine 

Website https://www.paperandinkzine.co.uk/shop

Free Download until the 26th. Highland Pursuits. Emmanuelle De Maupassant. 

1920s debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield is banished to wildest Scotland to come to her senses, having refused a marriage proposal from the Earl of Woldershire. In the care of her eccentric grandmother, Ophelia is soon caught between rugged widower Hamish and the villainous Comte de Montefiore. 

She’s ready to play with fire, but will she burn more than her fingers? 

A riotous romp, inspired by the work of Nancy Mitford, PG Wodehouse and Stella Gibbons.

Featuring a treasure chest of characters, ‘Highland Pursuits’ is a wickedly naughty comedy of manners.

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Blog Tour. Worth the Ride. Casey Peeler.

Single father, Weston Parker is set in his ways, and raising his daughter is his top priority. But his ten-year-old feisty little girl is growing up faster than he ever realized. Her go-getter attitude is one he’s seen before–mainly on himself. When she starts trading in her ponytails for makeup, Weston realizes he just might be in over his head.

Dedicated and driven veterinarian, Timber Sellers always knew that she’d head back home, but she wasn’t quite ready for it to happen so soon. Running into the stubborn and bossy Weston from her high school days doesn’t make it any better either. But when she meets his spunky daughter, Timber knows she’s right where she’s supposed to be. As Timber grows closer to Weston’s daughter, his rough exterior softens. Suddenly, the heat between them explodes and neither can deny the attraction. Weston always goes after what he wants, and this time, he wants a future with Timber.


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Single father, Weston Parker is set in his ways, and raising his daughter is his top priority. But his ten-year-old feisty little girl is growing up faster than he ever realized. Her go-getter attitude is one he’s seen before–mainly on himself. When she starts trading in her ponytails for makeup, Weston realizes he just might be in over his head.

Dedicated and driven veterinarian, Timber Sellers always knew that she’d head back home, but she wasn’t quite ready for it to happen so soon. Running into the stubborn and bossy Weston from her high school days doesn’t make it any better either. But when she meets his spunky daughter, Timber knows she’s right where she’s supposed to be. As Timber grows closer to Weston’s daughter, his rough exterior softens. Suddenly, the heat between them explodes and neither can deny the attraction. Weston always goes after what he wants, and this time, he wants a future with Timber.

“You comin’ or what?”

“Hey Marsha, ‘nother round when you get a chance,” I say as I move toward Timber.

As we begin a friendly game of pool, I try my best to concentrate on beating her ass, but each time she bends over to shoot the ball, my mind goes straight to the gutter. Damn, it’s been too long if I can’t get Timber out of my head.

“Let’s see you do that, big boy,” she challenges as she makes me look like a fool then takes a swig of her beer. I do my best and hit only one ball in the corner pocket, which is better than nothing.

We finish our game and then take a seat at the bar. “So what made you come back?”

“Daddy’s retiring and I’m taking over. He hasn’t told anyone yet, but I’m sure most people have figured it out already. Why else would I be back?”

“Maybe because you were tired of Texas.”

“Never. Weston, ohmygawsh, it’s amazing out there. Not only was I in the city, which is crazy in itself, but I got to work the rodeo,” she pauses and smiles like she’s remembering a part of her life she never expected but couldn’t imagine not having experienced.

“What you thinkin’?”

“I always thought one day, I’d see you ride out there. Stupid, I know.” As she slightly blushes, I see a softer side to the Timber tornado that’s usually around.

“Well, those days are done.”

“You can’t be serious. You’ve still got time. Besides there’s one in three weeks and I’m going to be the on-duty vet.”

“I said those days are gone. I can’t leave my daughter without a mama or a daddy.”

She lays her hand on my leg. “I’m sorry, Weston. I wasn’t trying to start something. I thought you were considering it.”

“What?”

“I heard our daddies talking. Your dad said there’s a few spots open and he thought you were considering it.” I feel my blood begin to boil and give her a stern look. “Simmer down, Cowboy. He said considering. Hey, Marsha, I think we need a couple of shots, and the stronger the better.”

As the shot glasses are placed in front of us, I get a massive lump in my throat. It’s been over ten years since I took one with a girl by my side and it got me in a world of trouble.

“Hello?” she says, waving her hand in my face. “What in the hell are you thinkin’ or do I even want to know?”

“I’m gonna pass on the shot.”

“My ass you are! It’s been a long time since we threw ‘em back.”

“It’s been over ten years since I took a shot of anything.”

“Oh… well, you can bet your bottom dollar you’re not getting in these pants tonight,” she says confidently.

She takes the shot glass in her hand, and I do the same. We clink them together, tip them back, and I slam the glass on the table. Then I motion for Marsha to bring another one.


Casey Peeler grew up in North Carolina and still lives there with her husband and daughter.

Growing up Casey wasn’t an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during her senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.  That love ignited the passion for writing several years later, and her writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.

When Casey isn’t writing, you can find her near a body of water listening to country music with a cold beverage and a great book.

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Book Review. Broken Branches. M. Jonathan Lee. 

M. Jonathan Lee is an award winning English author. His debut novel, “The Radio” was nationally shortlisted in The Novel Prize 2012. His second novel, “The Page” went on to become the Amazon #5 most downloaded thriller. His third novel, the critically acclaimed “A Tiny Feeling of Fear” was released in September 2015. “Broken Branches”, his fourth novel, will be released by Hideaway Fall in Spring 2017.

Publisher Hideaway Fall 

Release Date 27th July 

My Rating ❤❤❤❤

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Author Website

Covering the themes of death, and depression, the tone of writing in this book is actually quite slow, and almost painfully awkward in conjunction with that. 

Flicking through his past and present Ian, our protagonist, is a website editor, living in his childhood home Cobweb Cottage, with his wife and son, after the suicide of his older brother. 

I was surprised at the passages of the book that are heart stoppingly creepy, as Ian researches his family history, the curse that has blighted them, and seemingly disturbs ghosts while doing so. Ian starts to hear voices, and see things that aren’t there. 

You have to wonder whether he is cracking up, or if these occurrences are actually happening.

It is when you finish reading the book you realise what a masterstroke the author of Broken Branches pulls to finish this enjoyable book, with much of the present characters drifting around, and past characters feeling more rooted in reality.

Broken Branches is a very human novel. M. Jonathan Lee is a writer I would certainly like to read more of. 

Release Day Blitz. The Sin Bin. Nikky Kaye. 

“I’m not letting you walk home alone, Lucy.” Which would be true even if I let her get away.
How long would it take for her to crack and admit she wanted me? When she let out a huff of exasperation, I wiped my hand over my mouth to cover my smirk.
“Beckett Hallstrom.” She unfolded her arms and used them to poke me in the chest.
“Ow.”
With her fingers prodding me, I let her push me back to the concrete wall behind us. Her cheeks flooded with color. She narrowed her hazel eyes, which almost looked the same color as her hair in the glow of the streetlight.
“I want to go to your hotel. I want to go up the elevator with you. I want to go into your room, and then I want to get naked. With you. Is that clear?”
I frowned, scratching the side of my head. “So no dessert?”
“I am dessert, you moron! Seriously, how many pucks did you take to the head?”

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BECKETT
Lucy Solomon showed up to watch a hockey game in a luxury box wearing jeans and a hoodie, and she didn’t give a puck who I was. Now the hotter it gets between us the better my team does on the ice, and I’m getting superstitious. I’m not skating around my feelings–I want to win the playoffs, and I want Lucy. But something’s gotta give.

LUCY
After being in a grad school cave for two years, it made sense that I’d be drawn to a caveman. I melted for Beckett Hallstrom’s brazen moves and boyish charm when we first met, but things exploded when I found out who he really was. Beck wants me to be his good luck charm, but the press is relentless and now my career is in jeopardy. Every competition has a loser and I’m afraid it’s going to be me losing my heart.

“I’m not letting you walk home alone, Lucy.” Which would be true even if I let her get away.
How long would it take for her to crack and admit she wanted me? When she let out a huff of exasperation, I wiped my hand over my mouth to cover my smirk.
“Beckett Hallstrom.” She unfolded her arms and used them to poke me in the chest.
“Ow.”
With her fingers prodding me, I let her push me back to the concrete wall behind us. Her cheeks flooded with color. She narrowed her hazel eyes, which almost looked the same color as her hair in the glow of the streetlight.
“I want to go to your hotel. I want to go up the elevator with you. I want to go into your room, and then I want to get naked. With you. Is that clear?”
I frowned, scratching the side of my head. “So no dessert?”
“I am dessert, you moron! Seriously, how many pucks did you take to the head?”
At that, I lost it. Shit, this girl made me laugh. First she didn’t know who I was, or had the slightest clue about anything hockey-related, and now she was operating without a filter. I fucking loved it. As soon as she saw my expression, she shoved me hard. Or at least she tried—I had nearly a foot and a hundred pounds on her.
“Argh!”
“Okay, okay. Don’t get your panties in a twist—unless it’s around your ankles.” This time I didn’t bother to hide my grin.
“At this rate, you’ll never see them.”
Before she could roll her eyes, I grabbed her wrists and spun us around, crowding her against the wall. My gaze roamed over her body, but just admiring her wasn’t enough for me. Needing to touch her, I splayed my hands out above her breasts, where her dress framed her upper chest. Gooseflesh broke out against my palms and fingertips as I spread my hands to the sides, seeking out the skinny straps under the shoulders of her little granny sweater.
“Beck…” It was a warning and a plea.
She looked up at me, her mouth a little closer than our previous encounter, thanks to the heels she was wobbling in. Her eyes were wide and dark with want, but also tight with anxiety. I wanted to do whatever I could to relieve her stress.
I heard orgasms were good for that.
“Lucy, just so we’re clear, I am taking you back to my room, where I am going to take that dress off you.”
She nodded. “Then what?” she whispered.
I took a deep breath, tilting my head. “Then, I’m going to see what color your panties are. And to be honest, I haven’t decided what I want to do first—eat your pussy or suck on your gorgeous tits.”
Her gasp surprised me a little. Did she think we were going to play naked board games? Then I realized she wasn’t shocked—she was turned on. As I spoke, my face moved closer to hers but didn’t connect, like opposite magnets. My arousal grew as well, my dick stiff and aching in my slacks. The hotel was only a block or so away, but there had to be a quicker way to get there than just hoofing it.
“Do I get a choice?” she asked.
“Of course.” I straightened, adjusting myself not so discreetly. “You have a choice to come on my cock, my fingers, or in my mouth. The order is up to you. But before tonight is over, I’m going to score that hat trick.”
“Hat trick? Is that some kinky sex thing?” She looked at me suspiciously, clearly ignorant of hockey parlance for scoring three goals in one game.
“You are too fucking cute.”

Nikky Kaye is almost my real name. I’m a former Film professor who likes more than her movies to be black and white. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way. I have worked with movie stars, Ivy League brainiacs, and the United Nations—all of which means that I’m familiar with ass-kissing, power struggles, greed and faking it. In my spare time I parent 5 year-old twin boys, serve on the board of an independent cinema, and run a medical consulting company.

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Spotlight Stop. Pen Scratching Poets. Marilyn B. Wassmann. 

Pen Scratching Poets has been described as a delightful book in which the author shares her family’s collection of creative poems.

The poems compilation and art work are by Marilyn B. Wassmann, with contributions by members of the Benjamin family, and their descendants, with the technical assistance of Paul A. Wassmann.

The book is divided into two sections. The first section, Pen Scratching consists of the poems by Ethel T. Benjamin, and her descendants, and the second section is Marilyn’s poems.

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Genre Poetry

Publisher Author House

Published November 1 2016

Available at Amazon.com Authorhouse Abebooks

About the Author

Marilyn Benjamin Wassmann was born in a leap year. 
She earned four degrees: two in Art History, one in Library Science, and one in Studio Art. 
In 2011, she retired from her work as an art cataloger at the Library of Congress. 
Marilyn and her husband, Paul, authored the children’s book, What the Wind Blew In. They live in Hyattsville, Maryland.