#bookreview Butterflies lost within the Crooked Moonlight. Matt Nagin @MNagin

  • Title:Butterflies lost within the Crooked Moonlight

Matt Nagin

  • Publisher: Burning Flower Press
  • Average Rating: 4.5/5🌟
  • Amazon
  • About the Author:

Matt Nagin is an author, educator, actor, filmmaker and standup comedian. He has been published in Writer’s Digest, The New York Post, Mic, The Humor Times, The Higgs-Weldon, Grain Magazine, Arsenic Lobster, The Charles Carter, Dash, Antigonish Review and many, many more. He also wrote and directed his first short film, “Inside Job,” which premiered at The Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes, where it won Best Short Film. More info at mattnagin.com

Nagin’s poetry takes a while and for some may prove not to be your thing. In the first few poems of this book we have a rather confusing one more refrain in Flirt, a run of poetry forms being nuked, suffocated, and shot in Poetry Assassin, and in Wondrous Admonition we are called to LISTEN and the end of the poem grinds to a bit of a halt.

It’s actually a lot of fun and I imagine Nagin had a lot of fun writing the poems. It’s free-verse, and experimental, and you are able to get the ideas behind the poems. 

Immigrant Love Story is a lot more like it, ‘your face is my face and my future is your future and yet your face is kept behind a fence,’ followed by Outside Hotel Ganseroort, ‘every night platinum blondes in mini-skirts and halter tops,’

Many poets don’t write about poetry, but Nagin does, and in March of Syllables he writes about why poetry. NG Tube, At the Funeral, the titles here speak for themselves. At the Funeral plays with form. Wrong One  is a love poem, Turns towards Bethlehem, and then Forever 21 is brilliant, these lines,’since it almost seems we

Were never even 21 the

First time and we secretly 

Want to go back to that time,’

Night at the Waldorf, again you don’t know what you’re going to get, but this is another standout. Like Nightingales, another play with form. Poem Primer is a list of some of the worst things that can happen to us. Supplication, Heartbreak Unconventional, Thanksgiving, Election Day, again the titles speak for themselves. Poems Preparations, and Army of Charlatans are a another play with form.  Report Card, relatable I think for all receiving feedback from family and friends, ‘you should write something people actually want to read,’ Endless Blanket, writes the minute details of our lives, from Christmas gifts, through to the Milky Way.  Inspirational Chat, is the very opposite of that. Don’t Relinquish the Mantle, Tinseltown Hierarchy, Sick, Poems from the Head, Millennial Art, ‘a wolf pit of social media nothingness,’ Audition, Twelve years an Adjunct Professor, ‘where are the grateful pupils?’ Bombing at Sloan-Kettering is stand-up on a cancer ward, Lamentations, The Recovery Room is a lengthy poem, Cactus a simple poem draws outwards to illustrate the single object of a cactus, title poem, and the final three Strung out, Paradox, and The End of the Poem.

The reason I listed the poems in this collection is because each one is worthy of a mention, and some of the titles indicate where the title will take you, and the range of subjects too. 

Matt Nagin in similar in style with Bruce Kilarski, in that in their poetry they both bring our lives, and the objects within them, to align with the out, and our vast universe.The poems on poetry had an impact too, and were like a touch base in between the other poems.

A slow start, but Butterflies lost within the Crooked Moonlight grew on me. It’s a distinctive style Matt Nagin has and his book deserves an applause. Poetry readers this is a must read. 


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#ontheradar @christinakhart @songsofkat & others !

  • Title: Moon full of Moons. Kat Lehmann. 
  • Publisher: 29 Trees Press 
  • Release Date: February 18th 2015
  • Average Rating: 4.9/5 🌟
  • Amazon 
  • Blurb:

Winner of the 2016 Royal Dragonfly Book Award, Moon Full of Moons is a collection of poetry about resilience, renewal, and creating a deep happiness in the midst of sadness and ongoing loss.
The book is divided into nine chapters, each named after a phase of the moon. Moon Full of Moons is a journey of survival, empowerment, and a determination to discover a light that has known darkness. This moving collection of over 100 poems explores innocence, love, mental illness, family, grief, forgiveness, healing, acceptance, and joy. Raw and honest with lush, evocative imagery, Moon Full of Moons is “self help in a whole new way”.
Everything is made from the remnants of what was. So – yes – you can build from it again.
“Kat Lehmann writes in an honest, magical way, opening up fresh possibilities the mind and heart. Every word and phrase in the book reeks of so much soul, giving one hope and joy as one traverses through this journey.” – Barnes & Noble reader
“A gentle refocus from the wise and gifted Kat Lehmann.” – Amazon reader
“A delightful and deep book of words and wonder for the phases of life, love, loss, and renewal.” – Amazon reader
“I will read and reread it as nourishment for my soul.” – Amazon reader

This has been on my TBR for a while, and I finally got to it! The author has an instantly likeable writing style, and the subjects are just what poetry was made for: reflection, nature, relationships etc.

  • TitleHush your Gums. Sheldon Sinnamon
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Release Date: October 18th 2017
  • Average Rating: N/A
  • Amazon
  • Blurb:

Sheldon Sinnamon’s third poetry book, ‘Hush Your Gums’ is his least dark collection so far. Sinnamon gets loads off his chest whilst mixing between story telling and poetry. It is a perfect continuation to witness his development, maturity, variety and sarcasm. It is also a perfect introduction to Sinnamon’s work, being an easier read without it being too deep. This book includes the already published poem ‘Snakes And Ladders’ from a political poetry anthology released in early 2017. “This book was a challenge to me, I tried my best to keep it at a level of not too much darkness but yet still pour out a few journeys I’m going through” – Sheldon Sinnamon.


I have read Sheldon’s other two books of poetry, and I’m excited I didn’t have to wait long for book three!

  • Title: There is Beauty in the Bleeding. Christina Hart.
  • Publisher: Createspace
  • Release Date: October 31st 2017
  • Average Rating: 4.6/5 🌟
  • Amazon 
  • Available on KU
  • Blurb:

There will be days when you 

completely fall a p a r t 

and that’s okay. 

There will be days where 

your ribs feel like blades. 

Let them cut you. 

There is beauty in the bleeding. 

There is hope in the healing. 

Christina Hart, bestselling author of Empty Hotel Rooms Meant for Us and Letting Go Is an Acquired Taste, releases her first full-length poetry collection.
Warning: This book contains sensitive content depicting sex, violence, abuse, drugs, and addiction.

This is the first book by Christina I have read and I’m a fan! 

  • Title: Rotten Pleasantness. Veronica McDonald. 
  • Release Date: May 5th 2017
  • Average Rating: 4.6/5 🌟
  • Amazon 
  • Available on KU
  • Blurb:

Veronica McDonald’s first chapbook is full of things dark and strange. In these 24 poems and flash pieces, the reader is invited on a journey through childhood nostalgia, teenage awkwardness, and unhealthy romances twisted by the powers of magical realism. Monsters will appear, the inanimate will come to life, and all will get lost in the murkiness between real and imaginary.

The poetry in this chapbook is certainly a little creepy! A great debut from McDonald. 


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#submissioncalls @salomè_lit @badponymag & others 📝

  • ​Yes Poetry

#NotTrump & #MeToo are two such themes Yes Poetry are looking for writing on, as well as fiction, poetry, and reviews outside of those themes too. They prefer the writing to be previously unpublished. 


  • Bad Pony magazine

Accept submissions on a rolling basis of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art. 



  • Ink Sweat and Tears

A poetry and prose ezine, the writing Ink, Sweat, and Tears publish is always of a high quality. They don’t accept simultaneous submissions. 


  • The Paragon Journal

May eighteenth 2018 is the deadline for The Paragon Journal Anthology on travel. They need fiction, art (photographs, paintings etc.) nonfiction, and poetry. 


  • Haikuniverse

For you who write Haiku’s, Haikuniverse sends subscribers a haiku (or micropoem) daily. It’s free to subscribe and submit.


  • Salomè lit

This probably best sums up what Salomè lit is about, “Salomé was born, like all good things, by a group of pissed off women” They accept writing from anybody identifying as female, they pay for your writing and need your fiction, poetry, flash fiction, and nonfiction. 


Good luck writers. Keep on writing & don’t let the rejections get you down. It’s all part of being a writer. 

If you are the editor of a new anthology, lit mag, website, or zine and would like to be added to the next #Submissioncalls give us a shout through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. 


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One of my favourite writers. Christopher Iacono. 

​Not sure how I came across Christopher Iacono but I enjoy reading his writing, and am glad I did!  He’s been published in a few places this month. I loved reading this at Occulum https://occulum.net/2017/08/17/the-hand-shop-by-christopher-iacono/

This is his site where you can find information on all of his other publication credits.  https://cuckoobirds.org


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Book Blast. Revenge Fires Back. Jr. Thompson. 

Revenge Fires Back TourRevengefiresback5

He tries to control his anger, but it gets the best of him.
He makes poor decisions, and quickly discovers

Brady Clark’s family chooses horrible timing for their first camping trip – a night when a fierce storm leaves them stranded in the woods. Circumstances that leave him running around in the forest wearing, well, let’s just say less than appropriate attire cause him to unleash his anger by physically assaulting his father. Not yet ready to face the discipline he has coming, Brady makes false allegations against both of his parents. That one foolish move throws the Clarks into a world they know very little about. A world that could possibly prevent them from ever dwelling together again as a family unit.
Can God use these trials to wake this family up to His purpose?

About the Author 

Christian novelist JR Thompson, and his wife Hannah, are residents of Montana. He writes fiction and maintains a blog on his website. None of Thompson’s writings contain any foul language.

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Available on KU

Amazon.com /  Amazon.co.uk 

Follow the Book Tour

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Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry. Diamante Lavendar. 

Published by Written Dreams Publishing April 2017.

Advance Praise:

“Poetry and Ponderings is the most loving and beautiful dedication to Diamante Lavendar’s daughter. Anybody who has gone through a grieving time needs to read this classic expression of love and devotion. I tip my hat to the author for this marvelous collection of wisdom, insight and truth.”  -Mel Novak, Actor, Best known for his role in Bruce Lee’s Game Of Death.

“Tragedy turned triumph. Poetry and Ponderings beautifully leads the reader from gut wrenching pain to glorious freedom and healing. A must read for survivors and those who love them.”  -Sarah Boes, Founder of More Precious Than Rubies, reaching victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

“Diamante’s Poetry and Ponderings are an affirmation, and flow to the close of her book with the summation of her awakening. She has, in each poem, walked us through to her understanding and acceptance; we are the creation of God’s breath, as souls to live life to the fullest, and with forgiveness … ‘Writing is her way of leaving her mark: one poem, one story at a time.’ This book achieves this endeavor.” -Sam Eastwood, International Poet

About the Poet:

Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark on the world, and to make it a better place for all. Writing is her way of leaving her mark—one story at a time. She began writing in college and has published poetry in anthologies over the years. Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences, and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories. To learn more about Diamante Lavendar and her books, please visit her website.

Add to Goodreads



Full Tour Schedule:

July 11: Impressions in Ink, and here and here. (Review) 

July 13: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review) 

July 13: Reading Writings (Book Spotlight) 

July 19: Reading Writings (Review) 

July 20: Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf (Review) 

July 25: Mia Sutton (Review) 

July 26: Reader’s Handbook (Book Spotlight) 

July 27: Soapy Violinist (Review) 

July 31: Katherine & Books (Interview) 

Aug. 2: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post) 

Aug. 9: The Book Connection (Review) 

Aug. 15: the bookworm (Guest Post)

Follow the tour with the hashtag #DiamanteLavendar

Spotlight Stop. A Vision in Crimson. Kathryn Troy

Genre Dark Romantic Fantasy

Published June 1 2017

A Vision in Crimson is the first installment of a new epic fantasy blistering with romance and Gothicism.

His dream was broken by the feel of something soft against his mouth. He opened his eyes and blinked, thinking for a moment that he was still asleep. Flooding his vision was the red-haired siren of his dream, crouched above him. Her dark brown eyes were staring straight into his. He held her glance for a long while, then took a minute to glimpse at the rest of her. Her features were well defined and graceful. Her long luxurious hair, braided in a few places, spilled over her firm, ample curves onto the ground in front of her. Looking at it now in reality, he saw a unique, vibrant shade of red, darker and almost auburn in the shade of the trees, with strands of pure copper and gold highlighted by the sun through the forest canopy. Her large eyes sparkled. They were alight with intrigue and kind concern, but Luca saw a touch of the tired sadness that he was accustomed to seeing in his own dim reflection. Too much for someone her age. Luca puzzled over her age for more than a few seconds. Her beauty and slender frame suggested a girl nearing her thirties, yet her countenance told him she had been through more than her share of life’s troubles, even for a woman of the rough and unprotected countryside. She stared at his clear crystal blue eyes, framed by thick dark brows. A straight nose, tightly pursed lips and strong chin completed his face. Despite his pale complexion, he was dark and beautiful. She didn’t let it show on her face, but the woman had become immediately enamored of him. Her fingers rested lightly on his mouth. After a silence that lasted a bit too long, she was the first to speak.

“I’ll have you out of there in just a minute,” she whispered. “I won’t hurt you, but we have to be quiet.”  She turned her head to the side to get a glimpse of the valley below.  “I’m looking out for a friend, and just spotted you here a minute ago. Once I’m sure he’s okay, I’ll start digging.”

Luca said nothing. When she was sure that he wouldn’t make a sound, she removed her hand from his lips and moved closer to the hill’s edge, looking for her companion. Luca got a better look at what she was wearing. A plaid scarf in sapphire blue with hints of gold thread was wrapped around her neck and waist, covering a tunic dress of the same shade. Her legs were covered by high, soft leather brown boots and blue leggings, but Luca spied shapely thighs at the edge of her skirt. She wore a utility belt across her chest which hinted at her generous cleavage, despite her modest neckline. Above, his eyes traced the silhouette of her long, pale, comely neck with excitement, but he quickly quashed the flutter in his heart before it developed, and redirected his gaze.  At her hips, she wore two short swords, and the hilt of a dagger peeked out from the top of her boot. She seemed sure of herself, and didn’t appear the least bit threatened by Luca. She didn’t react to seeing him for the first time in the manner customary to women, and even scores of young men; they usually succumbed quickly to his outward charms—his dark aura and hypnotic stare, two of his many vampiric qualities. But she didn’t gasp in fear or swoon in ecstasy. That puzzled him. A small part of him wondered why she hadn’t immediately responded to his visage, with a little disappointment. He chalked it up to her finding him covered in dirt from the neck down. But he knew that shouldn’t have stopped her from surrendering to his trance-inducing stare, even for a moment. He was intrigued by this girl, who had just happened to appear as his dream self was making love to her. Her garb made her even more of a mystery. He only noticed these things, which were inconsequential to him, because the fabrics, colors, and design of her wardrobe were infinitely superior, and foreign, to anything he had ever seen, including some of the priciest fashions available in the biggest cities. He much preferred the naked version of her, which had dissipated with her actual presence. But even in all her gear, chosen for its rugged functionality, she looked regal. He saw her gesture to her friend, then she turned to face him once more.  

“Okay, it looks like whoever did this to you is gone. I’ll have you walking around again soon. Who did do this to you, anyway?” she asked, as she began to claw at the earth with her hands. 

“I did.” His voice was as toneless and nonchalant as ever. Her hands paused for a moment, still holding clumps of dirt, and she looked at him quizzically.  

“You buried yourself? Why on earth would you do a thing like that?”

Here came the part he always dreaded, but was compelled to divulge nevertheless. “I’m a dhampir.”

“A what?” Here, Luca thought, was the reaction he had been expecting, but had been unusually delayed. He waited for what he had said to sink in, but it didn’t. She was still honestly waiting for an answer. He repeated himself.

“I’m a dhampir.”  

“What’s a dhampir?”

He just stared at her, his eyes going slightly wide.

“I’m not from around here,” she explained, “so you’re going to have to fill me in.” 

Now it was Luca’s turn to pause. Never, in his entire life, had he been asked to explain this term. In a world whose entire existence revolved around the struggle between vampires and humans, to find someone who was not familiar with this word was truly unheard of. He experienced an emotion he had almost never had occasion to experience. He was, in a word, stunned.

“I’m part human, part vampire.”  

“Oh. Ohhhh.”

She finally got it. He waited now for the standard response. Instead, a look of embarrassment swept over her face as she began hurriedly replacing the soil she had disturbed.

“I am so sorry, I didn’t realize. I didn’t mean to intrude on your resting. You looked like you were having a hell of a dream.”  

If you only knew. But, was she actually apologizing for bothering his slumber? Luca’s revelation hadn’t fazed her in the slightest. His amazement at her response only piqued his interest in her more.

“It’s alright, I was just getting up.”  

Though she had interrupted him, he felt rested.

“In that case, would you like me to help you?”

“Do what you like.”  

She resumed her exhumation of Luca. 

“My name is Kate, by the way.” 

Luca stretched his muscles slightly to a sitting position, the remaining earth above him falling away. He took her outstretched palm with his freed right hand, and they both stood up.

“Call me Luca.” 

On Sale June 3 to June 10 

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk

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About the Author

Kathryn Troy is an historian turned novelist and baker. Her nonfiction book, The Specter of the Indian: Race, Gender and Ghosts in American Séances, 1848-1890, is forthcoming from SUNY Press. Her historical expertise in the supernatural and the Gothic informs her fiction at every turn. Her genres of choice include dark fantasy, romance, horror, and historical fiction. She lives in New York with her husband and two darling children.  

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Release Day Blitz. Behind the Wall. Jane Harvey-Berrick. 



Barnes & Noble


AP new - synopsis.jpg

The place where dreams fade and hope dies.
That’s what it’s meant for the five years that Garrett has been behind bars. But now hope is on the horizon and he’s daring to dream again: small dreams, small hopes.
Getting his GED would be a start. If only his prison-appointed teacher Miss Ella Newsome wasn’t so damn sexy.
As Garrett and Ella start to play a dangerous game, the price could be higher than either of them have guessed.

This story first appeared in the anthology HOT FOR TEACHER in 2016. It has since been extended with new scenes, more heartache and even more heat.

At the end of a long, exasperating day where nothing seemed to go as I wanted, I was happy to shake Nottoway dust from my shoes and head out for a drink with my best friend Becky.

“How’s it going in stir, sista?” she asked in her best Orange is the New Black impression.

“Fine,” I mumbled.

“Fine as in I-broke-both-my-legs-but-don’t-worry-about-me fine, or fine as in today-sucked-ass-and-I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself?”

“Probably the latter,” I said, unable to stop a tired smile appearing on my face.

“Come tell Aunty Becky all about it, but not before you’ve had at least one Mimosa.”

“Honestly, I don’t really feel like drinking. I’ll just get all weepy and mopey.”

She shook her head and pushed a glass toward me.

“So get weepy and mopey. How’s it going with Mr. Hottie-con?”

“He’s … doing well. He makes a great teacher’s aide—better than I could have hoped. The other prisoners go to him in between classes. They’re all making so much progress.”

“That’s good then.”



“And nothing.”

“So, you’re not fantasizing about the length of his … parole?”


“I’m right, aren’t I? You’re totally crushing on your jailbird boy toy.”

“He’s 30. And he’s not my boy toy.”

“But you’d like him to be?”

I took a slug of Mimosa, tossing it back like I was doing shots. Then my head dropped to my hands and I let out a groan.

“Oh my God, Becky! He’s the hottest guy I’ve ever met. Handsome, sexy, total brooding bad boy. But sweet, too. How can an ex-thief be sweet? And I don’t even know if he’s an ex-thief—not really. And when he looks at me, all dark and intense … and I haven’t had a boyfriend since Nathan. I haven’t even had a date. And now my B.O.B. needs new batteries.”

She choked on her drink then burst out laughing.

“There’s no harm in having a little down time thinking about doing the nasty with a hot felon. As long as that’s all it is.”

I sighed. Becky knew me too well.

“I like him.”

She screwed her eyes shut.

“Oh glory, I was afraid of that. You’re so predictable, El. You see something broken and you want to fix it. It’s admirable in the right circumstances, but this isn’t one of them.”

“I know. I know you’re right, but it’s chemistry, or magnetism, or pheromones, or…”


I looked down at the drink in my hands.

“Honey, the guy is hot and off-limits and the original bad boy. Of course you’re lusting after him. Just promise me that you won’t do anything stupid.”

“As if!” I huffed.

“Hmm, well, tell me this. If he was paroled tomorrow, would you date him? Introduce him to me? To the rest of your friends? Would you take him home to meet your parents? Can you honestly see a future with an ex-con?”

I shook my head.

“I’m his teacher. Nothing is going to happen.”

But the truth was, it already had. I was falling for Prisoner 97813. It was reckless and stupid, maybe even dangerous.

And I couldn’t stop myself.

This story first appeared in the anthology HOT FOR TEACHER in 2016. It has since been extended with new scenes, more heartache and even more heat.

AP  new -about the author.jpg

Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).

She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )

Author Links

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