Silver Crow Project

Darkseed: Awakening by Victoria Ley

Darkseed: Awakening by Victoria Ley
The book says:
Sarah Walton prayed her life wouldn't get any more complicated.
The dead, however, had other ideas… 

205 Cheyne Avenue holds some dark secrets. 

Twenty months after a horrific accident claims the lives of two boys, 15 year old Sarah Walton moves in with her mother. It isn’t long before she realises there is another, unseen resident, and convinces best friend Christina to help her make contact. When they do, the girls learn more than they bargained for, and soon find themselves desperately unravelling a series of clues in order to stop a malevolent being, which seems bent on manipulating the souls of those he’s killed in order to gain omnipotence. Their only ally is Craig, the spirit they’ve befriended via a Ouija board, but as the story unfolds, the girls discover that things aren’t quite as straightforward as they first appeared…

I say:
This one grabbed me from the get go. Straight away you see that these pesky kids are dabbling in things they really ought not to. You get that feeling that you want to reach into the pages and shake them for being so daft! I like it when a book makes me feel like that!

Particular things I liked about this book. It's British. very British, in fact it is set in my local area on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.  As such some of the speech of the characters is very... shall we say... localised? I'm interested to see what the authors international readers make of some of the distinctly local dialect - it certainly had me chortling! I also loved recognising certain landmarks that I know and love, some may have had their names slightly changed but they were easy to spot - that's not to say that people not from this area will miss out - everything is very richly described, this could be any small town, in any country with their share of dodgy teenagers dabbling in the occult. As they do.

Did I enjoy the book? I really did. I think this is kind of on the cusp of Young Adult and Adult reading. Both would enjoy it.There was probably only one bit that might make people of a delicate disposition wince, the rest comes in good old fashioned atmospheric "what's in the shadows" kind of scares. Definitely more creepy than gore fest! I loved the twist at the end - I wont say more than that but I thought I had it all figured out and there are some definite questions left to be answered in the next book although (just to be contradictory) I think this reads well as a stand alone too. It's kind of a "wait... what?" ending!

If you're a fan of gutsy teenagers running around gung-ho putting their lives at risk and dabbling in the occult and black arts... I think you'll enjoy this book. It's so richly researched too. I certainly learnt a thing or two (which I did google afterwards) about Ouija and spirit mythology. One more reason you'll never get me within a mile of one of those things! *shudder*


@toriley on Twitter
Darkseed: Awakening on Facebook (Here be book giveaways after every 100 'likers'.)
Muse It Up Publishing

The book is available only in e-book format at the moment and is available at, and on 20% sale here too :)

Disclaimer: I was offered a review copy of this book in PDF format but pregnancy brain couldn't work out how to get it on my kindle. I then bought my own copy with my own pennies. I do know the author. This review is 100% my honest opinion.  

Thanks for stopping by :)

Rocking My World Friday...

On time...again! This is becoming a habit :)

So, looking back on my week, what's made me smile? Well, top of the list has to be the blanket my sister made for bubba. Totally unique and one of a kind - click here to read more about why if you haven't seen it already. It can never be copied or replicated... ever. I still can't believe she did it... but it's safely packed away in my hospital bag now :)
Which brings me to positive two - I have indeed started packing my hospital bag because on Tuesday we will be hitting the 7 weeks till due date mark! Eek. I have my last scan this coming Thursday! Where has that time gone? I am going to try my utmost in the coming weeks to get fully caught up on promised arty bits just in case I lose track of time afterwards.
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We went on a day out to the paddling pool park again on Wednesday. It was a lot warmer than last time so the water wasn't quite so glacial (not that it would have stopped Ruby!)
I even got my legs out for the first time in decades. The general public may not have been to pleased but ack, I don't care any more. We had a lovely day, the weather held and we all came home tired out :)

The day started off well when, on the way, we spotted none other than Silver Crow. Second time this week. Last time he was sitting on a fence looking directly into our car - did I have a camera? Did I heck. So today when I spotted him playing around on a verge I pulled over quick and Craig jumped out to get me some shots! Yay! Finally! Only taken a year!
Looking all grown up and not a baby any more. Craig is convinced it's a girl - keeps banging on about genetic mutations occurring more often in the female but I have got so used to calling  him (her?) Mr Silver Crow that the name has stuck. I'm sure she wont mind, she seems quite happy to see us. Certainly put on quite a show, strutting around and posing for the camera - maybe he/she thought we had waited long enough. Made my morning! I still think of Silver Crow as my crow and my good luck omen :)
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Thursday saw us hitting one of those all you can eat Indian buffets at the local Brewers Fayre - it wasn't bad -  and we shared a gigantic monster chocolate sundae afterwards between us - it's meant for two people to share. No way! We asked for two extra spoons and were all still stuffed at bedtime! We're all feeling knackered this week, not used to all these days out I reckon.  Few more to be squeezed in before the holidays are over though. Trip to Nanna's in Hastings this weekend, IKEA on Monday... and then perhaps a rest for us all. If Ruby Monster will let us ;)
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I'm going to sign off here, I think it's been a good week but gone so fast again. I can't believe the school holidays are nearly over. I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to the girls going back to school and reclaiming a bit of time or if I'm going to miss those pesky monsters! It seems to have flown past! We haven't done half as much as we'd planned... though I blame the leaky bathroom situation most for that! Stealing two weeks of our hols! Cheek!

How has your week been? Good I hope. Thank you as always for stopping by, I'm off to link up with Virginia Why not pop along and join us?

Best Baby Present In The World... Ever!

You'll have to excuse me going a bit gushy on this post. You just will.

What a day! In a good way! My eldest sister Sue has been teasing me saying I should be honoured that she is working on a creative project for bubba and that she is not creative at all etc, etc. I had it in my head that she was doing a scrapbook because when her son toured Thailand with his friend she compiled a scrapbook for him out of his FB statusses and photos (But she's NOT creative remember!) Anyway she messaged me last night that it's done, can she come in today and if I don't like it - not to worry as her granddaughter does. 

Oh my word!

She has a knitted a pram blanket. In black. With purple Celtic pattern which means life, or ever lasting/long life (she couldn't remember which) in purple. She's edged in black lace and... this is the clincher... backed it in a piece of purple fleece from my Mum's jacket. She said she wanted it to be like Mum was giving him a hug! She said it took so long because she hasn't knitted in years and also... the coat still smelled of Mum and it took her till yesterday just to sit down, put on some of Mums talking story book tapes and cut into the coat. 

 My pictures don't do it justice, try as I might. It's so soft and snuggly.

I could have cried! I very nearly did. I hope she knows how much it means because I think I was a little struck dumb! I can't believe she did it - quite apart from it being gorgeous and something I would totally buy anyway... I just can't believe she did it. And remember - she's NOT creative! (Would you all join me in correcting her?) You can guess what's being packed in my hospital bag tonight!

Thank you again Sue, from me and Craig and little bubba. Thank you xxx

Child's Play

Hi all, popping in with a quick (picture heavy) post. Yesterday saw Ruby Monster and me hiding away from the heat. We decided to do some butterfly prints. I promised her I would show you all... Bet you can't guess which is mine...

She enjoyed it so much that she dragged Devvie outside to do some more today :)
See that one in the top corner? I just love the colours and patterns in that one, it's very hard to photo as it's quite glittery too (I think they found my one and only Shimmer Spray!)
Ruby has very kindly said I can keep that one. We are off to Ikea this week hopefully, for some kitchen bits, some storage for the bedrooms and some frames. Devvie had the bright idea of getting a pinboard for their bedroom so I'm going to get one for my (see what a good frame of mind I'm in? It's no longer my messy room!) And I'm going to pin gorgeous art like this and wonderful things that lovely people have sent me out there. I actually might frame this one, I love it that much :)

Hope you are enjoying your day - thanks for stopping by.

Drawing Lab Lesson 10 & Rocking My World Friday...

I'm a little behind on Cameron's Drawing Lab prompts so I decided to jump in with the latest rather than just get further and further behind :)

We were to go to a local coffee shop and blind contour draw the customers. Now I have a huge self-conscious block when it comes to drawing in public. I am trying to get over this because as I get better I'd love to do painting and drawing "en plein air" especially when we go on holiday to Scotland.

So. I wimped out of the coffee shop. Partly because of that and partly because it's the holidays and I would have had to go en masse with the monsters and they would have taken great delight in drawing attention to Mum flushing beetroot and hiding behind her sketchbook. Plus, the area I live, you're liable to get a smack in the gob if you sit staring someone out while scribbling in a book. Instead I bought my sketchbook along with me when we went to the local cricket ground for a picnic and park day. Still in public but in the relative privacy of my picnic blanket. Baby steps people.

I drew the cricketers in various poses. You might not be able to tell but some are holding a bat, one is lounging on the floor and I think I drew the fielder immediately in front of me, he kept turning round and giving bemused looks over his shoulder - you must look pretty bonkers doing blind contour, drawing but not looking at the paper and I'm told I had a freaky non-blinking stare going on... so I can't really blame him!
It was quite liberating actually and I think I'm going to try and take my sketchbook more often, I don't really enjoy blind contour drawing but I see why it's good to try it, I was quite surprised that my figures did resemble people even if they looked a bit odd!

Now for...
On FRIDAY! *Gasp!* I can't actually believe it's come around so quickly but here we are again :)

Firstly is lovely snail mail again. Jo spotted this book in a charity shop and kindly thought of me. It looks amazing!  
And in my package she included this little canvas board she made to commemorate my love of ice-lollies at the moment :D

 My picture really doesn't do it justice, so many layers, it's scrummy! Thank you again Jo :)

Also my Artists & Illustrators magazine came this week. I was just thinking about it the other day, wondering if a new issue was due and it's come. Going to save that for a read in the bath.
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This daft mutt! Yes, he is sparko! Think the heat is getting to him ;)
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What else... The leak in our bathroom has been fixed! Only took two weeks having to turn our water supply on and off whenever we needed a shower or bath but finally the insurance company authorised the plumbers to come in and fix it. We no longer have water dripping through to our kitchen. Yay!

Cheap days out. We took our girls to a local-ish park that we haven't been to since I was pregnant with Ruby Monster - the sort that has a play park, paddling pool, miniature railway etc, etc. We were there the whole day, barely spent £15 and that was including tea, couple of trays of cheesy chips to share, the girls going on the miniature railway and crazy golf, ice-creams for the younger two... they spent hours splashing in the (freezing cold) paddling pool and were exhausted when we got home. As was I. We are going back next week ;)
Hmm... what else, reading, doing so much reading at the moment... new haircut keeping the heat off my bonce - just need to colour it now... afternoon snoozes, general feeling of optimism and change. Don't know why? Maybe because due date is nearing, maybe because slowly, slowly, verrry slowly I'm catching up on things I'm behind on both arty wise and doing little tiny bits of house tidying.

So that'll do me this week. How has your week been? Why not pop along to Virginia's and play along - you'd be amazed what a difference it makes to your outlook on things.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Rocking My World Friday...

...on Monday again!
Two weeks worth and this one might be short and sweet. Not for lack of positives, just lack of energy on my part. Am finding everything such an effort at the moment - think it's this muggy heat. Just so drained.

I might get the past couple of weeks muddled bear with.

Gorgeous and unexpected mail art. Thank you Virginia. This is mine and the girls all got one too but they have snaffled theirs away - they were over the moon  to receive them.
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Using the family ticket we won to visit Wildwoods. It's a conservation park not to far from us and the girls love it not just for the animals but for the humongous play park and picnic area at the end :) I was especially pleased as this is the first time we have got there in time to hear the keeper give a talk about the ravens and we had a chance to watch them being fed.
This one is the friendly one, apparently the keepers can no longer enter the enclosure to feed them and give talks as her friend will attack and go for the eyes. It was a fascinating talk, especially when she started telling us what show-off mimics they were and immediately they both started doing a range of different bird calls and lobbing bits of wood at her in 'play'. And yes, I would still have loved to have had a go at feeding them.
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Look at that angelic face. This was in the picnic area at Wildwoods. Don't be fooled. She has us running ragged after her lately. She seems to have developed the stamina of the Duracell Bunny... on superduper fast forward.  She. Does. Not. Stop. Terrible twos? Pah - no such thing, they were a breeze. We're approaching the frantic, frenzied fives!

My positive here is to Craig and the girls, we've developed a kind of relay tag team in trying to entertain the little monster. And just so long as she is entertained - painting, drawing, plasticine model making, roller skating, running, jumping, playing schools, visiting every single park we find, playing football, cricket, traipsing through fields, finding treasure - peace reigns throughout the land. Never mind that we are all walking zombies and completely knackered *g*
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My Mum's lily. Isn't it gorgeous? I've had it for years and years - ever since we lost her. She potted it herself and in all the time I've had it - this is the first time it has flowered. I've always had the big green leaves appear and die off but no flower. Am so pleased. What a cracker too eh?

Craig says it's because it's in a nice shady spot now, I like to think it's a little sign from her. Maybe that she knows about the baby. Wishful thinking?  Perhaps.
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Lots of other positives have happened over the last few weeks. Things like taking the girls to picnics, parks, the local sandpit, boot-fairs  walks - a random McDonald's etc, etc to make up for their not having a holiday away with us this year . (Long story short - a water leak that has been ongoing near two weeks now. Landlord and insurance company taking a while to sort it so we've lost the window of opportunity to go anywhere.) They've all been very good about not going away though and we will definitely be making next year a Scotland year so hopefully that will make up for it... 

Started my C-word shopping. I know, I know, blame my sister! She tells me it's only something silly like 3 or 4 pay  days till the day for her! 

Friends and family being understanding when I'm not in contact much. (Even less than usual!) Brain fog + uncomfy tiredness makes Cam an even less social person than before. I find myself falling behind on my blog reading this week too. Thanks for the understanding though.

Talking of the reason behind my sloth like resemblance recently - only 9 weeks till due date! How is that even possible? Though I feel ready to pop any-time  Craig is sure I'll either be on time or early this time. Might be worth me getting him to lay bets eh?

I'm sure there's more... but that'll do me for now :)

Thanks for stopping by - want to look back on your week in a positive way? Come peek at Virginia's page. She started all this ;)

Partaking Of Some Arting...

So. I'm getting fed up of popping out to my messy desk, dusting it, moving stuff around, going back into the house. Coming out another day... dusting, moving stuff around etc... Playing in my sketchbook is all well and good but it's just sometimes not messy or satisfying enough.

The girls all looked quite busy today playing on the wii, minimal bickering, no bloodshed. I was feeling restless because I'm tired and not getting much sleep at the moment but *trying*  not to sleep to much during the day so that I'll sleep at night... yeah, that's really not working... So, I popped out to the messy desk. And dusted it. Craig got his hoover out to clear the floor of tumble-weed... OK, exaggeration maybe. There was a lot of dust balls and am wandering around barefoot today because even the plastic monstrosities feel tight... and then... *drum roll please*

I arted! *snicker*

Remember the Dina Wakely video from a couple of weeks back?
Well I played around with her warm-up exercises first, using some ATC blanks...
While they were drying I spied the suede canvas things I bought the other week. Not really canvas more suede stretched onto wood. Should have took a picture of what it looked like before - but this is it several layers in... still a ways to go. 
So I set that aside while the texture paste dried and went back to the ATC's...
I really like this warm up idea, it uses up left over paint so it's not wasted and I'm getting a stack of ATC type things to pop in with packages with a note on the back.

Nothing momentous. No finished canvas or anything...But ever since Craig 'gifted' me the messy room for my birthday I haven't had a proper play out there for longer than 5 or 10 minutes. That was February. So.. maybe it is momentous in that along with occasionally working in my sketchbook of an evening... well, feels like progress. Whatever that block was, I am getting over it, big ol' belly and all! 


Thanks for stopping by :)