Glimmer and other stories is on offer!!

I have decided to celebrate my short story collection being published for six months by offering it for £0.99p on and for $1.68 on


Glimmer is a collection of compelling and darkly humorous stories from the author of Echoes from the Lost Ones. Nicola McDonagh’s seven tales of mysterious liaisons, supernatural intrigue, deathly hauntings and disturbing fixations will enthral and unnerve the reader. Hidden secrets, forbidden urges, necromancy and a rebellious housewife dwell between the pages of this fascinating anthology.


What people are saying about Glimmer:

“…With all of her stories, there is a connective fabric. The author uses the reader’s mind as an easel and puts dots, splashes, and strokes of color along with deep incorporation of nature and locations. The end result took me away. The metaphorical richness was akin to the joy of childbirth in which a healthy, vibrant baby is the result.

Verdict: These snapshots of writing are lovely from start to finish. There is something in here for everyone. The only thing I would like to add is that the author should definitely write more short stories. There are some types of talent that are natural and others which are learned. Her use of language in this work is a testament that she is in fact a natural in the writing world. All of this gives this work 5 out of 5 stars!”    

“I’m a big fan of short stories; but writing them successfully is a unique skill, and Nicola McDonagh definitely has it. The stories here are well-crafted and told with verve. In particular ‘On the Eighth Day’ really gripped me with its dark occult-themed undertones, but there’s something here for everyone. Thoroughly enjoyed.”


So why not get a copy and let me know what you think.

Book Launch and Paperback Giveaway

A Silence Heardthe second book in The Song of Forgetfulness seriesis out now!

A Silnce Heard cover sml


A Silence Heard continues the quest of Adara and her friends to save her brother Deogol, and all the missing Meeks. 

Adara’s struggle to save her kin becomes a desperate battle of life and death, as Agros send in their army of cloned killers to destroy the insurgents who are moving ever closer. Adara is forced to use her voice again and again, to try and stop the Agros from winning the war, but each time she does, a part of her dies.

As filthy battles ensue and loved ones perish, Adara must sing The Song of Forgetfulness one last time if she is to save not only the Meeks, but all the folk of NotsoGreatBritAlbion, from a life of slavery and despair.


To celebrate its launch, I am giving away one signed paperback copy. To be in with a chance to win, all you have to do is Like/comment on this post or the post on my Facebook Page:

Or go to my website and email me direct (your contact details will not be shared):


As a taster here are some quotes from the book alongside some of my experimental light paintings.


Out from the unlitness, a face appeared.faces of meeks

Then another, and another, and another.

As light filled the cubicles we saw more and more young ’uns and bubs alike, staring back at us.

Their hands pressed upon the panes.

Their eyes wide, their mouths open.


This time I summoned up a nasty. A venom filled noise that let them hear what I had seen up in the secret room of the pyramid. An aural image of slaughter, fear and hate.venom-filled hate


They wore black peaked hats and below the brim identical round black-eyed faces looked out. In each cloned hand was a black stick-like weapon.

They stood still as a forest.Agro army


The lights flickered and I swear at that moment the world took a deeply breath.Lights flickered Silence

“Song of Forgetfulness is dystopian done right…I do appreciate a masterpiece when it comes across my desk. This story is one such masterpiece, reminiscent of an Escher painting that ever draws the eye as the brain searches and seeks to map out the complexities of his art.”  Amazon review by Andi Houtsch

 A Silence Heard is available to purchase in paperback and Kindle editions, on and














Spotlight on Fantasy author RT Worth

Doom Absolute series: What if death can be cheated?

I am very pleased to introduce to you a very talented writer and illustrator whose novels, Doom Absolute, and Heretic, I had the pleasure to read and review recently. (My reviews are at the end of this spotlight.)



 We all die – it’s inevitable.

But, what if you were offered the chance to come back?  Change your ways, live life to the full, do all the things you wanted to do?

Alma is gifted that chance, and she takes it without question.  Barely in her teens, her life cruelly cut short in a world even more cruel.  She seizes that opportunity with both hands, jumps in with reckless youthful abandon, waves away the small print. Thank you very much.

Now, trapped between the world of the dead and the living she races against the clock, stalked by supernatural forces and even the enemies responsible for her demise – to fulfil her contract before it’s too late and is dragged kicking and screaming to a place with no way out; for the rest of time.

And now for the sequel Heretic:


The smoke and dust settle, and the fires go out.

Alma leads a normal life; it’s what she’d always wanted.  Blending in with others her age, she could be just a regular girl: phoning her friends, tormenting boys, not caring about the little things.  A far cry from the girl that helped bring down the skyscraper of a mega-conglomerate, that wriggled out the world of the dead by the skin of her teeth and defy Algor Mortis.

Now it’s a different kind of problem.  Her new school, rife with bullies, picking on her and her friends because they’re different.  Intent on causing misery.  But she won’t have it; they’re messing with the wrong girl.  All this to worry about and still her powers won’t leave her alone, still the freak in her itching to get out, no matter how hard she tries to forget.

Those she defied haven’t forgotten the name Alma.  She might have defeated them, vanished somehow with her companions from right under their noses, but they can’t forget. Won’t forget.

The smoke and dust have settled, and the fires may have gone out.  But revenge was always a dish best served cold.

You’ve read the blurb, you’ve seen the book covers – now, please give a warm welcome to RT Worth!

Born 5/3/1980 London UK. RT attended Wolverhampton University for BA illustration.

Doom Absolute is his first novel and RT has plans to run the series for six volumes. I can’t wait!

Let’s get to know RT a little better:

I see you started out as an illustrator, when did you decide to become a writer?

My early twenties were the turning point for me; that’s when I decided to give a novel a real go. If not just to get some of those ideas cluttering up my head down on paper.

Have you ever considered penning a graphic novel?

 I penned a graphic novel during college; various adventures involving me and my mates. But now? I don’t think so. The closest I get is mocking up storyboards to play out certain scenes in my books. I have a lot of respect though for the guys who produce graphic novels. A lot of those guys work in pairs: the writer and the artist. I think working with another person would be quite hard. You’d really have to trust that person to deliver your ideas across the way you intended.

 You don’t give much away in your bio, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

 I’ve always enjoyed writing, from as early as junior school. I used to hand in extra homework to my English teacher to mark, but really it was me trying to see what he made of my creative writing. I received the highest mark in my SATs for the creative writing exercise, and I’m pretty certain my creative writing got me through my GCSEs. When I left school I still didn’t know what a noun or verb was. I went to Wolverhampton Uni to study Illustration, but became ‘disenchanted’ by the whole setup and left to find a job a year and half into the course. I don’t regret leaving. Since then I have been in full-time employment and writing furiously in my spare time.

Where did you get the idea from to write the Doom Absolute series?

My sister was working as a rep in Scotland and was badgering me for some penmail, so I decided to write a series of short stories for her. I’d send an episode or two away to her and then give her a choice which direction she’d like to take the story. Many of the characters that are in Doom Absolute were in this penmail! The whole cast took me about an hour to mock up: I looked around my room, noted my cactus plant, the cat on my bed, dog on my floor. I was eating a banana with my left hand and my sister’s middle name…? Alma.


Did you do any research into myths and legends before writing the books?

 I’ve always been drawn to the supernatural, and have a healthy knowledge of Greek and Norse mythology. If that’s transferred itself into my stories then it was subconsciously. I always try to be original. For creatures I use that aren’t original I’ll take an unusual stance with them and surprise the reader. I’m itching to get some giant hairy spiders into my story. I think they get a bad rep.

I really like the character, Pepsi, do you have a favourite character, if so what is it about them that you like?

I’ve always liked Fantastic Cactus; I’m a big fan of the anti-hero character. As a writer you can do pretty much whatever you like with them. The reader knows deep down they’re good –just don’t be surprised if they say/do something you don’t like.





What is your favourite genre to write in and why?

Fantasy. It’s always about fantasy. I fly that flag high and proud.

Do you have a favourite author/s?

I quite like Paulo Coelho. His words are inspiring.

 Do you prefer drawing to writing prose?

Absolutely not. I’ve never really truly enjoyed painting/drawing. Writing on the other hand makes my heart sing. I guess that’s how you know what you’re meant to be.

Has anyone inspired you in regards to how you write?

I think Elmore Leonard is a fantastic writer. Reading his novels taught me a lot in regards dialogue. I recommend any aspiring writer to read one or two of his novels; the man is a master.

 When you are not writing, what do you do?

 Listen to music; go for long walks with the pooch.

Where do you write and what time of the day do you prefer to work?

I’m flexible. I’ll write whenever I can. I always carry a notebook around with me at work however. If I get an idea I’ll jot it down quickly before I lose it. I’ve got pages and pages of ideas and conversations waiting to go down.

What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? Editing, thinking of a title, starting, ending, you know that kind of thing.

For me it’s getting that main plot together. Once I’m happy with the proposed plot arc I’ll let the characters take the story along and let the twists and turns happen as I get to them. It’s quite a natural easy process.



If your book were to be made into a film, who would play your lead characters?

 Alma – Chloe Grace Moretz

Moto – Palm –Not sure on this one.

Pepsi – (voice of Bill Murray)

Maxi – (voice of Elizabeth Dawn)

Ellis – John Mahoney

The Cardinal – Daniel Day-Lewis

FC – (voice of Vin Diesel)

Ed – Elle Fanning

Styard – Jason Gordon-Levitt

Batisma – Ben Kingsley

The Count – Hmmm another tricky one, this.

 If you could spend a day in a book as your favourite character, who would you be, what book would it be, and why?

 I’d be General Marc (Heretic). I’d love to have that army at my command, and all that tradition and magic to guard her homeland. Not for the day Alma turned up though.

 One last question: what are you working on now?

Right now I’m creating an illustrated book of wild-lore for the website. The third book is still in the initial stages. Books are like stews to me. When it’s ready it’s ready.

Thank you RT for some wonderful answers.

If you want to know more about RT Worth and his novels, then check out the links below. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. I for one will be keeping my eyes open and my breath baited in anticipation of this talented authors’ next installment of the Doom Absolute series.

Here is the official website (for more illustrations), links and blog.




Purchasing ebooks.





 My reviews for Doom Absolute and Heretic:


Doom Absolute Weird and Wonderful


I wasn’t sure what to say about this book at first, not because it is bad, but because it is so odd – in a good way. I loved the concept of writing about a place almost Purgatory like, where the dead abide, but have the opportunity to escape. In this strange world, some are given the chance to live again. A young girl, Alma, is offered this opportunity and we are transported into a dream-like universe where plants are people, people are plants, gnomes are evil, insects are huge and some even friendly, and everything is not what it seems. For Alma to return to the land of the living, she must honour the contract she made, but time is running out for our confused heroine and she must battle against other-worldly forces and those responsible for her untimely death, before it is too late.

I really enjoyed reading this odd book. The author, RT Worth, has a vivid imagination. I loved his ideas and the strange occupants of this dead/alive world are truly original. Alma has many odd creatures that help her with her quest to become one of the living again. One of my favourites is The Fantastic Cactus character, or Greenman. He not only speaks, but also helps Alma to escape her death prison and pops up now and then when she is in peril. My other favourite is the cat, Black Knight that Alma saves from Shindy’s Arena. This animal becomes her bodyguard and has some very useful supernatural powers that aid Alma in finishing her quest.

The only thing that bothered me and kept my rating from being a 5 (4.7) is that there weren’t enough detailed physical descriptions of these weird locations. There were times when I couldn’t visualise the setting, which is important in a narrative like this, where places are alien to the reader. Other than that, a great book! The ending does not disappoint either and I was happy to see that there will be more escapades for this unusual heroine. I look forward to reading more from this fine writer.



Heretic: Weirder and weirder.

I loved Doom Absolute and its weird world and creatures, so was excited to read Heretic. In the second book our heroine, Alma, is alive and back in school, coping with all the stuff that teens go through. Except that she is different. She has been dead and is now finding being alive again hard. But she soon meets up with others not too dissimilar to herself. Her transition and those of her friends, is not easy, as they need to be medicated in order to stay alive. Their bodies seem to be their enemies now and strange poisons and life threatening weaknesses are hampering their difficult existence in the normal world.

Although it is well written and believable, I was getting a bit fed up with theses initial chapters, thinking that this was going to be just another teen book, but to my joy, the weirdness kicked in again and the author let loose his marvellous creations. For me, RT Worth excels when he writes about the quirky and surreal in his books. More myths and magic unfolds and our heroine discovers that she has a secret inside that she doesn’t want at all. She battles with enemies that are truly bizarre in a struggle to understand who or what, she really is. There are some wonderful characters in this story, but a particular favourite of mine was Pepsi, the cat guardian. I was heartbroken when he disappeared, presumed dead.

There were a few too many POV changes throughout, but not enough to detract from a great narrative, once the supernatural side of things kicked in and the talking cactus arrived, and The Powers that Be took control again. Dream worlds mix with reality and our heroine struggles to live a normal life surrounded as she is by creatures from another world. These crossings from reality to otherworldly settings are often jarring and confusing, but they do add to the overall feel of strangeness and disquiet that heightens the sense of alienation. I assume this is to reinforce the fact that Alma feels uncomfortable in her reanimated body.

The novel seems to be in two parts, and the second part – Marc v Alma – had me quite confused. As always I enjoyed the narrative and its quirkiness, but the jumps from POV had my head spinning. Heretic is packed with detail, miss a sentence or two and well, you’ve lost the plot. I did find parts of it a little repetitious and I think the novel could be improved with some pruning and editing to make it snappier and less overstocked with storyline, which is a bit complex.

Sometimes it got a bit confusing going between the real and dream/imagination, and I had to stop and think what was what several times before continuing. Maybe RT Worth could have let the POV stay with the main character throughout the narrative. I was often tempted to flick past the school passages and onto the more strange episodes that are truly readable, but I persevered with them in case I missed something.

Having said all that, I did really enjoy this book and truly believe that RT Worth is a talented storyteller with an amazing imagination. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a quirky and darkly humorous fiction. There are some wonderful descriptions that bring the narrative alive and keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I eagerly await the next instalment.

yellow man




Exclusive – Book Cover Reveal

At last! the cover for the second book in The Song of Forgetfulness  sci-fi/dystopian series, is out!!


A Silence Heard continues the story of Adara, and her desperate search for the missing Meeks – gifted young ‘uns. As a taster I have posted a small extract from the book. In this scene Adara and her companions have landed in Agro headquarters, and have encountered the Agro menace for the first time. The book itself is due for publication on 6th May 2014.

“A swishing sound halted our progress. It came from one of the structures to our left and we turned to see two bullmales exit from an oblong hole in the centre. They moved towards us and the hole closed. I blinked and no matter how hard I tried, I could not see where the doorway had been. Eadgard stepped in front and pushed Kendra and myself behind him. Wirt, stood to his right and Marcellus to his left. I nestled up against Eadgard’s back and took in long breaths to slow the pace of my heart.

The Agro guards marched closer.

I poked my head around Eadgard’s bod just enough to spy the males. I had never seen an Agro up close and was full of apprehension. Those Carnies I believed to be Agro were merely fake and did not represent their form at all. I imagined Agros to be huge and bulky, with tiny eyes and big claw like hands. In short, I supposed them to be more beast than hominid. But as they approached, I saw, with some disappointment, that they were not so different from us in shape and size. They carried fierce weapons that looked as though they could both poke and bludgeon at the same time. I did not want to cause further palpitations by imagining said weapons being used on me and mine, so took to gazing upon their person instead.

No two hominids could be more similar in appearance. They were tall and thin with patchy black and grey stubble splattered over much of their long sunken-cheeked faces. They wore the same uniform, an all-in-one blood red trouser suit made from a strange sparkly material. They stopped in front of us and aimed the weapons at our heads.

One of them stepped forward and lowered his weapon, “Follow,” he said. His voice was deep and boomy. His eyes were a dull brown and no light seemed to come from them. The other stared blankly at us and I felt Eadgard’s spine stiffen.” 

Author Spotlight – Nicua Shamira

I am very pleased to introduce a talented poet, artist, and prose writer, Nicua Shamira.

NicuaNicua Shamira is a wildlife management student who loves writing and reading good books. At the moment fantasy/adventure genres are her favourite but she also loves a good historical fiction. Growing up in Africa, on a farm, Nicua had wonderful opportunities to be out in nature and surrounded by animals. She now resides in Western Australia. She has two beautiful horses and a collection of adorable, naughty birds.

Nicua’s favourite authors of fictional works are J.R.R. Tolkien, Juliet Marillier, C.S. Lewis and many others.

Being an ‘outdoorsy’ person she love archery, hiking, horse-riding, swimming, snorkeling, running, etc. and her ‘indoor’ hobbies include painting, ballroom and Latin dancing, ice-skating, reading, writing and drawing.

Nicua has published a YA fantasy book under another name, but ‘Otherworldly’ is her first collection of short stories.

Several other books are in the works as well as booklets of poetry (one already published under the title ‘African Heartbeat’)


I would like to begin by asking Nicua some questions so that we can get to know her a little better:

Tell us about yourself and your typical working day.

I am a South African living in Australia at the moment. I love animals, adventure, travel, nature and books among so many other things. My work days are actually not typical at the moment as I am studying, volunteering and working on different days. Having said that, I am enjoying being busy and have just signed up for a public speaking course to add into the busy equation.

Having read both your poetry and prose, I get a sense that you have a deep love of nature, would that be true to say?

Most definitely! I love nature and find most of my inspiration in it. Animals have been a massive part of my life, having cared for so many abandoned kittens, puppies, and helped to heal owls and all kinds of animals that people brought me out on the farm; as well as being surrounded by dogs,horses, rabbits and so many other wonderful creatures growing up.


The wild places of the earth also speak to me and I am never happier than when I am in the heart-breakingly beautiful African bush or wandering through a misty, ethereal forest.Image

What inspired you to write Otherworldly short stories?

At first it began as a project to try my hand at short stories, and as I continued and realized how much I enjoyed it, it became more about sharing things I believe are important. Some themes I wanted to highlight were the importance of preserving nature, loyalty, open-heartedness and also to fuel the flame for old fashioned fairytales to stay alive.100_1927

Which do you prefer, writing poetry or prose?

I prefer writing prose as I find it very hard to share my poetry, it always feels too personal. I write a ton of poetry but I think I rather have the heart of a storyteller than the heart of a poet.

Do you have a favourite author/s? If so, who are they and why do you like them?

I have several favourite authors, but I think my top two would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien and Juliet Marillier. Tolkien because he created such an unbelievable and beautiful existence in Middle Earth. I also find his writing without equal and I think he has been my main literary influence for not only which books I read but also how I write. Juliet Marillier is such a brilliant author and her work is faultless. Her books have that magical quality that when you start reading them, it’s almost impossible to put them down. She creates strong female characters without them becoming annoying which is rare to find. I find a lot of inspiration in her work, I would like to be able to follow her lead in how balanced she keeps her characters, settings, etc. A few more I would love to mention as they have also been great inspirations are; C.S. Lewis, Gene Stratton Porter, the Bronte Sisters, Jane Porter (Scottish Chiefs), Suzanne Collins and Christopher Paolini.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I think I would choose New Zealand or the Scottish Highlands. Anywhere that is wild, filled with untouched nature, far away from the cities and has a Middle Earth feel to it. Hopefully in a small castle in the middle of a forest or beside a loch.


What is your favourite genre to write in.

I adore fantasy. I am not a fan of writing in other genres because I have so many ideas and almost all of them include elves and fantasy lands that go far beyond the constraints of our small world. I love to journey into faraway lands filled with magic and adventure, and being able to hold the reins and actually mould the tale I wish in whatever manner without boundaries of our reality’s physics, it is absolutely wonderful.sylph

What I love about your work, are the beautiful physical descriptions of setting and characters that bring the stories and poems alive. Do you think your artistic side helps when you are writing a narrative?


That might be one reason, I have not really thought of this before, but I also think another reason is that I am a very ‘visually dependent’ person. I love looking at beautiful things and descriptions colour in a picture and the more colour, the more happy I am. When reading I also always look for more descriptions so that I can properly paint the picture of the story in my head, I think that also relays into my writing.

If you could be a character in any novel and spend the weekend as that character in the book, what character and book would that be?

What a brilliant question! There are so many wonderful choices! But, I think I would love to be Arwen from Lord of the Rings, can’t think of many things that would be more wonderful than spending the weekend as an elvish princess in Middle Earth!

Finally, what are your future writing plans?

I have so many projects that I am so excited about and currently working on. I have around four fantasy novels quarter to halfway done with the rough drafts, the next book in The Dreamweaver Chronicles is begun, two more poetry books are  being compiled and I am hoping to release my next collection of short stories in a little while! There is also a novel I am working on that deals with an issue very close to my heart. It is not the usual genre I write and it is often a struggle, but I also feel that it is an important issue I want to address wrapped in a heart-warming story of friends, love, finding purpose and healing


Thank you Nicua for telling us about your varied and interesting life, loves and works.

Now let’s hear about your anthology, which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed. You can see my review at the bottom of this blog, and on Goodreads and Amazon.


Otherworldly is a collection of four short stories with fantasy, romance, futuristic and adventure themes. These stories delve into fairytale and legend taking the reader on adventures filled with magic, love, loyalty, intrigue, and thought-provoking themes.

Here are some extracts from reviews. You can see the full versions on Amazon.

Jason Clark (the full one is very long and says something about each story that might be a bit of a spoiler alert)

‘These four wonderful anecdotes are quick but packed with several layers and depth… Her narrative style is wonderful, with an easy natural flow. The descriptions and the scenery are vivid, though wildly different in each. I’m fairly certain the characters, time frame, and settings are completely unrelated in each tale. However, some commonalities are found in every one…Each fable has considerable emotional depth, with a mix of wonder, happiness, sadness, and warmth. I was particularly impressed that she is able to maintain that element, while still creating an intellectually stimulating scheme.’

By Bronson Hawkins

‘Summary/First Reactions: “Otherworldly” is an assortment of four brain teasing and heart warming short stories. My favorite story among the four is Red Ribbon. With footsteps hitting me the hardest in my feel space. The thing that I liked most about this collection of short stories is that it never ceased to surprise me. Nicua Shamira was excellent in shifting and twisting these stories in my head. With the characters not really pulling the story along…

The Good: Its beautiful. It’s stunning. Its lovely. It’s heartbreaking. It’s simply amazing.

The Bad: I could find nothing wrong with the novel other that the fact that its too short. I want more.

Overall: 5/5 A Indiesently Good Read!!!

By Sahar Sabati

This wonderful collection of four short stories brings to life with almost startling realism mythical creatures. The book’s strength lies in the author’s ability to weave a tale that flows with great ease, scooping you up and carrying you into a world you will find yourself easily immersed in. I also love the way these stories touch, as gently as the author writes, on topics such as awareness of nature’s beauty in the first story, Cascade. I hope that another short story collection is already on its way!’

My review (edited version)

This collection of short stories by Nicua Shamira, are beautifully written narratives that draw the reader into fantasy worlds richly described and inhabited by tantalizing mythological creatures and humans. Written in the first person, each story has its own unique setting from a water-based land in ‘Cascade’ to the dark and harsh landscape in ‘Red Ribbon. Both tales are strangely haunting with hints of love and regret, and they do linger well after reading.

I enjoyed the different cast of characters in each story that essentially are there to explore mankind’s connection with nature and the environment. And it was my only criticism – that on occasions they came across less well developed than the physical environments they inhabited. But, what I liked was the message behind each story; to nurture and not destroy this beautiful planet we live in, to stop experimenting with genetics, to accept our frailties and live our lives in harmony

I did enjoy reading these stories and believe that Nicua is a very talented writer that has the potential to be great. I will read more of her work, as she is a writer to look out for.


If you want to know more about Nicua or purchase her work, below are the links:

Using A Camera As A Canvas

I have been experimenting with light paintings for a few years now and I realised that the more I did, the more I wanted to really ‘paint’ with light. So I made a conscious decision to create images that looked as if they could have been painted rather than photographed. I have always loved the paintings of Marc Chagall and when my husband designed, made and fitted one of his own stained glass windows in our house, I used his beautiful coloured glass as inspiration for my homage to said artist. Here are a couple of my photos in the style of Chagall:




Then I moved away from the static and used torches, ribbons and flowers. Some of the images turned out a bit like Francis Bacon:





And some I like because they are a bit weird or colourful. I either position the camera on a tripod and move around with a torch or fairy lights, or I dance around moving the camera in front of a light source. Always with a slow shutter speed and high f-stop: