People Are Strange – a new anthology

Maria Savva, Ben Ditmars and Maria Haskins have all previously been promoted on Reading Recommendations. These three authors are now included in a recently published anthology of stories and poetry inspired by nineteen photographs.


People Are Strange
edited by Robert Helle
Genre: Anthology
part of the Mind’s Eye Series

12 Stories and 7 poems, inspired by 19 photographs.

We are more than what we say
And less than what we wish

Living together, separately,
United by division

Connected, disconnected
Oh, People Are Strange


Robert Helle is a free-lance editor who honed his skills at various newspapers, including The Daily Times in Ottawa, Illinois. As a Daily Times reporter, Bob earned a prestigious news-reporting award for his 1989 series on the plight of Viet Nam-era prisoners of war who were never found. Bob went on to serve other newspapers as a columnist and editor before turning to free-lance work. He is currently working on his own novel.

Martin David Porter is a third generation (at least!) artist hailing from Saffron Walden, Essex in the United Kingdom. Born in 1972, he has always had an interest in natural history, art, and music. All these subjects provide inspiration for his photography. Martin still lives in Saffron Walden with his partner Ruth and his daughter Rosie. Martin has worked with many big names in the music business, but is equally at home alone in the woods and fields as he is in front of screaming crowds and amplifiers.

Helle Gade lives in Denmark with her little diva dog. She is a poet, hobby photographer, nocturnal creature and chocolate addict. She has been writing poetry since 2011 and published four poetry collections since then.

Kim Stapf – Photography is my love, nature mostly. Reading rocks my world.

Helle Gade

Ben Ditmars is an author of gnomes, plays, poetry and more. He was first published in his college publications the Cornfield Review and KAPOW and has since been featured in several online literary journals. Currently, he lives in Marion, Ohio where he works in education.

Short story writers:
Darcia Helle writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative. Only then are the voices free to haunt someone else.

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but moved to Canada in the early 1990s and now lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast with a husband, two kids, and a large black dog. She debuted as a writer in Sweden in 1989. Her first books in English are Odin’s Eye, a collection of science fiction short stories, and Cuts & Collected Poems 1989-2015.

Maria Savva lives in London. She’s a lawyer, and in her spare time writes novels and short stories in various genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Maria is also a music blogger for Rock And Roll and Soundwaves Review.

J. Michael Radcliffe published his first novel in 2010, and has since gone on to write three other novels in the Beyond the Veil series. He has also written multiple short stories and collaborated with other writers. He lives in rural Kentucky with his family and their ever-growing cadre of cats.

Julie Elizabeth Powell cannot ignore her dreams, so many of them, with names and places and ideas that spark her imagination and compel her to write; to create stories, whether fantasy or horror, or mystery or psychological thriller or murder or even humour and adventure. So, her garden is sown, flourishing, with all manner of growth, and still the dreams come.

Thomma Lyn Grindstaff gets some of her best ideas when hiking in the mountains. She’s both a novelist and a musician: a classically trained pianist and composer. Other passions include studying philosophy, science,and spirituality. Last but never least, she’s a cat wrangler and shares her home with three Ballicai (cats). If you could sum Thomma Lyn up in three words, they would be Artist, Seeker, and Adventurer.

Purchase copies from:


Maria Savva – update on a new collection of short stories

Maria Savva has been a great friend and supporter of Reading Recommendations, almost since the very beginning of the blog. She was recently included in the Reading Recommendations Revisited group of authors, because she has done so much to promote her fellow authors, me, and the blogs over these past couple of years. Thank you, Maria! Throughout this time, Maria has continued to write and publish her own books, and here she is now to tell us about her most recent collection of short stories.

Lost and Found_eCover_Final

Lost and Found
by Maria Savva

Human nature is not neat and predictable.

What makes us betray a loved one?
Can isolation lead to irrational behaviour?
Why do other people’s lives always look more appealing?

Ordinary people living ordinary lives, torn apart by regret, remorse, and deceit. We’re all stumbling through life together. This collection of stories shows you the Lost and Found among us.

Available to purchase from Amazon.

Maria’s links:

Maria Savva Recommends Maria Haskins


Odin’s Eye
by Maria Haskins

Genre: Science Fiction/Literary Fiction

Imaginative, skillfully crafted short stories that will transport you through time to different worlds.

12027794_10153291811246464_9212678525409805684_nWhy I recommend this book: The stories are so well written. I’d recommend it even if you don’t usually read science fiction. It’s not a genre I would normally go out of my way to seek out, but I really enjoyed this book. These twelve stories will make you think about what could happen if science became so advanced that we were able to travel easily through time and space. The stories show a deep understanding of the human condition.


Links for people to buy the book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

MariaGuest reviewer’s latest title or project: My new collection of short stories, Lost and Found, is almost ready for publication. I am having the cover designed by Aeternum Designs because I was so impressed by their design for A Time to Tell and also Book 4 in the Mind’s Eye Series, Tales From The Cacao Tree, available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Maria Savva has been previously promoted on Reading Recommendations.

Maria Savva and Ben Ditmars – update on a new anthology

Maria Savva was originally featured on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013, and Ben Ditmars was featured on the site in Feb. 2014. Both authors have contributed to this new anthology recently published.


Tales From The Cacao Tree (Book 4 in The Mind’s Eye Series)
with contributions by Maria Saava and Ben Ditmars
Genre: Mixed – poetry, short stories, photography; an anthology

From a review by Maria Haskins on Amazon:
Tales From The Cacao Tree is the latest installment in the Mind’s Eye Series, a series of anthologies containing poetry and short stories inspired by, and accompanied by, photographs. This fourth book in the series, as you may gather from the title and the delectable cover, is all about chocolate.

Just like the other Mind’s Eye books, Tales From The Cacao Tree is an eclectic and enjoyable blend of different genres and writing styles, and as a reader you get to experience chocolate in every imaginable (and unimaginable!) way. There really is a bit of everything here: beautiful and evocative (and sometimes playful) poetry by Ben Ditmars, Helle Gade, and Richard Weatherly, and short stories by Darcia Helle, Maria Savva, Julie Elizabeth Powell, and J. Michael Radcliffe.

Many of the stories inspired by the accompanying chocolaty pictures involve nefarious and violent crimes: so, obviously, chocolate has a dark side…

The fantastic photos in the anthology were taken by Helle Gade, Kim Stapf, and Martin David Porter. And reader beware, you will probably end up craving chocolate while you’re reading!

Purchase this book from:

Maria Savva -Reading Recommendation Revisited

Maria Savva was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013 and then returned with an update on a new novel in Mar. 2014. Maria is a tireless supporter and promoter not just of Authors but also of Musicians and Music as well. And all this time, since her first appearance here on my blog, Maria has continued to write and publish!


RRR: Since your first promotion on RR, what have you been doing?
MS: Since then, I’ve mainly been working on the second edition of my novel A Time to Tell. That book was originally published in 2006 before there were online self-publishing tools so readily available. I decided that I’d like to self-publish this one as well rather than continue with the small press who’d originally helped me get it published. As I was going to be releasing a second edition, I wanted to make sure it was fully revised and re-edited before publication and it’s take much longer than anticipated because I work a day job and it’s hard to find time to concentrate on a novel. It’s also harder, I think, to re-edit a book than to write one from scratch.
A Time to Tell_eCover_Final I’m very happy to have that done now so that I can concentrate on my new novel, which I hope to release next year. You may purchase A Time to Tell from Amazon.

I’ve also been working on a new collection of short stories, Lost and Found. The stories are old but it’s a new collection, never before published. I found the stories on a floppy disk! They were written back in the nineties, I think. I’ve edited them and also written one new story especially for the collection. That book is with my editor at the moment.

Other than that, I’ve had quite a few short stories published through the Mind’s Eye Series anthologies in the past couple of years. This series is one that began early last year and we’re getting ready to publish book 4. The first book was Perspectives and features 6 short stories from me and 6 from Darcia Helle. When we wrote that, we thought it would be a one-off book, but we had so much fun that we decided to invite other writers and turn it into a series. For this series, we write short stories and poems inspired by photographs. The photographs are provided by Martin David Porter, and Helle Gade. We’ve also recently taken on another photographer, Kim Stapf, for book 4. We have plans for a book 5 & 6, so who knows how many more we’ll write! I find that photographs inspire me to think and write in a completely different way from how I usually write because I’m having to look at the photo and only get my ideas from that. This series has inspired a fairy story from me, and some fantasy tales, as well as dark fiction, a murder-mystery, and a romance. It’s a brilliant series. We’ve had many talented authors involved, including Jason McIntyre, Eden Baylee, J. Michael Radcliffe, and Jay Finn.


RRR: What else have you been doing, outside of the writing?
MS: I have a day job, so the writing is something I do when I have time, or rather I try and fit it in whenever I have a bit of time. It would be nice to be able to write full time. Maybe one day…

RRR: Is there one marketing tip or trick you discovered while promoting your own books that worked particularly well and that you’d like to share with other authors?
MS: No, unfortunately. I am in dire need of one, so if anyone knows any tips or tricks, please let me know!

RRR: Please recommend three other authors whose work you have “discovered” or rediscovered this past year whom every reader should consider reading.
MS: Tim Baker – I read his book Living the Dream and was very impressed. It was an addictive read, so as soon as I finished it I started reading another of his books that I found on my Kindle, No Good Deed, that was fantastic too. His style of writing is great, it’s fast-paced and full of humour. Definitely worth reading. (Tim Baker has been featured several times on Reading Recommendations.)

Maria Haskins. She writes science fiction. I’d been connected to her online for ages and didn’t know she was a writer. When she released her collection of short stories, Odin’s Eye, I bought it straight away as she’s a great supporter of indie writers. I really enjoyed the stories even though science fiction not my usual choice of read. She writes with such depth and her stories are very creative. I’ll be looking out for more books from her.

Thomma Lyn Grindstaff. I’ve rediscovered Thomma’s stories this year. I read some of her stories a few years ago and enjoyed them. I recently saw a post on her Facebook page about a new release and when I went to her Amazon page I saw that she’s written lots of stories and novellas over the past few years. I’ve read three of the short stories recently and absolutely loved them. She has a very unique style of writing that draws the reader in from the first page. Her stories are always full of mystery and insightful thinking. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

Thank you, Maria!

Maria Savva – update on a new book

Previously, Maria Savva was featured on Reading Recommendations. Since that time, she has published a new book that she would like to tell you about in this update. Here’s Maria!

Far Away In Time

The new book is Far Away In Time – a collection of 8 short stories

A quick description: A mixed-genre collection of stories, including mystery/paranormal, fantasy, and dark fiction. When I came up with the title, Far Away In Time, it reminded me of the song, Echo Beach, by Martha and the Muffins. As that’s one of my favourite songs, when I realised that the title was also a line from the song, I decided to tweak a few of the stories so that there are links to that song. Music geeks might notice them. One thing, for example, is that there is a character whose job is an ‘office clerk’ 🙂

Updated bio:
Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practicing law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. She has published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. Far Away In Time is her sixth collection of short stories. You can find out more about her work and where to purchase at her official website.

Other Links:
Facebook Page
UK Music Directory

What I’m working on:
A photo-inspired short story collection, in collaboration with other authors, and photographers. Editing my novel A Time to Tell for a second edition.

Maria Savva

Maria Maria Savva

What is your latest release
and what genre is it?

3 – It’s a collection of short stories

Quick description:
3 short stories. Dark fiction – one of the stories has a chilling paranormal theme. The first story is about a young man who has kept a devastating secret for most of his life. The second is about a girl who decides to look for her childhood best friend and makes a shocking discovery. The third story is about a young girl who relives a dark childhood memory.

File created with CoreGraphics

Brief biography:
Maria devoured books as a child (not literally, of course). She remains an avid reader/bookworm and can usually be found with a book/Kindle in her hand. She worked as a lawyer for 15 years, and now works at a legal advice centre in a university. She’s published 5 novels, a novella (co-authored by Jason McIntyre), and numerous collections of short stories. Her short stories also appear in the BestsellerBound Anthologies, and in the Mind’s Eye series of books.

Maria is also a music blogger for the UK Arts Directory.

Links to buy Maria’s book:
Links to all Maria’s books, as well as excerpts, book trailers, and lots more can be found on her website.

Maria’s promo links:
Facebook Page
UK Arts Directory

What are you working on now?
I’m working on a second edition of my novel, A Time to Tell, and a new collection of mixed-genre short stories.

(And here is an update on that new collection, Far Away in Time, that previously ran on Reading Recommendations!)

Maria’s reading recommendation:
Andrew Peters. If you haven’t read his Blues Detective series of books, you’re missing out on some hilarious comedy. He also writes more serious crime fiction, like his novel Joe Soap, and short stories that are quite dark, like his collection Solos. A very talented author.