Ashley Capes

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Fact

  • Author: Ashley Capes
  • Genre: Poetry 
  • Books: Old Stone Between Giants

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Ashley is a poet, novelist and teacher living in Australia.

He’s the author of six poetry collections and three novels and was poetry editor for Page Seventeen from issues 8-10. He also moderates online renku group Issa’s Snail.

He teaches English, Media Studies and Music Production, has played in a metal band, worked in an art gallery and slaved away at music retail. Aside from reading and writing, Ashley loves volleyball and Studio Ghibli – and Magnum PI, easily one of the greatest television shows ever made.


archaeological moment


a penny has come thousands of miles

to hibernate in the dirt


it’s not worth much

but neither is it worth nothing


once we clean it in a glass of coke

and the royal head has a nose again


we take it inside, though the first one

to tire of it reaches for the Sega


later on I don’t know which one of us

will take it to the front shed


where the Nissan lords it over dead flies

that gather in the window sill,


and hide the penny behind a landscape

mum and dad haven’t unpacked


years later when moving house

and neither one goes back for it


the penny can close its tiny eyes

to wait for a more archaeological moment.

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Stacy Lynn Mar

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Fact

  • Author: Stacy Lynn Mar
  • Genre:  Poetry
  • Book:
    • Mannequin Rivalry
    • Deeper Than Pink
    • Anonymous Confessions
    • Conversing in a Black Cadillac


Stacy Lynn Mar is a confessional poet and a life coach who emphasizes the concepts of positive psychology and writing as a basis for her therapeutic approach.    Some of her poetic idols include Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Sharon Olds, Charles Bukowski, and Erica Jong.   Stacy lives a life rich in Buddhist philosophy, is a practicing Yogi, and dabbles in digital art when life permits.  She divides her time between family, home-schooling her daughter, and a rich intellectual life devout of arts, literature, the silver screen, ice cream, indie music, and vintage things.  She’s described herself as a psychology nerd and a professed bibliophile.

Author Accomplishments

Stacy has authored four collections of poetry and a collection of poetry-writing prompts.   She has had hundreds of poems widely published in over 50 small & independent press magazines, webzines, and journals.   She has been nominated numerous times for Best of the Web & thePushcart Prize.  

Stacy is Editor & Founder for the online women’s literary & development webzine Pink.Girl.Ink. Press. She also is masthead of a Gothic Romance Reviews, where she reviews novels and hosts author interviews of the genre.  

Stacy graduated from Lindsey Wilson College with her BA in Counseling Studies, she earned her MA in Mental Health Counseling & her Addiction/Professional Counseling Certification from Capella University.   She also attended Ellis College for undergraduate studies in English Literature.  


Feminist, poet, teacher, and scholar...Stacy is as bold and witty as she ever was in this fourth installment. Yet again, she has masterfully orchestrated a confessional collection of poetry resurrected from the gritty observations of everyday life.

Her accounts of love, loss, suffering, and the beautiful agility of the human spirit have been well-crafted from front-seat observations and five a.m. coffee sessions.

Stacy has a remarkable sense for detail and a dramatic, unique skill for wrapping the 'everyday' into metaphorical sentiments. She masters this gift in the poem 'Mountain Parkway' as she remembers an old love and simultaneously pays homage to her homeland:


"The summer is passing

Like a long arm swaying

From the passenger seat

Of a car on a four-lane highway.

And I ride alongside you

Like a virtue, a wild nag

That grinds my eyesight

To the moon-ground recollections

Of dreams that buzzed in June

Now as splintered as rosewood

And littered of memories

That irk my nervous hands

Like a nose itch that won't wipe away."

What Readers Are Saying

"Her raw, metaphorical take on life and relationships reminds me of a younger, softer version of Sharon Olds."

-Tammi Watts, Educator from Wisconsin

"Once she pulls you in, it's impossible not to complete a poem. Her words read as sentimental, metaphorical eulogies to everyday life. I can't read a book by Mar without pausing to pay thanks to even the experience of the mundane."

-Jennifer, Blog Writer and educator of Culinary Arts, from New Jersey

"Remarkable would be a bland understatement. This young poet is as intelligent and creative as she is touching and heart-rending. She adores life, she embraces it's scars..."

-Shelley Wright, Mixed Media artist from Brittish Columbia

"She is a woman warrior with a brilliant insight. How can you not appreciate that?"

-Felicia, Student and Writer, from Kentucky

"Her metaphors and symbolism are absolutely breath-taking! Pick this book up, you will not regret the words that await you from this Indie author!"

-Elizabeth Ward, Educator, from Canada

"This is real poetry. This is individualism in it's raw aura. These words are life, themselves."

-Erica, Student, Nigeria


Only The Young Have Such Moments

The girl is leaning close to the boys face,

Is telling him why objects lost from

The soft hands of strangers

Are really heirlooms disguised as garbage.

She holds a matchbox toward his face,

Delicately, the cardboard glowing

Of acrylic paint and super-glued lace.

Tells him it's a concubine for one lonely heart,

The slippery paper taped to the corner

Once held a doughnut which touched

The lips of a young boy's first kiss.

She says she likes to paste and rearrange

otherwise insignificant pieces of people's lives,

The smell of Japanese take-out

On the sixth Sabbath, fortunes unsnapped

From cookies and still smelling of sugar.

Says she is stealing memories,

Making those lost,  semi-witnessed moments

Immortal in their own rights.

He listens, one eye trained against the sky,

Sinking beneath the dark holes

The stars form in their broken constellations.

He is dreaming of their first kiss

And how she might savor it,

All the while she's recalling the strange smile

Of John Lennon on the cover of a vintage record,

Wondering how she can illuminate

The vinyl in a decoupage-styled collage

without losing the infinite kiss of Yoko Ono.

Pizza Talk and English Beer

On the eve of a holiday

I cannot fully remember

I came to you

Like a drunkard on the mend,

Stiff in my winter boots,

The smell of front porch

on my hair.

I'm not sure what I expected

But you were two thumbs deep

In some foreign documentary

So we spread cold pizza

And Old English beer between us

And talked sleepy circles

Around mad prophets,

The historical poets of our time

And each syllable you spoke

Felt like the edge of another world

I could cross, except

The alcohol was stealing my thunder

So all I could manage

Was a 2am rant about

The binds this world born us into,

The unjust in our lack of choice,

The wondering eyeball of chance,

And the God in all our words;

How always Saturday night

Would find us waging wars

Against the invisible forces

Of our universe and how

Come Sunday morning

There's always more questions

Than there are answers.

How, exhausted, we fall asleep

Across the bent in arms of each other,

Aging as we sleep

Like old dogs waiting to die.

The Piano Player

He said

Spring always reminded him

Of silk dresses,

rims of their sewn edges

Hugging the breeze

Like petals mending

Their strong, poetic skeletons

In the aftermath of winter.

We'd spy

The first flight of a butterfly

On a porch swing

In the country.

Tin trailer and a horizon

Of black-shingle roof

To shed us from the sun.

Two ice teas between us,

We'd talk of books,

The stiff voice of Yeats,

The sheets where Sexton slept,

And like a traveler mid-stop,

He'd bring his melodies to me.

I'd ride the baritone waves

Of his old love songs,

His tan skin and hand joints,

all open-throat and thrashing keys.

And when his fingers paused mid-play,

I'd pray he still had

Something left to say to me.

Vintage Runaway

Love was a church hymn

she couldn't sing without choking.

Outgrowing the trees of her homelands' hills,

The rooms that bore her grandmothers babies,

Mountain air becoming the spit spew

Of a stifled star shower beneath the lunar moon.

Then the bare, brown clapboarded rooms,

Bright of tiny square windows

Where she'd gaze like a prisoner

Across uncalculated miles of rolling green,

Strength of the dogwood set afire by the sun,

Weeping tendrils of the willows bowing forward,

Waving their bony, green fingers as if inviting

Her to walk along dust hollows, barefoot,

To drop her threadbare white dress

Into the ocean of a puddle alongside

This make-shift highway leading south.

To throw her head back,

Shake the wild curls of her hair,

The feet of each pale strand

Itching to dance between the fingers

Of so many strange boys.

Michelle Murray

Book to Brain Blog Tour

Fast Facts:

  • Author: Michelle Murray
  • Genre: YA fantasy, poetry
  • Book:
  • The dream Walker from the land of Mystica Series
  • The dream Walker Returns from the land of Mystica Series
  • Ichra's Quest
  • Rainbows and Dreams: A collection of Poetry
  • Official Site


I am a working mother of two young men. I started writing in high school. When not writing, I enjoy reading, doing crafts, painting, and going for walks.

Author accomplishments

I recently won Poet of the year. Several of my poems have won awards and been published in various anthologies.

Book blurb for the Dream Walker Series:

Miranda is an average college student until the dreams come. Follow her and her dreams on her quest to save The white wizards from their stone prisons. Each book follows a different quest to free a different white wizard.

Book Blurb for Ichra's Quest

Ichra has turned 14 and must find his magic stone in the Ice Caves. Travel with him as he travels the dangers of the Ice Caves.

Review for Dream Walker:

4.0 out of 5 stars The Dream Walker. February 23, 2015
By Pennie Mae Cartawick. Author of the Sherlock Holmes book series TOP
500 REVIEWER Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

When it comes to a world of fantasy and magic where sword and sorcery takes hold, this is where it all starts. In this epic YA adventure, a dark wizard conjures up a black spell to trap his fellow wizards inside stones. A young boy Mortimer who lives in the land of Mystica finds one of these stones in a river and hides it, keeping  it for himself. Because he didn't follow suit and turn it over to the Goddess as law requires, he in turn releases a dark wizard named 'Midnight' whom is bent on power and ruling the land. A favorite place to be for children as they plummet into the pages of 'The Dream Walker', a well deserved mystical journey. A place in time from another world that envelopes dragons, wizards, and fairytale belief where strange powers corrupt to ignite a kingdom of good Vs evil. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to read the next installment in the 'Land of Mystica Series'. I was given a copy for evaluation and an unbiased review.

Review for Dream Walker Returns:

5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up! November 29, 2014
By Maggie
Format:Kindle Edition
Author Michelle Murray writes a fun and magic filled story in The Dream Walker Returns. I don't usuallyread adventure stories but I finished the whole book in one sitting! It's complete with magical creatures, a love story, betrayal, magic and a lovable heroine. Miranda had to go back once again to Mystica after saving it in The Dream Walker. Evil threatens to take over the land and she is called to save it a second time. Thedream walker is tasked to heed the call of a person with a good heart needing help and she comes only every couple of thousand years. Miranda finds the assistance she needs from unlikely allies as she struggles with the huge responsibility of saving a magical world and its people.Recommended for teenagers and anyone who loves fantasy adventure.

Review for Ichras Quest:

Mar 21, 2015 Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: author, short-story, review, fantasy
Thanks to Michelle Lee Murray for giving me this book to review. When the Ice people turn 14 they go on a quest to find a magical stone, and it is now Ichra’s turn. But there are many perils in the ice caves including ice quakes and unusualcreatures. Will he be able to find his stone and make his way home? Ichra’s Quest is an enjoyable short story set in the same world as The Dream Walker Series. Ichra wants to prove himself but also wants to see the rest of the world and have adventures like hi Thanks to Michelle Lee Murray for giving me this book to review. When the Ice people turn 14 they go on a quest to find a magical stone, and it is now Ichra’s turn. But there are many perils in the ice caves including ice quakes and unusual creatures. Will he be able to find his stone and make his way home? Ichra’s Quest is an enjoyable short story set in the same world as The Dream Walker Series. Ichra wants to prove himself but also wants to see the rest of the world and have adventures like his father. A sweet story that I would recommend to those who have read the rest of the Land of Mystica series.

Review for Rainbows and Dreams:

5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid word word tapestry April 2, 2015
By Diane Paxton
Format:Kindle Edition
Rainbows and Dreams is an eclectic and evocative collection of poetry that is uplifting, thoughtful, insightful,  and plaintive. In her straightforward style Michelle Murray weaves a rich tapestry of words that will resonate with readers of her work. Loss, hope, heroes, warriors, fair maidens, dreams, and all the colors of the rainbow are packed into these verses. These verses will nourish your heart and soul. Highly  recommended.

Book expert Dream Walker:

Miranda found herself standing in the middle of a field with knee-high grass and flowers of different colors. The flowers were bright and colorful in shades of purple, blue and green that Miranda had never seen before. The field was all around her, with nothing else to see. No people, no animals, no signs of water, nothing was around her except the tall grass for what seemed like miles and miles. Miranda looked up and saw two suns in the sky; she thought maybe she wasdreaming again. But, she could feel the grass, and the heat from the suns. Before she could even move to start walking, an arrow shot through the air. It struck a black wolf-like creature that had been ready to attack her from the grass. Miranda had not even seen or heard the creature. Miranda could now see the large fangs and claws as the creature fell right next to her.

Review for Dream Walker Returns:

The Darkness was a living thing. It waited. It had all the time in the world. Yet, it was starting to get restless. It wanted to  be out in the world again. It wanted to be slithering into cracks, covering all light, dousing sparks of hope and   happiness. It grew on misery and pain. It knew little of the changes of the world, and cared less. Wizards, kings, and people they all came and went. The dragons were older, and less prone to its wanderings. The Darkness only knew of two  things, to grow and feed. To do this, it needed to slither and strengthen. It needed to be in the world again. It had been  here since the beginning. It would be here until the end, if even just a small amount like it was now. The Darkness had never been this small for this long. It itched to grow. It yearned to hear the screams and feel the pains of the humans as it worked its path through the world.

As if in answer to its thoughts, the Darkness heard a  spell. The spell attached him to a wizard. It was not the entrance or  introduction to the world it was hoping for, but it was a start. That was all the Darkness needed, a start. A way to get into the world once more.

Review for Ichra's Quest:

Ichra was about to go on his Ice Quest. He was small, even for an Ice Person. He was barely two feet tall! No matter how much he ate, he just did not grow. He did not let his small size stop him, though. He explored the Ice Caves, played games of hide and seek with his fellow Ice People, and helped carve out more passageways in the Ice Caves. He was the only son of parents who doted on him. His father had taken his magic “seeking” stone to aid the King in his quest to find and kill the remnant of Midnight’s army.

Excerpt from Rainbows and Dreams:

Escape Drift Drift Away

Fly Fly Fly away

In the puffy white clouds

Of the sky Blow Blow away

Glide Glide Glide away

On the wings

Of butterflies

Huff Huff away

Soar Soar Soar away

With the noisy engines

Of a commercial plane

Sigh Sigh away

Fall Fall Fall away

From the snowy top

Of Mt. Everest

Cry Cry away

Write Write Write away

Sorrows and pain

To get through another day