Book Review: Within the Heart of Silence by James William Peercy and Jacqueline E. Smith


Within the Heart of Silence

by James William Peercy and Jacqueline E. Smith

4/5 stars

Within the Heart of Silence is great ekphrastic poetry, blending images with words that often read like music. I enjoyed the touch of agelessness presented by Smith’s photography and Peercy’s verse. The rhyming did not always work for me, but I appreciated its structure. Definitely a great book to read outside in the woods.


Stockade Blues

flowers trained to grow

on the stockade

espalier in vibrant hue

keep memories,

erases time.


© Ben Ditmars 2017


Painting by Jacqueline E. Smith


fire-blessed from
gazing on the blue
sky and her eyes

altering the course
of destiny, her fondness
matches mine

with stones to
spare beneath
cigar tree beans.

© Ben Ditmars 2016


Animation by LunaPic

Photograph Courtesy of Jacqueline Smith.

Read her blog here.

Verbal Ashes

dawn before pitch-black
hours of your heart
has cost us hydrogen
and helium, the stuff
of stars

settled into verbal ashes
tears of helplessness,
appeals to God and words
that bleed the most.

© Ben Ditmars 2016


Animation by LunaPic.


Photograph Courtesy of Jacqueline Smith.

Read her blog here.

Book Review: Backstage by Jacqueline E. Smith



by Jacqueline E. Smith

4/5 stars

I’m easily distracted, but I could not put Backstage down. There were times when the narration could have been subtler and the antagonist more realistic, yet I loved the story. Much like in other books by Smith, the main characters have remarkable chemistry. Whether it is the adorable lead couple Sam and Mel or the hi-jinks of young boy band, Backstage left me wanting more. I can’t wait to see what drama (and new song lyrics) the next book has in store.

Book Review: After Death by Jacqueline E. Smith


After Death

by Jacqueline E. Smith

5/5 stars

The third installment of Cemetery Tours did not disappoint. In fact, it appointed… hard! I felt the same excitement as when I read the first. Smith’s ghosts, action, and characters sync incredibly well together. And the dialogue never misses a beat. I feel like I’ve known Kate, Michael, and Luke for ages. I can’t think of a moment I did not thoroughly enjoy (a carnival was perfect ghostly setting by the way). Romance, intrigue, and another jaunt with America’s favorite ghost, Eugene Brinkley? I think I’ll read the series all over again. Maybe you should too!

IndieVengeance Day 2015

Last week I traveled to Dallas for an annual book signing known as IndieVengeance Day. We get together, the indies and I, once a year and hang out. We also sell books: small books, big books, books that climb on rocks. Okay, none of them climbed rocks, but a couple have ghosts, and that’s just as good.


The journey started in the air…


Photograph by Jacqueline Smith

But quickly involved books and stress cubes.


Photograph by Jacqueline Smith

Hey, poetry!


Photograph by Jacqueline Smith


Photograph by Jacqueline Smith

The books and their Davros. Muahaha.


Scott’s fortune cookie predicted a photo bomb.


And there was this yummy croissant.


Photograph by Claudette Peercy

The Justice League prepared to fight evil… and sell books.


Photograph by Claudette Peercy

After Red Lobster. Don’t we look full?


I found this steer at the airport.


My last view of Dallas.


It was an incredible event filled with my favorite people on earth. Once more, my deepest thanks to Amber Norrgard for all the hard work she did setting everything up.

You can find information on the authors in attendance here:

Julie Frayn

James Peercy:

Amber Jerome-Norrgard:

Stacey Roberts:

Paula Walker Baker:

Jacqueline E. Smith:

Debbie Watts Reece:

Susie Clevenger: