Review: The Vessel – by Callum McLaughlin

I’ve been a fan of Callum’s for a while now, and his blog is one of my favourites (Callum McLaughlin).

His poetry never fails to move me, and I highly recommend you head on over to experience his work for yourself.

I recently read his debut novella, The Vessel, and it blew me away. You’ll find my review in the ‘Reading Room’ but I’ve also added it below.


The Vessel gripped me from the very first paragraph. I felt an instant connection to the focal character (Eva Cole), not only because of a powerful first introduction, but because the author allowed me to see through her eyes. Utilising every tool at his disposal, the author also creates stunning imagery so you feel a connection to everything that happens in this fast-paced tale. The language is poetic in its elegance and, as I said, hooked me from the very beginning.

Eva is hunted relentlessly throughout the book, having escaped from a facility that is as harsh as her surroundings. Living in a world savaged by disease, and as dangerous as the prison she has escaped from, it soon becomes abundantly clear how treacherous her journey will become.

The Vessel had me on tenterhooks. I was invested in the outcome of the story, and couldn’t stop reading until I had learnt of Eva’s fate.

I would highly recommend this debut novella. It is packed to the brim with suspense, intrigue and enough twists and turns to make you dizzy!

Happy Reading



I’m hopping back over to 20/20 Five


1. What blog post are you most proud of? Link us to it.

I’m proud of the work I’ve put into the prompt series, and I’ve actually got a lot planned in the coming months. I will be launching a more generic series, which caters to non-fiction because, let’s face it – we live our own story everyday! Featured Fiction, which is part of the Prompt Series, is also something I’m developing and I love creating new challenges every week.

I do, occasionally, write about life in general on here, and so I’m going to point you to a post others particularly liked (it’s short and sweet too!). Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

2. What does your blog screen name mean?

The idea behind Writing Room 101 was to create a meeting place for all those interested in the art; the reader, the writer, even the candlestick maker. An area to share experiences, discuss, debate and learn from each other. It’s all about the collaboration, and pretty much anything goes – in the room!

3. Do you have a collection of anything?

Books! I have hundreds. I have far too many book cases, and having just moved house, the twinges in my back from carrying box after box of books is enough to steer me towards a Kindle!

4. Do you prefer face-to-face communication, talking on the phone, or texting?

I’d like to think I’m a good communicator, especially given the fact I’m an interpreter. But if I’m being honest, I communicate best through the written word. For those I don’t know particularly well,  I lean towards text.

5. What sound do you love? What sound do you hate?

I love the sound of laughter; it’s contagious and it instantly lifts my mood. I hate the sound of wasps…that buzzing that stays with me long after the culprit has gone and has the ability to reduce me to a gibbering wreck!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog hop, courtesy of 20/20 Hines Sight. You can find more information by clicking here.

Until next time, thanks for reading.


Hop on over to 20/20 Hines Sight

I talk about WR101 being a collaborative blog, and in the spirit of cooperation I’ve decided to take part in a blog-hop. I stumbled across a great site (20/20 Hines Sight), with plenty of hidden gems for readers and writers alike. Why not head over and join the fun.

One of the regular features, 20/20 Five, takes place every Friday. You’ll find more information if you click on the link, but it’s basically a way for the community to come together and share by asking and responding to a series of questions.

2020-e1390359113214Here are the questions, and my answers, for this week’s hop.

Put your iPod or MP3 player on shuffle and tell us the first three songs that come up?

I could make this up to sound more cultured, more musically inclined, or certainly cooler – there’s no rule saying we have to be completely forthcoming. But I’ll be honest because, let’s face it, if we were all the same there wouldn’t be a need for the question. So…deep breath…

1. Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers – Islands in the Stream

2. Bruno Mars – Count on Me

3. Les Misérables: The Motion Picture Soundtrack – One Day More

Everybody’s Got Talent, what’s your? The stranger the better?

I’m quite talented at folding paper! I enjoy origami, especially the kind that tricks the mind and entertains. I have done for as long as I can remember. That’s about as interesting, or as strange, as my talents get, though I do have a rather embarrassing story that might score points. I was around seventeen and took part in a work experience placement for a charity. On my second day, when the supervisor asked what I’d been doing the night before I calmly explained I’d been practising Kama Sutra! I, of course, meant origami and after stuttering through a retraction, was able to laugh about it with her. I still don’t know why the word popped into my head, but I still have to think whenever I talk about origami!

Do you have any strange phobias?

No strange phobias or even funny anecdotes to share. I’m afraid of wasps – it’s an irrational fear born of their resemblance to one of hell’s fiery instruments (told you it’s not rational).

What was the last lie you told?

I can’t really think of any, apart from the little white lies we tell to make ourselves, or others, feel better. When I was a little girl my Dad told me that all our lies were tallied up and if we’d told enough we didn’t get into heaven! It worked, because even though I’m no longer that gullible (not quite), that doesn’t mean I’m taking any chances!

Do you believe in Karma?

Absolutely. I’ve always believed in the importance of treating others the way I want to be treated myself.

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for reading.


Raising the bar on my NaNo journey this April

Melissa Barker-Simpson

People take part in NaNoWriMo for a multitude of reasons, but ultimately it stems from a shared passion to write. My personal reasons are intertwined with my desire for greater structure in my writing life and to share the experience with like-minded people.

This time around, at CampNaNoWriMo I wanted to make a bigger commitment and raise money at the same time. As with many writers, I live, breathe and dream in words. Stories are important to any community and can be the glue that holds us together. NaNoWriMo understands the value of that and gives back in a variety of ways.

As well as encouraging wrimos to take part, including programs that nurture the younger generation, they create events for those who love to write, all over the world.

I believe this should be celebrated. This level of commitment, support and a sense of community has developed me as a person and, quite simply, I…

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Collaboration Station

Writing Room 101 is all about collaboration, and in this section you’ll find a variety of ways we collaborate.

Our latest feature is Blog Tours and as this section develops, there will be more authors for your to enjoy. To be taken to this section of WR101 click on any of the links below:

Blog Tours

Renee Scattergood

Gina Briganti

We also have a section for guest posts, another new area. Find out more by clicking either of the following links:

Guest Posts

Marketing Methods by Kathryn Jenkins

There is also a area for writing partnerships. Find out more here and  here, or go to: Co-authoring

If you are interested in any area of collaboration, please contact me by completing the form below.