Monday, April 7, 2014

Dianne Ascroft - Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves is a collection of half a dozen short stories with Irish connections. Tales of outsiders who discover they belong, a humorous slice of life yarn, heartwarming love stories and a tale of taming fear. The shadows are on the wall, in the heart and clouding a woman’s memories while tangible foes tramp through the physical landscape. The stories were previously printed individually in a variety of publications, including Ireland’s Own magazine, Dead Ink Books’ website, and the anthologies, Fermanagh Miscellany and Tuesdays At Charlie’s.

My Review

What a delightful collection of short stories! The kind you like to snuggle up with on a dreary night while sipping a cup of hot cocoa. You can tell Dianne Ascroft has a big heart. She doesn't rely on racy content or profanity to get her message across. Instead, she embraces the reader with characters that feel so familiar. You'll recognize your inquiring neighbor across the street or your dear friend from book club. She peoples all six of her stories with individuals readers can relate to. They're real. They're genuine. They're just like you and me, and that's what makes them special.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Brenda in "A Link to Her Past" - She's an apt reminder that when it comes to romance, old flames don't have to die. If you let them flicker, they can be rekindled when the time is right.

Mrs. Keown in "A World Apart" - She comes off as a nosy busybody, but there's more depth and feeling to her character. She knows what it's like to abandon her hometown and strike out somewhere new. It turns out she adjusted so well, now she's taken for one of the locals.

Fiona in "Just a Cough" - She's a brand new attorney trying to prove herself to the firm, and no way is her mother going to tell her what to do. Just because she's sick doesn't mean she has to stay home. She thinks she can do it all, even thwart Mother Nature, until a snow plow puts her in her place.

Catherine in "Much More than a Dancer" - Probably my favorite character of the bunch, she's reached middle age, and resents having to troll the dating scene for eligible men. She works hard on her family farm and doesn't have the time to get out much, but when she does the last thing she wants to do is compete with other women for the man she fancies. She's hesitant and afraid, awkward and stubborn. Until a pair of hazel eyes sets her at ease.

Frances in "Conquering the Shadows" - A charming tale of a woman putting her children to bed, yet still harboring her own youthful fears of the dark. With the wind howling at the window panes, she awaits her husband to return home from his job on the railroad. Until she gets scared, and lets her kids climb out of bed and sit with her next to the fire.

Karen in "Going Home" - A poignant reminder that you're never too old to be homesick for your childhood dwelling place. Even after she moved to Ireland with her husband, Karen never really considered their house her true home, until her mother offers some words of wisdom that make her see things differently.

Overall, if you enjoy a nice, comfy cozy story, you won't be disappointed in meeting any of these wonderful characters. They'll pull you in by the heartstrings and never let go. Thanks Dianne Ascroft for showing the many sides of the female perspective.


Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves can be purchased at:
Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K.

Price/Format: $1.16 ebook
Pages: 39
Genre: Romance, Short Story Collection
Release: June 16, 2012
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Dianne Ascroft is an urban Canadian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland with her husband and an assortment of strong willed animals. She writes contemporary and historical fiction with an Irish connection. She has released the short story collection, Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves and a novel, Hitler and Mars Bars. Her articles and stories have been printed in Irish and Canadian magazines and newspapers as well as in anthologies by Writers Abroad, Fermanagh Writers and Fermanagh Authors’ Association.

Links to connect with Dianne:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the review and getting to the heart of my characters.

  2. Connie, thanks for the warm introduction to Dianne's main characters. Very enjoyable! :)