Wednesday, April 9, 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

I'm drawn to stories set in Ireland and this treasure trove of tiny tales is one of those needles in the haystack that I was lucky enough to find. My heart was overflowing with references to 'cuppas,' 'eejits' and 'lie-ins,' I felt right at home like I was reading one of my favorite Maeve Binchy novels or watching an episode of BALLYKISSANGEL. I thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the lilting atmosphere. Thirty-nine pages just wasn't enough. I wanted more.

Before this, I wasn't familiar with the work of Dianne Ascroft, but now you can count me among one of her biggest fans. The world needs more writers like her who take a gentle, tender approach to examining life's heartaches and difficulties. Love is the balm that soothes all rankled spirits and the glimpses she gives us into the lives of these characters beautifully illustrate her uplifting message of peace, hope and understanding.

I liked how the stories traveled back and forth across time. "Conquering the Shadows" had a nineteenth century vibe to it with the railway and the candlelight. While "A Link to Her Past" felt thoroughly modern with a streaming internet connection broadcasting a Catholic Mass. The settings were varied enough to give a good sense of the Irish countryside as well as its people. The architectural marvel of a church. A windy, rustic lane. A crowded dance floor at a local pub. Dianne made me feel like I stopped in for a chat with all of these nice people. Her writing is so welcoming it's like a hearty hug with an accompanying pat on the back for good measure.

It's refreshing to read about such kind souls like the ones found in a Dianne Ascroft story. They hearken back to a time when relationships with other people held their weight in gold. Ah, how comforting it is to be reminded of that simple fact. It's one of those timeless themes in literature that always rings true.


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. Thank you for reviewing my short story collection. I'm glad you felt at home in it. Like you, I've always been drawn to Irish stories so when I moved to Ireland two decades ago it was only natural to start writing about my adopted home.

  2. Victoria, thanks for the review of Dianne's short story collection. I'm glad you thoroughly enjoyed the Irish setting :)

  3. pretty nice blog, following :)