“The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club: Unleashed” by Duncan Whitehead

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51EvEZGANPL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_ “The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club: Unleashed” by Duncan Whitehead is a long awaited sequel and one that does not disappoint.

Once again we are served a cocktail of clever plotting, comic and suspenseful entertainment and colourful characters in an intriguing and original setting.
This time we start with a secret nightly burial, setting the tone for the secretive and murderous atmosphere in the outwardly peaceful neighbourhood of Gordonston, Savannah. Who does not have a secret, hidden agenda or a mysterious past in this novel?
A lot is going on in the neighbourhood these days, for example. Elliott is running for Major, Cindy expects her nephew returning from Africa and the gossip still focuses on missing people and romantic liaisons – so life is busy as usual.
The same can be said for a certain organisation that, for a fee, will resolve some of your problems for you, and which – lately – is getting a lot of business from the Gordonston neighbourhood. images
“Unleashed” is fantastic as a sequel. It brings back some of the familiar and successful formula of intrigue, suspense, great characters and the hugely entertaining dynamics of the dog walking club; yet it introduces new characters, new themes and then blends them with the old through some unexpected twists, connections and turns of events. The plotting is excellently done and surprised me many times throughout reading the book. I would have been happy with a simple formula repetition since I enjoyed the first book so much, but Whitehead has simply used it as a stepping stone for a much more evolved and complex novel, unleashing the full potential of old and new. Threads you thought were tied up are not, so always expect the unexpected. There are some great stereotypes and hilarious moments but don’t fear that it is all mindless entertainment. Some characters show depth and serious reflections, adding a more thoughtful note and class to the story. 
Sharp, witty and well written this should sweep awards and nominations as easily as its predecessor did. For fans of crime fiction with a humorous tone I couldn’t recommend this highly enough and this is saying something since I don’t often get excited over crime fiction. 
Six out of five stars.
download
Find the book on Amazon US and Amazon UK
Links:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16174821-the-gordonston-ladies-dog-walking-club

http://www.amazon.com/Gordonston-Ladies-Walking-Club-ebook/dp/B00AHHODH2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1375203238&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gordonston-Ladies-Walking-Club-ebook/dp/B00AHHODH2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1375203266&sr=1-1

Duncan was born in England in 1967. After a successful career in the Royal Navy where he served in British Embassies throughout South America and saw service in the Gulf War he joined the world of super yachts as a Purser onboard some of the world’s largest private vessels, working for many high profile individuals, being fortunate enough to visit some of the world’s most luxurious and exotic places.

Eventually retiring to Savannah, Georgia, he began to partake of his greatest passion, writing. Initially writing short stories he finally put pen to paper and wrote THE GORDONSTON LADIES WALKING CLUB, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness of his new environment. The book, a thriller, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists, is set in the leafy neighborhood where he lived.

His passion for comedy saw submissions to many online satire news sites and a stint performing as a stand- up comedian.

He is a former boxer, representing the Royal Navy and an English under 19 team as an amateur and is a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language as well as a former accomplished children’s soccer coach.

In 2011 Duncan returned to South America, spending six months in Brazil and a few months in Paraguay before travelling to the Middle-East and Europe before returning to the United States to settle in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and lists his hobbies and passions as cooking, the Israeli self defense art of Krav Maga and the pressure point martial art Dim- Mak.

Duncan has written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for an assortment of web sites both in the US and UK. images (1)

Introducing the characters from my novel “Conditions” – Post 7: Simon

Cover for GoodreadsSimon hides from the world. Once outgoing and full of spark, life and his girlfriend Tracey have let him down and he consequently retreated into a world of self-absorbed introspection, spirituality and virtuality to keep everyone else out. Almost by accident he becomes entangled in Charles’s life, an online friend to him who holds valuable information but who tests Simon’s patience.

Simon is used to avoiding people, but this funeral party leaves him little chance to escape.

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Why has he come to the funeral? Is he really happy all by himself as he claims or can the group and Charles get him to rethink his world?

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Find the book

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

Connect with Christoph

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

 

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“My Barsethshire Diary” by Lord David Prosser

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Today I have the honour to introduce David Prosser and his very entertaining “Batsetshire Diaries”, including an interview with his Lordship himself. BookCoverImage

“My Barsetshire Diary (The Barsetshire Diaries Book 1)” by Lord David Prosser is a wonderful excursion into the (fictitious) world of Lord David and Lady Julia live a modern day life with their recently inherited title as Lord and Lady. Traditions, British class system and formality meet shopping trips, exercise machines and mundane tasks and issues.
The book is full of situational comedy, irony and great wit and most amusing characters. Told in diary style, small snippets and events illuminate the challenges when two different worlds meet and need to work out their differences. I enjoyed the book very much and am sure you will, too – especially if you like authors and characters such as Georgette Heyer, Anthony Trollope, Stephen Fry, Wooster and Jeeves, Mapp and Lucia etc. – to name a few. Written with fantastic use of the English language the book is a real treat. A fresh breath of air and a very rewarding read.

“The Queen’s Envoy (the Barsetshire Diaries Book 2) by Lord David Prosser are a great addition to the series. In this instalment
Lord David is asked to take over some diplomatic task, in the tradition of his predecessor. His mission takes him to the Middle East where his likeable and unassuming Lordship at first thinks he has failed his task.
This series has a beautiful feel, very witty but gentle, funny and full of great observational humour about human nature and the British, the diaries are a real treasure.
Lord David and Lady Julia live a modern day life with their recently inherited title as Lord and Lady and offer a great persepctive on the life of the gentry. Traditions, British class system and formality meet shopping trips, exercise machines and mundane tasks and issues. Written with fantastic use of the English language the book is a real treat. A fresh breath of air and a very rewarding read.

Interview with David:

Please tell us a little something about yourself as a person and an author:Top Hat

I’m an ex -Local Government Officer retired on ill health grounds. As a person I’m quite shy though I do have a good sense of humour. As an author I’m more a bender of the truth. Always ready to exaggerate a situation to make it funny. Life should be funny where it can be.

What made you decide to be a writer? Have you always written?

I didn’t start writing until I was 60. A friend in America asked how my day was and I answered in the form of a diary entry from a slightly browbeaten husband and father. She loved it and asked for moe and the first book was born.

For the less educated amongst us, could you shed some light on Barethshire, Mr Trollop and your Lordship?

My friend, who is also a writer and editor compared my writing to Anthony Trollope and I thought maybe I could create the modern day Barsetshire . Angela Thirkell carried on from Trollope after a considerable gap, I carried on from her after the same gap. As for me, I decided to place myself there to narrate the story. The title is another issue. It’s an hereditory feudal title or Manorial title so strictly speaking I’m not entitled to the form of address ‘Your Lordship’. It’s not Lord David Prosser, it’s David Prosser, Lord of Bouldnor. However it would be very difficult to explain that in a book and to be honest I thought the title wouldn’t harm sales so I stuck to the traditional.

How do you come up with your ideas? Who or what inspires you?

Very much like you I watch people to find my characters. The storyline in the first book was based on real life incidents just taken to the N’th degree. The second book, The Queen’s Envoy which is in fact a prequel is all imaginary as I”ve never been to the places mentioned nor rescued damsels in distress.

You write both short blog posts and novels. How do you decide when to keep it short and when to draw the story out?

The writing stopped after my wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I’d had a blog in a small way before that but I concentrated more on that as time went on.Lady J had many friends out there that I was keeping in touch with any changes. I was also running a blog on behalf of the cat who couldn’t quite manage the keyboard. His blog eventually became the fourth book I wrote.

You’ve written great characters. Would you say you’re like any of them? Or, how do you create your characters? Did you have any actors or people in mind when writing your characters?

I’m very much like Lord David, the hero naturally. As with all the characters they’re based on observations of family, friends and perfect ( or imperfect) strangers who had characteristics I could use. The situations in the first book are just things that people face every day but in this case faced by a charming , urbane and very female ruled male.

Which book did you most enjoy writing?

The second Book, The Queen’s Envoy was the one I enjoyed most as I had to totally create the situations and then place them in foreign parts and try and get myself out from under without falling into the grasp of scheming females.

What is your writing environment like?

Small, cramped nd very untidy describes it best. I use the second bedroom ( box room) as my bedroom and as the computer room as I sleep very little. I found when my brother slept over I couldn’t put him in here as for some reason he wasn’t amenable to me tapping away at me emails at 3.00 am.

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it? Tell us about the artist.

The cover of the first book was done by my friend and editor for me. I really liked the pastoral scene. I’m ashamed to say I did the cover for the second book, The Queen’s Envoy, and then had a young artist called Sara Japanwalla do the cover of book 3, More Barsetshire Diary, based on cartoons she did to head each chapter in that book. It was a trial that didn’t really work. I take responsibility for the fourth book Memoirs of a Superior which was by Oscar the cat. The last book I also did the cover for but I’m actually proud of that one, Tall Animal Tales for Toddlers & Up, a book of sillly animal poems dedicated to my grandson Reuben.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows? ;

I’m something of a technophobe so I found the actual formatting very conmfusing. The High, selling that very first book. The Low, actually paying the bribe to the buyer.

What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favourite thing?

The best thing about writing, being paid to think up lies. The least favourite, typing up.

What is your advice to new writers?

Don’t hesitate, but make sure you use a proofreader at least and an editor if possible before publishing. The competition is fierce and readers prefer a book without mistakes.

Who are your favourite authors?

Terry Pratchett, Harlen Coben, Sue Grafton, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Tolkein.

Who are your favourite independent writers?

AC Flory, SJ Sprague, Candy Sorin Suciu, Candy Korman and just so many more who haven’t written enough to satisfy me yet.

What is your favourite book?

Without doubt Lord of the Rings.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader in paperback.

What is your life like outside of writing?

What life outside writing, or at least blogging and answering emails?

What makes you laugh?

My grandson’s laugh, a good joke. I don’t laugh at people falling, I cringe.

What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?

A full Kindle with a power source.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

My friends in Australia. The people I’m least likely to ever meet.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

The Queen’s Envoy. Would be Search for the Hero inside Yourself., by M People.

How do you handle criticism of your work?

It depends. I accept valid criticism, we can’t please everyone. Trolls annoy me and I have actually answered one though I know one should rise above it.

Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.

Sorry, probably the most weird thing is that I live here. Nice is that I have some history around me with the ruins of Basingwerk Abbey and the fact, they became ruins when Henry VIII decided on the dissolution of the Monasteries.

What are you working on now?

Just the blog and some interviews though I’m being nagged to write again and to do another book of silly poetry.

Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?

Me, I’m a quiet chap with a firm belief in the benefit of hugs. See my Buthidar’s site.

My books, well you could read those to anyone as there’s no sex, violence or swearing- just fun.

Connect with David:

Amazon .com Author page http://goo.gl/XIMtUn

Amazon.co.uk Author page http://goo.gl/BBk5yk

Website. http://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com

Buthidar’s site http://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/

Introducing the characters from my new novel “Conditions – post 6: Catherine

Cover for GoodreadsCatherine is a supporting figure in my novel “Conditions”. She is an aspiring poet who lacks the confidence to publish her work – even to connect with the people who are clearly interested in it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her early life is influenced by being a redhead and by an un-loving stepmother

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Then she settles for Mister Right instead for Mister Passion and ends up in divorce and with more fear of life on her own.

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Although very attractive and full of potential Catherine hides from the world and clings onto Charles, an un-threatening (gay) male and generous friend. 

Catherine is full of conflict, controversy and contradictions and was a fantastic character to explore. How does she cope with the challenge of the funeral, of having a difficult friend and will she take up opportunities that come her way? 

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Will friends always be friends and what challenges can peopel rise to?

Find the book

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

Connect with Christoph

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

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Welcome to an Interview with author Christoph Fischer

writerchristophfischer:

Lord Prosser kindly hosted me on his blog “barethshirediaries” – one to check out even if you don’t want to hear any more about my new book ;-)
Many thanks David!

Originally posted on barsetshirediaries:

Welcome to an Interview with Christoph Fischer
Christoph Fischer
 
Author of.  Conditions
Conditions
 
A brief synopsis.

Two estranged brothers are confronted with each other when their mother dies. One is bitter about his place in the family, the other has mental health issues. The book follows the group of people attending the funeral and covers the days leading up to and the weeks following the funeral itself . 
What made you decide to write this book?
 
I know a lot of people who struggle with mental health issues, whether it is  themself or because of one their friends or their family. I’m amazed at how wonderful and natural some people are with it and how uncomfortable and unkind others are. I always wanted to write about that to raise awareness and make people challenge themselves. I think we all (me very much included) have a lot to learn about…

View original 2,551 more words

Introducing the characters from my new novel “Conditions” – Post 5: Edgar

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Book_marketing2-lrgEdgar has only a compratively small part in the book but has a significant role in my main character Charles’s life. He is an attractive bodybuilder from Brazil who is a personal trainer, a friend and love interest. 

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Edgar joins the group of friends for the funeral to show support for Charles but he soon comes under the miscroscope of the gathering who want to know what is beneath that pretty facade.

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How did this Brazilian hunk end up in the UK and then in Hampshire of all places? What does he think of Charles and the rest of the group? He, too, has a story to tell about his past, his dreams and aspirations and about friendship.

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Find the book

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

Connect with Christoph

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o Book_marketing2-lrg

Book Review Friday – Conditions by Christoph Fischer

writerchristophfischer:

Thanks P.C. Zick for this thoughtful and amazing review. What a fantastic surprise!

Originally posted on P.C. Zick:

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Families are our first line of defense against the world. And when that line crumbles, brothers can turn away from one another. Christoph Fischer’s Conditions examines the horrific consequences of shattered familial relationships in a poignant and sad manner.

This work of contemporary fiction also addresses the issue of mental illness through a close magnifying glass, and begs the question of what qualifies as “mental” degeneration.

At the forefront as a poster child for mental illness stands Charles; however, as the novel progresses, there are times when Charles is the only one who makes sense in the cavalcade of characters that prance and plod through Conditions. His brother Tony struggles for years with jealousy of Charles, thinking that his condition is one that lets him off the hook for responsibilities. As is the case in far too many families, assumptions made in childhood only multiply and fester if not addressed…

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Introducing the characters from my novel “Conditions” – Post 4: Martha

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Book_marketing2-lrgMartha is a petite and fragile woman, a battered wife and recovering alcoholic. Despite her own desperate situation and her shy and vulnerable nature she decides to stand by Charles and support him through the ordeal of his mother’s funeral. She switches quickly from painfully holding back and being tense to complete and utter lack of boundaries.

 

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She is an unlikely candidate to join this sad event since she carries so much of her own baggage and emotional scars with her, but despite her lack of confidence and sense of self worth she can surprise everyone with her occasional powers of determination. 

How does she ‘deal’ with Charles’s condition, what is her take on his character, how does she cope with the hostility at the funeral and will she ever break free from her chains?

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Find the book

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

Connect with Christoph

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

Book_marketing2-lrg images (1)

Introducing the characters from my novel “Conditions”, Post 3: Elaine

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Book_marketing2-lrgElaine is a motherly figure and a close friend to Charles. A haidresser, a psychic and a caring giver, she attracts fragile and needy people and is always happy to help: be that her sister who has ME, her neighbour with the broken leg and of course, Charles. We never learn how the two met and how they became friends, but they are close, and she is the engine that powers the group on the day of the funeral. 

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Approaching her sixties, she is lively, always busy, a little bossy and outspoken but also charming, gentle and caring. I picture her a bit like a young Judy Dench or Zoe Wannamaker with spiky multi-coloured dyed hair, wearing a kind of alternative yet stylish velvet black dress.

How does she cope with Charles’s erratic ‘turns’and ‘episodes’, his highs and lows and his needs? Why is she so selfless, where does she get her energy from and can she really read the tarot?

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Find the book

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

Connect with Christoph

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o Book_marketing2-lrg

MCV Egan’s Long Journey to Prague

writerchristophfischer:

The same trip, yet many different thoughts during this amazing experience. Thanks Victoria and MCV Egan

Originally posted on Cold:

letter from homeThis, for me, is the week of the re-blog, but I just can’t resist. On Monday, I posted Christoph Fischer’s lovely piece about his trip to Prague and now I’m posting MCV Egan’s. But don’t for a minute think you’re just getting more of the same. MCV’s post is powerful and meaningful – drawing not only on her observations from her recent trip to my favorite city, but on family stories and tragedies in her own home country of Mexico.

Please have a read. Then go have a cry.

My Long Journey to Prague
By MCV Egan

Just a week ago, on Monday October 6th I got up early in Prague to catch the first train to Kutná Hora . My friends and I wanted to see for ourselves The Bone Church in Victoria Dougherty’s phenomenal novel.

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My one hour train ride that morning was with two Europeans with very…

View original 997 more words

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