Review: “Raoul Wallenberg: The Mystery Lives On” by Harvey Rosenfeld

This is an important story about a heroic man who risked his own life to save as many Jews from the Nazi’s as he could. The countless eye witness reports and stories of just how brave and resourceful this man was are mind numbing. More so is the continued muddling of all attempts to rescue the man from Russia and the different attempts by the Russians to deny his capture and imprisonment.
Very concise, well researched and full of heartbreaking details about the fate of Jews and their associates
A must read/ listen!I almost didn’t listen to this because of an unfavourable review, implying that there wasn’t a point to the background story and that there was not enough ‘action’ or time devoted to the rescue missions of Raoul.
This turned out to be very wrong!

Now an international symbol of twentieth-century humanitarianism, Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat, issued countless “false” visas and other documents which were virtual life certificates that saved approximately 100,000 Jews from Nazis in wartime Hungary. Then in 1945, as the war drew to a close, he disappeared after being taken into custody by Soviet military police. Today his fate is still unknown.

The expanded version of this authoritative biography of Wallenberg discusses previously sealed prison records and archives; reports of recent sightings of Wallenberg; the Wallenberg family’s historic multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the former Soviet Union; and the worldwide activities in honor of this great man who could not be a bystander.


David Ebsworth: Five Things You (Almost Certainly) Didn’t Know About The Spanish Civil War

Llandeilo Litfest

davidebsworthFriday April 28th
at 6pm
at the Angel Inn

Lle: Yr Angel, 6 o’r gloch, dydd Gwener, 28ain Ebrill

2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War,  and inspires David’s session on Five Things You (Almost Certainly) Didn’t Know About The Spanish Civil War.

Mae 2017 yn dynodi 80ain penblwydd Rhyfel Cartref Sbaen ,pwnc sydd wedi  ysbrydoli   yr awdur David Ebsworth am flynyddoedd; Dyma beth yw sail sesiwn:  Five Things You (Almost Certainly) Didn’t Know About The Spanish Civil War

He’ll discuss the Welsh involvement in the war; how the Spanish Civil War is still important; how it’s been portrayed in popular literature; and some of the stranger than fiction facts that inspire him to keep writing novels on the subject…


Wrexham based David Ebsworth has written six historical novels since 2009, when he retired as negotiator and regional secretary for the Transport & General Workers…

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Silence is Golden

One of the participants at the Llandeilo Lit Fest: Renowned local writer and open mic champion Will Macmillan Jones




But there isn’t going to be a lot of silence at this event on 29 & 30 April 2017. Thankfully. In fact, there is going to be a lot of noise, with several well known authors, poets and writers attending. There will be workshops on ever aspect of the art of writing, and at least four panels that have me watering at the mouth already.

How about Jasper Fforde and Jodi Taylor talking about their work? Or an evening listening to Jo Mazelis read her stunning poetry? Or leading soap script writer Rob Gittins talking about writing for TV? If that doesn’t raise your pulse rate a little, well it should.

Tickets will be available soon, don’t miss out.

Oh, and I’ve been rather honoured to be granted a spot too, at The Angel Inn on the Saturday at 1pm. Yes, I know it is a pub, and I’m usually…

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Review: “Enablers Anonymous” by Nico Laeser

EbabAnonEbook02This is an intelligent and witty story, filled with small truths and observations about humans. Stuck in the treadmill of an office with an annoying boss and a fascinating co-worker, there’s the issue of erectile disfynction and a support group for said issue.
It would be hard to tell you anything more without spoiling it. All I can say is that I hugely enjoyed this story. The writing style is hugely entertaining, with great one-liners and situational comedy. I laughed all the way through it, yet, the story has some wonderfully warm messages, not sugar coated or sickening and therefor all the more powerful and poignant.
Laeser takes us on an enjoyable ride full of surprises and entertainment. A real page turner for me and one that I really want to recommend to you.

Enablers Anonymous


By now, everyone knows the name James King.

They see me on top of this block-tower pedestal, and it seems they’re all trying to knock it down, scraping away the lies I used to glue it all together.

I went from warehouse loser, worst employee of the month, to self-help superstar and media flavor of the month, using the tried and tested method—fake it until you make it.

What I made was a media monster. Now, an angry mob is at my door, wielding pitchforks and flaming torches, screaming, “Down with the Placebo Messiah!”

Ignore what the critics, and my absentee shoulder angel, tell you—I’m not all bad. Come in and help yourself to the complimentary food, but go easy on the coffee creamer or you’ll be up all night. It’s time for me to confess the true version of my story—I’m about to tell all.*

*including where to find the tastiest breakfast wraps in town.

nicolaeser2Nico Laeser is the author of Skin Cage (Winner of the 2015 Max Power Storyteller award) Infinity: An Anonymous Biography (Published in 2015) and Harmonic: Resonance (Winner of the 2015 Christoph Fischer Best Horror award)

His shorter works have been featured in various anthologies including You’re Not Alone (Published in 2015 with all proceeds going to the MacMillan Cancer foundation) and Holes (Published in 2015)

He writes across a variety of genres, and although each novel is unique to itself, they maintain a signature style, instantly recognizable by his readers. Upcoming projects in 2016 include: A dark comedy—Enablers Anonymous, part 2 of the Harmonic series—Harmonic: Dissonance, and more.

Aside from making strangers cry and having them thank him for it, he is also an accomplished artist and illustrator.

Reading by Niall Griffiths from his latest work #sneak preview – definitey for #adults

Anotehr highlight of the festival

Llandeilo Litfest

Sunday April 30th
at 4pm
at the Horeb Chapel

Niall Griffiths

Image result for niall griffiths author Image credit: Literature British Council

is known, in his own words, for “blood and puke and thunder, and, of course, world-affirming torrents of poetic phrase and praise.” His most recent published novel, A Great Big Shining Star, “offers a bleak take on our appetite for celebrity and the new face of fame” (Independent Review) with great humour and sharp satirical bite. By the end of April he’ll have finished another novel, called Broken Ghost.

He kindly agreed to give us sneak preview read from the new book, as well as some examples of his provocative and entertaining writing. An event definitely for adults.
Image result for A Great Big Shining Star

“As reality TV shows and print and online scandal sheets demand ever more celebrities, it seems to be undergoing a process of hyperinflation. The word “celebrity” seems to be detaching itself from the mothership of fame…

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Review: “Notes from an Exhibition” by Patrick Gale

Image result for notes from an exhibition

I listened to this on audio book and must applaud the narrator for his apt putting on of accents.

The book is a brilliant portrait of a quite unusual family and mother. Bipolar artist Rachel Kelly marries Quaker Anthony and moves to Penzanze with him.
Chapter headings form an introduction to each chapter, each giving a descrition of an item from an exhibition about the artist. It took me a while to understand the symbolism and metaphore of an exhibition of one life – what the spectator sees and what they cannot see, what is shown, told and implied. Phases of an artists creation, the juxtapose of biological and artistic creation and much more.
A very clever and accomplished novel that deserved all the praise it got.

On a different level, though. the novel is entertaining as it provides quirky and unusual characters, situations and storylines. Much insight into well developed characters is given.
The characters all have something, I could identify with many of them and found myself involved and invested very much.
The jumps in time and perspectives occasionally bothered me as I was taken out of one life that I enjoyed listening to, and was thrown somewhere else.
But like an exhibition, all the exhibits and pieces can come together in the end and make perfect sense.

Very enjoyable and elegant. The prose is beautiful.
Highly recommended.


David Stuart Davies: “The Game’s Afoot” – an encounter with Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle

Llandeilo Litfest


Friday April 28th
at 7:30pm
at the Horeb Chapel, Cawdor Hotel 

Lle: Capel Horeb, 7.30, dydd Gwener, 28ain Ebrill

What were Sherlock Holmes and his creator Arthur Conan Doyle really like? How do your ideas about this cherished character match up with extensive research?

Pa fath o gynmeriadau oedd Sherlock Holmes a’i grewr, Arthur Conan Doyle?

The Game’s Afoot is an enthralling dramatized encounter between them both, described as a ‘tour de force’ (Books by the Beach festival director).
David Stuart Davies is a top expert on Sherlock Holmes with 11 books and two plays based on the character to his credit. Since 1999,  he’s also edited the Crime Writers Association monthly publication, Red Herrings.

A gripping hour, promising entertainment and surprise.

Mae’r The Game’s Afoot yn son am gyfarfyddiad dychmygol rhwng y ddau ddyn. Cafodd y llyfr ei disgrifio fel campwaith.

Mae David Stuart Davies  yn arbenigwr ar…

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Welsh Wednesdays #LlandeiloLitFestJen Jones: Talk about her book “Welsh Quilts” with an exhibition of some of her fine quilt collection


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Source: Jen Jones: Talk about her book “Welsh Quilts” with an exhibition of some of her fine quilt collection

Jen is a leading expert on Welsh quilts and blankets and travels the world giving talks on the subject.

Basing her collection in Llandybydder, Ceredigion, Jen has written a definitive book on the subject, Welsh Quilts,  and will discuss both quilts and her book at Llandeilo Lit Fest. This will be fine opportunity to hear about this most fascinating aspect of Welsh social and cultural history.

Jen Jones

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April 27 – 30 2017
Twitter:   @LlandeiloLitfest

Tocynnau ar gael o ganol Chwefror.
Tudalen Facebook:


Twitter: @LlandeiloLitFest

Welsh Wednesdays: More information about the Llandeilo Lit Fest


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The Hwyl Llandeilo Lit Fest will be running Thursday and Friday evening, April 27th and 28th 2017 and Saturday and Sunday April 29th and 30th from 11 until late.
The exact programme is almost complete  but for now let me mention some of the confirmed highlights, to be taking place in the Cawdor Hotel Horeb Chapel, Eve’s Toy Shop, The Fountain Fine Art Gallery, The Civic Hall and the Angel Inn, Landeilo, include:
* DT Davies speaking about his memoir “Dianc_i_Ryddid” (All for Freedom)
* Several Welsh language events a_wyddoch_chi_rygbi
* an evening with acclaimed romance writer Brenda Squires ( New Writers Award of the RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) and local artist and author Kate Glanville (whose books have been translated into several European languages)
blas_taste* An evening with local cook book author Lisa Fearn
* “The Game’s Afoot” – a one man show about Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by David Stuart David
* A panel discussion about Scriptwriting with Julian Dutton (British Comedy Award, a BAFTA, and a Radio Academy Gold Award for Best Comedy) and Rob Gittins (screenwriter and novelist.His credits include Casualty, The Bill, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Heartbeat)
* A talk on “Welsh Myths and Legends” by loca author Graham Watkins
* A panel discussion and Q&A with time travel authors Jasper Fforde and Jodi Taylor
* A panel discussion about Welsh Noir and Thrillers jasper-fforde-22-feb-2011-003
* Sarah Reynolds, writer and Welsh learner speaks to Heddyr Gregory about her first Welsh novel in the Angel Inn Llandeilo function room, which has a wonderful ceiling painting and a great atmosphere. (Gomer)
* A Book Hunt through town
* A two day Book Fair in the Civic Hall
* Readings for Children in Eve’s Toyshop
* Art and political discussions in teh Fountain Fine Art Gallery
* Poetry Open Mic around Gin at the Ginhaus Deli
plus workshops for children and adults, subject for talks and readings from rugby to wells, poetry and history.
Confirmed authors include: Phil Carradice, David Ebsworth, Jasper Fforde, Jodi Taylor, Phil Cope, Sally Spedding, Thorne Moore, Cheryl Reese-Price, Kate Glanville, SIon Tomos Owen, Sarah Reynolds, Jean Gill, Karla Brading, Kate Glanville, Christoph Fischer, Philippa Davis and many more.
Tickets will be available from mid-February onwards.
Find our Facebook page here:
Our website here:
Follow us on twitter here: @LlandeiloLitFest
Support us

Cynhelir  Hwyl  Llên Llandeilo o ddydd Iau 27ain – 30ain Ebrill, o 11 tan yr hwyr.

Rydym wrthi ar hyn o bryd yn trefnu yr amserlen terfynnol a chynhelir digwyddiadau yng Nghapel Horeb y Cawdor, yr Angel, ac amryw o leoliadau o gwmpas y dref.

Hyd yn hyn gallwn cadarnhau y gweithgareddau canlynol:

* DT Davies yn siarad gyda Ioan Wyn Evans am ei ddau lyfr “Dianc_i_Ryddid”  a “All for Freedom”

* Noson gyda Brenda Squires, enillydd gwobr Awdur Newydd yr RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) a Kate Glanville, awdures lleol sydd a’I llyfrau bellach ar gael mewn sawl iaith tramor.

* Noson yng nghwmni y cogydd lleol, Lisa Fearne

* “The Game’s Afoot” – sioe un dyn am y ditectif Sherlock Holmes a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gan David Stuart David

* Trafodaeth banel am ysgrifennu sgriptiau gyda Julian Dutton (British Comedy Award, BAFTA,  Radio Academy Gold Award, Best Comedy) a Rob Gittins (Casualty, Pobl y Cwm, Eastenders a Heartbeat)

* Trafodaeth ar “Welsh Myths and Legends” gan yr awdur lleol, Graham Watkins

* C&A gyda Jodi Taylor a Jasper Fforde am nofelau sy’n ymdrin ȃ theithio amser

* Panel am Noir and Iȃs

* Sgwrs gyda Sarah Reynolds, awdures a dysgwraig Cymraeg sydd wedi cyhoeddi ei nofel gyntaf Gymraeg, Dysgu Byw

Ynghyd ȃ:

* Helfa Lyfrau yn y dref

* Ffair lyfrau dau ddiwrnod yn y Neuadd Ddinesig

* Darlleniadau I blant yn Siop Degannau Eve

* Sgyrsiau am gelf a gwleidyddiaeth yn Oriel Fountain Fine Art

* Meic agored yn y Ginhaus, boed yn stori neu farddoniaeth ar gin.

Amryw o wweithdai I blant ac oedolion a sgyrsiau am rygbi, celf,hanes, ffynhonnau sanctaidd a llawer mwy.

Mae’r awduron canlynol wedi cadarnhau: Niall Griffiths, Phil Carradice, Fflur Dafydd, Alun Gibbard, David Ebsworth, Jasper Fforde, Jodi Taylor, Phil Cope, Sally Spedding, Thorne Moore, Cheryl Reese-Price, Kate Glanville, SIon Tomos Owen, Sarah Reynolds, Jean Gill, Karla Brading, Kate Glanville, Christoph Fischer, Philippa Davis

Tocynnau ar gael o ganol Chwefror.
Tudalen Facebook:


Twitter: @LlandeiloLitFest

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Review: “Death of a Sculptor in in Hue, Shape and Color” by MCV Egan

death-of-a-sculptorI’m a big fan of MCV Egan ever since reading her historical novel The Bridge of Deaths.  I was lucky enough to meet the author in Prague a few years ago, and found her to be a wonderful woman throughout.
All that aside, “Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Spape and Colour” has more than just a catchy title and a stunning cover. It is truly an inspired novel/ novella.
As said sculptor is laid to rest, each of the people who loved him reflect on him, while being watched by us in their grief and emotions. The varying view points work very well in their shortness and in the way they overlap and show the same man from different perspectives.
Each wife had a different experience, had a different place in his life and therefor is affected by his love and now by his death in a different way.
But what I thought was merely a study in relationship psychology turns out to be the background for a mystery / thriller. The man was murdered and that is not the only secret that transpires.
I admire the author for packing in so much in such a short space. It’s easy to identify with the characters, imagine the scenery and enjoy the writing while gradually realising what might be going on here. One of my favourites was the segment with the police officer reflecting on the case.
Written seamingly with ease and versatility this is an easy and gripping read that captured me throughout. A much better book than I thought, with great literary qualities. Very impressive and highly recommended.


The book on Amazon US and Amazon UK

Link to my previous feature on MCV Egan 

M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family.

From a very young age, she became obsessed with the story of her maternal grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo–mostly the story of how he died.

She spent her childhood in Mexico. When her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. in the early 1970s, she moved with her entire family to the United States. Catalina was already fluent in English, as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award, despite being the only one who had English as a second language in her class.

In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977. She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France, at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (the Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish businesspeople. She then returned to the USA, where she has lived ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.

Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son who, together with their five-pound Chihuahua, makes her feel like a full-time mother. Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in the subject.

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Is History The Agreed Upon Lie?