I love the dudes, and their guest Robin. Check it out.
When Glittering Shimmerling met the dudes. Conflict in writing.
21 Friday Jul 2017
21 Friday Jul 2017
I love the dudes, and their guest Robin. Check it out.
21 Friday Jul 2017
This gallery contains 5 photos.
Originally posted on lucinda E Clarke:
Now I’m thrilled to welcome Julie as I have actually met her! Yes really! We hooked…
19 Wednesday Jul 2017
The topic was simply too good to miss. A story about the Welsh community in Patagonia, told by a fellow German with links to Wales. Overly excited I devoured the book. The author is a self-confessed excentric and brings a certain flair and humour to the book.
More travel memoir than actual story it has the Welsh community more as a setting and fabric and talks much about the history of the natives of Patagonia and the injustices and – can we call it genocide? – that have occured.
Reflective, descriptive and quirky this is a riveting read. As with all memoirs, there are segments that were less interesting to me, such is travel and contact with a foreign culture that each individual picks up different aspects that fascinate them. For someone, like myself, who knows virtually nothing about the Welsh settlements of Patagonia, 152 years ago, and about the conflict between European settlers and natives, this had a lot of historic value.
Definitely worth an entertaining read about a worthy subject.
17 Monday Jul 2017
I was alerted to Rebecca’s first novel by a friend who suggested her as a possible author for the next Llandeilo Lit Fest. Rebecca comes with an accolade of awards for her short stories and with plenty of critical praise.
Often, such praise makes me suspicious and reluctant, and reading the first few pages I didn’t get sucked into it. But the excellent writing, the promising characters and an a story with potential soon cahnged that.
Henry Twist loses his wife most tragically and while he struggles as a single parent the unhappily married Mathilda makes her design on the fresh widower. She is a great character and you know that soon she is going to interfer in Henry’s life.
Meanwhile a stranger with amnesia shows up and manages to take Henry’s mind a little off his own sorrow to the mystery around the strange man.
I don’t want to give away too much, as some surprises and ‘twists’ turned this enjoyable and pleasant read into a complete additction.
I can see why the book is so hyped about and must congratulate Rebecca on making the transition from short story to novel so flawlessly.
The story continues from 1926 in to the 1950s.
There’s a lot of character depth and historical detail to bring interest beyond the story.
I can only recommend you grab this book and enjoy!
London, 1926: Henry Twist’s heavily pregnant wife leaves home to meet a friend. On the way, she is hit by a bus and killed, though miraculously the baby survives. Henry is left with nothing but his new daughter – a single father in a world without single fathers. He hurries the baby home, terrified that she’ll be taken from him. Racked with guilt and fear, he stays away from prying eyes, walking her through the streets at night, under cover of darkness. But one evening, a strange man steps out of the shadows and addresses Henry by name. The man says that he has lost his memory, but that his name is Jack. Henry is both afraid of and drawn to Jack, and the more time they spend together, the more Henry sees that this man has echoes of his dead wife. His mannerisms, some things he says … And so Henry wonders, has his wife returned to him? Has he conjured Jack himself from thin air? Or is he in the grip of a sophisticated con man? Who really sent him? Set in a postwar London where the Bright Young Things dance into dawn at garden parties hosted by generous old Monty, The Haunting of Henry Twist is a novel about the limits and potential of love and of grief. It is about the lengths we will go to to hold on to what is precious to us, what we will forgive of those we love, and what we will sacrifice for the sake of our own happiness.
Rebecca F. John was born in 1986, and grew up in Pwll, a small village on the South Wales coast. She holds a BA in English with Creative Writing (1st class hons) and an MA in Creative Writing (distinction) from Swansea University, as well as a PGCE PCET from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Her short stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4Extra. In 2014, she was highly commended in the Manchester Fiction Prize. In 2015, her short story ‘The Glove Maker’s Numbers’ was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She is the winner of the PEN International New Voices Award 2015, and the British participant of the 2016 Scritture Giovani project. In 2017, she was named on Hay Festival’s ‘The Hay 30’ list.
Her first short story collection, Clown’s Shoes, is available now through Parthian. Her first novel, The Haunting of Henry Twist, is forthcoming through Serpent’s Tail in July 2017.
When she is not writing, Rebecca enjoys skiing, reading, sketching, watching tennis and playing music. Rebecca lives in Swansea with her three dogs, Betsy, Teddy, and Effie.
The book on Amazon UK and Amazon US
15 Saturday Jul 2017
Lee Jackson is a bestselling, award-winning thriller author. He was an Infantry officer with a front row seat on world affairs, and spent 38 months in Iraq and Afghanistan. Book 1 of his Cold War Series, Curse The Moon was published in 5 countries. Book 2, Rasputin’s Legacy, is due to go on pre-order on June 28, and will be fully released by July 28. Curse The Moon follows Atcho, a counter-revolutionary leader in Cuba turned unwilling spy in the U.S. The odds he faces seem overwhelming as he must choose between saving the world from nuclear holocaust – or his daughter. In Rasputin’s Legacy, he faces a surreal challenge: he must save the country that enslaved his own, or deliver control his personal desire for revenge? Lee Jackson lives and works with his wife in Texas.
The Cold War. A backdrop to betrayal. A playground to power. When his daughter is kidnapped, Cuban-born, West Point Graduate Atcho must be a sleeper agent to men he’d rather kill. Atcho’s rise opens doors into US National Defense even as a seemingly omniscient KGB officer holds unflinching sway over his actions. His public life clashes with secrets that only he and his tormentor share, isolating him in a world of intrigue among people whom he is determined not to betray. His choice: save his daughter, or save he world from nuclear holocaust.When the darkness of night is your only camouflage, you learn to Curse the Moon. Get your copy here now. Curse The Moon is the first book in Lee Jackson’s Cold War Series. The sequel, Rasputin’s Legacy, will be released in late-April 2017.In the tradition of Robert Ludlum’s page-turner, The Bourne Identity, Atcho fights against overwhelming odds, bleeds when hurt, and won’t back down. Think: Jason Bourne meets Dr. Zhivago.
To experience the violent intrigue of Cold War Cuba and Russia vs. the United States, get Curse The Moon today.
Book & Press Guild Reviewer: Natasha Johnstone
Curse The Moon: Cold War Rising
Author: Lee Jackson
Curse The Moon is an action packed, deeply moving story about a man’s desperate struggle to reunite with his daughter amid political, social and personal change. It grips the reader from the starts as depicted in this excerpt from the first paragraph: ‘Atcho slouched against a wall, alone in a small plaza illuminated by the dim yellow light of a single streetlamp. His eyes probed the surrounding darkness. His fine, aristocratic features were hidden behind a week’s growth of unkempt beard, while his normally well-groomed hair fell in shaggy brown locks below his ears. Since state Security Police, commonly referred to as G-2, had never seen Atcho, at least not as himself, they knew him only by reputation. Tonight, they would be looking for his messenger. Atcho’s ears strained for the sounds of approach. His powerful frame ached to be released from its tense stance. “For Isabel,” he muttered.
“From there, the mystery and intrigue incorporated into this action packed book by the ever present General Govorov in Atcho’s life ensures that the pages turn themselves!
But, there is more to this book than a thrilling personal story with a political backdrop. This remarkable book with very deep rooted plot lines portrays a very emotional story, which had a huge impact on me. The book integrates both the history of a country and a man, in an intelligent and gripping manner as well. In this beautifully written book, and in the ever changing landscape that is Atcho’s life, the only constant remains the moon as taken from this excerpt, “You’re always there,” Atcho murmured to the moon. “It seems you are the only benign constant in my life.” His mind drifted. (sic) The book is available at the following online stores:
12 Wednesday Jul 2017
Owain Hughes takes on a journey back into the 1940s and 1950s in North Wales, enlightening us about his upbringing by telling us tales of his childhood: From the bell his mother put on him to know where he was, to getting stranded on an island, meeting odd and quirky family and characters, trips to London, minor celebrities and a lifestyle that moves between obscure and conventional.
This is quite a wonderful journey through Hughes’ childhood. Many interesting events and characters are popping up, like a fleeting mention of Bertrand Russell and Agatha Christie, much detail of the era and every day life of those days, from cars to architecture and clothes.
So far, so very impressive in many ways and quite a beautiful memoir.
If I had to point out one thing that I didn’t like it is that things can drift, as is often the case in memoirs and, to be fair, in its own right is a literary style that many favour in the genre of memoir and will surely enjoy.
More a mosaic than a linear story, this is nevertheless witty, entertaining, amazing and quite an experience to read.
“Read it for its vivid portrait of a childhood characterised by parental ‘benign neglect’, its flow of bravura anecdotes, and its entertaining glimpses of the Hughes family, their relatives and famous friends.” – Richard Poole
Everything I Have Always Forgotten is the story of Owain Hughes’ childhood in the 40s and 50s. He spent it in boarding schools, in the family’s large but dilapidated house, and on the banks and waters of the Dyfi estuary, across from the Italianate folly village of Portmeirion. The north Wales landscape – Snowdonia in the near distance – dominated Owain’s young life, and his stories of boating, horse-riding and walking culminate in the three day hike through Snowdonia by the 12 year old Owain and a friend which culminated in being marooned for two weeks on Bardsey Island, of the north Wales coast.
The ‘Swallows and Amazons’ aspect of Owain’s childhood was made possible by his parents’ policy of “benign neglect” intended to encourage independence and self-reliance. His father was the acclaimed novelist Richard Hughes and his mother, the artist Frances Bazley, a cousin of the Duke of Norfolk, a pairing which added further exoticism to Owain’s childhood. There were visits to cousins who lived in castles, meetings with spies, a circle of friends which included Bertrand Russell and Clough Williams-Ellis, broadcasts on the Third Programme and visits from “the men from Disney”.
Owain Hughes catches a period of life in post-war Britain which looks back to ‘Brideshead Revisited’ but also forward to angry young men and kitchen sink drama. It includes fascinating information and insight into Richard Hughes, and is packed with vivid anecdotes, making an engaging book about memory and what makes us.
11 Tuesday Jul 2017
I’ve been waiting for this for some time. Cannot recomment this series enough!
I’m glad to say that I finally managed to let go of my latest Liam Mannion novel, Patriots’ Blood (book four in the series). Both the book and I have had a few ups and downs along the way since I started writing it, but that’s another story. Here are the blurb and the opening few pages to give you a taster of what’s to come…
View original post 3,378 more words
11 Tuesday Jul 2017
Reviews are still very important and a great way for authors to get feedback, so please consider leaving reviews for all books you read.
08 Saturday Jul 2017
Reblogged from Carol Balawyder
Source: Moore Delivers Smexy
08 Saturday Jul 2017
Reblogged from David Lawlor’s HistoryWithaTwist
Source: A date to remember…
Independence Day… two words that spark a glowing pride in most Americans. The fourth is a time of rejuvenated patriotism; a time to think back at the sacrifices once made in the name of freedom… a time when a nation was born, and a legend, too.
Mention the 4th of July and we hear the strains of The Star Spangled Banner as Old Glory flutters in the breeze, while looking out across the land of the free and the home of the brave. We hear marching bands in the street and imagine the angular frame of Uncle Sam waving to crowds. It’s heady stuff.
But there are places where that date evokes a much darker response… places like Silkstone, in Barnsley, England, where the dappled shadows of tree trunks stretch out across a mound from which two figures peer anxiously out. It’s a memorial to a tragic event whose date has been subsumed by America’s national holiday.
Huskar Colliery is quite a pretty spot these days, now that nature has reclaimed it. Back in 1838 that wasn’t the case. At that time, the smell of coke filled the air as miners hauled coal from the depths of the earth. It was hard, dangerous work, and it wasn’t just men who risked their health to retrieve the fuel. Soot-blackened children as young as seven years old also toiled in the pits.
And it would be on the 4th of July that 26 of them would pay the ultimate price while doing their work. For two hours that afternoon, a thunderstorm raged over the colliery. The rain was so heavy that it extinguished a boiler fire in an engine that was used to take the workers up to the surface.
Rather than make their way to the bottom of the pit as instructed, the children decided to wait where they were until the engine got working again. Nine hours they waited. Not wanting to stay any longer, 40 of them made their way to a ventilation drift in an area known as Nabbs Wood.
There was a door at the base of the drift through which the children entered. It would prove a fatal mistake. Making their way up the drift they were met by a torrent of water from a swollen stream, which washed the children off their feet and sent them back down to the door they had just passed through. The water rose higher against the door as the children fought for their lives. Fourteen of them would manage to escape, but 26 others would drown in the drift.
Brothers George and James Burkinshaw (10 and seven respectively) were among the dead, as were Isaac (12) and Adam Wright (eight). Eleven-year-old Elizabeth Clarkson would later be buried at the feet of her 16-year-old brother James.
The Huskar Colliery disaster sparked an inquiry, and the resulting public outcry led to a law banning boys and girls under 10 years old from working underground. It says a lot about society at the time that this was deemed by many to be a reasoned response.
But back to America and the 4th of July…
I still remember the bicentennial celebrations in 1976, and all because of a tin serving tray that we had in our house. It was decorated with stars and bore the image of some Minutemen fresh from a fight with the British. I don’t know where that tray came from, but I liked studying it.
The 200thanniversary of the founding of America was a big deal, but that 4th of July, 1976, was also momentous in Israel, where worried military chiefs waited to hear the result of a daring raid to rescue 94 Israeli passengers and 12 crew who were being held hostage at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
The kidnappers, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were being supported by Uganda’s military dictator, President Idi Amin.
The raid – codenamed Operation Thunderbolt – was hugely ambitious. It involved flying 100 commandoes over 4,000km. Three hostages died in the rescue bid and 102 were freed (one was ill in hospital at the time of the attack). All the hijackers were killed as were 45 Ugandan soldiers; 30 fighter jets were also destroyed.
The commandos suffered five wounded and one killed – the unit commander, Lt Col Yonatan Netanyahu, was the elder brother to Benjamin Netanyahu who would go on to become Israel’s prime minister.
It was an audacious and spectacular rescue, and several movies were made about it.
The 4th of July can mean so many things to so many people. For me, its significance is not to be found amongst the red, white and blue of America, nor in the eerily poignant memorial at Silkstone. The Entebbe raid does linger in the mind but its date never really registered with me.
No, the 4th of July is special because 86 years ago it was the first birthday of a postman, a carpenter, a glazier, a stringer of tennis rackets and a builder of dolls houses and toy forts. It was the day my father was born – and, for me, that surpasses all the historic milestones one could mention.
So, though my thoughts will stray to the victims of Huskar Colliery, the heroes of Entebbe and even Uncle Sam, my main focus will be on a bald-headed, pot-bellied man with mischief in his eyes. Happy birthday, Da.