Today I present you another regular author on this blog: John Dolan and his hilarious epic “Adventure in Mythopeia” Part Douglas Adam, part Tom Sharpe this massive novel sparkles with ideas and humour. The first part focuses on a bunch of small criminals in Wales. They are likeable, mostly harmless and get into all sorts of trouble with bigger crime bosses. They are very distinct characters and make for a fantastic start to this fast flowing novel. Notable is a tarot card reader on the periphery who introduces a mystic element that will be picked up later. The second part introduces a young/old man who wants to experience the world and find adventure before his life comes to an end. He finds adventures not too far away from home in the library near where his aunt lives. Mysticism and sorcery come into play, while suddenly characters from the first part appear in this new world. In the meantime there is a political storm brewing that always pops up in the background. Well, from the outset there is a prophecy from the tarot card and in most bizarre ways we’re heading there. Enough said about the plot. This is intelligent, imaginative, entertaining and well crafted writing. The plot and the diverse characters also always full of surprises and if you still don’t know John Dolan from my other blog posts and reviews, it’s high time you did check him out.
“It was neither the best of times, nor the worst of times. It was somewhere in the middle. ”
O’Breasail – publican, drunk and ex-Arsenal footballer – is up to his neck in debt to the Chinese gangster Mingzhu Tang. With time running out, the desperate Irishman goes for a tarot card reading at Driscoll’s Circus hoping to find a way out of his predicament.
Meanwhile, the world is descending into anarchy and his nephew Jason is considering quitting his job as a male escort. Plus, there’s the little matter of the sheep…
So begins a modern-day epic drawing on the Greek Myths, Don Quixote, the Quest for the Holy Grail and Carl Jung’s treatise on UFOs. Packed with dark humor and eccentric characters, Adventures in Mythopoeia will take you on a madcap journey of criminality, enchantment, laugh-out-loud gags and British weather.
Bring your umbrella.
ABOUT JOHN DOLAN:
“Makes a living by travelling, talking a lot and sometimes writing stuff down. Galericulate author, polymath and occasional smarty-pants.”
John Dolan hails from a small town in the North-East of England. Before turning to writing, his career encompassed law and finance. He has run businesses in Europe, South and Central America, Africa and Asia. He and his wife Fiona currently divide their time between Thailand and the UK.
He is the author of the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ mystery series and the ‘Children of Karma’ mystery trilogy.
A very special Rodeo Classic over at the Carrot Ranch in honour of blogger, author, poet and friend to so many of us, Sue Vincent.. Sue has cancer and yet continues to shine with her writing and to support her fellow authors. This 99 word or syllable rodeo has an amazing prize of $100 and a book of Sue’s to enjoy. It is also a way to donate $5 to a fund raiser. Even if you are not entering the challenge, you can still help raise awareness by re-blogging the original post from Carrot Ranch, buying Sue’s latest book, which incidentally looks like a great read, or re-blogging posts from her blogs. (words by Sally Cronin)
Here at the Carrot Ranch, we take the business of 99-word literary art seriously. Those who participate in the Ranch prompts or yearly Rodeo saddle up to TUFF (The Ultimate Flash Fiction) it out and train new Rough Riders as we go. Now, the Ranch is hosting a new event to sharpen minds, welcome new hands, and celebrate one of our own the best way we know how: our first ever Rodeo Classic.
In this Rodeo Classic, we’re here to celebrate a stalwart center of many blogging corners, Sue Vincent. Sue has variously contributed to the community here at the Carrot Ranch, through communication with many other bloggers, and run her own famous #writephoto weekly blog prompt. You can (and should!) follow her on her blogs, The Daily Echo and the shared blog France & Vincent. She has inspired us to become better writers and shown us the power of mystery and myth. We also suggest taking a perusal at her book corral and Amazon pages!
The Rodeo and Prizes
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic serves as a special challenge. Riders will have to condense the following photo into a story of 99 words (or, if you prefer, a poem of 99 syllables). Writing 99 words has never seemed TUFFer!
Each story needs to have a beginning, middle and end. Poems must have distinctive theme, movement, and rhythm; no rhyme scheme is necessary, but neither will rhyme be punished. Go where the prompt leads you – any genre is acceptable, but keep it family friendly and related to the photo. If you haven’t wrangled here at the Carrot Ranch before, you can find some prize-winning 99-word flash from the 2020 Rodeo or the 2019 Rodeo at these links. Don’t cheat with 98 or 100 words or syllables! We’ll only accept 99 word or 99 syllable entries written in English! (We’ll be using https://wordcounter.net/ to count words and https://syllablecounter.net/ to count syllables so everyone has the same standard).
For this rodeo, we’re offering a $100 grand prize. Five runners up will each receive one paperback from Sue Vincent’s collection of published books (those who live in a region where the paperback is unavailable may receive an e-book instead). No fee necessary to enter but this is a fundraiser so we kindly ask for a suggested donation of $5 per entry (no more than two entries allowed per writer). The contest will close at midnight on Friday, February 19th, 2021. Winning entries will be announced and read at CarrotRanch.com/blog on March 22, 2021. Top entries published at Carrot Ranch. We will not accept entries previously published (even if published on your own blog), so keep them tucked away for now.
Judges: Geoff Le Pard, Anne Goodwin, and Charli Mills. First-Pass readers: H.R.R. Gorman, Sue Spitulnik, D. Avery, and Sherri Matthews. List of judges and readers will update as needs may change depending on the volume of entries and continued judge availability. Entries will be anonymized prior to judging.
$5 suggested donation to enter. You may enter no more than twice. You are welcome to donate more than the suggested entry fee. All proceeds go directly to Sue Vincent and Family. Use this link to donate:Donate to EnterFull or Pen Name(required)E-mail(required)Optional URL LinkTitle + Byline + 99-word story(required)submit
The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic Parade
All Rodeos need a parade, just as the Carrot Ranch yearly rodeo has done. The Rodeo Classic parade will be a parade like no other – and we don’t need to wait until the end of the contest or announcement of winners to do so. It’s time to celebrate with gusto and march down the main street of Carrot Ranch central.
As mentioned above, Sue Vincent is a poet who has acted as glue for the community for over a decade now. She has honed her poetry and prose to a beautiful finish, and her adventures through ruins and the English countryside have inspired many of us throughout our blogging journeys. Recently, Sue has run into a spot of trouble with a bit of small cell lung cancer. With Covid complicating all medical procedures and the ability to speak with others (especially for those with respiratory illnesses), some of the best comfort can come from online interactions. You can read more about Sue’s situation on the series of posts beginning here.
The Parade, however, will march on through many different avenues. Sue’s literary art will be on full display throughout the month of February. Here’s some ways you can help participate in the parade and make the Rodeo Classic even better!
Advertise the Rodeo. Advertise this rodeo on your own blog, tweet it, forward on Instagram, post on Facebook, wherever you can! The graphic at the top of this page can be used freely as part of the campaign. The more participants, the merrier. We’d like to advertise the contest to people who may not already be familiar with our or Sue’s literary community, so put up the posters far and wide!
Reblog a post from Sue’s blogs. Go to The Daily Echo and/or France & Vincent and take a gander at some of the things there. Choose a post, or two, or seven, and reblog it with a comment on why you did so. Feel free to advertise the contest when you do.
Purchase one of her books. You can find a link to Sue’s books here and choose the Amazon page appropriate for your region.
Review that purchased book! Read the book and post a review. There’s many places to put it, but we suggest Amazon, Goodreads, and your blog as a start.
Comment or like her posts. Comments brighten anyone’s day, and Sue’s blog is filled with posts ripe for commenting. The Rodeo Organization Team will be reblogging some of her posts, so keep an eye out for those if you want some suggestions!
We look forward to seeing you in the stands, on the back of a bull, or maybe even clowning about.