Hi everyone. I’m sorry to interrupt The Delta Pearl. My steampunk riverboat serial will be back next weekend.
Today I’m doing a very special post. I’ve finally “bookized” the third novel in my Roaring Twenties series about Pip. I’ve brought a bunch of friends for this shindig on a magical 1920s trolley. First let me tell you a little about this novel.
When my character, Paisley Idelle Peabody (better known as Pip) came along, I started writing a type of fiction that I never expected. Pip is a flapper. Her stories took me…
Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimers’ disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.
The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.
This takes place in England and the style of writing seems to reflect that in some of its writing style and a serious tone/ perspective on a family dealing with Alzheimer’s. Hanna returns home and has opposing ideas how to deal with her Mother’s decline. She prefers distraction and varied experiences vs. Dad who is very much into protective mode and daily routine. Each member chooses how they wish to deal with the reality of the disease, none of which change the decline of Biddy, the wife/mother. The toll of everyone ‘s health and mental well being becomes a heavy burden and responsibility.
Lately, I’ve been reading several novels dealing with Alzheimer’s to help with my friend’s family who is dealing with this. It is devastating and affects everyone in the family differently. It has been researched and the insight to be gained by reading these novels is a learning experience for anyone, whether or not touched by Alzheimer’s.
Yes the book made me think a lot. Family life has somehow to go on although one of the loved ones might be stricken by Alzheimer’s or Dementia. How to cope with a situation such as this one? Who has the better ideas? The person closest to them or family members, living further afield and having their own problems to deal with. Only to realise that yes, all good suggestions are well intended. I highly recommend this book. Here is a family coping with an illness desperate to find a way. Christoph Fisher manages to tell their story with compassion but also intrigue which makes the Condition and ‘normal’ family life, run side by side.
I have previously read a couple of this author’s books “Ludwika” and “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” both of which dealt with the occupation of the Nazi’s. I definitely recommend both of these books. They are eye openers to be certain!
The Healer deals with cancer and how one man was able to cure pancreatic cancer. He had an elixir that pharmaceutical companies wanted badly. When Erica Whittaker was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer she did not expect to live. Her assistant at work helped her find this man. He did try telling everyone the truth—that it was him and not the elixir-of course no one believed him. He was in “retirement” when Erica finally found him and begged him to cure her or at least try! What happens from there seems surreal–and you will be hard pressed to know who to believe. The ending will astound you!!
WOW! It has been a while since a book has gripped me as much as this medical thriller. Full of personal conflict, medical confusion, and a touch of mysticism, this story makes you take a deeper look at where your own convictions lie. I was hooked, on the edge of the seat until the surprising conclusion.
DO NO HARM, the medical thriller box set featuring THE HEALER has not only managed to become a No 1 Amazon bestselling book, but last night made it as a USA Today Bestseller.
Thank you all for your support and congratulations to all the marvellous authors in the collaboration!
Time for a little historical romance from author Shehanne Moore with her latest release on Pre-Order at a special price for 13th September – O’Roarke’s Destiny (Cornish Rogues Book 1).
About the book
Once he’d have died to possess her, now he just might…
Beautiful, headstrong young widow Destiny Rhodes was every Cornish man’s dream. Until Divers O’Roarke cursed her with ruin and walked out of Cornwall without a backwards glance. Now he’s not only back, he’s just won the only thing that hasn’t fallen down about her head—her ancestral home. The home, pride demands she throw herself in with, safe in the knowledge of one thing. Everything she touches withers to dust.
He’d cursed her with ruin.
Now she’d have him live with the spoils of her misfortune.
Though well versed in his dealings with smugglers and dead men, handsome rogue Divers O’Roarke is far from sure of…
“Life is crazy. We live. We die. And in-between, if we are lucky, we find something that allows us to lose ourselves in a moment of bliss.”
Acid, graffiti, booze, riots, mohawks, Ouija boards, stealing vinyl, smelling bad, and generally being disapproved of: ah, those lost days of punk youth! Brenda Perlin serves up some more badass reminiscences of the era of cheap guitars and folks behaving badly. ‘Crime and PUNKishment’ features archive photographs of the period and an interview with Captain Sensible (of whom I have fond memories of a particularly raucous Damned concert in Leicester, where he invited the audience to see if they could gob in his mouth while he strutted along the front of the stage). Plus: Linda Ramone and others!
Take a nostalgic, sense-addled stroll down nighttime streets thudding with power chords and reeking of dried vomit and freedom.
One of the more interesting people I’ve met as a result of switching my career to writing is a flight attendant, Elizabeth Calwell. She has a great sense of humor, and turned it, along with her experiences for many years in air, into a book, Dear Passenger.
Elizabeth Calwell lives in Cary, North Carolina with her husband and her dog, along with three box turtles that live in the back yard, Trudy, Miss Piggy and Little Louis. Having grown up in what used to be a small town gives Elizabeth a unique Southern perspective on the antics of passengers and unusual happenings while traveling. Elizabeth still enjoys bouncing around in a metal tube at 35,000 feet. When she is not flying she enjoys writing, painting landscapes, gardening and trips to the fabulous North Carolina beaches.
Today I review a book I’ve been reading in my local book club.
First, the official blurb:
All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn’t touch her?
All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town?
All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object of men, including her husband, who liked to watch her have sex with other men and women?
Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions.
At first this was a hugely eye-opening, addictive read that offered painfully blunt and honest insights into the mind of three women whose sex life is quite different from the norm. The book is utterly fascinating and despite some very explicit language and disturbing scenes almost un-put-down-able.
However, as the stories progressed I felt that it became repetitive and borderline gratuitous in the portrayal of these women in a way that they just confirmed the depth of the women’s obsession with looks, men, sex and eating. Many descriptions of sexual encounters were unnecessarily lengthy, time I feel could have been invested in a development of the characters and maybe showing them a way out of their demises.
The psychological insights, the thought patterns and connections with early child hood experiences to what might be called abnormal sexual behaviour were brilliant and addictive but after I finished the book I felt sad and wasn’t sure the author did more than spy on and use these women rather than help and encourage them.
Do I have more sympathy for them now that I have had a glimpse into their inner thoughts?
Certainly, although I would have sympathy for them before and what I learned was barely ground-breaking new.
Do I agree with them being victims (of mostly men)?
To some extent yes, their lives were shaped by others, often at an age of innocence. But does that free them of accountability? I’m not so sure.
Do I know more about how to help these women, should I meet similar types in my life?
Unfortunately I’m not so sure about that either.
Would I recommend this book?
Yes and no. It’s powerful, informative and well written but many readers may be put off by the explicit sex and the raw and often uncomfortable scenes.
The book certainly provokes dialogue and raises awareness but there were opportunities lost for me. I may be wrong about this but there remains a sense of exploitation that I cannot shake off.
T.M. Charles-Edwards: Wales & the Britons 350-1064
immensely detailed and thorough study of seven centuries of British kingdoms
and their neighbours
easiest book to score, this is the first part of a history of Wales and, for
many people, it will be a specialist reference text. I got a huge amount from
it (hence the 5*) but that does not mean to say there are not difficult, highly
academic sections. It is also costly but will take you at least twice the time
it would to get through your average read. Furthermore, you don’t have to be
Welsh; there is everything here: the development of England, the kingdoms
before Scotland, Ireland’s influence on the western shores, the Isle of Man,
even the Hiberno-Norse.
chapters present a survey of ‘post-Roman’ Britain: from the Manaw border
between Gododdin and the Picts through Rheged, North Wales – where the
Voices of the Second World War: A Child’s Perspective by Sheila A Renshaw
Voices of the Second World War: A Child’s Perspective is a collection of firsthand accounts from people who experienced the Second World War from all over Europe: stretching from Russia to the Channel Islands, and Norway to Malta.
While some children appear to have been hardly aware of the war, for those who lived through bombing, occupation, deprivation, starvation and fear, the memories remain with them even today.
The accounts have been relayed according to their perspective at the time and the contributors were happy to share their experiences and memories, keen in the knowledge that they were being documented as personal chroniclers of one of the twentieth century’s most catastrophic events.
Sheila Renshaw grew up in an RAF family and the joined the WRAF after leaving school, later receiving a commission and marrying an RAF pilot. She travelled extensively with the services and brought up a family of two daughters.
She was inspired to write this book having talked to a neighbour who lived in the U.S.S.R. during the Second World War and who had never told her story to anyone before as she didn’t feel anyone would be interested. Amazed at what she’d heard, Sheila began to wonder how many other stories were out there waiting to be told…
Thanks to Rosie Croft of Pen & Sword for providing me a paperback copy of this book that I freely chose to review. (Note that it is also available in ebook format).
I have talked before about the importance of remembering the past, especially the experiences of individuals who never make it into official history books. The movement to record the memories of the everyday lives of anonymous people, including mass archives, has helped bring history closer to everybody and has also helped us understand what the war was like for the general population.
This book goes a step further and collects the memories of people who were children during WWII, in many European countries (and also one in Egypt), in a variety of circumstances: some from countries that were invaded (the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia…), neutral countries (like Sweden), there are also several accounts from the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, and the Channel Islands (the only part of the British Isles occupied during the war), quite a few from the UK, and also from Germany and Italy. There are some common threads and themes throughout the different chapters, most of them dedicated to only one child’s memories, although there are some chapters which collect several shorter accounts. In occupied countries there are horrific accounts of the cruelty of the invading army, particularly reprisals against anything perceived as resistance or disobedience, and, after the allied victory, the repercussions for those who were seen as having collaborated with the invading forces (especially women who became “friendly” with German soldiers), some truly harrowing accounts of survivors of incredible hardship (Sara’s account of her and her sister’s survival in Auschwitz is heart-breaking, especially because they lost all of their immediate family; Nadia, from Ukraine, experienced plenty of hardship but she recounts how it could have been even worse, if not for the kindness of some of the people she met along the way)… There are plenty of stories of children being evacuated (mostly in the UK), and also of the families who received those evacuees. Inventive mothers creating delicious recipes out of little food, schools that kept going no matter what, rationing books, joining the war effort by collecting newspapers, scrap metal, glass…, growing vegetables, going to the shelter, experiencing bombings first-hand, memories of the Barrage balloons, the sounds of the anti-air-raid guns, the all clear… In Germany and in many of the occupied countries, children remember the worry of not knowing what might happen, the need to be careful as you never knew who might overhear what you said, who was a friend or an enemy, and the terrible consequences if the wrong word reached the wrong ear. German children also mention the shock and utter disbelief when they and their families learned what had been happening in the concentration camps, although the older children were aware that Jews and dissidents were arrested or disappeared with little explanation. One of the children pointedly says that nobody admitted knowing anything about it, but it is clear from the experiences of some of the children in occupied countries that, at least to them, it was not such a big surprise.
There are also light moments, accounts of friendly German and Italian soldiers (especially at the beginning of the war), a German surgeon who saved the life of the father of one of the narrators (who was 2 y.o. at the time), children fascinated by the planes, looking for souvenirs among the debris, joining groups like the Cubs or the Brownies, meeting new people and experiencing a different kind of life in the countryside, the victory parties… I particularly enjoyed the account by Anne, from York, that reads at times like Huckleberry Finn (she saw life as an adventure, no matter what, and I hope she still does). I was moved by first-hand accounts of the Coventry bombings, and happy to read about what had happened to all those children and where they were now.
The book also includes photographs. These are not photographs of the children whose stories we are told, but they are black and white photos of the era, mostly of children, relate directly to some of the stories we read about, and help us recreate the atmosphere of the time as we read the book.
As the author explains in the introduction, which sets up the scene and provides a brief but useful background to the stories, during the war, the main consideration was the physical wellbeing of the children rather than the emotional impact some of the decisions the adults took on their behalf (like evacuating them) could have. Now, in hindsight, it is easy to see what an influence these events had on the lives of all those children. And, as a society, we should never forget what the long-term consequences of a war are on all those involved.
I recommend this book to everybody. Although some of the accounts are tough to read, I think books such as this one should be read to (and by) children, with their parents supervision if they are very young, as a way to help them connect to history, and by adults, because we must remember what happened (and what is still happening in many places) and work hard to avoid it in the future.