I’m very disappointed that I am not able yet, to make this post look exciting and artistic. I’ve still not found my way around the new WordPress, plus the geeks that be have also changed Facebook, my g.mail, my Mailchimp, and any other programmes I had downloaded. How they expect little non-techie people like me to write, publish, market, and cook and clean the house and read wonderful books is quite beyond me! On with the next three amazing books.
MOONSHADOW by Joy Lynn Goddard
I can do no better than repeat what I put in my review under the heading “WRITTEN WITH LOVE”.
I was curious about this book as I remembered my visit to a First Nation reservation when I went to Canada. Not since watching the film ‘Rabbit-Proof Fences’ have I been so moved. Only now the truth is spreading across the globe of the indignities fostered on young children by groups that decided how they should live and how they should behave. This book, tells in fiction, the horrors of the residential schools where First Nation children were sent to ‘civilize’ them. It should be prescribed reading in every school, and not just in Canada. I should also mention that the characters leap off the page, the settings are beautifully described, the story kept me on the edge of my seat and the words flowed seamlessly from beginning to end. A book I can highly recommend. Quite brilliant.
HIGH RISK by Adrian O’Donnell
I have a sneaky curiosity about jails and what goes on behind those high walls.
The beginning of this book is quite violent and I wondered if I was going to enjoy it. Having read on a little I discovered it was one of those ‘ignore the dirty dishes in the sink’ books. I was riveted to my Kindle and swiped the screen as fast as I could. It’s easy to tell the author worked in the prison system and he found that delicate balance between realism and excitement without overstepping the boundaries. Great book I shall be buying the next one the moment it comes out.
The Chainmaker’s Daughter by Rebecca Brynn
I’m not sure if I should choose this book over the second in the series, The Chainmaker’s Wife, as both are really excellent. There was so much I didn’t know about the deprivations in the Black Country (the industrial English Midlands area) and what I learned shocked me. Any fight for the emancipation of women in whatever form has my vote. I became very involved with the characters and although it is a fictional story, it includes a lot of historically accurate information. I loved both books.
One more post to go. As before, here are the links to my own books, and no, I can’t find a way to make them look neat and tidy – sorry!
Welcome to part 2 of the books I’ve loved this past year. Unfortunately, you will not find any erotica, fantasy, sci-fi or children’s books in my list as these are not genres I typically enjoy. With the lockdown, which was very strict in Spain, I had time to write and publish 2 books and a novella and read – and I read a lot – so it was difficult to choose only 12 of my favourites.
YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN by Damyanti Biswas
I downloaded this book from a promo but it wasn’t until I began reading it, I discovered it was set in Delhi. We had landed in Delhi only the day before. I was entranced by the author’s accurate descriptions of the city and the insight she gave into the Indian family in the story (not so surprising, although I believe she lives in Singapore now). It’s a meeting of two worlds, as the main character returns to India after living in the US and the contrasts in ideas, expectations and lifestyle are highlighted. I loved this book, it entertained me, educated me and kept me turning the pages long after my bedtime. I did hear that it has been picked up for a film option.
FATE IS A HUNTER by Susan Wuthrich
I really enjoyed this book. An intriguing story, South African scenes that are familiar and characters I cared about. A scenario that might happen to any ordinary mother and wife which turns her life upside down. What can you do when your estranged husband takes your children out for the day and does not return them? And what if you found out everything he had ever told you was a lie? It had me asking questions all the way through. Recommended.
METROPOLIS 1 & 2 by Ellie Midwood
I couldn’t decide between books 1 & 2 so I’m including both. This author has established herself as a name in historical fiction set during World War II. This book is set in Berlin in the years between the two World Wars, the background is photography and film making. I loved the characters, the descriptions and the accurate portrayal of movie production. It shows how in the last days of the bohemian lifestyle in the doomed city, it was impossible to stay neutral. I read both books in this series one after the other, which is unusual for me.
I’m quite hopeless at marketing as I much prefer to shout out about other authors. But, just in case you’d like to check my scribbles, here are the links. I’ve got a smart new web site and all my books, memoirs, action adventure and psychological thrillers are there and on my Amazon author page.
My Goodreads list will tell you I have not met my challenge this year, but I have exceeded it and read well over 100 books. Those I review for Readers Favorite are not listed there and I have also beta and alpha read more books than I can remember.
The list below includes the first three books of those I’ve enjoyed and remembered long after I have read them – because they had an impact on me. They educated me, entertained me, shocked me, while some made me laugh and others made me cry. All of them were memorable for one reason or another.
I’m publishing the list in no particular order, other than when I read them. I hope you take a moment to explore a few and share my love of books. At the age of 7 I was threatened with eye surgery from all the hours I spent under the bedclothes reading with a torch. But I never had any regrets!
HOW DARE THE BIRDS SING – by Marina Osipova
A DANGEROUS FORTUNE by Ken Follett
Ken Follett is one of my favourite authors and his earlier books are the best. This one was published in Kindle in 2008, and is set in late 19th century England. The story had me glued to the pages as a drowning of a young lad at a public (ie expensive private) school has terrible repercussions that continue for years. I also loved the peep behind the scenes of the banking world. I also enjoyed the way he tied up all the threads in the ending.
FALSE IMPRESSION by Jeffrey Archer
Another of my favourite authors of all time. Again, this book has been out for well over a decade but it is as fresh as the day it was published. It combines the 9/11 disaster with the art world as Anna Petrescu escapes across the world to uncover a cruel murder. Another page turner when the dishes pile up in the sink. It kept me guessing and reaffirmed my love of the books this author has written. He is a master of his craft.
These are the first three. Look out for more in a day or so.
In case you’d like to check out my books, these are the links to my Amazon author page, and my brand new web page. Several of my books have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese and a couple into Mandarin!
When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day……. An angel came by and asked.” Why spend so much time on her?” The lord answered. “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?” She must function on all kinds of situations, She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time, Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart, She must do all this with only two hands,”She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day” THE ANGEL was impressed “Just two hands…..impossible! And this is the standard model?” The Angel came closer and touched the woman “But you have made her so soft, Lord”. “She is soft”, said the Lord, “But I have made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome.” “Can she think?” The…
Hello to all the writers out there and reading this blog!
It is well into the month of November, so it is time for a shameless self-promotion party; please do not be shy about your work.
Writers need to be their own best publicists, and we should also help each other!
Let the world know about your book(s)!
Promote them as much as you can!
Shout to the world about your writing!
Tell us about your book(s), and leave an image and a link if you can.
Here is my shameless self-promotion: my latest nonfiction book can help writers who have issues with finishing first drafts of their books. If that is you, I offer direct, practical advice on how to Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft by Charles F. French.
In order for as many people to see your work as possible, please Tweet, and…
My guest this week is an author who I’ve been online friends with for like ages – possibly one of the first I met when I started on social media. Like me she has written in a variety of genres – some may surprise you. But over to Sarah to tell her own story.
“Aunt Sarah, why won’t Mum let me read your books?” Thanks, Sis… “they’re too sexy”. You can hear the next question! “The characters do things they shouldn’t.” Does my niece ask what sort of things? Nothing so simple… relatively. “How will I know what I shouldn’t do?” “Err…” Thankfully, the conversation was interrupted by her brother, but it left me thinking. Youngsters don’t respond well to “thou shalt not”, doing whatever to find out for themselves why not, but could I leave sizzling-hot sex out and feature a young teenager facing problems?
(I suspect this earlier reference was to Sarah’s series featuring rock stars and the behind the scenes behaviour they get up to! You can find out in the Royal Family Saga – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B081HF5YWW So, Sarah’s next series is very suitable for younger readers.)
Richard appeared on the scene in his own awful mess. Made redundant by a bank closure, and consequently poorer, his fiancée ditches him. His ex-wife dumps fourteen-year-old Maria on his doorstep. Oops! A girl trusting a strange man… she has no choice, though she doubts he wants her and runs away several times.
Meanwhile, my huge Weimaraner fusses, yet again, because she thought she was alone. They are a clingy breed and should be taught from puppies to be left in a comfy pen for gradually extended periods. She was eight when I got her from a rescue centre and a fully-fledged bag of nerves plus the shock of rejection. Enter stage left, Ben the Jack Russell, with all my dog’s insecurities and a few more from past rescue dogs.
So, Three Against the World was conceived and launched with my niece as Maria, both on the cover and acting in a short promotional video.
While she is heading towards sixteen and reading the book, I completed a trilogy entitled “Richard and Maria”.
Two Face the World tackles the problems that beset a couple separated by twenty-one years. Will enemies from the past draw them closer or split them apart?
One Alone in the World features their daughter, Eleanor, at seven, as a rebellious teenager, and grown-up and in love. Ben couldn’t live forever, but Eleanor has Annie. Another dog based on one of my rescues.
Sarah’s books would not be complete without the animals, something very close to her heart,
Sadly, being valuable pedigree bitches like these two is no guarantee of a permanent home, any more than some humans can be trusted not to put the kudos of “a good bag” of birds or the head of an endangered tiger before the creatures that should live safely in the wild. All royalties from my books go to support animal welfare worldwide.
That is something so special about Sarah’s books that every single sale goes to help animals.
All books on promotion for only $/£ 0.99 on the following dates.
If you’ve ever been to Ireland and somehow wound your way to the beautiful part of Ireland that is county Kerry, you may have wandered into the lovely little town of Dingle. If you did, then you will of course be familiar with Fungie. For the unfamiliar, Fungie is a dolphin that has been swimming around the waters of Dingle for the past thirty odd years and a whole tourist industry has, in typical rural Ireland fashion, been developed around him. He has it would appear, long outlived your average bottlenose dolphin.
You can go out in any number of boats to photograph Fungie as he swims alongside, or indeed if you are so inclined and lucky enough, you can get a chance to swim with him. This week, as if tourism isn’t already on its knees due to Covid-19, Fungie has disappeared! So important is he to the local…
I’ve just typed THE END to my latest novel, The Chainmaker’s Wife – a sequel to The Chainmakers’ Daughter. There’s still a lot of work to be done applying my latest research findings, editing, beta reading, etc, but I hope to be able to publish it before Christmas.
I was asked to write this sequel by a reader who wanted to know what happened to Jack and Rosie after the landmark strike for a minimum wage by women chainmakers in 1910. What happened to them, he wanted to know from 1910 to the end of the First World War.
So I obliged. Had I known the difficulty of the research, I might have baulked at the task, but fortunately, ignorance is bliss, and I jumped in with both feet. Despite the research constantly contradicting itself and having to dig deeper and deeper, it’s been the fastest book I’ve ever written…
My guest this week also writes stories set in Africa. We share a love for that great continent where you can feel the drumbeats of life emanate from the ground beneath your feet. Stand on her soil and you experience the primaeval force of life and your place on this planet.
Over now to Steve Braker, who is lucky enough to still live there, in a town I visited several times.
Steve Braker Action and Adventure Author
Firstly, I would like to thank Lucinda for inviting me to write this post on her newsletter.
Here’s a little bit about me…
I was born in Cornwall, in the South West of England. It is a wonderful part of the world full of beaches, beautiful moors, and some of the best scenery in the U.K. I grew up surfing, rock climbing, and camping which gave me a real taste for adventure. My parents were very keen readers. The house was always full of storybooks, mostly true-life adventures. My favourites always included some sort of far off adventure in lands I could only imagine. I remember being glued to the Gerald Durrell books. In his early days before he opened his sanctuary in Jersey, on the Channel Islands, he captured animals for zoos. His adventures in Africa catching lions and elephants were remarkable, and his ability to describe the scenes so vividly has always stayed with me.
I left school at sixteen and immediately enrolled with a local silversmith on an apprenticeship. It was a wonderful experience but did not really fulfil my desire to travel. After four lovely years, creating jewelry and silverwares, it was time for an adventure, so I took off with my savings, desperately searching for my life’s purpose.
I travelled to the Far East, India, and West Africa, wandering around trying to find myself and grow up. I managed to get some odd jobs to supplement my income and ended up teaching English in the British Embassy in Bangkok. I was very happy there and this would probably be the end of my story, but unfortunately, my father became terminally sick and I had to return to the U.K.
I landed in the U.K. in the depths of winter without a penny to my name. I managed to find some odd jobs cleaning offices and working in restaurants, but I wanted to get back to my teaching as I had found it fascinating. I managed to scrape enough money together to get a T.E.F.L. qualification enabling me to teach in the U.K. Once I had this under my belt I was able to work in the schools that proliferated Oxford Street at that time. This was not enough for me, before long I managed to open a one-room school in China Town in the West End of London. It was a good time for language schools, so with some hard work and a dose of good luck I was able to grow the school over the ten years.
This is where my passion for the English language really came to life. The technical aspects of the language really intrigued me. Breaking down sentence structure to its smallest parts became a real pleasure. This led to looking at the way the language works and how people interact with it.
Writing was always an interest to me, but I had never sat down and actually written anything. But during this time, I wrote many short action-adventure stories about my travels in West Africa and the Far East. Unfortunately, they are now lost in the mists of time.
In 1999 everything was changing in London, and I had a young family that was not enjoying living in the centre of a concrete jungle. So, my wife at the time, who is a Luo, a Nilotic tribe that lives around Lake Victoria, and I decided we would give Kenya a go. It was a massive decision; we had four kids the youngest was eighteen months old. But we desperately wanted our children to grow up with a sense of freedom.
In 2000 we all moved to Kenya in East Africa and settled in Mombasa on the coast. During the school holidays, we travelled the length and breadth of Kenya and sailed along the coastlines from Zanzibar to Lamu. They have all grown up now and headed back to the U.K., but they love coming out on holiday, and I’m sure they will return permanently one day.
I became very involved with the ocean and opened a marina and workshop. I also became a P.A.D.I. open water dive instructor, keen fisherman and free diver. One of my passions was repairing and building the ancient wooden dhows that still ply the coast of Kenya.
Working in the Ocean gave me the inspiration to write my first book ‘African Slaver’. I loved the experience and was hooked. I was amazed to see loads of reviews on Amazon.com all rating the book a four or five star. I wrote the story after spending some time in Mogadishu where child slavery is rampant. My books are action thrillers, but they have a twist of real-life experience with a heavy dose of local culture thrown in.
The William Brody Action Thriller Series is designed to show an aspect of Africa wrapped up in a fast-paced thriller. They are fiction but depict what is really happening on this continent. I was brought up on a steady fix of late eighties T.V. like The A-Team and Hawaii Five-O and for the English readers Minder and The Sweeny. These action series had a thread of old world ‘Do the right thing against all the odds.’ This seems to have gotten a bit lost over the years. My male character, William Brody, I like to think has the true grit that was represented in the movies and series made during this period.
I am currently working on the fifth book of the series. African Vengeance which is set in Mombasa and a small town in Tanzania called Tanga. Brody gets involved in a race against time to save his friends from some corrupt local officials. There is loads of diving, sailing and interesting interactions with the local population.
If you would like a taste of the William Brody Action Thriller Series, I am offering the first book, African Slaver, free of charge to anyone who signs up to my email newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time so there is no risk, and I only send the newsletters out once a month or so. Just click here if you would like a good read about Africa. You can also find me at www.stevebrakerbooks.com or drop me a line on email@example.com.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for being my guest this week Steve.
If you would like to be a guest, just drop your name in the comments below. – Apologies too for a very basic layout. I’m still struggling to find my way around this new block editor. I won’t repeat in public what I think of it.
Today I have the pleasure and honour to host the very talented Lucinda E Clarke on my blog. I’m a big fan of her work and look forward to reading this new psychological thriller series of her. Books 1 & 2 are on sale @ $/£0.99 for a week beginning 12th September. Now over to Lucinda and her experience as freelance writer
When you earn a living as a freelance writer you meet all kinds of people. You also get to visit all kinds of interesting places. I’ve been inside a power station, numerous factories, radio and TV studios, in helicopters, tunnels under the sea, behind the scenes at Ocean World, honestly the list is endless.
Each time you’re commissioned you have a subject specialist who may or may not be the main client. Either way, it’s a new boss.
I worked with some wonderful people and I also encountered…