Monday, 13 January 2020
It is set in the fictional surroundings of Rookery Rally, in northern Tipperary, Ireland.
It pays homage to the rural communities of Ireland, where although poverty was a reality for many of the inhabitants, the people were, in general, fairly contented with their lot in life. They made the best of what they had.
The story opens not long after the dreadful famine that swept Ireland, and we witness the arrival of Dandy, a man of Galway, as he arrives in the community of Rookery Rally.
We follow him and the other residents of the area, look at their colourful lives, how they work and live together during a time that, to modern day eyes, seems strange, almost alien, as one might say.
The stories cover a period of time from the 1860s right through until 1930. Although it spans 70 odd years, the times they lived through did not change all that much in the rural community of northern Tipperary. Changes came. Of course they did. But not at any great rapidity.
Readers will follow the life and times of the Spallidagh family and the people that they know and who they lived and worked with.
The book is written in such a fashion that it is episodic and almost diary like in its construction and style.
It's almost as if we, the readers, enter into a dreamlike world in which we take a peek back at times that might have been. Although the book is presented as a work of fiction, it's clearly more than that as it contains many great truths and reflects the early life of the author as he lived in a community very much like Rookery Rally, in Dolla, northern Tipperary.
The book is published by Matador at £9.99.
I think RTE should take an option on turning this into a television series.
Monday, 6 January 2020
All seems perfectly well and ordinary in the life of Rosemary Sherwood. Until she overhears a very troubling phone conversation between her husband and someone else. As a result of what transpired, her life is altered, irrevocably, for good.
Harry Sherwood threatens to kill their son if she mentions anything about what she overheard. As a result of this threat she flees to France, scared for her life.
Twelve years on and she is conflicted. On the one hand, she wants to remain safe, but on the other hand she feels a need to establish a re-connection with her son who she has been estranged from.
But surely now she should be safe from the threat her husband had made? But the truth is the situation, made worse by years of deception, lies and intrigue, is now even more desperate. As Harry and his cohorts will do anything to make sure their secrets are not exposed. And as they have already committed murders, it's probable that Rosemary's life is still at risk.
But they hadn't counted on the intervention of private detective Daniel Appleman, who is a former DCI.
But can ex-DCI Appleman trace the group of men before they can continue to cause mayhem and bring more harm to Rosemary and her family?
This is a wonderful thriller from a master of the craft and it's due for publication by The Book Guild on 28th January.
Tuesday, 31 December 2019
That's Christmas: Happy New Year to all our readers: Happy New Year to our readers and to everyone who has helped us to help keep That's Christmas bringing news and stories to the world....
Sunday, 15 December 2019
Poppy and Lilly love to visit their grandparents. And their grandparents love to take Poppy and Lilly to visit their best loved lake.
They love to look at the lake, to see the beautiful surroundings and the wildlife and to feed all the birds who live there.
But the lake is home to a secret. A secret that is so important that Maria, who is Queen of the Swans, must guard against it.
There's an island at the very middle of the lake. And on that island lives the Hippocrocohog. It's nasty tempered, it has hard skin and is the owner of 100 slave rats!
His aim is to entrap anyone he can grab hold of! Can Mariah,Queen of the Swans, Grey the Squirrel and the grandparents of Poppy and Lilly keep them safe?
But is the Hippocrocohog all bad? And what happens after granddad and grandmother confront him?
This is a fantastical story told in wonderful rhyming couplets illustrated with some very colourful and splendid drawings provided bu Alice Samways.
It's published by Matador at £8.99 and will make a super Christmas gift which young children and adults will all enjoy reading together.
However, by chance he encounters a situation that means that he might be able to redeem his life, to once again find meaning and purpose.
With the assistance of a group of people he finds himself embarking on a journey into Africa, the Africa that, to this day, remains largely unexplored and unknown to all but a few intrepid people.
Will Dan be able to leave his own darkness behind and to find new light and new life?
His mettle will be tested, his resolve, stamina and endurance put to the test.
But Dan had one last trick that meant his life would, after all, have much more meaning than it used to.
There's enough twists and turns in this novel to satisfy even the most dedicated thriller fan and you'll be thanked when you give this book as a Christmas present to the thriller fan in your life.
It's published by Matador at £9.99.
Edward is luxuriating in his partial retirement enjoying himself, greatly.
However, the arrival of a mystery photograph on the doormat of his home drags him back into a world that he had hoped he had been able to put behind him.
His relationship with Abby, his new relationship, is put under strain, especially when it transpires that not only is his life in danger, that the life of Abby is at risk, also.
Things are not what they might appear. The waters become even more muddied, and Edward finds that his options are limited.
Who is involved in this case? Who is hiding behind the scenes? Who can he trust and rely on? The woman who contacted him. Who is she? What does she really want? What does she really know?
His life is in danger and his reality is put under stress. Who is following him? Why are they following him?
Can he work out exactly what is happening, find out who is behind it or will he and Abby lose their lives before he can recognise the source of the danger and neutralise it? And what are The Mulholland Files?
This is a very good debut novel. The first of many books from Sandy Jones? I certainly hope so.
It's published by Matador at £9.99 and should be making an appearance in many Christmas stockings this year.
Written by dog behaviourist expert Denise McLeod this book is a worthy follow up volume to her debut book A Dog Behaviourist's Diary.
The book is a very valuable collection of "real world" stories featuring canines of all types, puppies, older dogs and canine education, all spiced very nicely with some humour, too.
Denise includes case studies written as stories. It contains the same information as other more technical documents, but in a way that is more entertaining, eminently readable and easily absorbed by all types of dog owners.
It's not only educational but also diverse, too. Each chapter is written in a storybook fashion, each chapter contains a key learning point for all dog owners. It's about dogs, obviously, but Denise has also worked hard to include the humans who live and work with their dogs.
It deals with a wide range of issues and emotions from joy to horror, or terror. There are stories of hope, joy and humour, too.
Some of the stories deal with genuine life-or-death situations and all dog owners will benefit from Denise's 'Turn and Face' technique.
The book will be an ideal Christmas present for all dog owners and also for professional dog trainers and breeders, too.
If you know all there is to know about dogs, buy this book because I can guarantee that you will learn stuff that you either didn't know or had simply forgotten.
At only £12.99 you cannot afford to be without this book.