Sunday, 21 June 2015

Lime 43 is a new cocktail is born with Licor 43 and Pure Lime Juice!

Whilst feeling pretty hot the other evening I accidentally hit on the recipe for a new cocktail which I have decided to name the Lime 43.

You take 50ml of Licor 43 and a couple of liberal splashes of Pure Lime Juice (it's made by the clever folks who brought us Pure Lemon Juice), in a large wine glass or a whiskey tumbler.

Then add ice cubes if desired and then top up to the brim with chilled Cream Soda, then stir.

And enjoy.

The website contains other cocktail recipes and some information on this awesome drink.

"Ontreto" an ideal holiday read

The latest novel by crime thriller writer Peter Crawley is an ideal holiday read, for those of you who like to take the latest crime thriller with you to while away the hours as you sit, cocktail in hand, slathered in factor 50 as you laze, happily, by the poolside of your resort.

The setting of the novel is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. The name of the island is Lipari.

The island is real and what occurs throughout the book is fiction. Or is it? For it appears that the real history of  Lipari is just as dramatic (if not on occasion, more so!) than that set out in this gripping and compelling novel!

Former Marine and protagonist Ric Ross arrives on the island of Lipari. He carries with him a letter of introduction to Valeria Vaccariello, who is an ageing star of the Italian big screen, the world of the cinema.

She lives alone in a house called The House of Strangers.

Besides being a cinema star she has another reputation closer to home. She is known as la strega, or the witch.

In the midst of this Ric is befriended by il velaccino, a sailmaker. For a sailmaker seems to know a great deal about everyone on Lipari and what they get up to.

But then a politician dies and it is determined to be a homicide.

Ric's desire to trace the history of his family in Lipari is subsumed by the need to prove that he is innocent of the slaying.

But Ric's life is also in danger. Why would someone want him dead? Who are they? Who can he trust?

The book is due to be published in paperback by Matador on June 28th at £9.99, or as an e-book for £3.99.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Mike Woodhams "Run With the Brave"

In this novel by Mike Woodhams, we see the very welcome return of his character Frank Ryder, the MI6 operative.

We see him attached to a group of American special forces personnel i an operation that could change the outcome of events in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.

The American spy networks in Tehran have been all but destroyed, having been fatally compromised, so the expert help of British Intelligence has been called upon to assist the Americans.

Ryder and his team suddenly find themselves involved in a major battle that involves Iran and Israel, which has imperilled the very existence of the state of Israel.

Ryder and his team join with Israeli special forces and a group of desperate Iranian insurgents to track down and destroy a top secret Iranian missile base which is poised to launch nuclear warheads into Israel.

But the operation runs into difficulties when it becomes apparent that they have a traitor within their group.

Who is the traitor? Can the traitor delay the operation for long enough for the missile strike to be made, thus obliterating Israel in a nuclear firestorm?

Or can the resourceful Frank Ryder save the day and, indeed, the world?

The book is an exciting read and is available at £8.99 from Matador.

The (Phantasmagorical) Astrarium Compendium

The (Phantasmagorical) Astrarium Compendium is a new fantasy adventure novel brought to us by our guide to a world beyond our ken, Mark Roland Langdale.

We meet Gulliver. Gulliver is the owner of a large antique emporium.

But for all his knowledge of the wonderful objects that his emporium has on sale, grandfather clocks, brass telescopes, globes, and even more globes and even still ore globes, Gulliver had never actually travelled outside the county of Devon.

So, what with all those globes, perhaps it was rather apposite that Gulliver fell into one of those very selfsame globes and finding himself in a location far removed from ordinary space-time, where time (as we know it) no longer has any existence. And when just about anything could happen and, generally speaking, does happen.

Gulliver's life is very soon flipped totally from the normal and into a world of abnormal.

A world where it is perfectly natural to come across giant bottles filled with equally giant ships, both on the land and at sea, where one gets to meet Old Father Time himself, Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Drake (complete with his Golden Hind!) , Hans Christian Anderson and the like.

This is all very well, but Gulliver loves his emporium and he misses Devon. So, how can he possible get back home?

By tracking down the mysterious "The Last Bookshop in the World" which is his only possible chance of getting home.

Can he find the bookshop? And what if Gulliver changes his mind? What if he decides he wants to stay exactly where he is?

But what of Alice? And Beagle?

To find out how it all turns out, it will cost you a mere £11.99 and it is out now from Matador.

Visit to see the author's other fantasy novels such as The Flat Earth Society and the Great Globe Conspiracy and Professor Doppelganger and the Fantastical Cloud Factory, amongst others.

Chickens Eat Pasta, Escape to Umbria

Sometimes, we do some pretty crazy and weird things. And they look all the more crazy and weird because we do them during an otherwise mundane, fairly ordinary kind of time.

The case of jornalist and author Clare Pedrick is a perfect example of this type of phenomena.

One rainy, Sunday morning, bearing in mind that she was just 26-years-old, Clare was reading a Sunday newspaper and she happened to espy an advert of a beautiful, but ruinous, home in the Italian area called Umbria.

So, as you do, or rather, as Clare did, the decision was taken to purchase the house.

Clare employs her book as a series of artist's canvases, each depicting a different but interlocking part of the story. The warmth and the vibrant colours of Italy, the obvious difference between British and Italian culture, but the just as real differences between the different regions of Italy.

She also describes the kaleidoscope of different characters who she met on her travels and in the village where she settled down.

She fell in love with the house, faults and all and she also fell in love with a local man, who she married and with whom she has three children.

Her husband and the children all now love the house. Which is no longer ruinous, but rather restored to its former splendid glory. 

Chickens Eat Pasta, Escape to Umbria, is published by Matador at the end of next month and at £9.99 will make an excellent present for someone you love, or even for yourself.

As with all books its available via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop at the right hand side of the site. 

Many a Shadow by David Barter

Many a Shadow by David Barter is a biography of Bill.

Bill was a country boy, born on a farm only 40 some miles from London, it might as well have been 1,000 miles away, such was the gulf between the two places.

He received his education at the local village school, played all of the usual games that country boys played with their school mates, enjoyed the country pursuits that dated back to times immemorial, let school at 14 to be apprenticed.

Unfortunately for Bill his idyllic rural lifestyle came to an abrupt end when Europe went mad and began devouring itself during the madness that was World War 2.

Bill was yanked from the safe, comfortable countryside that he was familiar with and thrust into the hellstorm of World War 2.

We follow Bill as he fights his way across Europe having landed on the beeches of Normandy and, somehow, lived to tell the tale.

The horrors of the war were leavened, just a little bit, by a variety of factors such as finding oak barrels of calvados in the cellars of an abandoned  French farmhouse.

It also touches very movingly on the transition from armed forces to civilian at the end of the war, which was otherwise known as the demob and the adjustments that husbands, wives and children had to make after six years or so apart.

It is a moving, well-written account of Bill's life.

It is published by Matador at a very reasonable £8.99.

Be the Human Sunshine Future you Journey Journal

Be the Human Sunshine Future you Journey Journal, by Clare Bostock is a genuinely fascinating book.

It is not overly long, thankfully the author has resisted the urge that some writers fall victim to, to confuse wisdom and value with words, words and still more words!

The book is lusciously illustrated with highly appropriate and evocative artworks by artist Josephine Wall, with some of the best artwork in a published book that I have seen in a long while.  

The purpose of the book is to help ease you into the art of journalling. But this is no mere journalling! This is genuinely a training course, if you will, in learning the art and science  of journalling in order to employ it to help you tap into the healing powers that can be found within journalling,

In fact, Clare states in her introduction that the purpose of her book is to: " you tap into the healing power of journalling, to journey home to yourself, to accept your inner calling, reduce stress, and to honour the unique story in your own life and work."

She does, however, point out that journalling is not for those who "regularly avoid the whispered longings of their own heart, but for those who care to embrace the constant abundance and renewal from inner-self as well as from universal source energy."

The book describes the basic techniques of starting to journal,  the use of additional notebooks, and other items as part of your journalling process, like pictures, photographs, postcards, drawings and the like.

She outlines all of the tools that you will require to become a journaller like pens, pencils, crayons, erasers, felt tip pens, notebooks and so forth.

Clare also covers the use of techniques to heighten positive experiences and to soften negative experiences and the also use of mantras and affirmations.

At £10.99 this book published by Matador is an ideal addition for the toolkit of anyone who wants to help work on themselves on their journey through life.


Last Sardana by Roy Harwood

What is the Sardana? It is a group folk dance that dates back to Medieval times in Catalonia.

Last Sardana is the first of an epic six volume story of the family of Maria, a mother tragically widowed at an early age with her son Pedro to raise.

Maria does a good job brining up Pedro who, at the insistence of the village priest (at a boozy fiesta) becomes known as Peter because, intuited the priest, Pedro would. in the same fashion as the Disciple Saint peter, be destined to travel both far and wide.

Peter becomes an internationally renowned architect and property developer as far afield as the UK and Malaysia, but he never forgets his roots in Catalonia, nor does he forget his mother, Maria, who he still dotes on as only a good son of a widowed mother can.

This, the first book in the series, takes us through the early part of his career, right through to his participation to helping to stage the 1982 Barcelona  Olympics and his relationships with friends, colleagues and family members.

The book will be published on July 28 at £9.99 in paperback, by Matador.

Please look out for the subsequent books in this series, Last Sardana and Sardana Encor, both at £9.99.

Other books in the series will be published soon.

The Real World

What would happen to you if you were a disembodied being (called Hedstrong) from another realm when the host body that you occupied died in rather distasteful circumstances? Beaten to death before a large crowd of onlookers at a charity function who, because nobody liked the victim, managed to fail to witness the murderous attack that swiftly put an end to his life. Can't really get much more distasteful?

The spiritual being finds himself residing in a stately home, where he meets another of his kind, a female of his species.

Who, he discovers had found, by a chance encounter with a torch battery, that she can 'feed' on electricity.

Which means that they no longer have to rely on being hosted in the bodies of living humans.

But then village girl Phyllis manages to get herself involved with the manor house and its Lord of the Manor.

Phyllis can see the spiritual inhabitants of the house. There's Hedstrong, his new found love interest Antedote and all is well.

Or it was before the arrival of Upstart, who, because Antedote is a bit too domineering, manages to capture the affections of Hedstrong.

But what, exactly, is Upstart up to? Does he really want to drag Hedstrong into the midst of a potentially dangerous conspiracy to overthrow Jenius, who is the leader of the Spiritual World Council, with something of a reputation for being ruthless and dictatorial?

Eventually the property becomes part of the large number of stately homes under the protection of the National Trust. Though this one is different, it is also under the 'protection' of Phyllis, left in charge upon the death of the last Lord of the Manor.

Phyllis is not without certain psychic abilities and she manages to anger the inhabitants of the spirit realm by communicating with them.

There's the equivalent of an armed rebellion in the spirit realm and both realms of existence could see lives being snuffed out. But who is at risk? Who will live, who will die?

It's a highly intelligent fantasy novel by Roy Hewetson and is worth every penny of the £8.99 asking price for the paperback, or £2.99 for the e-book version.

It is published in paperback by Matador.