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Friday, 16 November 2018

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Hand made model circus to go up for auction

A unique, miniature circus featuring hand-crafted, moving figures has been rescued from a field in South Devon.

Silvers Model Circus took its creator David Hardie and his family almost 50 years to lovingly construct.

David Hardie was apprenticed to his family’s tent-making business in Sydney, Australia, and he began constructing the first part of the circus back in 1931 when he was only seventeen years of age.

Eventually David moved to the UK and with help from members of his family, they extended the circus down through the years.

It first went on public display back in 1982, after which event it toured the UK.

In 1984 it formed the centrepiece of the Christmas display in Cheltenham and was officially opened by Earl Spencer,Princess Diana's father.

The entire model is powered by a single engine. The circus is operated by a complex system of belts and pulleys all linked o a single drive-shaft.

Each item of the model was hand-crafted and is to 1:24 scale.

After David Hardie’s death in 2002, the model was stored in a variety of locations until, finally, it ended up in a storage container on a piece of wasteland next to a riding stable.

In 2017, Lucy Townsend, Hardie’s grand-daughter began researching the model and learned where it was.

Lucy said: “I persuaded my mother and uncle to take me to look at the model and see whether it was still in a condition that could be saved."

“When I first saw the container, my heart sank as it was half-buried by the dung from the stables but, eventually, we reached the boxes containing the model.

“Miraculously, much of the model was still in good condition and after months of cleaning and renovating, the circus has been restored to its former glory.”

The family have decided that they would rather see the model go to a new home than return to its container so it is going to be auctioned in London by Roseberys on 22nd November.

https://www.roseberys.co.uk/craft-tradition/news-silvers-model-circus/

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

A Journey Through South-East England

A Journey Through South-East England is exactly as the title says. You can follow along with author Brian J. Rance as he takes a walking tour through South East England.

It's a fair old trek you'll be sharing with him, about 125 miles worth, from Broadstairs all the way along to Lewes.

This book is a successor volume to his two previous works Finding My Place and Walking My Patch. Combining the three books together you'll cover  a very respectable 1,000+ miles of the countryside of Kent and East Susses.

The book is very sensibly broken down into four distinct chapters starting with Broadstairs to Canterbury, then Canterbury to Bethersden, Bethersden to Bexhill and the final leg of the journey, the walk from Bexhill to Lewes.

It's much more than a "mere" walking book. It's a travelogue, yes, but it also contains some of his original poetry pieces that are all inspired by particular aspects and features of his walking travels.

There are also highly detailed and well coloured walking maps (a curious omission in some walking guides, it has to be acknowledged) and there are some nice photographs taken by the author.

There's also a fund of interesting anecdotes and tales that he collected on his travels.

This well-researched and well-written book will be a welcome addition in the knapsack of anyone who is interested in walking and it will make an excellent Christmas gift for the walker in your life.

It is published by The Book Guild at £14.95.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe

In Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe, a book by S. L. Browne, readers will meet Magnus.

The planet Earth is overheated and dying. He is taken from the Earth by Marlo, who is his mentor.

But! Magnus discovers that all was not quite as he had thought.

For Magnus is not a human from the planet Earth. In reality he is a member of a race called the Guardians of the Universe who are not only from a different planet, they are actually from a different dimension.

Wizardly Marlo is being hard on himself as he feels somewhat responsible for the fact that Murdamond was able to destroy the Earth, because Murdamond cannot resist taking anything that looks beautiful and shiny.

When they arrive at the village of Deruweld, Magnus finds that humans haven't evolved just yet and that dinosaurs are still roaming round the countryside.

To make matters more complicated Murdamond has already arrived and he has captured Magnus' parents and is holding them imprisoned in the dungeon of his new castle.

Magnus realises that he must use all of his powers and wisdom to defeat Murdamond. With the help of Marlo, some friendly dinosaurs and the Jewelled Book of the Universe. Even though it thought it might be helpful if it decided to change itself into the shape of a girl.

This is the first book in a trilogy about Magnus and his friends and will make a great Christmas present for children aged 7 to 9.

It is published by Matador at £6.99.

Surrogacy: Our Family's Journey

Surrogacy: Our Family's Journey is a very moving and very personal account of one family's story regarding surrogacy.

It starts with the initial thoughts about the possibilities of surrogacy and then proceeds through the decision to employ a surrogate to help create a family.

This is the story of James Phillips, from a single man, then as part of a same-sex couple and then onward to the story of how he met and fell in love with Krzysztof part way through the process and how they work together to create a family with the help pf a surrogate in Bangkok, and how they manage to deal with international red tape and navigate a variety of obstacles from the health of the surrogate to a bewildering array of rules and regulations.

And what happens when it is revealed there is not one baby on the way, but two, as they will be having twins!

This is an interesting at heartwarming book which will be of use to anyone who is interested in the field of surrogacy.

It is published by Matador at £11.99.

What's Left Unsaid

What's Left Unsaid is a fascinating novel from Deborah Stone.

Throughout the novel Deborah takes her readers on a journey through the lives of a range of highly interesting people who are all, in one way or another, deeply damaged or disturbed in one way or another.

There's Sasha who is doing her best to keep her life together. She is raising her teenage son Zac. Although she isn't a single parent, she might as well be, as her husband is absent.

Then there's the problems presented by her elderly mother who is not only temperamental, her alcoholism also compounds the problems she presents.

But why has Zac destroyed a pair of scissors as he attempted to break in to a valuable antique desk which he has caused terrible damage to?

What was he searching for? What dreadful secrets does he believe that his mother is keeping hidden from him?

And what about Sasha? Does she have a dark secret from her past that she needs to keep hidden?

Her mother, Annie, is beginning to have problems with the past and the present, as they seem to coalesce together. What is true? What is untrue? Annie doesn't seem to know, any more.

She is certain of one thing. That Joe, her late husband, is waiting for her and watching over her. But is he? And what of a dreadful secret that she kept from Joe? How can she go to him with that on her conscience?

It's an interesting novel that takes the reader through the history of Sasha's family over several decades.

Old traumas are revealed and relived and once hidden secrets are brought to the surface, again.

It's published by Matador at £9.99.

Friday, 9 November 2018

That's Christmas: An ideal gift for the book reading women in your l...

That's Christmas: An ideal gift for the book reading women in your l...: It’s Christmas and you’re looking for the ideal gift for the women in your life. We have the solution to all of the women in your life! ...

Monday, 5 November 2018

Badger and Crab's Adventure

Badger and Crab's Adventure is a fantastic new children's book from Catherine Trimby.

It's aimed at children from ages 7 to 9 years old and it tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a badger and a crab and the amazing adventures that they enjoy together.

Badgers in the UK are under threat due to a campaign to cull them to stop bovine tuberculosis.

Badger finds himself a long way away from his normal night time feeding area. He is hungry and finds himself searching for food on a beach at high tide.

However, he hears someone calling for help. He doesn't want to abandon his search for food, he is very hungry, but he is a decent person and decides to halt his search for food to try to find the person who is crying out for help.

He finds a crab trapped under a rock and has a hard time in freeing him.

Crab later overhears a conversation between two moonfaces plotting an attack on a badger's sett that is not far away.

Crab realises that the badger who saved his life could be in danger, so Crab sets off to try to save his new friend.

Can he succeed?

This is a well written book that contains clear environmental messages in a fashion that is understandable by children.

It is well illustrated by Carol Davies and will make a super Christmas gift. It is published by Matador at £7.99.

Monday, 22 October 2018

The Snow Foresters

The Snow Foresters are a set of 20 new ghost stories from the pen of David Phelps, who is a traditional storyteller.

They are all set in the Welsh Marches and, although newly written, the stories are all based on ancient folk stories from the area.

There are the deathly cold Snow Foresters, a problem with some unwanted guests and what happened when the Goddess Sekhmet became involved in the life of a somewhat prideful Methodist minister.

There's the dreadful story of what happens when a body is not treated with respect, the luck (bad or good) that comes with the discovery of a lost golden sovereign, the correct method of dealing with ghosts.

Plus there is the tale of the sin-eater and the Cwn Annwn, the spectral hounds of Annwn and what happened to a boy named Posthumous when he meets them when he was stealing firewood from a Lord's own forest.

It is perfectly clear that David Phelps has a deep understanding and an even deeper love of the folk tales of the Welsh Marches and the peoples thereof.

Each story is perfectly illustrated with a well-chosen line drawing from Veronique Avon.

The book is published by Matador at £7.50.

It's an ideal Christmas present for lovers of traditional folktales.

You can learn more about David Phelps at www.davidphelpswrites.co.uk
and about Veronique Avon at www.atelierveronique.co.uk



Galleon

Galleon is a debut steampunk novel from Ruby Smith.

It takes place in Gallow which is in a word called Eera. The populous is facing a time of great change.

No more so than in the capital city of Cerrano. Cerrano is an amazing place, peopled largely by immigrants and inventors.

There are some people there who do not have any magical abilities and they are starting to wonder about their lowly status in society. They are beginning to question the fairness of their situation.

Ruby examines the situation by using the lens of three key protagonists, Lara Key who as a Greycoat cadet has been trained all of her life to be a perfect officer, but finds that, after all, perhaps that's not what she wants.

There's Watterson Teach, who is the joint leader of the highly influential Steam Syndicate who is the father to Evie a liberationist agitator. Teach finds himself facing difficulties after the death of his business partner.

There is Ridley Ripley who is a Shadow, a member of a very distinct and intriguing race of people from the far north of the planet.

It's a novel of soaring themes, of love, of hatred and of loss.

I believe Ruby Smith is a name we will be hearing more of in the future.

It's published by Matador at £7.99.
 


Saturday, 20 October 2018

Human Resource Alignment

In his book Human Resource Alignment human resources guru Stephen M Flynn offers his readers a highly useful, practical advice on how to configure a more commercially viable HR strategy.

Nearly two decades ago when he was first appointed to work as an HR director, Stephen M Flynn was faced by a challenge. He had to devise a completely new Human Resources strategy for his employer which would work with and support the organisation's business plans.

All he needed to do, he thought, was to find the books that would help him by telling him what he needed to do. Unfortunately he discovered that, 18 years ago, there was no practical guidebooks on the market that would be able to help him.

But that was then, this is now. And now, based on Stephen's 18 years of hard-won personal and practical experience,  such a book now exists.

Stephen has noticed that many organisation's strategies are expressed solely in marketing or financial terms. In some cases, they don't even have a strategy. This means that there are problems with translating this into the plan of the HR department.

This books offers practical advice to HR practitioners and professionals to assist them in creating a HR plan that meshes in with the organisation's business strategy.

He offers several new concepts, including that of "organisational maturity" by which means the HR department and the organisation can translate the strategy of the business inot HR practice.

Readers will be shown how they can identify their organisation's current level of maturity from the pattern of work practices that are evident in their own organisation.

Readers are then guided in various techniques of  how to choose suitable PR practices that align with what Stephen describes as: "the organisation's maturity level."

At the end of the book readers will learn how to structure their HR department in such a way as they will be able to deliver the newly-minted HR plan/

This is a highly practical HR guide book by a 36 year veteran in the field, the last two decades at Senior HR Director level.

The book is published by Matador at £14.99.

Rinsed

After finishing work early for once, a young lady leaves her central London workplace as she heads home for a lovely evening with her family.

Only she never made it. Three hooded figures attack her and soon she is lying dead as thje attackers make good their escape into the rush hour traffic.

The case is presented to DCI Colm Elliot. He realises that he knew the murder victim from a previous case that he worked on.

That case had been something of a puzzler as it had set off a series of bewildering events that had threatened the lives of many people.

So, are the two cases related? And if so, how?

With people confessing to murders that they thought they'd committed (and probably had) and a whole range of various acts of violence, betrayal, revenge and death, this is not going to be an easy case for the softly-spoken Ulsterman to solve. If he can!

This book is published by The Book Guild at £9.99.

Unauthorised Action

Unauthorised Action is the final instalment in the thriller series from Alan Hunt.

In the aftermath of devastating terror attacks in London the Foreign Office is shaken to the core by the murder of Kate Thomas, an attractive young diplomat.

Adam White, a fellow diplomat, is immediately suspected of the murder. But his fiancee, Alison, firmly believes in his innocence and sets out to find the proof to clear his name.

But Adam discovers an apparently impenetrable wall of secrecy from Foreign Office officials who are, apparently,  enmeshed in a highly secret covert operation.

Acting on his own in direct defiance of his bosses, Adam follows a lead to Madrid. And he is certain that he knows the identity of the man who he believes killed Kate.

Then other people start to fall victim to the killer as he makes preparations for a truly outrageous hit in London.

Can Adam work out who the intended target it? Can he save the victim before they are assassinated? But who, exactly, can Adam trust? Is their a traitor at the very heart of the British establishment? And if there is, can Adam thwart the killer and the traitor?

This book is published by Matador at £7.99.

Red Snow

Red Snow is a debut mystery novel from Larraine Susan Harrison for young readers which also touches on contemporary issues.

Megan is 12 years of age. She was convinced that she had all the details of what caused the death of her mother. But Megan was wrong. Very wrong indeed. There was a great deal about the death of her mother that she did not know.

She finds herself facing a veritable spider's web of lies, obfuscation and outright deceit from the very people who she should have been able to trust. Her own family.

She finds herself excluded by her classmates at school and so she decides to befriend her new neighbour, Ryan.

But is Ryan all that he appears to be? Because Ryan is hiding something, something that is potentially a dangerous secret within the local woods. He has discovered some blood on the snow besides an old watchtower. And Megan begins to be drawn into a situation that she'd rather not be a part of.

The two are rescued from danger by a woman called Irene who seems interesting and mysterious to Megan. Her father, who she is the carer for, slips even deeper into depression and forbids her from seeing Irene again. But why? What is happening? Can Megan get to the bottom of the mystery?

After a burglary attempt that failed and an intruder in the garden of Ryan's house, truths suddenly start to bubble to the surface.

But what does it all mean to Megan? Will she find out the truth of what happened to her mother?

This book is published by Matador at £7.99.


The Cats of Butterwick Sands

In Gabriella Thomas' The Cats of Butterwick Sands readers will meet with the cats of Butterwick Sands.

The cats are lead by a very special cat called Percy. Percy is very clever, very dignified and also very popular in the small seaside resort town of Butterwick Sands.

Sadly, Butterwick Sands had seen better days and it is now a little bit tired and in need of some Tender Loving Care or TLC as it is also known.

You'll meet a whole range of cats in this book. Some are brave, some not very brave, some nice, some who are not as nice as they mother would have liked, some are funny, some a bit more serious.

You'll meet the cats in a series of stories which all culminate in all of the cats, under the leadership of Percy, working together to restore the town's caravan park and its once bustling funfair.

The stories are all illustrated with charming line drawings from Ena Hodzic.

These stories are ideal for children and parents or grandparents to read together. And will make a super Christmas present.


It is published by The Book Guild at £7.99.

The Conquistador's Horse

The Conquistador's Horse is a story for children written by author Barry Cole.

It is set in North America during the years 1540 to 1550.

It tells the fictionalised account of historical events surrounding the events that brought horses to the American native tribes.

A Cheyenne hunting party with Tall Bull are crossing the Arkansas river, they are taking something of a risk, for they are entering the hunting ground of their enemies to hunt for some buffalo.

However, other men are crossing the same river, fierce warriors armed with bow and arrows, war-clubs and spears. They are wearing war paint. They were a war party from the Pawnee nation making their return journey to their home village after they had made an attack on the Sioux, their bitter enemies.

However, those two groups were not the only ones to cross the river. There were men of pale skin who were riding on horseback. They, too, were armed. But they were armed with swords and muskets. These were a group of Spanish Conquistadors, searching for a city of gold, Quivira.

The three disparate groups eventually met and Tall Bull would come across an amazing animal, the likes of which he had never seen.

These animals infiltrated his mind, inhabiting his dreams. They would change not only Tall Bull's life, but the lives of generations of his people to come. He had seen his first horses.

This is a very well researched and equally well written book aimed at children from ages 10 to 14.

It is published by Matador at £6.99.

Incidentally the author has also included an extra bonus story "The Birth of the Wolf Clan."

Rift Wars The Entity Within

Rift Wars the Entity Within is a science fiction debut novel from Nitin Suneja which is aimed at a young adult audience.

It tells the stroy of Jon Farrell who, at the age of 15, has to flee the ruins of the Roman catacombs. Unfortunately for Jon and his parents, his parents did not survive.

When he reaches the surface he discovers that the entire ancient cit of Rome, which he was visiting with his parents, has been devastated.

Eventually Jon finds his way to a military base and finds to his horror that the attack has been planet-wide and that only a small fraction of the human race was able to survive the attack.

As Jon discovers more about the attack from a highly technologically advanced alien race, he realises that he must do what he can to fight against the enemy.

Those in charge feel it is likely that another attack is imminent. However, is it possible that, by providing humanity with a common enemy, that the aliens have proved themselves vulnerable by their blunder?

Earth is not the only planet that was attacked by the enemy and other races visit the Earth in order to work together to provide a common defence against the attackers.

Humanity receives body armour, amazing weaponry and medical drugs to provide longer lives. And they take up the fight with the common enemy and become involved with the Rift Wars.

It's an extremely well written novel which is modern day Space Opera at its best.

It's published by The Book Guild at £9.49.   

The Horsekeeper's Daughter

The Horsekeeper's Daughter Is the true and absolutely amazing account of the life story of one 19th century woman's journey from a mining village in County Durham to the rainforest's of Queensland, Australia.

Sarah Marshall left her pit village during the wintertime of 1886.

She bravely used the Single Female Migrant Scheme to emigrate to Australia.

A battered and very elderly attache case has come into the possession of the author of this book, Jane Gulliford Lowes.

It had been the property of her Auntie Edie. Edie was not a familial aunt, she was one of that class of elderly female friends who had bestowed upon the the honorific title of aunt or auntie.

One day, Jane began to make a serious study of the contents of the case. And what she found was an astonishing story of bravery, courage and adventure starting in the 1880s in County Durham and into the 20th century in Australia and back to County Durham and Aunt Edie.

Although Jane points out that her book is not an academic work, I can confirm that it is very well researched and incredibly well written. It is laos well illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs.

It tells the story of Sarah Marshall, her marriage and of her family in Australia and also in County Durham.

The book is published by Matador at £8.99 and is a must have books for all students of social history.

Sleeping Through War

Sleeping Through War  is a novel from Jackie Carreira.

It is set in the year 1968. 1968 was a time of great political upheaval. The Vietnam War was raging, students were rioting, nuclear bomb test were commonplace, civil rights were being fought for.

Everywhere it seemed to be a highly volatile year, 1968.

But life for the vast majority of people had to continue as normal. As it always does.

There's Rose, a nurse living in London, Amalia who dearly hopes her son can get out of the life they live in Portugal and then there is Mrs Johnson who lives in Washington DC, who writes letter after letter to her son who is serving in Vietnam.

Like so-called ordinary people do, they do their best to live normal lives, with quiet dignity and a remarkable degree of bravery and courage.

It's an incredibly moving book that will bring smiles and some tears to those who are fortunate enough to read it.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

The Man Who Lived Twice

Although this is a fictionalised account, the man featured in The Man Who Lived Twice written by David Taylor, Colonel George S Leger Grenfell, was very very real 19th century military figure.

Of Cornish extraction, he was an extremely brave soldier of fortune who fought on four different continents before emigrating to America to fight on the side of the Confederate forces.

He rode with the infamous Morgan's Raiders and was involved in a plot to create a Northern Confederation, for which he was arrested as a spy and sentenced to hang.

The intervention of the British government had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment at the Dry Tortugas prison where he was subjected to an incredibly brutal regime of what can only be described as torture, even though by that time he was in his early 60s.

His cell companion was the unfortunate Dr Samuel Mudd, jailed for his alleged part in the Lincoln assassination  plot.

But no matter how brutal the guards, Dr Mudd and Grenfell worked hard to save them from a Yellow Fever epidemic, which showed the mettle of both men.

After the epidemic Grenfell escaped from the prison in an open boat, never to be heard from again. The authorities presumed that he and his fellow escapees had drowned in the attempt.

But David Taylor wonders about what might have happened.

Grenfell was both incredibly brave, but also incredibly flawed. A wanted criminal and a fraudster, it's felt his desire for military glory was an attempt to atone for his earlier life of crime.

It's a powerful and well-written book which students of 19th century military history will be keen to own.

It is published by Matador at £7.99.


Sir Sam Fay Railway Manager Elite

Sir Sam Fay Railway Manager Elite This is the first ever full-length biography of one of the greatest ever rail managers of all time.

Sir Sam Fay's start in life was not, as one might have expected, in an industrial setting. He was born in rural Hampshire in 1856.

He started his working life with the London and South Western Railway. From humble, clerkly status, he swiftly rose through the ranks, becoming the General Manager of the new Manchester to London Great Central Railway in 1902.

During the Great War from 1916 to 1919. Sir Sam Fay had the onerous task of managing not only the rail system of the UK, but also roads and inland waterways.

He was responsible for the movement and transportation of troops, military supplies and ammunition. And also for ensuring that wounded troops were brought back to the UK for treatment and convalescent care.

He became involved with government ministers, senior politicians, top civil servants and generals, all of whom became reliant on him for his transportational expertise.

The book contains many interesting facts about Sir Sam Fay including that he was a well-read young man, that even after his Knighthood he still preferred to be known as Sam and that he was often mistaken, by his mode of speech, for a gentleman from America.

He explained this by pointing out that he spoke with a Hampshire accent and that the American accent was based on the Hampshire dialect which had travelled to America with early migrants from Poole Harbour and Buckler's Hard.

 In this biography John Neville Greaves has produced a most excellent biography of this eminent railway manager, which is a must have book for all railway enthusiasts and students of social history.

It is also conspicuously illustrated throughout and is an absolute bargain at £12.99, published by The Book Guild.

Looking for an ideal Christmas present for the railway enthusiast in your life? This is it!

Emotional Sandwiches

Emotional Sandwiches is a new self-help book from trained holistic therapist Sarah Ashley Neil.

Everyone of us is being encouraged to look within for the answers. And these answers, or so we are told, will then solve our dilemmas and problems.

That sounds great. But is it actually true? And if true, is it true for everyone?

Sarah asks her readers, instead, to explore their relationships with words. Because she argues that when we do this, the answers we require and need will slow bubble to the surface.

This book, the first part of a new series of self-help guidebooks, will introduce readers to the concept and character's of Sarah's brand, Emotional Sandwiches.

In her book Sarah employs humour and fictional characters to bring to the fore some very relevant non-fiction ideas.

Although deliberately designed to be humorous and entertaining the book does have a very serious underlying purpose. One of which is to prove to readers that although self-reflection can be great fun, it should not be spoiled by endless self-analysis.

There's a warning on the book's cover: "All fillings contain perspectives."

Sarah hopes that if you read this book that you will be able to learn something about how they communicate with not only other people but also how they communicate with themselves. The ability to properly communicate with ones own self is an interesting idea and one that, hopefully, will gain traction.

The book is published by Matador at £9.99.

Baby Daze

Poet Sarah Davis has decided to share with us, the reading public, her experiences as a young mother in her debut collection of poems Baby Daze.

Mums and Dads will find this book of poems to be very relatable indeed!

All aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and baby's early days are covered in these poems which are thoughtful, humorous and heartwarming.

The early scan (see the little heart beating?) the waiting period with baby clothes ready and the maternity hospital bag packed and waiting, the surprise of a premature birth, the birth itself, the post natal period, the emotions faced by both parents when a longed for baby is finally born, night feeds and day feeds, chatting to other new mothers, and those who have been through it before on the maternity ward.

The proud homecoming of mother and baby, health visitors, grandparents, the problems of milk (human, that is to say) the problems of 'baby brain' and of sleep deprivation, going out with baby, staying in with baby, going out without baby (dad's with him, it'll be fine!) bath time for babies and why dad really should wear an apron at bath time (you'll read about that on page 32!) and baby's first attempts to communicate.

You'll read all about these in this remarkable collection of poems.

In the opinion of this reviewer this book should be bought by every maternity hospital and Health Authority in the UK and issued to every doctor, gynaecologist, midwife, doctors's receptionist and new mother and father to be!

It is published by The Book Guild at £7.99.

To order multiple copies of this book visit https://www.bookguild.co.uk/.

Clash of Kings

Clash of Kings is a new historical Viking adventure novel from the pen of author Peter Wilks.

It is the eight book that he has published with Matador, but trhe difference is that unlike his other novels, this one is not aimed at thew younger audience.

This novel is a drama filled exciting adventure novel set during the times when Viking warriors were the terror of Western Europe.

The novel opens on the morning of 8th June, 793AD. From the mist a whole fleet of Viking longships are powerfully moving toward the famed religious community on the island of Lindisfarne. 

The Viking warriors beach their ships and with swords and battle axes tightly gripped, ready for action. they run toward the monastery, smash their way in and leave a trail of blood and destruction as they murder the defenceless monks, destroy buildings and altars, steal the holly treasures and enslave those they do not kill or capture and remove them in chains.

Who was behind this attack? Jarl Magnusson, otherwise known as the Red Plague.

However, whilst he was organising acts of plunder to help him create a powerful empire, he had failed to notice that other Vikings are also looking for plunder and the glory of building an empire.

One of these is a fellow Viking nobleman called Sigvald Foeslayer who is jealous of the Red Plague's successes and who coverts what he owns, including his massive fleet of longships. 

The Red Plague has underestimated how dangerous Foeslayer is to his fleet, his Norwegian territories and his own family.

Eventually he identifies the challenge that Foesleyer presents him with and he decides to take action against him.

But is he too late? Can he defeat his rival's allies? Can he kill Foeslayer? Or will Foeslayer be victorious in this blood soaked novel about rivalry between Viking clan chiefs?

The book is based on detailed research on what it was really like to be a Viking and it is very well written and exciting adventure novel.

The good news is that it is the first in a series of Viking chronicles from Peter Wilks.

It is published by Matador at £8.99.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Spider Zero Seven

Spider Zero Seven is Mike Borlace's own very personal memoirs of life as a combat helicopter pilor with the Rhodesian Defence Force during that country's civil war during the 1970s.

Although small, the RDF was a highly professional army and, as he points out, helicopters played a very important role in the operations of the RDF whilst fighting against Communist backed guerrilla forces such as those of Robert Mugabe.

An experienced helicopter pilot with training from the RAF and the Royal Navy, Mike was an operational commando helicopter pilot and special forces soldier.

In 1974 he was recruited to join the Rhodesian Air Force and although he was initially expected to pilot Hawker Hunter planes, his experience as a combat helicopter pilot saw him moved over to 7 (Helicopter) Squadron which was becoming very heavily enmeshed in the war against terrorists, meaning they were desperate for trained helicopter pilots.

He served with  the squadron for exactly 1,096 days, of which a total of 793 were on active combat missions.

327 of these days was as the pilot of helicopter gunships, and a fireforce commander. During which he had 149 enemy contacts. He also undertook many casualty evacuations (casevacs) and also nearly 100 operations involving the Rhodesian SAS, the Selous Scouts and the Rhodesian Light Infantry Commandos on cross-border raids.

He was shot down five times and received wounds twice and was presented with the Silver Cross.

After he left the Rhodesian Air Force in 1978 he joined the crack and top secret Selous Scouts special forces unit.

After being kidnapped whilst working as an undercover operative in Zambia he was subjected to such a brutal regime of torture that the High Court of Zambia was 'horrified' by what he had undergone, so released him, only for the government to immediately re-arrest him.

Eventually he was released and deported to London.

In 1982 he began a new career as a private military adviser to various Western-backed allies, globally. Some of the enemies he helped deal with, such as the Sierra Leone Revolutionary United Front, were committing unspeakable atrocities against children and civilians.

The book is written in a warm and humorous tone, but it pulls no punches whatsoever and is one heck of an action-packed, exciting read.

It really does belong on the bookshelf of any self-respecting student of military history.

It is published by Matador at £12.99.

Far Far the Mountain Peak a Bumpy Journey

Far Far the Mountain Peak a Bumpy Journey is a new novel from Arthur Clifford. Long time readers of this review emporium will recall Arthur's previous novel Far Far the Mountain Peak which introduced us to John Denby.

We left John as he was coming to terms with his adolescence in the 1980s.

We pick up John's story when John is now attending a private school. Like many people John has struggles with life. He is mystified, to coin a phrase, by his sexuality and this, in part, might be a reason why he seems to have problems with his relationships.

John's desperate to be accepted by his circle of friends, but he seems to sense that he needs to keep some sort of distance from them, for fear of exposing his true inner self to them.

He fears, justifiably or not, you must decide, that some of the people who he should be able to rely on for support might not, after all, always have his best interests at heart.

John's life is, as usual, a little bit too interesting for his own good and after an incident takes place that unsettles him, he decides to set off on a big adventure.

Because this, he feels, will help him make something of his life, help him to become more self aware and more knowledgeable about the big, wide world and also himself.

But, of course, this is all a backdrop, of a sort, for his beloved mountaineering.

This is, of course, only a little further along the long and winding mountain path that is John's life. Let's stick around for the rest of the journey!

It's published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

The Folded Notes

The Folded Notes is an historical romance set in the 19th century.

Catherine Rose is an Englishwoman who is travelling with her mother to India to meet her father who is working at Punjab University.

However, fate intervenes and she meets a newly qualified Sikh engineer called Kharak, who works for the Indian Railways.

They fall in love with each other, but will destiny, in the shape of her father and a colonial engineer by the name of Ivan, conspire against the lovers?

They are separated, but they meet again in Mombasa because Catherine has followed her lover there.

But they have been followed by others who have evil on their minds.

Who will win? Who will lose?

I will not give the story away, but I can recommend this book as a truly breathtaking historical romance.

It is published by Matador at £9.99.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Brutal Terminations

Brutal Terminations is a new mystery novel from Cherith Baldry.

A team of workmen who are digging the foundations for an extension to the library at St Clement's College, Oxford, are shocked when they stumble upon the skeletal remains of a woman.

Gawaine St Clair is an amateur detective (who seems to have this role thrust upon him, somewhat unwillingly, it has to be said) is a former undergraduate at the college.

When he arrives in Oxford he is told that the remains were buried some three decades before, and that the woman had been with child at the time of her death.

A don, Richard Templeman is reported to be missing. His corpse is subsequently discovered.

Naturally Gawaine's suspicions fall on men who were at the college 30 years before.

With the death of the don, he believes that only those men who are still at the college 30 years later could have been responsible for the death of the woman and of Templeman.

These include Stephen Verner, Father Gerard, the chaplain, the creepy head porter, Heatherington, the bursar Colonel Morrison and Dr Porteous.

There's a letter that gives Gawaine a clue as to the potential identity of the murder victim and the identity of her lover.

Eventually, he is pretty certain that he has found the identity of the killer. But there are two things. Firstly, is he correct in his deduction? Secondly, will he be able to live to tell his tale?

This is a remarkably well-written mystery novel and I am glad to have found another mystery voice in Cherith Baldry. Another author for me to keep an eye out for!

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Seven Shades of J

Seven Shades of J is the memoir by Jean Riley, written with the assistance of Lesley Halliwell.

From a "highly strung" child to someone diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder only took the heartbreaking divorce from her first husband, the father of her two children, who, it transpired was much worse than the flirt he appeared to be.

He kept the marriage sexless, whilst having serial affairs with people who Jan should have been able to rely on. Well, ween't they supposed to be her friends? Apparently not, as it turned out.

This caused her to be prescribed Haloperidol, which removed her zest for life. As a result Jean took the decision to stop taking prescription medications until some sexual encounters in Tunisia brought her to the conclusion that some form of prescription medications would be advisable.

A female psychiatrist was able to help her sort out some medications that would help moderate her condition, but also allow her to retain a sense of self.

The book is an honest and forthright account of, to borrow an expression, "a life well lived" or at least, a life lived very interestingly.

Some of her problems resulted from her mental health, but others were inflicted upon her as a direct result of the actions of other people. Her first husband, and her second husband who died in the throws of sexual ecstasy. Unfortunately whilst he was with his rather submissive secretary.

The story of the funeral and the ashes including a holiday in Bali is both moving and also tinged with humour, which brought her to yet another wedding.

Unlike some memoirs from people with bipolar conditions this book is remarkably cheery and filled with the zest for life that Jean mentioned.

I can highly recommend it.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

The Gilded Ones

It's a hot day in 1984 and Pulse, who is an intuitive designer who has two job interviews to attend.

The first interview is with a company that is very busy and very mainstream. The second is with what appears to be a deserted practice based within an old London house, owned by Patrick Lloyd-Lewis, whose wife, Freia died recently, in circumstances that have yet to be fully explained.

Pulse comes to the startling realisation that he had dreamt about Frie's death only the night before. As a result he feels a compulsion to help solve the mystery of her death. So he accepts theo ffer of a job from Patrick.

When he does a little digging into the personal life of Patrick, Pulse realises that he is under some degree of suspicion from those closest to him.

A shocking link between Patrick, Freia and a gangster who had previously been encountered in the North, Pulse wonders if, perhaps, Patrick might have been involved, or to be responsible in some way?

 Could Pulse discover the identity of the murderer before they commit further murders? Can Pulse keep himself safe?

This is a gritty psychological crime novel from designer turned author Brooke Fieldhouse. This is his debut novel.

It's published by Matador at £9.99.




Buried Secrets

Buried Secrets is a highly useful self-help book from Savi McKenzie-Smith who has been a psychotherapist for in excess of three decades.

It is a comprehensive look at a range of real life accounts from people who were able to use psychotherapy to rid themselves of conditions such as anxiety and depression to enhance and improve their lifestyles.

The author takes her readers through an easy to read step-by-step guide into the theories behind "talking therapy" and its practical applications, all with the intent of helping people change their lives for the better.

Savi makes an interesting point. She questions if the "innumerable" books out there that tell people to feel good and use positive thinking to improve their lives actually work? After all, she wonders, how can a person achieve this goal if they are feeling low, anxious or depressed?

The boom is split into different sections covering different aspects of the theories of psychotherapy, how negative memories  can come back to haunt a person, often many years later and how, with support, these issues can be resolved.

The book is published by Matador at £9.99.

Star Matters

Star Matters is a new science fiction adventure novel from David John West.

There are some people on Earth who think we have been visited by alien visitors. Some promulgators of conspiracy theories claim that our governments are fully aware of the truth of these alien visitations, but are deliberately keeping the rest of humanity in the dark. The conspiracy theorists are entirely correct.

In times long past, the nascent human race on planet Earth came to the attention of a race known as the Dawn of Gaya, due to its spiritual awareness.

A number of specially chosen Guides were sent to the planet Earth, and have remained amongst humanity ever since, offering assistance with all significant philosophical and technological advances and discoveries.

Member of the race known as Dawn of Gaya, Amily has been given the role of secretly and discretely preparing the human race for the time when it will be ready for joining with the more advanced human races that are covering the galaxy.

However, the Spargar are a race that are rivals to the Dawn of Gaya. Their only aim is to trap and ensnare emerging races into their system, locking them into their technological and computing network.

The Spargar plan to invade planet Earth for their own nefarious purposes. But not if Amily, born of human and Gaya parentage and the race of Gaya have anything to do with it.

This book is published by Matador at £9.99.

Hands, the Archilles' Heel

In Hands, the Archilles' Heel, Peter Ffitch takes us through a startling theory of evolution of the role of humanity in the natural hierarchy.

The author points out that from an early age he had been struck by how little we understand the concept of human nature.

He argues that academics and scholars have struggled with this concept for 3,000 years, yet he feels we are nowhere near to resolving the basic dilemma of why were are so different from the animals of the world.

In his book he argues that evolution is not what we have been taught it is, that the view of humanity's role in evolution is "grandiose."

He feels that, erroneously, other books on human evolution and our hands have concentrated on our abilities to manipulate objects and to create artefacts.

In Hands, the Archilles' Heel, he argues that what he describes as "the much darker side to the use of hands" has, so far, not been disclosed.

He argues that the use of our hands has resulted in us becoming the most tense and fearful species that has ever lived, resulting in our "desecration"  of the planet.

The book is published by Matador at £15.00.

To Tame the Sentry Being

To Tame the Sentry Being is a fantasy novel from Michael Georgiou which is set amongst members of the human race, in the distant reaches of the Universe.

It is set on the planet Vena. Humanity is in a state of perpetual war over territories that are considered to be sacred with a race called the Alpelites. All this is under the watchful eye of the god Medzu.

The story begins with Syros and Ednon, brothers who are living with Ira, their grandfather who is a famed visionary and pacifist.

Syros is, naturally, enraged over the events that caused their parents to lose their lives. He seeks vengeance upon the Alpetites, who he blames for what happened.

However, Ednon, who is more idealistic, sets his sights on bringing an end to the war. But he will so whatever it takes to keep his brother safe and secure.

However, whilst in the Grand Library of Asterleigh, the golden city, Ednon has an encounter with a ghostly presence which reveals to him that at the next Passing of Sechen, the world will be brought to an end.

As a result, his life becomes infused with visionary appearances.

But was the vision to be trusted? Will the world come to an end? Which brother will succeed?

This book is published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

What Laduma's sponsorship means to AFC Liverpool.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Simply Modern Life

Simply Modern Life is a new collection of satirical poems from retired educationalist, novelist and blogger Claire Baldry.

This collection of poetry is a look at modern life. From the very subject of poetry itself, to the very loud use of mobile phones on public transport, the good old days, where they so good, after all?

The problem of school bullying, mobility through our ages, the problems of the AGM (very, very relateable for anyone who has ever suffered through an AGM).

School inspections, the Internet, including a warning about Internet trolls.

The poems are illustrated by Amber Gee.

The book is published by Matador at £5.50.

The Sorceress and the Postgraduate

The Sorceress and the Postgraduate is a new novel from Clive Heritage-Tilley that combines historical fact with fantasy and magic.

In 1497 Albrecht Durer produces his famed Four Witches engraving. However, in truth there were five women, not four, all of whom were sorceresses. They had all been condemned to death, but it was decided that the youngest of the five, an English girl called Constance, should not die and the other sorceresses cast a spell upon her to suspend her in time.

Many centuries later an Oxford University student decides that he is going to steal an interesting object from the Pitt Rivers Museum, with the aim of furthering his studies.

However, what happens next plunges him into an amazing world where everything he thinks he knows is probably wrong and he discovers that magic is something that is very, very real.

He finds out that his search for historical facts are replaced by a need to search for secrets that have been locked away for many centuries.

Can he and his new assistant survive and thrive in this stunning new world? Read this book to learn more!

It's published by Matador at £9.99.

Poetic Justice The Dawning

Poetic Justice The Dawning is a debut thriller novel from Fran Raya.

Randal Forbes is a very special man with a very special power. He has a towering genius and he has a stunningly powerful telepathic ability.

But he is not like a fictional superhero. Because he is not governed by some superhero creed for good. Forbes uses his unique powers to destroy those he considers to be his enemies without any feelings of guilt or concern.

This is the first novel in a new series that follows his life from birth until his late teens.

He uses his psychic abilities to control his unaware family, coercing him to become his loyal followers.

He employs his powers to ensure that he gets what he wants. If he considers that someone is standing against him or getting in his way he will remove them or maim them.

Who would be able to dare stand against him? Someone with similar levels of psychic powers? But is there anyone in the whole world who could challenge him?

This book is published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

Border Monkeys

Border Monkeys is a novel about a post-apocalyptic world written by Tharun Chelley.

It follows the life of Layton, a person born into a future world where civilisation has totally broken down, and modern society has all but vanished.

In Leicester a group of motorcycle outlaws, the Border Monkeys are reportedly running riot, doing whatever they want, taking whatever they desire.

Layton is an outsider who is trapped in the middle of this maelstrom. Who should he side with? Or should he stand against?

He is fully aware that he needs friends who he can trust and who he can rely on, but who should he side with? Who an he really trust with his life?

Will he make the right choices? Make the right decisions? And even if he does, can he make a difference?

This is an interesting take on the dystopian novel format ans is published by The Book Guild at £8.00.

Doctored

Doctored is shocking a sadly very truthful account of the abuse suffered by a survivor of the abuse
by a medical professional.

It is written by the survivor, Polly A. Magena. It tells a heartrending story of the emotional neglect, verbal attacks and neglect and rejection from her adoptive mother.

Polly then suffered domestic abuse and eventually serial rape form her once valued and trusted medical doctor.

Vulnerable and traumatised, Polly was then subjected to utterly ruthless exploitation.

She was rejected and betrayed by both her family and friends. However, the doctor was acquitted by the legal system.

Polly then became what she described as a one-woman campaign to try to get exposure for the truth of what had happened to her, including medical malpractice and medical misconduct.

This is a traumatic book and shows how the indomitable spirit cannot be snuffed out. THe author has written it in order to help fellow survivors.

It is published bu Matador at £10.99. 

The Distant Hills

In The Distant Hills it is 1689 and England and France are about to be plunged into war.

Philip Devalle is upset at this prospect, as he is half English and half French.

Philip, known for his efforts to ensure that King William III became the King of England, during the Glorious Revolution, is safe and secure. At least for the moment. But all his scheming and plotting have garnered him a variety of enemies.

King Louis, King of France, sends an invitation to Philip to meet with him. This intrigues Philip, who previously worked for King Louis in the past, he decides to take the risk of travelling to meet with the King in Versailles.

After all, the meeting might prove to be to his advantage. After all, what on earth could possibly go wrong? Because he has no enemies in France.

Unfortunately this proves to wrong and his very life is endangered in France.  He must seek to discover who wishes him dead and seek revenge against them.

But who wants him dead? Might it even be King Louis himself?

Whoever it is, Philip must seek them out. And kill them, before they can kill him.

The book is published by Matador at £9.99.

Aberystwyth Boy

Aberystwyth Boy is a collection of short stories from Gwynn Davis which are set in rural West Wales.

Gwynn Davis is a native Welsh speaker the magical tone of the Welsh language shines through all of these stories.

The stories are set during the 1950s and 1960s and look at the world through the eyes of Gareth who is a teenage boy, who, as teenage boys tend to do, sees everything around him, but sometimes does not fully comprehend all that he sees.

There's the story of a new game called Aberystwyth, a story featuring the local airport (probably with the shortest airport runway in the world) a local airport that might or might not exist, you'll have to read the book to learn the truth about that one!

There's stories of love won and lost, of relatives deemed untrustworthy by other adults, the death of a beloved relative, a visit of a prince and many other interesting pieces of the life of a teenage boy living in rural West Wales.

It's a first rate collection of stories and deserves to be widely read by people from Wales, people who have holidayed in Wales, people who only heard of Wales in passing or who have never heard of Wales before.

It is published by Matador Books at a remarkably reasonable £7.95.

Untangling the Webs

Untangling the Webs is a romantic novel from Joy Pearson.

It details the lives of four women and the men in their lives.

There's Alison, she's single and is an interior designer, there's Julia, she is married and works as a beautician, Trudie, who is a widowed stress counsellor and Phoebe who is a widow of independent means.

With the assistance of a sympathetic and loyal confidante these women must cope with shocking events, unwanted and persistent attention, deceit, bad behaviour and infidelity.

The novel effortlessly moves between Cheshire, Cornwall and Worcestershire and Provence in France.

It explores how people can cope with life when things begin to become a little tough, how a little bit of empathy, a smidgen of humour, a dash of determination and the unconditional support of good friends can go a long way to helping untangle the webs of life so that they can know peace, joy and happiness once again.

It's a thoughtful romantic novel with elements of mystery and is published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

Charlie Green and the Knights of the Round Table

Charlie Green and the Knights of the Round Table is another first rate children's novel from Martyn Blunden, featuring Charlie Green, everyone's favourite time traveller.

Charlie has a magic plane that can whisk him back in time to any period so when an elderly man in a museum shows him so secret parchments which contains a confession from Merlin, King Arthur's adviser and court wizard, and a revelation about some skulduggery and treason within Camelot, Charlie realised that something terrible must have happened back in the times of King Arthur and the Knights of the round Table.

Charlie decides that he will have to travel back in time to correct a very ancient wrong. To disprove the lie that Sir Lancelot betrayed King Arthur.

But when he arrives back in time, Charlie realises that he is really quite ignorant about the century he is visiting and finds it very hard indeed to get anyone to listen to him.

He discovers that the answers he seeks are locked away on Avalon, the magical island. A magical island that is highly guarded to keep its secrets safe from prying eyes.

But Avalon has not met the likes of Charlie before and Charlie is dedicated to ensuring that he successfully completes his mission.

Charlie Green and the Knights of the Round Table is published by Matador at £8.99 and will make a super Christmas present for children of all ages.

The Egg and the Family

The Egg and the Family is a remarkable first-hand account by Steve Green, who shares the pioneering early days of IVF treatment.

Steve Green, PhD, is a Clinical Embryologist who is widely considered as being one of the founders of  modern embryology.

In his book he charts his own personal journey of working at the leading edge of IVF research.

From life as a homeless teenager in Grimsby to a leading IVF pioneer, Steve's story is a truly fascinating one.

Despised by his father who threw him out of the family home at 16 for the crime of wanting to better himself by seeking an education, he had a difficult start, but Steve was determined that he would obtain an education and escape the typical working class life that was the fate of his contemporaries.

And so he did, becoming a laboratory technician and working hard to establish himself as a leading authority on IVF, and the author of in excess of 50 academic papers on the subject.

He helped many thousands of people become parents, but this was not without costs to his person life.

It is an interesting, compelling and highly personal account of what it was like to be an IVF pioneer.

The book really needs to be on the shelf of any MD who deals with infertile couples and any student of embryology.

It's published by The Book Guild at £8.99. 
 

Times and Places

Times and Places is an interesting novel from Keith Anthony.

It is a decade since the death of Justine, the daughter of Fergus and his wife, Sylvie. Fergus is bedevilled by anxiety and he and his wife decide to take a cruise.

On the cruise Fergus meets a wide variety of characters, some he finds interesting and enchanting, others irritate him or even leave him feeling disgusted.

He begins to feel conflicting emotions and a whole chain of rather bizarre happenings on board the ship leaves him feeling even more anxious than before.

By the clever use of flashbacks Keith Anthony explores the life of Justine, her romance (albeit short lived) the way that she lost her life and a subsequent police investigation into her death is begun.

Meanwhile, back in the present day on the cruise ship, Fergus finds himself at a mental breaking point, convinced that he has done something truly terrible.

Has he done something truly terrible? Even if he has not, by the time the ship returns to port, his life will have been changed for ever.

It's a quirky, character-driven novel which is also emotionally charged, so do expect to have a few moist eyes, at least.

It's published by The Book Guild at £9.49.

Fire and Honey

Fire and Honey is a novel by C J Evans that is set in the Caribbean.

Susan and Andrea believe that they deserve romance and adventure, plus something to distance themselves a little form their troubled pasts.

And so it is that the two women decide to seek both adventure and romance amongst the Caribbean islands.

And, as if by magic, they meet two utterly charming men and all seems set fair for the romance and adventure that they were craving.

Or does it? Because things are never quite what they seem and soon the two women find themselves drawn into a web of mystery, intrigue and lies, where past evils lurk beneath the surface and ancient curses seem to hold sway and threaten to engulf everyone they come into contact with.

Will Susan and Andrea survive and find happiness? Or will they be destroyed by the dark forces that swirl around them?

This book is published by The Book Guild at £7.99.

The Hanging Women

The Hanging Women is a mystery novel from John Mead. It's a mystery novel with a difference, for it is set against the backdrop of the Chicago of 1886.

Retired Sheriff Jack Stevens makes a grim discovery, the corpses of two young women, one white, one black, hanging from chains in a warehouse.

The position they are in denotes that their killer had thought them guilty of treachery.

Who were the women? Who had determined that they had to die?

Stevens feels duty bound to participate in the investigation, even though he is formally retired. The case is a convoluted one, and it quickly sucks him into a dangerous world of extremists, notorious street gangs battling for supremacy in Chicago and dubious undercover spies and detectives.

With the infamous Haymarket riots and bombings to contend with along with the actions of the city's largest and most deadly street gang, the Dead Hands, can Stevens track the killers down before things really start to get out of hand?

This is an exciting mystery novel and it is clear that John Mead has researched his subject matter very well and has brought the Chicago of the 1880s to life.


Friday, 12 October 2018

AFC Liverpool, sponsored by Laduma on why people should support Non-Leag...

Lady Frances

Lady Frances is the first detailed biographical account of the life of an extraordinary woman, Lady Frances Balfour, one of the main figures behind the votes for women campaign.

She had been interested in politics from an early age, but was stumped from having any real, meaningful involvement in the world of politics because, as with all women of her generation, she was not allowed to participate in democracy because she did not have the power of the vote.

In 1889 she began campaigning for the rights of women to vote (suffrage) and she was the key lobbyist in the Houses of Parliament.

She battled for the rights of women to be able to obtain work with reasonable incomes, to defend the rights and safety of women lured to London by fraudsters, she joined a variety of government committees to fight for changes in the unfair divorce laws, supporting hospitals for women an,d of course, the right to vote for women.

However, although her role was of vital importance to the movement, Joan B. Huffman came to realise that Lady Frances Balfour was the only leader of the women's suffrage campaign who lacked a biography.

So she undertook detailed research into the life of Lady Frances Balfour to redress this situation by providing her with a very well researched and very well written biography.

The book is also profusely illustrated with photographs and paintings of Lady Frances Balfour, family members, etc.

This book will appeal to historians, people who are interested in learning about feminist history and also the general public.

It is published in hardback at £19.99 and is, in my opinion, a must purchase book for school, universities, colleges and municipal libraries throughout the land, but especially Scotland where Lady Frances Balfour was born.

The Singing Chair and Other Stories

The Singing Chair and Other Stories is a collection of highly entertaining short stories from Herta Maria Moser.

Herta is 94 and lived through many of the great events of the tumultuous past century.

She has drawn on her life experiences to create a collection of short stories that cover a wide range of topics, many which draw up[on her own life experiences.

The title story tells the tale of a businessman who, though well-to-do, suffers from stress. His discovery of a chair with the magical powers to take him to a peaceful, calming universe. But what happened when someone did him a favour? Would the chair be ruined forever? Only time would tell.

There are stories set in the aftermath of the First World War, stories that are humorous, poignant, sad or filled with energy, passion, love and betrayal.

Each story is imbued with the sharp intelligence, wit and veracity of the author who is also an accomplished artist, which might indicate why the stories have such a vividness about them.

The book is published by Matador at £8.99.

My Rich Prince

In his new debut book, My Rich Prince, Dr Okechukwu Michael Mwim offers some timely and highly valuable advice to young adults.

It is a unique book in that it tackles a wide range of subjects that are of great value to young adults and teenagers.

He offers his readership life advice on these issues that he has identified and also offers timely warnings of what they need to look out for.

He examines some issues and points out what matters and what doesn't matter, and how they can work toward the goals of maximising their personal happiness and their life goals.

His advice will help young people when they should say no or yes, why other people don't have to like you, why money shouldn't be ignored, what love is, how to live a good life, and how to avoid mistaking stubbornness for persistence.

It's not an overly long book, and it is written in a clear and concise style.

It's published by Matador at £10.99 and will be a very welcome tool in the toolkit that every teenager and young adult needs to learn how to negotiate thair way through modern life.


Thursday, 11 October 2018

Hector's Wheels

Hector's Wheels is a wonderful book for children and adults of all ages.

It is set in the Eastern England town of Norwich, which is the county town of Norfolk, and it features a very special dog called Hector, who is a truly remarkable little dog, a beagle called Hector.

Hector was born with a problem that meant one of his front legs was disabled. It was almost certain that he was doomed to spend his life living in a dogs' home.

But that was not to be the case, because a very special family came along with a very special American made canine wheelchair.

Readers can follow Hector as he faces life with his family as he learns to operate his wheelchair, and to cope with his disability.

You'll follow Hector and his brother Reggie on their many adventures including some dangerous situations involving railway lines, angry workmen and quick flowing rivers. Sometimes rescued by their human companions.

There are some lovely images and illustrations (by Sophie Fletcher) plus a photograph of Hector in his American canine wheelchair that accompany this wonderful and very uplifting story.

It's published by Matador at £7.99 and if your'e looking for a suitable Christmas present for a dog lover, then this is it!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Defence of Europe by Sikh Soldiers in the World Wars

Defence of Europe by Sikh Soldiers in the World Wars is a fascinating and highly important new work by Mohindra SA Chowdhry.

It is a history of the highly significant contribution of Sikh soldiers during both of the Wrold Wars.

His book contains new, groundbreaking research which explores how an alliance with Britain was able to allow Sikhism to spread globally and for Sikhs to step forward as global partners, points out the author.

He begins his work with the exploration of the Sikh revolt against the Mughal Empire.

He showed how this revolutionary movement was able ot show that Sikhs were against the religion of Islam and how Sikhism stood for the key principles of human rights and liberty and freedom for everyone.

It shows how, after first fighting with the British the two warring sides came to realise that the two cultures had many things in common.

Chowdhry points out in his book that the common ground developed into a strong and abiding loyalty. This book points out that the strong bond that developed became a loyal force that gave the British access to the superb fighting abilities of the Sikhs during the two Word Wars.

Chowdhry argues, cogently, that it is the duty of all Sikhs,inspired as they are, by deep-rooted principles of justice and equality to, no matter where they live in the modern world, to become involved in mainstream politics and social matters.

The book is published by Matador at £19.99.

It is a very important book that should be owned by every Sikh and all those who are interested in Indian history and in the history of the two World Wars.