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.
Angelica was born in Rome in 1965. Unfortunately her home life was unpleasant, her childhood was harsh and lonely. She was not only abused by her mother she was also abused by so-called family friends. She was able to use her time spent at school as a refuge from the horrors of her home life.
Her mother was, sadly, a classic narcissist and, at the age of 16 Angelica realised that she could take no more of her abuse and ran away from the new home the family had in Australia.
Angelica lived for a time on the streets and in a youth refuge. She found love. But she realised later that her loving encounter was not real love after all and that she lost a good deal more than she had gained.
She then married Rhys, but this marriage proved to be troubled and more than a little stormy. She realises now (hindsight is a wonderful thing) that the marriage lasted far too long. But it did produce three children, including a boy who "lives with autism."
Divorced and still more than a little bit lost (but now with three children) Angelica decided that she would seek for love using the medium of Internet dating sites. These often proved to be less than fulfilling, chipping away at even more of her psyche.
However, a career move brought some peace and purpose into her life when she started working as a Juvenile Justice Officer working with and supporting young detainees who were aged 10 to 21.
After this she decided to move over to working with adult offenders, moving from one Australian state to another in the process.
Once there is met and fell for "Brew" who was a fellow correction officer. His love was genuine and true, and her gave her his full support, but her life continued on a spiral of depression and suicidal thinking.
Eventually, Angelica was able to recover and she has taken the opportunity to take stock of her life and share with her readers what she has learned so far.
It is a moving account of what happens to children born to parents who are, in reality, too damaged to be able to care for themselves, let alone look after children.
But it's also a fantastically motivational memoir that shows how, with love and support, even those who have been damaged can find peace, love and happiness and a real, genuine family.
You'll find sniffles, tears and some laughter in this book.
It will be a fine Christmas gift for the person you know who can benefit from the emotional support they'll find in this book. It should also be given to medical professionals who work with the children of abusive or uncaring parents as it will help them see the damages that can be done to such children. And it may give them some vital clues as to how they can be better prepared to help such children.
It's published by Matador at £19.99.
The book's sub-title is stories of love, sex and death and they are an eclectic collection of stories covering a wide range of emotions, moods and concepts.
There are stories of people who are watching, people who are being watched, of people who are lonely, people who are seeking love, of apparently philosophical debates, which mean much more than might at first appear.
There are stories about love, of unrequited love, of love lost (or not) and stories of sacrifice, and yearning.
The stories all have a certain feel to them, the characters seem to be people we either know or who we might know. We see them very vividly.
Is this because as well as being an author Maggie Ling has spent her working life as a successful cartoonist and illustrator? Perhaps so. When you read these stories you will see what I mean.
The book is published by Matador at £9.99 and will make a very acceptable Christmas gift for the short story fan in your life.
Readers will meet again Eirwen, who they will have met in Eirwen and the Gossamer Rainbow.
At age two, Eirwen and her sisters were banished to the planet Earth. Now, at the age of twelve, Eirwen feels that she is ready to seek out the answers to a number of questions.
Her Nereid talents and skills are beginning to grow and develop. Skills she will need on her long and lonely voyage of discovery.
She will traverse the depths of the Earth's oceans, facing many monsters until she can eventually find the sea god, Neptune. It's her belief that Neptune will be able to answer the questions that she has in her mind and heart. Why was she banished from her home world to planet Earth? Why were her two sisters stripped of their Nereid form?
Adaro Kato, her giant squid enemy, is constantly following her, riding a giant Weta, a vicious creature, once thought to be extinct.
Can she best Adaro Kato? But Eirwen is not without support or friends. Galene, the goddess of the Near Sea, the Decapods and other creatures of the realm of Neptune become her friends and her allies.
This book is intelligently written and is for readers who are middle grade.
It's published by Matador at £7.99 and will make an excellent Christmas present for young readers who are ready to move their reading up a notch or two.
Saturday, 14 December 2019
It tells the captivating story of an extremely gifted and talented young woman.
She was a young academic who gave up her Rockefeller Scholarship for travel in the West Indies in 1938. Instead she departed for Prague.
Once there she joined up with a tiny but dedicated group of like-minded people who were to be credited with the rescuing of thousands of anti-Nazi men and women.
But she did more. With Nicholas Winton, Jewish children. For this in 1941 she was warded an OBE.
This bbok is also the biography of her subsequent life, the loves and losses, all retold by her nephew using the words of her own diaries, letters and contemporaneous accounts.
Doreen joined the Political Warfare Executive in London. She subsequently worked for the Middle East Supply Centre in Cairo, then becoming Head of Food Supplies, a Belgrade-based job, for the United Nations relief effort created to prevent starvation in war ravaged Yugoslavia. Both were male dominated words. But this did not cause any pause for Doreen. She took everything in her stride.
After the war's conclusion Doreen returned to the life of an academic, working at University College, London, where she served as a Professor there until she retired in 1866.
She built up considerable expertise as an expert on economics and agrarian difficulties in developing countries. Writing extensively on these issues, working on secondment, to a number of international organisations.
Last year, in 2018, 45 years after her death, Henry Warriner was able to collect, on her behalf, a 'British Heroes of the Holocaust' medal which was awarded by the British government.
It's an extremely well-written and well-researched work, which is a very fitting tribute to Doreen Warriner, a most extraordinary woman.
It will be a perfect Christmas present for anyone interested in the history of World War 2 or in strong, independent women.
It's published by the Book Guild at £10.99.
Unfortunately his chosen career was that of a trained assassin.
However, he decides that he no longer wishes to be a hired killer, so he leaves his old life behind, seeking a more tranquil and peaceable existence.
He cloisters himself in a small town in Southern Africa. He is fully aware that there are certain people who want him captured or want him dead. Some of them are government officials, some are not related to any governments.
He meets a grieving and lonely mother, Naomi, who is separated from her children. In fact she is unsure if they are even alive.
Barney decides that he will assist her in tracing her family, but as time progresses the situation begins to look more and more hopeless.
At the bleakest point, hope is renewed and it seems likely that he will be able to help Naomi find her lost children. But at what cost to Barney? Will his acts of kindness reveal him to the people who wish him harm?
What does he do next? What can he do next?
Author Brian Godfrey has brought us a real and complex character in Barney, a man with conflicting moral imperatives.
The book is published by Matador at £8.50.
In 1966 Mary Foster is 12 years of age and her ordered, peaceful life is disturbed and fragmented by a precipitous move from a nice house in suburban London to a badly neglected Victorian house on the south coast of England.
However, she manages to forge a new friendship which provides her with some comfort in a world that is alien to her.
But suddenly there comes a realisation that her life is not what she thought, that there has been deceit and deception that wrecks her life, leaving her feeling bitter and full of resentment. But she feels it necessary to keep her silence.
It's now 40 years later and Mary feels that now, as a mature woman, she needs to know more. Times are now different, we are in a different century. The secrecy of 40 years ago now seems awkward and strange. And now Mary is anxious to uncover the truth.
But what if the truth is something she might not really wish to learn? Should the secrets of the past remain buried or should they be exposed to the light?
What should Mary do? Keep on seeking and learning the secrets of 40 years ago? Or not?
The book is published by Matador at £9.99.
Obviously, he's ecstatic with this present, so he rushes outside on Christmas Day to use it. But what he actually discovers is a ghost by the name of Charlie Palmer.
Charlie Palmer tells Nathan a very sad story. He reveals that he was murdered by his neighbours, Mr and Mr Kimble. Not only are they murderers, they are also planning to undertake an armed raid.
When Nathan's parents are away for the weekend, he is left in the charge of his big sister. The family jewels go missing and, somehow, Charlie gets the blame.
When Nathan tells the police about the truth about Charlie Palmer, the police are sceptical about what he is telling them.
In fact, only a French scientist called Monsieur Dupont is listening to Nathan and believing him. But then he is the former owner of Nathan's house and he is very, very old. 128 years old.
But Monsieur Dupont wants something, too. But what? And can he get it?
Can Nathan beat the dreadful and murderous Kimble family? Or could he end up sharing the fate that happened to Charlie Palmer?
It's a quirky and very readable book for children and is published by Matador at £6.99.
It's going to be a great Christmas present.
Need to sit down to put your socks on, problems with hips that aren't supple anymore, back and shoulders that don't feel right, now?
Then you need this book. It's aimed at people who are beginners, who have no previous experience with Yoga. And all you need to get started, other than this book, is a Yoga mat.
And the author promises that you can get your good, younger self back, within 30 days.
You will be able to improve your flexibility, reboot your energy levels, cut down on your stress levels, and get back the two zeds. Your zip and your zeal!
The book is very well illustrated and contains a great deal of useful information and tips on healthy living and leading a healthier life.
It's published by Matador at £12.99 and will be a great Christmas gift for the stiff person in your life.
It's what he, Randal Forbes, calls "the gift" the mysterious, dark powers that he employs, his telepathic mind powers.
However, the trail of destruction that his powers have left behind him has not gone unnoticed and has come to the attention of the police, who are investigating him on several potential charges of murder.
But he was never near the scene of any of the crimes. He was there, however, within the head of each victim who he had targeted.
By now Forbes is a student in Oxford, at Beaumont College, he glories in his successes and is on the way to becoming an author of considerable repute.
But by now he has discovered more enemies who he feels the need to deal with. People who are suspicious of his paranormal abilities he feels the need to eliminate.
His poetic justice is unpleasant and twisted, yet, conversely, he is loyal to his own family members.
Clearly, nobody would be able to offer any challenge to Forbes and his abilities. But what if Forbes isn't the only person in the world with such powers, such psychic abilities? Would they be able to face Forbes and take him on at his own game?
It's published by the Book Guild at £8.99 and will make a great Christmas gift.
As Metropolitan Police detectives they are, of course, used to dealing with the results of crimes, such as violence and murder.
But what type of crime was was this murder? Was it a hate crime linked to a spate of other hate crimes?
However, Inspector Merry is not convinced. He believes that the crime against Geraldine Driver might well have been a hate filled crime, but he isn't convinced that it's linked to the other hate crimes.
But there's a shock at the autopsy, as it soon becomes apparent that things might not be what they at first appeared to be.
Who was Geraldine Driver? Who might have wanted Geraldine Driver dead? And the manner of his death was shocking and extremely brutal indeed and was obviously filled with a searing level of hatred that was diabolical in its intensity.
The case is complicated, with links to other incidents. Merry, Lukula and their colleagues are all dedicated professionals. But can they bring the perpetrators to justice?
This is a very well written police procedural murder mystery and if you give this as a Christmas present this year don't expect to see the recipient for a while as the action will grip them from the first page onward.
It's published by the Book Guild at £8.99.
It's 1985, a State of Emergency has been declared in South Africa as the country is becoming more and more ungovernable.
Cameron Beaumont is a history lecturer who, in common with many people like him at the time, was under constant surveillance by the South African security services. He is also subjected to death threats because some people just didn't like his views.
His is undergoing something of an existential crisis. What should he do? Keep his head down and do nothing? Or continue to play his part in the anti-apartheid movement? But if he does continue in the struggle, what could he do to protect his beloved wife Jules and their children?
And those death threats? They are not merely empty gestures and they are, in fact, just the very start of what might happen.
But what would happen if he was pushed beyond his limits? What would he do to protect or avenge his loved one?
This is a very thought provoking novel and recreates the terrible days of Apartheid.
It's published by Matador at £9.99.
The protagonist, Steven M. Johns spent the entirety of the 1980s in jail. Unfortunately he had been convicted of a murder that he had not committed.
Rather than ignoring what had happened to him, Johns decides to set out on the path, after his successful appeal, to find out who had really committed the murder and to seek some measure of revenge on them for putting him in jail for a decade for a crime he didn't commit.
A fellow inmate gives him a list of people who might have been involved in the murder. And, after his release from jail, he seeks out the helped of his cherished Uncle Reg, Johns sets out to seek out those who framed him.
The search takes in a variety of locations including the Home Counties of England and all the way to the Gulf Coast of Florida.
However he finds himself enmeshed in a world of large scale money laundering and mortgage fraud.
He doesn't allow this to deter him, and he continues on his mission to trace and track down those who he believes were responsible for framing him for murder.
But the deeper he searches the more he realises that his investigations are throwing up some very worrying facts and that he risks causing damage to other people.
And who, exactly, can he really trust? But blood is thicker than water. It is, isn't it?
This book is published by Matador at £9.75 and will make a great Christmas present for the mystery fan in your life.
Laura Danes, a happy, perfectly normal, happy young lady who had dreams and ambitions to become a successful filmmaker. And she was talented and dedicated enough to be able to pull this off.
That was until one night outside a lonely railway station she was subjected to an attack from a gang who, when they chose to throw acid in her face, destroying her looks and, apparently, destroying her future.
Three months later and Laura is facing a number of severe issues such as trying to make sense of what had happened to her and why it had happened. Why had she been targeted by the gang?
Of course, Laura has the full support of her mother, but Laura doesn't see any cause for joy in her life. Not with the pain, her ruined features and her wrecked future.
But then the unthinkable happens. Jake, a member of the gang who attacked her, reaches out to Laura and pleads for her forgiveness.
When Jake contacts her, this sets off a spark within Laura. As a filmmaker, shouldn't she want to learn more about the gang culture where Jake and others like him, come from?
Laura again starts to become interested in her life. She learns that perhaps she should start taking risks again, and prove to people that a dreadful event shouldn't, ideally, have the power to influence or control the rest of your life.
This book is a triumphant novel that has several important messages for young adults. It will make you cry, it will make you smile, but it will also make you think.
It's a wonderful tribute to the writing prowess of Nasser Hashmi and his widow, Shabina, who made sure that it was published.
It was long listed for the Peggy Chapman-Andrews award and the Bath Novel Prize, 2017.
It's published by Matador at £9.99.
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
This book is dedicated to Dick Bate. The footballing circle lost a pioneer, a maverick and one of the finest coach educators the World has seen when Dick passed away in April 2018.
In dedication to Dick's memory, 10% of proceeds from this book will be donated to The Giles’ Trust, the brain tumour fund within the University Hospital Birmingham Charity.
Gold Dust talks about the importance of connection, and how you can maximise the connections you build.
It's chock full of golden nuggets and absolute gems of information, knowledge and sports coaching wisdom.
You'll learn how to build on relationships, gain and maintain motivation with your athletes, how you can be a highly effective coach, and how you can communicate effectively.
It shares stories and experiences from people at the top of their game in the respective sports and gives you clear insights of what you can do to be even better at coaching than you already are.
A lot of people talk about sports from a technical and tactical standpoint, but they are only a tiny part of coaching.
The best coaches across all sports generally get success because of their ability to connect and relate to their athletes.
They are able to enhance the learning environment for athletes, make athletes feel better about what it is they do, and in turn optimise the athletes performances, regardless of their age.
To purchase this best-selling book while supporting an amazing cause, please click the Amazon link below at £14.99 in paperback or £4.99 for Kindle.
Here are just some of the 100% positive reviews on Amazon:-
"I can't emphasize just how important and powerful this book is and the effect it can have on any coach in any sport. Myself being from a football background, I couldn't help to think as I was ploughing through this book and in my opinion that there has got to be more within coaching qualifications on the relationship building between the coach and athlete, finding out the different ways of peeling the layers back in truly finding who the person is behind the athlete in order for us coaches to nurture, develop and guide in the most effective to meet their needs. The book is refreshing and has many pages that has you constantly thinking about yourself as a coach and how can i do things better going forward and having an even more meaningful relationship with my players. A very well put together book with some extracts that absolutely hit the sweet spot in the pursuit of finding excellence. Sport, business, parenting and good humility skills/lessons.....This book is for you! 5*"
"Absolutely fantastic book. A must read for any coach. I coach both boxing and football, and this book gives me a great insight on how to develop my coaching practice. Credit to the father and son authors."
In the opinion of That's Books, this book will make an excellent Christmas gift for the sports coaches in your life.
We also feel that this book is a "must buy" for every school and college with a sports department and for every sports club, both amateur and professional.
It is written by Julie Lewis and her co-author, in spirit, Georgie.
It brings to readers a wide ranging variety of topics. It covers what happens when people die and return to spirit, where they go, how to live life in spirit, how we transition from a physical state to a spiritual one, what life in spirit is, what happens before you return to Earth.
How to make the best of your opportunities on Earth, why it's vital you speak up for yourself, how to enjoy yourself whilst you are here.
The book also reminds you of how to embrace what's available to you, how to recognise what your aims are and how to achieve them, the importance of learning, what technology is and some concerns about it.
How to achieve what you need to achieve, how to embrace the world and what it has to offer, including how to recognise this, too.
It's an interesting book that is published by Matador at £9.99.
Pickle finds himself in many, many different scrapes and adventures with an amazing array of characters, from Rufus (his arch enemy!) a fierce tabby cat, a giant rabbit and a pair of very friendly Airedale Terriers.
It's written by Annie Stewart and illustrated by Michael Avery.
Although aimed at children, the stories will also be firm hits with adults, too.
Oh, yes! There are appearances by a variety of humans including the owners of Pickles, Patsy and Peter Purrkins, plus The Partridges, Mrs Chattergood and more.
This is a must have Christmas gift and will be a great read together book for children, parents and grandparents.
It's published by the Book Guild at £8.99.
Hey Dog! Sniffs Are For Feet! is aimed specifically at parents and its intention is to help dog owners deal with the potential problems that might occur when a small child is introduced to a home with a dog, or when a dog is introduced into a home with a small child.
It takes a simpler approach to the subject matter and is not, thankfully, over-long. It gives you the information that you need as quickly and as succinctly as possible.
It's broken down into four chapters which are sub-divided into several section.
It starts at the beginning dealing with the pregnancy, then moving to the arrival of baby, how to deal with a toddler in the house and then, finally, to the growing child.
It deals with vital topics of safety in the home and raising your children to show respect, kindness and consideration to the dog members of the family. The book's author, Wendy Keefer, emphasises that dog owners must always remember that the dog has needs, too.
It uses a gentle, caring humorous writing style, assisted by some nice cartoons by Sarah Hobbs.
It's published by the Book Guild at £7.99 and will be an ideal Christmas present for people who have to act as dog and toddler wranglers!
Wendy Keefer is a qualified expert in companion animal behaviour and training.
There is the story of Martha from Bethany in 31 AD who was a witness over the last three years of the life of Yeshua (Jesus) who inspired her own life and her journey to spiritual enlightenment.
It is also the story of another Martha who is from the English Lake District in 2000 AD who learns of the hidden, mystical teachings of Yeshua, which offers this Martha a pathway to self-realisation and self-awareness.
Eliza Harrison does not ignore the 2,000 year gap between the two Marthas, she actually uses it, in a way, draws a clear parallel between the two women, using them to illustrate that although each person is unique, that we are all seeking for truth and real purpose in our lives.
It's an interesting novel that is moving, inspirational and nurturing.
I believe it will make a fine Christmas present for those who are seeking enlightenment.
It's published by Mstador at £9.99.
It explores a "what if?" scenario. What if Stalin had kept his nerve at Potsdam? What if, when Nazi Germany was finally beaten and Hitler dead, Stalin had turned on his Allies and ordered the Red Army to sweep over an already war-ravaged Europe?
In this gripping novel country after country topple under the might of the forces of the CCCP and American attempts to seek a diplomatic solution bring about dire consequences for the inhabitants of the defeated countries of Europe.
But now, at the dawn of the 21st century, the bloated Soviet Union is beginning to fall to pieces, bringing about terrible fear and unrest for its two billion subjects.
The economy tanks, causing the Soviet Empire to fall backwards toward the Dark Ages. How does the Central Committee wish to restore order out of chaos? By bringing terror and abject fear to all citizens.
But they had not counted on the uprising of a group of young freedom fighters who would risk their all, their lives, in order to rescue their country from such a dire fate.
But can they possibly succeed against their powerful enemies, and the personal ambitions and desires for riches and power from some people, perhaps even within their own ranks?
And how, exactly, would the government deal with its pressing economic problems?
This is a very chilling book, all the more so because it could well have happened.
It's published by The Book Guild at £8.99.
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
It's Bodmin, Cornwall, in 1921. And people are dying. More specifically the people who are dying are members of a mysterious and secret organisation called The Nest of Rooks.
They are being murdered with efficiency and dispatch, but if they are members of a secret society, who know them enough to be able to kill them? And why are they being killed?
Who is after Harry Frobisher and his bride? Why are they having to enter into a game of survival? Can his past being catching up with him?
What is the significance of the rooks? How does poison figure in this mysterious case?
Who is really the threat to Harry Frobisher? And can Inspector Edwards work out who is behind the murders and can he thwart them and bring them to justice?
This is a fine period detective novel and will be turning up in the Christmas stockings of many mystery fans.
It's published by the Book Guild at £9.99
At age 21 Robin had his life mapped out for him. He was going to be an officer in the cavalry. But well before his 22nd birthday he found himself working as a grave digger's assistant in South London wondering how everything had all gone so drastically wrong?
But he decided that he wasn't going to take this lying down. He was determined to turn his fortunes around and, at age 23, he founded the Bennett Group and ever since that early success he has gone on to create in excess of a dozen successful business enterprises, in a wide variety of different fields, including home tuition, something to do with cigars, translation and dog sitting. In fact in his book's prologue which contains ten highly valuable helpful Life Tips (worth the purchase price of the book, it must be noted) is a PS "Always be kind to animals... It is the truest measure of a person."
From growing up in Reading (it was fairly grim at the time) to being inadvertently marooned on an island with the family terrier by his father who panicked when he accidentally shot a hole in the canoe they were in, finding out about the use of live pigeons for hunting decoys, managing investment funds, Robin Bennett's life has never been dull, in fact, it's quite colourful.
This book will be an inspiration to anyone who reads it and it will make a wonderful self-Christmas gift to you or a great Christmas gift to anyone else.
It's published by the Book Guild at £9.99.
There's Carol, who is an intelligent woman, known for being sensible, who is in her late 20s. She has her life together and is currently employed as a civil servant.
Grant, however, most certainly does not have his life together. Since his childhood Grant has suffered from mental health issues. Sadly these were just swept under the carpet and, as much as possible, merely ignored instead of being worked with and treated.
Grant is working as a barman and intends to get his life trued around.
Grant is looking for a publishing house to publish his debut novel, which he has titled 'Dead Letter Perfect, but after being rejected by publisher after publisher and by a curious twist of fate, he learns that another writer, a woman called Carol Green (who he has never heard of before now) is publishing a novel with exactly the same title.
But would it ever be possible for two writers, working totally independently of each other, with no prior knowledge of the existence of the other, to write a novel with not only the same title but with every detail and every word exactly, precisely the same?
Totally unaware of Grant's discovery, Carol's life continues as normal, but after the rejection of his novel, Grant's life continues to spiral out of control.
And when they finally meet things take a very, very dramatic turn for the worst.
It's a gripping a very moving novel and will make a very thought provoking Christmas gift for the writer or budding writer in your life.
It's published by The Book Guild at £8.99.
It examines what happens when Lester Chan, aka the Jewellery King of Hong Kong, is brought up on a charge of banking fraud, a QC of the middle orders, Jonathan Savage, is sent out to Hong Kong to mount the defence of Lester Chan.
It's going to be a bit of a change for Martin as his caseload usually consists of murder and the like. Plus he has never dealt with a case outside of Britain, before.
However, also thrown or drawn into this case is retired solicitor Frank Grinder, who is also working for the defence.
For the prosecution is Graham Truckett, who is serving as a member of the Legal Department of the Government of Hong Kong. Unfortunately for Truckett, he is totally and utterly out of his depth.
The trial judge, Mr Justice O'Brien, is overly pleased with his reputation for running an efficient court, but even Homer sometimes nods, and troubles within the home of Justice O'Brien might mean that his attention is somewhat distracted.
And all set against the background of life in Hong Kong!
Martin Wilson QC based his novel on his experiences with dealing with a number of major law trials in Hong Kong.
The book is published by Matador at £9.99.
It's the future, but not the far future, it's a very, very near future.
Over population is a topic that people are taking very seriously indeed.
But some are taking this far more seriously than most. In fact they are actually prepared to take the extra step, several pretty huge extra steps, to be perfectly honest, and to actually do something about it.
They are stuck for an idea of what to do. That is, until they find a source of a weaponised bird flu virus that has been turned into a lethal weapon in a laboratory.
All is going well, until their plot is uncovered by the German security services. Plus there is the added complication of their discovery by a freelance agent from the USA, who might not be as honest or as scrupulous as might be wished.
But can Gina Saito carry out their plans, especially as this would involve her own death in a land far from her own homeland?
And what would happen if her plan was to succeed?
This is a novel that is filled with dark humour and many interesting diversions, from talks with a cat, to the testimony of a sex doll from Japan.
From the first page, which includes a murder on the street, to the last page, this novel is a heck of a ride.
It's published by Matador at £8.99 and will make an interesting Christmas gift for the SciFi fan in your life.
Orla has returned to Crystal Island. With her promised consort, Finn, Orla has been given the task of selecting new leaders who will govern the Earth's seven federations.
They will be the replacements for the Chief Generals who were under the control of the dangerous Shadow. The Chief Generals took planet Earth along a path that led to greed and destruction over a period of several decades.
Seven women and seven men are chosen to govern, and they will be ab le to access their buried Crystal Wisdom. But before this can happen the malign influence of the Shadow who is deeply embedded, must be removed for all time.
Will the planet be able to heal in order for it to evolve to the next stage?
It's a riveting read for fantasy fans and will make a neat Christmas present for them.
It's published by Matador at £9.99.
Originally written as a special gift for her daughter Jessie to give her a taste of home cooking when she heads out into the big wide world of student life and beyond.
Catherine runs Kitchen Confidence cookery classes, operates a pop-up supper club and works as a private caterer, so she has developed considerable expertise in the field of good home cooking.
Whilst she was teaching people how to cook, Catherine became aware that there were a large number of people who, for a variety of reasons, had never really tried to cook, or had somehow lost confidence in their abilities to cook, or found that, due to a change in their circumstances, they needed to be able to learn to cook for themselves, perhaps alone.
Catherine realised that there needed to be a new type of cookery book which would be aimed at providing inspiration for both readers with very little experience as cooks or those who wanted to improve their skills and develop themselves as cooks.
The recipes in the book are all fully tested and absolutely delicious.
Catherine is an award winning baker and is a member of Bread Angels, which is involved with the teaching of baking skills and the sale of artisan breads https://breadangels.com/ she also blogs about her culinary adventures (under the name of Battenburgbelle) at http://www.battenburgbelle.com.
You can also learn more at https://www.kitchenconfidence.co.uk.
The book is published by Matador at £13.99 and is the perfect Christmas gift for the cook in your life.
Monday, 9 December 2019
It records the flying career of RAF Group Captain David Roome who joined the RAF aged 18 as a pilot.
He flew the supersonic Lightning with 74 (Tiger) Squadron in Singapore until the eventual final withdrawal of UK armed forces in the year 1971.
He then took up a role as a trainer on the Folland Gnat for three years. After this he spent tours on the F-4 Phantom whilst flying with the RAF's Central Flying School's Advanced Squadron of Examining Wing.
His next tour of duty was as a member of the RAF's Tactical Evaluation Team, which was responsible for making assessments of the readiness of all RAF front-line stations and units for action, including war.
His next posting was to the HQ of the RAF's UK fighter force. After a short time there he was given command of a squadron of Phantom jets.
He returned to a staff position of No 11 (Fighter Group) and in 1990 he became responsible for the detailed planning for the flypast of 168 aircraft over London on 15 September 1990 as a key part of the commemorations of the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. It was for this vital role that he was appointed OBE.
He next returned to the world of training in 1994, he eventually was made responsible for the day-to-day operations of all RAF flight training.
But that wasn't all that he did. He also became qualified in flying all of the RAF's fighter jets (all save two, the Javelin and the Swift) and he flew and he displayed the RAF's historic jets. A role that he loved, naturally.
But that's not the end of his extraordinary story, including exactly what he said that startled an army cook in RAF Tengah, Singapore.
It's a fantastic, well written (and beautifully illustrated) memoir which is a must have Christmas present for the aircraft fan in your life.
It's published by The Book Guild at £12.99.
When he was just four years old Barry Chambers is deposited by his mother at The King's (The Cathedral School) Boarding House in Peterborough.
Shocked by the discovery that her husband is, in fact, a bigamist, she decides to make a new life for herself, eventually setting herself up as a successful fashion designer in London.
Barry's mother is both beautiful and also manipulative and she becomes married to a Jewish businessman. She decides to pretend that she and her son are both Jewish.
Meanwhile Barry is raised as an Anglican at his boarding school, has to cope with being lonely, being bullied, cope with a sexual predator at the school, plus deal with his "lovable rogue" of a step-father and the rather erratic behaviour of his mother.
This all helps to make Barry grow up rather confused about his identity, plus leaving him somewhat vulnerable to being attracted by the wrong set of people.
Why did Barry decide to write his memoir? At his mother's funeral he realised that his mother had decided to virtually airbrush him and his sister Penny from history.
The discovery of his mother's own writings on her early married life compelled Barry (who is Professor Emeritus of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Imperial College, London) to face up his pent-up emotions of his rather troubled childhood by telling his side of the story.
The book is well illustrated with a collection of photographs from the family archives.
It's a painful but extremely illuminating account of a dysfunctional family.
It's published by The Book Guild at £10.99 and will make a superb Christmas gift for the person who enjoys well written autobiographies.
Gloucester born Chris attended the Cathedral school where he later served as a chorister. After leaving school he entered the catering industry, having a wide and varied career covering catering and hotel management
At age 26 he became a town councillor, eventually serving as Mayor of Wimbourne, in Dorset.
After moving to Poole, he became Sheriff of Poole, later repeating the role he served in Wimbourne, becoming Mayor Poole.
He was a member of many committees, chairing several, until he eventually became Chair of Dorset Fire Authority. All the while whilst he was serving the public in these vital roles he was also working in the catering industry.
At least until he was 54 when he left the catering industry and his life took a sudden and unexpected turn when he became a care worker.
The book looks at how people who are being cared for are still, first and foremost, people and how they often face their adverse situations with true spirit and courage.
Chris reveals that his time spent in his second career as that of a carer helped to teach him understanding of people and humility.
The book is mainly written in the form of extracts from his diary and charts his colourful second career.
He met a wide and varied range of people who were his clients, and his colleagues. There was one of his first clients, George, who suffered from a deep depression, amongst other problems, risk assessments and what this had to do with a pot of aqueous cream BP, the real and very cogent reasons why Clarissa demanded that only male carers attended to her needs. Also learn what happens when a patient is being lifted in an electrically powered hoist and there's a power cut.
Chris believes that it's important to celebrate and highlight the great work that car workers do. He hopes that others might be inspired by reading his book to take up careers as care workers, as he did.
I think it would make a nice Christmas gift for people who are care workers or who are considering entering that field.
It's published by The Book Guild at £9.99.
Don takes a fresh, new and amusing look at some topics that are (usually) treated with more reverence.
Don's poems examines topics like the sciences, music, the arts, literature and the like. But all with a less than reverential twist.
Learn how other scientists might have reacted to Copernicus, a different take on the works of Kepler, what really happens in a novel by Dickens, how many works Bach composed.
Enjoy a different take on matters theological (including Bible stories newly retold) Mathematics, philosophical conundrums, plus matters artistic.
It's a modestly sized book that contains some wonderful ideas and will be a welcome find in the Christmas stocking of anyone who is intellectually gifted, yet doesn't take life or themselves too seriously.
It's published by Matador at £7.99.
Sue and Jeff are lovely people. They are kindhearted, lovely, decent and nice. Everyone likes them. But Terry had inadvertently brought risk and genuine physical danger to Sue and Jeff.
They are employed in an old Victorian grocery store which, over the time of their employment there, they have grown to view with a great deal of affection and loyalty.
But they are horrified to discover that the apparently innocent grocery store is merely just a front for criminal activity.
Their discovery puts them in a quandary and a dilemma. What could they do about the situation they have discovered? What should they do about it? After all, the livelihoods of people they know are now at risk.
They need to decide where they really stand. Exactly how decent are they, as a couple?
They are confronted by people who know how to use violence to get what they want and they are prepared to use it. But what, exactly, will be the outcome?
Does nice confront nasty? And if it does, who wins? Who is really nice, who is really nasty?
There are more than enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and this is a fine debut crime novel. Hopefully it will be the first of many.
It's published by Matador at £8.99 and should be in the Christmas stocking of mystery and thriller lovers everywhere.
It's Christmas time and a murder has been committed in the Square Mile.
It looks to be a so-called vice killing an a member of the City council wants to get to the bottom of the matter, or to hide his own involvement in the case, so he decides to hire a private detective.
The private detective who he hires is an American, called Newman.
Newman has lived in Britain for a couple of decades and perhaps isn't keen on taking the case which is on the recommendation of a former client.
But take the case he does.
As he works on the case, using his undoubted knowledge and skills as a detective, Newman begins to realise that the case is far more complex than it might have first appeared. That often happens when more deaths begin to occur in a "simple" case.
But what can Newman do? What should he do?
And what on earth did this have to do with archaeology?
Janet Roger's debut novel is what can only be described as a genuine tour de force. It's as if Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe had got bored with his life in Los Angeles and travelled to England and lived under the pseudonym of Newman and was asked to investigate a murder. Or series of murders.
Janet Roger takes her readers back to 1947, when the war was over, yet the damage still in many places yet to be repaired, exposing a great deal.
If you have a mystery fan to buy a Christmas present for, then this will be it.
It's published by Matador at £11.99.
Sunday, 8 December 2019
The book will be able to inspire readers wit its beautifully coloured illustrations and ts visual affirmations.
All of us, no matter who we are, can never fully escape our own minds. How we deal with our own thoughts, how we process these thoughts can have a major impact on our lives, either for ill or for good.
However, 101 Positive Pictures is for people of all age groups and it's aim is a simple, yet noble on. To help you create for yourself a happier, more fulfilling life.
The images are colourful, engaging and by employing the simple affirmations therein, you will be able to apply the steps in your everyday life and to make some vital changes in your life and how you live it.
It's published by Matador at £12.99.
It poses an interesting question. Which should a person chose? Honour or revenge?
Hamish McFarlane is an Afghan war veteran, who is disillusioned and jaded. He has tried to escape his troubled past by entering battle scarred Iraq.
There is a brutal terrorist assault on an oil company in Iraq and Hamish is sent in to carry out an assessment on the security there.
However, his investigations start to throw up some worrying anomalies. Although at first it seems to have been a terrorist attack, some things just do not seem to add up. The deeper his investigation digs, the more complex and downright sinister the whole matter becomes. He begins to fear for his won life and the lives of his nearest and dearest.
More people become involved and more people die and Hamish realises that he no longer knows who he can, or should, trust.
His search for the truth takes him into the mountainous Kurdistan, back inot the streets of Baghdad and even into the very heart of the British establishment.
But what will Hamish do? Will he succeed?
It's a stunning book and draws heavily on the experiences of the author's time working for s private security company in Iraq for some years.
It's published by The Book Guild at £9.99 and will be a great Christmas gift for the thriller lover in your life.
It's aimed at children, parents, grandparents, teachers and adults who want to learn Gaelic or who want to help other people to learn Gaelic.
Learning a new or different language can be a bit difficult at first, but it's the intention of Catrìona that this book will serve as a simple introduction to gently introduce the reader to some basic Gaelic words that they can build on in later books.
Catrìona says that Gaelic is in her blood. She points out: "As my great grandparents on the Finlayson side were Gaels and on my mother's side, too, some of the Drummonds were also Gaelic speakers, so I feel very strongly about learning and teaching the language."
The illustrations within this book takes the reader on a magical journey through the Gaelic fairy realm of the mystical country of Scotland and introduces them to the Gaels, a family of Scottish fairies, an some of the Gaelic place names in Scotland.
You'll meet magic, unicorns, enchantment and by employing some simple phonetics, you'll be able to learn some Gaelic words that you can use around the home.
Catrìona is learning Gaelic herself and she practices it with her daughter who is six years old. She says: "I love to hear her speak the language."
The book is published by Matador and costs £9.99. It will make an absolutely stunning Christmas gift to any person who wishes to learn the Gaelic of Scotland.
It will be a very helpful book. Or "Bidh e na leabhar gu math cuideachail."
Saturday, 7 December 2019
They have to think really, really hard about what kind of birthday present they would get for her. But it was not easy for them, after all what would you buy fora Mermaid Princess who already has everything under the sea?
The three Mermaids all set off on a special quest to find the perfect present for their Mermaid Princess.
Whilst they are searching they meet some fascinating new sea creatures and discover a shipwreck which is chock full of treasures.
But they need to find a present to show Princess Kikki how much they value her friendship. Can they do this?
If they do, what will they find for her?
This is a book that's aimed at children of ages three and over, it's a well-written and nicely illustrated and carries some important messages about the importance of friendship.
It's published by Matador and costs £7.99 and will be an ideal Christmas present.
Aya wakes up smiling. Why? Because she knows that today is the day when she and her family will be going to spend a day on the beach!
Aya busily collects all the important things that she will need for her day at the beach. She then fetches Papaya because it is time for everyone to leave for their day at the beach.
When she is at the beach, Aya builds a nice big castle. But something is wromg! A huge wave comes up the beach and perhaps the sea is hungry, because it eats poor Aya's sand castle, bit by bit!
Of course, this makes Aya very sad. But then Aya is no longer that sad, because she has had a brilliant idea. The idea to build the biggest and strongest sandcastle that the whole world has ever known!
But does she succeed in her ambition? To find out, you'll need to buy this right and sunny book that helps teach children about persisting in their ambitions.
It's another great stocking filler.
It's published by Matador at £9.99.
Aya awakens to the sound of raindrops pitter pattering gently on her bedroom window. When she draws her curtains back, she sees that the day looks kind of grey.
She and her best friend Papaya splash about outside in the puddles, having a lot of splashy fun. But eventually Aya starts to feel tired. She feels sad, because everything is very wet and she has nothing that she can do.
However, along comes her clever big brother, Faz. He helps Aya learn to use her imagination and to think of new ways that she can have fun.
Its a wonderful illustrated story that will be ideal Christmas gift for children and mums and dads, too!
It's created by MQ and is published by Matador at £8.99.
Wednesday, 4 December 2019
It's a gripping memoir of Sharon's true account of love, loss, cancer and cannabis oil.
It covers the years between 2012 and this year, 2019, and tells the true story of a married couple who were both diagnosed with cancer in the same year, 2013 and their attempts to take control of the situation and cure themselves.
The book is made up from written diary entries, posts on social media accounts and from personal memories.
It's an engaging account of what they both went through, written with power, clarity and humour.
He had lung cancer whilst she had breast cancer and they decided to employ cannabis oil in their treatments of their diseases.
It's a book that will make you smile and also cry. It will make you angry, too. Why didn't the health professionals realise that Jasper had lung cancer that turned out to be Stage 4 and incurable until he only had four months to live?
How are self employed people such as entertainers like Jasper and Sharon supposed to live if they are seriously ill, yet not actually diagnosed with the serious illness that is affecting them?
Sharon acknowledges that whilst cannabis oil is not a panacea it certainly does deserve to be considered as a potential medicinal treatment.
If you are interested in cannabis oil, how people can survive cancer and the loss of a loved one, this book is a must purchase. And every doctor and nurse in the country should be gifted a copy of this book to help them work with cancer patients and their families and friends.
It's published by The Book Guild at £8.99.
However, as might be expected, the US President desires to be in control of the entire situation, but all might not be quite as simple as it appears.
Because, whilst the Gayans appear to be nice, peaceable and reasonable people, the Gayans have enemies who are far from being nice, peaceable and reasonable people.
The enemies of the Gayan would like to annex our planet to become a part of their Spargar Empire.
They send a highly feared warrior to deal with the Gayans who made contact with the British Prime Minister and to either talk them round to his viewpoint, or deal with them by force.
Before First Contact can become a reality, Gayan and Spargar forces prepare to deal with planet Earth.
What will win out? A relationship based on enlightenment and mutual benefit? Or one of the Earth being beaten into becoming a race of slaves under the Spargar Empire?
How will Humanity deal with this existential threat to its very future?
This modern day space opera is published by Matador at £9.99 and will make a nifty choice of Christmas present for the SciFi fan in your life.
Peter Pixie lives in a toadstool which is right in the centre of a dark and big forest. Peter (along with all of the other Pixie children) has to attend Pixie school.
Travelling to the school isn't too bad as he rides on an acorn train with his best friend Jonathan, to the big oak tree school slap bang in the very heart of the forest.
When readers meet Peter it is a very special day for him because his class is to visit the Rescue Centre.
Whilst they are being shown around, a terrible calamity occurs! There is a real live emergency. A human is spotted and the human is hunting for mushrooms! The class of Pixie children are able to see a real rescue take place.
Will the members of the Pixie village manage to flee to freedom in time? What will happen to the human?
It's a fantastic story written and illustrated by author an artist Michael J. Woodward.
This book is published posthumously as Mr Woodward died prior to its publication.
It's published by Matador at £7.99 and will make a most excellent Christmas present for the little Pixies in your life!
It's a magical story about football. But what if football had somehow lost its magic?
It follows the vicissitudes of two football clubs, Manchester United (which readers will have heard of) and another football club, Accrington Stanley (which most readers will probably not have heard of.)
When did the magic first appear in the FA Cup competition? Was it there from the very beginning? Or when the first game was played at the Empire Stadium, which was to become more famous under its later name, Wembley Stadium?
But Mark Roland Langdale poses a more worrying question. When did the magic pour out of the FA Cup?
And can the Football Association ever bring the magic back?
It's a quirky, lively and very informative and readable book. It's highly likely that the book will appeal to older family members, too.
It's published by Matador at £9.99 and if your looking for a Christmas present for a football fan? This book will fit the bill.
A new psychiatrist has come to Black Roding hospital, her name is Ruth and she is determined that she will bring progressive mental health attitudes to the hospital.
However, the staff at this large London area asylum are not keen on allowing her ideas to be progressed with.
They attempt to block her and thwart her efforts at every turn. She is forced to turn to some of the patients within the hospital for their assistance.
One of these patients is a man of middle age, Richard Simms. He is difficult to put into any one category. His treatment hasn't been helped by the fact that there seems to be no records of his life before he entered the hospital.
Rather than welcome Ruth's attention Simms seems, instead, to shun, her, echoing the hostile attitude toward her of the rest of the staff at the hospital.
Ruth decides to investigate his story and as she digs deeper, she discovers a series of dark events that can't be covered again, once they are uncovered.
Who can she trust? Who should she fear?
What if a patient does want to be released? What if they have good reasons for wanting to stay, to seek asylum there?
What if Ruth is walking into a dangerous situation without realising the perils she is unleashing?
This is a powerful and very impressive thriller and John Johnson is a name to watch out for in the future.
The book is published by Matador at £9.99 and will make an excellent Christmas present.
Monday, 2 December 2019
They have gathered together on one of the more remote Hebridian islands, to participate in what they have been told is a psychological experiment on fear. All under the guidance and control of Dr Crogil. Someone who is, apparently, unknown to the ten test subjects.
But they become trapped on the island by an increasingly violent storm. And they quickly learn that the true intentions of Dr Crogil might not be quite as innocent as they were lead to believe. In fact, they learn that Dr Crogil's intentions might be far more deadly that they could ever have imagined or feared.
Because, one-by-one, the lives of the ten terrified test subjects are being brutally snuffed out as they are murdered and it becomes clear that there is a plot to murder every last one of them. With each death a single line of the tradition rhyme about magpies that is displayed about the fireplace in the house is removed.
Unsurprisingly, the survivors mentally break down. They begin to accept that they have no options but to accept their fates.
The tensions amongst the diminishing survivors begins to mount. Who who is responsible for the murders of their compatriots? Could they possibly discover Dr Crogil before the entire rhyme is expunged from the wall?
And if they find him, what will happen then?
Will any of them survive?
This is a deeply riveting and psychological thriller and will make an excellent Christmas present for the murder mystery fan in your life.
It is published by The Book Guild at £8.99.
It tells the story of a mummy who loves running. In fact, it would be fair to say that she absolutely adores running. She loves competing in and training for running in marathon races.
But all that changes when she becomes pregnant and gives birth to absolutely gorgeous twin boys, Ted and Bert. This means, of course, that her normal routine is disturbed and that she no longer has the time for training or for running.
However, Raych (that's mummy's name) begins to train again and, eventually, to run again. She hates to leave Ted and Bert behind, and Ted and Bert are also upset when mummy has to leave them when she goes out on her runs.
But they get used to seeing mummy don her brightly coloured fluorescent running jacket that she wears to stay safe whilst he is running.
They soon learn that mummy might run out of the house, but that she would very soon run back to them, again.
In fact, when they began to talk, the twins would say: "Mummy running!" as she dashed out of the house.
But where does a mummy go when she does dash off for a spot of running? Who does she see when she goes out running? What route does she take? Where does mummy go?
But most important of all, does mummy get her cup of tea?
This charming and well illustrated story is based on the true story of a real mummy of twin boys who has a strong passion for running, Graeme's own wife.
It's a fun and quirky book that your children will love to be read from and shown the fantastic illustrations.It's published by The Book Guild at £6.99.