Friday, 7 June 2019

Between the Immensities

Between the Immensities is a new novel from Dorothy Davy, who was born in Bootle (which is near Liverpool) and who now lives in New Zealand where she practices as a CBT psychologist.

Dorothy uses not only her training but also her Scouse with to make this a most enjoyable and heart-warming read.

Psychologist Doctor Katherine Moore has spent the best part of four decades living and working in New Zealand.

But her life is set to change, yet again as she has finally bowed to the combined pressures from her sisters to return Liverpool (or more specifically, Bootle in Liverpool) to care for their elderly mother who is dying of terminal cancer.

Katherine moves into the council flat that is her mother's. Yet something does seem right. The "lovely gentle Liverpool mammy" that she knew has been replaced with someone far more negative and curmudgeonly.

Her various attempts to cope with her mother's attitude seems to cause her family no end of amusement.

But Katherine has tools at her disposal that her family member do not have. After all, isn't Katherine a trained and highly experienced Doctor of Psychology? Surely she can put her training an expertise of many long years of practice to the job of getting back into meaningful communication with her mother?

Gradually things between them and within the wider family start to change and suddenly family life is flipped in ways that probably couldn't have been expected.

Eventually mother and daughter get their stuff together and learn to love each other again and to become a formidable team. But who had been the thief amongst them? Surely not one of their own?

If you read this moving, truthful book, here's a fair warning, there will be tears in your eyes before the end.

What makes the book all the more interesting is that it is based on true events that shook the rational, scientific beliefs of Dr Davy to the core.

Its published by The Book Guild at £8.99.


Re-Tyred is an amazing memoir from author and retired university lecturer, Sara McMurry.

After she took her retirement she decided that she would become a voluntary teacher in India.

She brings to the page her experiences as a volunteer teacher in parts of rural India and also on the streets of Kolkata.

She takes her readers on an amazing journey from a small shop in the town of Jaisalmer in the desert region of north-west India, and where the shopkeeper gave her a philosophical fillip and a new take on the rest of her life. And, incidentally, inspired the title of the book.

She learned why there are so many vegetarian restaurants in Kerela, was moved by the plight of the disabled beggars who live in the shadow of the Taj Mahal, marvelled at the chaos that is rush hour in big Indian cities, visited poor people in not only the cities and towns but also the rural areas, too.

She learned that even the poor were more than willing to work, turning their hands to anything they could do, selling trinkets, postcards or cleaning shoes.

She also noted that amidst the great poverty there also exists great wealth, too, hovels where the poor lived and opulent palatial accommodations for the wealthy and the very rich.

And she met children who were eager to learn to improve themselves.

The book is well-written an illustrated with line drawn maps and some extremely good colour photographs.

It's a wonderful book which I can highly recommend.

It's published by Matador at £12.00.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Rain Town

Rain Town is a amusing, yet adventurous novel by Andy Donaldson. It's about a man called Sidney Rain. Sidney Rain is a normal sort of a bloke, who has a normal sort of a job, who, quite naturally, lives in a normal sort of a town.

However, that's not all there is to Sidney Rain, for Sidney Rain is, for all his apparently normal traits, a superhero, too. Well, at least he likes to dress up as one and lives out his fantasy life.

However, things aren't going all that well, he is gaining weight, about to lose his job and somehow he isn't feeling too super to be honest.

His son Stanley Rain is aged 12 and he, too, is an ordinary sort of a boy, with ordinary friends who all attend the same, fairly ordinary, school in town.

However, a local business mogul is set to take over the school and it is set to change. And not for the better.

However, Stanley and his schoolmates are not going to allow that to happen, at least not without putting up a bit of a fight!

But then a mystery takes place. There's a theft and Stanley and his friends need to turn detective in order to save their school.

But Sidney is fired from his job and he needs some help, too!

But then a mysterious group of superhero crime fighters turn up and they aren't going to take the situation lying down!

This is a fun read and though it's aimed at children, adults will also enjoy it, too.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Footsteps Into the Light

Footsteps Into the Light is a new book from Geoff Thomas which serves as a spiritual "Manual of Life."

It takes a refreshing and new look at some old questions that have faced humanity down through the ages. Questions such as Who am I? Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where will we be going?

It's written in a remarkably fluid and readable style from a Christian point of view, though it also gives a nod to all other faiths and to those who hold to no particular faith at all.

He takes his readers through the miracle of our apparently ordinary day-to-day lives and to the spiritual journey that goes beyond this mortal life.

It's published by Matador at £12.99.

A Candle for the Atlantic

A Candle for the Atlantic is an absolutely riveting memoir of her nautical adventure of a lifetime.

Back in 1992 Casualty Staff Nurse Rosie Redway met and fell in love with the love of her life in Whitby Harbour.

However the love of her life was called Helga Maria and she was a two-masted schooner.

With very limited experience of sailing at sea Rosie decided to join the mixed crew of seven of the Helga Maria as a medic and deckhand for a very exciting six month voyage.

They crossed the Atlantic following the course set by Christopher Columbus in 1492, facing mountainous waves and storms as they fought against the elements. However, they were also able to enjoy good, sunny weather at times.

The return journey from Newfoundland was dogged with problems including total engine failure which put the boat at risk as it was forced to drift, helplessly, in the teeth of severe northerly gale force winds and monstrous seas that threatened to send the boat to the bottom of the sea.

But Rosie had total faith in the Helga Maria and her captain, but could they get the crew safely back home?

It's a fantastic account of a voyage of discovery in more ways than one and it is illustrated throughout with some stunning photographs taken on the voyages.

It's published by The Book Guild at a very modest £9.99 and makes ideal reading for lovers of memoirs, specially those set at sea.

The Paper Chase

The Paper Chase is a new thriller from Ron Welling.

Harry Stone had sent Claire Watts to spy on a competitor of his, Rick Austen.

Claire has spun Rick a story about her past, a past which, for several reasons, she doesn't want Rick to know about. Including Harry Stone.

However, Harry Stone has a nasty habit of still being there and he is very angry.

Stone had owned a lovely mansion, Arrow Hall, but it had been burnt to the ground and, as a result, the pass codes for his secret Panamanian bank accounts had been lost, apparently for ever.

But Claire isn't too sure about that and, as a result, she decides to poke around in the burnt out ruins of Arrow Hall to find the codes. Because if she can, she believes these would act as an insurance policy against Stone blabbing about what he knows of her past.

However, Stone has managed to get himself into some strife with a gangland thug and finds himself forced to attempt to launder a quarter of a million in dodgy money.

He tries to do this through a supermarket concern that, unbeknown to him, Rick has a share in. When the operation goes belly up, things start to get very unpleasant indeed as everyone tries to make sure they come out of the situation well ahead of everyone else.

But who would eventually come out on top of the situation? Claire? Harry? Xavier or Rick?

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

One in Four Are Birds

One in Four Are Birds, is a short but dark fantasy novel that explores the terrible impacts of domestic abuse.

It tells the story of local village girl Fiona. Unlike her compatriots who were ordinary girls who would be satisfied with settling down to married life with the ordinary boys of the village, Fiona wanted none of that.

She decided that she wouldn't just settle for the ordinary, she wanted something extraordinary. But sometimes people enter situations that are extraordinarily dreadful.

Fiona finds love with a handsome, dark stranger, the man who would, she felt sure, remove her from her ordinary,  humdrum life.

Her handsome, dark stranger, Sicarus, turns out to be and abusive husband, who can turn into a violent and potentially deadly bird who preys on his wife.

Eventually Fiona plucks up the courage to escape from her abusive husband with her children, but will the abuse stop even if she can make good her escape?

And how can she help other women who are trapped in the same or similar circumstances?

This is a thought provoking novel that uses allegories to examine the plight of abused women, who, statistics show, are one in four of women.

The book is published bu The Book Guild and costs £8.99.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Little Honour

In Little Honour we again meet Gina Gray, Freda her granddaughter and the rather charming DCI David Scott, in this, their sixth novel, all penned by crime writer Penny Freedman.

Gina's doing rather well for herself. Her job is great, her flat (though small)  is really rather perfect for her needs and David Scott is back in her life.

But into each life a little rain must fall and a familial crisis means that her daughter and her husband must come to live with her in her flat.

Following a spate of hate crimes post-Brexit a young Indian woman is murdered by strangulation only a few doors away from Gina's home.

David needs Gina's help with an investigation that means she has to enter the world of a chamber of barristers in Gray's Inn, a Shakespearean production (Measure for Measure) and there's the added complication of a clash with her younger (and more difficult)  daughter.

Freda (now ten) is staying in Kentish countryside in the home of her grandfather and is second wife, where they live in splendid isolation.

Whilst the adults back in London are dealing with their own mysteries, Freda uncovers a mystery of her own, involving a missing canine, which she has to solve by herself.

It's an interesting novel that unravels several disparate mysteries.

Published by Matador at £8.99.


It's 1860 and whilst Lord Stoker is wandering amidst the Great Plains of the American West he finds a woman who has survived an absolutely heartless attack. So damaged mentally by her ordeal she had been struck mute.

So Lord Stoker decides that he will take charge of her nd take her to St Louis where he intends to leave he in the care of the authorities there.

But his plans are derailed by the explorer Richard Burton who has a place for Lord Stoker in his mission that has the backing of the British Crown.

Added to this already over-heated stew is the arrival of Buller, Lord Stoker's somewhat hot-headed and brutish brother.

More worryingly there appears on the scene James Maybrick who is not only a blackmailer but a vicious psychotic.

Whilst Lord Stoker attempts to guard the girl he has worn to look after, he finds himself dragged into a maelstrom of lies, violence and depravity.

Can Lord Stoker look after his female charge? Can he protect both her and himself from the bloodbath that is threatening to erupt?

And what, exactly, is happening? Who is the hunter, who is the prey?

It's a gripping novel from the pen of novelist Dick Warburton.

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

History of France, Low Countries and Iberia

History of France, Low Countries and Iberia is a fascinating book by Jack J. Kanski in which he takes an interesting and interested look at the history of European statesmen and monarchs.

It's a concise and well-illustrated book that takes his readers through the histories of France, the Low Countries and Iberia.

Readers are provided with vital information about significant events and important individuals all of which played important roles in shaping the histories of those countries.

It employs an easy-to-follow bullet-point format with many interesting illustrations such as maps and paintings, which enables the reader to quickly and readily absorb a great deal of knowledge in a relatively short period of time.

They are not aimed at the academic, however. They are primarily designed for the interested layman. However, there is much to recommend them to academics who will also find the book filled with interesting facts.

It's published by Matador at £19.99. 

Tony Plumb and the Moles of Ellodian

Tony Plumb and the Moles of Ellodian is a debut novel from Devonshire's J. M. Smith.

It draws on her long experiences as a psychotherapist.

We, the readers, are taken through the therapy of a young boy as he attempts to come to terms with his life's story and the decisions of his parents.

We see his family life through his eyes and also through the lens of his multiplicity of fantasies as he struggles to understand things.

We follow him on visits to "Madsville" watch as he tries to dodge chariots filled with thoughts from his past.

Helped, or otherwise, by a social worker who is somewhat unconventional in her approach (rules, it transpires, are not all that much to her) who takes him to a spooky underground facility. Well, that's ms Bendy Leggett for you!

With the assistance of some helpful therapy and the guidance of some good friends, it seems that Tony is able to, eventually, get his stuff together.

But is there one final truth that he must unravel?

This book is aimed at younger readers, but should appeal across all age ranges.

It's published by Matador at £7.99.