Wednesday, 17 June 2020

A Life of Power and Persuasion

A Life of Power and Persuasion is the autobiography of Keith A. Elliot MBE.

In his book Mr Elliot shares with his readers the details of his long and extensive career as a police officer.

He reveals how he came from a working class background and then moved into and upwards as a career police officer.

Her served as an officer in the West End of London and was able to meet many influential and wealthy persons during his service, for which he was granted the honour of the MBE.

Upon leaving the police he looked around for a new role in life and he launched a business offering a consultancy service to the film industry working on in excess of 75 films. These include the Harry Potter series a V for Vendetta.

He was able to use his considerable personal charm, and persuasive nature to make certain that directors and assistant directors and varied film crews stuck to the agreements that he had negotiated with the authorises in London and other parts of the UK.

It's an interesting and thought provoking book as much of what he writes about policing is still fresh and relevant today.

The only minor quibble I have is that there are no photographs, not even an image of the author, which is a pity.

It's published by Matador at £18.00 in hardback.

When the World Falls Down

When the World Falls Down readers meet Bethany Hannah Morgan. Grief has come into her life as her best and sole friend in her life, has died.

But her grief is lessened, a little bit, when she finds that a simple cupboard door takes her to a new and mysterious world called Edimor. In Edimor she meets a bewildering array of characters, scary monsters, space travel, pirates, wizards and a great deal of mystery.

She soon makes friends with Grollp who is a troll pirate. He owns a locket that is capable of controlling great power.

However, all is not well with Edimor, it appears to be under threat from a mystery child and the carer who is with it.. But who or what are they? What are their intentions toward Edimor and its inhabitants?

It is Grollp's aim to employ the locket to save his world. Unwilling to return to her own pain-filled world, Bethany joins the fight filled with determined to help protect and save Edimor.

Can she succeed? Will she? And at what cost?

This is a fantastic, gripping and thrilling adventure book for children aged 12 and upward, including their parents and grandparents. 

Somewhere in Europe

Somewhere In Europe is a new humour-filled novel from author P J Vanston

Kevin Crump liked his job at the Foreign Office, but sadly the Foreign Office didn't like him. Well, not enough to keep him and his job is lost due to a process that is now called 'rationalisation.'

We first saw Crump a decade ago in Crump, and now, after regretfully leaving the Foreign Office Kevin Crump finds himself with a teaching post in Cambrian University, based in South Wales.

The years have not been kind to Cambrian University though it's been declared "most improved" so there is that.

The culture at Cambrian University is a culture shock to Crump. He finds it a victim of Political Correctness 2, free speech is unheard of and unheard, no-platforming is a way of life, underhanded anti-Semitism is rife, gewnder politics holds saw, all classic books aren't merely prefaced with trigger warnings, they are banned. Positive discrimination and 'diversity' is to the fore and amidst all this, Brexit rolls along.

Cambrian University has a trick up its sleeve. It has found, or so it is claimed, a document that dates back to the foundation of the university and which, with the appropriate royal approval, means that it is able to declare freedom and independence from the United Kingdom and to declare continued fielty to the European Unuion.

Most of the staff and students are absolutely delighted by this bizarre turn of events. But things in the weird way of life at Cambrian University are not quite as straightforward as they might at first sight appear.

So, what is Kevin Crump to do? Will he go with the considerable flow or throw some spanners in the works? 

What with berserk South Sea Islanders, the data stick with all the compromising evidence, a dead person apparently responsible for its onward dissemination, armed students and songs by The Beatles, what on earth could possibly go wrong or right?

It's a very well-crafted and well-written book. Anyone who has worked or studied at a university in Britain over the past decade will recognise some of the issues, the staff and students in this novel.

It's published by Matador at £10.99 

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Beneath the Blood Moon

Beneath the Blood Moon is a debut thriller novel from Darren Will.

The marriage of Dominic and Laura have had problems within their marriage, but they are both working to rebuild it.

But to Dominic's shock and bewilderment, Laura vanishes and he is left to try and pick up the pieces and try to come to terms with what happened and to try to understand why she went.

But after several months, Laura returns and Dominic should be very pleased by this turn of events. But is he? Should he be? Because he begins to realise that all is not right. Yes, Laura has returned, but she is different, somehow. Changed. And not for the better.

As time went on, things become even stranger and the behaviour Laura displays is growing even stranger, more bizarre, in fact.

Clearly this causes stress and tension between the two of them and Dominic begins to wonder just who, or what, Laura really is.

Danger is lurking, death is on the way. But for whom? And how does this relate back to the events of 35 years ago when a woman sold her baby?

Eventually, Dominic is arrested for murder and the police cannot believe the story he is telling them. Well, it's too fantastic to believe. Isn't it?

It's an extremely well crafted novel with many twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout the book.

Darren Wills is a name to watch out for.

The book is published by Matador at £8.99.

Glory is Bought With Blood

Glory is Bought With Blood is a new novel from published author N. L. Collier.

It is the summer of the year 1917. The air war over the Western Front has become ever more deadly. Despite earlier successes against allied forces, Great Britain, France, the USA and the British Empire forces, the might of Imperial Germany is being brought to its knees as Germany is becoming surrounded by its enemies.

The blockade is causing shortages and resources needed to prosecute the war are in short supply. The German commanders realise one important fact. Either they must take decisive action and win the war, or lose everything in a catastrophic defeat.

Franze, Karl and his brother Johnny and the other brave members of their squadron are now not only fighting for Germany, they are fighting for their lives against a growing array of faster, newer and better Allied fighter planes.

The planes of the squadron are kept going by the mechanics, but they are becoming increasingly unreliable and the continuing lavk of parachutes fills them with fear.

Green pilots fresh from the flying schools are lasting, at best, for a few weeks, before being shot down and killed.

The top aces can be sure of earning the highly coveted Blue Max. But at what cost in the lives of their fellow fliers?

The war has been going on for three years for Karl and Franz, will they survive when so many of their companions have died?

It's an emotional continuation of the series which covers the airwar of The Great War from a different perspective, that of the German pilots who fought bravely for their country.

It's published by Matador at £9.99.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Naomi Rose

In Naomi Rose, we meet Naomi Rose. She is ten and an already dedicated and avid reader.

Her mother is dead and she finds it a struggle to grieve whilst attempting to follow the guidance of her father that she must be composed and be self-restrained.

However, her father's way of coping with his grief is to climb into a bottle of alcohol and so Naomi feels abandoned and locked out by the one person in her life who should, by rights, be there to offer her their love and support.

As a result she decides to seek solace and attention outside the home and she finds happiness devising very tall tales that shock her school friends. In fact it seems to be the shock factor that she relishes?

Naomi is befriended bu Ozzy a boy of Turkish origin. He is confidant and charming and in Ozzy, she feels, she has found a person she can trust.

But Ozzy embarks on a relationship with Molly, a girl Naomi hates, so once again she feels bereft and alone.

A young English teacher, Mr Adams, recognises her creative talents and nurtures her writing abilities. Unfortunately Mr Adams is a naive young man and cannot see that Naomi's obsession with him is potentially very dangerous indeed 

Naomi has a plan. A plan that will rekindle her father's attention and also punish Mr Adams for rejecting her.

But what exactly happens when she realises that people actually do care for her? And what happens to Mr Adams, Naomi, her father and her friends?

This is a highly charged novel from Kisten Esden and writer who, I feel, we will hear more from in the future.

It is published by Matador at £9.99.

IVF Got This

IVF Got This is a compelling memoir from Colette Centeno Fox. It describes her journey to motherhood.

However, it was not so simple and straightforward as it often is. Because It describes the fertility issues that face her and husband Michael, as the struggled with the problems that infertility can brjng to a couple.

The book is an honest and moving account of the problems that they faced together. The losses of babies and the trauma that resulted, set backs and waiting times, the treatments that she had to go through.

It touches on matters of her personal faith and how she employed this to help her cope, how badly people with depression are treated, it's often, as she points out, mistaken as a sign of weakness, rather than something to be treated.

If you are looking to get IVF, then this book is a must buy. And if you are working in the field of IVF this book is al must buy, in fact, for you it is a must read as it will help you to understand your patients and what they might be going through.

How does the story of Mike and Colette end? Oh, come on! That'd spoil the surprise that Colette had!

It's a wonderful book, it's published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

Guess What I Found In The Playground!

Guess What I Found in The Playground! is a wonderful new book for children (and the adults in their lives) by first time children's author Victoria Thompson.

It's aimed at children from ages five to seven and it tells the story of what Tilly found in the playground.

But merely telling her dad what she had found in the playground would totally spoil her fun. She wants to make her poor old dad guess what she found, instead. But can he beat Tilly at her own game? Can he outfox his own daughter and guess what she found?

Did she find something to collect?

Did she find some food that had been leftover?

Her missing welly... which wasn't, actually missing in the first place?

A book?

A frog?

Can her brother help their daddy guess?

Well... can he?

This is an absolutely fantastic book with wonderful and very vibrant, impactful and colourful illustrations which children and adults will enjoy reading and looking at for a very long time indeed.

It's published by Matador at £9.99 and is in a very good large format, so is easy to share.

The Long Way to Get to Me

The Long Way to Get to Me is a coming of age novel from author Marc Lindon.

It's about Kevin. Kevin is young and he works in a betting shop. Like most young men, Kevin thinks about sex. But in that idealised way that the inexperienced young man does this.

The reality of sex doesn't seem quite so alluring. Well, at least until Laura comes into his life.

Could fantasy and reality coalesce into something that is not just magical but real?

However, there are problems that must be addressed. Vandalism and anti-social behaviour are becoming a very real nuisance in the area.

But the police don't seem to be interested in the slightest. And if the police will not address these issues. who will? Someone must! And I'm sure you will see where these ideas might lead?

This is where David comers onto the scene. David is a police officer. Actually, that's not true. David wanted, longed, to become a police officer but that wasn't possible for several reasons. But he is given a role working with the police, even though the officers don't take him seriously and subject him to derision and resentment.

But unlike his police colleagues, David is convinced that there is a dangerous gang of vigilantes operating in the local area. David is convinced that he can solve the case and prove that everyone has been wrong about him all along!

I mean, what on earth could possibly go wrong?

It's a well-crafted debut novel with angst, humour, danger, drama thrills, spills and love, too.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Robby: Will to Live

Robby: Will to Live is a book authored by Hugh Franks,

It tells the story of Robby and his fight against the disease Muscular Dystrophy, for which there is, as yet, no cure.

At the age of six Robby was diagnosed with the condition and it relates how he bravely faced the problems this brought to his life.

Unfortunately his birth father was unable to cope. His heavy drinking and his constant berating and beatings of Robby caused many problems and Robby's mother threatened to leave him. But she didn't, hoping that he would change. But he never did.

However, onto the scene came a former school friend of her husband, Hugh Franks. His own post-war marriage had recently ended in divorce.

Robby's father virtually abandoned his family, spending more and more time involved with his business interests in Europe. So it was natural that Robby's mother would turn to Hugh for support when Robby was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

The situation was worsened when Robby's father denied that he could shave any responsibility for Robby's health problems and blamed Robby's mother, Judith. He also, cruelly, refused to return to England and said that Robby must take it on the chin. At only six years of age.

The problems with the MD had, actually, been observable for some time and the only answer that Robby's father had was to severely beat the boy for accidentally smearing a small amount on jam on the banister.

Eventually Hugh and Judith fell in love, Judith divorced her husband and the story really begins in earnest.

It's a story of tragedies and of triumphs and of football games played between Robby and Hugh. Of medical assistance for a disease for which there is still no cure. And the loving bond between Juditch, Robby and Hugh.

It's a heartwarming book of love, humour and of resilience in the face of terrible odds.

The book has a forward by Sir Richard Attenborough, CBE.

It is published by Matador at £8.99. I recommend this book to any family which has a MD person as a member or a friend and also to any MD, nurse or hospital consultant or health worker who may come into contact with a person who has MD, because this book will be of immense value to you.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

After Exta Time and Penalties

After Extra Time and Penalties is the biographical memories of BBC football corespondent Mike Ingham MBE.

He was Chief Football Corespondent at the BBC for a quarter of a century and only the third person to hold this illustrious position following Brian Moore and Bryon Butler.

During his working life as a football corespondent he attended eight World Cups, gave commentaries on 28 FA Cup Finals, worked with ten different full time England managers and also introduced Sports Report.

His autobiography is an honest account of what he saw and participated in as football and football coverage changed beyond all recognition throughout his long career, as a professional onlooker and observer.

Learn why he had to drive home one night, naked from the waist down (it really wasn't his fault) find out which players he rated, which he didn't rate and players who he rated yet who, for reasons he still can't figure out, were really not given the opportunities he felt they deserved.

It's well illustrated with a nice selection of photographs and this book is absolutely perfect for any football fan, no matter what team they support.

It's published by The Book Guild at £12.99.   

Far, Far the Mountain Peak Book Three

Far, Far the Mountain Peak Book Three is the latest in this series of novels from Arthur Clifford.

When we next meet up with the protagonist, John Denby, he will soon enrol at Stirling Academy, a very prestigious seat of learning.

We have followed him through his troubled childhood, seen him struggle with his sexual identity as he suffered the education of an 'experimental' comprehensive school in a dire council estate, dealing as best he could with deliquescent and criminal pupils.

At 16 excellent exam results are propelling him toward greater and better things at Stirling Academy.

Can he make good on his academic potential? Will his homosexuality which he previously tried to hide with a succession of girl friends, really mark him out as different? Cause him any more anxious moments?

Only time will tell as we follow John on his journey through his young life.

It's another captivating read from Arthur Cliffoird, published by The Book Guild at £9.99 

One, Two, Three, Four

One, Two, Three, Four is a biographical book by legendary studio recording engineer, Brummie Richard 'Digby' Smith.

It's January 1st, 1970. Back in the day, people in England did not get January 1st as a Bank Holiday, so that morning saw Richard 'Digby' Smith, at 19 years of age, joining the West London based Island Records as a staff engineer.

Island Records was a very important independent record label which developed the careers of many of the UKs top musical talents and the studios played host to many pf the leading musicians of that time.

This is Diby's interesting and wide ranging look back at a career in being a studio sound engineer that has spanned 50 years, working in London, California (LA, in point of fact) and many other places around the worlfd.

Digby will tell you what it was like to reside in LA back in the early 1970s, rubbing shoulders with the elite of Hollywood.

He is also honest about his fight to beat the twin evils of alcohol and drugs, and how he made his way back to Britain in the middle of the 1980s.

He worked with, and helped the careers of a wide range of stars like Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Robert Palmer and even full orchestras, making sure that they all sounded as good as they could.

It's a wild and eclectic read. Learn how Digby learned to cope with Type 1 Diabetes (not his own) and proper football matches played in Hollywood by a whole range of people, including Marty Feldman and the best place, at the time, to obtain a real British fix in LA. Jammy Dodger biscuits, real Cornish ice cream and genuine English butter.

It's a great read and contains some nifty line drawings by Laura Callwood.

It's published by The Book Guild at £9.99.

Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes

Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes is a new book by author Helen Ochyra that explores the country of Scotland.

She takes her readers on a long and interesting journey, looking at the Scottish capital city, Edinburgh, Fife, the Highlands, the far north of Scotland, taking in the legendary John o'Groats, the coastal areas of Scotland, too.

Helen travels to the islands that are off the coast of Scotland, the great industrial city of Glasgow, the Glens of Scotland, the mountainous regions of the country and also walking over ancient and long extinct volcanoes and the lochs and rivers of Scotland.

As an experience travel writer Helen does paint a warming and compelling word picture of Scotland.

However I must point out that I was disappointed that the illustrations are non-existent, limited to the colour photograph of the cover and one extremely sparse line drawing map.

But the book is still a must buy purchase for people who are interested in travelogues, especially about Scotland.

It's published by The Book Guild at £9.99.

Callum McBride

This is Michael Riding's debut novel.  It features young Callum McBride who is twelve years old and who is easily distracted and thus, can quite easily, become bored.

At the opening of the novel he is already bored, at home from school for the school holidays.

However, Callum has a surprise. He has a magical ability to enter the minds of animals and to control them. He temporarily vacates his own body during this process.

However, he meets up with a girl called Emma who has abilities of her own. She is a super hacker whose skills have already brought her into contact with MI6.

As their friendship blossoms, Emma discovers that there might well be a link between the fact that as a baby of under one year old he was found, alone, on the ferry that travels between Iona and Mull. Which brought about his adoption by a local family.

Whilst trying to find out who he really is and where his strange ability came from the two friends soon discover themselves enmeshed in a plot to steal a nuclear weapon.

Can the two friends complete their quest and defeat the enemy they have discovered? Only time will tell!

The book is an exciting read and is written specially for young people who can easily be distracted to read and to enjoy.

It's published by Matador at £9.99.

Taxi Tales From Paris

In Taxi Tales From Paris ex-pat and Parisian resident Nicky Gentil brings us an interesting take on life in Paris.

It's an interesting take on the ex-pat look at their 'new' country. Because it really does look at Paris through the windows of a number of taxi rides that Nicky (a translator and author) took through Paris.

There's a quest to locate a piano tuner, the European Football Championship and the obsession of Parisian taxi drivers when it actually took place in France.

The ban on mobile phone conversations in taxis, the legendary rudeness of Parisian taxi drivers. Rare, though it does sometimes occur, a silent taxi driver, an excitable one, a philosophical one,
her love of jazz and her love of playing jazz piano, all of these stories and many, many more are joyously related by the author.

If you have ever lived in Paris, took a holiday there, or ever merely passed through the Charles de Gaulle Airport, or ever even just heard of France or Paris, you really should buy this book. And it will make an ideal gift, too.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Bahama Boyz

In the novel Bahama Boyz author Nick Hughes introduces us to an amazing story that starts in the East End of London in 1970 and, eventually, moves all the way over to the Bahamas.

And it's actually, Nick assures his readers, a true story.

Nick's family was a charismatic one and he somehow became a trainee croupier at the young age of 19 at the Playboy Club in London.

He quickly discovers that it's a time of glamour and a new time where being from a working class London background does not mean he is held back and he quickly finds himself in a lifestyle of glamour, excitement and sexual freedom.

The world is, really, his oyster and he finds himself working in the all-male Paradise Island Casino in the Bahamas. Which is where his lifestyle becomes even more frenetic and frantic.

Weird stories of what happened in the back of a taxi, an abortive threat by a midget gangster, who even wore a tailored Crombie coat, but who ended up with more than he had bargained for or feared, the Shetland Pony and... actually, I'm going to draw an end to this review, save to say that you really do need this book, especially if you are in need of a good, boisterous and slightly raunchy laugh.

It's published by Matador at £12.99. 

Living With the Dead

In reviewing Living With the Dead your reviewer must acknowledge that this novel ticks two very important boxes. It's a mystery (of sorts) and it involves archaeology. Having said that...

There's an archaeological dig in India in the 1930s. Rebecca is pursuing true love, but a combination of meeting a man on a mountain and some violence throws a spanner in the works, so to speak.

The team's excavations come up with some very exciting finds but they quickly realise that that there is a great deal more risk and danger than they had first surmised.

Rebecca must battle her way along the dangerous Indian coast to learn the truth.

The story then moves forward in time some 80 years. Magsie is moving, slowly, northward toward Scotland on an important journey of her own.

Forced onward by the damaged lives of her youth she feels that she needs to save her grand-daughter from the still less than perfect 21st century.

It's a powerful, compelling novel that surfs the waves of the decades with alacrity.

Published by The Book Guild at £8.99, it's written by Philip G. Reed.

Unwritten Rules

In Unwritten Rules readers of Graham Donnelly are taken back to 1962 where they will meet up with civil servant Anthony Fernard.

His position within the Home Office is relatively minor, yet does have some degree of responsibility. The job is a steady one and his family life is a happy one.

He becomes tangentially involved with a young woman and his career is somewhat invigorated by the fact that he does like to do things in his own way, no matter what officialdom might dictate.

In his position at work he realises that the Cuban Missile Crisis is far more serious than officially admitted.

Faced with the very real possibility that the end of the world might actually only be a couple of days away he decides to embark on a love affair that brings him into the shadowy world of espionage and the very real danger of blackmail.

At first he finds this exciting and fun, but soon he realises that he might, actually, have endangered not only his own life but the lives of those whom he cares most deeply about.

How can he extricate himself from this situation? Does he?

This is a well crafted spy novel from published author Graham Donnelly and former civil servant and it certainly captures the feelings of the time and evokes the fevered nature of those years.

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

Harry in a Hurry

Harry in a Hurry tells the story of Harry Snail. Harry has dreams. Dreams of a different life, other than that of a snail.

He wants a faster, quicker and more exciting lifestyle! And he seeks out the help of his friends to bring this about.

There's Mick 'the Quick' Mouse, plus Benny Bee. Can they help Harry get the type of new, exciting life that he wants, that he craves for?

It's a great book for sharing with young children, with words and wonderful vibrant and colourful illustrations throughout. It's created by Garry Mitchell and Jerry T. Jones.

It's published by Matador at £8.99. Though it's on sale at Matador for £5.99.

A Lost Child of Cyprus

A Lost Child of Cyprus tells the story of Yasmin. Her loving family life in Famagusta is damaged by the violence that destroys her community as civil war rages on the island.

Baby Yasmin become separated from her family and she never sees them again. She is adopted and her adoptive mother is a harsh disciplinarian who believes in discipline before love and in duty. Fun? She doesn't seem to have much time for that.

In the 1970s Yasmin is able to flee from Cyprus and manages to reach England, where she aims to find herself a new and happier life.

But can she do this? How will her history as someone from Cyprus influence her new life in the England of the 1970s?

She still longs for love in her life. Can she find this?

Written by published author Steven Baker it is a masterful retelling of the life of Yasmin which is based on real life events that tgook place in Cyprus and in England.

It is published by The Book Guild at £9.99.

Devil's Mist

Devil's Mist is a new novel for young people from author Liam Moiser.

The novel begins with a family and friends camping trip. Everyone starts to tell frightening stories. They are all, of course, make believe.  All with the exception of the story told by Rosie's father. Because, he assures his audience, his story is different. Because it is true.

The house on the other side of the lake is cursed, the daughter of the family of the house went missing and, so the legend relates, anyonme who gets to near to that house will also vanish.

Rosie and Jenny don't believe it. However as events unfold it become obvious that the curse is a real, true thing and that someone else will soon be the target.

They receive evidence that the curse is genuine. As the story progresses they are scared by the possibility that they too will become victims of the terrible mist.

Can they escape? Or are they also doomed to be lost within the mist forever?

Who is really behind the curse? And is  there something magical that is stronger than the curse that can defeat it?

It's a compelling read and costs £7.99 from Matador.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

The Many Looks of Tara

At the young age of four, Tara already knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.

Inspired by the glamorous actresses of the forties and fifties, she practised posing in front of a mirror until she landed her first professional modelling job at the age of sixteen.

That was the launching pad for a decades-long career that would open a world of glamour and answer the dreams of a four-year-old girl. 

It wasn’t quite that clear cut for Alan.

From the time he could hold a pencil, he dreamed of being a commercial artist. It was his one and only goal.

Then his parents bought him a camera one Christmas and he soon developed a love of photography.

 As his talent developed in each media, Alan was unsure which career path he would take until fate stepped in.

While still in high school, his photography work was noticed by a leading newspaper in the area and he was offered a job after graduation. Al credits the ten years he worked as a press photographer as being the best on-the-job training he could have received.

After leaving the paper, Al went on to form his own photography company.

So - what happens when the lovely model, Tara, met award-winning photographer, Alan Vandever?

See for yourself with “The Many Looks of Tara.” A collaboration of over 30 photos, shot in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations, using different lighting and shooting techniques.

“The Many Looks of Tara,” is available at as an e-book or paperback.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

One Last Shot

One Last Shot is a continuation of the journey of Freddie and Jo-Jo. In his semi-autobiographical romantic novel, Stephen Anthony Brotherton asks an interesting question. Can first love ever be re-ignited? Should it be?

It's the conclusion of the trilogy of Freddie and Jo-Jo, using flashbacks to show how they met and fell in love in their teenage years, what happened to make them drift away from each other, what their lives were like in the intervening years and what transpired when, three decades later, they met, again.

You'll remember that at the culmination of the second book, An Extra Shot, Jo-Jo had revealed to Freddie her terrible secret. He was sent into a state of shock and confusion, leaving him feeling hurt and vulnerable. This has left Jo-Jo worried, because it's obvious to her that he hasn't taken it well.

So, how will Freddie react? What will Jo-Jo do? How will it all work out? Will they find again what they once had, but lost?

It's a fitting conclusion to the trilogy.

It's published by The Book Guild at £7.99.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Robert's Obsession

In this debut novel, Robert's Obsession from author Brian Threlfall, we meet the protagonist, Robert Ormondson.

Things are not going very well for Robert. At one time he was the happily married owner of an Arts and Adult Education Centre.

Unfortunately both his Art Centre (situated on a hill, overlooking the coast) and his marriage to Mary, who is in charge of catering at the centre, are failing.

He develops an infatuation for Jane, a part time worker at the centre and he allows himself to be convinced that his ambitions for the centre can be revived if he can kindle a relationship with her.

However, this already complex situation becomes even more complicated when a former love interest returns to the scene.

A local millionaire is sympathetic to the plight of the centre and offers financial help, but, sadly, within days of making his offer, he dies.

His widow believes in Mary and wants to help her open up a proper restaurant within the arts centre, meaning that Mary becomes keen on revitalising their marriage.

What will happen? What were the links to a similar story involving an ancestor of Robert in the 19th century?

The novel is published by Matador at £13.99.

Monday, 23 March 2020

How to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus Scams

Amid the fear and confusion caused by Coronavirus pandemic, scammers are taking advantage of scared and vulnerable people.

Over £800,000 has been lost to Coronavirus scams since last month 2020, say reports sent in to Britain's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

Many of these hoaxes and scams are online and are in the form of phishing emails, malicious social media adverts, and fake online retailers. But now even some in-person Coronavirus scams are being reported.

This article by KIS Finance details some of the Coronavirus scams that have been reported so far so you can keep your money safe.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Learn to Pray

Learn to Pray, by Marcus Braybrooke, an Anglican Priest, is a guide to enriching your life through prayer. 

The way in which the art of prayer produces self-understanding and contentment is useful in today’s troubled world. 

Marcus takes prayer step-by-step through various methods until a resolution is found. 

Words of encouragement from people such as Mahatma Gandhi and Buddhist writers illustrate that prayer is a fundamental part of human life and not something exclusive to one religion.  Published by Chronicle Books, priced at £10.99.

Learn to Pray, breaks down all religious barriers and gives the opportunity for anyone to find their own personal God.

The Final Straw

In The Final Straw readers once again meet with top West Midlands police detective DCI Charlie Moon who is back with a new case during 2001.

Sometimes the way detectives receive a tip about a case they might be interested in can be quite unusual. But probably not so unusual as when a convicted career criminal in Birmingham's Winson Green Prison asks for Charlie to investigate an apparently solved murder.

Because he doesn't believe that the now dead fellow prisoner (who apparently took his own life in his cell) who had confessed to the murder of a young female student in the 1970s was really guilty.

After taking a quick look into the case Charlie Moon soon realises that perhaps all might not be well with the case.

An initial clue was that all of the records of the case seemed to have been removed from the files.

The more he digs into the case the more he is convinced that there was a monstrous miscarriage of justice. So aided by his journalist friend Jo Lyon (who helps put Charlie in touch with a former Birmingham crime reporter) and his somewhat reluctant team of detectives, Charlie attempts to get to the bottom of why a young Jamaican hospital porter called Wilson Beames had been fitted up for the murder, who had fitted him up and who the real killer was, if he really hadn't done it.

But are people who are still in the force trying to throw Charlie off the scent?

This is another first rate crime novel from Jenny Francis about one of my favourite fictional detectives, DCI Charlie Moon.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Incidentally this book was so engrossing that whilst I was reading it in the bath, the water went cold!

The Sapphire Society

The Sapphire Society is a fantasy novel for children by new author L. C. Sarll.

Savannah Wood is, as she is fully aware, just another child of twelve. An ordinary child of twelve, at that. Or so she firmly believes.

Bullies are making her life miserable so when she learns that her family is making plans to leave their home town for a new life in the distant Faroe Islands Savannah is eager to leave.

But during the move her mother discovers a sapphire necklace that of hers that is alluring to Savannah.

But why? What hold does it have over her? There are dark and dreadful secrets beneath the waters that surround their new home of the Faroe Islands. There is a Viking who has not an ounce of pity within him, who seeks ultimate power and doesn't care how he gets it.

However, Savannah learns that she is, by birthright, a member of a secret society that is bound up in the mysterious events.

Which will cause the most destruction? The volcano that is on the point of erupting? Or the massed army of Ragnar that is threatening to strike with great and dreadful ferocity?

But can brave, resourceful Savannah and her companions meet and defeat this terrible foe?

It's a stirring and exciting novel and although aimed at young people I am sure many older readers will also enjoy it.

It's published by Matador at £10.99.

The Broken Tree

The Broken Tree is a Personal Memoir of a Search for a Family.

In this remarkable book Anita Venes reveals a very painful story. It is of her search for her family.

During her childhood her memories of who she was slowly slipped away. She was a child who had been abandoned the the care system, such as it was, in the 1940s.

Unfortunately for Anita her experiences of being a fostered child were not happy ones and, like many of her peers in the childcare system of that era she tried to focus on the future rather than the unappealing past.

However, she was able to make something of her life and her own experiences helped ot shape the kind of person she became. She chose to work with children who were profoundly disabled. She was dedicated to her career for four decades. Her career culminated in her being chosen as the headteacher of a new school.

But Anita still though of her own birth family and she dedicated her life to learning about them and finding them.

She was able to learn the truth that her mother had desperately wanted to keep in touch with her and her siblings but that circumstances had thwarted her.

However, she and her sister were able to reestablish communications with their mother when Anita was 25, having not seen her since she was three years old.

However, the new relationship with her mother wasn't quite what she had hoped for. However several points that had caused her concern were answered when she discovered that severe mental health problems had meant that her mother had been incapable of looking after her children which is why they had to be taken into care.

It's a moving account and at times a troubling one, but it is also a spirited and inspirational account that will help others who are going through similar troubled times.

It is also illustrated with a number of photographs.

Incidentally she discovered that her brother is an internationally acclaimed entertainer.

The book is published by Matador at £12.99.

Just Words

Just Words is the fourth collection of poems from poet Heather Goddin.

When you read the poems in this remarkable collection you will find yourself nodding you head, smiling, chuckling, wincing, perhaps, and sometimes you will be in tears.

Because all human and non-human life is to be discovered within.

You'll read of love, of hummingbirds and butterflies, of memories held within a beloved item, a real tearoom, of winter in Cantabria,  of legs, old photographs, of flowers and flowers that aren't real flowers, but which will last forever.

There's youth, old age, pathos, humour, and there is my personal favourite, the story of Marmalade.

During these troubled times (of Coronavirus) I think everyone should own a copy of this book. It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Baron John Maltravers 1290-1364

Baron John Maltravers 1290-1364 "A Wise Knight in War and Peace" Medieval historian Caroleen McClure has completed a long and exceptionally detailed research project into the medieval Maltravers family.

She starts with the first Baron John Maltravers who, she reveals, led an extraordinary life. He was awarded his knighthood at an exceptionally early age, 16.

Several years later he was capture and made a prisoners at Bannockburn.

He was a close associate of Roger Mortimer and served as a jailer of King Edward II after he had been deposed.

However, Mortimer's time in a position of control and power was soon over and his associates were put on trial. As was Maltravers, who, after his trial, was put to death for treason.

But it was too late as he had already fled the country and served out a voluntary exile for the next two decades. However, as McClure points out, he was not pursued and no attempt was made to arrest him during his exile.

When he arrived back from period of exile it was to grim news. His sole son had died, a victim of the Black Death and his heirs were his two granddaughters.

Eleanor, his surviving granddaughter made a good marriage, marrying into the Arundel family. Her descendants were ennobled as the Earls of Arundel so they were not only the Earls of Arundel but also Barons Maltravers. These titles are carried by their descendant the current Duke of Norfolk.

As well as being based on meticulous research, it is profusely illustrated with photographs, family trees, coats of arms, maps and the like. It is also very well written in a clear and concise style. Although written with due academic rigour, it is very accessible to the lay reader.

The author has been able to access hitherto unpublished resources and the author has cited all works with a exceptional index so it will make an excellent resource for students of medieval history. 

It is published by Matador at £15.00 in hardback.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Please help the vulnerable and the elderly

Good evening, everyone.

This is not a normal post for That's Books and Entertainment. But then, these are not normal times, are they?

I would like to ask you to please think about anyone you know who is vulnerable, elderly or disabled.

Please check on them on a regular basis to make sure that during the Coronavirus crisis they have enough food and drink to sustain them.

Do they need medication collecting from their pharmacy? Do they need help in sending a prescription to their Doctor's?

Do they need help in making certain their mobile phone is topped up with credits or with power?

Do they just need someone to chat, even if it is just on the phone?

We can beat the Coronavirus, but only if we all work together, especially if we help to look after the vulnerable, the elderly and the disabled.

Please help by forwarding this post on to as many people as you know. Thank you for your help.

UPDATE: Here are some helpful links:-
Coronavirus: Postcard bid to help self-isolating neighbours
How the British Red Cross is helping with coronavirus
Here you’ll find all our information about coronavirus and useful links for the latest updates.
What is coronavirus? Facts, FAQs, and how to help
How are you helping others during the coronavirus outbreak?

Image courtesy Zoran Stupar from Pixabay

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Learn to play, for free, with Yamaha Music London

NATIONAL LEARN TO PLAY DAY at Yamaha Music London is suitable for adults and children aged 3+ with no previous musical experience being required or even necessary.

There will be a wide choice of instruments to try, including top Yamaha acoustic, bass and electric guitars, pianos, violin and drums, too.

Whether you have never played or whether you used to play, there will be professional music teachers on hand to encourage and inspire you.

The taster sessions can only be booked in-store on the day, on a first come first served basis. So please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

All the music fun is totally free and also includes:

Balloon Bonanza – Saturday 28 March
Guinness World Record Breaking Balloon Artist David Crofts keeping everyone entertained with his musical themed creations.

Sonic Creation Sessions – Sunday 29 March
Synthesizer guru Dom Sigalas will be back to host his SONIC CREATION group sessions - a must if you are in a band or even remotely interested in any type of music production. Aimed at older children and adults.

International Piano Day will be celebrated throughout the weekend with surprise pop-up performances from international artists.

Don’t Miss Out!
For up-to-date information on the Learn to Play lineup and activities please visit Please check the website before you travel.

Store Address
Yamaha Music London
152-160 Wardour Street
London W1F 8YA
Store telephone number 0207 432 4400
Nearest underground stations: Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road.

Taking That's Books and Entertainment to the next level with Patreon

I have decided to take my book review and entertainment blog, That's Books and Entertainment to the next level.

But what to do? How to move the blog forward, yet still continuing to provide book reviews and the odd piece of entertainment industry news that has caught my attention that I believe readers of my blog might also be interested in?

After several weeks of thought I decided to launch a Patreon account.

At least initially this will involve a special regular newsletter that will be sent out to my Patreons. In fact, the first edition of this special newsletter is already written and is ready to be sent out.

So please join me on Patreon as I work out how to provide my readers with an even better experience. It will be a learning experience for all of us.

I have several other blogs that I intend to add Patreon to at some time in the near future.

(Image courtesy of Werner Weisser from Pixabay)

Friday, 13 March 2020

All The People

All The People is a historical novel from Jeff Kaye set 200 years ago.

Everyone knows something of the dreadful incident that became known as the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester in 1819, when the Yeomanry launched a murderous attack on protesters.

In his novel Jeff Kaye examines what happened afterwards.

It's set 13 years after Peterloo, and Hugh Hornby Birley, the mill owner who led the Yeomanry on that dreadful day, still casts a malign shadow over Manchester.

Mary Burns, a nine-year-old girl is one of the workers in his factory. Her family relies on Mary's wages to survive.

The novel shows how she grew into  an ardent Chartist, working hard to better the conditions of the herself, her family and the people of her town.

The novel also introduces James Hull. James has been sent to Manchester as a religious missionary, but when he sees at first hand the desperate and miserable conditions of the inhabitants he decides to work to save their physical lives, leaving their spiritual salvation to others.

He has problems of his own as Elizabeth, his wife, is distraught over the death of their daughter.

Together James and Mary face down Birley, during the Chartist strikes in the year of 1842, which reactivate the memories of the dreadful event of Peterloo.

But was Birley really such a monster? Kaye takes a look at Birley that is quite  nuanced and well realised.

It's an important novel that reflects upon a very unfortunate piece of the history of Britain during the 19th century.

It is published by Matador at £8.99 in paperback and £16.99 in hardback.

Plague A Very Short Introduction

Plague A Very Short Introduction is a book by Paul Slack.

It is a part of the Oxford University Press A Very Short Introduction series of academic books.

It is a very important work on the plague. It identifies the plague, it discusses the Greek and Latin meaning of the word, how the plague spread, how the plague was treated by the medical practitioners of the day, the symptoms of the plague and how the dead were dealt with. On page 3, for example, there is a photograph of a London burial pit, which  was identified as probably having been used during the plague of 1665-6.

The book focused on the disease's history, major epidemics, times throughout history when it was sweeping through communities and also right down to more recent times, the early decades of the 20th century.

The book points out that due to advances in medical science and in public health measures the plague has become less of a severe threat to humanity.

It points out that the disease still exists and that there are episodic flare ups in various parts of the world and that it persists in animals.

Worryingly it points out that human cases have been rising since the 1990s, the WHO, Slack states, reports 1,000 to 5,000 cases every year.

Although it is a very short introduction Slack covers all the main points on the plague, who first identified it, when it was first isolated, the vector of the disease and so forth.

It costs £7.99 and is a must read for all medical students,health practitioners and students of the history of medicine and of history in general.


Tannadee is a humorous novel from author Maurice Gray.

The lifestyle in the Scottish Highland village of Tannadee is pretty good. Until the village meets with Gordon Weever who is a billionaire. Unfortunately Weever is also a total bully who has plans to construct an exclusive golf resort very close to the village.

The villagers are not sure what to do to put a halt to his plans. Because not only is he able to throw money around to get his own way, he is also starting to employ some pretty nasty dirty tricks. So, what can they do to deal with this interloper? Nothing? Just let him get away with it?

However, local schoolteacher Chizzie Bryson is not so sure and he decides to get the villagers to participate in some Highland Games to raise some much needed funds for a fight back.

When the weekend dawns, the villagers turn out to participate in the Highland Games.

But what if things didn't go quite to plan? And whose plan would be thwarted?

Would Weever win? Or could the locals play him at his own Highland Games?

It's an amusing novel published by Matador at £8.99.

The Audition Room. A down to earth guide, for actors

The Audition Room. A down to earth guide for actors is a truly wonderful book written by Sharon Sorrentino.

It is an absolutely vital guide for all actors, be they thinking about a career as an actor, part way through their careers or already fairly well established.

Because if offers working actors and graduates from drama school some practical tips and guidance on all aspects of their chosen career.

It reveals what show business is and what it isn't, how to get the attention of the people in the industry who you need to get the attention of, how to market yourself, how people get cast for parts and how you can get cast for parts, too, how to ready yourself to actually get into the audition room, what to do once you are there and what to do afterwards, too.

There is also a chapter on how to prepare for auditions for screen roles, such as technical considerations, camera techniques and ways of ensuring that you are doing things properly during the auditions.

It tells you what you need to research and who you need to research and also why you need to do this.

The book contains very useful hints and inspirations from to actors and directors. And remember, they started out where you are and they probably wish that they had a copy of   The Audition Room. A down to earth guide, for actors at the beginning of their careers, too.

There's also a wealth of resources which will be useful to actors for many years to come.

It's published by The Book Guild at £9.95 and this book should be given to every drama student no matter what the year they are studying in. It should also be bought by every director and producer as a good resource for young and aspiring actors.

Bryony: Harnessing the Power

Bryony: Harnessing the Power is a novel aimed at young adult readers from author Emma Hamilton.

Bryony is left destroyed by the belief that her boyfriend is cheating on her.

After a terrifying event, she decides to leave her trailer park home, so different from the real home she had known as a  young child, taking flight with Pierre. Who she trusted.

Pierre puts her in a trance, but to her horror and bewilderment when she awakes she has travelled back in time to 1863, totally alone in in grave danger.

Besides trying to find out how she can return to her own time she must first try to survive, somehow, in a time that is totally different OT her own.

She meets Pierre, and discovers that not only is he a former but now freed slave, he is also an immortal and that, somehow, their destinies are tied together.

They find themselves fleeing from a mysterious enemy, seeking help from a witch and from Native Americans and Bryony learns more about her own magical powers.

She finds love but can she find her way back to her own time? And if she could, would her problems really be over? And who could she trust?

It's an exciting story, published by The Book Guild at £8.99. 

Thursday, 12 March 2020

A Life Force in Life Science

A Life Force in Life Science is a remarkable book about a remarkable person, it tells the amazing story of Ida Smedley MacLean.

She earned the reputation of being not only smart and very bright, she was also known for her charismatic personality, too.

She was born in Birmingham in 1877 and, at a time when women working in the sciences was still very much a novelty, she studied chemistry at Cambridge University.

She went on to perform pioneering work in biochemistry and was able to garner a number of international prizes and awards for her work.

During the Great War she worked with Chaim Weizmann (a future president of Israel) making great contributions to the war effort.

She founded the British Federation and then the International Federation of University Women and did sterling work throughout her life to improve the rights of women in the workplace.

She was also a key figure during the 1930s to enable Jewish women scientists and other women academics to find not only asylum but also work within the UK and the USA. Please bear in mind that she was also raising her two children and caring for a husband who was seriously ill.

Author of the book Penny Freedman has been able to tell the remarkable story of this most remarkable of scientists and women by relying on Idas's own letters and diary entries, plus memorabilia. To which she had unique access granted by Ida's granddaughter.

As well as being a gifted academic (a BA in Classics and Philosophy from Oxford, an MA in Linguistics from the University of Kent and a PhD in Shakespearean studies from the University of Birmingham, Penny Freedman is a published author of multiple crime novels.

She points out that Robert, her husband, who is a professor of biochemistry, became interested in Ida when he noted that she was the first female chairman of the Biochemistry Society in the 1920s. By chance he was allowed access to her lifelong collection of papers and memorabilia and was working on them whilst he was receiving treatment for cancer.

Subsequent to his death Penny realised that she could not see his work go to waste and felt strongly that Ida was a female and a scientist that people should know about.

The book is illustrated with contemporary images.

It's a very well written book and needs to be on the bookshelves of all scientists, lovers of biographies and people interested in the studies of women.

It's published by The Book Guild at £9.99.

Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance is a novel written by a retired teacher who goes by the name of "The Old Grey Owl."

There are troubling times in the world of education. The Head of Humanities who seems to long for snow. In Norway.

A therapy dog that is put to sleep in order to save money, there's an Ofsted inspector who grades sexual encounters on a clipboard. As they are their own sexual encounters, that's probably not as creepy as it sounds, but even so...

What happened to the Deputy Head after the Year 11 Prom? 

What of the once great LEA empire, now whittled down to nearly nobody at all?

What of the Syrian refugee? What is he to make of it all? And what is the Secretary of State for Education really up to?

Of course, none of these events could ewer happen in real life, could they? But the former English teacher and deputy head and one time exam moderator for GCSE English exams who wrote this book might not be too certain about that.

It's a cynical, wry and amusing look at the British education system and many teachers will, upon reading it, purse their lips, nod and say: "I used to work with someone, just like that!"

It's published by Matador at £9.99.

A Journey Through South-East England

A Journey Through South-East England is another excellent walking book from published author and expert walker Brian J. Rance.

You'll have followed Brian from Broadstairs to Lewes. Now you can join him on the huge walk through Kent and East Sussex, which he was able to achieve just prior to his 70th birthday.

You'll follow the walk with Brian from Lewes to Hartfield, from Hartfield to Upnor and then, ultimately, from Upnor to Woolwich, Brian's birthplace.

There are many highly detailed walking maps and some highly amusing cartoons and some amusing asides. For example in Chafford it seems that everything is called Chaff

He takes us to a pub that was once named after a famous hoax, checks out the site of the hoax, looks an elegant humpback bridge, drinks one pint of beer in a disappointingly busy pub, and chats to the many people he met on his walk, including the owner of a quivering and rather wet dog.

If you intend to walk in the footsteps of Brain, or even if you don't, you really should buy this book.

It's published by The Book Guild at £14.95 and will make an excellent gift for the walker in your life.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

The Funnies

In his latest novel The Funnies, BAFTA-nominated creator of a number of hit BBC comedy series Paul A. Mendelson introduces us to the hero, Marius K.

It explores, but in a subtle and humorous way, some very interesting philosophical concepts.

Science is good, right? But what if it wasn't all that good, all the time?

A sense of humour is a good thing, right? But what if some clever scientists decided to use their knowledge of science to have the sense of humour removed from everyone at birth?

That is exactly what happened in the country where Marius K. was born and lived. Everyone had their sense of humour removed.

But what if some people, some people such as Marius K. had, somehow, not had their sense of humour removed?

What could they do? Where would they go? Could they survive?

Some of those people fled into the forest and they were driven, no, determined, to keep humour a real, and living force.

Marius K, age 12, flees into the forest, abandoning his family and his beloved pet dog in order to find the others who, like him, had managed to retain their sense of humour.

But did they exist? And could Marius K. discover them before the very un-fun Fun Police found Marius K? And have his illegal sense of humour removed?

But how do you try to make someone laugh when their own father had removed their sense of humour? 

And how can you foment a rebellion when all you had was your sense of humour and some really, really crazy ideas?

Within the novel there are also some telling asides that point out the foibles of our own society.

Will the humourless Deputy Minister of Humour prevail and finally snuff out all humour? Or will the Funnies finally succeed, against, all the odds and, laughingly, claim victory? And if so, how?

You really, really do need this book. It's published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

It's aimed at a young audience, but everyone of any and every age will love it.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

World Book Day: Not just one for the kids!

As I’m sure you know World Book Day is fast approaching. It's on 5th March 2020.

Whilst kids are choosing their costumes and deciding which book to use their tokens for we have something special for the grown-ups out there. 'Awakening' by Nevsah is winging its way to the UK after being launched with much success in the USA, published by a division of Hay House.

‘Awakening’ is a book for all ages ranging from young adults to those older and wiser, we can all benefit from the awakening of this book. With this book, author Nevsah hopes to expand the readers’ consciousness and provide tools on how to live an extraordinary life by staying awake and connected.

Nevsah is a respected global expert and educator who has been teaching and lecturing for  nearly two decades.

In this book, she explores the subject of the many misconceptions surrounding spirituality and what Awakening actually is.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about Awakening which is one of the reasons I wrote the book,” explains Nevsah. “I have come to a realisation that Awakening is not what people think it is. People think awakening is some spiritual experience where you get filled with love and light. But actually, those kinds of experiences are there because of some chemical shift in the body, they are not even real.”

The Private UK Book Launch will be held on March 9th 2020 at The Swiss Church in London. Followed by a Hay House LIVE on May 2nd and 3rd.

The skills and tools shared in the book ‘Awakening’ will be conducted and taught in a 12-hour intense workshop called ‘Awakening to The Executive Mind’ hosted by Nevsah herself on Friday, March 21st 2020 in London.

Awakening: Awakening is not what you think is available to buy at Amazon, Waterstones and Foyles.

Nevsah F. Karamehmet is a respected global teacher and published author who is dedicated to expanding human consciousness and has impacted over 100,000 individuals through her workshops, talks and training.

She is an expert in Breathing and Behavioral Sciences with a 20-year track record of unrivalled expertise.

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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Oranges and Lemons

Oranges and Lemons is a debut novel from Paula F. Andrews.

Jessifer Jordan is an outgoing teenage girl. She is known for being a loyal friend and always open and she has a love of acting.

When Adeline, a friendly but ghostly girl from the Victorian era makes an appearance in her life, naturally Jessifer confides in her best friend. But when it becomes obvious that her best friend doesn't believe her, Jess decides that secrecy is the way forward.

Before Adeline came into her life, Jess had been outgoing and sociable, but now she had turned into a far more serious girl, cutting herself off from others as she tries to establish exactly what it is that her ghostly friend wants.

Jess finds herself taken back to the 1860s where she meets with a medical doctor who seems to be of a somewhat mercurial nature and who has a somewhat obsessive relationship with the potentially fatal drug morphine. 

Jess slips between the time of Adeline and her own time, and as she does, she begins to understand that Adeline is bring back memories of Jess' own deceased sister. Which means that her own, hidden, grief begins to reassert itself.

Can the help of her own and wise great aunt Ruby help her? Will she be able to confound the maniacal doctor? And what about the mysterious cat? What does the cat have to do with what is happening?

And what of the Victorian ghost child, Adeline? What does she really want? And can Jess help her achieve it?

With this novel, aimed at children, but enjoyable by adults, too, Paula F. Andrews has hit the ground running and I will state that Paula F. Yates is an author to watch for in the future.

It's published by Matador at £8.99

Monday, 24 February 2020

Dream job: Get paid to view James Bond films every day for a fortnight

You can get your Licence to watch: Get paid to view James Bond films every day for a fortnight.

CarTakeBack UK is offering one lucky applicant their dream job, who they will pay to watch the entire James Bond film collection.

The lucky successful applicant will be paid £500 for the two-week job.

The applicant will also receive the entire James Bond catalogue for free.

Finer details of the job remain top secret, but will require the winner to watch the entire collection of James Bond films!

How does getting paid to watch James Bond films sound? If you’re someone who just can’t get enough Bond, then you really are in luck; the perfect job has come up for you.

CarTakeBack UK is on a mission to find one lucky 007 fan to fulfil the dream job of watching every single James Bond film (and completing a set task, too).

They’ll earn a one-off fee of £500 for their efforts and the entire set of 24 films to date for free.

Got A Golden-Eye for Detail?

The exact details of the successful applicant’s top-secret assignment will be kept under wraps until they’re selected. The successful applicant will then be tasked with watching all 24 James Bond films over a fortnight, for a specific reason.

Applicants must be:

18 years or over
Live in the UK
Have access to a laptop to record information about each film
Oh and of course, absolutely love James Bond movies.

You don’t even need your CV up to date - applicants just need to answer questions such as, what’s your favourite Bond movie, who you think should play the next James Bond and where their next mission should be.

Applicants will need to apply here by 23:59 on 27th February 2020 for their licence to watch.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Mother Love

Mother Love is a debut novel from author Elizabeth Brown.

Margret is a loving mother to three adult children. Life wasn't always easy as they had, whilst growing up, had to develop coping skills to deal with the constant flashes of anger from Margaret.

But what caused these moments of anger? It wasn't the children, though they had to cope with her rages. Margaret's problem is that she is being crushed by the weight of a family secret.

Her daughter Caroline serves the role of a peacekeeper. She moves into married life and becomes a mother in her own right.

Her son Matthew strives to become independent and self-reliant, carving out a successful career in botany, enjoying life in his organic smallholding, with his family and friends gathered in close to him.

There's Chloe, a very talented violinist and the favourite of her mother. However, this favouritism comes with no small price for Chloe, as she finds it impossible to flee from Margaret's influence as her own life seems to deteriorate.

However, Margaret's actions seems to become even stranger and downright bizarre, causing even more worry to her children. All of whom had been damaged by their mother, to a greater or lesser extent.

But what does any of it matter, so long a her secret is protected at almost any cost?

Elizabeth Brown largely tells the story through the medium of  family letters and journal entries.

By the time I had finished the last page, I knew all of the family members very well. But I think I had learned to hate Margaret only part way through. The sub title: a blessing or a curse? is most appropriate.

This is a very moving novel which is a very worth debut.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

The Breaking Storm

The Breaking Storm is the second part of the Nethergate Trilogy set during the time of the American Civil War.

It follows from the first novel, Gathering Clouds, telling how Killcaid, the ambitious and ruthless overseer at the Nethergate Tobacco Plantation in Kentucky, tightens his control over the community as he continues his evil vendetta against the slave called Matthew, which actually foments a rebellion, no matter how limited it was in scope.

In the next part of the story we travel to New York, home to profiteers and the exploiters of both sides of the Civil War, without any thought to the likely consequences of their actions.

The slave community are stirred by the notion that freedom from their enslavement might be on its way.

However, the times are also riven with romance, passions that run high and the thirst for revenge are interleaved with unexpected moments of hope and compassion.

The scope of the novel leaves the confines of the Continental disunited States and takes in the action on the island of Nassau, known for its hedonism and wild lifestyles.

But there's a blockade operated by the US Navy (those wicked Yankees) that must be breached if they are to have any chance of success and victory.

It's another highly readable novel in the series by Sandhurst-educated former army officer and school master Derek H. Skinner.

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