So comes the end of the year!

A big thank you to all my followers and the writers of the free books that keep me so well supplied with reading matter!

Right now, I’m trolling through my reviews of the year and hope that by the end of this week, my eBook awards will be published. This is just a little ask for my followers, are there any of these books YOU would like to nominate for something?????  Please let me know by January 3rd at the latest!


The Santa Society by Kristine McCord

The Santa Society

I think with another title, this book could have been even better!  It would have added just another element of mystery as the society is revealed, With the most unlikely Santa ever and the fantastic dog Klaus, Erin begins her recovery from the death of her mother. It was maybe just a spin on the old story, but here the giving of Christmas is for once equated with the reality of Christmas. God’s gift of his son to this world as he loves us so much he would even kill his own son to win us back…..but I guess I’m moving on a bit here!  Sit back and enjoy!

Guess who’s coming to Christmas dinner? by Laura Lockington

Guess Who's Coming to Christmas Dinner

I was SO looking forward to this book. Laura Lockington has been one of favourite author finds of this year, with her quirky, original, magical books. But this, oh dear!  Yet ANOTHER single mother, with a best friend struggling with Christmas, yawn, yawn, yawn. Maybe this sort of story sells to single Mums who form a large readership, I don’t know. Only occasonally do we see a hint of the best of Laura with the motif of the fox passing through and the Vampire at the door.

Has Laura been the victim of a publisher, heading her to main stream, squashing her gift. I’m not a great fan of Endeavour press either. Fight it Laura, get back to your original genius, don’t listen to anyone but yourself!

I see I missed the publication of her new book, Before and After…..Guess what I’ll be reading this Christmas!…ura-lockington/…ura-lockington/

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree by Elly Griffiths

Ruth's First Christmas Tree: A Ruth Galloway Short Story

Stories in the present tense of any form often don’t work but this one does.  It’s such a succinct tale that packs in so much in such a short space, a lesser writer could have written a thick volume.  The story  doesn’t even get to Christmas though we do get some snow. The narrative has a pop at most forms of religion, but is quite happy to still celebrate the event. The characterizations are sharp, little explanation, no spoon feeding, no time for that, and it is so clever that it does what the advert said, leading you into looking into further writings. So far this autumn, my best Christmas read,

Bosomed deep in Vines by Amanda Petyt

Bosomed Deep In Vines

This book started off so well, with heavy lacings of metaphor and imagery.  There are some really brilliant lines in it (I hope its ok to quote) e.g, Sarah’s brother had trimmed the neighbour’s Afghan dog:‘It  had never recovered and had taken to  loitering on street corners and using four letter barks’. However, while the running of time is marked by the meetings of the friends, the whole plot of the book could have been taken over a shorter time scale or tighter incidences over the same scale , as sometimes the pace lags.It took a little while to get the different voices, but I got into it and really enjoyed it. There are some repetitions too such as when Sarah looks back at her relationship with Alice. It’s clear that Sarah will grow to maturity,  and love in real fictional heroine mode, well constructed!   So the pace lags a little and the plot is a little undramatic BUT as a first book  this is fantastic.  For the sake of some more tightening  and editing, a look at the timing, this could shape into something really good. Like all first writers we all start off trying  so hard  and then forget the start as we get drawn into the plot. Sadly by the end of the book there are very few leaps into the imagery , the dialogue takes over. So don’t cut the imagery and metaphor, make it consistent  and the whole book will be a stunner.  Might be up for one of my awards…….

My other Blog!


I thought I would tell all my eBook review readers about my other blog on my life here in Austria. It deals with all I get up to here in a strange land, my beliefs, life as an expat and so on. Maybe you will like to drop by this one as a follower too!!!!

I’m no catholic but I’m quite happy to use their holidays, and this one was for Mary’s ascension -nowhere to be found in the Bible, but what ho!  This annual flea marker (no Car boot sales here), takes up most of the village centre. This time I remembered the camera!  I was comparing it to what I’d find at sale in the UK.


There were of course many stalls selling the outgrown kids toys, new stuff,


china knick nacks,  old postcards and  books, plus the dealers.   But what I found fascinating, but understandable was the amount of mlitary stuff,


holy stuff,


hunting stuff,


fur stuff.


I don’t think in the UK you would be allowed to sell bayonets


or axes on the street!


I saw this wonderful picture of some deer charging a hunters party, but she wanted 60 euros

DSCN2365 (2)

for it, I’m glad I got a sneaky shot of it before she saw me! In this close up above, you can see one guy has managed not to spill his drink, shades of my mother who would never spill a drop!


There was of course a marching band,


beer and sausages,


and cakes.


There  was also a huge mix of languages and I heard others speaking English but was content to be a bystander. We bought some old postcards of Ramingstein


and scanned them in so we could have a better look.  Its a shame that the dates weren’t on the stamps, nor could we read the messages!


There were also some intereresting scarecrows entered in a competition for Bauernherbst that is coming up (Farmer’s Autumn). Can’t help thinking its the wrong time of year for them though!


Still, it was a great day out.