At last!!!!!! Song of Songs by Beverley Hughesdon

 

GREAT NEWS!!!!  Newly released as a Kindle read by Canelo books,  AND at last Eve will be published, too, can’t wait!

Song of Songs  is my most favorite book of all time and I read it every now  and then.  I was given it in a proof edition with a bland cover, the one here I think spoils it. The story is far more noble than this trashy piccie!

Born into rich Edwardian family,  Helena is always the ungainly, awkward one, who loves her twin brothers, Robbie and Eddie.  In several traumas, she is recued by the footman Jem, which explains a lot of her later actions, although the text doesn’t make any hooks into it, so maybe its my interpretation.  Oh, how I wish I was born then, with no housework, allowed to sit about and read and write, waited on hand and foot, but most of all, horses to ride, at will, for pleasure,and no mucking out! The life in a way prefaces that of Downton Abbey. I’m telling a lot of the plot here,  but only because I need to explain how it relates to my enjoyment!

Helena grows to a teenager and after a misalliance with her cousin gets shifted off to Germany to learn music, as a punishment, which turns out into a blessing as she has a real ability to sing.  First world war arrives, and Helena trains as a Nurse – and the descriptions of this culture shock are wonderful, as are the accounts of her duty in the Hospitals on the warfields in France.  One twin dies, another survives but is damaged in his lungs.

Helena has this romantic fantasy about Gerald, her Officer love, who she does eventually get engaged to, but he is killed.  During the war, Helena meets  Ben, who is working class engine driver in peace time.  They meet after the war, and it is to him Helena flees when she helps in he suicide of her dying brother.  Ben takes advantage of Helena, coercing her into marrying him.  They begin life in his home town, another culture shock for Helena, but it is only when Helena finds out her Gerald was gay, she has a nervous breakdown, also born of her war work.  Recovering, she returns home, and through her healing, finally realises that she loves Ben and the book ends with the birth of  their son

This is a real beauty and beast tale, something which is in Beverley’s other books.   Helena is so human, but courageous.  Her breakdown is a way to healing.  Maybe I like this because I identify with her, in having earlier in life stupid love affairs, and then finding my own beast !!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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An eBook Rant!

Tom                                            Ducks! Romantic Short Stories for Animal Lovers

Pictures of my books for a change!!!!!!!!

As my blog says, most of me books are picked up off the free book list on Amazon, mostly the German one.  Most are well presented  but some send me to despair as it’s obviuos the author really has no idea how the book presents on a KIndle, and recently I’ve picked up some which seem to be photocopied sheets, which you can’t enlarge and so are unreadable – although I do only have a basic KIndle. Ok, so they are a bit better on the PC Kindle, but they’re still difficult to read.  The most recent being Christian Meditations by Tyng, Self Training in Christian Meditation by Rushton Burr  and the Duden Schulgrammatik Englisch.

The event of the 50 Shades of grey spawned a huge rise in the porn, and rip offs, the best was 50 Shades of Wey, which was about beer, thankfully these are dying down. It’s amazing how the classics are always there, such a Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, Robinson Crusoe, I bet someone is wishing they had bought the publishing rights.  Some people seem to have left their book permanently on the free lists.  There’s also a rise of collections of several books, and these can be infuriating as when you read the book details, all there is are more ads for more books!

This also led in a rise of book covers with models posing a scene from the book, some a bit near the knuckle for my own taste, but I always associate these pictures with being a tacky MIlls and Boon type book, so I rarely look beyond the cover. The Chick lits still seems to have drawn/painted covers, but they seem to be coming less and less on the lists.

There are now specific eBook publishers, and for these I hold my main rant. So often you think you are picking up a novel (and It doesn’t say not so on the cover or details, just on the contents list and who looks at these – obviuosly not me), only to find a novella which then has a third of another book as a taster. There is one English firm who is a culprit on this -should I name names? It’s great in some ways, at least it helps with the marketing but………. I find it infuriating, and when I looked at the website, I see they ask specifically for novellas (money making) but also have slave labour interns, which explains some of the unprofessional proofing that is in some, e,g Wendy Lewis’s Town and Country.

The main difference, is the rise of the Novella, no bad thing, but please cough up on the page that its so!

It’s all a grwoing market, and obviuosly, I’m looking at the amatuer end, there are some gems, and I’ll keep on being a skinflint!

The Archivist of Dunstibourne Hall by L.P.Fergusson

The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall)

This is a great study not only in self deception but also of human nature.  Believable, flawed characters and a great ending where nothing is tied up  but is concluded, if you see my difference.  The Archivist himself is at first the stereotype you would expect for an old man working in a stately home, but his character becomes both artful, evil and sad. You get impressions of him viewed through the other characters, but the whole dialogue is so well balanced, that, dear reader, you have to make up your own mind is he a loveable old git or a villain.

It’s also a good suspense story, will the artifacts be found, just what happened to them?  The narrator also slips in little cameos of the country side and words I’ve no idea what they mean, making that voice both an academic and yet poetic one. Its well paced and well written, enjoy!

………my only problem is that I was a fan of the comedy series, called Tittybang bang  where the stewards at a national trust house are all either trying to kill each other just off scene or seeking attention.Catch phrase ,’don’t look at me I’m shy ‘- this book just had echoes of this -great!

Hemingway Point by Nora Carroll

Hemingway Point

This is a well written novel, with believable characters and a plot which interweaves the dark hidden history of a family, with a really good twist to the end.  I did sort of guess it though.

It was a book I would have liked to have enjoyed more, but once again, sloppy presentation ruined it for me. The dialogue punctuation is at first hit and miss and the disappears all together. It had me reaching to the end page as I wanted to find out the conclusion but couldn’t be bothered to try and sort the conversation out in my head.  Reading the end spoiled it for me as I still didn’t see how they got there, so went back and tried again but ended up speed reading to get the plot.

 Such a shame.  Come on writers, you bother to write the book, now bother to check thoroughly your printed version. I know the corrections will drive you nuts, but what if a publisher gives up just due to your presentation?

Charlotte Figg takes over Paradise by Joyce Magnin

Holiday time, and not so much time to read -seems ironic!  Sorry another repeat, but I  did enjoy it!

This book was a real pleasure for me and also quite a culture shock.  I know that I don’t go for thrillers and who dunnits and like my books at a reasonable pace, but not predictable.  I caught this while it was on free and thought I really ought to read some mainstream American Christian Fiction as I seem to spend so much time on Amazon.com at present.

At first reading I thought oh no, not another dead person as Charlotte Figg’s husband croaks in the first few pages.  On impulse she buys a trailer or what we Brits would call a mobile home, which turns out to be a wreck.  In her new life she meets some incredible people, a tattooed lady, a midget and a guy with one arm.  Now I know  from popular culture than Trailer park people are looked down upon, but are these guys representative?  Certainly there are plenty of ignorant red-necked husbands about, but there mix is really amusing, but fortunately doesn’t detract from the story.

However, what I liked about this book was its unapologetic Christianity.  It’s in the culture if the characters and the book part of life, and not overstated, though one character can always be relied upon to be praying. Its how life should be, not part of culture like here in Lungau where its more tradition than meaning, or England where every Christian is fair game. 

The tale has great drama, sadness and humour and I loved it.  Within its gentle frame it deals with real issues and real people. Should I also admit in the past I’ve read the Miss Read stories from England and this is a cultural contrast that  I loved? I certainly couldn’t see any of the Vicars or characters in  her books being so upfront about their belief.

Most of all though, what made it for me was Lucky, he rescues people, knows just whats going on in people’s head, and almost speaks – yes of course, he’s the dog!

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July’s Book of the Month; The Tower of Babel by G.T. Anders

The Tower of Babel (Vaulan Cycle)

Exciting, new, fresh, a complete surprise!

Having been asked to review this book, I was looking forward to a dip into Science Fiction  being a child of the Asimov generation, but not having read much SciFi for years.

A dying world, where a new Tower of Babel is being built.  A hero who is an artist and a sort of  mystic and a  call to go back to complete a mission.  What’s going on?  I’m not going to tell. Suffice to say, this is a book with a plot that is fulfilled in all the literary ways.  It has drama and great suspense, and it’s unique.  The words of the hero Austin are often more poetic than prose. G.T Anders has experimented with new ideas with prose, and they work, they aren’t intrusive, they build this fantastic, sad world. There are monsters and mysteries and bad baddies and a narrative that spoon feeds you nothing. No long-winded explanations, you have to work at it like the characters but you are carried along.   The ending is beautiful in it’s technique and the final divine love that comes through.

Amazing.  This book needs to be picked up by a Publisher.  Now.

Below is the blurb from Amazon

Two letters making two demands. Two seeds: one growing, the other
dormant. Two allegiances—one high-profile, the other subversive. Oh, and one reluctant goal: the cleansing of the planet.This is the story of how Austin Feckidee and his three friends tried to change the world. It’s the story of L’Hermitage, the abandoned church that was the base of their earth-shattering work; and it’s the story of the Tower of Babel, the arrogant statement of human self-sufficiency that they sought to destroy.It’s 1967 somewhere in North America. Babylon is the greatest city in the nation (maybe even on earth), and to prove it, they’re building a veritable tower to heaven that would make even the denizens of biblical Shinar a little jealous. But far from the city, in the abandoned suburbs, Austin and the secret society are talking about the Tower again. Talking about how it must come down. How
the planet must be cleansed. And how divinity has chosen them to make it happen.

The Island of Ted by Jason Cunningham

How could I resist a book with such a title considering my Robinson Crusoe complex!!!!!!    A new twist on the old tale.  This guy decides to buy his own island and live there on his own a; because he can afford it  b; because every attempt he makes at altruism in his life ends as failure.  He has a highly stressed job in the film industry and a penchant for falling for the wrong woman.

There’s no shipwreck here, in fact Ted has it all stitched up, glorious isolation but with satellite channels and food arriving every couple of weeks. You can read him slowly unwinding until Friday turns up, this time a small boy.  Ted is livid and this time chases him away!

Cliche, cliche, no man is an island and Ted finds he’s sharing the island with some refugees.  There are some lovely times when he is tricked by Friday into saying something dumb to the only attractive (to Ted) woman on the island.  Ted’s past history means you know he’ll fall for her.  Nuff said.

The middle of the book changes narrative position which actually really works and through it you can now see other people’s perspectives which you can’t in the first person.  Through this the narrator so clearly shows  Ted’s self-pitying perspective, he hasnt really got himself sorted at all and he runs back home to the USA.

The last part shifts back to Ted and I didn’t see the twist coming when he decides to  return to the Island when tinsel town finally loses it’s grip on him, and quite funny too. The end is as anyone would wish, reconciliation and growth, a Godly tale of the healing power of love.  Now I wonder where there’s a cheap island going?

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