A New Audio Book and 25 Free Codes

I have a new audio book out!  ‘REVENGE’ became available for sale on Monday, and I’m very grateful to narrator Timothy Watson for his hard work in producing the audio book.  For anybody who would like one, I have 25 free codes for Audible.UK.  If anybody would like free Audible US codes, I can generate 25 of those too.

 

Teacher Alistair Veale is just coasting along in his 20-year marriage to Ann. His two sons Tom and Jake are growing up fast and have their own interests, but he still enjoys a close relationship with 13-year-old daughter Jessie, his “Princess”.

When Alistair takes 14 children from his tutor group on a week-long school trip to the Isle of Wight, a new science teacher, Carly Jessop, goes along to keep an eye on the six girls. Alistair notices a growing attraction between himself and Carly which cannot be ignored.

However, when Alistair and Carly begin an affair the consequences are horrific and far-reaching, threatening not only Alistair’s livelihood, but also his peace of mind and the relationship he has with his own three children.

As the audio book is so new, I am sharing a review below which was given for the Kindle edition:

Only great writers can make daily life rich. Ms. Turner accomplishes making the mundane shine. She provides momentary frissons that climb up your back as Alistair gets led by the proverbial ‘short and curlies’ down a surprisingly unpredictable trail in this heartfelt compact novel. The author foreshadows trouble using hints and suggestions that could be taken either way, brilliantly leading readers and characters down the garden path. “Jeez! Black walls?” Most remarkable about the story of Revenge are the unexpected twists and turns that play out in a story of everyday lives shattered and seen through a microscope.

Revenge just wouldn’t be complete without the scintillating foreplay and warm sex between Alistair in his tryst with red-headed beauty, Carly and then the caring portrayal of rekindled warmth with his wife of 20 years, Ann. Through the protagonist, Alistair’s, eyes, the reader notices the things that most men care about in women. Indecision reigns supreme just as it would in real life.

The reader runs the gamut of an emotional rollercoaster, once siding with Alistair and curious about the reasons for his daughter’s betrayal and then questioning the main character’s motivations. Stevie Turner catches the magic of the commonplace and lets the reader decide. Is this a moral tale, shaming Alistair to get him to behave or are we reading about the devil in disguise? You’ll have to pick it up to see for yourself. A great read. A normal marriage goes bad. The causes seem transparent, but the way we ride through it makes it visceral. Highly recommended! 5 Stars.

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5 Star Review by Stephen Bentley for ‘Partners in Time’.

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I just had to share a brilliant Goodreads’ review that my latest novel ‘Partners in Time‘ has recently received from Stephen Bentley:

‘One could argue the tagline for this excellent book could be ‘Emily is still desperate for a husband and children, and John is the answer to her dreams.’ The trouble is Emily and John are separated in time by over one hundred years.

Emily is introduced at the start of the book and at first, I thought I was about to read an excellent work of historical fiction as the setting, language, and social conventions are firmly placed in Victorian England. The other main characters are John Finbow and his wife, Kay, who are introduced in a modern-day 1990s setting. The rest of the story is told through the points of view of Emily, John, and Kay and most of the chapters alternate between those characters.

John Finbow is an apparently successful and wealthy screenwriter. He and his wife Kay move into Southcombe Rectory, a large Victorian house that has been empty since the 1960s. It had previously been owned by the Cuthbertson family who had lived there for generations. The ‘Emily’ referred to is the youngest of eight offspring of the late Reverend Arthur Cuthbertson and his wife Delia.

We soon learn about the strain in John and Kay’s marriage as 39-year-old John, would like to start a family, but Kay, 34, doesn’t relish the idea.

It is only after the Finbows move into the rectory we are treated to a brilliantly written paranormal novel. There are apparitions and other ‘out-of -this -world’ experiences which drew me in right from the start. Not only did they draw me in, but I was kept enthralled by the plot and the quality of the writing as I turned page after page. It was during my frenzy of page-turning, I thought this author should be renamed Stevie Page-Turner.

As the plot develops, we are also treated to a nice sub-plot: will John get arrested? [no spoilers from me]

This brilliant book is more than a paranormal novel as it operates at several levels including romance, urban fiction, and a good dollop of crime fiction. It’s worthy of turning into a movie.

As the book description says: One hundred and thirty years separate them. Will Emily and John’s love survive time’s relentless march?

You really do need to read it and find out for yourself. Highly recommended!’ 

Thank you,  Stephen!

 

London, my London: Another Visit.

Last Friday evening Sam and I drove down to a flat we’d rented near the River Thames in order to meet up early on Saturday morning with my cousin and check out some London sights.  My cousin only visits the UK about twice a year, and we were eager to use our voucher for St. Paul’s Cathedral, which our son and his wife had kindly given me for my birthday.

Living in an idyllic rural setting as we do, it was a bit of a shock to arrive at Canary Wharf and gaze at the view from our balcony.  People were looking at us looking at them, and we felt a little bit like we were in a goldfish bowl.  However, the flat was very nice, but was probably built on my old school’s playing fields!

Yuppie flats

First stop on the agenda Saturday morning was St. Paul’s  Cathedral.  We scooted along on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Bank, and then one stop on the Central Line tube to St. Paul’s.  As I walked up the steps for a security search before entering this magnificent building, I pictured in my mind Princess Diana walking the same route in her wedding dress back in 1981.  Here’s my cousin and I in front of those famous steps:

St Paul's

Unfortunately the Whispering Gallery wasn’t open, and we only had until 11.30 before the cathedral closed.  We listened to the short service inside, and lit candles for my mother and for my cousin’s father, who were sister and brother.  It’s certainly a beautiful place – just look at the pictures below.  We went down to the crypt; I’m fascinated by tombs for some strange reason and there are many down in the depths – The Duke of Wellington and Horatio Nelson to name just two.

St Paul's 1St Paul's 2

St. Paul's 3Nelson's Tomb

After our visit we  grabbed a taxi to Old Compton Street, Soho, for lunch at Balans Restaurant/Bar (my cousin’s favourite place to eat), then we walked down to Trafalgar Square where thousands of people had gathered to watch a free concert.  We had no chance of getting anywhere near the stage, so we listened from afar then walked up the Mall and sat awhile in St. James’ Park.  Afternoon tea at the Strand Palace Hotel was followed by an evening theatre show at the Phoenix Theatre in Charing Cross Road – ‘Come From Afar’.

‘Come From Afar’ particularly appealed to Sam, as it focused on the Canadian town of Gander on 9/11 and how the townsfolk dealt with the influx of jumbo jets and hundreds of passengers who needed food and somewhere to stay.  Sam had been part of this, having had his flight diverted to St. John’s on that fateful day. At one point I looked at him and tears were rolling down his face- very unusual for him.  The play obviously brought back painful memories of that time.  The actors received a standing ovation at the end of the play.  I’m not sure how they managed to make a musical out of this tragic event, but somehow they did.

Instead of travelling back on the DLR, we waited on Embankment Pier for one of the last clippers of the day to take us back via the river to Canary Wharf.  I remember the river when my uncles were dockers and before all the Yuppie flats were built along its banks.  I’m not sure I like the transformation, but will have to get used to it as the flats are here to stay.  As the clipper sailed under Tower Bridge, I gave silent thanks that I had been born in such a wonderful city.

River

I’ve had my ‘London fix’ for a while and really enjoyed the weekend – now it’s back to work for three days this week before another visit to the Isle of Wight next weekend to meet up with Sam’s relatives.  My WIP is dusty and awaits colder weather.  However…I can’t keep up with this pace for much longer!

 

 

 

 

 

Open Book Blog Hop – 24th June

This week’s topic is:

‘How do you select the names of your characters?’

I must admit I only like traditional names, and so as soon as I read a blurb about a character with a strange or outlandish name, then I’m afraid I tend to skip that book and move on to another one.  Funnily enough I find that books with strangely-named characters are usually in fantasy novels, a genre that I have tried to get on with but unfortunately cannot.

When I write, I prefer a character to have a short name, so that I don’t have to keep on typing out a long one.  For example, I chose Amy and Beth (A House Without Windows),  Erin and Alan (A Rather Unusual Romance),  and Judy, Roger, Edie and Roz are some of the characters from The Pilates Class.’

I type clinic letters daily and always look at people’s names.  Sometimes I imagine what they might look like based on their name.  With some names I have no idea whether they are male or female unless I look at the patient’s other details or listen to the dictation.  I type around 50 letters every day, and if I see a nice Christian name then I’ll remember it and maybe use it in a story.

Some of my characters have names that I remember from my schooldays.  Others have my favourite names, or the same Christian names as workmates or friends.  I also Google traditional names and see which ones I like.  It’s nice to have a long list of names to choose from and build a character around.

How do other blog-hoppers select their characters’ names?  Click on the blue button below to find out, or just add a comment.

Rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Sunday Stills Photography – 23rd June

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Sunday Stills photography challenge topic this week is ‘Stillness‘.

When Sam and I were cycling along a disused railway track running down the side of the Isle of Wight’s Yar estuary,  we came across this lovely scene of a swan and cygnets.  We just had to stand there awhile and enjoy the moment:

Swan.jpg

Streets Ahead Street Team: Marjorie Mallon’s ‘The Curse of Time’.

This week the Streets Ahead team are sharing Marjorie Mallon’s YA fantasy ‘The Curse of Time’:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina longs for someone to confide in.  Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a magical curse, crystals, art, and poetry.

Review:

5 stars by R. J Dockett

4 March 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.
So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.
Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?
It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.
The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.
She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.
All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.
The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere.
There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action.
The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Friday Click & Run – 21st June

Click & Run is back!

Sometimes when we’re busy it’s nice to simply leave a link to our blog or blog post and run, and so Friday Click and Run is just for that purpose. However, of course you can check out others’ links and share away if you want to. So… every Friday do add some info of what your blog is about and also a link to your blog or blog post in the comments if you’ve got a minute. You don’t have to do anything else such as sharing or commenting unless you really want to. Isn’t that cool? People may decide to check your link out, or they may not. They might decide to leave their own link and run as well, so you may meet each other heading out the door. If I see a post that’s a bit risqué, then I shall be running too – straight to the ‘delete’ button!

Fire away then… let’s see what we end up with.

Thanks to the 6 bloggers who left links last time.

 

Bermondsey summers

Ah, reading this I recall my favourite thing to do whilst walking home from school – going into our local sweet shop and buying a ‘Jubbly’. Oh, the pleasure of it – walking along and biting the sweet tasting ice! Jubblys are long gone now and so is my childhood, but reading Pete’s blog brought it all back for a few lovely moments. Thanks Pete.

beetleypete

What is it about memory, that makes us remember summers as being better in our youth? Ask most people about the weather, and they will almost always agree that the summer was better when they were young.

Six weeks of unbroken sun, school holidays spent outside, with perhaps the occasional thundery shower, that helped to clear the air. Given that this might span a time period from 1958, to 1998, it cannot really have any basis in fact. Although I do not have the real statistics to hand, (and cannot be bothered to look them up) I am sure that we didn’t always have fabulous summers, with weeks of Mediterranean heat, and unbroken blue skies. So why is it that this is how I remember them?

Before we moved to Kent, when I was fifteen years old, I spent my summers on the streets of Bermondsey, a South London district…

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Review of Nick Alexander’s ‘Things We Never Said’.

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Blurb:

All the love she ever gave. Every secret she never told.

Catherine was the love of Sean’s life. But now she is gone. All that’s left is a box full of envelopes, each containing a snapshot and a cassette tape.

Through a series of recordings, Catherine shares their long love story, but will Sean recognise the story she tells? Catherine’s words have been chosen with love, but are painfully honest—and sometimes simply painful. She reveals every unspoken thought and every secret she kept from her husband—revelations that will shake everything Sean thought he knew about their life together.

But as disconcerting as the tapes turn out to be, Sean prays that they will ultimately confirm the one thing he never dared question. Does destiny exist? And were his and Catherine’s love and life together always meant to be?

 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Things-Never-Said-Nick-Alexander-ebook/dp/B07B2VLK3D

First of all I was surprised this book was written by a man.  Nick Alexander’s main character Sean is grieving for the loss of his wife Catherine from cancer, who recorded several cassettes for Sean during her last days.  Mr Alexander has grasped the feminine POV very well, which is evident in the cassettes’ contents.  Sean learns secrets from Catherine that he had no idea about, and now has to deal with the aftermath of what he has learned.  Will he be able to forgive his wife for what she has done in the past?

It’s a good plot for a story, and I enjoyed the book enough to keep turning the pages.  However, I have a little quibble in the fact that the tenses/first person/third person jumped about a bit and to me didn’t quite gel.  Also, Sean and Catherine had been married for 30 years, and to me it seemed as though they didn’t really know much about each other at all, or about communicating their fears and feelings.

I have given this book 4 stars, as it did appeal to me but it also surprised me that a male author can write such a touching story about relationships!

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Frank Prem, C. S. Boyack, Stevie Turner and Judith Barrow.

Thanks to Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord for my shout-out today.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore Updates this week with more reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is Frank Prem whose latest collection Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires is receiving wonderful reviews.

About Devil in the Wind

Devil In The Wind is an account of catastrophic fire and its immediate aftermath.

In this 21st century, the whole world seems to be on fire. America burns. Europe burns. Greece is reeling after its own tragedy of fire.

And Australia burns, as it has always done, but now so much more fiercely.

In February 2009, wildfires burnt through entire communities, taking 173 lives and injuring hundreds, while destroying thousands of houses and other buildings. Up to 400 fires destroyed 450,000 hectares of forest, native fauna and habitat, livestock and farmland.

In the aftermath of the fires, the voices of people…

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