I'm delighted to welcome Rosalind Minett to LionheART ChART, with her wonderful, original and highly entertaining book of short stories, Me-Time Tales.
Read on for more details, my review, a sneak peak and interview.
Rosalind Minett's blog is also highly entertaining and well worth a vist (or two, or twenty!):
ME-TIME TALES by ROSALIND MINETT
Ironic short stories with a dark edge. All kinds of women unlocked. Inhibited Elfreda learns the beauty of a gorge.
Cultural Cocktails with Janice Ross
is holding an editing surgery with Karen Perkins of LionheART
Publishing House on 25th January 2014. If you are preparing your book for
publication, or still working on your first draft, and have any questions
regarding editing or formatting, please complete the form below to submit your
questions, which will be answered and explained on the show.
Any and all questions are welcome, whether regarding
grammar, punctuation, the differences between UK and US English, or formatting
for print, Kindle or Smashwords (including their new Epub checker).
Packed full of danger, suspense, sarcasm and rotting,
walking corpses,Odiumis a hell of a
read. I couldn’t help but feel for Nina and Emily from the first chapter as they
escape the enclave that has become a prison. Thirteen-year-old Emily is ousted
for stealing mouldy bread, but Nina cannot allow her to face the horrors beyond
the walls alone and goes with her. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Nina is a heroine with a serious attitude as she battles the
undead and tries to find a safe haven in this dangerous new world.
This is a fantastic
scenario with well-rounded and believable characters, eloquently written, with
plenty of suspense and tension - exactly my kind of thing.
I was fully invested in
the story and characters from the first chapter and felt desperate and hopeless
at the plight of Penn, Rayburn et al. I was rooting for them to find a way out
of a horrendous situation well before escape was mentioned, and stayed with
them every step of the way.
Chris Bostic brought me into his characters' world so completely, I
was alternately chilled and excited all the way through, and could not put it
I almost had a problem with this book on account of its excellent writing. It is written in the first person, with alternate chapters told by Emma, a young married woman living in the 21st century, and by Jennet, an orphaned fifteen-year old living in the 18th century. After reading the first 'Jennet' chapter, I struggled to keep myself from skipping ahead and reading all the other Jennet chapters as fast as I could, forgetting about the overall flow of the story.
This is not a criticism of the Emma chapters; they are well-written and engaging.
About You & Writing:
Where did you grow up?:
born in Melbourne, Australia just off the main restaurant strip (not on the
pavement, there was a hospital there) but grew up in the new, ‘family friendly’
northern suburbs where backyards were huge, the roads unsealed and kids
ruled…or so it seemed to us. At age fourteen we moved south to the island of
Tasmania following my father’s burgeoning career in construction management.
Where did you go to school?:
school was of course in Melbourne.
As a big fan of David Leadbeater's 'Matt Drake' series, I
was very excited to read the first of his new 'Disavowed' series – and now I
have another literary hero in Aaron Trent.
Anna and Monika are best friends, trying
to save enough money from their work as dancers in a gentleman's club to move
to Miami and go to college. But the club comes under attack, Monika is abducted
and Anna is left to take care of both their sons.
A friend of Anna's contacts the Razor's Edge, a team of
three ex-CIA agents who, since their disavowal, do what they can to help out
'good people in bad situations' and they set out to find Monika and bring her
rebellious English lord (Devon Tremayne), a young mother and her child running from starvation in the
Oklahoma dustbowl, a phalanx of mafia dons (all real, all heavily armed and all
up to no good), and a beautiful actress, The Red Shoes has it all. Written with
a clever and witty humour, I smiled
throughout Devon's adventures as he foils a variety of nefarious mafia plots in
his own inimitable style, and which had me laughing out loud more than once.
It was an absolute pleasure
to read The Red Shoes, and I sincerely wish Steven Bannister every success. The
Red Shoes deserves to do extremely well, and I'm in awe of the wit and humour Steven
has invested into every page. My only disappointment was that it came to an
end, as do all things good, and I'd like an encore please!
A very personal narrative, that reaches out to touch the
reader with a brutally honest, powerful and unique voice from the start.
Evidence of Insanity is written in the
stream-of-consciousness style – a brave choice in my opinion, as is starting
the first person narrative from within the womb, yet Carol Piner makes it work,
and work well.
I love to read a book that takes me to places I haven't been
before, and Evidence of Insanity not only does that, but makes Carteret County
almost tangible (this from a Brit who has not yet travelled to the US).
As a North Yorkshire lad, I simply had to read this.
I was astonished at the almost flawless narrative and beautiful flow of this story.
The startling, but extremely accurate use of language, only goes to enhance the period scenes within the book. I don't think someone reading from another area would realise just how precise Jennet's speech is.
As for the story itself, wonderful. We have the haunting intro, short and scary. Then, onwards to Jennet's awful circumstances. I found the whole experience with her father to be harrowing but quite brilliantly done.
This is a popular format at the moment: a time slip with the present-day character manipulated by an adversary in the past. The structure has the two characters’ stories running simultaneously so that the reader alternates between past and present gradually picking up the threads which tie, if not strangle, the life of the main character in the present.
The setting of Thores Cross is eerie and compelling. A ruined village drowned under a reservoir, a house which seems haunted to a little girl who grows up to be haunted by its history.
5 star *****
Rex Beaumont has died – his nephew, Patrick, entrusted with
dealing with his estate, Heartsease. But Patrick is not to be trusted – he has
had his heart set on his uncle's estate (or at least the money he thinks he can
make from it) for a very long time.
The Beaumont Bequest is an absorbing novel, extremely
difficult to put down. Lynne Jones expertly weaves a number of stories together
to create a beautiful and detailed tapestry of words and worlds, and I was
gripped by each.
If you read mystery/thrillers with historical and supernatural elements, Thores-Cross
should be at the top of your list. This book is very well-written, well paced and the characters are wonderfully developed. And like all good historical fiction, this book is very detailed when it comes to the time, setting, lifestyle, and character traits you'd expect from modern and 16th century England.
In a nutshell, the main protagonist, Emma (a novelist), is mysteriously compelled to write the story of a young girl that lived and died in the Moors where Emma currently resides.
5 stars *****
Quirky, funny and addictive: Adam
Oster has introduced me to a new type of fictional hero, effortlessly combing
the depths of human nature along with the peaks; the disgust of human depravity
with the honour and pride of altruism and fighting for what's right.
We are introduced to Buddy as a
no-hope drunk – his only saving grace and hold on humanity is his sister
Maggie. She's the one who will take him in, dust him off and get him back on
his feet – his very own guardian angel.
Thores-Cross is to begin with a haunting story of love, betrayal and revenge, and lives are intertwined and with the present and the past.
The book is cleverly set out weaving backwards and forwards between history and the present and bringing the two stories to an almost unbearably dramatic peak, before coming apart before your eyes.
This isn't the sort of book I normally read, but I was lucky enough to read some of Karen's previous work and fell in love with her pirate adventures.
5 ***** stars.
I read "Africa has a Future" by
Peter Mutanda with true interest and I must admit that I was caught from start to
I want to emphasize the reading of the past, present and future of
Africa, from Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, which combines perfectly the
personal perspective and objectivity of the events in an understandable and smart language.
Magnificent preface and introduction. I felt, at all times, in communion with
the author to present the keys that enable the continent to self development
through its natural resources and democratic freedom.
I was trying to decide what to use in the title when I decided to say exacting what was in my mind. Thores-Cross by Karen Perkins is not only a stunning book but is so well written and so well laid out that you truly do not have a moment to gather your thoughts until it's all over. Then, you want to go back and read it all over again.
It would be so easy to tell you the entire story to show you what I found so impressive, but I cannot do that because I would have to write a whole book about her book.
I love historical novels and it's a pleasure to read one as beautifully crafted as this.
The story centres on Emma, a present day writer, and Jennet, a girl living in the 1770s, struggling after the death of her parents. Although the two are separated by more than 200 years, they are nevertheless inextricably linked. Just how they are bound together, is gradually revealed by altering between Emma's present day narrative and Jennet's historical one.
The historical details and use of dialect in Jennet's narrative really bring the time period to life and portray the gritty realities of her day to day life.
A haunting novel set in the North Yorkshire Moors about
isolation, superstition and persecution.Thores-Cross
follows the stories of Emma, a present day writer, and Jennet, an eighteenth
Emma Moorcroft is still grieving after a late miscarriage
and moves to her dream house at Thruscross Reservoir with her husband, Dave.
Both Emma and Dave hope that moving into their new home signifies a fresh
start, but life is not that simple. Emma has nightmares about the reservoir and
the drowned village that lies beneath the water, and is further disturbed by
the sound of church bells – from a church that no longer exists.
Peter Mutanda waNdebele’s book “Africa Has a Future,” we must come to terms
with the destruction wrought by both politically legitimate, and repressively
illegal land grabs. Dispossession, poverty, famine, ecological degradation and
human rights violations take shape as colonial and post-colonial devices, aimed
at self-enrichment, disenfranchise the poor within the Global South zone.
that power-grabbing and political wrangling have burst forth as some new
multi-headed monster in our midst.
Leo takes to the pirate life years after watching his mother's brutal murder at the hands of a trio of ruthless pirates. Gabriella flees to a ship filled with a cargo of slaves in order to escape her abusive husband. They meet when the slave ship is captured by Leo, who is now the captain of his own pirate vessel.
I could taste the salt on my lips, hear the creaking of rigging and the wind hitting the sails and feel the Caribbean sun warm my face as I read this wonderful book by K.A. Perkins. Smart, well researched and oh so very readable, this is a great tale of romance on the high seas.
The FBI added Assata Shakur to its Most Wanted Terrorist List on 02 May 2013. In addition, the state of New Jersey announced it was adding $1 million
to the FBI’s $1 million reward for her capture. Shakur becomes the first woman
ever to make the list and only the second domestic terrorist to be added to the
Assata Shakur, the former Joanne Chesimard, was a member of the Black
Panther Party and Black Liberation Army. She was convicted in the May 2, 1973
killing of a New Jersey police officer during a shoot-out that left one of her
fellow activists dead.
Keep up the great work, Peter Mutanda!
Peter Mutanda's UniverSoul Reflections is so much more than a book of poetry. This marvelous collection of stories comes across as an autobiography of sorts - rich in vision, setting, history and emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing in Mr. Mutanda's 'Reflections' on life, events and circumstances. His poetry sparks a connection to readers, drawing you into his deepest thoughts about life. A definite must read!
witty British farce guaranteed to cheer almost any reader up – no matter how
bad a week they've had – yet this is a difficult review to write. I could wax
lyrical about this book for page after page – but I don't want to give anything
away and spoil any of the myriad delightful twists and turns.
Written with a
chatty, friendly style it is hard not to warm to, plus a clever use of language
and whimsical humour to send up the British class system.
The Noisettes’ dazzling front woman Shingai Shoniwa tells Phiona Okumu
that she’s excited to be homeward bound.
Shingai Shoniwa speaks exactly
how she sings – smokey, syncopated south London – on Hey,
, the Dennis Ferrer-produced monster hit from which most on this
side of the world will recognise her voice.
Three years ago, LA Reid – the
music mogul and former chairperson of the Island Def Jam Music Group – flew
Shoniwa and her indie-rock band the Noisettes from the United Kingdom to
perform at an industry party he hosted in New York City.
Well written with
an authentic voice and a wry humour, Bountiful Creek transports the reader to
nineteenth century America, apparently effortlessly – which of course is both
the mark of a great book and a great writer.
In 1861, Martha
Somerville is 18, and delighted to receive an offer of marriage from Wilby
Winterborne - but she is no silly romantic, and it is very clear that Wilby has
his hands full. Despite having admired him from an early age, she sets him a
challenge. He must raise $50 to buy a parcel of land to farm and settle in one
place rather than follow the nomadic-like lifestyle he has enjoyed up until
He is the former pimp married to his childhood sweetheart; the shrewd
businessman who smokes 30 joints a day.
Snoop appears, as if by magic,
in a puff of his own smoke. The rapper, actor, gangster and stoner
extraordinaire has reinvented himself as a reggae-singing messenger of hope. Snoop
dead, long live Snoop Lion.
We meet in his management
office in Los Angeles, an enormous warehouse dedicated to all things Snoop. On
the walls are huge Snoop posters, to the left is the Snoop television studio,
where two near-naked women are chatting, and to my right is an old-fashioned
video with a stack of Snoop VHSs lined up alongside it.
Zanzibar's famed singer Bi Kidude, renowned for her haunting voice and energetic performances, has died.
Kidude, a legend in East
Africa, was thought to be around 100 years old. She died on Wednesday
at her home.
has died, we are making funeral arrangements," her nephew Baraka Abdullah
Said told Agence France-Presse.
said his aunt had been confined to bed for the past several months.
whose real name was Fatuma binti Baraka, and who performed and toured up until
very recently, was best known for Taarab music, which combines Arab and African
contains minor spoilers of the early portion of the book*
The Forgotten Queen
is a delightful and clever retelling of the legend of King Arthur. It opens at
the birth of Avalon in the magic waters of the lake. Her mother, Lady Vivien
(the Lady of the Lake) is horrified at the beauty of her newborn and 'dispells'
the majority of it, with Avalon's father, Merlin, helplessly looking on. Lady
Vivien believes excessive beauty to be a curse that would get in the way of Avalon's
Coelho's latest novel weaves a story that takes
place in the past while the ideas it explores, he says, are more relevant than
ever to the present.
Manuscript Found in Accra is set in 1099 in Jerusalem on the eve of
the crusades, where a wise man known as the Copt dispenses philosophical
guidelines for living to an audience of Christians, Jews and Muslims gathered
to ask questions and listen.
still have the same problems right now that you had back then," Coelho,
author of the international best seller
Told through the diary and memoirs of five
narrators, Why She Left Us is a darkly chilling tale of wasted life, exploring
the psychology of the book's events and their effects on the survivors as well
as the different ways people deceive themselves as well as others.
The narrators' voices are powerful and
unique as they recount the events leading up to a number of family tragedies:
Monica – despairing, depressed and suicidal, though unrepentant despite being locked
in a hospital for the criminally insane.
is a stand-alone book in the De Amerley Trilogy and opens at a graveside in the
Scottish Highlands. Ailsa and Edward were childhood friends until Edward's estranged
father died and he and his mother left Scotland for De Amerley Hall – his
mother's childhood home. He left the ten year old Ailsa with a kiss and a
promise of betrothal.
Ten years later, he returns to
Scotland for Ailsa's mother's funeral, feigning forgetfulness of his promise
and cursing the fact that Ailsa has grown into a beautiful woman.
Congratulations to Helen Rowles,
Candy Westphal and Tracey Andrews who have all won a print copy of Thores-Cross!
They all chose cover number 2,
which will be used when the book is published 1 June 2013, and
will be contacted separately by email.
Thank you to everyone who took part
in the competition. For another chance to win a free copy, pop over to
goodreads and enter the giveaway, or click on the box below.
A haunting novel set in the North Yorkshire Moors about
isolation, superstition and persecution,
Welcome to The
Next Big Thing. My writer friend, Dakota Douglas, recently tagged me for a
‘chain’ blog entitled ‘The Next Big Thing'. The deal is that I answer a few
questions about my current work-in-progress, then I invite other authors to do
the same. A bit like a chain letter, except it is only focused on an author’s
work-in-progress. Dakota Douglas was tagged previously by Sherrie Lowe. I've
included details of their blogs so you can explore the answers to the
questions. The authors I have chosen have been tagged below my answers.
Mia's fiancé, Oliver, is a landscape
gardener who has been hired by the absent new owner to redesign the gardens of
the Mansion – the only residence on the Island. Robert Breckt proves to be
handsome and charismatic, able to charm strangers into getting into his car –
and straight into danger. It is clear that there is much more to Robert Breckt
than meets the eye, and he has Mia in his sights.
The three protagonists meet as Oliver
describes his new plans for the new garden to Mia.
Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, widely seen as
the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82.
From the publication of his first novel, "Things Fall
Apart", over 50 years ago, Achebe shaped an understanding of Africa from
an African perspective more than any other author.
As a novelist, poet, broadcaster
and lecturer, Achebe was a yardstick against which generations of African
writers have been judged. For children across Africa, his books have for
decades been an eye-opening introduction to the power of literature.
Sunday 17 March 2013, just a few hours after the constitutional referendum, it
was business as usual in Zimbabwe with the unlawful arrest and detention of
Beatrice Mtetwa – a Board member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
and senior, much respected member of our legal profession.
was attending to a client whose home was being raided and was placed under
arrest after requesting the production of a valid search warrant and inventory
list for materials that had already been removed from the home by the police.
Berlin, 1940, and Kurt Muller finds
the body of one of his co-workers, Kleister, slumped at his work station in the
Communications Unit of the Abwehr. He supposedly committed suicide, but Muller
is not convinced and the police (ORPO) do not seem interested in carrying out a
thorough investigation. He takes it on himself to consult the head of his
section about his concerns, but not only are his ideas dismissed, but also reported
to Muller's uncle – Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the RSHA (Reich Security
Headquarters, incorporating the ORPO, KRIPO, Gestapo, SD & SS).
Rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa is being
charged with allegedly "obstructing or defeating the course of
Zimbabwe police arrested the
country's most prominent rights lawyer and four senior officials with the prime
minister's party on Sunday, a day after the nation voted in a referendum on a
new constitution that calls for more protection against human rights
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's chief legal adviser, Thabani Mpofu, is accused of
impersonating police by compiling dossiers on unspecified crimes, a police
Stevie likes girls, and the younger the better – as long as
they are legal. He's in his mid-thirties, and he won't sleep with a girl if she
is 15 and 364 days old, but once she's passed that 16 birthday,
she's legal and fair game.
Stevie's story is narrated by Morgan, a Director for a local
community centre, and Stevie's friend. She wants to protect her girls from the
likes of Stevie – whether they want to be protected or not – a difficult task, especially
when 16 year old Jessica catches Stevie's eye – or is it the other way round?
Lucy Tessier has a problem – a problem that can only be
solved with a knife – then shereally
has a problem.
Dressed in her brother's clothes, she enlists in the army as
Rob Edwards in a desperate attempt to hide. At first she is suspected of being
abducted, but knows that is only a matter of time before the real story comes
out, that she stabbed her guardian when he raped her.
Terrified of discovery, Lucy throws herself into army life.
Drills, guard duty and hospital duties fill her days while she waits for an
opportunity to desert and escape before her secret is discovered.
Alec and Jimmy prepare for their 27 flying op
over WWII Berlin. Alec hands Jimmy a ten-bob note – his winnings from a bet
involving three WAAF and a bicycle. He puts it in his locker with a very
special letter he has written to his wife and child, because he thinks they'll
come back. Alec puts on his lucky gloves, climbs into his aircraft and takes
Fast forward to 1952, and Isabel – newly wed to Philip, a
hard-working doctor – is trying to make a new home in an old, dreary flat with
shared facilities and a forbidding, sinister and downright unfriendly landlady.
I was asked by the writer to review this book and after some initial hesitation, I have now read all of the poems, over one hundred of them, and I am delighted and impressed with the quality of the writing and the diversity of the subject matter. I was reminded at times of the protest songs of the sixties, the poetry put to music of my young generation, but this book is far more sophisticated and compelling. I am pleased that I took the time to read them.
The writing is very good and there are some real gems of use of language, for example, in `The Widow' in which the emotion is heartbreaking he says;
Bobby Lee is a normal 12 year old
boy – until his mother dies. As the eldest sibling, he takes the brunt of the
chores, as well as helping his brother and sister through their grief. His
father is an undemonstrative man, struggling with his own grief, but does
appreciate his eldest son and rewards him with a much coveted Macbook on Bobby
Lee's 12 birthday.
Lee begins to suffer a series of extreme headaches, and he starts to change. He
is stronger, animals avoid him, and his eyes glow a light blue – until he
drinks water and returns to normal.
Matthew Strong is a quiet man, a loner, a family man and
profoundly affected by the War Between the States – especially his final battle.
We meet him on the day of his death – a death brought by a wolf as Strong
searches the sky in vain for a falling star on which to wish for life.
He leaves behind a pregnant wife,
Elizabeth, and two children: Rebecca and Thomas. His third child, Lily Rose,
soon joins them, but Elizabeth leaves the three children orphans when she dies
of a broken heart minutes after the birth.
Born in Ethiopia to exiled South Africans, Bax & Corah,
babysat by Uncle Thabo Mbeki (later President Mbeki) Pamela Nomvete had an
unusual childhood. In her heart a South African, she had never seen her true
home, living most of her life in the UK. Her parents campaigned against
apartheid, a stance that led to them being forced to leave their eldest
daughter behind in South Africa and a five year fight to get her back.
from 'Uncle Thabo', regular visitors were Chris Hani, Kofi Anan and Miriam
When you're sick, as I've been these past few weeks, there's nothing better to do in bed but lie around, reading a Kindle book about a time long ago and characters that grow in your mind as well as your heart.
I'm thrilled to have met Ms. Perkins on Goodreads, where she posted about a pirate romance. Of course I had to give it a go! After all, I consider "Captain Blood" to be one of the best movies of all time. This book did not disappoint.
Ms. Perkins is a sensational storyteller, knowing how to grab your attention, and hold onto you throughout.
Kai-Lee is an historian who we meet when she is depressed
after a profound realisation about the meaning of life. In a universe that is
an endless cycle, where everything is recycled, "ideas, trends, fashions, political
movements, and of course mistakes", people themselves are not; making
history not only about every single person who ever lived, but dependent on
each life lived.
So each life, no matter how ordinary and insignificant in
the grand scheme of things, can have a profound effect on human history.
Where did you grow
Tyne, England.Where did you go to school?:
Park Primary and Middle Street Comprehensive.
Did you always want
to be a writer?:
As a kid I was shy and had trouble mixing. One of my
constant companions was my active imagination. Up to the age of 10, I
dallied with being an air stewardess, astronaut, archaeologist,
tennis star or superhero. I also wrote stories on a toy typewriter, which
my dad bound and illustrated. These were inspired by my favourite author
at the time, Enid Blyton.