Books – The Ideal Christmas Presents

December 2, 2019

The festive season is the best time to sell books.  They make wonderful presents as they are ideal shapes to wrap and post.  Booksellers promote festive bundles to be snapped up by customers at bargain prices and I have yet to meet anyone who is not delighted to receive a physical book as a gift.  Such offers are available at http://peatmore.com


Book Review – Duilleog by Donald D Allan

November 25, 2019

A well told tale which kept me reading right to the end.  By “the end” here I mean the end of the first book in a series as there is clearly more to read in future volumes.  I am not sure that the structure, particularly the changing points of view, really works but it is such a fascinating tale this is just a minor point.

The story starts in the first person with Will who has been living in the wild and has special healing powers.  He survives a murderous attack and discovers a gold coin which enhances his powers enabling him to help the people of a nearby village survive a disease.  In doing so he realises that there is more about his past than he first thought so he begins a journey to the country’s capital to find out more.

The narrative shifts to the third person to describe events surrounding a civil war which occurred in the capital.  Here there is more telling about what happened rather than showing the events themselves.  Some fascinating villains emerge and they look like they will play an important part later in the story.

The end of this part of the narrative shifts back to Will and is again told in the first person.  The story is ambitious in its scope.  I personally would be happier if it was condensed into one book but there are fans of the genre who like this form of saga, which has a flavour of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings about it, and I am sure that such readers would love this story and want to read on.

Keith Jahans

Published by the author and
available as an ebook or paperback


Book Review – 17th Century Tottenville History Comes Alive by Angie Mangino

October 12, 2019

This short account seems to be aimed primarily at the people who inhabit this part of Staten Island in the USA, but I found it a fascinating read which means that it has a much wider reach.  My knowledge of the history of this area is sketchy at best as it barely touches on the accounts of British colonial history I was taught in English schools.  I am therefore grateful to this book for extending my knowledge in this area.  It is obviously well researched as is evident from the extensive bibliography.

Some facts were repeated more often than was needed and a little more detail, some photographs and perhaps a map would strengthen the writing.  But that said I was very impressed by the writer’s style.  The book looks like it was first composed as a blog and the author has indicated that there are more books/blogs to follow.  But it has more potential than that and I suspect that if the author wrote another book as a more in depth study (Check out my review of Tim Hannigan’s Brief History of Indonesia) then I for one would buy it.

Keith Jahans

Available on Amazon as an Ebook


The Enhanced Ebook

October 4, 2019

In the early years of this millennium, I produced my first novel, Cogrill’s Mill, as an ebook in pdf and took it to the London Book Fair on a CD.  But the publishers or agents I spoke to there did not want to know.  A few years later someone contacted me to ask if I had any ebooks for sale, but I had already set up my own publishing company and was busy producing my first books in print on demand to spare the time to revisit the market for ebooks.  Then just a short time later a number of large companies entered the arena offering a variety of different ebook formats and the digital publishing revolution began.

Around this time I met someone at a book publishing conference in London who said that the way to go was to publish in Epub format.  He told me about the success of Apple’s enhanced ebook publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  I was immediately interested and went about producing enhanced Epub editions of a few of my own books.  Unfortunately, my marketing strategy at the time was not very good and the books languished on the Apple iBook store without selling.  Instead, I concentrated selling my ebooks on Amazon using their marketing strategy, but I could find no way to produce a multimedia ebook in the Amazon Kindle format in the same way I could for Epub.

Now, as a reward for my readers, I have made the enhanced Epub edition of my first collection of short stories, Crime and Passion written under my pennames of Luke Johnson and Jack Lindsey, available as a free download from Apple Books for portable devices and from Kobo.com.  If you like the stories you are welcome to seek out my other books at http://peatmore.com.  Please leave an honest review for any Peatmore Press book you read as this will help promote my writing.

Keith Jahans

The Free enhanced ebook is available for download at
https://books.apple.com/us/book/id879916042 and at
https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/crime-and-passion-3


Book Review – Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand

September 23, 2019

I heard about this book from the author when I visited the Bath Literary Festival in March 2015 and listened to her speak.  I was so intrigued by the subject of her talk that I bought a copy.  Once I started reading I was fascinated by Sophia and her story.  I meant to loan it to my 90 year old mother, who was a fan of Ms Anand’s and her presentation of ‘Any Answers’ on BBC radio, as I felt she would enjoy it.  But it is a long book and I knew with the other reading and writing projects on the go it would take me some time to finish it so I bought another copy especially for mum.  Sadly she never got round to reading it and passed away earlier this year aged 94.  Now I have at last finished reading the book and found it a very enjoyable read.

The author has obviously put a great deal of time and effort into researching her subject.  It traces the ancestry of Sofia, from her father Maharajah Duleep Singh through her life with her siblings in the court of Queen Victoria, her activities as a suffragette, her support for the freedoms sought by the peoples of her native India and two world wars.  She was a rebel for her time and ran foul of the British establishment, particularly during the period she was an active suffragette when she challenged them to imprison her for her protests but were too frightened to do so.  Because of this the details of her life were buried by the authorities.  But because of this book they have now been uncovered.  This makes the writing of Sofia’s story a remarkable achievement of which the author can be proud.

It is an extremely worthwhile read and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the political struggles endured by women in the twentieth century.

Keith Jahans

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
in hard cover, paperback and as an ebook and audiobook.


Book Giveaways

August 30, 2019

The best way to promote your book is to give away free copies.  The next best is to reduce the selling price to less than a US dollar or GB pound.  But only for a limited period as every author deserves some monetary reward for the effort they have put into its creation.

I have published two short story collections and two motorcycle travel books for less than one GB pound, but these have been written to showcase my writing rather than to generate much income, therefore their price is set deliberately low.  Peatmore Press has published four short audio books through acx.com but here the price is set by acx and Peatmore Press has no control over this even though it would like to set this to less than 1 GBP to bring it in line with its other showcase works.

Most of my free promotions are given away online, as ebooks since these formats entail no cost to the publisher.  It is these that generate the most take ups by readers as hundreds are downloaded at a time.  Some copies may be given free to selected reviewers, but the majority of the copies that are given free during a promotion period do not generate reviews.

I buy most of the books I read and review each one as I feel this provides the author with valuable feedback whether I like the book or not.  I find it sad that those who get hold of any free book from an author do not find time to follow my example.  It is even sadder when these books end up on pirate websites and sold for profit.

 

Keith Jahans

 

Peatmore Press Books


Book Excerpt ‒ Cogrill’s Mill by Jack Lindsey

August 15, 2019

He stood glumly on the pavement and stared at the shop window.  It contained prominently displayed photographs of weddings as well as portraits of an assortment of people, children and domestic animals.  He agonised for ten minutes and then with great determination strode to the door, opened it and walked inside.

A bell sounded as it swung shut behind him.  The shop was deserted.  In front of him was a small counter, behind which was a stack of filing cabinets.  He approached the counter and looked around him.  More photographs, similar to those in the window, adorned the walls.  To the left of the counter a small door led to a back room and to its right, a wooden flight of stairs led upwards.  There was a clatter of feet on the stairs and a very pretty golden-haired girl descended.  She stepped behind the counter.  “Can I help you?” she asked in a polite soft voice.  Her eyes were bright blue and her smile sparkled.

George was mesmerised by her beauty but he managed to summon up some words. “I … I wish to speak to Mr Gloam,” he stammered.

“There is no Mr Gloam,” she replied.

George was confused but he blustered on. “The sign says V. Gloam.”

She nodded, still smiling.  “That’s me … Victoria Gloam.”

“I was looking for Victor Gloam,” George continued.

“Victor Gloam was my father. He died two years ago.”

George felt a surge of relief.  “Oh really,” he breathed.  Fate was on his side again.

The girl’s smile changed to a frown.  “Well there’s no need to look so pleased about it,” she said.

George’s face reddened.  “I’m extremely sorry, I didn’t mean …”

“What did you wish to see my father about, Mr … er … um?  What did you say your name was?”

“Oh, er … um … Smith,” replied George and added hastily, “I was asked to look your father up.  I’m sorry to have troubled you, good-bye!”  He turned quickly for the door.

“Good-bye, Mr Smith!”  Victoria Gloam called after him.

Once outside, George hurried across the road to a telephone box.  Life was pleasant once more. He could hardly contain himself.   He snatched open the door, grabbed the telephone receiver and quickly dialled his aunt’s number.  His call was answered by the butler. “Hello, Gumage,” said George, “is my aunt there?”

“I will see if I can find her, Master George.”

Some moments passed and then Aunt Jane’s harsh voice sounded at the end of the line.  “Hello, George,” she said.

“Hello, Aunt Jane!” George said breezily.  She would be pleased that he had acted so speedily and successfully.  “I’m calling from Tidburn!”

“Oh yes.”

“Yes.” Then George remembered to lower his voice and tried to sound not so joyful.  “I’m afraid Victor Gloam is dead.”  There was silence at the other end of the telephone.

“Did you hear me, Aunt Jane?” asked George

“I heard you, George.”

“So I can’t give him half my inheritance.”

“I realise that, George.”

“Well, I thought I ought to let you know as soon as possible.  Now I had better be going as I am phoning from a call box and I haven’t much change.  Good-bye, Aunt Jane.”

“George!”

“Yes, Aunt Jane?”

“Did he leave any family?”

George felt his heart sink. “Family, Aunt Jane?”

“Yes, George, a wife, children.”

George began to stammer. “I’m … I’m not sure.”

“What do you mean, you’re not sure?”

“I’ll … I’ll have to check.”

“Well make sure that you do, because if there are any relatives then they’re entitled to get what should have gone to Victor Gloam.  Is that clear, George?”

“Yes, Aunt Jane,” said George sadly. “Good-bye.”

“Good-bye, George.”

George slowly put the receiver down.  Well that was that.  He would have to see the girl again.  It was now clear that his quiet comfortable life would definitely change.  Well, it could not be helped.  He crossed the road and entered the shop once more.

http://peatmore.com/cogrills.htm

Photograph : 123RF konstantin32


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