June 4, 2020
Here are some heart warming stories which are very readable. They are just right for downloading to a Kindle or smart phone to grab a quick read during a spare moment. The author has a knack for holding one’s attention to the end of each short narrative which leaves the reader with the feeling of a time well spent. I recommend this work to anyone who enjoys short fiction.
Available from Amazon Media
as an ebook and paperback
April 9, 2020
It was a different world when we were born and bigotry was part of the culture. Homosexuality was illegal and women were supposed to give up working once they started a family. These attitudes though unpalatable today did not pose the same threats that we face now.
The two generations which preceded us boomers went through the war years and were largely unappreciated by us at the time. We were spoilt and did not care to consider why they thought the way they did. The flower power music and sexual freedoms of our youth were often self indulgent and then gave way to greed for power and possessions. Thus we voted for governments (both Labour, Coalition and Conservative) who failed to plan properly for future generations, similar to the way that the post war administration set up the NHS.
The modern world has been unprepared for the current pandemic. Governments had been warned. As a microbiologist, who spent forty years in government service, I attended national and international meetings where the general consensus was that a pandemic similar to the flu outbreak of 1918 was on its way. These views were largely ignored and other warnings expressed about climate change simply pandered to.
Britain has lost its soul to global corporations. Those that follow us are the smart phone and play station generation that are already being recruited to pilot drones to drop bombs on poor people thousands of miles from where they are based. But on the bright side the Johnson Government is having to introduce measures far more socialist than anything proposed by Jeremy Corbyn. When the current pandemic passes our world will never be the same again.
March 13, 2020
The hard hitting dialogue may not be to everyone’s taste and it took me a while to get use to it. I have no idea how authentic the language used is typical of the underclass in Northern Island, but because of my sketchy knowledge of the recent history of the province during the ‘Troubles’, I found it believable. The plot had a number of exciting twists and turns which held my interest.
The book is titled as a collection of novellas. I searched Amazon and discovered that each had been published separately; but judging by the way the stories are intertwined, this collection can be regarded as a short novel in its own right. Just over half way through the book the author introduces a short story read to a small audience by a friend of the protagonist. The story does not fit into the rest of the narrative and I presume is included to show that the author can write in a more genteel style. The font changes to italics for this narrative and then slips back to the original font for the main plot.
The inclusion of the short story may be a marketing ploy as is the inclusion of a link to a music download described as a soundtrack. It is not really, but it is a sample of the author’s own music. I downloaded my copy and my initial listening found it interesting but not remarkable. However, I do think it is the kind of music I might come to like on repeated playings so I will stick with it.
Available as a papeback and ebook
February 25, 2020
Short stories are difficult to write. There must be very few characters, they should be believable and every word should count. Brian Bold has mastered the art of Flash Fiction and there are some gems here, which live up to the collection’s title. This is ideal for anyone wishing to dip in and out of for a quick read.
Published by Lulu.com
in kindle and ebook formats
January 23, 2020
A novel’s backstory can slow down the pace of the narrative. When I read a novel I like to get straight to the heart of the story so it immediately grasps my attention. Often a backstory is not required. It is useful as it helps authors understand what motivates the characters they create. But it may not be needed in the text for readers to understand the plot. Once a backstory has been written it is often deleted during the editing process but if it is needed to flesh out the characters for the reader then the author must decide at what point it should be inserted to have the best effect.
The backstory in my novel, “Magic Bullets”, kicks in at chapter five when the protagonist hears that the first serious love of his life had died and I decided to show what happened during their relationship rather than simply tell another story. I began the novel with a terrorist attack. The episode itself does not occur until three quarters of the way through the book as I wanted to grasp reader’s attention from the start.
I differentiated these out of sequence events from the linear narrative by changing the font to italics. Judging by the reviews most readers liked this approach. There were a few who did not care fore the book but I do not think that their opinions had much to do with the structure. They simply did not like the story. Still you cannot please every one.
Available through http://peatmore.com/magicbullets.htm
January 2, 2020
I bought this book from sports journalist Lionel Birnie (who helped Graham Taylor in writing his story) when he gave an inspiring talk at a Watford Writers meeting in March 2018. I reported this on my blog at the time (see https://peatmore.wordpress.com/2018/03) but such is the length of my reading list it is only now that I have managed to read the book in its entirety.
I have not read many books by sports celebrities because I feel that most seem to be written to enhance the subjects’ own, often shallow, personalities. But this story is clearly an exception as Taylor was a giant among his contemporary football managers. As one who has competed at a very amateur level and watched many more, sporting outcome is often dependent on luck. In general good luck and bad luck will balance itself out and class will shine through. But the history of international English football has shown that this has rarely been the case. During his time managing the English football team, Taylor suffered more than his fair share of bad luck and in this book he shows that he accepted this along with the mistakes he made. But what is extremely unfair was the way he was vilified by the media for England’s failure to qualify for two major sporting competitions and the cruel insults by caricature that were depicted on the front pages of many popular newspapers.
This account also shows what an exceptional club manager he was. In taking Watford Football Club from obscurity under the Chairmanship of Pop singer Elton John he proved how good he was at man management. He discovered two major football stars in John Barnes (while at Watford) and David Platt (while managing Aston Villa) and these two went on to have successful international careers and excelled at other major football clubs. Anyone who has worked with people at all levels will understand the skills needed to be successful and by reading his book will see that Taylor had those in abundance. It is a tragedy that he died so young as he clearly had so much more to offer in life and to football. Football is not just a sport; it is the heart of many British communities. I have been living in Watford for only a few years but I can see clearly how he was much loved by the town. Taylor’s own words are well worth the read.
Graham Taylor In His Own Words: The autobiography
is published by Peloton Publishing Ltd and is available in hardback and as an ebook
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.
Published by the author and
available as an ebook or paperback
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.
Available on Amazon as an 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.
The Free enhanced ebook is available for download at
https://books.apple.com/us/book/id879916042 and at
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.
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
in hard cover, paperback and as an ebook and audiobook.