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

Book Review – Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle by Martin ‘Sticky’ Round

November 21, 2015

The scooters in question were made by piecing together scooter parts with motorcycle engines and likened to the way Mary Shelly’s fictional character created a monster out of pieces of dead humans. The horror analogy was complete because the author, his family and two companions passed by the castle owned by Vlad the Impaler (said to be the inspiration for the fictional Dracula) in Romania. The book is a guide on how to take your family through Europe to Turkey on self built two wheeled transport and as such is both an instructive and entertaining read.

I travelled a great deal myself in the 1970s and 1980s by motorcycle not scooter. However, I have a great deal of understanding of some of the perils that can occur and the amount of planning involved. Sticky Round has a distinctive writing voice and conveys his technical expertise and descriptions of the people he encounters in a most amusing way. The modern digital age is very different from the days when I travelled by two wheels but I am sure I would find this book extremely helpful should I be tempted to try similar two or even four wheel journeys again. This was an exceptionally good read and is highly recommended.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

Frankenstein Scooters
Frankenstein’s Scooters to Dracula’s Castle by Martin ‘Sticky’ Round
is published by Fingers In Pies Publications and is available in paperback
and as an ebook from the Kindle Book Store

Film Review – Interstate 60

May 21, 2015

When I started this blog, I did not set out to do film reviews. Book reviews – certainly, as Peatmore Press was started to publish books and short stories, however, it was never meant to chiefly facilitate the work of others. But a good narrative makes a good film and the story behind Interstate 60 is no exception, so I could not let my enjoyment of it pass without comment.

It is a story about choice. Life for all of us is a journey and there are many choices on the way which can alter the direction it takes.

Interstate 60 is a fantasy where the hero sets out to drive along a road, which supposedly does not exist, to deliver a package he must not open. He is given choices to make by various characters (some mystical) and the outcome is not predictable. There is clever ambiguous word play such as the diner called The Fork in The Road. In two scenarios, he meets a pretty girl who has had sex with thousands of men and never says no, and visits a town where a narcotic drug is legal and where you can live your life in a state of euphoria but never leave. These are just two of the scenarios he experiences. There are some great cameos from Michael J Fox and Kurt Russell.

The film is well acted and directed but because it is a journey rather than start a new category of film reviews I have listed it under “Travel”.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

Interstate 60Interstate 60 is written and directed by Bob Gale
and is available on DVD from Amazon UK for £16.98

Bike Travelling Man

April 15, 2015

The unexpected popularity of my bike travelogue ebook, ¨American Road¨, prompted me to search through my old journals and photographs for earlier tales of my motorcycle adventures. I managed to find an account written about a trip I took to the Munich Beer Festival in 1980. This has been supplemented by my memory of that event and enhanced by my motorcycling activities before and after that time. Alas, most of the later experiences have had to rely largely on my memory, but I am grateful for the fact that I always took a camera with me. The resulting photographs have been invaluable in reawakening my memories of those travels.

American Road is available on Amazon and on Apple’s iBook store. So far most of its sales have come from Amazon so in the first instance Bike Travelling Man will only be available from Amazon kindle stores in the Mobi (Kindle) format. Clicking (or tapping) on the link below or on the link in the side panel will take you to the web page where British and American readers can find further details and can access their relevant online stores.

I hope this account and the photographs will provide as much entertainment for my readers as the previous ebook seems to have done.

Keith Jahans

BTMCoverA Life with Two Motorcycles

99p from or $1.45 from Amazon. com

Travels in Norway – Day 1

December 2, 2013

2 December 2013

My companion and I arrived in Tromso by plane from Gatwick Airport at 3.20 pm local time (2.20 London time) to find that snow had fallen and so had night.  A short bus ride took us to the harbour where our cruise ship, the Nordlys (Norwegian for Northern Lights) awaited us.

Another View of Tromso from Deck of Nordlys

Views of Tromso from Deck of Nordys at about 4.30 pm local time

Tromso from Deck of Nordlys

I dined at 6.30 on cauliflower soup, some sort of smoked fish followed by a sweet which seemed to consist of cold rice pudding, jam and blue berries.  Later at 9.30 I accompanied some stoic passengers out to the “sun” deck where we watched the captain demonstrate how to prepare “Stock Fish”, which is dried cod tenderised with a hammer and is a Norwegian delicacy.  Unfortunately I was offered a piece which was not tenderised enough and broke a back molar.

Captain of Nordlys Preparing Stock Fish

The Captain of the Nordlys Preparing Stock Fish.

I am now sailing north along the Norwegian coast deep into the Arctic Circle wondering what further fortunes lie in wait.

Book Review – Saga of a Nauti Sailor: Or How Not to Voyage to the Caribbean

October 23, 2013

This is a remarkable story of adventure and hardship.  Bankrupt businessman Harry gives up domestic life in Britain, rebuilds an old sailing boat becomes Captain Harry and sails it first to France then across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

On the way he battles against storms, lack of finance and meets many colourful characters many of whom are dysfunctional and sometimes downright dishonest.  How the courageous and resourceful Harry deals with these obstacles is intriguing and highly entertaining.  This is a most enjoyable and inspiring read even if like me you are a non sailor.

Saga of a Nauti Sailor 2

The Saga of a Nauti Sailor is published by Bibliofile Publishers and is available  on Amazon in paperback or as a Kindle ebook  and is priced at  £12.99 or £2.16  respectively.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press.

American Road

September 25, 2013

They say travel broadens the mind.  It certainly gives travelers a lot to think about and if they take a camera with them there are plenty of sights to capture and take away to ponder later.  In the 1970s and 1980s I rode motorcycles and often journeyed many miles.

I posted my adventures of one such journey in a work place newsletter and regaled my friends with the many photographs I had taken.  It proved surprisingly popular so I have pulled them all together in an enhanced ebook which I hope will prove at least equally entertaining.

ARJacket with border

A Motorcycle Journey in Words and Pictures

Click Here to View Video Trailer

The book  is priced at £1.50 and is available to buy at

Keith Jahans

Off to Madrid for a few days on Sunday

February 27, 2013

Watch out for blog, tweets and photos.  Called into Woking post office lunchtime for Euros.  One euro is now nearly worth one British pound – time to holiday in UK.  Called into the Herbert Wells while in Woking for a pint of Piddle (a Dorset ale) and a burger.

Woking Martian

Back jogging to Hockey Club regularly again – should nullify the effects of the beer and burger I consumed.

Wonders of the world – Part 1

November 26, 2012

Since becoming a full time writer in 2008, I have travelled the world and present some of the wonders visited during that time in no particular order.

The Earth

 This is the most beautiful and wondrous of all the planets in the vastness of space.  If there is another out there capable of supporting life it will never be as wonderful as our very own world.

 The Woking Martian

 This magnificent sculpture can be seen in the centre of my home town.  It fires the imagination about what may exist out in space and also is representative of an outstanding piece of literature.  The author, H. G. Wells, lived in Woking and his nocturnal trips to the nearby common inspired this great story and created a new literary genre.  It shows that you do not have to venture far from home or the imagination to find a wonder.

Great Wall of China

 Contrary to modern mythology this structure can not be seen from space.  But it is a gigantic achievement and is testament to the lengths that humans will go to to protect their land.

 The Taj Mahal

 The most beautiful building I have seen.  It shimmers to the view and touch, and is a powerful symbol of beauty and love.  There may be a more graceful piece of architecture somewhere in the world but I have yet to see it.  I will let you know if I do.

Other inspirational travel stories can be found at

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