Children’s Book Review: Blanka, by D.M.Mullen

Blurb 

BLANKA VON FROCK When you want more but you have all you need, it’s Blanka von Frock, whose tale you should read. She bullies her sisters in their frozen windmill, and her greedy demands give the village a chill: “I want what I want and I want it today, so listen up sisters and do as I say” D.M. Mullan’s Curious Tales D.M. Mullan’s Curious Tales is a series of peculiar modern fables from author D.M. Mullan and illustrator Kirsteen Harris-Jones. With a classic rhyming style and wonderfully quirky illustrations, each book centres around a unique little individual and tells their story all whilst being part of a wider, interconnected, world.

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Review: The Reacher Guy, by Heather Martin

The Reacher Guy:


The Authorised Biography of Lee Child

Heather Martin

Constable – 29th September 2020 hardback £20.00 – also available as an eBook/audio

The definitive, authorised biography of

Lee Child

“Riveting . . . archival diligence . . . [Martin] is a skilled and audacious interlocutor, too, but her subject is just as adept as interviewee . . . starkly affecting” – Irish Times

The Reacher Guy is a life of bestselling superstar Lee Child, a portrait of the artist as a young man, refracted through the life of his fictional avatar, Jack Reacher. It tells the story of how the boy from Birmingham reinvented himself to become the strongest brand in publishing, selling over one hundred million books in more than forty different languages across the globe.

Heather Martin interviews friends, teachers, colleagues and neighbours, including agents and editors. Based primarily on her conversations with the author over a period of years, together with readings of his books and research in his literary archive, this authorised biography reveals the man behind the myth, tracing his origins back through the generations to Northern Ireland and County Durham, and following the trajectory of his extraordinary career via New York and Hollywood until the climactic moment when, in 2020, having written a continuous series of twenty-four books, he finally floats free of his fictional creation. 

Lee Child comments: “I met Heather Martin some years ago, and we started talking about why people love telling and hearing stories. To get more depth and detail we started talking about why I do. Eventually I said, ‘If you want to really get to the bottom of it, you’re going to have to write my biography.’ So she did. It was a fun and illuminating process. I had forgotten a lot, and it was fascinating to be reminded. Now it all makes sense.”

“Vivid and entertaining . . . a must-buy for any aspiring novelist, thanks in particular to its terrific insight into how Child’s first book was written, rewritten, edited, sold and published.” – The Telegraph

“You’ll emerge from the first 300-odd pages knowing more about [Child’s] formative years that you do about your own.” – The Times

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Promo Post: A Mother’s Story, by Maggie Christensen

A Mother’s Story

A lost child. A mother’s grief. A daughter’s journey.

In Scotland, in1941, as WW2 increases in ferocity, Rhona Begg goes against her parents’ wishes and enlists in the ATS—a decision that brings with it heart-breaking consequences. After the war, weighed down with regret and grief, Rhona receives news that has the power to change her life.

Across the ocean in Australia, Nell Duncan worries about her husband who is fighting in the Far East. When she receives the dreaded news that he is missing in action, her world collapses. The end of the war brings changes to Nell’s life, but her dream of bearing a child is no longer possible and she grieves for what might have been.

In 1971, when Joy Baker gives birth to her daughter, she begins the journey to discover her ancestry. What she finds shocks her to the core and propels her on a journey to the land of her birth.

Three women. Three mothers. Three astonishing stories.

From wartime Scotland to present day Australia. A Mother’s Story is an emotion-filled sweeping family saga.

Purchase Link – getbook.at/AMothersStory

Author Bio –

After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations, and historical fiction set in her native Scotland. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her trips to visit family in Scotland, in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them. Her writing has been described by one reviewer as like a nice warm cup of tea. It is warm, nourishing, comforting and embracing.

From the small town in Scotland where she grew up Scotland, Maggie was lured to Australia by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’. Once there, she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!

Social Media Links –

Facebook            https://www.facebook.com/maggiechristensenauthor
Twitter                 https://twitter.com/MaggieChriste33
Goodreads          https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8120020.Maggie_Christensen

Instagram            https://www.instagram.com/maggiechriste33/

Bookbub              https://www.bookbub.com/profile/maggie-christensen

Website               https://maggiechristensenauthor.com/

TBR Pile Review: Civilisations, by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor

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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 15th 2021 by Harvill Secker 
(first published August 14th 2019)
Original Title: Civilizations
ISBN: 1787302296 (ISBN13: 9781787302297)
Edition Language: English
Literary Awards: Grand prix du roman de l’Académie française (2019)

c.1000AD: Erik the Red’s daughter heads south from Greenland.
1492: Columbus does not discover America.
1531: the Incas invade Europe.

Freydis is the leader of a band of Viking warriors who get as far as Panama. Nobody knows what became of them…
Five hundred years later, Christopher Columbus is sailing for the Americas, dreaming of gold and conquest. Even when captured by Incas, his faith in his superiority and his mission is unshaken.

Thirty years after that, Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, arrives in Europe. What does he find? The Spanish Inquisition, the Reformation, capitalism, the miracle of the printing press, endless warmongering between the ruling monarchies, and constant threat from the Turks.

But most of all, downtrodden populations ready for revolution. Fortunately, he has a recent guidebook to acquiring power – Machiavelli’s The Prince. It turns out he is very good at it. So, the stage is set for a Europe ruled by Incas and, when the Aztecs arrive on the scene, for a great war that will change history forever.

Civilisations is a wildly entertaining counterfactual story about the modern world, colonisation, empire-building and the eternal human quest for domination. It is an electrifying novel by one of Europe’s most exciting writers. 

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Review: Sergeant Salinger, by Jerome Charyn

21 Oct 2021 | 9780857304711 | Format: Paperback Original | £9.99

Grounded in biographical fact and reimagined as only Charyn could, Sergeant Salinger is an astonishing portrait of a devastated young man on his way to becoming the mythical figure behind a novel that has marked generations.

2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the first publication of The Catcher in the Rye.

J.D. Salinger, mysterious author of The Catcher in the Rye, is remembered today as a reclusive misanthrope. Jerome Charyn’s Salinger is a young American WWII draftee assigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps, a band of secret soldiers who trained with the British. A rifleman and an interrogator, he witnessed all the horrors of the war – from the landing on D-Day to the relentless hand-to-hand combat in the hedgerows of Normandy, to the Battle of the Bulge, and finally to the first Allied entry into a Bavarian death camp, where corpses were piled like cordwood. After the war, interned in a Nuremberg psychiatric clinic, Salinger became enchanted with a suspected Nazi informant. They married, but not long after he brought her home to New York, the marriage collapsed. Maladjusted to
civilian life, he lived like a ‘spook,’ with invisible stripes on his shoulder, the ghosts of the murdered inside his head, and stories to tell.

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Audiobook Review: Vows of Gold and Laughter, Tale One of the Immortal Beings by Edith Pawlicki  and narrated by Zachary Zaba 

Blurb 

The meeting of four lonely immortals will change them – and the world.

High in the Heavens, an immortal court celebrates the betrothal of Jin, Goddess of Beauty, and Xiao, God of Pleasure. But as soon as the vows are made, the Sun Emperor collapses from a death curse.

Raised away from the Sun Court after her mother’s murder, Jin is called a useless goddess, but she is now the emperor’s only hope. The curse’s cure is locked in the Underworld, and even though the court dismisses him as a hopeless alcoholic, Xiao vows to help his betrothed find the lost key.

They hire a thief who is more interested in stealing the groom than recovering the key, and begin their search at the legendary grave of the Great Warrior – only it turns out he never died. Tens of millennia old, he is a master of everything but his own heart.

Their journey takes them from the icy peaks of the White Mountain and the lush banks of the Kuanbai River to the palace of the Sea Dragon and the halls of the Moon Deer, through court intrigue and bloody battles, power struggles and magical traps. The Heavens, Earth, and the Underworld will forever celebrate their triumphs – and mourn their mistakes.

Buy Links

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56935634-vows-of-gold-and-laughter

https://amzn.to/3h6O8eh

Author Bio
Edith Pawlicki lives in Connecticut with her husband, twin sons, dog, and rabbit. She fell in love with words in fourth grade and finds writing necessary to free the worlds and characters in her head. When she isn’t busy being a mom and author, she enjoys cooking and crafts. In addition to the Immortal Beings series, she has also written a YA science fiction novel, Minerva. 

Continue reading “Audiobook Review: Vows of Gold and Laughter, Tale One of the Immortal Beings by Edith Pawlicki  and narrated by Zachary Zaba “