Tuesday, 26 March 2013

My review of Ganwold's Child.

Ganwold’s Child by Diann Thornley Read, is the story of a young man called Tristan.
When he is just a toddler his mother, Darcy, a military woman flees with him from slavers and they end up on an alien planet.  Tristan grows up among the Gan people and all is well until his mother becomes seriously ill.
Tristan knows the father he hasn’t seen for so many years is the only one who can help her. So accompanied by his gan brother, Pulou he makes a desperate bid to find his father, and save his mother’s life.
I really enjoyed this book. It moves at quite a pace and is so exciting…has you on the edge of your seat.
The writing is excellent; I could almost feel Tristan’s physical and emotional pain, and certainly his frustration! I particularly loved Pulou, everyone should have such a loyal friend.
I confess I struggled a bit with some of the technical information, and found myself skipping over a lot of it to get back to Tristan and Pulou.  But that’s just me and no criticism of the book.
If I could have given it more than 5 stars I would. It is really well written with strong convincing characters.
Ganwold’s Child a great story and I can certainly recommend it.

The book can be purchased from Amazon.

My Review of The Pyramid Legacy.

The author, Clive Eaton’s debut novel The Pyramid Legacy is fast paced and exciting.
I loved Ben the lead character. He was very much the reluctant hero, just a normal guy forced to face his fears in some pretty scary situations. This made a pleasant change from the usual macho man we read about in many novels.
In the beginning I liked Ben’s girlfriend Sam, but as the story progressed I rapidly went off her; which can be credited to the authors writing skill.
I have to say the book was long, and in parts it lost me, and I found myself skipping the bits I didn’t understand or found boring.
Also I didn’t like some of the language used. This is why I’ve given the book 4 stars instead of the 5 I would like to have given.
Apart from those issues and the rather abrupt ending, I really enjoyed the book and looked forward to continue reading it every chance I got.

This book can be purchased from Amazon.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Elusive Success.

I've read a lot of stuff about success lately. Like, seek after it, or don't think about it just write, and so on.  As writers it's something most of us chase after. But I am beginning to realise, success is an illusion, fostered by what we see others achieving, or think we see.
Recently I read a piece advocating find your happy place and write for the love of it. [I thought it was great advice.]
My happy place is a corner of our spare room. Where I have my desk and my laptop. In this quiet place I can escape into my fantasy world. I have three books published, and am working on the fourth, which is the sequel to book three.
Do I sell well? I would have to say, not really. But am I happy? You bet!
It's natural for human beings to seek after success, but success is for ever moving; and we're only ever as good as the last thing we accomplished, so it's a struggle to keep up. Better to relax and enjoy the process of writing.
And if one person loves what we write, then it has been worth it.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Life's Journey.



Each of us is following a path chosen for us by God. Nothing on our life’s journey is coincidence.  Even before I became a Christian I’d never believed in coincidence. As I look back on my life I can clearly see God’s hand in each and every circumstance.

This leads me to a scripture that is very dear to my heart and one I hold on too.

Jer 29 v 11:12:13

I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.

Then you will call upon me and go and pray to me and I will listen to you.

And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.


The same scripture in the message bible reads:

I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out, plans to take care of you, not abandon you. Plans to give you the future you hope for.

When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.


I know these words to be true, because I searched desperately, and I found Him. Or should I say He found me; and oh the joy that flooded my soul.

My life, as far as work went was good. But I was unfulfilled and dogged by depression and fear. Towards the end of my singing career, I found myself like Christian in John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrims Progress’ searching the bible. I didn’t understand a word of it, but like Christian I knew deep down it was the key to eradicating my fear, distress and lack of purpose. Mind you I have to say there was one part in Rev that I understood perfectly well. I knew without a doubt my name was not in the Lambs book of life, and that knowledge really scared me.

Even as a none believer I somehow knew the bible was true. It was the word of life, and I needed that life…I began searching for that life.


These paragraphs from Pilgrim’s Progress, express how I felt:

One day, deeply distressed, his shoulders bowed under the heavy weight of a huge burden, Christian stood outside his house, reading a book, whose contents made him weep and tremble? From time to time he would cry out, “What shall I do?”

Bowed by his burden, Christian spent his time alone, either weeping and praying in his room or pacing the countryside studying his book. At last one day, half-way across a field, he came to a halt, and cried out in despair, “What must I do to be saved?”


My desperate search took me along many different paths, none of which felt right. I knew religion was not the answer. I was looking for something much deeper.

My unsuccessful search for the truth threw me into a deep despondency and I began drowning my sorrow and frustration in alcohol.

Like Christian, trapped in the slough of despond I seemed to be getting nowhere. But unlike Pliable, Christian’s companion, I struggled on and kept searching, becoming more and more desperate.


Pilgrim’s Progress The slough of despond:

Soon both men were wallowing waist-high in the mud and filth of a swamp, called Slough of Despond. Pliable, by nature easily discougeged, struggled to reach the nearside bank, reproaching Christian with the words, “Is this the joy you promised me? I dread to think what dangers lie ahead! If I get out of this bog alive, you can go on alone, to your precious city!

Regaining the safety of the bank, Pliable headed for the city of destruction, leaving his companion to flounder in the swamp, whose boggy condition was maintained by the fears and doubts of those who became conscious of their sins. Here Christian might have remained, but for the aid of a man called help, who took his hand and pulled him clear.


My own hand of help came in form of a lovely Jamaican man called Ron. He was a friend of the family. When I talked to mother about my worries and my constant search for God, she instantly thought of Ron, telling me how she noticed he always said grace before a meal. My heart leapt with hope.

It makes me realise now how important it is that we show God in our lives. Even in a smallest way, it doesn’t matter, people are watching. And one day if like me they need help…become conscious of their need of God, they will know where to come.

Suffice to say Ron pointed me in the right direction. He introduced me to his pastor and after talking with him a few times, the pastor invited me to a Christian conference, where I gave my life to Jesus, and began my journey from darkness to the light.

Was my life suddenly easy, free of problems and difficulties? No, like Christian in Pilgrims Progress, I very quickly found myself under attack by the enemy. As a new Christian my life had its ups and downs, its joys and its terrible sorrows.

I confess, I can be a bit like Pliable, easily discouraged. Nevertheless, I kept going, never doubting for a moment that God in His infinite mercy is leading me on the narrow path towards His celestial city.

Each of us on our own personal journey, which at some point in our lives, is bound to take us through the valley of the shadow of death. But as children of the great Shepherd we are brought safely through and more often than not, as we journey we find ourselves leaping with hind’s feet on the mountain tops.

Even though as Christians we all follow the narrow path, as I’ve said before, each ones journey is different. God enables each of us to cope with the trials and tribulations we are sometimes forced to face. Each person’s journey is perfectly suited to them. We are pilgrims and God knows the way we take. He travels with us, keeping us safe, comforting and encouraging us as we follow him to our final destination the Celestial City.

So I would encourage you. As you journey through life. Live it to the full. Seek to fulfil your dreams no matter what age you are! And let’s always encourage each other to remain on the narrow path and keep following our Saviour Jesus Christ; that our lives would be to His Glory and Praise.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Crystal Rose

This is just a short taster from the new book I'm working on.It's coming along nicely...my muse is alive and well. Crystal Rose Chapter 1 It had been a perfect autumn day, but as evening approached there was a distinct nip in the air, heralding a frosty night. The setting sun cast long shadows as Irene and Sandra walked arm in arm through the village of Zeal towards The White Horse pub. The old building looked welcoming in the evening light. Smoke curled out of the tall chimney…soft lamplight filtered through the lattice windows. “I love this old pub,” Sandra said, pushing the door open. They were greeted by noisy chatter and the clink of glasses. “I’ll get the drinks, Irene, you find a table.” Frank the landlord greeted them. “Good evening ladies, what can I get you?” Irene smiled at him. “I’ll have a fruit juice please.” “Me too,” Sandra said. Frank waved them away from the bar. “Go, sit yourselves down; I’ll bring the drinks over.” They settled at their favourite table close to the inglenook fireplace. Irene draped her coat over the back of the chair and stretched her hands towards the roaring fire. Sandra watched her. “You’ve seemed a little pensive today, Irene. Are you alright?” Irene fiddled with a beer mat on the table. Concerned, Sandra reached across and touched her arm. “Come on, you can tell me.” Irene leaned back in her chair. “I’ll tell you in a minute.” She could see Frank approaching with their drinks. “Here we are ladies,” Frank said with a cheerful grin.” Sandra hoped he wouldn’t hang around and chat, as she wanted to hear what Irene had to say. Fortunately the pub was busy so Frank wandered back to the bar. Sandra rested her arms on the table and leaned closer to Irene. She could see the confusion in her eyes. “Okay, what’s on your mind?” Without hesitation Irene blurted out. “Last night, John asked me to marry him.” Sandra nearly fell off her chair. “Wow! That’s great.” Her delighted smile waned as she studied Irene’s face. Irene nervously picked at the edge of her beer mat. Sandra’s reaction was just what she’d expected. But she couldn’t share her friend’s joy. There would be no celebratory drinks…no happy announcement to the patrons in the pub. Sandra stared at Irene, troubled by the emotionless expression on her face. “You’ve refused his proposal, haven’t you?” It was a statement more than a question. Irene nodded and lowered her eyes. She felt awful and yet strangely relieved. Sandra slumped in her chair. “Why, Irene? John is mad about you, and I thought you really liked him. You’ve seemed really close this past year.” “I like him a lot, Sandra, but I’m not ready to get married—not yet anyway. There’s something I need to do first. I haven’t actually refused him.” She noticed the spark of hope in Sandra’s eyes, and couldn’t help smiling. “I‘ve asked him to wait…to give me a little more time and he has agreed.” Sandra studied her. “Ever since your first exhibition you’ve seemed a little melancholy. What is it, Irene. Can I help?” Irene cleared her throat and took a sip of her drink. “I’m not sure you can help.” She averted her eyes and stared at the fire. “Does all this have anything to do with that painting? What was it called? Sandra massaged her temple as if to jog her memory. “It was something like Through a—” Irene swung round to face her. “It was called Through a Glass.” “That’s it; you seemed to have a bit of a thing about it.” Irene frowned and fiddled with her necklace.How can I explain, there’s no way I can tell her about Stagman and Mira. She wouldn’t understand. But I need to find that painting, I won’t rest until I do.