Articles for the Month of October 2014

Precipitous Tales by H. P. Lovecraft – Narrated by Neil Hellegers

GulliversTravels_Cover_9780979377754A creepy short story collection.

 

I have to say straight away that I absolutely loved all four of these creepy stories and think that the voice of Neil Hellegers was excellent for them, as his narration left me with shivers running down my spine.

There are four short stories in this collection by this classic and well known author.

In the first, The Nameless City, a brave explorer decides to explore an abandoned city in the desert and is shocked at what he discovers…

The Tomb tells of the effect a lifelong obsession with his families crypt has on a young man.

Another tells of a sailor, adrift at sea, who awakes to discover himself in a different world.

The last, but not least is a haunting tale of a student, and the music he loves to hear, until he realises that it serves a sinister purpose.

If you fancy cuddling up (preferably not alone) in front of a fire, turning the lights down low and thoroughly un-nerving yourself, then this is definitely the audiobook for you.

 

Precipitous Tales is available from Amazon and Audible in audiobook format:

http://www.amazon.com/Precipitous-Tales/dp/B00OQI3III/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413963700&sr=8-1&keywords=precipitous+tales

http://www.audible.com/pd/Classics/Precipitous-Tales-Audiobook/B00OPFPBUK/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srImg?qid=1413963530&sr=1-1

 

 

High Steaks: Why and How to Eat Less Meat by Eleanor Boyle

51lrdpZJIWL__AA160_What a refreshing change!

We all know we would be healthier if we ate better, less meat, more chemical free, well here’s a brilliant insight into how to do just that. However this book is refreshing because it doesn’t suggest we all become vegan or vegetarian (not that there’s anything wrong with those choices), but it accepts that some people like to eat meat.

It looks very carefully, in depth, and with references to carefully researched material into how the livestock industry functions, its rules and regulations and how they have changed and are changing right now. It examines the effects the industry has, not only on environment and health, but other factors which probably one would never consider.

For a great many I am sure that much of the content of this book will be a real eye-opener, however, the authors intention is to educate rather than dictate.

Although it is no light weight listen to, and it does contain some very disturbing content for animal lovers, I thought this book contained numerous interesting facts and I would recommend to anyone who is really interested in what they are eating and the way it has been produced.

About the Author: Eleanor Boyle has been teaching and writing for 25 years, with a focus on sustainable food issues for the past decade. She lectures, facilitates community discussions, and writes about food systems and their social, environmental and health consequences, and works with organizations aiming for better food policy. Eleanor initiated, designed and teaches a course on food and the environment the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Studies Centre for Sustainability. She holds an an MSc in Food Policy from City University in London, England.

High Steaks is available in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/High-Steaks-Why-Less-Meat/dp/0865717133/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1413387764&sr=8-2

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/High-Steaks-Why-Less-Meat-ebook/dp/B0092XDVIO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-2&qid=1413387764

and as an audiobook from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Nonfiction/High-Steaks-Audiobook/B00DVMCI5E

 

Resurrection: A Zombie Novel by Michael J. Totten

51XkthxQW4L__SS300_When a group of the last survivors of the most devastating virus the world has ever known get together they realise that they must find somewhere to live in safety.

But where? Humans, transformed into flesh eating zombies roam the earth, is anywhere safe, and will they survive?

This is a gripping zombie novel with a great storyline which has many twists and turns, not least of them being, what is the secret which lies behind the eight missing weeks of survivor Annie Starlings life?

As the story unfolds, the true personalities of the survivors begin to show, and with time come revelations and remembrance…

 

Resurrection is available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Zombie-Michael-J-Totten/dp/0615964338/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1413385171&sr=8-1

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Zombie-Michael-J-Totten-ebook/dp/B00IY1GV32/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413385171&sr=8-1&keywords=resurrection+by+michael+j+totten

It is also available as an audiobook from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Resurrection-Audiobook/B00L3QHIPU

 

The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James

51pSVeq-yAL__AA160_This is the story of Harley, bought up in a dysfunctional home, with an alcoholic and abusive father, who sends the family on an emotional rollercoasters, a weak mother, and her sister Kat with whom she has a very strong bond.

The day after she graduates from high school she packs her bags into her 1970 Chevelle, Charlene, and takes off, knowing only that she must go.

This is a coming of age novel, and we, the listener follow the strong, independent Harley, as she grows from girl into womanhood. As normal, through rite of passage, the woman she becomes is shaped by the people she meets and jobs she does as she moves around the country. However, Harley finds herself, despite her escape, being drawn back home to help her family with each emergency which arises.

And, waiting in the background is Jeremiah Jones, her childhood neighbour and sweetheart, best friend and lover, who joined the Marines the day she took off. Although they don’t see each other for years, the chemistry between them when they do, is so strong. He loves her unconditionally, and understands, and knows the fears she battles with after growing up in such a dysfunctional family, but will she ever commit?

This was a compelling story packed with brutal truths about such subjects as growing up in an abusive home and alcoholism, yet a fascinating story which I could not fail to recommend.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/The-Boots-My-Mother-Gave/dp/1461054397/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1413383281&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=the+boots+my+mother+gave+me

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Boots-My-Mother-Gave-Me-ebook/dp/B00457XGNM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1-catcorr&qid=1413383281

and from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Boots-My-Mother-Gave-Me-Audiobook/B00MV0LQN2

 

The One of Us by John Needham

The_One_Of_Us_cover_latest_001NEW RELEASE:  The One of Us by John Needham

A compelling and fascinating story.

 

About the book: Jim and Maureen Harrison ache to have a child. Glyn and Sioned Rees want a brother or sister for their daughter Lowri. But for both couples, further pregnancy is impossible. So what to do?

The answers to both their dreams are sucking their thumbs in the Strawberry Field children’s home in Liverpool: foundlings, twin baby boys. Glyn and Sioned adopt one, whom they bring up in Wales. Jim and Maureen adopt the other, rearing him in north Yorkshire.

And so the boys are brought up in very different social and family environments, developing markedly different personalities and aspirations. But are they entirely different? After all, they are monozygotic: identical. Does their genetic commonality confer similar character traits deep down? John Needham’s third novel explores nature/nurture theory, weaving it into an absorbing, at times exquisitely moving tale of brothers.

Readers of his previous book, Forebears, will be re-acquainted with warm-hearted, buff, call-a-spade-a-bloody-shovel Yorkshire lass Helen, now taking a larger role, telling her story from an earlier time.

This gentle, compelling, sometimes poignant novel tells the boys’ stories in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to a dramatic, heart-wrenching reunion that will wring your emotions dry. 

A heart-warming tale of identical, foundling twin brothers separated as babies and adopted to be brought up in very different environments. The boy’s stories are told in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to an unusual, emotionally-searing reunion.

***

My first impression of this book was, what a strange title, however, having read it, there could be no more perfect one.

How could Julie have known, way back in 1984 when she left her native Ireland to live in Liverpool that her fancying Paul, at a nightclub, the consequences of that night, and the relationship which followed would change so many people’s lives, including her own?

Glyn and Sioned love their daughter Lowri, yet they yearn for another child. Jim and Maureen are trying to come to terms with Maureen’s inability to carry a baby to term. Two couples who, for two very different reasons, decide to adopt a baby, but each of their choices leave them inextricably tied in a way they could never imagine.

Life has a way of changing just when we think we are settled, and as a result, Glyn, Sioned, Lowri and little adopted Tomos find themselves moving back to their native Wales. Whilst Jim, Maureen and their little adopted son Wayne relocate to Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

This is the story of these two boys, each having very different childhoods, achievements, plans and dreams. As they grow into men, however, it is discovered that they have one thing in common, and in the end, does anything else matter?

I found this story un-put-down-able, it has a very unusual storyline, plenty of twists and turns, and a real surprise ending.

Those of us who love this author’s very humane way of writing are, yet again, treated to another beautifully written story. At the end of the book, as an added bonus, the author has included a couple of chapters of ‘Forebears’ one of his previously published novels, which also features one of the characters in this story.

 

***

About the Author: I have had a love affair with the written word all my life. An avid reader as a child, my passion for print moved up a gear when I was apprenticed into the compositor’s art in the bygone age of hot-metal letterpress, long before the advent of computers, high-tech printing and ebooks.

Much of my career continued in a parallel vein, in copywriting and as a graphic designer. Now retired from all that, I write books: issues-based and exploring the human condition. I have produced two house renovation books although not yet published them, and an autobiography, Wishing for the Better, is being published free-to-read on my website, wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com.

In fiction, my debut novel was Convergence, a story of elderly, interracial love. This was followed by Forebears, a family saga set in the east of England spanning 106 years from the early 20th century almost to the present day.

My third novel, The One of Us, about the trials and tribulations and nature/nurture theory of separated-as-babies, adopted identical twins, will be followed by a fourth that tells the story of another character in that novel.

I live and produce my words in west Wales.

Author’s Website: http://wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/nature-or-nurture/

The One of Us is available to purchase from:

Autharium  http://www.autharium.com/Ebook/wordsfrom%20john/the-one-of-us

and in Kindle format from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Us-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00OAAUOPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412837081&sr=8-1&keywords=the+one+of+us+by+john+needham