Articles

LA PETITE JOSETTE EN PROVENCE Going to Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence) by Ashley Davidson-Fisher

 

Coming soon” LA PETITE JOSETTE EN PROVENCE

Going to Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence)

by Ashley Davidson-Fisher

 

“Wake up, La Petite, réveille-toi, we’re going on an adventure to a medieval village!”

La Petite loves adventures and history and she is super excited for her trip to Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the most beautiful villages in Provence, France.

What will she find?

A castle, knights, perhaps a “treasure” to take home? There’s so much to do before the trip, but with the help of her big sister they’ll be on their way in no time.

La Petite en Provence is an illustrated, bilingual, French and English language adventure and learning book.

It helps to teach children basic, multi-language skills and to foster a love for exploring the world.

Review by Susan Keefe:

France captured the hearts of southern California born and raised author Ashley and her husband Michael in 2003, when they arrived in Provence with their four young children. Ashley was studying abroad for degrees in French Culture Studies and Business, and whilst Ashley participated in her university work, Michael and the children became immersed in the French culture and language. Trips out exploring their adopted country led to a love of the region, and after returning to the USA to complete her degrees, Ashley and her husband returned with their youngest child to Provence in 2010.

It is perhaps these experiences into the French way of life as an expat which inspired Ashley to create this clever little story. It is written primarily in English, but also has many phrases written, and explained in French also. I think this enriches the story and enables the reader to enjoy a truly bilingual experience.

The setting is the beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence. It is a listed heritage site, is noted as “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” (“Station classée”). Its ruined castle, and history make it the ideal foil for the wonderful journey of discovery, which La Petite Josette and her big sister Anne-Laure embark upon in this story.

There is great excitement in the household, the family are going for a day out! The girls can’t wait for mum to pack the picnic, and dad to get the car ready. Eagerly they watch the beautiful countryside, the vast vineyards, and olive groves go by on their way to their hilltop destination, Les Baux-de-Provence. However it is the village’s hilltop ruined castle which captivates the girls’ imagination.

As they look around it, papa explains its history, and the girls are caught up in the atmosphere, looking over the ramparts, seeing the village below, and even some troglodyte caves!

What an exciting day, they have, there is so much to see and do! But all good things must come to an end, and it is two tired girls who return home at the end of a wonderful day, and clutched in her hand La Petite Josette holds a very special souvenir.

A lovely story, one to be treasured forever, beautifully illustrated by the author and her husband’s talented daughter Martinique Louise Fisher. – Highly Recommended!

To find out more please visit the author’s website: https://lapetitejosette.com/ 

La Petite Josette in Provence will be available in September.

What Dogs Really Talk About by Nick da Costa

 

A hilarious yet eye opening insight into our canine friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you ever wonder what your dog thinks, or what they talk about when they are together?

The author of this thoroughly entertaining book obviously loves dogs, and has given the subject much consideration, resulting in this hilarious, yet thought provoking book.

Every night six dogs meet under an old oak tree, and like humans, they discuss matters of great importance to them. But what do YOU think are important subjects to our canine friends and companions? Well, the answers are in this book, and not surprisingly, they are very similar to subjects we would discuss – although sometimes from a totally different perspective…

Of course, everyone wants to know where they come from, and dogs are the same, so evolution, how they became tame, or indeed who tamed who is debated, along with why different breeds of dogs evolved into their various shapes and have taken on diverse jobs.

Until you read enlightening book, very few humans can really appreciate how vital our canine friends are to us, and importantly they take their responsibilities. Through the writing of Nick da Costa we discover how they spend their lives looking after, and worrying about us, even if we don’t always see it that way.

A myriad of topics from social networking, to the Dog Star, walkies, playing, vets, Christmas, and of course the arch enemy c.a.t.s., make this book a fantastic addition to any dog lovers bookshelf.

 

About the Book: Every evening a group of Dogs meets under the old oak tree to discuss matters of importance.
Their GREAT ENTERPRISE to help The Owners is a regular subject.
Another, hardly surprising, is cats (please note the small ‘c’).
But topics as far-ranging as Advertising, Social Networking, Space Travel and Evolution all receive their unique canine insight.
Here, then, are the conversations of Whitman, Pippa, Anton, Butch, Malcolm and Obi.
It has been my privilege to write them down.

Available from Amazon in Hardcover https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Dogs-Really-Talk-About/dp/1999732804/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1499249244&sr=1-1

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Dogs-Really-Talk-About-ebook/dp/B073P9ZVKT/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1499249244&sr=1-1

Website: http://www.whatdogstalkabout.com/bookstore.html

Little Bunny’s Own Storybook by Margaret Welwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lovely inspiring story.

This is a lovely story, beautifully illustrated, about very happy Little Bunny. He loved his daily routine, the stroll down the path with his mum and dad, and best of all his visit to the library, where each day he picked a different book to read.

Little Bunny just loved getting immersed into the stories, he could meet animals from all over the world, face imaginary dangers, see people doing amazing jobs, and have great adventures all within the pages of a book.

However one day the library is closed, and poor Little Bunny is so sad. What can he do now, there is nothing which can compare to reading his stories, or is there…

What Little Bunny discovers is that you can make your own worlds if you try, with dramas, adventures, fun and danger in them, all you have to have is imagination, and pens, pencils, and paper of course. Also, when you have made up your own story you can read it to others for them to enjoy.

What a fantastic tool this book is for teachers and parents enabling them to inspire their children’s creativity, whatever the reading or writing ability of the child. I read this with my grandson and not only did we have great fun looking at the illustrations, but he was inspired into making up his own little story and enjoyed illustrating it too!

I would highly recommend this children’s book, not only for the hours of fun which can be had creating a story and illustrating it, but also because in doing so you are not only widening the child’s talents, but also giving them a mechanism for escape into another world.

About the Author:

Great Aunt Lily taught me to read, my mother parked me in the book section of The Bay while she did her shopping, and my grade 12 English teacher encouraged me to write.

So here we are *several* years later . . . .

I have written over 100 traditionally published magazine and newspaper articles. I also edited a diabetes education guide that won first place in the reference category of the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards (2010).

And I taught English as a Second Language for years with stories as a mainstay.

Now a new door has opened into Storyland . . . the world I’m exploring with my grandchildren. My first picture book for children, “Scissortown,” is the only one I know of that offers a choice of inside back cover. “Marie and Mr. Bee” offers a choice of last page.

I also like to encourage young readers and writers–my site features stories and art by children 7-12 years old. You may wish to check out some of their interesting and colorful creations.

A weekly storytime with young children as well as time spent with my grandchildren have made for some interesting discoveries about children’s literature. I blog about these discoveries and review my top picks on Goodreads and other sites.

Locally, I help adults improve their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills one-on-one. I also offer editing and proofreading services.

About the Book: 

The story here is told in verse
to help your child with reading.
Your child will find the words that rhyme
and follow as you’re leading.

This picture book for children between the ages of three and eight tells the story of a little rabbit who takes matters into his own hands when he finds the library closed for inventory. Little Bunny’s Own Storybook is a celebration of libraries, literacy, family, and the initiative and creativity of children (both human and rabbit).

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Little-Bunnys-Storybook-Margaret-Welwood/dp/1988468035/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492095785&sr=8-1&keywords=little+bunny%27s+own+storybook

and kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Little-Bunnys-Storybook-Margaret-Welwood-ebook/dp/B01MU5L3UF/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1492095785&sr=8-1

and Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-bunnys-own-storybook-margaret-welwood/1125748572?ean=9781988468037

 

The Adventures of Super Stew: An unforgettable Journey by Kristi Lynn Domke

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Anyone who has loved a pet knows the absolute devastation its death leaves them feeling. Each one is unique, and holds a special place in our hearts.

This story is very sad, because it has come about by the death of a much loved pet, Super Stew or Stewie, the miniature Schnauzer, who was taken long before his time with IMHA (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia).

It is also though a wonderful story of love, and captures the essence of what our canine friends are to us, very special friends and companions. The author of this book makes Stewie’s passing from this world a wonderful adventure, for him, and this is what makes this book so special.

We all dread our friends passing, however as Kristi sends Stewie on his journey to the Rainbow Bridge, he is so happy, exploring and enjoying experiences which spark memories for him. He sings little songs and meets other dogs, all special in their own way, and all following their own paths. At one point he even meets two very important little characters who are not sure where to go, luckily he can send them on the right path.

Eventually he crosses the Rainbow Bridge and experiences life on the other side, he is a happy dog, surrounded by friends and what’s more, he knows he can see his mom when he wants, and she can see him too. You see they will never really be parted.

This book is just beautiful and is a lovely way of explaining the loss of a pet especially to children. And yes, I cried my way through the whole book, because, well because I am me, and I absolutely love animals and know the heartbreak losing them causes.

This is, without a doubt a lovely way of explaining something which is so hard for children to come to terms with, to them, and I hope the author finds as much enjoyment with her other canine friends as she did with truly ‘Super Stew!’

I was given a copy of this book by the author, in exchange for a honest review.

 

About the Author: Kristi is a feature writer at a university. She holds a B.A. in communications and her experience in higher education has led her to a passion for young, growing minds. Her first publication, The Adventures of Super Stew: An unforgettable journey shares the story of her dog, Stewie, and their special bond, as he travels to ‘Rainbow Bridge’. A tale for families and children of all ages, Kristi hopes this book will help anyone who has experienced the loss of a pet companion. https://www.facebook.com/TheAdventuresOfSuperStew/

About the Book: Chronicling a miniature schnauzer named Stewie – “Super Stew” – as he embarks on a magical journey. Stewie, known for his playful antics, has adventures with whimsical characters Ralphie, Benji and Angel, Peanut, Jack, Whiskers, Howie and Stanley, and Lyndi on his enchanted path. This is the tale of the special bond between Stewie and his master. A story of love and light, this book will teach families and children of all ages about the loss of a pet companion and the beautiful afterlife known as ‘Rainbow Bridge’. https://www.facebook.com/TheAdventuresOfSuperStew/]]

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Super-Stew-unforgettable-journey/dp/153338309X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465907740&sr=8-1&keywords=the+adventures+of+super+stew

and Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Super-Stew-Kristi-Domke/dp/1367639336/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1465907740&sr=8-1

 

Biff the Useless Mention: Book IV of the Sell the Pig trilogy by Tottie Limejuice

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Those of us who are avid fans of Tottie Limejuice have enjoyed following her adventures through the Sell the Pig series. We have watch, fly on the wall like, as she left her native England and moved to the Auvergne department in the central region of France, with her alcoholic brother, and their elderly mother suffering from dementia. Then, after her mother’s death she decided to buy the ‘grottage’ and moved there. She is a very open author and gives the reader, whether they are living in France themselves, or just enjoying a good read, lots of information about the French people, customs, idiosyncrasies’ etc.

Now, with the grottage not finished, but coming along nicely, she has decided to tell her readers more about her lovely area and also the neighbouring Rhône-Alpes region. In this the fourth book in the trilogy (she explains that in the book too) she takes us on camping trips, mini breaks, and days out, nearly always accompanied by her Border Collies.

There are wonderful days out described in detail, and I have to say personally a big thank you for her descriptions of the many adventures she has had with her friend Alex. Alex is in a wheelchair a lot of the time and with a wheelchair bound husband myself, it was very interesting to hear about the facilities, or not, at the places they visited especially at the Puy de Dôme.

For those of us who have not yet visited this side of France it makes us yearn to go there and see the wonderful sights she describes.

It is obvious that the author has found her forever home, as she has even become a French national. My father has always said that you cannot live on a view, that may be true, however it must be amazing to look out of your window and be able to see the magnificent Puy de Dôme and some of the volcanic chain (chaîne des Puys).

I was given a copy of this book for an unbiased review thoroughly enjoyed it.

The back of this book allows her readers to sample snippets of her other books, some, like the Ted Darling Detective series totally different from this series.

 

About the Author: Retired journalist, freelance copywriter and copy editor Lesley Tither writes under various pen names for different genres. Already well known for travel memoirs as Tottie Limejuice, Lesley also writes crime fiction under the name L. M. Krier.

“Sell the Pig” is the first in a series of travel memoirs describing how Lesley, writing as Tottie Limejuice, decided to make the move from the UK to France to start a new life, taking with her an 89-year-old mother suffering from vascular dementia.The story continues in two further books, ‘Is That Billinge Lump?’ and ‘Mother, Was It Worth It?’
Book IV in the series, ‘Biff the Useless Mention’, is scheduled for release in early 2016.

Lesley’s first crime thriller, writing as L M Krier, ‘Baby’s Got Blue Eyes’, was published in February 2015, followed by ‘Two Little Boys’ in June 2015. Book III in the DI Ted Darling series, ‘When I’m Old and Grey’ is scheduled for release in October 2015, followed by a fourth in the series early in 2016.

Lesley also writes under the collective pen name of Jilli Lime-Holt, together with authors Jill Pennington and Janet Holt. Their first joint book, Take Three Birds, was published in December 2014.

Lesley is a former journalist, working as both a criminal court and coroner’s court reporter. She also worked as a case tracker for the Crown Prosecution Service, and for a firm investigating irregularities in offshore finance. Her other jobs have included owning and running a holiday riding centre and acting as a ‘charity mugger’, lying in wait to sign up shoppers for a wildlife charity.

Lesley’s interests centre around nature and wildlife and encompass dogs, wild camping and organic gardening. She lives in the Auvergne region of Central France and holds dual French/British nationality. Her current dogs are two rescued border collies.

Want to chat with Lesley? You’ll find a Tottie Limejuice Chat Group on Facebook, with lots of photos of the Auvergne.

About the Book: In March 2007, Tottie left Britain to follow the dream of a new life in France for herself, her elderly mother and her damaged brother. Has the dream turned to a nightmare or is Tottie still happily living the quiet life in her little ‘grottage’ in the Auvergne region of central France?
Come with Tottie now as she takes you on Tottie’s Tours of the Auvergne. Enjoy the familiar ironic humour and keen eye for detail that will bring the landscape and the people to life for you. Be prepared to shed a tear as you say goodbye to some familiar characters. And find out how Tottie took to a life of crime once she retired from her work as a freelance copywriter.
‘Biff the Useless Mention’ is the fourth and concluding part of what started out as a trilogy, with ‘Sell the Pig’, ‘Is That Billinge Lump?’ and ‘Mother Was It Worth It?’. Don’t miss this concluding part of the ‘Sell the Pig’ series.
‘Mother, mother, it’s a bugger, sell the pig and buy me out’.

Available from Amazon in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Biff-Useless-Mention-Book-trilogy-ebook/dp/B0198J9L6M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450795993&sr=8-1&keywords=tottie+limejuice

 

Winter’s Mystery: Time to Go Within by Patricia R. Blumhagen

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This is definitely the most powerful, inspiring and amazing poetry book I have ever read.

 
In Winter’s Mystery: Time To Go Within, the author, Patricia Blumhagen writes in a very powerful yet open way. I loved the title, since, loving nature myself I could immediately connect to the fact that in winter everything is exposed in its raw detail. Gone are the flowers which distract, the leaves which hide, in winter there is only what is…

 
The author has a lovely way of exploring the frailties and strengths of humanity. Her poetry is simply beautiful, looking at the myriad of emotions which make us who we are, our hopes, fears, dreams etc., opening them up for us in an amazing way and exposing the nucleus for us to consider.
That she is an Interfaith Minister is not really surprising, she has a wonderful way with words and I loved the strength of belief which is shown in the poem ‘Calling.’

 
There are many inspirational poems and one, which I loved was The Vessel which tells of being broken, yet still there lies the possibility of healing.

 
In this busy world there are many people who will criticise you, but sometimes you can be your strongest critic and this can cause a lot of emotional pain, and lead to self-destruction; the poem the ‘Inner Critic’ inspires you to let go of these thoughts.

 
‘I Let Go’ is a short, yet very powerful poem about coming to terms with loss which is just simply beautiful.

 
However, I have to say that my favourite is Open the Door’ which is about facing your demons and gaining inner peace, something, many people lack the strength to do.

 
Simply, this book is a joy to read and to own, I know that I shall pick it up many times from now on, whether to gain inspiration, search for answers, or just to enjoy the wonderful words within.

 

About the Author: Patricia is an Interfaith Minister, Registered Nurse, and Certified Nutritional Consultant, as well as a grower of organic herbs. As an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Coach, her concern is finding the best approach to assist clients in connecting with their souls and in birthing their hidden potentials.She works with healing the trauma of loss. Many have been touched and healed by reading her book. She also offers transforming rituals for celebrating personal growth. For twenty-one years she lived and serviced as a nun in a Catholic Community, out growing the conditioning she found herself outside of the religious organization, and, began her search to release the old and reclaim her authentic self.

Winter’s Mystery-Time To Go Within:Spiritual Journeying is her poetic memoir. Here, she tells
her story from loss to freedom, and finding purpose and meaning in writing. In her poetic memoir
she shows how the emotional pain was the medicine for her healing towards wholeness.
Her book is the spiritual journey within for honoring the darkness and moving towards new beginnings.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0578072491?keywords=winter’s%20mystery%3A%20time%20to%20go%20within&qid=1450786982&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

 

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

 

Another Spring by John Needham

Capture_Another_Spring_blue_palerAbout the Book: An un-named black girl finds awakening of love in her barren life. A young girl samples a first kiss with a young man after having a fright at the seaside in 1924. Two couples go through the hopes and anxieties of child adoption, finding they have something in common. The angst of being an ugly duckling teenage boy in the 1950s comes good, with a surprise twist in the tail. A writer reminisces about the recent years of his past in recollections bitter-sweet.

These are stories that will tug the heart strings and sometimes make you smile. And sometimes too, perhaps, they might provoke another sort of smile: a wry one of remembrance.

 

 

A lovely collection of short stories.

This book is a collection of short stories, each possessing different themes, but all written in the style of writing that lovers of John Needham’s other books will recognise. 

John writes from experience, hindsight and observation. These stories are poignant, reflective, heartrending and celebratory, they will make you laugh, smile, think and reflect.

If you are a fan of fly on the wall stories or memoirs, you will love the way that his pen dips into the past as he captures the essence of life then, and the innocence of bygone days, in the first two of his short stories which are called Awakening and Skeggy Day Out.

Tantalisingly, Baby Blues is a taster for his next novel The One of Us. As two couples explore their thoughts and feelings whilst deciding whether they are going to adopt.

Of course everyone has fallen in love. Dream, Dream, Dream, takes its title from the famous song as one man reflects on life and love in the 50’s.

Whilst in the final story a writer shares a little of himself in Another Spring…

Even though two of the stories are modified extracts from the author’s novels Convergence and Forebears, the others are new, and I am confident in saying that fans of John’s writing will not be disappointed in this new book.

 Available in Kindle format from:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Another-Spring-heart-warming-seasonal-tales-ebook/dp/B00LN6AQJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405089596&sr=8-1&keywords=Another+spring+by+john+needham

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Spring-heart-warming-seasonal-tales-ebook/dp/B00LN6AQJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405090739&sr=8-1&keywords=another+spring+by+john+needham

Autharium http://www.autharium.com/Ebook/wordsfrom%20john/another-spring-story

 

 

 

 

 

Mother, was it worth it? by Tottie Limejuice

MWIWIReal life in France.

About the book: Tottie and her eccentric family moved to France in search of a better life for her nearly nonogenarian mother who suffered from dementia. As her full-time carer, Tottie listened to daily recitations of her favourite saying: ‘Mother, mother, it’s a bugger, sell the pig and buy me out.”
Catch up now with Tottie in the AM years – After Mother – as she starts her new life in the rural Livradois-Forez region of the Auvergne, living in Tottie’s Grottage. Meet the local inhabitants, from exotic birds to colourful characters like the Bin Pickers, Library Lady and the Bowing Farmer. All are described with Tottie’s familiar gently ironic humour. Discover the procedure behind the Frogification of Tottie, and if her bid for French nationality is successful.
‘Mother Was It Worth It?’ is the concluding part of the Sell the Pig series, which began with ‘Sell the Pig’ and ‘Is That Billinge Lump?’

About the author: Tottie Limejuice is the pen-name of freelance copywriter and copy editor Lesley Tither, who lives in the Auvergne region of central France.”Sell the Pig” is the first in a planned series of books describing how Lesley, a former journalist living in the UK, decided to make the move to France to start a new life, taking with her an 89-year-old mother suffering from vascular dementia.Lesley’s interests centre around nature and wildlife and encompass dogs, wild camping and organic gardening.

 

Having read, ‘Sell the Pig,’ and ‘Is that Billinge Lump?’ I couldn’t wait to read Tottie’s further adventures, and as soon as I started this new, and sadly, last book, in the series, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.

It is not your normal, we bought a house in France and renovated it, story. Indeed, Tottie’s move was based on totally different reasons, which you will know if you have read the preceding two books, however, if not, then, this book can happily be read as a standalone. 

If you want to really know what it is like living in France, making your home in a small rural community, hiring workmen and dealing with French bureaucracy, then there is no better example. The ever resourceful Tottie seems to have the ability to handle any situation with true British fortitude and determination.

However, there is a real underlying ‘heartstrings’ element to this book, and indeed to the series, as, throughout all three books we are invited, very much into her life. The reader finds themselves laughing, and crying with her as she copes with all the events life throws at her, with the support of some very good friends, both English and French.

When not renovating ‘The Grottage,’ accompanied by her Border collies Ci and Fleur, she enjoys camping and breaks away, exploring her chosen area of France. These adventures are chronicled as part of this story, and through her marvellously descriptive writing, she gives, for those of us who have never visited this beautiful region, a wonderful insight into its wildlife, and people.

I just could not put this book down, I love the down to earth, totally unbiased, and no nonsense way the story is written.

Available in Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/Tottie-Limejuice/e/B00ADQX5KS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Forebears by John Needham

NEW RELEASE

A fascinating story of discovery spanning the 20th and 21st Centuries.

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About the book:  When Jay Harding is given his grandmother June’s diary after her death he discovers a vivid picture depicting one Englishwoman’s life from childhood during the dark times of wartime Britain up to the present day. But he’s already learned dark secrets. Prior to her passing his grandmother had told him the story of her forebears beginning in the early optimistic years of the twentieth century, before the world was torn apart by the cataclysm of the first terrible ‘war to end all wars.’ That account gave testimony to shocking abuse, institutional cruelty and tragedy. Now he reads on . . .

As Jay journeys through the rich tapestry of his family history we find that in many ways it’s the reader’s own. For every family has a story to be told. Intertwined threads of earlier lives influence who we become. Jay sees his ancestors’ histories in handwritten pages yellowed with age; in sepia and black-and-white pictures dulled by time; in a poignant remembrance of lost love in a silver frame; has heard it told in his grandmother’s voice, tremulous in her decline. In exploring his forebears’ histories, Jay finds the rich echoes of the past resonating with his love-blessed present, inspiring him to meet the future.

Several themes run in parallel through this rich novel: the repercussions of sexual abuse, the continuum of female sexual reproduction, the woman’s view of fighting wars and running the world and the changing social mores throughout the twentieth century. It is a compelling social and family history; that of so many families of the last one-hundred-and-five years.

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This story starts with Jay, standing in the church at the funeral of his Grandmother, June. After the wake, his Granddad offers him the opportunity to read his Grandmother’s diaries, which she has kept since she was a child.

That night, Jay and his partner Helen snuggle up together and open one of the journals….

As they begin turning the pages, they find themselves drawn back through the years to June’s childhood. But then another, parallel narrative appears: we are taken back two more generations to begin with June’s own grandmother. The story spans 105 years, and follows generations of the same family, down the female line, starting with Juniper, an attractive young woman who becomes a Governess in 1906. Her life, like so many others was moulded by circumstances beyond her control. When World War 1 started, everyone, including her boyfriend was sure it would be over by Christmas, but unfortunately, as we know it was not, and our glimpse into her life gives a wonderful insight into what living before, during and after the First World War was really like.

As the story progresses, I found it fascinating to read about the changes in attitudes, fashions and morals throughout the 20th and into the 21st Century.

At the end there is the opportunity to sample the authors debut novel ‘Convergence’, which is about Martin, one of the characters in this book.

This, in my opinion would make a good book for students of Modern History to read, or anyone interested in family life in the 20th and 21st Century. Within its pages you will find it all, love, life, birth death, the full gamut of emotions. At the very end there is a satisfying, surprise plot twist.

Available at Amazon.com in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Forebears-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00IAZX3Y2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392033154&sr=8-1&keywords=Forebears+by+john+needham

and Amazon.co.uk also in Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forebears-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00IAZX3Y2/ref=cm_cr-mr-img