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Recommended Read – The Far Pavilions by M M Kaye


The Far Pavilions is the story of an English man – Ashton Pelham-Martyn – brought up as a Hindu. It is the story of his passionate, but dangerous love for Juli, an Indian princess. It is the story of divided loyalties, of friendship that endures till death, of high adventure and of the clash between East and West. To the burning plains and snow-capped mountains of this great, humming continent, M.M. Kaye brings her exceptional gifts of storytelling and meticulous historical accuracy, plus her insight into the human heart. The Far Pavilions is a long-time favourite of mine. The sweeping saga covers more than 30 years of British and Indian history which has been meticulously researched and is ...
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Review: The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia


From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel—her first to be translated into English—about a mysterious child with the power to change a family’s history in a country on the verge of revolution.From the day old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican village forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gif...
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Lyudmila Pavlichenko – The most successful female sniper in history


“The only feeling I have is the great satisfaction a hunter feels who has killed a beast of prey,” Lyudmila Pavlichenko Lyudmila Belova was born 12th July 1916 in Bila Tserkva in the Ukraine (near Kiev). Her mother was a school teacher and her father a factory worker who worked his way up to a position of responsibility. Unfortunately, that meant that he had to move to a new town every year which in turn meant that Lyudmila had to start again each year at a new school with new friends. Lyudmila was a tomboy – preferring to play rough and tumble games with the boys rather than with girls. When she was 14 the family moved to Kiev where one boy kept bragging that he could shoot better than anyo...
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Review: The Farm: On Practical Wisdom by George Benda


The Farm, set in the second global energy crisis, juxtaposes Jack's high-flying energy career with his pursuit of an idyllic life with his new bride, Anna. Together with Jack's old philosophical friend, Ben, and Ben's wife, Rebecca, the couples explore a path to practical wisdom in the nuclear age. Jack and Ben, learning from their jobs and their marriages, distill out from the noise and tumult seven essential criteria in achieving happiness and a good life, the measure of practical wisdom in all ages and cultures. “This pulls it together for me. The things that look like they cloud practical wisdom sort of gravitating to narcissism. I’m right; you’re wrong. I’m important; you’re not. My fri...
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Interview with Marie Lavender


1. What makes you proud to be a writer from Indiana? Hmm…tough question. Being a Hoosier is a condition. We’re more grounded, yet somehow backward hicks at other times. LOL. For example, I heard a story once about someone who went Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Quite a few of the girls around the group were going topless, and when they were asked to do the same, they all said, “Nah, we’re from Indiana.” So, I rest my case. It’s a thing. We also tend to mispronounce words, which really drives me nuts as a writer. I catch myself doing it in conversation now and then. So, as for being proud of where I come from? There are disadvantages, but I guess one upside is that I can look at some crazy situat...
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Recommended Read – Silence by Shusaku Endo

Silence
Beneath the light of the candle I am sitting with my hands on my knees, staring in front of me. And I keep turning over in my mind the thought that I am at the end of the earth, in a place which you do not know and which your whole lives through you will never visit. It is 1640 and Father Sebastian Rodrigues, an idealistic Jesuit priest, sets sail for Japan determined to help the brutally oppressed Christians there. He is also desperate to discover the truth about his former mentor, rumoured to have renounced his faith under torture. Rodrigues cannot believe the stories about a man he so revered, but as his journey takes him deeper into Japan and then into the hands of those who would crush ...
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Malta – the brave island which was awarded the George Cross

THE BRITISH ARMY ON MALTA 1942 @IWM GM946
At the beginning of the Second World War Malta was a part of the British Commonwealth and had been at the centre of Britain’s strategic naval planning in the Mediterranean since the early 19th century. In early 1940, it was thought that the island could no longer be the main base for the Mediterranean Fleet because of the threat created by the close proximity of the Italian Air Force. Britain therefore moved their focus to Alexandria in  Egypt and left the defence of the western Mediterranean to the French. This worked well until France surrendered to the Germans at which point Britain set up Force H in Gibraltar to maintain a presence there, and to help with the defence of the island of Mal...
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The Fourth Year Spell by Amanda Jeffery


  Synopsis Declan Devereaux is finally ready to complete his Fourth Year Spell so he can move on to the next year of studies. All that's left is one ingredient and he's ready to get it from the Mayor's Manor. Unbeknownst to Declan, the local Thieve's Guild also has plans to rob the Manor on the same night. When they meet mid-robbery, Declan casts a spell that sets the four of them on a path that may end at the gallows.  Meet the author Amanda Jeffery is an Author and Freelance Writer. She was born and raised in Alberta, Canada, where she resides with her husband, two children and family pets. When not writing, she can be found reading or working on her latest cross stitch project. Amanda wri...
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‘The Lost Egg’ – a bedtime story on Little Radio

Dorinda Balchin Promo Flyer LOST EGG
As a complete change from my usual historical writing I have been asked to write a short story for ‘Little Radio’. This radio station for children is run by TV presenter and actor Chris Jarvis (people in the UK will know him from the BBC TV children’s channel CBeebies, or may have seen him in pantomime). ‘Little Radio’ is a great resource which you can listen to 24 hours a day via the app or online. If you have some little ones at home please do listen in at 6.30pm or 8.30pm on Wednesday 12th August when Chris will be reading my story, ‘The Lost Egg’. Original link
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Meet Mystery Author Paty Jager, Read About Her New Title and Puzzling out a Murder Mystery


Paty hosted me last week on her blog Ladies of Mystery featuring my historical mysteries. Now, to return the favor, she's my guest! Paty is an award-winning author of 46 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.” ...
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Book review: Arcadia’s Children 3 : Pushley’s Escape is the third novel in the Arcadia’s Children series.


Arcadia’s Children 3 : Pushley’s Escape is the third novel in the Arcadia’s Children series.The other two are:- Arcadia’s Children: Samantha’s RevengeArcadias’s Children 2 :The Fyfield Plantation.The main characters remain the same. Mick Tarmy, Claire Hyndman and Nonie Tomio.Ed Pushley is an archaeologist but his mind has been taken over by a spettro that Mick Tarmy dubbed as Irrelevant. (My name is Irrelevant, Mr Tarmy.)Irrelevant and Pushley are now one. Following Irrelevant’s death their minds have fused. Kept captive by Alton Mygael, Pushley frantically tries to find a means of escape.  Damaging his isolation helmet during a moment of frustration, Pushley realises that with perseverance ...
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Book release: Responsibility Rebellion by Kain Ramsay & Cinzia Dubois. An unconventional approach to personal empowerment.


Many of us crave more fulfillment in life, but we don't know how to find it. We try everything to feel better, from changing jobs and dating new people, to attending therapy and taking pills. We grasp at the superficial, and externally overcompensate for our internal voids and self-doubts. What we don't realize is that avoiding responsibility only postpones the inevitable—that nothing about our life changes until we change. You will not become empowered until you choose to take responsibility for the role you've played in undermining yourself. Finding more fulfillment, satisfaction, and inner-peace is your responsibility because no one else cares. In Responsibility Rebellion, author Kain Ram...
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Recommended Read – The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan


An enchanting historical epic of grand passion and adventure, this debut novel tells the captivating story of one of India’s most controversial empresses — a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles, and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal Empire. Skilfully blending the textures of historical reality with the rich and sensual imaginings of a timeless fairy tale, The Twentieth Wife sweeps readers up in Mehrunnisa’s embattled love with Prince Salim, and in the bedazzling destiny of a woman — a legend in her own time — who was all but lost to history until now. The Twentieth Wife begins in 1577 with the birth of a refugee child. No one could have guessed that 34 ...
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Free to Download ... All books of Lynelle Clark FREE on Smashwords!


Download in the Format of your choice.Tanya’s life was turned upside down when her son, Steve was attacked by renegades and she had to dig deep facing her worst fear to save them both. It is the year 2048, 30 years after a devastating quake had changed Gauteng’s geographic features. The effects of the acid water, that covered most of the area, was visible to everyone but the government. The silent death crawling closer leaving devastation in its path. Nothing is excluded from the terror. Tanya and Steve’s path of survival meet up with the rebels in their search for clean water and she had to face much more than just acid water to stay alive. A thrilling story of courage and survival.       S...
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Meet Marlene Wagman-Geller, Author of Many Biographies of Strong Ladies Who Made a Difference


Marlene and I have something huge in common, she's been at it a long time, I recently started: we write about strong ladies throughout history. While my books are fiction, hers are biographies. I'm featuring WOMEN OF MEANS, FASCINATING BIOGRAPHIES OF ROYALS, HEIRESSES, ECCENTRICS, AND OTHER POOR LITTLE RICH GIRLS, which I am currently reading and enjoying.Meet MarleneMarlene is the author of several books, including Once Again to Zelda: The Stories Behind Literature's Most  Intriguing Dedications (Perigree/Penguin 2008), Eureka!: The Surprising Stories Behind the Ideas That Shaped the World (Perigree/Penguin 2010), and And the Rest Is History: The Famous (and Infamous) First Meetings of the ...
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The day that Churchill sank the French Fleet


On July 3rd 1940 the British Fleet fired on the French Fleet which was at anchor in the North African port of Mers el Kebir, near Oran in Algeria. The attack lasted for only 10 minutes but in that time hundreds of French sailors were killed and their ships crippled. Yet only days before France and Britain had been Allies fighting against Hitler’s Germany, so what went wrong? The German Blitzkrieg was unexpected and totally devastating in its speed and France fell to the Germans which left the British in a difficult position. Many of the ships in the French Fleet were still at sea or in port and Churchill realised that it was vital to keep these resources out of enemy hands by any means possi...
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Former VP Aaron Burr Married Eliza Jumel On This Day in 1833


On this day in 1833, former Vice President Aaron Burr, 78 and poor, showed up at Eliza Jumel's doorstep with a minister. Eliza, 58, New York City's richest woman, agreed to marry him. I so enjoyed researching and writing my biographical thriller ELIZA JUMEL BURR, VICE QUEEN OF THE UNITED STATES.A true rags-to-riches story: how “Bouncin’ Bet Bowen” George Washington’s daughter, became Eliza Jumel Burr, wife of Vice President Aaron Burr and New York City’s wealthiest woman While researching Hamilton, I became fascinated with his political nemesis Aaron Burr, which led to Aaron's last wife Eliza Bowen Jumel. Only a handful of biographies of her exist, so I learned as much as possible about her ...
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A Moveable Feast is a memoir from a young Ernest Hemingway’s pen.


It was recommended to me by an online writer’s masterclass I attended in January 2020. I need to add that I have never read any of Mr Hemingway’s books though I know him through the many quotes that frequent the writer’s world. I have learned to have respect for what he had achieved and the legacy he had left behind. So, I went in with great expectation but… there is always a but, correct. My expectation quickly turned to confusion. Since I had done the writer’s masterclass in January, I cannot remember why it was recommended. It could be that we talked about memoirs and how to write it…   Maybe it has to do with the time difference, though I love a beautifully written historical. So, it can...
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Recommended Read – To The Ends Of The Earth by Frances Hunter


Brilliant but troubled, Meriwether Lewis never found his footing after returning home from the West in triumph. It is with some reluctance that the young discoverer accepted the job as Governor of the sprawling new Louisiana Territory he had just explored. Within a year of arriving in St. Louis, the remote frontier town that served as capital of the West, Lewis’s life had entered a downhill slide. He became convinced that he would soon be dismissed in disgrace by the corrupt politicians in Washington he had sworn to serve, and vowed to travel to Washington to set the record straight. The next weeks of Meriwether Lewis’s life can fairly be called one of the great unsolved mysteries of America...
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Sin and Zen by S.W. Stribling


WILL STRIEF is an American in the French Foreign Legion who was recently injured in a bad parachute jump and recovering at a Legion retreat in the South of France: Marseille. After a few months of adjusting to a slower lifestyle, he meets a very strong and independent woman, CLAUDIA, who doesn’t seem impressed by him, nor does she pity him as the lost boy he really is. The first time they really go out, they end up making love in the bottom of an empty bathtub. This sexual relationship remains a secret  amongst mutual friends for nearly a month before it is revealed that CLAUDIA is somewhat of a femme fatale with the men she has been with and has a long-term boyfriend back in her home countr...
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