Archives for the month of: September, 2015

Hi all:

As you know, I’ve been away, somewhere where I didn’t have regular access to internet, for the last few weeks. It was time to go back to the hamlet in Northwest Spain (a region called Galicia. Those of you familiar with the Camino de Santiago will be familiar with it) where my Dad was born, Paradaseca, to lay his ashes to rest next to his parents.

I hadn’t been there for 25 years or so, and as you can imagine it was a bit of an experience. Part a trip back in time, part a feeling that everything had changed only for everything (or nearly) to remain the same.

The place where my Dad was born is very rural and has seen a lot of emigration, where plenty of the inhabitants moved to big cities, within Spain or elsewhere. As a result there are places where only older people are left and places totally empty. Plenty of very cheap property although sometimes the local facilities are somewhat limited.

I found this article discussing the phenomenon, that I thought was interesting.

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/08/23/433228503/in-spain-entire-villages-are-up-for-sale-and-theyre-going-cheap?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits

I plan on a series of posts (and possibly even some videos, once I’m back home and have a better connection) but in the meantime, I thought I’d share some pictures.

We went for many walks and that evening I took a camera

We went for many walks and that evening I took a camera

The panorama from Cabeza de Manzaneda, a a nearby sky resort

The panorama from Cabeza de Manzaneda, a a nearby sky resort

This chestnut tree is supposed to be over a thousand years old

This chestnut tree is supposed to be over a thousand years old

One of the houses of the hamlet

One of the houses of the hamlet

The church

The church

The view from the back of my parents' place

The view from the back of my parents’ place

Helping my uncle Eloy extract honey

Helping my uncle Eloy extract honey

La plaza del Hierro (Iron Square) in Ourense

La plaza del Hierro (Iron Square) in Ourense

As I’ve told you, I hope more posts will follow. Ah, and although I didn’t have as much time as I anticipated (meeting relatives you haven’t seen in many years makes for long conversations) I did manage to read quite a few books, so there will be plenty of reviews to come.

Thanks for your patience, for reading, and you I’m sure you still remember what to do: like, share, comment, and if you fancy reading the article, CLICK!

Hola a todos:

Después del descanso (por llamarlo algo) de estas semanas, estoy de vuelta en el blog y como es viernes, toca novedad literaria. La de hoy, viene de mano de una escritora que pertenece a uno de los grupos que frecuento en GoodreadsLo cierto es que no me paso mucho por allí (algunos grupos prefieren mantener a escritores y lectores separados) pero este grupo es muy amistoso (El grupo se llama Café Literario, por si lo queréis visitar) y los autores se sienten como en casa. Mo de la Fuente anunció que había publicado un nuevo libro, y decidí que la ocasión la pintan calva. Y al preparar el post me di cuenta de que aunque nos seguimos y estoy familiarizada con sus obras, no las he traído nunca aquí, así que, primero empezaremos conociendo un poco más de la escritora invitada de hoy, Mo de la Fuente. (Y además se dedica a la traducción, como yo!)

Mo de la Fuente

Mo de la Fuente

Mo de la Fuente (Salamanca, 1968) cursó estudios de Traducción y de Comunicación en la Universidad de Salamanca y en la Universidad de Westminster (Londres). Se ha dedicado a la traducción y “Ojalá Paula” es su primera novela. Además de la literatura, es guionista y realizadora de cortometrajes.
Si quieres conocer más sobre la autora, su obra y sus intereses, visita su blog
http://ojalapaula.blogspot.com.es/

Su página de autora en Amazon, para que siempre estéis bien informados:

http://www.amazon.com/Mo-de-la-Fuente/e/B0095JXGWQ/

Ah, y recordad que si le dais al botón de FOLLOW Amazon os enviará un aviso cuando haya novedades.

Su última novela es:

Los pobres siempre andamos mirando al suelo de Mo de la Fuente

Los pobres siempre andamos mirando al suelo de Mo de la Fuente

Los pobres siempre andamos mirando al suelo de Mo de la Fuente (Autor), Javi de la Fuente (Ilustrador)

Desahuciados, despojados de una vida que creyeron sólida, los pobres son recluidos en campamentos y alejados de la sociedad bajo el amparo de un oscuro proyecto gubernamental. En uno de estos campos, Eva narra su experiencia vital, su cambio personal y su adaptación a un mundo que hasta hacía poco le era completamente desconocido. El frío, el hambre y la humillación serán compañeros de viaje, aunque por el camino encontrará también el amor, la amistad y el deseo de seguir luchando.

Enlaces:

http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B014MI4IDU/

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014MI4IDU/

En Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26191768-los-pobres-siempre-andamos-mirando-al-suelo?from_search=true&search_version=service

Y como Mo no había visitado mi blog, decidí dejaros información sobre sus otras dos novelas:

OJalá Paula de Mo de la Fuente

OJalá Paula de Mo de la Fuente

Ojalá Paula 

Ojalá Paula narra la historia de unos particulares oficinistas enfrentados a lo que será la aventura de sus vidas. En un tono de comedia absurdista los personajes irán desgranando su pasado, su personalidad y su más profunda psicología. En esa oficina en la que, metafóricamente, se encuentran atrapados, lograrán encontrar una salida y un nuevo sentido a sus vidas. Temas como la superación personal, el amor, el sexo, la amistad y el compañerismo, conforman el núcleo central de la obra, viniendo de la mano de unos personajes con los que es fácil identificarse. En un estilo ameno y directo, esta novela nos adentra en lo más profundo de la esencia humana a la vez que nos enseña a reírnos de nosotros mismos.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094XSG5U/

http://www.amazon.es/dp/B0094XSG5U/

La isla tranquila de Mo de la Fuente

La isla tranquila de Mo de la Fuente

La isla tranquila

Justo antes del amanecer, en una tranquila isla mediterránea, la habitual calma del lugar se verá rota al descubrirse la desaparición de una adolescente. El inspector Villanueva, trasladado temporalmente al lugar, y la subinspectora Esteller, que lleva tiempo retirada de su cargo, tendrán que enfrentarse a una ardua investigación para descubrir qué ha ocurrido en un lugar donde nunca pasa nada.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RI7GCR8/

http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00RI7GCR8/

En audiobook:

http://www.amazon.com/isla-tranquila-Tranquil-Island/dp/B013PGDX8Q/

(He observado que los audios no siempre aparecen en todas las tiendas Amazon, y cuando lo hacen los enlaces son distintos, para cada tienda, pero éste es el que encontré).

Muchas gracias a Mo de la Fuente por sus novelas, muchísimas gracias a vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC! Ah, autores, si tenéis novedades o novelas recientes no os olvidéis de comunicármelo. 

Hi all:

Today is Friday and after some time away (more on that next week, hopefully!) I’m going back to sharing new books. An author I’ve met through social networking sites, Janice Spina, has published book two in her middle-grade children’s series Davey & Derek Junior Detectives and I thought this was a great opportunity to get to know a bit more about her and about this series.

First, a bit about Janice:

Author Janice Spine

Author Janice Spina

Janice Spina is an award-winning author with nine children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Lamby the Lonely Lamb, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, Book 1 and 2, Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, copy editor and writer of novels and poetry. Hunting Mariah is her first novel to be published under J.E. Spina.

She is working on two more children’s books, a middle grade series, book 2, and editing two more novels for publication. Janice will eventually publish these books over the next year or two.

Her logo is Jemsbooks – books for all ages! Her motto is – Reading Gives You Wings to Fly!

Janice can be followed on her blog: http://jemsbooks.com

Website: http://jemsbooks.wordpress.com
and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Goodreads.

If you want to be kept up-to-date, here is her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG/

And remember that if you click on FOLLOW, Amazon will keep you updated on any new books Janice publishes.

And now, her new book:

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 2: The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat by Janice Spina

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 2: The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat by Janice Spina

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 2: The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat

Davey and Derek Donato are twins but not identical. They gleaned the idea to be detectives from a book their parents bought them on their tenth birthday. The twins discover a black cat and some magic when they visit with their Great Aunt Gigi. The cat tries to communicate with the boys. But what does the cat want to tell them?

Here are the links:

Create Space,

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Amazon.au

Amazon.de

Amazon.fr

If you want to check a post by the author with more information about her new book, check here.

And, as this is book 2 in the series, I had to share some information about the first book too.

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives: The Case of the Missing Cell Phone by Janice Spina

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives: The Case of the Missing Cell Phone by Janice Spina

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives: The Case of the Missing Cell Phone

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives is Book One of a series of mysteries and adventures. Davey and Derek Donato are twins who love to play detective. Find out what they do to solve the case of the missing cell phone.

Review

“Davey & Derek Junior Detectives: The Case of the Missing Cell Phone” is a wonderfully written mystery book with interesting twists that will leave you wanting to know what happens next. Love the main protagonists, Davey and Derek, the twin brothers who are as different as day and night. I’m sure kids their age can relate with them and have fun solving the mystery together along them and their friend Mickey aka “CAT”. Great for young readers who love a good mystery!

The versatile award-winning children’s books author and novelist, Janice Spina, had delivered once again: This time, a lovely detective story for middle-grade kids. The protagonists in “Davey & Derek Junior Detectives: The Case of the Missing Cell Phone” are twin boys that are easy to relate to, each with a unique personality that is sure to resonate with kids their age. The twisting plot in “Davey & Derek Junior Detectives” is captivating and enjoyable. Perfect for young readers!

From the Author

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives is book 1 of a series of adventures and mysteries for middle-grade children ages 9-12, Grades 4-7.

Children’s books by Jemsbooks carry underlying themes with life lessons to help children learn to be kind, caring and accepting of others. In this middle-grade book the theme is about bullying and family relationships and how to behave in different circumstances. I hope children will learn the importance of being kind to others and that friendship matters.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X4RDMWO/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00X4RDMWO/

Thanks so much to Janice for bringing us her new book, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do (if you haven’t forgotten!), like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Hi all:

My break away from the blog is coming to an end, but as today I was travelling back to internet land, I decided to share a review of one of the books I’ve managed to read while I was away (I’ve done a fair amount of reading so I’ll keep sharing some of the reviews for the books I’ve read regularly). And hopefully the regular features and other things should be coming up soon.

You might remember I shared the review for the book The Eagle in Splendour about Napoleon’s court not very long ago and I told you I was hoping to read more books by the same publishing company I.B. Tauris. When I saw the book The Georgian Menagerie and read the description, I knew I had to read it. And I was right. Here I leave you the review and my heartfelt recommendation.

The Georgian Menagerie by Christopher Plumb

The Georgian Menagerie by Christopher Plumb

My thanks to I.B. Tauris & Co. and Net Galley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a fascinating book. I’m one of those people who find the history of the good and great all very well but I’m more interested in what everybody else and society at large was up to while the battles and big political debates took place. And the more curious the topic and the angle used to shine a light on an era, the better.

Christopher Plumb’s choice of topic works well on many levels. Most of us have been fascinated by animals when we were children (and into adult life, whether we admit it or not), and the more exotic to us, the better. Imagining a period in history when many westerners would have never seen a parrot, a kangaroo, or a lion, might be difficult now, but it wasn’t all that long ago. The circumstances of the exhibition and sale of many of these animals provide a fascinating insight into human curiosity, enterprise, and society. And it goes from the Royals to the people who would manage to get a few shillings to pay for a ticket to see the latest attraction. If not everybody could afford their own aviary or menagerie at home, towards the end of the era canaries were affordable by many. The topic is well-researched, with beautiful illustrations of the period, references and footnotes for those interested in further enquiry, but it never becomes arid or tedious. This is not a list of sources and data. The era, the personalities of the merchants, anatomists, and even the animals are brought to life through anecdotes, fragments of poems, songs, newspaper articles, letters…Although readers might not share the point of view and feelings of the people of the period, it’s easy to imagine being there and looking on.

We learn about the uses of bear grease, civet as perfume, turtle feasts as symbols of power, eels and sexuality, parrots and jokes about women, Queen Charlotte’s zebras and the jokes to follow, the prices of animals and tickets in relation to salaries, the opinions of the general population about their monarchs, sexual mores and allusions, famous elephants, sickly giraffes, lions roaring in London’s Strand, the Tower of London menagerie, and how all changed with the arrival of the Zoological Garden at Regent’s Park. Christopher Plumb draws interesting conclusions (or rather guides the reader to notice certain things) that emphasise how the external manifestations of human nature might change, but at heart, perhaps we aren’t that different from our ancestors and we’re not as enlightened and modern as we’d like to think.

This book can be enjoyed by all readers, even if they don’t know much about the Georgian period of English history (also referred in the book as the long eighteenth century), but I think it will be an invaluable resource to anybody studying or researching the era, as it provides vast amounts of background and information (without seemingly doing so) from an unexpected angle, and many of the anecdotes could become full stories in themselves. Vividly described, each chapter can be read individually for specific research purposes, but I feel the whole is much more than the sum of its parts.

A book that will keep me thinking for a long time.

Although I read an e-book version, the links are to the hardback edition, as the final e-book version is not available yet.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1784530840/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1784530840/

Thanks so much to Christopher Plumb for his book, to I.B. Tauris and Net Galley for providing me an advance copy, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and CLICK! And thanks for your patience!

Hi all:

This is another one of the books I picked up in Net Galley based on the comments and the intriguing description.

Here it is:

Madeleine's Kiss by Pete Gilboy

Madeleine’s Kiss by Pete Gilboy

Description

“I didn’t do anything to Madeleine. I’m a noted professor, for God’s sake! Of course I Iiked her. How could I not? She was so sweet and southern-charming and girlish. Innocent and crazy, and delightful to be with.

“I helped Madeleine, that’s all. Yes, I know she’s missing now, but I can explain that. I can explain everything. I can even explain the devastating kiss, and what happened right afterward. I think it’s actually beautiful what happened to Madeleine. I didn’t hurt her at all.

“But even my lawyer didn’t believe me. That’s why I’ve to say it all right here.

“This is the story of what really happened to Madeleine.”

Here is the description in Amazon:

“THIS WON’T BE YOUR USUAL MYSTERY OR THRILLER READ.”

Madeleine is missing.

Adam Snow says he didn’t do it.

Sure.

Now, as he awaits the jury’s verdict, Adam Snow

reveals the truth about Madeleine.

. . .

“Uniquely Gripping”

“Riveting and eye-opening”

“This won’t be your usual mystery or thriller read.”

— Midwest Book Reviews

And here my review. A word of warning, I go on a bit.

Thanks to Net Galley and to Dogear publishing for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Choosing the point of view a story is written from must be one of the most difficult decisions, when it comes to writing. There are some books that one suspects may not have worked if written in any other way. And sometimes we wonder if others wouldn’t have worked better if someone else had told the story. And oh, the horror, the horror of the inconsistent point of view.

I have always been intrigued/fascinated by narrators. And that most interesting and talked about of all, the unreliable narrator. To my mind, even if you have the most detached of scientifically-minded experts telling you a story, there will always be something personal in the telling.

But like Adam Snow, the narrator of Madeleine’s Kiss, I digress. This novel is a first person narration; we could even call it a confession. Adam is a History of Art university professor. From the beginning we know he is on trial, and his trial has something to do with a girl he calls Madeleine (her real name is something we never get to know. Among many other things.)

The Madeleine the narrator tells us about is a fascinating creature. Perhaps deranged, with a huge imagination, or, as she believes, quite special. She is on a journey to try to find another woman, Rosa Lee, a long-lost relative, and another fascinating character, whose story we only know through fragments, incomplete documents, and stories that might be real or not. How and why Adam gets involved in her journey forms much of the body of the story.

Adam’s voice is at times self-deprecating, at times defiant, but always fully aware of what others might think of his version of the story. He intersperses his recollections of the actions with comments about the past (as a justification for how and why he does things), about what is going on currently, and with works of art (his favourite artist is Georges Seurat) that open each chapter.

Although Adam appears to be an example of the saying “those who can’t, teach”, he is enough of an artist to create a story, beautifully written, to justify his predicament. If we believe him or not it’s up to us, although perhaps ultimately irrelevant. He is not the most sympathetic of characters, but his way to tell the story intrigues us enough to makes us want to keep reading until the end.

The novel reminded me in certain ways of We Must Talk about Kevin although I felt much less personally involved and there is no final great revelation. And if the narrator in Kevin might be completely unaware of her biases (even manipulation) when telling the story, there is no doubt that Adam knows full well what the readers might think.

Peter Gilboy creates a fascinating novel where facts are the least important part of the story and where an artist is born, even if not, perhaps, a painter.

This is not a whodunit kind of thriller, but rather an imaginative novel, not fast-paced, but a great psychological portrayal and a game of cat-and-mouse, but not with the possible victim, but with the readers.

Peter Gilboy is an author to watch out for.

Here are the links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Y2DA4LG/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y2DA4LG/

Peter Gilboy, author

Peter Gilboy, author

This is Amazon’s page for Pete Gilboy. There isn’t a lot of information although it mentions two other sites:

http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Gilboy/e/B000APWWM4/

His website:

https://www.petergilboy.com/

And his blog:

http://www.fictionwriterblog.com/

Thanks so much for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and CLICK! I hope I’ll be back with you live soon!

Living in the Gap

“Ruffled feathers and endless squawking over a minor difficulty is typical of a crow’s life. I lean back on the counter and realize that could be my line….”

Opinión y actualidad

Opinión sobre noticias y asuntos de actualidad

Los escritos de Héctor Browne

Blog (algo literario y algo viejo) de un Licenciado en Letras, diplomado en edición, y Profesor de Lenguaje.

Priscilla Bettis, Author

The making of a horror novelist.

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