Archives for posts with tag: In the Reign of the Ilev

Hi all:

As you know, on Fridays I normally bring you new books and guest authors. Today I bring you a very recent book, the fourth in a series, by an author who’s been a guest in a few occasions, Martie Preller (whose alter ego/character/co-author in this series is called Mary Meddlemore, a very apt name). I’ve read all the books in the series and her collection of short-stories The Seventh Sheep (that you can get free by visiting her blog) that I love.  You can read more about Martie later on, although I can tell you that she is a very well-known author of children and Young Adult stories in South Africa (in Afrikaans) and this is your chance to get to know her work. Don’t miss it! And now, this is her latest book:

 

Interconnected by Mary Meddlemore/Martie Preller

Interconnected by Mary Meddlemore/Martie Preller

Interconnected (The Story Dimension Series Book 4) 

Christina is a postgraduate literary student in the United Kingdom. A freelance photographer contacts her and promises fame and fortune if she does a modelling shoot at newly discovered ancient ruins in Africa. She has no modelling experience whatsoever, but Bjorni assures her that a fresh new face is just what they are looking for. She suspects that it is some kind of hoax, but agrees, because, if it is genuine, it may indeed be the opportunity of a lifetime. They land at Cape Town airport, and her life explodes in unimaginable possibilities which change her life forever.
The book celebrates the power of stories and the difference one single human being can make. We are all heroes, if we give what we can.

http://www.amazon.com/Interconnected-Story-Dimension-Book-4-ebook/dp/B00QFNX0YO/

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

“The idea of 10 dimensions might sound exciting, but they would cause real problems if you forget where you parked your car.” Stephen Hawking in The Grand Design
I have read quite a few of Hawking’s books and understood almost half of what I read, I think, but I found his books fascinating and thought-provoking.
What if there is a . . .  Story Dimension?
The Story Dimension is, of course, the place where “characters” live their life stories, just as we live ours on earth.
What if one of the characters found her way to our earth and people thought she was just another person? It has happened! Mary Meddlemore is living proof of that.
How did Mary manage to do that?
If it wasn’t for Amy, who was in distress and saw what most people do not see (though it is there), Mary would never have known that she lived in the Story Dimension and neither would we have known that there is a place called the Story Dimension.
This pivotal happening in Amy’s life is documented in ENTERING. (BOOK ONE)
The way in which Amy’s story influenced Mary’s story is documented in FOREVER AFTER – A DIMENSIONAL LOVE STORY. (BOOK THREE)
One thing leads to the other thing (as it happens daily to us too) and Mary arrives on earth and starts living an “earth” life. (You have to if you live on earth!) Mary interacts with people and this gives rise to . . . more stories!
Mary was horrified by what had happened to her friend Nina from the Story Dimension, This is documented in IN THE REIGN OF THE ILEV. (BOOK TWO) and when Mary comes to live on earth, she experiences that Nina has not exaggerated — power abuse in all its variations is rampant on earth. Mary is shocked and decides that something has to be done.
What Mary does, is documented in FOREVER AFTER – A DIMENSIONAL LOVE STORY. (BOOK THREE)
As everything that happens, has consequences, Mary’s actions had consequences. INTERCONNECTED (BOOK FOUR) documents the dramatic consequences of Mary’s  interference!

From the Back Cover

MARTIE PRELLER – AWARD-WINNING SOUTH AFRICAN AUTHOR – WRITING AS “MARY MEDDLEMORE” TOO
What if we were all only characters in somebody else’s book?
I think crazy thoughts like that and try to keep away from people who want to label me, because I think labels are meant for tins of peas on a shelf in a shop.
I started reading when I was six and devoured book after book. I was enchanted with all the different worlds I discovered and the “characters” in books seemed much more real than the “real” people around me. They had thoughts and feelings, were sometimes disturbed and anxious etc., while it seemed to me as if “real” people seemed to almost “cardboard” or two-dimensional people. I was so happy to have found people like me in stories!
I love stories. I love the way a story tells the “whole” story, with a clear-cut beginning and an ending. Life is a very confusing place and it seems to get more confusing every day!
My name is Martie Preller (Martie is a local variant of Martha!) I am a well-known and award-winning South African author of many books published by main stream publishers. I grew up in a medium sized town, where my father was a professor and my mother a teacher. The town is well-known for its enormous oak trees and I was in perpetual movement on my bicycle under those trees: visiting friends, the library and the bioscope! The seasons are still visually imprinted in my mind as being deep-green and full of shadows, brownish-yellow that crumpled under your feet, bare, black, stark branches and new green in September.
I majored in Latin and English, acquired a Teacher’s Diploma and much later an Honors Degree in Psychology. I taught Latin and English for three years. I got married and was divorced after almost twenty years. Mismatch!
I have three lovely grownup children, an extra daughter and four super delightful grandchildren.I only started writing at about forty because I was too scared to try. A friend (Thank you, Susan!) eventually “tricked’ me into writing a play, which was a huge success and then I was unblocked (!) and the books started coming.
My 37th book has just been published and the next one is due before the end of the year. I gave thirteen Story Workshops. I wrote a Children’s Story Series in a local monthly women’s magazine for 13 years; I worked on a TV series for children with Katinka Heyns, famous local Director and Film Producer, but unfortunately the Broadcaster ran into financial turbulence …. Oh well. At least it was tremendous fun! (The Seventh Sheep and the other True Tales are reworkings of some of the scripts) … I have been very busy.
A book that sells 3000+ copies is regarded as a bestseller locally, and I’m happy to say that most of my books have been much more than just bestsellers. My Babalela – Series (three Picture Books … fourth one coming in November 2013) has sold more than 70 000 copies and still going strong  (Babalela means “little one” in Sesotho – one of our indigenous languages)
I have published eleven Picture Books, twelve Middle Grade Books, eleven Young Adult Books, two Writing Manuals and a Reading Series for little ones consisting of 60+ little stories. I also received eleven local awards for my Picture Books, Middle Grade Books and Young Adult Books over the years.
Then Mary Meddlemore pitched up …I’m used to dealing with characters – you just shut up and let them tell their stories. If you don’t, you are in deep trouble, otherwise known as writer’s block.
But Mary is … well, Mary! She insisted on being the author of the books too. I agreed. It was fine by me! No problem! I’m having an adventure with Mary! New and advanced technologies have made the world “small” and I can publish new stories in a different way on Amazon etc. and the social media make it possible to connect to people all over the world! I love it!
Stories can literally fly and come and nest on your kindle or other e-reading device in a few minutes! And as I have been a fanatical reader long before I became an author, it gives me the greatest of pleasure adding more stories to the wealth of available stories.
I live near Cape Town, one of the most beautiful places on earth and I love the place and its people.

Although times are turbulent, I always feel that we all live in the cradle of mankind and we will make it work.
There is a more info on my work on my website, though you will have to make intelligent use of Google Translate.(http://martiepreller.co.za)

(September 2013)

Here is my personal review of Interconnected:

I’ve had the pleasure of reading the previous three books in the Story Dimension Series (and also the stories in The Seventh Sheep) even before it had taken full shape. The connections are now quite clear but I would find it difficult to comment on how easy it will be to read this book in isolation from the other three (Entering, In the Reign of the Ilev, and Forever After, A Dimensional Love Story) although I suspect this novel would be a wonderful flight of fancy and a puzzle on its own right.

If I had to highlight a theme that runs through the series it is the importance and the power of stories and how they can conjure up feelings, bring people together, and change people’s lives.

Interconnected has two distinct parts with the same protagonist but not quite. A young woman called Christina in nowadays South Africa taking part in a photo shoot that ends up being only an excuse for…mysterious happenings is the main character in part one. How does she relate to the girl by the same name in the second part, who is living in a post-apocalyptic society, and trying to find a place to rebuild a civilisation? I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to read it to find out.

Mary Meddlemore, the character who plays a very important part in Forever After, and alter ego of award-winning South African writer Martie Preller, weaves poetic language, philosophical musings and ethical questions into a tale that challenges our understanding of narrative, reality and authorship.

A young woman trying to find her true identity; the same (?) young woman trying to build a new civilization by reading stories, preserving books and liberating Lady Liberty. This is a book of magic and wonders, and does not fit easily in any genres. Full of unique characters, mystical events and layer upon layer of stories and interpretations, Interconnected proclaims the deep connection between all human beings, the beauty of language and the way we create meaning through narration. If you have plenty of imagination and love books and stories, I recommend you go exploring the Story Dimension Series.

Mary Meddlemore and Martie Preller

Mary Meddlemore and Martie Preller

 

Author page:

Mary Meddlemore’s/Martie Preller’s page:

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Meddlemore/e/B009IAJQ26/

And check her awesome blog (and you can see her awesome videos and freebies):

https://marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com/

 

Thanks to Martie/Mary for visiting my blog, thanks to you all for reading, and you know what to do: like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

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I bring you big news. Some of you might know if you follow her blog, but we both thought it needed more exploration and I personally find my guest fascinating. And she’s not only a fabulous and imaginative writer, but a great and supportive friend.

Martie Preller is the author behind Mary Meddlemore and her books. Martie, from South Africa, is a well known award-winning children’s author and has kindly agreed to visit my blog today and talk to us about a few things.

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First of all, why did you decide to publish your recent stories under the name Mary Meddlemore? I know Mary is a very important character in Forever After: A Dimensional Love Story but I’m sure quite a few readers will be intrigued.

Thank you for having me, Olga! Well, actually I did not decide to publish under Mary’s name … she decided that! J All my previous books, except my second writing manual, were published by local publishers – mostly in Afrikaans, so self-publishing was a new venture and all Mary’s books are in English, thus I wanted to keep my two careers apart.

And now, the typical question for all authors, how did you start writing? And more important, what kept you and keeps you going?

I quickly turned into a manic reader as a child. When I was halfway in Grade 1 (I was only 6), our family went overseas (England and the Netherlands) for a year so that my father could do research for his doctorate. We went by ship (it was a looooong time ago) and my parents took some books for me to read. I finished them while still on the ship, and as there weren’t any Afrikaans books available, of course, I started reading English. In the Netherlands, where we stayed most of the time, I started reading Dutch.  I had to read!

 

At school I liked writing essays etc and teachers started telling me that I had a lot of talent, but I never could imagine myself as a writer. In those days we still wrote proper letters to friends and family and I loved writing them and everybody kept on telling me I should try my hand at writing, but I didn’t know where to start … Perhaps I was scared that they were just being nice … Then I started writing sketches for the radio .. (loooong time ago!) and short stories for magazines and they were accepted …  so I thought well, maybe I could write … but still not sure and perhaps afraid to be rejected and all those fears we have and then a friend who was a in charge of a college  ordered me to write a play they could produce and I was cornered … because they were waiting for the play and I could not disappoint them … so the play was written, it went down very well and they won the competition and I was in heaven. I sent off a manuscript to a publisher and it was accepted and I was a permanent resident in heaven J and then the plug was out and the stories started rushing out …

 

What kept me going was the ecstasy of discovering new stories and writing them down as well as I could. There was no greater joy – it was even better than reading! When I write I start off with a scene that I can see happening: e.g. someone running away as in ‘Entering’. I want to know why she is running away and I follow her (as an unseen spectator) and look and listen and write and so the story unfolds …

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I’m very pleased that people kept insisting because I think you’re a born storyteller.

I know bits about it, but can you tell us about your previous published work?

My 37 th book has just been published and number 38 is coming in November. Mostly books for children of all ages and young adults. If you can get a child to read, he or she will be a reader for life. I thought it would be nice to help to get new generations reading.

Very true. Some people take it up later in life, but reading and book for many people is a life-long love affair.

And of course, can you tell us about your books: In the Reign of the Ilev, Forever After: A Dimensional Love Story and The Seventh Sheep? And especially your new book, the marvelous Entering?

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‘The Seventh Sheep’ is a reworking of some of the scripts for a TV-series, that unfortunately went down the drain when our public broadcaster went into a financial … ehm … slowdown. It is available as a FREE book (in PDF-format) on my blog.

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Both ‘In the Reign of the Ilev’ and ‘Entering’ are translated reworkings of locally published books. Mary got hold of them and added ‘Forever-After – A Dimensional Love Story’, because she has a plan for mankind … Mary and I are at the moment busy with the sequel to Forever After. She says what the world needs is some story … BLOOD .. (no vampires or zombies … mankind is strange enough already  … )

Martie and Mary have many other projects, but if you want to know more about them, you’ll better check the links to their wonderful blog, author page and also webpage (although if you don’t speak Afrikaans you’ll need Google translate or another web translator. I have tried and it’s not too bad…)

Blog:

http://marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com/

Amazon author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Meddlemore/e/B009IAJQ26  (all her books can be found here)

Martie’s webpage (in Afrikaans)

http://martieprellerauthor.wordpress.com/ (need Google translate)

Thanks for visiting and talking to us and I hope you’ll visit again with your new works. It’s been great having you!

And thank you all for reading. If you’ve enjoyed, please like, comment, share and of course, CLICK!

Hi dear readers:

I bring you two reviews of two books I’ve read recently. I’ve given both of them 5 stars although they couldn’t be more different.

Have a look and see what you think:

lost angeles

Lost Angeles. Trip to the edge of self-destruction

I came across this novel in Goodreads. I followed with interest the author’s reviews of other works and his blog and I must admit I loved the title. It had been on my `to read’ list for a while, and I’m pleased to say that I finally found the time to read it and I’m very pleased I did.
Lost Angeles reads like a memoir, but not your standard memoir (if there is such a thing). The book follows the protagonist, Doug, a young and articulate man from Belfast, and his travels/adventures in Los   Angeles. Doug is not in Los Angeles to see the sights, although the does see many sights (some that none of us would wish to see). From the beginning you realise that he’s there with a mission. You don’t come to realise quite how determined he is to self-destruct until much later in the book. He drinks, takes drugs, engages in casual sex, and drifts from cheap accommodation to even cheaper digs (including the `Lost Angeles’ of the title that used to be a place for sex for sale) all the time meeting real people. Some idiots, some nice but misguided, some lost and looking, some also drifters.
The reasons for Doug’s trip are slowly revealed through interspersed chapters about his life back home (I’m a bit reluctant to call them flashbacks. They’re memories, but too long, detailed and elaborate to be what’s more generally understood as flashback). You quickly realise that he’s mourning the end of what seems to have been his most significant relationship, but later you realise that there is more to it than that, and come to care and empathise with Doug even more. Because if there’s something notable about the novel is that despite behaviour that many of us would neither approve of, not adhere to, we like Doug. He might drive us insane if we met him but…whilst embarked on his self-destructive path he tries his hardest to help others and to do no harm. By the end you’re rooting for him and hope that against all odds things will work out for him.
A very personal novel, I truly enjoyed Lost Angeles. This is a novel for adults and I’d recommend it to anybody who wants to read about real people coping with life, as best they can. I look forward to many more books by Mr Louden.

Links:

e-book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AG5NS30/

Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1477563644/

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In the Reign of the Ilev by Mary Meddlemore. A dystopia that resonates.

I have had the pleasure of reading two of Mary Meddlemore’s works before. Mary Meddlemore is a character in Forever After. A Dimensional Love Story, one of the novels I have read and loved and has also adopted the writing credits for In the Reign of the Ilev and The Seventh Sheep, a collection of four of the most whimsical and magical short stories I’ve ever read. My previous experiences meant that I was really looking forward to Ilev and it did not disappoint, although it is a very different read.

Ilev is classified under the category of Young Adult Science-Fiction, although it would appeal to readers of any age. It is the story of Nina, and 18 y old girl how is one of the Chosen Four who have been the successful ones in going through a selection process from between 40 promising youths in the City. Now the Four had to go through the Final Test and only one will be the Champion. All the champions become rulers of the City and are in charge of the Master Computer. You’ll tell me ‘not another one of these stories of youths fighting amongst themselves to survive’. Well, not really. The test consists in their being dropped some distance from the City and returning to it. Whoever is the first, will be the new Champion. Nina is very confident, egotistical, and only interested in fame, success, material things and power. She does not tolerate weaknesses or flaws and even notices that the previous champions all seem defective in some way. She goes through a number of strange experiences that make her question her identity (children do not live with their families but are all brought up together) and her perception of reality (is she hallucinating or it is really happening? Does she have feelings for Daniel, one of the other Chosen ones, or is somebody interfering with her brain?). She discovers wonderful places and beings but also horrific happenings. All the things that she thought she knew and were certain are not, and that makes her question herself and become more human.

It’s difficult to empathise with Nina at the beginning of the novel, although from her description it seems that she is a product of the society where she grew up. By the end she becomes a true heroine, confronting the terrible truth destroying and deadening civilisation, and she brings forth a new order. There is a price to pay for the changes that take place, but there is hope for new beginnings.

How does Ilev compare to other dystopian novels of the genre? There is action; there are interesting characters, fantastic situations, a love (?) interest…and much more. Nina is an interesting narrator, not knowingly unreliable (she does not care enough about other people’s opinions to lie) although she becomes confused as to the nature of reality at points. She grows and changes throughout the novel and comes to appreciate the value of cooperation, of stories, of history, and of freedom. Winning is no longer the main goal and total power becomes clearly identified with evil. The City in Ilev is a terrible creation but not so far away from our daily lives and experiences. You can’t help but compare your life with that of the inhabitants of the City and wonder if it’s time to become a Chosen one and destroy the order that’s keeping people from really experiencing life and the universe. Given a chance, would you be a Nina?

This novel could be read as a straight adventure sci-fi novel (although somewhat more challenging that many), but it has a message, learning points and reflections that would satisfy more sophisticated readers. I can only say that I hope Mary Meddlemore (and the writer behind her) keeps writing. I’ll keep reading her. I hope you do too.

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GXHI84/

Thanks for reading and if you’ve liked it, leave a comment, share, and of course, don’t forget to CLICK!

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