Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Monday, 29 August 2016

Blood, Sweat and Schemes

Blood, Sweat and Schemes is the latest crime novel by Rob Watkins.

Bob is in trouble. He had a one time only quick fling, when he and a woman called Charity were thrown together as they escaped death by boredom at a particularly tedious party.

That event occurred well over a decade ago. And now Bob is very happily married to his wife, Sue.

However, by a set of extraordinary coincidences his one time fling has become the boss of his wife.

And it becomes painfully clear that the one time fling is out to try to mess up Bob's happy married life and test it to way beyond breaking point. But just for some fun, you understand!

Charity blackmailed Bob into servicing her sexual needs and it seemed that every time he attempted to escape from Charity's clutches, something truly dreadful would happen to one of his loved ones.

But far from something perpetrated for the mere fun of it, Charity has upped her game substantially.

Because now? Now she wants vengeance. Real, bloody vengeance.  A deadly sort of vengeance of Biblical proportions, that could result in severe injury or an even a more severe death or several deaths.

Will Bob be able to sense the danger that he and his family are in, at the hands of Charity?

Will he be like a lamb to the slaughter?

Or will he be able to face Charity down and deal with her like-for-evil-like?

This is a thrilling book and a mere snip at £8.99, this Book Guild Book is a must for all lovers of crime and thriller novels.

You can buy it via the That's Books bookshop.

When the Ice Melts

When the Ice Melts is a novel by Phyllis J. Burton.

The writing of When the Ice Melts came about as the result of Phyllis J. Burton reading a  article about a woman whose son was in a long-term coma.

Phyllis J. Burton began to wonder what it would be like to be in such a situation and so she decided to write her novel, When the Ice Melts.

It explores the story of Sarah Wenham and what happened when her husband fell victim to a tragic accident that resulted in him being in a hospital's ICU, only kept alive by a life support machine.

Successful solicitor Tom Wenham was severely injured in a plane crash which left him in a coma.

Several months later his wife needs to give her authority to have the life support machine switched off, which results in the death of her husband.

Subsequently Sarah begins to doubt that her decision was the correct one. Should she have insisted that the doctors at the hospital continue with the operation of the life support machine?

Or had she, actually, made the right choice?

Pricked by her conscience she protects her emotions by building a thick wall of ice between herself and the outside world.

However, Sarah finds that she in physically unable to cope with the volume of work within the legal practice that she had operated with her husband, so she decides to take on a new partner to help deal with the casework.

John Bradley is selected as the new partner and Sarah shields herself from him behind her wall of ice.

She attempts to do her best to, somehow, get on  with her life and takes a weeklong break on a Greek island.

She meets silver tongued and handsome Theodorus, but the revelation that he is, actually, a serial womaniser makes her reject his advances.

She returns home to her life in England.

But something is happening. Someone is stalking her, someone who seeks vengeance upon her.

When she vanishes in mysterious circumstances John Bradley becomes frightened for her safety and he launches a desperate attempt to find her.

But can he find her in time? And what has happened to her?

If you like your romance novels with a bit of a thrilling edge to them, then this is just the right book for you.

It's published by Matador and costs a rather keenly priced £7.99. It's available from That's Books.

Prince Hal and his Friend Jack Falstaff

Prince Hal and his Friend Jack Falstaff is a Shakespearean tale that has been retold by Alan Oberman.

Rather than being merely new words, the story is also set to new music by Alan Oberman and also is accompanied by evocative and colourful illustrations created by Robin Carter.

There are two CDs that accompany the book, the first CD includes the story with and without the music, whilst the second CD has incidental music and the story told through music, alone.

The narration is by Philip Bowen, and the musicians are Laura Greenwood (piano) John Hymas (violin) Alan Oberman (saxophone) Graeme Lamble (electric bass and guitar) Tony Egan (drums) Lu Mason (vocals) and Simon Fraser (flugelhorn).

The engineering and editing work were all undertaken by Robin Lamble and the work was recorded at The Institute, Llangamach Wells, and Penlanole, Rhyader, both in Wales.

The story is re-told in a more modern language, yet it is still able to capture what makes this story one of the best-loved of all the stories told by master storyteller, William Shakespeare.

It is published by Cambria Books at an exceptionally reasonable price of £9.99 and this book belongs on the shelves of every family in the Kingdom and also in every school in the land, too!

It is published by Cambria Books (www.cambriabooks.co.uk) and is available through That's Books.

The Compass Dances

The Compass Dances is a collection of the writings of poet Michael Pickering.

It covers the years 1955 to 2015.

Michael Pickering began writing poems when he was seven years of age, although this anthology of his poems starts from when he was roughly 20 and carries on until he was 80.

The subject range is breathtaking covering people, places, ideas, modes of thinking, dreams, realities, legends both modern and ancient.

There are also poems in the style of others (look out for the rather charming tribute to Hilaire Belloc) on page 266, for example.

Mr  Pickering has kindly and thoughtfully provided some footnotes and pronunciation guide notes for several of his poems.

He has used a wide variety of poetic styles throughout this anthology including some styles not much used in modern times and also some poems that are of a more experimental nature.

This is a fascinating and interesting work.

The book is published by Matador at £10.99 and is available from That's Books.

Fast Forward Music and Politics in 1974

Fast Forward Music and Politics in 1974 is the fourth book by Steve Millward.

He observes, sagely, that "It was a period of tumultuous change, the repercussions of which are still being felt today."

Steve's books have covered the time period between 1964 and, with this fourth book, 1974.

It was an amazing ten year period, and 1974 -when Steve started his first job- was an amazing year both musically and politically.

There was the oil crisis, an international recession, the Watergate scandal that felled a president, Richard Nixon, the strange case of Patty Hearst and the Symbionese  Liberation Army, the terrible situation in Northern Ireland, football violence, the increasing fervour of the National Front and more troubles besides.

However. All was not doom and gloom, because as well as being a time of political turmoil, 1974 was an absolutely stunning year for new music.

Billy Swan with "I Can Help",  Carole King was scoring remarkably well -her 1971 album Tapestry was joined three years later by her album Wrap Around Joy, from which were released two hits, "Jazzman" and "Nightingale."

Elvis Presley was enjoying his popularity and Paul McCartney's band Wings release of Band on the Run toward the rear end of 1973 was receiving both critical and popular acclaim. (REVIEWER'S WHINGE: I do wonder what happened to my copy of that!)

Another former Beatle, Ringo Starr, was also doing very well for himself. His version of "You're Sixteen" released the year before was a fairly major hit for him and the album he released in 1974, Goodnight Vienna did well on both sides of the Atlantic.

The book also touches on the rise of Bruce Springsteen, the advent of Punk music (the American and the British varieties) and other such luminaries as the Wolf Tones -with their Irish Nationalist songs, and a host of artistes of various stripes such as Flora Purim, Santana and who can forget the Average White Band's ultra funky song "Pick Up the Pieces"? You'd never guess that, far from being an American band they actually haled from Dundee in Eastern Scotland.

This book belongs on the bookshelf of anyone with an interest in the history of popular music.

It's published by Matador at £8.99. You can buy it through That's Books.