Sunday, 21 August 2016

Early Days

Playwright Caroline Mitchel Rehder has written two plays that are emotionally charged as they offer the theatregoer an insight into how suffering can begin in the life of a child.

The plays show two entirely different ways, that are all too common, in which a child can find themselves trapped and, as a result, can suffer horribly and, apparently it would seem, totally unnoticed by the adults that surround them.

In the play is "Contractual Obligations"  we see a mother who is incapable of forming that all important mother-child bonding. We watch the unfortunate consequences of this failure as they negatively impact upon the relationship between the two of them.

The second play is called "The Divorce."

It tells the horrible story of a child who disintegrates before the audience as the parents battle each other for supremacy in their divorce, yet fail to notice the horrible impact this event is having on their own child.

The plays are highly stylised and, should they be produced, would probably be best suited to all cast members being played by adult actors, rather than children.

The playscript is published by Matador and costs £9.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which is to the right of this review.

The Silent Land

Whilst undertaking research for his day job as a newspaper journalist, David Dunham realised that, for some reason, very little had been recorded about a British army regiment that had been, at the time, praised for having "saved the British Empire."

David decided to dig deep into the research archives to learn more about the regiment, but he did not use his research material to relate the history of the battle in which they fought,

Instead he used his research to tell the story of the humanity, of the people who survived, those who didn't survive and the great and abiding terrible griefs that this occasioned in their loved ones.

It is a detailed story that shows what happens when their are dreadful and terrible secrets within a family and how the shadow of the great and terrible Great War was a long a dark one.

It is the story of Rebecca and her mother, how Rebecca learned and had to come to terms with the way in which he mother died.

How the marriage to her one true love and her own venture inot motherhood brings about resolution and happiness for Rebecca, until the advent of the Great War, a maelstrom into which her husband, along with millions of men like him, were forced to enter.

Can she ignore the terrible things that have happened in the past? Or will he allow them to mar the rest of her life, spoiling her future as they had already spoiled her past?

This is a well-crafted debut novel published by Matador at £7.99.

It's on sale in the That's Books and Entertainment online book emporium, you'll find the entry to the bookshop just to the right of this book review.

Children of the Mists

Children of the Mists is a novel by author Lexa Dudley.

It takes us to the island of Sardinia to a time of long, long ago.

Set well over 200 years ago Children of the Mists is a Love story.

For the inhabitants of Sardinia, life had not altered much since the time of the ancient Romans.

It is a love story, but it tells what happens when revenge and the Sardinian concept of vendetta become enmeshed with a once pure love, the love of two young people, Raffaella and Antonio.

Devotion is set to one side because a death has occurred.

Honour must be avenged, ambitions befoul all they touch or influence.

But the love of Raffaella and Antonio is a strong love.

However, is it a love that can stand against what are traditions and a way of life that predates even the laws and customs of ancient Roman times?

This is a classical romance in the best sense of the term and is an ideal read for someone who wants their romance with some spark and a lot of heart.

It is published by Matador at £7.99 and can be bought from a variety of outlets including the That's Books and Entertainment online book shop, which you will find on the right side of this review.

Grand Vizier of Krar Fulcrum of Power

Fans of the Fantasy Science Fiction Grand Vizier of Krar novel Strings of Destiny, by W. John Tucker, will be pleased to note that he has published the second novel in the series, Fulcrum of Power.

After her dramatic discovery of the Occidental Communicator (a device of stunning power, installed by extraterrestrial visitors) Blan found herself trapped as a prisoner on the dreaded Slave Island.

She is forced to submit to the Black Knight at Austra Castle.

But now, Blan is going to take matters into her own hands and, though deep within enemy territory, she decides to make her own way and make her own unique mark on the situation.

However, she will not be allowed to face her enemies alone. And her protege, the worryingly brilliant and very strong-willed Memwin who, although only five, is proving herself to be someone who will not be thwarted in her ambitions. Hardly a surprise, when one considers that the Black Knight is her blood father.

The two friends come to a realisation that they are inextricably interlinked under the Great Plan. But can they possibly know or understand the great and terrible risks they are to undertake?

As events take apparently unpredictable and somewhat wild turns, they two expose themselves and, indeed, all of the denizens of Dabbin to the threat of a retribution that would be most terrible to comprehend.

It's a novel of love, tragedy, danger and retribution and excitement! Think Space Opera, think Olaf Stapledon, think E E "Doc" Smith, think big, because this novel's 474 pages has it all and more besides!

It's published by Matador at £15.99 and can be ordered now at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find over to the right hand side of this book review.

The Blue Pendant

The Blue Pendant is a novel by Valerie Duncan that is a novel from our near history, it tells the story of a growing and developing relationship between two women in the 1960s.

The novel launches in the year 1962 where the protagonists, Jo and Jenny, make their acquaintance in college. 

As their friendship ripens they realise that they share passions for music, the dramatic arts and poetry. 

Over the years their friendship becomes deeper and transcends mere friendship, becoming something much more than that.

To their other friends and the outside world they appear to be just good friends. But behind closed doors, it is an entirely different matter as true love blooms and blossoms.

However, Jenny becomes fearful that the true nature of their intense relationship will be revealed to the world so she makes a instant decision to leave Jo behind and flees for a new life in France.

Meanwhile Jo forges a new life for herself as a highly successful magazine editor.

The novel looks at their parallel lives, examines how they live their now separate lives as they attempt to move on.

Jo and Jenny both find a measure of joy and happiness in their lives but both feel that, somehow, there is a certain lack. That something is missing.

Can their love bring them back together? Or will they still be haunted, their hopes blighted and dashed by by that fear of discovery, that fear of what others might think, do or say?

This book is a published (in paperback) by The Book Guild at £8.99 and is available via The That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, just to the right side of this review.

End Point

End Point is the debut science fiction novel of Author Peter Breakspear.

The book is interesting as it was an entry for a competition in Writing Magazine to have a novel published by Matador Books.

And as the book is, indeed, published by Matador, you'll gather that it was the winning entry out of over 100 hopeful authors.

We find ourselves in a Welsh valley with Tom and his special team who are there to retrieve something that has fallen to the Earth.

Missions to Mars and Venus offer proof to the team that planet Earth has been the subject of intense interest from beings from other worlds for a considerable period of time.

They also discover evidence that the environmental conditions of our planet had been subject to manipulation and outside influence for thousands and thousands of years.

Suddenly a member of the team disappears only to be returned to the team but as a radically changed being.

What, exactly, is he, now? An enemy or just someone who is attempting to guide the team, to help them in their ongoing quest?

Even so, they find themselves subjected to numerous examples of misdirection. But, ultimately they arrive at the answer they have been seeking. Or is it?

Is the Biblical story of the Ark of the Covenant somehow linked in to the events they have been investigating?

Is this an End Point or is it really a Beginning Point?

This book costs £8.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment Bookshop. You'll find that just over to the right of this review.

Ben and the Spider Prince

In this delightful follow up to Ben and the Spider Gate, in Ben and the Spider Prince, we learn that, once again, Lox and the Spider Wizard are in desperate need of the assistance and help of Ben, their human friend.

The Spider Princess is suffering from a dire illness and she is in need of the treatment of a specific, special cure.

However, the ingredients required for this particular type of medicine are all highly special and need to be gathered together so that the medicine can be made.

And it is Ben's task to find those special ingredients!

Can Gran give Ben a special secret that would be capable of keeping Ben safe from Spindra, the wicked sister of the spider Queen?

Written by Angela Fish, this is a charming and eminently well-written book for children.

Again, this book is beautifully illustrated and will be a great book for all children and adults from parents to grandparents and older siblings who like to read to their little brothers and sisters.

In a review Maria Grachvogel very wisely points out that it is "a story about loyalty and friendship."

It's published by the Book Guild in hardback at a very reasonable £9.95 and is available through the That's Books and Entertainment online bookshop, the portal of which you will find on the right hand side of this book review.

Buy it early for Christmas, that's my advice!