In The Plotting Shed

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Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Fussy Librarian

My book DAFFODILS is being featured Friday at The Fussy Librarian, a new website that offers personalized ebook recommendations. You choose from 30 genres and indicate preferences about content and then the computers work their magic. It's pretty cool -- check it out! www.TheFussyLibrarian.com

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Great idea for discriminating readers


Readers: Did you know you can get your very own librarian, for free. It’s true! Choose from 30 genres, select content preferences and she’ll send you daily ebook recommendations. www.TheFussyLibrarian.com

 
This is a new website that chooses books based on their merit.  Saves you having to wade through the pile of books now available on www.amazon.com and many other sites.  Great to have choices filtered.

And, you guessed it, Daffodils features here now!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Charlotte, thank you!

On a quiet rainy Sunday a new 5* review lifted me and the gloom outside.  Just checking one of my babies and there it was a new review.  Anyone who takes the time and trouble to write a review knows not what solace they give to an aspiring author.  Writing is a disciplined, lonely old job and knowing that you have given a reader solace, pleasure and hopefully something to think about is the one thing that often keeps you going.  I take the opportunity now to thank each and every reviewer of both my books, The Twisted Vine and Daffodils, for their time and energy and sheer generosity in posting a positive review.

Here's the latest:

5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 13 Oct 2013


Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)

This review is from: Daffodils (Kindle Edition)
I really loved this book.I have never written a review before but have just finished it this minute. Daffodils was written at a perfect pace which meant it kept me wanting to read.The characters were well formed and believable. It also made me cry a few times and I enjoyed the historical detail. As good as The Twisted Vine -Alex Martins first book. Looking forward to the next .

Friday, 11 October 2013

new 5* review of Daffodils posted in the states

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portrayal of that era, October 11, 2013


This review is from: Daffodils (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this novel. Alex Martin writes with a sensitivity and awareness of the human condition. The storyline flows. the recurring themes of loyalty. love, hope and despair- so much part of those times - are consistent. It is so easy to empathise with her characters; they are rounded and believable. The dialogue and internal voices of both protagonists, Katy and Jem, resonate with the characters portrayed. The storyline is strong and compelling.
The first part of Daffodils evokes the simplicity and unchallenged class narrowness of village life in England before WW1. And then comes the horrific experiences of that war. From a personal point of view,the one and only weakness of this novel is the change of pace in the last third of the story - I so wanted to know more of both Katy and Jem's war experiences; especially Katy's initial efforts to become involved in the war. So my only regret as I closed the book was that it was not longer. This is a novel I would thoroughly recommend. I look forward to reading Alex martin's other novel, The Twisted Vine

My comment is that Daffodils is already a long book and I had to condense it at some point otherwise it would have become an epic!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A Time for Silence by Thorne Moore

It's a phrase often used and abused but I truly couldn't put this book down.  I met Thorne at a book fair and we enjoyed chatting to each other. She is a delightful person who's easy to spend time with but, as I suspected then, she has hidden depths.
I thoroughly recommend A Time for Silence, her debut novel. It explores the darkest of themes in a dual time frame.  Thorne lifts the covers off the black heart of the book in slow degrees, as the contemporary narrator investigates her family's past. 
I gave it a well deserved five stars and my review, with the link to the book, is below:

5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly gripping 9 Oct 2013

By Alexx

Format:Kindle Edition

A skilfully crafted novel in dual time. In the modern story we have a parallel of the mystery that obsesses Sarah as she embarks on a cathartic journey into her family's dubious past. The sparkling dialogue disguises the nature of her relationship with Mark and it is only when she uncovers true abuse of power that she understands what is going on in her own life. It is just as well that Ms Moore reveals the dark secrets of Cwmderwen slowly as it would be overwhelming otherwise. There is a lot of wisdom about human nature in this gripping novel, with both dark and light portrayed realistically, when a God fearing man, cloistered within a chapel community in deepest Wales, allows his pride to undo him and his family. I couldn't put it down is an overworked phrase but I simply couldn't. Yes, I could guess the outcome but not how it would unravel and what the psychological ramifications on each character would be. A highly recommended read. I can't wait for Ms Moores next offering.
 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Review of Judith Barrow's sequel to Pattern of Shadows - Changing Patterns

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18014357-changing-patterns" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img alt="Changing Patterns" border="0" src="https://djgho45yw78yg.cloudfront.net/assets/nocover/111x148.png" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18014357-changing-patterns">Changing Patterns</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3295663.Judith_Barrow">Judith Barrow</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/736019127">4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />

Judith Barrow is the mistress of the family saga.  Having read Pattern of Shadows I was keen to find out what happened to the complex characters set up by the previous book.  It was a richly satisfying experience to have all the loose ends tied up in 'Changing Patterns'.  Love abounds but there is no soppy romanticism. This is real love, warts and all, amongst working class families.  There are no grown ups, no-one knows all the answers to the dramas that confront them. Everyone finds their own way through betrayals, terror and abduction.  Everyone is believable in this gritty, down to earth story. Recommended reading if you want to become totally involved in lives you can relate to.<br>Judith also excels in the atmosphere of the period after the second world war.  Rationing still competes with money for currency, the lavatories are still outdoors with scratcy Izal toilet paper; babies are exchanged without social workers filling in a ream of forms, tin baths still have scum around their edges and you can smell the cigarette smoke and the drains.  Through it all the compassionate humanity of people struggling to cope shines through and this is ultimately an extremely uplifting story with a feel good finale full of hope and optimism for a different, brighter future which beautifully encapsulates the fifties.

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<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/10518353-alex-martin">View all my reviews</a>

Sunday, 6 October 2013

New 5* review for DAFFODILS brings it up to a nice round dozen!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful


5.0 out of 5 stars Daffodils 6 Oct 2013

By SuzM

Format:Kindle Edition

Daffodils is a very good read, set during the first world war, beginning in rural Wiltshire, in a world revolving around the class-ridden affairs of Upper and Lower Cheadle, where Katy, a girl who, for all her dreams of wider horizons, finds herself married to gardener Jem, preparing to raise a family in her little cottage. Even in this small world, there is drama and tragedy, but then Jem joins up to fight abroad and is reported missing in action, and Katy joins the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. The book is well researched and the war scenes are gruesome, but it's very satisfying that Katy, who begins in a maid's apron and cap, obliged to kowtow to the local gentry, finishes up as a free spirit with cropped hair and trousers, up to her elbows in grease, working as a mechanic.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Research for The Rose Trail

I'm finding the research about the English Civil War fascinating.  It was a complex time of political manoevrings between King and parliament before the war eventually broke out.  With the gift of hindsight it seems obvious and inevitable that the power struggle would end in conflict.  Charles 1 was an arrogant king destined to clash with his Parliament but I suspect no-one would have wanted it to end up with his head severed from his diminutive body.  As in today's ebook revolution, there was also an explosion of information spread throughout the country with the advent of printing.  As our generation is also experiencing, there is nothing like information being exposed for the first time to get you thinking. 
 
This crucial time in British history set the precedent for much of our parliamentary procedures today.  It was the first democracy in the world and, as with all compromises, wasn't perfect.  I'm enjoying learning more about this revolutionary era, even though I have to converse with ghosts to fully understand it....but more of that later!

Here's a picture of the new King James Bible, printed in 1613: