Friday, 18 December 2015

Nearly Christmas - Yikes!

With Christmas on the way, I’ve done what I always do in times of crisis.  I’ve turned my attention to things that don’t need to be done.  I do have a list – well it’s not quite linear – in my head of essential jobs, but I’ve spent the morning reading about the genome of Cichlid fish who live in a tiny volcanic crater in Africa.  I’ve learned something I didn’t know – that these fish are capable of sympatric speciation. Not content with this amazing discovery, I overdosed on new information on drugs to combat stomach bacteria that encourage hardening of the arteries and then couldn’t resist an article on cellular activity that affects memory.
I haven’t showered.  I haven’t dressed properly.  The postman could arrive at any minute and the hoover needs a full service before I use it.  My sister is arriving in three hours, my son will be home for lunch in one, the dishwasher needs salt and I’m almost out of deodorant.
I turn to the past for consolation.  Yesterday, I fixed the car with the help of the Internet (finding the right cap for the coolant – did you know that there are two types of coolant?  One has to be diluted, the other is ready-mixed).  I also bought four Christmas presents, wrapped them and put them under the tree, I bought a turkey with a best before date of 21st December (an easy mistake to make), had two tyres replaced on my old Peugeot (French language challenge), made a cheese and onion sandwich, and looked out of the kitchen window at the lawn, trying to decide whether I should get the mower out.  I’ll have a look again today.
Oh, and I published a short story called ‘Christmas Tree’ (the title came to me in a moment of inspiration).  Rarely have I been known to publish anything at the right time.
Right (that’s me, being decisive).  That’s all for now.  If I don’t get back to my blog before the big day, I hope you all have a very happy Christmas.  I’m going to steel myself against further distractions and do some chores – I must just look up the etymology of ‘chore’…

Happy Days!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Review: 'Searching for Summer' by Christine Campbell

I have reviewed this book as one of  Rosie's Book Review Team

'Searching for Summer' is a character-driven novel that draws the reader in to Mirabelle’s world.  She is an interesting, fun-loving woman with a big personality, however, when her daughter goes missing, she is tortured by questions about her worth as a mother and begins to lose her self-confidence.

The first part of the book is taken up with her emotional response to the loss of her daughter.  Then we see the super-human efforts that Mirabelle goes to in her search for Summer: sleeping rough, trailing ‘suspects’ and persuading Sam (a detective friend) not to give up, when there is little justification for pursuing the investigation (Summer is old enough to leave home).

The ending is not clich├ęd.  In fact this book is not in the least sentimental, which is refreshing.  If I’m honest, I found the first part a little repetitive, but I always wanted to find out what had happened to Summer.  In the end, though, I was more interested in Mirabelle and how she would come out of an experience that not only made her question her relationship with her daughter, but also the direction her own life was taking.

In the next book, we are told that Mirabelle will turn detective and open an agency to find missing people.  Her tenacity is not in doubt!  Perhaps she has found her true vocation…

An interesting read.  A well-written book.





Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Hanson's Hunch 

A five-star review from top Amazon reviewer C. Lahain:


A detective tries to solve a series of murders where the victims have no obvious relationship to one another.

This is a short, suspenseful work. Spicer packs a lot of character and action into it. The motive behind the killings isn't something I've seen before. Detective Hanson remains something of an enigma throughout the piece. We get the sense of a complicated and gifted intellect, and the tiny peek into his home life hints at an abundance of warmth buried under the all-business exterior. I would have loved even more of this personal side as a contrast to the nightmare going on around them.

The end comes as a big surprise. I'm still not sure how I feel about it...very mixed emotions for reasons anyone who reads it will understand. However, this resolution did add a nice splash of dark humor.



Free until 6th December