Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sunday WW1 Remembered ...




Richard Aldington

1892 - 1962


Field Manoeuvres


The long autumn grass under my body
Soaks my clothes with its dew;
Where my knees press into the ground
I can feel the damp earth.

In my nostrils is the smell of the crushed grass,
Wet pine-cones and bark.

Through the great bronze pine trunks
Glitters a silver segment of road.
Interminable squadrons of silver and blue horses
Pace in long ranks the blank fields of heaven.

There is no sound;
The wind hisses gently through the pine needles;
The flutter of a finch's wings about my head
Is like distant thunder,
And the shrill cry of a mosquito
Sounds loud and close.

I am 'to fire at the enemy column
After it has passed' -
But my obsolete rifle, loaded with 'blank',
Lies untouched before me,
My spirit follows after the gliding clouds,
And my lips murmur of the mother of beauty
Standing breast-high, in golden broom
Among the blue pine-woods!




'Richard' Aldington christened Edward Godfree Aldington was an English writer and poet . He was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, on July 8, 1892. At an early age, he moved with his mother, Jesse May, and father, middle-class lawyer Albert Edward Aldington, to Dover. There he grew up with his sister Margery and attended preparatory schools, after which he studied for four years at Dover College.

Aldington was commissioned as a second Lieutenant  in the Royal Sussex Regiment and served on the Western Front, 1916-1918



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Saturday, 21 October 2017

Hist Fic Saturday ~ The Captain's Girl by Nicola Pryce

On Hist Fic Saturday


Let's go back to ...Cornwall, 1793




33814316
Corvus Books
6 July 2017

Beautiful and feisty, Celia Cavendish is about to be betrothed to a man for whom she has no romantic feelings. Inspired by her cousin Arbella, who has recently eloped, Celia decides to try and break away from the horror of the life ahead of her. However, escaping her marriage, under the watchful eyes of her parents, is a risky affair, and even though she enlists the help of her neighbours, Sir James and Lady Polcarrow, Celia is little prepared for the adventure which unfolds before her.

This is the second book in this series of historical romantic fiction, set in Cornwall and which features a strong set of characters, some will be familiar from the author's previous book, Pengelly's Daughter, whilst others are completely new to the story. I really enjoyed getting to know Celia Cavendish, her flight for freedom is done with a fine degree of excitement and I particularly enjoyed watching how her relationship, with the enigmatic and handsome Arnaud, who is the captain of the cutter, L’Aigrette, unfolded within the context of the story.

There are some lovely moments between Celia and Arnaud which add a delicious frisson of romantic entanglement all of which sits comfortably against the darker elements of the story which involve subterfuge and mystery. The mixture of light and shade works well and of course, the wonderful Cornish landscape comes alive with a hint of sea-spray and the shrieking cry of seagulls.

I think that the author has captured the time and place very well, there is a distinctly authentic historical feel to this narrative, and there is also a good blend of romance and excitement which, I think, work well together.

I am excited to learn that there will be a further story in this series which is due to be published in 2018.



Nicola Pryce trained as a chemotherapy nurse before completing an Open University degree in Humanities. She is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. Together they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure.

Website

Twitter @NPryce_Author

@CorvusBooks



Huge thanks to Karen at Atlantic Books for my review copy of The Captain's Girl



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Friday, 20 October 2017

Blog Tour ~ The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosties by Paul Anthony Jones



Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be part of the blog tour for The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosties





Who knows where each day will lead you?

Open The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities on any day of the year: you might leap back in time, learn about linguistic trivia, follow a curious thread or wonder at the web of connections brought to you by popular language blogger Paul Anthony Jones.

Within its pages you will discover a treasure trove of language, with etymological quirks and connections for every day of the year.

Here's the fascinating entry for today 20th October..

limitrophe (n.) a borderland, a neighbouring country 

On 20 October 1818, Great Britain and the United States signed a treaty that established the 49th parallel – the line of latitude lying 49° north of the equator – as the permanent land border between the United States and British North America (now Canada). According to the treaty, it was agreed that the border should follow ‘a line drawn from the most north-western point of the Lake of the Woods’ in Ontario, and travel due west along the 49th parallel ‘until the said line shall intersect . . the Stony Mountains’, as the Rocky Mountains were known at the time. 

As part of the deal, both countries agreed to share control of Oregon County (a disputed territory in the Pacific Northwest), with both ceding territory to the other elsewhere: the US handed the northernmost stretches of Missouri Territory, which it had claimed as part of the Louisiana Purchase, to Britain, while in return Britain ceded the southernmost stretches of one its major Canadian territories, Prince Rupert’s Land. The changes marked both countries’ last major territorial losses in North America. 

A borderland, or a neighbouring country on the opposite side of a border, can be known as a limitrophe, a word first used in English in the mid sixteenth century. Although adopted from French (wherein it was once an adjective describing anywhere located on or near a boundary or frontier), limitrophe was originally a Latin word referring to a borderland region set aside for the training and support of troops. In that sense, it combines the Latin word for a boundary line, limitem, with a suffix derived from a Greek word, trophe, meaning ‘nourishment’.



PAUL ANTHONY JONES is something of a linguistic phenomenon. He runs @HaggardHawks Twitter feed, blog and YouTube channel, revealing daily word facts to 39,000 engaged followers. His books include Word Drops (2015) and The Accidental Dictionary (2016). His etymological contributions appear regularly, from the Guardian to the Telegraph, Buzzfeed to Huffington Post and BBC Radio 4.


Follow on the Blog Tour on Twitter @HaggardHawkes #ForgottenWords @eandtbooks



My thoughts about the book


Elliot & Thompson
October 2017



If you have a fascination for words, and most readers seem to like individual words almost as much as they like lists of words, then The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities will appeal, not only to your sense of fascination, but will also appeal to your sense of order and which ever way you choose to read the book, there will always be something which intrigues, educates and amuses.

There's something about words which soothes my soul and to have chance to take a look at words which have fallen out of common use and yet, when seen, still make the utmost sense, I am reminded of those people who have gone before and of the rich contribution they have made to our vocabulary.

Of course like any sensible person who likes books with daily musings in, I turned, at first, to those notable dates in my life and those of my family and found some hidden little gems. 

Amongst the strange and forgotten words there are some real beauties to be discovered. Some made me smile, others made me nod my head in sage agreement, whilst others made me realise just how beautiful is our language.

Amongst my favourites are:

17 April : Pisgah - which is a view or glimpse of something which is unobtainable or unreachable. Rather like my dream to be a extra on the set of Outlander 😔

19 May : Spousebreach - which means adultery. I mean, could that be any more apt?

31 May : Tell-clock - something or someone who marks or tells the time; an idler. I think we have all known people like that !

And my very favourite from my grandmother's birthday , 4 December : Premonstrance : which means a portent or omen.

My feeling is, that if words float your boat as much as they float mine,  then I will premonstrate that this book will work just as well for you as it did for me.



Huge thanks to Alison at Elliot & Thompson for her kind invitation to be part of this blog tour and also for my review copy of The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities.



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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Review ~ Earthly Remains by Donna Leon


Earthly Remains - Brunetti (Paperback)
William Heinemann
 April 2017

In 'Earthly Remains', the twenty-sixth novel in this series, Brunetti’s endurance is tested more than ever before. During an interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl who then died, Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the fallout, he realizes that he needs a break, needs to get away from the stifling problems of his work.

When Brunetti is granted leave from the Questura, his wife, Paola, suggests he stay at the villa of a relative on Sant’Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the laguna. There he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny’s Natural History. The recuperative stay goes according to plan until Davide Casati, the caretaker of the house on Sant’Erasmo, goes missing following a sudden storm. Now, Brunetti feels compelled to investigate, to set aside his leave of absence and understand what happened to the man who had become his friend.


My thoughts...

Even if you haven't read any of the excellent books in the Commissario Brunetti series of crime novels, and this is now number 26, you will be able to pick up and understand the story from the start as each of the novels work well as stand alone stories. Of course, if you have followed Brunetti's progression from the start, you will pick up the subtle references to what has sometimes gone before, however, I do think that new readers, coming straight into book 26, might be a little perplexed by some of the more subtle references.

In Earthly Remains, Brunetti is granted leave to recuperate following an incident in which he acted rather out of character. Staying on the island of Sant' Erasmo, he  tries to relax and enjoy the tranquility of his surroundings. When he is befriended by the caretaker of the house in which he staying, Brunetti becomes embroiled in a series of events which will have devastating consequences.

The story flows well and the authors attention to even the smallest, detail cannot be faulted. The mystery at the heart of the novel is revealed quite slowly and there were times when I felt like nothing much was happening but I think this is quite deliberate. as at times the place with its beautiful scenery almost takes over from what is happening with the people. That the author knows and understands this area is obvious in the way that she lovingly recreates Brunetti's world.

I am sure that fans of this author will find much to enjoy in this latest book and like all fans will look forward to see what is coming along in book number 27 😊



About the Author

Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers, She is an award winning crime novelist, celebrated for her bestselling Brunetti series. Earthly Remains in the #26 book in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series , set in Venice.



My thanks to the publishers for my review copy of Earthly Remains. 



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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Blog Tour ~ Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn



Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be part of the Christmas at Conwenna Cove Blog Tour






I'm delighted to be able to share this tantalising extract from  Christmas at Conwenna Cove


Canelo
E-book only
9 October 2017


When Grace​ ​Phillips​ travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. As Grace meets local vet​ ​Oli​ ​Davenport​ she initially finds him rude, but learning more about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.

It’s been three years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom​ more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad, as well as hold down a busy job. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart.


          
Extract from Chapter 1...

Grace loved how her parents still made time for each other, even after thirty-four years of marriage. They cooked together, exercised together and even did the crossword together. She knew that they had a special bond, and sometimes wondered whether it was so strong because of what they’d been through. Would they have stayed so close if things hadn’t happened the way they had? She just couldn’t imagine them being any other way, and the idea of one having to cope without the other was too awful to contemplate.

Conwenna Cove was a new start for them and they deserved to be happy. Her mother had always told her that life had its ups and downs, but it was important to grab happiness whenever one had the chance. Grace tried to follow that advice, although sometimes her head overruled her heart. Which was one reason why she was probably still single, having turned down a marriage proposal just last year – much to her parents’ dismay. They’d told her that they just wanted to see her happy and she’d insisted that she was; as happy as she expected to be anyway. She didn’t need a man, especially one like Marcus, to make her feel fulfilled. 

She’d known Marcus since school but not had much to do with him at all, then she’d bumped into him in a café the summer before last and he’d been all over her. She’d thought it strange at the time but also been flattered by his attention, although when she thought about it now, his interest had increased when he’d stopped talking about himself and his woes for five minutes to ask what she did. When she admitted that she was a successful author, he’d wanted to know more and insisted they trade numbers. He’d taken her out about six times after that, and come to her flat for dinner and coffee, but for Grace there had been no spark. That was why, when he’d proposed, she’d been completely shocked. She’d let him down as gently as she could, but he’d been quite rude and left her reeling with a barrage of insults and a few unpleasant text messages. Then two weeks later, as she’d been queuing in Costa, he walked past with another woman, his arm wrapped possessively around her shoulders, and Grace had known that she’d had a very lucky escape.

Before Marcus, she’d had lovers: men she’d met through acquaintances and a few through dating apps, but none of the love affairs had developed into anything more serious. Grace had always found a reason not to commit, and sometimes the men had too, thereby, saving her the trouble of ending their flings.

She poured boiling water onto tea bags, then went to get the milk from the rickety old fridge that stood in the corner of the kitchen. Her parents’ own fridge was currently in the hallway, left to settle after the long journey in the removal van. As Grace bent over to open the fridge, something shot out from underneath, causing her to yelp.

‘Grace?’ Her father rushed to her side. ‘What’s wrong?’

‘Something just ran across the floor.’ She pointed in the direction of the hallway that led off the kitchen.

‘What was it?’

‘I don’t know. A mouse, maybe? Not big enough to be a rat. At least, I don’t think so anyway.’

Simon shook his head. ‘Think we might need to consider getting a cat. What with the woods and all those fields behind, I bet there’ll be plenty more where that came from.’

‘Dad, you don’t want your house littered with dead rodents.’

‘I didn’t mean I want a cat to kill them, Grace. Just as a deterrent.’

Grace smiled. Her father had such a big heart that he wouldn’t even kill a fly, just usher it rather politely out of the house. 

‘Although I have to admit that your mother and I still hope to have a dog now that she’s retired. We were just holding off until we’d moved, but I can’t see what’s stopping us now.’

‘Well, if you do get one, go to a rescue centre. There are so many dogs needing homes.’

‘Of course. Adopt don’t shop, right?’

‘I’ll just see if that mouse, or whatever it was, is lurking in the hallway.’

They both peered into the cool darkness of the hallway, but with the large boxes, the fridge and a pile of books that belonged to Grace’s parents in the way, it was highly likely that the small rodent had already found itself a new hideaway.

‘I guess we’ll have to look for it later.’ Simon shivered. ‘Hope the poor thing isn’t too scared.’





Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.



My thanks to Darcie and also to Ellie at Canelo for their kind invitation to be part of this blog tour and also for the permission to share this extract from Christmas at Conwenna Cove.



Follow on Twitter @DarcieBoleyn @Canelo_co


#ChristmasAtConwennaCove





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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Review ~ The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

29910780
Quercus
July 2017



Blurb...

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich's web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they are recent - the boiling not the medieval curiosity she thought - DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands.

Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she's gone 'underground'. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard of a vast network of old chalk-mining tunnels under King's Lynn, home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history - but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true?

As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart - before it claims another victim.


My thoughts...

There is always a sense of real excitement when I open a new Ruth Galloway book and having followed the series from the very beginning , I have never been disappointed by the way each new mystery unfolds.

In The Chalk Pit, Ruth is confronted by another dark and perplexing mystery which involves the discovery of a set of human bones which have been found in one of Norwich's underground tunnels. When homeless people start to be targeted by a ruthless killer both the police investigation and Ruth's interest in the underground tunnels start to coalesce.

As always the plot is controlled meticulously by an author who really brings her characters to life. Those readers who have followed the series from the start will be aware of the subtle nuance of the relationship between Ruth and DCI Nelson and I am pleased to say that this continues to develop, lending more of a 'will they', won't they' element back into their complicated relationship. I enjoy seeing the other detectives get a chance to shine and am always pleased when DS Johnson makes an appearance, she lends a different sort of dynamic to the detective grouping which is always very welcome. The mystery at the heart of the novel is dark and complicated and the many twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing right to the end.

As one book finishes I immediately look forward to the next one and hope that it won't be too long in coming. As always, I would recommend that new readers start at the beginning of this excellent series, that way the faults and foibles of the characters who make up the major players can be fully appreciated.



More about the author can be found on her website by clicking here 

Follow on Twitter @ellygriffiths



My thanks to the publishers and Bookbridgr for my review copy of The Chalk Pit



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Monday, 16 October 2017

Review ~ Hades by Candice Fox



34932319
Arrow Books
21 September 2017


Blurb...

Homicide detective Frank Bennett feels like the luckiest man on the force when he meets his new partner, the dark and beautiful Eden Archer. But there’s something strange about Eden and her brother, Eric. Something he can’t quite put his finger on.

At first, as they race to catch a very different kind of serial killer, his partner’s sharp instincts come in handy. But soon Frank’s wondering if she’s as dangerous as the man they hunt.


My thoughts...

This is the first book in a detective crime series which focuses on the newly developed partnership between homicide detective Frank Bennett and Eden Archer. Set in Australia, Hades is the dark and twisted story of a criminal underworld, a deeply troubled world which is inhabited by evil. And as evil stalks, so the net grows ever tighter,but the game of hunter and prey is filled with complex and complicated motives.

That the story is not not the faint hearted must be stated but if you are not put off by gritty realism then this book will work for you. The writing is good and the plot is clever but it is in the characterisation where the story really comes alive. Eden Archer, and her brother Eric are quite something, their unique and very different upbringing has made them into people who have more secrets about them than they do answers, and when combined with Eden's partnership with Frank Bennett, the whole trio start to come alive in the imagination.

As with all new series there is that element of getting to know the people and the places and I think that the author has done a great job of bringing everything together. I am sure that the series will go from strength to strength as the stories and the relationship between the key characters continues.



About the Author



Candice Fox is an award-winning author and commercial success in her native Australia. Her first novel, Hades, won the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for best debut crime novel, with the sequel, Eden, winning the 2015 Ned Kelly Award for best crime novel. Candice is also the author of the critically acclaimed Fall, and co-writer of the James Patterson blockbuster Never Never.

Twitter @candicefoxbooks

@arrowpublishing @DeadGoodBooks






My thanks to Clare at Penguin Random House for my review copy of Hades.


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