For my stop on the blog tour I’m delighted to welcome Merryn Allingham with her guest post ~ The English Country House
The English country house was at its most popular in the 19th and early 20thcenturies. It was where wealthy and aristocratic families retired once the London season came to an end. The First World War is often seen as the moment when the English country house began its sharp decline but with the outbreak of the Second World War in September, 1939, the last remaining vestiges of country house living disappeared.
When war broke out, houses all over the country were commandeered by the Government, some for training, others for offices or research centres. The least popular option for owners was to house soldiers – and with good reason. A number of country houses were destroyed by military occupation, their interiors hacked about to make different accommodation and several burned to the ground because of carelessness. There were stories of panelling chopped up for use as kindling and jeeps being raced along wide corridors. In The Secret of Summerhayes, Alice Summer, now an old lady, is confined to a small attic apartment while the mansion she once called home is battered and scarred by military occupation. Continue reading
When retired architect Arthur Howard receives an unexpected invitation from the elegant businesswoman he has just met, her promise of two weeks of incredible sex is enough to persuade him to forget his stale marriage and follow her to India. Leaving thoughts of his younger wife Ester far behind, Rani leads Arthur into paradise; her home lies in a beautiful valley filled with quiet villages, tranquil lakes, tea plantations and crocus fields, a place where his every need is catered for and his attention sought wherever he goes.
But danger lies hidden here. Arthur discovers that Rani and the other villagers he meets in this rural Indian idyll are the descendents of an ancient civilization, thought to be merely mythical. From his contact with them, he succumbs to a mysterious illness that keeps him bedridden for a long period in a darkened room. Confused and stricken, Arthur’s days and nights are haunted by wild dreams; when he is unable to sleep, he reminisces about early love affairs and fears for his failing relationship with Ester until he is unable to distinguish dreams from reality.
Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | B&N
‘A what? An in-depth spotlight?’ I asked, ‘What is that? I’m a bit new to this and not up-to-date with modern jargon. I didn’t even know what a BLOG was. I knew I didn’t want to have anything to do with ‘bogs,’ I’m not a plumber, and the word sounded remarkably similar. Continue reading
Welcome, Lee, and thank you for this thought provoking post. I’m sure I’m not the only one who forgets sometimes what police officers deal with on a daily basis.
Experiences in the police which have influenced my life.
The police has influenced my life in many ways, I am far more aware of my surroundings and who is standing in my company. I serve proudly and I respect the job we do, it is hard and very busy, sometimes dangerous, sometimes sad, frightening and sometimes very rewarding.
I have had my eyes opened to how other people live their lives, those less fortunate than myself and many others. Children, unloved, uncared for, never taught to respect, to love, to achieve, to believe that they are worth something, living close to squalor due to alcoholism and drug abuse by their parents, underfed, living in poverty. They finally find their place amongst like individuals, where they are accepted and wanted, ready to anything for the group to fit in, this usually ends up in crime, going out and taking what they don’t have themselves, with no remorse and a sense of righteousness, because they have never had. How can we, that have lived our lives, loved and well cared for, ever understand what these people have had to endure, just to get by and why they now do what they do now. We still have our job to do, which is to prevent crime and solve crime that has been committed and bring those to justice, but we have to work to try and break the cycle of crime itself. Continue reading
Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for The Horse’s Arse with a guest post from the author and an excerpt from the book.
Birth of the hero of The Horse’s Arse
If you’ve ever edited a specialist magazine you’ll know it’s a hamster wheel you can never get off. Round and round it goes – planning, commissioning, writing, editing, designing – often leaving the editor no time to pursue the specialism that got them the job in the first place. From 1994-99 I edited Artists & Illustrators magazine, and during those five years I went to fewer exhibitions and private views than at any other time in my life, being usually chained to my desk at private view time. But one exhibition I made an exception for. An invitation card arrived with a painting of the Thames at Wapping that I had to see. No other artist I knew of was painting like this, and I decided to go along and ask him for an interview. Continue reading
Welcome to this blog tour stop for Grammar Sex (and other stuff) We have a guest post from the author, Robert Germaux and a chance to win a copy of the book.
“Davy Crockett, Jesus and The Beatles”
By Robert Germaux
I’ve always loved to sing, and when I was younger, my voice was good enough that I sang in both my church and school choirs. The main memories I have of my church singing are of two very different situations. For two or three years when I was around ten or eleven, I soloed in front of the congregation on Easter Sunday, singing There is a Green Hill Far Away. I didn’t particularly enjoy those performances, mostly because I didn’t like the heavy robe everyone in the choir had to wear. However, my other church-singing experience involved an entirely different ensemble, one that I definitely enjoyed wearing. When I was nine years old, our church held a father and son banquet, and I got up and sang The Ballad of Davy Crockett. I went full frontiersman on that occasion, including, of course, the coonskin cap. A couple of my siblings claim to be in possession of photographic evidence of that event, which explains why I’ve played the role of victim in a number of family blackmail schemes over the years. Continue reading
Welcome to my stop on The Kid Calmer blog tour, with a guest post from the author, Richard Daniel Curtis.
Too Cool for You – How to deal with your teenage child wanting to separate from you
By Richard Daniel Curtis
The Kid Calmer and author of The Parent’s Guide to the Modern World
It was bound to happen sooner or later, but you weren’t expecting it this soon, your child is about to reject you because you’re not cool enough. You may think they’re growing up too fast, but in their mind you are holding them back. It’s something that happens to most parents and carers of teenagers at some time or another, but it’s not your fault…
Let me tell you a bit about what’s happening in the brain to begin with. Prior to puberty the brain develops millions of new neurons in the grey matter surrounding the brain. During puberty, the wiring of these means that the frontal lobes are shut down. This is important, as this region of the brain, particularly the prefrontal cortex, is the part that holds your personality, your judgement skills, your behaviour, your social skills, ability to use expressive language – the things you see many teenagers lacking. That’s all down to this rewiring, but in terms of personality you may notice the same loss, some teenagers respond to everything as threats during this time and withdraw from those around them. Very often they’re desperate to belong to groups and so do what they can to survive and be part of the social circle – this will often result in a pulling away from parents. Continue reading
Character Spotlight on Kim
When I was younger, the pub become a huge part of my life because I realised that I had a talent for playing pool and it was the only place I could play. I was under age but I looked older than I was and regulations were not so strict then, so I got away with it.
All sorts of people would participate – students, business people, cab drivers – many from the surrounding council estates. I made many friends.
Two guys stood slightly apart from the crowd and all the girls just loved them, including me! I was too young for them even to glance in my direction (their radar was better than the landlord’s). Kim and Flow are loosely based on them. Continue reading