Book Review – Pegasus to Paradise

Pegasus to Paradise by Michael Tappenden

This delightful and moving read is based on a true story. Ted and Florrie are two villagers who fell in love as many do – as sweethearts and went on to marry among friends and family. All seemed good and well until war loomed like a dark shadow on both their futures. Ted went off to be a hero and do his duty while Florrie was left to hold together their lives.

Ted managed to return seemingly unscathed, but he was a changed man. This book takes a look at something that has only recently been accepted as a real challenge with veterans – PTSD.

An emotional read having parts that are devastating and some heart-rending but it is beautifully balanced with love and humour as well.

Clear narrative with strong characters – I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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Book Review – Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter by Tim Symonds

Absolutely charming old world style.
This book reaches back to the classical Sherlock Holmes story telling but without the unconnectable instances and characters that sometimes enter the pages of the old ones. I feel that this author has successfully taken the much loved story of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and made it enjoyable for new generations.
Being based on fact, this mystery will be a delight for historical fiction fans as well as those that enjoy historical and mystery genres. I don’t normally find this genre to my taste, but enjoyed this story a lot and appreciated the author’s respect for his readers.
Sherlock Holmes is a much loved character and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is believed to be in a list of literary greats;I feel that Mr. Symonds has done a marvelous job of staying true to Sir Doyle and the characters that so many people enjoy.

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Free Stock Images

A fantastic new resource has become available for indie authors! It’s always a bit of a struggle to find artwork for book covers, blog posts, etc, but now there is a whole selection at your fingertips.

Thalias Stock Images and Photography has a wide variety of pictures to choose from and the only requirement for use is to acknowledge the photographer in your work. Visit Thalias facebook page to find out more and have a look around – don’t forget to ‘like’ and let your fellow author friends know!

https://www.facebook.com/Thaliasimages?hc_location=timeline

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Book Review – Talmid: The Book of John

Talmid: The Book of John by W.R.Sander

Beautifully written Biblical fiction.
Talmid, The Book of John is a tale set in the first century and follows the lives of three young friends who are thrown apart on different sides of a religious upheaval. Old Jewish law and actions are questioned by a powerful stranger, Jesus, who is teaching and portraying truth, love and life, but who is also met with extreme opposition from the strict, religious community.
The familiar Bible story is brought to life with vivid descriptions, believable characters and spellbinding narration. Jesus’ human life was such an amazing historical event filled with so many wonderful stories and miracles; Mr. Sander has intertwined the tales of his characters with recognizable Biblical events, opening up a new world as he explores the thoughts and emotions of this time through the eyes and minds of young Jewish boys.
It was a fantastic idea of Mr. Sander to present the story through the eyes of a boy, making it so much more relate-able to the youth of today.
I am looking forward to reading through this book again, at my leisure, to appreciate it fully and will be suggesting it to several friends.
You can feel the author’s passion and love for what he writes and I appreciate the care and attention brought to this book.
Highly recommended book for any age.

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Life Lessons my Parrot Taught Me

I am the proud owner of a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo and this morning, just before handing him the empty tea box I realized that he has taught me several important life facts by just being himself.

1. When attacked and bitten in the face, don’t stop taking him out of his cage. The fear affects both of you, put the event in the past and take him out without niggling doubts and worries. Life is the same, when we have bad experiences, don’t write the whole experience off because you are afraid of having another – you will miss the best this way.

2. The most normal things can be exciting. Crumpled up newspapers or empty boxes strung on rope – it becomes more than something to throw away, it becomes a new game. Life lesson I took from that – don’t dismiss something because it is boring or rejected, who knows what it could actually be.

3. Stop and enjoy your food. When handed a baby tomato or piece of wrap or another yummy treat, my Cockatoo stops whatever he is doing and concentrates everything on his little snack. I feel the life lesson to this is to focus more on what we are doing at any specific moment than trying to do more things with maybe less efficiency and concentration.

4. Whenever there is music, he leaves what he is busy with and will bob along with the beat, eyes sparkling, gurgling a song only he knows the lyrics to. Life lesson to take from this – there is always time to dance. Empty your mind of the humdrum routine and let yourself be carried by the music.

5. Always welcome someone who arrives, even if he just went out the door two seconds before and never forget to say goodnight (sometimes 50 times) as someone puts off the light. What I learned from this is that it is important to let other people know you appreciate them. It is always lovely for me to be welcomed with a ‘hello baby’ and fare-welled with a ‘night night’.

There are so many  more, but this will have to do for now.

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True Grit Weekend – Team is All

This weekend past I was extremely pleased and grateful to have finished a True Grit event in Western Australia. It was an amazing experience and as it was my first obstacle event/challenge, I was unsure of what to expect.

The temperature was very low on the day, we got to the event at 08:00 and were absolutely freezing, but the buzz of adrenaline and excitement was already thick in the air. The sky was clear to start, but as soon as registration was over, the heavens opened and it poured for about 15 minutes. Being the second day of the event, the area was a massive mudfest, but the planning, DJ and everything else was up-beat and well set out.

Lively conversation, stretching athletes and nervous but excited expressions could be heard and seen all around.

The course was intense, the water was -18 and there was a lot of mud, but at the same time, it was very exciting – this was why we had come, right? With three other team members, I started off and we were soon warm as the obstacles were set out far enough not to leave you with too long stretches of running but enough to get you functioning again after freezing dips in mud and water.

There were loads of water obstacles that required you to cowboy up and dive in, sometimes pulling yourself under a wire mesh and sometimes crawling through water under barbed wire. There were a lot of cargo net obstacles which were relatively easy, but also a few difficult ones that required teamwork.

This is the subject that I have come to realize is most important in such events – teamwork. Without your team, it is almost impossible to make it round. Not only for the occasional helping hand, but also for encouragement and a sense of completing something together.

Some contestants made a run for it to beat the time and they were incredibly impressive, but at the same time I also feel that they might have missed out on a couple of the most essential parts of the event – enjoying yourself and teamwork. They might have gotten an untrodden course and smashed the time, but these were also the guys who just ran on ahead. While completing several obstacles we had many guys who were assisting several people as they came through, not just rushing ahead; I have no doubt that they would have come in with the first wave had they not stayed to help – but they are the ones honouring the true spirit of the event. These guys were the real contestants in my eyes, helping hands and actually being a part of the event.

The water stops along the way were much appreciated as well as the watchful presence of medics.

I was not fit going into this event, I had the flu as well, but it was a fantastic experience, I pushed myself and was surprised how well my body actually coped, especially with the 10-12 km distance of mostly running. There was a killer hill right at the end and three sets of carrying objects, first a sandbag, then plastic containers and then ammunition boxes that really tested your body, but it is up to you how much of the challenge you will embrace, and I for one pushed myself to the limit and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Walking though the finishing post was one of the best moments, my legs were a bit shaky and I was feeling a bit dizzy, but on the whole – my team and I made it and we felt awesome. We proudly gathered our T-shirts and headed back to our car – mission accomplished.

To anyone thinking of doing True Grit – totally go for it, you won’t regret it!

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Authors to Look Out For (Part 1)

I would like to highlight a collection of authors in this post as I believe they all have amazing talent and a lot to give to the literary world. Here are links to their facebook pages as well as links to their books. Please be sure to check them out – you won’t be disappointed!

Nicola J. McDonagh

https://www.facebook.com/thesongofforgetfulness

http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Lost-Ones-Forgetfulness-Volume/dp/1939897041/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22066831-a-silence-heard?from_search=true

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19461473-glimmer-and-other-stories

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John Murray McKay

https://www.facebook.com/NDaysSeries

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19145978-the-n-days?from_search=true

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Jeffrey Cook

http://www.amazon.com/dp/149427650X/

https://www.facebook.com/dawnofsteamtrilogy?ref=br_tf

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20939508-dawn-of-steam?from_search=true

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Neil Bursnoll

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00CKWCK7M/

https://www.facebook.com/TheNeilBursnoll

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17951009-augustus-baltazar?from_search=true

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Emily Magill (book release coming soon!)

www.facebook.com/authoremilymagill

Andrew M. Crusoe

https://www.facebook.com/amcrusoe

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AN2YEKM/?tag=byteful-20

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17315474-the-truth-beyond-the-sky?from_search=true

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THE TRUTH BEYOND THE SKY, is going to have it’s 1st Kindle Countdown deal, starting today! Basically, it’ll start out at 99¢ and then go up in price until Saturday when it returns to its original price of $3.77.

 

 

 

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