30 September 2013

Feeling A Little Like Mary Poppins...

The weather has taken a decidedly turn for the worse and I was so hopeful for the Autumn season!

This weekend stormy weather continues with (torrential) rains and gale winds topping 33 miles per hour even today. 
There has been much downfalls of trees, limbs and the vegetable garden looks mighty sad! Cleaning up will take a while!
We are thankful of course to still have power (and pray it continues as we are still waiting for our little ferry to return to the docks).

The weather channel calls it Tropical Weather: Tropical Storm Jerry (North Atlantic) Invest 97L (North Atlantic) Typhoon Wutip (Western Pacific) Tropical Depression Sepat (Western Pacific) Tropical Storm Fitow (Western Pacific)... 
It appears the fun is spread around!

We had to batten down the hatches last Friday in preparation for such squall but it is still  an adventure to stir outside particularly at 3am when Mac needs to take a turn in the garden due to his medication. 
In lieu of a long explanation, the Cephalexin, Temaril P and the Nolvasan are working their magic...Mac is almost back to normal after his encounter with a spider...The side effects means his Mum (that would be me Folks) must take him out every 4 hours (even in the blustery dark)... 

Wellies are of course de rigeur! Holding a brolly might well get me a lift like Ms Mary Poppins...I could barely hang on to Mac's leash!

Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay
Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay
Even though the sound of it
Is something quite atrocious
If you say it loud enough
You'll always sound precocious

Let's dance (in the rain) shall we...

28 September 2013

Sow And Grow: A Gardening Book For Children by Tina Davis

Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (April 1, 2008)
ISBN-13: 978-1584796732


Kids are captivated by growing things. They’re fascinated by the way a seed, when planted, watered, and cared for, sprouts into a baby plant that’s soon putting out its first roots and leaves. Inspired by children’s innate affinity for gardening, Tina Davis has created Sow and Grow—a year’s worth of playtime ideas that combine fun and learning with a child’s sense of wonder at the natural world.

Here are my thoughts:

Sow and Grow: A Gardening Book For Children just begged to be noticed on the library shelf (as I checked out a whole pile for dry dock)! 
Children's books have the most beautiful illustrations and the nostalgic look of this one grabbed my attention!
The table of contents helps parents to introduce children step by step to the world of gardening with such categories as 'All About Plants' 'What a Plant needs to grow', and 'Gardening indoors month by month' for i.e..
There is nothing like it when children experience the warmth of the earth with their small hands and witness that magical moment when a little seed they have planted grows! God surely smiles!

You might be surprised since fair Autumn is upon us I would review such a title.  But as I explained at the beginning, I did not chose the moment, it just sort of happened!

The monthly gardening plan is charmingly illustrated with an undeniable touch of nostalgia guaranteed to make the adults remember bygone times! Oh the memories...

I will just mention Tina Davis opens the month of October with 'forcing bulbs' such as Narcissus or Paperwhites and Amaryllis, giving step by step instructions for little ones to follow.  
November shows 'how to start plants...with leaves' (check out new begonias from leaves, so easy to do and I never knew how much!). As for December, 'Decorating with houseplants' and Plants as gifts' suggestions makes it just idealt for the upcoming season.

Notes on 'How to repot a plant, floral forms and leaf and bulb forms' makes it also easy for little ones to learn something they will always enjoy! And the 'Monthly Gardening Journal' helps those who can already write keep track of this great hobby!

There are other books on gardening to be shared with children but I am almost certain parents and grandparents will delight in Sow and Grow as much as the kiddies! 
I'll make this one my # 1 suggestion for Christmas giving!

5 stars!!

About the Author:

Graphic designer Tina Davis, the principal of Tina Davis Design, counts Knopf, Abrams, and Chronicle Books among her clients. 
She holds an MFA from Yale and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Davis is also the author of Stewart Tabori and Changs “Look and Cook” and “See and Sew”. 
She lives in Israel and Pound Ridge, New York. 

Other books by Tina Davis:

Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (May 1, 2004)
ISBN-13: 978-1584793588

Somewhere between banging the table with a spoon and refusing to eat Brussels sprouts, children are captivated by the magic that takes place in the kitchen. Transforming a lump of dough into a chocolate chip cookie, watching a pancake puff up on the griddle, rolling meatballs between their hands are all enchanting to children.
'Look and Cook' features 50 simple recipes for kids of all ages that capture the fun of cooking. The kid-tested recipes are clearly explained and colorfully illustrated with vintage cookbook artwork.

Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; SPI edition (June 30, 2006)
ISBN-13: 978-1584794912

When Tina Davis published Look and Cook, she got thousands of kids in front of the stove and hooked on cooking as they enjoyed the results of their newfound skills. With this wonderful new companion book, she'll move kids from the kitchen to the living room, where they'll have just as much fun learning to sew everything from a strawberry pot holder to a drawstring bag, from a sock doll to a cat purse they can pin to their pockets.

See and Sew is a vibrant introduction to sewing that doesn't require a sewing machine or advanced skills.

Note: This review was not requested and bear in mind, it reflects ONLY my opinion!

26 September 2013

WW1 soldier, Captain Robert Campbell...

Blogland has a way to bring some fascinating facts to readers and I feel as I have learned yet something new again!
With the 100th anniversary of the Great War on the horizon, much is being written about the brave men (and women!) who took a stand and fought for God and Country!

Only today 'Once I Was A Clever Boy' passed on information that I felt well worth a moment of your time! 
John Whitehead is an historian based in Oxford and a member of Oriel College.
His post entitled 'The word of an Officer and a Gentleman' was (as usual) discerning! 
Thanks John! I would not have wanted to miss this!

'When British prisoner of war Robert Campbell asked the Kaiser if he could visit his dying mother, he was astonished to be given permission – on condition that he promised to return.
The Army captain kept his word and returned to the German camp after the two-week trip in November 1916, remaining in captivity until the end of the First World War.'

Capt. Campbell lead the 1st Bn East Surrey Regiment whose badge is pictured above.

Historian Richard van Emden found the almost forgotten mention of Captain Robert Campbell's compassionate leave to see his dying Mum in Gravesend, Kent. 
The Mail Online full article can be read (HERE).

You might also like to check out Richard van Emden's book published on 15 August 2013 called

*Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  ISBN-13: 978-1408821640

Always happy to pass along something worth while!

25 September 2013

Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole, Book review

Publisher: Ballantine Books (July 9, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0345542601


A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail, Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.

Here are my thoughts:

An epistolary novel spanning WW1 and WW2, Letters from Skye highlights the romantic entanglements of a Scottish published author of poetry and the American fan who corresponded with her first from the US and then from the battlefields.

1913: Elspeth has never left the island of Skye. A fisherman's daughter, she finds the inspiration for her beautiful poetry in her native surroundings and she is quite surprised to hear her little book of poems made it all the way to David in the US, a gift from a friend at Oxford.

For years Elspeth and David share everyday little events in their lives across the ocean but when their friendly correspondence leads to a love affair, Elspeth must come to term with reality: her husband Ian is reported MIA on the battlefield. The young woman is powerfully drawn to the American and she feels guilty.
And when David volunteers as an ambulance driver during the conflict, she fears she might lose him as well.

1940: England has been at war for over a year and Elspeth's daughter Margaret helps relocating evacuees whilst Paul, her best friend is serving God and Country in the R.A.F. 
Theirs is a sweet love story, and when Margaret wonders about her mother's past and her father's identity, Paul is always there for her!

When a bomb explodes nearby her mother's home, old letters addressed to someone named 'Sue' and signed 'Davey' are strewn about and inevitably the past comes to revisit.

Elspeth has never forgotten David and determined to find out his whereabouts, she disappears. Left alone, Margaret decides to search for her mother's past and after finding a single clue in a book goes to Skye where she finds a whole family she never knew.

There is enough elements in this sweeping novel to make any single soul content enough with its plot line which includes even a faerie tale or two. 
Bear in mind this is first of all a love story, whose narrative is comprised of letters exchanged at a time when adrenaline ran high... The world was after all in a major conflict!

I will not say there was not a moment or two where I doubted Letters From Skye's plot was wholly believable. I markedly groused at the clock work in their correspondence. In such time of conflict, the post office is not always reliable!
But in the end, my romantic side enjoyed the story for what it was: a celebration of love!

I give it 4 stars!

About the Author:

Jessica Brockmole says: "I have been enamored with historical fiction since I was old enough to sit still for bedtime readings of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Now, I write stories of my own (and am much better at sitting still)."

More on the author can be found on her website (HERE). 

Note to Readers: I was not asked to review this novel so please bear in mind, this review reflects ONLY my opinion!

22 September 2013

Those Things I Like About Autumn...

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.
(W. C. Bryant)

I myself have never seen such mushroom but isn't it lovely? 
Perhaps a faerie hides under its dome during the rain...

(Source for recipe HERE)

Autumn, the perfect season for baking scrumptious pies...

and all sorts of breads...

(Just in case you think I never stop reading, cooking/baking is my favourite pastime after reading!)

Cool Autumn nights are also the perfect excuse for a cup of cocoa...or two...

Lots of wool blankets nearby to keep us warm...

(original photo by Paul Dana)

A knitting hankering....It happens regularly...then I want to read...

I know the feeling...It has not stopped raining and the forecast calls for gale...
 (I could not get Mac to help out so this little guy came to the rescue)
And for all those who inquired, Mac is on the mend! 

Autumn is with us...and I just want to curl in a chair and read...

21 September 2013

Dog Owners: BEWARE...Itsy Bitsy Spider...

Dog owners: BEWARE!!

 (Garden Spider)

The Itsy Bitsy Spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.

'The majority of spiders in North America are not poisonous, but bites can still cause localized swelling and pain. However the brown recluse, black widow and hobo spider are poisonous and bites can be very serious. The brown recluse as well as the hobo spider's venom causes localized tissue necrosis (death) leaving a dark ulcer that is slow to heal. Black widow spider bites may cause minimal swelling at the site, but can cause intense pain and even paralysis lasting up to 48 hours.'
(Source HERE

We will never know for sure the type of spider responsible for our beautiful Corgi's sudden misery but we wanted to share with others what happened to Mac!
Yesterday was just a beautiful balmy day heralding the beginning of Autumn or so we thought! 
Whilst laying in the sun after a good game of Frisbee, Mac apparently was bitten by a spider (according to the Vetenerian, there is at least 90% chance it is a spider, nothing else). 

Over the course of a few hours he scratched the left side of his face furiously and upon closer inspection we discovered intense swelling, white pustules and even bleeding and thought he might have injured a tooth...

Now Folks, for us this period of the calendar year is dry dock...no access to the mainland since our ferry is in the shipyard for engines fitting...
A phone call however to a nearby islander yield not one, but two people ready and willing to take us across to the mainland and a car waiting for us so that we could transport our favourite boy to a 24 hours Animal Clinic...
By then, the regular Vet had deemed (over the phone) the symptoms serious enough we needed expert help...

So on  Mac went for his first boat ride (a skiff!) in his crate, followed by a long ride in a Wrangler Jeep (about 1 1/2 hours) to reach hospital care...
Well, you know the doc's diagnosis and after promising I would manage his care around the clock, home bound we were! 

A few hours later and a return boat ride amidst a windy and rainy storm, his crate covered with a beach towel courtesy of the thoughtful neighbour,  Mac came home...

There is little doubt that had we waited longer, the poison would have done serious damage. As it is, Mac's recovery is going to be taking a while...


Note: I decided to show Mac's good side...the other one makes him look like the Joker now that they shaved him...

18 September 2013

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson, Book review

Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 9, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1609074609


At eighteen, Kate Worthington knows she should be getting serious about marriage, but her restless heart won t let her settle down. To escape her mother s meddlesome influence, she dreams of traveling with her spinster aunt to exotic India. But when the opportunity arises, Kate finds herself making a bargain with her mother: she will be allowed to go only if she spends a season at the family s wealthy estate, Blackmoore, where she must secure and reject three marriage proposals.

Enlisting the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield, Kate sets out to collect her proposals so she can be on her way. But Henry s decision to help threatens to destroy both of their dreams in ways they could never imagine.

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to listen to her heart. With hints of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, Blackmoore is a page-turning tale of romance, intrigue, and devotion.

Here are my thoughts:

My first novel by Julianne Donaldson, a promising author! Blackmoore's plot line is as appealing as its cover romantic. 

From the onset you feel drawn in the (almost Gothic) story as you cheer Kate Worthington in her quest for independence. 
Julianne Donaldson's latest Regency Romance novel subtly hints from the beginning at the reason behind Kate's wish for freedom from her restricted surroundings. It is after all the early 1800's and a young lady is not free from Society's stringent etiquette. 

Her dreams of sailing to India with her aunt and her closeness to childhood friend Henri Delafield and his sister Sylvia are the only things that keeps her sane. Her family seems bent on following scandalous paths when the occasion arises and Kate wishes only to be left alone.

For years Blackmoore, Henri's stately coastal home has called to her imagination. She has never been included in the guests' list but Henry promise her someday she will be invited. Until then she must be satisfied with stories of the Delafield manor.

(Phaeton and Icarus painting by Merry-Joseph Blondel 1781-1853 )

In the tradition of such as Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, Julianne Donaldson tantalizes her readers with wit and elegance, alluding at so much more than is first anticipated. 
Blackmoore' spirited characters, intriguing plot and congenial dialogues are drawn against the breathtaking English countryside.

What more can a romantic soul aspire to?

A pleasant novel to immerse yourself into whilst sipping  a cuppa!

4 stars!

About the Author:

Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places.

For more information visit her blog (HERE

Note to Readers: This ARC was a loan for my reading pleasure and the resulting review reflects therefore ONLY my opinion.

15 September 2013

Dry Dock...

Goodbye Ferry...

(Photo source Islander Joseph Pentheroudakis)

We are now officially in dry dock, our ferry left for the shipyard and will be amongst other things, fitted with new engines.

A few islanders remain and rely on their personal boat for mainland access in case of emergency! 
Ours is a 14ft row boat...We are not likely to attempt crossing in a skiff!
Fire/Medical emergencies will rely on a 'nearby' island for response (approximately 1 hour and 15 min...)
Storms in the forecast...Thundering at the moment...
Supplies are in and we have battened down the hatches...Let's hope we do not lose the power!

Marooned and loving it!

Note: The ferry should return within 2 to 3 weeks providing we pass USCG's inspection!

14 September 2013

The Last Great Adventure by Phillip D. Wilson, Book review

Publisher: CrossLink Publishing (May 22, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1936746408


Out of grief and loss, the author Phillip D. Wilson brings you the vision he has for his son Noah and his son’s girlfriend, Kelsie. One spring day, two teens are enjoying a motorcycle ride, when suddenly a car from nowhere changes their lives in an instant. 
Join them as they begin a new life at the end of this one… as they step into a place called Heaven. 

Experience the beauty, the adventure, the city of New Jerusalem and the mysteries of the King’s Canyon where faith becomes sight, and death becomes… The Last Great Adventure.

Here are my thoughts:

God's path for each of us is not always what we imagine ...
Yet as Christians we believe there is a Heaven...

A pastor of the Portland First Free Will baptist Church, Phillip D. Wilson lost his son to a tragic accident which claimed also the young man's soon to be fiance's life. 

Knowing in his heart he will see his son again, Wilson decided to write a novel using the Bible's teachings and imagined what Heaven would be like.
Not all of us will agree Wilson's description might be right of course but we can all agree that it will be more wonderful than any of us can imagine!

In his novel 'The Last Great Adventure' Wilson sketches a rich panorama of colour, countryside and unimaginable beauty as he lovingly dreams of his son Noah and his girlfriend Kelsie as they venture on their last great adventure in a place called Heaven...

A work of fiction, the author took a few liberties with the chronological order of events as described in the Bible. However as he promptly points out in his afterword, these events are always open to interpretation!

Describing his writing of 'The Last Great Adventure' mostly as therapeutic, the author's faith none the less resonates as he shares his personal views about love, friendship and family values! 

If you ever have lost someone dear to you, this is a novel for you! 

Note to Readers: A grand book and well worth 5 stars
I only wish the Editor had taken far more care with the final aspect of the novel... I was saddened by the spelling mistakes and missing words for the author!

About the Author:

Phillip D. Wilson is a writer, speaker, pastor and musician from the Middle Tennessee area. He and his wife Sheri live in a renovated 1940's farm house north of Nashville, where Phillip serves as a bi-vocational pastor.
Phil had written for pleasure for several years, but began his first novel, The Last Great Adventure, in response to the loss of his teenage son Noah and Noah's girlfriend Kelsie in a tragic 2010 motorcycle accident. The grieving process caused Phil to try to imagine what it must be like to live in the afterlife of Heaven, and The Last Great Adventure was born.

Phil is currently working on a sequel, The Last Great Rescue, slated to be complete in 2014.

I received a paperback copy of this title from BOOKCRASH as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

13 September 2013

A Surprise For Lily, Book 4 in The Adventures of Lily Lapp, Review

Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2013)
Series: The Adventures of Lily Lapp (Book 4)
ISBN-13: 978-0800721350
Age Range: 8 and up 


Change is brewing for Lily Lapp. Her favorite cousin, Hannah, moves away and Harvey Hershberger, a boy with a talent for trouble, moves right in. Harvey's antics stir up the entire schoolhouse, and his fondness for Lily gets under Aaron Yoder's skin. Add in a mischievous dog rescued by Lily's brother, an old Shawnee Indian and a mother bear, and a secret Lily's mother is keeping, and you've got a recipe for laughter, love, and big surprises.

Girls ages 8 to 12 will love navigating the changes in Lily's world with her in this final book in the sweetly simple Adventures of Lily Lapp series.

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of 
Baker Publishing Group.”

Here are my thoughts:

'The Adventures of Lily Lapp' continues to delight a growing audience! Albeit written for the youngsters, many adults seems to feel as I do: the engaging stories of a young Amish girl named Lily are the perfect way for families to bond and read together! 

There are countless adventures in 'A Surprise for Lily', Book 4 in the series for you to discover! For example in chapter 1, Lily and her cousin Hannah decide to go boating...but...Lily has not yet learned how to swim...Good thing they were not far off the shore and Aunt Mary was there to help out!

Lily wishes things to stay just as they are but that's not always possible! When Hannah moves away, Lily learns to keep in touch through some great letters with her cousin.

Of course, some things do not change and her nemesis Effie Kauffman continues her mischievous ways!
Good things and sad things happen like everywhere else in the world of course and Lily learns to  adjust. She is now 11 years old and a fifth grader!

There are 29 different chapters in this fourth book, all filled with nifty stories about the changes in Lily's Amish world and the perfect introduction to a community still so mysterious for the English.

Finally, whilst it is not necessary to read the books in order, be sure to check out the other titles (and the Questions about Amish included in the back to help you learn more about the Community!) :

1 - Life with Lily (see review HERE)
2 - A New Home For Lily (see review HERE)
3 - A Big Year For Lily (see review HERE)

'The Adventures Of Lily Lapp' are just beginning I am sure! Let's see where Mary Ann and Suzanne take Lily next!

5 Stars because we need more stories like these!!

About the Authors:

 (Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher)

In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook...the latter two with sporadic results.
Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.

After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.

Undaunted...Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple awards). With help from an agent, she went on to sign contracts with Revell Books for twenty plus books.
Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.

Additional information on Suzanne's website (HERE)


Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days, and started a family. 
After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to pass on her warm childhood memories to her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and the New York Times.
(Biographies Source Here)

I received a paperback copy of this title from BAKER REVELL as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

12 September 2013

Circles Of Time by Philip Rock, Book review

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 2, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0062229335


A generation has been lost on the Western Front. The dead have been buried, a harsh peace forged, and the howl of shells replaced by the wail of saxophones as the Jazz Age begins. But ghosts linger—that long-ago golden summer of 1914 tugging at the memory of Martin Rilke and his British cousins, the Grevilles.

From the countess to the chauffeur, the inhabitants of Abingdon Pryory seek to forget the past and adjust their lives to a new era in which old values, social codes, and sexual mores have been irretrievably swept away. Martin Rilke throws himself into reporting, discovering unsettling political currents, as Fenton Wood-Lacy faces exile in faraway army outposts.

Back at Abingdon, Charles Greville shows signs of recovery from shell shock and Alexandra is caught up in an unlikely romance. Circles of Time captures the age as these strongly drawn characters experience it, unfolding against England's most gracious manor house, the steamy nightclubs of London's Soho, and the despair of Germany caught in the nightmare of anarchy and inflation. 

Lives are renewed, new loves found, and a future of peace and happiness is glimpsed—for the moment.

The Acclaimed Trilogy That Has Been Called a Must-Read for Fans of Downton Abbey!

Here are my thoughts:

I have never seen Downton Abbey so I felt sure I would not be influenced by it!
Circles Of Time albeit a work of fiction allows an honest perspective at the years following the Great War and the social changes resulting directly from a worldwide conflict which by the end, obliterated a whole generation of young men!

Philip Rock's excellent writing skills clinches the reader from the beginning: the year is 1921 and despite the haunting ghosts of the trenches, the world is spinning on its axle yet nothing will ever will be the same again. 
Seen through the eyes of all whom Abingdon Priory has touched before, during and after the war, reveals much of the ambiance of this era.

Manufacturing companies are perfecting flying machines, Jazz has taken over trendy clubs, social upheavals means a chauffeur can now earn a degree in Engineering, the gentry is facing financial and domestic shortages amongst other changes, there is discontent in the population. Unemployment is high, strikes and even riots are spreading in some parts of the Empire and abroad...
Yet in the main, the air in England is almost ebullient and most just wish to live fully, discarding with free abandon old values and social rules.

For the upper class Greville family of Abingdon Priory, there are still bittersweet memories permeating the present and a few scars to be smoothed over... 

A sequel to 'The Passing Bells', Circles Of Time can easily be read on its own but I would recommend not missing book 1 of this trilogy! ('A Future Arrived' is Book 3)

For its historical background Circles of time is a classic! Whilst being entirely fictional, there is abundant evidence of Philip Roth's years in England and research. 
Readers will recognize this author's considerable writing skills as his dramatic plot line draws you in the atmosphere of a country coming to grip with tremendous changes. 
In these early years of the Twenties, life will never be the same for all those involved with Abingdon Priory as you will soon perceive!

A novel to enjoy during these Autum evenings with a cuppa and a box of biscuits, Folks!

Notes of worth: Excerpts of 'The Passing Bells' (Book 1) and 'A Future Arrives' (Book 3) are included along with Discussion/Questions. 
Don't miss Thomas Hardy's 'The Souls of the Slain' included in its entirety!

 (Stearns Knight Coupe)

Note to Readers: Due to thematic content and occasional profanity, recommended for mature readers only!

 4 Stars! 

About the Author:

Phillip George Rock was born in Los Angeles on 30 July 1927. He grew up in Beverly Hills and England, returned to America in 1940, and served in the U.S. Navy towards the end of World War II.

His first on-screen credit was for Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), directed by John Sturges and starring William Holden and Eleanor Parker. Rock then concentrated on writing novels and, in 1967, published his first: The Extraordinary Seaman.

MGM adapted The Extraordinary Seaman to the big screen in 1969. The film was poorly received and Rock is said to have vowed never to have another of his books made into a movie.

More on this author can be found (HERE). 

Note to Readers: This review was not requested and reflects ONLY my opinion! 

11 September 2013

With A Moment Of Silence, REMEMBER...


Unsung Heroes...

They gave everything they had and more...

They never gave up...

At least 2,985 people died in the September 11, 2001, attacks, including:

  • As many as 10 of the reported 19 terrorists
  • 2,966 victims [2,998 as of Spring 2009] 

There were 266 people on the four planes:

  • American Airlines Flight 11 (crashed into the WTC): 92 (including five terrorists)
  • United Airlines Flight 175 (crashed into the WTC): 65 (including five terrorists)
  • American Airlines Flight 77 (crashed into the Pentagon): 64 (including five terrorists)
  • United Flight 93 (downed in Shanksville, PA): 45 (including four terrorists)

There were 2,595 people in the World Trade Center and near it, including:
  • 343 NYFD firefighters and paramedics
  • 23 NYPD police officers
  • 37 Port Authority police officers
  • 1,402 people in Tower 1
  • 614 people in Tower 2
  • 658 people at one company, Cantor Fitzgerald
  • 1,762 New York residents
  • 674 New Jersey residents
  • 1 NYFD firefighter killed by a man jumping off the top floors of the Twin Towers
There were 125 civilians and military personnel at the Pentagon.
1,609 people lost a spouse or partner on 9/11. More than 3,051 children lost parents.
While it was mostly Americans who were killed in this horrific attack, there were also 327 foreign nationals.

(Source HERE)

Photo credit: Getty Images | Names of those killed on 9/11 are seen around a memorial pool at the National September 11 Memorial (World Trade Center).

With a moment of silence, please REMEMBER...