Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Trad Tuesday: Planets written and sung by Kate Rusby with Sarah Jarosz




This is not a traditional tune but has that feel. I share it today as I will be seeing lovely Kate perform in a few weeks in Wakefield as I wander about England.

lyrics:
I can see the planets are aligned in front of me
I cannot read them for the futures growing old behind me

Through the world I am wandering, wandering
Soft breeze blowing I am wondering now
Through the world I am wandering, wandering
These happy days I live now

You said turn around so I cannot see your tears falling
You don't make me proud you see there is a new day dawning

Through the world I am wandering, wandering
Soft breeze blowing I am wondering now
Through the world I am wandering, wandering
These happy days I live now

On nights like these I could fly up to the sky above me
Like superman I would change the course of earth below me

Across the world I am wandering, wandering
Soft breeze blowing I am wondering now
Through the world I am wandering, wandering
These happy days I live now

I can see the planets are aligned in front of me
I dare not breath for them the clouds will fall and then deny me

Through the world I am wandering, wandering
Soft breeze blowing I am wondering now
Through the world I am wandering, wandering
These happy days I live now

Across the world I am wandering, wandering
Soft breeze blowing I am wondering now
Through the world I am wandering, wandering
These happy days I live now

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Book Review: The Crazy Writers Group by Mike Reuther

William is a member of a group called the Crazy Writers Group made up of William with three other would-be writers, Katrina, Steven, and Walt. The book follows their attempts to write a novel for traditional publishing with some of the pitfalls along the way. Any writer or someone attempting to write something publishable will recognize the characters in this easy-to-read book. E-publishing is just coming to the fore, and it creates a debate among the group - still being waged today - about the viability of electronic readers vs. books you can hold in your hand.
Mr. Reuther is a good writer, especially with his dialogue, and I enjoyed the first part where the group is meeting and William is interacting with them and other characters. The second part with the road trip was not so much a homage to Kerouac and the other Beat writers as being "too cute" in my opinion; I found the earlier realism of the story more engaging. It seemed to just end without much resolution.
I will say that one point in the debate about the quality of e-publishing is on display here; there are numerous proofreading errors that interrupt the flow of the story for the reader. It's an easy read, but a good editor could make this a better read.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

New Release & Review: Silence Speaks by Paul Goldman

Silence Speaks, the new collection of poems by Paul Goldman, is an introspective journey for the reader. The reader can meditate on the lovely words of each poem; I often paused to delve deeper into a stanza or line and reflect on the meaning, of how I fit in the world around me.

Each word seems carefully chosen to flow in a harmonic resonance that sings to one's soul. There is a strong spirituality at work here, but more muted and retrospective than in his previous works.

While I like almost every poem in the collection, I will share some lines from one that touched me the most called Do You Remember? 

Do you remember how to fly?
Just lift your arms, bend your head 

back and feel your wings unfold.
Soon, you are aloft in the clear 

abiding blue, nothing but endless sky
all around. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Trad Tuesday: Maymorning by Runrig



Happy Beltane/May Day!

Beltane is the anglicised name for the Gaelic May Day festival. Most commonly it is held on 1 May, or about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.

Runrig are a Scottish Celtic rock group formed in Skye, in 1973 under the name 'The Run Rig Dance Band'. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included songwriters Rory Macdonald and Calum Macdonald. The current line-up also includes longtime members Malcolm Jones, Iain Bayne, and more recently, Bruce Guthro, and Brian Hurren. To date, the band has released fourteen studio albums, with a number of their songs sung in Scottish Gaelic.

Book Review: A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

General Mark Grimaldi is ready for his promotion as head of the Home Office but for one thing: he needs a wife. Conveniently, he already has one, but he and Nicole have been estranged for ten years after a misunderstanding in their first months of marriage. He convinces her to come home and pretend to be reconciled, but she agrees only if he'll give her a child. They come home only to find they're involved in a murder investigation.
I've found historical books where there are a separation and reconciliation between the hero and heroine to be a mixed bag. Ms. Bowman does a good job in coming up with plausible reasons for the reconciliation though I thought the reason for the separation was a bit weak. The murder investigation worked as a subplot as well as the flashbacks to how Mark and Nicole met and married. There were some holes in the plot: how did Nicole work as a spy in Paris under Napoleon when she is so thoroughly English? How did she work as a Runner as a lady; didn't her mother and grandmother notice? But if you ignore these questions, it's a pleasant read. Nicole and Mark are fine as a couple as they have more in common than just the sex.
I was given this book from Netgalley, and I volunteered to review it.

Link to Amazon

Book Review: The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor

March Lawson has raised her siblings despite being ignored by those who were supposed to oversee Cavensham, Marquess of MacCalpin, is the latest unwitting overseer, having inherited the responsibility. When he discovers the forgery, he accuses March of embezzling. At the same time, he finally wakes up to the fact that he has been irresponsible to the Lawsons.
her family's finances. Desperate, she resorts to forging signatures to gain access to their money so they can eat. Michael
If you are a historical reader who wants their history written accurately, this is not the book for you. There are numerous behaviors and speech that doesn't fit Regency England, starting with how March got her name (if it was ever explained as a surname or some other reason, I'd be fine, but her sisters are Faith and Julia, names that are somewhat appropriate for that era). I'm not usually that nitpicky about this kind of stuff, but this was pretty over the top.
The story was uneven, and the behavior of the characters erratic in my opinion. There were just too many subplots and drama points until I couldn't track them all. I'm still not sure they were all resolved, but I ended up not really caring. The ending was rushed; all these different dramas were tied up in a bow in just the last few pages.
I believe this is part of a series, but can certainly be read as a stand-alone book. I want to thank NetGalley for allowing me to read this book. I reviewed it of my own volition.

Link to Amazon

Monday, April 30, 2018

Book Review: Getaway Gone Wrong by Lia London

Parker, the director of the reality show in the first book Who Needs Reality, is on a forced vacation to Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest. She meets Guy, a year-round resident, and the two are attracted to each other despite knowing this is a short-term friendship. Plus, everything seems to go wrong whether it's Parker locking the keys in her car or stepping in dog poo.
This is a sweet romance. Both Parker and Guy must overcome some ingrained modes of behavior and insecurities to find their HEA. There are some very funny moments and some poignant scenes that make the reader really feel for the couple. Parker was so tough in the first book, and here we see some vulnerabilities. Guy is just a sweetheart.
This is a nice clean romance that readers will enjoy.

Link to Amazon