Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Bones of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory - Review

Click to buy from Amazon 
If you've been keeping up, which I know you have, you'll have seen Elin Gregory's post on here when her new book, The Bones of Our Fathers, was released.

I've read it now and how I enjoyed it! Here's my review:

There is something about Elin Gregory's writing that when a new book comes out you feel like an old friend has come to visit. I adored Alike As Two Bees, On a Lee Shore, Eleventh Hour and others. Ms Gregory's prose is so easy to read (I bet it's difficult to write) and her characters are memorable and mostly loveable (I still dream of Kit and Griff). Her new novel, The Bones of Our Fathers, is set in a small town on the Welsh border. It has a small, rather unkept museum and it is here that lovely Mal Bright comes as curator. He's also an archaeologist. The town is cosy with the requisite pub where Mal meets brawny, sexy...and gay...Rob Escley-who drives a digger (oh that digger!). 
As in her other books, the author has created wonderful main characters as well as those backing them up.
The scene where Rob tries to pull the wool over Mal's eyes with a handful of fossils and grit is unforgettable (as is the digger scene, but I won't go into that). The pair are playful, sexy and ideal for each other (despite both having faults and coming from wildly different backgrounds). All seems well until an old chest is found with the bones of two men in it (hence the title). From being a museum largely ignored by the "bigwigs", it now becomes the centre of attention. And so does the village.
There are so many obstacles for our heroes to overcome and this keeps the reader wanting to read on. Another success from Elin Gregory and, once again, I'm calling for more!

Blurb:

Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.

Buy Links:

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Release Day - Bones of our Fathers by Elin Gregory

Hello everyone! The lovely, beautiful, Welsh (I think she's Welsh - she lives there!) maid ELIN GREGORY is here today with her new book "Bones of our Fathers".
I have read every one of Elin's books. And I have loved them from her very debut. She has a sympathetic style of writing and by that I mean the reader just falls in love with the characters immediately, be they good or bad. And, truth to tell, I never want the books to end. 

Elin  has such an enviable writing style which is easy to read and yet can pack a punch. Every book (and I adored "On A Lea Shore", "Eleventh Hour" etc., etc.) is a perfect read and I say that honestly.

Right. Let's get down to Elin's new book, "The Bones of Our Fathers". I read this as a draft so won't do a proper review until I've read the final version. But the draft knocked me away: typical Elin Gregory's wonderful, flowing prose and delightful characters (even the badass). Now, every book she gets published will have a mug like the one on the cover (above) but with a different message. Let me give you a hint for an alternative message to this one: Museum Curators do it in JCBs (wink).

Over to Elin:

The Bones of Our Fathers
By Elin Gregory
Available 1st August 2017 from Manifold Press
Approx 79,500 words
ISBN  9781908312549

Blurb:

Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.

Buy Links:


 Excerpt:


As Mal trotted down the narrow stairs from the attic to the lower landing it suddenly occurred to him who might have been making Betty giggle and who she might trust enough to let them loose on the upper corridors of the museum. So he wasn’t altogether surprised to glimpse a yellow hard hat through the wrought iron of the bannisters.

“Hey.” Mal leaned over the rail and grinned as Rob looked up at him. “Didn’t think I’d see you again so soon. No pool table but I can make you a coffee.”

Rob gave him a beaming smile. “Tea and you’re on,” he said and followed Mal into the little room they had set aside as a staff kitchen.

Mal took a couple of mugs down from the cupboard and turned on the kettle. “I think I thanked you all for last Thursday, didn’t I? It was good fun.”

“Yeah,” Rob’s grin sounded in his voice but Mal turned to look at him anyway just for the pleasure of it. Rob had taken off his hard hat and put it on the window sill and was leaning against the edge of the window, hands in his pockets and looking out over the patch of grass and shrubs that was all the museum could afford of a garden these days. With his high vis jacket and coveralls undone to show a bright segment of printed tee shirt—Mal could see the “-oun-arm-lu” of “Young Farmer’s Club” and a bit of a bull logo—and with long legs in rigger boots crossed casually at the ankle, he looked both wildly out of place and very much at home. Mal really envied his ease. Here was a man who knew exactly what he wanted and was confident of getting it.

And what he wants right now – apart from tea – is me!” Mal found that a very satisfying thought.

The kettle whistled and Mal poured the boiling water into the mugs, soaking the special pyramidal bags that Sharon insisted made much better tea than any other variety. Mal stooped to open the fridge.

“Milk?” Malcolm asked. “Sugar?” Rob had stopped looking out of the window and was watching Mal. Mal could feel it.

“I never say no to a bit of sugar. Bit o’ milk too. Just enough to take the edge off.”

Mal grinned and made the tea then turned and offered Rob his mug.

“Thanks,” Rob said then lifted the mug a bit to read the printing on the side. “Museum curators do it meticulously? Oh. My. God. I hope that’s true.”

Mal snorted. “It’s part of the job to keep the paperwork in good order.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

Mal just smiled his agreement. “Come through to my office,” he suggested.


Elin's bio:


Logo by Catherine Dair


Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and has been making stuff up since she learned to talk. Writing has always had to take second place to work and family but, slowly, she is finishing the many novels on her hard drive and actually trying to do something useful with them.
Historical subjects predominate. She has written about ancient Greek sculptors, 18th century seafarers but also about modern men who change shape at will and how echoes of the past can be heard in the present. Heroes tend to be hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow.
There are always new works on the go and she is currently writing more 1930s spies, adding to a series of contemporary romances and doing background reading for stories set in Roman Britain and in WW2.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Promotion

Book promotion nowadays is done by the authors themselves. Twitter and FaceBook are two ways of getting your book's name out there. 

A blog tour is another. Here's mine coming up next week to celebrate the re-release of Perfect Score.


I chose a book review tour, so I'm pretty scared about what's going to happen next week. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Where Rainbows End by AnneMarie Brear - Book Review

 I enjoyed this historical read about the hardships that the settlers encountered in 1850s Australia.

Starting their journey in Sydney, Philippa, or Pippa, Noble and family have recently arrived from England. Her father, Gerald, has gambled most of their money away and taken a loan out from a cousin.

He uses the money to buy land in the outback and create a stud-farm, several days journey from Sydney. Pippa is a perfect, feisty heroine who, her father says, should have been a boy. She insists on accompanying her father into rather dangerous country to view the land he's been granted. It isn't a comfortable journey but, when she sees their land, she falls in love with it. Her father is ill and returns to Sydney, leaving his daughter to start the development.

There is much to enjoy about "Where Rainbows End", the fabulous and surprising settings, the hardships the characters face and how they overcome them. I was pulled in by the romance too. Pippa might be a "take-no-prisoners" heroine but she's got a soft, feminine side about her. I very much enjoyed the heartbreaks, the friendships and the would-be lovers that she encounters and I was rooting for her every time.

This is my first AnneMarie Brear book and it won't be my last. I enjoy her simple, yet suspenseful, way of writing that created a compelling story. I found it difficult to put down. Can't say better than that, can you?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dianne Noble - author of intriguing books.

On Monday I posted a book review here of Dianne Noble's latest novel "Oppression". 
Today, I'm so pleased that she agreed to come onto my blog to tell us something about her wonderful (and intriguing) books. Here's Dianne:


Oppression
The first time I saw Egypt I was seven years old and sitting on the deck of the troopship Dunera with my head buried in Enid Blyton’s Ring-o-Bells Mystery. I looked up when we docked in Port Said to see the gully gully man. He was an Egyptian magician who fascinated everyone, young and old alike, and accentuated the other world atmosphere of this exotic country. As we sailed down the Suez Canal – much narrower than expected – Lawrence of Arabia figures seated on camels appeared on the desert banks. I can truly say Egypt was the first place interesting enough to get my head out of a book.
Three years later, in December 1957, the Canal had been closed and we flew back from Singapore in an RAF Hermes plane. The journey took almost three days, stopping in several countries to re-fuel and de-ice the wings. This time there were no hot and vibrant sights and I didn’t see Egypt again until I reached my early forties, when I travelled by train from Cairo to Aswan, glued to the windows as we passed by villages which looked like they’d come straight from the pages of the Bible. My lifelong love affair with Egypt had begun and I’ve been back many times. The last time, I visited the City of the Dead in Cairo, a necropolis which features in Oppression and houses many poor people.
This novel is the story of Beth who prevents the abduction of a young girl in a North Yorkshire town, but is powerless to stop her subsequent forced marriage. In time to come Beth travels to Egypt to search for the girl, Layla, and finds her living in the City of the Dead. Oppression is the tale of two very different women, both of whom are oppressed in their lives, and how they triumph despite the odds.


Dianne's two previous books, set in Calcutta:
Outcast and A Hundred Hands
Amazon UK
Ten years ago I volunteered to spend a winter teaching English to street children in Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, in India. While there I realised what it is I love about the country –it’s the people. Despite great deprivation they laugh and are joyful. This time in Kolkata proved to be the hardest thing I have ever done. Broken, crumbling buildings sit amid lakes of raw sewage; filthy children encrusted with sores are homeless; families live on a patch of pavement so narrow they take it in turns to lie down. They give birth – and die – there. Yet their indomitable spirit shines through.
I feared I couldn’t do it, felt my resolve dying daily amid the horrors and hardship, but I started writing a journal and it saved me. Every night, no matter how dirty and exhausted I felt, I recorded one child’s progress with the alphabet, another’s disappearance, how many times I’d been hugged. It was a form of de-briefing but also cathartic. It got me through and these diaries formed the basis for A Hundred Hands and Outcast.
India remains my favourite place in the world and I re-visit whenever I can afford it. I have often thought about living there and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel rekindled that desire!
Amazon UK







Twitter: @dianneanoble1