I’ve had a very busy blogging month, just not on this blog!
I’m still posting every day on my 3sixtyfiveblog and I’ve enjoyed researching and writing all the posts.
I’ve had some lovely posts about the special flower for the month of June; hence the photo at the start of this post.
One of my posts was about a Youtube film clip of the Yorkshire Rose Queen 1931. For anyone who knows and loves Scarborough the film clip is a little gem. You can find the post here.
The most viewed post was “Miniatures with a huge perspective” by guest writer, Michael Murray.
Whilst visiting relatives I found myself discussing my novella Julia’s Room with my sister-in-law. She mentioned her fondness for short stories and revealed that she’d recently downloaded on to her Kindle one of the volumes from Guy de Maupassant’s collection.
Guy de Maupassant! The mention of the name instantly transported me back to my days as a drama student when I’d first discovered that wonderful author’s little jewels of short stories and read every one I could find. As soon as my sister-in-law and I finished our conversation I began browsing in the Kindle Store for Maupassant’s work. I was delighted to find his complete output of short stories, including many I had never heard of before: his novels were there too. I downloaded the first volume of his collected short stories for free and began to consume them with relish one after the other: as a chocolate addict might devour a large box of chocolates.
Guy de Maupassant was born on August 5, 1850 near Dieppe, in France, into a prosperous family background which included minor Norman aristocracy. He was nineteen and studying Law in Paris when the Franco Prussian war broke out. Maupassant volunteered and saw action as a private before later serving in the Quartermaster Corps. This is why the war and the Prussian invasion of France permeate some of his most memorable stories. Read more here.
The post which was tweeted and re-tweeted the most was “Who was the first woman to drive a London bus?”
When I was writing Jam for Tea I recalled that the first woman to be blasted up into space was the Russian, Valentina Tereshkova.
Sometime later I found myself trying to remember the name of the first British woman to make that exciting journey into space. It was of course Helen Sharman who was born in 1963 just one month before Valentina Tereshkova made her historic flight.
Learning about Helen Sharman inspired me to find out about other British women trailblazers.
I’ve read the stories of some amazing women and found some Internet gems as well.
For example, this YouTube film clip is a fantastic record of the first woman to drive a London bus. And if you want to know who she was, continue reading here.
You can find all my posts for June here and I hope you have time to read some of them.
Meanwhile, Michael’s latest novel, “Leefdale” has received some very positive reader feedback.
A thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking novel.
Leefdale is an intriguing novel full of interesting and convincing characters whose past lives and relationships are revealed during one eventful summer in a village in rural Yorkshire. There are multi-layered stories of love and attraction but also of deceit, double lives, conflict and intolerance. The setting and characters are well written and the themes are interesting and complex. Highly recommended.
At over eight hundred pages long, this certainly is value for money, and a read I’d thoroughly recommend to those who really like to get stuck into a good immersive novel. I suspect many of us are attracted to village life, where everyone knows their neighbours. The author lifts the curtains and reveals the reality. Even those closest to us can be hiding secrets, presenting a persona. To visiting tourists, all in Leefdale seems as quiet and tranquil as the village pond. But still waters run deep, and beneath the surface lurks all kinds of murkiness. Like a stone hitting the pond’s surface, a bunch of well meaning folk working with difficult youngsters move into The Old Rectory. This causes a ripple effect, and the fascination here is watching how those ripples play out. Story lines intertwine; some sadder than others, one is completely desperate, almost exasperatingly so in a how did anyone dig themselves into a hole that deep manner, while the Major sometimes made me cringe, other times I wanted to shake him, and occasionally I laughed at his antics, especially his newsletters. The author Michael Murray had me believing in all of them, and totally engrossed in their lives. A rich rewarding read, five easy stars.
You can read some of “Leefdale” by clicking FREE PREVIEW below.
For the last few days for some unknown reason, every time I add a book link to a WordPress blogpost it turns into an advert. Which certainly saves time normally spent on book promotion. And now with so many thousands (er, millions!) of books available for Kindle, anything which helps a book to stand out is appreciated.
We started Kindle self-publishing in February 2012 and were lucky enough to be in at the start of the e-publishing revolution.
Our first title was Michael’s novel “Magnificent Britain”.
One reader said:
Warning! This book is seriously addictive! Sir Maurice Brearley, founder and sponsor of the Magnificent Britain gardening competition, is a man with secrets. Biographer Nigel Lush has been commissioned to tell Sir Maurice’s life story. He, too, has secrets. Lady Brearley insists, together with the publisher, that the biography must show what a wonderful man her husband is, but Lush receives a letter from someone whose dying father has a different story to tell. The old man says he knows Brearley from their time fighting together in World War One. Lush wants to add a postscript to his book but is unable to tell what he now believes is the true story.
Later, we read the personal testament of Sir Maurice, hidden until after his death, which tells his version of their relationship and the story behind his honourable discharge with crippling injuries. Will the true story ever be told? Not if Lady Brearley’s MI5 brother can help it.
This book is convincingly told and brilliantly manipulates the beliefs of the reader. We are told of cowardice under fire, punishable by execution if confirmed. We read of sexual entrapment to prevent a homosexual writer from telling what he knows. The story moves back and forth from the late 1960s to the First World War to the 1930s and finally to the early years of this century and very believably sets the historic scene with its class divisions and the illegal status of homosexuals in those days. It’s a most compelling story and a great study of the complex trap we set for ourselves with lies and deceit, even if originally well-intentioned. An excellent read and thoroughly recommended.
And now the advert!
It’s almost a year since I wrote the first blogpost that mentioned my cancer diagnosis.
It’s still here if you missed it.
Starting in August last year I’ve had 12 two-weekly cycles of a drug that targets bowel cancer cells called Cetuximab accompanied by two chemotherapy drugs. In March the oncologist changed my treatment to maintenance therapy by reducing the chemotherapy drugs to just one while continuing the Cetuximab.
I now go to my local hospital’s chemotherapy unit for about five hours every two weeks to get the Cetuximab and come home with 46 hours of chemotherapy in a pump.
So far the drugs are proving effective in controlling the spread of the cancer and shrinking the tumour in my liver. I am indebted to our NHS, its doctors, nurses, technical and support staff and the wonders of medical science. I didn’t expect that I would still be writing blogposts (albeit mainly on 3sixtyfive) a whole year after my diagnosis. And the pleasure that gives me is immeasurable!
Thanks for reading and hope you have a great day.
All best wishes,