To Be Enlightened by Alan J. Steinberg @AlanJSteinberg8 @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #BookPromo

Welcome to the tour for “cosmic love story”, To Be Enlightened by Alan J. Steinberg. Read on for details and a chance to win a $100 Amazon e-gift card!

Title: To Be Enlightened by Alan J. Steinberg

Date Published: 27th February  2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Literary Fiction/ Romance

Description:

To Be Enlightened is a cosmic love story that follows Professor of Philosophy Abe Levy as he grapples with what it means to love both his wife, Sarah, and the ocean of silence within. It is also an intellectual exploration of the most intimate of subjects: our consciousness.

Abe Levy’s long tenure as a philosophy professor has motivated thousands of students to ponder age-old questions in light of New Age ideas. Though Abe is passionate about his teaching, he is obsessed with a powerful childhood dream of heaven. To return to that heaven, he must reach enlightenment in his lifetime. Day after day, Abe settles into deep meditation, reaching the very cusp of his goal but unable to cross the threshold. Desperately, he commits to doing whatever it takes, even if it means abandoning his wife for a more ascetic life-a decision that sets off a cascade of consequences for Abe, Sarah, and those he loves the most.

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Excerpt

Vedic wisdom holds that during the forty-eight minutes prior to sunrise, which is called the Brahma Muhurta, a wave of purity and balance sweeps through the world, gently waking it up, along with the birds and other animals. I sip my coffee, enjoying the silence and morning calm. About fifteen minutes before sunrise, the birds start singing praises, enlivening and infusing the atmosphere with optimism for the approaching day. The transition rarely fails to uplift me.

A high-pitched fluttering followed by a distinctive buzzing draws my attention. I look up to see a large, shiny purple hummingbird hovering about a foot above the center of the table, looking at me as if wanting to speak. It flits its beak up, down, and sideways, and—zip! It’s gone. I don’t remember ever seeing a hummingbird so close. I sit for a moment. I know that hummingbird! I’ve seen her many times before in my dream. But she was always a bee.

I do asanas and pranayama and then walk toward our bedroom for my morning meditation. The hummingbird gets me thinking about omens. If there really are omens, does it mean that God communicates with us only at specific, special times? Or is it that at certain times we become still enough to precipitate an omen? Maybe there are always omens and we aren’t aware enough to appreciate them? I bet it’s even more complex than that. I adjust my pillows for meditation. In a half lotus, my eyes close.

Mantra, mantra, maaaantra, mmmannntraaaa, maaa…mantra emerges from shimmering pool, drop of water in reverse. Mantra, mantra, mmmmaa…the place on surface of pool where mantra will emerge begins to move, vibrate…I am observing and hearing the mantra’s emergence from my consciousness. It is separate from the real Me, the observer…The school’s administrative board has asked me to head the search committee for a new chief of campus security. I don’t know anything about security. I’m not going…I observe that thought, and this thought, arise in the same way the Mantra emerges.So interesting…Mantra, mantra, mantraaaaa, maaaantra…surface of pool, no ripples, no thoughts, no feelings coming from body or mind, endless…one side, silent awareness; other side, activity. Mantra, maantraa, mmmmm…mantra barely tickles my expansive surface…Bliss surges through body, mind. Bliss is caused by awareness of subtle disturbance at junction between…Mantra, mantra, mantraaaaa, mmmmmmaaaaaaa…flowing outward, all directions; I am a boundless, luminous mirror between my self and my Self… Mmmaaaa…mmmm…maaaaa…I am the surface of the ocean, impossibly still, deafeningly silent…needing to let go…ready to let go…fearing loss…Mmmmmmmm…decision made, must go forward, will go forward…surrendering all I thought I was for what I am…individuality dissolves: raindrop, ocean…

I am.

I am—the vast, unbounded ocean of consciousness. I am—unmoving wholeness. I was never that body or that mind. I have been observing Abe Levy since the moment he was born, and much, much longer than that. I am—at peace. I am—now awake. I was sleeping before. I can see the sun and the planets clearly. They are so dear to have nurtured Mother Earth, allowing her to birth humanity. I notice distantly that my body is glowing. Time is immaterial and has lost its grip on me…

* * *

Back in my body, I look over at my bedside alarm clock. More than an hour has gone by. I lie down to rest and a deep sleep envelops my body and mind, though I am awake, aware, and witnessing.

I get up and put on my robe. Something is very, very different. It’s as if I am still meditating even though my body and I are active in the world. I am in two places at the same time—the unbounded ocean of consciousness and the bounded world of activity and senses. I have never, ever, felt so good and so focused. I walk to the kitchen, but I don’t seem to be moving.

It happened. The thought comes that I should be jumping with joy, but I’m past that. A more pressing, evolving issue appears to be whether my body can contain my joy. I close my eyes and watch as thin, sparkling beams of Bliss increasingly poke their way through the shell that is my old body, shining out from my new one in a myriad of luminous, waving threads of various lengths and hues. The brightest and most numerous ones are congregated around my solar plexus and the top of my head. The weirdest part of all is that I’m not surprised or concerned by this in the least.

I make oatmeal with whole milk, dried cherries, roasted almond slivers, cinnamon, cardamom, and a hint of nutmeg. I notice something is gone. I am not, in general, an anxious or fearful man, but I now realize I had significant anxiety and fear all my life. I know this because, for the first time, I am completely without those constant companions. Along with my anxieties and fears, my worries about leaving Sarah to go to Fairfield have evaporated. I don’t have to go anywhere now. I am where I have always wanted to be. I’m Here. The weight of responsibility that I had shouldered in guiding Sarah around her triggers has lifted. I think that I can now lovingly support her without feeling bogged down or burdened.

I shower, shave, dress for class, and it all seems to happen automatically, as if I’m uninvolved in the process. I was somewhat intellectually prepared for this, but even after over fifty years of meditation, I’m not prepared experientially. This will take some getting used to.

Walking to my office, the world is delicious. The singing birds are part of me, thrilling me thoroughly from the inside with our perfect twittering. My heart sings with them. My body hums with a hymn as my feet beat the rhythm into the sidewalk.

Available on Amazon

About the Author:

Photo by Bradford Rogne Photography

Alan J. Steinberg, MD is board-certified in Internal Medicine and practices with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California. He also serves as one of the attending physicians for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. He grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1975. Earning his undergraduate philosophy degree at Pomona and Pitzer Colleges in Claremont, California, he went on to attend the University of Nevada School of Medicine, receiving an MD degree in 1984. His first book was a non-fiction consumer’s guide, The Insider’s Guide to HMOs (Plume/Penguin), which garnered favorable reviews in the Los Angeles Times and other publications as well as appearances on The Today Show20/20 and C-Span. The book helped sway the direction that healthcare was heading in the late 1990s. His debut novel, To Be Enlightened (Adelaide Books, 2021), is a work of visionary fiction, inspired by some of his own experiences as a lifelong practitioner of TM. Dr. Steinberg lives with his wife of over thirty-five years in Los Angeles, California. They are the proud parents of three young adults.

Alan J. Steinberg | Twitter | Instagram 

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Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid #BookReview #MiniReview

Title: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Date Published: 7th March 2019

Publisher: Hutchinson

Genre: Historical/literary fiction

Description:

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.

From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation. Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They sold out arenas from coast to coast.

This is the story of their incredible rise: the desire, the rivalry – and the music.

Then, on 12 July 1979, Daisy Jones and the Six split up.

Nobody knew why. Until now…

Review:

I have seen some fantastic reviews for Daisy Jones & the Six since it’s release, so when I spotted it in the library I thought I’d give it a go even though it’s not my usual genre.

What I loved about the book was it was written as if it was a real documentary about a seventies rock band. While I was reading it, it almost convinced me they were, in fact, a real band.

I know little about seventies music or the whole scene (bit before my time) but Taylor Jenkins Reid created this hedonistic atmosphere of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ rock that I found entirely believable. 

Honestly, would I say I liked any of the characters? Not really, but there was just something about them that fascinated me and made me want to read on and see what happened.

A little trigger warning/spoiler here, this book contains themes of drug and alcohol abuse, along with abortion, which the author handles sensitively, but it was realistic too, which at times was a little uncomfortable to read. 

Daisy Jones & The Six is an original and captivating read that I honestly thought about for days after finishing it.

About The Author:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, as well as One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her newest novel, Malibu Rising, is out now. She lives in Los Angeles.

You can follow her on Instagram @tjenkinsreid

Games We Played by Shawne Steiger @Ramelle1 @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #GamesWePlayed

Welcome to the tour for Games We Played, a gripping novel by Shawne Steiger! Read on for details and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: Games We Played by Shawne Steiger

Date Published: October 17th, 2020

Genre:Literary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Thriller

Description:

When actress Rachel Goldberg shares her personal views on a local radio show, she becomes a target for online harassment. Things go too far when someone paints a swastika on her front door, not only terrifying her but also dredging up some painful childhood memories. Rachel escapes to her hometown of Carlsbad. To avoid upsetting her parents, she tells them she’s there to visit her Orthodox Jewish grandmother, even though that’s the last thing she wants to do. But trouble may have followed her.Stephen Drescher is home from Iraq, but his dishonorable discharge contaminates his transition back to civilian life. His old skinhead friends, the ones who urged him to enlist so he could learn to make better bombs, have disappeared, and he can’t even afford to adopt a dog. Thinking to reconnect with his childhood friend, he googles Rachel’s name and is stunned to see the comments on her Facebook page. He summons the courage to contact her, Rachel and Stephen, who have vastly different feelings about the games they played and what might come of their reunion, must come to terms with their pasts before they can work toward their futures.

Note: Possible Triggers

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Excerpt

Stevie and his mother were evicted from their apartment after his mother’s big fight with the landlord at two in the morning. They left with only his mother’s purse and went to his grandpa’s house to sleep. Stevie had seen his grandpa just once before, and he barely remembered the visit. For the whole taxi ride, his mother kept saying, “Just until I get a job. We won’t stay long. Don’t worry, Stevie.”

He dozed, lulled by a spicy cigar smell and the erratic crackle of the radio from the front of the car. The driver let them out at a two-story stucco house that loomed like a yellow castle in the shadows of streetlight and moon. Stephen followed his mother through a wrought-iron gate that opened to a sidewalk made of pink stone

slabs. He lurked behind her when she knocked, looking around at the rock garden, a few lemon trees, and a big white wall that surrounded the front yard, blocking any view except for bits of road.

Nobody answered, so his mother dropped her purse and slammed the heel of her hand into the doorbell over and over. Then she turned away from the door, picked up her purse, grabbed Stephen’s arm, and dragged him toward the gate and the street, and the door finally opened. His grandpa stood on the threshold, silhouetted by a glow from the living room. Stephen would always remember that glimpse of his grandpa, the faded gray robe held closed at the chest, the gnarled toenails and bushy white hair, how big he was. He wasn’t fat, just big and as shaggy as the mountains he could see from Carlsbad, even though it took eight hours to reach them.

His grandpa stared at Stephen’s mother with bloodshot eyes. Then he looked down at Stephen and twisted his mouth into a closed-lipped grimace. Later, Stephen learned that his grandpa didn’t like to show his mouth when he wasn’t wearing his dentures, but at the time, the vampire smile frightened Stevie.

“Well, you might as well come in, then.” 

His grandpa’s voice was harsh and phlegmy. After he finished talking, he coughed until his face turned red, and he lit up a cigarette. Stevie’s mother propelled him through the front door and into the house, where they stayed much longer than she had promised.

Two weeks later, they were still there. Stevie’s mother stayed in her room nearly all the time, leaving Stevie to eat Hungry-Man frozen dinners and watch The Price is Right with his grandpa. When she did come downstairs, she pulled a kitchen chair into the living room and sat on that, far away from Stevie and Grandpa on the sofa.

When Stevie had his sixth birthday, his mother didn’t come down to sing “Happy Birthday,” buy him a cake at the grocery store, or tell him she was sorry she couldn’t afford a present but that she loved him. But his grandpa made sure he had a special day. 

He took Stevie up to the attic and showed him the guns gleaming on their racks inside a tall wooden case with a glass front. His grandpa opened a cardboard box next to the gun case and dug beneath a bunch of magazines until he produced a silver key. He inserted the key into the lock very precisely, as if opening that case was a more delicate task than shaving the whiskers around his throat.  Then he removed the guns one by one and showed them to Stevie.

He had six guns in six different shapes and sizes—three thick-handled guns with narrow noses that his grandpa said were Lugers, a smaller-nosed pistol called a Walther, a rifle called a Mauser, and one MG 34 machine gun. Stevie liked the rifle best because its long brown nose seemed sleek and dangerous.

His grandpa cradled it. “With this Mauser, I killed a Jew resistance fighter who thought he could get away.

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About the Author:

Shawne Steiger wrote her first story when she was seven. Over the years, she has been a pizza maker, dressage teacher, house cleaner, and therapist. The one constant in her life has been her writing, which is why, after years working as a trauma therapist, she applied to Vermont College of Fine Arts and completed an MFA in Fiction writing. After learning that she’s happiest when writing, Shawne published short stories and essays in several literary journals. Supporting her writing habit with her social work degree, Shawne frequently incorporates her understanding of how trauma affects people into her fiction. When not writing or working, she enjoys going to the theater, reading and travel. Luckily her love of travel stops her from fully realizing her aspirations to enter the realm of mad cat woman, since she’s yet to find the perfect suitcase that will fit both her cats and still be light enough to carry.

Shawne Steiger | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub

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#BlogTour Q&A Sixty Minutes by Tony Salter @rararesources @TonyOxford #AuthorInterview

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fabulous Q&A with author Tony Salter, plus a giveaway to win a copy of Sixty Minutes (see bottom of the post) but first a little about the book:

Sixty Minutes - Kindle Cover

Title: Sixty Minutes by Tony Salter

Date Published: 29th October 2019

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Five different people. Five separate lives. Sixty minutes to bind them for ever.

Hassan, Jim, Shuna, Dan and Nadia come from very different worlds. If life were straightforward, their paths would never cross. But our lives are rarely that simple and, as the clock ticks away the minutes of a single hour on a July morning, fate draws all five together in a headlong rush towards disaster.

Who are the heroes and who are the villains?

Tony Salter’s latest novel leaves us guessing right up to the last page.

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sixty-Minutes-nail-biting-race-against-ebook/dp/B07WNRLHGR/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Sixty-Minutes-nail-biting-race-against-ebook/dp/B07WNRLHGR/

Q&A with Tony Salter

Can you tell me a little bit about your book? 

Sixty Minutes is my fourth novel and is somewhat different from my others although it is still very much a thriller. Without giving too much away, I am quite limited, but the novel explores the actions of five very-different characters over a one-hour period. The reasons for each character to be present  (and any connections between them) appear as the story progresses. 

We learn to know and understand all of the characters, although they are not all totally likeable. We see different sides to them, some of which are hopefully unexpected.

The core plot which drives the tension over the sixty minute period is reasonably obvious early on, but the way it plays out remains uncertain until the end. I wasn’t sure how it would finish myself until I reached the final chapters.

It is not trying to be a deep philosophical book, but it does touch onto some some sensitive themes and will hopefully make readers think a little once they’ve finished.

Where did the inspiration for your book come from? 

I imagined the final scene (I can’t remember exactly why) and wrote it as a short story. I then realised that there was much too much room for cliché and stereotype in the short story format and decided to try to address the issues in detail and head on. I am aware that I am setting myself up for accusations of cultural appropriation, but don’t believe it is right to restrict an author’s imagination in that way. I don’t mind if a reader feels my characters aren’t real or even if they think the plot is dull and boring (actually I do mind – a lot), but do believe that an author should have the right to create characters who have very different backgrounds and experiences to the author’s own.

If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be? 

A tight tense literary thriller which will keep you gripped until the final page.

What is a typical writing day like for you? 

I would normally write at a standing desk for four to five hours after breakfast. I set myself a target of 1500 words, but am happy to stop at 1200 or so, if I’m not feeling focused or if I have  other plans. I might sometimes do an hour or two in the afternoon but not as a rule. I do my basic research and check emails as I go. (thereby breaking the author’s golden rule of not being connected to the internet while writing)

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why? 

Just now, Wake by Anna Hope

Who are your favourite authors? 

Kate Atkinson, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell, Salman Rushdie … an impossible question!

Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job? 

I consider writing to be my full-time job now, but am also Chairman of a travel technology company which gives me the luxury of being able to write when I want to.

Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!) 

When I was almost eighteen, I hitched down to the South of France from the UK with a friend. We slept on the beach in Cassis and woke up to find that everything we had  was gone. Passports, money, clothes – the lot. It made for an interesting holiday!


What are you currently working on? 

I am working on a new thriller which features one of the characters from Sixty Minutes, Nadia. This will be released in 2020

I am also working in the background on a historical  novel based on my grandmother’s diary which describes her journey from Brighton to Harbin in Manchuria in 1915 (via Newcastle, Norway Sweden, Petrograd and the Transsiberian Express). The book will also cover the six years she spent in Harbin, where she married my grandfather and gave birth to (and lost) her first son. This will probably take a couple of years to complete.

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About The Author:

Tony’s latest thriller, Sixty Minutes, was released on 29th August 2019. Tony is the author of bestselling psychological thriller, Best Eaten Cold. He writes pacy contemporary thrillers which explore different themes, but all share Tony’s thought-provoking plots and richly-painted characters. Sixty Minutes is his fourth novel. His second novel, The Old Orchard – a gripping family thriller – was published on the 7th of November 2017 and the sequel to Best Eaten Cold, – Cold Intent – was published in November 2018. Highlights of his early career include (in no particular order) three years as an oilfield engineer in the Egyptian desert, twelve years managing record companies for EMI Music in Greece, India and across Eastern Europe, running a caravan site in the South of France and being chauffeur to the French Consul in Sydney. Having survived the Dotcom boom, he went on to be a founder of the world’s largest website for expatriates, a major music publisher and a successful hotel technology business. In amongst this, Tony found the time to backpack around the world twice (once in his twenties and once in his fifties), learn six languages (including Norwegian and Greek) and to find a beautiful Norwegian wife. He now lives in Oxfordshire and writes full-time. He has recently turned sixty and is married with three children and five grandchildren. You can find out more about Tony at www.tonysalter.com 

Social Media Links 

https://twitter.com/TonyOxford 

https://www.facebook.com/tonysalterauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/tonysalter2017/

Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of Sixty Minutes (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BlogTour #Review The Fathers, The Sons And The Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams @JamieAdStories @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: The Fathers, The Sons and The Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

Date Published: 30th July 2019

Genre: Literary Fiction

Description:

Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything. The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos. The third part… well that will have to wait.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07VW63P3K/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1528917367/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-fathers-the-sons-and-the-anxious-ghost/jamie-adams/9781528917360

WHSmith: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-fathers-the-sons-and-the-anxious-ghost/jamie-adams/paperback/9781528917360.html

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-fathers-the-sons-and-the-anxious,jamie-adams-9781528917360

Hive.co.uk: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Jamie-Adams/The-Fathers-the-Sons-and-the-Anxious-Ghost/24079110

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Review:

I want to thank Emma at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a bit of a sucker for a usual title and I found the blurb very intriguing, even though this is not my usual sort of book, I thought I’d give it a go.

The Fathers, The Sons and The Anxious Ghost is a short novella, just over a hundred pages long, but it has a lot of emotion packed into it. 

Told through multiple perspectives, it begins with the fathers, then jumps ten years into the future to their sons showing how a tragic event can have a ripple effect on people’s lives. 

I didn’t find most of the characters that likeable but to me the fascinating storyline made up for this. 

This book is very much a story of two halves, I felt the first half, story and character wise was stronger and I feel that I would have preferred to have been focussed on the fathers for the whole thing.

I’d recommend The Fathers, The Sons and The Anxious Ghost to anyone who likes a real character driven story.

About The Author:

Jamie is a teacher who has studied a geography degree back in the nineties because of Jamie Adamshis love of nature and the outdoors. He found environmental education especially important and soon became a teacher for the primary-age group. Jamie enjoys reading and watching all kinds of theatre productions, from high dramas to lively musicals. His love of writing shines through in everything he does.

After writing a group of short stories linked to romance, which he published as ‘Short Dates’ independently, he decided to write a novella centred around topical issues such as mental health, parenting and relationships.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamieAdStories

Website: http://jamieadstories.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jamie-Adams/e/B07C642RJZ/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow @AlixEHarrow @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TenThousandDoors

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Publisher: Orbit

Date Published: 12th September 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.

But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Ten Thousand Doors Blog Tour asset part 1

Review:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is beautifully written historical novel, with an almost poetic feel to it.

January is a compelling character who finds it hard to fit in, which I think a lot of people can relate to. She has a bit of a wild, untameable, personality but on the other side of that she’s lonely and has a need to be accepted and loved.

I can really tell that the author has put so much research into this novel, it’s really underpinned with real historical events to give it that air of realism to the fantastical events through the novel.

What I would advise when reading is patience. It’s very much a slow burn, slow build novel that you have to immerse yourself in and not something you can rush through.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a nod to classical fiction and fairy tales.

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About The Author:

Alix E. Harrow is an ex-historian with lots of opinions and excessive library fines, currently livingclone tag: 4321375644802703302 in Kentucky with her husband and their semi-feral children. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel. Find her on Twitter at @AlixEHarrow.

#BlogTour Edna’s Death Cafe by Angelena Boden @AngelenaBoden @BOTBSPublicity

Title: Edna’s Death Cafe by Angelena Boden

Publisher: Matador

Date Published: 3rd September 2018

Genre: Literary Fiction

Description:

As in life, death is not without its agenda. This is something seventy-nine year old Edna Reid finds out when her partner, Ted, suddenly dies.

To cope with her loss, she sets up a Death Cafe to break down the taboo around death and to encourage other members of the community to discuss it openly. Over tea and cake, the participants hide their fears behind a veil of dark humour.

Religious fanaticism clashes with Victorian spiritualism as Edna’s meetings trigger lively conversations on the fragility of life, anxiety over dying, cost of funerals, and making sure long-lost greedy relatives don’t benefit from inheritances.

Soon, a series of events begin to unfold which threaten to undermine Edna’s livelihood and the Death Cafe meetings. These events just happen to coincide with the arrival of a mysterious stranger into the village.

Who is she and why is she so hostile to Edna?

Review:

I’m not crying honest…*sniffs*

So this another book that has been out of my comfort zone this year and what an emotional ride this was!

Edna is a 79 year old woman who is still reeling from the death of her beloved Ted. She starts a death cafe out of The Happy Oatcake, the cafe she inherited from her mother, to not only give herself some closure but the others in the village around her.

I loved Edna. She’s a such a caring character running a cafe, trying her hardest to help people. Also she proves that no matter how old you are you can still follow your dreams after she graduated from university at the age of seventy five.

We meet an interesting bunch of characters along the way too. Gordon a sheep farmer who’s mum is dying. Lionel and Ruth who’s daughter died in a tragic accident. Nigel who’s been drinking his life away after the death of his wife June. Manny, Edna’s best friend, who even thirty years after losing his boyfriend, still feels the loss. Finally Martine Shaw, a Canadian who turns up in the village suddenly and seem intent on making Edna’s life a misery.

There’s also a nice injection of humour here and there, that makes something as depressing as discussing death, not feel so bleak.

I have to be honest this was not an easy read for me but in a good way, if that makes sense. It made me confront some feelings which I didn’t even know I had from when my mum died almost ten years ago, especially when they were discussing things they wished they’d said to their loved ones before they died, I got a real lump in my throat reading that!

There were certain parts of the storyline did feel a little rushed. The introduction of the Death Cafe idea at the beginning of the story for instance, I would have like to know a bit more about where it came from and the history behind it etc. Also the ending while it was satisfying I felt that one of the character had an about turn in opinion and behaviour that could have been done a little less abruptly.

Overall Edna’s Death Cafe is a poignant and thought provoking tale that will make you both laugh and cry in equal measure.

Edna's Death CafeBlog Tour

Author’s Bio:

Angelena Boden has spent thirty- five years as an international training consultant, specialising in behavioural management and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the angpsychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

She originates from the Peak District but has spent a life time travelling and living in places as far apart as Vancouver, Dubai, Paris, Seville and Iran. Now semi-retired in Great Malvern, she writes every morning, walks the hills and paints landscapes every afternoon and fits family and reading in between.

She is the author of two traditionally published novels and many articles and blogs.

Her most recent novel, Edna’s Death Cafe is published as an e-book by Matador.

Angelena is keen to meet readers, old and new, and is available for book talks, events, and always chatting over a cuppa (within 60 miles of Worcester).

Links:

angelenaboden.com

@AngelenaBoden