So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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The Island of Ted by Jason Cunningham

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How could I resist a book with such a title considering my Robinson Crusoe complex!!!!!!    A new twist on the old tale.  This guy decides to buy his own island and live there on his own a; because he can afford it  b; because every attempt he makes at altruism in his life ends as failure.  He has a highly stressed job in the film industry and a penchant for falling for the wrong woman.

There’s no shipwreck here, in fact Ted has it all stitched up, glorious isolation but with satellite channels and food arriving every couple of weeks. You can read him slowly unwinding until Friday turns up, this time a small boy.  Ted is livid and this time chases him away!

Cliche, cliche, no man is an island and Ted finds he’s sharing the island with some refugees.  There are some lovely times when he is tricked by Friday into saying something dumb to the only attractive (to Ted) woman on the island.  Ted’s past history means you know he’ll fall for her.  Nuff said.

The middle of the book changes narrative position which actually really works and through it you can now see other people’s perspectives which you can’t in the first person.  Through this the narrator so clearly shows  Ted’s self-pitying perspective, he hasnt really got himself sorted at all and he runs back home to the USA.

The last part shifts back to Ted and I didn’t see the twist coming when he decides to  return to the Island when tinsel town finally loses it’s grip on him, and quite funny too. The end is as anyone would wish, reconciliation and growth, a Godly tale of the healing power of love.  Now I wonder where there’s a cheap island going?


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Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and Me by Caroline James

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It was actually the title that caught me eye, as it sounded a bit different to the run of the mill and on a quick read thought the link to the horse fair would make it interesting.  I’m going to have to try so hard not to spoil it, but it was an un- putable downer for me and I loved it.

Set in the 1980s, the setting was so accurately described in that I could see the outfits that Jo was wearing and could see how the politics of the time had their effect on the narrative.  The year of this book I was busy having my daughter so this made the book a bit special too! My only reservation was that when she buys Kirkton house, we don’t hear much of the renovations, and that makes it seem to easy – maybe I watch Gand designs too much, but old buildings always have unexpected problems.  Jo’s set downs of her errant husband are so funny he’s well and truly stitched up himself by the end.  There are horses which of course is a bonus for me and the description of the trotting race reminded my of the time we saw Farnham -by pass being closed by a rolling road of cars as a pair raced down it on a Sunday morning. The only thing that didn’t work for me was John, he had so little depth and I couldn’t really see why Jo fell for him!

Caroline’s depictions of life in a busy hotel, a small village, the gypsy world, made this book different for me.  It’s almost as if she has post written, the pre heroine of so many heroines in romances today!


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Tom, book reviews, new blog

All the pictures of  books on my blogs can now be clicked on to make a direct link to Amazon.com  to see more and even buy! Hint, hint, hint.  How come I had so many downloads and no ones written a review -is it that bad???????

Many people seem to enjoy my  book reviews as seen by the traffic it brings to the blog, but WordPress won’t let me cash in by adding advertising on this beyond creating direct links to the book on the blog page. So I created another blog, just to do the reviews – which for a while will be repeating the most succesful of the WordPress ones. Do have a look!

http://annarashbrook.blogspot.com/

Having started this, I find the blogger and Google have blocked any form of advertising on the site apart from through their own Adsense scheme, so my being an Amazon affiliate and to make a little money seems to have foundered!  I can see their point, but now I’ll have to see how the second blog takes off, it may just be a waste of time unless I do their advertising.  Having spent a week of frustration not even being able to get the book links to work, it seems it wasn’t such a good idea!!!

Well, its in God‘s hand, I give it a month or six weeks and see how it goes!

Of course if loads of people bought Tom……………


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Kissing Adrien by Siri L. Mitchell

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I like to find books that are nicely romantic, but each time a little different or quirky.  I immediately liked the Paris location and the brother/sister relationship between Adrien and Claire which changes and grows.   I did find the beginning a bit slow because I was impatient to find out about the flat, and for me there was a bit too much information about Paris, which some of you will just love.

Then there was a church scene which I thought a bit wooden, but it grew on me.  Adrien and Claire have some really good conversations on God and life as he tries to show her there is another side to her world. 

I read one review which disliked Adrien’s God talks, because he said that being a Christian enabled him to be more himself than he ever had.  The reviewer said this is unbiblical as our goal is to be more like Jesus.  Technically agree, he is our goal.  But define Jesus – he went to parties, got angry, frustrated, travelled a lot (Yes I know I’m being shallow).  But knowing the truth of Jesus, truly sets you free.  From the bondage of the world, the oppression of sin, you have the gifts of the spirit, such as peace and joy, and so we are free to become the people he created us to be, free from any damage or oppression.  If we set about trying to be Jesus, we will fail because we are human, and while our spirit is newly created, we are still stuck in this body and with our soul full of worldly thinking, we can try to be like Jesus, but its only when we go to be with him that perfection comes.  Oooh, I feel better for that!!!!!!

There  was also a bit about how you present yourself and enjoy your life and it was as if she was speaking to me – such a grumpy frump, and I felt taken to task. Claire has a similar lack of self-awareness, that I’m becoming  too, so I really warmed to her.  I’ll read this book again and look for more of Siri’s works.


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A week at the Beach by Virginia Jewel

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I must admit to being completely shallow and downloaded the book because I liked the cover. I did think maybe this is going to be a rich bitch sex romp type thing and was ready to put it down.    It does appear to start that way, but no, while Chrissy lives well to the stereotype, Cami while seemingly a hanger-on, is not.

What I loved is the simplicity of the tale, although some might say its a bit understated and slightly lacking in depth, but it reminds me in essence of the Barbara Pymm books (that dates me), in that in its straightforwardness, you can sit and be carried along, enjoying the dialogue (which it majors in) and in the simplicity enjoy.

Cami has all the heroine’s typical traits of being self unaware,  and moves to a new awareness of her past and how her life has been.  I don’t think Nick changed particularly, but he was always strong, after what he had overcome.  Oh, its so difficult not to write a spoiler!

The reviews I’ve read seem to echo what I’m saying too! I feel the book description for me is a bit overstated, but a good sales pitch!  Enjoy!


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Tom’s success

Another view of the house from Tom

I fully admit that I’m staggered by the number of downloads of Tom.  As I write its over 1,400 – maybe in the next few days I’ll actually get some stars and feedback!    So many people have my book!  Mostly in the USA as expected.  I hadn’t really been thinking about the money, until my brother pointed out how much I’d have made if this was sales.  I hadn’t even gone there till then.  The greed monkey then pointed the figure out, and it would mean I wouldn’t need to look for another job this year.

Until then, I’d just been rejoicing.  Some time ago when I was desperately trying to get published, I offered God all the profits from the book, just so it would be published, and that stood.  I did ask God when all this was in the offing, what should I do but had no clear direction,  so I just priced it and left it. I was also thinking with it going out free, how this would satisfy us both.  Now I keep on dreaming of earning enough from Tom to live.  Then I think of how God has prospered us since we’ve been here, we’ve never been so financially secure, we have more than enough. I just think of having the extra to print Tom in hardback and pay for our trip to the UK this autumn. It’s my guilt with Dave working so hard and me not for once that’s driving me.  Then again, as Andrew Wommack says, let your inaginaton pray for what you want.

At the moment, I only have a vague idea for a new book, but I do have a collection of short stories, which surprisingly I find still a lot available and popular on Kindle………………