Saturday, 23 July 2016

"And Then It Rained" - Book Event

Just a heads to let you know that there will be an online book event for "And Then It Rained" on August 12th starting at 6:00 PM EDT. Bags of prizes and bags of fun! Leave a comment if you're interested, and we'll see what we can do about issuing you an invitation.

Adventures Downunder - A Review - "Cracking Good....!"

If you haven't read "Adventures Downunder" yet, the title of this simply wonderful review (written by the gifted author, Alec Hawkes) might seem confusing, but the explanation is simplicity in itself. You see, to make the dialogue work through certain sections of the book, it was necessary to invent a new language, or pidgen. I thought it worked rather well. I gather Alec agrees.
Thank you, old friend, very much appreciated, sir.

on July 17, 2016
This is yet another triumph for the fantastically talented Mr. Lovatt; without any shadow of a doubt one of the finest writers of historical adventures that there has ever been. Lovatt crams in an enormous amount of research before he slips his clearly wonderfully well developed imagination to work in creating quite marvellous tales. Whether one calls this historical fiction, or the same though based on an awful lot of fact, or at least what could very easily be fact, is surely pretty well irrelevant. Much of what has actually been written down over the centuries about various times and events in history is almost certainly much the same; very often depending on the viewpoint of whoever wrote and recorded whichever particular 'facts' as just that. As an example, one could read many so called factual pieces on the colourful history between England and Scotland, and the struggles for power and freedom. The poor wee vanquished and downtrodden Angus McJock may well have written a mightily different piece about his ragbag army's defeat at Glen Wotsit compared with the version written by Sir Bastard De English. In a similar way to history being written by the victor, many things that are merely opinions or images that were seen by eyes which saw something different to other eyes, so becomes historical fact. Over a period of time some facts will be deemed to have been bunkum or cobblers, other facts will have been added to the story, maybe because a change of thinking from the powers that be may have occurred, or maybe because the story itself needed jazzing up to suit the opinion of the day.
Why, you may ask, am I saying all this as opposed to talking about the particular story in question? Well, that is because I read a line (just one line, not a review that merits being called a review) about this book as I was preparing my own thoughts on this splendid tale. The author of this one line had damned the book out of hand; something along the lines of "I read two chapters and became very bored". Well, Mr or Ms. Muppet, go and watch a soap opera or get yourself a copy of some mind numbing magazine spouting trivial cobblers and your tiny mind will likely be royally entertained. Swashbuckling adventures, written as fiction but with a very healthy dose of what could very easily be fact, or very close to fact, are just that, exactly that.
Now, to the matter in hand; the continuing adventures of our erstwhile hero, this time happening in the stinking hot frickin' desert we know as Australia. Charlie has been getting a little older and wiser, becoming a deeper thinker - much like, one would hope, all of us, as we limp our way through life's great trial. Charlie IS a deep thinker, has always been a deep thinker, in truth. Now, though, his thinking has become that bit deeper, more analytical. Our hero goes through many more adventures, faces several more near death experiences, falls in love (hey! no tale of a buckling swash on a world tour of adventures would be complete without the periodic falling in love with maidens fair!), or at least in lust.
I will tell very little of the story, just to say that it is quite brilliantly written, extremely gripping from the word go, and a marvellous extension to the life story that we already know of young Smithers, from following his earlier escapades in both Africa and India. As I briefly mentioned earlier, the research that this genial author does before penning these splendid adventures is exceptional. It is due partly to this research, and partly to Mr. Lovatt's brilliant imagination, that this historical adventure is so real, so utterly believable.
Very well done indeed sir, a truly memorable tale, written in such a way that the reader's journey is both gripping and highly enjoyable. Bravo, what!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Josiah Stubb - A Review - "His Best Work"

Although I should point out that the quality of a work is subjective to the individual reader, I'm happy to report that I'm getting very close to finishing the rough draft for the second book of the Josiah Stubb trilogy.
Thank you, Shannon. While I suppose it's inevitable that he has become temporarily overshadowed by the Charlie Smithers Collection, it makes me happy whenever I see that Josiah gets to share some of the attention, too.

on July 5, 2016
This is the fourth book I have read of Mr. Lovatt's and can say with confidence, his best work of the bunch. Better than the Charlie Smithers works and hopefully the first in a series.