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Hello and welcome to my stop on the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas!  I am delighted to share a review of Dating Daisy by Daisy_Mae224 with you today.


Description:

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What do you do when you’re a newly divorced 52 year old mother, keen for a second chance of romance? Why internet dating of course!
Daisy Mae_224 embarks on the internet dating process with trepidation. Having not been on the dating scene for nearly 30 years, and with fairly rudimentary computer skills, she finds herself embroiled in a series of haphazard and hilarious situations. Daisy keeps a diary of her internet dating life and reveals detail by detail, the ups and downs of her midlife dating extravaganza. Soon after starting out, Daisy realises her true mission. With no past experience and no-one/nothing to guide her, she needs to produce – Internet Dating lessons.

Read on to find out about PLONKERS, muppets and MAWDs, and a whole host of amusing anecdotes, tips and ideas. Working by day as a Sexual Health doctor, the story as it unfolds contains accounts of Daisy’s clinical experiences with patients in the Sexual Health clinic.
She also reflects on her past life with Voldemort (the dreadful ex-husband). With advice and encouragement from Imogen, her 17 year old daughter, her surrogate parents known as the Amigos, with a big house and swanky swimming pool, her friend Pinkie and from Jeannie, her nonagenarian friend from the Nursing Home, Daisy resiliently persists in her quest to find a long term partner.

This is a heartfelt story that will ring bells with anyone who has ended a long term relationship and now wants to find somebody new. It is humorously written, full of emails, poems, limericks, and even a recipe! Daisy can’t resist her pages of advice on topics like “Kissing” and “Anti-Snoring.” It is a unique and highly amusing book, which will make you laugh out loud! So read on and se;e. Will Dating Daisy find her “prairie vole?” Or will the whole process end in disaster?

My Thoughts & Review:

Dating Daisy was just the funny sort of read I needed to shake up my reading list recently.  The book is told in somewhat of a diary fashion and follows Daisy who is a sexual health doctor.  In this she shares some of the stories about her patients, as well as giving a look into her forays into the world of internet dating.

The book itself is broken into short and snappy chapters with Daisy regaling readers with tales from her work which are embarrassing, daft and strange at times.   I did initially wonder how these would fit in with the story but somehow they do work well along side the story and once I was used to the style of writing I found it easy to go with the flow.

I think that this may appeal to readers who are looking for a quick read and something a little different.  It’s the sort of book you might recommend to a friend to give them a wee giggle or perhaps if they’re considering internet dating.
Whilst I found it an easy and entertaining read, I can’t say that it stuck in my head too much after I finished it, perhaps I was looking for a more weighty read, but that doens’t take away from the fact that I laughed out loud several times whilst reading this and did appreciate the dry humour of the author.

You can buy copy of Dating Daisy via:

Amazon UK

 

 

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I am so excited to be part of 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas and be one of the many wonderful blogs sharing reviews and posts from a wealth of authors this Advent.  Today I have the honour of sharing a very special post written by Peter Worthington, the author of The Eden Tree, who has written about how writing his novel was a cathartic experience.


eBook Cover Peter Worthington

Description:

” Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” John James Morgan knew the day he was born. Two days before his sixty-first birthday he found out why. John is a happily married businessman, father and grandfather, living in Cheshire, in the heart of England. Happy, that is, until his family face a crisis. A terminal one. At the local market, a flower-seller tells John a story that changes his life. Assured his destiny is in his own hands, John crosses the globe in pursuit of a religious artefact which has remained hidden for two thousand years. Presented with an antique box containing maps, parchments and a bag of leaves, John returns to the UK and witnesses a miracle. With the box in his possession, John and his family find new friends and enemies; lives are threatened and people die, although some will be healed. With the help of many different people, from all walks of life, John’s journey will finally lead him to the discovery of an extraordinary and mysterious tree. But what will this Eden tree mean to John, his family, their faith and their future? The Eden Tree is author Peter Worthington’s first novel; a fictional account based on his own experiences with his son, John Wesley, who underwent treatment for cancer but sadly passed away shortly after his seventh birthday. The Eden Tree has allowed Peter to give his much-loved son “a happier ending.”

You can buy a copy of The Eden Tree via:

Amazon UK


Guest Post:

How writing the Eden Tree has helped.

I want to thank you for allowing me to share my story. I hope readers find some hope in the words here and inspiration in my novel. When our son Wesley was a three- year- old and diagnosed with cancer writing a book never crossed my mind. Thirty years later, however, I can say the process of thinking and writing theEdenTree has helped me with the loss of our child and been cathartic.

Wesley was born on January 4th, 1977, just two weeks before we moved to Ipswich in Suffolk. Our young family had already been blessed with the arrival of Rachel eighteen months before and in 1980 Calvin was born. With our three children and a growing church congregation, of which I was pastor, everything seemed wonderful. Like my fictional family, the Morgans, that spell was to be broken. On August 18th, 1980, our wedding anniversary, the bombshell dropped. Our three-year-old had cancer.

Like my fictional family in the Eden Tree a world of suffering and worry was opened. A maelstrom. Much of my story is based on my family, and Wesley. In my book there is so much taken from my personal experience. The Morgans enter Great Ormond Street Hospital with trepidation, just as we did as a young family. They are accommodated above the chapel just as my wife and I were. They walk the underground corridors following a red-painted line just as we did. The smells and sounds all came back to me as I wrote. In my book the Morgans drive home in silence, their little boy oblivious. In writing the scenes were very vivid. Seeing those days again in my mind aided the scars in my memory. Is it possible that writing opens wounds that need to heal?

By writing of the shock and pain, alongside the cries of children in the night allowed me to remember our own dark nights. Not in a morbidly sad way but with gratitude for the care and support we received. In the pages of my novel I relived walking the hospital corridors, talking with doctors and witnessing the bravery of our little boy.

There is a healing that occurs when we talk about the loss of loved ones. Putting pen to paper in a poem or story allows the emotions to flow. It is part of accepting the reality of what has happened. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was answering the Registrar, “when did Wesley die?” To admit the fact and see it recorded was gut wrenching. In my novel I was glad that John Morgan could avoid that. One of the thrills of writing is that you determine what happens. It may seem escapism and maybe it is. By drawing upon actual events and memories it’s possible to write your own story yet create romance, mystery, and adventure. Your protagonist can become a better you!

It may seem strange but writing about our experiences and placing them in a story helped me to understand the grief we felt. The Morgans story was mine, yet I could re-write history. My UK press release from Authoright suggested that the Eden Tree gives a “happier ending” which it does, as the fictional Wesley is healed by healing leaves from the mysterious Eden Tree. Most of my research involved the tree in the garden of Eden and archaeological or religious documents. In my novel the Morgans almost accidentally “drop” into the location.

Our son Wesley died just after his seventh birthday in 1984, but in my novel another Wesley celebrates his seventh birthday with nurses, teachers, friends and the leading children’s oncologist. Writing my book gave me cathartic tears as I reflected upon my son, thrilled that my fictional Wesley lived. Of course, as a Christian, I believe in an after-life. I have no doubt that I shall see Wesley again one day. Going through our ordeal has made me a more rounded person, and I believe, a more authentic author.

As a grandparent I love the time I have with my three grand-children. Writing about John Morgan as a grandad caused a lot of happiness as I see my own offspring growing up so fast! Without my personal familiarity with grand-parenting coupled with the feelings generated I would have been unable to write about John and Liz Morgan.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I visited Wesley’s grave in Ipswich. Though we shed some tears, as Christians we have hope. In the Eden Tree too, there is a beacon of hope. I intended my story to be an apologetic as well as presenting an interesting tale.

A friend predicted thirty years ago that the story of Wesley would travel the globe. Little did he realise how that would be fulfilled!

I’m sure you will agree that it was a great honour for Peter to share that with us and it’s so wonderful to see that being able to write a better ending for Welsey has helped him through his grief.

 

About the Author:

Today Peter Worthington lives in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire with his wife Margaret. Peter has enjoyed a bright and varied career as a church minister, financial adviser and internet consultant. Now retired he is busier than ever thanks to his three grandchildren, studying for an Open University Degree in Creative Writing, voluntary work, playing World of Warcraft, serving on the board of a housing association and writing. He has previously published short stories in a number of Christian magazines. His first novel, The Eden Tree (published by Clink Street Publishing 19th July 2016 RRP £8.99 paperback, RRP £2.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores.

For more information you can follow Peter @CatshillPeter or visit http://www.edentree.co.uk/

 

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Welcome along to another post to celebrate Clink Street Publishing’s Second Annual Blogival!  The event is running from 1st August right through to 31st August across a wealth of wonderful blogs and features some amazing reviews, guest posts and other bookish goodness for you lucky readers!

Today I am delighted to share a guest piece written by Anne Boileau about Katharina Luther.

Katharina Luther: Nun, Rebel, Wife

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On 31st October 1517, Martin Luther pinned ninety-five theses on the Castle Church door, Wittenberg, criticizing the Church of Rome; they were printed and published by Lucas Cranach and caused a storm. Nine young nuns, intoxicated by Luther’s subversive writings, became restless and longed to leave their convent. On Good Friday 1523 a haulier smuggled them out hidden in empty herring barrels. Five of them settled in Wittenberg, the very eye of the storm, and one of them – Katharina von Bora – scandalised the world by marrying the revolutionary former monk. Following a near miscarriage, she is confined to her bed to await the birth of their first child; during this time, she sets down her own story. Against a backdrop of 16th Century Europe this vivid account of Katharina von Bora’s early life brings to the spotlight this spirited and courageous woman.

You can buy a copy via Amazon


Guest Post:

Would you say that Katharina von Bora was one of the first feminists who shaped history?

We cannot claim that Katharina von Bora was a feminist because such a concept did not exist in the 16th Century. She was, however, a strong, well-educated woman living in a patriarchal and authoritarian society.  When she first experienced the secular world she would have been taken aback at the hostility men showed against her sex. This hostility was, if anything, even worse if that woman happened to be a former nun. Former monks were mocked and reviled as well. Ironically, though, the very fact that she had attended a convent school and been raised with the rigorous discipline and training required for a monastic life, gave her spiritual, mental and physical strength. She needed these qualities to adapt to the change in her circumstances on leaving the security of the convent walls.

Common men were lewd, aggressive, mocking. Other women were suspicious because they found the ex nuns rather threatening. As convent pupils, novices and nuns they had received an excellent education. They were literate in Latin and German. Latin was the language of the powerful, the ruling class and of men. And few women at that time, even of good family, could write well, even though they might be able to read. As nuns they had acquired many other skills: illumination of texts; stitching tapestries; sowing, weaving, spinning; gardening and a knowledge of herbal remedies; music, and singing. And of course, the discipline of regular worship throughout each day.

Moreover, living in a silent order of women required the ability to communicate without words. They used sign language, of course, but much more can be conveyed than we, in a very verbal society, can ever imagine, by the eyes, or subtle body language. A nod of assent, a wink, a slight shrug of the shoulder, a turning away, the shadow of a frown or smile, can speak volumes in the absence of speech. And with such daily silent communication they would have developed a high degree of empathy; an ability to avert, where possible, flash points of irritation or strife. More than anything, there was a need to maintain, where possible, peace and harmony among the women. It can’t have been easy!

So if you ask me, was she one of the first feminists? I would say this: she came out of that convent well equipped to weather a world in turmoil. Where the peasants were breaking out of their bondage, the ruling classes were at odds with each other and mustering armies, and the Church was about to split into several factions because they could not agree on fundamental matters of doctrine. Society was divided. So it was, that maids were forbidden to discuss religion while filling their pails at the Wittenberg wells.

Katharina had a strong faith, which was mediated through the Virgin Mary. But she was adaptable, able to bend like a reed in the wind and accept  Martin Luther’s fresh, more direct path to God, believing in justification through faith. From the monastic discipline she was also schooled in hygiene and herbal remedies, so knew how best to take precautions against the plague, which came sweeping across the land every fifteen or so years.

When she married Martin Luther and took over the running of his large and busy household she brought all these qualities to bear on her work and also on her irascible husband. She kept him healthy, curbing his excessive appetite; she kept him calm, mitigating his bad temper and disturbed sleep; she made sure he respected her and other women. And as he was a man filled with doubts and fears, she gave him courage and confidence, and calmed his feelings of guilt and remorse for the unrest he had unleashed on the world. She also gave him children, who would have kept his feet on the ground, because children tell the truth. He was a devoted father.

Dr. Martin Luther played a hugely significant role in the shaping of modern Germany, one might say Europe. Katharina, as his wife, helped shape him, making him more humane and down to earth than he would have been had he remained a lonely, celibate, childless monk.  Therefore, though we can’t really call her a feminist, we can say that she did shape history, simply by being at his side, his helpmeet, companion and wife.

 

About the Author:

Anne Boileau (also known as Polly Clarke) lives in Essex. She studied German in Munich and worked as interpreter and translator before turning to language-teaching in England. She also holds a degree in Conservation and Land Management from Anglia University and has written and given talks on various aspects of conservation. Now she shares, writes and enjoys poetry; her work has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines; she has also won some awards, including First Prize with Grey Hen Press, 2016. She translates modern German poetry into English with Camden Mews Translators and was Chair of Suffolk Poetry Society from 2011 to 2014.

 

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I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for the hilariously funny mystery ‘Who Killed the Mince Spy?’ and share a post written by Matthew Redford.

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Description:
Tenacious carrot, detective inspector Willie Wortell is back to reveal the deviously delicious mind behind the crime of the festive season in this hugely entertaining, and utterly unconventional, short story. 

When Mitchell the Mince Spy is horrifically murdered by being over baked in a fan oven, it falls to the Food Related Crime team to investigate this heinous act.

Why was Mitchell killed? Who is the mysterious man with a long white beard and why does he carry a syringe? Why is it that the death of a mince spy smells so good?  

Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, the best food sapiens police officer, once again leads his team into a series of crazy escapades. Supported by his able homo sapiens sergeant Dorothy Knox and his

less able fruit officers Oranges and Lemons, they encounter Snow White and the seven dwarf cabbages as well as having a run in with the food sapiens secret service, MI GasMark5.

With a thigh slap here, and a thigh slap there, the team know Christmas is coming as the upper classes are acting strangely – why else would there be lords a leaping, ladies dancing and maids a milking?

And if that wasn’t enough, the Government Minister for the Department of Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Trade (DAFaRT) has only gone and given the turkeys a vote on whether they are for or against Christmas.   

Let the madness begin!

This short story by Matthew Redford follows his deliciously irreverent debut Addicted To Death (Clink Street Publishing, 2015).

You can buy a copy of Who Killed The Mince Spy here

About the Author:

Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels.  To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.

Website – http://www.matthewredford.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/matthew_redford


Guest Post:

It is a pleasure to be asked to write a guest blog for your site and I want to take the opportunity to introduce you to a section of community who are often overlooked and ignored when it comes to crime fiction. They have their own police division, who in fact, despite mishaps occurring during when investigating cases, actually have an excellent rate of solving crimes. This community are intelligent, diverse and frankly, decent upstanding members of the neighbourhood – in the main anyway.

Yes, of course, I am talking about food sapiens. Now before you wonder who on earth I am rambling on about, I am referring to genetically modified food sapiens which scientists discovered started to breathe independently, before developing the ability to think, speak and interact with homo sapiens. And when the Government realised that you could release food sapiens from captivity into the wider world and then charge them taxes, they jumped at the chance. So if you fancy reading some interesting legislation – and let’s be honest who wouldn’t – try looking up the Genetically Modified Food Sapiens Act 1955.

Now, back to the crime fiction world. The Food Related Crime team of the police force were busy working away solving crimes and yet nobody ever wrote up their cases. Which is why I decided to champion their cause.

Let’s look at the facts here. Little old ladies can point towards Miss Marple. Folk from Belgium can point towards Hercule Poirot in fact, they can even claim TinTin as one of their own if they put their minds to it. I want to pose a question. Would the crime fiction world have been as interested if the little old lady was actually Miss Marble Cake? Personally, I think not.

Now the Food Related Crime team is led by Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot, and the most successful food sapiens police officer of his generation. He is supported by Dorothy Knox, his homo sapiens sergeant who seems to be the glue that holds the team together during their investigations, which are at best, haphazard. And then of course, there are Oranges and Lemons, the two fruit officers who are, well, being polite, a bit of a hindrance. But their hearts are in the right place and they seem to have a knack of coming good.

Wortel and Dorothy came together a few Christmases back when the psychopath Sammy the Shrimp was terrorising the community resulting in a number of people infected with a tricky case of the crabs. No, not that – get your minds out of the gutter people – infected crab meat. They tracked down Sammy the Shrimp only to see him try and escape on a child’s scooter using his powerful tail to build up speed. He was almost away when some black ice caused him to lose control and he was thrown from the scooter into the shop window of ‘Bamboo can do’ and he was fatally impaled.

Oranges and Lemons joined the team more recently when assisting Wortel and Dorothy in a case document in Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation. This was their most challenging case to date and if you are interested then they would be thrilled (and I would be too!) if you visited Amazon and downloaded the drama.

If you wanted to learn more about food sapiens and the Food Related Crime team, please visit www.matthewredford.com


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for reviews, and more great posts by Matthew!

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