My Thoughts on Death Beside the Seaside by T. E. Kinsey

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Death Beside the Seaside by T E Kinsey

Published by Thomas & Mercer

Published 22nd October 2019

Amazon


I have read one of the Lady Hardcastle mysteries by T.E. Kinsey before. I wasn’t completely sold on it. I downloaded Death Beside the Seaside because I wanted to give these characters and author another go. I could not put Death Beside the Seaside down. I had to read it right through. I love the era in which this series is written and more so I love the relationship Lady Hardcastle and her maid, and friend, Florence Armstrong have. The dialogue between the two in this book is spot on.


Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Currently on the TBR

 

New books to read are always exciting. 

This week I downloaded two books that are currently free onto my Kindle. 

Gretchen Gomez and Shelby Eileen are two very very good writers so if you want to fall in love with some new writers download them both.

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Books borrowed from my public library

Rage Becomes Her Soraya Chemaly I have been seeing this book all over my Instagram and curiosity got the better of me

Feminists don’t wear Pink and other lies Scarlett Curtis Scarlett has a new book out, I saw this in the library and decided to check it out and have another read before I get her new book 

Death Around the Bend T E Kinsey I can’t seem to get enough of these books at the moment, love the dialogue between the two protagonists Lady Hardcastle and her friend and maid Florence Armstrong


 

My Thoughts on Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts.

Behind the most famous movie ever made is a tale of love, magic and one incredible woman

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts

Published by Quercus

The film of The Wizard of Oz, made in 1939 and which starred Judy Garland, was a magical film for me as a kid. I loved the yellow brick road, the songs, the scarecrow and the evil witch. I also enjoyed its (unofficial) 1985 sequel Return to Oz. That film terrified me more so than the first. It had rocks with faces, The Wheelers, Pumpkinhead, and a headless witch. When I read the books I felt the 1985 sequel was a lot more closer to its author L. Frank Baum original stories.
As I grew up I became interested in how the movies were made, Judy Garland and her life and in the writer of these magical books.

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts is a fictional story of a young Maud with her mother Matilda Joselyn Gage, an advocate of women’s rights, who first and foremost wants her daughter to get her diploma before engaging with the playwright actor and creator of Oz L. Frank Baum and the then elderly Maud on the filmset of the film of The Wizard of Oz. Maud meets the actors (normally whilst on a cigarette break) and tries to ensure the film script is in keeping to her late husband’s books, whilst protecting the welfare of a young Judy Garland.

What is as engaging is what happens in the intervening years between these two points. The story is written within the framework of what we know about the life of Maud and Frank, as well as their families.

Finding Dorothy has several different women characters in various circumstances. It demonstrates the hardships during the turn of the century and the growth of industry and land in America in the late 1800s. There is a lot in the book to think about. None more so than the question of rights that women had in the eighteenth century and later on in the nineteenth century.
Were women any better off, did they have more autonomy of their choices? Are the societal, the family values and traditions pressures any different?
I felt I had fallen right into a story of another time and era that had me enthralled and emotionally invested in its characters. I whizzed through this book.


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Four Questions with Sophie Bowns ( @SE_BownsFiction )

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Sophie Bowns

  1. Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

Hi Katie. I’m 25 and live in Cumbria. I’ve previously completed two years of student nurse training, but hated it so I left and moved back home and worked as a carer. I’m currently an Exam invigilator and I’m training to be a secondary school teaching assistant. I love it, no two days are ever the same, and there is never a dull moment.

I adore writing poetry. It’s something that I feel really passionate about. I always strive to wrtie poetry that evokes a thought process or an emotion within the reader. I love the work of Stephen King, Charlotte Bronte. In terms of poetry influences, I always try and read lots of work by other poets.

  1. What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

I post regularly on Instagram. For me, putting my poems on there is the best way to get them read. I also post the Instagram links on there. You can find me on both @SE_Bownsfiction

3.What projects are you working on at present?

I’ve been asked to be a part of a wonderful poetry anthology called ‘Luminance’ which will be available on Amazon as an ebook next month.

  1. What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry means a great deal to me. It’s rare that a day passes without me writing something. I strive to write poetry that evokes an emotion within my readers or makes them think. I am always trying to read work by as many poets as possible. It’s important that we support each other, especially with the awful new Instagram algorithm. I am determined to beat it.

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This unique book brings together a collection of amazing and diverse poets who shine a light of words on a world gone wrong.
While global warming, poverty, homelessness, the refugee crisis and warfare dominate world news, the poets of LUMINANCE turn a spotlight on the frailty and hope of humanity.
The writers include a 32-year-old mum of four, a 16-year-old school student, a haiku writer, a freedom fighter, a 62-year-old grandfather, a modern day minstrel, a novelist and a self-proclaimed ‘mystic’.
Their poetry is breath-taking in its style, its range and its subject matter, falling nimbly into the categories: Darkness and Light, Heaven and Hell, Love and Theft, and War and Peace.
Most of the writers have, until now, only seen their work published on social media.
This family of contributors live and work 11,000 miles apart, across 18 time zones, in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Palestine, Japan, England, Scotland and five different states of the USA. Their writings display the diversity of their home cities and cultures and form the unique nature of the book.
Retired newspaper and magazine editor Nic Outterside from England, is the publisher of LUMINANCE.
“I have edited many publications over the years,” says Nic, “But none has been as challenging and exciting as this.
“I was lucky to have so many amazingly talented people contributing to this hugely diverse project.
“Their writing alone is breath-taking, but it doesn’t stop there… they were all brimming with ideas about the book, its publicity and ways to reach more readers than I ever believed possible.
“And we all hope you enjoy and share their end result… we think it has all been worthwhile.”
The writers of LUMINANCE are:
Anjali Love (Melbourne)
Annabel James (Oklahoma)
Austie Baird (Oregon)
Bridgford Hashimoko (Tokyo)
Brotibir Roy (Dhaka)
Hanalee (Arizona)
Heather Matthews (Ontario)
Joseph Nichols (Kentucky)
Megan Taylor (Inverness)
Nic Outterside (Wolverhampton)
Sophie Bowns (Ulverston)
Troy Turner (Los Angeles)
Zanita (Gaza)


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The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne Book Tour. My thoughts on this atmospheric Middle Grade fantasy book.

The Boatman

Kat Hawthorne

Genre: Middle Grade Horror, Fantasy

Publisher: Common Deer Press

Date of Publication: April 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-988761-20-6 paperback
ISBN: 978-1-988761-21-3 ebook
ASIN: B07BFFQS1D

Number of pages: 126
Word Count: 25,000

Cover Artist and Illustrator: Dora Mitchell

Book Description:

Isabel Wixon is weird. Not only does she see dead things, but her list of friends consists of a talkative ventriloquist’s dummy and the gentlemanly spider that lives in her hair. Real friends? Too hard. Inventing friends is much easier. Inventing the Boatman—a terrible monster that lures kids into a strange sleeping sickness and never lets them go—probably wasn’t one of her better ideas though.

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Excerpt:

Izzy froze as the spirit of a young girl appeared before her. This morning, as she did on occasion, the girl had taken off her head. The ghost’s body hefted the head a few times, obviously fixing to lob it at Izzy. She stiffened. Izzy had never been hit by a detached head before, but she doubted it would be much fun.
“The Boatman is looking for you,” the ghost-girl said so quietly Izzy couldn’t be sure if what she’d heard was the ghost’s voice or the leaves on the trees above laughing as the rain tickled them. “You should be very careful not to—GAH!!”
Just then, and for no reason Izzy could see, the body fumbled and dropped the head. It crashed to the ground and began rolling away. “You cumbersome hunk of junk!” the head squealed as it bumped into a tree and came to an indelicate halt.
Blindly, the body bent over and began feeling around on the forest floor. Looking for something round, it located a large rock. It spent a few moments trying to lift it, but as everyone knows, ghosts cannot lift things. The head sighed. “Hello! I’m over here you brain dead oaf!” it hollered from its place near the tree. Finally, the body stumbled toward it.
After poking a finger in the head’s eye and shoving another up its nose, ghost-girl’s body heaved the head up by its stringy hair and placed it back onto its neck hole, spinning it around a few times as though it were screwing in a light bulb. When finally the head was fixed into place, though slightly crooked, the now-whole ghost-girl stretched as if she were stiff. “Silly, clumsy thing,” she said. “I swear, one day my body will lose me! How will I ever get a head then?” The ghost put a hand on her belly and chuffed at her own joke.
But not Izzy, she was too afraid to laugh. Instead, she swallowed. Usually when the headless ghost-girl appeared, Izzy ran away. But not today. There was something she’d been meaning to ask, and she knew that the only way to get the answer was to be brave and ask it. Besides, after the whole dropped head debacle and the thing about cracking jokes, the ghost seemed too distracted to be menacing. So Izzy stood as tall as she could and hoped the ghost would not notice her rattling knees. “Um,” she stammered, “who is the Boatman?”
The ghost crossed her arms over her chest. Her lips looked like a pair of bloated worms, particularly when they were pooched out, as they were right then. She tilted her head to the side, or at least she tilted it more to the side than it already was. “Did you just speak to me? Are you not frightened?”
“Yes—I mean no.” Izzy nodded and then shook her head. She peeled a slithering wet clump of hair off of her forehead. She looked back at the ghost, who still waited for an answer. “Oh…Um…I mean, yes I spoke, and no I’m not afraid.” It was half true at least.
The ghost-girl slumped, which made her seem far less frightening. “Really? Am I losing my touch? That would be the pits. I’ve been trying so hard.”
“Oh!” Izzy scrunched her eyebrows together. She didn’t want to hurt the ghost’s feelings. She simply hadn’t considered how the ghost must be feeling. After all, scaring people was the ghostly way. Everyone knew that.
Izzy scratched her pointy elbow then continued. “Well then, I admit that you’ve done a wonderful job scaring me these past few weeks. I mean, the head thing and the song—very creepy. Truly top notch material. However, I don’t know who this Boatman fellow is. I’m not sure if I ought to be afraid of him or not. Perhaps you could explain? That might help.”
The ghost rubbed her chin as if considering. “Well, if you think it will help.”
Izzy nodded. “I do.”
Theatrically, the ghost hovered a few inches off the ground and faded in and out as the trees swayed and small shafts of morning light blinked right through her. Her voice was low-pitched when she began to speak, very unlike the shrill soprano she took on while singing. “The Boatman is a hideous monster who lives in the world of dreams.” With this, the ghost waved her arm as if indicating that they were in the world of dreams currently. “He sails his rickety boat around on the lake of your thoughts. He is the one responsible for every nightmare you’ve ever had; he’s the one who controls your fear and…”
The ghost sighed and visibly deflated, seeming displeased by the quality of her storytelling. Izzy had to admit, the ghost’s tone had lost some pizazz as she went on. “Too over-the-top?” the ghost asked.
Izzy shrugged one shoulder. “Perhaps a teensy bit.”

About the Author:

Kat Hawthorne is a nerd times three. Besides writing, she enjoys creating visual art and playing her cello. She is mother to three small boys, who are unwittingly the inspiration for her need to write.

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My Review

The Laughter family cemetery sits at the centre of Laughter wood, where orphan Izzy can see and speak to the ghosts within. These ghosts are the victim of The Boatman. He lives in dreams, trapping souls. The story of this book is in escaping his reaches.

‘Don’t take his oars

W’ever you do

No matter how weak he seems

He’ll hold you fast

And not let you go,

And trap you in your dreams,’

The Boatman is believed to be an old tale, told by parents to their children. Izzy’s guardian is her aunt S. Laughter. After the recent death of her father Izzy now must attend a private school. This is where Izzy’s imagination is questioned, as she talks to the ghost of her father in the cemetery. Izzy is a bright, curious narrator with a child like innocence that is mirrored by another ghost that she talks to, Constance, who is the daughter of her aunt. She died at the same age as Izzy, years earlier. Add to this a talking spider, called Monty, and a talking doll. I like the characters; there are servants, and fusty tailors too involved. The horror is mild, but The Boatman is atmospheric. It reminded me of Roald Dahl, or Coraline. Whilst The Boatman does explore grief, it also has a humorous feel to it too. I think the length of this book left me disappointed, and I also felt that the threat of The Boatman could have been ramped up a little. Overall The Boatman is an enjoyable, kooky, read.

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