Tag Archives: books

Nuns, Ghost, and Ghoulies all mixed up

Second to Nun


Alice Loweecey

Net Galley Review.

To be published September 2015.

Well what’s not to like about this story?

Lots of fun in a B&B with ghosts, ghoulies, psychics, Tarot and supernatural happenings. Or are they?ghost

Buried treasure too from a highwayman ancestor livens up the mix of reasons why the guests – or relatives – might just want to a: get their hands on the Guest House; or b: kill off /scare off the owner.

The reasons range from practical – easier to go with an already operating B&B than start afresh, being broke – and that was lots of people – needing publicity – a boost to a career through YouTube and so it goes on.  Nearly everyone had a motive or could have had a motive.

The ex-Nun sets out to investigate with her policeman husband meanwhile staying as faux guests.

Now if it was me, the last B&B I would want to stay at was this one, even when there were no mysterious goings-on. It was set next to the world’s noisiest beach – very crowded and with a lake full of speedboats and those noisy machines that adrenalin fuelled men like to race up and down in.

And then there were the breakfasts. They were pre-set. You came down and all ate together at the same time. You all ate the same thing as pre-determined by the owner. No deviations.  And honestly, nothing really seemed that appealing. We Brits are used to B&Bs where you can come done (within a 2 hour period usually) as you choose; and then you are offered a menu of hot choices but with a cold buffet for cereals etc as well.  And this is what we like! Everything very easy and no forced entertainment but you are left to do your own thing. Shows the differences in culture again between American B&Bs and British ones.

This is a fun story with lots of mysteries and if you guessed the ending well you did better than me. I had however guessed who Lucy was but not her background which turned out to be crucial in the plot.




Tangled Webs and Deception ever go together

‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive’.

Marmion by Sir Walter Scott.

Ever since the film about Richard Gere offering a $1 million for someone to sleep with him we have seen some variations on this concept.

Just what would you for that amount of money if you were really out of money? And Options? how far would you go?

This was a new idea on the same theme set in the Lake District, UK based around Windermere – which is a lovely, if very touristic, town on the side of the lake. The heroine is a physiotherapist with an obsessed patient who pays her large amounts to sleep with him.1-windermere-db

The Lake District, as it name implies, has a number of lakes of varying sizes, but Windermere is the largest with a ferry that travels regularly from one end to the other and round the lake as a trip. there is a lovely hotel set at the far end which has a waterfall in its garden. you need to beware the water levels in the Lake as they vary and sometimes it is not possible to get to it.

We have visited the area a number of times especially in winter.

There was for me a British style of writing – down to earth, pragmatic and not over-emotional. The author writes about that which she knows well as she live sin the area and it is very obvious to those of us who have been there. it is geographically accurate and her knowledge of anatomy comes from her own experience. This makes it ring very true.

A Netgalley review 4 stars for The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

In Defence of Uncomfortable Subject Matter


 in [Genre] Fiction

Is it ever justified to write about uncomfortable matter in fiction? Whether genre or not? –

Tom Hawking wrote a piece on   august 18, 2015 in http://flavorwire.com/ commenting on a New Stateman’s blog by  Liz Lutgendorff, who has read, she claims every book on a tp 100 of sci-fi list and finds them shockingly full of pervasive sexism. She especially considers rape scenes as being a bad example of this sexism. However, she does not consider, it would seem the necessity to write about very uncomfortable matter in order to being to the readers’ notice the very existence of these happenings and their outcomes.

I am not sure that genre fiction is particularly bad at this, and have read the Thomas Covenant novels she cites and enjoyed them. I was especially impressed that it highlighted the issues of leprosy which is far more of a subject matter that we do not like to think about as it makes us very uncomfortable indeed. Are response has generally been to hide sufferers away from our sight.

I think that it is indeed literature’s role to look at these subjects that make us uncomfortable and even to demonstrate what sexism looks like and indeed rape, incest, or mothers suffering from post-partum depression killing babies or thinking about it. I think we do need to look at these very difficult incidents and occurrences from both the sides – we need to try and understand why they happen as well as the outcomes and his will enable to us understand better how to prevent them and how to help any who have been impacted by these events.

I don’t think that just because we feel things like sexism are wrong that we should prevent them being written about and I do personally feel that some feminists go too far with this – art must imitate life and also expand on life and imagine this life under many and different situations. Artists have imaginations for the rest of us and just reading soft or cosy matter that does not stretch the mind – happy books are a drug that it is nice to have at times, but our emotions are far more involved in darker and more desperate stories. The ones that make us cry!

So let’s cheer for those who write about the subjects that we wish weren’t there and read their books and blog about them and share our thoughts with others. We need this writing as much as we need chick literature and happy historical romances!