Review city and arty teas

First, on this rather exciting day, the morning meditation:

Meditation 175

There’s a message
for each of us:

words for courage,
unity, faith, protection,

strength, journeyings,
hospitality, war,

youth, expansion, security.
What matters

is when we hear it
and how we hold it.

After that, the day has turned into a veritable plethora of good news and reviews. First out of the stalls is this review of Maloney’s Lawfrom the lovely Jason:

“One such book that I did read whilst on the balcony in the high 90s was Anne Brooke’s Maloney’s Law, available from Amazon. Now at first I wasn’t too sure about it, I’m not a private dick kinda guy, so I’m not one for purchasing and reading detective stories, but hey, I saw this in America, knew that Anne although she may be an Essex girl lives close to my Surrey roots, so thought what the heck. Now that I’ve finished, I’m so bloody glad I did, it’s an astonishingly good read; once I got in to it I was gripped and wanted, no, needed to know what lay ahead, how the future was mapped out for our hero, Paul Maloney. Small town private detective earns a crust for little insurance fiddle cases, it pays the rent but only just, that is until he takes on a case that will change his life. I’m not sure if he takes on the case or the case takes him on but, after that, life cannot be the same again for this London lad. It’s not long before he’s jetting off and entering a world of high-class crime, big business and seat of your pants danger. Oh yeah, and I forgot to say, this new and exciting case he’s working on just happens to be from his ex lover, called Dominic! The book is fun, interesting and exciting, there are some real high and some very low points in the story that had me smiling and also my eyes moist with sadness. I won’t go on and spoil it for you and tell you the plot and the ending except to say … yep there is death in that story, but where, when and how, you’ll have to read to find out, which if you ask me, you blooming well should do. It’s a great read!”

Thanks so much, Jason – that really put a smile on my face, I can tell you!

I thought it couldn’t get any better after that, but then the equally lovely Nancy on Goodreads sent me an email to say how much she’d enjoyed Painting from Life and gave me this review:

Painting From Life is not a love story in the traditional sense. It is the story of an artist in a suffocating marriage struggling to achieve perfection in his work. While strolling on the beach with his wife, he meets an old man he’d like to paint. After a brief conversation, the old man agrees to sit for a portrait. The more time they spend together, the more his model, Peter, inspires creativity and instills passion in his art. The gorgeous and vivid prose captures the essence of the sea, the beauty, frailty and loneliness of old age, and the deep, spiritual love between the artist, his model, and his work. Very highly recommended.”

Well, gosh! Thanks so much, Nancy. I thought surely that must be it, but then, to my amazement, I saw that the Literary Nymphs review site had given a “5 Nymph” review to The Bones of Summer and had said the following about it:

“Growing up with a religious zealot for a father wasn’t easy, which explained why Craig Robertson left home after the discovery of his underage gay affair. He moved to London, changed his name and got on with his life, becoming a small-time actor and model. His life changes for the second time, when an old neighbor notifies him that his estranged father has disappeared. Lucky for Craig, his new lover, Paul Maloney, is a private detective and he agrees to accompany him to his hometown to help in the search. Going home is difficult, dredging up painful memories of an abusive childhood after the sudden disappearance of his mother when he was six. As the search progresses, they learn that his long-ago lover, Michael, has been missing since the day they were discovered. It’s clear there are gaps in Craig’s memory, leading him to suspect that there’s something in his past he doesn’t want to remember. When Craig confesses to Paul his fear that Michael is dead and that he’s responsible, Paul refuses to believe his lover is a murderer. As Craig’s hunt for the truth turns to obsession, the lovers’ new and fragile relationship begins to fall apart, leaving him to search on his own. Alone and being stalked, Craig must face the terrors of his past, and hope he can survive to have a future. The Bones of Summer by Anne Brooke is a complicated and intriguing tale of a man struggling to cope with his life in the aftermath of a painful and difficult childhood, lived with a cold, hard and uncaring religiously fanatical father. On first impression, this complex story might appear to be overwhelmed with fear, pain and angst and while that’s partly true, it’s not the whole truth. It’s also the story of Craig and Paul, finding each other, and the passion, love, desire and friendship that builds between them, despite their individual painful pasts, hidden secrets and lies. Emotions run high throughout the story and both men break down in tears on more than one occasion or verbally clash, saying hateful, vicious things to each other. Other times the sex is hot and passionate. In truth, they are often at odds, despite how they feel for one another and the search for Craig’s father and his fear of what might have happened only strain an already fragile relationship. So, while at heart The Bones of Summer is a story of Craig and Paul, the fuel that propels the story forward, and causes most of their problems, is Craig’s father, his missing ex-lover and his fear of what he might have done that summer, seven years ago. The father in this tale is a true ‘bay guy’. A fanatic so certain that what he thinks justifies his actions. I have to admit that Ms. Brooke caught me off guard when his disappearance turned into a stalking of his estranged son. Take it from me. This man is crazy, but makes a great villain, perfect for hating. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Craig has periods where a wicked sense of humor pokes through, and he says something that makes me chuckle. This is particularly true when he spouts his self-created Gay Rules. He’s also, deep down, an optimistic man who hopes for a happy and successful future.”

Gosh, thank you so much, Mystical Nymph (great name, btw!) – I’m so very glad you enjoyed it. Heartfelt thanks indeed to all three of you who’ve taken the time to read my books and have really made my day, big-time – it’s very much appreciated.

Anyway, buoyed up almost beyond belief by all that, I have written my review of Makine’s Human Love for Vulpes Libris, so am hoping for an upcoming slot for that at some point.

This afternoon’s been fun too – Lord H and I have spent several hours with Robin & Gavin at the Watts’ Gallery Victorian Tea Party, with no less a Guest of Honour than Penelope Keith. I hope the theme of the party wasn’t saying anything particular about the wonderful Ms Keith however – she was great and looked amazing. Nothing Victorian about her! We all had tea in the marquee, signed a roof tile for the restored building and had a very interesting tour around Watts’ Great Studio (which isn’t usually open). My, what circles we Surrey-ites move in indeed …

On the way home we popped into Waitrose to get a Chinese takeaway for tonight – and I think it was fairly typical of the Godalming crowd that nobody paid us any attention at all, even though we swept in wearing a posh frock, glittery shoes and a pashmina (me), and a blazer, light summer trousers and a cravat (Lord H – he’d left the boater in the car …). Naturally though, dahhlings, here in the shires, we always dress up to visit Waitrose. Doesn’t everyone?

Tonight, I’m looking forward to the programme about Versailles on TV – yet another place I really must get to some day. Perhaps we should change into our evening wear in order to watch it? Noblesse oblige, don’t you know …

Today’s nice things:

1. Poetry
2. Not one, not two, but three good reviews of different books!
3. Tea with Penelope
4. Gallery tours
5. TV.

Anne Brooke – thinking the day can’t possibly get any better!

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