Thursday 30 December 2021

Bookreview: Four Bittersweet Romances & A Four Act Closet Drama

 A very good read!


The Ballad of Calle and Maja - a tragicomic story: Maja sends crushes to Calle.
He becomes infatuated, but the fear of failing seizes him as his affection grows.
Lonely and vulnerable for as long as he could remember, Calle suffered a string
of ‪one-night‬ stands and relentless unrequited love. He bears psychological scars
after recently venturing on an online cat-fishing site. Calle decides to pursue
Maja's love. Meanwhile, Maja is unhappily in love with someone else. Calle is
however determined to win Maja’s love.

Two Girls in a Cafe: A young man becomes the subject of a contentious
conversation between Felicity and Ruth. They have different impressions
about the man's character. The question is whether Felicity and Ruth have
the right end of the stick. "Contemporary, witty, honest and ironic".

Binky's Reverie: The story is about loneliness, friendship, misunderstandings,
frustration—between Binky, a young Caribbean man, and Linda, a young
Swedish beauty. They first met in London, where their friendship blossomed
into regular dating, kissing and cuddling—happiness and fun. Linda invites
Binky to visit Sweden for a holiday. And Binky hopes for him and her to go
beyond kissing and hugging—developing a serious love relationship.

Getting It Right, If Ever - romance novella: A tragicomic fantasy tale.
The setting is the early 70s in two imaginary countries. 40-year-old Benji is
a gardener and an aspiring poet. By coincidence, he meets 45-year-old Molly.
They become pen pals, and Molly invites Benji to visit her homeland. Benji is
overwhelmed and seizes the opportunity to visit another country—for the
first time. Then one day, Benji catches sight of a beautiful woman and
becomes mesmerised by with her beauty. He attempts to win her affection.
His manner is anything but conventional: His wooing is courageous as it is
comical. And his approach is a mixture of play-acting, hope, and preservation.
Benji is determined to succeed.

Tell Me Who My Enemy Is — a four-act closet drama: The scene is an outdoor
café near a lake. It is early autumn in the 70s in Stockholm. Berry
(an Afro-West Indian) and Gun and Kerstin (two Swedish cronies) are socialising.
Sam, the Afro-American in time, barges in on the trio. The black men air
opposing views about life in Sweden. Berry becomes belligerent towards Sam:
suspects him to have something up his sleeve. Sam, on the other hand, is calm
and collected, though contemptuous. The girls are puzzled by the bickering
between the two men which escalates into verbal abusive.

My review

I just finished reading "Four Bittersweet Romances and A Four Act Closet
Drama" and I absolutely enjoyed it!

The book was written very detailed and the stories were all great! Although
they looked in the beginning different to each other they form a good whole.
Sometimes I had to laugh, other ways I really felt sad. 

Anyway it was a very good read and I would like to give a 5 star rating! 

The author

He was born in Guyana, immigrated to England in the early 60s.
Worked and studied in London, before taking up residence in Sweden,
in the early 70s.

In the early 70s, he wrote stories, a four-act closet drama,
a novella, and an unfinished (memoir) novel. He had then spent two years
nurturing the ambition to become an author of some repute.
But the going was tough, creating a feeling of insecurity for the future.

In time, he shelved the idea and got a job as a hospital porter.
He later did a BA (Eng. & Edu.). After a summer job at a psychiatric hospital,
he decided to do a 4-term course for mental-health carers, 
Following that he would complete the first of two stages of psychotherapy
education and several short courses in cognitive therapy. After retirement,
he did counseling work for several years.


I really want to thank Booktasters and the author as well for their free copy. It 
was a very good read! 

Sunday 26 December 2021

Bookreview: Kitty Counts Her Blessings

 A children's picture book about the joy of gratitude.

What a beautiful and colourful children's book


Children are experts at finding delight everywhere they look, even when
life gets a little dark. Kitty Counts Her Blessings celebrates that gift-and
shares a lesson in counting besides.

As the story begins, Kitty has no trouble counting her blessings, from the sun
on her nose to the zing of the bees. But when rain threatens to spoil her fun,
finding blessings isn't so easy. Then she remembers learning hide-and-seek,
and suddenly joys are around every corner-and before long, so is her boy,
ready to play and count along with her.

This cheerful, rhyming book invites children and the grownups who love them to
seek the blessings in their own world.

My review

When I started reading this beautiful and colourful children's book, I was thinking:
perhaps we all should count our blessings more often. So, it contains a lesson for
us all. I liked the way the book and the story was built and the pictures really
were amazing!

I would recommend this book to parents who like to read for their children. Together
with the amazing paintings, I give without any doubt a 5 star rating for this book!


I received a free copy of Kitty Counts Her Blessings via Booktasters. Thank you very

The Book

Kitty Counts Her Blessings was published on 1 October 2021. It contains 36 pages. 

Source picture: Wikipedia

Monday 20 December 2021

Bookreview: Green is good, Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit from Clean Energy

compact but very interesting book  


Renewable energy is good for your wallet. Those who see that opportunity
are already seizing it … all the way to the bank. Green Is Good is a no-nonsense
guide to how you, the average American, can easily incorporate clean energy
and energy efficiency into your daily life and in the process save money,
make money, and help wean your community off fossil fuels. Renewable
energy guru Brian F. Keane walks you through the cost-benefit trade-offs
that come with the exciting new technologies and introduces you to the
revolutionary clean-energy products on the horizon, making the ins and outs
of renewable energy easily accessible. He shows what you can do on every
level to seize the opportunity and profit from it. A renewable energy future
isn’t just good for the environment; it’s good for the economy, and
Green Is Good will show you how—before it’s too late.

My review

Green is good is a small book, but with a lots of interesting information.
It was clear that the author knew his stuff perfectly!

I enjoyed reading Green is good, due to the compact size of the book and
due to the suggestions of the author. It also has a beautiful book cover!

I will recommend this book to all who want to read about saving money
and helping your community profit from Clean Energy.

I give a 5 star rating to this compact and interesting book! 

The author

Brian F. Keane is president of SmartPower. He appears on White
House Chronicle and contributes regularly to the Huffington Post.
Twice named Connecticut's Environmental Hero by the People's
Action for Clean Energy, Keane speaks extensively with local and
national media about clean energy and energy efficiency. He lives
with his wife and their four children in Arlington, Virginia. 


I want to thank Booktasters and the author as well for providing me
a free copy. 

source picture: book cover

Sunday 19 December 2021

Bookreview: Two Old Fools in Spain Again

An amazing book!


When Victoria and Joe return to their Spanish mountain village, they are still
reeling from their year in the Middle East. Sighing with relief, they prepare
to settle down to a peaceful life with the familiar characters of the village.

But life refuses to stand still, even in tiny El Hoyo. Lola Ufarte’s behaviour
surprises nobody, but when a millionaire becomes a neighbour, the
village turns into a battleground.

Can Victoria and Joe help restore peace to the village?

My Review

Books about Spain always interest me very much, especially memoirs. 
This book certainly did not let me down! I enjoyed reading about Vicky
and Joe and about the events they have experienced in Spain. With 
some of them I was shocked others made me laugh.

I also enjoyed the recipes, Victoria Twead add to each chapter. The food
brought back nice memories to Spain. 

I really liked this amazing read and I want to recommend this book to 
all who loved to read fantastic travel memoirs.

Without no doubt, I want to give a 5 star rating to "Two Old Fools in Spain

The author

Victoria Twead is a New York Times bestselling author. In 2004 she
nagged poor, long-suffering Joe into leaving Britain and relocating to a
tiny, remote mountain village in Andalucía, where they became reluctant
chicken farmers and owned the most dangerous cockerel in Spain.

Village life inspired Victoria’s first book, Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools,
which was quickly followed by more in the Old Fools series, all of which fast
became Amazon bestsellers.

We Love Memoirs Group

I received a free copy via the We Love Memoirs Group, the most friendliest 
group on Facebook. Thank you so much for this amazing reading chance! 

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Bookreview: Waxing Pathetic My Two Cents, For What They're Worth

 What a special book


"Waxing Pathetic" is a sardonic, often hilarious, raging stream of consciousness
from one mad American woman. From the pathetic to the political, the lunatic
to the poetic, Clark's memoir is a masterwork of dry wit and piercing observation.

From "Been Down This Road" where she relates her high school dating history, to
"This is Real...and Surreal" where she takes down some pathetic politics,
Clark merges real events with dream-state fiction that evokes deeper truths
hidden in memories.

Organized into five themes connected by the pathetic principle, she takes on the
personal, the economic, and the political, and finally asks noisy America to
begin to untangle.

"Waxing Pathetic" will leave you breathless as you are taken down
roads not taken by most American women.

My Review

First of all: What a special book! I never read such one as this. The author
takes the readers to a mix of thoughts and ideas. Besides that he tells an
amazing beautiful story. 

I liked the writing style very much but I got a bit confused. Yet this book
made me think.

I would recommend this book to all people who like to read quirky novels.
I give a 5 star rating for "Waxing Pathetic". 

The author

Ms. Merry Clark is an author, comedian, and photographer. She earned a
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan in 1989
and went on to independently produce and direct her own theater productions
in Ann Arbor and Boulder, Colorado. She then commenced an acting career
in Hollywood, appearing in theater productions as well as commercials.
She has been an ovarian cancer survivor for over 20 years, and is the
primary caregiver for her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's
disease in 2013. She currently lives with her mother and her
cat in Michigan. "Waxing Pathetic" is her second book.

The book

Waxing Pathetic was published on 15 January 2021 by Bookbaby.


I want to give a special thank you for Booktasters for providing me a free
copy. It always are very special books! 

Saturday 11 December 2021

Bookreview: A Santa Fe Christmas

 A surprising book


Evie Hernandez gave up her dream job to help with Mama Irene’s,
the family business. Balancing her modernization plans while respecting
generations of traditions isn’t easy, especially with her nosy, loving family
offering unsolicited advice. That’s never more true than when she meets
Alex—Mr. Tall, Dark and Far Too Handsome. He makes her wonder if
she’s given up on her dreams too quickly, and soon she imagines a much
different future for herself.

Alejandro “Alex” Ortiz is in Santa Fe to do business with Mama Irene’s,
but when he meets the beautiful Evie, he realizes he’ll need a different approach.
Soon he’s playing bartender, serving up horchatas, and sampling tamales,
reminding him of his childhood and beloved Abuelita. Charmed by Evie and
her family, Alex drops his guard and lets himself enjoy Santa Fe’s Christmas
traditions. But he has a deadline to keep and a business to get back to—plus,
Evie will hate him when she learns why he’s really there.

Can the magic of a Santa Fe Christmas help these two find their way?

My Review

First I thought "A Santa Fe Christmas" only was a romantic/feelgood story.
Surprisingly I found the word recipe in the table of content. That made me
curious. It's a fantastic mix of a romantic and feel good story and a cookbook
as well. I liked it a lot!

I'm intrigued by the maels and I'm sure I'll try out some at home. I also liked
the Spanish words in the book very much. Muy bien!

I will recommend this book to people who like to read Christmas stories and
who want to collect recipes too. It's really a wonderful combination!

I give with lots of pleasure a 5 star rating for A Santa Fe Christmas. 

The author

Cecelia Guzman is the writing team of best-selling author Candace Havens
and her daughter-in-law, Crystal Havens, a recovering publishing executive
and mom of five. They live in Texas with their families and pets. They love
all-things holiday, reading, and when they aren’t writing, they can often be
found in the kitchen preparing huge meals. Oh, and they might share an
addiction for all things pink and shiny.

(info on the website of Tule publishing)

The Book

A Santa Fe Christmas is published on 8 November 2021 by Tule Publishing.
Pages: 176


Thank you very much Booktasters for providing me a free copy to read and
review this wonderful book! 

Sunday 5 December 2021

Bookreview: Life in the Financial Markets

An inside look in the Financial Markets


An accessible and thorough review of the international financial markets

Life in the Financial Markets—How They Really Work And Why They Matter
To You offers the financial services professional, and anyone interested in
knowing more about the profession, an entertaining and comprehensive
analysis of the financial markets and the financial services industry.
Written by Daniel Lacalle—a noted portfolio manager with EcoFin
and well-known media personality—the book goes beyond a simple
summary and offers solid advice on the future of the global financial
markets. This great resource also includes a review of effective
strategies and forecasts the trends that represent potential
opportunities for investors.

The book reviews the recent history of the financial crisis and includes
information on hot topics such as derivatives and high frequency trading.
An in-depth section on investment banking is written from the perspective
of a successful practitioner and provides clarity on several complex
and overly politicized elements of the banking system. The author gives
an expert's perspective on the debt markets, monetary policies, and
quantitative easing, and helps explain the various issues surrounding
sovereign debt, the Euro crisis, and austerity versus growth policies.
Comprehensive in scope, this resource also offers an analysis of
investment styles, from hedge funds to "long only" investments,
as well as an in-depth look at corporate communication and its impact
on markets and investments.

Offers an engaging and comprehensive analysis of the financial services
industry Includes information on the workings of the global financial
system following the economic crisis Contains a review of
complex banking systems Analyzes the various investment
styles and answers the most common questions pertaining to investing

My review

This book "The Life in the Financial Markets" is a kind of biography from
Daniel Lacalle. He takes the readers on the first row of the complexity
of the Financial Markets.

I enjoyed this 'inside' look. I will recommend this book to people who
like to know more about investing money. 

Because it's more a biography than learning everything about the system,
I want to give this book a 4 star rating on 5.

The author

Daniel Lacalle is a PhD in Economy and fund manager. He holds the CIIA
financial analyst title, with a post graduate degree in IESE and a master’s
degree in economic investigation (UCV).Member of the advisory board
of the Rafael del Pino foundation.

Ranked Top 20 most influential economist in the world 2016 (Richtopia).

Mr Lacalle has more than 24 years of experience in the energy and
finance sectors, including experience in North Africa, Latin America
and the Middle East.

Mr Lacalle is currently a fund manager overseeing equities, bonds
and commodities. He was voted Top 3 Generalist and Number 1
Pan-European Buyside Individual in Oil & Gas in Thomson Reuters’
Extel Survey in 2011, the leading survey among companies
and financial institutions.

More about the author:


I received a free copy from the author via Booktasters. 
Thank you very much! 

Monday 29 November 2021

Bookreview: Win Your Life with a Permanent Fix

A splendid and clear book! 

The Book

177 pages, ebook

Published April 4, 2018


Born in a small village in India, the author was expected to work
and live in that town. However, interest in self-development supported
by formal education in India, Australia, and Canada, led him to Canada
and also helped him live a successful life in North America. However,
there was a feeling of a missing link – a feeling that there was something
missing in life. Having been born into a mystical tradition helped him
understand mysticism from the right sources. Over a two decade
long practice in Dhyan and experimenting with more than a
hundred different types of Eastern meditations helped him improve his
mental balance. But that still did not help to resolve what this missing
link was and how to complete this link.

Research in philosophy, clinical psychology with a primary emphasis
on logotherapy, helped him resolve the missing link. The author found
that it does not matter what your belief regarding God or your religious
affiliation is, what matters is whether your practices help you to control
your seeds of aggression, addiction, and depression. It does not matter
what philosophy you follow, what matters is whether that philosophy is
leading you to a meaningful life. This book is intended to help you to
win your life through your unique contributions and make permanent
changes, one person – you – at a time.

My Review

Besides (royal) history I'm always very interested in psychology, 
especially Industrial and Organizational psychology. 

Although this book is more about individual changes and chances.
It is a good reminder for us all. Even, I noted some interesting

For me the book was very clear, not floaty and the author knew his
stuff! He gave lots of interesting examples. 

I certainly would recommend this splendid "Win Your Life with a Permanent Fix"
to all who are looking for a change in their lives. 

Therefore I give without no doubt a 5 star rating for this very open minded book. 

The author

Chetan Prabhu Desai speaks on topics such as ‘How to find meaning at any
workplace’, and ‘How to make your business environment where every employee
wins’. He worked in managerial positions in aerospace and electronics
organizations, including in Berkshire Hathaway Group. His education includes
an MBA from the Schulich School of Business of York University in Canada,
and Master of Engineering in Systems engineering at RMIT in Australia.
As an expert, He appeared on 100+ channels including Fox News,
iHeart, BizTalkRadio, Salem Media, CKLW.


I really want to thank Booktasters and the author for giving me this splendid
reading and review chance!! 

Sunday 21 November 2021

Bookreview: The nourished brain

 A very interesting book! 


Worldwide, up to 50 million people and their families are living with some
form of the degenerative and irreversible disease of Alzheimer's. By 2030,
this number is expected to rise to a staggering 76 million people globally
who will be living with this condition. At this time, there is no cure. Many
families have asked, "Is there something that could have been done to
prevent or slow down Alzheimer's disease?" Written by a Registered Dietitian
who witnessed the gradual decline and loss of both her parents to this disease,
this book takes a look at the evolving and promising power of food and diet
to thwart off the clutches of Alzheimer's. The author also includes brief
anecdotes of other families whose lives have been forever affected by loved
ones with Alzheimer's disease.

-Takes a look at the inner workings of the human brain and numerous studies
showing a strong correlation between food choices that either nourish or
hinder brain health

-Provides guidance on meal planning to maximize brain health

-Includes a listing of the top brain-healthy foods to be consuming daily
and brain-draining foods to avoid

-Offers an in-depth look at specific nutrients and their role in promoting
better brain health

-Reveals the top 10 lifestyle factors for protecting brain health

-Provides simple, delicious recipes with ingredients containing
nutrients known to be beneficial for brain health

My review

Alzheimer can affect all of us. An aunt of my husband suffered Alzheimer
and it was really sad to see her deteriorate. 

Unfortunately there is still no medicine to solve this tragic illness. But how
is Alzheimer related with food?

While reading the book: "The Nourished Brain" it was clear that the author
knows something about the brains and about food. She knew her stuff! The
book was scientifically underbuilt. At the end there were some lovely 
recipes which I liked.

I would recommend "The Nourished Brain" to all who are interested in the
combination: food versus illness.

Of course I give this a 5 star rating due to the huge work, the author made for
this book.

The author

CHERYL MUSSATTO, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian, teacher,
and blogger at Eat Well to Be Well ( She has
helped thousands of people change their lives by changing their diet,
and her work has appeared in various media outlets including U.S. News
and World Report and Reader's Digest.


I received a free copy from "The nourished brain" via the author and Booktasters.
Thank you very much for this excellent reading and reviewing chance! 

Monday 15 November 2021

Recensie: Kerstmis onder vuur

Super veel interessante feiten over kerst in oorlogstijd


Stalingrad, Kerstmis 1942. Geplaagd door snerpende kou en het
zenuwslopende geluid van mortierinslagen zongen Duitse soldaten kerstliederen.
Ze aten hun schamele rantsoenen, verlangend naar gedekte kersttafels en ovengebraad. 

Op Guadalcanal in de Stille Oceaan aten Amerikaanse mariniers diezelfde kerst
ingevlogen kalkoen, als ze respijt hadden van de bloedige strijd tegen fanatieke
Japanners. Onder een heldere sterrenhemel pinkten ze tijdens de mis een
traantje weg, denkend aan hun familie thuis.

Ook in schuttersputjes in de Ardennen en aan boord van marineschepen
werd kerst gevierd, hoe erbarmelijk de omstandigheden ook waren. Datzelfde gold
voor het thuisfront, waar vieringen noodgedwongen plaatsvonden in Berlijnse
schuilkelders of Londense metrostations.

Krijgsgevangenen keken uit naar kerstpakketten van thuis. Zelfs in naziconcentratie-
kampen putten gevangenen hoop 
uit het kerstfeest, al ging hun lijden
onverbiddelijk door. "Kerstmis onder vuur" 
vertelt over de omstandigheden
waaronder tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog 
kerst werd gevierd, door militairen,
burgers en kampgevangenen. Te midden 
van het oorlogsgeweld bleef Kerstmis
een hoopvol baken van westerse beschaving.

Mijn recensie

Dit boek stond al lang op m'n verlanglijstje, nadat ik eerder een recensie heb
gemaakt van Oorlogszone zoo.

Ik was onmiddellijk geboeid door het thema: kerst in oorlogstijd, ook door het
feit dat hij dit niet vanuit één standpunt vertelt, maar over heel de wereld.

Wat de auteur eveneens in z'n boeken goed weet te brengen zijn de details.
Het toont des te meer dat hij zijn research erg grondig doet. Het moet dan een
enorm werk geweest zijn, om dit prachtig boek te schrijven.

"Kerstmis onder vuur" verveelde geen seconde, daarom duurde het ook wat 
langer om het helemaal uit te lezen. Ik heb er ontzettend van genoten en vele
verhalen zullen me bij blijven.

Ik raad Kerstmis onder vuur absoluut aan voor lezers die houden van historische
fictie in het bijzonder verhalen over de Tweede Wereldoorlog.

Ik geef dan ook met heel veel plezier een vijf sterren op vijf voor Kerstmis onder

De auteur

Kevin Prenger (1980) is hoofdredacteur van de afdeling artikelen op,
het grootste Nederlandstalige online naslagwerk over oorlogsgeschiedenis. Behalve
voor schrijft hij voor online geschiedenismagazine
Zijn boeken werpen meestal licht op relatief onbekende aspecten van de
Tweede Wereldoorlog.

Uit de boeken van Kevin Prenger blijkt zijn grondige kennis én research over de
Tweede Wereldoorlog. Ik hoop dat er nog veel prachtige boeken van hem zullen

Mijn dank gaat uit naar Kevin Prenger voor het ter beschikking stellen van een
recensie exemplaar van Kerstmis onder vuur. 


Thursday 4 November 2021

Bookreview: The Way Back

A great historical fiction book


Churchill tasked the SOE to set Europe ablaze - but it was the RAF
who got them there.

It was the start of the Allies way back into Europe that led to D-Day. For one
burned out pilot who had been judged to be 'Lacking Moral Fibre' it was
his own way back...

My review

As usual I started reading the sequel instead of the first book. 😀
However I easily came into the story. The main character was deepened out
very well and it also has a realistic story.

So, I really enjoyed "The Way Back". I recommend this book to all who love
historical fiction.

With lots of pleasure I give a 5 star rating for "The Way Back".

Note to the author: Please do write other books soon! 

The author

Malcolm started writing fiction around 10 years ago, self-publishing
three novels through Amazon including a mountaineering thriller,
The Last Mountain, which has had more than 10,000 downloads. He
also has two books published by a small publisher, including a collection
of WW1 stories which topped the Amazon anthology best-sellers list
at Christmas 2014.

His short stories have done well in a number of competitions, including
runner-up placings for those run by Henshaw Press and the Mere Literary Festival.
Having written in several genres early in his career, Malcolm has now settled
into writing historical fiction.

This includes LMF, a WW2 novel set during the RAFs controversial night
bombing campaign, Leviathan, a novella about a young, frightened pilot hunting
Zeppelins in the night during WW1, The Neutral Zone, a collection of short stories,
and Eleven Days, a novel set around the events of 'Bloody April' 1917.

The long-awaited sequel to LMF, The Way Back, is published 15 March 2021.


Of course I really want to thank booktasters for this splendid reading chance.
It actually was my 40th. book review for Booktasters ☝

Friday 29 October 2021

Bookreview: Bombs and Bougainvillea

 An expat in Jerusalem

An interesting memoir


If Linda and her family had foreseen the challenges of relocating to Israel and Palestine,
they might have hesitated… They have no idea of the horrors in store. No idea that
murders will take place on their doorstep. No idea they’ll be so close to a fatal bombing,
or that they’ll adopt a dangerous dog. As they enjoy delicious local food and immerse
themselves in different cultures, will the unspoilt countryside and friendships help
them overcome the difficulties, or will they flee from an area which at times seems to
have one wall, but two prisons?

My Review

For me it really was an interesting memoir, beautifully written and it took my 
attention from the beginning till the end. I also enjoyed the sense of humour of
the author and I absolutely loved the stories from her daily life.

So, if you want to read a fantastic and very interesting memoir, don't doubt and
chose Bombs and Bougainvillea: An expat in Jerusalem.

Without hesitation, I give this book a 5* rating! 

The author

Linda Decker is a wonderful author who likes traveling. Bombs and Bougainvillea
was her first memoir published in 2020. 

More about Linda Decker @

We Love Memoirs

I received a free copy from the We Love Memoirs group, which is really the most
friendliest group on Facebook! They're also on Twitter and Instagram. It's worth to
follow them!! 

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Bookreview: adventures on the Road to Me

What a splendid book! 


Seventeen-year-old West is rich, but homeless. She roams from city to city 
with her mother searching for dupes, marks, and victims to swindle. They 
never use force. They don’t need to. Their weapons are persuasion, distraction, 

West and her Mother are legends in the biz. The best con artist team ever. They 
pull off impossible heists and make it look easy. So, West isn’t surprised when 
they are called in to take command of a high stakes real estate con. It’s taken 
months to set up the scam, but now all of it is about to fall apart because one 
rich, teenage boy refuses to play along and the deal cannot go forward 
without his cooperation.

West’s assignment is simple. Figure out what this guy’s monumental problem
is, fix it, and persuade him to play along—by any means necessary.

The moment she meets Tanner Cardwell, West sizes him up as easy pickings. 
He is bookish, naïve, honest to a fault, and he completely trusts her. He is 
the perfect mark. Even better, he’s soon completely smitten with her. So 
far, so good. But when the time comes for her usual ruthlessness, she 
can’t do it. Could she be falling for this guy? That would be ridiculous. 
It violates the first commandment of her profession: You can never 
care about your mark.

West soon confronts an impossible choice. Does she betray her 
mother or Tanner? Or maybe there is a third way, a path that means 
walking away from everyone’s expectations and finding her own destiny.

My review

What a splendid book with a fantastic young adult character. I really enjoyed
reading this book, due to the fact that the author brought his main characters
very well! I also liked the plot and the story!

I certainly will recomend this book to all people who enoy reading young 
adult stories. 

Therefore without no doubt I give a 5 star rating for this splendid book! 

The Author

The author is a lawyer and he has been writing professionally his entire career.
He moved around a lot growing up (mostly in Southern California) before
settling down on a ranch outside the town of Nespelem, Washington on the
Colville reservation. He came east to go to law school a long time ago and
never went home again. Today, he lives in the great state of Maryland with
his standard poodle, Aloy, who is his patient muse. In additional to numerous
(and boring) legal writings, he published seven young adult books with
independent publishers, probably the best known of which is the Win the Rings
trilogy. His stories all have a strong romantic element and tend to be very
character driven. In addition to novels, he also has published an eclectic mix
of short stories, ranging from romance to science fiction. His stories have
won awards and his writing has gained favourable recognition (but he could 
always use more). In his spare time, when not writing, he enjoys a good road trip, 
watching hockey, and pretty much anything to do with poodles.


Thank you very much Booktasters and the author for receiving a free copy in
return of my honest review of this splendid book.

Monday 18 October 2021

Bookreview : Our Italian Journey

A truly wonderful journey


Imagine living in Italy for one full year. This was always the dream and 
promise made to each other.

Ilene and Gary Modica sold almost everything they owned to spend a year
in the land of Gary’s Italian grandparents, to walk where they walked,
eat what they ate, and live in the shadow of history.

Few places evoke the stirring passions and romance of Italy, where the
simple act of sharing a glass of wine, a perfect pizza, and good conversation
is an art form. Be prepared to immerse yourself in this beautiful country
and live vicariously through the couple's authentic encounters.

You’ll also discover:
How their dream and desire for a genuine experience with a true Italian
family came unexpectedly true

How, through this journey, they eat and drink their year through Italy
visiting eight regions and forty-six cities, including Sicilia and their
new Italian birthplace.

Our Italian Journey is a travel memoir of an adventure that has forever
changed the lives of this Arizona couple. Through experiences and humor,
they invite you along their spellbinding journey, exploring quaint villages
steeped in tradition and local culture. Come take a glimpse of Italy through
the eyes of these new Italian citizens and experience firsthand the Italian
zest for living “La Dolce Vita,” in this compelling read.

My review

What a truly wonderful journey! The authors took us - readers - to Italy.
It was very nice reading and following their adventures and I hope another
book will follow soon! 

I certainly will recommend this book to people who like to read wonderful 
travel memoirs.

Without no doubt, I give Italian Journey a 5 star rating!

The authors

To read more about the authors Ilene and Gary Modica, check their website:

We Love Memoirs

I received a free copy (I'm sorry it took so long for this review) via the
loveliest group on Facebook: We Love Memoirs! 

Saturday 2 October 2021

Bookreview: The Epic of God


In early times parables were used to make practical and spiritual points, 
provoke thought and to enlighten.

The Epic of God is a speculative fictional account of the epic story of our
heroic god. Though fictional this story is based on Biblical history, hints
and prophesy, taken from scripture, made alive and knit together by the
narrative of a watcher angel.

My Review

It took a while when I started reading the book, due to the title and due to the
topic. However, when I started reading, I was fascinated by the way the author
re-told famous stories on his own perfect way. Is it one of my favourite books?
No. But it was very well told!

I would recommend this book to Christian Readers and I want to give a 4
star rating on 5. 

The Author

Louis McCall was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Northwestern University
where he received a Ph.d. He also attended the National War College of the 
National Defense University. He is now an author. His latest book was published
on 3 May 2021 and has the title:He chose the glory. 


I want to thank the author and Booktasters for providing me a copy of the
Epic of God in return for my honest review. 

Thursday 30 September 2021

Recensie: Oorlogszone Zoo

Wat een uniek boek!


Na de Tweede Wereldoorlog is Berlijn herschapen in een ruïne. Ook de imposante
Berlijnse Zoo heeft ontzettend zwaar geleden onder het oorlogsgeweld. Geallieerde
bombardementen en gevechten tussen het Rode Leger en de nazi's hebben de 
dierentuin omgetoverd tot een desolaat landschap. Slechts 100 van de 3.500
dieren die er voor de oorlog waren, hebben het overleefd.

Oorlogszone Zoo vertelt het verhaal van de geschiedenis van de dierentuin, zijn 
medewerkers en zijn dieren vanaf de opkomst tot na de Tweede Wereldoorlog. 

Het boek is een waar eerbetoon aan de beroemde Berlijnse Zoo. 

Mijn recensie

Oorlogszone Zoo verraste me enorm. Auteur Kevin Prenger heeft met zijn grondige
geschiedeniskennis en research een prachtig boek geschreven over de belevenissen
van de Berlijnse Zoo voor, tijdens en na de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Hij neemt de lezer
mee naar de wereld van de beroemde dierentuin. Het boek geeft daardoor een goed 
beeld weer van wat er met de zoo, de medewerkers en de dieren gebeurd is. Zo werd
de zoo zelf een hoofdpersonage waar kon meegeleefd worden met het lief en leed. 

Het boek is niet alleen ideale lectuur voor mensen die van geschiedenis houden maar
ook voor kenners van de Tweede Wereldoorlog.

Met veel plezier geef ik Oorlogszone Zoo, 5 sterren op 5. Zo'n unieke verhalen zouden
meer verteld moeten worden! 

De auteur

Kevin Prenger (geboren in 1980) is niet alleen hoofdredacteur bij Traces of War, maar
ook een schitterend auteur. 

Zijn interesse gaat vooral uit naar de twintigste eeuw en dan in het bijzonder de 
geschiedenis van de Holocaust en Nazi Duitsland. Hij schrijft eveneens voor

In 2015 kwam het boek Oorlogszone Zoo uit over de geschiedenis van de Berlijnse
Zoo, voor, tijdens en na de Tweede Wereldoorlog. 

Daarna volgden: de boodschapper uit de hel, een rechter in Auschwitz, Het masker van
de massamoordenaar, Kerstmis onder vuur en Kolberg. In 2021 verscheen zijn nieuwste
boek "Meer dan alleen Auschwitz".

Oorlogszone Zoo

Gepubliceerd in: Januari 2016
Aantal pagina's: 103
Uitgeverij: Brave New Books

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Schrijver in de kijker

Met deze "Schrijver in de kijker" blogpost doe ik deze week iets speciaals, namelijk 
een blog in het Nederlands 😀

Ik stel u met veel plezier een fantastische auteur voor die boeiende geschiedenisboeken
neerpent zoals " De Grand Tour in de 18e eeuw" en "Meneer de baron is op reis." De 
laatste is ook beschikbaar voor lezers met een abonnement op Kobo plus.

Vragen en antwoorden

1/ Wilt u vertellen wie Janneke Budding precies is?

Ik heb Engels gestudeerd aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, en gaf
daarna jarenlang les in het middelbaar en het hoger onderwijs.
Met schrijven begon ik als educatief auteur, voor mijn vakgebied; het Engels.
In 2015 kwam mijn eerste non-fictie boek uit; Voor altijd Indië, over het
leven van mijn schoonouders in Nederlands-Indië in de periode 1939-1948
en daarna. Sindsdien heb ik me helemaal op het schrijven van historische
non-fictie gericht, waarbij ik geniet van de research die daarbij hoort.
Dat heeft geresulteerd in nog eens drie boeken. Het vierde verschijnt
volgend jaar bij Walburg Pers.

2/ Schrijft u onder uw eigen naam of gebruikt u een pseudoniem?

Ik gebruik mijn eigen naam – dat wil zeggen mijn eerste voornaam
en de achternaam van mijn man.

3/ Hoe begint u een boek te schrijven? Gebeurt dit volgens een vast
schema of is het los uit de pols?

Het begint ermee dat ik gegrepen wordt door een thema of een historische persoon.
Meestal gebeurt dat toevallig; ik lees iets, zie iets op tv. Dan begint het grote zoeken
naar authentieke bronnen, het maken van aantekeningen, het ordenen daarvan en het
maken van een opzet. 

4/ U bent een geweldig auteur van geschiedenisboeken.
Heeft u een favoriete periode?

Met name de negentiende eeuw vind ik heel interessant; er waren toen zoveel
veranderingen, sociaal en technisch, zoveel meer mogelijkheden voor zoveel
meer mensen. Dat speelt ook in mijn nieuwste boek, Mijnheer de baron is op
reis Buitenlandse reizen van de adel, 1814-1914

5/ Ik merk dat u steeds grondige research doet voor een boek. Bezoekt
u ook de plaatsen die u in een boek gebruikt?

De meeste research doe ik vanachter mijn bureau. Het is fantastisch om te
ontdekken hoeveel origineel bronmateriaal online te vinden is, met name op
sites als Daarnaast haal ik veel uit boeken. Plaatsen die spelen in
mijn boek De Grand Tour in de 18e Eeuw‘ als Parijs, Rome, Bologna en
Florence heb ik wel bezocht, maar niet specifiek tijdens het schrijven erover.

Heel bijzonder was wel toen ik in het dorp Radicofani, tussen Rome en
Florence, tegenover de resten van het Palazzo della Posta stond. Oorspronkelijk
was dit een villa die toebehoorde aan de familie De' Medici. In de loop van
de achttiende eeuw werd het een hotel. Rond 1780 bracht de superrijke
Brit William Beckford er een hoogst onaangename nacht door.
Hij schreef daarover:

‘Mijn hart zonk toen ik een immense serie appartementen betrad,
met enorm hoge zwarte zolderbalken, ooit bedoeld als jachtslot voor
de Groothertogen, maar nu troosteloos en verlaten. [Ik had het gevoel dat er]
onder de gedeeltelijk opgebroken vloer iets afschuwelijks was verborgen.
Een lugubere broederschap van katten schoot links en rechts door de
sombere gangen, en deed me denken aan een heksensabbat.’

Tegenover de restanten van het hotel is de originele stenen
drenkplaats voor de paarden nog te zien, voorzien van het wapen van
de trotse De' Medici.

6/ Heeft u andere interesses/hobby’s dan schrijven?

Lezen vind ik heerlijk. De laatste jaren is dat vooral non-fictie,
en dan vooral over geschiedenis en kunst. Verder speel ik al heel lang
dwarsfluit, en sinds een aantal jaren heb ik vioolles. Inmiddels mijn
favoriete instrument, maar wel heel lastig om goed te spelen.

7/ Hoe ziet uw ideale dag er uit?

Op doordeweekse dagen begin ik ’s morgens aan mijn bureau. Afwisselend
research plegend (dus lezend en aantekeningen verzamelend) en schrijvend
aan het manuscript dat groeit onder mijn vingers. ’s Middags kom ik letterlijk
in beweging: fietsen, wandelen. En daarna natuurlijk ook nog lezen!

8/ Hoe schrijft u het liefst: met pen en papier of rechtstreeks
op de laptop/pc?

Voor een eerste opzet en losse aantekeningen gebruik ik – nog steeds –
pen en papier. Het ‘echte’ schrijven gebeurt met de pc –
met een lekker groot scherm.

9/ Heeft u nog plannen voor nieuwe boeken?

Zeker heb ik die! Meerdere ideeën zelfs. Allemaal hebben ze
vooral te maken met bijzondere vrouwen uit de geschiedenis.

10/ Ik eindig steevast met dezelfde vraag: Wat is uw wens voor
uzelf en de wereld?

Mijn wens is dat door de coronacrisis nog meer mensen gaan ervaren
dat je ook door het lezen van een boek (‘armchair travelling’) op reis kunt gaan,
niet alleen naar een ander land, maar ook naar een andere tijd.
En dat zonder besmettingsgevaar ;-) 

Meer Janneke Budding

U kunt meer over Janneke Budding vinden op Twitter en op haar website.
Twitter: @jannekebudding

Monday 13 September 2021

Crucible of Fear

 What a fantastic thriller!


A man's life in chaos. His young daughter at risk. What is a pound of a flesh worth?

Dante Ellis is a successful advertising executive on the rise. His world is plunged
into a huge nightmare after he's targeted by ruthless hackers known only as
dark Messiah.

Dante soon discovered no part of his life too scared to be used against him, no 
secret buried too deep. What began as a veiled threat soon descends into a
desperate conflict against the will of an unseen enemy.

My Review

Nothing scares more than a hacker who wants to take over your computer systems.
It brought the suspense in this fantastic thriller.

I really was keen to know what would happen next and I read the story to the end.
The characters were well developed and the story kept me busy.

So I want to recommend this book to lovers of suspense and thrillers. I give this
splendid fantastic thriller a 5 star rating on 5.

The Author

D.W. Withlock, author of Crucible of Fear, has been a storyteller for most of his
life. Starting with short stories scribbled in crayon, animation flip-books, stop-
motion and later CG animation for television and video games. While pursuing
a career in animation, writing has always been the first step, from short descriptions 
to detailed backstories. as a life-long reader and book lover, crafting thriller novels
felt like the natural evolution of those first forays into writing.

When not writing D.W. enjoys gaming, spending time with his family and
Triumph Motorcycles.

D.W. lives in California with his wife, son and French bulldog Nikki. 


I received a free copy of the author and Booktasters in return of my honest review.

Friday 27 August 2021

Bookreview: Little Bit & Big Byte, Go Green

 A very happy colourful children's book with a fantastic lesson


Little Bit & Big Byte are back for another fun adventure in the sequel of the
popular Day at the beach. It's " Save the Environment" Week at school and
the adorable "Chips off the old block" are excited to do their part to help
conserve energy and recycle.

Little Bit shares how we all can save water by brushing efficiently. Joy the
sister, sleeps more soundly with a night light. Big Byte has a tendency to use
all of his electronics at the same time and realizes how effective unplugging
can be.

Even the Dad can do his part to ease traffic congestion by taking public
transportation to work. While taking their recycling to the curb, their long-time
enemies kick over the recycling bins and spew garbage all over the street. In 
addition their pesky pointer jumps into the Recycle Truck and gets whisked
away to the Recycling Centre. Little Bit & Big Byte rush to save the day for
their beloved canine. They also learn the complexities and necessity of 
recycling our paper, plastic and aluminum cans. 

Enjoy the colourful illustrations and be amused by finding the "hidden object"
in each picture. Smile at the "story within a story" as the lovable caterpillar
steals each scene with his youthful antics. Learn a valuable life lesson
as Author Craig Feigh, perfectly illustrates the need for all of us "Go Green". 

My review

What a very happy colourful children's book with a fantastic lesson
(even for me)!

When I started reading Little Bit & Big Byte, Go Green, the colourful cover 
intrigued me very much.

There was a lot of interesting text for a children's book and it transferred
me to the world of the main character(s). They were deepened
out very well! 

I liked the wonderful explanation of the "Go Green" topic. The search
inside Little Bit & Big Byte also was amazing. The last page was a
colour plate which  children would love!

I recommend this happy, colourful book with a great fantastic
lesson to children and their parents as well. It's excellent lecture to
start reading and to read to your little ones. 

Of course, I give with lots of pleasure a 5 star rating. 

The Author

Craig T. Feigh is a talented Author of several different genres of books. He
is most noted for his Children's Picture Books, most notably his
Little Bit & Big Byte series.

Little Bit & Big Byte are the first "technology-related" characters in 
Children's Picture Books and are popular for any child who loves to use the
computer, phone or ipad.

Graig also writes Humour and Christian Living Books.


I received the book: Little Bit & Big Byte, Go Green via Booktasters. Thank you
so much for this excellent reading chance! 

Little Bit & Big Byte, Go Green

The book was published in April 2019 by Bookbaby. It was written by Craig Feigh
and illustrated by Patrick Carlson. It contained 34 pages. 

Source picture: Book Cover

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Author in the picture: Elizabeth Moore

Thank you very much for participating in your author in the picture blogpost of
MyCrazyLifeWithBooks blog.

I ‘met’ you via the We Love Memoirs Group on Facebook and I read and
reviewed two books of you: From Moulin Rouge to Gaudi’s City and the
second one From Gaudi’s City toGranada’s Red Palace.

I immediately felt a connection because you told with lots of passion about
your travels and you even gave me some new travel ideas.

That’s why I asked you to participate in an author in the picture blogpost.
So here we go with the questions.

1/ Can you tell me more about Elizabeth Moore?

I was born in country Queensland, Australia and moved to Brisbane
to attend high school and University. On graduating, I worked in a large hospital
in NSW, married and had two children. I was then employed for 20 years
at our local university before retiring in 2014. My travels started after cancer
treatment in 2011 and I began writing about my adventures in 2016 my
first book, From Moulin Rouge to Gaudi’s City, in my Someday Travels series,
was published in 2017; my second, From Gaudi’s City to Granada’s Red Palace in 2020.

2/ What is speech pathology exactly?

The term applies to the diagnosis and treatment of speech disorders in adults
and children. It’s probably better known as speech therapy but the name was
revised some years ago to better reflect the scope of the profession.

3/ I read in your books you were diagnosed with cancer.
I admired your strength and your will to live and to travel very much.
How do you feel today?

I’m fine now – aging but healthy. I am still very careful to attend my yearly
scans and medical assessments.

4/ What does the We Love Memoirs group on Facebook mean for you

We Love Memoirs is my happy place. When I first joined, I was delighted to
find many of the authors I had read and admired were already members and
the dynamic between readers and writers was wonderful. If I hadn’t been a
member, I doubt my travel memoirs would have been published.
I discovered Ant Press and with their professionalism and mentoring,
my first book was published.

5/ How did you find the name EJ Bauer?

Memoir authors are often advised to use a pseudonym when writing as it
offers a degree of anonymity for both the writer and people mentioned in
their books. I chose ‘EJ’, the initials of my first names, and ‘Bauer’ is a
family name from my mother’s side. It was also a name that didn’t
appear with any regularity when Googled. My real name, Elizabeth Moore,
is incredibly common and I wanted my author name to be more individual.

6/ Do you like other things than traveling and writing?

I read voraciously and since retiring, I have had time to rediscover the joys
of gardening. Our local birdlife also offers a never-ending passing parade of
antics. I also have 5 grandchildren and they are a joy. Life keeps me busy.

7/ Do you have new travel plans?

Travel plans for the world are on hold but it doesn’t stop me dreaming.
My daughter and her family relocated to Europe just two months before the
pandemic hit. My dream of having a base there and travelling to all sorts of
wonderful destinations has not been realised. When travel is safe, I have Greece,
Germany, Scotland and the USA on my ever expanding list.

8/ Which is your favourite country/place to visit?

That’s like asking about a favourite child. I love France and have visited there twice.
The fact that I sometimes fancifully check real estate listings in various departments
probably speaks to my enduring love of the country. It narrowly beats Italy and Spain
into equal second place. My love of all things French was inspired by my first language
teacher in early high school. I reveal this in some detail in the first chapter of
From Moulin Rouge to Gaudi’s City.

9/ Do you have new writing plans?

My third book on some travel exploits in Italy is well underway. I have book four
taking shape as well. This will cover more time in France and the UK. In both books,
there will be lots of sightseeing, some history, a few interesting encounters and of
course glasses of delicious bubbles.

10/ I always end with the same questions: What are your wishes
for yourself and the world?

It’s hard not to ignore the two large elephants in the room. Of course I want the
current pandemic to be reined in and controlled long term. I also want sensible
and effective worldwide cooperation on climate control. This planet is so precious.
For myself, I want family and friends to stay safe and healthy, but I really want a
transporter so I can see my three grandchildren and their parents who have been
overseas for over 18 months.

More about Elizabeth Moore 

Elizabeth Moore has a website under the name EJ Bauer on this link
You can find her on Facebook on this link

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Bookreview: Qwerty, the Forgotten Typewriter

What an amazing children's book! 


In this day and age, being "different" often means being ostracized from society.
This not only happens to people, but to Typewriters as well!

Qwerty used to be the most popular typewriter at the television station until she
was replaced by a computer. No longer did fingers dance across her keys. This 
made Qwerty sad as she was ridiculed and mocked for being different from the
newer equipment. That is until a power outage knocked out the computer batteries
and Qwerty was summoned to "save the day". 

Children love old typewriters and are intrigued by how they work and the sound 
they make. They also were very cognizant of the realities of prejudice caused by 
someone being different from themselves.

Qwerty, The Forgotten Typewriter is a fun, energetic story of a once popular
machine being tossed aside, only to be brought back because of her usefulness.
We can all learn a lesson on how each of us is unique and valuable. 

From the Author and Illustrator of the popular series: Little Bit & Big Byte 
comes a wonderful story about perseverance and self-esteem.

My Review

From time to time I enjoy reading children's books, they always are so nice and
relaxing! Most of them contain a lesson such as Qwerty, The Forgotten
Typewriter did. For me this story was a bit special, because I learned typing on
such an old (AZERTY) type machine.

Qwerty, The Forgotten Typewriter had a lovely story. I really enjoyed reading 
and the researching in the pictures as well.

I absolutely want to say something about the layout as well. The pictures are
amazing and bright. They just made me happy and it started already with the
book cover. 

I certainly would recommend Qwerty, The Forgotten Typewriter to all lovers
of children's books. It also is the perfect literature for parents who read for 
their children. 

Without any doubts, I want to give a 5 star rating for this amazing children's 

The author

Craig T. Feigh is a talented Author of several different genres of books. He
is most noted for his Children's Picture Books, most notably his
Little Bit & Big Byte series.

Little Bit & Big Byte are the first "technology-related" characters in 
Children's Picture Books and are popular for any child who loves to use the
computer, phone or ipad.

Graig also writes Humor and Christian Living Books.


I want to thank the author and Booktasters for giving me a free copy in 
return of my honest review. Thank you very much for this amazing 
reading chance! 

Qwerty, The forgotten Typewriter

This book was published on 6 November 2020 by BookBaby.
It contains 28 pages.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Author in the picture: Madame Gilflurt, Catherine Curzon

Already from the beginning of my blog adventures in 2012
(sounds like history 😆) , I follow on Twitter a certain Catherine Curzon alias
Madame Gilflurt. She told very interesting stories about the Georgian area. 

Since she has written several books about this interesting time period, I thought
it was an excellent idea to invite her on the blog. 

So these are my questions and her answers. 

Questions & Answers

Can you tell me more about yourself? Who is Catherine Curzon? 
Who is Madame Gilflurt?
Catherine Curzon is a gal who lives up a steep hill in Yorkshire and
writes books about eighteenth century history. My shadow is a little dog named
Pippa, and we have a passion for history and classic Hollywood cinema, reflected
in my Master’s in Film. I’m also half of novelist Ellie Curzon, author of the
bestselling Under a Spitfire Sky, which was published by Orion, and its follow-up
The Codebreaker Girls.  Madame Gilflurt was the name I came up with nearly a
decade ago when I wanted to launch my online presence, and thought a smart
Georgian nickname would be a good way to do it. Gilflurt is a bit of Georgian
cant, meaning a minxish woman!

How did your interest in History started?
I’ve told this story a lot, but my love for history was nurtured by my grandad. 
He lived in a tiny cottage on the edge of Sherwood Forest and was a born
storyteller. By the time I was in primary school I thought Byron’s ghost haunted
the pub and Dick Turpin had a camp out in the woods! When I was five years old he
told me about Marie Antoinette losing her head and that was the clincher –
I was hooked!

How did you begin your blog/website? Do you have tips for new bloggers?
I thought my husband was getting a bit tired of my sharing historical titbits with him,
so I decided to share them with a wider audience instead. That was how the blog
came to be, and it’s since evolved into a place where I post my news and bits and bobs,
such as tour dates for Being Mr Wickham and the like. The main bit of advice I can give
is to keep at it, and make friends. The history community can be very welcoming,
and really nurturing too.

Why do you have such an interest in the Georgian era?
Essentially because of the bloody tales my grandad loved to tell. He really brought
the adventure of the era to life, and captured my young imagination. When he
told stories of the eighteenth century, it really did feel as though anything could
happen. It’s a very relatable time in many ways too, and its obsession with
celebrity and gossip is familiar to anyone who uses social media today, I think.

5/ How do you start researching for new books? 
How for example do you chose a topic?
I specialise in bitesize biographies of Georgian royalty, so there are plenty of
wonderful candidates to choose from. I don’t so much choose a topic as meet
a character in the course of my research who simply won’t sit down. A good
example of that was Sophia, Electress of Hanover. When I wrote
Kings of Georgian Britain and its follow-up about George I’s doomed marriage,
which ended in adultery and murder, Sophia was a major supporting character.
She was the mother of George I and had Stuart blood in her veins, so was a
fascinating character in her own right. As her part in George I’s story got
bigger and bigger, I knew that she had to have her own book.
That became Sophia: Mother of Kings. The same is true for
Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who has become familiar to
Bridgerton fans lately, but has been a major supporting player in my
non-fiction works from the very first, Life in the Georgian Court.
I’ve just finished her biography, which will be released by
Pen & Sword in 2022, and it’s been a real privilege to spend time with her.

Do you have favourite characters/royals/persons/events in history?
Which ones?
This is a really difficult question for me, because there are just so many.
I’ll narrow it down to a favourite Georgian royal if I may, and choose
Electress Sophia, the founder of the dynasty in so many ways, and a woman
to be reckoned with. She missed out on being queen of the United Kingdom
by a matter of weeks, and I truly believe she is the finest queen we never had.
I also have a soft spot for George IV, but for all the wrong reasons. As a friend
or husband he would’ve been a nightmare, but as a figure who perfectly sums
up the most grotesquely opulent excesses of the era, he takes some beating.

Have you other hobbies or passions than history and writing?
I have a Master’s degree in film and a passion for Golden Age cinema. 
I spend so much time in front of screens that I need to keep my fresh air
topped up, and Pippa and I walk as much as we are able. We’re fortunate to
live among some beautiful countryside, and there’s never any shortage of
fresh air. I also love the theatre and my own play, Being Mr Wickham,
goes on tour in the autumn. I wrote the show with Adrian Lukis, who played
Wickham in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and returns to
the role in our play, to lift the lid on Wickham at 60. 

How does a typical (writing) day look like?
A typical writing day isn’t too exciting, but it is generally pretty productive, 
and that’s what matters. I get up early and walk Pippa after Mr C has gone to 
work, then we eat breakfast before I head upstairs to my office and knuckle down.
Essentially I try to keep office hours as much as I can, otherwise I’m the sort of
person who could easily find themselves still happily writing away at 4am!
I’ll usually work at home or in our gorgeous village café until Mr C finishes work,
then take Pippa for a walk to meet him. The three of us will then go for a cuppa or
a bit more of a stroll if the weather is fine, then spend the evening relaxing as
much as possible. Writing is my full-time job, and in the past I’ve been guilty
of not giving myself time off. I’ve learned to be much better at that now –
when you’re working for yourself, you have to remember to look after
yourself too!

Do you have other plans for new books?
The Wives of George IV, the true story of Maria Fitzherbert and
Queen Caroline, will be out before Christmas. Next year will see the
release of my Queen Charlotte biography and also a tie-in book for
fans of Bridgerton, which will pull back the sheets on some of the era’s
sauciest scandals. After that There’ll also be exciting things happening
for Ellie Curzon, and Being Mr Wickham too, as well as lots more history!

I always end with the same question. What do you wish for yourself and
for the world? 
A contented and smiling future.

Thank you very much for participating in your Author in the picture blogpost on 
MyCrazyLifeWithBooks Blog. 

I'm looking forward to read your books and to follow your stories on Twitter!

If you want to know more about Catherine Curzon and Madame Gilflurt here
are some interesting pages and links!