Saturday, 2 September 2017

Coullian Cuill Apprentice Ghost Guardian

This is a children's book for older children who like the odd ghost story. And this ghost story by Riti Bridie is, when all is said and done, a bit of an odd ghost story!

Sethallis was an undertaker. Which was a perfect disguise for what he really was, a Grey Ghost who just loved to kill a Ghost Guardian and take just a little trophy from his victim.

The existence of Grey Ghosts like Sethellis with their propensity to murder newly selected Apprentice Ghost Guardians was perhaps something that they should have told the first boy Ghost Guardian, Coullian Cuill about. Given him  fair warning, you might say.

But they didn't, so poor Coullian has not only to contend with learning about what a Ghost Guardian should do, he had the honorous task of trying to keep one step ahead of Sethallis and his assistant and to keep himself from being turned into a ghost!

Coullian manages to gain the assistance of two of his good mates, Rawsy and Killane to help him be a sworn protector of good ghosts.

However, come All Souls' Night and everything seems to become a little Thriller-like, with fiendish ghosts and ghouls rising from their varied graves.

So, what's a boy Apprentice Ghost Guardian to do? Battle against the fiends and to try to remain alive. Which is a tall order.

What happens to Coullian, Rawsy and Killane? Can they defeat Sethallis? And exactly what is Sethallis up to?

If you like scary, well-written stories, this is one for you. It's published by Matador at £7.99 and can be bought here https://goo.gl/wdCFDG.

To  learn more visit www.ritibridie.com.

The Secret of the Wooden Chest

The Secret of the Wooden Chest is a debut novel from author Catherine Rosevear.

It is set in an environment that is very familiar to Catherine, a nursing home, as she has psent much of her professional life working in nursing homes.

Hannah lives in a small flat on the top floor of a nursing home. She is an only child and shares the flat with her mother who is the matron of the nursing home and her father who does all the maintenance jobs at the nursing home. "Anything but electrics" as he says.

Hannah loves to make friends with the elderly people who live at the home and she is excited by the arrival of a new resident in the middle of the night, after her own house was badly damaged by fire.

This is an Italian lady called Mr Oberto. At first Mrs Oberto seems grumpy, but after a while, she and Hannah become good friends.

But even though they become friends, Hannan just cannot get Mrs Oberto to reveal the secret that is hidden within an old wooden chest that she keeps on the table beside her bed.

One day, Mrs Oberto becomes dangerously ill and as a result, she is hospitalised. She then reveals that she needs the assistance of Hannah to open the old wooden chest.

What is hidden with the mysterious chest?

Then, Hannah's amazing adventure really takes off! She meets with a girl from ancient Roman times and learns that if she really wants to help Mrs Oberto to recover from her debilitating stroke, she must seek out the help of a Roman god!

Can Hannah help Mrs Oberto? Will Mrs Oberto get better?

This is an extremely well-written book and it is heartening to know that it is the first part of a series of stories about Hannah and Mrs Oberto.

It is an ideal book for children of all ages and their parents and grandparents, too. It will make a super Christmas present.

It's published by Matador at £6.99 and can be bought here https://goo.gl/wdCFDG.

Only Human

Only Human is a riveting autobiographical story of what it is like to be a 21st century cop.

Gemma Hines shares what it is really like to be a member of a modern, high tech police force in Britain.

Gemma's start in life was not the easiest, she was stuck in the middle of an ugly custody battle between her warring parents for six very long years.

This brought about a period of purposeless and rebellion, but she was able to turn her life round. She became a personal trainer and at age 18, she chose to serve her community as a Special Constable.

After seeing what being a police officer was really like she decided that she wanted to become a regular officer, so she applied to join the Greater Manchester Police.

Even though she had already been accepted as a Special Constable the process of application and acceptance was still a protracted one and after several months she was accepted as a Police Officer.

Over the next decade she was involved in some fairly major police operations and her book shows what it was like, serving as a female police officer in the early part of the 21st century.

However, Gemma was not a typical police officer, starting out previously as a personal trainer and also becoming a fully trained exponent of martial arts, holding a range of titles in her chosen field of Kick Boxing.

Some of the stories that she tells are humorous, some are horrific, such as rescuing a badly emaciated dog from a flat that was stacked high with rubbish in every room, only to discover that the dog had only survived by feeding on his deceased owner who had died because she had slipped on some of the rubbish in the bedroom and become wedged between the bed and a wardrobe.

There were harrowing tales of suicide, such as a former Macmillan Nurse who, when she developed cancer, decided that she would take her own life and die with dignity.

It was this case that helped Gemma decide to volunteer with dealing with deaths and welfare cases as she wanted to feel as if she could make a difference.

It's a story of highs and lows and I think everyone who is thinking of becoming a police officer or who has a police officer in their family should read this excellent book.

It is published by The Book Guild at £8.99 and can be obtained here https://goo.gl/wdCFDG

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Rose Girl

In her new novel The Rose Girl, author Fay Howison gives younger readers as modern day twist to the more traditional genre of the fairytale.

The Rose Girl is set in Britain, but it is the Britain of the time before our Industrial Revolution.

The story is set in a valley. At one end there is stern and unapproachable nobleman, the Duke of Ashbury who is burdened down with the unspeakable agony of having lost his wife.

He is so grief stricken that he keeps their daughter, Rosalba as a prisoner in their palatial home, fearful to let her out of his sight, in case some dreadful fate should befall her, too.

But at the other end of this sweet and beautiful valley you will find the Paget family. They are a cheerful and happy-go-lucky family who view conventionality as a burden that they simply will not bother to even try and carry!

The three Paget brothers, as soon as they learn of the plight of the fair Rosalba, each decide of their own volition, that they will rescue her for themselves.

However, things do not go quite as they had hoped and after a series of adventures and misadventures, they learn of a terrifying secret from the past that means they must bury their rivalry for her love and work together to overcome a common problem. And what malevolent hold does the dark and vile Lord Jasper Culpepper hold over the future of the Paget family?

Can they defeat the odious lord and rescue Rosabela?

This book is written for young children aged 10 to 14 and it is published by Matador at £8.99 and it can be bought here https://goo.gl/wdCFDG.

A Captain's Ransom

A Captain's Ransom is a terrifying and true account of modern day piracy on the high seas.

It tells the story of Captain Alex "Joe" Westland and what happened on 14th May 2013.

Alex was a retired ship's captain and an ex trawler captain.

Whilst his vessel St Patrick was off the coast of Nigeria it was attacked by pirates and he was taken as a captive from his boat to the Niger Delta Jungle.

Once there he realised that his situation was extremely grave indeed and during his days of captivity he felt that every moment could very well be his last and he feared that he would possibly never see his wife, his family or his friends again.

Captain Westland hales from Arbroath Angus in Scotland and he has written his memoir for a number of reasons. He felt that it might be of assistance to him if he were able to write out these terrible memories of what happened to him and to also serve as a warning to anyone who even considers working in Nigeria, which he deems "the pirate capital of the world."

The incident brought some changes to his life. He suffers from PTSD, experiencing flashbacks and nightmares and he was forced to take early retirement.

The book is an exciting read and costs £8.99 from The Book Guild. You can purchase it at   https://goo.gl/wdCFDG

Academy for Health Superheroes

Childhood obesity is now listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one the most serious worldwide health challenges that face the 21st century. With 19.1% of Year 6 children declared as obese in 2015, Dr Agnes Electra Chlebinska and David W. Evans decided that they should promote a healthy lifestyle with their debut children's book series.

Book 1 in the series covers the heart.

It tells the story of Agnes and her friends who have joined together to form a special Academy for Health Superheroes which aims to train and nurture a generation of Health Superheroes.

You'll meet a whole range of different characters. Humans, animals, body organs and food characters.

Jack and his dad become firm friends with the JFM, the Junk Food Monster. Jack's father becomes ill, having developed heart problems. But fortunately the Health Superheroes are on hand to offer their support and wise advice.

Can they help beat the Junk Food Monster and save Jack's father?

But the book is not merely a fantastic story with wacky and brilliant illustrations from Gilbert Monserrate. It also contains many valuable tips on healthy eating and exercise and there are a range of nutritional snack recipes that children can have a go at making for themselves.  And which should also prove to be very popular with children and adults, too.

This large format book is published by Matador at £16.99 and it is such an important book that council departments and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups should get together to ensure that a copy of this book is issued to every family with children in their area.

It also belongs on the desk of every Medical Doctor and Nutritionist in the UK, especially those that deal with obese children and in every public library in the UK.

You can order as many copies as you wish at https://goo.gl/wdCFDG.



I Hear You Calling

I Hear You Calling is an interesting and highly readable book from author Helen Line.

It tells, in their own voices, the story of a group of people whose lives meet and sometimes clash together in a variety of ways, some expected and some unexpected.

There is Rae, who is an Educational Officer. Her own life has taken a turn  that she wasn't expecting. Her husband had turned out to be a control freak and she is trying to come to terms with the loss of her marriage.

There is young Richard Banks who at nine is struggling as he tries to perform a neat balancing act as he attempts to be a crowd pleaser. Well, to be more accurate, his overbearing father and his headmistress.

The situation is made more fraught because Richard is a communications conduit for people who have passed over to the other side. He is a medium.

Rae is sceptical about Richard and his ability, but she has to cope with his father who is a true believer and the headmistress who is anything but and who knows only two ways of doing things. Her way or the wrong way.

To add to the general concerns Rae's ex-husband turns up and things begin to quickly spiral out of control.

At first Rae thought that she was merely trying to saved Richard's place at the school. But a series of dramatic events soon convince her that the battle she is fighting is a completely different one to the one she had presumed. In fact Rae is actually struggling to save Richard's life. And perhaps Richard will return that favour?

This book is a very interesting novel. It's a love story, or love stories, but it is not, actually, a romance.

It's also a very uplifting story which you will want to read several times, at least. And you'll want to share it, too.

It is published by Matador at £7.99 and is obtainable here https://goo.gl/wdCFDG.