Blogger’s Books: David Styles

David is a blogger who was a licenced Black Cab driver in London for a very long time. It takes years to pass the test to become one, known as The Knowledge, and is not for the faint-hearted. The iconic Black Taxi (also seen in other colours) has been a feature of London’s streets for decades, and remains so to this day.

If you want some insight into the daily life of a licenced taxi driver on the streets of Britain’s capital, you cannot find a better book.

To celebrate the book launch there is a chance to win a free copy, along with an Amazon voucher. Check out today’s post on David’s great blog.

https://cabbieblog.com/2022/10/28/its-publication-day/

You can also buy a copy in paperback or on Kindle. And if you are a Kindle Unlimited member, it is included free.

Cabbieblog is also worth reading for a wealth of London trivia, quizzes about London, and David’s opinions on just about anything. Please give him some encouragement with the new book, and enjoy his writing. I already have my Kindle copy, added to a long list of others waiting to be read.

https://cabbieblog.com/

New Release – ‘Falling’.

A new book from the talented writer and blogger, Stevie Turner. If you pre-order before the release date in October, it is great value too!

Stevie Turner

My new novel ‘Falling‘, a women’s fiction romance (contemporary/enemies-to-lovers), made the finals of the 2022 Page Turner Writing Award, and is now available for pre-order at the special price of just $0.99/£0.99. On October 7th it will be published and the price will increase to $2.99/£1.99. You can find ‘Fallinghere.

Thanks to Teagan Geneviene for the cover and for the promotional banner.

Death seems preferable to wasting what remains of his youth in prison.

James Hynde, fortified by several tots of whiskey, climbs up onto the roof of Parker Mews’ multi-storey car park and peers over the parapet. The game is up. The police will soon seize his millions, the Maserati, the London townhouse, and the Caribbean mansion on Windjammer Island.

Should he jump feet first or hold out his arms and topple over and over like a somersaulting gymnast? He closes his eyes…

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Blogger’s Books: C.E. Robinson

Today I bring you a new book from American blogger and author, Christine Robinson.
https://cerobinsonauthor.com

About Christine Robinson.
A former nurse practitioner, Christine ventures into the world of fiction to write books. Her debut historical fiction novel, Three Years of Her life, published in May 2022, comes from her love of researching family history. A background as a published poet, experience in writing fiction, non-fiction and screenplays, is an advantage in her writing career. Christine lives in Southern California, for the past 33 years with Robert, and their newly acquired, energetic, smarty paws, Border Aussies, Maddie and Max. Available later this year, Literary fiction, A Song for Clare, approaches a woman’s staggering real-life medical and relationship challenges. Music saves her life. Until…the day her music dies.

Synopsis:
Three Years of Her Life is a debut, historical fiction novel. Elizabeth Heim and her beloved Dr. Erik Herrmann uncover her famous grandfather, Gustav F. Heim’s hidden secret, in an Erfurt, Germany synagogue. His last words before he dies, No one is to look into my past, that history dies with me, prompts the search. The secret identifies the mystery woman in a photo he carries in a gold pocket watch, for thirty years. It causes a ruckus in Elizabeth’s prejudiced family. And brings to light the circumstances of his birth in 1879, and a strong Ukraine connection during the 1881 pogrom (violence by Russian authorities against Jewish people). A strong secondary story balances the, at times, terrifying history with Elizabeth and Erik’s doctor and nurse romance, and Elizabeth’s entanglement with her guitar teacher. Erik proves his character, and wins Elizabeth’s heart. He risks his life on a dangerous mission, transporting East Berlin hospital patients to the West through the Berlin Wall in August 1961. If he doesn’t make it to safety, he’s set up her future, and he’s dead serious about his plan.

Here is a link to the book on Amazon. Please visit Christine’s blog, and give her some encouragement for her first book from our great community

Bloggers Books: Jack Eason

Our blogging friend and author Jack Eason has a new book released soon. Four short stories compiled into a 28-page book, ‘East Wind: A Love Story’.

‘A long short story about four differing aspects of love, the last being ‘the love that shall not speak it’s name’.

Jack Eason
Jack Eason lived in New Zealand for forty-two years until 2000 when he returned to his birthplace in England. As far as he is concerned he will always consider himself to be a Kiwi. After military service in the 1960’s, he travelled the world, visiting exotic lands and making many friends. At seventy-three he is content to write and travel via the Internet. Besides writing novels and short stories, he contributes to his own blog “Have We Had Help?” Some of his short stories and numerous articles appear in the No: 1 online E-zine “Angie’s DIARY”. His literary interests include science fiction, history, both ancient and modern, and humorous tales like those written by his fellow writer Derek Haines, such as “HAL”. He lives in semi-retirement in his home town surrounded by his favourite books, ranging from historical fact to science fiction. His literary icons are J.R.R Tolkien, George Orwell, Arthur C Clarke and John Wyndham.

Here is a link to Jack’s blog.
https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

The book is available from the 1st of January at the bargain price of 99p. I have pre-ordered my copy, and if you would like to do the same, here is an Amazon buying link.

Streaming Confusion

At one time, not too long ago in the dim and distant past, if I wanted to watch a film that I had missed at the cinema, there was a straightforward option.

I could buy the DVD.

Not only from Amazon, but from many other DVD sellers around the UK. Even if the film was a Region 1 release that only played in North America, there was a 95% chance that I could find a Region 2 copy, released for the European market. I have bought over 700 films on DVD since they first launched the concept, and killed off VHS in the process.

Then everything changed.

Netflix released its own films.
Amazon Prime released its own films.
Apple TV released its own films.
And Disney put many of its better releases onto Disney+.
Then came Hulu, HBO, HBO Max. SKY Films, and many more…

So now, buying a DVD is often a very difficult prospect, and sometimes impossible.

Yes, I can rent a DVD on Amazon, or watch some films free on Prime. But that means watching it on a computer for me.

I can see a Netflix film on the streaming service, but that costs money, and we currently have access via my stepson’s account. I cannot buy a Netflix film to keep on DVD though.

As for Disney+, most of their output is not to my taste, so I am unlikely to pay a monthly fee to watch just an occasional film.

I get recommendations from blogging friends. I think “Ooh, I would like to see that”. Only to find it is on SKY Cinema, Hulu, HBO Max, or Paramount. If those services are available in Britain, I am not aware of them, except for SKY. Even if they are, they probably cost close to £10 a month each or more, so I cannot justify another £30-£50 a month outlay just to watch a few films during the year.

My conclusion is that DVD will soon be dead.

It is currently in the Intensive Care Department, struggling to live. But it has enemies, and those enemies are the ever-growing army of streaming service providers who want to kill it off completely. The shiny discs will soon be a thing of the past, along with the players that we can watch them on.

Thing of the past? Yes I know.

A lot like me.

Guest Post: The Hungry Hound

I am delighted to feature blogger, poet, and published writer, Kevin Morris.
https://kmorrispoet.com/ You can read more of Kevin’s blog by following that link.

The Hungry Hound

I am Trigger.
My Stomach is bigger
Than you think.
Your lunch will be gone in the blink
Of an eye.
Then away I fly.
Should you ask, “who stole my lunch?” I reply,
“Not I”
But, dear reader, I lie …!
I have been known to eat plastic.
My reach is elastic.
You think your food safe?
My friend brace
Yourself for a shock
For I will gobble the lot!
Be it ever so hot!

(The above poem was dedicated to my guide dog Trigger, who sadly died
in 2020, but lives on in my heart).

Kevin’s published poems are available online from Amazon.

He is also featured in an anthology, details from this link.
https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/croydon-poets/croydon-poetry-hour-anthology-202021/paperback/product-q777n8.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Bloggers Books: Chaya Ubhayakar

I am very pleased to announce that Chaya has had her first book published. It is a nicely-illustrated book for chidren, ‘Different and Similar’.

This story is about the friendship between Missy, a Golden Retriever, and Billu, a cat, and their love for Jai, a ten-year-old boy.

Children will discover how Missy and Billu show love and kindness to each other by respecting their differences and appreciating their similarities.

Illustrated by Andrea Benko, the book explores how in a world where everyone is unique, similarities can always be found.
This is a tale of Jai and his dog Missy welcoming a new friend, Billu the cat. Follow how Missy and Billu discover the differences and similarities between each other.

Here is an Amazon link where you can find out more, and buy a very reasonably priced Kindle copy.

This is a link to Chaya’s blog, where you can read more about her and her work.
https://chayasheela.wordpress.com/

Film And TV Stuff

I have been watching a few films lately, and that got me thinking. Most of those I watched were being shown on TV. Mainstream channels, not Netflix or Amazon. (Both of which I have access to) I have Netflix through a relative, but I cannot remember the last time I watched anything on it. I am also a member of Amazon Prime, though I mainly use it for the next day delivery service, and don’t take any of the ‘free’ books or make much use of any other membership options. I have only ever watched three films on it, and none of their own popular series.

There is also the NOW TV box, which I have had for some years. Offering access to Sky Atlantic, and many ‘free’ films too. (Most of which I have seen)

I use the marks around ‘free’ as nothing is free of course.

My stepson pays for Netflix, and we are on his account. I pay for Amazon Prime, and also for the NOW TV box. Those monthly subscriptions start to add up, but we get used to paying them, and don’t even think about what we could do with that £18-40 a month people like me pay for streaming services.

Many people pay much more. I have a close friend who has the whole SKY Q package. That includes everything, and live sports too. But SKY currently charges around £70 a month for all that. As with mobile phone and broadband contracts, it becomes ‘normal’ to pay out for them every month, and we mostly forget about those costs.

New kids on the streaming block here include Disney+. They are getting wise though. Many streaming providers are outbidding regular TV networks for popular series. So if you are a long-term fan of things like ‘The Walking Dead’, or anticipating a new series of ‘Loki’, you have to pay up, subscribe, or not get to see your favourite shows.

I predict this will be the way of things, sooner rather than later. Streaming companies will outbid established providers like the BBC, and make many of our favourite TV shows only available to their subscribers. Anyone who cannot afford to pay out for all the various players in the streaming ring will be stuck with whatever everyday programming is left to the free channels.

And what about DVD films? Do you still buy them? I do. I mostly buy used copies from Marketplace sellers at much less than £5. But sometimes I have to pay full price for something unusual. I just checked the shelves behind me, and I have 52 DVD films yet to be watched. Most are still in their cellophane wrapping, and some I have had for as long as five years without watching them. The majority are foreign language films, and most of those could be described as ‘obscure’. They are never going to turn up on mainstream TV, or on a streaming service.

So what of those films in the future, when companies just stop making DVDs in the same way they did with VHS tapes?

I have no idea, but I suspect it will be a case of having to see them at a cinema that shows rare films (of which there is only one on Norfolk) or never be able to see them at all.

You know that I am old now, and resistant to change. But I will rue the day when streaming becomes the only option to watch anything, and anyone without the money to subscribe is sidelined.

Just my thoughts.

Blogger’s Books: Lorraine Lewis

I am very pleased to let you know that the lovely Lorraine Lewis from https://blindwilderness.wordpress.com/ has had five of her poems published in a new anthology that is available to buy now.

An anthology of faery places. Focused on the winter court and the darker fae.

With Stories By

David Powell

Ruan Bradford Wright

Victor Nandi

Serena Mossgraves

Keely Messino

Sean Padraic McCarthy

Raz T. Slasher

Russell Addams

With Poetry By

Beulah Vega

Patricia Harris

Lorraine Lewis

Ruan Bradford Wright

And Art By

Allene Nichols

Vonnie Winslow Crist

Patricia Harris

Here is what Lorraine has to say about it on her blog.

‘I am delighted to announce that today INTO THE GLEN published by Fae Corps Publishing Inc. is being released.

I am also absolutely delighted to announce that five of my poems are in the book’.

Available on Amazon U.K. here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Under+the+shade+into+the+glen&ref=nb_sb_noss

You can purchase it here:
https://books2read.com/Intotheglenundertheshade

If short stories and poetry are of interest to you, please follow the links to find out more, and show Lorraine some community support.

Amazon Returns: What Happens To Them?

I am always interested in Amazon. That company’s profits are gigantic, and they pay little tax. And like most people these days, I buy a lot of stuff from them. As well as that, I am on the Review Team, so get free stuff in return for fair reviews.

I rarely have to return anything though, and when I have done, I didn’t really think about what Amazon did with it. I suppose I believed they just sent it all back to the original manufacturer, and received a refund.

Apparently not.

I found this article about what happens to goods returned to Amazon.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/where-amazon-returns-go-to-be-resold-by-hustlers?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

It interested me, so will hopefully interest some other Amazon customers out there.