Guest Post: Jon Risdon

I am very pleased to present a guest post from my blogging friend, Jon Risdon. He is an actor, author, and blogger who resides near the lovely seaside town of Whitby, in north-east England. https://wilfredbooks.wordpress.com/

Why Wilfred Books?

Wilfred Books was set up at the end of 2013, primarily to publish Black Shirt and Smoking Beagles, the biography of Wilfred Risdon, my grand uncle (that is: my grandfather’s brother), whom I never met, I regret to say. I discovered him in the course of my family history research, and the more I found out about him, the more interested I became in his life & work, so I thought there might be at least a few other people out there who would share my interest in him enough to also want to read his fascinating life-story. For what seemed, to me, to be very sound reasons, namely: he was not a household name; he was involved in contentious politics and activism for most of his adult life; it would probably be a strenuous & stressful (and, probably, ultimately futile) task to find an agent and/or publisher to take an interest; I decided to bite the bullet and publish the book myself. To market the book I set up the Wilfred Books website, which accepts payments securely, using PayPal, so no personal details are registered on the site, and I also created a WordPress blog, to promote the website, but also to write about subjects which might have interested my relative.

As related above, the first book published under the imprint of Wilfred Books was Black Shirt and Smoking Beagles, and it is still available as a print version (product code WB01), but also downloadable versions: PDF (product code WB02), ePub (product code WB03) and Kindle versions (product code WB04), in both popular formats (.mobi & .azw3); the ePub version can be read using iBooks on iOS devices, and on a wide range of other platforms; the Kindle version required can be selected from the link in the email confirming the purchase. In the future, I might also publish other books, either about Wilfred Risdon, or subjects related to his life and work, especially his animal welfare concerns; or any other subject/genre which I think is appropriate: check the New Items section on the About page on the website from time to time, for additions to the catalogue.

On that note, in 1967, Wilfred Risdon wrote & published a biography of a man whom he held in high esteem, and for whom he had great respect, the Edinburgh surgeon Robert Lawson Tait and, as it is now out of print, Wilfred Books is pleased to be able to offer a PDF download facsimile version, with the catalogue code WB05, of the original publication, with a preface to the new edition by J. L. Risdon. The book is called Lawson Tait: A Biographical Study and, given Wilfred Risdon’s close association with the National Anti-Vivisection Society, Wilfred Books will donate 10% of the annual net profit, over a minimum amount, from the sales of this edition to Animal Defenders International (ADI), the successor to the previous organisation. If there is sufficient interest, it might be possible to consider making it available in the other download formats, or as a print edition: please email me to register your interest. I look forward to hearing from you!
Jon Risdon jrisdon17@googlemail.com

I hope you will visit Jon’s blog and see what he has to offer.

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.

A Hole In The Blogging Community

As I was waking up on Chistmas morning, ready to make tea, and unwrap gifts, something happened that left a hole in our blogging community that will remain forever unfilled.

Three hundred miles to the north of Beetley, Mary Smith passed away peacefully, in Scotland.

Few bloggers can hope to leave behind the legacy that Mary has. An incredibly interesting life, lived to the full. Books and short stories that show us other cultures and lifestyles, as well as her love of the history of her home town of Dumfries.

Humour, wit, and warmth, even as she endured debilitating treatment for cancer and took us along with her on her final journey.

Mary was a blogger’s blogger. Engaging on posts, leaving comments, sharing on social media, always there to help and encourage anyone.

Rest in peace, dear Mary. Surrounded by the love of your family, and your many blogging friends.

Her family kindly let us know, posting the last ever post on her blog.

https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2021/12/27/marysmithsplace-cancerdiary46-thelastpost/

Blogger’s Books: Lucinda E Clarke

Author and blogger Lucinda has a new book release on the 23rd of November, and I am very happy to feature it here today.

When Polly Won the Lottery

Polly London was found on the steps of a polyclinic in London when she was only a few hours old. She was approaching thirty when she received a text telling her she had won over £150 million in the national lottery.

A whole new world opened up, but would it change her for better or for worse?

How do you react to winning a fortune? Do you keep it a secret or shout from the rooftops?

Polly did both, with alarming consequences. From that moment, her life took two separate paths, but at every step of the way, she was unaware of a shadowy figure that followed her all over the world.

Who was he and what did he want?

This is a book with a difference, with an ending you’ll never expect!

One quote from a beta reader:- Words are exploding in my mind.

Intriguing, Confusing, brilliant, split personality, enjoyable.

Polly was a very real person I laughed and wept with her.

Please check out the Reader Beware warning at the beginning of the book! It will help you to decide how you would like to read it!

Here is an Amazon link.

And you can find out more about Lucinda and her writing here.

https://www.lucindaeclarke.com/

I like the sound of this one a lot, and I have just pre-ordered a Kindle copy at the bargain price of 99p. It is also available in paperback.

Guest Post: Abbie Johnson Taylor

I am delighted to have received a guest post from wriiter and blogger, Abbie Johnson Taylor.
She describes it as ‘Creative non-fiction’. I enjoyed it, and I am sure all of you will too.

THE CASE OF THE MISSING LAWN CHAIRS

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

“Somebody stole our lawn chairs!” Dad announced.

For many years during the summer months, my family attended weekly band concerts at Kendrick Park in Sheridan, Wyoming, on Tuesday evenings after dinner. We brought lawn chairs and listened to the community band playing old standards, marches, and popular songs. Afterward, we trekked to a nearby ice cream stand for dessert, leaving our lawn chairs stashed behind a tree out of the way, sure in the knowledge that they would still be there when we returned to claim them before walking home. But now, all we could do was gape at the empty spot where we expected the chairs to be.

It was the summer of 1983, and I was home from college on break between my junior and senior years. My ten-year-old cousin, Shelley, who was visiting from South Dakota with her family, had accompanied Dad and me and our Irish setter Clancy to the park. She said, “Oh, no.”

Clancy had wandered off and was sniffing something nearby, blissfully unaware of this tragedy. Dad finally said, “Well, why don’t you two start walking home? I’ll look around and see if whoever took them dumped them somewhere else.”

With Clancy, he headed off in one direction while Shelley and I sauntered the other way toward home, which was only about a block away. While waiting to cross a busy street, Shelley suddenly cried, “Look, there are our chairs.”

“Where?” I asked, turning my head this way and that. With my limited vision, I couldn’t spot them.

“They were in the back of that pick-up that passed us. One of the guys in the cab just gave us the finger.”

“Let’s wait for Dad,” I suggested.

A few minutes later when he caught up with us, and Shelley told him what she’d seen, he said, “Well, I’ll be darned. Come on. Let’s go home. It’s safe to cross now.”

At home, we found Mother watching television in the living room. When Shelley excitedly told her what had happened, Mother asked her, “Did you see what the truck looked like?”

“Yeah, it was a green truck,” Shelley answered. “and there were two guys in the cab.”

Turning to Dad, Mother said, “Well, you should call the police. With Shelley’s description, they might be able to find the chairs.”

“Yeah,” Shelley cried, jumping up and down and clapping her hands.

Clancy, who always got excited when anyone else did, voiced his approval while dancing in circles and wagging his tail.

After shushing the dog, Dad said, “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt.” He made his way to the phone in the hall.

That summer, I’d been reading an Ellery Queen murder mystery which featured some police brutality. Not having had much experience with law enforcement, I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea to call the police about stolen lawn chairs. At least we didn’t have a dead body on our hands.

But Shelley was so excited about the possibility of helping find the lawn chairs. I didn’t want her to be scared. So, I remained silent while Dad made the call.

A few minutes later, when Clancy’s barking announced the arrival of the local constabulary, Shelley and I were sitting on the couch together. She must have read my mind for she moved closer to me, giggling. “You nervous?” she asked.

I should have told her there was nothing to be nervous about. Remembering what I’d heard a thousand times on the television show, Dragnet, I should have advised her to give them just the facts.

Instead, I only laughed nervously as Dad opened the front door while Clancy continued to bark and wag his tail. Grabbing his collar, Dad said, “Let me just put him on the side porch.”

To my relief, instead of an entire crew of policemen who arrived after Ellery Queen reported a murder, there was only one detective. Instead of barking orders at people like Inspector Queen, he introduced himself and engaged us in small talk before asking about the crime.

Shelley was a trooper. She described that pick-up truck and the guys in the cab as best she could, saying, “I didn’t get the license plate number, though.”

“That’s all right,” the officer said, scribbling in his notebook. “That sounds like Ricky Rodriguez’s truck.”

Dad described the lawn chairs and said, “My New Yorker magazine was in one of them.”

“Okay,” the officer said, scribbling some more. “I’ll see what I can do. It was nice meeting you all.”

The next day, Mother received a phone call from the detective. He told her they’d found the chairs, along with other contraband, in the back of that green pick-up. Unfortunately, they needed to keep all found items for evidence, and we didn’t get the chairs back until October. But miracle of miracles, that New Yorker magazine was still folded up in one of those chairs.

Although my paranoia was somewhat abated that night, I still harbor a little mistrust of the law, especially after hearing about numerous instances of white police officers killing black suspects for no reason. I’m thankful I’m not black, but a friend once told me she’d heard of disabled people like me also being victims of police brutality.

But in our small town, there hasn’t been any misconduct on the part of law enforcement personnel. I feel confident that as long as I obey the law, policemen won’t hurt me. I’m also encouraged by the fact that three lawn chairs and a New Yorker magazine reported stolen were found the very next day.

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her latest novel, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, is now available from Amazon and Smashwords in print and eBook formats. Her poems and stories have appeared in Magnets and Ladders, The Avocet, and other publications. Please visit her website at: https://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

Please visit Abbie’s site to read more, and to connect with this very supportive and interesting lady.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Family #LGBTQ – His Ladyship by Stevie Turner

A new book from our fellow blogger and published author, Stevie Turner. I have bought my copy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Stevie Turner…#Family #LGBTQ  His Ladyship

About the book

Norman Wicks is 57, overweight, and has diabetes. He is sick of his life. He has never left home, had a girlfriend, or held down any kind of job. The only friends he has are online, as he prefers to stay in the comfort zone of his bedroom. His devoted 92 year old mother Agnes waits on him hand and foot.

Norman has a secret he has kept hidden from the world for the majority of his life, but now he is desperate to bring it out into the open. He is terrified of how his family will react. However, for his own happiness and peace of mind, Norman must find a way to tell his mother and siblings exactly what they do not want to hear.

HIS LADYSHIP reached the…

View original post 407 more words

Still Worried About Michel

Despite my earlier post, and trying again to contact him by sending emails, I can still find no trace of fellow blogger, Michel.
https://raistlin0903.wordpress.com/

His blog is still online, but there hasn’t been a post on it since November the 25th, 2020.

It is so unlike Michel not to post, not to comment on the blogs he follows, or to reply to emails.

I have a bad feeling something awful has happened, and would dearly love to hear from anyone who has been in touch with him in 2021.

If you don’t want to reply in the comments, please send me an email (address on my About page) and I will keep your information to myself.

Thanks in advance, Pete.

Guest Post: Gauri Sirur

Today I am delighted to feature a guest post from Gauri. Originally from India, she now lives in America.

My Book of Memories
(Or my life chronicled through some of the books I’ve read. And the memories they evoke.)
I glimpse a paperback on a friend’s bookshelf. It takes me right back to college when you were too uncool for school if you hadn’t read the book’s author. My daughter tells me a literary classic — my mom’s favorite — is being remade into a movie. And now I hear my mom’s voice quoting from the book.
Books evoke memories. These are some of mine…

Growing up…
My Book of Memories opens with a fairytale. I am lying in the back seat of the family car, with my shut-eye doll, my fuzzy blanket, and Enid Blyton’s book of fairytales. (There were no seat belts back then.)

My little brother, Ash, rides in front with my parents. He likes to look out at this world. I like to lose myself in imaginary worlds.

I’m happy when it takes a long time to get to our destination.
* * *
At the time of my in-car reading sessions, I was five years old and living in Pune, India. Mom was an avid reader. She frequented a circulating library that offered Women’s Weekly and Women and Home magazines — along with a modest selection of novels — to its predominantly female clientele. And Enid Blyton’s books to the kids who tagged along.
Blyton’s books were inhabited by an eclectic mix of humans, fairy folk, toys, and barnyard and woodland animals. In this fantastical world, you might find a little red door set in the trunk of a very old tree. You turned the round green doorknob, stepped through, and found yourself on a railway platform. From here you could take a train to Fairyland, Goblin Hill, or Toyland.

I have to admit that although I’m far from six now, I still stare very hard at the trunks of very old trees, checking for little red doors. I’m looking at you, giant sequoia. You never know, right?
* * *
In my early teens, I devoured paperbacks. Mainly mysteries and romances. Mom spoke of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Daphne du Maurier in hushed tones. To please her, I read Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Rebecca. And then, to please me, I read them all over again.

Dad, a naturalist at heart, got my brother and me a slew of illustrated books on birds, reptiles, mammals, and dinosaurs.

I got back from school one day to find a T-rex and a brontosaurus — both about four inches high — squaring off on top of the radio in the living room. Dad had fashioned them out of Plasticine (Play-Doh). He believed in giving us a hands-on education.

Pluto and Persephone…
Tai, my father’s elder sister, worked at the Oxford publishing house in Mumbai. Every year she gifted me a book for my birthday. When I turned eight, she presented me with two children’s books of Greek mythology. Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Narcissus, Medusa. I was as riveted by the names as by the stories.

During a college literature class, a professor asked if anyone knew the story of Persephone and Pluto. I put up my hand. She gazed at me with newfound respect. I thought it best not to reveal that I had gotten my deep knowledge of Greek mythology from a children’s book.

All growed-up…
After marriage, I lived on a farm with Raj, my parents-in-law, and Raj’s granddad. Our farmhouse was three miles from the nearest village. But even here, there was no dearth of reading material.

In his room, Raj’s granddad had a cupboard full of books tenderly covered with brown paper. I could take my pick from Dickens through Poe to Pearl S. Buck.

When we moved from the farmhouse to an apartment in Mumbai, half of the books moved with us. And then, over the years, a quarter of those treasures found their way to Houston, where I now live.
* * *
Some of these books are close to a hundred years old. Time has tinged their pages a light sepia. I have to turn the pages carefully lest they flake off.

I open the books, and a musty-sweet aroma wafts to my nostrils. Suddenly, I’m looking out the living room window of a certain farmhouse in India. A bullock cart rumbles past on the dusty track outside the window, heaped with sacks full of freshly harvested peanuts. Just beyond the track, row upon row of young sorghum fronds flirt with the breeze.

Coming to America…
My book memories of America, where I moved twenty-some years ago, with my husband and daughters, are a world away from bullock carts or flirtatious sorghum.

From Mumbai we flew into Cleveland, OH, where my daughters enrolled in middle and high school. My older daughter’s English Lit. syllabus included The Black Pearl, which was my introduction to American literature. My memories of this book are decidedly mixed.

On the one hand, I loved the book; it inspired me to read another Steinbeck classic, The Grapes of Wrath.

On the other, The Black Pearl remains closely bound up with that fresh-off-the-boat, disorienting sense of foreignness. With the shock of the biting Cleveland winter after the muggy warmth of Mumbai — the cold inking chilblains on the backs of our hands. The isolation — trees bare of leaves, streets bare of people. The echoing quiet. Most alien of all, the smells — the insistent tang of Lysol and wood-polish; that plasticky new-car smell.

Twenty-some years later, the country that once felt alien is now home.

And now, this…
I started my book collection in Houston eight years ago, right around the time of my grandson’s birth. The first book that I bought was Kafka’s Metamorphosis. A fitting title, I thought, for my own metamorphosis from mom to Grand Mom.

Several of the books in my collection, from Hamlet through Harry Potter, are storied in more ways than one. There is enough nostalgia here to fill yet another Book of Memories. But that’s a story, or a blog post, for another day.

Yes, books evoke memories. What are some of yours?

Here is a link to her blog. Please take time to visit, and welcome Gauri to this community.
https://gaurisirur.wordpress.com/