Charity Book Sale: Updated

***Please scroll to the end, for an Amazon update***

Writer and fellow blogger Christoph Fischer is one of a group of authors who have got together to raise funds for the animal charity shown above. They are selling an exciting series of medical thrillers at a bargain price, and donating the proceeds to help animals in need.

‘Do you crave reading books with nail-biting suspense, twisted plots and great characters who get caught up in whirlwinds of crime, deception and lies? Do you love sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering who will survive…and who won’t?

From the mountains of West Virginia, to acute care hospitals, the battlefields of the Middle East and the hallowed halls of our educational system, join us for these incredible stories of healthcare gone wrong.

DO NO HARM is an extraordinary, limited collection of medical thrillers written by USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Amazon best-selling authors. You can order it now for .99!

If you like Robin Cook, David Baldacci and Patricia Cornwell, this collection is for you! Do No Harm is a binge-readers dream – 14 medical thriller books in one! And you can only get this collection of books from this group of authors here!’
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/do-no-harm-edwin-dasso/1131032041;jsessionid=631B75678AE09F83EB51E5858BC9E41F.prodny_store01-atgap14
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/do-no-harm-21?fbclid=IwAR3bpcueXTsxNAEN4YSPY4K4QITFYT7mUw4hMB6ZudPy4MgpXf5I0MV0iMg
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1457771385?fbclid=IwAR2Ahe-XUCD3XD8dms9BLHduXJx23UQdLJNXRinnpmKkqh9kqfdb7uiwV4o

(It will also be available on Amazon, later in 2019.)

This is a great offer. Please investigate the link, share this post on social media, and buy a copy if you can.
Let’s all help the animals!

Here is a link to Christoph’s own blog post on the offer.
https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/
If you are able to help out by promoting this on your own blog, please let him know in the comments.

***NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON***

I have ordered my copy!

More on books, and reading.

It would appear that my decision to get the Kindle Fire Tablet was a good one, at least in respect of reading books. After barely managing to read one or two books a year for over a decade, I have finished no less than fourteen books since January. Many have been reviewed on my blog too, adding an extra benefit to my revitalised reading.

After overcoming the early frustrations of reading electronically, I can now see the benefits, particularly in bed. The Tablet has a ‘shading’ feature, so I can have the light from the screen and text reduced and it is not so harsh. It is also easy to hold or to prop up on a fold of duvet. I used to mainly read in bed at one time, and now I find myself retiring early, keen to get on with my current book. Without any distractions or noise, I manage to read a lot of chapters in bed, though I have restricted myself to a two-hour maximum, in the hope of avoiding excessive screen time for my eyes.

The main thing is that after such a long break, I am reading again, and enjoying it immensely.

Once I have worked through the downloaded e-books, I might just start on the piles of hardbacks filling the shelves in the office room. 🙂

Published Bloggers (1)

As some of you know, I am always happy to promote the books of bloggers who have published books. Whether they have self-published, or managed to get a deal, it doesn’t matter.

I made a similar offer to this in 2017, and thought it was about time to try again.

But I don’t have time to trawl the blogs of my followers for them, and rely on them letting me know. So I have decided to offer a no-strings promotion on my blog. If you are part of this community, and struggling to get readers for your work, then I will help by adding your links to a series of blog posts. To be included, just choose from the following options.

1) Add your link or links to the comments on this post.
2) Send me a cover photo and a brief synopsis by email to petejohnson50@yahoo.com
Then I will add them for you.
3) Link back to your own blog or book page by adding a ‘pingback’.

You must be an established blogger with an active blog, and must under no circumstances add any followers to email newsletters without permission.

Any ‘commercial’ links from publishers or companies who are not bloggers will be deleted.

I hope that this will help to promote the work of my blogging friends, and get you a new audience.

Two books from Frank Prem.

fprem-smalltown-kid-ebook-cover

fprem-devil-cover-promo-online

Two books from Steph Richmond.

front (1)2

front (1) medium

Two books from Mary Smith.

A book from Sheila Murrey.
https://beingwhollyvibrant.wordpress.com/sheilas-book-take-it-upon-yourself-to-live-a-wholly-vibrant-life/

A book from Sneha Ganesh.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Books, and reading.

As I have started to read again, after a long break, and because I was reading a book in bed before I went to sleep last night, it is understandable that I woke up today thinking about that subject.

I am not getting on that well with electronic reading. On the plus side, it is great to be able to read an ‘illuminated page’, with no need for additional lighting. And I can store a lot of books on something the size of an A4 sheet of paper. The downside for me is that the page-turning feature can be over-sensitive, frequently flipping back to previously read pages without warning. It also freezes up more that I am happy with, leaving me having to restart, to return to the last page I was reading.

So many of you report no issues with this, I am beginning to wonder if I have a faulty Kindle Fire. But it may also have something to do with me, and my unfamiliarity with using Tablets.

When it comes to the books, I have now read five of them in one month. Considering I only finished one book during the whole of the previous year, then that is progress indeed, and definitely a result of having the new way of reading, as well as not having to further clutter diminishing space with large paperbacks or hardback copies. I have enjoyed the books written by other bloggers, and have been pleasantly surprised by the high quality, readability, and refreshing subjects and themes.

That has not been the case with the mainstream books though. Despite great reviews, and large sales on Amazon and elsewhere, I was disappointed to find that familiar ‘formula’ writing very much in evidence. Characters conceived so that they can be featured in sequels, or living in stylised, unrealistic situations that are hard to identify with. Many years ago, I regularly read at least one book a week. I used to follow authors, including Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and some more serious writers. When they had a new book out, I would buy it immediately, believing I would be sure to like it.

But then they started to feel ‘familiar’. The names were changed, but the plots similar. Things happened in those books as I had come to expect them to, and I became convinced that we were all reading much the same story, with just the locations and characters altered slightly. That was one of the main reasons I stopped reading novels, and switched to non-fiction instead. After almost twenty years, I have returned to fiction, in the hope that things had changed. In many respects they have, but in some cases, I can see it is just the same old story. Literally.

So I am not sure about reading again. I feel a little cheated by some writers, but refreshed and inspired by others. Maybe that has always been the case? Not sure.

I am still thinking about it.

E-Reading: First Impressions

As I promised, I started to read the previously stored e-books on my Amazon Fire Tablet this morning. I began with the very impressive ‘Yeshiva Girl’, by American blogger, Rachel Mankowitz. Here’s a link.
The Book is Ready
I got into this very good book quickly, helped by the fact that I was reading it tucked up in bed, after waking up far too early today. I was soon 45% into the book, (yes I know, impressive) when the ‘issues’ began. I must have touched something without knowing, as the book morphed into a tiny square in the centre of the Fire Tablet’s screen. After numerous attempts to ‘spread’ the text with my fingers, I finally got back to full size, and continued to read.

But as I flicked the screen to the next page, I was confused. This didn’t seem to follow on from the page I had just read. Sure enough, I soon discovered that the Tablet had moved me on three pages, instead of one. I flicked back three pages until it made sense again, and continued for a minute or two. Then I sneezed, which the Tablet apparently does not compute. After using a tissue, I returned to my reading, to discover that the book was now back to the cover page! I had to scroll though the entire 46% of the beginning of the book, to get back to where I had started.

Happy to be back on the right page, I read it, thinking that I might finish the book completely, at that rate. That made me very happy.

But then the auto-alignment feature decided that I wanted the screen to be in landscape format, instead of portrait. Twiddling it around eventually solved the problem, but then it started to fast forward three pages instead of one again. Every time. I had two options. Fling the annoying device out through the closed window, (it was cold this morning) or put it down for a while, until I calmed down. I made the sensible choice, and plugged it in on charge next to the bed, (the battery warning had also come on) before getting up and forgetting the rest of the book for today.

I will be going back to Rachel’s book, (if it lets me) as it is most enjoyable. But in the meantime, if any of you very experienced e-readers have any tips about using the things, please let me know in the comments. (With screenshots, if possible. 🙂 )

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Compulsive collecting.

I woke up thinking about films this morning. To be precise, films on DVD. This was because I spent some time on Saturday looking for a film, one I bought on DVD earlier this year. I know I bought it, as I can recall it being delivered. I also have the confirmation that it is on my list of items ordered from Amazon, and they emailed me to ask me to review it. But I couldn’t find it on the jumbled shelves in the tiny room grandly called, ‘my office’.

I also knew that I hadn’t watched it. It had gone onto one of the top shelves, the one reserved for new DVD purchases that I haven’t got around to viewing. They lie there in their plastic wrappers, waiting their turn to to be taken down and watched. But new ones arrive, placed in front or on top of them, and they manage to escape my viewing radar. Some of those film purchases date back to as long ago as 2012, but I continue to keep buying new ones, and stacking them with their unwatched companions.

I have ‘collected’ in fits and starts throughout my life. As a child, it was toy cars, and model soldiers. I never seemed to have enough of either, and used any pocket money of gift occasion to increase my hoard. In my late twenties, I had a phase of collecting part-work magazines, storing them in smart binders available from the publisher. When I finally gave them away in the 1990s, I was embarrassed to admit that at least half of them had never actually been read. And there were the books. Despite giving away hundreds of used paperbacks to charity shops, I still moved here with box after box of books, many of them never opened, let alone read. I am now reading less than two books a year, but still buying more. I bought one last week, and found that I had insufficient space to store it on the shelves. So it sits next to me on the desk, wondering if it will ever be read, I suspect.

Once I became interested in photography, in the mid-1980s, I started to buy lots of camera-related items. This reached a peak with the arrival of Ebay, and from 2004 until 2012, I bought up lots of old cameras, some ‘collectible’, many not. My intention was to show them off in some way, perhaps in a display case. But that never happened. What did happen was that I continued to buy more cameras, digital ones this time. The old ones, and my precious film cameras with them, had to be consigned to a box in the loft, where they still reside. To be honest, I would be pushed to find the actual box they are in, and have to confess that collecting them was ultimately pointless.

I have to put a stop to this compulsion, now that I am living on pensions, instead of a large salary. So I buy DVD films second hand, at a fraction of the cost. I buy used books for just 1p, plus postage. That makes it seem more responsible, but doesn’t solve the problem. I am overwhelmed by my collections, and I really do have to stop.

Soon.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Mister Micawber.

I woke up thinking about Charles Dickens today, and one character in particular. When I was younger, I read Dickens’ books avidly. I loved the characters, and his descriptions of life in all social classes during the Victorian Era in England. Many similar characters still exist in today’s world, albeit watching wide screen televisions, talking on mobile phones, and checking in with Facebook. But the basic characteristics of human nature, outlined so perceptively by Dickens, have hardly changed since 1850, at least in this country.

I am sure we have all met someone like Ebeneezer Scrooge, ‘careful’ with money to the extreme. And who doesn’t recall encountering an oily character like Uriah Heep, at one time during their life? And have you come across a violent person who was just like Bill Sykes, the aggressive drunk and wife-beater, even cruel to his loyal dog, Bullseye? I have. Yes, all human life is there in the pages of his marvellous books. They may seem dated now. Well, we have cars of course, and the Internet. No Hansom Cabs, few outside toilets, and everyone over eighteen can vote. But more than just a reflection of those times, they have many parallels in the twenty-first century.

Wilkins Micawber is undoubtedly still with us, if not in his old-fashioned name. He features in ‘David Copperfield’, working as a clerk for the awful Uriah Heep. His life is debt-ridden, but he refuses to let it get him down. Micawber is the eternal optimist, and his literary catchphrase is “Something will turn up”. In the book, he has some good quotes, including his now famous ‘recipe for happiness’.
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

Always cheerful, and refusing to crumble in the face of adversity, his is the very epitome of a positive outlook on life. In a world where the small man can only get by with having to incur debts, he does his best for his family, and stands by his desire to do good by others he meets. In many respects, he embodies the ‘Keep calm and drink tea’ spirit that saw this country through the Blitz.

Some of the Micawbers of 2018 have their debts on credit cards, mortgages, and car loans. Others owe money to loan sharks, Payday loan companies with huge interest rates, or have monthly payments for furniture and household goods to find. Families in many areas struggle on minimum wage salaries or unemployment benefit, and sell their meagre possessions at boot fairs, or on Internet auction sites. They play the lotteries with money they can’t really spare, and eat basic food that is all they can afford to buy. But they all have one thing in common with Wilkins.

They are certain that ‘something will turn up’.