Sally Cronin’s review on Amazon

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on May 18, 2017
Format: Paperback

I was gifted a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This novella may be a short read, but it so packed with authentic detail and action, that you feel you are reading a much longer book.

Our heritage is founded on the backs of ordinary men such as Aldred and his nephew Cynric pressed into service as were thousands of farmers and craftsmen who were sworn to the feudal Anglo-Saxon lords. The story is factual but told through the eyes of these two fictional characters as warring armies battle to gain control of Britain.

One army is led by the barbaric King Harald of Norway or Hardradå as he is known by his men. He has formed an alliance with the Anglo-Saxon Tostig, claimant to the throne, now held by his brother King Harold, following the recent death of Edward the Confessor. This invasion force has the backing of Duke William of Normandy who has made promises to Tostig should there be victory.

With all the various factions identified, the story then takes us through the build up of forces led by the Norwegian king in southern Scotland, the defeat of the army entrenched in York and the significant and decisive victory by the forces of King Harold at Stamford Bridge.

This leads to the battle that was to change the life of every man, woman and child in Britain on October 14th 1066.

The main characters are portrayed vividly, and their backgrounds and involvement in this pivotal time in history, demonstrate how human traits such as greed, revenge and jealousy leads to the deaths of thousands who follow them.

The battle scenes and the acts of barbarism are very realistically portrayed both through the eyes of Aldred and Cynric, as well as those leading the various forces. The action maintains its pace throughout the story and Jack Eason has recreated the terrifying and brutal results of hand to hand combat and archery.

This was a dark time in our history and 1066 was a turning point for a Britain about to move into the Middle Ages, Jack Eason has captured this moment excellently.

If you enjoy a fast paced story and historical accuracy then I recommend you read 1066.

Now, thats what I call a balanced review. Thank you Sally.

😉

 

Announcing the release of Autumn 1066

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Down the centuries the British Isles has always been seen by invaders as a legitimate target for exploitation. This novella concerns the last few weeks of  Anglo-Saxon occupation, ending on the 14th of October, 1066.

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At long last my historical novella Autumn 1066 (paperback only) is now available for purchase.

Please take note of the following number:- ISBN-13: 978-1546685302.

First of all, may I suggest that you order your copy directly from CreateSpace by inserting the above ISBN number when looking for it. Ordering directly from the printer is by far the cheapest purchasing option.

I ordered six copies to give to my friends at US$2.15 each as opposed to US$5.38 each on Amazon US, and UK£4.17 on Amazon UK. The CreateSpace price for my latest book works out at roughly what you pay for the average ebook these days. Which makes it value for money, I’m sure you will agree…

Buying from CreateSpace is a no-brainer in my book!!!

Of course if money is no object, you can always order it from your nearest Amazon outlet. Here are the links for Amazon’s two main outlets:-

AmazonUS

AmazonUK

Unfortunately, the one thing you cannot do on CreateSpace is post a review. That can only be done at Amazon sites. Here’s hoping that you enjoy reading the novella. If that is the case, do please post a review on Amazon.

PS – Are you one of those strange individuals who do not believe in ordering anything online? In that case, write down the title and the above ISBN number together with CreateSpace’s link – https://www.createspace.com/. Then head off to your local bookshop armed with all the information, and tell them (don’t ask) to order a copy for you…

Enjoy…

😉

For Goodness Sake Make Time!

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I forget how many times I have told people, especially new writers, to pace themselves. I was having a conversation on Facebook with one of my female writer friends yesterday. She has bought copies of five of my eBooks, which I am eternally grateful to her for. Three of them are short novellas, averaging 168 pages. I don’t know about you but I can read a novella in an afternoon, or a morning. For instance, if I start reading at twelve noon, I will have finished it by seven in the evening, barring interruptions and calls of nature. When I read a full length novel (150 – 200,000 words) it takes me the best part of three twelve hour days.

As writers, if we are going to do justice to our own writing, there is nothing more stimulating than spending hours reading other people’s books. From them we glean those ideas that hadn’t necessarily occured to us. With every book I write comes endless reading beforehand. Its called research. The writer in question makes me laugh. She claims that she has no time to read. When I told her about my reading a novella in seven hours, she assumed that what I’m doing is speed reading. Sorry to disagree with you my dear friend but it isn’t. It’s just a normal reading pace. She seriously needs to make time to read. In other words, she needs to pace herself.

I’ve seen photographs of her with a library of books in the background. I’m assuming that given her profession, the library is her own. Maybe not. If, as she claims, she has no time to read, why does she have access to one, if not to read the books? in my case my own library is divided up into actual physical books in my five shelf bookcase, as well as eBooks and PDF files on this laptop. I’ve read every single one of them at least five times. Some like Graham Hancock’s epic work Fingerprints of the Gods, several dozen times. In that case it will usually take me a week, simply because its seven hundred and nineteen pages are jam packed with information…

Currently I have one hundred and thirty three eBooks and one hundred and twenty physical books. I also have one hundred and forty-two PDF files which I constantly refer to when I’m in research mode, as I am at present.

How many books do you have? Have you read them all?

A lot of people buy books, millions of us in fact. But how many can truthfully say that they have read every book in their possession? Some people like to kid themselves that by having a large physical library in their home, it will impress their visitors, by creating the illusion that they are well read, and therefore intelligent. If you want to impress your visitors, to begin with read the damned books, all of them. That way when your visitors ask you about a certain book you won’t be caught out in a lie.

Books are not for decoration, even though the multicolours of the jackets creat a splash of colour.  Every one of them contains the end product of a writer’s accumulated knowledge and hard work. They are meant to be read, not just looked at.

PS – I will admit that since I became a fulltime writer, I no longer read for pleasure. Plus, these days when I read a book, any book, the editor in me is constantly on the lookout for poor grammer, spelling and punctuation.

That is the one major drawback; the end of spending hours reading for pleasure…  😉

There Is Nowt Queerer Than Folk

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People in general are probably the most complicated, dangerous, confusing, annoying, tiresome, argumentative, frustrating, angry, illogical, emotional and idiotic creatures roaming this planet of ours. Don’t even get me going on the differences between the genders…

To begin with, the greater majority of mankind believes in some form of non existant all powerful entity. Why? What’s wrong with standing on your own two feet? To any logical thinking being, any form of religion makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Where is this all powerful being when we need them the most, like when we are involved in a war, or are suffering a family crisis? Nowhere, that’s where! So why bow down to them? It makes no sense at all.

Religion is hardly peaceful or benevolent, despite everything its devotees preach. Each religion believes it is the only true one, conning its faithful into thinking that all the others are unbelievers to be destroyed! I’ve lost count of the number of wars that were, and still are, being fought in its name – an ugly trait of those who still believe that they are still the masters of all mankind. It seems that we can’t get through a single century without declaring war on each other. Once again, why is that? In the days of yore the common people were given no choice in anything. Once upon a time we were ruled by Emperors, Kings, Dukes, Earls, Barrons and tribal Chieftains. What they decreed simply happened.

I’ve got news for you people. These days we do have a choice, despite what our political and religious leaders may say. Our politicians, backed by the more fantical religions, have taken over from any kind of royalty, prosecuting wars in other lands like there is no tomorrow, usually because those countries are oil rich. While we can’t do much about the religious fanatics, except ignore them, every few years we do get the chance to vote out the political party that is annoying and frustrating us the most. The real trouble is that instead of thinking first, many simply give their vote to a specific political party because that’s the way their family members and them have always done it. In my own case, I usually vote for the Labour party. Why do I do that? Habit, pure and simple!

More and more these days people simply don’t bother to vote, believing that their one vote won’t make any difference. Total rubbish!

With barely a fortnight to go, the good people of Scotland will get the chance to vote, either for independence from the rest of the UK, or to maintain the status quo. This is a historic moment in the history of these islands. The Scots won’t get another chance like this in the forseeable future. The political pundits and polls suggest that both sides of the argument, for and against, are about even. When have polls and pundits ever got anything right when it comes to elections, or in this case, probably the most important referendum that Scotland will vote on?

Since the Jacobites were beaten in the eighteenth century, ending any previous thoughts of Scots’ independance, the proud nation has been nothing more than a vassal state of England. Despite all of the scaremongering and threats from the UK parliament, personally I hope that Scotland achieves it dream to break away from the houses of parliament, otherwise known as Westminster, once and for all.

Role on the eighteenth of September…

Up and Running!!!

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Just to let you know that thanks to your support and kind comments on my post Got a Minute the other day, I have finally made a start on my next novel, or novella, depending on how many words it ends up at. For now I’m using the working title – Targets Rewriting history in the twenty-first century, until something better occurs to me.

As many of you who read my blog will know, it simply started out as a series of four short stories involving my character Dr Gilbert Briggs and his team of technicians and field observers at the UK Advanced Science Institute based in Norwich in the county of Norfolk, and Briggs’ breakthrough when he took a science fiction concept (time travel) and made it reality when he concieved and constructed the Teleportation Gate; merely as an exercise to see if the idea was worthy of following up. Pat yourselves on the back folks, you’ve convinced me.

For anyone who hasn’t read the first four scenarios – no Briggs doesn’t exist. Nor does the Institute or his gate. I had to say that simply because some individuals with no brain believe that certain fictional characters do – honest.

As I have already written four scenarios concerning historical targets, I’m off to a good start, both ideas and words wise (10,414 words and counting). I promise I’ll keep you all up to date as I progress.

Now purely for your information, I have in mind the following historical characters as the next four targets for Briggs and co to ‘visit’:

Boudica

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Alfred the Great

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The only female Egyptian Pharaoh – Hatshepsut

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Alexander the Great

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More later as I get into writing mode proper once again. So I’m about to start researching Boudica, once I’ve given the first four the once over grammar and punctuation wise that is.

Thanks again folks. Without your positive encouragement, I would not have decided to expand the Briggs idea…

😀

What’s wrong with this picture?

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I really despair for a nation when its youth shows a clear lack of interest in bettering themselves. Yesterday I took a look at a series of one star reviews by teenagers for books which their schools require them to read such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Virgil’s The Aeneid, Homer’s The Iliad and many more. In this particular instance the nation in question is the United States of America. While I smiled at what was written there, its no laughing matter. To me it shows that something is seriously wrong in Western society today.

I’m not saying that all young American’s are illiterate by any means. But when many other country’s children cry out for education, devouring everything they are taught, why is it that the same can’t be said for some Western nations, particularly those deemed to be leaders? We should be setting an example, not showing clear evidence of decline!

Here in the UK a large percentage of our own youth show the same lack of enthusiasm for education, preferring their smartphones and the inevitable shorthand version of our language such as LOL instead of laugh out loud, along with spending hours playing games, either on their iphones, Tablets, Laptops or game consoles.

What happened to reading books? Playing computer games and using an incorrect abbreviated version of your language won’t educate you!!!

Being able to count, add, subtract, multiply and divide, along with reading and writing are just some of the fundamentals that every human being has the right to be able to master. In particular if you want a job, demonstrating your lack of education by being illiterate and inarticulate will ensure that you remain unemployed and a drain on your country.

When I was a callow youth, I was always useless at mathematics. Only three subjects ever mattered to me during my education, literature, geography and history. I spent every spare moment I had reading. Anyone can learn so much from great works of ancient literature like the Aeneid and The Illiad and more modern works such as the complete works of William Shakespeare, or from nineteenth and twentieth century writers.

Hells teeth! When a teenager believes that a book written by one of his or her fellow countrymen (in this case F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby, written in 1925) is a Victorian novel, what hope is there for the world especially when that child’s nation is a super power with weapons of mass destruction?

I’ve just finished reading the maxims written down over four thousand five hundred years ago by Ptah-Hotep the Egyptian seer. I wonder what those same moronic individuals would have to say about that if it was part of the required reading lists in high schools?

I hate to think…

Does Research Really Matter?

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As far as I’m concerned research is everything.

I can’t speak for any other writer out there, but when it comes to my books, they are the end product of seventy percent research plus thirty percent writing.

When I finally decide on a topic, I spend many months finding out everything I can about it. It doesn’t matter which of the genres I write in be it fantasy, science fiction or all kinds of adventure story. My latest will fit into the latter.

Without comprehensive research, the story just won’t gel. More often than not, as I spend ten hours a day, seven days a week for maybe four to six months reading up on the subject, I will come across a sentence in some dusty tome on the subject which gives me the inkling of an idea for the story. As for my sources, here at home I have an extensive research library of my own. Plus I also make use of the internet. Although, having said that, there is a lot of disinformation and plainly incorrect articles on the net. To give you an example, take most things which appear in Wikipedia with a large pinch of salt. Never rely on just one source! Use Wikipedia by all means. But check what is there with reputable sources like the British Museum and other institutions. Many of the better universities across the planet can also prove invaluable when it comes to research, especially these days via the internet.

Another excellent source for me are serious documentaries on television, particularly when it comes to history, geography and the universe in general.

So, to sum up – research is the key unless you are merely engaged in writing what the Victorian’s termed ‘A Penny Dreadful’, or potboiler if you prefer. But remember this, even they need a degree of research…