Wednesday, May 11, 2022

For a Few Hours by Yvonne Walus


When push came to shove, could you do what Yvonne Walus’s memorable characters have done in this stunning collection of stories?

Would you ever hire a sex worker, go all the way to New Zealand to join a man who may or may not be the love of your life, or shield your sister from going to jail by taking her place instead? And when you’re a boy longing for sex with your girlfriend, what would you do when the earth literally moves and you have to face the consequences of a major earthquake?

For a Few Hours is the new story collection from Yvonne Walus published by Bridge House. Some of Yvonne’s stories have appeared in previous publications but for the first time these, and new material, are gathered together for this powerful collection. Yvonne has also been published by Pipers Ash Limited, Amazon, and has had full length crime fiction published by US publishers, Echelon Press and Stairway Press.

Yvonne Walus’s unforgettable characters are bold, vividly portrayed, and make you wonder about their choices and what you would do in their shoes.
RRP £8.00 
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Author Yvonne Walus creates a captivating collection of slice-of-life stories that will make you laugh, break your heart, and keep your eyes glued to the pages from start to finish. From moving tales that will strike a chord to stories that portray the unexpected absurdities of life, For a Few Hours is a diverse collection that will appeal to readers with a wide array of tastes. The characters are colorful and brimming with life. Their vibrant and distinct personalities pop out of the pages and leave their mark on you. Each story offers something unique. Although I enjoyed every single one of them, I found "Revenge of the Redhead" particularly rip-roaringly hilarious. A fascinating anthology that I highly recommend.

This is a tremendous collection of short stories. A great variety of themes and perspectives, with something for everyone. The writer's prose flows effortlessly and the dialogue is spot on with so many different characters and voices - young, old, female, male... I really recommend this book, with the story 'Never Have I Ever' likely to long remain remain with me.

The diverse settings, plots and ambience lift these stories above the mundane. These are real characters with strengths and flaws, painted with a punchy writing style that suits the stories perfectly. To me, each offering, whether set in South Africa (like One Wedding and One Funeral) or New Zealand (Where Art has No Place) or Just Anywhere, has left me wiser and genuinely satisfied. Interesting and entertaining in their own right, they provoke thinking long after they are read. You’re sure to choose your favourite but mine was Superheroes of Yesteryear. Thoroughly recommended. 


Sunday, May 8, 2022

The Duchess of Sydney by Dawn Knox


Betrayed by her family and convicted of a crime she did not commit, Georgiana is sent halfway around the world to the penal colony of Sydney, New South Wales. Aboard the transport ship, the Lady Amelia, Lieutenant Francis Brooks, the ship’s agent becomes her protector, taking her as his “sea-wife”, not because he has any interest in her but because he has been tasked with the duty.

Despite their mutual distrust, the attraction between them grows. But life has not played fair with Georgiana. She is bound by family secrets and lies. Will she ever be free again – free to be herself and free to love?


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I read this when it first came out as a pocket novel, and I enjoyed it so much I swallowed it in one sitting! Having read some of her other books too, I can say that one thing you can be sure of with Dawn Knox is that her writing is really well researched. I have never been to Australia, but I got a real sense of heat and dust, and also the sense of abandonment, mingled with independence, that the protagonist feels as she tries to make her way in a strange country. Dawn's writing makes you feel as if you're right there with the characters. I didn't know this book was the start of a series, but I'm really excited to read the next one. Loved it. 


The story grabs you from the first chapter, and then whirls you along through the emotional storms and calms of a sea voyage to Australia. The vulnerability of an innocent girl prisoner is only matched by her determination to survive, in a world vibrating with authentic detail of life on board a prisoner transport. The twists come thick and fast as they reach New South Wales and the story ricochets between Sydney, London and China.


As an Aussie by birth from Sydney, the title grabbed me immediately. I read it with a critical eye and was pleasantly surprised that this historical author had, unlike many, done her homework. The settings were captivating, the characters engaging and the plot flowed well, with quite a few surprises. I learnt quite a bit about those times of transportation of convicts too. More importantly was the romance which felt as though you were there sharing their adventures and trials. Thoroughly recommended for all lovers of a fine story..  

And I Said by Linda Morse

  And what she said is paramount. These accounts from one person’s point of view each contain at least as much story as a long novel or a ...