Cold Water Swimming

The Lido Book Cover The Lido
Libby Page
swimming, literary fiction, romantic humour
Orion
(19 April 2018)

'THE LIDO is a joyous and uplifting debut - a testament to kindness and friendship and all those values society must hold dear' SARAH WINMAN, author of When God Was a Rabbit and Tin Man

Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers...

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She's on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.

So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim - it is the heart of the community.

The Lido is an uplifting novel about the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how
ordinary people can protect the things they love.

'A standout hymn to female friendship and the power of collective action' Stylist

'Feel-good and uplifting, this charming novel is full of heart' Lucy Diamond

'Did I #lovethelido? So much my heart broke a little turning the last page. A stunning debut' Clare Mackintosh

Brrrr…

My grandkids swim in an outdoor pool, I doubt it is heated, but I know their mother sits and watches wrapped in several blankets with a hot drink and a hot water bottle! Me – I like my water 30 degrees at least  – above permitted heat I know but…

So I maybe wouldn’t have joined the petition to keep the Lido open, not for me, but certainly there are lots of people who don’t mind the cold so maybe I would join for them. And for a Community Asset which should be kept of course!

I read a recent article by Libby Page who wrote of friendship. Across age, backgrounds and cultures. And the importance of community assets as meeting places to facilitate these friendships. without somewhere where everyone is welcomed, we are impoverished and the lesser for it.

This novel reminds us of the richness of a locality where feet traverse the soil and encounters with others is the norm.

I really must visit Brixton and the market!

 

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Let me have a feline familiar

Familiar Shadows Book Cover Familiar Shadows
Federal Witch Universe, Familiar Magic #1
Taki Drake, TS Paul
fairy tales, mythology, folk tales
Kindle

Some days are just BAD. A couple of thousand feet in the air, hanging from eagle talons and bleeding out. Just a typical bad day for a rebellious cat. Meet Dascha, a perfect example of contrariness and smarts. This young Russian Blue is not interested in following the family business, at all! But a moment of inattention leads to danger and pain, and she is left with some hard decisions to make. Will she survive mage attacks, wolves, and, worst of all, her instructors?

These stories are written from the viewpoint of the witches’ familiars, starting with the kitten, in Russia.

Here we find out something about life is like now in Russia for the magic community now that the wars have decimated the elders and the teachers.

It is rather short and for me lacked development of the idea. It is childish in style and I am not sure if was aimed at children or not. Which is a shame and means that I shan’t be reading the next 2 in the series: Familiar Trials; and Familiar Travels.

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Sunshine and the Summer is here?

Sunshine at the Comfort Food Café Book Cover Sunshine at the Comfort Food Café
Comfort Food Cafe #2
Debbie Johnson
Women’s Fiction, humour, contemporary
HarperImpulse
March 8, 2018
400

Return to the Comfort Food Cafe this spring for sunshine, smiles and plenty of truly scrumptious lemon drizzle cake. Perched on a windswept cliff on the stunning Dorset coast at what feels like the edge of the world, the cafe and its warm-hearted community are a haven for lost souls who happen to wander by with a heavy heart and a story to tell. Serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes, there's nothing a cup of tea and a delicious treat won't fix. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security - a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu. So make yourself at home, catch up on the gossip with old friends, meet new ones and fall in love at the Comfort Food Cafe.

Here we journey into the world of Willow and learn why her hair is dyed pink, and why she keeps a journal.

This is a poignant story, sympathetically written with an empathetic look at how life is with someone with Alzheimer’s or indeed any form of dementia.

Willow is the owner of the most desirable dog in the village – at least according to all other dogs – and lives in a cottage on Frank’s farm with her mother.

Her 3 older siblings are scattered but she stayed home and now finds she can’t really leave her delightful, free-spirited mother due to her dementia. And so we learn about the constraints and emotional heartache that come with such circumstances.

 

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SteamPunk rocks…

Corsets and Cogs Book Cover Corsets and Cogs
various
steampunk, fantasy. anthologies
Bathory Gate Press
(26 Mar. 2018)
Kindle

elcome to the world as it never was...

Enter landscapes awash in steam-powered machinery, Victorian style, and mysterious magic shrouded in the fog of a city night.

Join 25 New York Times, USA Today, and bestselling speculative fiction authors as they dive into alternate universes of tinkers, mad scientists, and space-faring soldiers, as well as leviathans, vampires, and demons--along with the cloaked lords and corseted ladies haunting pages of these alternative histories.

This limited-time anthology features tales of whimsy and wonder rife with gaslamp masquerades, steam-driven dirigibles, clockwork landscapes, gadgets and gears, and more.

What I like about SteamPunk stories is that clockwork rules.

The devices are semi-magical using this thing called aether which is harvested by air-ships. Aether was considered to be a Greek Deity but in most it is a source of magical power which is very dangerous to handle and to collect, and thus is very valuable – hence pirates.

The women in these stories – at least the ones I read and have been ‘directed’ towards are always daring, fighting ‘Victorian’ convention and feisty. All this despite wearing Victorian costumes and corsets! Not sure why the corsets except that is the convention.

So the women are not meek and mild but well educated and undertaking jobs that convention says are not their usual employment opportunities.

So there are 24 stories – short – and novella length – within this book and I have read the first 4: and the 1st three are definitely 4 star, not so sure about number 4 – maybe 3.5?

Of Love and Leviathans

Margo Bond Collins

The Lady Fugitive

Rebekah R Ganiere

Damn the Consequences

Erin Hayes

Frog Prince

Melanie Karsak

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Don’t read – it’s gone

Read and Gone Book Cover Read and Gone
Haunted Library
Allison Brook
female sleuths, mystery, crime fiction
Crooked Lane Books
(27 Sept. 2018)

Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier? The second charming Haunted Library mystery by Allison Brook, Read and Gone will be a delight for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Leslie Meier.

I thought that this book lacked both humour and pace.

I had hoped from the mention of a Haunted Library that it would be more ghostly and not less – this ghost was very tame – as were all the characters. I should have realised what ‘charming’ meant in the book’s description…

A book too cosy for me as I only managed 26% and got bored. Sorry Alison.

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