‘Queen of Bedlam is a masterfully written and well-researched novel written by someone who has truly mastered the craft of evoking readers’ emotions. Not only does it give us a historical account of the depth and degrees of the mental illness of King George, but additionally, and perhaps more importantly, it gives voice to the family members who are often forgotten but are still intensely affected by it.’
For the full review please visit the Historical Novels website here.
Three authors. Two charities. One long road (and an awful lot of armour).
In 2013, historical fiction authors Ben Kane, Anthony Riches and Russell Whitfield walked eighty miles along Hadrian’s Wall, in full Roman armour. They did it to help two charities, Combat Stress and Medecins Sans Frontieres; in the process they raised almost £19,000.
In 2014, they decided to repeat the madness by walking in Italy – one hundred and thirty miles from a Roman amphitheatre at Capua, to the Colosseum in Rome. Wearing between 2.5 and 4 stone of armour and equipment each, they by turns endured heavy traffic, bemused locals and animals, and recreated what it might have been like to march in a Roman legion. In the process, they bled (a little), sweated (a lot) and suffered blistered feet (a decent amount). There may have been some cursing too. However, with £26,000 raised for charity, it may have been worth it.
Narrated by Ian McKellen, The Road To Rome is a feature-length documentary and can be viewed here.
Guy Fawkes was foiled in a plot to blow up the British Parliament but a brand new book published today aims to set off some fireworks among political establishments all over the world. The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 more of the World’s Craziest Politicians by American journalist, Brian O’Connell, and cleverly illustrated by British artist, Norm Chung is published today on Bonfire Night. The book identifies the downright dangerous leaders, as well as the just plain stupid lawmakers from around the world. Joining Bible-belt Americans, African dictators and neo-Nazi Europeans among the 300 in the book are a crazy clutch of UK politicians who stand out from the mainstream.
“The US is known for producing stupid politicians,” says author Brian O’Connell. “But if I was handing out an award for the dumbest politician on the planet right now, it would have to go to Harvard and Oxford-educated, former banker, Brooks Newmark, although he’s not the first politician to snap and share a selfie of his family jewels. Lars Ohly, former chairman of Sweden’s Left party, accidentally shared his on instagram.”
Joining Newmark are Brits Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Bill Etheridge, Mark Reckless, George Galloway, Nadine Dorries, Douglas Carswell, Zac Goldsmith, Neil Hamilton, Kate Hoey, Denis Skinner, Alex Salmond, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Eric Joyce. “The UK actually has more than its fair share of whacko politicians,” says O’Connell. “They’re just more inbred and insipid than some of the crazier Americans.”
The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 more of the World’s Craziest Politicians profiles individuals from every corner of the world; 18 of the included politicians come from Africa, 70 from North Americas,19 from Central and South America, 47 from Asia, 16 Australasia as well as 80 from Western Europe and 43 from Eastern Europe. And all have a bespoke illustration by artist Norm Chung.
“I’m not trying to shock,” says O’Connell. “Anyone can point a stick at the world’s dictators, such as Equatorial New Guinea’s ‘President for Life’ Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, where it’s reported in some precincts that he garners 103% of the vote. But this book is really about lifting the lid on the mad and bad that the world doesn’t yet know, like Quincy Timberlake who says he plans to stand in the 2017 Kenyan presidential elections, but has been charged with the murder of his three-year-old son.”
The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 more of the World’s Craziest Politicians by Brian O’Connell and Norm Chung is published by Myrmidon on 5th November 2014 ISBN 9781910183090 Priced £12.99.
‘Thanks to Aunty, a local film studio has set itself the ambitious task of turning an international bestselling novel into a movie.’ The Star
‘Suffused with a satisfying richness of colour and character, it still abounds in hidden passageways and occult corners. Mysteries and secrets persist. Tan dwells often on the borderline states, the in between areas, of Japanese art: the archer’s hiatus before the arrow speeds from the bow; the patch of skin that a master of the horimono tattoo will leave bare; or the “beautiful and sorrowful” moment “just as the last leaf is about to drop”. ’ The Independent
‘This is a novel that overflows with historical and specialist information, and like The Gift of Rain, it showcases Tan Twan Eng as a master of cultural complexities.’ The Guardian
It’s not hard to see why Henry Tan (chief operating officer for strategy, content and marketing for film company Astro), fell in love with this novel.
For the full details please see the original news article below.
After a very successful launch at the Forbidden Planet store in London, Toby Frost will now be touring the Waterstones stores during September and October.
We kick off the tour with an evening talk and signing at Waterstones Ipswich on Saturday 20th September from 6:30pm. Nibbles and refreshments will also be provided.
Throughout October Toby will be signing on:
Saturday 4th October – Milton Keynes (Midsummer Place) 11am till 1pm
Saturday 11th October – St. Albans 11am till 1pm
Saturday 18th October – Hemel Hempstead 11am till 1pm
Saturday 25th October – Amersham 11am till 1pm
And to top it all off the ebook has now arrived – hurrah! To purchase your ebook copy please click the link here.
Celebrating the power of literature to promote peace, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation have announced the finalists for the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction and nonfiction.
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding. Launched in 2006, it has already established itself as one of the world’s most prestigious literary honors, and is the only literary peace prize awarded in the United States. As an offshoot of the Dayton Peace Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize awards a $10,000 cash prize each year to one fiction and one nonfiction author whose work advances peace as a solution to conflict, and leads readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view. Additionally, the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award is bestowed upon a writer whose body of work reflects the Prize’s mission; previous honorees include Wendell Berry, Taylor Branch, Geraldine Brooks, Barbara Kingsolver, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Tim O’Brien, Studs Terkel, and Elie Wiesel.
For more information, and to see the list of finalists for both fiction and non-fiction, please click here.
Laura Purcell’s debut novel, Queen of Bedlam, has been shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romantic Fiction
Shortlists were released today for the Romance Reader Awards, New Talent Award, and Romance Industry Awards. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the Festival of Romantic Fiction on Saturday 13th September.
Awards organiser Sarah Taylor said: “With the highest number of entries the awards have had in their four year history, the standard this year was exceptionally high with many highly rated novels not making the shortlists. The breadth and depth of quality writing in romantic fiction should be celebrated and that’s what these awards are all about.”
Breaking Bad was honoured with five wins at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, taking home the top prize for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as awards for Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Outstanding Supporting Actress and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.
To read the full details please click here to take you to the official Breaking Bad website.
Why not relive your experience with Breaking Bad by reading Wanna Cook?: The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad.
‘There are a lot of books out there that say they are the unofficial companion guides to whatever television series, but let me say up front, Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz have found the perfect formula. Wanna Cook? is the primer for how those books should be written.‘ — Glenn Walker, BIFF BAM POP
To purchase your copy please follow the following link below:
Michiko Kakutani writing in The New York Times (18 August 2014) cites John Coast’s memoir of forced labour on the Burma Railway as a “harrowing account” that is likely source material for Richard Flanagan’s Booker longlisted novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Kakutani writes that Railroad of Death makes “the fictionalised David Lean movie ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ – which used the building of the Burma Railway as a backdrop – seem gauzily romanticized.”
For the full report please click the following link here: Railroad of Death – The New York Times – 8-18-14