My New Book After The Fishing Trip Is Now Available On Amazon!

 

My new book After The Fishing Trip is now available on Amazon.

After The Fishing Trip tells the story of four characters Nate, Mitch, Phil and Karl.

After Nate’s father Phil tells him that he is isn’t his biological father on a fishing trip, Nate begins to search for his birth father. In the midst of his search, he meets up again with his ex-girlfriend Rachel and begins an affair with her behind his pregnant boyfriend Mitch’s back. He also finds out more about his mother. Phil must put his own feelings to one side in order to support his son in his search as he knows it is important to Nate to find out who his birth father is and where he comes from.

Karl, Nate’s wingman from high school, also finds himself swimming with questions and emotions when he finds himself in love with Mitch. Mitch has his own problems as Nate begins being controlling of how he speaks in social situations. Caught between trying to be himself and holding onto the love they have, Mitch must decide what is best for himself.

Set between Manhattan and the fictional small town of White Rose Village, it is a story of identity, control and finding where you should be going in life. It is also a story of love, friendship and feeling comfortable in your own skin despite pressure from others.

I very much enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it. I love the characters especially Mitch. It was inspired by a Friday Fictioneers prompt which can be found here:

https://culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/friday-fictioneers-fishing-trip/

Part of it also was inspired by another Friday Fictioneers prompt called Writer’s Block which can be found here:

https://culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/friday-fictioneers-writers-block/

If you decide to give the book a read, thank you so, so much in advance! 🙂

After The Fishing Trip can be found on Amazon at:

 

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Words From An Unlikely Poet: Volume 2: Further Thoughts By Charlie Hasler Review!

 

Image result for Words From An Unlikely Poet: Volume 2: Further Thoughts

 

Words From An Unlikely Poet: Volume 2: Further Thoughts (2018) by Charlie Hasler is the 38-page follow-up to the author’s first poetry collection Words From An Unlikely Poet.

The collection is another beautifully written set of poems. The poems have both a poetic and accessible quality to them and speak of mental health, the struggle to find inner happiness and serenity and what these inner feelings feel like when finally realized.

The poems are extremely heartfelt and each poem delves deep into raw emotions which the author describes perfectly and with truth at the core. The details are great and paint pictures of scenes and slices of life so well. There is a realness to the emotions, the outside world and the connection or disconnection these things have to each other.

The author writes of isolation, surviving, striving to get to a goal that seems so far away. It’s melancholy but it’s honest and beautiful due to that honesty. The topic is very close to my heart and I appreciate very much the true way the author portrays mental health.

It is a compelling book which is told from the heart. The writing is stunning.

A gorgeous write.

 

To purchase Words From An Unlikely Poet: Volume 2: Further Thoughts by Charlie Hasler go to:

 

To read my review of Words From An Unlikely Poet by Charlie Hasler go to:

https://culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/words-from-an-unlikely-poet-by-charlie-hasler-review/

And for more about Charlie Hasler and his work go to:

https://charliesaysblog.com/author/charliehasler/

The Lake House By James Patterson Review!

Image result for the lake house by james patterson

 

The Lake House (2003) by James Patterson is an interesting and heart-warming story that is different from many of Patterson’s output but still has his trademark writing all over it.

 

It follows on from When the Wind Blows which I haven’t read yet. But this is a standalone book in any case. It follows the story of a family going through the struggle of been separated from each other. Colorado veterinarian Frannie O’Neil and FBI agent Kit Harrison have adopted the six children who have the power to fly after genetic engineering combined their DNA with birds but they are thrown into disarray and pain when the children are took away from them and they can’t protect them against scientists who are out to murder them.

It is such a powerful story of family and love and trying to save and keep your family together. So much of the story would break your heart and you just wish that the family would be left alone in peace to continue their lives. This book mirrors life in many ways. There is much in the book about the prejudice which the children face because they are different in some way and Patterson writes an excellent metaphor on prejudice in this book. Through the scientists trying to kill the children he writes an authentic piece on what lengths some people go to through prejudice and lack of understanding of differences. All the characters are so well rounded and you feel the love the family has for each other on every page. Patterson beautifully tells the heartbreak that adoptive parents go through in courtrooms that often favour birth parents. And it pulls so much at the heart strings and you just want these kids to be back with their parents Frannie and Kit. Also in the Author’s Note of this book Patterson says,

“When I researched it I interviewed dozens of scientists. All of them said that things like those that happen in The Lake House will happen in our lifetimes. In fact, a scientist in New England claims that he can put wings on humans right now.”

I found that an interesting new fact and added certainly to my reading of the book!

There is of course with this being James Patterson a thriller element to this sci-fi drama as the children fight for their lives among threats to their existence. It is very fast-paced and drags the reader along on an epic emotional journey. It might not be for all James Patterson fans seeing as it has a lot more drama and sci-fi than his usual traditional mysteries but I personally loved it. This is a book full of heart.

 

Loved it. A must-read.

 

To purchase The Lake House by James Patterson go to:

 

And for more about James Patterson and his work go to:

http://www.jamespatterson.com/

Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Review!

Great Expectations (1861) by Charles Dickens is a really great read.

In the novel we meet Pip who is six at the start and is living with his sister and her husband. He begins visiting the mansion of Miss Havisham to play after helping a convict on the run with food matters. There he meets Estella who is Miss Havisham’s daughter and over his visits to play at the mansion he develops a crush on Estella and over time he falls in love with her. When Pip becomes a teenager, he begins an apprenticeship with his sister’s husband Joe in his smithy but he doesn’t like it. However he can’t see any other option for the foreseeable future. But then all dreams come true for him when he gets a large chunk of money from an unknown benefactor so he heads off to London to live the life of a gentleman with hopes to one day marry Estella. Secretly Pip believes that his benefactor is Miss Havisham. She soon returns from her travels to London and soon Pip finds out the benefactor is the convict he has helped as a child. His name is Abel Magwitch/Provis so Pip thinks up a plan to get him out of the country and out of danger.

This book has a lot of drama in it and you never quite know what is going to happen next which is great. There is a great cast of characters who all add to the plot a lot. My favourites were Miss Havisham and Joe. They are two very different characters but they both spring to life off the page in their own ways. Joe has a very caring streak and is always looking out for Pip and Miss Havisham is just this wonderfully eccentric (And eccentric is a compliment in my book) woman who is interesting and unpredictable and a very original character which is always a great thing. Pip is a very good protagonist too. He has a good heart and is always trying to help people as shown through his help towards Abel Magwitch/Provis and in his help towards his friend when he comes into money. But he is also naïve and gets himself into things because of his good nature that you always feel will lead to his doom or his ruin at least. Estella is a very interesting love interest too. She has this snobby, cold and detached personality. I like her but she is a snob undoubtedly though she goes on a journey with that in the book and by the end, her hard life has changed her perspective on things. I’m glad her perspective changed but I wish she didn’t have to go through what she did. Though I liked the point Dickens was making that life and what we go through can change how we feel on things. Miss Havisham is a great example of this too. A lot of her judgments and feelings about life seem to stem from the hurt and humiliation she felt after been jilted at the alter.

This book asks a lot of questions and is very thought-provoking. I love books that do that. It asks questions about topics such as marriage, money, love and life in general. The book also has a lot about class issues and the distance between rich and working-class. It’s interesting to see Pip as part of both worlds and to see whether or not his attitude changes when he gets into high circles. It’s nice to see he didn’t get too big for his boots.

A fantastic read.

To get your free copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens go to:

https://planetpdf.com/planetpdf/pdfs/free_ebooks/Great_Expectations_T.pdf

And for more about Charles Dickens and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/239579.Charles_Dickens

Frankenstein By Mary Shelley Review!

Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley is a fantastic Gothic thriller.

The plot tells the story of the two protagonists Victor Frankenstein and the monster he creates. Science student Frankenstein creates the monster in an effort to create life. He does this through stealing body part and putting them together. When he has finished his creation, he is horrified by how the new human looks. Not happy with the new human, he leaves him to wander around alone without teaching him the ways of the world. Although the monster’s future actions in the novel can not be excused, as a reader you can understand why he became the way he did. He seemed nice at the beginning and then he met other humans. And a lot of them, with the exception of a few nice souls, were very cruel to him. First Victor who abandons him then the countless people who get all frightened for nothing and put this human into a feeling that there is something wrong about him. They change his perception of himself so much that he becomes their perception. Their cruelty makes him hard, their lack of compassion makes him cruel. This book shows up the prejudice, ignorance and vanity/shallowness often present in our world so much and I like that Shelley did that. They are important issues which need to be spoken about and they add a lot of depth to this novel.

Vanity I feel is a big part of Victor Frankenstein’s character. While it is always admirable to push yourself, Frankenstein seems to be doing it for the wrong reasons. He is doing it simply for appearances and to be the big boy, the big science student who is the first to create life. Creating life is a fantastic thing as seen through IVF but Frankenstein is doing it all for the wrong reasons and he doesn’t nurture and look out for the human he does create because of his prejudice, ignorance, vanity/shallowness and the fact the monster does not fit into his idea of a creation he wants to show off in the science community and to his friends. While undoubtedly science has done many fantastic things, it has done many terrible things too and Shelley perfectly shows the not-so-savory side of science in this novel. It is very true that a lot of prejudice and ignorance comes from scientific endeavors and comments by scientists and Shelly presents this very well here.

The novel deals with the idea of the ‘perfect human’. In our own world we hear this a lot when people are going to become parents and they are wanting to interfere to make the child more ‘outgoing’ or ‘intelligent’ or the like or when a child has a disability and someone chooses to abort because the child has a disability. These decisions are of course someone’s choice but it says a lot about the prejudice and ignorance people have about such matters and the idea of many unfortunately about what makes the ‘perfect human’. This novel pre-dates all of this but it is still spot-on and very much ahead of it’s time in this way and many ways.

My favourite character is the monster. I don’t like the later things he was involved in but he was nice. He had emotional feelings. He had compassionate and sensitive feelings for people until they made him something through their own problems that he himself wasn’t deep down.

I loved the book. The story is splendid and the descriptions of the scenes are outstanding. I can’t get over that Shelley wrote this at eighteen. It’s an amazing novel. She was a very fine writer indeed. Absolutely an absorbing and captivating read.

A brilliant novel.

To get your free copy of Frankenstein By Mary Shelley go to:

https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/frankenstein.pdf

And for more about Mary Shelley and her work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11139.Mary_Wollstonecraft_Shelley

Romeo & Juliet By William Shakespeare Review!

Romeo & Juliet (1595) by William Shakespeare is a nice romantic read.

First up two things:

1. I’m not a huge William Shakespeare fan even though as a writer I think it would be good if I was because he is a legend of the game.

And:

2. I really enjoyed this book.

I had saw a film version of this play before I read it and I didn’t really enjoy it. But in a lot of ways it was very different from the book which I feel is a lot better. I was swept along in the romance of it and felt the story deals with a lot of class issues and snobbery in families. I was very much rooting for Romeo and Juliet and couldn’t understand the big deal everyone was making about it.

The story follows our two titled protagonists and their love story as they face adversity for their love. It is a gorgeous write and is a lot more accessible than many of Shakespeare’s other works. I have tried to read a few of them and haven’t got beyond a few pages due to the language simply because I never seem to understand what is happening. With this book, it was different. While there is a very poetic quality to it and many metaphors present, it is still a book which is easy to understand. I liked that because in all fairness when you read synopsis’ of a lot of Shakespeare’s work, they have good storylines. It’s just that sometimes it is hard to follow the works but this one is different.

The heartbreak of their love story broke my heart. The whole situation too I felt got so out of control. So much senseless death occurs because of prejudice, ignorance and old grudges. Deaths which could have been so easily avoided if everyone just showed understanding and actually listened to what people were feeling instead of wanting them to feel what they wanted them to feel.

And of course the story of two people in love is super romantic. There was so much chemistry between them and you knew they couldn’t live without each other. Their love for each other warms the heart so much.

A wonderful, beautiful yet heartbreaking read and I’m glad I gave it a chance!

To get your free copy of Romeo & Juliet By William Shakespeare go to:

http://learningstorm.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/RMEOJLET-1.pdf

And for more about William Shakespeare and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/947.William_Shakespeare

Wuthering Heights By Emily Brontë Review!

Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë is a fantastic read.

 

It was the first classic book I read when I was 13 but I have never reviewed it until now. This was the only book the author wrote in her short life and her writing style is gorgeous. There is zero pretentiousness and a great emotive, matter-of-fact style. I love the way she wrote.

The novel tells the love story of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw and the love triangle they are in with Edgar Linton who is interested in Catherine. Set in the Yorkshire moors, Lockwood who is Thrushcross Grange’s new tenant rests up at Wuthering Heights which his landlord owns. Here he hears all the story!

Both Heathcliff and Catherine have their flaws for sure but I always liked them. Their love story grabbed me in and I was rooting for them. Their chemistry is gorgeous, passionate and real. And you knew they adored each other. The only thing that put me a little unease was that they were brother and sister. (And before anyone says they weren’t blood-related, I know but I personally don’t think it makes any difference.) These two were raised as brother and sister after Mr. Earnshaw takes Heathcliff in to raise alongside his biological children Catherine and Hindley and that was the only thing in their relationship that seemed a little weird to me. Otherwise I loved them as a couple and to be honest I loved them so much as a couple that I let that slide.

I like their characters. They struck me as nerds. Two people who thought a lot about things. Two people who felt a lot about things. And who came together in a world of parties and appearance and there’s nothing more romantic than two people finding someone who understands them even when others don’t. There’s nothing more romantic than that, is there? A lot of the reason people didn’t want them together was due to class and social status issues and the love they had couldn’t really be dampened. Goes to show you can stop two people being together but you can’t stop how they feel about each other. I think their mental health suffered a lot from the fact they couldn’t be together. As I watched their lives go in different ways and they both becoming quite hard to the world, I always thought it was because they couldn’t be together and that was all both of them ever really wanted.

Brontë was brave in writing this book. It is different to a lot of the books in historical romance fiction. She doesn’t really go with characters as her main characters who are the people pleasing and even though they eventually conform to what they have to do, they know it isn’t right and they question things and that’s a nice quality. Brontë wrote about people and their emotions in this novel. She allowed them to feel and didn’t use the it is what it is so stop wallowing rubbish. She let these two protagonists be human and that helps readers understand them and relate to them more. She let them express their love, their loneliness and their feelings and I love that honesty in her writing.

The setting is fantastic too and becomes a character in the story in its own right. The wilderness often seems like a metaphor for their isolation in having to make a decision they wish they didn’t have to and the pain at making that decision.

Heathcliff is a character who ends up beating his wife and keeps the younger Cathy in prison to get her to marry his son. I shouldn’t like him and somehow Brontë makes us understand him. A mixture of an unhappy childhood and society’s stupid rules make him the way he ends up. These are not excuses and I still shouldn’t like him but I have to admit the way Brontë wrote it, I did because I understood that he could have been different if things had have been different. I liked though that she showed the impact society’s rules can have on someone. It isn’t a topic that is always spoken of in novels for whatever reason and it is often the source of a lot of peoples’ problems. The same goes for Catherine’s crankiness. I understood her though usually I would just think she was awful. I must add that I am not a person who is easily swayed by such things in peoples’ past or in general but Brontë did manage to get me on side with her protagonists and I’d be lying if I denied that. Don’t get me wrong, I can see their faults but I still liked them.

Younger Cathy’s and Hareton’s relationship is beautiful too and is a kind of what could have been for Catherine and Heathcliff.

I loved it!

To get your free copy of Wuthering Heights go to:

https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/wuthering-heights.pdf

And for more about Emily Brontë and her work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4191.Emily_Bront_