Wednesday, 15 August 2018

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Our selection of free novels and textbooks of today ( 15th of August, Part 2)

A secret hidden for forty years is about to come out. The man at the centre of this secret discovers from his dying adoptive mother that he has a family he knew nothing about. With nothing to go on, he is determined to find them whatever the cost. However, the more he learns, the more dangerous his quest becomes. But when he finds out the truth it is so shocking and scandalous, it may well cost him his life and the lives of his family.

On the same day that France surrenders to the Nazis, Jack Mooney--a New Yorker, barely out of high school--hitches a ride to Montreal, where he enlists as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. The last thing he says to his little brother before leaving home is, "Don't forget me, kid."

Two years later a telegram arrives: Jack, now a Spitfire pilot flying for the Royal Air Force, is missing in action somewhere in German-occupied Europe.

With only the telegram to guide him, 12-year-old Tommy Mooney arms himself to the hilt: with a sling-shot, a boomerang, a bow and arrow set, and an indomitable sense of youthful optimism. Mounting his Schwinn bicycle, he heads for the Brooklyn Harbor, setting a course for London, England, where he plans to recruit Jack's British fiancée before continuing on to Nazi-occupied Belgium.

Thus begins a journey that one reader calls, "A rattling, high concept, wartime adventure--with a wonderfully quirky and incredibly brave hero-narrator."

Soon enough, hope turns to foreboding--as it begins to look as though Tommy is being deceived by the Gestapo, used in a plot to expose a Resistance network created to help downed airmen. "Bravery," he realizes, "is like teeth plaque. It takes time to build up."

Hearkening back to the Hitchcock film, Saboteur, and the WWII era mysteries of Eric Ambler and Helen MacInnis, Telegram For Mrs. Mooney will introduce you to a truly likable, sometimes irascible, archetypal "everyman" hero. It's a edge-of-your-seat, hair-raising, nail-biter of an adventure. A novel with the power to invoke the fearless child within you.

Introducing: The Business of Inclusion



Revolution not evolution; Introducing : The Business of Inclusion presents a radical and timely challenge to business leaders and HR Professionals who are focussed on the equality and diversity agenda.
This book is not about having a conscience about difference - it’s about being conscious of difference. It’s not about assimilating and homogenizing difference - it’s about valuing difference. It’s not about making people who are different, the same as us. No, it’s about the power that an organisation can derive from deliberately nurturing and integrating heterogeneous groups of people so that we fit together.
The bottom line is that this book is about the bottom line.

About the authors

Linbert Spencer OBE has been enabling organisations and individuals to transform themselves for more than 30 years. He is vastly experienced in the development of diverse talent. His work around this agenda was formerly recognized by being named in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list in 2008.
Author, consultant, trainer and coach, he has facilitated seminars and workshops across the world. He is an innovative, inspirational facilitator with proven experience of effective board level and community interventions, and leadership team development. In 2004 he co-founded The Windsor Fellowship, a national charity that aims to prepare minority ethnic undergraduates for management roles in industry, commerce and the public sector.
Paul Anderson-Walsh has been an L&D practitioner since 1997. He has a vast amount of experience in facilitating high-level strategic change workshops. He has worked with a wide variety of organisations including: Cambridge University Press, Oxford Summer School, The Disney Corporation, The Design Council, Sir Robert McAlpine, Defra, Bank of New York Mellon, NWLH NHS Trust and Rabobank. He is highly regarded for his ability to help management teams work together.
Paul is also the founder and director of The Grace Project – a charity dedicated to working with people to help them discover their identity and resolve issues of self- worth and self-esteem. Paul has written three books on the subject. He is a well- respected commentator who is called upon by the BBC & he is a regular contributor at Premier Radio. Paul is the former CEO of The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

The Centre for Inclusive Leadership
Albert House, 256-260 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DD
+44 (0) 203 871 2740


Something about us...
  1. The Context
  2. Equality Legislation
  3. Why it Matters
  4. The 4 A’s
  5. The Inclusion Hypothesis
  6. The Performance Formula
  7. The Inclusion Framework
  8. The X Factor
  9. Endnotes


Our selection of today's free novels (15/8/18) Part 1

In Passau, Hitler Youth member Emil and his friends stumble upon a shortwave radio, and forbidden BBC broadcasts reveal the truth behind German propaganda. Now they are determined to share their discovery — even if it means risking their lives. Get it here:      ++++++  
On a humid day in June 1806, on the edge of Ohio's Great Black Swamp, seventeen-year-old Susanna Quiner watches from behind a maple tree as a band of Potawatomi Indians kidnaps her four older sisters from their cabin. With both her parents dead from Swamp Fever and all the other settlers out in their fields, Susanna makes the rash decision to pursue them herself. What follows is a young woman's quest to find her sisters, and the parallel story of her sisters' new lives.

Over the course of one summer, the lives of all five women are transformed as they contend with starvation, slavery, betrayal, and love. Fast-paced, richly detailed, this is a riveting novel that demonstrates the true wildness of the wilderness, and the rugged perseverance of those who find themselves there.


 For Megan Montaigne, library director, living in the top floor of the mansion-turned-library is a dream come true. At least it was, before the murders started.

Megan Montaigne has always secretly wanted to be a forensics investigator. The small-town library director has just begun rebuilding her life after tragedy tore it apart less than a year ago, and is happily settling into her new apartment on the top floor of the library by the river. But when a local celebrity turns up dead, the time has come to put her sleuthing fantasies into action. Has she unwittingly invited the murderer into her own home? And will she be able to prove her innocence before she becomes a victim herself?

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

A selection of novel/stories that are #FREE today (14th of August)

The first one I have read myself and it is a great novel. The rest are new to me too. Just click on the bookcover and you will be directed to Amazon and more information Today they are all free.


Anna Kronberg lives in Victorian London’s worst rookery, offering medical treatment to prostitutes, vagrants, and criminals. To her, plugging holes and mopping up blood is normal. Stitching the slashed face of a young prostitute is not. Witnesses refuse to talk. The police can’t be bothered with yet another injured whore. But whispers are spreading about a man who pays well for a few harmless knife marks. No one dares reveal the man’s identity. Only Garret O’Hare - a thief Anna barely knows - reluctantly agrees to help her investigate the assault. But when the injured girl disappears, a veil of silence descends upon the slum. And Anna learns that she is no longer the hunter, but the hunted. Warning: medical procedures, poverty, and prostitution are depicted without apology. If you enjoyed The Alienist by Caleb Carr, and dark mysteries and thrillers by David Penny, Anne Perry, Louise Penny, Jo Nesbo, Alex Grecian, Nelson DeMille, Daniel Silva, Lee Child, and Ken Follett, odds are you’ll enjoy my mystery & thriller series as well.


Elizabeth Lara built a perfect life as San Francisco’s top divorce attorney, but when she loses her great-aunt Mags, the woman who raised her, she boards a plane and leaves it all behind.

The Irish shores welcome her as she learns a shocking truth, kept secret for thirty-five years. Devastated and now alone in the world, Beth tries to find peace in a beautiful cottage by Lough Rhiannon, but peace isn’t what fate had in mind. Almost as soon as she arrives, Beth’s solitary retreat into the magic wilds of Ireland is interrupted by Connor Bannon. A man with light brown hair, ice blue eyes and a secret of his own. He’s gorgeous, grieving, and completely unexpected.

With the help of Mags’ letters, the colorful townspeople of Dingle, and Connor, Elizabeth might just find a way back to the girl she lost long ago and become the woman she always wanted to be.


#1 Bestseller in Fantasy Anthologies and Dark Fantasy Seventeen magical stories from NY Times and USA Today bestsellers and award-winning authors that will entice you to the darker side of faerie tales. More Grimm than Disney, in this collection you’ll find twists on Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Snow Queen, Cinderella, The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland, and Red Riding Hood, plus new tales paying homage to the old traditions.

A bit of Post-Apocalyps: The Ending Series

 A nice read but not much worldbuilding

Two childhood friends survive a pandemic and try to reunite.
A smooth story but not very descriptive. What is the level of intelligence of the crazies? Why not build a fortified city? Why not put out sentries?
Part of a series but luckily all on Kindle Unlimited.

3 stars out of 5

The story continues

After being reunited the group faces the Colony and finds out about the origin of
the virus while trying to escape.
Good story.

4 stars out of 5

There are more sequels but I moved to something else.

Historic novel with folklore elements "The sultan, the vampyr and the soothsayer"

The timeperiod is just before the conquests of Constantinople by the Ottomans. The main characters telling the story are Sultan Murat, heir Mehmet, a consort, a visir, Vlad Dracula, his father and some religious men.

The multiple person account makes it hard to identify with one character. And with all Greece philosophy, folk superstition and such it is a difficult read. What remains is the thought what a nasty madman Mehmet the Conqueror was. But when you look in a real history book that is all the more clear: he liked young boys. Not only the brother of Vlad the Impaler but also the son of a Byzantine Duke who he ordered to give him the child and when the father refused he murdered/ enslaved the whole family and carted the boy off to his bed anyways. However in those days young girls were treated similarly. Different times indeed.

AMAZON blurb:
" 1442: When Vlad Dracula arrives at the court of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II, his life is turned upside down. His father Dracul cannot protect him; he must battle his demons alone. And when the Sultan calls for the services of a soothsayer, even the shrewd teller of fortunes is unprepared for what he learns.

Meanwhile, the Ottoman Turks are advancing through the Balkans with Vienna in their sights and Constantinople, the Orthodox Greek capital, within their grasp. As Eastern Europe struggles against the tide of a Muslim advance it cannot counter, Western Christendom needs only one prize to overthrow its enemies."

Not a ghost story but a ghost's story: review of "A vain and indecent woman" by Colin Falconer

I have read many of the historical books of this writer. He also writes contemporary action novels but I like to read about historic events. This new novel reads as if you are reading a romance novel and I only realised in the end which important historical figures the story was about (I am not from the UK). So let me start with a short history lesson first as that will enhance your reading pleasure I think.

Have you ever seen the movie "Braveheart"? For those who did and remember: still remember that gay crown prince? That one stirred quite some commotion in medieval England as he had a couple of male favourites who used their influence to gain power. In the end the king is dethroned by his wife and young son. After a putsch the son regains power from mum and her lover and becomes a famous king and the father of 'The Black Prince' who was a powerful general during the Hundred Years War. During those times Joan of Kent was regarded as one of the most beautiful women of Europe. (end of history lesson)

The novel starts with the half-brother of the gay king mentioned above leaving his castle to go to parliament. Before he realises it he is sentenced and executed. His ghost refuses to leave to heaven and he stands guard for his beloved daughter irritated by the fact that he cannot do a thing.

The story of Joan's life is told by the ghost of her father hoovering around her. I think it is a brilliant trick to tell a story like that. It makes us all-seeing witnesses. Like I said the novel reads as smooth as a romance novel although it has believable character developments and interesting historical facts explained like jousting only a small part of tournaments, the merchant republics in Belgium in those days, royal arranged marriages that developed into loving relationships and the like. You certainly would not want to be a woman in 14th century England! Even the very wealthy girls were just ordered around.

I can certainly recommend this book. I got a copy of the manuscript from the writer so I could help with fishing typos and mistakes out but had no time to do that so I just read it after it was published.

And guess what: next book I picked up was a detective and who were witnesses of the murder there? Joan and  Eduard!

A princess falls in love with a handsome knight; the stuff of fairy tales, but not very remarkable, even in an age where love was hardly a prerequisite for marriage.
It is the princess, Joan of Kent, who is remarkable. Forbidden by the king to marry, she does it anyway, in secret. When the King discovers what she has done, he is furious. He has more pressing concerns than love and forces her to bigamy.
But still she will not give up.
Who is this young woman, who would dare defy her family, and even her king, for ten long years just to win the man she loves? Will she succeed – and what will happen if she does?
She was known in her time as ‘a vain and indecent woman.’ This is her true story, told by the one man who knew her best, - though she did not remember him at all."

ARC review of "Side effect" - a medical romance novel with a bit different set up

If you like a romantic story with a lot of bedsport and no huge twists this is the novel for you. I was given and ARC so I could read an review it.

Unlike most of the "rich tycoon"-novels here the man is not a powerful alpha male but an insecure man suffering from agoraphobia after being shot by someone. (Nevertheless he is still super handsome and wealthy). His mother asks the intern of her psychiatrist to try and treat him as he does not cooperate with that psychiatrist and has not left his apartment for six months. When mum also puts a lot of money in Kendall's account and suggests to sleep with him in case that will help, the young student starts to worry that this will be seen as grooming of a vulnerable patients and have her kicked out of university and banned to practise. All the while there is the threat of the shooter who is still on the loose.

I discovered four timeline mistakes in the novel. No big messing up ones but like for instance when Kendall meets Zander it is mentioned as the first time she meets Zander but in fact she has met him before.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

"Smuggler's bounty" - a romance with a lot of fondling that might be interesting for young people

When I was in my teens my (male) cousins and I watched a movie adaptation of "Frenchman's creek" by Daphne du Maurier about an English noblewoman who falls during the Restoration for a French pirate who is hunted all over Cornwall. I hoped this novel would be as good.

"Smuggler's bounty", I reviewed for Netgalley, is a bit similar. A young English noblewoman moves to family on the coast and encounters a dashing smuggler.

My teens are long long in the past so maybe that is why this novel does not impress me so much. There is a lot of fondling going on and a bit of smuggling but I think this book is more for teenage virgins than for middle aged lawyers.

No romance but the story of a rebellion - review of "FATE: Story of a Circassian Slave Girl" by Ahmet Ozgunes

The beginning and the ending are about a slave woman but all in the middle is about political scheming to change the Ottoman state and others try to gain influence for foreign powers. We also see the diverse and multi-religious empire of those days.

Not an easy read but interesting and a good way to understand more about Turkish nationalism today.


" Balkans 1876

Fate: Story of a Circassian Slave Girl follows the dark fate of a beautiful Circassian girl sold to the Ottoman Palace by her parents at the end of the 19th Century. The novel is based on a true story told in a village in the Turkish highlands close to the Georgian border. As the peasants danced to the mournful melodies of the accordion and drums, they would sing the story of a Circassian girl named Yellow Star. The strange mixture of joy and sorrow is what makes the story unforgettable.

Yellow Star is sold as a slave to the Ottoman Palace at a time when the Empire is facing its gradual demise. She is inadvertently caught in the power struggles within the Palace as well as without, witnessing the rivalry between Britain and Russia for control over the collapsing empire, and the struggle between the Islamic establishment and Ottoman intelligentsia for shaping the future of the Empire.

The novel draws inspiration from true events that took place in the region at the time, primarily the haunting story of the de Toledo family, which was entirely killed in Salonica during WWII, save one branch of the family that had moved to Constantinople before WWI. The reader will find out more about the Sabetai, jewish converts to islam as part of their following of the cabbalist Sabetai Zsevi; the story of the Greek banker Dimitraki Skanavis Bey and his love affair with a married Ottoman princess; the murderous and suicidal tendencies of Ottoman Sultans and their relatives. All these are true stories assembled by the author, of that fantastic and little explored time in the Balkans."