Sunday, 16 October 2016

"Josiah Stubb" - A Review - "A Remarkably Intelligent Book...."

d. arcadian has taken the time to write reviews for others of my books for which I am deeply grateful. Without exception they are thoughtful, chock-filled with insight, and are a writer's dream in that she 'gets it.'

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An amazingly complex story told in a disarmingly simple and easy to read style that keeps the reader turning from page to page. The narrator is the title character, Josiah Stubb and it is his story and is his struggle to rise above the life into which he was born and become someone that he, himself can respect. It is a remarkably brave and confident author who can tackle the subjects in this book, subjects that should never be taboo but sadly often are, with tact, sensitivity and without any hint of smuttiness or gratuitous sexual content. C. W. Lovatt has proved, yet again, that his work is up there with the best of the classics and this book deserves to be one that is still on shelves and being read in a hundred years, not just for the meticulously researched and told battle scenes, but for the extremely accurate and vivid portraits of social history and life at that place at this point in history. It is exceptionally fine, honest and tells a labyrinthine and enthralling tale in an approachable and easy to digest manner.
The siege and battle scenes are so well described that the reader actually feels to be part of the action and coupled with the photographs of the areas on the author's own website, somehow give an almost three D aspect to a war that is still causing controversy today.
The historical detail is incredibly accurate and has some very fascinating little snippets of information that bring the era and the place to life. The author has gone to considerable lengths to keep the content honest and accurate within the framework of the personnel who inhabit the pages and has also undertaken many, many hours of painstaking research and fieldtrips to ensure that each detail is absolutely accurate.

The story is told with warmth and compassion and occasionally with big hearted humour. Josiah Stubb and the people who surround him, are more than just characters in a book, they become real living human beings for whom we, the reader, develop feelings and to whom we can relate. C W Lovatt has pulled off a master stroke in creating Fat Sally as a warm and humorous woman, making a character whose actions could make the reader thoroughly dislike and despise her into one who we embrace with warmth and laughter. As always with this incredible writer’s work, every word has been measured and placed just where it belongs for maximum impact and that gives the book a very clever extra dimension. There are two, maybe three story lines going on - Josiah as a child, Josiah as a young adult male in love and Josiah at war – but the clever use of words makes the narrative – narratives!- able to be read in two different ways, as a simple story as told and as a much deeper insight into the workings of the human psyche, making it appealing to many different readers. Furthermore, whilst it is Historical Fiction, there are other genres in which it could confidently sit.
It is a remarkably intelligent book from a remarkably intelligent author.
The book should be reviewed on its merit and not on one person’s view of what is right or wrong. It should be judged with the highest of praise for its historical accuracy and literary brilliance.

As always when reading anything by this incredibly talented writer, I experienced a whole range of emotions, not just as surface feelings but as deeply as if they were happening to someone I know.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

"And Then It Rained" - Post Promotion

Well the week long promotion for "And Then It Rained" is over and I have to say that I was pleased with the results, placing #1 in Short Stories and #2 for Anthologies for most of the week in Canada, and placing well in both the US and UK, coming as close as #3 for Anthologies in the UK.
For those of you that thought to take advantage of the promotion, I hope that you enjoy my collection of stories (many of them award winning) snd if you do, tell your friends, and it would be lovely if you took the few minutes of your time to write an honest review. It seems a small enough thing to ask in return.

"And Then It Rained" - Two More Five Star Reveiews!!

It was a delight to recieve this one. Thank you Terry! Much appreciated!

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another winner from this excellent author. I was gripped from page one of the first story. Wonderful stories, beautifully crafted. I would recommend this to anyone.

Equally delightful to receive, this one is from Elaina J Davidson; a damn fine author in her own right!

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the most AMAZING collection of stories and I am utterly blown away by Mr Lovatt’s ability to tell a tale well.

From ‘Sean’s Lament’, a tale about greed, you will be hooked until ‘A Word’, a clever and insightful ending, this I guarantee you. Some are sad, such as ‘Highway Driving’ and ‘Angel’, while others are laugh out loud funny. ‘Angus Breaks Free’ caused me to snort laughter, while Mr Lovatt’s non-fiction insert about pantyhose made me laugh so hard I’m sure he heard me up there in Canada!

Thoroughly enjoyable; this collection kept me up many nights reading! I cannot recommend enough to do it the justice it deserves. Read it and I know you will agree!

Click here to purchase your own copy of "And Then It Rained."

Monday, 3 October 2016

"And Then It Rained" - Currently Free!

Just found out that my eclectic anthology of short stories, "And Then It Rained," is currently free on Amazon, but I don't know as yet for how long.

"From the best-selling author of the Charlie Smithers books.
A collection of award-winning short stories.
Rain, that natural wonder, so natural, in fact that often it comes and goes scarcely noticed. However, metaphorical or otherwise, there are times when rain brings with it great change, causing the breath-taking beauty of rainbows or the cataclysmic destruction of floods, with equal indifference. This collection - an eclectic mix of humour, drama, and fantasy - is about those uncertain times. Dark clouds are forming, so you had better be prepared for the coming storm…"

Click here to get your copy!

Friday, 23 September 2016

"Charlie Smithers: Adventures in India" - A Review - d.arcadian

A simply lovely review of "Charlie Smithers: Adventures in India."
Thank you, d.arcadian!

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did not think that it would be possible to follow Charlie Smithers first adventure with anything that was as totally all engrossing and engaging, but CW Lovatt has not only succeeded in bringing us a second book that was as enjoyable, but has actually surpassed the first book in range, scope and utter brilliance.

When authors seek to maintain stability within an established series, there is sometimes a danger that stories can become diluted, but this is not the case with the Charlie Smithers books, which, although we are only on book two of a three part series, seems to go from strength to strength. Maintaining continuity, whilst at the same time giving readers something new to discover is what makes reading Lovatt's work so appealing.

This quote is from Lovatt's exceptional book of short stories, 'And then It Rained' but I feel it is relevant to my comments here :
''But writers aren’t about straight lines; they love to amble along, twisting and turning through life’s pathways, making sure that nothing is left behind...''
Charlie Smithers is as loyal and faithful to his master and to the British Empire as ever and his sense of fair play and decency has not been diminished by the tragic death of his wife in the first book, although her shadow stretches long over his soul throughout his adventure to Bhutan.
Her loss and the pain that Charlie feels is handled with great skill and sensitivity and the reader can really feel his loss without it getting in the way of the story. The plot is a complex story of the Raj versus the local people, which in less expert hands could perhaps have been rather tedious, but here it shines with life and dark humour and real living breathing people. I can never think of the people in this author's books as characters; they are living breathing people who we know and love. Mostly love.

Smithers is a complicated man with very deep emotions that he rarely shows (he is British after all and must maintain that stiff upper lip!) and this quote, relevant perhaps to so many people, sums up his deep and thoughtful nature for me: "Once, in an ill-starred moment, I had trusted a man, and as a result had lost everything. Was it wrong ever to trust again, or should I cling to the safety of caution so much that I would sacrifice happiness to maintain it? With the question placed thus, there could only be one answer, and I saw that a part of me had known this all along."

Conversation is lively and natural:
"Then, “D’you mean to tell me,” milord began, scandalized (reflecting all of our sentiments, I’m sure), “that when he…that is to say…when he approaches his…what I mean is when he’s about to…to…”
“Achieve orgasm?” she supplied helpfully."
Now even milord fell silent. Instead he ended lamely with a half-hearted interrogative tug at an imaginary cord around his throat.
“Quite so,” madam confirmed, with what I thought was a note of relief. A relief, I might add, that was not shared by any of us, and even less so with my master.
After a great deal of effort, he managed to stammer, “But…but…” before finally coming out with it, “but what the deuce for?” To which the widow replied,
“I am told that it greatly enhances the experience during the act of…”
“Yes…quite,” my lord managed to interrupt her just in time, and attempted to cover his embarrassment by clearing his throat, over and over again, quite volubly, I thought."

I cannot praise the book highly enough and can only look forward to having the time to read 'Charlie Smithers: Adventures Downunder'.