Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Adventures of Charlie Smithers - TACS? Sure! Why not?

Please feel free to share this post with your friends. I mean you don't wake up to this every morning, posted on all three Amazon sites, too.

 Thank you Hrtls!

5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly rewarding reading experience! February 22, 2013
By Hrtls
Format:Kindle Edition
I have just finished reading TACS for the second time. The first time I read it, I became
 so caught up in the story & involved with the characters that I found myself racing
 through it to find out what happened to them; so I needed to read it again – at a
 more leisurely pace – to appreciate how well-written the book is.

CWL is a talented writer. He is a terrific storyteller, with a plot that keeps the reader
 involved from beginning to end with its suspense & many surprises along the way.
 At the same time, he has a natural narrative style that makes reading a pleasure. 
He is a very visual writer, evoking the vivid images & atmosphere of the land of the
 Maasai: for example, he describes the great flocks of birds as "vast artificial clouds", 
their song an "avian exaltation," & "somewhere in the night, a hyena cackled at 
something wildly amusing." He has a knack for appropriate similes – the kind that make
 you smile in the middle of a line: for instance, he says of a boat full of armed slavers:
 "their muskets bristling like a hedgehog," & a knack for summing up intense situations with
 a single statement: "We were alone now, a lost tribe of one man and one woman;" 
Charlie’s old worries "all seemed distant and unimportant, as though they were events 
that might have happened to someone else - some minor character in a bad play;" & 
again, after a tragic event, "I sight down the barrel. The blue steel glows dully in a sun I 
had thought gone from the sky."

He also has a gift for dialogue, which really makes his characters come alive. There is
 an episode, in which Charlie & Loiyan are caught in a torrential rainstorm in an open 
canoe, which they are forced to bail out frantically throughout the night. The conclusion 
of this episode – where Charlie comes to terms with having survived – is made hilarious 
by the skillful play of dialogue between the two characters.

I especially appreciated the recurring themes in the book: the idea of ‘Britishness’, in 
particular what it meant to a gentleman’s gentleman in the mid 19th century at the 
height of Victoria’s empire. At one point, Charlie notes: "But then, he wasn’t British, so he 
had no way of knowing what was or wasn’t done." The second recurring undercurrent 
is lasting impact of one of that empire’s wars on one of the common men who found himself 
fighting it.

TACS is a book that is difficult to classify with just one label; while it is historical fiction, 
(& like all successful historical fiction, the author gets the historical details right, as two 
of the previous reviewers have mentioned,) as well as being an adventure story, it is 
also a compelling love story; it is a social commentary as well as a social satire; it is both 
broadly humorous and deeply tragic.

Like a previous reviewer, I too would like to read more of the adventures of Charlie Smithers. 
He is thoroughly pleasant company!
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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Sale Promotion

For any of you from the UK, Wild Wolf is having a Winter Warmer Sale, with many of their Kindle titles (Charlie Smithers included [ahem!]) going for less than £1.00. Check it out:

Ed Wolf
Wild Wolf Publishing is having a Winter Warmer Sale! Many of our Kindle titles are reduced down to under £1! Grab lots of bargains and snuggle up in front of the fire with a good book...

If any of you have browsed through that list, and are wondering why Charlie is credited with having only one review (sigh!) it's because each Amazon company (.com; .uk or .ca) is a separate entity. Each review has to be entered separately with each company for it to show up at the top of the page (where it will be noticed by the casual browser). Reviews entered in .com do show up at the BOTTOM of the others' pages, but no credit is received for them (which sucks!) On the other hand, a review posted only in .ca or .uk doesn't show up anywhere else at all! What my opinion is of this state of affairs you may well guess. Reviews should belong to the book they're written for, not the company they appear on, but there you are. So if any of you who have written something for Charlie (or might be inclined to in the future) it would be nice if you would keep that in mind.

Oh, and don't forget to click on the 'Like' icon, too, please!

Once again:



and .uk:

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Another Pretty Good Review

Another pretty good review by someone going by the name of 'tuffys', on

Thank you, tuffys!

You see? It doesn't have to be ornate - just a few words are sufficient. I'd love to see more.

BTW, tuffys, the idea for a sequel does exist, but as of now is only in the planning stage. However, knowing that there is someone out there wanting to read it makes it all that more compelling. Anyone else out there with a similar view?

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good read!!! Feb 9 2013
By tuffys
Format:Kindle Edition
A good read!!! I was just wondering if there is a part 2 coming out??? There are several interesting characters and story lines..

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Charlie's in the Top 100 in 2 Categories!

This posted on just this morning

Charlie hadn't been doing terribly well in Canada, gradually sliding to a ranking somewhere around the 70,000 mark. I don't know how long this will last, but all I can say is, "Wow! What a comeback!"

I would LOVE to keep this momentum going. A kind word or two in the right place means so much.

Friday, 8 February 2013

A Great Review

This just posted yesterday in Charlie's review section on

Many, many thanks, Deb G!

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read!February 7, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Adventures of Charlie Smithers (Kindle Edition)
"In his first novel, CW Lovatt seems to have found his niche... Historical fiction is my favourite fictional genre, and accuracy with events, culture, geography, and demographics of the period are among the most important attributes good historical fiction. For example, nothing will throw me from a story like coming across a saying that would never have been uttered at that time or in that place, or cultural meme that would not - could not - have been around. I HATE that. In short, it needs to be believable - from the plot to the setting to the characters. That said, a huge kudos must go to Mr. Lovatt for writing a novel that did not, even once, throw me from the story. Rather, this book captured my attention from the first pages and then held on to it. Charlie Smithers is a man I quite simply fell for, from his sweet disposition to his unflinching courage. This book will make you laugh, make you swoon, and make you cry. Seriously. It's well worth the read."


I thought this was interesting, and is a lesson on writing blurbs - something I've never been terribly good at.

Wild Wolf has added the last line of Jodi Chapters and Chats' review to the tail end of Charlie's blurb. I think it rounds it off rather nicely

"A truly engaging read that will keep anyone’s attention from the hilarious beginning until the last word. I highly recommend this 5 star novel." ~ Chapters & Chats"

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Reviews Part Deux

Any of you who know me will know that I'm too proud to beg, so we'll just call this asking really, really hard, shall we?

I'm afraid that it's that pesky review thing again - I need them, or rather Charlie needs them. I mentioned yesterday that my first royalty had arrived. That, in and of itself, is fantastic, but there's room to improve. You have to understand, it's not about the money (and I almost mean that sincerely), it's about the recognition I think that the book deserves (and that I do mean with all sorts of sincerity coming out of my ying-yang).

 Just a few months ago I knew next to nothing about Amazon, or Kindle, or how to go about purchasing a book online, and what I continue to not know would, no doubt, fill a full set of encyclopedias. But what I do know is that your average casual browser isn't going to give the time of day to something that doesn't at least have a respectable number of "Likes" by the title, regardless of how good it is, because they have no way of knowing. That's where you come in.

Just a few words is all I ask, but please enter something...and then who knows, perhaps I'll let you live in peace :)

And just to show you how helpful I'm prepared to be, I've included the links to your Amazon of choice:




Tuesday, 5 February 2013

My First Royalty Came In!

The good news is that my very first royalty arrived! Yippee! Yahoo! Whoop! Whoop! :)

The bad news is that I can't retire, just yet. :(

More later...