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  ghoster   noun A person who ends a relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”   This is a year of original fiction and it’s a huge pleasure to review yet another novel that fits into this category, Jason Arnopp’s Ghoster. Funny, engaging, creepy, twisted, I could throw all … Continue readings

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  We do not converse with one another. We don’t have to do that. Our purpose is to stand on the edge and ask ourselves one question. Pretend we have some kind of choice. We are the message. The spectacle. This is the theatre of cruelty.”   There’s an exactness to Will Carver’s writing that … Continue readings

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  Shalini Boland’s latest offering, The Other Daughter, focuses on every parent’s worst nightmare, the abduction of their child. But what do you do if you come face to face with that child years later as someone else’s daughter? From the opening pages, Boland’s plot is fast-paced. We’re thrown into the action, immersed in mother … Continue readings

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  John Simmons’ Leaves is a very beautiful and considered novel. Lyrical at times, it focuses on North London’s Ophelia Street, a ‘no-through road, a huddle of houses, obscured from sight’ in 1970. Over five parts, which follow the seasons and end with the new year, we see and experience the characters who inhabit the … Continue readings

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  ‘I cannot remember when an East Indian actress has been signed in Hollywood. But Anna Kashi, after an impressive colour test, was nabbed by MGM. … She has been called “the Grace Kelly of India” because of her beauty and charm.’”   – Louella O. Parsons   Marlon Brando is one of those figures who … Continue readings

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  Keith Carter’s The Umbrella Man is an insightful and often amusing view of the global economy and financial crisis of the late noughties and the repercussions that seemingly unrelated decisions can have on our lives. Central character Peter Mount is CEO of Rareterre, a small mining company based in London. When a group of … Continue readings

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  Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women is a beautifully produced book, showcasing Sharon Blackie’s rather terrific tales. Drawing on global female folklore and mythology – from the familiar Snow Queen, immortalised by Hans Christian Andersen, to Croatia’s ‘she wolf’, with its similarities to the Celtic selkies, Slavic Baba Yaga, the creator-goddess turned … Continue readings

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  We love Tom Cox. He’s rapidly become a favourite author, his writing poignant, funny, entertaining. Like many, we first encountered him via his musings on the much missed The Bear and his other fabulous felines. His subject matter is wide-ranging, from music to witches, toads to his shouty dad. His latest book, Ring the … Continue readings

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    Icon n. – person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration.”     ‘ICON’ IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST OVER-USED WORDS in the English language. We apply it with little thought or reason. Yet there are a handful of truly iconic figures – the legend that is … Continue readings

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  Become a private investigator. One day taster course for anyone considering a career change but who doesn’t know what being a private investigator might entail. Why not find out if you have what it takes.”   As Death by Indulgence opens, AB Morgan’s protagonist, Ella, is struggling, juggling jobs that seem to be going … Continue readings

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  James Essinger’s Writing Fiction is a user-friendly guide to, well, doing what it says on the tin. In twenty-four concise chapters, the author shepherds his readers through the writing process, breaking it down into easy, bite-size chunks. Posing the initial question ‘what is fiction?’, Essinger moves on to comment on important areas of writing … Continue readings

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  Stacey Halls’ much lauded debut The Familiars is a vividly told piece of historical fiction. It takes its name from the ‘helpful demonic companions’, usually small animals, said to help witches do their magic. Based on the real-life witch hunts of early seventeenth-century Pendle, The Familiars follows plucky protagonist seventeen-year-old Fleetwood Shuttleworth, the mistress … Continue readings

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  Today, we’re delighted to welcome author and publisher Amanda Saint to The Literary Lounge. Amanda is the founder of Retreat West, a creative writing organisation and independent publisher. Her dystopian climate change novel, Remember Tomorrow, was published earlier this year.  First of all, welcome, Amanda. Thanks so much for joining us.   LS: Amanda, … Continue readings

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  On 23 June 1919, seven exceptional women gathered at 46 Dover Street in London’s Mayfair to do something that had never been done before – to create a professional organisation dedicated to campaigning for women’s rights. It was the official birth of the Women’s Engineering Society, the fruit of an idea conceived  several months … Continue readings

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  The first thing that struck me about Tot Taylor’s The Story of John Nightly is that it is BIG. Seriously big. 896 pages big. A good-looking edition, with a great typographical cover, it’s a true doorstop of a book in the vein of old classics like War and Peace, to which it’s been compared … Continue readings

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