Book Review: Bump Time Meridian by Doug J Cooper

Bump Time MeridianBump Time Meridian by Doug J Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was kindly given a free ARC version of “Bump Time Meridian” in exchange for an honest review.

I was so looking forward to reading this book. Last year I stumbled over Doug J Cooper on Goodreads. He invited readers and bloggers to review the first book of his “Bump Time” trilogy, and on a whim, I signed up.

That was one of my best reading decisions ever. I so loved the first book. It ended with a huge cliff hanger, and I was so curious how it would go on. When I got Doug’s email asking for reviewers of the second book “Bump Time Meridian”, I could not resist. And again I was not disappointed.

I think the first book put more emphasis on the superpower AI that acts in the background, Diesels development and the relationship between Diesel and Leilah. This second book shows more about their daughter Rose and how a mission to save Leilah can go horribly wrong. It again ends with a great cliff hanger, and I can’t wait to read the last book in the series. It left me with so many questions that I can’t wait to have answered in the last book.

Admittedly, I needed a little to get back into the story and remember who was who and what exactly was going on. The chapter which gives a summary of book one plus an extra introduction to Rose and @Ciopova the AI helped a lot. It was great to see how the Leilahs and Roses of several timelines worked together to create a solution to Leilah’s future death. Like in the first book, I felt the female characters have as much importance as the male, which kept me reading the first book.

The new “badie” character Sparky Fontaine felt a little flat. But I might have missed some parts of his backstory as I was skipping some to get to the end faster. However, the idea that someone else picks up the advanced technology was subconsciously on my mind while reading the first book. So it was great to see it incorporated in the second.

It was also interesting to see that I wasn’t so much bothered about the power of AI in our lives as I was while reading the last book. Maybe I got more used to the idea of AI taking tasks in our lives over. I have to admit that I found the concept of household AI doing tasks for me very attractive.

The question that bothered me this time was the changing of the past. Most science fiction that worked with time travel warned its characters not to change anything as it would change the future in unforeseen ways. This series, however, plays with the idea of multiple timelines that have no impact on each other. So many more possibilities are there for the author to play with.

Dough J Cooper’s writing style doesn’t work with too many technical expressions. So it was easy to understand this fiction world full of AI and self-driving or -flying vehicles. The worlds in this series are also close enough to today’s reality.

Anybody who loves science fiction in connection with time travel will love this series as it plays with a different concept of time travel. I believe it is also an excellent entry book for someone who wants to find out if he or she likes science fiction

View all my reviews

#ThrowbackThursday: Fuchsia by Mahtem Shifferaw

Fuchsia May 2020

This was first posted in August 2017:

Fuchsia by Mahtem Shiferraw

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn’t a poetry book that I can just put away after reading it. Mahtem Shifferaw’s use of language is exotic, full of colour and full of life. But life in all its glory and gory.

She explores questions of identity, of experiences of trauma and how to heal from it. These are rich poems that are sometimes not easy to access but sometimes too easy to access and their pain is written on my heart.

It was hard for me at first to get into her use of language and I had to look up several places she refers too as well as several words she used I have never heard of. However, that made the reading experience for me even better. I could learn something!

These poems made my mind work like a thunderstorm to make sense of them but now after a couple of days of reading them, I think it would be better to just experience them and not ask too many questions. Just to enjoy the images conjured, the flow of the language and the feelings her words create in you.

I most certainly will come back to them time and time again.

If you are interested in poetry and like to read authors from other continents than Europe and America than this book is for you.

View all my reviews


I read this book as part of my Goodreads reading group #supporttranslatedfiction. If you are interested in reading translated fiction then please come along and have a look. We read a book a month and there is a great variety of genres, countries and languages that we explore. This month’s (August 2017) book is “The Rabbit Back Literature Society” by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen. I am looking forward to seeing you at #supporttranslatedfiction!

Mir ist nicht bekannt, ob es eine deutsche Uebersetzung fuer dieses Buch gibt.


FuchsiaFuchsia by Mahtem Shiferraw

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dies ist kein Buch, das ich einfach weglegen kann, nachdem ich es gelesen habe. Die Art und Weise, wie Mahtem Shifferaw Sprache nutzt, ist exotisch, voller Farbe und voller Leben. Aber Leben in all seiner Schoenheit und Grausamkeit.

Sie erforscht Fragen nach Identitaet, Erfahrungen von Traumata und wie man davon heilen kann. Dies sind reiche Gedichte, zu denen der Zugang manchmal nicht einfach aber ein anderes Mal zu einfach ist und deren Schmerz mir aufs Herz geschrieben ist.

Zu Beginn war es fuer mich schwer, ihre Nutzung von Sprache, zu verstehen und ich musste mehrere Male Orte nachlesen, die sie erwaehnt aber auch Worte, die sie nutzt und die ich nicht kannte. Das machte die Leseerfahrung fuer mich aber besser. Ich konnte etwas lernen!

Diese Gedichte haben mein Gehirn zum Arbeiten gebracht wie ein Gewitter, um Sinn in ihnen zu erkennen aber nach ein paar Tagen nachdem ich sie gelesen habe, denke ich, es waere besser, sie nur zu erfahren und nicht zuviel zu fragen. Einfach nur die Bilder, die hervorgerufen werden, den Fluss der Sprache und die Gefuehle, die ihre Worte in Dir hervorrufen, wirken zu lassen.

Ich werde zu diesem Buch sicherlich immer wieder zurueckkehren.

Wenn Du in anderssprachiger Lyrik interessiert bist und an Autoren, die nicht nur von Europa und Amerika stammen, dann ist dieses Buch richtig fuer Dich.

(Dieser Link ist in englischer Sprache) View all my reviews  


Es ist in englisch sprachigen Laendern nicht so hoch angesehen, uebersetzte Literatur zu lesen. Deshalb habe ich ein Lesegruppe gegruendet, die speziell Buecher liest, die von anderen Sprachen uebersetzt wurden. Das ist in deutschsprachigen Laendern nicht so notwendig, da Uebersetzungen besser angesehen sind als hier.

Ich habe diese Buch als Teil meiner Goodreads Lesegruppe  #supporttranslatedfiction  (englisch sprachig) gelesen. Falls Du an uebersetzter Literatur interessiert bist, dann schau mal vorbei. Wir lesen jeden Monat ein uebersetztes Buch und es gibt eine grosse Auswahl an Genres, Laendern und Sprachen, die wir entdecken. Diesen Monat (August 2017) lesen wir  “The Rabbit Back Literature Society” von Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (Ich konnte bisher keine deutsche Uebersetzung finden). Ich wuerde mich freuen, Dich bei  #supporttranslatedfiction zu sehen!

What makes me read a book?/ Was bringt mich dazu, ein Buch zu lesen

Hello out there, how are you feeling? My thoughts and prayers are out there with you no matter what you are facing today.

My thoughts and prayers are also going out to all of you who have lost someone may it be to COVID-19 or any other reason. This candle is for you!

gif source: Giphy – two big yellow lit candles flickering

My thoughts and prayers also go out to all keyworkers who often have to risk their life to keep us going. These are not only doctors, nurses and carers but also bus drivers, cleaners, shop workers, police men and women, bin men and women and many more. Here is my virtual clap for you.

gif source: Giphy – At first the animation of a clapping sheep appears which changes into a high rise full of windows with clapping sheep

Eight years ago I had a time when I read a lot. So I pondered in a post why a book captures me. Since the beginning of this year I am back into my old “reading a lot” phase so I thought it would be interesting to look back:

There is a German translation too after the image.

This entry was first posted in January 2012:

(Attention some links in this entry are in German)

I am not quite sure why I wonder about this question more and more.

Maybe it is because I do read more than ever and I am thinking more and more about how to write a good story or novel. Maybe it is because of the fuzz happening about that German blogger being threatened to be sued by an author who’s books she did not like and I thought “well I do not like to read his books”.

Today I read a blog post by Susan Kiernan-Lewis an author and blogger who followed the question if extensive social media activity really boosts your book. Well, I have not written or promoted a book so I can only answer this question from a readers point of view:

I always had problems with books that had a lot of media attention no matter if social or traditional. It might be a prejudice of mine but I always feel that if a book needs so much attention it can not be a good one. Which made me nearly miss J.K. Rowling‘s “Harry Potter-Series“. Even though I have to say, I did not think her first was that great. If I would have read it first, I would not have gone on. But she grew in her writing with every book and she definitely is a good story teller.

I started with number 4 “The Goblet of Fire” as it was the only English written book in the library I attended in those days. As a consequence I got curious about how the whole thing started and definitely how Harry Potter grew into the whole wizard thing (You might have noticed by my book reviews and through Goodreads that I am a bit of a fantasy-fan 😉 ) To make a long story short I distrust enormous media attention and only read these books if someone recommends them to me or by accident like Harry Potter.

Recommendations are probably the biggest reason why I read a book. If someone I like and trust finds something good, it is worth having a look. I can still stop reading if I do not like it. That is why I love Goodreads a great deal. Even though I do not know a lot of the people I interact with in real life, I know most of them read the same kind of books I like and therefore will have some good ideas.

I also started reading some books lately because I got to know the authors via Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads like Derek Haines or Oliver Wellmann for example. So that is definitely a point for the social networks. Actually, if I think about it social networks, in general, would account for about 50% of the books I am reading. But I would rather count it as a mixture of personal recommendation and social networks and not especially social media.

Then there are all those very tempting bookshelves in the libraries I attend which are created to make me read a book. I have a look if I know the author but I guess the cover also has its “hands” in my choice. If I like the cover I am more likely to read it even though you should not judge the book…… but you know that :-). And last but not least my reading group which makes me read books I would never have thought of and I got interested in at least one new author.

So I read my books mainly because of personal recommendation, social networks, libraries, reading groups and a bit by accident. I do not know if that helps any writer to sell his or her books but it definitely answered my own question about “why I read a book” :-).

This is the German part of the old enry:

Dieser Beitrag wurde zum erstenmal im January 2012 veroeffentlicht:

(Achtung einige der Links in diesem Beitrag sind in englischer Sprache)

Ich weiss nicht genau, warum ich angefangen habe, mich zu fragen, warum ich eigentlich die Buecher lese, die ich lese.

Vielleicht liegt das einfach daran, dass ich mehr denn je lese und auch mehr denn je darueber nachdenke, wie man wohl eine gute Geschichte schreibt. Vielleicht hat es etwas damit zu tun, dass der Autor, der die Bloggerin, die sein Buch nicht mag, verklagen wollte und ich mir dachte “Von dem Mann will ich kein Buch lesen”.

Heute habe ich einen Blog Eintrag von  Susan Kiernan-Lewis einer Autorin und Bloggerin gelesen, die sich gefragt hat, ob intensives Werben fuer Buecher auf sozialen Medien wirklich ein Buch besser verkaufen. Tja, ich habe noch kein Buch geschrieben oder veroeffentlicht und kann diese Frage deshalb nur aus der Sicht einer Leserin beantworten.

Ich hatte schon immer Probleme mit Buechern, die grosses Medieninteresse (egal ob sozial oder traditionel) geniesen. Das mag eines meiner Vorurteile sein, aber ich denke immer, dass ein Buch, das so viel Aufsehen braucht, kein gutes sein kann. Deshalb habe ich fast   J.K. Rowling‘s “Harry Potter-Serie” verpasst. Obwohl ich denke, dass ihr erster Band nicht der allerbeste ist. Haette ich ihn zuerst gelesen, haette ich mir den Rest erspart. Aber sie ist mit jedem Band  in ihrem Schreiben gewachsen und definitiv eine gute Geschichten Erzaehlerin.

Ich habe mit Nummer 4 “Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch” begonnen einfach nur, weil es das einzige interessante englisch sprachige Buch in der Buecherei war, die ich damals besuchte. Ich wurde dadurch neugierig, wie die ganze Geschichte begonnen hat und wie Harry Potter in das ganze Zaubererding hinein gewachsen war (Ihr habt vielleicht schon durch meine Buchbesprechungen und durch Goodreads entdeckt, dass Fantasy ein bischen mag 😉 ) Lange Rede kurzer Sinn: Ich misstraue grossem Medienrummel und lese solche Buecher nur, wenn sie mir von jemandem empfohlen wurden oder durch Zufall wie bei Harry Potter.

Empfehlungen sind wahrscheinlich der groesste Grund, warum ich ein Buch lese. Wenn jemand, den ich kenne und dem ich traue, ein Buch gut findet, dann ist es es wert, da mal hineinzuschauen. Ich kann ja aufhoeren, wenn es mir nicht gefaellt. Das ist einer der Gruende, warum ich Goodreads so mag. Obwohl ich die Menschen, mit denen ich dort kommuniziere zu meist nicht persoenlich kenne, lesen sie oft die gleichen Buecher wie ich und so weiss ich, dass sie ein paar gute Ideen haben werden.

Ich habe auch angefangen einige Buecher zu lesen, weil ich die Autoren von  Twitter, Facebook und Goodreads kenne wie Derek Haines zum Beispiel.  Das ist definitiv ein Punkt fuer die sozialen Netzwerke. Wenn ich genauer darueber nachdenke, so sind die sozialen Netzwerke generell wahrscheinlich fuer ungefaehr 50% der Buecher, die ich lese, verantwortlich. Aber ich wuerde das eher eine Mischung aus persoenlicher Empfehlung und sozialer Netzwerke sehen und nicht speziell soziale Netzwerke.

Und dann sind da natuerlich all die verlockenden Buecherregale in den Buechereien, die ich besuche, die nur dazu da sind, um mich zum Lesen eines Buches zu bringen. Ich schaue, ob ich den Autoren kenne aber ich denke, dass das Buchcover auch dazu beitraegt, ob ich es lese oder nicht. Wenn ich das Cover mag ist es eher der Fall, dass ich das Buch lese owohl man natuerlich das Buch nicht nur von Aussen beurteilen….. aber das wisst Ihr ja :-). Und zu guter Letzt natuerlich meine Buchgruppe, die mich zu Buechern gebracht hat, die zu lesen mir nie im Traum eingefallen waeren. Und so bin ich zumindest auf einen neuen Autoren aufmerksam geworden.

Ich lese also meine Bucher durch persoenliche Empfehlung, sozialer Netzwerke, Buchereien, Buchgruppen und ein bischen durch Zufall. Keine Ahnung, ob das einem Autoren hilft, seine Buecher zu verkaufen aber es hat auf alle Faelle meine Frage, warum ich ein Buch lese beantwortet. :-).

Interesting to see what went through my mind eight years ago. But what makes you read a book?

And just to end this post with something different than usual here is a video how Bill Gates reads:

video credit: Quarz via YouTube

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

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Blast from the Past Book Review: The Colonel ~ Mahmoud Dowlatabadi/ Der Colonel ~ Mahmud Doulatabadi

March 2020

So, it looks like I am going to have lots of time for reading in the near future. My doctor told me yesterday that I am going to have an operation soon to beat cancer in my breast. There will also further treatment but the operation will lead to which treatment would be the best.

Yesterday, I just let everything sink in. It is wonderful how the hospital is going about this diagnosis. Three times I have already met up with the breast care nurses who are able to explain any questions we have. I got a folder full of information not only about the medical situation but also any financial hardship and how to keep my well being up. All this helps a lot.

But it’s still a lot to take in and it is harder to be mindful and not to succumb to worry and fear. But I am determined not to let the drama take over my life. Been there done that. So I breathe, meditate, drink a cuppa and concentrate on keeping my life up as normal as I can. I work with music, mindfulness and at least 9 hugs a day from the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world 🙂 .

Well, that is the update from my side but now over to a great novel I read in 2012 and I can only suggest to you to check it out.

This review was first posted in April 2012:

The Colonel

The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

Awwww am excited to read this book suggested for this month’s read at the International Fiction Reading Group in Norwich. When I read the back of the book it’s atmosphere reminded me of Isabelle Allende’s “House of Spirits” even though it is not magical realism. I’ll keep you updated what I think about it.

Today we will discuss it and I am glad I read it even though it was really hard work. Will go into more detail later on when I know if I am allowed to publish the review somewhere else as well because we were asked to write reviews by the publisher I think. But one I can say it is similar as well as nothing like the “House of Spirits”.

At last, I finished the review:

The colonel gets called in the middle of the night to attend to the funeral of his youngest tortured daughter. While going to the police station to get the body, preparing the funeral and getting home again he remembers the history of Iran from the Second World War up the revolution in 1979 as well as how his family is and was involved.

This seems to be the content of Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s novel “The Colonel” recommended by PEN, published by Haus Publishing in July 2011 and translated by Tom Patterdale. But when you start reading you get sucked into a nightmare of traumatised characters who try to make sense of decades of Iran’s governments which use violence and terror as means ruling.

This “making sense” is mirrored in the reading experience as the book works with changing point of views between the colonel, his oldest son Amir who has been tortured by the secret service of the shah regime and a third person narrator. The reader also has to make sense of characters turning up from the colonel’s and Iran’s past (his wife, The Colonel, a foreign ambassador….) and it is not clear if they are ghosts or “just” in the colonels mind.
Both the colonel’s and his son’s memories are intertwined with what happens in the present and the reader is challenged not only to make sense of another culture but also of the storyline.

Many have mentioned how accurate Mahmoud Dowlatabadi describes Iran’s history from the Second World War up to the revolution in 1979 even though the author himself rather wants the novel to be judged by its literary importance. He wants it to be published in Iran but this historic accuracy seems to make it dangerous to the actual government and therefore it is still hold back by the Iranian authorities.

For me this book is a brilliant description of the psychological reactions of citizens living in a society which is ripped apart by revolution. It uses the literary means of different points of view as well as the mixture of past and present to show how your psyche gets confused when there is hidden trauma and violence that you are helplessly confronted with.

“The Colonel” has many levels (a historic level, a personal level…) that need exploring which makes it a challenging reading experience but it is worth facing it.


Ahhhhh ich kanns gar nicht erwarten dieses Buch zu lesen, das fuer diesen Monat bei der International Fiction Reading Group in Norwich vorgeschlagen wurde. Als ich die Beschreibung auf dem Buchdeckel las, fand ich, dass es eine aehnliche Atmosphaere hat wie Isabelle Allende’s “Geisterhaus” obwohl es nicht zum Magischen Realismus gehoert. Ich werde Euch auf dem Laufenden halten, was ich darueber denke.

Heute werden wir das Buch diskutieren und ich bin froh, dass ich es gelesen habe obwohl es wirklich schwer war. Ich werde mehr dazu schreiben, wenn ich weiss, ob ich meine Besprechung auch woanders veroeffentlichen darf, da wir gefragt wurden, welche fuer den Verlag zu schreiben. Ich glaube es war der Verlag. Eines nur: Es war irgendwie wie “Das Geisterhaus” und irgendwie auch gar nicht.
19/04/12 (Diese Besprechung beruht auf der englischen Version, da ich die deutsche noch nicht gelesen habe)
Der colonel wird mitten in der Nacht aus dem Haus gerufen, um sich um das Begraebnis seiner gefolterten juengsten Tochter zu kuemmern. Waehrend er zur Polizeistation geht, den Leichnahm holt, das Begraebnis vorbereitet und wieder nach Hause geht, erinnert er sich an Iran’s Vergangenheit vom 2. Weltkrieg bis zur Revolution 1979 und wie seine Familie dabei involviert war.

Das scheint der Inhalt von Mahmud Doulatabadi’s Roman “Der Colonel” vom PEN empfohlen, beim Unionsverlag Zuerich herausgegeben und von Bahman Nirumand uebersetzt, zu sein. Doch wenn man das Buch zu lesen beginnt, wird man in einen Alptraum traumatisierter Charaktere hineingezogen, die versuchen, mit Jahrzehnten von gewaltaetiger Herrschaft von Iran’s Regierungen klar zu kommen.

Dieses “klarkommen” wird in der Leseerfahrung wieder gespiegelt, da die Erzaehlperspektive zwischen dem Colonel, seinem Sohn Amir, der von der Geheimpolizei des Shah Regimes gefoltert wurde, und einem Erzaehler wechselt. Der Leser muss sich auch mit Charakteren auseinandersetzen, die aus der Vergangenheit des Colonels und Iran’s auftauchen (seine Frau, der alte Colonel, einem auslaendischen Botschafter…)und es ist dabei nicht klar, ob sie Geister sind oder “nur” in der Fantasie des Colonels existieren. Die Erinnerungen des Colonels sind mit denen seines Sohnes und der Gegenwart des Romans verflochten, was den Leser herausfordert, nicht nur eine andere Kultur sondern auch die Handlung zu verstehen.

Viele haben darauf hingewiesen, wie genau Mahmud Doulatabadi die Geschichte Iran’s vom 2. Weltkrieg bis zur Revolution 1979 beschreibt aber der Autor selber moechte den Roman mehr von der literarischen Seite begutachtet haben. Er mochte den Roman im Iran veroeffentlichen und diese geschichtliche Genauigkeit scheint der dortigen Regierung gefaehrlich zu sein und so ist eine Veroeffentlichung im Iran noch nicht erlaubt.

Fuer mich zeigt dieses Buch eine grossartige Beschreibung der psychologischen Reaktionen von Buergern, die in einer Gesellschaft leben, die von Revolution zerstoert wurde. Es benutzt die literarischen Stilmittel unterschiedlicher Erzaehlperspektiven sowie das Wechseln von Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, um zu zeigen, wie die Psyche von Menschen verwirrt wird, wenn sie hilflos mit verstecktem Trauma und Gewalt konfrontiert wird.

Dieses Buch handelt auf vielen Ebenen (eine historische, eine persoenliche…), die es zu entdecken gilt, was das Buch eine herausforderne Leseerfahrung macht, die es aber wert ist.

View all my reviews

Blast from the Past: Book review: February the Fifth/ Buchbesprechung: February the Fifth

September 2017

A book I thoroughly enjoyed in March 2012:

February The FifthFebruary The Fifth by Derek Haines

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rarely laughed so much:

When February Gregorian the Fifth wakes up one morning just find out that his father August and two elder brothers March and October have vanished and he is next in line to become The Supreme Potentate of the twelve sun systems of Gloth he is not impressed. So far he had a life without pressures or interesting tasks and there is really nothing he wants to change.

His sisters April, May and June are worried what will become of him and so they should as of course there is an unbelievable conspiracy on the way to change Gloth forever. But you should never underestimate the powers of the Dodecahedron which gives every new Potentate the means to protect the rule of the Gregorians over Gloth. Thank goodness for Gregory the Thirteenth Pope of Rome on Earth in the sixteenth century and later Supreme Potentate of the twelve sun systems of Gloth who had a lot of foresight about conspiracies.

A fantasy story full of funny turns and twists, unlikely heroes and life lessons well learned. I highly recommend reading it.

Habe selten so gelacht:

Als February Gregorian der Fuenfte eines Morgens aufwacht und heraus findet, dass sein Vater August und seine beiden aelteren Brueder March und October verschwunden sind und er der naechste Supreme Potentate der zwoelf Sonnensysteme von Gloth werden soll ist er nicht wirklich beeindruckt. Bisher hatte er ein Leben ohne grosse Zwaenge oder interessante Aufgaben und daran will er wirklich nichts aendern.

Seine Schwestern April, May und June machen sich Sorgen was aus ihm werden wird und das sollten sie auch denn natuerlich gibt es da eine unglaubliche Verschoerung die Gloth fuer immer veraendern wird. Aber man sollte nie die Macht des Dodecahedron unterschaetzen, das jedem Supreme Potentate die Mittel zum Schutz der Gregorianischen Herrschaft ueber Gloth gibt. Dem Universum sei Dank fuer Gregor dem 13. Papst in Rom im 16. Jahrhundert und spaeter Supreme Potentate der zwoelf Sonnensysteme auf Goth, der eine Menge ueber Verschwoerungen geahnt hat.

Eine Fantasy Geschichte voller lustiger Wendungen, unwahrscheinlichen Helden und Lebens Lektionen, die wirklich gelernt wurden. Ich rate jedem es zu lesen.

View all my reviews

#ThrowbackThursday: Book Review: Love Least Expected

December 2019
Unfortunately, this book isn’t available anymore. However, please check out the authors at your favourite book shop. They are all brilliant.

May 2015

Publisher: Valerie Twombly

Publishing date: 3. February 2015

Editions: Kindle E-book

Genre: Romance

Bee’s 5 of 6


About the story: 

Well, about the stories in this case. This is a teaser book that shows nine more or less romantic stories from 9 authors who’s books will be published in the next few months or have already been published. What a brilliant idea! However it is so much more ~ but about that later.

This is a short overview over the stories:

1. Under the Mango Tree

A young Indian girl meets an English Man. Will they be happy?

2. Rolf’s Quest

Merlin has a descendant. And he has to lift the enchantment of him being trapped in the tree through finding true love.

3. Fall into Darkness

A nearly condemned Angel meets a girl who can see people’s death in their eyes. Where will this meeting lead?

4. Roses are wrong, Violets Taboo

Will Greenhouse owner Alexander get over his grandfather’s death and find love with Rose?

5. Alphabetical Disorder

Susie thinks she needs to abandon the one she loves because of a Romani prophecy that asks her to date in alphabetical order.

6. Love’s not viral

Hollywood actors can be strange. We all know that. But what happens when they take a picture of you and pretend to date you?

7. Taking the Plunge

Eve dropped ten dress sizes since high school and after leaving her boyfriend meets her old crush. Where can that lead?

8. The Trouble with Never

Summer leaves her violent husband and meets her high school sweetheart again. That can only spell trouble?

9. Keep Calm and Eat Chocolate

When an heiress of a chocolate empire is institutionalised it won’t be easy to help her. Will Chris?


About the Author: 

I try to be as short as possible as of course there are nine authors. Still it is good to know even a little about them. For more go to their pages or buy the book which gives overviews to each story about their author.

Meredith Bond

Meredith is published both traditionally and indie and known for characters that you cannot easily forget. Besides writing her heart belongs to her family and teaching others to write. You can find out more about her on her webpage.

Aubrey Wynne

Aubrey’s passions are children and animals and she is an elementary school teacher by trade. She writes humorous short stories besides novels and you can find out more about her here.

Valerie Twombly

Valerie has always had a thing for creatures with fangs and was excited when she discovered paranormal romance. That is the genre she writes in now and creates strong and seductive characters. Find out more about her and her books on her author’s page.

Kris Calvert

Cupcake baking Kris has a passion for post-it notes, pearls and alliterations. The former copywriter needed a little pushing to start writing romance novels. You can find out how good she is at it on her page.

Katie Stephens

Since being retired Katie opened a box of partially finished stories, plays and musicals just to have her husband ask her when she really will retire. Hopefully not very soon because her stories are great. Find out more here.

Nessie Strange

Nessie a mother of two likes a good story and has tried everything from abstract painting to journalism. Now she is into writing and you can find our more on her page.

Kishan Paul

In the book it says: “with the help of supportive family and friends, she balances her family, her thriving counselling practice, and writing without sinking into insanity. Find out more on her author page

Isabella Harper

Stay at home writer Isabella has always been creating stories and is now fulfilling her life with her husband and children. Besides obtaining fitness certifications or being in the countryside. Find out more here

Michaela Miles

A few months ago Michaela was so kind to take part in “The Bee Talks With…” even though she is a busy lady: husband, three children, boss at her web design company and doing a BA of English Literature. Find out more about her books and herself here


Honey Bees in the book:

Now this book is full of very different stories. From the Indian girl who meets an English man to a woman fleeing her violent husband you can find trouble, romance, ingenuity and passion. They are teasers for their authors books but they are also fully fletched short stories which give you total reading pleasure all through the book. If I would have to chose a favourite I could not as they are so different. They kept me hooked even though I had trouble reading “The Trouble With Never” but that has simply to do with my own experiences of violence in a relationships and nothing with the quality of the story.

A great book and I will come back to read the stories time and time again.

Stinging Bees in the book

Only stinging bee I can find is: I want more and as soon as I can I will

And the mead of it all?

If you love short stories and romance then this is a great gift for you. Brilliantly written stories full of suspense and characters that speak to your heart no matter from which experience you come from. So entertaining!

book cover Love Least Expected

“The Fat Years” by Chan Koonchung/ “Die fetten Jahre” von Chan Koonchung

This entry was first posted in December 2011. However, as it is or was a banned book I make it part of the 2017 banned book week:

The Fat YearsThe Fat Years by Chan Koonchung

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Old Chen one of the main characters in the story is meeting some old friends one by one. He is happy with the state of China in a fictional 2013 after a world financial crises has left the United States less powerful. Apparently China has reached a “Golden Age of Ascendancy” and everyone is very very happy. Besides a few who are not. Interestingly many of these can remember that that “Age of Ascendancy” did not start exactly when the rest of the world fell apart. There were 28 days in between but no one seems to be able to remember them. Well Old Chen’s friends do remember and want to know! So they kidnap a high Chinese official and make him talk but what will they find out?

This story is written from the different viewpoints of the characters and strangely many of them have met before in more or less strange incidences. They are all very interesting characters and you certainly learn a lot about China. But the story drags a bit on until they get to kidnap that official. The reality of that story often does not feel so fictional and I have actually started wondering if there is more truth to it than it wants to reveal. There must be a reason why it is banned in China! Well the best is to read the book and have a look for yourself!

View all my reviews


Dieser Beitrag wurde zum erstenmal im Dezember 2011 veroeffentlicht aber da das Buch verboten ist/war veroeffentliche ich ihn nochmals fuer die “Woche der Verbotenen Buecher”:

Master Chen einer der Hauptcharaktere in dieser Geschichte trift mehrer alte Freunde nacheinander. Er is glucklich mit der Situation in China im fiktionalen Jahr 2013 nachdem eine Weltwirtschaftskrise die USA machtloser gelassen hat. Offensichtlich hat China ein “Goldenes Zeitalter des Aufstieges” erreicht und jeder dort ist sehr sehr gluecklich. Ausser den paar wenigen, die es nicht sind. Komischerweise koennen diese wenigen sich daran erinnern, dass das “Zeitalter des Aufstieges” nicht zur exakt gleichen Zeit begonnen hat wie der Abstieg des Rests der Welt. Da waren 28 Tage dazwischen aber niemand scheint sich daran zu erinnern. Aber die Freunde von Master Chen koennen sich daran erinnern und wollen wissen, was passiert ist. Und so kidnappen sie einen hohen Chinesischen Beamten und bringen ihn zum reden. Aber was werden sie herausfinden?

Diese Geschichte zeigt sich in den verschiedenen Standpunkten der Hauptpersonen, deren Wege sich komischerweise schon vorher in mehr oder weniger komischen Begebenheiten gekreuzt haben. Sie sind alle interessante Personen und man lernt in diesem Roman sicherlich viel ueber China. Aber die Geschichte zieht sich ein bischen lange hin bis sie den Beamten kidnappen. Die Realitaet in diesem Roman fuehlt sich nicht so fiktional an und ich habe begonnen, mich zu wundern, ob da nicht mehr Wahrheit enthalten ist, als der Roman wirklich enthuellen will. Es muss ja einen Grund geben, warum er in China verboten ist. Aber es ist wohl das Beste fuer Euch, den Roman zu lesen und Euch Euer eigenes Bild zu machen.

Blast from the Past: Teaser Tuesday ~ A Year Of Taking Chances

Book Cover of L Diamond's The Year of Taking Chances

photo source: Goodreads

October 2019:

I cannot believe that it is 4 years ago I read this book!!!!

May 2015:

I used to despise chick lit books. “Not up to my standard,” I thought before I stumbled over Anna Adams and Scarlett Thomas and I enjoyed reading them so much that I grab one every now and then. My preferred genres are still poetry, sci-fi and fantasy but to be a versatile reader I need to branch out every now and then :-).

One of them I grabbed last week from the library and the only reason was the title: “The Year of Taking Chances” just sounded to exciting that I had to take it with me. Three women meet at a new years party and decide that this year will be the year of taking chances. And it looks they have to…

It is written by Lucy Diamond who also writes children’s book which you can find under the name Sue Mongredien. Lucy Diamond is her pen name. I haven’t read much of the book yet so I won’t say more and just jump into the teaser:

After a gloomy few months in Larkmead, it had been energizing to flex her creative muscles again; she’d forgotten how much she enjoyed design work.

Page 151 of “A Year Of Taking Chances” by Lucy Diamond and published by Pan Books in 2015


“Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!”

Teaser Tuesday ~ The Chakra Series

This post was first published in April 2015. As far as I can see the Teaser Tuesday meme does not exist anymore:

Blue Bookcover with  Throat Chakra Sign and black writing saying: "Chakra Series Book 5 Throat Chakra"

Today I want to introduce you to a book series which I stumbled upon by accident. It is actually two and I have books of both of them. It is called “The Chakra Series” by Viv Rosser a very interesting author whom you can hardly find anything about on the internet.

The only source of information I could find was her author bio on Amazon and it sounds like a special person. She always wanted to write but decided to become a teacher after school. It did not hold her long and an experience with a child who had trouble in school made her change to a charity for children. She went back to teach later on but also got several degree’s for example in Art Therapy and Psychology. She also travelled the world with her youngest son and her husband.

She really seems to be the “River of Consciousness” which is her Sanskrit name given to her in Osho Leela.

Both book series are introductions to the Chakra’s, what they mean and what impact they might have. Wonderfully illustrated it offers you mantras and mandalas to work with. These books are not big and not an in-depth introduction but if you are a beginner and want to know more they are a beautiful introduction.

Here is my quote:

“Our perceptual skill, our awareness of subtle changes and responses in our environment and the people we meet are focused in the throat chakra, through hearing. We are constantly receiving lots of simultaneous information and rarely get time to process noises, speech and what people are saying to us.”

location 41, 80% of Viv Rossers and John Gibbons “Chakra Series Book 5 – Throat Chakra


“Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!”

Book Review ~ “Spilt Milk: A Collection of Stories” by D.K. Cassidy

September 2019

Some posts just need repeating 😉

*December 2017

I just found one of my all-time favourite book reviews and book again and want share it with my readers. If you need a great short story book for the book lover in your life then please give this a try.

November 2015

book cover courtesy of
D.K. Cassidy

Publisher: Pluvio Press
Publishing date: July 2014
Genre: short story
Formats: e-book, paperback
Source: own copy

Bees: 5 out of 6

About the Stories:

Meet George, Caleb, Lady Jewell & a few other troubled mothers, Naiad, Jared, Joy & Pria. Men and women like you and me but not quite. Their lives just suck that little bit more than ours. And they know it. Do they despair? Maybe a little but they also make something out of their misery. It is just not exactly lady- or gentlemen like.

About the Author:

D.K’s author page says about her: “D.K. Cassidy has been scribbling stories since she was a child and loves to write in various genres including Magical Realism, Science Fiction, Urban Gothic, and Literary Fiction. She has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Washington.

D.K. Cassidy lives in the Pacific Northwest with her greatest fans: her husband Mark, twin sons Aidan and Jared, and three cats. When not writing, she loves to travel, run, knit, use the Oxford comma, and of course, read!” (source: D.K. Cassidy Author Page)

Honey bees in the book:

This book is full of everyday characters who decided to live their darker side. You don’t really want to meet them but you just cannot stop reading about them.

Reading these stories is a little like staring at the exhibits of the old Victorian Curiosity Show: It disgusts you but you just cannot look away (or stop reading 🙂 ) However, there is more: These characters are tragic and you cannot help yourself but to pity them and wonder how they could have been helped.

What really made me love the book is the fact that you follow the lives of two of the characters more closely. You meet George and Jared as children and then find yourself in their presence again as young adults. They even meet each other and get pretty creative. And that is a great idea. I think I might have to steal that one from D.K….. ;-).

The situations those two and the other characters find themselves in are curious, hilarious and sometimes downright mad. And it is such fun to read about them.

The stories are illustrated by Mika Sugano who is a writer herself. Her illustrations give the stories that little bit extra with its superb simplicity. She works at Inkception Books but I could not find out more about her which is a shame as I believe she is very talented.

Well, and last but not least. D.K.’s first story is about “Bee’s Knees” and how can I resist those????? 😉

Stinging bees in the book:

There are not many. This book explores the darker side of human life and that is not what every reader likes. I enjoyed them greatly as they are written in an easy to read style and I wished there were more of them.

And the mead of it all: 

Do not miss this book if you like well-written short stories of the darker type.

Spilt Milk at Wordery

Want more of D.K. Cassidy?

Author page:
Goodreads author page: D.K. Cassidy



* this post contains affiliate links with Wordery