I have a new story out in the world. A sweet, healing short story. I hope you will enjoy reading about Bridget. This is the start of her journey. Maybe we will find out even more about her in the future.
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‘The Real World’ is the second book in Kathleen Jowitt’s Stancester series and was a joy to read. I purposely made myself slow down when reading it as I wanted to stay part of this world, of Stancester, for a while longer. There was something familiar and soothing about being with Colette and Lydia. I loved finding out more about their lives and the decisions they were having to make. This is a book about people, about communities, and just happens to involve those of various religious persuasions.
Lydia wants to become an ordained minister, but that is problematic as the Church of England will not allow gay clergy to marry. How will Lydia and Colette navigate that particular issue? Colette is part way through her PhD, and dealing with that is about as much as she can handle. How will she deal with being the partner of a vicar, if that were ever to happen? This is a book about realisation, about finding answers to the questions we all have. Sometimes it takes time to know exactly what we really want. It’s a book to savour. The writing is exquisite, and the characters have depth and realism. I loved it and hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Lydia, Colette and their friends.
I published a story this week set in Kilbirnie, Scotland. It’s a love story between two women – at a time when loving another woman was not acceptable – and certainly not a woman of a different religion. Read about my tour of the setting for the story here:
’Speak Its Name’ by Kathleen Jowitt is ostensibly about thepolitical interactions between various Christian factions within Stancester University. Lydia Hawkins is part of the Christian Fellowship and is trying to keep the faith while dealing with a secret she does not want to get out. As she mixes more with other christians of various denominations she is exposed to views that are very different from her upbringing and the version of Christianity she is trying to preach in her role as Hall Officer. But it is about a whole lot more.
This book made me think, made me laugh and cry. It was about love and friendship and becoming the person you need to be. I adored it. I really liked Lydia and I admired her struggle with her faith and the secret she is trying to keep. The characters as a whole were very realistic – some wonderful people I would be happy to know – others were appalling prigs, full of their own self importance. It is an excellent story of self-realisation and was very well written. The descriptions were stunningly accurate – both of student life and of the people encountered there. I highly recommend this novel.
‘Fury’s Bridge’ is the first in the Afterlife Inc Series by Brey Willows and is wonderful. Selene Perkton is a philosophy professor who likes life to be safe and dependable. When Alec Graves, a fury, comes into her life nothing is ever the same. The gods work out a building in Santa Monica, California and Alec’s job is to save their very existence. What does this have to do with Selene? And what will this mean for her when she does find out?
The story is beautifully written, with such honesty and passion that it quite took my breath away. I loved Selene and I understood her. She was different and she knew it. I liked that about her and so many people will recognise themselves in her. I have always thought Dani (Death) was my favourite character in this series but Selene is vying with her for first place. She is thoughtful and intelligent and I wondered how she would manage to accept something that she could never imagine as a logical thinker. There is something sointriguing and compelling about the whole concept of this book. The imagination and knowledge of ancient myths, religions and the classics that went into telling this story is seriously impressive. Alec was strong and powerful but when confronted with Selene her life was turned upside down. The intensity of their feelings was emotionally gripping and the heat leapt off the page. There is something to be said for complete acceptance and Brey Willows managed to show how life changing that can be. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
‘The Pryamid and the Painting’ by Kayt C Peck is a fantasy encompassing our world and others hidden from us. This is the second in a series but I don’t believe it is necessary to have read the previous volume in order to enjoy this one. Kidwell is now an important spiritual figure and has been tasked with dealing with evil. She is a prophet and her importantwork takes her from home and herlover Anna. This causes problems in her personal life. The story moves from the jungles of Central America , to New Mexico and The Hague as well as places so fantastic and unfamiliar. The story went in directions I could not have foreseen and I found it fascinating. As she tries to rid the world of evil, seen and unseen, we find out things about her that were truly surprising. It is well written and I was drawn into the story. Kidwell’s emotions were strong and intense and I really felt that in the writing. I enjoyed it.
I was given this ARC by Sapphire Publishing in return for an honest review.