Category: SOCIAL COMMENTATOR

Memories of the 1960s: Issue VI – Shopping

My 1960s Memories has proved popular, so here is another: Shopping.

There is a permanent page for Memories of the 1960s here.

Shopping was confusing in the 1960s, even if you only had pocket money of one shilling to spend, as I did.

Threepenny Bit
Threepenny Bit

The old system of currency could be traced back to the Roman Empire and was based on the penny, symbolised by the letter ‘d’ for denari. Under this system, there were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings, or 240 pence, in a pound. Needless to say, for a kid whose mathematical skills were still developing, I needed one of my parents with me to shop for anything at all!

Continue reading “Memories of the 1960s: Issue VI – Shopping”

Ficção científica e thriller militar em português

Duas novas edições para meus fãs brasileiros e portugueses!

O Sol Brilhante Demais

O Sol Brilhante Demais
O Sol Brilhante Demais

Um homem determinado busca vingança pela morte de um amigo, em batalha!

Em busca de vingança pela morte de um amigo há dez anos, Major Jake Nanden tem combatido seus demônios pessoais, com um fervor quase religioso, tanto em sua vida pessoal como em batalha.

Ele é um soldado tão altamente condecorado por bravura que sua fama o precede mesmo além da desolada lua em Júpiter, Io, onde seu batalhão está posicionado. No entanto, suas vitórias nas guerras Jupiterianas lhe parecem vazias, pois ele é um homem que teme sua própria alma.

Sua vida parece ser uma armadilha da qual não consegue escapar. Sendo de um pelotão replicante, que assim como clones, são odiados por todos.

Compre em:
Amazon Paperback (local)
eBook em breve!

Ataque ao Bunker de Hitler! – A invasão secreta da RAF para bombardear o Bunker de Hitler em Berlim que nunca aconteceu – provavelmente.

Ataque ao Bunker de Hitler!
Ataque ao Bunker de Hitler!

Rudolph Eineger foi deixado com o dedo dentro de um corpo morto. Repulsado, retirou-o e limpou-o na túnica preta da SS.

Richard Earlgood, um piloto de caça rebelde da RAF, e Michael Dorfmann, um ambicioso agente duplo da Luftwaffe, planejam um ataque audacioso a luz do dia usando caças Hurricane, carregados nas costas do bombardeiro quadrimotor Stirling para alcançar o quase completo… inexpugnável… Bunker do Führer neste livro de ficção ambientado na Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Anna Styles, uma decodificadora da Estação X, tinha um romance com Dorfmann em Oxford e está sendo forçada a “cuidar” do agente duplo. Ela ainda ama Dorfmann, mas se apaixona por Richard também. Esta invasão singular para bombardear o Bunker de Hitler pode vencer a Guerra, mas apenas um homem pode ganhar o coração de Anna Anna.

A maioria do pessoal de Hitler simplesmente não acredita que tal invasão seja possível, mas um oficial cruel da SS não vai descansar até pegar Dorfmann e derrotar os Britânicos.

Compre em:
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East Sussex Lay Subsidy Rolls: 1550 – Rotherfield, Cuckfield, Horsham, Lewes and others.

There is a permanent page for this post here.

In 2009 I paid for the National Archives to copy these Lay Subsidy Rolls (tax payments collected on cow hides), because nobody has previously requested this be done, so they were not available. These rolls (rots) may also be relevant to other genealogists, so I am sharing them here. I still have a record of the receipts.

Key
Amounts are usually given in Pounds, Shillings and Pennies
The ‘j’ indicates the last penny of each amount

Note
It would take me far too long to order these rolls (rots) according to their Borough, village or district and I could easily make a mistake, because they are so hard to read. Thus I will simply list them with their Roll file index name and leave it to others to dig further!

View images at full size by clicking on them.

View images at full size by clicking on them.

Continue reading “East Sussex Lay Subsidy Rolls: 1550 – Rotherfield, Cuckfield, Horsham, Lewes and others.”

Competition to Win Free, Signed Paperback of Screaming Angels!

My new romantic spy novel Screaming Angels published!

To celebrate, I will be giving away one, signed copy  of Screaming Angels to my Newsletter readers in a competition on 16 October at 5pm BST. To sign up for the Newsletter before then, click here or go to the menu  at the top of this page.

Screaming Angels paperback at Amazon.

Screaming Angels Kindle.

Screaming Angels paperback at B&N.

Screaming Angels Nook at B&N.

Yulia let the rare intimacy hang in the air. It floated away on the evening’s love.

“The biggest twist was at the end – I really didn’t see that coming” – Eileen Thornton

How the Soviets stole the secret of Rolls Royce’s best jet engine and built the greatest fighter in the world.

Continue reading “Competition to Win Free, Signed Paperback of Screaming Angels!”

Cover Reveal for new Historical Fiction Release: Screaming Angels

Cover Reveal for Screaming Angels

Screaming Angels cover
Screaming Angels cover

I’m very pleased and proud to announce that my latest book, Screaming Angels, will be published by A-Argus some time in the summer. This story is a historical account of one the strangest deals the British ever did with Soviet Russia, with a romantic twist. If you love romance, this will be right up your street. And if you love aviation tales, especially about Cold War jets, you will also love it.

On a personal note, this book has caused my quite a lot of strife! I already knew about the Rolls Royce Nene engine fiasco, and then I had a strange dream. This became the inspiration for a new book, but the first draft didn’t electrify me, or my beta readers. It seemed to lack emotion, and the plot needed a twist. I sought inspiration in classic romances like Wuthering Heights and Lady Chatterley’s Lover and, six rewrites later, it has a lot of feeling and a great twist! I think I finally got it right. Read on if you want to sample some excerpts!

Continue reading “Cover Reveal for new Historical Fiction Release: Screaming Angels”

How to Write Strong Female Characters

How to Write Strong Female CharactersLazlo Ferran, Romance, Vampire, Werewolf, Magic and Science Fiction writer writes a guest post on Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar’s blog: ‘How to Write Strong Female Characters‘ This article shows what difficulties are faced and some possible solutions when writing female characters from a male feminist point of view.

Movie Review: Oblivion, 2013

Oblivion movie still of the Sky Tower
Oblivion movie still of the Sky Tower

What more can be said of Tom Cruise in sci-fi roles? He always seems to deliver, so I was expecting something a bit special when I sat down to watch Oblivion last week.

Things were looking good after half an hour; great sets, great scenery and great special effects. Cruise was, as usual, dry in his delivery of Jack’s lines and held my attention.

 

But then I noticed something odd; Andrea Risborough, as Jack’s girlfriend and teammate Victoria, was acting badly. I thought, ‘Oh yeah, she must be an android and this will all be explained properly later,’ but no, the further into the movie I got, the more it became apparent that Victoria was human, and therefore badly portrayed. I am not saying Risborough can’t act, but she must have been at least badly cast here. It makes all the scenes with Cruise wooden and the love-making scene was just embarrassing.

But then along comes Olga Kurylenko. I won’t spoil the plot by telling you what relationship she has with Jack, but her acting is convincing and the story began to take off.

Morgan Freeman then put in an appearance. His flying googles, stubbly beard and short, white hair worked very well, allowing him to bring a new level to the film in a very convincing way.
Little touches, like the Led Zeppelin song Ramble On, were nice. In general the soundtrack worked very well and the tempo of the film increased nicely.
The sets of sunken landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge were a bit cliched. Such things have become overused in sci-fi movies since the original Planet of the Apes, but I didn’t mind too much.
The main twist of the movie only began to dawn on me in the second half of the movie, which may not be a bad thing, and then I was further confused by the appearance of Cruise’s double. Being confused is something I expect to feel during a good sci-fi movie so all was good.
The climax of the movie is a sacrificial scene and it worked very well; the music suited and the action was muted, but poignant. I was convinced and felt my time had been well-spent.
Plot Spoiler
Do not read on if you want to watch the movie and don’t want to know the ending.
Ready to turn the TV off, I saw what I hoped was the postscript scene with Olga Kurylenko. I thought, ‘Ah! Now we will see that there is a child and she is happy and they both lived happily ever after.’ Jack’s rebel mates then appeared and – horror of horrors – Jack himself! My mind was double-taking and reeling with the stupidity of a director who had just delivered a decent sci-fi movie.
We then find out that Jack has survived, sort of. I turned the TV off in disgust.
Why, oh why, do Hollywood producers insist on happy endings? And why, oh why, do directors go along with it? This was a very decent movie without the final scene. I can just see the producers saying, “No, we can’t have the take-home message that Jack has killed himself to save Earth. It must be that Cruise heroes always survive, no matter what!”
God help us if there is a post-generation-X bunch of kids who believe any of this tripe!
Four stars for everything except the last 5 minutes. A molten asteroid for that bit!