RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Where is Lonely?
A gentle, thoughtful book, perfect to open discussions with young children about life and friendship ~ Susanne Atherton, Author and Social Work Expert
Toxic World, Toxic People
Anna Victoria Rodgers
Toxic World Toxic People is one of the most important books you can read, especially if you care about the health of your children and grandchildren. Anna has put together a most comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide to help us all navigate safely through the overt and covert pollutants impacting us all!. ~ Robert Scott Bell, D.A. Hom., Host of the Robert Scott Bell Radio Show ~ robert Scott Bell, Radio Show Host
Where is Lonely?
A simple but beautiful story. Well written and dealing with friendship issues for children in a lovely way. A book that your child will want to read again and again.
~ Rhiannon Biddulph Williams, Parent
That Old Devil Called God Again
Archbishop Jonathan Blake
Stephen Tyrwhitt writes:
Obviously you have "nailed" this text with characteristic verve and passion.
Part I serves to jolt people out of their easy composure and deliberate and chosen ignorance. They may not like it, but it sets them up for thinking and denies them easy or conventional answers to the problems raised. Well done!
Part II requires one to cross the line that divides those who hold firm to the belief in the scriptures as revealed truth, The Bible, in this case, is "the infallible and inerrant Word of God and wholly every jot and tittle the Word of God and it is God himself speaking directly from the pages of scripture whether preached or read" from those who, whilst valuing it as a profoundly influential book, indeed, in the King James translation, at the very heart of language and literature in English, believe it to be open to question and criticism. Of course, other religions such as Islam and Judaism, have their fundamentalists as well and worse! Obviously it is impossible to sit upon the fence that marks this dividing line. So I would have to ask you to whom are you speaking. The fundamentalists can't and won't budge. Those on the other side of the divide have already conceded the principle that the scriptures are man-made whether from historical or imaginary or mythical sources and, therefore, open to question and interpretation. And that's before we get to a discussion about the Apocrypha or the ins and significant outs of the Biblical canon! By extension, as you demonstrate, these questions attend the custom and practice and the rituals and laws of Christianity, just as they do in the orthodoxies of Judaism and Islam.
Part III raises important questions about leadership and authority and, by implication, dependency and I would certainly agree with you that the mature adult should be capable of independence of thought and judgement with regards to matters ethical and political. It reminded me as well how the drama of religion becomes lop-sided when Satan leaves the stage and there is no champion for Evil, since when we look around ourselves every week since the beginning of time, we find no shortage of illustration of this aspect of the human condition.
Part IV arrives at a position of having successfully rebelled against the tyranny of God and playfully, perhaps even fancifully, suggested ways of unlocking the mind so that the individual can assert the freedom of thought essential to originality of being and acting in good conscience. But there are still lingering traces of the old ways, whether of belief in a heaven and an afterlife, perhaps too tentative a willingness to radically reform the administration of the church and its hierarchies, a slowness in recognising the achievement of the Unitarians and the Humanists in inventing commemorations and celebrations of the rites of passage in our lives that meet our human need for a shared marking of these way stations, without the intrusion of hypocrisy and false notes. It seems to me it might be a good idea to reach across to others who are already "there", having found their own way, since it must be better surely to build upon the common ground rather than to insist upon our new-found difference and dangerous exclusivity.
Part VI and VII gave me a real pleasure to read because I could hear your voice coming through optimistic and honest. I admired your creative invention in giving people suggestions and ideas without for one moment intending to stifle their creativity and certainly not imposing a form of words or symbols in the cast-iron straitjacket of the Book of Common Prayer.
~ Stephen Tyrwhitt
Shaman Pathways - Trees of the Goddess
Indie Shaman Magazine Book Review
Elen Sentier. Trees of the Goddess
"There are twenty British trees that work very comfortably with the goddess and link to humankind. Over the ages people have brought them together in what we know as the ogham. Some say they are just an alphabet, a means of writing, but they are far more than that and far older, too, than many give them credit for. (Elen Sentier, 2014:1)"
Trees of the Goddess is a crammed full of information, walking the reader through 13 months and the 20 British trees of the ogham, plus mistletoe, in only 101 pages. Information is given on each individual tree and plant from a wide range of facts, lore and concepts; followed by guidance and suggestions of ways to work with trees and allies. There is also a very useful chapter on how to make your own ogham staves. A wonderful little book, Trees of the Goddess is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about the British ogham as well as for the reader who ‘just’ loves trees. I know I’ll be dipping into my copy again as a resource in future.
Elen Sentier. Trees of the Goddess. Moon Books (25 July 2014). ISBN-10: 1782793321. ISBN-13: 978-1782793328
~ June Kent, Editor, Indie Shaman Magazine
Emotional Life - Managing your feelings to make the most of your precious time on Earth
...the book is engaging, with the right blend of common sense and emotional insight. Because the writing is conversational and honest, the book feels a bit like sitting with an engaging therapist — one who is willing to reveal small pieces of her own life to enrich the conversation. ~ Psyche Central, http://psychcentral.com/lib/book-review-emotional-life/00019838
John Cowsill took on a huge challenge in writing “Safe Planet.” Namely that challenge involved four components.
First the identification and cogent presentation of the environmental problem. I say problem, not problems, because virtually all the problems are interlinked – from ecological destruction, to peak resources, to ocean acidification, to global warming. They all have substantial links to fossil fuels, and to the second component.
Second, the identification of the source of many social problems; from economic, to political, to health, to wealth disparities. They are all tied up in capitalism.
Third, clearly discussing sustainable energy sources and their effectiveness.
Four, engaging in an integrative discussion and laying out a path forward.
I was relieved when it became clear that Mr. Cowsill was firmly grounding his discussion in the true root of our problems – capitalism, with its drive for profit and the concentration of power and wealth that results. This presents a radically different approach than has become typical of addressing global warming, peak oil, etc. Namely, capitalist prescriptions that turn the future of renewable resources into a “losing proposition” and leaves the control in the same hands that have squandered current resources. Under a capitalist orientation, there is virtually no challenge to the existing structure. The questions become how to make alternatives both profitable and acceptable to the plutocracy. Such approaches quickly become an effort to persuade the rest of us who question that this is in our best interests.
What we can see, and John Cowsill points out without hesitation, is that staying within the capitalist perspective not only doesn't work, it exacerbates the problems. Every “alternative” is either eaten up by the powers that be, or structured to fail. Any attempt by communities to address the crisis in a cohesive way must have current resource giants in the middle of it. Big Energy even “funds” some projects in blatant greenwashing, or they bring their economic might to squash any alternative that might challenge their interests.
John Cowsill has done an excellent job on all fronts in identifying the problems, explaining how and why these are more political problems than natural ones, and proposing system oriented solutions.
Five stars on this one. ~ S Rowan Wolf, Ph.D.
Brilliant story line, keeps you captivated, great reading can't wait for the next. ~ Karen Grayson, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mirror-Image-Beth-Murray/dp/1782794824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410798118&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+murray+mirror+image
Brilliant book, read it within 2 days, can't wait for more!
~ LA, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mirror-Image-Beth-Murray/dp/1782794824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410798118&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+murray+mirror+image
I absolutely love this novel, not put it down since I started to read this, really worth a read if you enjoy mystery books
Can't wait for the next novel ~ Michelle Reeves, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mirror-Image-Beth-Murray/dp/1782794824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410798118&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+murray+mirror+image
Just wow. Got this book Tuesday and could not put it down. My mum has now started it and she is completely hooked!! Looks like I will need to buy another copy as I think I won't get this one back. Cannot wait for the next book :) ~ Stuart P, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mirror-Image-Beth-Murray/dp/1782794824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410798118&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+murray+mirror+image
excellent book. lets you into the mind of both killer and detective. A Must read. ~ Michael Didock, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mirror-Image-Beth-Murray/dp/1782794824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410798118&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+murray+mirror+image
Wow!!! what a tense and gripping book with a suprising twist!! Read it within a week and absolutely loved it :-) Feel a little gutted that I've finished it. Can't wait for more of Beth Murrays books to be published!! Well recommend to buy it :-) x ~ Sharon, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mirror-Image-Beth-Murray/dp/1782794824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410798118&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+murray+mirror+image
This is one of those stories you leap straight into, hard for me to place the genre but a great mix of psychological thriller and horror. Wonderful twist to the story and fascinaing characters that both repulse and allure you. A truly different and excellent read. ~ Denise Butcher , http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mirror-Image-Beth-Murray/dp/1782794824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410798118&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+murray+mirror+image
When the film Se7en came out, it established new ground by giving time to explain the motivation of the killer. Beth Murray’s novel follows this idea. Both killer and detective have their place on centre stage in a whirlwind of suspense and horror. The descriptions of the murders are graphic and disturbing! The story rushes at breakneck speed as the lives of killer and detective interlink, which leads to a savage twist at the end that you won’t see coming. ~ Isengrin, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mirror-Image-Beth-Murray/dp/1782794824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410798118&sr=8-1&keywords=beth+murray+mirror+image
Warning! This book is not for the fainthearted.
Prepare to be dislodged from your comfort zone when you enter the world of Sarah Caroline Fletcher, a female, alcoholic, serial killer who, by the tender age of 21, has already notched up an inch-deep investigation file.
Her methods of murder become increasingly more complex as the story progresses; the graphic description of her actions looming large in the mind’s eye.
It seems that no-one can permeate the shell of this sociopath. Inexplicably drawn to other murderers and rapists, she justifies her killings as for ‘the greater good of mankind.’
However, the dark delusions she experiences reflect another angle to the story.
Whilst closely reading her private journal, looking to piece together the full extent of the human carnage, the investigating officer finds himself drawn into her world of hate and horror.
The reader can only watch hopelessly, as their lives fatally entwine. DC Daniels’ life becomes engulfed in the madness of Sarah’s world; his obsessive search threatening to destroy the fabric of his life, and of those closest to him.
Read from a place of safety! ~ Helen Noble, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22344628-mirror-image
For me, there are two things that indicate a good book. The first is one-more-chapter syndrome, which is, of course, the burning need to read one more chapter - despite it making you late for absolutely everything else you have going on in your life. The second is how quickly you read the book. So the fact that I read Beth Murray’s Mirror Image in a weekend - a weekend that was full of family visits, EP launches, and other bits and pieces that kept me busy - and the fact that I stayed awake much later than my usual bed time (two nights in a row, no less) just to squeeze in a couple more chapters, should speak volumes about this book.
The novel itself offers the tale of a female serial killer with a supernatural twist, which seems to be a fairly popular approach these days. Throughout the plot, we track the process, progress, and downfall of a young serial killer called Sarah who, she believes/claims, can see people’s dark sides by looking at their reflections in mirrors. It is this revelation that leads to her first kill, however, over the course of the novel it eventually becomes apparent that Sarah herself is making a transition from murderous vigilante to cold-blooded killer, culminating in her own reflection revealing the startling truth to her character.
With this soul-seeing element ticking the first supernatural box, the second strand in this area appears in Sarah’s relationship with the investigating officer, Jack Daniels. Side note: I really wanted more to be made out of this chap’s name, because I certainly raised an eyebrow the first time that I read it. Throughout the novel it becomes apparent that there is some strange cosmic link between the two characters, which has almost allowed them to track each other throughout the hunt for Sarah. While the characters weren’t necessarily aware of this link, it certainly became an interesting element of the narrative, particularly as readers were allowed to see things that the characters themselves weren’t.
The plot itself was intriguing to me. This killer who kills killers idea seems to be almost trendy at the minute, with many novels adopting this sort of frame work in recent years, however the supernatural element to the text does add something extra. Additionally, in endowing the killer with this alleged power, the narrative heavily justifies the first murders by explaining that it was ‘evil’ people that were being disposed of here. However, as the plot progressed, it soon became apparent that the killer was choosing her victims based on her own morals, rather than any visions she may or may not have had regarding the state of their souls. The dual-narrative that saw half of our time spent with Sarah and half spent with Jack allowed this development to be quite explicit, given that Jack was talking the reader through much of this. Admittedly, this felt a little disruptive to begin with, however once I’d become accustomed to the narrative style, it actually began to feel like Jack was communicating with me as a reader, rather than simply spoon-feeding me information. Ultimately, it served to create an interesting reader-character relationship, which left me feeling quite invested in both the killer and the cop that was hunting her.
The one big surprise for me was the ending - don’t worry, I won’t ruin it for you! Nevertheless, it was so far from what I was expecting that I might even go as far to say that it was my favourite aspect of the plot. Creating an unexpected resolve to the story, and the strange relationship that exists between Jack and Sarah, Murray has successfully achieved a cyclical ending that genuinely leaves the text on an ‘Oh no…’ sort of feeling - which is, of course, what we are all looking for from this style of novel.
Overall this is a compact, impressive, and well-developed little novel that strikes a lovely balance between two main characters, who are simultaneously worlds apart and right next to each other - sometimes literally - which ultimately creates a striking relationship; a relationship that, might I add, the reader themselves is eventually drawn in to. A promising offering from Beth Murray, I’m optimistic that there will be more novels of this ilk appearing from her in the not-too-distant future. ~ Charlotte Barnes, http://www.madhatterreviews.co.uk
"Squaring Circles", by Carolyn Mathews, is the sequel to "Transforming Pandora". In "Transforming Pandora" we follow Pandora's life through a divorce, widowhood and an encounter with her ex-husband, who is now a widower with children. "Squaring Circles" is a stand-alone book; however, I recommend reading "Transforming Pandora" as it is a terrific book. In "Squaring Circles" we learn that Pandora's mother, Frankie, has died unexpectedly. The story opens at Frankie's funeral with Jay, Pandora's ex-husband and now partner, accidently being dragged into the grave along with the casket. Frankie had been less than happy about Pandora and Jay reuniting and he is suspicious Frankie may have been sending forth a message. I was hooked from the first sentence. Frankie's death is not the only surprise for Pandora. She learns she has a half-brother she never knew about and that he had come to see Frankie prior to her death. Why didn't her mother tell her? What other secrets did Frankie have? Then Frankie's grave is disturbed . Someone was looking for something, but what? As if all this isn't enough, there is more - lots more.
There is a large cast of interesting characters, including a very special donkey, who find themselves in a variety of relationships and situations The story takes interesting turns and moves quickly. Pandora tries to stay balanced, but her life keeps getting complicated. Will these recent events shape her future?
The author writes with wit and wisdom and this book is a pleasure to read. She has crafted a story in which the reader can bond with the protagonist. I am so looking forward the sequel.
~ Evie Harris, LibraryThing
I loved the book!!!! If, in the future, there is a third book about Pandora, please consider letting me know. I honestly don't want her story to end. You are a gifted author and I wish you the very best.
~ Librarything, Evie Harris
To Fear, With Love
Helen Jane Rose
What a rollercoaster!,
A enlightening read that gives real insight into the pain of an abusive relationship. I couldn't put the book down, having just been through a trauma within my family I felt at times sad, excited and emotional whilst reading the book and even though this is not a direct self help book, it did help in various ways. ~ Katherine Smith, Amazon.co.uk Reader Review