Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY
at Jan Hawke INKorporated, the author support blog of RRBC Member of the Year 2016, author Jan Hawke! 😀
Location: N. Cornwall, UK
Today’s giveaways are…
- *One (1) promotional Guest spot on Jan Hawke INKorporated (interview or other feature)
- *One (1) hand-made deck of Jan’s fantasy tarot cards (the Page of Cups is on the wallpaper this month!)
- *One (1) $/£ 10 AMAZON gift card
making 3 lucky winners for this stop!
Just post a comment on the 3rd April to be in the draw to win – good luck!
Slight change of plan with my second giveaway – I dropped the Milele Safari T-Shirt in favour of my exclusively designed fantasy tarot deck as this formed the basis of the cover design of my latest book, A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac.
Last year I made a decision to start publishing my fantasy titles under the pen name of Siân Glírdan, so, instead of going to my book blogs this time around on the block party tour I’m concentrating on my author blogs instead. Jan Hawke INKorporated is still my main blog and, these days, the one I use for author support – primarily for Rave Review Book Club promotions. Do have a good poke around the review pages and guest author tabs if you like, before starting to surf the books below! 😉
Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey …twines around a single day, in an unremarkable border village that snuffs out the lives of four people and shatters many others, only to draw the survivors back to a different time and, perhaps, a hope of atonement and peace. Step out on the journey and discover an Africa that could have been, is and might one day come to be.
Editorial Review (Sue Bridgwater) ~ It was Dorothy L. Sayers who noted, in ‘Gaudy Night’, the significance of what she called a ‘chance assemblage of persons.’ Who knows what they might talk about? Who knows what each is privately remembering?
In the ‘present day’ of this debut novel, Jan Hawke exploits the potential of such a gathering to the full. Sophie is our main focus and way into the story, and from the beginning we are aware of her memories of previous times in Africa and the pain and loss she suffered then. Meanwhile, on the surface, she and her companions are enjoying their safari, chatting about animals they have seen, animals they hope to see, battling scorpions and drinking beer.
Just to make it really hard for herself, however, Jan Hawke then delves back not only into Sophie’s personal African tragedy, but into the memories and sorrows of many other characters, into the violent history of genocide and civil war, into myth and folklore and into the tangling together of some of those stories.
This is a bold venture for a first novel, but Hawke knows how to do it. The multiple strands of story, the different time-periods, the pain and the happiness, are skilfully brought together so that events and people are solid and four-dimensional, so that the reader can walk into these histories of love and loss and hope and sorrow, and feel as keenly as if they were there.
While reading, one is always aware of how solidly founded the story is on Hawke’s knowledge of Africa and her love for it. All the details that anchor the tale in our own non-fictional world are the fruit, not of targeted research, but of felt conviction.
This is a book worth reading. In the flood of available fiction in which we feel we may drown, this is one to seize hold of and keep. Buy it.
A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac ~ a sort of real cyberspace memoir
This is poetry, wrapped in fantasy, within a memoir… Or, to put it another way, it’s a true tale that applies to many fantasy fans and gamers who can’t be bothered with keeping their realities separated from their more lurid inventions. In my case this is a sort of ‘real’ cyberspace profiling, during a phase of my life when roleplay truly did need to be therapy, because what was happening around me for real, was not what I wanted to participate in. So, buckle up your swash and prepare to witness a titanic battle played out on the field of sanity – where what happens in your head is the only truth that matters.
Editorial Review by Ron E. Yates ~ Writing, as any author will tell you, is an intensely personal endeavor. We scribblers pour heart and soul into the scenes and incidents we create or recreate from our own lives. That’s what makes good writing unfeigned and heartfelt and it’s what brings readers back to our work again and again. What Sian Glirdan has compiled in her “Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac”-a work she calls a “sort of real cyberspace memoir”-is a deeply personal examination of her life. She opens the shutters and windows to reveal “struggles with health, achievement, emotion and, most of all, dreams and imagination.” This is not a linear narrative or memoir, but an effort peppered with original poetry, painful recollections of personal tragedy and suffering, and inspiring reminiscences of happiness and exhilaration. It is a book interleaved with both fantasy and reality-a challenging work that will carry the reader on a journey of discovery. It takes courage to write like this because in doing so, Sian Glirdan has opened herself up to great scrutiny. No doubt the impetus for this work is as much catharsis for her as it is an unearthing of emotion for the reader. The following passage I found especially revealing: “In our inner life we are all essentially alone with our thoughts and feelings, although those can be expressed of course.
“In our inner life we are all essentially alone with our thoughts and feelings, although those can be expressed of course. Thoughts however are another matter. We are selective in what thoughts stay that way, unspoken, and which are communicated. In a way this exercise is for my own thoughts that I hold close and don’t necessarily speak them to anyone, but want to get them out there somehow. Therapy if you like, but not to a person as such. My stunted way of steering my own course ‘as fair and true’ as I can manage these days.”
As a true Freebooter Sian Glirdan is taking us, as she says, “Into uncharted waters without a map of any real description, or even an idea of what to expect.” Climb aboard for a cruise into an inspired sea of illusion and imagination, moored by authenticity and unremitting experience.
Other places to find me & my books!
and finally a link to the blog for my latest work in progress