WITHOUT MACHINE GUN TO CAMBRAI

Book Review: A Fool In France, by Christina Keith. Part One: The Daintiest of Tan Suede Shoes.

A publisher told me once: books come in two categories; those for men and those for women. Men buy books about Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill and war; women buy novels. Apart from books about cookery and cats, that’s the English market. Writers of men’s books saw the 2014 centenary of the Great War approaching well in time but, so far, few of their books have captured the public imagination, perhaps because too many of them hit the market in one go and too many of them look the same. Most publishers are not mavericks in the herd. Instead of giving us interesting new stories they prefer re-garnishing the old ones. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend every time. Lions led by donkeys; mud, blood and self-sacrifice; in Flanders fields the poppies grow, in industrially homogenised formats.

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Honour and ‘your word’

your wordThe Prisoner of War who took ‘keeping a promise’ to the extreme post on Steve Liddell’s Musings on a mad world blog is the first thing I read this morning. It intrigued me not only because of my interest in the Great War and the Second World War but because of its story about honour and holding fast to ‘your word’.

Can you imagine a British soldier receiving leave from a German prison camp to visit his dying mother? And then returning because he promised to do so? Well, it happened. Read Liddell’s blog for the whole story.

One of the themes found in my fantasy novel Shadows in the Stone is honour. The other is ‘your word’. In fact, these two words are found in the opening chapter. Readers don’t learn the power of those words until book two in the series Scattered Stones; they discover more about the price the promiser pays if they don’t keep ‘their word’ in book three Healing Stones.

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Book Review: MACLEAN by Allan Donaldson

Maclean - Allan DonaldsonMACLEAN by Allan Donaldson

Publisher: Vagrant Press (imprint of Nimbus Publishing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Published: 2005

ISBN: 1-55109-550-5

Price: $14.99 (paperback; 162 pages)

Genre: Historical Fiction

About the Author: Donaldson was born in Taber, Alberta, and at a young age, moved to Woodstock, New Brunswick where his mother’s Irish family had lived for generations. His published work includes a short story collection titled Paradise Siding (1984) and two novels, MACLEAN and The Case About Owen Williams. He currently lives in Fredericton, NB.

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Handing Over the Reins

More than ten years ago, I began research on the Veterans of Guysborough County project. My goal at the time was to identify all First and Second World War veterans who were born or had a distinct connection with the county and who served in Canada or overseas during the war years. I naively believed I could accomplish this goal within a few years and produce a book from the data. I was wrong on many levels.

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