Tasting Spain, A Culinary Tour By H.M. van den Brink

“……….The mouth is a perfect instrument. Now some coffee quickly and then the second bite, because desire wants eternity and in the world of mortals there is no other eternity than repetition”………..

Enjoying this little mouth watering read – good thing I don’t live in Spain or else might struggle to walk pass the smell of churros. Once in a while it’s nice to actually read an actual book and a bonus when it comes with a pretty cover with sumptuous colours.

spain-cover

Advertisements

“The Light Within” Inspired Poetry and Illustration by Lynn Andrew

As the celebration of Light into our world is just around the corner I felt like sharing this book with anyone that might like to dip into a bit of inspired poetry. Found it tucked away amongst endless gift items in a shop in Shanklin Old Village on the Isle of Wight. It is a treasure born out of the authors personal journey over a period of five years. This warm and uplifting collection will soften even the hardest of hearts. A real Christmas treat!

Published by Coach House Publications:

http://www.coachhousepublications.co.uk/authorpage.php?aid=32

41E1HNP0G0L._

“Hidden” By Marianne Curley

Hidden Cover

Published in the UK today By Bloomsbury:

http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/hidden-9781599908403

http://www.mariannecurley.com/books.html

 “Love is pouring out of him like flooding summer rains”

Dear friends, you are in for such a treat with this intoxicating story of eternal love, secrets and the angelic realm. The further you delve into the story, the more you will become engrossed. If you are anything like me, you will delay gratification by reading as slowly as humanly possible and maybe re-read parts to savour every moment. The great news is the pleasure does not end here as this is the first in the Avena series and believe me, once you reach the last page you will be so happy to know there is another book to look forward to. I am so pleased Marianne Curley chose to write another book after a long break and wish the author continued health and hope she writes many more books in the future. For now though I am looking forward to trawling through the treasure trove of books she has already written like “Old Magic”.

“Hidden” is the story of Ebony, an angel from Avena (heaven) stolen at birth and hidden by the dark angel from Skade (hell) on earth to be raised by a human family as their own. The story unfolds through the eyes of Ebony and Jordan as the narrative shifts from chapter to chapter giving us an intimate look at the inner world of each one. Sixteen year old Ebony increasingly begins to notice she is different from her peers and tries to confront her parents about this and why she is so over-protected. Her attempts at finding out the truth return very little until after the near-fatal incident involving Skinner and Jordan at an under eighteen school-dance.

Even though Ebony is not directly involved in this incident, the magnetic connection between her and Jordan, the boy stabbed on the night of the dance, grows as she watches him being carried on a stretcher into the ambulance accompanied by Skinner’s girlfriend. She feels an inexplicable need to protect him at that moment. This brief encounter between Ebony and Jordan unbeknownst to them sends out a powerful signal to the angelic realm, finally revealing her location and so begins their mission to take her back home. Angels are sent to Jordan’s death bed to strike a deal whereby he would assist them in their search for Ebony and persuade her to return home of her own free will. Jordan is chosen for this task because of his unique bond with Ebony which is a great imaginative link in the story.

In the meantime, Ebony finds out from her parents the truth about how a stranger compelled them to adopt Ebony as their own when she was just a baby. The stranger’s arrival conveniently coincided with the miscarriage of their own child. So for Ebony’s parents she was like their miracle baby. The stranger promised the baby would bring luck to the economically distressed valley of Cedar Oakes West but these riches were not without conditions. The child would have to be named Ebony, never see a doctor and must be raised as their own and blend in with everyone else. She is also never to leave the valley or at least not until her eighteenth birthday.

Ebony is immediately suspicious and with the aid of her friend Amber, sets off to make her own investigations about her origins and the mystery man without thought to the consequences. When disaster strikes and Ebony’s world starts to fall apart, she seeks refuge with her friend Amber’s family. Beautiful angel Nathaniel, meanwhile, takes Jordan to live with The Brothers of the Holy Cross Monastery where he is to train for the task that lies ahead for him. Can they persuade Ebony to accept their protection and return to Avena or will they be too late to stop the dark prince from making Ebony his Queen? And just where exactly does the heart-stopping Nathaniel fit into this angelic mission or does he have something to hide that will bring him into direct conflict with not only the dark prince but also with Jordan. This really is a story of three hearts, two worlds and one secret that could tear up heaven and earth. Can’t wait for the second book in the series!

“The Humans” By Matt Haig

51y66G4dZNL._SL500_

Published 9th May 2013 by Canongate:

http://www.canongate.tv/authors/matthaig?channel=true

http://www.matthaig.com

Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University pays the ultimate price when he solves the Reimann Hypothesis. While this would be considered a moment of celebration on earth, it becomes a cause for serious concern for our advanced outer space neighbours. They send an alien on a mission to take over Andrew Martin’s life in order to destroy all evidence of this breakthrough. Without intervention, this solution would make it possible for humans to develop technology to match their capabilities. Humans are considered far too primitive to put such technology to good use. Will the alien that has taken over Professor Martin’s life be able to save humanity from itself or will the intimacy of human contact make him lose everything that he has ever cherished and at what price?

A joy to read, this book was perfect from beginning to end. After reading the opening lines, I was gripped and remained captivated throughout. All sense of time vanished as I sped through this page turner of a book. It made me laugh and cry. I became so fond of the central character and narrator that I really did not want the book to end. Whatever you may think about aliens from other planets, we can learn a lot about ourselves from them. Here we get a fresh look, through alien eyes, at the weird and wonderful and at times lost beings that we are. We may be less-than-perfect but our very flaws seem to contain redeemable qualities that even aliens from utopia find hard to resist. Enjoyed this so much, hope there will be a second book. I have no doubt this will be turned into a film.

“Gangsta Rap” By Benjamin Zephaniah

31aN+2NdiyL._SL500_

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books:

http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/gangsta-rap-9780747565659/

This is a very well written story that draws the reader into the life of a teenage boy called Ray. He is a troubled child, growing up in a family where his parents argue all the time. There is serious lack of communication in the family. That he has a difficult relationship with his father would be an understatement. He does however have a much better relationship with his mother. Ray and his sister go through a period of non-verbal tit-for-tat battle until one of them decides to stop turning the volume of their music to drown the others. School is not their favourite place but Ray and his three friends share a common passion for rap music that makes up for it. One by one all three get expelled from school with Ray the last to leave. Their passion for rap music saves them from wandering the streets aimlessly. Their head teacher recognises their love for music and gets them to join the social exclusion unit where basic subjects are taught through their interest: music. Through a combination of talent, sweat and luck the boys get a record deal with the help of the music shop owner, Marga Man. This is when the real story and plot lines begin. The first part of the story is like a glimpse into the struggle and dream – the fuel for their lyrics. The second part is about what happens when the dream turns to reality. It explores the impact of fame and the myth and realities of hip hop and what is associated with it.

To sum up, this is a story about the tough life of teenage boys that don’t fit into the conventional education system. It is about dreams and hope realised as a result of the existence of the right conditions for them to grow. In a very intelligent way the book explores the controversy over hip-hop and sheds light on myths surrounding it. Moreover, it shows how these boys mature through the story from teenagers to young adults. The element of the story that sticks out for me the most is that it does not help to label youngsters as troubled and exclude them so they can become the rotten apples in society. Educators have to work with children rather than expect them to fit into one model. You need to gauge children’s interest in education in ways that are interesting to them. No one should be written off just because they don’t fit a particular model of education. What this story powerfully illustrates is given the right opportunities, even the most troubled child can become a success.