Maximum dinosaur dose!

Like so many others, my family definitely went through the stage where spending every weekend visiting Dippy at the Natural History Museum in London was essential.  (Top tip – the side door has a far shorter queue than the front door). By the way, if you’re keen to meet Dippy he (is it a he?) is on tour – here’s his schedule where to meet Dippy – he’s currently in Newcastle and next stop is Cardiff.

So I was curious about this dinosaur book, plus I was keen to hear the weekly podcast iknowdino for some serious dinosaur facts.

Taking the podcast first, there are an astonishing 253 episodes in the series which I hoped would keep even the most dino-obsessed youngster happy for a while, but whilst interesting, the podcast is serious stuff so really not young-child friendly, and this is (mostly) a kids blog!

Anyway, on to the book 50 Dinosaur Tales: And 108 More Discoveries From the Golden Age of Dinos

50dinosaurtales_cover

The first thing I didn’t know is that we’ve recently discovered new types of dinosaurs, so the 50 in his book are NOT the standard triceratops etc. Great!

The book is a mixture of short stories and facts. Given this is an unusual combo, Sabrina Ricci kindly agreed I could share this excerpt: the story of Weewarrasaurus pobeni, a dinosaur whose bones were opalized.

I’m interested to know what you think? I think it would be a great resource for the school library, but where to display it? The non-fiction section? Here you go …

Weewarrasaurus pobeni

Look to the right. Nothing. Good. Look to the left. Still nothing. Good. Tilt head back to the right. What’s that crackling sound? Just a fellow Weewarrasaurus pobeni taking a step. Good.

Weewarrasaurus has been on guard for hours with her brother and sister, watching over her family’s territory. The three ornithopods stand in a semicircle, ready to sound the alarm at any moment, if necessary.

The rest of her family is busy foraging for food. Weewarrasaurus doesn’t mind. She has an important job: to keep her family safe. After her shift ends, she will be able to eat.

They are in a particularly lush area. Sweet, fresh vegetation is everywhere. Weewarrasaurus knows that she won’t have any problem finding a snack later.

Like the rest of her family, Weewarrasaurus is a small animal, and living in a group has a lot of advantages. Someone is always watching for threats, so it’s safe to concentrate on finding food. If there are any threats, Weewarrasaurus can band together and show their strength in numbers. At night, everyone cuddles for warmth.

Most of the time, guard duty is uneventful, but it is also exhausting. Weewarrasaurus is on constant alert, looking in all directions and listening for any unusual sounds. Even normal sounds require scrutiny. A small splash could be her brother taking a drink or a potential predator dipping its toes into her family’s usual watering hole.

To be an effective sentry, Weewarrasaurus must stand upright on two legs, her head held high. She likes to stand on her toes to get the best view. Weewarrasaurus never takes a break, not even when her legs feel tired. Her job is too important.

Weewarrasaurus hears a smacking sound. She turns her head and sees her brother chewing on a plant. He’s on all fours and has used his beak to crop off a few tender leaves. Weewarrasaurus moves to his side and smacks him with her tail—a warning that he should respect his duties.

He flinches and stares at her for a moment, still chewing. Then he swallows and stands up straight.

Weewarrasaurus moves back to her post and looks away from him to show her disapproval. She has a reputation in the family for being a reliable guard, and she doesn’t want her brother to ruin it.

Luckily, her duties are almost done for the day. The sun is low in the sky, and the foraging family members are looking full.

Weewarrasaurus looks over to her mother, the leader of their group, for a sign that they’re ready to go home. Her mother notices the sun and lets out a quick grunt. Everyone stops feeding and lifts their heads. As a unit, they start to move back to their home for the night.

Weewarrasaurus quickly bends down into a quadrupedal position and heads to the nearest plant. She picks off as many leaves as she can with her beak. Once her mouth is full, she runs to catch up with the rest of the group, chewing as she goes. Her brother and sister follow.

Weewarrasaurus is satisfied. Another job well done.

Facts

  • Weewarrasaurus pobeni was an ornithopod that lived in the Late Cretaceous in what is now New South Wales, Australia.
  • Weewarrasaurus fossils were preserved in green-blue opal.
  • Weewarrasaurus had teeth and a beak to eat vegetation.
  • The genus name Weewarrasaurus refers to Wee Warra, where the holotype was found.
  • The species name pobeni is in honor of Mike Poben, an opal dealer who first recognized the fossil when it was in a bag of rough opals he got from miners. He donated the fossil to the Australian Opal Center.

Find out more in the I Know Dinopodcast, episode 212, “Wuerhosaurus.”

Blurb

Gualicho takes a bite out of the ornithopod’s back as it runs away from her, causing it to stumble and fall. She jumps on top of the body and rips open its neck with her teeth. The ornithopod becomes still and limp.

Satisfied, Gualicho begins to feast. But, after only two bites, she senses something is wrong. She lifts her head and sees a Mapusaurus making its way toward her.”

About 50 Dinosaur Tales
Blending fiction with fact, 50 Dinosaur Tales imagines the way 50 newly described dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous lived in their natural habitats.

Also included is a list of fun facts for each dinosaur story, and facts about 108 additional dinosaurs.

If you want to hear more about new dinosaurs as soon as they are discovered, listen to the weekly podcast I Know Dino.

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SSKV7XM

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07SSKV7XM

Author Bio

 

50 Dinosaur sabrinaricci_profile

Sabrina is a writer and podcaster. She loves nerdy things, like technical specs and dinosaurs, especially sauropods. When she’s not writing, she’s podcasting with her husband at I Know Dino(iknowdino.com), a weekly show about dinosaurs.

Social Media Links –

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iknowdino/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iknowdino/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iknowdino

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/iknowdino/

Website:  https://iknowdino.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/iknowdino

Four Weddings or Four Christmases?

This time last year I shared a Christmas book, Nobody Cancels Christmas and whilst I still struggle to get into the festive spirit before Halloween, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to read the author’s 2019 festive treat, Four Christmases and A Secret.

Four Christmases and a Secret Cover

The writing is as light, fun, and fast as last year’s offering, and yes, I stayed up very late to finish it. I did struggle a bit with the rather thickly laid on “I’m such a failure” chorus from Daisy, and the thirteen year gap seemed too long and I had to mentally reset her age to mid twenties. Other than that, I loved it. Great the mix of characters, Stanley is a hero, and it made me cry.

There are some strong movie influences – the pair of mum’s reminded me of Bridget Jones’s mum, whilst Uncle T strongly reminded me of one of the characters from Four Weddings & a Funeral, and given the title of the book I’m guessing that is entirely intentional. Don’t want to say any more for risk of spoilers.

Blurb

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers.  And Oliver Cartwright.  Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is.  Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different.  There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers.  No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…

 Author Bio

ZaraStoneley authorpic

Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of ‘The Wedding Date’.

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Born in a small village in the UK, Zara wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true. She now writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘No One Cancels Christmas’, ‘The Wedding Date’, ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://www.zarastoneley.com
Twitter: @ZaraStoneley

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07QRTC5JC/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QRTC5JC/

How to get started writing fiction

Probably the question I get asked most by keen young authors is where do I get my ideas, which has a very long answer. The children then drill down into the how of writing, which is why I’m so excited to have just published my Creative Writing Skills workbook. As an author, I spend a lot of time thinking about the technical side of writing, and have a long list of books I recommend to other authors including On Writing by Stephen King (the audio version narrated by himself is amazing), Save the Cat Writes a Novel (the title does make sense, honestly!) and The Emotion Thesaurus (the rest of the series is still on my wish list).

Writing Fiction a user-friendly guide (1)

Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide is a very readable beginners guide, half the length of the hefty On Writing. It sets out some great examples from really well known books (and some films, paralleling Save the Cat in approach) which keeps it highly accessible and I’d recommend it to those getting started in creative writing and looking to hone their skills. Given it’s quite short and covers a lot of ground, I’d also recommend it to GCSE/ A level students to help them understand the tools and techniques used by the authors they are studying.

Blurb

The twenty-four chapters cover every important matter you need to know about, including: devising a compelling story, creating and developing characters, plotting, ‘plants’, backstory, suspense, dialogue, ‘show’ and ‘tell’, and how to make your novel more real than reality.

Also featuring special guest advice from legendary screenwriter Bob Gale, who wrote the three immortal Back to the Futuremovies (1985, 1989 and 1990), and novelist and screenwriter William Osborne, whose many screen credits include the co-writing of the blockbuster  Twins (1988), this highly entertaining book gives you all the advice and practical guidance you need to make your dream of becoming a published fiction writer come true.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Writing-Fiction-user-friendly-James-Essinger-ebook/dp/B07VYY9XH9/

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Fiction-user-friendly-James-Essinger-ebook/dp/B07VYY9XH9/


Author Bio

Writing Fiction a user-friendly guide (2)

James Essinger has been a professional writer since 1988. His non-fiction books include Jacquard’s Web (2004),Ada’s Algorithm(2013), which is to be filmed by Monumental Pictures, and Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership (2019).His novels include The Mating Game(2016) and The Ada Lovelace Project(2019).

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/james.essinger  

https://twitter.com/jamesessinger

Starchild: The Age of Akra and a giveaway

I was immediately drawn to the cover – like a Beast Quest for slightly older readers.

The Age of Akra Cover

It’s short – only 142 pages. With my own debut, Eternal Seas, which is 183 pages, I was told by several editors that it was too short for MG fantasy, but I’ve not had any complaints about the length (well, apart from people wanting the sequel), so I tend to disagree with these rules. In fact I’d say it’s great for more reluctant readers, and if we’re honest, we all like a quick read every now and then – it doesn’t need to be War & Peace. The concept is the “chosen one” and from the prophecy at the start, it throws you straight into the world and the action. I loved the world building and the landscapes – I can see the author’s screenwriting skills coming through. The characters are appealing – even though I’m not a middle child myself, it connected me with the family straight away. Overall, it’s a quick, fun read. Enjoy!

The blurb

The foreshadowing of a dark future threatens the seven nations. Mai is selected to train with the mysterious elemental master Sah Dohba who will prepare her to become the protector of the desert lands.  Her brother Long, steps forward to travel with her as her chaperone to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts.

A chance encounter brings them together with Akra, the Starchild.  The trio travels on into a battle with the elements. Sandstorms. Deadly creatures. Starvation. Then a chance meeting with powerful earthfollower, sets them on a new path where they must each find the strength to face a terrifying foe from the Underworld.

 

Giveaway to Win all 4 books of the Starchild Series by Vacen Taylor (Open internationally)

Starchild - Giveaway Prize.png

Enter here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494277/?

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

And if you don’t win the giveaway, here are the Purchase Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GPFV2PY

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GPFV2PY

 

About the author

Vacen Passport Size 2

Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements.  A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).

Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018.  The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.

Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.

She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.

In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.

What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.

 

Happy birthday Agatha

I grew up on a diet of Agatha – the books and films. To join in her week long birthday celebrations, I asked cosy crime writer and Agatha expert, Isabella Muir, about Agatha’s childhood. It turns out we share some of our favourite childhood books – I’m actually about to re-re-read The Phoenix and the Carpet. And did you know she was home educated but her sister wasn’t? Interesting. Anyway, over to Isabella …

Agatha Christie – a child of her time

Young Agatha Christie (Miller)

As we are about to celebrate the birthday of Agatha Christie – that famous Queen of Crime – I’ve been reading about her childhood – what would life have been like for the young Agatha – strange to think that she lived her first ten years in the 19thcentury!

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on 15 September 1890 into a wealthy upper-middle-class family in Torquay, Devon. She was the youngest of three children born to Frederick Alvah Miller, an affluent American stockbroker, and his Irish-born wife Clara.

Agatha’s sister, Margaret was also born in Torquay, eleven years earlier and her brother, Louis, who was born in New York, while Frederick and Clara were on a business trip, was ten years her senior. When Frederick’s father Nathaniel died, he left his daughter-in-law Clara £2000 and it was this money she used to buy ‘Ashfield’, a villa in Torquay where her third and final child, Agatha, was born.

Ashfield was a much loved spacious home, with well-kept gardens, a conservatory ‘full of wicker furniture and palm trees’ and a greenhouse.  The gardens became Agatha’s playground, as although Agatha’s sister, Margaret, was sent to Roedean School in Sussex for her education, Clara decided Agatha should receive a home education.

Clara believed that starting education too early was not a good thing, suggesting: ‘…no child should be allowed until it was eight years old, since delay was better for the eyes as well as the brain.’ (from Agatha Christie: a biography by Janet Morgan.

But Agatha had different ideas! By the time she was five years old she had taught herself to read and went on to enjoy books by Mrs Molesworth, including Christmas Tree Land(1897) and The Magic Nuts(1898). She also read the work of Edith Nesbit, including The Story of the Treasure Seekers(1899), The Phoenix and the Carpet(1903), and The Railway Children(1906). Once she was a little older, she moved on to reading the verse of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, which inspired her at the age of 10 to write her first poem, ‘The cowslip’.

The Cow Slip

There was once a little cowslip and a pretty flower too. But yet she cried and fretted all for a robe of blue.

Now a merry little fairy, who loved a trick to play, just changed into a nightshade, that flower without delay. The silly little nightshade thought here life a dream of bliss, yet she wondered why the butterfly came not to give his kiss.

 

Agatha grew up at a time when wealthy families employed servants. Her ‘wise and patient’nannie, ‘Nursie’, took on the main responsibility for Agatha’s upbringing in those early years, while ‘Five-course dinners were prepared daily by Jane, the cook, with a professional cook and butler hired for grand occasions…’

Nursie took Agatha off to dancing classes and her parents taught her arithmetic, which she loved, and she learned to play both the piano and the mandolin. She also had a passion for dogs – one of the earliest known photographs of Agatha depicts her as a little girl with her first dog, whom she called George Washington.

From her early years it was clear that Agatha had a love of language and a vivid imagination. Janet Morgan describes her as being ‘fascinated by words and phrases’. She had little or no contact with other children until the family decided to spend winters in Europe.  This was a time when upper middle-class families found it cheaper to let the house out in England with its cold climate, and enjoy the benefits of warmth and sunshine in southern France and Italy – even though they would be paying to stay in hotels. It was here she started to form friendships, as well as gain a good grasp of French and a love of travel that would stay with her throughout her life.

Her father was often ill, suffering from a series of heart attacks and when he died in November 1901, aged just 55, money was tight, but Clara and Agatha continued to live together in their Torquay home.

Agatha and her mother, Clara, lived a relatively comfortable life.  In her biography of Agatha’s life, Janet Morgan writes: ‘There was a comfortable order and predictability to life…her world was private and safe.[…] She was given responsibility for amusing herself and looking after her animals and birds…

However, Agatha later claimed that her father’s death marked the end of her childhood, as in 1902 she was sent to receive a formal education at Miss Guyer’s Girls School in Torquay.

Up until her father’s death Agatha and the rest of her family were fortunate to enjoy financial comfort.  Even after that time, the financial struggles they experienced were nothing compared to many during the late Victorian era who were not so lucky. This was a still a time when the fear of the workhouse loomed large for anyone who was unemployed and living in poverty.

But the spark of imagination that was evident from Agatha’s very early years led on to her prolific output of novels, short stories and poetry.  She wrote more than sixty detective novels, as well as romance under the name of Mary Westmacott and her own autobiography, which was published in 1977, after her death. She started writing as a child and continued into her eighties. No wonder then that she is said to the best-selling author of all time, outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible.

It has been fun researching Agatha Christie’s life, which I was inspired to do as I developed my Sussex Crime series, which introduces readers to the fictional world of Janie Juke, the young librarian and amateur sleuth who sets out to solve crimes and mysteries.

It is Agatha’s wonderful detective, Hercule Poirot, that Janie Juke sets out to emulate as she develops her sleuthing talent in the sleepy seaside town of Tamarisk Bay.

This blog post is one of a series, which leads up to Agatha Christie’s birthday and national #cozymysteryday on 15th September, as I enjoy the opportunity to be Chindi’s ‘Author of the week’.  Chindi is a network of authors, both traditionally and independently published, based largely in West Sussex.   Between us we publish a wide range of books, from historical and crime fiction to romance and children’s books, from humour to self-help.

To find out more about the great Queen of Crime and help to celebrate Agatha Christie’s birthday, then look out for the other blog posts in the series:

Agatha Christie and Isabella Muir  https://isabellamuir.com/blog/

Agatha Christie and the sixties  https://patriciamosbornewriter.wordpress.com/daily-blog/

What is a cosy mystery?  https://www.carol-thomas.co.uk/blog/

The good, the bad and the ugly  https://samefacedifferentplace.wordpress.com/

Investigating the past  https://rosemarynoble.wordpress.com/

Agatha Christie and Janie Juke https://isabellamuir.com/blog/

And as a present to you, on Agatha’s behalf, I am pleased to announce that the first book in my Sussex Crimeseries – The Tapestry Bag– will be available on Kindle for just £0.99p for one week only – grab it while you can!

Plus, there’s more! You can get a free copy of her novella, “Divided We Fall“, when you join here

Isabella Muir is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series:

Isabella Muir 3D COVERS x 3

BOOK 1: THE TAPESTRY BAG

BOOK 2: LOST PROPERTY

BOOK 3: THE INVISIBLE CASE

Her latest novel is: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN

She can be contacted via:

Twitter: @SussexMysteries

Facebook: www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor/

Website: www.isabellamuir.com

Or on Goodreads

 

 

 

Does an eccentric childhood feed a funny author?

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know that I’m a bit of a Robin Bennett fan, so when I spotted he’d published an autobiography, I was first in line for a copy, and I wasn’t disappointed. If you like autobiographies and are prepared to peek inside a very eccentric English upbringing, give it a go. Anyway, he very kindly agreed to answer the million and one questions I had. Here’s what we chatted about …

 

With your rather eccentric background, I’m picturing you writing in a treehouse or a bunker. Please tell me you don’t write at a very boring desk in a very boring office!

Out of necessity, I’ve trained myself to write pretty much anywhere and everywhere: airports, trains, pubs and, once, three days at Reading Crown Court. A large chunk of my writing is currently carried out lying full length on the backseat of the car whilst I wait for children to finish clubs.

Given you hop between fiction and non-fiction, kids and grown-ups, what should we expect next?

I’m just finishing up on a (mainly) rhyming book inspired by Boewulf and Hunting of the Snark (it is called ‘Lief the Lesser and Hell’). It’s set about 10,000 years ago when the land mass between modern Europe and the British Isles was swept away by a tsunami. It is about the journey a boy and a girl take when they end up on a log together and wash up in what would be today’s Kent. Neither like each other much. Until they do.

Any plans to do an audiobook? Would you narrate it yourself?

I was asked but scheduling was tricky over the summer, so it might be for early 2020. I’d love to have a crack at narrating myself.

Some of your fictional characters are a bit bonkers. Are any of them inspired by your family?  And if so, do your family know!?

Ha ha! A lot of my characters are based on family, but I honestly don’t think they would notice. I think the thing is most of them see themselves as very normal, which is what makes it so funny (some of the time).

Would you share a childhood photo of yourself, ideally in a sinking fishing boat, clutching a rather unfortunate duck? I know this might require a trip to the attic so you may be gone for a while but I’ve got my fingers crossed you reappear eventually.

I’ll do my best, although a combination of boarding school and parents who did not go in for pictures much means I have very little. This is me with my big brother, Charles ,who is holding Judy, the Cairn terrier who was partner-in-crime (and often instigator-in chief) for most of the things we got up to.

Mums Book Blast - 1. charles me and our cairn judy

I have to say, I approve of his dog – here’s my Cairn terrier looking like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

Lexi's dog

 

If you’d like to check out the book, here’s the details …

Blurb: If life gives you lemons, add gin

Life’s a Banquet is the unofficial but essential ‘guide book’ to negotiating your way through life – through education, family life and business, to relationships, marriage, failure and rejection.

Aged 21, Robin Bennett was set to become a cavalry officer and aged 21 and a half, he found himself working as an assistant grave digger in South London – wondering where it had all gone wrong.

Determined to succeed, he went on and founded The Bennett Group, aged 23, and since then has gone on to start and run over a dozen successful businesses in a variety of areas from dog-sitting to cigars, translation to home tuition. In 2003, Robin was recognised in Who’s Who as one of the UK’s most successful business initiators. Catapulting readers through his colourful life and career, Robin Bennett’s memoir is an inspiring tale.

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lifes-Banquet-Robin-Bennett/dp/1912881683

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Banquet-Robin-Bennett/dp/1912881683

 

Biography

robin_bennett_author_entrepreneur

Robin Bennett lives in Henley on Thames, Oxon. He is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children and books on the swashbuckling world of business. His documentary, Fantastic Britain, about the British obsession with magic and folklore, won best foreign feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.

 

Robin says, “When the world seems to be precarious and cruel, remember that the game is to never give up – there’s everything to play for, and it will all be OK.”

Unusual encounters with a goddess

Whilst I mainly blog kids books, activities and family life, now and then I throw in something totally different that I just had to share. And today is definitely off-beat.

Oshun front .indd

The cover of The Oshun Diaries drew my eye, and it’s a captivatingly written non-fiction account of a reporter’s encounters with, and search for, a goddess and cult(ure) in Nigeria and the US. It treads that fine line between profoundly spiritual whilst still remaining highly accessible – no mean feat. I urge you to take a look (and there’s a link to win a copy below.)

I’m rather at a loss for how to describe it, so you’ll have to take a look at the opening section – are you hooked? I was!

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Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of The Oshun Diaries (UK Only)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494265/?

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.+

Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.

I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Blurb

High priestesses are few and far between, white ones in Africa even more so. When Diane Esguerra hears of a mysterious Austrian woman worshipping the Ifa river goddess Oshun in Nigeria, her curiosity is aroused.

It is the start of an extraordinary friendship that sustains Diane through the death of her son and leads to a quest to take part in Oshun rituals. Prevented by Boko Haram from returning to Nigeria, she finds herself at Ifa shrines in Florida amid vultures, snakes, goats’ heads, machetes, a hurricane and a cigar-smoking god. Her quest steps up a gear when Beyoncé channels Oshun at the Grammys and the goddess goes global.

Mystifying, harrowing and funny, The Oshun Diaries explores the lure of Africa, the life of a remarkable woman and the appeal of the goddess as a symbol of female empowerment.

You can check out the trailer here Trailer

About the author

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Diane Esguerra is an English writer and psychotherapist. For a number of years she worked as a performance artist in Britain, Europe and the United States, and she has written for theatre and television. She is the recipient of a Geneva-Europe Television Award and a Time Out Theatre Award.

She is previously the author of Junkie Buddha, the uplifting story of her journey to Peru to scatter her late son’s ashes.

She lives in Surrey with her partner David.