2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.
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Guest Post: Who Are You? by Diana K. Robinson

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Diana K. Robinson, whose new novel Who Are You? is a dark look at marriage and the secrets people keep about who they really are… To set the stage, you’ll first see the description of the book, then her guest piece on writing it. She is offering us a peek behind the curtain – a perspective I always find fascinating – and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

About the Book
Born and raised on a remote farm in South Africa, Elisabeth Pieterse, a young, naive trainee nurse meets Dion Du Toit, a wickedly handsome salesman whose suave exterior hides a monster within that she discovers only after their wedding.

His addictions, adultery and insatiable desire to be in the limelight turn their lives into a roller coaster of erotic highs and death-defying lows leaving leading psychiatrists confused and Elizabeth shattered.

She knows instinctively that if she wants to stay alive it is safe to remain with him.

Finally, in a courageous but ill-advised attempt to quickly resolve her company’s financial problems, caused by Dion, Elizabeth then fails to answer the one telephone call that would have changed the course of the life forever.

How the Book Came Into Being
by Diana K. Robinson

I felt Elizabeth’s heart wrenching story had to inspire others; what to do and what not to do when faced with extreme adversity.

After an unfortunate incidence with a staff member in my business I began the tedious task of interviewing. ‘Elizabeth’ was the third person I interviewed, and we clicked immediately. I sensed she was holding onto trauma but of course one doesn’t ask. Elizabeth completed her three-month probation with excellence. Just the sensible, down to earth, reliable person I needed to manage my factory.

We were sitting together one day during a lunch break after having cut out thirty horse blankets. She indicated there was something personal she felt compelled to reveal and prudent to be honest about her past before I heard some twisted version through rumour. She shattered me by explaining she’d spent time in a Japanese jail. Instead of feeling guarded, having unknowingly employed a criminal, I felt instant empathy for her, wondering how she’d come out of a life so traumatic and was still so grounded, caring and authentic.

She asked if I would write her story. What an amazing honour but could I do it justice? I’d only ever written articles on horses for magazines and local newspapers.

‘I love writing, but I’m not trained with the skills to write such an epic story, Elizabeth.’

She was convinced I could do it and three years later this inspiring story of a mother’s powerful love of her children and the need to protect them from their father, risking her own life with such commitment is truly admirable, and then, to come out of jail with a heart full of forgiveness and love is an example of an exemplary human being.

My next inspiring novel is also based upon the true story of a truly powerful and inspirational man who lost the use of his legs in a polo accident and raised three very young children after losing his wife to cancer only months after his accident. ‘Muchingura’ an African name given to him, has a dual meaning- one who stays or one who sits. There will be a sequel to this novel.

About the Author
Diana is a country bumpkin at heart, born and raised on a farm in Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe, then Lived in South Africa for the better part of her adult life. Since then, Diana is now happily living in England, where all her family are originally from.

Diana’s qualifications are in the Equine world and the only writing she has ever undertaken is articles for various newspapers and magazines on her equestrian practices and even her own amazing horses. Furthermore, the topic of her next book plays into this very theme, a manual called the ‘Equus Soul Technique’. This technique developed over many years and grew organically when Diana ran workshops for CEO’s mimicking the herd leadership skills and putting them into practice in business to enhance productivity and unity within the work force. Her four-day equine-facilitated therapy workshops for traumatised women opened the door to evolving the technique into healing traumatised horses and grew from there.

“One could say I was just about born on the back of a horse.”

Diana’s father, a farmer, owned racehorses and played polo for many years until his accident on the polo field that put him into a wheelchair for life.

Book Reviews: The Xana Bard Tarot Mysteries (Books 4-6) by Bevan Atkinson

As I told you last week when I introduced this marvelous series, this is a two-parter – today I’m covering the last three books in the series. If you missed the other post, you can find it here. If you’re all caught up, dig right in!

The Empress Card
They just keep getting better! Continue reading Book Reviews: The Xana Bard Tarot Mysteries (Books 4-6) by Bevan Atkinson

Book Review: Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths

This is such a great series! I’m really impressed with how Griffiths has managed to transition her characters from the Magic Men of the early books into an aging (gracefully of course!) cast of still fully engaging and constantly evolving characters whose lives (and plot lines) move on appropriately with time… The misdirection and drama of the early stories continues to play a role in the later ones, albeit in different directions. So many times authors seem to feel compelled to keep their characters in the moment of their introduction – both psychologically and in terms of the action they encounter – and it feels forced because, well, it is. Time passes, people age and their lives change – so to, characters. When an author manages that transition well, as Griffiths does, the result is a series with longevity that continues to provide new opportunities for character development and story lines that don’t feel like rehashed tales of days gone by… Continue reading Book Review: Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths

Book Reviews: The Xana Bard Tarot Mysteries (Books 1-3) by Bevan Atkinson

I’m going to cover the first three books in this fantastically fun and intriguingly populated series today. The last three will follow up next week. Some of the reviews are longer, some shorter – regardless of the length, rest assured that each book was a great read, some just lent themselves to longer descriptions than others.

This was a marvelous find – the mysteries are cozy, without aggressive sex or violence or language, which made them a great before-bed read for me. The characters are splendid – full of quirks, foibles, and sass that I found endearing, aggravating, hysterical, and highly entertaining. The mysteries were unusual and engaging, and even when they felt slightly familiar, they took unexpected twists and turns that kept me flipping pages and laughing throughout. A great find!!

Continue reading Book Reviews: The Xana Bard Tarot Mysteries (Books 1-3) by Bevan Atkinson

Book Review: Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

Okay, is there anything more horrifying than the thought that some creepy low low-life could be watching and listening to everything you do without your even knowing it?? I don’t think so either, which is why this one intrigued me and repulsed me at the same time… Continue reading Book Review: Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

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