Oksana Verpakhovskaya with an enthusiastic reader on the launch of her lovely book of short stories The Rose of September in Kiev, Ukraine.For more about this book go to General & Historical Fiction from our Genres drop-down.
Among celebrities attending the launch of Susan Wands of New York's amazing story, at Watkins Book Shop in London, was well-known actor Bryan Cranston. He is seen here accepting a signed copy of Magician and Fool from author Susan Wands.
A wonderful review for a wonderful book.
5.0 out of 5 stars'Journeys' works wonderfully well on so many levels
By Mr. Robert Barneson
'Journeys' works wonderfully well on so many levels. Firstly, the font and point size choices make it an easy read on the eyes. Secondly, it's a genuinely well-written and interesting 300+ pages of one man's experiences out in the big wide world. It's hugely readable, from the author's description of his formative years, and how these influenced his attitudes, to his living in, and many expeditions to, parts known and relatively unknown. He never gets bogged down in unnecessary detail, but the pictures he paints of national character traits from Africa to South America, the Middle East and to the South Seas could not be more incisive. I was left laughing on many occasions at the absurdities he encountered along the way. Businessmen would do well to tuck this into their suitcases on their continental travels, and I have the distinct feeling that the world would be a happier and safer place if politicians took leaves out of it, and sought their own empathy with strangers. I thoroughly enjoyed the style of writing - it's approachable, never flowery, always down-to-earth and informative, and never academic. Excellent!
Dennis happy to swap plastering for pens Dennis Swift with his new book, Caught On Site: Confessions of a Tradesman RICHARD BEAN Email 13:00Sunday 18 December 2016 It shouldn’t happen to a council plasterer but in Dennis Swift’s case, he is certainly glad it did. Because the trials and tribulations of life as a tradesman have given him a fund of anecdotes for his new book about the many, many laughs and japes he experienced on the job. The book is full of short stories and the best bit is that, although people may find it hard to believe, I can guarantee that every one actually did happened. Dennis Swift Now 60, retiring four years ago, he has delivered a rib-tickling read about the antics trades people go up to while working on the borough’s giant council house refurbishment programme in the 2000s. Most of the characters in his collection of short stories are locals. And all the happenings all took place in Wigan, Leigh and Bolton. For example, in Something Fishy, Dennis tells a classic tale of a builder long the butt of practical jokes. His site pals stowed a dead fish behind a panel in his pick up and as the weeks passed, the mystery pong would drive him to a state of despair. Dennis, from Atherton, said: “The book took three years to write but quite a while was wasted while looking for a publisher.
“Many of the mainstream operators actually liked what they read after I sent them a manuscript but then decided for whatever reason not to take it any further. “But my efforts were finally rewarded when Lionel Ross from i2i in Manchester came to my rescue because he thought it was good enough to see the light of day. “The book is full of short stories and the best bit is that, although people may find it hard to believe, I can guarantee that every one actually did happened.” Dennis, a dad of three now celebrating some 38 years of marriage to wife Brenda, retired from plastering in 2012. And he’s used his retirement to good effect, swapping his mixing paddle for a word processor and pen to finally bring Confessions Of A Tradesman to manuscript. In fact, it’s actually his second book. Because the passionate Bolton Wanders fan - he was once flown to London by satellite television to take part in a fans forum representing the Trotters - has already written Football Rhymes Of Passion. Dennis also knows his pints and treasures his real ales. And can always be found supporting the town’s Bent And Bongs beer festival. Confessions has already gathered in some impressive testimonials. The Bolton comedian and actor Bernard Wrigley said: “I can confirm that such goings on - actually went on!” While the jolly chaps from Wigan Uke trio Chonkinfeckle have also endorsed to the tome. Caught on Site, Confessions of a Tradesman, is priced at £7.99. It is available from Waterstones or from [email protected]
Stuart Harris's first book THE PIRATE SHREW is continuing to receive rave reviews on Amazon. To read them click here
We are privileged to have been chosen as the publisher for retired judge, Peter Morrell's books in the Pepynbridge series.
THE ISLAMIST OF PEPYNBRIDGE
THE RECTOR OF PEBYNBRIDGE
THE HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR PEPYNBRIDGE
Here he is signing (lots and lots) of copies of his books in the OUNDLE Book Shop
FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTOPHER by Ian Paul Lomax had already well over a hundred glowing revues on Amazon when just today, the following was posted. As his publisher, i2i Publishing, I knew this was a great book, but a true story that can have this much impact deserves to read by everyone who has so far not done so.
It is available on Amazon or from most good book stores by order. Just follow the link
For the love of Christopher
5.0 out of 5 stars FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTOPHER
ByAmazon Customer on 15 September 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
When Ian Lomax enters a room, kindliness and candidness enter also. These are the two main qualities which enable Lomax to write of the catharsis of the human spirit through pain and suffering, in his book: FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTOPHER. His style is also as genuine as the real life Lomax - laid back, conversational and confessional enabling him to form an alliance of trust and confidentiality with his unsuspecting reader before leading him through a maze of human emotions, which in the hand of another writer may have been too tragic a story to enjoy. Instead, Lomax dexterously weaves a helix with threads of our human commonality, bringing his reader face-to-face with his/her own existential questions; while at the same time cajoling them, to dare judge any of his characters! His characters, (including Lomax the protagonist), are so real and larger than life in the myriad human emotions they represented… just as were the players in the Greek tragedies staged in the Amphitheatres of Sophocles’ era.
We travel with Lomax through his blood and fire “Rites of Passage” initiation into fatherhood, watching helplessly as life forces him to take a stance and fight for the only trophy which he ever aspired to – to be (for his own family) the father and husband his siblings and mother never had. His soul longed to be a man whose pride was in unconditionally loving, providing for, honouring and protecting his family with every single breath in him. In telling this story, Lomax’s candour, humour and craftsmanship enable what seems an effortless birthing into a unified storyline out of very complex and would-have-been emotionally scathing plots of unresolved subliminal childhood pains, mixed with large doses of adult love, homophobic culture clashes, betrayal; injustice, and finally; the triumph of the human spirit aided by the compassion of his fellows.
The power of the book lies in the fact that Lomax simply tells his story with such brutal honesty, and allows each reader to take what they want out his narrative. For instance, when young Lomax retreats to Greece for some peace (after the burial of an abusive father who he never realized that he cared for), little did he know that the trip was the beginning of a lengthy journey into Self-awareness. When he falls in love with his “Greek Princess”, Helen, Lomax highlights for his reader a major human error - falling in love without, first, healing oneself into wholesomeness. Poor pampered, unsocialized and controlled Helen must have found her new found freedom too overwhelming, and did not know what to do with the man who not only doted on her, but had made her the centre of all his existences – past, present and future. How she must have ached for the familiar but tyrannical cover of her mother, Marie! In his naïve love for Helen, Lomax becomes the “rescuer” caught up in a powerful family control Drama Triangle which spills dangerously over, defying all ethics and Rules of Engagement; as Helen’s family had a good time doing what they loved most – “loving” each other the best way they knew how to.
Meanwhile, Lomax risks everything dear (including his mother and Jack) to partake in a drama he found so abhorrent – all FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTOPHER. I found myself at the edge of the sofa for ten hours, hooting for, screaming “No, Ian don’t… run for dear life…silly boy…OMG…!”. I felt him - especially in his hunger for the physical closeness and touch of the woman gone cold, to help him bridge the unbridgeable.
Lomax successfully paints the horrors of the psychological, emotional and material devastation to families during and after a separation and/or divorce, as once-upon-a-time lovers, grapple with mastering the un-masterable - symbolized by the state of Helen’s life when Lomax returned her love letters.
Finally, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISOPHER stirred the heart of compassion in me and I made two phone calls. First one was to, my friend Ian Lomax. I was on Chapter 14 (page 119) and I wondered how he could still be so gentle and caring (in real life), having gone through such trauma both in childhood and adulthood. When he answered, I told him that he was a good man and that he should never let anyone or anything take away that goodness. The second phone call was to my daughter, Nwando, (now a mother of twin boys in the States). Christopher’s pain (each time he parted from his father) brought back memories of her own tears whenever she had to part from her Dad. I told her about Lomax’s book and how truly sorry I am for the ways our divorce twenty-five years ago, may have affected her wellbeing.
When I dropped the phone, I just sat there and wept for myself and my friend, Ian Lomax, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTOPHER. Amidst tears, I made a mental note to ask him when next I saw him at work, if he ever found answers to the internal drama which originally led him to Greece, prior to meeting Helen.
May-Blossom Brown, Ph.
For the Love of Christopher: A Father's Tale
For the Love of Christopher: A Father's Tale
As a publisher I have read many book reviews but rarely one as glowing and as comprehensive as this. The book is I'm NOT a Celebrity, I am a Muslim by Sahera Patel and is available like all our books from Amazon in both Paperback and Kindle formats. In the last few years I have had the pleasure of publishing many wonderful books for many wonderful authors and this certainly comes under that heading. Here is the review: Lionel Ross
Book review by Bob McDonald
I’m not a celebrity I am a Muslim
Book Review by Bob McDonald
The rites of passage of a young girl of Indian origin, growing up in the North of England, family life and frictions, things happy and sad, school bullying, adolescent crushes on boys (and the odd teacher!), friends, young adulthood, holidays, marriage, career, arrival of children etc…. Sahera Patel’s self-declared ‘non-celebrity’ autobiography has themes which are universal and would be a quietly entertaining read at any time, place.
But the account is a lot more than this prosaic content might suggest.
A book’s significance can also change with the time, place of reading it. Right now, during a summer of rising racism in 2016 on the streets of England, “I’m NOT a Celebrity…” strikes this reader as a timely reminder for tolerance and understanding, as we are being called upon by too many here to become more parochial and less diverse as a country and society. This is an uplifting and bravely honest account of a young girl and woman, growing up in 1980s England onwards when the country had become much more culturally diverse with the arrival and settlement of peoples migrating from the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere.
The narrative is largely chronological. Sahera describes personal, private events and domestic memories which challenged and gradually shaped her as a person. These mark the story of her young life as she grows and matures. The events are familial: anyone looking for momentous national or political news as a backdrop to the tale will not find them here. Nor are they needed. The rich and real history of a period and a place can often best be seen in the lives of ordinary people at home in their everyday, neighbourhood surroundings and encounters.
This is such an account. “I’m NOT a Celebrity…” is the singular, personal story of the author; but it also makes an important contribution to our country’s social history, seen through the eyes of a perceptive young woman, growing up and reflecting on wider themes through the lens of her own upbringing and the minutiae of her personal experiences. It conveys a picture of the period which is as authentic as any top-down history of the times, based on Parliamentary Hansard records, Cabinet papers and political biographies, which we might find on the history shelves of Waterstones.
So how does the author achieve this?
Sahera’s skills as a story teller make the book tick. She can evoke a scene from the past which draws the reader into the story. For example, the description of her reaction as a young girl to arrival in India with her family and being confronted by a railway station full of staring faces is typically effective: you are beside her and share the emotional shock of what she is confronting. There are many more – some more graphic than others, but no need to repeat them here! Just read the book.
Beyond the technical ability, what made it a page-turner for me was Sahera’s humour. This runs right through the book. Quiet, dry, sardonic, understated, self-deprecating. But be careful of reading it in public – there are bits you will laugh out loud at. A couple of examples: returning to England from a family visit to an uncomfortably hot India as a young girl, Sahera writes:
“Landing in Manchester was one of the happiest moments of my life! The cool air and miserable view of the damp weather was a welcome sight…we were back to civilisation.”
On husband-choosing via arranged marriage conventions, she describes first impressions of the latest potential suitor:
“His outward appearance was pleasant enough; his beauty didn’t blow me away but at the same time I did not feel any repulsion, so this was a good start.”
Through these and other personal reflections, Sahera also reveals for us the wider social issues, conventions and challenges they imply. What racism felt like to a young Indian Muslim girl; the enduring influence of ‘back home’ India on family trying to settle and thrive in England; making ends meet; teenage attitudes and rebellion, and the challenges of a new, modern Muslim generation; courting and marriage customs; community isolation and impact of new cultures on the indigenous population.
Her personal strength and determination is gently observed in how she learned to deal with racism as a schoolgirl:
“…[the school bus] full of scary, intimidating characters that seemed to prey on our differences…insults, jibes and racist comments made me stronger and more confident as a person…”
Sahera doesn’t shy away from including close, personal and painful family experiences. She no doubt intended her father to be an important figure in the autobiography: this he certainly is. In some ways, he becomes the central character in the story, through whose difficult, moody and abusive behaviour Sahera not only recalls the challenges of her own upbringing and growth to maturity; she is also very adept at appreciating the underlying (and sometimes almost inescapable, if not excusable) reasons for his behaviour and attitudes which impact on the lives of all around her.
This is arguably Sahera’s greatest skill as a writer. Her family came through difficult times during her youth. Bad things happened. And yet the author’s account remains objective, warm-hearted and affectionate to all the individuals with whom she lives and interacts. She explains the reasons behind people’s behaviour rather than using hurtful incidents in her past as opportunities to blame and condemn others. Sahera’s art is to bring two aspects together in her writing: objective analysis of people and behaviour combined with love for her family and friends. A good example is how Sahera in a matter-of-fact, but sympathetic way explains that her mum’s life was the result of inescapable aspects of traditional Indian culture:
“…subservience and acceptance were the order of the day during my mother’s era…”
and yet without which (and with complete ignorance of how the western world worked):
“…she would have been lost and helpless without her intact family unit. The idea of shattering the only life she had ever known would have destroyed her own sense of self…her inability to make a stand provided us with unconditional love throughout our childhood: a reliable source of affection in the form of our enduring mum….”
This is wise. Astute reflections and analysis by an author who can identify underlying societal factors which define the limited range of options open to an individual (her mum, for example) in real life. Lesser writers (and thinkers) would be tempted to blame and complain about others in her past life and rail against the “unfairness of it all” for herself and others in the story. Instead, Sahera’s self-portrayal and of those around her are drawn with affection not condemnation. I think that’s why “I’m NOT a Celebrity…” is a page-turner: you can’t write good biography without that love and understanding – the art of the good story-teller. You have to like and love the people you are writing about. Otherwise, it just doesn’t work.
The significance of the Islamic faith in Sahera’s life is clear and her autobiography concludes with a detailed diary account of the spiritual journey and pilgrimage she made in 2012 with family members to Mecca. In these final passages the author explains her religious devotion in very practical and personal terms which communicate her profoundly held spiritual beliefs but without ever coming across as “preachy”.
I suspect that she must have thought long and hard about how best to incorporate an explanation of her faith journey in the book to readers, given its evident significance. The inclusion of ‘Hadiths’ to provide religious context for different incidents and statements throughout the book works well. This is a proven literary device. Yet I get the feeling that the author thought this didn’t quite get the job done. I have a sense that Sahera took a deep breath finally and decided to round off the story with a ‘no-holds barred’ exposition of her Islamic faith and really sock it to the reader.
These final pages are detailed and informative. Above all, they are marked by an emotional intensity where the author really let’s go. Although these passages are highly charged, Sahera still maintains perspective and objectivity: she explains the nature of her spirituality without falling into a vague, verbal mysticism which would have confused, not clarified her meaning to the reader and the importance and everyday relevance of her faith. It’s a definite strength of Sahera’s writing: she can explain subtle behaviours and factors behind them without getting totally carried away with abstractions – she gets down to brass tacks.
“I’m NOT a Celebrity…” can be enjoyed on a number of levels. Sahera’s tale is one to dispel myths and prejudice about a faith and a community. This is important but the account should not be pigeon-holed on library social science or religious studies shelves. It is first and foremost a biographical study – an intimate and personal story. It should appeal to a very wide readership – young people, adults, fellow Muslims, the religious and non-religious, and all ethnic backgrounds, indigenous and migrant.
Through its pages we get to meet, to understand and very definitely to like Sahera as a person. She writes with honesty, courage, warmth and humour and her call for us all “…to be willing to open our hearts without prejudice” is indeed a timely one when the need for respect and toleration for people from different backgrounds in our country has rarely been greater.
I hope Sahera Patel continues to write. I look forward to her next book very much.
24th July 2016
i2i Authors at Book Signing Events
Davina Hanes assisting Little jack to sell over 250 copies of his autobiography The Life of Little Jack at a book signing event
Peter Morrell signs copies of his fascinating story 'The Islamist of Pepynbridge'
|Gillian Atkinson signs copies of her book 'In the Mingled Midst'|
James Brammer demonstrates for Bay TV how (not) to clean your teeth. Read the full story in his new adventure book THE TERRIFIC TOOTHBRUSH
|Ian Lomax signs copies of his books 'For the love of Christopher' and 'Return from the abyss'|
|Gustav Phigeland donates a copy of his new book 'Dawn of the Deity, Hunters pursuit' to a library in Cape Town|
|Ian Lomax proudly shows his books to the Mayor of Bolton|
|Maxine Warner shows off her book, The Wibberly Wobberly Tooth, at Buckingham Palace|
Author Sahera Patel gave a fascinating talk about her life and journey to religious (non-political) Islam to the Shrubberies Prestwich Synagogue Monday Club on June 1st. She read excerpts from her book I'M NOT A CELEBRITY, I AM A MUSLIM published by i2i Publishing and available as a paperback or a Kindle from Amazon.
More Praise for Sahera's book - I'm not a Celebrity, I am a Muslim
Submitted by hayley on 18th Apr 2015
I was offered the chance to read Sahera Patel's book through my Lotus Flower Book Club page on Facebook. She kindly sent me a copy through the post and although it has taken me a little while to make a start, once I opened the book I read it in a couple of days. I have a personal interest in memoir, so much so that when I was pursuing my PhD I focused solely on memoirs of disability. I love to read about the author's life journey and share their inner world. Although many memoirs I have read touched on spirituality in some form, I was surprised when I realised I had never read an autobiography that focused on Islam and what being a Muslim means.
Patel's memoir starts with her father's terminal illness and this thread runs throughout as she shares with the reader her own life growing up to be a young British Muslim woman. She cleverly anchors the book with tenets of her faith that I found both informative and inspirational. She grows up in the wake of her parent's emigration from India and their resilience when reality hit that life in Britain was not as they expected. The author's raw honesty as she describes the domestic violence she and her siblings witnessed is breathtaking. They become attuned to the moods of their father who is disappointed with what Britain has to offer him. He struggles with the responsibilities placed upon him by the wider family back home who believe that everyone in Britain has money. This pressure intensifies as his own family grows and his escape is gambling. Patel describes poker nights at their home, where there is smoking, drinking and her father losing housekeeping money which only exacerbates their problems. All of this destructive behaviour is not only against his faith, but makes the family's money worries so much worse. They are in a vicious circle, culminating in outbursts of verbal abuse, damaging property and eventually physical violence. The children can sense what is coming and try to divert their father, or take their mother out of his sight line to prevent attacks. The sense of walking on eggshells comes across strongly, as does the sibling's heightened awareness of both their father and their mother's seeming inability to know when trouble is brewing. I strongly felt the sense of isolation; that they cannot tell anyone what is going on, but try to cope with it alone.
Despite, or perhaps because of this difficult family experience Patel's maturity and humanity shine through on every page of this memoir. She recognises that for some people this might be the first time they get to see the world through the eyes of a British Muslim and her explanations of certain customs or rituals are always engaging and often informative, helped by excerpts from The Koran. Her faith sustains her throughout her life, perhaps because it is constant and therefore provides a contentment not present in her earlier life. The compassionate way she is able to love and forgive is highly inspirational to me. She writes that in Islam it is not permitted to expose a fellow Muslim's sin and that she had to reflect deeply upon her feelings for her father. The soul searching exposes a dilemma between wanting to remain true to her faith and respect the man she knows is dying. However, there is also a personal spiritual need emerging, that of catharsis and truth. Patel decides to portray her childhood truthfully with bravery and with a spiritual honesty that is heart rending.
I thoroughly enjoyed the section where Patel starts the process of looking for a husband; an introduction is made and she has the option to agree to a courtship or not. The description of the tiny bedroom where potential suitors are sent up to be 'vetted' is comical. Patel clarifies the process of 'arranged marriage' showing that she has the power all along and also the importance of looking for compatibility in a life partner as well as that spark of attraction. I was also fascinated by the description of their eventual pilgrimage to Mecca where both their spiritual and physical strength is tested to the limit.
I took so much away from this book: a new understanding of Islam and the clarification of traditional customs that I thought I knew about; an incredible example of love and loyalty within a family despite the pain and hurt caused over the years; but most of all an impression of a young woman with a quiet strength - comfortable and content with herself and her choices, as well as the enduring faith which sustains her. I felt honoured to share such an intimate and honest journey of self-reflection.
PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION - SAMUEL JOHNSON ILLUSTRATED £24.95 (Hard Cover with some 60 original colour illustrations)
by Stefka Ritchie, Foreword by Barabara Fogarty, Original Illustrations by Ana Stefanova & photo illustrations by Svetlan Stefanov
This magnificent work can be see in far more detail on the pages of Amazon: Just click here