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  1. Today
  2. Okay, so I'm here to talk about this book, The Undying Queen of Ur, which is a fantasy novel loosely based in Sumerian mythology. The story tells about this immortal queen called Arkhalla, who ruled over the lands of Sumer at the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 3,000 BC and is set in the early days of human civilizations when the first Sumerian Kingdoms formed on earth. In this novel, they never, even once, use the term "vampires." Although the Undying feed on human blood and have a few similarities to the vampires, to say that this is a story about vampires would be to make a terrible mistake. Other than a few similarities, this story has absolutely nothing to do with vampires at all. Arkhalla is this powerful queen who ruled over mankind for more than 200 years from her mighty ziggurat in Ur. She lives in a world that is consumed by the flames of countless wars and reigns absolute. Her power is indisputable and she rules over all until the day a young human boy called Shamath (he is 18) is captured in the queen's latest war. Shamath is then taken as a captive to the city of Ur and finds himself in the midst of untold horrors committed by the Undying. But it is when Queen Arkhalla notices him among several other prisoners that would be sacrificed to their god, Asag that she gets intrigued by the boy's courage and defiance in the face of death. She then decides to spare his life and takes him as her body slave. This is when her world changes forever! This is a thrilling and beautiful story about love and redemption. The gripping liaison between the two protagonists starts as a dramatic and abusive master/slave relationship but slowly turns into the most beautiful love story I have ever read. This story is a remarkable tale of a kingdom torn by intrigue and a fascinating cast of characters struggling for dominance. But I felt that this story is above all, a tale about forbidden love. The love between an immortal Undying Queen and a young human slave who overcame impossible odds and the darkness within their own hearts and discovered each other. It is really worth checking.
  3. Very Long Books - Are they worth it?

    Like Mr HG says the size of the print matters alot on the size of a physical and even digital book. The bigger the font the more pages. The only way to judge the length of a book surely is on the word count? Whether they are worth it will be for you to decide . Here is a list of the longest books and having started Les Miserables and got to less than 10% after 2 weeks, wish that an abridged shortened version was available. A book with so many asides. historical background and to be honest not needed information, I have never read before. Will persevere. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_novels
  4. Book Chain

    The Mystery of The Blue Train - Agatha Christie
  5. Song Chain

    Feels Like We Only Go Backwards - Tame Impala
  6. Yesterday
  7. Song Chain

    Only Love Can Break Your Heart - Neil Yoing
  8. Book Chain

    Strangers ON a Train - Patricia Highsmith
  9. Just one small thing, I read a Kindle book recently and I went to the reviews (as I do after I've read it) and there was a person who was reviewing who said they had also bought the audible version to listen to as they read along with the kindle and that it appeared that chunks had been missed out of the story as there was more dialogue in the audible version than what was written in front of them, nothing which affected the story but they questioned if it was a different version but surely that would be Kindle selling abridged books as unabridged?
  10. Very Long Books - Are they worth it?

    It depends on the book, if its a cracking read which holds your attention it doesn't matter how long it is, whereas if its a pile of poo the shortest book can be a hard slog to get through. Personally speaking I like short books and I like long books some of my fav's have been the size of a breeze block and some which took me forever to get through because they were so bad were relatively short. I think this thread ties in nicely with the thread I started asking if books were getting shorter as I have noticed in recent times it doesn't take me as long to read a book as it used to, and sometimes I feel I have been a bit short changed when I read a book which seems to end before its even begun.
  11. Glorious Tosh

    A little late to the party on this one, (to put it mildly!) I remember this series and watched it when it first aired (I can't believe its over 10 years ago though!) When we got Netflix I was overjoyed to find it on there but then they took it off. Out of the blue (very randomly) my husband bought me the entire box set of DVDs of this series recently, so now I am reacquainting myself with this series and loving it all over again. Yes it takes some terrible liberties with historical fact and some of the details are quite outstandingly wrong, yet I can't help myself, this is my current 'guilty pleasure' and I'm enjoying every moment of it.
  12. Last week
  13. Michael Innes

    Honeybath's Haven. I have had a few Michael Innes mysteries on my bookshelf for years, but never actually got round to reading any - they are quite old (1970s editions mainly), the print is a bit small and they seemed quite slight compared to the novels I have been reading for most of the last 25 years. However, having had a couple of years when I've had trouble settling down to read any book at all, a fairly slim mystery seemed a good way to go, so I pulled Honeybath's Haven off the shelf. Picked at random, this is the only one I have that is not one of the Appleby series, and is the middle one of a trilogy. Having said that, it was a perfectly good read on its own. Honeybath used to be friends with fellow artist Edwin Lightfoot but, as happens, time life and circumstance causes them to drift apart. Then, after a good number of years, he bumps into Lightfoot's brother-in-law, who expresses concern about Lightfoot's welfare and persuades Honeybath to 'drop in' and see his old friend. Honeybath understands the brother-in-law's concern when he finds Lightfoot pretending to be be a now deceased burglar known as "Flannel Foot." Is Lightfoot really dotty? Honeybath can see occasional flashes of the 'old' Lightfoot, but when Lightfoot's wife leave him, and he moves out of their home to live and work in his old studio he goes from bad to worse. Honeybath manages to convinces him to move to the apartment he had reserved for himself at an exclusive home for the elderly. When his friend's body is found tangled in the seaweeds growing in a saline pool on the grounds, Honeybath begins to suspect that something untoward had been going on at Lightfoot's house from the start. Strangely, it seems that Ambrose Prout (the brother-in-law) has been acquiring hitherto unknown 'early' Edwin Lightfoot paintings, snapping them up and keeping them hidden. For a murder mystery this is a bit of a 'romp', and many of Lightfoot's fellow residents (in fact, every one that we meet!) is, at the very least, eccentric. It seems quite slow to start, with the murder not taking place until about 2/3 of the way through, but the ending is fast and furious - and full of surprises. I enjoyed it very much, even if I did have to consult the dictionary occasionally. If the plot is slightly deranged, the standard of the writing lives up to Michael Innes's academic credentials. I will give one of the Appleby mysteries a try soon. i suspect it won't be quite as "off the wall" as this one.
  14. from Fantastic Fiction This thread is for discussion of him as the mystery writer , and of his books published under the name Michael innes In addition to about three dozen Appleby books there are three mysteries featuring artist Charles Honeybath as the investigator (Honeybath also appears in at least one Appleby mystery) There are also 10 stand-alone mystery novels and some stories in collections with other authors. As regards the "vogue for donnish detective fiction", that time seems to have passed, judging by more recent successful books of the genre, but they are definitely still to my taste.
  15. Clean

    Review of Clean by Juno Dawson Lexi Volkov is a rich socialite but in need of help because with the privilege of her father's money, she has a drug problem nearly oding on heroin and needing to be revived. Her brother Nikolai worried about her takes her kicking and screaming to a treatment facility on an island (For me, this brought images of Shutter Island but that might just be the island comparison. We learn later that the kicking and screaming is the usual way of entering. One of the trigger to her addiction is her no good, user of a boyfriend who did some art but prefers drugs (I use user in botht he sense that he uses Lexi as a cash machine and also uses drugs, which he gets Lexi to pay for). We delve into both the past of Lexi before coming to the cause of her problem and her life at the treatment facility with the other patients and staff there. The patients are being treated for a variety of problems. There is a bit to the novel, it is young adult but there is a bit of swearing, and some hard subjects from drug use, gender identity, anorexia and such. When out of isolation, in the afternoons it is free time and for Lexi this means she goes to the horses which brings me to the unbroken horse Storm another point: I really loved Dawson's writing, it is funny but also a lot of heart to the novel. This was the second book of Dawson's I read and her first fiction that I have read. a very endearing and engrossing read. I think I read 180 pages on Saturday afternoon. * * * * 1/2
  16. The authors below are some that write similar books to those of Lyn Andrews Dilly Court, Anne Jacobs, Jean Fullerton, Lynda Page, June Tate, Anne King, Annie Murray, Pamela Evans, Anne Baker, Soraya M. Lane, (good writer, maybe a bit different from the rest) , Anne Groves, Rita Bradshaw A mixture of 20's and 30's saga type stories, not mind benders but easy reading. Popular amongst women who enjoy reading as entertainment and facts about how it used to be in that period of time. Meg, would you please put this post where it should be.
  17. Have a Rant!

    Viccie, so sorry to hear of your troubles and glad that you have an out by taking the dogs for a walk. I don't have that option right now about walking, we have ice and snow covered streets, would work in good weather to go for a walk, and I have to use a wheeled walker. It just seems to be the latest hospital visit which has him all upset as he needs to stay on a salt reduced diet to keep him on an even keel and he tends to get the rants late at night about not being able to eat what he wants when he wants. He has a failing heart and has an installed pacemaker and defibrilator so his life expectancy is a bit iffy. So he certainly has lots to be mad about, however, I would like to have him around for a while yet and I'm no spring chicken either but he gets angry if I try to curtail his eating. So I escape into reading.
  18. I chanced upon this article recently 7 banned books, are they really dangerous? Is banning books still effective in the age of internet? Wizard of oz, a children’s book that is banned can be found readily on Youtube. And here’s the catch. Some of them don’t even look dangerous. Sometimes, I wonder what our world has come into. Well enough of me ranting… Let me know what you think. Is banning books still relevant? References Washingtonpost: Do we really still need Banned Books Week? https://wapo.st/2X8WVRb buzzfeed: 7 banned books, are they really dangerous? https://bzfd.it/2Gztmmy
  19. What films have you seen recently?

    I've finally got round to watching The Hobbit films. I thought the first one was a bit of a slog, and ended up fast forwarding a few bits, but the 2nd and 3rd films were much better, although I did think that the love triangle was superfluous, and sometimes with all the different battles going on I wasn't always sure who was fighting who exactly! It was of course very padded out and no way should it have been 3 films, two would have been stretching it but overall I thought they were better than I expected. Not as good as LotR though, however I did think Martin Freeman was well cast as Bilbo and was excellent in the role.
  20. We have a little art house cinema in our local town which shows films in VO (version original) with French subtitles. Normally they aren't that popular but Bohemian Rhapsody did so well that it was brought back three times and must have been a nice little earner. Since the cinema's a charity which relies on volunteers it's really heartening. I loved the film.
  21. Have a Rant!

    It's also due to not listening! And not wanting to listen. I sympathise with you Momac, my husband is opinionated, could give lessons in stubborness to mules, thinks instructions are guidance at best and believes your average doctor doesn't know his a... from his elbow. He nearly lost part of his foot last year (and I was on the verge of a breakdown) because he ignored his toe going black for three months and got really bad temêred wth me for suggesting he got it seen to, "What the point of seeing the doctor, they won't know anything...' He was in acute pain but was still too bull headed to do anything about it. He ended up in hospital for three weeks, turns out he has quite a serious blood disease and is still in denial about how close he got to only having half a foot. The first thing he did when he got home was to half his blood meds 'They always prescribe too much' but fortunately the consultant at the hospital picked that up from the first blood test and rang to say he had to take the proper dose. As for the being irritated - tell me about it! When he gets too bad I take the dogs for a walk or say I'm going to write my book and take myself off. A bit of absence definitely does improve the mood!
  22. Far from Home by Lyn Andrews This post is not specifically about this book or the writer but about a whole series of English female authors who may appeal to the average housewife, some are romances and others are not necessarily romance but fiction centred around the 1920's or early 1900's. The one I'm reading, noted above, is about an Irish family, not wealthy but comfortable. He's the district's farrier, has three young daughters, and is widowed. The oldest girl is sixteen and keeps the family and household running smoothly until her father decides to remarry, hoping for a son. The daughters are shocked and the custom is for the new wife to move in and the daughters placed with relatives. The twists and turns carry on from there and there's never a dull moment. I'll put together a list of the writers for anyone who might be interested. It also gets into ones about families who are barely surviving with little income but manage with community help to survive. Quite a bit different from more recent books which don't deal with the abject poverty experienced when times were tough during the depression and WWII. There are many women authors write about the same period and appear to be very popular. The books I have read have almost without exception been well written and give an interesting look into recent history without being tedious.
  23. Love "The Rats." Love "Others." Love "Shrine." And "The Secret of Crickley Hall." Good atmospheric horror stories. Very entertaining. You could do a lot worse that James Herbert.
  24. Have a Rant!

    Yes, having to repeat information can be annoying but I think forgetfulness may be a part of the getting older situation. If hubby is going out somewhere and is going to pick up an item I always put it in clear note form now so there is no chance of forgetting verbal instructions. I find myself that I will go upstairs for an item but in the meantime see something that needs attention then will come back downstairs without the item I went up for. Doesn't stop me from saying "I just told you that this morning" though.
  25. Have a Rant!

    It's not easy is it - especially when you have to tell them the same thing over and over again! Tell me about it!
  26. Have a Rant!

    I do worry a lot about our daughter as she is a nice natured woman but is quite naive and much like her Dad in that she hesitates to challenge anyone when they say something she may disagree with (not so with me, she has no trouble disagreeing with me quite volubly) but she is more inclined to be polite rather than assertive. I think she's probably getting better at stating her case as she is getting really fed up with the doctors not getting the medical problem sorted. Today her doctor phoned her and is adding another drug to that which she is already taking as maybe the one isn't adequate to completely block the siezure. It's awful to think that she was seizure free for over 30 years and then the upset over losing her Westie after 18 years together seemed to trigger something. He was her constant companion and slept on her bed at night. She had to make the decision to euthanize him as he was blind and deaf and his legs wouldn't hold him, he was a sad looking little dog and we all miss him. Hopefully the new drug will do the trick as she can't go back to work until she is cleared by the doctor. I do really need to have a Power of Attorney for health care for Sheila as she lives with us and if she's not able to give the medical staff direction I need the authorization. Dave has one for me and I have one for him. The nurses in the local hospital are not allowed to give out any information about a patient even if they have the information on the chart, only the doctor is allowed to do that so asking for information from a nurse is a non-starter at our hospital. I guess at some point the wrong information has been given out and the hospital has been sued. That was why I was trying to relay information to the doctor but that was not allowed either. As to hubby being difficult, am working on trying to be less irritated with him, which is a big challenge for me, but I'm trying! He doesn't like reading instructions, just wants someone else to tell him what it says, and quite often doesn't remember what he's told, so the memory is part of the problem. There is a booklet provided by the after care of patients which he was supposed to read and he finally got around to telling me that there were things in the book he didn't know about. I think maybe he is starting to take notice and was looking up sodium free frozen meals on the Internet so things will get better I think. Getting older is quite a challenge for those of us who are experiencing what are supposed to be our golden years.
  27. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    The Familiars, Stacy Halls
  28. What films have you seen recently?

    Watched Bohemian Rhapsody having bought it from Sky. It's absolutely superb, can't recommend it highly enough
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