2014 – The best books I read this year!

Seumas Gallacher:

…amazing post… what a prolific supporter, m’Lady Susan Toy is! …of course, I just GOTTA re-blog this post….

Originally posted on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing:

I don’t normally do this – recap what I’ve read during the year and choose which have been the best books, but I was tired of scanning the Best of 2014 lists that media and book sites produce, seldom seeing anything at all I’ve read. So I decided to come up with my own list.

If an author has been featured on my blog, Reading Recommendations, I have linked to their promotion. And the benefit of writing this promotion blog is I have discovered and met so many great authors this past year! As well, I’ve heard from a friend, a reader, who has been following my recommendations – and reading many of them! Here’s what Violet has to say: I love to read. I read for pleasure but if I learn something, it’s a bonus. With thousands of books to choose from, it can be a challenge finding…

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…a Champion Simian among Simians… Written Acts of Kindness Award… the Storyreading Ape…


…many times growing up this ol’ Jurassic has been accused of indulging in ‘monkey business’… but, none of it was even within an orangutan’s reach of the type of constant positive activity indulged by today’s recipient of the Written Acts of Kindness Award

Written Acts of Kindness Award

…indeed, his outreach to others who practise our quill-scraping gig is right up there among the best supporters we Authors could ever wish for… the Storyreading Ape, whose ‘Clark-Kent-type-alter-ego’ disguises himself in human form as Chris Graham… the Ape reblogs… the Ape refers articles… the Ape prompts indies.. the Ape guides scribblers toward sensible sharing stuff from a huge range of other writers on the internet… in fact the Ape is the best kinda Guerrilla Gorilla on behalf of so many of us… yeez can follow the Ape here:

Blog              : thestoryreadingapeblog.com

Twitter          : @Storyreadingape

Facebook     : Graham Christopher

…I’m certain that tons of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land out there have been the beneficiaries of Master Ape’s generosity… I’ll ask yeez all to raise a peeled banana in a toast of thanks to our 800lb mentor… cheers … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

Master Ape, the rules for passing this Award on are very simple:

  1. You are welcome to give it out as many times as you like, but it is only to be given to a maximum of one person per blog post. If you wish to give multiple rewards, please space the blog posts so the sincerity is maintained.
  2. Introduce the person; say how they encourage, help or inspire you; then link to their work and/or social media profiles. There may be a specific post you wish to link to which helped you. It’s up to you.
  3. Please publicise your award post to Twitter or Google Plus using the hashtag #writtenkindness so that others can find and follow the award winners.

This award is open to anyone to use. You don’t have to receive it, in order to be able to give it. Once you have received it, it isn’t obligatory that you must pass it on.




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…an Author’s secret revealed… the REAL reasons why I blog… #TBSU…

…an Author’s secret revealed… the REAL reasons why I blog… #TBSU…. look what’s resurfaced here …:)


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…Authors… how good ‘plants’ enrich yer scribbling masterpieces…

…readers, by and large, are clever, intelligent folks… they can also often be dismissive of shoddy WURK from an Author, regardless of how vaunted that writer’s celebrity may be… the basic mystery novel, and much of crime stories will frequently hold wee ‘pointers’ toward the eventual denouement of the plot… these are frequently contained in a ‘cluster’ of information/details rolled out as the book progresses, with further ‘clues’ developing as the narrative is unwrapped… what is not welcomed by the perceptive reader are ‘surprise’ revelations that ‘suddenly’ result in ‘solving’ the plot line… that kinda quill-scraping is to be avoided at all costs… however, I’d like to focus not so much on the ‘big’ clues technique mentioned above, but in the thinking writer’s art of ‘planting’ stuff throughout the story… fr’instance in my first Jack Calder crime thriller, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, one of the main characters gets hit by a coupla bullets, and ends up in a private room in hospital… the nurse is instructed to have the patient on ‘liquids only’ which takes the form of a large jug of water and a drinking glass parked on the stand beside his bed… a while later, an intruder attacks my guy (a former SAS officer)… his reaction to the attack is to reach out for the nearest ‘weapon’the drinking glass, which he smashes and thrusts into the throat of the assailant, thereby saving the day… the reader will accept the presence and proximity of the glass, having had it casually mentioned in passing just a while before… in other WURDS, there’s NUTHIN ‘plucked by chance from thin air’… a superb piece of ‘planting’ was used by the splendid Author, Tom Wolfe in his terrific ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’...


…his hero, by name Sherman, is involved in a fatal vehicle accident and taken to court… his female companion in the car is from ‘New Joisey’ and has the accent to match… before her evidence in the court scene, away from her hearing, a separate witness refers to someone calling the accused ‘Shoyman’… when the lady gives her evidence she also calls the guy ’Shoyman’, which proves to be the corroboratory clincher in getting him convicted… a great plant… so, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, go find yer literary seeds and start planting… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!… my planted novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, is available below (do yeez see what I did there, Mabel?):

VMThe Violin Man’s Legacy:   http://amzn.to/10wnMXB


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Where did that saying come from?

Seumas Gallacher:

..this is definitely a ‘share’ …LUV this kinda material… from my friend, the Storyreading Ape, Chris Graham …

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:


In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey.


American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by belts of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.


This is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000.00. This was about the price of an average farm. So if you died you in battle you “bought the farm” for your survivors.


This came about from…

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…serious plea for help… I need a Dummy’s Guide To An Author’s SENSIBLE Use Of Goodreads… all suggestions welcome…

…Dear Aunty Helpline…


…by this time, I should know already how best to maximise my participation in Goodreads… but… but… I can do the Rubik Cube… I’m a wizz at Sudoko… yer quadratic equations?... no problem… speak a blethering tongueful of languages… easy… but figure out how an Author is supposed to properly get mileage out of Goodreads? Nada!. Zilch!.. Brick Wall!… nil comprendre! …have any of yeez terrific quill-scrapers out there WURKED it out yet? care to share with this ol’ Jurassic scribbler a ‘Dummy’s Guide To…?’ my presence on a range of the SOSYAL NETWURKS has served me well over the past few years… I’ve even devised some amendments to how to use Twitter, by bending the ‘FF’ (‘Friday Followers’) mechanism into a more personalised outreach and aid to help other users to develop broader contact bases… on Facebook, the channels on the public and direct messaging stuff are excellent ‘chat waves’… and I’ve even managed to stay out of the Facebook Jail for over a year… time off for bad behaviour, I think that’s called… LinkedIn, Google+, Pocket, and Tumblr are added dimensions of that ‘outreach’ and so far so good with all of those… but, dear old Cousin Goodreads?


…hmmm… getting ‘connections’ and ‘friends’ is no problem on there.. and the occasional foray into discussion groups can be fun… but my innate Scottish scepticism leaves me feeling less than ‘maxed’ with it… which generally means I’ve missed sum’thing along the way on how sensibly to get an Author’s presence… yes, yes, Mabel, I know it’s GoodREADS and is meant for readers… but lots of readers want access to writers… p’raps yeez’ve noticed, but when I’m not being a reader, I’m also a writer… if emb’dy out there can offer serious guidance on this mystical bastion of literary communication, it would be a welcome addition to my scant knowledge… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

…Clueless, Abu Dhabi…



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…fine dining.. as ye’re (sum’times) allowed to have it…

…this ol’ Jurassic makes no secret of the fact that he LUVS good food… witness, a waistline prob’ly ‘a-hem’ inches tighter than it should be, and a weighing-scale marker sum’what higher than most GPs would recommend for an almost-iconic Author like me… my range of menu preference would do justice to the CV of both a gourmet and a gourmand… my palate has been tickled by cheffery in cuisineries as posh as the Dorchester Hotel’s range of eating establishments, with all the delicacies of the planet on offer… however, I’m not above indulging that most splendid of dishes—a double cheeseburger at McDonald’s, with extra fries and lashings of tomato ketchup, oh, and don’t forget the DIET Coke


…fine dining a la fast food junk outlets at its best… a propos of NUTHIN, my mem’ry this morning flashed  back about thirty years to a remarkable episode in one of Europe’s best hotels… the Baur au Lac in Zurich , and more exactly to it’s famed Grill Room… an American colleague and I were on a business trip, and repaired to the restaurant to enjoy a good steak dinner… now, understand this, the Swiss can be just a tad particular about how they think food should be served… both of us ordered steaks… mine, medium to well-done, and his well-done (he is American, after all)… the waiter assigned to our table was a throwback from a nineteen-thirties silent movie… slicked and gelled black hair combed backward all the way from the temple to the rear of his skull, ending a quarter inch above his collar… his smart dark tuxedo suit legs seemed about five inches short, revealing startlingly white socks covering the lower part of his legs…oh, and the guy was about six feet six inches tall, contributing in large part to the ’trousers-flying-at-half-mast’ appearance…




…the starters came and went, but when the steaks arrived, my pal prodded the meat with his fork, and it oozed a little red… certainly not ‘well-done’ as we would have defined it… he called our ‘Lurch’ to the table and asked for it to be taken back and made well-done… almost fifteen minutes elapsed whilst I tucked into my steak… when the recalcitrant meal re-appeared, held diffidently at arms-length by our server, he almost plonked it onto the table…it still wasn’t well-done, barely creeping into the medium/well-done range…


…again my companion summoned the lad and said ’this isn’t ‘well-done’’... the priceless, unforgettable response,  delivered with almost a sneer was ‘Sir, THAT is how we do ‘well-done’ at Baur au Lac… and he flounced away… as my stunned dinner mate meekly cut into his steak, I could hardly eat my creme brûlée for fits of laughter… and I await with wild expectation the next time a McDonald’s employee tells me ’Sir, THAT is how we do double cheeseburger at McDonald’s’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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