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November 21, 2012

One Pair of Hands, by Monica Dickens

Blogging for a Good Book

The popularity of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs has brought interest back to old books like Below Stairs,  first published in 1968, and Rose, My Life in Service from 1975, not to mention older TV series like Flambards.

Another half-forgotten book in this category is Monica Dickens’s One Pair of Hands from 1939. Monica Dickens was the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, but this isn’t her main claim to fame in her series of books about her forays into the working world in the 1930s.

Monica Dickens is unusual in the stable of domestic servant memoirists as she didn’t have to take on domestic servitude to prevent herself or family from becoming destitute. She came from a wealthy family and was a debutante who came out with all the glamour of a debutante ball. She became bored with her social existence and thought, “Surely… there is more to life than…

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Write a Story with Me #21 – Wait. Huh? What was that last line? with Susan Roebuck

Jennifer M Eaton

Susan Roebuck does the impossible — finding a way to glue this baby all together into one storyline.  Take it away, Susan!  I am Soooo glad I’m not next — but I feel explosions coming!

20- Susan Roebuck

Marci awoke to someone saying, “Two hundred feet above the waves, Commander.”

“Good. Now get below and tell the troops to get ready. I must get back to the Bridge. I’m sorry about all the jolting – the Precipice is always a dangerous place.”

Marci cracked open one eye. She was in the air-lock bubble at the top of the ship, its transparent dome had been pushed half back so she could breathe fresh air. So different to the chemical-filled atmosphere of Argot.

High above specks flew in a V-shape. As she stared a dot at the front broke formation and zoomed down in a breathtaking spiral. Another dot joined him and…

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Frank Ocean Reflects On This Summer’s Revelation With GQ

The Urban Daily

As the world awaits the inevitable — Frank Ocean scoring major Grammy nominations come Dec. 5 when they’re announced — GQ has an interesting new Q&A about the rising singer-songwriter. In Ocean’s back and forth, he reflects on the now infamous revelation about his love life made earlier this summer, and refuses to peg himself in terms of his sexuality when prompted.

Excerpts below:

GQ: Let’s talk about your open letter on Tumblr. Posting that must’ve felt like the hardest way.
Frank Ocean: Yes, absolutely.

GQ: So why did you do it? Were some people raising questions about the male pronouns in a few of the songs?
Frank Ocean: I had Skyped into a listening session that Def Jam was hosting for Channel Orange, and one of the journalists, very harmlessly—quotation gestures in the air, “very harmlessly”—wrote a piece and mentioned that. I was just like, “Fuck it. Talk about…

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Lenny Kravitz To Play Marvin Gaye

The Urban Daily

For several years now there’s been a number of attempts to bring the life, or at least parts of it, of legendary soul crooner Marvin Gaye to theaters. Cameron Crowe and F. Gary Gray were attached to helm such projects, as were potential stars Will Smith and Terrence Howard, though ultimately all those stories fizzled. Now there’s another with Lenny Kravitz said to be playing the life of Gaye in a film directed by Julien Temple.

More via the San Francisco Chronicle:

Rocker-turned-actor Lenny Kravitz has reportedly been tapped to portray Marvin Gaye in filmmaker Julien Temple’s forthcoming biopic.

The controversial British director stepped in to revive the project last year after both Cameron Crowe and F. Gary Gray abandoned plans to bring the soul legend’s life story to the big screen, and now Kravitz has been cast as the music icon, according to London newspaper The Evening Standard.

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Magazine Covers: Jamie Foxx Talks Django Unchained And Flexes His Guns In Men’s Health!


Jamie Foxx is posted up on the December issue

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News on book awards & The Jerusalem Puzzle

Laurence O'Bryan - No 1 Best-Selling Conspiracy Thriller Author

The excitement is mounting in the run up to the Irish Book Awards on Thursday night. I will post the result as soon as I can.

I don’t expect to win the Crime category for The Istanbul Puzzle. But we will enjoy the gala dinner with dinner suits, black tie and long dresses and authors glaring at each other and others getting drunk!

In other news The Jerusalem Puzzle has broken though the 1,000 rank barrier on, which means preorders are going well.

If you haven’t ordered your ebook for Dec 3 yet here are the links. , first then then iTunes.

I am sure it will be out at the same time on Nook, Kobo and other ebook service:



wish me luck for Thurs night and thank you to all who voted for The Istanbul Puzzle!

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“Rise Of The Guardians” Director Peter Ramsey Answers “Avengers” Comparisons

The Urban Daily

It takes a leap of faith to believe in something you can’t prove. As kids we place so much stock in larger than life characters like Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and The Tooth Fairy, with our self esteem and perception of the world hanging in the balance. But as we get older that faith is compromised by various realities–jobs, education, responsibility. Dreams of all kinds get deferred. But thanks to people like Director Peter Ramsey, kids of all ages will soon relive what it’s like to believe in the impossible.

Ramsey is a self-taught illustrator from the city of South Central Los Angeles who has risen through the ranks of Hollywood to direct his first feature film about what else? Holding on to these impossible notions. In “Rise Of The Guardians,” an adaption of children’s books by William Joyce, childhood heroes like The Sandman, The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus…

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“After the Honeymoon…” smexy and playful snippet from “Mactus” the Second Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” launch of coming soon!

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague, by Geraldine Brooks

Blogging for a Good Book

This post illustrates the wonderful community of readers. This book was recommended to me by Cindy in a comment to my October post on Plague: A Very Short Introduction. I don’t know Cindy except through her comments, so thank you Cindy! I thoroughly enjoyed Year of Wonders. I checked it out on CD to listen on my commute, but had to scramble to find the book because I couldn’t wait over the weekend to find out what happened. It is the first book by Geraldine Brooks that I have read, so I will be looking for more of hers in the future.

The year is 1665 and Anna Frith is a widow, less than twenty years old with two young sons. She was married to a miner who was killed by a explosion in his mine.  She supports herself by working at the rectory and the local manor…

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