Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Writers To Watch – A Writer's Choice #2 Just One Damned Thing After Another

The General Idea of Writers to Watch

To begin with, I am only selecting what I myself believe to be the best of what I myself have read. Seems clear enough to me. If you are an indie writer and don't appear here there is every chance that it is because I have not read any of your work. It happens. It may also be that I have and for one reason or another, have decided not to include it, or have you on my list to include as I go along. I only plan to do this every now and again, after all. I'll number them in the title.

What I am primarily aiming at doing there is bringing to the attention of readers work I myself think readers will enjoy. The criteria are exactly what you would expect: a good story written with skill. These are books that I think publishers would be wise – or perhaps would have been wise – to pick up if and when they were available. These are writers to watch. Writers who can do the gig, have the skills, have stories to tell that are – in my own opinion – original and fun. I will only recommend books that I have absolutely no reservations about.

If the books I list here are free then it is a fair bet that other books by the same author are not free, and I would encourage you to buy at least one book from the same author if you enjoy the book I recommend here. Encouraging good work is always a worthwhile thing to do. The gratitude of the author may never be expressed directly to you but will be real and sincere. Writers do need paying if they are to continue to write. The better paid they are, the more they will write, which sounds like a win/win to me. So, with all that in mind, here's the next offering.

This book is a delight. Nicely whimsical, pleasantly engaging, eccentric, charming characters and locations. The story never falters as the delightful Madeleine "investigates major historical events in contemporary time."

The opening of the book leads fairly swiftly to Madeline interviewing for a job at as a Historian at St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, a position her mentor recommends. We already have a feel for her character; she is smart, eccentric, and wryly funny.

No surprises that she gets, and swiftly enters training for the job as Historian; a Historian being someone who travels in history, commissioned to get the story straight. More fun and games and the first hints at the underlying plot

It isn't all fun and games. There are some pretty dark moments, but Madeline is resilient and bolstered by being in her element for what seems to be the first time in her life. Friends and enemies develop and change, all nicely paced and well drawn. Madeleine belongs to St. Mary's, and if you feel inclined to trust me, Just One Damn Thing After Another belongs on your reading list.

Quote: ‘Don’t panic,’ said Sussman . ‘Why would they fail you for something so trivial? They’ve invested hugely in us. And it’s not as if you actually set her on fire, which is what I would have done. You put her out. Don’t expect any gratitude from the rest of the human race.’
     And so we came to the dreaded Outdoor Survival, appropriately scheduled for Friday and all over the weekend. It was November! It was freezing! It was pissing down! I was going to die!
     I had already made some plans . Actually, I’d been making provisions since they first told us. We would be dropped off separately and make our way back somehow, to arrive before Sunday lunchtime. That wasn’t going to be a problem because I planned not to leave the building in the first place.
     I acquired (!) a black jumpsuit, one of Barclay’s. She was such a Grade A bitch that I had no qualms at all. People see what they expect to see. Take away the greys and I was no longer a trainee. If I put on a techie-style baseball cap, grabbed a clipboard, slipped my scratchpad in my knee pocket, and looked as if I knew what I was doing, then I might just get away with it.

Taylor, Jodi (2013-11-21). Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary's) (Kindle Locations 501-510). Accent Press. Kindle Edition.

I love this book. I am glad I read it. It is my belief that you will also be glad to have read it. I recommend it.

I would have wanted to include a brief interview here but sadly time is pressing and my schedule full to bursting.

From The Cover

“History is just one damned thing after another” - Arnold Toynbee

A mapcap new slant on history that seems to be everyone's cup of tea...

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document - to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions...and not to die in the process.

But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And, as they soon discover - it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake ...

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